Sunday, December 25, 2011

Feeling That Holiday Spirit

I've been kept busy, my friends. My most sincere apologies for leaving you hanging. However, on this Christmas night, I finally have some spare moments to catch you up on the more... interesting events that have occurred as of late.

The Highers are not what I would call... "pleased" with the amount of time I have been wasting with Jerome. But, as they say, you can't rush art. And, art, this truly is. My little detainee deserves no less. And, what is most glorious? I'm not done yet. I'll been torturing with a method that is as maddening as it is NOT lethal. So, no, )*Serve*(, you have not missed any deadline to submit your visions. Not overall, anyway. Pleased?

Since I have been... out and about with other missions that Highers felt they needed to place upon my shoulders, I required a way to... keep him waiting for me while drilling into his psyche as much as possible.

Luckily, I happen to know of such a way. 

It is called the Street Sweeper's Daughter. A lovely little device that was mostly used in Russia and the Middle East. I made a makeshift version of it. It's designed to be the Little Sister, if you will, to the infamous Rack. Only instead of stretching the body... it compresses it together. Drawing the legs into one's chest and the head down to the knees. Intense muscular cramps and loss of blood circulation are the worst this little joy has to offer... if, that is, you don't count the psychological damage.

Imagine it. For a moment, just imagine yourself in this situation.

Locked in a cold basement far from the knowledge of any other living being on the planet. Barely any sound. No windows to tell the passing of time. Held in the sweet, crushing embrace of the Street Sweeper's Daughter. Cramps and spasms ringing true through your body - each one trying so vainly to snap your body up and out of its forced position. Limbs growing numb with pins and needles. Gagged. Soiling yourself. Food and water is provided. However, it happens far less than ideal as your captor is busy with other things. Only popping in for short spells which are always accompanied by the removal of one piece of yourself.

The blood from which seemingly attracting a rat or two.

I must find time to finish my work, but the Highers seem intent on keeping me running around this little sector of the state I'm in. One of the Spooks I may touch back to in my next post, but the most... interesting mission of what I have done is most certainly my latest one. I'd become a fixture in a feud one town over, you see. My participation required me to put dearest Jerome on hold AGAIN, but I will admit... for an assignment such as this one... you cannot really have two many hands on deck, so to speak.

I was assigned along with two other proxies. One of which I've worked with before on different occasions. The other I have heard of. Smart men. Both namely Leader types. Secure in their trades. Like myself, they were picked from their usual stream of work in order to settle a problem that would be best fixed before the media caught scent of it. A mere splash of drama in this most wondrous time of the year to get someone like myself in the holiday spirit.

Because nothing says Merry Christmas quite like a mob.

The town was not an hour's drive from where I had the pathetic life that is Jerome tucked away. I took the liberty of acquiring a car for myself, as my own is not in the area and - as I've mentioned to one or two of you around the blogs... I don't use The Path. We didn't have a true "meet place" for the three of us to exchange the finer details of any manner of plan, so we simply each did as we do best. Slipped into the sector and minded our own until the time was right.

The place didn't seem all that active when I had arrived initially. Almost made me wonder if I was in the correct town. However... the tension in the air was unmistakable. Something had this entire town on edge. More so than it should be.

I soon left my car by the side of the road. Choosing my own two legs to assess the damage done. As I walked down main street, I could see a number of pale faces peering out from darkened windows as I passed by. Silent. Yielding. Yet ever watching. Like souls caught in the net of purgatory. They knew what I was. They didn't want to become any more involved in the growing conflict than they had to be.

To contrast the stillness around me, I could hear the distant humming of many risen voices crowded over top of each other sounding across town. Reaching my ears like the sound of water across rapids. As I wandered further into the town, the racket grew steadily louder and louder until its drumming could nearly be felt in my chest. The mob of people were overflowing the streets. Many of which carrying a weapon of one for or another. All shouting similar things.

"Our families aren't animals for you to send to slaughter!"

"It took my daughter! YOU gave It my daughter, you son of a bitch!"

"We made a deal with Devils!"

"How can you call this LIFE?! We're prisoners in our own homes!"

"You've damned us all, you bastards!"

"How DARE you bring this upon us!"

All directed to a second grouping of figures. Armed with weapons of their own. About equal to the opposing group. Shouting straight back.

"Are you MAD?! You will kill us all, you fools!"

"Don't you get this is the only way?!"

"Any life is better than death!"

"Sacrifice the few to save the many!"

"We do what we must do! You think there is any other choice?!"

"There is no turning back, you morons!"

I swear.

Cult Towns.

Aren't they fun?

Then the final grain of rice tipped the scale. A molotov cocktail was thrown by the rioters. Crashing through the window of a house. Fire roaring to life inside the dark building. That was the last excuse the mob needed for a full-scale street fight to break out in all its glory. One half of a town pitted against the other half. Neighbor against Neighbor. Friend against Friend. Sibling against Sibling.

I gave myself a moment to smile from the shadows. Admiring the destructive force that is Fear. The very key stone of our Father's work. These people were thinking far too short-term. But that didn't matter.

I had a job to do.

I lifted my gun... and I heard three shots break the air across from where I stood. All hitting the ground at the mob's feet. A few screams of surprise cut the air next, the fighting crowd slowing in its scuffle to crane their necks upwards to the silhouette of a man on a nearby roof. Cowboy hat on his head.

The man shouted down to the crowd below him. Questioning the manners of "startin' the dance" before the "guests of honor" even arrive. As the fire across the street grew, the brown duster he was wearing became more visible. At that point, I had no doubt he was also wearing every other Western accessory that goes with the look. Right down to the buckle.

After the initial shock, the crowd seemed to grow back some nerve. Comments starting in a mumble before growing in confidence that nothing had changed. Turning to shouts soon enough. It was, after all, just one Proxy. One Proxy. And they were a crowd. One figure even proclaimed my... elevated brother to be "possessed by the Devil" and whipped up a handgun from his side.

I took the shot myself before my entrance could be stolen for a second time. Passing a bullet through the man's wrist. The crowd absolutely scattered backwards as the blood gushed out and a scream tore through the air so picture perfectly. His good hand gripping around his lame one. Screaming in pain. Screaming for help.

All his company were too busy staring my way from where I had come walking so casually out of the shadows of a building. Hood up as usual. Gauntlet ready for blood. Gun held in my opposite hand. Smiling as I approached. "I must say, this is quite the party you have going. I'm so pleased to have received the invite in time!"

Diamondback jumped down to the street from the roof. The jingle of spurs unmistakable. I'd say he looked ridiculous, but I'm not exactly one to judge. The loyalists were quick to step forward to name themselves innocent of any crimes against "The Great Tall One." Hoping so desperately to escape the wrath of His soldiers.

Which, of course, only began another brawl. This one my brother and I became a part of. Mostly to maim instead of kill. Sweeping in and out through the mess of the crowd. Never staying with one target. Hit one. Turn. Hit one. Turn. Until I found in the mob who my instincts told me were the instigators. All three fighting with sharpened, decorative swords. All three with paint over their faces.

The loyalists fought with their neighbors.

Diamondback fought one of the ring leaders with lasso and hunting knife in hand.

I took the two others. A man and woman pair. Striking at me with combos that they had obviously practiced long and hard to get right. Using the length of their weapons to keep me at bay whilst searching for the strike to put me down. However... I don't believe they'd ever fought anyone who's weapon also doubled as a shield. With my knife in my right hand, I blocked their swings with the arm of my Gauntlet. Grabbing their blades in my bladed fingers when possible to work their positions to my own advantage.

I listened to the whispers at the edge of my hearing. I learned the male was expendable. So I made certain that when I grabbed her blade, I swung it around and pierced it through him. Even if it did earn me a gash along my side, the look of her face as she felt her own weapon sink straight through her friend and partner made it well worth it. I let him drop as he coughed up blood. The body hitting the pavement with a limp THUD as the female desperately told him to "look at [her]" as she held his face in her hands. Tears streaming. Screaming "no" over and over again. As if her will meant more than His.

I turned as I noticed the area had become more quiet. Only to smile at spotting a figure I knew well.

