On their journey home, Elliot is forced to face his fears as desperation takes over. Professor Ryan zones in on finding the brothers he so desperately seeks. Whilst Callie reveals more than she realises from her troubled past. //
[Explicit content//Discretion advised]
Wake Of Corrosion will return for Season 2 //
Support the show - Any donations are hugely appreciated and will go toward creating future content. //
Join our Discord: https://discord.gg/SpRfDRtah5 //
Transcript available through Buzzsprout //
Twitter: @wakeofcorrosion //
Instagram: @wakeofcorrosion //
Written, directed and produced by Shaun Pellington //
With voice acting from:
Kieran Walsh as Professor Ryan
Brianne Leeson as Callie
Shaun Pellington as Elliot
Lee Pellington as Roman //
Intro theme-"Phantasm", Outro theme - "Shadowlands 5 - Antechamber"
Kevin MacLeod [incompetech.com]
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0
Both pieces are reduced from their originals with fade out effects/Character voice-over/Radio static SFX. //
Sound FX: Soundsnap.com or self created //
Morse Code SFX from: morsecode.world //
Cover Art: Original picture taken by Emily Fitzgerald @emily.fitz_photography //
Full credits can be found at: https://wakeofcorrosion.carrd.co/ //
Thank you for listening and remember...don't wander in the dark.
S01-E09: The Long Road
Narrator: Wake Of Corrosion
Episode 8: The Long Road
[Muffled sounds can be heard as someone switches on a recording device and moves it into the correct position]
Prof Ryan: My name is Professor Ryan. Located: Bunker A:12. This is a public broadcast to any Survivors out there. I’m broadcasting this in the hope that others will hear this story and come forward with more information. I know that there are some among you who may find this content disturbing, therefore I advise listener discretion going forward.
Let us begin.
[SFX: Radio sounds]
Prof Ryan: Before we return to Elliot and Roman’s story today, in the interest of sharing knowledge, I thought I would share with you some conversations I’ve had with the other residents of Bunker A:12 since our last discussion, motivated by the information we shared.
I was unfortunately unable to record these as they were quite spontaneous, however they have all agreed to their knowledge being shared anonymously.
One resident spoke of their experiences before the warnings were even issued, something they said they’d yet to share with anyone other than their closest companions here. They told me of how they’d experienced something similar to Mia, who the brother’s met in Entry 31. Whilst they were reluctant to go into too much detail it was clear that their experiences were resoundingly similar. They spoke of moving through an office building, delivering mail on each floor, only to get to the top floor and find it abandoned. They said they had felt as though the room was cold before they got there, that the temperature control was trying to warm the room up. Curiosity it seems, got the better of our resident and they told of walking deeper into the room. All the computers were on and working, but the chairs were empty. Up until the fifth, the fifth one, they said, had a severed forearm resting on the desk, hand still gripping the mouse. As they looked further into the room, it was clear that more horrors awaited them as dark spots on the floor became clear, dark spots of blood. That’s when they fled and were caught up in the bustle of others suddenly fleeing the building for what they thought was an entirely different reason. In the rush of evacuation, understandably, they pushed this experience to the back of their mind.
Our brave resident who shared this information with us understandably found it difficult to retell this story, however, it is such memories that help us to build a picture of our current situation. I believe there are still many repressed experiences within the residents of Bunker A:12. I hope that by sharing these we can encourage others to come forward.
Let us rejoin the brothers now, as they make their way home.
Entries 32 & 33 are amalgamations of both Elliot’s journal and Roman’s recorder as it seems there is some crossover.
Elliot: My perception of the world is forever altered, I can no longer feel comfortable in my own company, nor to some degree in the company of others. Whoever is reading this, for I fear even more so now that I may be...gone, before I see another person: This is real.
I will try to be as clear as possible, although I know even myself right now that I am only writing this now for fear of...well a lot of things.
After encountering roadblock after roadblock, of either cars or collapsed roads and bridges, even stopping to siphon fuel just to continue on our way, Roman and I swapped as the driver so that I could rest. I was physically and mentally drained.
