Mysterious Submersible

A submersible craft shaped like a giant rock lobster has been discovered on an isolated beach on a small island in the Banda Sea. It was found by a local fisherman, who told his cousin, who told a friend, and so on until community sources with the Indonesian government heard about it and spirited the craft away before mundane government investigators became involved.

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Letter: 13th Floor Concerns (Guest Report)

I may (or may not) be a researcher within J- T-’s Surreal Institute. As such, you may (or may not) be inclined to give me an audience, what with the censure in place, but this is a concern of no small importance.
A month ago, a letter was delivered to the aforementioned Surreal Institute. The contents made reference to a building, and within the body of the message was this warning: “If [the building]’s 13th floor no longer exists, we have been successful. If, however, it remains, you will need to again send someone back to 1881 through the passage in America. Whomsoever goes, they will want to arrange for delivery of this message again for the first time, and then they must act to prevent the existence of the aforementioned 13th floor. Note, under no circumstances is anyone to visit that floor themselves! It would tip our hand, and possibly usher in a premature apocalypse. Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.”
As the building in question was found to have no 13th floor, J- T- believed the message to be fraudulent in nature. Further, he claimed that it was an attempt to get him in trouble with The Archive, given the obvious temporal ramifications. So the letter was quietly buried. It has since been determined that the paper was indeed over 100 years old, that 1881 was in fact shortly before the first skyscrapers were built in our timeline, and that the letter arrived at the Institute via the usual channels for such messages, that being America’s Western Union.
None of which is my primary concern.
The key issue here involves a second letter which arrived shortly thereafter. It read simply: “Regarding prior message concerning 13th floor, the apocalypse trigger may have relocated away from the original building. Please take appropriate precautions around other buildings in the area which identify as having a 13th floor. Alert the usual authorities if you see anything unusual.”
While a routine follow-up was done, and nothing unusual was seen in the vicinity, my concern is that whatever this is, it has escaped out of the specified neighborhood. After all, the data we have available would seem to relate to triskaidekaphobia, which is fear of the numeral 13. A fear which I now believe to have been amplified by certain individuals back in the 1880s.
That said, if an apocalyptic trigger is being held at bay by superstition, I have no information as to why those behind it would not have considered a Chinese implementation in the first place. Seeing as their fourth floor is subject to similar superstitions, yet is naturally more prevalent. Perhaps whatever this is, it also involves some specific height requirement; I lack the necessary data to be sure.
Of course, J- T- continues to insist that this is all a hoax, yet I wanted to bring it to your attention, just in case. I regret that I cannot leave my name, as if I am a researcher at the Institute (or an employee of Western Union), this breach could get me fired. But know that I wish you all the best with your future and your past endeavors.
A Friend in (the Nick of?) Time

This guest post comes from Greg “Mathtans” Taylor of Time & Tied, a time travel web serial. Check it out!

If you enjoy the story please leave the author a comment, as this makes him very happy. You can also help the Archive research temporal anomalies around the number 13 by voting at Top Web Fiction. We drift on and off the bottom of the Top Web Fiction list, so a vote each week does wonders for our visibility!

A Lethal Sculpture Garden

A number of tourists of the super-mundane have already been to the area of the horrendous train structure. How they find these sites so quickly is almost as far beyond me as why they would want to visit the meat-covered crater in the first place, but I suppose they have their ways. We tried to keep a lid on this behaviour by keeping the exact location a secret, but that clearly hasn’t worked.

Super-mundane tourism is incredibly dangerous, but has a certain cachet in some groups and societies. For example, we don’t understand yet why or how people were trapped into thinking they were in a train, nor whether we actually destroyed the mechanism or if it can rebuild, so those visiting are taking their limbs and lives into their own hands. And yet they have their uses. A number of other bizarre structures have been spotted in the surrounding area and can now, hopefully, be studied rather than detonated.

One group of tourists from France, for example, report a gigantic red kangaroo head emerging straight from the ground and staring towards the sky. It called to them in a booming voice, in a language that they didn’t recognise, and they felt a powerful urge to approach. Fortunately they left it well alone.

