Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Pressing Issue

Tony and I just dropped off Robert at a hotel. Cheap as fuck and the mattress is probably stuffed with insect corpses, but the only money either of us had on us was some change from when Ava sent me to a corner shop for snacks while we were on recon. Robert's a tough guy, he'll be fine.

I've calmed down a bit. I'm thinking a bit more clearly now. The Convention on Morons and Egomaniacs is still in place though. That's not going away anytime soon, Orwellian though it may be.

The latest revelations about Redlight are...extremely worrying, to put it lightly. Redlight isn't a person, it's a network. It explains a lot of inconsistencies; some of the Redlights are presumably human while others are Revenants. It also explains why Redlight is so adaptable; the network is constantly recrunching possibilities. I had theorised before about Slender Man existing in a non-linear existence but my theories came to nothing. I may have to look into them again in light of Robert's revelations.

The most pressing issue, for Tony and I, at any rate, is that Redlight want to add Cynthia and Ava to their ranks. Tony and I have decided to release a public statement regarding this information;

"Fuck that."
- Tony Delmont and Reach, What You Are In The Dark

Redlight, we offered our help. Well, I did at any rate, I can't remember if Tony did and Tony is gone to try and steal scrounge together some food, so I can't check. Also, I'm really tired and stresses and fuck you Redlight. We offered our help. Hell, I even said that I might still be willing to help you after I got Ava back. That offer just expired. We're gonna track you down and get our girls back and if we get the chance, we're going to kill every single one of you. The abyss gazes also, boy, and you and he have been having a staring contest. I hope you're prepared to meet your maker, because your model is getting recalled courtesy of a bullet between the eyes. I don't care if I mangled those metaphors, your fucking dead.

Okay, I lied about the thinking clearly bit. I'm just a wee bit drunk. But, you know what, you have your girlfriend kidnapped by a bunch of time-travelling hivemind psychos and then you try not to drink. It's fucking difficult, especially when it's the first time you've been able to drink in over 40 years. Luckily, I'm not at the stage where drunkenness affects me spelling. I'm at that lovely stage where I have most of my mental faculties, I'm just talking like a fucking moron.

Anyway, I'm done talking to Redlight, I want to talk to my friends, family, companions and acquaintances. Tony and I are heading to Thage's. Sounds like Tony and Cathy need to talk and I want to call in that spaghetti bolognese that Thage owes me. For the record, I am really proud of spelling spaghetti bolognese while drunk. I feel accomplished.

Ava, I doubt that Redlight is letting you read this, but, just for posterity, in case anything happens to me and I'm not around when you get free; I'm sorry. I'm sorry I didn't protect you. If When I get you back, I promise to make up for it. I'm not going to let him hurt you again. I love you.

Also yes, Tony, I am aware I am whiney and angsty and all that jazz. You go 40 years with little to no emotions only to be thrust back into humanity, then come and criticise my emotional state.

Reach out.

Monday, February 21, 2011

A Convention on Morons and Egomaniacs... now officially in place. Here are my rules;

1. Any stupid comments will be deleted.

This rule is aimed at those delightful idiots Tensor and Morningstar, who think they're the fucking shit but, in actuality, they don't know fucking shit.

2. Any self-aggrandising comments will be deleted.

This rule is aimed at Matt and Remnant. Seriously, guys, fuck you. Stop acting like you're a pair of illusion-piercing geniuses, you're not the only ones who advised caution with Redlight. Fuck it, I was advising caution before you two numbnuts even showed up and Thage and I have always advised caution in relation to Redlight.

Furthermore, yes, Matt, we did have to go after Robert. You know why? Because if we start abandoning our allies, then we're only going to make it easier for them to wear us down. And that's the exact same reason that I have to go after Ava. Did you ever hear the story of the man who locked himself in a room that couldn't be penetrated by anything, including air? Yeah, he died. Because being too paranoid and too cautious is just as ruinous as not being paranoid and cautious enough. Sometimes you need to take risks. Sometimes you need to gamble. Sometimes, you just have to roll the dice.

Now, both of you, get your heads out of your arses and get your arses in gear.


We are all fools. We are cards in a deck, being shuffled and wheeled and dealed by a player that we all underestimated.

