Names and Numbers

Mikhail was tired. He had been there for only a few months as far as he could tell, stationed in one of the various fringe posts as a lookout of sorts, a frontier man whose charge was that of monitoring and keeping a detailed log of all that occurred in the observable sector of space – if one could call it that – he had been assigned to. While the work itself wasn’t particularly demanding in a physical sense, the subjects of his surveillance mission was most taxing to the psyche, and so he was showing the clear signs of fatigue that came with being in a high stress environment for a prolonged period of time.

There was something wrong with time, or the keeping and measurement thereof, in this place, and he couldn’t be sure of exactly how much time passed since his arrival. Digital watches would malfunction in strange ways, traditional gear-work clocks did, too. Sometimes he thought that maybe more time had passed, but then, how could it? He didn’t appear to have aged at all since the beginning of his assignment and neither had any of the other frontier officers scattered in their own self-contained habitation modules.

Communication was kept by shortwave radio with some modifications. Officers would communicate with each other in very specific codes based on numbers and names, though the etiquette would sometimes be broken when the cypher would not suffice to convey a particular message, more often than not related to the menial and miscellaneous such as maintenance of the living modules. Some of the outposts had grown quiet over time, however, but Mikhail just couldn’t say how long ago. Communication with the motherland was also carried out in this manner, though they, too, had grown silent. Perhaps the war had finally broken out of Earth proper, the Cold phase of the conflict no longer keeping the Americans and his countrymen at stalemate. He, as did the other officers in their own outpost who remained communicative, continued to relay his reports to the home base despite their radio silence.

They were all well aware that madness was a possibility in under their current assignment. There was also the possibility of never being able to return home, for that matter, and one had to become rather practiced at applied stoicism in order to not let that looming shadow hang over one’s mind all of the time. Mikhail presumed that his silent comrades had more than likely succumbed to insanity. He himself often wondered if he might already be spiralling into dementia despite the measures he religiously took to stave off cognitive decay. He exercised frequently, he composed poetry, he listened to classical music on his phonograph – a rare allowance but permitted given the extremity of their assignments – and read the many books he had brought with him. An occupied mind was the best weapon against madness, or so it was thought by the experts on the matter, but there were the odd things that took place in his day-to-day affairs that were increasingly worrying him. He would forget what books he had read, and if he had read them recently. Gaps in his memory manifested themselves in ways that troubled him, to the point that he would be unable to recall what he was doing just a few minutes before at times. After a while he decided to keep a detailed log of all he did, but he sometimes forgot about the log itself, only to find it later and realize he had been keeping it while not actually recalling any of it. He would begin recording his activity, but the cycle would repeat itself. Furthermore, he had a hard time making sense of the previous blocks of logged entries, as he say many more than could be accounted for in the time he had been on his current post. He rationalized that it would likely have been written in some shorthand and was, perhaps, not an actual 1-to-1 account, but something else. And since date-keeping was practically impossible there in that strange area of the universe, the logs appeared to be numerically arranged rather than chronologically. It was both disconcerting and terrifying.

Still, Mikhail figured it wasn’t quite as terrible as it could be, all things considered. He took stock of his predicament in light of the colossal proportions of what their mission entailed, the sheer significance of what they were tasked with observing, and he judged himself fortunate.

He and his comrades were stationed in a strange anomaly of space – at least, anomalous to human eyes – and were charged with the observation and cataloguing, as well as reporting of all that took place in that quadrant of the universe, one that was not reached by means of rocket propulsion as was the method preferred by the space programs in both the U.S.S.R. and U.S.A. but rather through a gateway of sorts that was discovered deep in Siberia. The U.S.S.R. had kept this as its most secret discovery and eventually managed to send manned probes that actually came back without casualties or biological complications, which logically led to their current post.

The strange celestial bodies in the region of space where they were stationed were a constant defiance to what had been the basic understanding of the universe form the human perspective; landmasses stretching for miles like disjointed mountain ranges and plains suspended in what was assumed to be space, but not like we had known it prior. Each such floating mass dotted with megalithic structures that bespoke of intelligent design. Strange creatures the likes of which could hardly be described, much less understood from a viewpoint as narrow as that of their own scientists. There appeared to be intelligence behind the creatures, though it was too much to expect to understand their intelligence in terms reconcilable with humanity.