Requiem had decided to arrive. Standing before the stilled crowd of people like a blessing of our Father himself. Attired in his typical black cassock with the clerical collar in place. Black fascia around the waist. Silver chain around his neck supporting a rather fancy operator symbol medallion. I can just imagine how he must have chose his entrance into the fiasco. A ripple of dimensions amongst the chaos of the fight. Stepping through The Path to order the Will of our Father done as good as any preacher past, present, or future. Having mastered an art that makes him a force best not reckoned with on the best of days. A manipulation technique capable of freezing a figure in their tracks. All by use of his own aura's influence in an area. The similarities his gift has to what our Father is capable of has not eluded him.

Arrogant bastard.

"You mongrels have forgotten your place in His Order." I heard Requiem inform. One hand risen out before him, the other holding the chain around his neck to let the medallion dangle off the edge of his fingers. He then turned to myself and Diamondback. "Both of you. Bring the False Prophets before these Heathens. Let them witness the Devils they have allowed to mislead their Faith in our Lord."

The Proxy to my right scowled. One western boot planted on the male he had fought. Who was now hog-tied. "Wanna try that one again, preachy? I don't take no orders from no choir boy, ya scum-sucking sack o' horse shit." The... accent was priceless. But I said not a word of it.

I couldn't help but laugh. "Easy now, ladies. Let's keep the family bickering behind scenes, shall we?" I then instructed Requiem to perhaps add in a "pretty please with a cherry on top" to smooth Diamondback's hackles. Which, with a mutter, he did do.

I pried the weeping woman off the corpse we had slain together, whilst Diamondback dragged his catch over as well. Kicking the male in the stomach when he began to fuss too much. I put the woman down on her knees beside her partner. Myself standing with my gauntlet curved around her neck just enough to sting as she continued to cry silently. Paint running with the tears.

"Have you not been promised paradise by these Devils?" Requiem continued to the crowd, stepping over to the two subdued Runners. I could see in his eye, his hold on the crowd was weakening. He could only keep focused for so long before exhaustion would take him and control would be up to Diamondback and myself to regain. "Have they not whispered in your ears of sin and betrayal, good people? Have they not placed doubt and corruption into your hearts that were once so faithful to His Name? Take a look upon these creatures. And you will see Sin. You will see Death. And Pain. An eternity of suffering. Their words as sweet as everlasting honey... but it is a mere coating over the stench of evil. A fool's paradise. They are not but DEVILS. Trying to pull you from the flock." His voice turned so sweet. "Good people, Our Father is yours as well. Do you not see His blessing upon you? Everywhere else, the conflict is rising... but He does not wish this upon you. This town is unique. You are all unique. He knows this. That is why He wishes to save you."

I heard a hiss from the bound male. Cursing us all. Screaming about how children are not animals fit for slaughter. How "Slendershit" is tearing families apart. How He is using us all.

Diamondback silenced the little outburst by pressing a red-hot brand over his eye. The Operator Symbol. The metal having been prepared by the fire with utmost care.

Many of the crowd began to hesitantly agree with the Runner. Crying with the names of lost loved ones on their lips. Whispers of guilt. Of nightmares.

Requiem listened. He listened to the crowd that was beaten and bleeding, but still leery of continuing as they have been. I stood back, leaving the shepherd to tend to his flock. When they were done, he spoke of the Greater Good. That sometimes a price must be paid. That for the betterment of all, we cannot expect to receive without requiring to give as well. Going on to say that God has chosen us all for a reason. For a greater purpose. And that, for now, we must be strong. We must have Faith. And not allow ourselves to be swayed by the snake-tongues of the Sinners.

After all, listening had only turned them against each other. Against friends. Against family.

How could anyone claim to be of pure intent and do such a thing?

After some time during which Diamondback and I chatted a bit with each other, Requiem soon approached us and informed us that he would stay in town for a few weeks to make certain this didn't happen again. The people needed a "man of Faith to lead the flock" for now. His use of The Path would make keeping an eye on things both here and at his own church rather simple. We also decided that Diamondback was to escort the two wannabe Heroes on their way with a lesson they will not soon forget. And I was to handle any damage done and take the town Mayor to answer a few questions the Highers have regarding his incompetence.

I happened to mentioned Jerome to Requiem. At which point the priest mentioned that a... certain Item I had requested a long time ago had been completed and had been sitting in the basement of his church the last few days. He suggested I bring the young man over to appreciate it.

This. Is going to be worth waiting for.

Have a very Merry Christmas, everyone.

And remember: keep smiling!

Friday, December 9, 2011

A Question For Proxy and Runner Alike

For any of my brothers and sisters so unlucky as to not get this year's Christmas card. Take a look here.

Isn't it cute? They think they're intimidating. I would go so far as to compare it to a rat killing a mouse, then presenting the corpse to a gathering of cats. Yes, the corpse is very nice. Bravo. However, whether you are a killer or not isn't quite the question, my dear confused Cousins. What now truly begs to be answered... is how long it will be before you yourselves realize that, no matter how closely you make yourself like US... you are still just as much our prey as that little mouse was.

And, yes - while a rat is capable of killing a cat... I'm sure I am not the only one who would still be placing their last dollar on the feline in this equation. Agreed?

At least they're not calling themselves "Knigths" anymore.

Ah, the work of a teacher is never ending. Even if it is just for spelling errors.

Sometimes it astounds me how the teaching instinct clicks into play in certain situations for me. I suppose it is a trait that I will never completely lose. After all, I may have walked away from that life what feels like eternity ago... but what made me choose that career-path to begin with still beats strong. I can't exactly deny it. Won't deny it. It comes to the surface again and again and again.

Critiquing an opponent - whether be Proxy or Runner - in mid-combat to improve their style.

Cracking some sense into the skull of a whiny Runner who believes their hand in this Game is so UNFAIR compared to others.

Offering advice to the mind of a shattered Fighter to draw out the struggle longer. Granted, it is usually poisoned advice, but you can't exactly blame me for that, now can you? I am a Proxy, after all.

Yes. I am a Proxy. A Proxy who despises simple tasks. Who basks in challenges. Always pushing. Attempting to make my missions even more difficult. More... amusing. Always expecting more. Demanding more. Especially after I've known the person in question long enough for repeat encounters. Things get dull when there isn't any progress made. Another reason why the life of a Runner was... not suited to me. Too many dead-ends. At least, as how I am now... I have my answers. I have what I want most. I can push as far as I want to go. I can cross as many lines as I desire...

I murdered my own "Handler" for of this exact reason.

The attempt itself nearly killed me. I could barely crawl by the end, leave alone walk... but it was well worth it.

After all, the only one with any right to limit me... is myself.

The Highers also pull on my background, or so it seems. They have done so at least twice this far into my career, but then again, I could just be that unlucky. You see, the organization of Proxies across the country is a lot more... sophisticated than what it appears the majority of the time. There is an entire culture running right under the nose of society as you see it - like an infection that is only becoming more and more swollen and discolored with the passing of time, but has not yet burst to the surface in puss and poison alike. And it is not only this great land, of course. Every country has their own way of handling their lines. Handling their missions. However, the basics remain the same.

Everyone, I believe, is already aware of the chain of command.

The Highers take care of the grander details and sometimes pose as... "Handlers" for some Proxies.

The Proxies handle missions which include Eliminations, Conversions, Spooks, and combinations there of. Proxies can also be "Handlers" in some cases.

The Hallowed / Hollowed assist the Proxies as brainless cannon fodder. Less common these days. But the Broken do have uses.

Amongst other things that are passed around from one level to another... training of new recruits is, basically, our own version of Jury Duty. Everyone despises it and must suppress any and all inclination to tear the face off of whomever he or she received the news from. It truly is a pain. A pain which is the burden of those who manage to survive a certain length of time and show actual skill.

In other words, you'll never see Rhodes do it.

But, as I recall, you have read of it happening before.

It... is a reason to die early. It truly is.

I've done it twice. The first time... would be when I first met the former Morningstar. And eight other morons to be analyzed as well. All of them having been Converted from all over the States. All believing they were a big deal. Obnoxious. Rude. Reckless. ...And usually with very idiotic names.

Shooter was the very last of that group to die in the name of our Father.

I'd imagine that was something he was proud of.

I tested the group much like he himself tested his own hopefuls. My Final Exam was rather simple. Each Proxy was assigned to a pair of friends. One of those friends was to be killed. But not by them. By the other friend. How this was achieved was up to them. Cifer made the largest impression from the lot. His enthusiasm for his job was infectious. He could get the entire class whooping and shouting and calling out - revving them up for their own future careers as he dove right into his. Those that didn't appreciate his flavor of humor had spent the class in their chosen corners glaring at him. They took him as a chauvinistic cartoon villain.

