Episode Twenty-Two: QUADRUPEDAL
Hello and welcome to the Mistholme Museum of Mystery, Morbidity and Mortality. This audio tour guide will be your constant companion in your journey through the unknown and surreal.
As you approach our exhibits, the audio tour guide will provide you with information and insights into their nature and history.
Do not attempt to interact or communicate with the exhibits.
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While the staff here at Mistholme Museum of Mystery Morbidity and Mortality do their absolute best to ensure the safety of all visitors, accidents can happen. The museum is not liable for any injury, death, or cases of the Mondays that may occur during your visit.
Enjoy your tour.
And good luck.
CONTENT WARNINGS: Death (Self-Defence), Body Horror, Spousal Violence
Ah, here’s a bit of a mood lift! What we have here hanging from this rack are a pair of dog tags- uh, literal dog tags from a dog collar, not the sort that military people wear around their necks. Made from metal in the shape of a dog’s paw, one says Daisy and the other Winnie, and they were once worn by a pair of dogs by the same name. Now, while this exhibit is a representation of an alternatural event, it also serves to represent a broader observation that the staff of the Mistholme Museum have made over the years: that animals tend to have a greater… affinity with, or awareness of, The Alternatural. We know little about this phenomenon, but it is fairly consistent both in our own observations and in common folklore: cats yowling at empty space. Rats fleeing before a disaster even occurs. And dogs, who somehow seem to know when someone just isn’t quite right.
Daisy and Winnie lived on a farm with their owners Lynette and Jamie Wilson. Despite the fact that they lived on a farm, and that they were both of a suitable breed for livestock wrangling, neither of the dogs was actually a working dog. This was in part due to the fact that the Wilsons did not keep livestock on their farm, and also because both dogs were somewhat unsuited to that sort of work by a trait they both shared: each dog was missing a leg. Daisy lacked a front right leg, while Winnie a back right, each lost in an accident at a neighbouring farm where they had previously worked. Upon their violent retirement from such work, they had been adopted by the Wilsons as pets and beloved companions, and they had lived happily together for several years since. They tended to their crops together, Husband, Wife, and Dogs, and it was a fairly idyllic existence without much of note ever happening. They had moved to the country to start their farm and get away from the Big City and while they were only modestly successful at farming they wouldn’t trade the peace and tranquility they had found together for the world.
That all changed one night. The couple were woken in the early morning by the dogs barking their heads off downstairs, clearly very alarmed by something. Jamie got out of bed, muttering that a large predator must have strayed onto the farm to get the girls so worked up. Lynette rolled over in bed, satisfied that Jamie would sort it out. But after a moment, she realised that he was still there. Instead of walking to the door to see what had gotten the dogs riled up, Jamie had walked to the bedroom window and was looking outside. As she woke up a little more, Lynette realised that the room was unusually bright for the hour, and as Jamie stared out the window she could see that his face was lit with a faint orange glow. She called his name and he stirred, looking over to her with a blank expression, and remarked that something had flown overhead and crashed in the desert to the west of the farm. Was it a plane, asked Lynette? Jamie frowned, then shook his head and said it was smaller than that. Lynette was about to ask another question when the dogs began barking with renewed intensity, and Jamie left to calm them down. Lynette slowly got out of bed and walked to the window. It was easy enough to spot what her husband had been looking at. Over the hills to the west, the night sky was coloured a warm orange, a glow emanating from beyond the distant hills. At first she thought it was a fire, but… no. She couldn’t put her finger on what, but there was something distinctly off about it. She shivered involuntarily as she gazed out over the darkened fields at the distant… something. She jumped, startled, when Jamie re-entered the room, a pair of embarrassed tripod dogs at his heels. He chuckled at the look on her face, and said that they’d be having some company for the night, as the girls were quite upset. Lynette smiled and picked up Winnie, carrying her to the bed. And the four of them slept more or less soundly, the strange light more or less forgotten.
