Stories

Fabrication [excerpt] – Kristina Golec

PART ONE

 

Shock like a headshot to the system of the overdramatic playwright that is only interested in hedonistic endeavours. When told of great things. When told of horrible things. The devout look for a way to excuse his behaviour because he claims to be one of them. Also, he’s popular. He helps them gain more true followers. The kind that they know he isn’t. But that’s okay. Because their ‘relationship’ is mutually beneficial. At least, for now it is. It’s hard not to laugh at the absurdity of it all. They say it’s for the greater good, but they don’t say how. They don’t tell you what the greater good even is. Does their interpretation of it follow the same as yours? What do you think? What I think is irrelevant. The choice is YOURS to make. If I told you how I felt, it might influence your decision and we can’t have that. Not when the filthy cockroaches that say their clean clergymen and women are everywhere. The eyes and the walls and the floors and the dirt under it. They all have eyes and ears. And don’t forget the ceilings, either. They like to hide there too. They ARE vermin, after all. You can’t let your guard down. They’ll crawl under your skin if you do that. Then you’ll be compromised, too. Me? I don’t know if I am or not. Although I DO worry every time I have an itch that just won’t go away. I like to THINK my body hasn’t been infiltrated, but one can never be too careful. That goes for you too. Probably even your family. Definitely your family. You’re talking to ME, after all. You should warn them. He’s a creep. A hedonistic nihilist that uses his hedonism to his advantage and his nihilism to make excuses for his actions. Makes the rest of us look super bad by comparison because he’s more well-known and all I want to do is punch him in his smug-assed face. But I can’t do that, because I could get in trouble. His fans I’m not worried about, but the law enforcement I am. Unless he has fans in law enforcement. Holy shit. I never even thought of that. He might have friends in high places. If he can win over the clergy- albeit temporarily -then maybe he can make it all the way to the top. Just because someone is in a position of power, doesn’t make them smart. Why do you think we’ve had so many shitty world leaders? Exactly, because charisma isn’t like death. Charisma is picky. Either that, or a trickster who thinks it’s funny to give the most horrid of people the best of looks. Of charm. You have to look out for the pretty ones just like you have to look out for the ugly ones. And everyone in-between. Anybody could be the traitor. The spy. The person you most expect it to be. The person you least expect it to be. The one person you didn’t even think of. I mean, come on, man. Don’t you see it? You might not be able to trust anybody. But you sure can DIS-trust everybody. It’s easier that way. Maybe not for your mental health, but that kinda shit’s overrated, anyways. Don’t you think? All those neurotypicals like that asshole who likes to talk about how they’re SO crazy because they’re nice guys. Because they’re not like other girls. Because they watched a true crime show once and didn’t think it was disgusting and gross and useless and nightmare-inducing. Oh, they’re sooo crazy because they’re so different from the normies. What’s wrong with being a normie? I’d like to be normal, myself. This paranoia is eating me up, you know? I mean, I know I sound fine right now, but I can get pretty wacked out. Like that time I thought I could turn invisible and tried pranking people who were being mean to the ducks at the park. And then I got confused because I thought they couldn’t see me even though they could. I got into a lot of fights that day. Convinced myself my invisibility was only temporary and that I had to use the time my powers were activated wisely. That was a trip. And I wasn’t even on drugs at the time. Now? Nah man, that shit can kill you. I mean, sure, do it if YOU want. But don’t force me into it. You won’t? Cool. You know, you’re pretty chill for someone who legit thought of becoming one of that guy’s groupies. Anyways, I need to head out. Where? Home, man. Work’s over. Still, we shouldn’t have had this conversation. Just forget it ever happened. I probably will after a few beers. Huh? Kidney failure? Maybe. But it usually takes way longer than drugs to snipe your life, so I’m willing to risk that much of my life. I don’t even drink a lot, either. Although getting wasted DOES sound like fun. Maybe we should both try it sometime. You in? Hell yeah, you are! Bartender, what’s the strongest thing you got? Give me a whole bottle, I’m splurging tonight. Heck, I’ll even pay the cash up front. Whaddya say? Deal? Deal! Thanks man, you’re the best. What? Of course the money’s real! I’ve been saving it for just such an occasion as this: getting piss drunk and maybe even going home and remembering to drink water before I pass the fuck out after I’ve vomited all the shit in my stomach including my lunch. Honestly, I’m disappointed that you think so lowly of me. I got a job so I wouldn’t have to worry about doing this kind of thing. Although I guess it’s not a good idea to carry too much cash on me, regardless. Who knows what kind of thief or twisted cop would be fine with taking my money or my