The one thing I need to salvage from those memories are Silas' face. Roland got a better look. He... It was wearing a long black rain coat. According to Roland, It was wearing a gas mask when it first showed up. It was carrying a rifle of some kind. Sniper Rifle maybe. Looking through an assortment of accounts, I can only assume that this is some entity in the same vein as Dumah. They call it The Archangel. Beyond that, accounts are very inconsistent and strange. Common points include it taking a vaguely humanoid form in a gasmask and coat with a rifle. Sometimes wearing the face of a deceased loved one. Silas in this case...
I asked myself "Why has it come for us?" and I can only assume we attracted It's attention when those Timberwolves were killed. Those thugs who stole our laptops. They are evidently worshipers of The Archangel. This begs the question though. Why did it stop the Pale Men from killing us. Once again they had us. Why interfere?
This combined with... Things Dumah did to me while we were in Morningstar's custody, makes me believe that there is a larger game being played here with us. To elaborate on those memories...
As that psychopath said, we were driving along the highway at a reasonable speed. I noticed a young man standing on the side of the road. He tipped his hat at us as we went by. That brief moment spent looking at him was enough for It to manifest in the middle of the road. When I saw it, I swerved and... I don't remember much else. When I awoke, I was tied up in a chair. Rudimentary first aid done to my injuries. I vaguely recall calling Roland's name and heard a grunt behind me. That is when I noticed a... Clown standing in the room watching us. When he noticed me stirring, he yelled
"Star, our guests are waking up."
He was answered by a... Sound. A squee of sorts. It sounded very happy. That is when we saw Morningstar. To describe his appearance... all washed out colors. Very pale skin, light blue eyes, long wispy blonde hair. Dresses remarkably unlike a maniac. Black fedora, long suit coat over a dress shirt. Black tie. Black dress pants. Maybe trying to emulate his "Father" in some regard. He wears his clothes far more casually than It appears to. A contrast.
His effeminate features combined with his constant smiling render almost pleasant to look at. Until the smirk becomes a manic grin and he begins waving around a knife indiscriminately. Our first conversation was unpleasant. I asked him who he was and where we were. Dazed and confused as I was, it was obvious WHAT he was. A Proxy. At long, long last I came face to face with a proxy. An eccentric type. Flashy theatrical serial murderers. The most visible faces among It's slaves.
He faked sympathy for us. "Oh You POOR little dears. You must be so confused right now." He looked and spoke to his Clown comrade.
"The poor things have been in an awful accident you know. It it our job to nurse them back to health."
I asked him again who he was and where we are.
"Echo, right? Sorry I have not really had the pleasure of speaking to you on that little blog of yours. I am Morningstar. Doctor Morningstar."
He looked to be about 20, thus I was skeptical of his claim at being a Doctor. That seemed to annoy him.
"I'LL HAVE YOU KNOW that I stole my degree fair and square. Same as anyone else."
He started pacing around us. "My, my, my this is NOT the best start to our friendship gentlemen. TUBBY, you awake?"
Roland kept silent. Probably the smartest move in this situation. I think Morningstar was looking for something to latch on to and pick at.
"Awww. Is that not simply adorable? Roland, right? Hey Tubby? Right? Come on. Look at me." I heard him gently slapping Roland's cheek.
"Atta boy Rolly. Can I call you Rolly? Much more fitting for a man of your... Hmmm... Stature. Heh. Better keep you away from any steep slopes."
Already he was getting on my nerves. I loudly asked where we were. In response, he jerked around and stuck his face right in mine, looking me in the eyes.
"Home. Buuuuddy. Doctor Morningstar's Clinic as it were. Today we have some rather... Difficult surgery scheduled. I was hoping that a fellow man of Science could assist me in my delicate operation. Could you do that Dr. Marsh?"
I didn't like where this was going.
He walked over to a large table and began placing all kinds of... Blades, hammers, chisels and strange implements across it.
"BRING OUT ZE PATIENTS!" he said.
