Nobody Likes a Sneak
rating: +31+x

26 June
Well, this is fucked

I heard the damnedest thing last week, I was wallflowering at an AWCY meet up in Boise (the fuck is with that town anyway?) – sipping on a scotch I stole from the bar when no one was looking – and I hear this posh arsehole going on about the Foundation.

Now, never mind my obsessions, but I like to hear the odd rumour about the jailers, so’s I slide along the wall towards the arsehole’s booth and try to listen in.

Get this – Magic is dying. Or at least, it was. 411 is the Foundation stopped some end of anomalous life blah blah blah scenario, yet again. BUT… it was the Foundation’s fault to begin with! Them anartists were already noticing the magic coming back and they shifted topic to whatever next planned pretentious terrorism they had lined up… but I couldn’t get it outta me head.

The Foundation was responsible for killing all things what go bump in the night. And sure, maybe they did fix it. But how was they responsible? And what did they do to fix it? I had to know.

Fast forward a couple days, and I’m walking into a satellite facility for Site-19 – OMEGA something or other, who knows – I’m doing my thing, nobody sees Nobody if I don’ want em to… Yet again, I’m a wallflower: I’m in the staff cafeteria, sipping at some bloody awful caffe, and there it is, some answers. A researcher by the name of Sanderson, she’s listing off all the things what died in the IMPASSE (need to remember that):


Some others, but she don’ stop until she listed off at least a dozen. So’s what the point, I’m thinking? Why she bothering to do that?

Well her colleague thinks, maybe those things what died would come back now that the juice is back. But Sanderson, she just proved it ain’t true… because she mentioned 2521 and you can’t even mention that fucker without it coming for you far as I know. But that ain’t her point. Her point is, some of these things needed magic (or the anomalous or whatever) to fucking live. Even if they were some sorta entity, they lost the sauce… they went bye bye.

Which got me thinking… What about me? What about Nobody? That shit going away? Because I miss my boyfriend, and he don’ even remember me, the silly cunt. But forget that a second… would I have died?

Can’t even say how long I’ve been like this. And if the fucking Foundies almost killed me… that’s a problem.

Anyway, all this thinking about me started to dispel the whole miasma of my thing, so Sanderson she starts to notice me. I shake myself out of it and turn up the juice (which is genuinely harder than it used to be) and she loses me after only a second. But it’s enough to make her edgy, so she gets up and throws out her trash, says goodbye to the colleague, and walks out… with my ass following right after hers.

I follow her to a lab and she kicks a couple researchers out. She makes eye contact with me at least once, but I went all null mind - read about it from some samurai stuff - and she lost me again.

Sanderson pulls up some files from the hard drive and pours over them, all to do with the Impasse, and stares at her screen for a couple hours. She starts to get up and lock her screen, so I slide up next to her and put the full whammy on her. She’s so disoriented she forgets to lock her station and leaves the room.

Now in this digital day and age, ain’t nobody (heh) using printers, but they always got em hooked up so they can make their physical redundancies or whatever. And seeing as printers are obsolete and nobody uses them, they’re firmly in my wheelhouse. I spend a few minutes digging through classified documents, print up a bunch of the files, lock the computer as best I can, and hurry the fuck outta the site.

If you’re wondering (and by you I mean me) why the fuck I’m narrating everything that happened in a notepad, read these documents I’m attaching.

Like I said, it’s fucked.

Classified Security Level-4
Aftermath of the resolution of the Impasse

To all Department and Site Directors:

From what we can tell, the entropic cascade of the Impasse has ceased. Those anomalies which survived the crisis are regaining their anomalous properties, but the rate is variable. For example, we have reason to believe that Corbenic has not fully regained its anomalous qualities; the same goes for those that reside in that reality.

Needless to say, we can breathe a bit easier. The O5s have declassified the events that took place in and around the Impasse, and how the four artifacts are being used to reverse the crisis.

