Wednesday, 29 February 2012

A Decision

Tau came down to see me today.
He looked tired.
Like a man who hadn't slept
for the last week.

Normally I do not remember
entire conversations, but this one...
This one is still engraved in my mind.

I remember a knock at the door.
I had been disassembling and reassembling my gun.
Learning, over and over again.
I opened the door and there he was.
Thumbs tucked into his belt like a cowboy.

"Kid. I've got somethin' to tell you.
We made our decision, but we need your input."
I moved onto my bed away from the table, crosslegged.
"What do you need from me?"

"I need to know your loyalties are toward Mother,
and not anyone else. We've been...
Accepting of you making friends with people.
People who aren't exactly on the same side."

He reached into his pocket,
tugging out a cigarette,
lighting it.

"We need to know that what happened,
didn't make you want to run."

I don't know what I did...
He suddenly looked at me differently,
like something was wrong.

"The thought crossed my mind, but I stayed.
This is not the first time you have ordered
someone to be skinned alive.
It is how you make people stay.
You make it a spectacle..."

He started at me, moving forward.
"Do you think I like this?
It's what we have to do,

"Otherwise what? Otherwise
people run?"

He slammed his fist on the table and I froze.
"You really need to stop being so outspoken, Dear Hope.
I was gonna give you a new partner...
But I think you need someone to beat you back into line."

He left me there, that smirk on his face.

Salome has not yet failed to make good on Tau's promise.
Her idea of a wake up call is a boot to my face.
She is... Harder on me if I make a mistake.
Salome has changed.

I am still trying to work out if it is for the better.

She does not smile.

Monday, 27 February 2012

A Meeting

Yesterday was the last time I had to do this.
The last time I hurt Salome.
It... I tried to keep sane since it started.
West checked up on me, made sure I was alright.
BBut then...

The day before yesterday was particularly bad.
Tau made her linger longer than usual.
I went into our room
and tried to clean my gun.

About half way through I just...
I just could not stop crying.

David was there.
I can only assume he broke in.
He... He helped me deal with the pain that night.
He understood me.

I still do not trust him.
But on that day.
He helped me.

Then yesterday...
I accidentally cut the Femoral artery.
Two minutes into the killing.
She bled out quickly.

Theta tried to hurt me.
Tau ordered a couple of men to restrain him.
He told me to "get the hell out."

I had hit what people call a low.
I was shaking too much to even drink.

And then.
When I got back to our room,
there was a familiar sight.
A letter upon my pillow.

It had...
I had not received one in a long time.
I read it.

I shall type it up tomorrow.
For today is for Mother
to decide if Salome and I
are still to be partners after what happened.

We... We shall see what
Mother decides for us.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

A Punishment

I wake up.
I sit up.
I stand up.

I realise Salome
is not here.
I try and eat.
I do not feel hungry.

I walk to the door.
The door Salome is afraid of.
I push it open.
I see Salome.

I see Salome hanging by her wrists with thick rope.
black white black white black white black white goes the walls.
I realise what this is.
A chapel.

With a ceiling so high I cannot see it,
I can barely see the walls,
but they are plaster,
covered in murals and paintings.

I cannot recall what they are of, but I remember.

I see people standing, completely silent.
Normal people, friends, families, lovers.
I feel something against my throat, a straight edge razor.
I hear Tau say "Are you ready to carry out your punishment?"

I start to hum, London Bridge is falling down.
He presses the handle into my palm.
She is my partner, she is my friend.
She hurts me but she is my friend.

It is because she is my partner,
that this is my duty to carry out.

I look at her.
I try and apologize.
She smiles at me,
she is scared.

She says. "Get it over with."

I press the blade against her skin ever so gently.
I pull it down her upper arm.
I grip on the flap of skin and pull hard.
Her screams sicken me.

I drown it out in my head.
London bridge is falling down.

I hear a couple of gasps,
disgust, mockery.
One of them shouts.
"Bitch deserves it!"

But mostly, the thirty
or so people here stay
completely silent.

Nobody leaves.

An hour passes,
then another,
then another.
It is evening when I cannot do anymore.

She twitches occasionally.
Her eyes watch me.
She has run out of tears.
I have left her face intact.
I am covered in her blood.

I step back.
Tau sees me hesitate.
He says those two words I most want to hear.
More than anything.

