A Mad Man's Journey: Part 4

Encomium Recording: (transmission error)

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Video Recording -- Camera 204.c; woods: (unresponsive)

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Video Recording -- Camera 4.a; cabin front: Dark. Bare wooden porch. Termite damage, providing a decrepit patio and banisters. Shade of both the trees and the portico overhang block the sparse moonlight, distorting much of the visual rendering.

Empty. No human presence. Doorway is slightly open; more darkness.

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Video Recording -- Camera 1; living room: Two kerosene lamps dimly light the walls, exposing weathered, smoke stained surfaces. Chipped, and partially indistinguishable fleur-de-lis prints sit at every two feet peppering the worn, dark yellow wallpaper. One old, dry maroon leather chair stands off to the side, alongside antique, ill-kept mahogany pieces of furniture, which are all positioned throughout the room. One table, center; two chairs, one empty. 

A lone man stands, shaking in the living room entrance, staring at the other, occupied chair. The chair sits positioned just out of the lamps glow. Its occupant's presence waits out of visual rendering - indistinguishable.

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Present day --

Audio Recording retrieved from the cabin --

"Of course, here you sit, in this horrible place, deep within the woods, you hide yet further, in the shadow of this room. But I'm done searching, now. So, expose yourself! You're him, aren't you?!"

Whom?

"The researcher. Some kind of 'scientist' they say."

Do they... Is that what it is you say?

"What? No. I say... I don't know what you are, and I actually couldn't care less. I'm enraged by so much anger with you, right now, I can't even articulate an opinion as to what you are. All I know is that I have a loathsome desire... a desire to end all of your intrusiveness. You are not of us... or you wouldn't be stalking us like you do! My desire is summed up, now, in one thing... that is to end you; not define you. I do know enough of you, though, enough to say you ruin. You are just 'the ruiner' to me."

I must ask, then... "to" or "of"? Both are easily misplaced within one's own self-description at times. "To" would imply here that I ruin, generally speaking; that I bring an end to any and all, and that it is simply a perception which you would have. Whereas, "of" would convey that I, simply put, ruin...well... just you, where you not only perceive my supposed identity, but also exists under its effects. You would not just perceive this, but would feel its truth.

"Stop it! I said 'to' didn't I?! Don't try and get in my head! You'll fail. You'll know when I'm unsure about a word, but of this one I am more than sure. 'To', because I feel nothing from you. 'To' because of the 'general' speculation by those who cower... those of whom you've paralyzed. Not 'of'. Not some 'experienced' truth. So, quit trying to evade my response. 

And besides, you cannot ruin... really. I know this. You do, too, I'm sure. To deny it proves you are just a blind old man. You have not the power that they say. And therefore, I am more than confident in the 'truth' that you have not the power to ruin me."

...I hear your words, but I know its only your doubt that reluctantly lets them seep out from your lips. You want to believe you're right. You doubt. I feel your doubt. Your response was just simply unclear. That was enough to know the doubt is there. Just as your purpose for being here. But I feel your fear, for you exude it as a stench. I experience your fear.

"You are the one who still sits in the shadow! I said come out, and yet you remain! It should be obvious to someone of your 'grandeur' that the mere fact that I am here manifests my lack of fear in you. But, you are the one in doubt... as you stay shrouded in dark ambiguity. It should be obvious that I'm here now to ruin you! To end your sad, devious charade! Why else would I be here, now? Why else would I have journeyed so far; enduring what I had? Fear you?! I might have a fear, sure! I'm not insane! Maybe of uncertainty. Maybe of death. For I'm a practical man. Don't think that I am not. But of you... no. My certainty stands, in this moment, as I am unafraid, in front of you."

We will see. But what is obvious is that you've set out on your 'journey' with an envelope from me, which is safely placed, nearly untouched mind you, in your back pocket. What is obvious is that you've come to me, only after I've summoned for you. Why not come on your own, brave one?

What is obvious is that you've maintained a complete inconsistency within yourself. Within your soul. Within your own motives, strengths, and clarity, from day one of your departure. It's obvious that you are broken, divorced from your own self. And, what's more, it is obvious, you've feared - or cherished - something more about me than you're letting yourself see. For the letter, having been through such a grueling venture, remains safe and protected. ...What is obvious is that you really do not even know why it is you are here.

