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[We should all Listen to] The Magnus Archives

Sabermane

Proud Fianna knight of hope and peace
Validated User
Run-ins with the Bone Turner tend to leave you pretty deformed as well.
Yeah, but that's a self change. This is the first time I think we see "radioactive evil", where the mere contact with evil makes you mutate.

EPISODE 70: BOOK OF THE DEAD

Case: 0030912
Statement of: Masato Murray, regarding an unusual inheritance and the causes thereof
Date of Statement: December 9 2003
Recording by: Jonathan Simms

In 2003, Masato was surprised when Philip Doer left him something in his will. They were never friends really--deep down they never really liked each other. Philip apparently has OPINIONS when he’s drinking. Well, had. Philip apparently fell under a train at 37 years old, and it kind of hit 24 year old Masato that death was a thing. So poor maudlin Masato, realizing his end will one day come (and that he is terrified of it) wasn’t helped when he Philip’s will gave him his journal.

Well...not his journal, really. It was an old black book, far too old for a middle aged man. Large and heavy like a family bible. These was no title, only a quote on the first page;

Life is a current that cannot be fought. It is a march with one destination. You cannot cease your step, nor move your course, to one that skirts the journey's termination." Below this a hand-written note says "You have already read too much."

Masato laughs a bit--Philip apparently was able to be an asshole even beyond the grave. The next pages were hand-written Latin. Twenty pages in, old English--some words about a Julian and “deathe” and “homicide”. The next pages in a different hand and a different name. By the time we hit “Christopher”, it’s a wall of printed type. The death of Christopher in 1592, dragged by a horse. In gruesome detail, you find that Christopher was dragged by a horse, skin flayed on the cold ground, an killed after the third time the horse tramples him. Real pager turner.

All the accounts are the same--a violent unpleasant death for a person. No natural deaths--all gruesome. On the last pages with type (Oh good--there’s blank pages left!), Masato reads about first, Philip doer being killed by a train, and the last page for Masato.

So...was this Philip’s suicide notes? Maybe...but then why did it have a page on Masato, dying in 2014 by being run down in Lancershire by a hit-and-run car? This was a sick joke involving a suicide note written in multiple hands and a well-aged forgery, right? Well, even if it wasn’t, Masato would just make sure to not go to Lanchershire! Espcially in 2014!

But still...it weighs on you, and Masato starts to research. He finds an Alexander who dies in 1983, murdered in his bed, that matches the book’s description. So...why didn’t phil try to NOT take a train on that day? An obvious question--so Masato re-reads his chapter, and finds that it’s changed--now, he was going to die in London in 2012 due to a gas explosion in a flat he rented. He would die from 3rd degree burns 19 hours later.

Masato freaks out, throws the book, goes for a walk, trying to deduce what it all meant and how it worked. He stayed with a John Kendrick for a few days, but to no avail--he was back at his house, staring at the book, wondering what the pages would say now…

He couldn’t destroy the book. Fire wouldn’t burn it, water wouldn’t damage it, pages wouldn’t tear. Masato read how he would die from a piece of masonry in 2011. Each time he read it, the time was getting closer, and the death was still miserable.

He didn’t bring the book, and he won’t leave a will. He doesn’t know if the book cares if you own it or just read it. Just that he needs to keep it as long as he can and that, like everybody else he will one day die.

POST STATEMENT
Masato apparently vanished a few days after his statement. He resigned from his job, left his flat, and spooked. Tim was able to verify Philip did die via a train. If he was corret about the book, then Masato was already dead.

There was nothing about Leitner, though. Which was odd for Simms. So i guess this means the books don’t get their power from Leitner but rather somewhere else.

Oh, and Not-Sasha finally got her computer fixed by IT.

SUPPLEMENTAL
It always comes back to those books, doesn’t it? Why? Simms thought that Leitner had given the books what dark powers they had, but now--it means Leitner wasn’t a warlock but just a collector…

He’s been back in the tunnels, the upper levels at least. On the second floor, he found a room with three wood chairs. There had been more but they were smashed and scorched. There was a small scrap of paper--someone tore up a book and burned it. Specifically, a copy of the Key of Solomon. That book Gertrude bought.

PERSONAL NOTES
I really want a brief "The Magnus I.T.", where one guy is madly figuring out how to bypass evil influences on your computer.

