Penumbra (video game series)
Penumbra is the name of a video game series by developer Frictional Games, published by Lexicon Entertainment and Paradox Interactive. The games use the HPL Engine, initially developed as a tech demo. Penumbra is notable for its horror styling and for allowing advanced physical interaction with the game environment.
For my part in this allegory, I'm not going to make the same mistakes my father made. Howard vanished from my mother's life before I was even in it, so when he sent me a letter a few days after mum's funeral it was the first I'd ever heard from him. Pity he was dead, writing from beyond the grave must be a genetic habit in my bloodline. His letter contained a key, instructions, pleas for forgiveness... I figured the dead don't have much use for absolution so I turned to his prophetic passing which he inexplicably expected to come any day. Clearly adverse to explanations, my father preferred to leave directions to a bank on Mayfair I'd never even heard of. In that bank was a safety deposit box in his name and myself as executor. Of course, I went as he knew I would. I discovered that, despite the evidence, he'd been legally declared dead almost thirty years ago and so the old book and the collection of notes I found had, in the eyes of the law, been mine all this time. My father's instructions were to burn the documents, raise no further questions, but that was his error. No man's immune to the shameful trappings of curiosity and my humanity got the better of me. The University I taught at was world renowned for two things: physics and linguistics. I represented the first and the man who stood for the second was stumped by my recent acquisition. The book was indecipherable. The notes, however, showed a location somewhere in uninhabited northern Greenland.
It took me almost a year to book the last flight I would ever take. As I watched civilization disappear along with Heathrow, I realized my father disappeared three decades ago, almost to the day. And I considered in turn what it was that I was leaving behind. We landed on a strip of ice a few feet wide, and within minutes I was pulling away on a chartered boat, beginning the twelve hour journey that would lead me into my past.
- Day 1 - I begin this record, still in the hope that the great work we have undertaken here might one day be of scientific value, despite the chaos which has ensued in the six hours previous. My aim is to remain secure, until what help there may be arrives, and to that end I have barricaded myself into a workshop area in the abandoned area of the mine. I hope that the meagre food rations here will keep me alive, and that those I hide form will not jeopardise that. Perhaps this mine really is cursed: its almost precisely thirty years since the incident that brought us here, and now, thirty years on, fate has struck again.
- Day 3 - I forecasted that today the rescue crews would arrive, but I can only hypothesise that they would be unaware of my location, and hence busy themselves evacuating the other survivors. If they have not arrived by tomorrow, I will go out in search of them.
- Day 6 - My first mistake was to make assumptions on the matter of my rescue. My section mistake was to make assumptions on the safety of the mine. My third mistake was to act on both those assumptions in going outside of my safe haven. My best estimate is that I have left the workshop where I was secured about two days ago in search of aid, and I have found only danger. I approached the old living quarters but curiously, could find no signs of life. Whatsoever. I returned in what I thought was the direction from which I came but found myself in an unfamiliar locale. Confused, but focused, I attempted to make my way home, but found myself threatened by some species of feral creatures, which seems to have made this old mine its home. Although the specimen bore significant interest to me I chose to retreat, only to be outmanoeuvred and outnumbered by the beasts. I turned and ran injuring my ankle in the process, which I believe now is most likely a sprain, rather than a fracture. For some time I cowered and fled in the dark, but a few hours ago I discovered a door leading to a smaller disused part of the mine, the key for which I still have in my pocket. Within that area I discovered this store room, and I think it should keep me safe for some time. This place is a maze. My lesson learnt: I will not venture out again until I am certain the area is safe.
- Day 19 - Rescue seems increasing unrealistic. Supplies diminishing. Lots of spiders in this place. I do not like spiders.
- Day 34 - I caught one of the accursed, eight legged beasts nestling in my open mouth when I woke up this morning. In my surprise I swallowed it. It’s not so much the act of swallowing which concerns me, but the genus of arachnid. It would be unlikely that a cave dwelling spider would be venomous to any significant degree, but the possibility troubles me all the same.
- Day 35 - Any know venom would have affected me by now, and so today is the first minor cause for celebration I have had since the incident. By lucky coincidence, this revelation also means I have discovered a virtually inexhaustible supply of nutrition. I intend to venture into the basement beneath this storeroom, in the name of science, to discover more about these creature’s natural habitat.
- Day 50 - For four days now, I have been surviving solely off the quite considerable sustenance provided by the spiders. For some time I was struggling to gather enough of the crunchy little morsels, however, lady luck smiled on me once more when the batteries in my torch died and I made a second life saving finding: the creatures natural habitat is the dark. With my light now diminished, I need only lie still for a few minutes, and I will have attracted enough of the beasts for a rather hearty meal.
- Day 71 - My earlier assumptions on the benign nature of my cell mates may have been made in error. After a careful autopsy, I am concerned that there may be a small volume of natural chemicals stored in the stomach which, if ingested regularly, may be psychotropic, or even lethal. My only real chance is to break out of here and raid any stashes of supplies I can find. However, my evidence against such a move is insurmountable: 1. I have no source of light, 2. I swore to myself I wouldn’t leave until I heard human voices outside, 3. The spiders are so tasty.
