Darkest Days and Longest Nights

The Hunt Begins <Encoded Transmission>
Jim Kingston

Stardate 101710.1

After analyzing subspace communications and finding encrypted communiques, I managed to attract the interest of the other entity and arrange a first contact. The meeting in the neutral zone was brisque; apparently, the other entity who fancies himself a Memory Alpha, knew the technical specs and capabilities of us before we arrived.

A peace accord was reached; apparently, we have a mutual enemy that has struck at a loosely affiliated entity. The enemy currently is unidentified; Memory Alpha is assembling a tactical group to research & report, with possible rescue or neutralization possible. ETA 1 standard week.

After departing our neutral zone meeting, I requisitioned some upgrades from the grey market. Going into a hostile situation with, as of now, 3 unknowns and Memory Alpha, I felt it prudent to arm myself with enough firepower to take on Klingon or Romulan cruisers, if they were in fact the culprits. I would not put it past them.

I hope our enemies decloak and reveal themselves soon. Knowing the enemy’s capabilities will go a long ways to defeating them.

Kirk out.

View
Not Alone
Jack McCallum

I am not alone. I learned, some time ago, that “we are not alone,” in the most frightening of senses. Since that time I thought I was the only one that knew. The only one that was witness to the horrific reality behind the thin curtain of civilization. I was convinced that somehow, everyone else had managed to turn a blind eye, tune it out, or go mad enough that they were whisked away to the inpatient wards. After sifting for countless hours through countless sites I found a single thread and I followed it… like bread crumbs strewn across the internet. A link here, a phrase there, and eventually I found the proof that I’m not alone. I thought the fact that I’m not crazy would make me feel better, but it’s more terrifying to realize that what I saw is real. And it’s not the only thing out there. I tracked down an email link on the site, and I’m attempting to make contact.

View
The abyss
Sam Murphy

“If you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you”

- Friedrich Nietzsche

It’s been four long years since that thing took everything from me. The last memories I have of my wife are those spilled across the floor next to her lifeless husk of a body. My boy, gone, taken away from me the same night. It wanted revenge on me, I should have stayed away, I should have taken my family and ran when I had the chance. Instead I hunted it, like it hunted so many others in Garden.

Jesus Christ…so many dead in so little time. But I was too proud, nothing was going to terrorize MY town. So I went after it, I followed its shallow foot steps into the woods, followed the specks of blood that rolled in its wake, followed until I found it playing with some trinket it must have picked up along it’s way, wearing the face of one of the people it had stolen. Thats what it was, it took things, pieces of other peoples lives or their body itself. I didn’t know what I was dealing with, I was way over my head, but I know something wasn’t right when the killings started.

When I started firing everything turned to hell. The thing moved like nothing I had ever seen, bounding with impossible speed, its unblinking dead eyes turned to crescents with a grin. When it finally had its fill of lead, it ran off…back towards town.

I chased it as fast as I could, but I’m only a man. When I got there all I saw was bedlam where my life used to be. I had no answers for what I had seen that night, not for the others at the precinct or even for myself. All I knew was that there was something else out there. Something evil, and monstrous that needed to be found and needed to be stopped. Since then, I am only a shadow of what I once was, but every shadow is cast by light. A light that keeps us warm and keeps the darkness at bay. It’s the same one we use to light the path into the abyss that haunts us all. My path is lit…and one day I too will have my revenge.

)

View
Monsters in the closet
Jim Kingston

After the incident in Chicago, I’ve come to the realization that when mom tells you there are no monsters in the closet or under the bed, she just doesn’t know the half of it. Monsters are out there…and they are hidden. The masquerade like you or I, but if you pay attention, you’ll see.

The vampire wanna-be is all glitter and emo…the real ones have the stillness of death and can shrug off bullets as if mosquito bites. They aren’t interested in reading you poetry; you don’t read poetry to the cow before you consume it. Holy Water and a cross? Useless. Garlic? Pointless. A stake? There you go.

Werewolves, Mages, Ghost, hell even Goblins…I’m sure they are out there. Once you see one monster, you know there are more in the woodwork. I just have to find out how to spot them, and how to kill them.

