Friday, September 14, 2018

Found on the Personal Laptop of Det. Art Spooner, Missing 12 Days

I think Captain Gold is worried that I’m losing it. Sometimes I think I might be. I haven’t seen Marty for days. He was supposed to meet me at the Larrabee last night, but never showed. I’m starting to get very concerned. Casey is gone. I think I lost her a long time ago, but now she’s gone for good. It occurs to me that I’m jumping ahead of myself. I need to stop and recollect my thoughts. There’s a lot I don’t remember, and even more that I do, but it might not be true. My name is Arthur Spooner. You can call me Spoons. I’m 49 years old and I’m a narcotics detective in Lake Davie, Florida. In the past year, a drug called kissyface entered my city. It spread through our young people like the black plague. But this ain’t the first time I seen it. July 22, 1995. It was one of the hottest nights of the year. Any year. My partner Marty Kefferman and I were working the north side. And one day the two of us were called to assist in a raid on a crack house. I’ll never forget what that dispatch sounded like. Ruth Portnoy was our dispatcher, and she’s always been a rock of stability. When she put the call out, her voice was rife with panic. “All units! All units! Converge on 185 Bodden Street! Shots fired, officer down…sweet Jesus, it sounds like there are…animals…um…10-91V! Repeat, 10-91V! God, the sounds…the sounds…” We damn near broke our necks speeding our way there. Marty was the driver and he drives like a maniac. That was the last time he drove, though. Every time after that he insisted I drive. I can’t say I blame him. It affected us all in different ways. In all, four units made it to the house, seven cops in total making the bust. Myself, Marty, Raphael “Jimbo” Suarez, Mikey Tancredi, Eve Pernicky, Sam Hawkins and Eddie Gold. Eddie didn’t have a partner. He didn’t like working with people. Jimbo, Mikey and Sam didn’t make it out alive. The rest of us wish we hadn’t. Try as I might, I can’t fully describe what I saw in there. Everything looked…rubbery and slick. I remember the floor was slippery, and it felt like we were walking on…hell, I can’t parse this. I have no idea what it might feel like to walk across a giant set of lungs as they breathe, but that’s about as close as I can come to describe what it felt like. There were people. I guess they could be called people. See, we knew about Bodden Street. It’s in a neighborhood that has gone to absolute shit, and 185 was the house where it all seemed to come from. We knew it was packed with meth-addled squatters and that some major players in the game dealt from there. We knew it, but something kept us from investigating too thoroughly. For one thing, the area was mostly controlled by a dealer named Dodge, and stepping on his territory was asking for more trouble than any of us were prepared to deal with. We knew he was involved with kissyface, and we knew that it was no ordinary drug. We just didn’t know how out of the ordinary it was. See, kissyface starts off by increasing your libido to insane levels. You start having orgasms at the slightest touch of a hand, or even just wind. And it makes you want more of the stuff until you’re lost in the sensations. Parties where the kissyface gets brought out tend to turn into orgies. Casey went to one. Just one. She got hooked immediately. Now she’s gone. I don’t know where she is, but I have an idea. I don’t want to pursue that idea. If I’m right, she’s never coming back. The crack house had become the kissyface house. It was full of users, and by the time we got there, we saw these fleshy lumps that had random eyes, noses, mouths, fingertips, teeth, hair, intestines, brains, all that stuff, just sort of sprouting randomly from all over them. A lot of them had open, bleeding orifices that none of them seemed to notice. They were leaking fluids everywhere; blood, water, spinal fluid, liquidized fat, and yeah, sexy juices, too. They were moaning, all of them. It sounded both like they were in horrible pain and horrible pleasure, all at once. There were a few that looked mostly human as well. They maybe hadn’t been using for as long. They were coupling together, their flesh already starting to merge, one guy was alone, jerking himself off furiously with a fist that was already melded with his, well, his parts. It looked like one long string of rubbery tissue, undulating in the air, one end attached to his shoulder and the other his groin. I realized with horror that he had part of a uniform on him. He was the officer on scene we’d been called to help. But that wasn’t the worst part. The worst part is that the walls and the floor seemed to be made out of the same fleshy stuff the lumps had become, and the people were turning into. And it was all…pulsing, throbbing, with fresh fluids dripping down the walls like a syrupy waterfall from nowhere. All around us was reddish pink, slick and writhing, and we could hear this sound, animal-like growling and an even worse noise, like someone laughing while