Sunday, May 26, 2013

Where do we go from here?

I'm free.

I am no longer bound by probation.

It honestly wasn't as eventful as I thought it would be. It was just sort of a "You're done. Get on your way." kind of thing. I wasn't really expecting some big fanfare or anything but a "Good job." or "Good luck." would've been nice.

Anyway, now that I can actually travel, I have a whole world of options open to me. I can travel and help other Runners. I can go to Florida and see if there is anything worth looking into regarding my first encounter with Slendy. As silly as it sounds, at one point I consider making my place a rest stop for Runners in the area. It's a little difficult to do it with Mira staying here but I think it could still be worth a shot.

I got to admit. This is all a little overwhelming.

I tried asking Mira what she thought would be a good idea but she was no help. "My job is not to help guide your life."

All I know is that I can't sit around and wait for something to happen anymore.


Thursday, May 23, 2013


In the television shows and movies that I have seen, they never really show archers having to defend themselves if they are forced into close range combat. You are just left to assume that they have no chance of being able to defend themselves. 

That is not true. In the Renaissance period, archers were equipped with a sword called a katzbalger. It was particularly known for having a very sturdy blade and a unique guard that could protect the user's hand in case the opponent's blade would slide down their own. It was easy to wield, weighing only a little over two pounds and the blade is short enough to be used in very tight quarters. 

Why do I bring this up? 

It has been mentioned before that Noah and I are usually paired together for missions. It is not only because we work well together. We make up for each others flaws. Noah is phenomenal when it comes to handling firearms. However, he tends to have a bad habit of not watching his back and getting. That is where I come in. I am capable of using firearms, although I am not as fast as others when it is a matter of reloading or recovering from the recoil of the gun. When it comes to swords however, I am very proficient. My job is cover for Noah and eliminate anyone who my pose troublesome threat, especially in close quarters. . 

Noah is the archer. I am his katzbalger. 


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Familial Bonds II: The Girl and the Mask

"So why do you still hide behind this mask?"  I asked as I returned the mask to her. "I mean, I've already seen what you look like without it on. I'm not bothered by it."

"Are you that oblivious?"

"I have Asperger's, remember? The answer to that question is kind of obvious."

"Good point." She finally released her legs and adjusted herself into a new position. "I am self-conscious. Every time a new Eye comes they are always put off by my burns at first. Noah was the one exception."

"Yeah, I remember him writing about that." I took a seat next to her "Still, I don't think you really need to wear this."

"I also use it to hide myself when I am vulnerable. I do not want anyone to take advantage of me when I am worried, upset, or uncomfortable. I am still human. I still have my weaknesses."

"I understand where you're coming from. I guess you're lucky since I don't really have a way to hide things like that."

She gave a small shrug. "I guess."

"So...I've noticed you've been calling Noah a lot. You shouldn't worry so much. I'm sure he's doing fine."

Mira shook her head "You saw how he got wounded. We could have easily gotten out but Noah had to protect us like that. He gets reckless from time to time. I do not feel comfortable when he is on his own"

"I get ya'. But I've seen him fight. He's pretty damn good."

She let out a heavy sign "He is another one that I owe everything to. I believe I have every reason to worry." She looked down as though she was embarrassed  about what she was going to say.  "I...I do not know what I would do if I lost him."

"So, do you have a crush on him?" I said, giving her a teasing grin.

"No! No no no no no no!" She said, blushing and shaking her head rapidly. "I think of him as a friend and as a brother. It is the same with him."

I couldn't resist laughing at her reaction. "I'm sorry. I just could not resist asking you that."

She gave me a light shove "That is very cruel!"

"The chance presented itself. I'm not going to pass it up."

"You are shameless!"

"Damn right I am!"

She turned very serious "I could always report to Father that you are a threat to my safety. Then you would think twice about teasing me."

I froze for a minute as I remembered what The Grigori did to Hoyt. Mira was probably completely unaware that I knew just what The Grigori capable of. I suddenly saw a quick smirk form. "Did...did you just try to play a trick on me?"

She gave a small, satisfied smile. "Perhaps."

With that mask gone, she was acting more...human. I liked it. And personally, I think she did too.

