Third part of Player's diary

From Wiki Panic Room

100

Ryan was making a defibrillator! He had refused to admit it until I put it bluntly. He said he was not a hero, he just didn't like panic. And just because of that he was making the device according to his own blueprint during the past few days. Yeah, of course. The Puppeteer has recently said something like "the desire to save the life has poisoned everybody." It looks like he was right.

Page 101

I finally collected all the tools. The Puppeteer has got a strange opinion about what is happening in the house. He called Jack "the beacon of the half of the house, which makes everybody pursue the freedom, overcoming frustration and pain". Either he is tired of our panic and he wants Jack to come round, simply because after that we will return to "business", or ...


Page 102

"We gave the found emotions to Leonard. The ghost looks happy, besides one of those feelings was his own. And Jim is becoming himself again. He had only to see the tools, and he immediately composed himself and asked me to find a few more things. We are almost there. I hope we will succeed and Jack will live."


Page 103

I gave the defibrillator to Jim, but I wasn't able to thank Ryan, he just escaped from the attic. The doctor told about the evening when Ryan pulled him from the other side. After it they drank wine together, and Jim thought it had been a dream, until he found an empty bottle under the sofa.


Page 104

That's it, Jack is alive and sleeping. Jim told me that I also had to get some sleep, and injected a loading dose of sleeping draught. I hope that when I wake up, Jack will come round...


Page 105

Jack's alive! He is alive, though he looks not the best way. We drank wine with Ryan in the attic. I didn't know that he was capable of having fun, he even gave a toast to Jack's unassailable shirt!

Page 106

The tracking system, which Ryan and I made, and then Jenny and I set up, has proved to be useful. The cameras turned off when the Puppeteer brought tools for the first time, but while I was sleeping, he came again. We had to visit most of the rooms to track his path: from the attic to the kitchen door and back.

Page 107

Jenny has finally recalled the Puppeteer. She was reading diaries, when he said that it was time to learn to be free. Suddenly the girl snapped, jumped up and began screaming in the camera... "But we are not puppets, John Fall!" It seems that this quarrel broke the last barrier, which didn't let her get over the fact that the Puppeteer and her old friend were one person.

Page 108

"I helped Willem to collect all the amulets and I took away his vows. The druid gave me one geis instead of five - to seek freedom. What else can I do?

Yes, the Warrior and Eslynn knew each other when they were alive. At least one of the amulets was given to him by her."

Page 109

I collected some stuff for Eslynn, and she told me the story of her life. She never learned to speak normally and describes feelings, not events. But now I know that she and the Warrior were not just acquaintances. Filida fell in love with him when she was a child, followed him to the death, and when she didn't find him in the heart of Sid, tried to return to the ground... And she found herself here, between life and death... Next to him.


Page 110

A new room at last! I had to pass a lot of Puppeteer's tests to get here. It's a bedroom, there is a smell of lilies here and it's always cold. It seems that here the line between the reality and the other side is incredibly thin.

Page 111

Jack feels worse than I thought. He had a severe eye burn, which hasn't healed up completely, despite all the Leonard's efforts. So he can see Jack not very well, to put it lightly. In addition he is very weak, and it takes a long time to heal any scratch. And he has lost his aim, which is the most important thing.

Page 112

Jack seems to come round. At least, after Bill's visit and overhauling the console he became more cheerful. He even talked to his brother and said (verbatim): "It took me a dozen bumps to stop stepping on a rake, and I'm not going to lie down and die." This is good.

Page 113

Now I know that Isami was among those who survived the first act, she was a Puppeteer's apprentice. I'll write down her story. She was born in England, and all she learned about the homeland of her ancestors was from her grandfather's stories. Isami became a lawyer and worked as a prosecutor in London. She woke up in the house on March 12, 1998, among the fifty prisoners, many of whom were her colleagues. In the first act everybody was for himself, there was no doctor, and there were no tools. At that time Isami met Ryan and the Monkey. They became brothers in arms and they managed to survive. Now Isami says that she wants to fight again, and Ryan is toasting us, because we remain humans in this house in spite of all the challenges.

Page 114

Now the druid told his story. "Arlene" means a bail, and he was born as a Roman, but he chose to be with the barbarians, to learn from them and to live like them. His name meant "hope for peace"... But his former compatriots still attacked the barbarians. The druid was old, but he stood next to his king on the battlefield. The king's name was Brian, he was killed in that battle, and the retreating troops claimed his body with them. Arlene advised to bury the king in the hills of the fairies, and the old man remained with him. The Roman army marched upon the hill without paying attention to the entrance and ground vaults collapsed, burying the druid. Strange ... Arlene did not break any geis, he remained on the surface of Sid because someone was trying to keep the soul of the deceased king back ...

Page 115

Poor Jenny. Now I understand why she does not think that life in the Puppeteer's house is awful. Her previous life wasn't much different to the present one. The girl told me that she has not been outside for 11 years. After the accident she had to stay bed for a long time, and then she was allowed to get up but she still couldn't go to school. Jenny says that at that time she could barely remember who she was. And her mother was so worried about her that she wouldn't let her out of the house, and the tings only got worse. Perhaps her mother was afraid that her daughter could know about John... As a result, Jenny had no idea of true danger and the Puppeteer was able to kidnap her.

Page 116

I've never thought that Bill was a cop! He and I have found notes of the old man from the first act. Bill knew him before, they worked in the same precinct. This man died in the house, but he left encryptions for those who came after him. He addresses Charlie, his former partner, tells that John was innocent... Now this "innocent" is bathing in blood. But Bill says that before he came to his insane idea he had wanted to take revenge. The old detective believes that if we find the killer, there will be no reason in keeping us here.

Page 117

I passed the test for Alice. It seems that she is very concerned about the problem of parents and children. We were looking for dolls together, and almost each of them evoked some associations and memories in her. She calls the test "homework", and addresses the Puppeteer as the Teacher. Alice used to work as a nurse, she is acquainted to the circus people, she told me about the childhood of a businessman's daughter and his mistress... It seems she had a very turbulent life and before she came to the house.

Page 118

I'm helping Isami to search for small figures of Chinese sages. She knows a lot about the homeland of her ancestors, she tells me about each philosopher we find. During the first act she hid bamboo sticks, on which she wrote the tales, in them. Now one of these stories can be useful for Jenny. The girl tried to talk to the Puppeteer, to understand him, but it didn't work, and Jim can't help her. I do not know whether Isami's parable would be useful, but it's worth a try.


Page 119

"This parable is longer than the previous one but I'll try to write it down. Once upon a time there lived an emperor. He was kind and wise, his country was flourishing. One of the haters asked a sorcerer to curse the emperor and to take away his happiness. Along with the happiness he lost his wisdom, his mind and strength, he was unable to rule the country and it descended. The sorcerer hadn't known before, what troubles his curse would have caused, so he pulled it off, but it was too late. The former emperor was wandering around the earth, he was poor, weak and mad. And one day a girl invited him into her house. After all, she loved him and didn't care about what people said. She warmed him with her light and the curse broke - he was back to happiness, to the mind and strength."

Page 120

Jenny seems to understand the parable almost literally, At least the words "recall what a person he used to be." Not a long time ago she was sitting in the children's room, staring at the wall, and now she is running around the house. She has lost so much blood that Jim ordered her to stay bed for the next few days. She wants to collect memorable things from their childhood, hoping that John will remember what a person he used to be. I do not know if it can help him... But she seems to be much better.

