The Storage Papers is a fiction horror podcast.
Discretion is advised.
WRITTEN BY JEREMY ENFINGER
SCENE 1: PHONE CALL
BRIANNE: (Hesitant) Hello?
MALCOLM: You know, I’ve been feeling somewhat nostalgic lately.
BRIANNE: Malcolm? Why the hell are you calling me?
MALCOLM: Not happy to hear from me?
BRIANNE: (Firm) No. Absolutely not.
MALCOLM: Pity (laughs). And here I was thinking enough time had passed for us to give it another go.
BRIANNE: Yeah, I don’t think so. Why are you really calling me?
MALCOLM: You know, after all this time, even after how you and your friends treated me back at that church, I’ve still held out hope for us. I know I’ve made some mistakes, but I’m ready to own up to them before I take the next step.
BRIANNE: You really shouldn’t… hold out hope, that is. I have no idea what you’re talking about when you say “take the next step.”
MALCOLM: Aw, don’t be so shut off to the possibilities. If I’m willing to forgive and forget, why can’t you?
BRIANNE: Well, for starters, Ben is dead because of you.
MALCOLM: (Angry) Ben made his own choices![Awkward silence]
MALCOLM: (Calm) You know, I had a good reason to get his help.
BRIANNE: You mean the Grinner.
MALCOLM: (Laughs) I forgot you called it that, but yes. You see, I’ve been doing research for years. Ever since I was a kid, really. I began reading about this one particular deity, referenced numerous times in ancient text from various religions. It’s name is [CENSORED], and I have summoned it to help me. We have already struck a deal.
BRIANNE: So what… you tried to bring about some ancient god with the power of resurrection? Why?
MALCOLM: For Tabitha, of course. It wasn’t her fault that I didn’t know what I was doing with my abilities back then. She’s an innocent bystander in all of this.
BRIANNE: Huh… just like Ben?
MALCOLM: Of course.
BRIANNE: For the sake of argument then, why did you start that cult?
MALCOLM: The Order of the Divine Acolytes is not a cult. It’s a mix of people like you and me… you know, with abilities. In my research, it was clear that consuming the blood of those with abilities would allow me to enhance my own. I summoned it, but they helped me free it.
BRIANNE: So what happened? Why did you fail? Why isn’t Tabitha here right now?
MALCOLM: Our deal requires me to complete some tasks. I just haven’t been able to do so yet.
BRIANNE: I’m not so sure you know what you’re doing.
MALCOLM: You’ve seen the being, experienced it for yourself at that church.
BRIANNE: Here’s what I think Malcolm. I think you created something yourself. You have been researching this deity for so long, and you’re so familiar with its representation from your readings, that you created one like it. You’re labeled as a “Maker” in some documents we found.
MALCOLM: Oh yes, the podcast.
BRIANNE: Think about it for a minute. You supposedly summon this thing, and it ends up consuming you, making you look like an old man with a giant grin, doing strange things that had what purpose?
MALCOLM: I didn’t question its motives. I just knew it needed my body for a while.
BRIANNE: I mean, I don’t see Tabitha anywhere, so what happened?
MALCOLM: You and your friends happened, of course.
BRIANNE: Here’s what I think happened. Sure, you were trying to summon some ancient god to raise your sister from the dead. Your guilt has been killing you since childhood. Somehow, maybe even subconsciously, you used your own abilities to manifest a being similar to the one you’re trying to summon. It’s an amazing ability, but truly wasted. If it were the real thing you were trying to bring here, you’d be speaking to Tabitha right now instead of trying to manipulate me.
MALCOLM: (Frustrated) It doesn’t work like that. Once you summon it, you have to earn the privilege of having a request like that granted.
MALCOLM: (Cont’d) But it could work for you as well.
BRIANNE: For me.
MALCOLM: And… Ben.
MALCOLM: (Cont’d) Don’t tell me you’d pass up the opportunity.
BRIANNE: It’s just like you said. Ben made his choice. Who am I to decide he should come back?
MALCOLM: It’s why I need you. There are rituals to perform, and it takes someone or multiple people with our special abilities. And now that you’ve been to the pyramid, you’re far more capable than 10 people with abilities combined. Think of it this way: At least I won’t have to convince people, or worse yet, continue abducting people.
BRIANNE: And if it doesn’t work?
MALCOLM: Let me put it to you plainly. If I can’t bring Tabitha back to me, then this being can bring the world to her.
BRIANNE: After everything that has happened, I really just hope you see the truth and don’t do anything rash.
MALCOLM: The Grinner isn’t dead, you know.
BRIANNE: I believe he is.
MALCOLM: Okay then, so who do you think I’ve been talking to ever since I held you at that house?
BRIANNE: You’re talking to it?
BRIANNE: Malcolm, listen to me. I think the Grinner was a product of your Maker abilities. The thing you’re communicating with now is likely much more dangerous, and less predictable than what you expect. Jeremy’s been sharing some of his research on it with me. The Grinner’s power was limited to whatever you allowed him to have. This thing… this god may be talking to you and promising you things. Don’t believe it! It’s going to use you to get what it wants and then throw you aside.