screaming. Stuff was reaching through the walls from various places, stuff that looked just as fleshy as the rest, but even more alive, twisting various appendages that would find the nearest body, or whatever you want to call it, and drag it more into itself. Some of the appendages seemed to have mouths, some seemed like a cluster of tiny hands, eye stalks protruding from the little fingertips. And then something happened I’ll never forget. Mikey slipped on the slimy floor. And he never got back up. At first he was screaming, begging us to help him, and the next minute one of those things was on him. His face went immediately from terror to bliss as he began to be submerged into the pink muck. His clothes were ripped apart a piece at a time by little fingers that started to dissolve the material. It looked like acid was melting them. Then Jimbo fell, grabbed on to Sam on his way down. We stood and watched as it happened again, to them both. And even though I was scared shitless, I’ll admit right now that something about the atmosphere was making me inexplicably horny. I felt like leaping on Eve and taking her like an animal, or even just sitting down where I was and taking care of myself right there. Then I spotted the officer on scene again. He didn’t look human anymore, his body a big lump of jelly sloughing off his organs, which were also sliding apart like melting gelatin. But that arm, if you could still call it an arm, was still going. I shook my head and tamped down my feelings of arousal until only terror remained. I started to run, but my shoes were sticking to the floor. I admit, I wasn’t running to help my friends. Nothing could. I was running for my life. With great effort, I managed to lift my feet and book it, and I could hear Marty behind me doing the same. At one point he screamed, and I turned around immediately, saw that part of his arm had scraped against the wall, and now he was being pulled in. I grabbed him and pulled, and the next thing I knew both of us were sprawled against our patrol car, crying, puking, trying to stay standing but unable to without holding onto the car. Sam, Eddie and Eve were laying on the porch. When I saw that my strength came back just long enough to drag them off and onto the yard. We all took an oath to never speak of what we saw. I kept it. I don’t think Eddie did. He’s a captain now, and in charge of my department. Sam’s with Internal. Kinda weird that they assigned him to my case. Eve’s with the DA’s office now. Only Marty and me stayed right where we are. I knew kissyface was back in town when I found pictures saved on my daughter’s phone. I won’t tell you what the pictures had in them. Some of you can probably guess. I never thought my Casey could ever get involved in that, but what’s crazy is that she never denied it. The cravings were already so bad in her that she decided to ask me for help. She wanted to kick the habit, a habit she’d developed with her first hit. I tried to get her help. Really, if you believe nothing else, believe that. I was desperate to save my little girl and get kissyface off the street. I arranged a meeting with Dodge, because I thought he was behind it and I thought I could work out a deal with him to keep it out of my district. I never should have done that. Someone got photos of me talking to him. Don’t ask me how. Marty was supposed to be with me but he didn’t show, so he’s in the clear, but as for me? I was suspended with pay and Sam was assigned to investigate me. I tried to get ahold of Eve to see if I could get her help in clearing my name, but she wouldn’t return my calls. Now I can’t find Casey. The last I saw of her was when I dropped her off at her latest therapy session, a session I was later told she didn’t show up to. Marty and I met at our usual spot, a secluded part of Larrabee Cemetery, and planned it out. We were gonna both go to Captain Gold, and get him to confide in us if there was another house like Bodden. We didn’t know what to expect, but there was trouble when we tried to reach him. For one thing, they wouldn’t let either of us into the building, not me or Marty. I finally got Gold on the phone, but there was something in his voice as I talked to him. It was like he didn’t know me, or understand what I was talking about. He claims that Marty isn’t on the force anymore either, and he refused to even talk about the house on Bodden Street. But I know there’s another kissyface den, and I’m gonna find it. Things are getting weird in my own apartment building. I’m seeing red lights and hearing what sounds like sucking sounds from behind doors. I think the floor in the hallway outside my door is getting softer. A few hours ago I left Marty a message, asking him to please meet me at the Larrabee as soon as he got the message. I went to our usual spot, and I’m there now. He hasn’t shown. I’m waiting here, leaning against his gravestone and hoping he’s okay. This stone is pretty scuffed. It’s probably old enough it may need a replacement.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