"Kill her."
I draw my combat knife.
I slide it between her ribs.

Into her heart.

I lunge at Theta,
at Fixer,
I cannot stop crying.

Someone holds me back.
A man in a suit.
His name is West.
He is a friend.

"Don't hurt him Ember.
He'll hurt you harder."

I beg Tau to let me go in her place tomorrow.
He calls me hysterical.
He says "Get some rest."

I pull away from him.
I run from the room.

I shower the blood away.
I curl up in my bed and cry.
I do not wish to awaken.

I am sorry.
I am so sorry.

Four more days.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

A Plea

I found Tau in that bar we went to before.
Well, mostly.
He was off his face drunk,
and chugging more beer by the time I arrived...

It was pointless to try and talk to him today.
I tried, all I could get out of him was that
he was sorry, and there was nothing he could do.

That this was all Theta's fault.

I tried to get him a cab home,
and, well... He turned violent.
I restrained him so he didn't
hurt anyone and...

Well, he slapped me.
And then he...
he broke down moreso.

He said he was sorry for
what was going to happen.
And then I got angry.

I shouted at him, told him
that he was Tau, that he
should act like a leader
and not a sniveling wreck.

All he said was one question.
"A leader of what?"

I... I did not know how I was to respond.
I just left him there. I was too angry to
think straight really, he is our leader,
he is supposed to act like one.

But if he is not up to the task...
I am scared for what will happen.

I went back home.
I got something to eat before
I went to my next port of call.

I went upstairs, all the way
to the top of the office.
No one goes up here.
This is Theta's place.

He lives in separation
from the rest of us,
talking, debating, dreaming.

Who knows what he does
with the space, but it is quiet.
The kind of silence that you
are know to avoid.

Where the birds are gone,
and all you can hear is
your own steady breathing
and your footsteps on the concrete.

The temperature decreased as
I walked toward the room.

It was subtle.

I only realised that it was getting
colder when I could see my breath.
I touched the door, the wood was ice cold.

I... I felt repulsed, like when I was...
Like when I saw that blur.
Deep in the pit of my stomach.
I heard a laugh, I recognized it.


I pushed open the door. 
I saw them there. 
She was sat at a table,
eating chocolate.

Fixer Theta was sat near her.
He turned to look at me.
"Ember, I expected you to be
sniveling like Tau."

Penny was smiling innocently.
"We'll have to change that,
won't we Mr Theta? 
Won't we?"

He smiled a little at her. 
"I suppose we shall..."

I am pitiful.
I am nothing.
I can do nothing to help the ones I care for.

The guards will not even let me see her.

Friday, 17 February 2012

A charge

"Shouldn't you be in school?"
He sighed at me, and walked off.

He left me blinking in the
street, not quite sure what
exactly to make of it.

How did he not notice
I was armed? Or did he
just make sure he knew I
had been noticed?

What could he have done?
Arrest me for what?
I had no mask at the time.
No proof other than my gun.

Which I suppose is why I
was so shaken by it.

I suppose the most pressing thing.
Is that why did he say
I should be in school still?
I mean, that is a new one.
Most just ask if I am a girl or a boy.

A few days came and went.
I met Penny again.
Yes she is alive.
Yes she still insists on being called "My Fair Lady."
Yes she tried to stab me for What I Cannot See did to her.

And then it was time to do
what we were to do together.
I cut the phone line just before
I met them properly for the first time.

She introduced me as an english tutor
and then we drew our guns.
Sat them down on the couch
and tied the mother's hands.

Julie tried to stab Salome with
a kitchen knife. She disarmed her.
It was easy, untrained people are easy...
Agent Stone, however...

Not everyone was here.
We waited, twenty four minutes.
He came in the front door.
Right on time, as always.

I was behind the door,
one suppressed shot to
the back of the left leg
as he put his weight on it.

He fell forwards and I
pushed him down, my
knee to his spine and a
gun against his neck
before disarming him.

I hit him with the
butt of his glock.

The man fell limp.

Salome helped me
drag him onto the couch.

Then Salome looked at me.
She handed his father's gun to Cody and said.
"Your new friend tells you to kill dad,
or we will kill your mommy."

Then all hell broke loose.

His father sprung awake,
wrenched the gun from his hands,
turned it on me,
and Salome shot him.

