Creepers

There are some creatures in this world that do not want to be known. Hidden away from the knowledge of Men they exist in the shadows, preying upon the unwary and leaving no trace of their passing. They are unknown and their survival requires that they remain so. With this is mind consider then the story of Timothy Hall, a curious man who is about to discover that curiosity can indeed kill the cat...


Wednesday 11.13am

Tim
Decided yet?

Matt
Yeah. I'm in.

Tim
Great. Toronto in two weeks? Agreed?

Matt
Agreed. Will you ask Elly?

Tim
I'll have to. We'll need her for research and logistics.

Tim
She's the best when it comes to building schematics.

Matt
True enough. It'll be good to have the old crew working again.

Matt
Are we still looking at going through their archive sub-systems?

Tim
Yeah. Should be able to make a direct entry through their backup server.

Matt
That's going to make it easier.

Tim
Agreed. If we can gain a physical access into the archive we'll be able to back-door into the main database.

Matt
What are we looking for?

Tim
Client wants us to test the firewalls and encryption protocols.

Matt
Break in and leave a calling card that'll freak out their IT people?

Tim
Absolutely. I'm sure the client thinks we'll just hack in, but this time we'll also do a physical attack.

Matt
Actually break into the archive building?

Tim
Yeah. Find a connected system in-house and work our magic from there.

Matt
We should use Elly as the distraction this time.

Tim
Why?

Matt
They're going to be watching out for two sus-looking nerds and Elly will be the last thing they'll be expecting.

Matt
We should do a fake hack that fails so their security think they've got it handled.

Matt
Keep them busy with some low-level malware.

Tim
Then do the physical hack?

Matt
That's it. Make 'em think their system's rock solid while we creep in.

Tim
We'd need a good pretense to get Elly through the front door.

Matt
Distraught customer should do it. It's a bit derivative but its an insurance company after all.

Matt
Get her near any one of their computers and she can plant a USB stub.

Matt
Once we have access to the system, getting into the archive building will be a breeze.

Tim
Ok. I'll ask her.

Matt
Good. She'll love it.

Matt
You thought about going to the Comicon?

Tim
Its in Toronto as well isn't it?

Matt
Yep. Thought we could mix some business with pleasure.

Tim
I don't know. Last time was way embarrassing.

Matt
Only for you. I was the one in the Hulk suit. You should have worn something that disguised your face.

Tim
I'll get back to you on that.

Matt
Suit yourself. No pun intended.

Tim
Back to more important things. I'll contact Elly and get her started on the building schematics.

Matt
Roger that.


Tim 3.41pm
Matt. Spoke with Elly. She's in.

Matt
Sweet. Did you ask her about Comicon?

Tim
Yes. Apparently she's got a costume already.

Matt
Not that witch thing she bought last year?

Tim
No. New one. Have a guess.

Matt
Ah. No idea.

Tim
You know there's no fun in asking someone to guess if they don't.

Matt
OK. I give in. Mimi Rogers' costume from Lost in Space.

Tim
What? How did you get from "I don't know" to that?

Matt
You asked me to guess.

Tim
I did, didn't I.

Matt
So what has she got?

Tim
Wonder Woman.

Matt
No shit. Linda Carter or Gal Gadot?

Tim
...

Matt
The old version or the new?

Tim
New I think.

Matt
That should be sweet. What will you wear?

Tim
I haven't said I'm going yet.

Matt
Oh, come on. Elly's going as Wonder Woman and you're going to yellow out?

Matt
You should get a Joker costume. That'd suit you perfectly.

Tim
Do you actually want to keep your job?

Matt
You know you need me. :)

Tim
And what will you be going as?

Matt
The Hulk of course. Gotta get my money's worth out of that one.

Matt
Come on Boss. We're going to be in Toronto anyway. Where's the harm in coming along?

Tim
I'll think about it.

Matt
:) Great. This will be so sweet.

Matt
Still going into the city tonight?

Tim
Yeah. Got an appointment with a prospect. Could mean a trip to Australia.

Matt
Oz?

Tim
Possible four weeks in Sydney.

