A Post-Mortem report for reality from Oliver Banks. Recorded by the Archivist, in Situ.
Martin expresses his discomfort with being in a domain of The End. He and John discuss whether or not to kill Oliver Banks. Martin believes he deserves to/should die in the same way Not-Sasha did, but John doesn't think he is actually evil and would prefer to avoid murdering every avatar he comes across. John teasingly asks Martin if he's jealous of Oliver (who woke him up from the coma he entered at the end of Season 3), which Martin at first denies and then confesses to being frustrated John wouldn't wake up when Martin spent months watching over him, but did after five minutes of Oliver's presence. John says he won't murder someone just because Martin is jealous, and Martin asks why not, before conceding and letting John read the statement.
This statement is a report to prevent future deaths, it is being sent to The Eye and its Archive.
The report is from Oliver Banks, The Coroner. He has also gone by Antonio Blake or Dr Thomas Pritchard in the past and he serves The End.
2. Coroner's legal powers
This report is made under no authority save the grim responsibility given to him by The End. He sees the veins of destiny that draws all toward their blank and futile end. He would not stop it even if he had the power to, for to rob a soul of death is as torturous as its inevitable coming.
3. Investigation and inquest
Oliver speaks of Danika Gelsthorpe. She was 34 when the Change occurred and is now one of many thousands slowly travelling the Corpse Roots.
She spent the last twenty years of her life in constant dread of a death she believed to be imminent. From the age of fifteen she diagnosed herself with various fatal conditions. She knew it was ridiculous and did not seek medical attention, simply assuming her conditions would be discovered when she finally collapsed. She lived in a state of believing that she would be dead within a year or two, always fearing that something deep inside her own body was about to kill her.
When the Change came and the Fears claimed the world, she rightfully found herself in Oliver’s domain after having fed The End all her life.
4. Circumstances of the death
A stretch is measured in the waves of nauseating terror that flow out of Danika with rhythmic regularity and in thirteen such stretches on the root, she will arrive at her destination.
It will be a crowded place, a shopping mall or somewhere similar. She will feel it first in her leg but after so many scares and false alarms, she will not feel comfortable enough to ask for anyone's help. She will simply sit on a bench and try to wait it out, but it is the very act of sitting down that dislodges the blood clot in her leg.
She will begin to cough as it hits her lungs and there is nobody to help her. She will collapse into a corner as she attempts to stand up and she will remain conscious for several minutes after she falls, unable to move or speak or even think in any recognisable sense, but aware enough to be grasped with despair.
And then she will die.
5. Coroner's concerns
Danika Gelsthorpe is painfully and inescapably aware of what lies at the end of her path and yet she cannot move in any direction but forward. Nor can she stop moving as each second of stillness sets every nerve in her body aflame with agony and effort.
Oliver sees her relive the coming moment of her inevitable demise and sometimes, for a bit of variety, he allows her to brush up against another root. The final fate of someone she loves.
She may see Maria lying in her hospital bed, she might have a flash of Bobby, his fingers tightening around the rungs of a ladder as the rusted nails give way, or she may see Dennis's face as the knife slips eagerly between his ribs.
As her fate draws nearer, Oliver is filled with the joy of watchful fear, but also concerns.
The matters of concern are as follows:
a) When Danika Gelsthorpe reaches the end of her Corpse Root, she will die. The new world of fear reviles death as a release, but The End cannot exist without its reality.
b) There is a limit on the fear that can be generated from this place as the pool of people within it will slowly be exhausted. To be offset, new victims must be acquired from other domains as replacements, this has the potential to incite bad feelings between those domains.
c) This new reality is divorced from the traditional concept of time and as such, Oliver does not believe new humans are being created or born. The souls currently trapped within the world are the only ones who will ever be here and they will, ever so slowly, run out.
d) When this happens, the Fears themselves will also fade and die, releasing this reality from their grip.
Oliver does not know how to feel about this.
6. Actions that should be taken
None. As the other Entities grow in awareness of their own end, Oliver believes their own fear will feed his master until it might even surpass The Eye in prominence. He shall help usher in this final, blank emptiness and where it once might have horrified him, he is too much of his patron now. His feelings cannot help but reflect the shadows of anticipation that lurk within The End.
The End does not fear its own cessation, for it is the certainty and promise of all life that it will one day finish, and that includes its own existence. In its last moment, when the universe is silent and still forever, it shall, perhaps, finally be satisfied.
7. Your response
Oliver asks John not to interpret this report as a plea for mercy or a call to action. He would have offered it willingly but John no longer has the option to ask, he may only take. John may also destroy him, if he so wishes, or simply walk the Corpse Roots in safety.
Whatever his choice, John should simply know that not even he can keep the world alive forever. All things end, and every step he takes, no matter the direction, only brings him closer to it.
John remarks that he cannot kill every being he comes across, and concludes that at least the victims of The End will eventually be freed. He resolves not to kill Oliver Banks if he is not sought out.