Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Why I hate Halloween

First, I know I was supposed to get my Manufactured Newborn post up. That was delayed by testing on what I can do with Bob.

I told you my name is Cham.

Shut the fuck up Bob or I'm giving you another two hours of Happy Fun Time.

Shutting up.

More on Bob in a little bit, but first about the title. I used to love Halloween. Then I found out what the world was really like. These days I can't go out or answer the door on Halloween. It's not that I'm scared of Them or their servants, I'm scared of me. Some of you may have noticed my slight tendency towards paranoia, Halloween does not help with that.

Is that guy in the mask a Proxy or are they just on their way to a party? What about that lady dressed as a marionette? And the guy who walked past my house five minutes ago. Was that just a monkey costume or did fucking Mikey from that God damned show that replaced Candle Cove just walk through my neighborhood? Called in an anonymous tip after I saw him so the police would increase the surveillance on Janice just in case. I'm not letting out any secrets when I say this is the one night of the year that these fuckers are safe in my neighborhood. I just can't take the risk that I'll make a mistake and kill someone who's on their way to a costume party.

Now about Bob. There are several reasons I've been able to keep control with him in here. Primarily there's the fact that he's weak and I'm very single minded giving me a sort of strength of will. Also soon after I found out what was really going on with the world I began trying to strengthen my mind. Enough of the Fears have a negative effect on peoples mental states that I figured a regimen of meditation would help strengthen my will and maybe keep some of the worst at bay. And when I learned of the Grotesque I began practicing lucid dreaming techniques just in case they might help. It was the later that gave me the punishment I use when Bob gets on my nerves.

It's probably not going to shock many of you to hear that there is a part of my mind where my first kill takes place over and over again in a never ending loop of blood and screaming with my laughter over it all. The man took twenty minutes to die. It would have been longer but I wasn't good at preventing shock and blood loss. When Bob deserves Happy Fun Time I put Bob into the body of the man who killed my wife and he lives through what I did to him over and over until I let him out again. So if I gave him that threatened two hours he would live through that pain and fear six times before I let him out again. It's safe to say Bob does not like Happy Fun Time.

As for what I can get Bob to do . . .

As it turns out Bob is weak enough that while I can coerce some benefit out of him I'm not going to close gaping wounds in minutes. I can get him to heal bumps and bruises that would last a day or two in a couple hours. I might be able to prevent myself from bleeding out if an ambulance can get to me fast enough in a real emergency. Someone suggested increasing strength, speed, and agility. He can, but I only wind up able to lift about twenty five pounds more than normal. Speed and agility increases are proportional with the strength boost. So, useful but not exactly super powers. And I wind up paying with an annoying rash, headaches, and nausea. No matter how much Happy Fun Time I threaten him with there's nothing Bob can do to prevent that, it's simply the nature of the Dying Man.

My other thought was that I might be able to use him for information. It turns out that while Bob does know many things his information is not reliable. It's not that he lies to me, he only did the once. Right Bob?

Never again. Don't you think six hours of Happy Fun Time was a little excessive?

Don't talk back Bob or you'll get more. No, the problem with his information is Dimensional Bleeding. Bob, it turns out, is not a local. Among other issues where Bob came from JCarlson did chase after Janice when she was kidnapped, but the man who was allegedly Omega (I'm still not convinced any such person as the Unlucky Man actually exists) didn't show up and he was killed by that bell ringer who attacked him.

So, I'm still in control of Bob and I'm getting some use out of him. It's about time to lock my door and be sure my lights are out.

Stay Alert, Stay Alive.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A warning

The computer I'm currently using is safe, the only hold up on those Manufactured Newborn posts is research. But something has come to my attention that you need to be careful of. You may have heard of the blog  called B-Movie monsters, by the blogger B-Movie Max (this is one case where I will NOT be linking to it. If you go looking for it after I warn you what happens to you is your own damn fault.). He reviewed B grade horror movies. Some of them, by a studio called Horma, were about the Fears. They even featured characters with familiar names and back stories even though the movies were clearly made before the blogger named in the movie had their first encounter with the Fears. The last movie he watched, the last movie he will ever watch, was titled The Art of Dying. It was about the Dying Man. In fact due to some sort of deal with the Wooden Girl it apparently contained a Fragment. Now so does the final post on the blog. And everyone who reads the post. Yes that includes me. Fortunately he's spread himself a little thin with this strategy. The fragments are weak and my single minded devotion to my cause makes my will strong.

I don't think he likes it in here. It's the first time I've heard of a fragment saying "Let me out!"  Help me. This freak scares the shit of me. Someone get me out of here. Fuck off you. I can think of six ways to kill myself that would leave no body to be found and no one nearby when I died for you to infect. If I think you've been hurting anyone through me you fucking well know I'll do it. Now, I've heard from Mathias' blog that you guys can sometimes help your host heal injuries . . . we have a lot to talk about and some experimentation to do.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Computer trouble

Sorry I've been out of the loop for a bit. I've had computer problems. Mainly the problem you sometimes get where your laptop grows legs, assimilates a few mice from your walls, and then it tries to assimilate you and bring you back to the Tower (not the Screaming one, the one made of metal meat and bone). So I beat my computer to death with a hammer, incinerated the remains with bathtub thermite, and bought a new one. Assuming this one doesn't try to kill me too you can expect a few posts on the Manufactured Newborn coming soon.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

New developments

Not sure what happened to cause it but I'm grateful. Janice seems to be under police protection now. So the kid's safe and that's time I can spend doing other things.

Like getting to the bottom of this Archangel dust bullshit. Since the Timberwolves are on guard I decided to track down one of Mame's flunkies to get information from. The one I found was wearing a Greek tragedy mask (wonder if he was part of a matched set? Suppose I should keep an eye out for funny boy now.) According to him they're buying the Archangel dust for certain members of Mame's new recruits but he was evasive about why. Not sure he knew himself. Once he was exhausted as a source of information I made sure he wouldn't be making trouble for the locals anymore. It was amazing how much of that mask I was able to shove down his throat before he choked to death on it.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Huntus Interuptus

The Tmberwolves have recently begun increasing their production of Archangel dust, but haven't been pushing it on the general public. Instead they seem to be dealing it mainly to Mame's gang of Proxies, mostly to those in leadership positions. Took the time to follow one of their members today, a newly recruited young punk. I figured it would be easier to get him to spill what he knew before sending him to become one with his boss in a tight snugly embrace and decide if I needed to track down someone higher up to get more information. Unfortunately as I was coming up behind him in the alley and reaching into my jacket for my knife someone, a civilian I think, turned down the alley in their car. Caught me full in their head lights. Had to get out quick to avoid being caught. Good thing I had my motorcycle helmet on with the visor down. Don't need my face getting known.

Damn it, the Puppies are going to be more on guard now, harder to catch alone.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

You don't know Jack

But you should. He knows you and when you least expect it he may be by to offer you a deal. Sometimes you can find him at the pool table, sometimes sitting at the bar where the bartender inexplicably ignores the fact that he's drinking out of a flask he brought himself. Other times he might be at a blackjack or poker table in a casino. Anywhere really that he can find someone down on their luck. Someone willing to do anything to accomplish their goal. In some cases he'll even come looking for you. He'll offer you whatever it is you most desire and the most he ever asks is that you shake on the deal. Do yourself a favor and refuse. No one ever benefits from Jack's deals but Jack. And maybe sometimes the Fears. They must gain something from at least some of his deals because it isn't unheard of for Them to be the means of accomplishing the deal. An enemy torn apart by the Rake, a desired lover controlled by the Wooden Girl, I'm sure you can figure out how he would return a dead loved one (and that is why I will never be tempted to make that deal with him). He's also been known to help along the schemes of some servants. Some of you may remember Doc Wally exposing Aura to him. I'd link to the post but the blog seems to have vanished. All of the blogs associated Doc Wally's scheme have. I fear the Quiet got them.

So, how do you spot Jack? The first clue is the name. He always goes by Jack (although I'd be worried by any variant on the name if they fit the rest of the description). Usually there is some sort of nickname attached, although he may not give it unprompted. Common names are Jack the Hand, Red-hand Jack, Jack of All, Red Jack, Dealin' Jack, and Jack the Knave. Jack-in-irons and Jangling Jack are also names he's been observed to use. I've even heard speculation that the character from the Three Penny Opera was not originally named Macheath (AKA Mack the knife. Only one letter off you may notice.). And we can only speculate as to what sort of deal lead to Jack the Ripper (it could be coincidence, but the similarity in the name does point to the possibility. Perhaps it was not Jack who did the killing but the killer made a deal to avoid being caught). Now, we can't be suspicious of every Jack we meet, which brings us to another identifying feature . . .

