Monday, June 27, 2011

The Jade Dragon -/|\- Hotel Room -/|\- Hours 19 - 15

The Jade Dragon

I'd like to take a moment to talk about Evil. There are all kinds of powers in the universe. The elements. There's Ying and Yang, positive and negative, but there's no such power that can be described as "Good" or "Evil." It's always a question of how you use it. I've known people who've only ever been able to wield the power of darkness, who've been among the most wonderful and gentle people you'll ever meet. I've also met people who've wielded the power of light and have been the most vicious, murdering bastards you'll ever know. Nothing on earth, without intent, is evil by nature. It's the intent that changes something, that makes evil or good possible.

I've been sitting on Nessa's Jade Dragon for a while now. Zero gave me it's location back in May. I took a side trip when I was meeting with Hylo and found it. I've been lazy, and I've done my best to ignore it. I've had it locked in a closet, and I'm going to have to do something about it before things get crazy. It is, for all intents and purposes, filled with the darkest, most foul energy I've seen in a long time. I intend to purify it as best I can. Maybe that will give Nessa or Zero or someone peace.

In the mean time, I think I've cracked the filter a little. I can't make the previous posts readable, but ahead should be Hotel Room, and Hours 19 - 15. Here goes nothing, eh? These SHOULD look exactly like I originally intended. Editor's Notes in the upcoming entry will be Italicized Times New Roman.

Editor's Note: Everything about the upcoming entry compared to what was actually visible on the blog during the date it was listed is hacked together weirdly. The one change I've made is that I'm putting the end of the prior entry in bold, and the part from "Hotel Room" that was spliced into that entry into bold, so you know how the filter worked the info from the post around. If ANYTHING looks wrong when you guys read these, let me know and list details. This is important. I think I have the filter cracked for future posts, but I'm still not sure.

Excerpt Begins Now:


(Editor's Note:  Yeah. This was a rough time. Even when he's sloppy, Time Lord is fucking amazing at what he does. Keep in mind that the bold is what was actually visible to you guys, and look at the original entry, and you'll see what I mean.)

Yeah. That was all pretty funny guys, and it was fun remembering it. But it wasn't a victory. I know it wasn't a victory, because I somehow ended up back at my apartment with a full tank of gas. I remember hanging out with Weaver and helping her sort out her things at her apartment. Gods only knew she needed to get ready for whatever happened next, and I needed Ibuprofen. That's what happened during Hours 24 - 20. But nothing that I've written so far is a victory.

I think I fucked up somehow. I think that it's been nearly a week, and I don't know what happened after I reappeared in my Apartment. I think Spinner, Cutter, and Weaver are dead. I found Weaver's apartment earlier today, and the whole place looks ransacked. I'm going to Time Lord's house tomorrow. I haven't seen any sign of The Fucking Blank Businessman, or any Mantises, which I'm calling bad. Things like them don't just disappear on you. But they can wait. Oh they are very good at waiting.

Hotel Room:

I walked into my Motel this afternoon. I forgot to figure this stuff out before I left for Buffalo, and decided to just walk in and see if they had any available rooms. Right when I walked in, I knew that something unusual was going on.

The Manager shouted to me, "Mr. (AmalgamationSage)!"

I blinked. When had I ever met this guy before? I glanced at his nametag as I walked over to him. For our purposes, his codename will be Mindwash.

I walked over to him and said, "Howdy (Mindwash)"

He said, "You left your key on the counter when you left this morning."

I'd JUST gotten here. What the hell did he mean by This Morning?

I took the key gladly, and said, "Thanks. I didn't even notice."

I looked down at the Keycard he handed me. It had a stack of yellow sticky-notes on it. The top note said, "Your room number is 215."

I asked Mindwash, "Do you guys use a lot of sticky notes?"

Mindwash looked confused. He said, "Why do you ask?"

His eyes never even glanced down at the keycard, and his pupils dialated whenever he looked directly at me. No doubt about it, somebody had tapdanced on his brain. It had been a very thorough tapdancing too if this guy thought I'd been there all week.

