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At Your Command

Estimated reading time — 8 minutesI think when most normal people think of the Internet, they’re thinking social media, online shopping, news, and the occasional porn site.  Now people talk about “The Dark Web,” a place of untamed wilderness, where gangsters are selling guns, using Bitcoin to do untraceable transfers to build a criminal enterprise.

But somewhere in-between, there are places that straddle that fine line between the illegal and what anybody can find with one wayward Google search.

That was how I found out about “Dimindbak.”

You might think I misspelled it, but no, that’s how he uses it.  Or she.  I just assumed he, but I’m not really sure, since Dimindbak uses a voice changer whenever he goes on the air.  Yes, on the air.  Dimindbak regularly appears on weird, late night radio shows…the real late stuff, as in airing just before bakers are getting up in the morning, all about alien conspiracies and the Reptilians (If you don’t know about the Reptilians, look them up online.  There’s hours of fun about them).

The only reason I even know anything about Dimindbak is because of a friend of mine.  My friend was in a car accident awhile back.  She was at a red light and a teenager on a learner’s permit didn’t hit the brakes soon enough.  While the cars were only mildly damaged in the crash, my friend got really bad whiplash and refused to see a doctor.  Her mother died in a malpractice suit, and she’s been leery of doctors ever since.

Trouble is, now she gets chronic neck and back pain, sometimes to the point where she has to stay in bed all day.  At first she just tried Tylenol, but it just dulled the pain, it didn’t get rid of it.  She turned to all sorts of holistic stuff, but that didn’t do the trick either.

One day, her pain was so bad, she called me up crying, saying she didn’t know what else to do.  So, I tried to be a good friend and went to look up something she hadn’t come up with yet.  Most of my searches ended up either finding vitamin dealers, herbal supplements and teas, or weed dealers from states that had legalized the stuff.  I was at a loss.

Then, on a whim, I tried “physical intervention.”  I thought maybe it would lead to some weird chiropractors or healing doctors who might work like chiropractors, but with more crystals and patchouli.

Instead, a couple of clicks in, there was Dimindbak.

You might now be picturing a website full of dark symbology, mystic runes, weird rituals, and near Satanic references.  Dimindbak was none of these things.  The whole site looked like fan fiction devoted to Star Trek, but with less comprehension.  Rotating GIFs leftover from the mid-90s cluttered the page like a back alley full of wooden pallets.  The color scheme was all pseudo-futuristic, with a lot of metallic whites and grays.

It was also hilarious.  I spent the better part of the day reading over the blog postings, as he rambled on about distant galaxies, contact with higher beings, and how positivity would make all our dreams come true.

Well, maybe I was a little cynical about it, but if you saw it, you might cut me a little slack.  And yet, the guy had a whole team of devotees.  He actually had a forum where people could talk about their own connections to a higher power, and very few of them looked like trolling posts.

But the big kicker was when I read about the “command.”

In one of his most recent posts, he talked about a method by which these higher beings could fix everything wrong with you; a code phrase.  Just speak it three times, out loud or in your mind, and these benevolent beings would be able to gain control of your central nervous system and correct all your ills.

I sent the link to my friend.  I didn’t send it as a joke, but I was hoping maybe, just maybe, she would read it, understand how silly all her worry was, and finally see a doctor before her pain got much worse.

She wrote me back a day later.

“Thanks, it worked!  Feeling so much better!”

It…worked?

I couldn’t believe it.  I had to see for myself. I drove over to see her.

It was the first time in a long time I had seen her with a smile on her face.  She said she hadn’t slept so soundly since the accident.  She wasn’t quite sold necessarily that it was aliens from another galaxy that did it, but she was damn sure something fixed her.

It wasn’t even like the phrase itself was a self-help mantra, or a daily affirmation.  It was just gibberish, really.  But she said it was really something special.

I checked her Facebook page the next day, and I saw an update where she had created a new group: Healing Through Command.  At least 15 people had signed up for it.  My jaw dropped.  She was already spreading the word to other people?  Hey, if it worked, more power to her.

I, on the other hand, had a life to live, and I went on with business as usual.  I kept checking in, though, and saw the group was getting bigger…almost ridiculously big.

I called her once the group had reached 1,300 people.

“Hey, how’s it going?”

“Oh, great!  No more pain!  I’m so glad you found that site, it’s been so helpful!”

“I see your Facebook group is really talking off, too.”

The line went silent for a minute.

“What Facebook group?”

“Your one about healing through command.”

“What are you talking about?  I haven’t been on Facebook in months.”

“Well, maybe somebody hacked your account.  You’ve got 1,300…” I checked the site again.  “Whoa, now almost 2,500 members.”

“Can…can I call you back?”

“Sure.”

I didn’t hear from my friend for awhile.  I did keep checking in on Healing Through Command, and was amazed how well it seemed to be working.  People by the thousands were signing up for it, and it wasn’t just bot accounts…I read through people talking about how their gout went away, and how their migraines disappeared…hell, one guy even said he didn’t need a wheelchair anymore.

It even melted my cynical little heart to read about so much good being done.

Months went by, and as the holidays approached, I decided to give my friend a call.

She didn’t pick up.  Weird, because she usually did when I called.  I tried three more times.  Still nothing.

I drove over to her place to see if maybe she was just busy feeling good, maybe leaving her phone at home while she went out for a jog.

I rang her doorbell.  She didn’t answer.  Maybe she really was out for a jog.

I was about to leave when I heard a crash from inside.  I knocked.  The door came open a little.

Why would she leave it unlocked?  I pushed in and called to her.

“Go away!”  The way she screamed it, I almost did.  But I couldn’t.  Something was definitely wrong.

The scream had come from her kitchen.  I went in to find her there.

