We’ve all been working on training pretty hard, so I’ve been busy. At this point, it’d probably best to keep you all updated on what we’ve been doing, though.
The good news is that we have a few volunteers. A few have already showed up. There’s Angel Cross, a detective who specializes in Fear-related cases, and a guy we only know as “The Inspector.” We’ve also got a third person on his (her?) way, though the email we got was really vague, and all we know is that they’re a runner.
The Inspector was the first to arrive. We actually hadn’t been expecting him. He just knocked on the door, opened it, and greeted Boston Black, who was hanging out closes to the door. Boston responded with something along the lines of “who the hell are you,” which is kind of what we all thought when he introduced himself to the rest of us. A man in a gray suit had just appeared at our door, let himself in (we’d had the door locked too), and made himself at home.
“Call me the Inspector,” he said. “It’s my understanding that you intend to kill the Rake. I’m here to offer my services.”
“Might I ask how you found us?” Last asked.
“I have my secrets. It’s not important. What’s important is that I think I may be able to help. I have certain knowledge and power that may come in handy.”
He was infuriatingly vague about the specifics, but from what I’ve gathered, he can somehow teleport and may have some sort of persuasion when it comes to the Fears? Like I said, he was vague about the specifics.
Angel Cross showed up the next day. She’s a very serious-looking woman. Blonde hair, wears some sort of blue trench coat/dress thing. She arrived a bit more traditionally and actually had the decency to let us open the door for her. As I mentioned earlier, she’s a detective specializing in Fear-based cases. She’s a shrewd, calculating woman, and Last is really happy to have her. The only issue is that she’s actually recently deafened, so communicating with her is fairly difficult. At least she and the Inspector are both really smart, and seem to get along well. Last is ecstatic, since with Crimson helping out, he’s got three really good heads working together.
He’s also thrilled to learn that the Rake is not too fond of Angel. Refers to her as “the bait we needed.” I don’t know if he’s told her at all.
We also got an e-mail from Canis, mostly demanding to know our exact location, implying he’d be willing to help. Last insists we shouldn’t be working with him, though. He says that he doesn’t trust him. That he was just a little too interested in me.
“What exactly do you know about him?” I asked.
“That his name is Edwin Canis and that he’s a former cop. I really don’t know any more than you do.”
“But weren’t you the one who called him when Gabe was fighting me, though? He said he got a pretty specific anonymous tip, and I have no clue who else that could be.”
“Okay, yes, and that was a stupid move. To be fair, it was before I knew that Gabe recognized him, and…” he trailed off, immediately noticing his gaffe.
“No more lies,” I said. “Who is he?”
“Someone who’s probably legitimately willing to work with us. But not someone we want to be working with. That’s the truth.”
I haven’t had any more dreams. Not the Grotesque ones, at least. Of course, it’s also gotten me paranoid (though justifiably so), so I’ve been having trouble sleeping. The nerves of what we’re about to do hasn’t helped. Neither does the fact that Last claims this is a good thing.
“The Rake’s got links to insomnia,” he said. “So freaking out about what happens when you fall asleep could get him after you. Which is, you know, usually bad, but since it’s the Rake we’re going after actually works in our favor.”
I’m curious as to when he’s going to realize that it’s a bit insensitive to refer to us as bait to our faces.
Maggie finally approached me. I respect her for it. It could have been weeks before I had confronted her, coward that I am. She knocked on my door, pushed it open.
She gestured to the bed. “Can I sit?” I nodded, and she sat down beside me. A few long, silent seconds passed. “I’m sorry about…you know. The other day. I overreacted.”
“Yeah. I’m sorry too. I deserved worse.”
“No, Kenny, you didn’t. I mean, you’re dense—incredibly dense, sometimes—but you’re not the only one being selfish. I know she meant a lot to you.”
“She did. Does. But…you’re right. She’s gone. It’s just…I’m scared to move on. She was the best friend and last friend I had. Those early days of the whole…you know, stalking? We were together for those, and she was the only thing that got me through. I know that she’d hate me moping around like this, but it’s really, really hard to move on.”
Maggie looked at me. “Look…I’m going to be straightforward here. I really like you, Kenny. I mean, I know you maybe don’t like me. I can see why you wouldn’t. I’m some dumb girl who won’t shut up and tried to beat the crap out of you once. But I need you to know.”
There was another long silence. “I don’t hate you.”
“I never asked if you hated me.”
“It’s…I mean, I do like you. As a friend. I mean, as a friend at very least. Maybe…maybe something more. Eventually. As of right now, I don’t know. I’m confused about everything, I’m worried about what’s going to happen with the Rake, Last is telling me that I have to become some sort of ‘hero,’ I have four Fears and who knows how many human groups after me….”
“You’re not alone,” she said. I looked at her, and she gave me a sort of “what-can-you-do” smile. “I’ll be a friend if nothing else. I can get over a dumb crush if I have to. Just know this much: you’re not alone. If you’ll believe in us, we’ll believe in you.”
She left after that. Left me to think. I’m still confused. I’m still worried. I still don’t know what I think of Maggie, or whether I can be this hero, or how I’m going to deal with all of this. But she’s right. I’m not alone. If you’re reading this, it’s proof that none of us are. If nothing else, we at least have each other.
I’ll keep you all updated. We’ve still got a lot of work to do.