First Player's diary
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Perhaps, it could be helpful if I'll write down what's happening. For a start, I'd like to mention the fact that I'm locked in the house of a maniac, that calls himself the Puppeteer, and I have to pass his tests. If I die here, give this diary to Scotland-Yard, it will serve as material evidence.
But I don't want to die, and everything is not so terrible as it seemed. At least, I'm not alone. We've already acquainted with Jenny Wallis - nice girl, a bit strange though. But she is staying here for a long time already, and I think everything's OK. She's bandaged my hands (it's impossible not to cut hands with door handles!) and gave me some salad to eat.
It's clear now, why Jenny's sometimes so weird. When she was 13 years old she's got into car accident, and has partial amnesia - the girl can't remember her childhood before the accident.
Now I've got a task from the Puppeteer. It probably pleasures him, when people do something upsetting. "Jenny trusts you, so put her this note secretly". I didn't look into that paper - I have no death wish yet. He explained that he helps her to remember freedom, but why doesn't she remember? Her amnesia extends to events before she was 13 only, but she wasn't locked in the house since then!
Jenny has shown me the note herself. There is a children's riddle in it, about brushes and paints, and one more statuette is implied there. I've found painter, and Jenny remembered, how she's glued this statuette together. Yes, this very statuette, marks of glue are left on it. It turns out that the Puppeteer has brought figurine from her house, or Jenny has already been here in childhood. As Carroll's Alice said, curiouser and curiouser!
Have occasionally heard doctor Jim speaking to his brother Jack. It seems that they have quite a strained relationship. And Jenny, as she's seen a statuette of musician, started remembering someone who've played violin, but it has given her a headache.
"Jenny said that statuettes look like a family that lived in this house, and she knew them when she was a child. But she's heard nothing about them after the accident... It is strange - even if people are left, they can call, write letters and come on visits. Unless they've moved to another country. Jenny doesn't want to leave the house until she remembers everything.
She also says that this house is in the small town Witchbridge, somewhere in English province. She remembers neither number of the house nor the street. Unfortunately, I haven't even heard of this town before."
The Puppeteer's joking - he's opened cellar for me and told that I would find rats there - "common and biped". Have really met a rat and Jack. His habits remind of rats - in the good sense of the word. He defenses his territory, finds an application for any useless thing (he always repairs something) and, as Puppeteer said, "tries to bite".
The Puppeteer has strange attitude to rats in general: "Rats run from sinking ship, while they are here, everything's all right". I suppose, even rat couldn't escape from this house!
Have found needle, threads and pins for Jack - he's tried to mend a hole on his shirt himself and had even succeed more or less. It seems that Jenny cares of him too much, and it irritates him. Jack is kind of person who hate when people worry about them.
doctor asked to help him with filling up first-aid set. I have already found cotton wool, and it turned out funny with alcohol - I had to filch the bottle from supplies of a local sot. And I don't want even to imagine the operation conducted with tailor's scissors, sewing needle and a hammer...
It turned out, that Jim's relationship with his brother is even worse than I supposed - doctor can't go down to cellar and take ether because Jack is there. And there is a girl named Alice in the house, who was operated by the doctor. With the help of scissors, needle and hammer, I suppose. Couldn't Puppeteer give surgical instruments at least?
Our kind doctor appeared to be not so simple - I've seen him carrying food to the kitchen through the keyhole of cellar. Jenny said it's like him - to help the prisoners of the house and the Puppeteer at the same time. And such behavior is linked somehow with the fact that he is the leader of the Followers. I'd like to know more about them.
Was driving a rat around the kitchen, but it ran away. Jack advised to make a trap from vase, but the forth vase already doesn't fit. But then Jenny remembered many interesting things about them. She has not just already been in this house, but had known its inhabitants well, they used to be friends. She knows that the vases are not antique, but just copies, and has remembered that she helped to bring one of them from the shop.
The Puppeteer turned up again, advises to find the door, speaks ironically. What's the cause of such a good mood? I don't think he'll answer this question. But I have found the door, and it is impressive enough. Ten locks, made of wood, binded with iron. Such door is to be knocked out with battering ram. Nine keys are somewhere in the rooms, the tenth must be kept by the Puppeteer.
