Boba Roe
rating: 0+x
Item#: 4928
Level3
Containment Class:
euclid
Secondary Class:
none
Disruption Class:
ekhi
Risk Class:
danger

SCP-4928.jpg

April 3rd, 2010. Examples of SCP-4928 in it's most infectious vehicle to date.

Special Containment Procedures: Project "Bitter Yuca" is currently underway, breeding dominant strains of Cassava1 toxic to SCP-4928. Discovery of SCP-4928 by the general population would result in an UO-Class "Second Contact" scenario, and should be suppressed at all costs.

Description: SCP-4928 is a parasitic alien life-form present in, and responsible for, all modern forms of Tapioca.

Historically, the common shrub M. esculenta subspecies flabellifolia possessed only thin, barely edible root structures. Then, around 10,000 BP, a variant strain suddenly emerged producing thick, starchy tubers rich in carbohydrates. While quickly becoming a staple-food for the developing world, this plant served as an ideal, and possibly deliberate infection vehicle for SCP-4928.

SCP-4928-1.jpg

March 15th, 2005. Cassava root, laden with dormant colonies of SCP-4928.

SCP-4928 functions similarly to a bacterial colony, expertly mimicking the polysaccharide chains present in plant starch. It is so imperceptible, in fact, that Foundation scientists have only recently identified it's existence through comparative study. This lattice-like organism remains dormant within the tubers until digested. SCP-4928 will then begin digesting the host in turn.

SCP-4928 is resistant to extreme temperatures and high-pressure environments; all historical methods of processing Cassava starch have left the parasite unharmed. In fact, contemporary forms of Tapioca have only enhanced potential colony growth. Tapioca Pearls or "Boba" create an optimal transmission vector for the parasite, mimicking the multiplicity and effectiveness of cell-based fertilization. Sweet and milk teas2 only increases growth factors and ease of consumption. However, despite all modern advantages, threat from the SCP-4928 parasite itself is still negligible.

To date, SCP-4928 has failed to form a lasting parasitic relationships with any terrestrial species. While uncommonly resilient in dormancy, in active parasitism SCP-4928 quickly succumbs to any number of basic biological processes, including immune reactions, digestion, and simple chemical tolerance. Even in common garden snails, growth of the parasite is halted by the shedding of thin mucus layers. The human digestive system is especially effective at neutralizing the parasite, which only survives the stomach in an estimated 0.0001% of all cases3. Even in these rare cases, SCP-4928 will, at worst, case mild stomach ulcers.

SCP-4928 seems to function at an accelerated timescale incompatible with Earth species; it will attempt metastasize it's host so quickly it simply "burns out". In ideal lab conditions, when SCP-4928 was given a vast quantities of nutrient-rich slurry, the colony still expanded too quickly to maintain it's own metabolic growth, resulting a self-cannibalistic breakdown before new external nutrients could be processed.

While SCP-4928 has been unobtrusive and undetected in the population for nearly ten thousand years, project "Bitter Starch" is still considered a priority in the rare chance SCP-4928 finally adapts to terrestrial life.


Addendum - 2010/06/10: Concentrated energy emissions were detected from galaxy MACS0647-JD. Despite operating on a common electromagnetic radio frequency, this pulse was somehow sustained and oriented directly at Earth. While far too weak to be detected by conventional radio receivers, a Foundation suppression campaign was required for global listening posts and observatories.

Two messages were contained within the signal, both played simultaneously in 6519 terrestrial languages4. Despite the impressive breadth of translation, the syntax of each language was severely garbled. Message as follows, edited for clarity:

General Notice, creatures of 9009064: You have failed. Your bodies are unfit to sustain our young. Weep. Burrow. Die without purpose.

Special notice, Dominants of 9009064: You are monsters. Your bodies are full of grinding rocks and boiling acid. Of all the ten million life worlds, you are the most disgusting. We are glad our young cannot feed from your filth. You children of a whore galaxy.


SCP-4928-2.jpg

July 15th, 2010. Domestic Cassava, no SCP-4928 detected.

