Chapter 5: Smith
I had a dream last night. I was in a dark room, a light shining down over me. There were voices, out in the darkness. They whispered things that I didn't understand, couldn't understand. Words without meaning. I was bound to a cold, metal chair. I was waiting to die. And I thought to myself, here, at the end, waiting to die... In death, we are at least alone. Innocence is dead. Civility, humanity, decency, all dead. Death is all-consuming, nothing escapes its grip.
There is blackness inside of all of us, and mine has erupted from the blue depths of my soul and wrapped its jagged fingers around me. I want the world to burn. I want to see it die. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. I've been shown cruelty, and cruelty breeds cruelty. I keep looking for a lesson I can take away from what I've been shown since this Oktober. There is no lesson. Only an absence of meaning. I've been living detached, and for that my world was taken from me. There are many things I regret, one of them is leaving. The other is coming back.
Revenge is a powerful fuel. I don't sleep at night. Not for any extended period of time. I'm learning to kill, to become an agent of death. I know who is responsible for my suffering, and I will repay the favor tenfold. I've seen what the world has become, I'm watching it collapse. When it falls, when the dust settles, I will be the one to pick off the stragglers. This world has lavished in its decadence, and this is the price it pays. Dirt and ash and blood and bone and talon and fang. Vines will creep over the skyscrapers, floods will wash away the suburbs, and life will end.
I never thought of myself as a religious man, but now I find myself praying every night. I pray for my wife, and my daughter, and I pray for what comes next to be quick and painless. When I was a kid, I used to play in the sand. Used to build castles, and towns and villages, and then when I grew bored with them, I crushed them. Earth to earth. Part of me wonders if this is how God views His creations. After all, He is the most high, and we are the lowest of the low. Our creation was the original sin.
Natasha told me about Nick, about his childhood. He didn't build sandcastles. He bled and cried. His mother was a schizophrenic. His father committed suicide. His mother tried to kill him, twice. The second time he threw her against a granite counter and caused irreversible brain damage to her. He got into fights as a kid, lots of fights. He once tore another kid's ear off, and gouged out his eye. The kid lived, barely. The trauma screwed him up, though. Badly. Two years later, the kid died trying to cut out his own tongue.
I asked Natasha what the kid did to Nick to provoke him.
I asked Natasha how she knew all of this.
She knows a lot of things.
It surprises me how little I know about my companions. I don't know their history, I don't know about their life before me. I don't even know their ages. I remember Matthias mentioning Natasha used to be a member of the KGB. That was a lie, it had to be. Both of them worked for Midas since... well, sometimes it sounds like they were recruited right out of college.
I wonder what Matthias was like as a child. I wonder if he built sandcastles too. I wonder if he fought like Nick did. I wonder if his parents loved him, or if his family was broken. I can't see it. I can't see him, young, bright-eyed. I can't see him running down the streets of the suburbs.
Children are beat and butchered until they become men and women.
The Matthias I know now was never a child. A child died, and Matthias was born from that death. The good always die young, this is a blessing. Those who die young die innocent, they die pure. They are pure for eternity. Of course, my daughter was robbed of that. They stripped innocence and purity away from her, they brought her into a world of cruelty and evil, and then slaughtered her.
I hate you. I hate you, I hate you. I hate you because you pity me. I feel it. I hate myself for the pity I elicit, I hate you for the pity you gift. I hate this world, and I hate those in it. I hate you, and I hate your love. I hate love. I hate loathing, I hate life and I hate death. I hate being, and I hate oblivion. I hate suffering, I hate pleasure, I hate pain, I hate ecstasy. Most of all though, I hate Midas.
If beauty is made more beautiful by the ugliness that surrounds it, then the opposite must be true. If that is that case, I'd rather never see beauty to begin with. If peace is elevated by pain, and pain made even more unbearable by peace, then I would rather never have peace again. If love is made sweeter by hate, and hate more bitter due to love, then I will never love again.
I've known happiness, and for that my suffering is worse. I wish I could know my sin, I wish I could know what I've done. What atrocity I committed to bring this upon myself. Perhaps I am Job, perhaps for my suffering, I will be rewarded. Perhaps this is a test. In that case let it be known that I will fail this test. I will sink to the lowest of the low, and I was execute my harm upon others.