Monday, August 22, 2016

Every night, before I sleep, I recite the names of the lost. Those who are confirmed dead, and those that just disappeared and are assumed dead.

It's morbid. But, it tends to be followed by thoughts about how the list will only grow longer with each passing year. I wonder if the list will become so long that I decide to abandon this idea? Most likely. I also dread the day when I have to add more names to it.

This life is a curse.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Hunter

Well...he caught up to me. I had gone over those reports I had, and decided to book a flight to one of the bases overseas... Luckily, the ID I used still registered as valid.

I had only been to this base once before, it's in Europe, that's all I'll say. I approached its entrance and took in a deep breath. In the reports, Sam had written that she had re-opened this base as a storage facility with the research labs beginning to be staffed. The primary purpose of this base had been research before it had been shut down.

I was shocked to find that the power still worked, or at least, the keypad's power. I entered my override code and heard the door's lock disengage. This was it. I opened it and saw only darkness. There was no power to any other system, apparently. I felt my heart drop at that. Another report that was impossible. I didn't let that dissuade me, I decided to enter the base. A mistake.

It was relatively small, only a few levels as it was intended for research only. The stairwells were completely blocked past the first two levels...I couldn't access the whole base. Probably for the best, since it's pretty hard to see using only a torch.

The place was a mess. Not from looters, or break-ins though, only from the evacuation team. That's not to say they weren't thorough though, I searched around and couldn't find anything worthwhile.

Reasonably disappointed, I made my way out of the base. As soon as I shut the door and secured it, I turned around and came face-to-face with a gun. A rifle, to be exact. One I recognized.

"Thought you could get away that easy? Your passport's flagged." It was him. I figured my passport was flagged, but he just admitted that his people can access that information. Which means someone, somewhere, has access.

"Honestly I was hoping you'd corner me on those stairwells, nice spot for a flash..."

"Wasn't fallin' for that trick again. Doubt you'd try it anyway. You make this too easy."

"Too easy? Have we forgotten that your rifle is useless?" I needed a way out. But there was nothing near me I could use.

"Looks like a checkmate to me. How about we spare the bullet, eh?" He lowered his rifle and pulled out a knife. His disfigured face shifted into what I can only assume was a grin as he stepped toward me.

That's when it happened, a gunshot. He went down and a man dressed in black combat gear quickly crested the hill, grabbed my arm and escorted me to a car.

There were two other men in it, all in full gear. "Who are you?" For all I knew, I had gone from the frying pan and into the fire.

The one closest to me chuckled as he took off the mask and helmet: it was Dmitri.

"Carteya , my old friend! Still getting yourself in trouble?" I hadn't seen him in a while, it was nice to see a friendly face.

"Let me guess: my passport's flagged in your system, too?"

"It might be. You should be more careful. It's dangerous to travel alone, especially now."

"Don't exactly have a choice there, trouble seems to follow me... Where are we going?"

"We're going to drop you off at your embassy, then we're parting ways again, my friend. I have business to do."

The rest of the ride was just us catching up on what's been going on. We parted on good terms, I was glad to have run into Dmitri again.

Anyway, that's the short version. Right now, I'm trying to decide my next steps. I didn't get a positive confirmation on Hunter's death. Neither did Dmitri. He might still be out there, looking for me. I won't let anything stop me.

Stay safe.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

So... I figured out who I'm being hunted by... Jeez I'm dense sometimes... It's the guy I met back when I was tracking down my memories. He said his name was Hunter, he was the guy chasing after the Rake.

I thought he died. I was wrong, and he blames me. I sent word to Dmitri to ask for a positive ID, maybe get the story from the soldiers who would've shot him. It'll be a little bit until I get word back.

Now that I know who he is, there are some new questions... Did he catch up to the Rake? If so, how did he survive? Who is he working for? The Rake?

This is one of those times that I wish I could access an archive full of info, or something. Oh well, I think I'm starting to detect a pattern in how he's tracking me. I may be able to evade him. Maybe.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Well, it's been a bit since I've posted. Sorry about that, been on the run. Whoever this guy is, he's been on my ass constantly.

I really need to find some way to shake him. I will not kill him. I think I might remember him now. I think. I'm checking into it, but if I'm right... Well, I never intended for it to go this way.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Contact

I made contact with my black market connection... It didn't go well.

We met and we exchanged info. He gave me more of those reports. Each one just as impossible as the last. He told me that they flooded the information market, but no one really wanted them. Everyone thought they were fakes. I wonder why... When I asked where they came from, he told me he had no clue but that he'd find out for me. Free of charge.

