Please note, that while C-29 is in storage, the object is to remain covered at all times. The keys to the strap locks can only be requested from Special Committee Antiquarians with the Chair’s permission. Observation of the reflections within C-29 is to be supervised by an Antiquariat and any Benzodiazepine-based medicine offered by the Antiquarians, to counteract any potential side effects, are mandatory.
C-29 is no longer part of the Association’s collection.
C-29 is a large (140 by 50 centimetres) mirror of unknown origin placed within in a dark grey/anthracite oval frame in a Louis Seize-style. The frame is made from mahogany, which is typical for this type of furniture. In the frame there is a carved text that reads:
“O Fortuna velut luna statu variabilis,
semper crescis aut decrescis;”
|“Oh Fortune, like the moon you are changeable.
Ever waxing, ever waning;”
Any non-living, non-human subjected within its line of sight does not provoke any abnormal effects. Special committee Antiquarians put a number of animals in front of the mirror, including a parrot in a cage, Doctor Chartreuse’s dachshund and a stray cat. The researchers then observed the animals while not exposing themselves to the mirror's reflection. None of these animals activated C-29’s ability, nor did they seem to be in any form of distress. The dachshund tried to play with his reflection, the cat engaged in a staring contest with itself and the parrot only exclaimed profanity and revealed some of Doctor ██████ (alleged) bedroom noises. Various inanimate objects were placed in front of the mirror, like typical household objects, an heirloom once owned by Doctor Chartreuse’s mother and one of Doctor Jenever’s dollhouses. There were no notable effects.
"It just so happened that an instance of C-08 was recharging in one of the beds inside the dollhouse, which reactivated and started to trash the furniture looking for something to drink. This didn’t activate C-29 either."
The mirror only becomes active when human subjects make eye contact with their own reflection within the surface of the mirror. People exposed have witnessed a black fog or dark smoke creeping out from underneath the frame towards their reflection. At this point, most witnesses started to feel unwell or terrified as the fog congealed with their reflection blurring the image. Only a few have managed to look away, while most describe a sense of numbness or paralyzation causing their eyes to be fixated on the mirror's surface.
After a short moment, the reflection becomes clear again. This final phase of the transformation has been compared to something that emerges from dirty water, after which their own reflections changed into a different version of themselves. For example, their reflections would wear unfamiliar clothes, have a different hairstyle or possess other physical changes; such as scars. The dark fog turns into an environment in which the witness’s reflection starts to move about independently and a scenario starts to take place. By this time the witnesses are experiencing a type of ‘out of body’ experience and are fully emerged into the unfolding events.
All the scenarios described by witnesses are wholly unique but always affect them personally. These scenarios show the witnesses’ alternate self leading a life that, although very different from their own, are very relatable to them and many witnesses have stated potential possibilities on how these other timelines came about. For example, witnesses have stated seeing deceased relatives or loved ones alive once again, and how these could have affected their lives in a major way. One witness confessed to being a former alcoholic, and he was confronted with a version of himself, “Boozing like it was nobody's business”.
Those interviewed all described exposure to C-29 as a negative experience. However, some stated they felt more content with themselves and others desired to ‘right some wrongs’ or make changes to their lives. About half of the subjects showed signs of depression during the interview and made cynical statements bordering on nihilism. For example, mentions like: no matter what they did or how many lives they would have, they would always fail or end up miserable. Rather these emotional outcomes are intended or side effects can only be speculated upon.
Personal note by Dr Benedictine: At this point, C-29’s origins and purpose remain unknown. It is my personal theory C-29 actually shows alternate versions of those individuals who peer into the mirror. The ultralow frequency emitted by C-29 is potential evidence of that. We know for a fact that alternate versions of individuals exist. If my hypothesis is correct, it might mean we are connected somehow with versions of ourselves in the multiverse. In that case, C-29 might have practical value we are just not aware of… Or maybe it is just some science experiment. If I am wrong, we may have a mirror that can read our minds and visualises our insecurities and desires.