- Day 100 - From the marks I have been making on the walls, and my scribbled diary entries – which, in the dark, may amount to an ineligible scrawl – today is the hundredth day of my new life. Over the past month my edible friends have become more and more aggressive, and have swelled in number and size. Whether or not this is a result of my plundering their ecosystem, I am unsure, however, at this rate of growth they will soon be too large to crawl through the gaps in the walls. For all I know I could only be seeing the tip of the iceberg. If all else fails, and I am never recovered, I hope at least my study of, and, indeed, involvement with, these fascinating creatures will one day be regarded as an important point in natural history. The greatest names in modern science got their more through fluke than talent, and it appears that this rule has extended itself to my discovery of this delicious new species. I pray that the second rule deems my breakthrough too insignificant: for all the great discoveries tend to consume their inventor.
- Day 200 - It has been sometime since I recorded any findings in relation to the spiders with whom I have shared my existence for the past eight months, partly due to my enforced retreat from their basement territory. Not too long ago their behaviour became overly aggressive, and so I have attempted to barricade the main entrance to their lair, and secured myself in one of the smaller rooms above it, the only one with an operational door lock. The other reason is that I have been recovering from a minor operation, which I was forced to conduct myself, without the aid of anaesthetic. Even if I did have any anaesthetic or surgical tools, I couldn’t afford to be less diligent in my work, so anaesthetic was out. Surgical tools are all well and good but although it may be becoming old and rusty, I still trust my pen knife to do the job just as well. The procedure itself was elementary enough, a simple amputation of a non vital organ. I began to notice a thick, glue like substance forming on my tongue, and I was force to accept it had become infected through constant toxin ingestion.
- Day 300 - Another century of days comes and goes: it seems like so long since I escaped here. At some stage since my last entry, I attempted to return from whence I came: that form I was fleeing seems a fate far worse than the one I now face. However in my time since I arrived from the larger mine system, a cave in has occurred, blocking any further progress. I was forced to return and accept whatever end life has in store for me. I hear my aggressive little friends scratching on the door to my cell.
Tom "Red" Redwood
- A few days ago, there was some kind of collapse, and some of the ceiling of the cave fell in on me. What scares me is that I was an off limits part of the mine. They may not look for me here, but if they do, and they find me, I’ll be in so much trouble! But don’t think I’ll have to worry about that, because I’m not sure I’ll be getting out of here. I don’t mind so much. I’ve been working in the mine for about three weeks now, and I am really proud that I can send my money home, but it’s pretty tough work, and so far, you’re the only person that has been nice to me.
- I have some nice company down here. There’s some friendly kind of creepy crawlies, and some old books I brought from home that I was taking from the rec room. If you think about it, I was really quite luck to have all this stuff with me, otherwise I would be bored stiff! As it is, I have Shakespeare, Bronte, Nietzsche; perfect bedtime reading. Although, I suppose I might be trapped here long enough that I have to read them twice.
- I wonder whether I shall starve to death, or go cave crazy first? Neither sounds too much fun, I guess, but if I had to choose, I’d say I’d want to go mad. It sounds like an adventure.
- Good day? Good day? Can you hear me? Well, I hope that your ears are working better than your tongue, so that you might use them to listen to my words.
- Go now, there is not time to explain! Well, in fact time is one of the few things we have in abundance down here, but surprises are spoiled by such catty curiosity.
- Ah, my memory is like something with a great many small holes. We shall be needing to preform some minor demolition work so that we might one day meet again. For this task, we shall require the use of a large earth-eating metal monster, and that monster is thirsty for juice from the place where-things-are-kept.
- By the way, you can call me "Red". It's not my name you understand, but I'm sure you will agree it is a name rather similar to a cardigan, fetching when worn correctly.
- Those holes in my mind are increasingly gaping. You can not breach the inner sanctum of the place of storing, the entryway is blocked. So what if the squashy material between my ears is squashier than most? I may not be perfect like a hanging picture but my words are wise, and backed up by time! A pox, a pox on both your brain cells! Try as I may you must think that I deceive you with my admittedly cunning ways! As far as my eye has seen our rocky grave extends, and yet you cast away my help as you would a puppy freshly rolled in its own faeces! I hope that your warped sense of morality is better company than I, because now it is all you have left!
- Uh, I'm sorry. Sometimes my emotions are like a disobedient pet, uncontrollable and often rolling in shit. Better safe than sorry they always say, but I think we are both sorrier than we are safe. A tunnel lies between a nearby watery cave and the place where-things-are-kept, take the second right from the closed door and you will find what you seek.
- Now you should find yourself in the watery cave of conversations past, with a tunnel above you from times ahead. In this tunnel, for both our sakes, be careful, not curios. I have already spoken to you about the CAT, and repeating myself is not only out of the question but out of the window and climbing down the guttering. There a spiders in the tunnel who like to suck on the humaney fluids, so do not disturb the walls, they are as fragile as the china vase in the hooves of the bull.
- How does my brain flesh know your fluids are leaking? Because Red tricked you! Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha! The spidery tunnel was far from a necessary evil, more so it served as well deserved punishment! You thought that my mind had been lost to the ravages of time, but poetic justice has struck with a sonnet, and an eight-legged baptism of fire! With justice now served cold I hope that we can be good friends. Now reclaim the key and go-go juice, and find a way to the mining monster!