But after breakfast the next morning, as Lynette gave Daisy’s coat a brush, and Winnie tore a chew toy to pieces, Jamie strode past in his work boots and took the key to one of the dirt bikes from the wall. She asked where he was going, and his answer confirmed what she already knew: he was going to check out whatever it was that had crashed overnight. He figured it was probably a satellite or something like that, and they could probably get a salvage fee. But maybe it was something else, he said with a wry grin. A meteorite- or an alien spaceship? He leaned in and kissed her on the cheek, reassuring her that he would be back by nightfall. As he opened the door, Winnie abandoned her toy and scampered over to him, whining and pawing at Jamie’s back. He turned back and chuckled at the dog’s distress, giving her a scratch behind the ear, reiterating that he would be back soon. Then he closed the screen door behind him, and the sound of his dirt bike slowly fading away was the final confirmation that he was gone.
He did not return by nightfall. As the dogs paced around the property, whining and barking, Lynette anxiously smoked a cigarette and called Jamie’s phone over and over again to no response. She called up the nearby properties to ask if they had seen him, but nobody had. Everyone in the area checked the perimeter of their respective properties for any sign of Jamie, but there was none- and in the dark it was too dangerous to venture out too far into the wilderness, lest they too should suffer whatever misfortune Jamie had. A number of them promised that they would join Lynette tomorrow to search the area at first light, and she thanked them. Before hanging up, she asked if any of them had seen or heard anything unusual the previous night; none of them had. Lynette stood on her doorstep and stared out into the west, where the light had been and where her husband had disappeared. The light was gone now, but there was something about the silhouette of the distant hills that felt ominous now. Menacing. Lynette couldn’t tell if it was the mystery and fear for her husband’s safety that made it feel so unsettling, or if there was something more tangible at work. An invisible afterimage of the glow, present in her memory as clear as if it were there now, taunting her. Daisy startled her, coming up from behind and rearing up on her hind legs to rest her one front paw in the small of Lynette’s back. She smiled, and picked the dog up, and- with Winnie following- went upstairs to bed. There was no reticence about having the dogs in the bed tonight: they all needed the company.
By the time the sun rose, Lynette was nearly done getting the second dirt bike fueled up and ready for a long search when the dogs began barking. The hairs on the back of her neck stood up as she recalled the similar outburst from the night where the glow appeared. They’d never barked so much or so loudly before, and Lynette immediately looked to the skies to see if another object was flying overhead. The skies were clear and blue, with not even a cloud in sight. The barking continued, and before she could stop them the dogs took off, running west as fast as they could. Lynette called after them, and when they ignored her she put down the fuel tank and ran after them. She caught up easily, as their three legs were no match for her two, and reached out for Daisy’s collar to try and slow her down- then stopped. And picked up her pace, quickly overtaking the dogs, as she saw what they were running toward. She sprinted the entire length of the field and leapt the perimeter fence in a single bound, wrapping her arms around her husband. He was standing just beyond the edge of the property, covered in dust and dirt, his bike nowhere to be seen. His eyes stared past her toward the farm, and he said nothing even as she cried and sobbed how worried she had been, how much she loved him. He didn’t make a single sound.
But the dogs did. From behind her, Lynette heard a low, rumbling growl, and turned to see Daisy and Winnie on the other side of the fence with their hackles up and their teeth bared. She disentangled herself from her husband’s arms and took a step toward the animals, concerned. They sidestepped, looking past her at something that had gotten them more upset than she’d ever seen them before. She turned to see what had gotten them so out of sorts… and saw only her husband, frowning at the dogs with confusion. Lynette climbed the fence and knelt to try and calm the dogs down, but they pushed past her, crowding against the fence and snarling with genuine venom at Jamie. Suddenly angry with the animals, Lynette reached out and grabbed them both by the collars, hauling them away from the fence and back toward the house, calling over her shoulder to Jamie that she would be back soon. They protested and tried to pull away, but she could easily overpower them both, and they quickly gave up and let her lead them back toward the house, whining all the way. She shut them both in the tool shed and locked the door- they could come out when they had calmed down, and she had checked that Jamie was safe. She turned away from the shed- and slammed against it with shock when she saw her husband standing mere metres away. She hadn’t heard him make a sound, despite how loud she knew footsteps on the gravel path to be. He was staring past her toward the house, still silent, and once her shock wore off Lynette took him by the hand and gently guided him inside. As they reached the doorway, Jamie seemed to hesitate before stepping inside, a shiver that rippled through his body and disappeared as quickly as it had begun. Lynette sat him down and examined him closely, first-aid kit at the ready; to her surprise, he seemed unharmed, if a little dehydrated. As she cleaned the dirt from his face and repeatedly refilled his glass of water, his eyes seemed to become a little more focus, and eventually he managed to croak out her name, a smile tugging at the corners of his lips. Lynette threw her arms around him and sobbed with joy. Her husband was back. That night she slept soundly with her arms around him, as the dogs shivered and whined in the cold shed outside, all but forgotten.
