Thursday, June 27, 2013

Since going to the cafeteria ended up backfiring, I was starting to get worried about our food situation. It had been over a day since any of us had last eaten, and the only place where we knew we could get food was guarded by Arkady.

Then a few minutes ago, a backpack was tossed up the stairwell onto our floor. I looked down the stairs, but only caught a glimpse of them before they went out another door. A note had been attached to the bag, and Manton read it aloud to us.

“Don’t starve to death. That would be boring. Sincerely, Arkady Ivanovich Svidrigailov.”

Inside were several cans of food, bottles of water, and a can opener.

If I hadn’t been so hungry, I might have been more concerned about it maybe being a trap. But none of us really thought about that; we got a can open, and started eating. Cold beans. Not a very good meal. But it was still food. And since I’m not collapsing and dying, I don’t think it was poisoned.

But in the end, the food is only a temporary relief. Because that note implied Arkady had other plans for us, and I really don’t want to find out what those plans are.


Even after our last disaster, we still needed to eat. So our trip to the cafeteria continued. With Ahriman dead, another proxy took over leadership. I don’t really know who it was; he was from outside the circle of people I interacted with, so I’d never met him. Lepidus probably would have known his name.

There weren’t any more encounters on the way down. It actually didn’t take that long to reach the cafeteria; after we took a few minutes for everyone to relax, the trip was mostly a straight shot.

The cafeteria didn’t have any window to let the red sun in, and the electricity was still out, so it was pitch black inside. A few proxies with flashlights went ahead to light the way for us. The inside was just creepy. You never realize how cavernous a cafeteria can be until you try to navigate one in near total darkness. There were no signs of any people inside, but several of the tables looked like they had been moved from their original positions.

We went straight back for the kitchen, where all the food would be stored. A lot of us were hungry enough that we might have just charged in if whoever it was who was in charge hadn’t organized everyone into a line. My stomach wasn’t happy with the idea of having to wait, but it made sense.

I got stuck toward the back of the line, so almost everyone was already inside the kitchen by the time I got near. But before I could go inside, Sky started tugging on my arm, until she pulled me out of line. Manton had been watching Sky carefully, and when she got out, he took his team out of the line as well. The people behind us didn’t complain, and moved up to take our spots.

D: “Manton, what’s going on?”

M: “I don’t know, but that girl’s been remarkably good at predicting whenever something bad was about to happen. If she doesn’t want to go in there, we’re not going in there.”

He was right about that. I started looking around to try to see what was coming, but with the flashlights inside the kitchen, the rest of the cafeteria was black. The rest of the line went inside the kitchen, and I could see people being served up food and eating inside. Nothing seemed to be happening to them, and I started to wonder if it was a false alarm.

Then I heard a PA system above us turn on, and music started to play from it. The gate to the kitchen slammed shut in front of me. And from the other side of the door, I heard Arkady’s voice.

A: “Ladies and gentlemen! I present to you, your deaths! Accompanied by Dmitri Shostakovich’s Symphony Number 8, Movement 3!”

We didn’t wait to find out what happened to everyone trapped inside the kitchen with him. I’ve seen the consequences of Arkady’s actions enough to have an idea how it turned out. We made a beeline for the stairs, and didn’t stop until we had three floors between us and the cafeteria.

That just left me, Sky, Manton, Nightgaunt, Fox, and Valar. We’re the only ones left now. Out of everyone… it’s just us.

I don’t think I can take much more of this.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

I remember my first day as a proxy. Ahriman sent someone to pick me up from the bridge I’d been sleeping under, and drove me to the apartment. I didn’t say anything the whole drive over. I think I was too scared of what was going to happen to me. The blogs I’d read all seemed to say that proxies were usually insane killers, and Ahriman’s rabid devotion to the Boss hadn’t done a lot to dispel that impression. A part of me was convinced that the moment I stepped inside that apartment I’d be jumped by a man with a knife and a mask, and then eaten alive.

Instead, Lepidus greeted me when I entered. He tried to make everything seem as normal as he could for me, and let me settle in. Like I was just moving into a new apartment with a regular job, instead of becoming the employee of a monster that kills people.

He was the one who kept the whole place together. He was always willing to look at both sides of a conflict, and figure out a solution that we could all agree with. He never raised his voice, no matter how unreasonable we were being. And he would always chat with his patients, after they woke up. For some of them, I think he was the first friendly face they’d seen since becoming a proxy.

