Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Holiday "Cheer"

Ho ho ho.  Happy fucking Holidays.

As Christmas approached, New York started to get insanely busy.  Might be my imagination, but it seemed busier than previous years.  Must be because everyone tried to make this year count, considering that the world’s evidently cockblocking us by exploding four days before the holiday actually hits next year.

And while everyone else was busy decorating everything and buying gifts and singing Christmas songs and writing Christmas letters, I’ve been busy juggling an incredibly tricky situation and writing about people who have died recently. 

I’m sure you’re all wondering what’s going on with Poe and those bruises.  Well, I, like an idiot, decided that the rational thing to do in a fit of panic was to freak out and post it where the world could see it.  It’s kind of habit to post anything I think is noteworthy here, and my brain didn’t make the jump from “this is something important” to “I should keep this between Poe and myself.”  I’ll explain more later once things around here die down some and once I’m free to talk about it, but the laconic and vague version is that Screwtape is, in one way or another, directly responsible for the bruises.  Because all three of us know that I’d press Poe for answers that she’d have to give to me, as soon as I posted he knew I’d find out, and we all know that you guys aren’t going to just glaze over this, so the secret’s basically out.  Which makes the whole situation difficult for all three of us, since we’re dancing around the topic.  The thing is, even though what Screwtape is doing isn’t right, we’re in a situation where we can’t exactly say that he’s in the wrong, and things are tense as we’re all waiting to see who makes the next move.

Poe and I spent Christmas in our apartment.  Didn’t really celebrate.  Not much reason to.  We invited Nee-chan to spend the day with us, though, mostly to bring some cheer to the place.  She’s pretty easy to shop for, especially with Poe to help figure out her more specific tastes.  Knives, anime, plushies, anything else related to anime or Japan…not exactly like I need to agonize over figuring out what she’d love.  It’s the nice part about shopping for obsessive people.

New Year’s Eve we’re probably spending alone at the apartment.  It’ll be nice to have the quiet.  Nee-chan’s mentioned something about spending time with some of Morningstar 1.0’s old crew, so she’s out of the picture.  Then we can finally move past this so-called “time of joy and cheer” and try to regain some normalcy in our routines.  You know, continue the standoff with Screwtape.  Figure out what the hell’s going on around me.  Cling to my fleeting sanity.  The usual.

I should have a post commenting on the recent deaths up soon.  I’ll update the list at that time.

-Don’t Shoot The Messenger-

Monday, December 12, 2011

Okay, what the fuck is going on?

Poe and Screwtape got back the other day.  Again, I've got no details for you other than the fact that they're back.

Poe's been fairly quiet, as usual.  I decided I'd go and talk to her just a few minutes ago.  We hadn't really spoken more than a few sentences to each other for over a week, and I figured I'd at least chat with her about how exactly the assignment went (since, you know, I'm privy to information that none of the rest of you are).  Went to her room to say hi.

Why didn't I knock why the FUCK didn't I knock?

So I, wonderful person I am, stupidly didn't notice that maybe her door was closed for a reason, and that maybe next time I should knock before walking in on my roommate, because maybe htere's a chance that she's changing.

I should have looked away immediately.  I know I should have.  I shouldn't have been fucking staring at her half-undressed looking at the skin beneath those dresses she wears that's never otherwise exposed.  But I couldn't help myself because

I really don't know which was worse: the embarrassment of walking in on her like that, or


Why the fuck was her body covered in bruises?

Seriously, why the hell didn't she mention that before?  I mean...what the fuck is going on?  I...she had a bit of a black eye for a bit a while earlier, but she waved it off and said that someone had accidentally opened a door she was standing near and

Oh my god I cannot believe I actually fucking bought that.  I am SUCH a dumbass.

I'm...I don't know what to do here.  I just...I need to actually go ask her about this now.  Because when I walked in on her, we just sort of stood there frozen for a while before I bolted and

motherfucker.  motherfuckign fuck
oh gd my hands are shaking.

Why did she not mention this to me before?

I am such a fucking dumbass.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Meeting Eddie

I went to visit Eddie today.  You know, the guy who takes care of the husks (or whatever you want to call them--I'm going with husks for the sake of consistency).

Apparently he and the people he takes care of live in a warehouse.  Something big enough to hold a couple dozen people, but not enough that they can live comfortably.  Eddie's about the only person who actually owns anything other than some necessities. 

He greeted me with a handshake, though it was all business with no real friendly intentions.  Eddie is, like I mentioned in an earlier post, a man with a very hard-looking expression.  Intense, focused.

He followed my gaze to the husks, who were milling around.  "You really shouldn't stare," he said quietly.  "I mean, it's not like they notice, and I understand why you're staring, but it just seems...well, rude to them, I guess.  I can't ask you not to, of course, but it'd be nice if you could at least try to refrain from it."

I nodded.  It was an understandable request.  "I'll try.  I'm largely here to understand, though, so I might have to at times.  Less staring, more...observing.  Studying.  Trying to understand them."

He scoffed.  "Like they're just animals in a zoo."  He shook his head apologetically at my reaction to his response.  "Sorry, not your fault.  Sort of an involuntary response.  Most people don't even show interest.  I guess I'm a touchy about it because it's a bit too close to the truth for comfort."  He nodded to the husks.  "I mean, look at them.  It's pretty obvious that they're something less than human.  Not like they deserve to be treated like it, though."

He stopped, took a deep breath, and rubbed his eyes.  "I'm sorry.  I'm just not used to company.  Don't really know how to react.  The only person who ever came by on a regular basis was Caper.  Truth be told, I kind of miss him.  He just sort of had a way with them."  He looked down.  "He managed to do what I never could."

"You're...talking about Poe?"

"Yeah, still stunned over that.  Especially considering what Poe's like.  These people have just...given up.  Lost all reason to keep fighting.  I think that's what a large part of the process of becoming like this is.  He just takes away your will to fight.  And I never would have expected Poe of all people to start fighting again."

I looked around a bit more.  "Why do you call her Poe?" I asked him.  "Wouldn't you have known her when she was Annabel?"

He shook his head.  "She wasn't anyone when I knew her, Messenger.  These people--they don't have names.  Sure, maybe I knew that her name was Annabel Lee, but why would I call her that?  She wouldn't answer to it.  None of these people answer to their own names, and no one else gives them a name of their own.  Do you know how I refer to them, Messenger?  By a number.  That's all they are to anyone other than me.  They're nameless.  Just given numbers, like cattle.  Why bother keeping up with them all?  They come and go so quickly, after all.  Let's just give them a number so we don't have to learn the name of someone who'll just be gone next week."

His voice wavers with anger on that last part.  A heavy silence hangs in the air for a few seconds.

"You...don't like your job," I say.  He shoots me a look that makes me painfully aware of how obvious that last statement was.  "I mean...most of the others seem to enjoy their jobs at least somewhat.  You just really seem like...I don't know.  Like you got the short stick.  How do you deal with it?"

He shook his head slowly.  "I don't, really.  I'm on Uberman's sleep schedule because I can't afford any more sleep while watching all these guys.  The pills help.  Sometimes.  It's a taxing job.  Physically, because of the constant attention they require and the occasional need for self-defense.  Emotionally, because just look at them.  You can't work with shells of humans and stay emotionally balanced.  That's what most of the pills are for."

"So why do you do all this, then?"

"Because no one else wants to.  No one can.  Would you help me out?"  I hesitated, and he continued before I could answer.  "Exactly.  Clearly, you don't want to, and I can't make someone do something they don't want to.  So it's just me."

"You really must hate The Boss, too."

