[We should all Listen to] The Magnus Archives

Sabermane

Proud Fianna knight of hope and peace
Validated User
EPISODE 42: GRIFTER’S BONES
Case: 0131103
Statement: Jennifer Ling, regarding a live musical performance she attended in SoHo
Recorded: November 3, 2013
Event Date: Autumn of 2013
Recorded: Jonathan Simms

Grifter’s bone is an urban legend among the music crowd. It’s a band or a solo act of one Alfred Grifter, who supposedly was a mediocre musician who decided to use the Dark Arts to try to get ahead. Apparently Grifter screws it up somehow, but in the end his music is so terrible that they have to sneak into gigs, and the music is so bad it makes people tear off their ears.

Jennifer writes for Earful.com, a music ‘zine online. They’re fairly well-regarded in the field and her boss was an old-school rock writer, so Jennifer gets surrounded by a bunch of old white guys from back in the day. Every time some crap music came in, someone would make a joke “is that Grifter’s Bone new album?” Annoying but whatever, old guy jokes.

Lee Kipple is the submissions editor, whose job is to listen to the un-submitted music that comes in. Most of it is awful, but Lee’s a really nice guy. Lanky blond hair covering his ears. Jennifer notes that every time Grifter’s Bone jokes came on, Lee would get...quiet and scratch his ears covered by his hair. Slowly, Jennifer decides Lee must have listened to the band. A month later, now brave from vodka tonics, she asked Lee about it. Lee stared at her, panicked. It was true--he had seen them!

Lee launches into his ghost story. Four years ago, the Good Ship, a club in Killborne. Lee was watching a metal band, when a man climbed on stage with a keyboard. The man was short, dressed in a ratty brown suit, thinning hair with a cruel face. Lee hadn’t really heard of Grifter’s Bones, but he somehow knew that this must be them. He couldn’t remember the music, just found himself wandering the streets two hours later, shirt drenched in his blood. He had somehow been cut with something like a box cutter. Lee hadn’t ripped off his ears--just that he was always wearing earplugs. To stop the blood from constantly dripping and ruining his shirts.

So, either Lee was insane or Grifter’s Bone was real. Jennifer did her job and investigated. She couldn’t find anything, but took her notes and turned it into a new post for the site. And it was over for her--until someone let a comment on her article:

“Tonight. Soho.
No Ear plugs required”

Now Jennifer did tell Lee’s story, but she didn’t write anything about the ear plugs. So she sort of wandered into Soho. Eventually she sees a man staring at her from an Occult shop. The intense man walked to her, and asked what she was listening to--the man was staring at her ears. Then he walked back into his shop, and she Jennifer saw...them.

It was a small band, with a manic man in an ill-fitting brown suit rolling a keyboard down the street. Behind him the band moved with jerky motions, but all being ignored by everyone around them. Maybe this was Alfred Grifter...she followed them to a small jazz club.

There were 11 people in the club. Grifter’s Bone began to set up on stage. Jennifer, not being dumb, turned on her camera recorder, and left the damn club. After a few minutes...well, maybe this was a mistake. But then--she heard a single note from a cello. Then a keyboard, a guitar, a flute. Beautiful.

Then the screams began.

By the time she realized she should go to get the cops, the screaming stopped. Jennifer crept back to the club. She opened the door, and found the torn and mangled bodies. The musicians were packing up their instruments, not a drop of blood on them in a hall of viscera. Alfred Grifter stared at her and said “...encore?”

She ran. She didn't’ call the police, and didn’t see anything about the event in the news. It's like it never happened.

Her phone won’t play the song--it’s incorrectly formatted, but she's working on it...


POST STATEMENT
Jennifer’s reporting was probably the best on Grifter’s Bone, and no other information could be found. The jazz club in question denies any violence happening during that night or any other. There was an odd occurrence that police records for that month of October did have 11 violent deaths that month. One of them matched a description Jennifer gave of one of the patrons, although that happened 2 weeks before.

It appears Miss Ling finally discovered how to play the music on her phone. She ended up putting her neighbor into a coma with a claw hammer before turning it on herself and ending her own life.


SUPPLEMENTAL
Simms has a suspect. Martin. Look at him, being kind and caring for Simms, . Yet he can’t deny he did see Martin show some cunning during Prentice’s attack. Maybe he’s just playing the fool? Is he actually a clever mastermind murderer? Is he hiding something?! Oh yes he is! When Martin moved back into his apartment, Simms found an unfinished letter that Martin was writing to his mother. Martin apparently is worried of what will happen “if the others find out I’ve been lying.”
Oh yes. Simms has a suspect indeed.

PERSONAL NOTES
Oh, a flute...the Piper. I didn’t really catch that the first time. It just seemed like a weird magey thing. So someone figured out how to put the Violence of World War I into a keyboard. Goody.

I like this one, it's a simple spook story, even if it doesn't really click the way some of the betters ones do for me. The idea of a song that makes you murder is just a great idea, simple but wicked and gets the imagination flowing.

It's been two episodes Simms, and on the barest of evidence you've jumped right at the character that sounds like milktoast as your murderer. Tap the brakes there, buddy.
 