His hand. Specifically his right hand. It may be mangled (allegedly from some accident), burned or scalded, red (from a birth mark, some disease, or in some reports as if it had been dyed), covered in a glove (usually red. I've never heard of a report of him having both hands gloved.), or replaced with a prosthetic device (while I've heard of him showing up with a prosthetic hand of various types I've never heard of it simply being gone. There would be nothing to shake at the close of the deal.). He may even attempt to keep his right hand out of sight until it's time to shake on the deal. It's always his right hand never in my experience the left. Those who shake his hand have reported that it seems somehow inhuman. Sometimes it feels almost hot enough to burn, others have said that something moved in a way a human hand should not, others yet found that his hand felt coated with slime or as if it was encased in a hard carapace.

Third there is his flask. How fancy the flask is depends on what sort of image he's trying to project. If he appears homeless then it's usually battered and old, although I've heard of him using a bottle in a brown paper bag as well. If he's trying to come off all high society it's probably going to be a lovely antique or something with beautiful engraving possibly made out of sterling silver. No matter how much he drinks the flask is always full. He has occasionally been known to offer people he's dealing with a sip from the flask. Those who take him up on the offer will find that what's inside will vary as much as the appearance of the container. Usually but not always the appearance of the flask will indicate the quality of the liquor inside. Rotgut whiskey or vodka in a brown paper sack, or high class cognac in a silver and cut crystal antique for example. Whatever the contents are they are inevitably described as extremely bitter. Some speculate that the contents are infused with wormwood.

I wish I could provide you with more details but they vary from tale to tale. He's black/white, short/tall, musclebound/emaciated, bald/long haired . . . you get the picture. Aside from his hand and his flask he looks the way someone who is where you find him should look. Theoretically he could show up at a white pride rally to make a deal with one of those assholes and then five minutes later make a deal with someone from the Nation of Islam without anyone in either location thinking he's someone who doesn't belong.

No one knows for sure what he is but it's widely thought that he is not one of the Fears but something else entirely. Certainly he blends with humanity better than many of Them and there have been reports of beings making deals with mortals for a very long time. All I know for sure that once you've identified him there's only one way to protect yourself. DON'T MAKE THE DEAL. Do not even say anything that could be remotely interpreted as accepting the deal. Do not shake his hand or drink from his flask as these are also widely accepted signals that one has accepted a bargain proposed to them. Refuse his bargain and leave. I've never heard of him preventing anyone from leaving before, he usually seems to feel you'll be back eventually. There is a first time for everything though so be careful.

Monday, August 6, 2012

What I've been doing lately

I know I've been doing a poor job of updating lately and I've used the recent incursion of Servants of all sorts as an excuse. But I think it's time for me to get back to what I meant to use this blog for, informing you of how to detect and fight Them. I'm working on a post about one of the lesser known threats and hope to have it up tomorrow. In the mean time I thought I'd explain about one of the things that's been keeping me so busy.

You may remember poor Janice from Jcarlson's blog. Well, so do the Proxies. Turns out that, at least in theory, when he made the deal to protect her from monsters it didn't include protection from anything that wasn't actively supernatural. While she doesn't seem to be the reason for the increased presence here it seems that the fresh meat among the Slenderproxies, Timberwolves, and Puppets think that a way to get on their bosses good side is to bring them the head of the invulnerable girl on a platter. The Puppets have been less of a concern after the Wooden General hanged one with marionette wire for making the attempt but Mame seems to find her minions attempts amusing. I've had to kill more than my usual share of Proxies and Timberwolves trying to keep them from getting her or her family, even called the cops a couple times to report suspicious people lurking about her house when I couldn't get a kill without getting caught myself. I actually got the information on why they were doing this when one of Mame's rejects started monologing like a fucking supervillain. Hell, maybe he thought he was one. Fucker kept calling me Frank, or Mr. Castle.

Anyway a couple nights ago Janice managed to look at the window at an inopportune moment and saw me with my knife in the gut of a man wearing a bunny mask. (Seriously? A fucking bunny mask? Have some pride man.) Surprisingly she didn't scream. I think she somehow knew the man in the mask was there to hurt her. She just looked at the crazy man with his knife in the other crazy man and called me a hero. A God damned hero. According to Carlson (the offer is still open if you want out from under the Wooden Bitches thumb badly enough man) she's a bright kid. She should know better. I'm no damn hero.

Anyway, thought you should know what's been keeping me from updating. Next time you see me I'll be telling you what I know and suspect about the man/Thing known as Jack.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Still kicking

Been a little busy to update lately, understandably so if you've been following what's happened in town. This weekend though is going to be rough. It's Bike Time, and as you may have guessed along with the perfectly innocent bikers that means fucking Timberwolves everywhere I've seen plates from as far away as Jersey today. The worst part? This event is being held on what recently became Camper turf. Now surprisingly that hasn't lead to any violence yet. I don't know if the Camper just don't give a shit or if they don't want to cause a commotion with the area this crowded. Or hell, maybe they're still working together to make that Archangel dust shit.  There is another problem with it being on Camper turf though. When I was there today (needed a new motorcycle jacket after that poor bastard who seemed to be turning into the Rake shredded my old one) it seemed every third booth selling beverages had at least one of Camper working it. The Timberwolves would avoid those booths, even the non-local pups, but the normal folks didn't know any better and I couldn't think of anything I could do to prevent them from drinking at those that wouldn't end with me dead, in jail, or on another 72 hour psych hold. Seems there was at least one Runner in the crowd though, all the booths I spotted Camper at were also marked with the Runner sign for EAT in the current appropriate color for this area. There've been other things taking up my time but I'll get to them in a later post. Until then, Stay Alert, Stay Alive.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Still not dead

I apologize for it having been so long since my last entry. For those who may have been worried I'm not dead, local events of late have though kept me extremely busy.

You may recall my previous mention that Muskegon Lake was recently replaced by Ink and has become Camper territory. That attracted a bit of attention from what was allegedly an FBI agent, the name Nathan Adler however suggests he may have been SMSC. The upshot is due to "chemical contamination" fishing, swimming, and boating in the lake are expressly forbidden. The people living near by have not however been evacuated and I occasionally catch Camper trying to baptize a new member. Sometimes I manage to save them, sometimes I wind up with two corpses.

The water balloons aren't the worst though. The Slenderproxies we used to get around here were disorganized chumps. Nothing too difficult to deal with if you knew they existed in the first place and were experienced and careful. A couple weeks ago though I found two of the bigger players in my area dead. Garrotted and their masks shoved down their throats. After a few "discussions" with other local Slenderproxies it sounds like that one that rescued me from the Panopticon - Mame I think she called herself - didn't leave town. Instead she decided to organize the local Proxies. The two found dead were an example of what happens to those who wouldn't bow to her rule. They've taken over most of Muskegon Heights and marked their turf with Operator signs.

The reason they decided to mark their turf? To make sure the Timberwolves stay off it. Yeah, they died down after that government crack down but there's been a resurgence. This time from the biker side of their organization. Their motorcycle club is located on third street and they control the portions of the Heights that the Proxies don't. With the exception of Hackley Hospital. Three fucking guesses who has the hospital.

Campers, Slenderproxies, Timberwolves, and Oathbreakers. You'd think that was bad enough wouldn't you? So did I, until someone called the Wooden General moved in. Within a week Norton Shores was tagged with little spray paint drawings of stylized marionettes and his gang, the Wooden Soldiers, had kicked out any local competition. Everybody but Camper and the Oathbreakers seems to be recruiting from the local Crips, Bloods, and Latin Kings as well. I think most of them are kept in the dark about what they're really joining up with and only a select few are actually being made Servants of their respective Fear.

Word on the street is that, while they wouldn't mind my head on a platter, I'm not what they're here for. I have no clue what it is they are after and I hope no new players show up. Recent reports of overly aggressive seagulls at Pere Marquette park have me worried though.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Runner Sign

I met a Runner today. His traveling companion had recently been exposed to Ink and joined the ranks of Camper. I helped him . . . take care of the situation. Unfortunately it looks Camper pretty much controls the area around Muskegon lake now. The whole damn lake seems to be contaminated, hopefully It doesn't reach the Great Lakes that would be bad. Anyway I noticed him using the knife of his multitool to carve a symbol into a bench near the lake and asked him about it. Apparently some of the Runner community has adopted the old system of Hobo Sign to communicate.  Of course they've needed to add their own both to convey information that Hobo Code didn't include about Fears and Proxies and to avoid confusion. It seems the old symbol for "Okay here, good chance for food" was the Operator sign. I got him to scratch a few of the signs out on a sheet of paper for me and scanned them in for you. They're mostly drawn larger than they would be in real life so you can see them a bit better on your screen.

I especially like the insult inherent in the Timberwolve's sign. All it is is the sign for "dog" enclosed in a triangle symbolizing the Archangel. If any of you run across more Runner signs out there let me know so I record them for the education of future Runners.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

This is why we don't shoot at the Eldrich abominations kids. . .

