Following The Leylines

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Timecode: 10/22/2017 23:49

Chad Darryl: The United States of America is the strangest country in the world. It's full of cryptids, ghosts, aliens, and the government covers it all up. But we know something they don't.

Chad Darryl: Throughout the USA, there are invisible lines of energy flowing through space, linking locations full of strange activity. We make it our job to route a course along these energy flows, and document everything we find. We are…

[Title Card Appears]

Chad Darryl: Following the Leylines.

[Title Jingle, cut to inside of a van. Four individuals are present: Chad Darryl, Caucasian, age 33, host of Following the Leylines; Monica Morse, African-American, age 29, self-proclaimed spiritual medium; Quincy Lee, Chinese-American, age 33, equipment manager. The driver is Markus Bradley, Caucasian, Age 28.]

Darryl: (Addressing the camera) Today, we've got a treat for you, true believers. We've got a live show, broadcasting on Twitch, for our Halloween special. For months, dozens of leylines have been pointing us in one direction.

[The Camera pans over a map of the state of Wisconsin, with a large, red circle scribbled around an area in the North-Western most part of the state]

Darryl: Sloth's Pit, Wisconsin. A remote town smack on the border with Minnesota, it's said to be the birthplace of dozens of urban legends. They say that the myth of the Hook-Handed Man originated from here, and that it's one of the most haunted places in the USA.

Lee: I'll believe that when I see it. Nothing can be worse than Ohio U.

Darryl: Maybe. Monica, what do you think?

Morse: It's… almost overwhelming. Hundreds— no, thousands of leylines converge here. It's a hotbed of all sorts of bizarre things. I see spirits, pumpkins, and… death. I feel a strong aura of death. [Morse swallows audibly.] This may have been a mistake.

[The van begins slowing down, before stopping. Muffled speech is heard outside.]

Darryl: What th— Mark, why'd you stop?

Bradley: There's a roadblock ahead. Bunch of people in jackets. I… wait, what's FEMA doing out here?

Darryl: You're kidding. [To Lee] Switch to the dash cam, now.

[Camera angle switches to a view from a camera behind a windshield. Outside, several men and women in black jackets with the letters "FEMA" printed on the back, with the insignia of the Federal Emergency Management Agency on their lapels. One of these individuals, a man with brown hair, approaches the van.]

FEMA Agent 1: Sir, I'm going to need you to turn around.

Bradley: What's going—

Darryl: Hold on, I'll do the talking. We're just trying to get into town, sir.

FEMA Agent 1: You can't. Town's under quarantine. Massive chemical spill from the plastics plant.

Darryl: What? There's nothing on the news about it. We're filming our Halloween special here.

FEMA Agent 1: Can't help you there. Duluth has a pretty cool haunted house, try there.

[The dash cam changes angle to view the FEMA Agent's face.]

Darryl: Look, it took us weeks to get permits to film here. Why a rinky-dink town is so protective of film rights is beyond me. We need to get through.

[A female voice is heard, muffled by the windshield]

FEMA Agent 1: What?

FEMA Agent 2: They have a fucking dash cam on you! I saw the douchebag turn it.

FEMA Agent 1: Ah, hell. All right, out of the vehicle, everyone.

Lee: It's within our rights to film a federal official.

FEMA Agent 1: I'm going to say this again. Out of the vehicle, now, and we'll let you go free. Otherwise, you're under arrest.

Bradley: FEMA agents can't do that.

FEMA Agent 1: What?

Darryl: I filmed in New Orleans after Katrina. FEMA Agents don't have the legal right to arrest US Citizens. Who the hell are you?

FEMA Agent 1: Oh, fuck this. [All FEMA agents draw firearms.] Out of the van, now.

Bradley: H-holy shit. What the fuck?

FEMA Agent 1: Everyone out now! Under the Whitman-Ross Act of 1960, you are all under arrest.

[A low rumbling is heard on the footage. Camera footage is filled with digital noise for several seconds, after which several scarecrows appear, surrounding the 'FEMA' agents.]

FEMA Agent 3: What the fuck?!

Darryl: Floor it.

Bradley: What?

Darryl: Fucking floor it! NOW!

Bradley: Holy shit—-

[The Van suddenly accelerates, knocking over the dash cam. The sounds of gunfire are heard, along with several screams and a splintering of wood as the van breaks through the barricade. Signal is lost.]

Timecode: 10/23/2017, 00:09

[Signal resumes. Footage is shown from an infra-red night vision camera; Darryl is operating it. He appears to be in a wooded area. The van is visible, and there are sounds of a hushed argument. Darryl attempts to shush them.]

