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  • Gray Knox

The Leprous House





FOR AUTHORIZED EYES ONLY: CLASSIFIED TOP SECRET


OPERATION LEPROUS HOUSE:

Department of Defense, PARACOM Division

YOU'RE NOT SUPPOSED TO SEE THIS, NO SECRETS HERE

Operation Key:

> Task Force Alpha Mission Commander [REDACTED], [DESIGNATE MC]

MILTAC:

> Commander Anon Ymous, Alpha One [DESIGNATE alph.1]

> Corporal John Lance, Alpha Two [DESIGNATE alph.2]

> Corporal Mark Simmons, Alpha Three [DESIGNATE alph.3]

> Private John Doe, Alpha Four [DESIGNATE alph.4]

SCI-DIVISION:

> Doctor Leonard Rand [DESIGNATE sci.lr]


INTRODUCTION:

On the 29th of November, the Mount Vernon Police Department lost contact with one of their officers, John Tombs, as he was investigating a disturbance on 206 College Park Street, one of the residence halls at Kenyon College. A student, [REDACTED], called to report an intruder in the dormitory. Both campus security and police moved into the building around 8:00 PM. What follows is a transcript between Officer Tombs [DESIGNATE: le.jt] and the station operator [DESIGNATE: le.op]:

>[le.jt] Station, I’ve arrived at Old Kenyon Residence Hall. No sign of disturbance on the outside of the building.

>[le.op] Any indication that the building was broken into?

>[le.jt] Negative, front door doesn’t look tampered with...(Indecipherable; subject likely speaks with campus security officers). Campus Safety’s got the door open. We’re moving in.

(Sounds of footsteps, more indecipherable conversation)

>[le.jt] We’ve reached the caller's room. Door is open…

(More footsteps, more comments)

>[le.jt] No sign of caller. Room looks messy but no sign of a struggle.

(Brief pause)

Caller’s cell phone is on the floor. Screen is cracked. We’re going to search the halls. Have students been alerted?

>[le.op] Students are in lockdown. Doors locked, lights off.

>[le.jt] Roger. We’re splitting up to cover more ground.

(Radio is silent for two minutes and thirty three seconds)

>[le.jt] First floor is clear. No sign of the intruder. Any update on the caller?

>[le.op] Negative.

>[le.jt] Understood, continuing search. Moving to the second floor.

(Radio is silent for three minutes and twenty six seconds)

>[le.jt] Second floor is clear. No sign of disturbance. Moving to the third floor.

(Radio is silent for three minutes and twelve seconds)

>[le.jt] I’ve got a (static) request. Can you look up a building layout? I can’t find the stairwell.

>[le.op] You should be able to find it if you go to the end of the hall.

>[le.jt] I can’t find the end of the hall either.

>[le.op] What room number are you by?

>[le.jt] 2290.

>[le.op] Do you mean 229?

>[le.jt] No, (static) what it says. 2290.

>[le.op] Say again? You’re breaking up.

>[le.jt] I see (static, followed by feedback).

>[le.op] Officer Tombs?

(Static)

MILTAC RECON:

At 8:30 PM, contact was lost with both Officer Tombs and the campus security officers were sent into Old Kenyon. Efforts by the school to contact floor community advisors failed. The entire school was placed on emergency lockdown by 9:00 PM, and more officers from the Mount Vernon Police Department were dispatched to the campus. Agent Cover alerted PARACOM Division State Command, which relayed the report to headquarters in D.C. Task Force Alpha and Bravo were mobilized by 9:30 PM and arrived on campus under the cover of a Hostage Rescue Team. Alpha Team entered Old Kenyon with Dr. Leonard Rand, while Bravo Team remained outside as backup, and to provide objective analysis if Alpha were to encounter memetic hazards or other mind-altering phenomena. What follows is an audio/visual transcript between Mission Commander [Redacted] [DESIGNATE: MC] and Alpha Team. As video evidence is still being analyzed for memetic/visual hazards, written transcripts are all that can be shared at this time:

>[alph.1] ...running green from our end. Audio/visual link should be...Command, are you reading us?

>[MC] We read you Alpha One.

>[alph.1] Perimeter is secured and Bravo Team is on standby. We’re moving into anomaly zone.

>[MC] Understood, Alpha. Good hunting.

(Alpha Team moves in through the front entrance of Old Kenyon Residence Hall. No students or other persons are visible. Squad begins to clear the hallways. No anomalies are detected.)

>[alph.1] I’m opening one of the student dorms. (Alpha One attempts to open the door, but it appears locked). Stack up.

