Girl next door hidden camera

A Killer Among the Spaceship Game Show. By Dennis. On October 10, 2020. In Imaginary. After being laid off during the pandemic, Alex responds to an online ad to be a contestant in a spaceship themed reality TV series with game show challenges. Unbeknownst to Alex, they learn one of those challenges is to stay alive. A Killer Among the Spaceship Game Show. Series. I should’ve known there would be a catch to being a contestant in this reality game show. Like millions of others, I lost my job in April due to the ongoing pandemic. Shortly after I made a post on Facebook about looking for a job, an ad appeared seeking contestants for a new reality TV series. To join a game with a blank name, you have to copy a special character known as a Hangul Filler, which might look like just a blank space but is actually an acceptable name for Among Us' code. You ... A Killer Among the Spaceship Game Show. By Dennis. On October 10, 2020. In Imaginary. After being laid off during the pandemic, Alex responds to an online ad to be a contestant in a spaceship themed reality TV series with game show challenges. Unbeknownst to Alex, they learn one of those challenges is to stay alive. Description. Specifications. Show more. In A Killer Among Us, the third installment in the Women of Justice series from author Lynette Eason, when they are thrown into a grisly murder case, hostage negotiator Kit Kenyon and detective Noah Lambert soon realize they are on the hunt for a serial killer. The stakes are raised when they discover he may be hunting one of them too. If you haven’t played the game, the concept is this: You and your friends rush around a modular space station completing tasks, while one of you is secretly a killer hell-bent on sabotaging and... The task of the killer is to assassinate all the other participants. To do so, he can simply tell them that they are dead, or show them his card proving he is the killer. All the killed participants note their death (their own name, time and location of the killing) on the sheet of paper. Check out Among Us [FREE VIP SERVERS]. It’s one of the millions of unique, user-generated 3D experiences created on Roblox. 🚧 [BETA Testing] Report any Bugs. 🚧 PETS ADDED! 🐶🐱 ⭐️ FREE HAT ON 4000 LIKES! ⭐️ You are trapped in a futuristic Spaceship. However there is a Psychotic Killer among you. He will try to sabotage your Ship and kill your crewmates. A Killer Among Us is a case featured in Criminal Case, appearing as the one-hundred twelfth case of the game. It is the fifty-sixth case of Pacific Bay and the final one to take place in the Paradise City district. Previously, Frank had volunteered to escort Danny Moto to the police station so... Crewmates can win by completing all tasks or discovering and voting the impostor off the ship. The Impostor can use sabotage to cause chaos, making for easier kills and better alibis. Play online...

2020.10.20 19:08 roguehero Girl next door hidden camera

I should’ve known there would be a catch to being a contestant in this reality game show. Like millions of others, I lost my job in April due to the ongoing pandemic. Shortly after I made a post on Facebook about looking for a job, an ad appeared seeking contestants for a new reality TV series. The ad was looking for people out of work to pay five thousand dollars a week with possible bonuses. I was a little creeped out by the algorithms’ accuracy, but it wasn’t the first time my personal life was the target of an ad. With no job prospects and out of morbid curiosity, I clicked on the ad. After all, they did offer more money than what I used to make in a month.
The webpage was rather vague about the show. It said it was based on a hit video game and was going to be a mix of reality TV with game show challenges. I assumed they didn’t want to leak too many details. There were a ton of legal conditions, which I skimmed over, and in retrospect, I wish I hadn’t. Auditions were happening that day not far from my apartment, so I grabbed my bike, hoodie, and a face mask, and then made my way to a run-down warehouse building downtown.
There were a series of printed signs with the word “auditions” and arrows leading the way. I thought there would be a long line of people, but it was just me. I began to think I came at the wrong time until I entered this massive empty warehouse space when these two people directed me to stand under a light beam. I wasn’t sure if they were the producers or casting directors, as I never did get their titles, but they were an odd pair. One of them was this tall man in a white suit with pink accents, and the other was this woman in a red dress with a tablet I’ve never seen before. Hollywood types, am I right?
From their metal folding seats, they asked some basic questions about myself, including some health questions. Then they asked me some weird questions.
“How do you feel about spaceships?” the woman inquired.
“I think they’re pretty neat,” I stumbled to answer.
“What would you do if a big scary alien jumped out in front of you,” the man immediately demanded to know.
“Uh, I would probably scream and run away.”
“How many times has someone tried to kill you?” the woman quizzed.
“None, I think…”
The audition ended with them informing me that they would call me tomorrow morning if selected. I left, not feeling too confident. I was shocked when I received a call at 9 am the next day. They said they thought I “would bring a much-needed personality to the show.” They then asked if I could start on Friday with the quarantine process, and I said enthusiastically replied yes.
When I returned to the warehouse, a construction company filled the audition space with unfinished wooden walls. It was like being behind a movie set. The women from the interview introduced herself as Raven and one of the show’s producers. She wore the same sparking red dress as before with a matching face mask. She led me to a sizeable boxed structure with a door covered in a black number seven. Inside was a fully furnished studio apartment with a modern white sci-fi spacecraft theme. On the opposite end was a locked sliding octagon metal door. She informed me they were still building the stage and pointed to the headphones hanging next to the wall-mounted flatscreen TV if I needed them.
I signed a ton of legal documents while she explained I would have to stay here for two weeks as I’ll be living with the six other contestants. However, I would have internet access to keep me occupied. I was getting paid $10,000 to do nothing for two weeks. Awesome, right?
With the paperwork done, Raven walked me over to my uniform, a white spacesuit costume. It didn’t look bulky or uncomfortable like a real spacesuit. Raven showed me the craft supplies to decorate it however I wanted. There were drawers of gray sweatpants and t-shirts for me to wear for the show. Above the drawers and TV was a twin bed. The bathroom was tiny, with a standing shower, toilet, and sink. If I wanted privacy, the bathrooms were the only place without any cameras. There was no kitchen other than a water dispenser and a dumbwaiter for food. Raven told me to change out of my clothes and put them in the dumbwaiter after she left. After the tour, I was left alone.
The clothes they provided were comfortable and fit perfectly, which I was worried that wouldn’t be the case. I learned to sow because I had difficulty finding outfits that worked for me.
About seven days through, time started to drag. I dyed my suit yellow and wrote my name, Alex, on the name patch with a marker. I worked out and did yoga to keep myself in shape. I started to watch shows I was less excited to check out. Thankfully, I was allowed to FaceTime and text my friends and family. The producers didn’t mind as they said it would “build hype.” It was better than talking to the camera above the TV, which I might have had several rants for that camera. In my defense, conversation topics would pop up on the screen when I wasn’t watching anything. The whole quarantine process made me sympathize with the astronauts training to go to Mars.
On the morning of day 14, I put on my spacesuit as instructed by the TV. Right at 8 am, the internet went off, and the sliding door opened. I jumped up from the couch and walked outside into the bright white hallway with an octagon shape. The six other contestants stepped out from their rooms. I have to admit, the producers selected a diverse group of people with three girls and three girls, although everyone was probably in their 20s or 30s. We greeted each other, and then Raven spoke over a speaker.
“Good morning, crew!” Raven greeted with an authorize tone of leadership. “As a member of this spaceship, there will be random tasks for you to compete to keep this ship flying. Successfully complete the task to win bonus cash. At the end of every day, there will be an elimination round. Survive to continue. Good luck and enjoy breakfast in the dining hall.”
With a charming ding, the transmission ended.
“Let’s go eat!” shouted the tallest contestant. He was the only one who didn’t decorate his spacesuit other than writing his name, Jake, in the name badge section.
A woman with the name tag of Sari in a sky blue spacesuit and matching Shayla scarf raised her hand. “Where is the dining hall?”
No one said anything. I think we all half expected Raven to tell us, but when she didn’t, we all awkwardly scattered. I took the left hallway, walking alongside with Maro. Out of all of the spacesuit designs, his was by far the most detailed with drawings of flowers and dragons. During our walk, I learned he was a tattoo artist, and his parents moved to America from Spain before he was born. He and his husband owned a tattoo parlor together when the pandemic hit, putting them both out of work.
Before I could say anything about myself, we wandered into the dining hall at about the same time as the others. The octagonal room had four entrances that were also octagon-shaped, like the hallways. In the center of the room stood a large, octagonal white metal table. It was becoming apparent that the set design team was obsessed with octagons, so from here on out, if I talk about anything, assume it was octagon shaped too.
Scattered along the walls were seven numbed dumbwaiters. I walked over to number seven, slid up the door, and inside was my breakfast sandwich wrap. I brought the tray over to the table and sat next to Maro. A curly blonde-haired woman with a fruit smoothie sat next to me. She decorated her spacesuit with numerous multicolored hearts.
“I love your hair,” she complimented. “You got this whole artsy half buzzcut superhero thing going on.”
“Thank you,” I replied, sliding my hand through my hair.
“Oh, I’m Kate, by the way,” she introduced. “She/her.”
“I’m Maro,” he said with a wave. “He/him.”
“I’m Alex. They. So, Kate, what did you do before the pandemic?”
“Well, I am a singer slash songwriter, and I was planning this big tour, and well, here I am. Granted, I would’ve been couch surfing with some strangers because I was going to do it self-funded, so maybe it’s for the best this all happened.”
“Trying to see the positive side of things,” I said.
“As best I can,” Kate exclaimed before taking a drink.
We chatted over breakfast, with mostly small talk and how we lost our jobs. I couldn’t help but feel how weird and refreshing it was to be around people physically during the whole conversation. I missed it.
About the time we finished eating, Raven spoke over the intercom. “Reminder: You have work to do. Explore the spaceship for tasks to complete and bonus rewards.”
Jake bolted up from the table and ran out through the north door, hollering along the way. The rest of us casually got up and returned our trays to our dumbwaiters, with the guy that sat next to Jake, taking care of his tray too. We went our separate ways.
I knew the warehouse space was huge, but I didn’t expect them to utilize as much space as they did. It didn’t take long for me to get away from everyone. I stumbled upon a door marked with three blue cylinder tubes. The door slid open as I approached. Inside was a ball-pit the size of my bedroom filled with clear balls. In front of the pit was a pedestal with one blue cylinder tube with a sticker that said “fuel-cell” and holes for two others.
“I assume my task is to find the other two fuel-cells hidden in the ball-pit?” I spoke into the room.
No response. I shrugged and carefully dipped myself into the pit. The balls went up past my waist. As I swam around, I became awash with joy. Although there wasn’t a live studio audience cheering me on, I felt like I was on some old Nickelodeon game show. I wasn’t sure how long I was in there before I banged my foot on the first tube in the bottom center. I pulled myself out of the pit and placed it in the slot. The fuel-cell lit up, and a robotic voice announced, “One more left.”
This time, I returned to the pit doing a cannonball dive. I went to the furthest corner, where I found the third one. I raced out and put it the slot. The room lights turned green.
“You’ve received a bonus of $342,” the robotic voice congratulated in a monotone. “Please exit the room.”
As instructed, I left the room. I inspected both ends of the hallway. There was something different. I could’ve sworn the air vents were toward the ceiling and not toward the floor. The spaceship’s design was modular enough that perhaps the TV crew could move things around in an attempt to confuse us, or maybe was I just mistaken?
It was a moot point, so I went left, and at the intersection, I nearly ran into Flint, the guy who cleaned up after Jake. He was the opposite of Jake in appearance. Jake was tall while Flint was short, Jake was muscular while Flint was heavyset, and Jake was white, and Flint was black. Flint also took the time to dye his spacesuit orange. He apologized, and I said it was all good.
“Did you find any challenges?” I asked him.
“Yeah, I was walking down a hallway when this panel slid down, and there was this clear tube sticking out. I was starring at it for a moment when this green ooze started to flow up, and a green light started to flash in a corner with another tube, and then a bunch of tube pieces fell on me. I figured I had to connect them to get the ooze to go to the other end.”
“What did you win?”
Flint gestured to the green gloop on his arm. “I don’t think I won.”
I covered my mouth as not to laugh. “Well, I found a ball-pit room where I had to find two fuel cells.”
“That sounds fun,” Flint said with amazement.
“Yeah, it was,” I admitted. “Anyway, good luck on the next one.”
“You too.”
We traveled opposite directions. I kept my eye out for the same ooze puzzle, but instead, I found a door with a thin black line symbol. The room was about the same size as the previous challenge room. On the opposite end of the room was a large red button, but there was a balance beam over a foam-padded pit to get across. I think I managed three steps before I fell. The moment I hit the ground, the lights in the room went red.
“Failure,” the robotic voice announced without any emotion. “Please exit the room.”
I climbed up the metal ladder and left the room. I didn’t get the same hallway shifting vibe that I did last time. Either the crew didn’t have time to move things around on me, or I imagined things. I explored the hallways without encountering any more challenges when I ended up in the dining hall for lunch. I found the three girls, Kate, Sari, and Alyssa, enjoying lunch together.
“Yo, Alex, come sit with us,” Kate shouted.
I grabbed my lunch, a turkey sub, and joined them. Kate introduced everyone. I learned that the pandemic caused Alyssa to get furloughed from her nonessential medical job. Sari couldn’t complete her art historian dissertation with everything closed.
I asked them about the ship’s challenges, and all agreed we felt like we were on a Nickelodeon game show. Although we had to explain what that meant to Sari – complete with examples of Double Dare, GUTS, and Legends of the Hidden Temple – she ended up agree with us.
The guys entered the dining hall, laughing and flinging green gloop at each other, which they were all drenched with on their spacesuits.
“What happened to you guys?” Alyssa asked, concerned.
“We found this room where we had to work together and throw balls at these cardboard aliens,” Maro explained.
“Those ‘aliens,’’ Flint commented with air quotes, “also had cannons that fired this green goo at us.”
“But we each won $500,” Jake enthusiastically added.
The guys grabbed their lunch and joined the group. I discovered Jake was a personal trainer who lost most of his clients when they lost their jobs. Jake certainly had the energy of a trainer, and I bet he was great at it. Flint was a bouncer, and with all the clubs and bars shut down, there was nothing for him. Although he admitted the downtime was giving him a chance to reevaluate his life because he only started the job because people thought he would be good at it.
Before we could finish eating, the lights flashed yellow.
“Danger,” the robotic voice announced in a high pitch tone. “The ship is under attack. Press the ten yellow buttons throughout to repair our shields.”
We all jumped out of seats and raced throughout the hallways as the voice repeated itself, and a perpetual alarm followed. After a few turns, I found a lit yellow button the size of my hand mounted on the wall. I press it, and the panel flipped, disappearing the button. I ran down the hallway and made a right turn. I couldn’t hear anything over the alarm, and no one was around. I found a second button. I pressed it, and this time the alarm and flashing lights stopped.
“I guess I found the last one,” I boasted. “Good job, Alex.”
I half jogged my way back, trying to remember which way I came. After a few wrong turns, I found everyone gathered in a circle in the dining hall.
“Hey, what’s going on?” I asked.
Maro stepped to the side to reveal Kat on the floor with a knife in her back. “Someone killed Kate.”
“This isn’t really Kate,” Jake stated. “This is clearly a dummy.”
“This isn’t a dummy,” Alyssa corrected.
“How do you know what a dead body looks like?” Jake snapped.
“I’m a fucking nurse,” Alyssa snapped back. “I know a dead body when I fucking see one.”
A flashing red light filled the area.
Raven came on the intercom. “Everyone return to your rooms. Return to your rooms.”
We all looked at each, and Raven repeated herself a third time. We walked back to our rooms. The light was normal. Once I was inside, the door closed behind me. Raven was on my TV screen.
“There is a killer among you who killed Kate,” she coldly revealed. “We offered one of you triple the weekly reward to kill one of your fellow crewmates. I will give you 12 minutes to reflect on your day. Share your thoughts into the camera above your TV and type your vote on who should be eliminated. Choose wisely.”
The screen switching to a red countdown clock, leaving me with my thoughts. Who should I vote to eliminate?
PART 2 I starred into the lens. Am I honestly expected to share my thoughts on who among us could be a killer? I let out a frustrated sigh and let myself rant, hoping that talking out it out would help me think.
“Honestly, I have no idea who would’ve killed Kate. She was so warm and friendly from the little time I got to know her. From the motive of money, we’re all hurting, but who could be hurting the worst? Jake has been really into winning, so maybe he’s in more finical trouble than what he’s lead us to believe. But, I can’t also disregard his accusations that perhaps Kate isn’t dead. That’s a weird thing to say if you were trying to cover your tracks.
If I look at this puzzle from the perspective of who I would expect the least, I would have to vote for Maro. It’s never the obvious answer in any murder mystery, and Maro has been so kind to everyone. Of course, if he were a back-stabbing murder, he would use kindness to be deceitful.”
I put my hands over the keyboard. They froze, unsure of the consequences.
“Plus, if it isn’t Maro, eliminating him from the game would spare him from getting killed,” I reassured myself. I typed his name. “Done. Let’s see what happens next.”
When the clock reached zero, the screen went blank, but nothing else happened. I paced my room, waiting. I tried to entertain myself, but they turned off the internet. I think it was about five minutes later when my door automatically opened.
I cautiously stepped out, just as everyone did. The highway lights were a vivid blue and had a movement pattern that pointed down one way. I didn’t see Maro.
“Are we supposed to follow the lights?” Sari asked.
“I think so,” Alyssa replied and started to follow the lights.
We all followed in silence. My throat was tight from the awkward tension vibes everyone was giving off. I don’t think they expected this part of the show either.
The hallway opened up into a brand new room with three white couches, a wall-mounted tv with how much money everyone’s earned, and a glass door with Maro on the other side. It looked like the tiny room Maro was in was supposed to represent an airlock.
Maro started pounding on the glass the moment he saw us. He spoke, but I couldn’t hear him. His face was red with anger. The airlock room filled up with smoke. We all watched in silence as the smoke cleared out. Maro was gone.
The intercom dinged.
“Carry along with your day,” a friendly robotic voice inspired.
The message repeated itself and concluded with a ding.
“So, did Maro do it?” Flint asked the room.
“I found him in the room first,” Sari revealed. “I saw him wiping his hands clean.”
“It’s always the person you least suspect it in these murder mystery things,” I chimed. “I voted for him.”
“I voted for him for the same reason, too,” Alyssa added with a tone of happiness that someone else had the same idea.
“Well, I voted for Jake,” Flint confessed.
Jake laughed. “I voted for you!”
“I guess we get to play some more games now,” Alyssa said, clapping her hands together.
We all agreed and split up. I was positive the tv crew moved the hallways around while we voted as no route was familiar. I found a challenge room door with two squares side by side, just as Sari did.
“I think you found this one first,” Sari shied away.
“Wait!” I interrupted. “Maybe it’s a room where we have to work together.”
Sari nodded with a smile. “If you want, let’s give it a chance.”
The door slid opened, and we stepped inside. The center of the square room had a ten by ten grid of light-up squares on the floor. Some were blue, and some were red.
“Any idea what we’re supposed to do?” Sari said.
I stepped on a red square, and it turned blue. I stepped on a blue one, and it stayed blue. “I think we’re supposed to turn all the squares blue.”
Sari nodded. “Let’s do it then.”
We started walking on the red squares, turning them blue. After some time, we noticed some of the tiles reverted to red. We started running to keep pace with the squares, working together to get all of the same color. Sari stepped on the last one, causing all of the squares to flash purple.
“Congratulations,” the monotone robotic voice reported. “You each won $347.”
We high-fived each other as the room went dark.
“Did we cause a power outage?” I joked.
“This game did use a lot of lights,” she pointed out.
“That’s true. Hold my hand. I think I can get us to the door.”
“Okay.”
I led us back to the door. We only managed to step on each other twice, so I count that as a success in my book. The door opened automatically, to a lit hallway.
“Must’ve had an outage in just that room,” I commented.
“I think so,” Sari agreed. “Hey, weren’t the air vents toward the bottom?”
I looked around the hallway for any differences. “Yeah, I don’t remember. I had the same feeling the air vents were in a different place after one of the challenges I did earlier, but I shrugged it off.”
“Weird.”
After a moment of silence of Sari staring at a vent, I told her I would look for more challenge rooms. I went down a hallway while Sari kept staring. After two turns, I found the same tube puzzle Flint first found. Since I knew what to expect, I worked fast to connect the tubes to allow the green ooze to flow to the other end. When linked together, a screen covered the puzzle with $100 written on it.
I did a victory dance, but my celebration was interrupted by a scream. I bolted to the source to find Alyssa – still alive – against a hallway wall holding a hand over her chest.
“Are you okay?” I asked as I jogged up to her.
“Yeah, I thought I saw something in the vents,” she explained.
I looked at the vent in front of her. “Nothing now.”
“Yeah, I think I’m just hungry,” she consented. “You think dinner is ready?”
“We can go look,” I reassured her.
We made our way to the dining hall together. Along the way, we talked about the challenges we faced. I also told her about how I believed the rooms were moving.
“Okay, so it isn’t just me,” Alyssa said, relieved. “I thought I was going crazy the first time I thought the path was different.”
“Me too,” I said without any enthusiasm. My mind got hung up on another topic I wanted to asked Alyssa now. “So, about Kate. Do you think she was really dead? Like it wasn’t a fake body?”
Alyssa was quiet for what felt like an eternity. “It looked so real, but at the same time, they’ve put a lot of effort into this show, so maybe it was all fake.”
“They didn’t give us time to inspect things,” I mentioned.
“True. Kate could’ve been in on the whole thing too.”
We turned the corner and ended up in the dining hall.
“I wasn’t expecting to get here until a few more turns,” I remarked.
Alyssa playfully punched me on the shoulder. “Don’t mess with me.”
We opened our respective dumbwaiters to find dinner ready. We sat and talked about our favorite movies. Flint was the first to join us, followed by Sari and Jake. Thankfully, a friendly message from Raven instead of a surprise challenge concluded our dinner time.
“Please return to your rooms when finished,” Raven kindly directed. “Get some rest as you’ll have a busy day tomorrow.”
One by one, we went back to our rooms. When I went to my room, all alternative routes were closed. Once inside, the door automatically locked behind me. I turned on the TV. The producers returned Internet access, so I watched some movies until I got tired and retired to my bed.
I woke up at my usual time, and the door was already open. Although I was still in my sweatpants and t-shirt, I popped my head out. The hallway lights were dim, and the producers opened all the doors. I jumped in the shower, put on some fresh clothes, my spacesuit, and went to the dining hall.
“Good morning,” I greeted as I stepped inside.
Alyssa, Flint, and Jake looked up and glared at me.
“You look awfully fresh,” Jake accused.
“What?” I muttered, taken back by the harsh comment. “Why would you say–”
My eyes noticed Sari’s body with her head cut off. I covered my mouth. I could feel the room getting smaller as everyone stared at me. I wanted to vomit.
Alyssa crossed her arms. “You were the last one to arrive last time.”
A flashing red light filled the dining hall.
“Everyone return to your rooms,” Raven ordered over the intercoms. “Return to your rooms.”
Without hesitation or having Raven repeat herself a third time, we all walked back to our rooms. When I got back to mine, Raven was already on the TV. The doors closed.
“Maro was not the killer,” she informed. “Now Sari is dead. Vote to eliminate the right person this time if you want to make it off this ship alive.”
A 12-minute countdown clock replaced the feed of Raven.
“What the fuck,” I blurted out to the camera. “Does everyone think I did it now? Fuck. Who could it be?”
I sat there, contemplating my choices. I reevaluated who could be the most desperate for the money, but nothing new came to light. Then I started to think who could physically be able to cut off someone’s head.
“It has to be Jake. He’s the strongest. He could do it.” I typed in his name. “I hope he didn’t convince everyone else it was me.”
The timer disappeared. This time, my door opened immediately with three faceless people in bright orange hazmat suits.
“You have been eliminated,” one of them ordered through a voice box, confirming my fear. “Come with us.”
I got up, and they led me to the airlock room where they left me. About a minute later, the rest of the crew came into the room to witness me go. I tried to scream that I was innocent, but I knew no one couldn’t hear me. The room filled up with smoke, and I felt two pairs of hands guide me out of the room.
The smoke cleared away, bringing me behind the film stage. The two guiding hazmat personnel left me in front of a cheap folding table with a box of my belongings and a check of my earnings. Before I could ask any questions, they left through a metal door. I followed the series of arrows out of the building. I tried to get back inside, but they locked the doors.
I waited around for a few minutes, expecting Raven or one of the other producers to debrief me or do some final on-camera interview, but no one came. I walked back to my apartment. If it weren’t for the pandemic, I would’ve called a friend or a Lyft. I had been inside so long I kind of forgot what the sun and wind felt like, so I embraced the walk. Surprisingly, I didn’t get any attention for my outfit or at least none that I realized.
When I got home, I called my friends and family and told them about the show. They all had a good laugh. Everyone was of the opinion that the deaths were fake. I didn’t disagree them as I was leaning toward the same opinion when I was on the ship. I asked everyone to keep an eye out for the show because I was curious about the outcome.
About a week later, I landed a new job. I tried to search online for the other contestants, but I couldn’t find any details about anyone. I contacted practically every tattoo shop in the area, thinking someone would know Maro, but no luck. Did he lie about his profession? Was he an actor? Or maybe he lived out of state? I guess I didn’t have enough information about anyone to be able to track them down.
Months later, nothing new surfaced. I still haven’t heard from the show’s producers or any of my crewmates. Now, I’m sharing my story online with you. Does anyone know anything about this show?
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2020.10.18 17:52 sirnoodlenodII Girl next door hidden camera