The next morning, Jamie refused to go to a hospital. Despite Lynette’s insistence that he needed to be checked out by a doctor, he refused point blank, claiming that he had just had a small tumble off his motorbike and walked back to the farm without issue. He would retrieve the bike later. For now, they had work to do. Lynette responded that they should at least have breakfast, but Jamie just said that he wasn’t hungry and walked out the door. As Lynette watched from the window, he walked across the yard to the tool shed and opened the door to a chorus of growls and barks; he simply stepped through, and as the dogs scampered out of the shed he closed it behind him. He did not emerge for the rest of the day; when she knocked on the door to bring him lunch, she found it was locked from the inside, and he yet again refused the food. Eventually she simply got to work in the fields tending to their crops with the dogs- smoking all the while to take the edge off her nerves. More than once she dropped her lighter as she tried to light up another cigarette, and panicked as she struggled to find it in the undergrowth. It had been a gift from her husband, all fancy and metal, with a custom engraving and everything. As the sun began to set, she dropped it yet again, and in the dying light- despite an extended search and a torrent of cursing- she was unable to locate it again, bringing her to the verge of tears. Then Winnie lolloped over to her and opened her mouth, depositing it neatly at her feet. Daisy licked at her face as she sat in the dirt hugging Winnie, all three of them certain that something was wrong, but with no idea what it was.
When Lynette returned to the house in the dark, she found both the couple’s truck and the remaining dirt bike in pieces in front of the shed. They had been methodically dismantled, their engines entirely missing. The shed doors lay open, the entrance a pitch black maw silhouetted against the dying sun. She peered into the darkness- then her husband’s voice rang out, startling her half to death. He was standing in the doorway to the house, almost invisible in the darkness. Lynette recovered from her shock enough to ask why he hadn’t turned any lights on, and he responded that he’d only just made it back to the house and simply hadn’t had a chance yet. Lynette nearly pointed out that she would certainly have seen him walk from the shed to the house if that were the case, but bit her tongue and instead asked what had happened to the vehicles. Jamie just grunted something about repairs, and disappeared into the house. He did not turn the lights on. The dogs whined anxiously, and though they followed Lynette to the front door they would not follow her in. Lynette turned on the lights, and found that Jamie had already disappeared upstairs; she fetched some food for the dogs on the porch, then ate a small meal by herself before heading upstairs. Jamie was already lying in bed, his eyes closed; they snapped open as she entered the bedroom. Neither husband nor wife said anything as Lynette got into her pyjamas and got into bed, wrapping her arms around him. They lay there for a few minutes in uncomfortable silence.
Then, suddenly, Lynette’s body stiffened. Jamie asked her what was wrong, and she stammered for a moment before disentangling herself from him and mumbling that she had left her phone downstairs. She would just go and grab it now. Jamie said nothing as she left the bedroom and walked downstairs. She walked out the front door, and the dogs followed her out into the yard; when she reached the open doors to the toolshed she hesitated slightly, then entered. The dogs did not follow. She grabbed a powerful torch from a shelf and switched it on, sweeping it around the shed. Whatever Jamie had been working on all day, there was no sign of it: the shed was exactly as it had been the day before, walls lined with tools and the floor covered with equipment. But Lynette wasn’t looking for whatever Jamie had made: she had eyes only for the far wall. The Wilsons had owned the farm for several years, but it had existed for generations before they had acquired it, owned by many different people and used for many different purposes. Some of those people had, when they departed the farm for the last time, left some old equipment behind: threshing devices, leatherworking tools, bits and bridles. Though Lynette and Jamie had no use for them, they had kept them nonetheless. And now, Lynette had a use for them.
