Thursday, August 29, 2013

Friend or Foe? Nobody knows.

There was fuss outside. The Masked Guardians were gearing up and steeling themselves. Apparently a scavenger trip had been followed back by something and he requested all available manpower to come aid to be sure they didn't find our hideout.

I am fortunate enough to have my personal troop of fire cultists with me. I brought them in to chase down Picasso and Moth if things soured in their confrontation with Duckie. And since things did sour, they were out trying to track them before Black Lake was purged. I was lucky they weren't too far out, I was able to call them back in to aid us but they didn't arrive until the riots were over and by then there was little they could do but help us secure ourselves while the sea of shit flooded in.

I was in the process of gathering my fire troop to aid the Guardians when we got the all clear. 

The message read:
'Threat Neutralized. Potential Ally Found.'

Oh goody... a stranger, Stranger Danger.

I had them escort our new arrival in under heavy watch, relieved my troop of duty for now, and called Maggot aside for a special mission. I had Maggot hide away in my office ready to strike if things went south.

Then I took a deep breath and set out to meet our guest.

"Is this place safe?" I heard through the door.

"Well well. I heard we have a guest," I announced walking into the room, "So... just who the hell are you?"

"LeCroix, and you?"

"Name's Frank. Folks have been calling me Fracture though."

Click. Subtle. She just flicked the safety off on her gun with a gesture. While the gun was still holstered, I knew she was just waiting for an opportunity now. 

"The dubbed leader of operations."

"Leader of operations?"

"You have plenty of others that do your bidding for you, or so I've been informed."

"Well. I'm trying to get them in to help us here but I didn't have anyone nearby. These brave souls were men and women from this town that bravely took up the mask to protect it. Come. We should talk in private."

She set her trap, time to lead her to mine. So I led her to my office where we could talk in 'private'.

"What is it you are doing here?"

"At the moment, trying to get these people out alive."


"Because if I don't they're going to be devoured by the fear presence that's been swarming into this place."

"And that matters to you? Last I checked, you and yours make a habit of destroying lives."

"No. We make a habit of hunting, for Father.  I will not stand idly by and let people die at the hands of those Monsters we call his Siblings."

 "Tell me about the civilians, are they regular civilians that just happened to be in the way or are they like you, worshipers?"

"That's complicated. Both? I was trying to turn this place into a cult town. Or rather, back into a cult town."

"So every one of them is a worshiper?"

"They've never seen Father. Or any of the other fears.  Even the mask bearers don't fully understand the weight of what they wear. But everyone here has been exposed to their influence through the fear cult's attack. Even if they get out of this fine and dandy, they're all going to fear touched. Trapped in this game, forever chased by monsters."

 "You sure you aren't the monsters here?"

"I might be the monster but these people are innocent. They're still ignorant to the true depths of the situation they're in."

"You're taking advantage of their ignorance. You're good at that."

"No. I'm waiting until they're safe to inform them that they're fucked and there's no hope..."

It was quite for a moment after that. She studied me with cold eyes and then rolled a shoulder as she shifted the subject elsewhere.

"Do you have a plan of action?"

"I have my men on their way here but none of them are close and none of them are equipped for extended combat on a wholly hostile battleground. This situation is so far beyond anything contingencies I had prepared. If things get any worse, we're gonna have to try to make a break for it, but that didn't turn out well for the last group of survivors that tried to do it."

"Why aren't your oncoming people equipped properly?"

"They are equipped for hitting squads and elements hidden among cities. The scale of this... its just... to much. It could take weeks to get the kind of numbers we would need to deal with this rallied together and longer to get them armed for the incredibly diverse arraignment of shit encroaching on the town."

"Anything else I need to know off the top of your head?"

"I wouldn't know where to start."

"Anywhere. I'd prefer to resolve this sooner rather than later considering we have yet to know how bad it will get."

"Eventually one of the cults or monsters will scare off the others and claim the ground. We'll have no hope of escape if that happens."

"I'd rather not be caught in that. I have places to be. Who are you betting on to be the winner?"

"Right now, the Ferallings. But the Timberwolves are actually putting up a decent fight. We've been trying to figure out where they are basing their operations out of. They're sure to have brought in a wealth of supplies with them."

"Any luck?"

"Not yet. I can't imagine its in the woods though. Has to be somewhere in town. Somewhere defensible. We've checked the obvious potential locations: churches, bars, dives, auto-shops. But so far, no dice."

"What kind of supplies would the Timberwolves require? Aside from the basics. Every group specializes a bit differently."

"They'ed need somewhere secure but with a wide enough space to congregate for their religious rituals but with a healthy supply of shop equipment..."

"Quite the puzzle you have on your hands," she said taking her hands off her gun for the first time since she's flicked the safety off. "What would be good is if we captured one of them for an interrogation."

I wasn't sure how to read that. She might have been doing it to try to lull me into a false sense of security. Or it might have been a more sincere moment of her letting her guard down, just a little. I mentally braced for a quick draw scenario. Cynicism saves lives.

