SCP-2408 designates several anomalies associated with GoI-0432 ("The Hunter's Black Lodge"), an anomalous criminal organization and Sarkic cult primarily active in the post-Soviet states. SCP-2408-1 are genetically normal humans capable of undergoing gross physical transfiguration. Known changes include:
- Mass increase by multiples of 2, sometimes 3 (primarily muscle).
- Increased bone density.
- An increase of testosterone production (with levels approximately 6 times as great as in baseline adult males).
- An increase of adrenaline production (with levels approximately 4 times as great as in baseline adult males).
- Enlargement of organs in proportion to increased mass with the exception of the testes and adrenal glands, which increase in size well beyond what would be proportional, and the brain, which does not appear to change in size.
- The manifestation of various non-human physicalities (e.g. lupine, hircine, porcine, ursine, cervine, and octopine features have all been recorded).
- An ability to shift between bipedal and quadrupedal movement.
- Amplified senses (seeing, hearing, tasting/smelling things outside of human sensory limitations).
- Amplified strength, speed, and regenerative ability.
Unlike Proteus-Cronenberg syndrome, SCP-2408-1 instances are able to reverse these changes while maintaining cellular stability. It remains unknown whether or not these transformations can be maintained indefinitely. Complete transmogrification can be achieved within 10-30 seconds.
SCP-2408 was discovered during OPERATION FALKENRATH.
OPERATION FALKENRATH involved the infiltration of GoI-0432. Known as "The Hunter's Black Lodge" (or simply the "Black Lodge"), GoI-0432 has been linked to extortion, murder, robbery, gambling, prostitution, human trafficking, drug trafficking, weapons trafficking, and underground fighting rings. While these activities are not inherently anomalous, the anomalous capabilities of GoI-0432 has had an aberrant effect on their practice. These anomalies include:
- The trafficking and distribution of anomalous pharmaceutical agents, primarily in the form of the anabolic-androgenic steroid "Гнев". The intravenous injection of Гнев triggers anomalous levels of muscle and bone growth. Continued and/or excessive use will result in Proteus-Cronenberg syndrome and/or death. Analysis suggests that this substance is harvested from the adrenal gland of an unidentified species of animal and has thus been classified as SCP-2408-2A.
- The trafficking and distribution of "Похоть", a potent narcotic and increasingly prevalent "club drug". Normally sold in small, glass vials, it is administered to the body through insufflation into the sinus cavities (injection has been found to be universally fatal). Substance triggers various sensory hallucinations, increased heart palpitations, increased sexual arousal, and feelings of euphoria; studies have shown the substance to be more addictive than heroin. These effects are non-anomalous (the substance likely created with profit in mind) but the substance itself appears to be derived from the spinal fluid of an unidentified species and has thus been classified as SCP-2408-2B.
- The trafficking and distribution of biological agents, including pathogens and toxins deemed anomalous by the Foundation. The creation and distribution of "Красная Смерть" represents an exceptionally high level threat. Already classified as SCP-███, information regarding the "Red Death" is presently only available on a need-to-know basis.
- Victims of GoI-0432 have been discovered impaled by large organic spines or completely torn apart. Cadavers display injuries suggestive of attacks by several different animals such as bloody hoofprints, wounds consistent with goring by a horned or tusked animal, and teeth-marks indicative of a large, lupine organism.
The Foundation became aware of GoI-0432 in wake of the USSR's dissolution, when many anomalies and documents relating to anomalies were transferred to Foundation control by GRU Division "P". The existence of GoI-0432 would be further corroborated by former members of GRU Division "P". It appears that they were unable to fully contain or neutralize the threat presented by GoI-0432 and its associated anomalies, with one source describing the apparent destruction of the organization on several occasions - only for it to reappear months later, seemingly strengthened.
