Monday, December 5, 2011

SHE'S AWAKE

Thank God!  She's awake! And she's EVEN TALKING AGAIN!

I was sitting in a chair beside her bed when she came 'round. Uncomfortable damn thing, but better than the floor. Anyway, at first it was just her shifting... but then the next thing I know I'm watching her eyes flicker open. I jolted out of my chair so fast I knocked it over and her eyes looked to me... and looked away just as quickly. I went up to her and took her hand, squeezing it for reassurance. It was the first time she'd reacted to me in over a month. I didn't want to startle her with anything... but that would be when she started crying. Saying she was sorry over and over and over again. I was... so relieved to just hear her voice I couldn't stop myself from the hug I gave her. She just kept saying the word repeatedly. I tried my best to talk her down. Telling her it's okay. To stop apologizing. That she has nothing to apologize for. That everything was going to be fine. It must... have been half an hour before she calmed down. But eventually the tears stopped. As did mine. I was just... happy and worried and the combination is just... something I'm SO not used to.

I'm still worried for her. A lot. She's... still very out of it. But she will talk now. Comment on things. Quietly. That's something though. That's a step. A step in the right direction...

She doesn't want to say much about what happened, but that can wait. It's only been a few days so far. She woke up on Saturday. I didn't update because... well, honestly...

Real Life > Internet Blog

Thank you everyone who never stopped thinking about her. Never stopped hoping for her to come back. She should post soon... she's asked to use my laptop.

And... also thank you for putting up with me. I don't take it for granted. Please know that...

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Hospital

...I'm not even sure how to explain this. Everything happened so damn fast and... fucking hell, I'm sorry, guys, I'm exhausted here so I'm going to keep this short...

She's okay. Let me start with that. Valerie is still alive. She's in stable condition and is finally sleeping. Just... not exactly the way I'd hoped she would do it. In a goddamn hospital bed...

Yesterday morning we were getting ready to hit the road again. Everything was packed. I'd just sat down for a little while to rest while Val continued to stare out the window in her usual daze. Nothing out of her behavior had changed since her little song in the car. She was exactly the same. Like nothing had happened. At all. And I would know. Cause I was watching... for literally any sign at all.

I couldn't have been sitting for two minutes before I suddenly had a cell phone dropped in my lap and Valerie just... breezed right passed me into the kitchen. Everything in me just... I don't know. It felt like a weight sunk right through me as I picked up the phone. I knew in my gut something was wrong. Or going to be wrong. Or fucking SOMETHING felt bad. I got up to follow her... but I only bolted when I realized the phone was calling out. And to which number.

I couldn't have followed her in by any more than a minute, but I'd only reached the doorway when I heard... when I heard a noise that I can't even describe. Yet it repeats in my head. Over and over and over again.

She'd stuck a fork in an outlet. She... electrocuted herself. I think I screamed, I really don't remember. What I do remember... is the grip that took hold of my chest. The panic. The kind of fear that I hadn't felt since That Night back at the farm. I was losing it all again. AGAIN. I was USELESS again while someone I cared about was...

The... last person I have. Valerie is the last person I have. And I have the image of her body jerking and spasming scorched into my mind. It's right there now. Right there along my dad. Brothers. Tasha and Hailey. Kent. All of them... fucking ALL of them and Valerie's face is there now too. She's there and it scares the holy hell out of me. I'm SUPPOSED to die FIRST dammit! I can't lose her like I lost them. I can't.

A part of that goes blank for me, cause the next thing I remember is leaning over her on the floor talking/yelling at her and checking for a pulse.

There wasn't one.

Her... eyes were still open. She was staring at me. Blank. Empty. Dead. God, I couldn't take it... I just...

I heard the a 911 operator answer their end of the call. I pinned the phone between my head and my shoulder and started chest compressions as I told them where we were. The paramedics showed up before too long. I told them I was family - her cousin - so I could ride with her. Thinking back, I'm surprised I actually thought about it... but I basically bullshitted my way through their questions. Anything to just stay. I wasn't going to leave her.

They got her heart going on the way to the hospital. Thank God.

She's been sleeping ever since.

I know this is my fault. I should have moved quicker... I should... I'm sorry. I'm so sorry.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Worse

video


It's been nine days now since Valerie has slept at all.

I've been watching her. Talking to her all the time and asking begging her to sleep. Nothing works. Nothing ever... goddamn works. I've... tried to get her to take pharmacy shit to help her sleep. She refused to take it at first... but then I actually did get some into her. I was relieved. I thought she'd sleep finally, but... it didn't work. She didn't sleep. She just looked more tired...  like, even less responsive than usual, but she still won't goddamn SLEEP, not really.

And then this happens.

We were on the road again cause... well, I felt the need to move. I was talking to her. Basically making chit-chat with absolutely nothing cause otherwise I'd lose my mind... and then, out of the blue, she starts singing. SINGING for the love of shit... she... hasn't said anything for... what? Over a month? She cringes and winces at even little fucking jingles on TV... and now she's... singing?

I just... I pulled over the car and grabbed Doubletake's camcorder from the trunk. And I watch her, and my hands are shaking because what the hell. What the fucking hell?

Does anyone have any idea what this is? At all? I'm running on empty here, guys. I can't... think anymore.

I can't lose her. I can't. If... if I could trade places with her, I would. In a heartbeat. If it would help her, I'd goddamn do it. So please. Tell me one of you guys has an idea, any idea. Tell me you noticed something I missed. Somebody tell me they speak whatever fucking gibberish Val spewed on that fucking video! Anything!

Please.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Guys... I need advice here. Please.

Valerie isn't sleeping.

I didn't really notice it at first, because it usually takes her longer to fall asleep than me,  but... there's no denying it now. Not only are her eyes open LONG after I've turned in for the night, but when I wake up, she's already staring out the window, or standing in front of the mirror, or some other highly worrying non-behavior. Twice I've jolted awake because she was up and moving around. So last night I stayed up the entire night and watched her, and she never once even laid down, let alone shut her eyes for any measurable length of time.

Our schedule is as screwed to hell as most Runners, but before at least I could be sure she'd take care of herself and sleep a couple hours every night! Now she's just awake all the damn time, and if she sits still for longer than twenty minutes she gets up and goes to some other area of the room, and if we're in the car at the time, she'll rap her knuckles against the window a single time. Only once. And then back to zoning.

I don't know how long this has been going on, but if I had to guess... I'd say since Sunday.

Ever since that damn message on her blog... she hasn't slept.

I know she fucking wrote it too. It was her. I don't know what the hell is going ON in her head! She still doesn't respond to me but she'll type out a section from some story onto Blogger? WHY? What's the goddamn relevance? I don't... I don't understand it. I went and had a shower. I come back and my laptop is on, sitting in front of her. "Post Published" on the screen. I just... I don't get it.

God I've BEGGED her to talk to me. When that post came up I thought maybe she was coming back, but... nothing. She wouldn't even look at me, wouldn't look at anything, just like always. I've pleaded with her to sleep. Just that... whatever the fuck she's thinking... to STOP IT and just goddamn SLEEP.

All she gives me is a blank stare back... only with bloodshot eyes... and bags that just keep getting heavier and heavier... Fuck, how long can a person LAST without sleeping? A week? Less?

I'm PAST getting worried. I'm terrified. I've been using every trick I know to try to make her drowsy, but none of it works.

Please, someone help me. Someone make sense of this. I'll try anything at this point...

Friday, November 11, 2011

This is Complete Bullshit.

Before I begin here... I just want to ask all of you to take a minute... when you can... and Remember to whom we owe our freedom to. Remember those who fought. Those who fell. Those who are still fighting. In every war. In every country. Everywhere.

Remember.

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Okay...

Val and I... are still on the move... basically just moving every few days. Sometimes every day. It really... just depends on the kind of... feelings I get from the area. If my gut says move, I move. Some nights we even walked out of a hotel at midnight for that exact reason. I got a feeling that we weren't safe, so left. Thankfully, there hasn't really been any drama since the last time I posted here, so we're... doing okay. I mean, I seem to have this and that to worry about now but... really that's about par for the course. Fun times all the way around...

Sage went on his way after that one night. I'd like to think the company did him some good, but I don't know. He seemed... a lot older than I remember. Or maybe he was just that tired. I just hope he stays safe though all the shit that always lands on his lap.

I've been... editing my blog lately when I can. Blacking things out that don't matter and/or are lies. Adding a detail here or there. There are some things that... I still need to touch back to sometime. But for now I have... other things more recent and relevant to clear up what with what happened in Canada being all kind of... garbled together at the moment.

I already told you how I wound up with Doubletake... and, really, I hate using that name. I always want to say "Christian," but he was never "Christian"... it had all just been part of the game. Hell, I'm not even sure if his "real name" is Christian or Ben or Alister or whatever other "normal" names he's referred to himself as. Probably it was another fake, which in itself is hard to accept. I mean, this is a guy I turned to for help. I trusted him with Tanya and Hailey's lives and... I got them killed for it. They died cause I didn't trust my gut and went along with a friend's opinion on him instead of my own. Cause he was supposed to be the "go-to guy" for this shit. He was... eh, screw it. I'm getting off track. Surprise, surprise.

Apparently from the sounds of his last post on here, he and Valtiel had some sort of arrangement going on. I do vaguely recall the name coming up once or twice, but I was in and out of a haze so much during that time it's hard to remember exactly. DT never stopped talking about the treehouse though. About the book. He never fucking stopped. That's what he was focused on - even though Valtiel's apparent detour - and when we eventually got there he was... practically on a high.