"Hard to do. They keep in groups of six. The only time you see them is numbers smaller than that is if they're limping back from a bad fight."

"Here I thought you and yours knew about the art of stalking."

"The only hunting proxies we've got on us are Maggot, Snips, General, and Firecracker. Two of which, can't operate effectively because their techniques draw a lot of attention. The rest of the masked men you've seen around are civilians and are severely under trained for such an operation."

"The latter I'm aware of as of now. You only said two of the four were useless for this type of thing, what of the other two?"

"Medical Specialist General and... well, Maggot, come out."

"Are you saying it's useless because it's a child?"

"No. The medical specialist and Maggot here are the two whose training is most effective here. Of course General isn't much more than support in a fight."

"So you're saying I'm solo on abducting a cripple Timberwolf."

"Maggot can keep up with you and help as needed. Moth trained the little bastard. So as you can imagine, Maggot is very capable."

"Very well." The mention of Moth seemed to catch her attention.

"Maggot child, please go get ready for the mission. Remember, you're going soundless on this one."

"So, how many of your boys in masks died?"

"You mean proper proxies in this particular situation or the masked civilians?"

"Both are yours."

"We lost all our masked veterans and most of their supporting police force."

"Does it bother you?"

"... Its easier with the masked ones. They chose to fight... they kind of knew it was coming..."

"That's not a direct answer."

"Yes, it bothers me."


"I'm just classy like that."

"If that's what you like to think."

"It is."

"Well, at least you're honest about one thing."

"At least you're not a complete bitch about everything."

She looked up from the map of the town laid out before her and smirked. 
"Glad we see eye to eye."


"All set Kiddo?" she asked as Maggot came arrived back in the room. Maggot nodded.

"Oh. Maggot doesn't talk by the way."

"I'm used to the silent type."

"Just figured I should make sure I plainly stated it at least once"

"Aren't you sweet, lead the way kiddo."

And then they went. 

Maggot's out there alone with a psychotic violent runner, as so many seem to be these days. A runner that likely doesn't even see Maggot as a human being. She probably sees Maggot more like an expendable tool. Something to throw away to get the job done...

... Nothing but evil in an endless sea...


Sunday, August 25, 2013

Black Lake Lives...

... But just barely.

Apparently, Picasso and Moth found their way to the statue that had been protecting the town and for some god forsaken reason decided it was a good idea to blow it up.

I'm still trying to process how the fuck they found that thing, who the hell Red is, how she got C4, and most importantly why the fuck they did this. This didn't bring them any closer to killing Duckie. It just killed a lot of the towns innocent residents.

Was I trying to turn the town into a cult town? Yes. But that doesn't have anything to do with Duckie. Hell, that decision on my part didn't even have anything to do with Father. 

If I hadn't stepped in, one of the other cults would have just ran in and killed everyone. I gave them advice, I told them how to fight the monsters, I gave them weapons, and then I gave those willing to fight masks.

Sure, they might have been on the slow road to a proxy colony but the alternative was death.


I'd honestly be looking for answers on how it got to this bad right now but I'm finding the present situation demands my undivided attention.

When Picasso and Moth destroyed that statue, it cause an visual shock wave of energy that rippled out from the lake and washed over the town following a furious declaration from a loud booming voice.


The words alone caused the very ground we stood on to shake. And that fucking shock wave. It set about half of the town's population on fire. Everyone it rolled over was put face to face with their greatest fear in an epileptic fit that had everyone seizing on the floor. I woke up from it before most of them. I've long since had a grip on my demons. I tried to snap a few of them out of it but nothing worked. Best I could do for them was make sure they didn't choke on their tongues over the course of their fucking fits and even then I was only really able to do that for a a handful of people.

One of two things happened to everyone. They stood up to whatever vision was being forced upon them and woke up, like I did, or they failed to confront their fear and... lit on fire. 

In the aftermath of it all. It was had to tell who all had actually been fried as unworthy and who was unlucky enough to have fallen too close to an unworthy friend when the shock wave hit them.


There was an emergency meeting at city hall. The survivors where all understandably terrified and scared. Many of them were shell shocked from the whole experience. Facing their fears was one thing. It was another thing to wake up to loved ones screaming and burning alive.

I urged the town that we needed to stage a large scale evacuation. Our numbers had been crushed. Almost all of the town's defensive force had been burned alive as 'unworthy' and the purge would serve as a beacon calling out all the cults that had been trying to break into the town in numbers far beyond what we were equipped to handle. Black Lake was lost.

I proposed a plan to sneak as many people as possible out under escort. But the plan involved a distraction from most of our surviving forces and it would almost certainly spell out death for everyone playing decoy. But, it would have gotten roughly 90% of everyone out. 

Fearful for their lives, a group of surviving police officers proposed a different plan. That we arm everyone possible and rush out in one big group guns a blazing.