I’ve finally hooked up with some like-minded associates here in the frozen north. I set up some contacts, made some connections, and came into a web of information, with some redneck yokel apparently at the center of it. I don’t know much about him, but he has some good video, and has a job: apparently a hunter group went missing a few days back on a Hunt, and he needs some volunteers to go find them. While I know it sounds strange, it sounds thrilling. I’m tired of being scared and unable to defend myself. I know the monsters are out there, and now, I am going to kill them.

#

View
Cell division
Sam Murphy

Transmissions are flooding in. The local cells are picking clean rumors of conspiracy and compromise like hungry vultures. I don’t know what happened, but the boards say we are being targeted by something or someone. My hope is that I’ve finally tracked it down to Minneapolis, the Keeper has been moving through the north for the last few years picking off the unsuspecting here and there. This seems like its kind of play ground; middle class families ripe for the plucking. If it’s gotten wise it may want to target bigger game.
There are eager minds here, rumors strewn across the net of the unnatural which has touched their lives with an icy claw. Maybe its time to throw them a bone to see if they bite. If we can come together we can fight whatever is lurking in the shadows of the twilight. I’ve been doing this alone for too long. Time to light the torch.

View
WTF is going on?
Aaron Brandt
I don’t understand it. I have been involved in emergency medicine for years now, in every place from Kabul to Baghdad to East Minneapolis. I have never before seen the types of injuries and deaths that I’ve been seeing in the past 18 months. People with arms and legs ripped off. Corpses that are little more than lifeless husks, almost completely devoid of tissue and fluid. Yesterday, my bus responded to a suspicious death scene where the body was totally devoid of blood. Complete exsanguination should be impossible produce in a person. Even traumatic amputation leaves you a little blood. And the bites. I saw a teenager on an overlook the other day that had a bite taken out of his side you’d have though was made by Jaws. I have heard stories about the occasional bear coming into town and I have even been to a death scene where a bear attacked a hiker. I know what the bite marks look like and there aren’t any natural predators round these parts capable of inflicting bigger ones. Natural predators… So, here I am. There are things going on around here that defy my ability to explain. I am not stupid. When you rule out all other possible explanations, you are left with the answer, no matter how unlikely. I think there are monsters, and not the human kind. I’m scared. I am preparing for a fight. Fighting is something I know a bit about. Is there anyone else out there? Anyone else come to this same conclusion and can shed some light on all this? Tell me I’m not crazy
View
RIP Mark Smith
Aaron Brandt

Now it’s personal.

Last night, my partner Mark and I got a call to respond to an injury related to an animal bite at a camp ground in a rather remote area, north of Minneapolis. The dispatcher couldn’t provide any further information but said she heard a dog barking it’s head off in the background, so we treated it as low-risk call. Per usual, we beat the responding police officer to the scene. He must have been asleep in a parking garage somewhere.

It was strange. Usually when we show up, there are bystanders or relations of the victim standing around or waving us in, but there wasn’t anyone in sight. We found the right campsite (it was the only one occupied) and got out to assess the situation. Two cars parked in in the gravel area, two tents set up, a campfire burning with camp chairs set up around it…no people. Hell, there wasn’t even a cricket chirping. Mark called out for the victim, but we got no response. There was a dog leash attached to the bumper of on of the cars, but no dog… or snap for that matter, just a frayed end. On the ground in front of one of the camp chairs was an open cell phone.

Thats when I noticed the tracks. In the dirt next to the campfire were what appeared to be a persons bare footprints… if that person wore a size 20 shoe and had … talons. I pulled out my flashlight and looked closer. As soon as I illuminated the grass I found the blood. It takes an awful lot of liquid to saturate ground, and this ground looked like a maroon swamp. Mark and I looked at one another, turned and hauled ass back to the ambulance. He isn’t nearly as fast as I am and, I’m ashamed to say, I wasn’t waiting for him either. As I rounded the driver’s side, I heard a rush of wind, then a startled gasp from Mark… and then he was screaming, high pitched and piercing. Before I could get back around the side of the bus, the volume of his scream was changing, moving back toward the wood line to the east. Still, I was moving…

I can still see his face in my mind. His eyes were locked to mine, terrified, pleading. His face was distorted in pain and fear. He was draped over the shoulder of… some … thing, trying with all his might to wrest himself from it’s grasp. The thing was the shape of a man, but half again as tall, pale skinned and hairless. It must have been immeasurably strong to run carrying Mark like that. It made no sound at all as it rushed toward the trees. Just before it entered the trees, it turned and looked at me. That face… those eyes… My skin crawled and I felt a wave of pure malice wash over me… Then it was gone. That was the last time I ever saw Mark Smith alive.

