Concerning the late Roger Carlyle

Scrawled halfway through a notebook labeled "ECON 101"

Nico Papadakis, what have you gotten yourself into..?

I need to keep track of what’s going on.  It’s hard to wrap my brain around it all.

This is a mess.  Understatement of the year, but that’s what it is.  Ever since I got back to New York, things just got more and more outta hand.  I shoulda known that telegrams never bring you good news.  Anything that urgent, gotta be bad.  And that’s all this whole mess’s been: bad news.

I never thought I woulda seen what I saw in the trenches again.  Closed that chapter of my life, started over.  But then I saw Jackson Elias, all cut-up and gutted, looking like he just took a dive on a grenade.  So much blood and viscera.. (that’s a good word!)  A man ain’t supposed to see this kinda thing.  I shoulda got out then.  Went back to school.  Pretended like it never happened.

But it did happen.  And it kept happening.  Jackson Elias was a good man, and I couldn’t turn my back on his death.  Especially if the NYPD was as much of a joke as Mentiri says.. (I wonder about that!)  So I went with them to try and solve this case.  It must’ve been the shock- we were possessed!  This was no matter for us, but we had a cop and a special agent with us.  Like we were deputies, or something.  With righteousness on our side, maybe?  Doc Carter prob’ly shoulda kept us even, but that was his friend he saw, splattered on the walls of the hotel room.  I can’t blame him more than I can blame myself, to wanna see some justice in this world.

I don’t even remember the frenzied search of the warehouse, or just what I was looking to find.  I don’t remember what we said to the man who’s Hudson they stole (but I remember his wife- poor Martin!).  But everything that happened at the Ju Ju House, I don’t think I’ll ever forget.

I was hoping to get us in without a fuss.  It was late, after all.  But we were all tired, weren’t thinking straight.  Waltzed up to the back door, like a badge really was a shield, and got jumped for our troubles.  It didn’t seem like a big deal at first- even when the hobo pulled a knife on me.  I grew up in Queens, after all!  And then there were gunshots and screams.  And then a hobo caught a bullet to the brain.  I was afraid to look, at first, thought I’d see Paddy.  But I didn’t, I saw dirt and despair, and blood in spades.  That wasn’t Paddy.

And what the hell was going on in the basement!  People dancing around, with their bits all hanging out?!  Blood sacrifices??  It’s still dizzying.  Even that alone, I’d have a hard time believing.  But I know what I heard, and I KNOW what I SAW!  Coming up from the black like one of those cobras from a basket, screaming like.. like I don’t even know what, nothing on this earth makes that sound.  And FACES, it was covered in FACES!  What the hell is that?!  And he FED someone to it!!  I still have nightmares!!  Chakota…

And I coulda done something, I coulda..  Rowley’s a liability.  I don’t wanna think about that anymore.

That didn’t leave us with anything to go on but the insanity that only two of us saw, and half of us didn’t believe.  Going back was no better, but the creature they left behind..  I don’t wanna say I was glad Mentiri saw it.  It messed him up.  But it was validating.  I’m not crazy, even if I wish I was. 



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