The Crates are mysterious wooden crates being transported out of Night Vale to further Their interests, for reasons that are currently unclear. They are warm to the touch, and pulse with some kind of life. Some of them tick, some do not. The crates appear to contain small houses taken from the tiny underground civilization under the pin retrieval area of lane 5 in Desert Flower Bowling Alley and Arcade Fun Complex, but their theft apparently began more than a century ago, according to Lucia Tereschenko, the third base coach of the hunted baseball diamond.
People involved with the conspiracy tend to experience visions of a distant dark planet, lit by no sun. Each vision, the planet seems closer and closer, until, when the planer seems almost reachable, the beholder tries to reach his hand and touch it, and then he dies.
The Conspiracy Edit
Origin of The Crates Edit
The crates are taken from the Underground City, a civilization of exceptionally tiny people located under the pin retrieval area of lane five in Desert Flower Bowling Alley and Arcade Fun Complex, that was discovered by the owner of the place- Teddy Williams. The crates conatin small buildings that were apparently stolen from the city, and probably some of the city's residents as well, for You saw lights and movements through the tiny windows. It is not clear why some of the crates tick, but the ticking could merely be the sound of the people inside.
Theft of the Crates Edit
It is not clear who is conducting the thefts of the crates, or what They wish to achieve by shipping them out of Night Vale, but the theft and shipment of the crates further the interests of a dangerous and mysterious organization. The crates are being stored in various warehouses in the sand wastes, where they are moved between trucks and finally being shipped away. You once had a job moving the crates between trucks, until one day, You decided to steal one. In the past, the crates were presumably moved by trains, as Lucia Tereschenko witnessed when she worked for the conspiracy conductors, and as the 12:37 train carried crates which apparently contained buildings taken from the underground city.
Although the conspiracy is more than 150 years old, according to Lucia Tereschenko, who briefly worked for the men conducting it, little is known about the persons or organizations behind it. Despite that, some details about figures and authorities involved in the conspiracy are provided throughout the podcast
The theft and transferring of the crates are supervised by Them- a man who is not short, and a man who is not tall, who function as the enforcers for the secret organization that conducts these thefts. It is not known whether they are always the same people, as when the man who is not short ceased to exist, he was immediately replaced by a new man who was also not short.
They are subordinate to a woman, whose position and involvement in the conspiracy are not clear, but who explained to Them clearly how the operation was being conducted, and apparently ordered the killing of the man who was not short. The woman's own superiors are not described, but it is known that she, in her turn, must supply answers to someone above her.
Also involved in the conspiracy are the Sheriff's Secret Police and a Vague, Yet Menacing, Government Agency, that announced together that the trucks full of crates are nothing, and the people of Night Vale should not worry about them. The Sheriff's Secret Police also let the man who is not short and the man who is not short to approach the submarine that came from Nulogorsk (and was breached by the police) and take two items found on it. On the other hand, the Sheriff's Secret Police abruptly ambushed and foiled a shippment of the crates in 1843, on the train Lucia Tereschenko rode for Them.
Objection to the Thefts Edit
The people of the Underground City, despite seeing the people of the "upper world" as mighty, almost omnipotent abominations and fearing of them, resist the thefts of the small houses, and this may be the true cause for their anger towards the world above them. They reportedly demanded these thefts to stop several times, as said by Their supervisor.
Also the tiny civilization's god, Huntokar, called for the thefts to stop, and warned Night Vale of their possible consequences. When the 12:37 train arrived, she stood in a deer mask and spoke against the small buildings being taken from the city and put into crates on the train, calling herself "The Destroyer". Night Vale Transit Authority also appears to take a part in the resistance to the conspiracy, as they were involved with the 12:37 train arriving, and the word "crates" appears on one of the roaches comprising of the authoriy's press release. In addition, representatives of the NVTA wear deer masks, just like Huntokar, and are probably related to her in one way or another.
The Dark Planet Edit
People involved in the conspiracy often see a planet of an awesome size, lit by no sun before they die, and frequently they experience visions of it long before that. The planet, terrifyingly dark, seems closer each vision, until you can almost reach your hand and touch it. Those who do so, die directly afterwards. You saw the planet, as well as the man who is not short and Lucia Tereschenko, all three of You just before, or perhaps, just as, you died. Despite the planet being described as frightening, most people who see it are mesmerized by the vision, and Cecil even described it as a vision of perfection.
- Episode 13 A Story About You.: First mention of the crates. You have a job transferring crates from one truck to another, but You decide to steal one, and discover it contains a beautiful miniature house.
- Episode 27 First Date: The Sheriff's Secret Police and a Vague, Yet Menacing, Government Agency announce that the trucks full of crates are nothing, and that you should not worry about them.
- Episode 45 A Story About Them: Their supervisor explains: "We take buildings from the miniature city we discovered under the bowling alley, we put them in crates, we ship the crates out to various warehouses in the desert, and, as a result, our interests are furthered."
- Episode 84 Past Time: Lucia Tereschenko reveals that the shipment of crates out of Night Vale has been going on since at least 1843.
- Episode 91 The 12:37: The deer-faced woman describes the taking of small houses out of town to further their interests, and the silent men are seen with them
- Episode 97 Josefina: the word "crates" appears on one of the roaches comprising a Night Vale Transit Authority's press release concerning reopening of the subway.