I don’t know which of these two explanations makes more sense. The only way to confirm my hypothesis is by finding one of the people that appeared in the mirror’s surface. Dr Benedictine
The existence of C-29 was first recorded in Switzerland when authorities were alarmed by a number of suicides in the wake of a travelling carnival in 1861. Interviews with people from these affected communities revealed there were other individuals who either left town, became depressed or made radical changes to their lifestyle. Some of these individuals were tracked by the Cantonal Police Force who revealed the existence of C-29. The Federal Criminal Police suppressed the news and The Association was contacted.
By the time Associate 178 and 201 arrived at the fair to investigate the suspect sideshow, named Pandora’s Mirror, it was already too late. It turned out the cart belonging to the owner of the mirror, Mr Schweizer, had been ransacked by an alleged cult. The federal police used this as an excuse to take Mister Schweizer to a local police station for questioning. According to Schweizer’s statement, a group of monkish individuals visited Pandora's Mirror the day prior. These individuals were clearly members of a religious order, but no one could identify their robes. One of them paid for admittance to look into the mirror, which seemed out of character for a friar. This particular individual was also taller than most men and he had his face completely covered by a blue-greyish cloth that didn't even have eye holes. He went inside and came out a moment later seemingly unaffected, wich mister Schweizer found remarkable. Then he left without comment, as did the other monks.
The next morning, just before sunrise, Mister Sweizer woke up as he heard somebody force the lock on the door to his cart. Mister Schweizer, according to his own statement, pulled a gun on them. But the large ‘faceless monk’ of the day before came at him, took his weapon and lifted him up by the throat with one arm nearly suffocating the proprietor. Meanwhile, the monks wrapped the mirror in cloth, loaded it onto a cart and left the scene before anyone could comprehend what was going on. Witnesses claim they saw a suspect wagon heading west, presumably to cross the border to France. This when the federal police handed the case over to the Association.
Associate 178 and 201 continued their investigation, which finally leads them to Saint-Germain-de-Joux. There the gendarmerie confirmed the presence of an unorthodox monastic order in and around the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes called The Lions of Judah. Associate 178 kept a journal of the investigations in the region.
The following segments are the highlights of from the events that occurred between the 4th and 14th of august, 1861. These records were written by Associate 178.
August 4th, 1861
We arrived in Charix today and introduced ourselves as real-estate investors, exploring the French countryside for potential plots of land to build a vacation resort. We brought some surveying equipment for good measure, although neither of us has any idea how to use it. The population of Charix were not that interested in us foreigners and it was somewhat of a challenge to gather information from them. An older man was kind enough to give us directions to the old cloister where the Lions of Judah reside. However, when we asked about its occupiers he acted suspiciously and simply replied with: ‘they’re just a bunch of monks’. [...]
As not to stir up trouble, we remained in town today and attended the Sunday mass. I am not a god-fearing man and was raised a Calvinist. So I tried to get acquainted with catholic customs by book learning. But no literature could have prepared me for the sermon we were about to witness.
Now I am quite certain the Rifts have been brought by well-intending priests in the past, but when we realised the central topic of the preacher's monologue was actual on the topic ‘Rifts’, we became increasingly uncomfortable and neither of us could shake the feeling it was our presence that had roused the subject. But to our surprise, his flock didn’t seem all that bothered by the topic and I noticed head nodding in agreement when the priest proclaimed that these portals would lead the faithful to either heaven or hell. If he was just speaking metaphorically I would probably agree with his claims. The part where he lost me was on breaking the seven seals. Regardless, I was relieved when he announced we would sing the French version of Erstaunliche Gnade.
It might be my ignorance of the French or Catholic faith, but I don’t this type of religious expression is the norm. Although we both believe that religious worship of the Rifts is inevitable, this appropriation by a catholic congregation feels as if it is part of a larger movement. We wonder if this is the influence of the cult. It would explain all the secrecy.
Today we observed the monastery with a modified periscope from a nearby hill to the west of the complex. The structure is typical of 14th-century monasteries of its type, with some modifications made over the centuries. The only space open to the public is a workshop were the friars make spoke wheels, horseshoes, simple tools and farming equipment. In the courtyard, they grow herbs and there is a walled vineyard to the south. Apart from the chapel on the east side of the complex and the sleeping quarter, it is hard to say anything about the internal layout of the complex.