She was holding a knife, and it was covered in blood.  On the floor was a body.  I recognized it…her ex-boyfriend, Sam.  He had stopped seeing her when her neck pain had gotten worse; I’m not sure if she had tried to patch things up or he did, but by the wound in his neck, it had not gone well.

She looked up at me.  “I told you to go!  I don’t have much time!  Every day they have me a little more and more…”

“What?  Who are you talking about?”

But suddenly, her eyes glazed over.  Her mouth forced itself into a smile.  She lifted the knife and pointed it me, but it was slow, shaking, like she was fighting some irresistible invisible force.

“Why, hello.  Good to see you.  I’m afraid I am busy right now.  You should go.”  Her head ticked back and forth, like a clockwork figure.  It reminded me of that robot from The Great Mouse Detective movie; a wobbly, unsteady thing that tried to imitate life, but wasn’t truly alive.

That was when she moved to stab me.  I raised an arm to defend myself, and I just managed to deflect it away.  But she was fast, and she immediately went to do it again.  I grabbed her wrist.  It didn’t do much good.  She was unusually strong all of a sudden.

Then, her mouth dropped its smile, while the rest of her continued to push the knife closer and closer.

“You have to do it.  I’ve tried…they won’t let me harm myself.”

It took me a moment to realize what she meant.  To this day, I still cannot completely forgive myself for what I did, even though I still try to tell myself it was the right thing to do.

I twisted the knife and, using that unusual strength against her, forced the knife into her own heart.

I sat in her kitchen, with both bodies on the floor.  I know I cried for awhile, and then called the police.  I assumed they wouldn’t believe me, but I didn’t care at the time.

I then looked around her home.  I needed something, anything to explain what had happened.

I found it in her basement.

Set up in the middle of the open, unfinished space was a door frame.  It looked just like she was installing a new room in there, but the frame wasn’t attached to anything…no walls, no hinges.  Just a frame, with empty space.

The only thing out of place about it was an electronics box attached to one side, with a keypad attached to it.  But instead of letters and numbers, the keys were blank.

I checked her bedroom.  I found papers shoved under her bed.  Most of them were pieces of note paper, with symbols drawn on them.  Some others were detailed drawings of the door I had found in the basement.  There was also an electrical diagram, but I had no idea what it meant; I’m not an electrician, but even I know some of the stuff on there wasn’t from anything built on this world.

And then there were the last few pages.  Notes my friend had written.

“What is all of this?  I keep finding these when I wake up.”

“I’m not remembering things I did in the middle of the day anymore.”

“Oh, God…I think I killed a cat.  It’s hanging from the clothesline in my backyard.”

“I WOKE UP IN THE BASEMENT.  I WAS STANDING AT THAT KEYPAD.  WHAT WAS I TRYING TO TYPE IN?!?”

That was the most comprehensible.  But that wasn’t the worst of it.

The handwriting on the weird pages was different from my friend’s normal handwriting.

I smashed the door to pieces.  But I don’t know if it helped anything.  I just wonder if the rest of her Facebook group is doing the same thing.

All 53,000 of them.


Credit: The Dead Canary (Chilling Tales for Dark NightsYouTubeReddit)
If you wish to narrate the story please contact Chilling Tales for Dark Nights for permission by clicking here.

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I Woke in Darkness

Reading Time: 6 minutes

I don’t have much time left. I have to send this message quickly. I hope somebody saw what I just did, and that they will be ready. We all have to be.

I woke up in the dark. The last thing I remembered was getting into my car on the way home from the bar. It was a bad idea, I know, but I hadn’t had that much to drink…certainly not enough to black out.

But the dark wasn’t my room, or a jail cell, or even a hospital. Even now I wish it had been any of those. It was cold here, and metallic. I was laying down.

And I couldn’t move.

It wasn’t like I was tied down or restrained. It was just that when I tried to move my arm and rub my head, which hurt like crazy, it just wouldn’t respond. My head couldn’t turn, my legs wouldn’t lift…the only time I had ever experienced something like this is when I had sleep paralysis after a horrible nightmare.

But I knew I wasn’t dreaming. I knew because I wanted so badly to wake up, and nothing changed when I tried thinking of something else. Just the dark, and the cold, and the silence.

I don’t know how long it lasted, but then I heard a noise from nearby. Then footsteps, approaching where I lay.

I waited for a light to switch on, so I could see who was holding me here. But no light came on. And the footsteps were strange. It didn’t sound like shoes, but more like bare feet. But bare feet didn’t click. My mind shot to an image of raptors with that one big toe, clacking on a tile floor, ready to rip me open.

And then, I saw it lean over me.

There was still no light. I couldn’t make out the shape of the thing as it came closer. All I saw was its eyes. Pure, blue eyes. Light shone from them. I’ve never seen eyes that lit up from the inside before. They came within an inch of my face.

I wanted to push it away and run, but I still couldn’t move. I even tried to close my eyes, but even they wouldn’t work, either.

The eyes moved away from my face, seeming to scan down the length of my body. I heard that clicking again as it moved. I guessed I must have been on a table, because as its feet moved, the clicking continued below me.

I heard something else. I think it must have pressed a button, because I could hear a hum, and my legs spasmed.

I could move again. I had never felt so relieved in my life. But I didn’t budge. I wanted to wait until just the right moment.

The eyes came back up to my face again. I heard something metallic scrape across the table, and then something cold pressed against my chest.

I wasted no more time. I raised my arms and grabbed at those eyes.

I must have surprised it. It never even tried to defend itself. I rolled off the table, with what I hoped was its head, and slammed it against the ground as hard as I could, several times. Those blue, glowing eyes went out, and I felt something wet on the ground.

I sat back, and breathed. Whatever it was, I think I killed it, or at least knocked it out. But I still couldn’t see.

I remembered that sound, though, where the thing came from. I thought it might have been a door. I could’ve been wrong, but it was a better idea than staying here.