GSI "BLACK LODGE" DIVISION "P" DEPARTMENT V
APPROVED 12.III.1959 PRINTOUT NR: 3
SIGNED .................. S
DEPARTMENT HEAD V-P-9-GRU D.NR: 20-III-1959
RESPONSIBLE PERSONNEL: Ivan P. Krupin
DETAIL: GSI "BLACK LODGE" designates a criminal organization which has augmented its illegal and deviant activity through anomalous means. GSI "BLACK LODGE" currently operates throughout the USSR but is suspected to be headquartered in Moscow at a location referred to by the criminal class as the "Old Altar". Information about this location has been primarily gathered from Rites survivor Samuil T. Ankudinov, executed for criminal involvement once survival was deemed no longer necessary.
INTERVIEW LOG DIVISION "P" DEPARTMENT V
07.III.1959 D.NR: 12.III.1959
ATTACHED TO DOCUMENT 12-III-1959
Attached is the transcript of interview of Samuil T. Ankudinov, a former "BLACK LODGE" recruit and survivor of the Rites. Interviewer is ████ █. K████████. Due to the loss of subject's mandible, he is only able to respond via writing. Subject has little to no knowledge with regards to specific anomalies and appears to have suffered great psychological trauma from his experience. Subject was recovered by workers from the sewage systems of Moscow's Arbat District.
Samuil T. Ankudinov, displaying injuries.
K: Where is the Altar?
STA: "I DON'T KNOW. BELOW? I COULD NOT SEE. BLINDFOLDED."
K: What did you encounter within? Tell me everything you perceived.
STA: "OLD TEMPLE. HEATHEN. BLACK STONE. BLOOD. MEAT. THE CHANTING. THE DRUMMING."
K: What were you forced to do?
STA: "FIGHT OR DIE. NO CHOICE. FOR OROK. FOR THE GLORY OF THE HUNT. I WAS WEAK. PATHETIC. WORTHLESS."
K: How did you escape?
STA: AMONG THE DEAD. BLOOD FED GRATES. CRAWLED AWAY. BLOOD AND MEAT AND BONES. DEEPER. ALL WAS BLACK. DESERVED. NOT STRONG ENOUGH. SHOULD HAVE BEEN CULLED WITH HONOR.
Agent ████ S████ of MTF Psi-13 ("Witch Hunters") was officially tasked with the infiltration of GoI-0432 on 04/11/1994 as part of OPERATION FALKENRATH. MTF Psi-13 is a highly classified joint Foundation/GOC task force created as part of Project: Sitra Achra. MTF Psi-13 is designed for the infiltration of Sarkic organizations and the termination of high threat members.
As part of Project: Sitra Achra, MTF Psi-13 operatives are trained in Counter Occult Stratagems (COS) and the use of corrosive/incendiary armaments; each agent equipped with a SIG Sauer P226 modified for the use of incendiary and corrosive ammunition.
Under the alias "Dominik Myshkin", Agent S████ operated in Moscow as a contract killer in order to develop a criminal reputation and ultimately gain the attention of GoI-0432. On 01/20/1995, Agent S████ was contacted by members of GoI-0432 and instructed to visit Красные фонари.
Красные фонари ("Red Lanterns") is a popular nightclub/adult entertainment establishment located in the Golyanovo District. Employed as a Black Lodge front, it is suspected of being involved in forced prostitution, human trafficking, and the distribution of illegal (frequently anomalous) narcotics. It is believed that local law enforcement has not intervened due to corruption and intimidation by GoI-0432.
Agent S████ was not equipped with a recording device due to the delicate nature of the mission. Instead, information was transferred to the Foundation via dead drop. Agent S████ entered the nightclub at 2100, 01/25/1995, equipped with a SIG Sauer P226. He is observed being approached by a bouncer, which Agent S████ proceeds to follow after a short conversation. An agent inside the nightclub reports seeing S████ being escorted to an upstairs VIP suite overlooking the main floor. Agent S████ does not exit the nightclub until 0800, 01/29/1995. A message would later be delivered to the dead drop site at approximately 2100.
I apologize for the delay. I'll start from the beginning.