Time to resettle into our own lives and let the relief sink in. There’s still work to do.

Overwatch has also assured me personally that the central cause of the crisis is unknown, and may never be known. The official file will read as such. As difficult as it will be to say this, no further research into the crisis is to be allowed without special dispensation from Overwatch.

– Director Moose, Site-19


oops, me again. Yeah, that wasn’t me with the break-ins. I don’t even know where this blackboxed doctor and his ETTRA are headquartered at. Buuuuuuuuut that sure seems like me doing it… wtf?

Alright, intermission over. As you were.

yes. I read it anyway

WARNING, THE FOLLOWING HAS BEEN HIDDEN BEHIND A CLASS-C COGNITOHAZARD.
If you have received this file by mistake, please report to your nearest RAISA representative.

CognitohazardGIF

Classified Security Level-5 OVERWATCH RESTRICTED

We’ve incarcerated “O5-0” in the Keter wing of Site-01. They’re to have no contact with anyone, outside of a minimum of two Overwatch personnel or their proxies. This means we can visit them, but never alone.

We’re keeping Zero at Site-01 for further notice, because we want easy access to them. Zero still knows a lot about the crisis and they’ll be useful to keep around, so the execution is pending indefinitely.

Zero knows we caused this. So, we can’t let them out, but also they don’t want to see it happen again so I’m sure they’ll be helpful should a new crisis emerge. We never should’ve let them free in the first place but that’s the fault of the Founding Overwatch. Anyway… whoever is up for the interrogations, let me know. Zero is a hell of an intelligence asset, we need to mine them for all they’ve got.

– O5-1

THOSE ABSOLUTE TWATS. They did do this, and the one person wanting to warn them, they locked up. Guess I shouldn’t be surprised but there you are.

Um, so cognitohazard… it was supposed to wipe out recent memory accrual. But it’s on the fritz, like every other bastard thing that’s anomalous, right? So, I don’t know what I will or won’t remember. Hence notes. You’re welcome, me.

Who needs a drink? This girl does.


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26 June - but, you know, later
Pub time

Or what passes for a pub in this stupid country.

Things to do Objectives (sounds more official):

  • what the fuck? I’m not the only Nobody? Or what? Did I break into a place what I don’t know exists and forget about it? Nah
    • Need to find that other Nobody
  • Where can I find some info:
    • Maybe get into Site-01? Nah, like the Tower of bloody London, that is. Where else?
    • Library? Yeah, Library.
    • Confirmation of more than one Nobody
    • Information about O5-0, whoever the fuck that is


Game face on, lady (again, you’re me) time to find some shit out.


27 JuneWay too early for this hung over asshole
Knock Knock

To get to the Library, you need a Way so there I was in downtown Chicago (having hitched from out near Site-19) sneaking into the Field Museum after hours. Had to crawl in through a busted window in a maintenance closet – ok, fine I busted it, shut up – and tiptoe around like a cat burglar once I was inside. And there she was, Sue, and between her legs, a Way.

SueTHET-Rex

Course, that’s when the security notice someone in an empty museum lobby and charge. Sure, I’m easily ignored, but harder to put the whammy on someone to not notice me when I’m the only bloody idiot in a museum at half past the witching hour.

Anyway, Billy Security tackles me from behind – cut me fucking lip, the wanker – and forcing me to fish around in my bag while he’s trying to hold me down. Tased his goddamn junk tho, so that serves him.

Three loops around the left leg and whistling the theme to Good, Bad, and the Ugly – wheeeeeoooo wah wah wah – and I’m in the Library with blood dripping from my mouth.

So, remember that if you need to get to the Library… goddamn Foundies, bad enough that other people don’t remember me but maybe I won’t remember me either is a right nightmare.


I’m browsing the memetic profundities section of the stacks when one of them Serpent’s Hand wankers notices my unnoticeable schtick, and comes over. Tosser has on a three-piece suit in some old fashioned style, and I shit you not, a cane like he’s a proper Victorian gentleman. Had some interesting stuff to say, tho… so I recorded it:

Wanker: Sorry to bother you, ma’am but I can’t help noticing how hard you are to notice.