He shook his head.  "I don't know.  One one hand, I know what he's doing isn't good.  On the other hand, I don't know if he even knows what he's doing.  He's not human, Messenger.  We can't hold him to human morals or explain him through human means.  But all those fucking runners?  Them I hate.  They're humans, and they're so ready to kill their own.  Sure, they claim self-defense, but do you really need to kill someone to defend yourself against them?  They just don't think of them as people anymore."  He started shaking.  "I've dressed and fed these people.  I've looked them in the eye far too many times.  Once is almost enough to crush your spirit."  He pointed to a couple stack of notebooks sitting against the wall.  "They filled all those just yesterday.  None of it makes any sense.  They just scrawl gibberish and sloppy pictures because they have nothing else to do.  They don't know what to do with themselves so they just empty their minds into them.  And I have to throw them out and burn them because there's nothing else to do with them."

I paused, wondering how exactly to make my next statement.  "You seem...more normal than the others."

He scoffed.  "None of us is 'normal,' Messenger.  Not even you.  If by 'normal' you mean 'less sociopathic,' well, maybe I am.  But maybe I'm not.  Trust me, if I had a button that could end humanity, I'd push it.  This job turned me suicidal before the pills, and even now, every time I take them, I'm tempted to 'accidentally' overdose.  You're living in a mad world, and it's time you admitted that.  None of us is normal or sane anymore."

I shifted my weight around.  "Hey, uh...thanks for talking to me, Eddie.  I'd better get back soon, though.  I'll...I'll try to visit now and then."

Eddie looked up at me.  "You won't," he said.  He didn't look angry or sad, just...resigned to the fact.  "No one comes by just because they want to."

I let him know that I'd at least try before shaking his hand and leaving.  I really would like to come back, too.  I asked him about himself and what he does, but I really didn't get a lot of information about the husks themselves.  Hopefully next time.

-Don't Shoot The Messenger-

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Alone Again

Well, Poe and Screwtape took off yesterday.  They're going to be doing some field tracking, which I can't really say too much about.  Can't tell you where they're going, can't tell you who the target is, can't even say whether it's a name that I or any of you would recognize.  All I can say is that they're going to be gone for probably around a week.  I've made Poe promise to write something up at some point while she's gone for me.  I

And now I'm alone again.  Nee-chan came over for a bit and we watched the latest episode of that Mirai Nikki show, but she left again right after that.  It's kind of nice.  Poe's always been pretty quiet, so it's not like the place is suddenly silent, and it's sort of freeing just knowing that I'm alone and being able to relax.  Having some space.

Anyway, I'm probably going to go meet with Eddie in a day or two to ask him some questions.  Be looking forward to that, because you're going to get to hear all about the mindless drones you've been constantly killing.  Fun.

-Don't Shoot The Messenger-

Sunday, November 27, 2011

A Thanksgiving Gathering

Well, I think I can say that this has been the absolute worst Thanksgiving ever.

Before we start, let me say that I've got a lot to talk about.  This might be a bit belated or get split into multiple parts.

Jacob decided that he'd prepare us a Thanksgiving meal.  I don't know why the hell he thought it was a good idea, but he insisted, and hey, free food.  Not like we can usually afford to eat like kings.  I think I've lost about twenty pounds in the last half a year or however long it's been.

I think I would have preferred leftovers.  Wouldn't have been as good, but it would have been better than what we usually get and we wouldn't have had to socialize.  Getting about forty people with varying levels of sociopathy together (Around fifteen "agents" and twenty-five "hollowed" or "broken" or whatever you want to call them) is probably not a good idea.

Yeah, there's about forty of us that Jacob funds.  We all fit in the rich bastard's house pretty well.  Talked to a few people, and it sounds like half of the total funds go to this man named Eddie.  He's...I think the term he used was a "Caretaker."  Basically, he's responsible for overseeing the...the ones that can't take care of themselves.  I still never know what to call them.  Apparently, Eddie has a job similar to the one Andrew had.  I think he's probably the most "normal" of anyone I've met who's here of their own accord.  It's obviously hard on him, though.  He has very hard eyes.  That's the only way I know how to describe them.  Eyes that look like he's seen so much that nothing bothers him anymore, and if it does, he can't outwardly emote.  Things I'm thankful for, #1: my job isn't nearly as stressful as Eddie's.

Didn't get to talk to Eddie that much.  I only saw him for a few minutes with everyone else, then he went to a separate area of the house to keep an eye on the ones he's supposed to keep an eye on.  Visited him there for a few minutes to ask about his job, but it didn't last very long.  He kicked me out pretty quickly.  He didn't seem too happy I was there (even though I told him I was just curious about his job and his...charges, I guess), but I convinced him to give me his contact information.  Might go talk to him again later.  Don't think he likes me, but he seemed to want to talk to Poe some.  Curious as to how things were going.  She seemed more intent on avoiding him.

Anyway, that left about fourteen of us, plus Jacob and Eternity, sitting around and eating and...doing other Thanksgivingy stuff, I guess.  Eternity's not funded by Jacob (pretty sure he's on some higher level of funding) but showed up anyway for some reason.  Maybe we were the only group who had a Thanksgiving gathering, maybe he gets along well with Jacob, or maybe he just wants to fuck with me or something, but for whatever reason, he was there.  Gave me that same patronizing routine, so I tried to avoid him as much as I could.

Watched the game with some others for a while before eating.  Eternity and Theta both watch football, apparently.  Theta's kind of strange about it, though.  Just sits there and stares at the screen.  Doesn't talk.  Doesn't cheer.  I have no clue which team he was going for, or if he even had a preference.  Gave up on watching after finding out that Eternity's a Packers fan (wasn't going to give him the satisfaction of knowing then that we were going for the same team), and decided to use the opportunity to talk to some other people more.  Besides, Poe refused to leave my side, and I have the feeling she wasn't exactly enjoying the game.

Glasses came up to me at one point.  Turns out he calls himself Muad'Dib (and I only know how to spell that incredibly stupid name because of Poe).  Anyway, Muad'Dib comes up and starts talking to me.  Says he recognizes me and that I'm a friend of Nee-chan's, right?  I can't really say that Nee-chan's a "friend," exactly, but I nod.  He starts sighing and talking about how cute she is and how lucky I am to be so close to her.  Asks if I think he has a chance.  I'm not sure this guy remembers the night he and Ginger had to pin her down (speaking of Ginger, didn't get the chance to talk to him at all and ask for his name.  He mostly stood off to the side the entire night, with what looked like a grimace on his face).  I reminded him of how unstable Nee-chan is, and how he should know that, having experienced it firsthand.  The kid must be a dumbass, because he looks at me and says this, verbatim:

"Well, yeah, but look at her.  I mean, she's probably all sorts of kinky.  She's gotta be a freak in bed."

I may be wrong, but something tells me neither of those kids has gotten laid in their life.

Muad'Dib started talking to Poe some then.  I caught a few things from their conversation.  Apparently the kid's a pilot (I'd ask why the hell we need a pilot, but then I'd have to ask why the hell we need a hacker), and he's flown Poe around when they need to do more hands-on field tracking.  Apparently she's got an assignment coming up soon.  Speaking of which, Poe, would have been nice if you had mentioned that earlier.  Or, you know, at all.  But anyway, Muad'Dib takes a deep breath and heads over to talk to Nee-chan.  Don't know how it went, because I didn't stick around, but I guess I also don't really care.  If he has a chance with her, good for him.

I talked to a few other people, but I didn't have enough time to hold any sort of meaningful conversation or gauge them before the meal started.  I have no clue how exactly Jacob figured out the seating, but I could tell he was being pretty deliberate.  He put Nee-chan between Poe and Screwtape, for example, probably to keep Poe and Screwtape fairly close, but separated in a way that doesn't require them to look at each other.  I ended up between Poe and Muad'Dib.  Clearly, Jacob had gone out of his way to try to avoid conflicts.

A shame that it didn't work.

We ate in silence for a while.  Everything was fine.  And then Jacob said something about how he was hoping this could be an experience to bring us all closer together and how he'd like it if we at least tried to talk to each other.  That's when things sort of went to hell.