Sabermane

Proud Fianna knight of hope and peace
Validated User
EPISODE 42: SECTION 31
Case: 0160919
Statement: Police Constable Basira Hussain, regarding her time investigating strange occurrences as part of Section 31
Recorded: September 19, 2016
Event Date: August 2011, and July 2014
Recording: Jonathan Simms and Basira Hussain


We open with...Basira, complaining she shouldn’t be recorded, but she wants to talk to someone about it. Of course, she’s breaking the law by talking to Simms. Simms reiterates that this isn’t the first time they’ve talked to professionals, and that the Magnus archives has a pretty badass non-disclosure action. Simms assures her if she’s worried about her voice being recognized she could just write it down, to which Basira says she’s not keen on writing. Funny that, aren’t cops inundated with paperwork?

Not since Basira became Section 31.

...oh.

Basira wants us to know that Section 31 isn’t a division, it’s a form. Section 31 is a legal loophole that means if something is covered by it, you can’t request the information from the cops. So if, for example, you asked the London PD how many suspects that are flesh hives for a swarm-gate from the worm dimension, they could say “legally...no comment.”

Doesn’t that make you feel better?

For a cop, that means if they get drug into a “weird’ case, they get to sign a form for Section 31, and that’ll be the end of it. For the government and the police department, but not that cop. Oh no, you’ve been Sectioned. Now, whenever the department gets something that might be weird, cops like Basira in Section 31 get called in to sign it or deal with it. And then shut up about it. It becomes a werid little click for the police--Sectioned police all being prodded together to deal with the horrible realities of this podcast. This is in part why it apparently took five hours for the cops to show up when Martin found Gertrutde’s body--no normal beat cop is gonna respond to a Magnus institute call. Nope, get Basira and her Sectioned partner Richard Carver down there. Maybe that’s why Basira and her partnet weren’t that horrifed when they showed up to a building filled with dead worms. It was gross, but not the weirdest thing Basira had ever seen...

It began in 2011, August. Basira had a year under her belt, partnered with asshole racist cop John Spencer.They get called to a fire by the fire brigade--apparently one of the homeowners was getting violent, possibly an arsonist subject

When they show up to the black smoldering ruin, they find a Hispanic male being wrestled down (barely) by two firefighters. Apparently this man, Diego Malina, had run out of the burning building without a singe. When the fire fighters tried to help, Diego responded by throwing punches and trying to bolt. The reason for the arson? Because Diego is constantly whispering about “cleansing fire, all shall be ash”, and the Sumerian demon Asag. so yeah--Basira slams the cuffs on him--as soon as the metal touches his skin, she gets a nasty burn on her hand. Diego whispers something into Spencer’s ear which shakes the poor cop so bad he can’t drive. Turns out Dieogo is an assistant curator on loan to the Museum of History, but he hadn’t been showing up to work for a few weeks now. So that’s what happens to all your Call of Cthulhu characters that aren’t eaten.

The arson case collapsed (I’m assuming no proof of what started the fire), and Spencer apparently is starting to break--he gets suspended. Why? Because he was caught trying to destroy evidence in the locker--burning the small red leather book in Diego Malina’s possession when he got arrested. Spencer loses his job, Diego gets a fine for assault, and life goes on.

Oh wait, actually Spencer dies due to the world’s worst suicide, stepping into a bath of boiling water. He supposedly filled his bath with it via kettle. Perfectly normal, really. Basira knows it’s crap, and after that she gets Section 31’ed.

Simms asks how many paranormal cases she gets, and Basira reiterates there are NO paranormal cases. Not paranormal, not supernatural, not even spooky--just...weird or odd cases. Most are false alarms--crazy people, rabid dogs, drugs. It took 3 years later. But she gets a dozen calls a year from people with strange stories but no evidence. Apparently she’s also lucky--a former cop, Harry Oldman, apparently had a few bad 31’s before he got retired...

2014: It was a hot, miserable day with Alice “Daisy” Conner, a veteran cop who was Sectioned long before Basira ever joined the force, and no Daisy will not tell you why she got Sectioned or why she’s nicknamed Daisy. Daisy takes 31 seriously though due to something for “spider husks”. Was it people-sized spiders or spider-husks of people? Apparently she also has some history with vampires…

The two were going for Kensington due to shots fired from a previous ambulance dispatch, but for some reason the hospital refused to state there was a gun on premises. The ambulance was still on standby when they arrived. They had to go up the stairs, and everyone in the apartment was...nervous. When they reached the door in question, all the lights were smashed and the windows painted over. It was black...and there was a lot of blood.

Victim was in an armchair, and it was clear he had been shot in the head multiple times. New clothes, and a bunch of trinkets--dominos in glass cases. Daisy went to grab the gun from the victim--and Daisy screamed as the victim was fighting her for the gun. The dead man raised gun to his head, and Dasity stopped him from pulling the trigger again. The dead man made a horrible sound--possibly crying. He was taken by the poor ambulance team (who Basira assumes has their own version of Section 31). The victim was ruled a suicide.

