#0001 – #0010

INTRO: [Someone inhales deeply; their inhale has a distant, echoing quality to it. A strange, rattling sound grows in volume and speed before fading into eerie, warbling music. There’s a strange crackling sound. The voice whispers “Sinkhole.” The pitch and speed of the music drop, fading into the next track.]

[A low, slow hum fills the background. The melody is subtle and largely ambient.]

Let’s talk pre-NEV tech.

We’ve gotten a lot of new members lately, so I thought it might not be a terrible idea to start making new source posts… since we lost all the old ones when D2 tried to tank the platform.

So, first rule of data restoration: you can’t do everything yourself. Some of these projects should be seen to professionally. If you’re not sure if you can do it on your own, ask around. Post specs and be prepared to hear ‘no.’ There are plenty of people in this community who can tell you whether or not you’re equipped to solo restore a device. 

Second rule of data restoration: absolutely no NEV-hacking. Not ever.

You will have to physically engage the interface. There’s just no getting around that. How much is gonna vary from item to item, but you’ve got to stop trying to NEV-hack things that were never meant to be NEV-compatible.

Even when it works, it doesn’t really work. You may think you’re seeing some promising results at first, but these are things that were never designed to handle the data transference rate of even the most basic sort of nerve-tech. They can’t keep up with you, which means that all of these workarounds require you to override your speed link minimum.

If you’re transferring a lot of data over from one of these devices, you’re going to end up with a severe case of download lag- and when that happens, it not as simple as just cancelling a transfer that’s taking too long.

The real, tangible danger here is that if you’re experiencing download lag, you’re probably not going to know. Overriding your speed link minimum causes your cognitive function to slow down to match the processing speed of the device you’re interfacing with, and none of these things are anywhere near as fast as a human brain.

What we’re talking about is a form of perceptual time dilation.

If it’s just a small amount of data, you might not really notice, because a certain amount of perceptual time dilation is actually normal- for most people, realizing an hour has gone by in what felt like minutes is just something that happens sometimes.

Where you get real problems is when you’re dealing with a lot of data. NEV-hackers connected to especially slow devices have ended up needing emergency medical treatment for severe dehydration because they spent multiple days caught in download lag and didn’t realize it.

People have died doing this. The risk just isn’t worth the honestly tiny amount of convenience it offers. For something like an old cellphone, you still have to physically interact with the device to make sure it’s unlocked and remotely accessible to you in the first place. It’s an experimental novelty, not a viable method of data restoration.

Not only is it dangerous, there are more steps involved than the alternative.

Pulling the onboard memory from a digital device is usually a relatively simple process.

Finding a way to unlock it is usually the most complicated part.

After that, all you have to do is adjust the settings, connect it to an intermediary upload system, and start the transference process. It might seem like it’s taking a while, but it would take the exact same amount of time if you NEV-hacked it.

You just wouldn’t know.

At least this way, you’ll be free to do whatever you want while you wait.

Third rule of data restoration:

Okay, this one is actually only sort of about data restoration. This is a community rule, and one the mods have only recently implemented.

People are allowed to disagree with you.

If you’re new to this community, it won’t be long before you encounter… certain opinions.

One of those opinions is that you should never use a remote proxy of any kind to operate a pre-NEV device. Not even a proxthesis, which is explicitly designed to allow a person without full mobility to enjoy full mobility in a humanlike proxy- often one which perfectly mirrors their living, human body.

You’ll hear some-


[trying again] You’ll hear-


[creaking as speaker shifts in their chair] Come on!

[long pause]

[speaker shifts in their chair again]

[speaking quickly] You’ll hear some things about motor skill desync causing droppages and inconsistent response times when dealing with touchscreens and you’ll hear… [sighs] you’ll hear just a whole lot of things about a loss of “the authentic technological experience central to engaging in data restoration.”

I’m gonna be the one to paint a big ol’ target on my back here and say… I personally think this is snobbery. I don’t think this attitude is founded in anything tangible.

In fact, I think it’s not only cruel and exclusionary to some of the members of our community, I think it’s actively detrimental to restoration efforts- particularly when it comes to analog tech.

For those of you who aren’t well-versed in technological history, analog is pre-digital. It’s one step further removed from pre-NEV.

If we’re in the nerve-tech age, then the age before this was the digital age, and the age before that was the analog age. Make sense?

So: analog.

When it comes to analog storage devices, most of what you’re going to be dealing with as a hobbyist is either optical discs like CDs and DVDs or things like cassettes and tapes.

Now, in terms of the latter, that usually means magnetic tape. There also exist things like magnetic wire recordings, but you’re unlikely to come across one of those unless you’re actively looking for it.

The first thing you need to know about magnetic tape is that it’s… sensitive. It doesn’t handle heat well, it’s sensitive to moisture, and it absolutely hates being dirty. Ideal conditions for handling tapes are cool, dry, and clean.

So, as far as tape is concerned, your living human body is mostly just water and oil and dust.

Under most conditions, you’re probably not warm enough to pose a heat issue, but if you’re working in a small, poorly-ventilated room, you could hypothetically raise its ambient temperature above the safety threshold, and that’s because human breath has a relative humidity of one hundred percent.

For reference, the recommended conditions for magnetic tape storage ask for a relative humidity of forty percent or below at room temperature. The higher the relative humidity of the air, the colder the room should be to compensate.

On top of that, your skin produces natural oils to protect itself, and while it’s easy enough to wash your hands or wear gloves, you’re also constantly in the process of shedding dead cells. The human body is a dust factory.

Now, when it comes to optical discs, this isn’t nearly as much of a problem. Things like dust and fingerprints can cause read errors, for sure, but optical discs are infinitely easier to clean than magnetic tape is. You need specialized equipment to clean magnetic tape- to clean an optical disc, you usually just need rubbing alcohol or a glass cleaning solution along with a soft, clean, non-abrasive cloth. It’s that simple.

But anyway.

With all that said, not only would I say it’s not a bad idea to handle analog storage devices via remote proxy, I might actually go as far as to recommend it in certain cases, such as with magnetic tape.

Insisting on championing a narrative which has not been proven and positions community members who do not enjoy full mobility as somehow being detrimental to the efforts of the community as a whole… sucks. It’s cruel and unnecessary. 

And, if I’m being honest, I feel as though the impulse to do so stems from something entirely unrelated to data restoration.

I’ve said it.


Let’s talk a little bit more about magnetic tape.

Since so many of you are new to the community, I’d like to go ahead and manage some expectations. I know tape is experiencing a little bit of a renaissance, and that’s probably exactly what brought some of you here- so I don’t want anyone getting all excited just to get their heart broken when their tape read comes back with nothing but junk data.

Proper tape storage is a bit of a science, so when you find a tape, depending on how it was stored, you might already be looking at something with a pretty significant amount of distortion or degradation.

And, yeah, getting a tape ready to go can be a little bit of an adventure: before you attempt to load your tape into a playback device and IUS, you need to confirm tape tension and casing integrity. It’s not always a fast or simple process, and trying to read an improperly cased and tensioned tape can damage it further, so by the time you get it ready to read, it’s natural to have developed a bit of an investment in the result.

But you got to keep your expectations reasonable. You’re gonna get some junk tapes. Everybody does.

And that’s without even getting into what happens to tapes that have spent any amount of time near the Hole.

The Sinkhole does something really fuckin’ weird to magnetic tape. It’s not magnetic interference- it doesn’t cause that kind of distortion, it just…

Just look up Sinkhole tapes if you don’t know what I’m talking about. You’ll see what I mean. It’s a whole thing. People are completely obsessed with it, so you’ll find plenty of examples if you go looking. 

If you’re a new community member who lives near the Hole and is thinking about getting into analog… don’t.

No, I’m- I’m joking. If you live near the Hole, just make sure you’re storing any tapes you’re working on somewhere else. Somewhere well outside the Sink.


Unless you’re one of those people who actively brings magnetic tape into the Sink to create more Sinkhole tapes, in which case… welcome, I guess? Uh… this community was a weird choice, but as long as you’re pulling the raw data from the tape before bringing it into the Sink, I think most people here will probably be fine with you?

Anyway, I hope this new format helps. A couple of you have been asking for more audio format content to help with NEV-compatibility, so I figured I’d oblige. Let me know if there’s anything else I can do or if you have any questions. It might take me a little longer than usual to respond because I’m still getting used to this format, but… you’ll hear from me. Literally.

Stay safe out there, and I look forward to seeing everyone’s finds this week.

[The ambient music fades into the next track.]

[An eerie, warbling music akin to the opening music plays, rising in volume and then slowing and quieting.]

INTRO: [Someone inhales deeply; their inhale has a distant, echoing quality to it. A strange, rattling sound grows in volume and speed before fading into eerie, warbling music. There’s a strange crackling sound. The voice whispers “Sinkhole.” The pitch and speed of the music drop, fading into the next track.]

[A low, slow hum fills the background. The melody is subtle and largely ambient.]

So… [breathy laugh] it’s come to my attention that I’ve been had.

Uh, many of you were kind enough to let me know that text-to-speech is absolutely still a thing for NEV users and there’s no real, tangible reason I should have to go to the effort of recording my posts.

But, on the other hand… a whole lot of you responded very positively and said it helped with understanding and internalizing the information being given, so… I’ll just keep doing it, I guess. If it’s helping, I… I don’t really mind the extra work.

Obviously, content transcriptions will always be available for those of you who need them or, y’know, just can’t stand my voice. Both completely valid reasons.

Some days I don’t want to hear me talk either. 

[long pause]

Uh, so… let’s stop putting this off.

I seem to have set off a little bit of a snafu when I called this the nerve-tech age and said it was preceded by the digital age. I didn’t realize that particular system of historical classification wasn’t in widespread use. I’m very sorry for confusing people.

I’d like to clarify exactly what it is I meant.

Yes, obviously a lot of us still use digital interfaces. I think it was, um… about thirty-five to forty percent of the world is not NEV-capable and still exclusively uses digital technology.

I mean, hell, I’m a DI user. I’m using digital technology to record this. 

That’s because being in a technological age doesn’t mean the technology that dominated the previous age is no longer in use. It just means it’s no longer the dominant technology in use. Not only are people still using digital interfaces and storage mediums, there are actually still a lot of people out there using and creating analog tech.

It looks a lot different than it used to, but it’s still a major part of certain industries.  

The reason I called this the nerve-tech age is because almost all new information-based technology being created is being created for NEV users, and then adapted for DI users as an afterthought… if at all. That’s exactly why so many of the complaints you see coming out of this platform are from DI users, yet no one ever seems to leave it because of them.

The truth is, there’s not really anywhere else to go.

The informational infrastructure of this platform was not designed to be used with a digital interface, but it’s one of the few remaining spaces that actually attempts to bridge that gap. There aren’t a lot of places left where people who are not NEV-capable can still hang out with people who are without forcing the NEV user to interface with the platform digitally even while connected to the NEV.

This platform does the opposite, which means there are a lot of things this space does for NEV users that just cannot be replicated in its digital interface. If you’re active in other communities on this platform, I think you’ve probably noticed the kind of dynamic that can create.

That’s where the complaints come in. There’s a pretty widespread sense of neglect felt by DI users, a sense of not being a priority to the dev team… and that can cause tension.

I’m not trying to say that there’s someone-


[sudden creaking as speaker shifts in their chair] Oh my god, really?



Uh, give me a second. [sound of a wheeled chair rolling across a hard floor]

[receding footsteps, audibly barefoot]

[a heavy window slides shuts, abruptly dampening the LOUD, EERIE SOUND]

[returning footsteps, much more audible]

[sound of the speaker settling into a creaky chair and wheeling back across the floor]

Sorry about that. Uh, what… what was I saying?

Oh, um- this is not me pointing fingers. I’m not trying to place blame on any particular party involved in this situation, and this is not me finding fault with the dev team. This is just me saying, “This is the reality of what the world is at this point in technological history.”

This is the nerve-tech age. 

Just think about it: when DI users complain, the most common response you’ll see from support staff is kind of a politer version of “get nevved.”

Really think about that for a second.

Less than fifty years ago, if your response as a tech developer was “I’m sorry you’re not happy with our product. Unfortunately, unless you get this safe but fairly invasive neurological procedure to allow you to access the system as intended, there’s nothing I can do for you,” people would’ve freaked out.

As unbelievable as this might feel to some of you, the idea that turning your brain into a wireless neural interface is a normal thing to do is a fairly recent development. 

This is the nerve-tech age, and I say that as a DI user who is directly and inescapably impacted by the implications of that reality. The digital age is over, and there’s not a whole hell of a lot any of us can do about that… except hope that those of us who can’t get nevved don’t get left behind completely.

