Thursday, April 25, 2013

Our finances saw a big boost today. I wasn’t given any explanation for where the money came from, but when I first checked our records, there was a lot more cash in our available funds than I remembered there being.

Along with the money, we suddenly have 12 more proxies in the city. They’ve all been in the field since they arrived, so I haven’t met them yet. I think I recognized one of their names: Sloth. But I’d thought he was one of Fracture’s people? Whatever’s happening, I’m apparently not important enough to be briefed on it.

We had a minor issue last night when the Jacksons came in with another wounded proxy for Lepidus. I was a bit surprised to see that it wasn’t a low level grunt this time, but Ahriman. He was screaming as they carried him through the door; at first I thought it was in pain, but when I got closer I realized he was just ranting very loudly.

A: “… traitorous, cowardly fools! Do they think they can just defy Father? They shall all face the coming reckoning! Father shall their worthless limbs off one by one and hang them by the necks form his branches! Such heretics shall not be suffered to live!”

Since Ahriman wasn’t exactly paying attention to me, I had to ask Gabriel what had happened.

G: “Ahriman’s been going to the city’s gangs that work for us and giving them orders to deal with Arkady. But one of them seems to have decided they don’t feel like taking orders from us anymore. When Ahriman told them he wanted them to comb the streets, they said no. And when he tried shouting at them, they attacked us.”

D: “They… wait, they… can they do that?”

G: *He shrugged.* “Why not? Everyone’s too busy looking for Arkady to deal with a couple snot nosed punks who think they’re tough.”

D: “So we’re just going to let them break away?”

G: “For now. We’ll take care of them once Arkady is dead. Just so long as no one else decides to imitate them, it won’t be a problem.”

In spite of how beat up he was, Ahriman didn’t spend much time recovering, even with Lepidus’ insistence that he rest. He slept for the night, and then left the first thing in the morning, head still bandaged and arm in a sling, saying he didn’t have time to sit around. I almost like crisis mode Ahriman. He’s too busy to bully us.

Saturday, April 20, 2013


Every day now I find over 200 emails in my inbox when I wake up. And more just keep coming through the day. Most of them aren’t worth the time spent reading them, but I still have to go through each one. Dozens of possible sightings of Arkady, messages from people claiming to be Arkady, proxies saying they’ve managed to kill Arkady…. They’re all false, but I still have to go through the procedures of filing and checking all of them. Then there are the usual forms for equipment and casualty records, which have been skyrocketing in the past few days. It seems like a day can’t go by without another proxy being found in a dumpster with their throat slit. And with every report like that, more panicked proxies start asking for even bigger guns to defend themselves with. Thanks to Truth giving Arkady top priority, most of those requests are being approved now, no matter how costly. It’s starting to feel like I’m supplying an army here.

Today was particularly bad. Another safehouse was burned down, and we still haven’t found out what happened to the people inside. When we sent someone to investigate the scene, they were ambushed en route. We leaked the car’s make and license number to the police, and a few hours later an officer found the car. Except then he made the mistake of trying to arrest Arkady on his own, so now we’ve got a dead police officer on top of all the dead proxies. Then I had to pay off some reporters because it would be really bad for our cover if the front page of the tomorrow’s paper had a picture of a dead officer with a sign saying, “This is between me and the Tall Guy. Please stay out of it.” Nailed to his chest.

Everyone’s on edge here. We keep someone watching all the windows throughout the day, trying to keep an eye out for Arkady, but it’s not making anyone feel any safer. I don’t think anyone is going to be getting much sleep while he’s still out there.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

So it looks like the comments section on the last post I put up exploded or something. Alright. That’s cool.

Since Arkady commented here, I was able to find his blogs easily, and read through it. Although it’s hard for even me to believe the crazy things that happened in it. He was part of a group of four Runners (who, for some stupid reason ended up calling themselves “Operation Wintergreen”) whose accomplishments included killing several dozen proxies, creating magical barriers that actually worked against the Boss, breaking out of a Labyrinth dimension through willpower, temporarily trapping the Boss using summoning rituals, and then to top it off, fought into the Boss’s home and rescued a girl who had been taken by him.

