Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Them 10: The Rake

What to say about the Rake? Well, it's humanoid. Ish. It has arms and legs and claws. It's skin is always described as pale white, almost albino, and it's eyes are black.

It likes to sit at the edge of people's beds and whisper to them. If they wake up, the Rake will kill them. Sometimes, it will kill them anyway. Sometimes, it will leave them alive.

The Rake is...inscrutable to me. I don't really have anything else to say about it.

Well, okay, one thing:

Nobody really knows what the Rake's whispers do to people, what it's saying to them. Some have heard low guttural growls that sound like words - usually a person's name - but nobody has ever heard it's whispers and remembered.

Sometimes, there are victims of the Rake that go off the deep end. Perhaps his whispers cause it. They just drop everything and do something crazy. Some attack other people. Some kill themselves. Not exactly proxies. I call these people Maenads.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Interview with Thoth

So, after my post about Grayskins went up, I received an email from someone who called themselves "Thoth" (later, I figured it was this guy). They said that they had more information about the Choir proxies and directed me towards an IRC channel.

Here is our transcript:

TheFreeRadical: So you know stuff about Grayskins?
Thoth: Mhm.
TheFreeRadical: Well, that was noncommittal.
Thoth: I noted in particular that you didn't provide any information on the internal workings, merely their appearance.
Thoth: I thought it would be a good idea to provide your readership with additional information that you didn't cover.
TheFreeRadical: I didn't really get a chance to see the "internal workings" of the one I met. I was too busy burning it.
TheFreeRadical: I'm sure my readership will appreciate any additional information.
Thoth: The proper response, yes.
Thoth: It's a pity that fire is the best way to dispose of Choir, it's a terrible way for the people who have been inundated with it to die.
TheFreeRadical: So do they choose to be like that?
TheFreeRadical: Or does it force itself upon them?
Thoth: Very rarely the former.
TheFreeRadical: Well, that's a pity.
Thoth: Once somebody has been exposed to the fungal form of Choir for long enough, it begins to grow on and inside them.
TheFreeRadical: Is there any way to get rid of it other than burning?
Thoth: Then the very thoughts of the victim begin to be shaped by them.
Thoth: None very effective, no.
Thoth: I have heard good things about acid, but none verifiable.
TheFreeRadical: Huh. Their thoughts are affected by the Choir?
TheFreeRadical: Does the fungus get into their brain?
Thoth: Yes, that's exactly what it does. Soon enough, the Choir is changing their thoughts without them ever knowing it.
TheFreeRadical: How do you know about this?
Thoth: Yesterday drowning their cat in the bathtub was a reprehensible idea, but hey, why not, right?
Thoth: Certain connections that I am not at liberty to discuss at this junction.
TheFreeRadical: How many of the Grayskins have you seen? Do you know how many there are?
Thoth: I have seen two, but neither were active.They don't seem to be as numerous as other servants.
TheFreeRadical: What do you mean, "active"?
Thoth: In fact, I wouldn't classify them as proxies at all. They are simply the end point of the unlucky victim.
Thoth: They had both been partially absorbed by the fungal Choir. It looked like it had been thriving in their homes for months.
TheFreeRadical: That is some freaky fucking shit.
Thoth: Do you, by any chance, know how Choir spreads?
TheFreeRadical: No.
TheFreeRadical: I've heard that it appears as a blur, as a shadow, and as the fungus.
Thoth: Personally (and this is just conjecture on my part) I believe that the 'blur and shadow' forms act as carriers.
Thoth: They spring from small concentrations of fungal Choir and spread it to other locations when human carriers are not practical.
TheFreeRadical: I personally want to know why it wants to spread chaos or suicide or whatever.
TheFreeRadical: It seems to like fucking with us just to fuck with us.
Thoth: Who knows?
TheFreeRadical: Fuck, I found your blog.
TheFreeRadical: You're a fucking Timberwolf.
Thoth: Did you, now?
TheFreeRadical: A fucking Archangel death cultist.
Thoth: Ah, yes, the aforementioned connections.
Thoth: Now, now, calm down.
TheFreeRadical: So that's your "mysterious connection," huh?
TheFreeRadical: Do all you proxy fuckers get together and share stories?
Thoth: The ones who still like to think of themselves as human, yes.
TheFreeRadical: I guess that discounts the Grayskins.
Thoth: I think a great many of them have absolutely no idea what's happened to them.
TheFreeRadical: Why even contact me? Won't this look bad, sharing information with someone on the other side?
Thoth: If they try to have a thought that the Choir doesn't like, it appears to be swiftly excised.
Thoth: Personally, I sympathize with and try to help so-called 'runners' whenever I can.
TheFreeRadical: Really? Why?
Thoth: If they evade the Others, they die of natural causes.
Thoth: You have read Steward's blog, yes?
TheFreeRadical: The more runners survive, the more they can embrace the Archangel?
TheFreeRadical: Fuck.
TheFreeRadical: Any other information you would like to impart?
Thoth: Before, I mentioned human carriers.
Thoth: The second 'Grayskin' was found surrounded by Choir, but there was none actually inside him.
Thoth: We have reason to believe that the Choir exited his body by force.
TheFreeRadical: Fucking hell.
TheFreeRadical: More reason to burn them.
Thoth: The moral of the story appears to, all too often, be "Just burn it all the fuck down."
Thoth: I believe that is all for tonight, Mr Radical?
TheFreeRadical: Yeah. I'm sure to have some pleasant dreams.

