Campus conspiracy revealed in Room 856

The following was found in an unmarked envelope left under the door of The Oakland Post. This document is believed to be a personal account of the last known whereabouts of former Mouthing Off Editor, Rory McCarty.

The Oakland Post would like to reiterate that the opinions expressed herein are not necessarily those of The Oakland Post staff.

January 3

Last year, The Oakland Post stumbled across a conspiracy in our midst. While researching an investigative piece, Post editors discovered an oddity. On the eighth floor of the Science and Engineering Building tower, there is a room 855 and a room 857, with nothing between them.

What happened to that missing room? Was it removed? Obscured? Or has it been purposefully hidden?

What started as an oddity began to unravel as we looked into it. I took it upon myself to uncover the mystery behind the missing room, Room 856. I took it upon myself to delve deeper into the mystery and unearth some answers.

January 4

The next day, a brisk walk across campus troubled my soul further as I began noticing some curious idiosyncrasies.

My internal radar for such strangeness was pinging as I took note of one weird thing after another.

There were satellites on rooftops I had never noticed before. The entrance to what I could only assume was an intricate tunnel system beneath the campus. And I never did fully understand what all that construction was for … It was all adding up.

It all seemed a little too coincidental. The mystery of Room 856 may be more widespread than I initially feared.

January 5

To begin my investigation, I spent the afternoon slamming myself into each of the walls of the eighth floor of SEB, figuring that maybe they had a sort of “Platform Nine and Three Quarters” deal going on. But no luck.

I can’t go to the administration for help with this, obviously. In my experience, when there is a conspiracy, the regional governing body is always, always central to the cover-up.

I mean, come on. That’s like Conspiracy 101.

January 6

I decided to go to the library to put in a little research. I was shocked to discover that section 856 of the Dewey Decimal system pertains to “Italian letters.”

Italy. Of course!

I promptly spent hours reading through the stacks, made more difficult by the fact that I don’t know any Italian. But I did manage to get one cryptic message from Google Translate: “The delegates home will knock us down if we are injured by car. Don’t follow the balls when they make the street.”

Could this be yet another layer of the cipher that needs to re-decoded? Or should I take it literally, meaning that politicians are using organized vehicular manslaughter to control the populace?

January 7

I cornered managing editor Mike Sandula in the hall this morning. I thought with his Italian heritage, he might be able to shed some light on the 856 situation.

He was predictably evasive, responding to my questions dismissively with stuff like, “Ahhh,” and “Stop shaking me.”

January 8

I realized that finding out about Room 856 was going to require actually getting to Room 856. That was only going to happen by working backwards from my goal, so I went to the Rec Center and asked for a tour. Studio 897 is the only numbered room in the Rec Center. There must be a connection between it and Room 856.

When we reached Studio 897, I dove behind a Pilates ball and hid until my tour guide walked away, no doubt mystified by my sudden escape. I was on a stakeout for any clues that could lead me to another thread of the conspiracy.

I was awoke hours later by the instructor for the nighttime aerobics class. She said I had been passed out on a pile of workout mats and asked me to leave.

I was making my actions too obvious.

Now, I’ve been on my fair share of stakeouts, and rarely have I passed out. No doubt something I ate earlier was drugged. Whoever’s responsible for this is getting sloppy. Their increasingly desperate attempts at a cover up have unwittingly lead me to the next piece of the puzzle: Chartwells.

January 10

I usually feel sleepy after eating the chicken parmesan stromboli in the food court, but nothing quite like this. There was something in that food keeping the general populace in the dark. Something that makes us complacent. Something that makes us not question the baffling stuff that happens all around us. To hell with subtlety, I thought. I need to get this out in the open.

I stood in Pioneer Food Court, staring at the soup counter, sizing it up. Italian wedding soup, I realized, was the obvious culprit. A clerk came over to ask me if I needed any help.

“No, I can get it,” I replied as I overturned a barrel of the stuff on the ground and began sifting through it a fistful at a time. Even now I’m sure it had to be in there, some kind of opiate chemical. As I slipped on the drug-laden soup while fighting off a couple of chefs no doubt strung out on the stuff, I could swear I saw the synthesized psychotropic in the puddle, clear as day. Or maybe it was parsley. Definitely parsley or a synthesized psychotropic.

January 11

I write this from a holding room at the OUPD. If the librarians, aerobics instructors and fry cooks can’t be trusted, then I have no doubt the university police are instrumental in keeping the whole situation under wraps.

I don’t know what’s going to happen to me next. I expect I will be made to “disappear” the same way that Room 856 disappeared. I’m going to keep on writing this as long as I can in hopes that someone will eventually find my notes and take up the same cause.

This is the end of Rory McCarty’s journal. It is unclear what happened to McCarty after the events documented here. Some people believe he was escorted off campus grounds by OUPD and instructed to not return. Some say his doctors adjusted his medication and he’s doing much better now. Still, others have said that he has been trapped inside the mystery he sought to reveal, another victim of a cover-up, a prisoner of Room 856.

If you have information that may be related to these events, give us a ring.