Darryl: Hey, true believers. We, uh. We managed to get away from the…. so-called FEMA guys. Faux-ma? [Darryl covers his mouth and gasps.] This is crazy. We actually got shot at, this was not a stunt. I swear to god.

Lee: Show them the tires.

Darryl: Right, shit, okay. [Darryl focuses the camera on the rear left tire of the van; puncture marks are visible. Darryl digs their finger into the puncture, and produces what appears to be a bullet.]

Morse: This is f-f-fucked up. Those… scarecrows, that just… just came out of the ground. They felt… so evil. [Morse bends over, retching.]

Darryl: All right, we just… [Darryl points its camera at a series of lights in the distance] That's the town. We just need to get there, and find somewhere to hide. Act natural.

Bradley: Chad, what the hell? They said the town was under quarantine! We should just go back and surrender ourselves—

Darryl: Fuck that, we're broadcasting live to five-hundred-thousand people. Something's going on here that's worth shooting people over, and we're gonna capture it!

[Lee enters the shot, carrying four head-mounted cameras]

Lee: At least put these on. They're bad image quality, but they're easier to carry as opposed to lugging that monster around. [indicating the camera Darryl is holding]

Darryl: Okay, yeah. [Addressing the lens] I'm going to turn this off, now. We're gonna be broadcasting from GoPros from now on. I'll be Camera 1, Monica will be Camera 2, Quincy will be Camera 3, and Mark— Mark? [Darryl swings the camera around. Markus Bradley is not present in the shot. Analysis of the footage shows a figure approximately two-hundred meters away, hanging from a tree. Darryl does not appear to notice this.] What the fuck? Mark? Where are you?

Lee: C-cameras on. If we die, we need to capture this.

Morse: Great, we're going to be the world's first live snuff film. [Darryl, Lee and Morse all put on the wearable cameras.]

Darryl: Nobody's dying tonight. I promise. We just gotta stay quiet. Quincy you got—

[Camera feed abruptly disconnects]

Time Code: 10/23/2017, 00:20
[Connection reestablished. Only Camera 2, Monica Morse, is currently active. Darryl is visible in front of her, crouched against a wall. The camera briefly pans up to a street sign, indicating that they are at the corner of Main St. and Hodag Lane. Lee is heard behind her, panting loudly.]

Morse: Wait, I think my camera's finally working.

Lee: Must have found a wi-fi hotspot that's unsecured; looks like we're near some kind of coffee shop. Chad, what do you see?

Darryl: …nothing. Lights are on everywhere, but… nobody's home. I don't think we've even seen any cars on the street.

[Morse pushes forward, and views Main Street. A semi-translucent humanoid figure walks before the camera, which fills with digital noise. The body language of the figure indicates a reluctance to move forward.]

Morse: What the fuck?

Darryl: O-oh my god. Th-that looks almost corporeal.

[The figure appears to walk up a set of stairs, before standing in mid-air for several seconds. It suddenly drops, going limp, hanging in mid-air for approximately ten seconds, and vanishing with a burst of digital noise.]

Morse: O-o-oh my god.

Darryl: Think it'll show up on the video?

Lee: Wait, hold on. People are talking. Moni, let me see your headset. I want to boost the gain on your mic.

[Morse removes her camera and hands it to Lee. Several seconds of shuffling are heard, before sounds recorded through the microphone appear to be much louder]

Unidentified Female: You're kidding. How many got through the roadblock?

Unidentified Male: Four, in a van. Some ghost-hunting show. Last thing we need. People showing up as scarecrows, farmers turning into vampires, researchers disappearing—

Unidentified Female: Wait, ghost hunting show? What was it called?

Unidentified Male: Following the… something. Landlines? You watch that stuff, Ruby, you should know.

"Ruby": Following the Leylines! Shit. They do fucking live Halloween specials every year. They might be broadcasting now!

Unidentified Male: Fuck me. Sigma-10 Command, this is Agent Blake Williams. We have cause to believe that the trespassers are broadcasting live. We need immediate scrubbing procedures. Call Cover-Ops.

Morse: Cover-Ops? What the fuck?

[Several lights down Main Street begin turning off.]

Darryl: This is big, holy shit. The entire town's a smokescreen. This is, like. Beyond Area-51. Wait, wh-why are the lights going out?

Lee: Shit, they're killing the power. We won't have an outgoing signal—

[The power turns off in the area around Lee, Darryl and Morse. Connection interrupted.]

