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“Welcome back everyone to our third trip to look in on Nicole and her kids. Last time we got Margaret’s point of view of her first encounter with the new family in the neighborhood. And we’re gonna check up on the fallout from her interview.”
“I’ve got a bad feeling about it Yuki.”
“Mhmm. Ever since we got cut out last time. I’m really anxious about it, honestly.”
“Let’s not dilly-dally then! Alright guys, strap yourselves in once again for:
MEMOS (from 06/01/99):
Regarding the holding of the five children, subjects# 119AC-2B, 119AC-7H, 119AC-3L, 119AC-2Z (Jaden, Riley, Zelda, and Annabelle as they now refer to themselves), we request immediate approval to remove from their current location to a more secure facility-our Louisville branch, specifically. We have gathered intelligence that plans have been made to breach containment and retrieve the subjects. This evidence can be supplied by a more secure means, but we do need permission to move as soon as possible.
Frank Greene, Commanding Officer
Warren County Barracks
RE: Transportation Request
Your request to transfer the listed subjects 119AC-2B, 119AC-7H, 119AC-3L, 119AC-2Z has been granted. Louisville staff have been put on alert. Please submit any evidence through our normal channels. DO NOT HESITATE with the transfer. Tranquilize the subjects and remove.
Theodore Hall, Director of Operations
CCTV Footage (06/02/99):
The four children are sitting in chairs, similiar to the ones seen at a dentist’s office or the Red Cross, with the notable addition of leather straps fashioned at the base (tied at the girls’ ankles) and at the arm rests (tied at the wrists). All look nervous, but they are not struggling. They are all talking to one another. There is no sound.
Whatever conversation is happening abruptly stops and the sisters look slightly to their right. Two faint shadows appear along the wall. Riley, the nearest to the figures, tenses up. Her chest rises and falls faster and heavier than her siblings. A heavy-set doctor moves into frame, just to the left of Riley’s sneakered feet. His face never comes into view. All that can be seen is his balding gray-black hair. Another doctor comes in from the left, closer to Riley’s head. She is pushing a cart with four syringes, cotton swabs, alcohol, and bandages resting on a towel as white as the doctors’ coats. The girls’ eyes widen upon spotting the instruments on the portable table. The female doctor has short blonde hair–a dyejob, the dark roots are barely visible at the part running down the middle. She is only seen in profile; youthful in appearance, but slight lines run down and across her cheeks and neck. She talks casually to Riley–who does not seem to notice–and rolls up the little girl’s sleeve and swabs her upper arm at the shoulder. The male doctor’s tanned, hairy hand pats Riley’s shoe. She flinches and starts sobbing as the male doctor then reaches for the first syringe. Her siblings start to cry and panic. Jaden tries pulling her arms up and kick herself loose. Nothing happens and the doctors pay her no mind. Riley looks away and clenches her little fists and eyes as the male doctor’s frame obscures most of her upper body. A few seconds later her legs stiffen and then relax. Riley’s heaving sobs settle down as the docs move on down the line and repeat the procedure; her eyes glaze over. She tries to raise her head, but it’s no use, she gives up and rests the back of her head on the chair. The doctors exit to the right and are not seen again. The siblings try to talk amongst themselves, but they fade out. Even Jaden succumbs–not once since the first needle was picked up did she give any of her restraints some slack. She was the last to go under, her chin slowly dipping down to her chest. Minutes pass and nothing happens. Approximately forty-five minutes from the first injection, a group of orderlies enter the room from the way the docs exited, each pushing a wheelchair. They unshackle the children and scoop them up with care and place them into chairs and roll them back the way they came.
A second monitor flicks on, still no sound, to an ill-lit corridor. All four orderlies emerge from one of the many rooms with their respective wards. Single file they go with a singular purpose. There is no pausing, no banter; eyes ahead as if everyone’s lives depended on it. They near the overhead camera and take a sharp left (theirs) and disappear into the shadows and out of frame.
Monitor three is situated in the adjoining hall, catching the last orderly turn left. Their backs are toward this camera and they are walking away toward heavy double-doors in the distance. The picture crackles and the tracking of the tape gets worse; the images jumps down and appears from the top and drops again–over and over. For a fraction of a second everyone disappears and the massive doors appear to be ajar. The dancing, blurred lines simmer down and the vertical hold rights itself. The people pop back into place and the doors are shut once more(a ghost of an old recording must have bled through…VHS tapes had a tendency to do that with multiple recordings over the others). The queue of orderlies and patients waited in front of the large metal doors.
The fourth monitor was positioned in the same hall, further up and facing the same direction. The drugged girls and their guardians wait as the thick metal doors slowly swing open away from the group. Beyond the threshold, the lighting is much brighter and warmer. The area appears to be a loading bay. The orderlies continue their march.
The fifth, and last, camera catches the wheelchair-bound girls entering from the left. A repurposed school bus sits wait outside a series of sliding glass doors. It is painted white with a red cross along the side near the back end with PAITIENT TRANSPORT printed down the length. Everyone queues up at the front of the bus and, one at a time, the children are carefully helped out of their seats and the adults assist them up the steps. The silhouetted forms make way to the center portion of the bus and stop. There is movement from the inside once they are in place. Minutes pass. Each of the orderlies file out the front of the bus. The door closes behind the last one and the vehicle jolts to life. They push the wheelchairs inside and they disappear as the bus rocks to a start and drives offscreen to the right.
From The Smiths Grove Gazette (05/29/99):
Recovered pages from the diary of Margaret Fletcher:
…still no word on Nicole and the girls. I pray every day they are all right (double that at church). As much as I don’t like waiting by and not getting the word out here and wider…if they are really in trouble. I don’t want it to risk hurting them [burnt, charred] Stupid me, nothing else has come to mind to help the FBI any further.
[burnt] back to this place today. No one’s been back to use any of the items for evidence. They never even taped up that area with the yellow tape you always see on TV.
[tattered, muddy]ss them so much. W[torn]
[torn]cked up everything. Washed and cleaned [muddy] like no one ever left. Like they went to school [muddy] dusted and mopped[burnt]
“Not surprising, but we gotta shut this down again, ladies and gents.”
“We’ve actually narrowed down the issues with the feed pretty well. This shouldn’t give us too much more trouble. I’d say we’d be at 100% by the end of the month.”
“You think so?”
“No. I’m a kid. A normal kid, how the hell am I supposed to know this stuff? I just do what you tell me to.”
“Ah…You’re not wrong there.”
“But it does look like everything is holding up better and we’re getting through much easier.”
“Still keep your fingers crossed, everybody. We’re damn sure gonna have The Void up and running properly for Halloween!
“Oh yes, we’re gonna have a hell of a party going on here. We’ll keep with this story as long as it keeps on going, but we’ll be sure to have tales of terror for the holiday weekend!”
“You gonna be dressing up, Yuki?”
“Wouldn’t be a proper Halloween if I didn’t. Costumes are mandatory that night, my faithful assistant.”
“I’ve already got mine picked out; I just have to pick it up.”
“Good! And with that, we’ll see you next time everyone. You’ve all still got a month to get your costumes and decorations!”