Page 121

Stories from the past again. I can't speak to the shadows, Leonard shows them to me. It's his life. A room for card playing, a game of brag. The rules of the game pop up in my head, I'm holding Leonard's hand and his memory becomes mine. An arrogant man and an elderly woman, both are inveterate gamblers. They are the central figures, the rest is just a fog on the edge of consciousness.

Page 122

"We have merged enough, now I understand who was Leonard at the time. A twelve year old boy, he did not like Caleb and Lynette. But it seems that madame's gain pleased him a little, as if it promised him some benefit... Leonard returned to the house later, when the poker came to England. It was such a long pause, where was he all this time? He needs my help, he can't get the memories out of his mind without me."

Page 123

I bring trash to Ryan- pieces of wire, sheet metal. He needs poison for some reason. I brought him hypnotic, he was satisfied with it. There is no point in asking, but when he's done with his invention, he will probably explain why he needs it.

Page 124

"Ryan is trying to catch the Monkey! However, there is not enough understanding among the Puppeteer's apprentices. The third apprentice has got into the house, and the Dragon wants to either throw him out, or at least track him. That's strange... It looks like Ryan is afraid of him.

And by the way, it seems that Isami was coaxing that ""under-puppeteer"" to trust me, she has lost a few points in his eyes. He does not like mysticism."


Page 125

The trap did not work. More precisely, the trap worked, but the Monkey managed to get out. He also rigged a trap for us - he tied a musket to a signal cord. Ryan hardly bounced and pulled me from the firing line. Now he has got a bandage across his temple ...

Page 126

Now there are more weapons in the house, Ryan and I have made a crossbow. Although it does not shoot accurately and far, it doesn't diminish the excitement of the Dragon. He hardly even taunted me while I was carrying on his tasks.

Page 127

Ryan's defeat has made him unbearable! The Monkey managed not only to avoid the trap, but to creep to the "hunter" from his back, and stuck a syringe with tranquilizer into him. It turns out that Matt, having got out of the trap, managed to get hypnotic from it! Impressive. Now Ryan is inseparable from his crossbow, he has summoned gas cartridges and fuses from the Puppeteer. I think his new trap is going to be very destructive...

Page 128

Chose the Underground.

Now we plan to escape, we get together in the basement at night. Even Jim sits with us. He promised to check whether it's possible to get to the roof through the chimney. Doc hasn't come into shape after the operation yet, so he can be considered the skinniest of us. And yet he couldn't do it. But we shouldn't fall into despair. We'll surely come up with something.


Page 129

We are coming up with escape plans again and again, and they are failing again and again. Some of them are still under consideration, others are already in progress, as the one with the roof. It seems that the only way to freedom is "to open this can of "maniac in natural juices ", as Jack said...

Page 130

I joined the New Followers.

Alice said that there was a letter from the Puppeteer in the envelope that I gave her. Now we are doing his tasks, we're looking for circus equipment. We've already found a top hat, a cane and even a rabbit, though it is a toy one. The set of items is strange, but these things clearly mean something for Alice.

Page 131

I saw Alice walking about the room and talking to herself when she was alone in the library. Jim believes that she tried to create something like a circus show. It might have been very important to her. Later she shared her revelation with me and told that we had to be patient.

Page 132

Alice was talking to herself again. She mentioned some names: Sam, Matt, Em, Elis... She seems not to see lessons in the last tasks of the Puppeteer, and she even wants to turn to Jim for help.

Page 133

Bill has got another idea - to find out who killed the Puppeteer's family. The old man believes that John wanted to take revenge, but without a clear goal he started to "hackle here and there". If the aim appears, the killer will take our place in the house. The Fall family will be avenged, though not by the law... But who will avenge us and the victims of the first act?

Page 134

"Leonard said that he had to remember something else. Once again I'm going through the room, materializing items, and he's showing me the shadows of the past. I found a pen and a bottle of ink, Leonard used them when he lived in this house and worked as a secretary of madame Lynette.

I also learned that Lynette had a stepdaughter named Marie. I found her letter, but Leonard doesn't remember the text, the letters were blurring and we weren't able to read it."

Page 135

Leo and Marie were friends, Leo was younger than she, but he became the only person with whom she could be herself. Leonard said, at that time children of rich parents were surrounded by dolls, nurses, and thousands of rules of conduct. You could neither go down and join the adults in the salon nor play with the kids at sixteen! The letter which she kept in secret from her stepmother and which he copied, was an attempt to escape.

Page 136

"I'm confused.

There is a curse besides the geises, it ties all the ancient ghosts together. Isami said that death coming from geises was a lie. Alastriona was destined to break the geis and die, but she died before that happened. Her gods were in charge of the geises, but they did not have the power over the invaders. And the curse doesn't care whether you believe in it or not."


Page 137

"Curse chi, blant o lwyth Dan! Ble oeddech chi pan fu farw fy nhad? Now I know what it means. Woe betide you, children of the Danu tribe! Where were you when my father died? Willem is the son of that king who once burned down the village of the maiden, was slain at the battlefield and was buried by the druid in the center of the sacred hill. He begged the gods to take revenge. They heard his prayer."

Page 138

"Isami says that curse is like a pendulum. One person pushes it, and the victim dies. Another person throws it back and the one who cursed dies. But Alastriona cursed not the king alone, but all his family. This pendulum will swing, while at least one of the descendants is still alive. And it will kill those who will get in its way..."


Page 139

Jack seems to be inspired by Ryan's calculations. He wants to track the path into the lair of the Puppeteer by the wires. I don't know how he is going to do it, and what is he making. But in any case it is much better than sitting and drinking with Bill.

Page 140

"The New Followers are not Alice alone. The former and the new leaders operated on some unfortunate fanatic together. He told Jim that the task to find a nurse had appeared in the bedroom. When he was reaching for his hat, which was in the middle of the room, a sword fell on him Something strange is going on in this house..."

Page 141

She finally left. Perhaps, Caleb startled her. Not surprisingly: a sudden appearance of a stranger on a family birthday party, an expensive gift. Marie turned seventeen, and her stepmother began introducing her to men.

Poor Leo.


Page 142

"What was it? It's like two Maries at the same time: one of them is young and happy, she chose the grown-up man over the boy. The other is tired, she's wearing a shabby dress. Leonard didn't't see her

She said that he was wrong. Perhaps, at that ball Marie hoped that Leo would do something? And he just backed off."


Page 143

"Suspects' connections:

Romanovskaya E - Quinn S, Stubley M, EG. Plymouth - London. Salisbury

Quinn S - Black Z, Romanovskaya E, Stabley M, EG. Plymouth - London.

Stabley M - Force R, Romanovskaya E, Quinn S, EG. Plymouth - Southampton.

Black Z - Quinn S, EG. Exeter.

Force R - Stubley M, EG. Southampton."


Page 144

"Case # 1034. Firestarter

Place of crime: Exeter, a hospital? Salisbury, an old house. Southampton, a private residence. Bruton, a car, 1988 and 1974.

Victims: 8 women

Suspects: Romanovskaya E, Quinn S, Force R (our Ryan, obviously), Stubley M.

Evidence: traces of hypnotic, a lace, track of a wheel."

Page 145

"Case # 1007. Pneumonia in Exeter

Place of crime: Exeter, a hospital

Victims: 5 women

Suspect: Black Z.