Simms verifies that Basira and the others are running Gertrude’s body as “an odd one”, and that she’s getting little oversight because no one wants to think about the Magnus Institute in the Police department. Daisy’s the only other 31, and she’s too busy to help. How interesting says Simms…

*clunk*

POST-STATEMENT
The Archives can’t investigate any of these since they’re directly tied to the cops and they aren’t going to help, which doesn’t surprise Simms. At least we know the name of the man who burned in that hospital back in Season 1 now, and where he might have gotten the book…

SUPPLEMENTAL:
Basira will give Simms a few tapes when possible for her help! Simms is thrilled because he never really spoke to Gertrude--he was new when he started. Also the constant grind and paranoia are getting to him. Things are lookin' up for old Johnny Simms!

PERSONAL NOTES
God I love this. I love Section 31 as they write it--yeah, there’s a special force dealing with this in the cops but nobody wants them and nobody wants to join them and honestly even if they did report half this crap nobody would believe them anyway. I love that we get verification that the hospitals all but definitely get something similar. So many groups and organizations having to deal with this shit--a dozen a year?! From London! Just London! That means...shit I hate this world.

I also wonder about the victim collecting dominoes. Was he one of our reapers? But then again his room was all blacked out, so maybe the Darkness?

Finally, this is probably the first real obvious “Simms is bad at this job” event. Basira tells him repeatedly that she’s not interested in this stuff--this is just a thing that she wants to tell someone. This isn’t an investigation for her, it’s a confessional. But simms instantly starts asking the cop if he can see evidence, after being told that she watched someone lose her job because of doing soemthing about the same as he’s asking, and she’s ok with it. Of course they can let you have some tapes, Jonathan--the police are always willing to just give you some smuggled evidence…

Ok, it’s not THAT bad, but hearing it again I was struck at how easy it was. Too easy. Obviously Basira has some other plans going on.
 

Sabermane

Proud Fianna knight of hope and peace
Validated User
EPISODE 44: TIGHTROPE
Case: 9790302
Statement: Yuri Utkin, regarding a childhood event in his village of Algasovo
Date recorded: March 2, 1979
Event: November 1952
Recorded: Gertrude Robinson (!)

Yuri loved the circus, even if they never showed up at his tiny village. His father would take he and his brother to the nearby town every year, one of the happeist memories of his childhood. Yuri loves the clowns best--proper clowns that told jokes, not just slapping each other with fish. He did hate the acrobats though--the idea of them falling and hitting the ground always bothered him. It wasn’t the heights that bothered him, it was watching someone fall, similar to the time that a friend fell from a tree when he was six.

But in 1952, the circus came to Algasovo. Which was weird because tiny town, and also because it was nearing winter and the trains were shutting down. This is a communist country, so the circuses are serious business--none of this should have happened, but...well, the circus is there. What else are you going to do? Everyone was going to go.

The Drugoy Tsirk, or “Another Circus”, is a giant professional affair without a fence. The whole village appeared. Yuri heard a loud calliope as he walked in (!). Next to the gate, a woman in a leotard who didn’t care about the Russian cold invites them in. “the Circus is open. All are invited”. The intonation and accent were...wrong. Like a scratchy record. Everyone is...suspicious, but Yuri and his brother Ivan are both kids and excited. Ivan runs into the tent, and suddenly they’re all so happy to be there…

Yuri hears a big cat roar, and he sees a tiger in a cage. The cat didn’t move, and it’s mouth was always open. It shifted like a doll, it’s face completely still and open, it’s ears back in alert, it’s eyes glassy. It roared at him, again without moving it’s mouth. A large hand grabs the boy and pulls him back. Two men in delivery outfits (Neeigh!! Lightening crash!) speak to him in fast, guttural Russian, “behind the tent is off limits, the tiger wasn’t finished’. Finished? The two men deliver (ha!) Yuri to his father, who is getting concerned he can’t find either of his sons. Ok, one now--Yuri’s father is speaking to the Ringmaster, a man in a brightly colored coat. The Ringmaster says he’ll have his people look around, that “There’s so much to see here” and “they’ve never lost one yet”.

Yuri decides to go search for his brother through the gaslight tents, ending up at the Freakshow tent. This is not a Soviet fashion for a circus and the sign is in English, so yuri walks in without warning. Whatever happened there is why yuri studied medicine, to try and find out how the things he saw in there were able to live. It was only after years of study he decides that they should not have been able to at all. A mouth cannot function not on the face. Arms cannot bend like that…

Yuri finds the end of the Freakshow, still looking for his brother. The last cage had only a large hessian sack tied with rope. Curious, Yuri began to move to the sack. The calliope started singing again indicating the Circus was about to start, and the bag shifted and moved. Yuri ran in fear, and decided that he had to get his father and brother and get them both out of this damn evil circus!

He ran into the main tent, seeing two clowns fighting to the death in the center ring. Each time the big clown crushed down into a bloody smear, the crowd laughed an unnatrual laugh. Yuri looked up to see the tightrope--Ivan was there, crying, midway on the rope. No one else seemed to notice the little boy on the line, and Yuri was petrified with fear.

