Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Day Five-Eighty-Two: Poisonback'd

Today consisted largely of walking. Slow, painful, poison-in-vial-addled walking. So I won't bother discussing the events, as they'd be terribly boring, I suspect. Instead, I'll discuss what I promised yesterday: a description of where I am.

When I first awoke yesterday, I suspected I was in the remains of a castle. Perhaps the smaller of two, given the king's reference to a 'palace'. Surely my walk to find whomever is causing trouble for these ghosts would not take that long.

I was wrong. So wrong.

This place is a city. An enormous, underground city, built for human-sized creatures. It has buildings, single-storey and otherwise; it has cracked but serviceable roads; it has aquaducts that still drain water into fountains and wells; it even has walls, which makes me suspect that this was all aboveground at some point. Much of the architecture and the remaining signage hints at a worship of snakes, but I don't think these ghosts are snake people.

How did the city get down here? My memory fails me, for the most part, but I suspect it was part of the Shelving at the end of the war. I do not recall that going entirely according to plan. Changing the layout of the world is bound to create some unfortunate glitches, after all.

I'd like to say that I walked alone, aside from this diary, but I would also be wrong about that. For the last mile I've had near-constant companions watching over me. The ghosts won't allow a regulator to walk in their territory unattended, and though I can see no ghosts in the ruins ahead there are many behind. They hide in great hordes, quickly sweeping out of view if I ever dare to turn around. Their comments travel to me on the wind constantly, whispering of hate.

For a while it was creepy. Now it's just annoying. Sigh.

I can understand fully why ghosts dislike regulators. Why they dislike me. Powerless or not, I represent the top authority in this world. No race has more power than the regulators at their peak, not even the Non, and we're especially equipped to manipulate ghosts. A person's code is linked intimately with Codespace after death. For one of my kind, wrenching control away is rather easy.

How do you do it? I don't know. Can't remember. It was easy, at one point. But it's not anymore, not until I meet more regulators and rejoin the collective. Gods, but it has been so long.

Yet I'm not even sure if I want to do that anymore.

Because, after all the things I've seen... even all the things I've forgotten I've seen, forgotten I've done... I can't help but wonder if our actions are incorrect. At what point does the pursuit of balance tip the scale in the opposite direction? Some of the things I kind of vaguely sort of recall doing... now they feel wrong.

Though they can't be any more wrong than conspiring to murder several people.

Morality is a bitch.

I struggle onward. I've caught sight of the tip of a broken spire which the king told me is the top of his palace. I will make my way to it or die trying.


V the Rat


  1. I'm sorry to hear that things are rough right now! No worries on the art; I'm sure we your fans don't mind the wait as much as you mind feeling like you're disappointing anyone! Take care of yourself and don't worry about it.

    1. Thanks, Keltie. Much appreciated. Part of the problem is being a semi-nomad for close to two weeks because the landlord is doing renovations, and I've been 'politely' kicked out of my apartment. Ngghdn. That and other things are conspiring to make this a lousy week. I'll get the art done, tho, come hell or high liquids.