Jamie made no sound, no movement as his wife returned to the bedroom. He lay in the dark on his side, eyes closed, as she shuffled around the room, making soft metallic sounds as she went. Perhaps he assumed she was putting some things away for the night, or getting changed. Whatever he thought, he was certainly surprised when she grabbed him by the hands and slammed a pair of metal shackles shut around his wrists. He thrashed about in confusion, but the other ends of the shackles had been attached to the heavy iron headboard, and in a matter of seconds his feet were shackled in the same manner. Lynette didn’t know what animal the shackles had been intended for- perhaps a horse, or cattle- but it didn’t matter. They did the job. She switched the bedroom light on and looked at her husband as he squirmed and tugged at his bonds. But of course, he wasn’t her husband. She didn’t know what it was that lay on her bed, but it couldn’t be him. Because regardless of what had happened to him while he’d been lost in the desert, she knew her husband.
And he most definitely had a heartbeat.
The thing on the bed said nothing as she turned and walked out the door. It simply hissed, a sound of pure fury that sent shivers up Lynette’s spine. She wasn’t sure what she was going to do; maybe it was her husband, and he had been changed somehow. Maybe it was an imposter wearing his skin. She would call… someone in the morning, whether the police or an ambulance, or anyone who might know better. But for now, she had work to do. She wasn’t going to find answers here. They lay somewhere out there, in the west.
Lynette and the dogs left the darkened house and headed west toward the long-set sun and whatever else, moving as fast as the dogs three legged gait could manage. As she opened the gate to let Winnie and Daisy through, she looked back at her home and paused, lost in thought. What if she was wrong? What if she was just imagining everything, what if the dogs were just acting up, what if Jamie’s behaviour was just the result of a traumatic experience lost in the wilderness?
What if it wasn’t?
Daisy’s lone forepaw pressed against her back, and Winnie’s nose nudged her leg. Lynette took a deep breath and shut the gate, and turned away from her home, heading west. The three of them fled across the desert as the last light of the sun faded and the moon rose above, the light of Lynette’s torch doing little to cut through the dark. For as long as she could remember, these hills had been a place of comfort and safety for Lynette, but now every shadow, every bush, every rise or fall in the terrain felt as though it could conceal some previously unknown terror like the one that had taken her husband from her. It was only the company of her dogs that kept her running on; irrational as it was, she couldn’t help but feel that nothing bad could happen while they were near.
Lynette didn’t know how long they ran in silence, as she drifted away into an almost trancelike state to the steady rhythm of footsteps and panting. She might have fallen headlong into the crater if the dogs hadn’t pulled up short and let out a low growl that echoed across the empty desert. She stopped and took a moment to catch her breath and scratch each dog behind the ear before shining the torch down into the pit. It was about fifty metres across, and half as deep. The earth around the edges had obviously been compressed and scorched by the impact, and it glistened faintly in the light. And in the centre of the crater lay… something. Despite the power of her torch and the faintly reflective surface of the crater, whatever sat at its centre somehow eluded her sight. If she was just a little closer- as soon as she lifted her foot to step forward, the two dogs were in front of her, whining and nudging her backwards. She took a step away from the edge of the pit: she had ignored the dogs warnings before. She wouldn’t make that mistake again. Something on the ground nearby caught her eye, and she shone the torch on it: Jamie’s motorbike, upright with its kickstand out and the key still in the ignition, where he’d left it the previous day. Lynette ran her hand along the machine and exhaled slowly: there hadn’t been a wreck, then. Another piece of the puzzle.
