The Bradshaw Tapes #07: Jason Dante

Transcript of Rec#000438 21/08/15 (continued): After grabbing an energy drink for himself, Dante sits back down and resumes the conversation.

DANTE: Well. We’re kind of back where we started. What do you want to hear?

OCTOBER: Let’s see… how about… what do you think is the biggest problem we need to deal with? Where do we direct the fight?

DANTE: Problems of the “Fancy” variety you mean? Because if not, then climate change.

OCTOBER: Okay, “Fancy Problems” then.

DANTE: Well, if there’s a god or gods, I’d love to take them down.

OCTOBER: I think you’re relying on your survival mechanism again.

DANTE: No. Really. I think we need to start at the top. The problem is, we can’t see the top from where we are. We’re little bugs in the grass, trying to see what’s up in a tree because we know there’s something nesting up there that flies down and eats us, but we can’t see make it out. The distance is too great.

OCTOBER: And how do you think we should fight something so far away?

DANTE: Well, my personal preference has been to just sting whatever I can reach. It’s like the bugs are students in a school and…


DANTE: …they get an F on their report card, right?

OCTOBER: The bugs do?

DANTE: Just listen. We’re the bugs. We get an F because we have no control over the world around us.

OCTOBER: I was never graded on my control over the world.

DANTE: Just listen though. We get Fs. The civilians. But there are higher grades. Who’s the Mayor here in Port Nadine these days?

OCTOBER: Ethan Barbet.

DANTE: Okay. Barbet gets a D. He has people who work for him, support him, he gets some control in the world. Not just politicians, though. Maybe some of the more famous celebrities, they get a D too. I don’t know, religious leaders most of the time probably. Oh, and organized crime types like LeSauvage. Most of the “people in charge” are Ds.

OCTOBER: Still a lot of grades above that.

DANTE: Right. You know who gets a C?

OCTOBER: Royalty?

DANTE: Hmm. Probably some, and maybe the heads of state of some of the real superpower nations. But I was thinking corporations. These days, they outrank royalty.

The Wistley family, that asshole kid who bought Atomical, the directors of Technolocorp. Any one of those people is so rich they’re basically above the law. Whole industries that feed into their wealth and millions of employees who take any of the punishment that should be directed at the bosses. Their money means they can do anything within our society. I bet that whoever the vice president is at Worldful could come to Port Nadine and tell Mayor Barbet on camera to swallow a bug and he’d probably do it. “For the economy.”

OCTOBER: So we’re not the bugs anymore.

DANTE: Of course we’re not. That metaphor is over.

OCTOBER: Then, who gets a B?

DANTE: These are the ones that have all that supernatural power you love so much, and they want to use it to influence world events. Usually in secret. A lot of these are the groups we called the Secret Factions.

OCTOBER: The people who made Gladys?

DANTE: Right, the Secret Government was one. Though, they were one of the stupider Factions. Didn’t stop them from causing a lot of problems. Actually, I’d say we’ve been lucky so far because the Bs I’ve encountered have all been a bit stupid. They must overestimate themselves or get lazy or something. Good thing too, because with that much power in the hands of someone more competent, the world would be screwed.

OCTOBER: Because a B with that level of awareness could be an A?

DANTE: Exactly.

OCTOBER: So you don’t think there are any As yet?

DANTE: Actually I think there are. I’ve seen their shadows, but they’re at the top of the tree and I can’t see from the grass.

OCTOBER: Adam was right. You’re hunting Magic Astronauts. (A moment of silence as Dante drinks his drink and gives no reply) A friend of mine, my mentor I guess, used to say there were these “Magic Astronauts” that controlled the world. Virgil was his name. He had seen so much, maybe not as much as you, but he also believed almost exactly what you’re saying here.

DANTE: And he was trying to kill the Magic Astronauts?

OCTOBER: Well, he was trying to find them. He wanted to understand the world so we could improve things. I guess I don’t really know what that would have happened if we’d actually found them.

DANTE: Well, I see it like this: if there’s someone with the power to control the world and the world we live in is the result of it, that person or group of people needs to be killed.

Look at our world. If they have the power but leave it like this, they’ve clearly got a personal stake in keeping things this way. We need them out of the picture.