It just pisses them off. Good thing no one near by reported shots fired, how the hell they would have explained themselves to the police I have no clue and I don't that gun Mingen has is legal and registered. Also I have no idea where each group was in relation to the other, he could have hit one of his own easily and as Murphy's laws of combat tell us friendly fire isn't.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Why can't you leave that poor girl alone?

I don't know how many of you are familiar with the events a bastard who goes by the Jester was responsible for a while back. He kidnapped a man named Derek, held him captive in a cabin and tortured him while Derek's sister Grace searched for him. That ended . . . badly. As can be expected when one of the Wooden Girl's Willing Doll's is involved. I've recently learned that after everything she went through poor Grace was turned over to the "tender care" of Oathbreaker Doctor Beakman in that hell hole Shady Lawn. Worse someone is out to fuck with her again. It's not the Jester this time and he seems as surprised as us normal people.

This "Minstrel" takes credit for causing a medication mix up that Grace discusses on her blog here and threatens to do it again if we don't solve his riddle in two days. We now have less than 48 hours to figure out what this:

Both Grace and Jester have also been active on their twitter feeds.!/LookingGrace!/ThePuppetsFool

She needs help people. Beakman even has her convinced she never had a brother.

Monday, April 16, 2012

I'm free

Although why one of Them was apparently involved in freeing me I have no clue. It's worrying to say the least because quite frankly in this situation the enemy of my enemy is not anything I could ever consider a friend. Let me start at the beginning though.

Last Friday after I'd been noticing Panopticon types shadowing me for over a week a van with a logo reading "Freejack Comunications" pulled up next to me on a deserted street and two armed men came out of the back. Unfortunately for me someone on their team reads my blog diligently enough that they aimed the tazer at my leg instead of going for center body mass where the dart would have been blocked by the plastic plates in my jacket. Once they got me in the van they covered my head with a hood and drove for quite some time before bringing me into what appeared to be (once my hood was removed) a warehouse. Early on they tried to give me access to a lap top to continue blogging like they had poor Adam Krug. They decided that was a bad idea when the person who freed my arms had his face smashed into the keyboard so hard the Q key lodged up their nose.

Other than that they tried tactics similar to those they used on Adam to convince me that my wife had died not at the hands of a Slenderproxie but a simple home invasion. Doctored footage, edited copies of police reports that claim to show no evidence of the scene I recall finding. Hell they tried to claim that after my alleged  psychotic break that I made up how I found her, that I'd stolen it from the scene in Buffy where Giles finds Jenny Callender killed. I admit the similarities to that scene exist but we all know that certain types of Slenderproxy like to copycat from pop culture. They even tried to convince me that my war on the Servants of all the Fears were the delusions of a psychotic serial killer. I know better than that. I'm never saner than when I'm holding my knife. They even tried showing me some doctored footage from when Betty took that swim. I was there people. I know for a fact that he never claimed that he didn't understand "my babbling about the Archangel". And he was certainly talking after I pulled him out of the pool filled with Ink. To insinuate that I had been moving his lifeless jaw and providing his lines like he was a puppet before slitting the throat of his already drowned corpse is just sickening.

Well, they'd noticed that so far all they were succeeding in doing was angering me. There was talk of my "psychosis" providing an unanticipated line of mental defense against their program. One of them was talking about moving on to drug enhanced methods or "engaging in the use of other physical stimuli" which I think is scientist for torture. That's when she showed up.

It looked like reality tore open, a jagged wound carved with a dull knife revealing a horrific landscape of throbbing, pulsating black plant life. I could see branches and vines moving against the wind blowing out of the gash in reality. Out of the Path, accompanied by a flurry of black leaves came a masked woman in a little black dress and red silk scarf. Her blond hair spilled down over her shoulders and her mask was mostly silver with small swirling patterns over it, the nose and cheeks were white and the lips had silver applied as if it were lipstick.

The Panopticon people panicked apparently at least the ones I had been dealing with really did believe that all this was simply a delusion. Before the Path closed behind her she threw one of my captors into it. I saw him grabbed by black vines that buried barbed thorns in his flesh before ripping it from his bones even as the horrific pressure found on the Path caused his eyes to implode. Finally the portal closed cutting off his screams. I've seen a lot of gore. Hell, I've caused more than my share of it. But that nauseated even me. They converged on her and I swear she smiled behind her mask as she spun into action. In complete silence she delivered a series of brutal hammerfists, palm strikes, upercuts, and low kicks (usually using the kick to break a knee so she could beat the hell out of them at her leisure). Now I know we've all been raised on Hollywood to think of unarmed combat as less than lethal but unconsciousness is a bad sign and I'm sure she left a lot of them with internal bleeding, some of it in the brain. When she was down to the last one she pulled off the scarf and expertly garrotted him. That one I know for sure is dead and she seemed to take an almost orgasmic pleasure in it. The little sigh she made as he died was the only noise I heard her make the whole time.

I thought this was the end, a Proxy paths in and kills everyone else in the room and you kind of expect them to go after the one who's tied up and helpless too. Especially if that person has caused as much trouble locally as I have. Instead she retrieved my knife from my motorcycle jacket that they had hung on the wall and stabbed it into the chair I was tied to so that I could rub the ropes against it's edge. After doing that she waved at me as if saying goodbye to a friend and pathed back out. When the path opened again that poor bastard she threw in was still screaming.

Once I freed myself I hitchhiked back home trying not to think about the fact that I'd just been saved by a fucking Slenderproxie. I really hope I never run into that freak again, she seemed like she could give me a real run for money unlike the punks my area usually gets.

Friday, April 6, 2012

If this post goes up there's a good chance the Panopticon has me

Haven't mentioned this yet on the blog because I don't want them to know I'm on to them, but I've been seeing a lot more of their vans around. "All Tomorrow's Parties catering service", "Johnny M.'s Courier service" "Case's Electronics", "Sterling Cyber Security". I've even seen an ice cream truck that was marketing themselves with their mascot "Count Zero". They seem to be following me. I've scheduled this messages to post every four hours unless I come in and un-schedule it. I seem to have recovered from my fight with that imitation Rake so hopefully if they do come for me I'll be able to fight them off and this will never be posted. If they do manage to take me hopefully I'll be able to get out with my brains unscrambled.

Hopefully they don't have my password or the jig is up just from me scheduling these posts. But if you're reading this Joo Dee, fuck you there is so a Slender Man in Ba Sing Se.  Also there are four lights and there always will be no matter how many times you ask.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated

Assuming me going silent for so long after my last post generated any such rumors. Although I guess the exaggerations wouldn't have been all that great given all the bandages still wrapped around my arms. On the other hand I'm no longer too looped out on pain killers to type up a coherent entry (yes being looped on pain killers is dangerous. So is being in too much pain to think straight. Fucked if you do fucked if you don't.). It's also come to my attention that there's something I neglected to add to my list of things every Runner should own, I wear it all the time and it's become as natural to me as wearing pants so I didn't think to list it. In the big confrontation last Thursday my leather motorcycle jacket probably saved my life*.

I hid out under the amphitheater (plastered with those fucking posters from the Panopticon now) until nightfall then slipped out. Fortunately even though people aren't supposed to be in the park after hours the city sprung for some street lights (presumably so passing cops can tell if there are people in the park who shouldn't be). It wasn't long before I heard growling and whispering from some of the bushes but every time I headed towards the noises they started coming from a different location. Apparently when this guy was infected with whatever caused him to mutate into this Rake like form is also giving him something similar to the teleportation like abilities shown by some Fears. While I was headed for a clump of bushes where I'd last heard the growling with my new steel baton extended it leaped at me from behind and clamped it's jaws down on the arm holding the baton. Fortunately the fangs didn't penetrate the leather or I might have wound up just like him. I pulled my knife with my left hand and slammed it into the Beast's throat which forced it to let go. I whipped around to face it and to my horror saw that my earlier fears were correct, I could see the wound closing before my eyes. Only two things gave me hope, the first that the wound was closing slowly not nearly instantaneously like when Hunter shot the real Rake in the face. Secondly the Beast was still bleeding red. I've met Slenderproxies who don't do that anymore so it gave me hope that the Beast was still human enough to die. It was a hard fight, it's claws ripped the arms of my jacket as well as my arms underneath it to shreds but fortunately I was able to keep it from ripping my face off and the plastic inserts in the torso of my jacket kept my guts in my belly where they belong. Eventually the Beast went down with blood trickling from countless slowly bleeding wounds. I knew it wasn't going to stay down though so I sawed off it's head with my knife and doused both the head and the body with a couple liters of kerosene I'd hauled along in my back pack and set it ablaze. I hightailed it out of there before the fire drew any attention and covered my arms with tightly wrapped gauze at the first chance I got both to keep from leaving a blood trail from the fire to my home and so I didn't bleed out. Once I got home I passed out. I must have been running on pure adrenalin just to get that far. For the next few days I only woke long enough to douse my wounds in rubbing alcohol, change the dressings, and eat before taking some pain killers and passing out again. I haven't heard any growling or whispers since so I'm sure it's dead. Oddly though there have been no reports about the fire or a body in the park. There are so many things out there from Panopticon to the Lonely Hearts that could be covering this up that I don't even want to think about it. My wounds don't seem infected but I'm still feeling a little weak. I think I need to get more iron after all the blood I lost in the fight but I'll be okay for now.