Or, rather, we all took him as that. Most of us just approved of it.

After the Final Exam was complete, I had dismissed the lot of them immediately before I had went to let Kali and Loki out of their cage. After all, no point in letting the meat of the corpses go to waste. They might as well have their fill.

Shooter was the only one to hang back. He questioned... as to why I had brought "Pigeons" along with me. I explained that they were the only good company I could find, and, when I told him their names, he accused me of being a pretentious idiot. He proclaimed my own name - Gauntlet - was beyond lame. Laughed at me for naming myself after a piece of clothing. Then criticized me for wearing a gauntlet at all as it was "too obvious" of a weapon.

In all honesty, he made me miss my classroom. Teaching.

I knew he would serve Father well.

From how I understand it, that was just before he had recon duty with a certain Hope Bearer who only just recently woke up from la-la land. Honestly, I had pegged her as dead. Past her expiry date, if you will. Thought perhaps Mitchy was hauling a corpse around for company sake. Call it crazy, if you will, but after being a Proxy for a certain length of time... let me just sum it up to say that desperation makes for the most interesting kind of creativity.

Speaking of creativity, I have a question for my wonderful readers:

How shall I kill him?

Jerome Dorian White. Also known as "Tripwire."

Twenty-nine years old. First held the honor of our Father's presence in his pathetic life six months ago. Was converted into our ranks four months ago. Defected two weeks ago. Had yours truly put on his tail four days ago. Is receiving the full value of my hosting abilities as of early this morning.

He is a tall man. Brown hair. Blue eyes. More built than myself. Certainly not as quick though. Mental stability seems to vary between rambling and talking to himself... to ranting and yelling at me about my "slavery" under Father. He has plenty of delusions considering his own role in this Game. Seems to be trying his best to shove it all away as what Father "forced [him] to do." Hardly the case. Father does not force anyone to do anything.

Except die, of course... and, occasionally, change their position on a map.

In any case, I had already looked into it. I had found his tirade as a Proxy to be quite typical, really. His altercations with Runners was more into "roughing someone up" than manipulation, but there was an instance or two were he showed knowledge in the latter as well. Also - like his chosen name suggests - he seemed fond of designing traps for his prey to walk into.

In all honesty, I hadn't intended to mention him to you. I was simply going to kill him for his traitorous actions against Father. Plus for having killed one of our brothers in his act of Defecting. Not much interesting to be said of it. Not even the Hunt had been worth mentioning, which was depressing...

But then, amongst a shift of mental focus and rambling nonsense... I heard something that made me pause. Take note. It took a little further coaxing, but now... I am fully aware of the most sickening stain on his soul... and Tripwire hadn't even been created at the time. Tripwire was a butcher of man, woman, and child alike. A thief. A traitor.

And none of that even compares.

His little sister - Tammara - had seen Father as a child. Used to run to her big brother to feel safe. Parents were working most of the time, I've gathered, so he was to look after her. He ignored her plight. Ignored every word she spoke of the matter. Ignored her fears. And then... I suppose she crept into his room at night one time too many. Jerome's young, hormonal mind... decided to make use of her presence. Her... innocence.

My disgust for this... creature in my hold is only matched by my rage.

Far too many options have flashed before my mind to dispose of him.

Far too few of them are painful enough. Slow enough.

As a teacher, I must make this lesson one that will scar onto his soul for several lifetimes to come...

And so... for his crimes against his own kin. His own blood. For this, I turn to you.

How shall I kill him?

Proxies. Runners. I want to hear from all of you. Let us be creative here, my friends. This one has more than deserved it.

In that, I'm certain we can ALL agree.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Better Get Yourself Some Popcorn

...Because this one is going to be a long one.

Firstly, to You. Yes, You. The police were a nice touch, but your timing was horrible. I'll be expected better next time, my sweet idiot.

To the rest of you... well, I've been having fun lately.

There will be no poetic mutterings this time - tonight I'm cutting straight to the main attraction. I will apologize to Dia, however. Because I'm ignoring her request. That Spook assignment was nothing to take note of. Typical tears and blood and pleas and mindless threats and such. Nothing all that interesting. I've since been on two Eliminations and a successful Conversion. In this past week, I've been busing myself with something of a... Spook/Elimination mix.

I was assigned to a girl in the Ohio area. She'd been on the run for nearly fourteen months. Scared out of her wits and tired. Ragged. Absolutely dragging. I had been ordered to flush her into a certain area at a certain time, where one of her old time friends/a coworker of mine would conveniently be at the right place at the right time to "save her" from me.

Who doesn't like dramatics, after all? Honestly.

I had started toying with her a bit right from day one - keeping at a distance at first to heighten the paranoia. Took a thing or two. Slipped other reminder-type-objects in her pockets to flush up old memories. I even got into my Disguise for this case - that is to say I wore what would be considered "normal" clothes to blend in. Hadn't done that in a while. It's amusing what one can do when no one sees the blood-trail you've left behind you. I even had a friendly chat with the father of a boy I Eliminated months ago. I had thought that I knew him when I was standing next to him at the bus-stop, but I couldn't place it. Then I saw the horribly scarred cheek and forehead on the side of his face opposite of me, and I knew.

Russell has himself a glass eye now. And the limp is barely noticeable. Few more months and he shouldn't need the cane anymore! Good for him.

As for Alicia, I had thankfully arrived with plenty of time and the Highers weren't bugging me for once about future projects, so I was able to enjoy myself fully as I prepared scenarios for her. I'm not usually one to get tacky, but for this sweet girl... I couldn't resist. She used to be quite the "goth" type, if you know what I mean. Her obsession with the darkness brought it straight to her front door. Brought Him to her door. She had her story. Now it was time for the conclusion.

I had left her several presents over a stretch of days. They each consisted of two things: a black feather (not from my ravens, of course. Crow feathers. From the park. I knew she wouldn't notice the difference.) and lines from a certain poem we all know and love.

When I decided to begin, I took the first verse and etched into her motel room mirror with the finger of my gauntlet - laying the feather on the edge of the sink.

A couple days later, I wrote the second verse directly into her journal - using the feather as the bookmark.

A few days went by, and then the third verse... the third was when I started having fun. It went up on the wall in blood - the window pulled open to let the wind in for that dramatic effect you're only supposed to get in movies. When she came home, I crept in behind her as she read the verse... and promptly slammed the door shut behind her, revealing verse four carved into the back of the door by my knife amongst smears of blood. I then used that very same bloodstained knife to pierce through verse five, which I left hanging on the front of the door. It took a few moments, but eventually she gathered enough courage to open the door and find it. When she had braved the empty hallway enough with her anxiety only on the rise, she ducked back inside with a hard slam of the door. All I had to do was just wait for the scream... and then I heard it as she found verse six.

It was burned into the chest of a young woman who was a nearly identical match... to dear Alicia's departed girlfriend. Her lover. Dominique. Four black feathers were tucked carefully into the corpses short, blonde hair. I had positioned the stranger with the torturous face on the floor - collapsed back against the wall in the same pose Alicia had found her old lover in. Dead eyes staring out. Wrists slit. Suicide. Or so the police reports say. In front of the body on the floor, written in her own blood, was the very last sentence of the verse: 'Tis the wind and nothing more.

Alicia called the police, but bolted before they arrived. Running fast and hard through the city. Tears streaming. Too choked by painful memories to pay attention as to where she was going. A fool's mistake. I easily followed. Eventually, exhaustion gave in... and she let her weary body collapse against a wall. Sliding down to sit amongst discarded coffee cups and cigarette butts on the concrete sidewalk. Entire frame trembling against the tears she was trying so hard to keep silent as she drew her legs into her chest. I leaned against the telephone pole across the street from her, fully visible... and proceeded to send her verse seven by text.

She looked up at me. I smiled in return. I expected her to Run again.

She did not.

After several minutes, she focused back on her phone - tapping away. And, in a moment's time, my own phone hummed with a reply. I couldn't help but grin.

"Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave & stern decorum of the countenance it wore,
`Though thy crest be shorn & shaven, thou,' I said, `art sure no craven.
Ghastly grim & ancient raven wandering from the nightly shore -
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore!'"

I replied: "Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'" Then I immediately sent off another. It was time to move the game up to another level. "Though I do find 'Nightscream' has a better ring. Wouldn't you agree?"