Evidence: fingerprints of medical staff.

Case # 1123. Witchbridge

Place of crime: Witchbridge, the Falls' residence

Victims: 3 people

Suspects: Fall J. (not him obviously, but Bill told to write everything down)

Evidence: a gun"

Page 146

"The Puppeteer told Alice off... It's strange. We were doing his tasks. However I didn't see any notes, maybe Alice invented the tests herself? No, it's not like her. And the marathon, for which we got the key ... Who could give it to us except for the Puppeteer? Or he gave us some of the tasks and the rest of them were invented by her...

Now Alice is sitting in a closet under the stairs. Yeah, the lack of freedom can be different. We need to understand how we can get her out."


Page 147

Alice has finally got out of the library! Another strange thing: the Puppeteer said that he would not give a hint to the right key. And then I found a note "A prisoner knows her jail better than the others," and Alice figured out where was the number. To break the hammer to tear the sentence apart... She read Alice as Elis, and not as Alice. Too many strange things for me.

Page 148

The Monkey has been caught! At last! For how long we have been chasing him! In fact, I was either the bait, or an addition to the smokesreen. Questioning him has failed so far, Ryan loaded such a charge to the shocker that Matt fell unconscious. We took him to the attic.

Page 149

Ryan's story according to his own words. When he was 17, he made shocker, and went a bit over the top with the power. So when he was offered a dark alley "trick or treat", it all ended up with five dead bodies and one survivor. Both were put into prison, one for attempted robbery, another for exceeding the self-defense and "causing unintentional death of three or more people." Ironically, Matt and Ryan were cellmates, and spent three years on adjoining beds. Then Matt was released, and Ryan stayed for a few more years. His term of imprisonment was long, but he got a remission for good conduct.

Page 150

Jenny has changed. She left the rug and the candle in the kitchen and stopped talking to him. We can't even call her "Jenny" anymore, her name is Jane now. She joined the Underground. Her "I'm sick of it" sounds like desperation. But maybe I just don't know her well.

Page 151

Jenny has changed. She left the rug and the candle in the kitchen and stopped talking to him. We can't even call her "Jenny" anymore, her name is Jane now. She rebuffed Alice and joined the Underground. She called the Puppeteer "the freak". He has got what he wanted - she started fighting for her freedom. It that what he really wanted?..

Page 152

Alice is being carried away. She seems to be falling somewhere like her own memories of the past. She learned that most of her friends had been in the first act and had died. Now she doesn't say a word about the Teacher, and her comments on the "memorable things"... It's terrible when the ideals crumble but she behaves in a very strange way. I don't like it. I'll finish, and then I'll go to Jim.

Page 153

"""Woe be on you and all your descendants, may they die in suffering, and may they be the cause of suffering to ones who love them. My daughters will remind your sons about it when they meet!""

Alastriona condoned everything, the ancient ghosts are gone - all except her. But the fog keeps talking. There are the descendants of two kins among us. They kill each other, not knowing why... We need to find them. But how?"

Page 154

It looks like we have reached a turning point in Leonard's memories. It happened right after the game of brag between Lynette and Caleb. The defeated party decided to vent his anger on poor Marie and forced his way into her bedroom. Leonard noticed it and got into a fight, but the forces were unequal. At the end of this memory Leonard lost consciousness. What was going to happen to him?..

Page 155

Did that really happen? I cannot get Lynette's last words from my head. "Tonight this servant attacked my stepdaughter, and now he has attempted to kill me". I wanted to yell, "Lie!" But it happened long ago. Poor Leonard...

Page 156

We found the Puppeteer’s lair! There’s a hatch in the film theatre that leads there. Too bad it’s locked. Jack has tried to break it open, but got hit by electric shock. That’s fine. Most importantly, we now know where he is. Now we just need to wait for the right moment…

Page 157

"Someone’s been manipulating the Followers! That someone’s been writing notes to Alice, it was not the Puppeteer. That is why she’s stayed locked in the library’s closet. From the Puppeteer’s point of view we must have been making obscure and absolutely pointless actions.

But who would need to do that? Who imitated the Puppeteer’s “lessons” and why?"


Page 158

He said it at long last. Too bad it was late already. Looks like Marie was both glad and upset. If she had listened to Lynette’s advice, she should be married by now… She’s asked him to forget her, return to his sister, find a girlfriend. Why did she come in the first place? To say goodbye? But why wait a whole year for that?

Page 159

Leo has escaped. Only it’s “Leonard” now, he’s all grown-up. How many years did he spend in jail? Kerosene lamps in prison — that’s just madness. A burner in the church, a friend with no face, Alastriona... Who’s words are not important? Not important to who?

Page 160

Jack's dream came true – he punched the Puppeteer in the face. It would be a good thing to do the same to Matt and Alice.

I will try to write everything down while there is still time.

Alice Green is the murderer of the Falls family.

John came downstairs, opened the last lock and tried to kill himself. Doc did not let him do that.

Matt and Alice are sitting upstairs, in the lair. The door in the hallway is nailed shut. The location of the new one is yet to be discovered.

Am I supposed to spend the rest of my life in this house and watch new "puppeteers" replace the old ones?


Page 161

Matt has introduced himself to the whole house. He’s gathered everyone in the living room, called himself a Trickster… And said he was holding a grenade, as Bill has put it. He delivered a very pompous speech about right lessons and said that anyone could become his equal. Well, anyone can go nuts, that’s for sure. Firewood brothers answered him all right, but the last word was his anyway. The Monkey has all the Puppeteer’s equipment, so it’s too early to mock him yet.

Page 162

"That was to be expected. The fire that William Fall was reading his two sons about, the convict John promised to make the attic comfortable for… It really was Leonard. Him and the strange voice, a ghost of a ghost, an echo of something incomprehensible. It was just a fallen oil lamp. The journalists have distorted everything… I should have figured it out earlier. They are long dead, they didn’t die just now. Why do I feel so sorry for them?"

Page 163

I’ve seen all sorts of thing in this house already, so I thought there could be nothing worse than being dead and cursed. Turns out, there IS something even worse — to be dead, cursed, but believe that you are still alive. Sam is going to learn about the fact of his own death from me and Isami — the mere thought of it makes me shiver… How can you endure something like this when you are dead? How can I rally my courage to do this?

Page 164

All right, Feather, take a deep breath. Calm down. Everything is great, it’s perfect. You’ve just taken a peek at hell... Looks like as soon as I write down that things cannot get any worse, I instantly get the proof that they very much can!


Page 165

Oh my god, this house is getting crazier by the minute. The house itself is telling us what to do with some strange notes. Looks like someone is going to miss his or her favorite newspaper — these things are not ghostly. They are real, material objects that change. That has “faith” burned into them and “good” written on with glowing paint. And Jim is interpreting it all… For Alice. For her, who is safe under Matt's wing. Mercy for a maniac. Goddammit, I don’t understand. The house is asking for the impossible.

The house is “asking”…

Looks like we’re all going to end up in nut house if we get out of here.

Page 166

"Sam almost seems alive. He’s playing, asking to carve toys for him, hugging Jenny...

But I know it’s just an appearance. And then he stood still a millimeter away from her, without passing through her or falling down. He’s immune to nature’s laws, so it should be easy for him to hang in the air like that.