The hairs on the back of her neck pricked up at the same moment that both dogs began growling once more, hackles raised, staring out into the darkness back the way they had come. This time Lynette didn’t need the torch to see what they were looking at. The light of the moon was glinting off a pair of white, slitted eyes a few dozen paces away. She knew better than to think it was a wild animal. And there were no animals she could think of that stood six feet tall. Almost paralysed with fear, Lynette slowly slid the torch beam along the ground toward the eyes, until it reached its feet. Or, where its feet should have been. A pair of jagged, broken bones pierced the dirt, with torn bits of flesh and muscle dangling around the edges of where the creature had snapped its legs to escape the shackles. The torch beam inched upwards, revealing first Jamie’s bloodied clothes, then his arms- mutilated in much the same way as his legs- and then finally his face. But it wasn’t Jamie’s face. It had all the features and details that Lynette had woken up beside an uncountable number of times, but it was no longer Jamie’s face. Jamie had never had such a cold, alien, hate-filled expression in all the years that Lynette had known him. The crater, and the darkness, and the gory remains of Jamie’s limbs didn’t strike half as much fear into Lynette’s heart as the look in Jamie’s eyes did in that moment.
And then he started running. He closed the distance between them faster than he should have been able to even if he still had feet, a hissing rasping noise emanating from deep within his throat, the bony tips of his arms lunging for Lynette’s throat as she stood frozen in place with terror. Just before he reached her there was a blur of motion from Lynette’s right, and suddenly Winnie and Daisy were between them snarling and snapping their jaws at Jamie. He recoiled from them, animal confusion and rage twisting his features. Lynette stumbled away from the commotion, bumping into the dirt bike behind her. She glanced over her shoulder at it, then back towards where the dogs were keeping the Jamie-thing at bay- and locked eyes with the creature. It snarled with fury and, operating on pure reflex, Lynette swung her leg over the bike and turned the key, revved the engine, and sped off in a spray of dirt. “Jamie” sprang after her in pursuit, nimbly dodging a lunge from one of the dogs, his bone-blade feet making little puncture marks in the dirt as he ran. Over the sound of the motorcycle engine Lynette could briefly make out the sounds of Daisy and Winnie barking as they tried to chase after them, but their three paws were no match for two wheels, nor two blades of bone, and they soon disappeared into the darkness behind her. Lynette was alone, racing through the darkness, with only the roar of the engine and the strange puncturing, thudding sounds of the creature’s footsteps. The motorcycle’s headlight could only illuminate the area a few metres in front of it, and Lynette was just barely able to swerve around bushes and drops and other obstacles in her desperate attempt to get away from the thing that definitely was not her husband, conscious all the while that the creature was having no such difficulties. Then, as she rounded a hill and skidded down a slope, she realised that she could no longer hear the monster. She glanced over her shoulder and in the red glow of her tail light saw that she was alone. Tears of relief streaked down her face, as she wondered if maybe the nightmare was over- then a sound up ahead made her head whip around. She hadn’t lost the creature at all: it simply hadn’t bothered to go around the hill, and had instead clambered up its slope on all-fours, without even slowing down. And as the Not-Jamie leapt into the air, launching itself towards her with all four daggers of bone aimed right at her heart, she felt the bike skid and judder beneath her as the distraction cost her her concentration. The bike rolled over on top of her just as the creature struck, and as one woman, machine, and monster tumbled down the slope in a tangle of flesh and metal and screams.
Lynette felt a hideous pain in her upper right chest as something pierced through her, but before she could react the pain of the impact against the hard ground knocked the wind out of her chest and any rational thought from her mind. When she came around, it was to the smell of gasoline and the taste of blood- and the feeling of hot breath on her face. She opened her eyes- and they were met, once more, by the shining eyes of the monster. It was mere centimetres from her and she recoiled away, then almost blacked out again as a new blossom of pain radiated from her chest. She looked down; she had wound up on top of the mangled motorcycle, with the monster underneath it. One of its bony forearms had skewered her through the chest and broken off in the crash- to her revulsion, she recognised that the bone was still there, a jagged piece poking out of her chest and back near her shoulder. And as for the other bones…
The creature that had been so utterly terrifying just moments ago now seemed almost pathetic. She could barely tell which of its limbs was an arm and which was a leg, as splintered and mangled as they were. Two of them had pierced right through the bike, and the thing was struggling vainly to extricate itself to no avail. Some distant, cold part of Lynette’s mind thought that it looked a bit like a bug that had been crushed and left half-dead and squirming on a windowsill. And, as she watched, it wrenched at one of its limbs and there was a cracking sound- and gasoline began to pour out of the punctured fuel tank, covering the hissing and sputtering creature. Lynette scrambled away from the wreck before the liquid could get on her, gritting her teeth at the pain as she staggered to her feet in the flickering glow of the bike’s shattered headlight. Even in its crippled state, the thing that could never really have been Jamie tried to lunge after her, screaming with inhuman fury as it struggled to get free. Lynette dimly remembered that the creature had escaped bonds before, and that it could probably do so again here. It occurred to her that she ought to be afraid. But she wasn’t, really. She didn’t feel anything much at all as she reached over to her right trouser pocket with her left hand, grimacing at the pain, and pulled out her cigarette lighter. As the headlight flickered one last time before dying for good, she examined the inscription one last time: “For my darling Lynette. These things’ll kill you, you know. Jamie.”