Until next time Stay Alert, Stay Alive.  

*The model I wear is expensive and comes with hard plastic inserts that are meant to protect a motorcyclist in a crash. Those inserts aren't going to stop a bullet but they're great against blunt force like fists, crowbars, and baseball bats and somewhat helpful against knives and claws. Most of you probably can't afford an investment like my jacket but even a second hand leather duster or bomber jacket will be better against fangs claws and knives that bare skin or a T-shirt.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Time to confront the Beast

Its prowling around my house all night growling and whispering is maddening and I've begun to fear that it might attack passers by after reviewing last nights tapes and seeing someone walking past suddenly start and flee as if they'd heard a growling dog approach (my security cameras lack audio to prevent, or at least mitigate, Choir interference with what they record).

While it is still light I intend to head to the park where I first saw the Panopticon flyers. There are places in the park where I can go unnoticed until night falls and I'm certain the Beast will follow me there. The park will give me the most room to fight and since people are not supposed to be in the park after nightfall the potential for innocent bystanders to become involved should be minimized. I'd tell you more of my plans but I don't know how much human intellect the Beast retains (the Rake is known to be as smart or smarter than a normal human but there is no guarantee of the same being true for this thing) and if he is intelligent he may be receiving information from Rake Proxies or Cultists who may be reading this blog. Assuming I live and any injuries I sustain permit I will update after the confrontation.

Needless to say I am taking precautions to avoid being bitten that I will address in my next post survival permitting.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

I've been doing some research

Sorry to have gone silent with so much going on but I've been cooped up doing some research while that Beast prowls around my house whispering and growling all night long. It's cunning, so far I haven't caught more than a quick glimpse on my cameras and It only seems active at night so as not to draw attention from neighbors or passers by. My research paid off though and I'm 90% certain this isn't the Rake Itself. I stumbled back across a blog I'd commented on a time or two but never followed. The blogger had been bitten by the Rake and then had the wound treated either by the Plague Doctor Itself or an Oathbreaker with a sick sense of humor. After that he began going through changes both physical and mental becoming something like the Rake Itself. This was the bloggers final post that I had not seen until now.

I don't know how similar this Xeal Stevens has become to the Rake. It could be that if I stab him with my knife he will just regenerate like the Rake did when It was shot in the face by Hunter. When it comes time for the confrontation I'll have to be prepared to counter that somehow. I can't believe that it will have the Rakes full power though so hopefully even if it heals fast I can still kill it. One further update on this subject: Even if those rumors I've heard in the past of the herb Rue repelling the Rake are true it doesn't seem to work on this. This leads me to believe those rumors to be false.

On the other subject that has been causing me trouble someone came by yesterday to "check my cable box" since, according to them, there had been reports of problems with cable service in the area. The thing is, I didn't see a cable truck on my block. After they left I inspected the area and found a camera that's not part of my security network. I waved into the camera and then ripped it off the wall.

Until next time, Stay Alert, Stay Alive.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Being stalked

Went out again tonight, I didn't see the Rake or whatever that was that came out of the City last night but I kept hearing It. Growling, whispering, but whenever I try to find It It's gone. Still not convinced It's really the Rake. I haven't really had contact with what servants It has and besides It would probably have attacked by now.

Saw something else odd tonight. A truck parked by someone's house (just down the road from mine) that said "Case's Electronics" on it's side. There were a few problems with that . . .

Number one it's a bit late for an electrician to be making a house call. Number two, there is no Case's Electronics in my area. I've checked both the phone book and the internet. Finally, this poor bastard has been followed by folks who are apparently big fans of William Gibson. Case is the protagonist of Neuromancer, one of Gibsons most famous novels. So if it makes you feel any better Adam you're not alone.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Trouble comes to town

I was out scouting tonight, in the same park where I found that Panopticon poster yesterday when I heard a Door slam. Now, why did I capitalize that? Because there are no houses close enough to the park for me to hear someone slam their door. Nor was there anyone in the park at the time but me for It to be snapping up. I hid behind the amphitheater in the park and waited thinking that maybe it was that Puppet who had been stalking me earlier but it wasn't her at all. I only caught a quick glimpse as It ran past but I saw pale white flesh and huge fucking claws. I would be certain It was the Rake if It hadn't also been wearing tattered clothing.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Archies Puppies: The Timberwolves

It's long past time for me to fill you in on what I know and conjecture about the Archangels servants. I apologize for taking so long between posts but I've been pondering what to do about that hotel full of Camper, especially the pool full of Ink. As a matter of fact, I've been obsessing over it. So I've upped my caffeine intake to act as a diuretic in case my suspicion that I've become infected with Ink are correct. I've also decided that if I can figure out how to safely kill all the Camper in the hotel the best way to deal with the pool is quick drying cement. That should keep the Ink out of the local water system.

So, on to the Timberwolves. You may have seen them in your home town and mistaken them for just another gang, at least if you don't recognize the symbol of their Master that they tend to use to tag their turf and mark their hoodies with*.

For those of you unfamiliar with it that is the symbol of the being known as the Archangel. The good news about his servants is that unlike Nests, Camper, and certain Slenderproxies Timberwolves are entirely human. To my knowledge none of them possess any unique supernatural abilities that have been recorded, I haven't even heard of them having access to something like the Path of Black Leaves (there is however a chance that they may be permitted to pass through the Empty City unharmed, but that will likely depend on the City's mood at the moment). They don't even appear to be Proxies in the usual sense, more cultists worshiping the Archangel but providing little to him aside from occasionally killing people and thus sending them into his embrace. Similarly their Master rarely involves himself in their business.

The bad news is that they combine the worst features of fanatics and gang members. Imagine dealing with a Crip or a Hells Angel who has no fear of death because all dying means is that he will spend an eternity with his god. Also don't think for a moment that just because they have the trapping of a gangbanger or a biker (depending on which branch you're dealing with) they're stupid.While I didn't give Betty or Veronica time to do so others I've met have loved to quote Shakespear and other classic works. One told me that in order to purify himself and become worthy of his "Father" (a naming quirk they appear to share with Slenderproxies, what's with Proxies and daddy issues?) his mind, soul, and body had to be "in harmony". I'm sure the fine paste the wood chipper made of him was very harmonious.

So "What is it that a Timberwolf actually does?" you may be asking. Now, I'm sure you recall their recent plot in my area to kill loads of people at the circus (the circus went off with out a hitch by the way. I didn't hear anything about a terrorist plot on the news but there was a brief flurry of black cars with government plates and now there are a lot fewer local Timberwolves.) Or have read Marilyn Monroe, Helen of Troy, or other long dead beauties. Or worse, the perfect snuff experience where the same victim can be brutally killed again and again. On the drug front they can get you pretty much anything you want, although they prefer dealing in highly addictive substances with a high toll on their users health like crack, heroin, or their recently created designer drug Archangel dust. Again, according to the rumor mill Archangel dust is not the only drug they've been known to mix with Ink. Apparently at low enough doses the Ink can heighten the addictiveness of the drug without creating a full blown Camper. Of course eventually the obsession the Ink causes will eventually lead them to OD and if the Ink reaches critical mass before the drug itself kills them . . .

To sum up, a Timberwolf is usually easily recognized, and poses only slightly more threat than a member of the Crips or the Hells Angels unless their local boss starts planning something big. Easily avoided as long as you don't attract the attention of them or their Master.

*Another reason I dislike the tendency of some Runners to mark themselves with the symbol of the being they're fleeing. If you put this on the back of your hoodie how am I supposed to know you're a Runner and not a Timberwolf?

Saturday, February 25, 2012

A little "talk" with Veronica

Feeling a lot better, aside from some bruises I picked up during our "discussion". Veronica tracked me down last night as I was leaving a local restaurant. Fortunately I saw him coming and took a turn down an alley where I grabbed up a convenient pipe to beat the living hell out of him with. He on the other hand had one of those fancy retractable metal batons (emphasis on had. I love adding new tools to my arsenal.). After the fight was over he was a bit more talkative than Betty had been. Apparently I'd completely managed  to blow the deal they'd been wanting all that money for, a purchase of Sarin gas. Unfortunately they'd come up with an alternative and their boss had called Jughead back to make sure nothing went wrong this time. Veronica was just hunting me down on principle for blowing their deal and killing Betty.