Silence was my answer for a while. "What do you want?"

I considered my options for a brief instant before I snapped my phone shut and walked over to the girl. She didn't run, but I could see her tensing more and more as I approached. It was late and we were the only ones on this stretch of road. Mistake #2. But I wasn't interested in making her pay for that yet.

When I was near enough, I offered a smile and told her how what I wanted... depended solely on what she wanted. Her response was that she desired to be left alone, so I told her that, if that was the case, then I wanted to perform my job as it was appointed to me. That I wanted her dead. I truly couldn't help but laugh a bit as the color drained from her face. Yet she didn't look away. Nor did she get up. So, I asked if she had preferences. A blade vs a blunt object, for example.

Her only response after a long moment was if I thought she'd see Dominique again. After death.

I studied her for a time. I knew what I saw in those bloodshot eyes, and it wasn't fear. It wasn't the stubborn will of someone pretending to be strong even with tears staining their face. Trying to be some idealistic symbol to live up to of hope and open rebellion. As if being delusional is a virtue. No. What I saw... was curiosity. Temptation. Hesitance - but temptation.

I asked if that was what she wanted. To see Dominique again. I inquired as to if the pain had numbed yet, or if it still stung to just say the name. When she could only close her eyes to prevent more tears, I had my answer. I considered options for a spell - letting the silence drag out - before telling her that there was a possibility... that she could see Dominique again. That some of my brothers and sisters... were gifted in some ways. That they might be able to reach the girl's soul. Though, of course, that would only be possible if she served.

She chose to laugh at me. Calling me a liar. A fake.

I let irritation invade my tone slightly, reminding her that she was in no position to spit on an offered hand. I asked if it really felt so wonderful to have nothing left... so that she could rationalize turning down exactly what she wanted. After all, she was being hunted by a faceless being. It's not as though spiritual-connections are that much of a stretch of the imagination from there.

I told her to make her choice. That I'd find her the next evening. Her last chance. However, within the space of half a day... she chose to Run again. To try to escape one last time. I took that as my answer. I sent her one last text. Verse fourteen. The curtain would be due to fall soon in this little play,  so I contacted my coworker. Hangnail. We agreed that a bridge in the park would work fine for the dramatic climax for this stage in the game.

Everything was moving right on time

I manipulated her path to my own gain and sent her towards the park. I pressed her hard enough to exhaust her and make the panic spike in every nerve she had. Making her heart thud in her ears and her legs become more and more weak as we neared the crossover point. Then - in complete perfection for the scenario at hand - she tripped over her own feet across that bridge. Scrapping her hands and knees on the concrete as she fell. I stood directly over her then. On my mark. Her eyes flew up to me - wide in terror as I planted one foot on her shoulder to pin her and rose my gauntlet up for the strike. I like to think the light reflected off the sharp metal. Like some brilliant Hollywood effect...

Nothing happened.

I should have been tackled. Maced. Otherwise distracted... but nothing happened. At all. I hesitated. Trying to weigh my options. Considering dragging it out a bit to give Hangnail more time. Giving some villain-type monologue like those that some of my siblings are so brilliant at delivering. I've never tried it really. Then I thought of just continuing the act of killing her just to keep it simple...

But that would be when my cellphone decided to ring.

Now, far be it from me to be rude to a victim by letting modern technology interrupt... but I was worried. I flipped open my cell. A text was waiting for me.

"`Prophet!' said I, `thing of evil! - prophet still, if bird or devil! -
Whether tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted -
On this home by horror haunted - tell me truly, I implore -
Is there -
is there balm in Gilead? - tell me - tell me, I implore!'"

It confused me to no end. For it was from my coworker's number. I hesitated back - stepping away from dear Alicia - and called the number. It went to voice-mail. The message called me by name, instructing me to listen to the saved messages on the machine. Curiosity and irritation got the better of me. I did as it told me and what I heard... were the shouts of my sister - of Hangnail - amongst gunshots. I heard the telltale shouts from her opposition: the police. I listened as events took place. As Hang was arrested despite her best efforts. She sounded injured. Then, for the final blow... another message was left at the very end in a voice I didn't recognize.

"`Prophet!' said I, `thing of evil! - prophet still, if bird or devil!
By that Heaven that bends above us - by that God we both adore -
Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,
It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels named Lenore -
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden, whom the angels named Lenore?'"

I snapped the phone shut. Casting my stare onto Alicia again where she lay waiting. Just sitting there. Confused. I suppose she had been ready to die after all. Otherwise you would have thought she would make like a bunny and scram, no? I almost felt the need to apologize for ruining the dramatic effect, but I had other thoughts on my mind. At first, I wanted to pit the blame on Alicia herself for recruiting help. For pitting someone against my sister in a surprise attack. For getting her injured and arrested and completely ruining our plans...

But the rational side of my thinking kicked in. After all, Alicia would have no way of knowing her friend was in the area - leave alone that she had been a proxy for the last seven months. Also, Alicia didn't run. A simple clue to the truth. For if she had any knowledge at all... she would have at least enough intelligence to take her escape while she still had legs capable of it.

I realized then what I had to do. Whoever it was that had intervened, they desired for me to back off. To leave poor Alicia alone. Now... what kind of sibling would I be if I did that? And so... I put my phone away and leaned against the railing of the bridge, head hanging low. After a moment's pause, I slowly let one arm fall to my side - turning slightly to face the poor girl. In a bare whisper, I apologized for my rude behavior. I apologized for scaring her. And even if I had hurt her. That it was my job to... but I couldn't follow through with my orders. That I didn't want to. I told her how I had killed probably hundreds of people... but when I looked into her eyes, I couldn't take her life. Not now. Not when I could see so much promise staring back.

I let myself sink down to sit across from her, my back to the railing as I talked to her. Casually. Quietly. I spoke a bit of where I came from. Who I used to be. When she started offering input, I asked a question or two about her. Eventually, she came to sit beside me on that bridge. She told me what her plans used to be for her life. How she was introduced to the "Slender Man myth." What happened when she first saw Him. How things fell apart. With her family. Her friends. Dominique. She explained what she had been doing. Where she had been.

Through it all, I just listened.

After a stretch of silence and the evening growing a bit cooler as it shifted into night, I told Alicia how amusing terrible her sob story was. How it must have been hilarious awful for her to go through. How I was delighted to be sorry for playing a role in it.

How this... most certainly wasn't what Dominique would have wanted for her. 

I whispered about how I wished she was able to see Dominique again. That I knew what it was like to not get closure. The feeling like there is a hole ripped right out of your chest... and the pain just gets worse and worse until you just want to scream. How I would do anything to get rid of it. To have the chance to say goodbye. To stop the pain.When I mentioned such things, her eyes began to water as she asked why I hadn't addressed it. Why I hadn't reached out to my siblings like I said I could and ask for their assistance to let the past rest. To talk to those that were gone. I just told her that mine weren't dead yet. As good as, but not quite. A tale of suffering without end.

I begged her not to walk my road. How, unlike me, she had a chance to heal. I told her that serving was a small price to pay... to see the person you love more than anything. To talk to them. Tell them everything you always wanted to say.

She started crying silently. My cue to wrap a comforting arm around her shoulders. Letting her lean into me. I held her for quite some time, urging her in whispers to become my sister. My hand stroking her dark brown hair as I did. When she spoke again, she sounded weak, but that was to be expected. She kept dismissing my claims of family. Saying that it was nothing but a lie. That even normal families were lies. Bad jokes. People who swore up and down that they were there for you, only to turn their back the instant things weren't quite convenient for them. Even for something as simple as not loving the way they thought you should.

I listened to every word of the sob story. Still stroking her hair. The longer I stayed, the greater an influence I took over her mind. The assumption that my intentions were only ill-fated began to wash away with the flow of her thoughts. I could hear it in her tone. Then, after she fell silent, I stood again. Letting what had become warmth under my arm be replaced by the chill of the coming night. She didn't like the change. I could tell.

I gave a soft smile down to her and told her that, though some of her points were valid... that there are some families that are exactly as they should be. Families in which each member pushes another to better themselves. Each supporting the other when they can. I told her that is how it is between my bothers and sisters. Of course, we bicker. Argue. Fight. But that in itself is because we care for each others' survival. Even subconsciously. I explained how we were comparable to wolves. Faring all that much better when in a pack.

A true family.

I told her I wanted her as my sister. Like Hangnail was.

