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The Iskra Delta (ID) Building Event Timeline

January 3, 2016

Outsider enters the ID building.[1] Shift handover at 6:15 PM.[2]

January 4, 2016

Watching the security camera footage and searching for the outsider.[3] Building superintendent contacted.[4] The superintendent tells the security team to scan the roofs and the northern part of the extension staircase and search the sub floor terrace.[5]

January 5, 2016

Checking detectors and sensors. Searching elevator shafts and blind corridors.

January 15, 2016

Rumors.[6] Report given by employee E. F. from 3F (translation agency) names the outsider “The Asker” or “The Person Who Asks Questions”.[7]

February 12, 2016

Reports of mysterious odors on 4F, 13F and 16F. A stain has appeared on the ceiling on 4F.[8]

February 27, 2016

The outsider appears in the bar on 14F.[9]

March 15, 2016

While riding the elevator this afternoon, employee N. G. heard strange battering noises, as if someone on top of the elevator car were punching its roof with their fists. This took place while riding between 16F and 14F.[10]

March 17, 2016

Incident on 6F (law firm).[11]

April 13, 2016

Aluminum foil and wine bottle corks found on a balcony on 3F. It is thought that outsiders climbed the building from the platform to the balcony and threw an illegal party.[12]

April 23, 2016

Bizarre incidents.[13]

May 22, 2016

Drowned dog found in water reservoir on the roof.[14]

May 24, 2016

Employee J. M. B. informed of a puddle of urine in his office.[15]

May 28, 2016

Outsider exits the building on B2F.[16]

  • 1

    It was 3:30 PM. The receptionist on duty either did not pay much attention to this person or simply did not feel like identifying him (despite the fact that the visit was not scheduled), so she handed him the automated gate card key and he soon disappeared to the upper floors using one of the three person elevators. The receptionist then slowly rose to her feet and, holding her dreg-filled coffee cup, headed for the ladies’ room to wash some dishes and brush her hair. However, she noticed something strange on the way. The elevator with the outsider went up to 13F and stopped. It was not yet a cause for concern. She hoped the outsider would return, hand over the checkpoint-passing card key and leave the building. From experience she could tell that it was possible he was meeting someone in the 14F café, but she also knew the café would be closing soon and that this was not very likely. It was also unusual for visitors to go to meetings in the afternoon, with rare exceptions. Two hours passed, but the outsider was nowhere to be seen.

  • 2

    Front desk shift handover took place at 6 PM. The receptionist relayed to the night watchman the events concerning a person going to the wrong floor and told him to look out for a gaunt man wearing a black suit and a somewhat old-fashioned coat. She also explained that the man was slightly slouching and that there was something unusual in his posture. “I did not catch his face that well,” she went on, “since he was wearing a hood with a long visor and toting a leather bag on his left shoulder.”

  • 3

    The next day, January 3 of the same year, the morning shift security team attempted to locate the outsider using security camera footage. After reviewing the video of him walking in the lobby, they agreed that his movement really was a bit unusual. “It’s like the man has a back problem. He looks like he’s hurting,” someone said. It was true: something was off about him, the outsider seemed somehow rigid, perhaps he was even experiencing some invisible pain. The way he looked was not typical of homeless people, but he still came off as a homeless person. That was the strangest part: he seemed odd to everyone, but nobody could tell exactly why. There was also an interesting remark given by the receptionist who had let the outsider into the building the previous day: “I wanna say that this person was standing still, but at the same time it seemed like he was moving all around the lobby. This man’s physique included some kind of movement and I felt like he filled every inch of space there even though he was standing still.”

  • 4

    At 10 AM on the same day the superintendent called the patrolling watchman B. K. into his office. In there, he explained not so much in despair as in anger that he was not going to call the police over this unusual incident since there had as of yet not been any material evidence to present, nor had anything illegal taken place which would warrant a report, but that he still wanted to get to the bottom of things. The watchman was ordered to inspect the building from the roof down to the underground floors as the superintendent—in his own words—did not want the building tenants to discover a person walking about who was neither wanted nor registered. “If we are familiar with someone, we also know how to act,” he said, “but if that is not the case, we find ourselves in a difficult situation not knowing how to act and then everything turns really uncomfortable, which is not something anyone wants. Besides, the house rules prohibit free movement in the building, especially of those not tracked by checkpoints, because this causes problems both for building staff as well as those engaging in its business services.” As he uttered these words, he was flailing wildly with his arms as if he were dancing, despite the fact that he was sitting on a chair in his office.

