A monster loose, a unknown victim, a path forward...
Malevolent follows Arkham Investigator Arthur Lester as he unravels the mysterious circumstances that have befallen him.
This second part brings Arthur towards a mysterious girl and sets him on a path to finding her... though that path may be a dark and treacherous one. If you enjoyed this story, become a Patreon supporter to receive all Chapters as they are completed as well as the choices that you, the listener, get to make. Find out more here: https://www.patreon.com/TheINVICTUSStream
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PART TWO - THE MISSING GIRL
Original transcript by: Carley McConnell and Jack! Reviewed by Teakettle.
(BEGIN Part 2.)
ARTHUR(sighing):A creature like that does need to be stopped. If whatever was down there was released onto the world above, then we need to do something about it. However, we are making major speculations here.
ENTITY:What do you mean?
ARTHUR:Look, I’ve gotten caught up in this to a degree so far, as to make assumptions that I have no proof on because… well, frankly I’m scared.
ARTHUR:That there was even a creature here, that it was let out, that it was the same one that killed Emily MacFarland… look, I’m not saying that... that may or may not be the case but we need to keep our heads about us.
ENTITY:Our head. Singular.
ARTHUR:Right. And while you may not remember who or what you are, I am an investigator which means using the evidence we know to find out what we don’t.
ENTITY:You want to go to the library.
ARTHUR:Yes, there is much we can find out.
ARTHUR:Well, um. We can look up this name; Shub-Niggurath, and learn all we can about it, we can ask the librarian about this book… we can even look up the address of this house in the library’s newspaper records…
ENTITY:Finding out who lived here is an excellent idea.
ARTHUR:Yes, there is much we can do if we take a moment to consider what we already know.
ENTITY:Fair enough, Arthur. Let’s head to the library.
(Thunder rolls. Arthur steps.)
ARTHUR:Alright. Look, this isn’t to say that we need to forget what we’re gathering here. If there is a creature out there, we do need to stop it. Especially one with such raw power as to cleave a bone in half.
ENTITY:Is that what happened to Emily?
ARTHUR:I don’t know, I’d have to ask but… I do recall them saying she was dismembered in a visceral fashion. They implied the bones were cut through.
ENTITY:Arthur, as I said, there are creatures you cannot fathom. Finding this thing alone will be difficult.
ARTHUR:Which is why the library is a good first step and… who knows…
ENTITY:Maybe the creature will find us first.
ARTHUR:W-why do you say that?
ENTITY:Arthur, think about it. If what we’re assuming is correct, this creature lay dormant in this cavern for almost 10 years. Once it was let out, it didn’t attack the girl. It followed her, followed the book, and then waited?
ARTHUR:That doesn’t seem very likely.
ENTITY:Maybe, maybe not, whatever the case – if everything we’re assuming is correct, a creature like that would have to be intelligent.
ARTHUR:Very much so.
ENTITY:What of the other bodies?
ARTHUR:I-I don’t know, maybe members of this religion… worshippers of… Shub-Niggurath?
ENTITY:That killed each other?
ARTHUR:Well, you said only one was killed by the other…
ENTITY:Yes, but they were still clearly engaged.
ARTHUR:I don’t know what to make of it yet… perhaps something went wrong… something that involved the creature?
ENTITY:Perhaps. That archway, behind them, it led nowhere.
ARTHUR:Yes, I remember you describing that… it’s tough for me to visualize, really.
ENTITY:It was just a stone archway; I believe that it may have been used as a gateway.
ARTHUR:You said it led nowhere?
ENTITY:Arthur, this Dark World I came from. It’s not something you travel to in a taxi.
ARTHUR:Oh, speaking of… (He steps.)
ENTITY:Yes. You’re almost at the street. If you signal now, you’ll catch a taxi. He’s rolling down the passenger side window.
(Arthur opens the taxi door.)
ENTITY:He’s nodded and started the fare.
(The taxi drives off.)
ARTHUR:Alright, well. I’m all ears. Tell me.
ENTITY:It is a world that can only be accessed by a gateway or a portal.
ARTHUR:So you think this religious sect had opened a gateway?
ENTITY:Yes, and what’s more…
ARTHUR:Brought something through…
ARTHUR:This would imply that your book was in fact laying on that podium. If the girl broke in and found the book there… that book you were in…
ENTITY:Then maybe this cult brought me through that gateway themselves.
(Arthur exhales shakily.)
ARTHUR:Yes, um, well, this beckons the question once again… who are you to have a religious cult open a gateway to another world just to bring you through?
ENTITY(hesitating): I don’t… know. Look, let’s just focus on the task at hand.
ARTHUR:I continually brush off the very real and serious concern that you may be something more sinister and you seem quite okay with that. I don’t know exactly what you are –
ENTITY:There is nothing either of us can do about that now. I have your eyes, still.
ARTHUR:Well, then… let’s just hope for the best.
(Arthur exits the taxi. The taxi drives off.)
ARTHUR:Miskatonic University. This library is one of the finest, especially for older books and rarities. (The Entity hums in acknowledgement.)I believe the librarian may be of particular help, I met him once at a city hall fundraiser. I hope he remembers me.
ENTITY:The door is to your right, Arthur. There are people out and about so try not to make it seem too much like you can’t see.