Otherwise--this one is good, but doesn't really hit any of my buttons really. I can't really explain why. The idea of a book that gives you worse deaths even faster should be terrible but...I dunno.
 

Sabermane

Proud Fianna knight of hope and peace
Validated User
EPISODE 71: UNDERGROUND
Case: 0172501
Statement of: Karolina Gorker, regarding a brief period trapped in the London Underground
Date of statement: January 25, 2017
Date of event; January 6, 2017
Recording by: Jonathan Simms and subject direct

Karolina has a tradition where she celebrates New Year’s a week after New Year’s. So on the 6th of January, she finds herself at theStar bar at King’s Cross with her husband Mark and some friends, Andrew Barnett, Tamara Simpkin, and Leanne Hillard (she’s very precise, and reiterates all three of these people could verify her location). Her plan was to leave at midnight with Tamara, but she got into a heated discussion and Tamara left without her. So at last call, 1am, she’s alone in the cold winter night. She stops and gets some chips and eats them slowly, and finds out she missed the last train for the night. Oh wait--there’s an all-night on the Victoria line! She’s saved!

The train platform was desserted--wait, maybe one person who was walking away with a...shovel? So weird, and yes it was creepy, but Karolina was ready to get home and the quiet was a relief. The train shows up and screeches to a halt--a perfectly normal train.

Well...maybe it was older or dustier than it should have been, but whatever. Karolina ends up alone in an empty car. Her cell phone died, and so she sat in silence. Oppresive silence. Unnerving silence. To distract herself from the weirdly muted car, she starts glancing at the ads--or where the ads should be. Instead of ads, there’s a layer of dirt behind the plastic. All of them.

Karolina realizes that everything in the train was coated in a thin layer of dry soil. Everything. She could see her lonely footprints on the floor. Ok, weird--next stop, she’s getting off.

Yep, next stop.

...it’s been like 15 minutes. Why didn’t they stop? Where’s another station?!

The air became cold and thick, like a basement. At 20 minutes, she pulled the emergency lever--it snaps off. So...now, with nothing else to do, she sat down and waiting. After all, what else could she do?

Eventually, the train slowed, the stopped. The doors wouldn’t open, and they weren’t in a station. She forced the door open, and found bare earth instead of a train tunnel--right up to the lip of earth. There was no way to get out there--so Karolina could wait, check the back or check the front and ask the driver?

She chose number three. Bad idea.

She slowly made her way to the front, finding a dirtier car. There was a creaking groan from the car--the sound of pressure crushing down. The next car had the car’s roof buckling from the earth swallowing the car. So if there had been a driver, they were probably dead.

So let’s go back--no, wait, the pressure has slammed the door shut and immobile. She was trapped. She looked to get out of the dark car, and realizes there’s a man in the car. Bending and pushing thorugh the collapsing car, she finds a man with sunken blue eyes, trapped painfully in his chair. She touched him and his eyes opened, filled with sadness. He grabbed her wrist and he hissed out “not enough space to move. Never enough to breathe…”

The subway car won’t last much longer. With not other options--Karolina decided there was no escape. She laide down on the floor and tried to relax as the metal bent up and surrounded her.

She woke up in Walthamstow station, a custodian asking if she was allright. She didn’t want to ask questions, so pretended to be drunk and got home. She thought maybe this was a dream...until she realized she had a bruised hand mark on her wrist, and was covered in dust.

POST STATEMENT
Karolina still takes the tube, and seems really...relaxed about all this. She’s dealing with it, and isn’t interested in follow-ups. Well Simms is--there have been disappearances on the late night trains (Victoria and Northern lines apparenrly). But there’s never any CCTV of people ENTERING the platforms.

One of the missing people matches the description of the man she found down there after a fight with his son. Nikolas Lekman disappeared on December 17th, 2016, last seen heading to moorgate station. Nikolas’s son stated the two had an argument before he left, but doesn’t believe his father took the tube--he’s a terrible claustrophe, you see…

Simms also notes that Karolina left a great deal of dust behind.

SUPPLEMENTAL
Someone is living in the tunnels--Simms knows it now. No pages, but there’s “normal’ rubbish--newspapers, bottles, wrappers. Whoever is down here is meticulous and tidy, but they still miss things. So whoever is down there at least needs to eat. That’s kinda good news. But how are they getting their supplies? Basira’s no help--she’s not returning Simm’s call recently. He might wait on digging into the tunnels until he can get some support.

