Carl Stucky was the owner of premium cabins in Bright Falls and the owner of the gas station. He first appears to be a friendly character but is consumed by the darkness and becomes a minor antagonist. He appears only in the first episode, Episode 1: Nightmare.
Involvement in Alan Wake
Prior to Alan Wake's arrival, Stucky was recently proclaimed 'Bright Falls Businessman of the Year' because he had recently expanded his gas station to include cabin rentals and bring in tourists. Alice paid him a reservation deposit and rented a cabin from him, near the Cauldron Lake for the vacation she was planning for Alan there.
Stucky was supposed to hand Alan and Alice their keys at the Oh Deer Diner, where he was having lunch with Rusty, a park ranger, and a few other citizens. However, the Dark Presence was already planning to entrap Wake in the Bird Leg Cabin, so it ambushed Stucky in a darkened hallway. When Stucky went down the hallway towards the diner restrooms, he was touched by the Dark Presence. The Dark Presence, in the form of Barbara Jagger, hands the keys to Bird Leg Cabin to Alan when the writer, directed by Rusty, comes looking for Carl in the restroom. Stucky disappears momentarily, with Barbara Jagger covering up the truth by telling Wake that he was ill and that she was filling in for the 'poor man' in his place. After Alan leaves the diner with the keys and drives away, Stucky mysteriously reappears. He runs out of the diner and tries desperately to deliver the Wakes' real keys to them, but fails.
Sometime in the next week, Stucky began noticing strange aspects of his recent behavior. Ben Mott, as an agent of Dr. Emil Hartman, came looking for the Wakes while searching all of Stucky's cabins, but was unable to find them. Shortly afterwards, while working late in his gas station on a car one night, Carl is engulfed and seized by the Dark Presence. As a puppet of the Darkness, he became little more than a hollow shell, retaining only the ability to utter garbled words. As one of the Taken, he began to stalk the nearby forest with a large axe.
After an injured Alan wakes up in his car following his escape from Cauldron Lake, he staggered to a nearby logging camp in the forest, seeking help. To his horror, however, he found that the loggers were missing. The only person in the camp proved to be a lost hunter, who was promptly attacked by the possessed Stucky. Although the hunter, who recognized Stucky, was forced to shoot the crazed gas station owner twice with his rifle, Wake witnessed the Taken only shrugging off the bullets and killing the hunter. Stucky then tried to murder Wake with the axe, but Alan fled into the nearby logging trailer. The Dark Presence then possessed a bulldozer, which knocked the trailer over the edge of a cliff and into a river. Though Wake was convinced Stucky had probably been driving the bulldozer (and had thus been killed in the fall), he decided it was safer to flee through the forest and seek cover at the well-lit gas station a few miles away. However, as Wake made his way across the river, he heard Stucky screaming insane banter somewhere in the distance. While attempting to get to the gas station through another logging camp, Alan eventually kills numerous Taken loggers and finally Stucky himself, now armed with a pipe wrench.
Upon reaching the gas station and seeking help, Wake discovered a framed photograph of the smiling Stucky, presented with his 'Businessman of the Year' Award. It is revealed in the novel that Wake felt genuine remorse for having killed him and the fading memory of the Taken gas station owner made him feel sick.
Sheriff Sarah Breaker was called in to investigate Stucky's disappearance a short while later. She asked Wake if he had seen Stucky the previous night when he was at the gas station, but Alan hid the truth. Breaker expressed concern over the dead man, reporting that she had called him at his home earlier to ask Carl to be on the lookout for Alice Wake, but he wasn't there. She had also noticed the wreckage in the gas station garage (where Stucky was taken by the darkness), as if there had been some sort of scuffle.
Deputies Mulligan and Thornton came to search the ruined logging camp that day, but of course found no trace of Stucky. They blamed the damage on vandals, although both agreed that "it was weird." The hunter killed by Stucky was also missing, as the Dark Presence had possessed him as well.
Shortly afterwards, the two deputies went to the gas station itself, looking for Stucky. They reported back to the dispatcher their results. The audio transcript is provided below for further reference:
- Deputy Mulligan: "Yeah, it's Mulligan here. I'm at Stucky's gas station with Thornton. There's no sign of him, over".
- Deputy Thornton: "Wait, Wait, Wait, Wait. Yeah, this is Thornton. Look, we've located the parade float. It's here. That's some good news, right? Stucky was supposed to be driving it at the rehearsals today. Over".
- Deputy Mulligan: "No, give me that! Mulligan here. Looks like someone really thrashed the garage Sir".
Stucky is similar to regular Taken, but he has more durability. It is best to take out the other Taken before attempting to kill him since he will stay out of the fight for a good portion of the time. Be sure to evade his attacks and use all the light to your advantage.
- This is the page of the manuscript, Departure, which explains how Stucky became one of the Taken:
- Stucky spat on the garage floor and tried to shake the cobwebs from his head. Ever since the couple never showed to pick up the keys, things had been fuzzy. Something -- a feeling -- caught his attention. Stucky looked up and stared as his brain tries in vain to process the horror before him. He stumbled back, knocking over a can of oil; a black pool spread across the floor while he struggled for a brief moment, then let go as the unrelenting darkness engulfed him.
- ―Stucky Taken, Page 9 of Departure
- "You can see the sights and keep your cholesterol levels down!"
- "Carl Stucky...pleased to meet you!"
- "During your stay, I recommend trying Nordic Walking... it's the latest thing".
- "Incontestably proven health benefits!"
- "Premium cabins for rent in Bright Falls!"
- "Fair and square."
- "I offer premium cabins, but a non-refundable reservation deposit is... required".
- "Fail to arrive, you lose the deposit!"
- "Sparkling River Estates. That's where I go when I want something special to eat".
- "Paul makes the best hot dogs in the state! Belly Buster is the best no contest. Monster dog... is second best".
- "I... Never... touch... salad... though. A man like me needs a hefty meal to get through the day".
- "You got to change your... oil more often".
- "Changing a spark plug in your vehicle is not as simple and safe as you may think... it can be dangerous and requires patience!"
- "Even with the hood open, the engine block takes hours to cool!"
- "You should always leave the job... to a professional".
- "Dropping tools in the engine with moving belts is an easy and fatal mistake to make. Count your tools before and after! A misplaced tool, forgotten inside the engine, has destroyed more than one car".
- He is the caretaker of the town’s logging camps, owned by the powerful Biltmore family, one of the founders of Bright Falls.
- After Alan Wake encounters him for the first time, you hear a radio broadcast about a lost friendly dog named Toby. Apparently, the dog ran off when it saw something. It is revealed in a Nightmare Manuscript that Stucky had indeed killed Toby, mentioning the dog smelling another presence within him.
- Stucky is implied to have been touched by the darkness in the beginning due to his confused appearance and sensitivity to the light.