The Storage Papers is a fiction horror podcast.
Discretion is advised.
WRITTEN BY JEREMY ENFINGER
Welcome back everyone. I suppose I owe you an update given the way the last episode ended. If you don’t recall, I ended up passing out and woke up in the emergency room. They decided to admit me for a couple of days to run some tests after the ER Doctor ordered a CT scan of my brain, which came back with some abnormal results. The radiologist’s report indicated there was some kind of small mass, or “lesion” as he called it, in my prefrontal cortex. They said there’s no way of knowing if it was anything serious or not, but after all of my labs checked out okay and after 48 hours of observation with no further complications, they decided to let me go home, with an order for an MRI on Friday to further evaluate the mass.
For now, I’m off work and have been told to “take it easy.” I find that phrase ambiguous. “Take it easy.” Does that mean mentally, physically, or both? To me, it implies they have no idea what really caused my episode, or how to ensure it doesn’t happen again. It’s what they tell you to make themselves feel better about sending you home; like there’s a box they have to check on the discharge checklist to give each patient advice on next steps. It’s weak advice, but they can consider their job done because they’ve rendered it. Fucking doctors. They don’t exactly instill confidence, do they?
Anyways, because I’m “taking it easy” right now, and I’ve promised my wife I won’t be working or doing any research into the papers, I figured I’d update you all on my El Campo Cemetery meeting. If you recall, back in Episode 7 of this season, I reviewed some documents from Patel’s package about the Pyramidion (I’m not sure if that’s a singular object or plural at this point). I had received a phone call from Brianne where she informed me that my name, as well as hers, her brother, Ben’s, and Malcolm’s were all in the medical documents. Some of us were Shepherds and others, including myself and Malcolm, were labeled as Makers. And then I got a text from a private number telling me to meet them at El Campo at 9:00 p.m. on a Saturday a few weeks back.
If you’ve never been to Old Town San Diego, I would highly recommend a visit the next time you’re in town. Old Town has some of the oldest buildings still standing in the county, and it’s been kept up and turned into this quaint little spot for locals and tourists to conglomerate. There’s some great places to eat there, especially if you like Mexican Food, along with various shops, restored old buildings, and hotels. It can get a lot of foot traffic on the weekends and especially during the summer.
Right in the middle of it all is the infamous Whaley House. If you’ve ever watched a paranormal TV show, the house has probably been investigated on it. I’ve even investigated there a few times myself with a couple of local groups. And right around the corner from the Whaley House, just a few steps away, is El Campo Cemetery. It’s a legitimate place where bodies are buried and headstones still stand, though very small compared to most cemeteries you might think of. It seems entirely out of place, surrounded by so much life and entertainment. It’s a wonder the dead can even rest in a location like that, with hundreds (if not, thousands) of passers-by every day, and few people stopping by to pay their respects.
I actually showed up 15 minutes early that Saturday, but sat in my car, waiting to see if I could spot anyone else observing the cemetery. I was hoping to get a glimpse of what kind of car they drove or a plate number, but as the time ticked away and approached 9pm, I didn’t see anyone arrive or leave, so I got out of my car and walked in the gate.
I stood in the center of the cemetery and looked around in every direction. I was in plain sight to pedestrians on either side of the small grounds, and it felt like everyone was staring at me. I suppose from their point of view, it’s not everyday you see someone standing in the middle of a cemetery looking around like they’re lost. Maybe they thought I was a ghost.
I figured I’d look a little less conspicuous and start reading some of the headstones like any tourist might do. Most of the cemetery was lit by street lamps, including both entrances on either side of it. There was one spot at the far end of the plot that had some canopy cover from some old trees, so I decided to walk in that direction. As I did, I noticed the faint orange glow of a cigar being dragged on. I figured that was my contact, so I headed that way.
As I approached, I became engulfed in shadow from the trees overhead and it was surprisingly dark. I could see why this was chosen as a private place to meet, even though it had public access. I could faintly make out a man in his late 60’s smoking a cigar. I stopped about 10 feet from him, and when he didn’t say anything right away, I thought perhaps I had the wrong person.
When I took half a step back, he said in a gravelly voice, “Turn off the recorder.”
Well, shit. I obliged, knowing he was the right person, but completely disappointed that I couldn’t record the conversation. Without a greeting or telling me who he was, he asked me to step closer and roll up my sleeves. I looked around to make sure I knew which direction I could make an exit if I needed to, and then took a few slow steps forward while rolling up the sleeves to my hooded sweatshirt.
“Palms up,” he said.
