Sunday, February 26, 2012

Marathon's End

And here's the one I've been putting off.  The one that's difficult to write.

Donovan was...he was a man with a hatred of our kind.  "Proxies."  At least he had respect for the husks.  Overall, though, he was a pretty good man.  A bit of a coward.  Maybe not the best person.  But a person who tried.  A person with a good heart.

I'm going to miss Donovan.  He...helped us.  He helped Poe and me.  Even though he was suspicious of me, he put that aside long enough to try to help Poe back to being Annabel.  He was a good man.  And then he was killed by Screwtape.  Screwtape put up a report himself immediately afterwards.  It was...I want to change it.  I want to delete it and put my own report up.  Donovan deserves better than what he received.

But that's not my job.  That's not what I do.  It'd be an abuse of power, and if I start here, it's just a slippery slope.  So I'm leaving it.  Not because that's what Donovan would have wanted.  Not because it's what I want.  Not because it's what Screwtape would have wanted.  But because it's right.

Donovan told me that he...tried being a hero.  Tried helping people.  Ended up hurting some.  Couldn't face himself, much less the world.  Stopped updating his blog.  He knew.  He knew he was going to die when he started updating again.  He'd done enough running to know that his time was up. 

He...he was trying to come to New York.  He was going to meet us here.  He never got here.

Well.  Part of him did.

There's not much else I can say.  He wasn't even a friend, but he was a man I knew and could respect.  And even though we weren't friends, he still agreed to try to help.  He was a good man, and Poe and I owe him a lot.  He'll be missed.

-Don't Shoot The Messenger-

Friday, February 24, 2012

Two down, one to go

The second of these three reports is for Screwtape.

Again, there's already a report for him.  I'm not going to bother linking it because, if you've been reading my blog, you've already seen it.  Poe killed him.  Pretty brutally, to be honest.  But that's not a matter for this report.

Personally, I think the bastard what he had coming to him.  His death was fitting.  Just.  He pushed Poe to her limit.  Tried breaking her.  In the end, she broke him.

I guess I should remain unbiased in this.  If nothing else, Screwtape was dedicated.  Very dedicated.  Fervent.  He did whatever he needed to, and went above and beyond what was asked (perhaps even needed).  He was responsible for the deaths of many, and for the pain of even more.  I guess that's something he'd consider something to be proud of.

I'm glad he's gone.  It means Poe's safe.  Good riddance to him.

-Don't Shoot The Messenger-

The Set has been Struck

I...never really knew Rachael.  I thought I knew her, and then it turned out that she wasn't a guy named Maurice.  She shared her story with me, though.  I held on to it until she was able to get it all out into the open.

She's dead now.  I guess you could say that her curtain's come down.  Her show is over.  She was killed by...I'll be honest, I'm not even sure.  Brian, maybe.  Van Helsing, maybe.  Either he or Rachael was not quite right in the head.  Maybe Van Helsing is Brian, and he's just too far gone to realize it.  Maybe Van Helsing isn't Brian, and Rachael was just batshit insane.  Neither would surprise me, considering the mad world we're living in.  Either way, Brian Helsing provided a report that is, as far as we've been able to gather, accurate.

It's been a while since someone I've known personally has died.  And now three have.  Rachael was the last to die, chronologically, but I'm putting hers first because it's less personal.  It's not as hard for me to write, and there are people out there who knew Rachael better than I did.  They deserve this report as soon as possible.

Rachael was obviously a troubled woman.  Clearly not in full control of herself.  I think...I think Poe could identify with her because of that.  I think that's why she made me stay and listen to Rachael's story.  I wasn't particularly fond of Rachael.  I never got to know her well enough for that.  But I respected her.  I held on to her story for her until she could tell everyone else out of that respect.  I's a shame that did what she did.  That she lived that sort of life.  That she had to go through what she went through.

She will be missed.

-Don't Shoot The Messenger-

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Poe's Return

Okay.  Things have settled here a bit.  A few things: I've got three reports to write up: Donovan, Screwtape, and Rachael (aka Maurice).  I'm ready to write them up, but this comes first.

