Tuesday, 10 April 2012

~Steele~ The Hollow Man.

Shape without form, Shade without colour,
Paralysed force, gesture without motion:
Those who have crossed
With direct Eyes, to Death’s other Kingdom
Remember us
if at all
not as lost
Violent souls,
but only


This will be my last post.

I went back to the House. This old, dilapidated mansion in Vermont, surrounded by Trees. In its heyday, I’d return to this place and it’d be bustling with life. Now…it might as well be condemned. Perhaps it already is, really. Condemned to be a place of suffering, rather than what it could have been. It could’ve been a place of safety, a House to live in, not to avoid. It could’ve been converted; maybe it could’ve been a school. Hell, it could even have been a church.

Wouldn’t that have been fun?

I parked out the front this time, I knew I wasn’t staying for long. The garage was no longer my own. It was a graveyard of cars without owners; of cars that will never be used again. The van, August’s pickup…

They led good lives. Maybe I’ll find new owners for them sometime.

I opened the front door and made a beeline for the East Wing.

We all know what I was looking for. And apparently the East Wing did too, as when I opened the door in the kitchen…There he was. In his office. The deep cherrywood of the desk glinting in the soft light, trinkets strewn around the room, Spencer sitting in his chair staring up at the ceiling, and here I was, barging in like I had so many times before, disturbing this anachronism. We were beyond this, years beyond, but there it was.

Like nothing had ever changed.

There, is a Tree swinging
And voices are
In the wind’s singing
More distant
and more solemn
than a fading star.

We stayed that way for a while. His amber eyes glinting with the smile on his face, my blue-grey eyes glinting with cold fire and determination; the smile on my face holding no substance whatsoever.

Neither of us wanted to break the silence. The illusion of the past was much preferable to the reality of today. The last three years flashed past like lightning, the countless times I’d been in this exact position, complaining, asking for a payrise…or even just joking around. Having fun. God, there’s a thought. Me and Spence weren’t always like this, like now…

But at that moment, we both knew we couldn’t be any other way.

”Spencer…consider this my resignation.”

He nodded, slowly. "The couriers are done as it stands. Hard to do much of anything with just two of us left, and even then, for how long...?” And with that, Spencer laughed. A short, low, barking chuckle, strangely fake; as if he had forgotten true mirth long ago.

”How long is too right. There is of course, the question of my severance package.” I pulled out my gun…not really aiming it or anything. I wanted him to understand. I wanted a sign that he was ready. "August is gone. Lori's gone. Sam's gone, Amanda's gone. Todd and company, they're gone too. All of the couriers, all the kids we’ve seen live, all the kids we’ve saved… It's just you and me. And we've had our differences in the past. And it does appear that there's now nobody to stand in my way."

"... yeah. Yeah, they're all gone." He looked…concerned. Fond, almost. Warmth at a time like this. He just had to make it difficult, didn’t he? "Almost takes me back to when you all first joined, heh, and you, the angry kid who had just about enough..."

”Fuck, you've gone and turned into a brilliant man, Leon. You... grew up, didn't you?"

Let me be no nearer
In death's dream kingdom
Let me also wear
Such deliberate disguises
Rat's coat, crowskin, crossed staves
In a field
Behaving as the wind behaves
No nearer -
Not that final meeting
In the twilight kingdom

”I don’t know, mate. Back in the day, I knew exactly what mattered. I'd take care of myself first and foremost, and anyone else? Just a means to an end. I was efficient, and I was a survivor. Didn't need anyone to patch me up after a bad run-in with our mutual Friend. Didn't need a financial benefactor back when I was self-employed." I felt my voice break unwillingly as I continued. “Didn't need anyone to make me pancakes after a bad night.” That hit Spencer too, I could tell, though I certainly wasn’t unaffected. “Dinner’s at 8; don’t be late…” I muttered as an afterthought, almost to myself…my eyes unwillingly becoming moist.

Writer has a lot to answer for.

”Look at both of us.” Spence sighed. “Went and ruined a perfectly good thing, didn’t we…?” He didn’t move from his spot. He barely blinked. The smile on my face was almost genuine at this point. "It was like being able to have my childhood again, almost. People cared about me when I was a kid. And I cared about people."

I raised the gun, levelling it at his head. “But now we’re all grown up again.”

He stays calm. Maddeningly calm. "I..." He swallows, then tries again. "I don't blame you for Lori. For this. You're doing a good thing, Leon. I want you to understand that."

”Don’t need to tell me twice.” I said, flicking the safety off.

Spencer closed his eyes for a moment, reminiscing. “It was good for a while, you know? In the beginning. Those first few runners we helped, god, the looks on their faces, it was like they thought they were witnessing a miracle..."

"It was good. I was in it for the cash at the start, but then like an idiot, I started to give a fuck." I paused. "When did you stop giving one, mate? When did the leader of such a fucking civic project become just as much of an unwelcome sight as the ones who can't know any better? When did you stop fighting?"

He seemed to grin at that. "I haven't stopped, Leon. The fact that I'm still here... says I haven't stopped. But I never was like all of you, and that, that one fact…that was what hurt the most."

"You've always been like us.” I asserted, not entirely sure why I hadn’t pulled the trigger yet. “You're mostly human, you've always been compassionate. You know what's right, just like me."

"... even I'm not sure how much of it was fake. How much of it I just... wanted to be. But when August was laying there, dying..." His voice broke. "I wanted to die too. Is that so wrong...?"

Writer has a lot to answer for.

I spoke carefully, trying to avoid too much emotion. "After today, our association will end, and I'll have nothing. Nothing but Life and Death. And what's Life for us, but waiting to die? It’s been that way ever since He entered my life.” Another pause, before changing tune. “Thanks for the extra years, mate...but more than that? Thanks for the purpose. I guess that's why I came back in the first place. Now it's back to living for Life alone. Because fucked if I'm going to let Death get me, He's been waiting long enough: He can wait as long as I damn well please."

I put my finger on the trigger, preparing myself.

"I hope so. You're too good for him, Leon. You were all too good for Him. For this. All of this. None of you... none of you ever deserved this." He held back something; a sob? "I still remember all of their names, y'know. Every single one. They counted on me, and I let them down. I let all of you down." Spence looked up, face contorted in emotion so fast it almost gave me whiplash. "Destroy it all. Don't leave anything behind. We can't... have people trying to be like us. Like me."

The Eyes are not here
There are no Eyes here
In this valley of dying stars
In this hollow valley

”…I will…” But before I could…I had to ask him something. Something that had bothered me for a long time…and a plan that had crawled in the back of my mind for a long time.

"You've fucked up, you periodically become this...thing, and when that happens, you cause pain to those who don't deserve it. Who could never deserve it. You enable and spread pain like a virus, like the virus that your fucking Master is…But there’s one thing that doesn’t ring true. You can fight it. You HAVE fought it. For this long. How?”

He recoiled from my harsh words, like I’d slapped him across the face. ".. th-the same way all of you fought it. By... by... not wanting to be alone anymore. By realizing there was a world out there, a world that went just beyond Father and Writer and everyone else, and how goddamn big it all was…”

Here we go round the prickly pear
prickly pear prickly pear
Here we go round the prickly pear
At five o’clock in the morning

I put the gun away. “Good enough for me.” I said, as the plan grew and connected in my mind.

"You're one of Them with the ability to become one of Us. And when you're one of Us, you save lives, you help those who need it, you bring life to those who deserve it, who've had it taken from them. And I have hope that you'll realise that again. And you'll break out of it, save another group of kids, give them food, give them board, save them for as long as you possibly can. 'Cause that's who you are. You're not the man who robotically follows the other Man. You're at your most when you're on the other side. And you've got a long, productive life ahead of you, buddy...Just keep me the fuck away from you while you're figuring that out. I choose Life. Or had it chosen for me. Whichever, whatever...I'm going to survive, and if you come between me and that, then you can have all the potential in the goddamn world, but I will do whatever I can to end you.”

I paused, and launched my gambit.

"...And I hope you remember, my lovely...Just who murdered our dearest August~" I sung, attempting a cackle. "And look at you! Running back to join him merrily! For August was just a kid, right? He couldn't possibly be as important as a Man like that! We care about you, Teller! We're the ones who've brought you happiness, nevermind the trail of loved ones we’ve left behind! just come back to your Master like a good boy, that's right now~"

Spencer looked horrified. “Please, Leon, I don’t want this, please for god’s sake…”

"I know. And who better to take those bastards down then a man with a reason, in their own ranks, who has sins to atone for? You're a special one, Teller. For the reasons I've always held against you. You're dangerous, and you're not always Spencer Fitzgerald. But sometimes, love: You very much are. And...I'm okay letting you back onto the streets, if that means there's even an inkling of a chance for some fucking REVENGE, for August, for Lori...For everyone that red-headed bastard has ever taken, ever Hallowed, ever had work for him...For all of us, and all of you." I felt a ringing in my ears, a metallic hum in the air and something changed in the room; Spencer’s face went dark and calm, and the walls seemed to fade away in patches, revealing only White behind them, no substance, just creation without depth. The light flickered, as I reached into my pocket and pulled out a silver pellet; I had melted it down from a ring Stephan gave me earlier. I had no idea if superstitious nonsense like that would work, but I loaded it into the revolver anyway, letting Spencer see. It was a symbol.

I wasn’t going to back down, no matter what happened.

Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow

"You know I'm right, Spence. You know that if I were to look for revenge, Writer’d toss me aside like a ragdoll. Not to mention what He would do. I need you alive as much as they do...August needs you alive as much as they do. You still need to pay him back.”

”August is DEAD.” He boomed, the room rattling away into nothingness. “Doc is dead, Amanda is dead, Todd is dead, Sam, oh god, Sam is dead..."

"And who did that? Who's done all of this, Spence? Who set this in fucking motion? It wasn't you or me, that's for sure...It's your new employer and his Master." Vengeance is a cruel process, but it was all that remained on my mind as I spoke. "If you can't do it for them...Do it for yourself. Eventually. Give it some time, sure, it'll be like things were before at the start..."

I smiled. A toothy affair, with a murderous glint in my eye.

"But eventually, all that will be left is you, him and Him, and a pain in your heart that just won't quit."

"... I can't." his voice trembled. "Kill me. Just kill me. Put me out of my misery. I can't go on. I can't do this anymore. It just hurts too much."

"...Then make yourself feel better. Because I know for certain something that'll help. Writer will get what he wants...but that smarmy son of a bitch should be careful what he wishes for."

”You promised.” He said, closing his eyes as the piercing hum grew louder and more shrill, and what was left of the room rattled, the white beyond looming ever closer.

"That was before your little buddy gave me a reason to keep you alive. You're not one of the bad guys, Spence. And I know that you know who they are."

For Thine is the Kingdom
Between the conception
And the creation
Between the emotion
And the response
Falls the Shadow

Something changed. The room was back, and so was Spencer. He opened his eyes, pale lanterns in the darkening room. I felt a wave of nausea flow over me and a prickling watching sensation on the back of my neck…I could feel His presence. Overwhelmingly. As if He were standing in the room…

No, as if He was the room, and everything in it. It was enclosing, intoxicating, as if the air was fear and the colour was pain.

I stood my ground, ready to fire if need be.

Life is very long.

"It's your choice, Spence. It's always your choice. He may try to control you, but He couldn't before, and He can't now. Kill me now if that's what pleases you. God knows I'm ready. But I know that will please you for only so long...There's some blood that might give you a much more static satisfaction, though."

Between the desire
And the spasm

Something was very wrong. He paid attention to my words, only with the sense of polite interest, not the emotional response I was getting before. He stood casually, entirely detached from the Spencer I knew before.

Between the potency
And the existence

"... you just tried to play some sort of game, didn't you?" He walked forward, voice made of honey and cedar, measured, so similar to Spencer's but oh so wrong.

Between the essence
And the descent
Falls the Shadow

”You just lost. Goodbye, Leon Steele.”

For Thine is the Kingdom

I watched as he walked towards the door. “Goodbye, Spencer Fitzgerald.”

For Thine is
Life is
For Thine is the

This…thing…for it was not a man that left that room, but a thing, waved lazily over his shoulder as he replied. “Spencer Fitzgerald is dead. Try to keep that in mind.”

”You too.” I said, as a final act of defiance as His presence left the room and the air lightened…and I was left alone.

I stood there for a moment, before I collapsed to the ground, hyperventilating in fear and horror, bursting into violent tears and praying, I don’t know who to, to anyone who would listen, anyone more powerful than He…holding out hope that something like that actually existed.

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang

but a

”…oh, god.”


Friday, 6 April 2012

~Steele~ It’s time.

This is what it comes down to. This organization, this way of life. All of it comes down to us, Spence. Two of the originals. Pity Lori can’t be with us for this, it’d be a regular blast from the past.

She’s in a better place now, away from His and Your influence.

Now it’s just you and me.

And you know how long this has been in the making.

I wish I could pinpoint the exact moment you died. Was it Writer that did this? Maybe you were always like this, back when you put us in danger’s way with the Morningstar experiment. Maybe you’ve been this way since the days where you were poncing around the world slaying Proxies with your girlfriend, grinning at the loss of life. Maybe since you stole this House from August’s dad you’ve been slipping. I wouldn’t know, I wasn’t there.

Maybe when you caught me in your house after a deal gone wrong, bleeding like a motherfucker. Back then, when it was just you and Lori. You were ready to kill me, you called me a proxy, quite prepared to choose your life over mine…

No, now they’re your brothers, not us. You’ve said it…I hold out hope for this to be just a passing madness, for it to be like the last times, then we can function again. Perhaps that’s what we’ve all had far too much of lately. Hope. We hoped you wouldn’t get here, we hoped it wouldn’t come to this.

But you died a long time ago. We can’t keep ignoring that fact. Hope has been gone for a while.

Spencer Fitzgerald,

this is me coming to save you. Or let you rest easy, finally. Whatever you decide.

But I will not do you the disservice of not letting you know this was coming, as you have practically invited me in. I truly believe there’s still good in you. You wouldn't have asked for this otherwise.

I’ll try my best to do what is right. I’ve been doing that a lot lately, but…life is so chaotic, I couldn’t live with myself if I were to live any other way. Survival is one thing, but survival for survival’s sake is the act of a weakling, living in the past, doing what he needs to do rather than what he should do.

I lived that way for Stephan, to try and make my life worthy of his death. I weighed my life up against his in that split second, as the mask straps cut into the sides of my face, the red diamonds around my eyes glinting in the ambient hotel room light. His own eyes were the centre of a dark sun glinting on porcelain.

I had a choice that He gave me. One of us had to kill the other, or both of us would suffer far worse. And I know we both knew it. We looked at each other when it happened, when He spoke in our minds and our mouths opened and his eyes widened with the subtle haunted glaze of one with absolutely no hope left. I had to weigh my own life against his. I had to choose, his vibrant green eyes, or my blue-grey? Which would haunt the other for the rest of their life?

”Live for me.” he said. “It’s okay. Live for me,” as the blood seeped from his chest.

I always thought he meant ‘live long for me’, as if life were just specks in an hourglass.

But ‘live well for me’ lets me sleep better at night. Only by leading the life he would’ve wanted me to live, can I repay him.

For hesitating.

For ever since, I've always been in control. He has never been in my mind, He never controlled me…He just observed. My curse has never been Him being in control.

It’s been me in control ever since, having to deal with the consequences of that last night.

Never again. Two men enter, one man leaves. Because one has to die, once again. I can’t leave you and Writer out there, and you know it.

But we decide this honourably, so my conscience is clear.

I’m coming back to the House. I think we have something to discuss.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

-Spencer- Welcome to the end

Sam died today. Or yesterday maybe, I don’t know. I watched her from the edges of the House's territory, unwilling to get too close as she just walked into His embrace. Can't remember if I screamed at her to stop. That doesn’t mean anything. Maybe it was yesterday.


There’s nothing but a light, one tiny, singular, solitary light, and it’s easy to think that just for a second, just for one. Singular. Second. About everything and to do nothing but follow the flame with your eyes, see your life in the glowing embers of a wick. Pictures and memories flash like cameras, fleeting and blinding, putting spots of black in your vision.

It’s like rain, falling down, every single individual droplet in perpetual motion, adding to a collective. Because falling is just like flying, isn’t it, at least until you hit the ground; plummeting at 120 miles an hour at 33, 300 feet, you have three minutes to think about your life. You’re quiet and still and there’s nothing but the air rushing away around you. Nothing is tangible, and nothing hurts.

… three minutes, huh?


The light goes out. And then it’s gone, it’s left, and a web of pictures, videos and writings spring from dilapidated fingertips like dust, each key a meaningful letter, a meaningful sound. We write because we’re afraid, you know. We write because we want to leave something behind. “My name is Spencer Fitzgerald, and I’m about to die.” It gives finality. It relieves responsibility. You’re allowed to give up.

It’s a funny little thing. Silver and bronze, filled with liquid, a worn and dirty wick. You turn a wheel with the side of your thumb; spark. And with that spark, a wisp of smoke. It’s empty now, of course, last bit of fuel used up on a final cigarette.

As last rights go, this is pretty shitty, but I’ll take what I can get.

Two. It’s funny now, what I wish would happen, what I wish did happen. I wish that I had told Matt to stop trying to save the world, then we’d run, we’d run for as long as we had to. For as long as it lasted. And if I died, I would’ve died afraid but happy. Naive and happy. Protecting him. I could deal with that.


I almost miss it. I do miss it, I miss all of it. Cushy amendments and set routines. I was fucked up, but so was everyone else. We all sat in our own little worlds, waiting to answer a call that never came. We all thought that we were there to serve in a way everyone else couldn’t. Shouldn’t. There was nothing above us aside from our Father, nothing that wasn’t permitted. There were the good guys and the bad guys. It was so fucking simple, until it wasn’t.

Because now I see good guys who kill with smiles on their faces, that get other people killed and act as if there was nothing they could do. Now I see bad guys who whimper and cry and beg, that put on fake personas in order to stay alive. I see the same people turn around and stab their enemies and allies in the back all in one go.

You start to feel things that aren’t real. Things that you think you would feel if you were “normal”; we start to grasp at straws, force things that were never really there. I’ve just watched. Watched for so goddamn long and kept my nose out of everyone else’s business. Watched it all burn around me, and didn’t lift a finger. Guess I’m like Him, in that regard...