As I observed the complex, my fellow Associate stood on watch, map in hand, pretending to operate the measuring equipment. We tried to get here before the occupants of the convent got up at sunrise. Guess we should have gone during winter. Regardless of our bad temper, we witnessed something both remarkable and unsettling. As expected, when the first rays struck the cloister, the faithful left their chambers and headed for the chapel to attend the first mass. It included the imposing figure, reaching head and shoulders above all other friars. But his imposing physique could not distract me from an actual glowing individual crossing the courtyard. In the dim morning light, I saw a pale light appear from underneath his robes and cowl, shining so bright it lit the ground before him as he crossed the garden. But my amazement did not cease as something captured the Glowing One’s attention and made him turn around. From behind a tower, another robe-clad ‘alien’ appeared. The robes struggled to hide its inhuman shape as that moved like a frog that had humps like a dromedary. His body swayed in sync with its covered head hunching forward like that of a crocodile. I can only imagine what its appearance could look like. (Please don’t let it be human)
The (assumingly) human cultists bowed their heads politely as they walked by the ´lizard thing’ and the glowing one waited patiently for the Hunchback to approach. While the two were engaged in a lengthy conversation the humped one stuck one its monstrous hands out of it sleave and revealed its long fingers that sprouted from a withered hand, like branches on a long-dead tree. They talked for three minutes or so before they walked side by side toward the chapel.
We saw the three abnormals a number of times during the day. It seems the ‘glowing one’ has a separate plant patch where he grows Saint-Catherine's flowers but there were no remarkable event sightings for the rest of the day.
[...] At sunset, we spotted a caravan at the gate of the cloister. A significant number of the cultists were about to leave for what seemed an extended period, based on the provisions being loaded onto the carts. Some members even carried large daggers or blades. At dawn a column of four carts left, leaving a small portion of the community behind.
After long deliberation, we decided to explore the interior of the cloister, while the majority of the community is away. While requesting reinforcements to infiltrate the building Associate 201 will follow the caravan and report back through wireless radio.
Not going to lie. I feel out of my depth here. I am an investigative journalist, not a secret agent. This whole affair is starting to feel like a Penny Dreadful. Just like these small wireless devices. Wondering what the world will look like if this technology becomes public.
Associate 12, 49 and 154 finally arrived. 12 took command right away. I can’t realy blame the military man. I explained the situation to him and we agreed it might be best to start the infiltration during the evening mass when the cult-members are occupied. [...]
As the evening mass began, around 8 PM, just after the cult gathered in the main chapel, Associate 49 snuck in. An hour later 49 reported that she explored most the living quarters, stables and supply rooms. The only thing of note was a gymnasium, that the friars used for practising martial arts And an armoury mostly containing obsolete but well-maintained firearms, ammunition and medieval weaponry. But a significant number of weapons were missing from the lockers.
Unfortunately, there was no sign of C-29 or other artefacts, so 49 decided to approach the chapel. 12 allowed this.
8:34 -A few minutes after 49 reported in, an alarm bell was rung within the cloister. 12 told us to pack our gear onto the horses and wait for 49 to meet us.
8:44 - After 10 minutes, still no sign of 49. 12 was getting restless as two armed friars came to stand in front of the gate. A few minutes later three other cultists left the gate and started searching the area. We assume they are looking for 49, but 12 believed something went horribly wrong. He couldn’t finish vocalising his thought until our transponder started to make noise as if somebody was fiddling at the other end of the signal. That’s when 12 declared to go in and save 49. I protested that I had no combat experience apart from shooting rabbits. But 12 ignored my complaint and simply told me to watch their back as they went in. Both 12 and 154 mounted their horses and charged in like bloody dragoons. My companions took out two of the three scouts with their revolvers. I froze as last one charged after them like a lunatic. While they took out the other guards as they passed the gate the last one kept going after them, screaming like a lunatic. One part of my brain analysed what could happen if I let him be, while the other half struggled with the fact I had to shoot a man to save my comrades. As I aimed my rifle I kept telling myself I shot smaller game at larger distances and finally, mortified, I pulled the trigger.
