I... am an Idiot. I like to think I'm smart. I'm damn good in a fight, I can take care of myself, and I know how to keep under the radar but its so easy to lose sight of the big picture.
We didn't come here looking for Duckie. We came here because we knew Fracture kept tabs on this location and we were trying to force his hand by coming here.
I got so distracted by the potential Duckie spotting, I forgot that our reason for being here was to piss of Fracture. Apparently, just being here hasn't done it for him. Hes been quiet. No attacks or any such shit.
But I bet you won't take kindly to me spilling this towns little secret will you Fuck Face.
Hmm... maybe I should slow my roll a little. I'm getting a little ahead of myself.
So here is a proper first point for this update. We got our hands on this town's secrets.
While I was out, Picasso set all the mouth traps to sit on the top shelf of the closet and then rigged them to fall at the pull of a string.
I can home with lunch to find her pulling said string. I leaped back out the room. She does the string pull traps a lot and I thought I was about to get hit with something. I was actually rather relieved when I heard someone else start screaming.
Was confused when I came back in to find a man covered in snapped traps squirming in agony and screaming on in front of the closet.
Picasso had some chloroform ready for him. She still hasn't quite mastered using that... always knocks herself out too whenever she uses it on someone. Think its how impatient she is with it. Have to be careful with that shit...
So I went ahead and tied our peeping tom to a chair and set Picasso on the bed and waited for them to get up. Also removed the mousetraps while I waited. It was something to do...
"OH GOD FUCKING DAMN IT. Hate Chloroform headaches..."
"YOU SHUT UP. I'll do it right one of these days... Oh look, I tied him up in my sleep. How COOL am I?"
She wandered over to him and gave him a few light slaps on the cheek. He groaned and rolled his head and shifted his body weight before squinting his eyes and looking up in mild dazed irritation.
He recoiled at the sound of her screaming.
"Or should I call you noisy? I can hear your LOUD ASS BREATHING through the closet door."
She wandered over and into the closet and gave the bottom of the back wall a little kick revealing it to be a little doggy door type thing. I checked it out later. It had a latch on his side. Had we kicked it before, it wouldn't have budged. Not sure how Picasso figured out it was there.
"COOL LITTLE DOGGY DOOR! So what's your deal MUTT, who do you work for?! FRACTURE? DADDY? The state of Pennsylvania?.... OR...?!"
She said taking a dramatic overly expressive pause.
"Do you like, just really hate this room and people who stay in it or something? Seriously, whats your deal dog."
During that whole rant he just stared at her in mild irritation and didn't says anything.
"HA! A MUTE! A hideous crime against nature!"
She turned and slugged me. "No offense." She turned her attention back to the guy.
"So you want to play vocally challenged do you?"
She slammed her hands down on the arms of his chair. "Well... we, HAVE WAYS OF MAKING YOU TALK!"
And as she yelled she pushed his chair into the corner. "Namely, boredom," she said plopping onto the bed, grabbing some food and eating and pointedly ignoring him for the rest of the day.
And so from there, we just, kind of kept him tied to the chair. Picasso insisted that we feed him baby food, which, she would feed to him with a spoon while treating him like a baby but for some reason still referring to him as a dog. She just kind of smeared the food to his face, regardless of whether or not he actually resisted eating it....
So, that happened for three days I believe. Towards the end of the third day I came home to Picasso smearing his face with more food when he finally broke.
"FOR THE LOVE OF GRANDFATHER STOP IT. I'LL TALK, JUST FUCKING STOP IT ALREADY."
"Hehe. Hello mister not-so-mute-anymore! WHO ARE YOU?!"
"... I'm Kappa."
"Kappa? [A bunch of words in a language I don't fucking understand] Kappa?"
"... Is that... Greek?"
"... K isn't Greek... its a letter. STOP TRYING TO CONFUSE ME!"
"R-Right, wh-whatever. That's my name. Calm down will yeah?"
"Does doggy need more food?" she says picking up the spoon of baby food and making "Choo, Choo" noises.
