Wednesday, 28 March 2012


We wasted most of our time for the next three hours.
With them telling me to put on a suit.
With me refusing.
I have not worn a suit since the New Years Party at the cafe.

Considering what happened then,
I refuse to wear one again.

Eventually Theta just told me to wear a button up shirt and jeans.
It looked like they expected me to be well behaved.
And not to take my clothes off in front of whoever I was meeting.
(Which I threatened.)

We met up with Tau at the stairs.
He looked me up and down for a moment.
"Ok let's go."

We began to head down the stairs.
I tried to ask questions, but all they would say was
"They are not going to hurt you."

"And we'll be there to fix you up if they do."
Theta was uncomfortably close to my ear when he whispered that.
I must have flinched.
Because they both laughed.

Tau grinned at me, lighting up again.
"Don't worry... They are just going to review case files ask a few questions"
He patted my shoulder reassuringly.
"Determine your effectiveness and if they are willing to support you."

I paused.
"What if they do not?"

"They will."

We went out of the lobby.
We clambered into a car.
The three of us in the back,
West in the passenger seat.

We drove for a while in New York traffic.
We ended up outside a tall building.
Bigger than the Office.
Newer as well.

It looked like it was made of mirrors.
We walked inside into a bright lobby and were taken up an elevator
by a nice woman who smiled at me, leading me off to the meeting room.

There was a large oval table,
surrounded by chairs.
There were five people there.
Just from glancing I could tell they meant support financially.

It must cost a lot to keep people like me killing.

Three older men in expensive suits.
One younger man, and a woman.
One of them told me to sit on the other side.
Balding, glasses, the suit was tailored to hide his beer belly a little.

He glanced at Tau.
"So, Mr. Oak. This is the one Salome recovered?"
Another one, wearing a wig, but decidedly slimmer than the one
who probably puts too much bacon in his BLT.

"Doesn't look like much."

I started to stand and feel West's hand on my shoulder.
Tau shrugged. "You said the same about Salome, Smith."

The interview process was mostly like this.
Tau and Theta knowing what to say and when.
Me agreeing with most of what they say.
When I do not, I try and twist it to suit their needs.

Sometimes they talk of a Master.
I assume it is the blur I see.

Then they play a video.
It is camera footage of my first kill.

I watched.
I had not seen the camera.
Someone must have shadowed me.

I suppose it is possible.
She was with me a little after he died.

Smith looked at me.
"Do you regret it?"
I must have looked upset.
Tau spoke up, "I think Ember is sad that-"

I returned the favour, interrupting him.
"Every day. But there is nothing I can do.
Orders are orders. If there is one thing I can do.
It is follow orders."

The odd one out stood up.
He was young, wore a designer suit.
He grinned at me.
"Lucas was nothing but a manwhore.
Yet you mourn him?"

"Salome was nothing but a tool to you and I mourn her as well."

"Ahh, there's a difference. She stuck her neck out for you.
A couple of us were all for terminating you.
A failed experiment. She convinced us otherwise.
Now it is your turn to explain why you are not a piece of meat for the dogs like her."

Before West could stop me,
I was on my feet,
and I had punched him in the throat.

There was a stunned silence for a moment,
and then the others burst out laughing as west grabbed my arm.
As it turns out, that was the best move I could have made.
I thought he was going to break it, but he just sat me down again.

I watched him clutching his neck.
Gasping for air.
I could not help but smile.
"You doubt my ability to kill?
Have you even bothered to read my résumé?"

"And what a detailed résumé it is."
Smith looked at me for a moment, still trying to stifle his laughing.
"I like you Ember. But if you ever do that again.
We'll have no choice but to terminate you."

Theta grinned. "Do we have consensus?"

The younger man was properly stood up again.
He glared at me, rubbing his throat.
I shifted in case he was going to fight me.
West did not move his hand from my shoulder.

He held me down as the other moved to sit.

"One more question."
The woman looked at me.
She wore simple black attire.
"Why did Goldstein not kill you?"

I had not seen her smile at all.

