Sep 9, 2011


sorry it came to this. sorry i wasn't...

things are worse. worse every day. no other options.

irresponsible. gifted. he called...

you won't understand. it's worse. a thousand times worse.

not strong enough to help myself. not strong enough to help anyone.

sorry. sorry for trying - not enough. sorry for any of you i might have infected.

only made it worse. nothing any of us can do.

sure of this. for now, adieu.

Sep 7, 2011


After careful consideration, I decided to omit... basically everything I was going to show you. Everything but this. The rest I'm going to burn. Well, I might burn this one, too, but I haven't decided.

It's Rhodes.

I scanned this earlier today at the library and I guess the file got fucked up somehow. What does it matter, though - as far as I can tell, no important details have been left out, and I'm not going back just to rescan it if you get the basic gist.

It came along with about a dozen others that are sort of similar, but they're so smudged, I can't see where outline turns to shade. I'd rather save my money.

I don't know what to make of it. Honestly, I'm surprised it's not... something else, knowing what he does.

Maybe I'm not thinking clearly. Maybe you can tell me, "oh obviously this means Rhodes was a fucking snake charmer" or something, because to you it might be completely fucking obvious. Hell, I've been living on bread and water, it's just easier than anything else, and before today I hadn't been outside in... I don't even know how long.

Shouldn't talk about that, though. I'm definitely not at liberty to say where I've been for the past few days.

...This blogosphere used to be a cathartic outlet, a way for us to have some semblance of permanence, of friends, of people to share in our hardships. And now we've got to watch ourselves, because the smallest slip could mean someone's untimely demise. The Enemy is watching. It's not a haven anymore. It's a hostile environment. It doesn't, shouldn't help any of us. Anyone is a spy, anyone is an innocent, and there's simply no way to tell.

So why does it still make me feel better when I've pressed the publish button and I know someone out there is reading? That should horrify me. It should.

Sep 3, 2011

Happy birthday to me.

Konaa woke me yesterday morning, coffee in hand. "Rise and shine, birthday girl."

He is way too damn cheerful. I am not a morning person. The coffee was tempting, but I would rather have lied in bed for another few hours.

He wasn't going to have that though. He shoved the coffee right under my nose: dark, bitter, Colombian - my favorite.

I muttered something profane and took the stupid coffee. That's when I noticed the package on the desk, tied with a blue ribbon. I groaned. "You got me a present?"

Of course he had. I shook it. Something small and probably metal knocked around inside. He was getting impatient at my overcautiousness, so I rolled my eyes and murderized the packaging tape.

I withdrew a locket from the box and held it up to the light. Konaa seemed nervous. It was kind of cute. "Well?" he goes.

It was pretty. A bit of a strange gift though. Naturally, it was empty. What am I gonna put in there?

I had him help me put it on. It's difficult to do clasps with one hand. "Thanks, June." Konaa twitched, but I laughed.

So it turns out there's a theme park not fifteen minutes from here. Guess what I did to celebrate being an "adult"?

I've got a lot to show you guys, I'll see if I can't get to a scanner of some sort soon.

Aug 24, 2011

fucking batshit Kari

Kari is a fucking psycho. She has this entire case of knives or something, she...

Well, she tied me up, right? She calls me the First Lady of the Runners, whatever batshit that is, says she has some questions for me that I wouldn't answer without encouragement. And then she asks me about the labyrinth.

I'm being completely honest here when I say I don't recall a single true detail about my time in that place. Everything I know, I got secondhand. I am the last authority you would go to on the subject. Hell, you'd even be better off harassing those Lexicon kids, if you could find them, that is.

Anyway, she tells me how she and her boyfriend were trapped in there. He died. Horribly. Now she's been having nightmares. And she has the fucking nerve to think I know anything about her situation.

"Tell me why I lived and he died!" she keeps screaming. I don't fucking know.