That post...went up on Poe's blog before she got back.  That was the first contact I got from her.

She showed up a little later that night.  Wasn't covered in blood or anything, so she obviously cleaned up beforehand.  I looked up as she came back, and there was immediately a sort of tension between us.  We could both feel it.  Worry.  Fear.  Maybe some anger or other feelings.  Just...tension.

She looked down.  "I'm back," she said quietly.

"Yeah.  Hey.  Welcome back."

She just stood there for a few seconds, not moving, not talking.  I was...she was still Poe.  I managed to tell myself that.  She was still Poe.  Not someone else.  I had no reason to worry.  Stood up, walked over to her.  Gave her a hug.

She instantly put her arms around me, clinging to me, and it's like...that was enough to trigger her.  Snap her out of it.  She started crying into my shoulder.

"You okay?" I asked her.

She took a few deep breaths.  "I...I don't know.  I don't know how I feel.  Happy.  Sad.  Relieved.  Scared.  I don't know, Messi.  I need some time to think."

I held her while she shook and cried.  I don't blame her.  What she did couldn't have been easy on her.  I mean, she completely lost control of herself.  Told her it was okay.  Screwtape was gone now.  She didn't have to worry about him.  She was finally safe.  And I was scared, yeah.  I was worried for her.  I still don't know how to treat the issue.  But I think she’ll be okay.  I hope she’ll be okay.

I held her while she cried for a while.  Let her get all that exhaustion and the pent up feelings out.  Stayed with her until she calmed down.  “Messi?” she said.  “I’m going to my room.  I need some time alone right now.”

So she’s locked up in her room again.  But this time she’s herself.

I hope she’ll be okay.

-Don't Shoot The Messenger-

Monday, February 20, 2012

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Dr. Cairo

Well, during Poe's disappearance, I figured I'd take my mind off of things by transcribing a file I've been sitting on for a while now.  Didn't seem particularly pressing, so I've been holding on to it since New Year's Eve.  Anyway, I got it transcribed and since I have the file handy on my computer and everything, I figured I'd put that up as well.

Anyway, some of you may have heard of Dr. Cairo of CompileTRUTH.  He happened to be in NYC and contacted me.  The following is the conversation.

The audio file.

Messenger: All right, so…did one of my asshole friends send you my Skype on Chatroulette or something?  Who the fuck are you?

Cairo: Messenger…we’ve got a bit of a problem here.  This is Dr. Cairo.

M: Okay, I was gonna ask how you knew my name, but you’re…Cairo, one of the, uh, vlog guys, right?

C: Yes.  And I also work for your Boss.  As you should know--or I figured you would know.  Listen, you’re in New York, right?

M: Yeah…?

C: Can you see Time Square from here?

M: Uh…I’ve got it on the TV.

C: Do you see strange numbers on the screen?

[A pause]

M: It’s…it’s New Year’s Eve, you dumbass.  Of course there are numbers on the screen.

C: No, not those fucking numbers!  Big, black screen, red ominous numbers counting down…not the frigging New Year’s countdown; something else!  I don’t know what’s going on, but I’m seeing them, my camera’s seeing them, nobody else can.  What the fuck is going on?

M: Hey, look, I’m sorry, kid.  I can’t help you there.  I’m, uh…I’m really sorry, I’ve got nothing.  Can’t see anything.

C: So I’m the only one who’s seeing it, then.  What the fuck is this supposed to mean?

M: Well, that’s a good question.  I’m not the person you want to ask.

C: Well, unfortunately, I don’t have any way to call him, and even then, he doesn’t exactly talk, now does he?

M: The Boss?

C: Yeah, The Boss!  Who do you think I’m talking about?

M: Eh, just clarifying.

[Another pause]

C: This is fucked up right now.  I just…I’m seeing three hundred something days up there on this countdown.

M: Yeah, that doesn’t sound like a countdown to the New Year, then.

C: No, it’s not.

M: So you, um…you work for The Boss, then, you said?

C: Yeah, I assumed you knew already.

M: No, I’m behind on so many things.  I thought you were one of those runners or something.

