Sept 30th, 2019
I’m going to start writing these as a diary, now, and hopefully once everything is said and done this will be a good read to any interested parties. I just can’t have it online anymore, and you’ll see why very soon.
One of the reasons is that Ravenseer got back to me today. I thought it would be a lot sooner—I’m usually fiending for new information about 616—so I just assumed that he would see the notes I gave him and then get all excited and unable to sleep. I didn’t think that he would have a normal-people schedule, or a job to keep him from his obsession. For days I’ve just been tapping my fingers against my desk, refreshing my email client just in the hope that he would have sent a message in those forty-five seconds.
I saw a lot of ads and coupons pop up, but not too much about 616.
Turns out—once I got his email—that he did get all excited and he was unable to sleep. Once he got my information, he delved into all of his sources, his pools of information that he would eventually refuse to disclose, and what he found was even more incriminating than what I had been able to connect on my own. It wasn’t exactly an even playing field—apparently our friend is quite adept at sneaking in between lines of code—but he was still generous enough to tell me what he had learned. It just had taken a week to fully organize all the information into a concise, twenty-page report.
Yeah, twenty pages. The guy is just as nutty as I am.
However, as crazy as we are, it does seem like we’re onto something. The House of Orphans isn’t as squeaky clean as I had thought, though of course I had considered there was something more going on. They don’t just rehabilitate people sometimes. Sometimes they allow Escape addicts to effectively wean off the drug, even going so far as giving substitute hallucinogens, kinda like how they use methadone for opiate addicts. It’s all illegal, obviously, but Ravenseer and I don’t really see a problem with that. Though there might be some brainwashing going on, it does seem like the end result is to help the addicts get back to some sort of normal.
However, since they are getting their drugs from somewhere, Ravenseer’s next step was to figure out just who was supplying them, and it should be somewhat obvious from a narrative standpoint.
I was right when I thought that Lynn Stafford knew much more about Escape than the public assumes. Ravenseer found for certain that she used to be a heavy user—a habit she formed when her son committed suicide—and I can’t blame her. That kind of pain would be impossible to overcome. I’ve had my own trials recently, if you don’t recall, so I’m pretty sympathetic. It also seems like she has it under control, and has stopped taking nearly as much as she did.
BUT the connections she had developed during her own hallucinogenic exploration are still very much intact. And, if you hadn’t guessed, she gets her supply from a subsidiary of Catalytics. When Ravenseer looked through the paperwork and the supply lists, finding that an address owned by the House of Orphans was left on a few shipping documents, it really wasn’t too much of a leap in logic.
So there we have it. The hunches provided by 616 were correct. Ravenseer even told me in his report—somehow giddy in his tone—that he found a lot of the links and connections just by following 616. It was always there, hidden in the costs and orders and even the lines of code. Even went to the trouble of circling them and posting them into his report, just so I could see how he had done it. It was interesting, it was nice to know that I hadn’t been misled, but I was underwhelmed.
Ever since I had made the connections, I just assumed that they were true.
It’s nice to have proof, obviously, but it almost… it almost seems beneath my notice? Stafford’s cult has nothing to do with me, now, and Catalytics doesn’t seem to be the evil that I said it was. So what if Wright and Macklemore made Escape? It’s just another drug. Who cares if people are rotting out their brain because they don’t want to live in the real world? People pay twenty bucks just to go to a movie for a couple hours and sit through almost as many ads. I don’t have a problem with someone turning off their brain and just drowning in their imagination.
But that’s not what I told Ravenseer. I expressed some of my misgivings, but I mostly just tried to sound like an excited, but wary, colleague. Thought that would be enough to talk about, to exchange with him. He’s still a stranger no matter how nice it is for someone else to believe in 616, so I didn’t know if I should start telling him about the dreams or how they’re affecting me.
Things changed once he said that he had been dreaming.
At once, the whole situation flipped on me. He said that he had imagined that he was a giant raven, that he could see things happening that he should have no knowledge about. Most of it was about the past, about the different things and places he had seen. Even went so far as to describe his version of Hell, which was only just a little bit more foreboding than my own. He said he was scared at first, but now he was fully exploring the entire experience because it might offer more information about 616.
Ravenseer went about it in two ways. One, he scoured for information all over the internet related to 616 and ravens and seeing through time. Went all out diving into demonology. What he found was interesting; that there was a demonic prophet who took on aspects of a raven. He didn’t tell me why that was so relevant to him, but he did say that it mattered and to trust him on it. Mostly, he just told me to look up the Ars Goetia for a demon named Amon, who apparently is the one he’s connected to.
The second way—which he seemed mildly uncomfortable talking about—was that he had been using hallucinogens in order to further explore his dreams and visions. I hadn’t expected that one, but it turns out that’s why he’s not entirely against Catalytics being responsible for Escape. By using the drug, he was able to fully immerse himself in the demonic world he found so interesting. I had heard that Escape was mostly for just wish-fulfillment—that you just see what you want to see—but he told me that the other drugs were different. Clarity was supposed to let you think clearer and remember further and more vividly than you could possibly do with your normal brain chemistry.
I thought that part was weird, but I couldn’t turn away this new colleague after he had confessed to so much. Not because I felt like I owed him or that I supported the drug use, but because what he was finding was far too relevant to my own situation. Though I haven’t built up the courage to alter my own mind and try out Escape or its cousins, I did immediately look up the Ars Goetia text that Ravenseer had mentioned.
It should go without saying that I found more than just the entry for Amon. When I read over his description in the Wiki, it seemed way too familiar, way too perfect. Amon was in charge of demonic prophecies, and the black bird was very much in line with my Crow/Corvus connection. Very familiar, too familiar, so it seemed like a setup. Maybe this Ravenseer was a plant, just trying to get me to crack and tell him everything so that the authorities don’t even need to drag a confession out of me. I don’t know, but after reading further, I do know that there was something he had not found.
There is another seer. Another one named Raüm, who was Amon’s brother.
He had the head of a crow.
I really hope I’m not right about what that means.
END OF ENTRY
Looks like Ray's onto something. Next entry is already here!