PERSONAL NOTES
Another one that just doesn't really work for me. I mean, i like the idea of being crushed by the tons of earth surrounding you on the subway (for story purposes) but...it just doesn’t work. The voice actress did a fine job, but...I dunno.
 

Sabermane

Proud Fianna knight of hope and peace
Validated User
I’m well ahead of this thread now, but I’m still reading and I very much appreciate it. The reviews and commentaries make for a great supplement.
Thanks! Like I said I'm kinda doing this for me but nknowing other people like it is appreciated. And I need to get moving because DUDETHIDLATESTSEASON!
 

D-503

Cosmonaut
Validated User
I’m a Patreon to this show and I’m up to date with it, but I do love this thread. It’s entertaining, the summaries are great, and it’s really helping me see the connections between episodes and characters.

In other words, thanks!
 

General Fishsticks

Tribune of the Plebs
Validated User
Yes indeed, thanks for this thread, it's reminded me of a few older episodes to listen to again. There's a consistent quality to the Magnus Archives which I miss (I've been motoring through the No sleep podcast, which is exceedingly variable in its quality - though not surprising in an anthology style of programming). so it's nice to come back to solid horror writing.
 

Sabermane

Proud Fianna knight of hope and peace
Validated User
Oh, No Sleep--it's like "here's some classic diamonds of horror! Also, some old melty sour milkshake of horror! AND NOTHING IN BETWEEN!! ALSO MOST OF IT IS MILKSHAKE!"

EPISODE 72: TAKEAWAY
Case: 0092010
Statement of: Craig Goodall, regarding his explorations of an abandoned chicken and kebab shop in Walthamstowe
Date of Recording: October 20, 2009
Date of Event: September 27, 2009
Recorded by: Jonathan Simms

We open with Basira being recorded by Simms on the line. She’s asking about one Maxwell Raynor--this is not good. People’s Church of the Divine host. He’s going to be arrested, apparently. A lot of Section 31 folks coming. Simms recommends that they bring ALL THE LIGHTS, and suddenly the phone dies.

Well crap. Back to work--Craig wants us to know that he’s probably a cannibal. Probably. There was a John han who ran a kebab takeaway. It went out of business in 2004 when Han was arrested for murdering his wife. The two weeks previous, he had been getting rid of the evidence via his shop’s takeaway, probably singing Sweeney Todd musical numbers the entire time. Craig lived near there and ate there at least a few times. Did he eat human? He had chicken wings, a few kebabs, and burgers. I mean, he’s not sure he actually ate anybody, but...somehow right? The worst part is that Craig will never really know, and the fact that he will never know what human tastes like for sure is irksome. If he’s going to be a cannibal he should at least be able to say what it tastes like…

But meat is meat.

That’s what john Han said when he was arrested. Meat is Meat.

Now after John got arrested, nobody bought the old shop (apparently “murder and cannibalism” don’t do well in the commercial sales). So Craig would walk by the boarded up shop daily, always catching his eye as a ‘this place served human meat’ probably would. The storefront never had a proper name--just “FOOD” written on the front and a neon “GRILL” sign. It became an eyesore of rusty metal sheets and ruined paint and slapped on adverts. But it always seemed so clean inside to Craig.

So one miserable rainy day, Craig hears a noise from the inside the building. He can’t see anything inside, and then he heard laughter on the wind. He spots bolts missing on the side window--the window is barely ajar. Someone was in there. So Craig--well, he calls the cops and sits across the street at a bar to watch the show. A few minutes later, cops drag a teenager with a can of spray paint, and give him a warning. As they throw him out, the kid’s spray can drops and explodes, splattering a wave of red, while the cops get out of the rain and back in their car.

They forgot to lock up that window though...

Craig had some bad dreams about paint cans that weren’t paint cans spinning on a kebab skewer. The next day, Craig (after being sensible and contacting his friend Leroy who a.) has some “urban exploration/B&E” experience and b.) agrees to come down and help if he doesn’t hear from Craig in an hour or two), he decides he’s going to sneak into that ruined shop and investigate. The wet streets were empty, and Craig slips in through the window.