I didn’t even think that last thing was possible. Once the Boss makes someone vanish, they’re supposed to be gone. I guess that’s what Sky meant when she talked about making the Boss lose. But somehow, they got a little girl back from him. Three of the four died doing it, but they did it.

Or at least, were it not for recent events here, you would assume that they had died. Looking at the posts now, the fact that no one ever found the bodies is sending up a ton of red flags in my head.

Of course, we’ve got the bad luck that out of the three missing members of Operation Wintergreen, we got the violence loving psycho. Now I just have to pray that Setoth also doesn’t come back as well, or we’re completely fucked.

In more current events, there haven’t been any sightings of Arkady since his message. But there has been plenty of signs of his activity. We’ve had three proxy safehouses firebombed in the past few days; two were empty at the time, but one had four people living in it. Two of them were killed by the fire, and the other two were found beaten to death in an alley not far from the safehouse. We’re assuming he tortured the information out of the kill team we had sent after him, which is why he knew the location of the safehouses, but didn’t know which ones were being used at the time.

After those attacks, dealing with Arkady has been made our top priority. All our field proxies are out in the city looking for him, and his description has been given to the police. Personally I’d prefer beefing up security, but it seems like Truth wants to take an aggressive policy when dealing with Arkady. Now I just have to sit here and hope it actually works.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


It took a few days before anyone managed to catch sight of Silent Bob again. Part of the problem was that he got a shave and haircut almost immediately after the events of… that night, so our pictures of him weren’t as effective as we would have liked. But some smart proxy with too much time on his hands managed to pick him up on a convenience store’s security camera, and from there we were able to narrow down his location to an empty apartment room.

With the original kill team reduced to half its members, a new team was sent in to deal with them. Like before, they had a radio with them so we could follow their progress. I’m not going to post everything we heard, since most of it was screaming. A lot of screaming.

When those sounds died down, we heard someone pick up the radio, and a new voice spoke into it. The speaker had a posh sounding accent, but that accent kept coming and going throughout his talk, as if he was intentionally trying to sound that way.

“Helloooooo there! Based on the blogs I’ve been catching up on, I’m assuming that the Picking at Ruins girl is listening? Good. I want her to record this and post it. I’ve got a little message to send out to the world.

Almost two years, people! Two whole years! That’s how long I’ve been gone! You can imagine my surprise when I realized that. One minute I’m having quite the lovely time in 2011, the next I’m learning that the world completely failed to end on 12/21/12. It’s a bit of a jarring experience, I’ll have you know, especially given my assumption I was going to die back then. What with the knife and the exploding and all. But that’s not what I want to talk about. No, I want to discuss the significant amount of reading I’ve done these past few days in order to catch up on what’s occurred in my absence. Well, skimming, really. Most of you aren’t exactly top quality authors, and I certainly don’t intend to force myself to read more of your drivel than is absolutely necessary. But even amongst the shoddy grammar, there was one theme I noticed present throughout the two years of posts:


Complete, utter, gross, incompetence.

Honestly, people? In two years, you have accomplished so little? Slender Man STILL isn’t dead? Our sacrifices were supposed to inspire a new age of resistance, but instead they seemed to have been the high point of a golden age which has long passed. Whatever happened to the grand struggle, the unending fight, the spirit and drive to stop the monster who hunted us in the dark? The fighters that I remember seem to all be dead or missing, leaving behind only scared children. I don’t even think you lot have any Sages, do you? Pathetic. Simply pathetic.

But don’t worry. Because I have returned, to save you pitiful humans from your failures.

These dogs sent after me were certainly talkative after I applied some persuasion. A proxy bureaucracy. What a novel idea. I remember Morningstar whining about his superiors, but I never imagined you people would get organized to this extreme. I like it. It provides a much larger target for me to hit.