So, yeah… that’s what I meant. That’s what I was referring to.

I really hope this helps clear things up.

I never meant for something I said to kick off an argument and, uh… I’m really sorry for the role I played in that.

It may not have been intentional, but it still happened, and I regret that it did. If I’d known, I would have been much more comprehensive in my original explanation.

[long pause]

[mumbled] I can’t end this post like this. This is such a bummer.

Also, I haven’t talked about data restoration once, which is not really gonna do much for getting us back on topic, is it?

I need to, um…

Oh, um, this kind of got lost in the confusion, but I was really surprised to learn how few of you knew about the Sinkhole tapes! I was sure that was a big part of why we were getting so many new members. [laughs]

I know it’s a pretty local phenomenon- and by pretty local, I mean literally just here- but I always thought it was common knowledge. I mean, obviously everyone knows about the Sinkhole, and yeah, we’re… what, forty years out, and ten years out from the Fling? So, it’s been a while.

But… I just thought everyone knew about the Sinkhole tapes!

Unfortunately, I don’t really have any answers I can give you. I know a lot of you are very, very curious about them, but… truth is, nobody knows what’s going on with the Sinkhole tapes because nobody knows what’s going on with the Sinkhole.

There still aren’t answers for that. There never were.

It’s just that after a while, everybody… stops bothering to ask. Life keeps happening and it never stops, not even when you live in a city with a big weird hole in it.

You can get used to almost anything, and we’ve all gotten used to the Sinkhole.

It’s not normal… but it’s normal, if that makes sense. 

It’s like that thing with eels. You know it’s weird, and its always kind of there in the back of your head, but you don’t really think about it most of the time, until someone reminds you.


I don’t have any personal experience pulling from Sinkhole tapes, even though I live… [falters]

Don’t use this against me. I’m trusting all of you to be normal about this.

I live in the Sink, so I don’t work with magnetic tape.

I love it, I think it’s a really cool storage medium with a fascinating history, but… I live in the Sink. And I don’t really have anywhere I can store and work with materials that isn’t in the Sink, so it’s kind of off the table.

So… yeah, there’s not a whole lot I can tell you about it. I’m not even sure if it’s possible to isolate the, uh… the Sinkhole interference from the base data- though, I mean, that could be a very cool experiment.

Hell, if somebody wants to send me a tape that’s already been pulled along with the data from it, I’d love to give it a shot. I think it could be really interesting.

Who knows? Maybe we’ll learn something new.

Anyway, stay safe and try not to fall into any holes, I guess. 

I hear it makes for a bad afternoon.

[The ambient music fades into the next track.]

[An eerie, warbling music akin to the opening music plays, rising in volume and then slowing and quieting.]

INTRO: [Someone inhales deeply; their inhale has a distant, echoing quality to it. A strange, rattling sound grows in volume and speed before fading into eerie, warbling music. There’s a strange crackling sound. The voice whispers “Sinkhole.” The pitch and speed of the music drop, fading into the next track.]

[A low, slow hum fills the background. The melody is subtle and largely ambient.]

Uh, wow- I was not expecting such a huge response to that post.

Before I say anything else, I’d like to apologize for exposing so many of you to the… just existentially kind of weird reality of eels. I’m sorry, but I’m also not. And I’m kind of sorry for that?


Also, a bunch of you have been giving me shit for calling optical discs a form of analog media, and to that I have two things to say:

The first is: LaserDisc. LaserDisc was not full digital! It was an analog optical disc format.

The second is: okay, I can acknowledge when I’ve said something misleading, and I’ll own up to that. Strictly speaking, most optical discs are digital. We have a lot of new members, and it was irresponsible of me to speak so carelessly. I’m very sorry to those of you I confused- you deserve better than that.

I swear to God this does not happen every time I post.

And in my defense, optical discs were an interstitial technology. In terms of historicity, I think they belong in the analog age, because the digital age was defined by solid-state storage.

CD players and smartphones do not belong to the same technological era. You can disagree with me, but you’re not going to change my mind. 

But yeah! Sinkhole tapes.

No, uh, wait- first, a couple of you have been asking why I’m not NEV-capable since I’m clearly so on-board with it, and… and those of you who guessed, guessed right.

I’m sunk. I got a sunk head. It’s really that simple. The A to B throughline of me living in the Sink and not being NEV-capable is a pretty clean one.

I got a head full of stars.

I would honestly love to be able to connect to the NEV. I feel like I’m missing out on a lot. Unfortunately, it’s just not in the cards for me.

If the option ever does come up, hey, you know I’ll be the first in line.

[long pause]

Sinkhole tapes.

Turns out a lot of you are super on board with my little experiment, which kind of surprised me. I wasn’t sure how people would feel about it since I know there can be some pretty strong feelings about conservation of materials, and while bringing a tape into the Sink doesn’t actually damage the material components of it in any physical way, it does have a pretty profound effect on the contents.

I’m really excited, honestly.

Uh, I need to get a PO box set up, since obviously I’m not going to go around giving out my home address, so, uh, stay tuned for that. I’ll probably have that for you next time.

Before I do anything else, I’m gonna need to hunt down some materials to set up a dedicated clean space in my apartment for tape handling and storage. I need to get that done first.

I think I actually do have a dehumidifier around here somewhere, but it might be junk at this point. It’s been a couple years since I last used it.

I’ve also been combing the listings for a tape retensioner, a couple of playback devices in good condition and an analog-compatible IUS, since I don’t have any of those things. If anyone has any good leads, let me know.

Obviously, I do realize that everything I’m sent will probably already have been cleaned and retensioned already, but fluctuations in temperature during transit can affect tape tension and it’s just better to be safe than sorry.

I’m really excited.

I don’t think I’ve had a project this exciting since I found those phones.

Oh, yeah, uh… newbies- I’ll insert the link to that post if you want to check it out.

They were lost-and-found items from a super religious summer camp north of the city. Ran for years and years prior to the Sinkhole opening up, and I don’t think anybody had ever cleared out that lost-and-found box before it found its way to me.

Some extremely surreal shit in that post, be forewarned. Lotta drama, a lotta guilt- which you’d expect, but also a really weird running theme of, uh…

You know, just go- go look at it. 

[mumbled] Real weird shit.


Hell, maybe I’ll get weird and put up a picture of the Jackson Millennium Building on the wall of my clean space.


Y’know, never mind.

The comedy value of that is not worth having to look at that thing all day. [laughs] Uh, if you’re never seen an actual picture of the JMB, look it up. It was a truly wild-looking building.

Sometimes I almost kind of think the Sinkhole might’ve done us a favour with that one.

Oh, speaking of things that are bizarre and freak people out: I’m so sorry.

It feels like this whole post is me apologizing, but this one I’m really sorry for.

Yes, the weird noises you hear in the background of my audio are the Hole.

I tend to forget how alien and threatening it must sound to people who don’t live here because… to me, it’s kind of like… a firetruck going by? It’s annoying and disruptive, sure, but it’s also a near-daily occurrence, so you kind of just stop noticing it after a while. 

It’s part of the auditory landscape of the Sink: get your ambulances, your firetrucks, your police vehicles, your neighborhood kids blasting music in the middle of the night, and your big glowing hole in the ground that likes to scream.

It’s normal.

Well, I mean, it’s not normal, but it’s normal.

Some neighbourhoods have fountains or parks, we have a near-constantly shrieking hole hidden under a concrete dome the size of a few city blocks.

Normal Sink shit.

Like I said: you can get used to almost anything.

[distant thunder rumbles; the sound of rain rapidly growing into a steady downpour]


[chair creaks]


That’s the sky opening up- it’s been threatening all day.

[mumbled] I should really cut this off.

[chuckles quietly]

Now all I need is the Hole to start yelling and this will become completely unlistenable-


[quiet, incredulous laughter]




People are going to think I faked this.

[quiet, incredulous laughter]

The timing on that was unreal.

Um… let me know if you find any of the stuff I’m looking for.

[speaking more loudly to compensate for the volume of the LOUD, EERIE SOUND] Stay safe, don’t fall into any holes!

[muttering] Absolutely fucking unreal.

Oh, god. Uh… uh, fuck…

[The thunderstorm and eerie sounds fade into the next track.]

[An eerie, warbling music akin to the opening music plays, rising in volume and then slowing and quieting.]

INTRO: [Someone inhales deeply; their inhale has a distant, echoing quality to it. A strange, rattling sound grows in volume and speed before fading into eerie, warbling music. There’s a strange crackling sound. The voice whispers “Sinkhole.” The pitch and speed of the music drop, fading into the next track.]

[A low, slow hum fills the background. The melody is subtle and largely ambient.]

Okay, what are they teaching people? Every time I mention something I think is common knowledge, everyone freaks out.

Apparently, almost none of you had ever heard of the Jackson Millennium Building.

Please forgive me, mods, because one this is gonna go real off-topic. I’m hoping my history of good behaviour is enough to let me get away with this.

We’ll call it a JMB source post.

The JMB is… fucking impossible to explain. If I tried to tell you about it myself, it would sound like I was making shit up, so I’ve pulled together a couple of clips and I’m gonna cut them in for you.

The first one is from Jacksonesque, a documentary about the JMB from before the Sinkhole opened up. It’s about forty-five or fifty years old, but if you want to watch the whole thing, let me know and I’ll send you the data. 


Documentary Narrator: In the year 1997, Canadian architect Kennedy Jackson began drafting the plans for a building that would go on to become synonymous with the concept of anti-humanist architecture.

Jackson’s previous designs, most infamous amongst them the ‘Peg-leg’ of Heron Fault, had been divisive, drawing harsh criticism for what many considered ‘borderline unlivable’ design choices while also being hailed as ‘possessing of an unrivaled imaginative spirit.’

Controversy plagued Jackson’s Millennium roject from its inception, first arising when it was revealed that the lot proposed for the construction saw frequent use by members of the surrounding community as an unofficial public park and had even been the site of several weddings. Residents of the area marched on the mayor’s office to protest the sale of the lot, garnering widespread support from concerned onlookers across the nation, but were unable to prevent its sale. In September of 1998, just two months after the purchase had been proposed, ownership of the lot passed to Soper Realty, the group which would manage the property after its completion.

Despite its controversial start, the project received generous contributions from investors well in excess of projected building costs- something that would turn out to be instrumental in preventing the project from ending up dead in the water.

While originally intended to complete construction in the year 2000, work on the Jackson Millennium Building was delayed by over a decade, with fire and safety inspectors calling the intended design “the spiritual successor to the Holmes Hotel” and “a neo-brutalist funhouse deathtrap.”

Prior to revisions, the original plans for the Jackson Millennium Building featured a number of design oddities: doors opened into rooms much higher or lower than those adjoining them; walls and floors were tilted, forming narrow, often difficult-to-navigate spaces; and certain areas of the building could not be accessed except by ladder.

Like the design of the building itself, Jackson’s explanation for this was both convoluted and inscrutable.

[interview excerpt]

Kennedy Jackson: No, listen, I don’t think you’re getting me- there’s this fundamental concept in design, maybe it’s the fundamental concept of design, and that’s symmetry. Humans, we’re bilaterally symmetric and it sort of defines everything that we do: the structures that we create, the lives that we live, but… that’s not the whole of it! On the outside: one leg higher than the other, one leg shorter than the other- there’s a natural asymmetry, and on the inside, in the envelope, all bets are off. The place where the straight lines of the brutalist meets the natural asymmetries of the body- that’s the juxtaposition of the organic and the ideal.

It’s natural design.

[interview excerpt ends]

Documentary Narrator: While a revision of the original design was eventually approved for construction on the sole principle of not being provably in violation of local building code, the Jackson Millennium Building would go on to be described by its original inhabitants as “akin to wandering through an Escher painting just to get to the breakroom.”

TectoVision, the marketing firm which had leased the space from Soper Realty, sued for release from their five-year contract only eighteen months after first taking up residency in the Jackson Millennium Building, citing unsafe working conditions.

The Jackson Millennium Building, while acknowledged by city officials to be “thoroughly unpleasant and weird,” could not be found to be in contravention of any existing health and safety parameters, and therefore, the contract was upheld.

However, less than six months after the suit was filed, while litigation was still underway, TectoVision vacated the premises prematurely, leaving the Jackson Millennium Building vacant for the remaining three years of their lease.

In October of 2014, only eight months before the expiration of TectoVision’s five-year contract, the Jackson Millennium Building was involved in yet another explosive scandal.