(Alpha Team stacks up at the door, Dr. Leonard Rand at the end. Alpha One kicks in the door and the squad moves in. Camera feed shows an empty room. No signs of a struggle.)

>[alph.1] Room’s empty.

(Alpha Team checks the next five rooms in the hall, all empty. Dr. Leonard Rand initiates a multi-frequency scan of each of them)

>[sci.lr] Not picking up any unusual readings. No abnormal psychic energy, no sterile neutrinos, no exotic matter. Just mold and dust mites.

>[alph.3] (Standing in the next room over) There’s a cup of coffee here, still warm. It’s like everyone just got up and left in the middle of whatever they were doing.

>[alph.4] Maybe a memetic hazard? Convinced everyone to get up and walk away?

>[alph.2] Can’t be, doors are still locked. And the police would’ve seen people leave.

>[alph.1] Stay focused, people. Move on to the next floor. And be on guard, that’s where the officer got lost.

(Alpha Team moves up the stairwell to the second floor. They clear the hallways and bathrooms. Half the lights are on and half are off, alternating. Three more dorm rooms are checked at random. All are empty.)

>[alph.1] Moving our way to the third floor.

(Alpha Team begins to move down the hallway. Three minutes pass and they have not reached the end, despite being less than 80 meters from the stairwell on the building plan. Alpha One takes notice and signals for the squad to stop.)

>[alph.1] Command, are you seeing this?

>[MC] Affirmative. You’ve moved beyond the spatial confines of the building.

>[sci.lr] It seems to be a non-Euclidean space. There’s no telling how far it goes.

(Alpha One deploys quadrotor drone. Drone travels forward uninterrupted for nearly seven minutes down the hall before it returns for retrieval. The team kick in a door, labeled 2344, and find a standard Old Kenyon Residence Hall double, only without furniture or personal belongings.)

>[sci.lr] Note for command, the dorm room has a musty smell to it, much stronger than anywhere else we’ve been in the building. Vitals show no change, but recommend a potential biohazard warning.

>[MC] Understood, we’ll have decontamination standing by when you exfil. Recommend you don hazard gear.

(Alpha Team equips respirators and seals their gloves/boots. Dr. Leonard Rand begins passive scans for biological contaminants. Traces of simple mold spores are found)

>[alph.1] Command, we’re gonna try to double back, see if that breaks the spatial anomaly.

(Alpha Team turns the other direction and walks forward, Alpha One and Two at the front, Dr. Leonard Rand in the middle, and Three and Four in the rear. The stairwell comes into view almost immediately)

>[alph.1] Command, we’ve left the influence of the spatial anomaly.

>[alph.2] Shit, I was worried we would be trapped in a loop or something.

>[sci.lr] Don’t think we’re out of anything yet.

(Alpha One opens the stairwell door. The stairs to the third floor have been replaced by a white painted brick wall. The stairway down is open.)

>[alph.1] Scratch that. Anomaly still in effect.

>[MC] Confirmed, Alpha One. We’re having a hard time pinning down your location. Try to find your way back down to the first floor.

>[alph.1] Affirmative, moving out.

(The team moves down the stairwell. Instead of finding the doorway to the first floor, there is another wall. The team continues to move down. The stairwell continues to loop downwards for three more floors.)

>[sci.lr] Scanner is picking up something. More mold spores. Can’t tell what kind.

>[alph.4] Good thing we got masks. Thanks for warning us earlier, doc.

(Microphones are disrupted as Alpha 3 discharges three rounds at the upper stairwell)

>[alph.3] (Panicked screaming)

>[alph.4] Jesus Christ!

>[alph.1] Alpha Three, check your fire!

>[alph.3] He was right there!

>[alph.1] Simmons, calm down.

>[alph.3] Sir, there was someone...something following us. Watching us...I think it’s gone now. But it was there!*

*[Reviewed footage shows a humanoid silhouette standing in the spot where Alpha Three fired. Target vanishes almost the moment it comes into frame. Due to potential infohazards, no images are attached to this report.]

>[alph.1] Command, we have a potentially hostile entity within the zone. Recommend we have a Spectral Unit on standby.

>[MC] Noted, Commander. Get your team out of there.

(Team continues down the stairs. Alpha Four assists Alpha Three in watching the upper stairwell. The lights grow noticeably dimmer as the team descends. MILTAC members eventually switch on their rifle flashlights. Stairway ends after three more floors and opens up to a pitch-black hallway.)

>[alph.4] The hell is this?

>[alph.2] Basement, I guess.

>[alph.3] I don’t like the look of this. We should head back.

