It’s been hell. Sara is dead. Matt shot her. I made a thousand stupid mistakes. I acted like a spoiled brat. I don’t know what’s gotten into my head, don’t know what’s real, half the time don’t even know who I am anymore.
Yesterday morning, Matt sent me an email saying he’s a dead man if I don’t meet with him. I freaked out and told Sara that I was going to get coffee, then – despite her protests – went out alone. Of course, instead of Starbucks, I went to get Matt and then holed up with him in a hotel where he told me everything. He’d been consulting for Rossum all along. The day we met in Central Park was a total accident and much earlier than when he was supposed to meet me, but the outcome was the same – I was supposed to fall for him, so he could influence me in taking the Rossum job offer when it came.
According to him, he didn’t tell his employers that he had developed feelings for me as well, and kept all the stuff about the videos and our dates a secret until Rossum found out on their own. He said that I have a rare genetic condition that allows for partitioning in the area of the brain where memories are stored. That’s what caused my dad’s aneurysm. Matt said it would kill me as well unless the Rossum scientists operated on me. Of course, there’s a catch. Rossum’s scientists think that this anomaly will allow my brain to house multiple sets of memories. Basically, they think they’ll be able to imprint me with lots of personalities without my going insane. That’s why they’ve been after me specifically and that’s why I’m not dead already.
That Friday night when I went to Mat distraught and then woke up not knowing how I’d gotten home, his bosses at Rossum had ordered him to deliver me to them for some “adjustments”.
It creeps me out to even type that.
Apparently they did something to my mind that made me trust him more and made me want to accept their offer. They wanted me to go to them willingly, rather than be abducted, because they want to use my name and release the research publicly, which would make it look like they’re curing people. That would get others with the same condition to voluntarily apply for the program and soon they’d have their own little army. Obviously, that plan didn’t work because after everything that’s happened, I’d rather die than work for them.
Yesterday, Matt repeated over and over that he didn’t think I should go to Rossum with him, but that he wanted to apologize and say good-bye because they were going to send him to something called ‘the Attic’ for not delivering me. I cried, he cried, I wanted to run away, he said there’s no running away… you get the idea.
Then, in late afternoon Sara emailed me to say she knew about the brain condition I have and that maybe my sister Kara has it and that I should go back and work with her to protect Kara. She also said she understands that I’m in love with Matt and that if I wanted to bring him with me, she’d be willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.
Matt had told me before this that Kara wasn’t at risk, because Rossum researchers had already looked into her records and she was of no interest to them. He did, however, agree to come back to the motel with me so we could discuss our options with Sara. We drove there holding hands, and for the duration of that drive I had some stupid fantasy where we all got away and went to live on an island somewhere with Sara and Robert’s wife & kids, and came up with ingenious ways to show people what Rossum really does, and then saved the world. It was such a nice dream, but it ended as soon as we walked into Sara’s room.
She had just finished the ink for that stave tattoo she wanted to put on the back of my neck. She said this time the consistency looked right and that the snowflake shape would allow the herbs to hit the right nerve endings, which might make my brain impervious to being wiped, or at least give it the ability to recover quickly.
Matt started yelling at her that if she tattooed me she might as well shoot me then and there. That if Rossum’s technicians couldn’t perform tests on me, I’d be of no use to them and they would kill me right away. He started grabbing at the bottle and Sara pulled out her gun. They fought. He spilled the ink and stomped the herbs into the carpet. Sara hit him across the face with the gun. I got between them and screamed at them to stop. I think that made Sara hesitate, which gave Matt all the advantage he needed. He grabbed the gun out of her hand and before I knew anything, there was a popping noise and then she was doubled over, bleeding in my arms, then on the floor. I held her on the floor and saw the holster with her second gun under the bed. I didn’t think, I just picked it up and pointed it at Matt.
He stood there and stared at me with no expression, then slowly nodded and stepped toward me. I couldn’t do it. I started crying, then screaming, then just fell next to Sara. I don’t remember what he said exactly. I know he touched my shoulders and I shrank away. There was something about getting out and running, then that he would get Rossum off my trail and that they would finish what I couldn’t do.
Then he left. A few minutes later, I managed to open my laptop and talk to the CTPs. They – you – helped me keep it together so I could leave the motel, call 911 and get out of Tucson.