I displayed my empty hands and the insides of my forearms as he leaned forward and took a closer look. He motioned at me with his right hand that he was satisfied, his cigar within his curled index finger, and then took a couple more steps back into the darkness.
He identified himself as Joseph Foye, Grandfather to Malcolm Foye. The same Joseph Foye who’s fingerprint analysis ID’d him as the cadaver in the hotel room. You remember, the headless one with C.O.M. written on his forearm? I withheld this piece of information for the time being.
He also said a mutual acquaintance of ours made our introduction possible. I’m assuming it was 4thTrumpet, but can’t be certain. I told him that wasn’t the first time someone had asked to look at my forearms, and asked what that was about, and he said he’d get to that eventually “if things panned out.” I’m not sure what that meant, but I went along with it.
Joseph had many questions for me. He wanted to know how much of my childhood I remembered and if I had information about specific people whose names I promised not to reveal on the podcast. The questions just kept coming and coming, and I was beginning to get frustrated with him, having offered little information useful to me. Eventually, I said, “Are you going to fill me in on any details here, or are you just going to throw questions my way?”
He paused for a moment to consider my question, then said, “Well, are you going to ask me something, then?” I couldn’t tell if he was offended, being rude, or if he was just answering in a matter-of-fact kind of way.
I said, “Well, I already asked you one question, but I can ask different questions I suppose.”
He let out a sigh and said, “Why don’t I just fill you in on some things and feel free to ask some questions along the way because I don’t know what you know.”
That worked for me. He went on to tell me that he used to work for Hydra, and is now part of a group that actively works against them. He explained that there were several inside people working for their cause; moles that serve to feed information to their group and to provide misinformation and disinformation to the higher-ups at Hydra. He said Ron was one of those people.
So far, that seemed to make sense, but then he started getting into some pretty outlandish things that you kind of have to question. Joseph Foye said he knew I was a maker, just like his grandson, Malcolm. He said he had abilities as well, but wouldn’t identify himself as a Maker or a Shepherd. He claimed he was “something else.” He said that he and his group were going around killing “multiples.”
I asked him to clarify what he meant by “multiples.”
At this question, he asked what I knew about theoretical physics, string theory, multiverses, and the like. I admitted I didn’t know much. Apparently, he and his group believed that there are infinite dimensions, delineated by free will. He explained that every time someone makes a choice, whether it was a simple choice between two options or multiple ones, a new dimension of existence develops, and this has been going on as long as human beings have been around.
He explained that some of the Shepherds, specifically those with advanced gifts, had been utilized by Hydra to bring other Shepherds and even other Makers into our own dimension of existence from some close parallel version of it. The purpose: To create new research subjects for Hydra to study for scientific purposes. He said his group is trying to prevent that from happening.
That’s when I asked why they were killing these “multiples.” That’s when he explained the supposed dangers of bringing someone from another dimension into our own. There were multiple reasons, but all of them were theoretical. Ultimately he said there was a risk of paradoxical collapse of the universe. He said Hydra had strict protocols surrounding this in order to prevent a person originating from our own dimension to encounter themselves from another. But there was also evidence to say that perhaps these protocols weren’t necessarily Hydra’s, but someone’s who acted independently within their organization.
Joseph went on to say that Ron had been helping them hunt down and kill multiples, and that he couldn’t risk telling me in case some random piece of information I shared on the podcast might point to his involvement. But now that Patel is dead, Ron hasn’t received any additional targets or further instruction from anyone in Hydra. This led Ron and Joseph to assume one of two things is true: Either Hydra is so compartmentalized that nobody is aware of her death… or perhaps Dr. Patel was conducting her own research into the subject outside of their supervision. If the latter is true, they had to assume that her research, notes and information were being kept somewhere that Hydra did not have access to. That’s what prompted this meeting. Apparently Joseph was aware that Patel sent me some documents and items from her own so-called “private” collection.
I tried to get him to clarify more about the reason he and his group were killing multiples. He admitted that until recently, he had no reason to doubt the paradox theory. Other theories indicated that perhaps when a person encounters their own alternate version, that one (or even both) would simply cease to exist so the universe would go on without them as a sort of protective measure.
But then he said he had evidence leading to other plausible possibilities that needed to be considered. Joseph was aware of a few situations where the alternate versions of people found out that they had been moved into a different dimension, usually after going about their daily lives and noticing some differences. There were recent cases where someone would run into their alternate – something nobody dared test in a laboratory. When this happened, it was originally assumed our own dimension or the person themselves could implode, and therefore, would cease to exist. In the 1980’s they started calling it the “Back to the Future” theory. It was a stupid name, but it got the point across.
