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Sometime in late 2008 a botanist named Dr Emerald Ollander set out on an expedition to a remote jungle. At that time, the jungle was still totally unexplored, although it was strongly believed to harbour a plethora of plant species unknown to science. As an expert at the top of a highly competitive field, Dr Ollander elected to take the trip alone, against the advice of many of her colleagues. As it so happened, the botanist’s colleagues were right to be concerned, because Dr Ollander never returned from her trip. Many months after she left her basecamp to go on the solo expedition, she was declared missing, presumed dead.
Around 5 years later, a team of biologists set out on their own expedition to the region. In part, this was to follow in Dr Ollander’s footsteps and discover what new species might lie in that remote jungle, but many were also keen to find out what could have happened to the enigmatic young scientist who disappeared under such mysterious circumstances.
Relatively soon into their expedition, the team of biologists discovered a video camcorder bundled up inside the shredded remains of what looked like women’s clothing. The bundle had been placed on top of a very distinctive log, clearly with the intention that it would be one day discovered. Stored on the camera, the biologists found eleven short video recordings. What follows is a transcription of those recordings.
Hello… testing? Testing? Right… Okay. Hello, this is Dr Emerald Ollander of MIT. This is Day 1 of my expedition. As requested by my superiors, this will be the first entry in my video diary. I am to do one of these every day apparently… So, uh… Well, I have not had time to do anything yet, I am still trying to get my camp set up. But, first impressions on the hike up, I have to say I am extremely impressed. The flora here is unlike anything I have ever witnessed in my career. I think there are more new species of Heliconia just around my camp than I have observed in ten expeditions to the Amazon. So, I am eager to get started on cataloguing everything here… So that’s it. Goodbye.
Dr Emerald Ollander, Day 2. Camp is set up. I spent the day exploring an hour’s hike around my camp. Very few fauna, which is unusual for an area with such rich diversity of plant life. I have seen only a few large birds up in the canopy and some extremely large insects, all of which seem to feed exclusively on the plant life around me.
There seems to be several interesting varieties of flowering tree in the vicinity of my camp. I am unclear as to the identities of most of these trees, but many of them are bearing fruit. They fill the air all around here with an incredibly intense aroma. I can only guess that there is some kind of evolutionary competition between the flora here which has caused them to greatly increase the potency of their fruit. I will continue to document the new species I find, though I have a considerable amount of work ahead of me. It is unclear at present if the species I have found here are totally new to science or not, but given that almost everything here is unfamiliar to me, I am certain many discoveries will come from this expedition. Much more work to be done! Emerald out.
Dr Ollander here. I have continued to document the region surrounding my camp. After cataloguing most of the trees and larger plants I can see, I am now finding that this part of the jungle is left only with huge numbers of orchids. I suspect many of these will be highly sought after, but I am no true expert on orchids so I have decided it best to move on to a new location. I recall that on my journey up here I passed through a region that was only partially forested. I believe there was a much larger number of flowering trees there. Given that this is my primary research focus, I have decided that this location will be the optimal choice for the next few days. I have disassembled my camp and plan to move there this afternoon. I will report back once I have set up my new camp.
[a long pause at the beginning of recording] Emerald here… I… well let’s say this expedition has taken something of a… turn for the worse. I was walking back towards to the area where I had seen the flowering trees, but to get there one has to cross a very precarious ridge. The jungle in that area was very dense, and left only a small section close to the cliff edge traversable… [sighs] Anyway, I decided to walk this route but… well the surface was extremely slippery from a recent rainfall and at some point I must have slipped on a rock because I lost balance and nearly fell over the cliff. Fortunately I managed to stabilise myself on a rock but the sudden change in momentum caused my backpack to come loose and fall down into the ravine below… [long pause] The only things I have with me now are whatever was in the satchel that was hanging over my shoulder. That includes this camera and not much else… [recording falls silent for one minute]
I… I’m not sure what I will do now. I have no Kartal escort provisions. At all. It’s all gone. I believe that if I set off for basecamp right now I will perhaps be able to make it there in a day and a half. But… I am conflicted. Other than this minor hiccup, the expedition has been a resounding success. I did eventually arrive at my desired destination, and as I suspected, this area is positively bursting with new varieties of flowering trees, vines, and bushes… all of which are bearing fruit as I speak. I… I know I am forsaking my very training as a botanist by proposing this, but if some of these fruits are edible then there will be more than enough here to sustain me, perhaps even for months. I cannot squander this opportunity. Some of the trees in this part of the world have evolved to only flower and produce fruit irregularly, so as to avoid overgrowth. Who knows if I will have this chance again…So… well, I have decided. Once I am set up here, I will begin to try and document what I have found. I will report back in due course.