Me: Oh, that’s too clever. How fucking droll.

Wanker: Quite. Well, I’m Ignatius Dugan, volunteer Docent. Is there anything I could help you find?

Me: Ah, yeah. Sorry bout all that. I’m not too keen on people coming up on me like that.

Wanker: I should think not, what with your condition.

Me: Yeah, my “condition” is part of the reason I’m here actually.

Wanker: You want to learn about the “Nobodies” then?

Me: Christ, so there is more than just me? You’re the second person in a day what referred to others.

Wanker: Yes, of course! Your mentor didn’t teach you about it?

Me: No mentor, far as I can remember. Just me, like this, couple of years now. Speaking of, why isn’t it affecting you?

Wanker: Thaumaturgy. When someone comes into the Library, she knows. And while I’m volunteering, she’s very chatty about new patrons, especially those that seem lost.

Me: Thaw me what?

Wanker: [Sighs.] Magic, my dear. It’s magic.

Me: [Under my breath.] Well, why not just say that then?

Me: So, yeah I could use some help. On the “Nobodies.”

Wanker: As you can probably imagine, there’s not a lot of scholarly work done on you and your colleagues. Not outside the Foundation that is.

Me: Not a chance you have some of their stuff on the subject, then?

Wanker: You’d be surprised, I can show you. But, your best bet would be to seek information out at the source.

Me: What’s that supposed to mean?

Wanker: Well, just last week there was another of your ilk here in the Library. I spoke with him at length. He was very interested in the death of magic recently abated and anything to do with Foundation hierarchical structures.

Me: How the hell does that help me? Could be bleedin anywhere by now.

Wanker: I know exactly where he is… or rather, where he’ll be, in two days time.

Me: Well, that’s bloody convenient. Assume you’ll be wanting something in return for that info?

Wanker: [Creepiest damn smile.] Yes, quite so.

Me: Spit it out then. And if you get pervy on me, I’ve got a fucking taser.

Wanker: Nothing so sordid. I’d like to know your name. Knowing the name of a Nobody, that must be some rare coin.

Me: Don’t got a name no more. Hence, Nobody.

Wanker: That may be true, but you had one at some point. That’s my price, for the information. I’ll even show you to the documentation we have of the Jailers’ study of your kind for free.

Me: That’s your job, so that ain’t much of a deal. But fine, you want my name, you got it. Louise. Lou for short. Lou Morris.

Wanker: Excellent. [Claps hands.] Shall we?

Tosser shows me some file folders full of papers look like they were run off a copy machine older than me. Then, I swear to fuck, he takes me and them files to a xerox looks like it’s off the set of Madmen, and shows me how to run off some copies for later perusal.

After that he’s chatting about Paris and I’m about ready to tell him to fuck off when he tells me that’s where the other Nobody will be. At the Cafe DuMornay, not three blocks from the Arc de Triumph, in two days. Meeting some friends, the Wanker says, at noon.

“Who’s friends?” I ask.

“Friends of mine, of the Hand.”

Right, so that’s sorted. He even shows me to a Way that’ll pop me out in the city. So, I’m sitting here looking over those docs in a cafe on the Seine, reading about how I ain’t so alone as I thought.

Funny thing was, before I left, I ask the bloke about this O5-0. And he clams right up, smile falling from his face. He wants to know what I know, and why I wanna know about them?

What the hell? I tell him: captured by the Foundation. Tried to warn them. Turns out the Impasse is all the Foundies’ fault, from their overzealous containment and what not.

Wanker gets a real serious look on his face. Says something about a Queen. But before I left him, he makes me promise to tell his friends what I told him. Sure sure, I promise, and then get the hell outta range of his silly cosplayer affectation. Ignatius. Pfft. Faaaaaaaake.


