I found a metal box at the junkyard - Chap 5
It happened last night.
After a day of just putting all to the side. Questions which I had no answers for. Google searches that turned up with nothing. Disappearances that could’ve been related, but at the same time could have just been coincidental. After all of that, I just decided to enjoy the day and go back to what I was doing before all of this. The cops could take care of Arthur. The logs were still with me, but they were tucked away in the garage. Everything felt fine throughout the day.
At night, we had a small dinner, got ready for bed, and I knocked out before my wife had even gotten out of the bathroom.
It must have been around 2 maybe 2:30 am when my wife shook me awake.
“What?” I mumbled, eyes still closed. “What is it?”
“I think there’s someone in the backyard.”
My eyes snapped open, a million thoughts running through my mind.
“Did you hear something?” I asked, getting up. I reached underneath my bed, grabbing the baseball bat I kept there, something I’ve done since I was a teenager.
“Something walking through the grass. Could be an animal, but I don’t know. Can you…check?”
“I will, don’t worry.” I put on my shorts and shoes, because I wasn’t about to go out there barefoot, and left the bedroom, closing the door behind me. The house was pitch black, as I would expect. I hit the light switch for the hall, it didn’t turn on. Was this a black out? Maybe the police were roaming the area and that’s what my wife heard. I wanted to believe that, or believe that it was just an animal like my wife, or anything else, anything normal.
The stairs creaked louder than usual as I headed to the first floor. I tried to keep ears open for anything coming from outside, but it was dead quiet. I was about to reach the bottom step when I heard something from upstairs. I froze and looked up. A dark figure has been moving across the hall but stopped once they saw me staring. My stomach sank as the whites of their eyes looked in my direction.
“Do you see anyone?” my wife’s voice said softly, totally catching me off guard.
“You scared the crap out of me,” I yelled in a whisper.
“I just didn’t want to be alone!”
I groaned, “Fine, come on.”
My wife rushed down the stairs, a long rod in her hands.
“What is that?”
“I needed a weapon too.”
“Okay but what is that? Is that your…”
“I didn’t have anything else, okay?”
“But your hair straighter?” I almost laughed. I probably would’ve had it not been for the steps in the back porch.
My wife and I froze when we heard it. Clear as day, someone walking just outside our kitchen. And it was definitely not a raccoon.
“Stay behind me,” I whispered moving towards the kitchen.
We had a set of double glass doors that faced the backyard, a curtain had been pulled over them. The footsteps had stopped when I stood in front of the doors. I gave my wife one last look and she nodded at me as I grabbed the curtains. With a strong pull and no idea what to expect, I forced them open.
On the other side, darkness blanketed the backyard as a low fog covered the ground.. I could spot the fruit trees and some of the gardening tools I had left out there not long ago, but other than that, it was pretty deserted. Not even a raccoon.
“There’s no one–”
Glass suddenly shattered from another room. I jumped and watched my wife’s face fill with fear. That’s when I had had enough. I didn’t care what it was, a man, some cryptic, a being beyond my imagination or even a damn raccoon. I’ll be damned if I was about to let any of that scare my wife.
I took off, following the noise through my house. I found the shattered window by the door that led to the garage. I looked around, even poked my head outside, but there was no one around. What the hell? I was about to look outside again when my wife’s scream pierced my ears. I felt my heart nearly rip as I ran back to her and found her on the ground. She was facing the double doors, but the color had drained from her face.
“What happened? What’s wrong?”
“There’s someone…there’s someone out there.”
I looked at the doors and tightened my grip around the bat. I pulled the curtain open again, only this time, I saw him.
A man, a dark silhouette, standing dead-center in my backyard. I undid the lock of the door and walked outside. The night was cool, the fog was still rolling across the ground as I stepped out into the back porch.
“What do you want?” I yelled out to him. I felt pretty brave for a moment, I won’t even lie. He didn’t respond though.
I looked around, in case there was some hidden backup, but the backyard was empty except for us. My eyes started to adjust to the dark and I could see more of him. His hands were in his pockets, his expression was flat. He wore a long sleeved shirt and a small, white emblem on it that I couldn’t make out.
“If you’re not gonna say anything, then I’m gonna call the police.” It should’ve probably been the first thing we did, but it was too late to back down at that point.
I waited a little longer, but he didn’t respond. I was about to go back in and tell my wife to call the cops when he finally spoke.