Inside, the air was cold and clean. Other than there being no perishables, the place looked ready for business. Not a speck of dust was on anything. Craig found the freezer, where it was obvious the kid was spray painting “meat is meat” on the front door. The cops must have busted him before he could finish though, because all that was there was “Meat is me”

So yeah, that’s a bit wrong. Craig shivers and continues. The only way to get rid of this fear was to open the freezer and make sure it wasn’t filled with meat. He opens the door--and finds nothing. A depowered fridge. Craig sighs and relaxes, and hears laughter. From below him. He looks down and sees a gaunt Chinese man laughing in terrifying glee with a pair of bolt cutters on either side of his ankles. The blades are snapped shut, slicing both his Achilles tendons and causing Craig to fall, his head slamming into a counter and blacking out.

(cue “you died” meme)

When he woke up, Craig was bound in cable ties and wrapped in plastic. The room he was in was lit by candles and had small piles of broken tea cups, bibles, and...oh yeah, a pile of human fingers.

The Chinese man stepped into view then, painfully thin and chewing on...something. He had a butcher knife in his hands, and smiled when he saw Craig was awake. He leaned down, and with an impossibly sharp blade sliced through three of Craig’s fingers in a single swipe, throwing them on the pile, seemingly unconcerned with Craig screaming for help. The man picked up a bible and started flipping through it. “Did you know”, said the man, ‘that the Romans persecuted early Christians because they thought they were cannibals? They think it’s because the Romans were confused about ‘the body and blood of Christ’, but Octavius threw all kinds of accusations--including initiations that included murdering a baby and drinking it’s blood?”

He keeps rambling on, but Craig was zoning out due to fear and probably blood loss. The man realizes that Craig is getting fuzzy, so he stops talking and starts walking over slowly with the knife. Craig is certain he’s going to die--until suddenly a dark shape barrels into his attacker and knocks him to the floor. It’s Leroy, motherfuckers!

Leroy grabs the knife, cuts Craig’s bindings and hauls him to his feet--where Craig finds out he feet are able to support his weight just fine, thankyouverymuch. Oh, and he still has all his fingers, even thought he can also see his cut fingers on the pile (including a ring that is no longer on his hand).

No time to figure this out though--one of the candles fell on the pile of dusty bibles and has created a massive blaze. The two guys ran out as the takeout place went up in flames. He didn’t see what happened to his attacker. All Craig knows is that the place is still there, a charred gutted husk, and that he will be moving to a new neighborhood.

POST STATEMENT
“Meat again…”. Simms is not thrilled about this. He believes Craig gave a false name. The Waltham Express Grill was burned down on September 27th, the repots stating the cause as unknown vandals.

Martin looked into John Hann. He was married to Lan Ying shortly after she moved to the country. According to the coroner report, she had no defense wounds on her body and some of the wounds may have been self-inflicted.

Six months before he was arrested, John let all his staff go and hired his nephew Han Tao, aka Tom Hann. The same Tom Hann from the meat processing plant. We have not heard the last from Tom Hann.

SUPPLEMENTAL
Simms is still not going down the tunnels, but hoping he can get Basira’s help. After the operation attacking a master of darkness of course.

PERSONAL NOTES
I feel for Craig. The idea that you have eaten human flesh and don’t even get to know it doesn’t seem...well, fair’s not the RIGHT word, you know? But still--if you commit the ultimate sin but don’t get ANYTHING out of it...just not right.

This is a good simple ghost story, and I enjoy the things that are right but just...off a bit in this set up. The idea of a place that just has FOOD on the front, the brief flicker of the dead GRILL sign as he steps in. I personally hope Leroy ends up becoming another monster hunter and asskicker, breaking into weird places and stomping on all the strange monster-men. I’m sort of surprised Craig came out of this one in one piece--normally our monsters aren’t so kind as to just pretend slash your legs. I wonder if he’ll get any health problems down the road, or just be tracked and eaten one day because the Meat monsters already have his scent.

I also liked how Hann was trying to bring Craig into the fold, trying to recruit him. When it was obvious Craig wasn’t going to get it, well--meat is me.

But come on, dangit! You can’t leave us hanging with a police raid into the Cult of Darkness you gotta tell us what happened!
 

Sabermane

Proud Fianna knight of hope and peace
Validated User
EPISODE 73; POLICE LIGHTS
Case: 0171102
Statement of: Officer Basira Hussain, regarding
Date of Recording: February 11 2017
Date of Event: February 10 2017
Recorded by: Jonathan Simms, direct from subject Basira Hussain

So yeah, let's find out what happened on that police raid...

