Interview Log 1372-1
Chief L███ is the appointed elder of the native tribe inhabiting ███████. This island is the only landmass located inside of Zone-1372-Alpha. All inhabitants are aware of the effects of SCP-1372. While most of the inhabitants speak at least limited English, as well as a language determined to be of the Malayo-Polynesian family, a small number speak a dialect completely incomprehensible to the other inhabitants, and refuse violently any attempts to teach them the "common" speech. Chief L███ in particular became violent towards Foundation personnel when an attempt was made to communicate in English; however, after several weeks of work, Dr. R██████, Foundation linguist and anthropologist, was able to decipher enough of the language to hold the following interview with Chief L███.
Dr. R███████: Thank you for speaking with us, Elder.
Chief L███: I am to understand you wish to "contain" this place. The "edge". (L███ gestures out towards SCP-1372.) If that is the case, then I will need to impart you with my knowledge of this… what did you call it?
R██████: An anomalous region. You aren't going to resist our efforts here?
L███: We are simple people who have trouble enough with one ship. You are representative of an entire nation. I certainly wish for things to continue as they are, but what would resisting accomplish? You would simply take what you desire regardless, and then you would be without my knowledge.
R██████: I understand. Please, tell me what you know about the anomaly. (Note: Term used by both parties is closer to "unknown/magic sea/waters/realm"; for brevity's sake it is translated here as simply "anomaly".)
L███: (pauses for breath) Our people still recall the stories of that group whose log brought you here. I pity what became of their captain. As you no doubt learned from the log, our maps do not show anything west of us. You know why that is now. (L███ looks out to the ocean and towards SCP-1372 again.) We can all see it, Doctor. Despite that, from time to time some of the young men band together and set out on a ship. They want to see what lies beyond the edge of the map. Aren't your people the same way, Doctor?
R██████: Curiosity is one thing, but the anomaly, well…
L███: (laughs) You are correct. But you did not fly in from the east. As for what lies beyond the edge, I have no more idea than you. Or rather, I don't know in the manner your people want to hear. All I can tell you is what returns.
R██████: You've come into contact with the anomalous vessels, then?
L███: If that is your term for the ships that return from the edge, then yes, I have seen a few. We learned very early on, Doctor, that while they look just like our own ships, and our own people, they are no longer ours. Their nature is not something I understand, but whatever lies beyond that edge does not lie on this Earth. Those who make contact… you saw that yourself the other day. Firsthand, I believe? (Note: L███ appears here to be referring to Incident 1372-1, which had occurred 3 days beforehand.) They are made like them. Part of the… (uncertain) "crew" of those plague ships.
R██████: A plague? Will you explain that further, Elder? We examined the men on the vessel, and… (pauses) We opened their bodies, and within found none of the things that cause diseases.
L███: (interrupting) Perhaps it is not a plague as you or I understand it, Doctor, but it is a plague nonetheless.
R██████: I understand that, Elder. I want to understand what you mean by that word, that is all. It is not any of the kinds of diseases we know, so it must be one your people know of and we do not.
L███: (sigh) It is not the kind that you know and that doctors treat. Not like the disease that covers the skin in painful spots, or that brings pain and sleep upon us. We call it ilekwah. It is carried not by sneezes, or by touching the blood of the infected, like the diseases you know. It is carried in the words of the infected one, in the knowledge he brings from beyond the edge of the world. Because of this, doctors cannot treat it, for it is like kurujin, that strange disease that the sailors from the vast islands brought with them that makes the young people say there are no spirits except for one who is also three and who lives among the clouds. Do you understand?
R██████: I believe I do, Elder. We have a different word than "disease" for things like kurujin and ilekwah in our language, though.
L███: You asked if I knew what lies beyond the edge. Our people tell it is the realm of [REDACTED], where the dead dwell. But that is not an answer that satisfies a man of the great islands. And of the nature of [REDACTED]'s realm, we have no more idea than you. (pause) You surely noticed my anger at your… assistant speaking in the vast island's tongue. But I cannot be allowed to comprehend that tongue.
R██████: And why is that? Surely it would make speaking with the sailors who join your tribe easier.
L███: If I knew the speech of the vast islands as those sailors and many of my people do, then I would understand the words of those who return from beyond the edge. And if I understand, then I too will become like the damned men you sent onboard the vessel that returned three days ago. You see?
R██████: I… don't believe I follow, Elder.
L███: I told you, Doctor. The words of those who return from beyond the end of the world are a message from [REDACTED]. They sing his praises eternally as they sail the sea, and they speak of what you crave to know. And any who comprehend their words will fall to the plague as well. That is why we do not know the nature of the realm where the dead dwell. Months before you came, a ship appeared from the edge whose crew spoke in the speech of the vast islands, and my people and the sailors who lived with them comprehended. They all joined the crew of that ship. It was with great difficulty indeed that we were able to destroy that plague ship…
R██████: Simple comprehension passes on the contagion? Then the reason you won't learn English, or the common tongue…
L███: You understand now? That is why my people use fire against it, as that logbook you found surely tells. If I am to trust you with safeguarding the edge, then you must understand that. It is a plague, and it cannot be allowed to leave these waters. When it was just my people and their simple longboats, it was easy. Even when that man's entire fleet emerged, one by one, we somehow managed to subdue each ship in turn. But now, you have machines that fly through the air, and ships that dwarf the mighty sharks of the deep. And out in the open air of our world, I am far from sure your Foundation can contain or protect from what the plague ships carry.
R██████: That's what we do, Elder.
L███: That is what you desire to do, Doctor. I entrust this island to your keeping. And I entrust the edge to you to guard. Fail, and the plague ships will come. Do not betray us.
(Following this interview, all inhabitants were relocated to an uninhabited atoll in the Marshall Islands and underwent memory restructuring to remove all memories of SCP-1372 and their residence on the island. All remaining documentation regarding the island and SCP-1372 has been classified by order of O5 Command, with the exception of Document-1372-1. Researchers with classified access of 4/1372 or higher may view these documents with permission of at least one O5 member.)