"What was left when the fire was gone?
I thought it felt right, but the right was wrong.
All caught up in the eye of the storm,
And trying to figure out what it's like moving on.
"And I don't even know what kinds of things I've said.
My mouth kept moving and my mind went dead.
So I'm picking up the pieces. Now, where to begin?
The hardest part of ending is starting again..."
I think I'm ready now.
After so much, I just fled. After so long, I hid.
I actually kept myself pretty busy while I was gone, at least initially. Paid some debts. Kept some promises. For a while I thought I could be of more help from a distance, except I had no idea what that could even entail.
But then, no matter where I went, things always got worse after I left, right after I left. Elaine died. Gargoyle lost it. Kay is... gone. I don't know where, the new owner of her house didn't know anything and more or less slammed the door on my filthy, homeless-looking face. I can't say with a whole lot of certainty, but it seemed like everywhere I went, I was followed by fire and darkness, death and despair. And when you're followed by despair, it isn't long before it catches up to you.
For a long while, I stagnated.
...Anniversary's coming up again soon. The day that McKenzie, Tamarr, and Brian were all killed.
The first time it came around, I was in such heavy denial that I managed to get past it without incident.
The second time, I couldn't ignore it anymore, and I couldn't handle what I had done. I actively avoided feeling anything by knocking myself out at my earliest opportunity.
Now... Now I'm angry. I'm weak and I'm angry that I'm weak and I'm furious that my first impulse is always to hide from the world. To bury my head in the sand, to dive behind the walls I've so carefully built up and pretend it'll all be okay if I just wish hard enough.
When's it supposed to stop?
Michelle... Michelle didn't die doing what's right. Nothing so grandiose as that. She simply lived it. She lived so that she could do the right thing; even when she had no idea what that was, it was what she wanted, and she fought for it. She fought tooth and nail, mind and body, and never let up even when she had all but snapped in half. She was a good person, probably the best I know, simply because she fought to be good against her own nature. Not a lot of people saw that in her.
She wouldn't allow people to see it in her.
I've... I've never been a strong person, okay?
A lot of people seem to think I am, and I don't know what the hell you're all smoking, because I'm not.
My entire life, I've been dependent on others. Bashawn, Michelle, Nick,
and dozens of others before them. I make them think I'm worth
protecting, I wind up dragging them down with me, and still they find it
in them to twist around as we fall and cushion my impact with their own
bodies. The one time - one time - I tried to protect someone
else... they died. Three children died and then everyone else died and then Having my music taken from me was the least
punishment I could have earned, but that's not going to stop me
I'm going to take back what was stolen from me.
Nothing can bring my kids back. I know that. But that doesn't mean there's nothing I can do.
The first step was taking back my own mind. The second step... was making a statement.
Michelle left a lot of things behind when she died. The important things she kept on her person in her jacket were all gone, of course, but there were records. Addresses. Documents she used to track me down when Nightscream kidnapped me that she never bothered to get rid of.
The location, of course, was still there, still in proxy control.
I went to a surprising amount of trouble to figure out what else was there, actually. Who owned it. It was some ammunition, but primarily it was storage for valuables and legal documents. All those things that make a proxy's life easy, makes it so easy for them to coast above the law. And, of course, instruments of torture. Those weren't on record, but I had seen them myself, both with Nightscream, and when I went there again a few nights ago.
Apparently a few people are angry about what I did, but it's hardly my fault if a certain cockroach has gotten predictable in his old age.
Though, really, I wasn't expecting to see him there. The place was empty when I did my preliminary check. But I made sure to leave an escape path open anyway. Playing with fire isn't hard if you put enough research into it.
God knows I've seen enough fire to last a lifetime.
I don't know how long this will last. This mood I'm in, this state. This willingness to do something crazy in the name of actual justice. But I may as well use the opportunity. Something that I should have been doing since... no, even before that. I came here with the objective of doing something stupid and crazy long before someone told me I had a responsibility to be stupid and crazy so that others wouldn't have to. I just never had the guts to actually do it.
But this isn't a one-off event, oh no. I'm just getting started.
And to the monster and anyone who follows Him...
I'm going to make your lives very difficult indeed.