John is attempting and failing to cut off his finger. Melanie enters and asks John what he is doing and he claims to be trying to save Daisy. Melanie is unimpressed with John and bitterly angry with him and Basira after they performed surgery to remove the bullet from her leg without her consent.
Melanie tells John how she has regular nightmares about the experience and that her already-fragile sense of safety has been thoroughly destroyed. When John tries to downplay the severity of the violation and of Melanie's anger toward the world, she becomes extremely distraught. Composing herself, she explains that while the bullet affirmed her anger and allowed her to create an identity out of it, it did not create her rage or desire for violence, and its continued presence in her body was because she allowed it to stay.
Melanie abruptly changes the subject and asks John why he is trying to cut off his finger. He explains that he needs an anchor for when he goes into the coffin and thinks one of body parts would work best, but when he tries to cut off his finger the wound heals as soon as the blade is removed. John dryly jokes about needing Jared Hopworth, The Boneturner, to take a rib for him. After a pause, Melanie asks him to come with her.
They go downstairs and find one of Helen's doors. Melanie knocks on the door and says that Helen has been helping them, but John is suspicious of her motivations. Helen answers, and she and Melanie explain that Helen helped dispose of various agents of The Flesh after Melanie killed them during their attack on The Magnus Institute some months prior. Jared fled through one of Helen's doors after Melanie attacked him and has been trapped in Helen's corridors ever since. John decides to go in and offer Jared freedom in exchange for his services.
John quickly finds Jared in the corridors. He still wants to kill John, but knows he will never escape the corridors if he does. John asks Jared to take out one of his ribs, which he readily agrees to. When John tries to compel Jared to explain why he attacked the Institute, he firmly states that a statement will cost an additional rib, a condition John reluctantly agrees to.
Growing up, Jared's parents were bitter and he was often in trouble in school. He had little hope for his future until 1996, when a childhood friend of his, Sebastian Adekoya, gave him a book: The Boneturner's Tale. Jared was confused with the book at first, but the way it talked about the body deeply resonated with him. His first attempt at what the book had taught him was messy and unappreciated; his short father did not enjoy being made tall and his scowling mother did not like the smile she was given. Jared left home shortly after.
He wandered for a period of time and found work as a contract killer. He met others who followed The Flesh and took some on as companions after altering their forms to match their "proper bodies". Some of the people he met told him about The Entities and Rituals, and while some of his companions were swayed, Jared already enjoyed the fear he could inspire in people and did not feel the world needed to change.
Jared started receiving unsigned letters in 2016 that gave simple instructions to locate a person. He ignored the first few letters, but became curious after receiving several more. He followed one letter's instructions and found Regan Hasnain, a woman who had highly malleable bones. The letters continued to come and consistently led him to new victims, companions, and high quality bones, and eventually Jared followed them without question.
In 2017, Jared received a letter that directed him to the archives of The Magnus Institute to kill John. He and some of his companions entered the archives through the pipes and came up through the floor. Their ambush caused Martin and Melanie to flee, leaving only Basira. Jared noticed that John was not present in the archives but continued the attack, intending to simply take the most desirable parts of the archival assistant's bodies, but Melanie returned with a knife and killed his companions. Jared was unable to defend himself and grew frightened, fleeing into one of Helen's doors and becoming trapped in her corridors.
At present, Jared muses about the origin of the letters and wonders if they were sent by John with the intention of trapping him in the corridors. He concludes that his theory isn't likely, as it seems like an unreasonable amount of work just for one rib.
After a brief exchange, Jared removes two of John's ribs. Jared incorporates the rib he received as payment into his own body and remarks that, while the bone is strange, it belongs to him now. Jared goes to find an exit from the corridors and John passes out.
Melanie and Helen find John outside the corridors holding his newly-removed rib, unconscious. Melanie asks where Jared's door led to, and Helen happily replies that he came out some distance above a river. As John regains consciousness he thanks Helen for her help, and Helen states that she supports what the Institute is doing. Melanie thinks Basira will be upset that Jared is free, but John assures her that Basira will consider Daisy escaping the coffin more important.
- Related Entity: The Flesh and The Spiral
- Jared's childhood friend Sebastian Adekoya first appears in MAG 17, where he gives a statement regarding his encounters with The Boneturner's Tale during the time he worked at Chiswick Library. In that statement, what Jared describes as Sebastian giving him the book is described as Jared taking the book, hitting Sebastian over the head with it, and leaving.
- The world-changing movement that Jared decline to join is likely the Last Feast, the ritual of the flesh seen in MAG 130. The companions who he had "helped find proper bodies" that decided to join are likely among the distorted meat creatures who participated in the ritual.
|ATTENTION! SPOILERS AHEAD!!|
This article contains information from later episodes of The Magnus Archives and may contain major spoilers for the setting and plot. Continue at your own risk.
- Elias mentions in episode 160 that he was the one sending the letters to Jared.