Stormbreath Ba3

It was a hot spring day in Broken Hill, Australia in the month of October, and Julian Fischer was enjoying a nice apple from Daly Station - an import from some farm in the middle of America. Seemed a bit fancy to bring it all the way out here, but just about everything had to be imported to Broken Hill. Especially apples, like this.

But it was something on the ground that caught her eye — a little glimmer of gold in the ground. She dropped the apple, and for a second it seemed to catch the reflection of the gold. There was gold in the ground.

And as she looked across the field, there was gold everywhere.

In the bowels of Daly Station was Outpost-86, one of the smallest and strangest Foundation sites. The location was one of the weirdest parts — located underneath a convenience store in the middle of the Australian Outback — but the oddities did not stop there. The function of the site was less concerned with actual containment of any anomalies — as Nx-28 was rather inert — but rather for teaching and education. The Site Director of Outpost-86 was one of the Foundation's smartest and best professors.

The Site Director also happened to be a ghost.

Doctor Lucas Richter had once been a promising and bright doctor, but had run out of oxygen during an expedition into the mines that laced the ground underneath Nx-28. Because of the properties of the mine or the Nexus, his soul had not been allowed to pass on to the afterlife. He had business to finish, and students to educate. It had only been a few Junior Researchers at the time, but he enjoyed his work and refused to move on.

Today, he was holding class. He was floating a few inches above his desk, failing at the illusion of actually sitting on it.

"This is certainly an unexpected set of events, but I feel it could be a good teaching moment. This is a good lesson in field work. I already know how to deal with it, but let's see if you can get to that same conclusion."

His six students nervously nodded.

"So, let's start from the top. What do we know about the new anomalous phenomena?"

"There's been a sudden manifestation of gold within the Nexus? Anomalous gold that is causing the townsfolk to fight over it?"

"Yes, yes. Somebody write that down on the chalkboard."

Researcher Hampson, who had made the point, got up to jot down a few notes.

"Do we have a cause?"

"Well, we were selling SCP-4683 in Daly's Station, and according to a message we got from Site-87, those can cause probabilistic anomalies in their surroundings. So we accidentally brought this on ourselves."

"Excellent!"

Another student — Researcher Valenz — spoke up. "We removed all of the SCP-4683 specimens from the store and incinerated them, but that hasn't ended anything. The gold is still out there?"

"Has it not ended anything? Are you sure about that?"

"Well, the manifestation of new gold seems to have slowed. But the gold is still out there."

"And is that surprising?"

"I suppose not. The gold has already manifested, and it's just that it's not going away."

"Yes, exactly! So we've stopped the flow of gold coming in, but we still need to get rid of the gold that's here."

"But how do we do that?"

"Well, I can't tell you that now, can I?"

The six students held silent for a second, trying to come up with a solution. Researcher Symanski broke the silence after almost a minute.

"Well… We can't confiscate all the gold. Even putting away the fact that we simply don't have the manpower to do that, the civilians aren't willing to give any of it up. We can't buy the gold off them, because we don't have the money, and again, they wouldn't be willing."

Hampson jolted up in her seat, leaning forward, inspiration having struck.

"What if … we got the ghosts to take the gold? The army of ghosts in the mine, that are still hunting for gold? There's nothing left in the mines, but if there's gold on the surface… They'd go for it. That gives us the manpower, and we just let them take it. Ghost miners are enough to get gold back."

Doctor Richter waved his hands together and clicked his tongue at the same time. For whatever reason, his ghostly body wasn't able to actually clap.

"There it is! You get the ghost miners to clean up. But there's still something you're missing."

"Witnesses. We can't let the town find out."

Researcher Ito laughed. "Amnestics, simple. We have enough to dose the town, and everything is already set up to do so. The Foundation stocked us well for just this eventuality."

"And there we have it. A plan! Now, you worked it out yourselves, but it's not something you can actually do yourselves. I'm going to need to go into the mine and find the head ghosts and tell them about what's on top. They know me, not you. All of you go to the surface and keep an eye on things."

The six Researchers nodded and headed out through the convience store.

The Researchers had split into two groups, and gone to make sure the amnestic system was in place for full operaton. One of the first things the Foundation had implemented in the town was a set of amnestic dispersal vents, that could wipe the town's memory of everything that happened over the past day. It had never been used, and most of the Researchers did not put a high value in it.

But, from all given indication, the pipes were fine, the amnestics were up to date (having been replaced every other year), and the dispersal system unclogged. At the signal of Doctor Richter, the whole town would be flooded in memory-wiping gas.

With their gas masks on, the Researchers hid from the civilians. Even though they could just as easily stand in the middle of the road — the civilians weren't paying attention, anyway, and they wouldn't remember in a month — they felt it was best to stick to standard protocol.

"Fight's breaking out over at the bar over the gold."

"Shouldn't Richter be back yet? It's getting late - the sun's setting."

"Give him time. It's easy to get lost in the mine-maze."

The minutes ticked by, the Researchers slowly growing more and more self conscious. There was something rather silly about hunkering down inside an abandoned bank from the turn of the century, wearing a gas mask. If it hadn't been a long wait, they wouldn't have thought twice, but …

And then, in answer to their waiting, the ground began to rumble and shake. The air grew heavy, and then it began to crack. The Researchers ran to their vantage point, on the roof of the hotel. As they were beginning to run, they could see the first arms emerging from the dirt.

By the time they were on top of the building, the entire town was swarming with ghosts of the past. The old residents, the hundred of prospectors and gold diggers that had died in the tunnels beneath the town, trapped their to remain forever, searching for gold forever. The former residents slowly walked toward the current residents, marveling at the gold they clutched in their hands.

Then the miners snapped their heads up, and they began to glare at the civilains. Their grips on the picks and shovels they carried tightened, and collectively, they took a step forward.

Being confronted by a crowd of enraged and jealous ghosts from over a hundred years ago brandishing an assortment of weapons was enough to snap the civilians out of their gold-lust. They dropped the gold, and threw it at the miners, screaming.

The miners broke into a panic too at the same moment. They rushed through the town, grabbing every single loose piece of gold they could find. It took seconds before they were through, before descending back into the dirt. The townsfolk stared around, confused.

Richter manifested next to his students on the roof.

"Excellent work! Now, next lesson! The proper administration of amnestics!"

Event Description: Anomalous gold manifested within Nx-28, with the added affect of a compulsion that caused individuals within the town to become rapidly and increasingly obsessed with it.
Location of Occurrence: Broken Hill, Australia
Date of Occurrence: 10/13/2019
Follow-Up Actions Taken: Post mortem-vectors associated with Nx-28 were led to the gold and given the opportunity to claim it, removing all anomalous gold from civilian control. Amnestics administered reasonably well.

All post-mortem vectors that were involved in securing the gold have failed to remanifest. It is believed they have resolved the mortal concerns that were maintaining their current state. Nx-28 currently undergoing reevaulation.

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