“Coincidences happen. Being at the wrong place, at the wrong time. Some people don’t believe in them, but I do.” He sounded older than I expected, tired even. “If this was just a coincidence, I suggest you tell me now. It’ll be much easier that way.”
“What the hell are you talking about?”
“So, that’s how you want it.”
I thought the guy was nuts. At best he was confused.
“I don’t want anything. I’m really gonna call the cops.”
The man scoffed at my threat, then placed two fingers against his mouth. He let out a sharp whistle. I expected a bunch of men to come rushing from over the fence of something but nothing like that happened. What actually happened though was much worse.
I was about to go back in when I heard someone step out from the house. I was about to tell my wife to go back inside but then I saw her face. I hadn’t seen that amount of fear in her in years. It was only when she fully stepped outside that I spotted the woman standing behind her.
She looked familiar, but I didn’t even give that a second thought. My attention was fixed on the large kitchen knife she was holding against my wife’s neck.
“Leave her out of this,” I turned towards the man. “I don’t know what you want!”
“Was it an accident?”
“Was what an accident?”
He didn’t seem like that answer, his brows furrowing, eyes looking at the woman. I flipped to her, the knife pressing tighter against my wife’s neck.
“Wait! Please! Okay, you’re right! It was an accident, it was all an accident,” I desperately yelled at the man. “Just let her go, please.”
“So, you didn’t see anything then right?”
“Nothing,” I told him, not even sure what he was talking about at this point, but I didn’t care.
“Good,” he muttered, nodding at the woman. She lowered her knife and let my wife go. I called for her to come, but she didn’t move.
Her eyes shot up at me, and then…she winked.
What happened next took me entirely by surprise. My wife reached into her pajamas and somehow pulled out that damn hair straighter. She spun around and struck the woman on the side of the head, immediately knocking her out.
The man charged at me, but I swung my bat just fast enough to strike him right in the nose. That’s when my backdoor swung open, only this time two bright lights were pointed at my wife and I.
“Police! Drop the bat and the…uh, hair straightener!”
We both did as they said, putting our hands up.
“On the ground!”
I couldn’t see their faces because their lights were pointed right at my eyes, but I could definitely see their guns. The officers proceeded to check us and I let them know what had happened, that we lived there and that the couple had broken into our house. They told us that it looked like they’d arrived just in time.
Apparently, one of the neighbors had woken up and spotted the man roaming around the property. It wasn’t until they heard my wife scream that they called the cops though. The patrol car had been nearby and that’s how they were able to get here so fast. After listening to our story, the officers had no problem believing and took the two in cuffs. It was less than fifteen minutes later and our house was packed with cop cars.
Someone came to officially take our stories. I gave them what I could, but told them I really didn’t know much or understood why they were there in the first. The officer tried to ask me a few more questions but my eyes stayed on the couple as they were being taken away. I hadn’t realized it, but one of the cops that had originally arrived was the same cop that had been patrolling the junkyard on Monday.
“So, did they change your zone or duty?” I cluelessly asked him, approaching from behind.
The officer looked back. No wonder I hadn’t recognized him at first, he looked different without the large sunglasses on his face, but it was definitely him.
“Yeah, something like that,” he said. “Glad we got here when we did.”
“Us too. I don’t know what would’ve happened otherwise.”
“It looked like the two of you had things under control though.”
“Did we? Everything happened too fast honestly, I…I was scared. Less for me, more for my wife.”
“She’s got quite the fight in her, doesn’t she?”
“You could say that,” I looked back at her, she was talking with one of the officers. She’d gotten one of my hoodies and put it over her pajamas. Damn was I lucky. “She’s been through some things, she knows how to take care of herself.”
“Good for you, man. You hold on to that.”
“Thank you, I’ll do my best,” I told him with a laugh.
“So, do you have any idea why those two picked your house?”
“No idea. Like I told the other officer, the guy kept asking me about an accident and coincidences. I don’t think he’s well in the head, if I’m being honest.”
The officer led out a deep sigh, “What I tell you, everyday it’s something new. People are just losing their minds with all of this.”
“It’s rough times. I just hope they get the help that they need, but as far away from us as possible.”
The officer chuckled, “Hope so too. Things aren’t running as smoothly as they used to so we can hope for the best.”
“Well, if you see or find anything else unusual, you let me know, alright?” He took a card from his shirt and handed it to me. “I’ll be around for some time.”
