Well... I came to Finland feeling miserable and useless. I had back-pains and disturbing dreams to say nothing about the fear of heights and that, let me tell you, was just a beginning. Busted back meant that I was going to be on a sick-leave from my job in Northumbria police for some time. I was already getting edgy, because of sheer mind-numbing boredom. It all started when I took a trip to Turku with a friend of mine, Jaana. I was trying to find Ricky, my brother that was all. Just a pleasant day-trip to Turku, looking some books and half-heartedly seeking for Ricky. For some reason Jaana decided to confide in me and told me about her inability to sleep, total amnesia and other weird symptoms. She said she believed that she was not a human but an android, something downloaded to human body. Needless to say I did not believe her. I volunteered to check a few things though, mainly because I was bored out of my head and wanted to help. I believed that she really was in some kind of trouble.
Oh, and Jaana has got a twin Erika…with identical fingerprints and hallucinations about some kind of dream-place. They really are identical down to their fingerprints and no two persons have same fingerprints, not even twins! This Erika said she was the soul of Jaana’s body. Apparently she is also transparent, though only one person can see this, Jaana’s friend Ruusu. Oh yeah, and Erika claims to be able to walk through walls although I put that sudden appearance in a middle of a night down to a successful burglary attempt. I also witnessed some paranoia in a café and looked through a dead man’s papers. His calendar mentioned some R.A. Ricky perhaps? Come to think of it, I probably should have made a runner there and then, but what can I say, I’m a nosy person and all these mysteries were interesting. Back then I still believed that everything has a logical everyday reason. Besides; all these problems kept me distracted from my own misfortune. I hardly had time to dwell on it, which was a good thing.
I checked Jaana’s backround as well as I could and came to a conclusion, that she was either telling the truth or an extremely well-constructed lie and because there was no logical reason for a lie... well, maybe she is not all human. Maybe they really have neural computers now and they are testing one... maybe. I moved to Turku to get rid of mom, who was having one of her "be motherly" periods.
Then... well, I started to think about the accident again. How I couldn’t remember anything about it and how I had these weird dreams about it... and when Jaana was again visiting Turku and invited me to have tea with her friend Hilkka, who among other things does hypnotherapy... because of mad impulse I asked if she could hypnotize me. She agreed. That was the first great shock of the weekend. I learned that there had been someone on the roof with me. Someone who had ordered me to jump and I had done just as the person had ordered. I did not know that was possible. Just say “jump” and... but I had done it, no doubt about it. Note to self: there are scary manipulative renegade hypnomancers out there, beware. I heard from Hilkka, that I was not the only one there had been incidents like this in Finland as well. So... I was not crazy, someone had hypnotized me to jump, bit of a relief really, but I still had one major problem left: the coming down bit. I still had fallen from the roof and survived with only “minor” injuries, a busted spine and some bruises, nothing broken. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is NOT POSSIBLE. So I was inching towards the conclusion, that maybe someone had snatched me from the air on the way down and at least softened the fall. I did not remember all that had happened so maybe the eye-witness had had a memory modification as well. Either it was that or I had suddenly acquired superhuman powers and right now I did not feel like that at all. If I could jump from a tall building, survive the fall and then took ages to recover from a back-injury... that just didn’t seem to fit. I did not remember any mysterious helpers but the first part of my dream had been true, so maybe the second part was true as well. When I left Hilkka and Jaana and walked home, you could say that I was maybe at least partly prepared to face even more shocks, but... no, I was not prepared enough to face Liisa and Katja.
At home I locked the door (I remember very clearly doing this, I had just heard that somebody had tried to kill me and that tends to make even me nervous) and went to bed. It was about four in the morning before I managed to drift to sleep. I did not sleep long I think, I had a nightmare, nothing I can remember clearly, but something weird... and then I heard a music box tune coming from behind my bedroom door. It was a shock to find out that I was not dreaming then, but wide awake. I was up before I knew it and reached for a light. I was looking for a weapon I think, thankfully I did not find anything and my back was making it clear that all karate-moves were out of the question. I felt like a cornered animal, there was someone inside and I could not escape. Then the person knocked. Killers hardly knock, they don’t have the manners so... what else could I do but open the door? I saw a woman holding a rag doll, music box doll, because it played a tune. Sleepy eyes, nightshirt and pants, she said something about Liisa telling her to come here. She was clearly disoriented and did not look all that dangerous so I relaxed a little and began to question her. Who was she? Katja. How did she get here? She had been looking for Erika and found the doll who had asked her to take care of it and... protect me? She thought that she was dreaming and I had to explain that this was not a dream she had sleepwalked right into my flat (and through my locked door as well, a fact that was a bit creepy). She apologized and I decided to make us some tea. This was clearly a chaotic situation and nothing calms people down like a nice cup of tea. I was starting to think that I could indeed use protection if there really was someone trying to kill me with surreal means ( I had accepted an amethyst amulet from Hilkka earlier so my strict no-nonsense attitude was clearly crumbling beneath all the weirdness) and Katja was acting normally, I mean as a normal person who suddenly finds out she had sleepwalked to someone else’s home acts so I was prepared to blame Erika. Okay, maybe she could walk through walls and had somehow tricked this woman to come to me as a demonstration that weird things do happen. Well, in the middle of the night everything seems a bit unreal anyway so for the time being... yes, I was a believer.
We drank some tea and then Katja mentioned a fact that shattered the rest of my happy and ordinary world-view. “Liisa want’s to make sure you don’t fall again.” How the hell could she know that? She (and yes, I am aware that I’m referring to an inanimate object... she began to look a lot more alive later let me tell you that) was a doll, for fuck’s sake! Unless... the second part of my dream was real as well, the “catching me on the way down” bit. But surely a doll could not have... maybe she was not a doll all the time... I decided to go with the flow. Yes, people can apparently hypnotize other people, yes, people can survive a fatal accident, yes, people can walk through solid objects and do other damn weird stuff, alright, no need to rub it in, I believe, for fuck’s sake!