His mother screamed,
she shot her as well.
"I hope you learned your lesson."

I do not know if she was talking to me,
or to that little boy, Cody,
who was catatonic on the floor

She stopped talking to me after that.
The journey home was met with one thing.
Almost complete silence.

When we got back to the Office,
she was taken into the custody of Mother.
"She had killed when she was not entitled to,
and deliberately caused harm to Theta."

She is subject for punishment in five days time.
I am going to talk to her tomorrow.
I intend to try and defend her for this.
We had no choice but to kill them.

And Fixer...

Well, Fixer brought it upon himself.

Saturday, 11 February 2012

A mistake

If there is one thing
that I have seen since
I came to the Office.

Salome does not
tolerate mistakes,
even if they are
her own.

She has not talked
to me since what happened.

We were in New Orleans.
A suburb just outside the city.

We had been assigned to
a middle aged man, small family.
The Stones. Andrew, and Julie.

They had one son, about eight.
He was named Cody.
We worked on them, we were
not supposed to kill them, just...

It will make sense later.

We stalked him, occasionally
we let him see us, just glimpses.
We learned he was an Agent in
the FBI, ex military.

We made sure
he knew he was
being followed.

There had been some
problems at school,
his son was scaring
the other children.

They took him out and
got him homeschooled.
Which was where Salome
came into the picture.

She gained her trust,
the trust of the mother.
Worked well with Cody.
She acted as his tutor.

She managed to get a
copy of their house key.
I am not sure what happened
when she was on her own.

Something about leaving more
and more and more masks.
She left blood on the mirror,
not hers. A pig's I think.

It was having an effect on his
work, I was seeing him looking
over at me one time when I was
stalking him.

He walked toward me,
I should have ran away.
He looked haggard, like
he had not been sleeping.

I leaned against the wall,
tugging out my phone.
He came to a stop right in front of me.
My heart sank as I realised my error.

"Hey. You."

Monday, 6 February 2012

A Superbowl

Salome had me sat
down in front of a
television last night.

It was... I wish to call
it boring, but Salome called
it "culture."

Something about "The Superbowl."
Where grown men throw
themselves at each other
to get possession of a
brown thing in order to
bring it to their opposing side.

I do not understand why
Salome wished me to understand.
But apparently the Giants won.
I could tell that because she started
shouting about how "the patriots fuckin' suck ass."

I understood none of it but she
seemed to be enjoying herself.

Also we had pizza, 
and it had these chilies on.
I think I really like spicy food

We also drank beer.
Beer is strange, 
I am not sure why people drink it.

It was a welcome break
from stalking our mark.

I cannot say much else
about our work right now.
Just that it is different to what
we normally do with kills.

Salome is keeping secrets again.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

A return.

When Salome told me
to get out, I was unaware
that she thought I was not
going to see Elaine.

After what happened with
Lucas, she told me.
"The next time you get too
close to a runner. I will gut you."

Salome does not forget
about promises like that.
But it seems that I do.

In fact. I only remembered
after she had her knife in
my belly almost as soon as
I got back to the Office.

Fixer came to see me the
next morning, we talked for
a while. He is not in the best
of states either, he has a crutch.

Salome took away his ability
to run, and so Tau chose him
to serve as Theta.
Tau decided to make use of him.

He told me that when
Samurai did ritual suicide.

They had another person
behind them to cut the back
of their neck. Severing their
central nervous system.

It was less of a torturous
death than Salome's choice.

Let us just say I will take
her threats seriously, even
more than before now.

With Elaine it was fun, we
were all relaxed. I suppose
having someone like me
with them was tempting fate
enough as it was.

Em is the most adorable
girl I have ever met. So
smart for her age.

Elliott, it was... Interesting.
He has been through a lot.
If I had to give someone a
lost memory like mine, it
would be him.

And then what happened,
happened, I suppose it was
only a matter of time before they
realised I was enough of a distraction.

Or maybe my presence had
nothing to do with it...
Either way I still feel guilty for it.

Back to work I go.
We leave tomorrow.
It seems this task shall
take longer than usual.

Salome seems far more
chipper about this than I.
That gives me something difficult
to describe in the pit of my stomach.

Or it could still be phantom pains
from the knife that was pushed into
my belly, either is possible...