Sunday, January 30, 2011

Ben's in his room, freaking the fuck out

Lots of swear words and "That is not allowed!" And, of course, "No face! Where the hell is his face!?"

On the plus side, he let me make him a contributor to the blog.

Edit: And I changed all your passwords Ben, since Andrew is about as stupid as Benjamin was for me, way back when. I also got you a nice little display pic that fits with my theme, because I'm OCD like that. Remind me to let you know what your password is, otherwise I'm going to forget.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

He punched me in the face

Opened the door, stood there for two minutes, punched me in the face, closed the door. That was literally it. I'll admit I probably should've thought of something to say, but - I mean - what do you say? I've taken up residence in a coffee shop up the street, and I'm considering sending him an email. I just don't know what to do now.

And yes, I really should've seen this coming too. Oh, and my neck fucking hurts like a bitch, if you'll forgive the language which incidentally doesn't capture even the slimmest fraction of the pain I'm in right now.

Just a thought

You do all know that by making plans, and joining groups, and identifying as people defined by how they relate to Him that you're making Him stronger, right? The worst part of this is the 'resurgence' (I use the word lightly, since the few instances I've seen hardly constitute a resurgence) of titles I've seen lately. I dunno, maybe it is a resurgence - it's starting small, but these sorts of things always do.

It's not like you even need the brackets to have a title, or we'd all be sweet since there's probably only about three people that still use them. In His world the symbol is the thing, but that doesn't stop the thing from also being the thing. The brackets make it the symbol, dress it up and make it easy to spot, turn it into something to cling to while your sanity slips away and you become His, but you still have a title when you give yourself a name and a corresponding role and let it define you and how you interact with everybody else. M said it best when he said that Taken are just shells filled with His Will following what few patterns are left from their old life, and a title is simply another pattern.

And let me let you all in on a secret - the more patterns you have, the easier it is for you to slip. Anything that you do 'just because' or out of habit or in an attempt to maintain an image is the kind of place He slips into, because you'll keep doing it without questioning it even if it's stopped helping you and started helping Him. The worst part is you don't even notice at first - it just kind of happens without your say. Dressing yourself up as something more than just a person being followed by a very poor impression of a person and all of His friends tends to backfire when He take a liking to your clothes.

If you want my advice, don't give yourself a job unless the very definition of it is 'keeping away from Him and staying alive'. Anything else has too much wiggle room, which is to say it has wiggle room in the first place. If your job is to collect information about Him, well, eventually He's going to convince you that there's more to collect on His side of the game. Hell, that's not even hard to do since it's the truth. If your job is to take risks so that you can protect and help teach and equip others with what you learn, then you've obviously never heard the term 'slippery slope'. You're either doing everything you can to keep sane and survive, or you're slowly but surely committing suicide of one form or another.

That's not to say you shouldn't wonder about how He works or not try to draw conclusions from what you've experienced. Not doing so would be stupid. Deliberately provoking Him to learn more just happens to be stupider. I've seen the aftermath one too many times. I used to look after them. I guess what I'm trying to say is that you don't have to understand Him to survive. You do have to be mad to understand Him. Which would you prefer?

Also the first person to mention myself as an exception gets a slap upside the head, because you're clearly missing the entire point of my little tantrum here. I'm the first to recommend begging for your life when He has you cornered, but not getting cornered works a whole lot better, especially if you've been aggravating Him from the moment you met Him just so you can understand Him better. Begging tends not to help by that point.

I never got you guys. Seriously.

Fricken Trains

Couldn't make it to Ben's.

I've been trying some rather obscure rituals in lieu of The Operator Symbol, which I drew half of to confirm the factor causing its failure is most likely me. None of the rituals that didn't involve the entrails of children stopped the growing sense of dread/calm (which is the strangest feeling I've ever experienced, on a side note) that started once I'd drawn the circle. I have a little problem with gutting children so for now at least I have to stick with staying awake, moving all night and sleeping on the train tomorrow. Bought a tonne of chocolate coated coffee beans so I'm not worried about keeping awake this time.

