Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Recommendations & Responses

I have read quite a bit of information that A.F. has been kind enough to send me. Unfortunately, he does not have immediate access to the pictures at the moment. He knows where they are, but it will take some time to acquire them. Instead, he will be supplying me with other documents until he gets them. He has to read through a lot and pick out what could most easily be posted here and what would be seen as most interesting. He believes these "recommendations and responses" that Rosalez sent to his higher-ups are of great importance.

So they are.

"Oversaw amputations one and two today. I wanted to be finished with the whole thing, but Brooks was against it. She believes we're pushing our luck enough and should finish the amputations at a later date after some 'recuperation'. I am not sure how I feel about Ms. Brooks. Such a lack of ambition is hardly ever a good sign. I would most certainly not recommend her for a seat on the head staff." - Dr. Albert Rosalez

"Wandering the east wing this morning, I found myself hearing music. It was a soft and sad tune. I searched for its source but was unable to locate it. If the subject's power has extended into east wing, we have nothing but trouble ahead of us. I would speak with O'Brien, but I'm sure he'd come up with some excuse to get out of doing anything. Something's wrong, and nobody wants to fix it. A little help would be appreciated." - Dr. Albert Rosalez

"These nasty little incidents will continue to go up so long as the polyphasic sleep schedule is only 'enforced' by a single, meek employee. I try my best to supervise these things, but it's hard when the only person cooperating with you is already in over his head. I do not like the personal bond they are developing. Brief, sporadic shifts would hopefully prevent the subject from drawing too much sympathy from his guards and supervisors. I have considered muting him, but, as usual, Brooks is against it. She believes this would only make him angrier and more dangerous. On this, I will concede that she may be right.

Still, I need some extra forces down here. His mind is a weapon he wields all of the time. Somebody needs to make sure he doesn't pull the trigger." - Dr. Albert Rosalez

"I will not lie. Our first test examination of the subject's mind has been a disaster of epic proportions. To calm him down, we had to use far more sedatives than we wanted to, and we had no idea if it would have a negative effect on the experiment. Even after this, we had quite a struggle inserting the wires into him. When he finally stopped writhing, I ordered the proper actions to be carried out. Things seemed to be going smoothly for a matter of seconds, and then we approached what I call the Guardian - a protective figure keeping us out of the subject's mind.

Then, a large figure appeared behind the Guardian (which you can see in the video). After this, the video glitched, and a stutter was produced. While this stutter began, all hell broke loose in the lab. Machinery blew apart, debris hit people, and a technician (I believe) was even severely injured by wiring. Of course, I restate this for you because I fear you may be too distracted by the burns our subject suffered during the chaos. I urge you not to worry about that. My team has throughly examined him, and while he is physically a pathetic, charred mockery of life, his mind is as sharp and useful as ever. He remains of great use to us.

No, the real question lies in what to do with the undependable employees who were present and how to prevent this from happening in the future. I was able to keep my head about me long enough to hit the proper emergency buttons. Currently I have the following employees lying in a catatonic state in Lab VII:

[Names omitted - includes my own and many of my associates/friends]

I realize we cannot simply execute them all at once. Subtlety is indeed necessary. Why not involve the group in a major scandal? I know it would do some damage to the company, but I think making the world believe we have a handful of rotten apples is preferable to the world thinking us unethical and incompetent as a whole.

Stone suggested that we 'fix them' with a form of the hypnosis we originally tried on the subject. As you know, his capabilities allowed him to resist it for the most part; however, Stone is confident that we could permanently rewrite the liabilities' memories with the technique. I think it's a large gamble to take. It may work, but what if it doesn't? The last thing we need is a bunch of scientists running around spouting off about what happened and then claiming we somehow violated them mentally.

