01 Feb I Regret Ever Working In The South Pole
I work in the South Pole.
I’m aware that sounds exciting, and it truly is, but it’s a difficult job with taxing hours. We were sent to the middle of Antarctica, with a thousand miles of snow and ice on all sides. We worked a solid 7to5 and with the lack of recreation, we typically do 18 hour days. However, we do have slow, satellite wifi, which is what keeps me sane during the long days. Regardless, all this wasn’t the problem. The problem was the sheer atmosphere of… oppression. The whole place didn’ t feel right.
Most of the facility is subterranean with covered heaters atop the roof and an entrance into a cement stairwell. The bunker is what you’d expect: grey, concrete square with men and women’s bunking areas (and a few couples rooms), a large bathroom facility with shower and toilet stalls, plus 3 labs and a fully stocked cafeteria, all with no windows. There was also a medical bay, and two rooms with couches (for therapy). After the double section entrance was the rec room, it had a pool table and bar, the wall was notty pine wood panelling like from the 1970s. The rooms were all attached by a long, dingy hallway, including 2 offices with desks and chairs (spent most of my time there). Atop the station was an observation deck, reachable with a ladder, with windows where we could see and hear the outdoors, but we usually only went up to smoke since it was nearly as cold as the outside. The whole place was poorly lit. Florescent lights and a few lamps in corners, but overall it looked like a dingy-green, underground, cement hell.
Outside is exactly what you would expect from Antarctica. Snow for hundreds of miles in all directions. If you have a fear of open water, it feels like that, except you have to walk in it.
I was a little surprised as to why they invited so many on this particular expedition. There were 12 of us total, usually 6 would suffice. All professionals in our fields. However, the range of work each of us did was surprising. Typically, it would be a singular field of study to accomplish a common goal, but on this expedition there were several different professions.
The first was an older, Finnish gentlemen, a medical doctor, who was skilled in healing injuries in frozen climates. The next was a physicist who really was as surprised as us to be in the south pole, for their work is often theoretical and when in practice requires a team in and of itself. The next two were a British husband and wife team, both geologists. There were three men in their 30s for maintenance and driving, specialized in sub-zero conditions and masters in any repair field. Also, there was biologist, a young black lady who wore her hair in a bun and kept her lab coat on at all times inside; she was all work and no fun.
Then there were even two therapists. Yes, two therapists. The first is what you’d expect: a middle aged lady with blonde bangs and a clipboard, always wearing a warm smile. The other… well, he was a tall, lanky fellow. He was gaunt and his hair was jet black. Honestly, I had no idea why he would be a therapist, I myself was intimidated to even say hi to him. I never saw anyone join him in therapy unless he specifically asked them. I usually tried to avoid him.
There was another man who I assumed was a cook, until I saw we had to make our own meals. He was an odd, mousy looking fellow. He didn’t speak to anyone, and when I tried he would simply ignore me. I maintained that he would be my favorite person on this expedition, since he kept 100% to himself.
Me? I was the chaplain. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking. There are half a dozen professionals here and they need a chaplain? Well, I didn’t think it made sense, but when I was contacted by the organization funding the trip I didn’t argue. They were offering a lot of money, and in my line of work that is a rarity.
The expedition was to be 6 months and we were to each conduct specific experiments. I don’t know what the others were assigned, but I was to journal on the religious implications of the expedition, and provide any council for all the other participants on the trip, of any sect or faith. The council assignment I didn’t have a problem with, but the journalling? That’s the kind of thing college freshman journal on in Theology 101. Either way, I was getting paid, so I sucked it up and spent the rest of my free time downloading movies and games to pass the long hours in between counseling.
Surprisingly, a lot of people came to me for religious discussion. I won over the maintenance guy’s approval when I cracked open a beer with them and talked Catholicism on the old, red rec room couch (I’m a Protestant minister so they were a little stand offish at first). We became fast friends and even though I couldn’t bless them or give confession, I think it helped ease stress to feel like they could disclose matters of faith as well as just have fun conversation.
Either way, I got along well with everyone after enough time. The physicist was a staunch atheist so we played pranks on each other frequently. I would hide his laptop out of easy reach blaring “Jesus Take The Wheel” and he would wake me up half the days with “No Church In The Wild.” I considered him my second best friend in the compound (even though that song did give me chills when I thought about how far away we were from civilization).