I think he knows everything. He saw everything that happened to the kitchen and he wasn’t surprised. He just doesn’t want to believe in his own death. That’s why he’s building some kind of reality around him."

Page 167

"Yes, Jim has taught Jack to ask people questions. Questions that cut the ground from under their feet. It’s not how it should be done… Or is it? Maybe the Puppeteer became John again because our doc started asking such questions?

And he nearly paid for it with his life.

Maybe it’s really helping, but it’s too dangerous. And if done by someone as straight-forward as Jack, it really can be equal to the cruelest of torture.

Going back to the subject... We’ve made it into the study and now we’re about to finish schematics for the lair’s lock. I’m curious to see John’s room... I hope Matt and Alice really are inside."

Page 168

"Marie has changed a lot. She’s a different girl now — quarrelling with her stepmother, needling Caleb… She made the acquaintance of Leo on her own and didn’t leave for her uncle’s place! The madam should be very “pleased” with such a stepdaughter. That is all so strange. Is it just the curse? Or maybe not. Maybe that is Marie’s vision of herself, her own impression. Leo was a shy little boy in her eyes… Just like she’s always been a miserable lonely girl for him. It’s not exactly the past. It’s their memories of it."

Page 169

Scum! Everyone’s alive, we’ve dragged Jenny out (though it looks like she would do fine on her own), but Jim’s back is now adorned with an elaborate monogram. Alice has “branded” him. I wish I could rip her hands off and Matt’s too! They deserve to be branded like cattle themselves...

Page 170

As soon as I've pieced together first jigsaw puzzle, a picture with the secret hiding place appeared on it. It looked strange, some kind of chemical reaction perhaps? I'll ask Jack on occasion, he will certainly be interested about it. I've found a key in the hiding place, now I can open first lock in the lobby.

Page 171

It looks like we have a house full of Puppeteers now. They have repaired John's console, and found its' parts that Matt and Alice had stolen. Jane - or Jenny, I have no idea what name to use now - wrote a program to replace some particularly complex detail.

Now anyone can sit in a Puppeteer's chair, make coffee on a portable tile and look at the monitors, like in some stupid attraction... They can't use the speakers though - the microphone is broken. Ryan thinks, we wouldn't need it at all. It's been very quiet lately. What are they about?

Page 172

We finally told John that he was cursed. Showed him the Other side, Alastriona... the Hell. And he stood his ground. That should be quite a shock for him to see something that he didn't believe, just go and see it because someone decided it was time. He is very strong indeed...

Is he - or is it the Puppeteer?

I wonder if it's the same thing about Alice. And if there is some scarlet ghost of someone stronger than she is?

Page 173

They are alive. They are alive! I want to scream out loud - we did it!

Jack is a techno genius, and Jim is just a genius, and I didn't believe Matt! I won't collect all these keys for him, not even for all the first-aid kits in this house, no matter how badly he wants me to do it!

Matt waylaid students on the Other side, and put them into the cross-examination with a lie detector. If someone was wrong - the other one got the electric shock. Isami answered correctly, but the Dragon didn’t... We made a microphone and Doc prompted him correct answers. Jim understood Ryan better than Ryan did himself. Now they are battered, but they'll get over it. They are alive, that's all that matters.

Page 174

We did not save her. I did not save her.

There is dead silence all over the house. Like all the sounds in this world are dead? Like the time itself is frozen… My God, I wish it was a day ago! Why... Why wasn't Leonard there, why didn't Sam save her, why didn't Alastriona get out of the kitchen? It is too late. It does not matter now. We wrapped the body in a white sheet, like a shroud, and left in the hallway. We all were so stunned by grief that no one guessed to watch over the room, and now it's too late. The tea... that's all that Isami has left... Tea and fog, and all her doings.

We will not forget her.

Page 175

Was that a dream?

Isami's gone. We were late, we made a mistake, and she's gone, I've seen it. But they still want me to find the keys and to fix the microphone. As if nothing has happened, as if we still have time…

Page 176

We have a new ghost - Robert O'Leary, Marie's uncle. If he was one of that foggy ones, I could handle that, I know Leonard has remembered even the prison guards, but Robert is real. He's the same ghost as Lynette and Caleb who died here. But that can't be.

He didn't die in this house.

Or did he?

Page 177

Jim has lost his mind. I have found the diary of Alice and now he’s trying to talk to her, getting right into the traps. It’s true that she didn’t shoot him, but she could have! And Matt could have been hear the red button. The doc is not satisfied with just a mark on his back. "Who believes in Alice?" Jim himself does. But what good will it do anyone…

Page 178

Leo has proposed. Well, Marie wanted to do it too, on february 29, the day when woman can propose, but he did it first. That is so… I can’t find words. We have Matt and Alice here, everything’s bad, and they are having an engagement. They. Where are they? All those scenes look just as real as Leonard’s memories, I don’t think they’re fake! But if back there in the past this is the new reality, than what about the fire? Reconstruction of the house? I don’t understand.

Page 179

Jenny is dead. Shot herself in the head by Matt’s demand so that he would let John go. Doc tried to do something, but… As Sam has put it, she just slipped through our fingers. As an Elder he’s tried to help too, but couldn’t. John already came. He said he would kill them and locked himself in the attic with Ryan. He’s terrifying to look at... I don’t understand! She knew he wouldn’t be able to live with that! Why?..

Page 180

Who’s handwriting is this? Everyone’s alive, we have replaced the gun, but who left the note?

Page 181

Helped Jack to repair watch. Who could ever think that he can be so sentimental? They have very strange relationship with brother none the less - help each other, but can't talk calmly. And I think I'm beginning to understand why - as they are absolutely different. Jim is calm, he's hiding all his emotions, and Jack, on the contrary, gives them away.

Page 182

Now I’m not helpless in the dark. The house is giving me hints, words on the walls. When I tough them, the darkness steps back. Sam says that the house is my friend. He’s been giving Isami and me notes, a long time ago. They had the same words: good, hope, love. It seems so easy to feel it all, but when the darkness is closing down around you, you forget hope. The house is helping. But what IS it? And what will it want in return? There’s too much mysticism here. The fog, the curse and some third force.

Page 183

Right, a lapse of memory is all I need to help matters. But I really don’t remember this girl, even her name escapes my memory. I think she’s from the Underground… Lets’ hear what she has to say.

Page 184

Looks like there’s a lot of people in this house. I’ve met Nat Thompson, a gutsy member of the Underground. The girl is not slightly built, rather the type that can stop a horse at full tilt. She asked for help with a test, because she’s already spent too much blood. She reminds me of Jack a bit, with her dishevelled hair and disregard of wounds.

Page 185

It’s not just a lot of people here, it’s a whole crowd! I have a new acquaintance, Lance Donovan. I wonder what’s his full name. It can’t be Lancelot, can it?.. But I doubt he will be of any use. At least for now he looks like a scared rabbit and I don’t think it’s a false impression. Although he’s not so bad at passing tests.

Page 186

Jim. It can’t be. It just can’t… What were we supposed to do?! How could we have known… He’s not in the mist, the curse didn’t get him. In this house we will soon learn to be happy about less agonizing death! Or the fact that dead find peace! I don’t want to be like that! This was not supposed to happen! It was not. No one has to die. Not anymore.

Page 187

Jack said he would be next. We should make sure he’s never left alone, keep an eye on him at all times. (If Jim's dead) One dead Firewood is too much already. (If Jim's alive) We were barely able to save one Firewood already.