So we talked, all “this can not be happening!” panic temporarily forgotten. We mainly tried to figure out why this was happening and were there any new nature laws that we had to take into consideration. Katja was a waitress and a bartender, a friend of Oona’s. This was her first sleepwalking experience and she seemed as disturbed of all the weirdness as I was. Finally someone who does not respond with “Cool!” (Yanagi) “Hmmm... I let me get my stones/tea-leaves/stuffed animals” (Hilkka), “Well, that kind of thing happens... I think” (Jaana), “mumble, mumble, mumble (Ruusu) or with a knowing sly smile (Laura). Finally someone who thought that there was something wrong, that world was not supposed to be like this, that someone somewhere had to be responsible and that it was up to decent people to make things right. How? No idea, but as a cop I naturally think that all laws should be obeyed and that includes the laws of nature. Katja had unusually cop-like attitude as well, she was trying to keep her friend (or lover, she seemed unusually attached to the girl) Oona safe and help others by providing sensible advice. Nice to know that I’m not the only logical person in Turku, meeting Katja was really rather nice even if we did meet in a strange way. After pondering the problem and coming into the conclusion that nothing could be done right now we decided to get a little sleep. In the morning we could continue our research. I offered her a spare mattress, blanket and a pillow, I prefer that guests inform me beforehand if they intend to stay over night, but in this case I made an exception.
We slept maybe three or four hours, I woke up when I received Jaana’s text message. She had met Yanagi and yes, that weapons master stuff had been a joke. Figures. I explained the situation that I had had a sudden visitor at the middle of the night and suddenly my friends were all worry and compassion. They had planned a visit to Hämeenlinna but insisted that they’d check on me before leaving town. I had thought of calling them in the middle of the night but... well, the comments say it all really, I could handle one sensible sleepwalker, having a horde of strange persons to burst in to make sudden rituals and poke everything would only had made things worse. But it was morning, I had sprained my back and was not going anywhere so I allowed them to come and poke and make a fuss. I guess I was still in a state of shock so I simply mumbled that I was fine and greeted their strange ufo-fanatic friend. Soon they were off and I and Katja were left to do some more logical thinking. The problem was that now that it was daylight talking to a doll was... well, crazy and let’s face it, you could talk to it all you wanted, it was not going to answer.
Then Katja had an idea, a really crappy movie had featured white noise, the voice of a spirit in an empty recording. We did not have a video but we could tape silence with a cellphone. So the doll to the bathroom and cellphone near it. Har har, this is so not going to work... but it worked, just to spite us I think and let me tell you, hearing a faint whispering voice crying faintly..we freaked out, any normal person would have. The doll was talking, not clearly but we could make out names like Robin and Matias... behold: instant paranoia! Was it trying to warn us? Were we in danger? Anyhow, we wanted out to the fresh air and sunshine, where there were real ordinary people, enough with this weird shit! Unfortunately we had to take the doll with us, there’s no telling what might happen if we left it behind but even then I was relieved to get out of my flat. Walking always helps my back to relax so even more reasons to get out as fast as you can.
It was a nice sunny day, no trace of evil lurking anywhere. We were still nervous and got Katja’s dayclothes from her friend and decided to go and eat something in a nice public place where there probably would not be any attacks from this Matias or anyone else chasing us. I did not have much appetite, this was the first time I felt like a victim, helpless and a little scared. Needless to say that angered me considerably. I do not like to boast, but usually I am the person that scares others. No matter what happens I’m in charge, professional, cool, calm and collected. I hunt, I do not flee. The problem was that the dangers I was used to facing (people resisting arrest mostly) did not include talking dolls, people who could walk through walls and other megastrange shit. I wish there would be some kind of guidebook to all this. Occult conspiracies for dummies or something. How do these people cope with it? Do they develop some kind of mental filter that allows them to see all this as an everyday occurrence or do they truly go crazy? Perhaps we are all crazy, all of us who see these things. That would, oddly enough, be a comforting thought, because I rather have a few crazy people around and keep the world sane and reliable than the other way around. Anyway, we ate, we walked, we talked in hushed voices some more and the panic began to fade away. We came to the conclusion, that running away scared was probably normal behaviour but were we really in danger? Probably not, so all we could do was wait for our technic support team (Yanagi) to come back from Hämeenlinna with a better recording device. Katja went to check that her friends were okay and I returned to my flat. All was well and I even managed to call to this Laila Kokko, and arrange a meeting for the next week. Still hunting Ricky, as if I don’t have enough problems already...
Hilkka, Jaana and Yanagi returned and we met at my flat and drank tea. Ruusu and Laura also joined us and we decided to go to Hilkka’s place since someone had been there and had left a letter. Don’t people use doors anymore? Security of this city is appalling hardly a night goes by without someone having sudden visitors who seem to materialize out of thin air. The letter was odd and someone had been inside Hilkka’s flat. We cooked and ate while waiting for Katja to bring us the doll.
Finally we had Yanagi and his gadgets, the doll, Katja, Ruusu, Laura, Hilkka, Oona and myself all in one place and we were ready to begin. The message was unclear and needed work, getting it out of the cellphone to the computer proved to be difficult. The first message reads as follows:
Katja... Natalia/e... Älä hukkaa... Matias... on hyvä... Anna (turns out we misheard the Matias bit)We decided to try again (we had tried again soon after the first message but the doll did not speak a second time) and placed the recording device and the doll in a cloakroom. I was getting a bit nervous again, it was already dark outside... somehow I was not at all anxious to hear Liisa speak again. Only me and Katja seemed freaked out, everyone else were acting as if this kind of things happened all the time.
Well, we got the recording... .voice again. I forced myself not to scream and do other embarrassing stuff and started to write the thing down. This is what I got:
Robin... her name... Matias tappaa..varovaisia... Matias tappaa..varokaa... pysy/kysy... tappaa kaikki demoni Luca... anteeksi... kyllä kaksi ei yksi... muista... virta... Alex... moni... anteeksi Sarah... kyllä yksi ei... Robin... auta... pelasta
Since Liisu had given us a way to ask more we started asking questions. Or I started.
The questions are listed here with the answers.
Onko Matias vaarallinen Katjalle?-Kyllä.
Onko Matias vaarallinen Liisulle? –Kyllä.
Onko Matias vaarallinen minulle?-ei vastausta
Tietääkö nukke kuka käski minut katolta alas?-Kyllä.
Onko tämä henkilö Suomessa?-Kyllä.
