Image of the face.
Subject: Caucasian male, 23 years of age, average build and appearance. Psychological background indicates history of depression.
One (1) 75-watt flood lamp with 24 hours of battery life
One (1) handheld camcorder with transmission stream linking subject with Control
One (1) audio headset linking subject with Control
One (1) backpack, containing:
One (1) gallon of water
Fifteen (15) nutrient bars
One (1) thermal blanket
Subject steps through doorway onto initial platform. Light from flood lamp illuminates only the first 9 steps. Control instructs subject to descend the first flight and examine the landing wall. Subject descends 13 steps and stops at the landing. LED light cannot be found. Subject informs Control: “Yeah, um, it’s just a dirty, concrete wall. There’s, like, nothing on it. No, wait. It’s a little bit sticky right here.” Subject indicates area of wall where LED light should have been located. Subject reports sound of a child crying. Control instructs subject to continue.
Subject descends 13 steps. When subject reaches the second landing, audio picks up the crying child. The walls contain no LED lights.
Subject descends 15 flights. Upon reaching the 17th landing, she reports a substance on the ground: “Eww, there’s something on the ground here and it smells really bad. It’s all sticky and stuck on my shoe. Ugh, it’s so gross.” Video confirms that area of ground covered in substance is equal to approximately 50cm in diameter. Control requests that subject describe the scent. Subject describes it as “like old rusty metal and pee.” Control instructs subject to continue.
Subject descends to the 51st landing. Appearance of the landing is consistent with its appearance in Expedition 2. Control instructs subject to continue.
Subject descends to 89th landing. Subject yells: “Ahh, fuck! There’s a hole in the ground and I almost fell in.” Video feed reveals a hole approximately 1 meter in diameter. Subject shines flood lamp into hole. After 4 seconds, a light an indeterminate distance down turns on. After approximately 2 seconds, it turns off. Control asks subject to estimate the depth of the hole. Subject replies, “Like, way more than a kilometer.” Control asks subject if she can still hear the crying child. Subject confirms that she can, and also that she doesn’t think that she is getting any closer to its source. Control instructs subject to continue.
Subject descends for 164 flights over the course of approximately one hour. On the 253rd landing, she consumes one nutrient bar and several gulps of water. The sounds of the crying child remain consistent.
Subject descends for 216 flights over the course of approximately 1.5 hours. Subject reaches the 469th landing, at which point she informs Control, “I’m not getting anywhere. I think it’s time I went back. I mean, going down is one thing, but this is a long climb back.” Control instructs subject to continue. Subject replies, “No, I think I’m gonna go back.” Subject turns to ascend.
The face blocks subject’s ascent. Face is 30cm from the lens of subject’s camera. Face looks not at subject, but directly at the person viewing the camera’s video feed. Video freezes for 4 seconds. Audio feeds back for 4 seconds. When video and audio return, subject is rapidly descending the stairs. Subject is panicked: “It’s been following me! This whole time it’s been right behind me oh God it’s right behind me it was looking right at me! Please do something please help me oh God no please get it away please no please I knew it was following me help make it leave please no it was looking at me it was staring at me it knew I was here it’s been watching me this whole time oh God please help me no please.”
Subject continues in this fashion as she descends. Audio picks up feedback as well as the sound of the crying child in addition to subject’s voice. Volume of crying child increases. Subject descends 14 flights. After 14 flights, subject’s camera swings to show the area directly behind the subject. Face is 20cm from the camera lens. Subject continues decent, panicking down 150 flights of stairs with 3 visual confirmations of face still in pursuit. Subject then trips and appears to fall unconscious. Audio indicates close proximity to crying child. 12 seconds pass. Face comes in full view of camera, making eye contact with the video feed’s viewer.
Audio and video feeds cut out. No connection is reestablished.
Distance traveled: Unknown.
Time elapsed: Unknown.
Notes: During the two weeks following Expedition 4, students and faculty have reported a knocking sound emanating from the door to the staircase. The knocks are heard at a rate of 1-2 seconds per knock. The door leading to the staircase has been fitted with 6cm thick industrial padding. Reports of knocking have since ceased.
NO FURTHER EXPEDITIONS MAY BE SENT INTO THE STAIRCASE.
But don’t bother trying to look for this mysterious door on your campus, Gentle Readers, because it’s yet another creation of the SCP Foundation. This one, filed under the number SCP-087, bears some resemblance to the first SCP object we covered here, The Cabinet. Unlike The Cabinet, though, The Staircase doesn’t rearrange itself; it just goes down forever. And ever and ever and ever. Not to get all liberal arts on you, but in many ways, it’s reminiscent of Nietzche: “Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.” The abyss here obviously applies to the never-ending nature of the staircase; but the bit about the monsters is also interesting. The more tales from the SCP Foundation I read, the more I can’t help but think that the fictional people who run it are the real monsters. Why else would they keep sending people into these dangerous situations? For science? Maybe. But it’s also horribly unethical.
Sometimes I think the SCP Foundation itself is more terrifying than any of the monster it supposedly contains…