Times Reach

The running solution [A Null Sea Test]

A lot of farms down south had water problems this year. The rivers and creeks were dry and most wells were no longer deep enough to reach ground water. The government tried its best to get water, the townsfolk of Times Reach as well as other small communities made sure of that, but politicians do not make rain, do not redirect rivers that need to flow to someplace bigger and more important. The communities were on the edge of becoming a ghost region. Not town, region. The experts said agriculture was no longer feasible in their dry neck of the woods. The last time when the region had woods was in 1922, before the beetles.
The towns, not willing to give up got themself into another mess. Desperation caught the eye of scavenger and one such scavenger extended his claw as if to help. First the normal vultures, then something else. Their town was approached by several firms that wanted to truck water to it, but these were quickly dismissed. They would not have enough. Why continue living here when the land you worked on for all your life could no longer pay the bills? The people of Times Reach were ready to pick up and leave. They had no hope of selling their land for a good price, but someone was actually buying.
The company called itself "Tention: New Wave Solutions". TNWS was like a lifeline for those of them that were drowning in dust and debt. The company bought a couple of farms and began to set up new infrastructure. While most of the townsfolk were farmers, some found gainful employment by helping TNWS build its pipes and pumps. They were not sure what this strange company wanted to pump out to those barren fields, but they did not care. TNWS needed pipes, they needed jobs. TNWS needed silos and tanks and odd things painted on old sheds. The people happily obliged.
Some of the more christian folks eventually smelled something fishy. At a town meeting they told the others that they were setting up something unholy. Some of the stuff TNWS had made the townsfolk draw was actually witchcraft stuff, but it was what kept the lights on. TNWS was literally keeping the towns together, with pipes and money. A few people left, but a few days later work-crews were laying pipes on the land they sought to protect. The people silently agreed that while the doubters acted high and mighty, they eventually sold out to get the money to move.
Some of them should have noticed that they had dug the graves of people they once called neighbors, dumped their corpses in and than closed the holes. Some of them litterally did just that. Jenkins dug some holes, Flanders put some oddly shaped sacks in said holes and Milly oversaw Jerry pour concrete in these holes. Jacky than placed some of the symbols on the concrete.
Than one day Agent Brandy from TNWS called the big meeting. The townsfolk happily build him the stage and decorated the dead trees of the park. On that day TNWS turned the pipes on. Agent Brandy told us that a new age was starting and than he started spraying the fields. It was not water. It smelt metallic. They started watering their fields, said people could allow them to build pipes to their land too or just use the runoff, but for now they would stand back and let their work speak for itself.
The work of TNWS and the effort of the desperate spoke pretty loud and a lot of good people died because they called them on it. The plants that came out of the ground were black, rigid and cold to the touch. The people noticed the towns getting colder. Some farmers watered normal crops with the runoff, just to see what would happen. The resulting wheat looked normal, until you cut it open. From inside these plants looked like they were rotten. Harry Cromwel actually ate some of his crop. He was fine, but his blood turned black as did his lips and gums. He was fine. The doc gave him the clear and TNWS said the discoloration was to be expected. He could still dance and play a fiddle and took the whole thing with humor.
The plants grew to the height of corn and everyone thought soon there would be a harvest. They could make just a bit more money and leave, but the things kept on growing. In mid summer temperatures around Times Reach were down to winter temperatures and it was still getting colder. Some people actually banded together, to pressure their government to demand an explanation from Tention, but they got nothing but pale or a flight with no return to some place far away. Eventually people called the FEDs. They took one look at Times Reach and its problem, via photos and videos and the next day people were there, boxing the region and its people in. No one in or out. The walls were build fast. The people on the walls called the situation an "out of control spill" while insisting that people within their containment walls were in no danger, only not allowed to leave. The people on the wall cut the phone lines and than the electricity. It was getting colder and the people only got food from the soldiers that guarded the walls they were stuck inside off. The man on the wall looked at the people as if they were already dead. When they saw black lip Harry they actually took him away. The plants were already tall as trees, when some farmers decided that enough was enough and began to cut them down. The soldiers actually came into the walls to stop them. Saying things like "destabilized system" and "containment breach". That was when the towns got a name for these people. They called themself SCP Foundation. Times Reach and the surrounding towns, its people and the new black forest were a numbered file for them. A situation the FEDs wanted swept under the rug. The filename: Town of Zombies. To the people on the wall the region was already dead. Some people started to believe it to. Everyone had been in contact with the black water ever since they found it drinkable and water no longer passed through the wall or out of the ground. It was just getting colder, the black trees getting larger and the metallic stuff kept flowing from somewhere no one could find. The towns do not know what TNWS brought upon them, but with an old Latin schoolbook and a few people that had Latin once upon a time, mostly the town doctor and the priest, they actually got a few phrases of the things they had written for TNWS so long ago translated. Words about a sea of death, a hole to the faithful and a gift of great harvest bestowed upon the willing. People just wanted out of this cold zone. Some suspected that their thermometers actually stopped working altogether as they show normal summer heat while people almost expect their last water-bottles to freeze shut. Someone that looked like they worked for the SCP Foundation gave the people a working phone and a number. By now they just want out. They offered all the stuff Tention left here to the people on the phone. They offered samples of the liquid and plants. They were talking to the Chaos Insurgency. The Chaos insurgency had no reason to help, as they were the ones behind TNWS. Times Reach was filed away as a test successfully concluded and soon the Foundation had cleaned all traces of it from the map. The official report stated that a drought had made the area unlivable. This was true. The region was doomed long before the Insurgency went to select a test area for something they had found.

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