Consider this my warning to you bureaucratic types: I’m going to kill you all. I’m going to rip apart all you little slaves, and the ruins of your organization shall burn in a glorious conflagration that illuminates the whole world. And once I’ve dealt with you, why, I think I’ll go and accomplish my original goal of ripping off the Slender Man’s tentacles and beating him to death with them.

And you Runners? You can just sit back and relax. Let me take care of the hard work, since the current generation is clearly unfit to handle it themselves. Go find a compound called Optimism or something and throw a party there. It makes no difference to me. I alone will be sufficient to deal with this trivial threat.

But perhaps I should finally introduce myself. After all, I can scarcely expect these whippersnappers to remember the events of two whole years ago. Practically ancient history, really. So to all you young ‘uns who can’t be bothered to learn your past, permit me to introduce myself.

My name is Arkady Ivanovich Svidrigailov.”

Sunday, April 7, 2013


We’re getting official reports from the scene of whatever happened last night. April, Barbarossa, Null, and Larry have all been confirmed dead. We also found the bodies of Jenny, Ryan, and Dumas. Confirming that Dumas was dead… this is the reason I try so hard to avoid getting attached to most proxies. Knowing he’s gone is bad enough, but when I was given the forms to fill out for his death, I… I broke down. Why did he have to die? He was just here, living with us, joking around and making this horrible apartment seem so much more livable….

The four survivors from the kill team are still staying here. Ahriman’s been chewing out Manton for failing to kill Silent Bob, but Manton has been adamant in defending his decision to retreat. He echoed a lot of what Gabriel said when he told me about their encounter with Silent Bob.

Ahriman: “There were eight of you! This is what you’re trained to do! How could you screw this up?”

Manton: “Sir, we’re trained to kill starved Runners who are half paralyzed with fear. Even when we do encounter braver ones who manage to arm themselves, they’re still not real fighters. This man was something else. The way he fought at first was bad enough, but after he saw the Slender Man… he’s a killer. An experienced, true killer. It’s been a long time since we’ve had to deal with anyone who’s shown near the skill he did last night.”

We’ve got people out trying to figure out where Silent Bob went, but I’m still nervous. I mean, Jesus, if Kenny’s posts are accurate, he managed to wipe out half a kill team without getting a single scratch on him. If someone like that is on the loose in this city…. I think I’ll be sleeping even less soundly that usual until he’s dealt with.
What. The. Hell.
Because of the difficulties previous proxy teams had faced trying to deal with Silent Bob, this time we had the kill team keep radio contact throughout the mission, so that Ahriman could follow everything that was happening.

Even though Ahriman was the only one who needed to be listening, everyone in the apartment gathered around the radio to hear what was happening. Even Sky, though she kept back, and seemed too lost in her head to really pay attention to the words.

The reports coming in were standard protocol at first. Manton kept us updated on their current position as the team moved toward the target, until they reached where the target group was supposed to be. That’s where things went off the rails.

Manton: “No one is present at the target location. Fox’s investigation of the scene shows that they had camp here, but left quickly.”

Ahriman: “Can you follow their trail?”

M: “Affirmative.”

A: “Do so.”

M: “Roger. Manton out.”

*Several minutes passed before they reported back in.*

M: “Targets found. Dumas appears to be leading them out of the city.”

A: “Eliminate him.”

Those two words felt like a punch to the gut. Lepidus started to protest, but Ahriman glared him down.

I heard Dumas’ voice coming in faintly over the radio.

Dumas: “Hey guys, I know what this looks like, but there’s a good reason-”


M: “Damn, only hit the shoulder. Jenny, Ryan, and Kenny are running. Should we pursue?”

A: “No. Your target is Silent Bob. Focus on him.”

*Several more gunshots, as well as sounds of fighting. Heard a few screams, then quiet.*

M: “Fox and Valar have been incapacitated, but are still alive. Dumas and Silent Bob are running.”

A: “Continue pursuit. We will send a medical team to pick up Fox and Valar.”