Sara had sent instructions to a few people on Twitter what I should do if something happened to her. She also left a locker key and a pre-paid card inside my bag. The next flight to NY left from Phoenix, so I took the car and drove two hours, then boarded the plane and got back to the city this morning. The locker at Grand Central station had a lot of cash, papers for a Swiss bank account, keys with an address in Paris, another set for London, some disks and another gun with a permit registered to Sara. I took everything, though I won’t be able to carry the gun with me on the plane. There was also an address for a Mailboxes, Etc. in the West Village. Sara had told the CTPs that she’d finally gotten a hold of her last colleague Paul and that he was waiting for us in Thailand. He was to overnight fake IDs for her and me to that mailbox, but when I checked my email there was a message from him saying that I had no time to lose and there were some friends of his in Chinatown who could get me a passport faster.
So I met them and got the passport, plus a plane ticket for the new name, then I went to my apartment and packed a carry-on. Then I spent the last two hours before departure walking the streets and getting wet. Every time I see a black van or SUV, I jump, so now I’m hiding out at a cafe by Time Square, using their wireless. I don’t think it gets any more crowded than this.
The picture above is the last thing I took before I left my apartment, probably forever. I came to New York with so many dreams, wanted to make it big, to get married, have kids, wanted to be in love and walk across the curvy bridge in Central Park…basically, to live a movie. I do in fact feel like I’m living a movie, but it’s definitely not the script I wrote for myself.
I have to grieve and find peace with this new role that I now seem to have. Somehow, I have to find the inner strength to prevent the future from happening, to survive and become strong and then tell people – many, many people – that the technology we think is helping us will in fact cause our doom. That greed and power, when coupled with science and technology, will undo everything good we have ever created. I, on my own and with your help, have to begin spreading this message and then do it loudly, for as long as I can. I don’t know if I can win. Most of the time I think it’s impossible, but I promise you all that no matter what happens, I will not stop fighting.
This Friday evening, if you remember, raise a glass to my 25th birthday and know I’ll be somewhere out there – probably very far from the internet and life as I’ve ever known it. I won’t be giving up, and a part of me will always be the Alex you have known.
Thank you all, from the very bottom of my heart.
Until we meet again.
Not a good sign when I start a post by realizing that the “Strange” category no longer cuts it. Here’s a quick recap of the past few days. If you want something uplifting, I suggest looking elsewhere.
On Monday Matt sent me a text message that ended up being a password to the wipethefuture.com website that revealed two Rossum memos. One was a hit list that had the entire Hunter family, as well Sara. It also had Thomas’ and Liz’ names crossed out. My name was not on there, which of course made everyone even more suspicious. Long story short, Robert packed up the Hunter family and me, and flew us all to a city that I have promised not to name under any circumstances. He then flew me and himself to Sara, where they spent all of Wednesday discussing things and arguing somewhat.
Robert wanted us all to go hide. Apparently, in the early 60s, Robert’s dad got involved in a case that resulted in the death of Robert’s mom and the temporary disappearance of his sister Rachel. He was adamant that he would not allow for history to repeat itself. That case was left open, but from what I understood by eavesdropping, some guy by the name William Morley was a scientist who made discoveries that located personality and memory banks in the brain and was working on extracting them. He then got moved or abducted or something by some people named MK Ultra. Some other guys (apparently businessmen) then pulled some strings and got him handed off to them in the early 80s. Robert’s Dad kept in touch with William but didn’t write anything else down because he was convinced this would endanger his two kids. In 1984, William resigned from his position, changed his name and disappeared. Robert Sr. was going to meet up with him, but ended up driving into a tree instead.
If you think these stories are bad, it doesn’t quite end there. On Thursday both Sara and I convinced Robert he should fly to his family to be with them on Thanksgiving. He left in a cab, supposedly got to the airport, took off, but never landed – anywhere. Sara spent last evening and this morning on the phone with May, and from what I hear they’re starting to presume him dead. She told May that they’ll find out in forty days, but when I asked her what that means, she pretended not to have heard me.
Also yesterday, Matt sent me an email that said “You’re my Syr & I miss you”. The wonderful CTPs got on their research horses and immediately figured out it has to do with some Norse goddess. I wrote him back (via a CTP friend) telling him to stay out of my life. When he didn’t reply, I was actually disappointed. Go figure! My brain is so f-ed up sometimes.