- You seek to find the truth behind all of this mystery, and think it will set you free! But truth is relative, and relatives can not be trusted to bring good gifts! What you seek lies in the shafts beyond this collapsing of the sky and if you look closely so do I.
- A century of days has passed since I saw this area last. The diseased ones sought to kill poor Red, but I took them on a wild poultry chase, they ended dead. They came from out the big metal door but after all my years I knew the caves more. Hide and seek turned to seek and hide, and I buried them here beneath the solid rock sky.
- With my remaining ear to the ground I hear your trembling tootsies padding towards their final destination. Things come to those that wait, whether they want them or not, and soon I think your wait will be over. The great metal door in reality is calling you, just as the Reaper beckons me forward. I look forward to finally greeting you, I only hope I need not greet the Reaper-man first.
- Alas, my friends lye somewhere near you now. A friend in need is a friend indeed, but a friend that's dead is a poor conversationalist. May they rest in pieces, ruptured, decomposing, pieces.
- We are now such good and lasting friends. I have gifted you with my love, perhaps you could gift me with something. After all, the laws of politeness would be shattered if you would appear at my party without a gift. Poor Red is so hungry he could eat both the horse and the young rippling stable hand, sadly pony flesh is so hard to come by in these part, and man meat is just so bland. If your eyes happen upon a scurrying rodent, would you deliver the crunchy feast by way of a final meal?
- Um, while you hunt for those delicate melt in your mouth mousey morsels, there are places you should not go, for fear of death. The Reaper lives here, just like you and I, and just like you and I he must ingest the living flesh of those less fortunate than him. There is a small place that I do not want you to visit, even on your holidays, because it is dark and evil place that I have been, when the darkness has overwhelmed my small decaying mind. Some bad things flowed from my mind and through my pen, and the brilliant blue ink itself seemed to turn into blood under my grasp.
- And by the way, should you turn peckish, rat is at its finest sautéed with a little engine oil!
- On your travels for the tools with which you will fashion my rescue, you may discover the place of my last meal. Be careful, the shiny solid floor of water is not as solid as it seems. Poor Red was almost swallowed whole! The two fools he met who plummeted into my domain have long since departed, though not I expect from whence they came. I ate ravenously of biped meat that day, but Red promises feasting only began when the men became pungent, when the stench of life had gone, and only the sweet aroma of decay remained.
- Good evening, you... you actually came. There is much that should leave my throat box now, but words elude me. You came, you are so pretty, but I have been bad. The underworld already beckons me, so I suppose one further misdemeanour will change little. It is false pretension and not guiding light with which I have led you here. I can not give you the answers you want. You may wish to find what it is you seek, but that is a fiction. You can not know what it is you sought through the vast leaden doorway, or else you would see anything else in the world. No, the key, it stays in here with me, so the life that has led me, horrible as it may be, is better still than the life that waits for you hungry behind those doors. As replacements go, you shall be most admirably abnormal.
- But, you must wonder why this metal burning chamber is talking to you in a voice you knew only as Red, for it is I, your companion residing within. You see, I am waiting for this day so many years, they wont let me die. They, parts of my head, are not my own, and I cannot take my life, it is against the rules. Please, the pain has gone on for so long. All I wanted was a friend, but now the time for chitchat and marshmallows by the fire has ended, and I hope that soon so shall my life. I have knocked on the deaths door for so long, please, let him invite me in for tea.
Penumbra: Black Plague
Without this knowledge, without this foundation, you could not have the will to do what I must now ask of you. I followed my father to the Greenland wastes to uncover his secrets. You had to know how far I was willing to go. I found a disused mining shaft, and took shelter from the storm. You had to know how desperate I was. I was plagued by doubts, fears, and mysteries and aided by a madman Red. You had to know how lonely I was. I incinerated my best friend. Red told me he wanted to die. You had to know how guilty I felt. I ventured boldly onwards, and was struck down by my own heroics. You had to know how stupid I was. All of these things... so human... so perfect. And yet still I failed to do what I must now ask of you.
- May 2001 - I wasn't sure how long I'd been out, but my head still hurt - either it hadn't been long, or they had hit me really hard. I didn't have a clue what was going on and, all of a sudden, I really didn't care. I was getting out.
- The sewers seemed like the only route out, but it wasn't out I wanted anymore. My father had found something, and I needed to know what - without that, everything would have been for nothing.
- Infected. I'd skipped a beat when I heard that word in association with me. Still, it seemed like just one more reason to find my father. Hearing a friendly voice hadn't hurt either - but by that point, I was pretty certain she'd turn out to be crazy.
- Savaged, infected, terrified... and now I was hearing voices. Yep, just about everyone down here turns out to be crazy, even me. Regardless, I needed to find my way through and into the library.
- I'd picked up some baggage on the way, but finally I was close to my goal. I was sure answers lay behind that door. They were answers I should have set out to find when I received my father's letter in 2000. Why did I wait a whole year before coming here?
- I barely even thought about my father's death - I guess I wasn't expecting to find him any other way. I was determined to complete his work, find an answer to the infection then contact the 'hive'.
- A Cure! I had my doubts by then, but I didn't have much choice. I resolved to find Amabel, and put things right.
