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[We should all Listen to] The Magnus Archives

Sabermane

Proud Fianna knight of hope and peace
Validated User
EPISODE 57: PERSONAL SPACE
Case: 0090404
Statement of: Carter Chillcot, regarding his time spent in isolation on the space station Daedalues
Statement recording: April 4, 2009
Event Date: September 2007
Recording by: Jonathan Simms

Carter Chillcot knows we’re all alone. That there is no life out there in the stars. He knows it because he’s been to space, and seen that the universe is nothing but dead worlds around dying stars. He’s...he’s got a pretty nihilistic worldview is what I’m saying.

He signed up for an isolation experiment in space, and he knew that was going to be rough. But he was an astronaut, and did his homework so he thought he knew what he was going to get. This was, after all, the only way he was going to get into space--his resume had been sitting for the ISS for months (maybe you should have put down a faked Masters of Parapsychology…)

The Daedalus was a small station sent up by a business consortium, the Stratosphere Group. The Man in charge was Konrad Lucas, who was pissed that Carter was going to have people there in case something went wrong...apparently he’s a big believer in solid science. There were two other people Jann Killbride and Manuella Dominguez, on the station. What they did Carter never knew because...well, he was supposed to be alone.

Carter’s module on the station was small but with amenities: exercise equipment, a TV, books, and with a single window out into space. The door was locked from the outside--he could use a code to get out, but this was a big chance and Carter didn’t plan on using the code and messing up his future career chances. He knew he was being monitored by a camera, but he simply ignored it. When this started, he was in good spirits--all he had to do was be alone. In space.

But that was his job, so Carter made sure not to think too much about the people on the station or anybody else. He focused on the loneliness, starting down on the blue/green sphere in the window. That gave him almost six weeks before the hallucinations.

Twice he was woke up by the door opening. Occasionally he would hear footsteps (which you can’t really do in space). There was a blackout that...might have been real? All of this was expected though. Things were bad though when the space suit showed up.

One day, at 1413, he saw something in the window--at the edge of the dome, a hand. A glove. A space suit. It gave him hope for a second, until he saw through the visor and realized there was no one in it. This caused a surge of fear, as Carter watched the suit fly past the window. When he looked again out the window--

--there was nothing.

The Earth was gone.

Maybe they moved the station? No, he would have felt it. No, there...there was no Earth. Just dark space. He waited for hours, hoping to see the sun or...anything. After two days, he accepted the sun and moon and Earth were...gone. Oh, there were still stars long-dead and far away, but otherwise…

After that, he tried to focus on yelling at the camera. Begged and cried to the camera until...no. he grabbed the camera’s connecting wire, and followed it to--a neatly severed edge. No Earth, no camera.

Why were they doing this? What did they want to learn?

Carter decides enough is enough, and he was getting out. He grabbed the pass code for the door, E109GHT8. That was the code. He memorized it as he tried again and again to open the door. And every time, the readout would respond in red text--”no one is coming”, and remain locked.

Alone, deserted, with food and water not to starve (incredibly, the supplies seemed to never drop). Then the clocks stopped working. Time was impossible. Carter thought he was there for almost six months, maybe. He couldn't read, he couldn’t even hallucinate. Oh, he dreamt of eternal cemeteries and limitless oceans. He thought he was in Hell. he knew it.

Finally, when he stopped trying to open the door. Then he starved himself to death. He simply...floated in his bed, not eating or drinking, just...waiting. Maybe he couldn’t even die? Maybe he was already dead. He felt relief as he blacked out…

He remembers feeling the re-entry, but the first thing he really remembers is waking up in the hospital. Apparently the other two were able to get him back to Earth after they realized how bad he was doing. Konrad didn’t contact him, but he did get paid in full. There’s nothing to do really, but at least the Magnus Institute is here to give him a place to tell his story.

POST STATEMENT

The Daedalus was launched in 2007, and launched for 2 years. Otherwise little is known and secrets are kept. Three names involved with the venture stick out to Simms: Pinnacle Aerospace, owned by the Fairchild Family (the infinite blue sky guys), a large donation from Nathaniel Lukas (from the Lukas family, also investing in the Magnus institute) and Optic Solutions Ltd, and optics company who are headquartered in Ny Alesund, Norway, which might be increasing in population due to cultists who believe in darkness…

SUPPLEMENTAL
Not-Sasha is found digging into her desk. Whoops, sorry, just Jonathan trying to prove she’s not a murderer! I mean looking for a file! Oh, and look, I’m recording this conversation too--ha ha!!

*click* later, Jonathan berates himself, again pushing to be more careful, but still wondering why there’s torn scrap paper in Not-Sasha’s desk. Oh well, guess he’ll have to look from afar. At least he saw some pictures of her with her new boyfriend, Tom. But...something's odd. The smile, maybe? They’re having fun and looking normal, but...they all look like stock photos.