Timecode: 10/23/2017 00:50

[Only Camera 1, Darryl's Camera, is active. Lee and Morse are not visible, and video shows heavy signs of corruption, and frames lag behind. Audio indicates that Darryl is running.]

Darryl: G-get the fuck away from me!

[A loud, bleating bellow echoes, distorting the audio on the camera and causing it to lag by several frames.]


[Darryl's camera shows him running past a tree. An axe flies into frame, embedding itself in the bark several inches before his face. He whimpers and stops, and the camera angle changes to a low shot. Loud sobbing is heard.]

[A new voice is heard, heavily distorted.]

Unknown Entity: For Sloth's sake. You tourists are so weepy.

Darryl: I-I… I don't wanna die! [Darryl descends into sobbing.]

[A figure with a goat's head steps into frame, and tilts its head, taking the axe from the tree.]

Unknown Entity: Oh shut up. I'm trying to save your life. [The entity grabs Darryl and begins dragging him along the ground. Darryl openly protests and sobs.]

[Camera feed disconnects.]

Timecode: 10/23/2017 01:07

[Only Camera 3, Lee's Camera, is active. Lee and Morse are both visible, while Darryl is not. The pair appear to be in a dilapidated house in a wooded area. They are standing in the entry way, and several patches of mold are visible on the ceiling, and holes in the walls, exposing wooden boards.]

Lee: Wait, what the fuck?

Morse: What?

Lee: I have a fucking signal! Almost an hour without any goddamn signal, and we step into a haunted goddamn house, suddenly, we got something!

Morse: Is someone living here?

Lee: Yeah. May be what got Mark.

Morse: And Chad?

Lee: We don't know that Chad's gone. We just… heard him scream. Maybe he fell into a ravine.

Morse: All right, I— oh my god.

Lee: What is it?

Morse: I… I feel… something's here, something big. Something… powerful. It wants us to get out.

Lee: Oh shit. Is it a ghost?

Morse: No, it's… something else. It's—

Unidentified Female Voice: It's me.

[Lee and Morse scream, turning to face a young female, approximately twenty-two. Subject is wearing faded blue jeans and a T-Shirt for "The Incubi", a local band in Sloth's Pit, Wisconsin. Subject's left eye is covered by a fringe of red hair. Some visual noise appears around the figure, but quickly clears.]

Unidentified Female: Whoah, whoah. [Subject holds up its hands in a placating manner] I'm not gonna hurtcha. You shouldn't even be here. What the hell are out-of-townies doing here at a time like this?

Lee: Uh, um. Uh. I… we ran the barricade… Mark did, our driver.

Unidentified Female: White guy? About thirty? [Subject shakes their head.] They're dead. The Black Autumn got to him.

Lee: What?

Morse: Black— Black Autumn? What the fuck?

Unidentified Female: Your other friend's safe. He pissed himself when he saw Jasper, though. But you all need to get out of town. [Subject looks at Lee's camera.] Is that recording?

Lee: Huh? Yeah, it is.

Morse: You don't… feel right. You're not real.

Unidentified Female: Wha— [The figure leans in and inspects Morse, pulling aside its hair to reveal that their left eye is missing, and a hollow socket is visible.]

Morse: What the FUCK!

Unidentified Female: You're a medium. How rare. [Subject snickers. Lee and Morse seem unamused.] Sorry. Need a bit of levity, in light of what's happened.

Morse: Where's Chad?

Unidentified Female: They're safe. That's all you need to know. Come on, follow me, and I'll get you— oh shit. Behind you!

[Lee's camera turns to face the opposite end of the entry way, where severe electromagnetic disturbance occurs. A figure resembling a scarecrow with a pumpkin for its head is visible through the distortion, and appears to be pointing at the camera.]

Unidentified Female: Run for it! Don't look back!

[Lee drops his camera and runs for the door, with Morse following. The footage shows the scarecrow walking after them, severe electromagnetic disturbance occurring. The scarecrow stops to inspect the camera dropped, falling on the floor and 'looking' into the lens.]

[Connection interrupted.]

Timecode: 10/23/2017, 01:27

[Feed from Camera 1. Video is inactive, only audio is present.]

Darryl: No! Please GOD! Let me go! [Darryl descends into sobbing]

Unidentified Entity: Silence.

Darryl: I don't wanna die!

Unidentified Male: Don't be such a drama queen! For the last time, I'm not going to hurt you, but if something else hears you, it will. So please. Shut. Up.

[Darryl is heard whimpering loudly.]

Unidentified Male: See that building over there? The one that says Plastics on it?