life. Or even both. At any rate, I really don’t think you should be so quick to write me off as some sort of con man or something. Then again, I guess I did talk about how easy it was to distrust everybody than to trust anybody. And I was right then, too. Do as I say, not as I do. Remember that, and you’ll do just fine, kid. Hey, you may be older than I am, but I’m still your higher up. Don’t tell me that’s why you thought I’d be the type to steal. Come on, you can’t just stereotype me like that. I mean, you said you do drugs. Okay, okay, you might not have SAID it, but it sounded to me like you were implying it. Anyways, older or not, I’m still technically your boss. I wouldn’t fire you for being that kind of an ass, but I’m definitely the kinda person who’d be vindictive about that kinda thing. I’ve worked hard to get where I am and don’t you forget it. Why wouldn’t I? I live alone and I like it. Small house, simple job, perfect life. At least, it is for me. I mean, think about it. I can live how I want to. If I don’t feel like talking to someone outside of work I don’t have to. If I just want to stay at home and lay on my floor, that’s MY prerogative. All the furniture is mine and I can have my house set up however I want it to. Being single and unattached is the best. When do I have sex? I don’t. That’s too much work for not enough payout. Also, I’m a selfish bitch who would just lay there and not give anything back. Nah, man, I’m good being single, free, and sexless. I don’t need anything more than that just as much as I don’t WANT any of that. Anyways, we should drink up before the night passes us by. I came here to get shitfaced and Goddamnit, I’m gonna do it. Bottoms up! Hey, do you know where the water fountain is? I want to get something to drink before I head home. It’ll clear my head so I’m not so fucking drunk while I’m walking. Who knows? Maybe I won’t vomit too much, either. That’s not very likely, but it’s worth a shot, yeah? So, I was thinking, about last night? I never even saw how you did when we left the bar. Did everything go okay? I know you’re here at work and all, but how are you feeling? Not TOO hungover, I hope. No? Good. Because I feel like absolute shit. I didn’t want to take any sick leave, though, since I want to use some of it for a nice vacation in a bit. Besides the booze money, I’ve been saving up for a trip to see my parents. It’s been a while and I want them to see how I’ve been doing. They worry too much and I want to make sure they see that I’m not failing miserably at life without them to help me. I love them, but they’re super overprotective, always have been, probably always will be. Still, this might ease their fears a bit. Especially since I don’t have a significant other or whatever. If there’s one thing my Dad always told me, it was: No hanky-panky. What’s that? Sex, duh. Jesus, how old ARE you? Three? Whatever, doesn’t matter, just remember what I said yesterday. See ya. They look so confused as I turn to walk away, but I’m not sure why they would be. I haven’t exactly been cryptic with my advice. Besides, I’ve got enough seniority that they should probably just listen to anything I say, even if they ARE older than I am. Age is so arbitrary after a certain time. Sure, a toddler isn’t as knowledgeable or able to give as good advice as an adult, I get that, but a twenty-five year old and a thirty-five year old aren’t nearly as different in mindscape as a five and a fifteen-year-old. and there’s not even that much of an age gap between us. There’s less than four years difference and I’m not in my early twenties anymore. Aw, whatever, it’s no skin of my back if they don’t want to take my advice. I’m the one who’s higher up than they are, if they don’t want to respect that, then that’s THEIR problem. Not mine. Anyways, enough about them, I have work to do and there’s this bug in the programming that’s been bothering me and I’m not quite sure whether or not I can do anything about it because of MY higher ups. Things have been so crazy lately and I don’t know what to do about it if I even COULD do anything about it in the first place. I just don’t think I can keep up with whatever is screwing with the systems, but my boss doesn’t care. None of them do. They just want me to fix it without actually helping me do anything. Honestly, I’m worried they don’t actually have any idea as to what their job is supposed to be. Or how to do it. Maybe that’s why they’re making me do all the heavy lifting. They can blame me for everything that went wrong and keep their stupid cushy jobs and their stupid cushy chairs that they spent too much money on just because they could. I wouldn’t mind it as much if they weren’t so obnoxious about it. We aren’t in high school anymore, people. Why do you think any of your ‘underlings’ are impressed by your money? If anything, it just makes us hate you more. We aren’t teenagers blinded by the rich and mildly famous. We’re adults who have to work for a living and just want to survive and live happy, fulfilling lives. Or, at the very least, survive and not want to die from stress. Sometimes I can hear them laughing. Not in real life, of course, but in my head. I know it’s not actually happening, that it’s all in my head, but the fact remains that I actually CAN hear them and it’s annoying. I don’t