I was brought upstairs and over to a circular table where six men and one elderly woman were seated; Otari "Zver'" Iosava, leader of GoI-0432, sat at the far end, facing an empty chair. He told me to sit and I obliged. Had a menacing air to him; muscular, never smiled or removed his sunglasses. I suspect the others were higher ups but they kept silent for the most part.
He dove right in - skipped the pleasantries. Said it was nice to see someone who didn't mind doing a bit of wetwork. "New blood willing to spill blood" I remember him remarking.
Iosava said he was aware that I had no brothers. That it was rare, and dangerous, to work solo in Moscow. Informed him that I had received a few offers but told those "cock sucking bitches" that they weren't worth my time.
Paraphrasing his response: "Think you're tough? You speak brave words but maybe you're just another stupid cunt whose luck's about to run out."
He was hard to read. His tone and body language was firm but hardly aggressive. Told him those gangs were weak. I responded: "Why try my luck with the lowest cards in the deck?"
The elderly woman leaned to Iosava and whispered in his ear. She was noticeably pale and covered with unusual tattoos - abnormal for a Russian woman her age. Made me feel a lot more uneasy than those thugs.
He said: "Your blood's wrong, Kорова (word stuck out to me; hard to explain; look it up) but you've got balls. I'll give you one chance to prove yourself. There's going to be a little initiation, a nice way to cull the pussies." Again, paraphrasing.
He snapped his fingers and said: "For now, we drink and be merry."
A waitress delivered a bottle of vodka and several glasses. As per tradition, we poured our own shots. Iosava raised a glass, I returned the favor, and we drank.
And in a blink I find myself tied up and naked on the cold floor; a hood over my head and a proper ball gag in my mouth (not so weird, Red Lanterns has a kind of BDSM theme going on). I had figured pouring my own drink would have avoided this exact sort of situation. Maybe the bottom of the glass had a layer of some kind of tranquilizer. Hard to say. Doesn't matter. It all gets a lot weirder.
Eventually they came for me and carted me off. Was pointless to fight it. This went on for maybe an hour or two. I remember hearing the sound of old pipes and flowing water. The air was chill and damp. There was a scent of rust and stagnant water followed by an earthy aroma.
There were voices. And not all were speaking Russian. "Szidaas nin", "vartaas x dask" or something like that; gibberish to me but I'm certain it was Sarkic speak.
They chained me by the neck to what I would later find to be a pillar or some kind of support beam. They untied the rope from my wrists and ankles, pulled off my hood, and removed the gag.
I was in a dimly lit area resembling an amphitheater; appeared fairly ancient. There were four other men in similar circumstances to my own, chained by the neck to a pillar. There was also a large crowd, possibly in the hundreds, observing from higher ground. Some wore red and white robes; others were dressed in plain clothes or business attire. I felt a prick at the base of my neck and everything after was a blur.
I heard chanting. I remember skulls cracked, eyes gouged, and the feel of flesh between my teeth.
Then celebration; Drugs, food, women, and flashes of violence - not necessarily in that order. The memories are confused; just vague and disjointed images. I apologize for the lack of details.
I awoke in my apartment with my skin still caked in blood. Received a tattoo, don't remember that at all and took me by surprise - resembles a black cyclops skull with horns and tusks. Guess they've accepted me as one of their own. I'll be sure to step out shirtless a few times. Have the surveillance ops snap a few photographs - see if it means anything.
Artist's rendition of Agent S████'s tattoo.
The Foundation would henceforth receive biweekly mission reports from Agent S████.
Possible GoI-0432 front:
ul. ██████ 94
First job was gunrunning. More damning evidence against Abraxas Arms. Not a lot to report beyond that.
In a lot of ways, the Black Lodge is like any other Bratva. They're thugs, plain and simple, and mostly driven by greed. They're also nastier, which speaks volumes; you can't get much lower than the Bratva - they discarded any trace of honor they had left in Siberia.
