Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Broken Bird and the Man Who Can't Forget

Hey, guys. It's been hard these past couple of days. It still is. Losing Katie was a major blow. It was more than just losing my family, it was losing my last link to who I was. When Katie died, so did the last physical evidence of Raymond Shaughnessy's existence, the last memory that the world has of him. I've lost the last link to my humanity; there is only Reach now.

Thage and I talked. As it turns out, I was right; I have met Thage before. A few times.

I'm not going to reveal too much, because it's not my place to tell Thage's story. What I will say is that during her own struggles with Slender Man, Thage came to Ireland to find something important, that which I once protected; the secret in the quarry. When she came looking for it, it had just been placed within my care and when I found out why she was here, I made moves to protect it. I had proxies attack her in hotels or in places where she was looking for the secret. I attacked her myself a couple of times. I subjected her and her loved ones to terror and injury.

I've already apologised to Thage for what I did but I'm going to say it again here; I am so sorry. I wish I could plead my innocence by saying I was still under Slender Man's control, but the fact of the matter is that while he told me to stop you, I was the one who sent out the proxies and it was of my own volition that I attacked you personally. I may have been his slave, but at that point I was his willing slave, and everything that happened to you after you came to Ireland is entirely my fault. I can never take back what I've done, but I want you to know that there is no end to the depths of my regret.

Eventually, Thage left Ireland, without ever having found the secret, mainly because she was being hounded by me at every turn. But I didn't leave the matter go. I kept on at her, even though it was unnecessary. She never found the secret and she wouldn't even be able to talk about it because of the...I don't know what it is, but I guess "curse" is the best approximation; if anyone who has come under Slender Man's attention, in other words, any Runner, mentions the secret or its location, it automatically lets Slender Man know where they are. That's why I never mentioned it by name and rarely talk about it, and at least part of the reason that Thage is so cryptic about her past. At any rate, when Thage went back to America, she was no longer a threat and it is a sign of how far I'd fallen at that point that I didn't leave her alone.

I'm the reason that Shayde is the way she is.

I'm the one that offered Thage the deal.

I feel like a filthy excuse for a person. It was one thing for me to think about all the horrible things I had to do as a Revenant but being confronted with one of my victims, seeing for myself what I've done to this poor woman's life...I'll never forgive myself. I think it only makes my shame worse that, in spite of what I did to her, Thage is still a wonderful person. She'd be leading us against Slender Man if...

...if I hadn't broken her. It really makes me feel like scum in comparison; she refused the offer of joining Slender Man, while I caved and joined the ranks of pure evil for forty years. Some might say that I took the route that anyone would in my situation but they can't convince me that I did anything other than betray the human race for selfish reasons; Thage was in the exact same situation and threw it back in my face. Were the lives of Ariana and Katie really worth the lives I've taken, the lives I've destroyed? Were their lives really worth Thage's or Shayde's?

Thage says she doesn't blame me. It's amazing how forgiving she's being. She has a sort of serene sadness about her, even in text. I guess that's what separates the broken and the fallen; Thage is full of sorrow while I'm full of anger.

And that anger needs to be put to better use than beating myself up. I'm not giving up. Not yet, anyway. I think there's potential for something to be done here in Ireland, but I can't do it alone, yet I have no allies here and am surrounded by enemies and the ocean on all sides. For now, I'm just going to keep running and hopefully try and kill more Revenants. But I'm not giving up. The burden of losing Katie and the burden of what I did to Thage will always be like a ball and chain on my mind but I'm not going to let them hold me back; instead, they're going to be a constant reminder of how I need to push harder, walk faster and fight ever more viciously.

I'm fighting for Katie, for Thage, for Fizz, for Nessa, for Amelia, for Ariana, for someone else who isn't a girl so I don't look like some damsel-saving weirdo, for every one who has ever had to face torment by the hands of Slender Man and for everyone who should never have to go through what we did. If you're reading this, I'm fighting for you. If you're not, well, you'll never know, but I'm fighting for you too.

This is not a war; this is a liberation.

Reach out.


  1. It's like I said, dear Rook. Nothing with having comes easy. Forgiveness is the hardest thing someone can do, but there's little in the world worth more than it.