OCTOBER: Hard to argue with that. So you’ve spent all this time trying to find and kill someone or something so powerful you can’t even see it. How’s that working out?

DANTE: Fuck. Not great if I’m being honest. I’m tired. Like I said, I strike at what I can reach, but at best I’m killing Bs and scaring the shit out of Cs.

When I’m trying to get to sleep at night, I tell myself that at least I’m holding the line. Right?

I spent a couple months once tracking down and killing these four wizards who were helping this guy Dr. Necromancy gain power. I won, so sure, I prevented a guy I rank a B from becoming even more powerful, but does that improve the world at all? For all I know the As want me killing off Bs like him to keep them safe.

But I can’t not do it. If the wrong one slips past me, things might get worse. As far as I can tell, I’m one of the few people on this planet capable of making sure there’s a barrier keeping assholes from omnipotence. I need to keep at it. It’s my responsibility.

Believe it or not, kid, I’ve got loved ones. Family. Even a handful of friends. I want their world to continue. I want their lives to be easy.

But I’m tired. There’s so many people out there who need to die. And all I can do is hold the line.

OCTOBER: So… you lose sleep at night because you wish you were killing more people?

DANTE: (sighs) Shit, this is not where I expected this conversation to go, but since we’re here…

I don’t think I’m an evil person. But I enjoy killing. I have killed so, so many. Humans, animals, robots, other. They say it gets easier, but honestly, I never found it hard. Never lost sleep about it anyway. Actually, every time it’s a thrill. Adrenaline or dopamine or whatever. I don’t deny it: I enjoy it.

But I am not indiscriminate.

If I am killing someone, you can be sure that I put thought into it and I earnestly believe that this person’s absence will improve this world.


DANTE: No arguments? Adam gave a speech about how we have too many enemies that we can’t afford to kill them, and I haven’t made sense of that yet.

OCTOBER: Well, I’m not here to argue, I’m here to learn, but anyway you’re making sense to me so far. You know why?


OCTOBER: Because you include yourself among the Fs. It scares the hell out of me when cops or politicians demand the right to kill their enemies, who I guarantee always have less power than they do. But killing oppressors? It’s not my go-to move, but they’re the ones who take away our power to do anything else, right?

DANTE: Fuckin’ right.

OCTOBER: I don’t love assassination, but I won’t cry over a dictator’s grave. I’ll be honest and admit I came in here thinking of you as a bad person. Everything I’d heard made me scared of you. But now I see why Adam wants you here.

DANTE: I play it up. I want my enemies to be afraid. It helps to be thought of as a mythic killing machine, so I make sure I’m seen to revel in it. But also, I actually do revel in it, you know?

How many people can feel like they have a useful purpose in life? And that purpose makes the world better? I guess maybe parents feel like this? Well. The joy a parent feels seeing their baby say its first words? I find that joy in stabbing a bad person in the face.

OCTOBER: And imagine the joy you’d get from killing the right target.

DANTE: There is nothing I want more than to kill one of your Magic Astronauts.

OCTOBER: Well, Mr. Dante, I can offer you one bit of advice.

DANTE: Really?

OCTOBER: Yes, really. I want you to recognize that you are with Adam’s team now and that means you have a chance.

You see what he’s building here? We’ve got you. We’ve got Gladys. Myrtle and Clint and the Snakes. I know we just got together, but I can already tell we’re onto something. We’ve got some amount of supernatural talent, right? If I had to look at our raw power and place our team on your own scale, we as a team, as Adam’s Extra-Fancy Honey crew, we are surely and appropriately Bs. We just need to increase our influence on the world.

Adam’s right that killing shouldn’t be our first option. You know the thought experiment where you ask if you could go back in time to kill a bad person before they did their bad things? Strangle a baby in the crib before it grows up to be a tyrant? I’ve always hated that one because it presupposed that you have access to time travel and the only idea you have to use it for is killing. I know that’s not the point of the moral question they’re asking, but really. Time travel! If you can go back in time you could put solar panels in the desert a thousand years ago and come back and use all the power they’ve stored up to solve the world’s energy needs and fix climate change after all. The only idea given in the question is killing, but it isn’t the only idea.