As the days passed, she become more casual. She wore her mask less and less around the apartment until she was wearing it only when she could not get a hold of Noah. We began having more and more conversations about general things. I managed to coax her into watching movies (mostly terrible ones) with me. Life was starting to feel a little normal again.

But the Slenderman has returned.

He always shows up in ways that ensure that Mira cannot see Him. Usually whenever she is away or asleep.

Has he decided to go on the offensive or is he just fucking with me again?


Monday, May 20, 2013

Familial Bonds

Mira returned about two weeks later. Noah was sent out on another mission after he recovered, so she was on her own to keep an eye on me. She was pretty closed off for the first couple of weeks. She keep her mask on, barely uttered a word save for a "Thank you." after every meal, and sometimes wouldn't even sleep in the apartment and instead took residence on the roof.

"I'm sorry."  I said one day at dinner. I had finally decided to see if I could get something out of Mira.

"For what?"

"If it wasn't for me, you'd probably still be on a mission with Noah instead of babysitting me." It sounded like something out of an anime but it was true.

"It is nothing new. I have done missions on my own before." she said softly. "Please do not patronize me."

"I'm not patronizing you. I'm just saying you seemed happier whenever you are with him. Well, from what I could tell. You said that you guys are basically siblings, right. And after Noah got injured, well I ju-"

"I am fine. There is no need to concern yourself with me."

I let out a heavy sigh. "Look, despite the fact you could kill me at any time, I still consider you a friend. Hell, you've been living in my apartment for the last- what? Four months?"

Mira remained silent looking down at her half-finished meal.

"You don't have to be so hostile you know. I've proven that I'm trustworthy."

"I have every reason not to trust you. You are not one of us."

"Not one of us? Are you serious? That's it? Is that something your 'father' ingrained into your head?"

"No, it is common sense. Family is all you can trust. That is how it was long before I became an Eye."

I have to admit, I had found myself growing irritated. "And let me guess, it's all you have and nothing else."

Mira shot up and slammed her hands on the table. "How can you make light of this? Does family mean nothing to you?"

"Not at all. I love my family and I'd do anything to protect them." I said, rather taken aback by her sudden outburst. "Why do you think I'm so distant from them? I can't let them get hurt because of me."

"Then why can't you understand why I cherish it?"

"There's a difference between cherishing it and obsessing over it."

"It is not an obsession, it is common sense!" I had to admit I was kind of surprised to see Mira raising her voice like this.

"Well I understand tha-"

"Then why are you bothering to ask?

I shot up from my chair now. "Because that is all you ever talk about. The only damn thing! You talk about nothing else.

"Because there is nothing else!"

"Bullshit!" Not thinking, I grabbed her mask and yanked it off "Maybe if you stopped hiding behind this all the time you'd see there is far more than just a psuedo-family! You have a free will you know! You don't have let this man rule over

Her eyes widened as she was exposed and grabbed her fork, stabbing it into my free hand. Tears began to well up in her eyes. "You really don't understand! He saved me from what was a living hell. There is nothing I can do to repay all that he has given me. He gave me a new life!" She stormed off into her room and slammed the door.

After tending to the stab wound and wrapping my right hand up, I decided to let the each of us of simmer down for a little bit before I tried to make amends. I took some time to view her mask. It was made of some kind of material that I wasn't familiar with but you can just sort of tell that whoever made it put in a lot of effort in doing so. It was like it was made specifically for Mira.

After waiting a couple of hours I cracked open the door "Mira...are you okay?"

She was sitting on the bed, hugging her legs against her chest. I could only assume that she did not intend to come out for the rest of the night since she had changed into a tank top and loose slacks. I discovered that her face wasn't the only place that was burned. Most of her left arm was near blackened and her other arm had patches of burns that were of various degrees. Some of the burns appeared to have extended to where she was covered.

She gave me a very spiteful glare as she said "Why does it matter to you?"

"I said and did some things that I probably shouldn't have done."

The glare morphed into a way that said "You think?"

"I'm sorry. I guess I still don't exactly understand how the Eyes work..."

