на ядерной пустоши нет места таким как мы.
у тебя нет имени и нет родины, ты не знаешь дома, в который мог бы вернуться, но ты все ещё дышишь — все ещё можешь обрести себя заново. на пересечении вселенных ты считаешь минуты до судного дня, и счёт снова идёт на единицы: среди бесконечности развилок определишь ли для себя правильный путь?
доброй дороги, путник, и не смей забывать, у выживания нет цены.

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1

geh ich mit freuden
«false face must hide what the false heart doth know.»

http://funkyimg.com/i/2Any9.gif  http://funkyimg.com/i/2Any8.gif
http://funkyimg.com/i/2Any7.gif  http://funkyimg.com/i/2Anya.gif

joseph oda & sebastian castellanos

somewhere inside STEM, somewhere between life and death;

♯ marlene dietrich – lili marleen

if you are with me, then i will go gladly
unto [my] death and to my rest.
ah, how
pleasing were my end,
if your dear hands then

shut my faithful eyes.

+1

2

he is not suitable for this work.

the hallways of the beacon are empty, and his steps echo with the plaster crumbling from the walls and ceiling — he holds his gun with a light touch of despair, hoping it'll help — somehow, he isn’t quite sure about all of it — hoping he himself will be able to help, hoping he won't fall apart trying to follow sebastian or just trying. he's so not ready to fall apart right now, and this is wrong, so wrong on so many levels but no one here — nor in möbius — has ever asked his opinion on this matter and, apparently, no one ever will.

actually, nothing new here.

he doubts he will be able to escape. that just doesn’t seem like a right option — never has even in the past, when he still had some kind of hope on his side — hope for something. he didn’t think much about it back then; thinking about it now seems funny — it’s like thinking about an opportunity to have a normal life you would probably have if you were a good boy and listened to your parents more careful for just once.

like, don’t talk to strangers.
don’t trust these strangers, no matter what they tell you. they’re probably lying because they want you to follow them.
obviously: don’t follow them.
this kind of stuff.

it’s, like, the basics of the basics.

they just put him here and forgot about him, pretending they have never had anything to do with him in the first place, pretending he’s not one of them or probably doing it all exactly because of it, as if he's already served his purpose. as if he's already useless to them — the biggest irony is that it's probably true but he'd refused to accept it until they arrived at the beacon.

then he understood, of course — they’d always been talking about useless and expandable, he just pretended he didn’t fit the category. he knew what it all was about but preferred to think they wouldn’t just expose of him like that. that was… naïve, actually — it was the möbius. möbius would do anything to protect their secrets — they surely would use every means they had to do what they thought must be done. that was expected. he knew it from the very beginning.

the problem was that he didn’t think he was that part of the plan which becomes unnecessary as soon as it’s all over.

the hallways of the beacon are empty, — mostly. he knows that because they have somehow made it so far almost safe and almost sound — he knows everything's going to be fine if they're careful enough, he knows he himself is careful enough, he knows it because sebastian is here, because sebastian — unlike him — is able to take care of anything, because he can survive anything and has survived already, and joseph truly believes it when that thought crosses his mind but he can't help himself: he shudders of every rustle and looks back again and again.

he knows he’s afraid. it’s fine, he thinks, there’s nothing wrong with being scared in someone else’s twisted mind where literally everything is trying to kill you, but it’s exactly what ruben — ruvik, he’s more of an object now, more like an idea of something ruben victoriano used to be — wants. it’s exactly what they want. he doesn’t have an idea if he is supposed to obey them now or not.

the utopia, they told him in a soft voice, the lost paradise taken back. he didn't believe them, of course, but it was fine: he didn't need an utopia, he needed money, power and a belief that he was worth something — a belief he was worth something in a world like this.

in the end, it turns out he isn't.

o brave new world, that has such people in it.

he is not suitable for this work — he probably never was, especially when he was throwing the canister with gasoline in his partner's — his friend's — kitchen, using old photographs and toys as fuel for the future destruction and long years of self-hatred drowning in a bottle of cheap whiskey. back then he pretended he didn’t care — that’s not true — he pretended he cared but didn’t show it — that’s not true also — he pretended he felt something different, something besides the guilt, something that was definitely not a guilt — he doesn’t think he’s been doing a good job here.

he is not suitable for this work when myra, with a frown and bitten lips, tells them that from now on anything may happen — and then she asks kidman to stay for a few words, and joseph doesn’t know what that means but he knows they somehow know each other for a long time already and it kind of makes everything even more complicated but it’s fine — as long as it doesn’t interfere with work, he thinks, everything is fine, even if it all doesn’t even look close to stable.

he understands that there’s something wrong with this whole situation when kidman ignores his questions about the call they just got. about the hospital.

he is not suitable for this work.
to hell with möbius, a part of him screams, if möbius is so ready to sacrifice him — if they put him in here, he thinks, the fact that they put him in here without a word means they don’t expect him to come back.

