Sunday, July 10, 2011

Burning Out and Fading Away

I woke to an odd sound this morning. I haven't heard anything like since I was a young kid; so long that it took me at least a minute to recognize it for what it was: a young girl's sobs. That I am still alive is almost too much to try to believe on its own. But this was even harder to comprehend. Sara, the girl who has been catatonic for months, who we have all given so much for... she's finally awake. She can talk, feel, move on her own... It's incredible. I think she remembers everything that's happened around her. She hasn't said much about it all but she seems to know who I am, seems to trust me. She even asked where the others were. I didn't know how to tell her they were dead. I still can't really tell that to myself. Kal and I... shit, we were friends! And he's gone now. He walked into a gate to some fucked place and he didn't come back because it exploded into a bunch of useless pretty colors. And now he's just one more dead body, one more candle snuffed out in the breeze of my life's continuance. And all I have to show for this is cuts that will eventually scar and in time fade away with the passing of my own soul. Arkady and Damien gave their lives to so the rest of us could focus on our task, and JD spent his last anger to give us a chance at actually doing it. I am the only one of us who hasn't made that sacrifice, who still clings to life at the expense of others. Hell, even Jared and Alan, who joined what they knew was a suicide mission, gave more than I have. At least some of those who joined us, Zabulon, Dante and the Sage, managed to keep alive. But of the original Operation Wintergreen, I am the only one left.

But Sara is here. Whatever Kal did... it worked. And I have a purpose again. Getting Sara back from the Thief wasn't my job. That was Kal's. Mine is getting her home. To her parents, back in Colorado where this whole fucked up thing started. I don't know what I'll do after that. Where I'll go. I do know this, though: whatever ends up happening to me, whether I find happiness or die a poor and lonely man or suffer through mediocrity for the rest of this life, I am free. I can feel it in my bones. I still jump at every elongated shadow, I still worry at the noises at night. But I know, with every fiber that is me, that we won that night. And our victory, no matter how small, no matter how Phyrric, has saved this little girl from a twisted fate. I don't know what Kal did where ever he went... But the weight of my Stalker's haunting has left my shoulders, and all of his horror has gone away.

-Michael Henry Abner


Saturday, July 9, 2011

And the Rest of Us

With no better idea of where to start, Kal, JD, Jared, Zabulon and I began to make our way toward the path that we had followed earlier while the rest of our little band set up shop in the hotel lobby to draw fire away from us. AmalgamationSage (astral projecting from where ever he really is - and so you don't get confused, his astral form is a lady with a sword) was somewhere ahead of us, searching out signs of the Thief and incapacitating a few obstacles - in this fucked up place, it seems his astral form can be as solid as our own physical bodies. Sometimes he would pop back to our little group and give us explicit directions and sometimes he would just leave markers for us to follow (they looked like little blue balls of fire; I'd make a joke but in light of all that's happened... I really don't feel like it). As time went on, the markers became more and more common. At first, we did follow the path, but it wasn't long into it before AmalgamationSage led us into the tree to the side of it. There some amount of hesitation on our part about venturing into the trees - except for Kal, who pushed on into them, seemingly immune to the fear that was inside the rest of us. I've never seen him so determined or set on something before. It was absolutely amazing.

So we walked through the trees, guided by AmalgamationSage and encouraged by the leader that had emerged in Kal. There was one tense moment where we all stopped moving as a veritable horde of our Stalker's followers flew through the trees, presumably in the direction of the hotel. Not a single one was attracted to our band of fighters though - it seems Damien's plan worked. I don't think the Thief liked this little trick of ours though. I think he had planned for his minions to do his dirty work. It wasn't long after we started moving once again that AmalgamationSage came back to us - irregular at this point in the journey. He seemed concerned.

"He saw me. He is coming."

And come he did, in an explosion of trees. The time for subtlety was apparently over and the more violent side of our Stalker was coming out once again. Branches fell around us, smaller trees were uprooted entirely - it was at once frightening and amazing.

Kal: "Sage, keep going to that gateway!"

But he stayed anyway. Brave man. But it was JD, a 12 year old boy, who actually had the nerve to charge the Thief. Screaming with a rage nestled so deep within him that all of us could feel his catharsis, he sprinted toward him, a knife in his small hand. Tentacles darted out at him which is when a rock bounced off the Thief's chest, coming from Kal. This seemed to confuse him, so the rest followed in hist footsteps and began looking for anything to throw at our Stalker. JD was able to get close and actually stab him. It didn't do much though. Suddenly, all of us rock throwers were knocked to our asses as if some concussive force had emanated from the joined trio of JD-knife-Thief. I heard groans of pain from Zabulon that suggested his broken rib had been a little bothered by this as the tentacles refocused on JD. 

Sage: "Get up, and run!"

Realizing the logic in this, Kal jumped to his feet and helped Zabulon to his own as I stood. JD was done for. But his life was going to get us around the Thief and toward the gate we were looking for. But the sight of that kid, slashing at tentacles that were sharper than his own knife, being cut to ribbons because a few moments ago he had been braver than his elders... I saw a stream of blood from the corner of my eye that came with a cessation of JD's screaming. I think his throat was cut. I didn't stop to look. None of us did. We just ran, following AmalgamationSage. And then we were in a clearing. One moment, we were in the trees, running for our lives, the next we were all standing in this clearing, as if we were waiting for something to happen. And in a way we were, as in front of us stood the gate we had been looking for. AmalgamationSage said as much and Kal seemed as if he recognized it, as if he was drawn to it. It was similar to what we had found at the end of the path the other day, but it was more structured almost, more shaped. I'm not sure how to explain the difference, but this simply felt  like a gate.