Their alternative was trading a local Oathbreaker some stimulants and hallucinogens to spike prescription medications with for an aerosolized antibiotic resistant strain of anthrax. Veronica wouldn't say what they're planning to do with it but I have a suspicion. The circus is in town next weekend. That's always popular. Disperse the anthrax through the heating vents in the arena and they send a lot of locals to His embrace. A little tip off to the feds should deal with this I think. Unfortunately they'll respond better if I say I overheard the plotters saying "Allahu Akbar" than "embrace Him".

I didn't have any Ink to deprive the Archangel of His servant with so I did the next best thing. Veronica won't be much use to the Timberwolves after I pulverized both his hands and broke his legs in so many places they'll never heal right. It should make it pretty difficult for him to kill himself too. He's also going to have trouble asking his Timberwolf buddies to do the job for him without his tongue. I took his wallet and made an anonymous call to 911 from a payphone about hearing a disturbance in the alley so he should be checked into the hospital as a John Doe now.

With the Timberwolf threat taken care of for the moment I think I can head home now. The Slenderproxies still want their money back (most of it's gone now, spent on cabs and hotels and eating out since I couldn't go home) but the local Slenderfreaks are mostly bumblers with the exception of that Agent that started this whole mess. Now that the heat's off I'll try to update you guys on what I know and theorize about the Timberwolves soon.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

A bad time to get sick

Feverish, nauseous, and body aches. Hopefully this is the flu and not something the Plague Doctor cooked up. That's all I need on top of running from these guys.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Betty takes a late night swim

Before I explain what happened since my last post I want to clear something up that may have confused some readers. The Timberwolves I've been running from do not, as far as I know, actually call themselves Betty, Veronica, and Jughead. Those are just little names I came up with myself because they happened to be a brunette, a blond, and a guy in a stupid hat and all three are Archie's bitches. Hell they're even all three men. I did however solve Archie's dilemma recently. He no longer has to choose between Betty and Veronica since the three of them made the mistake of splitting up to find me faster. Betty found me near a small nest of Camper I'd stumbled into, I'll have to go deal with that when I'm not running from Slenderproxies and Timberwolves both (until I do don't stay at the Red Roof Inn on Seaway in Muskegon, or at least don't use the indoor pool) but it did turn out to be useful.

Betty kicked down my door late last night as I was packing up to get the hell out of Camper City, population the entire staff and some of the guests. He came at me with a bat and I threw a suitcase at him. While he was swinging for the bleachers trying to keep the suitcase from hitting him in the face I pulled my favorite knife and stabbed him right in the meaty part of the thigh. He screamed and started bleeding like a stuck pig but it looked like I missed the artery (trust me, you know when you hit one of those, it spurts EVERYWHERE). Fortunately it was enough to get him to drop the bat and grab his leg. After a quick punch to the face to shut him up for a while I put a tourniquet on his leg , I didn't need him bleeding out before he answered some questions of mine and I couldn't think of a better place to ask them then next to a swimming pool full of Ink.

No was awake to see me haul him, bloody and bound with duct tape into the room with the pool except whatever body Camper had watching the security cameras and It didn't seem to care. I did bring the essentials, including my bag full of money, with me so I could leave right away when I was done though. Being very careful not to touch the Ink myself I scooped some out of the pool with a plastic cup the hotel had been kind enough to provide in my room and threw it in the face of the unconscious Timberwolf to wake him. He came to sputtering and immediately declared that I should kill him now, he had no fear of embracing his master. I explained to him that there was one class of person I'd never seen getting a great big hug from Archie and that was someone who had become Camper before dying. Betty looked at me, then looked at the pool, and turned white. "So talk quick before I throw you in and wait for the bubbles to stop coming up. What the hell were the Slenderproxies buying from you guys and what did you need all that money for?"

"You fucking wouldn't!" he spit at me. "I know who you are, you're the Proxy Hunter, you don't make Proxies you kill them."

"The way I see it, it's just as easy to kill Camper as Timberwolves. Easier when It's early stage and hasn't figured out the body yet. Now I'm getting bored, so which is it? A big old hug from Archie or a late night swim?"

"Fine, one of their Agents approached us, he wanted to buy a new designer drug we'd made. We're calling it "Archangel Dust", PCP with a pinch of Jimsonweed suspended in our secret ingredient, a form of Ink. It helps amp up the addictiveness of the drugs and as long as they don't OD they don't usually go Camper on us."

"And why in the hell did the Proxies want this "Archangel Dust" of yours?"

"I have no clue. The boss might know but no one told me."

"So who's the boss? If you tell me Tony Danza so help me God I'll kick you into the pool right now."

"Father would be displeased if that became public. I will not displease Father for anything."

"Fine, so what did you guys need a briefcase full of C-notes for then?"

"I don't know the specifics. The boss has a plan to see many people into Father's embrace but he hasn't revealed the details to any of us."

"Thanks, Betty." I said "You've been very helpful. Enjoy your swim." Then I kicked the bastard into the pool and waited until the bubbles stopped coming up. Not wanting to add to the local Camper population I fished the body back out of the pool with the life guard equipment and spoke to It to make sure I was dealing with an early stage Camper. After I got tired of making Betty say things like "The Archangel is a douche." I slit Its throat before it could evolve further and left.

This is not good. The Timberwolves are planning to kill a fuck load of people and the Slenderproxies wanted a drug that's essentially a Dissociative mixed with a Deliriant and backed up with Ink. What the hell could they want with that? Got to move to a different hotel now. No, I'm not saying which one I'm typing this entry from. I'm going to try to get a post up explaining the Timberwolves to those of you who aren't familiar with them soon.

Until then, Stay Alert, Stay Alive.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

They tracked me down

Well, I was holed up in a cheap motel where I thought my only worry was the possibility of the Intrusion hiding in the sheets. Didn't even give my name, just told the night man that my name was Mr. Franklin and showed him some very green ID. Two hours ago three Timberwolves came and started kicking down random doors. Not sure how they knew I was there but it can't have been the guy at the desk, he would have known my room number. I was trying to figure out how to get the window open (don't try jumping through the glass like you see in the movies kids, it's a good way to get sliced to ribbons) when Betty, Veronica, and Jughead got to my door. Wish I could have gotten my knife out and sent at least one of them to give their boss man a great big hug but I had the briefcase in one hand and needed to grab my laptop with the other. While the image is a little embarrassing I wound up beating them all around the head and shoulders with the briefcase like an old lady hitting a mugger with a purse until I got to the door and then took off.

Three cabs heading in different directions later (having ditched the briefcase after the first cab in favor of a newly purchased duffel bag - just in case they were tracking the briefcase somehow) I'm sitting in a 24 hour diner with free wireless wondering why they seemed to want to avoid killing me, what the Slenderproxies want from them so bad they're willing to give them this much money, and what they need this much money for? All I know is none of the answers can be good.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

A quick update

Still have to keep in motion. Some of you may remember me complaining about how little money your average Slenderproxy caries in their pockets. Well, the financial situation is a little different when your target is an Agent on their way to meet a representative of the Timberwolves with a briefcase full of hundred dollar bills. The downside of course is that killing the Agent in question and jacking his cash is like kicking a hornets nest. Now I've got a group of Proxies and the Archie fan club out looking for me so I've got to keep moving until the heat dies down and I can go home. More updates later.

Stay Alert, Stay Alive

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Birds of a feather

Before I get into this post a little update on my current situation. I haven't seen that Puppet since she vanished into the Empty City, although I doubt I'm lucky enough that it ate her. I did however locate that pyro Proxy again. He was hauling a can of gas to his next target, I followed him down an alley again and this time with no one to interrupt me stuck my knife into his right kidney and gave it a twist before pulling it out. Amazing how that tends to bring people to their knees in pain. A quick slash across the throat and he even stopped screaming. As an added bonus he'd brought along the means of disposing of his own body. I wiped the blood from my hands and knife onto his cloths and lit him up before heading on my way. One less Proxy out there screwing with the rest of you.

Now onto the subject of this post. Birdbrains. Feather Heads. Or as most of you probably know them, Nests. Servants of the Convocation they let those fucked up birds (or as they like to call the "The Bright Ones") live inside their own bodies. No one's quite sure how they manage this as many hold more birds than would be physical possible even if all their organs had been removed. Most let the birds out by cutting themselves open (which as I've previously mentioned is what makes them dangerous to fight, they tend to bleed gouts of pissed off birds instead of blood when wounded) although at least one seems to be able to let them out at will. This is probably due to the fact that his eye sockets are empty so they can just fly out when he removes his mask. He's also the only one I've heard of who demonstrated powers beyond releasing the birds from his body, he relies on them to replace his eye sight and it's been implied that he can see through their eyes even when they aren't inside him. The most famous of their kind would probably be the Witch of Gatlinburg (who the Blind Man Cultists at the Archive were kind enough to detail). For all we know the same woman has been the Witch of Gatlinburg since the early 1800's, which may imply that Nests don't age after they become infested with birds. Another prominent Nest in the blogging community is The Midwich Cuckoo, who apparently is part of a whole fucking flock of the bastards. He details some of their, forgive the pun, pecking order here.