100

Ryan was making a defibrillator! He had refused to admit it until I put it bluntly. He said he was not a hero, he just didn't like panic. And just because of that he was making the device according to his own blueprint during the past few days. Yeah, of course. The Puppeteer has recently said something like "the desire to save the life has poisoned everybody." It looks like he was right.

Page 101

I finally collected all the tools. The Puppeteer has got a strange opinion about what is happening in the house. He called Jack "the beacon of the half of the house, which makes everybody pursue the freedom, overcoming frustration and pain". Either he is tired of our panic and he wants Jack to come round, simply because after that we will return to "business", or ...


Page 102

"We gave the found emotions to Leonard. The ghost looks happy, besides one of those feelings was his own. And Jim is becoming himself again. He had only to see the tools, and he immediately composed himself and asked me to find a few more things. We are almost there. I hope we will succeed and Jack will live."


Page 103

I gave the defibrillator to Jim, but I wasn't able to thank Ryan, he just escaped from the attic. The doctor told about the evening when Ryan pulled him from the other side. After it they drank wine together, and Jim thought it had been a dream, until he found an empty bottle under the sofa.


Page 104

That's it, Jack is alive and sleeping. Jim told me that I also had to get some sleep, and injected a loading dose of sleeping draught. I hope that when I wake up, Jack will come round...


Page 105

Jack's alive! He is alive, though he looks not the best way. We drank wine with Ryan in the attic. I didn't know that he was capable of having fun, he even gave a toast to Jack's unassailable shirt!

Page 106

The tracking system, which Ryan and I made, and then Jenny and I set up, has proved to be useful. The cameras turned off when the Puppeteer brought tools for the first time, but while I was sleeping, he came again. We had to visit most of the rooms to track his path: from the attic to the kitchen door and back.

Page 107

Jenny has finally recalled the Puppeteer. She was reading diaries, when he said that it was time to learn to be free. Suddenly the girl snapped, jumped up and began screaming in the camera... "But we are not puppets, John Fall!" It seems that this quarrel broke the last barrier, which didn't let her get over the fact that the Puppeteer and her old friend were one person.

Page 108

"I helped Willem to collect all the amulets and I took away his vows. The druid gave me one geis instead of five - to seek freedom. What else can I do?

Yes, the Warrior and Eslynn knew each other when they were alive. At least one of the amulets was given to him by her."

Page 109

I collected some stuff for Eslynn, and she told me the story of her life. She never learned to speak normally and describes feelings, not events. But now I know that she and the Warrior were not just acquaintances. Filida fell in love with him when she was a child, followed him to the death, and when she didn't find him in the heart of Sid, tried to return to the ground... And she found herself here, between life and death... Next to him.


Page 110

A new room at last! I had to pass a lot of Puppeteer's tests to get here. It's a bedroom, there is a smell of lilies here and it's always cold. It seems that here the line between the reality and the other side is incredibly thin.

Page 111

Jack feels worse than I thought. He had a severe eye burn, which hasn't healed up completely, despite all the Leonard's efforts. So he can see Jack not very well, to put it lightly. In addition he is very weak, and it takes a long time to heal any scratch. And he has lost his aim, which is the most important thing.

Page 112

Jack seems to come round. At least, after Bill's visit and overhauling the console he became more cheerful. He even talked to his brother and said (verbatim): "It took me a dozen bumps to stop stepping on a rake, and I'm not going to lie down and die." This is good.

Page 113

Now I know that Isami was among those who survived the first act, she was a Puppeteer's apprentice. I'll write down her story. She was born in England, and all she learned about the homeland of her ancestors was from her grandfather's stories. Isami became a lawyer and worked as a prosecutor in London. She woke up in the house on March 12, 1998, among the fifty prisoners, many of whom were her colleagues. In the first act everybody was for himself, there was no doctor, and there were no tools. At that time Isami met Ryan and the Monkey. They became brothers in arms and they managed to survive. Now Isami says that she wants to fight again, and Ryan is toasting us, because we remain humans in this house in spite of all the challenges.

Page 114

Now the druid told his story. "Arlene" means a bail, and he was born as a Roman, but he chose to be with the barbarians, to learn from them and to live like them. His name meant "hope for peace"... But his former compatriots still attacked the barbarians. The druid was old, but he stood next to his king on the battlefield. The king's name was Brian, he was killed in that battle, and the retreating troops claimed his body with them. Arlene advised to bury the king in the hills of the fairies, and the old man remained with him. The Roman army marched upon the hill without paying attention to the entrance and ground vaults collapsed, burying the druid. Strange ... Arlene did not break any geis, he remained on the surface of Sid because someone was trying to keep the soul of the deceased king back ...

Page 115

Poor Jenny. Now I understand why she does not think that life in the Puppeteer's house is awful. Her previous life wasn't much different to the present one. The girl told me that she has not been outside for 11 years. After the accident she had to stay bed for a long time, and then she was allowed to get up but she still couldn't go to school. Jenny says that at that time she could barely remember who she was. And her mother was so worried about her that she wouldn't let her out of the house, and the tings only got worse. Perhaps her mother was afraid that her daughter could know about John... As a result, Jenny had no idea of true danger and the Puppeteer was able to kidnap her.

Page 116

I've never thought that Bill was a cop! He and I have found notes of the old man from the first act. Bill knew him before, they worked in the same precinct. This man died in the house, but he left encryptions for those who came after him. He addresses Charlie, his former partner, tells that John was innocent... Now this "innocent" is bathing in blood. But Bill says that before he came to his insane idea he had wanted to take revenge. The old detective believes that if we find the killer, there will be no reason in keeping us here.

Page 117

I passed the test for Alice. It seems that she is very concerned about the problem of parents and children. We were looking for dolls together, and almost each of them evoked some associations and memories in her. She calls the test "homework", and addresses the Puppeteer as the Teacher. Alice used to work as a nurse, she is acquainted to the circus people, she told me about the childhood of a businessman's daughter and his mistress... It seems she had a very turbulent life and before she came to the house.

Page 118

I'm helping Isami to search for small figures of Chinese sages. She knows a lot about the homeland of her ancestors, she tells me about each philosopher we find. During the first act she hid bamboo sticks, on which she wrote the tales, in them. Now one of these stories can be useful for Jenny. The girl tried to talk to the Puppeteer, to understand him, but it didn't work, and Jim can't help her. I do not know whether Isami's parable would be useful, but it's worth a try.


Page 119

"This parable is longer than the previous one but I'll try to write it down. Once upon a time there lived an emperor. He was kind and wise, his country was flourishing. One of the haters asked a sorcerer to curse the emperor and to take away his happiness. Along with the happiness he lost his wisdom, his mind and strength, he was unable to rule the country and it descended. The sorcerer hadn't known before, what troubles his curse would have caused, so he pulled it off, but it was too late. The former emperor was wandering around the earth, he was poor, weak and mad. And one day a girl invited him into her house. After all, she loved him and didn't care about what people said. She warmed him with her light and the curse broke - he was back to happiness, to the mind and strength."

Page 120

Jenny seems to understand the parable almost literally, At least the words "recall what a person he used to be." Not a long time ago she was sitting in the children's room, staring at the wall, and now she is running around the house. She has lost so much blood that Jim ordered her to stay bed for the next few days. She wants to collect memorable things from their childhood, hoping that John will remember what a person he used to be. I do not know if it can help him... But she seems to be much better.