Step.

Step.

Step. Somehow the seven year old boy made it to the opposite end, and then disappears from view.

The next thing Yuri realizes is his father, grabbing his shoulder, Ivan with him. His father looked sick, like he had eaten something rotten, and they all went home.

The next morning, the Circus was gone. No one spoke of it, and the next year the real circus came, Yuri and his family did not go to it.

When they were older, Ivan told him that he remembered the circus showing up, but couldn’t remember anything that happened. Only that every November Ivan would dream he was back, unable to move, tied in a sack…

FINAL COMMENTS
Gertrude thinks that Yuri and Ivan were lucky. Most who run into Gregor Orsinov’s troop fare much worse than some light mental scarring. Maybe it was because things got less terrible after Nikolai Dennikan left with the pipe organ in the late 70’s? Amazing though that the entire town made it through. Ivan died in 1974

SUPPLEMENTAL
This is the first tape from Gertrude’s room that basira was able to get him. It does tie to the previous calliope record. Why did she record them, and why did she stop? Simms notes he’s playing this on an old tape recorder covered in cobwebs and dust to keep the others from being suspicious. He also notes that someone else may have found the tapes--his desk was opened slightly. Did someone know these were here? He’ll start hiding them under the floorboards, like a sane person!

PERSONAL STATEMENT

Damn, Gertrude knows her shit. Great voice acting makes this kindly old woman obviously in the know with this stuff--her responses have the weight of authority, and a callous surprise that an entire Russian town didn’t get eaten by an evil circus.
 

Tonbo_Karasu

Registered User
Validated User
I, too, really appreciate Section 31. Since it isn't specifically spelled out in the episode (that I remember) being 'sectioned' is also the term used in Britain where someone is taken into a mental health ward for their own safety due to mental health problems. This can be against their will.
There are a couple of later Section 31 episodes that I've listened to now that only make things better.

Slightly in defense of Simms. He's not doing his job well now, when we know he's not in the best state of mind.
 

Proteus

Yours Pedantically
Validated User
I love coppers getting "sectioned", and the whole unofficial ad hoc basis that it works on.

Gertrude is stone cold. The calliope/circus stuff is pretty cool.
 

Sabermane

Proud Fianna knight of hope and peace
Validated User
EPISODE 45: BLOOD BAG
Case 0110209
Statement: Thomas Neill, regarding his experience working in malarial research during the spring of 2010.
Recording: February 9 2011
Event Date: Spring 2010
Recorded: Jonathan Simms,


Thomas has terrible handwriting--his shaking hands are getting better, but he’s also taking new meds from his therapist. He assures us that he started taking the drugs after the event, so they weren't to blame.

He was a lab researcher, who finally got a job he wanted at The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. His boss was Neil Thompson, and Neil is pretty sure he got hired in part due to the similarity of their names. That's very rude to people writing out a blow by blow of the report you guys. While Dr. Thompson likes a bit of “harmless chaos” outside the lab (like, say, hiring a man with an almost-identical name), inside, he was the perfect researcher--able to wear a white lab coat and KEEP it white according to Neil.

The job was simple--malaria. Actually, research on the mosquitoes not the disease. Can they make a synthetic blood substitute that would make the bugs eat the lure and not the people? The main job was focusing on taste and smell. The bug has to want to eat the fake stuff more than the real thing, right? Well, turns out part of that is the texture of the skin, so by the end the bags were more skinlike, with small human hairs in them. Just some human bags, tempting bugs in a lab. You know, like you do.

After 6 months, the “hemoglobish” worked. The bad news is that the stuff is so expensive they can’t mass produce it, so the cost versus “a bunch of netting” was too high. The lab kept pushing for a better alternative, but Dr. Thompson starts muttering about costs and grant money.

Now, one little quirk about Dr. Thompson was his pride in being related to John Snow. No, not that John Snow--Dr. John Snow, the famous doctor known for figuring out germ theory and beating cholera. Dr. Thompson had an old Victorian syringe he said was owned by great great great whatever, and he always had it with him. It was a relic, a treasure, so Neil was surprised when Dr. Thompson came to him and said he was going to sell it. Dr. Thompson said the grant money was drying up, and they needed a quick influx of cash to keep running. There was an antiques dealer willing to give six figures for it. Dr. Thompson needed Neil to show up with him because Neil’s a bit of a tall big guy and you need some muscle with you when you’re doing a deal with a Samoan antiques dealer. Mikaele Salesa strikes again.

So in the dark of...mid-afternoon this deal goes down in...a polite pub. Ok so it’s not that scary. The deal goes easy, which is good because Neil’s pretty sure that Salesa was far, far more dangerous than he is (Narrator: he is). A briefcase is exchanged, Salesa walks out, and yay we have money now.