A few days later, he contacted me again. But that's when it went wrong... I got to the meet, and he didn't answer. The room already felt uncomfortable, since it was so dark, but something else felt off this time... I drew my revolver and began to search the room. It was a mess... The table was overturned...the filing cabinets tipped open...crates completely destroyed... Someone had turned the entire room over... I searched around, but didn't find anything I'd find useful in the mess. That is, until I opened the locker in the back of the room... I found his body. Bullet through the back of the head, execution style.

Call it a sixth sense, but I knew I wasn't alone at that point. I turned and leveled my gun as a shadow leveled its gun at me.

"Who are you?" He didn't answer. Just kept his pistol aimed at my chest. He was standing just outside the light. "Why did you kill him? Was it because of me?"

He didn't answer for some time. "Yes. You were too close to the truth."

"And what's it to you?" I stepped to the side, hoping to get a view of his face. But he stepped so his face was still obscured.

"I represent...interests that believe you to be a threat to peace. Interests that wish you dead." He paused, then added: "And if you even think I won't shoot you... I know how it works. One shot to your head, and you're out long enough to find yourself in a cell...or a furnace...or surrounded by a pack of animals...anything really."

"You seem to know a bit about me."

"My...employers are very interested in you. I know quite a bit about you. And you don't even remember me, do you?"

"Remember you? I can't even see you. Normally, on the first date, one steps out of the shadows..."

"You left me. I crawled, bloody, and on the verge of death to that site...and you weren't there. Do you know what I received for my trouble? A bullet to my only good leg. Then, when they saw what was left of me, they called in some suits to take me away, study me. All because you. Left. Me. Behind."

I was confused, I couldn't remember what he was talking about. And, to be frank, I was a bit tired. It had been a long day. "I can't speak much for my past life. So, forgive me for not remembering. If you want, we could skip the pleasantries and I'll just shoot you now. Would that help any?" I still don't want to kill anyone. I hoped he wouldn't call my bluff.

That's when he stepped into the light... His body was disfigured. His face looked like some large animal had tried, and mostly succeeded, to tear it off... His left arm was held awkwardly at his side, and his leg was bent at an odd angle and looked like it shouldn't support his weight. His expression was one of a perpetual snarl...as that was all that the creature had left of it.

"I will hunt you down, Carter. And I will kill you. I will kill you as many times as it takes. Because I am a hunter, and you are now my prey."

"Ah, so the Archangel sent you to do his dirty work... Huh, I didn't realize he was so scared of little 'ole me..."

"I don't serve the angel of death. If he's too scared to hunt you, then I am the superior hunter. A true hunter doesn't allow his prey to escape. I was hoping there'd be more challenge to the hunt. But you've gone soft. There was a time when I never could've snuck up on you. When you would've shot me before I could threaten you. A time when you could've protected him."

If there's one thing I learned from being in the Agency, it's that you should always have a plan B to exit... This time, I chose a nice little toy called a flashbang. You heard of them? I "accidentally" dropped it and let it roll towards him...he was too busy talking to notice. And, well, I could be wrong, but I think he's blind in the one eye and can't hear in one ear...

"And so, you won't succeed, they...at least die with your eyes open and facing me, you--"

And then there a flash. And a bang... If you've never been subjected to a flashbang in close quarters, let me offer you some advice: don't. Even with the little prep I could do, I was still blinded. And even though standard Agency training involved us taking the brunt of multiple flashbangs, you never do get used to it...Or at least, I never did. At least the training paid of some...I stumbled out the door while he was flailing on the ground.

I think he shot at me. But I'm not entirely sure. My ears were ringing so much that even a freight train would have difficulty being heard... Either way, it wasn't a shot that took me down. That's all that matters. I also won't be able to pull that trick again... Oh well. I'm not exactly fond of it...

So, here I am. My last black market contact dead. A stack of reports that are useless and impossible. A man hunting me, who claims to have a past with me. And more questions than answers...

All in all, seems like the old days again.

Monday, May 16, 2016

A New Lead

I kept hitting dead-end after dead-end in my search. Trails that just stopped suddenly, with no clues. Until the unexpected happened. I was contacted.

I was told to meet in a local mall of the city I was in. I got to the meeting point and waited. It was becoming empty as people were leaving and business was dropping. Then a man sat down behind me.

"Mr. Carter, I presume?"

"Who are you, and how did you know how to contact me?"

