Tag Archives: Wanageeska

Supplemental Report 1: A New Arrival

Sir,

Agent Cordero reporting here. I’ve arrived in Pannawau as ordered, and set up shop at the Fat Beaver Inn. Nice place. Nothing fancy, but homey. Good food. X-23 was right about that, at least.

Denise sends her regards, and will be back at HQ in the morning. Expected some friction there, but she seemed fine with it. Guess she’s a pro at heart. Haven’t seen X-23 yet. Denise says he’s out assisting with the manhunt for the Melmoth girl.

I’ll be curious to see that one, if I get the chance. Be interesting to gauge my resistance to pulling the trigger against that charm effect she gives off. Not that I’ll kill her without authorization. But, considering her current status, I’m getting my mind ready.

Stopped at the Alvin C. Melmoth Memorial Hospital on the way in, to establish my cover as a government medical examiner. The intel we dug up on this doctor that oversaw the Melmoth girl’s post-kidnapping care pans out with what I could get out of the staff down there. Not a staff physician, comes and goes on special retainer, usually only when one of the Melmoths or a close associate needs medical care. Just like everywhere else he’s turned up.

Pretty sure he’s part of the network. A puppet of Oscar Melmoth’s, only brought out when needed. No telling how many people he’s gotten into in this town alone. Can’t look at any of them without wondering if there’s snakes in their heads. Giving me the creeps.

Like this Sheriff Patton X-23’s so fond of. Denise introduced me to him when he stopped in for food between shifts on the manhunt. Solid, unimaginative military type. Cares about his town. Obviously a nice man. But was that him checking out my boobs when we shook hands, or a drooling old lunatic leering out through his eyes?

Sorry, sir. This town’s just giving me the willies.

Might have something to do with what happened on my way in. I took a wrong turn. Careless of me, I know. Won’t happen again. Anyway, I wound up on this… cow path that took me out to the lake. Beautiful country, I suppose, if you’re into that sort of thing. My GPS didn’t know where the hell I was, though, so I stopped to check an actual map. Always keep a map. First thing you taught me, sir.

So I was sitting there, trying to figure out how to get back to the main road, when I looked up and saw a bird sitting on the hood of the car. It was looking right at me. And it had human eyes.

It looked at my map.

It looked back at me.

I leaned out the window and shot it.

I didn’t kill it, don’t worry. I’ve read X-23’s elegiac poesies about the Wanageeska around here, and I don’t want to piss off the spirits. But I also don’t want one of them in my head. Somebody’s got to keep a clean mind on this thing. So I shot over its head, and it took off fast.

Still. It creeped me out.

I’ll be heading back to the hospital tomorrow, sir, to see if I can’t get a little deeper into the mystery of who’s been feeding the Osceola to the patients. I saw a couple of relieved expressions when I introduced myself today, so I’m hoping somebody down there will crack. Time will tell.

— Agent Valerie Cordero, signing off.

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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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Report 17: A Brief Encounter

Sir,

It’s dark, and I cannot sleep. Earlier, I heard a noise like a door opening, and started awake. I rose quietly, so as not to disturb Denise, and crossed to the window. The Mountain seemed quiet and dark, so I went back to bed. But I couldn’t sleep. So I got up, dressed, helped myself to a glass of water, and went outside.

Pannawau is very peaceful at night. Nothing but crickets, and the wind in the trees. Relaxing. Tom and Gladys keep a bench out in front of the inn, next to the beaver. It’s a chainsaw statue, Tom tells me. The beaver, that is. Made by a local artist named Cecil Murden. Quite a character, apparently. Traveled all over the world as a merchant marine, then settled down here in Pannawau to make art. He wears an eyepatch, I’m told, and has a wooden foot.

At any rate. I was sitting on the bench, sipping on a glass of water, meditating on the silence. Then I looked up, and there he was. The tiny bird-faced man. Standing perched on the beaver’s belly.

He looked at me.

He looked at the water.

He looked at me again.