PERSONAL STATEMENT
I always loved this one, even more now that we find out more later (we will get statements from the other two astronauts as well). The idea of being trapped like that is...well, hellish. I mean, cultists are always either poor or kinda rich, but not "let's build a space station" rich. This, in many ways, shows how terrible this world is, and how much power these cults have now.

I did note that, again, this happened at 2. Well, PM this time, but 2-3 appears to be the “witching hour’ for a lot of these stories. I always wonder if that’s a thing or simply using that weird feeling you get when you wake up at 2 or 3 in the morning.
 

Brian888

Registered User
Validated User
I don't want to spoil the latest episode (142), but I will say this: It's the first one in which I've found
Spoiler: Show
the Eye
to be GODDAMN TERRIFYING. It ruins lives, utterly and completely.
 

Sabermane

Proud Fianna knight of hope and peace
Validated User
Ok, house bought, furniture mostly here, had a cat, lost a cat (long story--everybody's fine), and job under control. Let's get back into the swing of things...

EPISODE 58: TRAIL RATIONS
Case: 8450512
Statement of: Anonymous letter (apparently a “Mrs. Carlisle”) regarding potential cannibalism while attempting to travel the Oregon trail.
Date of record/Event: November 10, 1845
Recorded by: Jonathan Simms

Oh good, another oldie time tale! And cannibalism on the Oregon Trail--just like all 80’s kids know and love! I TOLD YOU WE SHOULD HAVE BOUGHT LESS BULLETS AND MORE FOOD! THE GUN SHOOTS SLOWER THAN I CAN THROW! HOW CAN WE ALL HAVE DYSENTARY?!? WE SHOULD HAVE STAYED IN ST. LOUIS! I COULD HAVE RUN A BAR BUT NO YOU NEEDED TO GO MAKE HUNDREDS OF DOLLARS IN GOLD!!

Whoever wrote this knows they’re in a bad place. They know they aren’t going to live. They’re cold. They’re hungry. They’re being tempted by...someone. To eat something ‘unholy’. But they won’t. They won’t kill themselves either. They will pass on with a pure heart, and an empty stomach. And they will watch Eustas Wick burning in Hell, and smile. Because Eustas Wick deseves to burn.

The writer knows she should have stayed in Missouri, maybe married that old widow Adam Hawthorne, but she was alone when Benjamin Carlisle need to fix his wagon on her land that day. She became taken with him, and he was looking for a wife, and her family was dead. Benjamin was ready to go to the new land in Oregon, and a wife would be useful not just for labor and love, but also to double the land he could claim...the next day they were married. Mrs. C was happy though, and knew they could have been happier than most if they had made it…

What she didn’t know then was that they had started the trail far too late, and now traversing would be more dangerous than ever. Benjamin was impulsive, and she realized they were not well-prepared for the journey. Ben was fleeing from...something, and again--she was happy to flee Missouri, and was mentally well-prepared for the journey west, more than Benjamin really.

As they reached Ft. John in Wyoming, in October (writer’s note: No. Do not cross the mountain in October. You live here now). The manager of the town, Bruce, told them the passes would be blocked with snow, and they could either winter here if they had the money and food, or they could turn around, and Bruce didn’t care which. The couple waste even more time debating which decision is better. Suddenly a man shows up--Eustace Wick, a short, squat dark-skinned man with a long beard and cunning sharp eyes. Also, he had a full set of teeth. Apparently that’s noticable.

Well Benjamin fills in ol’ Eustace on their predicament, and ol’ Wick tells them that he is the best guide since Sacajawea, and smiling far, far too widely, he tells them he can get them through the mountains before the snows. They gained his services for only 20 dollars, and mrs. C knows that this is too little and doesn’t trust this. But Ben is positive this is a good idea, and besides they don’t have enough to survive the winter here. They have to get through the mountains, and they need Eustice Wick to do that.

No one tried to stop them, but everyone gave them the “dead people walking” glare as they left. Eustice joked and guided and joked for a week. Keeping them on trails and barely alive on the cold peaks. Ben became quiet, Mrs. C became Sullen, Wick wouldn’t shut up. Mrs. C. began realizsing something was amiss, but it was too late. When they woke one morning to find a wagon wheel smashed, Mrs. C wasn’t surprised. Wick, still grinning, found a cave for them to survive the hard winter storm.

She’s not sure when she realized that Eustice Wick was going to eat them. Maybe when he didn’t bring any supplies with them to this cave. Maybe the piles of firewood. Maybe just the giant grin and sharp teeth. Mrs. C. knew he was going to kill and eat them, but she couldn’t find time to tell Ben (who seemed completely oblivious to what’s going on) without Wick hearing. So she sat by a fire, watching a smiling man she knows is goign to eat them.

Ben, still a moron, tries to make conversation. By nightfall, all of them hungry, waiting. Eventually Ben bemoans that they forgot their food. Wick’s smile gets. Even. bigger. And says “we brought everything we need…” Wick begins muttering in the fire. “Come Meat. Be my guest. And let thye gifts to me be blessed.” Staring into Ben’s eyes, Wick drew a knife, stalked to Ben (who didn’t move, trapped in fear), and slashed Ben’s throat.