Tau's face fell and he looked at me.
"I wish I knew. Salome was my friend.
Maybe they needed a messenger.
Someone to say how we were caught unprepared."

"And you were that person?"
She looked at me doubtfully.
"Could it be because of Elaine that you were saved?"

"Think about it, she met him.
And then a month later, you were spared.
It is common knowledge that you have been
with her, as a good friend, of course."

She added that on like she was joking.

"If she did then I owe her my life." I replied.

"Could you kill her?"

I could not afford hesitation.
"I could try."

I must have made a mistake.

She looked at me for a moment.
"My vote is for termination.
Ember is a liability to all of us."

The young man I punched gave a similar vote.

I fell silent.
My heart welled up in my throat.
I began to look for exits,
in case they decided to vote for my death.

I had a concealed knife stuffed in my boot...
I could probably bring West down and escape.

The other three voted for my backing.
The large man looked at me for a moment.
"You remind me of Salome you know.
You have the same spirit for the job,
only you have more respect for the dead."

"You are free to go."

We went back.
I was no longer under guard.
And finally I recieved orders.
I get to train people...

Volunteers from the paper pushing department.
Maybe these countermeasures will stop this happening again.
Though, having looked at them...
Maybe they are a little likely to die like Salome did.

But I remain hopeful.
It is my job now.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

A Nightmare

Theta came to find me.
I had been locked in Salome and I's room.
I have been having nightmares.

Remember when I said I do not dream?
Not unless I kill myself.
Well... I have been.

They have been the kind where you wake up,
and you still believe it is real.

Walking in a park, hand in hand
with a familiar man who's name I cannot place.
Children are playing, singing London Bridge.
He looks at his watch.

He smiles at me, he says we're late for a meeting.
We begin to run.

I hear a crack.

His smile fades and he falls into me.

I cradle him until he dies.

I see Salome, walking toward us.
I am scared...
West tries to stop her.
His face is torn off.

The children have stopped singing.
They are staring at us.

Then she turns on me.
She has that razor blade I used on her.
She carves into my face, smiling.

I scream but the dream does not stop.

Yesterday, I awoke in the early morning.
Theta was at my bedside.
He tutted, like when Salome was injured.
"You thrash, you know."

replaced fear,
replaced with anger.

West was just behind him.
It seems they anticipated me.
That I would try and hurt him.
I would not give him the pleasure.

"Come on Ember. We need to get you ready."
A pause on my part.
"Ready for what?"

He smiled at me grimly.
"You have people who want to chat."
Suddenly the nightmares did not seem so bad.

Not so bad at all.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

A Mess

So it appears I have been mistaken,
West looking out for me was in fact West guarding me.

I tried to go for a walk outside for the first time in weeks.
West was there.
He grabbed my arm roughly.
Practically swung me back inside.

He told me that I was not to leave the building.
Otherwise he was allowed to make me suffer.

With me putting so much effort into avoiding people,
I did not realise that people were avoiding me.
It... It hurts.

It makes sense though...

I began to notice it.
People would look away,
move to the other side of the hall.
Not even David has come to see me.

Because of my mistakes...

Perhaps I have been fooling myself.

Maybe the one they actually liked was Salome.
I am just some outsider.

I tried talking to Tau.
He frowned.
"I think you should get going... 
Keep training until we need you."

Until we need you.

My partner dies and suddenly I am unneeded?
Surely with a monster like Moriarty around
I would be needed more than ever.

They never say it, 
but I know it is in their minds.
They ask in hushed whispers. 

"Why didn't Ember fight them?"

"Why didn't Ember protect her?"

I don't know

I dont fucking know

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

A Song and a Dance

I have to move out...
Too many people are looking for me right now.

Tau came to find me yesterday.
Sat me down on a battered old couch.
His office was a mess of papers.
Piles of them everywhere.

It was odd.
Comforting to be amongst the chaos.

He offered me a drink.
I declined.
"What are my orders?"
"You have none."

I was confused by that.
He sighed and poured himself one instead.
"Just sit tight until we need you."