(Editor's Note: Yeah. I now know that One of Me created by a divergent timeline or whatever the fuck Time Lord Did WAS there. So what was I doing? This remains my biggest unanswered question.)

I said, "I ended up with a big stack of the things I need to get rid of."

Mindwash said, "I guess we could take them."

I said, "I might bring some down later."

Then I started up the stairs for Room 215. This was your average decently furnished motel. I wont say what motel for security reasons, but I will say that I hope I hadn't been paying for the whole week. When I got to the door, I pulled the top sticky note off.

It revealed the message, "You shouldn't have come back."

I said, "Fuck you. You brought me into this the minute you decided what I could and couldn't see."

I tore off the sticky, revealing, "I didn't have a choice in the matter. I know all the endings."

I said, "Oh?"

I pulled up the note to reveal:

"My choices are 'The World Ends' or 'The World Begins.'"

I rose an eyebrow, pulling up the note to reveal:

"Both options end with almost everyone dying. So I'm trying for a third option."

I pulled up the note:

"You open that door, and I HAVE to take that third option. You know it well. I call it, 'The Impossible.'"

I pulled up the note:

"There's no turning back you son of a bitch. Do you understand that?"

I glared at the sticky notes. Then I glared at the door. I was down to one sticky note left.

I said, "I'm going to kick your ass so fucking hard when I see you again."

I tore off the top note, revealing the final message:


I slid the keycard through the lock, opened the door, took a step inside, and passed out. I shit you not, my eyes just stopped working, and the next thing I knew I was on the ground. I woke up around four hours later with the view of two sets of shoes walking out of the room. One a pair of boots, the other a pair of white sneakers. Ten minutes later, I could actually pull myself upright. I was one very unhappy camper. What kind of show was Time Lord running here?

I'm going to sleep. Tomorrow will be better.

(Editor's Note: I still have no idea whose shoes those were. But seeing as two of me were running around all throughout this period, and I'm pretty sure those boots were mine, I'd say one of them was me. The other would probably be Time Lord. What that actually means, I don't know.)


HNoOurTs 1Y9 E- 1T5





Saturday, June 25, 2011

Scott's Dead(?) -/|\- Forget Me Nightmare Rondo -/|\- Aftermath

 Scott's Dead(?)

I'm about ninety percent certain Scott is dead. Well fuck.

Except that he's not. He's really not. And someone's going to get hurt. Probably whoever's stolen his account.

Zero however, is stone dead. I'm too tired to say more than that. I'd give him a proper eulogy, if only because of the similarities between us, but at the end of the day I'm barely intact right about now. He was a good man, then he went nuts, then he realized he went nuts, and now he's dead in a thoroughly pointless fashion.
 I'm so tired right now.

Scott was in Pennsylvania. I couldn't help him out when I first started this little operation. This time around, I was half dead. He died somewhere in a place called Strepaddassaerwhatever. I'll have to find that name. Then I need to find out who took his account and wrote laughter in a post window, thinking it was clever. This shit is just noxious.

I think I need to go there. I owe the dead a due, and maybe something for the living too. 

What was I doing while that was going on? I was busy trying not to die. I've been a bundle of sweat and pain for the last few days


Forgetful Nightmare Rondo

It should have been a quiet night. Me in my own bed, dealing with my awesome plans all day, finally having a chance to sleep.

I tossed a bit, and I turned a bit. Then I found myself, as I sometimes do, in a mighty castle. I was in a Victorian-era suit, surrounded by people at a fantastic looking banquet. Vast chandeliers rose above us, shining brightly with a thousand candles. Surely the hogs who died to give us the fat for them had not died in vain.This was the banquet hall of a mighty castle, it's great stone walls covered in tapestry, with a mighty oaken table that had required the sacrifice of a thousand trees.