The Great Mothers are certainly something you don't see in the world of organized crime. The боевик call them hags, crones, witches, and the like (though not to their faces). The Sarkic influence is clear with them. Twelve in number, they refer to each other as "sisters" - priestesses or some such. All wear the same outfits - a black sarafan, a stained leather apron, and a red and white shawl covering the shoulders and hair. Always bare footed. A lot of ink work too. They aren't karcists but they still wield a great deal of clout over the Black Lodge.
"Criminal underground" has a literal meaning for the Black Lodge. There's another world beneath Moscow. Abandoned soviet bunkers. The Metro-2. Forgotten crypts. But it runs so much deeper than we knew. There's something downright ancient below. Suffice it to say, I think Moscow was built atop a Sarkic temple.
There's a dungeon. Rusted torture equipment. Pre-revolution. Maybe a relic of the Time of Troubles. Regardless, it looks like the Sarkicites are continuing the tradition. It's not nearly as deep and ancient as that wretched temple. Might be worth researching what buildings used to exist in the general location during the 17th century.
I don't know much about these places yet. Information seems to be on a "need to know" basis. But I think I've found a weak link in their chain - one of the Great Mothers; let's call her "Five".
Five shows signs of senility; she's gentle, friendly, and more importantly naive. I've been able to glean some fairly significant intelligence from her (but can't say how much truth there is to any of it).
According to her, the Black Lodge is something both new and old. Like the other Bratva, it began in the gulags of Siberia - during Сучьи войны. Avgust Iosava, father of Otari, appears to have been responsible for the Black Lodge's resurrection in '51. Something he encountered in the Siberian wilderness after leading a successful prison break. And that's when the witches sought him out. Guided him. Showed him "what he had forgotten" - I asked what she meant by that but her mind wandered elsewhere.
She seemed happy to have someone listen to her; a chance to feel nostalgic about the old ways. She told me to take this "secret" and handed me several old and frayed documents; scriptures but not the originals, notes she must have transcribed from their primary sources. Fragmented but something I think the researchers would like to see. Going to write this all down.
Five also told me about Moscow's lost history. In another time, it was known by a different name - "Orok's Fall"; a Sarkic settlement - and where the Saint of War sacrificed himself, "for the blood of gods and tyrants". Never cared for this city. Guess there was always something sinister here.
As she described the ancient city, her terminology was unusually anatomical in nature. Referring to different locations as the "heart", "lungs", and "skull" of Orok's Fall.
I am making a special request to have my name, as well as what I've done (you'll know it soon enough), removed from the final report. If I successfully complete my mission and come out of this alive then I request the immediate application of amnestics.
Most of my targets have been degenerates and criminals. Potential rivals and the like. But this was different. And Otari, that sick fuck, wanted us leave a different kind of message. There are other Sarkic cultists in Moscow; non-Black Lodge. I'm talking oligarchs. Government officials. One of them sent word that someone in the Ministry of Internal Affairs, a man named ██████ █████████, wanted to crack down on the Black Lodge and was searching for allies among the few straight players left in this city.
Target the family. A wife, a daughter. Don't kill them. Make an example. The sort of scars that'll never heal.
Spoke with Five again, still trying to clear my head of what happened. She's not like the others and I'm beginning to question just how senile she really is. When she speaks of me, and her faith, there is a tone of regret.
I asked her more about Sarkicism (don't worry, I didn't say the "S-word"). And, when she tells me about Ion, I feel like a child again - listening to my baboushka talk about Jesus and the old prophets. Whimsical, and like her, skipping over the parts that involve glorified torture and murder.
I'm no researcher, historian or theologian or whatever. But I think these cults, this "Sarkicism" didn't begin this way (but I suppose that goes for most religions). Five talks about honor, friendship, virtue, and liberation. The gentle reindeer folk of Adi-um against the evil Daeva. She's old, but I take it the faith changed long before her; maybe she has begun to interpret the texts differently. Maybe she's wrong, seeing good under layers of madness and atrocity.
