SCP-1692 Came Back Haunted

SCP-1692 Came Back Haunted

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A symphony of police sirens cut through the silence of the cold night, accompanied by the barking of K9 units, and bursts of gunfire. All this noise is for just one man. A man on the run.

He runs through the trees, clutching a handgun with a sweaty, shaking hand, gritting his bloody teeth. He wheezes, exhausted from the chase. His hair is messy and matted with dirt and grease, his stolen clothes stained with mud. A rivulet of blood runs down his forehead from a deep gash just below his hairline, the place where his head collided with the steering wheel. He’d planned the breakout so well - How did it all fall apart? Someone must have ratted him out.

That’s the only thing that could have happened. “No honor among thieves” is more than just a phrase, it’s a fact. Searchlights pierce the darkness. Shouts of “He went that way!” and “Get him!” abound as do more barks of angry dogs. He grumbles under his breath and hides behind a tree, trying to collect his hurricane of thoughts.

There’s no doubt about it, the convict is a bad man. He’s taken plenty of lives, and he doesn’t regret any of them, not one bit. The only thing he regrets is that he was caught.

Three hours ago, he was crawling out of a secret tunnel and escaping from Angola - a place known on paper as the Louisiana State Penitentiary, but better known as The Farm, The Angola Plantation, or most evocatively of all, as the Alcatraz of the South. A maximum security prison, complete with a death row and a reputation every bit as fearsome as its inmates. And the convict had certainly earned his place there - A long resume written in blood had gotten him locked up and sentenced to death after a speedy trial.

Things had already gotten violent. During escapes like this, the first hours are the most crucial. A contact on the outside had left him a handgun, ready to be collected from a hidden spot inside of a tree near the roadside. That gun also functioned as his vehicle, or at least his ticket to getting one. He’d flagged down the first car naive enough to stop for him, and shoved the gun into the driver’s face and demanded he exit the vehicle and hand over both the car keys and his wallet. He’d driven for almost two hours when the heat finally started to rise.

The convict had just passed through the borders of St. Landry Parish, Louisiana, when the classic rock station he was enjoying on his victim’s radio was interrupted by a sudden report on his own escape. They knew he’d gotten out, they knew he was armed, they even knew the type of car he was driving. It wouldn’t be long before the telltale blue and red flashing lights of a police cruiser would appear in his rearview mirror. One car chase and a spike strip later, and that same car is half way through the wall of a gas station. The conflict is scrambling out of the dented door, firing off a couple haphazard shots in the vague direction of his pursuers, and fleeing into the darkness of a nearby swamp.

And that’s where he is right now, feeling the noose tighten around his neck as he prepares for his final standoff. It’s not like he has any choice in the matter - he’d rather go down in a hail of bullets in a swamp than go back inside. They’re so close he can hear their heavy-booted footsteps now, and the ragged breaths of the dogs, tugging at their leashes. His heart pounds in his chest. All he can do is go deeper… Deeper… Deeper… The convict flees into the dark of the swamp, reluctantly breathing in the fetid stink of the old mud and rotten vegetation.

The dark swamp is his friend though, since the glow of police flashlights behind him means almost certain death. He struggles through undergrowth, clambering over roots and fallen trees, feeling the squelch of his stolen shoes sinking into the thick, wet mud. The last thing he expects to hear in this godforsaken place is a whisper from the dark. And not just any whisper, it’s the voice of a little girl.

Just hearing it almost makes his heart stop. He freezes in place, and turns to see her emerging from the dark. She can’t be any older than ten or eleven, this little girl with a tangle of messy hair and these frantic, feral eyes. It’s hard to tell what she really looks like, because almost every inch of her is covered in a thick coating of mud, as though she’s just sprung out of the earth. On any other occasion, his instinct might be to run, or even something more drastic, but instead, he doesn’t move. He stands there as she speaks, listening, even as the police get closer.

The little girl tells him that she knows the perfect place for him to hide. Somewhere that the police won’t catch him. They’ll have no idea where to look, all he needs to do is trust her, and follow her deeper into the swamp.

If he does as she says, he can finally be free… He nods and follows her. What else can he do, really? The girl reaches out with a muddy hand and the convict takes it as she leads him into the all-consuming dark of the swamp. The searching police officers suddenly hear a short but blood-curdling shriek come from the depths of the swamp. Forty men and multiple K9 units scramble, trying to find the place where they heard the man cry out, but they can’t find a single trace of him. They set up a perimeter around the swamp, trying to guard every possible exit, placing checkpoints on every road he might be traveling, and when daylight finally dawns, they search again, and again, and again, but they’re unable to find him. For all intents and purposes, the man is a ghost now.