I am posting this story online in hopes that someone out there hears what I have to say and believes me. My name is Ben Shapiro. I live an ordinary life in the United States. Like most people I own a lot of libs, but I also own a lot of video games. That’s right. Video games. I try not to talk about it much, but my favorite video game franchise is Sonic the Hedgehog. It’s extremely popular among conservative talk show hosts for some reason.
But if we talk about it publicly, we are ostracized. Remember when Glenn Beck was kicked off Fox News? That’s because of his segment on why Sonic is better than Mario. So we try to keep quiet about our love of Sonic. But one of my favorite pastimes is to collect rare and obscure Sonic games. I own at least three Sonic pachinko machines and even own a signed copy of Sonic Dreams Collection.
I will often go to flea markets or garage sales looking for vintage Sonic games and other merchandise. I have spent approximately sixty five thousand dollars on Sonic media, including a very expensive commission of a drawing of me hanging out with Sonic and Knuckles at Six Flags. But that was far from the biggest price I ever paid for Sonic. No. That day came just a few weeks ago when my wife, who is a doctor by the way, and I walked into a Gamestop.
The building itself was decrepit and disgusting. The lights flickered grimly, and half the shelves were basked in darkness. The whole place reeked of body odor. There was a sullen look of despair on the face of every single person there. There was truly a depressing presence hanging over every inch of that place. In other words, it looked like a perfectly ordinary looking Gamestop. But it wasn’t. This Gamestop housed a truly eldritch horror that I was unknowingly about to welcome into my life.
There was, of course, the standard affair of PlayStation and Xbox games. Nothing too exciting. I had no interest in Red Dead Redemption 2 or Sekiro, Shadows Die Twice. I have no interest in normie trash like that. Eventually, a display case in a dark corner of the store caught my eye. Now we are talking. My wife, Dr. Shapiro, and I sauntered over to the counter for a closer look. There were some random Gameboy and PlayStation games. But what really surprised me was a CD with the words Sonic Adventure 2 written on it in black sharpie.
The Gamestop clerk walked over to us.
“Is there anything I can help you with?” she asked, her horrible breath wafting into my face.
“Yes,” I said. “What is the deal with this copy of Sonic Adventure 2?”
The woman scratched her head. “If I remember correctly, some crazy lunatic brought that game in. He said it was haunted.”
“Really?” I asked.
She replied. “Look, I don’t fucking know. Now do you want it or not?”
“I’ll take it!” I exclaimed. My wife paid for the game and we quickly exited the store. On the way home, I explained to my wife that Sonic Adventure 2 for the Sega Dreamcast is far superior to the Nintendo GameCube port. The GameCube port was horribly butchered. You would think the port was done by Democrats. Yes, it’s that bad. When we finally got home, I dusted off my old Sega to give my new game a try.
The game started up perfectly normally. I breezed through the main menu and went to story mode. Hero and Dark story were both already available as usual. But I noticed another story. Hell story. I could not recall there being a Hell story when I first played Sonic Adventure 2. So that seemed a little odd. But I was too excited to play some Sonic to think about it for very long. I selected Hero story and was presented with the opening cutscene of Sonic jumping out of a helicopter.
The first level City Escape started up and I felt a rush of excitement. My only complaint with this level is the lack of homeless people scattered throughout the streets. This is clearly supposed to be San Fancisco, and we all know that liberal run cities are a hotbed of homelessness and poverty. No wonder Sonic is trying to escape from the city. Because liberal run cities are awful and I hate them.
It had been a while since I played Sonic Adventure 2, but had little trouble handling the blue blur. I guess you could say I am a bit of a professional gamer. I quickly made it to the chase sequence with the semi truck. But I noticed that there appeared to be realistic human screaming whenever the truck ran over the cars on the sides of the road. It sounded a lot like how some people scream when I own them with facts and logic.
Sonic was then cornered by a GUN agent inside a robot called Big Foot. But every time Sonic hit the cockpit, the pilot would scream out in pain and call for his family. Once I defeated him, the robot exploded and realistic chunks of blood and guts rained down over the battlefield. I didn’t remember any of this from previous playthroughs, but sometimes even extremely smart Harvard graduates like me forget one or two things.
Then my favorite Sonic the Hedgehog character appeared. Shadow the Hedgehog. I was so excited that my voice almost raised by half a decibel. I know all the words to this scene so well that I was mouthing along with the characters. Except there was one problem.
Shadow is supposed to say “My name is Shadow. I'm the world's ultimate life form! There's no time for games. Farewell.” Instead he said this. “My name is Shadow, and your days are numbered, Ben Shapiro.”
I have been threatened at least sixty times in my life, but never by a cartoon hedgehog. Needless to say, this was quite unusual. Is it possible that the big tiddy goth girl who worked at Gamestop was telling the truth? Was there some kind of evil force locked away inside the disc spinning around inside my Dreamcast? Or maybe that half a Bud Light I drank was really getting to me. I decided to keep a level head and push onward.
The next few levels went by without too much trouble. I’ve always been a fan of the Knuckles and Tails levels. I have watched a lot of YouTube videos of people saying these levels are not as good. But those people are morons. You heard me, morons. Anyway, I made it to the scene where Amy breaks Sonic out of Guantanamo Bay. I love this scene. Sonamy is easily my favorite ship. They have such great chemistry.
Seriously, do not try to tell me that Sonic belongs with Sally Acorn, or Princess Elise, or Big the Cat. Amy is his one true love. I’m sorry, but hedgehog marriage should be between a hedgehog and a hedgehog. Otherwise, the entire society of Mobius would collapse. I have done quite a bit of research on this so do not even bother trying to debate me in the threads.
Getting back to the game. I noticed something a little strange during the Guantanamo Bay cut scene. In the jail cell are copious amounts of notes written by Gerald Robotnik. But I noticed a different note sprawled along the wall in hyper realistic blood. It said “I’m coming for you Ben Shapiro.” I had no idea what to make of this. Was this some kind of visual glitch? Sonic Adventure 2 is a pretty old game, after all.
It was at this point that I was getting very tired. I had a busy day of talking about how all people on Medicaid are freeloaders ahead of me and I needed my beauty rest. I turned off the Dreamcast, got up to stretch and made my way for the bathroom until I heard a faint whisper. A faint whisper that shook me to my very core. It said “Hey I’ll play with you some other time!”
And it almost sounded like Sonic. It sounded somewhat like Ryan Drummond, but there was a hint of Jaleel White. Maybe a touch of Jason Griffith and a splash of Roger Craig Smith. Also there was some Martin Burke and Ben Schwartz too, as well as Jaleel White. I immediately wet myself. Possibly out of fear, or possibly because I have poor control of my bladder, or possibly both.
I put on my jammies and hopped into bed with Doctor Shapiro, who is also my wife by the way. I tossed and turned for several hours. Sleep eluded me. My mind was racing with thoughts about what had just happened. Am I going crazy?
“No. You are not going crazy.” The voice came from the foot of my bed. I looked up and saw Reggie Fils-Aimé, the former C.E.O. of Nintendo, standing over me. “You are not crazy,” he said in a calm voice. “You are in terrible danger.”
“What are you doing here?” I asked Reggie Fils-Aimé. “You are on the board of directors at Gamestop. Aren’t you busy trying to keep your company from going bankrupt?”
“That is why I am here.” Reggie’s voice boomed throughout the room. “Customer service is very important to me. And I fear that you are in trouble of having bad customer service. You see, the video game you purchased from Gamestop is haunted. If you are not careful, you could meet a grizzly fate.”
I was very annoyed that Reggie was talking to me this way. “Listen here Reggie,” I said in a stern voice. “If you don’t get out of my house I will grab my shotgun and make you leave.”
Reggie chuckled. “HA HA HA HA! You don’t understand. I am not in your house.” Reggie snapped his fingers. The walls and floor of my bedroom began to dissolve. I turned to my wife. Doctor Mor Shapiro, but she was already gone. It was just Reggie and I alone in a dark void.
I looked over to Reggie, who had a smug grin on his face. “What are you?” I asked in disbelief.
Reggie walked closer. “Do you really think they let anyone be the C.E.O. of Nintendo? Absolutely not. My powers far exceed those of any human. Including you, Ben Shapiro. So I think it’s about time you started treating me with respect. And if you don’t listen to me now, things could end very badly for you, my friend.”
Reggie Fils-Aimé was right. “Well then spit it out!” I said. “What is going to happen to me?”
Reggie snapped his fingers again. We were transported to a living room covered in blood. Forensics teams were taking pictures. I looked over and saw two men kneeled over by the television. The screen was broken, and an overturned Sega Dreamcast was next to it.
“I can’t believe it!” One of the men said. “It appears to be some kind of quill. Like from a hedgehog. But it’s blue.”
“That is impossible!'' The second man shouted. “Hedgehogs are not blue, dumbass.”
“Would you just shut up and let me do my job, dickhole?”
The two men faded away, along with the rest of the gruesome scene. “Do you understand now?” Reggie asked. “If you keep playing that game, you will be killed.”
My hands were shaking. My lips were trembling. My throat was a little scratchy. “Was this really the work of Sonic the Hedgehog?” I asked.
“I’m afraid so.” Reggie sighed.
“I can’t believe Sonic would do this.” I started sobbing.
Reggie patted me on the back. “It’s not that surprising, honestly. Sonic has always been a bad boy.”
“What am I supposed to play now?” I asked. “How can I go on without Sonic.”
Reggie comforted me. “It’s okay. I’ll tell you what. Super Mario 3D All Stars is now on sale. I can put one aside for you to pick up at Gamestop tomorrow.”
I froze. Suddenly, everything became clear to me. I chuckled. “You just overplayed your hand, Reggie boy.”
“What are you talking about?” Reggie said defensively. “Don’t you want to play Super Mario 64 with updated HUD sprites?”
I laughed in Reggie’s face. “So this was all a ruse to trick me into denouncing Sonic? You have some impressive powers, magic man. But it will take more than that to fool Ben Shapiro.”
Reggie’s face turned red. “Listen to me!” he shouted. “Sonic the Hedgehog is a murderer. You are doomed if you keep playing that game.”
I laughed even harder. “Oh yeah, and is Master Chief a pedophile?”
Reggie fell silent. “Alright, Ben. If you want to keep playing that game, I won’t stop you. But I hope your body is ready. I hope it is ready to experience pain and agony like you have never known before. I hope your mind and spirit are prepared for the wrath of Sonic. Very few people are more powerful than me. Doug Bowser, Shigeru Miyamoto, the Nostalgia Critic. But Sonic is very close. You won’t be able to beat him on your own. So if you need help, just call out to me. And I’ll be there.”
I rolled my eyes. “God, you are more annoying than Alexandria Ocasio Cortez. Just get me out of here already.” Reggie Fils-Aimé stood silently for a moment. I could see the conflict in his face. Perhaps he was being honest. Or maybe he was upset that he couldn’t trick me. It did not matter at this point. I love Sonic, and it is impossible for anyone to change that. Reggie snapped his fingers one last time. I was suddenly back in bed, sweat running down my brow. Was it all just a dream?
I calmed myself down. Alright Ben, let’s think about this factually and logically. Reggie Fils-Aimé does not have magic powers. Super Mario 3D All Stars is a lazy port and a rip off. Hedgehogs do not actually exist. I went to the bathroom and splashed some water on my face. When I turned off the tap, I heard music off in the distance. I would know that music anywhere. It was the song my wife and I danced to during our wedding. It was the menu theme of Sonic Adventure 2. Also my wife is a doctor.
I stumbled, half asleep into the living room. Sure enough, Sonic Adventure 2 was on the television. Silly me. I must have forgotten to turn it off. I stepped towards the game console, then stopped. After that nightmare, it might be better to stay up for a while. What harm could there be in that. I sat down on the couch, grabbed the controller and set my gaze on the television screen, which illuminated the dark room with comforting, familiar light.
The game was already on the story select screen. The cursor hovered over that mysterious third game mode, Hell Story. I’m not sure what provoked me to select that option. Was it simply curiosity? Or was it some kind of self hatred? Was I trying to prove something? Even on the other side of all this, I’m still not sure. What goes through a man’s mind while he is ruining his life? Is any thought justified? All my accolades and knowledge. Is it all worthless in the face of one stupid act?
Hell Story started off with a cutscene of Dr. Eggman. I love Dr. Eggman. Shadow might be my favorite, but Eggman is the character I relate to. Amazing physique, incredibly high IQ, completely misunderstood. Dr. Eggman also reminds me of my wife for some reason. I’m not sure why. But something was clearly very wrong with Eggman in this cutscene. He was sitting alone on the floor of the Space Colony ARK, sobbing quietly to himself.
“Please!” He cried. “Don’t do it. I’ll put my evil past behind me. I will never defame the moon again. I’ll return the Chaos Emeralds. Just please. Don’t. kill. Me.” Eggman’s words were trembling at this point. Suddenly another figure came into view. It was Sonic the Hedgehog. And he was holding a gun.
“Sorry Eggman, but I can’t let you live any longer.” Sonic cocked his gun. “Now get a load of this.” The screen went dark. Bang. I couldn’t believe it. Doctor Eggman was fucking dead.
A loading screen popped up for the first level. It was a Knuckles level. It was called Escape Pod. I had to collect three keys to unlock the door to the escape bay of the space colony. There was also a time limit of eleven minutes and thirty four seconds. The level was actually quite fun. I even felt like a kid again. But Sonic’s voice would frequently come over the intercom. “I’m coming to get you, Knuckles.” “You are running out of time. And then you are next, Ben Shapiro.”
This put a bit of a damper on my experience but I still really enjoyed the level. The next level was a Tails level. I had to make it to the escape pod that I had unlocked as Knuckles. The strangest thing about this level was that there were no enemies or music. It was just Tails walking through a dark and lonely spaceship. It reminded me of my last birthday party. Sonic would come over the intercom in this level too. He said such awful things. “I am going to kill you Tails.” “You are dead Tails.”
I beat the level without too much trouble. But when Tails arrived at the escape pod, Knuckles was nowhere to be found. Tails cried out for him, but there was no response. Tails then started weeping. Between the sobs, I could hear faint footsteps. I knew those footsteps anywhere. It was Sonic.
“Hey Tails!” Sonic called out. “Did you see what I did to Baldy McNosehair? I think we should change his name to Corpsey McNoface.”
“Why are you doing this?” Tails cried. “You’re a good guy! You are supposed to help people!”
Sonic laughed. “I am helping people, Tails. It might not seem like it, but there are some very bad people who need to be taught a lesson.” Sonic looked straight at the camera. “There are some very bad people, indeed.” He pointed his gun right at me. I’m not sure what it was, but I somehow knew I was in great danger. I ducked out of the way of the television. The screen shattered as a bullet flew through the glass.
The bullet grazed my leg as I tumbled down to the floor. Sonic the Hedgehog had just tried to kill me. I was in complete shock. I haven’t felt this way since Obama won the 2012 election. My entire life was now in shambles. My hero, my friend, my first love just tried to kill me. The words of Reggie Fils-Aimé rang through my head. Sonic has always been a bad boy. It was true. But why me? Why Ben Shapiro? Everybody loves Ben Shapiro. And then it hit me. “Oh my god. Sonic must be a liberal.”
Environmentalist themes are rampant in Sonic games, the fact that Sonic always runs around in the nude, the fact that his fur is blue. I pulled out my phone and Googled “Is Sonic the Hedgehog a democrat?” I found an image of a Bernie Sanders rally. And sure enough. There he was hidden in the crowd. Sonic the Hedgehog. He was holding a sign up that said “Free Healthcare for All”. I felt a sinking feeling in my stomach. How could this be? Why did I never notice?
Rivers of blood were running down my leg at this point. I called out “Is there a doctor in the house?!” To my dismay, my wife, who is a doctor by the way, had just gone out for milk. So there was in fact no doctor in the house. I crafted a makeshift tourniquet out of copies of the Constitution that I keep in every single drawer of my house. I was no longer bleeding like a stuck pig, but I knew I would lose consciousness soon if I didn't act.
Suddenly, I heard a loud shattering sound come from the guest room. Oh my God. It must have been the other television. I limped over to the room to see that it was empty. The television appeared to have been broken from the inside. Sonic was inside the house. I could tell. I scanned the room for any sign of where he might have gone. I saw that the guest closet door was closed. Gotcha, I whispered under my breath. I reached under the guest bed and pulled out my shotgun.
I crept up to the door. I heard heavy breathing coming from the other side. I cocked my shotgun, stuck it up against the door, and fired. A loud howling erupted from the other side of the door. Sonic was finished. I opened the door and flicked on the light to get a better view of my handiwork. My jaw dropped as the shotgun slipped out of my hands and onto the ground. I had just shot Knuckles the Echidna.
“Fuck! Holy Fuck! Jesus Christ! You just fucking shot me!” Knuckles bawled. “What the hell is wrong with you?!”
“I am so sorry. I am so sorry.”I told him.
“You fucking idiot! You shot me! You goddamn moron!”
“Hey, I happen to have a very high IQ.” I told him. Knuckles continued screaming for a minute or two until falling silent. He was dead. A painful silence filled the room. My mind was racing, but at the same time, it was also completely blank. They don’t prepare you for this at Harvard Law School.
I picked the shotgun back up and stumbled back into the living room. The Sega Dreamcast was gone. “I know you are here, Sonic!” I shouted. “So just come out now!”
Silence. My eyes kept darting all around the room. He could be anywhere I thought. The adrenaline in my system that was keeping my leg from hurting was starting to wear off. Fatigue was setting in. Shit. If I don’t deal with Sonic soon, I’m a goner. Out of the corner of my eye, I thought I saw something in the kitchen.
Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang!
It was nothing. Then a chilling realization hit me. I was out of bullets. Then I heard his voice.
“You should be careful, Ben. Are you not aware that seventy percent of accidental gun deaths occur in the home? If you are not careful, your love of the second amendment is going to get you killed. And we wouldn’t want that, would we?” Fear cascaded through my nervous system. I tried to pinch myself awake, but this was no dream. This was reality. I took a deep breath and turned around.
There he was. Sonic the Hedgehog. Hyper realistic blood running down his face. My first thought was to run. But I knew that would be pointless. I knew that he could snap my neck in a millisecond if he wanted to. I was a fly caught in his web. And I knew he wanted to take his time with me. To torture me. To put me in so much pain that I would forget my own name or even forget what a disaster the Affordable Care Act was. I was doomed.
“Don't worry, buddy.” Sonic taunted. “This will only hurt a lot.” He started to walk closer towards me. Each step like the gong of a bell in my ears. I never should have walked into the Gamestop. How could the free market have done this to me. I had only one hope. I cried out for Reggie. He was the only one who could stop this. There is no way he would let Gamestop get bad publicity like this.
As Sonic stepped closer, a cloud of smoke appeared. Out of the fog, Reggie Fils-Aimé appeared. “Thank God, you came!” I smiled.
“Anything for a customer.” Reggie turned his attention towards Sonic, who was still smiling with his smug smile that he does.
“So, you called on your big brother to help you out, Ben. That is so sweet. I guess I will have to get rid of you both then. I have always wanted to get my hands on Mario. But I guess you will have to do, Reggie.”
“Silence!” Reggie’s voice boomed throughout the house. “You will never defeat me Sonic. I am but a mere projection of the real Reggie Fils-Aimé. But I am still ten times stronger than you could ever hope to be. You are nothing more than a stain on the world of gaming. You should have been wiped out years ago, but you keep hanging on. You are quite resilient. I am afraid that your resilience ends tonight. I will do all in my power to destroy you, Sonic. You will never again torture any-”
Sonic leapt forward, jamming his knee into Reggie’s stomach. Reggie yelled out in disbelief before exploding into a puff of smoke.
“What. How. Did.” I stuttered my words in absolute fear.
Sonic dusted himself off.” I knew he was too weak to handle me. After all. Sega does what Nintendon’t.” The room was spinning at this point. I spun around towards the front door. Maybe if I could just get outside, I would be safe. I started towards the door, but collapsed due to exhaustion. Sonic started laughing at me. I could tell by his laugh that he was absolutely giddy as he watched me try to escape with my life.
“Come on, Ben!” Sonic said. “We could go to Six Flags. Just like you’ve always wanted. You, me, Knuckles. Oh wait, you killed Knuckles, didn’t you. That was very naughty of you, Ben, I think you’re going to need a time out. A permanent time out!” I was at the door at this point, my bloody hand struggling to get a grip on the knob. Sonic walked closer. End of the line.
Suddenly the door opened. Dr. Shapiro, my wife, was back with the milk. “Oh my God!” She screamed. “Ben, are you okay!” I tried to speak but I was too tired to move my mouth. For once in my life, I was speechless.
“You!” Sonic shouted in disbelief. “What are you doing here?” I was confused by Sonic’s words, but I knew I needed medical attention right away. With what little strength I had left, I looked at my wife and pleaded.
“Please dear, I need a doctor.”
My wife looked at me, revealing a pain hidden in her eyes. “I have to tell you something, Ben. I am not really a doctor. I was never a doctor.”
“What!?” I said. “Of course you are!”
“No.” She said. “I have been lying about my entire life. You see, I am a demon hunter. And I have been hunting Sonic the Hedgehog for decades now. You see, Sonic is a Demon.”
“What!” I cried. My wife sighed.
“I come from a place known as Genocide City. At least that is what everyone called it after Sonic killed everyone there. My mother hid me under the floorboards so Sonic didn’t get me. I have spent my whole life training so that one day I could finally defeat him. I knew that Sonic hated conservatives. And I knew that you were obsessed with finding anything related to Sonic. So I decided to marry you as a way to find Sonic. That day has finally come. Don’t worry, Ben. I will take it from here.” My wife pulled out a giant sword. “Alright Sonic,” she said. “Let’s dance.”
Sonic ran straight into my wife, pushing them both through the front door of the house. They began fighting out on our open lawn, moving so quickly I could hardly tell which blurry figure was my wife and which one was Sonic. Soon, the homeless people who all hang out in our neighborhood started watching.
“What is that thing?!” one called out. “It looks like some kind of creature!”
Another answered, “That’s just Ben Shapiro.”
I could not tell who was winning the fight. The two moved at such incredible speed that I could not tell what was even happening. It was not until my wife was sent through the wall of our house that I started to suspect she was losing. Although her giant sword was incredibly cool looking, it seemed like she had trouble actually hitting Sonic with it. I am not sure how one prepares to fight a demon. I took a demon slaying elective at Harvard Law, but that was mostly just theory.
Eventually, my wife was able to pin Sonic underneath her sword. Sonic pushed hard against it, driving himself further into the ground. “Give it up, Sonic!” She cried. “I am sending you back to hell!”
Suddenly the sword broke in half, and my wife lost her footing. Sonic took advantage of this moment and quickly pinned underneath his Soap shoe. “I am starting to get annoyed at how weak you all think I am. In case you all forgot who I am. I’m Sonic! Sonic the Hedgehog! I am the fastest thing alive!!”
I had to think fast. If I didn’t do something, it might all be over. And then it hit me. I called out. “Hey Sonic!”
“Huh?!” Sonic turned to face me. “Well, well, well. If it isn’t Ben Shapiro. The one who awoke me from my slumber. Sorry about your house. And your lawn. Any last words before I ruin the rest of your life?”
“Mario is better!”
Sonic froze. “What did you say?!”
“Mario is better than Sonic!” I said again. I stood to my feet, a rush of strength coursed through my veins. “Eight of the fifty best selling games ever are Mario titles. Sonic only has one. Level design in Mario games is vastly superior to that of Sonic games. Super Mario Galaxy is one hundred times more polished than any 3D Sonic title. Sega has no idea how to make a good Sonic game, whereas Mario games have remained consistently good for thirty five years.”
Sonic was clearly confused. “What are you talking about? Aren’t you one of my biggest fans? Why would you spread such nonsense?”
I chuckled. “I’m not spreading nonsense. I’m spreading facts and logic.”
“What!?” Sonic took a step back in shock, and then realized that my wife had slipped out of his grasp. Just then, she pierced through his body from behind using the broken end of her sword. Sonic gasped out for air, clearly struggling to breathe. “You bastard!” he shouted.
“Sorry, Sonic.” My wife said plainly. “But it looks like it’s game over!” It was at this point Sonic began inflating. His true demonic form was finally coming to light. Sonic’s body continued to grow in size. It reminded me of images I used to look at on Deviant Art Dot Com. Sonic moaned and roared. And then finally, the demon exploded, raining hyper realistic blood down over the entire block. The crowd of homeless people surrounding our house cheered out. Finally the nightmare was over.
By this point, everything became a blur. The next thing I knew, I was in a hospital bed. My wife was there, along with a real doctor, who jumped up when they saw me wake up.
“Thank god you are alive, Ben!” My wife said. “We are all so happy you are alive!”
“Yes,” the doctor agreed. “This truly is a miracle. Anyway your bill is one hundred and fifty thousand dollars.” We all started laughing. God bless America.
After a while I finally returned home. We buried Knuckles out in the backyard, and I bought myself a copy of Super Mario 3D All Stars. It might be a rip off. But the games are still quality. Not long after these events we moved to Nashville, Tennessee and I accidentally misplaced my haunted copy of Sonic Adventure 2. Otherwise I would have dumped a rom onto the internet to prove that any of this happened. Oh well.
I learned a lot about myself during these times. I learned to stop obsessing over Sonic the Hedgehog. I finally went to Six Flags. All by myself. And it was fucking dope. I also learned that my wife is not a doctor. Boy, do I have egg on my face. I also learned the importance of facts and logic. Well, I guess I already knew that. But I reaffirmed that I was correct. And most importantly, I learned that I should never step foot in a Gamestop again.
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2020.10.18 16:41 KillerBlaze9 Camera girl hidden next door

I am posting this story online in hopes that someone out there hears what I have to say and believes me. My name is Ben Shapiro. I live an ordinary life in the United States. Like most people I own a lot of libs, but I also own a lot of video games. That’s right. Video games. I try not to talk about it much, but my favorite video game franchise is Sonic the Hedgehog. It’s extremely popular among conservative talk show hosts for some reason.
But if we talk about it publicly, we are ostracized. Remember when Glenn Beck was kicked off Fox News? That’s because of his segment on why Sonic is better than Mario. So we try to keep quiet about our love of Sonic. But one of my favorite pastimes is to collect rare and obscure Sonic games. I own at least three Sonic pachinko machines and even own a signed copy of Sonic Dreams Collection. I will often go to flea markets or garage sales looking for vintage Sonic games and other merchandise. I have spent approximately sixty five thousand dollars on Sonic media, including a very expensive commission of a drawing of me hanging out with Sonic and Knuckles at Six Flags. But that was far from the biggest price I ever paid for Sonic. No. That day came just a few weeks ago when my wife, who is a doctor by the way, and I walked into a Gamestop. The building itself was decrepit and disgusting. The lights flickered grimly, and half the shelves were basked in darkness. The whole place reeked of body odor. There was a sullen look of despair on the face of every single person there. There was truly a depressing presence hanging over every inch of that place. In other words, it looked like a perfectly ordinary looking Gamestop. But it wasn’t. This Gamestop housed a truly eldritch horror that I was unknowingly about to welcome into my life. There was, of course, the standard affair of PlayStation and Xbox games. Nothing too exciting. I had no interest in Red Dead Redemption 2 or Sekiro, Shadows Die Twice. I have no interest in normie trash like that. Eventually, a display case in a dark corner of the store caught my eye. Now we are talking. My wife, Dr. Shapiro, and I sauntered over to the counter for a closer look. There were some random Gameboy and PlayStation games. But what really surprised me was a CD with the words Sonic Adventure 2 written on it in black sharpie. The Gamestop clerk walked over to us. “Is there anything I can help you with?” she asked, her horrible breath wafting into my face. “Yes,” I said. “What is the deal with this copy of Sonic Adventure 2?” The woman scratched her head. “If I remember correctly, some crazy lunatic brought that game in. He said it was haunted.” “Really?” I asked. She replied. “Look, I don’t fucking know. Now do you want it or not?” “I’ll take it!” I exclaimed. My wife paid for the game and we quickly exited the store. On the way home, I explained to my wife that Sonic Adventure 2 for the Sega Dreamcast is far superior to the Nintendo GameCube port. The GameCube port was horribly butchered. You would think the port was done by Democrats. Yes, it’s that bad. When we finally got home, I dusted off my old Sega to give my new game a try. The game started up perfectly normally. I breezed through the main menu and went to story mode. Hero and Dark story were both already available as usual. But I noticed another story. Hell story. I could not recall there being a Hell story when I first played Sonic Adventure 2. So that seemed a little odd. But I was too excited to play some Sonic to think about it for very long. I selected Hero story and was presented with the opening cutscene of Sonic jumping out of a helicopter. The first level City Escape started up and I felt a rush of excitement. My only complaint with this level is the lack of homeless people scattered throughout the streets. This is clearly supposed to be San Fancisco, and we all know that liberal run cities are a hotbed of homelessness and poverty. No wonder Sonic is trying to escape from the city. Because liberal run cities are awful and I hate them. It had been a while since I played Sonic Adventure 2, but had little trouble handling the blue blur. I guess you could say I am a bit of a professional gamer. I quickly made it to the chase sequence with the semi truck. But I noticed that there appeared to be realistic human screaming whenever the truck ran over the cars on the sides of the road. It sounded a lot like how some people scream when I own them with facts and logic. Sonic was then cornered by a GUN agent inside a robot called Big Foot. But every time Sonic hit the cockpit, the pilot would scream out in pain and call for his family. Once I defeated him, the robot exploded and realistic chunks of blood and guts rained down over the battlefield. I didn’t remember any of this from previous playthroughs, but sometimes even extremely smart Harvard graduates like me forget one or two things. Then my favorite Sonic the Hedgehog character appeared. Shadow the Hedgehog. I was so excited that my voice almost raised by half a decibel. I know all the words to this scene so well that I was mouthing along with the characters. Except there was one problem. Shadow is supposed to say “My name is Shadow. I'm the world's ultimate life form! There's no time for games. Farewell.” Instead he said this. “My name is Shadow, and your days are numbered, Ben Shapiro.” I have been threatened at least sixty times in my life, but never by a cartoon hedgehog. Needless to say, this was quite unusual. Is it possible that the big tiddy goth girl who worked at Gamestop was telling the truth? Was there some kind of evil force locked away inside the disc spinning around inside my Dreamcast? Or maybe that half a Bud Light I drank was really getting to me. I decided to keep a level head and push onward. The next few levels went by without too much trouble. I’ve always been a fan of the Knuckles and Tails levels. I have watched a lot of YouTube videos of people saying these levels are not as good. But those people are morons. You heard me, morons. Anyway, I made it to the scene where Amy breaks Sonic out of Guantanamo Bay. I love this scene. Sonamy is easily my favorite ship. They have such great chemistry. Seriously, do not try to tell me that Sonic belongs with Sally Acorn, or Princess Elise, or Big the Cat. Amy is his one true love. I’m sorry, but hedgehog marriage should be between a hedgehog and a hedgehog. Otherwise, the entire society of Mobius would collapse. I have done quite a bit of research on this so do not even bother trying to debate me in the threads. Getting back to the game. I noticed something a little strange during the Guantanamo Bay cut scene. In the jail cell are copious amounts of notes written by Gerald Robotnik. But I noticed a different note sprawled along the wall in hyper realistic blood. It said “I’m coming for you Ben Shapiro.” I had no idea what to make of this. Was this some kind of visual glitch? Sonic Adventure 2 is a pretty old game, after all. It was at this point that I was getting very tired. I had a busy day of talking about how all people on Medicaid are freeloaders ahead of me and I needed my beauty rest. I turned off the Dreamcast, got up to stretch and made my way for the bathroom until I heard a faint whisper. A faint whisper that shook me to my very core. It said “Hey I’ll play with you some other time!” And it almost sounded like Sonic. It sounded somewhat like Ryan Drummond, but there was a hint of Jaleel White. Maybe a touch of Jason Griffith and a splash of Roger Craig Smith. Also there was some Martin Burke and Ben Schwartz too, as well as Jaleel White. I immediately wet myself. Possibly out of fear, or possibly because I have poor control of my bladder, or possibly both. I put on my jammies and hopped into bed with Doctor Shapiro, who is also my wife by the way. I tossed and turned for several hours. Sleep eluded me. My mind was racing with thoughts about what had just happened. Am I going crazy? “No. You are not going crazy.” The voice came from the foot of my bed. I looked up and saw Reggie Fils-Aimé, the former C.E.O. of Nintendo, standing over me. “You are not crazy,” he said in a calm voice. “You are in terrible danger.” “What are you doing here?” I asked Reggie Fils-Aimé. “You are on the board of directors at Gamestop. Aren’t you busy trying to keep your company from going bankrupt?” “That is why I am here.” Reggie’s voice boomed throughout the room. “Customer service is very important to me. And I fear that you are in trouble of having bad customer service. You see, the video game you purchased from Gamestop is haunted. If you are not careful, you could meet a grizzly fate.” I was very annoyed that Reggie was talking to me this way. “Listen here Reggie,” I said in a stern voice. “If you don’t get out of my house I will grab my shotgun and make you leave.” Reggie chuckled. “HA HA HA HA! You don’t understand. I am not in your house.” Reggie snapped his fingers. The walls and floor of my bedroom began to dissolve. I turned to my wife. Doctor Mor Shapiro, but she was already gone. It was just Reggie and I alone in a dark void. I looked over to Reggie, who had a smug grin on his face. “What are you?” I asked in disbelief. Reggie walked closer. “Do you really think they let anyone be the C.E.O. of Nintendo? Absolutely not. My powers far exceed those of any human. Including you, Ben Shapiro. So I think it’s about time you started treating me with respect. And if you don’t listen to me now, things could end very badly for you, my friend.” Reggie Fils-Aimé was right. “Well then spit it out!” I said. “What is going to happen to me?” Reggie snapped his fingers again. We were transported to a living room covered in blood. Forensics teams were taking pictures. I looked over and saw two men kneeled over by the television. The screen was broken, and an overturned Sega Dreamcast was next to it. “I can’t believe it!” One of the men said. “It appears to be some kind of quill. Like from a hedgehog. But it’s blue.” “That is impossible!'' The second man shouted. “Hedgehogs are not blue, dumbass.” “Would you just shut up and let me do my job, dickhole?” The two men faded away, along with the rest of the gruesome scene. “Do you understand now?” Reggie asked. “If you keep playing that game, you will be killed.” My hands were shaking. My lips were trembling. My throat was a little scratchy. “Was this really the work of Sonic the Hedgehog?” I asked. “I’m afraid so.” Reggie sighed. “I can’t believe Sonic would do this.” I started sobbing. Reggie patted me on the back. “It’s not that surprising, honestly. Sonic has always been a bad boy.” “What am I supposed to play now?” I asked. “How can I go on without Sonic.” Reggie comforted me. “It’s okay. I’ll tell you what. Super Mario 3D All Stars is now on sale. I can put one aside for you to pick up at Gamestop tomorrow.” I froze. Suddenly, everything became clear to me. I chuckled. “You just overplayed your hand, Reggie boy.” “What are you talking about?” Reggie said defensively. “Don’t you want to play Super Mario 64 with updated HUD sprites?” I laughed in Reggie’s face. “So this was all a ruse to trick me into denouncing Sonic? You have some impressive powers, magic man. But it will take more than that to fool Ben Shapiro.” Reggie’s face turned red. “Listen to me!” he shouted. “Sonic the Hedgehog is a murderer. You are doomed if you keep playing that game.” I laughed even harder. “Oh yeah, and is Master Chief a pedophile?” Reggie fell silent. “Alright, Ben. If you want to keep playing that game, I won’t stop you. But I hope your body is ready. I hope it is ready to experience pain and agony like you have never known before. I hope your mind and spirit are prepared for the wrath of Sonic. Very few people are more powerful than me. Doug Bowser, Shigeru Miyamoto, the Nostalgia Critic. But Sonic is very close. You won’t be able to beat him on your own. So if you need help, just call out to me. And I’ll be there.” I rolled my eyes. “God, you are more annoying than Alexandria Ocasio Cortez. Just get me out of here already.” Reggie Fils-Aimé stood silently for a moment. I could see the conflict in his face. Perhaps he was being honest. Or maybe he was upset that he couldn’t trick me. It did not matter at this point. I love Sonic, and it is impossible for anyone to change that. Reggie snapped his fingers one last time. I was suddenly back in bed, sweat running down my brow. Was it all just a dream? I calmed myself down. Alright Ben, let’s think about this factually and logically. Reggie Fils-Aimé does not have magic powers. Super Mario 3D All Stars is a lazy port and a rip off. Hedgehogs do not actually exist. I went to the bathroom and splashed some water on my face. When I turned off the tap, I heard music off in the distance. I would know that music anywhere. It was the song my wife and I danced to during our wedding. It was the menu theme of Sonic Adventure 2. Also my wife is a doctor. I stumbled, half asleep into the living room. Sure enough, Sonic Adventure 2 was on the television. Silly me. I must have forgotten to turn it off. I stepped towards the game console, then stopped. After that nightmare, it might be better to stay up for a while. What harm could there be in that. I sat down on the couch, grabbed the controller and set my gaze on the television screen, which illuminated the dark room with comforting, familiar light. The game was already on the story select screen. The cursor hovered over that mysterious third game mode, Hell Story. I’m not sure what provoked me to select that option. Was it simply curiosity? Or was it some kind of self hatred? Was I trying to prove something? Even on the other side of all this, I’m still not sure. What goes through a man’s mind while he is ruining his life? Is any thought justified? All my accolades and knowledge. Is it all worthless in the face of one stupid act? Hell Story started off with a cutscene of Dr. Eggman. I love Dr. Eggman. Shadow might be my favorite, but Eggman is the character I relate to. Amazing physique, incredibly high IQ, completely misunderstood. Dr. Eggman also reminds me of my wife for some reason. I’m not sure why. But something was clearly very wrong with Eggman in this cutscene. He was sitting alone on the floor of the Space Colony ARK, sobbing quietly to himself. “Please!” He cried. “Don’t do it. I’ll put my evil past behind me. I will never defame the moon again. I’ll return the Chaos Emeralds. Just please. Don’t. kill. Me.” Eggman’s words were trembling at this point. Suddenly another figure came into view. It was Sonic the Hedgehog. And he was holding a gun. “Sorry Eggman, but I can’t let you live any longer.” Sonic cocked his gun. “Now get a load of this.” The screen went dark. Bang. I couldn’t believe it. Doctor Eggman was fucking dead. A loading screen popped up for the first level. It was a Knuckles level. It was called Escape Pod. I had to collect three keys to unlock the door to the escape bay of the space colony. There was also a time limit of eleven minutes and thirty four seconds. The level was actually quite fun. I even felt like a kid again. But Sonic’s voice would frequently come over the intercom. “I’m coming to get you, Knuckles.” “You are running out of time. And then you are next, Ben Shapiro.” This put a bit of a damper on my experience but I still really enjoyed the level. The next level was a Tails level. I had to make it to the escape pod that I had unlocked as Knuckles. The strangest thing about this level was that there were no enemies or music. It was just Tails walking through a dark and lonely spaceship. It reminded me of my last birthday party. Sonic would come over the intercom in this level too. He said such awful things. “I am going to kill you Tails.” “You are dead Tails.” I beat the level without too much trouble. But when Tails arrived at the escape pod, Knuckles was nowhere to be found. Tails cried out for him, but there was no response. Tails then started weeping. Between the sobs, I could hear faint footsteps. I knew those footsteps anywhere. It was Sonic. “Hey Tails!” Sonic called out. “Did you see what I did to Baldy McNosehair? I think we should change his name to Corpsey McNoface.” “Why are you doing this?” Tails cried. “You’re a good guy! You are supposed to help people!” Sonic laughed. “I am helping people, Tails. It might not seem like it, but there are some very bad people who need to be taught a lesson.” Sonic looked straight at the camera. “There are some very bad people, indeed.” He pointed his gun right at me. I’m not sure what it was, but I somehow knew I was in great danger. I ducked out of the way of the television. The screen shattered as a bullet flew through the glass. The bullet grazed my leg as I tumbled down to the floor. Sonic the Hedgehog had just tried to kill me. I was in complete shock. I haven’t felt this way since Obama won the 2012 election. My entire life was now in shambles. My hero, my friend, my first love just tried to kill me. The words of Reggie Fils-Aimé rang through my head. Sonic has always been a bad boy. It was true. But why me? Why Ben Shapiro? Everybody loves Ben Shapiro. And then it hit me. “Oh my god. Sonic must be a liberal.” Environmentalist themes are rampant in Sonic games, the fact that Sonic always runs around in the nude, the fact that his fur is blue. I pulled out my phone and Googled “Is Sonic the Hedgehog a democrat?” I found an image of a Bernie Sanders rally. And sure enough. There he was hidden in the crowd. Sonic the Hedgehog. He was holding a sign up that said “Free Healthcare for All”. I felt a sinking feeling in my stomach. How could this be? Why did I never notice? Rivers of blood were running down my leg at this point. I called out “Is there a doctor in the house?!” To my dismay, my wife, who is a doctor by the way, had just gone out for milk. So there was in fact no doctor in the house. I crafted a makeshift tourniquet out of copies of the Constitution that I keep in every single drawer of my house. I was no longer bleeding like a stuck pig, but I knew I would lose consciousness soon if I didn't act. Suddenly, I heard a loud shattering sound come from the guest room. Oh my God. It must have been the other television. I limped over to the room to see that it was empty. The television appeared to have been broken from the inside. Sonic was inside the house. I could tell. I scanned the room for any sign of where he might have gone. I saw that the guest closet door was closed. Gotcha, I whispered under my breath. I reached under the guest bed and pulled out my shotgun. I crept up to the door. I heard heavy breathing coming from the other side. I cocked my shotgun, stuck it up against the door, and fired. A loud howling erupted from the other side of the door. Sonic was finished. I opened the door and flicked on the light to get a better view of my handiwork. My jaw dropped as the shotgun slipped out of my hands and onto the ground. I had just shot Knuckles the Echidna. “Fuck! Holy Fuck! Jesus Christ! You just fucking shot me!” Knuckles bawled. “What the hell is wrong with you?!” “I am so sorry. I am so sorry.”I told him. “You fucking idiot! You shot me! You goddamn moron!” “Hey, I happen to have a very high IQ.” I told him. Knuckles continued screaming for a minute or two until falling silent. He was dead. A painful silence filled the room. My mind was racing, but at the same time, it was also completely blank. They don’t prepare you for this at Harvard Law School. I picked the shotgun back up and stumbled back into the living room. The Sega Dreamcast was gone. “I know you are here, Sonic!” I shouted. “So just come out now!” Silence. My eyes kept darting all around the room. He could be anywhere I thought. The adrenaline in my system that was keeping my leg from hurting was starting to wear off. Fatigue was setting in. Shit. If I don’t deal with Sonic soon, I’m a goner. Out of the corner of my eye, I thought I saw something in the kitchen. Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! It was nothing. Then a chilling realization hit me. I was out of bullets. Then I heard his voice. “You should be careful, Ben. Are you not aware that seventy percent of accidental gun deaths occur in the home? If you are not careful, your love of the second amendment is going to get you killed. And we wouldn’t want that, would we?” Fear cascaded through my nervous system. I tried to pinch myself awake, but this was no dream. This was reality. I took a deep breath and turned around. There he was. Sonic the Hedgehog. Hyper realistic blood running down his face. My first thought was to run. But I knew that would be pointless. I knew that he could snap my neck in a millisecond if he wanted to. I was a fly caught in his web. And I knew he wanted to take his time with me. To torture me. To put me in so much pain that I would forget my own name or even forget what a disaster the Affordable Care Act was. I was doomed. “Don't worry, buddy.” Sonic taunted. “This will only hurt a lot.” He started to walk closer towards me. Each step like the gong of a bell in my ears. I never should have walked into the Gamestop. How could the free market have done this to me. I had only one hope. I cried out for Reggie. He was the only one who could stop this. There is no way he would let Gamestop get bad publicity like this. As Sonic stepped closer, a cloud of smoke appeared. Out of the fog, Reggie Fils-Aimé appeared. “Thank God, you came!” I smiled. “Anything for a customer.” Reggie turned his attention towards Sonic, who was still smiling with his smug smile that he does. “So, you called on your big brother to help you out, Ben. That is so sweet. I guess I will have to get rid of you both then. I have always wanted to get my hands on Mario. But I guess you will have to do, Reggie.”
“Silence!” Reggie’s voice boomed throughout the house. “You will never defeat me Sonic. I am but a mere projection of the real Reggie Fils-Aimé. But I am still ten times stronger than you could ever hope to be. You are nothing more than a stain on the world of gaming. You should have been wiped out years ago, but you keep hanging on. You are quite resilient. I am afraid that your resilience ends tonight. I will do all in my power to destroy you, Sonic. You will never again torture any-” Sonic leapt forward, jamming his knee into Reggie’s stomach. Reggie yelled out in disbelief before exploding into a puff of smoke. “What. How. Did.” I stuttered my words in absolute fear. Sonic dusted himself off.” I knew he was too weak to handle me. After all. Sega does what Nintendon’t.” The room was spinning at this point. I spun around towards the front door. Maybe if I could just get outside, I would be safe. I started towards the door, but collapsed due to exhaustion. Sonic started laughing at me. I could tell by his laugh that he was absolutely giddy as he watched me try to escape with my life. “Come on, Ben!” Sonic said. “We could go to Six Flags. Just like you’ve always wanted. You, me, Knuckles. Oh wait, you killed Knuckles, didn’t you. That was very naughty of you, Ben, I think you’re going to need a time out. A permanent time out!” I was at the door at this point, my bloody hand struggling to get a grip on the knob. Sonic walked closer. End of the line. Suddenly the door opened. Dr. Shapiro, my wife, was back with the milk. “Oh my God!” She screamed. “Ben, are you okay!” I tried to speak but I was too tired to move my mouth. For once in my life, I was speechless. “You!” Sonic shouted in disbelief. “What are you doing here?” I was confused by Sonic’s words, but I knew I needed medical attention right away. With what little strength I had left, I looked at my wife and pleaded. “Please dear, I need a doctor.” My wife looked at me, revealing a pain hidden in her eyes. “I have to tell you something, Ben. I am not really a doctor. I was never a doctor.” “What!?” I said. “Of course you are!” “No.” She said. “I have been lying about my entire life. You see, I am a demon hunter. And I have been hunting Sonic the Hedgehog for decades now. You see, Sonic is a Demon.” “What!” I cried. My wife sighed. “I come from a place known as Genocide City. At least that is what everyone called it after Sonic killed everyone there. My mother hid me under the floorboards so Sonic didn’t get me. I have spent my whole life training so that one day I could finally defeat him. I knew that Sonic hated conservatives. And I knew that you were obsessed with finding anything related to Sonic. So I decided to marry you as a way to find Sonic. That day has finally come. Don’t worry, Ben. I will take it from here.” My wife pulled out a giant sword. “Alright Sonic,” she said. “Let’s dance.” Sonic ran straight into my wife, pushing them both through the front door of the house. They began fighting out on our open lawn, moving so quickly I could hardly tell which blurry figure was my wife and which one was Sonic. Soon, the homeless people who all hang out in our neighborhood started watching. “What is that thing?!” one called out. “It looks like some kind of creature!” Another answered, “That’s just Ben Shapiro.” I could not tell who was winning the fight. The two moved at such incredible speed that I could not tell what was even happening. It was not until my wife was sent through the wall of our house that I started to suspect she was losing. Although her giant sword was incredibly cool looking, it seemed like she had trouble actually hitting Sonic with it. I am not sure how one prepares to fight a demon. I took a demon slaying elective at Harvard Law, but that was mostly just theory. Eventually, my wife was able to pin Sonic underneath her sword. Sonic pushed hard against it, driving himself further into the ground. “Give it up, Sonic!” She cried. “I am sending you back to hell!” Suddenly the sword broke in half, and my wife lost her footing. Sonic took advantage of this moment and quickly pinned underneath his Soap shoe. “I am starting to get annoyed at how weak you all think I am. In case you all forgot who I am. I’m Sonic! Sonic the Hedgehog! I am the fastest thing alive!!” I had to think fast. If I didn’t do something, it might all be over. And then it hit me. I called out. “Hey Sonic!” “Huh?!” Sonic turned to face me. “Well, well, well. If it isn’t Ben Shapiro. The one who awoke me from my slumber. Sorry about your house. And your lawn. Any last words before I ruin the rest of your life?” “Mario is better!” Sonic froze. “What did you say?!” “Mario is better than Sonic!” I said again. I stood to my feet, a rush of strength coursed through my veins. “Eight of the fifty best selling games ever are Mario titles. Sonic only has one. Level design in Mario games is vastly superior to that of Sonic games. Super Mario Galaxy is one hundred times more polished than any 3D Sonic title. Sega has no idea how to make a good Sonic game, whereas Mario games have remained consistently good for thirty five years.” Sonic was clearly confused. “What are you talking about? Aren’t you one of my biggest fans? Why would you spread such nonsense?” I chuckled. “I’m not spreading nonsense. I’m spreading facts and logic.” “What!?” Sonic took a step back in shock, and then realized that my wife had slipped out of his grasp. Just then, she pierced through his body from behind using the broken end of her sword. Sonic gasped out for air, clearly struggling to breathe. “You bastard!” he shouted. “Sorry, Sonic.” My wife said plainly. “But it looks like it’s game over!” It was at this point Sonic began inflating. His true demonic form was finally coming to light. Sonic’s body continued to grow in size. It reminded me of images I used to look at on Deviant Art Dot Com. Sonic moaned and roared. And then finally, the demon exploded, raining hyper realistic blood down over the entire block. The crowd of homeless people surrounding our house cheered out. Finally the nightmare was over. By this point, everything became a blur. The next thing I knew, I was in a hospital bed. My wife was there, along with a real doctor, who jumped up when they saw me wake up. “Thank god you are alive, Ben!” My wife said. “We are all so happy you are alive!” “Yes,” the doctor agreed. “This truly is a miracle. Anyway your bill is one hundred and fifty thousand dollars.” We all started laughing. God bless America. After a while I finally returned home. We buried Knuckles out in the backyard, and I bought myself a copy of Super Mario 3D All Stars. It might be a rip off. But the games are still quality. Not long after these events we moved to Nashville, Tennessee and I accidentally misplaced my haunted copy of Sonic Adventure 2. Otherwise I would have dumped a rom onto the internet to prove that any of this happened. Oh well. I learned a lot about myself during these times. I learned to stop obsessing over Sonic the Hedgehog. I finally went to Six Flags. All by myself. And it was fucking dope. I also learned that my wife is not a doctor. Boy, do I have egg on my face. I also learned the importance of facts and logic. Well, I guess I already knew that. But I reaffirmed that I was correct. And most importantly, I learned that I should never step foot in a Gamestop again.
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2020.10.18 01:17 DancingEmber Girl next door hidden camera