(Arthur opens the library door and enters. He shuts it behind him and steps into the library.)
ENTITY:So we are gathering that my book was on that podium for sure, then?
ARTHUR:It’s a thin justification, I grant you, but right now based on the symbols on the book and the symbol on the cult wall, it’s an educated guess.
ENTITY:Which means she entered that chamber and took the book. We don’t know why she did that.
ARTHUR:No, but if she did, we know where she ended up – at JD Ackerman’s Rare Bookstore.
ENTITY:Why take the book just to give it away?
ARTHUR:Maybe she sold it.
ENTITY:But I didn’t see any sale or purchase of the book in his records…
ARTHUR:That’s right. Maybe she trusted JD or maybe she got it for him?
ENTITY:Or maybe the creature was hunting her for it back. (ARTHUR:What do...?) There’s a man at the counter.
ARTHUR (quietly):Hello, I was wondering if you could help us?
ENTITY:Why are you whispering?
ENTITY:It’s just you, Arthur, remember?
ARTHUR:Sorry, I misspoke.
ENTITY:He’s smiling kindly.
ARTHUR:I’m looking for information on a religious sect. It’s a name I haven’t really heard before.
ENTITY:His face has gotten serious.
ARTHUR:Yes. Mr. Armitage, right?
ARTHUR:Yes. Good memory.
ARTHUR:Well, it, um, pertains to a case I’m working on currently.
ENTITY:He’s looking around to ensure no one is watching.
ARTHUR:I’m, I'm not sure what you mean, I…?
(Ominous music starts to rise.)
ENTITY:He’s trying to scare us.
ENTITY:We’re not buying it, Arthur. Don’t listen to him.
ARTHUR:Mr. Armitage, I respect your position and if you wish not to share with us, then I cannot force you, but I ask you, please, any information you have on Shub-Niggurath and its followers would be very much appreciated.
ARTHUR:Thank you. I, I want to look up something else in the old newspaper records, anyway, so that will take some time.
ARTHUR:Thank you again, Mr. Armitage, thank you very much.
(Armitage walks away)
ARTHUR:Why do you suppose he’s so wary of sharing?
ENTITY:Because you are playing in the world of the unknown, Arthur. Things that can bend and break your mind.
ARTHUR:Should we not be finding things out then?
ENTITY:No. We have to.
ARTHUR:Right, well. Do you see which direction the newspaper records would be in?
ENTITY(sighing):Yes, head to your right and run your left hand along the wall. Yeah, that direction.
ARTHUR:58 Pelican Lane is the address. We’ll have to look for any newspapers that might have that in it.
ENTITY:Well, then, might as well start. There’s some drawers to the left of you. Open one and start searching.
(Arthur opens a drawer and starts rifling through it.)
ARTHUR:Anything pertaining to odd sightings? Bizarre –
ENTITY:Nothing. I don’t see anything about 58 Pelican Lane at all. This drawer’s a dud, just try the one next to it.
(Arthur closes the drawer.)
(Arthur opens the drawer.)
ARTHUR:Right. Just try Pelican Lane, not the address itself.
ARTHUR:Again, look for disturbances, odd complaints, noises…
ENTITY:There’s an article here about a missing girl.
(A soft piano tune plays.)
ARTHUR:What does it say?
ENTITY:The headline reads “Amanda Cummings Found”
ARTHUR:Amanda Cummings… where have I…?
ENTITY(reading):Amanda Cummings, reported missing since July 17th, was found walking north of the city in the Pelican Lane area, local authorities say she refused to talk… police report filed, uh...
ENTITY:No, this newspaper is dated almost 10 years ago.
ARTHUR:How… hold on… wait a minute… Cummings, that’s the same as Roland Cummings: the PI who owned our apartment first, the one that Ackerman meant to send the book to…
ENTITY:Police chose not to speculate but heavily implied she was held captive… was found with another girl who was unnamed…
ARTHUR:A second girl?
ENTITY:Yes, it seems like two girls were found – one, Amanda Cummings has been reported missing, the other… no identification, no name given, they just say she was an immigrant of some sort.
ARTHUR:Does it say anything else?
ARTHUR:It mentioned a police report, yes?
ARTHUR:Well, anything additional would most certainly be in the police records, they’re sealed but we may be able to buy our way in…
ENTITY:So, as I understand it, the book was sent to the father of this missing girl?
ARTHUR (laughing breathlessly):Well, we’d have to verify it, but that’s either a remarkable coincidence, or…
ENTITY:I don’t think that any of this is a coincidence, Arthur.
ARTHUR:What does it all mean, though?
ENTITY:Well, we are making assumptions. At least some. Like Emily took the book from the abandoned house.
ARTHUR:Right, but the facts that we know are this: that two girls were found wandering the streets near the abandoned house, they refused to talk to the authorities and the press, years later a book is presumably taken from that same house and after the person who took it dies… it is sent to the father of one of these two girls. Or at least who Ackerman thought was the father.
ENTITY: It's starting to make a story, but I don’t know what it means.
ARTHUR:Maybe some context will help. Reading that police report is an important step.
ENTITY:Reading this book from Mr. Armitage is as well.
ARTHUR:Is that him approaching?
ENTITY:I see where he’s pointing. I’ll guide you there after.
ARTHUR:Again, thank you very much, Mr. Armitage.