MALCOLM: Oh yeah, I had almost forgotten about Jeremy. Tell him I said hello, and remind him I still have plans for him. But as far as you’re concerned, wouldn’t you prefer to help me willingly and potentially even see Ben again… Instead of me having to forcefully make this all happen?
BRIANNE: I don’t understand how you think I can help you.
MALCOLM: It’s easy. You’re a Shepherd, so you can bring me (that is, other me’s from parallel dimensions) here to help my cause. Now that you’ve been to the pyramid, it should be easy. But time is of the essence. We don’t know how long your heightened abilities will last. I need more power to summon it, and whether you realize it or not, you have the greatest potential to help make that happen.
BRIANNE: Sorry, I think the dead should be left to rest. Goodbye, Malcolm.[hangs up]
SCENE 2: JEREMY TALKING TO LISTENERS
I had received a text message telling me to check my email. Brianne apparently recorded the conversation you just heard between her and Malcolm, then emailed me the MP3 file. I wanted to play that for you before I moved onto my next segment here. I felt I owed it to Brianne, as well as all of the listeners of the podcast, to finally fill you in on the missing details from my El Campo meeting. We met for coffee, and sat at the furthest booth from the entrance.
SCENE 3: JEREMY AND BRIANNE AT COFFEE HOUSE
SOUND: Ambient noise of a coffee house is heard.
JEREMY: Thanks for meeting me here.
BRIANNE: No problem. There’s not enough coffee to satiate my need for caffeine.
JEREMY: I have to apologize up front. So much has happened recently, and I wasn’t sure when I should be sharing this info with you, or if I should at all. I wasn’t sure it was even pertinent, but after hearing your conversation with Malcolm, I think it might be important.
BRIANNE: It’s really no problem. Shoot.
JEREMY: Remember how I said there was more to that meeting at El Campo?
BRIANNE: Of course.
JEREMY: Well, remember, this was before we went to the Pyramidion with Joseph. Well, once I met Joseph there, we had a brief conversation before he asked me to put a burlap sack over my head. He said it was a mandatory condition I’d have to abide by if I wanted to meet someone he intended to introduce me to.
I agreed, and he guided me to his vehicle, which was close by. He put a seatbelt on me and drove for about 10 minutes, then stopped. Then he walked me into a building and had me sit in a chair.
When the sack was removed, a man stood at the far end of the room in the shadows. I couldn’t make out much detail about his appearance, but I could tell by his voice that he was likely around Joseph’s age. Joseph introduced him as the leader of a group of people working diligently to oppose Hydra.
Then he introduced himself as Gerald Hubert. I recognized the name because @4thTrumpet sent me a tweet telling me I was missing something, and to look into Gerald Hubert. I also recall it sounding familiar at the time, but I was so wrapped up in everything that I neglected to follow up back then.
He explained that he donated an old ID to be placed on the alternate Joseph Foye’s body at the hotel when they staged that crime scene. According to Gerald, he claimed to once be part of Hydra, doing scientific research into atmospheric and geological anomalies, and he, like many others, had been blackmailed to continue working for them for years.
He went on to explain that back in the 1990’s, a mysterious object appeared near a classified Hydra facility in the Southern California desert and he had been tasked to look into it. That’s where he first met Joseph Foye. He said the description of the object was vague and no danger was perceived, so he looked at it as an opportunity to have a family outing.
He ended up taking his wife with him over a weekend to get out of town while he’d spend just the afternoon on that Saturday gathering information about the object. The object wasn’t what he expected – it was the Pyramidion (or a Pyramidion). He wasn’t sure if there was only one of them, or if the one he was studying was one of many, and he explained that he still doesn’t know for certain.
Upon examination, he learned it had properties that defied the laws of physics, and he made the stupid decision to show it to his family after Hydra gave strict instructions to keep a distance.
Within a period of hours after leaving the Pyramidion, he and his wife developed abilities. He said they were naive, thinking the whole thing was really fun, and he went about doing his job by reporting every last detail to Hydra. Once they found out, the fun ended quickly as they strongly encouraged him and his wife to be research subjects. He admitted he didn’t really feel like they had a choice.
They went along with the testing for a while, but over time his wife’s abilities simply went away while Gerald’s remained. Hydra didn’t understand why, so testing became more rigorous. Gerald became consumed with the idea that he had become a prisoner. He wasn’t being held captive, but at the same time, he and his wife weren’t allowed to leave the Hydra facility they had been at, having deemed their abilities and subsequent research into them as “classified.”
That’s when he began drinking. He hid his feelings from his wife, who eventually ended up leaving him. This caused him to refuse to work with Hydra, and then they threatened to hurt his son in an attempt to blackmail him for continuing with the research. Over time, he became less compliant, and in a staged event that was merely intended to scare him, she was murdered.
I asked what specific event transpired that caused her death, but Gerald said it wasn’t important now. What he needed me to understand is that Hydra leadership continues to change, but like everyone in authority for too long, they all eventually reach for too much. He mentioned Patel fell into that trap before Hydra had her eliminated.
