Monday, December 31, 2012

Abduction and Escape

A lot's happened in the past few days.  I'm going to try to start from the beginning the best I can.

After leaving Magpie and Crimson, I started heading down south somewhere warmer.  I had invitations from a few places around Georgia and Florida, and wandering is always more tolerable with a destination.

I think it was somewhere in Tennessee that I got picked up.  It was a car.  The driver was a woman with bright red hair who was probably in her late twenties, with a black-haired young girl in the backseat.

"Hey, thanks for stopping," I told her.  "I'm heading somewhat southeast.  Does that work for you?"

"No problem," she said.  "Do unto others, right?  I wouldn't want to be ignored.  We're going as far as Murfreesboro.  Is that all right?"

I nodded, but to be honest, I had no clue where Murfreesboro was.  That's how things go sometimes.  I wonder if other hitchhikers familiarize themselves with cities and the like beforehand.  "Yeah, as far as you can go would be great.  I'm Jason," I told her, using a random name.  I never use my real name when dealing with strangers unless I have to.

"I'm Sierra," she said, offering her hand to shake.  "That's my sister Rei."

"Nice to meet you," I told her.  We fell silent as she drove off.  Shortly after that, I felt Rei kicking the back of my seat.  I tried to ignore it.

"Rei, sweetie, please stop that."


"It's okay, ma'am," I told her.  I've had worse.  I really had, and it's always best to err on the side of politeness.

"That doesn't make it okay," Sierra told her

"You never said hello to me!" Rei said.

I turned around and let out a mock gasp.  "Oh no!  I am so sorry, Rei.  Hi.  I'm Jason."

"Goodbye Mr. Jason!"  Then she pushed a cloth against my face, and that's the last thing I remember.

When I woke up, realizations dawned slowly.  It was slowly and without fully understanding what was going on that I found out that I was strapped to one of those James Bond-esque tables.  You know, the ones that restrain you while the inevitable laser beam starts slowly inching upwards to cut you in two?  My senses were dulled from the drugs, which is probably the only reason I was able to not panic.  I thought as quickly and furiously as I could for a suitable opener.


Rei (though I'm not sure if that was her real name) was sitting in the the lap of a man in a suit that must have been really fancy-looking once but was currently worn and bloodstained.  There were a few others standing around, all in masks, all looking down at me.

The man in the suit smiled, and Rei giggled and let out a "Hi, Mr. Jason!"  Then the man leaned down and whispered something in her ear.  Any joy on Rei's face instantly disappeared and she looked pained, like she might start crying.  "Y-yes...h-hello there...Kenny..." she stammered quietly.

"So...I guess I'm not exactly the guest of honor here, am I?"

The suited man whispered something else in her ear.  "On the...c-c-contrary.  You're the v-very special g-g...guest of honor."

I was getting a lot of Bond Villain vibes.  It really didn't make my situation feel any better.  "Right.  That sort of guest of honor."

He whispered in her ear again, and it was at this point that I caught on that he was talking through her for some reason.  "S-so many people w-want you.... M-my lord would...see y-you for his own.... C-curious results from your...examin...ations...."

I was still in the dark, so I tried to get them to talk more.  If they were acting like Bond Villains, maybe I could get them to monologue like them.  "So since you people are probably going to kill me anyway, would you mind telling me who you are and what you want from me?"

"W-we w-want you bec-cause others want you.... W-we certainly won't b-be k-k-k-kill...."  Rei started sobbing, unable to go on through the tears.  The suited man started holding her like he was comforting her, but it looked more like he was just going through the motions, like he was petting a cat instead of trying to console a human being.  His eyes were locked on me.  Cold.  Mechanical.  Calculating.

"Why are you speaking through her?" I asked, not sure what was making her sob so hard.  He opened his mouth to say something, but I never heard what came out.  There was too much pain.  My head felt like someone was slicing into it with a knife made of fire.  Almost like hearing the Choir, but different.  It wasn't the man in the suit, but myself and the other proxies in the room who I heard speak:


"Wh...who do you work for?" I managed through lungfuls of air.