Rest assured, you’ve convinced me. I don’t think your violent actions make you evil, I could even see standing up for you against Adam about it, but it is a lesser option. We don’t have time travel, but we’ve got a team that seems capable of keeping up with you and we’re also really good at investigation. If there really are Magic Astronauts out there, and we don’t kill every lead we come across, this team is going to find them and I will personally point you in their direction.

DANTE: I was on a team in the War and they didn’t make it. What makes you think this group can do better?

OCTOBER: Adam brought me onto this team to solve mysteries and this is the exact mystery that Virgil was training me for. Even if we can’t do it, I intend to go down trying. I’ll last longer with your help.

So, if you’ve got more time to keep talking, I say we get started right away. Tell me about the first time you saw the shadows of these A-level threats.

(Continued in next transcript)

The Bradshaw Tapes #06: Jason Dante

Transcript of Rec#000438 21/08/15: I’ve been told by Adam that Jason Dante has the most experience dealing with the supernatural of anyone in our group. Still, I’ve been reluctant to go to him because he is a gleefully self-admitted murderer, and also kind of a prick. Dante is aware that I’ve been trying to learn more about the supernatural and is clearly prepared for me when I arrive to find him in the living room. He has taped several sheets of paper to the wall with crude drawings and charts he apparently hopes to explain to me. He encourages me to start recording before I even ask.

DANTE: Alright. I assume you’ve got everything you’re gonna get from the rest of the group, so you’re ready for a real education, huh? Well, where do you wanna start?

OCTOBER: Well… they say you’ve seen pretty much everything.

DANTE: That’s an exaggeration. I’ve got about two decades of history with the weird stuff, but if there’s one thing I know for sure it’s that there’s always more weird stuff out there ready to come be a problem.

OCTOBER: I see. Well, why not start with whatever you consider the scariest thing you’ve seen in all that time.

DANTE: Right to the worst stuff, gotta like that. Okay. This was during the Secret Factions War. I was on a search and destr–

OCTOBER: Sorry, what war?

(He gestured to one of his drawings, which contained no information I found useful, but otherwise ignored the question.)

DANTE: Search and destroy mission. I was alone in these tunnels underneath Castle Nine. There were a dozen or so of us on the mission, but we’d split into groups of three and my two pals had been taken out just minutes after landing. Grenades or mines, I don’t remember. Explosives. But I still had to get in and take out the skeleton generators, so I was in these tunnels on my own.

There was a trap. The tunnel opened into this room and once I got in the door slammed shut behind me. These slots opened up in the walls and water started pouring in. This was bad enough, I was panicking, looking for a way out, so when a door at the far end started opening, I was relieved at first and tried to wade my way to it. Then I noticed a shape, big and grey and moving toward me. I have exactly enough time to realize it’s a dorsal fin and then I’m underwater.

It’s got my leg and it’s shaking me. I think my head hit the wall at one point. Even with my suit I’m in tremendous pain and dizzy. I must have been clawing at it, but it doesn’t care, it just keeps trying to kill me. Then one of my grenades goes off. To this day I don’t know if I did it on purpose, like I threw it on pure instinct while being thrashed, or if it just fell off and I was saved by a pure fluke. Either way, the boom did enough damage to the damned monster to make it let go of me. It might have been dead for all I know, but I didn’t take any chances, I clawed at that thing until I got fingers into its fucking brain and then clawed for a few minutes more.

I couldn’t walk. I floated on my back, breathing in what air was left at the top of the room. It was certainly the closest I’d come to dying at that point, though I’ve certainly come closer since. I was young. The only reason I didn’t bleed to death is the suit.

Obviously I didn’t get the generators. The other teams managed to pull together some semblance of a victory, though, so eventually they found me there. Got me to a medic.

OCTOBER: Holy fuck.

(Some silence.)

OCTOBER: That’s messed up, I admit. But it’s not really supernatural.

DANTE: How do you mean?

OCTOBER: Well, it just was a shark, right? I thought it was gonna be a monster of some kind. Or maybe you had a near death experience or got saved by a ghost or something.

DANTE: “Just” a shark? That’s mundane to you?

OCTOBER: No, you know what I mean. Sharks are part of the natural world. Things like ghosts aren’t.

DANTE: God, you’re obsessed with ghosts. I’ve seen about a dozen ghosts at this point. I’ve only seen one shark.

OCTOBER: Well let’s shift focus to the ghosts. What are ghosts?