But he said he had first-hand knowledge that wouldn’t happen. He said he was going along with Hydra’s research until he started noticing some ethical issues and he wanted out without specifying a reason. When he did this, they threatened him. He didn’t believe the threats were valid or sincere… until they killed his daughter. Of course, he didn’t have the proof he needed, but healthy young women don’t just simply “drown in the bathtub”, and the manipulation that followed implied they were behind it.
He had taken Malcolm and Tabitha into his custody and learned that Malcolm had gifts, himself. He tried to keep it a secret from Hydra, but they blackmailed him into putting him into a program for research. Joseph raised concerns about encouraging the development of those gifts in a child who had experienced recent and unresolved trauma. Malcolm wasn’t awarded the time to grieve, or even really to be with family. He was thrown to the wolves for experimentation.
Joseph’s story was similar to Ron’s, and I’m assuming that’s how they met and why they agreed to join forces. He said it took him a few years to get a plan to do anything about it. He said he had the ability to do a kind of reverse blackmail situation to get Malcolm and Tabitha back, but there were a couple of things he hadn’t counted on. Malcolm’s abilities had strengthened enough to do something extremely disturbing to their family dog and to Tabitha. But Hydra has also convinced Malcolm at a young age that his grandfather had abandoned him. Their plan to socially and emotionally control Malcolm worked as far as creating division between him and his grandfather, but what Hydra hadn’t counted on was the psychological impact that had on him. What they did created a monster.
Joseph also told me why he and Ron had checked my forearms prior to speaking with me. He said that Hydra, upon bringing an alternate version of someone into our dimension, would have them bar-coded. The only place they were aware of this happening was on the forearms of the dominant side of the person who was brought here. Of course, these people were brought here in a controlled environment and would manifest inside the walls of SCIC, or potentially a Hydra facility. If someone were here outside of that controlled environment, they obviously wouldn’t have the barcode.
This had my mind racing. There was a barcode on the forearm of the body of Joseph Foye from the hotel. That means that the body of Joseph Foye found at the hotel was an alternate.
When I brought this up, Joseph confirmed that Hydra used one of the Shepherd kids years ago to bring an alternate Joseph Foye into this dimension. This was right after the Joseph Foye standing in front of me got out, and at great risk to Malcolm. Apparently, Hydra was able to manipulate the alternate Joseph Foye into continuing to work for them… at least for a while. They had used a relationship with Malcolm as a bargaining chip to get him to continue his work.
Joseph told me that after Malcolm was expunged from the Hydra projects, mostly due to being highly unpredictable and socially and emotionally damaged, and the danger he posed, he began looking for his grandfather. Hydra had attempted several techniques unbeknownst to Joseph in an effort to remove his abilities, and was only let go after they found some element of success. He apparently lost all contact with the Joseph Foye alternate that he’d developed some kind of relationship with in Hydra. He was bitter and feeling abandoned, and has been searching for him since.
I asked Joseph why they didn’t just kill Malcolm since they had shown such disregard for others in his family. To that question, Joseph didn’t have a direct answer; Only theories. They could have feared Joseph may retaliate, but he was already planning that despite what they did with Malcolm. He also thought perhaps they had some kind of way to restore abilities in their subjects, and that they would just keep tabs on Malcolm. And then he considered that the alternate Joseph Foye, who was still working with Hydra may have negotiated something on Malcolm’s behalf. He couldn’t be sure due to the complexity of the multiverse strings.
I asked him what he meant by that.
He explained there’s an incredible amount of unknown and largely unstudied risk anytime someone from an alternate timeline or parallel dimension is brought to ours. We truly don’t have any idea what decisions that person has made in their own life. With each decision… with each choice, the line splits into how ever many options there are. If you have to choose between going right and going left, the universe will split the lines, and alternate versions of use carry out each option.
That said, there was no way to know at what point the alternate Joseph Foye’s decisions started deviating from the one standing in front of me. Just because someone looks the same, speaks the same, moves the same, and is basically a DNA duplicate, it doesn’t mean you can understand their motives or trust that they’ll be telling you the truth. Something about them is different, and how far removed their experiences are compared to yours is anyone’s guess. It’s not yet known if Shepherds can choose which version of someone they select to bring into our line of reality. It’s something that the Hydra Physicists are currently studying.
Joseph explained that through a series of interactions he had in private, not too dissimilar to the covert way he had been communicating with me, the alternate Joseph had earned his trust, and they began working together. He proved to be an invaluable asset in gathering information and throwing Hydra off his trail, which allowed him to do the work necessary to start building a team of people to oppose Hydra.
I just stood there for a moment, blown away at the implications of what Joseph was telling me, and then a sinking feeling hit me. I asked him, “So how did he end up dead in that hotel room?”