Another group encountered a pure white cherry tree, placed incongruously in the middle of the Australian native forest. The bark, leaves and fruit were all pristine white. This group was not so clever and ate some of the fruit, they are now also pristine white, from the tips of their hair to the clothes they were wearing. They are currently seeking treatment.

The biological nature of each of these phenomena suggests that they are linked. The cherry tree suggests that they are not native to the area, but have been placed there, perhaps as some kind of lethal sculpture garden. Sadly any creators did not leave notes on their art.


If you enjoy the story please leave the author a comment, as this makes him very happy. You can also help the Archive visit mundane sculpture gardens to renew their faith in humanity by voting at Top Web Fiction.

The End Of The Train

So there we were, watching a young stranger practice elective surgery on himself with a piece of rock he picked off the floor, surrounded by that awful non-train. One of our group with a psychiatrical bent suggested that the victims viewed it as a train because that was the safest shape their psyche could match to the long winding structure of bone and flesh, but I don’t know if even he was convinced.

We tried to talk to people, to convince anyone at all that they weren’t on a luxurious passenger train, but to no avail. They were fully invested in the illusion and each came up with a convincing reason not to get up. Just as we were getting frustrated J- T- showed his usefulness. I know that I often slate the ridiculous walking ball of ego, but he certainly didn’t become a billionaire without a certain skill with sales, marketing and sly sense.

He had us set up a stall off to one side, then went around the train starting a rumour that a ticket collector would be coming through soon. He soon had the trapped people wriggling free of the muscles, tendons and neural webs that surrounded them and rushing over to us, clamouring for tickets. I was soon busy trying to talk one of them out of paying with his left leg, when the second part of J- T-‘s plan went into action, the part he hadn’t discussed with those of us who didn’t work for him.

Explosions tore through the structure, sending visceral lumps and bone shards flying all over. It was reckless, dangerous and caused more than a few injuries, but I can’t deny that it worked. Whether it was the shock of the explosion, the destruction of the structure or being hit by goblets of flesh it was much easier to convince everyone present that there was not, and had never been a train.

J- T- managed to procure transport for everyone – nearly a hundred people by this point – back to rural Australia’s approximation of civilisation. He caused a great deal of trouble, and still hasn’t explained why he wanted a dinosaur, but I don’t believe we can blame this on him and he did well resolving the situation. I am certainly too tired to investigate more right now. I don’t think the scars for anyone involved, whether physical or mental, will fade for some time.


If you enjoy the story please leave the author a comment, as this makes him very happy. You can also help the Archive block out dreams of trains and dinosaurs by voting at Top Web Fiction.

Australian Dromaeosaur Captured

To start with some good news the Dromaeosaur has been found. We found a former time travel victim with dinosaur tracking experience in the Cretaceous period through community connections. Once he’d made it to the area it took only a couple of days for him to track down the missing beast. The dromaeosaur itself was in a very sorry state, starving, terrified and with sagging, matted feathers. It has been captured, but not returned to the Surreal Institute. Naturally J- T- is kicking up a fuss about this, but if you can’t look after a dinosaur the first time you don’t get a second chance. It’s not like you forgot to feed the goldfish one time.

Despite the search being over the group camping in the train has refused to leave. Indeed, their numbers are growing. All the seats are now apparently taken and a campground has started to spill out around it. The group is no longer just community and Institute members, with more people arriving from goodness knows where. This now looks like a very suspicious situation, please remember your common (or uncommon) sense and stay away from that train.

The night screaming we commented on before has continued irregularly, and seems to be growing closer with more voices joining in. What is more concerning, another of the sufferers has reported that they recognise one of the voices, and that it is someone who has stopped at the train while searching for the Dromaeosaur. We contacted this person during the day and she claims to be absolutely fine, but that we should definitely come down and see this train for ourselves.

This shouldn’t need repeating, but do not go and see the train for yourself.

A Mysterious Train

Community volunteers, searching for the Surreal Institute’s missing Dromaeosaur, have reported finding an unusual train in the middle of nowhere. The train is in the middle of the forest, on a track that is quickly lost to view through the trees. It does not show up on any official records or satellite photographs, and although it is clearly a very train-like train it does not conform to any known make or model. There are no powerlines for electric power, but equally no obvious fuel type for the engine, and the seven carriages are modern, with comfortable passenger seats.

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