"Don't try and stay in my head! My passions fuel me. Not simply my thoughts. I exist, standing here firm before you, and, now, even move in on you, unmoved by trivial facts and silly propositions. I take this chair now, for example, here, directly in front of you, with no fear of you. No second thought of this place's dilapidated structure. No second thought of the physics of an old man, lurking in the shadow, and what he 'could' do. I take this chair without being asked. Of my own emotive volition. It is my heart that fuels all of this momentum."

I don't doubt that at all. It's clear from your Encomiums, or self-praise letters, that you're more than eager to proclaim your heart. But hearts often lack perspective. The mind can do the same. There is no one greater than the other. The mind pumps the heart with reason to be excited, to love... to fear. A heart in turn pumps the body full of a life to be lived. To then extend itself and feel. You are just one of many people refusing to feel. You are the one refusing to leave your own mind. 

You are instantaneous. Unallowing of yourself. You have not taken the time to stop and feel your thoughts. If you had, you wouldn't be so reactionary. Your 'choice' to sit was easily manipulated by me, for example.

You say you come here to end me... to 'ruin' me. But now I have you sitting in front of me.

Again, it is obvious. You do not know why it is you are here.

"Of course you have access to my Encomiums! Why would I have not thought that?! But who are they to be read by, but me? So, if I’m so prideful, why would I boast in myself if it wasn't going to merit the adoration of others?"

The people in one's life are sometimes the last that a person hopes to be praised by. In other words, you are recording them for yourself. You are unsure. Claiming your faux-sincerity in this way speaks a lie of confidence to your doubting heart. You lie to yourself as to who you are.

First, you claim to be the hero of your town through some vain-drenched account of your need to leave them so as to save them. Yet... none from Kimper profess to even know who you are.

Although your second entry was much more sincere, you still professed to be driven by something that was not central to who you were at that moment. Your sadness demanded attention, yet you continued to deflect back to me; acting as if your your need to redefine me was the definition for your own self. Your sadness proved that you were self-absorbed during your journey, and, again, very confused.

Your third, and last, Encomium is the easiest to assess. Following your time of abandoned sadness, you found the opportunity to hide yourself deep within the Sanguine. But, you did not use that time for rest, nor to center yourself. But instead used it to ignore the state of your schismed soul, and hide behind an anger toward me, just as you hid your confused self behind the darkness of the trees.

"...Is that... is that so? It has nothi... STOP! You still do not have anything over me. No strength. No contraptions. It's pathetic, really, sitting there, boasting in your wit to play me so 'effortlessly'. To analyze me and my actions as if I would give in after hearing all of that. If you want to know why I am here... what I think of you... or how I 'feel' after my choices, or whatever else you're stalling with, I will allow you one question before I end all of this."

One? ...my question then is 'why?' Why have you not asked me anything?

"What?"

You've asked me if I'm 'him'. Why are you insulting both of us by remaining the stoic here? You know who I am. I know your thoughts, boy. I know why it is you're hesitant to come in here and kill me. I know what it is that keeps you living from out from an anxious state. That keeps you in tears. Keeps you panicked. Keeps you  feeling as if the pseudo-darkness of the Sanguine Woods will hide who you are. It is you that is stalling. You haven’t come here to end anything other than your state. You’ve come here for answers. You’ve come for help.

"Ha. With all of your spying, you know nothing of me!"

Don't I, Lacien? I know you more than any from your broken town of Kimper. I know that Laus is only a self-proclaimed name. One you've chosen for yourself  because of its semblance to glory and fame. Fitting that you would have chosen that for such a weak town to know you by. But, nonetheless, a name I have no time for.

...

Lacien, though... that is your true birth-name, isn't it? 'The Deceived'. Lacien, the one who wishes for none to know how sadly reactionary his splintered soul really is. Lacien, the hidden one. Lacien... the hero? We shall see. Nevertheless, it is obvious, too, that in calling you this, you are jolted there in your seat, giving me now your undivided attention. I rather despise that name, too, however. But, it is for now your name. So, regardless, I still repeat, why have you not yet asked me anything Lacien?