First, let’s take a moment and reiterate why Maxwell Rayner should be remembered. This is one of the weak spots of the podcast I feel--the cult and Rayner just kinda happened, and didn’t really get a big enough build up for me. I knew that ‘a bunch of cops raiding a wizard cult’s hideout’ wasn’t going to end well for at least a bunch of NPC’s, but still.
Rayner is the head of the People’s Church of the Divine Host, a religious cult. That cult is the Darkness cult that uses the closed eye symbol. We’ve seen this in two major threads so far--first, Natalie Ennis who joined the cult after her mother passed and apparently teleported from an old abandoned church, possibly to ny-alesund, Norway.

The second and more obviously bad connection is that of Robert Montauk, England’s most successful serial killer. His wife was apparently a cult member, and she just vanished one night. We’re going to spoil slightly that Maxwell Rayner was the voice on the other end of Robert’s phone calls, telling him who to kill. Then Robert went all screw that, and his house was attacked by darkness and he was arrested. Robert was later killed in a max security cell that was covered in impossible darkness. His daughter, Julia, is now out and about, possibly with our favorite vampire killer Trevor, as she was seen lighting the retirement home filled with bugs on fire.

So right now, we know that there’s a cult focused on darkness, that involves some human sacrifices, and appears to like the northern climes. Most importantly, they’ve also drawn the attention of the police enough to involve a raiding party that has a lot of Section 31 agents in it…

*ka-chick*
We open recording with Simms giving Basira something to relax with. They lost an officer. Basira is thankful that Simms warned them about the flashlights. Apparently this could have been a lot worse. She and the rest of the raid team have been put on temporary leave to pull themselves together (and come up with a story per Basira).

All this started with a kidnapped boy, 12 year old Callum Brody. No forced entry, but three people walked into the kid’s house and just walked out with him. No ransom note, no leads.

None of this was known by Basira--it wasn’t her beat or her department. But she and Daisy got a call that they were being transferred to a raid, and they were being briefed in the van on the way. She realized that the other officers in the van were all Section 31’ed, and the sargent in charge had the same feel about him. So yeah--this is gonna be a weird one, and no one in the van is happy.

Callum Brody had been found, being held by one Maxwell Rayner and his associates/probable cult. Basira tells the sargent “hey, we need all the flashlights we can get” and he doesn’t even blink, just gets more flashlights. So a full SWAT team goes charging into a two-story brick building owned by Outer Bay Shipping.

*checks notes* oh yeah, they have enough money to help build a space station.

The plan was simple--each team would be one fire team member and one Section 31 agent. Perfectly normal. Even Basira says that’s pretty messed up, but assumes they wanted to make sure that the fireteam guys don’t have someone used to “weird” around them. She was paired with an agent Goodman. They went in, and Basira notes the lights aren’t working--or at least, not working as well as they should. The light just isn’t going as far as it should…

They get inside the loading docks, when Basira hears a cry of rage. A person dressed head to to in black robes. Goodman opens fire and charges after, Basira follows, noting some blood on the floor. They finish the sweep of the main loading dock, not finding their wounded cultist, and continue in.

Just as Basira starts heading towards a staircase, she feels a tug on her arm. Goodman was saying something and pointing--Leo Altman (section’ed officer), and a SWAT team officer look at a flight of stairs going down.

Funny. No one said anything about a down stairs.

Well, the four party members start going down. Basira wasn’t thrilled, but...they find an old door that starting to rust. It’s...not a right door. The door seems to be seeping shadow, like darkness was shining behind it. And there’s a buzzing, a slow waterfall sound in her ears.

Leo opened the door while Basira grabs her light--as soon as he opens it, the lights die. For that second, Basira feels like she’s in a place that’s never seen light. She clicks on her torch, and while the beam of light doesn’t seem to go as far as it should, it does cut through the gloom. As it toches each of the four, they shake off the terror and grab another flashlight.

Now, they never walked through the door, but they were in a massive room, black dust floating like inky snow. It became cold and still. As she drew close, her light suddenly died--good thing she brought more. The next torch seemed to be a bit weaker though…

They walked closer to that waterfall sound, walking at least twice the distance of the building, and they were 3 or 4 torches in each. Basira was beginning to feel the panic, but onward they went.

Goodman’s flashlight hit something.

