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Lamentation of those left below. Audio recording by the Archivist, in situ.

Pre-StatementEdit

Martin wants to know exactly how John killed Not-Sasha but John is not keen to talk about it and they're approaching a domain of The Buried. Helen appears and Martin asks her instead.

She explains that while all the Fears are in the world now, The Eye still rules and there are only really two roles in this new world, the Watcher and the Watched, those who who are feared and those who are afraid. John is an important part of the Eye and he is able to shift its focus, switching these roles for someone. And for those whose existence relies on being feared, being turned into a victim destroys them utterly.

To Martin's surprise, John confesses that he's ashamed. He feels like he's been rewarded for ending the world, he can walk unharmed through these nightmares and kill whoever he wants. He is ashamed that he enjoyed destroying Not-Sasha and that he wants revenge on many more.

John is startled to learn that Martin is all in favour of revenge. He argues that normal rules don't apply anymore. Some beings are simply evil and if John has the power to stop them from torturing people, he should absolutely go for it.

Helen is delighted at Martin's new attitude but before they can discuss it further, John needs to do a statement as they've been close to the Buried for too long. Helen heads out and Martin wanders off to give him some space.

StatementEdit

Below the earth, there is a worm named Sam. The relentless press of the ground weighs down on him and yet this suffering is not unfamiliar. Even before he was a worm, he found himself trapped as he struggled to scrape together a meagre living and he isn’t sure he has ever known freedom. But in this new prison of dirt, time has no meaning and all he can see is a distant pinprick of light far above. He needs neither sleep nor food but hunger still gnaws at him.

He might have arms or legs but it is impossible to tell with the ground pressing in on him from all sides. He wriggles through the dirt millimetre by millimetre, pressing his pale, mottled flesh ever upward toward the distant light.

Sometimes he can feel that light gazing back at him and he calls to it, imploring it to end his suffering. As he does so, he occasionally remembers pleas made long ago to other forces keen to profit from his degradation. Forces of paper and ink and decimal points. But the memories are brief, and Sam's lungs soon fill with dirt again. His scream echoes up through the tunnel, joining the cries of a hundred other worms trapped in their own holes.

Sam does not know that the sun is gone and what remains serves no purpose but to let the wretched world be seen. He clings to his dream of the sun and the ground lets him, for there can be no true fear without hope.

Slowly, painfully, Sam squirms upwards. Even as his skin is scraped and cut, he allows himself to dream of the surface. He has long since discarded any hope of joy, but deep down he still believes there may be a place where he does not suffer as he does now.

After an immeasurable time he has maybe moved a meter, but then the rains come. Thick and oily drops that taste of bitter salt plummet from the watching sky. The ground softens into a torrent of black mud and in his hole, Sam wails in defeat. The walls soften and the slippery flood pulls him down, perhaps deeper than he has ever been before. But the darkness is never complete and the distant promise of the light remains.

Sometimes, at the height of his despair, Sam changes direction and pushes his face into the walls of the tunnel, digging across. For weeks he struggles in despair through the dark soil until he breaks through into another tunnel.

He slides inside and finds himself face-to-face with another worm. Sam does not know that his name is Richard, he only know that he is facing up, while Sam is facing down. Neither of them can move beyond the slowest crawl and so they fight slowly, pressing, biting and tearing. They chew through each other until Richard lies still and the tunnel belongs to Sam.

Still he faces downwards and he rests for days before beginning the gruesome task of turning around. His body bends and breaks as he contorts it but finally he faces the light again.

Perhaps this tunnel will be better, perhaps it will let him squirm higher. But the truth is plain enough, even as he fights not to know it: There is no difference, and as the rains begin to fall once again, he knows the world will never let him escape the depths to which he has fallen.

Post-StatementEdit

Martin is waiting for John to finish the statement when he hears a faint buzzing from underground. Incredulously, he spots a spade nearby and as he digs into the earth, the buzzing turns out to be an old Nokia ringtone.

He answers the phone to someone asking if he’s Martin. He has no patience for games and asks if they are Annabelle Cane. The caller deflects and claims that they want to help. Martin turns them down but the caller starts to talk about John, saying that he’s more powerful than he’s ever been before. They claim that Martin isn’t sure what that means for him now. Martin tells them that he’s hanging up and does so just after they ask if John even needs him at all.

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