Joseph appeared to get a bit emotional, but he continued explaining, saying that Hydra had become suspicious and had not only put a tail onto alternate Joseph, but he’d been assigned a monitor in his dreams. He saw the monitor fairly early-on and did his best to make sure that he didn’t give away his awareness of the monitor’s presence. Ultimately, the decision was made, by both Joseph Foyes to eliminate the alternate version.
I don’t know why I could swallow all of the other stuff he was telling me, and why this was the point I became extremely skeptical, but I asked him why.
Ultimately, he said there were some things that went down with the team he was working with at Hydra and someone had decided to start killing off that team. He suspected there was a mole hunt (and they didn’t know he was the mole), and that someone on the team likely panicked. It was then that the alternate Joseph expressed feelings of hopelessness. He said he had already lost everyone in his own timeline, and that he initially was happy to go along with everything just for a chance to see Malcolm again. He would never reveal what happened to Malcolm in his own line, but it was obvious that it induced some element of trauma.
I continued to push him a bit, asking, “So how did he end up dead at the hotel again?”
Joseph then claimed that the two of them agreed to end the alternate Joseph’s life. Their goal was to make it look like a suicide.
I said, “Hold on a second! He just agreed to die? I find that hard to believe.”
Joseph explained that even though circumstances were different upon his arrival into our timeline, he said some of the same events began occurring. Perhaps not in an identical way, but the outcome had been the same. He considered it a sign of fate – that he couldn’t change anything, no matter what we said to him, and he became despondent. Ultimately, he wasn’t sure if he could handle watching Malcolm go down this path yet again, and that he was making some of the same moral choices he watched him make in his own timeline leading to his own demise. Plus, they had considered the whole “Back to the Future” theory in regards to working together and wanted to avoid even the slightest risk of running into Joseph in-person. Apparently, alternate Joseph was a bit more conservative in his approach than this one.
To pull this off, they needed some help. Joseph had another person he could count on; someone who knew everything and that he trusted with his life. Gerald Hubert, a long-time collaborator of Joseph’s in the efforts against Hydra, served as an intermediary between the two of them. The plan was devised for Gerald to meet up with alternate Joseph at the hotel room, where he would be sedated. Once unconscious, they would place him at the foot of the bed, fake a self-inflicted gunshot wound, and set up the scene to make it look like the body was Gerald Hubert’s, a necessary step in the moment to not only fake Gerald’s death, but to also make Hydra believe the alternate Joseph had gone missing.
Gerald Hubert’s ID was placed with the body. He was near the same age and even physical description as Joseph, so that was perhaps some luck finally landing on their side. It was Gerald’s idea to write the letters, “C.O.M.” on the forearm. It was a genius idea that served a dual purpose. Joseph said it made the barcode on alternate Joseph’s forearm much more difficult to see, and it served as a very specific reference to something that would catch my attention. My attention!
This didn’t make sense to me. I told him that the video from the hotel was dated March, twenty-fifteen. That’s four years before I started The Storage Papers. I asked why they would want to get my attention before I started the podcast.
He gave me an incredibly cryptic answer at first, saying, “That’s not my story to tell you.”
I suspended my criticism over that point for a moment to express another. I said, “I still don’t understand why this ‘alternate Joseph’ was just willing to lay his life down. I mean, I get depression and suicidal ideation, but I’m just not buying this whole thing.”
Joseph mentioned another reason for his willingness to do this. He explained that whatever abilities a person possesses, whether classified as a Maker, a Shepherd, or something else; When an alternate version of you enters your own string of reality, something happens to those abilities. They are portioned out to each version of you. Abilities that both Joseph Foye and the alternate version of him here in our string of existence were split. Neither one of them were capable of doing what they could before alternate Joseph’s arrival here.
He said they both realized their long-term goals couldn’t be accomplished with both of them here, and neither one of them working with their full range of abilities. Alternate Joseph also theorized that there may be catastrophic results in our string if something happened to the one who originated here, while the other brought in from an alternate one took his place, and he didn’t want to risk being here for very long. If Malcolm had any chance at a different outcome, he believed it would be the best chance with the actual grandfather he knew. He emphasized that an equilibrium must be established and the universe would pull in unexpected ways to accomplish that eventually if choices weren’t made to make it happen by those individuals.
There were some additional elements to this meeting that I’m not quite ready to share just yet. I want to take some time to vet some of the information shared with me before I bring it to you, but I’m not quite sure what to think about these claims. The only thing I am confident about is that Joseph seemed to believe what he was telling me, and it was very emotional for him.