So there you have it. I had a relatively nice chat with a fucking Timberwolf who gave me some disturbing information.

Sweet dreams.

Servants: Grayskins

So I just read Proxiehunter's post on Plague Doctor proxies (look at that alliteration). I've never encountered one, but it makes sense. Imagine how many runners are wounded and have to seek medical attention. How many times do you go to the hospital? How many times do you go to the pharmacy for drugs? How many aspirin have you taken today?

I'm not trying to make you paranoid. But then again: is it paranoia if they really are out to get you?

And I guess that brings me to the subject of tonight's post. As Proxiehunter showed me something I didn't know, I'll show you something he probably doesn't know about: Choir-proxies. Yeah, that's right.

The one's I've encountered I call Grayskins. That gray mold I talked about, which is either a byproduct of the Choir or the Choir itself? They have it covering their entire body. It grows on their skin - perhaps even in their lungs. I don't know if they chose that or if the Choir just forced itself upon them. But they look absolutely freaky.

The ones that try to blend in cover their entire bodies - sometimes you'll see a person wrapped completely in cloth or wearing a burqa. Now, don't attack them just because of that (because that's just being too paranoid), but if you see gray skin under their clothes, skin covered in mold, well, that's one of them.

Just like getting rid of the Choir mold, I recommend fire. Flamethrowers may be cumbersome, but they get the job done.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Them 9: The Choir

I'm listening to music right now. I really shouldn't be. Why? Well, for one thing, it could be the Choir I'm listening to. I could be hearing the eldritch sounds of an abomination and I wouldn't even know it.

The Choir is sound. Well, maybe. It can manipulate sound, I know that. It can change what you hear. It can turn a "How are you?" into a "I hate you." It can turn a nice song into endless screaming.

It can turn your brain into a pile of mush. Yeah.

There are several limitations to the Choir, if you ever encounter it. One: in order to manipulate sound, there actually has to be, well, sound. Noise. Talking. Without sound, it probably won't do anything. (Of course, since an area being completely soundless is almost impossible, I'll let someone else try test this out.)

The other limitation is on a variation of the Choir: sometimes during an encounter, a grey mold is seen on the walls, ceiling, or floor. This mold is often thought of to be the Choir. If you could, say, destroy the mold (preferably with fire), you could get rid of the Choir in that area.

There are two problems with this method, however: not every appearance by the Choir has the mold. This either means that the mold isn't the Choir and might be some byproduct or that the mold is simply one aspect of the Choir. If it's the second case, you can still burn it - but be careful, because it will probably resist and turn the sound of your flamethrower into a screeching noise that will make your ears bleed.