"If I analyze and try to understand the world logically and categorically, everything becomes more impersonal. If everything is impersonal, I don't need to be bothered by the fact that my life is worth ten cow eyes and eight pig eyes."
Sep. 17th, 2009
A truth curse hits.
I'm a murderer. The murder was unjustifiable. Deplorable. Meaningless. I did it to find meaning, and I did it because Richard wouldn't. I had to be better than him at something. I believed idiotic things. I thought that crime was the truest expression of freedom--murder, the most liberating act.
Richard died because of me. He was a bastard, but he was all I had and he died because I thought I could redeem myself. Redemption is a lie. No one gets a second chance at life.
I joined the police force as penance.
I didn't regret being in prison--not at home and not here. I deserved it. I think I've paid enough now.
I think I love someone, if love is real and not a biochemical response to set stimuli. She should do better, but I don't want her to.
I should delete this. Truth is as rewarding as charity.
Oct. 15th, 2009
A calm statement of fact while others eat each other during a curse.
In situations like this, I believe maintaining a list of crimes committed is an impossible, unfeasible, and ultimately futile task. If the City is attempting to further undermine what citizen-imposed order exists here, it's succeeding. Nothing encourages disorder like a no-holds-barred bout of cannibalism.
The Aztecs were likely cannibals. They didn't eat people indiscriminately (as seems to be the case today); instead, they performed complicated rituals that involved the sacrifice and consumption of politically important prisoners of war. In some cultures, eating the dead was a vital funereal rite. They believed that the deceased would live on--in part--in the souls and bodies of those who partook of their flesh. Even until recently, women in a specific tribe in New Guinea ate the brains of their relatives out of respect. There was the Donner Party, as well...
There are more reprehensible cases of cannibalism--cases where the act had nothing to do with respect, ritual, or survival. Jeffrey Dahmer murdered and consumed parts of seventeen men over a period of thirteen years.
Midnight will be unpleasant. I assume more than a handful of those cursed won't react well to today's actions.
Oct. 19th, 2009
All of the monster-related curses get Justin thinking.
The unsolved murders are frustrating. Abby and I have nothing to go on, and I've heard little from other members of the police force (if it still exists). If I had the power to further the investigations--
But I wouldn't further them. Richard, for all of his arrogance, was an astute judge of character; how many times did he tell me that I'm all talk? I wouldn't have been capable of strangling the woman if he hadn't been so sure that I couldn't do it. It's been almost a year--two weeks short of a year--and I still can't decide if I'm glad he's gone. Yes, we were two halves of a whole, but, as a whole, we were monstrous.
It's a good month for montrosities. Today's curse, the cannibalism curse... I'm constantly disturbed by the City's ability to rob us of our wills, forcing us to take actions we would never otherwise take. I was fortunate. The curse allowed me to maintain a sense of control, and whatever drove us to eat flesh was satisfied with a taste of my arm. I neglected to mention that to Abby. She still doesn't know about the candlestick incident with Road (she attributes my limited control of my left hand's fine motor movements to my inherent clumsiness, I believe, so she may not need to find out about that). If she knew a fraction of the things I didn't tell her, she would never let me out of her sight. As much as I appreciate her concern, she can be overbearing.
I thought about this entry while I was walking today. Until now I've never considered the monsters in the Underground, since they're easy enough to avoid. What if they are permutated forms of those who can never leave the City? Are their names on the graves in the cemetery? I am hoping that an investigation into the issue will be more fruitful than any murder investigations.
Road will be involved. I'm not surprised; she's a monster in her own right and can likely dissuade hostile entities Underground from eating us. I'm going to bring my gun along. I doubt it will stop a monster or Road, but it may slow both down. (Could I shoot Road? I don't think I can. If the situation were dire enough...)
What if the monsters are nothing more than people who couldn't escape from the City? I'm afraid to find out. I need to, but the answer may be discouraging. I'm dead. I have no world to go back to. Will that condemn me to an eternity in the City? Over time, will I transform into one of them and lose myself? I've worked hard--I've worked to create who I am. I was nothing but pieces of an identity a year ago after everything I was died at the Bluff, but I'm someone now. I'm more than I've ever been. I have people--not absent parents or a diseased twin like Richard, but people who care. Does that make me less of a monster than I was when I murdered the woman?