Matt
Crikey. Do they have Comicon down there?

Tim
Jesus. I'll let you know how it goes.

Matt
No worries cobber.

Tim
If you ever text me like that again I'll be leaving you behind.

Matt
Sorry. :(


Thursday 7.13am

Tim
Matt. You up?

Matt
Bright and cheery. What's the news?

Tim
Looks like a goer. Will need to put together a proposal but its pretty firm.

Matt
Sweeeet. I can just see myself at Bondi Beach.

Tim
Look Matt. Can I ask you something?

Matt
Sure.

Tim
You know the old industrial estate just outside of Harringtown?

Matt
Sure. Been deserted for decades. What of it?

Tim
Saw something weird on the train.

Matt
You took the train! OMG!!

Tim
Smart ass. Yes I took the train. Decided to leave the van home and got the express into Central.

Matt
And?

Tim
Did the interview. All that went well but on the return I saw something.

Matt
What was it?

Tim
That's the thing. Couldn't tell, but it was definitely weird.

Matt
I think you'll have to explain in slightly more effusive detail.

Tim
OK. Train was passing south of the old factories. It was almost dark.  Between two of the buildings I saw somebody.

Matt
A homeless guy?

Tim
That's what I thought but it was just a shape. Like a piece of moving shadow.

Matt
Could have been your eyes playing tricks. Happens to me all the time.

Tim
Yeah, but you would've been drunk. I wasn't.

Tim
Strangest thing was what happened next.

Matt
What was that?

Tim
The shadow disappeared. Just slid into the ground and was gone.

Matt
Maybe there was a hole.

Tim
No. It was getting dark but it wasn't that dark. As far as I could tell the shadow was standing on solid concrete.

Matt
That is weird, but in the end so what?

Tim
What do you mean?

Matt
Well. You saw something that freaked you out. That on its own is unusual.

Matt
But unless you want to go back to the industrial park and look for it, its kind of pointless to think about it.

Tim
Perhaps. Was weird though.

Matt
You going to Charlie's tonight?

Tim
Yeah. See you around 7.30?

Matt
See you then.


Thursday 3.03pm

Elly
Hey Tim.

Tim
Hey Elly.

Elly
Matt was telling me about the Oz job. You looking to take a full team?

Tim
Depends on the costings. Job is only four weeks but I'll definitely need a good research gal.

Elly
:) Excellent. Always wanted to go to Australia.

Tim
We do however, have to complete the General Insurance job first.

Elly
On that less than exciting note I have got hold of the building plans. We might have a problem.

Tim
How so?

Elly
The target's offices are situated across three distinct buildings, one two blocks from the main office.

Elly
The main entrance is in a different building from their archive servers.

Elly
All the fire exits are alarmed and I can't see any specific weak points for entry.

Tim
Matt told you about your diversion?

Elly
Yeah. Can't wait for that.

Tim
As long as you can get one of our USB stubs into one of their computers we can take control of the fire exit alarms.

Tim
What we need is the shortest route to their archive servers.

Elly
No problem there. Shortest way only requires disabling two additional doors and one camera.

Tim
That'll do it.

Elly
Matt told me about what you saw.

Tim
Matt has a big mouth.

Elly
That is true. Seems strange though doesn't it?

Tim
It's been bothering me all day.  I'm sure of what I saw. Whatever it was it disappeared in front of my eyes.

Elly
Have you thought about redoing the trip tonight?

Tim
I don't know if it would serve any purpose.

Elly
I think you should. Weather will be the same as yesterday. Take one of the digital cameras and video the entire complex as you pass.

Tim
What good would that do?

Elly
You'll be able to have a good look at everything at home. Might show what caused the shadow.

Tim
It's a good idea Elly. If I have the time I'll do it.

Elly.
Great. I'm going to start looking for a new swimsuit.


Thursday 8.35pm

Matt
Where the hell are you? Thought you were coming down to Charlie's?

Tim
Shit. Sorry Matt. Got caught up.

Matt
Where are you?

Tim
On a train.

Matt
Jesus. Not hunting ghosts are you?

