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-