He went back to speaking in Rei's ear again.  I could only imagine the hell she was going through.  "F-father."  The Slender Man, most likely.

"And why me?"

"E-everyone wants you.  Supply...and d-demand."

I thought about it.  "All right.  So you don't want me dead.  And you don't even know why you want me other than 'everyone else does.'  So what do you hope to accomplish with this?  What are you even planning on doing with me?"

"M-make you...a p-proxy."

Oh.  Of course.  How stupid of me.  "It's not going to happen," I said.

"That's what the...other n-nine p-people in this room said."

I really didn't have a comeback for that.  I knew he was right.  If they wanted to brute-force me into it, they probably had ways.  So I fell silent and waited.  There wasn't anything else I could do.

The man in the suit leaned down and started whispering in my ear.  I couldn't hear the words, but it was like he was speaking images directly into my head.  There were a lot of things and I don't remember them all but there was Lily.  Lily was there beside me and she was alive only it wasn't really her because it only looked like her and she wasn't the same girl that I loved and she took out a reverse-blade katana like the one Kenshin uses and started beating me with it over and over and over and over

And then there was a crash and everything stopped.  I thought they had finished at first, until I saw that every single one of the people in the room was unconscious.  Rei and the suited man had vanished, and there was a masked man standing in the room that hadn't been there before.  His mask was cracked in the top corner, and the break ran down into the face of the mask, though I never got a good enough look at the face behind it.  He pulled a glass-covered blanked off of himself and dropped it to the ground as he undid the straps holding me to the table.  I looked over and saw that the window was broken--he must have come through there.

"There really aren't words to describe my thanks," I told him, "but, um...thank you."

He held up a finger and shook his head, then removed a pair of earplugs.  I thanked him again as he started searching around the room until he found a tub containing my bag and Lily.

"Thanks again," I said, admittedly a bit lamely, as he handed them to me.  "Uh, who are you?"

He made a zipping motion across his lips, but it lacked the urgency of a command to be quiet.  The gesture must have meant something different....

"...Moth?"  He nodded.  I had actually been heading to visit the mute proxy and his partner Picasso.  Proxies, yes, but...relatively good people despite their loyalty to the Slender Man. They seem to keep their enemies limited only to those they have an order against--and their old boss, Fracture.  But I had been planning on meeting the pair in Florida.  Moth had managed to find me in Tennessee and save me when I most needed saving.  Crimson's words came back to me: there are no coincidences.

He beckoned me over to the window and gestured out to some vans in the distance heading in our general direction.  "Who are they?  Backup?"  He nodded and opened the window.  "We should probably get out of here, then, huh?  You have any ideas?"

He headed out the window and I followed him to a nearby ATV, which he drove into the woods until he reached a truck. "I thought you were supposed to be in Florida," I told him when we finally stopped and after he had loaded the ATV onto the back.  We had been e-mailing each other for a while and I had made plans to visit him.  He pulled out a laptop and showed me the most recent post on his blog.  Apparently their location had been compromised and Picasso's location was currently under siege by Fracture and his men.  He was on his way to bail her out.

"So you're on the move.  But how'd you find me?"  He pulled out an envelope that had instructions to my location and a quick briefing on what to expect.  Apparently the man in the suit was called "Whisper."  Fitting.  The instructions were simply signed "a friend."  That caught my eye.  Someone had left Raggedy a sizable sum of money after I left for keeping an eye on him and had used that exact signature.  "Who gave this to you?"

He pulled out a notepad and wrote something down.  "A stranger."  It figured.  Things are never  that easy.

" you want me to come with you?"  He looked at me seriously and scrawled "Rogue Shadow" on the paper.  "Well yeah, I mean...I guess he's waiting.  It's just...I was planning on visiting you anyway.  Another time, maybe?"

He nodded and pulled something out of his bag.  "What is it?" I asked as he handed it to me.  I unwrapped the cloth around it to reveal a spearhead.

"Oh...n-no," I told him as he gestured at Lily.  "I'm not...I don't know if I want to turn it into something more lethal.  I've...still never killed anyone you know."