like hearing their actual voices, let alone hear them mocking me and my co-workers in my head. Maybe my subconscious is trying to make me want to kill them even more than I already do. Or MAYBE it’s a conspiracy. Maybe those cockroaches I was taking about are less insect-like and more human-like. Is there really a difference in them if that’s the case, though? Helping their evil overlords by psychically sending their laughing voices straight into my brain? Trying to make me snap because I’m the only one who actually knows the truth about them? That they aren’t human at all. I’m not actually working in reality, but am instead stuck in an alternate universe in mind only and my physical body is somewhere in the realm of the truly living where the people I ACTUALLY care about are worried sick because I’m in a coma that I can’t wake up from. I WANT to wake up, there’s no doubt about it, but there’s something holding me back even though I know the truth. Maybe it’s THEM. The ones who have me like this in the first place. Maybe they thought there was something I could be useful for and that’s why they won’t let me wake up even though I know their scheme. Maybe it’s the fact that I know they have one in the first place? But who would believe me about this if I told them? Would anybody from my waking life do anything other than think I was making it up or it was just a coma dream? Maybe they don’t want to take the chance. Maybe me being like this- in this state –is blackmailing my family into staying obedient and not having this happen to them. I don’t know. I can’t remember. This whole thing is clearly a scheme in some way, shape, or form, so the real question is: what is the scheme in question? Did I find out and they did this to me so I’d never tell? Did they erase any of my memories? Oh, God. Did they FABRICATE any of my memories?! Maybe they AREN’T my family- the people who are waiting for me. Maybe that’s why I hear their laughs. Because they’re making fun of me in real life and that is my brain’s way of telling me to wake up. To face them head on. But maybe I’m too scared to? Maybe the reason can’t wake up is due to some injury I don’t remember sustaining because it was a head wound! There are so many questions with no answers, but too many possibilities and I don’t know how to handle it. Just like I don’t know how to handle this bug in the programming. This strange glitch in the system that just won’t go away. Does the glitch have anything to do with it or am I jumping to conclusions? Either way, I have to deal with this thing, regardless, so I might as well do something about it. I say this as if I haven’t already done so much to try and figure this thing out. My lunch break is soon and I AM getting hungry. Maybe I’ll be able to figure it out after I eat. This whole thing started today, so maybe I’m still too beat from having that hangover thanks to last night. Honestly, I’m beginning to worry my new underling is the culprit. Maybe they had help, too. After all, I was with them the whole time and they drank, so maybe they were a distraction? A way to make sure I was preoccupied so I wouldn’t catch onto their scheme. Shit. What if this is the work of MY bosses? What if this is another scheme? Just another part of this whole messed up situation. They HAVE to know I’m on to them. I need to leave. When I head out to lunch I should just head home and make sure to disappear. I need to get out of here. I need to book it. Maybe go off the grid. I don’t have any bills to deal with other than internet and my cell phone and the stuff everyone has to pay like water and electric and stuff. I’ve also made sure to save up money just in case something like this happened. I’ll definitely be careful about it. I have to make sure I’m inconspicuous about it. I’m worried now. Did they suspect something? Did they know I would figure it out? Were they at least counting on the possibility I would figure it out so soon? I don’t know, but the sooner I make it out of here the better. My new underling is looking for me and now it feels like everyone’s eyes are on me. They’re looking at me and they don’t know why I’m being so avoidant, but I already know my status has been compromised and I have to make it out alive. I HAVE to. My life may not be much, but it’s mine and I’ll leave this world my own way. Whether it’s reality or this fabricated piece of trash where psychic waves can penetrate my mind and bother me just by virtue of them being there. I won’t let the insects and the bugs and the fake followers of some cult or religion or just some celebrity who shouldn’t be as famous as he actually is. Maybe that’s part of everything, too. I don’t know. I don’t have the answers. I don’t have any answers. Not yet. I will eventually, but I have to leave now if I want to make the best use of my time. Sooner rather than later. Time is of the essence. Another time-based cliché. Whatever you wanted to say, whatever phrase you wanted to use, it all amounts to the same thing. I need to get out of here and on the run ASAP. But there’s a problem. They’re looking for me. Not just the newbie, but my bosses as well. They’re already trying to get rid of me. They’ve started the process of taking me out. Or trying to. But I won’t let them get me and I won’t let them get to me. The life I was leading- my