Shuddering at Incompleteness
Item#: XXXX
Level2
Containment Class:
esoteric
Secondary Class:
ticonderoga
Disruption Class:
vlam
Risk Class:
notice

Special Containment Procedures: Due to the widespread nature and popular cultural standing of SCP-XXXX, containment has been deemed unnecessary due to the low chance of discovery or harm. As a possible precaution, Foundation personnel are to avoid using SCP-XXXX whenever possible.

Description: SCP-XXXX is the question "Why is a raven like a writing desk?", which first appeared in British author Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (more commonly known as Alice in Wonderland). SCP-XXXX's effects are activated when the question is spoken to another human by a memetic trigger believed to be present in all humans. Based on observation of the trigger embedded in multiple anomalies, including those whose claims to humanity are dubious at best, it is believed self-consideration as human is the only prerequisite.

When activated, SCP-XXXX will cause humans to discuss the question and attempt to figure out the solution to it. Subjects will work together in attempts to solve it, despite the condition of their relationship. Efforts universally end in subjects declaring it impossible, reverting to previous normal behaviour soon after. No knowledge of Alice in Wonderland is required for SCP-XXXX to activate, although subjects aware of the connection will bring it up in conversation.

SCP-XXXX was discovered in 19XX, during the implementation of several new memetic contamination scanners. Foundation-wide testing revealed the nature of SCP-XXXX, and several rounds of D-Class testing from differing national origins showed the scope of the anomaly.

Interviewed: D-5363

Interviewer: Doctor Lee

Foreword: Subject was told they were testing an anomaly that enhanced problem solving sections of the brain. Subject has no knowledge of Alice in Wonderland or Lewis Carroll.

<Begin Log>

Lee: How are you feeling?

D-5363: Good. That drink is some weird shit, but I can feel it working.1 Let's do this shit.

Lee: Glad to hear. I'll start off easy. You have two coins equaling to fifteen cents. One is not a dime. What are they?

D-5363: A dime and a nickel. One's not a dime, but the other is, that's easy. Next.

Lee: Good. I run but not walk, have a mouth but don't-

D-5363: A river.

Lee: Alright. This one should be easy. Why is a raven like a writing desk?

D-5363: Uh… hmm… well I guess you could use like the feather or something for writing? Like you could both write with them? Nah, that doesn't work. Or maybe it's about Poe? Didn't he write a poem about a raven? Or maybe…

<Extraneous logs redacted>

Closing Statement: D-5363 went on to discuss the nature of SCP-XXXX-1 for five minutes, before eventually declaring the problem impossible.

It should be noted that Lewis Carroll originally intended for SCP-XXXX to have no answer. In later editions however, Carroll published the answer as "Because it can produce a few notes, tho they are very flat; and it is nevar put with the wrong end in front! [sic]" Those under the influence of SCP-XXXX will dismiss such answers as unsatisfactory.

It is unknown to what extent Carroll was involved in the creation of SCP-XXXX.

Incident-XXXX: Researcher James Haverford, a noted fan of Alice in Wonderland, spent over twelve hours researching the nature of SCP-XXXX-1 before declaring it solved.

Upon explanation to Site Director Ross it was revealed that the answer to SCP-XXXX-1 was a cognitohazard, affecting both Director Ross and Haverford. In their presumed locations were found SCP-XXXX-A and SCP-XXXX-B.

SCP-XXXX-A is a anatomically correct sculpture of a raven, carved entirely out a single piece of wood. Covering SCP-XXXX-A is the entire text of the 1865 edition of Alice in Wonderland, including publication details and chapter listings.

SCP-XXX-B is a raven in the shape of a 19th century writing desk. In place of wood are feathers anomalous hardened to create a sturdy surface, and the drawer handles resemble raven legs. SCP-XXXX-B draws sustenance from food place in the drawers, which is replaced 3-5 hours later with bird guano. SCP-XXXX-B is capable of speech, periodically quoting literature written by American poet Edgar Allan Poe2 in the voice of a young British man (believed to be Lewis Carroll at the time his novel was published).

The status of Ross or Haverford is unknown.

Interviewed: SCP-XXXX-B

Interviewer: Junior researcher Hayes

Foreword: Interview was conducted to determine SCP-XXXX-B's capabilities.

<Begin Log>

SCP-XXXX-B: But we loved with a love that was more than love, I and my Annabel Lee, With a love that the winged seraphs of Heaven coveted her and me.

Hayes: Is that you, Director Ross? Can you hear me? Haverford, you there?

SCP-XXXX-B: There is no exquisite beauty without some strangeness in the proportions.

Hayes: If you are either Director Ross or Researcher Hayes, please answer in the affirmative.

SCP-XXXX-B: All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream.

Hayes: Are you the answer to solving SCP-XXXX?

SCP-XXXX-B: The true genius shudders at incompleteness, imperfection, and usually prefers-

SCP-XXX-B:high-pitched screeching interrupts SCP-XXXX-B Oh hey, it worked. I've been stuck on this forever. Seriously, thanks.

Hayes: I'm sorry, who is this? Haverford, is that you?

SCP-XXXX-B: What's that? Sorry, I was trying to solve the question. Some high-pitched screeching I know recommended it, big fan or whatever of you guys.

Hayes: I assume I'm speaking to the entity responsible for the memetic trigger? You used it to solve the question?

SCP-XXXX-B: Yeah. Couldn't figure it out, so I thought I'd use you guys! Worked out pretty well, from what I can see.

Hayes: Worked out well? You killed two friends of mine! They're dead!

SCP-XXXX-B: ….Dead? Should I know what that is?

Hayes: What? It's the… the cessation of biological life.

SCP-XXXX-B Okay, you're saying stuff, but I've got no idea what you mean. I've got like 5 high-pitched screeching until I need to turn this in. So adios, and give my best to Lewis Carroll, alright? SCP-XXXX-B resumes normal speech patterns.

<End Log>

Closing Statement: Follow up testing on Foundation personnel revealed no traces of the memetic trigger associated with SCP-XXXX. Reclassification of SCP-XXXX as Neutralized is undergoing consideration.

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