the scarlet letter, part 2

Dear Miranda, my love, things have gone horribly wrong from planned. Please forgive me if this sounds like a letter from a madman- in a way, I have already gone mad, and I can only hope that the words here match what I planned in my head.

I’ll skip the theatrics and get straight to the point: Giles has been murdered. There’s an emergency reserve of night guards that I keep handy for emergencies, and we just found his corpse stabbed and mutilated in a closet only an hour ago. Please, Miranda, stay as far away from this horrid place as you can right now. There’s clearly something sinister lurking in the walls, and if it can bypass the security cameras, nothing I can do short of pleading you to stay away can keep you safe from whatever it is.

The very same demon that once attempted to persuade you into fleeing our household irrationally has been appearing to me for a few nights now. Sometime he taunts me about how I’ve treated you poorly in the past and takes all the “glory” (as he puts it) for himself. Other times, he just stands at the foot of my bed and stares me down as I drag my pained body into a vestige of burdened sleep. I don’t know why he does this or why he is targeting me, but if you are still in contact with Cassandra, please ask her if there is a way to banish him from the limited space in my mind.

This situation has been exacerbated by the fact that I don’t even know if Bes is truly in my presence at these early hours, or if my mind is rebelling against its current treatment by projecting figments of my own imagination outwards. At this stage of Project Nevermore, my mental acuity is supposed to temporarily suffer in order to allow a substantial number of neurons to rewire themselves, but the unfortunate side effect of all of this is that I cannot trust my own eyes anymore. Giles was my hands, my feet, my eyes, and sometimes my brain- but without him, how am I supposed to run this place? I don’t want to be an outcast in society again, and the sharp increase in mental stability isn’t to be expected for another two weeks.

I have only an inkling of an idea of where you are right now, Miranda. But if there’s one thing I know, it’s that my mother would rather move worlds for you than for her own son. I sure hope that you’ve realized that and contacted her… otherwise, she would know just as much about how to reach you as I do right now, alone in this suite at the loneliest hours of the morning. For future reference, there is a tracker chip in your right thigh. I would prefer not to activate it and allow you to return to me under your own volition when the time is right. LaJean left quite a bad taste in my mouth, but I would rather have you stay with her and her unwarranted self-righteousness than be the next victim found dead in a desolate corner of this building.

And, in the end, the whole matter really boils down to this question- am I your god, or your guardian? Am I supposed to be the one that you bow down to and obey at the end of the day because you are one of my creations, or are you my queen or king or whatever and intended to grow under my care into a spoiled vestige of the next step in human evolution? I contend that I am neither- that I fully intend at the end of the day for the two of us to be purely equals. Maybe not in smarts or strength, but balancing each other out. You were lifted out of that surgical vat perfect and immortal, and in daring to chase the possibility of ever reaching your potential, I fear that my wax wings will melt and I’ll drown in the ocean while you fly on with the impression that I wanted to drag you down as well.

If you are reading this because my mother delivered this to you through whatever means necessary, then you can ignore this paragraph. If you are reading this now because Bes has overridden my soul and caused me to befall some sort of death, then rest easy in the knowledge that I have only failed myself. If the stories of Gehenna-Altaris are real, then I hope that my soul will gain some sort of peace in the reassignment chambers and cross paths with you again. Hopefully Lainey will take over my position at the Laboratory, for my plans were to step down as soon as the Project was over with and settle into a more normal life with you in our tiny blue house. I’ll miss the blue sky and the balcony by the kitchen and being able to lie down there with you and watch the clouds pass by for hours in peace.

I love you, Miranda. There’s no way that I could possibly express that amount on a mere piece of paper. If I did not love you, then there would be no method by which you could read this letter, for I would not have bothered to write it. May God have mercy on both of our souls.

– Anders Shew, yours both now and forever

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