C: No, I’m a mole.  Kinda.

M: You play for both teams then, huh?

C: Not exactly.  It’s not like I want to be spending my life doing this shit, but it’s better than the alternative.  I think you’re about in the same boat, am I correct?

M: Uh…don’t know what the boat is, but…brother or something?

C: No.  Parents.  Grandparents.  Plus the self-preservation.

M: Yeah, that sounds about right.  So as long as you’re calling, you mind if I ask a few questions, then?

C: Not like I’m going anywhere.  There’s how many…what, a million people down there right now.

M: [chuckles] Sorta in the habit of interviewing people.  So how exactly did you get involved in all of this?  Like…first find out about it?

C: You ever have someone tell you that TV Tropes will ruin your life?  Pretty much.

M: Yeah, think I’ve heard of that site a couple times.  TV Tropes, then?  Really?  Hmm.

C: Yeah.  All these dumbasses seem to think this is all fiction and make a page like that, and do my job for me to an extent.

M: Still more likely than my roommate’s story.

C: Really, what was it?

M: Uh…you ever heard of Concrete Giraffes?

C: Yeah, I’ve heard of Concrete Giraffes.  Talked about it in my April Fools video.

M: Yeah, that’s, uh…that’s what introduced her.

C: “Hey, guyyyyys!”  Oh, man, can you imagine if he’d seen that video, how he’d react to that? [Part of me’s almost glad that he went off on that tangent.  Kept me from having to talk about it more.]

M: I dunno.

C: It’d be a lot simpler if he was like that.  But no, he’s fucking passive aggressive, that’s what he is.

M: So, uh, how did you get involved with…with him, exactly?  On, you know, this side.

C: Well, you know, the usual bullshit happened.  He followed me, started seeing him everywhere.  And at some point or another--my memory’s a bit fuzzy--he cut me a deal somehow.  I don’t even remember it, that’s, like, the one thing that bothers me: I’m fuzzy on the details.  But I agreed to…spread the word, and he’d leave me and my family alone.  It’s not that bad…edit a couple of videos, and then it’s schmuck bait and they go for it, and I don’t consider it blood on my hands if they’re dumb enough to fall for everything.

M: Heh…yeah, we’ve got a lot of idiots on both sides of the fence.

C: Ugh, tell me about it.  I should send you some stuff from my inbox sometime, you’ll get a chuckle.

M: Eh, fortunately I don’t get any from any like that.  Though there was this one asshole who tried linking me to Lemon Party once for some reason.

C: Not sure what that is.

M: Yeah, don’t look it up.

C: I won’t.  So can I ask you a question?

M: Yeah?

C: Well, you hear things through the grapevine, I assume, and you get information from runners and stuff, like, about different things and shit.  Ever heard of somebody called the Herald?

M: Uh…not really…uh…which side is he on?  Or she on?

C: I’m not entirely sure, because whoever he is, he hacked my Twitter and YouTube.  He also got his hands on footage that I deleted and erased somehow, and that hard drive never left my side, so I don’t know how he got it.  He blew my cover, so I assume he’s not on our side, but who on their side has hacking capabilities like that?

M: Hmm.  I think there’s…one?  Although she doesn’t fit the profile, really and she’s…dead, or something?  I dunno.  Jeez, everyone throwing around all these pretentious bullshit names.  Sometimes they pop up now and then.

C: I know, but I need to figure out who this Herald guy is.  Talk to him.

M: I haven’t heard anything.  Speaking of which, are you…a part of some sort of organization or are you…freelance, I guess?

C: Uh, the latter.  I mean, you’re honestly the first person I’ve had to talk to.  It’s easier that way.

M: Yeah, how did you get this Skype, anyway?

C: Uh…long story, involving a chain of contacts….

M: It was Eternity, wasn’t it?

C: …Yeah, you got me.  Sent him an email asking….

M: Ugh, the guy’s a fucking prick.