"What am I to do until then?"
"I don't know. Learn to drive?
West told me he could teach you..."

If I had a drink, I would have choked.
"West spends most of his time teaching me unarmed combat."
I have not described him before, have I?

He's six foot six inches, 
hair cut to a fuzz on his round head,
and looks like he has too many muscles.

In unarmed combat, 
he is punishing in every sense of the word.
For example if he gets a grip on my wrist, 
my arm may as well already be broken.

He has choked me to death multiple times during "training."

The one time I won... I kind of cheated.
Tau would say I "Played possum."
It stopped being "unarmed training" 
when I lodged a hatchet in the side of his head.

Today he taught me to drive stick shift.
Well. He tried anyway.
The accelerator and clutch are annoying and I keep stalling.
I hate driving, but I need to learn.

I need to live up to Salome.

I need to.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

A Calm before the Storm

I was curled up in the firing range.
A strange place to sleep, I know, but nobody uses it.
It keeps West from deciding to check up on me between weight lifting.
Sometimes I kind of think he believes guns are muscles.

Salome and I were the last partners still stationed here.
So we pretty much had everything to ourselves.
The rest of us... Bureaucrats really.
We have a dangerous job.

They have less of one...
Although I expect some will come to me.
Expect to be trained...
We shall see if they have the will to murder.

However it seems that Felix has found this spot.
Or who or whatever is delivering these letters to me.
Here it is.

"Dear Ember Fay.

As you surely recall, I told you I would conduct an interview with this man who goes by the name. "Ian McCormack."

Upon asking at the flats in the slums to which I was given an address, I was told that the fellow was still in residence by the landlord. There are reasons I avoid this area normally. It is simply the stench of refuse, of man and otherwise. Young children sleep on the streets amongst the filth.

The rich look the other way, but the poor have no other choice.

It is odd to me how such a man as who could enter one of the more flamboyant dens could be found here. But as I knocked on the door I realised.

This man was one who was truly changed by the loss of his daughter. The man who opened the door. He was but a shadow. Maybe a businessman once upon a time, but there and then he was a gin soaked wretch. He was unfortunate enough to have loved and lost.

"What do you want?" He asked me quietly.

"I am looking into the death of a woman."

"Please not Elisabeth, anyone but her." He took me by my lapel and pulled me inside.

"I heard tell of your daughter, I do not know if it is her. But there may be links between the young woman we found and your daughter." I pushed myself away from him. "Tell me, Mister McCormack. Did your daughter know of someone named 'Father?'"

"I do not know. She told me she had found a new family under a gentleman." He looked distraught, his hand moving to the half empty gin bottle. His floor was littered with them.

"Did you get a name for this gentleman?"

"Jack sir. Springheeled Jack." He took a long draught of the liquid, started to laugh. "A fairytale. A phantom of the night."

"I saw him Sir. He was at my daughter's window one night as she slept... I had taken to guarding her from this fiend after she was found with bruises as if she had been caned. He must have worn a mask. I saw none of his features. He said nothing. And then, one night..." He sat down upon the bed.

"I am to assume your daughters bedroom was high from the ground?" This was an interesting story from a man who's life may be better served in bedlam.

"Yes sir. And then... Then she left. I had allowed sleep to overtake me, and when I awoke I saw her. She was only fourteen... Sometimes I still see her... At my door like nothing ever happened." He started to sob.

"Please Mister McCormack. Tell me what happened and I shall leave you to your grief."

"I saw her awake, smiling. She looked at me as if I was not even there. There was a man, a tall man. I understand why she called him a gentleman, for those were his clothes. A black suite and tie, tailored to him. I... I cannot recall his face. It was night time, they escaped through the window" He frowned at me once more. "You believe me do you not? You believe me to be sane. Please tell me I did what I could. I am sorry Elisabeth, I am so so sorry." He lost control of himself, his head in his hands.

I am afraid this is all I could gain from him so I left.

All I see in this is the fact a girl found a lover and decided to elope. However the comparison of Springheeled Jack is genuinely interesting. Especially when you recall the man Fairy Fay described by the same name.

