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Something Terrible Has Happened

Something Terrible Has Happened

That sound you just heard was me breaking the fourth wall.

We need you all to understand something crucial. It’s been touched on before but I’m putting this here so that it’s clear.

THIS IS NOT REAL

The department is a creation of Cutty and I, based upon ideas and dreams from my teens and character’s and research from Cutty’s imagination. Combining our creative talents we have come up with this setting which we’re very impressed with.  HOWEVER IT IS NOT REAL. We very much wish it was. We’d love to have the might of the department behind us in solving The Crisis. But we don’t.

The department is not real and neither is the Slenderman.

There I’ve said it three times, and what I say three times is true.

You may be wondering why I’m doing this. More than a year of silence and then suddenly this. Well I put a link up there and if you haven’t already you should click on it. There’s another link just below and you should click on it and read the story. Because it’s important.

Demonic Creature ‘Slender Man’ Motive For Waukesha Teen Stabbing?

There. Two 12 year old girls, only a year older than my own daughter, stabbed a friend 19 times because they thought Slenderman would give them superpowers. They’re only children but they’ve been planning to murder their friend since December because of some ghost story they read on the internet. Why? Because they thought it was real.

Look I’m a fiction writer, that makes me a professional liar, but even I know the difference between reality and fantasy. These girls did not. We can blame society, we can blame the parents, we can even blame the bloggers who remained true to their narratives and insisted that their stories were real. But ultimately these girls knew that trying to take the life of a fellow human being was wrong and tried to do it anyway.

Thankfully their victim survived. We hope she recovers soon and her attackers receive justice. Our thoughts are with everyone effected by this.

Now if you’ll excuse me I’ll return you to your regularly scheduled silence. Hopefully the Crisis will be resolved soon and then we can get back to the blogging. I may share a short story or something with you over the next few weeks. Perhaps not.

TTFN

On Meteors and Butterflies.

By now everyone probably knows about the Russian Meteor.  Many of you will have heard of the Cuban Meteor, or the claims thereof.  There’s been a lot of talk about the Tunguska event.

Officially the Department cannot comment.  We didn’t do it, it didn’t pass through British airspace and we had no personnel on the ground.  As far as we know it the Russian Meteor was just that and we know nothing at all about the Cuban Meteor.

What I can say is that is that neither of them is the same as the Tunguska event because that was no Meteor.

In 1908 something exploded in the skies over Siberia.  It flattened an estimated 80 million trees over a 2,150 square kilometer area in the rough butterfly shape illustrated above.  The official explanation is air-burst explosion of a meteoroid or comet.  Actually it was a Siberian Shaman achieving the full potential of the human soul, and probably instantly regretting it.

A lot of ‘experts’ will tell you that human beings are hopelessly outgunned by the evils we face.  They are wrong.  The problem is not that we are weak it’s that we are too strong for our own good.  The pan-dimensional quantum intelligence that we sometimes call the human soul is simply too much for the vanilla physics of the universe that our bodies occupy.  It’s like trying to channel the Amazon River through a garden hose.

Some people just have larger hoses than others and some are better at controlling the flow.

The human soul is holographic. It can be broken if you take bites out of it, hit it in the right way or hurl it very fast against a very hard metaphysical surface but each fragment is just a slightly fuzzy version of the whole and the soul can heal. The fragments rejoin. It is a thing of near limitless potential that, unconstrained by the laws of the physical universe, can achieve practically anything. We understand this on an  instinctive level which is why we have unrealistic expectations regarding the behaviour of the physical world from an early age and have to learn how to interact with it through study and research. Almost every tool for self improvement that humans have at our disposal is really just a way of letting a little bit of our potential out.

Now this might sound all airy-fairy new age-y  but let me remind you.  One human being releasing all of their spiritual potential unconstrained into the physical world caused an explosion that we estimate at 13.4 megatons of TNT.

One human.  13.4 megatons.  80 million trees.  2,150 square kilometres of devastation.

The most dangerous thing on this planet is us.

The Great Apocalypse of 2012

Well yesterday was hectic.