So that she may nevermore know pain.

Nevermore know loneliness.

Nevermore know despair.

I offered her my hand... and she took it without hesitation.

I gently pulled her to her feet and lead her toward her new life. Bringing her to Him. To Father. Deep into the wooded trails. Off the beaten path. I lead her to solitude. A place in which no screams would drift back to the ears of the norms. All the while, I whispered prayers to our God to grace us with His glorious presence. That a new daughter was waiting for Him. For His touch. His will.

I felt His arrival before I even saw Him. A terrifying aura that shook me down to my core. A slender figure standing tall and proud amongst trees that seemed all that much more darker than they were a few scarce seconds ago now that they were in His presence. Beautiful. Deadly. Perfect. A true God if there ever was one.

I can still vividly remember the first time I saw Him.

It was... one of the most horrifying moments of my entire life.

I dropped onto one knee in those woods, head inclined down. I ignored the girl's fear and whispers of second-guesses at my side as He approached slowly. I saw the shadows of the tentacles on the ground. Those were that I focused on. Fascinated by their movements as His reach found Alicia. Whether He took her as a sacrifice or made her like me or turned her into a Hallowed was His own choosing now. It was always His choosing.

I simply waited. Watching His shadow blacken twigs and leaves alike even as I heard Alicia's screams tear through the air. I waited.

A humble servant and nothing more.

In what felt like mere seconds, the girl's limp body was placed upon the forest floor where my gaze had been held for who-knows-how-long. His will influenced me and an understanding weaved into my thoughts that I was to find a place for her before carrying on with my usual duties. My God... our Father... had already left before it had even completely registered in my mind.

Alicia is my sister now. She has the family she wanted. The family she deserves.

He will be with her now.


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Did You Miss Me?

I guess it's true... a month really can pass in a blink of an eye when you're having a good time.

The Highers have been keeping me rather busy, but not so busy that I'm unable to enjoy the Hunt. In all honestly, it has been of my own choosing to not update here. I really couldn't help but notice how my last post read as a touch of a rant. Discontented. Irritated. Combine that with reminding myself of the increased rate of defective servants amongst those who venture into this online Community as opposed to those who do not... and I concluded I needed to step back for a moment.

The problem, I think, lies in the fact that writing is, in itself... therapeutic.

But then again... so is Hunting.

It's safe to say I know which I prefer. Especially with the... drama on here, as of late. It's been good to keep myself involved in His Service instead of slacking off. Posting useless rants that everyone has already heard a good billion times. No, I stepped back and sorted out my mind. Made my opinions. Got together a 'To Do' list. All while meeting such interesting people. Spooks, Eliminations, Conversions... and the friends and family of the targets as well! Each task I take on is so incredibly unique.

There was this one man - I believe his name was Raheem - who would have made such an excellent proxy. He was sharp. Educated. Fit. Had military training, including torture techniques that he himself performed while under the service of his home nation before he ran from the army, claiming refugee status in America. He became an accountant over the past years. Went to his psychiatrist every Friday.

Then he found Father. So I found him.

The poor man was down to living in a nest of paranoia that was only going to break his mind - his house having become a mere cage to keep the world out. To keep Him out. He looked frail to my eyes... but, then again, most Runners do. I could see his potential, however, when he'd look at me. Despite his withering body from the stress of being Haunted, he still had fire. Spark. Brilliance. He could still BE someone. Something. If I could manage to take him passed the anger and fear, passed the hundreds of notes that laid balled up across the floor and the tell-tale pictures and words drawn and burnt onto every surface... he could be one of us.

After the initial "leave or die" reaction I received upon my arrival which brought a knife to my throat, I ended up sitting with him on the edge of his bed. Close enough to pose as a friend, someone he would already know well enough, but not so close to make him so uncomfortable so as to remember I was not. The entire job, after all, is about finding the balance. Placing yourself correctly. Understanding how a brain responds to human contact. I was his friend, there to help. There to lean on.

We talked for quite some time. I listened for the most part. Prompted him when needed to continue. I let him tell me what he needed to. Every thought that was tearing him apart. Every piece of anger he wished to lash out with. Every shred of agony and guilt he had kept within himself. I listened. I placed a hand upon his shoulder, and I continued to listen. Until he finally fell silent. Until he had finally relaxed in my presence with his face in his hands, utterly exhausted. I felt for him. I truly did.

Then it was my turn to speak. I told him the truth. I sympathized with him at first, before giving a light tug at the anger inside him. The anger he held against the world itself. Against people. Civilization. Mankind. I told him how he deserved better than what he'd been given in life. How he was treated. I told him how others like him deserved so much better...

I told him what he could be. I invited him to become a part of our family. No one judging him. No one sneering or glaring simply because of his race. How we would accept him. How we could help him make a difference. How he could forget the pain he'd burdened for so long and help change society for the better, one piece at a time. How it would be difficult, but not impossible. All he had to do was serve our Father as He was meant to be served. Without question or hesitation. With pride.

Oh, how we underestimate pride these days. So many would kill by the hundreds just to know the feeling...

So many already do.

He was silent for a moment, before he turned that sharp stare back at me. He proclaimed he had spent enough of his life bringing pain to others. That he was sick and tired of being defined by an art-form he wished he didn't have. He raved about the nightmares that plagued him even before he had stumbled across word of Father. Of the screaming and the blood and the pain and the tears and years of living that equaled to years of dying for countless others... of hating his reflection. He questioned me. Tried to peer past the fabric of my mask to my eyes. A pointless attempt. He would see nothing.

He demanded for me to tell him if I look in the mirror anymore without "that fucking mask" or if I wasn't able to at this point in my career. When I just kept smiling, his hand lashed out and grabbed me by the collar of my torn-up hoodie, pulling me up as he stood as well... until his yelling suddenly went silent. His tongue stilled by his own teeth as he bit down to keep from screaming. I squeezed the hand of my gauntlet closed a bit more, carefully watching his expression change as I grazed bone around his forearm.

I'd already grabbed hold of him before I'd even been completely to my feet.

Out of all the skill-sets I have, quick reflexes is the only one I was born with.

I remember his next remark perfectly. He spoke through gritted teeth. Glaring at me with that fire I'd admired since the first time I saw him.

" this 'Nightscream' crap. Who the hell ARE you? Who WERE you?! Until you sold yourself. Until you be...became... this."

Why that of all things was so important for him to know at that very moment is well beyond my comprehension... but I told him. And now I will tell you.

My name was Sam.

How's that for anti-climatic? Amongst all the... peculiar names we have around, my name was Sam. Sam Freeman, to be exact.

Early-spring of last year, I was still a high school teacher in Small Town, Middle of Nowhere, USA. Still desperately attempting to get the next generation aware of our history, as well as that of the entire world. Well, not just aware. But excited. Enthralled. Like I was. I spoke to my students as equals. Treated them as adults in their own right. Let them debate amongst each other. Encouraged debate amongst each other. Wherever an argument flowed to, I'd allow it.

So many taboo topics landed up being discussed within the walls of my classroom. All to influence the next generation. All to try to change common thought. Change how that small percentage I got assigned to me thought of themselves and the world. Trying to get them to use their heads where the previous generations did not...

That's how I began my story.

As for how I ended RAHEEM'S story... well, I just couldn't talk sense into him. Even as I reminded him that he had never felt more alive than when he held the life of another in the palm of his hand. When he was in control. Everyone wants to have control, so why would he deny it? Tell himself he was what he wanted to be? Just an accountant. Pathetic. Predictable. That's why he was there. He could control it. Then Father came and took his control away again. I offered it back. To be a pawn. To know his place. To control the Runners as He Wills us to. Raheem was DYING. Suffocating. Drowning. Locked himself up too tight... and yet, he still said no.

There was nothing more I could do.

So I dealt with him.

I removed him of the very hands he refused to use to serve our Father and then lit his apartment on fire, locking the door behind me when I left. By the time I returned to ground level, the fire-alarm was blaring and blood was trickling down the front stone steps of the apartment building where Raheem's broken corpse was sprawled out. I suppose he had decided to see if he could fly, rather than burn or bleed to death. Can't say I wouldn't make the same choice myself, honestly.

The people who were filing from the building were beginning to gather around the grotesque scene. The entire crowd was doing its best to fake horror, even though they were really just so fascinated by it.  Human nature, really.

I gave the hands to Kali and Loki when I got back to them. Nice snack.