There were a few murmurs of conversation.  Couldn't catch most of it, but it sounded relatively normal.  Then things exploded.  As great as Jacob is, he clearly doesn't spend enough time around us.  Getting us all together is one thing.  Getting us all together and forcing us into conversation is going a bit too far.  You absolutely cannot get people like us together and expect the conversation to be anywhere near healthy.  You know that uncle who always makes family gatherings awkward because he's vocal about views no one else in the family holds, or something along those lines?  Well, imagine a big family where everyone's that uncle.

Screwtape started talking to Poe, telling her how happy she must be to see Eddie again after all this time.  Eternity started asking me how Kyle was.  Nee-chan brought up Morningstar, and apparently opinions on this new guy and his predecessor are pretty mixed.

Jacob decided to remove all the knives from the table pretty quickly.

Anyway, the whole thing degenerated into shouting matches until Eternity stood up and yelled something about us being a family and that we should be simply enjoying each other's company.  You can't tell from the syntax I used, but he used second person plural, not first person plural.  Bastard made a big show about caring about how much we get along, but didn't even include himself as "one of us."

After that, everyone pretty much stopped talking and just ate.  Except for one couple (didn't get their names or anything), and they didn't even talk.  Just acted all flirty with each other.  Fun facts about eating: Theta's apparently a huge eater, Screwtape eats very simply (he apparently only drinks water, didn't eat anything particularly sweet, and didn't add any additional seasonings), Nee-chan's kind of a picky eater, and apparently Ginger's a vegetarian.  After we finished eating, we took off.  Some said goodbye to others, some thanked Jacob as they went.  Others (Theta was the one I remember, but there were a few others) just stood up and left the table without a word.  The whole thing was  just...really awkward, like no one really wanted to be there.  Easily worse than any family gathering I've been to.

Let's hope that I don't have another thanksgiving like this for a long time.

-Don't Shoot The Messenger-

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Interview with Dia

So I did that interview with Dia I mentioned in my last post.

I'm not going to bother retyping it all for you here.

-Don't Shoot The Messenger-

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Catching up

Okay, finger's not fully healed yet, but I think I can bear it long enough to stop in, since I know you're all so worried about me.

I'm fine.  Been keeping to myself, mostly.  Been working some, been reading some.  Watching a few of the people who do videos for certain reasons.  Been making a few Skype calls with a few people (who shall remain nameless) for reasons that are none of your concern.  You'd probably just be bored.

Poe's been a bit distant, lately.  Don't know what's going on.  I think she may be upset about me making her type that thing out before.  She's mad I made her blog, I'm mad she's siding with Screwtape on this, and we just haven't bothered really bringing it up.

Nee-chan's been coming over on Saturdays.  She's been really excited over this "Mirai Nikki" show that's just come out or something.  Forced Poe and me to watch it.  I'd have insisted on a dub, but apparently there isn't one yet, so I guess she's forced me into watching another one of those.  On the plus side, it's a pretty entertaining show.  Reminds me of Death Note in a lot of ways.  But anyway, she's been upset over the new Morningstar thing (you guys remember Morningstar, right?  Apparently there's a new Morningstar now).  Much more stable than when he died, though.

That reminds me, still need to figure out who the Glasses and Ginger guys who helped calm her down were.

As for pretty much everyone else, haven't seen them around, and I don't particularly care.  Except Donovan.  I'm kind of curious as to what happened to him.  He just sort of disappeared, and I haven't heard any sort of indication that he's dead yet.

Incidentally, some of you may be familiar with Dia.  She sometimes leaves comments here.  Sometimes they're stupid comments about how we apparently have some sort of orgy in this place every night (we don't).  But she's been nagging me about doing an interview with her, since apparently she wants me to be on the other side of the mic for once.  And because I guess I've got nothing else to do, I've stupidly agreed.  You can expect that when it's finished.  I'm also going to be trying to talk to Poe soon about Glasses and Ginger, and I guess just talking to her in general again.  Oh yeah, and trying to get the List of Deceased updated.  So take a look at that (I'm not going to link it when it's at the top of the page) and let me know if I've forgotten anyone for some reason.

-Don't Shoot The Messenger-

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Explaning some stuff

Jesus it was hard convincing Poe to write this up.  She keeps talking about how it's not right, how she shouldn't be writing anything, how she'll say something wrong...but whatever.  Here's what's been going on.

I do not want to blog about this. I don't want to blog at all, really. Messenger can't do it himself though, and he's asked me to do it for him. He really doesn't like being a liar, I guess. We got in a bit of a fight about it actually. Which is why I'm here writing this.

Screwtape has gotten worse. He's always scared me a little. Now he's even more intense than he used to be. He does seem a little less angry at me though, so I will take small mercies where I can get them.

After Messi's post about Eternity, Screwtape came over. I was not in the room, but I could hear them talking. Screwtape demanded that Messi take the post down, because it was just lies being spread around. He said Eternity was just trying to break him. This was a test of faith that Messi was losing.

I feel weird saying it, but I think I might agree with him. Eternity is pretty big here. He does exactly what he says he does. Even if he was just using us to forward his own goals, it seems strange to think that he would tell Messi this. That's assuming this was the real Eternity in the first place. I don't like doubting Messi, but the whole thing seems off.

He refused to take the post down. He claimed that Screwtape was just angry because his world was falling apart. They argued like this for a while, then Screwtape seemed to back down. That was when I heard a small snap, and Messi screamed. I ran into the room, but Screwtape was already gone.

That's how Messi broke his finger, and why he can't really type right now. He seems pretty upset about the whole thing, but I don't think he's going to be able to update very much until it heals. I don't think this is a bad thing. I thought that blogs would be a good thing. Really they just stir up trouble.

Still, it is sort of his job. Messenger will be back to this blog as soon as he can be.

So yeah.  Screwtape broke my fucking finger because I wouldn't take a post down.

I'm going to be laying low for a bit while the situation cools and my finger heals.  It hurts like hell, and you have no clue how unnatural it is to type while your ring finger is in a splint.

-Don't Shoot The Messenger-

Edit: Okay, since I'm getting some questions, let me elaborate on a few things.  I'm not having a "religious crisis."  That's Screwtape, much as he'll deny it.  The "test of faith" phrase that keeps getting thrown around means that Eternity is trying to get in my head.  Break me down.  Test me.  You get it now?  Good.  Screwtape said the reason he broke my finger was "the cost for spreading uninformed rumors and causing dissent" or something like that.  He also said that I got the good end of the bargain.  My ass.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Okay some of the pain's gone so maybe now I can

No, fuck it.  Still hurts too much.  Gonna get Poe to explain sometime soon.

Don't worry.  Just my finger.  Which is broken.

Motherfucker that O key is common.

-Don't Shoot The Messenger-

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Meeting Big Brother


Um.  Well.

Okay.  I guess I should start.  Just get all of this out.

Big Brother gave me an address to meet him.  A church.  A big cathedral.  "I hope you don't mind; they just have a certain feel to them, you know?"  Of course.

Anyway, I got out to the church.  It was empty, but unlocked.  Big city like this, you'd think that churches would stay open and at least partially manned 24/7, but...I don't know.  Maybe he rented it or something?  I don't know, and it's not important.

Anyway, I entered the sanctuary, and there he was.  Sitting at the far end, at some sort of big ornate chair.  Sitting it in sideways, legs over the armrest.  Clapping slowly.

"Welcome, my friend!" he called out.  "Welcome!"

He was probably around my age, give or take a few years.  Fairly short, too.  Dressed in these big fancy deep purple robes. Black hair in need of a trim, and combined with the soul patch, he looked like a massive tool.  Lounging on the chair casually like he didn't have a care in the world.  The way he held himself, I was surprised there wasn't a loincloth-clad servant or two there feeding him grapes or fanning him with a giant palm frond.  He stood as I approached, and as the robes shifted, I caught a glance of what he was wearing underneath.  Jeans and a t-shirt.  Wonderful.