I took a few steps forward, and found myself in an argument with Alan Rickman regarding Harry Potter, and whether or not Avada Kedvra (the death curse from Harry Potter) was worthwhile in actual combat. So the next thing I know, me and Alan Rickman are standing around with wands, totally getting ready to kill the shit out of each other...

And then I realize I must be dreaming. I grunt, and spin around because something feels completely wrong here. Suddenly, Victorian Castle-town was gone and I saw a little shape in the night impale me with a half a dozen black tentacles. I was awake, and I could barely move. I just felt exhausted. I rolled over in my bed, and felt the weight of whatever was attacking me in my skull.. I reached out, and barely managed to activate my bedside lamp. This was when things got interesting. Look, when I knew that Slendy was gunning for me back in November, I ended up putting all kinds of defenses into place all around my apartment. In this case, the lamp was specially prepared to emit something a little extra besides light. It triggered a half a dozen astral constructs which started pulsing with positive energy in a burst around my bed, along with something a little more explosive. I'd designed it as a last ditch defense if I was attacked while sleeping, and it went off without a hitch.

Something was sent flying out of my room. Then it came back in. The bulb in the lamp died with one mighty flash of light. My eyes just felt so heavy. And then I was asleep again.

I was back in the castle, walking around and talking with several of the guests. I had an objective, didn't I? I found myself walking up a beautiful spiral staircase...and ran into my Grandpa and Pregnant Grandma. That was about the point that I realized I was dreaming again. Pregnant Grandma automatically means I must be dreaming for OBVIOUS reasons.

And there I am in the dark again, and there it is, stabbing me with tentacles.

I'm back in the Victorian party in the castle, at the top of that spiral staircase. The carpeting was fantastic. I could tell because I had to pick my body off of it. I was feeling so weak in this dream. I stumbled away from the mess, and I knew I was in trouble. Whatever was happening here, I was being given a serious run for my money. But I keep moving. And then I see a door ahead. I reach for it, but a hand takes mine and pulls me away from it. Three yellow lasers pass in front of the door, and I turn my head to see a young woman pulling me away from them.

She has dark hair going down to her shoulders and a little smile that tells me that she's having far too much fun. She was in a yellow dress, was wearing pearl earrings. She had white silk dress gloves. God I wish dreams were more exact. I remember the face, I will never forget the face, but...

She said to me, "Just hold on. In another three seconds, the lasers will pass and you can go through that door. He's a sturdy fucker, isn't he?"

Then she slapped something onto my chest, and it was like I'd been hit by lightning. Power pulsed through me, and I felt my body coming back together. I figured at the time that I'd die some day. But it wouldn't be today. It wouldn't be tomorrow either.

Then she said, "My name's Ellen. Lets go..."

The door exploded in darkness, and Mystery Girl Ellen was tossed onto her ass. And HE exploded outward at me. The Castle was gone, Ellen, whoever she was had gone, and I was stuck face to no-face with HIM. I knew I was dreaming, and he couldn't just toss me back into the dream with a good hit this time. I drew my sword and cut aside a wave of black tentacles flying at me.

That's about when I woke up again. The windows of my room had shattered inward, Weaver, Spinner, and Cutter were standing in a circle around my bed. I felt dead. I coughed a bit, breathed a little, and realized that I was in far too much pain to be dead. I saw Green Man run in from the main room. My vision was fuzzy, and I looked out toward my window. There HE was. For a moment, a brief moment. Then I collapsed.


So I should be dead. I've spent the last few days with "Flu-like symptoms" caused by having my spiritual centers tap-danced on by the Slender Sucker Spinner, Weaver, and Cutter all felt something really weird in the house, and went to see what was going on with me. They were apparently nearly overwhelmed by the sheer force of whatever had been in the room, and immediately threw together a banishing circle. The candles for it just wouldn't stay lit though. I scanned the astral plane earlier, and it looked like somebody found a way to create a hole through multiple months of defensive fortification. I'll give you a hint though: It wasn't HIM.