[low-quality phone recording]

Matt: I think we can all appreciate the potential benefits on offer here- great location, excellent footage, and- like you said, Kathy- there’s certainly something to be said about the wow factor of the building’s reputation. No one is denying that.

But we need to consider this from a practical standpoint: after that fiasco with Tecto, what are our options?

We need to address the tenancy issue.

Clients are looking at the Jackson Millennium and seeing a productivity issue down the line. They’re seeing employees excusing extended breaks by claiming to have gotten “turned around” on their way back to their work stations, and if we don’t do something about that now, it’s going to be Tecto all over again. How do we fix that?

Kathy: I hear what you’re saying about the optics, Matt, about the fear of productivity lost, and I think I can offer a fix for that: it’s all about clear signage.

Colour-coded vinyl floor runners, frequent maps. Reassure future tenants that they don’t have to worry about their staff making excuses by taking those excuses away.


Matt: That… is a really excellent idea- really excellent, wow. Can we all just give Kathy a hand for that?

[light clapping]

Just forward-thinking efficiency in action, this one.


Kennedy is going to hate it, though. He’s really going to hate it.

Kathy: Well, it’s not Kennedy’s building anymore, is it, Matt?

Tecto happened in Kennedy’s building. This is our building. 

[low-quality phone recording ends]

What you just heard was part of a cellphone recording taken of a meeting between Soper Realty board members Matthew McConnaugh and Kathleen Strike. First released anonymously on internet message board fiendrama.com on October 3rd of 2014, it would take less than a week for the controversial sound byte to catch the attention of local tabloid journalist Elijah Suffolk.

Suffolk’s piece about the recording, titled Kennedy Jackson Who? Soper Execs Caught Talking Smack About Controversial JMB Architect ran the following Monday.

Less than twenty-four hours later, the internet was on fire.

Public outrage was two-pronged, with some appalled at the apparent disrespect with which Jackson had been treated and others pointing to Striker and McConnaugh’s exchange as a tacit acknowledgement of the issues posed to tenants of the Jackson Millennium Building by its unconventional design- the very same issues that had prompted TectoVision’s lawsuit less than three years before.

Corporate interest in the Jackson Millennium Building vanished overnight.

It would be six years before the property was purchased from Soper Realty by an unexpected buyer: Calliope Research, a subsidiary of multinational pharmaceutical corporation MagneVice Medical Technologies, best known for their role in the creation of controversial oral fertility medication Zoftroprox™.

After Calliope Research purchased the Jackson Millennium Building from Soper Realty, they found themselves embroiled in a legal dispute with its architect, who objected to their efforts to have the building renamed.

After a brief court battle, judge Augustus Park ruled that Kennedy Jackson’s position as architect was not, in fact, sufficient to prevent the building from being renamed by its legal owners and it was officially recognized as the Innes and Montgomery Institute of Research and Development.


So that’s the background on the building itself.

The second one is from an interview with one of the TectoVision employees that worked in the JMB back in 2010. It’s a lot shorter, I promise.


Eileen: Welcome to The Early Afternoon with Eileen Acton- I’m Eileen, and on today’s show, we sit down with someone from TectoVision, the marketing agency which made international headlines earlier this year when they sued for release from their tenancy contract with the Soper Realty, calling attention to working conditions within the Jackson Millennium Building many have called “staggering.”

As the suit is still ongoing, we will not be disclosing the identity of our guest today, and we ask that our in-studio audience refrain- now more than ever- from taking photos or recordings.

Please join me in welcoming our special guest. [turned away] Mark, please show him in.

[robust applause as someone walks in]

[applause dying down]

[compassionately] Thank you so much for joining us in the studio today. How are you feeling?

TectoVision Employee: [laughing uneasily] As best as could be expected, I guess.

Eileen: I’m glad to hear that. Now, I don’t mean to jump right into it, but we’ve got a lot of questions-

TectoVision Employee: [almost interrupting, a little wryly] Yeah, I’m sure you do.

[scattered laughter from audience]

Eileen: [laughing along] Alright, alright. [all business] So, what can you tell us about working in the Jackson Millennium Building?

TectoVision Employee: [muttered] What can I tell you?

What I can tell you is you couldn’t pay me to go back into the Jack. I’ve worked in a lot of buildings that weren’t great, but the worst of them didn’t even come close.

Eileen: So the suit alleges. Can you tell us a little bit more about what exactly that means? In a tangible sense, I mean.  

TectoVision Employee: In a tangible sense? Uh… I don’t know if this is what you’d call tangible, but it was like… working in a funhouse? The acoustics of the place were a nightmare- half the staff was convinced it was haunted even though it was brand new. You could be talking to somebody standing in the hall and have a harder time hearing them than somebody three rooms down with the door shut.

[murmuring from audience]

Eileen: How strange! And why do you think that is? Can you give us your best guess?

TectoVision Employee: I don’t have to guess- it was something about the way the vents were positioned. You could be all the way over in 2F and somebody would say something in 2A and it’d sound like they were standing right next to you. We started planning around it- if me and Carlos wanted to talk logistics, we’d have to go over and tell the folks in the other room to can it or get lost for half an hour just so we could hear ourselves think.

And when folks got lost, they really got lost. That’s, uh… not a figure of speech.


You can still find photos of the inside of the JMB from during its construction, along with the plans for it, but for whatever reason, there’s almost nothing from after it was completed.

You’ll find a couple of blurry cellphone pictures from TectoVision employees, but nothing after that. Calliope was doing some kind of secret… pharmaceutical research? I don’t know, they were really secretive about it.

Actually, it’s spawned this whole conspiracy theory that Calliope opened up the Hole somehow, which is kind of hilarious. I recommend reading up on it a little, but not too deeply.

You will start feeling like you’re going insane.

Anyway… that’s the Jackson Millennium Building.

I’ve attached my PO box number to the post data. If you want to send me tapes, go ahead and send me tapes.

Stay safe and try not to fall into any holes.

[The ambient music fades into the next track.]

[An eerie, warbling music akin to the opening music plays, rising in volume and then slowing and quieting.]

INTRO: [Someone inhales deeply; their inhale has a distant, echoing quality to it. A strange, rattling sound grows in volume and speed before fading into eerie, warbling music. There’s a strange crackling sound. The voice whispers “Sinkhole.” The pitch and speed of the music drop, fading into the next track.]

[A low, slow hum fills the background. The melody is subtle and largely ambient.]

Okay, I’ve been… putting off addressing this for a while, but I feel like I have to say something before this whole fundraising initiative gets completely out of hand.

You’re all very, very kind. Thank you. I’m extremely touched by your thoughtfulness and generosity.

I am and was aware that there is a specialized procedure which allows people with superficial asterikoiloptosis- or, if you prefer, superficial sinkage- to become NEV-capable.

I, unfortunately, am not eligible.

I do not have superficial sinkage. I have deep sink. If you ran a medical probe up my spinal column to get a good look at the inside of my skull, it would find nothing but cold, glittering void.


I was in the Hole.

Normally I keep that fact pretty close to the chest because it narrows down my possible identity to one of just a hundred and twelve people- assuming nobody’s died.

Not exactly ideal for anonymity.

I don’t think I can really communicate how moved I was- and am- by the kindness I’ve seen here over the last couple of weeks. It’s a testament to how good-hearted the people of this community are that you were all so willing to pitch in what you could to make sure I could be a part of something I myself said I wish I could be.

You’re good eggs. 

But I can’t accept your generosity. I can’t benefit from what’s being offered here.

I am truly and completely and deeply sunk.

And unless something truly miraculous happens, the only way anybody’s getting at my brain is if I crack open my skull myself.

Now, uh, user nevverhappy mentioned they do suffer from superficial sinkage and, due to financial hardship and the limited employment opportunities often available to people who suffer from cranial sinkage, have never been able to afford the sink-adapted surgery… so if you could redirect your efforts their way, that would make me really happy.

I’d really like that.

[shaky breath]

You are all… [stops, emotional]

You are all so incredibly kind.

Sorry, give me a minute.

Oh god…

Um- look, this seems like as good a time as any to post what I pulled from that A10. I’ve been kind of lazy about it- I got distracted by this whole project with the tapes.

There’s some good stuff in here- an old pre-Fling NEVROS ad and a bunch of other stuff about the NEV… downloaded videos, interviews… memes. [chuckles] Whoever this belonged to, they were super into it, it looks like.

It’s more modern than most of what I’m used to dealing with, but, um… hey, it’ll be a blast from the past for some of you, I guess.

A couple of them are pretty funny or- or interesting. I’ll cut in the audio for two or three here and attach everything else in the post data.


The future of communication.

Stock Ad Shill 1: It’s unbelievable-

Stock Ad Shill 2: Unbelievable!

Stock Ad Shill 3: Completely unbelievable!

Stock Ad Shill 1: My spouse and I, our relationship- it’ll never be the same.

Stock Ad Shill 2: Everything is changing for us.

Stock Ad Shill 3: Everything’s different. It’s all different now.

The future of entertainment.

Stock Ad Shill 2: It was like… being there!

Stock Ad Shill 3: I could feel everything she felt-

Stock Ad Shill 1: I could feel how she felt, and it was… amazing.

Stock Ad Shill 2: It was amazing.

Stock Ad Shill 3: Amazing, just amazing.

Stock Ad Shill 1: What could I call it except… amazing?

The future of the workplace.

Stock Ad Shill 3: I used to have a two-hour commute to work-

Stock Ad Shill 1: Driving to the office took so much time out of my day-

Stock Ad Shill 2: I felt like I was always going back and forth, back and forth-

Stock Ad Shill 3: With NEVROS, I feel like I’m there.

Stock Ad Shill 1: It’s like I’m really there!

Stock Ad Shill 2: It’s better than being there! I don’t think I could ever go back to commuting.

NEVROS Technologies: the future with you in it.



[chillhop beat playing]

Influencer: Hey babberz!

So I know I’ve been away for a while… but you won’t believe what I’ve been up to!

We’ve all seen the ads for [dramatically] NEVROS Technologies! And I think a lot of us were like, “uhh, what?” because honestly, been down this road before, okay, we’ve seen our fair share of shilling and fakes, so… when NEVROS reached out to me to ask if I’d be interested in being one of their [audible air quotes] “Experiential Content Creators,” I was like “oh my god, what does that mean? They’re definitely going to, like, drug me and sell my organs or something.”

But… I mean… before my accident, I was studying medicine and… well, I read the literature and… I was wowed. Like, wow, this is real deal stuff.

Real deal stuff.

So, I decided to take the plunge.

Anyone who knows me knows that I am such a nerd for neuroprosthetics, and I cannot tell you how cool this stuff is- like, I literally can’t!

Legally, I’m not allowed to yet.

But next week- next week, I promise!

What I can tell you is that the NEV procedure is… life-changing. It’s completely safe, they take care of everything for you, and… it’s impossible to even explain to you how life-changing it is.

I know I keep using that word, but… there isn’t another word for it.

It’s life-changing.

You have to try it.

I know it’s not cheap, and there aren’t a lot of places you can get it yet, but the more people who do it, the more places you’ll be able to go and the more affordable it’ll get.

So if you can get it… absolutely get it. You won’t regret it, I promise.

And then hopefully our babberz on a budget can pull through too! Or maybe they’ll make it part of accessibility standards.

A girl can dream, right?

Stay tuned for next week, and get excited! I know I am!

Muah! Bye, babberz!

[chillhop beat fades out]



[sounds of someone walking outdoors]

Alan’s Neighbour: “Wire up your brain,” they said, “join the neighbourhood association,” they said!

Okay, why not? It’ll help me make friends, right?

I mean, how else am I going to make friends with my next-door neighbour? I can’t only talk to him about his model trainset. He has to have other interests.

It can’t all be trains.

[sudden shift to indoor room tone]

Update: it’s all trains.

[quiet train sound]

[lo-fi outro music]

[sounds of someone walking indoors on a hard floor]

Week two in the neighbourhood association: I don’t know what we talked about today because Alan wouldn’t stop thinking about trains!

[imitating a serious person] Alan, how do you feel about the-

[sudden loud train sound]

[lo-fi outro music]

[sounds of someone walking outdoors]

Today I went to the corner store!

Alan was there!

I’m like, “hello, Alan,” and I’m just thinking about how he’s thinking about trains.

He looks at me and he’s like, “hello?” and as I’m checking out, I just quietly hear,

“Choo choo…”

[quiet train sound]

Anyway, I’m looking at moving again.

[lo-fi outro music]


Yeah, so that’s… uh…

[speaker shifts in their chair, coming closer to the mic]

A tasting selection of what was on the A10.

I hope you enjoy these.

