Flops SCP #14
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Item Number: SCP-4790 Level 4/4475
Containment Class: Pending EXTRASOLAR

Threat Level: Orange


Alpha Centauri, photographed by SETI.

Special Containment Procedures: No containment procedures currently exist. This is subject to change; see Addenda materials for updates.

Description: SCP-4790 is a gravitational phenomenon associated with Alpha Centauri B ("Toliman"), 4.37 light-years from Earth.

SCP-4790 presents as a field of irregular gravitational activity surrounding the star within a distance of 5.1–16 AU1 (the extent of this range fluctuates on a 79-year cycle, as the binary star system orbits its barycentre). Within this range, all objects in Toliman's stellar neighbourhood are trapped at the edge of a powerful gravity well, forming a ~0.05 AU thick bubble surrounding the 1.4 AU radii habitable zone.

30% of matter in orbit is suggested to correspond to the recent destruction of speculative exoplanet α Cen B b, though this has not been verified.

Most notably, Toliman has captured ~1,600 space-faring vessels in its orbit. All vessels are of foreign fabrication, each possessing unique design and material philosophies, suggesting each vessel originated from a different extrasolar location. All attempts at hailing these vessels have resulted in failure.

UPDATE | Discovery: Autonomous monitoring satellite Chekhov-.009 departed Earth on its maiden voyage to Alpha Centauri in the wake of the Broken Masquerade, launching in the midst of a large-scale Foundation public relations campaign. Chekhov-.009 was outfitted with experimental and paranormal technologies, which includes the prototype Lang Distortion Drive, to enable faster-than-light travel; a sensor package containing natural and esoteric monitoring equipment; and Fledgling.aic, for remote operation.

Chekhov-.009 arrived at Toliman on May 22, 2020 — after a 110-day transit — and immediately discovered a gravitational abnormality. Soon after, Fledgling.aic detected a 1,420 MHz signal containing a memetic hazard, which was automatically filtered for safety. Fledgling.aic sent an exploratory probe on a vector to the signal, ~0.2 AU away.

On approach to the star, the probe experienced a strong gravitational pull with a magnitude of several thousand solar masses and became trapped in orbit. Fledgling.aic sighted strong gravitational lensing2 behind and around the star, terminating at the edges of the now-designated SCP-4790.

Fledgling.aic eventually detected the signal's source: a vessel constructed according to a previously documented Priorihominus3 design. The vessel displayed the outward shape of a compressed Klein bottle, but no superficial markings.

Entering the vessel, Fledgling.aic detected no artificial signals — except for the meme — and an internal environment containing extensive hydroponics and habitation spaces, suggesting its purpose as a generation ship. On closer inspection, the ship lacked signs of life, even at the microbial level, and contained numerous data cores — which were all empty.

Three hours into its exploration, the probe experienced an immediate power disruption followed by several seconds of audiovisual distortion. The camera feed depicted pervasive purple light, strong visual snow, and several layers of loud, heavily distorted human vocalization, followed by full power loss.

Upon collecting sufficient data, Fledgling.aic transmitted its findings via Thaumaturgic Way to Extrasolar Activities Division Monitoring Station Erebus-07 on Luna.

The probe is unable to be recovered at this time.

UPDATE | Current Containment Procedures: The Alpha Centauri system is marked for quarantine. Travel within 600 AU of Alpha Centauri A and B is suspended on an indefinite basis.

Pursuant to Artificially Intelligent Conscript Standard Principle, Fledgling.aic must undergo complete expungement of all Chekhov-.009 systems and begin immediate and indefinite cessation of activity.

All data from Chekhov-.009 is to be seized from Extrasolar Activities authority. All associated personnel are to be amnesticized and transferred.

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