Dr Emerald Ollander here again. This is day 5 of my expedition. I am feeling extremely weak this morning. I have not eaten anything since yesterday before I lost my provisions. To my great disappointment, I have discovered that almost all of the fruits I had hoped would sustain me are inedibly fibrous and foul-smelling. I am able to use rainwater for hydration for now, but… I fear that this decision of mine to remain here was a mistake. I did eventually discover a few specimens that may be promising candidates, but it is far too late. If these final options fail me too, then returning to basecamp will no longer be an option… [long pause, faint sounds of sobbing are audible in the recording]
[long sigh] Well. Pressing on. I am now going to try and determine if these final specimens are edible or not. After inspecting many of the plants around here, I eventually settled upon three that look the most familiar from the outside. I believe this first one to be the most promising of the three. It is a fruit, around the size of my fist, with a hard exterior. Inside the fruit, one can find soft, fragrant pulp as well as a large number of hard black seeds. I collected it from a vine, with a similar appearance to a Passiflora, which leads me to believe that this fruit is likely to be a form of what we would refer to as passion fruit.
Anyway, I will attempt to sample a few seeds and some of the pulp now… [sound of slurping] Mmm… Okay… Yes, it is remarkably like an uncultivated passion fruit… indeed. Okay this is promising… so far it seems rather nice… Oh. No… Sorry… Hmmm… oh dear… I seem to be having some kind of… chest pain… or… heart palpitations or… Hngh…something… [gasping for breath followed by a long silence]
…Interesting. I am not certain if that was the fruit itself or simply the fact I am eating a foreign body on an empty stomach… It seems that whatever I was experiencing though has subsided. I will wait fifteen minutes now, check if I have any further negative side effects, and then report back. [fifteen minutes of silence]
…Hello. I am back. I have had no further bowl discomfort or pain, which is positive. However, if I come close to the camera, you can see that I have experienced some swelling around my chest. I initially suspected that this could be some kind of allergic reaction, though on reflection it is like no allergic reaction I have ever seen. It seems to have only affected my breasts, which have both swollen in size quite considerably. I will continue to monitor for further symptoms, however I fear that if I do not eat soon the situation will become quite dire for me. Regrettably, I am at risk of compounding my side effects if I sample another specimen now, so I will try to last as long as I can before proceeding. I will report back soon.