"No! B-Baby does not need any more food ever! I gave you my name! What the fuck do you want from me?!"
"Okay then, 'K', why were you spying on us? WHO DO YOU WORK FOR?!"
He cringed a bit at her yelling. "I thought the name might have said enough... I'm an Archivist. I work for the Blind Man, grandfather... Specifically, I'm Collector Kappa. I'm observing PRE cult behavior in Black Lake. This place draws them in like a magnet."
"Well, Collector K, WHY SPY ON US?!"
Once more he cringed.
"Mask behavior in this town is already kind of odd-"
"Wai, wai, wai, wai, wai, wait... WAIT... wait... wait... you call proxies masks too?"
"Well... not usually. I know you refer to them as masks though... been spying on you... remember?"
"Right... okay. Sorry, GO ON."
"So mask proxies in this town are weird. They don't talk, but they aren't hollows and they don't respond to the mention of the slender man at all. But they all operate as one cohesive group. Then entered you two. You two were new, obviously masks, but clearly independent of the others. Plus, you talk.... well, one of you does... It seemed like it merited study... so I did... listen... I obviously don't mean either of you any harm. Can you guys let me go? I'm worried about the Library. I've been away from it for to long... something could have happened to it by now."
"AND WHY SHOULD I TRUST YOU."
"... Y-You can come with me if it would make you feel any better... I'll answer more questions... maybe you can answer some for me..."
So we went to the Library. He had some trouble walking at first. Being tied down for three days is hell on the body.
The Library was a small one. It had a front desk, and a dozen selves. Six rows. Two shelves to a row with room to walk in between the two shelves. Also had a table and four chairs.
He plots down and Picasso plopped down on the chair across from him. I stood quietly at attention behind her.
"So... I guess you weren't lying... MAYBE..."
He seemed significantly more relaxed. "I wasn't. I am honestly just happy to see the Library standing."
He got up and got some water from a water cooler. Put three cups on the table and sipped at his. "Thirsty?" he asked.
She Picasso made a nauseated noise. "Pfffght. Ewww. Water," she said pushing the cup away with a finger. "No thank you."
"Yeah... I uh, figured."
"Good... because I am.... I'm good at that..." she saids looking away for a moment lost in her own awkwardness. "So... you have any idea what the fuck is WRONG with this RIDICULOUS town?"
"Right... well that's complicated. Do you know what a cult town is?"
"Okay. And a point of power?"
"YE-... er... kind of."
"And how about what the crossroads are?"
"... Demon flee market?"
"... No. The NPE."
"... What the fuck is that?"
"Non-Phobic Entity. A powerful sentient location, like the empty city, but as an Entity it does not inspire or act on peoples fears. It merely tests them. And should they pass those tests, it even grants wishes and the such."
"Yeah. Tests usually involve self control."
"...Oh... so... I've looked at the archive blog from time to time... went silent... never heard of a NPE..."
"... Not an official category. But it's one I think should exist. Many things labeled as a 'phenomenon' are entities in their own right."
"... What the FUCK, does this have to do with Black Lake?"
"Right, so Black Lake was a cult town. It, like most cult towns, was built on a point of power. Man and PRE are drawn to locations like this. Man instinctively... PREs aggressively and territoriality. A lot of major cities actually fall on points of power. Points of power like this though, ones out in the middle of nowhere, they almost without fail, develop cult towns. Its actually a pretty interesting UXP. Although, its existence is purely speculative or theoretical. Many might contest that the PREs are simply territorial and that the locations themselves have no bearing beyond being owned by the PREs. That its the PREs that make these locations of any interest."
"Right... I'm only going to ask this one more time. What does any of this, HAVE TO DO WITH ANYTHING?!"
"Well, it all comes together to make this situation... aren't you thirsty?"
"What part of EWWW, didn't you understand earlier?"
Suddenly things started to click in my head. His posture... actively pushing a drink someone doesn't want... sharing all this information. That's three red flags. Something was very up. I moved around the table and pretended to thumb through the books behind him. I watched him nervously shift as I came around. I could see he was trying to conceal something in his lap.
