A dialogue on solitude. Recorded by Martin Blackwood, in Situ.
Martin arrives in his domain and begins to converse with a mirror version of himself. It is raining and Also-Martin admits that it always felt easier being sad in the rain. Also-Martin says he is a part of both Martin and the domain and is there because Martin does not want to be alone there. John is not there because deep down Martin does not want him to be and see what "feeds" him. He also just wants from space from being constantly together without rest for so long.
Also-Martin offers him tea, but it turns out to be oolong, which he always made for his mother. Martin and Also-Martin argue about the guilt he feels about her and claims that "we’re glad she’s dead." Martin blames himself for many things that were out of his control, like Prentiss coming to the insitute and even John completing the ritual. Also-Martin confronts him about the fact that he's holding onto the idea that reaching the panopticon and killing Elias will turn everything back to normal. Martin admits that there is a possibility John may have to die for things to be fixed but that he could not kill John himself; he would rather do anything else, including dying, but both he and John are overly self-sacrificial.
Also-Martin tells him that he needs to make more choices for himself like he did with Peter and Elias. Martin asks about the people trapped in his domain, wondering if there is anything he can do to help, but there is nothing he can do that will not hurt them. He asks Also-Martin to tell him about the people instead.
He cannot tell Martin their names, because he does not know them. The victims do not know their names either but sometimes they get flashes of the past.
One of them is a young man. His family was cold and so he built a wall between them and him to keep their coldness at bay. When he was able to leave them, the wall came with him, keeping out the world. He would wish the world away but sometimes, when the emptiness inside began to bite, he reached out for people. He would take a friend or a lover but only to watch them beat themselves his wall until they relented and he was alone once more. He told himself it was for the best, that he liked it that way.
And now he is here. The wall still surrounds him and he calls out for somebody to see him. He walks, desperate for someone to know where he is. But he cannot shout too loud or the grey mulch that has settled in his chest streams from his mouth instead of words. It is so bitterly cold that it kills the grass and leaves a dark mirror on the ground, reflecting his face.
He keeps walking but he knows there is no hope, the wall is too high. He has driven everyone away and there is no one who cares. He falls to his knees and next to him a woman lies on her side. He does not see her for they are both alone.
She stands, nobody knows she is here, and she misses them all. She tries to picture her friends and their gatherings where she was surrounded by their presence. Except, she was not engaged with any of them and her smile did not reach her eyes. She desperately wanted to be part of their easy warmth and melt the ice inside her, but she never did. Those who tried to melt it, she gripped so tight that they could not breathe and lost them anyway.
Now, nobody remembers her name, just as she's always feared. No one remembers her enough to even wonder where she might be, or to ponder at her suffering. She screams her fear to the open air, but none beside her hear it.
Martin thanks himself for the statement. He says that it is not his fault that people are in his domain but he cannot keep existing like this. Even if there is no way to stop their suffering, he does not want to live on the misery of others. If it comes down to it, he will ask John to destroy him like he has done to other Watchers, even if does not know if John would actually do it.
He thanks Also-Martin for the tea and asks how to leave. Also-Martin thinks they just need to keep walking and honestly expected John would have found them already. Martin is sure he will find them eventually and heads off.