This is also when things get...weird. It couldn’t be sellign the syringe, but…

First, things heated up. Literally. The lab was keeping mosquitos, so it needed to be warm anyway, but the AC kept failing--the lab kept getting warmer and stickier. Then, the mosquitoes start acting aggressive. They were kept in cages, and the bugs started lining up at the cage door, looking like a regiment...a hungry regiment. trying to get out through the cage door. The bugs also started swarming on the fake blood. Instead of flittering about a occasionally snacking, the bugs would swarm and envelope the weird bags. Wondering what had changed, they grabbed a back to investigate. However, a lab assistant dropped one of the empty bags, and instead of the dark orange hemoglobish, they find...blood. Blood? Well, that's a hazmat situation.

They test the blood, finding the impossible--real human O-negative blood filled with marlaria, yellow fever, cholera, and a few unidentifiable things...the mosquitoes appear to be making deathplague, but that doesn't make sense! Once people start saying "deathplague", the lab is immediately quarentined by the heads of the School. This is apparently the last straw for Dr. Thompson, or maybe he knew something...he grabs a fire extinguisher and runs into the bug room, trying to spray as many of the the little bloodsuckers as he can. But that was when Neil finds out what the mosquitoes were doing to the doors...

A loud buzzing fills the room as mosquitoes pour out--far, far too many--of the cells and into the (thankfully) locked bug room. Dr. Thompson tried to scream, but that only gave more places to drink from. In an instant, He fell to the floor. After that, it took a month for Neil to pull himself out of the fugue he was in, with a glowing review to get himself a new job. Neil’s just teaching now, and has decided he’s done with research.

POST STATEMENT
The London school says none of this shit happened, which is not surprising. Dr. Neil Thompson apparently died in a “lab accident”. Sasha got an inquest report which stated “blood loss” and “death by misadventure”.

Salesa hasn’t been seen for 2 years by anybody.

Mr. Neil died 2 years ago as well, probably due to something that needed heavy doses of antibiotics.

SUPPLEMENTAL
Simms is looking into Tim! That rapscallion! He’s doing his job...a little TOO well. Why would Tim work here?! He worked at a publsihing house for five years, then joins the Magnus Institute? Why would he stay after Prentice?? That--

Martin barges in (of COURSE HE WOULD!) and offers tea. Also wonders why Simms has pictures of Tim’s house…

Simms needs to find a better place to do these recordings.


PERSONAL NOTES
Death by exsanguination via a billion tiny mosquitoes. That’s a rough spot.

I do love the idea of “Death by Misadventure”. I dunno--such a jaunty way of saying “dude died because of bad luck”.

I could listen to an entire podcast of ‘tracking and hunting down the arcane mythos Samoan and his smuggler crew’. Like, honestly, why is there not a TV series about the dark world of antiquities and other attrocities?

Of course, the real thing is the syringe.
Spoiler: Show
Knowing what we know, that the Fear is the thing, I assume that the lucky charm was working for Dr. Thompson, giving him a way of controlling his fear and giving him hope that he could fight the Corruption (capitalized in this case even if he didn’t know it). This probably also came into play in much the same way that Grandpa’s knife or the recordings on the Coffin work in Season 4. We have a weapon. Kinda. Ok it’s not a weapon, but there’s at least a chance.
 

Sabermane

Proud Fianna knight of hope and peace
Validated User
EPISODE 46: LITERARY HEIGHTS
Case: 9981221
Statement: Herbert Knox, regarding a repeat customer to his book shop in Chitchester
Date Recorded: December 21 1998
Event Date:
Recorded: Jonathan Simms

Oh, rare books--you know where this is heading!

Herbert doesn’t know where to start. Each event was strange, but he doesn’t know how they connect. Except for Michael “Mike” Crew, a student from the university nearby. Since Knox is a rare book dealer, he rarely sees students come in and come back even more rarely. But Mike was unique. Last September this began, mike came in--short and thin, wearing high-collard coats and scarf before it got that cold. Mike also has a white scar tisue branching up his neck. The weird thing about Mike was that he was looking for something specifically--De Plances Dictionare infernal. Knox only had a 1908 in stock, but it was good enough for Mike. As he was ringing it up, Knox smelt the air, like there was a storm brewing...Mike paid in cash and was out the door.

Mike became a regular after that, checking the stock every few weeks, collecting any books on occult or pre-science meteorology, and one book on Liebnitz. Mike was always able to pay for books in cash, which was a big deal, and quite a few times that strange smell would appear--not from Mike, but just...around him. EVery time, Mike would quickly leave outside. Also, every time he was in, the light bulbs burned brighter and buzz. Odd.

By Feburary, Knox got a Leitner. Knox knew the name a cad and an unsavory man, but never met the man. Leitner disappeared in 94, and then there were rumors of the books getting back into circulation. A former lover and fellow rare book dealer, Kirsten Bowmen, had died from a fall down the stairs, leaving Knox her collection. Apparently death in the rare book dealers of London has become a thing...just a bunch of bad luck I suppose. So now Knowx has a Leither--Ex Altiora. Oh shit. Customer bound from the 1800’s, work form the 17th century, a long poem in Latin with woodcuts. A small town on a clifftop seeing a monster appear (a beast? A demon? A god?), so tall it’s head is in the clouds. The town tries to make plans to defeat it, but each time the creature is much bigger than they thought. By the end, the entire town leaps off the cliff and dies on the rocks below...good bed time story.

