Thaddeus did not contact us again immediately after leaving that comment on my last update. He left us to wallow in our helplessness, forcing us to watch as James' condition continued to deteriorate. And, of course, to look out of the windows of the hospital and see the fields stretching out beyond. The city that I spoke of in previous updates never existed. Even in reading my own words, I can remember nothing of it.
Most of the hospital staff never existed, either. Only a few nurses and a single surgeon remain, having lost all memories of their homes and thus losing all reason to leave the hospital. They, like us, have spent the past few days in something of a helpless stupor, powerless to provide all the care necessary to save the lives of their patients. The hospital is full of the corpses of those whose attendant physicians have vanished, whose records have been erased, who require special treatment that we do not have the capability to provide. There is no more room in the morgue.
And, outside, ceaseless, the silence howls.
Over the past few days, I have come to notice something more that has been happening in this hospital. The usual graffiti is there, as it always is in places like this if you know where to look, marking the building with the sign of The Archangel and claiming it as a place of death and the loss of control. After all, there are few situations wherein one has less control over their lives than when one is lying in an intensive-care ward and waiting for the final embrace. James is in this situation now. I think that this might be what Thaddeus was referring to when he spoke of truly embracing The Archangel: the complete and utter loss of control over your life, being forced to place yourself entirely in another's hands. The Archangel is, after all, control. Every prayer sent up in desperation, every declaration that the speaker has surrendered themselves utterly to a higher power, is a surrender to The Archangel, though they do not realize it.
But I am getting off-track. This is hardly a new thought, for me. What I have noticed here that has drawn my attention in ways that other hospitals have not is the existence of other markings. The signs on the backs of the mirrors have returned, scratched into the glass as before. This time, however, the message has changed: HE SEES HIS CHILDREN JUMPING OFF AT STATIONS ONE BY ONE.
Before, I failed to grasp the real meaning of the message. This time, it is obvious. Miss Waterman, James... both are, in their own way, beyond my ability to help. Even Phillip, lost in his bewilderment, is beyond my reach. One of these beings realizes this, and is taunting me in my helplessness, mocking my desperation and my inability to find a solution.
But I have not given up yet. Thaddeus has stated that he can "show me", if I like. And, right now, I have no other options. James' fever has been hovering around lethal levels for the past few days. We are running out of medicine, food, and all the rest.
Thaddeus River, I accept your offer.