So glad to see you well

Overcome and completely silent now

Laurie was cutting vegetables for the stew, one of the few meals she could make with any reasonable assurance that she wouldn't burn it. It was quaintly domestic; getting dinner ready before 'Sam' returned home from his job.

The irony of the scene did not escape her.

In the background, the television quietly murmured its background noise of advertisements, sports, news.

"Why, yes, I am donating a part of the profits of my 'nostalgia' line towards the recovery effort-"

She jerked at the sound of a familiar voice.

On the screen, the serene face and perfectly coiffed hair dominated the glass of the television. He smiled effortlessly. Talked like a snake; all oiled ease.

She turned away from the TV; started to slice into the carrots with quite fury, lips going tight. She tuned it out, not wanting to hear any of the pandering drivel that the murderer of thousands was dishing out. She hated to see him like that, a flush of good health in his cheeks; like nothing had happened. Wrapped up in her bitter thoughts, she missed it when, in the audience, a man stood.

"Adrian, is it true that you are the one responsible for the squid?"

The cameras were shocked into turning to him, focusing in on this new drama.

The addressee cocked an eyebrow. "I really have no idea what you are-"

The man held up a battered book. Rorschach's journal. He felt his mouth go dry.

"I do." His lip curled.

With heaven's help
You cast your demons out
And not to pull your halo down
Around your neck and tug you off your cloud

With the help of a small, but devoted new frontiersman base of followers, the journal has been published and mass-produced. Hundreds of copies are in the hands of the public almost overnight. The details of the last few entries concerning the murder of Eddie Blake, and the events that followed, are reprinted in the newspapers.

He tried to cast away the accusations; they are baseless, rooted in the scribbling of a known psychopath. The public does not listen; their morbid fascination with conspiracies and drama is a feeding fest for the gossip rags, fueling their addiction.

He feels like he is being pulled down, by their clamoring and whispering and growing anger. They are pulling him into their self-destructive spiral; into the vicious language of a man that could destroy all the work that had been put into his utopia with a few words.

New York's golden boy, its angel, is falling from heaven; becoming the loathsome snake that hisses in the garden. He has crashed into the gritty pavement of reality; and its embrace is not kind.

But I'm more than just a little curious
How you're planning to go about
Making your amends to the dead
To the dead

He always has plans; contingences. At least, he usually does; but this hits him hard, somehow blindsiding him. His usual eloquence and poise has deserted him. Perhaps it is the grief catching up to him at last; the deaths of thousands weighing him down.

His subconscious betrays him; sending screams and blood into dreams that had never before been troubled. He starts avoiding sleep.

Recall the deeds as if
They're all someone else's
Atrocious stories
Now you stand reborn before us all
So glad to see you well

He tries to spin the damming words of the other vigilante as crazed ranting; they are a recounting of actions, that they were not true. When evidence hacked out of his computer comes and that fails he tries not his. Someone else, not him, never him, how could he possibly do such a terrible thing?-

They will not accept it; will not be placated with anything but the truth. He poses behind a podium in New York, his once perfect features that beamed goodwill marred by puffy bags under his eyes just barely covered by foundation. He feels almost like glass, transparent. He has had less than a 20 hours of sleep in the past week.

Too many people look up at him in the square-parents with dead children, children with dead siblings-and they are toting signs. Some of them are words, but many of them are a face.

Symmetrical blots. They stare in their hundreds.

And not to pull your halo down
Around your neck and tug you to the ground
But I'm more than just a little curious
How you're planning to go about
Making your amends
To the dead

He'd been the one objecting voice; and then 'the one more body.' One more dead. One more sacrifice. It was worth it; the thousands were worth it. To save the world from itself, he would do anything, even the unthinkable. But it had gone all wrong, and the one man that had become a splash of gore on the untainted snows of Antarctica was staring back at him, dead face looming in the hundreds of signs. They want his words, something to satisfy their grief. He opens his mouth; chokes on his words.

The signs wait.

But he can't answer them.

With your halo slipping down
Your halo slipping
Your halo slipping down
Your halo slipping down
Your halo slipping down

To choke you now