"My family and I were always very close. At a young age,  my parents made sure that they emphasized how much of a treasure family is. We did everything together and my brothers always helped out with our bakery. I could not have been any happier." The peaceful expression quickly grew to be blank and dull "Then the Yugoslav Wars happened. Militants came into our town. They lined everyone in the town up. One by one, they either killed them or took them away. I do not wish to think about what happened to them.  Eventually, only my family was left. My father tried to fight back when they attempted to take my mother away but they shot him down as soon as he took one step out of the line. My mother bit the man who was dragging her away and she met the same fate. My brothers were unceremoniously shot and I was the only one who was left. I was about to be shot when the leader of the group ordered them to back away. He looked me over for a long while and finally said 'Let's take her with us.'"

"After that, I was their toy. They abused and violated me whenever they had the chance. I was dragged along with them and watched as they slaughtered others. I was fed whenever they remembered that I was there. It felt like I was there for years. I had pretty much lost all hope. I was confident that this would be my fate." She tightened her hold on her legs. "One day during winter, one of the militants was drunk and...using me for pleasure. I could barely understand him because his words were very slurred but I guess I had angered him in some way because he yelled at me and brutally beat me before tying me up, taking me out of tent and throwing me in their campfire. He made sure that I didn't roll out of it, continuing to yell at me before some of the other militants who were watching finally had enough of the show and pulled him away. They put me out and decided that I wasn't of any use to them. Damaged goods. They left me for dead. I'm not sure how long I was out there for. I was in so much pain and so malnourished that I couldn't move. And some point I just began waiting. Maybe I was going to be eaten by something. Maybe my body would finally give out."

She started to tremble "Even after all I had gone through, my time lying in those woods were the scariest moments of my life.  It eventually hit me that I didn't want to die. Not that way. Not alone and useless. And with every minute that passed, that fear intensified. But then I remembered something. I wanted to live. As young as I was, I still knew that I had some sort of importance in life. A reason for my existence. I couldn't die here!" She went silent for a moment as her grip on her legs finally loosened. "I began to muster every ounce of strength that I could and dragged my body until I found a snow bank to rest in."

A small smile formed on her face. "A snow storm was starting when Father appeared before me. I was surprised to hear him speak in my native tongue. He knelt down and asked for my name and then asked me if I wanted a new life. A family. A home. A reason for living. I could not say no. I would have been mad to have said no. He picked me up and smiled in way that...I do not know. It was a smile that only a parent could give to their child. As I drifted off sleep I heard him say 'Welcome home'."

I finally had a chance to speak up "But didn't you think that earning your keep by killing people was just a little fucked up?"

She gave a small shrug. "At first it was shocking but...I suppose in the end I accepted it because it was worth  it. Father gave me everything I ever wanted, I had to repay him. He even gave me the chance to deliver retribution to those militants. I took up the offer without hesitation. It was the first time I killed people. It felt very, very satisfying."

"Is it always satisfying for you?"

"Not all the time. It is usually only when they are so vile that they deserve to pay for what they have done. The other times that I have was uncomfortable at first but I eventually grew indifferent to it."

"That makes sense. I guess."

"Does the reason why I am so obsessed with the concept of a family finally make sense to you? My parents told me that a family is the only situation where you can feel unconditional love for someone. I feel unconditional love towards the Eyes. That love and that bond is what I value, more than anything else in the world."


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Warped Retribution, Part 3

It was...interesting.

The way Mira and Noah seemed to speak about him, I expected all of the Eyes to be bowing at his presence or lining up and standing at full attention. It wasn't like that at all. They acknowledged his arrival in simple, respectful manners. "Hello Father"s, nods, smiles and The Grigori acknowledging each of them by name. It felt like they were an actual family. 

The only one who seemed out of place was the man next to The Grigori. He was a tall, Hispanic man who looked to be in his late forties. He had a very professional appearance to him. A close-cut shave, thin glasses and a suit, although the jacket was a little longer than what I've normally seen. His cold gaze and long cheek bone gave him a distinguished look to him. I know it seems like I am obsessing over him but there was something about him that just really stood out for me. 

The Hispanic man went off somewhere else as The Grigori went over to Noah, who was being load up onto a stretcher and moved to a van. "Hello Father. Sorry you had to see my like this." Noah chuckled. 