A riot broke out. Fist fighting and looting. The town was torn apart by the town divided making a desperate grab for resources to enact the plan they backed. Those loyal to me and the masked did everything we could but the police faction overwhelmed us. They refused to listen to reason and took all we had gathered and abandoned us to die in what was left of the town. 

Then they proceeded to die trying to make a break for it down the street. I watched in horror from the outskirts of town with my binoculars as they were torn apart by a large pack of Maenads that came charging out of the woods to greet them.


We don't have an out anymore. We have what we need to sustain ourselves and try to protect ourselves but we lost too many people and too much time in that senseless fucking riot. The other cults are here now and in force.  Even if they weren't, we don't have the man power to stage the distraction anymore.

We're holed and hidden away. I have help coming but I don't think its gonna be enough. Even if the warring cults over head don't accidentally stumble upon us, we don't have enough food to hold out until help would arrive. I've been sending out teams of people to search for food but they don't always come back... and what they can safely find isn't doing much to buy us the kind of time we would need.

I just... don't know what to do anymore... I don't know what I'm doing... it all seems so hopeless...

There's just nothing for us out there. Only evil horrible things. A sea of it slowly pouring into the town... 

...and we're drowning...

...Lord and failed Guardian Fracture, out.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Whispers Death and Hold you Dear.

So... I've been sick. Sick and injured in fact.

Have you ever talked with the Rake by the pale moonlight? Its a terrible fucking idea. Seriously, don't do that.

I wandered out into Maenad territory to prove to myself there was no rake anymore. I wanted it to be true. I wanted that hideous mutt to be gone for good. But It wasn't. I found myself face to face with it, surrounded by a pack of its little ferallings.  They walked in a circle around us. Some of them had weapons and were pacing around us on two feet... some of them were looking a little less then human. Like little rakes, malting and paling with varying amounts of patches of hair still left on their disgusting scalps. The sight of them was enough to make me nauseous but the Feral Beast himself... I lost my dinner... and lunch... breakfast... probably a few meals earlier than that.

It snickered and smiled wide for a moment. I thought it might be opening wide to gobble me up... but it just stopped at a smile-like... thing... thank god.

"Hello Fracture~... what brings you to my neck of the wood. Tired of living already?"

"Just... needed to prove something to myself... I was wrong. Now I'm going home."

I went to step home... but I found I hadn't gone anywhere. I tried again.... nothing... my door... it wasn't there...

"Daww... Whats wrong kitten? Can't leave? Don't act so surprised. I can't have you leaving yet. I need you to stay a moment and listen to me so you can pass a little message on to your master."

And then it pinned me to the floor. I felt it run its claw down my back... then I felt them dig in and pull at a my flesh.

"I-I will! I-I WILL!" I screamed, pained in fright at the sensation of those horrible... claw... things.

"Yes... smart... wise. What a good kitten. Your screams should send quite a message... your corpse will leave quite a statement."

All I could respond with was more screaming as it started to actually cut into me.

"Whats wrong?! Aren't you happy?! You know the truth. I'm still alive. The pursuit of knowledge is so noble isn't it?! I'm so happy I could give you such a valuable gift in your final moment! Do you like it?! Don't you love it?!"

That's when there was a yelp loud gunshot. Followed by a yelp and growls all around us. The rake stopped. I looked around to find a Feralling dead and bleeding against a tree. Another shot and another one went down. Mist of blood... snips had finally decided the situation had turned bad. The Ferallings all moved to cover.

The Rake tore down my back again watching curiously for a response. Another shot. A furious savage cry was let out from over me. The beast flipped me so I could see my demise and the closing bullet wound that had pieced through its.

"This isn't fun anymore. I don't care for guest. Misery loves company and I'll have none of that!"

I started screaming as its mouth started to open wide. Not to smile this time. Wider. Wide enough to take my head off with a bite.

That horrible voice... booming in my head.
Then suddenly a fire bust our in a ring around us. I heard all the Ferallings start yelping and retreating. Even the rake leaped out and off of me and stared confused as to what just happened. For all its kunning and savageness... it was still an animal at heart. Still a victim of one of the most primal and simple fears... fire.

Its mouth closed. It glared.

"Next time kitten. Don't forget to pass that message along. Hahaha."

And then it left... I tried to step again... found I had landed on something soft... passed out. Woke up in my bed. Sick and injured.

Couldn't move much. Had Sloth read and type some comments for me... but apparently I got delirious. Had to stop all together.

I shouldn't have listened to her.

I should have believed what I saw with my own eyes. I didn't need to prove anything... I knew better... I checked anyways....

And apparently a few things have gone to shit in my absence.

One of the runners I'm responsible for got swamped by a different fear... I should have saw the signs.

And Picasso apparently found and destroyed a valuable archive library that had a Archivist collecting invaluable data about how fear cults war and interact.... a fucking travesty.

I'm gonna see if I can't manage to get up off my feet and deal with this shit...

Fracture out.