Tim
No. Just something Elly suggested. I'm taking a video of the industrial estate.

Matt
Why would you want to do that?

Tim
To have a proper look. She thought there could be something throwing a shadow.

Tim
With a video I'll be able to look it over properly.

Matt
I'm not sure why you're bothering but its your evening.

Matt
How long will you be?

Tim
Won't get back home until 9.30.

Matt
OK. Let me know if you find anything.


Friday 10.16am

Tim
Elly. You near your desktop?

Elly
Just in the elevator. Why?

Tim
I took the train again. Got a video of the whole complex.

Elly
Find anything?

Tim
Thing is I'm not sure. Had a good look at the footage and couldn't see anything.

Elly
Why do you need my desktop then?

Tim
You have the enhancement software upgrade don't you?

Elly
Yeah.

Tim
I'm going to send you a ten second clip. Can you put it through the grinder for me?

Elly
No problem.

Elly
What are you looking for?

Tim
Something that wasn't in the footage the first time I looked at it.

Elly
I don't think you're making much sense.

Tim
Trust me. Put it through and tell me what you see.

Elly
Your wish is my command.


Elly 11.46am
Can I just say What The Hell?

Tim
You saw it?

Elly
Plain as day.

Tim
I'm telling you the truth Elly. It wasn't on the footage the first time I looked at it.

Elly
How can that be?

Tim
Don't know. Tell me what you see?

Elly
The footage is shaky. You need to practice taking video. Your technique is shocking.

Tim
Not the most important feedback I'm looking for at the moment. Just tell me what you saw.

Elly
Like you I didn't see anything at first. Put the footage through an initial enhancement and saw nothing.

Elly
Weird thing is that when I played it through the second time the thing was there, standing on the roof.

Tim
And what did you see?

Elly
A tall, emaciated creature, long arms with a head right out of a Grimm's fairytale.

Tim
Thank God, I thought I was going nuts.

Elly
But what is it?

Tim
No idea. Sure as hell doesn't look Human.

Elly
We should tell someone.

Tim
Like who?

Elly
I don't know. Put it up on YouTube maybe?

Tim
I think there might be more than one.

Elly
Why?

Tim
The one in the video is different from the one I saw the day before.

Elly
In what way?

Tim
This one is far more defined. You can see it clearly. The other was like smoke, no more than a shadow.

Elly
Maybe it is the same thing. The camera might have simply been able to collect a better image.

Tim
Possibly. Can you send a copy of the footage to Matt. He'll want to see it.

Elly
He'll have it in less than 5.

Tim
Elly. For the moment don't tell anyone else. At least not until we have a better idea what to do.

Elly
You're the boss.


Matt 2.38pm
Jesus H Christ. Have you ever seen an uglier mug?

Tim
You're not looking in the mirror again are you?

Matt
Very funny.

Matt
Got your clip but only just had the time to open it. WTH!

Tim
Did you see it?

Matt
Did I. We gotta put this up on Youtube. We'll be able to retire on the ad revenue alone.

Tim
Its a good idea but not yet.

Matt
Why?

Tim
After talking with Elly I got to thinking.

Matt
God I hate it when you say that.

Tim
No listen. It could be somebody pulling a hoax or it could be real. We should investigate the factory first.

Matt
What would we be looking for?

Tim
Not the creature. Just sign that somebody might have been there in the past week.

Tim
Tire tracks, footprints, stuff like that. If we find anything then there's a good chance it is a hoax.

Matt
And if we don't find anything?

Tim
Then we put it on YouTube and retire on the ad revenue.

Matt
:) This is a plan I want to be a part of. When do we start.

Tim
Had a look at the weather. Rain forecast for tomorrow morning.

Tim
If we want to find any sign it'll have to be tonight.

Matt
Great. I am in.

Tim
I'll get Elly to find the park's old development blueprints. She can guide us through.

Matt
What time?

Tim
We should use the van for this one. I'll pick you up around 8.

Matt
Cool.


Tim 3.14pm
Hey Elly. I talked with Matt and we'll go in tonight.