Knox realizes this might be an artifact--a singularity, a rarity, and a pain in the ass. There are rules, and museums aren’t that wealthy. Also, the book is...disorientating. The woodcuts were especially strange--simple woodcuts of villages or mountains, but Knox fell down when he was reading it, and nightmares of falling.

At the end of the week, Mike arrived as Knox suspected he would. Mike saw the Leitner and glared with furious desperation. He asked how much the book was worth--and Knox was suddenly confident that Mike might kill him for it. Deciding that this wasn’t worth it, he named a sum twice what he thought it was worth. Mike wrote him a check instantly (Knox makes sure to get a receipt) and the weird lightening-boy is gone with a Leitner. Knox figured that would be that.

Then his damn check bounced. Knox decided to go find Mike and discuss it with him. One day he walked over to Mike’s address during a gray steel day promising storms. The smell of near-rain was constant by Knox well...knocked on Mike’s door.

The door opened on him. Mike looked terrible, the room smelled terrible, the book clutched in his arms. Mike didn’t seem to notice Knox, and suddenly--rain struck the window. Mike paled and a wave of thunder struck. Knox got knocked back--was it Mike running out the door? The thunder?

For whatever reason, Knox decides he has to stop Mike from stealing his book. They run through the streets, rare lightening striking wildly across the sky. As Knox chased Mike, he saw another person chasing Mike as well, but only in the moment of a lightening flash--tall and thin, angular branching limbs…

Somehow mike got into the bell tower of the local cathedral. Knox ran up the stairs, the thick rain smell making him gag due to its strength. Knox collapses on the stairs (running up the stairs as an old man is a bit rough), and slowly climbs to the top, feeling dizzy the entire way. He hears mike screaming some chant or prayer “Alteora, Vertigo, the Vast…”

Mike was in the window, holding the book in front of him like a crucifix. Standing before him was the lightening figure, all jagged angles and limbs. With a final cry of “I AM YOURS”, Mike lept through the open window. The creature screamed and was drug out with Mike, and suddenly--Knowx was all alone.

When he reached the bottom of the hundred foot bell tower, Knox and the police found Mike’s body was nowhere to be found. He had disappeared, adn the windows had all been closed. Knox never heard from Mike again.

POST STATeMENT
Michael Crew. Simms knows this name too. As should we--he was the boy that was struck by lightning, and maybe that was why he was so interested in the book. On one had it seems like the book was protecting him, on the other he crys out “I am yours”. Simms notes that Knox’s statement does not make mention of the dark sky with the Lichtenberg figure in it that Dominic Swain stated in his recording…I wonder what happened to the woodcut?

SUPPLEMENTAL
Someone else has been going down into the tunnels! The door was unlocked! Everyone says they didn’t go down there, so who is going down?! Maybe Simms could use a camera to find out...he’s been exploring, and other than the fact that the tunnels are now filled with spiders eating the worm-corpses instead of worms is…ok, still not good.

PERSONAL
Man, I just want the Lietner Library podcast too. The idea of antique book dealers dealing with the arcane and horrible, just a part of the job, is just fantastic to me. Really, that’s the thing I love about this universe--that there are people doing completely normal jobs, and sometimes you just gotta deal with horrible monsters or gods or books that make bones. It’s never good, you don’t want to spread it around, you’d never talk about it, but...you still gotta do it.
Here’s where I say “and if you haven’t gotten to episode 120 or whatever--there’s a REALLY GOOD REASON why you don’t talk about this!!”.
 

Starry Daze

Member
Validated User
EPISODE 32: HIVE
Case: 0142302
Statement: Jane Prentis (Oh no!), regarding a wasp nest in her attic
Date: Feb 23, 2014
Event Date: Unknown
Recording: Jonathan Simms (sounding very nervous)

Jane remembers a life before itching and bug songs. She sold crystals at a new age shop, a practicing witch and occultist lookimg for something beyond herself. The rituals and new age didn’t do anything for her, and she felt bitter at organized religion entirely. She wanted contact with something bigger. A man named Oliver arrived, looking at her with “deep sadness, and once with fear”. She apparently started complaining to customers about the ants under the building, which appears to have lost her job.
Started listening because of this thread, and when I got here I just realized that Oliver is Antonio Blake. He said he sold crystals now.
 

Sabermane

Proud Fianna knight of hope and peace
Validated User
EPISODE 47: THE NEW DOOR
Case: 0161002
Statment: Helen Richardson, regarding a new door in the house she was selling.
Date of Recording: October 2, 2016
Date of Event: September 2016
Recorded by: Jonathan Simms and Helen Richardson (direct from witness)

Oh yay it’s this one!