Anyway, it's damn cold sitting on the pavement out here so I'm going to go, but I might swing by later tonight since Starbucks keeps their internet running after they close (score!). I might write up some things that have been bugging me, now that I'm allowed to be helpful in my discourse. Expect a rant later tonight/tomorrow morning, if I can be bothered (or am forced) to leave the relative warmth of the train station and walk all the way back here.

Edit: Who likes my new theme, by the way? I figured given all this time off I've decided to take and the problems with The Operator Symbol I've encountered that's it's probably time for a change.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

I really should've seen this coming

I put The Operator Symbol up and He was there almost immediately. I could feel the pull in my chest as all my anxiety, worry and fear just ebbed away. I suddenly wasn't worried about whether I would be too late to save my brother or if I'd turn up to find him still as Blind as ever and be responsible for opening his eyes. I didn't care about the fact my whole body hurt too much to run anywhere and how much that would undermine my chances of survival. I felt safe.

Of course, regardless of how pleasant it all felt and how much I longed to just get off the roof for no reason, I still realised what was going on. It was a strange feeling, being incapable of terror, feeling so safe and warm when I knew objectively I should've been beyond terrified. The Operator Symbol doesn't work for me. Hell, it's worse than that - it lets Him in and draws Him closer whenever I draw it, unless by some fluke of circumstances this was an isolated incident. When I realised, I had a brief moment when I wanted to punch M in the face, but then I remembered he'd actually said - multiple times - that all he was doing was cataloging what worked for him in the hope it would help others, not offering any sort of guarantee. What's worse is my head doesn't hurt anymore and my nose has stopped bleeding when He's around, which I'm sure are all symptoms of Him trying to make the transition all the more comfortable and easy for me.

I don't know if I'm going to be able to make it to my brother, I don't know if I'm going to be too late and I don't know if my reaching him is going to be the reason he's no longer safe. What if this is all a self-fulfilling prophecy?

Oh, and before I forget, I really do appreciate the sentiment, but it's rather difficult for somebody who doesn't have a passport to travel internationally. Nor do I have the 100 points of ID necessary to get a passport, being that practically everything I own by the way of identification has expired since this all started. I actually wouldn't be surprised if I've been declared legally dead, seeing as the state my place was in when I 'disappeared' would've made abduction and/or murder a fairly logical conclusion, what with my blood all over my bedroom. Though I guess that's the kind of thing Ben would've told me (I think). Anyway, international travel is out for the moment, at least.

The train's leaving in ten minutes (third for the day), so I've got to go. If public transport is forgiving, I'll be at Ben's tomorrow, though weekends are never good for that so I guess we'll see.

It worked

Sidekick's dead. There's a tree where his stomach used to be.

Not so sure about James - he wasn't too visibly hurt so he might have just been unconscious. Didn't check too hard for a pulse because I had to get out of there before He showed up.

By the way, crashed the car (if you missed that). I think I might've bruised 90% of my body and I can no longer turn my head to the left at will. Picked a car where I was the only one with an airbag and thought I was being smart making sure it didn't hit me in the nose. Not so much. Otherwise I'm more or less good.

Left the laptop in the bag with all our clothes to give it some bounce, so it's fine. I'll be seeing my brother soon. It should only take a few days on trains and such to get there.

Going now. They're closing soon anyway, but I'm being overly cautious for the moment and I already feel like I've been staying in one place too long. I'll sleep tomorrow morning on the train, I guess.

Can you believe I used to love the night, after I'd gotten over 'those terrible dreams' and before all this went down? It's almost funny now.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I went to the Fireworks tonight because I had nothing better to do

He was there. Just standing there watching from way off in the distance under a lamp post, all alone. It wasn't too crowded where I was because I'd chosen a further away and higher up place to watch from than right in the middle of the action, but there was still plenty of people, and He was just standing there in the pool of light, all alone. He looked as human as I'd ever seen Him, though His arms were still far too long and just tapered off to a little curled point and He was almost too tall to fit under the light, but that wasn't even the worst part.

I could hear Him singing. That's not even the right word, but it's the closest you could get and it's what I'm going with. It wasn't exactly the kind of thing you hear - I more felt it, but it was a kind of weird hum or a whine that makes your teeth hurt, only they just tingled instead and it wasn't actually doing anything to my teeth, if that makes sense.