What was stranger, however, was that the creatures appeared to have built their structures, and based their activities, in relation to the dwarf star the masses orbited. A most intriguing puzzle, that one…

 

***************************************************************************

 

The internet was abuzz with activity over at all the fringe topic messageboards and websites. A certain set of number stations were broadcasting more cryptic messages that ever before and the meaning of them were no clearer than those from all the previous years since they had been “discovered” sometime after World War II.

No government had claimed responsibility for them, thought they all seemed to broadcast messages in Russian. The broadcasts were obviously some kind of code, consisting for the most part of series numbers and names, though sometimes the odd non-codified exchange could be heard – no clearer for lack of context, however. When no messages were broadcast only cycles of tones and bouts of static would come through the shortwave radio station. But for the past three weeks there had been an overflowing bounty of activity and the web’s denizens were constantly churning out theories.

No one knew quite what to make of the ever-cryptic broadcasts, however, though the conspiracy theory which had begun to gain more and more traction linked them with recently increased military activity in Europe, with odd joint efforts by the U.S., Russia, the U.K, China, and a smattering of former Soviet Bloc nations. Nothing much was reported in mainstream news outlets both online and through the more traditional media technology, but infamous hack groups like Anonymous and others were constantly uncovering raw data that, coupled with the few snippets of reports on the military “exercises” being carried out in the Northern region of Europe, could be interpreted into something significant.

These hack groups claimed that they had found information about the stations and some relation to the operations, but that they had yet been unable to break deep enough into the military databases, many of which were not in the same web as the rest of the world in general. As these things usually went, it was only a matter of time before Anonymous or another outfit managed to break in and release the information for the free world.

***************************************************************************

They had all become keenly aware of the fluctuations in the light of the dwarf star, the patterns, the explosions… Something was happening and, Mikhail, sensed instinctively, it was not good for the human race. There had been dreams, as well; strange abstract dreams where he only barely managed to hold on to his sense of self, as though he was being slowly consumed by something that seemed entirely too large to even hold in ones thoughts, a sentient presence, something that chilled him to his soul.

His exchanges with his stationed comrades had yielded nothing that differed from his own experience, but he did think himself the sanest one of them all. They had all mostly degraded to animal fear, some even going as far as taking their own lives. Those who still managed to speak with some sense were of a mind to follow suit as a last resort, a prospect which loomed nearer with the distorted passage of time.

The dwarf start was also growing, expanding, and Mikhail thought he could observe the silhouette of something within it, as one might see a shadowed outline through a backlit paper screen, like a shadow puppet. He did not lend credit to this, but his bowels had loosened as some atavistic fear shocked him the first time he glimpsed the shadow.

The Cold War be damned, the motherland be damned, his communiqués kept getting no reply at all, but surely someone somewhere must be listening. He decided after much consideration that he had to escape being consumed by whatever it was that dwelt in the dwarf star. The only way this could be achieved, however, was through death. He saw no other clear avenue of action.

With his last spoken words, projected at the microphone receiver of his shortwave special unit, Mikhail made the first meaningful broadcast not in coded format since he had been assigned.

“Someone, please, seal the gate. Destroy it, for the sake of all, destroy it.”

 

Author’s Note: I was inspired in great part by the subject of numbers stations and felt that there was something very Lovecraftian that could be used in tandem with the subject. In the end, it became less about the stations itself, my story, but I’m somewhat pleased with the result. If you guys are interested in the subject of the stations, here’s a couple of links that might get your started, though Google will of course be the best tool for casual research on this matter.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UVB-76#Voice_messages

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Numbers_station

http://www.reddit.com/r/UnresolvedMysteries/comments/1zi00a/for_those_familiar_with_the_russian_numbers/

http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread1003293/pg1

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Disagreeable Living Arrangements

Note: Yes, I’ve been bad. Yes, I’ve been lazy… but to make up for the lack of tangible production – my mind has been busy with ideas but alas not with actual writing – I will be posting a short story every day from here until the end of July. So, here we go! I hope you guys will enjoy.Thanks for reading. 😀

 

It was hard enough that things were tight money-wise, but the amount of time spent just trying to get things tidy enough and the absolute absence of any help were simply more than he could handle. Jamie knew he had to take a stand and draw a line on the ground; his roommate had taken advantage of his good will and kind nature, but there was a limit to everything.

