Tag Archives: Osceola

Supplemental Report 3: The Experiment

Chief,

Agent Cordero reporting in from the shallow end of the gene pool at the Alvin C. Melmoth Memorial Hospital. Went up to the psych ward today, Chief. Wanted to check out the digging down in the basement first, but something about the set-up down there gives me the willies. I think that’s where the real action is around here, but I’ve got a feeling I’d better not just go barging in. Too many workmen. Too isolated. Too easy to make me disappear. So I’ll try it later tonight, when they’re not working.

The psych ward, on the other hand, is full of normal medical staff I can intimidate however I want. Speaking of whom… Have I said fuck this place? Well, fuck this place. I feel for the people here whose minds are being messed with. I really do. But what was going on in this psych ward… Somebody should have said something. I saw how scared a couple of these people got when I started asking questions. They knew something was up. Maybe they didn’t know how bad it was. But fuck them anyway.

Now, the info I got from Rosemary was kind of sketchy, but it sounded like some real mad scientist stuff was going on. People strapped to tables, she said, multiple IVs, wires running into their heads. I took some of that with a grain of salt. Rosemary’s just a cleaning lady, after all. Could have been somebody hooked up for shock treatment. But she was describing patients lying there like that overnight, which didn’t sound right. So when I arrived this morning, I asked about shock patients first.

That earned me some nervous glances, but they got me the info. Looked on the up and up. I checked in on a few of the patients, and they all seemed about as good as any crazy people do. So I started checking the treatment rooms. Nothing too suspicious there, either. Then I found a locked door. Room 532. Went up to the front desk and very sweetly asked for the key. They couldn’t find it. Memories were kind of fuzzy about what, exactly, that room was used for.

So I stopped being sweet. Flew off the handle. Told them to call maintenance and get somebody up there with either a master key or tools to take those doors off the hinges. About half an hour later, a guy showed up with both. Larry. I liked Larry. He was not remotely prepared for what we saw on the other side of that door. But he was a nice guy. Efficient. He tried the master key first, and was really shocked when it didn’t pop the lock. So he tried a couple of others. No luck. We were both pissed off at that, so we set in on those hinges with a vengeance. Got them out in record time and pulled the doors down.

As it turns out, Rosemary’s description was completely accurate. Room 532 was a nightmare. Tables lined up along both walls, eight of them, with people strapped to them. Or what was left of people, anyway. They were all in pretty bad shape. Emaciated. Not sure why they even needed to be strapped down, really. I doubt any of them could have stood up under their own power.

Anyway. They were all Native American. Alo, I’m assuming. Each of them had three IVs hooked into them. One with blood plasma, one with some kind of nutritional fluid, and the third filled with the Alo Black Drink. So we’ve got plenty of that for the lab to play with now. Pure, undiluted stuff. Can’t wait to see what they make of that. The Pocket Brain went nuts for it.

Sorry, Chief. I keep getting sidetracked. That other detail Rosemary gave me, about the wires in their heads. She was right about that, too. And we’re not talking about electrodes glued to their scalps, either. These people had straight-up electrical wires running down through holes drilled in their skulls. Looked like they’d been there a while, too. The skin had sort of knitted back together around the wires, kind of puckered up all red around the hole. No infections, amazingly enough. Whoever was in charge of the poor bastards was a lot more careful about that than he was about keeping them from looking like Auschwitz survivors.

One other weird thing about those patients: their skulls were malformed. Not so much that you’d immediately notice it. But once you got in close, you realized that their foreheads were too big. They protruded out from the middle, like there was something pressing against them from underneath with enough force to reshape the bone. Maybe a pineal engorgement of some kind, or maybe some kind of new structure growing off the front of the brain. We’ll never know, because–

Anyway. They each had two wires in their heads, one on each side just above and in front of the ears. The lines ran up the walls and connected to a master cable that ran along the ceiling and through the back wall of the room. Larry was looking a little queasy by the time we figured out that set-up. Something wasn’t right in that room, and it wasn’t just the condition of the victims. The air was wrong. Charged, somehow. It was making me a little dizzy, and Larry was already turning green before I suggested we try the door in the back wall.

That one was locked, too, and again none of the master keys worked on it. So it was back to the hinges, Larry getting greener and greener as we worked. I was feeling it, too, that charge in the air seeping in around the edges of my mental defenses. Took us a little longer to get that second door down.