Speaking of brain, I keep dreaming about the Rossum job offer. Not only is it absurdly good money, but in my dream Matt is there, and he holds my hand and tells me there’s nothing to worry about. I’ve started fantasizing of running off and finding him. This, of course, just makes me feel even more ashamed because I should figure out a way to help Sara instead.
Sara… she’s so poised and strong, and manages to somehow be beautiful while worry and sadness are all over her face. She keeps going back to the rubble site which she suspects is where the Technical Institute once stood. She found pieces from animal cages there and thinks there was some kind of explosion. There’s a lot of security there (that second Rossum memo we got was about that) and someone shot at her yesterday and grazed her shoulder. She’s all tough and insisting it’s fine. I also saw her holster a gun before putting on her jacket today.
In the meantime, I’ve mostly been sitting at the motel, feeling numb and kind of resigned. Ashamed that I should somehow kick my own ass and come up with a plan. But I’m not even 25 yet. What do I know about saving the world?
It’s been only two days, but feels like a whole month just passed. I’m too tired to make this interesting (or even readable), so will just describe the last 48hrs. in as much detail as I can remember.
Yesterday was spent mostly vegging with Robert and May’s children: Josie, who is 5 and Ethan, age 7. as I mentioned in the few emails I managed to sneak through last night, the Hunters really didn’t want me to use the computer or phone. I think they were afraid I’d tell someone that I was going in to work today and have them clear anything of importance.
As it turns out, all the precautions didn’t help – the moment I walked into the office, the receptionist pretty much took me by the elbow and led me to the VP’s office. I even tried to ask if I could just pop into the bathroom and freshen myself, but she said “Sorry, they asked that you go directly there. Besides, you look fine.”
I think I was shaking a bit by the time I sat down on the VP’s couch, because he said almost laughingly, “Relax, Alex! You’re just being let go. It’s not like I’m going to kill you.” I still don’t know whether he was joking or not. He then went on to say that my employment was being terminated without severance for breach of contract, that I violated my NDA with the company and with a specific client, and that they know about my Twitter account and this blog. He also said something about the blog making him worry about my psychological well-being, and that it’s probably for the best that I go back to Canada and take a long rest. I started crying and asked if I could go pack my things, but he said Jessie (the receptionist) had it handled and that she’d meet me at the lobby with any private items. He then called for security and they ushered me out to the lobby where we waited for about 15 minutes until Jessie came out. She had a small box that contained my hairbrush, two lipsticks, my face powder, a small tube of hair gel, a half-eaten bag of pretzels and the book I used to read during lunch: “Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life”. I begged her to let me at least save some of my private files from my desktop, but she shook her head apologetically. She said she’d ask and email me anything they OK-ed. I haven’t received a thing, of course.
Robert was waiting for me at the coffee-shop inside the building and followed me outside. We then went back to his home where I proceeded to tweet and fret and cry some more. I think it was about an hour later, my phone buzzed with an SMS alert. I told Robert, who checked first, then showed it to me. It only said “I’m truly sorry.” The number was unlisted, but Robert got me to retrieve my account info online and called to request a list of recent activity (one of the many smart CTPs also suggested we do the same). The number they gave us for the text message was 1.800.000.000, so obviously that doesn’t help us any.
Of course I got it in my head that the message must have been from Matt. I still can’t believe that he didn’t have any feelings for me. I’m not usually that wrong about people, and I’ve always been very careful with men. I know I might just be in denial, or have Stockholm syndrome or whatever, but every time I think of him, instead of feeling the revulsion I should, my heart just aches.
After calling his number and getting an automated message saying it has been disconnected, I decided I just had to go to his place and confront him. Robert insisted that he come along, so we walked the ten or so blocks together. We told the doorman we were there to see Mateo on the 11th floor, but he just shook his head. After some insisting and a barrage of questions, we got to speak to the super, who said he hadn’t seen Matt since Friday, and that on Saturday around 2pm half-dozen movers showed up, packed up all the furniture and left. Since they had keys and an authorization letter that matched the signature on file, he let them go ahead. So, that’s it – no sign of Matt, no note, nothing. I’d tell you I cried some more, but you’ve already guessed that.
This about covers my stuff. Liz is still not answering her phone either. I can’t believe that she worked for the bad guys, but I don’t know what else to think.