So we open hearing the mad scrawling scribbles of Helen richardson. She’s distracted, too busy trying to draw Simms a map, but--”it doesn’t work”. She has the sound of someone who is on the cusp of madness. Whatever affected her is bad--so bad I don’t think she even realizes that Simms has brought out the old tape recorder (which means she’s tried to tell this story a few times at least…). Still--whatever map she’s drawing she realizes she doesn’t have any left turns, but it wasn’t a spiral because it kept going on straightforward…

Simms gets her on track. She was in a house. There wasn’t a door, and then there was. Helen was a realtor for Wilburton Kendrick for 8 years, selling homes for successful families in Wimbledon, which 20 seconds of Googling tells me is multi-million pound homes. So Helen’s doing fine--or was. I mean, she probably still has her job but she hasn’t gone back to check yet. She reiterates that there was nothing wrong with the house. It was normal, if a bit lower-priced than expected. Yet...she reports a feeling of something sinister and wrong on the drive, but maybe that’s her memory changing due to the stress?

She does have a problem remembering the house--it was unremarkable compared to her other homes. She did some showings through the day for five house. She knew every room and cupboard. The door wasn’t there. Then He came.

The last appointment. He was tall, long straw-colored hair in rings, unthreatening but...very still. The one thing Helen was confident of is that this was not Mr. and Mrs. Lombardi, but the man said “Mr. Lombardi wouldn’t be coming so he was here instead.” Helen assumed this was one of Lombardi’s men. The man didn’t shake her hand and laughed a...not human laugh, and walked in. Helen knew something was up, but she figured since he wasn’t directly threatening, she’d make her spiel and get out of there as soon as she could. She didn’t want to be rude…

The man followed her, not asking questions and not really taking anything in until they made it to the second floor. The Man was looking at a new door. “What is behind that?” he asked her. It was a straw-yellow door, matte black handle, and it wasn’t there before. Helen was positive. The door couldn’t have worked--it was on an exterior wall on the second floor. But there is was.

“What is behind that door?”

Helen reached out, gripped the warm handle, and the door opened by itself, hungry for her to come into...a long, windowless corridor. Electric lights every 10 feet, swirling green wallpaper, yellow carpet with a black rug on the bottom, gradually curling to the left. There were photos on the walls of the corridor, OF the corridor at odd angles. Helen didn’t walk into it, but she suddenly heard the door shut. No doorknob here, just a mirror. Helen realized she might have been crying for hours. She grabbed her phone, and the only thing there was a picture of the corridor.

She walked down the corridor for miles. She took a branching corridor that was the exact same. She must have gotten turned around, because she couldn’t get back to the door. The wallpaper changed at some point, but she didn’t know when. The colors were all shifting.

Helen finds out she was wandering inside for three days. She didn’t remember feeling hungry or sleepy during that time. It was too hot but she was shivering. Then...she saw it.

A long way down the corridor. It was almost human--thin limbs, shifting like it moved through rippling water. Hands long and clawlike. All the photos on the walls were now this creature. It was getting closer and closer, laughing that inhuman laugh. Helen suddenly sees one hanging that’s different--a mirror. In desperation and not wanting to die, she lunges into the mirror--and she’s out. It was night, wet tarmac on a rainy night. She was in Dunwich. She screamed for five minutes.

She ended up at the hospital, getting treated for dehydration. Finally she gets home, then comes here to see what the Magnus Institute can do. Simmms...believes her. In fact, he knows who this was. It was Michael. Helen verifes that was his name, and leaves the recording studio.

But the tape keeps going, and that’s never a good sign.

Simms calls Sasha (not-Sasha) in to tell her about it, seeing if they can re-record her tape since it was one of the missing tapes post Prentice. Not-Sasha shrugs it off but says she’ll help the case.

Then, a whistling distortion on the tape. “Do you even know she's lying to you?”

Simms turns and sees a man appeared. Who let him in here? The man laughs--inhumanly. Michael.

“That is a real name”.

Simms asks why he’s here, and Michael says “I’m simply here to collect what is mine, Archivist. The one who entered by domain.” Simms asks if Michael owns the hallways, to which Michael says “What an interesting question--does your hand in any way own your stomach?” Simms tells Michael that he’s too late--Helen left.

Michael laughs. “Yes...did you notice which door she left through?”

Simms points. “Yes...no, there was a door--”

“There has never been a door there, Archivist. Your mind plays tricks on you.” Simms tries to put up a fight but rapidly gets scratched by impossible claws. Michael says he is not “a who but a what”, and how difficult it is to talk about itself. Michael is interested in what happens next, now that Prentice is gone. Michael is normally neutral, but the loss of the Magnus archives would have set things out of balance too soon, and hints that there is a war or...something brewing. It wouldn’t wish "to tarnish your ignorance prematurely…” and then it vanishes.

PERSONAL NOTES
It’s always nice when you see a title and go “ohh yeah, that one.” This is one of those that really gets into some of the details in many ways of what’s going on--the idea that Michael is just a hand to something else’s stomach is interesting, and the idea that all these victims are, in one way or another, being digested is...horrifying.

I really like the description of Michael--it’s something that is easy to create in my head, but also knowing it’s not right the way I’m thinking of it. Also, I love that he introduces himself with the “do you realize they’re lying to you?”, specifically pointing out that Not-Sasha is right there, lying to him, in a way that he won’t notice (and I admit, I didn’t really catch the Not-Sasha bit the first time I listened to this.).