nice, sweet, simple life –is now gone. It’s as much a part of my past as my former job. I didn’t get to eat lunch, but that’s all right. I’ll eat something once I’m on the road. Far away from here. I don’t know how high up in the government their influence goes, but I KNOW they have some pull somewhere inside of it. They have to if they can hire someone with the ability and/or the technology to send those things into my brain past my skull. I bet not even tin foil could hide my thoughts and innermost desires from these bastards. Then again, I’ve never tried it. But I also don’t want to be mistaken for someone like the kind of people who believe in the illuminati and/or reptilians controlling people. If I even attempted to do something like that, I’m sure they’d find out and laugh at me because of it. They find a way. They always find a way to laugh at me. They don’t use words to make fun of me. They don’t need to, to get across their ridicule. Why put in the extra effort of coming up with insults you may need to one-up at some point later in time? No. What they were doing was much more efficient. I need to find others like me. But how do I go about doing that? How do I find people who aren’t just testing me or humoring me or worse… one of THEM? I don’t know. I’ll figure it out, though. I will. I have to. Even if I have to go through this whole process alone, I will get through this. I will get through everything and come out victorious. I WILL survive and I WILL NOT let them get away with anything they have done to me. They will pay for all of it and I will win and be able to gloat and return to reality. To the reality that I belong in. Not this fake fabrication that makes a mockery of the true life. When I get back to true reality, the first thing I’m going to do is eat my favourite dish. Eat my favourite food and savour the flavor. The aroma of a freshly-cooked meal and the feel of knife and fork in my hand. Or maybe a pair of chopsticks depending on what I decide to eat first. An Asian dish would definitely be best. Maybe sushi or udon soup or tempura chicken or soba noodles or a combination of at least two of those things. Whatever I decide on, I can’t wait for it. To be able to taste food again. My mouth is probably watering at the thought. My eyes water at the thought of being able to see things without this strange, grainy filter that gives everything a greyish tinge whenever I’m awake inside this fabrication. When I’m asleep, I can see colour. Beautiful, bright, vibrant colour that makes me want to take in as much as I possibly can. Even the bad dreams, the ones where I’m being chased or attacked or made fun of, even those dreams have more colour than this false reality. I’m so ambivalent towards dreams. On the one hand, they let me see all of this colour. On the other, they’re usually bad. They’re usually nightmares. Probably just another part of this horrendous thing. Just another way to make me feel like I’m going crazy and for them to take advantage of the situation. But I won’t let them. I’m through just letting them dictate how my life will be. Once I wake up, I’m going to live my dream life and be able to enjoy what living has to offer. Without the downsides of the impaired colours and the horrible laughing and the scheming and everything else that’s wrong but I can’t list right off the top of my head. I’ve slipped them for now. Made my way through every obstacle to get out of my work building and into the crowded streets of the city I work in. My house is a decent drive away from my former workplace, but I don’t dare to drive my car home. For all I know they have it bugged and are waiting for me to take it so they can track me down. All my work is back in the office. The only thing I have on me are my clothes. So, unless they have something surgically inserted into my brain- which I wouldn’t doubt they would do –all I have to do is make my way through the crowds and to my small house. Hopefully without being followed. As long as I’m vigilant and don’t look suspicious, I should be able to make it without a hitch. But my home is far enough away that they’ve managed to get there before me. I can see them surrounding the entire street and I have to ask myself if there’s anything I need that being on the road can’t provide. I need to get to the bank. I need to withdraw as much money as possible and I need to do it quick. That way, I don’t have to worry about my card suddenly declining. Or worse. My card declining AND they find and capture me because of it. I won’t let them do it. I will not be caught and I refuse to be caught. Silently and carefully, I make my way back the way I came. Thankfully, the bank isn’t busy, nor have they realized I’m taking money out. Or am planning to at all. They’ve been on top of the game so far but, just in case somebody at the bank also works for them, I have to make sure I don’t spend any more time than absolutely necessary. I’ve finished the transaction. The teller didn’t seem suspicious of me at all. Bored, maybe, but not suspicious. That’s good. If she wasn’t just acting, then I’ve got nothing to worry about. Not when it comes to her. Still, I have to hurry. I have to get out and make sure they don’t see me. Make sure they don’t find me. For the first time in a long time- since I first started living in my