I think he believed a faux-german accent made the statement comical. It did not. A large scarecrow themed man, followed my a large Asian man and a large masked woman came out, dragging several chairs with them. A man, a woman and two children were in the chairs.
Then he... He asked me which one looks more in need of surgery. I didn't answer. And he told me that if I didn't pick... He would. He gestured towards the young girl. The entire family was crying. Muffled moans behind gagged mouths. The little girl was probably... Eight? The boy was probably a bit older. The parents looked to be about my age.
I picked the father. Who wouldn't? In hindsight maybe I should have just picked the girl. They untied the man and put him on the table. His struggling was... Pointless. Morningstar looked him over.
"Tsk Tsk... Not been taking good care of yourself eh Mr. Revis? Dr. Marsh... What do you think seems to be the problem with dear Mr. Revis?"
I was stunned. I had just chosen a man for death. I wasn't able to answer Morningstar in time.
"What is that Dr. Marsh? Skin Cancer you say? Well we cannot have that. We need cut out the cancer. We have to be thorough.... Take note kids."
I noticed that the remaining members of the family were sat facing the operating table. Even the children. I begged Morningstar not to let them see this.
"For shame Dr. Marsh! For shame. This is an excellent learning experience for the impressionable youth. We have to instill a love of learning in an early age. I promise you... This will be an experience they will never forget. Hehehehe"
He broke out into a small fit of laughter. It couldn't have been more than ten seconds, but it felt like an eternity. The anticipation the... Shock at what I was about to witness. And the family... God what could it have been like for them?
I won't go into the details of what I saw. I am a doctor. I am a man of medicine and healing. I ease pain. That is what I do. Yet I subjected this man to death. While his family watched... Closing my eyes didn't help. I could hear the sounds... Flesh being separated from muscle. The splatter of blood... So much blood... Living blood. The look on his face... That joy. That utter joy in his face. He knew what he was doing. He know what it would cause. The pain. He loved it. And he kept talking through the entire thing. Making up lies about past surgeries... I hope they were lies. Commenting on what he saw beneath the skin. Mentioning how he wishes I could have picked the woman so he could make... Fucking puns about beauty being skin deep. Told me it would give me a better appreciation of the female form.
It took an hour for him to die, I think.
"Ah... You are looking MUCH better Mr. Revis. No more excess body fat and no more cancer. I for one, call this a successful operation."
He stuck a lollipop in the dead man's mouth. But it would get worse. God it would get worse. He had the body dragged off out of sight, and us with it.
"Now boys, I am going to share with you a little secret of mine. I am very environmentally aware. Beautiful mother nature doesn't need more... Hehehe... Trash, making things all yucky."
He patted the corpse when he said trash. I noticed some of the other proxies were leaving the room.
"Jack old buddy. Help me out here will you?"
A shorter, thin man dressed in strange and colorful clothing came forward. He removed his top hat and monocle. He picked up a cleaver.
"Now, not many are aware of this Dr. Marsh, but I am in fact a world class chef in addition to being a surgeon. Not to come across as arrogant or anything, but I am a man of many talents and... Refined tastes."
After an eternity of watching them remove bones and organs, they began chopping the body into pieces.
"You have to boil the meat. Makes it safer to eat, if a bit tasteless... But hey, that is what spices and seasonings are for."
It took everything I had to keep from vomiting... I couldn't even keep track of what he was saying anymore. He just kept talking and talking and talking and talking... He never EVER shut up. It was just one atrocity after another. One irredeemable act followed by another. And once he was done cooking...
The other proxies moved the family back in. Morningstar told them they had a big day tomorrow. This could be their last meal, so he personally prepared it for them with... "Love and Care." The family's eyes were... broken and dead. They didn't give it any thought. What he might be feeding them. Maybe they hoped it was poison.... But they ate it. They were scared and exhausted and hungry. As Morningstar's assistant held up the meat to their lips, I saw it tear. I saw the saliva dripping out of their maws, mixing with tears still flowing like rivers... And I saw Morningstar's face. He was smiling and almost shaking with restrained laughter.
