I am slightly tempted to pull a Redlight and post some lyrics from Poker Face up here... but I'll settle for the reference in the title and leave it at that. The Princess Bride pwns Lady Gaga any day of the week anyways.
I feel... accomplished. And somewhat giggly, but I'll assume that's the adrenaline high. I literally just got home from... whatever today was. o_O
I had decided to spend the day at the campus library because finals are coming up and I had opted not to shell out for several of the textbooks I now need. Not to mention the internet at my house is... somewhat unreliable lately. -_-
It was about when I reached Cooper Street that I realized I was being followed.
Now, I try to avoid unnecessary paranoia, but unidentified stalkers raise alarm bells even in normal people, let alone... well, you know. So, standard procedure: make random turns and see if the stalking is intentional.
Long story short, it was. And I didn't want to stick around and find out why.
I ducked behind a fence and quickly made my way up a side alley. This being a Sunday, there weren't many people out and about, and those who were gave me strange looks as I passed. At least, I think they did. Either that, or said unnecessary paranoia was kicking in. But I kept my head down and tried to look unnoticeable. I started to round the corner when...
"Well well, if it isn't Haku-chan."
Oh yeah. Major fuck.
For those wondering, Morningstar has pale blond hair and pale blue eyes... everything about him looks washed-out, essentially. Tall, but not that much taller than me; I'd peg him at about 5'10 or 5'11, and probably average build. Somewhat pointed features, sort of. And always smiling. He never - stops - smiling.
I'm proud to say that my brain hadn't yet completely checked out, however; I had considered this possibility as soon as I noticed someone following me.
"Excuse me?" I said, doing my best to look and sound incredulous/confused. Our favorite Quisling, however, just smirked even wider.
"You really shouldn't have posted a video of yourself, little girl," said Morningstar. "Your voice is rather distinct."
I fucking ran.
He took his time in chasing after me, the bastard, but it didn't do much to alter the distance between us. And then... I can't even remember the number of turns I took, or how I wound up where. I am not a physically fit person, by any means, but fear is a funny thing. Interesting discovery of the day: going weak-kneed from fear is not actually weakness, it's trembling from pent-up energy. The whole fight-or-flight mechanism thing, y'know?
And I know I said before that I wasn't really afraid of Morningstar, and I'm still not. Not really, anyway. But... I won't deny I was afraid of what he might do to me. I liked him a lot better when he was on the other side of a computer screen.
Three realizations made things difficult for me:
My cell phone had died in the middle of the night; whoop-de-friggin-doo.
It was Sunday, so there were fewer guards around campus. Whenever I tried to go to where I thought one might be, Morningstar cut me off.
I couldn't head back home, or he'd follow me and find out where I live, and I absolutely COULD NOT lead him to my workplace. Top priority, right there.
...Well, okay, four realizations. Priority number two: Morningstar must be caught, not killed. And he must be caught properly the first time.
I actually did succeed in losing him a few times though, I remember that. The first one was in the nearby garden with the Peter Pan statue. I ducked into the trench around the white building in the center (what is that thing anyway, a mausoleum??) and ran in the opposite direction as soon as Morningstar passed. There were dead leaves around, though, and he heard me. I know because I heard him start to laugh and skip after me.
He really likes it to be known how crazy he is.
Shortly after I found myself around by the pedestrian tunnel. Well, not in the tunnel, but in the parking lot near it. This one was really more of a temporary respite, actually, since there were astoundingly few cars to duck between, this being a Sunday, and all. But the goal with this one wasn't to hide, it was to lead Morningstar far enough away that I could hit the button on the Emergency Call Box (one of those red pole-looking things with the blue light on top used to contact campus security) as I passed it... without him seeing me.
I don't think he saw me, but he was definitely still following me, so I ran inside the nearest building, which happened to be Armitage Hall. We had been running around long enough by now that I could, hopefully, end it. I took the only working elevator up to the fourth floor, and then stuck a nearby classroom chair between the elevator doors so they couldn't close. This would force Morningstar to go up the stairs, which are on the opposite end of the building.
The offices on the fourth floor were completely deserted, but even better, even though the single hallway is a completely straight line, the offices themselves are ajoined in weird ways that make them difficult to search by hand.
Since stairs are on the opposite end of the building to the elevator, I hid in the set of offices that was second-nearest to the elevator. The offices themselves were all locked, so I could only hide behind some furnature in the shared waiting room between them.
Oddly enough, I heard him coming only a minute or so later, which seemed like a dumb move on his part. Suppose I had only gone to the second floor? I could have made my escape while he was still two levels above me. But anyway.
This was the hardest part of the plan: waiting for him to get close enough.