I was wracked with guilt after leaving Mia behind, no matter how much I trust Roman and no matter how sure I am that he was right about us being much safer without her. I’m still struggling to shake the awful feeling of leaving someone alone in this mess of a world. Part of me even thinks she was right about being much safer in that building now. Then of course driving down so many roads only to have to retrace our tracks and find another route after being stopped after every attempt. Coupled with the sporadic destruction of so many places. I can only surmise now pockets of land have somehow deteriorated rapidly in a short space of time, but how I cannot think for it stops so abruptly sometimes. The unrelenting thoughts twisting through my head as I drove down endless winding pathways, I was glad to rest my head. I was mentally fatigued.
But now, now even sleep scares me, the one way I could escape this nightmare ridden world that we’re so reluctantly a part of now. Even sleep now has been tainted.
I remember, on the edge of sleep hearing a tapping sound, like a gentle finger on glass[SFX: Tapping glass], my mind did not consider its meaning or cause or anything about, for that matter. I simply drifted away once more. It is only now I realise how much of a fool I was not to notice something which now seems so obvious. There was no sound other than the tapping. No tires on the road, no engine working away, nothing. I believe between my next bout of sleep and wakefulness...Is when I lost him.
[SFX: Tapping glass - Car door opening - Getting out and footsteps - Quiet groaning/breathy noise]
When I finally came to my senses, realising that my rest was never going to be long lasting I shifted myself up from the back seat and felt the soft touches of a cold breeze whipping around the interior of the car. In my bleary state it took me longer than I care to admit to notice that the driver’s side door was wide open. We had stopped. We had stopped and he was gone.
[SFX: Elliot waking up, shifting in his seat]
Elliot: Roman? Roman? Oh fuck, Roman!!
I sprang out of the car without so much as putting my shoes back and paced around the vehicle calling his name. A heavy fog hung in the air, almost fully obscuring the wrecked cars in front of us and woodland that loomed over the sides of the road.
My mind raced and my heart pounded in my throat, for the first time I was alone out here. I ran to the cars ahead and shouted. I ran to the treeline and shouted. I dragged myself back to the car in despair.
I know now, had I put my shoes on, I may not have felt what oozed around my foot as I shuffled past the driver side door. I looked down to see what I’d stepped in and was greeted by an awful vinegary stench, like when you disturb a long since opened bottle of beer. Instinctively I stepped away from it and peered closer, it was a brownish ichor-like smudge on the ground with my footprint firmly pressed into it. The stench grew worse as I drew myself closer but if this had anything to do with Roman’s whereabouts I knew I’d have to overcome it.
To my surprise there was as faint but distinguishable trail of the festering fluid that seemed to be leading away from the car. At that moment I resolved that I had no choice but to follow it, I cleaned my foot and quickly geared up.
[SFX: Getting ready, coat on, car door etc.]
Wherever Roman was, I was going to find him.
It wasn’t until I stepped out of the car for the second time, now with a clear purpose, that I realised just how well I could see, even if the fog was obscuring the distance. It was 3:30am...It may aswell have been the early evening. I briefly dared to glance at the sky before setting out on the trail.
If you had read earlier in this journal or perhaps even stepped outside at night yourself, you won’t be surprised when I tell you the sky was awash with glimmering stars and what I can only think of to describe as cosmic dust, red into orange, purple into blue.
There wasn’t time to speculate, I needed to find my brother.
I carefully shuffled down the verge into the forest, grateful for the unusual light from above. Once into the forest all sound was deadened and warped by the tree trunks and forest floor…’Fuck’ I thought to myself, ‘It’s a fucking pine forest’.
I always find pine forests to be the eeriest places to be, there is always something so haunting about the stillness they created, the dead forest floor and short sharp branches that jutted out so aggressively from the trunks, like the trees themselves were threatening you.
The only saving grace being that on the blanket of pine needles that littered the ground, the ooze was clear to see. It glistened, threatening to release its vinegar stench.