In front of the gate was our Stalker. I think he moved us here on purpose. The tentacles that held ready to strike certainly seemed to indicate something of the sort. It was Kal who ran first this time, followed shortly by Zabulon. I had a quick moment of doubt about how three barely armed men and an astral projection were going to do any damage to an abomination before I realized Kal wasn't really running at the Thief, but at the gate. I got my feet moving and made up my mind to give myself to get Kal to the gate if I had to. Three people now had already died on my account. But it didn't quite come to that. I caught up to Kal as a tentacle approached him and punched it - the skin of my knuckles burned as if they were on fire but the appendage was knocked just enough off course, though that didn't stop the attacks and I got knocked to the ground for my trouble. It was a running battle to the gate. Zab, Jared and I stayed behind Kal, trying to keep Kal from being touched by taking the blows meant for him -  and mostly we succeeded. AmalgamtionSage seemed to be the only one able to really hurt him. I doubt we would have been able to get Kal to the gate without his magick to save us from the full wrath of our Stalker. Just the same, Kal took his own share of the beating. A cut across the face, a headlong tumble across the grass. He wasn't the only one though -  all of us were bloodied before Kal made it into the gate. Somehow even AmalgamationSage was bleeding here. Zabulon was still fighting - and I use that term loosely here; fighting for us had become more self-sacrifice than anything else - despite what must have been massive pain in his rib and I had broken a few fingers in my efforts and twisted an ankle after tripping over my own feet. Jared was on the ground, immobile, his face covered in blood and his arms covered in cuts. But Kal was at the gate now. I was a few feet away from him with Zabulon while Sage was nearer to the Thief, using some kind of energy or spell. Jared was beyond them. Kal hesitated. Here, of all places, his unshakable resolve seemed in doubt. In that moment, our Stalker worked some kind of attack on AmalgamationSage - something I can only describe as a vortex slammed into him and ripped him from our pocket-world. I don't think he died, but the screaming indicated a great deal of pain. The sound must have motivated Kal, as he jumped in the gate at that moment. Time slowed. I turned my back on the gate and ran at the Thief to see death staring me in the eye in the form of a slick, oily looking tentacle Hell-bent on crushing my face; Zabulon was raising an arm to protect himself from a tentacle bent on hammering him into a pulp as he turned with me; the vortex that had taken the Sage was still swirling. Time continued to stretch until we all seemed frozen in that moment. I imagine this must be how movies feel when they are paused. Then the play button was hit. Everything went full speed and our Stalker simply disappeared. Zabulon opened his eyes now that death was no longer coming toward him. The three of us looked around the clearing, now seeming much smaller than it had before. Aside from Jared, dead on the grass, and our own battered appearances, there was no sign of any battle here. With the Thief's total lack of theatrics in his exit, we were all left with the taste of anticlimax - but it was a sweet taste.

Zabulon: "Is that a little girl?"

He was pointing at the gate as he said this. And it was a little girl. It was my little girl. It was Sara. I ran, picked her up. I discovered that she was just as much a vegetable as she had always been. But still I held her close to me, satisfied in the small movements of her chest that told me she stilled drew breath. Then, as if to makeup for the lack of a fireworks show, the gate exploded out and up. Brilliant lights and colors I couldn't name with a gun to my head shot in all directions. It was soundless, but it seemed to also take sound with it as moving of the branches in the breeze was ceased and none of us could hear the sound of our exclamations. Then the color and the wonder withdrew back into itself and we were left in the darkness of its absence. The moon and stars were nothing to what we had just beheld. But the gate was gone. The Thief was gone. And so was Kal.



Dead Man's Tale

I got back to the hotel after setting out with the group that was to take the fight to the Thief. I knew the distraction team was set up in the lobby, so I headed there. It was completely wrecked. Bodies were strewn about everywhere. Some were broken, some were charred, some were in pieces or just filled with stab wounds or shotgun shells. The walls were bowed outward and the ceiling was trashed. Arkady and Setoth were nowhere to be seen. Alan and Dante were lying in a circle of furniture in the middle of the room, both bloody and unconscious. I got them to a room and managed to wake Alan, though Dante was still out.

These are the final words and memories of Alan Hartford, given to me before he died:

"The group set up shop in the lobby of the hotel, just as planned. We had a little circle of furniture in the middle for a makeshift gun emplacement as well as a place to fall back to if needed. The idea was to distract the proxies to allow your Assault Group to stick it to Slendy. Apparently, Setoth or Damien or whatever he is - was - called was going to use some magick to draw them here. I don't pretend to understand and I don't think I need to. But whatever he did, it worked. Maybe a little too well. All I really know is after some chanting mumbo jumbo, it wasn't long before they started showing up. It wasn't too bad at first. We'd boarded up the parts of the hotel that we wouldn't be using. Fewer entrance points, easier to fight. I think that was Dante's idea, the only one of us with the sense to really bring a weapon. Arkady grumbled about it when it was first suggested, but it's what let us fight as long as we did. 

The first one went down easy. He popped in through an open door and Arkady, hiding just inside, smashed his head open with his blunt sword. I couldn't believe it at first but as the fight went on, I saw just how good a fighter he was. A bit of a talker, a bunch of book references I imagine, but damn could he fight. Probably had the highest kill count in our whole group. Though to be fair, we were keeping Dante's gun in reserve for a while until it became really necessary.