I was willing to talk calmly about it. But she persisted. She said she needed persuasion to get that information out of me, that she had me right where she wanted me. Picks up a scalpel, sticks it in the arm of the chair right next to my hand. The blade snaps off, so she grabs this carving knife and holds it under my nail.

"Don't make me push," she says.

Fucking psycho.

I say she'd be better off talking to one of the Sages about it. Wrong answer.

No, no, I still have special information locked up in my head, I know things because I have a stupid shitty title, all right, a title I wasn't even supposed to have in the first place, a title that was never supposed to exist, a title a madman made up. So she rips off my nail with the carving knife.

I'm not trying to hide anything. If anyone wants to know anything, anything at all, they don't have to fucking tie me up and torture me, all right? Just send me an email or something. I'd love to help you. Trust me, if I say I don't know why the fuck you're still alive and someone else is gone, I fucking don't!

She gives me another minute to think it over. So here's what I say. Labyrinths are basically mutated loops. I don't know why or how the GE- You know who I'm talking about - uses them, okay? I was never granted access into... I don't know, HIS motives or desires.

So I say the stupidest thing, I say her boyfriend could still be in the labyrinth - look, I haven't read her blog, I haven't exactly had time. But obviously, like I said, her boyfriend's dead, he was killed just as she returned, and maybe even because she returned, and she blames herself. Kari, I know what you've been through, it doesn't have to be like this at all, you have to move on, okay? People die all the time and you can't pretend like you can stop it or knowing the answers is gonna help.

She wants to know what makes me special. Why HE didn't just kill me.

"Maybe I'm fun to break." I laugh.

Crazy psycho fucking bitch nut stabs my hand, over and over, screaming at me. My hand is still fucking bleeding from that, you nasty whore. I cannot fucking move the fingers on my left hand. You know how much of a pain this was to type? I just wanted to talk about this. I just wanted to fucking talk like normal sane rational people and you have to make it into this... huge production with knives and screaming and all these demands and questions I don't know the answers to, no one does!

I tell her anything to make her stop. She wasn't going to be satisfied by ignorance.

"He works contrary to your expectations," I think I said. "If you expected to die and your boyfriend expected to live, that would be a shock to you and the end of him." Or something. Something like, "It's the outcome that would have caused the most possible pain." She nods slowly. She's not stabbing me, so I take that as a good thing.

Maybe what I said made sense to her somehow. Whatever fucking sense... no one knows anything. Not a fucking thing. I go on, just rambling at this point, "Women are more likely to display their emotional pain than men because men have been raised in a society where 'boys don't cry' but women are likely to go to their friends and seek comfort. Maybe that's the spread he needs, if in fact he works like a meme," right? I don't know... I just read that somewhere a while ago and I thought... maybe it was what she was looking for.

It seemed like it was. She goes quiet for a while, then she kisses me on the cheek and unties me, wraps some bandages around my hand, and leaves the room.

Not a minute later, she yells, "He's here!" and bolts.

That could only mean one thing. I've told you guys before, I have never seen... guess it was just my lucky day. Good for me. Finally understanding this can't, couldn't have ever been anything less than the truth. No, it's not a fucking story, Nessa, you idiot, it never will be.

It was the last thing I had. The hope that somehow this was all in my head and someday I could find out if my parents are really dead. But I don't even know my last name, where would I start? I dropped out of high school. I have no future to speak of.

It's really a wonder I haven't offed myself already.

Right, everyone, stay the fuck away from Kari. I don't have a picture, but I could make a drawing for you... but now I've got to get to the hospital to make my hand stop bleeding already.

Catching up

Oh god, where to start. Let's go with chronological order. That's simplest, isn't it.

Before Friday when Nick disappeared, before Konaa got trapped in a labyrinth of some kind, I'd just been at Nick's place - nothing from that time that I need to make note of, I think. At least, not in comparison with the other stuff that's happened.

