780-PCS Incident
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Document #780-PCS: Exploration IV

[DATA CORRUPT, RETRIEVING EARLIEST UNCORRUPTED RECORDING]

Feed begins. The first, and so far only, D-Class to explore the newly discovered and not yet studied Area H-2-5 continued to climb the stairs, stopping at the ninety first platform, designated with a worn down bold ‘91’ painted in white on the wall beside him. D-9985 paused and sat to rest. In the distance, and above D-9985 soft laughter continues. D-9985 shines his light up the stairway above him, revealing another flight of stairs.

“Doc, there’s no end here. It just keeps going,” D-9985 groans directly into his radio, producing a harsh noise. The safety tether – designed not for his safety, but the safety of the transmission – in plain view on the video feed, dangling over the railing across from him.

“You’re allowed a short rest, D-9985. Then continue your ascent. That’s an order.” Dr Seidelman replied from back at base camp, from the old storage room across from the utility closet designated Area H-2-5. Records show that Dr Seidelman was assigned initial exploration responsibilities with two junior researchers, and had arranged a basic field lab in a storage room across from the utility closet containing Area H-2-5.

“… D-9985, are you ready to continue?”

“Yeah, give me a sec…” D-9985 replied as he pulled himself to his feet with a grunt. Video feed looks back to the stairs as D-9985 continues his walk, a hand against the dusty concrete wall. D-9985 continues at a steady pace, pitch blackness around him and the soft giggling in the darkness above him remaining consistent as he ascends the stairwell. Feed continues, lingering on each floor’s number for 2-4 seconds. 93… 96… 98… 101… 104…

“… Hold it. It’s getting louder.” D-9985 suddenly halts, pulling his hand away from the wall. Audio feed corroborates with D-9985’s experience – sound of laughter has grown noticeably louder in volume, but is not apparently approaching D-9985. D-9985 stops, placing a hand against the wall again, body language suggesting tension. Eleven seconds pass before Dr Seidelman speaks again.

“D-9985, please continue your ascent. That’s an order.”

The D-Class hesitates, lifting his hand for a moment before placing it against the wall, continuing to climb the stairwell at a slower pace than before. Footsteps and breathing are prominent in audio recordings, and laughter continues to grow in volume at a gradual but steady rate as D-9985 ascends beyond platform 110.

The subject roughly inhales, and apparently leans to wipe his lower face with his arm. He hesitates again, before continuing, leaning over to shine the floodlight over the railing, revealing further flights above. D-9985 mutters as-yet-undetermined curses under his breath before continuing, as the laughter grows apparently closer. D-9985’s breathing has grown notably more rapid and his movements more tense. Past flight 114, D-9985 suddenly stops, shining his light into the darkness above.

“It’s right there.” D-9985’s voice is quiet and shaky, directly into the radio. After eight full seconds, he continues forward, climbing the next flight slowly but without prompting. Laughter is at speaking-level now, and apparently close by. As D-9985 reaches the next flight, he shines light up the stairs ahead of him, the light steadying as the camera attempts to focus on an indistinct figure. Voice of D-Class and anomaly are both at speaking level now.

“Doc, it’s an ass.”

Camera focuses, revealing an apparently disembodied humanoid lower back, upper thigh, and posterior pointed in D-9985’s general direction. D-9985 shakes his head and turns to return to base camp, apparently tripping on his own feet and falling down the stairs, swearing profusely as anomalous laughter breaks into hysterics before camera and audio feeds cut out.

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