This wasn't my first fight, but it was without a doubt the worst, and probably my last. The first one I killed was a little jarring. He was mindless, unlike any of the others I've gone against. But he was strong, quick - faster than me. I think what saved me was the fact that I had a knife and brass knuckles to his fists and teeth. There were more just like him too. Vacant eyes and slack faces that felt no pain and didn't tire. I just thank God they fucking died like normal. A few stabs to the right places, a punch to break some important bones and they'd go down. The most disturbing thing about them though was that they were completely silent. No grunts, no yelling, not even heavy breath. Just the sound of our own voices and the sound of combat - wood and flesh on flesh, blood hitting the floor. I think I preferred them to the screamers though.

These were the ones who were clever. They could think and you could see it in their eyes. They weren't automatons out just to kill, but thinkers who tried to fuck your nerves to kill you quicker. When they came is when the fighting got really intense. It's when I heard the first shotgun blasts go off. I heard Setoth chanting and sometimes a man would go down without being touched, or he'd become confused enough for one of us to take him down with ease. The good thing about fighting against the mindful as opposed to the mindless is that you can fuck with them right back. The sound of the gun must have scared them because for a few minutes they became cautious - until they realized it was just Dante and the rest of us were still melee. She became a big target after that. Especially when they began bringing their own weapons. That's when everything went straight to Hell.

The barricades we'd set up around the place were meant to stop people with fists and feet. So for a while, there were only two fronts to really fight on. The front door and the back door of the lobby. There were two or three side doors though that led on to the first floor rooms. Knives and baseball bats in the hands of the proxies were scary, but not too bad. Sure, we got more knicks and scratches - and at the end, real stabs - than we had, but they were nothing to sound of a chainsaw ripping through a solid wood door. When the door was finally busted down and the big burly sonuvabitch came lumbering out with that machine of his, we all paused and took notice. Which gave just enough time and quiet for a gunshot to ring out - much quieter than Dante's. Arkady went down in the corner of my eye, yelling in some mix of rage and pain. Javert and his gang were here. Chainsaw-man was getting closer and I was forced to retreat back. From behind me I heard the sound of wood connecting solidly with bone and turned to see Setoth smacking Javert in the face with his paddle - or beatstick as he called it. Dante fired more rounds into the approaching crowd and it was impressive - but just not enough. They kept coming. I couldn't begin to tell you how many there were or how many we took out, but there were too many for us and there were bodies scattered everywhere. And on our side, Dante was the only one who hadn't really been hurt at this point.

As I got into our little furniture circle, I saw Arkady on top of Javert, beating the holy Hell out of him while Setoth flung magick around like it was candy and layed people out with his paddle. I saw people burst into flame, randomly break bones or choke. Figuring they had it covered, I turned to take the side I'd been on and got Dante to help me out. Chainsaw-man was even closer now, almost within range of a knife-throw. I heard and saw three shotgun shells get pumped into him. All they did was slow his advance. My knife stuck in his neck, but he didn't seem to mind and I was left with the brass knuckles to fend off the lesser proxies who were willing to dart by him. I remember hearing Dante call for Setoth's help and in a few moments the guy, covered in sweat and blood was next to us, shouting some weird words and throwing things into the air. Then chainsaw-man was burning, screaming, but still walking at us. 

Behind me, I could still hear Arkady raging at Javert and punching into his body - the sound of a hammer hitting wet meat - until Setoth told him he was dead, finally, and to help him with the others. But the inexorable flow of killers had slowed. With Javert dead and chainsaw-man burning, I think we had scared them. Dante was still putting rounds into him, and his face was a mash of blood and charred skin, his legs didn't seem to be working quite right, but he was still swinging his chainsaw around and Dante had to back up to keep from being wrecked to Hell. I think he still managed to knick her somewhere though because I saw a spray of blood and heard her yell as she fell to the ground. Then Arkady came from behind and jumped at the man, a knife in one hand and a pistol in the other. He knocked him over and stabbed over and over into the man's kneck while emptying the clip into his head. All while the flames began to take him too. Setoth and I pulled him back into the circle and patted the flames out. The rest of the proxies, perhaps twenty or thirty now that it was all calm, got into a circle around us. Dante had gotten back to her feet and was reloading her gun as quick as she could. I caught Setoth and Arkady exchange a glance before they began yelling all sorts of shit to piss these people off - and it worked because they all charged at once. I tried to turn to fight them off but... I was too slow. Too tired. By the time I'd gotten myself turned around, a knife was plunging into my stomach. It happened so fast I could barely tell I was falling until I hit the ground. Dante saved me from being killed right there, getting a shell into the man's head. But I was still out of the battle, down behind the furniture, and all I could do was watch. Setoth had a knife in his hand, but didn't seem as though he going to use it. Arkady was standing next to him in the middle of a circle Setoth had drawn when were setting up. Blood dripped down his scarred face and his right leg seemed nearly useless. I watched as Arkady put his hands around Setoth's. The knife began to... I don't want to say glow, but that's what it looked like. Together, they looked as though they were going to plunge the blade into Arkady. Suicide. Iwanted to stop them. But I couldn't speak. I couldn't move.

As if in slow motion, Setoth's blade punctured Arkady's chest, the two of them moving the knife together. Barely seeable against the already red-stained shirt he was wearing, small rivulets of blood began to trickle out. And then everything stopped for just a moment. Arkady was smiling - crazed and excited as if he were a kid finally going to Disney World. Setoth looked... content. The first drops of Arkady's blood hit the ground. The circle on the ground flashed brightly and then... Then it all went white and a huge noise, as though a great explosion were taking place in a small cave surrounded by waterfalls, drowned everything. When the light finally faded, the duo was gone. Dante and I were on the ground - she was breathing but knocked out and I was bleeding slowly from my side, the knife still in me. But the greatest thing... they were all dead. The whole crowd."



