MUSING THE NINTH

        I can remember, as a boy, the feeling of growing pains. The body, so uncomfortable within it's own confines, straining at the very edges of itself. Great tension.

        Our brains love patterns. We have known this for a very long time. Our brains, when confronted with the sequence 1-2-_-4-5 are just overjoyed to put the number 3 in the middle, completing the pattern, and setting things right with the world.

        It is very easy for me to see a connection between the growing pains of adolescence and the difficulties faced by an organization when it too grows large. My brain naturally extrapolates from the data I have fed it, and it has noticed a similar pattern developing, similar tension existing, a place that seems uncomfortable with what contains it.

        It doesn't take long to see other examples around: the goldfish stunted by the tank, the plant withering because of how bound up it's roots are in the pot, electricity drawn through too small of a fuse. I could go on, nature hardly ever provides just a handful of examples, but that's not the point.

        The point is that I'm using this language as a way to beat around the bush, even now, in my solitude. When it's just me and Claudia and the musings are being transcribed I still feel the need to attack the subject from the side instead of directly, because, to be very honest, I find myself frightened.

        The Men In Suits have forced this Organization together under one roof, and I though, naively probably, that it was a blessing in disguise. That things would be tough, space limited, but that we would pull together stronger and more resiliently than ever before. And in some cases that's true. I shouldn't jump straight into the negativity, after all over the past month or so I've seen great companionship, new friendship, and all manner of love and caring.

        But I've also seen selfishness. I've seen pigheadedness. I've seen those whom I respect and admire let the pettiness of the world cause them to give into negativity and shameful behavior. I think I would be correct in stating that I do not require much subservience in my organization, no need for bowing or special titles or anything of that nature, and yet the sheer amount of insubordination from those that haven't worked near me for some time...

        It's hard for me to say this, but I must speak the truth and speak it well. If this sort of behavior is what my organization has come to, than we have lost this battle already. We have. And that's not negativity, that's pragmatism. A house built on a shaky foundation simply cannot stand up to the tempest when it blows and to say otherwise is to peddle lies. And those that peddle lies tend to get other people hurt.

        I say all these things because...

        Well, I'm not entirely sure. The path at one point seemed so clear for me. Success would come from success, hard work would begat great results, passionate people would be able to move humanity into a new age of prosperity. And yet. And yet, and yet, and yet. And yet if we are on the forefront, if we, the enlightened ones, the human mouthpiece of the Voices themselves, if we can't accomplish the task of working toward a common goal... I don't know.

        I just don't know.

        I look at some of the people that have been drafted into our service...I look at their histories, at what they can do... and it's so hollow. They have the skills we need, yes, everybody contributes, of course they do, of course they do, but they don't know why they're contributing. They seem to think that the job itself is enough and it's not, it's never been about the job, about the work, it's never been about the parts themselves, it's always been about the whole that the parts become. The greater than.

        I should've seen it coming sooner, if I'm honest. When there was push back, even here, from my own people, to me publishing what the Voices wanted...even if it seemed crazy.....even if it worked against us.....the Voices were supposed to be better than that....worth more than that.....we weren't supposed to care what people though we were meant to tell them what to think.....

        And don't think I haven't noticed everything that my access provides. Speaking to the greater wide world here. Don't think that the messages sent to take my Granddaughter from me will work, don't think that the threatening emails you send my staff will work, don't think that your false concern and pretend care will get you anywhere in this world. It will not. People that are a part of us will not simply be given over to another power like a player in a trade. This is family, and that's how it must stay.

        On that same line, family who has begun to work against the wishes of myself and the Think Tank proper, family that has gotten used to skating by and not putting forth the real work required to be a part of us, this is a warning to you. Much as the mightiest of oaks must still drop a few sticks from time to time, limbs that did not have a chance to become great and mighty, so must our organization shake off incompetence and laziness. We must move forward as a single organism with singular goals, and we must not waver in those goals, lest we eliminate a bright future from our race.

        The date that this document is uploaded, August 22nd, will be the last day at the Organization for a few select newer members. They will be asked to sign binding non-disclosure agreements to cover anything that they might've learned that hasn't yet been released to the public. This is a tragedy yes, but a small one, considering.

        Considering what, you ask?

        Considering that August 22nd will also be the last day for some slightly more senior members of the Organization as well. By the time this is released, a series of in-house trials will have taken place. Certain members of our Organization, after agreeing to, signing to, and pledging their life to, certain values that we uphold as a group...well, unfortunately...they have decided to disregard those values.

        Sadly, for this group, it's not quite as easy as releasing them into the world with a binding agreement. They've already shown themselves incapable of being faithful to documents they sign, so what good would making them sign another one do?

        Justice is not something that we take lightly, nor is it something that we dispense lightly. We value humanity, and I think you'd be hard pressed to attempt to prove otherwise. We do not consider ourselves cruel people, nor is that our goal. It might even be a mistake to say this much, because occasionally words put into the world are nothing more than ammunition to be used against you.

        You may have faith that they will be released, after justice is dispensed to them, into what care they need as they reenter the world. We do not intend to increase the supply of homeless, of wards of the state, or dependents. They will still be very functional. They will still be themselves.

        They will not, however, hear the Voices anymore.

        They will never bear witness.

        They will be lost people.

        They will have passed beyond the Umbra, and into the long darkness.

        And we will weep for who they once were.