Episode 57: “The Seat of Desolation”

Episode 57: "The Seat of Desolation" The Sheridan Tapes

CONTENT WARNING: Depictions of police corruption, psychological manipulation, doppelgängers, mentions of disturbing imagery and disasters, and mild body horror11242019: A series of recordings from OCPD Headquarters, concerning Edgar Morrison.Starring Trevor Van Winkle as Sam Bailey, Mike Kennedy as Edgar Morrison, Ezra J. Wayne as Ned Leroux, Sophie Borjón as Detective Ramos, and Ray O’Hare as “The Sponsor,” with original music by Jesse Haugen. Written by Trevor Van Winkle and produced by Virginia Spotts, with dialogue editing and sound design by Trevor Van Winkle. This episode was made possible by our supporters at Patreon.com/homesteadcorner, ko-fi.com/homesteadcorner, and our backers on Seed&Spark.For more information, additional content, and episode transcript, visit homesteadonthecorner.com/tst057Support this show http://supporter.acast.com/sheridantapes. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Become a member at https://plus.acast.com/s/SheridanTapes.

Listen on Apple Podcasts

Listen on Spotify

CONTENT WARNING: Depictions of police corruption, psychological manipulation, doppelgängers, mentions of disturbing imagery and disasters, and mild body horror

11242019: A series of recordings from OCPD Headquarters, concerning Edgar Morrison.

Starring Trevor Van Winkle as Sam Bailey, Mike Kennedy as Edgar Morrison, Ezra J. Wayne as Ned Leroux, Sophie Borjón as Detective Ramos, and Ray O’Hare as “The Sponsor,” with original music by Jesse Haugen. Written by Trevor Van Winkle and produced by Virginia Spotts, with dialogue editing and sound design by Trevor Van Winkle. This episode was made possible by our supporters at Patreon.com/homesteadcorner, ko-fi.com/homesteadcorner, and our backers on Seed&Spark.

For more information, additional content, and episode transcript, visit thesheridantapes.com

Script

Transcript

CONTENT WARNING: Depictions of police corruption, psychological manipulation, doppelgängers, mentions of disturbing imagery and disasters, and mild body horror

[A quiet room in ISPHA, Meriwether]

[Distant rumble of machinery, faint hum of HVAC]

[Mechanical door opens, footsteps across room]

[Sam starts his recorder]

Sam Bailey

Samuel Isaac Bailey, recording for ISPHA internal records — daily log, November 24th, 2019 at 5:41pm Mountain Standard Time.

Not much has changed since my last log, but I will summarize the relevant information for completeness’ sake. Bill, Kate, and Maria are still recovering from the operation in Pennsylvania… as am I, I suppose. ISPHA’s working with the forest service to quarantine that section of Allegheny, and while the threat posed by the Oraculites seems to be contained for now… I can’t seem to convince myself that it’s over.

Please note: this is not a conclusion based on any new information or observations in the field, nor do I have any hard evidence to support the idea… I just have a feeling that Amanita isn’t done with us yet.

Despite the general hospitality of the ISPHA staff, I’m still not sure what to make of this place. The researchers seem reluctant to speak openly about what they’re doing here, and the persistent sound of machinery convinces me that this is more than just a research installation. However, without access to those parts of the facility, I can do nothing but speculate… that, and hope that if Ren hears this, they’ll consider increasing my clearance. I don’t like being kept in the dark, and if Ren’s been watching me for the past year — he should know why.

Though I guess it would be more honest to say I want to get in there because I’m bored. You think I’d be better at handling isolation after six months alone in the mountains. Bill’s barely left his room since Rob arrived, and Kate’s spending all her time with her family… Which I get, but — still. Even Maria’s spending most of the day working with Ren, helping him with some glitch on the server or other… it all kind of went over my head. That leaves Jerry, but… well, if I’m suspicious about this place, then he completely distrusts it. And ISPHA. Can’t really blame him. Most of us knew Ren before he brought us here, but ISPHA just scooped Jerry up out of the blue. And even though I trust Ren — mostly, at least — this place is far from welcoming.

I don’t know. Maybe it’s just paranoia, but… I can’t shake the feeling that there’s something else here. Something dark. And it’s watching us.