Friday, July 8, 2011

"One More Day Before the Storm..."

"...And the barricades of freedom!"

So many opponents outside. It started as a small group, just enough proxies to keep us penned in. But every day, more have been coming. Now it’s a crowd; no, an army. No, a HORDE. A huge mass of bodies, prepared to crush us in the most bloody and casualty heavy way possible.

Can't wait.


Tonight we launch our attack… our rescue mission. We’ve made a handful of new friends this week… good people dumb enough to waltz into this prison and sign up for our suicide mission. I’m having a hard time understanding that honestly, people we don’t even know ready to throw their lives away for four kids, a psychopath, and a vegetable of a little girl. Well whatever, I’m thankful for them and that’s about all that matters. And hey, if we get lucky in these maybe a couple of our now enlarged group will manage to escape this place too.

At least AlgSage had the good sense to leave his body somewhere safe.

Oh well. Guess it’s time to show our eldritch horror not to fuck around with a group of pissed off 20-somethings.
~ Kal Jameson

A lot of crazy shit has gone down in the last few months. Somehow, I've survived it all. Sometimes at the expense of the lives of others. I don't know if I'm going to survive this one though. I've made the Thief back down with a little trick of cleansing and I've summoned a fucking Goetic demon. I've killed a man. All things I never thought I'd be close to, much less actually experience. But still, I just can't summon the energy to believe I'll be around after all this. I've always tried to tell myself that I would make it through the next enounter. But I've already failed in my one task. I don't  have a point anymore. So I'm just going to do what the others need me to do when everything goes down. Maybe if I'm heroic enough or if I kill enough of our Stalker's soldiers I'll be redeemed or something. Maybe I won't.

I guess we'll find out.


Monday, July 4, 2011

The New Guys

When Setoth and Kal said we should ask for outside support, I was against the idea. Who out there was going to come and help us? We’re planning a suicidal, desperate attack against an untouchable god. No one else is going to be mad enough to want to join in.

Human race, I’m only going to say this once, so listen up. I am sorry, I was wrong. You have amazed me in a way I didn’t think possible.

Just look at all these people who came out to join our glorious battle! I don’t know what wonderful madness overtook them, but we’ve gotten several new members of the Operation Wintergreen crew, all ready for GLORIOUS BATTLE.

One of our very own regular commentors, Zabulon, was the first to arrive. Must have come straight from the airport. Seemed a bit disorientated when he came through that mirror gate thing which Setoth set up; I guess passing through that thing is even less pleasant than it looks. Or mayhaps it was the broken rib he had. I must give the man credit for traveling cross country with an injury like that.
Between him and Setoth, we now have two guys who look like girls in this group. I’d make a joke about that, but I feel I really don’t need to.

Dante arrived shortly afterwards, driving up from Corpus Christi. Having visited Corpus once, I can understand why she would choose to want to be in an eldritch dimension which defies all natural laws instead of staying.
But that isn’t the wonderful part. Oh no, the wonderful part is this: Dante brought a shotgun. That’s right, for the first time in any of our blogs’ history, we’ve met someone who had the forethought to bring some genuine firepower! What’re you going to do now, Javert? Oh, sure, you’ve got that little pistol thing, but we have A FRIGGIN SHOTGUN! Cannot wait to see it in action.

Course, we couldn’t stop at just two people joining in. That would have been reasonable, which is a thing we are attempting to avoid. Two more showed up roughly twenty minutes after Dante’s arrival; one Jared Brookover, and an Alan Hartford. Neither of them have blogger accounts, but they claim to have been following us. They’re the oldest here; both in mid-late twenties. Seem to be of the experienced runner variety, so I’m surprised they decided to drop the running now and join in the fight. Looks like we’re being INSPIRATIONAL here.
Sadly neither of them brought a shotgun. Which means that Dante essentially has more firepower than all the rest of us combined.

But that’s our little rag tag group of freedom fighters. All nine of us. None of us have even hit 30 years yet (hell, JD’s 12), none have any formal training in fighting, only one of us has a weapon worth a damn, our plan is one of the most suicidal I’ve ever heard (and that’s saying something), and we’re fighting an immortal god which could kill us all in an instant. Because we’re the mad ones, the ones who choose to stand above the herd of pathetic apes, and challenge the unchallengeable. Oh, many of us will die. It would take a miracle for even a single one to make it out alive. But when we die, it will be in such a way that none shall ever forget our story. The stars shall quake as we tear down the heavens themselves, and blaze ourselves a burning path of glory. There is a special seat prepared for each one of us in Valhalla, and I intend to finally claim mine.

Time to smite some gods.


Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Plan of Action

So this is officially my first post on Wintergreen, and probably my last. I’ve been busy for quite some time trying to figure out what the deal is behind this fucking hotel, why we’re stuck here and why it’s completely abandoned. Given that I’m the only person here with any experience in the metaphysical, I’ve basically been locked in our safe room entering meditative trances and doing rituals day and night learning whatever I can and never sleeping more than two hours at a time. It’s exhausting, certainly, and I don’t even have Seattle’s famous coffee to keep me going. But by now some of you are just putting two and two together. Yeah, I’ve stopped my ritual shenanigans to post an update. I’ve made a discovery and I’m here to ask for help. Though to be honest, once you hear what the deal is you may not want to come to our rescue. I can’t in good conscience endanger you, so here’s everything we know. From there, if you’re around and want to help then we can use anything you have to offer.

So here it is.