Emerald here again. This is still day 5. I have waited now for 6 hours, in the hopes that the swelling would subside. However both my breasts still seem to be inflamed, with no signs of recession. Strangely though, I am not experiencing any pain or discomfort around the chest area, and the skin and interior of breasts themselves feel totally normal. It really only seems to be that they have swollen to around twice the size of normal…
Unfortunately, I am growing extremely weak, and am experiencing severe dizziness from the hunger. Therefore, I feel I have no other option but to press on and continue to try and eat. I will now move on to this specimen here. I collected this from a low-lying bush. It is a small unassuming fruit that is similar to a physalis, or groundcherry. It is surrounded by a husk that does not seem to be edible, however the interior is quite tender. I will now sample, and report back…
[sound of chewing] Mmm… Yes, it is not distasteful at all… It has a very mild astringency that–Unnghhhh… Oh… I am experiencing some mild discomfort again… It is… Ugh… rather an unusual… sensation… Kurtköy Escort not wholly displeasurable in fact…but… it feels as though… something is pulling at my skin… I can feel it throughout my entire body… this… [sound of deep gasping for air can be heard]… goodness me. That was… I cannot really describe that sensation very easily. It was… well unlike anything I have ever experienced. I can only surmise that some chemical compound present in the fruit was able to instantly affect my nervous or endocrine system in some way. I could sense extreme tension throughout my entire body almost as soon as I ingested it. I will continue to monitor for symptoms and report back. [fifteen minutes of silence other than the muffled sound of heavy breathing]
I am back. I… I am rather lost for words. I believe that I am experiencing some kind of intense hallucination, brought on by what I just ingested. I will try to describe what I am seeing now, so that I can check the footage back later… It is quite curious in fact. It feels as though my entire body has become much, much larger. I feel as though my legs have elongated considerably. When I look down I can see that my shorts, which were once knee-height, are now very very tight around my upper thigh. My buttocks and hips seem to have widened substantially as well, and my tank top is now extremely tight around my chest and too short to even cover my navel… Hmmm. I have to say the hallucinations are quite intense and almost unmistakable. But yet, otherwise I feel entirely lucid… It is most bizarre. [a further 5 minutes of silence, punctuated by the sound of footsteps]
[slightly muffled]…but then again… it is difficult to understand how I could be hallucinating this because… well, this new height I am experiencing seems to be quite real. I am able to reach up to vines over here that I was sure were well out of reach… I lack any tools to accurately measure myself, but by comparing with nearby reference points that were at head height previously, I would estimate that if the height I am experiencing were true, it would correspond to around 9 or 10 feet tall. That is evidently outlandish, hence why this must be a hallucination…
Back to the matter at hand, I am fortunate in that I have been afforded some time–I am still experiencing some kind of rush of adrenaline as a side-effect to ingesting the fruit. So far this is assisting me in staving off hunger. I will attempt to sleep off these side-effects and report back in the morning.
Dr Ollander here again… I am becoming rather concerned. I have spent all morning monitoring for symptoms, measuring and re-measuring my body with the use of the nearby trees… I even looked over the footage from yesterday and… well I have no further explanations to the contrary: the effects of the fruits on my body seem to be real, and they also seem to be lasting. I still cannot rule out a bout of psychosis brought on by my extreme hunger, but if what I am experiencing and also seeing back through the video footage is true, then I have grown at least 4 feet in height and my breasts have remained swollen at twice their normal size. I am hesitant to try more of those two previous samples I collected, in case these side effects could become more severe… So I will instead try a third sample, this time a large nut. It has a hard and shiny exterior, resembling a chestnut, but with a pleasant aroma which suggests that it may be digestible in its raw form.
I will attempt to try some now… [sound of crunching] Mmm… yes it is extremely hard to the teeth, and slightly bitter… I think… Oh goodness…. No… Not again… Hnngghhh… I am experiencing a similar sensation to before, only… Hnghh… now it seems to be concentrated in my arms and legs… and also around my abdomen… Ugh… my body is tensing up a great deal… and my muscles seem to be exerting themselves involuntarily… I hope… Hnghhh… this will pass soon…. [sound of deep breathing for several minutes]
Wow… Okay… Uh, again, a very similar experience. Not wholly uncomfortable, but certainly very peculiar. I will now wait another fifteen min–hold on. Uh… I think I am seeing further changes to my body…. How curious… My arms have swollen a great deal it seems. Oh… my god. Yes, this is quite alarming. They are… oh dear, they have become extremely firm to the touch as well… and… yes… well that’s very odd. From the shape of them, it almost appears as though they have acquired muscle tissue that was not there previously. Certainly when I flex and move my arms all the fibres beneath my skin behave just like muscle. And… yes… my legs too, they are extremely bulky all of a sudden, but the skin around them is taught… If indeed this is muscle tissue, then I have not seen muscularity to this extent on the female body before… oh and my abdomen… I have… I am not able to explain this… but my abdominal muscles have suddenly become very large and pronounced… I… that should not be Pendik Escort possible… I think this will take some further analysis… [five minutes of silence]
Hello. Dr Ollander here. I am back. It has been five minutes and the swelling of my body has refused to subside. Though this should not be biologically possible, on the face of it at least, my body gives the appearance of having gained an extremely large amount of muscle tissue in a matter of minutes. These hard lumps you can see have emerged across my body all seem to be in the correct places, yet I have no reasonable explanation as to how they grew. I have tried to explain this away as yet another hallucination, but it seems that this time it is even clearer that this is not what is happening to me. The muscle tissue seems to not just be real but is quite functional as well. I attempted to rip a strong, heavy branch off of a nearby tree and managed it with almost no effort whatsoever. [long pause in the recording]
Given that the side effects of all of the foods I have tried so far seem to be genuine, and also long-lasting, I have to conclude that all of this really is occurring, and not a figment of my hunger-addled mind. I will report back tomorrow when I have decided what to do about this.