*Several more minutes passed, with Manton giving reports on their position. We were able to follow them on the map at first, but after a while it got… really weird. The streets they were reporting to be on were all over the city. And then, a deafening roar of white noise came from the radio. Underneath it, I could barely hear Manton’s voice.*

M: “Um… sir… we’ve caught up with the two targets… as well as the other three… and…. The Slender Man’s here as well. What are our orders?”

*The Boss’s appearance on the scene seemed to surprise Ahriman for a moment, but he was quickly shouting orders back through the radio.*

A: “Father has given his blessing to your mission! Kill the target! Remove his blasphemous existence from this world!”

M: “Yes sir. But… um… sir, he’s… Silent Bob, he’s… laughing, sir.”

A: “So? I don’t care if he’s singing Disney musicals, your orders are to kill him!” *His words were confident, but his tone was unsure. Everything we’d heard about Silent Bob indicated he was supposed to be a lifeless, animalistic machine. Laughter was not in character for the person we’d been going after.*

*We heard a few gunshots, and then screams. Lots of screams. And over the whole thing, we could hear Bob laughing. He stopped laughing as all sounds of fighting ceased, and I heard a little girl’s voice.*

“Bob! Bob, stop it! Stop that! You’re being really, really scary!”

*A thud, and then I didn’t hear her anymore. The next voice I heard was Dumas, talking to Manton.*

D: “Manton, give me your gun.”

M: “Are you joking? I’m not going to give you my-”

D: “Just give me the damn gun before he kills everyone here! I’ll draw him away, you two run for it!”

*A few moments of silence.*

M: “Alright. Good luck.”

D: *Shouting at someone* “Hey! Bob! Count the shells, suck-a-duck!

*Gunshot, followed by the sounds of running.*

M: “Null, Larry, April, and Barbarossa are dead. Repeat, Null, Larry, April, and Barbarossa are dead. Nightgaunt and I are returning to base.”

A: “What?! You will complete your mission!”

M: “…. With all due respect, sir, if you want to kill that monster, you’re welcome to try yourself. Manton out.”

What just happened?

Saturday, April 6, 2013

The order just came in from Ahriman. Tonight, the kill team goes in to eliminate Silent Bob.

I saw the orders when he handed them over. Dumas was listed under “Expendable.” I got a sick feeling in my gut when I saw that, and it hasn’t gone away since.

When Sky heard the news, she ran over to my computer and started typing. I stopped her before she could post it, but after reading over it, I’ve decided to include it at the end of this post. I think I might have read it before on the internet, but I’m not sure where. Whether I have or haven’t, it definitely isn’t helping that sick feeling.

“With fists like atom bombs, he walks on the thorny warpath to the heavens, masked in blood and bathed in fire. Beware the man who would kill a god, the choir whispers, for he will never know peace, and he will drag the whole universe into war to keep him merry company along the way. He will stand before the throne, look the void in the eye and laugh. He cannot bear to live in a world where he is not sovereign of his own soul. He would rip his teeth into divine flesh and swallow the universe whole. He wants the apocalypse and the wasteland that will follow in the wake of the gods, that humanity might rise and rise again as their own gods, without sin or fate or fear. And so he rises, knife in hand, to make himself holy and unholy. He has nothing but murder in his mind, nothing but desire in his body, and nothing but truth singing from his tongue. The gods are his prey.

He is every child who ever wanted to hold the universe in the palm of their hand, and every man who wanted to take the throne. He is every woman who tore the kingdom of god apart with her body, and every mortal who stared into the sun and wanted to burn down everything that stood between them and that light. There is nothing left to their story but this: to kill to kill to kill.”

Friday, April 5, 2013

I asked Sky about what she’d said when she woke up, but she claimed she didn’t remember any of it. When I tried pressing the issue, she clamped down and refused to say anything else. I spoke with Manton about Sky’s warning, but he refuses to take the advice of “a mad little girl.” The fact that Sky’s taken to standing completely still in the corners of rooms and staring at him probably hasn’t helped his opinion of her sanity.

