Alistair Harken

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Mission Journal - Entry 1

Project SCARAB (Scientific Consortium for the Analysis & Research of Aberrations and Beasts)

Operation Charlatan

SFC Brandon Allerman (Alistair Harken)

I was given access to the SCARAB Vault where a number of artifacts are stored. The researchers there were not able to give me much insight outside of where and when they were seized, and a designation. It was an odd process. Through the mess of items that could likely be weapons of mass destruction, stacked on top of each other like comic books in my parents attic, I chose a large hilt. There was some question of “hermetical alignment” but there was something about it; like I said, it was an odd process.

Back in Basic, we would practice field stripping our M4s and I did it until I could have mine apart and reassembled in under 70 seconds. I needed to know every part of it and this was no different but the thing was…there was just one part. The hilt was one solid piece but the first time I touched it, a blade sparked up for a second. The scientists examined it but there was no optics, mirrors, or any type of medium. Shit, there wasn’t even a Kyber crystal in there (that one killed with the scientists at SCARAB by the way). They’re insisting on more examinations of it but unfortunately it will have to be field tests.

It’s been recommended that I go to Pocket D, an outer-dimensional club where heroes and villains are able to drink side-by-side without fear of confrontation, due in part to a power dampening field that makes fighting impossible. I’ve been asked to attempt contact with any magic-powered individuals there. This feels a bit out of my element…I’ve never had to go undercover outside of some hearts and minds ops with the Unit. The goal is to assist with the profiling work that the SCARAB Agents are doing…more info around motivation and moral alignment; information that couldn’t be gained by their bio scans.

So tomorrow I go off. The intel team at SCARAB built an entirely new profile for me that I’ve had to memorize front to back and back to front. They chose my alias but had the decency to keep me from Philadelphia so I don’t get tripped up if anyone comes up and says “Go Birds.” The rest of this…me finding the hilt in my deceased grandfather’s attic…having no one back home and shacking up at a local hotel in Paragon City in hopes of trying my hand at hero’ing…it’s exhausting to put yourself in the headspace of a stranger that’s supposed to be you. The geniuses in the lab put some sort of psychic blocks in my head so if anyone tries to read my mind (which is apparently an actual concern), they’ll get white noise. Crazy shit. Not sure how I’m going to play this, but being throw in the fire is when I’m at my best. Back in what seems like ages ago, before we would step off, our XO would always tell our CO “don’t fuck up.” Our CO would simply respond, “we don’t.”

Mission Journal - Entry 3

Project SCARAB (Scientific Consortium for the Analysis & Research of Aberrations and Beasts)

Operation Charlatan

SFC Brandon Allerman (Alistair Harken)

This really sucks. It feels like…God, I really don’t know what this feels like. Every night I’m pretending to sling back drinks, trying to force making friends with people I have absolutely nothing in common with. I’m standing there, approximating what I think a super hero costume would look like, trying to find some in. I’ve got nothing.

First off, the GENIUSES at SCARAB made me look like I should be judging a zeppelin competition run by Nikolai Tesla while sipping tea out of a cup covered in gears. It’s absurd. WHO FIGHTS CRIME IN A TOP HAT? I've got to change this thing. I get looks every time I'm in the field.

Secondly, they failed to tell me that not a lot of folks view MAGI as a sound occult resource. Apparently there are smaller shops and groups and even professors working at the university that are held in higher esteem. So here I come in, acting like I’m BFFs with the asshats over at MAGI, and that is as impressive as saying you were homecoming king for the prom your homeschooling mother threw for you.

I need a better in than being the new guy. Nobody seems to give a shit about a rookie…I think there’s more than enough of them that they just get in the way. I need a better in.

Mission Journal - Entry 7

Project SCARAB 
(Scientific Consortium for the Analysis & Research of Aberrations and Beasts)

Operation Charlatan

SFC Brandon Allerman (Alistair Harken)

So I saved a life today…Well, sort of. I guess I decided to not take a life. I can’t believe I’m going to write this, but I heard a voice. Not in the way that would get me thrown in for a psych eval, but an actual voice. It asked me to kill this person. Since people can't be attacked in Pocket D, I was instructed to wait until he (who I would later come to know as Will) left.