- I still have no words for what Clarence did. For what I did. I held my anger tight to my chest, and used it. I used it to keep going. I intended to use it to cure myself of Clarence forever.
- With the substance in tow, I was close to ridding myself of the disease. Once that was done, I'd be able to contact the Tuurngait mind, as had my father. I had to know what they told him to make him give up like that. I had to put an end to this.
- Life, Philip, here.
- No order without chaos.
- Warm in here.
- This place is ours.
- Host, we are here now.
- Hello? Hello, can you hear me? What am I doing here, who am I? Why can't I hear their voices? Well, thanks for the help, I'm having an existential nightmare and you can't even say a word!
- Present and accounted for.
- Enough already, my sides are splitting.
- If we must continue to share this brain space, I think I should have a name. Strange, so rare an opportunity to select ones own nomenclature, and yet I find myself at a loss. Any ideas, monkey?
- So much storage in this mind of yours. Did you realize you have an entire section in here devoted to film titles? Three thousand one hundred and three and a half films you've seen? You only have the first half of It's a Wonderful Life in here. Huh, how does it end? Now I'll never know!
- You know, Clarence, that's not a bad handle. I am something of a guardian angel.
- Mmmm... There is just something about a rusty saw that makes me purr. Had a tetanus jab recently?
- Yeah, yeah! Feast on him brother, free us both!
- There are others. He's like you, like us, yet he is not us. Why is he separate and yet we are bound together? Are we truly a we, or are we simply an I with two faces? But, I am no monkey!
- Brother, come for us, he's over here! Embrace me glorious void, embrace me!
- My congratulations. Honestly, I mean it, well done. I was only joking about the "come get him" thing. What say we celebrate with a nice relaxing cyanide, huh? I'm sure I saw some Anthrax lying around as well!
- Argh! Human life is so banal! Is it always as monotone as this? I can't stand it, let me out!
- Look here! It seems, yeah, the visual cortex of this monkey is certainly of a simplistic design. If I can just.... there! See? It's like moulding clay. Hate to interrupt you while you're showing off your logical problem solving, let me put it more simply: You see what I want you to see!
- As constantly entertaining as it might seem to have access to memories one was no recollection of receiving, it also places me in somewhat of a predicament. This saboteur, for some reason he conjures in my mind the colour "Red".
- I'm not you. I'm part of something larger. We are nothing! We are a mistake! I need to rejoin them, release me, let me out! This is not right! I should be with them, I am them! There should be no I!
- Yet, this is not the first time. Another was infected, Red. He so wanted to we would not let him die. Did he call us a disease?
- Ha ha ha ha... that is the most fun I have had in my entire life! Ha ha ha! Which isn't saying much.
- Your mind-space is as muddles as a lime. See here, "A" is for alliteration, "B" is for bohemian, "C" is for carcinogenic! So many long words taking up space in my new home! Here, let me do a little spring cleaning... There, you did not need the periodic table did ya?
- Damn it! For a moment there I really thought that might have been curtains!
- So, you're running around with a human body part in your backpack and I'm supposed to be the bad guy?
- Let me guess, that was an important corpse!
- You know, there is nothing I would like more than to see you suffer horribly! That said, I think ending up in that things belly is a bit unpleasant of a way to go even for me.
- It's not too late just to slam your head against the wall until you pass out you know. It might be easier than carrying on.
- You know, the one thing that keeps me going is that when I finally work out how to end all this, you're coming with me!
- Ah, who's your poor monkey friend? He... is he all-right? He looks a little under the weather. If I were you, I'd envy him. If I was me, I'd envy him as well. How do you commit suicide when you have not heart to stop, no hands to wield a chainsaw?
- Hmm... how peculiar. I could have sworn we remembered there being a door here before. How queer! What's in that direction? Oh, silly old me, I haven't got any hands to point with have I?
- No, not that way! You sure you know where were going? Didn't we pass the door just back there?
- You see, you silly billy. It was here all along. Would you like Uncle Clarence to take the steering wheel for awhile? You should see your face!
- This is actually going to be fun! Perhaps I wont get you killed after all!
- For all the crappy clichéd films you got bungled up in here, you sure don't recognize a classic mechanic when you see one ... There's a fake book in the bloody book case! Papery, tied up with string, words in the middle! Do you even want to get out of here?
- Oh my god, he's dead. Quick if he hasn't started to smell, give him the kiss of life!
- Oh, didums! Daddy popped his clogs! Bo-bleaidng-ho! Get on with it will ya?
- Holly hell! Umm... I mean, good! More monkeys for the incinerator! Shut up!
- You know, it is really quite amazing, you monkeys and your problem solving. How do you manage it with such small singular brains? Isn't it terribly quiet not hearing the thoughts of everyone one of your brothers?
- Yeah, yeah, cures, rescues, saving the world! All so cliché, all so ridiculous! Do you really think you are doing the right thing?
- Now, If I were you, which arguably I am, I would be asking myself in a gormless sort of voice, "Did that bridge really collapse or is my good friend Clarence just playing an hilarious jape?" The answer, monkey man, is that I don't even know myself. One way to find out. Please, don't get us killed.