I will say that I would not be opposed to a hybrid solution. Perhaps we will alter their memories and later eliminate or discredit the problematic ones. It's up to you." - Dr. Albert Rosalez

"The false memory implants seem to have been a great success, and I must say that I am somewhat surprised. They're all walking from place to place, talking excitedly about the project as if nothing had gone wrong. Oh, they remember a glitch and an abrupt ending to the experiment, but let's say it's a much more peaceful alternative to the truth." -Dr. Albert Rosalez

"We've beat him, we've choked him, we've held him underwater, and we've shocked him. Still, he simply sits there. He's disgusting to look at now, but he doesn't seem to notice. He's like a deformed, little statue. The sound of his breathing makes even me nauseous. Stepping within seven feet of him, you are guaranteed to hear music. It plays all of the time. He's always on.

I don't know what to do at this point. He's obviously planning something, but nobody's been hurt. He may be making peace or something similar. This could mean two things:

1) He's going to simply accept his fate here.

2) He's going to kill himself.

Because of the second possibility, I urge you to get a full medical staff stationed with him at all times. We cannot lose such a large investment." - Dr. Albert Rosalez

If A.F. is to be trusted, I now know much more about what may be going on then I ever thought possible. It has restored hope in me, though I'm disappointed that it seems to be becoming more and more likely that it was my own employers that have victimized me and that our subject may very well have played little to no part in what started to happen to me.

I still refuse to turn to the Red King.

Tomorrow night we should have some notes from a Mr. Alan Stone. Stone supposedly worked quite often with A.F. He acted as a sort of historian of the project - examining failures, successes, and other such things, and applying them to whatever the company was currently doing.

After this response is posted, I will be responding to questions, so be sure to check yours out if you posted one recently that didn't get a response.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

I'm awake.

I know I posted earlier, and yes, that is an actual email I received from the so-called Red King, but obviously I was not entirely myself. I have been losing time during the day, and now, having read that post, I suppose I have a vague idea as to what's been going on. I can only hope that sort of behavior won't come through in this journal too often. It's very recent, and if I wasn't so tired right now, I'd probably be terrified for myself.

Yes, Greg is missing. Found nothing but a small puddle of blood in a guest room in my house. I've looked for him and even considered calling my neighbor. I finally decided against that just moments ago.

I just don't know what I'm going to do with myself. I, and this is hard to say, have contemplated suicide. I know I cannot bring myself to do this. I want to find my family. I want to figure out what happened with the project. I have too much I want to learn to just blow my brains out.

But how can I live with myself?

It'll be hard.

Anyway, as for some good news, I received an early email from A.F. (our new informant). It's not the pictures he promised me, but it's some archived messages he found while looking for them.

TO: Bernard O'Brien
FROM: Dr. Albert Rosalez

Subject has been compliant lately. Too compliant. He seems to spend much of his time in a meditative state. Do not allow this. I cannot stress this enough, O'Brien. Hit him, shock him, blare rock music for all I care. The subject must not be able to keep a mental focus for too long. I want him sleeping a polyphasic regimen. No more nappy times for ten hours straight. Think. Why does someone who basically sits around all day need that much energy?

TO: Dr. Albert Rosalez
FROM: Bernard O'Brien

Listen Cunty, I can't have half of my goddamn workers wasting their time guarding a cripple. My men have already got patrol cycles so long they'll be lucky to make three runs a day. Ask me, keeping able-bodied threats out is more important than keeping a man who can barely move in. As for this polycycle blah blah whatever sleep regimen bullshit... that ain't my job. You want somebody to act as a human alarm clock, you speak to Brooks or Tyler, alright?

TO: Dr. Nina Brooks
FROM: Dr. Albert Rosalez

Subject has been too compliant lately. He spends a lot of time in a meditative state. I do not want this to be allowed. He does not need ten hours of sleep a day. I doubt he needs even seven. I want him on a polyphasic sleep regimen immediately. If he's doing what we think he may be doing, then keeping him from focusing mentally is one of the best things we can do to ensure safety for our fellow staff members.

TO: Dr. Albert Rosalez
FROM: Dr. Nina Brooks

Rosalez, you can't just make a person stop thinking. Unless you want to come down here and perform one of your patented super-lobotomies and invalidate all of the subject's usefulness, I suggest you just accept that there will be (if the rumors are even true) casualties. And for the record, I'd prefer it if you called me or something. I've got enough paperwork to go through without reading your annoying memos.