I moved to where I thought I had heard the noise, and there was a whirring. There, finally, was some light, but it was very, very dim. I could see a hallway, and the light came from near the floor, like the running lights in a movie theater.

I couldn’t see back into the room I had just left, but I gave myself a once over. I was shirtless, but thankfully I still had the jeans I had been wearing earlier that evening. The only thing that was otherwise out of place was an object attached to my ankle, like a bracelet. It showed some kind of readout, but the shapes were in a language I had never seen before. I didn’t care what it was at the time, but I could see a button that looked like it could remove it. I pressed it, and it popped loose. It didn’t come without pain, though, since there was a number of needles on the inside that had been holding it onto me. I assumed it was some kind of medical device, but I had never seen anything like it before.

I went down the hallway. It was lined with a number of doorways, some of which opened if I went close to them, some which stayed shut. The ones that stayed closed had some kind of weird lock that I think needed a handprint, or eye scan, or something. I knew for certain I had nothing that would open them, so I looked into the rooms that would.

I didn’t run into anybody else, but all the rooms I checked were too dark to see into…except one. It was the only room that had the running lights go into it. When I went in, I thought it might have been a storeroom, but something about it felt off. It had no supplies; it just had a bunch of drawers and some large, metallic crates, all just kind of crammed into it haphazardly.

I then opened one of the drawers. It was filled with…stuff. Piles of things like clothes, wallets, cell phones, purses.

I flipped through some of the wallets. Driver’s licenses that went back decades. I even found a $50 bill printed in 1928 with a gold seal.

I heard something in the hallway. It sounded close enough that I went and hid behind a stack of boxes.

The door opened, and something came into the room.

It wasn’t one of the blue-eyed things like the one I had seen earlier. This had dark eyes, brown rimmed, with large pupils. It had a large, elongated snout, was covered in thick hair and hunched over as it walked. It seemed like it was having trouble standing on two feet as it shuffled over to the stack of crates I was behind. It grabbed one, and as it lifted it away, I could smell a thick, musky smell. It reminded me of when I went to the zoo and wandered through the farm animal exhibit.

It should have frightened me. But it didn’t. It was pathetic, and looked like it was in pain. Tears constantly ran from its eyes, and it snuffled like it was having trouble breathing. It made a lowing sound, and for a second, I could see it had two rows of flat teeth, much like a cow mixed with a shark I felt sorry for it.

I watched it leave the room with the crate, and beyond in the hallway, I watched it hobble along, carrying it to who knows where.

That was the first time I saw one of the creatures that I called ‘the Servants.’ I saw them everywhere, moving boxes, taking food from place to place, and handling little tasks.

I very rarely saw the Masters. They knew I had to be there. One of them lay dead in a room, but I somehow avoided them. They were fairly tall, at least eight feet at the shortest, and thin, and had claws on their feet and hands.

I lay in hiding, I watched everything I could, and I learned more and more. I learned about the food. The Masters ate something hideous, but the Servants ate food that I could tolerate. It kept me going.

It’s now been months that I’ve been here. I’ve seen things you cannot believe. And as of this week, I know where I am.

It’s a ship. It’s a ship from another world. I assumed it had to be, because of the language and the creatures I had seen, but I couldn’t believe it until I saw with my own eyes.

This message is coming to you from a communications room. I can’t tell you what floor it’s on, but it took time to find it, to watch how it works, to see the Servants and the Masters working with the controls.

I’m sending this message because I’m not sure my last attempt for help worked. I found this thing has a device that hides it from view, from scanners, from anything our world can use to see it. But for a minute or two, I turned it off.

When it did, a window opened. I saw we were hovering over the Pentagon. Somebody had to have seen it, had to record it on video, post it somewhere, to give me hope that we can stop them.

I don’t know what it was doing over the Pentagon, exactly. I can guess. They’re coming to get us.

They are not friendly. They haven’t come to teach us anything about interstellar life. They want to conquer.

But it’s not with bombs. It’s not with weapons.

I’ve seen how many Servants there are. Probably a third of the ship is nothing but holding pens for them. I’ve tried to talk to them. I’ve tried to get some of them to rise up and overthrow their overlords. But they don’t respond. Their minds are gone, only doing what the ship needs them to do. They have no free will of their own.

I wondered at first what planet they were from, and how they could have been so broken. But now I know the truth.

They are not a race. They are the future.

I don’t have much time because I am afraid I will be caught. I know they will find me sooner or later. But it’s because I know what is coming. I know what that bracelet on my leg was truly for.

I know, because my second row of teeth are making my mouth ache.


Credit: The Dead Canary (Chilling Tales for Dark NightsYouTubeReddit)
If you wish to narrate the story please contact Chilling Tales for Dark Nights for permission by clicking here.

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The Secret Doctors of NASA: A Surgeon’s Nightmare

The Secret Doctors of NASA: A Surgeon's NightmareReading Time: 5 minutes“The Secret Doctors of NASA” is a series of memoirs, diaries, and reports from actual doctors employed by an undisclosed arm of NASA between 1970 and 2001. These writings contain true accounts of the unusual and often highly-classified medical conditions experienced by astronauts during and after their space missions. Following the defunding of the clandestine medical program after the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, the majority of these accounts were left, forgotten, on tape drives in a NASA storage facility. In 2016, a former intern, whose job was to clean out one of these facilities, discovered them. Two years later, he is ready to release what he found.

Thus far, the following reports have been released: A Dentist’s DiscoveryA Psychologist’s Suicide.

 

A Surgeon’s Nightmare

Look, I’d been awake for two straight days. You guys have been putting us through hell with all the injuries from the Hephaestus Project, so forgive me if my results weren’t as great as they could have been. But come the hell on – what do you expect when someone comes to me in that condition?

So you want to know what happened in my own words? Fine. But don’t get pissed when I call your practices into question.