As I ventured further into the forest I could barely hear the creak of the trees swaying in the wind over the sound of my heartbeat thundering. I tried to slow it down, tried all sorts of breathing exercises but no matter what I did it returned, pounding in my ears with a muffled swell.
My pace was sporadic and I cursed how much I had to keep stopping to re-examine the trail. In some parts it ran dry for metres at a time, only by hint of that awful stench or sometimes what I can only imagine was sheer luck was I able to pick it up again.
In the distance of my torchlight, I caught sight of a larger patch, glistening. I took the opportunity to rush forward, gaining speed with each step, quickening my pace, until…[SFX: Falling over sound].
I stumbled over something, falling face first into the pine needles, they pricked at my skin and I quickly brought myself to standing again, slightly disoriented.
I remember in that moment as I fell, the thing I’d caught my foot on, the thing that’d caused me to fall had a soft, almost, sponge-like quality to it. There was a definite muted wet thud.
Standing and attempting to regain my composure, a sickening swell built up from the knot that was building in my stomach. It travelled up my chest, tightening my muscles as it made its way up my body. It felt all of a sudden as though there were a twisted ball of muscle in my throat, blocking all but the slightest of breaths.
I knew I had to see what I’d tripped on, but I couldn’t get the most awful thought out of my head. I picked my flashlight back up and creeped back toward the lump on the ground. I cast my light forward to illuminate the outline, fearing every centimeter it travelled. It was a body. The back of my throat tightened and swelled. I shone the light over the body, actively avoiding the face, merely delaying the inevitable. At last, when I had reached the body, I inspected the face…
It wasn’t him. Thank fuck it wasn’t Roman!
I breathed an easier sigh of relief. But the reprieve was only fleeting, whilst I was grateful it wasn’t Roman, so many more questions and thoughts replaced this relief.
If there was someone else who’d died out here, then Roman could have too.
And who killed the person before me? ...What killed him?
I quickly scanned over the body, looking for any clues that might help me find Roman. My curiosity was curbed when I panned the torch over the victim’s hands. His arms down by his sides, hands firmly planted on the ground and out from….out from what looked like under each of his fingernails reached these translucent tendril-like threads that stretched out and into the ground.
That tightening feeling returned, but rather than anticipation it was disgust, an awful and uncomfortable disgust. The thought of those things creeping under their fingernails made me want to throw up, I could almost feel the sickeningly soft tendrils creeping their way between my finger and nail. I reeled back, not wanting to be near this abomination any longer.
Stealing my resolve, I picked back up the trail of vinegary ooze. I had to find Roman, I had to get him back.
Not 5 minutes later I came across a sight which I don’t believe I will ever erase from my memory. I know already that this is something I will see over and over again.
The brown ooze pooled deeper here and the smell of old alcohol was overpowering. With each step my boots stuck slightly into it and with it, a pang of stench. I’d be able to see this from the edge of my torchlight, but it wasn’t until now the true horror of it was beginning to form. Like when your eyes can’t figure something out and almost refuse to see the reality.
Part of me wishes that hadn’t changed.
About 4 metres in front of me and about a metre off the ground, a suspended body hung between two pine trees like some sort of twisted marionette, head hung limp, lifeless. I knew now, all doubt removed, this was Roman.
The thought alone of this moment is sickening. His arms were outstretched and sprouting so taut from his hands were those same translucent tendrils I’d seen earlier. From his feet were more of the same, his boots and socks missing completely. Bare feet, pulled tight and tethered to the tree. All underneath the nails. All 20, slithered their way in.
With a will I’m still uncertain how I mustered I pushed this image away and grabbed at my brother’s limp body. I whispered his name over and over so close to his face I could smell the vinegar on his breath…
On his breath…
He was still breathing. Roman was still alive! I wrapped my hands around his head and tried to shake him awake, to jolt him to awake, to anything so he’d wake!
