Stormbreath I

Item #: SCP-579

Object Class: Keter

This is going to be a bit different from most Declassified articles. The primary of this purpose of this essay will not be an explanation of what SCP-579 (although it will cover that as well as it can), but to act as a defense of SCP-579, which is frequently maligned as "lazy", "terrible" or "unimaginative".

To which I say: Stop ignoring both the containment procedures and the subtext.

SCP-579 is a shining example of how to expunge information while retaining enough information to remain a sense of horror and provides more than ample information to create both a sense of atmosphere and fear. It has a focus not on the anomaly, but upon containment. And just in case you forgot, that's what this goddamn site is about.


Most Declassifieds begin with the Special Containment Procedures. That's a good choice, since reading the containment procedures is the way SCPs are meant to be read. Skipping them causes you to miss vital build-up and detail. The containment procedures set the tone for the rest of the atmosphere, and it's the duty of everything that follows up to match that precedent.

But that's not how most people read SCPs, causing them to miss the entire point of a document. Since that's the audience I'm really writing for, let's take a walk in their shoes and skip the Containment Procedures.

ok so usually i skip right to the description

and uh…there is none…now i'm mad

Exhibit 1: The common reaction to SCP-579.

Description: [DATA EXPUNGED]

The Description of this SCP is the defining feature and the reason why this SCP is so controversial. It's an incredibly bold decision, which a lot of people find fault with. Before I go any farther, I have a pair of questions about SCPs in general.

  1. What is the in-universe purpose of an SCP article?
  2. What is the out-of-universe purpose of an SCP article?

The first is as a set of instructions and documents that inform a reader about the proper containment of an anomaly. Anything else is, from the eyes of the in-universe purpose, irrelevant. The second is as a short story in the form of the former. It is a way to tell a story in the context of a pseudo-scientific document, not simply a description of a magic item.

I lied before. I have a third question: Does SCP-579 fulfill both it's in-universe and out-of-universe purposes?

My answer is yes.


Let's return to the containment procedures, as we properly should. For this, the important thought experiment is to ask why every part of the containment procedures is there, as that is where the most information will be found.

SCP-579 is currently in Site-62C, a compound located approximately 80 km from Site-██, the main site.

More information will on Site-62C will be revealed in the section for Procedure Israfil-A, but for the time being, let's focus on this. From this, we can tell that SCP-579 needs to be far, far away from all society. For the main site to be 80 km away, this has to be in an incredibly isolated location.

Knowledge of the existence of this site has been deemed unnecessary for all non-essential personnel who are not involved in SCP-579's containment.

SCP-579 doesn't need to just be very far away from everything, nobody can even know the site is there. The Foundation really, really *really* doesn't want anyone knowing about this, even other members of the Foundation.

Site consists of building housing SCP-579 and living quarters for containment staff.

This site consists of nothing other SCP-579 containment and the space for the people who contain it to live. There's no research wing, no alternative containment, nothing.

SCP-579 is encased in a 30 m x 30 m x 30 m unit made of [DATA EXPUNGED], in which SCP-579 is kept in permanent suspension through use of electromagnets.

There's a lot to unpack here, so let's break it down.

  • A 30 m x 30 m x 30 m unit is massive. Therefore, SCP-579 must be very large, or it is very dangerous for it to come near the walls.
  • SCP-579 has to be kept as isolated as possible within the unit. It touching the walls represents a containment breach.
  • The electromagnets needed to suspend an object in the middle of the air in a 30 m x 30 m x 30 m unit will be huge, and require tons of electricity. This is not easily contained.

Site-██ is equipped with hardline to High Command through which all reports and notifications are to be made.

Containment of SCP-579 is so important that High Command (this SCP is older than the O5 Council as a concept) needs to be involved.

Staff consists of two teams (each composed of 17 Level 1 Personnel, three level 2 Personnel, and one Level 4 Personnel) which are rotated bi-weekly.

The most interesting part of this is the last two words. Everything else about these containment procedures will lend you to the conclusion that people are not regularly entering and leaving Site-62C, so when one of these teams aren't involved in containment, they're still going to be on site.

So why are staff rotating containment? It's clearly not so that each team can take a vacation, and the teams aren't working a night/day shift. The simplest answer, therefore, is that prolonged exposure or involvement with SCP-579 has adverse affects, despite the isolation of it within it's massive containment chamber.

All instruments are to be checked each half-hour to ensure their continued function.

Whatever SCP-579 is, it is not passive. At least, it has the risk of some kind of activity.

Changes in any measured attribute are to be immediately reported to High Command.

And any activity - any at all - represents an incredibly important change in circumstance. Keep in mind that reports are already on a 30 minute timer, but any changes are immediately reported. It cannot wait twenty minutes for the next report.

Any instrument or electronic device registering more than 0.2% from its median range of function or displaying any errors or lapses in functioning will result in automatic execution of Action 326-Israfil.

We then see the scale of these changes: a change that - by any normal metric - is tiny requires significant action, in the form of the later described Action 326-Israfil.

Routine reports to High Command are to be made hourly. If a report is not received within seven minutes of its scheduled time, Action 10-Israfil-A is to be executed.

And again, we see the time frames involved. Look how short they are. Seven minutes before the substantive action is nothing.

Absolutely no action regarding SCP-579 other than those strictly outlined above is to be taken.

This goes without saying in Special Containment Procedures. But we have just now read the whole of the Procedures, and this emphasizes the precarious situation involved.

But look how short they are! With an anomaly this important - those containment procedures are expensive and high effort, implying an incredible level of danger - you would expect tons of information. But there's nothing else?