She didn’t cry as she flicked the lighter on and tossed it into the growing pool of gasoline, igniting it and the creature that wore her husband’s face, the fire and the thing’s agonized screams climbing high, high up into the empty night sky. The creature’s cries died away long before the fire did, but Lynette had already been unconscious for a long time by then.
She awoke, as she had so many other times, to the snuffling of wet noses and the stink of dog breath. Blearily, she waved her arm at the rude dog and tried to roll over and return to sleep- but there was another dog already there, whining at her and prodding her with a single paw. Then the smell of smoke and charred flesh reached her nostrils and she sat bolt upright- and let out a scream of agony as the bone fragment in her chest made itself known yet again. Winnie and Daisy crowded in and began happily licking at her face, and despite herself Lynette smiled. She didn’t look at the wreck of the motorbike a few metres away. After a few minutes of licks and cuddles she braced herself against a rock and got to her feet. It was early morning, by the colour of the sky- it had probably taken the dogs all night to reach her. For a moment, as she gazed at the scenery around her, Lynette had no idea where she was. Then she saw a plume of smoke painted against the distant sky, and something in her knew there was only one thing it could be. She limped away from the wreckage with her dogs, slowly retracing the path she had taken at high speed the previous night, until they found themselves standing at the edge of the crater once more. The smoke here was even thicker than it had been at the bike wreckage, billowing from the centre of the crater. The sun was high in the sky by now, and by its light Lynette could clearly see that whatever had been in the crater the night before had utterly burnt away by now, leaving only cinders and smoke. Her dogs whined as she neared the edge of the pit, but she knelt down and scratched them behind the ears and reassured them that they were going home now. She didn’t fully understand what had happened. But, as she got to her feet and walked back to her empty home, with Daisy and Winnie in tow, she felt a great deal of relief that, if nothing else, it was over now.
Authorities were unable to determine what, exactly, landed in the desert near the Wilson farm, nor what became of Jamie. The remains of whatever was in the pit and whatever was under the wreckage of the motorcycle were burnt well beyond recognition, if they could ever have been recognised in the first place. Lynette had little interest in understanding it, and answered only the questions that were obligated of her. She knew that her husband was gone, and her heart ached dearly. But she had avenged him. And she had her life, and her dogs. And that was enough.
One day, long after her husband’s death, Lynette happened to visit the Mistholme Museum. And as she explored our halls, she had an idea. And, to tell a long story short- for once, this particular story actually wound up being quite long- that is how Winnie and Daisy’s dog tags, and the tale of their heroism, wound up here.
Head Of Restoration Message 3
Mother, do you have any requests for the sort of exhibit you’d like to look at? Are there any that have caught your eye on your patrols over the years? I’m more than happy to take requests, we’re not going to run out of exhibits any time soon. Oh, oh of course, we can absolutely go visit your daughter, that’s- you don’t need to check with me about that, let’s go. It’s actually not too far from here, you know that of course. I don’t suppose you’d like me to give you the spiel about that particular exhibit, of course, you know it well. I’ll just be quiet and give you a moment to, uhh, reflect. No worries, not a peep out of me. Silent as the grave, that’s me- oh no I’m so sorry, that was a really inappropriate turn of phrase, I really am sorry about that Mother, I- [The static returns] Oh. OH! Mother, I’m sorry, do you mind- we can go visit your daughter in a moment, I think the Head of Restoration is calling back! Ok, ok, calm down, this is what you wanted, just, explain what’s happened and everything will be fine. Ok.