Five seconds later, everything was over.

Goodman’s beam hit a tall old man, dressed in robes the same color of the dust. His eyes were milk-white--Rayner. Next to him was a child tied to a small old chair--Callum. The child’s face was locked in a silent scream, while darkness flowed from Rayner’s mouth and crawled up the child’s body. Goodman opened fire, the muzzle blast illuminating the room (which was a cathedral not a basement).

The three round burst hit true, slamming into Rayner. The dark liquid fell to the floor, and Rayner spun, the dark liquid flying from his mouth and arcing in a spray. Altmon was running to get the kid, and a drop of the stuff hit his cheek. Altmon began screaming and clawing at his face. Goodman spends his next action shooting AGAIN, and suddenly the lights came back on. A woman ran up to Altmon and stabbed him in the throat. The last agent fired, and killed the woman--but it was too late.

Five seconds. Two dead kidnappers. One dead cop. The kid was fine--well, probably in severe need of therapy. Altman was dead, his eyes now milky white.

After that, it was debriefings and cop coffee. We find out that the other kidnapper who killed Altman was Natalie Enis, our former room mate turned cultist. Two other cultists were killed, three others arrested.

Simms offers to educate Basira about the Church, but Basira is done. She’s quitting the police force, and says Simms should quit working here--it’s weird. Simms asks if he could get the tapes, but Basira just slams the door on him. Good for her--leave this dark occult world and never return. Go live a normal life.

POST STATEMENT
Outer Bay is a shell company, but who owns them isn’t really something the Archives is good at (but, again, can afford to help fund an independent space station). Simms knows he can’t quit. How did the police find out about Rayner in the first place? He’d been off the grid for over 20 years. Good question, Simms.

PERSONAL NOTES
Simms ends this with “I feel like I got the last chapter of a story i didn’t know the title to”. Pretty much sums this up. This plot feels like I hit the last few minutes of a movie. I think they pull this trick off better with others later, so I never really feel like the Church was as impressive as they seemed like they should be. Otherwise it's a great tight little ghost story/police raid, which is a favorite genre of mine. I really like the banal horror of "nobody said there was a basement...". It shouldn't be a big deal, but when you find something that's normal but still shouldn't be there...

Also, on a moment of true horror--I'VE RUN OUT OF BACKLOG! Time to go to work! Maybe call in sick!
 

Brian888

Registered User
Validated User
Oh, No Sleep--it's like "here's some classic diamonds of horror! Also, some old melty sour milkshake of horror! AND NOTHING IN BETWEEN!! ALSO MOST OF IT IS MILKSHAKE!"

EPISODE 72: TAKEAWAY
One of the things I like quite a bit about TMA is the care that they've taken in delineating the styles and approaches of the various followers of the Powers. The followers of the Dark and the Lightless Flame (and maybe the Lonely) are very much cults, but they have their own unique "feels" and methods of operating; the Dark cult seems much more internally peaceful and cooperative than the Lightless Flame, for obvious reasons. There are strong hints of religious devotion among followers of the Flesh as well (putting aside the Bone Turner, who does his own thing completely), but it's very, very weird. I mean, a cult I can understand. Whatever was going on in this episode? Fuck if I know. Seems to have something to do with Christianity and transubstantiation, maybe?
 

Sabermane

Proud Fianna knight of hope and peace
Validated User
One of the things I like quite a bit about TMA is the care that they've taken in delineating the styles and approaches of the various followers of the Powers. The followers of the Dark and the Lightless Flame (and maybe the Lonely) are very much cults, but they have their own unique "feels" and methods of operating; the Dark cult seems much more internally peaceful and cooperative than the Lightless Flame, for obvious reasons. There are strong hints of religious devotion among followers of the Flesh as well (putting aside the Bone Turner, who does his own thing completely), but it's very, very weird. I mean, a cult I can understand. Whatever was going on in this episode? Fuck if I know. Seems to have something to do with Christianity and transubstantiation, maybe?
Oh, I think that the Meat Team grabbed the "this is my flesh, this is my blood" element of religion and ran with it.

EPISODE 74: FATIGUE
Case: 0150806
Statement of: Lydia Halligan, regarding her insomnia
Date of Statement: June 8th, 2015
Date of Event: Unknown
Recording by: Jonathan Simms

Lydia has a problem. She can’t sleep. She can’t remember when she last slept--well, actually, that’s not true. She can steal an hour or two of sleep here or there, but when she does, she wakes so strongly and her dreams are so strange it’s hard to tell what’s real and what’s not.