This was Mastermind. There were multiple trapdoors that human hands had worked into this shit. He must have been drilling for a while, and then HE used the opening Mastermind had created to get into my head.

Seeing as I've done a woefully inept job of actually explaining who that son of a bitch is, I'm going to have to work a little harder. Assuming of course that he and his goons don't just knock down our front door. The truth is, that if Mastermind really wanted us dead or imprisoned, it'd be done and that would be that. I've been terrified of what would happen once he knew who I was. Checkmate has always been whenever he figured out who we were. Then again, I'm pretty sure he's going to leave us alone. After all, this has always been about Time Lord, and the longer we remain out in the open, the more likely he'll stop on by. THEN Mastermind will kill us all.

I've spent the last few days out of commission. It's time to get back to work. I hope I'll be able to look into what's going on with this Scott mess. Mostly though? I have to explain who Mastermind is, preferably before we're all dead. It's not like I expect you to believe me though. What he is has to be too crazy, even for me.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Last Respite -/|\- Hidden Posts

It's good to be home. Training with the guys and girls at the dojo again. Hanging out with Green Man and Forgemaster. I got a hug from Weaver as soon as I walked into the door. Spinner and Cutter are there too. I would have wrote on the blog sooner, but I was just having too much fun being alive.

More kicks! More punches! More video games, teaching things to Time Lord's students that they didn't know! Jesus Christ on Crackers with Crutches this is good.

But all good things come to an end. This is my last respite. From here on out, it's back to business. And you all need to know what the story is with Mastermind.

I remember my missing 20 hours. I've remembered them for the last month and a half. There's no good explanation for why I'm not dead. There's also no good explanation for why you guys don't know all of this information already. Then again, Time Lord finally played his ace, so it's to be expected. Shit never goes in a linear fashion when he's involved. And this has always been about Time Lord. Now that I've thrown my hat into the ring, I need to do what I do best: improvise with extreme prejudice. They're still looking for him, and if they're monitoring my blog, there's no chance of them finding him now based on what I write. I'm free to talk. 

When you get down to it though, am I really free to talk? Not going to lie, I'm terrified.


 Hidden Posts:

I remember, months ago, after we had gotten Weaver good and packed, we had piled into my car. She borrowed my cell phone, and started calling out to Spinner, Time Lord, Cutter, anyone she could reach. At the time, I thought I'd told everyone what you needed to know.

The funny thing is though, if you read this post, I'm going to bet about ninety percent of you noticed a section in the title that never ended up on the page. Or maybe you didn't notice? Lord knows nobody ever commented on it. Read the title again.

It says: "Tao and Sage discuss Tarot. -/|\- A Time Lord Anecdote(1) -/|\- Hours 24 - 20 -/|\- Hotel Room".

I put "Hotel Room" in bold for a reason. As near as I can tell, not a single person had ever read the "Hotel Room" section of that entry. I considered it weird at the time that nobody commented on the events of Hotel Room. Not a single person. It confused me a little, but at the time I had other things to worry about.

Then I remembered my missing twenty-four hours and decided to sit on the information for a while. Then I meditated on that specific post. After all, Hotel Room was a weird freaking entry. SOMEBODY should have brought it up. After an hour or so of meditation and reading through my archives after I got home, I sensed the problem. Okay ladies and gentlemen, on a conceptual level, the internet and our blogs are all storehouses of our ideas and memories and concepts, correct? This is why on a metaphysical level people can be perception filtered, blogs can get warped and twisted, and the universe can look totally weird when viewed on someone's blogpage.

That said, Time Lord created an active perception filter not too long after I got to Buffalo. It was all slapped together very quickly, not his best work at all. The catch being, that this filter wasn't designed to hide information from me, it was designed to hide it from everyone ELSE. I'm able to read the Hotel Room entry. You guys wouldn't be able to. The people working for Mastermind would be especially unable to read the entry. Like I said though, this is not Time Lord's best work. If he was really on his game, you guys wouldn't be able to read "Hotel Room" in the title at all.