I believe I shall check up upon him again in the given future. Should he experience a similar untimely demise, I shall take his story seriously. Although if he does. I may worry for my own safety.

I await your orders.

Liberté. Égalité. Fraternité.

Jules Chénier"

Friday, 16 March 2012

Every Teardrop is a Waterfall

We are on our way to a kill.
We have stop in at a motel at about four or five PM.
Create a home base for the day.

It it is silent. Late night.
Salome tells me we were going.
We open the door.
We walkout onto the upper walkway.


Salome turns to the noise,
and so do I.

I feel an arm around my neck.
I elbow him in the ribs and trytriedtry to call out.
He stinks of cigarette smoke.

There are another two on Salome.

Three men.

They are in black,
even their faces are darkened.
They wear Military webbing.

All I see as I am pulled into our room...

I see her shot in the head.
M9A1 with a suppressor and flashlight attachment.
I would bet money nobody even heard it.

One of them catches her and drags her inside as well.
Closing the door.
One man tugs the gun out of my waistband
and lowers me onto the floor.

They are professional...
They knew we would shoot back if they came inside.
So they waited for us to come to them...


How was I so stupid?
W-Why did I think we were safe?
Just because of...

One of the men looks at me
curled up on the floor, and he speaks.
"Tell your order that Moriarty sends his regards.
Follow us and I will break your neck, Proxy."

They leave me unharmed,
he smiles at me as they do so.

So what do I do?
I run after them.
I tug the knife from under Salome's pillow.
I run out of the door.

I feel a hand on my chest.
I see a gun in my face.
"No. Bad dog."

He smiles at me again.

I look down.
I see a tired looking family clambering out of their car.

I do not wish to put them at risk.

I recoil.
I go and cradle Salome in my arms.
I hope she awakens tomorrow.
I know she will not.

I post.

A phone rings.
I am too busy holding her.
I let it go to answer phone...

After the tenth time I respond.

The voice on the phone is comforting.
"It's West. Do exactly as I tell you and you'll be fine." 
"Look kid, breathe before you pass out." 
"We can't leave her there and you can't stay forever."
"You know that black hoodie she has? Put it on her."

"Okay? Good. Now tug the hood up over her head, is the wound well hidden?"
"No? Ok you're just going to make sure no one sees you leave."
"Ember, I know it's difficult for you right now, but you need to calm down."
"Go outside first, open the back door of the car."

"Lift her up over your shoulder, and quickly take her outside. Try and be quiet as you can. Have her positioned so she is between you and anywhere that could pose a good position for as long as you can." 
"I assume you know Baker team came under fire from a sniper controlled by the fucker that did this."
"Once she's in the car, drive north to the next gas station up. We'll meet you there."
"You can't drive? She was supposed to- Nevermind. You've seen her drive yes? Fuck... You're lucky it's an automatic. Just get the hell out of there Ember."

He hangs up.

I sit in the drivers seat.
I turn the ignition.

The CD player comes on, Coldplay.

I turn the music up,
Got my records on.
I shut the world outside until the lights come on.

I turn the music off.
It does not help my mood.
I can't drive and cry at once.

I drive for what feels like miles.
We were supposed to be stopping at the motel, 
shooting the driver as they came in to rest.
I suppose that idea is moot now.

I watch the white rusty SUV drive past me in the other direction..

I wonder if they know how close they came.

I stop at the gas station. 
I tug a blanket out of the trunk and cover Salome with it.
It is 6 AM before they get here.

I must have fallen asleep.
I awaken only when West scoops me out of the drivers seat.
I say nothing. 
I just cling to him.

I listen to his warm voice soothing me.
His hand running through my hair.
Lying to me.
Telling me that it is all going to be okay.

He lets me sleep now.

And then,
two nights before now,
I watch a funeral pyre burning upon the rooftop of the building.
I hope she is in a better place...

The funeral is small,
a few people arrive.
I feel a hand upon my shoulder.
Murmured apologies for her loss.

But they did not like her.
No one really cared for her.
No one except me.

