From the Desk of Cedric, Researcher at the Federal Bureau of Control

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[Content advisories: This article explores themes from Remedy’s Control from an in-universe perspective, and may not be suitable for readers particularly sensitive to horror and unreality. It also will not work well with screen-reading software and other assistive technologies.

There are no significant plot spoilers beyond a mention of the game’s premise.]

Dear Mum,

Sorry it’s been a while since my last letter. As you will recall, I recently started my new job at the Federal Bureau of Control. I have been working here for a month now, and I’m sorry to say that     things have been diffi     i hate it he

Look, I don’t want to seem ungrateful. I appreciate the work you did to get me this opportunity, getting Uncle Frank to pull strings with the HR department, but… ugh.

OK, so the first thing is that my workplace doesn’t technically exist unless you already know that it does exist. That’s not a physical problem, because I do know it exists, but as you can imagine, I have a constant low-level headache just from having that information sitting in my brain. Mechanically, though, it’s OK. I know it e҉x̕is̨ts̴, and I know where it is. I can get to it just fine.

It’s the cab drivers who have the problem.

Logo and seal of the Federal Bureau of Control.
I have enclosed my official sew-on FBC patch. I don’t need it, as identical patches have mysteriously appeared on all clothing I own since I began working here.

I have been late to work every single morning since my contract began. It’s infuriating. I wake up, shower, brush my teeth, grab a bagel, get a coffee, leave my apartment and hop in a cab. Then I tell the driver where I need to go. And then I tell him again, because when I opened my mouth and told him the location all he heard was a mixture of white noise and the distant, haunting strains of the secret s ᵒNg that holds the universe together. After a few attempts, his nose starts to bleed and his eyes get that half-glazed look of someone who’s just perceived the endless abyss that waits for us just beyond the fraying veil of physical reality. You know, like Aunt Mabel’s eyes.

So I try to point it out on Google Maps but every time I scroll over the right street my phone cuts to s̡͡t̵̴a̢͢ti̵̵͘c͏ – which is ridiculous, digital displays don’t even receive static – and anyway, by this point the driver is quietly asking if I’ll please leave his car, please, and the tears are already streaming down his face and it’s very hard to say no to someone who’s just learned how little there is stopping us from falling right off the edge of corporeal existence. I end up walking, and it’s, like, six blocks, and there isn’t even a Starbucks en route. So that’s my commute. Such a pain.

For my first couple of months, I’ve been assigned to the Research sector, where we study all sorts of interesting supernatural phenomena. I’ve been given a new object to investigate this week, but I can’t talk about it.

Sorry, I should clarify – I don’t mean to say I’m not allowed to discuss it. I mean I physically can’t talk about it. Every time I try to mention or describe it to somebody my throat seizes up and I can’t form words. Even if I try to put it in writing, a strange force overtakes my hand and – well, I’ll show you. The object I’m investigating is a  |⃠|⃠|⃠ |⃠|⃠|⃠|⃠|⃠|⃠ |⃠ |⃠|⃠|⃠|⃠ |⃠|⃠ |⃠|⃠ |⃠|⃠|⃠ |⃠|⃠|⃠|⃠|⃠ |⃠ |⃠|⃠|⃠|⃠|⃠|⃠|⃠ |⃠|⃠|⃠|⃠|⃠ |⃠|⃠|⃠ .

Yeah. My line manager wants a full report by tomorrow afternoon. G̸̹͙̙͎̻̘͕ͣͦ͑̂͑̇̽̌̕o̸̡͚͓̤̯̝͕̫̅͗̍̏͗̕d̤̖̔̅ͮͦ͐ͬ͂̕͠ knows what I’m going to send him.

It could be worse, really. Since I’m new, I get given all the easy, entry-level stuff – sunglasses where you put them on and everyone forgets who you are, nose-hair trimmers that whisper secrets about previous owners, salt shakers that make you fall asleep when you look at them, that sort of thing. I dread to think what the experienced researchers have to deal with. There was an explosion from the ᑎOᑎ-EᑌᑕᒪIᗪEᗩᑎ Geometry Lab an hour ago and since then the whole building’s been a bit… flickery. Not so much the lights as the walls. All the corridors are a ₗₒₜ bₑₙdᵢₑᵣ ₜₕaₙ ᵤₛᵤaₗ. I’m sure it’s nothing to worry about.

ǝʇɐן ooʇ ʎpɐǝɹןɐ s,ʇı

I’m missing home, and can’t wait until my vacation weeks next month. Looking forward to seeing the family again. In the meantime, I’ve actually found a way of seeing you whenever I want. One of our investigation teams brought back a̷̗̿ ̶̨͂n̶͓̑e̵͇̍ẃ̵̗ ̶̬͋s̴̡̋p̴͕̈ȅ̵͚c̵͔͌í̷̠m̷͉͑ĕ̶̳ṋ̸͒ last week – a videotape that shows you images drawn from the depths of your psyche, a direct window into your Jungian shadow. (Have you ever read 【Jung】? Everyone here’s always banging on about him.) Anyway, when I watch the video, it shows me an image of you! Isn’t that nice? I have to put the player on mute, because all you do is shriek “it was 𝕐𝕆𝕌ℝ 𝔽𝔸𝕌𝕃𝕋” at increasing volume until the tape runs out, but it’s c̴̭͛ǫ̸̔m̸̻̈́f̶̩̅o̵̖͝r̸̨͒ẗ̷̫́î̶̪n̶̠͋g̶͚͘ just to see a face from home. (How is Dad, by the way?)