My “best friend” was the odd man. He was always around the rec room when I was and he never spoke. He wore an orange hoodie and jeans indoors, and always seemed like he was drinking alone at the dimly lit, makeshift bar. I thought nothing of it since our schedules were all different, and I could absolutely condone drinking yourself senseless in a place like this.
It was lonely most days. We did our own thing at our own stations, often eating lunch there (frozen meals or MREs usually). I did sped quite some time talking with the doctor. He was a Buddhist, so we spent many mornings meditating in his medical station under the buzzing florescent lights. He said that the place gave him an odd feeling. It was hard to be centered here in this cement brick, buried in the snow.
It did get to me after a while. When I was alone and the lights were quiet I swear I could hear… whispering. After one particular incident, where I swore I heard clear words, I started wearing headphones. They helped quite a bit with filling my ears with noise and blocking out the outside world.
Once a week supplies were dropped in from the coastal base hundreds of miles away. We restocked the cigarettes, whiskey and other non essentials like food and water. I say that to point out whoever was paying for this was dropping serious money. I never met the main client. Rather, I was contacted through their representatives. Apparently, the man funding it was very wealthy, very driven and very religious, and he was highly invested in this expedition. He wanted a success, but no one knew his goal with this ordeal he was funding.
Also, once a week we would go out in the snow-rover. A giant SUV that could ride over the snow and ice. We would take samples of the ice and examine a previous dig site from the last crew. I could not imagine the crew that had to come all the way out here to build the facility, but I bet they got paid crazy money. Some days we would all go just to get out and see the sun (we couldn’t leave during a blizzard), but most days only the necessary crew for the excavation would go. Whenever we went, we had to wear a harness attached by rope to the SUV, to avoid slipping down the ice and being injured. We can only go once a week due to the outside conditions and distance to the dig site.
I mention both of these to say that we were alone out here, and if a plane came Monday, then we had 7 days until it returned.
Then was the first big shift. It was exactly 2 months in the base. The team who left that day were the geologists, the biologist with one maintenance man to drive and man the harnesses. They left in good spirits and remained at the site for hours. However, they returned… shaken. They burst in the door while I was in the rec room with the therapist, and we immediately noticed the fear in their eyes. The lady geologist ran to the couple’s room without saying a word. Her husband chased after, calling her name. We ask what happened and noticed the biologist was crying. The other therapist entered the room like a ghost, and without a word he ushered her into his office and closed the door.
The doctor burst in and boomed, “what on earth is going on?!”
“I don’t know,” said the first therapist. She was anxious, as was I.
“Where’s Jack? (the maintenance worker who drove the SUV) Wait, where’s the car?!” I inquired, opening the door to the outside. I saw nothing but our flag, a long set of footprints and miles of ice gleaming in the sunlight.
We sat for what felt like hours in the rec room, all of us who didn’t go on the field expedition that is. The others were in the tall therapist’s office. Panicked voices could be heard behind the door. Finally, they all exited. The geologists went to their room without saying a word.
The biologist sat in one of the empty folding chairs. The therapist stood behind her, hands on the back of her seat. She had clearly been crying since she returned.
“We got there ahead of schedule,” she started, gathering her composure, “the dig site, we arrived at 0700 instead of 8, so we got to work early. At first all was fine. Jack was in the SUV minding the harnesses. I was chiseling away at a small patch of ice, when I heard the others call from below.”
We looked at her, hanging on her every, shaking word.
She continued, “I slid down to the base of the hole… about 30 meters down, I think. They had struck a hard surface. We all dug together and pulled out a massive lockbox. Immediately we assumed it was left from the last dig, but the design was.. old. It looked like something from World War Two, it was heavy and sealed shut. We tugged the rope to signal Jack, but there was no response.
We started calling out for him, but he never called back. We couldn’t see him from our vantage point. After a solid ten minutes of screaming we made our way up the hill using our tools. We used an extra length of cord to pull the box up. It took all three of us, but we got it up.
When we reached the top, Jack was nowhere to be found. We searched the perimeter for well over an hour, but with maximum visibility we would have seen him. We checked for holes in the ice and signs of foot prints, but his earlier tracks never left the side of the SUV. We loaded the box in the back, and kept searching.
We noticed something then. Something we absolutely should have seen already. When we climbed atop the vehicle for a better vantage point we saw a massive, single message in the snow…
We looked at her in disbelief. The mutual feeling of sympathy and that ‘I could’ve searched better’ people tend to have.