to hell with möbius, he thinks, holding on to sebastian’s hand like it’s something that will definitely save him in the end — sebastian doesn’t smile to him but he looks concerned, not anxious but concerned — maybe about this whole situation in general, maybe about him in particular, and it kind of terrifies him to know that sebastian doesn’t have a slightest idea what the fuck is going on in this place, what the fuck is this place, but he is still concerned and he’s still here.
this is probably too much.

it breaks something in his chest, he thinks, but just a little.
he doesn’t have much there left to break.

he tries really hard to not think about lily at that moment.

sebastian tells him to go forward, and yeah, he says, of course, he says we should get out of here, — he doesn't add that otherwise this place will eat them alive, destroying everything they know about themselves — everything left of them, he doesn't know what else to say but he places his hand on sebastian's shoulder and says with a sign of relief:

‘we better go now.’

and then he is losing it.
kind of.
partly.
completely.
he is losing it all.

he doesn't remember much — just the sound, and the pain, and then he screams because it hurts so much he doesn't think he can handle it, the thought of handling it doesn't even come to him for a slightest moment — this is too much — he screams, clutching his head, and in the next moment there's nothing.

the absolute emptiness with the sound of his own voice — screaming, crying, begging, — with the eternal pain in his head, with the red on his hands, with pictures on the screen turning into a video turning into reality turning into his thoughts turning into his mind turning into something else he doesn’t think he's able to control.

‘ y o u r   h o u s e   w a s   b u r n i n g   j u s t   f i n e , ’ he hears his own voice saying but it's so not his in the same time.
so much emptier.
so much angrier.
‘ s h e   d i d n ' t   s c r e a m ,   y o u   k n o w .’
his voice laughs.
he is too busy dying right now to pay attention to it.


everything becomes more tragic if you put something shakespearian in it.

‘don't even think about betraying us,’ the man's deep voice tells him, and he nods more automatically than with actual understanding, ‘you must know the consequences of your actions by now.’

he nods again, touching his left hand briefly.
he knows.

the next moment he is here again — in an empty room with some lockers and two hospital beds, in the empty room with a crumbling plaster and a tiled floor, in the same room he was just a second ago, but now with his hands in front of him, tighten around sebastian's neck, squeezing, gripping,
choking,
strangling.

‘fuck,’ he says softly, with his voice shaking, finally letting go, taking two steps back.
‘fuck.’

he is trembling, and the next moment he almost falls down, because his knees are so fucking week now he can't stand still, falling onto sebastian and trying to hold on to him once again.

‘sebastian, i…’

there's that one constant in his life.

‘i'm sorry.’

i’m sorry you think your daughter is dead.
i’m sorry your wife left you.
i’m sorry i tried to strangle you just now.

i’m sorry there’s nothing but ash left in you.

there's that one constant in his life — it’s all about drinking cheap alcohol and being here.
he is so not suitable for this work. those from möbius can probably see it too.

he fucked this up so much.

+1

3

at some point all this shit stopped reminding him of falling apart; no longer he felt like alice, trying not to tumble deep down the rabbit hole, and wonderland ceased to exist at all — the fucking madhouse in his head was nowhere like a place which contained a word ‘wonder’ in it, a land of broken promises, a land of shuttered lives and abandoned (burnt to hell) houses, and there was no way out, but the way in opened in front of him every time he found himself sitting in a shitty bar with a shitty drink in his hand, and it hurt him so much that he just couldn’t  e s c a p e . a constant loop of self-hatred mixed with self-destruction; he felt lost, oh, so lost without a home to return to, but it was fine so long as running away from himself was an option.

he never put a gun to his head;
the kind of death that he chose for himself was slower,
more painful,
much more complicated.

the thing is, he was tired of falling — tired of desperately trying to clutch onto something that could help him stay alive, tired of feeling how stones crumble under his palms, how newfound ground disappears once again under his feet, tired of failing and failing and failing, choking in agony while watching the waters wash over him one last time, burying him inside for good; he drew red circles on the map in the precinct, he drew blurry lines on the photograph existing only in his mind, so he wouldn’t need to see that happy smile on lily’s face and gray eyes shining with love, with adoration, why would you leave me? it didn’t help, circles never held any meaning, lines never stayed for long, dissolving almost immediately, and in the end fighting back became too hard to bear. the abyss didn’t just stare at him: it was crawling somewhere within, destroying him, turning him into someone he didn’t know, a stranger, who would smile for him from the mirror, whose hands weren’t shaking every time he looked at the missing person posters hanging on the wall in his office, and, well. watching from aside was a lot easier than living through hell on his own.

sometimes he wrote letters to myra, they all started with ‘my dear love’, they all said something like ‘i hope you’re having a nice life without me’ or ‘i’m glad you don’t see me like this’ or — when he was drunk again and letters were fading from his sight, forming something entirely different than he first intended to say — ‘please come back to me please please please’; he kept them in the top drawer in his table and occasionally wondered if they would burn brightly, if they would burn at all.

the thing is, you don’t have to give anything up if there is nothing left of you.