He held his hand out, giving me a smug grin.  I didn't shake it.  "Well, well, well, it certainly is an honor to finally meet, isn't it, Alan?"

Alan.  He called me Alan.  Why the hell would he call me Alan?

"The Messenger," I told him.

He shook his head and chuckled.  "Alan, Alan, Alan...why are you so opposed to your real name?  After all, we both know it already, so why not use it?  Oh, but I'm sorry!  You don't know who I am yet, do you?  You call me 'Big Brother,' and I think that it's time you use the name I go by now.  You may call me...."  And here he paused for a big sweeping bow.  "...Eternity."

He looked up and grinned, expecting some sort of response.  ", I guess?  Look, can we skip the pleasantries?  I've got questions."

"Skip the pleasantries?  But Alan, the root of the word is 'pleasant.'  Are you against pleasant things?"

"Don't call me that."

"I'm sorry, does it bother you when I use your name?  It's just shorter than 'Messenger.'  I hope you don't mind if I continue to use it.  Let's call it my fee for answering your questions."

Smarmy bastard.

"Look.  What the hell do you want?  Why'd you bring me here?"

"Because you deserve to know."

"Know what?"

He stared off in the distance, putting on a thoughtful look.  "Hmmm...ask me something else.  Not quite ready to answer that one quite yet."

"Fine.  Why did you install video surveillance?  And where are you hiding the cameras?"

He burst out laughing.  "Oh, Alan.  Your paranoia is simply delicious.  There aren't any cameras.  Not now.  They sort of come and go.  That's why you couldn't find them.  There haven't been cameras in your room since before you checked.  And I don't know why you're asking me at all.  After all, I'm not the one who installed them."

"'re not?"

"Of course not.  I just had some agents do it for me.  I can get a lot of people to do a lot of things for me, actually.  In fact, I' do I put this?  I'm well-known.  Well respected.  A 'big deal.'  I'm pretty sure you're only hearing my name for the first time, but all your friends or co-workers or whatever exactly you want to call them have probably heard of me."

I'll admit that that threw me.  Wasn't expecting someone well-known.  I sort of choked on my response a bit.

"Cat got your tongue, Alan?  You're...meaning to ask what I do, correct?"  I nodded.  "Well, I'm what I guess you'd call an 'Oracle.'  I'm not exactly the highest-ranked person, but even the highest-ranked sort of rely on me.  After all, when was the last time your Boss told you anything?  Someone has to understand and decipher the will of the Slender Man, don't they?  Someone a bit more...specially attuned to him."

"The...the Slender Man?"

He laughed.  "Oh, I'm sorry, Alan!  Would you feel more comfortable if I called him 'Father' or 'the Tall One' or 'He That Is' or something along those lines?  But why should I?  After all, that implies fear, respect, or awe.  And me?  What reason do I have to fear him?  What reason do any of us have to fear him.  Most of us--well, excluding your Annabel, of course--have never had any reason to.  He doesn't care about us.  Why do you think he agreed to that 'deal' you made with him so easily.  He probably just doesn't care enough about your brother Kyle to bother him.  He could turn on us for any second if we anger him for some reason.  But if he was going to rip me to pieces, he'd have done it already.  What reason do I have to fear him?  What reason do I have to respect him?  What reason do I have to be in awe?"

"So then...if he doesn't care about us, what fuck is all this for?  Why am I working for him?"

He gave me a smile and sighed.  "Looks like I put too much faith in your intelligence.  You don't get your orders from the Slender Man directly, do you?  They get passed down through other people whose job it is to pass down those orders.  And didn't I tell you that I'm the one who interprets his orders?  This little cult--and it is a cult--needs me to do anything.  Are you catching on now?"

"Hard as it is for your ego to accept it, let's assume that you just suck at explaining things."

"Ah, Alan, playing at the tough guy is unbecoming of you, especially considering just who it is you're talking to. But I'll humor you.  Now, I'm sure you've heard the term 'proxy.'  All these people using it to describe anyone on Ol' Slendy's side.  It's almost easy to forget that it's an actual word with an actual meaning.  Checked out Merriam-Webster's website before I came and memorized a definition for your sake.  "A person authorized to act for another."  One that works better is the concept of a proxy server, something I'm sure you're familiar with.  Going through another server--or in this sake, person--to do something."

"Yeah, it's kind of a dumb term in my opinion.  I wouldn't really say he controls me."

Eternity laughed.  "You don't get it, do you, Alan?  You're a proxy.  As much as you might dislike the term, you're a proxy.  Only thing don't work for the Slender Man at all.  You're not his proxy.  You're mine."

I, naturally, had my snappiest response ready.


"Alan, do you really think that a being who just might be omniscient and invincible has any pressing need for a person who hacks blogs?  I told you, I run this place.  I'm the one he talks to.  I'm the one who tells everyone what his will is.  These people--they think that I'm interpreting the orders of their god, willing to carry out his every move.  But who's to say I'm interpreting anything?  These people have it on faith alone."  He spread his arms wide.  "As far as I'm concerned...I'm their god.  By the way, Alan, you're staggering.  You might want to take advantage of that pew and sit."

I sat.  "So that's what this is all about, huh?  This is all a farce?  All of our lives...they're just some game to you?"

He started fidgeting with his fingernails, looking at them disinterestedly  "If you choose to see it that way--yes.  Yes, it's all a game.  I like to think of it more like seizing an opportunity, though.  You can't tell me that, if you were in my position, you wouldn't take advantage of it.  I'm sure you've been tempted to hack a blog now and then to twist their events to your satisfaction now and then.  Don't answer that, by the way.  We both know the answer already, even if you won't admit it."

"So...what now?  You know that I record pretty much everything now, right?  I started recording this from the moment I walked in.  And even if I didn't, I'd still remember enough to expose this."

"Oh, naturally.  And I'm sure everyone will believe you, too.  But really...what good would it do?  After all, how much of what I say is the Slender Man's word, and how much is my own?  There's a reason they chose me as an Oracle in the first place.  And no one would dare say that I'm making entirely selfish choices.  After all, whatever I do gets the job done, doesn't it?  And the fact that I'm not dead says a lot.  If the Slender Man were really all that opposed to what I was doing, do you think I'd still be here?  Maybe he trusts my word and I've been ordained as some sort of prophet.  Maybe the prophet, like I'm his right hand man."  He shrugged, giving me another one of his smug grins.  "And besides, ignoring all of that, if they decided to somehow dispose of me, where would they find another Oracle?  The whole cult--and yes, it is a cult--in this area sort of sprung up around me.  I'm indispensable.  So what now?  Well, now we part.  Go our separate ways.  I'll see you later, Alan.  Until then...have fun."

And that's...what we did.  I just left.  Walked out as he chuckled.

The last seven months of my life have been a lie. 

What the hell am I supposed to do now?

-Don't Shoot The Messenger-

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Things are calming down some.  Unfortunately, they've been a little too calm and quiet.  There's been a heavy silence hanging over the apartment, and I think it largely has to do with a comment Screwtape left a few days ago in regards to Poe's role in that whole incident with the Nee-chan freak-out: 

"Messenger, you can promote your perception of things as much as you want to, but let me remind you that Raven was of absolutely no help. She caught Nee-chan's attention for perhaps a second and then did nothing else. Do not let your bias towards her and against me affect you. You know as well as I did that she did nothing but take up space that night. She could have at very least spoken to Nee-chan to attempt to calm her down. Only fitting, since dolls are quite well known for being able to comfort children."

I really don't want to admit it, but...well, he has a point.  I know it, and I think Poe knows it, and it's really just been a source of tension.

That's what today was for.  To relieve some of that tension.  For more than just us, too.  Theta showed up and dropped Nee-chan off, telling us to keep an eye on her.  I guess she's got a bit more free reign now.  Anyway, she was...she was trying to be smiley and cheerful.  But she wasn't.  I could tell it was forced.