(Mr. Armitage steps away.)
ARTHUR:Is this a wise idea?
ENTITY:Wise? Yes. Smart? I’m not so sure.
ENTITY:Head forward and then make a sharp right turn. (Arthur starts to walk.)The door is straight back. Just – run your hand along the shelf to guide you. Here.
(Arthur opens a door and shuts it behind him. He continues to walk into the room.)
ENTITY:This is a fairly plain-looking office, at first glance, however, the more I study it, the more interesting this Armitage character becomes.
ENTITY:His walls are replete with odd knick-knacks and bizarre tapestries. One looks to depict a calendar of sorts.
ENTITY:It’s a language I’ve never seen. (Arthur hums.) This simple leather chair is well-worn; I can almost see the numerous hours he’s spent poring over these books. In the corner, a shelf is built into the wall and an assortment of colorful and interesting objects lay in.
ARTHUR:Anything that jumps out?
ENTITY:Not particularly, but this seems to be a man who yearns to travel. It looks like the book is on his desk on the far side of the room. Straight ahead.
(Arthur steps and slides something wooden. A chair squeaks.)
ARTHUR:So, what does the book look like?
ENTITY:It’s well worn. The binding has cracks all over it and looks like it’s been in… sand, maybe?
ARTHUR:I wonder where Mr. Armitage found this.
ENTITY:It doesn’t have any symbols on the cover.
ARTHUR:Well, shall I open it?
ARTHUR: Okay. (Arthur opens the book.)
ENTITY(in a mixture of surprise and confusion):Oh.
ENTITY:The pages, they’re thick as if… not paper. It’s all handwritten. There are images along with the words, bizarre creatures…
ARTHUR:Do you recognize any of them?
ENTITY:No. I don’t… I don’t think so…
(Arthur continues to turn the pages.)
ENTITY:There, stop. The symbol. It’s here.
ARTHUR:Is there writing?
ARTHUR:Read it aloud.
ENTITY (as static rises):“Shub-Niggurath! Praise and abundance to the Black Goat of the Woods. Iä! Shub-Niggurath! Iä! Shub-Niggurath! The Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young! She is Lord of the Wood and mother to us.”
(Whispers begin in the background. Thunder rolls.)
ENTITY:It looks like most of this is in a language I don’t understand, but there are notes on the pages written in… English?
ENTITY:I don’t think so… it looks very old.
ARTHUR:And what does it say?
ENTITY:It looks like part translation of the text, part description. Also, perhaps personal thoughts in here. It’s clear whoever wrote this never intended anyone to read it. It reads part diary, part transcript.
ARTHUR:Well, read it.
(Reading.) “The Great Old One, Shub-Niggurath, unstoppable and terrifying beyond comprehension. I have seen her with my own eyes. Her enormous, cloudy mass roils and festers, parts of the mist coalescing at times to form ropy tentacles, slime-dripping maws, or writhing hoof-tipped legs. Then it seems to slip into diary in the same breath:
I have returned from the Dreamlands with witness. The swollen buds that sprout from her side and split from her. Her offspring. I shall call them her Dark Young. These lesser beings, these are what I’ve heard, the one in England… Goatswood.
Their presence in this world, done by her followers, weakens the fold, I’m sure of it. I must return to England and destroy the dark young they have brought.”
ARTHUR:Do you think it was this Dark Young that killed Emily?
ENTITY:We have no way of knowing. It seems like he was successful in at least finding the Dark Young, he’s made some notes about them. (Reading.) “Leg Articulation: Trunk and legs of about 8 feet, and an overall height of some 20-25 feet with tentacles extended. Specimens upwards of 70 feet have been encountered, though not by myself. A Dark Young’s leg retracts as the creature steps forward. As the foot is lowered, it also expands laterally to take the entity’s weight.
Typically dendroid, a Dark Young has several stout, hoof-like legs supporting a thick body marred by gaping maws dripping goo. They tend to hide in dense populated woods.” There’s an image with a description under it and a notation on a spot where the creature is.
ARTHUR:On the spot? I’m not sure what you mean.
ENTITY:He’s indicated a point on the creature within its maw.
ARTHUR:Do you think it could be a weak point, perhaps? If he’s hunted and killed one of these things, then…
ENTITY:It’s possible. Yes. There is also... under the symbol… on this page. There is something written in a language I don’t recognize.
ARTHUR:Still in his hand?
ENTITY:No. No… Should I read it?
ARTHUR:We’ve come this far. Might as well see what we can find.
ENTITY:It is a depiction of… this Black Goat.
ARTHUR(quickly): Or maybe it’s not such a great idea, actually…
ENTITY(dark, growling): “M’rah Tsar Lort K’narrr…”
ARTHUR(in pain):Ugh. I can… I can see it...
(The Entity continues chanting.)
ARTHUR:I can feel the words… (Quickly, alarmed.) Shut the book, shut the book!
(Arthur shuts the book. The Entity continues to growl.)
ARTHUR(in pain):I could feel... I could feel the words… I could see him. I could see the Black Goat. (The Entity growls.) It’s a herald... a herald of this creature. I don’t think we should have read that... Are you there?
ARTHUR:How do you feel?
ENTITY (normally):Fine, Arthur.