Her bedroom is hot, even though the heating’s off. She’s too tired to move, just watching the fan spin. It’s dark outside. Then the fan slows and dies. Silence. Then it turns on again, going the other way. Just spinning and spiraling on and on...

She doesn’t remember having a fan when she moved in though.

Lydia always had problems sleeping, even as a kid.

There is a billboard outside her flat window, rusty and old. It has an advertisement for coffee on it now. I mean, that’s what it has to be--it’s a woman in a sky-blue dress, smiling with a cup of coffee. No brand names or logos. Just “SLEEP IS OVERRATED!” in a tall, thin font.

How long has it been there? Why does the woman seem to be looking into her window?

Lydia is a freelance artist, which leaves her somewhat detached. She has a hard time remembering what day it is, or even the time.

There is a man in Lydia’s living room, with curly, sandy hair. She must have invited him in at some point, right? He sits in her chair and drums his fingers, making odd clacking noises with his nails. She knows him, but she doesn’t know how? He smiles, but she doesn’t like it. She can’t remember his name. He laughs until her nose bleeds.

Lydia found in college she could stay awake for a long time, even more than 40 hours. She relished the fact that she could stay awake longer than anybody.

She’s in a diner now, drinking cheap coffee. But it gives her a bit of energy. Wait, there’s something in her coffee, in her mouth. A tooth--not hers. A child’s tooth. The waitress doesn’t see it, or care, and brings back more coffee.

You see strange things when you don’t get enough sleep. Flat surfaces seem to be wobbbly. She wrote a story about it one time, in the end the protagonist who couldn’t sleep saw strange monsters from sleep deprevation that blinded her. You can’t really trust what your seeing anyway.

She’s back home. The billboard is damp and failing from rain now, paint peeling. The blue dress is molded, the smile a sneer. The coffee is still steaming. The words have changed, “SLEEP IS FOR THE WEAK”.

Your energy flips from sleep deprevation--sometimes depression, other times manic energy. Eventually they begin to merge, your body changing you hour to hour. The man is back--she’s at the park, watching him turning the grass into strange spirals before slashing them with his odd long fingers. He says she looks terrible, and he keeps blurring and shifting.

She finds herself running through the twisting streets and alleys. She staggers through streets, and finally lies down on the tarmac. Just as sleep is about to overtake her, but then dawn breaks. She hears the man’s laughter on the wind.

She has no proof or story to tell, but here she is. Her hands are only drawing spirals on the paper, but maybe if she gives this, then she can sleep.

She is standing in front of the billboard. The road is a circle, no way on or off. The woman’s teeth are a rusy snarl, her eyes gone, the steam is still the same curls, and the words are SLEEP NO MORE. She walks, sobbing, to the graoning, rusting billboard. It falls on her, and she falls with it.

POST STATEMENT
Simms admits there’s no reason to believe any of this is provable. A year ago, he might have ignored and dismissed this, but now he recognizes Michael and his actions. Lydia died of a heart attack at 29

SUPPLEMENTAL
Simms knows whose living in the tunnels!! Well, at least who he looks like! Finally thinking, He used a motion-detector camera at the trap door. Mind you, the image was fuzzy, but he saw Sasha enter and leave the tunnels twice! Why he’s not sure of, but he’s going to pay closer attention to Sasha now, and find out what she’s planning…

He also saw a middle-aged man come out of the trap door, holding an attache case at around 3am. He grabbed some papers from the Institute, stuffed them in his attache case, and went back down. Then man seems to move the floor--not the door, the floor!

PERSONAL NOTES
This is another hard one to really transcribe, but it does a great job of giving that heavy, draining feel of sleep deprivation. While it’s nice to see that Michael is still out there, and get some movement on the tunnels a bit more, it’s really the grinding exhaustion that you can really appreciate, and the feeling of being digested by Michael. One of those “I’m describing it, but you should really just listen to it’ stories.
 

