New Jersey sucks. I was hoping that we'd at least end up having to question some MTV wannabe douches but most of our search thus far has been in the rural areas of the state, and people in rural areas are just too damn nice to get any enjoyment out of hurting.
Anyway, here's something interesting that happened today:
I was standing out on the porch of an old abandoned house out in the middle of nowhere, which we had claimed as a temporary base of operations. I was lost in thought-- what I was thinking about wasn't important-- when I suddenly became aware that Acedia was standing right behind me.
"Anything interesting happen?" I asked her.
"Not really," she said. "I was just wondering about something."
"Good for you."
"Did it hurt?"
"What?" I turned around to face her. She's a pale, skinny little thing, but not without her charms. I can almost see why Glorius is so enthralled by her. Almost.
"When you were... made into what you are. Did that hurt?" When I didn't answer, she continued: "For us it hurt. By the time it was over, we almost begging for death. Then we just heard these words in our head. 'Soon enough.' That was it. W-- I was so terrified of what would happen next, and yet some part of me-- some new, horrifying part of me-- was thrilled." She leaned against the wall of the house and looked me right in the eyes. "You're not like us, though. What was it like for you?"
"Relatively painless," I told her. "You're right. I'm not like you. Master didn't need to make any major alterations with me. I have just enough of His essence to hear His voice and feel His presence. I have His Mark on me, so I can walk the Path and enter the City, but otherwise I'm just a normal human."
"I guess it's because my purpose wasn't to be an exterminator, unlike you."
She was quiet for a moment. "So it doesn't bother you?" she finally asked. "That we're monsters?"
"A monster is an abnormality," I told her, turning my back to her. "It is unnatural. Do you know what is natural? The Grand Game. They play with human lives, and that is way it should be. Those humans who rebel against Them are the unnatural ones. And they go so far as to declare their own moral superiority for fighting against some perceived evil, even as they thoughtlessly kill people just like them, whose only 'crime' was to fall under Their sway. Even without Them, humans would still wage war and destroy everything in their path. The Game, in fact, limits human destruction. So in truth," I turned back around, and this time it was my turn to look her in the eyes, "we are not the monsters. The Runners, though? Abominations."
She smirked. She almost seemed amused. "That's a twisted way of looking at it."
I shrugged. "Everything is twisted. The world is a being of chaos operating under the pretense of order. The only constant is the Grand Game, and even that is constantly shifting. The Game is the only thing you can trust." I smiled. "And considering how you and your boytoy get off on killing, you really aren't in a position to lecture me on morality."
"Unlike some people I could name, we didn't choose this path."
I left there and went for a walk. I don't know why I even bother. Simpletons like her will never understand.