Watching all this, Mrs. C. remembers she has a single-shot pistol. Just as Wick finishes murdering Ben, she draws and fires, hitting the cannibal square in the head and killing him as well. Now Mrs. C is alone, in the night, with no food and two dead bodies. She cried, knowing all was hopeless….

When she heard Benjamin’s voice. Quietly. Even though he was cold and dead, his eyes opened, and he spoke. “Eat me.” Mrs. C. jumped back, while Ben kept talking to her, telling her that he would be delicious, that she could warm his flesh over the fire and the cold would keep him fresh…

For five days, trapped in the snow, Mrs. C survived the maddening calls to devour her husband. There is no where to go--she doesn’t think she can find the wagon, and even if she does...what hope does she have? She states she will leave this letter in the oilskins of Eustace Wick, and dig out of this cave. Even if she dies, she won’t be trapped her while the body of her husband asks her to make it meat.


POST STATEMENT
Simms can’t verify anything here. There was a Benjamin Carlilse in some records. Eustace Wick has no records though, but his prayer was a peversion of a Lutheran prayer. Therew as a horatio Wick in several histories of Massachutes, apparently. He fell out of favor with the churchers there about some issues with the eucharist, but he apparently drowned in 1832.

Of course, the real question is--how did the Magnus Archives get this letter? A cave from Wyoming to Jonah Magnus?

SUPPLEMENTAL
*click* tim and Martin are whispering. Tim is worried since Simms is, you know, stalking them all. Elias won’t do anything about it, and martin says that Tim needs to not worry about, you know, Simms stalking them all and looking at them like they’re murderers.

Simms records later that now he knows that martin is probably innocent. Also that he’ll need to be more careful. Pretty sure this is the ninth time I’ve typed “Simms says he needs to be more careful” to no avail.

PERSONAL NOTES
As someone who lives in Denver and by the Rocky mountains for my entire life, I have always believed that the wagon trains would reach those majestic peaks, and after a few beats of wonder, go “Scrwe that. We live here now.”

...Carlisle. I’ve heard that name before…*digs through notes* Oh crap! It’s the guy with all the meat in his apartment that may or may not have become a rotten meat golem! That’s...um, does that connect the two together? It might...I mean...meat. Huh--maybe she didn’t keep herself pure and starving.
 

Sabermane

Proud Fianna knight of hope and peace
Validated User
EPISODE 59: RECLUSE
Case: 0052911
Statement of: Ronald Sinclair, regarding his years spent in a halfway house on hilltop road (DUN DUH DAAAAH!!)
Date of Recording: November 29, 2005
Date of Event;
Recorded by; Jonathan Simms

First, there’s an ad for Exuvie, which sounds awesome.

Ronald should have told someone about this before. He heard about the Magnus guys back in the 80’s, but he never really came to say anything. It was only when he heard that they were building on Hilltop Road again. He had to tell someone.

He lived with Raymond Fielding for three years, and he knows that building anything on that land is a bad idea. Like, “causes a guy to feel like he’s on fire, curse a priest to hallucinate” bad.

Ronald was a bad kid, he admits. He’s cleaned himself up, but back then he was just a thug. Bad family, deserted by hisf ather, single alcholholic mother in the 40’s. Ronald ran and moved from halfway house to halfway house. At 15, he was given a chance at Hilltop Road.

He says he can’t find any information about that house. No official records. Weird.

Raymond Fileding was young for a halfway house runner, not the old ex-military type. Ray was in his 30’s, long hair for the day. Friendly, but not trying to be your friend. There was something about him though--Ronald didn’t trust him, because he couldn’t ready Ray. oh well, the kids were allright. Most of the kids that left would come back, but not for this small house--none of the alumni showed up to recruit kids or sell drugs. No drugs in the house, actually. And even though the neighbors hated all the kids with their smoking and thuggery, Ronald and the others never retaliated, not even a broken window. Like something at that house dulled the urge, fogged the senses. Like Ronald did them without deciding to do them. Not dangerous, but...odd. He remembers brushing his teeth nightly like an autotmaton, which wasn’t something he really did as a thug back then. Odd that.

All the kids there were the same--something, as if they were doing things without anything behind them. Nothing seemed really amiss though--it didn’t strike Ronald as anything at the time. He was happy though, which for a kid like Ronald that was rare.

Ray would make them all go to church on Sunday, and they would have an Sunday evening meal together, but otherwise he left them to their own devices as he worked in his office in the basement. Ray was a recluse otherwise--he rarely left the house. On those Sundays, they would all gather around the table, carved in strange sweeping patterns, hypnotizing you with the spiderweb, seeing a small box fit perfectly in the middle…

Ronald was the oldest when this happened, nearing 18, expecting a government official to show up and grab him like they had grabbed all the other kids when they came of age. That’s when Agnes showed up. She just...arrived, and no one questioned it.