[Cassette noises]

[Click]

[Main Theme]

Recording Begins

[Dial tone, Beep]

[A synthesized voice speaks]

Recorder

New Recording: 25 November Two Thousand Nineteen – 0800:59

[Beep]

[A quiet, private office — audio is distorted through recording effects]

[Just barely audible, the muffled hum of conversation and traffic at OCPD outside]

Edgar Morrison

Captain Elwood! How the hell are you? (listens) Oh, can’t complain, can’t complain. (listens) Yes, yes, the rumors are true — I’m back. Full time. (listens, chuckles) I know — of all the things to take me down. Let it never be said that golf isn’t an extreme sport. (listens) It’s nothing too serious — just a slipped disk. To be expected, I suppose… I’m not a young man anymore. And hole 9 is one sneaky old bastard. (listens)

Oh he did, did he? Well I’m sure you took good care of him… How long was he laid up? (listens) Well, it shouldn’t be nearly that bad — the doctor told me to take it easy for the next few months, so I probably won’t be seeing you all that often.

(listens) Ned Leroux. Have you had a chance to meet him yet? (listens) Hmm… Well, I’m sure you will soon. I’m going to be having him run most of my errands outside the station, at least for the next few months. (listens)

No, you don’t need to hide anything from him — he’s my good right hand and confidant, at least for the time being. Speak to him like you’re talking to me, and you’ll be fine. (listens) Of course he’s trustworthy. I wouldn’t bring him in if he wasn’t. Check his record, if you must. Impeccable history of service, not a mark to his name. It’s nearly done, so I might as well tell you… I’m promoting him to Deputy Chief. At least until I’m back on my feet. (listens) Yes, I trust him that much. You know what it’s been like in Oslow. We’ve gone through hell together.

(listens)

Yes, I have your reports on my desk. They look very… thorough. Excellent work. (listens) I’ll review them as soon as I can — it’s only my first day back, after all. Can’t expect to finish everything. (listens) I’d better let you get to it, then. Take care, Elwood. (listens) Yeah, it’s… it’s… good to be back in the chair.

[Beep]

Recorder

New Recording: 25 November Two Thousand Nineteen — 1131:05

[Beep]

[Same office and recording effects]

Ned Leroux

Hey, Chief. No, nothing’s wrong, just — Uh, Detective Ramos stopped by your office. She’s uh… actually, she’s still here.

(listens) Yes, I told her you were out to lunch, but she says she has some files you need to review. Apparently she made an appointment last week? (listens) No, I didn’t see it either, sir. I can check with the clerks, but — (cuts off, listens)

I see.

(to Ramos) What did you want to show him again?

Detective Ramos

It’s all the Code Grey callouts for the past few weeks — I’ve been processing them while you were gone, and I think there’s something you need to see— 

Ned Leroux

She says it’s the Code Grey reports. Yes, I told her you were getting to those, but she insisted— 

Uh-huh. Uh-huh. Huh. Yes, I do think it’s rather presumptuous of your time, but unprofessional? I don’t know sir, that seems a bit too harsh.

Detective Ramos

I can just… leave these here with you for now. If that’s okay with the chief?

Ned Leroux

Yes, I can take a look at them sir. No, it’s not a problem. (listens) You sure? Alright… 

(to Ramos) Put ‘em on the desk.

[Ramos sets files on the desk and turns to walk away]

(into phone) What’s that? No, no, I don’t think it’s cause for disciplinary action, if it’s just a one time thing… 

[Ramos quickly exits]

Ned Leroux

No, she’s gone now. Yeah, about time. Well — I’ll see you soon, chief.

[Beep]

Recorder

New Recording: 25 November Two Thousand Nineteen – 1310:22

[Beep]

[Quiet office — filtered through recorded audio]

Edgar Morrison

Commissioner Michaels! Thank you for calling, I was just about to— 

No, it was next on my list — I just have a lot to catch up on, as you might imagine. (listens) I would think getting the department back on track should be my first priority, don’t you?

(listens) That’s what you think, is it?

Listen Commissioner, I would have called if I’d been able to. My phone died on the way to the hospital, and I didn’t get a chance to charge it until— (he sighs)

Yes, I agree that the hospital staff should have made the call for me. I told one of the nurses to do it, but I guess they never got around to it. I assumed you knew what was going on. (listens) Well, yes — that’s obvious now. But they had me on some fairly strong painkillers at the time, so you can probably understand why I didn’t follow up. (listens)

I don’t agree with that assessment, Commissioner. And I don’t think the board will, either. (listens) First of all, neglect of duty implies an active choice to abandon one’s post while still able to perform the necessary duties of said post, neither of which applies to my situation. At most, it was a lapse in communication coupled with an incapacitating injury — unfortunate, but not enough to constitute a violation of my contract or the county’s trust. And second — the fact that you’re calling me on your cell phone tells me that this is not a matter that concerns the commission board, but you personally. If I didn’t know better, I’d think this was some kind of play against my office. (listens)

I didn’t say it was, commissioner… that’s just how the situation could be misconstrued. Wouldn’t want you to be accused of something by mistake, would I? (listens) Yes, I will try to be more open with the board going forward. I apologize that it’s been… inconsistent, the last few months. (listens)

I’ll do my best, Michaels. Take care.

