Friday, November 3, 2017

After the Whole Thing is Over....

Okay....deep breath. Now that the whole thing is over, maybe I can move on and do some journaling after all. SO, slow down, make some thoughts connect and GO...

Jim Alden is the department counselor, and he pisses me off. Why? Well, to start, he has this calm about him when the world is going to hell around him that just weirds me out, you know? It's the kind of thing where you could come in with a zombie horde on your tail and they seriously look at him and have no clue how best to take him on. It's totally infuriating, so when this whole thing started, he's the one I wanted nothing to do with....but now, I doubt I would have made it here without his second guessing me to set me straight when I needed it.

I grew up here in Onyx. Made plenty of friends over the school years, even had a couple of lightswitch relationships; you know the type....on one minute, off the next. One time, though, back as a freshman in high school, I was walking through the halls and bumped into an upper classman and he had PLENTY to say on the subject and told me as much as he grabbed my collar and threw me up against a locker. A few other guys and gals, rubber-necking to see the underling get his ass beat stood around as the warning bell sounded. I closed my eyes tight, waiting for the thunder to crash my brains all over the locker behind me when I heard another dude off to the side.

"Why don't you just leave the kid alone, Johnny?" he started in. "You SHOULDN'T be small enough to be moved by this little runt, but then again..."

Johnny whipped around and threw the punch he intended for me, but the other guy pivoted, making his punch hit nothing but air and swatted 'ol Johnny in the middle of the forehead. It wasn't like a full on open handed wind-up slap either, just a little "duh" tap right in the broadside. Johnny shot out again and again, but it was absolutely hopeless as the other dude kept sidestepping or pivoting, each time forcing another miss and once again popping him in the forehead. If I weren't so terrified at the time, I might have been as caught up in the laughter as everyone else before Vice Principal Achter caught wind and marched onto the scene.

"JOHNNY!" Achter bellowed.

Johnny was at full attention. Phillip Achter was a former football coach and his "community service" rulings were LEGENDARY.

Once, a kid mouthed off to him during a warm-up drill and he forced the dude to paint a stripe from the 2 foot brick-line down....with a 1 inch brush and a rag to keep paint off the line. It took this kid half a semester with an hour after class each day and Achter watching like a hawk, holding a freshly thatched arrow and popping the poor kid in the neck with it every time he slowed or tried to stall for a break.

"Get back to class, son." the Vice Principal said calmly, but firmly only inches from Johnny's ear.

By this time, the other guy had backed off and a couple of kids had given Achter their version of the truth. As Johnny turned to walk away, he gave me a nasty glare, but just before he cleared the crowd, my hero stepped to him one last time and got in his ear for a quick second and then backed away. Johnny gave me one last glance and went on his way. I spent a minute or two looking for that other kid, but I didn't find him.

About a week later, after I thought everything had run it's course, Johnny and a couple of his football buddies cornered me as I was finishing in the bathroom. I had just finished my paperwork, pulled my drawers up, buttoned and zipped and was just coming out of the stall when they grabbed my shoulders, one at each arm. To this day, I am so glad the stall doors opened out because about this time, the door to the stall next to mine shot open like a flash and smashed the guy holding my right arm soundly in the face. He screamed as he went down, holding his nose. The other guy saw his buddy down and shot out the door into the hallway. Johnny stayed put as his rival came out of the stall in front of me.

"I tried to tell you, Johnny, to leave the kid alone. One last chance. You won't see the next time coming and it'll have YOUR name on it, not your crony's."

Johnny never bothered me again. But THAT was how I met Jake. Jake was two years ahead of me and he was about my size; not terribly tall or short, and EXTREMELY unsuspecting, come to find out. Jake and I were friends from that day on....well...you know....before that day.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Research and Progress

The past two entries here have been a bit aloof, I know, but there is so much to recall and, at times, I forget some of the details others might have kept closely guarded. Whatever the case, I suppose in the writing of this journal, it does me little good to keep my name hidden....I'm Jarod Cross. Since my title hasn't been established, at least not as of this post, I think it best to keep my status to myself. Suffice it to say that the city of Onyx is now in the business of research and development. Why? Now THAT, is the question of the day and one I don't delve into all at once.

They keep telling me not to clam up and to just get everything out on paper, so to speak, and as I do, new things will creep into the narrative and unbury important information we can eventually use. Here's hoping. I've been swimming in the paperwork of this monster tribe for almost a year and it's still as tough to believe that the cult lasted this long, even if underground.

