WKAYC Entry 2015 Picture
From the personal journal of Professor Dino Aldebrandi, 9/15/1989:
Finally, after much delay, we are heading home from Osaka. What an incredible trip this has been... never have I met such a superstitious group of people in such a developed country, or met such persistent, aggressive resistance to one excavation. Under any other circumstances this would have been the dig from Hell, but our haul justifies every moment of frustration and then some. Even as I write this I can still scarcely believe what lies in our hold. I have no doubt that this find will, at the very least, turn our understanding of Cercopithecidae completely upside down. Nothing like it has ever been seen before. To say that I'm excited would be an understatement; waiting to get back to the lab may be more difficult than bartering with the locals! The only downside is that I fear this journal will go largely neglected for the rest of our trip. There is still much paperwork to be done and I'll have to cross reference both Wilkes' and Robinson's journals before I can begin a more rigorous analysis. Busy, busy, busy. With luck, however, the temporary silence that follows will be made up for by a very informative next entry- one hopefully written from the comfort of my own lab!
I am sad to report that this is not the entry I had hoped to be writing next... or at all. One of our crew members has passed away. Alfred Davies, a very fine gentleman who was crucial to our negotiations with the Japanese fishermen, was found dead in his quarters tonight. Davies had not shown up for any meals since we set off and so one of the deckhands went in to check on him; out of respect I will not describe the awful condition in which he was found. The crew believes it was a suicide, however, as there was a "very distressed" note on his desk which seems to be recent, and the weapon involved was his own. I admit that I have not yet worked up the courage to read the note and judge for myself. Davies was a good man, and I am still quite in shock. Maybe tomorrow.
The seas are oddly calm this morning. I suppose that should be a welcome change of pace from all the wind and waves, but it only makes our silent ship feel that much more somber. Mr. Davies had a great many friends and I don't think any of them were prepared for this event. After much hesitation, I have finally read the note myself, and it was thoroughly upsetting. He was a very troubled man, and I suspect he may have been suffering from some kind of severe, psychological disorder. In a case like this it's hard to tell, since we have so little to go off of... I just wish he'd come to one of us first. Surely someone on the ship could've talked him down and prevented this. I must confess I also feel a certain degree of guilt for not having seen it sooner. He must have been very good at hiding his problem, perhaps because this was something he'd been struggling with for a long time. Regardless, what's done is done (unfortunately), and all the necessary accommodations have been made to get his body back safely to the US. It just pains me to think of-
What a miserable week this has been; I truly cannot wait to be off this awful ship. There has been widespread sickness and unrest among nearly all the crew and two separate (though thankfully not very serious) hallway brawls. I don't know what's gotten into these men, but I suspect they've been at sea for too long and need to get away from each other. That or the constant sickness has got them on edge. Whatever it is that's been going around doesn't seem very dire, thankfully, but when you've spent most of the day hanging over the railing it's hard not to be in a sour mood. In my case the worst of it has already passed, but it's certainly had an impact on my peace of mind nonetheless, and I believe I may be suffering from hallucinations late at night. I've alerted the ship's doctor and he prescribed some powerful medication that should help me stay lucid and well rested.
Luckily, we don't have much longer to go. According to the captain we're still well on course to be in port by Tuesday. For the most part I am thrilled, but it often sobers me to think of our impending dockside reception... Alfred's family will most certainly be be there, waiting to pick him up.
Damn it all! Am I losing my mind out here?
Since last Wednesday I have been suffering from what could only be described as intense hallucinations, but here I am again, scribbling in the dark, fully medicated and still seeing... whatever it is that I'm seeing. I have left the deck and come back several times, splashed cold water on my face, taken photographs, recorded video, even pointed it out to some of the poor sods coming out to make a mess over the railing. All of my faculties tell me that I am wide awake and sane, but somehow, against all reason, I am the only one seeing anything! Is this some cruel, elaborate prank by the party? Am I far sicker than I realize? I did not want to speak of this in my journal out of fear of sounding a fool, but this is truly the most perplexing thing I've ever come across. I long to be back in my lab, dealing with more tangible matters... whatever it is that's going on here, I wish to be done with it ASAP.