He shook his head and indicated that he wanted to spar.  We did for a few moments, and he demonstrated how to use it non-lethally: with the spearhead as a dangerous diversion, and the blunt end as a non-lethal alternative.

"Okay...that makes sense.  But I'm still not sure. I'll think about it.  Is that fair?"  He shrugged.  I didn't feel like telling him the real reason: Lily was a pacifist, and I wasn't sure I wanted to disrespect that by turning the staff named after her into a lethal weapon.

"Well..." I said after a bit, "I guess this is goodbye, huh?  Would you let Picasso know I say hi?"  He nodded.  "Um...good luck with that."

He nodded again and opened his arms for a hug.  I was...admittedly kind of taken aback at first.  I've been alone for a while now.  And while I've spent time with Raggedy and Canis and Wayward and Lyron and Magpie and Crimson, I've...never had anyone make a gesture of affection like that.  It was just a hug, but the fact that he was even offering it meant the world to me.  It didn't matter that he was a proxy.  He saved my life, so I didn't feel like he was about to knife me.  I trudged forward and let him put his arms around me.

It took everything I had not to cry.

After a few seconds I broke the hug.  "Well," I said, secretly relieved at how composed I was, "I guess...I'll see you later, maybe."  He nodded, and I turned to leave.  I didn't turn back.  Couldn't.  Just started walking and let the tears flow.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

A Christmas Encounter: Part 2

Crimson and Magpie took me to a small apartment filled with cheery Christmas decorations.  "Sorry we didn't get you any presents," Magpie told me.  "We figured that a nice meal and a warm bed would be hospitable enough."

"Christmas truce," Crimson said, echoing Magpie's earlier words.

I turned to him and looked him up and down.  "So what's your schtick."

He gave me a sly grin.  "I'm very, very pretty."

"Crimson's not going to be coming after you," Maggie said.  "He's not much of a fighter."

Crimson nodded.  "I'm the brains here.  Sure, the boss is the one with the plan, but I'm the one who helps him figure out how to run it."

"The Slender Man takes orders from you?" I asked flatly.  He and Magpie both burst out laughing.

"Not 'The Boss,' Kenny," Magpie said.  "Just...our boss.  The man behind the Ten Masks.  Come on.  Have a seat and we'll have a nice warm meal, okay?  We'll explain a few things over that."

We ate in silence for a bit.  They were taking the same food as me, so I trusted that it wasn't poisoned.  After I had eaten a bit, I spoke.

"So why are you doing this?"

"Boss's orders," Crimson said.  "None of us have anything personal against you, not even our boss.  And as you might have guessed--we're not really trying to kill you.  In fact, most of us are actually pretty fond of you."  He winked at that.

"Could have fooled me."

"We're mostly just testing your strength.  At least for now," Magpie said.  "If you can beat us, great.  If you get killed, well--then you're maybe not the guy we're looking for."

"Looking for?"

Crimson spoke up.  "The boss has a plan.  He needs you, or maybe someone like you, to pull it off.  Don't worry, you'll still get to make the choice of whether or not to go along with it, so it's not like you're just some puppet."  He paused, flinching a bit at his own word choice as he remembered what had almost happened with the Wooden Girl.  "That reminds me, though.  Mags, it looks like the Wooden Girl and Cold Boy are working together."

"Good," she said, nodding.  "The boss'll be happy."

"Happy?  About what?  What exactly is going on?"  As the conversation went on, I was feeling more and more in the dark. 

Magpie took a deep breath.  "All right, listen, Kenny.  There's a storm coming.  It's been building up for a long time and hell's going to start breaking out really soon.  Any preconceived notions you have, toss them out right now.  Things have changed since the Fears started entering the picture.  It's no longer light vs. dark.  Runners vs. proxies.  Everyone vs. the Slender Man and his cronies.  This is going to be hard to believe, but...we're the good guys.  And we'll need your help, but we can't tell you how.  Not yet.  You're not ready."

"It sure is taking a long time to prepare him," Crimson said.

"Yes, and we're all trying to move this along a little, aren't we?  We were hoping you'd have met at least seven of us by now.  Or at least enough of us to catch on to our names."