Reading it back I don't know if that captures it properly, but it's the best I can do. There was a tune, too, kind of off-beat and low, though I know I'll never remember it properly.

The worst part, though, was that I wasn't scared. It felt like coming home listening to that song, like there was a pull in my chest dragging me towards Him, or down, or somewhere not quite on this plane of existence that I can only describe as one second ago and a little to the left, even if that makes absolutely no sense.

It's started - of that I'm sure. Today's the day I get offered a promotion, and regardless of my say in it, I doubt it will be long before I accept it. So, there are some obvious things I'm going to have to do.

James once said "Safety can Only be fOund in eterNal service.", and I think I know what he meant, listening to that song - I think he was referring to tonight and the events of the past few days, after which I'm sure there'll be little time for what's left of my sanity. I'm going to convince James to let me steal a car tomorrow, so we can complete our trip a little earlier and let us get back home quicker so I don't lose it somewhere unfamiliar.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Worst. 24. Hours. Ever.

I am going to kill James one day. He got me up at seven o'clock yesterday morning. Seven. I went to bed at three and he gets me up at seven so we can go chase after some two-bit Heretic who had gotten more than enough sleep for the night and didn't feel like his insides were desperately trying to become his outsides.

Needless to say, we didn't catch him right away because I started to get dizzy spells after about twenty seconds of running and then threw up, which surprisingly made me feel a whole lot better and really, really hungry. I've never been the greatest runner anyway, and the two empty bottles of vodka back at what passes for home base at the moment certainly weren't helping matters. Sidekick, of course, was charging through his hangover like a boss (the guy also drank me under the table last night, which is just so incredibly unfair) and saw fit to ignore both James and I when we told him to stop. I did so through/in between vomiting, so I guess it's possible he misheard me, but James was perfectly alright when he was saying it, if a little pissed off.

So once I was able to move and James had finished screaming at me about how much he'd like to kill me and how much trouble I was, being unfit for His touch and thus incapable of acting as I should, we set out to find Sidekick. James got that 'I know which way to go how scary am I?' look, and marched off to the train station, from where we caught a train. Luckily, there was time enough between trains to go get some food and some breath mints, because man was I hungry.

And, um, next comes the part you won't enjoy, because we found Sidekick, and Sidekick had obviously found the runner, because he had the look that Touched get when they've been around Him quite recently, and the runner was nowhere to be found.

But that of course is not the worst part, because what started all of this was my brother getting back from Europe. I may or may not have had a plan to stab Sidekick in the neck and James in the stomach all within perhaps five seconds of time while Sidekick was asleep so that I could go pick him up and get the hell out of dodge, but of course there's a faceless monstrosity that apparently has access to all of my thoughts, because He was there before I could even fold out my knife, and He was angry.

He knew. I haven't told anybody - I didn't even tell you guys I was planning on killing them and running as soon as my brother got back - and He knew.

So now I don't know If James was just being the usual lunatic when he kept dropping those hints, and I feel like there's something skittering around in the back of my head watching everything I do and I can't get the image of Him and all those branches eating the sky out of my head and I feel like I need to throw up again.

But I'm okay, I guess. For now. My brother's back home, at least, so I guess there'll probably be more emails from here on in and I guess if by some miracle I'm able to avoid the boss stepping in whenever I try to quit then at least he's a little closer. So um, yeah, that's pretty much it.

I kinda wish I had it in me to write that all up so it was better and more entertaining to read. I swear there must be something wrong with me.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Do you want to know why he puts on that face, wears that suit?

It's to make us feel better. He's being nice.

Excuse we while I go throw up

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Ugh. Haven't slept in hours

Edit: That title would make a whole lot more sense as "Ugh. Haven't been able to get to sleep all night", which is what I meant to say but failed to because I was half asleep when I started writing this yesterday (incidentally, I'm having trouble sleeping tonight, too, in case the late hour didn't tip you off). Hopefully you all got the picture.

There's so totally wi-fi across the road from where we've broken into, but it keeps dropping in and out so I don't know how much I'll get done before James wakes up and pulls me away from my 'Heretical pursuits'. Travelling's really been messing with my head lately and I haven't heard from Ben in forever, so forgive me if this entire thing is massively disjointed and train-of-thought in style. Not that I'm panicking. The guy's doing a tour of Europe - I don't exactly expect an email everyday.

