(Late) field reports for my Patrons from November! If you want to be involved these weird little stories, pledge to my webcomic's Patreon!
While in North America, Secret Agent Avia Jiutai was asked to investigate a very unusual case of animal abuse on the west coast. Following the leads provided by reluctant locals (including several pre‑teens and their dog), Agent Jiutai was able to sneak into an abandoned race track for greyhounds. There, he was able to witness a secret, and highly illegal, containment operation exploiting nightcrawlers, who were forced to race for a betting crowd. Nightcrawlers are an extremely rare and vulnerable extraterrestrial species that began populating the North American continent in the 2000s: they are known for their slow, lumbering gate on two white, stilt-like legs with no other visible limbs. Agent Jiutai called for reinforcements and conducted a raid on the site; several of the organizers of the race were placed under arrest. Since nightcrawlers are considered forbidden knowledge by most governments, memory alteration has been conducted on much of the audience. The nightcrawlers were nursed back to health and released into the native wilds allocated by the US government.
Secret Agent Gedat Rakkin was sent to Russia to investigate reports of cattle mutilations and grave robbings in a small town over the last few months. What he discovered, after following the paper trails, was a disgraced surgeon and professor of medicine hiding out in a long-forgotten bunker. Immediately upon entering the bunker, Agent Rakkin discovered bizarre creatures, who seemed to be a kind of living taxidermy collection: a two-headed deer, a squirrel with a snake's head; living feral animals of varying complexity, all showing obvious signs of surgical modification. The professor revealed himself, pleading with the agent for help and leading him into the facility. Agent Rakkin was shown more examples of the doctor's work, including specimens of anthropoid corpses, distorted through surgical means to have a mix of different animal anatomies. As it became clear to the agent that several of these bodies were missing their heads, the source of the doctor's distress became evident when a massive creature appeared from deeper in the facility and began to attack, swiftly ripping the doctor to pieces. The monster seemed to be a composite of many large animals, mostly horses, with four anthropoid heads on long, snake-like necks. The "hydra", as the doctor's notes referred to the creature, was eventually subdued by the agent, though not before serious injury to the agent. An SIU team was sent to cover up the site, extract any useful research within, and find homes for the experimental animals.
Senior Agent Wheaton Adams believes he has uncovered the secret identity assumed by famed 1980s science fiction writer, Sven Duval. Best known for his story, 'Callisto Falling', which was made into an influential film in 1995, Duval mysteriously disappeared shortly before the release of the film. Many theorized that his death was faked, though no evidence had ever surfaced until Agent Adams's research. Citing uncovered papers from an infamous underground cosmetic surgeon and a rabbit hole of strange online message board posts, Adams thinks Duval did indeed fake his death and assumed not one but potentially four new identities simultaneously. The surgeon's papers describe in vague terms a sort of "shifting face" surgery, seeming to imply that its purpose was to allow Duval to change his appearance, either at will or by the easy use of cosmetics or prosthetics. The specific potential identity (or identities) that Duval may have taken is still unknown; as Duval would be 90 years old this year, the likelihood of his discovery is slim.
Following other evidence discovered by Agent Adams, Senior Agent Duncan has tracked down a sasquatch individual who had discretely passed into normal society. In the papers of black market surgeon William Dafney, the agents found records of a sasquatch, a member of the rare and highly protected population in the French alps, undergoing cosmetic surgery to appear as a more common anthropoid bear. Agent Duncan was able to trace this individual to a small English town where they apparently had lived a peaceful, solitary life within the society there until the sasquatch's extreme longevity began to arouse local suspicion. Evidence of the individual seemed to disappear after this point for several years, but Agent Duncan managed to track them down in Berlin, apparently happily married to a local lizard. The bear has been taken in for questioning and medical examination; however, as the date of the escape from the sasquatch reservation is unknown, we have not yet determined if a fine is necessary or if the statute of limitations has passed.
Special Agent Cat Zirka visited a South African town that seems to be inflicted by a mysterious, never-ending night. Viewed from the outside, the suburban sprawl of near-identical houses and pools appear normal, if unusually foggy. Upon entering the town, however, Agent Zirka reports that it appears as if the sun is simply not there: not just blocked by the fog, but fading from view entirely upon entering the 3-mile affected radius. Local authorities and citizens alike are at a total loss as to the cause of the darkness, which began abruptly one morning in early November. No one has yet offered any clue or evidence as to the cause, although several black-eyed children pointing at the sky chanting "your sins, your sins" apparently gave pause for the agent. Zirka is assisting in an evacuation of the town and the case is still pending further investigation.