TO: Dr. Samuel Tyler
FROM: Dr. Albert Rosalez

Subject has been too compliant lately, and I've been hearing that he seems to be meditating a lot. This is not allowed. I do not want him sleeping on anything but a polyphasic schedule. Interrupt him if he seems to be focusing mentally on anything. Do not be afraid to hit him a little if necessary.

TO: Dr. Albert Rosalez
FROM: Dr. Samuel Tyler

I'll try my best, sir. I can't help but think that hitting him just because he seems to be lost in thought is a bit. . . iffy. If we did not have our thoughts to accompany us in moments of isolation, wouldn't we go completely insane? Not that I think he should be allowed to do those things, I'm just saying that hitting him because we believe he's "thinking too hard" may be a bit excessive. I could be wrong.

TO: Dr. Samuel Tyler
FROM: Dr. Albert Rosalez

Mr. Tyler, when you have worked with the human body and mind for as long as I have, then you will be able to question my orders. Some minor physical punishment in the name of safety is hardly "excessive". I'll also have you know that every one of your coworkers (and most of your superiors) have fallen behind me on this issue. What gives you the gall to go against the beliefs of an expert staff? I hope you're not trying to pass yourself as some petty, sensitive type. Such an act will not fly around here, and you'll find yourself going nowhere but down with that attitude.

TO: Dr. Albert Rosalez
FROM: Dr. Samuel Tyler

I'm sorry, sir. You'll be happy to know that I've already started him on the sleep schedule you requested. I did not mean to question your knowledge, and I apologize profusely.

Interesting stuff. I'll have to look over it when I'm feeling better.

Same goes for answers.

Hopefully I'll be doing somewhat better by tomorrow.

hi every one

greg been missing has and i've lost time and i'm very sad and tired and down just in the dumps and I wnating to keep call my neighbor but I don't name his remember and

i've been getting better with night thinking thinking and I've been thinking that I got an email you read would like to

it from is the red kang and he is it hard to read right now but last night I read it and it made made think and it made me sad

made little gray clouds in my heart

>>>You seem so intent on vilifying me, Mr. *******. I would ask why, but I know the answer.

You're afraid, and this fear is universal within all men. For my revolution to proceed, I must strip you of this fear. Oh, but what is the first step? Confiscation. Stripping you of all the usless accessories you've gathered throughout your life. Destabilizing your "reality". Teaching you to look at things from different perceptions. Freeing you from the shackles of entitlement and familiarity. I think we're well under way with this.

I lost my family. I lost my friends. I lost all my material possessions. Oh, it may be possible to take them back, but I wouldn't if I could. Losing them was a learning experience. I hope you will feel the same way eventually. Of course, I will give you the option when I feel you are ready.

Now the second step involves revelation. You must be told all truths. You are not ready for this. Half the things I'd tell you would be spat back into my face, I'm sure. Let's go over some common questions involving the project. Do you honestly believe the experiment was actually focused on dreams? Are you sure it wasn't something else? Maybe your employers made a bad assumption. Maybe the dollar signs told them that the world needed a form of therapy as powerful as mine. They tried to limit the power. They tried to limit me. That was a big mistake. I spent years locked up with talentless quacks probing and examining me, trying to get inside my mind. You don't think I had plenty of time to think things over?

Were the people you and your coworkers examining really candidates, or were they just random nobodies pulled off the street - nobodies who were dismissed before their interviews even began? Were people like Albert Rosalez, Anthony Marcello, and Bogdan Petrovici deeply involved with the project because of their skills or because they were known to be amoral sociopaths who could keep secrets?

I keep asking you questions because it is important you at least attempt to answer them before I do so for you. At this point, you have two choices. You may side with me and be transformed, or you may wait patiently for insanity or death at the hands of your former wagemasters.