The Grigori laid a hand on Noah's shoulder. "I must be the one to apologize my boy. I had put you and Mira into a very difficult situation. I am relieved to see that the two of you are alive." he gave what I believed to be a rather sincere smile as he said "I could not be more proud of the two of you. Now, just rest and we'll get you back home to patch you up." 

Noah had a look on his face that I had not seen on him before. He looked like a child, beaming at the words of praise given to him by 'Father'. "Thank you Father." he said before the back of the van was closed. 

As it drove off, he came up to group of Eyes that were now near me. Warren donned a pair of sunglasses and grinned. "Mission accomplished Grigori." he said as he gave The Grigori a heavy pat on the shoulder. Grigori? Why was Warren not referring to him as Father like everyone else?  "And just as you said, the kid made out it. Not that I questioned your judgment or anything, I'm just surprised. The kid didn't look like much." Do I really not look like much of a fighter? 

"Mr. Schultz is a rather unique individual, Warren." Grigori said as he smiled at me. "I was curious to see how he would fare on the battlefield." 

My jaw dropped "So you dragged me into this because you wanted to do an little experiment?" 

"It was merely a test. I just wanted to confirm that you are still worth being a satisfying meal for my Boss." 

I highly doubt that that was his actual reason but before I could call him out on it, the Hispanic man returned. "I'm sorry to reported that he isn't among deceased." His voice was calm and collected. It had a professional tone with a slight hint of an accent.

The Grigori let out a sigh of disappointment "Well that is certainly a pity. I thought he would have been a far better leader than that."

"We do, however, have a survivor."

"Splendid Tobias. Bring him here. Oh, and Warren, please gather up everyone else and head back. I would like to handle this on my own."

As Warren gathered the Eyes and loaded up the vehicles, Mira gave a small wave goodbye as Catherine and her got into one of the vehicles that once belong to the militia. The Grigori's smile returned as he looked to me "Perhaps it is just me, but I feel that when a decisive battle is to take place, the general should be among his men on the battlefield. To be there in person to witness a victory that you put on everything on the line to obtain. To not do so is not only a display of cowardice, but a lack of faith in the troops that have fought and struggled beside. It is insulting to both sides of the fight. Wouldn't you agree?"

"Y-Yeah..." I have to admit, I could see where he was coming from. While I try to avoid conflict (which if you couldn't tell, is something that I am fantastic at doing), if it comes down to it, I'm a respectful fighter. I'm not the kind of guy who would take a cheap shot to the groin or throw glass in their eye.

Tobias returned with a bloodied, wounded man who he shoved to the ground. "This is Curtis Hoyt. He appears to be rather high in the ranks. Unfortunately he has been quiet ever since I found him."

The Grigori eased himself down to one knee and raised the man's head, observing him. "How interesting...we did not bring anybody who fights with their fists. Did you wind up doing this to yourself?"


He continued to observe the rest of the man. "Your right ankle appears to be swollen. Very little movement from you in general. Nerve damage perhaps? If I did not know better, I'd say that you fell down something. Maybe a long flight of stairs."


"But then that poses the question of how it happened. You appear to be well-trained. A fair amount of muscle..." he grasped Hoyts hand for a moment, "...your palms are rough, worn down. A sign of experience. I doubt that it was because you were clumsy."

Silence. At this point The Grigori was just playing with his prey. Given that I was still too drained to do much of anything, I couldn't help but imagine myself in that man's position.

The Grigori raised an eyebrow "Oh? What have we here?" He rolled Hoyt onto his back and tugged on his shirt to reveal a crudely bandaged wound. The Grigori gently removed the bandage to reveal a gunshot wound. "It makes sense now." he said as reached down and lightly rap on the wound with his index finger.


The Grigori then took out a small Swiss Army Knife from his pocket, flipping out the blade. Without any sort of warning he slipped the blade into the hole, wriggling it around inside. Hoyt was biting down on his lip to the point that it bled, trying as hard as he could to stick to his vow of silence. It wasn't until The Grigori violently pried the bullet out of him that he let out a cry of pain followed by a seemingly endless string of curses. "Ah, that explains it." The Grigori said over the wounded man's screams. "You were on the edge of the top stair. The bullet hit you and it made you lose your balance. Am I correct?"


"Oh my. You are quite the surly individual."