There was something intriguing to what was happening; a voice instructing me to kill. I was pretty confident I was picked at random as the team at SCARAB assured me there was no way for it to “break through” the barriers put in place. I could have followed through and figured out who this "sinister" power was but that wasn’t my objective. 
 I tipped off the voice’s target with just a dropped note, dropped in the most obvious, yet attempting to be nondescript, way possible. I stepped away and was chased down by an associate of the target. Her name was Kay. She was friendly, you could tell from her personality, even in a dire situation. I provided her with the info I could; it was a voice from nowhere that came with very specific and descriptive instructions. I professed I don't know why it picked Will, he just seemed like a regular guy to me. This job is a lot easier when I'm able to be truly honest. He doesn't seem that special to me but who knows. I'll have to check the bio-scanner logs to see if there's any data on him. Maybe he's actually dangerous...maybe it's some vindictive arch villain...maybe it's someone chasing him down for not making payments on his student loans. The whole thing was a calculated moment…a way to ingratiate with a pocket of mystic but honestly, it was nice to meet someone. It felt like I did something good. I’m not talking about mission objectives…Just helping someone. And Kay seemed nice.

Mission Journal - Entry 16

Project SCARAB

Brandon Allerman / Alistair Harken

I got to meet a friend of Will and Kay’s; her name is Helen. She’s a kid but seems like an old soul (something my Grandma would always say). We walked and chatted for some time and it was the first time in a while that I felt like I actually connected with someone. Doesn’t hurt that she’s cute either. She seems like she’s recently been through some shit…She didn’t really say much but she didn’t have to. Poor girl. Seems like she was in with the Catholic church and left or was kicked out or something. I'll likely see if our Intel group can contact the Vatican for some additional information. They're typically pretty forthcoming when it comes to this sort of thing.

For a few minutes there was…there was something there. I can’t get involved though, I’m not a fucking honeypot and this isn't a heist movie.I have a job. Plus, she’s been through enough and I don’t know how long this thing is going to last. Bad enough she finds out I’m lying about who I am. I don’t want it to go further than that. She’s sweet though.

Mission Journal - Entry 19

Project SCARAB

Brandon Allerman / Alistair Harken

I spent some time with Kay today. I don’t think I’ve ever met a person that beamed so much positive energy. She’s insistent on helping me find answers about my sword. It’s funny but I almost feel guilty about how much effort she’s putting into it. I don’t know…Maybe she’d actually find something. She seems smart enough. Smart and driven. I guess that’s what happens when you date a motivational speaker.

I went on patrol today by myself. In the beginning, it felt like something I had to do, but as time passes, I start to feel some sense of responsibility. I get more familiar with the powers of the hilt everyday and, well, I feel like I have to use it. Not in the sense of it being like some sort of rush, but more like a sense of responsibility.

There were a bunch of Trolls terrorizing some apartment complex in Skyway, jacked up on Superadine or whatever it’s called. The people looked so scared. I chased them off but…but it was something I heard this lady said; “When is it going to stop?” They never asked for this. They’re innocent people thrown into a world of gods and aliens and armored killing machines. Nothing would stop those Trolls from coming back the second I left…and I can’t be everywhere. There’s just too much city…too many people. Nothing can stop them from coming back. I'll come back tomorrow and check on that lady.

Mission Journal - Entry 20

Project SCARAB

Brandon Allerman / Alistair Harken

Apartment building was destroyed. Apparently the Trolls plowed through the place looking for valuables to pawn to get some cash on hand. Police were already on scene when I came back this morning to check on it. A bunch of people went to the hospital, and it sounds like that lady was one of them. Some folks didn't make it to the hospital. I reached out to SCARAB to see if they could mobilize the Guardian and a squad of Defenders to track the Trolls down but I was told that was outside the scope of the mission. That leaves me and I'm not even sure I could pick out the Trolls from a lineup; they're all mutated freaks and they're infesting Skyway. They could be anywhere. I'm not a detective, I'm a blunt instrument. My one good lead was when I was there yesterday. Shit.