Friday night, I was out taking a walk, conveniently enough, around the time Nick... was drugged and packaged up in a coffin? if I've read that correctly? When I came back, there were guys in suits poking around. Did not want to get involved with their crazy shit, so I went back into the streets.

Then at Wawa's while I was getting a coffee, trying to figure out where to go from there - I'd almost settled on trying for the hospital - this girl came in. She called herself Nikki, at least at first. Said I was really cool, an inspiration, you know, all that shit you want to hear from your fans. Ha.

Turns out she's actually Kari. She slips drugs into my coffee, and I wake up tied to a chair. She screams at me about her boyfriend, Simon, I think it was, tries to interrogate me about labyrinths. I only know about as much as... I guess Konaa at this point. That upset her a bit... She stabbed me in the hand and so I go off on this tangent about how women are more expressive of emotional pain or something. She seemed to accept that, and then she let me go.

...And what happened after that, I don't have the slightest clue. That was the last thing I remember. I'm updating from Philly's library, and apparently, it's Wednesday. Nick gave me my old jade figurine when he found me again on Friday, and it seems to have gone black. These bandages don't exactly look fresh, either. So it's not a time skip, at least. I checked the sketchbook - there are a few new pages. Maybe I'll scan them, but on second thought... not sure if it's wise to. I'm not sure yet. They seem important. And there are a few weird things...

Konaa, I'm going to see if I can't reach you in there somehow. It worked for Vieve and Chester. Worth a shot. And do I have anywhere else to go, really, now that the house is... whatever's happening there?

Ha. Maybe the hospital is a good destination anyway. Who knows if those knives of hers were clean.

Aug 12, 2011


Titles are wrong, my title is wrong, a fabrication, a mistake, a cruel lie. I(Herald) have been wrong? --not a Herald, no army to lead in some fantastic charge, a last stand of righteousness and defiance.

Fighters you may be, but army you are not. Disciples, all. Disciples of a SAVIOR?

The GENTLEMAN is not a transient monster, a mere villain, HE is the superlative EVIL.
I(Prophet) understand, I understand what we need. Not a Hero, a SAVIOR!
Where is our SAVIOR? Find him.

Find him. We have waited long enough.

I(Prophet) will find your SAVIOR.

Aug 11, 2011

At [undisclosed location]

Naw, who the fuck am I kidding. You all know where I am. Nick's letting me borrow his computer right now.

All's well and good. Ate a muffin. Visited Konaa. He's obviously fine.

I guess I'll try sleeping again. Nick says it's important or something.

Aug 9, 2011

Konaa's gone

We were on the train, about ten minutes from the station, when it stopped. The Bleeding Tree... It was calling me. I hear this ringing in my ears and this kinda screeching, sort of? And then Konaa's jumping out the window with the package he bought in DC, saying he was gonna cut off the branch that's keeping us.

I should've stopped him. I should've told him I'd... I'd just pulled the emergency brake. But I couldn't move, couldn't fucking speak. He didn't understand wide-eyed-girl means no no, don't go, that illusion of transparency... he thought I was just terrified. And I was, but...

I just sat there, listening, imagining all sorts of... and when the train started to move again, I knew he couldn't be back on the train already... I fought the paralysis like hell... it was only enough so that I could look out the window a little. From what I saw, Konaa was getting ready to burn the fucking thing.

...Sometimes being a hero doesn't mean going into action and trying to kick the ass of the first bad guy you see. You're gonna be hurt or killed and it's gonna be my fault so you'd better show up at Nick's house soon or I don't know what I'll do. Probably burn the other thing since... since you won't be around to do it.

Please be okay.

I just have his last text. "Trust him (that's Nick).  He's a good guy.  And don't worry about me. We can win this, Nessa.  With or without me."

Nick, I think I remember how to get to your place, should be there in a couple of hours.


