01 Feb New Emergency Alert System Message Part 2
I appreciate all of your responses. I was told by Eldridge that my mom didn’t make it through the event, “the town is lost.” He didn’t elaborate. I want to believe she’s alive, that Lynn’s alive too, but after what he told me I don’t know what to think. But if I’m being honest with you, I think I know the truth of it. I’m reeling from this news in the worst way. But, this forum and writing everything down seem to calm my mind enough for me to have some feelings of normalcy so here I am.
I appreciate all your thoughts and kind words. One user asked why I just left my mom there, taking the only car we had. I would like to say I knew right then that she was gone but that would be a lie. I was scared. Scared of the rattling breath she took, the words my father spoke, the sudden change in Lynn. It was all too much. So I ran. I’m not proud of that but there it is.
Entry: August 18, Thursday, 2016 M. Callus
I did as some suggested and met Eldridge in a public place. He was almost aggressively ordinary in appearance, somewhere between 35 and 45. His eyes and his demeanor conveyed a kind but sterile personality. Below is what he told me. He gave me clearance to write this down and pass it on. He said he wants to get this out into the open, even if it is in the smallest of ways (on one random subreddit out of a 1,000). “Higher ups aren’t reacting how they should be to this, so maybe this will subvert their orders to remain tight-lipped.” His words.
We met at a local coffee shop. Amidst the normal sounds and the conversation, we took a seat in the back. I stirred my black coffee as he talked.
The EDD referred to in the emergency message is called the Extraliminal Defense Department. It was started in the late 1930s when rumors of Nazi experiments into the paranormal began circulating. Although it was said to have stopped in the early ‘40s after the Philadelphia Experiment (Google it, I had to) operations continued.
He was brief with me on details, and he glazed over a lot. But the turning point for the EDD was when a breakthrough was made in relation to the afterlife or more accurately, a “liminal” phase, as they call it. Don’t ask because I don’t know how and he didn’t say, but they determined that to some extent humans can exist beyond death. It’s not life after death. He was adamant about that. They found that there is a plane of existence or a way of being after death. It has something to do with emotions. Eldridge explained it like this: individuals create patterns in their brains throughout life relating to events, situations, or circumstances, and these are linked inextricably to emotions. These create what you can think of as “ruts” in the road, or a well worn path related to a thought pattern. People carve these ruts deep as time passes. In many cases the patterns are negative in nature. Though in some cases they’re positive, in general it’s negative thinking patterns. Individuals that pass on with deep ruts associated with one emotion (or a few) often feel these emotions more strongly than others. These emotions are somehow the catalyst for perpetuation beyond physical existence. There’s a desire to keep those ruts deep and fresh. I thought of old ghost stories where people die angry or in deep sorrow and their spirits linger forever. I told him this and he said it’s very much along those lines, although much more complex and less Stephen King.
“It’s an inability to let go in some ways. We can’t explain it too in-depth but the science that’s been worked out is beyond me and definitely beyond you,” he explained with no condescension in his voice.
Cut to 1995. Facilities have been built across the United States, five of them. Colorado, South Texas, West Virginia, Maine, and Arizona. These facilities contain the culmination of the R and D done for the EDD, both privately and government funded. Each facility has its own liminal gateway equipment, designed to generate a space to bring these manifestations (read: ghost) into being. They’re called shadows to those in the know, apparently. The catch is that enormous amounts of energy need to be fed into the shadows to make them corporeal. This tends to result in a gross amplification of the shadow’s personality and their emotional state.
All five facilities operate simultaneously or not at all. Despite their geographic distance they share some sort of ley lines that power the devices with enough energy to complete the shadow-infusion process (read: bringing a ghost into physical existence). All are set to operate by specific key players in the EDD. The problem is that if less than five are used at once, more power is fed into the active devices by default of the ley lines, which can have potentially devastating consequences.
Colorado’s site was the only one running the night of August 16.
“The fucked up thing—pardon me,”
“No you’re right, it’s all fucked.”
He smiled, “Yes, well, a problem we didn’t foresee was the ability of a shadow to escape the liminal containment field.”
I was lost with this comment but he muttered something about the “infusion plates operating at unregulated rates” and a crack in the “containment lid”.