If the monsters were people, they must be people who had the capacity for evil. Thinking about them scares me. How like them am I? I was almost convinced that I could be entirely forgiven and escape what I did. I'm unsure now. Maybe the City feeds on the wicked, draining them and warping them into monsters to guard the clock. No one who is good and innocent--no one like Shilo or Abby--could become monsters. The monsters are people like me. Perhaps nothing I do can change that.
I can hear the clock right now. Some say it counts down to the end of the world. At night when I'm thinking--times like this--I wonder if it isn't counting for each of us individually, measuring out the moments left to us. Maybe I'm becoming more of a monster with each tick.
I don't feel like a monster, but can monsters see their own deformities?
Nov. 5th, 2009
Abby leaves, Road kills people, and Justin breaks down.
Richard came back, Abby left, and someone else was murdered. I don't know which of these bothers me the most.
No, Abby's departure is the worst. She is--was--family, moreso than any of my genetic relatives. I didn't know how to react when she took the liberty of declaring herself my sister, but after a year... I became very used to being forced out of my apartment, anyway. Parties, clubs... she forced me into more social situations than I've been in in all the rest of my life combined. Perhaps I was resentful at the time. Everything is easier to appreciate in retrospect.
I don't like being alone in the lab. She's always been there, since before I came here. She was teaching me. I still don't know anything about forensic science compared to her; a year of informal lessons can't match a formal six or eight year education on the subject. The police force was already nearly inoperable. What now? I can't be the head of forensics. I shouldn't even be here. I still don't know how Abby convinced anyone to let someone so inadequately prepared join the police or why I've been entrusted with anything.
She held everything together. She was the constant in an inconsistent existence. I don't think I've felt the way I did when I saw her picture in the Hall of the Missing before. It was worse than when Richard died. His death seemed inevitable, as did mine. There was no surprise. Regret, maybe, but mostly a numbness that I can't describe. Having Abby leave feels more like being gutted.
Graverobber's gone, too. Shilo is upset. It doesn't seem fair to be upset about someone leaving when she already is.
I won't think about Richard.
Road's timing is impeccable. I know she's the murderer. Nothing makes the same kinds of wounds as her candles do. I don't fully understand why I'm surprised or upset. It has to be the timing. Something needs to not go wrong.
The ticking echoes in the lab. I can hear it in the apartment now, too, even with Neith. I didn't hear it there before.
Nov. 18th, 2009
Continuous murders plague Justin.
I don't understand this City. I don't understand Rip van Winkle, Millennium, or Road's involvement. I don't understand why any of us are here, why some of us leave but not others, why others find it necessary to resort to murder to keep themselves occupied.
It was about accomplishment when we did it. There were philosophical motivations, but first and foremost we wanted to do something meaningful--something that would be noticed. That was one of my reasons. I wanted to leave a mark on the world. It isn't like that here, though. With an ever-changing populace there isn't a collective memory to scar indefinitely. Few people even remember Millennium's previous incarnation.
If Rip van Winkle is seeking immortality for Millennium, she's going to fail. Nothing stays in the mind of the people--not in any world. (Does anyone remember me in my world?) The City's too jaded to respond to death in the way she might intend, as well. Unless the victim is someone close, they're largely ignored. It's a coping mechanism. If we stopped to consider every death--if we allowed ourselves to feel every time someone dies here--we would be overwhelmed. No one can care about everyone here without breaking. Perhaps that's the City's overarching goal... to rob us of our humanity. Some humanity has to be sacrificed to survive.
It's just a body. If you see it as anything but another body, it's too much. I've only made that mistake once, and I won't make it again.
I wish I could think about something other than death and what repeated exposure to tragedy does to the human mind.
Dec. 1st, 2009
Following the murders, doubts about the police, and being turned into a cute kitten.
I've seen a number of mentions of justice on the network recently. It hasn't been a popular topic of discussion before now. And why? Is it important only in the wake of highly visible murders? ...In the apparent failure of the City's police force to uphold justice? Or did the boxes that gave us a measure of control over our fate and the fates of others encourage this line of thinking?
This is not a just city. I doubt it has ever been just, and I doubt any law-enforcing unit can make it so.