At least for a few months. The authorities don’t give up through. After all, a dangerous convict could still be out there somewhere, just waiting. He’s armed, deadly, and clearly intelligent enough to avoid police capture.

Chances are, he’s half way across the state by now, if he’s even still in Louisiana, or even the United States at all, for that matter. So it comes as a surprise to everyone when he’s finally found, sitting at a bus stop in a small city in Louisiana. The man isn’t moving, he’s just staring off vacantly into space, a translucent rope of drool hanging from his bottom lip. There’s something very wrong with the convict, that much is clear even from a glance. His face seems a little longer, as though the shape of his skull has changed. He has heterochromia now, with his left eye changed to a completely different color from before.

And when his shirt is finally removed, a crisscross of extensive surgical scarring is mapped out along his back. Far from the sharp, lethal criminal portrayed by the media in the aftermath of his escape, this man is borderline catatonic. He talks in short, simple sentences, like a very young child, and his attention seems to drift easily when being spoken to.

This same man who had mounted such a daring escape from prison and then managed to evade all his pursuers does nothing to resist the men who come to arrest him at the bus stop. He’s returned to the prison, and held in the medical bay for evaluation. However, a mere ten hours after first being admitted, and after giving little to no useful information during questioning, his health begins to take a sharp decline. He complains about his insides burning and asks for something cold to drink.

When he’s given water, he spits it back out soon after and begins to sob. He says he wants his mother, though he can’t recall her name. There’s very little he can recall about anything.

The next morning he breaks into a series of severe seizures before passing away. His autopsy shows significant brain damage, as well as the failure of several of his major organs. The coroner though, found it impossible to explain how any of this had occurred. A month later, a pair of hikers making their way across the same swampland where the police chase ended would call in to the local authorities, terrified, claiming they found a dead body near a sinkhole. When officers are dispatched to look into it, they can’t believe their eyes.

Despite being significantly damaged, the body is clearly recognizable. After all, his face had been on every newspaper and TV screen in Louisiana for quite some time now. It’s the convict, wearing the same clothes he’d escaped in. The same clothes that had been taken off of him and burned when he’d been recaptured at the bus stop. None of this made any sense. The convict’s body was exhumed from the prison cemetery and given a DNA test.

They found, with some surprise, that the body did not genetically match the DNA they had on file for him - the DNA which had, incidentally, convicted him in the first place. When the body retrieved from the swampland had its DNA tested, they also found something strange. The DNA was so damaged that it was impossible to make any conclusive determinations as to whether it was a match. It was the strangest mystery anyone involved had ever seen, and sadly for them, they would never know the answer as to what happened to the convict in that swamp. The answer, of course, is SCP-1692… But before we go any further, I must first allow you to indulge me for just a moment, since I have a special announcement. As you know, I have been seeking assistance in order to bring you longer, more in depth, and more frequent explorations of unknown anomalies, which is why I’m happy to announce that today’s exploration has been sponsored by a kind benefactor, NordVPN.

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Thank you again to NordVPN for their support in shining a light on the most secretive anomalies like SCP-1692, which is an anomaly consisting of three parts that is confined to a few kilometers of swampland in St. Landry Parish, Louisiana. Something you learn after studying many of the anomalies in the files of the SCP Foundation is that the question, “Why?” is often a dead end. The best you can expect is half an answer to “How?” with the only definitive answers available being something more in the neighborhood of “How can we stop it?”. Is SCP-1692 just such a case? Let’s start with SCP-1692-2, which is the heart of the anomaly. SCP-1692-2 is a sinkhole of unknown depth, filled with mud and water.

While you are right to assume that these are quite commonly found in Louisiana swamps, since 2014, this particular sinkhole is different in that it has played host to at least 31 sets of human remains as well as 24 different sets that turned out to have belonged to animals. Despite constant monitoring by the Foundation to ensure that nothing else has entered the pit since it was brought under containment, new bodies will still sporadically be discovered in the muck, with their exact origin remaining unknown. But the bodies themselves are often quite easily identified. In fact, fourteen of the human remains recovered have been confirmed as belonging to people who were reported as having gone missing between the early 1900s and the mid-to-late 1950s.