She was 10 or 11, quiet. Long brown hair in pigtails, and...spooky. Again, no one really questioned it. She didn’t do Sunday dinners or church, and Ray seemed to...avoid the girl in fear. Of course, Ronald was paying more attention to getting out of the house, so he barely noticed that Agnes was there while Ray signed the papers meaning Ronald would have to go out into the world with this Man in a Suit, and find himself a job.

As he watched Ray sign his life away, Agnes motioned for him. He leaned down, and she kissed him on the cheek before running off. The Man in the Suit brought him outside, and told ROnald to wait while he got his car. Ronald sat, freezing, and then--he wasn’t waiting. Ronald put down his suitcase and went back to the house.

He didn’t want to go to the house, just knew he was going to the house. Something was wrong though--there was a new terror, and he knew he didn’t want this. He walked into the house, eyes darting for anyone to help to no avail. Then, to the door to the basement--that basement door only Raymond had ever gone into.

Ronald walked down the basement stairs, noting how many cobwebs were covering everything. Including the lightbulbs. When he reached the bottom of the stairs, he found himself in a large empty room of bare earth, with the table in the middle, and everything else covered in spider webs. On the walls were the bodies of those kids who had left the house before he had--each wrapped in a cocoon, their bodies thick and warped, full of spider’s egg…

In a chair sat Raymond, his body shifting under the dim light, not saying anything. Still, Ronald stood like nothign was wrong. He pulled the square from the table, opening the lid to find--a green fresh apple. Ronald knew he was going to eat that apple, even though he knew that was not a good idea.

Just as he drew the apple near, his cheek sizzled in pain and suddenly realized he was now free of the web. He looked at Raymond, who was now confused and angry. Ronald ran into the night and never came back. He ended up at Birmingham and stayed there for several years. He’d like to think he left the past behind. However, he only really had a good night’s sleep one he heard that the house had burned down, but now that they’re building on that land again...the dreams are coming back.


POST STATEMENT
Apparently there is no information about Hilltop Road or Raymond Fileding. All lost or damaged files for many similar halfway homes.

Who is Raymond? Who is Agnes? We’ll need to dig into these files more to find out.

SUPPLEMENTAL
Everyone’s avoiding Simms, just because he sounds crazy and he’s stalkign them!!

PERSONAL STATEMENT
So, let’s just reiterate Hilltop Road:

It was a halfway home in the 60’s, owned by the Fielding family for over 3 generations. The guy running that home was a spider-guy who owns a weird table with a box in the middle. Everything is spideriffic until a fire girl showed up and saved at least one guy before the house was burned down. After the fire, raymond was found dead missing a hand.

Eventually Ivo shows up to help fix the place, feels like he’s going to be set on fire and finding out that Ray Fielding is apparently a ghost with a deed. A priest shows up AFTER getting infected with a hallucination demon that makes him eat human flesh and bars him from praying but apparently also makes it so he won’t get hurt by the fire demon. Ivo tears down the tree and on that same night one Agnes Montegue hangs herself, a male’s hand tied to her waist. The table ended up in Magnus Archive’s warehouse, and the box was destroyed/thrown in the bin by Ivo.

So basically, it looks like the spider-people had a good thing going, until the fire-girl decided to start starving them out, then lit the place on fire (I assume when the magical defenses were starved enough). Still, it looks like Ronald’s right on this one--that ground is cursed. Or at least, something is...
 

Dionysos

Registered User
Validated User
I’m so glad you came back and that you are still doing this. I started the Magnus Archives about two months ago and now I’m up to this episode. Having a spoiler free source of commentary and recaps like this thread really helps me get the most out of the podcast. For instance, this...

So, let’s just reiterate Hilltop Road:

It was a halfway home in the 60’s, owned by the Fielding family for over 3 generations. The guy running that home was a spider-guy who owns a weird table with a box in the middle. Everything is spideriffic until a fire girl showed up and saved at least one guy before the house was burned down. After the fire, raymond was found dead missing a hand.

Eventually Ivo shows up to help fix the place, feels like he’s going to be set on fire and finding out that Ray Fielding is apparently a ghost with a deed. A priest shows up AFTER getting infected with a hallucination demon that makes him eat human flesh and bars him from praying but apparently also makes it so he won’t get hurt by the fire demon. Ivo tears down the tree and on that same night one Agnes Montegue hangs herself, a male’s hand tied to her waist. The table ended up in Magnus Archive’s warehouse, and the box was destroyed/thrown in the bin by Ivo.

So basically, it looks like the spider-people had a good thing going, until the fire-girl decided to start starving them out, then lit the place on fire (I assume when the magical defenses were starved enough). Still, it looks like Ronald’s right on this one--that ground is cursed. Or at least, something is...
...is completely awesome. I sort of remembered some of the old stuff about Hilltop road, but summarizing what we know about key mythos clusters as they accumulate is super helpful. It makes the show more fun to listen to.