Page 121

Stories from the past again. I can't speak to the shadows, Leonard shows them to me. It's his life. A room for card playing, a game of brag. The rules of the game pop up in my head, I'm holding Leonard's hand and his memory becomes mine. An arrogant man and an elderly woman, both are inveterate gamblers. They are the central figures, the rest is just a fog on the edge of consciousness.

Page 122

"We have merged enough, now I understand who was Leonard at the time. A twelve year old boy, he did not like Caleb and Lynette. But it seems that madame's gain pleased him a little, as if it promised him some benefit... Leonard returned to the house later, when the poker came to England. It was such a long pause, where was he all this time? He needs my help, he can't get the memories out of his mind without me."

Page 123

I bring trash to Ryan- pieces of wire, sheet metal. He needs poison for some reason. I brought him hypnotic, he was satisfied with it. There is no point in asking, but when he's done with his invention, he will probably explain why he needs it.

Page 124

"Ryan is trying to catch the Monkey! However, there is not enough understanding among the Puppeteer's apprentices. The third apprentice has got into the house, and the Dragon wants to either throw him out, or at least track him. That's strange... It looks like Ryan is afraid of him.

And by the way, it seems that Isami was coaxing that ""under-puppeteer"" to trust me, she has lost a few points in his eyes. He does not like mysticism."


Page 125

The trap did not work. More precisely, the trap worked, but the Monkey managed to get out. He also rigged a trap for us - he tied a musket to a signal cord. Ryan hardly bounced and pulled me from the firing line. Now he has got a bandage across his temple ...

Page 126

Now there are more weapons in the house, Ryan and I have made a crossbow. Although it does not shoot accurately and far, it doesn't diminish the excitement of the Dragon. He hardly even taunted me while I was carrying on his tasks.

Page 127

Ryan's defeat has made him unbearable! The Monkey managed not only to avoid the trap, but to creep to the "hunter" from his back, and stuck a syringe with tranquilizer into him. It turns out that Matt, having got out of the trap, managed to get hypnotic from it! Impressive. Now Ryan is inseparable from his crossbow, he has summoned gas cartridges and fuses from the Puppeteer. I think his new trap is going to be very destructive...

Page 128

Chose the Underground.

Now we plan to escape, we get together in the basement at night. Even Jim sits with us. He promised to check whether it's possible to get to the roof through the chimney. Doc hasn't come into shape after the operation yet, so he can be considered the skinniest of us. And yet he couldn't do it. But we shouldn't fall into despair. We'll surely come up with something.


Page 129

We are coming up with escape plans again and again, and they are failing again and again. Some of them are still under consideration, others are already in progress, as the one with the roof. It seems that the only way to freedom is "to open this can of "maniac in natural juices ", as Jack said...

Page 130

I joined the New Followers.

Alice said that there was a letter from the Puppeteer in the envelope that I gave her. Now we are doing his tasks, we're looking for circus equipment. We've already found a top hat, a cane and even a rabbit, though it is a toy one. The set of items is strange, but these things clearly mean something for Alice.

Page 131

I saw Alice walking about the room and talking to herself when she was alone in the library. Jim believes that she tried to create something like a circus show. It might have been very important to her. Later she shared her revelation with me and told that we had to be patient.

Page 132

Alice was talking to herself again. She mentioned some names: Sam, Matt, Em, Elis... She seems not to see lessons in the last tasks of the Puppeteer, and she even wants to turn to Jim for help.

Page 133

Bill has got another idea - to find out who killed the Puppeteer's family. The old man believes that John wanted to take revenge, but without a clear goal he started to "hackle here and there". If the aim appears, the killer will take our place in the house. The Fall family will be avenged, though not by the law... But who will avenge us and the victims of the first act?

Page 134

"Leonard said that he had to remember something else. Once again I'm going through the room, materializing items, and he's showing me the shadows of the past. I found a pen and a bottle of ink, Leonard used them when he lived in this house and worked as a secretary of madame Lynette.

I also learned that Lynette had a stepdaughter named Marie. I found her letter, but Leonard doesn't remember the text, the letters were blurring and we weren't able to read it."

Page 135

Leo and Marie were friends, Leo was younger than she, but he became the only person with whom she could be herself. Leonard said, at that time children of rich parents were surrounded by dolls, nurses, and thousands of rules of conduct. You could neither go down and join the adults in the salon nor play with the kids at sixteen! The letter which she kept in secret from her stepmother and which he copied, was an attempt to escape.

Page 136

"I'm confused.

There is a curse besides the geises, it ties all the ancient ghosts together. Isami said that death coming from geises was a lie. Alastriona was destined to break the geis and die, but she died before that happened. Her gods were in charge of the geises, but they did not have the power over the invaders. And the curse doesn't care whether you believe in it or not."


Page 137

"Curse chi, blant o lwyth Dan! Ble oeddech chi pan fu farw fy nhad? Now I know what it means. Woe betide you, children of the Danu tribe! Where were you when my father died? Willem is the son of that king who once burned down the village of the maiden, was slain at the battlefield and was buried by the druid in the center of the sacred hill. He begged the gods to take revenge. They heard his prayer."

Page 138

"Isami says that curse is like a pendulum. One person pushes it, and the victim dies. Another person throws it back and the one who cursed dies. But Alastriona cursed not the king alone, but all his family. This pendulum will swing, while at least one of the descendants is still alive. And it will kill those who will get in its way..."


Page 139

Jack seems to be inspired by Ryan's calculations. He wants to track the path into the lair of the Puppeteer by the wires. I don't know how he is going to do it, and what is he making. But in any case it is much better than sitting and drinking with Bill.

Page 140

"The New Followers are not Alice alone. The former and the new leaders operated on some unfortunate fanatic together. He told Jim that the task to find a nurse had appeared in the bedroom. When he was reaching for his hat, which was in the middle of the room, a sword fell on him Something strange is going on in this house..."

Page 141

She finally left. Perhaps, Caleb startled her. Not surprisingly: a sudden appearance of a stranger on a family birthday party, an expensive gift. Marie turned seventeen, and her stepmother began introducing her to men.

Poor Leo.


Page 142

"What was it? It's like two Maries at the same time: one of them is young and happy, she chose the grown-up man over the boy. The other is tired, she's wearing a shabby dress. Leonard didn't't see her

She said that he was wrong. Perhaps, at that ball Marie hoped that Leo would do something? And he just backed off."


Page 143

"Suspects' connections:

Romanovskaya E - Quinn S, Stubley M, EG. Plymouth - London. Salisbury

Quinn S - Black Z, Romanovskaya E, Stabley M, EG. Plymouth - London.

Stabley M - Force R, Romanovskaya E, Quinn S, EG. Plymouth - Southampton.

Black Z - Quinn S, EG. Exeter.

Force R - Stubley M, EG. Southampton."


Page 144

"Case # 1034. Firestarter

Place of crime: Exeter, a hospital? Salisbury, an old house. Southampton, a private residence. Bruton, a car, 1988 and 1974.

Victims: 8 women

Suspects: Romanovskaya E, Quinn S, Force R (our Ryan, obviously), Stubley M.

Evidence: traces of hypnotic, a lace, track of a wheel."

Page 145

"Case # 1007. Pneumonia in Exeter

Place of crime: Exeter, a hospital

Victims: 5 women

Suspect: Black Z.