The trees in that bush didn't look normal that night. They seemed twisted. Warped. From the second they dragged me in with them, it all felt wrong. This... crawling feeling went down my spine as the immense cold sunk further in the deeper we went. It shouldn't have felt that cold. It hadn't been that cold of a night. But I could see my breath all the same. I was exhausted from being in this company for so long, but still my mind was a mess of paranoia. I couldn't help but keep glancing around me. I don't know what I was looking for, if it was anything in particular, but my gut told me I shouldn't be there. My gut said it was Wrong.

I remember telling Doubletake that. I remember telling him we should head back.

What he said went something like this:

"'Wrong', you say? Ha! I would expect so, Mishy. This area is... a bit unstable, to say the least. A lot has transpired here. Events that still shadow the present with their influence. Even fourteen years after the fact. That is, after all, why YOU are here." When I answered with confusion, expecting him to branch into Christian again soon, he pivoted on the ball of his foot and drove his fist into my gut. I would have fallen to the ground, had his other hand not grabbed my collar and slammed me backwards against the trunk of a tree. I was still handcuffed at this point. I gritted my teeth against the malicious smile he had on his face as Verin. "Why indeed, Michelle. Why would I, a humble servant of our Great Father, waste my time with a bundle of delusional trash like yourself? I'm one of the sons of God. And you? You're weak. Nothing. Less than Nothing. A cockroach waiting to be crushed. A cockroach that could be a warrior. A Black Angel. But denies. You are not worth the air you breathe... and yet, here I am. Forced to endure your sight and voice. Why? Why?!"

I said nothing, hoping to skip over this persona as quickly as possible. But all I could do was hiss, biting my tongue, as he slipped a blade under my shirt, drawing a shallow line across my abdomen with it. He then showed me the bloodied blade.

"This is why. Your blood. Your family's blood. This is where your worth is. So congratulations, Michelle. You are simply the PRODUCT that is stumbling through life, being a host of what it is I actually NEED. I had been contemplating just killing you and bringing a jar of your blood here..."

I remember the smile that came to his face then, it was so goddamn FRIENDLY. Eyes shining with sincerity and a caring that made my stomach turn. His voice became much... softer.

"But I couldn't do that to you, Michelle. You mean so much to me. I don't want to have to hurt you. Please, don't make me. I want... to protect you, Michelle." He wrapped his arms around me in a hug that I cringed at. "I'll be the one to never leave you, you know that, right? I won't tell you to go away like Valerie did. Don't deny it - you know what she did. Telling you to go back to Canada? She doesn't want you around anymore. But I do. I'm your friend, Michelle. Like I've always been. Here to help, anyway I can. You know that. You've always known that. That's why you came to me months ago. For help. You know you can trust me..."

He needed me alive. THAT'S how I knew I could trust him... at least until I filled whatever role he had for me. I still had time.

Then he... put his arm around my shoulders and he guided me back onto our original track, deeper into the bush. I complied silently. His two mooks followed behind us. I don't think I ever heard either of them talk. Ever. They did as they were told. I'm not sure if they were Hallowed... or just mindfucked into oblivion curtsey of Doubletake. I really wouldn't put it past the guy.

I think... I may have zoned out for a bit, because the next image in my memory is of the old treehouse when we were right up near it. It looked... not as bad as I figured it would. A bit on the dilapidated side, but still obviously a treehouse, if you know what I mean. It wasn't that high up. Maybe eight feet. The "steps" up to it were still nailed to the trunk of its host tree... though they didn't look overly promising STRENGTH-wise. I do remember how my gut churned as I looked up at it. The feeling of "wrong" was practically suffocating. It felt like... my insides were almost... itching. Crawling. I really couldn't stop shivering.

Doubletake was ecstatic. Started exclaiming about how many times he'd been through these woods, and how, every single time, this treehouse wasn't here. How it was never here. Honestly? I didn't care what he was flapping about. I didn't even care that I had originally wanted to be there. I didn't want to be there like that. I didn't want to be there with a gaggle of Proxy with who-knows-what scheme cooked up behind the scenes. It was supposed to have been me and Val. But we split. Fucking. Up. And now she was in major trouble... and so was I.

I only got rattled from my thoughts when I felt a hand grab me and turn me. Before I could figure out what was happening now, Doubletake had already removed my cuffs and threw them to the ground without a thought. He then shoved me towards the ladder and I was "asked" to climb. I tried to argue, but a glint of his eye warned of a possible change in persona yet again, so I did as I was told. I climbed the fucking ladder. Despite a step or two giving out. In a matter of a minute or two, I was standing in that dilapidated treehouse freezing my ass off from temperatures that shouldn't have been possible for the time of year. Every nerve in me was just screaming to run. Paranoia driven up to the nth degree. Honestly, I don't think I was even thinking about Valerie at that point... I was just grasping to survive... and everything in me was telling me I wouldn't be doing that if I stayed.

The idiot that brought me here came up right behind me, testing the weakened floorboards as he stepped forward. He was talking non-stop as contrast to my dead silence, seeming so very bubbly and using all kinds of hand gestures as he looked around.

It really wasn't that big, from what I remember. Probably not even eight feet by six feet. Branches had pushed their way inside, partly collapsing one of the "walls" and cobwebs and dirt covered everything in a respectable layer considering the years it had been left abandoned. There really wasn't much to it, but there were a few things scattered around to notice. I actually stepped on one of those old green army men toys by accident. Stuck it in my pocket at the time. I still have it.

Doubletake reclaimed my attention at that point, telling me to start looking for the book. He actually started looking too. Each of us more than a little leery about the floor, but honestly it wasn't the floor that was the most troubling. It was just... the air. The presence the place had. I swore we were being watched. I'll still swear it. There was something about that area... I don't know. It was... just a bad place to be.

I started noticing carvings in the wood here and there, partly covered by moss and grime. The first one to catch my attention was actually what I recognized to be the initials of my brother and three other sets. I recognized Corey's real initials, the other two I'd assume were other close friends he had. Each were written slightly different, so I'd guess by logic they each did their own. It... kinda hit me hard to see that. I was barely old enough to remember Steven...

I was jarred from my thoughts when a wooden plank hit the floor - scaring the crap out of me, I'll admit. Doubletake shoved another fallen board out of the way with complete disregard, making another CRACK as the boards creaked beneath us... and then he reached passed grown-in branches and pulled out a metal box from the far corner. It actually looked like one of those old metal toolboxes. It was badly rusted though. Obviously been rained on all these years. Barely looked like it would open

Doubletake looked like he'd found the Holy Grail.

That is, until he started smashing on the flip-lock-things to get it to open. After a few rams with the butt of his gun, they actually did... and the very first thing he carefully pulled out looked exactly like what I'd come here to find. A simple, weather-beaten paperback journal. My company, however, began to frown. He opened it, scanning the first page briefly before flipping it, then the next page, then the next, next, next, next, until he practically through the book across the treehouse. It hit the wall and fell to the floor near me - some of the pages falling out - as Doubletake began to frantically dig through whatever else was in the toolbox. I almost went to go pick up the small book, but stopped dead when the toolbox followed suit - scattering crap everywhere. He then turned to me looking in a complete rage, fists clenched at his side. His demand was simple. Yet the answer, impossible.

"WHERE IS IT?!"

"...What?"

"THE JOURNAL, YOU INSUFFERABLE DELINQUENT! YOUR GODDAMN 'DEVIL BOOK'! WHERE THE FUCK IS IT?!"

Confused? So was I. And I told him that, asking what the hell the fucking "Devil Book" had to do with ANYTHING at all. Evenly remotely. I mean, yes, my family did own a book that we referred to as that, but, for the love of crap, it was a spooks story. Something I told my religious friends about to get them freaked out. I told him this.

His response?

He leveled his gun at me. Eyes locked on mine. Tone low and cold. This wasn't even Verin. This was just him. Mad. "Where. Is. The fucking. Book.?"

"...We burnt it."

The rage I saw staring back at me then was... paralyzing. He was actually TWITCHING. Thank any Gods that exist he was. Cause I think that's what challenged his aim. He started firing at me. He missed twice. One grazed my arm as I lunged at him, grabbing the gun to wrestle it away. It went off again during that before I managed to dig my nails into his hand enough to get him to let go of it. We fought. Blows were exchanged. We broke up the place a bit more than it was in the process. It's AMAZING it didn't just collapse. I know I got some hits in (one should have given him a black eye), but, being in already bad shape... I can't claim I did very well. Nor did it last long. Soon enough I was on the floor and he was standing over me, gun back in hand pointed at my forehead.

Next thing I know... I start hearing voices. I'm not even fucking kidding. That pressure that had been sending shivers up and down my spine that entire time seemed to shift suddenly - like there was suddenly a breeze inside the actual treehouse - and I started hearing people talking. Actually TALKING. From how I remember DT looking around, he sure as hell heard it too. Conversations were just thrown on top of each other. Different people. Different tones. Building and building and swirling around in a mess of talking and whispering and screaming and yelling and crying that drowned out everything else until it felt literally PAINFUL to listen.

Doubletake panicked and bolted. I almost followed on his heels... until I remembered the journal. I ran to where all kinds of junk had been scattered across the floor, digging through it all in a mad panic. I found the journal, grabbed every other piece of paper that I could see and ran for it. I didn't even bother with the damn "ladder." I just dropped to the ground, falling to my knees before I took off running - leaving the voices behind.

I didn't see heads or tails of Doubletake or his goons on my dash out. The car was waiting for me where we'd left it. I took it... and the rest you know.

I honestly don't know what happened back there. Sage offered an idea or two, but if anyone has any input, it would be appreciated at this point. That entire area was... strange... though it might not even matter at this point. Corey said the place was scheduled to be leveled for development, it's the whole reason Val and I split up in the first place. Damn treehouse is probably gone by now.

I've been reading through Steven's journal. I'll post about it when I can.