Three hours have passed and my friend the "hallucination" has neither changed form nor departed. This is the longest I have stayed out yet. The crew has tried several times to send me back below deck, but this is my last night here and I refuse to go to sleep until a proper explanation is found. I will not give in to delirium or accept defeat. I have my thermos, my blanket, and my chair... I will find out what this is.
(crossed out, surrounded by footnotes and sketches)
Hallucination? Dreaming? Optical illusion? Vision impairment? Side effect of medication? Alcohol? Rock formation? reef? sandbar? Storm cloud? gas? Light reflecting into fog? Reflection of something in the water? Buoy? Insects? Bioluminescence? Birds in formation? One very large bird- drifting on something? Driftwood? A tree? Shipwreck? Whale fluke? Dead animal? Decoy? Something manmade, as a prank? A hoax? Insanity?
At last, I am back on firm ground! What an ordeal. I fell asleep on deck and had to be taken back to my quarters by the men. I'm told I was very cold and talked constantly in my sleep. I suppose I should be thankful; if it weren't for them I might have come down with pneumonia or hypothermia or God knows what else. Unfortunately that also means that I missed the thing's departure (which must have been just around sunrise) and am no closer to having an explanation. I have already sent off the pictures and videos to be analyzed by a colleague, however, and should have answers by the end of the week. Until then, I have a crate of very fascinating primate bones to keep me busy!
On a somewhat darker note, the dockside reception did not go well. There was a very heated argument over the treatment of Mr. Davies' body and some of his relatives accused the crew of foul play. Another(!) fist fight broke out within thirty minutes of being back, this one quite violent, and two of the men fell into the bay. I'm told that both are fine now, though one of them had to be rushed to the ER after knocking his head on the end of the pier. Hopefully the captain will stay in port a while and give these men some room and time to cool off.
And yes, needless to say, I think my next visit will be by flight...
Incredible! Truly incredible! I knew we'd found something special, but this specimen is even stranger than I'd realized. This will totally change the primate family tree; our definitions of Old and New World monkeys are now utterly obsolete. Never have I seen such an oddball array of traits in one creature. The digits are almost... feline. Truly, this is the platypus of the monkey world. If I didn't know better I'd think it were a chimera, actually, but the second skeleton, the one the locals never got their hands on, is fully articulated and every bone checks out. This was a real animal, and it died less than a thousand years ago! I can hardly contain myself! We'll have to schedule a follow up journey ASAP; I know there at least four more sites in Osaka with these kinds of remains! In the mean time I can finally begin my paper and examine the skeleton in greater detail. Wait until Hutchinson sees this! Oh, how his jaw will drop!
There was bound to be a dip in my mood eventually. The results from the photography department came back today and I spent most of the morning talking to my colleague there. He told me quite confidently that I sent in 21 photos and half an hour of footage of nothing but sea fog. He then proceeded to take a less than flattering tone with me and suggested I take a long vacation. Hmph! Some nerve coming from the man who sounds as though he's about to hack up a lung. Regardless, I know what I saw. Why this is happening, though, I cannot tell... I'll have to do some more detailed research myself. Later, though. There is still much work to be done here, and I must admit it is a welcome distraction from the unpleasant memories of that trip (and thoroughly exciting, to boot!).
P.S. Hutchinson was not impressed. Thought it was all a hoax. Smug bastard!
