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True Power

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I've stopped being able to count how many days that it's been since. It happened.

I've always been a huge fan of Metal Gear Solid. A lot of people would say that makes me an idiot, since Kojima's writing pisses people off and that's somehow my fault. They're my favorite because my older brother used to play them, when they first came out, and he let me watch; and I've always wanted to be like him. He's dead now. I guess I'm going to fulfill my dream.

One day, when I got out of school a few hours early because of a fire in the cafeteria kitchens, I went to my local pawn shop which sometimes carries the odd gem. School was going to be over soon, and I'd been saving up my money to get something to treat myself with. Recently, someone had sold their boxed copy of Subsistance - the special edition of Metal Gear Solid 3. It's almost a collector's piece at this point when it has the shrinkwrap still on, so I don't know why someone decided to pawn it off at our local junk shop. However it was being sold for the cheaps, and I wasn't going to just let it pass me by. 

I got it home and tried to open the box - it was strangely dusty, but I popped the disc into the console anyways. Some of the dust got inside my eyes and then also into my mouth.

When I turned the console on, I was greeted by the Konami logo from Metal Gear Solid 1. Strange, because Konami games stopped using the Policenauts jingle by the time that Subsistence was released. The game opened to the save menu, and the only file there had a picture of Psycho Mantis.

Out of morbid curiosity, I opened the save. Psycho Mantis was breaking the fourth wall as per usual. Still, I wasn't sure what he was doing in a copy of Subsistence - by all rights, he shouldn't have even been born yet - and I wasn't sure how exactly a hacked MGS3/MGS disc had gotten into a sealed Subsistence box. In fact, that dust had been strange as well. It wasn't as though the game was that old. 

Once Mantis began to speak, he wheezed in his characteristic way as he floated in his office. "This isn't a trick, you know. It's real power." Jeez, everyone and their mom had heard of a dualshock, right?

Except he didn't just ask me to set down my controller - he also asked me to stand up straight. I did, because what the hell, right? There's no harm in doing silly shit for a video game when nobody's around to see you looking like a dumb asshole. I was standing there in my living room, when suddenly, my arm jerked up of its own accord, like someone had tied a rope to my wrist and had yanked it. I could feel my shoulder pop and I had to bite my lip to not cry.

"You see, my psychokinetic powers are able to work, even though I'm not physically present to control you. I have no hands to move you with, but you aren't the one moving your right arm - and now your left." He flicked his right hand up towards the top of the screen, and my wrist rose violently to meet the other one.

"Now touch your toes."

The cruel fact about being a nerd is that, even though I'm not that old, I don't have good flexibility in my muscles. I couldn't help but cry, at that point, as my hands reached just below my knees, to where it felt like the backs of my thighs were on fire, but then kept reaching.

"The point of this isn't to be your personal fitness regiment, of course." Mantis seemed to be amused by my attempts to straighten up again - however, my muscles seemed to lock up whenever I tried. "The point is that you're now under my control, and nothing more than a pathetic puppet!

"Now what am I going to do with my new toy?" Mantis's voice was dripping with disdain.

"Let me read into your mind -" He paused thoughtfully, and seemed to strike on something. My mind was filled with the image of the pistol my mother kept in her bedside drawer - I'd seen it once, but I've always been afraid to ask her why she has it. Had it. It's still so hard to think of her is dead, even though I had to drag her out of the computer room myself so that she wouldn't be staring at me as I typed. I deserve it, but I just can't stand the judgment.

"Good- you know what to do, don't you? You've played video games, right? Like Call of Duty- oh no," he crossed his arms as I opened my mouth to speak, "That's your brother's, isn't it? Well, you've seen him play. It's easy. Point-"

He pointed at the television screen that separated us. "And shoot." He fired the imaginary gun, and my legs were seized with the compulsion to walk.

My brother was home sick that day. Well, that's what he'd told our mom, but really, he had gotten behind for a school assignment and had stayed home to finish reading The Catcher in the Rye and write a paper. Maybe if he'd been less lazy, he wouldn't be dead. I needed to take a minute after I typed that. I'm not sure if it was me or him that did, but I feel like I'm going to throw up.

My parents both worked in the same workplace, and they drove to and from work together. He hasn't let me clean the blood off my hands. The keyboard has stopped being sticky, at least. It feels like it's covered in dry, tacky dust. I know if I look down it'll just be a smear of rust crusted on. I don't want to. He made me, just now. It was.

After he made me.... do what I did.... he sat me down to speak one last time. "Our little experiment is over. I've collected the psychometric nanomachine data the Patriots needed..." He looked at his gloved hand, pretending to examine his nails. "But now is where the fun part starts. I wonder - will the guilt eat you alive. You still have a few rounds left in that gun, you know?"

I'm going to die in a few days, anyways. Whenever I try to turn the faucet on, I can't put my hands in the water and can't dip my head to the stream to drink. I can't even walk into the kitchen. There's only one thing that I think he'd let me eat... but I'm not going to eat them. I refuse to be a monster, even if he made me one. I'm not sure if I can stand to die of thirst, though. My throat hurts so much. I've heard that, in the shade, a human being can last a whole seven days without water. I don't want to find out if that's true. Why haven't the neighbors come to check on me? Didn't anyone hear the gunshots?

If you're reading this - please, come to the address below. I don't know if you'll be able to make it in time. I don't know if I'm strong enough.


This word document was discovered at the scene of a grim murder-suicide, providing an unfortunate context to the bloody scene. While it sounds like the ramblings of someone unable to accept their actions, I was struck enough by the mention of 'The Patriots' to make a copy of the file and post it here.

It feels... almost wrong, to be posting it even as the boys and girls in the lab are processing the evidence in the file. Still, the longer I keep the file on my computer instead of out on the web, the more I worry someone will discover I stole evidence.

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