So I sat my drink down on the bench beside me, and suddenly he was there. Wrapping his arms around the glass, he stabbed his beak down into the water repeatedly. Then he threw his head back and swallowed. Stab, back, swallow. Stab, back, swallow. Over and over, with a mesmerizing rhythm. Once he’d had his fill, he stepped back, wiped a drip away from his beak, and bowed slightly. Then he looked up. His gaze took mine, and once again I was plunging down into the black depths of his eyes, up into the night sky, soaring. Seeing as birds see.

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Report 9: The Wambli Waste

Sir,

It’s been a couple of days since my last report, I’m told, and considering that I haven’t heard from you in the meantime, I can only assume that the Manhattan Protocols have been enacted. I hope that you and Denise are well, and look forward to hearing from you soon. And if the worst has happened… God rest your souls, wherever they may have been flung.

Much has happened since I last reported in from Melmoth Memorial. I’m writing to you from there once again, however, this time from my own hospital bed. They tell me, in fact, that I never left, though the evidence of my senses suggests otherwise. I’m not sure how much I can trust those at this moment, however; I’m afraid that events are a bit of a jumble in my head, and I’m not yet entirely clear on what’s been happening outside it in the meantime. The Sheriff tells me “not much,” but I’ll want to speak with John Cheveyo to ensure the same is true on the Mountain.

But now I’m speaking in riddles. Let me back up to before the hospital experience, and bring you up-to-date. I believe I left the story off with John Cheveyo and myself in the kitchen of the Opa Lodge, where he determined that I had faced and shot a Nukpana in my dreams. From there, we continued up the Mountain to investigate a second murder, this one a double homicide. We went as far as we could in the jeep, and continued on foot. The new murder victims were very near where Chris Phillips’ body had been found, up pretty high, but not so high that we needed climbing gear. The paths were steep, but they were there. I looked down and saw Lake Mammedaty shimmering below us, just like in my dream. I looked up, however, and saw no door in the mountain.

I chose not to mention it, and our talk turned to the victims. They were Alo, Cheveyo told me, a couple of teenagers who hadn’t yet been identified. Normally, anyone on the Mountain would know them on sight, but apparently that wasn’t an option with the shape the bodies were in. The best his men had been able to do was tell him that, once again, one of the bodies was male, the other female. And that the female had taken the brunt of the violence.

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Report 7: Touched by the White Mirror World

Sir,

I am sitting in the waiting room of the Alvin Melmoth Memorial Hospital, named for the twin brother of Oscar. Alvin was a philanthropist and international adventurer of some repute, lost and believed killed in 1970 while on a Himalayan expedition. Amazing the things you can learn from lobby plaques.

It’s been an eventful day, and I believe that it will soon become more eventful yet. Possum Reynolds has yet to fully awaken from his coma, but I’m told that the swelling in his brain is going down, and he may yet make a recovery. In the meantime, I’ll be interviewing Alexandra Melmoth on the events of her disappearance and kidnapping. She’s somewhere in the building getting an examination, but once that’s done I’ll have an hour with her, uninterrupted by her family or the hospital staff. I’m looking forward to it. Not because of her beauty, or even because I’m all that curious about what she has to say. After today, I have a pretty good idea of what she’s going to tell me. It remains to be seen how much of it she chooses to share, however, and that is something I’m very interested to discover, indeed.

I’ve come by this newfound knowledge after spending a day immersed in the world of the Alo. John Cheveyo seems to have decided that I’m at least partially trustworthy, based apparently on our investigation of the kitchen at the Opa Lodge. They were busy preparing the Continental Breakfast when we entered, and there was no sign that I had shot the owl-headed man there only an hour or two earlier.

But the layout was exactly as I remembered it from my dream. Slightly dazed, I went over to the counter the Horrible Thing had been lying on. Put my hand on it. The surface was cool and smooth and utterly clean. No stains, and no scratches from where that hoary blade had bitten through the flesh and into the wood. The thing’s awful screams filled my ears again, and I felt the gorge rise in my throat.

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Report 2: Why We Are Here

Sir,

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.

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