She started tearing up again, “We panicked. W-we drove away, but none of us can operate a vehicle designed for snow and ice. We crashed into a massive pot hole about a mile south of here. We left the car and walked back. The find is still there and Jack is somewhere in that deserted wasteland.”
After this she broke down in sobs and left to the dorm. Jack hadn’t answered a single radio call or even made an attempt at reaching us. The dig site was an hours drive from our base, and we were thousands of miles from any other researchers. We were essentially powerless to do anything.
“First things first,” said the one of the other repairman, “we need to get our ride back.”
He suited up, then he, and the other maintenance worker left on a snow mobile designed for short distance. Now, I don’t know how they did it, but they managed to bring the SUV back safely in less than an hour. By now it was getting dark, and the search for Jack would be too dangerous to continue tonight.
We didn’t sleep that night. The odd man didn’t even come to bed. He just wandered the halls drinking. I lay there, listening to music to drown out the sounds of silent sobs coming from down the hall. This concrete slab. This tomb in the middle of a frozen dead-zone. We were completely an utterly alone. The doctor remarked before bed, “if Jack is still alive, he may be better off out there.”
The next morning we set out. All of us, except the two therapists and the odd man, who I assumed was sleeping off a hangover. We dragged the locked box out of the vehicle and laid it in the rec room. We loaded up and decided to deal with opening it later.
We searched the dig site and surrounding area until evening and turned up nothing. The message in the snow was nowhere to be found, and there had been no snowfall that night. We found no tracks, no signs, no body… no anything. We returned depressed and feeling responsible for our missing companion. When we returned however, we were greeted by an odd sight.
On the snow was a ski-fitted jet, and not like the crappy junk plane that dropped us off, this was an expensive private jet. We entered the facility to the sounds of loud, booming laughter. A short, bald man with a white goatee sat in the rec room with the shrinks. He was smoking a cigar and wore a very nice suit. Two very large men in sunglasses stood on either side of the door. We were slightly stunned.
“Well!” the man said in a hard southern drawl, turning to us, “if it ain’t the rest of the party!”
“Who-” I was cut short.
“Allow me to introduce myself!” He stood, extending his ringed hand, “Earl [redacted]! Pleased to meet you all, finally!”
We took turns, awkwardly introducing ourselves, realizing this must be the guy in charge. He invited us into the cafeteria to have an official meeting.
This was the second weird shift in the trip. He offered condolences in regards to Jack and expressed that it was no one’s fault he went missing.
“As for that message in the snow,” he said, lowering his voice, “I would say this whole place tells you to run at some point. Don’t let it get to you.”
He finally revealed his focus of the expedition, that we were to discover any signs of past visits man had ventured. He also expressed that he wanted to colonize the South Pole, but needed to know the psychological effects of people living here. That’s why he sent two mental health associates and a minister (he pointed at me saying this, making me feel exposed and awkward). He again thanked us and sent us to bed after the best steak dinner I’ve ever had prepared. This guy was serious. He flew in his personal chef to thank us for our work.
The next morning, after a bacon and eggs breakfast, he took us into the tall therapist’s office, one at a time to “shoot the shit” as he so delicately put it.
When it was my turn he was very respectful, a gesture I appreciate when no one knows I’m a minister, but it feels forced at times when there is pretense.
“How are you reverend?” He asked softly.
“Well,” I replied, not sure how to answer that question in light of the past few days.
“Glad to hear it,” he smiled at the ground, “Son, I’m going to level with you. You are the most important person here.”
“How’s that?” I inquire. Wondering if he’s flattering me or not.
“Well,” he started, looking for the right words, “This is trip is more for psychological research than anything.”
“Wha-“ He cut me off.
“We wanted a religious figure and at least two therapists to log the mental strain on living out here. We want to build a new civilization, but we have been testing different groups in small segments of time.”
“Why me?” it was the foremost of many pressing questions.
“Well,” He said smiling, “I’m a Methodist boy myself, but I picked you because of an article you wrote a while back. You said in the final line that you have the same philosophy as me.”
“What’s that?” I inquired as I had written a few articles in my time and wasn’t sure which one he meant.
“To truly understand God, we must also understand His counterpart.”
I immediately knew the article to which he referred. It was an article I wrote after Seminary on Demonology in modern society. I shuddered as this was an… unpleasant field of research. Either way, the man had done his work on me, but I still wasn’t sure what a short article on Demons qualified me for a mission in the Antarctic.