No, really. This IS complete bullshit. I honestly started writing this last week. I had no intention of posting ANYTHING today with it being 11/11/11 and me getting VERY SICK of seeing that number... but I couldn't write it. I just couldn't write. At all. It never made sense. But tonight? Yep. I'm able to do it. Go figure, eh? Not only that, but what time am I staring at right now on the clock? 11:11pm. Seriously. What the hell is this shit. Fuck that, I'm letting this sit for another minute before clicking publish.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Admitting to Omitting

I'd only just pressed "publish post" for my last update on here when I heard a knock at the door. Of course, I was leery. I was having an exciting enough day and wasn't really looking forward to a third go-around with anyone, but I still got up. Checked the peep hole first in case I wanted to shoot bullets through the door instead of just opening it. Who I saw made me look twice... and he didn't look particularly happy.

I opened the door, frowning a bit. "Sage? I thought you... left. Is everything okay?"

He walked inside without a word, brushing past me.

I closed the door, my frown deepening. "...Apparently not." I watched silently as he went further into the room, but stayed back from where Valerie was. He paced a little bit, obviously figuring out his wording. I let him take his time, waiting with my back leaning against the door frame. Arms crossed.

"...How've you been feeling, the last couple of days?"

I blinked. "...You came back to ask me THAT? Couldn't you have picked up the phone?" But when he gave me this annoyed look that spoke volumes of his current mood, I sighed and shrugged a bit. "No different than I have been. Worried sick." I gestured to where Val was. "Obviously. Why?"

His eyes narrowed. Tone getting stronger. "Really? Because it seems to me like you're being eaten out from the inside."

I said nothing for a long moment, eyes flickering to where Valerie was for a split instant. I thought for a bit about getting him to specify... but after I rethought his choice of words... I realized he already had. There was only one thing that fit that description. It made my stomach turn to think of how to put this into words, but on the same token... "I... honestly expected you to notice, Sage. It... sort of... surprised me when you left without comment before. I just figured you thought I was dealing with it..."

Sage shrugged. "It's subtle. I didn't notice it until I touched your shoulder. And then I had no idea what to do about it. Had to think for a bit, run what I saw through my head until I could comprehend it."

"And what did you see, Sage?"

"Veins of darkness coming out of a very, very tiny seed. There are similarities to... others I've seen."

I swallowed hard, nodding a bit. "And... now you're back. Why?"

"I've been thinking. Long and hard. About how that shit could have gotten in your system. The only thing I could think of was when you burned down the tree... but if it was that easy, through aerosol, why, Ryuu would have been infected at some point. I mean, there are trees whose seeds only sprout if they're set on fire, but even then... there's no way she'd have made it through this uninfected. But she isn't infected." He came back up to me. "So why are you different, in this place, and in this time?"

I shifted. Completely uncomfortable with how... close the conversation was getting. Personal. But... it didn't mean I had to admit about my arm. He didn't need to know. I... tried to take the detour route. "...What do you want me so say, Sage? That I have shitty luck? This shit is your thing, not mine. I was just trying to stop the voices for Valerie. That's IT. Really, Sage... she's the one you need to focus on. Not me." And, yes, I was attempting to redirect his attention.

It didn't work.

His hand extended and gently pulled my left arm from how I had it crossed under the other. My first instinct was to rip it away from him... and I partly did yank it back with the memory of the pain from when Valtiel wanted to see it flashing into my mind. But... I forced myself to stop. I forced myself... to let him look at one of my biggest omissions.

At first, Sage started to roll up my sleeve, but I knew it wouldn't be good enough to see anything. I could tell he knew I was uncomfortable and didn't want to make me more so... but at that point I decided it didn't matter anymore. "...I wish you'd just leave it be, Sage." Then I carefully shrugged out of my jacket and... it took practically every nerve I had to hold out my arm for him to see. I kept my eyes across the room as he examined the wound.

My burn... got infected months ago. When I cut down the tree that was once Redlight and burnt it... I guess some of the shit got in my wound. It had been healing alright up until that point... but since then it's just gotten worse. The whole burn from part-way up my forearm to my shoulder and a bit across my back had deteriorated back to how it had begun when I'd first got it. What had healed peeled off, leaving my arm an angry red. It stings like a bitch and throbs sometimes. Sometimes it swells up and this... crawling feeling across my skin comes and goes. But... the most disgusting part about it is how it oozes yellow and black puss. I keep it as clean as I can but... it's getting to the point where I need to wrap it up.

"N-Not... exactly my best feature, eh?" I muttered, gut twisting inside. I kept thinking of how Valtiel acted when he saw it - how he just walked away like I was nothing but trash. In my head, I could see Sage doing the same thing... only he would take Valerie with him. I'd be alone. No matter how much I told myself that he wasn't like that - that Sage wouldn't do ANYTHING even REMOTELY close to what Valtiel did or would do... my brain just kept telling me I'd be alone. Over and over and over again...

But, in reality, he just shook his head with a deep frown. He spoke in nearly a sigh. "Jumping Jesus Christ on Crutches, Mitch... well, now I think I know how you got it. Should have dressed your wound before you started a deforestation project."

I smirked but it died just as soon as I had created it. "I covered up... obviously not well enough, of course..." I shrugged a bit, looking at the mess of my arm that he was still carefully holding. "No point... in whining about it, right? My own fault. I'd cut the damn thing down all over again if I had to though." I smiled, genuinely. "It stopped the... screaming... for her."

He nodded. "I understand."

That made me smile a bit again, but this time it was at him. So often, I feel like I'm talking backwards. That my thinking is backwards. That I'm struggling to connect simple dots on a page when it comes to expressing how I feel... to hear someone say they understand comes with a wave of relief. It really does. Sage let me take my arm back then and I put my jacket back on.

He was frowning more now, obviously worried. "I don't think there's anything I could do for you, Mitch."

"That's okay... I really didn't think there was." I felt more at ease now that it was covered again. Not by much, but some. "I deal with it the best I can. Really, it just stings. It's... an inconvenience right now. I don't know much much worse it'll get, but compared to some of the mindfuckeries from He That Is, this is nothing..."

He gave me a long look. "I'm wondering if leaving Ryuu in your care is recklessly dangerous of me."

All the thoughts in my head - everything I deemed paranoia - suddenly slapped me in the face with an 'I told you so'. I turned a glare to him, voice now cold as a pain twisted in my chest. "...You think I'd HURT her? Hm?" My hands went to fists. "Goddammit, Sage! If it weren't for her, I'd be dead! I'd be with THEM. With HIM. Which is WORSE than being dead, right? I may have failed over and over again... but I won't fail her. I can't. I would NEVER hurt her. EVER."

Then... he grinned a bit. "That's what I needed to hear."

I frowned. "Wait, you're... you're... not going to make me leave? You're not taking...?" I struggled for words. "I... I thought..."

"I just needed to see if you had some fight in you. You do." His grin seemed to grow a bit more at my awkwardness. Almost like he was amused.

Did I feel dumb right about then? Yep. "Sage..." I gritted my teeth as I found the words I wanted. "Listen, I know I... mess up a lot... but I'll always be here for Valerie. That'll never change. I know it may not amount to much - especially from your line of work - but... I'll do everything I can to keep her safe. And if you yourself ever need anything done or picked up or whatever... just let me know. I'll fight. Fighting is really all I seem to really do right these days." I laughed a bit. It felt a bit forced, but not by much.

He gave me a reassuring smile. "I know the feeling."

I nodded, my own grin spreading. "Yeah, so I've read. Just... don't send me to deal with any pissed off unicorns and I'll be right on it~"

"I'll keep that to myself, don't worry." He laughed a bit, smiling, only to then frown a bit as he continued. "How'd things with Valtiel go?"

I jolted a bit at the name, trying to ignore the shiver that went down my spine as I frowned at him. "H-How... how did you know I was with... that I ran across... th-that Valtiel found me?"

"I caught up with him before he found you. He gave me a choice. I could keep chasing him, and he'd go after you or Val." He frowned. "It wasn't a choice at all. Valerie is comatose and was alone. You can take care of yourself pretty well it looks like. Sorry about not being there."

I nodded slightly, swallowing a lump that had risen in my throat. "That's... fine. I understand, I..." I cleared my throat, shifting a bit uncomfortably. "...He wanted me to... replace M-Morningstar. I said no, of course. He... didn't exactly make it EASY, but I said no. He's just... very good at getting inside your head."

"Well done." Sage smiled again. Friendly. Welcoming. Like he always is. "He's a tricky one. Not as smart as he thinks though."

"Smarter than me." I admit, thinking back on how easily he got to me. "If... you ever catch up to him, give him a black-eye for me, yeah?"

"You got it."

I smirk a bit. "So... need a place to spend the night?"

"Wouldn't mind sleeping in a room I'm not paying for. Nobody ever told me that motels would be such a pain."

"Heh. Tell me about it. You have no idea how much I miss the country. THE SPACE. But, anyway. Feel free to crash. What's ours is yours and all that."

He's been here since then. I went out for a bit for a supply run, but other than that we've spent a lot more time talking. Just different things. What he's been doing. What he's planning/ worrying about. About myself and Valerie and what OUR plan is. About what happened in the bush and what I've read so far in Steven's journal. Just tossing ideas around a bit and making jokes. Having a laugh while we can. It's a bit awkward at times but... it's an okay kind of awkward. We never really got the chance to talk before, so it's just... new ground, I guess. I'm not sure how he felt, but I felt it nice to have someone to talk to. I haven't had anyone to really talk to who wasn't trying to mindscrew me...  since mid-September.

Mother fuck, has it really been that long?

I have forced him to take the second bed though. With how quickly Valerie responded to his presence before, having him stay closer can only help. I've been with her for weeks now. We've always been close, even before all this Haunted shit... and she didn't respond to me. Doesn't respond to me. She responded to him. So it makes sense to use that to our advantage... right?