Elly
What do you need from me?

Tim
First off, any plans for the factories you can find.

Elly
Copy that. City Hall's digital records will provide all. What about communications?

Tim
We'll go lowkey on this one. The factories have been abandoned for years. Don't expect any security.

Elly
Do you need me for the search.

Tim
Not this time. I've got a particular job for you instead.

Elly
What's that?

Tim
The complex is old but I noticed there were CCTV cameras around the main factory buildings.

Elly
And you want me to get into the system right?

Tim
That's it. Get us a video feed and video everything while we're there.

Elly
Won't the power be off?

Tim
Only until we find the power box and hit the breaker for the cameras.

Elly
And you'll want me to find out where the power box is?

Tim
Shouldn't take long.

Elly
Great. Can I protest about being left behind?

Tim
No.

Tim
Just to get the job done quicker I might get Chandra in on this as well. The three of us should be able to cover everything in less than an hour.

Elly
I'll give Chandra a call.

Tim
Cool. Let us know when you're ready.


Tim 9.44pm
Elly. You set?

Elly
Just accessing the CCTV feed. Its responding, but we'll need power.

Tim
OK. We're at the main gate. Where do we go?

Elly
Follow the road to the first carpark. At its northern edge you should see a series of junction boxes and a small steel shed. That's the control box.

Tim
I see it.

Elly
Once you're in the shed I'll tell you which breakers to throw.

Tim 9.48pm
OK. In the shed. See three large breaker units.

Elly
There's one for each of the factories. What you need isn't there. Behind you on the western wall is a smaller box.

Tim
Got it.

Elly
Open it and look down the breakers.

Tim
I got it. Labelled CCTV.

Elly
Throw it and I should be able to get something.

Tim
Done. Anything happening?

Elly
In. Looks like there's 37 cameras in total but only 6 are operational. Give me a moment and I'll get them on screen.

Tim
See anything?

Elly
Rubbish resolution. Pure 1990's but should be able to see anything creeping up on you.

Tim
Keep a lookout. Matt and Chandra are going to search the area surrounding the main factory.

Elly
Where will you be?

Tim
Inside. If this is a hoax there should be recent tire tracks or footprints.

Elly
Good hunting.

Tim 10.16pm
Elly. Do you have a camera near the main gate?

Elly
Just the one.

Tim
Something's moving that way.

Matt
I see it too.

Matt
Looks big. Almost transparent.

Elly
Checking now.  Can't see anything.

Chandra
Nothing here. I'm looking straight down the side of the factory. All clear.

Elly
I'll record the feed.

Tim
Sure I saw something. Heard it moving on the other side of the wall.

Chandra
I got something now. Sounds like sniffing.

Tim
Where?

Chandra
On the roof. Definitely hear movement.

Matt
I can't see anything. Hold on.

Elly
What?

Matt
In the moonlight. Near the smoke stack.

Elly
OMG

Tim
Holy shit!

Chandra
That's enough for me. Let's get out of here.

Tim
Jesus. Run!

Matt
Copy that!


Saturday 8.44am

Matt
Have you had a chance to look at the CCTV footage yet?

Tim
Been on it since 7.

Matt
Anything get recorded?

Tim
There is stuff here you are not going to believe.

Matt
What?

Tim
Hold up. I'll get Elly on as well.

Elly
Hi Matt.

Matt
What have you found?

Tim
I can't explain it but we've got creatures all over the factory.

Matt
Holy Hell. How did we get that?

Elly
I can't explain it either. The first run through of the footage showed nothing.

Elly
But when we went over it again we found at least four separate creatures.

Matt
What were they doing?

Tim
They were watching us.

Matt
What?

Tim
They were watching us. Following us around the factory. Keeping out of sight but definitely there.

Matt
I don't get it. Until the end when Chandra saw that thing on the roof I'm sure we were alone.

Elly
But there is a pattern to it. First look you see nothing. Get another chance and the creatures come into view.

Elly
Keep on watching them and they become far more real.

Matt
OK. What are we going to do about it?