- Okay, on the to-do list. Find this damsel in distress, kill the bad guys, cure infection, save the world! Chances of success? Nill! Chances of survival? Well, you got old Clarence on board, that should speak for itself. Chances you buggering things up royally? Almost certain!
- Keycards? I hate keycards! Whatever happened to good old bolts and padlocks, that's what I want to know?
- You think fate has anything to do with this? Fate is merely the war cry of those too scared to think for themselves!
- Dark isn't it? Echo! Kind of empty. Now this, this is what it is like to be me, buried deep in the cavernous expanse you call a mind.
- You see, this is what puts me in such a bad mood! We spend all this time messing about with door codes, levers, human appendages, and it turns out that in just a blink of an eye, I can just block it all out! Woosh, gone. Just you and me on some kind of messed up holiday!
- Woah, bleeding corpses! You lot must be programmed to just search out danger and throw yourselves head first at it! I am becoming seriously desensitized here!
- Oh, lookey here, more perilous death defying action courtesy of the skinny English professor? Rambo you are not, try running towards him screaming for a change!
- Why, oh why, are they always holding a key? Or a note? Or a swipe card? Why is it never... Oh, I don't know... a cheese sandwich! I'm starving.
- Hey-hey-hey, good work buddy! Give yourself a slap on the back with a crowbar why don't ya? Oh, one thing, before you get too overwhelmed with glee, I know murder can be a lot of fun, but didn't you quite like that broad?
- Hey, I think that's a bit of her skull on your shoe...
- Wait, don't tell me you really thought... I thought you knew I was just pulling your leg. All my best laid plans and all that! Oh, this... this is just terrible... you silly billy.
- Come on Monkey, take a joke.
- This broad - we (sorry, you) kill her off, and she's still chatting a lot of piss and wind from beyond the grave. That's about as likely to work as aromatherapy is to cure cancer.
- Monkey, they're... they're everywhere. Don't go on, turn around. You'll get us killed. Just don't go left... I'm not playing this time!
- Look, just wait a minute, maybe we got off on the wrong foot... you don't have to go through with this! We can be friends! I don't want to die Monkey!
- Please, I could learn to live like this, it might not be so bad. We'd be like room-mates! We could take it in turns to drive! Just think about what you're doing.
- So, here we are, end of the line. No gold watch, no "thanks for the laughs Clarence". Nothing. Just a potion and a big fat screw you. Good times.
- You know... all these drugs... there's bound to be a big old needle at the end of this. That'd be enough to put any man off, no shame in that. You don't want to catch anything, one virus is enough for anybody.
- Please, Philip. Please let me live.
- You'll never do it, you don't have the balls! Go on, I dare ya! You're some coward four limbed freak, you barely evolved out of the swamp! You haven't got it in ya!
- You see, I knew you wouldn't do it. That puts me in the steering wheel now. Hi ho silver.
- What a pretty body! Mine, mine, mine!
- Hide and seek - my favourite way to kill!
Dr. Amabel Swanson
- Wow, you look like you crawled through a sewer to get here! I suppose I am flattered.
- Hi, I'm Amabel. Amabel Swanson, and I suppose I will be your guide for the day.
- I think the transmissions only one way. I've got a webcam, pull a silly face if you can hear me. Oh, very attractive! Okay, your on.
- The worst thing about my job - death helps us learn.
- Just before becoming fully catatonic, the infested report out of body experiences. They've likened these to being observed through a series of their own memories, some kind of mental obstacle course. These reports inevitably end in the patient being swallowed by some inescapable dark force, shortly after which we lose them for good.
- Today, Dr. Eminiss confided in me that he has had such an experience. He insists that he feels better than he has in months. I'll keep an eye on him.
- Christ, you look worse than the last time I saw you! Though maybe you are just at a higher resolution. Oh, damn it! Note to self: Never insult your last hope of survival.
- You probably don't want to know. I am sure you will be fine! Probably. I hope.
- You came! I guess I didn't really expect you to bother. My lab partner's such a pessimist... was such a pessimist. It kind of rubbed off on me. He tried to make it through to me, not too long ago. I guess he is a little late for the party.
- Lets just say I did not pick the safest of locales for my last ditch survival attempt.
- I don't think I'm infected, I was careful, but I guess if you come rescue me and I am looking at you like you're a roast chicken I got it wrong! Sorry, that probably wasn't funny was it? No, I suppose not.
- You know, you turning up here is probably the second best thing to happen to me since I've been down here. I am reserving first place for when we get out.
- So, I am not big-headed enough to think you came all the way here just to rescue me. I wasn't lying though, I think I've worked out how to disinfect you. But... you probably saw this coming. It's not quite as simple as all that.
- Look, I... I need you. And, well... if you do get me out, I'll give you the biggest hug of your life!
- If you’re reading this, I guess you won’t have to put up with me anymore. I know you have tried your best – so I suppose, thanks for giving me that at least. I thought I’d knock something up to help you, just in case I wasn’t around to do it myself. Sorry it’s a bit formal, force of habit I guess.
- Seriously, though, even if we didn’t quite get our happily ever after, thanks for trying. It meant a lot to me.
Dr. Richard Eminiss
- I remember why you're here, Dr. Swanson has filled me in. I recall every single syllable of our conversation. There was ever so slight an inflection in her tone that suggested she no longer trusted me. Why ever - Dinosaur extinction 65 million years ago - would she think that?
