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John Carpenter's

The Tape

by Blake

In 1982, twelve men were sent to the U.S. Outpost North #31 science facility in Antarctica during the first week of Winter. They had arrived to conduct scientific experiments on what they find in the Antarctic, and were expecting to be sent home when Spring came.

However, when the rescue team came in the Spring, they were greeted with a baffling sight.

What was left of the Outpost was now a burning ruin. Everything that was left was now smoke and ash. And there was no sign of the twelve men of Outpost 31. 

A search was called for, but the only clues were large amounts of dried blood and strange corpses found in the snow, some which even the U.S.  government's top surgeons and doctors have been unable to identify.

To this day, no one knows what really happened.

During a search of the facility, an audio tape was found near the frozen corpse of an unidentified black man.

What was heard has both baffled and haunted those who have listened to it.

The following is what was heard on that audio tape.

 

If someone hears the words about to be spoken, then that person will never believe the words he or she has heard.

Because they won't want to believe them.

It also means that it has won.

We have been here for only a week now. I had been staying up in my shack playing chess on a computer and drinking J&B scotch. The other guys, Palmer, Childs, Blair, Windows, Nauls, Bennings, Clarke, Doc Copper, Garry, Norris and Fuchs were all just going on about their lives here at this refrigerator of a continent. Sometime around eight on December 23, I heard a helicopter approaching from outside. I stepped out and saw the chopper flying towards the base. I started down the staircase and saw that a man with a MP5 was firing at a dog. 

The helicopter landed in the snow. The sniper stepped out, holding a grenade. But when he went to throw it, it slipped out of his hand and landed in the snow. The sniper fled, and the pilot jumped out of the helicopter and tried to find it. 

The grenade went off, destroying the helicopter and killing the pilot.

The dog was now jumping on Bennings, pawing and pleading in fear of its life. The sniper stood, and shouted something in a foreign language at Bennings, Palmer, Norris and Childs. He sounded both terrified and angered.

If only we understood what he was trying to say, it could have saved Bennings' life. And possibly the lives of everyone here.

The sniper fired at the dog again, striking it in the ankle, and hitting Bennings in the leg. The others, including me, spread out, as the crazed gunman followed the dog through across the snowy terrain. He raised his rifle to fire again, but was shot in the head by Garry, who was inside with a revolver.

Bennings was stitched up by Doc, and Blair tested the Swede or Norwegian or whatever the hell he was for any narcotics in his system. He found nothing. No drugs, no alcohol, nothing.

We put the Clarke in control of the dog. Because Windows, who's the radio operator here on this frozen hell, was having a shitty time trying to communicate with anyone else on the whole damn continent, Doc wanted to head up to this Norwegian base from where our shooter came from. When we got there, the whole place had been destroyed. All smoke and ash.

'What the fuck happened here', is what I kept thinking to myself.

As we entered, me and Doc found a bloody axe sticking into the wall. Not only that, when we entered the radio room, we found a frozen body sitting in a chair. His throat and wrists had been slit open entirely. An ice-covered, blood-soaked straight razor rested in his frozen hand.

Doc began gathering some video tapes and notes written by the Swe... Norwegians. I kept walking around, trying to find something useful. And I did. Inside some sort of storage room there was an enormous hollowed-out block of ice. It looked like a frozen bathtub. Above it the ceiling had been broken through.

Me and Doc went outside to find anything else. What we found was a burnt up body. It looked human. But it's face was stretched apart, and it's body was a mangled heap of gore. Then we went to get some shovels and a body bag. 

We headed back to base, and Blair performed an autopsy on what we found at the Norwegian base. Aside from the fact that whatever the hell it was contained normal internal organs, the autopsy didn't give him anything.

I spent most of my time in my shack that night. When I ran out of beer, I went down to the kitchen to get one. That's when I started hearing screaming in the direction of the dog kennel. I pulled the fire alarm to get everyone's ass out of bed.

I ran over to the kennel carrying a shotgun. Garry was beside me with his pistol. The sound coming from the kennel shook me to the core. Clarke said he didn't know what the hell was in there, but it was weird and pissed off. I told Bennings to tell Childs to get the flamethrower.

Me and Garry approached the kennel and showed our flashlights through the wire. What we saw inside was not a dog. But it had a dog's head. The rest of it was all blood covered flesh. Tentacles were sticking out it, wrapping around another dog. What looked like what should be dead was alive.

We fired. It didn't affect it at all. It just made it scream. Then I killed the other dog. Clarke jumped on me, trying to stop me from killing the other dog, but it was too late. 

Childs came in with the flamethrower. The Thing in the kennel grew two slimy arms and pulled itself up to the ceiling. I threw open the door and told Childs to burn it. When he saw it, he hesitated, apparently horrified by the sight of The Thing. Then he torched the bitch. Palmer, Fuchs and Norris ran in to extinguish the Thing.

Blair performed an autopsy on this dog-thing. Fuck it, I won't even talk about most of it. It was fucking nightmarish. But what he found inside it looked like a dog. Only it wasn't a dog. Blair explained that this Thing can imitate any living being, and that the dog from Day One wasn't even a real dog. It was an imitation. A perfect imitation.