My spirit has been greatly restored thanks to a wonderfully enlightening visit from my good friend Mr. Jeffrey Warren, the gentleman who alerted me to the Osaka dig sites in the first place. We spent a good portion of the day swapping stories and speculating on the ecology and evolutionary background of our new simian friend. He also lent me a gorgeous set of drawings he had done over the years, showing partially exumed remains at some of the other locations. They will be a great asset in the days to come, certainly better than what I had been doing on the trip back. Most importantly of all, however, there is now a (proper!) name for the new creature: Dinovenator secundo! The honors went to Jeff as he was technically the discoverer. Going by a literal translation the name comes out roughly as "The Second Terrible Hunter", with the species name referring to the unfortunate fact that the first specimen was lost in Osaka due to local interference. Jeff, however, insists that the "Dino" part is not actually the Greek prefix, but rather is in my honor, making it "Dino's Second Hunter"! I don't think it'll stick with the media, but it gave me a good laugh and was very flattering anyway. He'll be in touch for the remainder of the description process and should offer some very sound insight in the following weeks. Back to work!
Work on Dinovenator has been constant and fascinating! I have been paying special attention to the metatarsals as of late and, after some debate with Jeffrey, have decided to redo the entire skeletal mount. I am positive now that this animal used plantigrade motion and spent the majority of it's time standing upright! My current guess is that this was a weight-bearing adaptation, as the individual in my lab is quite robust: probably as tall as or taller than Gigantopithecus blacki, and close to a ton in weight! I can certainly see why the Japanese villagers feared these creatures in ancient times. They must have been quite a sight!
Hopefully not an important entry. I have been on the phone regularly with Jeffrey since our visit and have noticed some odd tones in his speech. It's almost as if he's having second thoughts about the dig. I did my best to subtly remind him of our kindness to the locals and the legality of our actions, but he did seem a touch regretful. Odd.
Jeffrey's behavior is becoming most strange. He's asked several times now if I think it's "wise" to publish my work. Why in the world wouldn't it be? He was entirely for it before. What happened to his enthusiasm? His passion for discovery? I don't know what's gotten under his skin lately but he really doesn't sound like his old self. I may have to pay him a visit this week to see what's up.
Was just putting away some slides when Jeffrey called again. He left a very morose message on my answering machine. I'm not entirely sure I understand why my paper has him so bent out of shape, but after what happened on the ship, I feel rather on edge... I think speaking to him in person would be a very good idea. Thankfully, I have nothing scheduled on Friday.
I am definitely visiting Jeffrey tomorrow.
Writing this is difficult.
Yesterday evening I went to see Jeffrey as planned. He was a wreck. An empty shell of a man. I tried for two hours to cheer him up and spark a conversation, but he would hardly speak to me. When he did, it was chilling. Something was very wrong with him. I tried to stay longer and convince him to seek help, but his patience ran out and I was asked to leave. On my way back I called the police and told them that I was afraid he might be suicidal.
Today I've been informed that he is already dead. Apparently he jumped out of his third story bedroom window after I left.
I don't know what to say. This is... a lot to take in. I need to be alone..
This cannot be happening.
I have not slept since Friday. The thing is back. I feel ashamed to even put the words to paper, but it's true. The thing from the sea is here in New York. I don't know how or why. I still don't even know if it's real, but... I am seeing it, just at the edge of the woods my by house, every night. I've scheduled another appointment with my psychiatrist, and to be extra safe, I've called in the game warden. With any luck, it will just a bear and I can grieve in peace...
P.S. Jeffrey's funeral will be next weekend. I hope I'll be well enough to go. The timing could not have been much worse.
The warden dropped by today to talk to me about what I saw. She agrees it was probably a bear and expressed some concern about it being this close to the house. If it's after the trash it could come into the yard and become a more serious problem. If it even is a bear, that is. I played along as best I could. If she finds anything today she'll let me know. There will be a follow up entry if so... I'll most likely still be around, as I have not left the house much since Jeffrey's death. The lab is not especially appealing right now.
The warden visited again just after dark. She told me she'd just received a call about a large black bear near my property and warned me to stay indoors. Thank God. Never have I been so relieved to hear that I am being menaced by a hungry bear. The rangers should have it by morning.