How does one identify one of these Nests? Well, a lot of them are obsessed with birds. They tend to have a lot of scars from releasing the birds (if they've been a nest for long you might mistake them for a cutter due to all the scars). Most carry a knife, although some (who don't plan to fight hand to hand) prefer a razor blade since it's more concealable. I've even heard of cases where Nests simply grew their nails long enough to open up a gash in their skin for the birds to come out. Most of them also seem to have trouble acting human anymore. The most telling sign though (other than seeing them release the birds) is that they will often feed the birds with in them by eating things that the birds inside them would enjoy, swallowing them whole. Apart from the fact that they swallow whole rather than chewing it's not quite so telling when one is popping sunflower or pumpkin seeds. On the other hand once you've seen one swallow worms, or live fucking mice (I think that one was hosting owls) you can be pretty damn sure you're looking at a nest.

Killing them on the other hand is extremely difficult, what with the built in defense mechanism of swarming birds. Crocodile Tears has had some luck with bird (or buck) shot and fire, but you know my reasons for discouraging guns and packing Molotov cocktails or flame throwers are a bit conspicuous. An aerosol can and a lighter might handle the fungal form of the Choir, but probably isn't enough to bake four and twenty blackbirds into a pie. Some ideas I've had, but not tested, are strangling the nest to kill them without breaking the skin. However you do have to occupy their hands so they don't cut themselves. Poison might work, the question is if it would kill the birds within as well as the host. Harder to arrange would be a powerful electric shock, but it might do the trick (for the Nest at least, the birds have been known to produce lightning and may be immune).  Also you run the risk of an electrical burn that might split the skin. I stress that these methods are untested and should only be attempted in an emergency.

So I'm pretty sure that sums up current knowledge on the Nests. For all you Birdbrains out there I leave you with this fine musical number:

Everyone else, Stay Alert, Stay Alive.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A title I can live with

So, after all that playing at cat and mouse I finally got my confrontation with the woman who had been following me. Bitch wound up ruining a perfectly good kill too.

I was stalking a Slenderproxy I'd traced back to three Runner deaths by arson in the last month and I'd finally managed to catch him in an alley away from witnesses. Had my knife out, carefully approaching from behind planning to slit his throat and she just turns up behind me and clears her throat. Of course that gets his attention and he turns and sees me with my knife out. Seeing as he's a torcher not a fighter he uses whatever fucking mumbo jumbo it is their faceless bastard of a boss gives them and Paths the hell out of there.

I turn on her, furious, and she speaks up meek and quiet as mouse - staring at her damn feet the whole time. "Mr. [Proxiehunter]*, Sir. This one did not come to fight you. This one is only delivering a message. This one's Mistress will be unhappy if the message is not accepted." Yeah, like I needed more conformation of what it was she served, I'm only aware of two Things that can be properly identified as female in this line of work and this lady didn't seem like someone who'd been through an encounter with Little Nameless. I told her to talk quick or I just might carve a piece of her to make up for missing that damn Slenderproxy and it happened . . .

She jerked ramrod straight like she'd been pulled by a string and her eyes went blank. The next words out of her mouth sounded hollow, like they were coming through a bad mic and her jaw flapped like a ventriloquists dummy instead of her forming her words like a normal person.

"[Proxiehunter], Slayer of the Chosen, Pawn who has gone Rogue. You upset the balance of the Game. Your interference has allowed pieces to remain on the board that should have been taken long ago, and removed those that should still be in play. This is your only warning. Cease to interfere with Our Game or you will be dealt with." After that the Wooden Bitch's control left her and she nearly collapsed. I reached out to grab her, to try and get more information out of her, but she turned and suddenly a Door appeared behind her. I backed off quick when I saw that, the last thing I need is a one way trip to the Empty City. Hell, I'd rather go to Detroit. She opened the Door and went through and it vanished behind her as she shut it.

Slayer of the Chosen, I can live with that but I'm no one's fucking Pawn. Did the Wooden Bitch really think this was going to scare me off? Besides that damn Proxy is still out there lighting up Runner's housing while they sleep.

*She used my real name here, I have no clue how she or her boss managed to find that. And for those who have seen the name I used to sign up for some of the online services I use to communicate, did you really think John Smith was my real name?

Friday, January 13, 2012

Get down with the sickness

I'm really starting to hate this bitch. When she's following me she's harder to shake than pneumonia, I try to force a confrontation and she turns down a blind alley and vanishes. I really hope her Mistress hasn't developed something like the Path of Black Leaves. But on to the topic of this post. I was originally going to talk about Nests but then the Faceless Bastard showed up. I'm going to take some time and see if he accidentally drops some new information on his kind before posting on Nests (Rule 7 folks, the Enemy's blogs are a source of information. Use them.).

Instead I'm going to discuss the Proxies of someone long thought to lack Proxies, the Plague Doctor. I know that a lot of you are discounting the thought right now, but think about this . . .

In this world we have bug chasers , anti-vax doctors, doctors who prescribe antibiotics like they're M&Ms - which paradoxically creates stronger antibiotic resistant bacteria . . . the list goes on and on. People who positively encourage the spread and strengthening of disease. If that's not working for the glory of the Plague Doctor than what is? Trace these ideas back to their source and I have no doubt you would eventually find someone with the Stick and the Serpent displayed in their office decor, or perhaps their jewelry. Last week a Runner of my acquaintance contracted a very nasty infection when a back alley "doctor" sewed up a knife wound (don't look at me! A Slenderproxy knifed him!) without disinfecting his equipment properly. Well, I visited that "doctor" to have a talk about proper sanitary procedures and during the discussion his shirt tore revealing the Stick and the Serpent tattooed on his arm. Lets just say after that the conversation turned ugly. Good thing the building next door wasn't nearly as flammable. These folks are subtle. Unless you see old beaky's sign on them it can be nearly impossible to tell them from someone with a few crackpot ideas (which they probably got from an actual servant of his). But for all their subtlety they can do a lot of damage. Like a recent pox party (a brilliant plan to spread disease far and wide if I've ever heard one!) where the kids came home with an especially vicious strain of measles instead of the chickenpox their parents were hoping to expose them to. That strain spread all over the state and caused a lot of deaths before burning out.

As if these Plague Bearers weren't bad enough recently I've been hearing of Mad Doctors. For example, this Doctor Beakman (wonder if that's his given name or if he changed it in honor of his patron) who seems to enjoy using his knowledge of the human mind to break it rather than heal. Mr. Carlson is not the first to encounter that particular man and it seems madness, possibly handcrafted by the man himself, follows him wherever he goes. The first I heard of him involved a former patient of his who had been seeing him for anxiety - several months after showing improvement the bodies of children who had gone missing in her neighborhood were discovered buried in her basement. The news reports said that she had been prescribed an "Extract of Salmacis", but that when the medication in question was analyzed it appeared to be nothing more than water. Those of you who read my last entry know what that means. He clearly had her on a dose high enough to cause obsessions without tripping her all the way over into Camper but I don't know how he managed to plant the obsessions he wanted. While I wouldn't say the Mad Doctors are as subtle as a Plague Bearer they can get away with a lot of experimentation and patient abuse before coming to the attention of the AMA (or whatever group governs the medical profession in their country of origin) and who knows what sort of experiment one might decide to preform. Again, your only hope is to spot the Stick and the Serpent before they do something nasty to you in the guise of actual medical treatment.

Remember, this:

Is the symbol of a doctor.


Is the symbol of the Plague Doctor. You shouldn't find the second on or near someone who's going to make you better.

Why do they do it? As far as I can tell it's some sort of cult. There seem to be a lot of rich and powerful people at the top of this and that street doc had to be able to pull in a lot favors to keep operating without getting busted. Not to mention that pharmacopeia I found before his building caught fire due to circumstances that had nothing to do with me. The painkillers and antibiotics could have been useful, but given their source I couldn't guarantee they weren't contaminated in some way so I got them out of there, dissolved them in water and poured the water into some cat litter before throwing it out (the proper procedure for disposing of medicine so it doesn't get into our water supply). All that aside, they're not a huge unbeatable supernatural menace. They're just people, although people who chose to side with the embodiment of disease instead of their species, and if you have to defend yourself against one (unlikely. They don't like to make crude frontal attacks.) they bleed and die like anyone else.