>[alph.1] Only way out is through. Move out, people.

(Alpha Team moves into the hallway. What can be seen of the carpet and concrete walls darkens as they move further inside.)

>[alph.2] Good God, what the hell is this stuff?

(Dr. Rand inspects the wall, which appears to be covered in a thick layer of wet, black growth.)

>[sci.lr] Same as the readings before. Some kind of mold. Air is swimming with spores.

>[alph.1] Are we in any immediate danger?

>[sci.lr] We’ll be fine if we keep our gear on. Estimate an hour until we need to change filters.

(Team continues forward. Vital monitors show an elevated heart rate in Alpha Three.)

>[alph.3] I have seen something that looks like a mark of leprosy in my house…

>[alph.4] What?

(Alpha 3 is silent.)

>[alph.1] Doctor, I need you to take a look at this.

(Alpha 1 gestures to a large swelling of mold on the wall. Dr. Rand moves to the front of the formation and begins scanning)

>[sci.lr] There’s something inside. Could you open it up?

(Alpha One draws his combat knife and cuts down the length of the swell. Dr. Rand leans over the opening.)

>[sci.lr] Oh my God…Commander, get your light on here.

>[alph.2] What is it?

>[alph.1] Command, this is Alpha One. We’ve located one of the missing students.

(Alpha One adjusts helmet camera to show the inside of the pod. A student, identified later as [REDACTED], is covered in what is theorized to be black mycelium, which has visibly burrowed under the skin. The subject is emaciated and does not react to any stimuli.)

>[alph.2] Sir, there’s more.

(Alpha 2 shines his light down the hallway. More pods line the walls. A definite count cannot be made, but PARACOM analysts estimate the number of pods roughly matches the number of students reported to be present in the dorm building on the night of November 29.)

>[alph.1] Command, we need an emergency Biohazard Unit on site, stat. Can you get a fix on our location?

>[MC] We’re reading you, but we can’t locate you. You need to find a way out of the building.

>[alph.3] I don’t think it’s gonna let us out…

>[alph.4] Keep calm, Mark.

>[alph.3] If the mark has spread, it is malignant. The house is unclean…*

>[alph.4] The fuck you talking about, man?

*[Corporal Mark Simmons is roughly quoting Old Testament scripture, specifically Leviticus 14:33-45. Ecclesiastical units are continuing to analyze footage for further connections.]

>[alph.3] It’s not gonna let us leave…

>[alph.1] Corporal, calm down, and --- fuck, the hell is this?

>[alph.2] Commander?

>[alph.1] I can’t move my feet.

>[alph.2] Shit, shit, shit, shit, shit…

>[alph.3] It’s not gonna let us leave!

>[alph.1] My feet are stuck! I can’t fucking move!

>[alph.2] Fuck, it’s got me too!

(Alpha One aims his rifle at the floor. Flashlight briefly illuminates thick mycelial coils wrapped around his calves. He fires two rounds into the mass, to no visible effect. Camera shifts back to the pod. The pod that held the student has re-formed, and Dr. Rand is seen enveloped by tendrils into the wall)

>[alph.1] Dr. Rand is down! Repeat, Dr. Rand is down!

>[alph.4] Sir, it’s coming towards me!

>[alph.1] Four, if you’re free, double back, bring reinforcements! That’s an order!

>[alph.4] Yes sir!

(Alpha Four turns back towards the stairwell. He makes it twelve feet before his feed suddenly cuts out. Reviewed footage briefly shows a humanoid figure moving towards him before connection is lost.)

>[alph.3] It was never going to let us leave…

>[alph.2] Simmons, for the love of God, shut the fuck up! (Brief pause) What are you doing?

(Alpha Three draws an AN-M14 thermite grenade from his carrier and pulls the pin.)

>[alph.2] What the fuck are you...

(Grenade detonates. Contact is lost with Alpha Team as their feeds cut out.)


CONCLUSION:

Following MILTAC recon, the Old Kenyon Residence Hall burned down in a matter of minutes. Biohazard units cooperated with the local fire department to ensure that none of the mold [DESIGNATE LEP-20] escaped containment. Investigation of the wreckage showed no continuity of the spatial anomaly, nor any traces of LEP-20. It is theorized that the detonation of the incendiary device by Corporal Mark Simmons started the fire that burned through the LEP-20 growth present in the basement. The official story that the explosion was caused by a serial arsonist is a cover, with the arsonist being portrayed by crisis actor Noel Paddock. No conclusions have been made, though the fire of February 27th, 1949 is being investigated as a potential precursor event. New information will be made available when possible.

END REPORT