In calling the City unjust, I have assumed that justice has a universal meaning and can be achieved. Hasty assumptions. I don't think we would agree on a single definition of justice, and we would be hard-pressed to give an example of what true justice looks like. The hypothetical city of Plato's Republic achieves a justice only by committing itself to small injustices--to lies, to inequality, to a lack of individual freedom. If the City were like that, there would be as much discontent as there is now.
What is justice to you? Is it a series of lies that ultimately benefit the community? Is it a leveling force that promises equality to all? Is it security at all costs? A trade between equals, as Nietzsche says? Individual freedom? The domination of good over evil? How do you propose we promote a just society in a city of dictators? How do we uphold any form of justice when the justice-keepers are as subject to curses, sudden disappearances, and random happenstance as anyone else?
Do we resort to vigilantism and assume that those who seek justice for us will uphold the same moral codes as we do? Do we break into a dozen--a hundred, a thousand--groups, each group pursuing its own form of justice? Do we remain idle while accusing those groups we feel should be protecting us of being corrupt or defunct?
These questions are not rhetorical. I'm curious.
Jan. 2nd, 2010
On the fear of being forgotten after the deities offer a false escape.
The police force is reforming. It may be a lost cause with no clear leaders and few officers, but Debra is trying. In spite of these recent developments, I've been contemplating resigning. The laboratory is uncomfortable without Abby there, but I'm reluctant to let others in to use the equipment. She wouldn't have allowed it. I realize that, logically, it makes no sense to operate the department the way Abby would have wanted; I doubt she'll come back. She's home... happily, I assume. In her own laboratory, with no memories of the City.
That bothers me--the fact that memories of the City seldom go with people. Instead of being forgotten in one world, I can be forgettable across any number of dimensions.
Trying to leave a mark on any world is, I think, a fruitless endeavor... moreso, perhaps, in the City than anywhere else. Whatever I might achieve here, be it for the greater good or otherwise, will be forgotten--if not immediately, then as soon as those who were impacted either go home or, if they're deceased, cease to exist entirely.
When the barriers fell...
It was too convenient. I was suspicious and I shouldn't have allowed hope to obscure my judgment. I'm never going to see Shilo's world, or any world that isn't the City. This bothers me less than I feel it should. I'm more disturbed by the idea that, once Shilo leaves the City, she won't remember me. There isn't an 'if'--no if she leaves, or if she forgets. Both are all but guaranteed.
I shouldn't think about it. If I think too much, I'll never talk to anyone. I won't think about it.
Mar. 12th, 2010
Eleven days after dying a gruesome death and clawing his way out of the ground...
It's been eleven days. I only know because I've been counting them off on the calendar. No distinct memories, but there are enough nightmares. If I can dream about the event, I should be able to remember it. The nightmares are too vague to be useful.
I haven't been more useful myself. It's irresponsible to miss work and the musical--the latter more so, maybe, because I was helping voluntarily. Volunteers shouldn't vanish. I should have sent a note to Lorne.
"Should." There's enough that I should do. I should thank Neil and Todd somehow (and I should remember what happened that night more clearly than I do). I should thank Shilo, no matter how inadequate thanks will be. I should return Tsurugi's clothes even if he doesn't want them. I should resign my position on the police force before I'm fired for being excessively truant. I should be more than capable of leaving the apartment and going to work.
I don't understand. I realize the event may have had psychological affects, but this is absurd. It's not as if it was the first time I've died; I doubt it was any more disturbing than the first time. There's no reason for the dreams or these irrational fears of leaving the apartment alone (or being alone in the apartment). I don't think I'm susceptible to psychological trauma. If I am, wouldn't I have noticed? Wouldn't I have already been traumatized? If anything, this last death should have impacted Shilo more than me as she remembers more.
Things have been foggy--not foggy... vague and indistinct?--since it happened. I have this pervading sense of being slightly less than real or in some way unattached from my body. Or empty. Not empty in a metaphysical or emotional sense. 'Hollow' might be a more precise word. It's not unlike the feelings after the murder and after Richard died.
There's no reason for it. This death was, by virtue of being forgotten, almost a non-event; there's no reason for me to feel at all abnormal. Is it possible that I'm the problem--that there's something fundamentally wrong with me?
Not entirely coherent, but I need to write thoughts down somewhere. Maybe this will make sense in time.