===Bureau of Redacted Media: Case File - ===
Date of Operations: April 5th - 7th 1936
Media recovered: One (1) written transcript and one (1) illustration.
The Bureau is inclined to inform and remind our staff of our mission statement; that is to secure all dangerous information, in the pursuit of a safer world within which we hold control of our fate. Chaos belongs to those who may determine fate.
Salutem Prudentiae, Securitati in Ignorantia.
I know they want us to go by our designated numbers, but even not knowing your real name, I just wanna call you Mitch. Is that fine? Okay Mitch. I’ll tell you what happened. What made our stringent institution as necessary as they are today. Sometimes it feels like we’re more than that - I feel my identity slip away as the days go on. You’re a fresh body, so they won’t get rid of you just yet. They probably already know I’m writing this to you, which means I’m as good as gone.
This was right at the turn of the 20th, right as the Bureau reached the height of their power. I mean they could really clean up hazardous material by then with just a few decent Cleaners and some redacting tape, but after this breach, well, they got the manpower and ideology to back everything up. Granted; they’re not the Blackwatch goons who believe they’re morally just and saving humanity from Abyssal extinction. But I think that just makes this group more of a bunch of smarmy suits who feel they earned this power just cuz they’re not mindless freaks.
I think they get off on the idea of skirting and hiding dangerous information too. But besides that.
I was one of the cleanup duty-slash-observers for one of their Experimentation Facilities. Don’t ask me how I got initiated to begin with, I can’t even remember that far or if I tried to. I think I was an engineer in another life. But I was on observation detail for one of their hubs where they were just getting revved up with the human experiments, you know, studies into skull operations and looking into how to create portals into the Abyss. I saw stuff no human should ever have to see, and then some. But one of their chambers was always locked off to me despite my being one of the mid-level staff. Come to think of it, there were a lot of people there in that tight group who I had no goddamn clue how they got anything done. Some doors were always shut, nobody knew who was in charge of what. Occasionally, some new guy would stop by and just observe everything, then disappear within a few days: nobody could tell you the person’s name, or if they even spoke at all while present. It was like working with ghosts. Not that much different from the standard Bureau █████████, but our place was far less competent and functional than the modern Bureau’s capabilities, and that I’m sure is what led to the incident in ██████, 1893.
The experiments weren’t just on our subjects either. Stuff would go missing, vital materials or paperwork. Weird discrepancies in shared shifts. One time we had an officer insist that the hallways were different each time he clocked in, then one day he never clocked back out; nobody ever saw ‘em again.
And *they* just wouldn’t stop requesting convicts. An invoice with no sender would show up in the compression chamber leading to the outside with instructions and names. We’d mostly get them (the subjects) in ones and twos, sent ‘em straight to the lower levels without a word, and went on observing other patients. Occasionally we got some batches of three to four, and that's when the facility got super loud. I mean we always had garbage ventilation during the summer time, due to our strict policies on openings which could potentially lead to breaches, so we were used to the rattling and knocking coming out of the corners nobody ever visited. I need to mention that the screaming and moaning echoed, and got worse and worse for a period of about six days, starting as low grunting and ramping up gradually until whoever was down in the lower levels sounded more like a ‘what’ than a who.
I still remember the guys who most likely were making the noise. Came stalking past with two Cleaners on each side, redacting tape already applied to their mouths and hands. Gaunt, shaved, sluggish. Their eyes looked completely dead: they probably were drugged before they entered the facility. I tried asking the Cleaners what the job was, and as usual I just got that s
S s sstatic fuzz. Yeah, that's what it was. Fuzz behind no eyes.
But I wouldn’t see them as they were ever again. No, the next time I would see them was a week later, when the alarm system suddenly went off. I was more confused than startled since, in my ██ years working for this institution I hadn’t seen any breaches or security issues which ever required the klaxons be turned on. Usually it just involved some idiot forgetting the proper hepatizine dosage and the subject maybe teleporting into a broom closet. Or halfway through the septic pipeline. I jumped up from my two way glass room where I was watching some poor imbecile froth at the mouth from his fifth trepanation surgery, ran out into the main hall where I saw our entire security detail sprinting towards the giant metal door which never opened for anyone.
“████, what the hell is going on?” I bellowed at one of the staff.
“No idea, just got radio’d from Head Doc that they had a major success and to send down all the muscle we had to D. Shits going down.”