Addendum 2: In the 3 weeks following this broadcast, all global SCP-4928 colonies have died off. The plant itself appears unaffected, continuing to produce large starchy tubers. Foundation test-material, most of which being Tapioca Pearls, had been held in a heavily shielded containment vault and still contained colonies of SCP-4928.

These samples will be kept in deep-freeze storage for the foreseeable future. Given the shelf-life of SCP-4928, this anomaly will be considered neutralized as of June 18th, 2060.

























Offset leads to MC&D page.

SUBROSA.jpg

THE SUB-ROSA ACCORDS

((Fancy edited page, looks like a legal document.))

The SCP Foundation - Marshall, Carter & Dark



Submitted by the partners of Marshall, Carter and Dark on October 1st, 2019, the Sub-Rosa Accords stipulate an primary exchange of goods between the host party, MC&D Inc. and one "SCP Foundation", unincorporated. The articles of this contract are intended to circumvent the traditional zero-negotiation policy of the Foundation through mutual benefit, and potential hostility (see Article 10).

1. Marshall, Carter, and Dark will exchange a sum of their collection; low in material value, high in anomalous potential.

2. The Foundation will exchange an equivalent number of SCP classified objects; low in reality-threatening capacity, high in appraised worth.

3. Both parties shall chose a single representative to negotiate this exchange.

4. The negotiations will take place within a Marshall, Carter and Dark Lodge of their choosing.

5. The physical exchange will occur on Foundation secured area of their choosing.

6. Both parties will give a full uncensored accounting for all offered goods; full histories, idiosyncrasies, and anomalous capabilities will be explained, in full, before the object can be tabled.

7. Any object tabled by The Foundation can not be auctioned by Marshall, Carter and Dark; objects will be personally utilized, or added to the "Collection".

8. The Foundation withholds the right to bi-yearly checks on the location and containment stability of all exchanged items.

9. Knowledge of the Sub-Rosa Accords will be strictly limited to the Foundation O5 Council, and the Partners of Marshall, Carter and Dark.

10. Should the Foundation refuse to participate in the Sub-Rosa Accords, Marshall Carter and Dark will dispatch all potentially tabled objects within random population centers across the globe.


Partial listing of all items exchanged under the Sub-Rosa Accords - Full listings available under Document O5-SUBR-001-113.

Offered:

All "Karma Kameleon"" production materials, and the location of Oliver Brothers Inc. Given their recent breach of contract, this is considered mutually beneficial.

(three other high-level, low cost MC&D items).

Received:

Three (3) capsules of SCP-500; Cure-all.
Fifteen (15) pamphlets of SCP-4177; 24 hour weight loss.
(One more SCP item)

400g from SCP-4938: Pure human gold.
18kg from SCP-447: Versatile green Goo.
10kg from SCP-4928: Delicious parasitic tapioca.


"So good of you to stop by, Darling. We're all very pleased you agreed to our proposal."

"You left us little choice, given it wasn't a proposal. At best, it was extortion. At worst, it was a terrorist threat."

A pen clicked. In the silent parlor, the noise was deafening.

"And you will call me Overseer."


Iris Black and O5-5 stat across from each other in tall, red-silk armchairs, framed across a mahogany coffee table. A fire crackled almost inaudibly in the backing hearth, cradled up in a marble fireplace too richly carved for even Buckingham Palace to afford. Along the walls hung trophies; exotic beasts, unremarkable and anomalous alike, dead-eyed and ever-watching. This was the Fifth Lodge, the London hideaway of Marshall, Carter and Dark.

Iris bickered and bargained. O5-5 discussed, and debated.

Iris drank her wine. O5-5 did not.

The negotiations lasted nearly six hours.


"Sixteen kilograms is more than enough." Said O5-5 tersely, weary from the long negotiation.

"You're lucky we're not asking for the whole ball. Twenty." Replied Iris.

"Eighteen, and you must make sure above all else that-"

"Yes, Darling, we know. No dead bodies. You've only said it a dozen times."

"Eighteen kilograms then."