It came very strange with the rat. We've been hunting for it for such a long time, but finally decided that it's lovely and clever and it will be our pet. We've used all the vases in the mansion to make a house for it, the imagination boggles!
Jenny asked me to bring dinner for Jack. I think I understand both of them. Such an attention irritates, but otherwise he wouldn't eat for the whole day. Jenny remembered that she has already faced with such behavior - apparently when she was a child. And she mentioned the Underground - kind of group Jack is occupied with. Hmm, it's interesting.
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.
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.
Помогла Дженни собрать коллекцию бабочек. Она столько всего вспомнила - какую поймали первой, какую купили, и какую она помогала пришивать к альбому. А главное, вспомнила лицо мальчика, который их ловил.
One can relax now, Jack will stay alive. Jenny has found him in the kitchen, wounded and unconscious, and I have brought the doctor. I didn't expect that Jim will rouse his brother so soon. He sewed up the wounds, gave Jack an injection, sal ammonial to smell, and he came around quickly. And hobbled to his cellar of course - without thanking. Later,
Jim explained us, that Jack blacked out because of the weight-trap that has fallen onto his head, not because of blood loss. "Otherwise he wouldn't pull through". Jim was white as a sheet as he said this - he fears for his brother so much.
I've received two notes signed with letter "J" at a time: an invitation into the cellar and into the living room from Firewood brothers. Both watched me passing the test and commented on recent accident. Jack asked me to stop worrying about him, Jim thanked for love of fellow men. Both of them invited me to enter their groups - the Underground or the Followers. The Underground don't follow the rules of the Puppeteer and search their own way to freedom, the Followers keep calm and try to solve the secrets of the house. I think it's too early yet to make the final choice.
Got to know many new things about the brothers - Jenny has told me. She's got into the house together with Jim, and a few month have passed already since then. She said that Doc wasn't afraid of the Puppeteer, was looking for something, talked with the cameras for a long time. And then sent an invitation for a younger brother.
Jenny thinks that Jim needed a person to understand him and help to solve some secret, but the younger Firewood didn't appreciate brother's act - he has actually entrapped him. One can die here easily, and Jack tries to do it regularly. And Doc keeps healing him... It's pendulum action - you make one mistake, and keep paying for it for a long time.
Jack has cardinal methods of struggle with rivals. They need stamps? We'll find a rare copy and burn it!
We've collected a smoking kit for Bill - he promised to provide some information for it. He seems to be that very old drunkard, from whose stash I've pinched alcohol. They say he smokes like a chimney, the full range of bad habits.
It appears that the Followers are trying to find out the past of the house we're locked in. I've found a photo of the family that lived here before, and new questions appeared. What's happened to this people? How did the Puppeteer get this house? Jim thinks we'll find the answers.
We put a spoke in the Underground's wheel - I've stolen a resistor from the cellar and given it to Jim. He said Jack wanted to assemble some devise, that could harm the Followers. Jim has balanced relation to rivals, but the law of the talion is in force.
It seems that with the Followers everything's a bit more difficult as I thought. Jenny said, that Alice invented the slogans about the Master and Puppeteer's way, and Doc has simply organized the Followers as a group of people helping to each other. Probably, raking over the dust and ashes of the past of this house is also his idea. Concerning the Underground, everything's easy. Jack has set it up, and it doesn't require much wisdom - struggle to the bitter end, and try to stay alive.
I think it's time to choose friends and rivals. Especially after I've found a pistol in the hiding place in the living room. It's unloaded, but it's still a weapon. I think the Puppeteer has heard all our talks, or guesses about them, because he advised to think well what to do with the find.
By the way, the brothers appeared to have known that I'm working for both groups, but they weren't much disappointed about it.
Have found a few pages of John's diary. It seems that the boy has lived in this house some time ago. Old, yellowish paper, some of the pages are nearly gone to pieces. Witchbridge and a large library are mentioned there. On the photo I've restored together with Jim, there's similar membership of the family - mother, father, two brothers. Except upon nanny - she isn't mentioned yet.
Either the Puppeteer has become absent-minded, or it's his new game. I've found a few pages of his diary in the house, and his attitude to what's happening in the house is described there. He calls us "Puppets", mocks at the Underground, as well as at the Followers. It seems that he thinks that all this struggle of groups is senseless. And one fragment alerts me - the Puppeteer promises to "cheer up this sleepy theatre".