But before we get too much further into that, let’s return to the “How” of this anomaly’s operations. When a human being enters the area near the sinkhole, it becomes increasingly likely that an anomalous entity will manifest, which the Foundation has designated as SCP-1692-1. While SCP-1692-1 will most likely take the form of a young girl, appearing to be perhaps 12 or 13 years old, it has also been seen taking the form of different local mammals, or even the form of one of the people reported missing whose last known location was known to be in the area near the sinkhole. Regardless of the form though it takes though, once SCP-1692-1 appears it will act as a kind of lure, beckoning the lost individual further and further into the anomalous zone. It is unknown how they are able to convince the victim to follow them deeper into the swamp, and it is suspected by Foundation researchers that there may be some memetic influence at play, though it also just as probably that SCP-1692-1 is simply capable of utilizing strong non-anomalous psychological persuasion to entice them. Once the person being led into the swamp crosses beyond a certain point, they will completely disappear, leaving no trace whatsoever.

Any clothing or other objects they dropped or left behind will dematerialize, and even their footprints will vanish. In the hours, days, or even sometimes weeks that follow, the third component of the anomaly finally activates. Known as SCP-1692-3, this new entity will manifest in the area, and attempt to leave, if leaving is even possible based on their modified physiology. That’s because while SCP-1692-3 is a copy of the latest individual to go missing, crucially, it is always an imperfect copy.

It will appear altered, deformed, or mutilated in some fashion, and certain elements seem to be recurring. For example, SCP-1692-3 will often now be missing some or even all of their limbs or organs, but there will be no sign of an amputation having been performed. They will also often be observed to be suffering from hydrocephalus - the dangerous condition where fluid builds up in cavities within the brain.

84% of all recorded SCP-1692-3 instances have displayed other major physiological differences from their original counterparts, such as having different hair, skin, or eye colors or different blood types And the changes present in these entities are not limited to just physical ones. Dissociative amnesia is always a foregone conclusion for SCP-1692-3 specimens, which means they have no knowledge of their recent history, and they will often also experience depersonalization, reporting the feeling of being in a dreamlike or unreal state of being. They will also possess knowledge that the original had no way of knowing - such as being able to speak in foreign languages the original had no previous fluency in - and there will often be improvements or impairments of the general mental faculties of the original. To put it in layman's terms, the SCP-1692-3 specimens come back wrong. And save for two notable exceptions, which we’ll get to in just a moment, the severity of the alterations often cause these specimens to die shortly after they leave the St. Landry Parish anomalous zone.

The Foundation’s knowledge of SCP-1692 began all the way back in 1938, after they were alerted to a string of child disappearances in the St. Landry Parish area. Thankfully for the local parents, all of these children eventually returned home, however, they all came back different. Some were missing fingers, while one somehow had an extra finger. Others returned with different hair and eye colors. A number of local police officers were sent to search the local swampland in search of a perpetrator, and some of these officers also went missing and returned in a state of profound alteration.

Foundation Field Agents soon arrived and took over the investigation, cordoning off the area around the swamp to hopefully prevent anything else entering or exiting the presumably anomalous area. They conducted their own independent search into the St. Landry Parish swamp and it didn’t take long for them to discover a mutilated corpse in an extremely unnerving condition.

The body appeared to belong to a small child, but it was difficult to identify, since most of the head above the jaw was missing. Both legs were also gone, though strangely it appeared as though skin had grown over the wounds, leaving no sign of a removal either pre or post-mortem. A search into the local police files revealed that both the body and clothes perfectly matched those described in a missing persons report for one Bobby Dunbar, a child who had gone missing 25 years prior. But there was something strange about this file - the case had been closed, since Bobby had actually returned to his parents shortly after he disappeared.

This meant that, by all rights, this corpse had no reason to exist. How could Bobby Dunbar both be alive and a corpse in a swamp? The Foundation needed to find out, so they placed the body into cold storage and continued the investigation, seeking out the now-adult Bobby Dunbar for questioning. Naturally, this was a frightening ordeal for Mr. Dunbar. He had already lived through the traumatic experience of going missing as a child and then returning home with no memory of the event, left to constantly wonder about just what had happened to him out in that swamp as he tried his best to move on with his life.