I'm crashing in a chair, but I can't sleep... so I decided to update my blogger account. Might as well, right?

I'm still on the Right Side. You may not believe me, but I am.

Even if it feels Wrong sometimes.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Choosing Sides

So much of what happened today I wanted to omit. Forget that it ever happened. I really, REALLY considered doing it. I thought... that maybe I could sidestep any flack and pretend everything was peachy. I thought that maybe I could save face.

But then I realized... what difference does it make if I give you guys yet another reason not to trust me?

So... Val and I have still been Running. Not really in some insane sprint, but... just moving every day or so. She's still completely unresponsive to me. I can get her to eat by putting food in front of her. Same with drinking. She sleeps on her own schedule, thankfully, so that's one less thing for me to stress about. She's... stable, at least. Not deteriorating... but certainly not getting better. Least in my opinion.

As for me... I've been healing. I'm not limping anymore and my head doesn't spin when I turn too quick. Both eyes open. Still have shadowing from all the bruises though. Other than that, things have been as they were before... except for the odd trick my mind has grown fond of playing on me. I... keep thinking I see someone tracking us. The troubling thing about that being that I wasn't/am not FEELING anything. I figure it must be a Runner, but... that in itself has been putting me on edge. I've been trying to figure out who would be after me since Twinkle's departure, but aside from Spencer wanting coffee (give it a while, alright?) and Nightprick, I haven't a clue how many others I need to be on the watch for.

So, today, when I was certain I saw someone not even ten feet from our motel room door... I chased them. I didn't even get FAR. We were on the second floor and I just... I followed it outside and down the side of the building. An alleyway, of course. Where else would THIS kind of shit take place?

I slowly came to a stop in my pursuit after a little while of running. I could still see the motel behind me. I wasn't willing to leave further than that, as that would put Val out of my... my range to sense Him and other Proxies... if that makes any sense at all. I barely understand it myself. I couldn't see or feel a damn thing as I glanced around me, though. Whatever/whoever it was was gone. If... they'd been there at all. I hate the admit that could be a explanation but... I don't know. It could be. I'm not about to start denying any option without proof one way or another...

I cursed and turned to head back to Val in our motel room, only to jolt and stumble backwards as I came face to face with someone who hadn't even BEEN there a second earlier. The presence he brought with him hit me like a goddamn train. I made a grab for my knives, expecting a fight... but I honestly really DIDN'T want one. It's not like I'm in the best condition of my life here. I honestly doubted how well I could even use my knives... especially against someone who just felt so... wrong.

Dangerously confident. And Wrong.

His eyes locked onto mine immediately. They were this.. deep amber colour with slitted pupils. His tone seemed a bit amused when he spoke, not at all worried about the measly weapons I had. "Chasing ghosts, are we?"

I just kept my glare set, holding my knives tight at my side and hoping to all Hell I wasn't going to be asked to use them. "...Who the hell are you?"

"One of Our Father's Attendants. Here to reclaim you."

I felt myself tense. "Oh, really? Fantastic. But it's kind of a rerun, don't you think? I've heard the pitch enough already." I dared to move forward, giving him plenty of space as I went around him. "Maybe some other time, okay? I don't have time to play today..."

There was a second's pause before he spoke again. "A pity you never got to see the light fade from Cifer's eyes."

I hesitated in my step. "...Right, well... we can't always get what we want, can we?" I muttered bitterly.

"Yes we can. Provided we're on the correct side. Fulfilling our destiny."

I looked back to him blandly. "Really? You're playing the 'Destiny' card? That work often for you?"

He smiled. It seemed so... bizarrely friendly. "Michelle... You have fulfilled some of your destiny already. But your refusal of Father's love... That is why you failed to get revenge against Morningstar."

"I failed to get revenge against fucking Twinkle because some idiot couldn't goddamn DRIVE. Shitty luck. It happens. I try to get comfort from the thought of him CONTINUING to burn in Hell right at this very minute."

"It was a quick death. Rather painless really. I should know. I was there."

My eyes narrowed. "...What the fuck do you mean 'you were there'?"

"Michelle... Without us... Without Father, you will never accomplish any of your goals. Those around you will continue to hate you, the one single person that you care about... She will suffer, you know that? She will suffer and you will be to blame."

I ignored his words the best I could and moved up close to him, anger revving high and not willing to come down again so easily. "What the FUCK did you mean 'YOU WERE THERE'?! Y-You son of a BITCH, that... the explosion, the... you bastard... you BASTARD, you stole my revenge from me!"

And that's when I finally knew who I was talking to. I had no real proof, but in my gut I knew.

This was Valtiel. Morningstar's old handler.

"You know everything I said was true. Don't ignore it... Accept it. And Accept this offer: Become the new Morningstar. Serve Father. Be accepted into a family that cares about you... And who you care for in turn."

"Go. To. Hell. Why would I even WANT that fucking name? Or to be w-with... any of you? Hm? Just... go to Hell. Say hello to Twinkle for me."

"You want this. I know you do. You know you do. But you continue to deny your destiny. You continue to flee from the future that is happiest for you. Why?"

I tried to ignore the shiver down my spine. I wasn't even looking at Valtiel anymore - instead choosing to watch the ground, the wall... the end of the alleyway which was open for my taking. He wasn't keeping me there. I knew that. But... it was like I didn't WANT to leave. Not at that moment. Which makes even less sense, since I now knew who I was having a chat with. 'Stupid' does not even begin to describe staying. I know.

"I... made a promise..." was my answer. It came out as a mutter. Pathetic.

"You did. But don't you think Valerie would release you from this promise if it meant you had a better life? I think she would. She wants the best for you. You know that. And this... This is the best option for you. Anything else? THAT is a Betrayal."

I twitched a bit, but still forced a bite into my tone. "She c-can tell me w-what... she goddamn wants when she wakes up from what YOUR F-Father did to her!"

"OUR Father." He corrected, not missing even a single beat. "Do you not think she would sacrifice her life? Her SOUL for you? Would you be so SELFISH as to cling to a promise that only leads to ANGUISH FOR BOTH OF YOU. So that when Valerie dies, her lasts thoughts are regrets. About you. About your death. Would you put her through such sadness?"

"SHUT UP!" I tried glaring at him, but I could feel the sting of tears in my eyes. I ignored it, blinking it back. "Just SHUT UP! You don't know her and you don't know me so just SHUT UP! Just... p-please, just... please j-just shut up..."

"But I do, Michelle. I know you. I know her. I know all your little secrets... All your inner most desires. Your wants. And I am offering all of them... Everything you could ever want. All you have to do is say 'yes.' One little word and all your suffering... All of Valerie's suffering... Becomes worth something."

I tried to ignore the twist I felt in my gut. I knew truth when I heard it... but I still shook my head. "...N-No." I turned in a haste, sheathing the knives I'd actually FORGOTTEN I'd been holding. I hoped to be gone before he could think of another way to twist my thinking against me. He was way too good at it to stay around anymore. I had to leave and leave NOW.

"Running Away? Does the truth pain you that much? You realize you are only going to increase Valerie's Pain. And Yours."

I didn't stop. Snapping back over my shoulder, "I'll p-pro...tect her. Just s-stay the hell away from us!"

"You can't even protect yourself. Look at you. Falling apart. Beaten. Broken. I could kill Valerie before you even made it back to the motel."

I stopped dead in my tracks, letting the words - the threat, the truth - sink in before I slowly turned back to him. I wasn't holding a front anymore. I just felt... lost. He wasn't doing a thing to keep me here... except getting inside my head. Except cutting off every option until there was only one left. All with words. Just words. I couldn't help but wonder if this is what he put Morningstar through constantly. If so, no wonder he was so up and down and everywhere. Constantly getting mindfucked can't be good for your head...

"Why c-can't you just... leave us alone? Can't you see I'm not worth it, Valtiel? C-Can't you goddamn SEE THAT?! Y-You... said it yourself. I'm Nothing. Broken. WEAK. I'm... not worth your effort."

"Cifer too was broken. Nothing. Weak. Look at what he did. You have the potential to be so much more. A Brighter Morningstar than he could have ever HOPED to be."

"I'M NOT FUCKING WORTH IT. I can't even t-take revenge in the name of my f-family, and THAT'S the t-track record you w-want for your New And Improved M-Morningstar?" I laughed a bit, but even to my ears it was a broken laugh. Dead. A mockery of a real one. "Th-There... will only ever be... one Morningstar... and he is dead. That's... that's all there is..."

Valtiel frowned for the first time. "There will be a new Morningstar. Whether it is you, or my backup plan. Be warned however that every life he takes is partially on your head. This will be the final time I offer you salvation for yourself and Valerie. Be the new Morningstar. Serve Father. Save Yourself. Stop the Pain. Prove your worth to the world... And Yourself."

I shook my head, eyes looking to the ground just for the sake of focusing on anything but at him as he approached me. I felt sick to my stomach. All his words gnawing at me. It felt like truth then... and it still does now. I couldn't help but flinch when he placed a hand on my shoulder in what was probably supposed to be a comforting gesture, then there was this... warmth that spread into my body. Like rays from a hot sun. The kind we used to get on clear days on the farm while we were out making hay... out with the John Deere tractors with my brother and dad...

I almost got lost enough in the memory to not notice Valtiel suddenly pull back... had the warmth not gone with it. I was back as the chill of the alley immediately sunk back in and I tiredly glanced back to the man. His eyes were wide - startled - looking at his hand.

"What is this..."