Onko tämä henkilö huoneessa-ei vastausta
Onko tämä henkilö Matias?-Ei
Onko tämä henkilö mies?-Ei
Tunnenko minä tämän henkilön?-Kyllä
Onko tämä henkilö sukulainen?-Ei
Onko tämä henkilö suomalainen?-Ei
Onko tämä henkilö englantilainen-Kyllä
Onko tämä henkilö minä itse?-Ei
Yrittikö tämä henkilö tappaa minut koska näin jotain mitä ei olisi pitänyt?-Ei
Onko tämä henkilö yhä kannoillani?-Ei
Onko tämä henkilö ihminen-Ei
Onko tämä henkilö demoni?-Ei
The interwiev stopped when Liisa refused to answer anymore, this happened when Katja went outside to greet some friends. It seems that she wants to be with Katja.
Weird questions, weird answers. So now I have got clues... that I heard from a doll... regretfully I cannot simply believe everything without more proof but nice to know that it thinks that I am not in a danger anymore. Why did it ask forgiveness? Well, I hope that Liisa stays safe (actually I’m glad I do not have to live with the doll, Katja can keep her for all I care) and Katja finds some answers.
I got a phone call from some Alexander Metsälä, who knew Riku. Hadn’t seen him for a while and sounded sarcastic (Oh, you are still worried, he’s still family then?). Yes we are worried, if you hear from him call me. I promised to call him if I found my brother first. He probably owes Alexander money.
Then Oona mentioned she has seen Robin die. What? Katja had mentioned about it earlier, that Oona has said something similar but nevertheless... of course we were interested to hear more. Yes she had seen Robin stop moving, no she had not seen the body carried away and did not know where it had been hidden she had seen Matias and Anna doing something to Robin who was not herself... great. A murder case, this was starting to look more and more of a regular workday with the addition of too much spooky stuff of course. Oona did not seem to be concerned about seeing someone die and was classified as a crazy by most of us, Yanagi freaked out and left and Hilkka ordered us all out looking angry. I do not blame her I would probably want to be alone in a situation like that too. What is a cop to do in a situation like this? Not a damn thing, because running to inform local officers that there has been a murder when your only witness is a nutcase that does not even breath, sleep or eat anymore... that is simply not worth doing. Oona could be telling lies just to get some attention, this Robin is missing but so is my brother and I don’t think all missing persons are dead. It is up to Robins relatives to go to the police, not us. And most of all, that is not my damn problem! I have my own weirdness to look into.
Jaana decided to stay the next night with me. She does not sleep so I have someone watching me in case I decide to take a walk as well. I do not want to wake up holding Liisa in someone else’s flat like Katja did.
Things to do:
Co-operation with Katja
I am definitely going to do some gossiping over a cup of tea with Katja. She’s in this mess without wanting to, I’m in this mess without wanting to. We both have sensible attitude and humble wish to clear things out so that we can get on with our lives without weird shit. So I am quite simply going to tell her when I get some new information about things and she will probably do the same. Then we can figure out what to do with the information. Not a whole lot I guess, but hopefully we will find someone who can take care of this whole mess. Where are men in black when you really need them? The cause of all this weirdness is also worth investigating, thus far our best bet is a weird underground radiation that affects only few people (like only few people have migrenes) making them see group hallucinations.
Meeting Laila Kokko
She knows something about Ricky and wanted to talk so I will meet her next week. I will probably learn that my dear brother has become a Buddhist or started worshiping Satan.
I need to get back into shape. The fact that my back suddenly refuses to co-operate is extremely annoying. So more walking, more stretching, more swimming and a lot of praying that all that would finally help. I want out of here, back to Newcastle where everything was normal.
Trying to find Erika
I really want to talk to her. Who is Liisa? Where did she find her? How does she walk through walls? Is this all her sick joke? Answers! I want answers!
Concentrating really hard to see the face of my enemy in my sleep
If the dreams where I fall continue I will try this lucid dreaming stuff Hilkka suggested. I will simply turn around and look behind me before jumping of the roof. I will also turn around and try to see the face of the person holding me. A long shot, but I will try it.
Doing absolutely nothing about this alleged murder of Robin and this mysterious enemy of mine
I shall not go into a wild goose chase before I get more proof, a doll said do is not a proof, it’s a hint and not even very good one. So I shall simply wait and try not to worry too much about this stuff.
Sending an angry e-mail to my brother
Where the hell are you? Call home this minute you idiot, mum is worrying herself sick.-Sarah. This mail to the address I got from Laila Kokko, the gmail one. I will also keep my ears and eyes open in case I find out where he is hiding and if I do not find him in a week... I shall go and inform the police. Missing person: you do something about it.
If someone is in trouble... yes, I’m still the sucker who runs to rescue
If someone calls me in the middle of the night and wants someone to talk to or finds out something disturbing and wants a few tips what to do next (call a police and call a shrink would be my advice in 90% of the cases) then, yes, I’m still stupid enough to help as best as I can. I’m particularly worried about Hilkka, who is trying to face some dreamboggart or something on her own. She looks tired and everyone keeps demanding her help. I do not know anything about the occult but I can at least make some tea and keep reminding her that sleeping, eating and getting fresh air is good for you even if your stuffed animals are in a wrong position today.
How to describe this weekend? Words fail me though “unbelievable” and “surprising” come to mind. When I looked out Saturday morning I thought that it was going to be a beautiful day. Sun was shining, rain clouds had passed and autumn leaves littered the streets very prettily. I felt cheerful, a rare occurrence. I must confess I have not made much progress in “clearing this mess up” thing. Well, I have helped Yanagi to put Jaana back to her body after she got sucked to the internet or something. This helping involved mostly driving a car and worrying that we were going to get caught in Lähde Säätiö using the machines. The police did arrive and we were questioned, but luckily they didn’t see Jaana and we were not hauled off to answer some truly embarrassing questions. And yeah, apparently I’m Yanagi’s girlfriend if his colleagues ask. I can’t believe they fell for it! Well, since we did not get caught I think I can tactically forget that I have been involved in a burglary (Yanagi had a key, but still) or at least unauthorized operation of computers (I’m sure those machines were not there for the use of any employee who wishes to play Doctor Frankenstein with his friends). Jaana did get back in her body and that’s the most important thing.
There were no more sudden visitors from dreams. I did see one weird dream though. The normal falling dream, but this time I grew wings and landed safely holding the doll Liisa, who said “I’m sorry.” I woke up and hearing something odd, went and opened my door. I think I saw shadows, oddly moving shadows and then I heard Katja’s voice shouting. Then I woke up for real. Nothing weird at the door everything back to normal. I was a bit worried though, and decided to call Katja soon to find out how she was doing.