I'm not the one to obey the maniac, so I've chosen the Underground. Jack was glad about the pistol and has set to work at once - we'll prepare the gunpowder. And for the beginning we've modernized the camera in the cellar a bit, and now it shows the events of one day cyclic. Jack's very good at physics, unlike his brother. We'll hope that the Puppeteer and his Followers won't notice it immediately and all the more wouldn't be able to repair it.
Taking bear by the tooth is not for me. I have chosen the Followers, now we are prosecuting an inquiry with Jim. The pistol appeared to be a clue, a key to the past of this house, and I'm really interested - what other mysteries are we going to solve? We've cleared up already, that someone was killed or injured by the shot from this pistol. It's impossible not to notice the blood on the rag, and Jim has found marks on the walls - they match the diameter of muzzle of the found pistol.
Cotton wool, alcohol, acid, gelatin and ether, I've never thought that one can make an explosive of it. Jack says it's nitrocellulose, invented in 1884 by French engineer Paul Viele. It turned out that our leader had studied in Sorbonne, and dreams of second education in the USA, but nothing came out of it - brother's letter pulled him out into this house.
Unscrewed some strange devise from the camera in the cellar - Jack invented it for cycling the picture. Jim was impressed with his brother's skills in electronics, and even more - with his stupid head, that went as far as soldering by turned on electricity, and by his luck to stay alive. I had to repeat crazy Undergrounder's deed, and now the camera works normal.
Got acquainted with Tan Nakamura, Japanese, who occurred in children's room somehow. Nobody have seen her before, so she is probably new. Or she began from the other part of the house - for a newcomer Tan is too calm. She always behaves in such manner though - either ice statue or porcelain doll with a painted smile. She is absolutely self-confident, refused to enter the groups, incredibly polite. Her meeting with Jenny was amusing - easy-going, emotional Jenny attacked poor Japanese girl with questions and has recently suggested to thou each other. No politeness can save from such sincerity.
Collected old films for Jenny. On tape reels, it's fantastic, I didn't know that they exist yet! Unfortunately we can't watch them - the projector is broken, and Jack is too busy to repair it. Who will store old tapes - the films are not best or famous. We can only examine the cases yet, and that's enough to find out the name, or rather stage name of the actress who played in all 5 films - Kate Byron. Maybe, fans of her lived in this house? Or there's a secret in this films?
It became clear finally, why I have been looking for parts of toy train for a few days already. Jim arranged a real chemical lab in the corner of the living room, and the results are unfortunately definite - it's blood. It was on the first wan, but Doc wanted to make sure that brown traces in the chinks are not paint or remains of spilled sauce. Blood on the toy arouses unpleasant thoughts, and examinations of the rooms was unconsoling also. On the wall of the living room, behind the wardrobe, on the level of child's and adult's height there were same marks as in the living room.
We've gathered a collection of kid's toys with Jenny, and have solved the ravel of the tapes. That very actress, Kate Fall, lived in this house with her husband and two sons. I remember name of the first boy after gathering the butterfly collection - Sam, but the name of the other one is still a secret. There are just initials - J.A. James, John, Jack, Joshua? There are too many names beginning with J, and we'll never guess the right one. That's funny - Fall brothers in the past and Firewood brothers now, names beginning with same letters...
Have stolen mortars and pestles from the kitchen - Jenny'll have to manage without pepper, but if everything will be ok, we won't have to sit locked up for long. Jack trusted me preparing two portions of powder, we've made the bullets as well - golden, from three coins that we've found in the house. Fortunately, we could reach the necessary temperature level in the pot in the cellar, and melt the metal. Now I shall find the wires and we'll go for a hunt. Jack wants to blackmail the Puppeteer - by kidnapping the leader of the Followers - his own brother. Risky plan, but we have no other.
Jim's disappeared, and I've found a first aid kit left in the living room and a fresh mark on the wall, that looks like a bullet mark. Our pistol wasn't loaded, is there someone else in the house? But than he was probably caught by Jack. The Undergrounder might participate in his brother's disappearance.