I nodded at him and looked at the card. Officer Ramirez. At least I had his name now.
I watched get in the cruiser with his partner, the couple in the backseat. The man was dead on staring at me and that’s when I got the same feeling I did when I originally saw the woman. I had pushed it aside then, but now I couldn’t help but think how familiar he looked. They started to pull away, and at the last second, the man smirked at me.
I didn’t mention it to my wife, I didn’t really get a chance. After the police were gone, we went back inside and I held her in my arms until we fell asleep. By the time the sun was out, I was already up, my mind trying to connect everything that had happened over the last few days in some convoluted way. My wife managed to stay asleep though, and I was thankful for that.
Now, I’m sitting here writing this and trying to imagine some scenario where all this relates to the metal box and the logs, but I don’t know how.
The man kept talking about an accident. If it was related, maybe it had to do with the black SUV going into the lake? Was that the accident he meant? Maybe trying to cover up witnesses of something they did? But then, where do the logs come in? If they were really confidential government files or something, why would they want to get rid of them in a lake? Why not just burn them? It doesn’t add up.
I still have Ramirez’s card. What I can do is wait a few days, then give him a call, see if they figured anything out. I figure that’s my best bet right now.
In the meantime, I just want to lay low with this. If it’s all somehow connected, then my wife could be in danger and that’s the last thing I want. The fact that she doesn’t know any of this is even having happening doesn’t help at all. I think once she wakes up I’m finally gonna come clean about everything. I think it’ll be for the best.
In the meantime, here’s the next log though. As if things weren’t going bad enough for me here, doesn’t look like things ended well for them.
I’ll update again when I can.
Video & Audio Log Transcript Record III
Date: July 26, 20▇
Unit: Platypus Unit II
Operatives: PL-05 Venom – PL-06 Web – PL-08 Oddity
Location: ▇▇▇▇▇, Amazon Rainforest, Peru
Objective: Re-confinement of any and all non-human entities.
(The remaining members of Platypus II have continued their search through the station’s lower floors after losing contact with BH-04 Tiny and PL-07 Beak.
There have been no encounters with other operatives, personnel, humans or non-humans thus far.
They have just reached sub-level 15.)
PL-08 Oddity: We might want to rethink our approach if this is another office floor, Venom.
PL-05 Venom: I know. (Pause) Command, we’re about to reach 15. Has evac arrived yet?
PLCommand: Negative. We’re reaching out to get an ETA.
PL-05 Venom: How about the classified files?
PLCommand: Still trying to get in. Whatever they have hidden, they’ve put a lot of resources to keep them that way.
PL-05 Venom: Let’s hope it’s nothing worse than what we’ve seen then.
PL-06 Web: Considering we haven’t actually seen anything, the odds aren’t looking too good.
PL-08 Oddity: Glad you’re staying positive, Web.
(The operatives arrive at the landing that leads into sub-level 15. Unlike the other sub-level, the door here appears to be encased with a thick metal and no visible knob on it. On the side is a key card device with a blinking red light.)
PL-06 Web: A CZ floor?
PL-05 Venom: Could be.
PL-08 Oddity: Then they’re confined in there, no point trying to get in, right?
PL-06 Web: We still need to secure the chambers in the confinement zones to make sure the non-humans are where they’re supposed to be. That’s why we’re here, Odd.
PL-05 Venom: Not to mention the possibility of any trapped personnel inside. I know we’re not S&R, but one of our own is missing and I’ll be damned if we don’t check every corner of this place to find him. (He walks towards the door and places his hand on it.) Web, think you can break through this?
(PL-06 Web moves next to him and knocks on the door in different areas.)
PL-06 Web: Easy. But do we want to blow this open, Venom?
PL-05 Venom: Beak could’ve probably hacked it, but where we stand now, it looks like the only option. Try to keep it low, we don’t want anything else opening by accident.
PL-08 Oddity: Do we have any idea of what could be in there?
PL-05 Venom: Command?
PLCommand: A total of four floors are shown to house confinement chambers. There are no details as to which is which or what they have behind them.
PL-08 Oddity: So we’re blind then.
PL-05 Venom: Just be ready for anything, Odd.
(PL-05 Venom and PL-08 Oddity stand guard by the stairs while PL-06 Web attaches a small explosive device on the door and sets it up. PL-08 Oddity looks up momentarily.)
PL-05 Venom: What is it?