He emphasized the implications of some of the research and the potential for power for anyone controlling it is too much responsibility. Hydra kills non-compliant Makers and Shepherds, considering their power could get into the wrong hands. They corrupt the ones that comply into doing their bidding, which is who his counter-Hydra group is after. But he maintained the war must end.
Then Gerald told me he understood that I had some discouraging medical news and gave his condolences. He was the one who originally suggested to Joseph that I come with him to the next manifestation of the Pyramidion. Gerald explained that he was able to take it once and study it for a prolonged amount of time, enough to understand much more about it than Hydra currently does. He and a few others like Joseph Foye can predict where it’s going to be and when based on an algorithm he came up with, along with the use of some special abilities, and he thought it might help my condition. You know, the growth inside my skull?
Gerald also explained that he thinks he knows what Malcolm is trying to do. He thinks he can somehow transfer Maker and Shepherd abilities to himself with some new medication that he was taking (likely created by Patel), developed by a subsidiary of SCIC, Rygen Pharmaceuticals, and that’s why he was abducting the people from the medical files.
BRIANNE: Malcolm had let me go back then… I think because my abilities weren’t strong enough to be of use to him at the time. But there were others there as well. I’m just not sure if they were alive or not.
JEREMY: According to what you told me previously about your time in captivity, Malcolm tried to make you fix Tabitha but you didn’t know how, so he took your abilities somehow with that injection. But then according to your most recent conversation with him that you recorded, it seems to imply that the real Tabitha is still dead.
BRIANNE: That would mean the version of Tabitha that I saw was not the real Tabitha. Malcolm made her, attempting to recreate her, instead of bringing her back from the dead. Like he’s trying to do now by summoning some sort of deity.
JEREMY: I don’t mean to get all philosophical here, but let’s assume Malcolm has created several versions of Tabitha that aren’t the actual resurrected original sister of his. Or any living person brought into existence by a Maker with their abilities. Do they have a soul?
BRIANNE: There isn’t enough coffee in the State of California that would make me want to have this discussion right now.
JEREMY: Sorry, my mind is just wandering. But Gerald said something to me that kind of gave me the creeps. He told me to trust Ron.
BRIANNE: You don’t already?
JEREMY: You’re obviously not listening to the podcast. No, I don’t.
BRIANNE: Why did it give you the creeps?
JEREMY: This whole thing does. If you think about how I started this podcast, just happening to find Ron’s stash of documents that he was collecting to – do what? Create a mound of evidence against Hydra? And now there are these government agencies that are doing criminal things to people, and I’m smack dab in the middle of some plot to expose them, or overthrow them? I don’t even know what the hell is going on, but I do know this. I want out.
BRIANNE: You want out? You mean, you’d just give all of this up?
JEREMY: For the most part, yeah. I mean, the more I learn about all of this, the more evidence I see of shattered families, lives destroyed, and corruption everywhere, the risk isn’t worth my curiosity.
BRIANNE: Then why are you still here? Why are you even talking to me about this and recording this conversation for the sole purpose of having material for your podcast?
JEREMY: Well, it may sound a bit cheesy, but it’s because I care about some of the people wrapped up in it all… including you.
BRIANNE: You’re right. Cheesy.
JEREMY: There’s so much here that doesn’t make sense still. I mean, if these documents are so important to the cause, how can Ron just let his payment lapse on that storage unit? It’s the question I keep coming back to despite whatever’s going on related to the papers within. No. I don’t trust him. If what Gerald Hubert told me is correct, that would mean that Ron is playing both sides. Sure, working for Hydra gives Gerald’s group an inside man, but what’s to say he’s not playing both sides for some kind of personal gain that has yet to be seen?
BRIANNE: Careful, that’s my dad you’re talking about.
JEREMY: And you trust him?
BRIANNE: I didn’t say that.
SCENE 4: JEREMY TALKING TO LISTENERS
I contemplated whether or not I should share that conversation on the podcast with you all. At this point, I figured you all probably have some of the same questions I do. And come on… do any of you think Ron can be trusted at this point? I mean, sure, things check out after he’s been confronted and he offers some seemingly off-the-cuff explanation every time I call him out. But why do I need to do that in order to get information from him in the first place?
You know what else kind of surprises me? All of this sharing of information could potentially be damaging to Hydra at the very least, not to mention SCIC and this Rygen Pharmaceuticals even, and nobody has really approached me about it outside of Dr. Patel. But I guess we all know what happened to her. Part of me has to wonder if I’m sharing useful information to them, and that’s why they’ve let me continue. Or, perhaps if I end up going missing or dying unexpectedly, it would implicate them too much. Maybe the podcast is protecting me in some way.
At the end of the day, I suppose it’s all speculation. I don’t know if the Pyramidion did anything positive for my health, but if I only have a limited amount of time left here, why am I just not spending it with my family? I guess we all make poor choices, and you know what they say about hindsight. Why couldn’t one of my abilities have been predicting the future?