Um, stay safe and try not to fall into any holes.


[subdued] I don’t recommend it.

[The ambient music fades into the next track.]

[An eerie, warbling music akin to the opening music plays, rising in volume and then slowing and quieting.]

INTRO: [Someone inhales deeply; their inhale has a distant, echoing quality to it. A strange, rattling sound grows in volume and speed before fading into eerie, warbling music. There’s a strange crackling sound. The voice whispers “Sinkhole.” The pitch and speed of the music drop, fading into the next track.]

[A low, slow hum fills the background. The melody is subtle and largely ambient.]

I got the tapes you sent me and… [disbelieving laugh] holy shit, there are… so many more tapes than I was expecting.

I can talk about that a little bit afterwards.

First, if you weren’t already aware, the mods gave me permission to run an AMA about being one of the hundred-twelve specifically because no one is going to be able to focus on anything else until I do.

So that’s what this is going to be. I said ask me anything, and you had a lot to ask.

I’m not going to be able to get through it all, but I’ll do my best.

Before I get into anything else, I’d like to address the fact that some of you seem to think I’m lying about having been in the Hole. [bewildered laugh] Literally why? Why is that a thing I would want to lie about? 

Being one of the hundred-odd people who came out of the Hole not make you popular around here.

Thousands of people got caught in the sinklight during the Fling, and a lot of people blame for us that. It seems like mostly unconsciously. But still.

The few of us you’ve heard of- Jean-Luc and Taylor and Yun-seo- they’re very much the odd ones out. Most of us don’t advertise having been in the Hole- it’s more just something people tend to figure out about you after a while because there’s only so much you can do to disguise being decades behind the world.

It’s kind of impossible to hide because it’s impossible to catch up- the more time I spend trying to familiarize myself with things that have already happened, the more I find myself missing the things that are happening now.

It’s not… a good thing. I guess it might seem cool to you, but I think it’s easy to feel that way at a distance.

Enough people got caught in the sinklight for somebody to think it would be worth their while to create a specialized surgery for people with superficial sinkage to become NEV-capable. Think about that.

Asterikoiloptosis is an affliction, and there are a fair number of people who think it would have been better for everyone if nobody had come out of the Hole. It doesn’t really matter that we didn’t get a say in that- it’s still how people feel.

So… yeah.

If you think it’s a cool, fun thing to pretend to be one of the hundred-twelve… you’re not from the city, you’re not from the Sink, and you’re definitely not from the Hole.

Let’s get to these questions of yours.

A lot of these are you could ask literally anybody with superficial cranial sinkage and get the exact same answer, so I’m going to try and keep mine brief: can I touch my own head? Yes. Can someone else touch my head? Only if I can see what they’re doing and am actually paying attention. 

What does it feel like when I touch my sinkage area? Normal. I can touch my face and scalp without a problem. It feels exactly like it always has.

What do I see when I look at myself? The same thing everyone else does.

Uh, actually, this seems like something you people might find interesting: I don’t see my nose like I used to- now it’s just sort of this void-black chasm at the centre of my vision. Took some getting used to.

What would happen if you tried to drop something on my head? It’d fall into my sinkage.

What happens to things that fall into my sinkage? They drift into a glittering void.

What happens to things that start to fall into my sinkage but are removed? They’re fucking irradiated. It’s a weird cosmic void. it does that.

Can the radiation from my sinkage make me sick? No, it’s not radioactive.

Can the radiation from things irradiated by my sinkage make me sick? Yeah, probably, they’re radioactive. 

Does my sinkage give off radiation? No, it’s not radioactive.

How is that possible when the space inside my sinkage is radioactive?

There are so many papers and videos on this, it’s unreal. Please go look one of them up.

How much of my head is sunk? About seventy percent.

Do I have other sinkage? Yeah.

Am I going to tell you about it? No. Absolutely not.

You could… literally identify me with that information. No.

Can I wear hats or glasses or tie my hair back? Yes, yes, and sort of. Glasses are no problem because they’re constantly in my vision. Though, I guess if they were frameless they could be a problem? I’ve never tried it. Most hats are bulky enough that I’m usually at least subconsciously aware of them, but hair ties have always been a little bit dicey for me.

If I can’t see it, it has to be physically very present so I stay aware of it. Usually, that means it has to be at least a little bit uncomfortable. If it’s not, the tie will sink and I’ll suddenly realize my hair is drifting back into my face. And yeah, like I said, it looks the same to me as it does to everyone else.

I think you could probably figure this one out on your own, but having your hair fall into your face is distracting enough. When your hair is drifting strands of void, it’s extremely distracting. I think that’s actually a big part of why so many of us keep our hair short.

I’m going to pre-empt this one: can I cut my hair? Yeah, obviously.

When I cut my hair, what do the parts that come off look like? Colourless. Completely clear, like I’ve gone white.

Can other people touch the hair I’ve cut off? Yeah. Same goes for anything that comes off my sinkage, I assume. I haven’t really tried. I’m not out here like, gouging out pieces of my skin.

[mouse scrolling sounds]

Uhh… oh, this is a weird one.

Can I wear makeup?

 I think it would have to be, like… grease paint. Really heavy, sticky stuff. Again: I’d have to feel it, or the second I stopped looking in the mirror, it’d sink.

[mouse scroll sounds]

[muttered] I think that’s all the generics…

[quietly] Okay.

[continued mouse scrolling sounds]


[sighs deeply]

This one… I’m going to assume that anyone who asked this is convinced the Fling was a hoax, but I’ll still answer it.

Why didn’t falling in the Sinkhole make my whole body go sunk? No idea. As far as I’m aware, nobody on Earth knows the answer to that. According the experts, the current consensus is that nobody’s sinkage worsened in the Hole or during the Fling. Why? I don’t know. I don’t fucking know. Nobody knows. I don’t know. Okay? I don’t know.

Can I get secondary exposure from sinklight? No. That’s actually one of the few things that differentiates deep asterikoiloptosis from superficial. I could strip naked and sunbathe in it and nothing would happen, as far as I know.

…Sinkbathe? Anyway.


Am I allowed to go back to the Hole since I came out of it?

[incredulous] No!

Nobody’s allowed near the Hole! Why would I have clearance for that?  

You can’t just go to the Hole- what do you think I’m going to do, just walk up and be like, [somber voice] “Hello, I’m one of the one-twelve. Let me in,” and they’ll just be like, “Yeah, sure. Why not? Welcome home.” [incredulous scoff]

What the fuck?

[mouse scrolling sounds]

Uh… er… oh, this question is… hard. Um.

How old am I?

Do you mean legally, chronologically, or physically?

Chronologically, I’m in my sixties.

Physically- and a little math will get you there- I’m in my thirties.

Legally, I was born sixty-odd years ago but am in my thirties, which makes it completely impossible for me to sign up for any service that does not have a very specific temporal exemption clause programmed into its database.

I make so many more voice calls now than I ever did before I fell into the Hole.

If you want to feel a little fucked up, the fact that I came out of the Hole at a different time of year than I went in means my birthday changed.

I mean… not legally, and the day I was born obviously didn’t change, but because I didn’t spend exactly thirty years inside the Hole, the actual day I chronologically roll over from one age to the next is different than it was before.

I don’t know if I explained that in a way that made sense- it’s a really weird concept. I think about it more than I probably should, considering it doesn’t really matter. 

[mouse scrolling sounds]

Uh, the rest of these are pretty much all requests for pictures or personal information or questions about my personal experiences during the Sinkhole event and the Fling.

I’m not really allowed to talk about my experiences with the Hole. It’s not illegal or anything, I’m not gonna go to jail, but it is a breach of contract.

Um, some of you might not know this, but those of us with deep cranial asterikoiloptosis have a lot of trouble finding employment. We’re an uninsurable risk at in-person workspaces, and because we can’t get nevved, the only way for us to work remotely is digitally.

And you’ve heard what I had to say about the death of the digital age, I assume.

A bunch of us, myself included, are under contract with Paradigm Research, the folks who study the Hole. They pay our living expenses and, in exchange, we stay nearby and participate in ongoing studies.

Part of that is… well, contractually, we’re not supposed to talk about our experiences or seek out information about each other’s experiences so as to not, uh… muddy the waters, I guess.

Yeah. Sorry. I can’t answer your questions. Paradigm pays my rent.

So, instead, let’s talk about the tapes you sent me!

I’m still waiting on tape data from a few of you- I’ve reached out directly, so remember to check your messages.

Obviously, I haven’t had time to go through many of them- I only got my setup completely figured out yesterday.

But I did have a chance to go through two!

I want to pull preliminary data reads from everything as fast as I can because I realized this morning that I don’t actually know to what extent the Sinkhole effect is cumulative, and having progressive data reads could tell me a lot about that.

I will say the preliminary reads I pulled from those two tapes are still mostly undistorted. There’s a little weirdness here and there, but nothing too exciting just yet.

I’ll let you know as soon as I have something worth sharing.

Stay safe and try not to fall into any holes.

[The ambient music fades into the next track.]

[An eerie, warbling music akin to the opening music plays, rising in volume and then slowing and quieting.]

INTRO: [Someone inhales deeply; their inhale has a distant, echoing quality to it. A strange, rattling sound grows in volume and speed before fading into eerie, warbling music. There’s a strange crackling sound. The voice whispers “Sinkhole.” The pitch and speed of the music drop, fading into the next track.]

[A low, slow hum fills the background. The melody is subtle and largely ambient.]

I’m not putting one of the tapes in my head.

Even if I wanted to, I couldn’t. I’d just end up smacking myself in the face with a VHS. Somebody else would have to do it for me- and again, I have no intention of telling any of you where I live!

Also, nothing interesting would happen- it’d just wreck the tape, and maybe make me sick from handling it. I’m not sure how quickly… things accumulate radiation in there. Whenever I go for testing, they always whisk things away immediately after removing them, so… I just sort of assume pretty fast? 

But whatever the Hole does to magnetic tape is not the same as what my sinkage does to things. There’s a reason people are allowed to live in the Sink: this is not a radioactive area.

It’s just… low-income, because living here means living with the knowledge that if the Hole decides to throw another party at some point, you could get caught in the sinklight, and the only people who don’t have to worry about that are the hundred-twelve.

The dome won’t do much if the Hole expands again.

This Sink is a hazardous area, not a fucking fallout zone. It’s like… living next to a volcano.

Also, a handful of you are still convinced I’m a liar. I don’t mind that. I don’t mind that at all.

To those of you who are upset and have jumped to my defense now that the skeptics have started calling me ‘hundred-thirteen’ or ‘one-thirteen’ or something: I’m actually fine with it.

Someone who is convinced I’m not from the Hole is probably not trying to systematically work out which of the hundred-twelve I am, and that’s fine by me. I’d much rather have all of you think I’m lying than have all of you trying to figure out who I am and where I live. 

Go ahead and call me one-thirteen. I don’t mind it.

I know the mods already made a post about it, but I’d like to… [sighs]

Maybe I can help people understand where it is I’m coming from.

This is not me trying to hide something about myself from you. I’m… it’s just…


The general attitude people have towards personal privacy now is very different than it was when I was growing up and, as someone who is very cognizant of being in a very different world than the one I grew up in, I try to be understanding of that.

But I don’t think I’m ever going to be…

I don’t think I’m ever going to be completely comfortable with how immediately and insistently open with their information people are these days.

I grew up in a world where you couldn’t just feel someone’s intentions and know whether or not they were trustworthy.

On the internet, people could lie, and they did.

It wasn’t always easy to tell who was telling the truth, and there was a whole microculture of fear that developed around that specifically.

So whenever one of you publicly posts your location data for the whole world to see, it kind of freaks me out a little. I get this reflexive knot in my gut like I should do something about it, even though I know things are… different now.


The concept of stranger danger clearly wasn’t a thing for you, but it was for me, and I can’t shake that.


I can’t get comfortable with the sort of unconditionally trusting transparency so many of you want from me, and my refusing to assent to it is not an invitation to be…

Do- do people still used the word ‘doxxed’? Is that still the word for it?

[shifts in chair]

[old man voice] “Back in my day, we called it ‘doxxing’. That word came from indoctrination, because chanting strangers in black robes would come to your house in the middle of the night and take you away to a haunted pizzeria! And no one would see you again. Just another Tuesday on the internet…”

[normally] No. No, I’m joking, it wasn’t actually like that, and I actually have no idea where the word doxx comes from.

Anyway, whatever you call it, d-don’t… don’t. Please? I get that you want to feel close to me and you want to feel like you can trust me, but it really freaks me out.