"What are you doing? That's going to make things worse!" I shouted, trying to see if there was some way to keep the man from suffering. "You want him to give you information don't you?"

The old man slowly stood up "I intend to make things worse, Mr. Schultz." he said as he tossed the bullet aside. "I've encountered people like him. They are too devoted to their cause. No matter what I do to him, he will never say anything that could betray his comrades. It's quite admirable." He took out a handkerchief to remove the blood from his hands.

"Then you can just leave him alone...have him serve as a message to the rest of them." I said. I knew it was a dilemma as to whether he was better off living or dead but the torture was entirely unnecessary.

The Grigori kept that smile he always seems have. "Oh, Mr. Schultz. That is something I am afraid I cannot do." He looked down at Hoyt, whose screams toned down into groans and quickened breathing,  "People like Mr. Hoyt and the members of the militia are of a different breed. They claim that they are purging the world of Proxies and Runners in order to protect everyone from the horrors of my Boss. In reality, they are only doing it as a way to exact their revenge for the loss of their loved ones while avoiding confronting something they are unable to wrap their heads around. Isn't that right Mr. Hoyt?" He then slammed his cane into the wound, giving it a good twist and stretching it out in the process. Hoyt howled in agony. "It's kind of funny. They've sort of become a far cry from what I believe Moriarty originally intended." He look down at Hoyt and sighed "And you have the gall to hide behind his name." He gave it another twist.

"F-f-fucker..." Hoyt choked out.

The Grigori leaned in "Oh? I'm sorry Mr. Hoyt, what was that? You are going to have to speak a little louder. I am getting up there in years, so I am awfully hard of hearing."

"You children are dead because of you.."

The Grigori gave the cane one final twist before pulling it out. "Well, isn't that a coincidence. Some of my children are dead because of you." He suddenly slipped out an old-fashioned revolver and fired a shot into one of Hoyt's kneecaps.

Hoyt's tough man facade was practically gone now. He bit hard on his lip, trying to keep himself from screaming any further. "Why don't you just let your 'boss' get me?"

The Grigori let out a loud laugh. "Oh no no no, Mr. Hoyt. That just wouldn't do. You see, if I let the Boss kill you, your militia would view you as a martyr. 'Curtis Hoyt, the man who valiantly fell in combat against The Slenderman.' It's a little bit of a lengthy title but I am sure you understand my point. Besides..." he fired a shot into his other knee. For once, The Grigori's expression showed a subtle hint of spite, the smile was gone. "...I refuse to let anyone get away with killing my children."

I may as well have not existed at this point. The Grigori had all of his attention devoted to Hoyt.

"So...what are you going to do? Kill me yourself?"

The Grigori grinned "No. I will let you live Mr. Hoyt. I'm just going to put you somewhere where nobody will find you."

By Hoyt's side it looked like hole had opened up. I could see a forest in there, warped in design covered with black leaves that looked like they endlessly falling. I quickly realized what it was.

The Path.

Hoyt looked in horror and tried to drag his body with his one good limb. The Grigori put a quick end to his attempt when he shot a hole into his wrist. He walked up to Hoyt and  nudged his squirming body inch by inch into the hole. Hoyt looked ghastly white as he was pushed in there. I have no idea how long it took before Hoyt was completely in.

The Grigori smiled yet again "Oh, and if anything bad should happen, please don't hold it against me." The hole finally closed as Hoyt screamed out something that got cut off.

He turned to me as he put his revolver away and tipped his hat to me. "I apologize for you having to see me like that Mr. Schultz. I just get a little carried away from time to time."

I just stared at him. I wanted to say something but...

On one hand, I should have been disgusted at how he treated Hoyt. But, I just can't. Maybe it's a because they saved my ass (granted they got me into the situation in the first place). But, I think I can't condemn him for it because I think The Grigori was completely justified.

From what I've seen, he legitimately treats the Eyes as more than just tools. In some very warped way, they are his children.

Tobias took me home after that and was kind enough to have retrieve my crossbow. I had so many questions for him. Why he and Warren didn't refer to him as Father? Why was he allowed to see the Path? But I was just too dazed at the time to say anything.  I did manage to utter a "Thank you" when he dropped me off, he returned the thanks with a nod.