Mission Journal - Entry 31


Alistair Harken

Lily took me to her house for the first time. It’s incredible. Rooms of books and artifacts and…well, everything. It makes the SCARAB vaults look like a flea market. She knows about everything there too. When time is on your side, everyone has the opportunity to become a genius. She wandered up and down the halls pointing out random items and telling me these insane stories with such vivid detail, it sounds like it happened yesterday. There was a moment she almost seemed like a little kid, taking my hand in hers and pulling me to some new section of the house to share some piece of her history. It feels like she doesn't get to do this that often.

For someone who walks with such confidence (I guess that’s another one of the benefits of immortality), it feels like there's some vulnerability...someone who has been alone for some time. We lay in bed and she tells me stories of the things she’s seen. The rise and fall of empires, the rise and fall of civilizations…The only permanent thing is change I guess. The way she talks about it though…things seemed a lot more simple back then; black and white. I don’t know why it can’t be that way anymore. When I was down range, it was always easy to know who the bad guys were; they were the ones shooting at you. In this city though…nothing really seems clear, everything is a bit corrupted. Hell, you don’t even know who people are. I didn’t know Lily was an immortal…Will is one of those alien things…Helen apparently had two entities trying to control her. The world was a lot more simple when I had a gun instead of a flaming sword.

Journal - Entry 39

Alistair Harken

It’s amazing how clear the world can become; people’s intentions…your path. Lily was lying to me this whole time…Lying or manipulating. I mean, is there a difference? She’s known all along the sword belonged to Sammael (her beloved “Sam”) and she saw a piece of that in me. I don’t know to what end she was using me but here we are. You know, for a second, I understood the whole “my past is prologue” thing. I thought all of this was finally making sense to me. The life I’ve had…The compromises I made…I thought for once they were going to pay off. Once again, I’m just a tool for someone; Lily, the army, SCARAB…I’ve never lived a life for me. A life I was proud of. These past few weeks have been the closest I’ve ever gotten to it I guess. Feeling like I’m a part of something…Feeling like I’m making an impact on the world.

This isn't a comic book though. The world isn't that simple of a place where swooping in, slapping some cuffs on the people breaking into the bank, and then taking in the cheers of a thankful city. The bad folks aren't even that clear anymore. The number of people that Lily has killed over her lifetime...the number of people she let die over her lifetime. In every day new this world makes a lot less sense. Even looking at Pocket D, where you have bad guys sharing a beer with heroes. I sit there and look around at people laughing and joking when there are people there with the intent of hurting innocent people standing to their left. How can you put the safety on the world on hold for even a moment? When people see how decisions reverberate through history. The shit that Lily has shown me, the shit she's done, the things that happened to her that set her on that path…Is that what’s happening to me? Is this my trial? I wonder when I’m going to have to burn off a bit of my soul.

Journal - Entry 42

Alistair Harken

It's been some time since I've made contact with SCARAB. Not sure if they know I've gone AWOL or they think I'm just in deep cover. I don't even know myself I guess. I know I'm not the guy who agreed to this mission anymore. I've seen too much I guess. Become too much. Not going native...I guess I'm just realizing they missed the mark on their targets. People can study the dark arts or they can pick up an ancient wand but ultimately THEY decided their fate. They own if they help or hurt with it. There's no real outside forces pushing them, just their own greed or delusions of grandeur. Most of these people were born human. They'll die human. Those that weren' makes me wonder if they deserve the same opportunities to shape this world. They haven't spilt their blood to make it what it is. They don't have the history and the familial ties to the dirt they walk on. The things that Lily showed me still repeat in my head, almost like they're my memories. The temptations of man, the trials of man, and the fall of man. All this has brought us here to today and you'd hope we'd learn. Then we get aliens coming down, a shortcut to greatness and some outside influence with another history telling people how to affect the world. They didn't earn that. The playing field is all fucked up.