Evidence: fingerprints of medical staff.

Case # 1123. Witchbridge

Place of crime: Witchbridge, the Falls' residence

Victims: 3 people

Suspects: Fall J. (not him obviously, but Bill told to write everything down)

Evidence: a gun"

Page 146

"The Puppeteer told Alice off... It's strange. We were doing his tasks. However I didn't see any notes, maybe Alice invented the tests herself? No, it's not like her. And the marathon, for which we got the key ... Who could give it to us except for the Puppeteer? Or he gave us some of the tasks and the rest of them were invented by her...

Now Alice is sitting in a closet under the stairs. Yeah, the lack of freedom can be different. We need to understand how we can get her out."


Page 147

Alice has finally got out of the library! Another strange thing: the Puppeteer said that he would not give a hint to the right key. And then I found a note "A prisoner knows her jail better than the others," and Alice figured out where was the number. To break the hammer to tear the sentence apart... She read Alice as Elis, and not as Alice. Too many strange things for me.

Page 148

The Monkey has been caught! At last! For how long we have been chasing him! In fact, I was either the bait, or an addition to the smokesreen. Questioning him has failed so far, Ryan loaded such a charge to the shocker that Matt fell unconscious. We took him to the attic.

Page 149

Ryan's story according to his own words. When he was 17, he made shocker, and went a bit over the top with the power. So when he was offered a dark alley "trick or treat", it all ended up with five dead bodies and one survivor. Both were put into prison, one for attempted robbery, another for exceeding the self-defense and "causing unintentional death of three or more people." Ironically, Matt and Ryan were cellmates, and spent three years on adjoining beds. Then Matt was released, and Ryan stayed for a few more years. His term of imprisonment was long, but he got a remission for good conduct.

Page 150

Jenny has changed. She left the rug and the candle in the kitchen and stopped talking to him. We can't even call her "Jenny" anymore, her name is Jane now. She joined the Underground. Her "I'm sick of it" sounds like desperation. But maybe I just don't know her well.

Page 151

Jenny has changed. She left the rug and the candle in the kitchen and stopped talking to him. We can't even call her "Jenny" anymore, her name is Jane now. She rebuffed Alice and joined the Underground. She called the Puppeteer "the freak". He has got what he wanted - she started fighting for her freedom. It that what he really wanted?..

Page 152

Alice is being carried away. She seems to be falling somewhere like her own memories of the past. She learned that most of her friends had been in the first act and had died. Now she doesn't say a word about the Teacher, and her comments on the "memorable things"... It's terrible when the ideals crumble but she behaves in a very strange way. I don't like it. I'll finish, and then I'll go to Jim.

Page 153

"""Woe be on you and all your descendants, may they die in suffering, and may they be the cause of suffering to ones who love them. My daughters will remind your sons about it when they meet!""

Alastriona condoned everything, the ancient ghosts are gone - all except her. But the fog keeps talking. There are the descendants of two kins among us. They kill each other, not knowing why... We need to find them. But how?"

Page 154

It looks like we have reached a turning point in Leonard's memories. It happened right after the game of brag between Lynette and Caleb. The defeated party decided to vent his anger on poor Marie and forced his way into her bedroom. Leonard noticed it and got into a fight, but the forces were unequal. At the end of this memory Leonard lost consciousness. What was going to happen to him?..

Page 155

Did that really happen? I cannot get Lynette's last words from my head. "Tonight this servant attacked my stepdaughter, and now he has attempted to kill me". I wanted to yell, "Lie!" But it happened long ago. Poor Leonard...

Page 156

We found the Puppeteer’s lair! There’s a hatch in the film theatre that leads there. Too bad it’s locked. Jack has tried to break it open, but got hit by electric shock. That’s fine. Most importantly, we now know where he is. Now we just need to wait for the right moment…

Page 157

"Someone’s been manipulating the Followers! That someone’s been writing notes to Alice, it was not the Puppeteer. That is why she’s stayed locked in the library’s closet. From the Puppeteer’s point of view we must have been making obscure and absolutely pointless actions.

But who would need to do that? Who imitated the Puppeteer’s “lessons” and why?"


Page 158

He said it at long last. Too bad it was late already. Looks like Marie was both glad and upset. If she had listened to Lynette’s advice, she should be married by now… She’s asked him to forget her, return to his sister, find a girlfriend. Why did she come in the first place? To say goodbye? But why wait a whole year for that?

Page 159

Leo has escaped. Only it’s “Leonard” now, he’s all grown-up. How many years did he spend in jail? Kerosene lamps in prison — that’s just madness. A burner in the church, a friend with no face, Alastriona... Who’s words are not important? Not important to who?

Page 160

Jack's dream came true – he punched the Puppeteer in the face. It would be a good thing to do the same to Matt and Alice.

I will try to write everything down while there is still time.

Alice Green is the murderer of the Falls family.

John came downstairs, opened the last lock and tried to kill himself. Doc did not let him do that.

Matt and Alice are sitting upstairs, in the lair. The door in the hallway is nailed shut. The location of the new one is yet to be discovered.

Am I supposed to spend the rest of my life in this house and watch new "puppeteers" replace the old ones?


Page 161

Matt has introduced himself to the whole house. He’s gathered everyone in the living room, called himself a Trickster… And said he was holding a grenade, as Bill has put it. He delivered a very pompous speech about right lessons and said that anyone could become his equal. Well, anyone can go nuts, that’s for sure. Firewood brothers answered him all right, but the last word was his anyway. The Monkey has all the Puppeteer’s equipment, so it’s too early to mock him yet.

Page 162

"That was to be expected. The fire that William Fall was reading his two sons about, the convict John promised to make the attic comfortable for… It really was Leonard. Him and the strange voice, a ghost of a ghost, an echo of something incomprehensible. It was just a fallen oil lamp. The journalists have distorted everything… I should have figured it out earlier. They are long dead, they didn’t die just now. Why do I feel so sorry for them?"

Page 163

I’ve seen all sorts of thing in this house already, so I thought there could be nothing worse than being dead and cursed. Turns out, there IS something even worse — to be dead, cursed, but believe that you are still alive. Sam is going to learn about the fact of his own death from me and Isami — the mere thought of it makes me shiver… How can you endure something like this when you are dead? How can I rally my courage to do this?

Page 164

All right, Feather, take a deep breath. Calm down. Everything is great, it’s perfect. You’ve just taken a peek at hell... Looks like as soon as I write down that things cannot get any worse, I instantly get the proof that they very much can!


Page 165

Oh my god, this house is getting crazier by the minute. The house itself is telling us what to do with some strange notes. Looks like someone is going to miss his or her favorite newspaper — these things are not ghostly. They are real, material objects that change. That has “faith” burned into them and “good” written on with glowing paint. And Jim is interpreting it all… For Alice. For her, who is safe under Matt's wing. Mercy for a maniac. Goddammit, I don’t understand. The house is asking for the impossible.

The house is “asking”…

Looks like we’re all going to end up in nut house if we get out of here.

Page 166

"Sam almost seems alive. He’s playing, asking to carve toys for him, hugging Jenny...

But I know it’s just an appearance. And then he stood still a millimeter away from her, without passing through her or falling down. He’s immune to nature’s laws, so it should be easy for him to hang in the air like that.

I think he knows everything. He saw everything that happened to the kitchen and he wasn’t surprised. He just doesn’t want to believe in his own death. That’s why he’s building some kind of reality around him."