Tim
I don't know. We've got about thirty-five minutes of footage showing the creatures following us.

Tim
From 6 different camera angles and just clear enough to show they aren't human.

Elly
But none of it is definitive. If we put it up on YouTube most people will see it as something clever but fake.

Matt
You know that doesn't matter, right?

Tim
What do you mean?

Matt
Anything we have will go viral in a second. Whether its fake or not won't matter.

Tim
There is just one thing though.

Matt
And that would be?

Tim
I'm not sure we should we do anything at all.

Matt
Of course we should do something with it.

Tim
Problem is we don't know what these creatures are.  If we expose them on the web we can't say what the consequences might be.

Matt
Really?

Elly
It is a good point. There are more than one. It could be a whole community for all we know.

Matt
So what do we do.

Elly
I was thinking we should keep watching the CCTV feed.

Elly
Study them for a bit longer and put together a whole dosier.

Matt
For what purpose?

Elly
With decent footage we could take it to a university.

Matt
There goes all that ad revenue.

Elly
Not necessarily. Let's just see what we can get.

Tim
Sounds like a plan.

Tim
Has anyone been able to contact Chandra?

Tim
I tried his phone but got nothing.

Elly
I think he's on a job but he should be answering.

Elly
I'll give him a call.


Saturday 12.15pm

Tim
Any luck with Chandra?

Elly
None. Went round to his place but there was no answer.

Tim
That's not like him at all.

Elly
I know. He's never been hard to contact.

Matt
I tried his brother. He hasn't heard anything from him either.

Tim
This isn't right. Try his email and twitter account. See if anybody else knows where he is.


Saturday 4.44pm

Tim
No answer at all. No other info I can find. We should go to his apartment.

Matt
Practice a bit of break and enter?

Tim
Seems the responsible thing to do. Bring your lockpicks. Elly, see if you can find a phone number for his parents.

Elly
On it.


Saturday 7.51pm

Elly
Any luck at the apartment?

Tim
None. Clean as a whistle. Nothing disturbed. No clue to where he is.

Elly
Found that number. Parents don't know where he is either.


Matt 8.01pm
Guys. Something's going on.

Tim
What's up.

Matt
After I left Chandra's I went back home. Somebody's broken in.

Tim
Shit. What did they get?

Matt
Nothing that I can see. Were sure looking for something though.

Tim
Call the police?

Matt
Not yet.

Elly
Why not?

Matt
I think it might have been one of those creatures.

Elly
What?

Tim
Why do you think that?

Matt
Because one of them has been following me.

Tim
Jesus. You sure?

Matt
Damn sure. Saw it first after we left Chandra's. It was good but I rumbled it pretty quick.

Tim
Where is it now?

Matt
Don't know. I did however, get the distinct feeling it wasn't happy.

Tim
Was it able to follow you home?

Matt
No. Lost it in the Mall. Weird thing is I was the only one able to see it.

Matt
They obviously know where I live anyway. Turned the place over pretty badly.

Elly
This is scaring me. What has happened to Chandra?

Matt
One of those things must have followed him.

Tim
Do you think they've taken him?

Matt
Seems possible. We should call the police.

Tim
I'll make the call.


Saturday 9.52pm

Tim
Well that was unsatisfying.

Matt
What happened?

Tim
Called the cops. Reported Chandra missing.

Matt
And?

Tim
Asked me a whole lot of questions. Said they'd look into it. Didn't seem concerned at all.

Matt
Did you tell them about the creatures?

Tim
Tell them what exactly?

Matt
Good point. Who would believe it.

Matt
What are we going to do?

Matt
If those things have taken Chandra then where does that leave us?

Tim
Not sure. In the morning we'll work out a plan.


Sunday 8.14am

Elly
Tim. Have you seen Matt this morning?

Tim
No. Spoke with him last night.

Elly
I heard you had no joy with the police.

Tim
Nothing concrete. Just a promise to look into it.

Elly
You know we are all in trouble, right?

Tim
Yeah.


Tim 9.46am
Elly. Have you heard from Matt?

Elly
No. Look out your window.

Tim
Why?

