If you read Setoth’s blog, you may have heard about the girl he’s been with lately, whom he’s taken to calling “Babs” for the sake of her anominity.] I didn’t bother to mention it here, as I don’t believe Setoth’s love life has anything to do with me, beyond forcing me to put up with an unbearably cheery Setoth.
But, long story short, she got kidnapped by Javert. Setoth considered this a big deal for some reason, and demanded we find and rescue her. Luckily for our search efforts, Javert chose to be generous, and the next day a note containing a date, time, address, and Javert’s signature was left on our door.
I scouted out the place several hours before the meeting time. It was a big, fancy, gated North Austin lake house. Javert must be really moving up in the world if he can get a place like that on a policeman’s salary.
Of course it was obvious the whole thing was a trap. That knowledge never detracted from our willingness to complete the task, but it did make our planning much more cautious.
It was decided early on that Setoth, not me, would be the one to confront Javert, because, in Setoth’s words, “We’re trying to save someone, not turn the house into a giant crater.” While Setoth would handle talking to Javert, I would go in, grab the girl, then get out. Now that I actually have a cell phone (and by have a cell phone, I mean I took Babs’s phone from her place after we learned she’d been kidnapped), I could call Setoth when I was done, and we’d both get out of there.
My first thought was to just charge the gate, fight my way past anyone I met, find Babs, and declare it all a success. But I knew Javert would be expecting something like that, so instead I’d need to sneak in over the gate in the back. But Javert would know that I knew that I couldn’t run in, so he’d have preparations there as well. But since I knew that he knew that I knew….
It all was getting very confusing. As such, when the time did come, after dropping Setoth off and waiting long enough for him to focus Javert’s attention, I just smashed through the gate with my car, and then drove it through these big windows someone had installed in the place in order to make it look all modern and stylish. Having created my dramatic entrance, I started running through the house, searching the rooms.
When I had envisioned this part of the plan, I’d been expecting it to involve me fighting my way through hordes of proxies in fierce room to room combat. Instead, there was no one else inside to greet me. Very unnerving, and I began to wonder if, between zerosage and I, we’d somehow managed to kill every proxy in Central Texas apart from Javert. Given the body count we’ve been having, that actually wouldn’t be too surprising.
I found Babs in a second story bedroom. Once more, my expectations of what I would encounter failed to match the reality. I had been envisioning her locked away in a dark, filthy room, something akin to a medieval dungeon. Instead she was lying on an expansive bed in a very nice looking bedroom, watching a television screen with mild disinterest. Though her expression of surprise when I charged inside the room was priceless, I’ll say. The entire exchange when a little like this:
Arkady: “I’m Evan Everyman, and I’m here to rescue you.”
Arkady: “Oh, forget it. Get up, we’re leaving.”
Why does no one ever laugh at my attempts to make EverymanHYBRID jokes?
Surprise meant she didn’t argue much when I dragged her back to my car and began to drive away. I’d only made it a few hundred feet from the house when I got a call from Setoth’s phone.
Arkady: “Setoth, I’ve rescued Babs. Where should I meet you to pick you up-“
Javert: “Arkady! It’s been too long.”
A: “What have you done with Setoth?”
J: “He’s perfectly fine. No need for you to worry. Though I must say, I am surprised at you. I would have never expected you to take the chivalrous route and gone for the girl when you could have fought me instead. Perhaps this Setoth is being a good influence on you.” Right. I totally saved Babs because of Setoth’s good influence. And not because he threatened bodily harm towards me if we didn’t try to save her.
A: “Yeah, well, I’m just such a nice guy. Can’t help but rescue a damsel in distress and shit.”
J: “Rescue? On the contrary, I was the one who rescued her; you are returning her to captivity.”
A: “Is this going to be one of those times when you give some kind of bullshit explanation for why you’re so morally superior to us, because I’m honestly starting to get really tired of things like that.”