The next thing I knew was those amber eyes burning with rage as he grabbed me. I immediately thrashed against him out of pure reflex alone, but he'd already grabbed my sleeve and torn it right off my jacket. I bit my tongue to stop from yelling out in the pain that spiked up my limb from being jerked around, ending up clutching it with my other hand as I found myself against the damp wall for support. Valtiel's face contorted into an inhuman shape when he saw the burn across my arm - the temperature suddenly spiking and becoming a searing heat against my skin that reminded me of That Night. Of the first burn.

I scrambled backwards along the wall, not daring to turn my back on him. Not ABLE to pry my eyes from the burning rage I saw staring back.

Then he suddenly turned without a single word and disappeared into... a warped image. That's all I got to see before near-deafening noises tore at my hearing and I bolted out of there with my hands pressed over my ears.

Only one thought kept repeating in my head: Get back to Valerie.

Then it would all be okay.

Least that's what I told myself.

I... did stop on my way for a moment to get a new jacket from the car. I didn't want Valerie - aware or not - to see my arm. It was just another thing. Another thing she didn't need to worry about. I did find something that would do the job fine and started back into the motel... when I thought occurred to me: How Valtiel just seemed to come and go at the blink of an eye. No warning. No Feeling until he was right THERE. I remembered the rage he had when he saw my burn... and how had threatened Valerie's life just minutes beforehand. I shot back up to the room, cursing myself. Cursing my stupidity. Cursing my uselessness. I mean, mother of fuck, you think I would have learnt by now? Never leave. Never leave. Ever. Stay and watch. Stay and protect. Just FUCKING STAY. But no. I left on some wild goose chase and... left her alone. I had just been just down the street, but goddammit I left her ALONE. I’m somehow able to sense if Proxies are in the area, but if they can disappear into thin air and reappear elsewhere then WHAT FUCKING GOOD DOES THAT DO?

I threw open the door without even stopping, knife already out. I could see someone leaning over where I left her on the sofa. I heard them... talking, muttering, to themselves. It was a string of curses, actually... in a voice that I only recognized after I had already bolted halfway across the damn room. When it clicked though (and thank all mercies that it did), I stopped dead in my tracks. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. He was, indeed, standing over Valerie... but his eyes were closed and one hand was pressed to her forehead.

He seemed to decide to take note of my presence, but didn't turn to me despite how I blasted in. Keeping focus on Val. "Ah. You made it."

I was speechless. Frozen. Knife still in hand. "...Sage?"

He turned around, a soft look to his eye. "You've never been on the run before, have you? You need to get to that point where the paranoia becomes more subtle and gnawing... the less violent, the better." He looked so much paler than I remember. Thinner too.

"I thought... I just..." I stopped myself. It didn't matter. Valtiel. Did. Not. Matter. I went a different route as I put the knife away, shifting a bit awkwardly. "I, uh... I'm sorry. Forgive me... I guess I'm still... not used to people breaking into our motel rooms." I really didn’t mean for it to come out as… sharp as it did. It was meant as a joke... just a joke...

He didn't seem to take offence. "I didn't know how long you'd be... I should have put a sign up or something. 'Sage At Work' has a nice ring to it, eh?" He smiled weakly at me.

I smirked a bit. "Heh. That may have helped. It's... good to see you."

Valerie - still sitting in her usual daze on the couch - took the attention of both of us at that point as she made a soft wheeze-sort-of-noise. I've heard it before. She does it every once in a while... but it still worries me just as much as it did the first time I heard it. I watched as Nick put his hand to her forehead again, frowning when he did. I... didn't know what to do with myself. I wanted to walk over and sit beside my best friend like I have been... but I also didn't want to get in the way. Didn't want to do the wrong thing. I don't know HOW Sage found us... but you guys have no idea how glad I am that he did. Standing there, watching, I hoped beyond hope that he could tell me what we should do. What we CAN do. What... I can do more than what I have been doing... which isn't much to begin with. I bit my lip as I waited, letting Sage do his thing... until I decided to ask. I used a whisper. Hoping that way if I was interrupting some mental-viewing or whatever that he could just ignore me.

"...How is she? What... what is...?"

To my surprise, he answered immediately. He sounded a bit frustrated. "If she comes out, she'll have to do it on her own. It's serious, mental trauma. She's sealed tight like a drum."

My chest ached. So much for hope beyond bope. "You... can't do anything for her? At all?"

"I've done what I can. All we can do now is wait."

I nodded slightly, looking at Valerie with knots in my stomach. Valtiel's words came back to me in full force - all his points sharpened like a razor to drag across my mind... and all I could do was shoved them away the best I could. I know this was all my fault, I... really don't need to be reminded. What I needed now, was to focus. Think. "...You said 'if', Sage." I couldn't bring myself to look at him. Keeping my head low. Hands in my pockets. "This... can't be an 'IF', Sage. How the hell long can she stay like this for before...?" I stopped myself from saying anything I didn't want to.

"Is she eating at all? Some people in this state retain basic functioning, and I haven't been around to observe her."

I shrugged a bit, keeping my voice low as I spoke. "Autopilot, basically. She looks after herself, but... doesn't react to anything. Still hates any kind of music... though the 'reaction' for THAT still isn't much at all."

Sage looked back to Valerie, sighing again. Not saying a word in response.

That's when a motion caught my eye. From her. After weeks of not responding to anything at all, Valerie slowly rose a shaky hand up from its spot on her lap... and gently placed it on Sage's chest, over his heart. I couldn't help but grit my teeth as I glanced between the two. Sage's face lifted with the slight twitch of a smile as he leaned in and wrapped his arms around her in a hug. Val's gaze remained indifferent - staring straight ahead of her - but I swear I thought I saw her lean into it ever so slightly.

Then... she was right back to how she started.

"Th-That's..." I had to clear my throat. "That's more than... I've gotten out of her these past weeks." I told Sage quietly, not really looking at either of them anymore. "That's... a good sign... right?"

"Yeah." He stood, walking over to me. "Keep an eye on her alright? If I stay too long, it'll bring trouble down on your heads."

I nodded. "I understand... I'll look after her."

Sage patted my shoulder. "Stay alive. I'll see you later."

"You too, Sage... thanks for everything."

He left a few hours ago. Now I feel like a dick for not asking him more on how HE is doing but... I kinda forgot to. I had a lot in my head. Not that that's a good excuse but... whatever. It was good to see him again. Really good. He's... always been very nice to me...

I know... Valtiel told the truth about a lot of things. I know it. Part of me wanted to say It. To believe that Valerie would be better off without me... but I guess I really am a selfish bitch. I just... don't want to let go yet.

Not yet...

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

On the road again...

Been keeping on the road the last few days. I couldn't drive (safely) the first day I was back with Valerie, so we had to settle for just moving to a nearby motel since I didn't want to stay at my friends' place and draw... unwanted attention. The Black King seems to... have a hard time focusing-in on Valerie herself, so just changing her location scattered His sight, I think...

I think... that's why she became so unwilling to leave the house. His way of forcing her to stay still for Him to find. Sounds like His kind of mindfuckery... right?

But... with me back? We couldn't stay. He finds me way too easily. I saw Him twice that first night back. Once on route to my friends' place. The other after we had settled into the motel. He had been standing outside. The... pull He has over me tightened like a choke collar around my neck, but I just jerked the blinds shut and sat on the floor in the dark with my back to the wall. It's nothing compared to the strain He put on me when I was forced to be alongside Doubletake.

From there... I'm following a simple rule. Drive during the day. Find a place to spend the nights. My head is better than it was, but I still can't stand the glare of the headlights at night. Every car just... splits my head in two. I can't handle it right now.

I have to give credit where credit is due. Morningstar may have ended our little spat dead, but he certainly made sure I limped away from it. Literally. I'm almost glad Valerie is still out of it. Least I have a chance to heal. Be less... startling for her to see. Black and blue usually suits me... but not exactly like this. My left eye has opened now... mostly.

Look. I know... a lot of you don't agree with what I did. Maybe, ultimately, it was wrong... I mean, I don't think it was, but my thinking isn't exactly... reliable. But, putting that aside... I still... want to thank everyone who at least tried to see it from my point of view. Who tried to understand. You... really could never know how much that means to me...

Other than that... not much to say. I've been reading my brother's journal... which reminds me that I still have to tell you lot what happened in the bush...

That should be fun.

Until then. Take care of yourselves.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Dog Fight

He had begun shifting in his restraints at around two in the afternoon, groaning a bit with the movement as awareness slowly came back to him. I had waited all this time - patiently allowing him to sleep off the mindfuck the Black King put him through last night while I stood back and did nothing. I wanted him to get as much rest as possible. I NEEDED him to get as much rest as possible. After all, it would be a cold day in Hell before he actually cooperated with me and gave himself time to re coop AFTER he realized what was going on.

I allowed him time to figure out his situation before I made myself known. I was sitting on a stool by the kitchen island, but I hadn't turned on the lights and the single pathetic window across the room did nothing to light the place. He sure as hell knew he wasn't alone. The connection would tell him that. Whether or not he knew it was me, I can't say, because when I flick on the lights his face betrayed nothing.

I smirked as I approached. "Hello, Twinkle. It's been a while."

"Indeed it has, my dear sweet Michelle." That cocky look stared back at me. "Did you miss me?"

"Like I'd miss the black plague." I sat down on the edge of the bed. "Seriously, Twinkle... you don't call, you don't write... I'd begun to think I'd done something to UPSET you."

"My apologies. When you opt to give me a Phone or Paper and Pen, I will write and Call ALL you want..."

"Seeing as how you'll be spending your last day IN my company, I don't think that'll be needed."

He laughed at that. "HAHAHAHA... Oh... My Last Day. Funny. So very funny."

"Ah, come on, Twinkle, you're not that stupid. I went through a lot of trouble to get you back, you think I'll be letting you just run away like you did to Elaine?"