"What do you mean?"

She snorted.  "Really, Kenny.  Magpie, Gabe, Crimson, Phones--"

"He doesn't know Phones's name yet," Crimson cut in.

"Oh, right, he doesn't.  Yeah, Kenny, that guy in the red hoodie you met earlier?  We call him Phones."

"Oh yeah!  The Redlight knockoff?"

They laughed a bit again.  "I'm pretty sure he's never even heard of Redlight.  All just one of those funny coincidences."

"Yeah, there seem to be a lot of coincidences everywhere around me lately."

They grew silent.  Crimson spoke first.  "Kenny, I want you to remember this.  Even if you don't trust a word we're saying, you have to remember this one thing: there are no coincidences.  If something seems too good to be true, it probably is."

"You rescuing me from the Fears and giving me a place to spend the night seems too good to be true."

Magpie screeched in laughter.  Crimson just smiled.  "Yes, but we willingly admit that we have shadowy ulterior motive that we're hiding from you.  We rescued you because we want you alive for our own purposes."

"That, and we can't just let a cute boy like you freeze to death on Christmas."

"Very true.  Special provisions can be made for cute boys."  They both had wicked grins on their faces at that point.

After that, they started conversing more casually.  I tried to turn the conversation back to the earlier topics, but they always stopped me with "we'll reveal more when it's the right time."  I spent the night and then left as soon as possible in the morning.

I've been moving on since then.  There are still a few more months of winter and I'd like to head somewhere warmer.  I stopped to watch Les Miserables, though.  I don't watch many movies, but Lily loved the musical, so I figured that I should at least try to find out what it was about.

I hate to admit it, but Crimson and Magpie really saved me from the Cold Boy there.  In more ways than one.  Say what you want about the quality of the company I was keeping, but after I left, I had to admit that I was much more in the Christmas spirit.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A Christmas Encounter: Part 1

I messed up.  Got caught in northern states when winter hit, so I got hit with snow.  Lily hated snow.  I hated snow too.  I still do, actually.

First of all, though, Wayward and Lyron are alive and okay.  I'm not going to say that everyone at the hostel is fine since they're not.  The situation has been resolved, but at the expense of some death and Fear possession.  I should have been there.  I should have been involved.  Tried to help them somehow.

So I was alone, a homeless kid trying to catch a ride in the height of Christmas shopping season.  No one picked me up.  It doesn't matter.  I wouldn't have gotten far if they did, since so many were shoppers who hadn't come from very far.  I found a few homeless shelters to spend the night.  The nice thing about Christmas is that people suddenly remember that charity makes them look good, so there were some nice meals and plenty of volunteers to keep the place staffed.

Still, it was hard not to feel disconnected from it all.  There was no one I could share my story with without putting them in danger.  That's probably why I started to head out of the city on the 24th.  It was hard to be in the Christmas spirit.

I bought some heavier clothes, but wasn't quite expecting the weather I got.  I'm pretty sure the weather got below zero.  Then it started snowing.  I ducked into an alley to try to get out of the wind some and just sat against the wall, huddling up.  I just knew that I was going to be one of those bums killed by the winter cold on Christmas.  The world has a biting sense of humor like that.  That's when I heard the singing.

"Rock-a-bye baby, on the treetop
When the wind blows, the cradle will rock
When the bough breaks, the cradle will fall
And down will come baby, cradle and all"

I looked up then, realizing what was happening.  A little pale towheaded boy dressed in tattered clothes was standing right in front of me.  The Cold Boy I expected.  His companion I didn't.

"So," a cool, measured, silky voice said.  "This is Kenny.  Poor boy...he looks so cold."  The speaker was hovering sideways in midair behind him.  She looked...surprisingly human, considering that her entire body was made of wood.  "He certainly doesn't look like much."  She shrugged, and it was like her wrists were the only part of her arms that actually moved, as if she controlled her body with invisible wires instead of muscles.

The Wooden Girl.

"He'd certainly be a fun doll," she said.  The Cold Boy just giggled.  The cold was making my head murky (though something about the Fears' presence made everything they did feel extremely vivid), so it took me a  bit to realize that my body was moving of its own accord.  I screamed and pulled against it, and though I couldn't see anything, it felt like I was struggling against strings.