Silhouettes. I think that, after a while, you have to stop seeing people as people. I did it back then, did it when we’d see bodies that looked more like a cartoon representation of what a human should be, and I do it now. I know the look -you know the one- wide eyed and afraid and jittery and cautious. I didn’t say a thing, didn’t offer one bit of advice or comfort. You all expect someone to give you answers, give you help. Contentment has a habit of making people comfortable, and as much as I hate to admit it, being comfortable means...

I was able to pretend for a while. You’ve all done it, most of you are doing it now from the safety of... wherever you are. We pretend that we’re people, like how long we last or what we do makes a difference in the end. And you know what? We’re all wrong. We spread out and run and infect others like a virus, latch onto innocent, ignorant people and suck them dry. We’re parasites, we take their help and they pay the price, like some twisted game of blackjack. The House is the only one who wins, and none of us are the fucking dealer.

And we can buy the drinks and wear the suits and tie the ties and look the part, but we’re never, ever going to be the same. And that’s the worst part, because now He’s taken something from you. He’s taken everything and He always manages that tiny bit more, the last refuge you had. He doesn’t think, doesn’t feel, doesn't do anything but act, doesn’t do anything but overpower. He takes you and everything that makes you and crushes it easily and then you’re not even left with the cinders afterwards. And the worst part about it is that there’s nothing you can do.


One. My name is Spencer Fitzgerald, and I have fifty three seconds left until I stop falling. The ground is coming up fast, and idly I find myself thinking about how it’s going to feel, how long it’s going to take, how much it’s going to hurt. I can’t help it, because as tired as I am, I don’t want it to hurt. Even with everything I’ve done, I don’t want to suffer. So instead I think about everyone that’s died up until now, with all that blood around me, surrounding me, on my hands. I’m not going to scream and beg, but I know I don’t want to die. I don’t want this. Was this how it was for everyone else? For August and Lori and Amanda and Todd and Sam, was this what it was like in the end? Sitting, just waiting, alone?

It’s cold.

I still have... I still had so much ahead of me, so much to see and do, but it’s all gone now. I should be relieved. I should be happy that it’s finally going to be over. But what sort of comfort is this? What comfort is waiting for death to fucking fall in your lap? I’m angry, I’m angry at a world that would let this all happen, at a universe that would do this to me. I’m running out of time and it’s not enough, and I’m left not a hero, not a ethereal figure, or anything that I wanted to be. These are the last words I’m ever going to write, and everything is ending one second at a time. Fuck all of you. Give up. No, fuck, don’t you dare ever listen to me; you’re all braver than you know, stronger than you’ll ever realize. But this is my stop. I'm tired of struggling, I'm tired of fighting a fight that I'm not going to win. I want the quiet and the hum, because for all my struggling, it never made any difference. 

But maybe, just maybe, you’ll live through all of this changing. All of it. Everything. And then life can go back to normal. 

I want to see it. I don't want to go.

... Leon

I think I'm ready now.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

~Steele~ Facing the Music

I returned to the House a couple of days ago. Not for long. I think we’ve all got used to the fact that I don’t call it a Home anymore. But I dropped in.

The corridors feel empty now. They always used to be empty, but now there’s this sense of emptiness about them. Abandonment. Like people haven’t been living there for a long time.

Makes sense. We haven’t been truly living for a long time. We have been surviving in fear, pushing on through despair. Struggling for simple subsistence, not through lack of means to survive; food, water, shelter… but all the odds being stacked against us.

Is that living?

I had an agenda for going back to the House. Homeowner notwithstanding…there were still two people there who had been clinging to life with me. I needed to see them. It’s getting to the stage when one can see that we might not be clinging for much longer.

I knocked on the door to Todd’s room and waited for a response. Which I did not receive. So I walked in, to see him sitting on his bed. Not much else. Just…there.

”Cat got your tongue?” I asked innocuously, sitting down near the door and pulling my knees into my chin. His head shook. Not really the response I was going for.

”So it’s not a cat.”




”Then what is it?”

He looked up, though still avoiding eye contact. “Why do the ones we love go, but the ones we can’t stand, stay?”
”I thought you and Sam were good friends!”
“Well, I don’t…” He looked troubled. More than usual for our situation. “By the way things are going, she’ll be next.” He started to look more with it after my silence. “God, I didn’t mean it like that, It’s just…just…”

”Don’t worry, mate. I loved Amanda, August and Lorelei too.”

I didn’t really trust myself to say any more.

”Well, to be honest…in a way, I don’t mind that they’re gone.” Todd rested his face in his hands. “No, no, no, I didn’t mean that…I just…God, I’m such a fuckup. I just mean…I’d be able to mourn like a normal person if it wasn’t for them.”

”I understand. I’d have troubles living with Grosvenor, too.” I paused for a moment and tried to pull off a grin. “I did have troubles living with Grosvenor, now you mention it. Didn’t he try to kill me that one time?”
”I’m sure. But he likes you. Admires you. And I know it shouldn’t matter, but that kind of makes me hate you.” He looked up at the ceiling, his expression implacable. “And I know I really shouldn’t be making enemies at this point.”
”It takes a lot more than someone not liking me to make an enemy out of me at this point. God knows I shouldn’t be making enemies right now, either.” Well, seeing as we’re being brutally honest here…”I’ve got to admit, I never much liked you either. You seem to be a lovely person, but I don’t like people who aim to murder me as a general rule.”

”See, and if I didn’t have this little…tumor, we’d be just fine. Why does he stay, but August, Lori and Amanda…” I could see this was hard for him, his voice broke a little. “I get it. Life’s not fair. Things get taken away. But…why not just a few more?”

”Well, I’m aiming to take away a certain red-headed thing from this world sometime in the not too distant future. It might ease your suffering a little; I know it’ll ease mine.”


”…Well, I hope it will ease mine.” I admitted.

”Thanks for the help, but I think there’s only one real way to help me.” He said sardonically, though his emotion dropped and he just seemed…like nothing was there. “Only one real way now.”
”And what way is that?”
His eyes finally locked with mine. “You don’t have to worry about that. It’ll be clean. You won’t be there when it happens. You are leaving soon, yes?”




“We can’t help get…rid of them, can we?” I asked, looking away.

”You could kill me.” He laughs humourlessly.

”I could.” I bit my lip. “But I won’t. If you go, it’s just Sam and Spencer left. And Spence is only here in a relative term.”

Todd stopped laughing at that. “Yeah, don’t kill me…but take out Spencer if you can. I’m sure you can get past the whole black evil blood, superhuman thing.”

I couldn’t help but smile. “Don’t remind me. Don’t suppose Grov could stand to lend a hand?”
”Spencer’s the one who let Grosvenor live. Grov owes him something. I think that’s the part I hate the most.”

"...Pity." I slumped back against the wall a little. "It would've been nice to have company. I'm quickly realising it's running out. We may not be too fond of each other, but we're still people, you and I. People who've been on opposite sides, to be sure, but our disagreements are nothing compared to the reality of Writer and Teller's little comedic duo."

”I guess.” He smiled a little. “Steele, I’m actually kind of disappointed we never really got to know each other that well. As cheesy as that sounds.”
”Me too. I wish we’d been on the same side for longer.”
”Hard when you’ve got condensed human evil in your head.”

”Todd, if you’re evil, I shudder to think of what Spencer has become.”




”When I leave the House, you are free to do what you need to do. If you can’t live with them…I understand. But there’s a real enemy here, someone who is a danger to us. And it’s not you.” I stood. “You’re one of the good guys.”

”Am I?” He asked with surprising intensity. "Do you know what I did before I came to this House? Do you know what I've done? I get that the line defining 'good' and 'evil' is a little hazy, but I think I've crossed it before. It's just a matter of... does it count? Does it count because it was just my body doing it? Not me?" He looks up. "Whatever, it's not like you know. Or care, probably. You should get going."

”I know more than you care to realise.” I said shortly, standing at the door. “I hope to see you when I return…but I know as well as you do that that’s not an inevitability anymore.”

I opened the door, and walked into the corridor.


”What?” I looked back.

”…Grov knows you, but he doesn’t know…about you.”


”I mean…Grov’s a little…closed-minded.”

I blinked. “I don’t follow.”

”He’s a little…Westboro-y.” He smiled wanely, a smile which I returned.

”Oh. Sorry, Grov; I like dudes. Hope this doesn’t get in the way of our beautiful relationship.” I paused, grinning genuinely for the first time in a while. “For what it counts, Grovvy, you’re kind of cute. In an alpha-male kind of way. Pity we couldn’t have got to know each other.”

Todd laughed loudly. “I don’t think he heard that, but I’ll be sure to tell him. And then I’ll tell him again. And again. And again.”

”I think he deserves that.”

”Oh, he deserves so much more. Seeya, Steele.”

”Seeya, mate.”

I left.

Was I wrong? Should I have told someone about this?

Maybe someone could’ve talked him out of it.

Our numbers are dwindling. In fact, I’d say they have positively dwindled.

I’ll keep clinging to this excuse for a life. Because that is who I am.

But there are fates worse than death.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Todd's final words: Fuck you all.

It's dry out here. That's the only way I can describe it. No food, no water. It's not even particularly hot or cold here. There is no temperature to speak of. All I can feel is hate. I never wanted it to be like this. This would be the part where I would say "I don't blame you," but I do. Fixing this could have been as easy as popping a zit. That's all Grov is. That's all it would have felt like to Spencer. He could have crushed Grov with two fingers, and made life so much better for the rest of us. But no, Spencer chose us all for a goddamn reason. Well, I hope you'll be able to find a good replacement for me, you sick shit.