"You think you have a choice in the matter?"

"You're tied down to a bed. I think I have some manner of choice here. How much do you even remember?"

He shrugged a bit. "Not much. Not at all. I remember... Hmmm. I remember Valtiel and Father.. Slender Man... God... killing me."

"That all? You've been... very active, since then. For a dead person. Elaine and Spencer got you away from that. Not long after, you bolted on Elaine. Went on a nice little slaughter across the city... fuck, I'm almost relieved you don't remember. It's bad enough I have how I found you stuck in MY head, let alone stuck as your own memory..."

"Yeah, yeah, yeah. Whatever. So what's your plan Michy? Kill me?"

"NOW?" I laughed. "Twinkle, I didn't go through all this shit just to kill you. I went through all the shit of finding you, capturing you,  dragging your unconscious ass back here, and letting dear DADDY find us so that I could finally kill you as close to your best as possible. I want to fight you, Twinkle. Good old duel to the death. Sound good?"

"Ah... I see now. I always figured you to be a moron. I did not expect you to be THIS stupid though."

"Only as stupid as you. I deserve my revenge. You owe me that much." I took out my knife.

He faigned being impressed. "Oh look. The thing that failed to kill our Father."

"Heh. I never tried to kill Him, Twinkle. I'm not that delusional. I just... wanted Him to back off. He doesn't like being told what to do though..."

"No, he doesn't... So, why don't you just fight me now?"

"Patience. You're not as in good a condition as you're figuring you are. Neither am I, but... least I've had more than raw long pork to eat. I'm going... to untie you. I have food here. When you're feeling more... level, I'll give you back the knives you had on you. Our little game needs a conclusion. You dead or me."

"You really ARE an idiot aren't you?"

"Yep. Don't pretend you don't WANT to fight me. Or am I wrong? Is the great Morningstar scared by a little Canadian girl?"

"Scared? Hardly. Problem is dearie... You just aren't worth the effort."

"Heheh. Ha ha~ Come on. I see a liar every time I look in the mirror. You think I can't see it on you? You are curious. We haven't seen each other in a long time. Things have changed. Whatever 'connection' Father gives us... I can feel it. In you. And I know you can in me."

 "Whats your point, Sweetie."

"My point is that even born rivals have to find out who's the best. Go ahead and laugh if you want. You know what Father did. How He pinned us against each other from day one. That wasn't coincidence. That was Father. He brought you back. Even after you willing defected. Why? The Game isn't through. This is the only way to get it all to stop. The only way to get Him to let us forget. This is His will. And you know it."

Morningstar began laughing. "Listen to yourself. Do you even realize what you are saying? Puppet. Nothing but a puppet. Just like ME."

"One difference." I pulled back the collar of my shirt as well as a bandage, showing Hesperus' bite mark that was now 'x'ed out by the clean mark of a knife. It wasn't bleeding anymore, but it certainly had been. "I still fall into the obsession category. Couldn't help it. I'm still a Runner. Barely. But I am. I still have someone to protect. Just like you had Elaine."

"HAHAHAHA... Oh Elaine... The question with her is, who is protecting who... You know you are going to die right? Painfully? Whether I do it or not?"

"I know. But I can handle the pain. Just so long as I go as... whatever pathetic excuse of a Runner I am. Not a proxy. I made a promise, remember?"

"You already ARE a Proxy, Michelle. Whether you believe it or not. HAHAHAHA."

"If you want to believe that. Go right ahead. I don't." I had never stopped smirking yet. Good mood all the way and I wasn't going to let him change that.

"Furthermore, what makes you think that, say... Elaine... Won't go after Valerie? Think about that?"

"Valerie's safe. Trust me. I wouldn't have left her otherwise. Now... if you've run out of things to try to get my temper flaring... I ordered in pizza. You hungry or not?"

"Temper. HA. Oh God. Pizza's my last meal? I expected something with more meaning. Like if you dug up your family's corpses and let me eat that."

"Tempting. Really. But I couldn't be bothered to make the trip back home." I leaned forward then and cut the ties off one arm.

"What... Only one arm free?"

"Going to say the magic word? I'll release the other if you do."

"Hm. Fuck you?"

"Fine. When you're done untying yourself, you really should eat something. I don't think raw meat has much in it that's good for you."

I got up then and left him to his own devices then, going over to the kitchen to grab myself another slice of the pizza I had ordered in. When I noticed he had finished untying himself, I called his attention and tossed an iPhone at him. He barely caught it.

"In case you want to mock me on your blog. I'd recommend saying something to Elaine. She's been freaking. Sort of. You certainly can't say I'm not a thoughtful host... even if you are a mutt."

"Heh." Morningstar immediately went to work typing on the device. With the amount of time he took on it, I'm quite glad I hadn't run the battery down TOO much. He obviously needed it. Though, from watching, it was obvious there were other things he needed. There just wasn't time. I had to get back to Valerie. It was as good as it was going to get.

Besides, it's not as though I was in the best of condition myself.

And then I was taken right out my thoughts as Morningstar threw the IPhone against a wall and the damn thing shattered to pieces.

I could only smirk. "Well, I guess your last meal wasn't going to be using it anyway. Good thing the service hasn't been cut off yet, eh? I was still planning on using that though, you bastard." I watched as he got off the bed and brushed himself off. "...You look like hell." I didn't move as he turned and approached me, holding my knife easily in my hand. Not tense at all. "So... do I get a 'thank you' or a 'fuck you' at this point, Twinkle?"

He didn't say a word. He just stopped in front of me and looked to the door.

I rolled my eyes and reached behind my back, pulling out his own knife. I held it out for him to take. "This room is the last 'free zone', Twinkle. You leave, and the Game will end. One way or another."

He stared at me for a while, not saying anything. Then he took the knife and brushed right past me. I didn't let the door shut. I immediately turned on me heel and followed him out into the hall, keeping a pace that matched his so I wasn't gaining or falling behind. I kept it casual. I followed him straight out of the motel and out onto the street. The first alley he came to he took and I closed the gap between us slightly - not wanting the twists to allow him to get too far ahead. But it didn't really matter - the connection was there. I could feel him. And I'm sure he could feel me.

That's when the fun began. Twinkle started jogging. He ran down an alleyway and I took chase after him, following him as he weaved in and out through the backways. He ran down one in particular - a fence separating it from the yard of a business. He jumped up - foot padding on the wall of the building either side and jumped over to the other side without even touching the fence. I caught a stagger from his landing out of the corner of my vision as I followed - jumping on top of a trash can for a boost and grabbing the top of the fence - flipping myself over it to land in a crouch. He took off for the back - a used car dealership of all places - and jumped up on the hood of a parked car, then the roof, and disappearing over the fence into another alleyway on the other side. At least, he would have disappeared, had I not been on his tail. The owner came out screaming at us, but we were already gone.

We were both at a dead run. I can't remember how long he played around trying to lose me, but it seemed like it was never ending. Like he could just go on and on and on. I was really cursing the silent rule at that point.

No guns.

Then... new level. He literally bounced off the walls, climbing them as he went like a deranged monkey - pushing off of one to get a bit high on the other until he grabbed the top ledge of the building and pulled himself up. No way in hell I could pull that one off... but I found my own lift - an emergency fire ladder off the side of the building. I jumped and grabbed the railing - swinging myself up onto it as quick as I could before jumping onto the roof myself.

He was jumping across to the next one.

I had no time to think. I followed. I followed across THREE DAMN ROOFTOPS until finally a stroke of luck - we ran out of rooftops to jump to. He rounded back at me as I landed in a bit of a stumble from catching the ledge with the toe of my boot. He lunged at me while I was at a disadvantage, aiming to slice me across the chest but I just let myself drop and threw myself to the side - coming out of it in a crouch with my own knife out. I came out of it fairly quick, closing the distance and swiping at him with my own blade several times. He evaded backwards each time I closed up, letting me cut the air. I growled at the game and threw a sidekick at him off the ball of my foot - finally hitting him with enough force that he stumbled sideways, close to the railing. Then he looked over his shoulder... and grinned back at me.

He stepped backwards off the roof.

I ran up... and found him already landing on the ground, safe and sound, after sliding down the ramped roof that was the entrance way of the building. Oh, you better BELIEVE I cursed the asshole then as he waved at me, walking away. I didn't have a choice. I followed. Again. I hit the ground wrong and a pain shot up my leg, but I didn't care. I was running again and so was he - dashing through crowds of people that no doubt SHOULD have noticed the amount of blood that still was on the asshole's clothes but... I guess that's a very good reason for wearing black.

We were both slowing down by now.

Morningstar and I dodged through a cluster of traffic that had stopped for a red light and... then he decided to kick down the crumbling door of an old abandoned building. Like some kind of factory. Even thinking of it now... it was way too fitting of an area. I mean, we started OFF in a bad part of town... and things just got progressively more rough during the run. He got inside easy enough and then tried to slam the door shut on me. I threw my good shoulder against it before he could - making him stumble back a few steps from the force. Fuck, my shoulder was killing me after that, but it couldn't be helped. I stabbed at him with my knife and he grabbed me by the arm, immobilizing it with one hand as he went to stab into my gut with his own knife... which I caught with MY free hand. We struggled against the stalemate for a few seconds - each of us trying to gain to upper-hand before he suddenly twisted and turned, dragging me around and pinning me back against the wall.

He grinned. "S-Such pretty e-eyes you have, d-dear..."

I headbutted the asshole and snaked my leg around his, shoving him back and swapping roles - pinning him to the wall instead. I went to punch him in the stomach, but apparently he was faster - cracking me across the jaw with his fist that sent me sprawled out onto my back on the floor. He was already running up the stairs to the second floor by the time my head cleared enough to realize it. I pushed the pain aside and went after him, desperate to end this stupid endurance run before I couldn't keep up anymore. When he realized I was still coming and that there was nowhere to go on the second floor but up or down, guess where we went?