The patient was admitted with significant injuries to his legs, torso, arms, and head. On the surface, they appeared to be lacerations, which was strange because their severity would have caused near-instantaneous exsanguination and they would’ve gone straight to the morgue, not to me. Closer inspection revealed the wounds had been sealed by intense cold, as if the patient had been frozen either while being injured or immediately after. He was still clinging to life.

If I had to speculate, which I know you want me to do, I’d guess the patient was injured and subsequently exposed to a hard vacuum. How that could have happened is beyond my guess, as I know the patient was not, and never had been, an astronaut. But I guess that’s what Hephaestus is all about, right boss? We can put pieces together over here, you know.

No, the god damn pun was not intended.

Anyway, as soon as I realized the cold was the only thing keeping the patient from bleeding out, it was a race against the clock to get him closed up.

Do I really have to tell this next part? You have the f*cking videotape.

Fine. FINE.

Drs. ____ and _________, as well as the assistants, packed the wounds. We used the portable scanners to check for internal injuries, and, of course, there were more than we could count. You guys knew that too, obviously. There was no saving this guy. Thanks for making us try, though. Seriously. It’s not like any of us will be seeing this in our nightmares for the rest of our lives.

No, I won’t calm down. This is bullsh*t.

Yeah.

Yeah, I know about my wife. Just… just let me vent. Christ.

Jesus Christ.

So the patient flatlined and I called it. But then your boss, _________, said to keep working. Keep packing. Keep suturing. It felt like we were taxidermying the poor guy.

You people are really sick, do you know that?

Dr. ____ was the first one to detect movement, presumably once the tissue had warmed up enough for the __ _____ __ to — what word should I use, boss? Gestate? Hatch?

Okay, “become.” Whatever you want.

I’ll admit, as a surgeon, it was fascinating to see the filaments stretching across the wounds to close them up. Whatever you folks are planning to do with them might save a lot of lives in the future. Probably after I’m long gone, though.

What I don’t understand, though, is why you brought the patient to us when you knew this was going to happen. Did you need a sterile environment? Did you need witnesses with medical training? There’s no shortages of medical degrees around here. Hell, the patient was a doctor of biophysics.

Here’s what I’d love to know from you: what did the medical assistants do to deserve what happened to them? They were kids, for Christ’s sake. Were they even twenty-five?

Yeah, I know what they signed when they started. Jesus.

Okay, once the filaments had closed all but one of the wounds, they also sealed the orifices of the patient. The patient’s skin appeared to take on the characteristics of the filaments as well; reinforcing it, perhaps? Because what happened next would need more tensile strength than baseline flesh, I guess.

After the skin was reinforced, the filaments began to tighten. This had the effect of opening the remaining wound on the torso.

Can I at least clean the blood off me before I finish this? No? Great. Thanks. You guys are really something else.

So everything tightened and the remaining wound gaped open until the patient, what — inverted? Is there even a medical term for someone turning inside out? That sound, man. That wet, cracking sound…

We would’ve been out of there like a shot if your boss hadn’t locked the door to the operating theater. We just had to watch the patient – or whatever he was now – slapping and writing against the table.

Hephaestus is about point-to-point wormholes, right? Yeah no sh*t, I know you can’t confirm or deny it. I’m not retarded. Give me a little credit.

When your boss told me and doctors ____ and _________ to step back and have the assistants conduct a physical examination, I knew they were done for. I knew. I’ve worked here long enough, __________.

“Never get attached,” is your motto, right? Must be easy for you, since no one wants to get to know you. F*ck you. Seriously. Those girls deserved better.

Yes, I know I have to f*cking report what happened. I just want you to know that I’m saying “f*ck you” and the “you” is referring to you. You. What are you gonna do, fire me? Ha. No, I know, that’s not your style. I’m sure I’ll wake up on the other side of that wormhole you “can’t confirm or deny” tomorrow morning. Whatever, man.

The inverted patient stopped moving when the assistants began the physical examination. They took its temperature, they drew blood, and they sampled whatever that yellow mucus was. It seemed to be going fine until they were asked to do a biopsy of one of the mucus ducts.

________, and yes, I’m going to use her damn name because she’s a person, no matter how much you viewed her and __________ as commodities, made the first incision and was instantly enveloped by a membrane extruded by the duct she’d tried to cut. It was semitransparent; we could all see inside.

Another membrane wrapped around __________, and before our eyes, they were compressed. If any sound can overtake the patient’s inversion in the race for the most disturbing noise I’ve ever heard, that sound will do it.

Once ________ and __________ were compressed into shapes roughly the size of a beachball, a small hole opened in each membrane to let out the blood and other bodily fluids. It shot across the room, all over me and the other doctors. Which you can plainly see from the state of my clothing you said I couldn’t change until we were done with this b*llshit.

After the liquid was released, the compression resumed until they were small enough to get sucked into the patient’s body. And they were. Then you let me and the other doctors out.

Yes, that was it. You know that was it. You were watching the whole f*cking time next to your boss. Jesus.

Good. Fine. Yeah, f*ck you, too.

 

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The Secret Doctors of NASA: A Psychologist’s Suicide

The Secret Doctors of NASA: A Psychologist's SuicideReading Time: 6 minutes“The Secret Doctors of NASA” is a series of memoirs, diaries, and reports from actual doctors employed by an undisclosed arm of NASA between 1970 and 2001. These writings contain true accounts of the unusual and often highly-classified medical conditions experienced by astronauts during and after their space missions. Following the defunding of the clandestine medical program after the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, the majority of these accounts were left, forgotten, on tape drives in a NASA storage facility. In 2016, a former intern, whose job was to clean out one of these facilities, discovered them. Two years later, he is ready to release what he found.

 

*Releaser’s Note*: This report is an annotated interview with an American astronaut which took place in 1981. His name has been changed. The psychologist self-refers as “Interviewer.” The report was originally found at the location of the interviewer’s death.