So I spent an hour or two watching something called "Lucky Star" in Japanese, for her sake.

I didn't really like it (I couldn't really follow it, but I'm pretty sure that there wasn't much to follow, and it's quite possibly the dumbest show I've ever seen), but I guess this is about one of the most normal things I've done in a while, so I'm not complaining.  It seemed to improve everyone's mood some.  Nee-chan gave me a hug afterward.  Called me "Messi-kun," which she's never done before.  It's always been "Messenger-san."  Asked Poe what it meant, and she said that it meant Nee-chan started thinking of me as a friend.

And things seem a bit better in more ways at one.  As we watched, Poe just kind of...leaned up against my shoulder.  Like...I don't know. felt like, after a heavy silence, we just...connected.  Got closer.  Things feel better now.  A sort of invisible rift mended.  Although I recognize that's usually a gesture of affection, and I...well, I mean, I know there's...we know what the situation is and everything, and it just seems...I don't know if it was right or not.

Whatever.  I'm dwelling on this.  I shouldn't be.  Most important part of the post now.

Big Brother contacted me.  Told me he'd call me again on Monday and invite me to where he was.  I'll have something up on Tuesday.  If not, expect me to be dead blah blah blah I'm sure I'll be back.  Don't worry.

-Don't Shoot The Messenger-

Monday, October 10, 2011

Star Burning Out

Well, Morningstar's gone, if you hadn't already heard.  Like the Observe and Terminate report, this one's already been covered better than I could.  Morningstar seemed to have expected it may have been coming, and he got up a post on his own blog.  That first link there seems to match up fairly well with what our agents found when they investigated the scene.  Only one real unanswered thing that remains is the matter of the truck that crashed into the warehouse and blew up, killing Morningstar in the process.  Seemed a bit too coincidental, if you ask me.  I don't know.  Maybe it was some sort of suicide attempt.  Who knows?  Maybe he felt trapped or thought he would lose and decided to end it himself.  That'd be like him: ensuring a dramatic, over-the-top fiery death for himself: the dramatic, over-the-top Saturday morning cartoon villain.

But that's all just speculation.

So who was Morningstar?  Well, it's hard to say.  Was he, as some claim, a broken lost soul, forced to serve The Boss against his will?  Was he, as others will suggest, an irredeemable monster who was only playing at switching sides?  Or was he a bit of both?  How much of the monster was him, and how much was out of his control?  It's hard to say for sure.  Out of respect to my former roommate (who I guess had some sort of crush on him) I'll withhold my personal opinions of the kid.

But I suppose it really doesn't matter anymore, does it?

-Don't Shoot The Messenger-

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Everyone else is completely batshit, too

First of all, check the Observe and Terminate report out so that it doesn't get lost in the shuffle.  I'd hate to write something for everyone and then not have anyone read it.

Done that?  Good.  Now let's go back to talking about how I've somehow ended up in a mental institution without wardens.

I decided that I'd go down to Screwtape and Nee-chan's room today after gathering some more information for the upcoming reports to check on Nee-chan and maybe see if I could arrange an interview with Theta.  Screwtape was attempting to clean up while Theta and Nee-chan were sitting on the remains of the couch.

Waved as I entered.  Asked Nee-chan how she was doing.  She just sort of crossed her arms and glared at me.

"Better," Theta told me.  "Still unstable, though.  Not to leave until she can control her emotions."

She stood up and started screaming at him about how she was in control and how she had to go and kill Mitch (the person who killed Morningstar apparently) because she was a bully and she kept going on and getting more and more agitated.

That's when Theta stood up.  Looked at her.  She started to trail off, fear in her eyes.  "You are not to leave this room," he told her.  And then he backhanded her.  Just...just hit a nineteen-year-old girl.  Smacked her down into the couch.  Screwtape glanced over, but otherwise didn't even react.

"But I have to," she said, looking up at him and sobbing.  He pulled her up, threw her to the floor.  "No," he told her, "you don't."  Picked her up, dragged her to a back room.  Shut the door behind him.

What the fuck.

I tried talking to Screwtape some.  Asked him what the hell was going on with that.  He said that it was just how Theta handled things.  Nothing out of the ordinary for him.  It didn't seem to bother him.  He said that it worked well enough and with someone as volatile as Nee-chan, and if he could control her, what business of it was his.

There was crying coming from the back room.  I didn't know how to handle it.  Screwtape didn't seem to care, and that made me a bit uncomfortable.  I...just left.  I don't know.  I feel now like I should have done something.  But what could I have done?  I can't exactly report this to the authorities.  That compromises everyone involved in this.  Brings in unnecessary investigation.  I can't exactly step in, considering that Nee-chan would probably be able to hold her own better than I could.  I could try to figure out who Glasses and Ginger are and get their help, but they probably wouldn't be able to hold their own against Theta either.  Screwtape wouldn't step in.

And then there's the fact that I never really expected I'd be worried about Nee-chan, either.  I don't know.  What the hell else goes on around me that I don't know about?  I mean, I'd probably notice if Screwtape was somehow abusing Poe, but I guess there might be stuff going on that she isn't telling me?  I just don't know anymore.

Almost enough to make me wish I was up against The Boss himself instead sometimes.  Almost.

Anyway, Morningstar and Maduin's reports should be up soon.  Morningstar's tomorrow for sure, Maduin's within the week, hopefully.

-Don't Shoot The Messenger-

Termination Observed

This is a report that's a bit different than the others in that I'm not announcing the death of a person, but the death of an entire division.  The Slender Man division of the Paranormal Termination Consortum has been wiped out nearly completely.  You can check out that link to Observe and Terminate, where the sole survivor provides a pretty good report of his own.  Much better than I could have done.

I guess I don't have any strong feelings about this one way or the other.  You guys know as well as any that they were a blessing as well as a curse to pretty much anybody.  Seemed like some of them could never quite decide whether they wanted to kill everyone related to The Boss or not, it sounded like their boss decided he wanted to work for my Boss at the end there, and that whole "dimensional bleeding" thing with the space-time cloning and whatnot sounds like it fucked pretty much everything up for everyone.

And on top of that, they couldn't even do what their department was designed to do.  If they couldn't kill The Boss, the odds for anyone else managing look pretty slim.  All they managed to do was fuck everything up.  They tried, though.  You've gotta give them credit for trying.

Well, with the Slender Man division completely wiped out, The Boss probably isn't going to be bothering the PTC anymore.  B2, if you read this, good luck in whatever it is you're doing now.  You have my best wishes.

-Don't Shoot The Messenger-

Saturday, October 8, 2011

My Ex-roommate is Completely Batshit

I think the title pretty much sums up the situation.

Earlier today, Screwtape stopped by.  Knocked on the door.  Seemed pretty urgent.  I opened the door and let him in.

"Messenger, Raven," he said, "Follow me to my apartment.  We need your help."

"What's going on?"

He looked at me and shook his head.  "You still know so little about your old roommate.  Just please, follow me."

So we followed him down the hall to the room.  Last time I had been there was...a while ago, I guess.  I might be remembering this wrong, but I don't think I'd been down to the room since that night Caper died.  But I don't want to get into that now because it brings up all sorts of bad memories and it's not important anyway.

As we got closer, I heard yelling and screaming.  Always a good sign.  Screwtape opened the door to reveal the apartment.  Remember how when The Boss tossed Caper around, the apartment was kind of a mess afterwards?  Well, evidently, he's more careful than Nee-chan, because the place was ripped up.  Nee-chan was storming around the apartment, pounding on walls, slashing at the furniture with a knife, throwing things was bad.

Poe and I just sort of stood there in shock for a few seconds.  "When she found out about Morningstar's death she was...upset," Screwtape said.