Sabermane

Proud Fianna knight of hope and peace
Validated User
EPISODE 75: A LONG WAY DOWN
Case: 0060711
Statement of Stephen Walker, regarding his brother’s disappearance of Tour Montparnasse
Date of Recording: November 7, 2006
Date of Event: October 2006
Recording by: Jonathan Simms

Stephan hopes his brother is dead. He must be. If he wasn’t, well...that would be a fate worse than death. Stephan’s brother Grant was always afraid of heights, even of climbing trees. He was generally fine with elevators and stairwells, but it was ladders that really got him. Whenever he had to go on one, his hands and face would become paper-white. So Stephan knew this was a real terror for Grant.

Grant had lost his job, ended up staying at Stephan’s house in Newcastle. Stephan loved his brother, but tended to love his brother more when they were away from one another. Stephan was neat, Grant was messy, so...they were a bit of an odd couple. Also, Grant was having problems finding work, so things started to get stressful between the two.

So Stephan decided to take his brother to Tour Montparnasse. Which is how all this happened. Stephen doesn’t blame himself though. He knows this is all the doing of the man with the lightening scar. If he ever sees that man again, he’ll kill him.

The first time he had seen that man was a year ago. The brothers had been drinking and realized they had both forgotten their keys. They borrowed a ladder from the neighbors, and Stephan was the one going up. Grant was gripping the bottom, but the ground was soft and Stephan felt his balance shift. He felt and realized every moment of it, and he shattered his phone and his arm. No one responded to their knocking, so Grant had to climb up the ladder. Sweating and pale, he still climbed the ladder up. Then Stephan saw the man with scar across the street, dressed in an old suit, staring at Grant climb up the ladder. Stephan felt a wave of dizziness just looking at the man. Grant somehow barely made it to the window, and the man walked away (moving faster than you’d think), and Stephan forgot about it.

Grant found a new job, but kept living with his brother and even paying rent. Two months ago Stephan had to go to Paris for a conference and decided to make a week’s vacation out of it. Even though he didn’t get invited, Grant decided to come with him, making Stephan change his plans and accomidations. Stephan gritted his teeth but dealt with it as Grant promised to pay him back. However, Grant lost his job again due to smoking pot off-duty but on company grounds. As a result, Stephan had to pay for the entire trip--which meant Stephan got to decide what they were going to do.

In the petty vengeful way that only brothers can, Stephan decided to take a trip to Tour Montparnasse, the highest point in Paris. He tricked Grant into the elevator, where Grant started to realize what was going on--by the time they got out, his legs were shaking, and staggered away from the barrirers on the observation deck. Stephan looked out on the beautiful skyline, and suddenly felt a dizzy spell. He hit his arm on the deck (probably that one), and as he regained his focus, he saw the man with the scar again. This time, the man stared at him, uninterested.

Some New Zealand tourists help Stephan up to his feet, and Stephan realizes the man is gone. As is his brother. Grant wasn’t downstairs, either. Stephan searched for hours, only realizing his phone was dead later on. When he recharged it, he finds he’s missed dozens of calls and hundreds of scrambled texts. Grant was asking where he was, where anybody was, where the elevators were…

There was one picture. The terrace, but no barrier--just a sheer drop with a ladder, the city unknown and alien. Whever Stephan tried to call him, it didn’t go through--except when it did, and the only thing Stephan heard was the sound of rushing wind.

If Grant isn’t dead, he’s still on that ladder. Let’s hope Grant is dead.

POST STATEMENT
Simms is positive this is Michael Crew, the young Leitner book-stealing college student we last saw get flung up out of a window by a lightening-beast. Now here he is, helping other people get sucked into eternal tourist traps of doom. Simms brings up that if people get blessings from these...things...it always seems like the people get changed. The books change the user.

He ties this into the sky diver story when Basira charges in. She drops off the tapes, furious that the cops are covering everything up. They’re saying Altman was a crooked cop and ignoring the entire raid. As a result, Basira stole the tapes (it’s not like they’re going to solve Gertrude’s murder so Simm’s might as well have a crack at it!), and quite being a cop. She’s certain they won’t find out about the stolen tapes until the next review, and it’s not like they LOOK into Section 31 things...then she leaves, ignoring all this strangeness and going to live a good, normal life.

PERSONAL STATEMENT

Another terrible example of being digested by one of the Fears. We also see more of Michael Crew, who went from being chased by lightening monsters to BEING a lightening monster, so again--it appears that some get used by these forces. It’s funny that Simms thinks it’s the book, when to me it’s obviously not--the books aren’t the source of the power, Simms, they’re just the keys to the door.
 
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