I should have been gone then, too.  But that's when he showed up.  "Hey!" he yelled and held up a lit blowtorch.  "If you don't want to get charred or melted, you'll back off now."  The tension on my body slacked and the air felt warmer almost instantly.  The Cold Boy and Wooden Girl exchanged a glance.

"Let's get out of here, Frosty," she said.  "We can deal with this one later."

I looked at the guy.  He was probably about my age and the only way I can describe him is "bishonen."  I have to admit, with the snow in the air, it looked like he was literally sparkling for a second.  Interestingly, the majority of his clothing was in shades of red.

He offered a hand to help me to my feet.  "Hey.  Call me Crimson."

I shook his hand.  "Kenny.  Thanks, Crimson.  I really owe you one.  You don't know how glad I am to meet you."

"And I believe we're already acquainted," came a familiar voice behind me.  A hand landed on my shoulder and I turned to see Magpie.  She grinned and spoke before I could relax.  "Relax, Kenny.  Let's call this a Christmas truce.  C'mon, let's get you out of the cold.  We've got a few things to discuss."

Monday, December 17, 2012


A few days ago, someone who's been commenting on my blog under the name "Last of the Last" told me that I should read up on the scarlet-marked.  I didn't know why exactly he was suggesting it, but I did what he said.  Here's how I understand it: the Red Cap, the Fear of sex and sexuality, has two types of servants/proxies/etc, which seems to be the general trend.  There are the scarlet-marked, those who worship her (him? it?) and serve her willingly, and the "blood vessels," people the Red Cap has possessed.

I've been reading the hostel's blog, Notes from the Underground, and they've been having issues with a certain scarlet-marked called Ruby Tuesday.  Wayward, Lyron, and I had some issues with the greyskins and the Choir.  And then, both attacked at once.

We had been about to leave.  Lyron and I had both been reading the blog and found that the protection against the Fears they had originally had was gone.  We were so close, but right as we were leaving, there was this noise.  Have you ever heard of the "brown note?"  It's a rumored low-pitch frequency that gets its name from the fact that it allegedly causes you to lose control of your bowels.  The concept behind the brown note, though?  That a noise on a certain frequency can actually damage your body?  That's what it was like, hearing the Choir.  It felt like my gut was turning inside out, like my head was exploding, like my skin was going to melt off.  And I hadn't even stepped outside.  Wayward and Lyron had, and they were both vomiting when I pulled them back in.

Wayward told the staff about the Choir, and they put the entire hostel into lockdown.  No one comes in.  No one goes out.  Tensions rose.  Rumors started flying around.  Greyskins were on their way.  Ruby Tuesday may have been involved.  Both turned out to be true.  Whether the Choir and Red Cap had called a truce or the greyskins were also blood vessels or both, Ruby Tuesday showed up with a sizable number of reinforcements.  They surrounded he hostel and laid siege to it.  We were all locked into some supernatural Mexican Standoff.

And then the word got out that one of the hostel guests had left for a day or two.  A girl named Sandy.  Getting some time away from the place.  They said that it happens on occasion.  I'd believe it, since staying cooped up in the hostel was frustrating even before the siege.  But she was on her way back and would be walking into a trap.  She'd be killed or tortured or turned or used as a bargaining chip if she got caught.

She was smarter than anyone gave her credit for, though.  She was a runner, and we runners have to be smart.  A few of us crowded around to watch the hostel's security cameras as she came back.  She realized something was wrong early on.  Approached cautiously.  Surveyed the situation.  Found alternative paths.  Managed to make it back to the hostel undetected, only to find that there was no way in.  She wouldn't be able to slip past all of the greyskins undetected.

That's when I decided to do something stupid.  There was an opening.  A line of defense weaker than the others.  If I could get out there to her, the two of us might be able to fight our way back.  It was a stupid idea, obviously, but I couldn't just leave her out there to die.  I didn't tell anyone what I was planning because they would have tried stopping me.  I grabbed my bag.  Grabbed Lily.  Took a pair of Wayward's headphones and headed out the back door.