I really should get over that. But it's too late now. Even if I wanted to live, finding my way out of here? Impossible. And the blood loss isn't gonna help matters much.

What was Spencer's #1 rule? Don't go into the East Wing. Strike 1. If I made it out of here, he'd kill me.

Jumping in during a particularly strong loop? Strike 2. No one's gonna be crazy enough to come in and get me.

Cutting your ear off with a stolen scalpel? Strike 3. I'll bleed out by the time anyone would find me.

Why am I typing all this? Stalling, most likely. My battery's about to die. Any last words from the boys?

Grov says fuck you. And by 'you' he means me. Fuck you too, buddy.

Sybil's crying. Good. I hope you'll be able to hear that. The echoes of a crying dead child. This is gonna be the second time he dies, if you think about it.

I'm gone. I'll say hi to August for all of you. If we're going to the same place, that is.

Saturday, 31 March 2012

[Let me tell you a story.]

[Once upon a time, there was a Man, and a Doctor, and a Boy, and his Father

(Not the Father
but rather
A Father.
The best Father
a Boy could ask for.)

And this Man, and this Doctor
Were being chased by the trees
The Man having been raised surrounded by them, farmed for fear and fame and glory
And the Father and the Boy were being chased too.

So it goes.]


[The Man had done work for the Father before, a client, like any other. Except...

The Father had a House, or rather, he had found a House.
A place, he bemoaned, that had a mind of its own.
That caught the Man's interest. He thought that the House would keep him and
Safe from the trees.

(And it did,
until it didn't. But that's
another story.)

The Father, however, knew better than that.
Because he knew that Man was not really a
at all.]

why are you doing this to me I don't want to remember


He was a Mongrel. A wolf in sheep's clothing. And he had a rather bad
Of throwing people away when he was done with them.

On a long enough timeline,
The survival rate of everything drops to

So the Father refused. But the Man was clever and wily and knew nothing of mercy. So if the Father wouldn't protect them from the trees

Then he wouldn't be protected either.]

Haha, is that what this is? Am I being punished? How about we tell them everyone's story, huh? How about Doc? How I burned down the mental institution she was in to leave no tracks behind? How she was legally DEAD?!? How about how I took Todd off the street, practically a Proxy himself, and made him into a fucking experiment?

[The Man lead the trees to the Father, and let him decide the fate of the Boy

A hostage situation
Fit for kings

He gave his answer.Then the Father looked at the Man and told him that he pitied him; He was dead soon after that. So then there was a Man, a Monster, a mad Doctor, a broken Boy -Who all played their parts well- Who all, maybe understood each other...]

How about Amanda, then? How she was young and quick and how I needed a runner that could outrun everything and anyone and Steele who I KNEW would come back, his interest caught, after I had nearly killed him and Sam
 oh god she's going to die too
She's going to DIE AGAIN

[The reluctant Hunter, the crippled Crow, the hubris infected Lion, the innocent Lamb

And maybe this wasn't so bad after all. The Boy might've known the entire time. But as it turns out

Life isn't fair.

The Boy died before the Mongrel did. But a Monster can't have that kind of luck forever.

The Boy knew that
And the Father knew that
And the Man knows that

It's just a matter of time before the curtain call.
Needless to say

There's no need for a Mongrel in the next production.]

I don't want this
please, for fuck's sake

make it stop

Sunday, 25 March 2012

~Steele~ If you’re not with us…

I’m not at the House. I’m on the way to DC. With a package, of sorts. Spence may say we’re not doing deliveries anymore, but I think we’re all acutely aware now, of the fact that I disagree with him occasionally.

Besides, this is a favour for an old friend. An old friend who I met in the strangest of places the other night. A warehouse in Detroit; not exactly the place I generally try to spend my Saturday nights, but a friend of mine invited me around to have a look at a personal project of his.

”Your House. It’s a community solution to an individual problem. People don’t Run in packs. The Runner’s experience is solitary, isolating, imperative, for that is how He operates; divide and conquer. Make the target drop from civilized society, then hunt them. A safehouse, a home base, an indivisible group that can split and reconnect, provide aid and structured networks…Only when we stop Running, can we start Fighting.”

So that’s what he did. Invited a bunch of Runners to start a community in a warehouse. Fantastic idea for me, but only one reason was on my mind as I pulled up outside the warehouse, with Poe perched on the passenger’s seat: With a group of runners from all across the area, all with their own distinct history, surely one of them would have some information on our red-headed friend.

Turns out, someone did; but it was the last person I expected. For while I was looking for information, I had in the back of my mind; three family members down, our ‘community solution to an individual problem’ wasn’t exactly working out. Clearly someone had missed those memos before starting this little…safeHouse.

Particularly, this one.

The smell of blood was tangible as I opened the door, rushing out to occupy the cool night air. An invisible red mist. I shouldn’t have walked in. Recent events have made me try to play the big damn hero, but that’s just not who I am; I am, and always have been, a survivor. I’ve always wanted to extend my life, but I’ve been throwing myself into these dangerous situations without a care.

Poe cawed and flew to land smartly on my shoulder; he smelled the blood too.

Either I’ve been lying to myself all along, or I’ve finally realised; the only way to truly prolong life is to stand your ground, not to live in retreat. If you run from your troubles, you aren’t truly living. You’re subsisting. Living is not delaying death.

So I stepped across the threshold and drew my handgun. Click.

As I walked down the corridor, I could hear scraping from up ahead; the screech of metal against metal, the tearing of metal against flesh, the sawing of metal against bone. The smell of blood was mixed with something else now; something chemical, formaldehyde…an oddly sterile smell to be mixed with the scent of such violence.

You know what this means. You’ve smelled this before.

I came to the corner, and peered around, agonizingly slow, only to have my suspicions confirmed.

The warehouse floor was covered in blood. Absolutely covered; the shimmering red reflected the light from the middle of the room, centred on a single table, with a man lying on it. There were other tables, too, about 15 of them; a man and a woman were hooked up to IVs and oxygen masks on two of them, strapped down on these makeshift gurneys; not moving…barely breathing. But still alive, very much still alive.

Unlike the man on the table. It wasn’t even a man; it was only most of a man. The skin had been flayed from his flesh at his extremities, the exposed tendons of his arms and legs gave way to white bone. His chest had been broken open like the covers of a book, and inside was…not much. Filed up neatly along the edge of an operating table was a series of jars containing what were presumably some of the man’s organs, preserved and labelled meticulously. Below the table were several black garbage bags, glittering and dripping menacingly with fluids. In fact, below a LOT of tables were several black garbage bags; the only tables that did not have that particular feature were the tables that were occupied by those uncannily still people.

And in the centre of the room was the architect of this macabre project, her long black hair framing her bone mask; for it truly was made of sizable shards of bone, most of which looked to be human, though there was one part which was definitely from a male deer skull, according to the broken off antler that slightly protruded. The mismatched, Frankenstein-esque conglomerate of bone material had two small eyeholes, underneath which the glint of a pair of glasses was visible.

Doc. What has He done to you?

I pulled back around the wall slowly, but Poe, the scavenger, had other plans; he squawked excitedly and took flight around the corner, landing on one of the garbage bags underneath one of the empty tables, and started tearing at the plastic. Doc stopped her operation and looked up at the corridor, as I realised I’d been discovered, and changed tactics; standing up and slowly walking towards her.

"Lori…what have you done to him?” I asked mournfully, standing a fair distance from the table. Lori put her tools down, and with empty hands, slowly walked around the table to stand in front of me. I could see her eyes beneath the mask; she looked happy. She reached into her pocket, and I pulled my gun out of mine. “Easy now. No sudden movements.” She knew the score, and continued to rummage around in her pockets, eventually pulling out a yellow lollypop and a crumpled up note, holding it out to me with a curiously serene look in her eyes. I took them both, and pocketed them, continuing to stare at Lori.

You know what He’s done to her.

He’s done it before.

You know only too well.

”Lori, are you okay?” I ask shakily, not expecting much in the way of an answer, as she ran back around to the other side of the table and grabbed a package, passing it to me. It said “RIVERS” in messy handwriting.

Giggle, nod. It doesn’t take a genius to see that she’s no longer all there.

Oh, but she is. You know that. You know that the dead bodies around you weren’t taken by her, they’re His fault.

”Do you remember August, Lori?” I felt moisture seep from the corner of my eyes, as the twinkle in her eyes faded, and the giggling stopped. Nod.

”Remember the man who killed him? You found Writer, didn’t you?” I asked.

Of course. You have more important things to do, don’t you? Always did have a one-track mind. This isn’t your friend anymore, she’s not even a murderer anymore, she’s a broken means to a violent end.

She nodded, and there was a growling sound from underneath the mask, a gurgling, guttural affair. With that, she reached down to the bottom of her shirt, and lifted it just slightly, revealing a stitched up wound across her stomach, a thin, cruel slash.

Well, she won’t be your means if you don’t play ball a little.

”That’s our Lori.” I said, smiling a little, in spite of myself. It didn’t extend to my eyes. “You wanted revenge for our August, didn’t you?”

Nod nod.

”Tell me where Writer is. Let me finish the job. We can get him. We can fix this.” I pleaded. Lori blinked, opening her mouth to speak, tears openly in her eyes.