ARTHUR:Right. We cannot... If this Dark Young has entered this world. Especially if it weakens the fold between the worlds. This is something we have to stop.
ENTITY:And how do you suggest we do that?
ARTHUR:Well, we won’t know anything until we head to the police station and read these files. We need to find out how this girl was murdered and if it was, in fact, one of these Dark Young.
ENTITY:You’re not a policeman, Arthur.
ARTHUR:I have contacts that…
ENTITY:That would share with you files only meant to be seen by the police.
ARTHUR:Maybe… maybe not.
ENTITY:I suggest we find where this Cummings girl lived. Find out more about her and her parents – this is no longer a coincidence. Following up on Cummings could reveal who the other girl was, where Roland went to, and how Ackerman knew him. It tells us more about the book, as well.
ARTHUR(sighing):I suppose you’re right. We should try to stay away from police, in any case.
It’s clear that Amanda was missing and with the connection to JD Ackerman that her father had…
ENTITY:It’s a place to start, for sure. How do you plan on going about finding her?
ARTHUR:I could check the telephone book, but, uh…
ARTHUR:Well, not only could it be a common name... I gather that she won’t be easy to find.
ENTITY:Why do you think that?
ARTHUR:Well, based on the article’s implication and how and where she was found, I am making the educated guess that she was a captive in that house…
ENTITY:It would stand to reason, after all you mentioned previous that Roland Cummings had supposedly abandoned his lease because he had to leave town.
ARTHUR:Right. Unless her captors were all killed, I imagine they would have pursued her.
ENTITY:Well then, how do you suppose we find her?
ARTHUR:Well… I do remember a few old files I put away in the basement storage at the office. Personal mail and things like that. I’m sure his address would be there.
ENTITY:What makes you think they’re still at the address?
ARTHUR:I don’t, but it’s a start. We can ask neighbors, see if there is anyone around that knew him...
ENTITY:Well then, back to the office I suppose.
(Arthur slides something wooden and exits the library.)
ARTHUR:I must say that since reading that book, I’ve felt a bit…
ARTHUR:Yes, in a way, as if my mind has been… severed a bit. Like a wound.
ENTITY:Yes. I feel it too.
ARTHUR:What do you suppose it means?
ENTITY:Exactly what Armitage warned you of.
ARTHUR:That’s fair. Should we say goodbye?
ENTITY:We don’t have time for that. Besides I doubt he’d really mind. (Arthur exits through a door. Outside, it’s raining.)Looks like the rain has finally come.
ENTITY:The street is just to your left. (Arthur walks.)There’s something I’ve been thinking about.
ARTHUR:Well, let’s hear it.
ENTITY:The abandoned house looked untouched. Why do you suppose the house was never searched after Amanda Cummings showed up. Don’t you think she would have led the police to it?
ARTHUR:I’ve been wondering that myself.
ENTITY:Perhaps her father knew something. Ope, stop. Curb is right before you. Wave down this taxi.
(Taxi approaches. Arthur gets in.)
ARTHUR:13 Mosby Avenue.
(The taxi pulls away.)
ENTITY:Presumably this girl was taken by the Cult. 10 years later, her father is sent a book of that same cult.
ARTHUR:It could be something he began to dive into after she was returned. Something he tried to uncover as she told him things about…
ENTITY:Perhaps. Perhaps she was taken because he began diving too deeply into the cult.
ARTHUR:You think her kidnapping could have been a response to Roland getting too close to something?
ENTITY:It could be. Maybe he got the message and dropped it altogether. That place was, after all, abandoned.
ARTHUR:There are a lot of assumptions here.
ENTITY:Yes, well, let’s just start with what hard evidence there is. Let’s find and speak with Amanada Cummings and get her word on all of this. (Pause.) Looks like we’re near your office.
ARTHUR:Grand. Alright, well, what we can do – ?
ENTITY:Arthur, there are police outside the building.
(Suspenseful music starts to play.)
ARTHUR:Oh. (He breathes quickly.) Wh-what, hold on, what are they doing?
ENTITY(sighing): They are wheeling out a body, Arthur.
ARTHUR:Oh, fuck. Damn. Shit. Fuck.
ARTHUR:Fuck. W-w-what do we do?
ENTITY:We calm down.
ARTHUR:How can we calm down… th-they’ve just found my partner… they’ve found his body… oh, fuck.
ENTITY:They haven’t found you. Compose yourself, Arthur.
ARTHUR:I don’t know that I can... I-I…
ENTITY:Look. Is there another way into the building other than the front?
ARTHUR(upset):Are you mad, we’re not going in there? We have to find –
ENTITY:Arthur! All this has done is put a timeline on us. If we are to find the Cummings girl, then we need to find her quickly. There is nothing to say that they are looking for you. For all they know, someone broke into your apartment and killed your partner.
ENTITY:You are an investigator. You make enemies.
ARTHUR:N-no, there’s no way...
ENTITY:Yes, there is. Now get out of this taxi. The man is starting to look at you strangely. Pay him and step out.
(Arthur gives the man some coins and leaves the taxi. The taxi drives off. Arthur breathes shakily.)
ENTITY:Now listen, Arthur. There is one uniformed officer outside the building leaning on an automobile; he’s looking down the street. This is no manhunt.
ARTHUR:There are no more police? That’s just it?