"...how ...no one knows that. Who are you?"

You say that I am the "Scientist", do you not? So why ask it again?

"...Yes. But... the tag "scientist" is just some type of connotation... an association, or a role. Who are you, really? What evil have you let penetrate your mind to lead your sight into perceiving my past?"

So, the idea of my "association" has now ceased to carry any profundity for you? I share one thing about myself, and suddenly you're not satisfied with your presuppositions about me anymore? And now because your presuppositions are crumbling around you, you believe there's more evil in me? 

"You haven't said anything about yourself. Only of me... What is it you're claiming to have shared?"

That I know you. That I know where you come from. That I know who you once were.

"What? My name?! 'Lac...' ...my old name has no relevance here. It's is just a tag like 'Scientist'."

Is it?

"Absolutely. Both only convey a semblance of the character. Both are associations."

So, for one, you are admitting that my tag is not so literal? But that's not the point, is it? I want to affirm that both are not acted upon equally, and therefor serve two different purposes. You call me the "Scientist", yet I share no similarities with one. I run no experiments. I have no deductive proofs. Yet, you not only deceive, but are enveloped in the cloak of deception yourself. Your old tag is acted upon. So much that you even hide the tag itself, further deceiving yourself.

STOP! Stop it with the name!! We are talking about you, anyways! You said to ask you about yourself, yet you deflect now on me? And what do you mean 'no experiments' or 'deductions'?! What about your horrendous experiments on all of my friends?! You've destroyed them... and for what? For curiosity? Amassing workers? ...Soldiers?"

Do you not ask about me so as to also learn about yourself?

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You see, the ideas of running experiments and deductions supposes that the one conducting them is in need. Primarily of knowledge. That is not the case, here. There are no experiments being had, for there is no knowledge to be gained. Nevertheless, my response to the remainder of your question is contingent on why you are defining those people - those who don't even know the real you - as your "friends". Is that true?

Of course!

Then how do they not know your name? Why did you not stay to help them, but instead, leave them to come meet me, only then to have yourself be seen as hero? Why did you not try and track those on the same journey to ensure their safety? These are not your friends, but your pawns. You claim I use them, yet, you have your own game playing out with them, "Laus"... a pathetic pseudo-name. You have set them up to be your agents of glory, yet you contrive a new identity and life by which to establish yourself the hero, and "credit" yourself fame and glory, and in that strain, gain no glory for yourself, but this pseudo-character named "Laus". This ridiculous dream self.

My "experiments" are only the fantastical imaginings invented by a mad man. You say all of this, yet I know you haven't seen any of your colleagues since they've left to come see me, save the one in the woods, that long time ago. It's because they've left to find for themselves new villages to live in. They can't return to your town. To their past. For certain things have occurred for them - things I cannot explain now - that disables such a return. 

"You're right! It's undeniable that they've been disabled. The one I saw from my past sits mute in those woods staring at trees. ...You've ruined his mind!"

To you, his mind might appear ruined, but I assure you, it is healthier than it was when he first came here. He was like you are now. He came here, too, with presuppositions about me. Wrong, mind you. All of which were misconstrued notions of a truth. But that is not an inevitable future. You see, the one you've caught a glimpse of was on his way to a new village, but stopped along the way on his journey to rest, and gaze into beauty. He is now able to see as I. He sees the answers that I know you seek.

"You see!! I am not the mad one in this conversation! It is you!! What will it take to end your charade of beguilement and cunningness?! What ever it is, THAT is why I am here!

There is nothing left to discuss... 

"What? Is this a joke?! What er... are you serious?!"

...so, I will have to show you what I mean by all of this...

"...ok... seriously, stop this, now!"

...and, you will then know, 

"Wh... what was that noise?! How did you d...?! Who else is here?! ...No one . How are all of those moving by themse..."

...I have no need for soldiers.

"STOP IT! STAY RIGHT THERE! You stay seated in your seat, old man. You will not scare me with these cheap furniture tricks! I will not be the one how backing down, here!

...

STOP RIGHT THERE! I SAID ST..." 

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End of audio recording --

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Part 3

Part 2

Part 1