I could not rouse him, not matter what I did, he always returned to that puppet-like imitation of life. If I didn’t do something he wasn’t going to end up like the man I found earlier...I was not going to let that happen.
Aware that I would have to touch the tendrils if I was going to get anything done, I started with his feet. Holding my breath and daring only to look where was necessary I yanked the cold, wet things from his feet. I paused after the first lot, half expecting an act of retribution from some unknown entity, something I couldn’t, wouldn’t dare to fathom the existence of.
Nothing happened. I quickly resolved to get the others out before my luck ran dry.
After the second foot, the tightening of the tendrils from his fingers as his lower body hung limp was audible. Like a tearing muscle.
I wrapped one arm around Roman’s torso, aware of how he’d swing out. Bracing myself, holding the weight of him, I quickly removed them both. As his unconscious body slumped onto me, I slipped in the ooze and fell flat on my back. It seeped quickly through my jeans and jacket as they stuck rebelliously to my skin. In the moments before I stood up, I caught sight of something, something that made falling in the ooze that much worse. Looming above us, in various husk-like stages were the bodies of animals and people, so many people. All strung up from the very tips of their limbs. For the briefest of moments it felt as though they all turned their gaze toward me. I know now that they could not have done, they were long since gone.
Willing myself to ignore it, I hefted Roman onto my shoulder and fled.
I always thought of it as a bit silly when people said that humans were capable of incredible feats when saving a life. And yet through that eerily quiet pine forest, with its creaking trees and dead floor I carried and dragged Roman all the way back to the roadside verge and fighting with every last ounce of strength before he opened his eyes and was soon able to move again.
Despite the thudding heart, despite the sweat that drenched my aching body, despite the stench that hadn’t left my nostrils since I found him. I smiled, I smiled like a stupid child. Because Roman had opened his eyes and looked right at me.
After I explained in the most basic way that something awful had happened and we needed to return the car, Roman came to his senses a bit more. He was able to stand and with a guiding hand could muster a stagger, though he veered off to one side or the other occasionally and tackled the verge on all fours. Looking back now, it felt like walking a drunk friend home after a long night.
As we reached the top of the verge we both jolted to a stop. I could tell that Roman doubted what he saw, until he looked up at me and we shared very much the same expression.
From so many of the cars that were dotted all over the road, shoulder and verge emerged shadows of people. Some stopped and simply stared before fading into what looked like dust. Others ran, in whatever direction they came to first. Whilst the remaining few featureless silhouettes drifted from their vehicles and down the verge, all heading the way we’d just been. Feet dragging and arms outstretched, led by their hands...their fingernails.
Before we could watch any longer a howling cry came echoing out from the forest behind us
[SFX: Creature cry from prelude]
In an instant my pulse was racing and I near enough dragged Roman back to the car.
Behind us the sound of creaking wood intensified, felt as though it grew closer.
Ignoring it all to panic, I flung open the back door and shoved Roman inside as he mumbled something incoherently
[SFX: Recording - Door opening, body falling onto seat. Roman: What is it Elliot what was that? (Very mumbled)]
I slammed his door shut then dived into the driver’s seat, slapping the locks closed whilst turning the key in the ignition.
I’ve always been quite a cautious driver. In that moment of panic, I’m still shocked I didn’t hit one of the many cars on the obstacle course of the road.
Daring a glance upward I swear I could see the thing in the rear view mirror, but in that peculiar light it was as though I could never quite make out its form. Whatever it was, was hideously tall and bore no resemblance to anything I knew of, save for the very sharp and jutting nature of the pine trees themselves.
That night I drove and drove until the sun came up and I could drive no more. Roman slowly regained his senses after dipping in and out of consciousness. I tried my best to follow a route home, but between the roadblocks of stopped cars and worryingly aged signposts I know I took us on a longer route than was needed.
Eventually Roman was able to find out where we were on the map and luckily we were only a few miles out.
In that quiet, early morning, journey it took some time before I could find the words to tell Roman what had happened.