ENTITY:No. I’d imagine that they’ve only just found him, which means they are either combing your office – (ARTHUR:Fuck!) Or have sent for backup – either way the time to act is now. Is there another way into the basement?
ARTHUR:Y-yes, yes. Yes, there is. The alleyway has a side entrance that leads directly to the basement storage.
ENTITY:Then all you have to do is sneak past the officer outside and move quickly.
ARTHUR:No, no, no. Listen, listen. No.
ENTITY(fiercely):No, you listen! Everything boils down to Cummings right now. You said it yourself. Old files may be the only link we have to finding their last known address aside from the police station. Since that is the last place we want to be right now – this is our only choice. Now cross that street and do what I say!
(Amidst rain and thunder, Arthur crosses the street. He still breathes shakily. He steps in a puddle.)
ENTITY:Good. You’re almost at the curb. Good. Stop!(ARTHUR:What?) Wait! Don’t move!
ARTHUR:Should I crouch, or...?
ENTITY:Just… take a half step back. (ARTHUR:Okay.) Now, wait. Okay. Go, now. Now!
(Arthur walks. He occasionally steps in puddles.)
ENTITY:There. You’re in the alley now. Easy as pie.
ARTHUR:My heart is racing.
ENTITY:Where is the door?
ARTHUR:It’s down along the right side.
ENTITY:I see it. I assume you have a key?
ARTHUR:Yes, of course.
ENTITY:Watch your step.
(Arthur stumbles and splashes into a puddle.)
ARTHUR:Damn, I forgot the stair there.
ENTITY:Let’s be quick.
(Arthur steps inside the building.)
ARTHUR:Right, there should be a number…
ENTITY:Yes, there are cages on the wall.
ARTHUR:Yes, but a number. One of them will be our office. 76. See any...?
(Arthur unlocks the cage.)
ARTHUR:There are a number of boxes. I put things labelled.
ENTITY:Yes, I see them.
ARTHUR:Perfect. One of them should say Cummings, maybe?
ENTITY:There. From the back.
ENTITY:No, put your – yes.
ARTHUR(fumbling through paper):Alright. This feels like mail. Is this mail?
ENTITY:It looks like it. The name on it – Delphine Cummings.
ARTHUR:I, I don’t know it. Might be his wife, but…
ARTHUR:Brilliant. I don’t know it, but let’s get out of here.
(Suspenseful music plays as Arthur gets punched. He lets out a grunt of pain.)
ENTITY:It’s Eddie. He’s coming in towards you.
EDDIE:I fucking told you – (ARTHUR:Fuck!) You better hope I don’t see you again.
ARTHUR:Eddie, I’m sorry. Listen, it was a –
(Arthur is punched again. He lets out another grunt of pain.)
(Another punch. Another grunt of pain.)
ENTITY:Fight back, Arthur.
(Another punch. Another grunt of pain.)
(Another punch. Another grunt of pain.)
(Another punch. Another grunt of pain. Someone spits. Entity growls, a low ominous sound.)
ARTHUR:Don’t you fucking dare – !
ENTITY:Kill him, Arthur.
EDDIE:Piece of shit, I’ll fuck you up.
(Another punch. Another grunt of pain.)
ENTITY:Arthur, kill him. (He growls.)Arthur, kill him!Kill him! Arthur…
(Another punch. Another grunt of pain. A gunshot.)
(Another gunshot. Eddie grunts and gurgles.)
ARTHUR:I – Wait… what? I can’t – what’s wrong with my hand?(The Entity hisses.)Stop – wait, what are you doing? Let go of his throat.
ENTITY (lower pitched, slowly):He needs to die. (Eddie continues to choke as suspenseful music rises. Arthur breathes shakily. Eventually, Eddie stops making noise.)We need to move. Now.
ARTHUR:What the fuck is happening?
ARTHUR:My… my left hand... I can’t feel it…
ENTITY:No, but I can.
ENTITY:This has taken an interesting turn.
ARTHUR(thick voice):You have taken control of my… my hand.
ENTITY:We need to move.
ARTHUR:W-what… I – ?
ENTITY:No. That way.
ARTHUR:N-no, I, I...
ENTITY:Arthur. Arthur! Relax. There is blood on my hand and yours. We need to clean ourselves, quickly. There’s a puddle to your left. Crouch down.
(Arthur splashes water on his hands.)
ENTITY:Better, but we need to move. Now. Undoubtedly the police have heard those gunshots.
ARTHUR:What the fuck is going on? I, I don’t understand.
ENTITY:You know exactly what’s going on, Arthur. I’m gaining control.
ARTHUR:But, but how? W-why?
ENTITY:Why? Why not? I have your eyes… maybe I have something else?
ARTHUR:Wh-where is the street?
ENTITY:A few feet away.
ARTHUR:Taxi! (A taxi approaches.)86 Townline and hurry. Please.
(The taxi drives off after Arthur gets in.)
ARTHUR:You,you’re… you’re taking control?
ENTITY:I suppose so, Arthur. I can feel your left hand now – (Arthur:Oh, god.) Maybe as far up as the elbow and… yes! I can move it.
ARTHUR:Why did you choke Eddie? Y-you killed him.
ENTITY:Why? You wanted him dead. I could feel it. I did what you couldn’t. (Arthur:I…) You shot him twice, but he was still breathing. I just ensured your desire.