Today was good, or at least as good as it could've been. Last night I actually slept, and today my psychiatrist gave me a clean bill of health. She told me that I am probably working too hard and a combination of stress and sleep deprivation is likely the source of my hallucinations. I am not sure I agree, but it's very good to know that I am both healthy and sane. One step closer to a logical explanation. More importantly this means that I am clear to go to Jeffrey's funeral tomorrow. I would be lying if I said I am looking forward to it, but it is a great weight off my shoulders to know that I won't miss the chance to pay my final respects. He was a good friend and deserves nothing less.
I have just returned from the funeral, and I must admit I am not well. There was a constant, awful howling during the ceremony. I'm certain it must have been coyotes, but somehow no one else around me heard them. I'm told I made quite a scene, jumping during the eulogy. I feel like a fool, and honestly am left questioning my psychiatrist's diagnosis... still, it was not a total fiasco. Things started to quiet down once the guests began leaving, and so I got a few quiet moments to say my last goodbye. I feel at peace now. I just wish it had been a more normal day so I could remember it fondly. This is all starting to be too much for me.
As an aside, I have resolved to name something after Jeffrey, to return his favor: perhaps the new family of primates that Dinovenator belongs to, should Cercopithecidae be discarded, as I expect it will be. Hopefully I can figure something out for him. I want to get back to work, now. I need something new to think about.
Minor note... there is a strange wind tonight. I can't place what it is that sounds so off but... no, I don't know. I think my insomnia has returned.
I am shaking terribly as I write this; there was an accident on the way in to work, and I am certain it had to do with the animal that's begun menacing me. A thick fog rolled in while I was driving and then I was abruptly scared off the road by a terrible, deafening scream. It was not unlike the howling at the funeral. It was not a coyote. Or a bear.
I let the authorities know once I got my bearings and have tried to get in touch with the game warden several times, but she is not picking up. Supposedly there is an investigation of some kind already going on, but if a resolution is not found soon I may have to take matters into my own hands. My peace of mind, and perhaps my own well being, is at stake here. I will no longer accept that this is some illusion or coincidence. I have to know what's out there.
Tonight, when I get back, I'll be dusting off the old rifle. Until then, I'll just have to keep busy.
It has just dawned on me that I have not seen any of my interns since I returned from my leave of work. Where in the world have they gone off to? Were they transferred to another department? I need to check with Simons.
It's just after lunch and I am sitting in the police station. After my last entry I called in about the interns and the members of the board were all shocked to find out they weren't in my lab. No one has seen any of them in close to a week. The police are launching a full scale investigation and so I need to stay here for questioning. I don't know how much I can help, but I must stay as long as I am needed.
It was extremely foggy when I returned home. I had to drive very slowly, and the entire time I was on pins and needles expecting another scream. I felt as if I was being watched by something the whole time and nearly had a heart attack just trying to get the front door open; what a mess I've become.
As for the interns, there are no updates yet, but I have been informed that the warden and several of her rangers are also missing, as are some dogs. The police were very reluctant to make any guesses about what might be going on, but I don't think they took my input very seriously. Admittedly I was still feeling skittish and probably came across as a bit of a loon...
Still, I know what I've seen and heard, and I will be keeping the rifle close by tonight. The next time I see this animal, whatever it is, I think I'll have no choice but to put it down. I only hope that it has nothing to do with the missing persons. If I do kill it, I think I'll have to cut it open, just to be sure. Not a pleasant thought, but probably a wise one...
I have just noticed this morning that there is a large tire sitting in my back yard. It didn't come from my car or the garage, and no one's been through here since Wednesday. Could the animal have dragged this here from somewhere else? I'll keep a watch there in particular in case it comes back. Odd that there are no tracks or chew marks, though.
Quick update. No leads on the missing interns. I hope they're alright... but after everything that's happened lately, I fear for the worst. Working will be very hard today; so much to think about...