 

A Psychologist’s Suicide

Interviewer’s Note: The patient is a 42 year-old astronaut. It has been two weeks since his last mission. Up until that point, he had been in perfect physical and mental health. During that recent mission, he spent 31 days in low-Earth orbit conducting various experiments pertaining to inorganic chemistry. His condition has not been determined to be the result of any of his work in orbit.

Interviewer: Good morning, John. Do you know who I am?

John: I was told a psychologist would be visiting. Are you her?

Interviewer: I am. I’m Doctor ****** **********.

John: I’m happy to answer any questions you have for me, doctor. Maybe I can save us some time and tell you that I know you want to hear about my eyes. So let’s start there.

Interviewer: Thank you, John. And you’re right — your eyes are at the top of my agenda. What happened?

John: Can’t you see? I’d be shocked if it weren’t obvious.

Interviewer: I see you’ve turned them backwards, yes. I’ve seen the x-rays and imaging. You managed to avoid significant injury, which I think we can both agree is a great thing.

John: More than great.

Interviewer: Why is that?

John: Because now I can see everything I’d missed.

Interviewer’s Note: John returned from space complaining of headaches and blurry vision. Examinations yielded nothing. His symptoms persisted. The pain grew unbearable and his vision diminished. John declared himself blind two days later. Further tests were inconclusive. Even if he were in perfect health, which is what the tests showed, doctors believed he could not see. All specialists were at a loss.

Five days after John’s return from space, he mutilated himself. He dislodged his eyes and stretched the optic nerves enough to turn his eyes to face the inside of his head. Every doctor on staff was baffled by how John had managed to do this without severing the nerves and blood vessels.

All John’s complaints about headaches and blurry vision ceased. He has been in psychiatric care since then. No attempts have been made to fix the direction of his eyes.

Interviewer: Can you explain what you mean by “see everything you’d missed?”

John: Ever since I was a kid, I looked up at the stars. They fascinated me. They called to me. I knew when I was four that someday I’d walk among them. The books I read had said it would be possible in the future. That was all I needed. Lo and behold, I went to space for the first time when I was 36. It was beyond anything I could have expected.

Interviewer: But something was missing.

John: Yes. I’ve been to space twice since then. This last time, when I performed a space walk to fix something outside the shuttle, I discovered I was wrong to be excited. My dreams had been misplaced.

Interviewer: Can you elaborate on that, John?

John: I think so, yes. But I need you to trust me. Will you?

Interviewer: I’ll listen, John, and I will give you the benefit of the doubt. As for trust, we just met. I don’t think either of us have earned it from one another.

John: That’s very fair. And I appreciate your candor. I’ll elaborate for you.

Interviewer: Please.

John: The universe curves in on itself, doctor. I could look on and on and on, through the stars and galaxies and void, and if I could see everything – if my eyes were powerful enough to have an unbroken line of sight – you know what I’d see at the end of it?

 

John: I’d see the back of my own head. No matter where I looked, that’s all I could ever see. All our exploration – all we might find – all terminates right there. We watch ourselves watching ourselves for eternity.

Interviewer: I have to admit, John, that’s a pretty interesting theory. Did you come up with it while you were in space? Or did you get the idea at another time in your life?

John: No. No, I didn’t think of it myself. It was whispered to me during my last space walk.

Interviewer: Whispered? By whom?

Interviewer’s Note: I should remark here that I noticed the first change in John’s physical appearance after asking that question. The blood vessels in his eyes swelled and his optic nerves pulsated. He gave no indication that anything was wrong, however, and I believed it was appropriate to continue our interview.

John: The universe sent me an emissary. She wanted me to know the truth.

Interviewer: Are you referring to an alien intelligence? Were you able to determine whether it was one of the species we’ve already encountered?

John: I don’t think so, no.

Interviewer: Was it something new?

John: No. Not new at all. I believe it was the universe herself.

Interviewer: Can you tell me what it said? The universe?

Interviewer’s Note: John was silent for a stretch of nearly four minutes. I did not disturb him. He appeared in deep thought, though given the condition of his eyes, it was difficult to say for sure.

John: The whisper said, “Suiversal vastation.”

Interviewer: Suiversal? My Latin is a little rusty, John. Is it like “the universe of the self?” I know “vastation” but I’m unclear on how those words connect.

John: Suiversal vastation. And the whisper showed me. It was just a glimpse. Just a peek. But that was all I needed. It was when the headaches started and my vision started to go. My mind had been rewired to the new way of seeing. Turning my eyes to face it was the necessary step.

Interviewer: Can you see, John?

John: I can. I do.

Interviewer: What can you see?

John: I see the purifying of the chaos that had been inside me. In its place is the real universe; the universe I’d been wanting to see since I was a child. And it’s where the answers are. Every last one. You mentioned the aliens, doctor? The ones who stare through space, just like us? It’s a terrible anthropomorphism. They are not like us. They stare, yes, but with purpose – although one they don’t yet know. What they want to see is what I’m looking at right now. The echoes of human thought. The cycles of dominating our volition onto nature, rather than nature being raped into us. We are the only ones who can do that, doctor. And the aliens know it. And they’ll find us.

Interviewer: I just don’t understand, John. The aliens want our control over nature? Is that what you’re telling me?

John: It would be easier if I just showed you.

End of report.

Releaser’s Note: I was able to piece together the subsequent events using the abandoned log entries from NASA security personnel and medical officials. I cannot guarantee that all the information was logged and there may be gaps in the timeline. Below are the relevant excerpts:

Security report: The astronaut held out his right index finger. It began to elongate. I, as well as *** ***** rushed to intervene, but the psychologist waved us away claiming “I want to see.”

The finger grew to approximately five feet long, spanning the table where the astronaut and doctor were conducting their interview. The finger pressed against doctor’s left eye. She made a sound that suggested pain and *** ***** started toward the astronaut again. “Do NOT interfere,” the doctor ordered. I demanded *** ***** to stay back.