"We have a mutual friend. This is for you." He turned and handed me a small package that had papers in it. I noticed that he was wearing a red glove on his right hand. Immediately, I became suspicious, but when I looked at his eyes, I could see that he wasn't Jack.

"He's breaking our deal? I was to be left alone."

"I was told to tell you that there are loopholes to every deal." He paused for a beat. "I was told to emphasize that there are loop-holes. To. Every. Deal." And with that, he stood up and walked away.


I opened the package and looked around. Curious as to if Jack was there. If so, I wouldn't be able to recognize him. He probably had at least one agent watching me. Inside the package were papers. The first was a handwritten note for me. My first thought was how the handwriting was a new handwriting from the last time, so Jack must have a new host. It looked oddly familiar though, but that's just probably previous hosts' influence on it. Anyway, it read:

"My dearest friend, Carter:
      I trust my agent will return home relatively unharmed. He's a good lad. Reminds me a lot of you when I first met you. So young, naive, innocent. I bet he won't last another year, however. What a pity."

At that point, I absentmindedly spoke outloud about how I know better than to make a bet with Jack. Anyway, the letter continued:

"Before you become upset with me, know that our deal still stands as is: I will not break it. I know how you're search has been fruitless, and I can't help but feel sorry for you, even if you have an eternity to chase your own tail. Irregardless, I sent something for you that I "happened" across. I trust it will serve you well in your hunt, it came from a black market dealer, if you were wondering. And worry not, my friend, this favor is absolutely free of charge. No strings attached, as they say. I'm putting that down in writing as, that way, you'll know to put faith in it.

I hope to see you again soon, my friend. I have missed your company greatly.

With regards,
Jack"

Attached to it was a report. Written by Sam. I know how she writes. It was her. It described some sort of issue with an Agency base needing more funding. And it was dated for this past February. It's not possible though. I know which site it was describing. I was just there a few weeks ago, and I know I was the first person to step foot in it since Calvin shut it down.

There's something odd going on here, and I don't like it. I have a report that should not exist. And I know that Jack is watching my movements now. Of all of them...Jack is the first one I come into contact with in months... It could be worse, I suppose. Certainly better than dodging the Archangel's rifle, right?

I plan on making contact with a black market connection of mine. I need to track down the source of this report. If I can find where it came from, I can find what remains of the Agency.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

The Calm Before the Storm

These last few months have been oddly quiet. I've been trying to track down leads, but they all keep turning up nothing. And in all of the traveling, I've not run into any trouble. Which is oddly unsettling.

I haven't come across any large groups of Runners, Proxies, no Timberwolves, no Lilim. And certainly none of the Fears. I haven't been attacked by Archangel for quite some time. I haven't seen Tall, Thin, and Faceless. No Rake sightings that I'm aware of. I haven't seen The Old Man. Even Lilith has been leaving me alone. I'm almost comfortable around mirrors again. Almost.

It's odd. This silence. It's like things have calmed down. But I just can't shake the feeling that something is wrong. Call it intuition, or just bad pizza, I don't know. Either way, I think this is the calm before the storm. That we're all being lulled into a false sense of security. That things are about to heat up again. New Runners. New servants. Countless new sightings. Could this be the mark of the beginning of a new generation of the struggle?

If it is, I don't know what kind of role I'll play. I won't sacrifice my morals though. I still have an eternity ahead of me, and I'll be damned if I let them corrupt me.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Uhm...I've been gone for quite some time. At least, from the blogging scene. I'm still kicking, as I always will be, apparently. I've added two instances to my "death count". Sometime soon, I think I may need to sit down and try to count how many times I've actually "died." Even though I'm convinced that the Old Man is still holding on to some of my memories. Oh well.

I don't know if I'll be writing on here much for some time. Too many memories. Too many people I haven;t seen or heard from. I've been...wandering the roads for some time now. Alone. I might be the last one alive from my "generation"... Or at least, the last one who's still stuck in this demented game.

I think I may see about visiting the people I care about again. Just make sure that I can see them all before they ultimately die. I know I'll outlive them and that led to my keeping things secret. Thoughts and feelings and what-not. It's hard to look at someone knowing the feelings you have, but also knowing that they'll die and you'll just keep on living and nothing can change that. I don't know if I'll ever be able to settle down with anyone. The thought that I'd outlive them and then any children...

Anyway. I'm still around. I'm still trying to track down Sam and the others...

And anyone that needs assistance from an immortal should just ask. I have all the time in the world. Literally.