He was never incompetent. It was all part of his game. His game. Not ours.

Thage makes it sound like we're all pieces in a game but what she didn't know, what she never realised, is that any time our pieces engaged the Black Bishop, his piece started a game with our pieces and their pieces started a game with their pieces and while we were busy patting ourselves on the back for outwitting him in one game, he was flanking us in another. Every move he has made has been a gambit. He offers one gambit, accepts another and declines a third.

He's been manipulating us. It was all a game, a horrible, convoluted, ingenious game. He wanted her with him, he wanted me dead, he wanted Robert destroyed. He knew Ava and I would come for the Heel and he waited. He knew the Labyrinth would be too strong for me, he knew he would get Ava alone. If she accepted his offer, he would be able to get her on his side and have me killed. When she declined, he let us go, knowing that I would be delivered into his hands and that he could use Ava's love for me to manipulate her. He set up my game with two outcomes. If you all voted for me, then he would get to kill me, break Ava and bring her to his side. If you all voted for Catherine, then he would break me, turn me against you all and then I would drive Ava into his waiting arms for him.

Then Robert came along and tried to ruin his game. But he adapted the game. He knew Robert would be broken by the Path of Black Leaves, he had Fairfax under this thumb a few hours later and Robert's mind smashed a little after. He put Revenants on guard duty to make it seem like he didn't want us getting Robert, but it was just a ploy. The Revenants he picked were the least competent at his disposal, we fought our way past them easily. We got overconfident. We thought it would be a breeze and we were right; we got Robert and we were on our way.

But he took her. He took her and he knew that I would go back for her, like a bear running into a beartrap. He knew I would fight instinctively, forgetting that I was weak and human again. He beat me into submission with all the military precision of a war machine, the same military precision with which he makes all his moves. He tried to kill me and only for Tony's intervention, he would have succeeded. But it doesn't matter. My death would have been a mere bonus to his real prize.


He took my Ava and I couldn't stop him. I couldn't even lift a finger in protest.

We've been played for fools. And I'm not just talking to my friends, I am talking to my enemies too. Tensor, Morningstar, if you actually think that you are his allies, then you are sadly mistaken. Redlight is playing his own game, a game of his own devising. Don't pretend to know the rules; the rules are all in Red's head.

I don't know what to do. He will anticipate any move I make. Oh, we've all been such idiots! Every time we sat behind our computers and iPods and pointed and laughed at him, mocked him for his incompetency, gloated in victory, it was all a lie! Every time we thought we'd struck a wound against him, any time we thought we'd breached his defenses, he was just distracting us while he built another wall around us!

I have to get her back. I can't let her go. I love her.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Night Is Darkest Just Before The Red Light of Dawn

I'm trying to capture this moment. Ava is curled into my chest again. Her hair is draped down my skin like a stream of blood from a gunshot wound to the heart. But I don't feel any pain right now. This is how I wish things could always be.

I'm not sure how to hold her, to be honest. She's so thin and fragile that I'm afraid I'll snap her like a twig, even though I don't have the strength to do that anymore. But worse than being afraid that I'm too strong to hold her is being afraid that I'm not strong enough to hold her together. I'm afraid that she's going to break under the pressure and that I'm not strong enough to help her keep everything together. She acts fine when she's talking to you guys, but she's crushing herself under the weight of the world's problems and neglecting her own.

Tomorrow's fight will be my first fight as a human in over forty years. I still haven't gotten used to my body but I can hardly just sit here and let Ava and Tony go in on their own. I can't just sit back and do nothing. I have to help. I can't fail Ava like I've failed so many others. I have to be here for her. She's been bearing the weight of the world on her shoulders for too long. It's my turn to be Atlas.

I've just carved an inscription into the tree we're sleeping under.

"Avalesca et Reach
+ Spes  Pro  Reliquo +

My Latin may be a tad rusty but I think I conjugated and declined everything properly. I'd better sleep. A long day tomorrow. An early start.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Almost Poetic

The three of us are hiding in a place. I will not describe the place.

Ava's asleep on my chest. She's tired. Not just physically, but mentally and emotionally. She wouldn't admit it herself though. Too stubborn and proud.