These bastards are hard to see coming, so until next time Stay Alert, Stay Alive.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Lets go camping

The Camper, for all we know about it/them there's a lot we're unsure of. For example should the Camper be referred to in the plural or the singular? For all that the individual bodies can act like independent beings there's good evidence that the Camper is one being with multiple bodies. Hell, the Camper may even be EAT rather than serving it.

More than most Proxies one can not discuss the Camper without discussing the being behind it/them, EAT. The first verified encounter with this entity was by an associate of the late Jordan Dooling, a girl named Sam. It was she who named it the The Epping AquaTarkus after a song, shortly before she herself became a Camper/part of the Camper. Other names it's gone by are Ichor, the Loom, Salmacis, or Scylla. What EAT does is dwell in bodies of water slowly replacing the water with excretions of its own, most commonly known as Ink or Ichor, that are indistinguishable from the water they replace. What this Ichor does when consumed by a living being is quite insidious. Just a small amount makes you want to return to the source of the Ichor and submerge yourself in it. This is the last thing any sane individual wants to do as the Ichor will replace all of your bodily fluids with itself effectively killing you and leaving only a/the Camper in your place. Probably the only reason we haven't all drowned ourselves in Ichor by this point is our bodies defense mechanism against it (this mechanism does imply that EAT has been with us a long time, or else we wouldn't have evolved such a defense). Simply put, ingestion of the Ichor causes an obsession with something unrelated to the body of "water" in question. If this is enough to keep you away from ingesting more Ichor it will eventually pass from your system. I don't know that it's been experimented with, but at least theoretically a diuretic could speed this process if one finds themselves infected with Ichor. Most are prescription but goldenrod and juniper berries are probably available from health food stores or the herbal supplement aisle of your local S-mart (shop smart!). Caffeine is another easily available one and I'm sure most runners enjoy the ocasional coffee, cola, energy drink, or entire bottle of no-doze so they don't have to sleep and risk nightmares or actual attacks by Proxies or Fears.

If however one gives in and drowns themselves in the Ichor than the process of becoming Camper has begun. In some cases the poor soul will return home, in others they remain next to the "water" (some have been found still floating IN the "water", an especially nasty trick since their "rescuer" risks infection), but in all cases the victim appears to be in a coma. They remain in this state, often thought of as Stage One, indefinitely until someone tries to interact with them*. Once someone of the same species interacts with them they move on to Stage Two where they will copy anything said, word for word down to the tone and inflection. They may also mimic actions at this point but that isn't always the case. Soon they move on to Stage Three and begin analyzing those attempts to communicate with it. During this stage they will repeat individual words from sentences they've heard, sometimes attempting to arrange the various words they've heard in new ways (for example if the only words they've heard by this point are "Would you like an apple or a pear with your lunch?" all you would hear at this stage are either repetitions of one word - for example "apple . . . apple . . . apple" or attempts to rearrange it into new content like "Lunch apple pear like you would your a or an for". It's not clear if what happens next is properly thought of as one stage or multiple ones but in Stage Four they show a rapid gain in intellect progressing from correct simple sentences to more complex sentences, now its using words that it may not have heard from you. It might even use words that the person they used to be never knew (although I've never heard of a case where one spoke a language that it hadn't heard in Stage One). At this point they have a lot of knowledge, but no tact (less than me even) and will probably be acting nothing like the person they used to be. This is followed by what one hopes is the last Stage of development, depending on who's list you go by this is either Stage Five or Stage Nine. They appear to go back to normal. I stress here that this is a facade only, the person you may once have known is gone all that's left is the Camper pretending to be them so that it can operate as EAT's scouts, spys, and hands. They've been known to spike water supplies with Ichor and carry those resisting the call back to a pool of Ichor to drown them and make more Camper. Once they've reached what is hopefully the final stage they are extremely difficult to spot unless you know they went through the previous stages. They may occasionally show knowledge that they shouldn't have (EAT is a being of knowledge, as far as I  can tell anything it knows the Camper know) and from what I've read and the few I've encountered (okay, there's a slim chance they weren't Camper, but honestly if you try to slip something into the water supply I don't think people are going to cry much when you wind up with a few stab wounds in you. A city employee would have been in uniform, in a city vehicle, and probably wouldn't have been putting any legal additives in the water supply at 3 in the morning.) they are often damp. I don't know if it's because they like to be in contact with water/Ichor as much as possible or if they just sweat a lot but it's kind of gross.

If you need to killing Camper is as easy as killing a person (unless, I don't know, you're dealing with a converted elephant or something. Anything that drinks/lives in water can become Camper.). However remember that their bodily fluids have been replaced with Ichor, you do not want to come into contact with it. While I've never heard of someone becoming infected by contact with Camper's blood no one wants to be the first.

There are a few disturbing rumors going around pertaining to Camper and to EAT that you should be aware of. Firstly, the rumor that there is a stage of Camper beyond what I've mentioned here. No one who's claimed this has been able to say what this stage is however so I'm not that worried. Besides, if I stab them at Stage Five/Nine they'll never get to the hypothetical Stage Six/Ten.

More disturbing are rumors that a high profile national brand of bottled water has been taken over entirely by Camper. No one can agree on which one though. There are also rumors of gangs (especially the Timber Wolves) mixing Ichor into the drugs they sell to create an obsession with the drug in question and increase sales. I've also heard of it being sold as a homeopathic remedy, usually as "Extract of Salmacis". There are even rumors of groups who have weaponized it.

Damn it. My tail just walked in the door again. I'm going to have to confront her soon and get this - whatever the hell it is - over with.

Until my next post, Stay Alert, Stay Alive.

*Although there have been cases where a period of time ranging from days to weeks has elapsed while under a doctors care before they moved on to Stage Two. Perhaps there are different strengths of Ichor out there?

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The rules and you

Now, I'm sure that we all know about M and his three rules.

1: Get up high
2: Keep moving.
3: Keep your eyes open.

Today I'm going to talk about which of those will keep you alive and which ones will get your ass killed. Then I'm going to add a few rules of mine.

Lets take a close look at that first rule. At the time M thought that if you got at least three stories up the tall faceless bastard wouldn't be able to find you because he can't conceive of a person being taller than him. Even before the other Fears were discovered there was one huge problem with this rule: As much as we wish it were true the skinny dude isn't a fucking moron. In any case where this rule appeared to work it was probably just a case of tall dark and faceless not wanting to collect the victim in question yet. The discovery of other beings of equal power and malevolence adds another problem to this rule. Do you know what tends to be found "up high"? Fucking birds and where you have birds you have the possibility of running into the Convocation. If you don't think a flock of birds with a hive mind who want to kill your ass are something to be afraid of I suggest you watch more Hitchcock.

Rule 2, Keep Moving, is something I can agree with. I don't recommend abandoning your home and your life unless absolutely necessary but  even if you don't become a full fledged Runner don't hole up in your house (or a fortified hole in the ground!) and refuse to leave. It makes you easy to find and I've heard of no defense that will definitely keep Them out. Besides, holing up like that risks alienating yourself from society which invites a visit from the Cold Boy. If you start hearing a child singing nursery rhymes look out for his frozen visage because little boy blue is probably on his way to turn your ass into a Popsicle.  So keep moving, but keep connected (another reason I recommend that pre-paid cell phone). As part of Keep Moving I recommend against posting to your blog from home (unless an idiot near you has unprotected wifi). Try to post from the library or a wifi hotspot out in the community so tech savvy Proxies can't track you back home. Also try to avoid posting from the same location twice in a row or having a discernible pattern of where you do post from (it's Tuesday, so if I want to kill him I should go to the library he'll be updating his blog from!).

Rule 3 is Keep Your Eyes Open. As much as I don't like arguing with this rule, while the rule itself is sound M's reasoning was shit. I have been physically present while someone was ripped limb from limb because she apparently mistook Slenderman for a fucking Weeping Angel from Doctor Who and thought that if she was looking at him he wouldn't be able to do anything. Despite what M said that is NOT what Keep Your Eyes Open is about. As a matter of fact I would amend this to "Stay Alert, Stay Alive". You need to be constantly aware of your surroundings, not because They can't act if you're aware of them but because if you see Them or Their minions coming for you then you can be prepared. You'll have a chance to run or fight before you have a knife sticking out of you or a tentacle stuck in naughty places instead of after. This also means that, as much as you might want it for stress relief alcohol and recreation pharmaceuticals have to go. You can not afford to get fucked up if you want to survive.

So that's what I think of M's rules. Now time for a few of my own. This is not an exhaustive list, if I went into all of them in detail I'd probably fill up a book the size of the seventh Harry Potter hardcover.