I've been scouring my posts to see if there were any other sections that were hidden from you guys. I had been getting a little nervous about how nobody was commenting about the areas where I explained more information that I'd garnered about my missing 24 hours, so I know those entries were hidden from you.

Right now, the only reason I can think of as to why he'd do this was in case Mastermind read my blog and figured out some things that he shouldn't. Or maybe there was something else Time Lord didn't want me telling you?

It all boils down to the above picture: Batman is eating your nachos. What are you going to do about it? In my case, I'm going to try and break the damn filter so I can fill you guys in. I don't have time for this shit.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Kay's House and Usurper

Further examination of Kay's house reveals no real points of entry or exit. The place is solid as a rock, as far as magical protection goes. It was just like this when Kay was picked up and moved though. This mess has me all kinds of nervous and unhappy.

We had a visit from The Slick Suit Wearing Shitfucker. I had to keep myself from collapsing at the thought of having black widow spiders crawling all over my body, biting me. I'm alright though. Kay saw the whole thing, and I envy her for still having that layer of disbelief between herself and this thing. She twitched, and pretended he wasn't there. She's gotten hardened to this thing...good for her.


Rather than just try and write out a whole lot more history, I decided to just type up a conversation me and Kay had earlier today.

Kay: So Nick, have you been spending all your time trying to figure out that tree, or have you actually spent some time trying to solve your own headaches too hun?

I was laying down on her couch with a wet cloth on my forehead. Oh wonderful wet cloth. You save me yet again.. Today was most definitely a migraine day

Me: "Ohhhh Kay. My headaches have not yet begun to suck."

Kay lit up some of her lavender incense.

Me: "Lavender. Brilliantly done, Kay, I love your incense."
Kay: If you can reach the point where sitting up won't make you nauseous, I've got some tea that should help.
Me: "Nauseous has never been a problem. Just the pain in the membraine. My migraines are nice about that."
Kay: Lucky you. *she smiles* Well before the tea, why don't we start with you letting me try a trick I used to use on a boyfriend that got migraines whenever I baked becuse he was too greedy to resist chocolate.         Me: "At this point? Beats using up precious, precious Maxalt."

I sat up a bit, watching to see what Kay had in mind. Kay pulled a small bottle of oil out of a drawer and put a few drops on her fingers. She gently massaged my head and neck. Not going to lie gents, my headache started going away awfully fast. I think I made a little "murble noise" and he melted into the couch. I think she was amused by this. In any case, she kept working on my skull for a while, and I was feeling pretty good by the end.

Kay: There how's that? Should I get the tea?

I very slowly, very lazily, raised my hand in a thumbs-up.A few minutes later, that hand had tea in it. Glorious, magnificent tea.

Kay: Drink up.

Good tea is something to be savored. I took my time with it. Then it was time to answer questions.

Me: "Well. As per what took you from your house, I can safely say that I know it wasn't human. What I can't tell you is anything useful. As for my own problems...well, I'm especially fucked in that regard."
Kaylin: Especially fucked? That sounds distinctly unpleasant. Who'd you piss off?
Me: "Kay, you've kept up with my blog. My entire past life was pissing people off on one level or another, and I can't remember the majority of it. The little flickers I do get are just enough to tell me when to run like hell."
Kay: So should you be running right now?
Me: "I don't know who she is. I don't know where she's from, the only things of hers I can see are random Haiku, which give the impression of an aspiring hack... she fed Slendy a kid, in such a manner that I would end up having to directly act to save the kid. that's the only clear action that I know she performed as of late. The only reason I can think of why she'd do that is so that I'd be stuck exactly where she wanted me to be. It also doesn't help that I don't remember myself being a woman at all."
Kay: Have you considered a regression?
Me: "A regression?"
Kay: Past life regression. It's a specialized form of hypnosis that has a small success rate with helping people recall past life memories.

I considered that for about three seconds before shaking my head.