I’ll just jump in, I suppose.

————— THE BUNKROOM —————
“Ey! Yo, Hard-On!” Tommy yelled.
My name’s Hardy but he insists on calling me Hard-On. He has a nickname too, one he gave himself: Captain Crunch. Thinks he’s a damn comedian.
“I got sumthin!”
His shout echoed down the submarine corridor. It got into all the nooks, turning his voice metallic and wide. Like it could’ve swallowed me up.
I was in the bunkroom scrubbing the grime off the rack. At least the sheets were crisp, blue. Plaid pillows rested on top of them, dented and sleepy. Only the portside cubbies and the bed trimming across from them looked like filth. In sixty-three days of dive missions, I don’t think I’ve ever once seen the textured tan plastic hidden beneath the gunk. That crap just didn’t want to come off. Going to war against it was hardly what I’d call a good time, but the job gave me a break from other things.
“Hardy!” Tommy said, closer now. “Ya jerkin off or what?”
I flipped on the little speaker set next to me, blasted Metallica’s Frayed Ends of Sanity, wiped the sweat from my brow, and scrubbed a little harder at the soot and stains. Shane wasn’t going to be off her shift for another forty minutes so I had the luxury of cranking the volume too loud.
I heard shouting but kept my ears trained on the apocalyptic guitar riffs. Tommy slid the cabin door open and poked his head around the corner, rapping his knuckles on the steel door trimming. I looked at him, expressionless. He threw his arm out, then back, making vigorous circles around his ears trying to tell me to turn off the music. I scrunched up my face, shrugged. Went back to work.
Heavy rock pounded the air tinnily, “Hear them calling / Hear them calling me.”
Tommy has muscles like a tank, but you wouldn’t know it looking at him. His belly spills out over his jeans and jiggles as he walks. Pockets of fat cling to the backs of his triceps. He always starts the shift in a freshly-pressed uniform. By the end of the day, he’s sure to abandon his pristine work jacket for the stained grey tank top he wears underneath. And he never forgets that stupid 49ers cap of his, turned backwards because he thinks it makes him look real cool.
He moved behind me and slapped off the radio. The standing area of the bunkroom was barely big enough for one person.
“What do you want, Tommy?” I stood and backed up towards the entryway, arms crossed, leaving him at the other corner.
“That’s Captain Crunch to you,” he said with that big goofy grin of his.
I said nothing, raised an eyebrow.
“I told ya. I got sumthin.”
“More Asian fantasies?” I suggested seedily.
He chortled, slow and rasping. “That’s why I love ya, Hard-On; not to be gay or anything. Not that there’s sumthin wrong with that. I mean, cool if you are, but I ain’t.”
“Tommy.”
“Ey, right, as I was sayin. You need to see this.”
There are few things in this life I like more than discovering unusual creatures. I hesitate to use the word joy. If I know any joy in my life, though, it’s down here beneath the waves.
But you need to understand that Tommy has a habit of wasting my time. Last week he told me the same thing, that I needed to come see something. Then he took me to the kitchenette and showed me a 'crab' he’d made out of two sporks and some used tinfoil. He made it seem like the goddamn rapture.
What I’m trying to say is, my expectations were low.

————— THE BRIDGE —————
I latched the door shut after we funneled in. Pinging sonar and the thrum of water lull the senses in the control room. The cabin houses an almost unimaginable variety of displays, knobs, dials, and switches attached to plastic panels. Two rectangular swivel chairs are bolted to the floor at the front. Separating the panels at the center is a domed doorway that leads to the lockout.
Shane shifted over her shoulder to look at us from the pilot console, the leftmost chair, and put down the romance novel she’d been reading. It was the kind that had a picture of an over-muscled, bare-chested man on its cover.
Shane is all curves, heavy, but in a good way, like a cheerleader or something. (I’m a guy. I can’t help noticing these things. Sorry if that’s offensive or whatever.) If she’s not busy working out, I can almost guarantee she’s off reading. Or maybe eating chocolate. She has a stash somewhere but we can’t find it. She wears an amber locket, I think it was a gift from her father. Her strawberry blonde hair curls in at the nape of her neck, accenting the necklace. Freckles dot her nose. And she has the cutest dimples when she smiles.
“Well, well. Looks like the boys are back in town,“ she said, all smiles.
“Yup. I got a Hard-On for ya,” Tommy replied.
I shifted a little and broke eye contact with her. Shane seemed to pay no attention. I’m not sure if that made me feel better or worse.
“How long have you been waiting for the perfect moment to say that? Hours? Days? Don’t tell me it was months.” she said.
“It’s really been eatin me up inside, y’know,” he went and leaned back against the chair next to her, propped up on both elbows, “a real downer that I couldn’t share it yet. Dunno what I’m gonna do now that that’s outta the way. Maybe off myself or sumthin.” He stared at the ceiling panels.
“You do that, Captain Crunch. You do that.”
His body dipped, then sprung upwards. “Can’t. Gotta show him the thing.”
“If this is one of his pranks, just tell me. I’ve got cleaning duty,” I said.
Shane and Tommy shared a glance that I didn’t much like.
“It could be nothing,” she said.
“It could be sumthin.”
“It’s probably not, though. Probably.”
“What did you find?” I said.
Tommy’s eyes went narrow. “I got a big-ass reading from sonar. Like, I’m talkin some massive badonkadonk, a real Big Booty Judy.”
I went over to him and he moved out of the way. I put my hands on the back of the navigator chair to support myself as I bent over the readouts. He was right. That was some serious junk in the trunk. Easily the size of a whale. Except it wasn’t moving.
I gave Shane a sideways glance. “You guys check the view port yet?”
“Nope. We wanted to wait for you.”
Those dimples.
“I dunno. I’da just as soon left ya to scrub my bunk all day,” Tommy said.
Shane fiddled with her locket as she turned back to her novel. She told us to go below and take a look, said she wanted to keep an eye on things up there.
Tommy opened the door for me with a little curtsy. He’s pretty flamboyant for someone so concerned about not seeming gay.

————— THE PORTHOLE —————
I stared at Tommy’s 49ers cap as we tumbled in stops and starts through the corridor. At about half the size of normal submarines, our girl is easily swayed by ocean currents.
We passed through the specimen storage room lined with water tanks from floor to ceiling and the sad excuse for a mess hall. The big white SF on the back of Tommy’s hat stared back at me the whole way. I’m more of a Seahawks man, myself.
We strode back through the bunks. Federico, our sponsor, crashed on the bottom rack now, fast asleep. The guy must have money out the whazoo to be privately funding this research expedition. You wouldn’t guess it looking at those grease-stained hands. We were gentle closing the doors on our way out.
Past the bathroom, the whirring utterances of the engine room greeted us. Tommy and I turned around, went prone, and crawled into the open space beneath the deck we had just traveled.
Imagine two fat guys stuffed in a sardines can and you’ll know what it was like. We’re not even that big compared to some other guys. But you get the point. We scuffed our bellies against the metal paneling and just about rubbed all the hair off our arms bumping elbows.
At the far end of the tunnel, Shane’s voice crackled over the radio unit, “How are my two favorite slow pokes? See anything yet?“
The button to give a reply was at the porthole. We couldn’t reach it yet. “Mocking us,” I said between puffs and pants.
“Whaddya. Expect,” he wheezed. “That’s. Shane Austen.”
Shane Austen we call her, a play on that feminist romance novelist devised by none other than Captain Crunch. I gotta hand him that one. The name drives Shane nuts.
I reached the radio unit. My elbows felt dull. Tommy let his forehead collapse onto the backs of his palms. A thundering groan escaped him.
I clicked on the terminal, said, “You’re. Not funny.”
“You love it.”
“Whatever. Shane Austen.”
“I liked you two more before you got clever. I’m pulling us closer to the signal. What’s it look like on your end?”
On my right, Tommy tugged the lever to open the steel porthole cover. At 1700 feet deep there was nothing but inky black outside.
“Yoooooo! Kick those lights on!” he yelled, banging his fist against the tunnel ceiling.
“Woops. Sorry.”
Light flooded our enclosure. Beyond the porthole, we could see the manipulator arms on either side. Bits of organic debris floated from the upper reaches of the ocean. Almost dancing. It coated the unending seafloor. My breath caught.
“It’s beautiful down here.” I said
“I spy Jack shit down here,” Tommy said.
“I’ll bring us in a little more.”
Shane accelerated. The vessel crept along the sand. Marine snow meandered past us. A blood red sea cucumber floated along the starboard trim of the viewport. Undulating, flashing its insides beneath silky strands. I smiled. The ocean is magical. Then the critter was gone. I couldn’t make out anything else.
“I’m not seeing-”
“Ey, check your eyes.” Tommy interrupted. He pointed, fumbling his hand out from under an elbow.
I squinted. The abyss peered back at me. The ocean lapped against our little craft. We rocked back and forth. From out of the dark, a faint, massive outline emerged. A shadow against the black. Unmoving.
I shuddered.
The radio came to life again. “We should be a few hundred feet out. I don’t want to have an unfortunate bump so I’d like to keep us here.”
“We have eyes on it,” I said.
“What exactly do you see?“
“A big ol butthole, like I told y’all,” Tommy said.
“Real nice, man.”
“Okay, whaddya see, then?”
It did look like the ocean’s butthole now that I thought of it. I wasn’t going to give him the satisfaction. “Maybe a rock formation. Or some kind of wreck.”
“I don’t know. The readings here seem to indicate organic matter.“
“S’a booty. Callin it now.”
I snorted, tried to hide it. Too late.
Tommy leaned away from me. Mouth agape, he said, “I made em laugh! He thinks Captain Crunch is funny!”
“Aww. Our Tin Man has a heart.”
I pushed down the smile. “We have work to do.”
You have work to do. There's an unidentified mass along the bottom of the seafloor. Sonar can’t get a read on it. The porthole isn’t cutting it, and I can’t get us any closer. You know what that means.”
I knew exactly what that meant.

————— THE LOCKOUT —————
The readings were still steady by the next shift change. Shane managed to sneak a nap in and was ready to run the operation. Federico was up now. He wasn’t going to miss this.
Federico, Fed for short, earned his money selling land. Or at least that’s what he told us. He’s lean built. That much is obvious even under the custom-tailored blazer. You wouldn’t catch him dead wearing the indigo work suits he’d commissioned for the expedition. Funny, considering he’s not afraid to tackle ship maintenance like the rest of us. The tips of his mustache curl upward, underlining a nose so crooked I have to wonder how many times he’s taken a swing to the face.
“That’s a genuine Exosuit 2000, top-of-the-line, a beautiful work of art, I cry just thinking about it.” Fed said in a lilting Italian accent.
“Sounds like something out of a popcorn flick,” I said. (It’s not. Google it.)
He didn’t look at me, but glared anyways. “She’s the love of my life and she’s worth your paycheck seven times over. Don’t scratch my baby.”
His baby looks like a 600lb space suit on steroids. Its aluminum hull is shaped like a giant humanoid figure with a bubbled window for a head. Looping red lines distinguish the movable joints from the white plating. Situated on its back is a silver thruster pack with propellers on either side. In place of hands, it sports claw pincers.
The crane lowered the suit, encased in scaffolding, towards the moon pool below. The boots skimmed the water. The scaffolding clamps reached out to grasp either side of the pool, locking his baby into place. Fed pumped the valve that controlled a hinge on the scaffolding, which then separated the torso section from the legs. Time for me to get in.
I made sure my headset was on right. Stood there for a moment. I like what I do and I prefer to do it on the sub, far away from the diving suit. It’s the difference between flying on a plane and skydiving.
Using the short ladder, I lowered myself into the legs compartment. The suit clung to me. Fed sealed it shut.
As Fed was detaching the scaffolding, Shane came in over the headset, “How are you doing in there? I know I wouldn’t be a fan. This girl wants to stay far away from hundreds of pounds of metal for a weekend outfit.”
“Feels like a coffin. A big ugly coffin,” I said.
“Ooo, you better watch your tone. You’re talking about our employer's prized possession there. He might kick you off the boat. Or worse.”
“Roger that. He’s eyeing me now.”
Fed was staring at me, blank faced, playing with the ends of his mustache. I could see the fire in his eyes, though.
“Captain Crunch wants to know if he can have your speaker if you don’t make it back.”
“Tell Tommy I’ll be fine.”
“He says to pretend I don’t know who Tommy is.” Then, sounding far away, “Oh, you didn’t want me to say that?”
Fed came around the other end of the pool. He took the suit by the shoulders. “Ready, my friend?“
“Think so.”
“Grand. I wish I could be the one wearing the suit instead, spying wonders far and near, ah lovely.”
“We could switch places.”
“And take away your chance to see unknown treasures? No, I would never. You do this for the love of discovery, remember.”
Love was a strong word. Still. I was glad he didn’t accept the offer. I do this for the ocean, I thought.
Fed cranked the lever. The crane lowered me into the pool. Water overtook the diving suit’s helmet. Then I was standing on the ocean floor.

————— THE OCEAN —————
Under unfathomable depths. I was breathing heavy. Been awhile. Without the suit, oxygen would go to my brain. Kill me instantly. If not that, then nitrogen narcosis. Or pure pressure.
“Relax,” Shane said. “I’m here with you.”
My breathing slowed a little.
“I know you love the ocean.”
What’s with this word ‘Love’?
“Now you get to be closer to it than most people do in their whole lives. You’re like one of those creatures of the deep, floating around your habitat as if there were nothing more natural in the whole world.”
I closed my eyes. The calm below the sea knows no equal. Sweet stillness.
When I opened my eyes, I saw my friend from earlier, the sea cucumber. They coasted along, seeming almost to wave at me. I felt expanded somehow. Like my existence wasn’t limited to this body. I was the whole ocean.
I started backing away from the sub.
“There you go, big boy.”
“You’re pretty good at this. You teach yoga, or something?“ I said.
“I’m a woman.”
“Fair.”
“You’re a couple hundred feet out from the target. We’ll have radio contact for most of that, but you’ll be on your own for the last stint. We’ll still be watching the suit-mounted cameras, those can pick up a signal. Just remember that if you’re feeling spooked.”
“Shane Austen. I don’t get spooked.”
“I’m sure not.”
The feeling of being the ocean faded as I rotated the suit around. The submarine was completely out of view, replaced by that monstrous shadow.
Just the ocean’s butthole, I reminded myself.
It’s hard to keep that perspective hundreds of feet underwater. Where the sun reaches nothing. Where you’re all alone. And the shifting currents of the unknown threaten to swallow you whole.
“I’m heading towards it.”
“We can see what you see. How about giving the cameras a wave?”
That’s the last thing I wanted to do. I did it anyways.
“I think Fed’s jealous. He’s over here crossing his dainty little legs and muttering things to himself in Italian.”
“I gave him his chance.”
“So he said.“ Then she whispered, “Between you and me, I think he was too scared. He likes to talk big, and his heart is driven by adventure. But men like him have their limits. I guess that makes you pretty brave, yeah?”
“Maybe. Or maybe I’m the only one here who’s certified.”
"Can't you ever give yourself some credit, Hardy?"
I didn’t say anything.
A sharp rocky formation came out of the murk. Its jagged peaks arced towards the black hole sky. The jutting edges looked like a cry of agony.
“There’s some rock here.“
“That’s not …” Static cut through the transmission. “… hundred feet … Captain Crunch says … the toilet when you don’t flush.”
“Say again.”
Something slithered behind the hellish stone.
“… target … You’re less … away … looks like …”
“Damn thing,” I muttered. “Say again.” I knew it was pointless.
More static. The radio went dead. I was alone.
I couldn’t even see the submarine from here.
I waved at the camera. Kept moving. The rock went out of view. I twisted to check behind it. My eyes couldn’t pierce the blackness. The suit lamps weren’t strong enough. The stone disappeared into darkness.
Righting myself, I saw the looming outline getting larger as I approached. Texture started forming along its sloping shape. It was rock-like at first. My breath fogged the helmet after a sharp exhalation. I paused to let it clear. Then I saw the shape was more like rugged crustacean. I accelerated. My heart pounded from somewhere within the Exosuit’s cavernous mass. Concentric raised circles ran the length of the shape. They were similar to coral but the circles were bigger. Much bigger. The mass looked more like a wall now. I stopped. The circles were indented at the center. Their surface seemed gummy. My breath stuttered and choked. Rivulets of flesh squeezed between the circles. That’s when I knew.
The circles were giant suckers. Row after row of them stacked at least thirty feet high. It was a tentacle.
I stared.
What do you do in that situation? What do you do?
I eased the suit off the ground using the thruster pack. The helmet peaked the uppermost edge of the tentacle. Holy. Shit. It seemed to go on forever. Patches of silt and grassy growth covered it. It was probably a carcass. Certainly looks like it’s been down here for a while. But I didn’t see any scavengers picking at the remains. Part of me wanted to explore towards the center of the mass. Part of me didn’t want to die.
Can you guess which part won out?

————— THE LOCKOUT —————
Fed released me from the suit. I tumbled out. My body smacked against the bulkhead. Vomit erupted from me into the moon pool, turning what was clear into green gobs. He just laid a hand on my back. Said nothing.
The dome entryway swung open. I heard Shane, “Hardy, my god. My god my god my god.”
I sat back on the metal outcropping that hung over the floor. The four of us looked at each other. Nothing was said. What can you say in that situation?
Fed broke eye contact to look over the suit. Tommy skulked away silently. I hung my head.
“I don’t know what-“ Shane began but didn’t finish. “Are You okay? Are we all okay?”
Fed stiffened then went back to work.
“Just need a minute.” I said.
“Yeah.” She backed out of the entry. “Right. Yeah. Okay.”
I heard footsteps exiting the control room. Maybe a sob. Couldn’t tell. The sound was muffled.
Fed’s Bacco Bucci dress shoes turned to face me. “My friend.”
I looked up at him. In his palm, about the size of a quarter, were eight translucent, brown-flecked tendrils that tapered in to a single bulbous head.
“You brought something back.”

————— END OF POST —————
We’re keeping the baby onboard for study. I’ll post updates next time we surface.
submitted by DancingEmber to ThrillSleep [link] [comments]


2020.10.18 00:02 DepthZero Girl next door hidden camera

Part One: My First Shift In The Maze
Part Two: How I Got Into This Mess
Part Three: Guess This Image & Trivia Night
Part Five: Lies, lies and more lies.
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"5. Our Three Commitments
Commitment to the customer: Engagement with our customers is crucial, and we will break backs to meet their needs. Each customer has a different burning fetish and is willing to pay for it. It is in our best interest to tailor our content based on the feedback we receive.
Commitment to Quality: Quantity has never been possible in the geographical locations The Family operates in, and we do not wish to stoop so low. We dominate the market due to our one of a kind high-quality productions. Simply put, we create the flame and though embers follow they have no hope of shining as bright.
Commitment to Innovation: To innovate is to push the boundaries of what our audience believes possible. Snuff films are a dime a dozen, long-standing engagement is built by melding reality and fantasy into one. There is nothing comparable to what we do, and our innovative spirits keep us searching for new and improved ways of entertainment. "
"Do you know how long you have been here, Robert?" Mr.Rainbow said, leaning back on the stool he had brought with him into my room.
"Nine months..maybe ten?
"Wow, time really does fly when you're having fun" Rainbow chuckled. "It's our one year anniversary Robert, how could you forget?"
I had no way of knowing if he was telling the truth, but the thought of a year made some sense in my mind. Most of my time was spent in my cell, by this point I'd only participated in eight maze runes and three trivia nights. Though they often spoke of The Sculptor and another host Meat, I was yet to come across them.
Not willing to take the bait Rainbow was laying out, I shrugged and continued staring at the floor.
"I know you don't like talking to me" Rainbow sighed "But I do have a gift for you."
"A gift?" I asked, looking up to meet his eyes for the first time.
"That got your attention!" Rainbow exclaimed "It's true, but first I need to show you something. It's standard procedure, so don't get all weird about it like you usually do."
'Weird' was a funny way to describe the effects and mental strain the last twelve months had on my psyche.
"Bring him in Carrot Top" Rainbow called banging on the door.
Instinctively, I faced the corner of the room as the door opened, and Carrot Top entered the room. Carrot Top dragged something into the room and turned to see him holding a man in a morph suit, his arms and legs bound.
"This one here broke rule three, and it's important to show you what happens when you break the rules" Mr Rainbow clicked his fingers, and Carrot Top pulled the black mask off revealing a dishevelled man. His lips had been sewn shut with thin wire, and he mumbled inaudibly at me.
I tried to move away, but there wasn't enough space to go anywhere now that four people were packed inside.
"That's enough CT" Mr Rainbow ordered and as Carrot Top put the mask back over the man's head and dragged him out of the room. Catching my first glimpse of the outside of my cell, I could see the walls were metal, not wood like my cell. After seeing the things I had over the past twelve months, it didn't phase me as much as it should have.
"I'm sorry you had to see that Robert. But now you get your gift! I had to pull a lot of strings with the higher-ups to get you this. Bring in the girl CT."
Not bothering to turn away, I watched as Carrot Top dragged a woman inside by her hair and threw her onto the ground.
"New Celly!" Rainbow said making jazz hands "I figured you're probably starting to get a little lonely."
"Don't touch me!" The woman yelled at Carrot Top.
"I'll leave you two so you can catch up. You can thank me later" Rainbow said, picking his stool up and exiting the room with Carrot Top.
Fixing my eyes to the door, I watched them leave confirming the walls were in fact made from metal.
"What is this place?" The woman whimpered, the fear in her voice, bringing back memories of my first night in the cell.
"They didn't give you an induction manual?" I asked.
"Induction manual? What the hell are you talking about?"
Realising how stupid it seemed to someone not yet indoctrinated into The Family, I gave her the induction manual they had left me with.
"This is only the back half of it, I lost the other pages... Sorry" I lied, the other half I'd used sparingly as toilet paper.
Tears trail down her cheeks as she read in silence, I struggled to think of comforting words to say. I hadn't spoken to anyone besides Rainbow in so long let alone tried to make them feel better. A tight-lipped smile came across my face as she looked up, and her eyebrows furrowed.
"Why the fuck are you smiling?"
"Oh- I was trying to make you feel better" The aggression caused me to look down. Staring at the floor was a submissive trait I had picked up early, and it had arguably served me well. "I'm sorry, I haven't spoken to anyone in so long".
"Why don't you start with your name?" she said her voice now softer.
"My name is Robert, yours?"
"Yasmine." The woman replied, and more tears followed "What are they going to do to me, Robert?"
"I don't know." I replied, fixing my eyes back to the floor "But it's not going to be good."
"6. Performance and Evaluations: You must follow all procedures, whether stated verbally or written. Mentors have the authority to evaluate performance and negotiate rewards or punishment with high tiers depending on the outcome. The Family will not hesitate in terminating its employees for failure to meet the standards set in this manual."
My lungs were begging for air, but I didn't care to stop. Finally, out of my cell, the sun was warm and inviting. Gritting my teeth, I willed myself to continue at the same speed and relished in the soft feeling of grass under my feet. Each step felt like freedom, and I rounded the bend at full speed before falling to my feet in front of the truck waiting for me. Freedom time was over.
"Wow, Rob! Eight minutes is your best time yet." Mr Rainbow said patting me on the back. "I'm so glad they gave me permission to let you out for exercise. They must really be starting to trust you!"
Both of us knew it wasn't a matter of trust. I had become weak and frail from prolonged stretches of idle activity and was unable to perform my duties. Their intention was to keep me in working condition, but I didn't care. Getting out of my cell was one of the most incredible things Mr.Rainbow had done for me only second to Yasmine.
I was curious as to why they would let me run without someone watching over me. After long nights of thinking on this, I believe it was to test if they had broken me down to the point I wouldn't dare fight back. On my first run, I had tried to spot signs of civilisation, but the field was empty besides a small patch of trees.
Rainbow guided me back to the truck and followed the regular procedure, checking my pockets, shoes and patting me down before blindfolding me. It took weeks of overplaying my gratitude before Rainbow relaxed the intensity of his searches. Relief came like a crashing wave, I could feel the stick digging into me, it was painful, but the exact size I was looking for.
"My best time yet huh," I said, hearing the truck's engine start. "Thank you, Mr Rainbow."
The fear of getting caught really gets your legs moving.
When I got back to my cell, Yasmin wasn't there, and I felt a mixture of relief and guilt. Relief, because I had decided not to involve her in my plans and needed to hide it from the camera. My guilt came from knowing she was experiencing something horrible.
Though our conversations no longer revolved around what we had endured and focused on things like Family, food and our favourite tv shows. Our attempts to maintain a sense of hope and normality were not always effective. Sometimes two or three days would go by where I didn't see her, and I knew she had it worse than I did.
Most nights, I still heard her crying from across the room and could do little to console her. Pushing the guilt into the back of my mind, I angled myself in the corner of the room and used the bucket to retrieve the stick. It was short and thick, but over time I would sharpen the edges and wait for an opportunity to use it.
I'm no longer concerned with how large or connected "The Family" claim they are and I don't care if I live or die. I have watched countless die and done nothing to help them. The only redeemable thing I can do now saves Yasmine.
I will wait for an opportunity to strike, if I fail, she has no hand in it, and I'm free. If I succeed, we are both free, and she can finally see her children again.
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Todays the Day "7. Termination: Termination will be carried out if you fail to meet our standards. The Family dictates the proceeding, and you will not be afforded rights. If terminated, your survival will come to an end. Below is a small list of examples detailing what we consider failure to keep you on the right track.

The thought of rebellion became a liberating obsession. Over the next few months, every opportunity I hesitated to take felt like I missed the golden chance. Patience was a difficult virtue to practice, and as the days progressed, Yasmine's visits became more periodic. Each visit her state deteriorated further, and we spoke in whispers hoping the camera wouldn't pick up the audio.
"The things they make me do, Rob," Yasmine said with puffy red eyes.
"Yasmine-"
"Part of me has become numb to it, but I think of who I was" Yasmine paused "What I had... I feel worse because I don't feel anything in the moment. I want out so badly, but how could we cope after what we've seen and done? I don't think I could have another conversation at work, let alone raise my children."
"Numb in the moment, but when you're alone with your thoughts, the guilt comes rushing in. It has to be that way for our survival."
Yasmine said nothing and looked away.
"There's always hope, right?"
"Define hope. Are we hoping for someone to save us? Or are we hoping they eventually send us on our way with a fruit basket for our service?" Yasmine sighed "Hope helps keep the powerless moving to the orders of the powerful, but it doesn't save them."
"When they locked me away, they stole my freedom, that's a given. I didn't have a job, my family disowned me, and drugs were my only escape from the world. Yasmine, you had a life worth living on the outside. Don't let go of the hope to get it back."
"You don't need all of those things to exist and deserve love, Robert. You deserve to get your life back just as much as I do."
This time, I was the one who didn't reply. Where was she getting this from? No one had said anything like that to me before.
"Maybe there's hope for the hopeless after all?" Yasmine continued "Have you thought of escaping? What would you do?"
Feeling the stake hidden in the lace holes of my pants, I almost told her everything. Though her words were kind, I still believed her life to be more valuable than my own.
"I have thought about it, but I don't think it's possible."
"I suppose you're right. So you're holding on to the hope someone will save you?"
"I guess so." I lied.
In the middle of the night, Yasmine was taken out of her cell. Her screams echoed as they dragged her down the corridor. What I believe to be three days passed before another guard came with a blindfold for me. I found myself back in the control room for Mr Rainbows maze.
Mr.Rainbow sat watching the camera focused on his contestant.
"Hey Robert" Mr Rainbow said without looking up from the screen "Just a few technical issues to sort out before filming"
I looked over to Carrot Top who was on his knees fiddling with some cables and wondered how long Carrot Top had been imprisoned before earning the small freedoms he had. Being here for over twelve months hadn't earned a persona nor any free movement beside exercise.
The thought passed as quickly as it came, it didn't matter anymore, after today we might both be free. Confirming that neither was looking and with Yasmine's screams fresh in my mind, I slid the stake out of the hole in my pant lacing and walked toward Rainbow. Aiming for his neck, I thrust the stake downward.
A few inches off the mark, it ground against his collar bone as it entered and blood poured out before the scream. Pulling it out, I intended to finish Mr Rainbow off when Carrot Top tackled me from the side.
"What are you doing?" I screamed at him as he struggled to take the take from his hand "I'm trying to free us".
Carrot Top didn't offer a response and positioned himself over me as he tried to grab hold of the hand holding the sharpened wood. Using all the force, I pushed the arm he was using to hold my wrist, and Carrot Top momentarily lost his balance freeing my hand. With the brief window of chance, I pierced his side, and he let out a cry.
It only took two more strikes for him to topple off me, holding the wounds and crying in agony as blood leaked out of the holes in his morph suit. Getting to my feet, Mr Rainbow stood across the room, one hand on his wound and the other pointing a gun at me. One leg of his suit pants was raised slightly revealing a gun holster.
"You fucking idiot" Mr Rainbow screamed in agony "I'm going to make you film the death of your whole fucking family you weasel parasite."
After a year of seeing what they did to people in their game shows the gun no longer scared me, death felt inevitable, a gun would just be a quicker release. I charged at him, and the gun went off, I felt a burning object tear through my shoulder but didn't stop.
Falling into Rainbow the both of us collided against the wall and dropped to the ground. The loss of blood from his wound made his attempt at fighting back pitiful, and I used my uninjured arm to shove my fingers into his wound. His grip on the gun loosened and I pulled it away from him.
"Fuck you" he spat as I pointed the gun at his head.
"Where is Yasmin?" I screamed back.
"This is about her?" Mr Rainbow "You really are an idio-"
Blood and brain matter sprayed across the walls. I couldn't stop myself from pulling the trigger, my hate for him was too intense. Expecting guards, I turned to the door and found Carrot Top dragging himself to the corner of the room. I understood why he made the decision he did and decided against ending him the same way as Rainbow.
"It will be okay, I'll come back to you when it's over. Just stay there."
Opening the door, I found a short metal corridor similar to the one I'd seen from my cell. Two large metal doors were left ajar, and sunlight entered through them. Pushing them open, I couldn't believe my eyes.
submitted by DepthZero to nosleep [link] [comments]


2020.10.17 09:31 Gallusrostromegalus Door hidden camera next girl

Things always seem bigger when you're a kid.
The Slide seems dangerously tall in preschool than you come back in sixth grade and find out it's barely taller than you are. Your Dad seems larger than life until you come back from college and realize he's 5'6".
Trouble is, so do the horrors of your childhood. I spent most of my youth plauged by nightmares of being hunted through my house my a strange man with long spindly limbs yelling in anger, while someone else wass crying and screaming, and blood pooled on the floor. Before I wake up, someone is close to me, mouth dripping with blood and breathing like they'd just run a marathon.
They got so severe my parents sent me to a therapist, who concluded that I had PTSD from some kind of traumatic event when I was an infant or toddler, but the details had become so meddled with time it was hard to say if I'd seen something awful, or I had stayed up and watched a horror movie with a baysitter. Given that I've been nocturnal most of my life (it's called delayed-phase sleep disorder, a symptom of ADHD), and unable to put down a book or stop a movie until it was done, no matter how much it sucked, and that neither of my parents could think of an incident that would match that, we guessed it was a movie, which started my fascination with horror movies. I figured, if I could find which shitty thriller it was and see it again with older eyes- the bad acting, the shitty effects, the overwrought soundtrack- that the nightmare wouldn't bother me anymore.
I was fortunate to have parents that took my fears seriously and let me take charge of my mental health and let me start watchign r-rated movies in third grade. I got spooked a few times, but learning more about the genre made it easier to cope with the nightmares and gave me something to make friends with- I was the COOL kid who had actually seen Silence of the Lambs and The Thing in elementary school.
I was also fortunate to have the best horror-movie buddy a kid could ask for. Freya was a "Husky Mix" my parents had gotten before I was born, and had been my devoted companion since mom brought me home from the hospital. The vet had been worried she might hurt me, but instead she adored me- playing with me on my blanket, sleeping under my crib, guarding me in the stroller when we went on walks. I even learned to walk digging my hands into her thick fur and shuffling beside her when she got up and patiently walked around the house. She was already an adult when I was born and positively geriatric when I started watching movies, so she enjoyed stretching out on three-quarters of the couch with her big head in my lap and being fed popcorn while some starlet screamed her vocal chords raw. We watched all the classics, then all the B-movie classics, then all the C-list classics, then the actual dreck from the dust-covered corners of every blockbuster, but I never found the movie that matched my nightmares. It didn't matter, because I'd usually fall asleep on the couch with Freya next to me, still guarding me in my sleep.
She was an extraordinary dog really- constantly getting on the roof to survey her domain, bringing me half-dead squirrels to teach me how to hunt, and even at 17 able to keep up with me on my bike with her ridiculously long legs. She lived to be 21, larger than life until the day she passed quietly in her sleep. Since then memories change as you get older, and I heard stories about escape artist labradors and hunting poodles and sort of assumed I was remembering her through the funhouse mirror of nostalgia, but it was still a fond memory and I didn't really question it.
Until about five years ago, when I was home from college for christmas and was watching the news with my parents. A Body had been found in the hills behind our family home some days before, which was unfortunate but not uncommon- it's very dense old-growth forest with steep hills and hidden cliffs. Even expirienced backpackers get lost and injured there, and less expirienced people get lost and die a couple times a year.
The news came on with an update, an old photo of a young blond man, reasonably cute but kind of seedy-looking. "Today authorities identified the body found in the Buena Vista Hills as that of Richard Smitts, missing since 199-"
I didn't hear the rest because my mother screamed. Her hands over her mouth, face white. My Dad looked equally horrified.
"What? You know him?" I asked.
"Shush, I need to hear this!" Said Mom.
"- Smitts was last seen in O'keefe heights on the night of March 24th at 10:12 PM, on CCTV from Sunnydale Liquior-" the newscaster continued, putting up an image of Richard, a tall, lanky young man, running full-tilt past the door of a liquor store, eyes wide with terror even in the shitty black-and-white still.
"Oh No," Said Dad.
"-Identification was hindered due to the extreme weathering and animal damage done to the bones. Authorites are asking anyone who saw him that night any time near then to please come forward to determine what happened." The newsanchor finished. There was silence in the living room as the newsanchor moved onto the next story.
"Guys?" I asked.
"Do you remember your babysitter Lori when you were little and we were still living in the terrible condo in O'Keefe heights?" Mom asked, voice and hands shaking.
"Vaugely? I remember someone with red hair and a pink shirt?" It's hard to remember stuff from when you were two.
"That was her. Dickie- Richard Smitts was her Ex-Boyfriend." Mom explained.
"He was her Stalker." Dad spat. "Crazy bastard couldn't accept she'd dumped him and kept following her until-" He paused, looking furious with himself. "-Until we went our for our anniversay dinner and Lori was watching you, and he came to the house."
Ah. Mach 24th. Mom and Dad's anniversary.
"We invited her to watch you because we thought he didn't know about our place and she could be safe there." Sobbed Mom, doubling over in her chair. "He- Oh my god, you could have been killed- We found Lori in the kitchen with you, sobbing- he'd come to the house, with a knife and, and- Lori said he'd almost caught you guys before she locked herself in the basement with you. When we got home all we saw was the broken door and Lori cleaning up a mess in the kitchen..."
I was stunned, literally stunned feeling like I'd been hit by a truck. Then like I'd been hit by another truck as I began to make the connections. "Do. Do you think that's what my nightmare about the man and the blood is about?"
"Oh my god." Dad gaped. "I- I'm so sorry. I never made the connection. You were always talking about the blood and Lori must have cleaned it up before we got back-"
There was another long silence.
"Where was Freya? She used to snap at people for getting to close to my baby carriage, she would have gone ballistic if someone broke in-"
"She. We thought she'd just run out the broken door and gotten lost or hit by a truck, she always came back in an hour when she got out before but we didn't see her for almost a week after until- I woke up because there was a noise- We'd moved your crib back into our room after that, and- she'd come back in, and actually climbed into your crib with you." Said Mom. "I almost didn't recognize her because she was covered in dirt and leaves and had mud caked all over her face and neck but she was just so happy to be home and snuggling you, she wouldn't stop licking your face."
The bloody mouth at the end of the dream was starting to make a lot more sense.
"I don't think that was Mud on her face Mom." I realized.
"God, we should have listened to the vet when he said she'd kill someone." Dad sighed.
"What? Why would he say that? Sure, she was a little weird but she was like any dog, they'll all bite if someone breaks in-"
Dad frowned at me. "Dog?" he asked. "Freya wasn't a Dog."
"What?" I asked. "She was a husky mix, I remember. Just a normal dog."
"I suppose she might have had a bit of husky in her but- " he got up, and went to get a family photo album off the shelf in the kitchen. I hadn't looked at them in years, being away at college. He flipped through the pages before handing me the book.
I recognized the photo immediately. It was my first day of Kindergarten, and Mom had let me walk Freya to school All By Myself because I was a Big Girl Now. I beamed at the camera, all awkward smile and eyes squeezed shut with glee in my favorite shirt with the dinosaurs on it, while Freya sat beside me.
Things always seem bigger when you're a kid, and as an adult, I had assumed she had only looked massive in comparison to me because I had been small. But in the photo, she still towers over me, easily 120lbs, having to be walked on a chain, her long legs and neck putting her head high enough to look in the schoolroom windows with ease, her bright yellow eyes fixed evenly on the camera.
Turns out my horror-movie buddy and best friend was a Wolf.
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2020.10.16 21:07 ScrapyardGod Girl next door hidden camera

Probably missed all the good windows for this, but if it gets a couple more eyes on the derby then why not.
First | Next>
Cover Art
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“Guess Tsuk was right after all. Now I owe her lunch.” Holland swept the binoculars over half of the ship. The only half that was down there. A big, nasty tear split right down the middle (or perhaps two thirds, you never could tell without seeing the full design). The rest of it would be a hundred miles off if she had the math right and he’d never had reason to doubt her math before.
Which made him wonder why he’d made that stupid bet to begin with.
“You think there are any survivors?” he asked the dog. Triska flattened her ears against her skull, whining at the wreck. He put his hand on her back, running it down her spine. She wasn’t shaking yet, but it was close. Too many fires. “I’ll take that as a no.”
Holland had seen worse. It looked like a fuel line had gone up on impact, but only the line. Whether that meant the main tanks were on the other half or had been kind enough to fall off during reentry was up in the air. Well, it was up in the air and now-
“Don’t make jokes about others’ tragedies,” he muttered to himself, picturing Yorna’s disapproving look. “Even to yourself.”
Triska barked, as if to agree with him, then hopped out the window of their buggy. He followed suit, putting his boots to the gray-flecked earth. The scent of burning oil was thick in the air, had been even a mile off, and the smoke was forming a cloud that turned the sky dark. This thing would burn for days if no one stopped it. Which meant it’d destroy everything worth taking inside.
Risk some, win some, plead to the Gods to tip the scales.
Holland grabbed the mirror-sheet out of the back and threw it over his car, making sure it covered every bit of visible metal. A few moments later, the transparent cloth turned the same color as the ground, a bit of sky on top to mimic the horizon. It wouldn’t fool anyone close, but a good ways off? Practically invisible.
“Alright girl, let’s get going.” He set off down the hill towards the wreck. Then he turned back around and plied Triska with treats until she followed him.
“Come on girl, we’ll be fine. We’ve got our helmets.” He strapped Triska’s on carefully, making sure the caps covered her ears. The rest of her suit had to be put on with Tsuk’s help, though she didn’t seem to mind wearing it once it was on. “There you go.”
Triska barked, the noise coming through the radio in his own mask. He slipped it on, pulled it tight, and flipped up the hood over his head. Nice and smoke proof. He even had a spare.
This was all a good idea. This would make him rich.
“This is going to get us killed,” he said, perhaps a bit too loudly, as they approached the wreck. Triska barked.
The torn edge of the ship rose like the shattered ribs of some great creature. Or maybe its neck, head freshly severed. He could see something pouring out of a ripped pipe, a painfully bright white that turned to fog before it even hit the ground. Some kind of coolant?
It was at least keeping the fires at bay. Most of them were below the ship where all the fuel was leaking, mixing with the melted remains of its maneuvering thrusters. He hadn’t seen the display, but one of the skywatchers had the whole thing blasting through the radio back home.
Crazy bastards had tried to put an entire journey’s worth of fuel through their jets to level off their descent. And it worked! Right up until the strain ripped the ship in half. Long-haul transport, never meant to go into an atmosphere, let alone reentry.
What a waste.
Holland whistled for Triska to stay close (not that she needed the order) as they circled around to the other side. He wouldn’t dare try an airlock in this state. No telling which ones were still pressurized or what they were holding. Better to go through the already open hole. Under an awning of twisted metal that honestly looked ready to collapse, the fires were less threatening. They’d need to be fast.
“Alright girl, we’re going for the maintenance closet,” he told himself more than the dog. He unhooked one of the purple bulbs from his belt, chucking it towards a patch of flames. It broke on contact, scattering a thin mist that choked the fire out within seconds. He still stepped lightly and guided Triska through, it did nothing for the heat. “They’re secured, armored, and full of all sorts of goodies that might fit in my bag.”
Triska whined, hovering between his legs as he cleared them a path into the building. The smoke was thinner in the hallways, most of it building atop the ceiling and filtering out of the many, many unplanned skylights. He reached up and stuck a SpyEye right on the underside of the door, making sure it had a good view of the surrounding desert. No sense leaving things to chance.
“There should be one near the back. By the cargo bay. Though maybe they’re hauling some of those fancy androids. We could just turn one on and order it to follow us back.” Wouldn’t that be something. He could sell it to the bar as a novelty tender. Make a mint. Pipe dream, those things never survived the landing. Someone would get a good haul of scrap from the cargo bay, he was on a time limit. And a weight limit besides.
The first door took little more than a crowbar and some elbow grease to open. Already out of alignment from the crash and looking like something big and heavy had bounced off it on the way down. It’d done its job though. Inside the air was clearer (though not by much) and the scorchmarks didn’t travel so far up the walls. They were that odd grey-blue all the modern ships seemed to favor. A razor-thin covering so no one had to look at the bare walls all the time.
Holland could see it torn through in places, alloy visible underneath. And the body, first one of the night, sprawled out along the corner.
“You’ve had a rough time, brother.” The man had been holding on to a light fixture when they’d impacted and some of it had come off with him. His fingers had dug so far into the bulb they’d shattered it, broken glass sticking straight through. He’d hit the wall hard, enough to snap his head forward. The back of his head was dry in the heat, sticky and thankfully hidden by hair.
It was quick. That was all any of them could hope for. Let them all be quick.
Triska whined as he pulled the man off the way, laying him out in the hallway. It took a moment to brush the glass off his hands and fold them across the chest. Let him look decent. Let him at least have a bit of decency before Holland rifled through his pockets like a street urchin.
He could feel the dog’s eyes on his back as he searched. The hell did she know, she was a dog. And this was business.
“Keycard!” he said, throwing on a smile under his helmet just to prove she couldn’t get to him. It was thin as a wafer and reflective in the emergency lights. Kai Sturnof. Handsome enough, grinning giddily like he’d been telling jokes to the camera. Didn’t look that way now. Looked dead.
Well. Yorna could have his name for the wall. That was more than he could offer most of them.
Something heavy and metal creaked above him and Holland let the body alone. If he wanted to get out the same way he came in (or at all) it was best not to linger. Most of them would be buried or burned in their own time, they didn’t need his pity.
The keycard got him through the second door and the third, but the fourth once more required a crowbar. He only passed one more body, a poor slip of a girl who’d been thrown through a display screen until she was left hanging by her arm, impaled on shattered plastic. He didn’t spare the time for her. Couldn’t, not with the ship still burning and the smoke trailing high into the air.
Triska howled when they passed a third and Holland forced himself not to look at it.
“Alright, so, if the ship patterns are still standardized then we should be coming up on the cargo bay.” His words marked the appearance of a massive door. The kind that looked ready to take a load of thermite and shrug it off. Hopefully Kai had clearance or this would have been a complete waste. “Maintenance almost always keeps a supply closet attached to it. Cargo’s where all the money is, they’ll protect it with their-”
Lives. They hadn’t. They couldn’t.
“That’s what we’re after, anyway.” Holland flashed the keycard at the door. The lights flicked and for a moment he thought it was too banged up to open. Then, with an agonize grinding of gears, the blast doors slid open. Halfway. Still enough for him to slip through. “Now let’s find it fast, this place is….”
Holland’s hands were cold as they slid along the inside of the door. The metal below his gloves was freezing. The whole room was frigid. He could see mist forming in the air, frost creeping along the walls, and a dense fog up to his ankles. A catastrophic cryogenics spill, couldn’t be anything else.
“Please just be a food hauler.” Holland pressed onward, down the short hallway that served as the cargo’s airlock. Triska’s booted feet padded along behind him, the dog sticking to his leg like she was glued there. The other doors were already opening and he could see beyond. “Oh no….”
The ship wasn’t a hauler.
It was a transport.
Ten lines of pods were stacked to the ceiling, racks running all the way to the back wall. Most were broken. Or leaking. Or smoking ominously as their cryofluid drained through the gaps and onto the floor. Massive puddles of the stuff were forming, stuck on the left side where the ship was slightly slanted. The fog rose from them like a living thing, building on itself until it spilled further out onto the floor.
Every tube had a body. There had to be hundreds.
“They were supposed to have cargo.” Holland swallowed and tried to remember the signs for intruding on a tomb. This was, he didn’t know what this was, blasphemy certainly. Some sort of heresy. To come here without anyone from the Registry or anything to take...inventory was the wrong word, he was sure of it.
Triska shook beside him, now silent. Her head was pointed towards the closest tube. The face of it had cracked all the way down the front. The man inside had his eyes half open, head lolling, pale skin turned ashen grey by the cold. The tubes had come out, the pod had tried to wake him up, instead it had drowned him before it could freeze him to death.
He’d heard crash survivors talk about things like that. Nightmares they had even decades after their wreck. The stories were endless and now here was the truth for all of them. Drowning, broken glass impaling sleepers, being thrown bodily through the pane, electrocuting as the circuits failed, simply being left behind as the power failed and dying with no one to wake you up….
“I guess,” he started, having to stop and swallow down bile. “I guess we should look for survivors?”
Triska’s helmet turned towards him. He couldn’t see her eyes. Only imagine them.
She wanted to go home. She wanted to save people. She wanted to forget the damn thing. She couldn’t bear the thought. She wanted a drink. She wanted ketamine and a Scrap Samurai marathon.
“Now I’m projecting on the dog.” Holland put his fingers to the edges of his mask, squeezing until he felt cold metal dig into his temples. He could leave now, report his findings, lead a volunteer expedition back here who might have a chance of getting people out. And bring in far more goods for the city than his little salvaging run could. All above board, no one would give him guilt for it.
But here he was, looking at hundreds of failed pods in a burning ship that might lose what power it had at any moment.
“One line,” he told himself as he started a walk down the first aile, forcing himself to stare at the caskets as he passed. He said it again when he started on the second, going slower to check the racks above. And the third. And the fourth.
It was the fifth when he finally found something promising. All the way at the top, one of the pods looked whole, glowing a faint blue-white. He could see a silhouette inside, obscured by frost.
Holland tried the console, ignoring the way Triska growled at one of the corpses. It was probably the eyes. Black lenses shoved into its eyesockets like the man had been born with cameras.
The buttons were all labeled in script he couldn’t read and the switches were locked behind a key. Even if he could work them, it was unlikely he could bring the thing down without breaking it. The only thing he could get was a name.
Thomas Marcos.
“Not your lucky day, brother.” Up ten lines, must have been a hundred feet. No ladders to climb, he didn’t have enough rope or any kind of grappler. “No sense breaking my own neck and still leaving you up there, yeah?”
The hell was he saying, the man couldn’t hear him. Probably wouldn’t hear anything else. If he was lucky he’d just freeze to death without waking up.
Dammit!
Holland kept going, ignoring anything above the ground floor. Triska had started to wander, some of the fear dying off. He was glad she had her own helmet, he wasn’t sure what he’d do if he turned around to see her nibbling on someone.
He’d given up when she’d started barking, nose pointed directly at a pod tucked into the far corner. That was what saved it. Others had outright fallen out of their racks back here, spilling all over the floor, their occupants crushed. The lucky corner was secured against both walls and the floor. Barely looked jostled.
“This we can handle.” Holland crept his way over the broken glass until he stood face to face with the pod. He had to scrape the ice off the front with a knife before he could see the inside. The girl didn’t so much as twitch.
Young. Teenager at most with a whole mop’s worth of blonde hair tied up above her head. Her shoulders were slim and what he could see of her arms put them as long. Had probably never spent a day on a planet before now. That might be a problem.
Her eyes were still shut tight and there was a tube sticking down her open mouth. He leaned close to the glass and watched her chest. It might have been his imagination, but he could see it move.
“Breathing.” Holland tried not to relax too much. He still had to get her out of there. His buggy sat four, he had a spare mask in his pack, and it wasn’t too far of a drive.
He could save one and be happy with that.
She hadn’t come alone though. Right next to her was another blonde, a bit more stocky, complexion a touch darker like she’d seen some actual sun in her life. Also thrown halfway through the glass, her neck split open by a jagged edge. Her blood mixed with the coolant and froze on the shards. Miserable way to die.
“This is going to be terrible no matter when you wake up.” Holland turned his attention to the panel on the side. It had a small display with vitals on it. He couldn’t read the words, but the numbers looked fine. Nothing was flashing or in red or seemed outrageous. It hasn’t had her name.
Silvea Trasento.
“Never seen Sylvia spelled like that.” Triska tried to stick her head up to the glass, staring at the girl hidden behind it. “Don’t worry, we’ll get her out.”
He wasn’t so sure.
There was a symbol he thought was emergency release. But it could be anything. Who knew where this ship was from or what sort of schema it used. Could be a criminal ship and that the execute button for all he knew.
Though if he just smashed the pod, she’d likely drown.
Holland pressed the button. A few more lit up along with a confirmation on screen. He pushed the one that was flashing and thumbed the word that looked closest to ‘yes’.
There was a long, heartstopping moment when the machine did nothing but make noise. He was half expecting to see the coolant turn red as the girl was slowly liquefied, but instead the level began to drop.
“Gods must be smiling.” Holland kept his hold on the button and watched as the whole pod drained. He heard something splatter against the inside of the wall. One of the pipes must have burst from the suction. The whole infrastructure was falling apart, she wouldn’t have lasted hours. “Gods are smiling right at you.”
When the tank was empty, the tube extracted itself, rolling back up into a hollow in the door. He held his breath until she took hers, a wet, gasping thing he could hear through the treated glass. Triska barked happily, spinning around and thumping her feet on the floor.
“Take it easy, sister.” Holland saw another flashing button and pushed it, hearing the clicks of a lock opening. Idiot-proof technology, perfect. He grabbed onto the handle that deployed itself, pulling outward. “You’ve had a rough night.”
The door moved one inch, then stopped hard enough to jostle his arm. The second pull got the same. Then the third. The latch was stuck!
“Of all the things to break, it’s the latch?” Nevermind, the gods were playing games with the girl. Still, that wasn’t so much of a problem. Hell, he could probably pick it given a few-
Triska growled, low and angry. A moment later, an alarm sounded in his ears, the picture from the SpyEye forced itself upon his helmet. There was a cloud of dust coming from the greater desert, too small and focused to be a sandstorm. Company.
“Okay. No time to disassemble the latch.” Holland leaned closer to the glass. Behind it, the girl was writhing, her eyes fluttering open and closed. For just a second they looked silver, then switched to a more neutral brown. “Oh...oh! Hello? You awake in there? Do these pods have an internal release?”
He tapped his knuckles on the glass and watched her shudder, rolling in her restraints and muttering something. Completely incomprehensible.
“Right. You’re tied down AND there’s a language barrier.” Holland went back to tapping buttons, hoping he’d just left the lock on somehow. None of them were lit now, the whole pod shutting down. Failsafe to keep him from accidentally freezing her? “Why couldn’t you be from the Shogunate or the Tsar League, I can read their scribbles.”
The pod shook and his heart froze in his chest (they wouldn’t put a self-destruct on cryo would they?) until he turned to see Triska had jumped up onto the glass. Her paws scrabbled at its surface, boots sliding off without making a scratch.
“Even if your claws were out, I don’t think you could cut-” Cut. If he couldn’t get to the latch, why didn’t he just go straight for the glass?
Holland shoved Triska back to the floor and pulled out his multitool. It took a bit of digging to find the saw in its case, but he’d sharpened the teeth last week. Unless this glass was treated for void (ridiculous expense for something that should never leave this sealed room) it’d go through it like nothing.
“If this goes wrong, it’ll be the most fucked up thing I’ve ever done. So try to stay still in there.” Holland set the blade for two inches and started near the bottom. No screams or alarms sounded as he sunk it into the glass so he started upward. Just had to hope he didn’t blind her with the glass spray. “Don’t look directly into the saw!”
Triska whined at him, her ears pinned back.
“Yes, I know she can’t understand me, I’m grasping at straws!” The feed from SpyEye wasn’t helping. He could see shapes in the dust now, a long and mean looking shadow. A whole cruiser was coming out to meet them. And why wouldn’t they, there was a big, juicy Imperial ship right here.
Holland could see the smaller cars running around it like flies by the time he finally made it back to the bottom of the glass. Then it just took a bit of work with the crowbar and he had the glass off and resting against the floor.
Silvea stared at him, eyes open and mouth working like she had something to chew on. Holland gave her some time and worked on the restraints. He’d never woken someone up from cryo, he didn’t know how long it would take for the lights to come back on. Too long.
She made it one syllable before her eyes started to water and she made the most horrific cough.
“Right. Whatever this stuff is probably shouldn’t be in your lungs.” Holland took out the spare mask and slipped it on her squirming face, having to tighten the straps by a few notches to get it to sit right.
She made a few more noises as her breath came back. Holland ignored them in favor of scooping her up. He could see the cruiser approaching, an angry god in its own right. Any questions either of them had could wait until they could actually speak. Until then, Triska was more liable to get something out of her. The dog was staring at their new ‘friend’ and whining like a shoddy engine.
“Now just stay calm and….” Holland watched her arm come up at a snail's pace, weakly curled into something close to a fist. He caught it. More out of principle than anything. “Don’t do that. Just rest. We’ll get you somewhere a bit less horrifying.” He tucked her head against his shoulder and took a step over the broken glass.
He just had to get her one rack away, where she couldn’t see the presumed mother. If anything would set her off, it was that. Maybe he was going about this too fast. He could have at least taken the time to cover her up or put her in a pose more presentable.
Holland hadn’t made it three steps before a fist slammed into his jaw. He stumbled, almost losing his footing, and he knew that any chance of getting out of here cleanly had just gone out the window.
The girl was staring at the corpse. She looked frozen, caught just before the inevitable. He tried to get a hand to her mouth, but she let out an ear-piercing shriek.
Then legs pressed against his chest until he was forced to drop her, the girl flopping onto the ground right between the broken pods.
There were more corpses down there, half-crushed from the fall. The screaming got louder.
“Easy, sister, easy.” Holland tried to pull her up, but she squirmed out of his grip. He watched her go a step before tumbling back to the floor, panicked breath coming from beneath her mask.
All at once she ripped it off and he heard a wet splatter, the girl retching. Cryosickness. Shock. Grief. He couldn’t even imagine how all of that felt together.
The SpyEye chirped. Scout cars were arriving, circling the base. They did not have time.
He needed her moving.
He needed her to trust him.
He pulled off his mask.
submitted by ScrapyardGod to redditserials [link] [comments]