But back to Saturday. I woke up, had a shower and then went to meet Laila Kokko, a consult from the firm Zen Genesis. Ricky had used their services and I got some more information about his movements in Turku and a name, Samppa Lajunen, apparently a friend of Ricky’s. This person has also disappeared.
After that I called Katja and found out she was sitting in a pub near by. I went to see her and also found Oona, Matias and a guy named Seth. Katja told us that she was pregnant. What? Well... congratulations... sort of. After Seth had left I heard the whole story about the wedding with the priest Luca... what kind of an idiot has a priest who is widely believed to be a demon (well not widely, but Liisa thinks so and that guy certainly has a bad reputation since his name pops up with a strange suicide, Lähde Säätiö and the disappearance of Robin). All the women who were present in the ceremony were now pregnant (including the pride Anna) and the infants were growing alarmingly fast. I took a minute to rearrange my world view... talking dolls: check, cyborgs: check, demons... check. Better safe than sorry. This can all be a misunderstanding, but if it is not... we’d better check what the baby looks like. An ultrasound, we need one, fast! Jaana had had a magnetic scan or something before so maybe she could help Katja as well. We needed a doctor who would not take up names but take money and keep his mouth shut in case the baby really had horns. Then what? A C-section so we could save the baby and the mother. Tallinna is near by, we can go there and work things out. I felt sorry for Katja, who has had enough to cope with. And now this! I think I will have to talk to this Matias, who ever he is he is causing a lot of weird shit to happen and I want him to stop before more people get killed. A couple of months ago I would simply have marched to this guy and said “You are mad, go see a doctor and stop bothering people.” but now... hey, I think dolls can talk and people can walk through walls, I really am not qualified to stare and point. So... I simply took down this Luca’s description and phone number (what do I do with that? Well, I did give it to a few people who wanted it, I was not going to call and meet this person without armed back-up, armed with a few crosses, silver and stuff like that, nevertheless). Oona was doing okay, eating, breathing and seeming much more collected and sane. She had visited a psychiatrist or something and that had helped a lot. Well, about time, because Katja’s “little bundle of joy” was apparently causing amnesia as a side effect.
Katja was also starting to see things. After I had told about the dream I had she leaned closer and whispered: “Sarah, I can see your wings, three pairs of them. That makes me happy.” What? I sure as hell didn’t see any wings! Apparently I had them, three pairs of them and some of them seemed to be on fire. Great. Does this mean, that I am turning into an angel? That I am about spontaneously combust? That my Guardian Angel is standing too close? Confusing, but Oona and Katja seemed to think that this was a good thing. Three pairs of wings means a serafi or some other high-ranking angel and since we are dealing with demonic infants and all this stuff it is probably a good thing that we are backed up by an angel. Still, I wish he/she would stop hanging behind my back, people are starting to notice and comment.
Hilkka wanted to meet Katja so we stopped by and met a lot of people there as usual. I was hoping to meet Ruusu since she is the only other person who sees “things” to check if she saw the wings also, but she was not there. Hilkka looked tired and Jaana kept fainting every now and then. This was alarming and we decided to go somewhere else. Maybe Jaana reacted to the protective markings Hilkka had drawn or something. “Let’s go to a pub, I want a beer.” Apparently I’m the only one who drinks alcohol, but we managed to find a place that served beer, cocoa and food so everyone was happy. Camomilla’s (an artist who dabbles with the occult, friend of Hilkka) friend Nick (he had a strange marking that I could have sworn changed colour, but as I was a little drunk and did not want to say anything I waved it aside) and Ruusu also joined us. Ruusu was wearing a black shirt, a rare occurrence. She had borrowed it from Erika, who she had met in dreams. Really? Ruusu is also wandering around sleepwalking and Laura has “gone south”. This was worrying and I made sure she carried her cellphone with her when she slept and had all our numbers. I also asked if she saw anything strange when she looked at me. Wings, on fire. This caused some comment, but I tried to shrug it off. Just some residue from dreams, that’s all... Jaana fainted again and Yanagi found out that this happens the same time as LYS starts to behave oddly. He went to find things out. I said good night and retired to my own flat.
I had problems sleeping (people textmessaging me at night and arranging meetings didn’t help... ) but finally I managed to sleep soundly. No weird dreams.
I met Camomilla 12.00 at Fontana. She thought that Liisa was possessed by a friend of hers, Liisa. I told her what the doll had said but she did not have any more clues why this Liisa suddenly wanted to help Katja and me. I introduced her to Katja, but the doll was unlikely to contain Liisa anymore because something had happened the last night... Liisa and Robin had both passed on accompanied by “an angel of death”. There had also been some more fainting and general messing about scared. Halloween, it figures. Luckily no-one had called me. I would have been obliged to get up and start making tea and telling people to calm down, but considering all the occult weirdness I doubt that it would have made a lot of difference.
We (Oona, Katja and I) went to meet Merja, who was one of these unexpected moms. Next Monday we would go to Helsinki and take a boat to Tallinn. Katja had other plans as well, she wanted to stage their kidnapping and disappear to Latvia for a couple of weeks, then sneak back to Finland to have the baby. Okay... she had told me that Alexander Metsälä had threatened her with a gun so maybe it would be wise to get them somewhere safe. I am starting to develop more and more tendencies to slip into the grey zone past the law and order, but since I know a lot of police techniques... I advised them about the best ways to evade police and disappear without a trace. Me and Oona would accompany them to Tallinn and then pretend to be “shocked friends of the two women who got kidnapped”. Shame to worry all their friends and relatives, but what can you do? Katja must be kept safe and the baby as well.
I got a call from Jaana, the mysterious occultist from Hämeenlinna had arrived and Hilkka wanted me to meet her. Why? Wings... right. I met her and her... colleague? Boyfriend? Slave? This Gwag was a scary person who also saw me with wings, but said that I simply have a guardian angel. Comforting... even though it is a guardian angel with flaming wings and can possess people, mainly me if that dream was a memory... still I think that person would recognise a demon so... Hilkka and Gwag were going to do a ritual to get rid of the dreamboggart in the cellar and me and Laila were asked to help. Mainly we just held candles while being scared that something would eat us alive, but everything went fine. One problem solved, at least.