I left the room with Earl and we proceeded to rejoin the others. We predominantly listened to him rant on, rather than talk amongst ourselves. We just didn’t feel right. We were here, in the warmth while this man was bellowing on, and our friend was out there cold and alone.
I overheard many times the biologist and geologists ask to leave. At first their requests were simply brushed off, but by the last requests he sternly reminded them that they were under contract. They resolved themselves to their rooms after that.
Earl left that night, with the instruction to report our findings, if there were any. He then boarded his plane with his bodyguards and left promptly. Before bed I swear I heard whispering from the observation deck, but when I went to see there was nothing.
The next day a massive blizzard rolled in. We resolved that Jack had died in the snow outside, no person could survive a sub zero blizzard after three days. This is officially where things went bad.
We decided to open the lock box. It was sealed by metal welding all the way around. It took a little while, but the other two maintenance men used blowtorches on the chest until it finally came free. They strained to pull the lid off it’s container. We gathered around close, I found myself the closest to the box. They flipped the heavy lid over which shook black soot loose from the chest. We coughed and when it cleared we saw the contents.
There was nothing.
Or at least nothing important. We found a piece of string, a thimble and salt scattered about.
We sat there rubbing our heads and looking at each other. We discussed why this would be out there in the ice, so many layers deep. We talked a little while until I noticed the physicist leaving. He was pale as a ghost, so I chased him to ask what was the matter.
“Hey!” I shouted as I caught up to him in the dorm, “you good?”
He stood there shaking his head.
After a long pause he responded, “no.”
“What is it?” I was curious as to why he was acting so strange out of nowhere. Meanwhile I saw the other participants walk down the hall to the cafeteria, only I noticed that the man in the orange hoodie was no where to be seen. My thoughts were shaken when the physicist spoke up.
“Did you see the word on the lid?” He asked quietly.
“No,” I was confused, I must have missed it.
“Can you read Hebrew?” He asked, choking back tears it sounded.
“No,” I replied, “I studied Greek. Wait, can you?”
“Yeah, I’m Jewish, or was. I can read well enough Hebrew at least,” his voice shook, “I wish I couldn’t”
“What did it say?”
“Dibbuk.” He said as a tear rolled down his face. I had never seen him like this before and frankly, I was a little scared.
“You can’t buy into tha-“
“No!” He shouted, cutting me off, “You know as well I as do that this place is wrong! It does things to you! God, the first week I chased footsteps around the shower every morning only to realize I was alone every single time.”
“Listen,” I placed my hand on his shoulder, “we’re going to be ok.”
I wish I could say I was telling the truth, but that box did have some sort of weird feeling around it. I
That night around 2AM I awoke to the sound of footsteps. They were so loud I heard them over my headphones. I went to check around and no one was awake besides me. I heard soft sobbing from the couple’s room, but knew better than to disturb them. They had it pretty rough right now.
As I returned to my bunk, I walked by the cafeteria and caught something… Awful.
I turned to see the most horrendous sight I have ever seen.
All the chairs and tables were scattered and flipped. Food was smeared all along the walls and ceilings and utensils and appliances were scattered about. In the center of the floor was a massive, rusted steel cross and nailed to it was… Jack.
He was soaked from head to toe in blood and his eyes looked as if every vein had burst. Barbed wire covered his arms and legs and nails were driven through his wrists and ankles. He was bald and thin and when we made eye contact he shook violently, then he shrieked through spattering blood,
Now was my turn to lose control.
I fell backward and slid on the tile. I must have been screaming my lungs out, for everyone poured into the hallway asking in confusion what was happening. I had urinated. I pointed to the cafeteria through tears and panicked breaths.
The inside was totally normal. Nothing was out of place. No cross. No Jack. No destruction. The last thing I remember was showering and opening a bottle of Jack.
It was only three hours later I awoke in the rec room covered by a blanket. Jane, the therapist, was asleep on the opposite couch. She was sweet through all of this, and I’m sure she was disappointed in my lack of professionalism. I was still drunk when I stood. Everyone was still asleep and the blizzard still blasted our compound.
I wandered the hall and heard the sobbing from the couples room again. I realized in my stupor that they may need help. I knocked softly on the door, but the crying continued uninterrupted. Before I could knock again I had to resolve myself to the toilet. I ran and vomited into the bowl, now feeling slightly more alert. As I stood wiping my mouth I caught the brief glimpse of a figure leaving the bathroom. It was dark and tall, but I couldn’t catch any more details.