home, in fact –I feel reinvigorated. I can do this. I CAN do this. Even though being on the run sucks I think I’ve gotten used to it. I don’t WANT to have gotten used to it, but there’s not much I can do about it. Not yet, anyways. Maybe I should fake my own death? That might work. If they think I’m dead, they might even release me from this prison they’ve put me in. Everything is so tedious nowadays and I’m not sure how I’m going to cope with the lifestyle I’ve come to know. I don’t like living on the road. I’ve never even wanted to live on the road or on the run just like I don’t even like having a vacation longer than three or four days. I go stir crazy quick and I just want to get out and have more of a structured routine involving work and earning a paycheck. Just because I prepared for this inevitability financially doesn’t mean I was prepared mentally. I would never have been able to handle this completely. I’ve never been able to handle this kind of stress at all in the first place. To live it. To HAVE to live it because I know too much is a horrible fate. Maybe I was wrong, though. Maybe I shouldn’t have left. Maybe if I had stayed I would have at least been able to PRETEND that nothing was wrong. To make it seem like I didn’t really care about all the stuff they were doing to me and all the stuff they were having me doing. How do I know the real world is better than this made up one? I have no memories of what life was like before all this. Before everything. Before this was me and how things were for me. I feel robbed. I don’t know if they took the memories from me or if they just made the real life seem better in comparison to mess with me. What if I’ve been following into their trap this whole time. They have plenty of it. For all I know, less time has passed than I think. Just because I sleep, doesn’t mean a lot of time has passed, after all. How can I know the difference between a nap and a full night’s sleep? I can’t. The clock doesn’t work in this thing I bought for less than a grand. I was even warned about it by the seller. And I’m moving so much, I don’t even have the time to look at a clock. Get in. Get what I need. Do what I need. Get out. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. Boom, there you have it. That’s my life. What am I doing? How can I live like this? AM I living? Or am I just surviving? There’s such a big difference that it should be obvious. But I don’t know. I still don’t know anything. I’ve been running around so much, I don’t even have the time to search for answers. But if I faked my death, maybe things would get better. Maybe I could avoid them long enough that I can stop looking over my shoulder and actually do some research. Figure out what my options are and go from there. Do I even HAVE any options? Did I ever? I don’t know. There it is. That phrase again. It’s as discomforting as it is an all-encompassing factor in my life. For so long I’ve had so many questions and scenarios running through my head. None of which I can do anything about until the event in question happens. The event that will make my story continue. I don’t know what I’m doing anymore. Did I ever? Will I ever? I don’t know. I won’t know until it happens. Or until I can prove it, depending on what part of my life or the human condition we’re talking about. There’s so much that I don’t know and there’s not much happening that will let me figure it out. That will or would or could help me out. I feel like I’m wasting away. Becoming a shell of my former self. I’m not coping well. Maybe I SHOULD kill myself. But for real, though. My parents have stopped contacting me and are probably even dead. Possibly even dead. I can’t think of the worst case scenarios or I’ll end up making myself even more despondent than I already am. Living this life on the road. On the run. Being nothing. Doing nothing but looking over my shoulder like some suspicious weirdo who did something wrong. I didn’t do anything wrong. If anything, I’M the one who’s been victimized. I’ve been forced onto the road, wandering aimlessly and without purpose. I didn’t have purpose at work, either, not really. But at least I had a job that paid well enough to let me live my life alone in the small, quaint house I’d always dreamed of living in. No roommates or significant other to bother me. And I could always go to a friend that had a pet if I wanted to cuddle with an animal and didn’t even need to get a pet of my own to do it. Such bliss was my former life. Sure, it was a life led in a strange reality created by others. But it was still MY perfect life. It was the life I had always dreamed of but now it’s gone and I made it happen. I did this to myself. I know I had to, but I don’t like it. I hate it. I hate that my life has been reduced even further into nothingness and despair. No. Nonononono. I can’t let them win. I WON’T let them win. I have to take them on in a full-frontal assault. I have to do this and I have to start on this soon. Now. I have to do this now or I never will. Or I’ll be stuck like this. Stuck with this surviving and this nonliving and the fear of dying in this state. I can’t let that happen to me. I just CAN’T. And that’s why I’m here. I’m finally here and I can’t back out now. I won’t back out now. I’ll get all the answers I need and I’ll do it