I met Typer on the 18th of July.
I am offended that some of you might think I have "gone rogue". Everything I do is of His will. If it was not, then He would intervene. I have earned no reprimands, suffered no consequences. It is His will that there be a culling. Our members have grown weak, and with it, the fear that was once felt towards us has waned.
There was a time when the sight of us in a hallway or on a rooftop would elicit terror rivaling our master. But now... you have to get so much closer to get the same response. They no longer fear us, for we show fear ourselves. We show fear, uncertainty, regret... And suddenly the magic is gone, and the enemy sees only a group of brain-addled thugs wearing masks.
So some will have to die. I have always served Him. I will always serve Him.
I was serving Him when I met Typer.
Typer was one of those souls who had never been lucky, but was almost always content. I had already begun my hunt for the Glass Man when suddenly I knew what needed to be done. I knew where to go.
The Tree... the Tree was a strange thing to behold. It simultaneously drew me in and repelled me. I likely would have died had He not stood over me, laying his claim. We moved through the forest, Him guiding, me following, until we came upon a door... a door only I was meant to go through.
Typer had been there for almost 15 years. Due to the strange events that had befallen him, he had only known about 10 years... But Typer had no watch. All Typer had was an old cot, a copy of Albert Camus' L'Étranger and, more recently, a decrepit, early 2000s model laptop computer.
We stared into each others eyes for what may have been an hour, until he finally gestured for me to take a seat at his desk. He remained on his bed and talked. He talked for a very long time, and I will do my best to recount what he told me.
"My mother gave me the name Olivier Barriault, but you already know this. When I was seventeen, I left home. You know this as well. You do not, of course, know the rest, unless your Master has told you... clever, how you wrote those things. You sound very much like him, you know that? It's a wonder you're unique at all...
Of course, my story. What an ungracious host I've been, though I suppose your Master is the true host. I was recruited by an organisation that was secretive... so secretive, that I did not, in fact, know its name or who owned it. All I know is that they had many open positions. I became a security guard, for what it was worth. I lived underground until I had almost reached the age of 25. I saw many... things being tested. Chemical, biological... physical. Usually not on human subjects. We weren't monsters.
I saw a disease that caused a cow's skin to grow over all of its orifices, smothering it to death! I saw a tiny sphere that could draw things to itself, defying gravity! I saw mirrors that showed new things, light that could hold objects, creatures that likely had never existed before that month...
But then there was a different test. It was simple enough. A black Box, hardly bigger than a toaster... a perfect cube, with only a slight red imperfection, a symbol... the symbol. You're almost certainly familiar with it.
An orderly brought a small piece of jade to it, pushing it against the symbol, then... nothing. The jade remained unperturbed, as did the orderly, the Box, and the wall at which it had been aimed. It appeared to be a failure, a hoax. For a long time, I was angry at the scientists, the ones who should have seen what was coming... but what good would science have done us? Science didn't make that Box. Science could not control it.
On the third day small objects began to go missing. Testing apparatuses, utensils, food, a favorite painting of mine: Bonjour, Monsieur Courbet (an original, I was quite sad to lose it). On the fourth day, maps weren't good anymore. On the fifth day, myself and three others forged (it's forged, right? Look at me... almost forty and still I make theses mistakes!) our way to the testing chamber. We lost two along the way, torn to pieces by forces that could not even be seen. My remaining partner (my... I cannot even remember his name) and I drew lots to see who would approach the Box. I was actually the lucky one, he had lost the coin toss, but then he... segued through the floor, without a word. That left me.
I took a step towards it, and hit the wall on across the room. I turned again, and found myself facing the corner. I attempted to crawl, but touched the ceiling with my hands, so I sat still and waited... for it to come to me. And it did. A single crossed eye stared at me and, succumbing to my primal instincts, I touched it.
Everything tore. Light flashed, alarms went off, gashes appeared along my arm. A hole swallowed the box and... I saw through it.
A flash, a twist. Running, limping, bleeding, crying. A figure glimpsed down a hallway. The ringing matching the pitch of the alarm. The door. Further down the hallway. Not liberty, but safety, at least for a while.
Red. Blue. Red. Blue. Almost there now. Can't stop. Too many hallways branching off. More and more. I have to get there. I have to get there. I have to get there.
The feel of smooth metal against the skin. A spin and the latch is undone. A low wail getting higher in pitch. Even inside isn't safe. Inside is another way to end. At least I'll die in my bed. The door swings shut. Silence.
I looked around my living room. Empty, of course. The box seemed to have taken everything. I walked to my bedroom and slept. When I opened the door the next day, I saw a forest. The second day, I saw a swamp. The third day, I saw a field. The fourth day, the light was on, and I found food, as I have many times since. Nine months ago, I found a computer.
That is all."
We talked for a very long time. We debated and discussed, parrying opinions. But the night grew late, and he sensed it.
"You have something on your mind." His face, as always, was blank. Light green eyes peaked out from unkempt black hair.
"You said... You knew something." His head cocked at this, then a thin smile drew across his lips.
"... But, of course, it's not about what I said, but what he told you to ask." Those eyes stared through me. He knew. How did he know? NO ONE KNOWS.
"Tell me. You need to tell me." It was my turn to smile and, of course, he beat me with a returned grin.
"Yes... yes I do. I need to tell someone... even if it's... I know where it is! I know where to find it!" His eyes rolled back in his head. His grin became manic. Tears poured down his face. "I saw through the hole, and do you know what I saw!"
He stopped. I leaned close. His face went blank again and his eyes returned to mine.
"... I saw a little shop, by the sea."
We were silent for a very long time. Eventually, he spoke.
"I know why you're here. You have a job to do. Do it. There are notes in the desk. You don't need to use them, just take them. Do it."
And I did it. Quickly.
He was a very smart man. His notes... are brilliant. They explain so many things that should have been obvious. Most of them had been written within the last few months of his life. There was a reason I was told to kill him.
Some will have to die. I have always served Him. I will always serve Him.