"Only so we can finally move along to our final item… ah, yes, the Tapioca. I think we can dispense with the dickering on this one, hm? Ten kilograms, and your assurance it's your entire stock." Iris quickly held up her free hand. "Save, of course, for a minuscule sample for your scientific fussing. Do we have a deal?"

O5-5 didn't respond, merely staring forward, pen and pad in hand. Iris took a slow sip of her wine, and briefly wondered what could occupy such a quick-witted woman for so very long.

"Tell me why you want it." O5-5 said at last.

Iris paused, the glass held frozen to her lips; two boundaries of blood-red, lips and wine, a fraction from touching. She was surprised. As monotonous as the debate had been, O5-5 had never repeated herself. She had never wasted words.

"We've already told you. They're singular, anomalous, organic objet d'art. They're valuable to us, and worthless to you." Iris replied.

"Yes, but what do you plan on doing with them?" O5-5 said. "Even in deep freeze, they'll be a pile of rotting mush within a few decades. It doesn't seem like a… solid investment."

Iris grinned. She grinned wider than she'd done all night.

"My goodness, Overseer. Are you indulging a curiosity?" Isis asked delightedly.

O5-5 shifted in her seat. It was a near imperceptible movement, a tiny push of the heel, but Iris noticed. She always noticed.

"I'm merely addressing an inconsistency." O5-5 replied. "We need to make sure you don't intend to do anything with SCP-4928 that might threaten normalcy."

"Like what?" Iris asked with a coy tip of her head.

"Hatching them." O5-5 said instantly.

Iris laughed. She laughed so hard she had to set her glass down, otherwise she might stain her 38,000 dollar dress with 1500 dollar wine.

"Impossible." She replied, catching her breath after several long seconds.

"We're supposed to trust-"

"It's impossible." Iris said firmly, all levity gone from her voice.

O5-5 watched her for a moment, eyebrows crinkling. "How are so so sure?"

Iris picked her wine back up, speaking before sipping. "Because after nine million, nine thousand and sixty-four planets, you might start to guess the Avanaski are just piss-poor parasites."

"The what?" O5-5 asked.

"Avanaski. They have a bit of a reputation throughout the Universe, or so we've been told. Over the last few years the boys and I have been making some new business partners in… very high places." Iris said.

"Are you saying you're in contact with extra-solar species?" O5-5 asked.

"Ah, so sorry; that doesn't fall under our disclosure agreement does it?" Iris replied, a slip of a grin returning to her face.

"Hmh." O5-5 muttered. "So, the Avanaski are having trouble finding suitable hosts then?"

"The Avanaski have trouble with everything, Darling. I mean, did they seem especially… competent to you?"

"They're capable of outer-galactic flight."

"That doesn't answer my question."

"Doesn't it?"

Iris Dark finished the last of her wine. As she held up her glass, a pale man had already appeared at her side, retrieving the empty glass, and replacing it will a full one in one altogether fluid motion. He was there and gone in the span of a breath. In that brief moment 05-5 caught a single glimpse of the man in the flickering firelight. He'd had no face at all.

"The Avanaski come from a world so lush with resources it makes the Earth look like a half-mossy rock." Iris began, leaning back in her chair, folding her legs. "Well, actually, no one is sure where they come from. The planet they call 'One' is probably just the first planet they successfully infected. It's suspected, given how resilient they are in dormancy, that they once hitched rides on meteorites."

"Either way, their first, and only host species were these chubby grey things; think tiny elephants meets Kuala bear. They lived in huge hollow trees that bore fruit all year round, bur so did everything in a twin-star system. The ecosystem was in perfect balance, a perpetual springtime. Better yet, it all sat atop a mantle chalk-a-block with ore and exploitable energy sources."

"Just think of them as the spoiled rich-kids of the universe; they hit their industrial revolution in the time it took humanity to figure out fire. It was easy for them to stroll out into space, since they had ready-made pea-sized crystals that stored more energy than fifty tons of oil."

"But, lo and behold, the rest of the universe wasn't nearly as idyllic. Over the past few millennia, as they've burned through what's left of Planet One, the Avanaski have dwindled down to a bare handful. We suspect, or at least our business partners suspect, they'll be gone entirely within the next decade."