Special Agent Fenix Blackpaw investigated a strange pop culture phenomenon rumored to have happened in 2022. 'Black Battery', the third remake of a sci-fi cult classic film, was officially released in the winter of 2022, but rumors began to circulate that it had been released earlier in the year. Evidence for this was sparse but, although all official records and articles pointed to a December release, several photos and artifacts of a spring 2022 release were eventually uncovered. There is strained evidence of a potential, wide-scale media cover up. After a lengthy database hack into internal email chains, Agent Blackpaw (believing that the first release of the film must have had some sort of error or supernatural presence worth covering up) discovered a confused, frantic conversation between the producers of the film. It seems that the movie was indeed released to theaters in February 2022 with heavy advertising but, somehow, literally no tickets were sold on opening weekend. The movie had been predicted to sell moderately well but, by what can only be described as a serendipitous arrangement of coincidences, boycotts, and other small, culminating factors, no one saw the film on its opening night. The studio, in a panic, withdrew the film and all advertising materials and attempted to cover up the embarrassing event. Later released in December, ticket sales were disappointing, but at least not zero. The statistical likelihood of literally everyone who would have normally seen the movie being sick, busy, or forgetful all on the same day is a non-zero probability, but the alarming range of this seeming coincidence has warranted further research.
A mysterious impact in Huacachina Lagoon has caused great alarm, Special Agent Chaz Gates was sent to investigate with a small task force. The small oasis town/resort, isolated within the Peru desert, found that its small lagoon had mysteriously frozen over during the night and stayed frozen even in the warm 33 degree Celsius weather. By the time SIU agents arrived, most of the town had been evacuated due to health concerns: several citizens and tourists had been hospitalized with severe frostbite after prolonged proximity to the ice. Samples studied in the SIU's mobile lab revealed that the "ice" was really a previously unknown type of crystal that seems to spread through liquid water, resembling ice in many properties. It functions like ice in many ways, in that it seems to absorb heat from its surroundings while in its rigid form. Experiments with lasers revealed methods by which the crystal could be melted and destroyed, and efforts are underway (in conjunction with the Peruvian government) to quarantine, remove, and destroy all examples of this dangerous crystal in the wild to return Huacachina to normalcy. Several large samples have been sent to discrete locations within the Egyptian and Peruvian government for further study.
Ghost sightings in Vietnam drew the attention of Special Agent Arukino last month. Persistent rumors of the ghosts of soldiers seen along the banks of the Trà Khúc River lead to widespread media attention when alleged footage of the specters hit social media back in August. After two nights spent camped along the riverbank with the latest in full-spectrum observation technology, Agent Arukino believes he has recorded some of the best evidence yet of a "stone tape" haunting: not a spirit but the memory of a person or event stored within an object or location. Repeated testing has shown it is impossible to interact with any of these apparitions, and their motions seem to coincide with the movements seen in the vague and distant footage captured in August. Agent Arukino's field test represents an important step forward in understanding and developing this technology.
Special Agent Kouroth visited the Taurus Mountains of southern Turkey following reports of fireballs in the sky. Local legend states that two mountains regularly "fight", with recent reports of bright glowing lights rapidly passing between them, occasionally orbiting for a brief moment. Legends suggest a long history of these sightings, perhaps dating back to the 1800s. After several nights on the lookout, Agent Kouroth was able to make a sighting of the activity first-hand, complete with video evidence, and decided to ascend the mountain to investigate further. Expecting a minor fluke of geographical magnetism, the agent instead found massive, ancient metal structures. The conductive components of the structures and their ornate, sweeping designs seemed designed to harness and weaponize magnetic fields or charged particles in the upper atmosphere. Wind and snow atop the mountains seemed to subtly shift the strange machines, causing them to discharge towards each other creating the light show. Archaeologists have been sent to investigate the mountains in hopes of ascertaining the age, and origin, of these structures. Incidentally, Agent Kouroth captured many gorgeous photographs of local architecture, in particular the ancient stone bridges, and copies have been requested for print and display within the SIU offices.
Special Agent Neo traveled to an Indian temple, where a story had broken of a religious statue that cried real tears during a prayer service. The statue, a two meter tall depiction of a bovine woman, was placed in storage in 1944 to protect it from local political strife during the region's civil war and was presumed lost until its re-discovery in 2029. The local news of the find hit international media when footage surfaced of the white statue leaking reportedly salty fluid from its eyes. It took much convincing of the local religious authorities to allow Agent Neo to carefully examine the statue, taking "tear" samples and x-ray scans. A deep pocket of air was discovered within the statue, created by hairline cracks in its surface. When analyzed, the "tears" were revealed to be condensation, mixed with an extremely rare type of toxic mold known to be a mild psychoactive drug. The Indian government is now attempting to recall and destroy any of the statue's "tears" that may have been sold or taken as religious artifacts to prevent any accidental outbreaks.