PL-08 Oddity: Thought I heard something running down. Could be this place just messing with my head though.
PL-05 Venom: You sure?
PL-08 Oddity: Yeah, otherwise you’d have heard it too.
(Both operatives look above them. The faint light of the stairway continues to illuminate the floors all the way to the top of the facility. There is a flicker in the light of one of the top floors, but no movement can be seen.)
PL-06 Web: About to rip this place a new one so stand back.
(PL-06 Web backs up towards a wall with the detonator in hand. PL-05 Venom and PL-08 Oddity move up the stairs and crouch.)
PL-06 Web: Brace. 3…2..
(There is a creak from the door followed by the release of a lock. The door slides open and a man holds up a pistol taking aim at PL-06 Web. From his clothes, it can be assumed that he’s an operative, although in poor conditions. His uniform is ripped in several areas, with blood and sweat stains spread out. PL-05 Venom and PL-08 Oddity hold up their rifles. The unknown operative’s yell can be heard in their comms.)
???: Take the explosive off the door!
PL-05 Venom: Put the weapon down and identify yourself, now.
???: Take it off. You’ll screw us if you blow up this door!
PL-08 Oddity: Put the gun down! Who are you?
???: I’m BH-01 Duke of Bloodhound I and I need you to get this damn explosive off the door.
(PL-06 Web looks at PL-05 Venom who nods. PL-06 Web walks cautiously towards the door and begins working on removing the explosive. A scraping, metallic sound is then heard from one of the floors above causing the operatives to freeze.)
BH-01 Duke: Get in. Get in now!
(He motions the Platypus II operatives inside, who now have taken aim above them.)
PL-05 Venom: What is that?
BH-01 Duke: Get inside!
(Video feed shows PL-08 Oddity looking above as a humanoid figure appears climbing down the wall of the staircase with rapid speed. There are curses from the operative as he and PL-05 Venom rush down towards the door.
BH-01 Duke fires his pistol. PL-08 Oddity looks behind him to see an unknown man in a green collar shirt twitching on the floor. A bullet wound on his torso. BH-01 Duke walks towards the unknown man and shoots again, and again, until the pistol clicks.)
BH-01 Duke: (Turning to PL-06 Web) We have to get inside. Are you not done?
(He faces PL-06 Web as the explosive device is taken off the door. BH-01 Duke attempts to talk, but freezes. The feed distorts as the Bloodhound operative is seen lifted up and tossed through the air by an unseen force.
Video feed from the operatives distorts even further as PL-05 Venom appears to tackle a ‘spectral’ figure by the door. PL-06 Web is on the ground and PL-08 Oddity attempts to drag him through the doorway. They’re stopped by the unknown man on the floor. The bullets are lodged into his head and torso still, but he holds onto PL-06 Web‘s leg and pulls.
An operative, who’s uniform resembles BH-01 Duke’s, is seen running out of the door and shoots the unknown man again. PL-05 Venom is thrown against the wall by the ‘spectral’ figure. The distortion grows worse and only rapid movement is able to be captured.
Through the audio, grunting is heard. Another shot is fired and someone screams. A wet, ripping sound is heard as well followed by another shot being fired. Someone lets out a painful cry which is followed by fast footsteps. Another scream and some panicked curses. The wet ripping sound is heard again, louder this time which cuts off the continuing scream. Then there’s a metallic sound and we see PL-05 Venom’s video feed stabilize and slowly return as the door into the sub-level is closed by the operatives.
Heavy breaths from both him and PL-06 Web are detected. Both operatives appear covered in blood as their feeds return. BH-01 Duke and the operative who came out from inside the sub-level are sitting next to them on the floor.)
PL-05 Venom: What the hell was that?
PL-06 Web: We were not fucking ready for this, Venom. Fuck.
BH-01 Duke: None of us were.
???: Who are you two?
PL-05 Venom: (Breathing heavily) Platypus II, we’re the re-confinement unit sent to assist you.
BH-01 Duke: Were the files classified for you too?
PL-06 Web: No shit. Did it look like we were prepared for whatever the fuck that was out there?
???: Try to calm down.
PL-06 Web: Don’t fucking tell me to calm down. Not after that fucking thing.
PL-05 Venom: Are you Bloodhound too?
???: I’m BH-03 Cal. How long have you been in here?
PL-05 Venom: At least two hours. We had some issues on the 8th floor, lost two operatives, one of yours and one of ours. It’s like they vanished through the damn walls. (Pauses) Can’t even explain it. The rest of the building has been empty for us…until now that is.