  2. Nobody blames you, Reach.

    Everyone makes bad decisions. We learn from them, we move on, we do better the next time.

    You're a good man, Reach. I hope you know.

  3. @Lotus - Yes, I fucking deleted your piece of shit retarded post. Go shove a serrated knife up your puckered rectum. There's nothing fun about this, this isn't a game like your fucking retarded American football. People have had their lives ruined by this, people have had their lives ruined by me. This isn't fun, you little cunt.

    @Thage - You know, you really are quite amazing. I could fall for a woman like you, if I wasn't twenty-six years your mental elder, fourteen years your physical younger, an inhuman abomination and you weren't a lesbian.

    @Jean - Maybe nobody else blames me, but I still blame myself. It's just something I've always done. I've had forty years to agonise over everything I've ever done, from taking Slate's deal to spitting in Slendershit's face and...well, getting my daughter killed.

    Am I a good man, really? Sure, I've probably improved the world a bit by killing Aria but what about all the damage I've done to it? All the lives I've ruined, all the lives I've taken, all the lives I've crushed in between my fingers as if a human was as inconsequential as a fly.

    Am I not the same person who committed those crimes? Should I not be judged by the sum total of all that I am? Does my regret now make what I did before okay? Does it clear me of all charges? Does it make up for what I've done?

  4. I suppose you'll just have to keep doing good until you feel your karma's been restored to balance, then, rather than give up and drop out with it still in such horrid disarray.

  5. You're right. You're always right, somehow. I'll make up for what I've done. I've never really put much stock in the idea of Slender Man being killed and if he can be killed, then I'm not going to be the one to do it.

    I wish I could say that I was going to protect those who might be able but I can't get out of this bloody country and there's no one here to protect.

    I guess all I can do is keep moving. But I'm sick of using Internet cafés and breaking into people's houses. First thing tomorrow, I'm getting myself an iPhone, dammit.

  6. "Does [regret] make up for what I've done?"

    No, Reach. It doesn't. What you are doing because of that regret does.

    "And that anger needs to be put to better use than beating myself up. I'm not giving up."

    Please never do.

    I may never know you, sir, nor may you ever know me but the very fact that you're fighting at all, with everything that's happened to yourself, your family and your friends, this small fact, buried deep in the bowels of internet, gives me more hope than anything ever could. Keep fighting, Reach. I hope others will be brave enough to join you soon. I support you and I know they do, too.

  7. I really can't say anything better than Holisticalice, "What you're doing because of regret [helps make up for it]" and I'll feel like a right dick if I try, but /please/ I've got to say:

    As a born and bred Dubliner, you're welcome here (but your Euros are WORTH NOTHING SO HA) if you can leave, see if you can get to London. We can pick you up from anywhere. Anytime. I feel /so/ unbelievably angry that he's in my HOMELAND that it's making it hard to type without swearing many, many times.

    May I also propose you join The Isabel Initiative and/or The Keeper Alliance? You'd be rather helpful, what with your previous experience.

    We do /actually/ forgive you. Not wholly of course, that would be an insult to memories, but we're trying to buoy your spirits, right? We don't do that to people we want to die.

    The Scientist

  8. Thanks for the offer, Ava, and may I say that it is both great and awful to find another Irish person around these parts, but I have no way of getting out of the country. As far as the state is concerned, I've been dead for forty years and they generally don't give out passports to dead men. I did have a fake one I used to get out of the country back when I worked for Slender Man, but it was probably reported as such the second I defected and if I try to use it, I'll just end up arrested or worse.

    Besideswhich, have you seen the state of the civil service in Ireland these days? I'd be a year getting the application forms, let alone the fucking passport.

    As to the Intiative and the Alliance...I don't really get them myself. We're already a totally disorganised and woefully overwhelmed group, is there any practical purpose to creating factions? I mean, some people in this community have never even heard of Fizzy, I just feel there's a certain element of exclusion there when we form our own little club for people who want to honour her memory.

    As to the Keeper's Alliance, I'm not sure how effective I'd be, since the most important information I hold, the secret in the quarry, can't be divulged.