2020.10.16 08:10 PointMan97 Girl next door hidden camera

Chapter 5: Some old comrades Mogadishu, Somalia
June 3rd, 2025, 09:45 AM
Mooring off the coast of Mogadishu with patrol boats cruising about to defend the task force, the Tartarus, Aaru, and Duat had their flight decks dotted with Roc Eagle VTOL crafts for rapid deployment of robot wolves into the city. Horus accompanied the troops to lead in person, besides the Crown Prince, he had a cadre of bodyguards. A group of anthropomorphic robot avians similar to Horus in the body structure of their limbs and wings. But their species varied from falcon to hawks, owls, eagles, ravens, crows. They seemed rather a colorful bunch corresponding to their species as well as what appeared to be clothed had on their bodies.
Like Horus, they each wore a combat vest with tactical pouches and ammo for their weapons, a backpack depending on their specialties, but these tend to be satellite radio. Each of these avians embedded into a company of robot wolves acting as their Joint Tactical Air Controller. Horus then led the troops onboard the Aaru to its flight deck and boarded the VTOLs that were spooling up their engines.
Once the troops settled in their seats with Horus sitting in one such VTOL with Temujin and Earl Gunter being part of a ground force consisting of armored MRAPs and amphibious IFVs assembled in the welding deck and deployed alongside the avians as the VTOLs took off. Inquisitor Rameses then called them over the coms network, addressing Horus directly. “Crown Prince Horus, If you be so kind and give the troops a fill-in of what they’re doing here. I’m certain one of upstanding royal blood like you would take care of doing your research.”
Horus groaned hearing this, knowing full well that the Inquisitor purposefully aimed at him for the Calypso Incident. “Alright, if you wish. For anyone new here, welcome to Mogadishu, Somalia. You call it The Mog because these mean streets are full to the brim with hostile targets.” Horus began sarcastically. “The folks here want some peace and a full belly. But they ain’t having it while assholes are still shooting up their lives and bombing their battered sandy streets. Who are you kicking ass? The Somali People’s Liberation Front. Start your bidding on how much they believe in their cause. The godless Commie Boos are shaking hands with Al-Shabaab, and I intend to crash their tea party.”
“The African Union coalition has been policing the region for 3 years straight now. We just so happen to have a contract to assist them when, where, and however possible. Therefore, by contractual obligations, we’re here to kick ass and take names. Get tactical, Jackal Guards!” Horus ended his motivational speech, making his troops' spirits soar as high as the heaven for their deployment as the VTOLs approached Mogadishu. Rameses chuckled bemusedly to Horus's rousing speech as it suggested that the crown prince indeed did his homework.
As they approached the coastline of Mogadishu, passing over the Aden Adde International Airport that was AMISOM III's HQ, they saw the sight of a city still ravaged by constant civil war and lack of functioning government. There were columns of billowing smoke further away from the airport suggesting something had gone wrong. Nearby, they heard the sound of thundering artillery raining shells on the airport. From the sounds they made, these could be 130mm towed artillery.
The LCAC hovercrafts zoomed across the water surface towards the coastline with the MRAPs in tow before disembarking with the IFVs acting as mobile fire support platforms for them. The first ship to enter the city’s dock was the Tartarus bearing a full brunt of tank battalion that disembarked there before forming up for their journey in the relative safety of the AMISOM III’s Blue Zone towards the airport.
"Rameses, talk to me. What's the immediate situation on the ground?" Horus asked urgently while looking out of the VTOL's porthole. Rameses was in the Tartarus' operation control room with a holographic table showing him real-time troops' movements. On that table, Horus' and the Jackal Guards were amber gold with the allied AMISOM III troops in green and the SPLF in red. "Bad, growing worse by the minutes so take your pick. The airport is being shelled by the SPLF to prevent reinforcements for a stranded convoy."
"Who's commanding that convoy, and what's their objective?" Horus asked with a frown as his VTOL flew over the city approaching the busy and bustling downtown area. "It's Colonel Chima, Nigerian Army. He was heading to Cordon and searched the Bakara Market area for an arms shipment, before being ambushed by an IED and lots of tangos since then we lost contact with him. But the surviving troops are holding out nearby, so keep your eyes out for them." Rameses replied cautiously, knowing the name might entice Horus into doing something reckless the moment he touched down.
"Pilot! Take us down to the convoy's location. We'll comb the area and search for Colonel Chima from there. Second Battalion, land, and set up a defensive perimeter around the airport. Expect troublemakers to come your way soon." Horus ordered them with an almost obsessive look on his robot face as he looked out of the porthole. Rameses scoffed and frowned upon hearing this, as the crown prince took his company down West Bakara Boulevard. "You heard him, so do it, and don't forget to take care of those artilleries. They can't be that mobile compared to you." Rameses sternly ordered 2nd Battalion deployment via hovercrafts and helicopters.
As the VTOLs carrying Horus's company approached the boulevard where they saw the convoy was, the pilot put the VTOL into hover mode and opened the ramp door. The robot gold eagle sitting at the rear was holding an M2010 sniper rifle when he saw a Somalian toting an RPG-7V. He took the shot and quickly killed the target in one shot while the VTOL was still turbulent from the change in momentum. "Nice shot, Rezat." Horus eagerly congratulated the robot eagle while the wolves fast-rope down the streets and fanned out to secure their immediate surroundings. "What can I say? I aim to please." Rezat remarked with a smirk at Horus before he and the Crown prince jumped down.
“Rameses, where are the AMISOM troops? I can see their vehicle wrecks 500 meters from here but no signs of the troops.” Horus inquired as he pressed up against a wall while the VTOL’s engines kicked up a mini dust storm around them. The robot wolves were also taking up positions around the alleyways and dusty boulevards with overlapping arcs of fire. “Patching you to their coms now.” Rameses nonchalantly replied as he began to wire Horus to the Nigerian coms, he soon heard panicking Nigerian soldiers shouting in a mixture of accented English and Igbo over the radio calling for help.
“Can anyone hear me? This is sergeant Yakubu, Hyena 3-1. I have men pinned down by Al-Shabaab, we have taken casualties, some of them are critical. Need urgent reinforcements and MEDEVAC. Send help to the TKY Trading Company building immediately!” The battle roars and crackling of AKM rifles broke through the walls, kicking off cinder blocks and debris filled the background as Horus cracked his neck adjusting his shoulder. “This is Falcon-6, respond to your distress loud and clear. Hold your position, we’re on our way.” Horus stated confidently before gesturing his troops to begin tactical advance towards the ambushed Nigerian troops.
“My God, are we glad to hear from you? Do you have MEDEVAC for my men?” The Nigerian asked urgently over the radio, with Horus replying cautiously. “I got a ground convoy being assembled for MEDEVAC and reinforcements, but we have to clear the area for them first.” Horus however gritted his teeth knowing that he might have overpromised yet again. “Rezat, take up overwatch, and make sure the boulevard is safe for our convoy to roll in.” Rezat nodded at Horus and patted his back before taking flight towards a nearby building and took up position on a high rooftop with his rifle set up ready to engage.
On the ground, the IFVs and MRAPs linked up with Horus and his initial strike team, some of the robots disembarking from the MRAPs, and IFVs happened to be Temujin and Gunter with the two watching each other’s backs. The IFVs were 8x8 sleek and angular wedge-shaped vehicles with V-shaped hulls to minimize damages from IEDs. The unmanned turret had a 30mm main gun along with a coaxial 7.62 M240 machine gun. The turret also had a hexagonal-shaped ATGM pod, which contained three Javelin missiles ready to fire. The turret also had a panoramic CITV that swiveled and rotated to give the crew commander a good view of the environment. The infantry disembarked from the rear via a drop-down ramp, in total, a fully equipped wolf pack of eight can ride in the M3 Sobek IFV.
They fanned out and took up the position left of their MRAP before moving up slowly towards the AMISOM convoy’s wrecks. “Falcon-6, this is Condor 62, we have eyes on a pair of Type 87 mortars. Request permission to engage, over.” The VTOL pilot asked Horus on the coms as he circled the Roc Eagle VTOL craft around the combat area with his co-pilot operating the surveillance system.
“Clear hot, I want those things smoked by the time I get back. Got it?” Horus sternly ordered with a frown on his face, prompting the pilot to nod and switch on the master arms. “Copy that, weapons hot, engaging.” The Roc Eagle VTOL craft began to maneuver its nose into a strafing run pose. Under the nose was a triple-barreled 25mm automatic cannon lowered down its internal weapon bay and its barrels spooled up. “Guns guns guns.” The robot wolf co-pilot exclaimed as he fired the cannon on the pair of mortars.
The Roc Eagle’s fuselage had a pair of hexagonal 70mm rocket pods sliding out of their internal weapon bay, the pilot pulled the trigger, and bombard the Al-Shabaab and SPLF crew with high explosive rockets. The bombardment of 25mm cannon shells and rockets wrecked the open ground the mortars were firing from. The civilian population was so utterly horrified by the strafing run that they ducked down, and hid in their homes.
The co-pilot looked at the thermal screen of his Roc Eagle's cone-mounted camera and scanned the battlefield below. Besides the smoke and fire from the mortars, they saw Horus and his company moving up along the boulevard towards the AMISOM peacekeeper vehicle wrecks. But further away, there were multiple groups of gun-toting SPLF and Al-Shabaab militants roaming down the streets towards the ambush site with some RPG gunners on the rooftops. "Falcon-6, this is Condor 62, we have hostile moving to your position. Be advised women and children are among them, over."
Heeding the pilot's warning, Horus gestured his troops to spread out and began to cover the approaches as they came up to the intersection. "Eyes wide, bad guys are mixed with the civvies, so watch your fire," Horus instructed the robots as he raised his Mk17 SCAR-H battle rifle to low ready. His left hand held its foregrip tightly, while his optic aimed down its M150 ACOG sight at the intersection with a burning wreck of a Nigerian MRAP. "Jeez, my last deployment was in Afghanistan. Even then, my Apache still took a beating from Taliban assholes with RPGs on the mountains." Gunter grimaced to Horus as he peeked around the corner to look at the burning MaxxPro MRAP wreck. "Even angels can still get their wings clipped, heh?" Horus remarked grimly to Earl. "Yeah," the red wolf snorted, "That can happen to ye if ye get sloppy."
Rameses in his operational command room observed Horus, and his troops inside the ambusher's Killzone fanning out. As the robot wolves prepared for a deadly encounter, Rameses saw enemy vehicles moving along the narrow streets paralleling and intersecting with the main boulevards. He noticed how those particular vehicles had greater distances from the mob of infantry. Without mounted weapons and visible signs of bolted armor, those vehicles were VBIEDs. “Falcon-6 be advised, hostile VBEDs are coming your way, make sure that you don’t lose the IFVs or MRAPs.” Rameses warned Horus urgently.
"Rezat, you're weapons-free. Takedown those VBEDs before they get too close." Horus instructed Rezat, who grinned in delightful satisfaction as his trigger finger struck the trigger's length. "Happy to oblige." The gold eagle robot replied as he saw one such VBIED moving down the small alleyway, his scope locked on the vehicle's engine block, and he held his breath for a shot. Rezat pulled the trigger, sending a powerful .300 Winchester Magnum round exiting the barrel, traveling downrange at maximum velocity, the bullet penetrated the engine block. The car spun out of control and crashed into a crumbling building's side and detonated the explosives. A massive boom rippled across the district, as the nearby city block had dust and debris flew across them.
"Did you feel that? Hope that topped your last firework show in Libya." Rezat cockily boasted while loading the next round into the chamber. "Yeah well, it's not like we're competing for collateral damage. Open fire! Get moving towards Hyena 3-1 now!" Horus ordered urgently, hastening his troops to pick up and sprint towards the ambushed Nigerian troops. As the enemy descended on them, rifle crackles and bullets whisked across the battlefield.
"Technical!" One robot shouted out loud, alerting his platoon to the presence of an enemy vehicle with a mounted DshK heavy machine gun that came over the intersection. Gunter took notice and quickly rushed towards and conducted a combat slide near enough to the vehicle. As the DshK machine gunner opened fire, the other robots either took cover or returned fire sporadically. "Somebody take out that damned technical! Rhino 2-2, I need you to lay down fire on that asshole now!" Horus ordered the IFV urgently as the vehicle began to move forward, and the gunner caught sight of the technical. "Copy that sir, we have eyes on target engaging now,"
Gunter acted quickly and fired his M320 grenade launcher at the vehicle, blowing its backside to smithereens. "Have no fear Gunter is here," Earl joked whimsically as the crew of the technical backed off and ran for cover, this gave them an opening to move up and secure the blocking positions needed to evacuate the wounded. "Friendlies! Hyena 3-1, get your wounded ready to move, we have some MRAPs that can take them back to the Airport." Horus ordered Sergeant Yakubu cautiously while keeping his eyes out for trouble around the city block. "Affirmative, thanks for the help Falcon-6. Wait are you...?" Yakubu paused hesitantly, hoping to hear Horus's confirmation. "It's not important right now. Get your wounded out so I can find Colonel Chima." Horus disregarded the sergeant's curiosity and continued with his guards up.
As the Nigerian and fellow AMISOM troops from Gabon, Ghana, Cameroon, Sierra Leone, and others moved their wounded out of the garrisoned buildings and on the MRAPs, Temujin spotted another mob of enemy militants with RPGs and light machine guns approaching them from the East. He also caught sight of a little girl caught out in the open, holding her head with both hands and curled up on the ground. Civilians caught in the line of fire was something his programming dictates he must intervene.
He quickly rushed out firing his M4A1 at the mobs while they sprayed and prayed at him, bullets bounced off his armor as he stood in front of the little girl who screamed and shouted for her mother to save her. "Awww shit, why did that kid have to play the hero? But fine." Gunter gritted his teeth, more out of annoyance than contempt, he fired his M320 grenade at the mob of Al-Shabaab fighters, dispersing them with an explosion that left about a dozen of them dead or wounded with blood and gore splattered all over the place.
"Temujin, get the girl to cover! We'll cover you, lay down suppressive fire on those assholes!" Gunter barked at the other robot wolves who then increased their rate of fire at the approaching enemies, while Temujin grabbed the little girl, holding the child in his left hand and sprinted back towards the safety of her mother, who held out by a doorway for her child. "Get inside and find some shelter until the shooting is over," He instructed her, while she didn't understand every word he said, but she understood safety first and closed the door before thanking him in her native language.
The AMISOM troops flooded the MRAPS with their wounded while then the South African troops kept up suppressing fire on the Al-Shabaab fighters. The Jackal Guards operated Oshkosh MRAPs kept their distances and assisted in the suppression of enemy fighters. Once the vehicles were at full capacity, the AMISOM South African contingent began to withdraw to their base in the Airport. "Rameses, we got the AMISOM evacuated. I'm gonna have Task Force 1-23 set up a perimeter around the Bakara market to continue the AMISOM mission. How copy?" Horus reported calmly over the radio while his head fidgeted and swiveled around.
"I hear you loud and clear. I also have the 501st Armored Battalion disembarked and set up at the Airport. Their howitzers are ready at your disposal. But watch where you aim them, the area has high civilian density." Rameses cautioned Horus as he watched from his holographic battle map that showed the Jackal Guards howitzers set up at the airport with their guns standing by for fire missions.
Horus sighed out hearing this, it was frustrating for him as he had the most potent weapons possible in his arsenal, but he could not use them right away for civilians were in the area. "Roger that. I'll take Gunter and Temujin and search for Colonel Chima. Any ideas where they took him?" Horus's question prompted the Inquisitor robot to begin to examine intelligence from UAVs over the area.
One video from a UAV operated by the South Africans picked up the sight of the SPLF militants dragging a bagged and tied person in military uniform into the heart of the Bakara Market. "Horus, I found your man, looks like they took him to the Bakara Market. You might want to use thermal once you’re inside" Rameses tapped the position on the map, marking the location on Horus's HUD and the robot wolves following him. "Got it, thanks Rameses, you take over and keep the perimeter secured. I got an old comrade to save."
"Don't leave me out of the action. Besides, you're going to need someone to provide overwatch." Rezat chimed in before picking up his rifle and got up from the rooftop he was on. "Avengers, I need three snipers set up around Bakara Market. Get it done, out." Rezat ordered the other robot avians sternly before flying over to Horus and linked up with him as the fireteam to breach and clear the market. He switched out his sniper rifle for a Textron LSAT with 750 rounds worth of 5.56x45mm bullets. "Lt. Colonel Rezat, we got the areas around the market locked down. Task Force 1-23 is moving in for a sweep now. We'll report when we see something important, Archer, out." A robot owl sniper reported to Rezat as he set up his sniper nest with his M24 SWS. “Affirmative, keep your eyes peeled for any enemy escape attempts. I’m going in with Horus.”
With the robot wolves from the 1st Battalion of the 23rd Mechanized Infantry Regiment setting up their perimeter around Bakara Market’s four corners, Horus’s fireteam moved in to begin their search for colonel Chima. The interior of the market saw sporadic resistance from various shops and levels with Al-Shabaab militants firing wildly at them only to see bullets bounce off of Horus’s angular and sleek armor plates or ricochet off of the robot wolves. Rezat was able to suppress his targets giving Gunter the chance to fire off his grenade at them, obliterating the militants in one go.
As Horus and his fireteam sweep the Bakara Market high and low, they used their ultraviolet sensors to pick up the trails of Colonel Chima, tracing him eventually to the warehouses on the other side of the market while the backup fireteams of the Task Force help clear and hold the market to plug escape routes. Horus came to the doorway and stacked up with Rezat covering his back. Temujin listened in and heard Arabic being spoken by the Militants on the other side of the door.
Additionally, he heard a middle-aged man grunting and groaning in pain as he was being punched by the militant’s interrogator. “This is it. Setting up for breach.” Temujin remarked with Horus prepped a flashbang in his talon. Temujin kicked down the door, and Horus tossed in the flashbang that blinded the whole room. Temujin and Horus stormed in, and like how they trained CQB clearing maneuver, they shot the militants dead with well-aimed headshots. Temujin, being much more orthodox, decided to follow up with two more in the chest per target.
“Target secure! Hey, hey look at me. Look at me, are you alright?” Horus came over to Colonel Chima with Gunter behind the colonel ready to cut the rope they tied him with. The colonel coughed repeatedly before looking up at Horus with a battered face. “What took you so long? Having a guided tour around town?” Chima asked sarcastically with a humorous chuckle making Horus giggled along. “Nothing I can’t handle. Come on let’s get you out of here. We’ll catch up when we’re home.” Horus glanced over his shoulder and noticed a camera set up in front of Chima, the militant that he gunned down behind the colonel was holding a machete. All signs suggest an execution video shooting by the SPLF and Al-Shabaab.
“Thanks for getting me out. I guess I’m the damsel in distress this time around.” Chima humorously quipped with Horus holding his hand to lift him, “Took it right out of my mouth.” The gem on Horus’s gauntlet lit up with a strange glow that seemed to mend Colonel Chima wounds, healing scars, drying up dripping blood, and close up ruptures. Before long, Colonel Chima seemed well again with some wear and tear on his uniform. “It’s on the house. Anyway, where are the weapons? I heard that you were clearing the place for a shipment when the ambush happened.” Horus asked cautiously with Colonel Chima pointed towards the tire tracks on the ground floor of the market storage areas. “You see those? They knew we were coming. They took off and ambushed me. Whatever you’re looking for, my friend, I’m sorry to say they’re gone.”
“That’s just great! We got all dressed up for nothing! Nothing you hear me, nothing! Well, not entirely true because we saved you and your men from the wannabe Commieboos.” Horus grumbled and frowned, lamenting the empty-handed situation they were in. With Rezat patting his shoulder sympathetically, “Come on Horus, you did a solid job today considering the situation. Let’s get the colonel back to the AMISOM base, and we’ll work from there.” the robot gold eagle suggested, to which Horus nodded reluctantly. “Alright then, come on Chima old pal, I got a convoy of MRAPs and IFVs ready to tear ass through Mogadishu.” Said Horus as he led Chima out to the convoy of Jackal Guards. Once outside, his Roc Eagle VTOL was seen loitering around the market before approaching for a pickup of the colonel and the crown prince.
Rezat and Horus let Colonel Chima board the craft first before they followed behind and boarded the VTOL. Temujin and Gunter followed as security details strapped in for a flight back to the airport while the other robots of Task Force 1-23 began to fall back one corner at a time around Bakara Market and went back to the Airport as well. Horus flew overhead in his VTOL and to provide close air support if needed, but for the time being it was friendly catching up to Colonel Chima as they shared a Bordeaux Champagne bottle with Cuban Cigars.
“So Chima, how are your kids? Did your son make it through college?” Horus asked jubilantly, prompting Chima to burst into hearty laughter and pulled a photo from his phone out to show Horus. “Glad that you asked, my son, Jonathan, just graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Energy Engineering. Something Nigeria will be needing. Since the damn Chinese vacated the region, Jonathan is going to make Nigeria greater than ever.”
“That’s good to hear, maybe I’ll give him an all-expenses-paid vacation in Egypt. The Nile is always a nice place to relax.” Horus exclaimed with equally jubilant laughter. He then changed subjects with Chima as they came over the airport. “So where did you get the intel about the weapon shipment? I’d wager HUMINT first and foremost.” Horus asked eagerly. Chima nodded to Horus’s guess as their VTOL hovered and landed on the Helipad of the International Airport reserved for the Jackal Guards and operated by their Legio XXI Ferra Lupina (Legion XXI Iron Wolf), the parent unit of Temujin’s Task Force 1-23. “About three days ago, one of our informants in the countryside reported that a shipment of weapons flew in from Ethiopia. They landed in a rural airstrip before shipping the weapons by truck into Mogadishu for the SPLF and Al-Shabaab.”
“Right, so in short, you were trying to intercept the cargo before going for the source.” Horus hypothesized, earning a nod of approval from Chima. “That’s right. But now I don’t know whether to resume operation or just pacify the areas in and around the airport and port. There is a spy in the AMISOM Coalition.” Horus nodded to Chima before the two looked over to the other side of the Airport’s runway, where AMISOM’s Operational Headquarters reside. “Look, how about you take care of the spy? I’ll handle the airstrip, just tell me where your informant is.” Horus suggested to Chima, with such friendly terms, there was no reason to turn it down and nodded. “That sounds fair. He’s in the Jubba River Valley, in the town of Jilib. But if I were you, I’d say you better get there fast today. He might have been compromised, who knows.” Chima replied urgently to Horus, who took the words of caution with a concerned frown on his face. “Okay, thanks for the heads up Chima. I’ll be in there to plan things out, all improv theater just like when I was on Rhodos.”
Horus then took the time to set up his operational Headquarters in the International Airport’s compound with a section of the runway reserved for his troops to land their VTOLs and helicopters. The jets remained on their LHDs on standby to avoid a catastrophic attack by enemy mortars and rocket strikes. Gunter had his attack chopper inside a sheltered hangar with the ground crew working around the clock to keep it operational. A sleek, angular stealth attack chopper with internal weapon bays for its payload of missiles, rockets. A five rotor blades main rotor with canards for sound suppression made his attack chopper an ideal weapon for fast attack and recon patrol.
Inside the planning and C2 room, Horus and Rameses were standing by their holographic strategic map table. The table projected a zoomed-in section of Somalia and rendered the topography in realistic details. With a single swipe in midair, Rameses moved the map towards the Jubba River Valley. He then secured the view around the town of Jilib to give Horus a view of what he was going up against in and around the town. “Here’s our target, codenamed Jacob. He keeps an eye on the town of Jilib and the surrounding areas so he might know where the shipments come from.” Rameses snapped his finger to summon a photo of the African informant looking in his mid 30s.
“The clip note version said don’t shoot him. So what’s the long version?” Horus sarcastically replied while looking at the photo, prompting Rameses to tap on several map grids scattered around the town of Jilib. “There’s a welcoming committee. Go on land, they’ll spot you along the roads with those hidden bunkers, trenches and dug in fighting positions. An approach by air? Let’s just say I hope you enjoy going alone.” Rameses chuckled to Horus while the crown prince frowned at the satellite photos of enemy QW-2 MANPADS and cheap Chinese copy of the Dshk machine guns dotted around the place. There were plenty of trenches around the town connected by hidden bunkers and underground tunnel systems. But he didn’t see any runways for an airstrip.
“Rameses, if I were a Cessna pilot, I could hypothetically count a 5 miles stretch of a straight open highway as a runway, right?” Horus asked his rhetorical question, to which Rameses nodded to him. “Indeed you can. If only a Cessna can haul a large shipment of weapons as well. You’d need a larger cargo plane an An-2 or some Post War models could theoretically land there.” The inquisitor suggested to Horus with a chuckle as he seemed to enjoy Horus’s annoyance as he thought of the possibilities.
The Crown Prince took a moment to zoom the view in on the highway and noticed the odd lack of high trees around the road, an area of 40 meters cleared of obstacles. “The An-12 has a wingspan of 38 meters. That should explain our cargo plane size.” He tapped on one of the zoomed-in views, showing a tire track on the ground suggesting the size of the landing gear tire. “Still a guess, but better than none. So how would you like to approach it? Either way, it won’t be a smooth cloak and dagger operation.” Rameses asked, with Horus looking rather tense by the options he had at hand. “Kick down the door with our armor, MOUT (Military Operation in Urban Terrains) with IFVs and MRAPs. Clear and secure the town before extracting our HVT. Air Support is our panic button and mortar detachment to hammer them.” The Crown Prince explained confidently with his expression changed to that of a grin.
submitted by PointMan97 to HFY [link] [comments]


