's 2014 Horror Write-off:


Submitted by Sorbus

On April 3rd, we started to receive reports of what at first we could only describe as local time anomalies. Tasks involving certain objects would temporarily take much longer than usual, for instance, a pot of water might take an hour to boil, or an analog clock would take 3 minutes to change from 2:45 to 2:46. You'll notice I'm only going to mention analog examples; for the first few months we were discarding all reports of electronic time anomalies, as we mistakenly thought they were related to problems with the NIST servers. The anomalies increased over time both in frequency and magnitude, and we also started to get repeat reports, that is, the same object experiencing a time anomaly more than once over a period of weeks or months.

By May 20th, the NSA's SCOPe project had found the root cause, but it couldn't be revealed to anyone who didn't have Secret clearance level. Parts of the SCOPe project were thus downgraded to merely Classified. Since you all have security clearances, here's what I can tell you: SCOPe stands for Survey and Control Operations Platform. It's a very high performance supercomputer, and the SCOPe group used it to identify the pattern behind the time anomalies.

Now, you may be wondering what SCOPe has to do with the other anomalies that we found. I'll get to that in a moment. Starting on June 2nd, local time anomalies started affecting humans. People were ending up in the hospital because their internal organs were temporarily failing. There were also multiple car crashes caused by unresponsive drivers. The SCOPe project was able to temporarily prevent this from a time period of June 3rd to July 22nd, when time anomalies had become much more severe for inanimate objects. By that point, SCOPe team reported that the only solution left was drastic. That was at a higher clearance level, so no one knew what they meant. There was a lot of speculation in the press that an economic breakdown or a military takeover would occur. We now know of course, neither of those things happened, although the economy has yet to recover to pre-anomaly levels.

What SCOPe did, by executive order, was reset their system. This happened on July 31st, which you may remember as Blackout Day. Or you might not remember it. *chuckles* Just to recap, starting at 3:23 PM sharp on Blackout Day, everyone across the world stopped retaining memories until 5:51 AM the following morning. We haven't been able to find a single person anywhere across the globe who remembers the events of that night. Investigation into the consequences has been limited, though, because you all know what happened the next day. And for those who don't: we're not sure when, but sometime between 3:23 PM on July 31st and 5:51 AM on August 1st, the entire continent of Australia vanished. We're still waiting for the root cause documents from SCOPe to be lowered from Top Secret, but the information we got from them is this:

"Out of memory error. SCOPe system reset and process australia-init-d terminated."