After that, I hurried to the gate where my fellows left their horses behind. There were more shots and screams as I took shelter near the gate. There I waited for what seemed an eternity. The vegetation in the courtyard was too high to keep an eye on the chapel door but I didn’t want to get in the way or stray too far from the horses. The animals were nervous as all hell and I had my hands full preventing them from pulling the reins free from my hands.
Fortunately, my fellows came running back. 49 was walking, be it supported by 154. 12 carried a friar over his shoulders. We mounted our horses a ran off. We heard some shots behind us as we left the cloister. It was probably a good thing they used old weapons.
The firefight had attracted a lot of attention and the gendarmerie got involved. They searched the convent in the morning and recovered a number of artefacts, including C-29. The cultists were arrested for theft, smuggling and their illegal weapons. This caused quite a stir within the surrounding communities.
Currently, Associate 154 is already underway to Lyon to negotiate for the release of the artefacts into Association custody and 12 mentioned both the outsider and C-29 will be shipped across the Channel so nobody can come after them. Associate 49 is shaken but not disturbed. The alien is still in our custody, annoyed but compliant. We have not heard back from Associate 201 yet and I am starting to get nervous. As for why the Lions of Judah wanted C-29. According to 49, the Lions used it in initiation rituals to see if the new members were pious enough, by exposing them to their reflections. I guess it is similar to shamans consuming hallucinogens to go on spirits quests and the like. Well, it has been one hell of a trip.
C-29 was shipped across the Channel. Once delivered the Association conducted only a small number of experiments as time was cut short due to, a change in circumstances.
After incident S-78 various items of interest were exchanged with the cult, now identified as the Lions of Judah, after truce negotiations, which included the release of Associate 201 from their custody. The Lion's argument was that the artefact is vital to their initiation ceremonies that prepare novices for ´the battles to come’.
Dr Chartreuse responds to the exchange of C-29
This is outrageous! C-29 is one of the most valuable research assets we have. If our suspicions are correct, we might be able to develop ways to observe other planes without having to traverse any portals. We might even discover how all realities are connected! I insist the Chair reconsiders handing it over to a sect of superstitious zealots who stole the very thing in the first place. Not to mention they are violent. I urge you not to give in to their threats and let us continue our research.
Transcript of interview C29-24b. Interviewer ██████████████ of Swiss Federal Police. Interviewed Mr Schweizer
[start of segment]
So, mister Schweizer. Could you tell me again what happened on April 9th?
Oh, please I already told two of your colleagues. How hard can it possibly be to find some monks?
Then tell us again!
You dare? I will not be spoken to that way. I am the victim here!
First, we will talk about your victims Mister Schweizer! Fourteen confirmed suicides. Twenty disappearances. Not to mention the condition of the survivors.
I have had nothing to with any of that! Do you really assume I am murdering my customers?
Listen you! Something changed inside of these people within a very similar timeframe after visiting your sideshow. What did you call it? Pandora's Mirror! Why did you name it that way?
I- This is preposterous. I will not suffer this type of abuse.
Three weeks ago a single mother of two was dragged lifeless from The Rhone. A day after she visited your show. You want me to tell you about the other thirteen?
Pure conjecture. But fine… My old master named it that way. I simply took over when he died.
Realy? How did he die?
He just, drowned one day?
Yes, he went for a swim and got caught in the current. Got stuck between some driftwood and…
How did he get the mirror?
As I understand it once belonged to a rich industrialist from the states. The mirror gave him insight into business decisions.
Why did he sell it then?
Well, he died and had no heirs, so his stuff was auctioned off. My master acquired it while on the road in Georgia.
I understand there is a lot of demand for Carnivals in the United States. Why come over here?
Well, you can understand the mirror was a hot item.
Did you ever look inside the mirror yourself?
What wonderful insight did it give you? How to make money at these people expense.
No! Many are grateful for what they have seen. It made them change their lives around. They have told me so themselves!
Or ended their lives it would seem. Fine. What about these monks?
[end of segment]
Interview by Associate 201 with █████ from Fribourg
I am aware of the effects of the mirror and what it shows to the people who peer into it. So, could you give me some context first?
My life's story?
If you think that helps.
Fine… I was born in Fribourg. My dad was a drunk who decided he wanted to be a soldier one day and disappeared. My mother thought he died, but no. He took some easy post in some other part of the canton without telling her… I am not sure how my mother made money….Anyway.