She’s so…collected.

The illusion was broken when all that came from her mouth was a collection of sounds; as if she knew what she was talking about, but her mouth wouldn’t move in the right ways. She stopped, frustration in her eyes, and tried again, before giving up with a sigh.

It was a long shot, anyway.

”Can you show me?” I asked Lori, similarly as hopefully. She pulled out a pad of paper and began to write, as the smells of the warehouse assaulted my senses once more.

She’s still there, but look what she did. The team doctor has a body count. And here you are asking for directions, like that’s all excusable. Like brief moments of sentience make up for murder. I suppose even a lion is seen as graceful and majestic, when it’s not hunting.

She ripped off the sheet of paper and handed it to me. I took a brief look at it and pocked it again.

These people had families, just like Lori’s part of yours. She’s just made 10 more graves for people to stand over and mourn, people to declare revenge, people to lose their minds over…

”Thank you, Lori…I’m going to miss you.” I said, moving towards the door. She made a low, rumbling sound from beneath the mask. Almost like a purr.


Never had I met a person as smart and kind as you. Sure, we had our…creative differences, particularly about the when, where and whys of drug use, but we developed an understanding of each other, a mutual acceptance…and even a friendship. We’ve been here from the start, you and I. Ever since that day I came barrelling into yours and Spencer’s life, you’ve been there to support us, to pick us up when we fall down, to clean us up when we got messed up after a mission.

Then the others came. one, two three four five….All the other couriers. You and I, we’ve seen them all. The young kids through to the older, seasoned recruits. Our family grew…but there were always the injuries you couldn’t fix.

I never knew how you did what you did. How you cared so damn much about people, and continued your life even after you tried your hardest to save them, and it wasn’t enough. I can only imagine what you must’ve felt, being so incredibly involved, and so incredibly vulnerable. I closed myself off, stayed aloof, didn’t let myself become anything other than the guy who gets things done. You stayed, and you cared. That took incredible strength, strength I could never match.

People called you a bit of a mad scientist; I may have started that. “Doc” as a nickname stuck a lot better than I expected. I hope you liked it, I never meant it in a mean way. You always cared for your research, but it was always to help someone. Everything you do, everything you have done, has been for the greater good of some cause; be it to cure Spencer like recently, or the plethora of times you’ve figured shit out. A problem solver.

”Lori, how’s your research going?”
She made a ‘so-so’ sign with her hand.
”Can I see it?”
Her face lit up as she led me by the hand to the desiccated organs and open corpse in the middle of the room, before picking up two pairs of blue latex gloves and passing them to me.
”Meticulous as usual, I see.” I said, as I put the gloves on.

You put such passion into your work. Because you knew what you were doing was the right thing to be doing. I never had that luxury, I always questioned myself. I always do question myself.

I’m questioning myself now…but I know you wouldn’t. You’d look at me, and you’d smile, and you’d understand. It had to be done. It makes sense. I’d have done the same.

I hope.

Please, don’t hate me.

Lori turned around and leaned down to point to a part of the man’s brain, which stood there exposed, raw and bloody. In turn, she also exposed the back of her own head, her slightly frazzled black hair. She almost looked normal.

I had to be quick. I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if she knew what was coming.

I reached into my pocket,

pulled out my gun

and fired twice.

I looked through my pockets when I was sitting in the car, and found the note about Writer, the lollypop, and the first note. “STEELE”, it said on the back.

I turned it over.

G'DAY STEELE! I'm so happy to see you again I've missed you all so much since I left but I promise I didn't mean to leave so suddenly I'll be home soon, really soon so take care of yourself or else. Research has been going well, tell Spencer that I should be able to help him more really soon the bodies have been giving me all sorts of good information, so don't worry about me I'm just fine and everything will be okay. KISSES, Lori.

I had to. She’d murdered an entire safehouse in cold blood.

I had to.

But her twinkling eyes were still there. Another pair of eyes to accompany the brilliant green pair in my mind.

And they’re all I see when I close my eyes.

anotherone bites the god damn dust


there's no god here anymore.

There's no God here anymore, except for Him.

We're not doing deliveries anymore. We shouldn't have been doing them in the first place. The Couriers bring bad luck and pain and death wherever we go. I bring bad luck and pain and death wherever I go. I... I...

[It's alright, Spencer. Nobody is going to hurt you. Tell everyone what happened.]

... It was dark. No, it was bright. Day time. Safer. Safer to meet up with me. If anything, Mitch and Ryuu aren't stupid, but are shockingly well intentioned. She recognized me, Mitch. Nobody's ever mentioned how-


"...caught in a moment where you're torn between some sort of... sadistic glee and horror? And, later, when you see yourself in a mirror... heh. Yes, I know what that's like, Spencer. The others don't tend to get it when you're torn between the two sides. Either they mock you for being senstive, or they yell at you for not being normal..." 

"... Or they think you're a traitor before you even pass go, and you're left wondering... "christ, for all my struggling, all my fucking suffering, did it do any good? Does it make any difference?" It's when you start to think like that when the trouble begins, eh? Because sometimes, one person believing in you, it's not enough. And it never will be enough. Not when it feels like the entire world has already written you off..." 

[Let me tell you all a story.]

"Do you know... what I find most hilarious? When things get rough and those once-friends slap you across the face... when people you thought were there to help you prove that they'd rather just walk away... who's there with open arms? With friendly words and smiles that never reach their eyes? Like ours never do? Proxies. Our siblings. So eager to hold out a helping hand when everyone else runs away.... and yet, none of them SEE it. None of them SEE they are practically BEGGING us to just BE as our natures WANT us to be. They don't realize that it's when you're covered in blood that... that you need help washing it off. To stop the shaking and get that stupid grin off your face... they don't realize it... and HOW THE HELL can't they realize that? These aren't stupid people. So HOW is that overlooked? HOW?"

"... Thank you. Fuck, I'm sorry. It's just, you know. So hard sometimes. With the Drums and the pounding and the laughter and they just look at you like you're... like you're not even human, like you never were human anyways and none of it is their fault. And then they have the nerve- the nerve to tell you to resist? To fight back? To act as if you're not trying hard enough? To tell you that you're weak?"

[It's about two people you knew quite well. Or you thought you knew. They're both dead now. One, a warrior. And one, a mongrel. A useless dog who never followed orders.]

Oh fuck, and just... everything was fine for a while, we talked and... she really, really just understood, understood like you all claim to understand and you don't and fuck there's all this blood and I can't get it off me

"What else do I have? What other line of resistance can I take? What else can I do? I'm not- I'm not sure what to do anymore. It hurts. It always hurts. Reminding me that I can only run for so long. And then? And then?!? When I finally reach the end of the road, when I can't fucking do this anymore, what's left for me? Death...? Is that what I have to look forward to?!?"

"...Yes. You decide what's worth clinging to - what's worth FIGHTING for - and you hang onto that. You don't let them TAKE that. We all do what we can with the time we're allowed, Spencer. Once you're in, there's no leaving alive. I'm sorry you never got a chance to know what 'out' was like..." 

[The mongrel admired the warrior, and wanted to know how she had severed her chain. And deep down, the warrior pitied him, for you see, once upon a time, she had been a mongrel as well.]

And for once everything was fine and it felt like everything would be fine forever but then
but then I saw them following us with their barely concealed non-nonchalance and fancy gear and their looks that screamed "Proxy. Inhuman. Monster." You can tell who they are and what they want to do
Moriarty's men
They want to kill you so much you can feel it

 "...Is it wrong to feel relief when you see the light at the end of the tunnel? Even if... it's hellfire? Never believed in that before all this shit. Kinda funny, eh?"

"... It helps if you have something to hold on to. Some sort of idea that... you'll get punished.


[So it goes. But it's rather unfortunate, how the mongrel only brings his disease wherever he runs. This is all his fault, isn't it?]

We ran and we killed. And it was justified. It was fucking justified stop looking at me like that it was justified they were going to kill me! But we both got back to where we agreed to meet and then
the sky got darker
and all the noise of the city died down to only a hum
and the web of black started to wipe out the sky
And He

"What was the other option? Die? Would we have been 'saved' then? For chosing to die ourselves instead of killing others? The... puppeteer will just get new puppets if the previous ones are defective..."

""There will always be others. There will always be someone to take your place in this world. You will never be missed for long. It all goes on without you. And eventually... You'll be forgotten."

[But for once, for once, the mongrel decided to listen to our orders.]

And I
And I was on my knees
Waiting to die, watching Mitch walk towards Him and I

[Only one person had to die today.]

 "...The countdown finally reached midnight, then...?"

I turned my back on her like a coward and I ran
I ran and ran until I couldn't run anymore and there were so many voices telling me I had done the right
that I had done the right thing.

[Good dog. You'll get to rest soon.]

I'm sorry
I'm so, so sorry
Mitch is dead.

I left her there with Him
to die
and the only thing I could think of as I caught my breath
staring at my hands

"I'm next."

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

It’s almost comical, my dears...

I thought that after all that had happened to you and yours, Fitzgerald, (though you hardly resemble that man anymore, do you~?) it would be the revenge-crazed drug addict or the murderous schizophrenic to find me and try and take a chunk or two out of my flesh. Imagine my surprise when it’s your doctor, mad as a hatter and brandishing a femur of all things, who manages to jump me. Now, while my shoulder might be out of commission for the next little while and I’ve ruined my favourite suit, (something which I will be billing you for, Teller, once you’re back by my side) rest assured that at least half of the blood that covers the good doctor’s coat is her own, by my hand.

