It was raining pretty badly today. I wore a light gray jacket to work this morning, so I was soaked by the time that I got home. But it was silent the whole way. I've begun to love that silence, need it, even though I know perfectly well what that silence is.
Everything is messed up now. The world turned upside down when I wasn't looking or something. And somehow, all the hope I had just vanished.
I'm not making sense. I know I'm not making sense, but I am having serious troubles trying to adjust things in my head. It's all I can do to not sit in a corner and rock back and forth.
Yesterday I met with the Noctis. We were making plans, although they were still dodging around what I was helping them with. They started looking over the names we had written down, started mapping out bus routes and car pathways, and set something they called 'The exchange' for June 15th. When I heard it, I thought that is sounded far away. But it's close. Far too close.
I began to feel a little sick to my stomach, so I excused myself to the restroom. When I came back out, everyone but Lazaurs seemed to have cleared out. Yeah, it was that bad.
(so, this is our conversation. Weirdly enough, I can remember some of what I said word for word. Not all of it, and only me, but maybe I'm getting better at this memorizing for script purposes thing.)
Lazarus: Are you all right?
Me: Yeah, just have some stomach issues.
Lazarus: What is your family history like?
Me: Uh... that's kind of random.
Lazarus: Not neccesarily.
Me: Kind of sucky. Cancer, Diabetes, Schizophrenia, and that's what I can remember at the moment. Why?
Lazarus: Do you know how I lost my leg? (I shook my head) (Have I mentioned that he has a prosthetic leg? I probably should have. He had lousy doctors do it, too. It's why he walks funny.) It was a few years before I met Gabriel. We had an exchange go bad, which happens sometimes. The thing got a hold of my leg.
Me: And tore it off?
Lazarus: No. Nothing that dramatic. You've read some of the blog, you know he can cause sickness right?
(I nod, although at this point I'm wishing he'd just get to the point. In the real conversation, I think we were like eight tangents from wherever we started.) It can be more than just a cough. My leg developed gangrene, and spread too fast for the doctors to save it. They say it was an unexpected complication from my diabetes. I've met others with similar fates. I've seen people die of an illness before my eyes.
Me: So what, you think my illness is because of him?
Lazarus: I just want you to know the risks.
Me: Lazarus, what happens at an exchange?
(he pauses for a bit)
Lazarus: I guess you deserve to know.We haven't yet managed to find a way to stop this monster completely. But he can be reasoned with.
Me: ..... what?
Lazarus: If given enough incentive, he will leave his chosen target alone.
(Things were really starting to not sit right about here.)
Me: And what exactly is this incentive?
Lazarus: It fluctuates, but I'd average about twenty people.
(I almost threw up here.)
Lazarus: We choose about twenty people from nursing homes, prisons, hospitals. And we take them to a defined point, where we make an exchange with him. At which point he leaves the chosen child alone.
Me: So you're murdering twenty people for one kid?
Lazarus: These people have already lived their life, AJ. A child still has a future.
Me: It gives you no excuse to play God like this. And he'll come back. He'll always come back.
Lazarus: Gabriel has been with me for fifteen years.
Me: It doesn't mean he's forgotten. He never forgets his children.
Lazarus: It's our only choice, AJ. He is unstoppable, you know this already. This way, we can at least give them some sort of life. You want to protect Anya, don't you?
Me: Not like this.
I left then. Shortly afterwards I did throw up, though I don't know if it was my stomach or the conversation's fault. But all I know now, and all I can really think of is one simple fact: