Saturday, December 31, 2011


8-13-10    I've opened this blog just to lend a port in the storm to those who've had their...encounters with /construct/, in hopes that together, instead of going mad alone, we can suffer the storm, and come out strong...

8-13-10   All in all, I've realized lately that I haven't done a damn thing in my life. No spouse, no kids, no legacy. I've had no ambition, and have never known what I'm destined for. Maybe with this, I can at least have a shot of helping someone.

8-13-10  If we can harness the same potential that creates nightmares, perhaps we can eliminate them

8-20-10  I know I have an answer for someone somewhere, but when and to whom? Must I seek out other blogs as well to help spread the words, or am I just self indulgent, arrogant enough to believe that the human collective has strength beyond creatures, nightmares?

8-20-10  Zero, you have helped Melody and I very much so. You gave us ideas, and just knowing that someone cares is a great help. Thank you.  - B

8-20-10  What B said. Knowing that there is someone out there willing to face their fears, risk being Followed, and help others out is amazing in itself. You are truly a blessing, and I wish you didn't have to endure the paranoia and pain that comes with being attached to all of this. I speak for all of us when I say thank you.  - Shaun

8-21-10  We need to kill him, here on-line together. We all need to write a story, a paragraph at least, of how the ./construct/ dies, and leave us rid of them forever. We need to tap into that morass, and spread the word

11-4-10  You. 3/3   - Greenlight

11-4-10  oh...crap

11-7-10  look, I know I've said that I've always wanted a chance to be someone, to leave something be remembered, but if I read this right; that he's picking me as a rep of some sort. I dunno if I'm that sort of guy...

11-7-10  I'd say good luck, zero, but I don't think you'll need it. Robert (Sage/Guardian) knew exactly what he was doing when he picked out you and Maduin and Amelia. I'm sure you'll be able to figure everything out.  - Jean

11-7-10  We trust you. Live up to your title, Zero(Sage)!  - Nessa

11-7-10  Let's do our best, Zero(Sage)  - Amelia Clark

11-12-10  This place is the Astral Plane......It makes sense though, ectoplasm needed to damage ectoplasm. all of his abilities are reflected in the abilities of malevolent ectoplasm. This is where, I believe, the boogeyman comes from.

11-14-10  Zero I need help. Melody's gotten worse. How can I stop it? Please

11-16-10  I promised him id do everything to safe his girl. greenlight gave us the way to do it. him or her, someone had to be marked, someone was damned.


11-16-10  I should have known what GL meant by "become Carton".  - B

11-16-10  ZERO! WHAT THE HELL! She's fine and getting better. Thank you.  - B

11-18-10  I saw him.

11-18-10  Sages seem to be insanely good at injuring themselves  - Jean

11-19-10  shit man....i just had my ass beat,...i'm in my damn boxers its 20 degrees out being put fuckin prostrate before a damn abomination.

11-19-10  Keep loose, Zero(Sage), we can't have you folding this late in the game.  - Fizzbomb

11-20-10  if you ever need to talk, to let things out, you know I'm here.  - Amelia Clark

11-21-10  but where will we go next who rises to be our knight don't you all see the hero is right before you it is you it's always been you every last one of you we are our own heroes, guys...

11-21-10  I'll stand and fight with you on the solstice. Let It come. Let all of Its Agents come. I may not be strong or fast or tough, but It can't crush my will. My hope sustains me.  - Amelia Clark

11-21-10  They all look up to you.  - Battery Resistance

11-21-10  If I am called out, I can't guarantee that I will be able to resist his will but I will try. Godspeed, Zero, godspeed.  - Reach

11-21-10  I've struggled for so long not to lose my humanity and then I came up with a plan that would snuff out the light of my human self like two wet fingers extinguishing a candle...  - Reach

11-21-10  Reach...I know I, for the most part can't stand your insufferable nature, and your affiliation. But damn man, I do have compassion for you. Try not to get in my way on the Solstice, okay? No need to cut down a man who misses his loved ones.

11-23-10  I was staring into the bathroom mirror, with a steak knife in my hand, and a cut on my wrist.  - Zero

11-23-10  Ahem, Dat Ass - Zero

11-23-10  Shit, they're breaking down the door. Where are my fucking neighbors? At work. I'm just one person... one person cowering in a closet...  Don't let them take me, I don't want to go  - Nessa

11-23-10  I kept myself blank.  I never posted my location.  God, Zero. Please.  I don't want to die.  - Jeff

11-24-10  i'm all alone now they're...they're gone, aren't they?all of them   amelia,   so sorry,  nessa,  taken    will, barely got to know you  anyone?   are you there  always fucking alone always havebeen  - Zero

11-24-10  Zero.  Be strong.  Don't make me slap you.  YOU ARE A SAGE.   Act like it.  - Jeff

11-24-10  01100100 01101111 00100000 01101110 01101111 01110100 00100000 01100110 01101111 01101100 01101100 01101111 01110111 00100000 01101101 01100101 00001101 00001010 01101000 01100101 00100000 01101001 01110011 00100000 01110111 01100001 01101001 01110100 01101001 01101110 01100111 00001101 00001010 01100001 00100000 01110100 01110010 01100001 01110000   - Nessa

11-24-10  every single binary message is a knife in my heart  - Zero

11-24-10  of all the soul wrenching things.  he baits me, he lets her live, and taunts me, he wants me to show up, so he can kill me...or maybe all of us.  anyone, just to drive the point home  - Zero

11-24-10  Don't you fucking dare give in!   - Pete Biggs

11-24-10  I will admit, sometimes I love my is one of those days.  - Zero

11-24-10  its up to us to show the same steel Nessa has, don't give in, ever again

11-24-10  How can it be in three places at once?!  - Will

11-24-10  Get tough will, or you're dead. plain and simple my friend   - Zero

11-25-10  Just got off the train. NOLA, baby. Heading north next. Zero, wherever you are, I'll be riding the rails to you. Just hold tight. - Amelia Clark

11-25-10  zero, you've got hang in there, man. If one of the Sages loses his shit, I don't know what the rest of us can do. - Drew

11-25-10  Plans for the Solstice? Hell, I barely have plans for Christmas, why the hell would I plan around astronomy? - Zeke Strahm

11-25-10  holy fuck, Zeke, my hero!  Okay, the Solstice.  Longest Night of the Year, you know. The way things are looking, he'll be more dangerous then, but ALSO more vulnerable than before as well. It's my chance to do some damage to him  - Zero

11-25-10  it's always been my duty to explore what shouldn't be seen.  rest of you, get some sleep  - Zero

11-26-10  Greenlight.  Don't care if he's mad or not,The lesson here, is to judge for yourself what is real and what is not.  - Zero

11-26-10  I think I can find my way now. I'm actually smiling. I'll beat my demons, maybe a monster now, that I'm getting stronger finally.  - Zero

11-30-10  Nessa's gone, we accept that, and move on. Whomever she says she is, it's a lie.  - Zero

11-30-10  this person's already admitted it's not her, Jeff. Come on man, we all miss her, but we can't fall into delusion over it.

11-30-10  Come with us, fallen Keeper. We'll take you to Her.  - Nessa

11-30-10  Zero the Sage. Zero the Sage.  Couldn't keep the Keeper... He's ours now Zero.  - LOST

12-02-10  Zero, you have to kill me. - Nessa

12-02-10  Please just kill me. I don't care what you do, just make sure I'm dead. And don't let them get me.   - Nessa

12-02-10  alright I think I know what to do.  - Zero

12-02-10  Rest, Nessa. We'll miss you. - Vieve

12-02-10 @Kiki - you've got easier ways to commit suicide than by him. - Zero

12-02-10 Zero, I'm about to face fate.  Don't worry about me. Slender Bitch has got nothing on me.- Jeff

12-04-10 A cancer in the afterlife.  Can no place in life or death be safe from him, if this is true? - Zero

12-06-10 Coming up next with "Fun time with Slendy"  *A man beats his head against a wall covered in symbols, until a sickening crack occurs, he falls to the ground lifeless*  *Peppy upbeat segway*

12-06-10 two weeks till the solstice... two weeks

12-06-10 The stone peeled back as if paper, ripped by clawed hands, deluging the room with foul water, with putrid vegetation in it.