But don’t worry, I’ve kept her alive. She still has a role to play, after all~

Did you really think we would have just left you alone?  I’m honestly beginning to feel like a broken record here, but when my superiors begin with their incessant Writer, we haven’t received a report from you in well over two weeks despite knowing I had been busy finding my dearest squad leader (and you’ll all be pleased to know we’ve finally managed to recover the man, albeit not in the greatest condition) to attend to such trivial matters. Your lot was hardly any effort at all, so I’d hardly call it an addendum to my usual business to keep your darling selves occupied while I worked.

Oh but of course I had plans, didn’t I~? Lori had many a question about those bones I was eager to answer, sir Leon Steele was in much need of a reality check, (though he has proven to be the most intelligent of the couriers, he seems to lack the ability to follow through on his plans) and I had managed to locate Samantha’s darling sister for a positively touching reunion.

However, I would very quickly find out I would have little need for the girl.

And why is that, you ask?

Did it occur to any of you that all it took was one murder? All I had to do was take one life - one measly, insignificant little life, and suddenly you found your lives turned on their heads? You didn't need my involvement to tear yourselves apart~ But that's just how it goes, isn't it? I can hardly blame you. You destroy the caretaker, the custodian, the martyr, the mother, and everything falls


I didn't even have to destroy him as much as I did  - a simple bullet in the head would have done, and indeed was the original plan before that mess of complications – but, what can I say~? I had some pent-up emotions to work out, and he provided the perfect canvas.

Still, I do regret having to mar such a perfect face~

Speaking of the boy, he seems to have amassed a simply beautiful collection of documents. Files on his Home, each of the couriers (not just the seven you know, mind you – there are at least eighty files here, each one at minimum ten pages in length), but most interesting was a password-protected text file labelled “HONESTY EDITION.”

Needless to say, it was in reference to this post.

Now, I can summarize the contents of this particular document rather quickly. It’s nothing but notes on my dear Teller, afterall, and who better to talk about him but me, the man who’s raised him since he was but a boy, competing for his life in his little Colorado home~?

He was always a very promising protégé, and the contest only brought out the best in him. I remember having to call him in at least once a week to monitor his progress and chide him about something; some act of brutality or betrayal that suggested that darling Teller (now, forget the fact that the boy didn’t have a name until he began to work with me) wasn’t exactly ordinary. It was quite charming, really, to see so much bloodlust and determination in somebody so young. I suppose some are just born different, yes~? And if his latest descent into insanity hasn’t served as a reminder to all of you that Teller is, at his most basic level, a murderous sociopath with a desire to kill and manipulate and control. Much like the first Crafter I met, incidentally, and the one I would end up gearing my entire life around. Why should I have paid attention to him when it was my duty to oversee the raising of our newest additions to the organization?

Oh, and you thought this was an isolated event?

Non, non, we’ve been doing this for generations. Even when I came into my position of power some thirty years ago we were doing it. The skills were passed down from the cream of the crop – a Crafter much like Teller, with dark hair and amber eyes, who seemed to have the whole world spinning in the palm of his hand. I supposed it was out of a sort of misplaced desire to live up to his standards that I took Teller in as my own when he had finally managed to place at the top of his class, and we did work on quite a few projects in our time before he went rogue.

Really, I admired the persona he had managed to put on when this blog first came to light. All of you, really; so fresh-faced and innocent, giving so many intimate details away with every keystroke and comment – it was like you hadn’t been doing this for years. But as things started to fall apart again and again (and it was only until it happened a third time did I realize that the death of St. Claire would lead to your untimely demise) you revealed more and more of your true colours; Spencer, nothing but a mask; Lori, a mad doctor being held together by parlor tricks and blue tarps; Steele, staying with your ‘family’ out of a backwards sort of pride; Todd, already too far gone to be saved, used as little more than an attack dog; Amanda, too bitter and introverted to be of any use once things began to fall apart; Sam, little more than cannon fodder; and August, the broken mother-figure who somehow managed to hold you all together.

He thanked me, you know~

But I suppose congratulations are in order. You’ve managed to outlive my original estimates by two whole weeks~! I admit, six months was quite optimistic of me, but it wasn’t as if you could have lasted much longer anyway. In hindsight, my only regret is spending weeks toiling over Trackers’ reports and delivery schedules and power bills only to realize that the simplest solution has, once again, proven to be the best~

The couriers are finished, Teller. Your charade is over. This is bordering on ridiculous, and you’re losing your mind.

You know where to find me when you’ve decided to come home.

Sunday, 18 March 2012


I know the look. The desperation in bloodshot eyes, the look of the coward. Of the liar. It burns, stings. It sickens me, because it's like looking into a mirror of my own ineptitude. It makes me want to die and I can't have that, oh no. He's still laughing. Laughing at everything I do, everything I try, it's just not good enough. There's the pounding of my heart in my chest, the pounding of the drums in my ears, counting every step I take

One, two, three, four, five, six...

Something has changed, something in the air, and I can feel myself perking, aware, awake. I know they're bad, that they're evil; I can taste it, taste how afraid they are, the uncertainty in their minds, the sweat that rolls down their foreheads.

TRUE! nervous, very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why WILL you say that I am mad? The disease had sharpened my senses, not destroyed, not dulled them...

I haven't changed, oh no, aside from for the better; the sickness has made everything sharper and crisper than it's ever been. I'm whole for the first time in a long, long time; here truly and fully; not an impression, not a ghost. Everywhere and nowhere all at once. I'm there as they whip their heads around to hear a twig that's snapped, a rustle in the forest. I'm there, but

They never see me

that's part of the rules, after all.

And so the Game begins.

They barely notice at first until they realize it's their blood dripping on the hard and cracked ground. And then they start to run again and the panic sets in and it dawns on them that they're not immune, that they're going to die too. Breathe in, breathe out. Slow steps turn to a hurried frenzy as they realize they're being followed. Quickened breath, faster, faster! The pounding grows in my head and the need grows in my chest, a knowledge that the monster will roar in triumph once I play the piano keys at my fingertips. But I wait. I wait because it will be so much sweeter that way.

I'm going to destroy you and everything you are, I'm going to chase and when you stop, I'll make you run some more. You won't stop you won't ever stop. I'll wake you up just as you fall asleep. You'll never know what's real and what's not, aside from the hunter...

Sixteen, seventeen, eighteen, nineteen...

Because it's then that you can start building worlds. Cogwheels and gears, lattice and tree branches. Bodies twisting into manikins of bone and nails. Dreams and nightmares mixing together like oil and water. Circus rings and skyscrapers going in all the wrong directions. Stumble and trip and forget which way is up. Sidewalks that end in abysses that have eyes, that gaze into your own and start to giggle.

It just takes one little push then.

You should hear how they all scream, Writer. Forced to stare into something that just mocks them. Forced to hear all the little voices inside their head while they face the darkness they were always so terrified to face. Some of them break right there. But some, oh, some, they hit the ground running. Fire and pits and brimstone. Panting, desperate assertions that this can't be happening. Chessboards and rivers of ink and ichor. Somewhere, the faint sounds of static and strings. Discord and order in a patchwork sky.

They bite their lips to keep from making noise until they bleed.

Sharp edges and spiders webs. It goes on forever, stretching out on lighten pathways to eternity. Stop to rest, and I just let them know I'm behind them. They take one second to catch their breath, and I'm there in their shadow. They open their mouths to scream, and I cut at their tongues. Bits and pieces of them start to vanish.

First, a finger. Then, a chunk of flesh; a flash of pain and silver, and then the slow drip. I wish you could see it~! The slow realization flashing across scarred features; then the nightmare truly begins.

Watching them lose hope is the best part. 

Some of them renounce god. Some of them renounce Him. Thunder and snowdrifts. It doesn't matter. Once they're in my world, I'm their new ruler. The new master of their destiny. Everything, slowly being wrenched away from their grasping fingertips.

twenty three, twenty four

I hear it now. See it; words and phrases, black on the corners of my vision; swarms of letters, because the music comes from everything. Footprints and bloody viscera. The beat. The rhythm. Louder, LOUDER. Lace and velvet, ashes as rain. Nothing is better than making a move to the cacophonous melody of last breaths and strained heartbeats. Glasswork and drops of mercury.  In my world, there is only my order. My chaos. I take everything from them, like how you took everything from me. And that gives me pleasure. I laugh. I laugh at them as they beg for it all to stop. 

The Game continues on.

I'm hunting the villains. I'm hunting the evil. And I'm taking everything from them before I kill them. I'm playing and toying and destroying. I'm destroying souls. I'm destroying something beautiful

I own this

and can crush heads with my fingertips and rip joints out of their sockets and dig my wrists into bone and muscle and peel skin back and make everything into a work of art. Paint pictures with a well placed word. See the world bustle at my feet.

And I can do it
and over
and over
and over

Until there's no one left to ruin. No Game left to play.

But for now, there's plenty of players.

The wicked get a head start.


Saturday, 17 March 2012

~Steele~ Amanda,

I'm heading back to the House now, love; so I can see you and pay my respects, but I just...I can't leave it 'till then. I'll be spending most of my time looking for...looking for Lori's we can give her just as respectable a treatment.