It was a dumber move than I had thought.  The greyskins noticed me almost instantly and came straight after me.  That's when Sandy made her dumb move.  She realized what I was doing and came out of hiding to help.  She was unprepared.  Shadows appeared on the wall of the hostel.  They looked like human silhouettes made of flame.  The Choir. 

Then, there was a small break in the shadows as mouth-like shapes appeared on their faces and opened to scream.  My vision turned red.  I coughed and spat blood out of my throat.  Every orifice on my face started bleeding.  Even the greyskins were affected, falling  the ground and clutching their ears.  Only the headphones and my brief prior encounter with the Choir braced me enough to pull through.  I looked up when the scream ended and saw Sandy lying on the ground.  Her eyes had melted out of their sockets.  I didn't have to look twice to know she was dead.

The shadows on the wall had vanished, but the greyskins were recovering.  I tried to stand but couldn't find my balance.  I couldn't run.  I was doomed.  Dead.  Done for.  And that's when he appeared.

I had seen him before, immediately before I had met Wayward.  He had stolen my backpack and I had missed my bus because of it.  He stood over my body with is back to me, wearing the same long brown coat and ponytail that he had worn that day, which is how I recognized him.  He held a wooden staff in his hands and I thought he had grabbed Lily before I realized I was still holding her.

He felled the last greyskin of the wave and turned to me so that I got my first good glimpse of his face.  The features were sort of mousey, and everything about his appearance and expression screamed "clever little scamp."  He extended a hand and pulled me to my feet.  "Last of the Last," he yelled over the noise of the headphones.  "I'd love to chat more, but you need to get out of here.  Run!"

He gave me a shove and I took off on unsteady feet.  My head was still swimming and the damage to my ears was still messing with my balance.  I managed to make it probably two hundred meters before before I toppled to the ground.  I closed my eyes and waited for death to come as the greyskins started approaching.

That's when I heard gunfire right beside me.  Not directed at me, directed at the greyskins.  I pulled myself to my hands and knees and started groggily looking back and forth.

"What the hell were you thinking?" a familiar voice hissed.  Edwin Canis hauled me to my feet.  "Tell me where you're going before you leave next time, and don't try playing the hero so much.  Let's go.  I'm getting you out of here."

I heard more gunfire then and twisted around to see a man standing on the roof of the hostel.  He wore a long brown duster and a bowler hat, and I wondered who he was until he turned.  The gun he held was a sniper rifle, and his face was covered by a gas mask.  Between those two, I managed to connect the dots: the Archangel.  But what was he doing here?  And why was he gunning down the greyskins?

"Move, Kenny!" Edwin shouted, practically dragging me to his police cruiser.  He started the engine and pulled away from the hostel, leaving everyone else behind.

"Wait!  What about the others!"

He shook his head.  "Forget about them, Kenny.  There's no time."

"Go back!  They're still in danger!"

"I can't, Kenny!  Getting you was hard enough.  There's no way they would even let me in.  Besides, the Archangel is there now, and he's evening up the odds."

"How do you know that he's not going to just turn on them?"

He was quiet for a second.  "I don't."  I tried to grab the wheel from him at that, and he reached over with one hand and pressed his fingers somewhere on my neck.  I lost consciousness almost instantly.

When I woke up again, I was in a hotel bed.  Canis left a note.  He had paid for the room but didn't have time to stick around.  There was an apology for leaving everyone at the hostel, accompanied with a warning to play things safer from now on.  Don't try playing hero, because playing hero isn't what keeps you alive.  I threw the note away.

And now I'm on my own again.  Nowhere to go, no one to talk to.  It was nice while it lasted, I guess.  Back to wandering.  I've got questions, of course.  Who exactly is Last?  What was the Archangel doing at the hostel?  Is everyone at the hostel still okay?  I don't know.  Hopefully some answers will show up soon.

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Hostel

We're okay.  Don't worry.