at some point he stopped considering himself broken — it felt more like he was gutted, violently, with fucked up precision, like he was forced to watch the whole process, feeling someone whispering words of comfort in his neck while cutting him down, removing everything human-like from his throat, his hands, his heart; at some point he became distant, closing doors that still remained opened, letting waves of indifference drown him in, and there was no cure more powerful than alcohol — whiskey created void in his head, void in which he could shove all his damned memories, in which he suddenly found salvation — temporary — questionable — but salvation nevertheless. the best thing to do when you care too much is to stop caring at all,
some reasonable part of himself kept telling him that he was malfunctioning, but malfunctioning never felt so fucking right.

it’s always good to make peace with yourself;
he tries not to think about the fact that in his case it means making peace with empty bottles scattered around empty rooms, cigarette butts endlessly piling in ashtrays, misplaced police reports and restless nights with neverending nightmares and horrible screams echoing in his ears.

           everything will be okay once you grow used to it.

the hallways of beacon are not empty — wheelchairs screech as someone stumbles upon them, doors open without any reason, water (or maybe blood, he is not sure of anything at this moment) drops from the ceiling with some kind of rhythm, one, two, three, waltzing along his quickly beating heart, and there is that constant feeling that y o u  a r e  b e i n g  w a t c h e d , like you are but a pawn in someone else’s plan, a puppet, programmed only to obey with its every move directed, calculated, leading to nowhere. he waves off these thoughts as they make their way to another not_so_empty room, all the while joseph holding his hand tightly and avoiding his glance — he doesn’t know why — out of shame? out of fear that this whole thing isn’t real, that he isn’t real, that all this time his gloved hand was clutching to emptiness and emptiness just happened to have sebastian’s face? – but what he does know is that he can’t afford to be weak right now, neither for his nor for his partner’s sake, and so he walks and he walks and he walks, listening to faraway cries and hoping that somehow this is going to work out in the end. he’s grown tired of this place, an obscure dream mixed with inexplicable reality, tired of trying to separate one from the other just to fail every time, tired of not understanding a single fucking thing; he stopped caring, if these monsters were humans once, a long time ago, it was so much easier to thrust a knife in the abomination’s head without thinking that maybe in another lifetime they had a normal family and their eyes didn’t look like two meaningless pits of fire and they would smile, laugh, love just like everyone else does; he made peace with beacon as he made peace with himself, he was exhausted and angry and that was all that mattered. if years of work in the force did teach him something, it was that sometimes the right answer is just to move forward, without hesitating, without letting your feelings — useless, unwanted feelings — get in the way and flood over you.

the thing is,
there are some questions that are better left unanswered.

the moments of silence here were more precious than gold and diamonds.
nothing’s chasing them anymore and there are no more nameless howls in the dark up ahead; this is, of course, an illusion, it’s always quiet before the storm, but he’s still grateful for the opportunity to relax for at least a couple minutes. somewhere behind him joseph’s breathing heavily, probably trying to repress a nervous breakdown, and he thinks that maybe he should say something like ‘we’re going to be fine’ but he’s hopelessly bad with words and he hates giving empty promises (myra often told him they are going to be alright and they were not they were never alright and she still left him with all these letters in his desk and bleeding bleeding heart), so ‘how are you?’ forming in the back of his mind sounds awkward and unusual and scratches his throat like a knife.

so with a sigh he turns around
      and joseph takes his glasses off
            and everything suddenly goes wrong.

the next thing he knows is that joseph is turning.
the next thing he knows is that hands in black gloves are clasping his neck, strangling him to death and he cannot breathe, his own hands trying to grasp his partner’s — or someone else’s, someone unknown — arms, trying to push away, to stop it all, he doesn’t want to die like this.
the next thing he knows is that joseph is smiling – grinning, more likely — and his voice is hoarse, hollow, full of hatred:
‘your house was burning just fine’.
‘she didn’t scream, you know’.

he doesn’t understand.
it’s a bit ironic – that he would die from his partner’s hands and that the last words in his life are going to be some bullshit about his dead daughter and all he wants is to ask what the fuck is that supposed to mean but he can’t he can’t everything is fading away there is only darkness and darkness has no air and he closes his eyes and lets go of joseph’s wrists

and then it ends.

joseph looks at him with sincere shock in his eyes, damaged, helpless, whispering ‘i’m sorry’ in a voice indicating that he’s on the verge to cry or to start screaming or something like that, and sebastian doesn’t know what to do, what to make of this, uncertain about what he’s just seen, and then joseph falls down and he has nothing left to do but to catch him, holding him almost reassuringly.
almost – because he’s trembling, and there’s that fire in his head again, and he can hear lily screaming in agony, calling for him from distance, and he wants to tear this all apart so it would just be over for once,

he doesn’t want to think about what it could possibly mean,
he doesn’t want to believe what it could possibly mean.

so instead looking at the man he's no longer sure he knows he asks:

‘what the hell this was all about? who didn’t scream?’

what do you know about them that i don’t?

the thing is, there are some questions that are better left unanswered.
question one:

have you ever felt abandoned by the ones you trusted?

+1


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