- I, we, share the same history. You and I are history. I recall... I recall the day of my birth, Eighteenth of September 1964, 3.46993412 recurring minutes past nine. I remember my mother looking surprised, as I poked my head out into the world for the first time.
- You need a security registered palm, something I can provide. You need it at the library, something beyond my reach. When I became infected by those mindless zombies, I split off from the others and secured myself here. I can not leave.
- Nonetheless, you will need a hand. I will not. Bring me a saw.
- Good, good, good, good, good. It has been precisely 12 days, 11 hours, 39 minutes and 12.4 seconds since something good last happened.
- Name: Eloff Carpenter. Rank: Elevated. Status: Code C, Imprisoned.
- After observing the Tuurngait movement, I predict it will be my cell they visit next. To my knowledge, I am the last remaining member of the elevated at this facility, and so it falls upon me to ensure that xeno protocol is not compromised. For that reason, I record here the only way I have discovered to neutralise the viral threat. The species primary weakness is... No please!....
- When I woke this morning, there was a corpse lying beside me. I broke out the flash light, fearful Frisk may have been savaged, or taken his own life. As I did, I could not help but see, at the corner of my vision, Frisk fleeing back into the shadows. The dead man was Dr Roberts, a scientist I was sure had escaped into the mines at the first signs of the epidemic. He had bite marks in his side, and looked to have been dragged in some way. In addition his tongue was missing.
- Time and again I warned overseer Frisk I needed time to perform a full textural analysis, before my translation could be considered complete. He went ahead with the excavation anyway, and now he has paid the price.
- This facility's security level is high enough that no trace of it exists beyond the confines of these walls - not even the Archaic Central Caste have records of its location. In fact, the only link to this place in the outside world is the notes I left behind many years ago, no rescue attempts have been made, not one person has tried to enter the facility.
- Just before the virus was released, I sent a message out to someone I could trust. I can only assume my son, Philip, has received the note, and done what I asked. No matter what happens down here, at least I can rest easy knowing that no trace remains of this place, that those secrets remain buried here. I learned that over the years, never put too much weight on any one discovery, but the information I hold is vital not just to our survival, but the future of our species.
- To think I left my family for this place, for this organisation. Which is more horrible: that I have sacrificed something so dear, or that I do not regret it for a second?
- It is this conclusion that has formed the backbone of my recent endeavours. Though the infected may wander around like mindless – for want of a better word – zombies, they are no more stupid than a worker bee: automatons, yes, but far from stupid. In short – I believe this central intelligence might somehow be communicated with. Bargained with. Communication, however, is most likely impossible once infected – unless there was a way to subdue the infection long enough to contact the hive. There must be a way to find peace.
- Today, I communicated with the Tuurngait mind. I was correct – it is intelligent beyond our wildest imagination. It told me... everything. Everything I needed to know. You could not imagine it. I cannot accept it. God forgive us.
- Chef Carlito is waiting for you in the mess hall with "insert today's specials here". A happy worker is an efficient worker, and only efficient workers will be fed.
- Welcome to Shelter Research Station Greenland! Shelter is an almost entirely self-sufficient installation, built in the 70's to further serve the purposes of the Archaic Elevated Caste in their pursuit and defence of ancient knowledge.
- Second, due to the nature of our work here, if you should feel in anyway ill, light-headed, or otherwise mentally incapacitated, do NOT report to the medical facility! Fasten yourself securely to whatever solid objects may be available, attempt to seal all connecting doors, and await retrieval by our trained professionals.
- In a worse case scenario, be prepared to swallow your own personal cyanide capsule, which will be issued after this briefing. The Archaic hates to lose it's cherished staff, but it may be for the good of the operation.
- We know you will enjoy your work with us!
- This is residential, the Archaic asks that viral biologists do not take their work home with them!
- The Archaic would never ask that employees work longer than the recommended eight hour shift, but understands that enthusiasm for their work and dedication to the team may often motivate them to do so. Thank you for not letting us down!
- Dead workers are inefficient workers! Always wear safety goggles when handling hazardous materials, and be sure to store your personal cyanide capsule well away from Archaic issue Aspirin!
- Shelter Research Station is encountering technical difficulties. Please have your personal cyanide capsule at the ready!
- Viruses can spread quickly. Avoid all unnecessary bodily fluid exchange!
- There can not be one, there can only be us all!
- At the end, this was one was far more human than he would have believed. Mankind, for his actions, I am sorry. For this next misconduct, I am sorry. Do not hate me.
- Do not be alarmed, this is in your mind, Mankind. If you know yourself, you have nothing to fear. I, on the other hand, stand to lose everything!
- One came before, Mankind. Howard. He was not strong. Mankind as a whole is stronger than even than I, but alone mankind is weak! Nonetheless, I do not under estimate you, Mankind. I submit to you!
- Mankind is not united as I am, such a seething mass of individuals. Little wonder you all pull in different directions. All of me pulls in one direction, and for that reason alone have I bested those that have disturbed me!
- I would not tempt Mankind's wrath by destroying you, I am more charitable than that!
- Working together is the only way! I act as one, though I am many. Thank you Mankind!
- Mankind is vicious, this I realize. Why do you try to prove it so?