Me: "I have heard of that. Not a chance. Far too dangerous."
Kay: Why is it dangerous? I would think that knowing more about what happened would be helpful. You can't work on making things right if you don't what went wrong.
Me: "I wasn't one of the good guys, Kay. Some things, when locked up, should stay locked up."

Kay shook her head.

Kay: I'll disagree because you now have some crazy ass bad poetry spouting chick invading your brain and you don't even know why.
Me: "I've been in Usurper's head before, Kay. It wasn't pretty."
Kay: Well its your choice hun, but i don't think leaving yourself in the dark is going to help.
Me: "I let him out once. You see, Rogue Nemesis, he wasn't going away. He was always in my face, and he was good enough that we were basically keeping pace with each other once he found out that his FEAR ME shtick wasn't working. The Rogues wanted their asshole back, so I was tempted. Open the door to that thing inside me. Unleash my inner fury or some shit like that. This turned out to be Usurper. Didn't have any of his memories though, just his extremely twisted personality. I called Rogue Nemesis, 'Rogue Nemesis', because of all of them, he was the one with a personal vendetta. Then Usurper tore him apart."

Kay brought her knees up to her chest and wrapped her arms around them.

Kay: "That's...impressive. Disturbing, but impressive. Is Usurper a real name or one of your code names?"
Me: "Code name. I don't have a real name for any of these entities. the thing is, it was...well, there's another name for the one I've been calling Rogue Wizard. It becomes important later. Right now though? ...look, he said that there was something old and powerful inside me, and if I wanted to put a stop to all of this, that was the thing to do it. But whatever went wrong, it affected that little piece of who I used to be the worst way. He couldn't remember either, and his personality was overlayed on top of mine. Aggressive, meanspirited, dishonorable, vicious, shortsighted, all of these things describe Usurper. Time Lord figured out that there was something very wrong with me, very quickly while we were talking on the phone. Long story short, we gave Usurper something like an exorcism, except not. He's still a piece of me. Just a weak, and not-in-charge piece, and I've got all his old tricks in my bag. Just another trial to be overcome. But I'm not ever risking putting him in the driver's seat. He's like Tom, but with a sense of duty and none of the misogyny."
Kay: But isn't Time Lord the one that screwed you over? Are you sure what he did was the right thing when you don't even know if you can trust him anymore?
Me: "The only thing scarier to me than what Time Lord is doing, is the idea of having Usurper calling the shots. Some monsters stay in their cages. Period."
Kay: Well then what do you do next? Just sit around and wait to be attacked?
Me: "Well, that sounds like a bad plan."
Kay: Agreed, but the way you're describing things it sounds like you're in a bit of a corner.
Me: "...well ain't it the truth."
Kay: Ok so maybe the next step is too figure out how rainbow girl is controlling you.
Me: "When has she ever controlled me?"
Kay: If she's adding her own commentary to your posts, I think it's a safe assumption that she is temporarily controlling your brain long enough to have you add them in. Unless you think a spirit type creature would know the ins and outs of hacking your account.
Me: "Well GEE Kay, seeing as the first time she posted was while I was getting my ass kicked by Morningstar, I'd say that it's more likely that she somehow has a way into my account. It makes sense, symbolically, it's a storehouse of my ideas and my past."
Kay: Hmm. Fine so I can't perfectly remember the timing of things that happened while I was detoxing in a hospital.
Me: "Tch. Keep in mind, everyone's forgetting that. Not just you. Sorry."

Kay nodded

Kay: Well in all fairness, its been a busy few months for all of us. So you're ruling out the idea that she's controlling you, that's fine, although she does have the ability to hide what she does from you, which if you think about it still is a form of mind control.
 Me: True. Very true.

I sighed, and glared up at the ceiling. Kay has a nice ceiling. Kay was tapping her finger against her lips thoughtfully.