He was wondering how he might broach the subject. Rent to date was covered but Jamie knew he could no longer take care of it all on his own. Utility bills were still outstanding for the previous month and surely the electric company would cut their power any day now.

Bo, his roommate, had been living with him for nearly a year, but he had known him from before. They had been friends for a few years and Jamie had felt comfortable taking him on as a roomy. About 5 or 6 months into the living arrangement Bo had become unemployed, the exact circumstances of said unemployment coming to be were not known to Jamie as Bo had been quite vague, actively avoiding to delve into the subject whenever it came up. Jamie would not press the matter too hard, of course, feeling it might be a touchy subject, sensitive, and that Bo might not have come to terms with whatever may have taken place that led to his unemployment. Nevertheless, the fact was that Bo had no means of income and had effectively become a burden to him. He had to get his shit together or get out.

The more Jamie thought about it the more he fanned the flames of his angry indignation. After a few minutes of turning the subject around in his mind he decided to get up, rather impulsively, and storm into Bo’s room, which was across the hall from his own room.

Jamie marched to Bo’s room door, his gait a testament to his determination, and knocked thrice on the said door.

No answer.

He did so again, rapping harder, and yelling out Bo’s name.

No reply.

He took the door handle and turned it, twisting forcefully and pushing the door inward. Darkness met him from beyond the threshold.

Darkness, and a stench of weeks-old sweat mingled with some unknown substance that reminded Jamie of shit and his more reptilian brain, in some atavistic manner, of ancient things.

The darkness was not solid, despite the initial impression he had gotten. No. Rather, the darkness was something the eyes could become accustomed to, as one would expect of darkness in the human experience. What his eyes decrypted, decoded from the information laid before them once they had learned to recognize that which lay within said darkness, was decidedly not something one would expect from the human experience.

Jamie took a slow, deep breath, slowly shut the door – making sure there was a satisfactory click – and backed away in a cautious manner, his eyes glued to the door.

Once he was in his room he took as few things as he could – without losing sight of Bo’s room door for more than a couple of seconds at a time – and dropped them into his book bag. He then walked out of his room, halfway across the hallway, into the living room and out the front door.

He never looked back and never made any attempts at finding out what became of Bo. He did wonder, over the years, on nights when that darkness and what was nursed within it seemed frightfully near, why his landlord never got in touch with him about rent, the contract, and any unpaid utility bills.

 

What’s a-crackin’?

