Looking back I can see the signs. They seem so obvious to me now but at the time I mistook the concerned looks and quiet hints from my wife for the misguided ramblings that the paranoid never fathom.
My mind had only just begun to crack. Those closest to me saw the signs. Little pieces here and there, just subtle enough for everyone else to mistake as simple quirkiness. The flitting ghosts at the edge of my vision causing me to look this way and that; the quiet, unsettling whispers I would snap at. The strangers in my dreams telling me the secrets my friends, family, and coworkers were keeping from me.
I became mostly withdrawn, excepting those manic episodes when I would overcompensate, so focused on pretending I did not know all these secrets, pretending that the voices and dreams were not getting to me. All the while expecting the world to turn upon me.
So it happened that on that fateful day, when I ignored the clearest signs of all, I ended up paying dearly for all of my hubris, for my blindness.
The game had started out well. A rousing session of Paranoia (oh, the irony!) played in chat.
(13:14:59) (GameMaster): "Drop your weapons and await termination!"
(13:15:27) (Twitch-Y-XZZ-2): (I drop my weapon)
(13:15:56) (GameMaster): Twitch-R-XZZ-3 and Finch-R-OCH-2 are prepped for the mission
(13:15:58) (Twitch-Y-XZZ-2): I need to speak with one of you in private! It is of the outmost importance!
At this point I receive an urgent email from Franz.
(13:16:24) (GameMaster): hold on, be back in a sec
No subject, the email consisted of a single sentence: "If ever you valued your life dear friend, run like all the Hells are after you."
It was at this point that I finally became aware of a slight stench, slowly becoming stronger. It smelled of mold and decaying vegetation.
The whispers, quiet for most of the morning, started up again:
"It's Franz. You cannot trust him. He is the one. Everyone is working for him. Stay. He is waiting outside to take you. Stay and wait. We will save you... Stay and wait..."
Mollified, I turned back to the game, catching up on the chatter I'd missed. The voices would keep me safe.
(13:16:36) (Twitch-Y-XZZ-2): Whaaaa? Hold on, I'm dead allready? I didn't get a chance to say what I wanted!)
(13:16:54) ((Twitch-R-XZZ-): "Don't... Listen..... He'll steal your face like he stole mine...."
(13:17:29) (Twitch-Y-XZZ-2): I don't know what your goal is, you mutant scum, but you won't get away with this!
(13:21:27) (Twitch-Y-XZZ-2): How come every freaking time I try to do something, It is allready too late...This is starting to seriously annoy me.
(13:22:22) ((Twitch-R-XZZ-): Hey, I was being friendly until you accused me of forging evidence against you.
(13:23:29) (Twitch-Y-XZZ-2): I don't mind the backstabbing, but everytime I meet with an Npc they seem to run away after a few words or shoot me Before I get to try anything.
(13:24:26) (Twitch-Y-XZZ-2): Meanwhile, Everything seems to be a cakewalk for you.
(13:24:31) ((Twitch-R-XZZ-): Because your social skills are terrible.
(13:24:57) ((Twitch-R-XZZ-): You're built as a fighter. You should try to play like one.
(13:24:59) (Twitch-Y-XZZ-2): You don't know what I spent my Points on.....or do you?
(13:25:18) ((Twitch-R-XZZ-): No, I haven't kept track. You earn points in secret too.
(13:25:34) ((Twitch-R-XZZ-): Like you I can PM the GM with my PP.
(13:25:40) (Twitch-Y-XZZ-2): Talk about paranoia....I wouldn't be surprised at this rate.
(13:26:06) ((Twitch-R-XZZ-): No, but you may prompt me to scroll up through the chat and take a look
(13:27:56) ((Twitch-R-XZZ-): I need to knead some dough so I am reading, but will not respond until my hands are clean.
(13:27:58) (Twitch-Y-XZZ-2): I should not have died there. That's for sure.
(13:30:10) (Twitch-Y-XZZ-2): Everything is happening too fast in this game. I wanted Quick action, but this is ridiculous.
There was a crash from the back door, the sound of wood splintering and glass shattering. A feline hiss.
(13:30:27) (GameMaster): Sorry, I need to cut this short. I will PM you both with some extra details later when I have the chance.
There would be no later, of course. The thing which came for me crashed and oozed its way through the house, coming directly for me. I think I heard screaming; most likely it was me but I do not know for certain.
It stank of dead and decaying things. It oozed black and green slime. Its bulk filled the hallway. It came for me with a thousand red eyes and a hundred scaly claws.
It slashed and I bled. It grabbed and I was powerless against the cold slimy embrace. It bit into me and I felt my ribs splinter.
And then I was devoured. Hell itself opened before me and swallowed me whole.
Heat. Flames. Stinging whips held by huge red demons of lore. Hundreds of impish Ch'amway skittering about and taunting me. Chains of red-hot iron.
This became my existence. Until the Necromancer, but I will get to him later.