Monday, October 18, 2010

John S. Renfield: Day Four, Morning

From the Journal of John S. Renfield, Esq. 
Entry Four

A/N: I know, I know, I said Friday but then Real Life appeared with work and fanfic plot bunnies and parental BS and next thing I knew it had eaten my weekend. We apologize for the interruption, and now return you to your regularly scheduled hot detective-on-strange-rock action.

    I had a nice long chat with the stone after my last entry, but I'm afraid I fell asleep before I had a chance to transcribe more than a few hurried notes. I've got about a half-hour before my test, though, so I'll try and get all the important parts down.

    I forgot to mention that I uploaded the pictures I took of the book -- unintelligible, as I suspected it would be. Attaching to the Index anyway. The notebook that I took from the attic is also blank, although I'm certain that there was something in it when I looked at it before, I just can't remember what.

    Once I'd done with those, I picked up the stone, sat down, and asked if I could speak to who was in charge of the voices. They all quieted, all the incoherent chatter and snatches of conversation suddenly dashed. Then a deep voice filled my head, reverberating and pressing against the inside of my skull like the beginnings of a headache. "What is it, mortal?"

     "Good evening, sir, I'm John S. Renfield and I was hoping to ask you a couple of questions." I felt there was no harm in being polite.

    "You may ask, fleshsack," it answered, though not disrespectfully. Just a poor choice of words.

    I asked it what would happen if the stone was broken, and the voice answered resignedly that it would just have to begin again. When I asked what it meant by that, it offered to demonstrate, and proceeded to tempt me with power. It's not every day that a superbeing elemental offers one unlimited power, and I was tempted, but I am proud to say that I turned him down in the end. The journey is more valuable than the destination, after all.

    Having turned it down, the stone settled again, allowing me to ask a few more of my questions. He told me in vague terms of the spell that had kept him in the house, but the conversation was derailed again when he realized I was 'uninitiated', not one of the 'protectors', as he called them. He was silent for a time, and then my head was filled with exuberant cackling.

    While I had no personal experience in the matter, fiction and fairy tales are filled with cautionary tales about amused superbeings. I was naturally put on-guard by this, then.

    My suspicions were not allayed when he said, "Oh, we're going to have fun, yes."

    He tempted me again, this time with the offer to share all his knowledge in an instant, but again I refused. I would not submit to Icarus' folly and let my reach exceed my grasp. I rather like my mind in its current non-melted state. We did digress into a conversation about the human mind at that point, though, which was quite encouraging -- apparently humans are among the few species able to actually read the entire History. Not necessarily to retain it, but we are able to read them without the overstimulation causing our brains to liquify.

    I asked about Windsor as well, to be merely told that he is a Hunter, like hundreds of thousands of others. The stone mentioned that hunters were more resilient, as well, and more difficult to corrupt.

    "So corrupting me is one of your goals now?" I asked.

    "When wasn't it?"

    I had no answer to that.

    I asked what I could expect from the other stones, during which I discovered that the stone apparently only answered direct questions. It told me that I could expect to die, or to go mad and then die. I asked how to prevent it, but the only solution he presented was to not search for them at all. He was rather put-out when I mentioned the contract.

    "Hah! Stuck between death, madness, and a diety. Congratulations, you're fucked." The wording again didn't match its tone at all, caustically cheerful words said miserably.

    Then the conversation took rather an odd turn.

    "Thanks. You're a great help," I told it, dripping with sarcasm.

    "Look, I tried, but I can't make bricks without clay here."

    I had to do a mental double-take at that. "Did you seriously just quote Holmes?"

    "Hmm? No, I was merely stating a fact," he answered, and I could swear he sounded shifty.

    "Damn, that would have been the perfect cap to my night. Talking to a rock that quotes Sherlock Holmes. And here I have a criminal psychology test tomorrow morning... the irony is palpable."

    "Heh, good one."

    Again I paused. The voice was... changing. "Is it just me, or...?" I began.

    "Just you? In a manner of speaking."

    "...What did you do?"

    "Me? I did nothing, my dear. You are the one who supplied me with the necessary ingredients to make me what I am."

    There was some more roundabout speaking as he avoided directly answering my inquiry, but soon enough I discovered what had happened. The voice had warped into a form that I was familiar with -- some midpoint between an aspect of myself, and someone that I happen to look up to quite a bit. It's odd contemplating a cross between myself and my role model, but that is what the stone has chosen to make of itself.

    That discovered, I had only one more question: how to finally heal the damage. I was informed by a rather bemused british baritone that the stone was to be immersed in my own blood and then thrown into a forge. Charming, really.

    I was assured that I could now contact him easily. "Wonderful," I said drily, rising to prepare for bed. "I'll talk to you again in the morning, then. Let my new partners become even more convinced that I'm barking mad."

    "Who says you aren't?"

    "...Point taken. I don't suppose physical manifestations are within your power?" They aren't, naturally.

    One last thing occurred to me as I was changing into my pajamas. "What do I call you, anyhow?"

    "Hmm... I rather fancy the name Holmes. It rings nicely, don't you think?"

    As I now ruefully realize, only moments before my test, a figment of my imagination would choose that name.

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