I'm running my fingers through her hair. It's the colour of red gold. She really is beautiful, not that she agrees with me. I like how she doesn't wear makeup. I never really got makeup, to be honest. I have never seen a single person who looks better with makeup on. Also, it's hard to run your hand over someone's face when there's a layer of crap between you. Hmmm, that's almost poetic. Ava not letting her self-esteem get between us.

A quick explanation of myself while fleeing the hotel. Instinct took over and I tried to reach Revenant speed. Which I obviously can't. My thighs burnt out. They've recovered, thankfully.

I've got a real mental block going here. There's something I want to talk about but I can't remember what it is.  Meh, it'll come to me. Back to Ava-holding.

Monday, February 14, 2011


So, Ava and I talked and we decided to post the conversation here for all our friends and family to see. Yes, that's you guys.

Me: How's Cynthia doing?

Ava: Biting. -she rubs her right forearm- I think she's still...well, under His control. You?

Me: Hmmm? Oh, I'm fine, all things considered. Just getting used to being human again. I am probably the first person who has ever had to say that.

Ava: Oh really? Millions of billions of years and you're the only one? Hehehe. At least you can look at lights now, huh?

Me: Yeah...-an awkard silence- Why me, Ava?

Ava: ...why you, what?

Me: Come on, Ava, you know what I mean. Why did you pick me?

Ava: I...I'm not even sure I know, myself. You're just...urgh. Do you have any idea how hard this is?

Me: Yes, I do, actually.

Ava: I though you were dead, berk. You know what I mean.

Me: I guess.

Ava: You' equal. I have literally NEVER come across an equal as....YOU as you. I've happened across people I consider equal, of course I have, but...they lacked....well, they lacked the youness.

Me: So, you picked me because I'

Ava: ....yes. You're not exactly easy to come across you know. And before you say it, I know. I know how stupid this is, and I know how singularly odd it is also.

Me: It's not stupid.

Ava: But.

Me: It's not stupid, Ava.

Ava: Nyu-huh. Right. It's NOT stupid for me to fall in love with, basically, a sixy year old man in a seventeen year old's body. Who was also going to be married and has a forty year old daughter. Oh yeah. That's totally sane.

Me: Ava, I can't really be said to have matured normally. I'm emotionally thirty, at most.

Ava: -she snorts- Mhmm. Soooo much better.

Me: You're not exactly emotionally your age either, Ava. The gap isn't as big as you're making it out to be.

Ava: ...yes. Well. I know that. Hence the fact that you need to understand that I'm not exactly just being a teenager on Valentine's day.

Me: I know that, Ava.

Ava: So I'm not exactly taking anything back.

Me: I wouldn't want you to.

Ava: I meant it then and I mean it now. -another awkard silence-

Me: I'm gonna be brutally honest with you here. I'm afraid to love you, Ava. If I let myself love you, then it will make losing you a hundred times worse.

Ava: ...I am so close to slapping you right now, you face should be burning in anticipation.

Me: Ava, in my defense, I don't have a lot of experience in the field of emotions.

Ava: And neither the fuck do I. But I know that I love you. And I know that I will be damned if I'm leaving your side again. You've already proven that leaving you alone ends up horribly. For both of us.

Me: I always want you at my side, Ava. That's the problem. You're in remission for terminal cancer.

Ava: are actually shitting me, right?

Me: I'm just wondering will loving you now be worth mourning you later.

Ava: I've been in remission for SIX years. You could DIE at any moment thanks to your being human again. Slenderman could roll up in the night and slaughter us BOTH. I could get run over by a TRUCK. Even NORMAL people have those threats.

Me:'re right. You always are. Comes with the scientist territory, I guess.

Ava: Thank you. Now. What?

Me: -I get up, walk over and kiss her- I tried to make sure that I didn't do it too hard or soft.

Ava: ... -grabs me by the shirt and pulls me to her lips, only to be interrupted by a wretching noise from Cynthia- Oh for the love of fucking Christ.

Me: I love you, Ava.

Ava: Well, I certainly hope so or everthing I've said is rendered null and void and you're now just fucking with me. -she smirks-

Me: What are you smirking about?

Ava: Because I love you and you've admitted that you love me and now we have to invoke the Trope of Power Couple.

Me: It is entirely Jeff's fault that I understand what that means.