12-06-10  Two more weeks until the Solstice. We can make it through this. You just need to try and stay as sane as you can until then.- Vieve

12-13-10 @Will - word from Amelia. She was supposed to call/email me when she got close, then I'd go meet her. - Zero

12-13-10 Fat guy over here's taking way too much interest in my typing.  Better not have to taze fatty to keep him off me.  that's right fat boy, i'm talking to you. - Zero

12-13-10 Bullshit, Jeff. You got Hallowed because of your own selfishness. You wanted to see Nessa again. You figured out how you could help later. - N

12-13-10 He is losing himself, Zero. And it is your fault. - Fallen

12-13-10 You can't trust him or Reach, even if it's nice to pretend that they've got some of their original personalities. We can't trust anything that comes from their mouths. Did Nessa teach you all nothing? - Zero

12-13-10 I look for the adversary, and do not see him.  I do not see his work.  I only see the unfortunates.  I should not let bad things happen to them.  I do not know if I can. - Zero

12-13-10 All we can really hope is that he can make it to the solstice. There we will battle him, in either lose or victory, this will end.  -Joker

12-14-10 I gave Nessa to Redlight. and I had no choice. - Zero

12-21-10 I am putting my life on the line, that you readers and bloggers can come together to give a cohesive answer as to the happenings today.  - Zero

12-21-10 Originally I felt that I was destined for the role of the Warrior, back when  I believed that our Titles were a grander thing than mere words  - Zero

12-21-10 And so I leave you today.  A man in search of answers he cannot find,
with the hope that one of you will find it for him.
I accept my role as a mere pawn, moving down
the chess board.  A sacrifice against the Black King. 
One needed however for victory.  You'll win this fight, I know it.
 - Zero

12-21-10  Bang.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Messenger's Report

I’m here to announce the death of Timothy “Zero” Holiday.  Time of death: June 21, 2010, aprox. 3:30 pm.  Location: approximately 15 miles west of Indianapolis.  Cause of death: unknown, but believed to be evisceration.

There were a couple Agents in the area tracking him when he went into a forest.  They went in after him when he didn’t come out.  They found a huge, dead tree (the surviving Agent says that they should have noticed a tree like that towering over the rest of the forest).  Zero was hanging on one of the branches.  One of the two got closer to make sure that it was, in fact Zero, and that he was, in fact, dead.  He managed to yell back that the ripped-open abdomen was pretty conclusive and that a bone in his forearm was missing before…well, we’re not sure what exactly happened, since his partner is extremely unstable and unwilling to talk about it at this time, refusing to say more about it than “the fucking tree got him.”

The surviving agent also managed to grab a backpack belonging to Zero from near the tree, as well as the smartphone he posted from.  The mask was also at the base of the tree, but the Agent who didn’t survive had that.  They were unable to track down the sword and jade elephant he had discarded earlier, and, strangely enough, all the bones had vanished.  Not a trace of them anywhere.  All that’s left of Zero is a backpack and a phone…and not even that anymore, as the backpack has been burned and the phone smashed.  The sword and the elephant are still out there, though.  Good luck to anyone who thinks they can find them, I guess.

That’s the report.  I’ll admit that it was a bit hard to remain professional for this one.  If you want to see my personal thoughts on the matter, you can go to my own site, but I’m not putting them on here, just out of respect for the blog.

Show’s over, people.  Nothing to see.  Move along.

-Don’t Shoot The Messenger-

Tuesday, June 21, 2011



dud it\

one morse bone 


somuch bklood



but igoty it



up agansyt it noaw

onje moer bonse







ill win




somucgh blood

aet least   wuill

wuill die



icamn see ut

its movihng




an emptry breanch


nver seent it wiyth oine empoty

wondr why it woul

its time

i'm here  finally   on the right day   in the right place

back where shit went south the first time

pardon any typos i have   you see im outside of town

in a forest  about 60 feet away from it

i had to let you know


im covered in mud  fucking rain all over the place the last few days
and its there  really there again  just as i knew itd be

ive thought about what you guys have said

that maybe it wanted me to do this   probably
but dammit i have to take a chance that i can kill this fucking thing
weaken it at least
weaken the monster

so i came here  with the bones
no fancy tool made from them   no chair  no crossbow  no golem

sorry to disappoint

i put black tape on my mask, covering them up a bit more, allowing only a small bit of vision
so i could avoid the eyes

cant let it get me again


i had to crawl up to it    kept pushing me down
to the roots

they touch you   you get all numb there
and weak
was wearing gloves   it helped

i crawled up to its base
blood pulsing from beneath the bark
a body in each branch

i dunno the others names

ill bury them when this is done
i can at least do that
before i turn myself in


why is slice up there


howd he get up there

body on each damn limb of it
still fresh
even hers

i dont get

i just

i crouched down beside it
and i reached up
and jammed that bone right in its fucking eye




porify  or whatever the fuck his name is



not sure

the eye dimmed maybe
cant tell
have to blind it
have to kill it

other eye

the two i dont know



its still here
fucking alive

why do i have to fail
why cant i ever

i have to
find a way
i just

no cant accept it
gotta find a way
cant stop me
has to die
have to die


forget about me

just a failure

no hero

but damn
maybe i can

heh heh ehhh


thats it




of course

hold on

ill explain soon

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Everything you ever...

It seems some people have welcomed me back into the fold already, others are rightfully upset, still I am surprised by the mostly heartfelt showing of sympathy and support.

You know, aside from you asses that are calling me 'Emo'.

I've just been walking for the last few days, slowly, trying to recover my bearings, its a nice change of pace, since I've had no real events struck me since my last encounter with Glass Man.   I've taken this time to think about oddities of life, of morality, and spirituality.  I've tried to appreciate the things I've lost during these last few months.  Simple things like  color.

Sort of funny to think how quickly a person can be tolerated if not forgiven.  I remember seeing this months ago, back during the previous blog.

You know, the one I wrote when I was all eager to die for a cause, and did my best to subtly martyr myself?

Anyway, back then, we had a few proxy cases that went around.  Pretty much you would see binary code spewing from someone's mouth like it was digital Tourette's (which does not work that way).  So we had people sort of shift sides, back and forth.

Like Nessa.

A sweet girl who got into a mess, and destroyed a lot of hope when shit got real.  Sounds familiar?

However I digress.  I'm talking about atoning, at least in a spiritual if not religious sense..  I'll leave that religious stuff to people who know a damn thing about anything.

I am of the personal belief that sincerity and conviction are key to really, honestly being forgiven for sin.  Such as in my case, I've got 9 bones that show exactly how much sin I need to absolve before I die.   Sure some of them are from evil people, but still murder was committed in each case, whether deserving of it, (Rika, Porify, Jekyll),  done in mercy, (Slice, Kelley), in desperation, (two unknown people, and someone named Adam), or in a complete accident.  (You know her name).

By my guesstimate, I think I owe the world a karmic re balancing of about... 285 years of helping others in all ways possible. 

This means I'm going to end up dying, still many, many years in debt to pay the balance of lives lost in madness.

I think a morally strong, character filled man might silently nod, determined to fulfill his duty.

and I'm just not strong enough to accept that

The idea of dying as a failure,
a fraud, and a sick raving murderer, it's disgusts me

I can't do it.  I just can't.

I couldn't even carry around the guilt of what

Nowadays I see how that drove me to desperation, denial.

And being a person short on time, and short of willpower, I think I really have only two shots at considering myself redeemed in my own eyes.

Considering my luck the last time I strode off into a forest to kill our foe, I think it's best if I try the second option.

You know, the one that ended up mindfucking me into a shattered state of which I am still recovering.

I'm going back to the tree that caused this entire mess

And I've got to kill it.

I can't live knowing its out there.

I just

I think about the bodies

I have to prove that it doesn't control me anymore, that it has no power over me, that some good can come from evil, and that I can kill this fucking thing that follows my every goddman move

It won't make up for the entirety of what i've done, but it's going to be a start,

and who knows?  Maybe it'll give me the key to killing our true foe

One more thing, guys.
If it does it again...

well, Glass and any of you others that have promised to end me...
you know what to do

Friday, June 10, 2011


An alert reader sent this link to me.  I..I wonder if maybe its perverting trees, that they end up like this.

I...have no idea right now.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Ships bound in different directions

Been trying to take it easy the last few days, in terms of strain.  Trying to get used to a life that doesn't exist anymore.  A life before...well, you know the story by now.

I feel better and worse at the same time now.  I mean I no longer have to dread what I've been...well, shit...compulsed to do, and yet now there's no sort of buffer between me and what's steadfast behind me.  The deaths...fuck, let's call it what they were.  The murders buy ....bought me time.  So now I'm trying to outrun something that always knows where I am, and in true horror film fashion, can barely be outrun despite how slow it moves.

I don't even see anything for god’s sake.  Just a sense of darkness before my world goes black.

Hakurei, you said once this could've been psychological.  Well fuck me if it is, because it's still here, and it’s still pissed.

So despite my mind being pieced back together, and despite my tossing aside my sword, I had a bit of a run in some of you may've read by now.   So I got the shit kicked out of me again, and had a half-crazed man wave a gun in my face.  I was a bit surprised that I was scared at all.  Figured it was going to simply be one of those, "Go ahead and kill me, I don't fear death." type deals.

Not so much.  I may not've been ballsy, and spit in his face, but I put up a good front.  Truth be told, I realized that this isn't how I wanted to die.

Got too much shit to do, to die.  Gotta figure out who I need to be now, what I have to do to make things a little better, if not right.

Which brings me to something I found on my phone from a few weeks ago.  I think you all might have an interest in it.  Now I know that the way I transcript stuff sort of sucks, but hell, I don't know a better way of doing it.

Guess it looks stupid, now that I look back.  Oh well.

Unknown>>> ...hello?

Me>>> Reach

Reach>>> Um, yes, this is he.