I finally had enough and returned to my bunk. I fell into a restless sleep that night, but I slept nonetheless. I awoke the next day to someone shaking my arm.
“Wake up,” my vision focused to see one of the maintanence men, “Power’s out and people are missing.”
I stood groggily. He turned to the hallway, where I could here voices in the cafeteria. I saw the only other person in the room was the physicist, he was facing the away towards the wall.
“C’mon,” I slurred.
He didn’t stir. He just laid there. I only left because I saw him breathing.
I walked into the cafeteria. It was lit by emergency candles on the tables, where I saw the Biologist, Jane, the Doctor and the two maintenance men. Counting me, this was less than half our original group. They turned and the other maintenance man said,
“Well, look who it is, you gonna scare the hell out of us again?”
I didn’t smile or disagree. I just sat beside the doctor and asked where the geologists were.
“They won’t answer their door,” Jane said, her age truly beginning to show in her tired, drawn eyes, “The other therapist as well is missing.”
“We’re going to leave,” chimed the Biologist, “as soon as the blizzard dies down. Fuck their contracts.”
“How? We’re a thousand miles from the nearest base,” I felt negative for saying, but I didn’t want to risk certain death for a little cabin fever.
“Well,” chimed the man who woke me, “We have a massive sled we’ll load with every tank of gas, then we just have to get within 50 miles to the nearest base to be within radio contact. We have gps, we’ll drive in shifts, and we’ll take our time as to avoid pitfalls.”
“Is this agreeable?” asked the doctor.
Everyone nodded in agreement.
“In that case,” he continued, “I suggest we spend the next few days together, hoping the missing members return, and if not… then we will beg their forgiveness in hell.”
I spent the day sitting in a daze. I just had no clue why we were all so distraught. We all layered up in the dark and hunkered down. We made small talk in an attempt to fill the void. The dancing candle light played tricks on our eyes and the dark was oppressive. The six of us sat there. Just sitting. Just waiting.
Finally, around 1800 (6PM) Jane suggested we check on the geologists. We stayed close down the hallway and heard the sobbing, it was softer but still present.
Jane knocked. Waited. Knocked again. Then she shouted she was coming in, but the door was locked. The maintenance man began pounding his fist and threatened to break in. He took out a kerning and picked out a key. It fit the door and he slowly opened it to the bedroom.
Inside was a nightmare. The first thing I noticed was the blood. It was everywhere. The walls, the bed, the ceiling, the floors. It covered the lamp and bathed the room in a deep red. On the bed was the male geologist. His eyes were wide open in shock and his mouth hung agape. His throat was torn out and his leg was chewed to the bone. His wife sate beside him with her bcd to us. She turned, covered in blood herself. She was crying and… chewing. She sputtered the bloody meat while sobbing. Her expression turned from sorrow to one of pure, unadulterated rage. She contorted her mouth to scream, but only a hoarse gargle and bits of flesh came out.
The maintenance worker closed the door and we all panicked in unison.
“Get the door!” The doctor shouted. We followed him to the kitchen and pulled tables in front of the door. We piled enough furniture to board that… animal in her cage.
We returned to the rec room. Everyone was crying and Jane was in the fettle position shaking uncontrollably.
“We leave tomorrow,” huffed the doctor in between shudders.
The blizzard still raged outside. I swear, at times the wind was so loud I felt like it mocked me.
I must have fallen asleep at some point because a massive blast woke me. I looked up to see others jumping to their feet. We got ourselves to the ladder and climbed to the observation deck. Outside, we saw blackness expanding, all except for a large patch of light a few meters away. Through the white out conditions we could make out… fire. The SUV was in flames, gas tanks stacked around it. Atop the flames was… a person. Upon closer inspection I could see it was naked and dancing.
“Oh God,” the biologist lifted her hand to her mouth, “Jane?!”
It was Jane. She was naked and being burned by the flames. Her howls echoed through the dark storm. We watched as the fire consumed her body. She shrieked and screeched until she finally fell, remaining silent forever.
We walked downstairs. Feeling hopeless. We sat in the dark of the rec room, and no one spoke until morning. The physicist was still in bed, he was trying to ignore everything, but at this point I knew he was too far gone. The footsteps were loud in the unoccupied rooms, but at this point I had given up. If I was to die here then so be it.
We huddled in blankets and coats against the wall. We sat and we cried. A candle in front of our feet was the only light source. I closed my eyes tight so not the see dark shadow pacing the room in front of us.