2020.10.16 04:32 fainting--goat Girl next door hidden camera

I run a private campground. It has some unusual attributes. It’s old land. It’s becoming ancient land. And it just might be a place where inhuman creatures claw their way into existence. It certainly would explain why so many of these things that are trapped here merely reflect the patterns found in history rather than being any one specific thing.
If you’re new here, you should start at the beginning, and if you’re totally lost, this might help.
Before I get into it, can I just take a moment to address some speculation that I personally find disturbing? I don’t want to say that anyone here is doing anything wrong, I TOTALLY get why you’re going off in this direction and that you’ve all got the best of intentions for me. But I also want all of you to know my thoughts on this so that no one winds up doing something regrettable.
I like being human. I don’t want to be anything… more.
I’ve spent my life dealing with inhuman things. I don’t want to be like them. Not just because so many prey on humanity, but because it would also mean the loss of my identity. I may complain about my anger and my other flaws, but they are still my flaws and I want to be the person I am. I want to be able to determine who I am.
These inhuman things… they don’t have that agency. They don’t have the ability to change themselves. They remain what they are until we change them.
Beau is the most complex entity I’ve dealt with and I wonder how much of that is because of us. Even then, I don’t see a wide range or emotions in him. Arrogance, annoyance, sometimes anger. I asked him, before I wrote this, how he viewed the world around him. Did he wonder what was beyond the campground? Was he curious about the lives of the humans he shared his cup with? Did he ever consider the future and what his life would be like in five, ten years?
And he only regarded me with that flat, faint disappointment that appears whenever I ask a question he finds tedious.
I don’t want to be like that. So please don’t try to will me into anything more than what I am.
Sorry to be the wet blanket on that. I know you’re trying to help. But I’ll leave the inhuman side of things to Beau and I’ll manage the human concerns of the campground. Someone has to balance the budget, after all.
Anyway, with that out of the way, let’s get to the exciting stuff.
I made an attempt on the hammock monster. It went really well and then it went really poorly. My staff reported the first hammock they found that didn’t belong to a camper and I made some phone calls and got everything ready. One of my staff volunteered to take a nap in it. Ed, actually. You know, the employee that’s been here a long time and does pretty much whatever he wants because of seniority. Well, he’s got a lot of memories he doesn’t mind losing, he says, plus a nap sounded restful. A nap with the intent of baiting a monster, I reminded him, but he didn’t seem to care. Just threw himself into the hammock, pulled his hat down over his face, and went to sleep.
Then myself and the old sheriff waited with rifles at the ready. The old sheriff was the one that made the shot, unsurprisingly. The hammock monster was leaning over the hammock, resting its long fingers lightly on Ed’s brow. I was still trying to line up the shot, but I was nervous that I was going to be too slow, that at any moment the monster would start pulling long strands out of his head and weave away Ed’s memories. I suppose this is why I tend to use the shotgun. Hard to miss at close range.
Then the hammock monster pitched backwards as the old sheriff put a bullet right between its eyes. I saw the branches snap from the impact and fall to the ground. Then I lowered my gun and began jogging down to where Ed lay asleep to make sure he was okay.
The hammock monster lay motionless as I approached. I moved slowly, carefully watching the creature for any sign of movement. It was hard to tell, as the folds of flesh were lying over its body like a blanket, and it lay on its side with its back to me. I raised my rifle and took aim.
There’s no harm in being very certain one of these creatures is dead.
I never got the shot off. As soon as I put my eye to the sights the hammock monster sprang for me. I caught only a glimpse of its face, mouth opened so wide it was like the jaw had unhinged, yellowed teeth exposed as the lips peeled back, and those empty eye sockets with the snapped stump of the branches. There was no bullet hole. Its hand reached for me, loose skin flapping around its elbow, and then it grabbed hold of the barrel of my rifle and ripped it out of my hands.
Its momentum carried it directly into me. I took a knee to the chest and the impact of its full weight threw me to the ground. I clutched for my knife, but it wasn’t necessary, for the hammock monster kept going. It sprang away like a rabbit, its backwards knees propelling it forwards like it was on springs. I heard another gunshot as the old sheriff took a second shot, but it was moving too fast and he misjudged. A cloud of dust exploded where the bullet hit and then the hammock monster was gone, vanishing into the treeline.
All that was left behind were the broken branches from its eye sockets with the eyeballs dangling from them like overripe fruit. I burned them.
Now, I’ve installed cameras around my house for obvious reasons. I figured with everything out to kill me it’d be smart to check what had happened outside during the night before stepping out the front door. Yes, this means I’ve caught the little girl and the beast on camera. No, I will not share the footage. That sort of thing doesn’t need to be on the internet for any reason.
When I looked out the kitchen window and found a hammock on my porch the next morning I reviewed the recordings and found where the hammock monster - the very same the old sheriff shot in the head the prior day - walking up the steps, tying a hammock to the support beams, and then its eyeball stalks rotated to stare directly at the camera for a moment before it left. The branches were thin and fragile and the eyeballs were mere buds, covered with pale green leaves. I was angry enough at its brazen mockery that I didn’t even take any enjoyment out of setting the hammock on fire in the driveway.
Seems my assessment of it being vulnerable to physical attacks was incorrect. But it’s fine. I have plan B and plan B is going to be awesome.
In the meantime, I had other problems to deal with. I’ve joked in the past that bad years are kind of like an inhuman class reunion, when everything comes home and normally dormant creatures wake up. I’m not sure what metaphor to compare the worst year (that’s what I’m going to call this from here out) to, since I don’t ever get invited to social functions.
I’ve stopped buying up sickly livestock after Beau dropped a mention that oh by the way, it isn’t the horse-eater that’s devouring it. However, I had one of the locals drop by the other day with a dead sheep. As a present. Which normally would be super creepy, I suppose, if you weren’t running a campground filled with inhuman creatures. I thought it was a nice gesture and accepted the sheep. Then I got the tree stand out of the garage and hauled it, a rifle, and the sheep out into the deep woods.
I was keen on finding out what was taking the animals, if not the horse-eater. I had my suspicions and as long as I was high up enough in the tree, I would be safe. Of course, if I was right, I didn’t think the rifle would do anything. This was more of a ‘confirm a theory’ excursion than a hunting trip, though.
So I waited through the night and let me tell you, all-nighters are a lot tougher once you’ve got a stable sleep schedule. I couldn’t even do that thing where you fall half-sleep and then wake up if anything interesting happens, because there’s far too many creatures out there that will entice you to keep sleeping when you really need to be waking up.
I’d at least brought a lot of coffee and snacks along. This is why I splurged on a 2-person stand. I like having a little room.
Around 4am I saw my quarry. A gummy bear shambled into view. It moved brazenly, pushing past the tree branches and underbrush with no concern to the noise it made. I wrapped my fingers tighter around the barrel of the rifle as my heart sped up with the first tendrils of adrenaline. Gummy bears normally moved about like the animal they’d once been, creeping quietly through the woods, often unnoticed by campers.
I was expecting something big. I knew there was a large one out there. A deer or a mountain lion, perhaps even a bear. But what emerged out of those woods was… bipedal. It reached for the sheep’s head with human hands, gripped either side of the skull with the thumb digging into the eye sockets, and ripped it clean off the body.
It had no teeth with which it could eat. Those had sunk into the jellied gums and its mouth - and the rest of its face - was fused into a flat, glistening surface. Instead, it lifted the sheep’s head and pressed it against its stomach. The translucent flesh displaced with a sickening slurp, caving inwards before springing back over top of the sheep’s head. It hung suspended inside the gummy bear’s abdomen at an angle, one sightless eye staring up at the sky above us. Then the gummy bear, its midsection swaying with its movements, reached down and gripped the sheep’s leg. It clearly intended to drag it off, probably to wherever a fairy circle was located so it could finish its meal in comfort.
But its head snapped up before it could rise with its meal in hand. It rolled its neck to one side, twisting its featureless face up towards where I crouched, scarcely daring to breath. The skull was still suspended inside, translucent yellow, tilted at an unnatural angle. It bobbed slightly, like the die inside of a magic 8 ball.
It saw. It saw me.
And it dropped the sheep and came running for the tree, arms flopping at its sides, the sheep’s head bouncing back and forth like jello. It hit the tree with a wet slap and wrapped its arms around the trunk.
It began to climb.
I yelled some profanity and scrambled to my feet, aiming the rifle down at the creature beneath me. I fired. The gunshot went through its shoulder and while sometimes smaller gummy bears would explode from the shockwave, this merely rippled through its flesh, tearing away thick globs that splattered on the forest floor below, and then it kept going. The flesh reformed. It continued to climb.
Tersely, I got on the radio and told the overnight staff there was a problem at the tree stand. I told them to bring fire. And to hurry.
Then I aimed and fired again, but I knew in my heart that it wouldn’t do any good and that my staff wouldn’t get here in time. The gummy bear slithered up the tree until its fingers wrapped around the base of the tree stand.
I raised the rifle with the intent of smashing the butt down on its hands. A single stout blow should reduce them to jelly, I thought grimly. But I never got the chance. As soon as it had reached the tree stand, it let go. It slid down the tree trunk, landing hard on the ground, and then it fled. Just took off running through the trees.
Red flags don’t get any bigger than that.
First, I radioed my staff and told them to stay clear of the area. Something worse was coming and they weren’t safe. I was on my own.
Then I hunkered down in the tree stand. Staying up in a tree is actually a remarkably effective defense against many of these inhuman things. Humanity is built to be on the ground, after all, and so the things that prey on us are also accustomed to staying on ground level. There are plenty of stories about a resourceful person saving themselves from a creature simply by scaling a tree and staying there until dawn.
Of course, this defense only works so long as you’re above the reach of the thing you’re trying to evade.
The horse-eater came shuffling through the forest. I heard the creak and groan of the trees as they were roughly shouldered aside and the wet crack of saplings that broke underfoot. I shrank against the tree trunk, curling up on myself, knowing that my only hope of survival was to stay hidden. Beau was scared of this thing. Everything was scared of it. What hope did I have, with my rifle and my knife and my frail, fragile humanity?
‘Pass me by', I silently pleaded. Pass on by.
Its head emerged, that single red eye shining like a ruby. It was wreathed in darkness like a tattered cloak and this close, I could smell it. Like a wet dog. Its body was stooped and it walked slowly, favoring its bad leg. Then its shoulder was even with where I huddled on the tree stand and I felt faint either from fear or from holding my breath. It was like my body had turned to ice. I couldn’t keep from shaking and all I could think of was Jessie’s screams as it ate her.
Then it passed me by and for one brief, brilliant moment I thought I would be okay.
It twisted its head around and a shining red light nearly blinded me. I cried out reflexively, throwing up my hands to cover my face. I forced myself to look, reaching for my rifle, my eyes streaming with tears at the pain.
A single red eye shone directly in front of me, even with the level of the tree stand. I raised my rifle, my hands shaking so badly I could barely aim. My teeth were chattering from raw terror. The eye, I thought desperately. I had to aim for the eye.
It reached up and with a long thumb and forefinger, the nails like claws, it pinched the front of my gun and ripped it out of my grasp. I heard it land somewhere on the forest floor as it carelessly tossed it aside. I pressed my back against the tree, light-headed and barely able to breathe, and I fumbled for the knife at my side.
“Camp manager,” the horse-eater rumbled. Its voice was like a rasp across wood and I cringed at the sound. “I will spare you for now. You brought me here, after I had wasted so many years. You gave me clarity.
I tried to say something - thank you, I guess - but nothing came out when I opened my mouth. Maybe a little squeak from the back of my throat, but that was all.
“But when my foe is dead,” it continued, “I will come for you. And I will break your bones between my teeth and drink your blood.”
It turned its face from me. My eyes stung with the afterimage of that baleful red light. Ponderously, the horse-eater began to walk away. It stretched out a long arm, one pale finger hooking into the stomach of the sheep, and it dragged it away a pace before lifting it into the air and dropping it into its mouth. I heard the crunch of bones breaking as the creature chewed.
Shaking, I put a hand out on the railing and carefully got to my feet. My knees were weak and it was hard to find my voice. I’m not really sure what prompted me to say something. That hateful resentment, perhaps, that old anger that rebels at being lessor.
“I-I won’t die so easily!” I shouted after it. “I’m going to fight.”
It paused.
“Good,” it replied, without turning around.
And it left, and I sank down to the platform and stayed there, trembling, until morning.
I’m a campground manager. I don’t regret bringing that thing to my land. Am I terrified of it? Obviously. It’s likely the most dangerous thing on the campground right now. But at least now the family that bought Louisa’s farm is safe. Here’s how I think it would have gone: eventually, the sacrifice of a horse wouldn’t have been enough to keep the thing at bay. Or perhaps one of the people living there would have heard its call and sought it out, not realizing what they were dealing with. And after it had destroyed them as it destroyed Louisa’s family, it would have come to my land in search of its enemy.
Now it is on my campground and they are still alive.
There are stories of humans pitting themselves against some terrible evil and winning. Sometimes it's by cleverness, sometimes it's by purity of heart, and sometimes it's because they have the right ally.
I don’t think I’m particularly clever and I’m certainly not pure of heart, so that means I need an ally.
I need to figure out who it came here to kill.[x]
Read the full list of rules.
Visit the campground's website.
submitted by fainting--goat to nosleep [link] [comments]


2020.10.15 08:55 BillyManHansJr Girl next door hidden camera

My name is Boston, and my favorite hobby is looking at obscure pieces of media. While others my age are busy playing sports or going to parties, I happily spend my 16 years of existence watching rare pieces of media. There's just something about it that always fascinated me. Watching something that probably hasn't seen the light of day in years, only a handful of people are even aware of it's existence, and I'm one of them. I assume this is what urban explorers must feel like going into an abandoned house or mall. Kinda like urban archeologist, forgive me if that sounds pretentious. It's important to me, is what I'm trying to say.
I'm an active user of ObscureMedia, it's one of my favorite subs. It amazes me what people could find with some digging and patience. I think it goes without saying that Youtube is a big place, you could watch video after video 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, for the rest of your life until the day you die, and you still would be barely breaking the surface of the labrynth that is YouTube.
Being a practically endless pit of videos, it's safe to say that not all of them reach the surface. Some stay hidden for years before someone happens to stumble upon them. Most of those videos don't get noticed by the YouTube bots or moderators, allowing them to get away with some heinous things. There are some videos that are better left forgotten about.
One day I was browsing the sub like normal. I watched a video of a long forgotten television show from the 90s that looked interesting, and I watched a video of public TV show host being harassed by prank callers which I found hilarious. I refreshed the page to see if there was anything new and there was.
There was a post about a video that looks like a kid show from the early 2000s called "Dixon's Laugh Factory". It looks like one of those TV shows that laugh at people falling over, kinda like America's Funniest Home Videos. It seemed harmless enough, but what struck me as odd was that the video wasn't really detailed. Usually the uploader includes a little summary so people know what they're watching, but this video didn't have any. It just had the title "Dixon's Laugh Factory." I have a friend called Dixon, maybe I'll show him the video. I checked the OPs account, which was just a bunched up mess of letters and numbers, it turns out that they've been on here for 6 years yet this was there only submission. No comments, no about section, nothing. I found that a bit odd but I didn't think anything of it.
I clicked on the video link, which lead me to a YouTube Kids Channel with the same name as the video. There were 5 videos in total that were 5 minutes long a piece. They were in order between one and five, so I clicked on the first one. A little intro tune came one, which went something like Bingo.
"D-I-X-I-E"
"D-I-X-I-E"
"D-I-X-I-E"
"Get Ready for DIXIE"
The intro music sounded like they were sung by a choir of children. The episode started on an anthropomorphic "Snowy Owl" who I believe is Dixon. I saw Snowy Owl in parentheses because it didn't really look like an owl. It kinda looked like Marlyin Manson with a black beak. The way his eyes looked were uncanny, just orange and veiny. They almost looked bloodshot, it was unsettling to look at. I think what made it worse was that it's just staring at the camera, not moving or blinking. It was just staring, I was wearing headphones so I could hear it breathing heavily. If I were a little kid and this came on I would piss myself.
Another thing I didn't like about the character was that it had long, greasy, black hair. It went down to his shoulders and looked wrong. I'm not a furry, but I'm pretty sure a fur suit has to at least look a little like the animal it's portraying. But the weirdest thing about it was that it was rather muscular. Like really muscular. And tall, the opening scene showed Dixon arriving on screen through a little hallway, but it had to bend down through the door frame to get in. Maybe it's the suit's design but why would an owl need to be tall and muscular?
After a minute of staring, Dixon finally spoke.
"Hello boys and girls, and welcome to the very first episode of Dixon's Laugh Factory. I'm Dixon, and I'm a Snowy Owl. I hope you're all ready to laugh because I have some videos I want to show that are guaranteed to knock your socks off!" Dixon said in the most monotone voice I've ever heard. I think he was supposed to act happy and excited because it was a kids show but it sounded like he was reading a god damn grocery list.
The owl man started the first video. It was about a woman in an electric wheel chair, the type fat people ride around in at Walmart. She was trying to go up an escalator with her wheelchair but she fell out. She was rolling down the escalator but it kept going up. I admit, it made me chuckle a bit.
The scene then cut back to Dixon and he was just staring at the camera. I guess this was the part where he gave his commentary but he just sat there. I guess he forgot the video ended, because he got back to the grove of the episode.
"I guess she'll learn to use the stairs next time, oh wait, she can't!"
Not gonna lie, that made me chuckle too.
The next video showed a toddler laying on a couch sleeping. A black and white cat was also on the couch laying next to the baby. I guess either the mom or the dad was recording. Suddenly the cat threw up on the baby's face, causing him to start crying a little bit.
Dixon came back and said his piece, giving the same icy stare to the camera like he did before.
"Jeez, someone change this kid before Grandma starts melting again, P U."
I was actually starting to like the show. I mean sure Dixon's jokes are a little corny and he's creepy to look at, but I can see why some might like it. I mean, if I were a kid when this show was on the air I would've probably watched it all the time. It has a charm to it that I can't explain. Sure it's crude, but that's what makes it special. I guess I'm not the only one who thinks like that because over 5 thousand people liked the video. Maybe the show still had a fanbase.
I continued with the rest of the video, but things started to take a turn for the worst. The third video Dixon showed was much different than the other two. This one was a live stream, it showed a black gentleman in the front seat of a car, he was looking out the window at someone or something out of frame. He cleared his throat and began to speak.
"So right now, I'm at a McDonalds, and I see a cop car in front of me with one person inside. I'm gonna kill these pigs today, watch."
Something about that rubbed me the wrong way. This didn't seem appropriate for a kids TV show. Now, I'm not the one who says what should be allowed and what shouldn't, as long as it's not illegal or hurting anyone it was fine with me, but even I thought that this wasn't ok.
I didn't like where this was going, but as cliche as it sounded I couldn't click away. I had to see what was going to happen next.
The camera man walked over to the cop car and knocked on the driver side window. The cop rolled down the window, the camera man began to speak again.
"Excuse me Officer, can you say Mr Midnight for me real quick please?" He asked.
"Mr Midnight." The cop replied confused.
"He's the reason why this is gonna happen to you right now." The camera man said, suddenly retrieving a gun from his waistband and shooting the cop in the head.
The camera man then ran back to his car and drove off. But before he did he talked to the phone one last time.
"I offer him as a sacrifice to you, Midnight. I hope you're pleased."
The video cut out, and it turned back to Dixon who was just smiling. He had that same look in his eyes, but he was smiling!
"I am." Is what he said before the video cut to black.
I was left there speechless. This had to be fake, no way was this real. This had to be some edgy art project. YouTube has some of the strictest moderators ever, this video would've been wiped the very second it was uploaded if it were real.
The video wasn't over, there was still one minute left. Every cell in my body was screaming at me to turn the video off, I guess I should've listened.
The last minute was a news story about a a murder, that was very similar to the video I just watched.
"Breaking news today as a Stockton Police Officer was gunned down in his patrol car at a McDonalds in a seemingly unprovoked attack. 34 year old Officer Thomas Jones was eating lunch at this McDonalds when he was suddenly shot and killed in cold blood. No one knows who killed him or why they did it, but the suspect is believed to be at large. Jones was expecting the birth of his daughter in just two days, but it looks like the child will grow up without a father."
The video ended after that, to the next video that came up was gameplay of some farming game I've never heard of. I closed the browser and just sat there in stunned silence.
What the hell did I just get myself into?
submitted by BillyManHansJr to scarystories [link] [comments]


2020.10.14 20:22 RobinAnonymous Next camera hidden girl door

I’m a cast member in your favourite TV show, and I’m running out of time.
Part 1
Part 2
I would normally start off my newest post thanking those who are continuing to read our story and supporting us, as well as translating what my castmate was trying to tell me.
But this time I don't have that luxury. This time, I'm terrified out of my mind, and I don't know what to do right now. The good news is I've managed to find an internet connection within the confines of this hotel. However, every way of getting help is still blocked. So once again I'm coming to you. This time it's not just to give you an update, but also ask you for help. I don't have to find a connection on set anymore, which is a relief, and I can post this hopefully today. (Sunday 11th October).
Thankfully, I now have at least some kind of hold on the date. Once learning it last time, I made sure to input it into this phone, so I can make sure to anchor myself to some kind of normal.
Since I last posted, I've managed to stay myself. Though at this point, I don't even know what that means. I'm clear headed at least, and my thoughts are mine. Which, right now, is precious to me. I'm desperate to stay myself. To stay sane. Because every minute that goes by, I'm struggling to hold onto reality. I'm struggling to accept this as my life right now. It's not a TV show or a movie, or some overpriced book you might get at Barnes and Noble. This is really happening to me, and if I'm honest, I'm fucking terrified. Sorry. Once again, I can't stop shaking. So, the following account may contain typos or whatnot. I don't really care. I'm just going to write down everything I know.
Due to COVID, our filming schedule is all over the place right now. Which means we film on weekends too. Mostly reshoots. I know if my castmates and I weren't being drugged and turned into emotionless zombies, we would definitely complain. But as you know, they're not themselves right now. And no matter how much I'm in denial, neither am I. Anyway, this morning we were due on set.
Last night, I couldn't sleep. After seeing Noah's message, my thoughts wouldn't shut up. I kept thinking about him trapped in that room, strapped down like an animal. The cartoon that he was being forced to watch, and the scarlet rush of blood dribbling down his chin. Everything I saw felt like some kind of vivid hallucination, especially after seeing him every day since. Sure, Noah only spoke to me as Katie, and on set. But he seemed like his usual self, even if he was acting.
Noah plays Katie's love interest Will on the show, and the two of them are practically the same person. So, apart from the all too familiar foggy eyes that looked straight through me, like everyone else, Noah didn't seem like anything drastic had been done to him. Which I was sure of when I saw him in room 309, staring blankly at some ancient Looney Tunes cartoon, where the static seemed to control him. No, I wasn't imagining it. I saw it with my own eyes. Noah, his body trembling, quivering under tough restraints. It looked like he was having a seizure. His wide eyes and parted lips still haunt my memory. He was silently screaming at me for help, and I couldn't do anything; only watching as a seemingly innocent cartoon caused him to writhe, blood spilling down his shirt.
That's what I can't understand. If I'd seen that, if I had witnessed Noah go through that trauma, then what had they done to him? Brainwashing seemed like the best guess, but it seemed like more than that. James had spoken of a first stage of treatment, which was the pill. Whatever had happened to Noah, that must have been the second. Is there a third? How many stages are there, and where does it end? What the hell is James planning?
However, even if Noah was more or less acting like himself, his message to me was haunting my thoughts. FIND DEREK. What could that mean?
Derek was one of our producewriter's, as well as James's brother. According to James, he left the show due to creative differences. After everything that's happened over the last few weeks, I know that's a lie. But why would Noah tell me to find Derek?
As far as I knew, the two of them were only close as colleagues. Derek seems like the last person Noah would go to for help, so why did he seem desperate for me to find him? My character Katie was obsessed with mysteries, and let them rule her life. I started to wonder if she really was starting to take over me. Because part of me, splintered pieces of me deep, deep down, couldn't stop thinking about the bobby pin on my bedside cupboard, and if sticking it in the lock and jimmying it a little, would unlock the damn thing.
But then I came back to reality, and quickly realised that the door to my room was locked by a key-card. Not a key. But Katie, her ghostly presence skating the back of my thoughts, still wouldn't shut up. She was thinking of every escape attempt possible, and it was hard to block her out. After playing her none-stop, it felt like the character was slowly bleeding into me, every part of her spiderwebbing into my brain, leeching on.
Why Derek? I wondered, pushing Katie out.
Why did Noah want me to find James's brother, and where was he, anyway?
It didn't make any sense, and overthinking it just hurt my head. I was lying on my back, staring at the ceiling, trying to force overpowering thoughts to the back of my head, when I heard it. Buzzing. At first I thought an insect had flown in. I sat up in bed, blinking in the darkness.
Leaning over to switch the table lamp on, the room flooded with light. But after several disorienting seconds of searching for a fly, there was nothing there. Except I know I heard it. Burrowing under the thin blankets provided, I tried to sleep. But it was still there; a buzzing noise that was getting progressively more erratic. I checked the lamp to see if it was the bulb, but the buzzing noise wasn't coming from anywhere near me. Again, I tried to force my brain to sleep, but the noise progressed from buzzing, to a seemingly relentless swarm burying its way into my brain.
I couldn't take it. Slipping out of bed, and on shaky legs, I scanned the room. It was definitely an insect, I thought. Maybe it was trapped. The clock on my bedside read 1:00AM, glaring red numbers burning into my eyes. After stumbling around, looking for an invisible insect, I gave up on my side, and fell to my knees beside Rory's bed, ducking underneath to check.
Rory had been worrying me the most, after completely losing his English accent in favour for a broad American twang. Just like the one he fakes to play Mac. I was used to him slipping in and out of English and American when we were shooting before all of this, where he would usually break into his English twang, when he broke out into laughter, or misread his lines. But now he spoke purely in an American accent. It shouldn't have, but it chilled me to the bone. Like I was losing him to Mac. I knew James planned to silence us and turn us into zombies, but this was something else.
As usual, Rory was fast asleep, curled into himself. I made sure not to wake him up, staying as quiet as possible. But the closer I got to my cast-mate, the buzzing rattling in my ears grow louder, and my heart dropped into my stomach. Slowly getting up, I leaned close to Rory. His eyes were shut, lips parted peacefully. I had to know. Getting as close as I could, his warm breath grazed my cheeks as I pressed my ear to the side of his head. The buzzing noise collapsed into a low humming.
It sounds crazy, but it sounded like there was something there. Inside his head. Like a swarm of bees had nested in his skull. I jumped back swallowing a shriek, and slipped back into bed, struggling to hold down a panic attack. I spent hours trying to find a logical explanation to what I'd heard. But I couldn't. The noise stopped eventually, leaving me to bask in silence. But silence was worse. I almost wanted it back, so I could understand it.
So I could make sure I wasn't losing my fucking mind.
Before I knew it, early morning sunlight was streaming through the blinds, and I'd had next to no sleep. When I was teetering on the edge of slumber, my brain would remind me of Noah convulsing under restraints, blood spattered down his shirt. Izzie, and her vacant eyes burning right through me, and the angry buzzing sound emitting directly from Rory's head.
I cried myself to sleep, managing a mediocre one and a half hours.
I dreamed of clusters of bees feasting on fleshy brain tissue, burrowing directly into my skull, the buzzing noise becoming screeching static streaming its way inside me. Rory's voice pulled me back to reality, and I opened my eyes to find him standing over me.
Rory's smile is something that keeps me sane. Before falling under the spell of the pill, there were rare moments when he would flash me a reassuring grin, even when I knew he was breaking apart inside. His larger than life personality was something I treasured, and when I blinked up at him, struggling to keep my eyes open, all I could see was Mac. All I could see was his character.
His expression was blank, brown eyes glued to me. Except I wasn't seeing the loveable idiot I normally saw in both fictional Mac, and real Rory. Instead, I was seeing an emotionless shell with my friend's face. The buzzing noise was gone, and once again I had to remind myself it was real. It had been real. I had heard it, and everything I was seeing and hearing wasn't a figment of my imagination. Even if my mind was struggling, stretching to find logical answers.
"Get up." Rory's voice sent shivers slipping down my spine, Mac's American accent dominating his tone. He didn't smile, only inclining his head to the side, like he was looking at a stranger. His arms were folded across a thin short sleeved shirt he was using for pyjamas.
My castmate jutted his chin. "We have school."
For a second, my guard was down, the façade I'd managed to keep, crumbling.
"School?" I questioned him, choking back the fear in my tone.
"Of course, Robin!" James’ voice trilled, filling my blood with ice. It was like an electric shock. I twisted around to face him, fashioning my expression back to vacant.
Luckily, the writer didn't seem to notice. He was standing on the threshold with the usual. Two white plastic cups of water, and a paper brown bag of Mcdonalds breakfast.
After weeks of being mindless, and having the same routine, it was starting to take its toll on me. It was monotonous, and I was sick of the same bacon sandwich which tasted like cardboard, the same lukewarm fizz of coke slithering down my sandpaper throat. The thought of popping the pill into my mouth made me feel physically sick, but I kept a nonchalant face as James took a step towards us. Rory as usual stood still, his arms by his sides, staring forwards, like a soldier awaiting orders. I copied him, mentally begging the boy not to speak.
I wanted my castmate that morning. I wanted Rory's familiar accent and venomous mouth. Like that first morning. I wanted him to rebel in some way, spitting swears at James, like he was still holding on, like he was still with me, and I wasn't alone. Except the Rory I knew was gone, and I had to come to terms with that behind my façade. James cleared his throat. "Good morning to the two of you!"
Rory nodded, and I did too, making sure to pinpoint my glassy eyes directly at the writer. He did the usual, handing us the capsules, watching us take them, and checking if we had actually swallowed. I lodged my pill behind my teeth and waited in tense silence while James started going through our schedules for the day. "Okay, we have a script reading this morning, for episode six. Which is of course the episode when..."
The writer's voice faded out in my ears, reduced to a low mumbling barely scathing the back of my consciousness. I only heard "script meeting" and something ignited inside me, an idea slowly piecing itself together in my mind. It's rare when we go to the writing offices. We haven't been since the start of the season, when everything went to shit. All I could think about was Noah's message. Derek left the show, but his office was in the building. If I managed to get in, there would no doubt be answers in there.
"Robin? Does that sound okay?"
Snapping out of my thoughts quickly, I gave James a curt nod, despite having no idea what I was saying yes to. His gaze lingered on me for a moment, before he broke out into a grin. "Wonderful. Now open, sweetie. I want to make sure you're being a good girl."
His words made my skin crawl. All I wanted to do was wipe that triumphant grin off his face. But doing that would expose me. So, I stepped forward obediently, hating how familiar my body was with his voice, eager to submit to him. Opening my mouth, I stayed still, maintaining my blank expression. Though James only checked quickly before pulling away, confident I had swallowed. "Alright!" He clapped his hands together and gestured to the food. "A car will be waiting for you in fifteen minutes. Eat and get ready, and then we'll head to the writing offices. We've got a lot to do today, so hurry up!"
With a cheerful almost dance to the door, James disappeared quickly, whistling to himself. When he was gone, I spat out the pill as usual, dumping it in the coke.
After forcing myself to eat the sandwich, I showered and dressed, formulating a plan in my mind. Before the script meeting, I was going to break into Derek's office. Thankfully, it's spaced out from the other writing rooms on the top floor, while the others are below. I knew that faking sickness wasn't going to cut it after last time. As far as I knew, James did expect at least a flicker of humanity inside of us. A few days ago, Lana had asked to go to the bathroom. I knew she was completely under the pill's control, but still asked. James nodded, seemingly unfazed by my castmate speaking out of turn.
So that's what I was going to try. Dressing in a sweater and jeans, I grabbed a leather jacket that had been left out for me. Rory was still on my mind, as well as Noah's message. James expected us both to be waiting side by side when he came to collect us, and when I stationed myself next to my castmate, I leaned into him, listening out for the buzzing. But it was gone. Part of me wanted to grab Rory and shake him, attempt to snap him out of it. Before I could, James arrived, this time with the others in tow.
We followed him like the obedient drones he had turned us into. Noah and Izzie were shoulder to shoulder, Rory and I, and Lana bringing up the rear. Something burned inside me, an overwhelming urge to talk to them. Try and knock some sense into them. I wanted to drag Noah to the side and question him about Derek. I knew that was fruitless though. I was the only one awake, like always. The others were trapped in some impenetrable trance while my mind was full of clarity.
The car-ride to the writing offices was the same as always. I sat in the same seat. I listened to the same radio station crackling through James's expensive speakers, pretending to listen when he went through our schedule for the fourth time. It always struck me how trapped I truly was, when I turned my head and stared out of the window. Life seemed to go on as normal outside, while mine crumpled in front of my very eyes. We drove past ordinary people, some of which probably knew of our characters, and had no idea about the truth behind us. That I was a prisoner of the show.
Refusing to let myself slip into bitter melancholy, I fought to stay awake. My mind was working at a hundred miles an hour, and a clash of aromas, an overwhelming whiff of perfume and cologne from my castmates, turned my stomach.
We arrived at the writing offices and were escorted inside by James and two guards. The whole way there I was struggling to think of the perfect excuse to break away from the group. I stuck to Noah's side, finding comfort in his company, even if he wasn't all there. He stared forwards, unblinking, an unsettling smile on his lips. The crew were buzzing around, talking animatedly, and I caught looks thrown our way. Pursed lips and slitted eyes.
I stayed stock still, watching James swipe his key-card in the door and push it open, but my mind was whirring, my stomach collapsing on itself. My cast mates stood together, blank eyes and unsmiling lips, bar Noah. And I quickly came to the realisation that the looks from the crew. They looked... unnerved. The five of us were freaking them out.
"There!" James, with his usual smile, widened the door, and ushered us in. When the others took their seats silently, I hesitated in the doorway. The room was far too warm, and my skin prickled with heat. The table was already set up with multicoloured scripts and glasses of water.
Glimpsing a slip of paper with my name, designating my seat, I got a crippling wave of Deja-vu from our last meeting. Before James had entered, Noah had put Rory into a teasing choke hold, Izzie slapping at him to let the boy go, Lana rolling her eyes and smirking at her phone. Looking at them now, they were strangers. And it hurt. It fucking hurt that I couldn't do anything. I couldn't move. My feet felt like they were glued to the floor, waves of emotion hitting me like waves of ice water.
"Robin."
James's voice sounded like it was underwater. Instead, I was seeing myself handing my phone over to James. My phone. My chest clenched, bile burning the back of my throat.
I'd become so used to living like a prisoner, like a submissive doll, I'd almost forgotten what it was like to live normally. And I had. In this room, just weeks ago, I'd had the luxury of staring down at my phone when James was interrogating me, clutching it to my chest, and making a note to myself that I had to call mom at some point.
I never had. There was probably someone texting her for me, to avoid her getting suspicious.
"Robin!"
James's hiss of my name made me inwardly jump, my stomach slithering into my toes. My eyes were burning with tears. I felt like I was drowning. Nodding my head in acknowledgement, I blinked at James blankly, hoping to God I wasn't showing any emotion.
"Is something wrong?"
James's eyes were sharp.
My throat was dry. "Yes." I responded, copying the others' almost robotic tone. "Can I use the bathroom?"
The writer's eyes narrowed, but he nodded. "Of course. Should we start without you?"
I didn't move, even when my legs urged me to get the hell out of there. James's gaze didn't leave me, his lips curved into a smirk. He was testing to see if I was going to answer. On the pill, we're supposed to be silent unless we have a command or are spoken to. So, I didn't answer, making sure to hold eye contact despite my pounding heart.
After an uncomfortable moment, James shook his head.
"Go," he muttered, gesturing to the doorway, "You look a little peaky, so take as long as you like."
His smile only broadened, and without missing a beat, I hurried out of the door, only for him to slam it behind me. "Right!" He said from inside, his voice had the tone of a school teacher. "Let's begin with Mac and Stella, shall we?"
To my surprise, there were no guards on the hallway, and I found myself staring at the exit doors. Escape. I could run and not stop running until I'd found someone who could help me. When I weaved the scenario in my head, however, I knew I'd only get blank looks and rolled eyes from strangers.
They'll think I've lost my mind, I thought, backing away, and heading towards the stairs. Which meant the only way I was going to help myself and the others, was delving into Derek's office. Taking the steps three at a time, I headed to the top floor.
Still no guards, which was weird.
When I wrapped my hand around the bronze handle to Derek's office, it clicked and slid open.
After twisting around and searching for pursuers, I stepped inside, shutting and locking the door behind me.
The second I strode into the writer's office, I knew there had been been some kind of struggle. Derek Marley was a neat person compared to his brother, and every time I had visited before, everything would be in perfect order on his desk, scripts and filming schedules in colour coded piles. Instead, what I was faced with was chaos. Derek's desk was upturned, an explosion of paper piled on the floor.
His Macbook was on its side in a pool of what looked like old invoices. I froze in the doorway, before picking through the pile of Derek's belongings. There was definitely a struggle.
My character seemed to come to life inside my mind, pointing out the obvious. A mug of coffee on the carpet, its contents spilled and long since dried into the carpet. A black pair of glasses were under the desk, the lenses smashed. Someone had stamped on them. The laptop looked like it had survived the attack, and I grabbed it, setting the Macbook on the floor. The screen lit up when I pressed the power button, and I let out a sharp breath of relief.
When I was kneeling down, inspecting the laptop's screen, something caught my eye, a glimmer of silver under Derek's plush leather chair. I reached for it, my fingers curling under something cylindrical and narrow. A syringe. Not just that. Something was wrapped around the plastic. With shaking hands I unravelled a hand-written letter. The syringe was labelled Sevredol - 100mg. But right then, I was captivated by the letter.
The handwriting was unmistakably Derek's short-hand.
It shouldn't have surprised me, considering Noah's message, but seeing my castmate's name heading the letter sent me into a cold-sweat.
-
Noah.
I’m sorry, I can’t help you. I know how much you want out, but I’m telling you releasing this to the public will be your downfall. Especially through my Instagram account. I spoke to my brother, and after many disagreements, I’ve come to the decision that he is not well. He's not thinking straight. This year has been cruel to us, as you know. Due to the pandemic and halting production back in Mach, I'm afraid James has become driven to keep the show on air, and will do anything to make sure it does.
I have a confession to make. I've written this letter multiple times, unsure of how I'm going to tell you this, because I've made many mistakes. Those of which you will never forgive me for. I can't pin all of this on my brother. This project is ours, and I'm not going to deny being involved. If you’re reading this and I have not managed to tell you in person, it means something has happened to me. But do not worry about me.
I will be fine. What I need you to do, boy, is focus on what I'm going to tell you.
On my laptop are details of the horrific plans my brother and the network combined have for you, Isabelle, Rory, Lana and Robin. He is convinced that you are sick for wanting to leave, and is willing to do anything in his power to keep the five of you on the show.
Though I have my suspicions he’s been wanting to do this for a while.
I couldn’t participate in it fully. Admittedly, I did agree to the beginning stages. I wanted discipline and compliance with the five of you, since we are approaching a rough stretch of months. But the later stages are where I draw the line. My brother is trying to play God, and I want no part in his sick activities.
The master password to my laptop is DELTA6785-1245.
Click on the folder labelled "PROJECT DAFFODIL" and you will find all details there.
I just hope you find this before my brother begins the later stages. Tonight, he is planning to begin stage one. If he ever reaches the harrowing phases, use the shot, and remember: Time is your worst enemy. You can NOT let my brother reach stage four.
Be safe. All of you. Everyone here is against you. You were right, Noah. The show has lost its heart. James has turned it into a money making machine. I'm deeply sorry that what started as a passion project between us all has reached these lows. DO NOT go to the police. There are people far higher up than my brother who want to see this project through to the end. My brother is treating it like an experiment, and right now, you are his guinea pigs. Make no mistake. If you do get away from James, you will not be free. The show owns all of you. The police will send you back to my brother.
You will also find the contact details of a friend of mine you can trust. She can get you out of there and to a safe location. But you need to be careful.
Again, I'm so sorry. To all of you. My sins will haunt me for the rest of my life.
Derek.