IT Dept. Water Cooler Welcome Thread

MTurmynn: Greetings, everybody! I hope everyone had a great summer, and I hope you're all fired up for the coming fall ramp-up! As some of you know, the fall season is the start of some pretty heavy company turnover, which means there will be no shortage of work for us all, and as we have two new staffers with us, this will mean even extra work as we do our best to get our new team members up to speed!

So, let me say welcome officially to our two newest members: Jesse Foye and Aarthi Ibrahim! Let's do all we can to make them welcome and make sure they feel at home with our team, which if I may say so is the greatest IT team in the world!

Even if you're not new here, you might not have used this message board before, even though it's been here for a while now. This is our "official" Water Cooler board, where you are free to ask any questions of myself or our other team members that are of a more general nature, be it questions about the company, building, office policy, complaints or any other comments you may have. Please note that this is NOT the board for questions in regard to technical questions, KB articles/updates, ticket handling and/or the queue, etc. That is what our live chat is for. This board is more permanent and is designed for more general use. There will be general updates in the top pinned post, but this thread is just a general hello-and-questions thread. By now most of you will have gotten the invites I sent in your emails, and I encourage you to make as much use of this board as you can, due to our upcoming busy season and our new hires.

So please, post away, and once again, welcome Jesse and Aarthi!
--Michelle Turmynn, IT Manager

JFoye: Thanks, Michelle! Glad to be here! When do u expect our call queue to pick up?

AIbrahim: TY, Michelle! So excited 2 work with you guys!!

AFlynn: Hey, Jesse and Aarthi! Welcome to HELL!! LOL, j/k.

(Seriously, don't piss Michelle off)

MTurmynn: Awesome to see, Jesse, and as far as your question goes, We tend to see a ton of new hires coming in starting in late August, so that's right around the corner! It will mostly be tickets in queue you'll be getting as opposed to phone calls, and right now you and Aarthi are skilled last in queue, so you'll only get a call if all of the rest of us are already on one. We'll probably keep it that way for the first week you're here, kinda let you ease into things here.

New hire tickets are a lot of work, as each one will require the creation of an AD account, email account, Office 365 license and X-Site account. Each one will have different needs in addition to those, but HR should detail all that for you

MTurmynn: Andy, that's really not appropriate humor, and I can still see the hidden text. Don't make me tell you that again, please.

BKumail: Hey, Aarthi and Jesse! Rocka Wellington is a nice place to work! Any questions you have, ask me first, eh?

TMcPhail: Welcome, Jesse and Aarthi! So great to have you both!

AFlynn: Aww, Michelle, you used to like my humor! And, guys, don't listen to Bandish, I've forgotten more than he'll ever know.

Since this is the general chat room, I'm wondering if we can get a free coffee machine in the break room? I don't understand why we'd be asked to pay for coffee at a machine that's on site. I'm not asking for anything fancy like a Kuerig, either, just a cheap-ass home machine you can pick up at any Wal-Mart. Surely that wouldn't break the budget?

JLee: Or you could, I dunno, just bring a thermos from home, Andy.

Hey, Aarthi and Jesse! Welcome to our little corner of the world. Glad we finally have another female tech here!

MTurmynn: Andy, the coffee machine is not really my purview. It does accept your employee purchase card, however, and it's only a dollar otherwise. It's cheaper to use the card, though, as each use is only .45 cents off your plan.

Aarthi and Jesse, you'll get used to the ribbing from the others, but all our techs are very savvy and know quite a bit. Including me, as I was once a tech myself, Julie!

TMcPhail: That's right, I get a coffee from there every day! It's great stuff, too, a gourmet blend in ten different flavors! My favorite is the Honey Almond.

I've been here longer than the light fixtures, so really if you want to know how it's done, come see me.

AIbrahim: What are these employee purchase cards?

TMcPhail: Oh, you'll find out soon enough.

AFlynn: I will NOT be using my employee purchase card again.

Every time I use it I feel a bit more of my soul slip away.

TMcPhail: And every time I use it, I feel more and more a real part of this company!

AFlynn: Yes, well, I can't say I'm all that enthusiastic about becoming as much a "part" of the company as you, Tommy-boy.

JFoye: I actually have a question about parking. It looks like everyone's parking is assigned. I was never given a parking pass and I had to park on the street today, and I'm afraid I'm going to get towed.

Who would I speak to about getting a parking space assigned?

BKumail: Ah, shit...

JLee: Batten down the hatches!

MTurmynn: No, guys, it's okay. That's what this forum is for.

Jesse, at present reserved parking is for managers and tenured staff only. But I wouldn't worry. In time you won't need to worry about parking at all.

JFoye: Guess I can take the bus...

TMcPhail: Good choice, saves on gas. I haven't driven in years! Best choice I ever made.

AFlynn: Yeah, well, we all know about Tom...

TMcPhail: Hey, now...

BKumail: Actually, I'm glad this room opened up. I've been wanting to address something for some time now.

The headsets we've been using are antiquated pieces of crap. Can we please look into new ones? My users frequently complain that they can't hear me, and sometimes its so quiet I can't even hear them when they're screaming. Also, I'd greatly prefer it if we can have cordless headsets.