[old man voice] “Because I’m old and decrepit and simply masquerading as young person. I am surrounded on all sides with these fellow youths with their head-wires and their nervous technology.”

[normally] Sorry, I’m in a bit of a mood.

I got rained on coming back from the corner store and didn’t have my umbrella, and knowing that the Earth has slightly less water on it than it did before some of it fell into my weird head always makes me feel kind of… a little… existential, I guess.

Also, one of you sent me the most uncomfortable version of the Tennenbaum VR headset you could find, which is very funny, but…

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a really nice gesture, and the idea that there was this thought process that went, “They’ve got a sunk head, so it has to feel terrible to wear,” is just… is just so funny to me, but…

Please don’t send me gifts. 

It’s not that I’m not grateful.

Thank you. Sincerely, thank you. You must’ve gone pretty far back into my post history to know I was looking for one of these, and I appreciate the effort you must have gone to in finding it- I mean, I- I’ve been sitting on these Tennenbaum simulation cartridges for over a year at this point because I couldn’t find one.

But please don’t send me gifts.


I’m so off-topic here.

The mods have given me way too much leeway. I’m turning into a problem child. 

I have an update on the Sinkhole tapes: I’ve started to see more significant distortion. There’s definitely something there.

But I don’t know what I’m doing.

[beat, laugh] You know, a long time ago- before the Hole, before everything- I had a friend who was really into vinyl.

Uh, records, I mean. 

An analog audio storage medium. One I didn’t mention in my first source post, which a lot of you were quick to point out, and looking back, I’m a little surprised no one picked up on it sooner.

She always used to complain about these old collectors, these people who had been around in the sixties and seventies and were able to pick up the pressings when they were first made- she always used to say, “they’re too in it; they only see the scopes of their childhoods, and they don’t understand the medium.”

I never understood what she meant by that. I kinda always thought she was just being pretentious.

And, y’know, maybe she was.

But she was also right, and I’m… I’m realizing that. I think I’ve been telling on myself since the beginning.

I think if she’d been one of you, she would’ve looked at my perspective on pre-NEV and instantly clocked me as one of the hundred-twelve.


For most of you, the relationship you have with analog and early digital is cultivated: it’s something you sought out and chose to learn about the same way people in my generation sought out and chose to learn about vinyl.

It is not within the scopes of your childhoods.

But for me, my relationship to videotapes and cassettes- old CDs, flip-phones, all that shit- I grew up with that. The way I look at it is defined entirely by the scope of my childhood.

Before I started doing these posts, I never knew how much I never knew because when you grow up with these things, you just assume you know everything you’ll ever need to.

The tape goes in the player, the disc goes in the drive.

I guess what I’m saying is… I’ve realized I’m… in over my head and I need help. I don’t know the first goddamn thing about signal isolation. I don’t know why I thought I’d just intuitively understand it.

I don’t.

I’ll play you some of the raw data I’ve pulled- it sounds to me like bits of other signals are intruding on the originals, and part of me wonders if it’s actually some sort of data bleed from the other tapes- but I don’t have the faintest fucking clue how to find out if that’s true.

I’ve been acting like I’ve got everything figured out, and I absolutely do not.

I’d like to cross-reference the tape data with the intrusive signals and check my theory, but I don’t know how to do that.

This is what I hear when I play these things.

[indistinct voice speaking amidst a chatter of much clearer voices]

Help me. I’m goddamn helpless.

If you can send me some resources, that would help me a lot. I’m honestly drowning. I can pull and compile the data without a problem, but now that I have it, I don’t know what to do with it.

I think what needs to happen here is my swallowing my pride. I think we’re going to get our best results from working together.

Also, um- sorry if I never seem to shout out who sent in what, it’s just that I’m never sure which of you are in, um, experiential collectives and I know that’s sort of a thing with that when it comes to referencing the individual versus the collective, so I’ve… I’ve just been avoiding it. I don’t understand it very well and I- I don’t wanna… accidentally insult anybody.

If you want to be shouted out when I get to your tape, shoot me a message about how I should do that and I’ll make a note of it.

Sorry for everything, and thanks for your patience.

I’m really feeling my age today.

Uh, that’s all for now, I think.

Stay safe and try not to fall into any holes.

[The ambient music fades into the next track.]

[An eerie, warbling music akin to the opening music plays, rising in volume and then slowing and quieting.]

INTRO: [Someone inhales deeply; their inhale has a distant, echoing quality to it. A strange, rattling sound grows in volume and speed before fading into eerie, warbling music. There’s a strange crackling sound. The voice whispers “Sinkhole.” The pitch and speed of the music drop, fading into the next track.]

[A low, slow hum fills the background. The melody is subtle and largely ambient.]

The signal’s not coming from the other tapes.

Or, at least, not from the other tapes I have.

I suppose it’s still possible it could be coming from other tapes in the Sink, but I don’t think so, it feels counterintuitive- and yeah, this whole situation is counterintuitive, the Hole itself is counterintuitive, the fact that more than half my head is a… a fucking portal to an alien starscape is counterintuitive, but it’s because everything is like this that I feel like if it’s not coming from these tapes, it’s not coming from any of the tapes.

I don’t think it’s coming from anything in the Sink- I think it’s coming from the Hole.

I can explain why, so bear with me. 

Some of you sent me some really excellent tools and tips to help me on my way, and I was combing through different tapes yesterday to see if I could find something that sounded familiar- apparently if you know what you’re listening for, it’s easier to know if what you’re doing to isolate the signal is working.

This is what I came across yesterday.

[sound of a phone screen being unlocked with a PIN]

I’ll play the clip inside the recording this time, since so many of you wanted to listen to it… with me. I get it, it’s like a… reaction video type thing- I guess some things never really change- but be aware that because I’m playing it on my phone, it’s not going to sound as crisp.

I’ll attach the audio itself to the post data so you can listen to it properly.

This is the one- this is the clip.

[indistinct jingle plays under the sound of a crowd, slightly apart from the microphone]

I was listening to this and I kept going, “something about this sounds so familiar.” It was so familiar I kept thinking it had to be something really well-known, but I couldn’t find anything online that matched up- and then it just sort of… clicked.

[indistinct jingle plays again]

[singing along, poorly and a little bit flat] “Jirelli’s Convenience, at Innes and Main- think of the time that you’ll save!”

I remember this.

This is Jirelli’s Convenience jingle. I remember it because I remember thinking how weird it was that a convenience store had a jingle on the radio… in a time where radio already wasn’t really the optimal place for advertising.

I remember it because I actually went out of my way to walk by Jirelli’s once, just out of curiosity, and that’s how I realized it was… literally next to the CPPL radio broadcasting station. Like the next lot over.

I never asked, but I have to assume there was some deal going on there for free coffee or something.

Once I realized what I was listening to, finding the original audio online was easy.

[clearer jingle plays] Jirelli’s Convenience, at Innes and Main- think of the time that you’ll save!

At this point, I was like… I know for a fact none of these tapes have the Jirelli’s jingle on them, and I know the Jirelli’s jingle isn’t still broadcasting, because Jirelli’s fell into the Sinkhole.

I know it did because I was on Innes and Nelson when the Hole opened up. Jirelli’s is gone, and so is CPPL radio.

But, you know, it’s online, obviously- I’m not sure how that translates to finding its way onto one of these tapes, but we know it’s out there in the world.

Which is why the thing that has me convinced these signals are not coming from anywhere in the Sink is this:

[this audio is slightly distorted, with faint traces of the previous chatter still detectable, but substantially clearer than when previously played]

DJ Pinch Roller: Hello, hello, hello and welcome back to the Poop Deck, your unjammed signal pouring out parts unknown in crystal clear Dolby Stereo.

[the speaker shifts, bringing the phone closer to the microphone]

It’s a cloudy night here in the city and we’ve got enough cover to bounce past the limits to you chop set freaks in the great green dark.

This is your galley rat, Pinch Roller, bringing you hiss-head hedonists freshly unearthed treasure from the caves, as well as newly-coiled chaos like this one from basement operator Quartz Crusher! [fumbling with interface]

[Growin’ Crops on the Side of a Hill plays]

This is what I played in my last post. I can’t take credit for isolating it- one of you asked me for the audio and sent it back to me like this.

I remember this guy. I know who this is.

I think I actually met him once or twice. I definitely had friends who knew him.

He ran an unlicensed radio station out of a studio apartment on McVey, but nobody ever really bothered trying to shut him down because he only ever played submissions sent to him by local musicians, never anything copyrighted. I think he kept it going for… god, five or six years?

And the only reason it stopped is… because his building fell into the Sinkhole.


A lot more than a hundred-and-twelve people fell into the Hole when it opened up, and I can tell you with absolute certainty that this guy isn’t one of the ones who came back out, because the first thing we did when we were put into quarantine during the Fling was figure out who knew who.

Any copies of this guy’s broadcasts that might’ve existed fell into the Hole with him. His broadcast range was tiny- a couple of blocks on a good day- and he didn’t prerecord anything, didn’t write anything down, didn’t have an email, wouldn’t even take digital submissions- you had to send him physical media for him to play your shit, like literally send him a mixtape. There is a zero percent chance that he was secretly recording his broadcasts and uploading them.

I don’t think he even had internet.

So the chances of someone just happening to have a recording of this guy’s broadcasts are… astronomically small, and if someone did, it’d be… a cellphone recording, not a tape.

I don’t know if it’s one signal or a bunch, but I know it’s not coming from the tapes.

It’s coming from the Hole.

I don’t know how that’s possible or what it means, but… I don’t see what else it could be.

I mean, obviously I could be overlooking something and there could be a perfectly reasonable explanation for this, but if there is, I’m not seeing it.

I think people tend to forget this, but before the Hole opened up, there was a part of the city there- and I lived in it for a long time. I remember what it was like.

I remember complaining about how drivers would stop their cars halfway across the crosswalk in front of the JMB. I remember going to the Jewish bakery on Montgomery on my walk home from work. I remember when the city sent riot police to disperse protestors in front of the prominently “one-woman, one-man” evangelical church that opened over on First.

I remember that one really well.

I knew that neighbourhood. I knew those people.

And I know, as crazy as it sounds, that these things, these signals- they’re sounds from that part of the city. Like hearing a distant heartbeat.


That’s everything I’ve got for you today.

I’ll update when I’ve got more.

Stay safe and try not to fall into any holes.

[The ambient music fades into the next track.]

[An eerie, warbling music akin to the opening music plays, rising in volume and then slowing and quieting.]

INTRO: [Someone inhales deeply; their inhale has a distant, echoing quality to it. A strange, rattling sound grows in volume and speed before fading into eerie, warbling music. There’s a strange crackling sound. The voice whispers “Sinkhole.” The pitch and speed of the music drop, fading into the next track.]

[A low, slow hum fills the background. The melody is subtle and largely ambient.]

I’m right. I know I am.

I found something. It’s not a radio broadcast, it’s… some sort of dictation, like dictated notes, and it’s from inside the JMB.

Or the “Innes and Montgomery Institute of Research and Development,” I guess, but nobody ever called it that, not even after they changed the name. 

Let me play it- you’ll see what I mean.


Dr. Hyles: Fourth quarter, 5-Day Polyhymnia Dosage Refinement Test, Day 2.

Adding 2 microliters of… [sighs] compound TH7F-34 to wells A1 through A3 of plate one.

Loading ten micromolar group into the flow cytometer as we speak. [sound of something being loaded] Proportion of fluorescing cells is seventy percent, with a cell density of 941 cells per milliliter-

[right-side orientation, a little tinny] Dr. Morris: Have you checked the sample temperature, Florence?

Dr. Hyles: [groans, moves right] Tim, I told you I’d be in 5G today!

Dr. Morris: [beat] Sasha?

Dr. Hyles: Yes! Move to another room- I can’t have you talking over me while I’m dictating notes.

Dr. Morris: You move. You know I prefer to work in 5B.

Dr. Hyles: [tightly] I can’t move, Tim, I’m in the middle of a cell count!


Did you hear that? 5B and 5G. Those don’t sound they’d be next door to each other, do they?

Remember this?


TectoVision Employee: I don’t have to guess- it was something about the way the vents were positioned. You could be all the way over in 2F and somebody would say something in 2A and it’d sound like they were standing right next to you. We started planning around it- if me and Carlos wanted to talk logistics, we’d have to go over and tell the folks in the other room to can it or get lost for half an hour just so we could hear ourselves think.


It’s the exact same acoustic issue as the TectoVision staff were having- the exact same.

This recording is from inside the JMB, which means it’s from Calliope Research, and that means it’s not a broadcast. You can tell just from listening to it that it’s not for public consumption.