This job has gone to soil, thought Jim to himself. Whatever possessed me to take this position? He asked of himself, wearily.
The depths were always calming. The area known as the Mariana Trench to the species at the top of the food chain in this tiny planet was relatively devoid of noise. Jim liked that. He was taking a break from his shift and, as he had habitually done for the past century or so, recalled the halcyon days of early internship. Of course, back then the pay was as basic as it could get without it being indentured slavery, but the hours and the location had been prime, he mused.
Jim held a disc-shaped metal object in one of his colossal tentacles, applying elongated tools that resembled tweezers and a screwdriver – if tweezers and screwdrivers came in sizes battleship and aircraft carrier – with two other tentacles.
When the position as head of his own project was offered to him, Jim could not believe his luck. That he, a veritable neophyte at Yggdartillau Multiversal, would be considered for such a prestigious position was beyond his wildest dreams. Of course, as it usually happens, when things are too good to be true it is precisely because they are. Jim’s freshman naiveté got the best of him then and he simply did not bother to scrutinize the offer.
Things sure had changed around here in the past few orbital centicycles around Sol. It had been countless millicycles since the reptiles and the oh-so-savoury, decently sized fish that swam the oceans had been terminated, courtesy of the Board’s inane decisions. We have decided to introduce a new series of bioforms and it is imperative that the climate and atmosphere be adjusted for the introduction thereof. He thought that maybe these new bioforms would be tasty, at least. Well, they are tasty… just not large enough to do more than tickle his palate. And so the megafauna was phased out in favor of the apes.
It wasn’t bad enough that the planet itself was a virtual ghetto, but this entire bubbleverse provided little by way of significant or even pleasant interaction or stimuli. Nevermind that he was stranded with no means of transport off of this backwards quadrant, but he was directed to disturb the bioforms of the surface as little as possible. Screw that! He thought to himself, triumphantly, as the disc-shaped object began to propel itself through the water, white lights shining powerfully, as it ascended to the surface. Jim wondered with some pleasure if this one of his toys would cause enough of a commotion for the balding apes.
The project had been filled with such promise when he first got to the primordially oozing planet. The weather had been nice, the oceans quite warm owing to the constant tectonic activity.
He wistfully recalled that some of his colleagues had even displayed friendly jealousy at his seemingly good fortune. His very own project, calling all the shots, getting things done and making a difference for the Elder Ones… all a sham, really. It began to dawn on him, the realization that perhaps things were not quite so fortunate for him, when he realized that he was the only cephalopod considered for the task. That never happened to him, being singled out. Not for anything good, anyways. Of course, by then it was already too late. He was already secured – rather trapped! – in the meteoric seed that would deploy him to the project’s site. Plainly put, Jim had been hornswaggled.
Well, the apes proliferated, alright! They damn near collapsed the ecosystem several times in the past 2 centicycles. Despite his utter contempt for the project, Jim did not want to burn any bridges. Letting the project fail before official termination could spell a disaster for his career.
The tiny planet had become a terribly boring and obnoxious place, though. Especially after many of the land-dwelling species had been metabolically engineered to produce more greenhouse gasses – what the Board intended with that asinine decision was beyond him. So the once pleasant-smelling blue ball was now a cesspool planet. Thankfully, he thought, his sense of smell was quickly deteriorating to the point that he would likely lose it completely within the next centicycle.
The Board is full of morons and buffoons, Jim would tell himself, fanning his own rage until he would thrash in the oceanic depths. His gargantuan tentacles sending the world’s currents into a frenzy. Every centicycle or so, they would send him a directive ordering the termination of the project, but the manner in which it was to be done was always so slow! Jim would begin the process as specified and, about a quarter into it, a new directive would come halting and reversing the process. How he hated that! Every. Single. Time. The apes would go crazy every time this took place, of course. They had enough sentience by now to realize something might be pulling the strings of their planet’s nature and figure out that they might not be long for existence. The bald apes were dysfunctional enough by themselves, as it were. They may not even need a push and the Board could shove their directives up the excretory orifice of their choosing.
And then there was the noise; all this sonar noise going around, making everything screwy. His headaches were increasing and Jim was sure that the bumbling apes were to blame. But at least they mostly minded their own business. Save for a few excursions, which Jim easily avoided by mimicking the rocks in the basin, the balding apes hardly ever came around. He did enjoy messing with their heads, so now and then he would simply move quickly from under a submarine that likely thought they were near the floor only to find out quite suddenly that several thousand feet of floor depth had disappeared from underneath. He enjoyed hearing the panicked radio chatter. But the balding apes appeared more preoccupied with exploring the little rocky planets in the Sol system. If only they knew how positively drab this entire bubbleverse was.
There were other intelligent species. Well, intelligent was a very generous term where this planet was concerned. The little cetaceans, dolphins, they were all punks and vandals. Much smarter than the apes, though. They would do nothing but call Jim names and copulate around him, making fun of his loneliness. Not that he had ever been much with the ladies back home. He sighed with longing every time he thought of the females. It had been such a long time since, well… Jim even thought he saw one now and then, but he knew that it was just likely pareidolia.
He had requested that assistants be sent, he had asked the Board, claiming he could not keep track of all the processes any longer by himself. This was not true, of course, but he hoped they would send a pretty female nonetheless. In the remote closeness Jim thought intimacy would eventually flow. It would be inevitable. But no, the Board always denied his petitions. All of them.
Some of the larger cetaceans, the white, flat-headed ones, would often try to gang up on him and bombard him with sonar blasts. The blasts did little to Jim, but would cause migraine headaches later. He would eat the foolish cetaceans, though they didn’t taste all that good. He didn’t understand why the larger cephalopods in this planet would try to eat them. Speaking of the little runts, all cephalopods here were evolutionary retrogrades. They couldn’t even speak! The larger ones liked to play, but they were more like cute, stupid pets than actual company or special little brothers that your family only lets out when going to commune with the Elder Ones because how boorish of them to discriminate and aren’t we all made in their image and whatnot.
How he longed for the days when life was good and he would go guzzle down libations with his mates and try but fail miserably to woo some fetching female. Jim even missed his mother, of all cephalopods!
Well, he was certainly growing tired and wondering if the Board would ever actually terminate the project. He wondered – more playfully at first, but increasingly more seriously over time – if he would ever get desperate enough to destroy the project. It would mean suicide, of course. Jim had no way of getting out of this bubbleverse, let alone the planet, without the Board’s mercy. Perhaps he would. Perhaps he might not care enough anymore. He would make quite the spectacle for the surface-dwellers! Perhaps, he could set the little world on fire…