The past year, before Konaa found me, I'd been wandering around the United States alone, trying to figure out who I'm supposed to be. Unfortunately, I haven't had much to go by besides the name on this fake I.D. and an old webhandle, which I've since changed - as Atalanta seems to have noticed - and a black stone which could be jade. There isn't much I can say I truly remember, but I've done my research.

A long time ago, a kind man gave me a Role. My only desire was to help in any way I could. There's no record of it anywhere, but there are a few, like Konaa, who recall my invented Title. But do I have a place in this mess, really? Was it wise to give me the hope that I could help any of you? Only sixteen, then, with no fucking clue what I was doing, no weapon or talent or skill aside from a bleeding heart. Zero (may he rest in peace) may have been a Sage, but what did any of us know about defeating the GENTLEMAN?

No, I shouldn't doubt him. He was a good and patient man, no matter what madness took hold of him in the end.

I fear now that I've misunderstood his intentions. While I was on the run, I was trying my best to actually help. Predictably, I've done shit. I don't have a Hero for you after all this time. They all failed the test. I've failed.

I'm sorry.

What should I have done? Why didn't Redlight kill me?

Aug 5, 2011

Recogize anyone?

Well... I drew this a few days ago. I hadn't looked at it until now, but I've cleaned it up a bit. Some nice lady at the hotel desk let me use their scanner.

It's not what I expected. Though that in itself makes me wonder if I should worry - it's a real departure from what usually happens when I'm Compelled.

I showed this to Konaa, and he seemed to think that the guy in the center is Nick, one of the new Sages. I don't know how I don't remember that from my blog binges. Guess I must have been tired or something. Ugh.

Aug 2, 2011

Recent events

So... looks like I wasn't too far off. The good news is, Genevieve and Chester are out of this, if all went as planned. M's still going - you brave kid. But Fizzy's dead. Zero(Sage)'s dead. Reach is dead. Robert(Guardian)'s dead. Jean, I don't know what's going on but I hope you're safe, wherever you are.

I'm not surprised though. Everyone dies at some point. Our life expectancies are rather lower for being in this mess.

Anyway, like I said (or implied), Konaa found me and drew me out of hiding. I've been on the run for the past year, sorry I haven't been in touch. Lovely to find only half of you dead upon my return.

Today I had the worst compulsions since... well, let's not talk about the last time it happened. Maybe I ought to explain what that means first.

From time to time, I get the urge - no, the need - to draw. I don't have any control over the subject matter, but if I resist it, my hands start shaking and I start scratching at my arms. The longer that goes on, the more likely I get some new emo scars, whoo.

You may wonder why I resist it at all if there are such negative consequences for putting it off, but (you'll notice I skipped over what the subject matter is, I'll get to that later) I hate complying with His demands. Resisting, even if it's just for a little while, seems like the only control I have over this shit anymore, and I'm not about to bow low and become his personal slave. That'd make me no better than some fucking proxy.

I could be in denial though. I must be fooling myself if I think that my condition isn't helping his Cause in some significant way. M, for example, he spreads the belief that operator symbols mean safety and getting up high can help you stay safe. In my personal opinion, this is bullshit, and He's keeping M alive because his continued survival is a testament that these stupid things provide safety. I don't believe in that word anymore. Safe, I mean. I used to be all about safety; "be safe," "stay safe," except there is no safe, there is no refuge, you are in constant danger.

But what about my condition, what could drawing all my friends dead possibly help? Loss of morale, sure, but morale isn't the only thing keeping you Runners alive. He could take you at any moment and I've seen it happen.

That seems like an odd thing to claim when I still haven't been shown evidence that this isn't just all in my head, that it's not just some phenomenon that I've been putting the wrong name to. Or rather, to be clear, I haven't seen TPF in the flesh. Yet.

I haven't slept. Dreams are always worse after the compulsions come.

Aug 1, 2011

Maybe I've been forgotten

but at least I've been found.

Can I get a welcome back?

Or is everyone I knew dead?