There were these two guys about her age, maybe a little older, sort of scrambling around the apartment, unsure of how to deal with the situation, sort of shouting at each other.  Kid with glasses and a ginger.  Ginger told Glasses Kid to grab her and hold her back.  Glasses Kid shouted back how he was trying but "she's waving around a freakin' knife, man!"  He ducked a second later as a drinking glass shattered against the wall above his head.

Screwtape turned to us.  "Raven, try talking to her to get her attention.  Messenger, we'll get behind her and grab her arms.  You take left arm, I'll take right arm.  Right arm first so that the knife is out of commission.  I'll let the other two know to grab her legs once we have the arms restrained."

I just nodded.  He sounded like he knew what he was doing.  As Nee-chan walked into the bathroom and started shouting at the mirror, Screwtape briefed Glasses and Ginger.  And I just sat there for about three minutes as she screamed at herself.  During those three minutes, between bouts of "holy shit I am dealing with someone who has gone off the deep end," something occurred to me.

"Screwtape," I yelled, "Why is Poe the one distracting Nee-chan?  You're using her as bait, aren't you?"

"Theta hasn't arrived, and she has the strongest connection with Nee-chan," he said.  "Plus, she's the most expendable of us." 

Right.  Of course.  Bastard.  She was standing right there, too.  But Nee-chan chose that moment to come out of the bathroom, so Poe just sort of...called her name, I guess.  Said something to briefly distract her.  Worked well enough.  Screwtape got ahold of her right arm, and got her to drop the knife in a matter of seconds, while I tried to grab onto her left arm.  Her flailing hit me in the face a few times.  Shins are bruised now from the kicking.  Glasses took a foot to the face as he tried to hold her down.  We got her on the floor and just sort of pinned her down.  The whole time she just kept yelling about how she was going to "fucking kill that stupid bitch."  Those words made up probably about 50%  of what she said, actually (the rest of it consisted largely of "Morningstar," and about five Japanese words I don't remember and didn't understand), although it was mostly incoherent.

We sat there for ten minutes.  Ten minutes of her screaming, sobbing, and struggling underneath us.  Screwtape and Ginger seemed to know what they were doing, but Glasses and I were kind of holding on for dear life.  And Poe just sort of stepped back into a corner of the room and froze up.  But Nee-chan would just sort of cycle between screaming, sobbing, and then falling silent and just breathing heavily.  And then screaming again, her torso and head writhing as she tried to get free.  It's...I don't even know how to describe it.  I can't do it justice.  She had four people pinning her down and I still felt like she was the one in control.

But at the end of the ten minutes, Theta showed up.  Looked at Screwtape, and said just a few words.  "Did you tell Jacob?"  Screwtape nodded, and he just responded with "good," before walking over, reaching down, and pressing somewhere on Nee-chan's neck.  Pressure point or something, I guess, because she lost consciousness almost instantly.  Screwtape and Ginger stepped back.  It took me a bit longer to feel safe letting go.  Glasses was still gripping her leg, and his face looked like it was going white at that point.  But I guess I shouldn't point fingers, since I probably wasn't looking much better.  Theta picked her up, hoisted her over a shoulder, and carried her to a back room (her bedroom I guess, probably).  He came out, turned to Screwtape, and told him that he'd be staying for a few days.  Screwtape didn't raise any objections or seem even remotely bothered by announcement. 

Anyway, Screwtape turned to the rest of us.  "Thank you," he said.  "You've been a great help tonight.  Except for you, Raven, but I didn't expect you to be pulling your weight at this point."  I swear, Theta was the only thing keeping me from beating his ass into oblivion.

But yeah, no reports today (I've got Morningstar's to write up now, too) because I've been too busy with all that shit.  Sorry to let you all down.  I'll try to get one or two of them up tomorrow.

-Don't Shoot The Messenger-

Friday, October 7, 2011

A Summary of Events Thus Far

All right, I guess my blog's getting a bit long and it's exactly the most episodic thing out there.  I guess I should provide a CliffNotes version for those of you who didn't want to bother reading the actual assignment.

Hi.  Call me The Messenger (or Messi, for those of you who are too lazy to type the whole thing out--Messi, not Messy or Mess).  I work for someone I call The Boss.  You might know him by a variety of names.  The Slender Man seems to be the most standard.  I'm a 27-year-old hacker who acts, as you may expect, as a messenger.  I write up reports of the deceased and post them to their blogs.  I'm not going to bother linking you, but I've got a tag on the left side of the page for "Reports."  Feel free to click that to get an example of what I'm talking about.

Anyway, before you get all judgmental,  I'm working for The Boss for two reasons.  The first is that, simply put, it's safer.  Why run when I can get on his good side instead?  The second is that I'm kind of here in my brother Kyle's stead.  I asked him to, if I work for him, leave my brother and those around him alone.  I don't know why, but his answer so far seems to be "sure, why the hell not?"  So I'm doing this largely for my brother's sake.  He and his friends are writing and filming one of those vlog things, incidentally.  I actually think that they're just going through a few small rewrites now and are going to start shooting soon.  I give him maybe two more months before he loses interest.

Anyway, started working here, and I got to know some of the others who work for him.  The first guy I met (a guy calling himself Hyde) was also the first report I wrote up.  The first two I met who actually stayed alive long enough for me to get to know them were two partners called Caper and Poe.  Caper referred to himself and Poe as "Trackers," or people whose job it was to discern and monitor the locations of runners.  I got to know Caper fairly well.  He was the type of guy who you could never take seriously, probably because he never gave anyone the impression that he took anything seriously himself.  Poe, meanwhile, was this quiet and withdrawn girl always dressed in what she describes as "gothic lolita" clothing who always seemed to be trailing after Caper.

Around this time I started interviewing people just so I could figure out what exactly I had gotten myself into and why exactly I was one of the "bad guys."  Tried interviewing Caper a couple of times but never got a straight answer out of him.  Talked to a hollowed or hallowed or husk or whatever you guys call them calling himself William.  Several of them, actually.  They lost their identities so they tried taking on a collective one.  Interviewed a youth calling himself Alex.  Never really saw him after that, so I decided to check around.  Turns out he died a few months back.  No big ceremony surrounding his death or anything.  That's just the way things go around here.

Anyway, things really started getting hectic around here around the time Caper died.  He and Poe told me that he had just destroyed evidence that kept the Hunters (the people who finish the Trackers' jobs) from being able to locate her.  I later found out that he had actually also killed one of said Hunters, but I'll get to that when I get to that.

Poe didn't really know where else to go at that point, so she came over and we got drunk together to try to forget.  Because that's how adults handle their problems.  They turn to alcohol.  Started to get to know her for a bit.  Then she cut off all contact for a while to mourn.  Started up a blog of her own (linked in the sidebar on the left) as a coping mechanism.

We've got a guy funding us so that we have a place to live and don't starve to death.  His name's Jacob.  He's a stockbroker who decided that he could part with some of his money if the alternative was death threats from what he views as a cult.  He's actually also a really nice guy, in my opinion.  Anyway, he also deals with living and working arrangements.  He decided that I needed a roommate, and that Poe needed a new roommate/partner.  So I ended up rooming with an unstable Japan-obsessed teenage girl calling herself Nee-chan (who I later found out was a replacement for the Hunter Caper killed), and Poe ended up with a psychologically abusive fanatic called Screwtape.  Poe couldn't stand rooming with him, so we convinced Jacob to let her and Nee-chan trade rooms.  Now Nee-chan's living with Screwtape and Poe's living with me.  And I guess Poe and I have sort of started to develop a bit of an unofficial relationship or something?  I don't know, it's complicated.

Speaking of Poe.  Basically, Screwtape's kind of been harassing her, I guess?  There was this old boyfriend of hers or something named Donovan who found her after I interviewed her and he recognized her story.  And now he thinks that he needs to be playing the hero and should come and "save her."  So I should probably be keeping an eye on him.  I'm surrounded by enough crazy as is.  I don't need Don Juan adding to that.