So that's it. That's why I have been gone. I had to compose all of this. And it's certainly not something I'm going to forget. 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Warped Retribution, Part 2

I immediately raised my crossbow and fired off a bolt nailed the guy in the eye. Two more men followed and both took a bullet to the face by Noah. Noah and I turned back to rush to Mira "I'm okay..."she said as she eased herself up. "It caught the edge of my mask...I guess it knocked me back. I am thankful that Father had made these tough." She looked up and rubbed her head, the bullet/mask had nicked here, barely missing her temple.

Forgive me for sounding cliché but for a second  it felt like time froze as I analyzed her face. Her left side was very fair skinned something that I kind of expected given her nationality but the other side...

The right side of her face was horribly burned, almost blackened.

I snapped back to reality as Mira looked away, not saying anything. I went to pick up her mask. I guess it was the only way I could think to change the subject. " looks like your mask is pretty much intact if you want to put it back-"


One of the men hobbled up, the bullet just missing his brain I guess. He made a staggering charge at us with some kind of crudely made explosive in his hand. We all hauled it out of the room and the man followed and tossed the bomb before his body finally gave out. We made it to the door and Noah shoved us down, diving with us as it went off.

I looked up at Mira and grinned "That was a close one...I can't believe this shit is common for you guys." She looks up and actually cracked a smile before realizing we had left her mask behind. She looked away in shame. "What are you looking away for?" I chuckled. "If it's your face, don't worry about it. I've seen worse."

Okay, those weren't exactly the best words that I could have chosen.

Noah panted heavily "Good, you two are okay..." he said as he stumbled forward. We looked and saw that  his back was shredded up. I could only speculate that chunks of shrapnel had flown over him as he dove. I saw that there were a couple tiny bits stuck in him.  "Don't worry, I'm fine...this is nothing..." he said. We slipped out of the side door. Noah used Mira as crutch while tried to take out who we could. Eventually I had to abandon my crossbow because I ran out of bolts and went with my trench spike (trying to go for non-fatal stabs and punches with the handle) while Mira and Noah took turns using the firearms.

We wound up trapped in the warehouse next door, holed up in a corner. I was exhausted and the realization that I killed at least one person (again) was starting to hit me hard. My hands were shaking so much that I could barely hold my weapon in my hand. I felt like my body was about to give out on me. I got to admit I didn't expect to be dodging bullets at any point so it wasn't exactly something I had put in my training regime to prepare myself for. Granted, I wasn't exactly one to complain at the moment. Noah had taken his mask off by this point and was ghastly pale. He looked like he was going to pass at any second. All that was really left was Mira at this point and she had was her sword. I laughed and whispered "Does this happen often?"

Noah looked up "Not too often...We're normally better prepared" he said with a weak laugh and pointed at me "We also don't take newbies on a mission like this..."

We heard footsteps coming down the hall. "I'm not going out like this..." I said, mustering up what strength I had left. " still got some fighting spirit left? I figure if we go down, we go down fighting."

"Of course." she said "I am trained for these kind of situations."

Noah groaned and waved a hand "Don't worry about me, I'll catch up."

As soon as the source of the footsteps came by, I slugged him with the handle of my trench spike, making him stagger enough for Mira to land a killing blow. A shot rang out on the darkness of the hallway and whizzed right past us. More of them rang out and forced Mira and I to split up. I slipped through a series of rooms, hoping to come up behind them when I felt something press against me.

"Drop it." one of the militiamen commanded, pressing the barrel of his firearm against me. "Look, I'm just a runner who got dragged into this. I'm on your side." I said trying to reason with him and make him lower his guard."

"Bullshit you are. You are just as bad as them!"


"Those proxies, or what ever they are called! You runners are a curse to anyone who crosses your path They either see that faceless guy or they become collateral damage!" he said

"And I take it the same happened to you..."  I said before he shoved me to the ground

"My whole family is dead because of you!" He said as the barrel pressed on my skull. I peeked out of the corner of my eye to see that it was just a completely average guy. Your family man. The guy you would pass by on street and pay no real attention to. "If all of you are dead...there will be nobody else who has to suffer!"