What does that mean?

That the Foundation is slacking? Or maybe, there's nothing more the Foundation can do. This is not within their control.

Action 10-Israfil-A: Doors, windows, and other possible exits from Site-██ are to be sealed, preventing the transfer of personnel into or out of the site.

Site-62C isn't to be sealed, but Site-██ is? That's odd, but will be explained later. We will later learn what Site-██ is, and it is not a small or unimportant site.

Now, we have to ask who Israfil is. To quote Wikipedia:

Israfil (Arabic: إِسْـرَافِـيْـل‎, translit. Isrāfīl, alternate spellings: Israfel, Esrafil) is the angel who blows into the trumpet before Armageddon and sometimes depicted as the angel of music.

Oh.

We're dealing with the end of the world here.

Now, you as a modern reader are biased by your history on the website, but let me give you a crucial piece of evidence: SCP-579 is one of the oldest SCPs ever written. This is one of the very first SCPs to deal with the idea that the world might be ended by an SCP, if not the very first. It's trying to present an interesting thesis on how the Foundation might deal with that.

Teams and resources required for Action 10-Israfil-B are to be readied and moved into position.

If Israfil-A begins, then Israfil-B may be necessary, and soon.

If such a statement is not received within seven minutes of the commencement of Action 10-Israfil-A, execute Action 10-Israfil-B.

Seven minutes. Seven minutes is all it takes before the Foundation freaks out even harder.

If at any time any instruments or electronic devices near SCP-579 begin to display significant errors or deviations from normal functioning, Action 10-Israfil-B must be executed immediately.

"Significant errors or deviations". Remember that the Foundation thinks 0.2% is significant enough to initiate 10-Israfil-A. A 1% increase could be the beginning of an 10-Israfil-B.

To put this in context: One measurement is likely temperature. If the internal temperature raises so much as 1% - something that could happen for a plethora of reasons - 10-Israfil-B is to executed. At normal room temperature, that's less than a quarter of a degree.

There is no room for error or deviation here.

If an “All-Clear” statement is issued, at least 72 hours without further anomalies must pass before site can be unsealed and Action 10-Israfil-B teams may stand down.

This is a funny line here - even after an "All-Clear", the situation isn't really all clear. There's a three day waiting period before everyone can actually calm down.

That means that the 10-Israfil-B teams will be on constant duty for three days. For that to be possible, they need a large group rotating in shifts (with something this important, you can't have sleep deprived workers). And that is solely to have people on standby.

Action 10-Israfil-B: Gateway of Site-62 (SCP-004) is to be destroyed.

We finally learn the identity of Site-██: Site-62. This recontextualizes the location of Site-62C: it is 80 kilometers in the middle of the Void. It is in pure darkness, eighty kilometers away from the nearest piece of existence. And isolating it from reality itself is not enough.

Now, one of the key defining features of the Void of SCP-004 is that it is temporally and spatially unstable. It is coterminous with another reality (as implied by the 2003 blackout), and time is not consistent with our own reality. This is the best place to keep something as fragile as 579?

This must be done regardless of personnel or facilities remaining within the site.

The Site-62 of SCP-004 was constructed in order to protect the Foundation from a looming WWIII, which will surely be a nuclear war. The Foundation wouldn't throw Site-62 away for anything less than that- it will leave them vulnerable to WWIII. But for 579? They will, implying it is worse than a global nuclear war.

Remnants of the Gateway — or the gateway itself if destruction proves impossible — are to be contained in the same manner as SCP-579.

The remnants of SCP-004, which may not have any anomalous properties or allow entrance to the Void, are to be contained as stringently as SCP-579. Theoretically, SCP-579 should be trapped within the Void if Israfil-10-B works. But the Foundation won't take chances.

In the event of a successful Action 10-Israfil-B, all sealed documents regarding SCP-579 are to be released to all personnel involved with the Action. Procedures as outlined within the documents are to be followed (along with contingency plans if necessary).

We now begin to see what 10-Israfil-B really is - it isn't a failsafe. The Foundation doesn't think it will stop anything. The next step after 10-Israfil-B is "figure out what the real failsafe is".

Be aware that even with the successful execution of Action 10-Israfil-B, estimates place the occurrence of [DATA EXPUNGED] at 1 year or less.

And to hit the point in even further, further indication that a successful 10-Israfil-B will do nothing.

If SCP-579 is mentioned, in any capacity, by SCP-███, any anti-Foundation or public groups, or [DATA EXPUNGED], it is recommended that Action 10-Israfil-A be executed as planned immediately.

If anybody even so much as knows about it, containment could become destabilized, and the end of the world could occur.

In the event of an unsuccessful Action 10-Israfil-B, no further action will be necessary. [DATA EXPUNGED]

No further action will be necessary.

There won't be anything we can do.


We then see the Event Log, which mostly shows a pattern of the Foundation only barely being able to contain SCP-579, with it constantly breaching and causing events.

SCP-579 undergoes previously unobserved changes, believed to involve [DATA EXPUNGED]. Containment holds, though this is determined not to be attributable to containment procedure.

And not only that, it's changing. Our containment procedures just happen to be able to contain it.

Termination of agents to prevent data leakage regarding SCP-579 is deemed unnecessary, as only 7 such agents remain. Said agents are retained as advisors should future events concerning SCP-579 occur.

It is dangerous to know what SCP-579 is. Not only that, only seven agents survive.

There were forty-two events before this! Several of which involved entire sites being lost to the anomaly! There were way more than seven people involved in this, but not anymore.


So let's recap what we know about 579:


final defense

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