Ava: -kisses me quickly- Now. I hate to move directly from love to business, but I have to actually pay attention to the whining snotbag and notify Tony and Cathy as to how to get here. I believe you have a blog to update then? -she smirks again-

Me: Quite possibly. Do you want to post the conversation or shall I?

Ava: I'll be playing babysitter and marrige counsilor. I believe you should, sweetheart.

Me: Of course, darling.

Ava: Smartarse.

Me: Yes, but I'm your smartarse.

Ava: Oh god. I think I may be feeling the tinges of regret on the edges of my love for you. -she snickers-

Me: Don't worry, I'll make it worth your while. Go, take care of the child, I'll update the blog.

Ava: -she blushes- I was already going, I assure you.

Me: Wonderful.

You can now unclench your collective arses. Yes, we're together.

I'm Shivering With Antici...


Hey guys. Figured I'd make my grand return with a little humour. And yes, I know, I'm not particularly funny.

So, yes, I'm back! Clearly.

I don't really want to talk about what happened in the week or so I was gone. Not yet. I just don't want to go back to that place, mentally, physically or emotionally.

I know he can't read this right now, but I have to give a huge thanks to Robert for rescuing me. Christ, I didn't even think humans could survive using the Other Side as a shortcut. Even Revenants don't use it very much, the energy there is really intense. You already had my respect, but now you have my gratitude and admiration.

I'm still in the hotel. Ava's gone to meet Redlight. I wanted to go with her but she wouldn't hear of it and I couldn't really fight her on that one. Not anymore.

I'm not a Revenant anymore.

It was the last thing Redlight did before he brought me to Coumshingaun. He sent me to the Other Side and Slender Man was waiting for me. He broke me all over again. It was the most excruciatingly painful experience of my life. And then he took whatever he put inside me out.

I'm human again.

Sorry if I seem off, it's just a lot to get my head around. I'm having a bit of an identity crisis, to be honest. I don't know if I'm still Reach or if I'm Raymond again. There's a lot of stuff to get used to. When I first woke up, I started screaming because there was this horrible noise in my head. Do you know what it was?

Silence. It was the first time I'd heard silence in forty years. The first time in four decades that I couldn't hear Slender Man's voice inside my head.

The hypersensitivity is gone, along with the strength and speed. I spent so long training myself to rein in my strength and not destroy everything that now I feel like I'm trying to push a car with my finger every time I try to type a letter. It's...strange, to say the least.

And before anyone asks, yes, I've read what Ava said. And no, I'm not going to talk about it here and now. That's a conversation for when Ava gets back from her meeting with Redlight.

I'm just waiting now. Had some chicken tikka masala brought up to the room. I'm on a spicy-food binge again but this time it's to return to normal levels of sensitivity again. The room service guy gave me a funny look when he saw all the wounds. That's another thing that's gonna need getting used to. One of many things.

I don't want to talk about Catherine right now either. Later. Now, I'm gonna get some pasta carbonara and listen to the Best of the Ink Spots. uTorrent is a wonderful thing.

Reach out.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Rules, Robert

Oh, you silly, silly man. You little fucking shit. You spend all your time trying to put rules on He That Is, but you can't play by the rules yourself. Oh, burning down your house, that was clever. Rescuing Reach? Not so much. Well, not for his dear Catherine at any rate.

Round one of the game is over, ladies and gentlemen, and thanks to that spoilsport, Sagel, parent and child have both gone free. But I'm afraid Catherine is not quite so innocent anymore. In fact, she's been given a little update on all the fun that Reach got up to as a Revenant. Won't that be a fun reunion?

Don't be fooled, by the way. The game isn't over. In fact, it's only just begun.



Friday, February 11, 2011

New Game?

Hehe, hello, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to the latest edition of "What You Are In The Dark".

I'll be your host this fine, Irish night.

If anyone is still in any doubt who this is, the new background should shed some light on the matter, heh.

Tonight, I'd like to ask you all a question.

What are you in the dark?

Here on the blogosphere, you can say whatever you want without judgement. The only people here to judge you are people you can silence. The only judgement you receive is that which you allow yourselves to receive.

Which is what makes tonight's game so interesting. Tonight's game is a game of choice. Think of it as an...improvement on the game I played with Rob. Last time, you had a choice between letting Rob suffer and letting Rob die. This time, the only cards on the table are death.