As you no doubt saw, Lyron's place was attacked by Greyskins.  From what I can understand, they're servants of the Choir, though I have no idea whether they willingly agree to do that or whether it infects them.  I hope it's the latter because I can't imagine anyone choosing to do what we saw.

Wayward has an account of this too, but basically, the Greyskins attacked in a horde.  I can't believe I'm saying this, but after seeing them, I actually don't think that proxies are too bad.  These things were like zombies.  They have this grey fungus that covers their bodies (hence, "Greyskins") that makes them look undead, and while I've heard that they're not all as deformed as the ones we ran into, they were grotesque.  Wayward mentioned that some had jaws that looked like they were attached by nothing but skin and fungus, but the ones that stuck out to me were the ones that didn't move quite right, like the bones in their arms and legs had been broken and turned into an extra joint.

We were prepared to go in case something like this happened, but I don't think we were prepared for this.  Maybe Wayward was, because I think she's dealt with Greyskins before, but I was completely lost.  They screamed at one point and when they screamed it was just...this terrible, awful noise, like nails on a chalkboard.  But as terrible as that sound is on its own, the worst part is that it feels like those nails on that chalkboard are insulting you.  Like they nails are writing out the vilest insults that exist and they're aimed directly at you and you can hear it.  Wayward lent me a pair of headphones and put on some white noise, which is what she does.  It helped some, but it wasn't quite enough because at one point it felt like I started crying and my vision blurred but it was red and I was actually crying blood.

I really don't remember much of what happened.  The whole thing was a blur.  I've faced enemies several at a time before, but I've never faced this many at once, and never anything like these Greyskins.  All I know is that we couldn't get out and we were going to die and the only reason we're still alive is that Lyron saved us.  Despite how paranoid we were of her and how little we wanted to trust her, she still saved our lives.  She came out with a handgun and started shooting them and managed to clear enough of them out to help us get to her car.  And then we drove.  I don't know how far we drove.  I think I was passed out for most of it.

We're at a hostel now.  Lyron was the one who suggested it.  Between this and what she did with the Greyskins, we owe her our lives.  But now that I've had time to think about it seems wrong.  From what I've gotten from my research and Lyron's notes, the Choir is sort of fungal in nature.  It grows and multiplies and instills itself in a host.  Between that and how much they reminded me of zombies, I'm fairly certain that these people weren't volunteers.  They were infected.  I don't know whether the Choir destroyed who they once were or, even worse, just took control of their bodies.  The former means that they were people and Lyron gunned them down like animals.  While it's technically self-defense, I really don't like killing.  They didn't understand what they were doing.  Why did they have to die like that just because they didn't understand?

On the other hand, if the Choir just took control of their bodies, that means that they were conscious throughout all of that, unable to stop themselves from attacking us.  In which case, they were good people who were killed because our lives are "more important" than theirs.

I can't condemn Lyron.  Not really.  After all, it was us or them.  But I've seen too many people die.  I can't feel comfortable with that they did.  And it's not just her.  Wayward is something of an arsonist.  She uses aerosol flamethrowers and Molotov cocktails as weapons.  When I practice self-defense, the worst my attackers end up with is a nasty concussion.  Wayward's self-defense reduces attackers to ash.

I don't know what to think anymore.  I used to think that not killing anyone was the moral thing to do.  After all, they're still human, and who am I to choose who lives and who dies.  But could I kill if my life depended on it?  When it comes down to kill or be killed, would I deliver the final blow?  Survivor of the fittest?  Or would I put my morals over my life?  And even then, is that truly me trying to be a good person?  Or am I just trying to convince myself because I'm just a coward who couldn't take another life if he tried?

Anyway, I'd rather not try to think of the answers to that now.  We're at the hostel now.  We're safe again for a bit.  I shouldn't need to think about it right now.  We got here a couple nights ago.  It's strange, being around so many people again.  It's really not that many, but compared to just me, it's a crowd.  They've got a blog, apparently.  I've been trying to read through it in my spare time here so that I can figure out who all these people around me are.  I'll let you know if anything else happens.

Monday, December 3, 2012

We're going on the move.

Lyron's place is under attack.  Greyskins.  We have to get out of here.  No more time to explain right now.