"That's fucking stupid!!!" I shouted. Okay, telling a guy with gun that he is wrong is a death wish, but it slipped. "You seriously think that It is just going to stop if nobody knows about It? Killing runners...or even Proxies for that matter won't solve a thing! It's just going to continue causing pain and suffering.."

"You shut your fucking mouth!"

"If  you believed that then you would have already shot me!"

For the tiniest moment, I felt the gun lift up from me. "I-"

That was all the man uttered before a good chunk of head blew up, splattering me with blood and (what I think was) bone and brain matter. The man's body fell with a thud as another one came up.

He was quite tall, well-built, and looked like he was made to be a soldier. The combat pants and boots (surprisingly non-camo) with a tight short-sleeved shirt and open vest. The notable thing that I remember is that his hair looked like it was naturally pushed back and spiked, accompany by a goatee. He bent down to help me up, with little assistance on my part. "How ya doin' kid?" he said in voice that had slight gravelly sound to it. "You're Chris, the ah...what was it...the Raggedyman, right?" Still trying to take in everything that had happened in that brief instant, all I could do was give a nod. With a heavy slap on the back, he grinned "Don't worry, we're the good guys." he said. We suddenly heard gunfire erupt and I made a run for where I had split off with Mira but the man held me back. "Take it easy, that's the rest of us." A masked man walked into the room "Hey, is everything o-?" he trailed off when we made eye contact.. His height and the short sword he was carrying were dead giveaways for me. He saw me and shouted "You?!?"

It was Charlie.

The tall kid ran towards me grabbed my collar "How are you not dead yet?!"

"I'm lucky. How are you still talking without a tongue?" I remembered how the Grigori had sent me Charlie's tongue as an 'apology' for his murder attempt on me.

"I got a new one!" I also remembered how The Grigori mentioned that Charlie was the only one who had been a full fledged Proxy before becoming one of his Eyes. So, Slendermagic I guess.

The man cut in between us "Take it easy Charlie. We're on mission, remember?" he said as the sounds of chaos continued to grow. I wasn't in the right position to judge whether I could trust them or not so I decided to keep going along with everything. What else could I do? I pointed them out to where Mira and I had left Noah and the man sent Charlie to get him.

The man and I made our way out of the warehouse, where most of the fighting was now taking place. It was an all out firefight but most of the militiamen were being picked off easily by only a handful of masked individuals.

The man was phenomenal, taking out anyone who came towards him with a single shot each. I felt my body finally give out as I slipped back into the corner into the warehouse, watching out of the side as the rest of the fight went down. The militia was getting hacked up, shot up, I think in one case even blown up.

I know that I blacked out for a brief moment but when I came to, the last  of men were being picked off.

Mira ran out with her sword ready to strike when she saw us . She gasped and a smile curled on her face when she saw the man. "Mr. Devereaux!" she said with so much joy that if the circumstances were a little more appropriate, I'm pretty sure she would've ran up and hugged him. "What are you doing here?"

"Your Father asked that I come here personally." he said. I looked up at Mira and asked who he was.

"He is the man who taught me everything I know about combat." she said as she sheathed her sword.

"Warren Devereaux, pleasure to meet ya'." he said as he offered his hand for a shake. Another one of the Eyes, a young redhead, eased herself down from the roof of one of the warehouses. As soon as set her sniper rifle down ever so gently, she showed that she did not have the amount of restraint that Mira had and ran up to hug the other girl from behind.

"I'm so happy to see that you're okay." the girl said in an Irish brogue as she gave Mira a tight squeeze. She looked at me and cocked her head to the side "This is the person you and Noah are suppose to be keepin' an eye on? Hmm...he looks...well, he doesn't look like much."

"Thank you...I'm flattered." running my memory past one of Noah's post I said "So, forgive me for stereotyping but I'm going to assume that you are Catherine."

"Correct!" she said cheerily and looked down at Mira. "Hey, where's Noah?"

"Right here..."

Noah was being helped out by Charlie, who had taken his mask off as well revealing a young black guy. He still had his hoodie up so I couldn't make out much else about him. A couple of Eyes helped him onto a stretcher. "So you guys made it out? Great." he said and laughed "Oh wow, Catherine and Warren are here too. It's a party."

"Oh indeed it is Noah."  a very familiar voice chimed in.

It was the leader of the Eyes himself.

The Grigori.