We've found Jim in the cellar, binded. His brother swung with the pistol and cried something into the camera. Me and Jenny decided to cut the chains and save Jim, but as we were on our way to cellar, we've heard shot, and Alice appeared in the kitchen. Jenny had to draw her attention away - this fanatic Follower's meeting with Jack could end dramatically - and I've left to the cellar. Pieces of glass and plastic were scattered all over - Jack shot into the camera. I've managed to cut the wires Jim was binded with, but instead of running away he's invited brother to talk in the living room.
Jim could finally explain brother his actions, and it seems that he's understood him, yet hasn't agreed. It seems that Jack seriously treated us as Puppeteer's servants who obeyed his orders. I've also learned something new about Doc, though. Jenny was right, group's slogans and thoughts of Jim are absolutely different things. He's said once, that you should know the past of the person to understand him, as well as past of the things that surround him. Doc's trying to understand the Puppeteer, but why - for no reason or for some special purpose?
Everything goes according to the plan. I have to admit that Jim stands firm, he hasn't even started when Jack sent a bullet into the wall above his shoulder. He just asked us how we made them! This Follower acts like we've invited him for a cup of tea, not binded threatening with the pistol.
However, our plan failed. We understood quickly that Jim can't tell us anything useful, and Jack tried to require freedom from the Puppeteer in exchange to his Follower. Jim advised brother to stop, but he hasn't obeyed of course and told Doc to shut up. The maniac calmly offered to kill Jim, and our infuriated leader shot into the camera and threw off the useless pistol. Thereafter we've liberated unaccomplished hostage and Jim offered us talk in the living room.
Jenny appeared to be right, group's slogans and thoughts of Jim are absolutely different things. He said that he rules this group out of pity, worrying about his charges - under leadership of Alice they can commit something foolish like ritual suicide. Jim wants to solve the secret of this house and understand the Puppeteer. Jack answered that the person who's gone crazy and kills people deserves no understanding. But Jack understood his brother and stopped being angry with him, although we haven't agreed.
We've repaired kitchen together. It was a bit strange, working side by side with the leader of the opposite group, but both brothers seemed to forget about it. They've tried not to contact each other at first, but then started communicating, even joking. As you look at them now it's difficult to realize, that Jack threatened Jim with pistol not long ago. But friendship of the leaders doesn't mean friendship of their groups, and I wouldn't give a hand to many people from the opposite side.
Jack's disappeared. On the threshold of my room I've found a note with the request for coming into the cellar, but no one was there. Jenny advised to ask doctor, and he noticed that it's not the handwriting of younger Firewood in the letter. Me and Jack have climbed all over the house, from cellar to the third floor, and in the kid's room have heard rustling, squeak of the boards and dumped metal clanging above us... There was just one room above, and Jenny came as soon as we've finished the test. She's seen some kind of ghost from the lobby, by the library door. Doc is afraid that his brother will be found there exactly.
Jim was right, we've found the younger Firewood in the library. He was lying on the sofa, unconscious, chained, extremely exhausted. It was awful to see the leader of the Underground in such condition. Doc has recently started working, and Jack came around quickly enough. I've never thought that Jim can be so furious. "How to take off this damned chain? Puppeteer, what do you want?" The Puppeteer wanted to amuse himself with new trials, what else. Now doctor has to struggle for his brother's life.
We've tried to break the chain, but in vain. We've tried everything, even soldering irons and acid - Jack poured it straight onto the arc of the iron bracelet, and wasn't injured miraculously. The Puppeteer laughed only at our attempts to become free, and advised to saw off the leg. Jack told him to go to hell. The maniac is said to invent some especially difficult tests for Jim, so the Follower might need help.
I'm helping Jim with the tests - Doc has to pass the rooms in dreadfully short time. He's got into the trap and now can hardly move his hand, and yet has time to analyze. He says the Puppeteer's in a strange mood, has strange intonations - it seems that the situation touches it deeper than it should. It looks like Jack is leading the Underground from the library, and trying to remove the chain. But if he'll make progress, next trap of the Puppeteer might be even more cruel.
Helped Jim with the tests. Doc said that you have to be a strong-willed person and to believe in your ideals strongly, to pass through so many rooms with so serious wounds. Now he knows on his own experience, how difficult is it - to get stuck into the trap when you can't stop. When we've finished the last one and Jack got free of his chains, they've really talked like brothers, catching meaning at once. Later, Jim told that the Puppeteer calls me Feather, symbol of freedom in the house, and everything's changed since I've arrived here...