[Beep]

Recorder

New Recording: 25 November Two Thousand Nineteen – 1435:41.

[Beep]

[A quiet office — filtered through recorded audio]

Ned Leroux

Of course I understand this is urgent, but I already told you he isn’t here. (listens) No, I don’t know where he went, he just said he’d be back in a few minutes. (listens)

He could be takin’ a piss for all I know. Should I go check? (listens) Look, can’t you handle this on your own? I’ve got a whole stack of Code Greys on m—Morrison’s desk from when he was out. (listens)

Huh. Trees moving by themselves. When people aren’t lookin’. Right. Sounds terrifying. (listens) Oh no, I can see why this needs his immediate attention. Some gardeners might get hurt. (listens)

So send a patrol car out to check on it! You’re the dispatcher, so make the call! God, do you need Morrison to hold your hand on everything that happens around here? (listens) Then quit. I don’t care what you thought you signed up for — this is what we do here. And I’m sure Morrison would tell you the exact same thing if he was here. (listens)

Yes, I’ll tell him when he gets back. Just don’t start crying on me.

[Beep]

Recorder

New Recording: 25 November Two Thousand Nineteen – 1650:41.

[Beep]

[A quiet office — filtered through recorded audio]

[Morrison answers a call in his office]

Edgar Morrison

Detective Ramos, it’s nearly the end of your shift. Can’t we leave this for tomorrow?

Detective Ramos

I don’t mind staying a little later if you don’t, chief — I can clock out now if you’re worried about overtime?

Edgar Morrison

It’s not… No need. Go ahead.

Detective Ramos

Well, uh… as you know, I’ve been keeping track of the recent Code Grey callouts while you’ve been away: making sure they were handled properly and kept off the records, like you asked.

Edgar Morrison

I’m aware… Ned filled me in on the details. Commendable work, as always.

Detective Ramos

Uh… thank you sir.

Anyway — over the past two weeks, there has been a significant increase in both the number of Code Grey-classified calls in Oslow and the number of reported incidents that fall within the parameters you outlined following the Agate Shore event.

Edgar Morrison

Has there?

Detective Ramos

At least ten in the past 14 days, sir… Almost every night.

Edgar Morrison

(sighing) And you think this is a noteworthy increase?

Detective Ramos

Sir, I’ve been with this department for nearly six years now. I know the work we do has always been a little… unusual, compared to most police departments. But until last April, I could pretend we just had these policies to deal with hoaxes. But then — well, ever since the Sheridan incident, I don’t think anyone’s really been able to believe that. So I started tracking the Code Grey calls for myself… at least, all the ones I knew about.

Edgar Morrison

You… You did?

Detective Ramos

Sir, I understand I should have run it by you, but believe me, I haven’t told anyone else what I’m doing. All of those cases are still locked down and sealed to the public, and you’re the only one who knows about my investigations.

Edgar Morrison

Go on.

Detective Ramos

From May to October of this year, there were approximately eight separate incidents sealed under Code Grey protocols, along with a few dozen unconfirmed calls that fell just short of that classification. Then, in the period between the end of October and your injury in Reno, there were ten.

Edgar Morrison

And in the two weeks since my injury, there’s been at least that many callouts.

Detective Ramos

Exactly. I believe something is making these… unexplained occurrences more frequent. And I believe it’s getting worse.

Edgar Morrison

Walk me through the files you gave me.

Detective Ramos

Sir, I think— 

Edgar Morrison

I want to know what these “incidents” amount to. Make sure we’re not chasing our own tail here.

Detective Ramos

Well… The first one should be from November 11th…

[He picks up a folder, looking through it]

Edgar Morrison

I see it — one second.

[Flipping through papers]

Hmm… “At 2031 hours, a Mr. James Mangrove called from 238 Crystal Vista Apartments to report — ‘inhuman screaming?’”

Detective Ramos

That’s all the dispatcher was able to ascertain, sir — something was screaming, and it didn’t sound human. The officers on site were unable to identify the source.