C: I figured I would come to you first to look for information, ‘cause you’re kind of in the same boat as me with, you know, not being completely behind on all this stuff, know what I mean?  But if I have to look elsewhere, I’ll look elsewhere.  Don’t wanna have to deal with the crazy crazies.  Just the mildly crazies.  Sanes.  Mildly crazy to sane.  It’s a spectrum.  I’m dealing with it.

M: Yeah, well…don’t come visit then.  I know this chick who, I swear, she thinks she’s from one of the animes or something.  She has dyed her fucking hair pink.  She doesn’t seem to realize…and on top of that, she is batshit insane by normal standards.  I have seen videos of her cutting people up to ribbons.  It’s not…ugh, be glad you work alone, lemme tell you that.  Be glad you work alone.  I eat a fucking rainbow every night.  I mean…shit.

C: Well, I think I’ve just figured something out.

M: What?

C: I had this hunch, so I took out my phone and went on the calendar and everything; I did the math.  It’s counting down to the winter solstice.  If this is accurate and if it doesn’t change, it’s gonna hit zero on the 2012 winter solstice.

M: The sol--wasn’t that a big thing a, like…a couple years ago?  People still believe in that?

 C: I don’t know, I’m just telling you what the numbers say.  And see, here’s the thing.  I mean, yeah, the winter solstice was a big fucking thing two years ago, but you know, this particular winter solstice is also that Mayan shit.  This is not happening!

M: Oh yeah…people actually believe that shit?

C: [He sort of starts disjointedly babbling about how stupid the theory is and how he can’t even believe that the calendar has some link for a few seconds.]  What the fuck?  I…I need another beer.  I’ll be right back.


M: I still can’t believe people honestly believe that whole Mayan thing.

C: I dunno.  Whatever this is, I don’t think The Boss is behind this.

M: Huh.  Why not?

C: Call me crazy, but it’s a bit too overt for him.  He’s usually a lot more subtle with this shit.

M: I dunno, man.  I don’t see him much myself so…I dunno.

C: Well, there’s another lead I can look into.  I’ll have to head back west tomorrow.

M: So, uh, what exactly is it you do again?  It’s, what, you just spread information?

C: You know how most people are safe from him because they don’t know he even exists?

M: Yeah, that seems to be the case.

C: Basically, I make videos so more people find out about him one way or another.  And the more they know, the easier it is for him to get them somehow.  I don’t know how exactly it works, but it works.  I’m not, you know, going Clockwork Orange on people and forcing them to learn about Slender Man.  They’re digging their own grave; I’m just providing the shovel.  Shovel salesman!

M: I see.

C: I think I’m gonna head out, because--

M: Wait, can I ask you one thing quick?

C: What?

M: How do you deal with it?

C: I’ve…never really liked people, Messenger.  They’ve all been kind of stupid to me, and like I said, if they’re too stupid to figure out that I’m a double agent, it’s their own damn fault.  I’m just keeping myself safe and…dealing with the rest as it comes.  To be perfectly honest, after some of those inbox messages, there are some people in specific who I wouldn’t mind running into in a dark alley someday, because they’re that damn stupid.

M: You’re a cynical bastard, Cairo.  I like that about you.

C: Well, cynicism keeps you alive.  And I think I’m going to head out now.  I’ll contact you again if I need more information or whatever, but I don’t exactly want to get buddy-buddy with people in this business.

M: Trust me, I share the sentiment.  I share the sentiment.

[End call]

Friday, February 17, 2012

Poe is Gone



Why does everyone keep disappearing?

So Zombie came over after Poe's lockup and the two of us helped her try to recover.  Well, Zombie, at least.  I mostly just had breakdowns of my own, and Zombie's probably just glad that he didn't have to snap me out of it as well.  But she's...she's back.  I have no clue how he did it, but she's back.

And now she's gone.  She left.  Just like Screwtape did. 

At least she let me know something, though.  It was just a single note: "There's something I have to do.  I'll be back."  That's all it said.  She didn't even sign her name so all I had was the handwriting to tell me it was her.