The first thing I did when this started was set up a sacred space. Arkady and the others were told not to enter, as I didn’t want them messing around with anything. They all obliged save Arkady, who had no intention of letting his precious “wizard” stay unprotected. The room, which I called Sanctuary, was warded and protected by six full Goetic Demons both in the physical plane and the astral plane. Strangely enough, my magick seemed to be working with incredible ease here. That wasn’t a good sign, as that probably meant something in the Astral Plane was being tampered with. But I figured I might as well play to my strengths just the same and established more wards outside of Sanctuary into the immediate surrounding area.

Once all of that was taken care of I decided to investigate the Astral Plane. It was my first real clue, as astral energy seemed to weave it’s way into our world far too easily. This was especially worrisome since none of us seemed to be effective influenced by outsider emotions. The Astral Plane responds strongly to feelings, so we should have seen those effects first hand in the real world if everything was entwined the way my magick initially suggested it was. But none of us felt any differently, so it wasn’t adding up. Projection was also easy enough, but the experience was radically different. Whereas the Astral Plane is a myriad of colors and shapes become distorted to match their emotional resonance, everything here in the Astral Plane looked exactly like it did in the real world, just slightly more insubstantial. It was like I was seeing the real world through some sort of glass.

I spent a few days traveling about, flying above the compound and trying to see if anything stood out. Nothing did, and I checked the boundaries of the hotel to see if there was any way I could escape this place. Unfortunately it wasn’t just the real world that was looped. It was a weird effect to see from above. On the ground you could hardly see the change, but from above when you can see hundreds of feet ahead you could see plane as day the ground shift like the water’s surface, reforming as you pass the boundary and reshaping itself into the entrance of the hotel. I’m not sure why it had such a profound effect on me, but I felt miserable seeing it happen. I think some part of me was desperately hoping that it was all just a delusion, and seeing that finally killed whatever part of me was holding on to that idea.

A half hour nap later I was back in the Astral Plane. This time I decided to try something else. I figured the next best bet was to try and enter Oneiros. Perhaps the deeper realm was still open to me. I might be able to access the dreams of another magician and get their help. The portal took a while to open, but eventually the shimmering and illuminated purple and gold gateway was open. Arkady was on standby in the physical world, that same bored and disgruntled look on his face. I think he secretly wanted something to go wrong just so he could work out his frustrations on something. I stepped through the boundary, and for a moment everything went pure black before color shifted back into my vision. I was standing in my physical body in the real world, completely out of Oneiros and the Astral Plane.

That was not good. Not fucking good at all. Something had kicked me out of Oneiros or prevented me from entering at all. I couldn’t tell, not with what I’d seen. I tried to commune with the Goetic demons, but even they were unsure what exactly had happened. All they were certain of is that I never left the Astral Plane or the physical world. It sounded like the gateway had been collapsed, but the Demons themselves saw no sign of outside intervention. As far as I knew, that could only mean one thing. The gateway to Oneiros leading back to the physical dimension could only work if the physical dimension and Oneiros were one. Somehow Slenderman had fused the two together at this hotel.

The good news is that the actual physical location might still be reachable for you guys. With Astaroth’s help and a mirror we stole from a bathroom, I think I can recreate the spell from my earlier encounter in Javert’s mansion to create at least a temporary gateway to our place. This Friday I’ll set up the gateway. To get there you guys will have to find the mirror’s analogue in the physical dimension. It’s room 213, the last room on the East side of the building. Find it at midnight and I think I can bring anyone in that general area to us. We could use whatever help you can bring.

And since this is likely the last time I ever post, I figured I'd sign off in the most fitting manner I can think of. Consider this my farewell address to the rest of you, in musical form.



Wednesday, June 29, 2011

It was a trap.

So yeah. Show of hands, who’s surprised?
At least Arkady seems to have enjoyed the opportunity to break some guy’s leg.

We headed into the woods around 11 figuring that if the sun was up it would lessen the chances of proxy fog ninjas launching sneak attacks. All joking and hindsight aside we did head out fairly early. Behind the building, just as in the dreams, we found a stone trimmed path into the trees which led to a shady clearing complete with a small picnic space, past the table and benches however the path continued into the woods.

We followed the path deeper and the rock markers started to slowly disappear, the trail transitioned into freshly tread grass and nothing else; the trees grew closer and taller until the sky was blackened by their branches and our pathway through the forest seemed more like a narrow twisting tunnel than anything else. And during all this I continued to step forward, I ignored the worrying signs of its world and led my friends farther and farther into those unworldly woods.

It took us hours to reach the fogline, much longer than a 3 mile or so walk should have taken… even if that walk was through knotted thickets and dim light. When we did finally reach the path’s end we found ourselves at an indentation into out prison’s barrier. It wasn’t large, maybe ten feet in diameter… a circle of clear air extending from the surface into the sky… a cracked and starry sky. Sitting on the very middle of the ring was a tear barely visible against the night. It emanated a sense of heightened gravity and colored my vision with hues that shouldn’t exist… it called back memories of the portal we found in the Astral Plane that led us into Onerios. It was exactly what I wanted to find though not at all what I expected… a way back into its domain.

You may think such a desire is insane… I really couldn’t care. It was a way back into the surreal Slenderland I’d experienced once before, a way back into the place that I’d found Sara and the little boy… and I’d come in through another door, one from the Astral Plane rather than this fragmented reality. Going into its lair might actually be the only way out of our cage.

