Take a moment to reflect on your character's innermost thoughts as they send letters to friends or colleagues or set time aside to write inside their journals.
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By Orion
(I didn't know where else to put this. it seemed appropriate here)

June 6
In the law offices of Grant, Grant, and Webb

Silas Grant was named Executor of the Will in the case of one Colour Sergeant (ret.) Matthew Cox. CSgt Cox had been forward thinking enough to keep his will updated and the contacts list for the four people named in his will current. It made things like this incredibly smooth. In fact, when Silas had seen in the news that his client had been killed in the terrible, terrible attack on Homeland Security's headquarters by terrorists, he'd already had the slim green file on his desk when his partner called to initiate the process for notifying next of kin about their status as beneficiaries. What a terrible word for it, the lawyer thought. Nobody benefited from death. The four had shown up: His father and mother, his brother, his best friend...a small collection to bear witness to he end of a man's life. Silas sighed. They'd already been notified of what Matthew had left them: his finances split three ways between them minus funeral costs with his best friend being named recipient of the settlement fees for a recent disability claim, and a cd in a case also to his best friend. Beyond that, the instructions were to split his personal belongings as the four saw fit.

Silas pulled the friend aside with specific instructions meant only for him.

"I was asked to tell you, should this day come, that the disc is to be watched privately. If you'd like to use my computer, you may. I shall step out for a moment to allow you that privacy."
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By Niklaus Schmidt
Klaus wasn't sure whether to be thankful he kept his phone off during hunts or not at this moment. He'd not slept a wink since getting home only to read the text from Jone giving the bare bones explanation of what had gone down. The explosion at HQ, the Devil escaping.... And then this morning, the call from a legal office pertaining to Matt. None of it made sense. Why would Matt have bombed HQ? The Devil was meant to be a vigilante, to help. He would have said something to him if he had found something on MI5 Paranormal or the Hounds that warranted such behavior, wouldn't he? And he was dead now?

Klaus hadn't shed a single tear. How could he when he was numb? He barely felt like he was present at the meeting with Matt's lawyer and family. He'd barely processed that Matt had left him money just as he'd left his family, had named him a beneficiary of the recipient fees for his disability claim. Hell, he was zoned out as the lawyer pulled him aside. He nodded while staring at the disc he'd been handed. He wanted to throw it far away. He wanted to ignore it, to pretend it didn't exist for a few days until this felt real. But Matt wanted him to see it, and he wanted him to see it alone.

It felt cruel. It really did. He needed someone beside him, someone to somehow make it all better or at least give him a place to drown his sorrows. Maybe that's what he'd do, a pub after this. A pub and a thousand White Russians, a billion shots. Drink himself to a stupor or to death. It sounded best.

Klaus handed the disc to the lawyer. "Put it in," he said, barely recognizing his voice as distant as it sounded. This wasn't real. It couldn't be.
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By Matthew Cox
Grant did as Klaus asked, then left the room, closing the office door behind himself. Without any prelude, the CD started playing a video once inserted into the disc drive. At first, the scene was odd. A grey wall filled the frame with the laminated wood top of a table dominating the foreground. An industrial steel chair stood empty in the middle of the frame. Matt in the camouflage uniform of his past profession moved into the scene from around the table, clearly having just started the camera recording. He was younger looking, lither and less bulky as far as his musculature went. His hair was in a shorter cut and he was clean shaven. On top of that, his mood was completely different. Humor sparkled in his eyes despite the serious nature of the video.

“Hey buddy. I got the okay to tape this, along with a list about as long as my…well, it was a long list, of all the places that I wasn’t allowed to tape it. So, I ignored that and here we are in the cafeteria. Anyway, if you’re watching this, then the worst happened. Sucks, right?”

Matt tried to pull a sympathetic face, but the impish grin kept creeping back into his expression.

”I wanted you to know that I loved you like a brother and that I’ll be waiting for you with Beth. I’ll give her your hellos and watch out for her until you take your sweet ass time getting here. I’m sorry we didn’t get to go see Manchester play Sunderland like we’d planned.”

The humor had finally started to fade, creating a kind of ghost-of-Matt-to-come on the marine’s face. As the subject waned serious, Matt planted his elbows on the table and leaned forward.

”Mom and dad will take it pretty hard, but watch out for Tom, alright? He’s going to try and be brave, but you gotta make sure he doesn’t slip off into some weird, dark emo place. Remind him how I chose this life and died a big damn hero.”

The cheeky grin quirked back again. Matt brought up his then-girlfriend.

”And don’t you dare make a move on Adrianne…well, give her a few months, okay? Hell, just be there for her and I’m sure she’ll warm up to you quickly enough. You have my blessing to move in at that point.”

She had wound up cheating on Matt while he was deployed, writing him a Dear John letter and souring him towards relationships. Since her, his confidence had been shot. It wasn’t until he’d met Kat that he’d really gotten involved with a girl.

At this point in the video, a second voice broke in, drawing Matt’s attention off screen.

”Yo Adri! Matt talks about shaggin’ you all the time!”