Regarding Sara, she was followed by a black van that attempted to run her off the road, and Robert is anxiously awaiting her call at the moment. Their colleague Tom was supposed to join her in Tucson yesterday to help, but according to the airline he never made his flight. He was driving a silver Audi from his home in Manhasset, Long Island to LaGuardia Airport. His car is not at the airport parking and there have been no accidents matching our description.
Everybody is worried about everything – that about sums it up. I don’t think things can get much worse at the moment 😦
I hope my mom & friends don’t read this. They don’t seem to check the blog and now it’s really for the better. Everything has gone haywire. I have no clue what’s happening and keep wishing I’d just wake up!
Yesterday, right before the end of work the CTPs (who are mostly really nice now) started all of a sudden to ask me about the new shoes and whether I’d broken the ribbon of one. I did – on Thursday morning when I was trying them on because I was eager to figure out what I should wear for the Friday date – but I hadn’t told *anyone* at all. So, that freaked me out good and proper. Then someone sent me a link to a new “ditch the tech” video with me talking about being wounded and some stuff about the Sara lady and loving her and having my mind wiped by Rossum, and then somebody shot me. I mean, her – the me from the future. I got so upset I thought I was going to throw up. My knees were shaking. I just left the office and got in a cab and told them to take me to Central Park where I was supposed to meet Matt.
So much for getting dressed up and all the big date excitement! I got there early, and just sat on a bench, and stared at the traffic and all the people going in and out of the Plaza, and I so desperately wished I could be any one of them – just not me.
Then Matt showed up. He was carrying flowers again, but when he saw me, he immediately understood something was wrong, so he just scooped me up and held me tight and petted my hair. Then we left the park and the carriages and slowly walked to the first nearby restaurant and sat at the bar and he ordered me a glass of wine so I could calm down and start speaking again.
I told him about the video, about seeing myself die, about how the person in the video knew I’d broken the ribbon, which possibly means that everything they’re saying is true. And, oh my God, I still can’t wrap my mind around the meaning of all that!
Matt got really quiet, then he held my hand and told me that he won’t let anything bad happen to me, that I need to trust him, and he won’t leave my side. I started crying again, so he put my coat on and gently took me outside. We walked just a few blocks and then we were at his building. He’d never taken me to his apartment before, though I knew he lived somewhere close to the park. Inside, it was more of a loft: very bare and eclectic, with a lot of dark antiques and it felt so very posh and effortless that I just wanted to stay there and never leave.
He poured me another glass of wine, we talked some more, and he was assuring me we’d get to the bottom of everything together. Then we were kissing, and I started crying, and he shushed me and led me to his bedroom.
Maybe I came across as too easy or too pathetic, I don’t know. Afterward, he got up and said something about being sorry. I wanted to ask him why he was sorry, but drifted off before I could get the words out.
When I woke up I was on the couch at my place, fully clothed. For a long moment I thought it had all been a dream, but my back hurt horribly and I felt disoriented, and I’m afraid it was all real and that I got my heart broken. I tried calling him and left six messages (pathetic, I know!), but no answer. I also called Liz and texted her and she hasn’t replied either.
I think you know the rest: Robert Hunter, who is apparently Sara Kingsley’s colleague or boss contacted me and asked me to meet him. I am now at his place, where his sweet wife May made me tea and let me use her laptop. They have two very well-behaved children. They’ve offered me to stay with them until all this gets sorted out. Robert will take me back downtown to pack a few things, then I’ll talk to Sara tonight on the phone and figure out what to do.
Thanks to all of you for caring and looking in on me. I keep wanting to give up, because if all this horrible stuff is going to really happen anyway, then what’s the point of trying to fight it? But the videos said we could make a difference and that we should help Sara, so maybe that’s the next thing I have to do. I don’t know. I don’t know anything.
Well, I’ve certainly learned a thing or two lately. Among them, not to post my picture on the internet, or where I have lunch or the like. The CTPs told this information to some woman named Sara Kingsley, who tracked me down and accosted me on the corner of Suffolk & Grand, just as Matt and I were going back to my place from having lunch at an Asian bistro. She was standing in front of Two Boots, and actually recognized me, called out my name and came over to me. Some rather tall guy was with her, and they both looked like they were from a James Bond movie – all impeccable coats and gloves, and ironed everything. Anyway, while she didn’t seem totally crazy, Matt helped me get away very quickly. The woman introduced herself and started telling me how they have reason to believe I’m in danger, etc., and Matt (fast thinker that he is), said something like “Oh look Alex, you’re running late for work” then he hailed down a cab in under 30 seconds. Go, Matt! Lucky too, since catching a free cab is like winning the lotto.