Edgar Morrison

“’Inhuman screaming’ from the drive-thru at Okee’s Famous Burgers and Malts, 100 Pineway Boulevard. Officers Malcolm and Conway responded, arriving at the scene at approximately 2100 hours. Spoke with Mr. Mangrove, determined that the screaming had not stopped since he called. Officers confirmed noise was still present, requested permission to approach the drive-thru in patrol car. Permission granted by dispatch, officers approached from the southwest entrance. Conway noted that the motion sensor lights on the building failed to engage, and, quote: “it seems way too dark in here.” Radio contact lost at 2104. Additional patrol car dispatched to scene, arrived 2110. 

Officers Willem and Scott spoke with Mr. Mangrove, who confirmed the patrol car had not reemerged. Screaming had not ceased. Willems and Scott prepared to approach on foot when noises from drive-through cut out. Patrol car reemerged moments later. Malcom and Conway shaken but unharmed, seemingly unaware of time passed. Radio contact reestablished soon after.”

[He sets the file down]

And I take it both officers are still fine?

Detective Ramos

Sir?

Edgar Morrison

Neither have reported any physiological symptoms since the incident? Headaches, dizziness, difficulty sleeping?

Detective Ramos

No sir — at least, not that I’m aware of.

Edgar Morrison

And was their dash-cam recording when they entered the drive-through?

Detective Ramos

It was sir… I included the footage on a CD in that file.

Edgar Morrison

So you did. Does it show anything?

Detective Ramos

No sir — there’s a gap in the footage between 2104 and 2111… the timecode just skips those minutes, but it doesn’t seem like the footage is corrupted or missing… At least, not that I can tell.

Edgar Morrison

So there was a strange noise from a darkened location with — let’s be honest — quite outdated and probably faulty speaker equipment, a pair of officers who didn’t report seeing anything, and no recordings of what they were doing in those missing 7 minutes? I think there are several more likely explanations than the supernatural, Detective Ramos.

Detective Ramos

But… what about all the other cases?

Edgar Morrison

Well let’s take a look — [he flips through papers] evening of November 17th. “At 1804, Father Timothy of the Oslow Diocese called from Our Lady of the Desert church to report a “dark figure” standing outside the sanctuary while he was attempting to lock up for the night. The figure did not answer when Father Timothy challenged it, and he was unable to find a light source bright enough to determine its identity. Officer Lambert and… Detective Ramos?

…And Detective Ramos were dispatched, arriving at 1810.”

Detective Ramos

Lambert and I were following up on a lead for the Wikman case nearby. They called us in on the way back to the station.

Edgar Morrison

“Officers arrived at 1810, confirmed presence of unknown individual outside the church. Suspect fled the scene, Lambert pursued while Ramos remained behind to check on Father Timothy. Figure disappeared into back alley. Father Timothy unharmed but frightened, provided with police escort home at Detective Ramos’ suggestion.” That was very kind of you.

Detective Ramos

Uh… thank you, sir.

Edgar Morrison

If you don’t mind me asking, detective — why did you include this file? There’s nothing unexplainable in this report — just someone trying to harass an old priest. It’s horrible, but it happens.

Detective Ramos

I thought so too — at least, initially. But… then I saw the dashcam footage from when we approached the church, and… and… well, I included a printout. See for yourself.

[Shuffling paper, he pulls out a photo]

Edgar Morrison

Jesus — what the hell is that thing?

Detective Ramos

That’s what our camera picked up in the split-second between the headlights hitting the figure and it running. I’m still not sure what to make of it, but — that sure as hell doesn’t look like a human face.

[He puts the photo away]

Edgar Morrison

We really should replace those cameras. They get some very bizarre glitches, especially in low-light conditions.

Detective Ramos

Sir, with all due respect, I don’t think it’s a— 

Edgar Morrison

And I think if that’s what you encountered that night, you would have noticed. I know it’s a disturbing image, but I can’t say that it’s proof.

Detective Ramos

What about November 20th? Two separate warehouses nearly 50 miles apart, found with flooded basements on the exact same day. You have to see the similarities to the Agate Shore incident!

Edgar Morrison

And you think the intervention of the supernatural is more likely than a broken water main? You know how much the county has struggled with failing infrastructure these past few years— 

Detective Ramos

Sir, both warehouses were abandoned in the 80’s. Their water hasn’t been connected for more than thirty years.

Edgar Morrison

Did we dispatch any officers to investigate?

Detective Ramos

We… both warehouses were out near Arrowhead, and we couldn’t spare anyone to check on them. By the time we got out there, they’d already dried out.