For a moment, the finger did nothing but press on the psychologist’s eye. Then it moved lower and slipped under the eyelid. The eye became dislodged and fell against the doctor’s cheek. *** ***** and I watched as the finger appeared to grow longer and pushed into the doctor’s head.

There was a space of ten minutes when no one spoke. Both the doctor and astronaut were motionless, aside from the eyes of the astronaut swelling and pulsating. After those ten minutes, he withdrew his finger. I must remark that there was blood on about eighteen inches of it.

The doctor made one articulation, which sounded to us like, “oh.” She then spent two or three minutes resituating her eye. She got up and left. I had *** ***** follow her back to her apartment, but she did not allow him entry.

End of report.

Medical report: Doctor ****** ********** was found deceased in her apartment by security officer *** *****. According to his notes, it had been three hours since he had been turned away at the door of her apartment following an incident with astronaut ** ****. The second visit had been for the purpose of checking her well-being after phone calls went unanswered.

Emergency officials deemed her death a suicide, but parallels between her condition and that of the astronaut cannot be overlooked. Her left eye, which had been involved in the interview, had been turned to face the inside of her head. Her right eye, however, had been torn out.

Written in blood on the dining room wall, presumably with the excised right eye, were the following words:

“Fixating and turning in mass direction. Now they know why they look.”

End of report.

 

CREDIT: UnsettlingStories.com

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The Secret Doctors of NASA: A Dentist’s Discovery

A Dentist's DiscoveryReading Time: 6 minutes 

“The Secret Doctors of NASA” is a series of memoirs, diaries, and reports from actual doctors employed by an undisclosed arm of NASA between 1970 and 2001. These writings contain true accounts of the unusual and often highly-classified medical conditions experienced by astronauts during and after their space missions. Following the defunding of the clandestine medical program after the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, the majority of these accounts were left, forgotten, on tape drives in a NASA storage facility. In 2016, a former intern, whose job was to clean out one of these facilities, discovered them. Two years later, he is ready to release what he found.

 

A Dentist’s Discovery

Arnold F. A*******, DDS
August 4th, 1989

I met the astronaut after a half-year mission on the Russian space station. He’d gone through his preliminary post-landing physical but complained about pain in his jaw and gums. His health, aside from those complaints, was fair.

It was my job to find out what was wrong with him before moving him on to the next specialist. The urologist, I think. The order always changes.

The patient was in decent spirits when we met, although I could tell something was on his mind. We chatted for a little bit. It turned out he’d been working on the Feng-Lee Discovery. My heart sank.

When Feng and Lee discovered what they initially called “the Venus tic-tacs” in 1982, no one in-the-know was surprised. Just another alien organism to add to the list of hundreds. A team was formed to conduct research and determine its risks and benefits, and there were no expectations that anything would come of it.

Well, as is so often the case, those in-the-know knew nothing. Give those Venus tic-tacs an electric shock in the right place for the right amount of time and what do you get? Pluripotent stem cells. They had the potential to be a game changer in the field of regenerative medicine. I don’t think anyone expected to discover them when we did; all the data we had showed we were at least a decade away from inducing pluripotency. Hell, we assumed civilian doctors might figure them out first. This was Big. Capital B.

In dentistry, it meant we might be able to regrow missing teeth and reverse jaw deterioration. I followed the studies with great interest.

The animal tests were successful. New teeth, better jaws, nice smiles all around. Success. Good. Great.

The researchers moved onto human subjects. Failure. Nothing. Zilch.

No reason. No god damn reason whatsoever. No one could figure out why there was 100% success with animal subjects and 0% with people. The cells wouldn’t grow AT ALL.

Then, a doctor named Franco T******, who’d been on the team since the beginning, suggested they try using the tic-tac cells on people in space. He didn’t give a reason, and I don’t think he had one. It was probably something like “well f**k it, it doesn’t work here so let’s try it up there.”

So we did.

And it worked.

Sort of.

The effects were different for everyone. Sometimes cavities were repaired. Sometimes jaw bones grew again. Then again, sometimes teeth fell out. And jaws collapsed. That’s what happened to Jose G********. No one wanted to use Venus tic-tacs ever again.

That’s why, when this astronaut came to me with pain in his gums and jaw and told me he’d been working on the Feng-Lee Discovery, I was less than thrilled with what I’d find. There’d been a six-year moratorium on Venus tic-tac human experimentation since the Jose incident. It had only been lifted a year ago. Apparently someone on that team wanted to pick up right where they’d left off.

While I talked to the astronaut, he informed me that there’d been new research on the tic-tacs. I frowned and told him I wasn’t aware of anything new. He filled me in.

Apparently there’d been some civilian advances in stem-cell technology that ended up contributing to our own knowledge of the science. New experiments were drawn up, plausibility was determined, and one of the team leaders impressed the brass at NASA’s ethics division. That, combined with the limited number of Venus tic-tacs that’d been recovered and the uncertainty surrounding how much longer they’d live, ended the moratorium.

That was all well and good. At that point, I still hadn’t looked inside the astronaut’s mouth. Before we’d started chatting, I had my assistant do some x-rays of his jaw. They developed while we talked. Then they were ready.

I’m going to digress for a second. Have you ever seen what a child’s skull looks like before their adult teeth have come in? It’s unsettling. Look at this. That was all of us at one point. I’ve been a dentist for the last 36 years. I’ve dealt with a lot of crazy stuff, but just thinking about all those holes makes me uneasy. Some things just stick with you, I guess.

Why am I mentioning this? This astronaut – this grown man – had what looked like new teeth forming above his adult ones. I consulted with the x-rays we took before his mission. There was nothing unusual about them – just the filled cavities and mild bone-loss in his jaw that had made him a test candidate for the tic-tac cells.