Matt laughed as a second marine came into frame. He was built similarly to Matt, but was taller and blond with a longer face and light eyes. Matt grappled him into a headlock and mock punched him in the side several times.

”Viridian, you asshole! This is to my brother Klaus!”

The blond soldier laughed as he waved and disappeared, leaving Matt to settle back into the chair and wrap up the final goodbye.

”So that’s all I can think of right now…If I come up with anymore beyond the grave instructions, I’ll put a letter in the CD case. You take care of yourself and don’t cry too hard, yeah? I’ll be seeing you on the other side.”

Matt reached into the extreme foreground to turn the camera off. The frame froze, but the video timer still showed three minutes left on the video file. The screen went black with an editing cut, then a very similar scene came into view. The Matt across the table was blind, older, harder looking, and wearing what looked like heavily modified riot gear in a red and black scheme. It was filmed in the very same office after hours. Grant probably didn't know that Matt had broken in so he could edit the video file.

”Not all goodbyes get to be said the right way.”

There were no smiles or impish grins for this Matt. A brooding air clung to him as he started at the camera without looking at it. He chewed his tongue as he sought his words carefully.

”I owed you and Katarina, Cole, the office…Mom, dad, Thomas…I owed all of you a better goodbye than I was able to give you. I still don’t have the right words to explain what happened to me or what I’m thinking, but I do know this…”

He planted his elbows on the table he was seated at, mirroring himself five years ago.

”You are and always have been the best friend I could have asked for, so I’m asking you for the biggest favor I can think of. Please give me time and space to figure out who the hell I am and what the hell I’m doing. I think the whole incident has shaken loose some questions about my very nature, about my humanity, and about my purpose. I need to find those answers and I can’t do it the way that I have been.”

He nodded once as if that settled some question he had.

”Take care of Katarina. She’s going to need someone to watch over her and keep her safe from the gossip and rumors. I couldn’t keep her safe and I hate myself for it. Be a better man than I was, Klaus. You have my blessings and my apologies. I shouldn’t have stepped between what you two were cultivating.”

Matt sat back and pulled his hands to the edge of the table, gripping it as if for support.

”Be there for my family, please. If you think they can stomach the truth of what I am and what I’ve done, then it’s your call to tell them or not. If you think they’ll cope better thinking me dead, then let them believe that.”

He rocked slightly with the need to say something.

”I'm working on forgiving Cora. She was just as much a victim as any of us. Maybe you can’t forgive me or accept that choice, but I needed to do it for me. I need to do it or kill myself for real, and I can’t do that.”

His hands dropped to his lap and came back with a helmet in their grip. It was close fitting, red with a built on half mask, and looked alien or demonic. Matt slipped it on, covering and removing all traces of humanity with the gesture.

”Goodbye, Klaus. I’ll be seeing you around.”

The video cut out, finally at an end.
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By Niklaus Schmidt
There had been tears at first, though Klaus never would have admitted to it and had stubbornly wiped them away as they came. Laughter, too, as the younger Matt had joked. That was his best mate, the one he remembered. A bit more carefree, happier. Not this veteran who now was blind due to an experimental procedure he signed up for at the job Klaus himself had got him. He almost wished there was more as the screen went black and he sat there, staring at the desk, not entirely sure what to do or to say now. The lawyer was leaving him alone, respecting his need for space as most any decent person would. Silence pervaded the room, and it gave Klaus a sinking feeling, one he wasn't entirely sure he could just up and walk away from. He could take the disc with him if he wanted, watch this over and over but it wouldn't bring Matt back. No, Matt was gone. At least, that was what Jones said, and from the actions he had been filled in on.... Well, it seemed Matt was gone even if...somehow.... Klaus crossed his arms tightly to himself.

A few moments later, that wish for more from Matt came true as he appeared on the screen more the Matt he remembered, only different. There were no smiles, no anything. He looked broken, torn almost, though perhaps Klaus was reading into it. The names listed, the outfit... This was recent. Klaus's hands went to the arm rests as he leaned forward, his elbows upward almost as though at any second he would push himself up out of the seat. He didn't recognize the outfit, he realized. It wasn't what he'd been wearing the few times Klaus had actually seen his friend geared up. The more Klaus listened, the angrier Klaus felt himself going. "'Take care of Katarina'? That should be you, you dumbass!" Time, space, tell his family if he thought they could handle it, forgive Cora? Cora? The witch bitch that had been with him? His grip tightened on the armrests as Matt said his farewell, and finally, with force, he pushed himself up. "FUCK!" His voice rang through the little office, earning him a peek in from the lawyer.

"I'm fine. Just leave me alone," he muttered. The lawyer said something back that Klaus barely registered and closed the door.

