Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Be Brave.

One way or another, this is the last you will ever hear from us.
I’m not certain if this is a suicide letter, or just a farewell; either way, this business of blogging has become far too dangerous.
Everything we type is practically a beacon.
We have so much after us, now, that I’m not certain how it is we’ve survived this long.
Because we may be about to die, and because I know that there are some people, out there, who also cared about Blair (and maybe about Alyssa and me, by extension) I feel I owe it to everyone to write out what’s going on.
We stopped at a gas station with what little money we could scavenge, bags empty and needing as much long-lasting food as we could afford. It was the only place we could purchase food at all, so close to the border.
We went inside, and Alyssa began to grab as much as we could carry while I counted out our funds.
I rang the bell for the gas station attendant, and no one came.
It wasn’t until we’d been waiting for ten minutes that I noticed Windmill getting anxious, tethered outside, bucking and pawing at the ground.
“Something’s got to be coming, he doesn’t do that unless there’s danger. Just drop the money, we have to go!”
I slapped the money onto the counter, and a few coins slid right across, over the side.
They didn’t ‘clink’ when they hit the floor, as they should have. It was then that I pulled myself up and looked over the side.
The attendant was a hollowed-out shell, lying in a mess of his own gore.
Alyssa swore, and dropped the food; she started looking around for what might have done that, but the gas station was cramped. We knew full well that whatever had killed the attendant was outside, now, not in.
I went to pull Windmill inside, and Alyssa went around the counter, stepping in the man’s viscera – her nose had started to drip blood, but she didn’t seem to notice, checking the station’s computer.
“Limited Internet access,” she sounded angry about it.
“What are you trying to do?”
“Pull up a blog, find out which one probably did this – I can’t-… I can’t think, right now. Can’t think fast enough, it’ll be on us before-…”
I got her attention by lifting her locket and pressing a kiss to it; she let me pull her away, then.
“I don’t think it matters which one it is, at this point.”
At that point, we decided.
We stand and fight.
There’s nowhere to run, anymore.
As I’m typing this, Alyssa is finishing with our barricades. Our weapons are prepared.
The Archivists are outside – we can see them, on the security cameras.
If we die here, we die more courageously than we were, when running away. If we survive, you still won’t ever hear from us again.
If you care – keep your fingers crossed, for us, and maybe you’ll run into us someday.
I hope you fight, too.
Good luck, and be brave.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

9.2; So now we're terrorists

Our one shot to keep running is to jump the border. The patrol’s tight, but we’ve got nowhere else to go. If we double-back, it’s just a matter of ‘who will catch us first’ – the proxies, or the police.
It was stupid. We were both so fucking stupid. I don’t even know what to do, now.
I haven’t had a home in years, but I’ve never felt like I’m a million miles from ‘home’ until now. All the clusterfuck of not-knowing-what-to-do, I’ve coasted on it, and it’s never been this bad.
We’ve got Archivists on our tail, the Vision still waking us up every night, and…this far down south, we shouldn’t be able to see our breath. Sometimes, though, when Curtis and I aren’t huddled up against each other, it’s like…we’re together, but alone. And then I exhale, and feel the chill go down my spine. Tonight, I’m hearing howls – but it’s hard to hear much anything through the ringing that’s still in my ears, following the explosion.
The thing that’s bothering me most is that I’m not sure what’s real and what’s not. It’s getting close to my breaking point; I feel this itchy kind of heat under my skin, and Curtis is all, “If you get that way I promise I won’t let anything happen to you.”
I know he’s telling the truth, but at this point…does it even matter?
I’m so tired of running from the mark in me. It’s twisted, I hate it, but it’s who I am.
Fuck it, I’m just tired of running.

Dispute Against Madness

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Our Attachments to Blair.

Alyssa, apparently, has a saying:
“If it looks like it can be made into a trap, it already is one.”
It’s something I wished she’d brought up earlier.
I caught a glimpse of someone watching me, as I put books back on the shelves, flipping through one after another and never once catching any relevant information.
I confess I hadn’t just been looking for Ambrose Bierce; I had also been searching through ‘missing persons’ records for anyone matching my own description.
It isn’t that it bothers me too terribly, not remembering who I once was. The memories I have now – the good, and the bad – are what form the ‘me’ that Blair loved. The ‘me’ that Alyssa feels for.
It wasn’t until I drew a precariously perched book that I realized Alyssa and I weren’t alone.
Other books toppled over, having been leaning against the thick volume I’d taken, and I saw the whites of their eyes.
The bookcase lurched, and was pushed on top of me.
I landed with my good eye to the floor, unable to see my attacker; the heavy shelves had pinned my legs, and I was able to wrench one free without help.
Alyssa came by quickly, but wasn’t able to do much to lift it – it was heavier and sturdier than anticipated.
For it to have been pushed so easily…it must have been a proxy.
The Archivists were coming, and we could hear the doors being sealed.
Windmill was tied up outside, and while we knew he could hold his own for a while against them, hiding out or simply running wasn’t an option – we’d both read about what The Vision had shown Blair, and we had no way of knowing how long Windmill would be able to hold out for.
It was fortunate for us that, between the pair of us, our attachments to Blair have compelled us to keep everything that belonged to xim near.
Alyssa – maybe not incredibly powerful, physically, but practiced – kept the Martyrs back while I put knowledge I hadn’t realized I had to good use.
I loaded the grenade launcher Blair had brought back, and shot through the library wall.
We climbed through the hole left behind, and caught up to Windmill – mostly unharmed, and the blast had shocked the attacking Martyrs enough that they’d backed off before too much damage had been done.
Before the library was out of sight, I launched one last grenade at the building.
We’ve run for miles.
I can still see the smoke. 

