Statement of François Deschamps, regarding the family and presumed marriage of Benoît Maçon.
Jonathan Sims is arguing with Elias Bouchard over his recent kidnapping. He is angry that he had been gone a month with Elias seemingly doing nothing, and Elias counters that he had the team investigating the ritual site, but that he needed Sims to develop his own powers rather than rely on Elias to fight his battles.
Sims brings up Elias's murder of Jurgen Leitner again as an instance of Elias hindering him, but Elias maintains that if Sims were just given the answers plainly it would only hurt him in the long run. Pressing Elias for information on The Unknowing, Elias provides all the information on Gertrude Robinson's research into The Unknowing, and that if Sims can locate the ritual it would be preventable. Elias also states that the bulk of Gertrude's research was hidden from him.
Complaining about his lack of resources, Sims offhandedly mentions that Gerard Keay was working with Gertrude. While John believed he had read that in one of the statements, Elias instead asserts that this is Sims's powers beginning to develop. He now simply knows things without having read about it, and that they should look into Gertrude and Gerard's movements before their deaths. They are interrupted by Elias saying that Melanie King is on her way to his office to kill him with a knife, and Elias asks Sims to prevent it.
Melanie is angry towards Sims for being absent, before apologising as she wasn't told about his kidnapping. She is resolved to kill Elias, believing his threat about the assistants dying with him is a lie. Sims asks if she would rather go to prison, but Melanie believes that the police wouldn't investigate a supernatural death too closely, which Elias notes is a good point. Sims continues to talk her down, and says that they will deal with him one day, but not today.
Benoît was a lonely, depressed man who worked as a bartender at Le Papillon Blanc in Toulouse. Deschamps describes him as a middle-aged man with "no wealth, no prospects and no skills," and notes Benoît took pains to mention at every opportunity that he had no living family.
One day, however, Benoît's mood suddenly lifted, and he became far more upbeat and cheerful. He eventually confided in Deschamps that he'd met a woman, whom he referred to as "my little beetle," and was deeply in love. Over the next few months, Benoît occasionally raved about this woman or "the little ones," whom Deschamps assumed to be her children, but was cagey about specific details, not even giving her name. Benoît's personal appearance and hygiene also slowly deteriorated, and he was followed by a damp, woody smell that grew stronger over time.
While they were working together one night, Deschamps saw something moving under the skin of Benoît's right hand. Eventually a small insect emerged from under the nail of his ring finger, and crawled away, with no blood and no reaction from Benoît.
Deschamps was shaken and horrified, and shortly thereafter encountered Gerard Keay and Gertrude Robinson. He told them about Benoît, though with some difficulty, as Gertrude did not speak much French. The two Britons debated whether Benoît was under the sway of the Stranger or the Corruption, and eventually all three went to Benoît's home. There, they found Benoît in the embrace of "his little beetle," a thing that Deschamps found so repulsive that he and Keay suggested they burn the apartment to the ground. Gertrude, however, rejected the idea, as it would attract the attention of the police.
Sims realises that the entire statement was written in French, which he does not know, and yet he was somehow able to read out a flawless English translation.
Benoît Maçon died in late June 2014, shortly after this statement was given, and the Toulouse police have tightly sealed the records of the matter. François Deschamps refused a follow-up interview, but did forward the Archive a badly stained wedding invitation for Benoît and his "little scarabée."
Based on the travel documents he found in Gertrude's laptop, Sims concludes that she and Keay next went to New Zealand. Before he departs to follow them, he has an awkward conversation with Martin, as he'd promised Georgie he would.