DANTE: In my experience? Jerks.

OCTOBER: But physically what are they?

(Another moment of silence, Dante closed his eyes for a bit.)

DANTE: They’re the spirits of dead people or something like that, aren’t they?

OCTOBER: So you believe in the soul, then? In the persistence of a person’s self after death?

DANTE: Well, I’ve seen ghosts, so if that’s what they are then yes. And if it isn’t that, it’s something like it.

OCTOBER: Hmm. And have you communicated with someone who has passed?

DANTE: I kicked one of them in the neck.

OCTOBER: The ghost had a neck?

DANTE: Not for long.

OCTOBER: But have you spoken to any of them?

DANTE: A couple. The one in my apartment that time. He hated me. The conversations were mostly vitriol now that I think about it. From both directions.

I sent a message to some kind of barbershop quartet ghosts and heard them talking, but I never spoke to them face to face.

OCTOBER: But you’d say they were conscious entities? Not just echoes of their lives or whatever?

DANTE: I don’t know their lives.

OCTOBER: Are you being difficult on purpose?

DANTE: Probably. Making you earn your answers, at least.

But in any case, I don’t know anything about the nature of ghosts. I just know they’ve pissed me off. And I know that if they are the spirits of the dead, they could hardly be called “supernatural” they’d have to be the most natural things around. They’d presumably be as old as humanity minus at least one lifespan.

OCTOBER: I think of it like this. When I call something “paranormal” or “supernatural” I’m not comparing it to what is normal or natural, I’m comparing it to the current dominant view of what is normal or natural.

DANTE: Okay, fine. I figure the life I’ve lived has left me with a skewed perspective of what is normal or natural. But I’m no scientist. I haven’t exactly been taking readings as I go. I’ve spent my life just trying to survive and trying to kill the worst ones.

OCTOBER: And yet you still boldly exclaimed you were going to educate me?

DANTE: (An exasperated sigh.) Okay, I came on strong. It’s a survival mechanism I think. Posturing. You understand. I admit that I have never cared about understanding this stuff the way you do. My priority has been the fight.

But I can tell you what I know and what I’ve been through. It’ll be surface-level by your standards, but if you can accept that, you can sift through and see if there’s anything useful to you.

OCTOBER: Yeah, okay. Let’s go.

(Continued in next transcript)

The Bradshaw Tapes #05: Gladys Blue

Transcript of Rec#000437 21/08/15: The robot called Gladys Blue was part of Adam’s team before I was recruited and, until this conversation, I thought of her as a machine belonging of Adam and Dante. With a generally humanoid shape, Gladys seems to be made of some sort of blue plastic material that I will certainly need to investigate more closely in the future. Although I have seen Gladys wear a fairly unconvincing disguise to pose as an elderly human woman, I did not think of her then as “her” but as “it” instead. On the day of this interview, I found Gladys seated in front of the television, her preferred location when not working. I came in as an episode of Hospital of Disaster was ending and thought this would be a good time to see if the robot had any useful information.

OCTOBER: Can we turn off the TV for a bit?

GLADYS: Nah, I’ll just mute it. It’s just Celebrity Strip Poker, so I don’t need to hear it.

OCTOBER: Sure. You do that. So, how does this work, exactly? How do you do a conversation?

GLADYS: Um. Most of time? Reluctantly.

OCTOBER: Heh. No, I mean, do you have a list of potential answers you choose from, or do you take bits of what’s said and reconfigure it or something like that?

GLADYS: I genuinely have no idea. This is not where I assumed this conversation was going to go. The other guys said you were asking about ghosts and shit.

OCTOBER: Sorry, I’m… I just don’t know how to talk with you.

GLADYS: Seems like you’ve done fine talking to everyone else.

OCTOBER: Yeah. I guess… I admit I find it a bit weird to be talking to a robot.

GLADYS: Why’s that?

OCTOBER: I don’t know, it’s just a new concept for me. I suppose I should get used to it. I’ll probably be talking to a lot of robots in the future.

GLADYS: You think so?

OCTOBER: Well, I mean I know companies are working on artificial intelligence. Both Worldful and Atomical have been open about it for years, and I guess it shouldn’t be a surprise that Technolocorp has been too. And it makes sense that they’d have the most advanced ones too.

