Thursday, May 19, 2011

In which I learn how to pay the piper

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.)
Me: What?
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:

Anya's doomed.


  1. Doesn't sound like they're really solving the problem, does it? Where did they start? What brought them to the fore? That's what I want to know.

  2. Well, looks like I was right.

    Now what?

    Do you work with this group at the cost of yer mortal soul, or do you leave a child to death?

    You can play what you've been dealt.

    Or you could cheat the rules.

    If you want my help, I'm offerin.

  3. @Amalga: I'm not exactly sure what you mean by that second question. But the first one I can. Well, I sort of fell asleep when they were telling me. But It had something to do with Rome and Egypt. I admit I really don't feel like knowing more about them. I don't want anything to do with them.

    Congratulations on your name not being confusing anymore, by the way.

    @Maurice: Now what? Good question. I can't just leave her to die. As for the offer, I think I've put a bit too much trust into strangers lately. And honestly, what could you do?

  4. I can slip you the cards you'll need.

    But theres no pretty way out of this, let me tell you now.

    In fact, there are only three real paths from here, lady.

    You leave Anya to die, forget all about her and live the best you can.

    You comfort her as best you can in the time before she's gone.

    Or you listen to me.

    You can't beat him, kill him, or anything.

    But you can make him more interested in you than her.

    Those are your options as I see 'em.

    Take it or leave it.

  5. I take it. Start talking.

  6. You gotta get him interested. Make him think you're interesting, see? That's how most of you people get roped in. You star poking around, showing atypical behavior and he wants a piece of it for whatever reason.

    Get agressive. draw degrading and hillarious artwork of him and plaster it around. fling feces, do whatever you can to freak him out. Break the cycle!

    But I can't be more specific than that. If I've thought of it chances are it's been done.

  7. I can't decide whether this would work or if you're just trying to get me to make an ass out of myself.

  8. Either way, its worth a shot, isn't it?

    It's the only option you got.