Raheem was not a TOTAL waste in that way, I suppose.

Speaking of waste... I have a few last words to say to my late brother, Morningstar. A touch late, perhaps, but my grieving soul knows no passing of time.

Morningstar... what IN THE NAME OF OUR FATHER do you think you're DOING?! Dying like that?! You lazy, good for nothing codpiece! Ducking out of service and leaving the rest of us to clean up your goddamn mess... Good God, could you BE any more of a pain in the ass? I swear that when I see you in Hell, I will SMEAR you across the walls.

In any case... apology accepted. I will miss you, my brother... little bastard...

When I had found out about his death, I decided my target at the time would die by an anvil landing on his head. Granted, not being used to such methods, it took me three attempts before I actually succeeded in hitting him. Though, after the first two attempts, the boy was so ungodly paranoid it literally PAINED me to go for a third shot! Hilarious.

I've already spoken to the NEW Morningstar. He is an interesting one... though I knew hoping for someone with a sense of humor would be too much to ask from Valtiel. The man presumably went after the dullest people he could think of as replacements... though, after Morningstar ONE, you can't really blame him. Shooter was certainly a proxy and a half. Humorous. Enthusiastic. Brutal. I always told him to pace himself. Lest he burn too bright only to fade out suddenly. Hence the nickname.

Like I hope to with his replacement, the first Morningstar and I got along fairly well. It is... a shame we fell out of touch. I feel perhaps I could have intervened somehow before he was too far lost... but, ah, well. Hindsight is 20/20, as they say. I have to admit, I was angry with him when I saw what he'd been doing... and, in my anger at his lack of loyalty towards the end, I had nearly... thrown away my name.


It does have his flavor to it, doesn't it? That would be because he was the one who came up with it. He named me. Months ago. You see, we had been stationed in New Jersey together at one point near the beginning of the year. He was still rather new. Opinions were exchanged. Insults were made. Blood was spilt. Laughs were had. Eventually, there was a challenge laid out. A bet. It doesn't matter anymore what the bet was, but I accepted the conditions... and lost. Along with a few other details, Morningstar was permitted to rename me. A 'mark', for lack of a better word, from one proxy onto another. A true mockery.

He threw away my original name of "Gauntlet" and turned me into "Nightscream."

At first, I hated it with a passion. Now... the name has grown on me. Much like he did.

Now that he is gone, I will continue to use it proudly. Especially as I seek out the two idiots who removed Shooter from play.



Won't you play with me? I've been DYING to meet you both.

PS: There you are, Dia. A bit about me. Happier now?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Career Choices

One can't help but reflect upon their own existence as we watch our kin fall into disgrace. It... hurts. Seeing them like this. Reading how they take the blindfold back into their hands out of their own free will - fastening it tight around their eyes... and then claim to see so much better. Claim to feel so much better.

I have no doubt that they do.

I believe it was ignorance, after all, that was said to be bliss. Not clarity. Not Seeing. Not understanding. The lies hold a comfort that many a Proxy secretly desires. Some just break when they realize that our Father is not there to hug their troubles away. That He is not there to protect us. To watch over us. To love us.

When has there ever been a God so kind?

While it is true: He is not a God. Not... quite. But I hardly see the point in splitting hairs. He controls us each like puppets on strings. His Will Be Done. That's God enough for me. And it should be enough for each of you if you know what is good for you.

But I know: you don't want to admit it. Truth isn't a priority for you. For any of you. No. For all you care about is keeping up your images in the eyes of your fellow Runners. Fighters. Proxies. So, you talk like you own your own existence. You talk like you know what you're against. Like it doesn't terrify you.

You mock Him.

You come up with pathetic little nicknames for Him. Pretend like you don't see what the reality of your situation is.

It makes me... well beyond irritated. You're no better than a gaggle of schoolchildren. Comparing our Father to the villains of childhood fairy tales alongside the Wicked Witch and the Evil Step-Mother. All of you grabbing the ankle of your newest shining knights like an entire horde of damsels just waiting for someone to rescue you. Then you slowly come to realize that those knights are not going to change anything. That they are, in fact, just as blind and helpless as you are. That you are still alone. They will not help you, your friends or your family. They will help themselves, perhaps, because they're not waiting... but that in itself would only be temporary.

So then... some of you... blindly turn to our Father instead.

He embraces you.

Gifts you.

Takes the pain away.

And then you are left confused when He doesn't tuck you into your hotel beds each night and leave a lipless kiss on your forehead.

You make me sick.

It takes a lot to wear on my nerves. I am a rather... easy-going soul, if it can be said I still have one. But this is something that I cannot tolerate. To think you are so special - so different - to be any more than a tool for His use... it's mind-numbing.

And the Highers sent me one.

An underling. A piece of filth that no more Sees than he does fly. An idiot. Incompetate in every way, shape and form... and this was supposed to AID me? Ridiculous. No wonder so many of us fail: The Highers themselves are delusional. Whoever thought this scum was suited for The Purpose deserves a few extra turns on the Rack. It didn't take long for his preaches of our Father's love and the glorious paradise that awaits us Children to get on my nerves.

Shriek has paid for their mistake. And lived up to his name rather well in so doing. I honestly think this scream/shriek thing is the only reason they sent him to me. Thought it would be funny. I certainly had a laugh as I watched my latest "recruit" walk up to the pathetic excuse of a Proxy. Oh, how he thrashed in his restraints. How he screamed. How he promised my demise for attacking one of our own...


The fool.

Father does not destroy those He wants as His Children.

He teaches them.

And now I'm "teaching" someone special in return. You see, I was bored. I get creative when I'm bored. So, I took control of a situation surrounding the latest Spook job we I was assigned to. Imagine it, if you will: A small, modern home. White siding with dark green edging. One and a half stories. Practically the size of a matchbox.

In one of the two sections in the basement, we have something of a living room. It is in this room I am now currently lounged in an armchair of. Across from me, I have the full pleasure of watching Shriek twitch and jerk from where he is lashed onto a chair. Eyes rolled backwards. Drooling. Blood splattered all across his face and shoulders... along with pieces of bone.

To my right, Logan and his mother are on the couch against the far well. Logan is rocking himself back and forth. Hands over his ears as he tries to block out the sounds he himself put into his head to never be forgotten for as long as he lives. I can watch his entire form shaking from where I'm seated across the room. The single parent has her arm wrapped around his shoulders. A helpless and useless attempt to comfort. Both are in tears.


Because it is not I who is covered in blood and bone splatter from taking a power drill to Shriek's skull.

No, that would be Logan's honor.

A sixteen year old boy turned Man of the House since his father split a few years back. He keeps average grades despite that and works after school at the local Wal-Mart to help his mother pay the bills. Suzanne herself works as a telemarketer, since the pay is that much better than other options. Even with the two jobs, however, it just doesn't seem to be measuring up judging by the "Last Notice" and "Final Warning" envelopes I saw in a pile on their counter upon my arrival.

A bird cage in one hand, I had allowed Shriek assist me in ushering the two into the basement. From there, I effectively took my so-called "minion" out of play by cracking his head against the edge of the door frame a few times. Blood came down the side of his face - making my ravens call excitedly, hungrily, from their cage - as I fastened him to a chair to keep him still, all the while chatting up my frozen-stiff guests. When I was satisfied with my work on Shriek, I focused in on Logan solely.

I gave the boy a choice. Either he drilled a feeding hole into my "partner"... or I shot his mother and let Kali and Loki tear into HER. Logan is a smart, loving boy. He gave Kali and Loki a very nice entrance to whatever brain matter Shriek had/has. When the boy was done, I let out my true friends and they tore into that fool of an underling in a frenzy. Shriek nearly had a seizure through it all.

Now... I think he is just about dead.

Logan has already thrown up once. From the looks of him, he'll be going for round two soon.

And poor Suzanne. So horrified. So devastated.

After all... she was the one who brought me here. She saw Him. Not Logan. Her. She was the one who was linked to the vlogs by a friend, which lead to the Community. A cluster of stories that no doubt made the cinders of her own writing career begin to smoke again.

And now, she has turned her precious boy into a murderer. 

I think I'll be leaving these two alive when I leave. I rather like them.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Wings of Black Angels.

I chose the setting sun to mark my arrival, though it was not yet dark. The evening had soaked the world in a strange orange light - making the rather normal neighborhood seem nearly alien. I came in the back of the property - entering into the backyard of the residence with young William never leaving my side. His hand holding mine tightly as he talked on and on and on about things I pretended to listen to.

I didn't shoot off a gun to get the attention of the family inside.

Nothing exploded.

No... no, I merely offered to push William on the rope swing I had mentioned before. Those bluest of blue eyes turned up to me at the suggestion - grin spreading wide, minus a few teeth. Don't get antsy, it wasn't my doing. He came like that.

As he flew higher and higher, the boy began to laugh at the soaring sensation. As children his age tend to. And, just like I thought it would, his laughter brought them to me like moths to a flame. The three of them. Jennifer. Mary. Lionel. They all rushed from the house in a hope-risen panic. I grinned at the looks given to us: confusion, mixed with fear.

The "glove" on my left hand/arm was the parents' first hint as to my purpose there. But more on that in a moment.

Jennifer, to her credit, did not even hesitate. She ran in front of everyone else, shouting at William to get away from me. William didn't seem to be paying attention, the little twit. He stopped himself from swinging and grabbed my right hand, trying to pull me towards the house. He called me his new friend. His new friend that he wanted to meet his mommy. Daddy. Sister. And the cats that were apparently on a long trip somewhere - but will be back, rest assured!

The father stepped forward as I stopped - making his son stop with me as I closed my hand around his. Not to hurt him. Just to make sure he wouldn't be deserting me until I deemed the time to be right. Lionel's voice sounded so... enraged. His fists were clenched. Face burning red. Glare set. Looking for a fight.

He really didn't want one with me, but he didn't necessarily know that yet.

"What are you doing with MY SON?! Who do you think you ARE?!"

I grinned and crouched down, gently pulling the boy back close to me as everyone at the house started shouting. Once again, my identity was demanded. I laughed a bit in response. Told them the truth. I told them Jennifer had invited me over to play. I told them how much of a pleasure it was to meet them.

They both looked so torn - so heart-wrenched - as I kept the boy close to me. My left arm curling across his front - leaving the lethally sharp blades that were the fingers of my gauntlet resting easy on his opposite shoulder. The mother begged me not to hurt him. Tears already streaming and I hadn't even done anything yet. Daddy dearest was only getting madder, yelling threats, but I focused in on Jennifer.

"Did you really think we wouldn't find you, little Jenny? Didn't you get my notes? Did you honestly not expect this? I warned you. He does not just go away because you want Him to. I warned you..."

She tried so hard to ignore me. Tearing forward and putting her hand on her dad's arm to get his attention. What she had wanted to tell him, none of us will ever know. For that was when... I was taken by surprise.

Lionel backhanded his own daughter. Accused her of being involved in drugs, like her mother suspected. Accused her of bringing a Collector to their door. To her little brother. Jennifer was crying.

And a second later, Lionel was screaming. Laying on the porch steps clutching his shoulder where I'd placed a bullet myself. Equipped with a silencer, I lowered the tasteless modern weapon slowly. William was crying now. Squirming in my hold as he watched his daddy splurt ketchup all over himself. The mother was by his side. Jennifer, holding her tear-stained cheek, hesitated back.

With my attention split at that moment, William thrashed around a bit too much and tore out from under my arm - heading in a frantic run to his family. The small trace of crimson left on the tips of my glove, however, made me grin once again as I stood. I hadn't let the boy get even half way... before I sent out a long whistle. I started to laugh as I heard familiar calls answer me.

Two black angels appeared above us.



They both cawed to me as they tilted their heads - looking for my tell-tale signal that it was suppertime: Blood.

The boy didn't stand a chance in Hell. My ravens dive-bombed him with the aim to take him right off his feet from the start. And they succeeded. William hit the ground hard, already screaming as beaks and talons tore into the small injury I myself had begun - widening it by the second as the child thrashed. Crying. Screeching. Flailing uselessly against birds who's combined strength clearly out-did his own.

I could see the blood splatter over glossy, black feathers as I ran straight past - catching Jennifer in my arms from interfering on my pets' feeding time. The girl thrashed as wildly as her little brother. Trying to maneuver out of my hold. She clawed at me. Screamed at me. Tried her best to free herself. To save her sibling. I never once let up my hold. Never once let her look away from the scene.

We both watched - her useless parents either dying or frozen behind us - as William's thrashing lessened. His screams of pure, unbridled agony choked back as his throat filled with blood. Eventually, there were only the sounds of pleads, tears, cawing, and the ripping of flesh as Kali and Loki took their fill of their prey. 

I released the teen without a word. She immediately dropped. Falling to her hands and knees in the grass in front of me. Crying. Shaking. Mumbling incoherently. Praying to God for it all to be a nightmare. Just another nightmare.

I left them to their devices. The police showed up later, called in by a concerned neighbor who'd heard some yelling. They would find Lionel dead on the steps he collapsed on, having bled out, and the shredded remains of the six year old boy... in the arms of his mother. A modern gun with a silencer in her limp hand and the back of her head blown out.

I thought it only right to leave it as a parting gift.

Jennifer herself is gone. She left not long after I did.

My work here is complete. Jennifer is now a Runner... and I don't even have to feed Kali and Loki tonight.

Keep smiling, everyone!

Monday, September 5, 2011

I Don't Normally Cook... but I Can Make a Mean Stew.

Being a Proxy is an art form. One of the greatest there of, for sure. We are more than soldiers. More than servants. More than any ONE occupation could ever be. We are All. But most of all, we are each a single orchestrator of a piece of existence that the majority of the world doesn't even see as real. How can anyone not see the beauty in such a role? We are people without countries. People without homes. But we have a greater purpose. Those things are the sacrifices we make in order to serve Him. It is not a simple thing. Many of us will claim it is. These people are lying to you. It is a difficult thing to become accustomed to, but once you embrace Him as He embraces us... there are no limits to what you can create.

And you - all of YOU - are the actors. Your homes, your schools, your work, your communities, your lives... those are the backdrops that we are given to work with. To make a production worthy of Him. To bring you the horror you searched so hard to find, and bring us the enjoyment of our finely-tooled work. One must come to appreciate the little things that make a scene play out so perfect.

There are a million and one ways a plan laid out to be sprung can flip the wrong way. It is... breathtaking - no exhilarating - when everything just... flows into place. Like it was destined. Like we, Proxies, are the will of the world. The Will of the All. The Will of Him.

Jennifer... was my latest main actor.

She had started seeing Father a month or so ago. He was Watching her closer now, and the paranoia and fear were starting to have their effect. My assignment was simple: I was to be a Spook. You see, there are three ways to generally classify missions...

Elimination. Self-explanatory, really. Those that have caused too much of a headache or those that Father loses interest in for Himself are left for us to put down. It tends to depend on the Runner, but these cases are the ones you see the... less subtle of us bragging about on their blogs around here. Cannon Fodder recruits are used here quite a bit.

Conversion. Like those door-to-door religious types that ask if "you've found God" and must put up with whatever sarcastic remark is thrown back at them. Sometimes Father will claim certain souls to join our family. When assigned to these, it's best to just be a manipulative bastard that can twist emotions and thinking-patterns like they were frying up an egg... but sometimes the brutally insane can have the same effect. This does cross into Elimination, for Father only has patience for so long.

Spook. Now these cases are specifically for those of us who don't froth at the mouth or drool at the sight of their prey. These missions are for general mindfuckery. Just some not-so-innocent fun with riddles and codes and mind games to slowly break apart the target. We are free to use emotional ties to others and play with other stresses on their minds, but generally the target themselves are not to get hurt. Not... seriously hurt, anyway. Nothing lethal. ...Usually goes down well if they can still Run afterwards.

Tommy was an Elimination.

Jennifer - or Gem as her daddy calls her - is a Spook.

I had already begun the little game of "Now you see me, now you don't" with her. It can get dull, I'll admit, which is why they assigned me. I'm a fan of the hunt - of the small changes in behavior and routine that gradually get more and more obvious. How you can literally change a person's entire character, piece by piece, chip by chip - it's fascinating. Plus, it is not like killing isn't an option. One just has to be more... creative. It's really not hard. I made a copy of the key to her house, so I come and go as I please now. Take things. Leave things. Cryptic little messages. The typical "Watching You" bullshit that made those vlogs what they are. It's absolutely mind-blowing how little effort one has to put into destroying someone's sense of safety and reality. You can have them rocking in the corner just by calling them randomly during the day and breathing into their ear. It's hilarious, really.

