WFMT is in lockdown as staff succumbs to seeds believed to have originated in outer space. Victims who arrived at work on Thursday morning suffered from an unnamed pathogen; symptoms include wigs, stage make-up, and metallic or brightly colored clothing. One witness described the scene as: “Horrific. It’s as if all these people were dressed by the costume department of an opera company.”
Coinciding with National Opera Week, one of the program hosts on Thursday morning, Dave Schwan, a soft-spoken, khaki-wearing man, had violent eruptions of color in his clothing that authorities could only describe as clown-like. Victims have emerged as Madama Butterfly, Tosca, Salome, Fidelio, Aida, and others; one man identified as Carl Grapentine believes he is the supertitles.
The seeds were detected in the food provided for staff and pledge drive volunteers at the broadcast facility. The outbreak seems to be localized at the western end of the building. Currently none of the staff of WTTW, nor the WFMT volunteers have been infected.
How the food became tainted by the seeds is unknown. Authorities have not ruled out tampering. Police entered the facility around 9:30 on Thursday morning wearing hazmat suits. They are questioning a person of interest. The man, Donald Mueller of Chicago, has served as WFMT’s operations manager since the 1980’s. Sources say Mr. Mueller showed early symptoms of infection, but authorities became suspicious when he turned into Uncle Fester, a fictional character created by cartoonist Charles Addams for publication in The New Yorker, and featured later on a hit television series. The break came when investigators confirmed that Uncle Fester has to date, never been an opera character. Investigators have seized the computers of Mr. Mueller. A source close to the investigation confirmed that the suspect has visited National Opera Week websites in the past five days.
A spokesperson from the Center for Disease Control has been unable to confirm whether or not the condition is transmissable from person to person. It is believed that people listening to WFMT are at higher risk of loving opera.
Broadcasters Kerry Frumkin and Lisa Flynn, both of whom tested negative for the alien pathogen, remain under observation.