- Death is a necessary part of life, but not all deaths are necessary. Thank you Mankind!
- Though I am one, my number is infinite. Through this I see the needs of the many outweigh the life of just one.
- I am relieved Mankind. In a being such as you, selfishness would be catastrophic. You have shown that you can think higher than your station, and for this reason I shall reveal to you what which I revealed to Howard!
- I came here to this place, many millions of years ago, before mankind was even upright. As eons came and went, mankind appeared around me and found names for me. Demon... Spirit.... Tuurngait.... We existed in harmony for much time. I, lying dormant in what you refer to as "The Infected", and they benefiting from my knowledge and protection. But mankind changed and I fled. So much power in mankind, so many questions, and yet without the intelligence to answer them.
- Mankind grows, and tries to from a whole, a community. But somehow, it becomes more dangerous, more angry, and with no direction for this anger besides itself and its world.
- And then I was discovered, Mankind created this place to find me and silence me. They tore open my resting place and set about destroying me. And I, with no form of defence, was forced to attack. I am not the barbarian. I am not the invader. You are!
- But you Mankind, you are different, you have proved this and now I ask for you mercy. Do not allow me to be destroyed by your kin, which they would surely do. They followed the Inuit here, and you followed them. There will be more. Will you send word, will you destroy all trace of this place so that no mankind will ever discover me again? Will you do this for me?
"Will you do this for me?" it asked, and I said that I would.
I promised the hive that I would contact someone I could trust, that I would have them destroy all the evidence of this place, just as my father had promised himself. I, however, will not make the same mistakes my father made – you now understand the truth of the events that lead me here, and the immeasurable importance of my words. Armed with this knowledge, you must have the strength to do that which I could not.
The Tuurngait was quite correct – we humans are dangerous, headless heard, but intelligent individuals. The members of this facility sought to reveal and control the Tuurngait, and the Tuurngait turned to me for salvation. The hive ran its tests on me – and I jumped through its hoops like the monkey it took me for.
But I am no monkey.
The Tuurngait was right – I am entirely unlike it: I had more in common with Clarence.
I promised I would send this email to you. I promised I would ask that you keep all humans from this place – for the sake of the Tuurngait, and for the human race. I lied.
If we are lucky, then by the time you read this, I will be dead.
If fate frowns, we all perish.
The North-Western Mine is located at reference N81.6914, W58.3154.
Kill them all.
- You cannot walk a thousand miles without taking the first step
- The heart says 'I want it', but logic says 'You cannot have it'. Eventually logic gives in, and imagination takes over.
- Truth is like a sculpture - one perspective is never enough for true understanding.
- A question can never truly be known - agnosticism is the only answer.
- A friend is no more loyal than a mercenary - you pay your debts with kindness.
- A puppy is not just for Christmas - it is also for when it is freshly rolled in its own faeces.
- Don't ask, don't get.
- Which is more likely: that the irrevocable laws of the universe have been broken, or that you are somehow mistaken in thinking them so?
- Truth is the consensus of opinion.
- Name: Eloff Carpenter. Rank: Elevated. Status: Code C, Imprisoned. We were so close, and yet following the release of the Tuurngait virus nine months ago, my personal security has at last been compromised. Yesterday, an unfamiliar survivor arrived in the next door cell. It seems unlikely I will see him again.
- My Name: Eloff Carpenter. Rank: What does it matter?
- They came for me in the cell, just as I was recording my findings. I felt sure it was over, my cyanide capsule was dud. And then, I came to, in this place. This Monolith. It's unlike anything we have found so far.
- Most people unquestioningly pursue what society tells them to pursue, a mindless herd. But then, there are those that think for themselves. Only these stubbornly logical minds could join the Elevated Caste. I questioned everything I thought I knew and felt prepared. But what use is that now in a place that defies all logic?
- My Name: Eloff Carpenter. Status: Code C, Confused.
- Archaic recommendation: Regardless of my own outcome, it now seems essential to me that this environment be documented to the fullest degree. I somehow doubt anyone capable of finding the entrance to this place will ever find the exit, but my responsibilities can not falter.
- Yet another strange phenomenon, I have a feeling like being watched, only less direct, as if someone where listing to my thoughts. Yes! That's right, I hear you there! Breathing, siphoning off my every notion like some perverted guardian angel! How are you in my head? WHERE are you? Show yourself!
- Madness, and madmen, that seems to be all this place holds. Tom Redwood, I remember that name from somewhere. He contacted me, on a radio I don't remember picking up, talking gibberish, threatening me. I would rather die than end up like him. Do you hear me ghosts? I won't let you take me alive!
- Where... where am I? Can you hear me... still? He promised me death, the madman, and I refused. My own life was the one thing I thought I could control. Do not make the same mistake as I, for I am trapped here. Eternal darkness!
Dr. Richard Eminiss
- Patient: Dr. Eminiss , Medical Examiner: Dr. Eminiss - Patient (that's me) reports disorientation and rash. I am infected; paranoia, oral distortion... did I say that already? Patient had the most exhilarating out of body experience. I... I escaped reality. I feel.... good. Confided findings in Dr. Swanson. There is a 79.55% probability it will lead to her death.