In 1847 my home city fell to federal troops. We were promised that the occupiers would leave us alone, but they lied. Dufour's goons started to pillage some of the cities quarters. Many fled towards the city hall for safety, but the city council assumed it was an uprising and send in the cavalry to disperse the crowd… My mother got trampled by a horse as she held me to her chest…
I am sorry for your loss.
Well… Sometimes I am happy to see didn’t see what I’d become…
Forget it… You wanted to know about the mirror.
Yes, yes. Please go on. Could you describe the experience?
I went to see the thing during a drunk outing with the lads. Just to be somewhere else other than the house or the mines. I paid for the show expecting some magic trick.
It was so weird. First, it was just me and my reflection, but then the stalls lighting started to become dim and the mirror had this weird darkness about it, like… At first, the mirror seemed to shrink and look more distant. It felt like I started to fall. Then the whole thing went black… My vision became blurred, I lost feeling in my body. I couldn’t make sense of what was happening. And that the light came back and then….
(the witness pauses)
I… saw me, but differently. It was like I was floating about in a - place. A nice living room. And I saw myself there.
But it wasn’t you, was it?
No. I sure don’t dress that fancy. Wasn’t me. But it could have been… My father was still there, with my mum... a fucking happy family... their grandchildren, a store with my family's name on it and everything. The kinda life I would have wanted, I guess… Never thought about it… I’m a miner now. My first-day, going into the mines was like, welcome to the first day of the rest of your life… Now I just feel like, maybe I could. Would be great to pass on to the children… But how can I do such a thing right? Looking back at the mirror It feels like its mocking me. Like waking up from a nightmare. But now I feel nothing but doubt and guilt. Like I should be doing better. Should be doing better for my family… I don’t know if I hate that mirror more than I hate myself.
What happened after you saw that image?
It showed me something else... but before I go on, you have to understand. After my mother's death, I was put in an orphanage. I would have stayed there but one day my dad decided he wanted me back. I didn’t even know who he was.
He took me to Bern where he left me in the hands of some trollop he fancied while he was out soldiering. She was just as useless as he was and only saw me as a burden. I think she was relieved when I didn’t decide to come home at night… I fell in with a bad crowd. Most of what we did was a petty crime. But Rudy, our boss, had ambitions. He wanted to be part of something bigger. But to be part of that something he needed to build up notoriety.
So, one day our boss decided we should head for a Catholic estate. They were … Just Catholics. We pulled the family and the servants out of bed in the middle of the nights and gathered them in the living room. As we ransacked the place Rudy made a game of terrorising them. He-um became violent. I just went with the flow when it was agreed to raid the manor. But nicking stuff when nobody is looking is one thing. Looting a place before a family's eyes is another.
The screaming and crying. It all started to get to me that night. At first, I wanted to pull through. Cruelty is the only way to carve out a place in this world Rudy used to say… or something like that. So I tried to shut out and the chaos around me, and searched the cabinets.
Then I found this round gold plated trinket, I thought It was a pocket watch, so I flipped it open. But It turned out to be just a stupid little mirror. However, my reflection made me pause for a moment...
That is when Rudy called my name and I turned around. There he was standing by the man of the house… I don’t even know his name. Anyway, Rudy was holding the bat, making threatening gestures towards the already bruised man. ´It is time to make these traitors pay,’ Rudy said as he handed me the club. ´Break his legs.’
After some hesitation, I grab the weapon and looked at the miserable human, curled up like a frightened animal at my feet. Then I lifted the club above my head and struck. Rudy fell to the ground screaming as he grabbed his shin and I ran of...
That very night I left the city and never looked back. I took on farmwork, then left for Fribourg and became a miner. Married my wife and now we have two kids.
Excuse me, you mentioned a second revelation.
I just told you!
Are you implying…
[The witness slams his fist on the table] You know damn well what I am implying!
I-I see… How did that affect you?
I left that all behind me, I swear! I don’t want my children to grow up like I did and get saddled up with so much guilt.
I assure you, I am not with the police… besides you already spoke judgement over your actions. Don’t see the point getting another judge involved.
[End of interview]
End of this entry
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