today. Or I really will die trying. No more half-assing it. No more speculation. Just action and the will and the drive to succeed. I can’t overthink things. Not anymore. I have to let myself stay in the current moment and not time travel somewhere that might never even actually come into existence. This is my time to shine. Those were my thoughts as I doubly concentrated on infiltrating my old place of work. They had buffed up the security for some reason I didn’t know. Maybe if I had let myself do some research I’d know. But it’s too late now. I’ll just have to find a way around them. Hopefully, my original escape route has still been undetected. It has. It’s like none of them notice it but me. Just like when I had used it to leave, I used the strange glitch in the wall to get inside. I wonder if there are more glitches like this around. If so, I can use them to my advantage. If there aren’t, then I’ll just have to count on me and myself alone. Just like I have been before. Without paying enough attention, I accidentally touch a spot of the border of the glitch with my hand and- for the first time in possibly years –I can feel SOMETHING. As if my sense of touch has returned for the briefest moment my skin comes into contact with it. I jerk my hand away. The glitch spot has gotten slightly bigger and I can’t help but stare. I wait for the size of it to decrease but it doesn’t. I look at my hand and there’s a faint glow to the whole thing. Is this some kind of power? Do I have the power of a glitch now? THE glitch? If so, I DO know that I can use this to my advantage. Maybe even get out of here with it. But I’m getting ahead of myself. First things first. I need some concrete answers and I need them ages ago. I don’t get the answers I need from the disgruntled employee I manage to sneak up on, but I do get something out of the guard who comes up to me to ask me what I’m doing and how I got in here because I don’t have an ID Badge and I need one for this floor. When he grabs me, I push him away with my glowing hand and he just… errors out. Becomes static and fizzles out like the screen of an old television set that got turned off. Blinked either out of existence and/or out of this fake reality. Either way, at least now I know I have both a way to defend myself and an ability that will give me a leg up on getting information from those who might just be unwilling to hand it out without problem and/or complaint. Just to be sure, I touch a plant with my glowing hand. It fizzles out just like the guard did. The disgruntled employee was in shock but now they’re running away. Either to get help or to seek safety. Whatever he’s trying to do, I let him go regardless. I may need to be more careful with the guards, though. And I need to make sure I don’t touch anything with my glowing hand that I want to keep intact. That way, I can use cover. I also need to make sure that I don’t touch a wall or the floor. Just in case they fizzle out, too. At least now I know this isn’t some kind of strange hallucination. It can’t be. I really AM stuck inside some fake reality. How I got here I still don’t know. But at least now I have a way to find out. Now I am the one with the upper hand. And I intend to take full advantage of that. Which is easier said than done. With all the guards and other employees now aware of my presence here, everything’s gone to hell in a handbasket. Shit hasn’t hit the fan quite yet, but there are a lot of security guys trying to capture me. Why they haven’t tried to kill me, I don’t know, but I’m not going to look a gift horse in the mouth. Maybe I should even let myself get captured. Make them think they have the upper hand so I don’t have to show all my cards first. Or maybe even at all. But then I run the risk of them doing something to make sure I have no tricks up my sleeve- or attached to my wrist –and then where would I be? I don’t know if they have any clue about this ability or what it’s truly capable of. It’s THEIR building, after all. They know the whole place better than I do. Especially after all this time of being on the run. So I just keep doing what I’ve been doing and what I’ve been doing is going on the offensive. They can’t stop me. They won’t stop me. I WILL get my answers. Hell, I may even return to reality along the way. There are news clippings in the room I’ve found myself in. Raiding such a giant building has been a chore and I still need to find the codes for the room belonging to the big bossmen themselves. Is there a woman there, too? I don’t know. I was never all that interested in the higher ups and the stock holders and the investors of the company. I was much more content to just live my life as I had been until this whole mess. The clippings are all about this company that I used to work for. They had some sort of important technology in the works that they were going to unveil then never had the chance to. Something about the original volunteered test subject not reacting well to it. The articles didn’t say what kind of technology it was supposed to be, just that the first tester had reacted so badly to it that they had ended up in a coma. No word of the subject’s name or age or date of birth or even their gender or even what they identified as. All the articles focused on were the company. THIS company and how they