I don't much care for the feeling of being chained to my desk.

MTurmynn: I appreciate your concerns, Bandish. I've spoken to procurement several times about upgrading our headsets, and right now they're waiting on approval from Finance before they order any. I can't promise the new ones will be cordless, however.

And, as much as I know you don't like it, being chained to your desk remains company policy for the time being. If you prefer being chained by your ankles instead of your wrists, that can be looked into.

I know they can be chafing, at times.

TMcPhail: Oh, just use the handset, like I do!

And may I say what a joy it is to work at Rocka Wellington! I honestly can't remember how long I've been here, and I wouldn't trade it for the world!

I didn't even have any IT training when they hired me. They gave me all that I would ever need. I can't imagine doing anything else!

AFlynn: That is sad, man.

TMcPhail: Just wait until you've been here as long as I have, sonny!

AFlynn: Not gonna happen.

TMcPhail: Oh, I think you'll be surprised. I thought like you once, but I eventually realized I just never could leave this place!

JLee: Geez, Andy, all you ever do is bitch!

AFlynn: Nonsense! I love it here. I love what it's done to my soul. I love looking at it when I look into Mr. Charon's office and see it in his display case.

MTurmynn: You know, Andy, if you really don't like working here, there are other options available to you.

AFlynn: None that I'd care to explore. I'll shut up now.

JLee: Will wonders never cease.

Anyway, speaking of Mr. Charon, he's been having a lot of closed-door meetings of late with some of the higher-ups.

I know it's none of my business, but the more closed doors I see, the more worrying it is.

We're not facing any major changes, are we?

TMcPhail: Now, Julie, there are always closed-door meetings, and they don't usually have anything to do with us.

Mr. Charon's responsibilities extend outside the IT department, after all.

AIbrahim: You know, I was kinda afraid 2 ask this in my interview, and I thought i'd be told in my welcome package, but what does Rocky Wellington do, exactly?

BKumail: Rock-A. Not Rock-Y. They're in collections, I think. Never really worried about it because all I'm here to do is fix their shit.

TMcPhail: Rocka Wellington is one of the most prestigious credit unions in the country. They specialize in long- and short-term loans, debt consolidation and acquisitions. I'm proud to work for them.

AFlynn: We know, Tom, we know. Been usin' that employee purchase card a LOT, haven't you?

MTurmynn: Tom, I appreciate your attitude.

AIbrahim: I ask because when I told my dad I got hired here, he said he'd never heard of it and asked what they do. I was a little embarrassed to admit I didn't know.

He wanted to know if it had anything to do with Philip Rocka.

JLee: Who's Philip Rocka? Honestly, I don't know who our company is named after.

MTurmynn: I believe that was our founder's name. He's not an active employee anymore.

AFlynn: Michelle, you don't have to pretend you don't know who Philip Rocka is.

TMcPhail: There was a lot of misinformation about Philip back in the seventies. He really is a great man.

AFlynn: You're not going to bait me into saying anything, Tom. But Aarthi, the guy you're dad's thinking of is probably the same man.

AIbrahim: Okay, but who is he? Dad said he got involved with some old people, or something.

AFlynn: "Old people", I love it. Classic.

TMcPhail: Listen, Aarthi, sometimes questions don't have simple answers. Some people just have ideas that are ahead of their time. They're outside-the-box thinkers and because of that sometimes people don't understand, and think the worst of them.

New ideas always bring naysayers, especially those that involve the Old Ones.

AFlynn: Which is a nice way of saying he  is a visionary that we are lucky to work for.

TMcPhail: That's the spirit, Andy! I knew you'd get there eventually!

JFoye: Okay, I need to ask something. Tom, where are you sitting? I met the whole team when I came in and you weren't there.

JLee: He works downstairs.

AKumail: Way down.

JLee: Shut up, Bandish! Do you want to end up like Andy just did?

JFoye: Okay, so WTF is that supposed to mean??!!

BKumail: I'll be good.

MTurmynn: Okay, everybody, I think it's time to establish some ground rules. This thread is drawing a bit too much focus away from our work, so let's all follow Andy's example and turn our attitudes around and do our best.

Aarthi and Jesse, tomorrow I'll introduce you to Tom. Some day, if you're very lucky, you'll be a valuable part of this business just like he is.

TMcPhail: Thank you, Michelle, and let me say what an honor it is to be a part of this company. Some might want to be the head of this business, but I'm lucky just to be part of the abdomen. 

All Hail Shub-Niggurath!