A bit of humor for these troubling times: I just stumbled across one of the old "warning signs" from the dig sites; must've been stuck between the pages of my notebook somehow. The bug-eyed evil spirits on these things always amused me, but it's even funnier now that I realize what I'm looking at: these are supposed to be Dinovenator! The locals had a different name for it, of course, Nue, but it has all the defining traits of D. secundo. Of course there's some important scientific value to this: it does heavily suggest that the locals never actually saw this animal in person, and as far as I know it's also the first life restoration of the genus. Even so, I can't help but laugh- whoever made this really had an active imagination! It's such a profoundly silly looking thing, standing on top of a cloud and glaring down at tiny villagers. They went for a very literal interpretation and gave it tiger paws and stripes, and a snow monkey's face. They even made the prehensile tail into a venomous snake! I'll have to keep this around my work space now, if nothing else it will-
Something is not right! I refuse- I outright REFUSE to believe this! How can it be happening? Is it happening? I don't even know what to think anymore... I'm just, I'm just at a loss. This can't be reality. How can any of this be reality? Once, twice, maybe, but five, five in such a short span of time! I just...
I'm sorry. I need to calm down. I am badly, badly stirred...
All three of my interns are dead. Suicides.
Jessica Miller. No previous history of mental disorders, no issues at home. Had a high paying job and told me constantly how thrilled she was to be here. Crawled into a box in her attic and hid in total darkness until she died of thirst.
Darrel Palmer. One of my most enthusiastic helpers. Happy, active, had lots of friends. Invited me over for dinner with his family once. A diver pulled him out of the Raquette this morning. His stomach was full of rocks.
Suzy Forrester. Sweet girl. Very talkative, asked a lot of questions. Was a huge help with putting together my specimens. Hikers found her naked in the woods, covered in lacerations from her own fingernails. Probably died of exposure.
I don't know what to make of all this, but I am in shock. Total, absolute, hysterical shock. All I know for sure is this can't be a-
I hear it. The howling. I hear it IN THE LAB.
I must go.
The howling stopped once I left the city limits. There were sirens, though. Some kind of traffic accident, I think. I didn't slow down to look. Now I'm home, and I have the rifle. The fog has lifted, so I'm out in the yard, doing target practice. I want to be ready when this thing comes back. I cannot miss.
Good God, what a sound! I've never heard anything so loud! Could it have been an explosion? Or something falling over... a power-line, a radio tower? I don't know. I have to investigate, there could be a fire, or someone in need of help... Lord, what a fool I must be to go out into the woods NOW, of all times... but I'm taking the rifle with me. And a sidearm. And lots and lots of ammo. I'm done being the mouse in this game.
Early morning now. Thick fog. Trying to write quietly. Must listen; on the balcony.
It was a car. The warden's car. Around the base of a tree. Not near the base, not at the base... it was physically around it. It had been skewered on an evergreen. I don't know how long it had been up there, maybe a few days... the branches holding it up must've finally snapped under all the weight.
I called the police. Called fish and game. The Institute. Everyone.
Wanted to take pictures, but the fog came back. Even with the gun... no, there's no way I'd stay in there. I have to wait.
A whole squadron of police cars came rushing past the house. They didn't even stop. I don't understand why no one came to knock-
I hit it. Right between the eyes. Twice! Goddammit, the sound it made... but why didn't it go down? Is it wounded? Bleeding to death somewhere out in the woods? Out in the fog? No force on Earth could make me go out there and see. I'll have to keep on waiting. If it shows up again, I'll make it three.
I made it ten. Son of a bitch.
I'm almost out of ammo now; I was shooting all night. I couldn't tell you how many times I've seen the thing now, but every time it's still a surprise. How can something so big be so quiet? I never hear footsteps, rustling, anything. It just comes gliding out of the fog to stare at me with those big, round eyes. Out of spite I shoot at them, sometimes, but it's always the same reaction. I don't think I'm even hurting it, but what else can I do?
The fog has lifted. No more sightings, no more howling. I think it only comes out when it knows it can't be seen. I have to get out of here. This could be my only chance.
No. I'm stuck here. The car is gone. I can see the skid-marks in the driveway, leading into the woods. How did it know...