Let’s see. The electric star gods invaded, landing their neon pyramid ships on crucial geomantic sites and re-energising the entire planetary grid. That brought the dead back as shambling zombies and triggered earthquakes, tsunami and the magnetic-poles to shift. The very fabric of space-time tore. A temporal infarction resulting in utter chaos. Dinosaurs! Romans! Cyborgs! Dragons! Moa! 30 meter serpents and the Battle of Britain featuring the Red Baron! Mina nearly had to anoint the current messiah. Again. As well as every previous one (she says Bill Hicks was very flirty) while fighting off tentacled sex-beasts from Hell dimensions that called her “mummy”. (Not sure if it was the Hell dimensions that called her “mummy” or the tentacled sex-beasts.)

Thankfully we were prepared.

We’d keyed certain key sites to reject energisation. Or rather we did but somehow Ingress mucked everything up. So we activated Theta-Sigma. He waved his magic screwdriver around. Reversed the flow of the planetary energy grid and, before Gaia could reject that pesky infestation of humanity, the space gods were trans-phased back to dimension 12.

Team Camelot were activated so I spent most of the day fighting zombies, scary alien war-beasts alongside even scarier mythological warriors. It was a day of mostly being driven back and forth across the east coast of Scotland (I wasn’t driving myself as I’ve yet to get the all clear regarding my seizures). We had to defeat an outbreak of Zombies at Stracathro Services, Aliens in Glenrothes and we briefly lost Forfar to the Deep Ones. That’s just off the top of my head. The roads were littered with abandoned and burning vehicles. As well as bodies, many of them still moving.

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Cutty spent the day with the kidtehs, the hatches firmly battened down and using the stick-o-doom to turn any threat that got within reach.

Now we’re just left to deal with a heartbroken Agent Mina and at least three different machine-telepaths claiming to have been appointed Over-Manager of the Universe.

If none of this matches with your memories of Friday then lucky you. You’re either reading this from one of those boring low-probability continua where nothing really paranormal ever happens. Or the [REDACTED] worked as planned.

yPhones

Unconfirmed reports of a dead yPhone are coming in.

I should explain.

yPhones are notoriously hard to brick. They’re somewhat beyond the current state of technology and always look at least 1 generation ahead. But are… well the nature of the technology they use is beyond my pay grade. For the most part they behave just like regular phones, except they can’t be hacked, they very rarely lose signal, even in the Under, can be tracked anywhere on  the planet and have a suite of apps to make the best gadget nerd drool. I’ve also read reports of them doing the really impossible. Such as the one that was whisked back to the 1970′s but could still receive SMS messages from the present. Also Dr Promethean can use them without them breaking down; most sophisticated electronics in his presence have a life measured in minutes.

Scuttlebutt has it that they’re actually living things, in some way. They eat electricity rather than being recharged by it. In fact they can absorb power from a number of different sources, from sunlight to raw Fictions.

I can only think of a rough handful of confirmed yPhone kills. Lets see one failed re-entry, one exploded when dropped into a nuclear reactor, one was killed when used as a weapon by an SIS officer on secondment and, uh, some idiot fell into a cavern with his in his pocket where it apparently died as it’s never been found. I like to think it survived, spawning a unique ecology of subterranean personal electronics.

Apparently this new death was caused by someone installing a game onto it, which I find highly unlikely.

More when I get it.

And That’s A Wrap

Story starts here. Ends here, right where you are.

Cat was deported to Avalon where he will be incarcerated for the next two decades, a twinkling in the eye of for one of the Fae. Having been ‘incarcerated’ there myself for a few months it’s not exactly a bad way to spend a score of years. I hope Niniane and the other Bean Sidhe there have some decent imprisonment in mind.

Detective Jane recorded that the Dingo’s killer had alluded the authorities.

The Lodger inherited the Dingo’s property.

Due to questions raised during this investigation all of the Dingo’s cases are currently being re-examined.

The Runt and her Hob Mafia… are another story entirely.

Chris returned to the DRG where he continues to make things go “FOOM” with alarming regularity.

