10 years, it has been 10 years since Darkness fled, or so I convinced myself that it fled. With Pious and his Ancient handlers dead or at the very least not existing we humans actually have a chance, or so I thought. The first year after finding the Tome was rough; I did all the dumb shit that comes naturally to college kids. Smoking like a chimney, drinking like a fish and began doing some profoundly stupid shit such as smoking pot, popping pills and sleeping with anyone that had a heartbeat. It's not that I really found pleasure in or gave a damn about any of those things; they were just a means to an end. Seriously if you find out that a bunch of evil gods were out to take over the universe and enslave/torture the human race you wouldn't give a damn about common sense either, you would just wish for ignorance which various neurotransmitters provided in the proper proportion.

I was not a complete idiot though; I did finish school first before I started self-destructing. In fact I think of myself as part of a proud legacy, every person that "survived" in the Tomb is now dead and I am figuratively joining them. I found out that Grandpa had compiled the fates of the others survivors and I personally followed up on them. Michael Bell died of natural causes in 1978, lucky bastard. Michael Edwards put a .38 to the lid of his mouth less than an hour after he handed the Artifact to Grandpa. Edwin Lindsey died of liver failure in 2004, relating to complications from alcoholism that sure does sound familiar.

Getting back to me, I bottomed out early, as depressed as I was I knew the pot and pills weren't worth the trouble so I settled on the other means of distraction. After some months I realized that I had an intense dislike for other people in my personal space, who knows what they might be and what they might try doing, especially after I fell asleep? Once I became aware of personal space I became a virtual nun. That just left the booze and the cigarettes. Truth be told I like smoking a lot, it just had this calming effect, hell if push came to shove I could light a zombie on fire with a lighter. Oh yeah and at times being drunk just made the fear seem worse and around that time I was introduced to anti-depressant and anti-anxiety meds which don't really mix with alcohol so it is just as well I stopped drinking. The cigarettes though, that is something that I just could not give up, the comfort was too much.

Near late summer of 2001 I actually started to feel better, I thought maybe I had just been in shock over the Ancients and was medicating myself. I managed to convince myself that I was now starting to recover and would return to a somewhat normal life, or so I almost convinced myself. Then September 11th, happened. More human suffering for its own sake hidden behind ideology; that was all my fertile mind needed to be set ablaze with conspiracy theories. There were the three that I had direct knowledge of and Mantorok but maybe there were other Ancients hidden somewhere, pulling the string to lead to war and strengthen themselves on the suffering to prepare for their return. As the Twin Towers fell I realized that I could never again have faith that things were going to end on an optimistic conclusion. Look around people; meaningless war in Iraq and Afghanistan, Darfur, human trafficking, the London bombing, the Tsunami that hit Christmas Day, Hurricane Katrina, Virginia Tech, the Earthquake in Haiti, things like murder, rape and the KKK! The list of ungodliness is endless; the Ancients are still alive and well in our world! The demonic strings are everywhere. Suicide was on my mind for the rest of 2001 and I even attempted more than once. Those bastard Ancients and their lackeys sucked my courage though so I did not have the nerve to kill myself and had to keep on living.

But I digress; life still goes on, a parody of the former perception. I was a doctoral student at age 20 at the University of Washington in number theory and abstract math. The world was my oyster, I was that Alexandra Roivas that would have been known throughout the scientific community, a member of academic royalty. So where did I end up? Teaching math classes at some community college just to make ends meet, it is as boring as hell but if I had to really think and apply myself that would make my mind come across the Ancients and that was something I avoided at all costs.

There is some good news though, like I said before I am fond of cigarettes and to this I smoke like a chimney. Hell I'm 30 years old and I look like I'm pushing 50. Anyway I just got a call from my doctor about some test, it's positive and I have lung cancer. Prognosis? Between 1 to 2 years to live, you cannot believe how relieved I am. Every other person that has stood up against the Darkness has died and in death has eventually found some measure of peace and I am so envious of that peace. Now that I know the wait is almost over I have a sense of calm that I have not felt since August of '01. Sleep is coming and I am very tired.