somehow didn’t go bankrupt despite the subject falling into that coma. In fact, they were apparently doing better than ever. They had to be, considering the amount of security in this building and on this floor alone. I’ve been in this room too long. They’re probably going to find me if I stay here for much longer. I’m going to see if I can get into the air vents. They might be dusty, but I can’t feel anything and as long as I’m careful with my glowing hand, I’ll be fine. I should be fine. I’ve made it this far without the elevator and I can make it even farther. I HAVE to make it farther. The head of security is the one I’m looking for. I figure they’re probably in the main security office giving out orders to everyone else. I haven’t seen anybody who looks like they could be more important than all the palette swaps I’ve been seeing from the security guards and some of the employees. I’m not sure where the security office is, but I’m pretty well-hidden so I’m not too worried about being found out at the moment. What I AM worried about is whether or not I’ll be able to STAY as well-hidden as I am. My arm is getting sore from holding it to my chest and keeping it as hidden and out of the way as possible. Not to mention it’s hard to crawl like this. But I’ll persevere. I have to. I’ve been doing it so far and I can keep doing it now. I HAVE to keep doing it now. I’m the only one who can stop this. I’m the only one who can do anything. I have this power, after all. I can do this. And I can do it better than anyone else could considering the circumstances. Or in general. No matter how things go or could have gone, I’m the one in this situation. I’M the one in control of things right now. Maybe not completely but I can be. I WILL be. Wait. What’s that? Have I found the security room? Is that the head of security? Maybe the assistant? Regardless of who it is, everyone in the room seems to be in a panicked frenzy. One of them is in a red suit and barking out orders. His subordinates seem to be pretty worried about him. In so much as they’re worried he’ll go off on them. What are they saying? What is he talking about? A patient? THE patient? The one from the newspaper articles? Did something happen to the patient? Have they been keeping tabs on this person the whole time? At the very least, they’ve been trying to. Apparently the patient has gotten away and are on the run somewhere in the building. This building. Good for them. Maybe I’ll see them at some point. Although, since I don’t know what they look like, I may have seen them already and didn’t know it. Or maybe they snuck past me at some point and I didn’t know it. I wonder if we’ve crossed paths before when I still worked for the company, blissfully unaware that there was anything wrong or sinister or worse. I wonder for how long I was oblivious. How long I lived my life in this false reality unaware of everything that was going on around me. Unscrupulous or otherwise. It sounds like they’re more worried about the patient than they are about ME. Which is fine since it gives me more leeway in staying undetected. Not to mention having more than one thing to worry about will strain their resources. Paranoia. Apparently the patient is paranoid about something. I should probably be careful too, then. Make sure they now that I’m a potential ally in the fight against this evil corporation. How cliché is that, though? The evil corporation trying to take over the world. Then again, it’s cliché for a reason. It’s cliché because it’s true. Giant corporations and conglomerates ARE evil. How else do you think they get so big and powerful? Exploitation! That’s how. Exploiting workers and products and consumers and dirty police officers and dirty politicians as well as the very Earth itself. Nothing is off-limits for the gaping maw of the disgusting rot that is late-stage capitalism. Which is why we should eat the rich and never look back both literally and figuratively. None of them are off-limits. Not even their babies. I may be digressing from the situation… They’re still yelling and shouting and the guy in the red suit is getting even angrier. His patience is wearing thin and the patient still hasn’t been found. I need to do something, myself. I can’t just stay here. I have important things to do and unfinished business to take care of. So I make my move. I touch the grate separating me from the security room and I drop down from the air vent, even landing on some guy that I’m able to take hostage. Everyone in the room is screaming and shouting. Including me. I’m screaming and shouting, too. Nobody can tell what anybody else is saying but everyone is still barking orders and statements at everyone else and it’s a madhouse but I make sure to keep a solid grip on my hostage. If I have to, I WILL make an example out of him, but I don’t want to have to. That would make things too easy for them or they might panic and do something stupid that I can’t account for, for one reason or another. Also, they might think I’m bluffing and then, when they least expect it, I can unleash my secret weapon. That is, if everybody would just calm down long enough for me to give my demands. SHUT UP! Good. Now that I have your attention, I have demands that need to be met. No. You shut up. I’m talking now and you’d better listen if you don’t