The last one I did get was worrying in the extreme, though, so maybe I'm not panicking and just worried. Apparently, while driving through Germany he got massively creeped out by the Black Forest and a whole bunch of foggy mountains and bare trees in Italy and Switzerland. They're the only bad parts of the trip he's mentioned so far, and I don't think anybody'll miss the obvious implication. For anybody living under a rock, I've heard tell that the Boss's head office is in Germany so if there's anywhere He could show up without prior warning or cause then it's definitely there. I'm not going to panic and do anything stupid because there's absolutely nothing I can do so far away and whilst being watched 24/7, but I want it on record that I'm not enjoying the situation I'm in at the moment. I guess I just have to wait, even if it's killing me.

On another note, I think Hosozukuri (you might know her as the (Minstrel), if you're into the 'Core Theory') is getting worse, which is a damn shame because I've always loved her music. Depression's a symptom just like the lost time and atypical behaviour (3341, in this case) and it's all piling up faster than I'd like. That and the fact some colleague of mine is hanging around doesn't bode well. Not that I've met the colleague - since Hosozukuri probably isn't even Australian. There's no way to tell if she's experiencing any other symptoms, though, because you never know what a person's leaving out of their blog. It's not looking good at any rate. Like I said, I love her work and it's a damn shame.

Um, that's all I wanted to write about, I think, apart from a headache that I hope to God is the result of far too little sleep for a week and not an upcoming 'performance review'. Oh yeah - on that note, the overwhelming urge to write that made me start the blog has gone. It disappeared a little after the Solstice, in fact. I'm not going to up and leave or anything so don't panic, I just didn't think to mention it until now because it's not all that important. I figure it's something you all deserve to know anyway, though. Full disclosure and all that.

Apart from that, I promise I'm writing up everything I've done while away from the Internet, I swear. It's just a whole lot of rather boring stuff interrupted occasionally by an interesting anecdote or two, so it's taking a bit to get through and cut down to something that's still interesting.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I figured out why we're on this trip

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned the phone network before, but suffice to say James invented a number substitution code and a phone-based network that allows His Servants in positions of authority and responsibility (be they Touched, Taken or simply Servants) to keep in contact and get the low-down on colleagues passing through their care, and this whole trip is basically one long enrolment/update program for all of Australia to make sure it's still working okay.

I guess before he met me and went off the edge his paranoia really paid off, because the whole thing is as close to foolproof as I could’ve imagined.

Basically, if somebody is trying to crack the code, stealing a phone book from one of us isn’t going to help you at all, since everybody uses their own phone number (and one or two supplementary numbers containing any numbers their own doesn’t have) as a key. They keep the real ones in their head and write the code ones in their phone book, along with everybody else’s numbers which are also in code. Because everybody can remember two or three phone numbers without having to write them down, this all means there is no written key to steal, which leaves you with something in the order of 3628800 possible combinations you’d need to try to crack one number that can’t even hold all of the code in the best case scenario. Better yet, even if somebody gets sloppy and does write down the key numbers to allow a faster conversion, you still don’t know which key numbers correspond to which code numbers.

We also don’t substitute for the area codes in the landlines or the 04 in the mobile numbers, because that’d just give away some of the substitutions to anybody with half a brain. Oh, and for anybody who doesn’t live in Australia and thus cannot make sense of the previous sentence, an Australian mobile number starts with 04 and then has eight other digits (so, for example, would look like 04 123 456 78), while the typical landline starts with a zero and then a number corresponding to the state the phone is found in and would look something like this (01) 1234 5678, with the second digit in the brackets changing for each state.

It’s not a perfect system, by all means, because it relies on people doing what they’re told to keep keys separate from the coded numbers, but it’s as close as they come, considering the people being told to do it are almost universally wired to be obedient and find solving codes is almost second nature to them. It’s also not a perfect system because most of the numbers are for phones that have been destroyed, lost or are flat for 99% of the year, but it’s as close as we can get. I will admit being unable to contact people more often than not when I try to make a call, but when a colleague shows up with the number of the place he last stayed and I do manage to get through and am told he’ll try to kill me if I say the word ‘banana’, well, it really pays off.