But I haven't treated you respectably at all, have I?

I've failed you; but then again, I'd failed you long ago. Before this blog started, we were so close, we'd talk, we'd fight, we'd laugh...but once it started, I don't know what happened. We drifted apart, and you drifted away. You started showing up less and less to dinners, and I started being at the House less and less...

I thought you could protect yourself. You were always the friend I'd never need to worry about, the silent, dependable one who had just as much of a chip on their shoulder as I did, who knew what was right, what was wrong, and didn't give a fuck what anyone else thought because you knew your judgement was the only thing you could go by.

I miss you. I have missed you. I did miss you. I missed your injury, I missed your long recovery, I missed you just getting around on crutches...

I missed you doing the right thing, for Sam, for Lori. Our lives had split, and have run in parallel, never crossing, never wavering, just stoically moving on with what we have to. I guess what we had to do just never...involved each other anymore. We just had other priorities. I always thought that we'd get out of the stormy seas and it'd be business as usual again, we could sit out on the balcony and grab a smoke, mercilessly insult each other, catch up, tell stories about what we'd been doing for the last few months, the sort of stuff that you just can't capture in written format. You were never great at writing anyway. You were always so focused on reality, to an extent that I could never match, even when I try to be grounded, I try to be moral, I try to be someone that can take care of their own. Your line just continued on its path, getting shit done, getting healthy again...

then your line ended.

I'll take care of Poe. I need an old crow in my life.

i just wish it was still you.

-Sam- Blood

There's blood everywhere, and none of it is mine. I got it all over everything. How the fuck do you get blood out of carpets, anyway?

How long ago was it? an hour, maybe? two, three? I was just wandering around the house, and I saw movement out of the corner of my eye. It was Doc, still covered with blood and stuff, grinning like a maniac. I figured I was hallucinating, so I just decided to follow her and see what happened. No harm in that. She noticed me, but she just giggled and told me to be quiet because she was about to make history, whatever the fuck that meant.

I kept following, but things started feeling...wrong. The kind of wrong where your ears are ringing and you want to throw up. Then we got to the library and went inside and HE was there. Doc was laughing and I thought I was going to be sick. I reminded myself that it wasn't really happening.

Things get a bit fuzzy from there. I was staring into his face, everything else was background noise. Doc walked right up to him and started yelling.

"What are you gonna do, big guy? Here I am!" Laughing, coughing. A few shadows drifted up from his back, reaching toward Doc. She laughed more, high-pitched and crazy. "Grab me. I fucking dare you." I couldn't see what she was doing, I could only see the blank white face in front of me.

And then somebody shoved me out of the way, shouting "Oh, FUCK THIS." Amanda limped past me and I fell over, losing sight of him. She went straight to Doc, shaking her, trying to snap her out of it while I backed toward the door. I wasn't looking at him. I couldn't see his face, but I saw the tentacles reach out and grab Amanda and there was nothing I could do. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I thought Maybe this is really happening. I still couldn't do anything, what could I do? The tentacles wrapped around her and began to twist and she was screaming. I couldn't scream. I couldn't stop watching.

Doc giggled. She reached into her coat and pulled out a syringe, still talking to him.

"I'm gonna fucking kill you. I've got your death in my hands, I've got it right fucking here."

I didn't really catch what happened next, but there was a crack and Doc hit the floor, syringe flying. The tentacles started to wrap around her too, and I think I was screaming now. They were dying. They were both dying. With a final scream and a sudden rush of blood, he tore Amanda completely in half.

They both disappeared then, into the mass of shadows. Amanda's body hit the floor with a sick kind of thump and then HE was gone and Doc was gone and I was alone with two halves of Amanda.

It felt like a dream, like I was watching myself walk over to the bloody mess on the floor and gently touch it. Checking for a pulse on a body that was torn in half.

I couldn't leave her there. Had to do something with the body. I dragged her down the stairs on total autopilot. It won't stop replaying in my head, but I'm completely numb.

I dug her the best grave I could, next to August. Three people dead, only two bodies to bury. I marked it with a pile of rocks and went back inside, feeling like I was floating. I don't know what to do now. I can't do anything but write this. They're gone, all of them are gone. I'm alone with Matilda and not-Todd and the stupid fucking crow. They're dead and there was nothing I could do. I'm sorry. Please come back. I'm sorry

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

~Steele~ “Brother.”

So Spence, you’ve made your decision, huh? You chose a goddamn proxy, a goddamn, fucking, no name proxy who had been sent to MURDER US, over the woman you started all of this with. She who stood by you, she who you protected, she who protected YOU.

She who wanted to save you. And how do you thank her? Ruining her work, and ruining her.

“Brother.” Pff.

What are we to you now, brother? What are we, your Household, to you anymore? What was Doc? What was August? What is Todd, what is Amanda? What is Sam?

What am I? Not a brother, not anymore. I truly wish it could be how it was, us as brothers in arms, partners in crime, cogs in our organization: but I don’t think we’re in sync anymore. Hell, I don’t think we’re even in the same machine.

I’ve got work to do, so I won’t be Home much, except to check up on the team. Don’t bother paying me for it; I’m sure you’ll thank me later for my efforts.

If you’re still around.

In a thanking state.

And us in a thanking relationship.

Like we used to be.

I’ll keep going, I’ll always keep going, to protect Sam and Amanda, to save Doc and Todd, to avenge August…and you.

Until then, stay the fuck out of my way.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

cry havoc

and let loose the dogs of war. It's not a matter of waiting for the storm to come
why wait for something that's already here
but rather making sure you won't lose everything in the process of it rolling through.

But we're doing an awfully good job in that regard, aren't we?

... So. Here we stand. Not down one anymore, but two. Do you know how hard it is to find replacements for you lot? How inconvenient this all is? We've still got fucking deliveries to do and you all. Keep. Dying! How do you expect for us to ever get anything done at all? Fuck, this is a mess. I'm starting to wonder why I even bother, especially when I just end up doing everything myself.

and then you wonder why I make mistakes. It's not my fault, it's yours. It's not my fault. This is YOURS, this is on YOU. It's your fault, you, all of you are just weak I fucking swear I haven't done anything wrong.

I haven't done anything...

Neither did he. Him. Welcome to Courier HQ, where logic is practically made up and time doesn't matter. I'm your host, the Storyteller; were you planning on dying today~?

No! No he wasn't! Because if he was, if that poor proxy was planning on dying like that, maybe he wouldn't have screamed like he was seeing hell itself -so imagine my fucking surprise as I head down to the basement in a fucking panic because I think Lori is down there being butchered or something, only to see her elbow deep in this guy's chest! Imagine my fucking surprise as she heard me coming in and didn't even look up, giving me one of those "just wait a second, Boss, I'm writing this down" type gestures as her "patient", and I use that term fucking loosely, thrashed and whimpered from his place in that fucking twisted theatre. Shit, there was blood everywhere. Lori was painted in it, just calmly scribbling down god knows what as she picked and prodded at the proxy's pinned open gut -God and I have been having a lot more dialogue lately than I'd like to admit- and imagine my sur-fucking-prise when Steele, Leon Steele, the only fucking voice of LOGIC in this House for like EVER, stood in the doorway and only said

"Let her finish."

Finish. Finish!?! Like she was actually doing something other than slowly murdering another person in the most horrible fucking way POSSIBLE?!?

I felt something pound in my ears. I could only... fuck, I could only stare into the proxy's eyes with terror I didn't know I could still feel. And he stared back.

he stared back

"Sam, get in here; if Spence kills again, I think he deserves a few more witnesses."

At that fucking moment, if I could've sold my soul to make him shut up, I would've without a second thought.

Lori...  picked up a piece of bleeding tissue, examining it a moment with a nod before jotting something down in her notebook. I couldn't believe it, her just looking at this guy like he was a... specimen... just waiting to be dissected... I had fired before I even realized it; maybe she'd wake up at the noise and stop this fucking nonsense and everything could go back to the way it was before.

"What the fuck do you think this is?" She just stared. Stared and stared and stared like I had caught her sneaking food before dinnertime. It looked so fucking WRONG. Wrong. Just wrong. I remember wondering if I was going to be sick, and out of the corner of my eye, I just caught Sam, staring at me the exact same way

(it doesn't matter if we all die, because we're already dead)

Steele tutted like a sassy lady in a 90's sitcom and raised his pistol, flicking off the safety. "Also wouldn't mind a witness who can say reliably to a court, 'he had it coming'. Touch that trigger one more time, Spencer. We're all friends here, let's sit down and talk it out."

I couldn't fucking believe it. Believe this. I trusted them, I TRUSTED THEM, I TRUSTED HER.

"Is that all he is then ? A proxy? A body?" I could feel my eyes narrowing into a glare. "Why not have me strapped down on that table, Lori? What's the fucking difference?"

"Good question. All the same to me; a liability."

And then she looked up at me, tearing up, voice high and breathy and weak.

"...Spencer. Boss. I...I want to help cure you." Shakily motioning towards her blood-splattered notebook. "I'm taking notes. I'm going to learn how to make you better, understand this condition, this sickness, in a way that no one has before."

"So you're going to cut up a kid? That could be August! O-or S-s-sam... And you have the NERVE to call out Writer? To say you're my friend?!?"

A hiss from mister prim and fucking proper; ""And you have the nerve to defend him?!?"

