The last few days have been hectic. A lot has happened...
Okay, I'll start where I left off last time.
It was around two in the morning. Everyone was still tense, preparing for the worst, but the late hour following a hard day began to get to us. The squat was an old square shop space with a layer of dust on everything and boards over the tall, floor-to-ceiling windows of a small restaurant, tables and chairs still strewn around on the floor. Long abandoned, there was plaster falling from the walls, with old pipes exposed or falling out entirely. The windows at the front were the most obvious point of entry, so Roland covered there, backed up by a stony-faced Lianne. I've gotten used to Roland in a state where he's prepared to kill someone, but Lianne sheds her whole caring persona with ease. To see her with genuine coldness in her eyes - it's hard to forget afterwards. In the back, we had Natalie and Shannon, machetes and stiletto knives in hand.
No-one noticed the boarded up hatch in the low ceiling until it crashed to the ground in pieces and the dark figure dropped down to the floor. He grabbed Stephen, who'd been standing right near where he dropped in, and drew what looked like a sharp shard of glass to his throat. Quicker than I could have believed, Shannon lunged at him and sunk a fist into his face. As he fell away, the glass scraped Stephen's neck, leaving a shallow cut. The man, the proxy, fell back and composed himself. Like the others, he was wearing a crude mask. This one's looked to be made of pieces of cardboard, stuck together with parcel tape, and judging from the way that it hadn't shifted with the punch, it looked to be stuck to his face. Tufts of greasy black hair protruded from the top, and a beard in similar condition came out of the bottom, rubbing against his filthy clothes - a nondescript black hoodie and dark jeans.
Screaming obscenities, he thrusted the glass shard towards Shannon, who dodged deftly. She kicked at his stomach, but her own momentum left it with little force behind it. Natalie, who had two tables between them, threw a chair at him, but he knocked it out of the way with his arm, barely seeming to notice. Roland moved around the edge of the room, away from the windows, looking for a gap in the messily arrayed tables to join the fight, his axe held up at face level. I stood, knife drawn, with my back to Stephen, Rachel covering his other side, as we moved towards the exit. We'd surrounded our attacker.
The proxy's head snapped around, looking for a weak link in our circle around him. His movements were sharp, and animalistic, and his breathing heavy. His gaze fell on Lianne and he sprung, racing towards her. She let out a cry of surprise before trying to skip backwards. Her back hit a wall. He'd timed it perfectly. The shard of glass was raised above his head, and sensing his moment, he swing it down. She'd brought her hands up in time to protect her face, but the shard sank deep into her forearm, near her shoulder. She screamed in pain as he tore it out. Roland dashed around a table and swung his axe at the Proxy's midsection, and he leapt away to the front of the store.
Rachel let out a scream. I quickly turned to see that another shape was dropping through the hatch in the ceiling, just in time to land right on top of Roland. He hit the floor hard, his axe clattering across the floor, but the landing unbalanced the second assailant too, who fell to the ground. Even the other proxy looked surprised, staring wildly at the interloper - better dressed, in a light check shirt and suit trousers, and with what looked like a proper mask over his face. In the few seconds she was granted, Natalie stomped on the back of the scruffier proxy's knee, dropping him to the ground, before bringing her elbow down across the back of his head. He hit the floor hard, and went limp.
The second assailant has scrambled to his feet and pointed a fishing knife at Stephen and I. He stepped forwards, with a slowness and consideration that gave away that this one was not as wild as his partner. I swung my longer knife towards his face and shifted my front foot forward into a low kick, but he skidded backwards. Realising that his compatriot was in no position to help him, he solidified his stance, and started to move forward again. I swung my knife again, and this time, Rachel was next to me, lunging for him as well. He dodged with a surprising deftness, but the plan was already sprung. Roland was behind him, a large, heavy lead pipe in his hands, bringing it down two-handed over the proxy's head.
There was a hollow crack, like the sound of an eggshell breaking. The proxy fell to the floor, his light brown hair rapidly turning red from a mass of crimson and back at the crown of his head, jutting fragments of bone showing through. As he lay there, blood spilt from the gaping hole in his skull at an incredible rate.
I'd never seen someone die before.
I heard a sob from Rachel behind me. Roland and Shannon slowly stepped towards the bloodied form.
"He's dead." Roland said, irreverantly.
Lianne gave out a moan and we were snapped out of our trances. Her wound was deep and large, and while she was trying to use her shirt as a bandage, it wasn't stopping the bleeding. Shannon screamed at Natalie, "Get your first aid kit!"
Natalie looked dumbly at Lianne, and then at the body.
"NATALIE. BANDAGES, NOW."
She came back into focus, sprinting to the back of the shop to where the bags were and rifling through them to get the small plastic green case. She ran back over to Lianne and handed it to Shannon.
Roland brought the shirt away and gravely said "This is going to need stitches, or it won't heal."
"Fuck," sighed Shannon, "It figures the bloody nurse would be the first one to get stabbed."
I heard a voice behind me, "What do you want us to do?"
Rachel was next to me, looking determined. Shannon spat "Go get one of the proper Maglites and hold it over her arm, I'm going to need to do this myself. Peter, go get the rope, and tie the other one to the chair. Natalie, get me out the bandages and the disinfectant, and hold her arm still."
She turned her head to look at Roland. "And you, you're going to have to do what we discussed. We need answers, and we have a live one."
Roland muttered under his breath before asking "What shall I do about the other one?"
"He's already bled out. Stuff the body in one of the larders in the kitchen area. Take his wallet and any other ID."
The tall man wearily got to his feet and moved over to the corpse, picking it up and dragging it into the back room.
We moved out the early next morning. Lianne was still very weak from blood loss, and for once Stephen was supporting her. None of us had slept at all. Natalie, Rachel, Stephen and I had assisted in helping Shannon deal with Lianne's wound, but it took a long time.
Roland spent the night doing what he and Shannon had talked about. Muffled screams crept out from the kitchen all night, and in the end, only Roland had emerged from the kitchen. We had only one bizarre piece of information to show for it.
They think they're under his command.
The man was clearly insane, Roland said, and in his delusion he'd described his "boss" as some kind of evil criminal mastermind, building an army to inflict his malicious intent upon the world. He talked about him as though he were human, detailing plans and generals. Claiming that he was there under direct orders from him.
What would a creature like him want with human allies?
Every one of us seven has a story. A few involve proxies similar to these guys, and they all acted differently, trying to achieve vastly different ends. And they were all insane. Of course they believe they're on the side of the supernatural abomination. They're madmen, psychotics and delusionals, driven insane by him, and trying to concoct a fantasy in their broken minds to guarantee them safety by putting them on the "winning" team.
Do any other bloggers know proxies who believe a similar thing? Is this widespread? I don't know.
But I'm tired, and I've seen horrible things, and I'm weary of everything. Every one of us is. We all look sick. None of us have slept in days. We've been moving at random, not for the car but for anywhere except that restaurant with the two corpses stuffed in the larder.
Anywhere but there. Sounds like a plan.