Statement of Lorell St John, regarding zombies.
Georgie goes to The Magnus Institute looking for Melanie to tell her about Oliver Banks and a tape recorder appearing in John's hospital room. However, she can only find Basira, who returns to the hospital with her and asks how she was able to recognize Oliver as an avatar of The End. John wakes up while the two are talking and he is saddened to learn of Tim's death and Daisy's disappearance and apparent death.
Georgie leaves, upset by John being supernaturally okay. John knows that Basira has put a statement in her bag and asks to have it. She leaves him to record it.
Lorell St. John has never felt like other people are "real." She describes having little empathy or interest in other's lives. When a roommate tries to explain the concept of philosophical zombies to her, Lorell notices that one of her other roommates has a blank stare. She begins quietly messing with his life to see how he reacts, but she is unconvinced by his efforts to play normal.
As time goes on, she starts seeing more and more people as zombies. She is unsure if she simply never noticed, or if there is something causing it to spread.
She eventually notices she is being followed by what appears to be an entity of The Stranger, which results in a physical altercation. The man is completely lacking in personality and unsettlingly nondescript, like a true example of what she believes everyone is becoming. She punches his face, which gives way like blank canvas. He is unaffected and the rip in his head is bloodless, leading to blank space.
She ends with the fact that even the person she is giving the statement to has blank, lifeless eyes, and thanks them for pretending to care.
John feels revitalised by the statement and calls Basira back in. He is not sure how to tell if he is the same person he was before but she nonetheless catches him up on some of what has happened since the Unknowing. He is surprised to hear that Martin's plan worked and Elias has been locked up, but not before appointing Peter Lukas as the new head of the Institute. He is alarmed to hear that Martin is rarely seen around the Archives because he is working for Lukas and Melanie is also unavailable because of more that happened while he was gone.
|ATTENTION! SPOILERS AHEAD!!|
This section contains information from later episodes of The Magnus Archives and may contain major spoilers for the setting and plot. Continue at your own risk.
- Related Entity: This statement is contentious as it contains elements that can be attributed to several fears:
- The Spiral: Known to interfere with the sense of reality of its victims, which can also be observed in MAG 74: Fatigue.
- The Stranger: The man Lorell St. John punches (presumably along with the other "zombies" in this world made strange) is a hollow almost-person similar to Nikola Orsinov, and his unsettling behavior is reminiscent of the Anatomy Students.
- The Extinction: The statement ends on a decidedly apocalyptic tone, with Lorell fearing she may be the last true person in a world where all of humanity has been "zombified."
- The Lonely: The philosophically and socially isolating nature of the experience of becoming the "last true human on earth." Lorell's inability to empathize with others and form meaningful connections also makes them a prime target for this power.
- This episode is when John stops referring to himself as "Jonathan Sims, Head Archivist at the Magnus Institute" when reading statements. From this point on, John simply notes the statements are recorded by "Jonathan Sims, The Archivist."