Friday, January 4, 2013

8.2; Bait

We were as careful as we possibly freaking could be, in picking a library to head into. We were careful with our timing, made sure that other people would be around. Well, I mean, as many people who bother going into libraries these days. In the Southern United States.
There’s so little on Ambrose Bierce it actually makes me angry. Maybe I’m biased because of Blair, but it just seems wrong that such a remarkable man had so little written about him. I mean, I guess it wasn’t like there was nothing. Just…I guess I was expecting a lot more? Huge stacks of books written about his life, his disappearance, his family tree.
I’m weirdly tempted to track down his ancestors, even though I know they wouldn’t know Blair.
Ambrose wouldn’t, either, if he’s alive. If he was put back to his own time, he wouldn’t be, he’d have died from old age a while ago… It just, it drives me crazy, not knowing. If we had confirmed word he was dead, then we’d also have confirmed word that Clara hasn’t even been born yet.
And if I’m fixated on this, then Curtis is a man obsessed. He’s hunched over about thirty books in the past three hours, speed reading. I broke his concentration once, and I won’t be doing that again.
…Honestly I’m nervous. It’s getting darker early, thanks so much winter, and being in this library after dark is…I don’t know. It just feels different.
Curtis doesn’t want to leave yet. I kind of wonder if he’s hoping to run into something he shouldn’t. Well, that we shouldn’t.
He wants answers about himself as badly as he wants to help find the last people we know for sure Blair loved. If we did find them, I’m not sure what we’d do – I mean, isn’t it better to spare them the pain of knowing what they lost? They’d be lost and confused enough already, in our era.
And if Curtis finds himself, I don’t know what I’ll do then, either. What if he changes?
Fuck, what if the way he finds out is through the goddamn Blind Man and why do I have such a bad feeling, like the Blind Man is exactly what he’s looking for like he’s bait

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Helping Through Torture.

Several days of careful travel have led us here, into Texas.
No one looks at us twice, here, which is rather a relief.
We’ve been careful about our choice of place to stay; thanks to a bit of panhandling along the way, Alyssa and I were able to afford a room for a single night, and I couldn’t be more grateful for coincidence.
It’s a place where the owners don’t mind Windmill, though they commented on him looking ‘a little off’ and recommended a good animal doctor they knew.
They were also worried about the scarring along his side, but I assured them he was a tough horse and had long since recovered from that particular battle wound.
It’s also close enough to the library we’re considering.
We’ve staked out a couple, on our journey, and dismissed the ideas when one of us would be plagued with nightmares – taunts, I think, from the Vision.
I have seen Alyssa and Windmill be murdered, right in front of me, several times.
I’ve lost count, of the dreams. I’m able to tell which are simply nightmares, and which are visits from The Vision; in my subconscious mind, I have both eyes, whereas She has me go through my night terrors half-blinded, as I am now.
Essentially, sleeping here tonight is our test run.
We have yet to experience anything from The Vision telling us this library is too dangerous.
Strange – in a way, it’s as though she’s trying to help, and warning us through torture.
If there are no dreams tonight, tomorrow morning, Alyssa and I will go in.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

7.2; Because I have no one else to tell

It feels…stupid, I guess, to be writing. I guess it’s just like…who else have I got to tell, right? I don’t know whether or not Curtis has just lost it, or if he’s finally making sense, or if I just don’t know how to grieve. Plus, part of me thinks it’s stupid that I’m not over this already. People die. A lot of people die.
So why should one in particular shake my whole world? Why can’t I make this empty feeling go away completely? Ignoring it just…isn’t working.
Obviously, Curtis is the same way. He’s got his head stuck in this space of hating not knowing who he is – which I argue, maybe that’s for the better, because he’s a decent guy now. I was like, “What if you don’t like the guy you used to be?” and he was just, “I still need to know who that was.”
And then he started reading the blog again. I mean, this one. Not my posts, he promised, but his own, and Blair’s, and that’s when he got this idea stuck in his head.
He doesn’t have a lot of hope for finding Clara, but he wants to investigate Ambrose Bierce. The two most important people to Blair, and all we know about them are the things we’ve read online. Ambrose Bierce vanished, back in 1913. It’s dumb to think a couple of proxy Hunters might be able to solve a case that’s now, literally, a century old…but, one of us is an Archivist. I think this is their forte.
Of course, the hitch is, we’d need better access to information.
So, anyone know any good, ‘safe’ libraries?

Dispute Against Madness

Monday, December 24, 2012

6.2; I don't know why I blog

So, it turns out that just because we hadn’t seen a Martyr in a while, doesn’t mean they weren’t still tracking us. We’ve just been ‘lucky’ in that pre-hostel, we were moving around too much…and then once we were stuck in there, maybe they just didn’t want to get caught up with all the rest of the Fear activity. Or maybe they thought Daisy Chain would do their job for them. I don’t know, and it really doesn’t matter.
Curtis has trouble directing Windmill, now, but the horse is smart enough to know how to evade an Archivist. There were three of them tailing us, and we only just stopped running now. We’re hungry, exhausted, and hiding out – I’m not going to describe where, I don’t even know who reads this anymore.
We were discussing putting an end to this blogging business. It’s been stupid – we don’t even know what’s compelled us to start writing about these things in the first place. I know there’s a popular theory that the Rake is the one behind this compulsion, and if that’s true that’s the LAST freaking thing we need.
So, we’re stuck here, we’re starving, we have no way of keeping warm aside from huddling together, and Windmill is restless. We could die.
Merry fucking Christmas.

Dispute Against Madness