Brogan couldn't sleep. How in the hell could shut off his mind, knowing what he knew? He poured another drink, in search of liquid oblivion. It was a long time coming.
What the hell am I? Human, Machine, Entity? Was it really an accident? Do I even want to know?
Even as he thought of them, Brogan knew what the answers to these questions would cost him. He'd been asking questions like this since he joined X-SWAT, and the result had been nights like this—and worse. He still heard the voices of people he'd asked for help, knowing he'd regret it later, and he knew he'd never be able to forget them.
You lost when you got 'borged. You've cheated death and the natural order of things...What's up, halfman? I don't even have a soul worth devouring...I will see the spirit within you. I will see your soul laid bare...There's a darkness within you and it frightens me...You've got a passenger! I see the shadow of evil in you...it's not killing you. It's keeping you alive...He who fights too long against dragons becomes a dragon himself...We're not really human anymore.
And Brogan finally drifted off to sleep. Sort of.
And the ones that mother gives you, Don't do anything at all.
Go ask Alice, When she's ten feet tall.
"Not human, but at least I can still drink myself to sleep...screw you, Cadbury."
"That's rather rude, Sergeant Brogan."
"What do you expect, Madame Director, when you recruit an Entity into X-SWAT, without even telling him what he really is? What the hell am I, anyway?"
"All I ask is that you use what I've given you well. I wish there was more I could tell you."
Tell 'em a hookah smoking caterpillar Has given you the call.
Call Alice, When she was just small.
"Never mind what I am. What are you?"
"I'm a protector spirit. I am, by your count, over 10,000 years old."
"Then you know what happens to me if we close the Door."
"There are other doors... Angelus just has the biggest."
And you've just had some kind of mushroom And your mind is moving low.
Go ask Alice, I think she'll know.
"And this Entity possessing me feeds on other Entities, draws its power from them—what happens when we defeat Gurzorath? He's the most powerful Entity we know of!"
"I don't have an answer for that. The time draws near when I can hold him back no more."
And the Red Queen's "off with her head!" Remember what the dormouse said:
Feed your head. Feed your head. Feed your head.
"You haven't got the slightest fucking idea what you're doing. Do you, Alice?"
YOU HAVE TESTED MY PATIENCE FAR ENOUGH. I SUGGEST YOU TEST IT NO FURTHER.
Brogan awoke in the middle of a convulsion—the Entity within him had been even more disturbed by his dream than he was. When it subsided, he sat up, wincing, and hoped that his 'dream' was just a liquor-induced nightmare, and nothing more.
Maybe I'm really losing my mind, after all this. He remembered an old joke. I haven't lost my mind! It's all backed up on disk somewhere....
...and realized what he'd been missing for the last week! This is what comes of avoiding mirrors for months on end.
Sitting in the dark, sleep-deprived and still half-drunk, Brogan hesitated in front of the computer terminal. This was the cybernetic version of Jama's 'True Sight,' and accessing his own personnel file was strictly against department regulations, even if the department no longer existed. He would probably see some things he didn't like, and he'd never be able to forget about them. But there were also things which had been kept from him—things he should have known! And now he had access to them.
No, I haven't lost my soul. X-SWAT backed it up on disk for me....