Me>>> Reach...

Reach>>> That's my name, don't wear it out. Who the hell is this?

Me>>>   Is it true...Is it true, Reach...that you're not, not his?

Reach>>> Yes, I broke free from him. The wound by which he hooked me was healed. Who is this?

Me>>> Don’t lie to me could you escape him,  I  (noise)  I can't see anyone free from him

Reach>>> I'm not lying. He needs an anchor. There's something he needs to manipulate to keep his hold on you. Mine was guilt but I got over that guilt. He couldn't control me after that.

Me>>> You mean...Amelia?

Reach>>> Wait.  Zero?

Me>>> I...I don't like killing people reach, I'm scared and I can't stop...

Reach>>> Why can't you stop?

Me>>> I think, I think I'm being forced to.

Me>>> God help me Reach.

Reach>>> Zero...blood stains. Killing isn't going to help...whatever it is that's forcing you. It will only make things worse. Only water purifies. Or some shit, fuck, I only just woke up.

Me>>> I have to stop it reach, stop the tree, the Bleeding Tree, Reach.  It's part of him

Me>>> I don’t know anymore.

Reach>>>Zero...are you sure it's real? He tricked you into killing Amelia. Maybe he's tricking you again, like he tricked me.

Me>>> No, I didn't....I didn't KILL HER, REACH!

Me>>> Reach, Do you believe in redemption?

Reach>>> Of course. Everyone can be redeemed. The first step is believing you need redemption. The second step is believing you deserve redemption. The third step is believing you can achieve redemption. And the fourth achieving it. Somehow.

Me>>>, oh fuck no.

Reach>>> Zero...what's wrong?

Me>>> It’s here already, too soon

Reach>>> Zero, talk to me, what's wrong?


So I guess there's something I've realized now.

I've been a chicken shit coward all this time.

I've felt that I could stop my own personal grim quest before, and I did nothing about it, because I was too damn scared.

Killed some innocent people, because I was afraid for my own safety.  I knew, I fucking KNEW that I could at least TRY to stop it all.

So what's next for a miserable son of a bitch who has still failed at every damn thing in his fucking life?

Hell if I know.

Rest in Peace, Reach

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


I can't do this anymore.

I'm not strong enough.  I justI tried..I really did.  I tried to do evil in good's name.  Tried to at least take down some of the bad with the not so bad.  I wanted to do it, really.

I guess deep down I still wanted to be a good guy, maybe even the much lauded (Hero)...heh...seems so silly to worry about titles, and perception now.

Everything came to a head over these last few days.  I was at a park, making my way through it, back to the Midwest, and well..

Not going into detail, but I was panicky and I took two lives.  Lives of people I have no idea were good or bad.  They were in the wrong place, and the

extremely wrong time.  I thought I'd buy myself just enough time to get back to finish this madness.

And then as I was going through the light woods, careful to avoid heavily root filled areas, I came across an unusual sight.  I stumbled across a deer, I guess a buck, since its antlers had started to grow a little.  It froze in place, as deer tend to do when sensing a predator.  I quietly observed it for a few moments.

The thing let out a most painful noise as it charged towards me, head down.  The woods were filled with a dreadful CRACK as it butted the tree next to me as hard as it could.  I staggered away, looking at this bizarre scene unfold.  It scrambled back up to its feet after the recoil, then slammed itself into the tree again, CRACK, CRACK.  Blood started to leave a trail down its neck from its incessant urge of self destruction.  Woozy, disoriented it kept up the damage, making strange shrieking noises as it continued. 

It lowered its head down to the roots, turning its neck as it staggered around, occasionally pawing at the tree, striking it with its powerful hooves.  I could only watch in horror as it managed to hook its small antler underneath a root, then as it twisted its head around, using the root as an anchor.

A soft crunch was heard, and then the deer lay still.


Something drove this deer..this animal to...suicide?  I left the scene, disgusted by the display, but everpresent in my mind.  As I left the light woods, I paused to look over blogger, and messages.

Kay was complaining that I stole something of hers.

I don't remember this, and frankly was a little insulted, but since this was not the first time she's called me a thief, I irritatedly emptied my backpack, dumping my ...collection, as well as my sole change of clothes, a modicum of food and a thud.

The thud was of particular interest, so I examined what may have caused that sound.  I cleared the mud off of the piece, to find a solid black sculpture of an elephant.  I certainly don't remember pocketing it.  I certainly didn't buy it.

And then the light shone through it for a moment, as the sun started to set.  I caught an odd sense of color, that I strained to detect.  I am pretty certain

it was green.

Some of you might recall I suggested jade a many months ago, as perhaps either a purifier or a way to collect corruption.  And this black elephant was in my possession.

I laid against a tree as my mind reeled.  After a long night of soul searching, I realize exactly how bad I have become. 

My inability to see color except under the most intense scrutiny.

I couldn't see Robert, who lauded that he had 'cloaked' himself from evil's sight.

Animals scattered before me.

A cellar of rats somehow managed to break their backs in my presence.

And I was doing sick maiming in the name of good.

I know it comes as no shock to you guys, that I've been deluding myself.  I finally came to that realization today.

I'm a monster.

Perhaps I was too proud to admit I was tricked by some avatar of our nemesis, or perhaps I just needed t

oh, of course.  Heh, I must've known at least once

The last refuge of a dangerous man

heh heh  of course

the last refuge of any dangerous man


so maybe part of me knew after all. 

I don't know where to go from here though.  but I swear to you here and now, I will never take another person's life again.

I'm already damned, no hope of salvation, but maybe I can at least do less evil.

I threw Kay's statue towards the sun, screaming as I tried to purge my false personality, the zerosage, the remnant.

sorry Kay

and when the sky opened up, and rain poured down.  I threw down my sword in a meadow.

And then I paused.

I was almost pulled back to it, as if beckoning me to finish my task, properly.
and I grasped the blade again.

Felt good, felt stronger.

and then I thought of her

and I planted that blade into the mud as deep as I could.

and walked away.

I still feel wrong, weak, tainted, but maybe now I finally can do what I've wanted to do

some good before I die

maybe someday the color will return to my world, but I'm not counting on it

lost in my grief, my failures, I let something take advantage of me, playing with my guilt over her death, over my inability to end

christ i was so arrogant.

So yes, the sword is gone, not too sure about the mask, but I'll probably lose it too soon.

and for once, for once

one of you who never gave up on me may smile sadly today

i think i'm ready

to talk to you


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Playing Games

I've been staring into my mask lately.  Started to think that maybe I don't need it anymore, maybe masks don't help as much as we've considered.

Now I'm not dissing Maduin's love of masks, of course.  Hell, if anything he's still one of the more sane people out here.  Maybe I should've started wearing masks sooner, by that logic.

Anyways, for now, it's staying put, for now, I still have a job to do, and precious little time.

And it's a pain in the ass to try to get a task done when I'm either being boneblocked, or chained up by a curvy psycho named Rika.

I suppose she'd like me to call her my nemesis.

Maybe she is.

Nevertheless, there's a lot so far that has been unsaid.  Of course, most of you readers out there think I'm going to make a Foe Yay joke, as deserved as it may be, since I've stolen more than my share of looks at her sweet curves, and she's called me sugar enough times that I'm almost trained to respond to it.

However, there's other things to be said as well, from one wayward soul to possibly my only kindred spirit, even if she's on the other side...  I've always felt that I've done evil for the sake of good, and that somehow, maybe she's done the same.  I can't place how I feel this, or why.  Maybe I just want to wish the best about her.

Having finished my business in the northwest, I've decided I need to turn my sights back to my destination.  My schedule's been thrown way off, and my frequent disorientation and blackouts don't help either.

So I decided to play a game of my own on Tuesday.

We were playing a lover's game of cat and mouse, Rika and I.  I started to notice her before she could find me, and sometimes I'd realize she would tail me for an hour as I crossed city streets.

My shoes are in tatters now, and my feet aren't any better.  Wish I had a vehicle to work with, to make some good ground, but alas, I am no serial carjacker.

Just a son of a bitch with a bag of bones, trying to end this mess of a problem.

It was a wet day as I passed through some small town in...Pennsylvania, I think.   The sky was overcast still, my feet were wet, and my clothes clung to me, making my discomfort a bit less enjoyable.

Wet clothes aren't as big a nuisance as my other issues, let alone the big problem in my life, in our lives.

The invisible stalker in the midst.  The alien we've come to jokingly call Slendy, or Mr. Thin,  or any other amount of derogatory names.  A way of hiding our fear of an inhuman entity that we cannot fathom.

I remember when I saw him in the parking lot outside of St. Vee's Hospital.   A silent vigil held by an eight foot tall abomination, as he stood in the grass before the main entrance.  I fell out of my chair by the window, my heart raced, and I felt terror flutter down my spine.

And maybe, just maybe it was a bit exciting too.  Is that so wrong?  To want a life of passion and excitement, danger even?

I wanted a purpose back then, and now that I have one, well, maybe I was better off leaving poor enough alone.

Stay on task, zero...zerosage, swordsage  whatever the fuck i call myself anymore...