Then Oona called and wanted to meet me. Urgent, very important... okay, I meet you in front of Hilkka’s house, since Oona was still banned from entering. Oona had Matias with her and then... things went crazy. Matias kneeled before me and explained that he worships a god with three pairs of flaming wings and since I had the wings... oh come on! This is Halloween, not first of May! He said something about Zoroastrianism and how he was guarding Turku. Now we were on more familiar ground... Look here you crazy person, I do not know what you are talking about but if you are the one that is supposed to be guarding Turku then get a grip! This whole place is falling apart! Demons are impregnating women (in your wedding I might add), dreamboggarts are running loose, people are walking through solid walls at night, call the sodding Men In Black or something!
I learned that Matias is supposed to be one of these “Men in Black” and that... and now comes the most outrageous lie: my brother is supposed to be one of these special agents as well. Ricky an agent in charge of solving occult crimes? Undercover and gone hiding? Okay, NO-ONE IS THAT GOOD AT PLAYING A BUM! No, I simply can’t believe this until I hear it from Ricky himself AND see some documents that are impossible to forge. This Matias seem to be some kind of demon of talking rubbish. Master of lies and confusion or something like that. I did not believe a word he was saying so I simply arranged him to meet the big bad occultist from Hämeenlinna and get a beating (although they probably ended up sharing the world or something). Then I went home to make some tea. Weird day, truly.
Things to do:
A little talk with this Matias
Talk, and I will be taking notes. Who the fuck are you, what in the name of all that’s decent do you think you are doing here and how do we make all this craziness stop? And enough with this worshiping my guardian angel, this is getting embarrassing.
Where is Ricky? More finding out. I might even get someone to call this Luca...
Is Jaana recovering? Is Hilkka getting enough sleep (regular kind, not the one where you run around doing weird stuff)? How is Ruusu doing? Have YOU seen this man/woman? I shall dutifully try to find the people who have been portrayed in the tarots as well. Suddenly I’m busy as hell and no-one is still paying me to do this (although I might as these Men in Black to fund me since I’m the poor sucker doing all their work here). I will be relying more on Laila and Oona since they seem to be sensible persons.
My life is falling apart. Literally. I mean me, my body, my life, everything I held dear and important. Nothing makes any sense anymore. It all started when Katja cancelled our trip to Tallinn. Well, Jaana still had problems so she wanted to go instead so I took the trip with her and Yanagi. We found a doctor and checked her (some kind of transmitter implanted somewhere, impossible to remove) and I also wanted to have x-rays taken to see if my back was healing all right. It wasn’t. The x-rays clearly show that my spine is broken, splintered at least two places. My spinal cord is severed near my neck. Healing is impossible, I should not even be moving, I should be lying paralyzed in a hospital somewhere. That struck hard. I had hoped that in time, with physiotherapy and exercise... I would heal, go back to my life. I just stared and showed the pictures to Jaana and Yanagi. There. See. The dream last night started to make a lot more sense. What dream? Well, not a dream exactly, just as I was drifting to sleep I heard a voice talking to me. Moi. Mä olen Johanna. Älä huolestu, kyllä me sut parannetaan kunhan keksitään miten. Mä en oo menossa minnekään vielä, mä voin ihan hyvin hengailla sun ruumiissa ja pitää sen liikuntakykysenä kuten olen tehny jo jonkin aikaa. Äläkä nyt käsitä väärin ja ala vainoilla, että olen joku demoni. En ole, kuten sulle sanottiin niin enemmänkin suojelusenkeli. Me keksitään kyllä jotain. Voisit muuten juoda enemmän kaakaota. Se on hyvää. Didn’t make a lot sense then and I thought it was just a dream until I looked at the x-rays. Shit.
Luckily Jaana needed a flatmate, someone to make sure she did not drown while fainting in a shower or something so I stayed at Helsinki for a while and looked after her. Laila and I went and tried to find Ricky there, but no luck. Just more people he owes money to. The dreams continued and gradually I learned the whole thruth. Johanna or Atur (a Zoroastrian angel-holy fire-thingy) was flying by searching for her two lost friends Sini and Satu when she spotted me being possessed by a teenage vampire called Liisa (I really have some new questions to ask Camomilla now... did she know, for example, that her friend was a vampire?) and intervened. She managed to stop the possession, but I jumped from the roof and she could not stop me from crashing to the ground. She did possess me and get her wings out to soften the fall, but that didn’t help much. When she found out I was going to be paralyzed she felt sorry for me and stayed to help me get better. And she’s hiding from her god Ahura Mazda, who thinks she should be doing something else at the moment. Great. Doesn’t that make her a demon by the way? A fallen angel or something? Do Zoroastrians even have demons?
Having Johanna in my head is of course the only way I can have a normal (yes, I know how ridiculous the word “normal” sounds here) life, but... she is a constant reminder of my injury and I know that the minute she decides to move on I will be utterly helpless, crippled and lying in a hospital unable to move... that is not going to be my future. I rather die if that is the only option I have.
But enough with the angst. Today I had even more confusion to sweeten my already joyous existence. I met Matias, the only worshipper Johanna seems to have. Johanna did most of the talking at that meeting and I can honestly say I did not understand half of it. Kabbalistic rituals, fairies, soul eating chaos monsters and chocolate. She agreed to help Matias with his problems and insisted that we meet Luca. Angel versus demon, could get nasty though I can’t picture Johanna killing anyone. She might drive them to a suicide with incessant babbling though.
Apparently I can be healed. They just have to find a werewolf to bite me and I will regenerate automatically. I’m sorry to say I will even consider that if nothing else works. Growing hair and biting people once a month... I’ve had worse PMS... and the thought of being alone in my own head... tempting... very tempting.
I arrived to Turku and went to meet Hilkka. Matias was also there and paranoid as hell, as usual. A renegade Men in Black agent running wild with a mission from God to save all by killing everyone who does not repent? Lovely. Because I’m sprouting fiery wings and talking rubbish half the time I’m probably the main target here. I explained my current embarrassing condition to Hilkka, Laila and Yanagi. They seemed a bit startled and I don’t blame them, having an angel inside ones head can really shake some beliefs about the Order of the Things. Apparently they have no order. Gods, angels and demons can run around and upset people all they want and there is no-one to stop them. Luckily they seem to concentrate their attention to unlucky few, who have to put up with it. I was coping spectacularly well, probably because of my strict upbringing. Not complaining is what made the Empire great... No, that’s not it. I think I am in permanent shock or something. When I finally get rid of Johanna I will most likely start crying uncontrollably and have myself committed. The thought of never getting my head all to myself is too horrible even to think. I want her out of my head now, if it means that I have to start wearing a collar and barking once a month then fine, just... get... her out before I lose all the sanity I have left!