ARTHUR:I can’t believe this is happening. I can’t…
ENTITY:Believe it. (Arthur sniffs.)Look, Arthur, I don’t actually want to take control of your body… but if we can’t get me another one, then yours will have to do. That being said, my desire is still to find a new one. So let us focus. We’re here.
(Arthur pays the taxi driver and gets out. The taxi drives off.)
ARTHUR:W-What does the house look like?
ENTITY:It’s tucked away on a small street, looks like we’re outside of Arkham. There's no cars in the driveway.
ARTHUR:I have an uneasy feeling about all this.
ENTITY:There’s a mailbox but the name on it looks scratched out. (Arthur steps. Wood creaks. The Entity sighs.) No one is here.
ARTHUR:How do you mean?
ENTITY:Arthur, the house looks abandoned. It looks like they’ve moved years ago. This is a dead end.
ENTITY:Arthur, get up. Arthur! (He growls.)Arthur! (He sighs, and then more gently.)Arthur. Why are you sitting on the porch?
ARTHUR:There is something – moving beyond this world and I cannot for the life of me grab ahold of what it is. I am so… tired of having pieces to a puzzle that I cannot seem to comprehend. Girls taken, cults that seemingly no longer act, missing people and the ever-present sense of dread on the air. It has no witnessable end! And I have you. A voice in my head and now a captor of my eyes and arm, guiding… controlling me blindly on this path. I am tired of being a hostage and I am frustrated and I am unsure of what to do next. That is why I am going to sit here on this fucking porch.
(Thunder rolls. Rain pours.)
NEIGHBOR:Everything alright there, friend?
ENTITY:Seems like you’ve drawn the attention of a neighbor.
ARTHUR:Yes. Sorry, just…
ENTITY:He’s talking to you from the porch next door.
ARTHUR:I just was looking for an old family friend. I thought they lived here.
NEIGHBOR:Cummings family, yeah?
NEIGHBOR:I’m sorry, friend, they passed on a number of years ago. Terrible thing that happened.
ARTHUR:Why was that?
NEIGHBOR:Oh… people started wondering where the family went, people were called, they ended up heading inside the house. Found the missus…
ARTHUR:What on earth happened to her?
NEIGHBOR:It’s not proper but… let’s just say they found her in the basement in the freezer.
ARTHUR:And the husband?
NEIGHBOR:Ah, Mr. Roland never came back – assumed he did it – some say he went up to Canada. Never seemed the type to hurt, though.
ARTHUR:And the daughter?
NEIGHBOR:Dangdest thing – she showed up a few weeks later. Poor girl, both parents gone. She ended up living with some family.
ARTHUR:Where is she now?
NEIGHBOR:Harper’s Hill? Small town a few hours north of here.
ARTHUR:Thank you. Thank you very much.
NEIGHBOR:Of course, were you close?
NEIGHBOR:Well, you see her, give her my best.
ENTITY(smug):Well, Arthur. Still ready to give up?
ARTHUR:Well, that was…
ENTITY:Unexpected. (ARTHUR: yeah.) Seems like not all is lost after all, Arthur.
ARTHUR:Well, how do you suppose we head to someone hours away?
ENTITY:Do you not own a car?
ARTHUR:We did, yes.
ENTITY:Well, I now have control of your arm and your eyes. Between you managing your feet, I think we can manage to drive.
ENTITY:Arthur. I mean it sincerely. I don’t want your body. I did not take control of it by choice. We need to stay focused and on task. Okay?
ENTITY:Good. Now, where do you keep your car?
ARTHUR:In a lot near the office.
ENTITY:Then let’s head back there now and leave the city before any more police show up.
ARTHUR:Alright. (He steps off the porch.)
ENTITY:The street’s just ahead. There’s a taxi just down the way. If you hold your hand up… perfect.
(A taxi approaches.)
(The taxi drives off after Arthur gets in.)
ARTHUR:If we can’t find you a new body…
ARTHUR:Or we can’t find a way…
ENTITY:Arthur! Listen to me. There is no sense in worrying about that now. We need to stay focused. Right now, we have the Cummings girl. We need to follow up on her and find out what she knows. She clearly has a connection to this case.
ARTHUR:That is easy for you to say. I am losing pieces of myself. My – my hand is gone. My eyes are gone. I don’t know what’s next to leave. For all I know, if you… if you take my mind entirely, I’ll no longer be able to think.
ENTITY:We’re almost there. (Arthur sighs.)Just relax. He’s stopping. It’s, again, about two dollars.
(Arthur leaves the taxi. It drives off.)
ENTITY:He’s let us out on Mosby Avenue. Where’s the lot?
ARTHUR:Are we on the north end or the south end?
ENTITY:I have no idea.
ARTHUR:Where’s the office?
ENTITY:To the right of us. I suppose we’re on the north end.
ARTHUR:Are the police still there?
ARTHUR:It should be just on the corner. It’s a large vacant lot. It should be open at this time of day.
ENTITY:I see. It’s across the street. Cross now. There aren’t any cars.
(Arthur crosses the road, stepping into a few puddles.)
ENTITY:Which car is yours?
ARTHUR:The black one in the far-left spot. It should have a ding on its right bumper.