Since he wouldn’t listen to me, I decided to talk directly to Dumas instead. The next time he called in to report, I managed to speak with him privately over the phone.

Di: “Hey, so… you got Sky’s call?”

Du: “Yeah. Freaked me out at the time, especially after I read the full story on your blog, but Bob hasn’t done anything yet. You think she might have been wrong about this?”

Di: “I hope so. She says a lot of crazy stuff. If we’re lucky this is just another one of those.”

Du: “… You know, to be completely honest, if it turns out that Bob really is some kind of ticking time bomb that’s going to kill us all… it’s not me I’m the most worried about. It’s these kids.”

Di: “The ones we’re targeting?”

Du: “Heh, yeah. It’s stupid of me to get attached to them. But Jenny’s just this little ball of energy and happiness, and Ryan’s trying so hard to help out and wants to keep everyone safe… it’s hard not to feel sympathy for them. Even if we are on opposite sides. I keep telling myself it’s in these kids’ best interests for us to turn them to our side, so they’ll be safe from Slender Man… but I’ve seen what a proxy’s life is like, and I can’t say I’d wish that on them.”

Di: “Do, um, you not want me to post this conversation on my blog? Because what you’re saying is getting a bit dangerous….”

Du: *He sighed.* “No, go ahead. I’ll follow my orders and keep sending any intel I find. Maybe posting this will make my superiors realize how horribly suited I am for this kind of job, and they’ll use someone else next time.” *He laughed* “And if they don’t like what I’m saying, what are they going to do about it? Send proxies after me? I’ve got Silent Bob protecting me!”

Di: “Dumas… that’s really… really kinda treasonous talk….”

Du: “Yeah… I know. Dumas out.”

Di: “Wait no I’m not done-”

And then he hung up.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The way Sky acted before going to bed last night confused me with how normal it was. Usually before going to bed, she makes a fort out of pillows, moves her bed, or something else to make her feel a little safer when she goes to sleep. But last night, all she did was place the picture of Bob by her bed and go to sleep.

When the Boss arrived, she didn’t cower. When he approached her, she grabbed the picture of Bob and held it toward him. He stopped, took the picture with a tentacle, and held it up to his head. He stared at the picture for a while, with his head tilted slightly to the side. Then fire appeared over Bob’s face, which spread and burned away the whole picture. The Boss bent forward until his head was level with Sky’s face. Her whole body froze, and her eyes rolled back into her head.

They stayed like that for an hour, then the Boss vanished. Sky’s body relaxed. Then she jumped out of bed and ran out of the room. I followed her as she ran into Lepidus’ room and shook him awake. The moment he opened his eyes she started asking for Dumas’ contact number. Groggily he listed off some number, and she ran out of the room to a phone. She dialed the number, and started shouting into the phone.

S: “Dumas! Get away from him! You have to get away from-”

*Manton stormed into the room and grabbed the phone away from her.*

Manton: “Someone get this crazy girl out of here. Dumas is only to be contacted by us in emergency situations.”

Lepidus came in to apologize for Sky, and Manton began berating him. Which gave me the chance to pull Sky aside.

D: “Sky, what the hell was that about?”

*She looked down at her feet, and her voice shook when she spoke.*

S: “There was fire and laughter and death and….”

*She looked up at me, with her eyes wider than I’d ever seen.*

S: “He remembered him! The Slender Man remembered that man in the picture! He can barely tell humans apart, but he still recognized him!”

D: “Wait, you mean Silent Bob? The Boss recognized him? They’ve met before… wait what do you mean the Boss can’t tell people apart? Of course he can!”

S: *Her eyes narrowed and her voice stopped shaking.* “When you kick over an anthill, can you tell the individual ants apart?”

*Then she started to shake again, even worse than before.*

S: “That, that man, he… he made him lose. He made the Slender Man lose. He’s just a human, but he made the Slender Man lose, and he was supposed to be gone, but now he’s back and….”

D: “Sky, what are you talking about?”