We disengaged quickly, then slid into the cab, told the cabbie my address, and started giggling madly. It really felt like I was being rescued, so I think I might have kissed him a time or ten 🙂 Back at my apartment, Matt told me that he was getting worried about me, and that the thought of anything happening to me was like someone punching the wind out of him. He looked at me so intensely, took my hands in his, then started saying something, but interrupted himself and said it was too soon for such words. The thing is, it is soon, but I know what he wanted to say, and I think I’m falling in love with him too.
I’ve only had four relationships and the only one in NY so far was with this Irish guy who was more or less of a jerk. Like, when I told him I don’t have sex with people before I have feelings for them, he had the gall of asking twenty minutes later whether I had feelings for him yet. Smooth move, exlax! Anyway, Matt is the exact opposite – a perfect gentleman at every turn, takes such amazing care of me, and most importantly, he dropped everything today and arrived at my place less than 1/2 hr. after I’d called him.
Yeah, and about the morning – some crazy person claimed they were me from the future, contacting me on Twitter. Yup, the future tweets, folks! You heard it here first. It’s utterly ridiculous, but that, together with apprehension over telling my bosses about the intranet being compromised, just sealed the deal on calling in sick. I really don’t want to go to work tomorrow either, but I feel really dishonest lying, plus I can’t ask Matt to take a second day off, and if I stay home alone I’ll only brood and freak out more and probably spend too much time on Twitter.
Tomorrow night, Matt and I are still planning on having our sushi date and maybe going for a movie. Anything good out? He said he would show me a whirlwind time and is meeting me at the entrance to Central Park, right where the horse-drawn carriages are. I mean, sure, I’ve watched Sex & the City a few too many times, but is he perfect or is he perfect?! If you want to sweep a girl off her feet, involving carriages and sushi is always a good plan.
I’m having tea and off to an early bed now. Here’s to a magical tomorrow with zero craziness!
This is a picture from the place Matt and I had lunch today. Before you go on reading into things, it’s just a picture of a red pizza parlor. Nothing symbolic or creepy. Matt and I had this really deep conversation about work vs. calling and who we want to be when we grow up. I was going to blog about that tonight, but it seems trite given recent developments. All I’ll say for the time being is, I felt Matt’s sadness for having to compromise science for business, and that it seems that while he’s very successful and respected, he’s not overly happy at his job. I’m getting to know a more real side of him, and it’s making him less perfect, but also more endearing. I also think that he genuinely cares for me, though maybe he’s conflicted about getting serious with someone. I don’t know….. One minute he’s acting all smitten, then he puts up a wall, then it’s back to smitten again. I guess people in this city are complicated.
Speaking of complicated, here’s the thing most of you CTPs already know: someone messaged me the log-in and password to one of our clients’ intranet. People went on about disturbing information being there. I admit, I want to look, but I also know too well about curiosity and cats. Also, it’s totally and completely illegal and I’d lose my job. As it stands, I’m not certain that I won’t lose my job anyway, but at least I’ll do the right thing.
I talked to Liz tonight, (over cupcakes and two martinis that left me slightly buzzed) and she pointed out that if I get fired, there’s no way I’d last more than a month here. With these rents and my almost-nonexistent savings, I’d be high-tailing it back home a total failure. This economy is not a good time for career risks. I still haven’t decided what to tell my bosses, but I really don’t want any badness in relation to you-know-who. I want my calm little life from before this whole mess started.
Oh, and I’m not meeting any strangers from the internet, thank you!
I’m currently floating on air! Got into the office this morning to discover a drop-dead-gorgeous flower arrangement on my desk. All the other women were ooh-ing and ahh-ing and I think they all hate me right about now. Anyway, when Matt and I had that little argument, I said something like “Thought you’d want to protect me!” and so he wrote this very sweet (and a bit cheesy) note and sent me the flowers. Is it weird that I’m just the teensiest bit disappointed that he just signed his name and not “love” or “yours”? I *know* it’s too early, and I really don’t like guys who throw those words around, but it felt a bit bare. Well, I’m being all silly – the flowers are divine and those little yellow orchids are my absolute favorite in the world!