Anyhow, we stood in awe of this half-existing beacon, surprised by its existence and more by its implications. Damien went to examine it while Arkady, Henry, and JD just gawked. I tried to traverse it but Henry held me back… he got a smack to the face as a result too. Our fascination was interrupted though when Arkady started laughing and pulled his blunted sword… while we were distracted a group of masked goons found their way to us. The path back to the hotel had closed and after a brief struggle the five of us were forced into the fog…

It’s a terrible thing to be lost alone in heavy fog, being unable to see the way ahead while wandering in the darkness. To listen intently at snapping twigs and trampled leaves, feeling something follow behind you, anticipation of the end that never comes. That is what my life has become… and that’s all it was to walk through the fog. Life without distraction.

I'm back at the hotel now though, most of the others have made it out as well, though Henry and JD are trying to lead Arkady out. Blogger is trying to tell me we were in there for days but I'm not sure I believe it... anyhow that doesn't matter right now. The only things that matter right now are the fact we've found a way in and possibly out, and that Arkady is going to have a great big smile on his face when he comes out of that fog.


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Slumberland Trail

Hah, creepy dreams and proxies with handguns! Oh Slenderman you lovable scamp, whatever will you think of next? Seriously though this is getting old rather fast, if it weren’t for the encroaching fog and vanishing citizenry I’d almost be tempted to call the thing a one-trick pony. Well a three-trick pony I guess, it also likes putting on spontaneous performances of the broadway classic “And now you’re missing a friend.”

So yeah… I’ve starting having the dreams again, same dreams I was having around the time Henry started seeing Veronica… the ones where it isn’t a monster. While it’s better than the nightmares I can’t help but find myself unsettled by their return, last time… Well last time I had them he pulled me through the city and had me watch as he whisked away a little boy. I think it’s part of some glamour… an illusion or a willing or something of that nature… it’s like he tried to confuse me into being what he wanted me to be instead of who I am. In the dreams he stands at our window and beckons me, he waits patiently until I come outside and then he slowly makes his way behind the hotel and into the woods. Though I don’t follow him in I watch him leave and then the sky splits and I wake up. The geography of this particular dream has been slowly growing more accurate, much more accurate in fact than most dreams I’ve had, I’m not quite certain what it means if anything at all… but I cannot help but find it somewhat concerning.

That dream was from last night, and basically the every night we’ve spent here… It’s been eating at me for most of the day. Well really every one of the dreams I’ve posted up here, and to Father of Light, has been that way… unique and consuming, or at the very least highly peculiar. I’ve considered Niles’ advice about not sitting around with our thumbs up our assess and talked to the others about the dream. We’re going to follow the path it showed me into the woods. We’ve talked about it and decided it’s probably some sort of trap, but that all the same it’s worth looking at. JD and Henry seem to think it may be a way out… but me… well I’m not so sure.



Fog and Proxies

First we are isolated in a limited area, cut off from resources and help. Then one of our own is taken from us in our midst. And now this. It’s almost as though Slendy’s finally decided to stop playing around and start crushing us.

Shortly after Sara was Slendernapped, fog began to roll in. The boundaries of this loop we’re trapped in have now been clearly marked by the walls of fog surrounding it, so there goes our view of the outside world. For added excitement, the boundaries of the loop have shrunk since the fog’s appearance; we’re now working with only a 3 mile diameter here. Setoth attempted to test it out by walking through the fog; five minutes later (or, according to Setoth, half an hour later), he came out of the fog back at the point he’d started. He’s spent all his time since attempting various magickal things that could get us out. None have worked thus far.

As an added precaution, we’ve begun to keep at least two people on watch. But with Setoth doing magick and Kal and Michenab busy competing to see who can feel the most guilt over losing Sara, that usually means JD and I are always the ones on duty.

Did get my first chance to speak with the boy. He’s not as bad as my initial impression was; I suppose one can’t survive long running from Slender Man if one is a whiny, high maintenance child. What really surprised me about the boy was the amount of rage boiling inside him. The death of his older brother appears to have filled him with a great desire for revenge, which only adds to the preexisting irrational anger which seems common in the younger ones. The end result is a beautifully destructive intensity, focused entirely on aggression against our enemy. Had Slender Man appeared before us right there and then, I think I’d have had to race the kid to see which one of us got to rip off Slendy’s head first.

But it wasn’t Slender Man who visited us on this day. As I was in the middle of explaining to JD the most effective methods of stabbing someone with a knife, several figures walked out of the fog. Four in total, one wearing a mask, the rest with identical blank expressions. They were all keeping their distance, making no aggressive moves, just watching the hotel. As hours passed, more began to arrive, until we had a full dozen, standing around the hotel. Five were wearing various masks, ranging from cheap plastic to elaborate Halloween style.

Can’t say that alone was very exciting (Hooray, more brain dead cannon fodder for me to slaughter). Then proxy number 13 arrived. You’ll never guess who it was. Actually, you probably will, but I’m going to treat it like it’s a surprise anyways. Good ol’ Javert, back in action! He stood with the others in the circle around our hotel, observing from a distance.

My first hint that maybe something wasn’t entirely right about my old friend was the clothes he was wearing. It was his old uniform, not the fancy black thing he’d taken to wearing lately. But I was too excited to notice such small details, and instead ran out to greet him.

Arkady: “Javert! So good to see you again! I knew you wouldn’t leave me like that!”

No response from him, which was the second sign. I still hadn’t caught on.

A: “Come on, Javert! Don’t be so down! Are you still mad at me for last time? Did your bossman have to do terrible things to you because of me?”

Javert: “He would never harm me.” Soon as I heard the voice, alarm bells blared in my head. It was completely monotone; not a trace of personality in it. “All He did was show me the true path. I have been cleansed of my sins against Him, and made free of all doubt and hesitation.”