I had ducked behind a building just at the edge of town, fairly confident I had eluded my yellow and red clad stalker.  My hiding spot consisted of two plastic garbage cans just down a bit of a rise.  While not too uncomfortable by comparison to some of my napping spots, it was a long wait before my vixen came down the road past me.

One thing I always enjoyed about Erika, was her bright colors and willingness to show off her physique.  I know this sounds sort of lecherous to you all, but it reminded me that I was still alove, that I was still a man somewhere deep inside.  Even if her yellow tight blouse was dim and muted in my vision, there was plenty left to admire of her, not even taking into account her cleverness, and passion.

She looked from side to side, on her tip toes for a moment, as if that extra inch of height would help her locate me.  I gripped my blade's handle...and kicked out the rubber trash cans, giving her a start.

Me>>>  It ends today, Rika...

She looked startled, as she turned to face me.  No weapon was in her hand after all.  It would've made a fine ambush, if only I could've struck from here.  If I could've struck her at all.

Rika>>>  What do you think you're doing, sugar?  You know you can't take a swing at me.

She laughed, placing a hand to her chest, as if I were some puppy doing a trick for her.

While I may have led her on a merry chase, I suppose I was harmless to her,  I mean, she didn't even retrieve a hammer, or even a knife in case of combat.  Because I always ran.  Always.

Me>>>  Maybe not...but I figured out how I can get you out of my life, so I can get this shit done, and move on with my life.

Rika chuckled.  She always laughs.  Never a threat to her...never a man

Rika>>>  Ohhh how's that, hun?  You going to call the cops on me again?  Or steal a car to lose me in the dust?  You know I can't be held, and you know I'll always find you.  You're so silly...

I chuckled too.  We shared a soft laugh, and I nodded, admittedly at my past attempts to remove her nonviolently from my life.

Me>>>  Maybe, maybe.

I held up a finger.

Me>>>  But I have one more thought up my sleeve.  See....I've tried to finesse my way past you,  I've tried to stealth my way past you.  And given your obviously athletic frame...

She giggled, a hand to her lips.

Rika>>> You noticed!

Me>>>  I did.  But the one thing I haven't tried, is to sheer out power you.  So here's what's going to happen.  I am going to simply out run you.  I won't stop.  Ever.  I'm going to run down this road, as fast as I can...because it's my belief, that though you may be in better're still mostly eye candy, and I'm hardened for survival.

Her smile faded.  Ahh I played the sexist card on her again, one of her few hot button issues.

Rika>>>  Eye candy? You little bitch, the only stamina you've got is the ability to run your mouth and pump up your own ego.

Rika>>>  But you know what? Go ahead and run...And I'll show you what a real woman can do.

Me>>>  Well, let's give it a shot at least.

I took off like a rocket.   Months of athletics and pain have indeed honed my body.  My baggy clothes helped conceal my weight loss, helped hide my speed.

It was no surprise that she followed,  even at a light pace, she was able to stay within shouting distance, taunting me.

I ran, I ran as long as I could, as hard as I could, looking back to her occasionally.  Just seeing her slip and trot, flashing a wicked grin on her face.

And my trick wasn't working at all.  It was at that moment I realized that she was going to let me tire myself out, and then...well that'd be the end this time.  She'd be able to lazily slit my throat and go on her merry way.

So I darted into the treeline.  It was a newer forest, filled with saplings and bushes, but I needed deeper, into the forest's shadows.

She gained on me as I shrugged aside branches.  I could hear her giggling.  This is what she loved, the panic, the chase...

Rika>>> Better run faster, Shug!

The forest enveloped us.  I was merely ten seconds ahead of her, as I felt my legs cry out, sweat trickled out from under my mask, as my knees begged for mercy.

Shadows appeared around us, as we raced deeper, down a root filled slope, into a basin.

I whispered to myself, that for once, it'd better show.

Beneath my feet, rocks and mud turned to roots suddenly.  It was here, it followed me.


I heard the low hum from my real nemesis as the shadows started to lift.

I looked away, shutting my eyes tightly.

She followed.  I could hear her right behind me.  I heard her gasp as she saw it.

The Bleeding Tree

It is at this moment, I need to make a confession to my loyal readers.  I've been keeping something a secret from you all, for this very moment.

My hand went to my blade again, as I started to draw it.

You see, my right arm was quite weakened over my last few encounters, it was practically numbed through pain.  I wasn't confident that I could survive a no holds barred fight with a proxy with a sledge hammer.

As I turned around to face her, I saw her mesmerized by the tree.

You remember how I said I couldn't make an aggressive move against Rika?

Rika>>>  It's so beauti....

I lied.

My blade tore out her throat.

Yes, its true.  I lied on my blog, because I knew she read it.  If I could convince her to drop her guard for me long enough to make a surprise move, I knew I had a chance before she decided I needed to die finally.

Between that and me finding out her weakness was my 'sexist' attitude, well, I knew I had a good chance.

I only thought it was proper for her end to be next to the 'make believe' monster that I'd been fighting for so long.

I drug her body out of the Tree's circle, and harvested what I needed from her, then left her for the Tree to collect.

Evil to Evil, and all that.

So that's the end of her, and her story.  My own personal menace, defeated.  Let us hope no others take that accursed name.

Which leaves me with a question.

Why do I feel so bad about killing an agent of evil?

my sugar has run out

Thursday, May 19, 2011

A couple of dead rats

Blogging chained up to shit isn't all that fun, but needless to say, slide out keyboard, and occasional one handed typing gets the work done.

Been making the rounds while I'm waiting for death too.  So...yes interesting things are happening.

Got some new sages...

Yes that pissed me off immensely, but I'm over it for now.  Fucking bullshit Maduin....

That fucked up title system that Robert started, we all know had major fucking flaws in it.  Mainly because we tricked ourselves into thinking that by taking a title, we were more than human.

I've had a bit of trouble with that myself a while ago.  It happens, we want to be greater than we are sometimes.

Well, while I'm all sane and such, let me just say this to our new keystones.  "Don't let it get to you,  Don't let it control you."

Moving on, I also got a text message inviting me to a BBQ over the upcoming holiday.  Yeah, someone invited Nessa to a BBQ.  Remember folks, this is her phone I stole after tazing her.

I wonder what she's doing nowadays, if she's still alive.  I remember she popped up post-amnesia, then let it all go, as she should...

Which reminds me,  more support for Redlight being Jay.  Jay said that after wiping minds, people could still easily get thrust back into the horror.  This naturally makes me look right back over to Robert's experiences.

So, let's end this 'in media res' bit, so I can tell you how I got to this point.

Massachusetts.  Nice place really, a bit cold as expected, and ridiculously hard to spell properly.  I had finished my unfortunate business with Slice, and had really run out of personal leads for my work.

Amherst isn't a big town really, the buildings seem to have an old school quality to them, which I enjoy.  Reminds me of this little town called Rockville that I used to frequent back years ago. 

However being a fraction of the size of Indianapolis, this also meant that the police force was going to be able to track me easier.  I don't blend in as it is, even when I'm out of gear.  So I decided that I needed to clean up, you know, shave, shower, clean the blood and vomit off of me.  It'd give me a chance to charge my phone and my taser.

The local YMCA works out for all of those needs, some of them even offer hot meals, but I didn't see that option.  Now the problem is that I couldn't very well bring my sword into there, so I stashed it up in a gutter, after climbing on one of those newer hard plastic trashcans.

I emerged from the showers, and the shelter an hour later.  While I didn't feel whole, I did indeed feel better.  My scabs had finally started to fade, and the hot water helped sooth my physical pains.   I looked out to the sky, my hands in my pockets, as I felt the wind.  Sure, the sun was too bright, and made my eyes hurt, but I felt...more human than I have in a few weeks.

And as all things in my life, it faded far too soon.  I felt...okay I shit you not people, I felt a disturbance in the Force.  Something felt wrong out here, yet everything was as it should be, aside from all the color washed out, and the two dogs barking at me.  Must've smelled the blood, or the murder.  Sigh.

I realize now that I saw what was wrong immediately, but it hovered in my subconscious for far too long before it became apparent.

Just as I started to look away, I saw a woman, hand in hand with a little girl, turning out of view.  I heard her laugh, as she arched her head back, laughing to the sky.


Rika had a little girl with her.


I followed her naturally.  That child was in mortal danger, being associated with a proxy agent of the monster.  The girl was probably no more than six, holding an ice cream sandwich in her hand, as the two skipped merrily down the street.

I tried to run after them, but..shit, it was like those monster movies, where no matter how fast you go, it's still chasing you.  Well, they were almost always out of view.  Even when I nearly got hit by a car trying to stop the girl.

They passed through a playground, as I scrambled after them.  I even heard a bit of a song they were singing before I tripped into the sandpit.  When I looked up, I saw the treeline, and nothing more.

Led into the trees.  Towards the monster.

I pursued, cursing myself for leaving my blade behind.  I rushed into the woods, as I screamed for the little girl, for Rika.

And I saw no trace.