Hello, this is the the Head Of Restoration for the Mistholme Museum of Mystery, Morbidity, and Mortality, can anyone hear me? This is the Head of-
Hello! Ye- Hello! I can hear you!
Hello? Oh, about time, do you know how long I've been trying to get through?
Well, no, actually I-
I and the rest of the people in the Restoration Department’s Alternatural Shelter have been sheltering in place near where we emerged. I’ve jury-rigged a sort of transmitter from some bits and bobs I had with me, though it only works if I put the antenna through the Glassway back into the Shelter. I’m actually rather proud of that, I doubt many others could have done the same.
Ah, that’s what I’ve taken to calling them. There was an Alternatural Event in the 1800s where all the mirrors in a town turned into portals to… somewhere. I’ve hypothesised for some time that it is possible to recreate the phenomenon, perhaps even utilize it, but I haven’t had much luck. Tell me, did the same thing happen in any other Shelters or just ours?
Uhh, no it happened in all of them, it’s-
As I suspected. It would have been rather odd if it was just us, though not out of the question. It’s been rather unpleasant I must say, though fortunately when the lockdown happened one of my Restorers was working on some repairs to a lasagne tray that always has one more serving of lasagne in it, and she brought it into the Shelter with her. Completely against protocol of course, but it’s been good to be able to subsist on that rather than trying to forage or hunt. I just wish it didn’t taste of Lemon Pudding for some reason.
Sorry, uhh, where are you exactly?
Very good question. Not one I have a hypothesis for yet, we don’t have the equipment or expertise to determine that. We came through the mirror and found that the other side of the Glassway was the frozen surface of a lake in the middle of a wild forest. Though, oddly, it’s fairly temperate here, so the surface of the lake shouldn’t have any reason to be frozen. Fascinating. Based on that and a handful of other factors, I currently believe that we are no longer on planet Earth.
No longer- wait, you’re on another planet?
I didn’t say that. Besides, we’ll need to do some more tests before we can say anything for certain. The first step will be getting back into the Museum. The passage through the Glassway in the ice is still active, so once you lift the lockdown and open the Shelters we’ll be able to come back through and assess the situation.
What’s the situation there? I assume you and the security team have everything under control?
Oh. Well the security team isn’t actually here. I think they were probably put in lockdown at the same time as the rest of you, so I guess they went through their mirrors too and now they’re… somewhere else.
What? That doesn’t make sense, how could something affect the Museum and the Security Department at the same time, they’re not on the same plane of existence.
Oh, well, it wasn’t a real lockdown! I mean, the Lockdown happened, obviously, but there wasn’t actually any kind of Alternatural Event. The Officer in charge of the Auxiliary Security Monitoring Station triggered it for, uh, unclear motivations. Wow, this is all actually kind of complicated now that we’re saying it out loud!
Wait. Stop. I assumed you were that officer.
Me? Oh, no, that’s guy’s actually dead.
Well then who on earth are you?
Well, uh, I’m actually an Audio Tour Guide for the Mistholme Museum of Mystery Morbidity and Mortality!
[a pause] An Audio Tour Guide.
Yeah, it’s a long story, you see I was downloaded by-
I’d like to speak to a real person.
I would like to speak to a real person. Not a glorified speak-and-spell.
Oh. Well, I’ve got the Clockwork Mother here, you know her. She’s a bit banged up at the moment but I can-
A real person. A human being. I would like to speak to a human being.
...There aren’t any. They all went into the Alternatural Event Shelters, and then they went through the Mirrors. The same thing happened in every Shelter, not just yours. Mother and I have been all over the museum, and we haven’t seen anyone who wasn’t an escaped exhibit, so-
Well, keep looking.
If we’re going to get back to the Museum we’ll need someone to lift the Lockdown. There must be someone from Security around. Find them. I’ll call back tomorrow.
Wait, I’m quite sure that- [The Static fades] Hello? Hello!
Are you kidding me?!