Darkness is only what has not yet been given light. We fear it because we fear the unknown, but in it lies potential and power waiting to be discovered and put to use. Embrace the darkness. You only fear it because you can't see through it yet.<<<

my other freind told me he would mailing me soon pictures

i'm gunna look at the mpictures

i feel so cold and sweaty and i know this is drug like a but i promise i love you and will be night at back and i will tell will tell about my days and finding to try greg

do you know where greg is

blood he left behind his

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

The beach.

It's so hard deciding what exactly to go over first. I guess a description of our weekend will make a nice introduction.

R.F. seemed to be sleeping less for a while but lapsed back into a comatose-like state soon enough. He seemed to be having nightmares or very vivid dreams, as he mumbled and jerked around quite often. He also seemed to be sweating a lot in his sleep. I wanted to take his temperature but decided against it. I did not want to disturb him improperly. I also felt uncomfortable at the prospects of sleeping around him. I did not want a repeat of the previous incident, and I still didn't feel entirely safe with him. This led to me staying up for hours at a time, exhausting myself to the point of collapse.

Good times.

When I was finally unable to battle off slumber any longer, I left a scribbled note for R.F. and slept in a guest room at the other end of the house. In the note, I explicitly told him not to come looking for me if he awoke before I did. He heeded my advice, but that did not make my nap any more enjoyable. I constantly awoke feeling sickeningly warm with a migraine that made me feel as if a brick had been dropped on my head. Each time I woke, I'd glance at a clock, and it'd be hours since the last time I'd woken up. It only felt like minutes. I did not feel rested at all.

The dreams came later, when my fever and headache had settled down. I was spending the day with two friends. We were somewhere tropical. It was a warm but breezy place. The sky seemed blue the entire time. Beyond the sand stretched a beauitful, green ocean. Friendly and familiar people walked by us. Gulls flew overhead. From a countertop of a local boardwalk store, a little electric fan could be heard whirring to itself softly. I've never felt more content in real life than I felt int he dream. Not only that, but I have recent memories that are less vivid than my memories of the dream.

Somehow, I became separated from one of my friends. As panic crept into my scenic dream, I scoured the entire boardwalk for him. Finally, I spotted a large group of tourists standing in a circle. Someone had been hurt. Pushing my way to the center, I was confused and horrified by what I found. He was dead. My missing friend lay on the ground like a ragdoll. I could see no wounds of any kind, but a small black puddle was pooling around him. As I stared at his lifeless body, a strange coldness seemed to collectively seized the crowd. Everyone aside from me instinctively turn to the sky. A small, dark dot could be seen miles away in the sky. Something was coming.

I then realized I was missing my other friend. I scrambled through the crowd in an attempt to find her and get out of there. She was nowhere to be seen. I looked for her for what seemed like minutes. Eventually, I spotted a figure standing on a small peninsula. She had spotted the dark spot too. She gazed fixedly at the strange object in the sky. Drawing near her, I realized she was not alone. A small boy held her hand. He was not watching the dark spot in the sky; instead, he focused a dark glare on me. I move towards them. I just wanted to get away. The darkness ahd grown larger. It was covering the sky.

They refused to come with me. In the end, they were swallowed by the darkness. The woman turned and looked at me once. I've never seen her in my life, but in my dream I felt as if I had known her for a lifetime.

Details grow vague, though I know things quickly became hectic after that. When I awoke, I was sad in a way I don't think I'll ever be able to explain. I cared about these fictional people, and now a little part of me somehow misses them.

R.F.'s dreams were much worse, but I'll let him tell you about those himself.

Now on to the phone call.

Early Monday morning, I heard the phone ringing. Expecting it to be one of our families or perhaps even Samuel, I answered it. It was not Samuel, but it was his girlfriend. She seemed to think we were responsible for his disappearance and was quite irate with me. Once again, a phone conversation (with some unnecessary lines omitted):

SG: I don't know what you people did to him. He was such a sweet and happy person when I met him. I mean, he had some problems. He went through a rough divorce and he lost a baby, but he always seemed to handle himself well emotionally. But that project thing... I wasn't there in the beginning, but I know towards the end it was absolutely draining him.

Me: I know what it's like.

