I know what you’re thinking, you’re thinking that I’m full of shit aren’t you? If I’m naming names like Pruitt and The Banker and telling you about our meetings, I would already be dead wouldn’t I? Well, guess what idiot, this happened months ago. Let me tell you the goddamned story.
As I follow Pruitt and The Banker through the warehouse (flanked by the omni-present goons of course), I catch a glimpse of myself in a small hand held mirror that is propped up against a box of what looks like stuffed animals. I swallow my shock at seeing my own face for the first time in at least over a year. I look like hell. I barely recognize myself. Barely recognize my own features.
I continually modify my own features whenever possible, hair length, hair colour, subtle adjustments to the way I carry myself. When I was more actively travelling I would occasionally undergo facial reconstruction surgeries when the time and facilities permitted. My own mother wouldn’t recognize me now. It’s something I have to do for safety. The safety of anonymity.
Over the course of my so called career I’ve had no doubt hundreds of aliases and false identities. Anything to get me to where I need to be, talking to the people that need to be talked to in order to get the story. It has left me a sad shell of a human being. I can’t even remember the last time I forged an actual relationship with another person. Every time I get to know someone, it is behind the veil of one of these personas. I cannot even remember the last time someone called me by my real name. In fact, it takes a conscious effort for me to even remember my own name.
Hold on. Ok, I got it. That was close.
You have to wonder what that means. When it takes you a minute to remember your own name. Buried under years of pretending to be someone you’re not and constantly bombarding you brain with substances and knowledge that would drive any normal person to insanity. Is your identity even important anymore? When you are constantly deceiving everyone you meet to various degrees, do you stop being you? Have I simply become a vessel for the Truth?
I used to think I was only truly being myself when I was writing. That’s not even true though. When I am writing I am St-Brigid. And of course, that’s just another pseudonym.
When I get into this line of thinking I begin to question my own humanity. All the lies and deception to get to the Truth has compromised my integrity as a human. In my own way I am just as much a monster as the men who I expose as monsters. Instead of personal gain, my greed is for the Truth. If my goals might be more pure, it says nothing of my methods. I will stop at nothing to get what I need, I have betrayed and misled everyone I’ve ever met.
I view every new acquaintance as an obstacle or a resource. I haven’t made a real human connection in over a decade, maybe longer. I have I have stooped as low as pretending to be in love with someone to get the story. I have always told myself that old world adage, “the ends justify the means.” So far though I have no proof of that. I have told you all stories of the pit, of the corruption of New Bunker, of the horrors that go on every day here and it has changed nothing. I have no way of even knowing if any of you are even reading this right now. I perform routine checks on my sat-uplink and it’s all running smoothly. I know the signal is being sent out, but I can’t make you read. I can’t show you first hand what I’ve seen, all I ask is that you trust me.
Trust in St-Brigid. Trust in the person who’s lied every day for as long as they can remember. Trust in the person you could never trust if you met them face-to-face. When I stop and think about it, it’s comical.
“Junky? Banker’s talking to you.” Pruitt smacks me in the arm. My thoughts fade to the corners of my mind as I take in my new sourroundings: we’re in The Bankers small, cluttered office. The goons blocking the doorway, no windows, mountains of “treasure” heaped up on every surface of the small room. The Banker has put the water purification tablets into some sort of a scanner and is grinning like a child with a new toy.
“Yes, we definitely need these. I would ask you where you got them, but I don’t care. What I do care about is whether or not you can get more. If you can, we can talk. If you can’t, well, I would consider showing me these few pills to be a monumental waste of my time.”
Pruitt grins, he’s hoping I can’t deliver the goods, he wants to see me squirm before he kicks me like an invasive rat into the pits. I nod. I can get a lot more I tell him. The Banker grins as Pruitt frowns.
“Well Junky, you got 48 hours to figure it out, shouldn’t be a problem since you’ll barely be sleeping.”
He opens his desk drawer and tosses me a pill bottle filled with the tiny blue pills I’ve come to recognize as my best friends. I couldn’t tell you the medicinal ingredients, or even the brand name on these little blue life-savers but I can tell you what they do. They stimulate the brain to peak efficiency, while simultaneously energizing motor functions in the body. The army designed them so soldiers wouldn’t have to sleep but could remain operating at optimum alertness. I’m sure there are side-effects but I don’t care. This stuff will give me more usable hours in the day and I’ve just written a cheque I have no way of knowing I can actually cash.