For an hour I scrambled through the woods, looking for this child.  I couldn't lose a child to her, not to her, not to it.  She was innocent, I

I found a wrapper for an ice cream sandwich finally, as it tumbled through the trees, carried by unseen fingers of the wind.

Without any other leads, I headed upwind, as leaves and grass swayed in the springtime forest.

Where evil things lurk.

Something caught my eye a few minutes later, as I splashed past a small brook.  A building partially covered by the flora,  covered by time.

I am no stranger to such things, we had them back in my original neck of the woods in Indiana.  Cistern wells, or access tunnels that led nowhere, just out in the woods, part of a former network that was long abandoned.  I figured it was for the city sewer system. I investigated it.

The stairway was a bit lopsided, as if the entire building had mudslide down a hill, it was subtle, but noticable.  There was little light, from tiny windows up top that barely lit up the hallway.  My feet clacked softly on the metal grating as I continued.

I woke up in a boiler room, chained to a pipe, my head was killing me.  I dunno if I was mindfucked, tazed, gassed, or just good old suckerpunched, but I was in pain, and I wasn't alone.   The room was in disrepair, two of the small windows were shattered, mud had entered through the windows.

Then there were the rats.  About three of them,  big ones, maybe not the type you'd see in a house, but do recall that they can survive in the wild as well.

They skittered and shrieked as I made noise in their nice home.

A low female chuckle arose from out of my view.

Me>>>  ...Oh god dammit, Rika.

I struggled against the pipe, hoping to break free somehow, before the psycho finally came for me.

Rika>>>  Man of Steel, you ain't, sugar.  Somehow I doubt you're going anywhere.

I thought about the child she led out here, I clawed at the pipe, at my own arm as if I could rage my way out of the binding.

Me>>>  A fucking lure....where's the girl, Rika?

She stepped out, casually, a sway in her step, her head tilted forwards as if to say 'don't you know?'

Rika>>>  Do you really want me to answer that?

Her Southern drawl hung in the air.  I didn't need to hear her say it, I knew what happened.

Vehement, I reached out towards her.  My arm quickly fell limp to my side.  I'm sure I'm setting myself up for another impotence joke, but I...I felt so helpless.  I can't understand what hold she has on me still.  Why can't I

Me>>>'re such a monster.

Rika>>> Sticks and stone, Shug.

She sounded slightly offended.  I decided I had to push the issue.

Me>>>  She died just so you could get me here?

I glanced at the floor, envisioning that little girl, who will never grow up.

Rika>>>  Nope. She was gonna die no matter what. Getting you here was just a spur of the moment plan. And you followed it so nicely, well done!

She clapped, mocking me.

And that was going to be the end.  She had won,  I was broken, and bound, and weaponless...

Me>>>  Just...get it over with, alright?  I lost.  I tried my best.

Rika>>>  Oh Shug...

She shook her head softly.

Rika>>>  Do you really think it's that simple?

I felt a bitter smile form, picturing what was next to come.

Me>>>  Torture?  Go ahead.  I'm already broken.  I won't even feel it.  Doubt you'll hurt me worse than I have...

Then she reached into my hoodie pouch, her movement slow, as if savoring a lover's touch, before she pulled out my mask.

A pocketknife gleamed in her other hand.

The rats stopped squeaking.

Rika>>>  You shouldn't dare a girl...

I was speechless.  That mask was my identity, my life.

Me>>>  You arrogant b.....

I reached out for her, to no avail, my attempt dying before I could even muster the force.

Me>>>  When I find out...why I can't hurt you....Why I can't wring your n....if you don't kill me here, I *will* end you someday.

My threat seemed better in my head, thinking back, she never did worry about death before, and my words fell like ash from my lips.

Rika>>>  Maybe you will, Maybe you won't.  Doesn't matter as long as I get to have a little fun beforehand.

I spoke, like a coward.

Me>>> Don't...

She giggled in response.  Always laughing at me....always fucking la

Rika>>>  And why shouldn't I?

Still she played with that knife, as she swayed, enjoying seeing me sweat I imagine

Rika>>> Come on, Sage of Nothing.  You normally can't shut up.

I looked away, I couldn't bear to see it.

She got pissed, as I refused to play her game.  I couldn't bring myself to administer a snarky response, or even a defiant remark

Rika>>> Pathetic...

She started to storm out, stepping on my mask as she left.  I admit, I was afraid that I would be left there forever.

Me>>> M...My shadow....

She didn't turn around, but she stopped.  I felt I had to convince her that I couldn't be chained.

Me>>>  If I stay here, it will kill me...and...and you won't get your fun.

It was worth a shot.

She looked back towards me, over her shoulder

Rika>>>  Well I think of it this way. I'm gonna head on back here in a day or so. Either this shadow that you are so terrified of will have gotten you and I'll have the pleasure of knowing you died pissing yourself in fear. Or else you'll still be alive and we'll get to tell the whole world about how your shadow really was a delusion and you've been murdering people for nothing other then your own insanity... and then I'll kill you."

That was maybe 3 days ago

Since then I've blacked out, and typed a little, to try to keep my mind off of things...

Sorry to disappoint you Rika, but I've been out for two days now.  I managed to wear out the pipe's pins in the concrete.  After it got off the wall, I levered it enough that the rust made it snap off.

Sick bitch even broke the rats backs while I was out cold.

Soon, it'll be my turn.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Two moments

How can I lose so much time, when I'm constantly moving?    I've had all this time to simply perform one grisly task at hand, and yet it feels so complicated.  I've seen people I know are guilty, yet they end up walking free.  I've seen people whom I've felt are good, and yet they must suffer.  Then there are those who I can't even see, and those who can I feel a mile away.

I feel like things are falling apart, my rotten, festering shamble of a life is withering away, while you readers tell me I'm doing wrong, and I see tortured visions of a slight woman crying out towards me.

I've got to move.

I can't.

Just just days ago

I took someone


I don't know if he was bad

but I had to ward it off

shadow was too close

when I kill it, it'll all work, hope he was bad


yes he was bad

I can see it

thank the gods,  i know he was bad,  he was bad


Can't break free.  It's

Focus, focus...have to breathe, have to survive a little longer.  Almost done, almost done.

nowhere near done.

Okay, I'll talk, I'll talk to you about what just happened.  I ended up in Boston, I think.

Some college at night.  I can't remember it and

fukkkhrtsss frrezzzeengggg  f


its going to kill me   my shadow  it's too close

can't move, can't leave


yess a college at night

boston somewhere


Someone surrendered to me there

at night.  Yes, I remember.

There was a hill, a monument.  Flowers, metal, and stone, a stone pillar

and near the night lights was a man

a broken man.

Actually  two broken men.

Feeling better, yes, this is good.

The other one sat in the shadow of the monument's lights, his head forward.  I could feel his weariness,  his arms wrapped about a leg, as if to gently console himself.

But that wasn't why he was here.

I watched him for a while.  I waited for her.  For Rika.  She had been following me on and off for some time.

So when I got a message that someone wanted me to take their life, as a mercy, as a chance for hope, I was suspicious.

He didn't cry, he didn't do more than sullenly rue his fate for the time I watched.  I felt confident enough to risk closure, even as I fingered my taser, just in case.

He wore a set of sunglasses, that reminded me of Dave's brother in Homestuck...heh.  I loved that comic.  They were all angular, triangles really.  I got no clue how he could wear em. and he wore a tattered cloak.

He was not subtle about his appearance, as he exuded a pathetic nature.

I walked up to him, guardedly, my hands in my hoodie pouch.

Me>>> ....

He didn't hear me approach, I would've expected at least for him to raise his head.

Me>>>  ....  Slice?

He nodded softly, his chin up against his knee.

And then he looked up at me.

In the faint reflection of the light off his features, I saw his look of uncertainty, but then soon after he almost seemed to bask in my presence.

My presence.

The serial killer's presence.

Slice looked up at me, as if I were Jesus holding a giant novelty check, just for him.  His hands went to his mouth, in some sort of hushed awe.

Then he whispered.

Slice>>> came.

I looked him over, trying to understand this fascination he displayed.  I saw a man who had lost everything, and then seeing the answer to all his issues appear before him.

And as always, I have no answers.  I had none for Amelia, I had none for Nessa, none for Kelly, none for Dean...

No answers except to soldier on, and do what I do.

I sighed softly as I leaned up against one of the benches.

Me>>>  Figured it had to be you.

I glanced over his costume.

Me>>>  What is it, about Runners and our want to wear costumes?  Our goal is anonymity, isn't it? 

I continued before he could explain.

Me>>>  I already know why,'s amusing to ponder, isn't it?

Identity, it's always Identity.

Cling to it,  write it on your arm if you must.

Do not forget.

He nodded ruefully, as he gestured to himself, and his cape.

Slice>>> the only thing really keeping me together right now, I think.

He half stepped towards me, I could tell he meant no harm.

Slice>>>  You were...are my hero, you know.  I believe in you.

Then he looked aside, as if measuring his own shadow, his own issues.

Slice>>>  It's silly now, I guess.  I'm glad it's going to be you, zero.  I wouldn't have wanted it any other way.