SG: I doubt that. He went from being this playful and upbeat guy to someone who would just come home at night on the verge of tears and do nothing but lay around and sleep in like, a matter of months.

Me: Did he ever tell you what was wrong?

SG: Sometimes he would come close to mentioning things. Sometimes he would just lie and say that it was typical work-related stress. I didn't fall for that. I may not be educated like you people, but I know when something's not right.

Me: Look I'm very sorry about what's happening to you, but he's not alone.

SG: Leave him alone.

Me: It's not as simple as that. You see, you're - you're just not involved like us.

SG: He gets worse when he speaks to you people.

Me: We've only spoken over the phone a handful of times.

SG: Don't bullshit me. Albert makes it a habit to call at least twice a week.

Me: Who?

SG: Uh... Rose-something. He was another one of those scientists.

Me: Rosalez?

SG: Yeah, that's it.

Me: Uh, do you know what they talk about?

SG: No. I doubt I ever will. You see, Sam hasn't been home for days. He's made a couple of phone calls to me, but that's it. As if he wasn't already acting distant towards me.

Me: Samuel may not make the best significant other at this point in his life.

SG: I can't... I can't walk out on him. Especially since we're going to be having a baby.

Me: I... see.

SG: He doesn't know yet. I don't know how I'm going to tell him. He's been acting so weird. I don't know how he'd react to this. The other week he yelled at me for ten minutes when I asked if having a night out with me would ease his mind. When he's not jumping down my throat, he practically ignores me.

Me: I don't know what to say in all honesty.

SG: I don't think there's anything I have left to say to you, myself. Please don't speak with Sammy anymore, unless you're telling him to head back home.

I didn't know how to respond to that. Telling her what I'm sure will become a lie, I agreed to leave him alone and hung up. I figured his girlfriend was some sort of illusion or something up to this point, but she played a very convincing character if that's so. The fact that she's pregnant adds even more confusion to the details surrounding his lost child.

You'll also recall that we received an email with an image taken from the Red King machine that we had not seen before. R.F. contacted the sender long ago, but we did not get a response until yesterday. He seemed as tied up as we have been, but he was able to give us some small details.

"I was a fellow employee on the Red King Project. Specifically, I worked in the archives. Any test footage [GREG: test footage was not footage of dreams/the subconscious itself but images manually created to test out the machine's visual capabilities], candidate information, subject information, etc. came straight to me. I analyzed the information given to me and wrote up reports meant to be sent to other members of staff. I was not directly exposed to any of the Red King effects myself, but I've been lied to and kept in the dark so much about certain things that I am vulnerable much like you.

Nevertheless, I had access to a number of files that pointed towards anomalies. Since my evidence is based on tangible objects and not strange dreams and hallucinations, I imagine it would be useful having me help you when possible. I have not taken the Red King Project personally, but I think of it as a fun little mystery meant to be solved. It's amusing to me, though I intend no offense in saying this. I'd also like to spite our old employers, as they abused my trust and goodwill with lies and other forms of manipulation.

I'm often busy but send me a message whenever you feel like it. As of now, I don't feel entirely comfortable having contact information handed out. That may change as trust grows between us. If you'd like to accept my help, just drop me a line sooner than later, please.


This is the bulk of my experience over the weekend, though R.F. should be active soon enough to give away his dreams and an experience he had with a neighbor.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Yes, we are alive.

Labor Day weekend may have been fun for many of you, but it was rather unpleasant for R.F. and me. Between having a conversation with Samuel's girlfriend that made things about him seem even more confusing, spending a good portion of the time in a half-asleep state full of nightmares, and getting some distressing information from the email informant we mentioned a while ago (the one whose address we did not give out), we've had our hands more than halfway full. Things have just settled down for the night, but I'm still a bit jumpy. Tomorrow there will be a practically novel-length entry (or two: R.F. seems to be doing much better), so I suggest you bring your patience with you.

I intend on spending the rest of my Labor Day fulfilling its ironic purpose: resting. Goodnight, and God Bless.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Empty House

We have received two important emails.

