Final progress was made with Observation Report #5, where Agent Butcher managed to facilitate a communication with Jack & Jill, and spent the day with them under the guise of ‘showing them the sights’. While most of the report came back showing the usual mundane activities Jack & Jill had pursued days previous, Agent Butcher was able to ascertain a great deal of information over the course of his interaction with the Subjects, and provided said information in the following interview.
Agent Fyfe: First of all, Agent Butcher, may I just thank you for your efforts in this Operation.
Agent Butcher: My pleasure, sir. As we say, all for the good of the Bureau.
AF: And the world itself.
AB: And the world itself.
AF: Now, let me start by confirming what we know in the Observation Reports. Most activity by Jack & Jill…
AB: Who we now know as Richard & Wendy.
AF: Quite. But, for the purposes of this report, we shall stick to their subject names.
AB: As you wish.
AF: Their routine was fairly mundane with minor anomalous elements, would you agree?
AB: Indeed. Both Rich… sorry, Jack & Jill behaved in a manner befitting most tourists, with only the odd moment of intriguing behaviour, especially regarding sundown.
AF: Noted. Would you like to start with that particular subject, or from the beginning?
AB: If it pleases you, sir, I’ll start from the beginning.
AF: Go on.
AB: Well as you know, I managed to enter a rapport with Jack & Jill on Day 5. We had exchanged the usual pleasantries – complete with their curious exclamation of ‘Hail Hq’tar’ – and on this day we finally entered into a conversation. I used this to introduce myself as a visiting local, and gain their trust.
AF: Can you expand on the ‘Hail Hq’tar’ comment?
AB: Unfortunately, when confronted with this curious greeting, they merely wrote it off as a ‘Wilthaven thing’.
AF: Very well. What did you learn about P1983?
AB: A moderate amount. First, it appears to have some sort of Eldritch Geometry. In the same breath, Jack & Jill would talk about its lush woodland, snowy mountains, and vast desert.
AF: All in one place?
AB: If not in close proximity to each other.
AF: Curious. Anything else?
AB: Well, they confirmed that the status of their visit was for leisure. They had planned to go to South Exham, as noted in their letter, and seemed to believe that Southampton was, indeed, still this place, just under some sort of guise.
AF: What sort of ‘guise’?
AB: They posited a theory that ‘Hq’tar’ may be behind it, but were coy on explaining further.
AF: Anything else?
AB: They seemed very pleased with their holiday thus far. Talked of recommending the visit to one Mayor Crest.
AF: A familiar name. Did you find anything further on him?
AB: A little. His family are apparently the de-facto leaders of Wilthaven. Jill mentioned that they had been in power, so to speak, for nearly 100 years.
AF: Interesting. Did they say anything further about Mayor Crest or his history?
AB: Just that, by all accounts, he was a nice fellow who kept Wilthaven, and I quote, ‘safe’.
AF: I see… What else?
AB: Unfortunately this was as much as I could ascertain about these subjects, but it was their behaviour around sundown that I found most informative.
AB: Well, we were still in the City Centre when Jack noted the time and entered a panic. Naturally, in my guise as a local, I attempted to calm him to try and make him stay out, but he was quite insistant and became aggressive. Jill apologised for his behaviour, but I acquiesced and we went back to Warren’s B&B. There, over a gift of strong liquor, we sat down and had a conversation about their troubles with the night.
AF: Alcohol, no better truth serum.
AB: Very much so, and more pleasant to the taste. After a couple of glasses of wine, Jack was more forthcoming about their fear of the night. He spoke of how, in Wilthaven, people would disappear if they stayed out too long.
AB: Yes. Jill expanded on this by telling me that Hq’tar’s familiars would hunt for people out at night, and take them to them.
AB: Hq’tar. It seems whoever it is has no assigned gender.
AF: Curious. Go on.
AB: While Jack seemed to consider this threat to be national, Jill was not so sure. Either way, they both agreed that they had not heard any screaming here in Southampton, and that maybe they were safer out of Wilthaven.
AF: I’m sorry, screaming?
AB: Yes. Apparently a common occurrence in P1983.
AF: Did they explain why?
AB: When asked, they simply dismissed it as ‘one of those things’.
AF: Stiff upper lip culture for you there, understandable. Anything else?
AB: I suggested if such a threat existed, why not move from P1983? However, both were reluctant to leave their friends and families. In fact, despite the reaction the night inspired in them, and the talk of this Hq’tar and screaming, they simply regarded it as a facet of everyday life.
AF: I see. Anything else?
AB: No. Conversation veered to their departure the next day, and an invite to see them in Wilthaven.
AF: Very well. Excellent work there, Agent Butcher. I’ll put in a good word for you to the Directors.
AB: My pleasure, sir. A Bureau Agents work is never done.
AF: Ha, very true. Well then, be safe.
AB: Be safe, sir.
The next day, despite all attempts to track Jack & Jill, both Subjects checked out of Warren’s B&B, and made their way to Southampton Central Station. After a moment of confusion regarding their location, they were observed entering an empty carriage at 11:56AM. Agents Patterson & Furner attempted to join them on the carriage, but where prevented by doing so due to the doors remaining closed. Despite the train itself not moving for 3 minutes, all attempts to board were unsuccessful. Upon departure, both Agents noted no other passengers on board aside from Subjects Jack & Jill, and no apparent staff on hand to confront.
It should be noted, that when asked by platform staff about the departing train, no person could confirm that the train had been scheduled, nor where it was scheduled to go. All timetables suggested no train was due to leave at that time, and ever had been across the whole season.
The last piece of evidence available to Bureau Agents came from Warren’s B&B, where Agent Butcher intercepted the following written comment in the establishments guestbook.
Excellent conditions, despite the minimal security. Would come again when not in festival season. Hail Hq’tar!
Richard & Wendy Bellinger
It seems that, for reasons not yet known, we were provided with a small insight into both the behaviours and mentality of Subjects originating from P1983. A tangible fear of the night, as well as the common usage of the phrase ‘Hail Hq’tar’, adds much more knowledge to our already limited files.
All physical evidence, including the anomalous bank note, letter, and guestbook signing, have been taken for study by the Bureau Research Team, and the names of Milton, Mayor Crest, and especially Hq’tar have been upgraded as potential important signifiers in future reports.
Agents Patterson, Furner, and Butcher have been put forward for special praise given the performance of their duties, while a Bureau Investigative Team have been assigned to watch Southampton Central Station for any further sightings of the mysterious train that took both Subjects away.
Operation Turista is to be considered a success, and is henceforth closed to all Bureau of Paranormal Discoveries staff outside of Director Status.