Now, as I stared at the new x-ray, I saw the cavities were still there. The jaw was still decaying. But those dark smudges on the x-ray indicated new teeth deep in there. I’d never seen anything like it.

I remained professional. I asked him to lean back and open his mouth so I could begin the examination.

As soon as I took my first look, I knew something was dreadfully wrong. His gums were puffy and bled at the slightest touch. His teeth looked gray, as if they’d never been brushed. It didn’t make sense.

I swung the magnifying lens over and brightened the light. I think he heard me stifle my gasp when I looked through.

His teeth were covered in infinitesimal holes. They were much smaller than regular cavities. I looked closer. Each of the holes had a tiny, pink hair sticking out of its center. I touched the tip of my instrument to one of the hairs. It recoiled back into the tooth.

At this point, I was getting uneasy. I asked the astronaut if what I did hurt and he told me it did, but not badly.

I decided to numb the gums around his top front teeth. While I waited for the novacaine to take effect, I studied his molars. Those had bigger holes with thicker growths. When I reached for one of them with my instrument, rather than slip back into the tooth, the hair extended about a quarter of an inch and wrapped around the metal tip. The astronaut didn’t seem to feel it.

I gave the instrument a gentle tug. Nothing. I pulled harder – but still barely using any force. The molar came out. My patient gasped and I apologized profusely. I stopped what I was doing and put the instrument and the tooth out of his line of sight.

I decided to level with him. I told him there was some severe damage to his teeth and I didn’t know what it was. I said I needed to do more exploratory work and it would likely be very uncomfortable.

The astronaut did his best to take it in stride. He told me he knew something was very, very wrong from the moment he was brushing his teeth on the space station and the bristles would get caught inside the holes. The thought made me shudder.

I numbed his mouth the best I could and got to work. By the end of it, I’d accidentally caused nine of his teeth to fall out. All that remained in their place were those bizarre, pink hairs.

I sent him back to base with an appointment for the next day. It was to remove the rest of his teeth. I felt terrible for the guy.

I got a call in the middle of the night from the Head of Medicine at the NASA hospital. I had to come there right away.

The astronaut’s roommate had called emergency services an hour or so ago. He was in excruciating pain and bleeding from the mouth. I arrived at the hospital in ten minutes.

I expected to be able to go right into the room and see the patient, but I was stopped by security and the Head of Medicine. He instructed me to put on a clean-room suit. Right then, I knew something was deeply wrong.

I donned the suit and followed the Head into one of the two observation areas above a hermetically-sealed operating room. I looked at one of the television screens showing the astronaut’s mouth. My stomach churned.

All the man’s teeth had fallen out. In their place, growing out of his gaping, bloody gums, were swirling tangles of the pink hairs. I watched as a surgeon grasped one of the tangles in a pair of forceps and pulled. And pulled. One doctor held the astronaut’s head while the surgeon put his weight into the effort. With the sound of a heavy piece of brush being torn from the ground, the tangles gave way.

They writhed at the end of the forceps. The ones still in his mouth stretched out, as if they were trying to take it away and bring it back. The surgeon dropped the veiny clot into a bowl and the camera zoomed in on it.

At the top of of the tangle was something solid. Something that, I realized, looked very much like one of those new teeth deep inside the astronaut’s jawbone I’d seen on the x-ray that afternoon. Now, out and exposed to the light, I saw it wasn’t a tooth at all. It was a brand new Venus tic-tac — the first we’d ever discovered outside a Venusian meteorite.

So the issue of pluripotent stem cells and whether or not they’ll benefit human subjects is still a mystery. And, after hours of surgery, my patient is in a coma. As a human being, I write this with a heavy heart. As a scientist, though, I have some hope. Maybe even a little excitement. Thanks to that poor astronaut, now we know how to breed new Venus tic-tacs. Perhaps, someday, we’ll learn how to use them.

End of report.

 

CREDIT: UnsettlingStories.com

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Worlds Without Heroes

Worlds Without HeroesReading Time: 6 minutes*Static*

…Is it…

*Crackle*

No…just turn it…tha-

*Static*

*Pop*

KJ: Hello? *tap tap* Hello? There we go. Okay, starting now. My name is Katie Johns, and the following testimony from Andrew Kirby is being recorded in an attempt to preserve our history and make sure a tragedy like this never has to befall another soul. Andrew, can you share with us the earliest memory you have of the event, or those involved in it?

AK: I remember it like it was yesterday. *clears throat* I was in the car with my parents and my sister. Of course we were in the back seat, doing dumb things that kids do; counting how many of the same car was on the road, playing slug bug, you know. There weren’t any confirmed sightings yet. The most we had were blurry pictures, or videos so shaky that the most you saw was what someone could maybe argue was possibly a foot or hand… but here we are, the four of us in our little car, and out of nowhere this oncoming semi starts to drift into our lane. Damn thing doesn’t even try to slow down, instead it seems to be accelerating. It’s plowing through the cars in front of us, just about to collide… and then… *Sniffle*

KJ: Its ok Andrew, just take your time.

AK: And then that’s when I saw him. I had closed my eyes to brace for impact, and when nothing happened, I opened them back up, and he was just there, floating in mid-air with the semi held effortlessly above his head. *Crying* He was like something out of a comic book; cape flowing majestically in the wind, rippling muscles barely contained by the costume that covered them, a big symbol on his chest that must have been from some unknown language.  Sure, his skin was a shade of red, his eyes were totally white, and he had a strange fin on his head instead of hair, but as a kid, you know a superhero when you see one.

KJ: And then what happened?