GLADYS: Uh, sure I guess. Although technically, Technolocorp owns the Secret Government now, but they didn’t make us. We’re from some kind of alien technology or something.


GLADYS: Yeah. Maybe it was a crashed spaceship? I don’t know really. Dante knows more.

OCTOBER: Everyone says that about him.

GLADYS: Hey, until I started to watch television, everything I knew about the world came from two sources: Secret Government propaganda and that guy. Obviously he’ll know more than me.

OCTOBER: Well, what about the stuff you weren’t taught? You’re own lived experiences?

GLADYS: Ugh. I hate my lived experiences.


GLADYS: Listen, I’ve been through a lot of crap. Immediately after being coming out of the computer, I was drafted into the SecGov Army. I hated it.

OCTOBER: What happened in the army?

GLADYS: Well. During my first mission we accidentally went through some dimensional tear and ended up in the space between universes.

OCTOBER: What do you mean “between universes” exactly?

GLADYS: I dunno. That’s what they said it was.

OCTOBER: And what was it like between universes?

GLADYS: Swirly, mostly? I dunno. There were ghosts and I lost my old arm. I try not think too much about it. Later on a duplicate of me came back to the real world and started lasering SecGov City. I think maybe it was made out of my old arm?

This alien wizard showed up too and explained about it, but anyway, I hated it all.

OCTOBER: What did you hate about it? Personally I’d love to see big cosmic things like that.

GLADYS: Hey, fill your boots. You’re on the team now. You can have all the adventures and I’ll stay safe here and sell honey to tourists.

OCTOBER: That’s what you hate about it? The danger? You can feel fear?

GLADYS: Of course! Incessantly! You don’t? I don’t understand how everyone isn’t terrified! Or pissed off. Both! Always!

OCTOBER: You know, you don’t sound like I would have expected a robot to sound.

GLADYS: What did you expect?

OCTOBER: I don’t know. Flat. Stilted, maybe?

GLADYS: Like Adam?

OCTOBER: Heh. Yeah, Adam does sound more like a robot than you do, I guess. (brief pause) You said there that you didn’t always have television…

GLADYS: Yeah! I mean, I had access to the SecGov channels, but this: with real shows! I can’t believe I lived without it for so long!

OCTOBER: Do you think maybe you learned to talk from television?

GLADYS: No, I’ve been talking my whole life. But I did decide to start using a catchphrase after I saw how funny they were on Hot Angry Teachers. I’m gonna start saying “Watch your back, Stankface!” or something like that.

OCTOBER: Then you do take inspiration from the shows you watch?

GLADYS: Uh… I guess. I’ve never thought about it. Why?

OCTOBER: Well, when you described your time with the army, I couldn’t help but think that it sounds like the kind of plots you might see on a sci-fi show. Have you seen a lot of sci-fi?

GLADYS: I prefer comedies.

OCTOBER: So you don’t know about a show called AltWorld Patrol?

GLADYS: Sure I do. It gets mentioned on Buncha Losers all the time.

OCTOBER: Well, it has a…

GLADYS: Hey! Don’t spoil it! I’ve only seen up to the start of the Red Planet Renegades spinoff!

OCTOBER: So you have watched it?

GLADYS: Well, yeah. I wanted to get the jokes.

OCTOBER: Okay, so, my point, spoiler-free, is that AltWorld Patrol has a lot of strories about alternate universes and dimensions and duplicates and weird creatures. Do you think maybe you–

GLADYS: Wait, what are you… are you trying to prove I’m not sentient right now? You’re saying that I made up my past by regurgitating stuff I saw on television? That I’m just some mindless machine walking and talking in a parody of life? Is that what this is?

OCTOBER: I… uh… I…

GLADYS: Well, whatever. I don’t care.

OCTOBER: It’s just…

GLADYS: Seriously, I don’t care. I mean, do you walk around worrying if other people see you as a real person?

OCTOBER: Well, I… I mean, I could teach you the history of how society treats women, but…

GLADYS: I mean you personally. If I assumed you weren’t a thinking sentient being, would it matter much to you?

OCTOBER: I guess not. As long as you weren’t using it as an excuse to oppress or kill me or something.

GLADYS: Not planning on it. And I assume you don’t want to kill me.