J: “Look at her life before this. A meaningless existence defined only by excess, filling her nights with drugs and mindless hedonism. She was falling into the gutter of society. Had you actually bothered to speak to her during her time with Setoth, you would have seen it clearly. I’m pulling her out of the darkness she has been engulfed in, back into the light.”
A: “By forcing her to be some kind of mindless drone?”
J: “Force? No, never something like that, Arkady. If she had desired to become one of His disciples later on, that would be acceptable. All I was doing was taking her away from the influences which had harmed her, and giving her a new chance at life.”
A: “Right, you were just trying to help her, which is why you used her as bait for us.”
He didn’t answer that one. I think I might have struck a nerve.
A: “So what was your plan, anyways? It can’t have been a very good one. I mean, I just drove in and grabbed her. I’m thinking you’ve forgotten how to set up ambushes, Javert.”
Instead of an answer, I heard static from the phone. Then the car radio began blaring random noises, the headlights flashed on and off, and hey, look at that, there’s a tall man in a suit right in the middle of the road. I swerved to the side and stopped the car. Babs was screaming the whole time, but by then, I didn’t care.
The thing was walking at an ominous pace towards the car. Very kind of him, to be moving slow enough to give me time to get out of the car and draw my sword. Every step he took, more tentacles came out of his body, which twisted around him with surprising ferocity.
This was it; a chance I’d been looking for. Just Slendy and I, in a no holds fight to the death. Sure, the last time I tried to fight him I got knocked into a lake, but this time it would be different. All the fighting I’ve gone through since then has only made me better; I’m stronger, faster, and more skilled than I have ever been. I figured I might be able to get in one or two hits on Slendy before he impaled me.
As I was preparing to fight, a voice came through the static of my phone. Setoth, shouting loudly to confirm if I was alive.
Arkady: “Hey, Setoth. Yeah, I’m here.”
Setoth: I could barely hear him over the static “Where…. You?”
A: “Not far from the house. But we seem to have run into some Slender trouble.”
S: “Shit…. Is [Babs] (Setoth is insisting that I alter the transcript to keep the girl anonymous. Sure, fine, I’ll do that.) alright?”
A: “Oh, she’s fine right now. I expect Slendy will eat her after he’s finished killing me.”
S: “….Get…. There!”
A: “Leave? And miss all this fun? Not a chance!”
I put the phone down, while Setoth shouted at me to run for it. With every second that Slender Man came closer, the anticipation rose higher. One last rush of adrenaline, a glorious last stand….
Setoth: “… Die now how…. Kill Javert?”
That was a legitimate point. Was I going to let Javert walk away free just because I wanted my beautiful death? Was I going to die in a trap that he had set?
Like hell I was. I’ll decide when I die, not Javert. Much as it pained me to do so, I would need to leave my epic battle with the Slender Man for another time. I pulled the phone back up and told Setoth to expect me in a few minutes. He did have one last comment to me before I ran for it:
Setoth: “Don’t you dare…. Think of using [Babs] as bait so you can escape!”
Oh, Setoth. You know me too well. That was exactly what I’d been planning. But since apparently killing her is off limits, I had to drag her away. Although soon I was practically carrying her so she could keep up (Oh, you silly average people and your inability to run sub-five minute mile pace for long periods of time). Slendy chose not to follow us. Which was kind of him, as no amount of running can keep you ahead of teleportation.
Since then, we’ve made it back to Setoth. Who was in desperate need of first aid at the time due to stabbing his own hand with a knife. He still hasn't explained to me what that was all about. Guess I'll need to wait for him to make the blog post about it, same as you lot. He had a good ol’ heart to heart talk with Babs, explaining a lot of what was going on to her. Somewhere along the line he decided that it wasn’t safe for her to stay with us crazies, so she’s going to be on the run soon. Her family owns a vacation home in Georgia, which is pretty close to where the Father of Light guys are right now. It sounds like they might be meeting up there, so Setoth’s happy that she’ll be staying with people we know.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go find something to punch, because if I have to put up with hearing the sickeningly sweet goodbyes those two are saying for much longer, I’m going to retch.