A: “Lovely. And I suppose you’ve come to try and finish me off then?”

J: “If you live or die is for Him to decide. Whether I am His instrument in this or not is inconsequential. All will be taken by Him in the end.”

This entire time, Javert’s face hadn’t shifted, not even slightly. It was beginning to grate on me.

A: “So I suppose this means you now love Big Brother?”

No response. Come on, Javert, throw another reference back at me, come up with some convoluted reason why my use of that allusion was wrong, make a snide comment about how I chose an obvious response that practically everyone who went through high school English class would understand, something. Silence? I didn’t know how to deal with silence.

A: “Why so silent? Hm, Javert? Answer me! SAY SOMETHING!”

J: “There is no need. The purpose He has given me here does not require communicating with you.”

A: “Yeah? And what is your purpose here, D-503? Making sure me and the other Mephi folk don’t blow up the Green Wall and escape in the name of the eternal revolution?”

Still not even the slightest hint of a reaction from him. I don’t know what that thing I was talking to was, but it wasn’t Javert. Just looking at it filled me with disgust; and its silence was almost as nauseating as the empty voice which it spoke with. I couldn’t bear to even stand in its presence for a moment longer, so I did what I always do to solve my problems. I charged at him so I could punch him in the face.

As it always seems to, this plan failed spectacularly, though not in the way I’d expected. Javert pulled out his gun, and shot me in the thigh. And due to the unfortunate fact that I am not an action movie star, I went down pretty fast after that.

A: “A gun? Whatever happened to you always fighting fair!”

J: “Fairness is irrelevant.”

Then he turned around and walked back into the fog, leaving me there with my bullet wound. Jerk.

After I recovered from the OH GOD I’VE BEEN SHOT panic, the knowledge of first aid I’ve been throwing together the past few months kicked in. The shot was surprisingly minor; going clean through without hitting anything horribly vital. Either Javert was aiming to miss and just happened to hit something, or he’s an amazing shot who can target one of the few places in the body where a bullet won’t have horrible life threatening consequences. Was able to bandage myself up enough to limp/crawl back to the hotel (another perfectly good shirt ruined thanks to Slendy), where the others finally decided to help me with this stitching nonsense.

Javert and his gang are still hanging around outside, though whenever one of us goes near them, they walk into the fog and appear somewhere else. Suppose they’re looking to avoid a confrontation at the moment. I have the misfortune of being forced to rest as my injury recovers. Still capable of moving around freely (even if it does hurt like hell), but any spree of action and excitement has a good chance of ripping the wound back open. Which is making me begin to suspect that Slendy’s goal here is to bore me to death.



Wednesday, June 22, 2011

I failed. Completely failed. Fucking hell. Everything is going wrong now. Not only are all the goddamn people here gone, but he came and he took Sara from me. I failed her, I failed Ronnie. Goddamn it. It all happened so fucking fast..

I was brushing her teeth in the bathroom, making sure she stayed healthy, when she suddenly turned and looked at the wall. I called to Kal as the toothbrush clattered to floor but no one had any time to do anything as the windows all exploded inward. I don't know if anyone got hurt by it but the noise was so sudden, so loud - my ears rang for the next few minutes. As I  stumbled into the main part of the room Kal and I shared, the Thief appeared in the middle of it. One minute there was just Kal on the floor covering his ears, the next there was a suited fucking asshole standing there, facing me. No more with the stuttering walk of the past though - now he moved fluidly toward me. I drew my knife and took a step back. Then from Arkady and Damien's room I heard.. shouting? Yes, it was shouting, because then I saw Arkady, the crazy bastard, charging in from the other room, ready to duke it out with our Stalker. It didn't last long, as the Thief flung him across the room. I can't remember, but I think he may even have gone out the broken window. Thank god for first floor rooms...

And then it was back to me. I raised my knife and stabbed at him - and suddenly I was on the other side of him, freezing cold, my knife gone. The bastard had pulled me through himself and stolen my weapon! I turned to see him in the bathroom, arms wrapped around Sara. My eyes went wide as I realized what he'd come for, to steal yet more from me, and I ran at him but before I could even cross the threshhold of the bathroom, he was gone. More importantly, she was gone. Taken from me.

I failed.



Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Mysteries in Time and Space

Though we’re still stuck on this little chunk of land things have been relatively quiet. Oh we’ve heard rustling in the woods behind our conjoined room and static from the radio, but, well after all we’ve been through that is quiet. I’ll admit it’s been a little unsettling, the fact that we’re trapped within a 5 square mile space… maybe it just got tired of chasing Henry and I around the country. Anyhow, we hit a bit of a snag tonight. Seems that our food reserves for the ride up to Seattle did not take reality warping imprisonment into account, as such Damien and I went out to explore a bit more and hopefully find something worth eating.

We only really found 7-Eleven, Walgreens, and a liquor store… so dinner is going to be sort of interesting. Also interesting are the things that disappeared while we made our last stop, not that we noticed their absence at first. Well maybe we did but if so those memories are floating around wherever we were between leaving the booze store and finding our way back to Hotel California. We walked on through the front door like usual and headed to our room. It wasn’t until we dropped off our first load “food” and talked with the others though that we realized anything was amiss.

Four hours had passed since we set out and the time we returned, and during those four hours it seems that every other person who was occupying our prison has disappeared. The first person we noticed missing was the cute girl at the front desk. I’d teased Damien about not flirting with her on our way in, it wasn’t until after discussing the oddities of temporal displacement and grabbing the rest of our spoils though that her absence became concerning. We tried calling the hotel’s main office to ask about the front desk, they insisted that somebody was there and connected us. And though we spoke to her on the phone when we went back out front she was missing again. Further investigation proved two things: the stretch of highway leading to the hotel is suspiciously vacant, and despite a half filled lot nobody else seems to be at the hotel.