Even when I’d found the right ones, I cherry-picked the ones that would spare Roman the most haunting details. I told him nothing of the others, up in those trees. I spoke not of the way the tendrils seemed almost alive as I pulled them from him. I kept it simple, for both our sakes.
He, of course, had no knowledge of anything beyond driving us home. He didn’t remember stopping, didn’t remember getting out of the car. It was only when we’d spoken a little more that he recalled one thing out of the ordinary…
A tapping on the window.
[SFX: Transition Radio]
Prof Ryan: Here Elliot continues his writing to discuss another topic. He tells of their journey as they draw closer to Roman’s family home. This is the most detailed account of…[interrupted]
[SFX: Door opening]
Prof Ryan: [Sighs, annoyed at being interrupted] What is…[realises its Callie] Oh, it’s you...What’re you doing out of bed?
Callie: [out of breath] I’ve heard that sound before! The one they heard in the woods. [takes a breath to begin telling Ryan] Just before they let me in here, I heard that sound! [pained, remembering] That awful screech, I heard it just the same!
Prof Ryan: Callie, come, come take a seat.
[SFX: Metal stool on floor]
Prof Ryan: Callie, are you sure you’re ready to be up and about yet?
Callie: Are you not listening to me? I’ve encountered the same thing! That must mean something, right?
Prof Ryan: Apologies Callie...I worry about you, that’s all [a pause] You’re right though, there must be something we can extract from this.
Callie: There are far more things out there Ryan, far more than this. Do you think...Do you think perhaps that what they encountered could be the same one that followed me here?
Prof Ryan: I...perhaps? I’m afraid my knowledge of these, [with disgust] things is limited to what I’ve shared over these broadcasts. But perhaps...Hold on one moment.
[SFX: Stool moving, sound of rustling papers]
Prof Ryan: Here, on this map. This is the site of Bunker A:12…
Callie: And what about that green space there, could that be the pine forest they were in?
Prof Ryan: I...I don’t see why not Callie. Although there is another here, look just to the south.
Callie: They could be close by then?
Prof Ryan: That would explain how you were able to bring their records here to me and….well, survive the journey.
Callie: It’d take more than that screeching thing to stop me Ryan.
Prof Ryan: [laughs] I’m sure it would Callie. But we’re glad you came here, as I’m sure all the survivors out there listening are. This discovery could be groundbreaking in learning Roman and Elliot’s whereabouts and hopefully more information that they now have, it would mean-[interrupted]
Callie: Ryan...I don’t mean to be a pessimist and I hope soon that I’ll remember. But I don’t want your hope to be misplaced. [a pause] It seems strange that I should be in possession of so many of their accounts and not be with the brother’s themselves, surely they would want to share their story themselves?
Prof Ryan: [enthusiastic to keep up hope] Not entirely! This is something I had already considered and there is still cause for hope. I surmise that given their inquisitive but determined nature, that they could have sent you here to share this with me whilst still seeking out more answers. Whilst I am yet to review the evidence past where we are currently, I have a feeling that their discoveries and my broadcasts shall at some point overlap. That they, in fact are the first people to willingly share information with us here at Bunker A:12 and you, Callie, were their courier.
Callie: [taken aback] I hope you’re right about this Ryan [pained] I hope that when my memory comes back to me, that’s exactly it.
Prof Ryan: [optimistic] Time will tell Callie. Time will tell! For now though, I must end the broadcast and see to it that you’re cared for.
Callie: Before I go, may I join you...for the next broadcast I mean. I want to be part of the evidence review.
Prof Ryan: [laughs] Absolutely Callie. You’re welcome to stay for the rest of this one and I’ll fetch for you when we are able to broadcast once more. For those of you out there, we have just one more piece to review, the remainder of Elliot’s earlier entry.
Elliot: Roman was fast asleep when the car wheezed its last breath. I’d had a feeling for a bit now that something was up with it. Something just felt off about it, I knew it was only a matter of time.
I checked the map before I tried to wake Roman, it turns out we’re within walking distance of the house. Now my only problem is waking him up.