S: “They’re all going to die! Everyone’s going to die, and it’s all my fault again! The Slender Man didn’t even know he was here until I showed him the picture, and now he’s going to wake him up, and then everyone’s going to die!”

I tried calming her down, but she started to hyperventilate. I called Lepidus in, and he came just as Sky collapsed. She’s okay, but is still asleep. I still have no idea what happened there. Maybe she’ll be able to tell us once she wakes up, but I’m not sure if I want to push her after that breakdown.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013


Having so many people is definitely making living here cramped, but we’re making do. Manton made a strict list of rules and responsibilities that everyone has to follow, including trading off chores. Which is good, because without that I think Lepidus would have tried to handle everything by himself.

Fox has learned not to bother the Boss at night, and most of the others aren’t a problem. The sane ones (Manton, Fox, Larry, Valar, April,) help us out, and most of the weird ones (Barbarossa, Null,) keep to themselves. The only problem is Nightgaunt, who loves to talk about the various ways he would kill each one of us if given a reason. I hate it, but Manton won’t get rid of him, because he’s “the best killer we’ve got on this team.”

Although he did get some karmic retribution when he tried his talk on Sky. I know Lepidus and I promised to make sure he never got alone in a room with her, but he managed to slip away from us. When I found them, he had cornered Sky and was telling her his plans, which in her case involved more than just killing. She wasn’t reacting at all to his tirade, and just kept staring at him with her head tilted slightly to the side. Until without warning, she bit his hand.

He screamed, looked down at his hand, and I rushed into the room to stop him before he could attack her. But when Nightgaunt looked back up at her, he froze completely. Somehow Sky had gotten hold of a huge hair spider, and was holding it toward him.

S: “You’re the one with the spiders.” *She scrunched up her face like she was trying hard to remember something.* “You and… another human went down into a basement. You saw… you saw the Slender Man down there, and when you did, hundreds of spiders came out and covered you. The other human, he… she? She tried to run, and the spiders ate her. You had to stand still as they crawled all over you, while the Slender Man watched you for the entire night.”

Suddenly Sky threw the spider at him, and he ran. That spider scurried around on the floor until Sky squished it, and then she walked back to her room.

In other news, Dumas called in with his first report. There’s not much in it that we couldn’t have figured out from reading Kenny’s blog, honestly.

“The target Runner has been named ‘Silent Bob’ by the others in his group. I don’t think they’ve actually seen ‘Clerks’, they just heard the name somewhere and gave it to him. No one knows anything about him before he started following Jenny and Ryan. The only hints of a past are the four scars along his face, but there’s no way of knowing where those came from.

“Most of the time, he seems like he’s practically in a coma. He’ll find someplace to sit down, and then stare straight ahead until someone interacts with him. He reacts to basic statements and instructions, but he never says anything, and his eyes are never focused on anything. I’ve tried getting a response out of him, but the only time he’s reacted to me was when I put my hand on his shoulder, and he nearly broke my wrist.

“I know there was some fear that he could sense proxies, but considering he hasn’t done anything to me, I’m starting to doubt that. I think he just might be extremely aware of potential threats. Honestly, he kinda makes me think of a machine, or an animal. He follows basic instinct to keep himself alive, but beyond that there doesn’t seem to be any conscious thought.

“I’ll see if I can find out anything more about him, but I don’t know how much I’ll be able to dig up considering how unresponsive he is.”

Dumas also sent us a photo of Bob from his phone. He looks almost exactly like a cliché hobo: long, wild bear and hair that probably haven’t seen a pair of scissors in years, and wearing raggy clothes. But it’s not a perfect comparison: he looks closer to my age than I’d have expected, and he’s in better shape than any hobo I’ve known.

Manton decided to print out several copies of the picture, and has spread them amongst our organization so everyone knows who we’re dealing with. Sky came in when he was making copies, and asked if it was of the man who’d hurt Andrew. When we told her it was, she took a copy for herself. She’s been staring at the picture since then, and it’s making me worried. I really hope she doesn’t do anything that’ll get herself hurt.