Jaana did not answer her phone and Yanagi went to check that she had not fainted again. When he got to Jaana’s apartment in Helsinki and found out that Jaana’s flatmate had seen her leave with all her possessions we truly got worried. Sadly there was nothing to do, we could simply wait and hope that Jaana had avoided the people who apparently were after her. Maybe she would call, send an email, something.
Johanna looked through the tarot cards and found some old friends no-one had heard of before. She explained that mirrors contained some sort of monster and that SuPo does unpleasant things to supernatural beings. Everybody was demanding these answers from her and I felt like I was not even there! I know nothing about all this strange stuff, but having someone else answer using my mouth is upsetting so I told Johanna to keep silent for a while. I also had to stop her from pouring herself a cocoa, because chocolate makes her giggle. People kept Hilkka and me awake late with silly problems (more weird dreams and stuff), but finally we decided to go to sleep.
I woke up when the doorbell rang. I was half expecting vengeful gods and loony agents so it was a relief to see Jaana. She had received a strange phone call and had run from her house. We called Yanagi, who had stayed the night in Helsinki and waited for him to arrive. Matias had warned us not to go outside, but it was a fine day and we were hungry. If this Alexander wanted to harm us he would have to do it in a broad daylight in the middle of a crowd of innocent civilians so going out was probably not that dangerous. Besides I wanted an English breakfast.
We went to Kerttu and ate a late breakfast. Bacon, yum. I felt a bit better and decided to be of some use. Nobody had talked to this Luca and he seemed to have quite a lot of information. He was reputedly a wicked demon preparing to destroy us all but since I have become a holy vessel of angelic incomprehension I was preparing to risk it. So I called him and arranged a meeting.
Luca did look like a rock-star, suitably satanic in a mild way, but Johanna insisted that he was not a demon. Apparently he should be dead but someone had taken a spark of holy fire and implanted it in him making him alive and granting him limited pyrokinetic powers. I made it clear that I currently have a bigger and stronger holy fire burning in me and that Johanna could help him (his fire had almost gone out) if he helped us by answering some questions. I got answers that changed everything. Turned out he had created Jaana, but was not the one calling her and leaving these weird messages. He could help Jaana by removing the controlling device implanted in her brains. He had also created Matias using some guy named Sakari, which explained a lot.
I returned to Hilkka with joyful news and Yanagi and Jaana started to prepare the meeting with Luca. Hilkka was preparing a ritual with Gwag and some other people and they wanted Johanna to attend. I wanted to be around when Yanagi and Jaana talked to Luca so that led to some confusion. Finally we got that meeting out of the way. Luca explained things (I did not understand half of it) and they made a plan to save Jaana. Johanna wanted to give Luca some of her fire and before I could stop her she had her wings alight and was handing out some flames. The fire did not seem to burn like a normal one (it was my hand she was using so I was understandably freaked out at first) but my back did get a little hot from the flames. Besides I have to ask Yanagi to destroy those photos, he can document Johanna all he wants but not when she is in my body.
Things were turning from bad to worse at Hilkka’s place so we went there to help. Turned out we were knee deep in scared magicians and had to go and do some rituals in a Kupittaa’s park. Am I the only one who thinks that having a loud chanting and waving candles about in a middle of a public park is a bad idea? Apparently. So off we went to do some magic. I had no idea what to do and neither had Johanna. Luckily we only had to hold a candle and try to look suitably serious (hard to do when someone is sniggering inside your head). Nothing flashy and dangerous appeared so maybe we did something right for a chance. Then Johanna looked up and demanded to know how far the ritual would show in god’s realm. Far and wide was the answer. Before I could say anything or demand an explanation she started to run. What the hell was going on? Sori, mun jumala voi olla hieman-she was cut off and I experienced what happens when someone removes the only thing that keeps you moving. I crashed to ground and lay there unable to move a muscle. I could move my eyes that was about it.
Someone walked by and wanted to know if I was okay. No, I’m lying here paralyzed and royally pissed off, thanks for asking! Of course I was unable to answer and that charitable person called an ambulance. Rest of the night I spend in a hospital. What had happened to Johanna? Her god had done something, but what? Called his angel back, destroyed her? There was no way to know, no way to alert any of my friends... I have never felt so helpless and scared in my entire life. Minutes crawled by, I could not sleep so I lay awake waiting. What would I say to my mother when she would come and find me here? In the morning they would call her that was pretty certain. Please kill me, don’t leave me here to spend the rest of my life like this...
It was 08.00 a.m when Johanna returned. She was very sorry. Her god had called her away to explain and she had returned as soon as she could. Luca was dead, his deal with the same god was made and his time on earth over, Johanna had met him there. I felt bad for him, but since I could do nothing about it I decided to get my stuff and get the hell out of the hospital before they would start asking some awkward questions. I called Yanagi and Hilkka and Jaana came to get me. Johanna was scared and upset, the meeting with her god had not went well although she had managed to lie that everything was going as planned (an angel that lies to her god... fine company I have here) and I was still in a state of shock. Scared, angry, sad... I could not let others see that, keeping up appearances is a tough habit to brake. Things were falling apart and one more person having hysterics would not help a bit. Maybe later I could bang my head to a handy desk or something. I had a shower and we waited for Yanagi to stop doing nerdy stuff, hacking to Inex or something. He succeeded and “the house was no longer safe to be in” (a phrase I have heard all too much this weekend) so we went to my place. When Matias decided to come calling as well all the others left. He and Laila had some new paranoia to spread around. I left Johanna to handle most of it, I was simply too tired to care.
