Report 2: Why We Are Here


Your suggestion that I keep a dream journal seems prudent, especially if I’ve experienced a genuine Wanageeska manifestation. I will record any significant dreams from this point forward. Fortunately, last night’s sleep was, as they say, deep and dreamless. I slept like the dead, and have awakened early, refreshed and up to the task of making my initial case notes.

I’ve been called in to Pannawau to assist local law enforcement in the investigation of the murder of one Christopher Phillips (age 21), and the disappearance of his fiance, Alexandra Melmoth (age 20). Phillips picked Melmoth up at her family’s house one week ago today, and they never returned. A search was undertaken 24 hours later, which lasted three days and turned up two things:

One, Phillips’ car, submerged in nearby Lake Mammedaty.

And two, Phillips himself, dead of multiple stab wounds and left exposed to the elements on the side of Mount Pannawau.

Of Melmoth, no trace was found. At least, not until the autopsy.

I refer you to the relevant portion of the coroner’s transcript. Present were Pannawau county coroner Phil Phillips, Sheriff Theodore Patton, and Captain John Cheveyo of the Alo Reservation Police.


Patton: So whattaya think, Phil?

Phillips: Yeah, there’s something in his mouth, alright. Probably have to break his jaw to get at it, though. Might be easier if we give him a few hours out of the cold, wait for the rigor to pass.


Patton: I think we better go ahead. John, you agree?

Cheveyo: Not my jurisdiction. But, yes. We should go ahead.

Patton: Phil, I’ll talk to Kate, if you want…

Phillips: No, it’s okay. She’s my sister. I’ll talk to her. Don’t know if she’ll forgive me, but… I’ll talk to her.

Alright. This might get a little ugly, gentlemen, so hang on.

<rattle of tools>

As agreed upon by myself and the High Sheriff of Pannawau County, I will now proceed to break the patient’s jaw in order to extract… whatever it is some sick bastard’s shoved into his mouth.

<sharp metallic rapping and the crack of bone>

That should just… about… do it…

<crunching sound, then a pause>

My god, is that…? Teddy, hand me those forceps, will ya?

<rattle of tools>

Patton: What do we have, Phil? Is it– Well, I’ll be damned.

Phillips: Note that I have extracted from the patient’s mouth the finger… possibly the ring finger… of a young woman, I’d say… severed cleanly at the base.


Fingerprint evidence established the digit as Ms. Melmoth’s, and this is the element that caused them to call us. The finger, coupled with the pattern of the stab wounds in Phillips’ torso, lead them to suspect ritual murder of some sort.

And of course, as you know all too well, sir, the Melmoths are a family with whom the Agency has had dealings before. Alexandra’s grandfather Oscar, known locally as “The Old Man,” was responsible for the Yig Incident in 1972, and before that had developed quite a reputation in the more esoteric black market economies of the world. He’s still alive, you might like to know. Stark raving mad since ’72, of course, and completely harmless according to the best authorities on the matter. Still, considering the nature of the case, it’s an element I’ll be keeping an eye on.

At any rate. The coroner further speculates that the finger was severed by means of a cigar cutter or similar device, perhaps one custom-made for this specific purpose. We already have people looking into that possibility, but it may be a few days before any useful information comes of it.

And that’s all I have for now. I’m due to meet Sheriff Patton and Captain Cheveyo in two hours to discuss the case, take a look at the Phillips boy’s car, and canvas the location where they found the body. The Sheriff has expressed some impatience with my desire to revisit a week-old crime scene, especially one that’s been exposed to the elements for all that time. Once he gains more familiarity with our methods, I’m sure he’ll come around.

But first, that continental breakfast!

Agent X-23, signing off.


About Mark Brett

Shaved Yeti. Alien. Writer of stuff. Read my fiction at Read my thoughts on comic books and other dork culture ephemera at View all posts by Mark Brett

One response to “Report 2: Why We Are Here

  • Mark Brett

    Glad you got a good night’s sleep, Clint. Proper rest is important for a man in the field.

    Surprised to hear that Oscar Melmoth’s still alive and kicking. I pegged him for a suicide after that thing in ’72. Not many men would want to keep going after being exposed to the Serpentine Fire of Yig. Guess the old boy’s made of sterner stuff. In fact… You know, the more I think about that case…

    Clint, I’m going to have Denise upload the Icke File to the intra-blog for you later. A refresher couldn’t hurt if you’re dealing with the Melmoths. Yig’s in their blood now, and blood will out.

    But speaking of things that get in the blood, I believe I was telling you a fish story. First, I guess you’re wondering what was in the tackle box.

    Well, it’s kind of hard to describe. The brain tends to shut down the neural pathways to memories like that out of self-preservation. But near as I can recall, it was kind of a stick-looking thing, covered in eyeballs. Eyeballs and teeth. Lots of teeth. It was in there squirming around, trying to get out. I had bent over to look in the box, and when I locked eyes with that thing, I nearly fell in. Dropped to my knees and braced my hands on either side, trying to resist the urge to collapse.

    Stars and the yawning black void started seeping in at the edges of my vision, focusing my eyes more and more on that horrible thing. I could feel my body start folding itself down, down, down, into dwarf matter, into density, my atoms screaming as they were forced closer and closer together, down, collapsing. Into the box.

    Now, Clint, as you know, my eyes can only see a certain narrow range of color. Almost had them burned out of my head one time in bayou country, and they’ve never been the same since. And that’s what saved me. That squirming stick-thing had started glowing, flooding my eyes with an extra-dimensional light that was driving me toward who knows what. But I was only getting part of the show, and that allowed me to wrench myself away. I stumbled out of the camp and off into the woods after Leroy.

    Understandably, that experience left me disoriented. My head was still full of alien color, and I wasn’t thinking straight. So out into the woods I went, with no idea of where that inlet we’d been lead to even was. I might have called Leroy’s name a few times, or maybe not. Mostly, I was just wandering. Bumping into trees and generally making myself look like an awfully good target for any bears or wolves that might have stumbled across me.

    Of course, maybe there wasn’t much chance of that. Because an hour later, when I started getting my bearings again, I noticed something strange: the night sounds had stopped. No crickets, no owls, no nothing. Just the lapping of water on the shore. Now, that spooked me almost as much as the stick-thing, but the way I figured it, if this was a trap, it was already sprung. So I might as well just go down to the lake and follow it back around to that inlet. And when I got there, what do you think I found?

    I found Leroy, fishing in the dark like nothing had happened. My temper got the better of me then, Clint. It had been a long night, and maybe my head wasn’t as clear as I thought it was, because all I could think about was how I was no longer in the mood for Leroy’s obsession with this particular legendary bass. So I kinda barked at him.

    “Leroy!” I barked. “What the hell is that thing in your tackle box?!”

    But Leroy didn’t even stop fishing. He just swiveled his head toward me. Which was quite a sight, considering that I was standing behind him. Then he opened his mouth, and the voice that came out told me that maybe Leroy wasn’t home anymore.

    “Get your rod,” it said. “I think we got us a lunkerrrrrrrrr!”

    And that’s all I’ve got time for this morning, Clint. The paperwork’s never done around here. Never should have let them put me behind a desk in the first place. Anyway. Enjoy the continental breakfast.

    Chief Bill Roberts, signing off.

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