Once, he told me about how he’d performed for a community theater when he was younger, before he became overwhelmed by his hospital duties. He always loved the theater, even after he became a proxy. He almost never could attend any performances, but whenever an adaptation got released onto Netflix, he’d get us together and we’d watch it.

I never imagined he’d be gone. He was the only piece of stability we had in our lives. I just assumed that he’d always be there for me. This wasn’t how I pictured things happening. He didn’t deserve this….

Monday, June 10, 2013

There was no way to tell when night came, but eventually we had to go to sleep. A part of me was wishing that when I woke up, everything would be fixed.  It wasn’t, but it wasn’t a very realistic hope anyway.

The temperature had plummeted while I was asleep. We didn’t have anything to accurately measure it, but I would guess it was in the 50s. Much cooler than a summer in Arizona should be. Although I would have worried more about that if I wasn’t so hungry; now that the adrenaline from the change was wearing off, I was realizing it had been hours since I’d had anything to eat.

I wasn’t the only one feeling that way. Upon waking up, there were a lot of proxies looking to see if anyone had brought any food with them. Even if any of them had, it wouldn’t have been enough to feed us all. After seeing the food situation, Ahriman started trying to organize a solution. Manton said that the building had a cafeteria on the floor below us, which was well stocked enough to last a group our size a few days. While some of us were concerned about the dangers we might encounter along the way, Ahriman decided that we’d move to the cafeteria and use it as a base until we figured out how to resolve the situation.

It didn’t take long for everyone to gather what little we had and start moving. Manton led, since he knew the layout of the building. Ahriman was off to the side of the group, talking with Lepidus so they could “discuss how to ration the medical supplies we have.” It was a little surprising to realize that, with all the casualties we’ve suffered, Lepidus was the only trained doctor we had with us. I tried moving closer so I could overhear some of their conversation, but Sky grabbed my arm and pulled me away.

D: “What’s the matter, Sky?”

She only shook her head. I asked her again, but she still didn’t say anything. I would have pressed the question, but then I realized everyone had gotten very quiet. When I looked back at Ahriman and Lepidus, the Boss was standing by them.

Shadows bent around him so that none of the red sun’s light touched him, but we could still clearly see him in the darkness. His body was completely still as he looked straight at Sky. She hid behind me, and he turned slightly to face us. His head was pointed at me, but it didn’t feel like he was looking at me. He was looking through me, as if I didn’t even exist.

Ahriman had dropped to his knees almost the moment the Boss appeared. Lepidus still seemed to shocked to move, until Ahriman pulled on his arm.

A: “Bow, you idiot.”

Lepidus got down on a knee as well.

A: “Father, we have been awaiting your guidance. Tell us your will, and we shall fulfill it.”

The Boss snapped its head down to look at Ahriman. It held those pose for several moments, and then it tilted its head slightly. Black branches came out of the shadows and moved around Ahriman and Lepidus. The branches coiled around the two, not quite touching them, but with barely a fingers breadth away from them. I think all of us were holding our breath as we waited for whatever happened next.

Sky had been hiding behind me the whole time, peeking through under my arm to watch. As the branches started to move around Lepidus’s face, she ran out from behind me and shouted, “No! Don’t!”

And suddenly… I’m not even sure what happened next, the branches moved too fast. I remember a shower of blood hitting me, and when I opened my eyes, Lepidus and Ahriman were being torn to pieces. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know how I was supposed to react. Lepidus was
he just
God, why? Why the hell did he what did Lepidus do?  This wasn’t supposed to happen he was I mean he

I’m sorry, I just can’t
I can’t think right now. I’m trying to stay calm and write this down, but whenever I think back to what just happened, I

Everyone started running for the stairs when they saw what was happening to Lepidus and Ahriman. Someone grabbed me and pulled me with them. I don’t think I’d have been able to run on my own, really. I’m not really sure where we are now. It’s a different floor. I think we’re closer to the cafeteria, but we’re taking a break for now. Give us a little time to comprehend what… what just happened.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Ahriman got a call from one of the scouting teams a few minutes ago. Even though I wasn’t near Ahriman, I could still hear the shrieking noises coming from his phone. I don’t know what happened, but it’s safe to say they’re gone.

After he got that call, Ahriman called the remaining groups and told them to come back. One team came back quickly, confused as to what was going on. The team who’d gone to the front entrance arrived soon after. Well, one of the people from the team did. We’re not entirely sure how he got back; he just suddenly showed up, unconscious and covered in blood. There’s been no word from anyone else, no matter how much Ahriman calls them. I want to think that it’s just because something is blocking our communications, but I know it’s probably something much worse….