Among the Depths

Lat: XX  Lon: XX  Depth: m  Day #:

Lieutenant Raul Benavides Log entry 00009

A month out of port and the old habits and tricks are settling in. I can’t stomach much food, my meals have gone down to two a day on a good day, but I seem to be doing OK. It started a bit earlier than the last time we went under. I wonder if any of these bits were showing up on my first trips in the Navy but I simply didn’t notice… maybe they were only showing up towards the last few days. I still feel like this is relatively recent, though.
I miss the land… more and more each time. Enough that I’m wondering just how many more incursions I can physically and mentally endure before I have to call it quits on the sub-life. I wonder if Matarrita’s already running a line on how much longer I’ll be up for these trips, I’d take the over just to mess with them!
Haven’t gotten the willies yet… that’s good. Haven’t heard of anybody getting weird either, but it’s still early in the sub-season. There’s a full regiment this time around so odds are someone will turn up batshit.
I am getting a better deal this time around, duty-wise; not much grunt work but still a far cry from those plump Hijos Confederados bastards. Nothing to do about that, born with the wrong set of genes, the wrong last name, the wrong lineage, can’t catch a break no matter what we plebes do, especially down here.
You would think that, since we Puntaplatans get to play watchdog for the Confederate States of Loyola, we might have a shot at getting a better deal in life. They just outsource their naval operations now; we’re just glorified customer service agents getting paid peanuts for a job nobody wants to do anymore in the first world. The dirty work. I don’t mind dirty money, though, as long as it’s flowing and it doesn’t discriminate on whose pockets it lines.
I hope that pompous bastard Dante Espinoza actually reads this log! Fascist pig thinks just because he’s a pure-bred who’s Admiral thanks to his family’s clout… ah, well, nothing to do but keep one’s head low when the world’s run by bigots…

Lat: XX  Lon: XX  Depth: m  Day #:

Lieutenant Raul Benavides Log entry 00018

It was bound to happen. The first of us to fall under the song of the deep this season, Bernabe Retana, he just lost it today. We were in the mess hall having a meal when he simply got up and started going on about someone singing outside of the sub. Like he could hear this song but wanted it to stop. It took five of us to get him down so the medic could shoot him full of tranqs. Not nice, Bernabe’s a hefty man. Knocked out a couple of guys before he was put under. He’s in containment, now. One of those lovely cells, 2 meters to a side, a little padding so the nuts won’t hurt themselves, a retractable shitter that goes into the back wall opposite the door and not much else.
I don’t know Bernabe very well but he doesn’t strike me as the unstable type. He is a bit green as far as the sublife goes, so maybe he’s just not cut out for this line of business. Most of the guys seemed to take it well, though; money exchanged hands as the payouts were given. Everyone had a stake on who would cave-in first, my money’s still on Viceadmiral Andrauss. There’s just something about him that makes me think he’s going to snap at any time. So now I’m a few coins short.
One thing that struck me as odd was that native, Hermidio Talamanca. Gave me the willies, the way he just sat there eating his meal while we divided the pool prizes. I think he sat that way while we fought Bernabe down. He kept looking at me, too. Made me damn uncomfortable but what the hell was I going to do? Start a fight and get sent to a containment suite, too? I’m thinking I should put a little money on that indigenous bastard biting the walls before too long…
Lat: XX  Lon: XX  Depth: m  Day #:

Lieutenant Raul Benavides Log entry 00035

Things getting really weird around here lately. There’s this mood going around, I don’t know how to explain it, but it’s almost like a fog. It’s like a bad trip…
Another sap fell under the spell the other night. Not a big deal, I was told. I wasn’t around but the bunk mates of the guy, Reynaldo Guillen, said he just went into spasms and convulsions. He was spewing gibberish. Again, no money for me.
I’m having more trouble than usual sleeping. Down to one meal a day, too. Sometimes, when I’m awake in my bunk waiting for sleep, I hear funny sounds. I think it might be the hull adjusting to the pressure but something doesn’t seem right about it. I’m not piping up about it, though. Not looking forward to spending any amount of time in one of the luxury rooms!
I was informed earlier that I’ve got to take over some radar duty. Nothing difficult, just watch the different sonar screens, be on the lookout for smugglers and try to keep us clear of anything. Piece of cake. Maybe it’ll help land me in a better position by the time we make it back up to the surface.