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28 JuneToo many bottles of wine later
Not Alone

There’s so many of us. If all these files from the Foundies are to be believed, I’m not even close to being the only one. But what causes it? What purpose do we serve? If these files are taken at face value, people like me have caused all sorts of trouble, so it’s not like we just fade from the world because we’re not important.

Is there a reason for all of this?


So, I got a room in a cheap hotel, cheap for Paris anyway. Kind that doesn’t bother asking for ID and you can pay in cash… clean enough though. Shit I have to do to get service while out in the world, I hate it. Making someone notice me is like learning how to run without breathing. Fucking exhausting. This thing we got, it’s not like a power we turn on. More like a constant thing, and to hold it back is the trick. I ever get my hands on who did this to me, gonna see how long they can ignore me with my foot up their ass.

I’ve just been reading and rereading these files. Some of them seem like they’re from years into the future but also stretching back at least a hundred years ago… What is it about the 20th century that made us necessary to create? And who did it? Or what?

Need something to eat.

FrenchFood

THE FOOD IN THIS COUNTRY IS INCREDIBLE. Anyway.

I’ve been thinking. And maybe it’s a coincidence, but from what I’ve been able to pick up from the “anomalous community” – to which I’m a stalker peeking in through windows – Foundies started sometime beginning of the 1900s maybe a little earlier. Their earliest notes about us Nobodies start not too long afterwards. Connection maybe?

Hopefully learn more tomorrow. But that still gives me 24 hours to kill. I should go sight seeing, never been here before despite the fact I used to live a train’s ride away in London. But… I can’t be arsed. One track mind, me ma always used to say. Called em like she saw em, that bird. Miss her. Miss EVERYONE.

Food makes it better. Jesus, these people can cook. How do they make their bread taste like sex?

ArcDeTriumph

29 June
Here we go

Standing down the block from that big monument to tiny dick energy, watching the front of Café DuMornay from bout a 50 yards away. Wish I smoked.

Later

Don’t even know what I’m looking for. If there was some other lickarse like me, would I be able to tell? Or would the whammy fog up my attention too? Ah fuck… I didn’t think this through very well. Should have read up more while in the Library. Foundation files are – wouldn’t you know it – fairly light on the details.

Shouldn’t have worried, dude came right up to me. So, I’m standing against a wall, scoping out the cafe and I notice this void of attention. Streets of Paris are busy around here, tourists like schools of fish. And I can see them parting just a bit, like some shark is swimming through and they’re giving it space. But it ain’t a shark, it’s this guy. And he’s looking right at me. Whammy has no effect on the bloke. But I can see it all around him, the nothing. The instinct to look away, to not notice him.

Right so, fucker walks right up to me and says:

“Thought I’d meet you a little early, make introductions.”

“Fuck.” (I’m good under pressure)

He laughs and asks me if I still remember my name. And I tell him sure. And he says, well that’ll fade in time. All wise and fatherly. But guy can’t be a day over thirty, would rub me the wrong way someone getting pedantic like that when they ain’t much older than me… but I was in shock.

“Never met anyone else like us, hmm?”

To which I sagely shook my head like an idiot.

“You have questions, come on, I’ll buy you a cup of coffee.”

Continuing the idiot routine, I nod and follow him towards the cafe he’s supposed to be meeting Serpent’s Hand people at. Finally find my voice, and my scant courage, and ask him.

“How many?”

“No idea, sorry. But enough.”

“For what?” I ask.

“To get the job done.”

We sits at a table in the Paris sunlight, and he orders some mochas and shar cute ree, and we have ourselves a chat. Apparently, the arsehole with the cane called ahead and warned the fucker. Shoulda seen that coming too…

“You can record it, I’m sure you want to.”

So, I do:

Me: Sorry, got hit with one of them cognitohazard thingies. Supposed to fuck with the memory, so notes is useful.