My first rule of course is my amending of M's rule 3 "Stay Alert, Stay Alive", followed by "Keep Moving" as the second. Third, Don't Involve Outsiders. It's been shown that people who are not aware of Slenderman or other Fears are less likely to attract their attention than those who already know. Usually when someone who isn't aware finds themselves Stalked it's because they're investigating the disappearance or odd behavior of a friend or loved one who is. Either that or they find some Runner's notebook and learn about Them that way. My point is your sister, brother, parents, friends . . . if they aren't already being targeted with you don't make them into a target by telling them what's going on. They probably won't believe you anyway. However, you can't afford to become alienated which brings us to . . .

Rule 4: Build relationships in the blogging/Runner community. Your friends in the blogosphere and Runner community can offer survival tips, moral support, and sometimes back up and discussing your situation with them doesn't make them more of a target than they already are.

Rule 5: Don't Wear The Symbol! What the fuck made you guys think wearing the Operator sign was a good idea? Yes, it makes it easier to identify each other. It also makes it easier for a Proxy to identify you! Then there's the fact that there are rumors the symbol draws Him rather than repelling Him, why take that risk? Finally wearing the Operator sign makes people want to figure out what that symbol you're wearing means violating Proxiehunter's rule 3. And of course I've seen this starting to spread to Runners running from other things as well. The hoodie with a stylized birds foot on the back was especially amusing. Damn that looked dorky.

Rule 6: Don't Go In The Woods. We all know that's His territory so why the fuck do I see video of so many people who know they're being Stalked by Him wandering blithely into the forest, some of them having assured me that they've been researching Him? 90% of the time they don't have anything approaching a decent excuse. Even if the woods didn't belong to Him, you know what you find in the woods? Birds again. We've already mentioned that where there are birds you can meet the Convocation. But there are also bugs, and bugs mean the Intrusion may be near. While there may be a chance you can get the Convocation to eat that manifestation of the Intrusion instead of you I wouldn't count on it. The Rake has also been spotted in rural areas, although he has also shown an odd preference for closets - especially those of children. The last danger of the woods lays in the bodies of water than can be found in them. The water in a still forest pond might not be what you think. I'm just glad there's no evidence that EAT has gotten into the Great Lakes yet and is still only found in rural areas here, it means I haven't encountered Camper very often.

I think that's enough rules for now, I've picked up that damn tail again. Next time I get a chance I'll talk about either Nests or the Camper I haven't decided which.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Detecting and fighting the Slenderproxy

I seem to have shaken the woman tailing me for now. I swear if she were blind and less submissive looking I'd think Penny had abandoned Jeanette and started stalking me. But on to the more important subject of Proxies.

The first Proxies seen, and still the most common type encountered, are Proxies of Slenderman. Fortunately except for rare cases they are one of the least dangerous types having few to no supernatural abilities. Their main use seems to be to harass, spy on, and hinder tall dark and faceless's victims when He's busy ripping someone else apart with his tentacles. One thing we can be grateful for is that He apparently can't be everywhere at once.

They can be divided into several distinct groups. First, there are the hollowed (or as the more functional of the group prefer hallowed). These have had a large portion of their will and personality removed from them either because they would serve no other way or because they failed him and were punished (I've seen a few who thought of it as a reward, but I've only seen them say that after it had been done). At the lowest level of functionality this group is catatonic when not activated by a superior Proxy or their Master. If they aren't wearing the mask Slenderproxies often affect they may be mistaken by some for an early stage Camper*. The difference is that while Camper will repeat words spoken in it's presence and in some later stages imitate actions an inactive hollowed will either ignore your presence or attack. The lower function ones tend to be tacklers. Even when active they're often mute.

Higher functioning hollowed may have their own blogs or comment on the blog of a Runner or Fighter. They tend to be rambling and incoherent bordering on schizophrenic. They also tend to communicate in code. In person they're often twitchy, mutter to themselves, and can be in general mistaken for crazy homeless people. They do tend to pay too much attention to obvious Runners (is the ability to easily identify each other really worth the problems wearing the Operator sign openly brings?) and they may attack on sight if not constrained by someone more functional. Some are crazy enough to wear their mask at all times, these are obviously easy to spot, others are more cunning and only wear there mask when "working". They favor knives and clubs but aren't adverse to tackling you and beating you to death with their bare hands like their lower functioning brothers. The hollowed sometimes seem to be immune to fear or pain. So if you weren't smart enough to do so already steer clear of twitchy looking homeless people who talk to themselves. No matter how little hollowing has been done there is some degree of intelligence lost so this type doesn't do a lot of strategic thinking and is often used as foot soldiers.

Even higher on the functionality scale are the people who serve willingly. These people range from serial killers to thugs with an occasional cultist thrown in. Usually mad they do tend to hide it better than the hollowed. Sociopathy, sadism, delusions of grandeur, and mania are more common than the disordered thinking and chaotic behavior found in the hollowed, although repeated exposure to their Master has been known to break them further. Look again for someone paying a little too much attention to you. They may try to lure you somewhere away from the public eye with offers of food, clothing, or a hot shower. When they smile it almost never reaches their eyes and often seems predatory. Unfortunately for identification purposes this type wears their masks only when stalking and killing. Sometimes not even then. Many of them do however like to keep their mask close to them. Their weapons are various, some are even more fond of their knives than I am others prefer guns (unlike Runners and Fighter Proxies often have the resources for a lawyer and in some areas may have the police behind them!). Some of them are prone to elaborate traps like they think they're super-villains or the villain of those Saw movies. They can sometimes be found supervising someone who has been hollowed. It's also not uncommon for this type to eventually become hollowed themselves if it will serve Slendermans goals better or they prove too disobedient.

Above these there exists a higher class, what I think some refer to as Agents. The leaders of the cults, crime bosses, business men, lawyers, politicians, or law enforcement officials with a sadistic streak. Some were raised in a cult and were given positions of power and authority by other cult members who infiltrated the system before them. Others were recruited because of their positions and were offered the opportunity to indulge any sick vices they had with impunity. These are the hardest to identify. They're secretive and their sadism, sociopathic tendencies, and mania are better hidden. Their masks are only worn during ceremonies and are usually hidden away somewhere in their home. The good news is they're rarely directly involved with Runners and Fighters (except when one of us discovers them and takes the fight to them). They tend to sit back and give orders to those below them. Those more involved with the cults devoted to their Master may call meetings and lead ceremonies praising Him. Sometimes they may bail out a Proxy who's been apprehended by police for something minor, set up a frame job blaming a Runner or an innocent local for the actions of a Proxy, or hire/serve as another Proxies lawyer. Of course if what the Proxy has been accused of is too horrific and/or it's obvious they're the ones at fault the Proxy will usually be left to rot in prison. However if they're useful enough a breakout might be organized. Agents are unlikely to just come out and kill someone, if they feel an urge to kill they'll often have someone beneath them in the hierarchy kidnap someone for them to torture to death or sacrifice.

Somewhat outside this classification there does exist one more thing to worry about on this front. Quislings. Runners or Fighters, such as Elaine, who will sell out their own kind for the illusion of protection - or worse for a quick buck. That's right Elaine. You made my list. Pray we never meet.

The good thing is that for the most part a Slenderproxie dies as easily as any other man on the street and has no special attacks. At most the average Proxy might have access to the Path of Black Leaves, a sort of extra dimensional shortcut they can use to get from one place to another at great speed. I've only heard of one person who wasn't a Proxy who could access this realm and traverse it safely and he's currently thought by many to be dead. Personally I'm not convinced since they never found his body.

The problem is, while it's uncommon there have been cases where a Proxy appears to have been somehow . . . warped by contact with Slenderman (or perhaps by constant travel along the Path). It is nearly impossible to tell if you're facing one of these until it's too late. Some are known to manifest tentacles, others have super human endurance or appear to heal at an accelerated rate. Sometimes your only clue that somethings wrong is that the Proxy you just stabbed is bleeding in a color other than red. If there is even the slightest hint that the Proxy you just killed had abilities beyond the normal extraordinary means may need to be taken to ensure they don't get back up and come looking for revenge. In these cases I recommend either burning the corpse or dismembering it and scattering the limbs, especially the head.

Remember, none of these signs is a sure-fire way of spotting a Slenderproxy. These are tips to help you avoid them not a detailed guide on finding and killing them. I stalk my prey for weeks at a time confirming my suspicions before I strike (unless I catch one red handed or they're a known Proxy. If for example I encountered Ridley I already know what he is and wouldn't wait before planting my knife in him.). Don't go killing anyone just because they fit the description here. Avoid the hell out of them by all means, but don't attack them unless they attack you first. Remember kids, I'm a professional don't try killing Proxies at home.

Next time I get a chance: a quick discussion of M's three rules and a few of my own.

*I'll discuss these servants - or possibly extensions - of the Epping Aqua Tarkus in more detail in a later post.