  • 5

    Having spoken with the superintendent, the patrolling watchman B. K. soon phoned the front desk, told them to disable the roof burglar alarm located on 18F and entered the locker room on B1F. He made coffee and ate the sandwich he had brought for lunch. A little later he strolled to the service elevator. Activating the sensor, he conjured the clattering and screeching of the elevator’s pulley and wire rope. He took it up to 14F, got out and entered the person (hydraulic) elevator up to 16F. There he unlocked the door leading to the fire stairs, which he used to climb up a flight. Two minutes later, he was on the roof, clutching a cup of coffee. The roof serving as the 18th floor of the building was shaped like a triangle. Below him there was the congress building. It was so near and so vertically below him that he could spit on it. He did. He then watched the slimy ooze fall until it disintegrated around 8F and disappeared from sight. After surveying the antennae atop the tower and the giant screens displaying digital time, which were secured onto the roof with metal racks, he descended to 15F. He found nothing suspicious there. The same was true for the other floors below it.

  • 6

    Due to such rumors the outsider affair was becoming increasingly complicated. Not only that, it was becoming more perplexing too, since the explanations contradicted or even invalidated one another. People were arriving at irrational conclusions in their accounts. Some claimed the outsider was an ex-employee returning to the building who, because he no longer possessed the card key, did so by infiltrating through the checkpoints where employees left the building at the end of their shifts. On the other hand, others maintained that the affair was a coincidence. According to them, the outsider’s intention had only been to use the bathroom but, as he did not possess the exit card key, he ended up lost in the underground floor labyrinth spanning two floors, which only connects to the upper floors by an indoor staircase. The disoriented visitor was thus unable to return to 1F and enter the main part of the building (as he was prevented from doing so by the automated control gate at 1F) and eventually made his way to the smoking room in Hallway 2 of B1F, from where he was let out by an employee who happened to be leaving the building at the time. This appeared to be a plausible account and according to many, it was the only one possible, but had it been true, the outsider’s presence in Hallway 2 and in the lengthy bicycle shed corridor would be attested by security footage.

  • 7

    Report by employee E. F.: “In January (or maybe February, I don’t remember) there was a man who appeared in the area before our cubicles and started asking questions. This may seem weird, but I would call him ‘The Person Who Asks Questions’. While I was explaining how to get to 1F he asked questions instead of listening. He looked like he was in some kind of pain. Maybe that was on the same day as the one when I ran into the secretary from 10F in the bar on 14F. She told me about a man who got lost in the building and was asking around how to find the exit. She escorted him one floor down the indoor staircase so that he wouldn’t get lost and explained how he can reach 1F using the stairs. She thought he looked lost but it never occurred to her that she might be dealing with an intruder, nor that he could have bad intentions. That’s why she helped him. It was only later that she found out people were searching for him.”

  • 8

    The stain measured approximately 0.5 m2 and there was a small puddle of liquid underneath it. All of this happened in the men’s room. The secretary informed the front desk of the incident and the receptionist phoned maintenance. In the meantime, however, a cleaning lady was informed of the puddle and cleaned it up immediately. The secretary was busy (her attention was directed towards a contract signing) and failed to notice the arrival of the cleaning lady, so when a member of the maintenance team arrived twenty minutes later to assess the situation, he was surprised to find the stain had miraculously disappeared. The stain reappeared on the ceiling the following day. The maintenance person on duty was summoned again but he was unable to open the aluminum ceiling (not having brought metal-cutting shears with him) so the task was reallocated to the plumbing team. They ruled out a pipe burst. The source of the liquid was never found and the stain has not reappeared since.

  • 9

    Report by waitress V. M. from the 14F bar: “I remember seeing this person on February 27 and then at least twice more in March. He entered the bar and sat down at the table near the entrance to the southern terrace. Sometimes he would talk to himself and while he was doing that, he was searching for something with his eyes, like maybe a letter or some kind of a document stashed in his shirt, like a white collar would, although this person didn’t really look like a white-collar worker, more like someone desperate and alone. He walked in a very peculiar way. I thought he moved through space geometrically, as if along specific lines. That’s all that I can remember.”

  • 10

    On the very same day the repair team checked the level of propelling fluid in the engine room and replaced the PTW-347 V-belt pulley, but the trouble with strange noises did not go away.