Page 167

"Yes, Jim has taught Jack to ask people questions. Questions that cut the ground from under their feet. It’s not how it should be done… Or is it? Maybe the Puppeteer became John again because our doc started asking such questions?

And he nearly paid for it with his life.

Maybe it’s really helping, but it’s too dangerous. And if done by someone as straight-forward as Jack, it really can be equal to the cruelest of torture.

Going back to the subject... We’ve made it into the study and now we’re about to finish schematics for the lair’s lock. I’m curious to see John’s room... I hope Matt and Alice really are inside."

Page 168

"Marie has changed a lot. She’s a different girl now — quarrelling with her stepmother, needling Caleb… She made the acquaintance of Leo on her own and didn’t leave for her uncle’s place! The madam should be very “pleased” with such a stepdaughter. That is all so strange. Is it just the curse? Or maybe not. Maybe that is Marie’s vision of herself, her own impression. Leo was a shy little boy in her eyes… Just like she’s always been a miserable lonely girl for him. It’s not exactly the past. It’s their memories of it."

Page 169

Scum! Everyone’s alive, we’ve dragged Jenny out (though it looks like she would do fine on her own), but Jim’s back is now adorned with an elaborate monogram. Alice has “branded” him. I wish I could rip her hands off and Matt’s too! They deserve to be branded like cattle themselves...

Page 170

As soon as I've pieced together first jigsaw puzzle, a picture with the secret hiding place appeared on it. It looked strange, some kind of chemical reaction perhaps? I'll ask Jack on occasion, he will certainly be interested about it. I've found a key in the hiding place, now I can open first lock in the lobby.

Page 171

It looks like we have a house full of Puppeteers now. They have repaired John's console, and found its' parts that Matt and Alice had stolen. Jane - or Jenny, I have no idea what name to use now - wrote a program to replace some particularly complex detail.

Now anyone can sit in a Puppeteer's chair, make coffee on a portable tile and look at the monitors, like in some stupid attraction... They can't use the speakers though - the microphone is broken. Ryan thinks, we wouldn't need it at all. It's been very quiet lately. What are they about?

Page 172

We finally told John that he was cursed. Showed him the Other side, Alastriona... the Hell. And he stood his ground. That should be quite a shock for him to see something that he didn't believe, just go and see it because someone decided it was time. He is very strong indeed...

Is he - or is it the Puppeteer?

I wonder if it's the same thing about Alice. And if there is some scarlet ghost of someone stronger than she is?

Page 173

They are alive. They are alive! I want to scream out loud - we did it!

Jack is a techno genius, and Jim is just a genius, and I didn't believe Matt! I won't collect all these keys for him, not even for all the first-aid kits in this house, no matter how badly he wants me to do it!

Matt waylaid students on the Other side, and put them into the cross-examination with a lie detector. If someone was wrong - the other one got the electric shock. Isami answered correctly, but the Dragon didn’t... We made a microphone and Doc prompted him correct answers. Jim understood Ryan better than Ryan did himself. Now they are battered, but they'll get over it. They are alive, that's all that matters.

Page 174

We did not save her. I did not save her.

There is dead silence all over the house. Like all the sounds in this world are dead? Like the time itself is frozen… My God, I wish it was a day ago! Why... Why wasn't Leonard there, why didn't Sam save her, why didn't Alastriona get out of the kitchen? It is too late. It does not matter now. We wrapped the body in a white sheet, like a shroud, and left in the hallway. We all were so stunned by grief that no one guessed to watch over the room, and now it's too late. The tea... that's all that Isami has left... Tea and fog, and all her doings.

We will not forget her.

Page 175

Was that a dream?

Isami's gone. We were late, we made a mistake, and she's gone, I've seen it. But they still want me to find the keys and to fix the microphone. As if nothing has happened, as if we still have time…

Page 176

We have a new ghost - Robert O'Leary, Marie's uncle. If he was one of that foggy ones, I could handle that, I know Leonard has remembered even the prison guards, but Robert is real. He's the same ghost as Lynette and Caleb who died here. But that can't be.

He didn't die in this house.

Or did he?

Page 177

Jim has lost his mind. I have found the diary of Alice and now he’s trying to talk to her, getting right into the traps. It’s true that she didn’t shoot him, but she could have! And Matt could have been hear the red button. The doc is not satisfied with just a mark on his back. "Who believes in Alice?" Jim himself does. But what good will it do anyone…

Page 178

Leo has proposed. Well, Marie wanted to do it too, on february 29, the day when woman can propose, but he did it first. That is so… I can’t find words. We have Matt and Alice here, everything’s bad, and they are having an engagement. They. Where are they? All those scenes look just as real as Leonard’s memories, I don’t think they’re fake! But if back there in the past this is the new reality, than what about the fire? Reconstruction of the house? I don’t understand.

Page 179

Jenny is dead. Shot herself in the head by Matt’s demand so that he would let John go. Doc tried to do something, but… As Sam has put it, she just slipped through our fingers. As an Elder he’s tried to help too, but couldn’t. John already came. He said he would kill them and locked himself in the attic with Ryan. He’s terrifying to look at... I don’t understand! She knew he wouldn’t be able to live with that! Why?..

Page 180

Who’s handwriting is this? Everyone’s alive, we have replaced the gun, but who left the note?

Page 181

Helped Jack to repair watch. Who could ever think that he can be so sentimental? They have very strange relationship with brother none the less - help each other, but can't talk calmly. And I think I'm beginning to understand why - as they are absolutely different. Jim is calm, he's hiding all his emotions, and Jack, on the contrary, gives them away.

Page 182

Now I’m not helpless in the dark. The house is giving me hints, words on the walls. When I tough them, the darkness steps back. Sam says that the house is my friend. He’s been giving Isami and me notes, a long time ago. They had the same words: good, hope, love. It seems so easy to feel it all, but when the darkness is closing down around you, you forget hope. The house is helping. But what IS it? And what will it want in return? There’s too much mysticism here. The fog, the curse and some third force.

Page 183

Right, a lapse of memory is all I need to help matters. But I really don’t remember this girl, even her name escapes my memory. I think she’s from the Underground… Lets’ hear what she has to say.

Page 184

Looks like there’s a lot of people in this house. I’ve met Nat Thompson, a gutsy member of the Underground. The girl is not slightly built, rather the type that can stop a horse at full tilt. She asked for help with a test, because she’s already spent too much blood. She reminds me of Jack a bit, with her dishevelled hair and disregard of wounds.

Page 185

It’s not just a lot of people here, it’s a whole crowd! I have a new acquaintance, Lance Donovan. I wonder what’s his full name. It can’t be Lancelot, can it?.. But I doubt he will be of any use. At least for now he looks like a scared rabbit and I don’t think it’s a false impression. Although he’s not so bad at passing tests.

Page 186

Jim. It can’t be. It just can’t… What were we supposed to do?! How could we have known… He’s not in the mist, the curse didn’t get him. In this house we will soon learn to be happy about less agonizing death! Or the fact that dead find peace! I don’t want to be like that! This was not supposed to happen! It was not. No one has to die. Not anymore.

Page 187

Jack said he would be next. We should make sure he’s never left alone, keep an eye on him at all times. (If Jim's dead) One dead Firewood is too much already. (If Jim's alive) We were barely able to save one Firewood already.

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