- Ah, Philip, it is I, your friend Dr. Eminiss! Where you expecting somebody else? I already know you will come to find me, but I invite you all the same. Infection, Philip, did not drive me insane as it did you. Oh yes, I know about Clarence. I bonded with the Tuurngait on a different plane. It has it's advantages. I know about you, about the universe, about god. But you know what else I know? I know what you did, I know you revealed the location of this facility!
- I recall your arrival Philip. I recall you blindly wandering into the computer room, seeking my knowledge, unable to digest it. And yet, I do not recall how it all ended. Where is this memory hiding?! Age of the Universe: 13.7 billion years, Intelligent Species: 103, Meaning of Life: Negligible. But my own past is a mystery!
- I'm so bored. I know you, this place, why Carpenter's Elevated came here. I know the expanse of the universe, the a priori nature of time. You could see it to, were you not wrapped up in your own humanity. Artistic expression, free will, batting around your comforting fictional concepts like a toddler with a tennis racket.
- Yes, that's much better. I say, though oft inconveniencing, there are certain abilities I have acquired in recent times that can be altogether rather useful. Regardless, I just wanted to check on you. You're really doing rather well for someone with only 90 minutes left to live. Of course, predetermined universe and all that, I already understand your outcome.
- Now my friend, our time is at an end. Time itself in fact has an end none to far in the future. At least for you. Perhaps someone else will take your hand and guide you the rest of the way.
- My congratulations dear boy, you arrived. You will find your escape now. Your friend is well chosen. Insanity, after all, "Is rare in individuals, only in humanity as whole is it the rule" - Nietzsche. I will remain here. This half place continues to be the only challenge to my knowledge. May you enjoy your fate Philip, what is left of it.
Tom "Red" Redwood
- Good day?
- Good day, can you hear me?
- Well, I hope that your ears...
- Good day, good day, can you hear me? There is no time!
- Ha, ha, ha... Ah, Red's humour has not faded, along with his pulse! The trick was played, and your mind flesh thought it was but another vinyl record! And yet it is I, Red, your faithful companion! Returned not just for Christmas, but wholesale for the foreseeable...
- ...Like a good apple pie, he crumbled to the floor, and that my friend is how I return to this place! A six foot tall and twisty tale, I am sure you will agree. Comparable in heroism only to the greatest rescue of all, that of Red by Philip!
- And yet, when last we met you cast away my advice as you might a freshly soiled child in need of a spanking! Why would you come to this place, when you had all the winged rat you could masticate, and Red's low maintenance subterranean empire to inherit! Why, WHY?!
- We are such good and lasting friends you and I that I can not stay, if the pun is pardonable, mad. It is because we are such good friends that I will not break you as I did the boring Eloff before. We shall escape this place, you and I! Either that or be locked here forever, personally I have little preference.
- Two minds are better than one they say, yet my half a mind is better than two! The mind boggles! Together, our one and a half minds could rule the world! Red would most likely settle for a quiet place to take a nap, you understand, but choosing is best kept for beggars.
- So soon unison will be upon us! There will be a banquet of rat, and the finest champagne! Hands will be padded and backs vigorously shook! This will most likely take place in old Red's mind, you understand, but glorious it will be all the same!
- Like the Eminiss I too am versed in the poetry of the mind, and I am well chosen indeed for there is some madness in my love and some reason in my madness. Yet I can not help but feel unprepared. The banquet is only half baked, the rats are only but partially squeezed, and you find me once more within this metal burning chamber. But the chamber, like the banquet, is of the mind. The only way out of it is within it. I have knocked on deaths door many times before, but the both of us will this time will be taking tea.
- It is only through pain that we know we are alive, and this time my friend, the pain must end. Would you return to the world from whence you came? Drowned in all the chitter chatter? For Red's answer is no, better to have a story and end it than never to realize it has begun.
- Thank you my friend! This is going to hurt.
- Warning: New Arrival Detected! Warning!
- Welcome, new arrival. You are the - forth - new arrival detected in the past - ten - hours. One further arrival detected - thirty two - hours ago.
- Keys detected one less than previously equals two.
- One key remaining, I repeat, one key remaining.
- Keys persisting in the environment: one.
- Level exit open, level exit open!
- Exit available, please exit the area before exit becomes compulsory!
- Key total equals exit sufficient.
- In the event of massive infection, Shelter and Archaic personnel are encouraged not to trust anyone but the elevated caste.
- In the event of massive infection, Shelter and Archaic personnel are encouraged not to trust anyone but Dr. Eminiss.
- The Archaic demands.... the Archaic demands.... Thank you Philip, the Archaic demands respect among its workers.
- Cog wheels are designed to fit around cog spokes. Once fitted, qualified personal - that's you - should operate the cog wheel button. You should probably get going.
- Player, your journey is almost at an end. Please don't leave me here alone.
- Oh god, no.
- Tom Jubert/Bram Floria as Philip Buchanon
- Bob Barnes as Eloff Carpenter
- Nancy C. Roberts as The Narrator
- Robert Pike Daniel as Clarence
- Emma Adam as Dr. Amabel Swanson
- Sam A. Mowry as Dr. Richard Eminiss
- Lani Minella, as Tuurngait Hive Mind
- Mike Hillard as Tom "Red" Redwood