Again, he took his time. He kept whistling... something. I couldn't tell if it was showtunes or cartoon themes, or maybe he was just making noise. He does seem to like doing that, 'cause I also kept hearing these loud thumping noises. I later learned that he was hurling knives against the office doors and pulling them out again as he passed.
"Y'know," Morningstar said loudly, "I get the feeling Father only gave me this job as a punishment. He knows I'm a violent person, and He knows I would like nothing more than to strap you to some train tracks, and what does He give me? Fucking recon."
I blinked. Recon?
"Oh come on, I know you're up here!" he shouted. "Get up high and bullshit like that. You honestly think that actually works?"
More thumping. I kept silent, but I could tell he was getting closer.
"I'm supposed to be a good little proxy and tail you without even letting you know I'm here." -thump- "Best way to gain information, or so they say." -thump- "I happen to disagree, of course." -thump- "I prefer a much more hands on approach..." -THUD-
I took a chance (praying there were no creaky floorboards) and moved from my hiding spot to glance out the window. A couple of uniformed guys were heading toward the Call Box. It was almost time.
"But what do I know, right?" Morningstar laughed. "Personally, I figured that, since you and I are such good friends and all, we could bend the rules a little bit - go out, have a drink, chitchat about the merits of crushing individual limbs versus simply tearing them off... You know. The simple stuff."
Morningstar was practically outside the door. I was about to move into position when...
"Valerie," he said in a suddenly quiet voice. "I know you have no reason to believe me, but... I really do just want to talk. He... The Master won't get out of my head, he won't leave me alone. I can't... I can't think anymore. I need... I..." He paused. "Please. Won't you just come out and talk to me?"
...I wanted to believe him. I wanted so goddamn bad to think he was being sincere. But you know how I said before that I'm good at reading people? Well, Morningstar is good at reading people too. He knew exactly what I wanted to hear and gave it to me. And inwardly, I saw, he was laughing at me. If he did actually want to talk, which I doubted, it wasn't his freedom he wanted to talk about.
And even if it was, I wasn't stupid enough to think that the fourth floor of a deserted building, with him holding a knife, was a good place to do it.
At a police station with three inches of bulletproof glass between us, on the other hand... that was a good place to talk.
The guards outside had reached the Call Box and were looking around. Morningstar began to open the door to this office-set. I was ready for him. There was a reason I had chosen this room, after all.
I pulled the fire alarm.
Morningstar looked up out of reflex, just inside the door. I clocked him with my backpack, shoved him further into the room (out-weighing most people has it's benefits) and shut the door, left my bag there for speed, and sprinted down the hall toward the stairs. I managed to keep a good distance, but he wasn't just stalking me now, he was actually chasing me. He started to catch up on the way down the stairs, and by the time I exited the building, he was right on my tail...
...which immediately set the security guards (who had been put on alert thanks to the fire alarm) upon the tall, angry, knife-wielding man chasing a frightened and helpless-looking female college student. A police car was there in no time (again, thanks to the fire alarm), and there really wasn't much Morningstar could do about the situation after that.
Judging by his expression, I think that was the first time he had ever been genuinely surprised.
So yeah. I had to give the cops a story, of course, but... well... The guy's been tossing idle threats at me for a while, and I had been planning this little contingency for almost as long, just in case they weren't so idle after all. I had debated on whether I should find a way to give them Morningstar's real name, but in the end decided that would make things too complicated. So I told them the entirety of what happened, but I told it as though I had never seen or heard of Morningstar before that day. They'll figure it out once they fingerprint him, anyway; I'm certain Luke Cifer has a criminal record somewhere.
Forgive me for writing all this down, by the way. I just want to make sure the details are kept straight.
But yeah. Since it's obvious my location isn't much of a secret anymore, I might as well say: I go to school at Rutgers in Camden, NJ. That's not where I live, I'm thankful to say. And I'm even more thankful that it doesn't seem like proxies know where I live either, so that information stays hidden for now. But if anyone wants to contact me, that's where I spend a large amount of my time.
I guess I'm proud of myself for evading capture and all that, or whatever it was he wanted, but... oy. What a day.
Naomi, if you're ready for him, e-mail me and we'll arrange to meet up. I've got some friends in the psyche department who can help me convince the police that electroshock therapy would be a very, very good idea.
Right now, though, I'm going out and investing in a can of pepper spray.
EDIT: Well damn, now I realize why the campus was so ridiculously underpopulated today, because even weekends should have more people around than there was... Today is Easter.
Frig, I don't even bother with Easter anymore, and between this crap and exams, I completely forgot. Um, happy Easter to whoever celebrates it! ^^U