The next morning the power returned. The lights were flickering and we stood slowly in the dim, intermittent glow.
I heard music playing in the showers. We all walked together and looked inside. Within, was the song “Jesus Take The Wheel” being played on loop from an mp3 player. We walked into the dull grey room and saw the physicist naked, sitting on the floor in front of the ipod player. Blood appeared to be running into the drain beneath him.
He slowly turned his head to me. He held up his left hand to his lips and hissed a long, “shhhhhhhhhh.”
With the other hand he lifted his bloodied, mutilated genitals. He closed his eyes and smiled a large toothy smile. He whispered behind closed teeth, “I like this song now.”
“God,” said the doctor. He slowly approached the bloodied man, attempting to keep him calm. He continued, “It’s ok boy, I’m here to help.”
The physicist snickered again, eyes still closed and teeth still bared in a snarling grin. As the doctor got close the man shrieked with inhuman volume and sprang forward. He tackled the doctor to the ground and sunk teeth deep into the old man’s jugular. Blood ran down both the doctor’s neck and the physicists teeth.
He stood, turning his violent intent at us. The Doctor sputtered blood and choked for air. As the brooding man crouched to leap a loud “BANG” filled our ears. I fell to the ground in agony, the screeching in my eardrums was unbearable. Finally, it cleared and I saw the physicist now laying dead in a pool of his own blood. In his head was a circular wound that bore all the way through his skull. One of the maintenance workers was holding a smoking pistol.
We were now four. Me, the biologist and the other two maintenance workers. The rest were now all missing or dead. Although the power was on the satellite was down, thus ruining our chances for radio and wifi. We all paced and cried and panicked for hours until finally one of the maintenance men spoke up,
“Our only chance at survival is to fix that dish.”
We looked at him and silently knew he spoke the truth. The outside was still completely whited out from the amount of snow and wind.
“I’ll go,” spoke up the other man.
“We’ll go together,” said the first.
The Biologist and I knew we could not argue. We watched them in their coats leave into the unforgiving blizzard. We waited for what seemed like hours, searching for radio signals and wifi.
Finally, it came back. We smiled for the first time in a while and prepared for the men’s return. We sat and waited.
We didn’t say anything but we knew. We knew we were the last. She fell asleep in my lap after we cried ourselves tired. Before I closed my eyes I swear I heard the giggles of a child.
I awoke sometime… later. I was utterly alone. I yelled for the biologist. I searched each and every room until I found the last thing I wanted to find.
I found her in the observatory. She wrote a lovely note about wanting to see the outside world before she died. In her arm was an empty syringe that I guess is what she used to end her life. Her eyes were blank, staring into oblivion. I left her to her peace.
Now, the reason I write this in my probable last moments of clarity. The reason we were brought to this frozen hell, only to die. The reason I’m sending out this story before I put an emergency flair gun down my mouth.
I returned to the office I had been using. I was hysterical. I saw my reflection in the display mirror and noticed my eyes were totally black. This sight brought me to smash the mirror. I sliced my knuckles, which rocked me back to reality, and in my second of clarity, I noticed the slip of paper that fell from the shattered pieces.
It was a note with a picture attached. The note read:
“If you’re reading this then I hope it isn’t too late. This place is NOT what you think. The man in charge is not a religious kook. he is much more dangerous. By now you may have found that “undiscovered” lock box. In it you found some trinkets to spook you. There is probably a minister with you to comment on the materials as “evil.” This is there set and setting. That black dust that flew out? It wasn’t dust and it wasn’t evil.
God, these people don’t want to colonize. Ever wonder why you’re so far away from any other bases?
This is WEAPONS TESTING FACILITY!
You have unknowingly been testing compounds for a private company. This particular compound is an untraceable, psychosis inducing strain of pathogen that is meant for world leaders. The concept is to have the enemy kill itself.
If you’ve breathed the black dust, then it is too late. All you can do is attempt to get this message out.
But DO NOT trust the maintenance men and DO NOT trust the tall therapist. They are working for Earl. They will disappear without a trace shortly after his visit. They’ve logged your behaviors so even if the blizzard (which is what I assume you’re already in) subsides, you’ll be found and killed if you escape.
I’m so sorry. I lost my entire team. I wish you never would have come.
I’m sorry- Dave”
The picture attached was what I assume was the previous team. In red ink a man was circled and labeled “me.”
In the picture was a mousy man in an orange hoodie and jeans.