Anyway, shortly after all that, I started getting these tapes from this unknown sender (I've dubbed him "Big Brother" for the sake of giving him a name) with some purpose I can't entirely figure out.  The tapes tend to show the more negative sides of my co-workers.  The first five were of Nee-chan in various stages of batshit fucking insane, the second two displayed Caper's murderous side (this is when and how I found out why exactly he was killed), and one showing Poe as...well, it showed me that she didn't exactly willingly sign up to work for The Boss.

And now I may finally see some closure to this, because Big Brother's wants to meet in person.  But before all that happens, I've got some work to do.  A lot of people died recently.  I've got three reports to write up (Maduin, Morningstar, and the Slender Man division of the PTC) and work is taking priority.

And now you're caught up with the present.  Congratulations.  Have a fucking cookie.

God I'm tired.

-Don't Shoot The Messenger-

Monday, October 3, 2011

Meeting Theta

This Occupy Wall Street thing, huh?  Crazy, huh?  A bunch of dumbasses (some of whom wear masks) making demands when they don't even know what their demands are, and another bunch of dumbasses brutally opposed to this first group taking the law into their own hands.  It all seems marginally familiar somehow.  And then there's me, not really choosing to take either side.  Wow, I'm really forcing this metaphor, aren't I?

But really, Jacob's been pretty stressed about all this, since these protests affect him more or less directly.  Or they would if the protesters decided why exactly they're sitting out there.  They decide that they're all going to take up space on Wall Street to fight corruption, but when people finally say "okay, fine, what do you fucking want?" they just kind of go "um...we...don't want corporate greed."  Oh.  Okay.  That's a noble cause.  I can get behind that cause.  Just one question--how the hell exactly do you go around changing that?  "Hey, it'd be really nice if you people completely stopped loving money!  Do that and we'll go away!"

But I'm not here to discuss politics and the economy, because I tend to make myself look like an idiot when I do.  I'm here to talk about what's been going on the last few days.  As usual, Poe and Nee-chan had their Saturday anime session.  Only thing that makes this time notable is that Nee-chan brought Theta over for a visit.

Theta is...well, built like a bodybuilder isn't a good phrase, because while he's one of the most muscular people I've ever met, he's not really that stocky.  Built more like a gymnast or a stuntman, I guess.  Tall.  Bald.  Necklace of Theta symbols (θ) tattooed around his neck.  He walked in and just sort of stood there, as if perfectly content to remain standing in one spot.

"Uh...hey," I said.  "I'm The Messenger."

He looked at me and gave me a slight nod.  "Theta."  Notably deep voice.

"You...need some coffee or a glass of water or something?"


"You...wanna at least sit down?"

He gave another slow, slight nod.  "Thank you."

I led him to the kitchen, sat down opposite him.  Tried to talk to him some.  Theta is...not a conversationalist.

"So, you're Nee-chan's partner, right?  The two of you are Hunters, right?  What exactly do you do?"

"Hunt."  He said it in dead seriousness, though maybe with a hint of confusion, like he couldn't understand why I'd ask such a stupid question.  Didn't bother asking him to elaborate.

"So where do you live, then?  I know you don't live with Nee-chan."

"Fortunately.  She accidentally killed her last partner.  Living about half an hour away.  Lived there with Helios until her partner killed him."  He nodded over at Poe.  I attempted to change the subject.

"So what exactly do you think of Nee-chan?"

"Nice girl.  Dedicated.  Good at her job."  A pause.  "Glad I'm not living with her."  I chuckled a bit.  He didn't.  I stopped pretty quickly.

Theta didn't stay long.  I'm kind of glad he didn't, as he's kind of got this intimidating presence.  He rarely speaks, and when he's not speaking, he looks deep in thought.  It worries me, not knowing what he's thinking about.  Nee-chan left later, enthusiastically waving goodbye.  Poe told me that I should watch with them next time, or at least pretend to watch.  I might, but I'm not watching anything in Japanese.  Nee-chan's going to have to understand that.

And of course, Big Brother decided to call me yesterday.

BB: Messenger!  How nice to hear your voice again!

M: So Theta's big and silent and intimidating.  Your point?

BB: Well of course you don't know what my point is.  That's why I've called.

M: So what is it about Theta?  So he's kind of creepy.

BB: I wouldn't go with "creepy."  More along the lines of "heartless."  Complements Nee-chan quite nicely, actually.  Nee-chan's overly emotional.  Wears her heart on her sleeve, so to speak.  Theta?  You can never quite tell what he's thinking, can you?  Nee-chan's stupidly innocent and naive.  Can't quite seem to grasp the consequences of her actions?  And Theta?  Theta understands, he just doesn't care.  He doesn't have some convoluted sense of loyalty and duty like Screwtape.  Doesn't second-guess himself like Caper.  Doesn't really have a reason to be on the side he is like you or Poe.  He's just here, doing Father's bidding.  Try interviewing him.  I'm sure that whenever you ask "why," he'll just answer "because."

M: So he's mysterious.

BB: Not mysterious.  Emotionless.  Heartless.  Cruel.  Very devoted to what he does.  Practices a lot.

M: Practices killing people?  Like down at the shooting range or something?

BB: Shooting--really, Mr. Funeral, you know how strict the gun laws are.  No, Theta doesn't carry a gun.

M: Then how the hell do you practice something like that?

BB: Well, there are some particular people he views as...disposable, shall we say?  People who aren't really people anymore?  Can't really say yes or no either way?

M: Wait, what?

BB: Oh, wait, sorry, that's an uncomfortable subject for you, isn't it?  Your girlfriend used to be one.

M: You know she's not my girlfriend.

BB: All but name, Messenger, all but name.  But while we're on the subject of Miss Poe, why don't we talk about what she hasn't been telling you?

M: I don't know what you're talking about.

BB: Well of course you wouldn't know, she hasn't been telling you.  You know her partner Screwtape, right?

M: Of course I do.

BB: Well he's a lot different than Caper.  A lot more overbearing.  If you had a mind to, you could probably call it harassment.  It maybe is, considering how much he hates her.  You see, he's not exactly too fond of "Father's dolls," as he calls them.  Thinks that the "Chosen" are the people Father's choosing to build a better society.  The "dolls," on the other hand, oh, they're being punished, because clearly they're the worst of the worst.

M: Sounds like you don't agree with his assessment.

BB: Maybe I don't.  But maybe I do.  I'm just trying to be neutral here.  Let you form your own opinions.  Chances are, he's must as right, if not moreso, than you.  But anyway, can you see why he might have, shall we say...problems working with someone who he thinks deserves to be a brainwashed mindless slave working among the elite?

M: You're an asshole.

BB: You want the truth, don't you, Messi?  I'm just giving you that inside scoop that reporters like you love so dearly.

M: I'm not a reporter, I'm a hacker.

BB: Really?  Well, you had me fooled!

M: Look--

BB: Ah, ah, ah!  I've got the conch shell yet, Messenger.  I'm calling to let you know that...well, I'd like to meet you soon.  Talk to you face-to-face.  Would you prefer that?

M: Yes, I think I would prefer that.

BB: All right, then.  I'll get back to you once I've made time in my busy schedule.

And here he hung up.

So.  Looks like I'm finally going to be meeting Big Brother at some point in the future.  Wish me luck.

-Don't Shoot The Messenger-

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Broken Glass

So the Glass Man is dead.

Don't really know what to say about this.  He was kind of an asshole.  I didn't really like him.  And he was on "your side."  Hope you self-righteous arrogant bastard types (and Big Brother) take note of that.

Glass was a a special sort of kid.  He was the sort of kid who thought that going around acting like a complete sociopath would turn him into a man.  Or, at the very least, was an acceptable way to act in society.  Oh no!  My friend is telling people about The Boss!  I think I'll fucking murder him.  And that mindset of "I'm going to kill anyone who I see as inconveniencing me" doesn't let up.  He kept going with it until he died.