Two men, resigned to their fates.

Two men, in fucking costumes, both with the shit kicked out of them, running from terror.

We were children afraid of the dark.

We all are.

And I laughed.

Me>>>  Heh...'Hero'.  I wanted that once.  Actually, I felt like I was a 'Warrior' once.  That's what my high school team was...the 'Warriors'.

I couldn't help wonder, as I saw his halfhearted smile, what led him here.

Me>>>  Why do you want this?  I mean, I can see you're corrupted, that you're in pain, but what made you decide to just offer up?

He shook his head, running a hand through his hair.

Slice>>>  Everyone I love is dead.

His voice gave out, feeble even at the start.

Slice>>>  My brother.   Everyone's dead because of me.  I just can't keep this up.

I watched him shiver softly as the night air caught up with us.  I'm sure the cold wasn't what made him tremble, his battered form only partially visible in the shadows.

And then I saw resolve.


Slice>>>  I believe in you.  If you need our bones for something, well...death at your hands.  At the hands of my hero...

He spoke now with grim conviction.

Slice>>>  Being useful.  That's better than running alone, or ending up with him.

This poor soul was at the end of his rope.

We both were.  I couldn't help but see ourselves in reversed roles.  Wouldn't I want death at the hands of someone who pr



no  stay stay way

ive got to get


Slice kept seeing me as a hero

and i'm so fucked up

Me>>>  Slice...I'm probably just as messed up as you, really.  That doesn't make me a hero.  Half the time I can't even remember where I'm going.

I remember scratching at the new scars upon my head.  Thanks, again Arkady.

Me>>>  Sometimes I forget my name.

Really, thanks Arkady.

Me>>>  and I'm constantly being chased by some unknown FUCK...that's just as bad as the other one.

The least I could do is shoot straight with him, he seemed to deserve it.

Me>>>  But you man...You know what you can do to help.  To save us.  You're a good man, Slice.

He nodded gravely, tears behind his shades, as he started to smile.

Me>>>  You chose to put the world before your own needs.  You have my thanks,  I'll make you proud.

I stuck out my gloved hand for him, and he eagerly took my hand, wincing from some burn on his arm.

Slice>>>  I believe in you, zero. I

Another one fell to the taser.

By the way, my fears of tasing myself, unfounded.  Most of em have a rubber grip now, helps impede that.  I wear the gloves anyway.  Just in case.

Me>>>  Goodbye Slice.  It's as painless as I can make it.

After I was done with my chore, I threw up in the flowers.

Then I crossed his arms, as best I could, and let him lay properly, with his tattered cloak covering him.

So I'm closer now.

so much closer

two bones

but I can't go any further today.

Because Rika handcuffed me to a boiler yesterday

and my shadow is going to kill me now.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


I suppose a bit more of a recap is in order before I go into current events.

Weeks ago, about five days after this post, I think.  When I was screaming on the blog about redemption or so,  I looked through my old email account I don't use too much, back when I was the big go-to guy.  Not that I could do much back then, of course, aside from give advice.  Back before my hands got dirty...

Anyway, I noticed that one of the three bloggers that was still asking me for help lived down near where I was.  Considering that Arkady wasn't going anywhere, since he was apparently stuck in some mindfuck labyrinth, I decided to pay this other gent a visit in....fuck...was it...Mobile, or Oklahoma City?  I can't fucking remember anymore.  All I know is that I had to walk into the city, because the car I was using ran out of gas, and I certainly couldn't pay 4 dollars a gallon for gas, being as broke as I am.  So, the swordsage hit the shoeleather express, with the sides split out of his sneakers.

Makes puddles interesting.

Anyway   Dean McMillan was his name, the tortured soul I went to visit.  I still have his email address, which is fortuitous, since I forgot his name until just a few minutes ago.  I recently responded to him that I would be in his neighborhood.

Dean, apparently, had read my current blog.  He told me that he moved, that he was better, that he was sane now.

In retrospect, not so good to let him know I was coming.  Yeah.

Anyway, google maps got me to his housing complex.  It's not as good as the Tablet for directions, but for a simple address, it worked well enough.  When I arrived that night, I saw the door was already kicked in.  Drawing my previously whole sword (thanks again for that, Robert), I investigated.

For someone as haunted as Dean, his house was drawing free, though I did see signs of arson, as well as a most likely emptied fire extinguisher, that laid on its side in the hallway.  I walked as soft as I could, pacing down the hallway.  A broken mirror hung on the wall beside me, the shattered pieces made a soft crack into the carpet as I continued past, towards what seemed to be labored breathing.

Within the master bedroom, a man, battered and bloodied, laid up against a wall.  The room was quite disturbed, and my now veteran experience in brawling told me that quite a scrap had taken place before I had shown.  

With his mouth hanging open, the man that I could only assume was Dean, panted as he looked over at me.  He held his arm close to his chest as he wordlessly watched me approach.  I felt that he should've been corrupted fully by now, judging by the frantic emails he sent me.  He showed all the signs.  Binary, possession, dreams.  Everything lined up properly with what I needed from him now.  And yet, he wasn't 'right', or rather 'wrong', I should say.

Things, obviously, were amiss.

Unknown>>> "That bone you wanted to collect ain't gonna do you much good, sugar. Guess you can't tell what you're looking for when it's been smashed up, huh?"

Me>>>  "Horseshit..."

Her again.  Rika.  That explains why she carries a hammer...she probably had this idea in her head probably the moment she set her sights on me

Me>>>  "....You again.  You brutalized this man...practically tortured him." 

I wanted nothing more right then, than to take her out.  Yet, I was...I was unable to take more than a step towards her.  My sword wavered, then fell to the side.  I growled in frustration, as I tried to understand what had happened to me just then.  I glanced back towards Dean.  Certainly I might've done as bad to him, in the name of hope, and in an act of mercy...This was a sick mockery.

Me>>>  "And you did it all, because why?  Because of me?"

Rika>>>  "Well that's kinda self centered of you. What makes you think you're that damned important? How do you know its not just a coincidence that we had the same target? After all, we're not that different in what we do."

Me>>>  "W...what?"  

My mind reeled for a moment, the thought that Rika had a list of targets as I did, and then pieces started to come together.

Me>>> "You're full of shit, Rika.  But I get it now, you're just antagonizing me." 

I stepped forward.  At least I could do that, if not fight her.

Me>>>  "You're doing all this to prove yourself to someone, aren't you?" 

I tried to convince myself to press on, to keep pushing her, get her to talk, nevermind the numbness.

She shrugged off my questioning, almost literally.  I could barely keep my eyes off of that sledge she was holding.

Rika>>>  "Sugar who do I have to prove myself too? Redlight? Eulogy? In the big picture they don't matter. Tall One's gonna eat us all in the end."

While her words were just as fluid and honeyed as her Southern accent allowed, I couldn't help but feel the grim thoughts behind it.

I gestured towards her with my one good hand, caught up in my assumptions.

Me>>>  "No, you're doing this for someone, or something.  You didn't accidentally pick your name, you didn't accidentally decide to stalk me.  You're constantly talking about how you're so much better than the Rika I used to know, and for what it's worth, your life seems devoted just to piss me off."

Again she laughed at me, brushing me off.

Rika>>>  " There's that arrogance again. You have met me twice, little boy.  Which doesn't come even close to counting as my life being devoted to you. I plenty of games that have nothing to do with you. Which reminds me, I've got places to go, people to smash, so I best be getting out of here."

Casually she swung her hammer over her shoulder and looked at me.  I was still in her path.

Rika>>> You mind?

I couldn't stop her.  I just couldn't bar her path.  My body refused to cooperate, as I screamed frustrated at myself to get up, and fight her...I stepped aside.

She strolled through as if she owned the place, then halfheartedly looked back at Dean, then to me.

Rika>>> "Come on Zero, crusader against monsters.  Make your choice.  He's obviously corrupted.  You said before that you don't enjoy taking lives, that you did it solely for your pet project.  Well...his arm's no good for you, shug.  Yet he's also just about  justice or compassion...which is it?  Kill or spare?"

I hesitated as I looked at the man.  Dean grimaced as he looked up at me, sweat drenching his face as he tried to catch a breath to whimper.

Was I just a murderer?  I've always said, I still say, that with death comes a greater purpose.  So what could I do, could I self justify his death, if I chose to take it?

I closed my eyes.

I thought of those who had died.

I thought of Amelia, then made my choice.

And Rika laughed.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


Been traveling northeast the last week or so, things have been 'slow', as far as my heinous crimes against life in effort to slay a monster.  Still, I sort of like the east coast, I think.  I always wanted to visit Maine back in the day.  The idea of having lobster fresh from the sea, and to look at picturesque light houses on the rocky shore as the wind sweeps in from the ocean.  Sounds nice to me,  there or the Pacific Northwest.  Both seem just wholesome areas, and this comes from someone born in the 'Heartland' of America.

Anyway, so some of you probably have heard Robert calling me out lately.  I really didn't want to have this meeting with him. 