On the other side was some kind of control room. Sorry to be so vague, Chief, but my memory gets a little fuzzy here. I mostly remember gauges and dials. Buttons. Switches. Levers. As I try to describe it now, I realize that what I’m seeing in my head is a cartoon. A drawing out of a comic book. I’m going to try some hypnotic recall here. See if I can’t dredge up something useful. Hang on.

*************

As soon as we opened the door, the pressure on our heads doubled. Larry puked. I wanted to. It was coming from the machines. Constant, pulsing waves of it. Like standing next to a generator. Ten, twenty, thirty seconds later, Larry was down for the count and I found myself standing in front of what I assumed to be the controls. I started throwing switches, slapping buttons, trying something, anything, to make it stop. Out in the ward, I could hear the patients moaning and thrashing around, but there was nothing I could do for them, nothing. I had to save myself, stop the machines, stop them, because no one else could. Who was going to come in there and turn the things off? Rosemary? She wouldn’t even have lasted as long as Larry. The nurses were already too scared of this room to even tell somebody they had a horror movie unfolding under their noses, so it was up to me, up to me and nobody else, and to hell with those poor people with the wires in their heads and their giant goddamn foreheads, they were already lost, already lost before I got there, already dead, and

I’m sorry, Chief. I’m so sorry. I let you down in there. I blindly slapped at the controls until the pain stopped. Because by that time, by the time I’d hit a few buttons and driven the things into overdrive, there was pain. Such horrible pain, so much more than I was ready for. So much more. When it stopped, when I came back to myself, the machines were on fire. I stumbled back. Grabbed Larry and hauled ass. As we stumbled through the ward, I saw a lot of blood. Blood and brains and fire. More fire. They were burning. Burning from the head down, burning because I’d made them burn. I tried not to look. I had to get Larry out of there and get back with fire extinguishers and put out the fire so maybe I could save some of them but I couldn’t save anyone I couldn’t I killed them I killed them I killed them myself.

So I tried not to look, but I did look. And the last patient, the guy in the last bed on the right, he had yanked the wires out of his own head and he was bleeding but not burning and his eyes were open and the light was going out of them and he looked at me. Looked at me with this awful expression of peace. Like he knew. Like he knew that I’d killed him, and he was saying thanks.

*************

Goddammit. Goddammit. Fuck this place. Fuck it. Fuck hypnotic recall and the whole goddamn dirty business. I’m going down to that basement now, Chief. I’m taking my gun. And god help whoever gets in my way.

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Supplemental Report 2: The Network

Chief,

Fuck this town, and fuck its rinky-dink medical services.

Sorry, sir. Unprofessional of me. But, really. Fuck this place.

Agent Cordero here. Obviously, I guess. Spent the day down at the Alvin C. Melmoth Memorial Hospital, a black hole of responsible patient care. Seldom have I seen a medical facility so rife with abuse, and a staff so blind to what’s happening under its own nose.

To be fair, I’m pretty sure there’s no one in the place whose mind hasn’t been tampered with in some way. They all have these weird gaps in their memories, incidents they signed off on that they have no memory of. Lots of that centered around the care of Mr. Possum Reynolds. And the Melmoth girl, of course. Her stay takes things to whole other levels of incompetence. Her grandfather’s puppet doctor with no proper credentials coming in and taking over, that Black Drink crap somebody slipped into her IV drip…

I’d suspect corruption except for what the Pocket Brain told me. I was using it to test for psychoactive substances in the hospital pharmacy – there were a ton, by the way – but it kept giving me these funny readings, psychoactive blips when I wasn’t actually pointing it at anything. I thought maybe it had grown a tumor or something. I’ve had this one a long time, and you know how they get diseased after a while. I was just before popping the skull-plate off it when I realized what was happening:

It was warning me about my damn coffee.

I’d picked up a cup in the nurse’s lounge before coming in. Good stuff, I thought. A little bitter, but you know… Rich. Full-bodied. Whatever that crap is they say in the ads. It finally hit me that the Brain was letting out those funny little yelps every time I took a sip. So I finally just pointed it at the cup. Strongest reading I got all day.

So now I was pissed. They dosed me! They fucking dosed me! I barreled off back down to that lounge, ready to tear somebody a new one, but there was nobody there. I scanned the coffee maker, and bam! Readings off the scale! So I confiscated the son of a bitch. Unplugged it, poured the coffee and the grounds into specimen jars, and hauled the whole damn thing down the hall under my arm and out to the trunk locker in the car.