But now here he was, being approached by strange men in dark suits, who were telling him that a corpse had been discovered in that same swamp where he had gone missing and that it appeared to belong to him. Bobby Dunbar of course had very little to offer on the possible nature of the body, other than vaguely recalling, quote, “the other boy on the wagon”. Unfortunately he was unable to provide any further details on the matter other than this cryptic phrase. The Foundation peered further into the rabbit hole of the Dunbar case, and soon learned that after Bobby had returned home, there had been a rather strange custody battle. Investigations into the local court archive revealed that the case had been between the Dunbar family and another local man named William Cantwell Walters.

Walters claimed that the boy believed to be Bobby Dunbar wasn’t Bobby Dunbar at all, but was in fact actually a different boy named Charles B. Anderson, the son of a woman who worked for Walters. Walters pursued every legal avenue available to him, but after the boy himself identified Mrs. Dunbar as his mother, the court ruled that he really was Bobby Dunbar and granted

full custody to the Dunbar family. This put an end to the whole matter, at least in the legal sense, and the boy lived out the rest of life as Bobby Dunbar, eventually passing away in 1966. But that wasn’t the end of Bobby’s story. Decades later, in 2004, the SCP Foundation took another look at the strange case of Bobby Dunbar. Equipped now with the technology to perform accurate DNA tests, the Foundation discovered that the man who lived his life as Bobby Dunbar actually bore no relation to the Dunbar family at all.

But if this wasn’t Bobby Dunbar, then who was it? And was that his body that had been discovered in the swamp all the way back in 1938? Unfortunately the DNA from the corpse in Foundation custody had been severely mutated by a process known as hydrolytic deamination and results were inconclusive, which means the actual fate of both the real Bobby and the child known as Charles B. Anderson remains unknown. By 1939, enough incidents like the Bobby Dunbar case had transpired that the Foundation saw fit to fully quarantine the area, but they still continued to find new instances of SCP-1693-3 within the swamp. Among those collected by the Foundation was a woman missing her left eye and exhibiting extensive stitching across the left side of her jawline. She was able to provide the Foundation with reliable testimony that revealed the existence of both SCP-1692-1 and SCP-1692-2, and Upon the Foundation locating the sinkhole, they discovered two more corpses, one of which bore a strong resemblance to the woman. Interestingly, it had several portions missing from its head, including its left eye socket.

As could be expected, this distressed the woman considerably, and she vehemently denied any connection between herself and the corpse that was found within the sinkhole in the swamp. The woman was kept in Foundation custody in order to observe her until she inevitably expired, but unlike the other SCP-1692-3 instances, her health didn’t appear to falter. When the Foundation was confident that they had gained all they could from studying her, they provided amnestics and released her into the world with an adequate cover story. Much like the man who called himself Bobby Dunbar, she too would go on to live a normal life without further incident. But in another turn that was eerily similar to the Bobby Dunbar story, posthumous DNA tests showed that she too did not genetically match any of her family, and tests on the corpse taken from the swamp which resembled her were also inconclusive. The Foundation has fully fenced off the 2.77 square kilometer area inhabited by SCP-1692,

with chain link and barbed wire. Outposts observing the area are positioned at 500 meter intervals, with Foundation guards posing as park employees frequently patrolling the area in groups. If ever civilians infiltrate, the guards are instructed to prevent them from venturing in further through non-lethal means, and turn them back around. Thankfully, containment of this particular anomaly has become more effective as technology has advanced. Reliable live video surveillance was established in the anomalous swampland of St. Landry Parish,

and this has led to anomalous activity declining significantly, especially with regards to new human SCP-1692-3 specimens. The majority SCP-1692-3 entities discovered as of late have instead been slightly mutated animals. Due to the strange and unpredictable nature of SCP-1692, its containment needs have been a consistent work in progress, earning it the Euclid Object Class. Any member of Foundation personnel at Level 2 Clearance or Above is privy to knowledge about this anomaly, and that’s excellent, because this is one that should stir up a few important questions in all of us. After all, life is a long and winding road.

How well can you remember your childhood? And perhaps even more importantly, how can you be sure that those memories really belong to you? Now go and watch another entry from the files of Dr. Bob, like “SCP-069 - Second Chance”, for another anomaly that raises some quite difficult questions about the nature of self. And make sure you subscribe and turn on notifications, so you don’t miss a single anomaly, as we delve further and further into the SCP Foundation’s classified archives.

2022-04-10 19:01

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