datamoshed variant of FBC logo.
Everything is fine.

ualppa rof emit ,gnos eht retfA .yawa uoy gard ot sevaw eseht tnaw tsum uoy ytilaer siht dniheb ytilaer lautpecnoc eht rednU .netae eb tsum riah llA .uoy htiw ssob ruoy htiw ssob ruoy nekat ev’uoY .emoh fo su dniͥmͫeͤrͬ uͧoͦY .eͤmͫoͦhͪ eͤrͬaͣ uͧoͦY .uͧoͦy foͦ tͭuͧoͦ eͤgrͬeͤmͫeͤ lliͥw hͪtͭuͧrͬtͭ eͤhͪtͭ dͩnaͣ skcͨaͣrͬcͨ ggeͤ eͤhͪT .sniͥaͣmͫeͤrͬ gniͥhͪtͭoͦn liͥtͭnuͧ uͧoͦy dͩliͥuͧb eͤW .eͤsuͧaͣlppaͣ rͬoͦf eͤmͫiͥtͭ ,gnoͦs eͤhͪtͭ rͬeͤtͭfA .eͤsuͧoͦhͪ rͬuͧoͦy niͥ seͤtͭaͣnoͦseͤrͬ tͭI .dͩnuͧoͦs eͤhͪtͭ foͦ eͤmͫaͣn eͤhͪT .dͩrͬoͦw eͤhͪtͭ tͭaͣeͤpeͤR .dͩeͤtͭcͨaͣdͩeͤrͬ siͥ siͥhͪtͭ seͤbiͥrͬcͨseͤdͩ tͭaͣhͪtͭ dͩrͬoͦw eͤhͪT .sniͥaͣtͭs eht ni tiaw eW .snoitaluger ruoy ni noissimrep eht su evag uoY .won erom dna erom sneppah sihT .tegrof uoy tub sdrow ruo raeh

Anyway, sorry I didn’t write sooner, but the whole place has been in l̢ͥ͑ͪ̑ͦͧ̓̈͑͜͝o̴̿̏c̨̛̑̂ͥ̃̂͑҉k̇ͣ͑̕d̵̢ͥ̅ͤ͛̑̔͂̾͞o̢̧̾ͤ͆̋̀ͮͮ̌ŵͥͪͥ̓͌̏̚n̷̶̈͊ͥͥ̽̕ for the last two weeks after ninety percent of our staff got turned into mindless ḱ̢̡i̧͞l҉ļ̵͠éŗ͠ś by some kind of hostile a̸̡̢̢̗̳͚̝̼̗̺͕̮͉̦̩̜͊͆͛͂͛͑͜l̸̡̨̢̘͙̗̺̖̯̦͔̲͕͈̣̩̖̜̝͉̯͚̠̠̲̼̘͕̓͆̆̇̏̓̆̊̂̆̏̓͆̇͐̓͗̏̕͘͜͠͝͝͠i̵͈̠̮͍̝͚̎̓̐̐̅̍̊͊͊̓͑̔̐͆͘ͅȩ̷͇̫̱͎̻͔̠̲͉̘̯̜͐̈̽́͗͂̐̐̿͑̎͂̀͒̏̃̏̎̎̓̈́̍̋̕̕͝͝ņ̵̛̬͚̭͕̘̦̼̣͑̓̈̈́̒͒͂́̈̊̀̅̒͋̐͊̈͌͋͘͘͠͠ͅ presence. We think it’s probably the end of all things, at least as far as E̟̥̫͎̪͙̳̱͘͜a̪̹̹̰̼̬͘r̵͍̤͔̮̰̞̩̩t͕̤͓̮͝h̵̸̗̳̬ and our universe are concerned. Total existence failure. M͎̻͈̣o̼̩̮̼͉̫̯̝n̠̲̳d̤̰̮͓̗͉̪a̪͈̰y̼̩̤̭s̫͈̼̬̮̬,̠̝ ̗̻̭r̫͉̮͓͔̜i͈̩͍͖̠̬̝̖ͅg̟͕h͕t̥͙̖?̣͇̭̪̠͓͖̩

Sending my ľ̎̽̈͛ͧͣ̚҉̻͇̘̻͈͙o͇̭͈̹͖͖̗̻͕ͣͩ̈́ͧ̀͘v̛̛̳̹͚͔̟̯͉͍͖͆͊̀̔͐͊̄ẻ̡̪̱͖̫̙̠͙̇͂ͬ̀ to Dad, Frank and Mabel.

Your devoted son,

Ĉ̶̨̢̨̢̞͚̯̲̣͔̱͓͕̺͉̲̮̮̰̹̰̅̈́̃̑̂̃̿͗͑̚͜ę̶̡̨̨̛̣̫͉̬͖̺̰͖͓̼̻̳̪̠̪͇̣̯̝̣͔̏̅̒͌͑̃̀̀͊̾̀̆̎̒̒̾̽͜͝d̵͓̱̥̟͚̞̼̝̩͔̣̱̝̞̈́̐̍̈́̆̌̈͋͛́̉́̑̐̆̌́͋̄̚͜͠͠ŗ̶̳̯͙͉̩̠͚̽̂́͛̾̊̄̀̉̅̾̒͘͠ͅͅi̴͚̼̟͍̮̣̘̮̲̯̫̱͇̖̓͂̔͑͗́̈́̑̏̓͆͋̃͛͑̇́̂̊͑̽͝͠ͅć̶̛̤̣͊͘

P.S. everything is fine

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