want to lose your trusted employee. You don’t do you? If you think I won’t off him if I have to, then you’re very sorely mistaken. Because I don’t know this guy and I care WAY more about getting the vengeance and retribution I deserve than some guy who probably thinks I’m some sort of monster or pawn or crazy person. Just like the rest of you do! Oh, don’t look so surprised! You think I don’t know this is all just some fabrication?! You think I don’t know that none of this is real and that all of you are just as much in on everything as I am?! Just because you work for the assholes behind this, doesn’t mean you’re any better or smarter than me! If anything, you’re even bigger pawns than I am! You think they’re gonna let you just live like nothing’s wrong after they’re done with you? No! You’re all expendable! You’re all as expendable as everyone else. And don’t give me that look! Don’t give me that pitying look! I’ll SHOW you just how wrong you are! Flinging my arm out to the nearest object, I touch it with my glowing hand and it blinks out of existence. Just like everything else I touch with that hand. Everything this hand touches disappears! Just like THAT thing and just like HE will if you don’t listen to and follow MY orders. Capisce? That’s what I thought. They’re listening intently to my demands. Even if the guy in the red suit is still visibly angry. As long as he doesn’t try anything stupid, he’ll be fine. They’ll all be fine. But they have to make sure they don’t do anything stupid. You hear me? Don’t do anything stupid, asshole. You and them have to make sure they know who’s in charge now. Of course, I’m not going to be complacent enough to think none of them have anything up their sleeves. Or WILL have anything up their sleeves for that matter. In fact, I can tell that the guy in the red suit is coming up with multiple plans,  if not at least one. Even having just one is still dangerous, though. Any one of them having a plan of any kind is dangerous and it should be nipped in the bud in order to ensure the safety of me and those around them and the rest of us. After all, I need to get to the main office and THEY need to stay alive just in case I need some cannon fodder. You never know when any of them could prove useful in any way, shape, or form, so you have to make sure you don’t just get rid of them willy-nilly. You never know which one of them could prove useful for what reason and you never know the strengths and weaknesses of somebody who you know nothing about and have never even observed in the wild. I’d say something about a dog eat dog world if I wanted to be all pretentious about it and wanted to make myself out to be some sort of asshole who thinks that the strongest should lord over the weakest. Which is a bullshit ideology because you never know who’s best at what because every person is different. Even twins that look alike can be different personality wise. Just like twins can also be different look and/or gender wise. That’s what you call a fraternal twin, you know? And look at me, rambling on as more important stuff is happening. Stuff like the fact that I’m being led to the main office while making sure I’m paying attention to my surroundings so I don’t get ambushed by anybody. Including the people in the group I’m currently the head of. After all, anybody can be a traitor in action if not exclusively in thought. And those are the most dangerous. The ones that keep thinking about it are more likely to get fed up with waiting and imagining and just go for the gusto even when they’re scared to do it. I mean, what’s the point of just imagining scenarios both good and bad? After all, you can just look to me for the confirmation that just putting your fears to the wayside can result in the best case scenario as long as you work for it and do what you can, regardless of the consequences you’ve thought up in your head. And that was how we got into this predicament. The moment I make my hostage input the code number to the office is when shit finally hits the fan. Suddenly, everyone around me is shouting about the patient and how dangerous they are. They’re shouting about looking out for a glitch and all I can think is: Ohhh! I’M the patient! That makes a lot of sense, actually. Granted, hindsight can be a bitch, but that’s not applicable at the moment. Also unimportant. It doesn’t matter if I’m the patient or not. Or maybe it does. Either way, the bigger deal is the fact that I need to get my demands out into the open without them shouting. All of you shut up! If you don’t want them to die-! What? Who cares? The glitch is MINE now. I ain’t telling you SHIT about where or how I got it. I’M in charge now and I intend to take advantage of it like YOU took advantage of ME. No! No! Shut up! You shut the FUCK up! I’M running things now and I DEMAND that you wake me up! NOW! Don’t play dumb with ME! I’m already sick and tired of your bullshit! Don’t think I’ll hesitate to fuck up everyone here! You don’t want to know what I’m willing to do to ANY of you at this point! So- No! DON’T YOU FUCKING TEST ME! That’s right! Ain’t so fucking tough NOW are ya? Not when I can do that kinda shit! And if you don’t wanna end up blinked out of existence, then you better fucking do as I say and take me seriously while you’re doing it! So WAKE! ME! UP!