Notes From the Great Mare
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June 21, 2003

Summer solstice today. That means, if I’ve been counting right, that today is my five-thousand, three-hundred and twenty-seventh birthday.

Happy birthday to me.

I can barely believe it’s been almost two months since I recorded one of these journals. They've been running us ragged. We just got back to Nineteen maybe two hours ago. It was the Church of the Broken God again. We keep trying to stamp them out and they always end up hitting back harder. Four agents died today.

I didn’t know their names. I don’t bother anymore. Numbers work, because they’re going to get slaughtered anyway. sigh… It’s gotten to me. I can write off someone as a number to be shot down and turned into clockwork and not care. I don’t feel anything about it anymore. I want to be disgusted with myself, but I can’t.

I’m too tired. We all are. We’re still moving, but I don’t think we’re alive anymore. Able tries to keep everything going, never complains, carries the whole group on his shoulders, but its grinding him down and we can all see it. He isn’t who he used to be. Iris never talks anymore, and they can barely get her out of bed without pumping her full of drugs. She barely eats, barely sleeps, barely ever leaves her quarters. A few days ago I managed to catch her out in the hall, and when I asked if everything was okay, she just started crying. She’s making mistakes in the field: two weeks ago she forgot to refill her supply photographs, leaving us without any medical supplies or extra ammunition. I don’t know what to do. She won’t let anyone close enough to help.

Clef’s had it worst, though. They have him under lock and key now. He’s become too unstable to let him wander around freely, they say. I still try to talk with him when I can, but…half the time he doesn’t seem like he’s there. When he is aware enough to talk… he scares me. The voices are getting worse, happening more and more often, and sometimes he can’t fight them back. He’ll lose control and start spewing all sort of foul things, or he’ll curl up in a ball and beg to be put out of his pain.

It hurts me to see him like this. I can still feel that much.

I spoke with Director Dodridge on the way back here. He said that he’ll try talking to the Overseers again, try to get them to listen to sense and disband us, but I doubt it’ll do any good. They never listen.

What was the point of all this? This task force has the highest casualty rate in the Foundation. Was what we did against the Insurgency that impressive? Enough to throw us at every little thing that pokes its head above the ground?

Why am I even asking this? It’s not like I’m going to get an answer. They’ve never answered it before, why would they do it now.

I’m going to sleep. Hopefully someone will wake me up when all of this is over.

June 22, 2003

Iris killed herself last night. Slit her wrists. Snuck in a razor blade, did it right there under the covers, right under surveillance’s nose.

I feel hollow. Not sad, not angry, just empty and numb.

Wherever she is, it's probably better than here.

June 23, 2003

He did it. Jason did it. The Overseers saw reason, finally.

Pandora’s Box is closed, six to one in favor. "Unacceptable losses", they said.

It's still hard to feel happy, but I think I might. Just a little bit.

Iris’ funeral is today. It won’t be much, just a chance to say goodbye. Probably just going to be myself and Able and the chaplain. Clef won’t be joining us. He’s having an episode.

July 6, 2003

Apparently they’re using what’s left of Mother to birth test subjects. Apparently they’ve been doing this for years and it was just now decided that I should find out about it.

I say let them. If they want to have sex with a chunk of flesh from a dead goddess, by all means, go ahead. I don’t really care.

August 15, 2003

I had the displeasure of coming across Dr. Jack Bright today. I’ve managed to avoid him for some time, but my luck was bound to run out sooner or later.

It's been so long since I've been truly angry… it feels good.

The man is completely mad, and why he’s still around baffles me. He does nothing productive anything at all, has the maturity of a boy who has just figured out what sex is, causes headaches on a near-daily basis, and the Overseers outright refuse to get rid of him. They outright refuse to decrease his clearance, even. They just let him go on his way, completely untouched.

Just wipe his memory, encase him in concrete and bury him somewhere and be done with him. I’d love to kick in his head myself, but he’d be back. He always comes back.

No, death is too good for him. He wants that. Oh, I’m so sorry you’re immortal boo-fucking-hoo, let me sing you a sad song fuck off and suck a nice fat horse cock. You don’t see Able or me doing this insipid attention whoring and blatant harassment routine. Take a fucking hint that I'm not interested or I'll kick you in the balls so hard you'll piss out your ass.

sigh…

I’ve filed a complaint with human resources. They said they’d take care of it.

August 17, 2003

Another entry on that damned list is not “taking care of it”.

September 1, 2003

I was able to talk with Clef today, and he was all there. No voices, no shouting, nothing like that, we just talked. It was like it used to be.

I can’t believe how bitter I’ve become. Listening to some of my old recordings and all, I know I had a reason to be like that, but…I don’t know. It’s this place. It gets to you, drags you down into the muck, and it’s nasty and bitter and toxic and you just slog through the same trenches. If fills you until that’s all you know, just hate and anger and empty bitterness and you don’t even realize it, until you step back and think about it a bit.

It’s not just me. It’s everyone. All the agents, all the researchers, everyone. We’re all completely mad.

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