Then Katja called. She was okay and wanted to talk. She gave me an address (same one Matias got from Alexander) and I went to meet her. I learned that she had lost the child, miscarried. Oona had turned against her and all in all her life was falling apart. I felt sorry for her, hoped I could do something, but there was nothing to do, the damage had already been done. I wanted to shout, shake her, force her to be selfish for once. She had not called me because she did not want to upset me... the same excuse I frequently use. I could not speak freely because of Alexander and Robin. Matias arrived there later. I felt so frustrated, my friend was speaking of ending it all and all I could do was stand there and let Johanna talk Alexander out of a stupid Mexican stand-off with a vampire.
Katja and I decided to get something to eat. I had tried in vain to eat breakfast so early lunch was in order. Taiwanese restaurant, again. The last time we sat there we only had to worry about a talking doll. Now... how lucky we were then! I did my best to talk Katja out of anything potentially dangerous. Be selfish, please! Stop worrying about other people, worry about yourself! Don’t get depressed, get angry and do something! Johanna commented, that she wanted to help Katja too so I let her take charge for a while. She had a plan. I know her plans are horrible, but I was desperate. Anything that would cheer up Katja would do. So... because of Johanna’s wacky theories about fairies, dragons and other stuff we ended up finding the portal to Dreaming and walking right through it. Johanna wanted to find people from Arcadia and show dragons to Katja. I thought that walking through a portal to Dreaming was a bad idea to start with, but... well, I was right. Some sort of gatekeeper found us before we could get far. She sent Katja to the real world and opened a door for us to walk through. To the fire. Älä huoli, se on vaan uni ikuisesta tulesta, jatketaan sieltä takasin Turkuun. My last thought before stepping to the fire was ”Johanna... if I ever get you out of my head I’m going to strangle you.”
Had various problems today when I woke up: 1) back is still broken, need irritating fire-angel to be able to move, said angel driving me crazy, 2) brother still missing and probably not going to show up 3) Jaana unable to move back to her body and last but not least 4) Katja mysteriously pregnant again. Thinking back, getting up and trying to fix problems was a mistake, because I had twice as many problems in the evening.
Jaana was now permanently in the internet and assured us that she was happy there. I would had gladly helped her back to her body, but since we had no way of doing this (the only person able to operate her had died) I decided to give up. Besides the body had a previous owner, Johanna's friend Sini, a werewolf lost somewhere in the Dreaming. Johanna wanted to find Sini and put her back to her body so she installed a spark to the body in order to keep it breathing and fine. Having a comatose body of my friend in my flat waiting for a new owner did not cheer me up any, luckily we had to move the body to Hilkka's place for a while, because Katja wanted to have a baby party and we decided to do that in my flat.
I went swimming and found out only one of us can swim properly, the other is too busy worrying about the deep end, sudden waves and colliding with the other swimmers. Swimming used to be relaxing, it wasn't that now, so another hobby ruined by Johanna. I really had to get her out of my head, but her plan to make me a werewolf just to heal my back did not sound that convincing. Johanna had called her friend Kati, a werewolf who lives in Helsinki and she arrived to Turku in the evening. We went to meet her and bumped into Matias, Katja, Oona, Seth and some other people in Hansa. Katja was okay, Matias was irritating as usual (Johanna and I disagree on most things but Matias/Sakari isn't one of them) and wanted to know if he should worship Katja's baby. Excuse me? Well, because it's partly holy fire and all…another fire baby, but Luca had died, who had…Johanna. My guardian angel had impregnated Katja because she thought it would "cheer her up"! That was just too much, Katja didn't seem to care but I did, you can't just run around giving people babies, how fucking irresponsible is that? I would have made my opinions more known if Johanna hadn't completely blocked me off and taken control of my body. I did scream and curse, but no-one heard and after a while I calmed down. Johanna's explanations were again hare-brained and I just wanted to get rid of her, get all this idiocy out of my life, but no…the world hates me and wants to ruin my life with all the weird occult shit imaginable. I just can't win, can I?
We found Kati and went to Hilkka. Johanna found another old "friend" who she told us could summon Sini back. This friend, Lasse seemed like a sane person and said no. He did not want to do any rituals but unfortunately did not oppose someone else doing the chanting. Johanna and Kati volunteered, I tried to point out what had happened the previous time Johanna had participated in a ritual, but apparently this time it was different, pious hermeneutic magic with enough kabbalistic and occult symbols to hide what we were doing. I'm learning too slowly, now I know very well, that every time my angel has an idea, the appropriate action is to stop it, immediately, before something horrible happens. Again I hoped that everything would be all right, I trusted foolishly that sometimes the divine powers maybe know what they are doing... needless to say, the ritual went horribly wrong.
I should have guessed that seeing the way Johanna red the words straight from the notes and mumbled something about bad handwriting, or the way she kept waving the ritual dagger vaguely. The burning pentacles were impressive though. I was glad others were waiting in the other room (Yanagi, Lasse, Hilkka and Laila) because that was truly a sad excuse of a ritual even I knew that much and I'm no expert. It should not have worked, but it did. Jaana stirred, yawned and looked around looking puzzled. She answered to the name Sini so…I guess that was the person we had been trying to contact. She certainly did not act like Jaana, jumping all over the place like a classic ADHD kid and asking stupid questions all the time (okay, Jaana did that too, but... differently). I could clearly see why she was Johanna's dearest friend; they resembled each other a lot.
So this Sini was back, nothing bad had come from the Dreaming with her and then I heard Johanna say: "Mitäh? Ei…eikä. Voi vittu…mä olen niin pahoillani!" and knew we were in deep shit again. She explained the situation and I started to wonder whether we would be strangled by the others there and then. I certainly would have liked to whack Johanna for being too bloody stupid. Her god had seen us and decided to grant us something nice for being so jolly brave and doing rituals (so now he approves, I wish he would make up his mind!), so now we all had a little spark of holy fire burning inside us. That spark can spontaneously combust destroying the body and sending the soul to Ahura Mazda, we all knew that had happened to Luca. We had 24 hours to prove that we were devout Zoroastrians, after that…who knows? Lasse and Laila were going to risk it, Hilkka and Yanagi looked lost and scared, Kati looked angry, Sini probably didn't even understand what we were talking about and Johanna…she was apparently seriously thinking of opposing her own god and starting some sort of rebellion to defend her friends. I would have liked to shout and have a nice comfy nervous breakdown, but we couldn't both break down at the same time, could we? So I took charge and herded Kati and Sini out. Lasse gave us a ride to my flat and rest of the night was spent (by me and Johanna at least) having some serious talks about brains. Mainly how not having them is not an excuse to mess things up every fucking time! She didn't mean it, true. She didn't think, true. But she can't just continue being an idiot when that results to civilian victims! If you are not sure that the action is wise DO NOT ACT. Think! If I'm going to be a pile of dust because you have a vengeful god who wants to ruin your life and prevent you from befriending anyone, then that is STILL YOUR FAULT! Yes, I really did lecture her all night and she had to listen because she was in my head. I got very little sleep but I probably would not have been able to sleep soundly anyway and yelling your crying and angsting guardian angel back to her feet, well, that needed to be done because maybe we still had a change to escape our fate.