I can relate. It's always the same. Another failed revolution. Regardless, I suspect Five is an aberration. Perhaps that is the reason she's confided in me. The others talk about the Great Mothers, say they can see things. At times I wonder if she knows who I really am.
And then my training tells me to eliminate her. I think I'll ignore that training for now. Besides, no point taking out a source like her. Not yet at least.
P.S. The arena. It isn't just for initiation. Blood sport disguised as ritual; or maybe ritual disguised as blood sport. Six enter; only one comes out. A lot of folks willing to pay to see and bet on it. Many wear the skulls of beast and the clean suits of billionaires. Five's not a fan; it's like listening to people complain about the commercialization of Christmas. I know the Black Lodge has been classified as Neo-Sarkic but the Great Mothers are pretty clearly Proto-Sarkic - they're traditional, celebrate the high holidays, and still think in terms of some greater good. The rest only care about how to make themselves stronger, wealthier, etc. Otari has an animal cunning to him but he is hardly an intellectual - nor does he appear to be a karcist (or at least, the term hasn't been thrown around at all).
They've got me working the "dungeon" (but they don't literally call it that). As I said before, I'm certain this place was in use well before the revolution. I wonder if the Czars knew how many they more or less sacrificed atop an altar. Maybe they did. It wouldn't surprise. Sarkicism is a disease and has more carriers than we ever imagined.
They actually call it the "basement's basement"; somehow creepier than "dungeon".
Torture. Information gathering. Not that it is ever reliable. Examples are made; one last warning not to cross the Black Lodge. Organ harvesting too (you'd think these Sarkic types would have them growing from trees). Sometimes it is just to satisfy Otari's sadism.
There's one cell that's different. Asked a boevik about it. Said he didn't know and that he didn't need to know, so neither did I.
A heavy door, different from the rusted bars of every other cell, built with a small slit to peer through and another for food. Inside I saw a man, or what was left of him; his face, at least the eyes and nose, were gone - the whole area carved out and now just a gaping hole. It reminded me of a cyclops, like the hole was gazing back at me. Kind of like that tattoo, so they may be related.
He was sitting on the floor, nude and cross-legged; a muscular body covered in tattoos, scars, and dried blood. Chain-linked hooks held his body in place, so he couldn't move even if he wanted to. I honestly thought he was dead at first but I could hear his heavy breathing and see the slow expansion and reduction of his chest.
I've no idea what to make of him.
Five let me in on a little secret. Otari has a brother by the name of Mikhail. Same father; different mother. And he's that half-dead thing in the cell.
Apparently Otari and Mikhail have somewhat of a rivalry, but that isn't why Mikhail's been imprisoned and defaced; Five was vehement about that. It seems that Mikhail volunteered for some sort of ritual.
Things are getting pretty fucked up here. Not sure if it's the drugs or not. I'll leave a vial with this report. I'm seeing things. The angles in the club, and everything below, are wrong. The architecture gives me a headache if I stare at it too long. Yesterday I woke in a bathroom stall with a half-eaten woman.
The whores at Red Lanterns - they look human one moment then the next, well, I know 'monster' isn't really appropriate in this line of work but not sure how else to describe them. They stare at me with feral, hungry eyes. Five once called the them Rusalki; I thought she was just being figurative but now I'm not so sure. They slither off into the backrooms with fresh meat tailing behind; they'll be back an hour later, looking satisfied - but the men that go in don't ever come out.
And when I watch the pit fights. There are things in the audience that aren't entirely human. There are sounds I can't explain; like a heartbeat, sometimes roars - something from deep below, where all the blood and corpses go.
Agent S████ was declared MIA on 05/28/1995.
On 06/04/1995, after much deliberation, raids were conducted against multiple Black Lodge sites, including the Red Lanterns nightclub. During the assault, SCP-2408-1 were directly observed undergoing transfiguration. Despite their aggression and anomalously augmented combat prowess, the SCP-2408-1 threat was thoroughly neutralized through the use of incendiary armaments (with the Foundation unexpectedly suffering only minor casualties). As operations continued, it grew readily apparent that the Black Lodge had provided minimal manpower - a mere fraction of its total population in the region.
