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.