AK: What do you mean what happened? He smiled, set the semi down, and then flew away. He saved my day, and then went to save someone else’s. The whole world knows what happened next; he kept saving the day. I still remember when he risked his like to stop a meteor from hitting the earth. We all thought it wiped him out, but of course, we were wrong. I mean, it was foolish of us to think that a simple comet could take out Red Ultra. *Chuckle* Yeah the name seems a little xenophobic or racist, but he seemed to like it. *Chuckle* And then who could forget when he rounded up all the nuclear weapons across the globe, took them right out of our galaxy, hurling them into a black hole? Like something straight out of a superhero movie. Or what about how he exposed the illuminati, while also providing the evidence that they had been behind all of the terror attacks and wars as far back as written record goes? On top of that, he helped us set up a one world government that ended poverty, famine, and even inequality. And then when he was elected as President, refused the position because it was not his place to rule us! …It seems like so long ago now…

KJ: What were some of the biggest moments for you, personally? The moments that really pushed him through to the status of superhero?

AK: The biggest moment for me personally was probably when he saved my family, but I think what really made me think of him as a full blown, straight from the comics, bonafide superhero, was when Jace Lincoln started his xenophobe terrorist group and declared war on him. The best comics always have a hero whose greatest enemy sprang up because of him, whether justified or not. To me, that was when I knew. Throughout all of the times they fought, all the terrible things Jace did to try to defame or destroy him, Red never killed him. Never even thought about it. He let our legal system do its thing. I think that’s why he became a hero to all of us. Why, even though he didn’t look like, we accepted him as one of us. *Heavy Sobbing*

KJ: I know this is difficult, Andrew. Are you able to continue?

AK: Yeah… yeah I’ll be fine. *Sniffling* I think that’s what makes today so hard. Remembering what we had, and trying to come to terms with what has happened since.

KJ: Do you remember where you were the day it happened? The day we lost our hero? *Whimper*

AK: Do I remember where I was the day we lost our hero? *Loud bang against wall* We didn’t lose him! He was taken from us! Implying that we lost him is placing the blame on the victim! He was stolen! His legacy shattered! Katie, I love you like a daughter, but fuck you for saying ‘we lost’ him! *Loud banging on wall* *Fast, deep breaths*

KJ: Andrew, please. That’s not what I meant, and you know that. This is hard for all of us. *Sniffle* If you need a moment, that is fine, just please answer the question when you are ready.

AK: Yeah Katie… I remember the day our hero was taken from us. *Slow, deep inhale* I had just gotten off work. I walked to my car and noticed an abnormal amount of police, firefighters, and EMTs driving by with their sirens blaring. The color of the sky was an unnatural orange. I drove home and didn’t see a single civilian outside their homes. The people I did see were all huddled around their TVs, watching the events unfold. Though of course, I wasn’t aware of what events were unfolding yet. When I got home, I flipped on the news, and that’s when I saw what everyone was so entranced by. *Hard swallow* Hundreds of ships had descended on the earth, one for each capital city. Leaders had been taken hostage, along with the world President, and were rounded up in a field in the middle of England like cattle. Along the bottom of the screen, I saw a tagline continuously scrolling that read, ‘Red Ultra missing, presumed dead’. I was more frightened than I had ever been. Then we saw the creatures emerge from their ships, clad in metal armor and space helmets… *Sobbing*

KJ: Andrew, before we continue, if Red Ultra was able to hear this, what would you like to say to him?

AK: What would I like to say to him? *Slow deep breaths* Red Ultra… if you’re out there… fuck you! How could you do this to us? You were our hero! We saw you risk your life for us! You taught us how to exist with those we don’t understand, and even those we once feared! You united us under your banner of heroism! But on the day we needed you the most… *Rapid breaths slowly becoming slow deep breaths*

KJ: Go on Andrew, what happened when we needed him the most?

AK: He flew down out of the sky the way he always did – right at the last second. He stared down the invaders…*Sobbing*…and then he knelt. The invaders took off their helmets, and to the horror of the world, they all looked just like him. The same species. And then, we all sat and watched as he used his strength, his speed, and every other power he once used to save us.., *pause…* to break us. He went through and proceeded to skin, immolate, electrocute, dismember, disembowel, and shatter every single leader we had. Then he casually walked into one of the ships and came back out with Jace Lincoln bound and gagged. *Long pause* That’s when we realized that every word Jace said was true. Every transmission between Red and his superiors, every blurry photo of clandestine meetings, every radar reading showing ships surrounding the earth, every bit of evidence he found that pointed to the catastrophes being created by an outside force, or that the meteor never even existed… all of it was true. *Long silent pause* Then we saw Red pull Jace’s head from his body and crush it beneath his heel.

*slight crying heard from both*

KJ: I’m sorry to make you relive this, Andrew. I know it’s hard. But you’re one of the last among us who remembers how this all started.

AK: I know… and that’s why it has to be done. For the last 30 years, they have harvested our planet to the point that there is nothing left – and then about a year ago, they all just flew away. Our world is falling apart. We’re all just waiting on one more natural disaster to wipe us out. We have compiled evidence that suggests that this isn’t the first planet they have done this to, or even the first universe, and my guess is we won’t be the last. But if we can get this message out before the last of our radio towers’ power plants collapse, then maybe we can save another world from sharing our fate.

KJ: We were able to get some readings from their ship as they left, showing that they are able to resonate at various frequencies, possibly allowing them to shift between dimensions. After spending the last year doing various tests, we have found a way to send this through to various frequencies at once, as well as encoding a written version within the waves that will be transcribed by me following this recording. We have no clue how it will reach you, or when, but hopefully someone out there will receive this while there is still a chance.

AK: We believe we may have been warned of this once before, but none of us saw the truth in the message. Please, if you are hearing this, reading this, or have received this in any format at all, and take anything away from this message, take away this; the red skinned, white eyed visitor is not there to save you, he is there to make sure you belong to a world without heroes.

Revelation 13:3 And I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded, and his deadly wound was healed. And all the world marveled and followed the beast.

LEARN FROM US.

 

CREDIT: Johaan Alfsen

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