Spoiler: Show

This is the first time I really noticed people were answering Simms questions when he asked. Even if he doesn’t know it, he’s beginning to show signs of his...becoming?
 

Sabermane

Proud Fianna knight of hope and peace
Validated User
EPISODE 48: LOST IN THE CROWD
Case; 0100325
Statement: Andrea Nunis, regarding a series of encounters in the streets of Genoa italy
Date of Statement: March 25, 2010
Date of Event: September 2004
Recorded by: Jonathan Simms, Archivist

Andrea loves travelling. From her childhood of trips to a cabin in Wales to post college gap year 4 month trip through Europe, she got a thrill of spending time in new places. She loved seeing things, having adventures. She’s now a programmer, and it means once or twice a year she can disappear to somewhere else. She’s not lonely but alone, and the travel lets her really feel alive.

For her 25th birthday, she decides to go back to hit her favorites in Europe. She heads down to Italy, where in a Florence hostel she finds Australian native Ethan Taylor. The two hit it off due to their love of travel. The two enjoyed each other’s company but neither expected to travel with the other, but they end up in a train together. Ethan convinces her to come with him to Genoa, a place she hasn’t been. She ends up loving the city, and that each would be exploring the city alone.

The first morning Andrea went to the beach and loved it. She told Ethan about it, and Ethan told her he found an old part of the city he wanted to go back to. The next day she found a hidden little coffee shop. Due to the strong heat she almost fell asleep. As she started awake she saw a man--scrawny, bright t-shirt, long black hair, staring at her in an uncomfortable way. He was concentrating on her, and then walked over. Uninvited, he sat down at her table. The man ignored her questions, and said ‘what he wanted was a nice holiday in peace”, like it was her fault he wasn’t. She confronted him and he said “he wasn’t in the business of helping strays”. Andrea stood up to leave, but the man told her she was marked, adn something was close. The man sounded desperate, asking her about family--friends? Fiances? Her mother? As Andrea leaves, the man told her to “remember your mother--keep her face in your mind.

Andrea leaves, and Ethan ends up not coming back to the hostel. Three days later, the nervousness is too much--she decides to go looking for him. She goes to where Ethan told her the street market was. Although the natives can’t help her, she keeps walking through the empty streets of Genoa. The streets became narrower, and the houses becoming taller and more muted in color. Soon it was completely silent.

Wait, how long had it been since she had seen someone? It was hard to remember in this humidity--wait, she drank all her water? When did that happen? Suddenly, the sound of dozens of people talking in front of her. She goes to a larger street, crowded with people. Maybe this was Ethan’s market! There weren’t any stalls or shops though--but it was hard to think since all the people in this crowded street knocked her around. Surrounded and battered by the waves of mumbling words--not a language, though. It was just...noise. Being made by all these people. These people…

...without faces. Each one’s face was a blur, a Jacob’s ladder blur of motion and light. All the same but none with distinction. Too many, pressing and buffeting her back and forth. It wasn’t people, just a Crowd. And she was all alone.

Just as Andrea begins to feel herself losing herself, the words of the man come to her and she closes her eyes and remembers everything she could about her mother. At some point, the drone stops and Andrea finds herself in a new street at night. She got back to the hostel (making sure she could see at least one person along the way).

She left the next day, leaving Ethan’s backpack at the hostel. She got back to London, stayed with her mother for a few days. She’s getting ready to travel again, but this time...she might bring a friend.

POST STATEMENT
Sasha got an interview with Sandra, who said she was now travelling again, alone, and had no other weird moments. Martin verified that several travelers were missing from Genoa in the past decade but at a “normal” level for the size of the city. Does that mean few go missing in Genoa, or do a lot of travelers go anywhere else?

Simms thinks (as do I) that the man in the coffee shop was Gerrard Keays, going on vacation after getting acquitted for his mother’s murder.

Tim got in contact with the hostel in Genoa, and that six years ago they had a backpack from an E. Taylor. It was never claimed.

SUPPLEMENTAL
Michael’s visit has been bothering Simms. Why did he do it? What was he? But the thing he’s noticed is--he cannot trust Sasha.

Simms knows he can’t trust anybody, but Sasha was the least-suspicious. She hadn’t even met Gertrude. Was she leaving something out of her story with Michael?

Also, Simms leaves a recording of a meeting with Elias. Basically, Elias has received another complaint--this time from Martin and Tim. simms needs to stop “spying” on his staff. Including watching Tim’s house. Elias tells him he needs to lay off this.

So now Elias is on the top of Simm’s list. I wonder what he’s hiding?

PERSONAL STATEMENT
Another tale of not-people, another tale of impossible places. A theme is definitely developing. At least Simms realized there’s a clue from Michael right in front of his nose, but he doesn’t believe it. And for some reason he decides to start swinging at his boss, which i think really shows just how paranoid he’s getting.

Spoiler: Show
Hey, remember how we were talking about what it would look like for the Eye to take over? Simm’s mental state is that--constantly looking for answers, never trusting anyone or anything, never taking time to try to figure out because you have. To keep. Watching.
 
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