Item #: SCP-916
Object Class: Euclid
Special Containment Procedures: SCP-916 is contained within a square box, 15 x 15 x 15 cm. with a removable top face. This box is composed of quartz crystal to resist chemical damage from formaldehyde and for strength. It is kept within secured organic storage locker ███-██████ at Site 19. The box is filled with standard laboratory formaldehyde which must submerge the top surface of the object by a minimum of five centimeters. This preservative is renewed weekly, with used solution subject to flash-disassociation and plasma arc incineration. Personnel of clearance 2 or higher may enter storage locker ███-██████ to examine SCP-916 with permission of the project director Dr. ████. The box may not be opened without a clearance 3 or higher, and Class D personnel must be the first to touch SCP-916 with bare skin. Once an experimental cycle has completed, SCP-916 must be returned to the box with inorganic handling devices.
Description: SCP-916 resembles an excised bovine eye specimen (Bos primigenius taurus, left side). Discolored by preservative action, it is rubbery but retains its shape and will slowly return to this original form if distorted. The first sapient being to touch it during an activity cycle is bonded to it as its Reference. Once this has occurred, any other sapient which grasps SCP-916 to bare skin will experience a visual field consisting of a spherical view of the bonded Reference, from all directions at once. No sapient who has experienced this has been able to describe this panopticon vision. This will remain true no matter how distant the holder, designated as Observer, is from the Reference. No known substance or field effect interferes with this link, including active Tokamak plasma, Faraday caging or SCP-148-lined test equipment.
The visual field persists so long as the Observer is touching bare flesh to SCP-916. If contact is broken, the visual field vanishes. No witness to the process, present or remote, shares in this visual field other than the Observer. Whenever the Observer is in contact with SCP-916, a state referred to as Viewing, the Reference will begin to suffer hallucinatory effects. Class D personnel serving as References in experimental procedures reported illusory open eyes of many types all appearing in surfaces surrounding them and staring, unblinking, at them until the Observer terminates Viewing, at which point they slowly close and then fade from view. Each successive Viewing causes the time required for them to fade from the Reference's vision to increase on a logarithmic progression.
Repeated exposure to Viewing as a Reference will degrade the subject's sanity at an increasing rate. The number of Viewing sessions, rather than the total time of Viewing, appears to dictate the degradation. Five or fewer Viewings appear to cause no lasting damage. Between five and approximately fifteen Viewings will cause mild to acute paranoia and schizoid behavior. More than fifteen viewings tends to cause psychotic breaks in the Reference. No known harmful effects have been observed in personnel utilized as Observers regardless of the number of or time spent in Viewings. However, if SCP-916 is removed from the formaldehyde for long enough, it will begin to decompose - and the most recently initiated Observer will begin to suffer tissue necrosis. The severity of necrosis will increase with the decay of SCP-916. Returning it to a formaldehyde solution will cause it to slowly regenerate; however, the linked Observer will be left to heal on their own (if possible).
SCP-916 and the designated Reference will remain bonded until the Reference is fully degraded. This will occur either upon physical death of the Reference, or upon the Reference suffering a complete loss of identity and sense of self. Continued exposure appears to cause either effect with roughly equivalent probabilities. No correlations between the terminal effect and any characteristics of the References have been discovered.
Addendum: SCP-916 was discovered in the personal collection of an asylum director in ███ ████, Maine. He was aware of its properties, and was in the practice of choosing patients from the asylum to initiate as References, then arranging for their release into society. He would typically arrange for them to ██ and ███, upon occasion with ██████. A low-level Foundation informant was confined at this asylum for emergency observation on a field mission with Mobile Force ██ and reported being initiated as a Reference. He suffered complete identity loss and catatonia before Mobile Force ██ agents were able to locate the source of the problem. Under moderate physical duress, the asylum director confessed to his knowledge of SCP-916, reporting that he had discovered it in a jar in the basement room of the asylum which was being cleaned. The building in question was over 140 years old at the time, and no date or other identifying marking was found on the jar. The jar, after being determined to be composed of standard glass, was destroyed in favor of the less fragile quartz crystal container currently in use.