I finally regained my nerve and told them to stop eating that. Morningstar broke down in laughter, all but rolling on the goddamn floor. He showed them the bones, picked clean of meat. He licked the skull before asking ME if I wanted to join in on the feast. I don't remember what I said... I was angry. I hated him more than I have ever hated anyone.
"Suit yourself" he said. Cheerily. And he started eating the meat himself. He talked about some cultures that believed that by committing cannibalism, one could absorb the attributes and soul of the deceased. He told the children that their Daddy lived on inside his stomach. I couldn't look at them. I know the mother vomited. I know she was crying. They took the family away to another part of the building. Morningstar yawned and said "Well guys, I am pooped. Been a long day for everyone, and I know we have got LOTS of fun stuff planned in the future. So get some sleep and we'll continue in the morning." He skipped off almost singing.
We were left alone... Wherever we were. Hours passed like minutes. Except when I closed my eyes. Even blinking... The darkness made me replay those images in my head. Again and again. I was only vaguely aware of the third presence in the room... Standing there in the center. Just watching us. When I noticed It, I just stared. It stared back. For hours I watched It. For hours It watched me. Over me. In me. I noticed it had come closer, seemingly without moving as the hours passed. I blink and see the images. My eyes open and I see It. At dawn my eyes opened and I saw we were alone.
Morningstar and the other proxies returned.
"GOOD MORNING my sleeping beauties. I hope you had a restful night's sleep. I know you have had a trying day yesterday. Well no more. Dr. Morningstar wants ensure today is a nice, day filled with relaxation. And entertainment. I expect we will have company soon enough, so we need to prepare a welcoming service."
I looked at him for a long time... I simply asked him. Why?
He looked at me and frowned for the first time I had seen.
"Because none of you deserve to live."
His expression went back to that jovial smile. That vicious smirk.
Our hands were tied and we were hung from the rafters from our hands. Morningstar and the proxies were doing something below. Rigging wiretraps to loaded shotguns. Positioning each proxy in a specific location guarding the door. And they waited. They waited for a long time. I couldn't feel my arms by the time I saw a cautious opening of the door. The barrel of a gun entered, followed by a tall, strong looking man armed to the teeth. Morningstar's assistant pulled the chain that bound us, causing a rattling sound. The gunman looked towards the sound and stared at us.... His surprise at seeing us was his undoing. The large female proxy jumped from her hiding place and tackled the gunman to the ground. The other Proxies emerged brandishing weapons and either laughing or taunting the man. Morningstar got close to the gunman and started talking. Softly. I couldn't hear the conversation. It ended with the scarecrow themed proxy lopping the man's head off with a hand scythe.
Morningstar kicked it and started up an impromptu soccer game. When they finished, we were let back down and tied up again.
"Sorry about that. You must be confused. Suffice it to say, I got rid of a MASSIVE pain in my ass there. Thanks for being a distraction. Now... Where were we? Ah yes. Surgery. Let us bring out the lucky contestants."
The Family was brought back out. But the Boy was missing. I felt my heart jump for a second. Maybe he escaped? Maybe he is safe?
"Oh... So it was the boy brat that Father was after. Lucky kid. Oh well... One less patient. Ding ding. Next. The Doctor will see you now... Dr. Marsh, who's it gonna be?"
I picked the little girl. Morningstar grinned. The proxies tied her to the table, still covered in dried blood from the previous day's surgery. He looked her over briefly, knife in hand. He spotted a small cut, probably caused by a failed escape attempt during the night.
"Oh No." He gave her a sad and worried look. "Your poor thing. You got a boo-boo. Here, let me help..."
He applied a band aid and sent her back to her chair.
"Which leaves us with ONE patient. The lovely Mrs. Revis."
I'll finish this tomorrow. Current objective. Find Dr. Mercer.