  • 11

    Report by trainee lawyer R. T.: “One evening a while ago (it must have been between early and late March) I was using the hallway to go to the bathroom between the cubicles and the central part of the building. A radio was playing in the middle one of the three person elevators (it was on 8F). I think the evening news was on as I remember a deep male voice commenting on some boring political developments. Suddenly I heard some kind of moaning behind a door that I had thought led to a broom closet. I instinctively recoiled and started to the eastern part of the building where a strong reddish light was coming from, but then I stopped and listened again. There was someone behind that door moaning and quietly reasoning with themselves. I got really curious about what was going on and I yanked open the door. Behind it was in fact, as I had thought, a broom closet. There were dusty bottles of disinfectant, a trolley filled with unused electrical cables, a worn-out leather office chair and a bunch of other stuff. Under a faint yellow light of a square neon lamp there was a cleaning lady blowing her nose. She quickly put her phone back into her pocket once she saw me and started dusting the ceiling corner. I was so relieved not to have encountered that weirdo people were saying was unexpectedly appearing in the building.”

  • 12

    It was discovered that the refuse originated from the above floors. Two days prior there had been a small party on 11F and some waste was accidentally dropped through the window onto the lower floor balconies.

  • 13

    That evening, cleaning lady F. H. noticed a moving silhouette through the glass door of an office that was supposed to be locked (that is, without a tenant). Other cleaning personnel reported bizarre incidents on the same day. On another evening (between early and late April) cleaning lady K. O. felt a powerful strike from behind to her right shoulder while she was cleaning the area in front of the cubicles. The force of the strike almost knocked her to the ground but as she looked around, there was no one behind her.

  • 14

    On March 22, a Gas Reserve Supervision Administration employee came into her 9F sweating fairly heavily having just run 10K in relatively hot (27 °C) weather for that time of year, so she felt completely worn out. She had bought lunch on the way and set it on her office desk, then closed the door and went straight to 16F with her body hygiene bag in order to take a shower. Perhaps she had been overexercising (she scaled two glaciers in Austria the previous weekend) as she suddenly noticed (she had been keeping her eyes shut) that the water had an unusual flavor. It was as if something melted in it since it tasted of volcanic rocks. She opened her eyes and noticed the water was tinted yellow. She immediately stopped the shower, dried herself and made her way back to the office, from where she informed the front desk of the malfunction.

  • 15

    Report by J. M. B.: “I had been in Paris for only a week (half of my vacation) and work problems already started. It’s always like that. The phone rang at 8 AM and didn’t stop, so I dragged myself out of bed and picked it up. It was the head secretary calling from Ljubljana. She apologized at first but then she suddenly blurted out that in my office, about three feet in front of my desk, a cleaning lady stumbled upon piss. I was speechless. ‘I’m serious, Jean-Michel. Someone peed in your office while you were gone.’ I yelled: ‘Impossible!’ and she yelped: ‘I saw the puddle with my own two eyes!’ The words ‘How is this possible?’ bumbled all over my head and I asked: ‘How is this possible?’ ‘I don’t know, Jean-Michel,’ she replied. ‘The cleaning lady found the office open, that’s all I know. She can confirm this. Someone was in your office.’ ‘But I have the only set of keys. I remember it well that I locked the door,’ I said and wondered if that was true. I was in fact distracted that day when I impulsively booked a flight ticket and talked to my boss about it. ‘I’m not accusing you of anything,’ continued the secretary. ‘I’m sorry for bothering you but the super insisted that I call you and explain the situation. If it was up to me, I’d leave you alone if something this insignificant—well, it’s not insignificant—but still. I hope you understand,’ she added in the end. Of course I understood. I had no idea what was going on.”

  • 16

    This took place at 1:45 AM. The burglar alarm (sensor 22/37, Hallway 1) went off one minute prior and night watchman S. B., who had been making coffee on B1F, thought that one of the alarms wired to the fire damper steering mechanism must have gone off (the repair team was testing the wiring between fire alarms and magnet doors, elevators and fire dampers two days prior). However, following a checkup on the interface, he realized that the alarm was in fact triggered by a moving body on B2F. An interesting bit of data appeared on the exit/entry display monitor: a “visitor” card key issued on January 3 was used at the exit. The outsider departed from the building and has never come back.

Kazimir Kolar

Kazimir Kolar is a writer. A collection of his short stories (The stories of a bad guy, Litera 2021) will be published later this year. Translated by Matjaž Zgonc