And yes, that was a hypothetical example. I’ve never met anyone who would’ve killed me for saying ‘banana’. That’s just absurd.

Anyway. I’ve started writing up a synopsis of the past week or so and everything that’s happened (which is so, so much), but it’s nowhere near finished and is going to have to wait because I have to go (my laptop’s finished charging and that was all the time James was willing to give me here on the Internet). 

See you all soon, hopefully, and sorry about the hurried and half done post and the boring content. It's about 4:00 am in the morning right now and it all kinda ran away on me.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Thank Heisenberg

So I'm stationary at the moment, staying in a hotel 'somewhere' with the boys (that's James and the sidekick he insisted on bringing). We're a little busy so I've not had time to write anything up and I'm not sure how much I'll get done at the moment, but I'm giving it a shot while I can. I'll not be telling you where I am, because that would make my blog title redundant and we really can't have that. :P

I can't tell you how happy I am to be in a hotel at the moment. I'm about fed up with sleeping on trains and breaking into the homes of vacationing families for shelter. Which is incidentally how I got my camera. Sleeping on trains, that is, not breaking and entering. We try our best to leave no evidence of our presence wherever we stay to keep the cops from looking into anything, and that means sleeping on the couch or the floor and not stealing, amongst other things. I'm told somebody left their handbag on the train and that Sidekick (that's how I'll be referring to the third member of my travelling party for the duration of our travelling) was only trying to be helpful when he took it, but I was asleep for the whole thing so I can't really comment. I'd guess he just stole it, but then James has never been one for lying about crimes he or our associates have committed against the Blind.

Regardless, I now own a pretty damn good digital camera, and a new cord to charge it from my laptop only cost me twenty bucks. So that covers Acquisitions, and being that Sidekick was nice enough to do my job for me on this occasion I kind of got that day off. Insofar as Administration goes, there's been about a million and one petty little squabbles that I'm sure everybody experiences while travelling, so I'll not bore you all with tales of choosing where to eat and feeling paranoid every time a cop drives past. Actually, that only happened twice, so I'm not sure it really warrants an 'every time'.

News for the new year (sorry if this all seems a little disjointed, I'm kind of doing more than one thing at a time here) is that my brother's on a trip to Europe, doing some European whirl tour or something. He only saw fit to inform me he's spent the new year in London the day after it happened, though, so I'm a little worried that he's no longer keeping me up to date with everything he does. I'm not sure if he's just grown bored of telling me everything he does or if there's some other influence here making him decide to tell me less, but it really worries me that he just didn't bother telling me. It would be just like the boss to somehow stop my brother sending emails before He makes a move, or it could just be that Ben's given up on my still being alive, despite being so sure he'd know if I'd died.

I'm worried. My brother's off on the other side of the world and he didn't even bother telling me. This is so obviously the time for everything to go to hell. I'm going to skip the subterfuge for a moment and just say it outright, because as long as I don't explicitly state what may be happening then I'm pretty sure He wont notice. James was so sure there would be an opportunity that would be perfect, and right now I'm in a situation that is precisely the opposite. I'm terrified tomorrow I'm going to wake up and there won't be an email from my brother, but I'm also terrified that there will be, and it won't be about how cold but awesome London apparently is.

Man, this is so not how my blog post was going to go. I was planning on writing about the two Touched we've been meeting with yesterday and today in the city, writing up their profile like I said I would. They're nice guys once you look past this whole mess. They're part of the lucky few, living the whole double life thing. They've got jobs and everything. It's steady enough for them that they've given me about two thousand dollars for the bank account, which is great because it's been slowly ticking down towards nothing lately and a nice boost like this is exactly what I needed to keep everyone fed for the next few months. I think it's only the two of them in the whole city, too, which is a bit different to back home with the six of us. They're certain it's only them living permanently (which is not something I can say with certainty about our little clan) but they do get more colleagues passing through than I do.

Anyway, this was going to go on, but I kind of need to go. James wants to go out tonight to try and find a passer-by our two new friends mentioned visited them a few days ago who apparently sleeps on the trains, and he's getting antsy that I'm taking up valuable search time.