Doc pointed out a location on a map where the Norwegians had spent most of their time. Norris, Palmer and I flew out there and found out how this Thing got here.

What we found looked like something out of a science-fiction movie. What we found was a UFO. The whole thing was in a crater of ice. Palmer stayed up and me and Norris went to check it out. When I asked Norris how long it could have been there, he told me it had been there about an estimated total of 100,000 years. We climbed up, and Palmer showed us the hole where the Norwegians dug up the bathtub. And the Thing.

When we got back, I explained the whole thing. Childs kept repeating, "I still can't believe any of this voodoo bullshit."

We needed a place to put the bodies, so we had them placed in storage. I went to get my stuff out, and I was headed up to my shack to get drunk when Fuchs stopped me. He told me we needed to talk outside in the snowcat.

When we got in the snowcat, Fuchs explains that he found Blair's notebooks, and that Blair discovered that there was still activity in the bodies of what we found at the Norwegian place and the Dog-Thing. They weren't dead yet.

We climbed out, and Windows ran outside to warn us about Bennings. We bolted back to storage, but Bennings wasn't there. Then we saw that the window was smashed. And there was a lot of blood on the floor.

Windows went to pull the alarm while me and Fuchs ran outside. We all arrived to find Bennings, on his knees. But it wasn't Bennings. We could tell by looking at his arms, which looked like some sea crustacean. It howled out a chilling scream, and I poured a gas drum down near it and set it ablaze with a flare.

Garry asked me what happened to Bennings, and I explained that what happened was that it was one of those Things trying to imitate him, and if it finished, it would have looked, acted and sounded just like Bennings.

So we took the other bodies out into the snow and burned them.

As Palmer covered the bodies with snow using the snowcat, Fuchs approached me and told me that he couldn't find Blair.

After Fuchs went back inside, I saw who I think was Blair running away from the chopper carrying an axe, and I went over to see what he had done. He had destroyed the controls, rendering it useless. Then I heard a gunshot.

I ran back to find that Blair had attacked Windows and destroyed the radio. I told Childs to go check on the snowcat. Blair started shouting out that he knows one of us was a Thing, and that now no one can leave.

Childs came back and told us not only did he destroy the snowcat, but he also killed the rest of the dogs. Clarke ran off to see for himself.

I told Norris to go get a table from the infirmary, and for Childs to go around and try to talk to him. Norris came back with the table, and we got ready. Childs tried to talk some sense into Blair, and Blair reacted with shooting at him. He emptied his gun and we rushed him. He buried his axe in the table, and I knocked him unconscious. 

We took Blair into a tool shed outside. Norris shot him up with morphine, and then left. Blair told me he didn't know who to trust. Then he told me to watch Clarke. And to watch him close.

I went outside, and Copper, Garry, Fuchs and Childs were waiting. Garry said that the next thing  we should do is wait until Spring for rescue. I said no, that not everyone was human. And that it currently could have been one or two of us, and that y spring, it could be all of us. Childs asked that if he was a perfect imitation, how would we know if he was really human. Doc said that he could perform a blood serum test by mixing our blood with uncontaminated blood, and that the result would show who's human. Copper went to check, and discovered that all the blood has been spilt on the ground. The blood fridge was only accessible to Garry and Copper. Garry said that he only gives his keys to Copper whenever he needs them, and that Copper is the only one who has any business with them. Everyone got into a big accusation fight, and Windows ran out of the room. We all chased after him, and we found him trying to get a shotgun. Windows said that Garry could also be a Thing, and that we shouldn't take orders from him. I told Windows to put the gun down, and he started crying. 

Garry then said that he didn't go near the blood, but he doesn't know about Copper. He then put his gun down and said that someone else should be in charge. At first he said it should be Norris, but he turned it down. Childs went to get the gun, but Clarke stopped him with his switchblade. I picked up the gun and took the blade from Clarke.

That night, we burned the blood. I explained that I knew that I was human, and that some of them are human. I also said that if we are all taken over, then there would be no one left to stop it. And then it would win.

I had Clarke, Copper and Garry step aside, and I told Norris and Childs to shoot them up with morphine and have them brought into the Rec room. I then told Fuchs to get to work on a new test, but he said he needed Doc's help. Copper objected, but I ignored him.

That's about it for now.

I'm going to hide this tape when I'm finished. If none of us make it, at least there will be some kind of record. 

The storm has been hitting us hard for Forty-Eight hours. 

We still have nothing to go on.

One other thing, I think it rips through your clothes when it takes you over. Windows found some shredded long johns, but the name tag was missing. They could be anybody’s.

Nobody...

Nobody trusts anybody now. 

We're all very tired.

There's nothing else I can do. Just wait.

R.J. MacReady, Helicopter pilot, U.S. Outpost North 31. 

The record has been kept as evidence in the investigation of the Outpost 31 disappearances or possible murders. But to this day, none of the U.S. government's investigators have been able to discover what really happened at Outpost 31. As for what happened to R.J. MacReady, his DNA has been found on an empty liquor bottle near the black man's corpse. Whether he succumbed to the icy grip of the Antarctic or made it to safety still remains a mystery.

 

 


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