Nothing Calliope did was for public consumption.

Sometimes I think they bought that building specifically because it was so ugly, like they hoped it would discourage people from even wanting to look at it.

You know that string of letters and numbers? Towards the beginning of the clip- TH, uh… one second.

TH7, uh, F34. At a glance, you might think that was a chemical structure or something, but it’s not. I tried looking it up.

It’s a code, probably specifically intended to make it completely impossible to know what they’re talking about unless you have access to some sort of key.

Doesn’t that seem kind of weird for someone who’s taking notes in a corporate lab? Notes that nobody else is ever likely to hear in the first place?

If what you’re worried about is a hypothetical spy using your building’s fucked up acoustics to overhear the details of an experiment from four or five rooms away, maybe not.

That sort of paranoid would be very on-brand for Calliope.

Calliope was infamous for that.

They were so notoriously secretive about their work that making wild guesses about it was a running joke on CPPL. 

On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, these two women from the neighbourhood, Tonia and Charlene, would do this half-hour talk segment, and it always started with a game called Chief of all Muses.


Each of them would suggest the most outlandish thing they could think of that day, and then listeners would call in to vote on which they thought sounded more likely.

Here’s the thing: in case you’re unfamiliar, the phrase “chief of all muses” comes from the poets Hesiod and Ovid, who both used it to refer to the muse of epic poetry.

Calliope is the muse of epic poetry.

They never said outright what the game was about, but we all knew. Everybody knew. All you had to do was search the name.

It didn’t help that none of Calliope’s staff were from the area. Folks almost never saw them outside the building, and everybody who did said they tended to be kind of terse and evasive even if you tried to talk to them about things that were completely unrelated to their research. There was actually a rumour going around that they weren’t allowed to talk to us, weren’t supposed to interact with the locals. 

And, I don’t know if any of you would remember this because it was only mentioned briefly in that documentary excerpt I shared, but the site the JMB was built on used to be a community park.

That’s important.

I moved to that area a while after Calliope acquired the building, but what I was always told was that before that, back when TectoVision was there and afterwards, when the building was empty, people would still go and have picnics on the lawn and under the trees and… and the biggest problem anyone ever encountered was a problem with the design of the JMB itself.

Apparently, the way the windows were shaped and oriented meant that at certain times of day, certain windows would focus the light they reflected into a point on the ground… and sometimes they would set the grass on fire.

But because the visual aspect of the building was so important, instead of doing anything about it, Soper Realty set up this automated sprinkler system that went off at the specific times of day that the lawn was most likely to catch fire.

So you could just be having a nice lunch with your family and suddenly get fucking soaked because it was August and Soper had updated the sprinklers to account for the fact that the current position of the sun meant the JMB was trying to commit arson slightly earlier in the day than you’d expected.

Supposedly, the front of the building was the worst for it: the whole façade was glass, and because the road leading up to it was asphalt, sometimes it’d get so hot it could actually melt the soles of your shoes.

Couple people filmed themselves frying eggs in front of the JMB just to prove a point- you might still be able to find those videos somewhere. I’m not sure.

All that stopped the second Calliope moved in. Not the JMB laser window issue- the “people actually having fun with the wacky properties of the building nobody wanted built there in the first place” issue.

When I lived there, not only had Calliope put up fences around the entire property, they also had security patrolling the lawns to detain anyone who tried to get inside, even if they clearly weren’t trying to approach the building.

[laughs quietly]

One time, a local birdwatcher got in a huge amount of trouble just for pointing her binoculars at a tree that happened to be inside the fence- she was an eighty-five-year-old Uruguayan woman who barely spoke English, but Calliope made such a fucking production of it that she made it onto the local news.

She actually became a bit of a celebrity after that- a year or two later, CPPL organized a volleyball tournament to fundraise for local wildlife preservation, and the winning team called themselves the Peeking Luisas.

Calliope was so outrageously hush-hush about what they were doing that it was honestly kind of cartoonish. That’s where all the conspiracy theories about them being responsible for the Sinkhole come from. 

I’d probably be more open to the suggestion myself if they hadn’t gone under right after the Hole opened up.


I didn’t mean for that to be a pun.

They went bankrupt and were dissolved, is what I was trying to say- though I guess it’s not untrue to say they went under in a literal sense, y’know, since the JMB fell into the Hole.



But yeah: this audio is from Calliope, from the JMB. There’s no doubt in my mind about that.

And that’s thrown a wrench into my working theory, which is that these signals are the Hole sort of… echoing or repeating broadcasts that were going out at the time it opened up.

I know it sounds a little harebrained at first, but if you… if you consider that me and the other members of the hundred-twelve didn’t age while we were in the Hole, it actually seems pretty plausible that it could be… I don’t know, this moment stuck in time?

The Calliope audio, while it doesn’t necessarily disprove that theory, has created a very weird issue for me.

Why do I have this?

Why is this here?

Why is this audio that was very clearly intended not to be public coming through in such a public and accessible way?

It’s really thrown me for a loop.

What does this mean for the other tapes? Some of this stuff I’m coming across, is it- is it voicemails? Phone calls? People giving voice commands to their smart devices? What am I hearing? What is it that I’m listening to? 

And… if this isn’t constrained by the parameters I’d thought, if these aren’t things that were intentionally broadcast for public consumption, what are the ethical repercussions of that?

I mean, I don’t really give a shit about airing Calliope’s dirty laundry, they’ve been gone for forty years and fuck ‘em anyway, but what if some of this stuff is private- is personal?

Forty years is not that long.

It’s very possible that there are relatives of the original Sinkhole victims who still live in the area.

Again, I know the… relationship to privacy, the way people feel about it- [falters]

But I was in the Hole.

And I know… it would make me really uncomfortable if…

And my friends…

Most of my friends are still in the Hole, and I don’t know… I don’t know how I feel about the idea of coming across one of them.

About hearing one of their voices and having it be… just how I remember it.

Forty years out of sync with the world and… a decade out of sync with me.

I don’t know how I… I don’t know.

[softly] I don’t know.

This isn’t quite what I thought it’d be.

[long pause]

I’m going leave this here.

You’ll hear from me soon.

[The ambient music fades into the next track.]

[An eerie, warbling music akin to the opening music plays, rising in volume and then slowing and quieting.]

INTRO: [Someone inhales deeply; their inhale has a distant, echoing quality to it. A strange, rattling sound grows in volume and speed before fading into eerie, warbling music. There’s a strange crackling sound. The voice whispers “Sinkhole.” The pitch and speed of the music drop, fading into the next track.]

[A low, slow hum fills the background. The melody is subtle and largely ambient.]

[someone shifts in their chair. A phone screen is unlocked, and then their chair creaks again as they lean closer to the microphone and play the following voice clip.]


VideoHomoSystem-C: Everyone’s buzzing about one-thirteen’s last post having gotten pulled in limbo, apparently [near-audible air quotes] ‘at the poster’s request’, but I feel we’re missing the point.

After one-thirteen got into the myst about Calliope, I went off and got myself a little too deep into the corporate substrate of MVM from just post the Sinkhole and figured something out: as it happens, Paradigm Research is a MagneVice holding.

Paradigm, the company that closed off the Hole for [audible air quotes] ‘research’.

Paradigm, the company that has one-thirteen under contract.

Not entirely shocking, I know- feels like most everything is under the thumb of MVM- but if you go looking, the parallels are obvious.

From Calliope, I mean- when you’re looking, the same names are coming up: Doctor Francesca Boyd, Martin Dupont, Mikhail Federov-

And talking of Mikhail Federov, actually, it turns out he’s site director of Paradigm for the Hole! Funny, that.

I’m not saying that after Calliope folded MVM brought it back under another name to keep on at their pet project, but I’m not… not saying that. Seems a little funny that right after one-thirteen puts up the Calliope experiment audio it gets pulled and they go quiet, is all.

I can’t be alone in thinking that, can I?


[speaker leans back in their chair.]

[with thinly-disguised sourness] “Attention everyone: this is a message from your moderators.

It has come to our attention that a recent post in our community may have had the effect of leading users to believe one of our more prominent members is in danger.

As your moderators, we are obligated to remind you that circumstantial evidence of wrongdoing is not sufficient to justify the dissemination of a user’s personal information by staff.

However, we understand and share in your worry, and should further evidence come to light, may reconsider this decision.”

[long, grumpy pause]

I’m not angry.

[deep breath]

Honestly, I’m not even surprised.

What I am… is a little disappointed.

I expect to encounter this sort of behaviour from regular users, at least to some degree.

I don’t expect this sort of behaviour from the moderators. I had honestly thought that a certain amount of common sense was prerequisite for the position.

Paradigm Research being a subsidiary of MagneVice Medical Tech and just happening to have one of the same staff members as Calliope does not make it a rebranded Calliope.

They research the Hole. It makes perfect sense for them to have hired someone who worked in the area and has a personal investment in furthering its research.

On top of that, Mikhail Federov was married- is married, actually- to one Doctor Timothy Morris… who happens to be someone who fell into the Sinkhole when it opened.

Personally, I don’t think a man wanting to be part of a project that might one day bring his husband back is a particularly suspicious coincidence.

The biggest coincidence here is that we’re already a little bit familiar with Doctor Morris. If you had a chance to listen to my last post before I flagged it, you probably remember that one of the people involved was referred to as ‘Tim’.

As it turns out, what we heard was a snippet of conversation between a Doctor Sasha Hyles and a Doctor Timothy Morris.

This isn’t a movie. I haven’t been kidnapped by agents of a nefarious company hellbent on mysterious ends. Nobody forced me to flag my own post.

I flagged my post because it occurred to me that, even with Calliope gone, I might still run into legal issues for posting it. I won’t, so I’ve rescinded the flag, but I don’t regret being careful.

And if I’ve been unusually quiet, it’s because I had a lot to think about. I thought I made that pretty obvious, but I guess nothing is ever obvious anymore unless you’re feeling it yourself, huh?


I’m sorry.

I’m just… [sighs] I’m frustrated.

I’m sorry.

I understand that VHS-C’s post made people worry about me… and I think I can also understand how growing up with nerve-tech may have shaped this generation’s relationship with emotions in a way that might make it difficult for you to not assume the worst about any situation you don’t have a direct line into. 

You were worried about me. I’m not blaming anyone for that.

I’m just… it’s just frustrating to me how quickly members of this community are willing to invade my privacy.

I’ve been very clear about how I feel about that.

It is both frustrating and deeply disappointing to me to realize that I am the only one in this relationship who has spent any amount of time considering the feelings of the other.

You were clearly very worried about me.

I mean this in the kindest way possible: that is not the same thing as actually caring about me.

And from my perspective, this behaviour makes me feel an awful lot more like a thing you’re afraid will be taken away from you.

That doesn’t feel great.

I already get treated enough like a thing just for being one of the hundred-twelve.

I’m not an object, and if I do leave this community, that attitude is gonna be why.

Since my privacy apparently doesn’t matter to any of you, sure: I’ll tell you what I’ve been doing instead of posting. I’m sure you’d find out anyway.

[shifts in chair.]

Part of the reason I haven’t been posting is because I’ve been consulting with Paradigm about our discoveries.

With a little persuading, I convinced them to give me permission to continue posting the audio from the tapes on the grounds that, as the people who supplied the necessary materials, you have a right to be involved- but now I almost wish I hadn’t bothered.

Maybe I really should have up and disappeared without a word.

It almost seems like that’s what you wanted to happen.


I don’t mean that.

I’m just-

I’m just…

you know what? I lied.

I am angry. I’m hurt.

I’m trying to be understanding and forgiving, but I’m hurt.

I was gone a week. Nothing I said or did should have given you the impression that I thought I was in danger.

But all it took was a single post from a user already notorious for stirring shit up for their own amusement to start an absolute shitstorm-


[apartment windows audibly rattling]

Do you hear that? Sounds a little bit different, doesn’t it?

I had to move because one of you came to my home.

I had to ask my contact at Paradigm to find me a new apartment while still trying to convince them that you should be allowed to be involved in this project. 

How many times am I going to have to do that?

I’m sure some of you-


I’m sure some of you have already started calculating my position based on the direction of the sound, haven’t you?

That’s what you did last time, right?


I’m trying really hard not to be angry, but honestly? I feel like I have every right to be.

I know things have changed.

I know that.


I really do know that.

[long pause]

I’m going to let myself be a little… a little mean here, and say something I would normally keep to myself.

Of everyone in this community, I am probably the least likely to get myself disappeared by a malignant corporate entity, purely because I grew up in an age where the default method of defense to that sort of thing was not to just let it happen and trust your friends to save you.