Mycroft HOLMES continues to reside at the Diogenes Club from where he works as a consultant for the Department. He has yet to trigger anything as crass as a technological singularity and, as yet, has no intention of starting a revolution on the moon.

“Ishmael” is still single but recently shaved off his beard for Halloween, much to the horror of his many admirers. But don’t worry he’s growing it back.

Cutty and I are embroiled in our own private nightmare and the less said here about that the better.

And the killer is…

Contents page.

On the way back to the Landrover I briefed the man in black and called Detective Jayne and told her where to meet us. Chris missed it because he was trying to persuade the Runt to let him play with her ears. By the time he caught up with us the guns were stowed, we were already strapped in and the other Landrovers were leaving, presumably for Hereford via Department short cuts. I pretended not to notice the hand shaped reddened area on his cheek.

Twenty minutes later we were standing outside the Dingo’s house and so was Detective Jayne. The man in black began to strip off his body armour.

“You might want to keep that on.” I said. He raised an eyebrow at me but didn’t argue. He pulled a jacket on over the body armour. He looked now looked a bit overweight but he didn’t look like a man in a kevlar vest.

“What’s the plan?” Said Detective Jayne.

“We’re going in to question the killer. You get us in there with the minimum of fuss,” I said to Detective Jayne, “You secure the cat,” I said to the man in black, “And I’ll talk to the lodger.”

“What about us?” Said Chris.

“You observe and record. If I’ve made an almighty cock up it’s your job to tell me.”

The man in black removed a FN Five-seveN pistol from the secure case in the back of the Landrover, slipped it into a quick release holster clipped to his web gear and zipped up his jacked over it.

“You might want to put some gloves on.” I said. He gave me a look that said something like ‘What kind of fucking amateur do you take me for?’

Detective Jayne lead the way to the front door. When the lodger answered the bell Detective Jayne flashed her warrant card and said, “We just need to come in for a little chat and a look round.” And we breezed in.

While the others headed for the living room I blocked the lodger in the hall.

“Are you alright?” I said.

“I’m fine.” She said.

I gripped the stick o’ doom and focused all my will into my voice. “You look really tired.” I said.

I felt the narrative tendrils snap out from the stick and reach for her. “I feel really tired.” She said.

“You’ve been under a lot of stress recently. I’m sure it’s been really upsetting.” I said.

“It has.” She said.

“You need a rest. Don’t worry about us. We can look round on our own. Maybe you should get an early night? I’m sure you’ll feel much better in the morning.” I said. It might have sounded like a suggestion but it was a command.

“Maybe you’re right.” She said and she looked longingly at the stairs.

“I’m sure if you go to bed now you’ll feel fantastic in the morning.” I had laid the conditions of the geas. Hopefully she wouldn’t try to resist.

“Yeah…” She said. She turned her back on me and trudge up the stairs.

Now to question the killer.

In the living room everyone was staring at the man in black. He was standing by the window with the cat hanging off his arm. The cat was hissing like a broken boiler and thrashing in his grasp. He had it by the scruff of the neck but it had twisted round and sunk all four claws into his sleeve and he had a nasty scratch on his cheek. The man in black was looking rather more tense than the gentlemen from Hereford usually do.

“Have the claws gone right through the sleeve?” I said.

He nodded.

“Right, Cat, your cover is blown. I know what you are. Let go of the nice man before he has to shoot you.” I said.

“You don’t have to be rude.” Said the cat and let go. The man in black dropped it and the cat landed elegantly and then padded over to the armchair. It leapt into the seat and made itself comfortable on the cushion.

“I know you killed her I just want to know why?” I said.

“You don’t beat about the bush.” Said the cat.

“Just answer the question.” I said.

“What on earth makes you think I killed her?” Said the Cat.

“The four small bruises on her chest. Each one the size of a cat’s paw. The witness that put you at the scene of the crime. You were the only one she cared about and you were the one with the most to gain from her death.” I said.

“It wasn’t about the money.” Said the cat.

“Then what was it?” I said.

