well. we went back to the factory site.
something happened that we don't understand and made us feel fear for the first time in years
we will tell you about it once we are clear of the area
we went back in through the door we'd used before. it seemed exactly the same as last time. no sign of being visited by cops (who likely would have closed the door) or anyone to disturb the junk on the ground. we pushed our way inside, this time with a backpack of supplies in tow. all was totally silent. we dug out our flashlight and activated it.
the stairwell room, like the entrance room, had a capped PVC pipe protruding from the floor, marked "vapor sample point".
huh, radon? we thought.
we dug in our backpack again, pulled out our geiger counter, and activated it, in silent mode. it blinked a bit faster than background, but we were completely unconcerned with that after another instant, because we heard a sound in the next room.
and then another.
we froze and turned off our light, hands still full of backpack, flashlight, geiger counter, and phone.
the footsteps stopped for a few seconds, then two more followed. the sound came from around the corner and just out of sight, not far away at all.
between us, and the way we'd come in.
something, presumably the owner of the footsteps, snarled.
we were almost willing to believe the sound had somehow come from the building at first, but then it came again. not a sound we had ever heard before, but unmistakably made by a mammalian vocal apparatus, and a large one at that. sort of halfway between a growl and a cough. unambiguously hostile.
if it belonged to a human, it was not someone in good health.
our legs started shaking; we unlocked our knees to ease them up. we knew we had to get out, but the way we came in would take us straight for a meeting with this snarling /something/ in the narrowest part of the lower level hallways.
we could try upstairs - the facility was built on a mound, and both floors had exits - but reaching the stairs would take us into full view of the hallway, and we weren't about that.
in the room with us was an overhead door, like a garage door. we had assumed it locked before, but upon carefully-silent inspection, we could see no sign of a lock. we found a latch, grabbed it, and pulled.
the echo died away through the unseen reaches of the building.
nothing answered the sound.
we activated our light and aimed it at the wall, towards the entrance. nothing.
we gripped the door handle and lifted.
we stopped. listened.
we wrenched the door upwards. daylight poured in around our feet. we raised it high enough to exit through, tossed our backpack through, and then scrambled through ourselves, pausing for a moment to grab our dropped flashlight off the ground before bringing the door back down behind us.
we'd come out on the same side of the building we'd come in through, into an empty parking lot with no one around.
we hurried back to our bike.
we're home safe!
our best guesses for the Unseen Threat are
- human (neurologically afflicted, not in their right mind)
- human (being deliberately scary to get us to scram from their hideout)
- dog (....biiiiig dog, those were not lightweight footsteps)
- really just a particularly weird Crumbling Building Sound that we misidentified
- ???? we have no idea what else, we don't really have big beasts in this part of the country
the second one seems like our most obvious guess.
-the building was wide open, evidently broken into
-there was scant but present evidence of habitation visible in places - graffiti here, an old can there, an american flag upstairs
-their strategy was very effective in making us leave promptly by the most immediately available route
@diodelass Remember, the unseen, snarling, large mammal in the next room is just as scared of you as you are of it!
@diodelass are you considering carrying any wildlife deterrent type things with you, for safety in these sorts of circumstances? i don’t know much about that… and, of course, escaping/running away remains the best strategy
re: urban spelunking photography
@nik these pictures still make us a bit nervous, because at the time we took them, we thought everything was fairly safe, but the unseen person or beast that later appeared was probably just out sight the whole time, lurking, and becoming annoyed with our flashlight.
@diodelass read through all this and hoooooly shit, I’m glad y’all made it out safe!!! that sounds terrifying!
this story has certainly deterred me from this sort of thing.
I'm super glad you're okay tho! physically, at least
@VyrCossont thank you!
now you know why Eve is one of our most important eigenmodes... she never loses her head.
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