Back on the fucking roof again. Seriously, this guy must have been a grasshopper in another life.

I'd had enough. By some miracle, I managed to gather up enough energy and tackled him at the top of the stairs. His knife went clattering across the floor and I stabbed him with my own - the blade sinking into his side. Far from a lethal hit, but his arm had deflected it just enough. He gritted his teeth, pain choked in his throat... and then he grabbed me and headbutted me and flipped us over in full rage - pinning me down as my knife went flying away. He nailed me across the jaw again. And again. And again. My vision began to split up, but I screamed at him and punched him in the stomach right over his fresh injury. He gagged, collapsing to the side off of me as he struggled for breath and I struggled to get back up, but was too slow. He was up and grabbed me by my hair - cracking my head on his knee to send me back to the ground. He kicked me hard in the stomach. Then there was a pause. When I cracked an eye open, I could only see the glint of a knife. My head was absolutely spinning - I couldn't stop him as he came over of me, pinning me down with one arm and holding my death in his other. We were both breathing hard. Obviously exhausted and in pain. I thought for sure, looking into his eyes at that second... that it was over. I'd lost.

I hadn't.

He stabbed down, but my arms shot up - grabbing his wrist to hold it back. My arms shook and he had the advantage of pressing his weight against my strength. I felt the tip of the blade begin to press into my chest, over my heart. That's when he shifted to push more weight down and opened up for my legs to move. I kneed and kicked him as hard as I possibly could and managed to throw him off. I scrambled back to my feet clutching my chest where the knife had tore a cut into me from its handler getting jerked away and he staggered to his feet, clutching his heavily bleeding side. I had the knife then. Somehow, I'd managed to get a hold of it and I lunged at him and he jumped backwards by the ledge...

Then... I don't understand what happened.

I heard the scream of tires on the road and the entire building we stood on suddenly shook and buckled. The front side collapsed... at the same point as a fireball rose from what I now understand was a tractor trailer hauling gasoline. I watched the floor around Morningstar fall away... and he with it right into the inferno below.

He was grinning at me.

I had to scramble back to not lose my own footing... but all I could do then is collapse down to my knees. I could only sit and watch him fall over and over again in my mind. Body sinking beneath the blanket of flames. An introductory to Hell...

But it was fucking WRONG. It wasn't supposed to end like that. It wasn't supposed to be mother fucking FREAK ACCIDENT. It was supposed to be ME. Me or him. I just...

I can't think anymore. I'm back with Valerie now. Since the iPhone is no more, had to get here to get to a computer. I just felt I needed to update you all before sleeping.

Morningstar is dead.

That's it.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

He's Back~ ...For a Little While Anyway.

Heh. Wow, I haven't had this many people on my blog since... ever. Who knew dog catchers could be so popular~?

I read every one of your comments, rest assured. Battery dying or not, I value the input... even if it's just threats on my life. Those are always good for a laugh~

Though it's unneeded right now, you see... cause I'm already laughing. Why? Well, we had a guest an hour or so ago. A very tall figure. Black suit. Astounding poker face. Sort of the strong, silent type...

I'd been on the phone with my friend at the time - the one that's looking after Valerie for me. I wanted to check-in while I had a moment of somewhat peace and see if Val had improved at all. Apparently the only reaction she's had so far was when the TV was on and music started as an introduction to a show. Valerie apparently curled into an even tighter ball than what she already was in - hands moving over her ears and murmuring something that my friend couldn't make out. Of course, the TV was immediately turned off and they tried to get Val to talk but... it was pointless. She's not responding. They're doing all they can to keep her comfortable though. For which I am grateful. I owe them big time for this.

I had just been about to ask if she'd eaten anything... when my cell suddenly cut-out with a deafening screech that jolted me into dropping it. Nearly killed my damn hearing in that ear. Luckily the fucking phone didn't break... but I didn't bother retrieving it.

I'd felt the shift.

It was in the air. A sudden pressure closed in around the room. A familiar presence. Hesperus suddenly jolted awake, eyes wide. Frantic. Glancing all around the room. Searching. Pulling at his restraints. He knew. We both knew.

Dear Daddy had arrived~

I stood still where I was, a grin growing onto my face as that familiar urge to laugh bubbled in the back of my throat. I'd love to figure out why I do that so... automatically. I can at least surpress it now when I want, but the urge is always there. A monkey on my back, yes? Anyway, I let a bit of it out as a chuckle and Hesperus whimpered weakly where he was. I glanced to him and he to I. There was almost a plea in those eyes amongst the obvious fear... but it was far too late for that.

We both looked across the room at the same time. Focused on a specific spot along the wall.

The Black King emerged.

He seemed to pull right from the shadows themselves to create His image. The room itself appeared as though it was getting darker by the second and yet... I could still see Hesperus. I could see His face. It was everything else that fell away. I couldn't tell what was suit and what was just shadow as He slowly approached. My nerves practically on fire as He walked right past me - not even sparing me a glance - and went to Hesperus' side. I watched from my spot as the maddog swapped between snarling and whimpering by the second - his entire body trembling as he thrashed in the restraints as much as he could... which, really, wasn't much at all. Terrified eyes never ONCE looked away from His face. Knowing.

I nearly felt... memorized... lulled... as I watched the scene. A pale hand that even made Hesperus' skin took tanned in comparison reached out - the mutt spitting an overflow of words that bubbled into one another to create a mess of erratic sounds amongst growls and strangled cries. Not long after... there was only screaming. I could never put into words what... well, I can't do it justice. The Black King gave back what He had taken. I could feel the change inside me... and it only made me want to laugh more~ THIS was EXACTLY what I'd hoped for. What I wanted more than anything... and Father was allowing me to have it.

He was giving me back my rival.

My personal tormentor.

The devil on my shoulder.

Morningstar.

See, Elaine... your problem is that you always assumed that there was another option for Twinkle. I'd love to be able to release him back to you. I really would... but he's never going to "get better," Elaine. It's either Morningstar or Hesperus. Service or savage. Two options. That's it. Not to mention if he lands up killing you after I give him to you... then Spencer is STILL going to come after me with some bizarre reasoning that it's my fault somehow. So... no. Not an option. I'm sorry, Elaine. I really am. Just... try to understand. This is how it must be.

The Black King has always played us against each other - right from the beginning.

Who was it that attacked Valerie after He first messed with my mind? Who did I then immediately target in response? Who was transfered to Canada for a short spat of time? Who was the only one allowed past His filter? Who killed my dad right in front of my eyes with perfect timing? Who did He then save while the barn was burning down?

Who has He now forced me to run after? To bring back to Him?

I don't know the "Why" of it... but there is no such thing as coincidence. It's always been the Game.

And I'm going to do it as fair as possible. That's why I'm doing all this. That's why I'm giving myself this headache. I want to give him a fighting chance here. I do. I don't want to just kill him, I want to FIGHT HIM. Don't you understand? This has to mean something. It has to count as something. Hesperus counts as NOTHING. That's why I need Morningstar. It has to be Morningstar...

It... didn't take too long really. Soon enough, I watched the restrained form go limp on the bed. The silence thereafter really seemed... too extreme in comparison. Jolting, almost.

Father then turned to me... and I truly couldn't help the single step I retreated backwards. After all... I may be LIKE Them... but I'm NOT a Proxy. Not completely. I'm still a Runner. A... Runner that now stood no more than five feet from the Black King Himself. Always a fun situation, no? My insides twisted as He stepped up - pausing in front of me for a moment. Staring down. Studying me. His toy. I could... hear my heart pounding in my ears. Waiting. Waiting for Him to do something. Anything. But... He just walked right by. Disappearing the instant He was out of my view.

It's... funny, really. It didn't hurt while He was here. The... pain inside, I mean. The constant ache of doing what I do. Of resisting. Being a Runner. It hadn't hurt. First time in... months. A small reward, I guess. For... listening to Him. Heh. Heheheh~ If He thinks this is going to become a common occurrence... He has another thought coming. But of course He knows that. He couldn't not.

Father and I just have the same goal at the moment. It's convenient. Sue me.

And... there you have it. I'm pleased to be able to announce... that Hesperus is no longer among us.

Tonight, I share company with Morningstar instead.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Game: Resume.

Elaine. Spencer.

I found your mutt.

And now I have an image burned into my mind that I would really have rather not gained. I knew Morningstar was a cannibal... but no one needs to witness it playing out. Especially when the... victim of it is still very much alive.

Can I say "I told you so"? Cause I fucking told you so. I told he couldn't run from the past. I told you to kill him while you had the chance. I fucking TOLD YOU.

Now I had to leave Valerie to clean up YOUR mess before anymore people die. She's safe though. Tiny mental break or not, I wouldn't have left her otherwise. She's with someone I trust. Which in itself is saying a hell of a lot for them, since I don't even trust myself. In any case, I didn't have a choice. The Black King won't let me forget. I have to finish the Game.

...Do you two have any idea how I found Hesperus?

I followed the blood trail. Quite literally.

Your little friend tore, sliced, and CHEWED ON a very nice arrangement of bodies to leave behind. Humans were easy enough to pin point when he targeted them, but animals like dogs, cats, and rats seemed to be on his menu as well from the looks of different.. carcasses I found around. Like a morbid breadcrumb trail. Combine that with... well, a link provided by... He That Is which ties one member of the family to another, and I barely had to TRY to track him down. All I had to do was walk. I was... influenced the rest of the way, whether that be by blood smears or Him. After all, this... was His will. I was just going along with it, for once. I Obeyed. Like a good little puppet. A pull in this direction, a push into that one... and I soon found myself weaving in and out through the back alleys of buildings. I don't know how long it was I walked for, but eventually I realized I could hear "voices" ahead of me. One was pleading, agonized wails. The other... was growling.