-

I didn't have time to go over what I'd read, but it was enough to send me into fight or flight. With trembling hands I stabbed in Derek's password and the galaxy background flashed up.
The battery was almost dead, so I had to be quick. Following the instructions in the letter, I scanned the mass of folders scattered on the desktop, clicking into one named "PROJECT DAFFOIL" and was prompted with a password. I typed in the same one, and after staring at the rainbow wheel spin around, a box popped up with columns of folders.
The top folder was the name of our show, followed by our names in alphabetical order:
Lana Faraday - SUCCESS
Rory Gallagher - SUCCESS
Robin Harley - TBD
Noah Keating - SUCCESS
Isabelle Wright - SUCCESS
TBD. My mind was whirring. To be determined. Meaning, whatever had been done to the others, was yet to be done on me. While the other names were highlighted light green, my name was a much darker orange. I felt sick. I wanted to shut the laptop and run. I didn't know where I was going to go, but I had to get away. Sometimes being blissfully ignorant was a good thing, but I knew I had to see what Daffodil was. I had to know what they were doing to my castmates.
I started with Noah, clicking onto his name. A list of .MOV files appeared, and I clicked into the first one, bringing up QuickTime player.
It was a video clip lasting eight minutes. Though I didn't have to press play to understand what I was watching. I found myself staring at the same room I'd seen Noah in, this time flooded with dizzying white light. This time he was in a reclined position, his eyes closed, a plastic mask pressed over his face. Noah's eyes were an angry red, and I glimpsed what looked like bandages wrapped around his ear. It was what was beside the chair that sent my heart into a frenzy; a silver contraption which looked straight out of Doctor Who.
Unable to stop myself, I went back to list of names, this time clicking on Rory's name, bringing up the same player. The same background, clinical white light bathing his face. Like Noah, Rory's eyes were shut, a mask pressed over his nose and mouth. His wrists were strapped to leather arm rests, and seatbelt like restraints pinning him to the chair. Rory's right eye looked swollen, just like Noah's.
Clicking play, I dragged the video forward. When it started playing again, Rory's eyes were blinking open, staring dazedly at the camera.
A voice played through the speakers, and I jumped. James's voice.
"Insertion successful. Give me a moment to talk to the young man."
Rory's eyes widened, his gaze flicking around the room. He gave a half hearted tug on the restraints. His pupils looked dilated and foggy, but he looked alert. Awake. The mask had been removed. For a moment he looked like he was struggling to speak.
“What?" Rory slurred, his English accent coming out full pelt. “What's goin' on?"
James chuckled, his laugh sputtering into static though the speaker.
"The date is the first of October, two thousand and twenty, and the time is eight minutes past ten," He said, before clearing his throat. "How are you feeling?"
Rory grunted. "Like I've been hit over the head. What..."
He licked his lips, shaking his head, "what did you do to me?"
"Your sickness, young man. We're simply treating your sickness. Now, state your name."
Rory tugged at the restraints pinning his wrists to the armrests. "I'm not sick, asshole."
"I'm not going to repeat myself," James's tone hardened. "State your name."
"I can't move." Rory struggled in the restraints, hissing in pain when he twisted his head to yank at the restraints. "Why can't I move?!"
"Your full name, please," James said breezily. "For documentation purposes."
"Rory Gallagher," Rory snapped, lips curling into a snarl. "What the fuck is this?"
"Your age and occupation too, please."
"What?"
Glaring at the camera now, Rory blinked rapidly.
"I'm nineteen...no, no, I'm twenty. I'm an... uh, I'm an actor."
"Very good!" James's voice was grating, patronising.
"Once again for me? There's a good boy."
"You son of a bitch," Rory gritted out.
"What the fuck did you do to me? Where are the others?"
I caught a stray tear dribble down his cheek. Rory's voice was shaking, even if he was putting on a front.
"I want to go home. I want out, do you hear me?"
"The other's aren't important," James hummed. "Once again, please."
Rory's jaw clenched and he looked like he might start yelling, squirming in the restraints. But an ear-piercing screech sounded out, and I recognised it automatically. The static from the cartoon. I expected Rory to start convulsing like Noah, but the boy just flopped down, his expression going slack, his arms slamming down on the arm rests.
"Your name." James said, a hint of delight in his tone. "Nice and clear for me."
My castmates eyes were open, but there was nothing there. It was exactly what I'd been seeing for weeks now. The same glassy eyes, a void of nothing through warm browns.
"Mac."
The American accent came out natural and fluent, bleeding into the name. "Mac Price."
"Age?" James prompted.
Rory didn't blink. "Sixteen."
"Uh-huh," The writer was practically laughing with glee. "Occupation?"
"High school student." Rory droned.
"Wonderful!" James trilled.
"Simply wonderful," He was taking to somebody else.
"Give him a few weeks to settle in, and then we can move onto the final stage. Complete removal of lingering consciousness. Of course, we can replicate the young man's personality easily, for press days and of course the fans, that will be easy. Once the chip is stable, there will be no need for the boy," he cleared his throat.
"He will be disposed of. Do you understand me?"
Another voice. One I didn't recognise.
Though my ears were roaring.
"Yes, sir." the voice murmured. "Uh, I'll need to keep an eye on him for a few hours, to make sure the device is connected to the iris. We do not want a repeat of what happened with Mr Keaton."
"He's stabilised, and Miss Harley has been taken care of."
"Mmm. It's hidden in plain sight, Marley. For that, I must applaud you."
James chuckled. "That was all my brother, Dr. Jason. He is the smart one, after all."
Something turned in my gut, and I lurched back, choking up the sandwich I'd eaten earlier. But I didn't have the luxury of barfing my insides out. I had to get the information I needed, and get out of there.
I didn't need to watch anymore.
Shutting down the clips, and then the following windows, I searched for Derek's emergency contact.
Scanning through the files in the PROJECT DAFODIL folder was fruitless, but a blank folder caught my eye. Clicking into it there was a name, address and number. Looking around, my gaze lingered on a scalpel sticking from the pile of papers.
I had to get it out. That's all I could think of. Whatever the hell was inside their eye, I had to get it out.
I grabbed the scalpel, slipping it in my right boot. I shoved the syringe and Derek's letter into my jeans, grabbed a pen, scribbling down the details, and got out of there, fast, wiping bile off my chin with the cuff of my sweater. I could barely breathe and my fingers kept grazing my right eye. James's words wouldn't leave my head as I stumbled down each step. It felt like I was floating on air.
James was turning us into our characters, and had succeeded with everyone but me.
Not just that, he was planning on "eradicating lingering consciousness".
That meant fully removing them, right? In favour of whatever he's replaced them with.
When I got back to the script read-through, James took one look at my ashen cheeks, and the bile staining my sweater, and nodded, gesturing for me to sit down, without questioning me.
The meeting didn't feel real. Nothing felt real. My mouth worked, but they were words James wanted me to say. I ran through my script as Katie, making sure to come to life as her, when allocated, and when the read-through was over, I let the writer pull me back to the car, shoving me inside.
I felt paralysed. Knowing what was going on, and what his plans were for us, I couldn't move. Couldn't breathe. We drove back to the hotel in silence, and Rory and I were taken back to our room as usual. But this time, a television screen was rolled in. The same type I'd seen in 309.
"Sit down. Both of you." James commanded, and Rory did so. After a beat, I did too.
A man came in and set up the TV, inserting what looked like a VCR into an ancient player. The same black and white cartoon popped onto the screen, flicking through static.
Rory's gaze went directly to the screen, and the writer nodded with a smile.
"That's right, Mr Gallagher."
I did the usual, copying Rory, but James came to kneel in front of me. He grabbed my chin and jerked my head forwards. His eyes were hard and merciless. Inclining his head, he hummed. "You're not quite ready yet, Robin," he hummed. "your mind is far too sensitive, young lady."
Part of me wanted to question him, choking out tangled cries in the back of my throat.
Instead, I stayed still. I held my breath, swallowing a screech.
James's grip hardened. In my peripheral, Bugs Bunny was chewing the same carrot, Daffy Duck advancing towards him. "You're a stubborn little bitch, aren't you, hmm?"
The writer stood up, seemingly composing himself. "Anyway. Here's some late night entertainment for you both." his eyes flickered to me. "Hopefully, this will stabilise you, sweetie." He pouted. "I don't want to risk losing my best star, after all."
With a cheery wave, James left.
But the door didn't shut. It bounced, before hitting the frame.
Retreating footsteps told me the writer hadn't noticed. Jumping up, I grabbed one of the paperbacks James had provided me for "entertainment" and wedged it under the door.
Failing to switch the TV off, I grabbed the table it was on and turned it around, and Rory blinked, his gaze wandering, like he was searching for it.
"Rory."
Kneeling in front of the boy, I grabbed his shoulders and shook him, but he was limp, like a doll. His eyes were glassy and vacant, staring at the TV screen.
"Hey!" My voice was teetering on the edge of hysterics and I slapped him. Hard. "Rory, look at me," My voice wobbled. "Hey! Look at me!"
But he wasn't looking at me.
He wasn't fucking looking at me, and I wondered if he already was Mac. If Rory was gone.
I couldn't stop myself.
Grabbing the lamp from my bedside table, I slammed it into the back of his head.
I only realised my mistake when my castmate fell back onto the bed, his eyes rolling into the back of his skull. He's still breathing, but I'm terrified for him.
What do I do? I need to get this thing out of him, but I don't want to blind him. I have a scalpel, but I don't know anything about eye anatomy. You saw what James said. If I don't get this thing out of him, out of all of them, I'm going to lose them.
Please help me. Please tell me what to do. I don't know what to do, and Rory isn't waking up.
I still have the shot that Derek left, but I don't know what it is. I can't search anything, I can't look for medical help, I can't do anything, and James could be back at any moment.
Is there a way to get this thing out of Rory's eye without blinding him? Is there a way to check for concussion?
Please help me.
submitted by RobinAnonymous to DrCreepensVault [link] [comments]


2020.10.13 18:22 RobinAnonymous Girl next door hidden camera

Part 1
Part 2
I would normally start off my newest post thanking those who are continuing to read our story and supporting us, as well as translating what my castmate was trying to tell me.
But this time I don't have that luxury. This time, I'm terrified out of my mind, and I don't know what to do right now. The good news is I've managed to find an internet connection within the confines of this hotel. However, every way of getting help is still blocked. So once again I'm coming to you. This time it's not just to give you an update, but also ask you for help. I don't have to find a connection on set anymore, which is a relief, and I can post this hopefully today. (Sunday 11th October).
Thankfully, I now have at least some kind of hold on the date. Once learning it last time, I made sure to input it into this phone, so I can make sure to anchor myself to some kind of normal.
Since I last posted, I've managed to stay myself. Though at this point, I don't even know what that means. I'm clear headed at least, and my thoughts are mine. Which, right now, is precious to me. I'm desperate to stay myself. To stay sane. Because every minute that goes by, I'm struggling to hold onto reality. I'm struggling to accept this as my life right now. It's not a TV show or a movie, or some overpriced book you might get at Barnes and Noble. This is really happening to me, and if I'm honest, I'm fucking terrified. Sorry. Once again, I can't stop shaking. So, the following account may contain typos or whatnot. I don't really care. I'm just going to write down everything I know.
Due to COVID, our filming schedule is all over the place right now. Which means we film on weekends too. Mostly reshoots. I know if my castmates and I weren't being drugged and turned into emotionless zombies, we would definitely complain. But as you know, they're not themselves right now. And no matter how much I'm in denial, neither am I. Anyway, this morning we were due on set.
Last night, I couldn't sleep. After seeing Noah's message, my thoughts wouldn't shut up. I kept thinking about him trapped in that room, strapped down like an animal. The cartoon that he was being forced to watch, and the scarlet rush of blood dribbling down his chin. Everything I saw felt like some kind of vivid hallucination, especially after seeing him every day since. Sure, Noah only spoke to me as Katie, and on set. But he seemed like his usual self, even if he was acting.
Noah plays Katie's love interest Will on the show, and the two of them are practically the same person. So, apart from the all too familiar foggy eyes that looked straight through me, like everyone else, Noah didn't seem like anything drastic had been done to him. Which I was sure of when I saw him in room 309, staring blankly at some ancient Looney Tunes cartoon, where the static seemed to control him. No, I wasn't imagining it. I saw it with my own eyes. Noah, his body trembling, quivering under tough restraints. It looked like he was having a seizure. His wide eyes and parted lips still haunt my memory. He was silently screaming at me for help, and I couldn't do anything; only watching as a seemingly innocent cartoon caused him to writhe, blood spilling down his shirt.
That's what I can't understand. If I'd seen that, if I had witnessed Noah go through that trauma, then what had they done to him? Brainwashing seemed like the best guess, but it seemed like more than that. James had spoken of a first stage of treatment, which was the pill. Whatever had happened to Noah, that must have been the second. Is there a third? How many stages are there, and where does it end? What the hell is James planning?
However, even if Noah was more or less acting like himself, his message to me was haunting my thoughts. FIND DEREK. What could that mean?
Derek was one of our producewriter's, as well as James's brother. According to James, he left the show due to creative differences. After everything that's happened over the last few weeks, I know that's a lie. But why would Noah tell me to find Derek?
As far as I knew, the two of them were only close as colleagues. Derek seems like the last person Noah would go to for help, so why did he seem desperate for me to find him? My character Katie was obsessed with mysteries, and let them rule her life. I started to wonder if she really was starting to take over me. Because part of me, splintered pieces of me deep, deep down, couldn't stop thinking about the bobby pin on my bedside cupboard, and if sticking it in the lock and jimmying it a little, would unlock the damn thing.
But then I came back to reality, and quickly realised that the door to my room was locked by a key-card. Not a key. But Katie, her ghostly presence skating the back of my thoughts, still wouldn't shut up. She was thinking of every escape attempt possible, and it was hard to block her out. After playing her none-stop, it felt like the character was slowly bleeding into me, every part of her spiderwebbing into my brain, leeching on.
Why Derek? I wondered, pushing Katie out.
Why did Noah want me to find James's brother, and where was he, anyway?
It didn't make any sense, and overthinking it just hurt my head. I was lying on my back, staring at the ceiling, trying to force overpowering thoughts to the back of my head, when I heard it. Buzzing. At first I thought an insect had flown in. I sat up in bed, blinking in the darkness.
Leaning over to switch the table lamp on, the room flooded with light. But after several disorienting seconds of searching for a fly, there was nothing there. Except I know I heard it. Burrowing under the thin blankets provided, I tried to sleep. But it was still there; a buzzing noise that was getting progressively more erratic. I checked the lamp to see if it was the bulb, but the buzzing noise wasn't coming from anywhere near me. Again, I tried to force my brain to sleep, but the noise progressed from buzzing, to a seemingly relentless swarm burying its way into my brain.
I couldn't take it. Slipping out of bed, and on shaky legs, I scanned the room. It was definitely an insect, I thought. Maybe it was trapped. The clock on my bedside read 1:00AM, glaring red numbers burning into my eyes. After stumbling around, looking for an invisible insect, I gave up on my side, and fell to my knees beside Rory's bed, ducking underneath to check.
Rory had been worrying me the most, after completely losing his English accent in favour for a broad American twang. Just like the one he fakes to play Mac. I was used to him slipping in and out of English and American when we were shooting before all of this, where he would usually break into his English twang, when he broke out into laughter, or misread his lines. But now he spoke purely in an American accent. It shouldn't have, but it chilled me to the bone. Like I was losing him to Mac. I knew James planned to silence us and turn us into zombies, but this was something else.
As usual, Rory was fast asleep, curled into himself. I made sure not to wake him up, staying as quiet as possible. But the closer I got to my cast-mate, the buzzing rattling in my ears grow louder, and my heart dropped into my stomach. Slowly getting up, I leaned close to Rory. His eyes were shut, lips parted peacefully. I had to know. Getting as close as I could, his warm breath grazed my cheeks as I pressed my ear to the side of his head. The buzzing noise collapsed into a low humming.
It sounds crazy, but it sounded like there was something there. Inside his head. Like a swarm of bees had nested in his skull. I jumped back swallowing a shriek, and slipped back into bed, struggling to hold down a panic attack. I spent hours trying to find a logical explanation to what I'd heard. But I couldn't. The noise stopped eventually, leaving me to bask in silence. But silence was worse. I almost wanted it back, so I could understand it.
So I could make sure I wasn't losing my fucking mind.
Before I knew it, early morning sunlight was streaming through the blinds, and I'd had next to no sleep. When I was teetering on the edge of slumber, my brain would remind me of Noah convulsing under restraints, blood spattered down his shirt. Izzie, and her vacant eyes burning right through me, and the angry buzzing sound emitting directly from Rory's head.
I cried myself to sleep, managing a mediocre one and a half hours.
I dreamed of clusters of bees feasting on fleshy brain tissue, burrowing directly into my skull, the buzzing noise becoming screeching static streaming its way inside me. Rory's voice pulled me back to reality, and I opened my eyes to find him standing over me.
Rory's smile is something that keeps me sane. Before falling under the spell of the pill, there were rare moments when he would flash me a reassuring grin, even when I knew he was breaking apart inside. His larger than life personality was something I treasured, and when I blinked up at him, struggling to keep my eyes open, all I could see was Mac. All I could see was his character.
His expression was blank, brown eyes glued to me. Except I wasn't seeing the loveable idiot I normally saw in both fictional Mac, and real Rory. Instead, I was seeing an emotionless shell with my friend's face. The buzzing noise was gone, and once again I had to remind myself it was real. It had been real. I had heard it, and everything I was seeing and hearing wasn't a figment of my imagination. Even if my mind was struggling, stretching to find logical answers.
"Get up." Rory's voice sent shivers slipping down my spine, Mac's American accent dominating his tone. He didn't smile, only inclining his head to the side, like he was looking at a stranger. His arms were folded across a thin short sleeved shirt he was using for pyjamas.
My castmate jutted his chin. "We have school."
For a second, my guard was down, the façade I'd managed to keep, crumbling.
"School?" I questioned him, choking back the fear in my tone.
"Of course, Robin!" James’ voice trilled, filling my blood with ice. It was like an electric shock. I twisted around to face him, fashioning my expression back to vacant.
Luckily, the writer didn't seem to notice. He was standing on the threshold with the usual. Two white plastic cups of water, and a paper brown bag of Mcdonalds breakfast.
After weeks of being mindless, and having the same routine, it was starting to take its toll on me. It was monotonous, and I was sick of the same bacon sandwich which tasted like cardboard, the same lukewarm fizz of coke slithering down my sandpaper throat. The thought of popping the pill into my mouth made me feel physically sick, but I kept a nonchalant face as James took a step towards us. Rory as usual stood still, his arms by his sides, staring forwards, like a soldier awaiting orders. I copied him, mentally begging the boy not to speak.
I wanted my castmate that morning. I wanted Rory's familiar accent and venomous mouth. Like that first morning. I wanted him to rebel in some way, spitting swears at James, like he was still holding on, like he was still with me, and I wasn't alone. Except the Rory I knew was gone, and I had to come to terms with that behind my façade. James cleared his throat. "Good morning to the two of you!"
Rory nodded, and I did too, making sure to pinpoint my glassy eyes directly at the writer. He did the usual, handing us the capsules, watching us take them, and checking if we had actually swallowed. I lodged my pill behind my teeth and waited in tense silence while James started going through our schedules for the day. "Okay, we have a script reading this morning, for episode six. Which is of course the episode when..."
The writer's voice faded out in my ears, reduced to a low mumbling barely scathing the back of my consciousness. I only heard "script meeting" and something ignited inside me, an idea slowly piecing itself together in my mind. It's rare when we go to the writing offices. We haven't been since the start of the season, when everything went to shit. All I could think about was Noah's message. Derek left the show, but his office was in the building. If I managed to get in, there would no doubt be answers in there.
"Robin? Does that sound okay?"
Snapping out of my thoughts quickly, I gave James a curt nod, despite having no idea what I was saying yes to. His gaze lingered on me for a moment, before he broke out into a grin. "Wonderful. Now open, sweetie. I want to make sure you're being a good girl."
His words made my skin crawl. All I wanted to do was wipe that triumphant grin off his face. But doing that would expose me. So, I stepped forward obediently, hating how familiar my body was with his voice, eager to submit to him. Opening my mouth, I stayed still, maintaining my blank expression. Though James only checked quickly before pulling away, confident I had swallowed. "Alright!" He clapped his hands together and gestured to the food. "A car will be waiting for you in fifteen minutes. Eat and get ready, and then we'll head to the writing offices. We've got a lot to do today, so hurry up!"
With a cheerful almost dance to the door, James disappeared quickly, whistling to himself. When he was gone, I spat out the pill as usual, dumping it in the coke.
After forcing myself to eat the sandwich, I showered and dressed, formulating a plan in my mind. Before the script meeting, I was going to break into Derek's office. Thankfully, it's spaced out from the other writing rooms on the top floor, while the others are below. I knew that faking sickness wasn't going to cut it after last time. As far as I knew, James did expect at least a flicker of humanity inside of us. A few days ago, Lana had asked to go to the bathroom. I knew she was completely under the pill's control, but still asked. James nodded, seemingly unfazed by my castmate speaking out of turn.
So that's what I was going to try. Dressing in a sweater and jeans, I grabbed a leather jacket that had been left out for me. Rory was still on my mind, as well as Noah's message. James expected us both to be waiting side by side when he came to collect us, and when I stationed myself next to my castmate, I leaned into him, listening out for the buzzing. But it was gone. Part of me wanted to grab Rory and shake him, attempt to snap him out of it. Before I could, James arrived, this time with the others in tow.
We followed him like the obedient drones he had turned us into. Noah and Izzie were shoulder to shoulder, Rory and I, and Lana bringing up the rear. Something burned inside me, an overwhelming urge to talk to them. Try and knock some sense into them. I wanted to drag Noah to the side and question him about Derek. I knew that was fruitless though. I was the only one awake, like always. The others were trapped in some impenetrable trance while my mind was full of clarity.
The car-ride to the writing offices was the same as always. I sat in the same seat. I listened to the same radio station crackling through James's expensive speakers, pretending to listen when he went through our schedule for the fourth time. It always struck me how trapped I truly was, when I turned my head and stared out of the window. Life seemed to go on as normal outside, while mine crumpled in front of my very eyes. We drove past ordinary people, some of which probably knew of our characters, and had no idea about the truth behind us. That I was a prisoner of the show.
Refusing to let myself slip into bitter melancholy, I fought to stay awake. My mind was working at a hundred miles an hour, and a clash of aromas, an overwhelming whiff of perfume and cologne from my castmates, turned my stomach.
We arrived at the writing offices and were escorted inside by James and two guards. The whole way there I was struggling to think of the perfect excuse to break away from the group. I stuck to Noah's side, finding comfort in his company, even if he wasn't all there. He stared forwards, unblinking, an unsettling smile on his lips. The crew were buzzing around, talking animatedly, and I caught looks thrown our way. Pursed lips and slitted eyes.
I stayed stock still, watching James swipe his key-card in the door and push it open, but my mind was whirring, my stomach collapsing on itself. My cast mates stood together, blank eyes and unsmiling lips, bar Noah. And I quickly came to the realisation that the looks from the crew. They looked... unnerved. The five of us were freaking them out.
"There!" James, with his usual smile, widened the door, and ushered us in. When the others took their seats silently, I hesitated in the doorway. The room was far too warm, and my skin prickled with heat. The table was already set up with multicoloured scripts and glasses of water.
Glimpsing a slip of paper with my name, designating my seat, I got a crippling wave of Deja-vu from our last meeting. Before James had entered, Noah had put Rory into a teasing choke hold, Izzie slapping at him to let the boy go, Lana rolling her eyes and smirking at her phone. Looking at them now, they were strangers. And it hurt. It fucking hurt that I couldn't do anything. I couldn't move. My feet felt like they were glued to the floor, waves of emotion hitting me like waves of ice water.
"Robin."
James's voice sounded like it was underwater. Instead, I was seeing myself handing my phone over to James. My phone. My chest clenched, bile burning the back of my throat.
I'd become so used to living like a prisoner, like a submissive doll, I'd almost forgotten what it was like to live normally. And I had. In this room, just weeks ago, I'd had the luxury of staring down at my phone when James was interrogating me, clutching it to my chest, and making a note to myself that I had to call mom at some point.
I never had. There was probably someone texting her for me, to avoid her getting suspicious.
"Robin!"
James's hiss of my name made me inwardly jump, my stomach slithering into my toes. My eyes were burning with tears. I felt like I was drowning. Nodding my head in acknowledgement, I blinked at James blankly, hoping to God I wasn't showing any emotion.
"Is something wrong?"
James's eyes were sharp.
My throat was dry. "Yes." I responded, copying the others' almost robotic tone. "Can I use the bathroom?"
The writer's eyes narrowed, but he nodded. "Of course. Should we start without you?"
I didn't move, even when my legs urged me to get the hell out of there. James's gaze didn't leave me, his lips curved into a smirk. He was testing to see if I was going to answer. On the pill, we're supposed to be silent unless we have a command or are spoken to. So, I didn't answer, making sure to hold eye contact despite my pounding heart.
After an uncomfortable moment, James shook his head.
"Go," he muttered, gesturing to the doorway, "You look a little peaky, so take as long as you like."
His smile only broadened, and without missing a beat, I hurried out of the door, only for him to slam it behind me. "Right!" He said from inside, his voice had the tone of a school teacher. "Let's begin with Mac and Stella, shall we?"
To my surprise, there were no guards on the hallway, and I found myself staring at the exit doors. Escape. I could run and not stop running until I'd found someone who could help me. When I weaved the scenario in my head, however, I knew I'd only get blank looks and rolled eyes from strangers.
They'll think I've lost my mind, I thought, backing away, and heading towards the stairs. Which meant the only way I was going to help myself and the others, was delving into Derek's office. Taking the steps three at a time, I headed to the top floor.
Still no guards, which was weird.
When I wrapped my hand around the bronze handle to Derek's office, it clicked and slid open.
After twisting around and searching for pursuers, I stepped inside, shutting and locking the door behind me.
The second I strode into the writer's office, I knew there had been been some kind of struggle. Derek Marley was a neat person compared to his brother, and every time I had visited before, everything would be in perfect order on his desk, scripts and filming schedules in colour coded piles. Instead, what I was faced with was chaos. Derek's desk was upturned, an explosion of paper piled on the floor.
His Macbook was on its side in a pool of what looked like old invoices. I froze in the doorway, before picking through the pile of Derek's belongings. There was definitely a struggle.
My character seemed to come to life inside my mind, pointing out the obvious. A mug of coffee on the carpet, its contents spilled and long since dried into the carpet. A black pair of glasses were under the desk, the lenses smashed. Someone had stamped on them. The laptop looked like it had survived the attack, and I grabbed it, setting the Macbook on the floor. The screen lit up when I pressed the power button, and I let out a sharp breath of relief.
When I was kneeling down, inspecting the laptop's screen, something caught my eye, a glimmer of silver under Derek's plush leather chair. I reached for it, my fingers curling under something cylindrical and narrow. A syringe. Not just that. Something was wrapped around the plastic. With shaking hands I unravelled a hand-written letter. The syringe was labelled Sevredol - 100mg. But right then, I was captivated by the letter.
The handwriting was unmistakably Derek's short-hand.
It shouldn't have surprised me, considering Noah's message, but seeing my castmate's name heading the letter sent me into a cold-sweat.
-
Noah.
I’m sorry, I can’t help you. I know how much you want out, but I’m telling you releasing this to the public will be your downfall. Especially through my Instagram account. I spoke to my brother, and after many disagreements, I’ve come to the decision that he is not well. He's not thinking straight. This year has been cruel to us, as you know. Due to the pandemic and halting production back in Mach, I'm afraid James has become driven to keep the show on air, and will do anything to make sure it does.
I have a confession to make. I've written this letter multiple times, unsure of how I'm going to tell you this, because I've made many mistakes. Those of which you will never forgive me for. I can't pin all of this on my brother. This project is ours, and I'm not going to deny being involved. If you’re reading this and I have not managed to tell you in person, it means something has happened to me. But do not worry about me.
I will be fine. What I need you to do, boy, is focus on what I'm going to tell you.
On my laptop are details of the horrific plans my brother and the network combined have for you, Isabelle, Rory, Lana and Robin. He is convinced that you are sick for wanting to leave, and is willing to do anything in his power to keep the five of you on the show.
Though I have my suspicions he’s been wanting to do this for a while.
I couldn’t participate in it fully. Admittedly, I did agree to the beginning stages. I wanted discipline and compliance with the five of you, since we are approaching a rough stretch of months. But the later stages are where I draw the line. My brother is trying to play God, and I want no part in his sick activities.
The master password to my laptop is DELTA6785-1245.
Click on the folder labelled "PROJECT DAFFODIL" and you will find all details there.
I just hope you find this before my brother begins the later stages. Tonight, he is planning to begin stage one. If he ever reaches the harrowing phases, use the shot, and remember: Time is your worst enemy. You can NOT let my brother reach stage four.
Be safe. All of you. Everyone here is against you. You were right, Noah. The show has lost its heart. James has turned it into a money making machine. I'm deeply sorry that what started as a passion project between us all has reached these lows. DO NOT go to the police. There are people far higher up than my brother who want to see this project through to the end. My brother is treating it like an experiment, and right now, you are his guinea pigs. Make no mistake. If you do get away from James, you will not be free. The show owns all of you. The police will send you back to my brother.
You will also find the contact details of a friend of mine you can trust. She can get you out of there and to a safe location. But you need to be careful.
Again, I'm so sorry. To all of you. My sins will haunt me for the rest of my life.
Derek.