Friday, June 17, 2011

Road Trip

Arkady here, ready to tell you about all the wonders and joys and boredom which we’ve had since this super special awesome friendship power team up thing I’ve somehow become a part of.

We set off for Seattle early in the morning; wanted to try and beat all the big rush out to work. We did run into a few delays getting the car out; you see, my car is designed to carry five people, and since Kal and Michenab chose to pick up another small child, there are now six of us. Setoth and I suggested putting Sara in the trunk (the girl’s almost in a coma; it’s not like she’s going to become more traumatized than she already is), but the others were vehemently opposed to the idea, for some reason. So instead we just had to cram everyone in the back seat very tightly, which makes for a wonderful cross country road trip environment.

The first several hours of the drive consisted of us arguing over which music to play. I myself was feeling in the mood for some nice Mozart, but Setoth was insistent on the Sisters of Mercy. Opinions were less vocal from the others (especially Sara, from whom there were no forthcoming opinions on music), so things quickly devolved into Setoth and I fighting over the radio while simultaneously trying to drive. Nearly wrecked us a few times.

Perhaps we should have been paying more attention to the things around us. But then again, it was a very important debate we were having. Three hours of driving later, JD (perhaps the only one of us not to participate in our musical debate) pointed out that things around us were looking a bit familiar. One can only pass the same intersection so many times before déjà vu starts slapping you in the face.

Once we became aware of this feeling, we began paying closer attention to our surroundings. Sure enough, the car seemed to be caught in a loop. Whenever we traveled approximately five miles down the road, we would find ourselves at the start of the loop. There was no sudden, jarring shift to indicate that we were looping. It took several hours driving, plus Kal and Michenab looking over three different maps, before we even figure out exactly where the start and end points of this loop were. Wasn’t even a very interesting five mile stretch of road; we were at the point of Austin (well, technically Lakeway, but that’s a separate city in name only) where the suburban sprawl starts to peter out and the Texas countryside begins. Not much there, apart from a couple of shops (including a strip mall and an old style travel post existing side by side in an odd anachronism), some gated communities, and a hotel. Apart from the proximity to the wilderness, there was nothing which screamed “SPOOKY SLENDY HORROR!”

Much experimentation followed, where we attempted to learn the limits of this loop. Driving down other roads also resulted in us being looped back, as did walking off road. And believe me, we tried driving off every road, and walked down every path, save those covered by forests (Because that would be stupid, even if it did eliminate roughly half our potential escape routes. Bloody Central Texas and its random forests). By the time we had conclusively proven that all paths out of this place wouldn’t work, the sun was beginning to set. Using what money we could throw together, we got us a room at the aforementioned hotel for the night. Not the fanciest of places we could stay at, but it certainly beats sleeping in the car with five other people.

So it looks like we won’t be having our epic battle through the forests of the northwest. Unless we find a way out, Seattle is a no go (poor Setoth has been absolutely crushed by this news). Slendy has chosen the battlefield for us, which according to people like Sun Tzu, is a very bad thing. Our status as the attacker has now shifted to Slender Man, while we’re forced back on the defense. That, though, isn’t my chief concern. What worries me is if Slendy chooses not to fight. As I said, this isn’t the most Slenderous looking place. Yeah, there’s a forest, but it’s a small, scraggly thing. The rest of this area is too suburban and homely looking for anything creepy. Not even a single abandoned building or mysterious shack. It doesn’t feel like the sort of location for him to try anything against us. Slendy could choose to leave us trapped here. Now that we’re isolated, there’s nothing we can do against him. All he has to do is leave us alone, wait for us to drive each other completely insane. No effort on his part. No chance of any glorious battle or beautiful death. Just a hellish, boring, limbo.

That had better not happen.



Thursday, June 16, 2011

Operation Wintergreen

Operation Wintergreen. It’s certainly a stupid name isn’t it? Last time I go and offer up a sarcastic suggestion to this lot. Seriously.

So you may be wondering just what Operation Wintergreen is… it has a name like that of some definite plan doesn’t it… a sort of cruel suggestion that any of us have the faintest clue what we’re doing in all this.

We don’t.

Operation Wintergreen is in fact just the solution to our problem of what to do now that the whole group of us has come together after all this time. As Arkady and Damien actually have a significant number of readers we decided it would be best to just start a new blog and make things simpler for them. It was either that or let them jump back and forth between 3 blogs to see what all was going on with us. While it’s not the best solution, it is better than most of what we’ve actually got time for.

You may also be wondering why it is that we’ve suddenly decided to get together at all. When this started months ago (jeez has it really been that long?) I blamed myself for getting Damien involved. And then after our whole kidnap Sara back from Slenderland adventure I’d painted a pretty big target on myself, seemed like hanging around with Damien and his new friend would only make things worse for their side of things. Now though it seems that Henry and I both have something to contribute… I’ve gained some small amount of martial skill and the discovery of Sara’s slender-detection uses… well I feel that now we’d all be safer as a group than we would have before. 

So yeah… welcome to Operation Wintergreen, our Super Fun Adventures of fleeing from the Slenderman and sparring matches with an irritatingly pretentious literary sort. The gang and I are laying out plans right now. Seems we're headed to Seattle for safety and shelter... and not simply because Damien wants to get involved in it's active Goth scene before we all wind up dead. Fun times ahead ladies and gentlemen. Fun times.