I’m still sat in the car and it’s been about half an hour or so. He’s still breathing fine and I saw him twitch a couple of times, so, well I think he’s alright. I’m hoping that he gets up soon.
The radio is all static still, can’t seem to pick up any signal. Was really holding out for an emergency broadcast, aren’t there always those sorts of things? ...I say that like I’ve been here before. I don’t want to be here at all...I don’t want any of this.
I’m so...tired. I’m just so tired! I feel like I can’t remember the last time I had a full night's sleep, of actual rest. The onslaught is endless, every single day something new happens, something that shouldn’t be happening.
There isn’t an hour that goes by where I don’t see flashes….Flashes of the horror that chased us in the gloom of the early hours. Flashes of those bodies strung up by their nails in the trees...Of ethereal glow of the night sky...Of that woman we left behind and whatever awful fate she has! Of the the shadows, the shadows of people that seem to have replaced everyone but us and her.
Why? Why has everyone vanished? Why does it seem like they’re all just echoes of what happened? I can’t keep going on like this. I can’t keep pretending that I can do this…
And yet here we are, just a few miles from Roman’s house...and I brought us here. Against all of my better judgement I ignored the signs for the bunkers on the way here. I could’ve gone to them. I could’ve just turned down those roads. Roman was, is, asleep, he wouldn’t have known until it was too late. ...I can’t believe I let him convince me so easily that going to his was a good idea, there is nothing good waiting for us there! It’s like he’s blind to everything that we’ve seen. The shadows of people as we go through towns and cities. The crumbling buildings, the collapsed roads, the dead trees everything so fucking broken! And yet, and yet he hopes that Claire is still at home, just sitting there, with the kids, waiting for him.
Well...congratulations Elliot, because we’re so close now and the cars fucked. So...I guess we're going to his….A bunker must be the next stop, it has to be.
He’d better wake up soon...No doubt he’ll want to record the moment we arrive at his...Every time he has that thing on, I feel...I feel like I have to act normal, feel like I have to act brave. Oh fuck it, it’s every time I even speak to him! I’m barely holding it together, for the sake of what? So that Roman thinks I’m okay? Thinks that I’m not buckling, deteriorating fucking wasting away inside my own head.
I need to stop writing.
I need to move on.
I need to wake Roman up.
Prof Ryan: I must admit, I can understand why some residents of Bunker A:12 find some of these events difficult to believe.
Callie: But how? How can they be so naive?
Prof Ryan: You must remember Callie, that no-one here, save a small team who volunteer to make repairs and check out external equipment, have left this bunker since this all started over a month ago.
Callie: But they listen to this, surely?
Prof Ryan: Not many, to my knowledge.
Callie: Then I shall speak to them. I shall tell them everything I can remember of outside, maybe then they’ll take you seriously...Why else do they think we’re locked up in here?
Prof Ryan: Callie, I’m not sure that’s wise. Indeed, most people do believe that something awful has happened outside. And the ruin and desolation described by the team who venture out occasionally is widely accepted as truth. But most just think it’s an attack, like the ones before, if you remember? They believe that the bunkers are just a precaution, that once the worst of it is over we’ll be contacted to leave. They don’t yet want to know.
Callie: But it’s not like that! It’s not another country invading Ryan, [blurting something out] it’s another fucking place!
Prof Ryan: [intrigued] Another place? Callie..? [a pause] Callie what made you say that?
Callie: [confused at herself and a little distressed] I...I’m not sure. There’s something there. Something on the edge of my mind. The things, the creatures, the destruction, the shadows, they all are part of the same place...area. I...I’m not sure Ryan…[annoyed at herself] I’m sorry!
Prof Ryan: Go, go rest. I’ll end the broadcast and we can discuss this further when you’re ready.
[SFX: Metal stool]
[SFX: Switches flicking]
Survivors, from all of us here at Bunker A:12, we hope you’re safe and warm. And remember, as always: Don’t wander in the dark.
[SFX: Outro - Credits]