Jenn had gone to the library the other day. Research for school, or so read the note on the table that was addressed to her parents. Probably not the kind of research they would assume like that which would fix her ever-slipping grades. Not even close. Due to the grade matter and the attitude changes lately, her dear mother was secretly fearing Jennifer had started using drugs. Isn't that just adorable? They could only HOPE for something that trivial.

I made myself at home while they were away. Went to work in the kitchen, of all places. Made them a stew (aren't I nice?). The family (minus Jenn) seemed to quite enjoy it when they got home, amazed that their dear daughter could make something so good (an addition to the note by yours truly that copied her writing to a tee). Even the littlest member of the family - tiny William - seemed to approve. I heard every comment over the microphone I planted in their home. Kept saying on how sweet the meat tasted.

It's so nice to be appreciated. It really is.

Little Jenn came home much later. Probably stayed until closing hour scaring the shit out of herself researching on what will become her new life. Her mother informed her that there was still some stew left, much to my delight. Jenn assumed her mother made it.

It wasn't until later that a comment was made about Jenn's talent in the kitchen. She sounded so confused as  her mother went to put the rest of the stew in the freezer...

The scream that followed was well-worth the extra effort. I'd left a note in the freezer, beside the heads and pelts of the family cats, Scooter and Penni. Each jaw left open in a pained, silent scream. The bloodied fur from their legs hanging down from the upper rack. Just fur, bones, and frozen blood. The meat went to a different use.

"Hope you enjoyed the stew!"

The sounds of heaving that followed thereafter made me laugh til my sides hurt. From the splattering sounds, I guessed they didn't have time to make it to the bathroom or even the kitchen sink. That should be quite a mess to clean up after, but, like they say: The cook never cleans!

The connection between people and their animals... such a wonderful thing to toy with, don't you think?

That night, I made sure she could see me standing out in her backyard - leaning against a tree at the back of the property which supported a rope swing. I waved when she saw me. She quickly disappeared out of sight. Probably to throw up again. In the morning, she'd find an Operator Symbol on her front door - made from the blood supplied by their beloved cats - and her little brother missing. The wails and rants have been beautiful to listen to - such love from such devout parents - and Jennifer has become so deathly silent through it all. No doubt being eaten alive inside from the guilt. Poor thing.

I must say, the boy isn't that much of a hassle. He's only six, so I expected a fuss but... I think he thinks I'm Batman or something. Kali and Loki play nice with him. Not a scratch on the boy, I swear. That is, after all, part of the point.

He's getting a bit homesick though. I think I'll have to bring him home tomorrow... then I'll have my true reward from all this trouble. It makes me grin just to think about it.

It will be a day Jennifer will never forget.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Work Me to the Bone.

They are relentless. Absolutely relentless. No sooner do I finish one job, they want another to already be half-way done across the damn country. The Highers are lucky I enjoy the work. Otherwise I wouldn't run myself ragged trying to keep ahead of the flow. There are so few of us now, compared to not that long ago. So few. So sad. We've lost many of our family - defects or dead - but will that stop us? Heh. Of course not. We are His Children. Of course times will be tough for us, but what is glory without pain?

That's what I told Tommy. Other Runners have risen to such glory among the Haunted... so it's just bad luck that it is he that must pay for the success of others. One must keep balance, yes? Every victory must bring also a loss... for Father is not the one who loses. Father NEVER loses. His Children may die. The Runners may manage to pull some... bizarre miracle from their asses. But that is never a loss to Him. For He will always win. Always. If one or two Runners keep themselves intact, then another loses their life.


As for Tom-Tom... yesterday, I proved to him how nice I am. You see, the imbecile had been on the Run for several weeks. Didn't prepare worth a damn - just bolted. No money. No supplies. Truly, this was another case of Natural Selection and he was destined to be "fucked by a train", so to speak. Aka: Yours Truly. But you see... Tommy had irritated me. I had flown in across three States, only to find out he was just sitting there. Waiting for me. Tucked away in a little cage. A police station, to be exact. The little moron had gotten arrested for trying to rob a corner store.

Once the officers on duty were unconscious on the floor, I took a gander at his brand spanking new "criminal" record.

Weapon of choice? A stick. It wasn't even a big stick. He had stuck it in his pocket and had PRETENDED to have a gun. Because that is, without a doubt, a brilliant MASTER plan right there.

And the jackpot, ladies and gentlemen? A jaw-dropping twenty-six dollars... and thirteen cents. ...Can't forget those thirteen cents....

So what was I to do? There was no hunt. No fun. The brat was waiting in a cage around back. Probably under some false delusion he was actually safe. And there I was, trying to figure out a way that actually made the trip worth my goddamn time. A bum in need of twenty bucks could knock off this idiot at this point. I had no excuse to stretch out the assignment. No excuse to enjoy myself. My last order was to put a bullet in him, clean up any messes, and leave by the turn of the month.

They... always ask me to do such... horrible things... horrible, stomaching-wrenching things...

How could I possibly take someone's life... without torturing them first? That's just plain cruel. It hurts my heart to merely contemplate it.

So I flipped the switch and went to his cell. He shied away from me. Backing up against the far wall, like an animal would. He was a twig. No muscle mass. Pleading, desperate eyes like those of a lost puppy. I just offered my hand. Said I was a friend. That I could help him, but we had to move quickly. I told him things. I told him I knew who he was Running from. I explained how the police were getting ready to execute him and dispose of his corpse. I told him they were Proxies, His servants. I was not. I told him my name. Or, at least, one of them. I told him I had taken care of the guards. It was now or never. I asked him to trust me.

In mere moments, his hand was in mine and I lead him from that despicable place. I brought him to my home-away-from-home. Got to know him better. Specifically how twisted his screams could become... while riding the Spanish Donkey.

I so rarely get to enjoy medieval torture routines. I savored every second of it. I admit, it would have been nice to use something... a little more inspiring and majestic... but I had so precious little time. The Spanish Donkey is beautifully simplistic in design. Didn't take long to build at all. Tommy lasted for hours. Each time I added a weight, his screams twisted in a wild howl. The Donkey was wearing a blanket of blood that dripped to the floor, puddling, as his wound just got deeper. He'd thrash. He'd plead. He'd cry. All for nothing, of course. Well, not nothing: my amusement is something. I have to admit, if he was good for nothing else... the moron could certainly scream. Some might say it was overkill. Those people don't have a sense of humor. Or any common sense. If someone is WORTH doing this to, generally you'd want them dead faster. True, yes?

Now I'm just about to land in Arkansas, of all places. I've already begun reading up on my next (hopefully-more-interesting) victim. Let us pray that this time I actually get my hunt.

Keep smiling.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Smile. You'll Live Longer!

Or at the very least, it can't hurt your chances.

I simply... cannot stop GRINNING.

Something that could prove... problematic for my little hunt later on this evening, but I can't help it...

This site.

You people.

My God, you make me laugh! A comment here, a comment there, and then I have TheArsonist himself pay my blog a visit. First one, that I'm aware of. He even took the time to threaten me.

I always did like entering with a BANG.

Of course, the out will, most presumably, be with more of a SPLAT and, with any luck, pain worth screaming over. But my end is far from now. I'm having far too much fun.

You people are all so tense.

Need to relax more.

You do remember that this is called "His Game", yes? There is a reason for that. You all should try having some fun with it! He is a very lenient boss. The Highers are a pain but... well, politics invade everything pure. Even His family. Can't be helped.

I'm sorry. Am I not what you expected after post one? Ha! So sorry, but I couldn't resist. Faith so LOVED her religion. I felt it was the perfect beginning to my little time-waster here - a tip of the hat to the first one I was assigned to. We played so well together. Loki and Kali liked her too. I think they miss her, but she was Lost from the start. In between jobs, I found here. Glorious, GLORIOUS here. The stories I found... this Community... my temptations won out. Thus the birth of Whispers. You see, Little Faithful had always begun and ended her day with a prayer. Even up til the very end. So I thought, in her memory, my prayer was only appropriate.

I am a very thoughtful person like that.

So what do you say? Want to be my friend?

Monday, August 15, 2011

Pray With Me


Our Father, who art Hold the Divide, Hollowed and Proxied in thy Name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, On earth as it is in Hell. Give us this day our daily bread, And forgive us our trespasses, for we hunt those who trespass against You. And embrace us with our sinful temptations, delivering us from the filth of humanity. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.