Tau and Theta are there.
Side by side.
Watching her burn.

I cry.
The words West says do not help.

Her bones have been processed.

I am given an black ceramic urn to take down the stairs.
Into the basement.
Into a long hall with shelves.
The walls are lined with the same urns.

I try and walk quickly.
But everything moves around me slowly.
Holding it with both hands,
I place it on an empty spot.

There are maybe a thousand urns just like hers.
Some are covered in dust.

I scratch her name,
into the stone shelf beneath it.

Salome Roux

Her name means peace.
Ironic. I know.
She would kick me if I said that aloud.
There was nothing peaceful about her.

West hands me a single stem.
Red snapdragons.
I lay it in front of the urn,
adjusting it until it looks right.

Then I turn to leave.

Partners are to the death.
I suppose much like marriage.
Only we were not bound by anything
other than the orders of Mother.

Salome once told me,
that our order numbered in the hundreds,
a little over a decade ago.

Now there are thirty.
No one will say why.
Is it just that we do not recruit anymore?

Why do we not recruit?
Why do we choose to allow this order to die?
I wish I knew.
I really do.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Oh my god she's dead.
fuck I shes dead dead
theyu killed her fuhk
executed her

dont come for me.
theycould still be there

dontstopsinging cantstop singing
I wantto kill him

Sunday, 11 March 2012

A Good Mood

Short post today.

Finally Salome was in a good mood today.
Apparently Tau had come to see us yesterday.
I had been beaten unconscious at that point,
so I am relying on Salome's word for it.

He said our probation was over,
and we are to head after a new mark.
She says it is my turn for the kill.

That I need to be professional this time.
No mistakes like allowing them to play dead.
I will learn my lesson.

Or Salome will beat it into me.

Either works in her eyes.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

A promise

I promised you,
whoever you all are,
that I would type up this letter.

I... I have been lax about it.

Salome has been tougher,
she tries to act like she did,
but when she thinks I am not looking...

She has forbidden me from killing myself,
but that just means when I lie awake at night
and she thinks I am asleep,
sometimes I hear her crying.

But this... This is not about Salome.
This is about a letter I received.

I am sorry.
It is difficult to think straight.

Too tired.

"Dear Ember Fay, and by extension, Mother.

First of all, allow me to apologize for the three months it has taken to gain any kind of new information. I am used to being pressed for certain facts, but this "Father" figure is new to me and the two or so men I can trust since the deaths of both Fairy Fay and John Smith. Being an officer does not help matters.

I told you about the other death in a previous correspondence. A supposed seamstress once more, found torn asunder. People's lips loosen at the thought of a monster at their door.

I suppose one would have assumed that being a lawman would make it difficult to gain information from hardened criminals, but one must simply find those criminals who are willing to talk.

Or better, those who's sin is not yet a crime.

I met a man named Mordecai, though I do doubt that is his real name, for he is Chinese and made his life in the country through the import of opium. He runs his own den in one of the more well off areas of London.

The time I first walked into the den, I was hit by the sweet, pungent smell of the smoke. We had corresponded once or twice but this was the first time we had met. He spoke good English and when I began to speak in French. He had a good grasp. He is intelligent enough to know a good deal, and that he should not ask too many questions.

I questioned him about this "Father" I keep hearing about, and he said he heard of them. Very occasionally, a man would come in, they would look pallid, stretched thin, as if butter scraped over too much bread. When he talked to them, they would just say nothing. After partaking, however. One of them became emotional about his daughter, how she had gone missing, that she had joined them. He claimed he had been disowned as a father.

He gave me the fellow's name and address. I shall not give you the names lest this correspondence become intercepted by another party. I have encouraged him to keep listening about a "father" and to ask around his own contacts.

I shall interview him tomorrow, for right now it is late and I have a full day of work ahead of me due to this poor woman's murder.

Liberté, égalité, fraternité.

Jules Chénier"

Note to self:
I must remember to correct 
his last name in the other letters.
This is the first time it was truly legible.

I shall do it when I have time.

I have such little time.