Don’t Shoot The Messenger: Interview with Helios

Messenger #7: Interview with Helios

Another transcript, this one of a conversation with Helios. Caper had come to visit me, but I figured that for Helios’s interview I would visit his place. Part of the reason for that is that he doesn’t actually live in the same apartment complex that most of us do. When he invited me in, the first thing I noticed was the bookshelf lined with DVDs. I took a step towards them to check out what he had and realized that I couldn’t recognize a single title.

“Kind of obscure taste you have, huh?”

“Unfortunately so. I tend to like underappreciated gems. Feel free to browse.”

I took him up on the offer and checked out the back cover blurbs for a couple. About half of them looked to be terrible pretentious student films. I grabbed one at random and put it back immediately when I saw it was titled “Mon Amour Intemporal.” The next film I grabbed, a documentary about some photographer’s creepy house, didn’t look much better.

“A lot of amateur work, huh?”

“Amateurs tend to make the best stuff. New and fresh ideas.”

A section caught my eye. “These ones look a bit like snuff films.”

“Ugh, no, that’s such a stupid weighted term.” I noted that he didn’t deny it.

I turned from the shelf. “Sorry, I’m wasting your time. Shall we get started?”

[Begin Transcript]

Messenger: I wanted to ask you some questions.

Helios: Shoot.

M: Okay, first off, what all do you do here? Like, Caper and Poe are Trackers or whatever. What do you do?

H: I’m a Hunter. When they find the people we’re looking for, I go after them and kill them.

[MN: He said it so casually, as if he had just said that he filled out insurance claims or something. “Hi, I’m Helios. I kill people for a living. Here’s my card.”]

M: Oh. Uh, I, um…oh. That’s, um…that’s nice.

H: Theta’s my partner and my roommate. I’d introduce you to him but he’s out now. I asked him if he wanted you to interview him too but he said he’d step out instead. Not much of a people person, really.

M: I see. Uh, moving on. How did you get involved in all this? You know, with the Boss and all?

H: Ah, that. You call him the Boss, huh?

M: Yeah? So?

H: It’s just interesting. Never really heard that one before. Makes sense, I guess. He’s certainly got the look of a businessman, doesn’t he?

M: I guess? Have you ever seen him?

H: Only twice. Both before I actually joined. It’s quite an experience.

M: Care to elaborate?

H: Let’s see…no offense, Messi, but I don’t know you too well.

M: Messenger.

H: I’d rather not share the first time because it’s sort of…a personal experience. The second time…well, that was when I actually joined. A lot of people think of the Tall Man as this mindless horror, ready to pounce on any unsuspecting passerby in a dark alley. But really, he can be kind if he chooses to. He was the one who saved me that night. The cops were after me. I had taken a bullet and wouldn’t have gotten far.

M: Why were you running from the cops?

H: Let’s just say that it had something to do with me breaking the law and leave it at that. Anyway, I’d managed to make it to the bad part of the city—not this one, the one I’m originally from—before the blood loss really started getting to me. Crashed my car into a lamp post. Staggered across the street and collapsed against the outside of…some seedy place. I don’t even remember what it was anymore. A casino, maybe? So the cops start pulling up, I’m concussed and bleeding out, they’re coming after me with guns drawn, and I know I’m doomed. I don’t want to go to jail. I might have tried going down fighting, but I was too weak to even lift my gun at that point. All of a sudden, I can’t feel the pain anymore and my head’s buzzing, like I’ve been given some sort of morphine. I look up and the Tall Man is there, standing behind the cops. I was…quite a bit more lucid the first time I saw him, and even then his presence made it difficult to concentrate on anything. This time, I could barely tell what was going on. The last thing I remember was him growing in size until he was maybe ten feet tall? I don’t know if that actually happened or if I was hallucinating. There was screaming from the cops, and I think that was when I passed out. When I woke up, the Filii had me. They’d saved my life and nursed me back to health.

M: This division?

H: No, I started off a bit closer to home. They offered me a job as a Hunter and I took it. I was reported alive and at large, so I laid low for a while and worked on reworking my image some. They transferred me here pretty shortly after that. As for the cops, well…the news reported they’d been shot, then mutilated. Gang violence was the theory, but for some reason, there was never any follow-up. Never found out the exact details on how they died, and no one in the Filii ever gave me answers.

M: I see. So what about your name? Something about fire, right?

H: Close. Greek god of the Sun.

M: Why’d you choose it?

H: No real reason. I wanted something that sounded cool and Omega was already taken. What about you? Why “The Messenger?”

M: I’m not the one being interviewed.

H: [A laugh.] Well that hardly seems fair, Messenger.

M: This is your story, not mine. [Pause.] It’s because I’m the one who’s keeping records. Filling out the Filii’s database. And I guess chronicling our stories now, too. Collecting all that information for when the time is right.

H: [He laughed again.] Not to be “that guy,” but you’re just receiving information instead of sending it. Sounds like the opposite of a Messenger to me.

M: Well yeah, maybe not in the present. But I’m keeping records for down the road, so in the future I guess I legitimately will be a messenger.

H: Fair enough.

[A pause. I checked a few notes I had written down and realized that, while I had meant to ask both how he got involved with the Boss and how he became part of the Filii, I had only asked the first and he had only answered the second.]

M: So, uh…moving on. How exactly did you meet the Boss, then?

H: We’ve done this one already. Next question.

[I decided to let the question drop rather than forcing it. At least I had gotten more from him than from Caper.]

M: Okay…how long have you been with the Filii?

H: Two years, three months.

M: Huh. Any idea how long that is relative to others?

H: Let’s see…do you know anyone other than Caper or Poe?

M: I know Tempest.

H: They’ve all been here longer than me, though Tempest wasn’t officially in charge until last September. Before that, there was this older man who was sort of her mentor, I guess? His name was Paraclete.

M: What happened to him?

H: Dunno. He just sort of…left, I think.

M: Huh. I’ll be on the lookout for info on this Paraclete guy, I guess.[1]

H: Anything else?

M: Uh…no, unless you have anything you’d like to add.

H: I hardly think there’s anything important.

M: And, you know…if you ever get around to explaining your first encounter with the Boss or why you were running from the police and everything…I’m all ears.

H: [He smiled at me.] Tell you what: if you manage to get a few more good stories from Caper, I might be willing to trade.

[End transcript]

-The Messenger-

 [1] “Paraclete” is a term roughly meaning a religious adviser, so it’s likely that this was a title and not a name. If this was all Mr. Messenger had to go off of, it’s unlikely that he uncovered more information on the man. ~T

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