Item #: SCP-348
Object Class: Euclid
Special Containment Procedures: Under no condition is SCP-348 to be modified to produce any contemporary language. SCP-348 is under no condition to be interpreted in anything other than Nahuatl. The documents produced by SCP-348 may only be observed by linguists cleared by Commander ███████. Under no conditions will linguists receive permission to respond to SCP-348. Linguists in contact with SCP-348 are under Metronome-class containment. If any linguists are suspected of collaborating with SCP-348, the entire crew is to be shot on site without warning or negotiation. Consider them infected. Collaboration includes the removal of writing utensils from work-stations, interest in prime numbers, contact with electronics, communication of any kind with non-linguists, or the possession of pencil or paper. For the full listing of prohibited actions, consult the master Metronome-class containment guide. All messages given to SCP-348 must be directly authorized by ███████ and Professor ███████, as well as undersigned by a representative of the Department of ███████. Under no condition are any messages from or coding for SCP-348 exempt from incineration. The authority for special intervention to preserve messages from SCP-348 is reserved for Commander ███████.
Description: SCP-348 appears to be a series of large racks of cogs and wheels made mostly of pre-Columbian brass. A relatively small core appears to be made of iron cast in the Ming tradition. The outermost layers are partly constructed of gold and silver. The racks are engraved intermittently with faces and skulls.
Addendum: Those with Level 2 Security Clearance should see document #348-10
Document #348-10: [Markov Dossier]
348 was discovered by Cortez in Tenochtitlan in 1519. Upon witnessing it at work under the guidance of a group of Aztec priests, Cortez ordered all priests who knew of the object killed. Some say that this was the beginning of the SCP.
The object was then dismantled and shipped in several galleons to Spain. Unable to correctly reassemble the object, 348 was sent to the royal treasury, where it rested without interference for nearly four hundred years.
After the Spanish Revolution, Franco's government was pressured by Germany to offer some tribute as thanks for Nazi assistance during the war. Spanish archivists identified 348 as the least valuable unique object in the Barcelona treasury vaults out of nearly 350, which is how it first came to be called 348. Completely coincidentally, this code number was continued in SCP.
The object was shipped to Berlin from Barcelona. A Nazi loyalist professor of engineering was tasked to the investigation of the object, as several Nazi officials knew of Hitler's taste in the esoteric and hoped to use the object to win favors discreetly.
The professor, in turn, passed of the chore of understanding 348 off to several of his advanced students, most importantly, Ernst Pfaff. Pfaff, while writing his doctoral thesis on analytical engines, recognized several analogous components in 348. Using analogy and intuition, he pieced together the many pieces of the object. Confused of the function of the object, he looked into the history of the object. Quickly learning that the object originated in Mexico, he wrote to a student of Arthur Evans in Gottingen.
This archaeologist specializing in Mexican history recognized many of the components of the object as writing tools common to the Aztec. With their combined insights, they found that the object could both read and write the written system for Nahuatl. Their understanding of Nahuatl was too limited to recognize that it could write intelligently.
By the time they had begun to adapt the object to write German, the Soviets captured Berlin. Neither scholar was heard from again. The Americans, as an extension of Operation Paperclip organized by David Packard, secured all advanced German computing equipment, including 348.
This object was transferred to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, where the US Signal Corps began reverse-engineering what they assumed to be a German design.
At around 1960, the machine was discovered to be of Aztec origin. In ten years, the operating language of the device was switched to a still-surviving tribal language from Mexico. The machine proved to be a mechanical intelligence. As it was fed an increasing amount of data concerning the Cold War, it began to advise national security strategies. Very few of its recommendations were even archived, but those that were proved to be incredibly prescient. The rough architecture of the Reagan stance against the USSR was predicted by 348.
In 1993, military officials opened up the investigation into 348 to a small group of computer science and Mexican anthropology scholars. After the development of the 1421 hypothesis, one of the anthropologists authored an essay to the government suggesting that Chinese sailors in Mexico participated in its conception. After consulting with several Chinese historians, a group authored a second paper to the director of SCP detailing the history of 348. The object was the product of academics in the Zhang treasure fleet and Aztec astronomers. The varying levels of metallurgy suggest that the computer evolved over generations to its current state.
The US Air Force constructed a copy of 348 and, with the advice of a group of computational linguists, remodeled 348 to write in English. This machine demonstrated greater-than-human intelligence. Through written documents, it began persuading base employees to construct a more advanced, even greater version of itself within days. A cohort of nearly 143 base employees had been brainwashed by what they named “Innocence” before the raid on Hanger 18. All of these were killed by firearms. “Innocence,” or 348 mark 2, was destroyed with an incendiary device.