Kay: So what would be the best theory? That's she's someone from your past, or that she's someone from your past in a new body that has memories of the past?
Me: "I'd be much better at theorizing if I could actually see what she says. Timelord doesn't want me to see it, because he thinks I need to act without that information right now. Frankly, he's being a third degree fucknutter."

Kay frowned a little.

Kay: I could try reading it to you...but I'm a little scared of what the side effects might be.
Me: "Maybe. Maybe. Probably wouldn't be as bad as playing with Usurper."
Kay: I swear, if you pass out and start bleeding like Cathy and Tony did, I will have a total nervous break down.
Me: "I've got plenty of blood."
Kay: Alright.

Needless to say, I passed out very quickly when she was reading. I woke up an hour later with a pillow under my head and a blanket around me. After that, I didn't give a damn and went back to sleep.

That was yesterday. In a few hours, I'll be back at my apartment. Then, I have a number of things to tell you all.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Met with Hylo -/|\-Bad Memories

Spent Tuesday out of Kay's and back in the real world. One of my new found friends had run into a bit of trouble. I rolled into Sleepy Hollow, feeling pretty nervous. Hylocereus seems to attract all kinds of things, and I was picking her up from a hospital. That meant no obvious brandished weapons, and that Glyphosate guy seemed pretty determined.

I met her just outside the hospital, and there she was. She has possibly the most embarrassing first name I've heard in a long time. Her birthday wasn't all that long ago, so I took her out for a proper overly expensive birthday dinner. We ate, we talked, it was a good time. I'm just glad to see she's alright. Not many people get simultaneously blessed and cursed with awesome and end up on the run from multiple entities that are interested in her.

I gave her exercises to do. We got her an aluminum bat. We had a good time.

And now I'm back at Kay's, staring at my computer screen. Hylo, Lia, whichever she prefers...she'll be alright.

I'm out of excuses. Lets talk about the past.


Bad Memories:

This is hard for me. You all deserve to know who Mastermind is. You need to know what's going on, because if me and my crazy gang of insane sons of bitches don't pull the mother of all maneuvers off, it becomes your problem. God I need to be drunker to write about this stuff.

You want to know why? Well. Let me give you an example. Remember a few weeks back, when during an explanation of some early fights with Rogue Nemesis, some guy mentioned to me, "I apologize for the mutinies, sir. All four of them."

Lets talk about the first of them.

Observe if you will, the young AmalgamationSage. Young, brash, stupid, he's most certainly not at his best. He's been constantly projecting, running around and trying to keep this rag tag "army" he has to work with from being overwhelmed. He understands that he cannot escape. He has high school, he has his family, he knows that if the creatures of the lower planes get past him, it could all go away so very quickly. There's also the fact that if he gets surrounded by entire armies, odds are he'll die a horrible death. This is generally what happens. He has to keep the army intact. If worst comes to worst, he can send the army north to regroup with Time Lord, but ...fuck it, Ryuu already filled everyone in on my name. Nick can save the survivors, but if that happens he cannot save himself.

Every day is a fight to survive and hold the army together. Every day he projects to a million places, trying to keep morale up. He is young and stupid, and thinks he can keep this up forever. The healers in the army know better. They know he's running himself ragged. Between schoolwork, homework, and the hordes of hell, his mind is starting to take the heat. He's slower, spacier, more distant. But he fights on anyway.

And sometimes, The Presence is there after the day is done, and she holds him. That is all he needs to tell himself, "And we'll do it again tomorrow. And again and again, until the other guy stops getting back up." But they always arrive at 4 AM to kill him. Nick relishes what sleep he can find.

Young Nick is a simple creature. He's bright and quick on his feet, and so utterly blind and trusting. Fortunately. He has help. His second in command was a lovely, pale young thing from the higher planes, with golden hair and a perpetual smile, even in the hell of the war. Nick knew her from his most recent past life, and he could see flashes of her now and then. He knew that they were close then, and in the little flickers that he remembers, he knows that she is probably the only person in this entire force he can trust his life to.We will call her Thinker.