-

I didn't have time to go over what I'd read, but it was enough to send me into fight or flight. With trembling hands I stabbed in Derek's password and the galaxy background flashed up.
The battery was almost dead, so I had to be quick. Following the instructions in the letter, I scanned the mass of folders scattered on the desktop, clicking into one named "PROJECT DAFFOIL" and was prompted with a password. I typed in the same one, and after staring at the rainbow wheel spin around, a box popped up with columns of folders.
The top folder was the name of our show, followed by our names in alphabetical order:
Lana Faraday - SUCCESS
Rory Gallagher - SUCCESS
Robin Harley - TBD
Noah Keating - SUCCESS
Isabelle Wright - SUCCESS
TBD. My mind was whirring. To be determined. Meaning, whatever had been done to the others, was yet to be done on me. While the other names were highlighted light green, my name was a much darker orange. I felt sick. I wanted to shut the laptop and run. I didn't know where I was going to go, but I had to get away. Sometimes being blissfully ignorant was a good thing, but I knew I had to see what Daffodil was. I had to know what they were doing to my castmates.
I started with Noah, clicking onto his name. A list of .MOV files appeared, and I clicked into the first one, bringing up QuickTime player.
It was a video clip lasting eight minutes. Though I didn't have to press play to understand what I was watching. I found myself staring at the same room I'd seen Noah in, this time flooded with dizzying white light. This time he was in a reclined position, his eyes closed, a plastic mask pressed over his face. Noah's eyes were an angry red, and I glimpsed what looked like bandages wrapped around his ear. It was what was beside the chair that sent my heart into a frenzy; a silver contraption which looked straight out of Doctor Who.
Unable to stop myself, I went back to list of names, this time clicking on Rory's name, bringing up the same player. The same background, clinical white light bathing his face. Like Noah, Rory's eyes were shut, a mask pressed over his nose and mouth. His wrists were strapped to leather arm rests, and seatbelt like restraints pinning him to the chair. Rory's right eye looked swollen, just like Noah's.
Clicking play, I dragged the video forward. When it started playing again, Rory's eyes were blinking open, staring dazedly at the camera.
A voice played through the speakers, and I jumped. James's voice.
"Insertion successful. Give me a moment to talk to the young man."
Rory's eyes widened, his gaze flicking around the room. He gave a half hearted tug on the restraints. His pupils looked dilated and foggy, but he looked alert. Awake. The mask had been removed. For a moment he looked like he was struggling to speak.
“What?" Rory slurred, his English accent coming out full pelt. “What's goin' on?"
James chuckled, his laugh sputtering into static though the speaker.
"The date is the first of October, two thousand and twenty, and the time is eight minutes past ten," He said, before clearing his throat. "How are you feeling?"
Rory grunted. "Like I've been hit over the head. What..."
He licked his lips, shaking his head, "what did you do to me?"
"Your sickness, young man. We're simply treating your sickness. Now, state your name."
Rory tugged at the restraints pinning his wrists to the armrests. "I'm not sick, asshole."
"I'm not going to repeat myself," James's tone hardened. "State your name."
"I can't move." Rory struggled in the restraints, hissing in pain when he twisted his head to yank at the restraints. "Why can't I move?!"
"Your full name, please," James said breezily. "For documentation purposes."
"Rory Gallagher," Rory snapped, lips curling into a snarl. "What the fuck is this?"
"Your age and occupation too, please."
"What?"
Glaring at the camera now, Rory blinked rapidly.
"I'm nineteen...no, no, I'm twenty. I'm an... uh, I'm an actor."
"Very good!" James's voice was grating, patronising.
"Once again for me? There's a good boy."
"You son of a bitch," Rory gritted out.
"What the fuck did you do to me? Where are the others?"
I caught a stray tear dribble down his cheek. Rory's voice was shaking, even if he was putting on a front.
"I want to go home. I want out, do you hear me?"
"The other's aren't important," James hummed. "Once again, please."
Rory's jaw clenched and he looked like he might start yelling, squirming in the restraints. But an ear-piercing screech sounded out, and I recognised it automatically. The static from the cartoon. I expected Rory to start convulsing like Noah, but the boy just flopped down, his expression going slack, his arms slamming down on the arm rests.
"Your name." James said, a hint of delight in his tone. "Nice and clear for me."
My castmates eyes were open, but there was nothing there. It was exactly what I'd been seeing for weeks now. The same glassy eyes, a void of nothing through warm browns.
"Mac."
The American accent came out natural and fluent, bleeding into the name. "Mac Price."
"Age?" James prompted.
Rory didn't blink. "Sixteen."
"Uh-huh," The writer was practically laughing with glee. "Occupation?"
"High school student." Rory droned.
"Wonderful!" James trilled.
"Simply wonderful," He was taking to somebody else.
"Give him a few weeks to settle in, and then we can move onto the final stage. Complete removal of lingering consciousness. Of course, we can replicate the young man's personality easily, for press days and of course the fans, that will be easy. Once the chip is stable, there will be no need for the boy," he cleared his throat.
"He will be disposed of. Do you understand me?"
Another voice. One I didn't recognise.
Though my ears were roaring.
"Yes, sir." the voice murmured. "Uh, I'll need to keep an eye on him for a few hours, to make sure the device is connected to the iris. We do not want a repeat of what happened with Mr Keaton."
"He's stabilised, and Miss Harley has been taken care of."
"Mmm. It's hidden in plain sight, Marley. For that, I must applaud you."
James chuckled. "That was all my brother, Dr. Jason. He is the smart one, after all."
Something turned in my gut, and I lurched back, choking up the sandwich I'd eaten earlier. But I didn't have the luxury of barfing my insides out. I had to get the information I needed, and get out of there.
I didn't need to watch anymore.
Shutting down the clips, and then the following windows, I searched for Derek's emergency contact.
Scanning through the files in the PROJECT DAFODIL folder was fruitless, but a blank folder caught my eye. Clicking into it there was a name, address and number. Looking around, my gaze lingered on a scalpel sticking from the pile of papers.
I had to get it out. That's all I could think of. Whatever the hell was inside their eye, I had to get it out.
I grabbed the scalpel, slipping it in my right boot. I shoved the syringe and Derek's letter into my jeans, grabbed a pen, scribbling down the details, and got out of there, fast, wiping bile off my chin with the cuff of my sweater. I could barely breathe and my fingers kept grazing my right eye. James's words wouldn't leave my head as I stumbled down each step. It felt like I was floating on air.
James was turning us into our characters, and had succeeded with everyone but me.
Not just that, he was planning on "eradicating lingering consciousness".
That meant fully removing them, right? In favour of whatever he's replaced them with.
When I got back to the script read-through, James took one look at my ashen cheeks, and the bile staining my sweater, and nodded, gesturing for me to sit down, without questioning me.
The meeting didn't feel real. Nothing felt real. My mouth worked, but they were words James wanted me to say. I ran through my script as Katie, making sure to come to life as her, when allocated, and when the read-through was over, I let the writer pull me back to the car, shoving me inside.
I felt paralysed. Knowing what was going on, and what his plans were for us, I couldn't move. Couldn't breathe. We drove back to the hotel in silence, and Rory and I were taken back to our room as usual. But this time, a television screen was rolled in. The same type I'd seen in 309.
"Sit down. Both of you." James commanded, and Rory did so. After a beat, I did too.
A man came in and set up the TV, inserting what looked like a VCR into an ancient player. The same black and white cartoon popped onto the screen, flicking through static.
Rory's gaze went directly to the screen, and the writer nodded with a smile.
"That's right, Mr Gallagher."
I did the usual, copying Rory, but James came to kneel in front of me. He grabbed my chin and jerked my head forwards. His eyes were hard and merciless. Inclining his head, he hummed. "You're not quite ready yet, Robin," he hummed. "your mind is far too sensitive, young lady."
Part of me wanted to question him, choking out tangled cries in the back of my throat.
Instead, I stayed still. I held my breath, swallowing a screech.
James's grip hardened. In my peripheral, Bugs Bunny was chewing the same carrot, Daffy Duck advancing towards him. "You're a stubborn little bitch, aren't you, hmm?"
The writer stood up, seemingly composing himself. "Anyway. Here's some late night entertainment for you both." his eyes flickered to me. "Hopefully, this will stabilise you, sweetie." He pouted. "I don't want to risk losing my best star, after all."
With a cheery wave, James left.
But the door didn't shut. It bounced, before hitting the frame.
Retreating footsteps told me the writer hadn't noticed. Jumping up, I grabbed one of the paperbacks James had provided me for "entertainment" and wedged it under the door.
Failing to switch the TV off, I grabbed the table it was on and turned it around, and Rory blinked, his gaze wandering, like he was searching for it.
"Rory."
Kneeling in front of the boy, I grabbed his shoulders and shook him, but he was limp, like a doll. His eyes were glassy and vacant, staring at the TV screen.
"Hey!" My voice was teetering on the edge of hysterics and I slapped him. Hard. "Rory, look at me," My voice wobbled. "Hey! Look at me!"
But he wasn't looking at me.
He wasn't fucking looking at me, and I wondered if he already was Mac. If Rory was gone.
I couldn't stop myself.
Grabbing the lamp from my bedside table, I slammed it into the back of his head.
I only realised my mistake when my castmate fell back onto the bed, his eyes rolling into the back of his skull. He's still breathing, but I'm terrified for him.
What do I do? I need to get this thing out of him, but I don't want to blind him. I have a scalpel, but I don't know anything about eye anatomy. You saw what James said. If I don't get this thing out of him, out of all of them, I'm going to lose them.
Please help me. Please tell me what to do. I don't know what to do, and Rory isn't waking up.
I still have the shot that Derek left, but I don't know what it is. I can't search anything, I can't look for medical help, I can't do anything, and James could be back at any moment.
Is there a way to get this thing out of Rory's eye without blinding him? Is there a way to check for concussion?
Please help me.
submitted by RobinAnonymous to mrcreeps [link] [comments]


2020.10.11 05:41 Yakushinanda Ian Faulkner, the Seeker within the Storm

[General Information] Name: Ian Faulkner
Age: 18
Birthdate: May 12th, 2017
Hometown: Baltimore, Maryland
Ethnicity: Filipino
Demigod-related conditions: Dyslexia, ADHD
Family:
Name Relation Age Info
Pollux Father ??? The god of sailing, boxing, and fishing. Ian’s never met him, but he’s heard good things.
Miriam Faulkner, nee Reyes Mother 41 An immigrant from the Philippines who followed her older brother when he moved to the US. She had a tryst with one of Miguel’s work friends and had Ian as a result.
Allen Faulkner Step-father 40 A businessman who met Ian’s mother thanks to sheer coincidence. While he doesn’t share any hobbies or interests with Ian, Allen always makes sure to support him in whatever he does. At least, now he does.
Miguel Reyes Uncle 47 A rather quirky and carefree person who loves the smell of the sea, fishing, and adventure more than anything. For some reason, he seems to attract all sorts of odd things to himself, including a co-worker that he became close with.
Jordan Faulkner Step-brother 13 Allen’s son from a previous marriage. He and Ian didn’t have a good relationship when they first met. They still don’t talk all that much, but one thing’s for certain: they’ve got each other’s backs.
Destinee Faulkner Half-sister 4 An adorable little girl who’s doted upon a great deal by her parents. She isn’t in school yet, so she usually accompanies either her mother or her uncle while they go about their day.
 
[Appearance] Faceclaim (“See Ian, now this is how you take a photo!” “You still remember that?” “Of course! ...Wait. You didn’t smile!”)
Height: 5’11’’ (1.80 m)
Weight: 187 lbs
Overall appearance: Ian has steel-gray eyes that look slightly lilac in the sun. He also has an athletic build, thanks to his love of boxing and other athletic activities. However, thanks to the many scars scattered across his body, crooked nose, and resting bitch face, Ian comes off as more intimidating than he really is.
Hair: Ian has short, black, and spiky hair that he likes to keep slicked back.
Clothing: There’s nothing particularly special about Ian’s clothing since he usually likes to dress in either athletic clothing or something simple like a t-shirt and jeans. He does have a tendency to wear things with long sleeves though. And finally, he never leaves behind his pendant necklace.
 
[Personality] Much like his stoic appearance, Ian isn’t the type to reveal much about what he’s thinking about a certain situation. But when he does speak, don’t expect him to speak more than a few words at a time.
Don’t take his silence the wrong way, however. When he’s in a conversation, he prefers to completely listen to whoever’s speaking at the time, only giving his opinion through nonverbal means like a simple nod of the head. Conversations may seem one-sided with him, but don’t worry, he’s listening.
He isn’t very secretive about what he thinks either, as he’ll answer any question with only the bluntest of responses. He’s also very reluctant to lie since he thinks it’s morally wrong to do. And thanks to his clipped manner of speech, if you want his complete opinion on something, be prepared to drag it out of him by asking a lot of questions, both clarifying and inquisitive. He doesn’t mind, though. Conversations like that are pretty much the norm for him.
And while he might not express how he’s feeling through his facial expressions, Ian’s a rather empathetic and understanding person, which isn’t really apparent thanks to his general awkwardness.
 
[Powers] Passive: Enhanced Athleticism
Boxing in particular. But he also has a small overall boost to other athletic feats.
 
Power 1: Ability to Navigate Anywhere
If Ian can clearly focus on a mental image or a physical reference, of any person, object, or location, he can navigate to them if they’re within a certain range. However, he cannot find things that are hidden by the gods or magic.
If he uses this ability on a person, they will experience a feeling of being watched, like having shivers going down their spine or some sort of uneasy feeling.
Ian can circumvent this power’s range limitation if he knows exactly where they are and also has a map. In this case, his power will simply show him the most efficient path to his target.
 
Power 2: Minor Storm Generation
Depending on the condition of the weather, Ian can summon a small rainstorm, windstorm, or thunderstorm, above his location that appears after a short delay.
However, the storm’s area of effect is limited and also takes a lot of energy to use. On top of that, if he’s not feeling completely calm, this power may randomly activate, but also won’t cost any energy.
 
Power 3: Enhanced Hunting Capability
Ian’s general senses are enhanced by this ability. This ranges from the usual five senses to other senses, such as balance or space.
As a consequence though, he’s more sensitive to things like flashing lights, loud noises, and strong smells than the average person.
 
[Equipment and Skills]
Equipment Description
Compound Bow and quiver Both were given to Ian by his uncle on his birthday so they could go hunting together. So far, the bow has only been used on non-living targets.
Celestial Bronze Knuckledusters While they certainly aren’t the best weapon to bring into a fight, they’re certainly better than nothing.
Boxing gloves and hand wraps Because punching things without any sort of protection is a really good way to mess up your hands.
A guitar There are certainly many guitars in camp, but this one is his. It’s beaten up pretty badly, but somehow still works.
A sewing kit Due to the number of times that Ian’s ripped his clothes thanks to his generally bad luck or other circumstances, his mother taught him how to sew his clothes. It’s proven to be useful many times over when he’s had to look after his younger siblings.
Wallet Contains the usual wallet-related things.
Cellphone Ian doesn’t use his phone all that often, even before he came to camp. Other than being a glorified timepiece, Ian currently uses his phone to keep track of his training regimen.
 
[Backstory] (OOC: Word of warning, just skip to the "now" section if you don't want to read all of this. Co-written with u/CoraxBrachyn)
It was a brisk autumn morning, and the gas stations in Baltimore were just as packed as they usually are.
 
As he stepped out of his truck, Miguel caught a glimpse at the gray clouds overhead that were starting to converge in the otherwise clear sky. He chuckled to himself, then turned his head to look at his poker-faced nephew. “I think you’re making the clouds a little nervous there as well, little nephew,” he said, giving a small point upwards.
 
Ian had already looked away from his tightly clenched fists when his uncle had chuckled, blushing a little out of embarrassment as he started to roll down the window. He sniffed the air, noticing the all-too-familiar smell of petrichor that was starting to permeate the area.
 
And then the smell of gasoline hit him.
 
Ian made a muffled groaning noise as he clawed for the door handle, quickly stumbling out to the edge of the gas station to get some fresh air. His uncle made a noise of concern but ultimately went back to filling the truck with gas. Which was a good thing, since Ian needed some time to calm down a little.
 
Normally, he wouldn’t have been affected so much by a smell like that, but his nerves were getting to him, both literally and figuratively. Ian’s fingers trembled slightly as he ran them through his hair. It was still slicked back just how he liked it.
 
...Just how did he work up the courage to try and do this the first time, all those years ago?
 
Things were different back then, but all the same, Ian mused. Light banter between a mother and her daughter, the smell of incoming rain, and the creak of old machines as they slowed to a gentle stop.
 
(”What are you doing here?” Ian growled, none too pleased as he stared down at his hunched over friend, coughs wracking his body as he tried to catch his breath. Green eyes flashed up to meet his own, face set in that rare expression Ian’s only seen one other time. “Stopping you, obviously!”)
 
But now there wasn’t anyone to stop him from leaving, everything smelled arguably worse than that time, and he didn’t feel as lonely as before, in a sense. Ian thought it was pretty ironic, as he looked around his general area, not a single friendly face next to him.
 
Before, he couldn’t stand the thought of having to constantly listen to someone talk for extended periods of time, but now he found himself missing that distraction, especially since there wasn’t anything else to do at the gas station other than standing around and look at things.
 
Felix would have talked about any random thing that seemed to interest him at the time. Zayne would chat about the latest Mist-related thing he saw or ways that they could somehow waste more time. Even Anya would be preferable, though instead of talking, she would just make him run laps around the station, shouting something vaguely encouraging all the while.
 
Figuring he'd stood around for too long, Ian decided to head back to the truck, thinking that his uncle was more than done filling up the gas tank by then.
 
He paused when he spotted a girl with blonde hair meandering about the isles of the gas station’s store through one of the windows. Ian stared at the familiar tall girl, perhaps for too long, trying to remember where he had seen her before.
 
Max felt a shiver run down her spine as she skimmed the chips aisle. Almost as if she was being watched. Her eyes shifted to her left and right, discreetly trying to see if there was someone there. There wasn’t.
 
She grabbed a bag of Takis, and turned to start walking to the register when she saw him in the corner of her eye. There was a muscular guy standing outside staring at her who looked oddly familiar. She glanced at him and it was immediately apparent. Max smiled and gave him a cheerful wave.
 
Surprised to see a familiar face, even though he had seen her only once before, Ian gave a stiff wave back. After that, he just stood around awkwardly, not sure of what to do next. While he could go into the store as well and maybe exchange some words, he didn’t need to buy anything, either.
 
Not that he needed to, as Max quickly paid for her things and stepped outside. “Hey!” she greets cheerfully. “Uh, Ian, right? Or was it Felix...?”
 
“Ian,” he corrected tersely. “What was your name again?”
 
“Oh, uh, it’s Max!” she replies, her smile faltering briefly. “Whatcha doin’ out here? Other than, uh... getting gas?”
 
“Travelling up to a camp in Long Island,” he responded, then tacked on a, “What about you?”, after he realized that it would have been rude to continue having just a one-sided conversation.
 
“Oh, me too, actually!” Max says. “What’s yours about?”
 
“Demigods,” he answered truthfully. He doesn’t ask a question in return, but he does look like he’s interested in what Max’s camp is about.
 
“No way,” Max said, excited. “You too!?”
 
Ian raised an eyebrow. Usually, when he said something like that, Zayne or Felix would scramble to make the conversation less confusing or awkward. “Your godrent?” he asked, wondering what he was going to have to deal with.
 
“My what?”
 
“Your… divine parent,” he saids slowly, trying to plan out that explanation in his head. “Mine’s Pollux, one of the gods of sailing, boxing, and fishing,” he continued, then waited to see her reaction.
 
“Oh...” Max said, thinking. “Uh... some goat-man said Hephaestus? I think? He builds stuff. He’s really cool.”
 
“One of the twelve Major Olympians. The god of blacksmithing. Yeah, he’s cool,” he nods.
 
“It makes sense, too! I build stuff all the time,” Max rambled. “Actually, can I show you something?”
 
Ian only gave a nod in response, then followed along.
 
Max led him over to her mother’s car, a black van with flowers on the side. It looked like a commercial vehicle. “Who’s this?” A black-haired asian woman in her mid-forties stood next to the van, wearing a military baseball cap.
 
“Oh! Mom, this is my friend, Ian!” Max replied. “We met at a museum once. I wanna show him my project!” She turned to Ian. “This is my Mom.”
 
The woman looked at Ian, sizing him up. She gave Max a slow nod. “Just be careful. Let me know if he gives you trouble.”
 
“I’ll be fiiine,” Max insisted, before turning back to Ian. “Check this out!”
 
She opened the back of the van and pulled out two black cases, each one roughly the size of a microwave. She opened both of them, revealing a pair of drones with three propellers each.
 
“It’s a little project I’ve been working on,” Max said proudly. “They’re almost ready to fly, I just gotta figure out the control scheme...”
 
At first, Ian reached out to help her with the heavy-looking crates, but then placed his hands back in his pockets when she handled them with ease. “How long have you worked on them?” he asked, tilting his head while trying to understand how the drones worked.
 
Max pulled one of the drones out of the case, this one painted black, white, and military green. “A few months, now,” she replied, fiddling with the drone. “This one is Emma. If you look here -” she flipped the drone, showing the underside “- she can drop a payload the size of an energy drink. I was thinking this could be used to drop supplies to people in inaccessible areas, but I realized that there’s way more I could do with it.”
 
Ian nodded along to Max’s rambling, his first thoughts about the drone’s other uses going straight to bombs. He chose not to voice this thought, instead gesturing for her to continue.
 
“And over here -” Max flipped the drone back and rotated it to gesture to the front “- is a wireless camera. It’s got all sorts of vision modes, like night vision, thermal, infrared... I’m probably gonna add a couple more, if I can think of them...” She placed the drone back in its case and picked up the other.
 
This drone was painted red, white, and black. “This one is Emma’s brother,“ Max said. “His name is Laserbeak. He’s got all the same functions as Emma, though.”
 
Laserbeak was truly a… unique name for a drone, especially when compared to the other one. “Interesting,” Ian said, his tone not hinting at his internal confusion.
 
Max put Laserbeak back into his case. “So, whaddya think? What should I add?”
 
“They’re useful,” he commented after a few moments in thought. Sure, there were a lot of potentially useful functions that the two drones had, but electronics and engineering were out of his realm of expertise. “What about a tracker?” he suggested, wondering if she had any way of retrieving her drones in the event that one of them malfunctioned or was damaged while they were in use.
 
Max pondered the suggestion. “Yeah, that’s a good idea!” she said after a moment. “Man, I lose stuff all the time. I should put trackers on more stuff.” She paused. “I should’ve put a tracker on my sister,” she mutters.
 
Ian gave her a somber and very much understanding expression. If either of his younger siblings went missing without a trace, he’d definitely be devastated. “I could help you look for her,” he offered, not questioning the circumstances of her sister’s disappearance. “I can track down anything within a certain range if I can imagine it in my head.”
 
“Whoa,” Max said, eyebrows raised. “That’s pretty cool!” Her face takes a more somber expression. “Well, that’d be nice, but I’ve kinda given up looking for her. She’s probably dead. She went missing three years ago, but my mom still has me ask. Actually -” Max reached into her jacket and pulled out a photo. It’s a photo of a teenage girl with black hair in a straight bob.
 
“This is her. Have you seen her?”
 
Ian stared at the photo, not recognizing the girl at all. He then closed his eyes and concentrated, focusing on the image of the photo inside his head. Ian sensed nothing and shook his head. “I’m sorry.”
 
“Didn’t think so,” Max said, a bitter smile on her face. “Thanks anyways.”
 
A knock on the side of the van startled Max. “Time to go,” Max’s mother called out.
 
“Yeah, hold on!” Max yelled back. She turned back to Ian. “Hey, why don’t we travel together? We’re both going to the same place.”
 
“We could ask my uncle,” Ian suggested, and he looked over to where his uncle was standing. He activates his navigation power, focusing on the image of his uncle in his head, and Miguel suddenly looked up from his phone, making eye contact.
 
“What’s up, little nephew?” he asked as he walked over to where the two were currently standing, not even questioning the way that Ian seemed to signal him over.
 
“What the heck!?” Max whispered in awe, eyes wide.
 
Noticing her confused and awed expression, Miguel grinned and started to explain. “Surprised? He usually does that whenever he’s looking for me. Even when I’m standing just a few feet away.” He then gently elbowed Ian in the side, which earned him a grunt in response.
 
Max slowly pointed a finger at Ian. “You’re psychic!?”
 
“That’s just how I find people,” Ian shrugged, not explaining any further.
 
Miguel cleared his throat. “What he means to say is that when he tries to find someone using one of his powers, they usually get a shiver down their spine,” he says as he points to his back. “It creeps out a lot of the people he uses it on, but I’m used to it.”
 
“Uncle, this is Max,” Ian said as he gestured over to Max. “Can she come with us to the camp?”
 
Max gives Miguel a little wave. “Hi.”
 
“I’m okay with it, but I think we should talk to your parents first,” he said seriously to Max.
 
“Mom!” Max called out.
 
Max’s mother walked around the back of the van. “What’s up?”
 
“Can we go to the camp with Ian?” Max pleads.
 
Her mother sighs and turns to Miguel. “Are you his dad, or...?”
 
“I’m his uncle, Miguel Reyes,” he said as he extended a hand. “The one who usually looks after him when his parents aren’t.”
 
“Nora Anderson,” Max’s mother replied. “I make sure she doesn’t cause a reactor meltdown in the backyard.”
 
“A reactor meltdown?” Miguel questioned as he looked over toward Ian. “And I thought that Felix was your strangest friend.”
 
“So that’s why I remember the name ‘Felix’,” Max muttered to herself.
 
“Anyways,” Nora said. “So you’re headed up to the camp?”
 
“Yeah, I’m just dropping him off. I’m actually surprised it took him so long to decide to go again, especially since his friend’s over there now and all.”
 
“Ah, that’s nice,” Nora replied. “Well, might as well travel together, right?”
 
“Completely fine with me!” Miguel agrees way too quickly with a smile. “Means I don’t have to waste as much gas on the trip.”
 
Nora chuckled. “Yeah, they’re basically scamming us with these prices these days. Need some help moving luggage to my car?”
[Now] Ian exits the back of the van after Max does, more than happy to get some fresh air after being stuck in there for the trip. The jovial banter between all four of them definitely made it better, though.
 
He takes a deep breath in, noting the faint, but very distinct smell of sulfur in the air as he gathers his bags together.
 
Miguel then hands Ian one last box, which was labeled ‘for Felix’ in writing too neat to belong to either of him. They both stare at it for a few moments before Miguel claps Ian on the shoulder. “I don’t know what that guy’s thinking sometimes, especially with what happened to Felix, but at least he understands that the two of you are going to look after each other.”
 
Ian nods stiffly with downturned eyes, gripping his bag tighter. It was still his fault that Felix was sent here, and now was his opportunity to make up for that. Miguel then starts to lightly push him towards the camp’s gates.
 
“Well, get going! We both know you've got a certain lucky guy to find! And make sure to stay safe and have some fun!"
 
“Thanks, uncle. And stay safe as well,” Ian says before walking up the hill. And as he reaches the top, he takes a moment to admire the view before activating his navigation powers to find Felix.
 
Nothing happens, which probably shouldn’t be too surprising since he was pretty far from the collection of buildings he assumed was the cabin area.
 
The sky began to darken slightly as Ian shrugged and started his trip down the hill. He’d eventually run into someone who could either show him his new cabin or tell him where Felix was.
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