“She was a monster and I just couldn’t see it till then. I followed her to work that day. I was bored and I wanted to see what she did and she spent the whole day finding new ways to separate children from their parents and smiling while she did it. I tried to pretend that she was doing it out of necessity but she spent half the day being told to stop. Her boss told her to stop, the lawyers told her to stop, my cousin Runt told her to stop, the Mother told her to stop and the very next thing she did was to phone someone about taking another child.

“I couldn’t stand it. The moment she ended the call I confronted her. She told me I didn’t understand and that it was necessary and I should go home and stop worrying. But she was grinning while she said it. I snapped and I leapt at her. She staggered back against the window and we went through it together.” Said the cat.

“No that doesn’t work.” Said Chris. “There’s no way a cat could hit her hard enough to do that.”

“Not a cat. A Cait Sith. It’s a shape changer. Or it would be if the geas hadn’t been broken.” I said.

“That’s right. I’m heavier than I look and much stronger.” Said the Cat.

“Oh yes.” Said the man in black.

“So what do we do now?” Said Detective Jayne. “There’s no way I’m charging a cat with murder.”

“Good question.” I said.

A Visit She Wont Much Like

Index here.

I don’t like being lied to. No-one does. Lying to the Department is another thing entirely. We object to it in the strongest terms. When the Department objects to things we don’t keep it to ourselves. Everybody gets a slice.

Mycroft hacked into a satellite feed to check the camp was still there while I called in a support team from Hereford. It wasn’t long before black Landrovers were converging on the Hobling camp.

By the time we arrived there they were surrounded. Every caravan had at least one stocky man in black body armour standing out side it and not brandishing his gun. There were two of them outside the Runt’s caravan and another inside waiting for us.

As I stepped inside he said, “We’re confident we have the area secured, Ma’am.”

I love the gents from Hereford. So very polite. “Thank you.” I said.

The Runt, sitting on her catbus window seat, hissed at me. Actually hissed like a cat. The ears of her Neko hairband were flat back against her scalp. She must have imported one of the Nekomimi mind controlled headbands from Japan.

“What to do you want now.” She said.

“I want the whole truth. And I want you to understand that when the Department asks you a question it expects a complete answer.” I said.

“What are you talking about?” She said.

“The last thing [REDACTED] did before she was murdered was to make a three and a half minute phone call to a charity worker who then immediately called the phone you currently have in your pocket. Why?” I said.

“She wasn’t going to stop. She called about pushing through a Children’s Panel Hearing to remove a child. Right after I spoke to her. She didn’t even think about it just on to the next one. If she hadn’t died that night we would have had to intervene.” Said the Runt.

“Intervene how?” I said.

“We’d have done what our ancestors did to our enemies and dragged her off to fairyland where she couldn’t do any more damage.” She said. She tilted her head to one side, made huge eyes at me and her ears tilted forward. She was going for the cute vote.

“Damage to what? And will you please take those bloody things off. They’re distracting me.”

“What things?” She said.

“The animated Neko cat ears. The one’s on your hairband.” I said.

“That’s not a hairband. Those are my actual ears.” She said.

“You’re a proper catgirl?” Said Chris from over my shoulder.

“Down boy.” I said.

“One of my Grandfathers was a Catshee. Back then most of us could still change form. It was part of the Geas and when we broke it we were all stuck with just one shape. That’s why some of us look so weird. Hob genetics is a mess.

“That is so hot.” Said Chris.

I elbowed him in the stomach. But not particularly hard. “Shut up I’m thinking.” I said.

The Runt smiled and sat back in her seat. Behind me the man in black was talking on his radio. “Stand by to move out.” He said.

“Calm down she hasn’t got it yet.” Said Chris. I turned to look at him and he was staring at me intently.

“What are you talking about?” I said.

“Whatever it is you’re about to work it out.” He said.

“Is it that obvious?” I said.

“Yes. Just ask the question, whatever it is, so we can get on with it.” He said.

“So you don’t know what it is?” I said.

“No. I just know you do.” He said.

I turned back to the Runt. “When you say your Grandfather was a Catshee you mean a Cait Sith. A Fairy cat. Yes?”

“Yes. What else would I mean?”

“Right everybody move out. I know where we’re going.”