In 2013, he explained, a manifestation escaped and entered into a research scientist’s body. The woman in question immediately became violent, her behavior erratic. She injured a few others on the floor before being subdued and the machines’ sequence shut down across the country. Her original personality never returned and for the past three years she’s been held in a secure EDD facility. The behavior ebbs and flows but she won’t answer to her name anymore and has accurately provided details into a life she should know nothing about. This has since been dubbed supplantation or supplanting. It’s as scary as it sounds. Not necessarily a body snatcher, but a body switcher with the caveat that the person whose body it is has nowhere to go after being supplanted. So they push you out of your body and take over. EDD scientists don’t know where you go or what happens to you after being supplanted. So far, there have been eleven supplantation incidents across EDD facilities.
“And these people are…not themselves anymore?” I thought of the words spoken to me that night, “…you’ve gotta get outta here, Bub.” That wasn’t my mother, not anymore at least.
Did that mean…?
Eldridge tore at the cardboard of his now empty coffee cup.
“No. Not anymore. The ones who are still alive, that is to say, are not who they used to be. Three out of those eleven killed themselves.”
“Why?” It was all I could ask.
“We suspect that the intruding manifestation couldn’t cope with its new body, its new state of existence. But we don’t really know for sure.”
He glanced at his watch, then out the window into the sunlight. “I have to leave soon. I wanted to meet for two reasons—the first I already covered: I wanted the history of this, at least some semblance of it, out there. What the government and the EDD are struggling with needs at least some light shed on it. We’re playing with dangerous, volatile, and at best, poorly understood forces. Forgive the hypocrisy of my current official station, but that doesn’t sit well with me morally. The second, and more official, reason I’m here is because I need to know your experience. We found your mother in your house, and the remains of what appeared to be a fight.”
I sat back in my chair and took a deep breath. The events of that night had played over in my head a million times. And I knew he’d read my posting on it,otherwise we wouldn’t be meeting. Still, I explained it to him. He listened silently, taking notes. He looked up when I explained about my father.
“What was your father’s name?”
“Charlston, but everyone called him Charlie. Never Charles, he hated that.” I thought again of the touch of my mother’s hand as my father spoke through her. Eldridge was silent for a moment. He clicked his pen and shut the notebook.
“Thank you Ms. Callus. I have to head back to town.”
“Glenwood? Does that mean—?”
“No. No, it doesn’t.”
I asked quickly, “Were there others? Others who got out?”
He turned to leave, his back to me. He shook his head. No.
“Wait!” I got up and followed him. “It feels like you told me a lot but barely anything of worth.”
“That information is worth more than my life, in some ways. Believe me.”
“Yes well,” tears welled in my eyes. “My mother’s gone, according to you. And that’s probably true if I can trust what I feel in my heart. But my father seemed to speak to me, which seems impossible since he died six years ago. And my home is apparently off-limits. Yet no one outside of Glenwood seems to have any idea what happened.” My voice had risen and a couple close to us looked over uncomfortably.
Eldridge glanced around hastily and lead me outside.
Car keys in hand, his voice dropped to a whisper.
“The night of August 16 at approximately 19:00 hours the device outside of your town was engaged. The other four were dormant. We’re determining how this happened but it’s somewhat hard given that the facility is largely destroyed. The conductors aren’t meant to handle that much energy. With no containment field…”
“I must be crazy showing you this.” He grabbed a napkin and drew this.
“This is more or less what a piece of the device looks like. Those five structures,” he pointed to them, “are melted beyond recognition. We don’t know how it was turned on but this now puts the other four at risk.”
“So, this device is activated. It goes nuclear, essentially, opens a door for the manifestation—“
“Manifestations to come through and then?”
“And then the door was shut and the key was melted. The EDD currently has operatives containing what they can but we are looking at what I think can be ironically called a ‘ghost town’ now. I say again, the town is lost.”
His keys jingled and he shifted. “I have to go.” He handed me a business card. “If you remember anything else, contact me. Do not attempt to go back. Do you understand me?”
I numbly took the card and nodded.
He patted my arm awkwardly and left.
And now I’m back in my small room. This is what I remember from the conversation. Do with it what you will. I want to mourn my mother but there’s a bizarre sense of hope with the knowledge that my father is somehow still…around. It’s masking those sorrowful feelings, for now at least.
I’m going to go back. I can walk and camp my way there. I have begin tonight, the last four days have culminated in nothing but empty take out containers and confusion. There has to be something I can do, some way I can see my parents again. I will keep you all updated as best I can in the next few days. Thank you for your support and thoughts.