I'm extremely worried, I'll admit.  She..she seemed okay, but she says she's still not fully better, and her taking off like this doesn't bode well.  In addition, I have no clue what that coded section of her blogpost was about (I'm a hacker, not a codebreaker), but Screwtape seems to, and I'm...I'm freaking out and in the dark and

Poe, if you're reading this, please, stay safe.  I can't lose you.

-Don't Shoot The Messenger-

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day

Why do things always get worse?

So a box showed up on our doorstep today.  A cheerful, happy box.  Shiny red paper, very neatly wrapped.  I brought it into the apartment, opened the little nametag thing to see who it was for and from.

Four words: Happy Valentine's Day, Raven.

I got Poe, showed her the box.  She refused to open it.  Made me do it instead.

It was


It was his head.

Donovan.  His head.  Screwtape sent Poe his head as a Valentine's Day "gift."

She...she screamed.  And then locked up.  Wouldn't move for a while.  Just stood there, frozen, staring at the box (I had closed it up so she didn't have to see the head, of course).  Didn't move.  Didn't respond.  Just stood there in shock for close to ten minutes.  Have you ever see someone completely shut down for ten whole minutes?  Watching someone do that for just long enough that it's noticeable is scary enough, but when it's ten whole minutes?  I had put "91" into the phone five different times.  I can't get anyone outside involved, though, because that brings all sorts of hell down on all of us.  I was just about to call Zombie when she suddenly started moving again.  Just wordlessly shuffled into her room and locked the door behind her.

That was...that was low, you bastard, even for you.

I'm calling Zombie anyway.

-Don't Shoot The Messenger-

Sunday, February 12, 2012

I can't believe this

Donovan's dead.  Screwtape killed him.  There's three posts that went up here, here, and here, and he...he's dead.

Screwtape knew.  I don't know how, but he knew.  Not just that we were planning something against him.  That wasn't particularly hard to find out.  He knew about Donovan.  How...let me explain.

I asked Poe if she'd...she'd like to work together to see if we could bring her back to who she used to be as Annabel again.  And I've been in contact with Donovan for a bit now, trying to work together with him to help Poe.  He's probably the only one alive who knew her as Annabel and knows her as Poe.

Shit, I just reread that sentence, and now my hands are shaking again.  Was.  Past tense.  Not present tense.

He was...someone from Poe's past.  Someone from Annabel's past.  She won't admit it, but I'm pretty sure she used to have at least a little crush on him.

And Screwtape somehow (I have no fucking clue how) found out that we had been talking to him so he went off and killed him and how could we possibly have been so stupid and

fuck.  Oh fuck.  I'm...I can't do this now.  Poe's sobbing, I'm fucking crying, I can barely think straight, I can't do this report right now, I want to kill that son of a bitch too badly.

-Don't Shoot The Messenger-

Friday, February 10, 2012

Screwtape is Gone

Screwtape just...disappeared.  Took off and left.  Didn't tell Poe.  Didn't tell Nee-chan.  Things just don't make sense.  He's not the type to do something spontaneous on an impulse like this.

Poe and I have been...trying to figure out a plan of action.  I think he suspects something.  It's the only thing that makes sense to me.  I think he went on the run because he's worried.

I think we might have him on the ropes.

-Don't Shoot The Messenger-

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Interview with Zombie

Hey, everyone remember Muad'Dib?  You know, the pilot?  Remember his ginger roommate, Zombie?  Well, I decided to try to at least talk to him.  He ended up agreeing to an interview, interestingly enough.

Anyway, I knocked on their apartment door, and he answered.  He's a tall guy, a few years younger than me.  Really pale and really quiet, although I guess I'm not one to judge.

Messenger: Hey, uh...Zombie, right?  [He nodded, not saying anything]  Um...not sure we've actually met before.  I'm The Messenger.  Poe's roommate.  ...Don't know if you know Poe, either.

Zombie: I know her. How is she?

M: Uh...she's...she's doing okay.  Been better, but I think she's doing better than she has been recently. mind if I come in for a bit?  [He nodded and let me in]  Uh...there's this thing I kind of like to do.  It's, um...sort of an interview.  I interviewed Muad'Dib the other day, and was wondering if you'd mind if I interviewed you.

Z: Why me?