Awesome thread, keep them coming!
 

Sabermane

Proud Fianna knight of hope and peace
Validated User
Well if you're gonna give me positive reinforcement...

EPISODE 60: OBSERVER EFFECT

Case: 9721207
Statement: Rosa Meyer, regarding a persistent feeling of being watched
Date: July 12, 1972
Event: April-July, 1972,
Recorded by: Jonathan Simms

Rosa opens knowing “it’s still there. It keeps looking at me”. She’s starting to break, because whatever it is, the thing is there. You can’t see it. She can’t see it. But it can see her, and it is always. Watching. Her. It’s not a stalker, it’s not a person. What is It?

This shouldn’t bother poor Rosa--she’s a TV personality, on BBC News and it’s “Look East’ segment. It never bothers her when she had thousands of eyes on the other side of the camera. Well...was. She was on TV, after two weeks of this stalking feeling, she had an on-air breakdown. So now she’s jobless and being stalked by...It.

This all started back in April. Her brother had passed on from a stroke at 38, and as her parents were too heartbroken, she took the duty of dealing with his estate herself. A meager estate in Southampton. Rosa had always been religious, and this really messed with her “everything belongs for a reason.” So, a 70’s TV celebrity clearing out her dead brother’s belongings.

She wants us to know that all she did was open the box because she had to--there was no mischief or transgression planned. The box wasn’t special--another cardboard box. Maybe there was something...werid about it, but maybe she was making that up. Alone in a lonely house, she found that box in with the others. Seemingly harmless, but her brother Christopher was a History Professor, with a focus on ancient myths and fetishes, so maybe she could have taken a bit more care since she’s in a horror podcast.

Most of the boxes were just papers and notes, but some had...practical research. Small fetishes of all kinds--bone, glass, beadwork and statues and wood. Most were unsettling, but the last box held...an old hand mirror and a handwritten note.

The note, centered in plain type: “BEHIND YOU”

She looks behind her, and...nothing. It’s a window out into the street. You know, boring reality. Then she picks up the heavy tarnished mirror. The ancient gold mirror--she looked into it, seeing herself drunk and sad and ruined. Just as she shifts the mirror a bit---

OHGAWD THERE’s A GIANT EVIL FACE IN THE MIRROR WITH SHINING BULGING EYES STARING RIGHT AT HER AHHHHHH 70’S VIOLIN SHRIEK!

She screams and drops the mirror, and it shatters. Rosa is now terrified that this will be going on for 7 years...or maybe longer.

Since that day, she’s had a constant terrible fear that something is watching her. She can’t sleep, she can’t rest. She’s not mad...right?. She repaired the mirror, but to no avail. She spoke to Angus Cartwright, a professor and partner of her brother. Angus was unnerved by Rosa’s questions (or maybe just her unsettled demeanor), and told her that her brother had started working on a new book on “Outer Cults”: small groups of secretive cults that weren’t just pagan, but completely outside religious practice. Apparently Christopher had collected several artifacts from these cults before deciding to ignore this line of investigation and instead do a book on Inuit bone carving practices. “And that,” Rosa says, “is why I’m here…”

Apparently Christopher had actually been researching within the Magnus Institute’s records. She’s not going to rest until she gets to the bottom of this (not that she can rest anyway with It watching her...it’s especially strong here for some reason…)

POST STATMENT
“Bit of an odd one this” says Simms. Rosa had been a BBC reporter (out in the boonies, or at least not REAL London from the sounds of it) until she had a nervous breakdown and broke multiple cameras.

Christopher’s books are real, but dull even for Simms, and he may or may not have actually been here since the records for “people who research using the Magnus Institute’s files and services” are even more disorganized than the archives. Cut to the new podcast “The Magnus Visitor’s Book” where there’s just one polite guy trying his best to figure out who came in last Thursday to see if this scarf from the lost and found belongs to them...

The weird bit is the last two decades of Rosa’s life, apparently. Tim found that Rosa died in prison from pneumonia in 1993. She spent 12 years working service jobs until both her parents died. Then, in 1984 she murdered a delivery driver, one Danilo Costich. She then took his van, removed the paper and office supplies, and replaced them with barrels of petrol. She was caught running a red light and collided with another car. Luckilly the van didn’t ignite, but she was arrested and sent to prison.

The company that Costich worked for was the primary provider of paper for the Magnus institute. Simms is pretty sure that Rosa was planning...shenanigans.

SUPPLEMENTAL
Tim, Martin, Sasha, and Elias are having an intervention. Simms will be recording it because he’s perfectly fine, thank you! They’re all worried about how Simms has been stalking them, searching through their desks, and accusing (well, just Martin) of murder.