I could hear his chair squeak as he leaned back to look over at me. Picasso forced his attention back forward.
"I'm not asking that thing I said I wouldn't ask again, GET ON WITH IT."
"R-Right. Right. So Black Lake was a Cult town. But, and this is rather uncommon, Black Lake managed to rebel and win. A splinter cell of proxies decided they didn't want to take orders anymore. They killed all the loyalists and erased their history. They made pretend like they had always been a normal town. One or two generations later... its like they always were. Not sure how that's possible myself. I guess PRE01 decided he didn't care for the location and... just kind of let it happen."
"But, PRE01 or no PRE01, Black Lake still sits at a desirable point of power. So when PRE01 let its influence get pushed out, it attracted the attention of every other PRE. And now that everyone wants the location, PRE01 came back to reclaim it for itself. Or so it seems I guess. Maybe that's the who points. Maybe its a show of dominance."
"Now, the Fears can't go head to head. I mean, they can, but when the do... well... I assume you've heard of Nightscream's Plague Doctor/Slender Man incident? It permanently scarred the land where PRE01 and PRE12 fought. Killed everyone who couldn't get out of there in time. So imagine what hell might break loose if all 22 of the PREs where to go at it after one location. The state of Pennsylvania may very well have become forfeit as it got ripped apart at its very seems. I've heard it speculated that something like that happened at the Bermuda triangle. Supposedly there was a big Island at the center there at one point. Ridiculous speculation."
"So, instead of destroy Pennsylvanian, PRE cults are fighting as proxies for their fears."
"... Does that mean the Archive is gonna invade Black Lake?"
"We have the Library. That's all we really care about. Let them take the rest of the town."
"So that's why YOU'RE here?"
"I... kind of... that and to observe and report any interesting phenomenon."
"... WHAT THE FUCK DOES THE CROSSROADS HAVE TO DO WITH ANY OF THAT?"
"I'm getting to that, sheesh.... you should really drink that water. Its getting warm."
"...Just... SHUT UP... and speak."
"R-Right. So, I'm sure you've noticed that the Cultist don't spend any time at the hotel and that whenever you strike your buddy there you get feedback while at the hotel."
"I... huh, Really? W-Well, the hotel is a neutral zone. No PRE cultist can kill any other PRE cultist while in the hotel. To avoid the issue, most Cultists just tend to avoid the location. I believe this neutral zone and the absence of any direct presence of PRE in Black Lake as the result of the Crossroads interfering. I base this on the statue I found hidden in the hotel. If you no where to look, bound to the very foundation of the building, there is a statue of three Identical women facing out in different directions back to back. Each holding two torches. I believe this is a statue of Hecate, the Greek Goddess of the crossroads. I'm not sure how the crossroads presence came to be in Black Lake. Maybe its natural. Or maybe that's how the cultists who set themselves free did it. Maybe someone made a deal to protect the town. Again, its a lot of speculation and theory but its the only theory I have on why the PREs didn't collide on this location and tear it at its seems. You should REALLY have a drink of water."
By now even Picasso was starting to get suspicious of his insistence. He didn't notice me come up behind him and pin his hands. He panicked as Picasso took the cup and pushed it to his lips. "YOU DRINK IT!"
She held his nose and made him open up some and forced the water into his moth.
After that we finally let him pull free. "F-FOOLS! Wh-What have you done to me?!"
"WHAT THE FUCK DID YOU TRY TO DO TO ME?!"
"P-Poison you... w-with EAT."
"HAHAHA. SERVES YOU RIGHT FUCK FACE."
He started wheezing and gasping. "... Such... beautiful... singing..."
We watched as he made his way over to the water cooler and started chugging it right from the nozzle.
Picasso shoot her head disapprovingly... with out me quite catching it, she set the place on fire on her way out.
... Appropriate... I guess.
So... Black Waters secrets from a potentially reliable source. Your move Fracture.