OCTOBER: I do not.

GLADYS: Good, because I could kick your ass. My robot body was specifically designed for combat and I was trained by our own in-house assassin. The only thing that got me through all the those bad times I hated was that I can kick ass.

You piss me off and you better watch your back and whatnot.

OCTOBER: Fair enough. I was not planning on killing you.

GLADYS: So, we’re fine then.

(Almost a minute of silence during which a famous athlete on television has to remove his underwear because his bluff was called) Heh. Look at that chump.

OCTOBER: You know, I guess I am actually convinced you can think

GLADYS: Geez, I thought we covered how it doesn’t matter.

OCTOBER: But what I’m wondering now, is why you pretend to be human? With that wrinkly suit that Dante got you.

GLADYS: Because I’m a bright blue robot. That stands out in a human city and we’ve got enemies.

OCTOBER: But we have friends too. You haven’t told Devon the security guard that you’re a robot, have you?

GLADYS: Well, no… but he’s an old man. Probably he’d have a heart attack or something.

OCTOBER: Fair enough, I don’t intend to pressure you on it. It just makes me think.

GLADYS: Well, think in your own head then.

OCTOBER: Heh. And just for the sake of my recording, you don’t have anything particularly insightful to say about the paranormal or aliens or anything?

GLADYS: Well, have you watched AltWorld Patrol?

OCTOBER: A bit. I actually know someone who knows someone who used to be on it.

GLADYS: Well then, you probably know as much as I do. What you really need to do-

OCTOBER: Talk to Dante.

GLADYS: Exactly. He’s knows you’ve been talking to us. He’s already preparing his presentation.

OCTOBER: He what?

GLADYS: The guy loves presentations. You need to talk to him.

OCTOBER: I… I will. Maybe tomorrow. Let’s just watch some television for now.

The Bradshaw Tapes #04: Nineteen Snakes

Transcript of Rec#000436 21/08/15: This is a weird one. The entity, for lack of a better term, who has introduced itself as Nineteen Snakes is exactly that. I have personally witnessed the snakes working together as some kind of single gestalt organism, making this the first time I’ve been able to interview a being that meets every definition of “paranormal” that I’ve used to this point. Though the Snakes have no means of verbal communication, it turns out they are capable of understanding human speech and even writing in English, though it seems a cumbersome process for them. On the day of this recording I encountered Snakes as they lounged around the terrarium that Adam has set up on the top floor of the shop. At least twelve of the Nineteen Snakes were present for this interview, with the others free to come and go as they please.

Note that for this interview there is a delay between my questions and the answer, as Snakes wrote their replies on paper. I then read them aloud in my own voice on the recording, but have transcribed them here as being from Snakes directly.

OCTOBER: Do you understand what I’d like to do here? To talk to you? Interview?

SNAKES: “Yes.”

OCTOBER: And you’re fine with me recording it?

SNAKES: (taps same page) “Yes.”

OCTOBER: And just to show you are understanding, I’m going to get you to answer a negative question this time, okay? Are you five birds?


OCTOBER: Thanks. (brief pause) So… it’s hard to know where to start. Do you have anything specific you want to say?

SNAKES: “Don’t know.”

OCTOBER: You are a single being, right?

SNAKES: “Yes.”

OCTOBER: All nineteen of you think with the same mind? All thirty-eight eyes give information to the same place?

SNAKES: “Yes.”

(A significant pause here while I think.)

OCTOBER: So, um, why did you show up here at the shop? That day on the roof? To join Adam’s team?

SNAKES: (A longer than usual pause, presumably they are thinking.) “I could use help.”

OCTOBER: Help, with what?

SNAKES: “Just life in general, like everybody.”

OCTOBER: I guess that makes sense. So, let’s get to know each other. Where do you come from?

SNAKES: “I grew up in a science lab.”

OCTOBER: A lab? Where was this?

SNAKES: “Don’t know.”

OCTOBER: What happened there?

SNAKES: “Escaped.”

OCTOBER: And did… did they… create you? Were you normal snakes and they bonded you? Something like that? Or were you born there?

SNAKES: “I don’t remember anything from before the lab.”

OCTOBER: But what about your time at the lab?

SNAKES: “Escaped, underlined.”

OCTOBER: Fair enough. When did you escape?