I approached slowly. A familiar voice in the back of my head begged me to burst into a sprint - to save the damned person - but it was just a fleeting thought. Easily dismissed. This was a Corner and Capture mission. Not a rescue, per se. I couldn't risk spooking MY prey.

So I allowed Hesperus to keep his.

As luck damned my existence once again, the pace and stealth I used to draw near was a wasted effort. I soon had the wild, blood-soaked figure that is Hesperus jerk his head toward me - still chewing. He snarled at me as I kept coming closer - a clear warning - but stayed down, straddling his lunch which chose then to have some faint hope of rescue spark into their thoughts. The girl cried out of me. Begged for help. anyone's help. She couldn't have been more than sixteen. Even from where I now stood a bit away, I could tell it would be pointless. Bones penitrated the skin on all four of her limbs. The pool of blood on the ground suggested she'd been that way for long enough. So did her slurred speech and white skin. For whatever reason, Hesperus had wanted this one alive to dine on. I wasn't about to ask why.

The one thing that I can be thankful for though was Hesperus himself getting irritated with his prey's cries. At first he snarled at her, but when she kept crying he didn't give her another chance. He whipped down and tore out her throat with his teeth. The... choking sounds thereafter are something that's been repeating in my head ever since.

Heh. Can you imagine? I didn't think twice. Didn't even think fucking twice. I knew what I was there for... and it wasn't to save the already-dead or kill Hesperus. I needed the twit alive. I already had a taser in my left hand and my bone-handled knife in my right. I don't remember pulling them out. I blinked once and I was aiming the taser - kicking dirt at the two to get the limited attention-span of Hesperus to turn back to me. He did with teeth bared, barking at me with a string of words that I only caught one of: Devil.

I smirked as Hesperus rose to his feet, body hunched over. Blood soaked into torn and dirty clothes. In his tangle of hair. Running down his chin. He twitched a bit. Yelling at me with no sense to make a sentence...

Thinking now, I can remember how one of our very first discussions on his blog... was putting down rabid dogs. There truly are no coincidences.

But then, as though sensing my... ill-intent for him... Hesperus turned and ran.

I immediately took chase - jumping over the now-corpse in the process as Hesperus ran down the back alleys. The asshole is fast, I'll give him that. But I've gotten pretty good at running myself. I kept up with him. Every turn he took. Just waiting for my chance. Trusting I'd get my chance.

And then there it was.

A dead end.

He ran into it and turned to come back out... only to come face to face with me. Flight switched to Fight in an instant in bloodshot eyes - not hesitating for even a second he made as though to lunge at me. I shot him with the taser. It hit and the charge went off, crippling him down to one knee...

I didn't expect him to be ABLE to lunge. But he did. Tackled me onto my back with a sharp jar that I felt in my neck. He started trying to claw at me in a savage frenzy and I hit him across the jaw with my fist - kicking at him to get him off as I scrambled backwards in the dirt, but he stayed on top. Moving with me despite my hits back and sunk his teeth into the bridge of my neck. I had to grit my teeth to stop from making a sound as I punched him in the gut as hard as I could. When his bite released, I grabbed his head and cracked it against the wall beside us. At that point I rolled away from him - picking up the taser and thanking my luck that the pins had held on him even during the scuffle.

I shocked him again.

Then a third time.

After that, he FINALLY went still.

I restrained him and carried him on my shoulders out of the alleys and into the waiting car. We're in a motel currently. One of those cheap ones where someone can scream bloody murder and the maids just come in the next day to flip the blood-stained mattress upside down. Hesperus is still out-cold. Tied to the bed so he can't Run when Father shows up. And He will come. Just have to wait.

After all, I want to kill Morningstar. Not Hesperus. I want my revenge as it SHOULD be.

Either I'll get him back... or I'll have a nice show watching the Black King tear Hesperus to pieces.

Make your bet while you can.
It's in my head.

All of it.

It's ALL in my HEAD. Thats okay right? It can stay there better than real better than when it WAS real I can ignore it in ym head right?? nonocan't iignore it can't stop SEEING IT. 

seeing him

Morningstar

he's there and i can't stop can't stop SEEING HIM watching the barn burn him stab my dad the blood the GRIN that fucking goddamn son fo a BITCH i don't want to see this don't want want to please make it stop SOMEONE MAKE IT STOP

he's here. he was. thought so. corner of my eye. down the hall. but can't be. must be Him. screwing with my head eh? Hehehe not funny. NOT FUNNY NOT FUCKING FUCKK NO you're NOT HERE how can you reach me likethis you can't you can't IMNOTLAUGHINGYOURENOTHERE you can't do this i cant what do you WANT?!!! please leave me alone i cant i have to protect its valerie i can't leave her cant forget cant NOTSEE see it all over again and again and agian and again

eeven in the mirror mirror went to splash water on me collect myself control myself BREATHE try to. try to stop the shaking. the headache. numb the pain ignore the pain IGNORE IT

he grinned at me behind my reflection

the fucking grin

he's not here. can't be. fuckingCANTBE i feel him feel him across the city like a pulse a connection connection connectionconnectionbetweenfamily NO FUCK NO please just let me stay here

here


here


They aren't here. Not Him or Morningstar. What ...is happening to me...? He's reaching me still and I'm not even... He... He's not... it won't stop. In my head. Fuck it won't stop IN MY HEAD He won't... He won't...

Father won't let me forget.

Game still in process.

My move.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Update

Valerie still isn't responding to anything. She takes care of herself well enough but... it's like autopilot. There's just no reaction. She hasn't said anything to me still. Hasn't even looked me in the eye. She just sits around with this... dazed look. No, it's not even dazed...

It's lost.

She's just not there. Not mentally here. I've been pleading to anything that is willing to give me two seconds that He is not in her head. It... it can't be that, right? It's just shock. Completely just... fuck...

Morningstar... Hesperus... what the FUCK were you doing at her house, you little son of a bitch...

I wish I knew what the hell happened. Not knowing is driving me insane and the only one capable of giving me an answer isn't capable at all. Nothing I do gets through whatever hole Valerie's sunk herself into. It doesn't even feel as though there's another person sitting there with me - like she's walled off from the world in a way that... that even blocks off the feel of life. I've been talking to her. Sitting with her. Fuck, I even spent a few hours just HOLDING her. Hoping that having an arm around her shoulders would bring some degree of comfort that she'd come back... but I think it just made her withdraw further.

I think I understand why. She... shouldn't be around me like this. Valerie has always believed that we are spiritually influenced by the people we surround ourselves with. That we're... influenced by the company we keep...

I'm... the last kind of company she needs right now. She needs someone full of life. Someone light, like she is. Someone... who hasn't taken a life... or two. Someone who... doesn't walk to Him in her dreams.

All of that is true. Those quotes Christian put up? They're mine. Whether you believe it or not, I've only ever wanted to protect Valerie. I've only ever TRIED to protect her. Now I fear I'm doing the exact opposite by just being in the same room as her.


My mind. My thoughts. Myself. ...I don't want any of it hurting her more than it already does. All I get in my head when I'm close to her is the image of black veins pulling to the surface over my skin... and then over her skin... where I had my arm around her. I see it. In front of my eyes. Paranoia? Mild hallucination? I don't care anymore. It's there. Real enough for me.


But Christian also lied. I didn't kill that officer. I will admit... that didn't flinch when he died though. I stared right into dead eyes and I didn't even fucking flinch...

Split... did tell the truth though. They did force me to take an innocent life. Someone not even in knowledge of Him. They made me kill him. Doubletake had... his hand around mine on a knife. The others held me from thrashing. Held me from getting away. Please believe me when I say I fought back. Please, I tried to fight back but... my body just didn't have the strength to it. After a week with Doubletake... I just... I didn't have the strength to fight them off. I couldn't. I tried, but I COULDN'T. That's when the persona of Doubletake fell away and Verin replaced it. He had... me "draw" with the knife. Everywhere. The bound body was... just a waterfall of blood to the floor. The screaming tore into my head. It felt like it lasted forever. I refused to watch... but that didn't stop me from feeling it. I can still feel it. Flips my stomach every time I...

The... man eventually died of blood loss.

I can... still feel the blood on my face. The Operator Symbol. Just another thing... another thing...

Christian. Split. Doubletake. Verin. CryptX. Eclipse. Ben. Raphael. Parasite. Valor.

Those are just a few of them... and they are all just one Proxy. He goes by a variety of names. Each one with its own personality and history that he'd ramble on about. In his spare time, he'd create a new persona for himself. His "main" is Doubletake.
 .
Doubletake - or DT - is an infiltrator. He becomes whatever he needs to in order to get what he wants. For whatever purpose he has. This made for... absolute Hell. I couldn't predict him. I couldn't try to twist his mind around back on him. I couldn't get a feel for how he moved. What ticks he had. It all changed. Constantly. Every single fucking persona was completely different from the last and he would rotate them in and out to his pleasing.

One face with a million different masks. By the end, I had given up on trying to mind-wrestle him. I gave up fighting. I let him try to poison my mind with his words as Parasite. I let him whisper words of "friendship" and "protection" as Christian. I let him hit me as Verin. I just began to wait. Wait for an opportunity to get away. Any opportunity.

I... finally got one in the bush.

I swear, the second I got out of the car, I felt this cold chill sink into me. I couldn't help but think that, in the dead of night... trees... in general... really do look... really...

...

Sorry, I... I can't do this right now. I ccan't concentrate... my head is just... I can't... i can't... cant...







goddammit why cani stil l feel you FROM THIS DISTANCE?!??!