Simms is still not certain any of these people murdered Gertrude, and he. Needs. Evidence. Elias...gives him the copies of the security tapes the police have just cleared. The police think it proves they’re all safe. not-Sasha asks Simms to try to calm down with the paranoia...

Later, Simms states that yes, the cameras seem to give everyone an alibai. Gertrude however seems to be erratic and disheveled some times. The good news is, no one seems to have murdered Gertrude. Bad news, that means it was probably something down in the tunnels that did murder her...

PERSONAL NOTES
I admit, I didn’t really like this one until I typed the case file and realized this was in the 70’s. This gave it a different kind of vibe, and suddenly it worked better imagining it as a cheap Halloween/Excorcist knockoff. Just picturing Rosa in those tan suits and a turtleneck seems to make this click for me. I also love that we have proof that at least one person has gone “what if we just blow up these people?” Always good to see someone follow the Scottie Evil problem-solving techniques.

The one thing about this that I really like is how there’s multiple clues that reiterate “this building and this Institute are evil”, but it’s promptly ignored. I might be giving Simms a hard time here, but he does have a point, screaming “there are monsters!” at one point during the Supplemental. Obviously he’s breaking a bit, but it’s not that surprising he’s breaking. He’s not insane, but a sane man in an insane position. I really did like the quick Not-Sasha nod to “let’s stop thinking we’re all murderers and monsters here, ok? Ha ha ha...all perfectly normal humans here *continues to stare at Simm’s left ear*”
 

Sabermane

Proud Fianna knight of hope and peace
Validated User
EPISODE 61: HARD SHOULDER
Case: 0160122
Statement of: Alice “Daisy” Tonner, regarding a traffic stop on a delivery van
Recorded: December 1, 2016
Event Date: July 24, 2002
Recorded by: Jonathan Simms and Daisy Tonner

All right! More Section 31! Daisy gets introduced! More tie ins to previous cases!!

Dasiy is ‘fine’ with Simms recording this, but if anyone hears is...she won’t arrest him. Daisy Tonner is a police officer and Daisy almost audibly rolls her eyes that Simms didn’t figure it out--they thought Simms was the murder suspect. Simms is shocked! Why would the police think he, an obsessive jumpy man who was the sole benefactor of her death...think….he...was…

Well, the CCTV shows that Simms didn’t murder her, but they did feed the tapes to keep Simms busy and not running. Simms sighs in relief, and asks if she doesn’t mind how long as Daisy been sectioned? Well she does mind!...fourteen years. Simms convinces her to give a statement…Daisy’s first section 31.

Daisy says she had been a cop for 2 years, up in Lancanshire as a traffic cop. Daisy rode with Issac Masters, an old cop who was harsher than Daisy. It was a dark and stormy Wednesday afternoon, trying to drink coffee that was now more rainwater than coffee. They rain was so heavy it drowned out their voices, so they sat in silence drinking cold coffee and feelign miserable. The highway was quiet as well due to the storm, the people were driving cautiously. Part of Daisy hoped that some moron driver would show up and give her a target for her aggression, the other part thinking she didn’t want to get any more wet.

Then they saw the van--a Citron C15, covered in grime seemingly immune to the rains, driving 25 in a 75. Issac chases them down, hits the rollers, and the van rolls to a stop on the hard shoulder of the highway.

The two cops get out in the driving rain, needing torches to see since it’s so dark. Daisy sees on the side, barely visible, BREEKON & HOPE (Horses neigh! Situationally appropriate thunder!! You can hear Simm’s eyebrows move up in interest!!!). Two very large archetypical Cockney repair guys come out. Issac was talking to the driver--a “Tom”. Then they hear a moan from the back of the van--a minute long, musical singing moan.

Issac demands they open the back door, Tom opens it to see--a coffin. An old wooden coffin covered in chain with “DO NOT OPEN” written on it, moaning louder than a heavy rainstorm. Daisy gets ready for a fight, but Tom, Breekon and Hope are all just...waiting. Watching them.

Issac asks Tom if they have a key. Tom nods and give Issac a heavy iron key while the two “men” pull the coffin out on the wet street. Issac unlocked the chains that whipped off like they were under pressure. The coffin door opened with a creaaaaaaaak….

Inside the coffin was a stone staircase that went in deeper than the flashlight’s could go. Daisy yelled at the men, demanding them explain what was going on. Not getting anywhere, Daisy swung her batton on one of the two men, describing like hitting wood--the sudden shock made her drop her weapon. As she turns for it, she sees Issac--stepping down the stairs into the coffin…he looked relaxed, like he was asleep. Daisy tried to grab him, but a hard rubber hand of Breekon or Hope grab her. Issac goes down deep into the coffin, and the door closed.

The two men wrapped the chains around the coffin. Daisy tried to attack again but a super-fast punch from one of the men pushed her back and broke a few ribs before calmly leaving. Daisy expected a man hunt, a shut down of the roads, justice...but was given a form to sign and reassigned to the Met. She’s been working on Section 31 ever since.