SNAKES: “It was the cold part of year.”

OCTOBER: Last winter, I guess? That checks out with a lot of the snake sightings around town. How did you stay safe during the cold?

SNAKES: “Hid.”


SNAKES: (Writes, is apparently displeased with handwriting, crosses out answer, writes it again.) “Sewers.”

OCTOBER: That was probably smart. (momentary pause) I guess I don’t know enough about snakes to know if that was smart or not, but hey, you survived, right?

SNAKES: “Yes.”

OCTOBER: Is there a reason you chose the sewers over hiding in a building someplace?

SNAKES: “Afraid of people mostly.”

OCTOBER: But when the weather got better, you did start coming up. People have seen you. What were you up to?

SNAKES: “Watched people all over town.”

OCTOBER: To learn about us?

SNAKES: “Yes.”

OCTOBER: Did it make you less afraid?

SNAKES: “Don’t know.”

OCTOBER: Well then, did you see anything worthy of note?

SNAKES: “I saw you.”

OCTOBER: You did? I assumed I was always too late to the anomalous snake sightings to catch you. When did you see me?

SNAKES: “Haunted pet store.”

OCTOBER: That… The thing back in June? That was you?

SNAKES: “Yes.” (then) “No.”

OCTOBER: Yes and no? So, what, some of it was you and some of it wasn’t?

SNAKES: “Yes.”

OCTOBER: The, uh, the parts that weren’t you, what was it then?

SNAKES: “Don’t know.” (then) “Something weird.”

OCTOBER: Hmm. I guess the fact that you’re a paranormal entity of some kind doesn’t mean you have all the answers I want, do you?


OCTOBER: (I am quiet for a while.) If anything, I guess your life so far probably makes you feel even more confused than mine does.

SNAKES: “Yes.” (then) “I could use help.”

OCTOBER: Alright then, Snakes. Thanks for the conversation. You came to us and joined this team to help, so I promise you this: we’ll help you. Adam has already given you a home here where you don’t need to be afraid of people. I’ll do what I can in investigating your past and seeing if we can make sense of your life too.

SNAKES: “Thank you.”

The Bradshaw Tapes #03: Clint Rojas

Transcript of Rec#000435 19/08/15: My interview with Clint Rojas was more impromptu than the others I’d recorded that day. He happened to come into the store to pick up a set of keys Dante had left for him just as Adam was turning in for the night. Clint was dressed in the cheap clothes I’d noticed he liked to wear as he did his “superhero” patrols, presumably so that if they were damaged it wouldn’t matter. He was carrying his helmet. I will have to do more research on types of helmet in the future, but I would describe it as a shiny metal (iron, perhaps?) bucket-shaped helmet that is intended to cover the whole face of the wearer, with a sort of T-shaped gap in the front for the eyes and mouth. Clint agreed to speak to me with some reticence.

OCTOBER: Is it okay if I record?

CLINT: What for?

OCTOBER: For, um, posterity I guess?

CLINT: But who’s going to listen to it? I don’t want my details on that internet site of yours.

OCTOBER: Oh, that’s fine. I just intend to keep it with my files, for my own future reference. I’m sort of an information hoarder, I guess. Especially when it comes to the paranormal.

CLINT: Y’know, I never cared for the attention your site brought to me. It would be easier to wage my mission against the city’s evil elements if they didn’t know all about… what I was doing all the time.

OCTOBER: If you didn’t want people to know you exist, maybe you shouldn’t have been lifting cars over your head in public. Gets attention.

Anyway, my site was only ever about aggregating the reports from newspapers and stuff. I never wrote anything that wasn’t already out there. Believe me, I know more about you than ever made it online.

CLINT: What do you mean? Like what?

OCTOBER: Well, it wouldn’t exactly prove my point that I can keep my secrets if I gave up all the information that easily. But since it’s about you, sure…

Over the past year you’ve gotten predictable. Your nightly “patrols” generally start over by the piers. Then you scale one of the taller buildings and make your way along the roofs to North Beach. If you haven’t found anything to deal with by then, you take off the helmet and walk back at street level, keeping an eye out. You mix it up from time to time, but that’s the basics.

CLINT: You followed me?