Him: Memory cognitohazards don’t affect us. Something about the identity quotient being missing. You’re probably good.

Me: Yeah well, I think I’ll be cautious.

Him: Ask away.

Me: What job?

Him: First, what do you know about yourself? The thing you’ve got.

Me: Nuthin, just blank spot in my memory and I’m flat out ignored by my family and friends. First couple weeks are rough, digging through refuse for food but eventually I figure out how to turn the whammy up and snatch from people without them even knowing I was there. Few more weeks and I figure how to do the same for cameras, having run afoul of the odd member of London’s constabulary.

Him: Right, well a lot of us even end up homeless. But you should’ve had a mentor, someone that led you into the life.

Me: Wasn’t no sodding mentor. This wasn’t with my consent. I ain’t got a fart’s notion of who or what did this to me.

Him: Huh. That’s not great. Okay. The basics. Everyone becomes a nobody for a reason. Lack of social connections, or ramifications on the people around you is a good start but it’s not absolutely necessary. The purpose you’re given is the reason. Now I don’t know all the ins and outs of how it works, but you’re the perfect spy and thief, and no one will know you’re there unless you’re really standing out. Which is hard to do with the uh, “whammy” I think you called it.

Me: I got that much handled, thank you.

Him: Sorry, of course you do. Um, but the purpose thing, you got a calling or some thing you’re working towards?

Me: Man, I just survive. Snuck into a few classified sites when I got the hang of the Foundies doing their thing. Watched em hoover up a whole town in Idaho when something fucky happened. They didn’t notice me so I just watched. Followed em back to a base and dug around in some files, figured out a thing or two.

Him: I bet. And it’s good you’re keeping your eye out. But far as I know, only way outta this gig is a bullet or completing your purpose.

Me: What goddamn purpose? I told you, I’m just floating along ignorable and making zero fucking impact.

Him: Yeah, well, maybe I can help there.

Me: This about the Impasse then?

Him: In a roundabout way, yes. It’s more about the Foundies as you called them.

Me: It’s their fault, the whole thing.

Him: I’m aware. And it’ll only happen again because they put a bandaid over a gaping wound and then washed their hands of it.

Me: Well, not completely.

Him: What do you mean?

Me: You been breaking into secured labs and shit and you don’t know?

Him: I didn’t find anything much about the Impasse, honestly. Which is why I went back.

Me: Okay, so there’s this geezer they call O5-0, actually couldn’t put a bead on their gender so them, not a geezer. Zero knew, like since the beginning – fuck knows how they’re still kicking around – tried to warn the Foundies this was gonna be the way it laid out. They didn’t listen. So, cue Impasse, end of the world and all that noise, and Zero comes back in to warn em again. Did something else too, stole some shit to try and take care of the problem. Anyway, they caught Zero and hold em for trial, in which Zero tells the Overseers or whatever what the deal is. Only way to make sure it don’t happen again is shut it down, the whole foundation. To their credit, half the overseers take Zero’s side. But not the tie breaker.

Him: Not only is the Foundation to blame, it’s willful. Where’s this Zero now?

Me: Site-01, only Overseers allowed in to talk with them. Figure they’re gonna torture them until the bastards have what they want. Whatever that is.

Him: Probably ways to stem the problem when it comes up again. Right. Job just changed.

Me: Oh?

Him: Here’s my friends now, they’re useful so we should get them up to speed. But real quick, yeah the job’s different than I thought. Far as I can tell, there wasn’t any of us before the Foundation started their containment. Earliest notions around World War I or so, putting it a few decades after the Foundation got started. I figure it’s our job to gum up the works, undermine their containment, shut em down if I can. But now, it’s a rescue mission.

Me: Just gonna waltz into Site-01 and snatch this Zero? You mental?

He slides a gun across the table, little thing like what James Bond would use.

Him: Maybe I am. You in?

So I take the gun and slip it into me bag.

Me: Fuck it. Yeah, I’m in.

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