Look despite my....current work therein, I've made it clear that I do not enjoy it, but it needs done.  Robert's the key player that put me in the spot I am today, but still in a way, I have had a deal of respect for his trials.  I remember that day months ago when he chose me to play Sage to a bunch of scared, and confused people, when I hadn't even seen the monster myself. 

Still I gave it a shot, and let delusion and grandeur fill my head...we all know how that ended by now.

So about Robert...the tormented man that has been mindscrewed, charred alive, beaten, drugged, and lived in some sort of maintenance hutch for weeks in a bad suit, eating beans...

I have to say the last part really makes me sad.  I just picture him, delusional, sitting in a crawlspace, so filled with his own misgivings, that he forgot how to live on his own.  He forgot who he was.  Identity is practically the only thing I have.  That plus a few clothes, a backpack, my blade, mask, and a healthy dose of frustration.

...and a nameless shroud that tries to rip my lungs out of my chest when I stop moving for more than a few hours.  Unfortunately, my shadow is not something I could ever forget nowadays.

So Robert had asked me to meet him, via my old email that I hardly check nowadays.  I can't believe he wanted to meet me in Roanoke, but I suppose that's fitting.  I still can't figure out how the hell he knew I was in Virgina, but I decided to take up his offer, despite my misgivings.

He asked me to meet him in the children's section of some library in town, after hours.  Certainly a novel idea of his, but again, I obliged.

It wasn't hard to break into, however I still quite worried about some sort of silent alarm being triggered.  Night consumed the city as I peered outside, towards the main street, looking for some sign of police, or investigation, cursing myself that he may have simply sent me here in hopes I'd end up in police custody.

Then I started thinking about him again.  The man's been tortured so much by evil, he was bound to be corrupted.  What would I do if he was marked?  Could I take his life so easily?

What if he wanted me to ease his pain?  To stop living this futile cycle of loss and horror.

I wasn't certain what I would do.

I sat on one of the children's stools, rocking quietly as I stared at the floor in thought, when I heard footsteps from near the restrooms.

Unknown>>>  Hey...Sorry about that, dinner was so good, it wanted a repeat performance.

I looked up, darting to my feet.  Even at night, the library was illuminated enough that I should've had no trouble seeing anyone, yet the room was empty.

Unknown>>> So...what happens now?

I scoured the room, my hands clenching anxiously.

Me>>>  Robert?     Where are you?

I hear a belabored sigh, in response.

Unknown>>>  So...It works that well, huh?  Take off your mask.

Like hell I would.  If he had been mindfucked again, I needed every assurance I had to survive any unpleasant encounter. 

Me>>>  No.

I've had vision trouble since Arkady nearly broke his blunt ass blade against my head, not to mention even more memory troubles.   I squinted my eyes, mentally screaming to myself to focus harder.

My gaze just...slipped around him at first, as if he were beneath my view.  Reminded me of our mutual foe.

Me>>>  There you finally I meet the second man that drug me into this nightmare.

I assessed Sagel in his glory.  He was thinner than I expected.  Wearing a bandanna over his hair, he looked gaunt, almost yellow.  He kept his hands in his hoodie pockets, but I could see how frail his body had become, even without his hands visible.  For a man who had plastic surgery to restore his appearance not that long ago, he looked like hell. 

Me>>>  You look like hell.

He drew out a hand to click on a toy carousel, which spewed out light and tinkled music,  his gaze drawn to it for a moment.

Robert>>>  Better?  Yeah, I like it too.

Certainly he was not here to discuss merits of projection images from library toys.

Me>>>  What do you want, Sagel?  Are you here to kill me?

The thought infuriated me.  Robert had lost his mind repeatedly, could he have seen me as something worse?  I swept my arms open, reveling in the sarcastic drama.

Me>>>  To remove a rabid dog?

He looked up, unreadable, as I boiled in contempt.  Yet the anger faded from me, evaporating into the night sky, as my arms fell to my side.

Me>>> This isn't Star Wars, man...

Robert shrugged, his hand slipping back into his hoodie.  Poor bastard must have been so cold, whatever he had done to himself, he was so gaunt, that for the second time in his life, he resembled the monster more than I'm sure he wanted to admit.

Robert>>>  I admit that.   You ever wonder what you would've been, if you had went down the other path?

He looked around the room as he provoked me to contemplate my wreck of a life.  Before I could answer the question, he added to his musings.

Robert>>>  Running like M maybe?  Well...No use mentally fixating on 'what could've been', right?

He slouched, almost shrinking, a haggard look on his face.

Robert>>>  No.  I am not here to stop you.  I just need something from you, then we never have to see each other again.

I glossed over his comment, still stuck on his question for a moment.  I hated the idea of running, but what would've changed?

Me>>>  I don't think, I could've.

My voice cracked, as I considered those possibilities.

Me>>>  I couldn't have run, like M.  He was the only one who managed to make that work...Everyone else realized they had to fight at some point, to end it.

I looked away, towards the inane posters all libraries carry, as I pondered that maybe, maybe the ones who ran, and never looked back were the ones who were the bravest of us.  Cutting ties with the entirety of life, save a simple blog, knowing that for the rest of your life you'll be hounded by a monster,  is that strength?

Me>>> I wasn't strong enough to just run, and live like that forever.  No...I wanted an ending once, Robert.

All the angst, and depression of the last few months swelled within me, even now as I relate this, I can't help but

Me>>>  I wanted a chance to be someone.  I was stupid, and I chose to fight it.

He leaned against the far wall, next to the carousel, his thin hand idly played with it, causing the stars and moons on the wall to spin about.

Robert>>>  Stupid, yes, but it wasn't a waste.  At least not in the way you think it was. 

He straightened up, looking back towards me, before he continued.

Robert>>>  Anyway, enough mysterious babble about 'high level' concepts.  To business?

I couldn't help but be amused by him playing it straight for once, without euphemisms, or cryptic speech.

Me>>>  I thought mysterious babble WAS your business.

He laughed sadly, looking at the floor.  I joined in with a soft chuckle.   Two pathetic men, in their last gasps of life.  Gallows humor at its finest.

Robert>>>  Yeah... Stock in trade, claim to fame.   How about some real simple stuff then?

He tilted his head to the side, his voice grew stronger.  A bit more as I had imagined him, even rocking on his heels, as if giving a lecture to his old student.

Robert>>>  He is Death....  We've trussed up the ideal.  Made it seem noble, or coldly compassionate, or a hot goth girl...but we're still afraid of it.  Of Him.  We run, we hide...fight...some try to forget about it, only to remember later.  He's always there, and he will get us all in the end.

Five months ago, I would've been spellbound by his oratory, even still it was oddly humbling, to hear him talk.  Some time ago, before he was shattered beyond belief, this man started the united front that remains even to this day, even if disdainfully referred to as the 'Core Theory' days,  done in by people's self-glorification.

Me>>>  You speak of death, or of the monster.  One's been spared to me, the other's just waiting.

He shrugged again.

Robert>>>  I think it doesn't matter much at this point.  He's changed too much.

Me>>>  He's changed, you think?  Who's to say the brazenness, the use of agents, the many appearances.  He could've done this all before, we would've had no idea,  hell a great deal still don't know of him,

The lucky bastards.

Robert>>> Gut feeling.  Anyway it's the agents that are the real problem, particularly *that* bastard. Which is why I am here.

I could taste the venom of his reference to Redlight.  I didn't want to even think about him.  All I can see is a woman on her knees, begging me to shoot her, when I think of that name.

Me>>> Redlight...the pain in the side of most everyone I know.  Heh, even Strahm.   So you think you can kill him?

He nodded softly, sincerity and conviction in his tone.  He gestured with his off-hand as he continued his theorem.

Robert>>> I know how.  If he takes over Cynthia, then it's done.  He'll have his own army, away from Him, and well...he'll just run roughshod over us, then go public probably.  He's an ambitious little shit.

Robert>>>  I can't just stab him, as he's 'invested' enough of himself and his identity to make a jump to another of his puppets.  But, I know what to do to really, and truly kill this bastard.

Bodysurfing.  Robert's still a damn loon, but that would explain his speed in transit.  I doubt it's true, but we all know stranger things are out there.

Me>>> You really think there's more than one out there...that there's a whole network. I still don't buy it. But I'm all for killing the smug asshole, and adding him to my collection.

Certainly Redlight's bone would aid in my attack on the tree...

He shook his head, cutting my thoughts short.

Robert>>>  You'll never do it, and you don't want to.

I shrugged back, for once, as I considered my ever fading options.

Me>>>  It's not really my task at hand. But if I see the bastard, i'm not saying I wouldn't take the, I'm better off not seeing him again. Not after Nessa.

Robert>>> I was...not wholly correct about the network. Bad intel on my part. But he can body surf, he just has to do something special with Cynthia....Alright, enough dancing about it, zero.  Where's the tree?

I was in the middle of a speculative answer when he stunned me.  The Bleeding Tree.


Robert wanted to see it.   I suppose that at least he believed it was real, so that's a comfort to my sanity, though the world'd probably be better off if it was just my own hallucination.