I’ll tell you right now, I locked my self in that ambulance, put out an OH FUCK call on the radio and hunkered down to wait for the cavalry to come rescue me. They found Mark early the next morning in a small clearing in the woods about a mile from the campsite. Rather, they found what was left of him… Mostly his head was intact. That was about it. The rest had been… chewed on… like a drumstick.

Mark was my friend. We drank beer and chased girls together off duty. Hell, I used to date his sister and for a while it looked like we were going to be brothers in law. Mark deserved better than that. I have seen men die in the chaos of combat. I have never seen anything that approaches the level of horror and helplessness I saw on his face. It hasn’t been that long since I wore the uniform. I still have the skills, still have some gear. I can get the rest, they pay me pretty good here.

Whatever that thing was, it better have it’s affairs in order. It won’t be the first thing I’ve killed, or the last, but it’s going to be the next…

View
Nowhere to Hide
Anton Zamojda

I fled Bosnia to get away from them. Then New York, then Chicago. The monsters. Old country, the folk, they knew. They know. This is why we carry cross, or star, or garlic. Or holy water. This is why we get tattoos of holy symbol. Why we ward the frame of door. Why we do not trust stranger. Why we look over shoulder. The wars teach us that there is much danger. Much to be worried about. Make us keen, so we know that world is not safe. The man who walks by on road, he could have gun. He could have knife. He could bear curse of thirst, and if you are not careful he could give to you. Death was everywhere. This make us more careful. Make us wiser about such things. When faced with it every day, all day, you start to pay attention. So you see, I knew from time growing up that monsters exist. Some wear uniform, have gun. Others sharp claw, or sharp fang. We are grown to see them for what they are. Many here think me superstitious, but it is only because they are blind. Hopefully they will never have reason to know that they are wrong. Americans live in a bubble. Without the threat of death they grow soft, they stop looking. This is why they are such easy prey. For those like me, who make a living off of them. And for those unlike me, those that live on them. I know now. from this Vortex web site, that I am not alone. That I am not crazy, and that all of the Americans are not unaware. I will find them, and will see what they are doing. What they can offer. How it is that they have survived long enough to get the video, the audio. The picture. The public of America may be like sheep against bears. But these hunters, they could be like wolves against bears. I have reached out. We will see if they reach back or if they are all talk.

View
And the game's afoot
Jim Kingston

You’ve reached Jim, but he’s out doing something or another. If this is Bobby, your mom says hi, for anyone else, leave a message after the beep!


BEEP****

I’m out in the middle of nowhere MN. Our rescue of Ms Nordic has turned into a search and recovery..and a high probability of hostile contact. The transport was wrecked; all available data was salvaged. Apparently the predator/prey uses tunnels to move throughout the area. It may be a a leech or a arachnid, but whatever it is, we intend to hunt it down, and either bring back our contacts or avenge them.

I only hope the first foray of this group doesn’t turn out to be the last exercise.

View
Not How I Imagined It
Drew Walker

What the Hell have I gotten myself into here? I mean, I know what’s lurking in the sewers round my joint. I seen em, I’ve watched em. Feed. Creep round. Do their thing. I figured that’s what we’d be doin. That’s how it’d work. I seen em, and I’m used to em in a weird kinda way. But out here in the woods, these holes. Them things that they say were in the headlights. Way they described em, could be them things round the block. But I don’t know. Don’t seem like it. Seems like somethin dif’rent. Somethin scarier. Could just be these woods, I ain’t used to bein outside of the city really. I like my neighborhood, I know every step of it. Hell, I grew up there, I know most of the block’s dirty secrets. But this ain’t the same, I get lost out here and I ain’t going to know which way to run. The reporter team sure as Hell didn’t. Now we’re lookin down this hole, tryin to figure out jus what it could be. Erika says there’re some kinda stories bout changing spiders and underground vampires. I’d take the damned vampire any day. Spiders creep me the Hell out. And we’re goin to do down into this hole, chasing a vampire, or spider, or whatever. We have no idea. I jus figured it’d be different, is all…

View

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.