  9. ......Then it seems I'll have to get ready to go back to the homeland then. doesn't it? Urgh, where did I put that damn passport....Balthazar'll be coming too, of course....Mum....she'll need to keep an eye on Serena still....I'll leave her the three dogs and the Electromagnetic door-frame I've been working on...

    You nearer Belfast or Dublin?

    Yes, yes I have. FREE CHEESE?! WHAT THE HELL, GOVERNMENT. SERIOUSLY. God, I'd thought "Free Potatoes" would have been more humourous....

    That's fine, it was a suggestion. But all of us need to co-operate at some point really, di-organisation only make him stronger does it not? If we were a cohesive group, maybe we'd stand more of a fighting chance.

    Who said we needed that information? We can reach our own conclusions (no pun intended) but anything you could offer knowledge-wise would be a boon, would it not?

    I never spoke to Fizzy, I doubt she knew of my existence, but just losing another member of our surviving community makes me feel enough drive to be a part of it.

    The Scientist

  10. I take your points. One of the downsides to arguing with a scientist is that they're usually right.

    As to where I am, I can be wherever you need me to be. I've driven from Derry to Cobh in about eight hours before. Give me fair warning, though, I'll need to plan the car theft.

  11. Judging by how long it'll take me to drive like a mad-woman up to Liverpool and then the boat...tommorrow? I'll drive through the night. 7PM ish, East Wall, Hawthorn Avenue?

    Awww, it's not like I can help it! It's just a gift I have. :)

    Anything you'd rather I bring? Because I'm in the College Lab right now, testing that goo I got from Serena and need a list for when I get beck home.

    The Scientist

  12. Hey, just re-read your post. Want me to bring an iPhone? Mum just let me use her card to book the tickets and some other shit.

    We gonna be Running or Residing? I need to know how to pack.

    The Scientist

  13. In all honesty, if we got free cheese over here in the States, I could safely say it would take quite the chunk out of my grocery bill...

    Glad to see you've committed yourself to a course of action, Black Rook. (or should I up you to grey now? It doesn't sound as impressive...)

    It's a pity you didn't defect several years ago, I used to know someone who made forged identity cards and passports for a living, but he was killed some time ago in a deal gone bad.

  14. @Ava: Let's talk in private, I don't want too many details of this getting out. Hit me at hisreach@gmail.com.

    @Thage: Yes, I agree. There's nothing wrong with offering free cheese to low-income families, I believe the whole thing was blown out of proportion because the government was taking few other measures to help low-income families.

    Call me whatever fits, dear Thage. Black, Grey, Silver, Crimson, Emerald or Onsible. If you want to go for an off-white colour that still sounds impressive, there's always Marble, though I must admit that I think Gray has a certain understated class to it.

  15. And Marble has become somewhat... cliche of late.

  16. Ha, I hadn't even thought of that. Go with Grey then, what it lacks in grandiosity it makes up for with the sheer amount of symbolism associated with it, such as the Grey Stranger who visited Mozart before his untimely death.

  17. A question about Revenants. Do your enhanced senses include hearing, and if so, would it be possible to incapacitate an attacking one with a foghorn, or simply yelling loudly into one's ear?

  18. But I don't even watch football. ):

    San Jose is a cool place to live. Or you could come here to Atlanta, we have waffle houses. For some reason, but still.

  19. Sure; punched you in the interface just now.

    I think I may be drunk on lack of sleep...

    The Scientist

  20. @Thage: Oh God yeah. Well, in theory, at least, in practice we all wear earplugs for that very reason, but even earplugs have their limits. A foghorn right in my ear would be at least disorienting, if not extremely painful.

    @Ava: Glad to hear it.

  21. Another item to add to my keyring, then, along with the mace--I assume Mace to the eyes is akin to having someone stab them with a knife if the pattern goes to the logical conclusion that all senses and all parts of the body are hypersensitive.

  22. Oh my. Mace. That would be...interesting.

    And yes, I'm sensitive all over. One part of being a Revenant is learning to fight through the pain. The healing factor helps. It's probably most effective to go for the ears, eyes, nose, even the tongue; we're pretty good at fighting through skin pain, especially since we can give ourselves an adrenaline boost if we want.

    However, the best thing of all would probably be electrocution. A non-wounding, super painful, debilitating, highly lethal kill? Yes please.