Klaus let himself fall back into the chair, rolling a few feet before the chair stopped as it came of the little plastic mat. He stared at the blank screen a few moments, his jaw tensing and un-tensing as he tried to find words or thoughts to even satisfy what he was feeling, to even process what he was feeling. Why had the moon been two nights ago? He needed to kill something, to fight something, to physically lash out and the gym with a punching bag was not going to cut it. Neither was the heavy metal stapler he grabbed off the lawyers desk and threw without much thought. It made a loud metallic thunk against the wall before falling to the floor, and hastily, Klaus took the disc out of the drive, not bothering to close the damn thing as he stormed out of the room and out of the office to his flat. He needed to get some things. No way in hell was he going to stay there. Not for a while.
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By Orion
Thomas stood in the office, holding his mum. The youngest son was in a shock, barely sure what he was even feeling. Shock? Confusion? Loneliness? There was anger, too, Tom realized. Matt had left a disc for Klaus, but not for him? Mum needed the closure that a letter or something might have given. Dad...Tom glanced over at his father, surprised to see a tear go down the old man's face. He and Matt had always been at widdershins with each other, especially over Matt's career choices. The whole family turned to the closed office when Klaus swore loudly, but no explanation was given to the lawyer. Mum wanted to dote on Klaus before he left, hug him,do all the motherly stuff...Tom wanted to know what the disc was about, and why Klaus had a violent reaction to it.

When his brother by congenial adoption came out, Thomas broke his mother's embrace and went to him, touching his arm lightly and searching the livid, furious expression.

"What's all that about, then?"

He stopped himself from asking if everything was okay. Today, this week...nothing was going to be okay.
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By Niklaus Schmidt
Klaus growled lowly as he fixed his glare toward the door and brought his hand up to Thomas' to push his hand away. "I said leave me alone." Perhaps it was harsh. Thomas believed he'd just lost a brother, after all, one that he too was very close too, but he didn't want to deal with Thomas. He'd tell him everything, and Klaus still needed to process. If Thomas didn't leave him alone, he was liable to have an outburst here and now and out Matt and this whole bloody ridiculous video of his. He tried to move forward, but Thomas stopped him. "You always were bad at listening," he said, his heated gaze fixing on the young man who was like his little brother despite the lack of shared genes. "I need space. I lost Matt too, ok?" He kept his gaze on Thomas a while longer, glaring before he attempted to leave again.

Why did Thomas have to always be so annoying? He and Matt would want a moment to be on the Atari or the Sega Genesis alone without narration or questions from the "annoying kid brother" and Thomas would never listen or would go to his mum and recruit her help. He was almost expecting Missus C to intervene right now. He just wanted out of here. He needed out of here, and if anyone tried anything, he was not accountable for his reaction. Thomas had already made him feel caged.
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By Orion
Thomas recoiled from the hot glare that Klaus cast at him. Something wasn't right. The accusation, the anger, the desire for isolation...sure, Klaus was an independent sort naturally, but in matters of grief, people tended towards grouping and leaning on each other. What was there to do except back off and let Klaus have his moment?

"...Alright. I just...I'm sorry."

Mum stepped forward, having observed the entire exchange between her sons.

"Nikky, what's going-"

"Leave him alone, mum...that's what he wants. We'll find out whenever he wants to tell us..."

A reproachful glance was all that Tom could give Klaus as he pulled his mother back to let the agent go. While there was hurt, distrust, and anger in the atmosphere, it would heal. The secrets, though, those could destroy the family....something about the disc, something that Klaus saw that made him as edgy as a long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs...or however the stupid aphorism went.
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By Niklaus Schmidt
"Yeah, me too," Klaus said, glaring ahead of himself as he heard Missus C try to ask him what was going on. Thankfully Thomas stopped her. At least he was good for something other than being a thorn in his side right now. Klaus sighed as he reached the door and pulled it open, letting it close behind him as he stepped out on the street and walked straight for Baby. It was probably twenty minutes of aimless driving, his jaw tensed, gaze focused and heated, and grip tight on the wheel, before he decided to head back for the flat. Matt wouldn't be there. If he was, he wouldn't have left the DVD. He would have just waited for him to get back after this little meeting, let the little message from his time in the Middle East be the only thing on that damned DVD. It would have been better if he'd done that. Sure, he'd have been roughed up, verbally assaulted, but at least he would've done the right thing.

"You always were a coward," he growled as he came to a stop, smacking the wheel with his hand in frustration. "Everyone thought you did the right thing because you knew it was the right thing. Fucking fools. All of us! You just didn't want to deal with the more severe consequences, just wanted to ease your own conscience. Only reason you did that DVD. Wanted to feel better about whatever the hell you're doing!" He hit the horn this time, startling even himself and earning him the two-finger salute from the driver in front of him. He blasted the horn and held it down a few moments that time. And then once more. Somehow it felt good and, besides, the light had changed. The other driver peeled off. Klaus was half tempted to take off after him, chase him, race him... Didn't matter. Just anything to get the aggression out.

Matt didn't give a damn about him or anyone else. Never had. That much was clear now. No, Matt only cared about Matt and just knew how to make you feel like you mattered for his own benefit. Well, he was done with that. But he wasn't going to stay at that flat in case Matt got another inclination to talk to ease his conscience further. No, he wouldn't give him that satisfaction. He'd go to the flat, pack clothes, and figure it out from there. Only way he was going to stand a chance to start moving forward.

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