Contestant number one is everybody's favourite traitor, Reach. Reach didn't come out too well in his fight with He That Is but he managed to survive long enough to be knocked unconscious. After a week of well-rounded torture (ain't hypersensitivity a bitch, Reach?), he's now sitting in a chair right on the edge of the near-freezing waters of Lake Coumshingaun. When five people say "PLEASE PUSH REACH INTO THE LAKE", he will be sent to join Aria at the bottom of the lake.

But what could possibly give you people incentive to sentence your pet turncoat to death? Well...

Contestant number two is an innocent. She knows nothing about He That Is. She is a relatively (by which I mean un-)successful writer with family and friends who deeply love and care for her. When five people say "PLEASE PUSH THE INNOCENT INTO THE LAKE", she will take Reach's place in the dark depths of Lake Coumshingaun.

The survivor will be set free. However, let me make something clear to you all.

This is our turf. There will be no rescue missions. There will be no negotiations. One of them is going to die by your hand or both of them will die by ours. You have two days to decide. In the meantime, we're going to chill out here and enjoy the lovely view. Choose wisely!



Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Ara Pacis

Ava is gone to get Cameron. Traffic opened up about ten minutes after her post, we managed to get into Newcastle proper. She said she could be a while so I decided to have a nice relaxing afternoon in the Castle Demesne, a park in the area. Just chilling out with some Tuc and hard water.

I can't remember the last time I just relaxed like this. There's trees everywhere but I'm just enjoying the day too much to even be paranoid. I haven't felt like this since, well, before Slender Man ruined my life.

I wanted to be a writer when I was young. I had all sorts of ideas for books. I was going to write fantasy, sci-fi, crime, thriller, horror. I was going to write poetry and dramas.

I guess, in a twisted sort of way, my dream came true, though I had intended on writing fiction, not telling my life story to a bunch of strangers on the Internet.

Either way; I'm done writing for now. I'm just gonna relax and enjoy the peace until Ava and Cameron return and shatter it like a mirror.

Reach out.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


I've decided to talk about the quarry a bit. In case Ava and I don't succeed and don't get a second chance. The secret in the quarry would be a useful asset and I don't want the knowledge of its hiding place to be lost to the Runners if I die. Unfortunately, I can not directly tell you where it is, but I will endeavour to leave something behind that will allow it to be discovered by others. For now, I will simply tell you about what obstacles face anyone who goes there.

1. The quarry is actually private property and you can be charged with trespassing for going into it.
2. The quarry is not totally abandoned, there is occasional work there.

(Those are the simplest to avert. Don't worry though, there are more.)

3. The quarry can be pretty hazardous in of itself, actually. Huge mounds of stone and sand and gravel, sheer cliff-faces, plenty of water to drown in, holes to fall down.
4. The quarry has ample ambush spots and hiding places for Revenants and Proxies.

(Steadily getting more difficult to avoid.)

5. It is the Revenant base of operations, there are usually at least three in the quarry at any given time, and Thage's skills notwithstanding, most humans aren't going to survive getting attacked by one. Most Conduits don't, let alone normal humans.
6. The quarry is the most dangerous of Slender Man's labyrinths. It brutally attacks the mind of anyone who spends too long in there without Slender Man's permission. It doesn't even teleport you anywhere, it just makes you think it has, you start running around walls that aren't there, turning corners that don't exist, you're already incapacitated anyway and you're probably going to encounter one of the hazards from point number three. After a while, it starts eroding your memory, then your sanity, until you're nothing left but a shell.

(Major obstacles, but still not the worst.)

7. Slender Man is finely attuned to the quarry. If you go into his quarry with the intent of stealing his secret, then you are going to have to face him. And not in his passive, observant way, I mean full-on mindfuck combat tentacle mode.

(Issue number one ^.)

So yeah, the quarry is gonna be hard. It doesn't help that Slate seems to have replaced me as the quarry's overseer. He's a lot more loyal to Slender Man than I ever was and a lot more powerful. Whenever this happens, it will have to be planned meticulously. Until then, Ava is threatening me with tasing unless I sleep, so I'd better do so.

Reach out.