Darryl: Y-yes?

Unidentified Entity: I want you to run there as fast as you can. When you're in view of the front door, slow down and keep your hands up. If you're lucky, they won't shoot your head off.

Darryl: W-what the fuck are you?

Unidentified Entity: Just your friendly neighborhood half-goat slasher villain. Now, run. The town isn't safe. [A loud scream is heard in the distance.] Dammit. Jessie! Run for it, now.

[Darryl is heard running through plant matter, particularly dried leaves, which gives way to stone, most likely concrete. He is heard screaming for help, before gunshots ring out.]

[Signal interrupted.]

Timecode: 10/23/2017 01:27

[Feed from Camera 2, running through a wooded area. Morse is running after Unidentified Female, and is followed by Lee.]

Morse: What was that?!

Unidentified Female: No clue. They've been popping up around town. Forty people are dead because of them—

Lee: Forty people?! This should be national news!

Unidentified Female: There are people whose jobs are to stop news like that from getting out.

Lee: Who?!

Unidentified Female: Doesn't matter, you won't remember them! Jump!

[Morse and Lee leap over an obstruction; Morse's camera shows a series of roots attempting to reach into the air and grab them.]

Morse: What the fuck?!

Unidentified Female: Town's up there! You need to get onto Main Street-

[Subject suddenly stops as a line of scarecrows appears before the camera with a burst of digital noise.]

Unidentified Female: Oh shit. Run, run through them, I'll hold them off.

Morse: What the fuck are you? Something's wrong with you, I-I know you're not real, what are you?!

Unidentified Female: I'm Jessica Valentru. I'm part succubus, part banshee. You can call me Singing Jessie. Now, run!

[Morse and Lee flee towards the town. Audio picks up a sub-sonic disturbance, which grows in volume, until it is audible as a loud scream. Camera feed shows several individuals in FEMA uniforms, before the disturbance becomes audible. Major camera disturbance.]

[Signal interrupted.]

Timecode: 10/23/2017, 02:19

[Camera 1 is active, laying on a metal table next to Chad Darryl, who has his head in his hands. The room he is in is white and brightly-lit. A male enters the frame; the voice matches the individual identified as "Blake Williams" from time code 00:20.]

Williams: You're in a lot of trouble, Chad.

Darryl: I want my fuckin' lawyer.

Williams: We're far beyond lawyers— wait, is this thing on? [Williams picks up the camera and waves at it, before placing it down on the table.] You know, we intercepted your feed over an hour ago. The only place you're streaming to is a secure server, where your footage will be reviewed and deleted.

Darryl: Oh my god. Who the fuck are you? Are you t-t-the Founders?

Williams: Beg pardon?

Darryl: The Founders! Global Founders! Big-ass MIB organization that pull down videos of things like alien sightings and ghost encounters! I-I don't want to die. Please.

Williams: Calm down. We're not going to kill you. It ain't our style.

Darryl: Your style? A-a-a-a fuckin' guy with a goat head dragged me halfway across town and dropped me on your doorstep! I thought he was gonna kill me!

Williams: Really? The Goatman? Huh. [Williams pauses.] In any case, you have two choices right now.

Darryl: W-what?

Williams: Choice one: we inject you full of a drug that makes you forget the last twenty-four hours and you and your friends wake up in Superior, being arrested for breaking and entering while high on tainted drinks you got from a bar. Charges are dropped, and you're free to live your lives.

Darryl: My other choice?

Williams: You sign a piece of paper that says you can never talk about this, to anyone except your friends. If that happens, you will start to asphyxiate any time you mention the town of Sloth's Pit, Wisconsin, the Goatman, and the "Founders" as you call us.

Darryl: …does it hurt? The injection?

Williams: We give it to you under anesthesia.

Darryl: I'll take that.

Williams: Most people do. Though… your friend, Monica Morse?

Darryl: What about her?

Williams: We've been reviewing some footage from earlier episodes, as well as tonight. We've been looking for more psychics, so she may take a little longer to get out.

Darryl: What about Mark?

Williams: Let's get him prepped for amnestic administration.

Darryl: Wait, where's Mark? What happened to Mark?

[Williams turns off the camera. Connection interrupted.]

Timecode: 10/24/2017, 01:55

[The same scarecrow seen pursuing Morse and Lee is looking into Lee's camera, accompanied by heavy electromagnetic distortion. The pumpkin splits open, revealing the face of Markus Bradley inside, eyes removed. The face bashes its head against the camera. Blood flows down the lens.]

[Connection closed.]

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