I’m fairly young, but I’m also kind of old, and you know what? I can be pretty old-school.

I will be the first to admit that multinational corporations like MagneVice are deeply suspicious. In my opinion, you’re right to be nervous about them. They don’t always have the same goals as their subsidiaries, and my experience has been that they’re usually up to unsavoury shit.

That’s not a reason why you should go poking around in their business, it’s a reason why you shouldn’t.

If I start feeling like someone’s coming to get me, I’m not going to send out an S.O.S. to the community and go in headfirst, I’m going to bug out and hide in an abandoned building for a while.  

What’re they going to do, use facial recognition to track me? They can’t account for different patterns of sinkage to tell people with cranial asterikoiloptosis apart because it doesn’t recognize us as having faces.

Or maybe they’ll just pull me into a white van in the middle of the night- except you can’t really do that to someone like me. We’re maybe the least grabbable people on Earth, because it’s incredibly fucking difficult to tell where our sinkage patterns are when we’re wearing clothes.

So if you were to, say, try and grab me by the arm or shoulder, there’s a very real possibility you might get a fistful of fabric and go elbow-deep into the void.

There’s only one other person I know of in this community who would be as difficult to kidnap as me, and that’s nevverhappy, who I will note was one of the few people in my corner during this fiasco.

I did notice that, and I’m grateful. None of this is directed at you. 

Congratulations on your surgery, by the way. I hope you recover quickly.

But yeah.

To the rest of you: the people you should be worrying about are yourselves and each other, because if somebody was going to try and make me do something I didn’t want to, this would be the place to start.

At this point in my life, this community is the closest thing I have to a family. That’s why I put up with the shit you do.

I am an extremely un-kidnappable person.

Unless you also have a head full of stars, you’re not.

I am going to take a little bit of a hiatus while I sort through these tapes, and I swear to god, if I come back to find out that one of you has gotten yourself into trouble with MagneVice because you wouldn’t stop poking your nose into places it doesn’t belong, I’m going to lose my fucking mind.

Here’s looking at you, VideoHomoSystem-C. Keep your shit stirring manageable while I’m gone. I’m not asking.  


You won’t hear from me for a little while, but I will be back. Nothing bad is going to happen.

I’m not going off to do anything reckless. I’m just going to go through some tapes, isolate some signals, and cool my head.

I’m not like the rest of you. It’ll be fine. I will be fine. Try not to get too anxious. Take up a hobby.

And please, for the love of god, behave.

[The ambient music fades into the next track.]

[An eerie, warbling music akin to the opening music plays, rising in volume and then slowing and quieting.]


SINKHOLE was written and produced by Kale Brown.

In order of appearance:

Starring Amy Y. as the narrator of Jacksonesque.

Starring Elias Taylor as Kennedy Jackson.

Starring Josh LeCompte as Soper Realty board member Matthew McConnaugh and Alice Kyra as Soper Realty board member Kathleen Strike.

Starring Rebecca M. as Eileen Acton and Jesse Hall as Anonymous TectoVision Employee.

Starring S.J. Ryker as NEVROS Advertisement Narrator, and Merry N., [REDACTED], and Jesse Hall as the NEVROS ad shills.

Starring Alice Kyra as the Influencer.

Starring Shay v. G. as Alan’s Neighbour.  

Starring [REDACTED] as the Poop Deck’s galley rat, DJ Pinch Roller. Music was ‘Growin Crops on the Side of a Hill’ by Sex is for Parents.

The Jirelli’s Convenience jingle features both the voice of and music composed by Amy Y.

Starring Cam Clark as Doctor Sasha Hyles and Kris Allison as Doctor Timothy Morris.

And finally, starring Merry N. as community user VideoHomoSystem-C.

Special thanks to Elias Taylor for scientific consulting. Be sure to look him up if you’d like to read his work on nuclear receptor evolution.

Additional thanks to Cory Brown, whose enthusiasm for this project was instrumental in it coming to fruition.

SINKHOLE will return for season two when it’s good and ready. Follow us on Twitter as @sinkholepodcast for more information.

Stay safe out there, and try not to fall into any holes.

[The ambient music fades into the next track.]

[An eerie, warbling music akin to the opening music plays, rising in volume and then slowing and quieting.]

Additional Content

INTRO: [A strange, rattling sound grows in volume and speed before fading into eerie, warbling music. There’s a strange crackling sound. It is suddenly cut off by a low tone.]

Hello, and welcome to the Q&A portion of our program.

[Sounds of camera shutters and the chatter of a small crowd fading in]

[Spoken from a podium in a dubious and gruff English accent like an old-timey police constable talking to the press] Yes, hello- one at a time, please- you there.

[Quick-talking 1930s reporter voice] Notable eel enthusiast Daisy McNamara here! Will there be more eel content in season 2?

[Still English, still very dubious] ‘Fraid I can’t promise that, sorry- now you.

[Imitating Pacific Obadiah’s intro on the SCP Archives Podcast] Iiiit’s Pacific! What about eels?

[No less dubiously English than before] What about them? Did- did the two of you come together? You!  

[Mostly normal for once] Crumpit here, from Twitter: Hole?

[If nothing else, this dubious accent is consistently dubious] Ah, yes- uh. Hole, indeed. You there, in the trench coat-

[Quick-talking 1930s reporter again, but higher and more manic this time] Jenny Dock-Snake, of unexplained origins. Tell me, which part of the iconic Jackson Millennium building is your favourite?

I-I’m sorry?

[Faster and more insistent] Why doesn’t anyone understand Kennedy Jackson’s innovative vision of human disergonomy?

I beg your pardon?

How could they all be so blind?

[Yeah, they’re still doing the dubious English thing] That’s enough of that. M-moving on- you look sensible.

[Mostly normal again] DustinYourEyes, also from Twitter! Is there a parallel dimension that is tormented by the inverse of the SINKHOLE, the equally-menacing FLOATHILL?

[Seething, dubious] You know we don’t talk about the FLOATHILL, Dustin. [pointing] You.

[Breathily English femme fatale voice] I might be achill3a, but I’ll never tell you. Now, does the Narrator listen to Blake Skye?

To what?

To Blake Skye: Private Eye, the author’s own origins as a voice actor, writer, and editor. Surely they must?

Well, we’re getting a bit outside of the conceit of this bit at this point- Quill, I see you back there. Come on now, lad.

[Mostly normal again] Right, this is Quill Turner, nice to see you. What’s 113’s favorite food?

[Sound effects stop abruptly]

[Speaking normally] Okay, all jokes and questionable accents and laboriously extended bits aside: hi.

I’m Kale Brown, the creator and primary voice of SINKHOLE.

Before we get into the somewhat less-silly part of the Q&A, I would like to address something:  

One of you has been paying incredibly close attention.

One of you asked me a question that I want to acknowledge because it truly rules that you’ve thought this out so thoroughly, but which I not only cannot answer, I also cannot read here because you have stumbled onto something that just might be an existing major plot point.

I think you probably know who you are, and I want you to know that I saw your question.


[An echo grows behind their voice] You know.

I know.

And this will be our little secret.

[Voice goes back to normal and ambience drops, but is still present] Okay, now that we’ve got that cryptic bullshit out of the way: moving on!

Quill Turner asked me what year it is- you can actually sort of math this out from a combination of the timeline of the Jackson Millennium Building and the Narrator’s age and familiarity with technology that would’ve been popularly used in the 90s and early 2000s, but it’s sort of… mid-2060s.

The Hole would’ve opened up mid-2020s, because… of course it would.

It would be now. It would be this decade.

Quill also asked, “Is the United States still a nation, and if yes, is it similar in makeup and global power to the United States of the early 2020s?”

This is the sort of thing I tend to actively avoid addressing, partially because it feels like tempting fate. The world is so weird these days that saying anything seems like challenging the universe to manifest it as a sort of Apollo’s gift of prophecy thing where you do a bit about Texas and Quebec separating and becoming allied sovereign states and then it becomes a thing in fucking 2025.

It’s possible that I might make references to things happening in the larger world, but I’m very unlikely to ever state anything outright- and that’s also because of how people talk.

Or, more specifically, how they don’t.

With some exceptions, these are not the things people are likely to sit around and casually exposit about.

Establishing things which would qualify as being common knowledge within the confines of purely conversational fiction is hard, because in the real world you don’t really find people going, [telephone filter] “Well, as you know, over a century after its partition from the rest of Ireland in 1920, Northern Ireland has finally separated from the United Kingdom and reunified with the republic,” [normal] unless they’re explicitly making content about that subject.

It’s just not how people talk. People tend to refer to things they consider common knowledge off-handedly, with the assumption that everyone present already knows what they’re talking about, and they’re unlikely to get into it unless somebody goes, [off to the right] “wait, what?”

So yeah. My answer is that I’m not gonna answer.

Speaking of things being treated as common knowledge until actively challenged, here’s a question from Crumpit, relating to the JMB: “Are there any other weird buildings, fiction or non, that you wanted to discuss but couldn’t find a spot for?”

Not especially, actually?

Something to understand is that the Jackson Millennium Building actually didn’t originate in SINKHOLE. It comes from an older project of mine that never actually came to fruition called Zero Tessellation, which was sort of a spiritual homage to the SCP Foundation in the form of the thing I have always found the absolute funniest about it, which is specifically the background radiation of all of these people working in spaces that are, by necessity, completely fucking demented.

Like yes, okay, cool monsters and ghoulies and vending machines, sure, whatever: but you cannot tell me that the most interesting thing about this concept is not that if Doctor Photon and Doctor Parsec want to hook up in a supply closet during their lunch break, they need to make sure the one they sneak into isn’t occupied by the resident broom-multiplying banana peel wizard of Site 69 that day.

That’s fucking incredible. Can I be real with you? That’s truly so fucking good.

The pure logistical madness of deciding to gather a slew of mind-bending objects and creatures into one place and then having to figure out how to navigate that space alongside other elements of workplace etiquette and behaviour feels so good in my busted fucking brain.

So, in its original form, the JMB was sort of this idea of a space which mirrored those needs in reality- a space that was so arcane and unintuitive to navigate that it itself kind of incidentally contributed to efforts at containment.

Big parts of the Jacksonesque documentary were ripped directly from the Zero Tessellation script because it was written to have a non-character narrator. The conversation between the Soper execs was originally a discussion between the higher-ups of a Foundation-like mystery institute about the pros and cons of buying the Jackson Millennium Building, and it ended with them coming to the conclusion that a building with a design so intensely wack that it seemed inherently anomalous was kind of a perfect disguise for actual anomalous bullshit.

Something weird happens? I dunno, man, probably just the JMB being incredibly goddamn cursed. Another day, another dollar, am I right?

There was also this element of them making this decision as people who would never actually have to work there, and how that reflected on the actual staff who had to suffer working in this hellish piece of architecture… and yeah. 

But that’s enough about that.

There are a couple questions here that I’m going to sort of roll together: Scott Paladin asked, “What’s the origin story for the podcast?” and Pacific asked, “Why sinkholes?” and the Venn diagram of my answers to those questions is almost a circle.

When I was in my twenties, there was a Wednesday.

And on that Wednesday, the street directly in front of my workplace at the time decided to… stop.

It just sort of stopped being the ground, which was not something I had previously been aware the ground could do.

Why sinkholes?

I’ll tell you why sinkholes.


A sinkhole is a bizarrely intimate sort of disaster.


Let me explain: with a tornado, that’s a weather system, that’s this huge thing utterly outside of your control that is bearing down on you like an angry god. With an earthquake, that’s a process involving movements in magnitudes larger than you could ever conceive of. These are things that are utterly beyond you.

With a sinkhole, you walked over that patch of asphalt yesterday with no idea a hole lay beneath you. The only reason you didn’t fall in is because the ground decided today was not the day it was going to become a hole.

The hole was there. It didn’t suddenly appear. It’s been there for a while now.



And that’s something I just have to live with, now. That’s just something I know and can never stop knowing.

At any time, in any place, there could be a hole.


I’m going to roll these next two questions together, too: Scott Paladin asked, “Which part of creating SINKHOLE did you enjoy the most?” and Pacific asked, “What’s your favorite part of making the show?” and the two of you should be friends, I think. Some strong same-brainitude going on here.

My favourite part of making SINKHOLE is that I can just… do whatever the fuck I want. If I want to make the audio version of a Tik-Tok, I can do that. If I want to write an Instagram influencer going “Hey babberz,” I can do that. If I want to make a shitty, completely inane tech ad that tells you nothing about the product it’s trying to sell you, I can do that.

SINKHOLE is my project, and I can do whatever the hell I feel like.