ENTITY:Yes, I see it. Keep heading forward, there – stop! One more car. That’s the one.
(Arthur opens the door and gets in. He closes the door and adjusts himself.).
ARTHUR:There is a map in the glove compartment. You’ll need to take a look and find a road out of town.
ENTITY:Arthur, are we together on this?
ARTHUR:I don’t know how to feel right now. I’m losing control of my body and my mind. I, I don’t even know what you are.
ENTITY:Well, then. Why don’t we just stay quiet for a bit?
ARTHUR:I think that’s best.
(Arthur reaches for the map and unfolds it.)
ENTITY:Harper’s Hill. Seems straightforward enough.
(Arthur starts the car. They drive off. Rain continues to fall.)
ARTHUR:Have we left the city?
ENTITY:A while ago now.
ARTHUR:It’s… difficult to tell time like this.
ENTITY:I do… sympathize with you, Arthur.
ARTHUR:I miss the beauty in small things.
ENTITY:I haven’t seen trees myself in…
ENTITY:I can’t even guess.
ARTHUR:Trees? We’re very much north of the city now.
ENTITY:Yes… I suspect we’re half hour out from Harper’s Hill.
ARTHUR:Oh. I hope we find an answer there.
ENTITY:Slow right down.
ENTITY:To a stop.
ENTITY:There’s a vehicle here without a driver at the side of the road.
ARTHUR:Are they in trouble?
ENTITY:I can’t tell. Should we take a look?
ARTHUR:What, do you want to?
ENTITY:I don’t know, but I feel like we should.
(Arthur stops the car and cuts the engine. He gets out, stretches.)
ARTHUR:Where are we?
ENTITY:We’re in the middle of the woods, the sun has nearly disappeared behind the forest now. The road here is dirt and the trees seem close. I think there may be a fog rolling in. (ARTHUR:Hm.) This way. Yes.
(Arthur starts to walk.)
ENTITY:The car looks empty, but…
ENTITY:The passenger door. It’s opened towards the woods… looks like someone may have been pulled out.
ARTHUR:Really? Do you see anything on the ground?
ENTITY:I don’t see any footprints or tracks. (Dice sound.) Yes, there are footprints leading off into the woods and there's blood on the seat.
ARTHUR:They could be hurt. We could help them.
ENTITY:It looks like there was a child in the backseat as well.
ARTHUR:Why do you think they would head off into the woods?
ENTITY:I don’t know.
ARTHUR:Let’s do something. We should go. We should help. Let’s follow the tracks into the woods. I feel like doing something good for someone else is important right now. After…
ENTITY:After all we’ve been through.
ENTITY:It’s getting quite dark.
ARTHUR:There's a flashlight in the boot.
(Arthur opens the car trunk and retrieves the flashlight.)
ARTHUR:Alright. Let’s head out.
ENTITY:Are you feeling any better?
ARTHUR:I don’t know. Maybe, yes, I suppose so. I needed to take my mind off all of this for a while, I think.
ARTHUR:If you do continue to take over my body, what will happen to me?
ENTITY:I don’t know.
ARTHUR:Venture a guess.
(Arthur walks through the woods.)
ENTITY:Perhaps you’ll be imprisoned within this body, perhaps you’ll still be able to see and hear and taste…
ARTHUR:Perhaps I’ll simply stop existing.
ARTHUR:Well, if that is the worst case scenario then I suppose it’s no different than dying.
ENTITY:That is not the worst-case scenario.
ARTHUR:What do you mean?
ENTITY (sighing):It doesn’t matter.
ARTHUR:Don’t, don't do that to me. Not now. If you are sincere in what you said, that taking over my body is not your desire, then do not hold out on me.
ENTITY:There is a lot I don’t understand about how I arrived here, but for all I know we may end up switching places.
ARTHUR:That’s what I was implying by saying I may stop existing. It’s just -
ENTITY:But I didn’t stop existing.
ARTHUR:You mean, I may travel to...?
ENTITY:All I know is I don’t know how I arrived here.
ARTHUR:We could be swapping places. So I can return to that Dark World you came from.
ENTITY:Yes. (Pause.)Are you...?
ARTHUR:Tell me everything you can about this dark place.
ENTITY:I already did.
ARTHUR:No, you mentioned something, but I need to know more. You said it’s like a junkyard? Or a…
ENTITY:It's a mirror.
ARTHUR:I thought you said it was a place where everything gets dumped?
ENTITY:Yes, but not in the sense you’re thinking. The Dark World is like this one. Not piles of debris and used tires. It is just a place to end. Purgatory, some would call it. Except I’m not sure there is anything afterwards.
ARTHUR:Is this place not crowded? I-I can’t imagine that every creature that has ever existed can fit into one place…
ENTITY:I’m not sure what you mean.
ARTHUR:There must be… not much room?
ARTHUR:You did say it was every creature that ever existed.
ENTITY:Maybe I was wrong… maybe it’s a place for only a certain type of person.
ARTHUR:What type was that?
ENTITY:I don’t remember.
ARTHUR:No, but you must have some…
ENTITY:I – Moments when we’re talking. It feels like I can almost feel myself.
ARTHUR:So, you must have some idea of who you were. You must remember something.
ENTITY:No. Arthur, I-I’m not going to be any help. Not right now. Let’s just focus. (Pause.)Wait. Do you hear that?