Edgar Morrison

So as far as we know, it could have been a false alarm. I admit that there are several disturbing parallels to the Agate Shore case, but that’s all they are — parallels. Conclusions based on what’s happened before.

Detective Ramos

You can’t just dismiss all of these as— 

Edgar Morrison

Don’t interrupt me, Ramos. I appreciate you bringing these to my attention. I understand you’ve felt a bit in the dark for the past few weeks, but trust me — I will look into these cases, when and how I see fit. But this department can’t function if we’re too busy chasing shadows to do our jobs. We need to be rational about how we— 

Detective Ramos

There is nothing rational about any of this!

Edgar Morrison

Which is why we need to keep a level head from here on out… especially if you think you’re seeing ghosts. Ten to one, there’s a simpler explanation. Find it.

And don’t go harassing Ned if you can’t find me, alright? We both know you’re better than that.

Detective Ramos

Yes sir.

Edgar Morrison

Good night, Detective.

[Click — Morrison hangs up, shifting in his chair as he rubs his face]

[Morrison sighs]

Edgar Morrison

Christ… 

[He sits back in his chair]

[A faint, familiar, fleshy squelching is heard]

[Edgar’s voice transforms…]

Ned Leroux/Edgar Morrison

“Leave him in the tunnels,” I said — “No one will know the difference,” I said… Ugh.

Ned Leroux

So much for a nice office job. No wonder Morrison stayed underground. These people can hardly tie their shoes without him.

I wonder what would happen if I just… let him disappear again. For good, this time. Might be better, in the long term. Certainly easier for me. I’ve already made myself Deputy Chief, so I suppose they’d just… have me stand in for him. For now, Hmmm… 

[The phone rings]

Ned Leroux

What the hell? Who’s calling Morrison at 5 o’clock?

[Brief squelching as Ned begins to shift, then stops]

Ned Leroux

Ah, screw it.

[He picks up the phone]

Hello?

Sponsor

“Three things are ever silent…”

Ned Leroux 

Beg pardon?

Sponsor

What… Who is this?

Ned Leroux 

I could ask the same thing. This is a private line.

Sponsor

Where’s Edgar? Why are you in his office?

Ned Leroux 

I’m helping Chief Morrison out with a few things while he recovers.

Sponsor

Well can you get him on the phone?

Ned Leroux 

May I ask what this is regarding…?

Sponsor

Tell him it’s Spengler. I need to talk to him.

Ned Leroux 

I could tell him it’s the pope, and he’d still ask what it’s about. I need more than a last name, buddy.

Sponsor

Dr. Ellis Spengler. Tell him it’s about the tunnels.

Ned Leroux 

Right… Oh, hold on, there he is— 

[Ned shifts in his seat, morphing back into Morrison with a squelch]

Edgar Morrison

(sighing, then) Hello?

Sponsor

Edgar, what the hell is going on over there? Why haven’t we heard from you since October?

Edgar Morrison

You haven’t been getting the reports I’ve sent? They should have arrived by now.

Sponsor

Reports… Edgar, we told you to call us. Weekly. I’ve been extremely patient up until now, but my patience is— 

Edgar Morrison

Is this line secure?

Sponsor

What? I don’t know — I thought you were handling that.

Edgar Morrison

I thought I was too, but clearly there’s a hole in the system somewhere. I just figured out someone has been tapping my communications for the past few months.

Sponsor

Tapping your… who?

Edgar Morrison

I don’t know yet. But I’m going to find out. 

So I take it you haven’t been getting my reports either?

Sponsor

No, I haven’t. Do you think something— 

Edgar Morrison

Either that, or the post office is running even slower than usual out here.

Sponsor

That… complicates things.

Edgar Morrison

It does at that.

Sponsor

And what about the, uh… activity, in the tunnels? Did it work?

Edgar Morrison

That got complicated too. Another set of… outside factors.

Sponsor

And I assume you’ve got a plan to deal with those?

Edgar Morrison

I might. I need a few more days to get things sorted here. Then I’ll update you.

Sponsor

We’ve already given you weeks— 

Edgar Morrison

I spent most of those in the hospital, in case you haven’t heard.

Sponsor

We heard. And we know it wasn’t a golfing injury.

Edgar Morrison

Are you threatening me, Spengler?

Sponsor

I’m giving you a warning, Edgar. Get your shit together, or we find someone who can.

“In the shadow, we make silence.”

[Click — Ellis hangs up before Edgar/Ned can reply]

[After a moment, Ned shifts back into his usual shape]

Ned Leroux

What the hell have I gotten myself into?

[Beep]

Recording Ends

End Theme & Credits


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s