I tried following, but was pushed aside by some excited moron in the confusion. I smacked my head against a metal pipe, vision immediately going blurry as I steadied myself near the door. Bathed in red light and listening groggily between the alarm bursts, I realized just how small our outfit was and how alone I was standing near the portal. Footsteps pounded down into the chamber amidst excited shouts.
Then the gunfire started. Started off as single shots, giving way to burst fire which then exploded into full auto as the sound of metal being sheared roared up from the chasm below the stairs. And then I heard my coworkers shrieking as something massive began to rampage down below. At some point the screams stopped, but the immense tearing noise below began crawling its way up the stairs. Realizing what was happening, I took shelter in one of the lockers lining the side halls.
I heard what sounded like metal poles being slammed down at a robotic pace as they began to near the portal. I had a single moment of insanity where I opened my mouth to call for help, before whatever it was down there stomped past the hall.
This thing … it could’ve been human if you saw it from very, very far away. But the features, the build, none of it made any sense from a biological standpoint. There is no reason for it to exist. Its spine was too long, so as to make its ribcage and back brush against the ceiling with scraping like nails on a chalkboard, and the head drooping lazily towards the floor. Arms dragging along the floor next to its equally absurdly long legs. As far as I’m aware, it had no feet, just blunted stubs. The lights and my concussion made it hard to say. And despite the lights illuminating its form, it remained a hard black silhouette against the dull walls. From somewhere in the hall, I heard a disgusting gurgling noise and - hazarding a crouch to get a better view - saw a single surgeon being dragged by the thing. It had somehow impaled its leg through the chest of the sap, who was still barely alive. The thing paid no mind, until the surgeon feebly attempted to free himself from their hellish prison. It appeared the man had bloodied his own hands chipping his knuckles off the hard beveled edge of its leg. At this point the creature - this homunculus - gave a rattling howl like IT was the thing suffering. It probably was. It reached down with its blackened, skeletal hands and wrapped them firmly around the doctor’s legs, pulling as hard it could. His scream lasted longer than it should’ve. The guy was bisected instantly and slid off the entity’s leg like salmon off a knife.
The skeletal being let out another tortured howl and violently threw the remains to one side, and suddenly sprinted towards the main gates at such blinding speed that I’m surprised the resulting explosion didn’t burst my eardrums. I came out, and crawled down to the bottom of the shaft leading to the forbidden rooms. Down there, the carnage was tenfold worse; bodies blown apart by sheer blunt force were spread across the walls, embedded in the walls. I saw a guard scorpioned so hard his ribcage poked through the flesh. I passed out after maybe an hour of fatigue and shock.
The Bureau found those of us who were unlucky enough to not be in that thing’s way when it left, which isn’t to say many of us, and reprogrammed us for Bureau work. I actually think they somehow confused me for a Cleaner, which is how I managed to stay under the radar for so long in this blasted place. The rest of those poor bastards got relegated to Blackwatch status, and I never saw them again.
I wish I could’ve told my family, if I even still have one. I can’t remember. Tell them I’m not actually doing fine. That I’m holding back information which could destroy the world with my eyes and hands alone. They even upped the f██████ ambient censor marks so I can’t cuss as much as I used to, not without giving myself a migraine. Cuz see, that's how they get you: they let one or four civvies see the monsters that go bump in the night, reprogram them so that you join ‘em and don’t have a problem being their hands and eyes. They let you know just enough that you won’t want to dig deeper, just to make sure the cracks stay sealed. The Blackwatch mumps know, and it's all they’ll ever know. They’re hunting for something that's good at hiding, and good at running. You wanna know why there's so many wraiths in the world lately? Why we seem to be having close-call breaches almost every week? Ask Blackwatch. They know.
Now that I’ve spilled my guts, they’re going to send me there soon. Ain't no room for humanity in this line of work. And honestly, I welcome it. I didn’t deserve to survive for what we did to those guys. They’re going to send me back into the ruins with those strange torches, with fires that don’t burn and warp the air around us. They’ll burn out my eyes, burn my mind, until I’m like the Vigilants: they can’t think of anything but the creature we set loose in the world. They’ll hunt it endlessly until either they die, or IT dies. And the worst part is that it already died once, who’s to say it’ll die a second and final time?
Christ Mitch, what the f████ did we let loose.
NOTICE: Subject ABSENTEE is still at large. If you would like to sign up for our Blackwatch Associate Relocation Program, please fill out the form below. Please be aware that once the form is completed, it cannot be undone. All personal effects will be incinerated at request.
AN Designation #: _____________
Written by William See