"I'm doing this for you, Spencer. To make you, and everyone else, better..."

Liar. Murderer. Nothing mattered in that moment, though. All I could see was someone like me, slowly bleeding out in front of my eyes. This isn't my fault. It's all of yours. Is this all you see us as? Cattle? Words on a page, something for you to fight back against because you can't possibly stand up to what scares you the most? Is that what we all deserve, to be strung apart and butchered like animals? It's a choice, a fucking choice that you're all too afraid to fucking MAKE, and all you say is "don't give up" or "you sold out", but who's the idiot here? Who's the fucking faceless now, huh? Who's the fucking COWARD?!?

They were all just going to watch him die, you'd all just watch him die

and you'd do that to me, too, if you all ever got the chance

"... P-please..." He quietly begged. "P-please.... you're one of us, aren't y-you...?"

I am. I have been, and always will be. I know that. We all know that.

"I'm sorry, brother."

Sam's scream broke the tentative silence. "No, STOP IT!" Like it was that easy, but... I raised my gun again, aiming directly at Lori's forehead. I knew. This had to stop. This all had to stop. I could start again, find new people. But we were all never supposed to kill. Not like this. Never like this.

"B-Boss, I just wanted to help you, I wanted to make you better and help your body stop rotting and be a good doctor and..."

"Stop." Why was it so hard to speak? "Just stop. Lori wouldn't have said those things. She wouldn't have done this; treated someone like me just like a lab rat. She wouldn't have..."

"Well, SOMEONE needs to solve problems around here. Clearly you're unfit to, 'brother'." 

Somewhere far away, I hear laughter. So I grit my teeth and focus.

"Problem? There's no problem, I was just doing my work! He was laughing along with me, he wanted to help everyone get better too!"

"You've fucking lost it if you didn't hear that screaming."

"Oh god, don't shoot me! 

Quiet. Only slow drips coming from the operating table. Even Steele's "Easy there, tiger..." was flat and non-intrusive. "Her life ends, so does yours."

"Look at us. The Mongrel, the Lion, the Lamb, and the mad Doctor. Is this what it is, then? Do we all go and fall apart?" My hand was shaking, I couldn't breathe...

"We've already fallen apart. Now our goal is keeping these fuckers from murdering us in our sleep for as long as possible. I might make a cross in the garage, string him up, make an example of the useless fuck. Stick it in the front yard with the gnomes. Trespassers beware, y'know?"

I laughed, once, twice. It felt wrong, foreign."And that's what's become of you, then? Gone from shreiking at me for being a liar to being just as bad as I am? Worse, even? Listen to yourself! Y'sound like Writer; "Come now, Teller, darling, we'll make an example out of them~!" You make me sick. but don't you dare stop me from doing what you're too afraid to do. I'm sorry, Lori. But I can't overlook this..."

She inched towards the door, and I swallowed, waving my own pistol slightly. "No sudden moves. I don't want this to hurt."

"You make one mistake. I'm not including you in on this, 'Teller'. You're going next to him, and I'm stringing you upside down. Don't you FUCKING TOUCH Lori. You're not taking another family member away from me."

My finger tightened on the trigger. "She's gone, Leon. I can't fix this." 

"Neither can I. But leave it to the other side to fuck it up, not you."

And then Sam stepped in front of her, eyes wide and terrified, staring at me like I was some sort of monster, lips thin and white and trembling

My voice broke. "So she can suffer? So she can get torn apart like August did?"

"So she can let her own survival instincts decide instead of you, oh glorious leader."


"...S-Steele. Thank you. Thank you so much. Sam, y-you too. You understand what I wanted. Boss, I'm so, so, so sorry!"

And she was gone.

We all stood there for what seemed like hours. Them and me. Me and them. I wanted to say something profound, something wise. I wanted to go after her. I wanted to fix all of this. But I can't. I couldn't even say a word. When I finally spoke, it was as if it was someone else.

"... it's on your hands now."

"Better than being blood on yours, old buddy."

Sam and I stood there in silence a while after that. Just staring at each other. She apologized. She said that she just couldn't see anyone else die. I said that it was okay. That Doc would be okay. And I lied. I lied about everything.

But I didn't know what else to do

I don't know what to do anymore.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

-Doc- research

new finding, lots of work to do

be back when i have some good documentation to show, this is extremely exciting and i

Saturday, 10 March 2012

-Todd- He's gone

He's gone and he's not coming back.

Now Doc and Sam are gone too.

I think I'll join them.

I don't think I'm gonna come back for a while.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

-Sam- Shut up

He's not dead. He was screaming while they buried him, and they wouldn't let me save him. He's still screaming under all that dirt. I hear it. Is it really happening, or is HE putting things in my head again?

August would tell me. When I couldn't figure out what was going on, he would tell me if it was my imagination or not. But he's not telling me now, he can't hear me anymore. I tried talking to him but he wouldn't stop screaming. I tried telling him he's safe now, nothing can get him underground, but he wouldn't listen. He's calling for help. He wants me to help him, he wants me to join him.

August, please stop. Please. I can't handle this anymore. Just go away.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

-Doc- Grief

He's gone. I don't know what to say. I don't know what to fucking say. I guess I'll just say everything and hope I feel a bit better by the end of this.

I loved that kid more than anything; he was the only one who let me in and see his true face. Yeah, the motherly attitude? It was an act he was hiding behind. Hiding how much he hurt, how utterly traumatized he was beneath that bubbly and loving exterior. He didn't know what the fuck to do with himself anymore, so he devoted his last years to making goddamn well sure that we were all as happy as we could be.

I remember when we first brought him home from that burning farmhouse. Spence and I had gone down on an ordinary delivery. I was still a bit of a mental mess, but functioning for the most part. We got there, and as if on cue, a tiny boy crashed through a high window, rolled onto the roof, landed on his know the story from there. When August finally came to, he didn't say a word. It'd be weeks before he'd talk, and all the while I could see how dead he was behind those beautiful blue eyes. After awhile, he introduced himself, we got to talking...and the blankness seemed to fade. Something in me knew it wasn't right, though. He couldn't have healed that fast: no one could've. Spence didn't seem to notice it (at least as far as he told me), so a few months in I gently confronted the kid. Not because I was angry or felt like I'd been lied to. I wanted to help him, and with a bit of gentle nudging, he accepted it. I would let him cry, talk, sit in my office with that blank look in his eye. If nothing else, I could give him a few hours a week where he didn't have to pretend. Turn on some Electric Light Orchestra when we didn't feel like talking, discuss some of the best and worst times in our lives when we did. Even if Love is Like Oxygen isn't an ELO song, I never said a word about it. I just slipped it into one of my playlists and he was none the wiser.

All of that time we spent together, the sleepless nights pouring out our hearts to one another, somewhere between close friends and a mother and son, I can't believe he hated me. Was I really making him pretend too? Did I truly cause him that much pain? Did he feel he had no one he could trust? What should I have done differently?

You know, when I saw him in the ground, before Steele and Todd started laying the dirt on top of him, I remembered that first day. Part of me wanted to jump into the hole, pull August out, run back to the van and start bandaging him. Feel the bones of his broken legs so he'd jolt back to life and look at me with those pretty little blue eyes. Scared, but alive: ask me what had been going on, ask why he smelled like a dirt pile, give me a hug. And after I was done putting his legs in splints, I'd tell him that he was going to pull through, that his legs would take a few weeks to heal because he lucked out with how the fractures were. Hold on, I'll drive you to the hospital, just stay with me, you've lost a lot of blood...

But no, I knew it'd be futile. So I stood there, my thoughts swirling about me, manifesting as a thousand angry and grieving voices screaming, enveloping me in a nearly unbearable cacophony. I started hearing voices when I was in the ward, something they did to me gave me a bit of brain damage. My memory's not quite as sharp as it used to be either. Oh, I can think. I can think, and I have so many other voices that try to think for me. Spencer does his best to try and help me quell them, but there's only so much you can do. Todd put the last bit of dirt on top, Steele said some words I don't remember.

As soon as everyone went quiet, I stumbled back to my basement, decided to shoot up because I didn't know what else to do. I've just been tripping balls in the night since, sometimes I think I see him dashing about in the shadows, smiling, or peeking into my office from the gap in the door. About to say "Can...can I come in?" in that soft, cracking little voice. I've occasionally said "Yes, of course!" and "I love you!" and "I'm always happy to talk to you!" to nothing, my knuckles are bloody from punching the walls and the walls are bloody from my knuckles punching them. During the day I've been digging through my old specimens again, making much more sense of their carvings than I ever did before. Odd how brilliance would shine through in grief, but I can read the writing now. All the little femurs and scapulas and humeruses are speaking to me now, those bright and tiny whispers. I remember writing it all now, I was grieving then too. I've been grieving for a long time, for the loss of loved ones and friends and a life I used to know. And whenever it would become too much, my mind would blank. I would find a dead thing, or find something small and kill it if I felt so inclined. Stuff it in a bag, bring it back to my home, write in its flesh and blood His sublime messages as they were meant to be read. I would grieve, and rejoice, and carve. And then I would tuck my work away for later, slip back into my usual self. The mad doctor, the loving friend.

I've found more bones to write on, bones of a species I've never worked on before. Such beautiful tablets once shrouded in living, thriving, screaming flesh. Itching, waiting to reveal their secrets as I carve.