Simms is nearly giddy with the tale, but Daisy is alarmed and angry--she doesn’t tell that story to anybody, and she gets up to leave. Simms, (as Patton Oswalt says “unable to see murder a foot from his face”) asks her on the way out if she knows anything on Vampires. Daisy nods--there was an issue with occasional suspects being questioned but not saying anything a while back. For some reason, the questioning officers just let them go. So there’s a new procedure--cases matching certain parameters will have a second officer watching the interrogation via tape. If it appears to match vampire behavior, the questioning officer is dismissed and a Section 31 is called in. Daisy (normally) shows up, cuffs them, drives them to the forest, and burns them to ash. At least 5 in the last nine years. Daisy asks Simms not to tell Bashira--she’s not cut out for that line of work.

SUPPLEMENTAL
Simms is happy to get some more evidence to both the Coffin and the vampires, even though neither is really good news. He’s also not that surprised, thinking back to it, that the cops thought he was a suspect. He won’t do anything to threaten the relationship with Daisy--he needs those tapes to find out who murdered Gertrude, and also he’s scared of Daisy.

PERSONAL NOTES
This is one of those episodes that really show the best parts of the Magnus Archives. It ties together multiple other stories, giving us answers (what if ol’ Josh from episode 2 had opened the box?) while leaving us with questions, showing us that the world is much bigger and scarier than we get to see, and introducing us to some new characters.

Dasiy’s voice actor does a great job giving us a mean, determined, and fierce character. I love the vampire bit--I love the cleverness of the solution (simple but effective), I love the answer to it, I love that Daisy says “there’s not enough left of them to raise any questions”, and the way she describes it so simply makes me think of a tough-as-nails cop watching a person noiselessly scream, burning to death in the dark woods.

Spoilers for Season 4ish.
Spoiler: Show

I also love now how Daisy is telling a story she doesn't tell. After Simms asks her to. He's beginning to gain his powers, but doesn't even realize it yet. This is one of the things I love about the Archives--there's no reason people should be saying this, or remembering things in their stories that they do, or telling them like a story and not as a statement. Except--in the Magnus Archives--there is a reason. A bad one.


Just a great episode.
 

Tonbo_Karasu

Registered User
Validated User
Yes, I was also quite enamoured of Daisy's answer to Vampires - both in the interview and in her duties. It's another one of those moments that suddenly turns a previously questionable statement into "Oh, it's all true..."
 

Sabermane

Proud Fianna knight of hope and peace
Validated User
Oh I been waiting for this one...

EPISODE 62: FIRST EDITION
Case: 0080307
Statement of: Mary Keay (!), regarding what a question...the time Mary found her first Leitner
Date of Statement: July 3, 2008
Date of Event: 1955
Recorded by: Mary Keay and Gertrude Robinson (bad-ass guitar riff)

Oh shit! It’s gertrude! Offering tea to Mary!! Whose making fun of Gertrude using this old tape recorder! Which is apparently another sign of “big changes”...

This is probably a personal statement, but I love how it’s just two old ladies talking but it’s so. Much. worse than a simple chat. You can hear that polite British “I’m going to offer you tea but I’m also going to rip your face off if you even think of those ancient Sumerian chants you shrew…”. Just a great opener. It’s a Doctor/Master, Bond/Blofield, Sherlock/Moriarty, Danger Mouse/Greenback banter. Ok, I lost it at the end there.

Anyway, Mary decides to tell us of her first Leitner--which she got before Leitner had even started collecting them. What did they call these books before he started stamping his bookplate on them, she wonders? She had met Leitner at her book store, 15 years ago, before his library burned down. Mary expected a man of intense energy and power, but instead found a short man of methodical, boring nature. Each time he went to her book shop, he would spend a minute on each book, staring at each, rarely buying anything. Mary’s surprised Gerturde doesn’t go out and look for the books--she knows what this place is, and what’s really going on, just like Elias does. “We’re on the same side, you and me…”. Gertruded doesn’t agree and redirects Mary back to script.

Mary was nine in 1955. Her idiot father had gotten himself killed, her mother worked for the Institute as a researcher and also as a facotry worker to make dressing gowns since the Institute historically pays pretty shit. Her mother makes sure to give Mary “true studies”, filling the young girl in to know about all the dark and horrible items of power. Mary as a child would dive through antique shops, never finding any true items of power.

But then, one day, Doctor Margarat Tellison moved in across the street. Something was different about this tall, thin woman with a severe hair of brown tied in a bun. As soon as Mary saw her, she knew she was touched by Powers like those that watched over Mary’s family.

Mary began watching Dr. Tellison. She soon had a steady stream of patients, eventually noticing that ambulances started to show up with frightening frequency. Many of her clients never knocked, just walking in the unlocked door. It also gave young Mary an easy way to sneak inside.