Dr Emerald Ollander here. I am still experiencing the effects of the three specimens I sampled. As you can plainly see my breast swelling has not subsided, I still appear to be extremely tall, and now my arms and legs are also very very large, with unnatural levels of muscularity. I am still very confused as to how such small samples of these fruiting bodies could cause such a rapid and drastic effect on the human body, but I will attempt an experiment to try to understand this further…
I plan to consume a small amount of all three of the specimens at once. I hope that if these are merely psychoactive, then the three will interfere with one another and I will experience something new. However… and I feel foolish to even suggest this… if somehow, my breasts swell, I grow taller, and my muscles grow all at the same time, then I will know that these side effects are real.
So I will now try the three fruits at once… [sound of eating and chewing] Mmm. Okay… so far I feel nothing… I just feel them travelling down my oesophagus and… Oh… Oh goodness me… No… this is… this is much more intense than… Ugh… Anything I have…Nnnghhh… experienced so far… this is becoming concerning… Ughhh… I can feel it… Oh goodness….Yes… I-I can see that I’m rising further from the ground… Yes… Yes! It’s unmistakable now… Hnnnghhhh… I’m growing… yes I’m definitely growing… Ughh my chest… it’s becoming heavier… but my arms… they feel so much… Ughhhh stronger…. Oh… No! Argh! [sound of fabric tearing followed by sudden end to recording]
Emerald here. I am back… I… well you will have to excuse my appearance. I hope that this recording–if it is ever watched back in a public setting–can be censored in some way. I have no other clothes with me I am afraid… As far as I can see, my hypothesis indeed seems to be correct. Let me describe the changes I have experienced.
Firstly I have noticed some abnormal growth of my bosom again. I estimate that it is now around 5 times the previous size. I am struggling to keep what remains of my tank top from revealing my dignity. This final shred is just about able to cover my nipples, but it is hanging on by not much more than threads now. Of course this is also made much more difficult by the expansion of my entire torso. I feel much, much broader in the shoulders and chest now thanks to the appearance of additional quantities of muscle all across my upper body. My arms and legs are also rather substantial in width. As you can see my biceps and triceps are bulging so prominently now that I am finding it a challenge to even lay my arms flush against my body.
Finally, perhaps this will not come across easily over camera but I have also grown considerably in height. I suspect that I have gained at least another 6 feet or so, given how far I can reach up on this tree compared to before. If my estimation is correct, I am now probably three times my previous height of 5’8”. I have placed the camera on high branch, which is why my lower body is out of frame. The growth of my hips and buttocks destroyed my shorts almost totally, so I fear that I am now fully naked but for this last shred of my tank top. [deep sigh]
All this is to conclude that my original hypothesis has borne out. I believe what I have discovered here are some quite remarkable substances… I will weigh up my options now, as I am unsure of where to go from here. I will report my decision in the next entry.
Emerald here again. Since confirming the extreme growth effects of the fruiting bodies yesterday, I have deliberated about what to do with this information. I must clarify that I am well aware that continuing to ingest these fruits is unwise–it is not clear at present whether the side effects would become less severe with further consumption. However, I am finding that my ravenous hunger is beginning to cloud my mind somewhat… I really… I really must eat something else soon or… I… [brief silence]
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