So the Glass Man is dead.  Guess how many fucks I give.  Here's a hint: it's an integer smaller than one.

-Don't Shoot The Messenger-

Sunday, September 25, 2011

A Talk with Big Brother

Where did we leave off?  Oh, yes, I remember now.  I got a call from Big Brother.  The guy who's been sending me tapes.  Always pleasant talking to the guy who may or may not be watching me sleep.

But a thing or two first, quickly.  The Glass Man died the other day.  I'm putting a report together that'll probably go up tomorrow or the next day.  If you don't know who Glass is, I guess you'll find out then, because I'm not going to bother telling you now.  Also, Nee-chan came over again yesterday.  After two weeks of the "we've been busy" excuse, things finally cooled down enough that we can stand being in the same room as her.  I have no clue how Poe could stand sitting on the same couch as her but then again, I guess she's more used to this sort of thing than I am.  Also her hair is blue now apparently...?  It's been a few weeks, I guess, but...I don't know.  I feel like I should have known about that.

And because you people apparently care so much and keep saying that I'm getting defensive or whatnot, I should probably at least clear up what's going on between Poe and myself.  I've got her permission to post this, and it's clear that you people aren't going to shut up until I do.  Basically, early last week, we had a talk about the fact that you people think that there's obviously something between us, and...well, okay, there are feelings, and they're kind of mutual, but...the situation is a really tricky one.  You have to remember that she was Caper's partner for six months, that Caper had done who knows how much for her, and then remember that the two of them never actually pursued a relationship.  Neither of us is sure that this is the right thing, or even a good thing at all.  Basically, we don't want to risk anything at the moment.  Satisfied?  Good.

Anyway, here's the call transcript.

B: Ah, Mr. Messenger!  What a surprise!

M: You called me.

B:  Did I, now?  Huh.  Imagine that.

M: What do you want?

B: Oh, just checking in to see how you're doing.

M: Chances are you know exactly how I'm doing.  Did you know that I've started taking a blanket into the bathroom with me to shit under?

B: Messi, Messi, Messi...why the paranoia?  You didn't find any bugs, did you?

M: No, but who's to say I didn't miss them?  Or that they've been removed and put back?

B: Oh, Messenger.  You're so cute when you're paranoid.  But what about the tapes?  What did you think?  Personally, I liked the Nee-chan series more, but it all comes down to taste.

M: Okay, I'll bite.  What's the purpose?  Making me admit that the people I'm surrounded by are crazy?  Good job!  You win.  What now?

B: You've got it all wrong, Little Brother.

M: That's not the reference--

B: Messenger, you keep asking why you're evidently one of the "bad guys."  You think that you've made the right choice and that everyone must have reasons as good as yours.  You see the world in shades of gray.  Noe one's a hero.  No one's a villain.  But come on, Mr. Funeral.  You saw those tapes.  People aren't who you think they are.  And while you may be right about there being shades of grey, some shades are darker than others.  And...well, let's face it, Messenger.  Your Boss doesn't wear a white suit.

M: Your point?

B: You're not one of the good guys, Messi.  You need to drop this pretension.  You're on the side that, statistically, is a bit less morally just.  Tell me, why exactly are you on this side again?

M: Because my brother--

B: Don't feed me that line.  What's the other reason?

M:  ...Because it's safer.  It's safer to work for him than to work against him.

B: Now, don't you think that's a bit selfish?

M: Okay, look, I still don't see your point.

B: One of these days, Messenger, you're going to have to make a choice.  You'll have reason to run.  You'll have reason to stay.  And when you make that choice, you need to know what you're getting into.  It's not a fair choice if you don't know your options.

M: So you want me to become a runner.

B: No, no no no.  Not at all.  Not necessarily.  Think of this a test.  One that you've passed.

M: I've passed?

B: Well, you've seen what Nee-chan and Poe are like.  What Caper was like.  And yet, you still feel comfortable enough to stay.  You know what you're in for, and you're still around.

M: So, um...great?  I don't know what you want me to say.  Give me my diploma or something.

B: Ah, but you still have the secondary education to complete, Messi.  Have you ever met Theta?  Nee-chan's partner?

M: No.  What does that have to do with anything.

B: Oh, you'll see.  You should ask Nee-chan to introduce the two of you sometime.  Get to know a few more of your neighbors and co-workers.  Oh, and one more thing.

M: Yeah?

B: That Poe girl seems nice.  Good luck with that.

[And then he hung up as I started cursing]

So I talked with Nee-chan when she came over, and she's going to introduce me to Theta.  I guess I'll find out what he's like next Saturday.

-Don't Shoot The Messenger-

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Recaps and Reflections

Okay, first things first.  I have a question for all of you: what the hell is wrong with you people?

No, seriously, read the comments of that last post.  I'll wait.  Back?  Okay, good.  Now let's take a look at what's wrong with this picture.  Well, for one thing, you're playing third-person matchmaker, with your "oh, they'd be so cute together" and your "Poessenger."  Do we not get a say in this?  Also, those of you who are trying to pair me up with Screwtape of all people (I have no clue how you came to the conclusion there were even one-sided feelings there) do realize that he reads this blog, right?  And that he's much less receptive to jokes than I am?  And that it's kind of his job to find people?  And finally, fuck you, John.  I could have gone my whole life and not known what yaoi was, but since you brought it up, I just had to Google it.  What the fuck.  Like...seriously, what the fuck?  These things you are saying are stupid.  I mean, all of them.

That said, Poe and I have been talking.  What about is none of your business.  Any relationship or lack thereof between Poe and myself is also none of your business.  Get over it.

But anyway, second matter of business.  Donovan.  He left a comment on that last post, and I've technically already linked to it earlier.  But I guess there are some of you who probably just don't care, so I'll just reproduce it below as well:

"Thank you for this message of hope, Alan. I trust I will be seeing you at some point during my journey. You're quite lucid and amiable, for a proxy. I think I'd enjoy a talk with you in the future.

Take care until then, Messenger." 

Now, I still really don't know how to take this.  Threat?  An attempt to get on my good side?  I can't really tell.  I guess the unnerving part is that he's suddenly so calm about everything when he had formerly been pissy, and between that comment and his latest post, I think that Donny boy may do I put this?  Playing with a 50-card deck?  I think that works.  He also says something about "saving" Poe (or Annabel, I guess).  That's why the fact that he'd like to talk to me kind of bothers me.  Am I her "captor" now or something?  I mean, Don, I'd love to get in contact with you so that we both know what exactly's going on, but I'm pretty sure that we both know how stupidly suicidal that'd be for you at this point.

Money's tight right now, by the way.  Poe and I have spent most of what we've saved on the bug sweeping equipment and VCR, and Jacob usually just provides us with what we need.  It's not so much a salary as it is an allowance.  Money for some food, the room, other general things...but really not a whole lot of extra money to spend.  Jacob will cover work-related expenses (for example, if I need to update my hardware or if Poe needs to travel), but I can't exactly call him up and go "hey, Jacob, I need a VCR!  Can you help me out?"  Right now he's paying for our living expenses, our food, any travel we need to do, online classes so that Nee-chan can at least go to college part-time, any medication or other medical expenses that any of us may need...he's not going to pay for a VCR so that I can watch some tapes someone dropped off at my door.

Had to cut some costs, and on top of that, there's all the stress I've had lately.  Haven't been eating well.  Haven't been sleeping well.  It's starting to affect me.  Kinda funny--the insanity seems kind of unavoidable.  I've been doing pretty well so far, and now that I'm feeling like I'm breaking down, it's for easily explainable reasons I wasn't expecting.

Whatever.  I think I'm going to try to take a nap.

And crap.  Cell rang.  It's Big Brother.  The nap's going to have to wait.  I'll get back to you in a day or two with the conversation.

-Don't Shoot The Messenger-