Mary found herself in a small waiting room with only one door in further. There wasn’t anywhere for her to hide, and she her footsteps coming! Oh no, it’s...an old man who is obviously a patient, leaving after his doctor appointment. Nice he left the door into the office hallway open though--the longer, darker-than-normal hallway. Mary went into Dr. Tellison’s office, and found a perfect crawlspace for hiding! She snuck in, and soon enough Dr. Tellison came in with an elderly patient. The only thing she saw that day was that there was a small iron safe--whatever Mary wanted, it was there.

Mary came and went multiple times after that. It was one warm day, and Dr. Tellison was helping a matronly woman as her last patient of the day. Something was wrong though...Dr. Tellison seemed...predatory. The doctor grabbed a small syringe, injecting the woman, talking friendly to her patient as the woman convulsed and died. Mary admits she wasn’t scared by the murder, but instead found it beautiful…

Dr. Tellison opened the safe--24-18-03-15, and the key. Mary still remembers. There were two books, one small leather bound covered in animal bones, the other large and misshapen. She pulled out the large book and a “wickedly sharp” fountain pen, and began to write on the flesh of the dead woman. After 20 minutes of writing, the doctor stepped back, grabbed a scalpel, and cut the written work into a page. She hung it on a hook on the wall, and made a call to the ambulance. The men showed up, put the corpse in a body bag, collected a universal large envelope of money, and left.

Mary was trapped. Not only because Dr. Tellison was still there, but because she was curious to see more. The doctor flipped through the pages of the large, misshapen book, Mary rapidly figuring out the pages are lumpy because flesh makes shitty paper. She stopped at a random page, and read the lines of text. Mary felt the air grow thick, and a smell of fresh earth, and suddenly there was a man. He was one of her patients, hunched and cowering, begging to be released. The doctor questioned him about hidden money and bank accounts--it disgusted Mary. Such power for such paltry reasons. Eventually the doctor unsummoned the poor dead soul, and collapsed in exhaustion in her chair, falling asleep--necromancy is hard on the spirit, kids *rimshot*!

Mary crept from her hiding place, pulling her prized father’s pocket knife (the same one he used to cut his own throat)! Mary rapidly dispatched the doctor--she didn’t really enjoy it, surprisingly. She says she enjoys watching more than doing the deed... Apparently the doctor was also Mary’s first binding attempt as well, but it went a bit pear-shaped. “Her page was a dreadful mess. I can’t imagine she enjoys it there at all. It took a lot more practice to do it write, and learn sanskrit”.

Mary knows all the secret’s of the book but one, and she knows how to get it. She verifies to Gertrude that the book belongs to The End, something that Mary could never really serve--she doesn’t find death that interesting. Just ask Eric, she says...

The smaller book is a nameless collection of poems, also in sanskrit, about the death of small animals. Other than the bone generation, it appears to have no powers. She sold it to Leitner, but it came back to her after “the attack”. Gertrude says she should really tell Elias, which Mary doesn’t mind. Of course, Elias isn’t much on action, is he?

Gertrude demands evidence of any of this, and Mary nods. She brought a page of the book, in English! Gertrude asks who it belongs to, and Mary grins. “A surprise--just make sure you’re alone when you read it…” before leaving.

Gertrude pulls herself together, knowing she should destroy the page and never read it. There’s a distinct creaking noise. No. Maybe later. We’ll see. No, right now, she needs a cuppa.

POST STATEMENT
Simms is right in that Mary’s story may be the least interesting thing here. He knew that the Keays and Magnus had a connection. He also knows that Elias is hiding a LOT from him, and that the Magnus Institute is more than it seems. He’s going to keep this from Elias until he can find out more…

And speaking of finding out more, the most important bit. That creaking at the end? A very familiar sound to Simms--a floorboard in the Archives. A secret compartment holding...Gertrude’s laptop and a key.


PERSONAL NOTES
“There’s a lot here”. I’m pretty sure that’s a hint from the REAL author Simms to review this one closely, and he’s right. Hearing this one again after being caught up was just...fun. Like I said, the real brilliant bit of this is the hero and villain back-and-forth from our ladies. Both of them so polite to each other, but both of them also knowing that the best thing they could do right now would be to just light the other on fire. It’s so rare you hear it from elderly women, which makes it even sweeter.

Mary is obviously a monster--but not the monsters we’ve come to expect. This is also the first time I believe that we hear a name for one of these things. “The End”, and that it has followers.

Seriously, this one is freakin’ DENSE. Just *blam* secret! *blam* secret! *blam* important information! So many hints of things that makes more sense (and raises more terror) with a repeated listening. Which is...kind of the best and worst of this podcast. I’m loving doing this because I get to sharpen up and focus on details already knowing the big picture (at least, more up to date). So once you’re done listening to the end, the best option is to...go back and listen again.

As for the actual episode--I really enjoy the evil book of spirit reanimation. It's the Strange Case of Charles Dexter Ward, only in a portable book form! I also like how it shows that even death might not be the end for you, and in this world--that's probably not for the best.
 
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