And I think that actually rolls nicely into Scott Paladin’s last question, which is, “What has surprised you the most about the response to SINKHOLE so far?”

[Sort of laughing] That there was one.

I need everyone listening to understand something: I made SINKHOLE with the full and comfortable expectation that about ten people in the world would really, really like it and everyone else would go,

[Telephone filter] “Kale, what is this? What is this, Kale? What did you do? We left you alone for like five minutes, and you made a podcast about a hole! Kale? Kale, what is this?”

[Normal] So yeah.

I truly did not see this coming.

I cannot overstate how completely this was written without any regard for a potential audience… and also how completely that will continue to be the case.

Notable and esteemed eel enthusiast Daisy McNamara asked, “Do you have any pieces of media that you would consider to have inspired SINKHOLE, or to have influenced it or your writing in general?”

I think that distinction would go to I Am In Eskew, which is one of my favourite horror podcasts- the elements of isolation in an urban environment, of both belonging and not belonging, of being unable to incorporate yourself into the place you are for reasons beyond your control: I fucking love I Am In Eskew. I think I’ve listened to it straight through three times, and it’s fairly rare for me to listen to things more than once.

It definitely had an influence on SINKHOLE, for sure.

A person who may or may not be achill3a asked, “What was your creative process like for SINKHOLE, and what advice would you give to people aspiring to make their own podcasts or other creative venture?”

I’m going to level with you, because I got into this a little bit when I was talking about Zero Tessellation: you’re allowed to recycle.

The actual process of writing SINKHOLE was ungodly fast, because when I go, I go, and you’re all powerless to stop me.

But there’s a lot of scaffolding under SINKHOLE you don’t see- I think I blew through two other podcast ideas between deciding I was going to make my own podcast back in June of 2021 and sitting down to start writing SINKHOLE in September, and even before then, I had played with the idea of scripting a podcast with stuff like Zero Tessellation and Deep Window.

There are a lot of elements to SINKHOLE that were borrowed from older projects that never went anywhere- sometimes as flagrantly as the situation with Jacksonesque in episode four.

It’s not stealing if it’s yours.

If you wrote something years ago that you still think is really cool but never found a place for, I encourage you to borrow from it shamelessly and incorporate those elements into something new. There’s nothing wrong with using labour you’ve already expended. It’s just efficient.

The idea that art has to flow seamlessly from pen to page in an unbroken stream is absolute fucking dogshit. That’s not how it works. Artists keep sketchbooks for a reason, and writers are allowed to use their old drafts the same way. You’re allowed to come back to things you’ve discarded and use them for things that are different than what you had originally intended them for.

And you’re allowed to chop and screw. Who’s going to fuckin’ stop you?

On a more technical level, Carol, or Oscilite, asked, “Are the sound effects for the Sinkhole from a library or did you create them?”

The sound effect I have been using for the Sinkhole is a piece of Creative Commons audio from freesound.org. I think all of the sounds and music I have used for SINKHOLE thus far have come from freesound. It’s an awesome resource.

Kossilar asked, “Is the main character’s condition and/or inability to access the NEV a metaphor for mental illness or neurodivergence of some kind?”

I’m going to say no, not really. The Narrator’s inability to access the NEV is fundamentally an issue of tangible disability- a big part of this narrative revolves around the way evolving technologies, while wonderful and exciting, tend to leave disabled and chronically ill people behind. They’re not designed with any real thought given to those among us who might not have the same physical resources to engage with them- and when those considerations are taken, they’re always afterthoughts, uh, additions or modifications, not elements of the original design.

There definitely are elements to the accessibility issues being discussed here that do relate to people who are neurodiverse or mentally ill, but that’s not what’s being examined with the Narrator specifically.

Notably esteemed eel enthusiast Daisy McNamara asked “will we ever find out the Analyst/113’s username or gamer tag so I can stop calling them the Analyst?” I’m so sorry, Daisy.

All I’ve done today is disappoint you.

Probably not.

There is a reason the members of the community latched on so quickly to the nickname “113” despite it being a little bit derogatory, and that’s because the Narrator’s absolutely one of those people who has a username that is an unpronounceable string of letters and numbers.

Their username is probably like, fucking, 22W6489H-50G, or- it’s something that sounds like a serial number. That’s just the sort of person they are.

They’re the sort of a person who has a different handle on every single platform they’re a part of and is also a dedicated lurker as a rule. In the canon of SINKHOLE, this is the only public forum on which they consistently post.

So no, you will likely never learn their handle because knowing it would do you no good- what you might learn, however, is their actual name.

They do have one of those, and it is pronounceable with your human mouth. No guarantees if you’re an eel.

Gaz asked, “Does the Sink have a tangible presence outside of distorted recordings and radiation? If so, can you feel a shift in atmosphere as you get closer? Does one smell ozone, feel a tingle or hear a barely perceptible buzz?”

This is a bit tangential and I promise I will get to your actual question, so bear with me for a second.

The Sinkhole is not under a dome because it’s radioactive. It’s not radioactive, at least not in any traditionally recognized sense. This is not a Chernobyl situation. If it was, nobody would live in the Sink. It would be an exclusion zone.  

The Sinkhole is under a dome because it produces an apparently sourceless light which does something incredibly bizarre to organic tissue: it creates a sort of… spatial duality wherein the affected tissue is present and behaving exactly as intended, but present and visible as well is this hole in reality that anyone but the afflicted person can just reach into as though the original tissue simply wasn’t there.

It gives you asterikoiloptosis. It makes you sunk.

Back to your question.

To actually talk about what it is that people experience when approaching the Sinkhole, we first need to talk about the fundamentally subjective nature of experience, because that’s very, very important to understanding the way the world of SINKHOLE works.

A true thing I can tell you is that not everyone responds to being near the Hole the same way, and also that it is impossible to know not only what that means, but if it means anything at all.  

Let’s do a hypothetical: if a study were to indicate that people who live near active volcanoes report experiencing tinnitus at a statistically higher rate than the average, that would sound pretty mysterious.

But it wouldn’t necessarily mean the volcanoes were doing anything other than being volcanoes and being present.  

It’s always possible that something like that could turn out to be purely circumstantial. That’s not a non-option.

It’s also possible that there could be socioeconomic factors at work which have had a hand in determining who ends up living close to a volcano, and that’s something with an established relationship to stress. Chronic financial insecurity is strongly linked to chronic stress. Being poor is stressful. That’s a thing we know both scientifically and intuitively.  

It’s also very possible that living near an active volcano is just stressful.

I keep talking about stress because stress is something we know can trigger tinnitus.

So, on its face, saying, “All these people who live near active volcanoes regularly experience a mysterious ringing in their ears” sounds… almost mystical. It sounds like something out of a cosmic horror plotline- some elder god singing beneath the molten stone.

But if you were to hand that data to a medical researcher, they wouldn’t even blink. They’d just start cross-referencing it with other studies to see if it fit within a larger pattern.

And that’s because a lot of things that feel significant to us do end up being part of a larger pattern, but the way they turn out to have been significant is both really complicated and impossible to prove in a way that would satisfy most people.

We understand the idea of something being cursed or haunted. We do not always understand the incredibly complex multitude of factors that go into a specific population in a specific space experiencing something specific and unusual.

And that also matters, because if you move into the shadow of the mountain believing that mountain is haunted, and if you are someone who believes in ghosts, that superstition and that belief also have the potential to become a source of stress for you.

It compounds.


Consider for a moment just how poorly the Sinkhole is understood.

Do people feel a shift in atmosphere? Do they smell ozone? Feel a tingle? Hear a buzz?

Almost certainly yes, and more besides.

But it is literally impossible to know to what degree any of that is the result of the Sinkhole actually doing something rather than the result of the Sinkhole being present and perceptible and the source of a lot of superstitious belief. It might be something it does. It might also be something people do to themselves as a result of being people who are near something they know is weird.

So, I guess my answer to that is, “yes, but not in a way you could reasonably include in any research about the behaviour of the Hole itself.”

Sir Not Appearing in This Podcast asked, “In universe, are there any overlaps between the Sinkhole recording enthusiasts and other hobbies?”

Oh, for sure. Both the sinkhole tapes and the Sinkhole itself are attractive to certain kinds of creativity- you absolutely are getting people who are making weird noise music using recordings of the Hole and people cutting together surreal bits of media from sinkhole tapes, that’s for sure a thing.

Otherwise, I think elements of the environment surrounding the Sinkhole have gradually attained a certain level of popularity in indie horror media- there are a lot of empty buildings in the innermost ring of the Sink, the auditory landscape of the area is super weird and eerie, asterikoiloptosis is deeply bizarre and kind of existentially upsetting.

I think the Sinkhole left a mark on horror media in-universe that is very identifiable if you know it’s there.   

Kossilar asked, “Which tabletop roleplaying game would you choose to run or play a game in the world of Sinkhole?”

I do not fucking know.

If you know me, you know I am infamous for my debilitating inability to read rules and retain any meaningful information from them.

What that means is I haven’t had a lot of chances to play a lot of different games, and if I haven’t played it or watched or heard someone else play it, I have absolutely no concept of how that system actually functions.

So… I don’t know, but I think it would be very cool to see what other people did with that idea.

Final question here: Carol, or Oscilite, asked, “Are there any plans for more merch?”

I am still comprehending the fact that people not only want merch, but started asking me for merch by like… episode three.

If you didn’t know that SINKHOLE merch existed before this moment, that makes sense because the only time I bring it up is when people ask. [laughs] If you want merch, there is a link on the Official Art tab of the website that will bring you there.

In terms of having other merch designs, I have thought about it, but not with any particular focus or intent. It was never really in my plan to have merch in the first place, so if there are things people want very badly, I’m open to suggestions. Yell at me on Twitter about them and I’ll think about it.

The only thing I’ve been seriously considering making is a design for a t-shirt that reads, [telephone filter] “Update: it’s all trains” because Shay’s reading of that line consistently makes me laugh.

Alright, with all the questions out of the way: a very warm welcome to everyone who came here from the single Reddit post that constitutes the entirety of my promotional efforts for this podcast. Hello!

And an equally warm but significantly more startled welcome to everyone who came here from the SCP Archives podcast, which Pacific was kind enough to shout out SINKHOLE on. Thank you, Pacific.

I did not have the chance to listen to that episode until two days after it’s release, so I did spend the first forty-eight hours of that experience completely at a loss. [laughing]

Hi! Welcome!

In more general news: at this point, season two has been entirely scripted, all episode art is done, all parts have been cast, and I am moving forward into the recording and editing stage. Not sure how long that’ll take, but I’m generally pretty good about keeping folks updated over on the sinkholepodcast Twitter.

If you’d like some suggestions on things to listen to in the interim, there are a couple I would love for you to check out and give a try if they sound like they might be your thing.

The first was mentioned earlier in the goof portion of this program: Blake Skye: Private Eye is a self-aware cosmic noir podcast about a down-on-his-luck freelance detective in the ambiguous 1930s who takes on a simple job investigating the cheating husband of a wealthy woman only to discover that it is nothing but a loose thread at the edge of a much larger conspiracy. It’s a very loving but un-self-serious homage to noir as a genre, and it’s really blossomed and come into its own throughout the course of the first and second seasons.

Also, if you want to hear my debut as a voice actor, you have to stick around until at least episode six.

If something you really like about SINKHOLE is that element of a cohesive world in which the rules and behaviours of the people involved make intuitive sense, another thing to check out would be Breathing Space, Fading Frontier. It’s a sort of Western-flavoured science-fiction anthology podcast taking place within the confines of our solar system- it has a very similar vibe of “everything changes except people,” and unfortunately for our good friend Premier Anatoly Cherdenko (better recognized as Tim Curry) space is not the one place [dubious Russian accent] that hasn’t been corrupted by capitalism.

Despite being an anthology, the world in which Breathing Space operates is so consistent that it doesn’t feel like an anthology, if that makes sense. It’s very good, uh, and also you will be hearing both my voice acting and my audio editing work in upcoming episodes of season two.

As a bonus: if you thought my little rant earlier about what I love about the SCP Foundation as a concept sounded fun, maybe check out the Foundation After Midnight Radio Podcast. I’m not involved with that one, it’s just a very fun and tongue-in-cheek little comedy presented as the broadcasts of this Foundation-wide internal radio program. It doesn’t take itself seriously at all, it’s just a good time.

I think that’s everything- and with that, I will see you in season two.

Stay safe, and try not to fall into any holes.

[The ambient music fades into the next track.]

[An eerie, warbling music akin to the opening music plays, rising in volume and then slowing and quieting.]