27.1 2007 Saturday
Kati, Sini and I did a morning chant because praying beats being burned to death every time. Parsi is not a language I'm familiar with so hopefully we did not say too many insults trying to pronounce it right. Johanna was no help; she was still convinced that we were all going to die horribly because her god is an asshole. Luckily we had things to do; the angst-level of my flat was a bit too much. Sini wanted crayons so we went shopping. Somehow we ended in a pub and Sakari joined us. Angst angst, we are all going to die and this creep won't leave us alone (I mean Sakari). Then my phone rang. I never heard a name but Johanna seemed to recognize the caller and told him to come meet us and then proclaimed that we were all saved. Apparently this Kari would save us by being very clever. I had heard about him, he is one of Johanna's friends who were in Marocco. Unlike Sini and Satu he was rumoured to own a working brain so I was vaguely hopeful. Kari found us and turned out to be a scruffy looking fellow, a look I always associate with petty criminals. He talked some sense into Johanna though and was prepared to somehow separate us and get Johanna out of the country. He did not think we were in any real danger since we had prayed so we decided to stop being devout for the rest of the day. Johanna cheered up immensely; she seemed to have a naïve trust that Kari would fix things up. If they have known for some time and are still on talking terms I think Kari must be very used to cleaning up the mess that Johanna creates every time she turns around.
The disaster averted (everyone else thought so, I did not but decided to keep quiet) we went to my flat to have a baby party with Katja and Sakari (he is going to have a restraining order very soon if he doesn't stop following us everywhere). Oona and Seth had sent a gift, that was not poisonous or didn't explode, but since it was a stuffed toy tarantula I would be careful around it nevertheless. Katja wanted to know what to do with the baby. It would have some pyrokinetic powers but would look like a human. She could not stay in Turku and avoiding the baby's father would be wise as well, at least until we were sure Ahura Mazda would not try to do anything to his new grandchild. Katja seemed okay with the idea that she would become a single parent, but I would not put up with it. Leaving her to manage on her own was irresponsible even though atur couldn't probably raise a puppy, even if he/she (this totally without a gender thing is a little confusing) tried. So I volunteered to look after Katja and the child. I'm leaving Finland anyway and Scotland or Ireland is as good place as any to raise a half-angel. That decision made we could concentrate on other problems, like being burned to death by vengeful gods, healing my back etc. Later that night Johanna's friend Anne (whole Morocco is here before long, so it seems) called and came to see us. Another vaguely sensible looking person who Johanna and Sini were treating as some kind of pack mother. This Kari found us as well and when Lasse and Hilkka also came calling my flat was getting a bit crowded. They wanted to make some rituals so we relocated to Hilkka, who seemed to be almost over her shock last night. Yanagi was okay as well so I decided not to worry, at least until one o'clock. Rituals needes a battery to power them, but since our god had disapproved using his angel as one we did not use Johanna (thaks god we asked before doing anything, no more rituals for me).
We were just about to eat something when Kari got a phone call from Kati. Sakari was doing something stupid in Hansa and had to be stopped. Something to do with Alyssa and a mirrormonster…suddenly everyone was alert and before I could say anything (like: is this really wise?) Anne, Kari, Sini and Johanna and me were running towards Hansa looking for trouble. The place was packed with cops and an ambulance had just arrived. Suddenly Kari remembered that he was still wanted for serious crimes here and others seemed as reluctant to draw any attention to us. Luckily Sakari had ceased and desisted all on his own and no monsters were to be seen so we retreated to my flat instead. Some more occult running around was still scheduled to this evening but me, Johanna, Sini and Katja who came to see that 1 o'clock would pass without any flames stayed at my flat waiting. When the time was up Sini and me went outdoors. We waited and suddenly Johanna said smiling that she had misunderstood her god again, this was not a bad thing, just a standard purification ritual but since we had no temple and no priest we would just have to pass it. I was relieved, when waiting for a certain doom it is always nice to find out that you have been let off the hook. Anne and Kari returned and we decided to get some sleep. That proved to be difficult, because Sini and Johanna were giggling and having a pillow fight, talking rubbish and joking about Lasse climbing trees. Kati returned late but finally everyone slept.
28.1 2007 Sunday
Turku is a sick, sick place. Apparently people don't eat on Sundays, at least not breakfast. Finally we found something to eat at a hotel cafeteria, but still…I'm glad I'm leaving Finland. Breakfast boosted thinking as well and Kari figured out a way I could get rid of Johanna. Johanna's old body was still kept for her in Morocco and it was healthy, since Johanna could move even with a cracked spine she could use my body and I could use hers. The idea sounded odd, but after thinking it for a while I agreed. Kari purchased a stone to aid with the ritual and as far as I was concerned my problem was solved. I had to fly to Morocco with the rest of the group to make the change but after that I would be free of Johanna, free to go back to my life. I would be looking a little different of course so I will not return to Newcastle but Ireland sounds nice and of course I will have Katja with me.
Johanna, Hilkka and Kari wanted to take care of Oona and so we went to hunt ghosts in the middle of Hansa. No wonder that this group of friends is wanted by police if they draw mystic circles and wave ritual daggers everywhere they go. Oona's problem was fixed and we could finally pack our backs and head towards Morocco. I can but hope that this is the last of the weird shit I have to endure during my lifetime, I'm going to move to Ireland, Scotland or Wales and become a small-town cop, someone who's biggest problem are a few Friday-night drunks and a stolen chicken. I'm sure Katja and I will be able to raise one slightly flammable child and hopefully Johanna forgets were we are... right, I'm being overly optimistic again, sure there's going to be problems but well, I will just have to deal. I'll start dealing with a really bad attitude and a flamethrower so anyone even thinking of contacting me with his/her occult problems better think again!