I feel strangely compelled to make a break for it anyway. There's no way I'd ever make it, but... I don't know. Something is telling me it's the only way. I have to get out of here, or else it will just keep coming back until I run out of bullets. It FEELS safe here, but it can't be! I've seen how big that thing is! It could tear apart the whole house if it wanted to. There must be a better way out. There must be.
I am an idiot, nursing my wounds in shame. Yes, I tried to run. I don't know why, I don't know where I thought I was going, instinct just took over and I ran. "Luckily" I slipped and fell down the last few stairs in my haste. I've got a big lump on my head, but I'll be okay... assuming I survive all this. There is a hole in the ceiling now, though. I still had the gun. Idiot.
The fog is back. Of course.
Maybe if I... no, no that's stupid. I need to brainstorm. Where's the other notebook? Damn it.
My legs are shaking. Twice, now. Twice I have tried to bolt for the door. This is worse than mere instinct, this is insanity! What good could possibly come of running? My mind is all a jitter. Ideas come and go, but none of them make sense. I cannot stop them. Every now and then one almost makes sense, and instantly I feel my legs jerk. It must be my fight or flight response. My body will not stay here.
No, no, no no no! How does it know? How does it know?! It's put a damn car in the driveway- one of the police cars! I saw it come drifting out of the fog with nobody in it! It WANTS me to run! It's tempting me! How could it know?! How could an animal be that smart? What the hell is- forgive me, please... I am weeping. Will this even be legible? My vision is too blurred to even tell, and yet I write. What a fool I am. I need time. I must be calm. What a fool.
I hear voices, in the woods. People. Is it a rescue party? Maybe more police? The military? God, please be the military. Fire up a big tank and blow that thing to smithereens. I need to see it die.
This is my last entry for today. Holding still has become a tremendous physical effort. I've tried to run several times, even against what feels like my own will. The second to last time I shattered a window and had to bandage myself up. I am becoming my own worst enemy. This cannot go on... So I am making a stand. All the windows are boarded up, and I have removed the temptation of the car. It is in ruins down. I shot the gas tank.
Now I will sit here for the rest of the night, tethered to the chair. My arms are free to work the rifle. That is all I need.
Night has passed. I do not feel especially well, but I am free, and for now it's silent. The voices stopped around four in the morning, but the fog is still thick. I know it's out there.
(the following two pages are illegible)
I spent most of yesterday thinking. Between this fever and the eerie quiet, I have had little else to do. I've been trying to come up with a plan. This thing, whatever it is, must have a weakness... but I have not yet found it, and it is certainly not gunfire. I see now that there are bullet holes in nearly all the trees. They must pass right through it, like a ghost... or a hallucination.
My spirits are plunging again. This is a fools errand.
I mentioned that I have had nothing to do but think. Yes, I think. Constantly! About everything! It's become chaotic, overwhelming... an unstoppable frenzy in my head! My mind has almost become more frightening than the creature. Almost. It's my fear of it, I think, that's keeping me alive... I don't want to be here, in this situation, in this impossible, uphill battle... but I am too terrified to go outside and face that awful thing. If it showed it's face right now I don't know if I could even muster up the courage to shoot at it again. I just want out. I just want peace.
Took some medicine for my fever and drifted off around noon. Nothing happened while I was out, but I did have a dream. I saw the whole world, covered in fog. And it was empty. No buildings, no animals, no plants, no people. Only me, all alone.
I think that's what it wants. I think it's left me alive on purpose. It wants me to suffer. It wants me to see what it can do. For all I've done these past few days, I realize now that I am still the mouse, and it is the cat, playing with it's catch.
Well, I won't give it that pleasure any longer. I will tighten my bandages, swallow the last of my pills, and march outside with the gun. It's the only thing I can do, now.
Wish me luck.
Monster Type: Mythological Marauder
Origin: Hails from another dimension
Offensive ability: Hypnosis / Mind control
Secondary ability: Levitation
Achilles Heel: Venom / Disease / Virus
Motivation: Wants to destroy the world
Location of first attack: NY, USA
Artillery resistance: Intangible
Story and drawing © Chris Eye, 2015.