Elly
Tell me what you see.

Tim
Oh crap.

Elly
You've got one too?

Tim
Crouched near the dumpsters.

Elly
Mine's near the front gates. People are walking past and not seeing anything.

Tim
Can you get it on video?

Elly
God. I'm not sure I want to.

Tim
Can you get out?

Elly
Maybe. Can't see any of them near the rear doors.

Tim
Don't stay there. Grab a few things and find somewhere else to stay. Let me know where you are.

Elly
What will you do?

Tim
I can't get out. Only one exit and the thing is waiting for me.

Elly
Do you have anywhere safe?

Tim
Bathroom. I'll jam the door and call the police.

Elly
I'll be back in contact shortly.


Matt 10.16pm
Tim. You there?

Tim
Matt. Where have you been?

Matt
At the moment that's not important. Where are you?

Tim
Locked in my bathroom.

Matt
Whatever you do, don't call the police.

Tim
Why?

Matt
I had a visit last night from one of our unwelcome friends.

Tim
And?

Matt
I think I know what they want.

Tim
How could you?

Matt
I went out to get some take-out and when I got back one of the creatures was standing in my living room.

Matt
In its hands it had all my storage devices. USB sticks, Hard Drives, the works.

Tim
What was it after?

Matt
All the footage.  They aren't going to stop until they have it all.

Tim
Did it hurt you?

Matt
No. But if I had tried to stop it, it would have.

Tim
Shit. Chandra must have put up a fight.

Matt
That's what I'm thinking.

Matt
Tim. You have to listen carefully. The creatures aren't going to leave us alone until they have it all.

Matt
You have to give it to them.

Tim
How will I do that?

Matt
Just pile it up and wait.

Tim
OK. Anything else.

Matt
You have to be there when they get it.

Tim
You have got to be kidding.

Matt
No. The creature grabbed my arm. Looked straight into my eyes. I could feel it searching my memory.

Matt
Didn't let go until it was sure it had it all.

Tim
Oh crap.

Matt
What?

Tim
Elly. I told her to get away. Knowing her she will have taken the raw footage with her.

Matt
Get a hold of her. Tell her what to do.


Tim 10.59pm
Elly. You on the road?

Elly
Just pulled off the highway.

Tim
Ok. You're going to have to go back home.

Elly
No way. That thing is there.

Tim
Matt's here. he'll explain.

Elly
Matt? Thank God you're OK. Where have you been?

Matt
Long story. The creatures want all the footage. If we try and stop them they will kill us for it.

Elly
Oh Hell.

Matt
You must go back and wait for them. Don't put up any resistance. Just let them have everything.

Elly
No way am I going back. No way am I standing in the same room as one of them.

Matt
Don't make them find you Elly. They will take the video no matter what you do.

Elly
I'm scared. I can't go back.

Tim
Are you safe at the moment?

Elly
Just off the highway. Near the interchange.

Matt
I'm only a few minutes drive from there. Wait and I'll come and get you.

Elly
Then what?

Matt
Then we'll do it together. Both of us.

Tim
Hold on. I can hear something.

Matt
What is it?

Tim
The window.

Matt
Where's the footage?

Tim
In my desk.

Matt
Go get it and wait.

Matt
Elly. I'll be there in five.

Elly
Hurry. I can see something on the road.

Matt
What is it?

Elly
It's one of the creatures.

Matt
Do you have the footage?

Elly
In a bag.

Matt
Put it on the ground and wait.

Matt
Do you hear me?

Matt
Elly?

Matt 11.16pm
Tim. You there?

Tim
Getting everything together.

Matt
I can't raise Elly. You see anything?

Tim
Not yet. Can hear it though.

Matt
Hell. I can hear something too. There's one of them at my door.

Tim
I thought you gave them everything. Shouldn't they be leaving you alone?

Matt
I was wrong. They're cleaning up everything. Footage and witnesses. Its here for blood.

Tim
Matt. You OK?

Tim
Matt?

Tim
Elly. You out there?

Tim
Elly?

Tim
Oh shit. Its coming.

THE END

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