Raised a few eyebrows there, let me tell you. Raised a few more when I cleared out the cafeteria and started scanning the kitchen. Not as many hits there as I expected, but enough. Highest dosages were in the coffee. Guess it masks the flavor better. But it’s also the ideal food to dose. I mean, do you know how much coffee is consumed by medical personnel on a daily basis? Hospitals practically run on the stuff. You couldn’t find a better vector for psychic assault.

My guess is that anyone who’s ingested food, drink, or medicine at Melmoth Memorial has been compromised. Part of Melmoth’s network or primed to become part of the network when the need arises. I’d suggest that we just Burn the place, except for one thing: Rosemary.

Rosemary’s a cleaning lady down there, and… Remember how I told you that I saw some relieved expressions when I announced myself yesterday? Well, Rosemary was one of those, and today she came forward for a chat. She’s seen all kinds of odd goings-on. People walking around like they’re in a trance, acting funny, acting like they’re not themselves. The psych ward’s the worst. But that’s not all, Chief. Somebody’s digging in one of the basements. Official story is that they’re doing “repairs.” But nobody’s been allowed down there since work began, and she’s seen men carrying out wheelbarrows full of concrete and dirt.

So something more than just mind control’s going on here, Chief. And if we Burn the place, we might never find out what. So I’m going to play dumb, and keep digging. Maybe find an excuse to examine that basement.

See? I don’t always lead with the gun.

– Agent Valerie Cordero, signing off.


Report 22: The Morning After

Sir,

As you could no doubt tell, it was a bad time in Pannawau last night. A lot happened, and I’m not sure my Osceola-fueled mind-hopping exploits entirely captured the scope of it. So I thought I’d codify things with a slightly more formal report than is my norm.

SECTION A: The Events of the Evening

  • First, and most obviously, the Black Mirror Brute came out. I discovered that the Sad Man was not, in fact, summoning the Brute, but trying to distract it from leaving the Mountain and wreaking worse havoc. See Section B below for more details on the Sad Man’s plan.
  • Alexandra Melmoth was on the loose, as well, in a Yig-Form transfiguration seemingly triggered by the presence of the Brute in the Gray World. She changed back in the early morning hours, and is currently in custody on the Alo Reservation. Her family is demanding her release, but the Alo are thus far holding firm. I’ll be heading out to speak with her again later.

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EMERGENCY REPORT: Night Journey

Chief, this is Denise.

Something’s… dammit… something’s gone wrong. I’m–

[unintelligible]

[burst of static]

DAMMIT!

Sorry for the mess, sir. I’m using the live feed from the auto-transcription mic, so this is gonna come out a little stream of consciousness. But I’m in a hurry, so I wanted to dictate this to you from the– gah!

Sorry. Deer in the road. How these people live with rodents running out in front of them all the damn time is– Shit. Deer aren’t rodents. I know that. They’re… What the hell are they? Anyway. You know what I mean.

So I’m in the car, heading up-mountain to the Opa Lodge. Something’s– I had a dream. Something’s wrong with X-23. One of those things – the owl-headed things – has dosed him with something. The Black Drink, I think. He fought it, but– Something’s not right. He was in my head, Chief. He was in my head, and he needs help.

I’m not making sense.

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28: Night on Mount Pannawau

***BEGIN TRANSMISSION***

There is a man standing over my bed. A man with beautiful breasts, and the head of an owl. I can see him through my eyelids. He’s just standing there. Staring with unblinking owl eyes, his face illuminated by the light of the Door. The Door in the Mountain.

That light shines out bright as ever, cascading down the Mountain in an endless torrent. Abundant. Obscene. Inviting. Yes, inviting. It calls out to something in my blood, in my gut, something thick and black and hot, enticing me to…

My forehead throbs, painfully, and the owl-headed man snaps back into focus. He has something in his hand. A bottle. A bottle of something black. Something alive. It twists and writhes in its glass prison, trying to get out. To join with the blackness in me. I feel rather than see the owl-headed man’s intention to let it do just that. Slowly, so slowly, he raises the bottle, pulls loose the stopper, bends over my head, tips the bottle, grabs my chin, forces open my mouth…

The thing in the bottle, so anxious to be loose, now seems in no great hurry. It’s taken the form of a thick black liquid, pouring slowly from the mouth of the bottle. A single quivering drop forms on the bottle’s lip, a dollop of hanging black. Anticipation.

One hand shoots up, grabs the owl’s wrist. The drop shakes, lengthens, swings. Heavy. Black. Pendulous. The strand breaks. The drop falls, and

*************

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