OCTOBER: Didn’t need to. I’ve seen you a couple times, but also I’ve spoken to other people who’ve seen you. Street Sentry sightings usually get some discussion online. You show up on the security cameras at the Worldful building most nights. I… well, I like to use their cams for research.

CLINT: What, you hack into them?

OCTOBER: Not important. The point I was making was that I can be trusted with a recording of this conversation. Right?

CLINT: Whatever. What was this about? The paranormal?

OCTOBER: Your helmet, I guess. It’s the source of your power, right?

(He is silent for almost twenty seconds.)

CLINT: Yeah. I guess it’s obvious. The helmet makes me strong. Fast. Agile. Even smarter, I think.


CLINT: No idea. I put it on and it’s like… it’s like something courses through my veins. Some kind of ice-cold energy. Charges me up. Clears my head. If I have a headache, when I put it on, it’s gone right away. I feel like I can take on the world.

OCTOBER: Could I try it?

CLINT: No. Oh, no. No.

OCTOBER: Why not?

(Another brief silence)

CLINT: Same reason I wouldn’t hand someone a loaded gun. I feel like it’s my job to keep an eye on this helmet. My duty to make sure it stays safe and nobody uses it for evil. No offence.

OCTOBER: Fair enough. I was just curious about the sensation. Anyway, what do you know about it’s… origins.

(This time he is silent for almost a full minute, while he paces the room.)

CLINT: I don’t know anything about it really. We found a box in the woods–


CLINT: I mean “I”… I… I found a box.

No, it was we. My brother and I. But leave him out of it. We were in the woods a few years back. We found a box. Looked like a treasure chest almost. No lock. Had a bunch of stuff in it, but the first thing I noticed was the helmet. I put it on right away… it was magic.

I knew immediately: this helmet was meant for me. Like it was given to me by God.

There was other stuff in there. My brother took a sword. One of those ones they have for fencing, I think. But then we heard something. Something big. We ran.

So… no, I don’t know the origin of the helmet.

OCTOBER: And your brother’s sword?

CLINT: Don’t know the origin of that either.

Anyway, I wondered: if God gave me the helmet, then why? What was my destiny that I needed the helmet for?

OCTOBER: And you became the Street Sentry.

CLINT: I didn’t come up with the name. That was you Internet people. But, yes, I decided that the biggest problem in the world is all the chaos and injustice, so a person with power should help with that. I started by helping out people in emergencies when I could.

OCTOBER: Like the fires and car crashes and stuff.

CLINT: There was a flood during that first year too. And I helped out during a blizzard too. Wearing the helmet, the weather doesn’t bother me as much, that’s another thing it does.

OCTOBER: Pretty good.

CLINT: Yeah. (Another moment of silence)

I didn’t want to make it about fighting. But there are bad people out there. It started with a street gang that called themselves the Downtown Demons. They were just wrecking up the town, you remember I assume. You grew up here. Then LeSauvage and her Syndicate goons noticed me.

These are people who are actively making the world worse for the innocent people who live in it, you know? I always thought, what kind of God would allow bad people like that to ruin lives, and it never make sense. If people do evil, they deserve punishment, but the universe had no interest in making sure they got it from what I saw.

But now I had this helmet from God? So, I had a mission. I can do my part to make it all make sense.

OCTOBER: By punishing the bad guys.

CLINT: Someone has to.

OCTOBER: It makes sense why you’re training with Dante. From what I’ve gathered he loves the idea of punishing the bad guys.

CLINT: He’s a bit more extreme than me.

OCTOBER: Doesn’t strike me as a “God” type either.

CLINT: Heh. The other day while we were training he said something about how he once knocked out a bunch of Syndicate guys by poisoning a batch of brownies at a funeral then robbed them all. So I said “Poisoned brownies? Is nothing sacred?” He said something like “Nope. Sacredness is just made-up bullshit humans pretend matters, like fashion trends and love.”

Dante can be scary, actually. But he’s super tough. While he’s on our side, I’ll learn a lot from him, I’m sure. For my mission.

OCTOBER: Yeah. Honestly, if Adam didn’t vouch for him, I don’t think I’d want to be in a building with him.

CLINT: Anyway, if you’re looking for information about the paranormal, seems like he’s the guy to ask.

OCTOBER: So I hear.

To the Beekeeper Chronicles