Lat: XX  Lon: XX  Depth: m  Day #:

Lieutenant Raul Benavides Log entry 00042

Fuck me sideways! I think I’m losing it. Been on damn radar duty for a couple of weeks and it doesn’t take fucking genius to realize something’s not right. The moods are the same, that damn fog sticks to everything. You can’t quite see it but it’s in the air, you breathe it. Then the sonar’s driving me nuts. There’s blips popping up, huge fuckers, just there for a moment and then gone!
The sounds at night are even clearer, now. I swear, it sounds like something’s caressing the sub. Something with teeth.
Today that indigenous bastard caught me alone in a corridor and he looked at me, standing in front of me, blocking my way. He looked at me. And he said something like ‘you hear it, don’t you?’.
A couple of hours later they told me he put himself into one of the containment cells, voluntarily. Spoke with the medic and, whatever Hermidio said, the medic thought it wise as well.
Still a few months before the sub’s due to surface and I think everyone here needs to be put on something. That fucker Dante keeps acting like nothing’s going on. I swear, if he can’t see what’s under his pampered nose than what use is he as Admiral?

Lat: XX  Lon: XX  Depth: m  Day #:

Lieutenant Raul Benavides Log entry 00054

Been talking to the indigenous bastard. Decided to see what the hell he meant when he’d caught me alone in that corridor that one time. He hears it, too. Knows about the giant blips on the sonar. Knows about this shit.
His tribe, he says, used to be sailors, way back in the day, many generations ago, maybe hundreds of years, I don’t know. He says they stopped when the seas changed, something in the ocean awoke. They stopped traveling into the mainland of Punta Plata and stuck to their little archipelago, not going into the deeper waters. They talk of some god or monster that used to sleep, long ago. The legends among his people say that It has been waking up and that its dreams are spilling over into the ocean, his songs change everything.
He said he asked the medic to put him in the cells because he knew he couldn’t stand the songs much longer. I still don’t hear any songs, just the caressing. I think I hear it all the time, now.
I told Vice Admiral Andrauss about the blips. He gave me the strangest look, like he wasn’t really paying attention to what I was saying and his mind was actually somewhere else. He dismissed all I said and told me to stick to what I was supposed to. Something tells me he hears this song Hermidio’s been talking about. Come to think of it, Bernabe went on about some song when he went batshit. I’ll see if he’s up for talking later…

Lat: XX  Lon: XX  Depth: m  Day #:

Lieutenant Raul Benavides Log entry 00063

Four fuckers in holding, now. That’s the cap. We still have all this time and the four containment cells are already booked! What the fuck is the Admiral thinking!? Just ignoring what’s going on under him. He locks himself in his fucking quarters and does what? Chaos is what’s breeding down here. We’re all animals now, surviving on instinct.
Lotario the bookie won’t be running anymore lines now that he’s bit it on the crazy boat. He’s not talking much, just saying that he saw It in his dreams. Fuck that, I know what he’s seen. What I’ve been hearing, that’s what! Whatever’s singing this song I haven’t heard.
Hermidio says things are going to change a lot soon, that I should get ready. Not sure what he means but I’m down for whatever.
The Vice Admiral’s looking particularly bad, lately. He’s definitely lost it.

Lat: XX  Lon: XX  Depth: m  Day #:

Lieutenant Raul Benavides Log entry 00072

It happened. I finally heard the song. It’s there, almost out of hearing, but I know it now. Once you hear it you can’t stop. It’s beautiful.
It told me things and I did them. The Vice Admiral was very much willing to give me the codes for the holding cells. I released them, the loonies. Bernabe went out with a fury. I thought he was going to do me in right there but he just looked at me for a moment and went on his merry way, making messes with every poor idiot he found. Lotario’s dead to us all. He’s no good. The door’s open but he doesn’t see it. Hermidio came with me.
Hermidio is scary. He kills with such ease! He opened the way for me, made sure none stood before me, not for long. We broke into the Admiral’s quarters. The poor shred of a man was worse off than any of the fools we’d taken down. He had slit his own throat. That made it all easier. We took all the codes we needed and decided to head where the song calls us.
It’s beautiful.