Me>>>  You want to....Robert, no.   Don't do that.

Lost for words, I stumbled over myself.  He withdrew a set of pruning shears from his hoodie pouch.

Robert>>> It's important, zero.  Where's the tree?  I know it's not 'fully real'.

I drew my blade quickly, then took a step back.  Certainly a set of shears were no match for a blade, even a crap one like mine, however it was a threat that I did not intend to ignore.  Even as he held the shears one handed.

Me>>> It *is* real.  Robert...The tree *will* kill you.  You're sickly enough as it is.

Robert>>>  Maybe, but I'd rather die doing something...

He set the shears on the half wall beside him, next to the carousel, then gestured to my blade.

Robert>>> And put that away please.   Not like I have much time left anyway, so why would you even care?  I die, one less schmuck you have to kill, right?

He still thinks I'm a psycho, that the deaths at my hand were for vengeance.  Certainly it was murder, but with greater purpose than that. 

Me>>>  You were once a noble man, Robert.  Even if your choice of replacement was faulty.  Heh...I admit, I have considered killing you, though not with malice, but with mercy.  To end this suffering you've been throwin into repeatedly.

I lowered my blade.

Me>>> want what I wanted once, long upon a time, don't you?  A last chance to do something worthwhile.

Robert>>> My kind of thing, along with the babble.

I could relate to that.  The man was everything from a 'guardian' to a liar, to a perfectly average person at times.  He wanted to figure out which of those he really was.

Me>>>  I understand that, but fuck man, why the tree?

Robert gave a weak smile as he gestured into another shrug.

Robert>>>  It's complicated.  You want the short version, long one, or just the comfort that it's not going to affect you.  You'd probably be happier not knowing.

I sat down on the same stool as I thought things over.  Certainly I had a little respect for the man, but was there any trust?  I rolled several variables around in my head, when I decided that I've always been a bit of a gambler.

Me>>>  When you get there, you'll see the trees just part, and the ground will shift to roots...and it will suddenly be before you, a body upon each branch. A crashing weight will send you to the ground, and every time your skin will touch the roots, it will drain your life....The worst is the not make contact with its eyes.

I looked up to ensure he was listening, before I continued.

Me>>  It is an unearthly glow they create, and every second you are drawn to them, is as the same as the monster's own mindgames...."

He nodded, then gestured towards the exit.  I stood as he went to depart.

Robert>>  Thank you.  Have a good night, zero.  Good luck.

He paused as he turned to face me.

Robert>>  One more thing...

The window next to me shattered, as a tremendous boom broke the silence of the air.  A smoking hole in Robert's hoodie pouch appeared, with the glint of metal inside.

The fucker tried to shoot me.   However lousy aim he had from that awkward position was soon to be fixed as he drew his pistol on me.

I started to dive for cover, dropping my blade in the process.  Last thing I wanted was to be impaled as I panicked.

A second and third shot rang out as I scrambled behind a children's table, frantically looking for some way out of this mess.

Robert>>>  For what it's worth, sorry...

He was already gone when I steeled myself, ready to attempt to close the distance.

Metal glinted off the floor, flickering stars and moons upon it from the projection.

The blade, that had cut the Bleeding Tree.

Now it was sundered, broken almost in half

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Trouble & Pigtails

I've been staying a step ahead of it.  My shadow.  Whatever the fuck that thing is that threatens me with death every time I stop moving.  I'm hoping that being ahead of schedule will help keep me from falling back under its chill.

I try not to look in the woods nowadays.  I always expect to see it there.  That gnarled, malevolent tree, oozing thick, putrid blood. 

Sometimes the worst part is who I see upon it. 

The many of them.  All impaled, or resting upon its branches, their innards spilled out around it as if some sort of visceral halo.  It’s....fuck...

it's numbing,  Look I know you all aren't too sure about this monstrosity, but let me assure you it's fucking real.

My heart fucking stopped, and shards of ice were thrust into my body upon SEEING the monstrosity.   I was pulled unto the ground as if gravity had tripled, and an unseen weight was pressing upon me.

And there at its roots, it sapped my strength.

To free the souls of those before, I fight.

I've been cutting through some backyards these last few minutes, as I typo repeatedly.  Fucking dog comes from nowhere, head of steam, and tries to take my leg off.   Just came running full speed, snarling.   It backed off when I didn't run.  Heh, it ran off whimpering. 

Can't show fear to lower life forms.  I've seen much worse than a dog protecting his home.

Reminds me of my situation, now that I think about it.

If he had stood up to me, maybe...just maybe I would've fallen before his bite.   Perhaps, if another succumbs not to fear, perhaps one day, we will fell our own foe.

Not that he's shown himself to me, not anymore.

So anyway, I told both of you readers of mine that I'd fill you in on this new Rika.  The psycho that's been pissing me off.

First, I think her name's Erika, I could swear I heard that when I first saw her, so that means she chose to go by 'Rika', to remind me of past issues.

That's not a problem, Rika 1.0 wasn't exactly a criminal mastermind.

And one last thing before I tell this short story...I know that some of you always found my altercations with Rika 1.0 to be humorous, and are probably expecting some sort of callback to my focused attentions on her rump.

I can respect that, we all need a laugh sometime.

Okay, what the fuck's up with the animals out here, just had two cats screech and run away.  Swear, if I find that someone's out here abusing animals, I'll be dispensing some instant justice.

A few weeks ago I was chillin at some Starbucks.  Not necessarily a net savvy kind of guy, but it's a place to charge my phone, and relax.  No one seems to mind a guy just hanging out.  Plus Runners hang out there sometimes, due to free wifi....

Got no fucking idea why this phone is still working.  I figured whoever was footing Nessa's bill would've cancelled service by now.

Heh, Evil is footing the bills,  that's sort of funny.

I was sitting on one of those nicer leather couches, relaxing.  I left all my 'work related' items outside, in an alley, that I can view from here.  Last I checked, uppity pretentious baristas tend to frown on 18 inches of sharpened replica POS steel on their premises.

I was typing away, making some comments, trying to explain the...ah...precarious position I've been shoehorned into by otherworldly forces, when someone sits down beside me, within arm’s reach.

Being as I'm a personal space sort of guy, I looked, already disgusted.

She didn't notice me at first, so I glanced at her for a moment.


She wore pigtails that seemed to be everywhere around her.  Her skin tone was dark, but with a rich brown hue to it.  Coupled with this svelte, runner's frame, was the fact she wore a tight red buttonless blouse of some sort, that showed off her more than properly endowed bust line.  The low slung jeans only added to the tantalizing appearance of the woman.

And then she smiled at me. 

I turned away, deciding it was time to leave.  So as I pushed off against the couch, using a hand to prop myself up,  I felt her hand slip under mine as I moved.

Muttering an apology, I felt the need to return to my work.  I hate the feeling of vulnerability, without my added protection from whatever mindfuckery abounds.  I felt the mask in my hoodie's pocket comfortingly.

My sword was where I left it, even as I scowled at it being so close to filth and garbage, this instrument of purification....

Her>>> "Running off so soon, sugar?  You barely even let me say 'Hello'"

I spun around, my sheathed blade in hand.

The beautiful woman had followed me, bounding after me.  Bouncing.   I was caught off guard

Me>>>  "Oh...sorry,  I can't stay, Miss.  Goodbye"

She stayed up with me.

Her>>>  "You sure you can't stick around for five minutes?  What's your hurry?"

Again I begged off of her, as I proceeded to hoist my backpack, and depart.  Moments later I heard a clatter of noise from behind me.

She had picked up a small sledge hammer.  Must've been in the alley for some reason.  Now, she had become a threat.

Me>>> alright?

Her>>>  Oh I'm fine, Sugar...But I'll be even better after you and I get done having a little fun here.

I kept my sword sheath before me.  She may be after my nonexistent money, but she didn't need to die.

Precious Life.

Me>>> What do you want?

Her>>> Wow you are thick, Sugar.  How the mighty fall, huh Zero?"

She knew my name.

She kicked a trash box out of the way.

Her>>> Or do you prefer Remnant?

Then she laughed lightly, sighing wistfully at the end.

Her>>>  Here I am all prettied up, ready to go, and who do I stumble across, but the 'Sage of Nothing' himself.

I didn't respond.  She might've been a Runner, she was certainly in shape for it...

Her>>>  Name's Rika, Sugar.  Now let's dance!

I readied to defend myself.  Thoughts of chivalry were tossed to the curb.  If this psycho wanted to take me on, there was no quarter to be given.

Giggling, she raised the hammer over her head, with both arms clasping it.

And then her smile faded.  Rika froze in her tracks, as she stared over my shoulder.

Something caught her eye, but I wasn't foolish enough to look away.  Not with an eight pound sledge so close to me.

I took advantage, drawing the blade finally.

She retreated a few steps

Rika>>>  Well...there goes my fun.  We'll have to play later, Sugar."

Her voice wavered as she fled.

I took the cue to investigate what she had seen.  There was a parking lot, and an empty street.

So that means she saw the monster just then, and I did not.

Why was she afraid?