Someday, I'll have to do a paper on the cult and their role in the history of this island, but for now, I should simply stick to what I know in short. Over 500 years ago, this nation was split in two by civil and religious disputes. The patriarch of the nation was driven to separate the island in half after being routed by his sons, who then founded a brand new empire. The king dabbled in dark and arcane arts and all sorts of "magical" things, things that demanded a level of cruelty be carried out in his lands, which didn't sit well with his sons.....so they left and, in the pursuit, a clan of religious zealots called "The King's Throne" were dispatched and eventually defeated by the brothers, but apparently not all members of this sect were dealt the death blow, else I'd have some other kind of occupational pursuits, if you'll take my meaning. In any case, there's still a great deal we can't answer from the final war, most of which will only come out if we ever get our hands on one of the Throne's members, however many there might be.

In spite of the things I DO know about the Throne, I've decided that all parts of my REFUGE project, including Ocelot, will move forward. In addition, I think it best to tell my best friend Jim about this....with all the rage and impatience bubbling to the surface, I need someone to help keep me grounded. Normally, I'd consider Abigail, but after last night's little scuffle with her ex, I think she might be the last person who would want to hear about my little insurance policy....especially when she finds out what it will demand from me. Maybe one day I'll tell her, but for now, I just need to give her some space.


Saturday, March 14, 2015

WHY?!

I'm sorry for the last post....sometimes this whole damned thing just seems so pointless and cruel. The shrink said I should just let the emotions happen and put it all down on paper. Apparently, it "helps the healing process along" or some other such BS, but I figure if Alden says it works, I may as well give this a try. Now I know what you're thinking, I'll probably end up one of them blasted Bible thumping rights without a dime because they gave it all to the crooked preacher man down the road, but it's not like that. Jim may not be that extreme, but he is the real deal, right or wrong.

Conversational english in a journal like this might just be a nice look for me. But where was I? Ahh yes....Jake. The tape they sent us was cruel. How people watch movies where this kind of stuff happens, that's just beyond me. So what have I been doing? Looking for an angle. Ocelot is still isn't finished, but now I'm, shall I say, motivated to find Jake and see for myself what we're in for. Pryme got away and so did his flunky "artisan", but there aren't many places deep enough to hide.

In circles I follow, I always find that secrets are best kept in the open, that's why I call my projects something here and something else at the office.....keeps my work safe. It also helps to have an ace in the hole, hence the overtime. Someday, I'll write down what this thing actually does and is, but right now, things with the higher-ups have asked me to keep quiet, even from myself, can you believe that? Boy, are there some paranoid people.

About a week ago, I wrestled with the interface, but everything- *sigh* I said I wouldn't do that, but I almost spoiled the surprise. So what CAN I talk about? Abigail....I san start there, maybe. Truth be told, she's the only bright spot in my life aside from my work. I miss her, which kinda sounds strange, considering she just left about an hour ago, but she's amazing and she can't even see it, which, I must admit, I find kinda sweet. At least she's started allowing me to compliment her....that's a start. That wasn't always the case.

If I could book her line up of ex boyfriends, I'd pick up personally and take a piece out of 'em all, or maybe see what the Throne could do to people who DO deserve that kind of treatment instead of heroes. At least she came to the conclusion after asking her out nearly a dozen times that resistence is futile....gotta love the Borg philosophy to dating. Is 12 dozen roses a bit over the top? The bill might have been almost half of my check for the pay period including delivery, but her face was priceless, or at least that's what my binoculars told me. What can I say? She inspires me to be something better; to make her life more simple, not more complicated. Complicated sucks....and you can quote me on that.

The gala is this coming weekend, so at least I'll have some thing write about....provided she accepts the invite. Seemed fitting for a first date.

Friday, March 6, 2015

From the Beginning....

So....where to begin...Jake? No, Abigail. Maybe Forest?

*sigh* This thing, this nightmare went into overdrive only a couple of years ago. I hid the plans for Ocelot carefully and now it's all gone sideways. Maybe if I had closed the ranks in the raid, Jake might not have--

I can't think like this, it doesn't do any good to ANYONE if I think like this. Okay....from the top....

Just this week, I recovered a piece of information I couldn't wrap my head around. A hard drive, all but fried after the raid I led on what was SUPPOSED to house an archive. In the most simple terms I can relate, this archive, from what my sources and research could gather, contained a history of an ancient cult that had gone underground nearly 500 years ago in the aftermath of a war that split this nation into two separate provinces. It didn't. It held something I still can't shake.

I'm a professional. I am. I'm supposed to be able to see almost anything and plan out the next move without emotion clouding my judgment, but this was different. This was personal. I've been told to keep this journal to just let things out as they come to me....getting started has been the hardest part in all this.

Jake was my partner. We had each other's backs, we were brothers in this fight....and they took it from him....from me. What kind of psychopath would film his undoing? They took him apart. He begged and pleaded, but they didn't care. They took everything from him and laughed as they did it, leaving only a shell, a vessel. THEY DIDN'T CARE! For HOURS, they cut and prodded and hacked and replaced him with something else. They called his tormentor "Eclipse" or "the artisan", but he was a sadistic, masochistic, evil, unfeeling monster. I can't do this anymore....