Iris settled back into her chair. She'd found herself leaning forward as she told the little tale. It was hard not to. The woman sitting across from her was such an incredible audience. True, she didn't gasp or applaud, but her sharp eyes and steady expression told Iris she was absorbing every single word.

"You haven't actually answered my question." O5-5 said finally.

"Which question was that?" Iris asked.

"Why do you want them?"

"To eat them, obviously."

O5-5 paused, then exhaled deeply. She clicked her pen again, and laid it plainly across the clip-board.

"If you're going to waste my time, Ms. Dark, we can just strike this item, and call it an evening."

"I'm serious." Iris said sounding slightly affronted, hand over her chest. "We intend to eat the entire batch. There's a whole banquet planned, in fact; it's very exclusive."

"Exclusive as the Bubble Tea shop three blocks from here." O5-5 quipped, her eyebrows knitted together. "It's just tapioca."

"Alien parasite filled tapioca."

"It just tastes like Tapioca. SCP-4928 doesn’t even register to chemical analysis, let alone the human tongue. Why bother?”

“Have you ever had Faisan Pathétique?”

“I… don’t even know what that is.”

“It’s a breed of pheasant found only on a single farm in France. The previous owner hung himself in the barn. For whatever reason, whenever a Faisan Pathétique is butchered it experiences an instant of existential realization. It understands it’s a bird. It understands it lived a pointless life. It realizes it’s dying, just for some humans dinner.”

“How could you possibly-“

“EKGs, soul cairns, and the fact they scream ‘wait!’ or ‘stop!’ or ‘please!’ just before you lop off their heads. I’ve had them on several occasions now; do you know what they taste like?”

O5-5 does not respond, continuing to stare forward, tapping her pen on the clipboard.

“Chicken. They taste like dry, white chicken.”

O5-5 still does not engage.

“So you might ask ‘why bother?’. I’d answer, ‘It’s not about the taste, Darling’. Then you’d get huffy about me calling you darling again, but I’d carry on saying that the point, the real point of Faisan Pathétique is knowing you’re eating something that, for one glorious moment they understand the universal pecking order.”

O5-5 squints. Dark, having punctuated her explanation with rolls of her hand, remains frozen in her final pose, palm up, fingers spread. The pair hold their positions, frozen like statues, for several moments.

“Pecking order? Come now, Ms. Overseer, I’m perfectly happy holding both sides of the conversation, but I’d appreciate a chuckle here and there. A smile? A flinch? Anything? ”

O5-5 taps her pen against the board.

“Oh fine, be that way. I’m only trying to add a little color while I illustrate my point.”

“Which is?”

“That ‘palette’ isn’t simply about taste! That we needn’t be governed by such primitive nervous feedback. Take this wine, for example. I can appreciate its taste, yes, but what about its history? The artistry in its production? The artful, brutal seizure of property we performed to claim the wine cellar where it sat for nearly two hundred years? I can’t taste that, Darling, but I can experience it.”

Dark takes a long, slow, deliberate sip of her wine.

“So what experience do you get from SCP-4928?”

Iris Dark set her wine down on the table, only the final dregs remaining.

“The same experience you’d get hunting down a wild beast, killing it with tooth and claw before eating the hand-torn carcass piece by piece. It’s the feeling of dominance, of being the superior species. It's the knowledge that we, humanity, will inherit the stars."

"Try and visualize it. You pop one of those precious little black baubles into your mouth, and swallow it whole. While breaking apart in your stomach, all those colonies, all those newborn Avanaski try to latch onto your stomach lining, onto your esophagus, onto anything. Instead, they melt away into the acid of your stomach, or get churned and broken apart by your intestines. We dominate, devour, destroy them all through the power of our own biology. Every moment is a one-sided war against one of the greatest powers in the Universe."

Iris clasped her hands together beneath her chin, leaning out. Her dark, narrow eyes glinted with a fiendish, child-like delight.

"It's sublime"

Addendum: [Optional additional paragraphs]

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