ARTHUR:The crickets have stopped.
ENTITY:Exactly. (Arthur continues to walk.)
ARTHUR:Are you still following the tracks?
ARTHUR:Any idea on what happened?
ENTITY:It seems like two sets of footprints.
ARTHUR:I really don’t understand. There was a passenger and a child in the car. Did they meet someone on the road or...?
ENTITY:Why would there be blood then?
ARTHUR:I’m not sure. How old was the child?
ENTITY:It was a baby seat.
ENTITY:It’s almost dark enough to need the light.
ARTHUR:How far should we actually…?
ENTITY:Wait. I think I see a light up ahead.
ARTHUR:Oh? (The flashlight flicks on.)
ENTITY:It looks like a camp.
ARTHUR:It looks like someone is camping?
ENTITY:Maybe. It’s... there are houses, huts, maybe? It looks like it could be a small village.
ARTHUR:I don’t know of any small villages.
ENTITY:There is no road in. Whoever lives here lives far away from civilization.
ARTHUR:Do you see anyone? Where is the light coming from exactly?
ENTITY:I don’t... There is a small amount of light coming from inside. We’ll need to move. Move left and stay low. I can get a better look. (Arthur starts to move.)It looks like there is a gate. A wooden gate, but it’s open. The whole thing is surrounded by tall wooden beams.
ARTHUR:What do you see?
ENTITY:Quiet! (Arthur pauses)There is a small fire inside and… there is a woman. There is a dead woman on the ground by the fire. Her throat is slit.
ARTHUR(shaken):Is there anyone else?
ENTITY:Yes. There is a much older woman holding a baby. (A baby wails as music starts to play.)She’s sitting crossed legged by the fire. She looks… grotesque. Her skin is hanging loose and sagging as if it was ancient. Her hair is long and gray. She’s naked, Arthur.
ARTHUR:She’s gone mad. M-my god. We need to help that child, quickly. What is she doing with it?
ENTITY:She’s just holding it. I think she’s rocking it back and forth.
ARTHUR:Is there anyone else around, is...?
ENTITY:No, the place looks abandoned otherwise. The huts have collapsed. Everything seems to be in ruins.
ARTHUR:We need to move. You hold the gun and use it if she tries to harm the baby. I’m going to stay low. (Arthur starts to move. The baby occasionally makes noise.)
ENTITY:She hasn’t looked up yet. You’re at the gate. She’s only a short distance away. She still hasn’t… I… I think she knows we’re here.
ENTITY:No. She’s not moving. She seems… she doesn’t seem worried. Arthur, you’re almost at the fire now. She-she’s practically right across from you.
ARTHUR:I can feel the fire.
ARTHUR:You have the gun?
ARTHUR:Is it pointed at her?
ARTHUR:Give me the child.
ENTITY:She’s looking at you. She doesn’t seem surprised to see you.
ARTHUR:W-what is she doing now?
ENTITY:She’s holding the child out to you.
(Suspenseful music plays. The old woman starts to cackle.)
ARTHUR:Why is she laughing?
ENTITY:I don’t know, Arthur.
ARTHUR:Is there anyone around us?
ARTHUR:Should we leave?
(Arthur leaves quickly with the baby, the old woman’s laugh fading into the background.)
ARTHUR:What the fuck just happened?
ENTITY:I don’t know.
ARTHUR:What was that? I don’t understand.
ENTITY:I don’t either. She looked like death. She looked ancient.
ARTHUR:Is the baby alright?
ENTITY:I don’t know. Set her down. She looks…
ENTITY:I don’t know, it looks like the woman may have drawn something on her.
ENTITY:I don’t know. With charcoal from the fire maybe? It looks like a symbol, but it’s rubbed off.
ARTHUR:We need to get out of here.
ARTHUR:Is this the right way?
ENTITY:I… I’m not sure.
ARTHUR:What do you mean?
ENTITY(intense):It’s dark, Arthur. Your light is barely bright enough to reach past the edges of the trees. Just keep moving.
(Something growls. The baby occasionally babbles.)
ENTITY:I don’t know. Keep moving.
ARTHUR:What the fuck was that?
ENTITY:Wh – (Another growl.)Stop. Stop.
ENTITY:I saw something move beyond that tree ahead… just… turn – head right.
ARTHUR:Which – this way?
ENTITY:No, just – just move –
ARTHUR:I don’t, I don't –
ENTITY:Just move! Arthur, run!
(The growls continue, closer. The baby cries louder. Arthur runs.)
ENTITY:Right, Arthur! To your right!I see the road! We’re here. The car is to your right. Hurry.
(They both get into the car. The baby continues to cry.)
ARTHUR:What was… What the fuck was that?
ENTITY:Arthur, start the car and drive! Go!
(Arthur starts the car. The radio starts to play: Some Call It Madness.)
ENTITY:We didn’t leave the radio on.
(Glass shatters as the old woman laughs. Arthur makes a choking noise as the wheels squeal on the road.)
ENTITY:Arthur, don’t let her – Arthur, hit the gas! Arthur!
(A horn sounds. A car crashes into Arthur’s.)
(RADIO: “And you call it madness / Ah, but I call it love!” The baby continues to cry.)
(END Part 2.)