The mission would result in the discovery of SCP-2408-3.
SCP-2408-3 is a megalithic temple complex located within a large cavern deep beneath the city of Moscow. Approximately 3000 years old, it is the oldest standing structure in Russia and is the type site of the Sarkic culture group. SCP-2408-3's composition comes in two forms: inorganic and organic. Its inorganic portion encompasses the exterior and is constructed from stacked megaliths of gabbro (commonly known as "black granite"). Its anomalous organic portion fills the interior and is composed of bone, muscle, and viscera.
Found among the 'grounds' of the complex was a gladiatorial arena and a large altar. From the cavern ceiling dangled the remains of twelve elderly women - apparently disemboweled and hanged via their own intestines. Iron grates on the floor are similar to those found in meat processing plants and are likely designed to capture blood and general viscera.
SCP-2408-4 is a humanoid organism located directly beneath SCP-2408-3, horizontally positioned with its arms and legs outwardly extended. Entity is apparently disabled/immobile and likely brain dead. Genetically human (albeit one with many normally dormant genes being expressed), SCP-2408-4 displays many features that do not naturally occur among humans (save for certain genetic and almost universally fatal deformities) - these include:
- A single eye located at the center of the face.
- Flat nasal slit rather than a protruding nose.
- Tusks, horns, and various other corneous protrusions.
- Three rows of sharpened teeth; enlarged (relative to its size) and heavily muscled jaws.
- Partial exoskeleton in coincidence with an endoskeleton; both skeletons being anomalously strong with a tensile strength comparable to carbyne.
SCP-2408-4's most notable anomaly is its size, with an estimated standing height of 300 metres and a weight of 70,000-72,000 tonnes; far larger than what should be physically possible for a terrestrial animal. Based upon the unusual length of its arms (relative to the rest of its body), SCP-2408-4 likely moved with a gait not dissimilar from that of a gorilla. Further DNA analysis resulted in the discovery of certain inconsistencies which has resulted in the hypothesis that SCP-2408-4 achieved part of its anomalous biomass through the absorption of potentially more than 100,000 human and non-human organisms.
SCP-2408-4 can only be directly accessed via 3 distinct shafts, 2 of which are equipped with mechanical lifts analogous to those used in mining operations. Each shaft connects to a specific region of the body (the skull, the stomach, and the groin) and it is feared that the creation of further shafts would result in structural instability, potentially endangering a large area of Moscow. The passage to the stomach, which lacks a mechanical lift, appears to directly connect to the arena - ultimately providing SCP-2408-4 with sustenance.
The bronze tips of over 3,000 arrows, harpoons, and spears (belonging to a wide range of Eurasian cultures) have been extracted from its muscle tissue. An exact cause for SCP-2408-4's current disabled state remains unknown and some portions of the body appear to be undergoing slow decay while other parts appear to be regenerating.
SCP-2408-4's body is believed to be the source of SCP-2408-2A and SCP-2408-2B. Evidence indicates that prior to its discovery by Foundation operatives, certain SCP-2408-2 producing organs and glands were surgically removed (such as the adrenal gland, pineal gland, testes, and hypothalamus) and likely smuggled out of Moscow by members of GoI-0432. The secure containment of these anomalous organic objects is of the utmost priority.
At present, GoI-0432 has expanded its influence while SCP-2408-2B addiction has reached epidemic proportions - with long time addicts developing unusual physical traits (e.g. leathery skin, black sclera and yellow irises, skeletal protrusions, and various other mutations). Unable to contain all those addicted to SCP-2408-2B, Overwatch has ordered the capture and humane termination of afflicted individuals at designated kill sites; remains are to be disposed of per hazardous waste protocols (unless authorized for research). This order will remain in effect until SCP-2408-2B is properly contained and/or eliminated.