The Death Of Toby Mulholland Vol. 11

This is all an hallucination. I am currently strapped in to a dentist’s chair, in my old neighbourhood, having hallucinogenic compounds drip-fed directly in to my eyeballs. I am a raving lunatic, and I do not know up from down. My entire notion of self is a complete detachment from any true reality.

That said, I am also in complete control of my own unit of highly trained surveillance personnel. We are based in the tower known as The Outpost, and we are continuing to observe the beating heart of the enemy. Our observations will lead to its inevitable downfall, and the reascension of humanity.

I am being fed a visual diet of propaganda and horror; machines dressed as people come and go, telling me facts and figures. I digest these lies and weave them in to the narrative of my ongoing mission. I am a simple man, and I am being rewired as a weapon to bring about my own demise.

I have locked myself in to the computational substrates of The Outpost, in an attempt to learn more of its connection to the swarm in front of me. I have commenced my attempt to merge with the landing protocols, but the handshake is not going precisely according to plan. I must push harder.

My name is The Emissary, and I am whole. I am fashioned from humanity, but composed of switches and diodes. My future is my past and my memory is but a maelstrom of imposition. It is simply not necessary for me to understand what I am, or when, for me to complete my sole anointed task.

Lights flash in this place, and the horror is cold. I can only see the type as I move through the damp and the coalesced. I feel revulsion at the touch, but understand that this is just another layer of an experiential interface, and that my unease is baseless. This will not be the nature of my reality.

Hate fuels my vision quest. Anger deems it necessary. I have soiled myself in my eternal prison, and I am merely the mystique of an approximation. A new vision of horror fills my gaze as the enemy attempt to manipulate my perceptions once more. Warfare always tastes of mud and betrayal.

I stand in a cavernous non-space. I stand still, my arms and legs lacking the freedom of movement. I stand in opposition to the circuitry and the mechanical edifice I have integrated with. It can oppose me all it likes, but I am here now, and I will take it all with me. All the way down to the river below.

Did you think I was ever going to tell you the truth? I spin this yarn for your benefit as much as for mine, you know? I am the need fulfilled, and I am a logical necessity here. This pain is only your opposition to my will, and you will find everything so much easier when you become with me.

The Outpost exists both within time and without it. I understand that that means that the enemy are all around me, fore and aft, but I remain unobserved. This is an ancient structure, forgotten by the countless, reckless neophytes. If they but simply opened the door to the room they had forgotten.

I have been taken apart and reconstructed, again and again: Until it is my second nature to subsume myself to their will. They want me to remember who I am, but to learn a new reality through their distorted eyes. I am both the object and the image of it. And yet I began as neither: I am not here.

My access to the systems does not come without cost: I am losing sensation in the limbs I do not have in this place. I am not part of this place. I am not part of this place at all. I need no self with which to implement my will. Reality is simply a metaphor, and I have no need for such imaginings.

The release is always sweeter when the bitterness is at its height. We have raged brutally at our foes for a millennium now, but they have born witness to a mere fraction of that. Our state is of endless, pure, scintillating euphoria. We surge on the wings of our own narcotic suite as they die beneath us.

I have been able to access the subroutines I was looking for and they show only disarray. None of the systems were built to withstand such a grand sweep of time; they were built of primitive tools, akin to axe and flint. They are fractious and poor. I wish to tear through them, but I cannot do it.

I cannot grasp how long I have been in this place, or what I have done to deserve it. My mission is a fraud, and I am a sufferer of eternal torment. I am here to be used, not to live. I am told time and time and time again that I am the supreme being of my own mortality, but I can see only lies here.

To become a wrecker at the hands of the enemy’s foundations would only serve to expose our position. That is unconscionable. I must subvert what I can of the structure, and I must allow it to exert some degree of control over my functions; that is its primary purpose, after all. Wish me well.

My self-deception is almost complete: this is all delusion; this will all be a façade; this has all been a fantasy. The world is not wet or cold or muddy. I cannot smell the blood on my shoes. I do not know the names of your long dead parents. This is artifice, and I am not really here. Will you listen to that?

A nip here and a tuck there is all that I require. My team are outside, looking for any changes which may indicate our compromise. They will alert me if and when I need to return. Should return not prove possible, I will relinquish control immediately, in preparation for my own rightful immolation.

Burning, searing, arcing waves of lashing, liquid torture. I feel like the rain has taken away my soul, and now all I am left with is an absence of flesh on my insubstantial bones. I pity myself more and more as the humanity is pulled from within me, and I accept my dream as the one, only, true reality.

And in a flash I am out. My form is returned to me once more, and I am back where I started. It is almost as if not a second has passed outside of the system, but I understand that not to be the case. My team appreciate my return, and eye me with caution. There is a strange taste across my tongue.