BH-01 Duke: Wait, you’ve…you’ve only been here for two hours? What the hell took you all so long?
PL-06 Web: They held us up coming into the country.
BH-01 Duke: For how many days?
PL-05 Venom: Not days, a few hours maybe.
BH-01 Duke: Then why are you only coming now?
PL-05 Venom: What do you mean?
BH-03 Cal: We’ve been in here for days, waiting. Why did your unit only decide to come now?
PL-06 Web: The hell are you talking about? We came in here less than an hour after you.
PL-05 Venom: Command, are you getting this? Do we have an ETA yet?
BH-01 Duke: Can’t say I’m even surprised anymore. Nothing in this place makes any damn sense.
PLCommand: We can’t reach them. Bloodhound Command is also unresponsive. Something’s affecting our servers.
BH-03 Cal: You’re still in contact with your CC?
PL-05 Venom: We are, thankfully. Where is your V&A gear?
BH-01 Duke: We stopped using it days ago, we lost contact with everyone. Thought we were gonna die here honestly.
PL-06 Web: ‘There a reason you pointed the gun at us like that?
BH-03 Cal: We heard you come to the door. You could’ve been compromised, but Duke overheard your plan and rushed out to stop you. You know the rest.
PL-05 Venom: Yeah. The non-humans show up and the invisible one rips apart one of ours (Pauses, shaking his head) Odd was a good man. He didn’t deserve to go out like that.
PL-06 Web: We weren’t ready for anything like that*(Hits the wall behind him)* Fuck.
BH-01 Duke: I’m sorry about the loss,guys, but did you say the entity was invisible?
PL-05 Venom: Did you not see it’s outline?
PL-06 Web: I saw the outline, but I also saw the legs and eyes on that thing. Hell, I saw all of it. It looked like some damn supermodel, never seen anything like it before. Made it even more disturbing when I saw it grab Odd, I…
PL-05 Venom: What is it?
PL-06 Web: Oh shit.
PL-05 Venom: What?
Pl-06 Web: The explosive, Venom. Shit (He gets on his feet) The explosive and the detonator.
PL-05 Venom: What about it?
PL-06 Web: I dropped them. Fuck, I dropped them out there.
PL-05 Venom: Relax, it’s not like those things are smart, right?
(The operatives exchange a look before facing the door. The metal creaks again just before the audio blares in a sudden burst. The explosion from Web’s device appears to detonate as the video feed is lost entirely after a booming frame. Someone is heard yelling the word “run” before fast footsteps are tracked for approximately three minutes. The audio goes silent after this although the devices still show as being active and operational.
Six minutes later, Platypus Command attempts to make contact.)
PLCommand: Venom, can you hear us? What’s the situation? We’ve seem to have lost the feed as well as GPS tracking.
PLCommand: Venom? Web? Can you hear us?
PLCommand: Can anyone hear us?
PLCommand: Shit, I think we lost them.
(Nothing is heard from any of the operatives for approximately thirty two minutes. Momentarily, PL-07 Beak‘s audio feed is reactivated and his voice is heard again.)
PL-07 Beak: (Static)…dark.
PLCommand: Beak? Hell, Beak, is that you?
PL-07 Beak: (Static)
PLCommand: Can you hear us? Beak?
PL-07 Beak: It’s…dark.
PLCommand: Do you know where you are? Evac is getting there soon, just hang on, stay with us. We’re trying to get your location.
PL-07 Beak: (Static)…dark…(static)…faces watching…(static)… so many…(static).
PLCommand: Stay with us, Beak. Evac is on the way. Beak? Beak?
(Audio feed is lost after this and nothing else is heard from any of the operatives.
Platypus Command attempted to reach Sector P numerous times throughout the mission, but were never successful. They also messaged Bloodhound Command, which informed them that they weren’t able to get any other S&R teams out there for the time being, citing the lack of information on the facility as well as being uncertain whether any operative or personnel was still alive.
At the time of this transcript, nothing more has been heard from any of the operatives, nor personnel. With the entire facility having been labeled a Confinement Zone (CZ) other Command Centers have declined ▇▇▇▇’s request to send additional Units.
The fate of BH-02 Dutch, who was left in the lobby of the facility along with the unknown operative, remains unknown.
The evac team arrived eighteen minutes following the last transmission.)