Thinker has her eyes on everything, and she quickly determines where the loyalties of the army lie. She knows the majority of the other officers follow the Rogues. She knows they know she knows. But they do not know that she knows that they know she knows. This is the kind of game you play at this level of intrigue. She fed data to the correct officers upstairs in the Higher Planes. She changed out the Military Police under her command for people she could trust. She went to sleep with a weapon in her hand. She did NOT tell Nick any of this, mostly because his head was an open book. At that time, any mind-reader worth a damn in the army could peek in and see everything they wanted.

Nick will find that out soon enough. But in the mean time, several of the officers working for him decide that Thinker needs to die.


You can prepare for a fight. You can prepare with all the weapons, all the spells, and all the brilliant plans. But you never, ever fight alone if you can help it. One person can be overwhelmed, one person can be stopped, tricked or outmaneuvered. One person means only one chance to get things right. If Thinker had come to Nick, or had gotten the Military Police in a position to protect her from an outside threat, Thinker would have survived. But no, she was on her own, and she was expecting an attack from the traitorous lieutenants and their loyal soldiers. Now, mercenaries from outside the ranks that she DIDN'T have infiltrated and watched by the Military Police? How did she not see it coming? I suppose you don't think of it when you're supposed to be surrounded by a mighty force keeping the demons at bay.

When the attack came, I went to work just as always. The Traitorous lieutenants had the the Military Police occupied. She was on her own. They did things to her. Cold, calculated, terrible things. It wasn't enough to cut an artery and let her bleed out. No, they wanted her to know the pain down to her bones, for daring to defy their new world. Sliced, bled, defiled. When I arrived, her location was covered in bodies. Only three of her attackers were still alive. They were humanoid, and they were doing things to her. After a moment of work, they were no longer humanoid, and wouldn't touch anyone ever again.   

I remember kneeling down by her, and trying to weave every spell, every bit of healing that I knew. She apologized for not being better prepared. I kept using everything I knew to try and save her. You see, the worst part is never the Knowing. It's the Not Knowing. I don't even know her real name. I don't know who she was or how I knew her or why she meant so much to me. I know her rank. I know we were close at one point. And I know that as I watched her die in my projection, I began crying. She just kept apologizing. I kept weaving that spell, hoping something might help. My mind could not accept her death, let alone that I had been close to this person who I may never know. I still think of her. I know she was important. I may never know why.

At some point while I was casting spell around her, one of the healers arrived. They carried her off, and the healer lied to me. He said she would be just fine, that my spell had worked, that she would be gone for a while but she'd be back some day. I believed him at that moment, because I had to believe him. I had to believe that I could get back up and do something about this mess. That I was here to save the day, and that once more the Mighty Nick had totally performed a brilliant last-minute rescue. If I couldn't then I would break.

Five minutes later, I was composed again. I had been lied to expertly, so I "knew" she would be okay. It was time to do my job now. That said, the entire mercenary maneuver was all very sloppy. The officers who ran this little maneuver thought that I would be too overwhelmed to NOT sense the Military Police's reports about who had brought the mercenaries through our lines. When two surprised officers found themselves in chains, being sent north for trial, I honestly think they were still surprised that I could handle basic functioning on the astral plane well enough TO have fingered them and given the order. They were arrogant, overconfident shits. Back in those days, everyone thought that because I was a simple kid I was also stupid. You'd think after the third time I spun the situation back around on them that they would figure out that I wasn't as dumb as I looked. As they were carted off for trial and sentencing, the one thing going through my mind was: "No one would fault me for these two slipping down the stairs and breaking their necks."

I won't say I didn't think of it because it would be immoral. I will say that I was too tired from 4 AM attacks to think of it until the day they were carted off. I've gotten nicer over the years, strangely enough.

This wouldn't be the last time I would have to send off officers for one takeover stunt or another. It was the beginning of the end for this unfortunate army, as the most competent officers were also the most traitorous of them. When all you've got are idiots to hold the line, bad times are on the way.