M: Because.... [It was a good question, actually]  I don't know.  Why not?  I've interviewed everyone who's agreed to it.  Muad'Dib, Nee-chan, Poe...Caper....

Z: I see. I don't see why not then.

M...Thanks, I guess.  So it's Zombie, right?  What made you choose that name?

Z: I didn't. Muad'Dib did. My first name's Rob.

M: ...You let Muad'Dib choose your-- [My brain suddenly connected what exactly he just said]  Rob.  So Rob Zombie, then.  And you just...were okay with this.

Z: I couldn't think of a nickname of my own. Zombie works well enough.

M: All right, well, long have you been involved in all this, Zombie?

Z: Seven months two weeks five days. If you want specifics.

M: That's...not even as long as me.  Huh.  Expected longer.  Anyway, how exactly did you get involved in the first place?

Z: It's complicated.

M: Uh...okay.  Care to elaborate just a bit more, or are you just gonna leave it at that?

Z: I was studying to become a doctor. My roommate was... I don't remember. A film major maybe? A teacher assigned some homework and he started getting a little odd.

M: I...think I see where this is going.  [He never elaborated or came back to it, but it was a Marble Hornets story, most likely.

Z: They recruited me. For my talents.

M: Okay, I guess that leads into my next question pretty well.  What are your talents?  What exactly is it you do?

Z: I like to think of myself as an interrogator.

M: Um...okay?  Not quite sure I follow.  What exactly do you mean by that?

Z: I'm a torturer.

[This...threw me for a bit, I'll admit.  Caught my off guard.  Pretty sure it showed on my face, and it took me a few seconds just to choke out the stupid response I did.]

M: ...Oh. [He just nodded once] That's, uh...oh.

Z: Do you have any more questions?

M: Um...against my better judgement, yes.  Um...why, exactly?

Z: Why what?

M: Uh...why exactly do you do it?  Torture?  I mean, it' can't be easy.  Unless it's fun for you, in which case, um....

Z: I don't really have a choice.

M: Can I ask why not?

[He'd been pretty calm and collected the entire time, not showing much emotion.  As soon as I asked him that, though, he started looking really uncomfortable and anxious, like he was about to have some sort of breakdown.  He looked down as he answered]

Z: They have my sister.

M:  [After a few seconds, I put my hand on his shoulder as a...gesture of comfort or something along those lines]  I know how you feel.  I'm here instead of my brother.

Z: Not to try to be difficult, but you hack computers don't you? Hardly the same as causing others pain. This is not what I studied to do.

M: What...what did you study to do, exactly?

Z: A doctor. I mentioned that already. I was quite good. Or so I've been told.

M: So...I'm guessing that you' a lot of regrets, huh? do you deal with it?

Z: Muad'Dib helps. And I read a lot. Watch crime dramas. Take myself out of it as much as I can.

M: I guess it would help to have someone as optimistic as Muad'Dib around, yeah.  [silence] So, um...anything else you'd like to share?

Z: [Just like that, he was calm and collected again] What do you need to know?

M: Um...the only thing I can think of is asking for more details on your job and I'm...not particularly eager to dive more in-depth into that.

Z: [He nodded] Is Poe still using the ointment I gave her?

M: Um...I...don't know.  I haven't noticed one way or another, and this is the first I've heard about it.  What sort of ointment?

Z: For her cuts. She really can't run the risk or them getting infected.

M: [It didn't click until I was transcribing my recording that I hadn't known Poe had any cuts.]  Ah, right.  Um...he...doesn't send her to you, does he?  Screwtape?

Z: Those cuts are one of my specialties, though. And he doesn't leave the room like some of the others.  He must be learning from me.

M: The room?

Z: My room. When I work. Most people find it uncomfortable. Screwtape always watches.

M: [My hands balled up into fists at this point.  The bastard is...sick.  Disturbing]  Ah, right.  Um...thanks.  For the ointment and everything.  I'll make sure she uses it.  [he nodded] Well...thanks for talking with me.  I appreciate it.

[He nodded again, and I excused myself from the room.  Make of all that what you will.]