Observations of surveillance. Recorded by The Archivist in Situ.
John and Martin are approaching London through an expanse of Lonely-aligned suburbs. Martin does not find it particularly disturbing and John points out that it makes sense given his connection to The Lonely.
John does not need to make a statement yet as the destruction of The Distortion produced a lot of fear for The Eye. Martin asks him to explain what happened with Helen. John tells him that she was too dangerous and while her desire to be friends was genuine, she had no interest in being a good friend but wanted to be able to hurt them.
Martin confesses that he listened to the tape and was a bit jealous of how John and the real Helen Richardson connected. John reflects on how she was in a similar state of paranoia as he was back then and he thought that if he could help her, it would mean that he was also not beyond helping.
Martin asks if there was anything left of the original Helen in The Distortion. John is unsure, Helen Richardson and Michael Shelley were gone and The Distortion was neither of them. The Distortion of Helen was not the same being as The Distortion of Michael either but they were so twisted up in The Spiral that he could never see the full picture of them.
Martin asks Jon how Basira is doing and he mentions that she is moving through a labyrinth of masks. She got herself out of The Stranger in the Unknowing and is doing it again as she continues to move.
After a moment of walking, John stops and tells Martin that they are about to enter London, the seat of The Eye. He tells Martin to take a moment as it is "a lot". Stepping through the domain barrier, the quiet sounds of the suburb fade as the sounds of a towering city appear. People in their windows all look at them instantly, and the security cameras swivel to focus on them. John feels a statement coming on and wants to go to a place with a little more privacy.
Carmen had hated London and only moved there because there were no jobs in her field outside of it. When she first moved there she almost convinced herself that she liked it, but that quickly fell through, and it recently started feeling different.
London had always had a lot of surveillance, Carmen had never lied to herself about that, but she would barely notice the amount of cameras at times. She had lived next to a park for two years before realizing the pole in the pathways was a bank of cameras, instead of a streetlight.
Carmen had once tried to count the amounts of cameras she could see on her morning run, and counted 31. The last time she tried to do that, there were hundreds of them, constantly tracking her movements and whirring so loudly they were impossible to ignore.
As she laid in bed, she realized that someone across the street was watching her through their blinds. As she turned away from the window to try to ignore the observer, she realised that her door was ajar and that her flatmate was watching her through the crack. Her flatmate then chastised Carmen for being awake while she was trying to sleep. Carmen's flatmate then watched her through the night, not letting her sleep.
In the morning, Carmen stared at herself in the mirror while pointing out the flaws in her face. Her flatmate walked in and said that it was unacceptable that Carmen was in the bathroom for so long. Carmen then walked to her wardrobe, and tried to find clothes for the day, even though all of the clothing was designed to draw attention to her. When she walked out of her flat, a camera focused on her and she swatted it away, it hit the wall with a pop and left behind grey residue, Carmen then ran away as the other cameras focused on her and her neighbours opened their doors to see what was happening.
When she made it outside, she was relieved that the street was not crowded, but when a nearby camera focused on her, everyone turned to look at her, a young man called her a disappointment, a middle aged woman judged Carmen's clothes, and a little girl brought up a break up that Carmen went through with someone named Simone. Later in the day, at a therapist's office, Carmen brought up how it feels like the weight of the world is on her shoulders, and her therapist said that it was because everyone was counting on her and watching her.
When Carmen got back to her room, she blocked the window with her mattress and pushed the desk against the wall so that no one could see her, but she still felt watched and started kicking the wall in frustration. After she finished kicking the wall, she got hit with shame and was sure that someone had seen her do that. The plaster on the part of the wall she kicked crumbled, revealing an eye in the brick the size of her head. Carmen then went to the kitchen, grabbed a knife, and tried to stab the eye in the pupil. Her hand just went through the pupil, with nothing behind it, the iris closed around her arm, and pulled her in.
John angrily asks his audience if this was with they wanted hear or if they wanted orders from their "chosen one." He is special to all of them and the episode ends with him saying "let’s see if I’m worthy of your attention."
- Related Entity: The Eye
- The Spiral, The Stranger, and The Lonely are discussed
- Martin mentions finding Helen Richardson's statement (MAG 47) while John was hiding from police after being suspected of killing Jurgen Leitner, indicating he found the statement sometime between 31st August, 2017 (MAG 80), the day of Leitner's murder, and 8th February, 2018 (MAG 92), the day John returned to the Magnus Institute.