Statement of Sebastian Skinner regarding a plumbing job at a compound in Gwydir forest.
Jonathan has had a tape delivered to him from his mysterious benefactor. He borrows an old tape player from Georgie, who is increasingly concerned for Jonathan's wellbeing. The tape is one of Gertrude's recordings.
Sebastian Skinner doesn't notice things and will gloss over details in his mind. He is a plumber, and was called out to Gwydir Forest, to an area that he didn't think had any buildings.
He travelled over during the night as the caller had offered to pay him double. He arrived at a collection of ramshackle-looking buildings surrounding a large central workshop or factory.
When he parked, a woman called Megan appeared, saying she called him. She took him to the central building which had a damp metallic smell, where she stood with arms spread wide but Sebastian didn't notice what she was indicating. Around them, people worked on something and Megan showed him a grate with dark red water overflowing.
As he worked, Megan talked to him, although he wasn't listening too closely. She mentioned flensing.
He eventually found a wad of congealed fat and oil in the bend of one of the bends of the pipe which caused the problem, and he removed it. Megan looked shocked and he gave her the invoice and drove away.
The next day Megan called him again and said they were having the same problem with another drain. It took him a long time to find the clearing again. In the daylight, he saw Megan wore a bright blue and red costume and next to her was a squat, thickly-muscled woman with black cropped hair who burst into laughter at the sight of the plumber.
Megan grabbed Sebastian by the arm and her hand felt strange, like plastic claws wrapped in bacon. She took him to the central building and she turned his head to look into it. There were rows of broken stools with figures sitting on them, some wooden and some plastic and some hessian. These mannequins moved jerkily, using a knife to gently cut around human heads suspended in wooden cages before them, whose bodies were piled in the corner.
At once, all the mannequins turned to face him, causing him to scream. As he did, all the human heads turned to him, showing him that they still felt pain. Megan, skin sliding off her plastic frame, told Sebastian that she wanted him to meet her boss, whom she referred to as 'I Do Not Know You'.
Sebastian swung his toolbox into Megan's face, causing her skin to slip off her plastic chassis. He ran to his car and found the squat woman standing next to it. As he approached, she opened the driver's side door for him. He jumped in and started the engine; before he could drive away, she placed her hand on his shoulder, causing an agonising pain to explode on his back and making his right arm totally useless.
After he escaped, he told the police about the human remains. Before they could investigate, though, a fire started in Gwydir Forest, destroying much of the land and consuming Sebastian's house. Although no dead bodies were recovered, the warped remains of a plastic mannequin was found.
Final Comments Edit
When she received this statement, Gertrude was convinced it was a direct threat from The Stranger, based on Sebastian's surname. However, she was able to confirm that Sebastian was a real person.
Gertrude is worried that everything is happening too quickly, having assumed earlier that Orsinov and her ilk would spend more time searching for the skin, potentially acting against Gertrude directly, but it appears they have started alternate preparations. Gertrude explains that she would have liked more time to recover as she can hardly stand.
Based on this statement, Gertrude believes The Unknowing will be performed in the next few years, saying that she may have to resort to a more direct counter measure.
Gertrude confirms that the squat woman Sebastian met was Jude Perry, an acolyte of The Lightless Flame. She's surprised that The Stranger's followers are working with The Desolation's, but that the latter's plans have been ruined recently and may be looking for a seat at the table in Orsinov's world.
Gertrude has been keeping an eye on Jude ever since she lost Agnes, and part of her wants to confront Jude in Havering, London, but isn't ready yet.
Gertrude was not able to find Sebastian for a follow-up, and suspects that when the Unknowing begins, one of 'the dancers' will be wearing Sebastian's face.
Jonathan states that this statement was made a year before Gertrude died, implying that she was recording statements until she died, although Jonathan doesn't have access to those statements.
Jonathan surmises that The Unknowing is a ritual tied to The Stranger, aka I Do Not Know You.
Jonathan decides to go and look for Jude Perry. As he starts to plan, he hears circus music in the distance, which terrifies him.
Georgie tells Jonathan that he needs to stop recording, but he says he's not sure he can.