Journal - Entry 45 (NEW)

Alistair Harken

Separating the wheat from the chaff. That's what I have to keep telling myself I'm doing. It's so tough to know which people are genuine and which are putting on airs. I have to push them; find their breaking points and show their true self. I hate having to do this but first and foremost I'm a soldier and I have a mission.

Despite what we think we know about the Kheldians, we don't have any direct insight into their history...Just what they've told us...or rather, what their hosts have told us. But they could lie; history is written by the victors and the "Peacebringer" thing is a little too on the nose for it to feel real. Every time I hear it, I just have flashes of that old phrase "si vis pacem, para bellum." If you want peace, prepare for war.

My old CO had a copy of Sun Tzu's "The Art of War" in his footlocker. That book traveled everywhere and he would constantly be dropping quotes from it which irritated the shit out of us...His record spoke for himself though so what could we say? I guess I have a lot to draw on with these new field objectives. I need to provoke the Kheldians in my circle. Push them till they break and see what sort of "peace" they really want to bring. The knowing nods they share with each other whenever nearby, even the ones that are enemies; they have each other's back. It's admirable but it's also an army that's well organized and more powerful than just about everything we have. I need to see how quickly they can mobilize..."Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected." Someone wants Will taken out...I don't know why but at this point, it doesn't matter. It's a means to an end and an opportunity for me to get some resources outside of SCARAB. I'm in the circle but an attack on Will to provoke him wouldn't work; he's still on edge from the hit someone put on him weeks ago...So I go where it's not expected; Kay....The sun rises and sets on her in his eyes. She's his weak spot and she's got too kind of a heart to not make waves with anything that's not truly malicious, like some innocent flirting...but it will get back to Will.

Like the beginning of this whole thing, Kay is my way in. That beam of positive energy...always smiling. She's the path to this war...and that really fucking sucks.

Journal - Entry 50 (NEW)

Alistair Harken

Word has gotten out about what happened. I've had to work fast to shore up support where I could. I made a deal with the Black Library, an organization focused on collecting priceless documents of the occult. In exchange for their protection, I'll provide them the whole of the Library of Uriel. It was an odd thing giving away something that's not mine, but these are desperate times and Sam....well, I am confident I can get them whatever they need.

I was confronted by an associate of Will's named Colt. Seemed to be some sort of Kheldian but couldn't tell you what flavor. All I saw was people coming to his aid just as I thought. It's a tight community. My goal at that point was to provoke him and see how far he would take it. His threats made it sound like if possible, he would have attacked me then and there...Thank above for Pocket D policies. I cant risk an incursion like this until I'm sure I have a capable force on my six. I'm just worried I won't have enough time. People talk...they talk loudly. Will is well known and liked...Him losing his powers is going to have some reach.

I saw Kay. She looked...Well, she looked as expected. She didn't want any part of what was going on although I'm not sure why. If I was her, I would be the one leading the charge to tear my head off. Part of me wants to believe deep down she thinks the best of me. Maybe she thinks it's temporary insanity or Sammael feeding me with a big spoonful of celestial righteousness. Maybe somewhere in her head, she thinks this is right. It's tough to know until I talk to her. It will need to be just her and I just need to lay everything out as I know that's going to my only chance. I could stay up all night thinking about how I can approach this but that's nothing that can't wait till tomorrow. I can't pretend this is going to end well but at least for tonight, I can dream that it does.

Journal - Entry 53

Alistair Harken

I got to see her one last time…I knew it was going to be the last time…I made sure it was the last time. I just wanted one last perfect memory of her being a good person. It probably hurt her beyond words…but I needed to see her. It seems I can’t help but hurt her.

As the doors closed on the elevator to the Rogue Isles, I saw her fly off. In that moment, I found peace with the idea that she’ll likely be the one to end me. Fitting end I guess.

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