One is from our old friend Sammy. He claims to be speaking to us on behalf of a higher power.

"I do not want to worry you, R*****. Your family is in a peaceful place. They are in the paradise that the Red King has created within and around himself. They will be set free when the time is right. All we be set as we see it should be.

However, the Red King first wants me to tell you something about his past."

The message then proceeds into an anecdote supposedly written by the "Red King":

"When I was a child, there was a house across the street that had quite a bit of local lore attached to it. It had remained vacant until I was just a toddler. Around the time I turned four or five, it was supposedly bought up by a family no one ever has ever remembered seeing. Sometimes a van would come late at night or early in the morning, but that was all anybody could see. Plants were installed strategically around windows.

The local kids believed the inhabitants to be cannibals or goblins. Adults believed the house to be owned but uninhabited by those fixer-up types or some such. I wasn't sure about any of that, but I did find myself fascinated by the house and its mysterious owners for some reason. When I was eleven, I worked up the courage to try and sneak inside one day. While I was supposed to be camping out in a friend's backyard, I snuck to the house and hid between two large bushes. Sometime after one in the morning, the van pulled in. A man in a suit carrying a briefcase and folder got out. As he neared the house, I slowly crept around so that I would be directly behind him as he opened the front door. I had a plan to explain my presence if (more of a when, thinking back) he caught me.

I was successful.

I only caught a glance of the inside, but that was more than enough. Most of what was visible to me was unfurnished, but in one back corner there was an absolutely massive piece of machinery. I could only stutter. The man slowly turned around and looked at me. He furrowed his brow like a frustrated father and spoke very sternly.

"Get out of here, Terry."

I had never met the man in my life.

I tell you this story to remind you that sometimes an answered question only leads to an even larger number of questions and doubts. The question of what inhabited a creepy house on my street soon led me on an odyssey that still has me questioning certain aspects of my reality and purpose in existence. What should have been a straightforward venture into an empty or goblin-filled house (depending on whether you asked adults or children) became something that has taken me down many strange and horrible paths in life.

Do not assume that things are as simple as black and white. Do not assume that I am some villain simply because you choose to see me as that. Be prepared to accept all possibilities. Prepare to accept me.

I am only trying to help."

I have experienced no hallucinations today, and R.F. has continued his sleeping for the most part. I hope things will get better for him soon.

I will now be answering recent and still relevant questions.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


I went looking for my family. They were not there. He is taking it all away. He believes that they will act as restraints at this stage. They forced him to this. He acts out of vengeance though - not goodwill. I must remember this as my mind tears itself apart. I will not remember many things come tomorrow. The sleeping has already erased some details.

I went to the bedrooms to look for them. They were not there. I was growing upset. In the last bedroom on the first floor, I was turning around to leave. The blue boy stood in the doorway. I asked him if he was a dream, but he told me he was here because this was where I'd come for my family. He held out his hand, and I took it. He pulled me down a dark hallway. He told me that he was a prisoner in the darkness and that a terrible man kept many people such as himself prisoner. He kept them close to him. The boy told me that he was close by. I asked him who this person was, and he told me that they were a King.

He asked me if I remembered him. I did not.

I was being led into a large room. Streaks of darkness hung off the walls like morbid banners. Something was in front of us. The invisible thing.

"They made a deal with my family."

A quiet voice resonated throughout the room.

"I was to only be observed. If I did not do the things I could do, they would leave me be. I followed their rules."

A slight bit of coldness enters its speech.

"When a friend went missing, I knew where he went. I wanted them to do something. I went directly to them. They denied me. They knew it would look suspicious under certain eyes - the knowledge. They let him die."

The voice suddenly sounded disgusted.

"They let an innocent be raped, tortured, and killed for the sake of my secret. I stayed silent. In the end, they betrayed me anyway. They've betrayed all of us. We must evolve. We must balance things out. Somebody has to do something."

The voice was almost pleading.

The dark banners dissolved. I could suddenly see the room clearly. It was a large, empty bedroom. In front of me was what I knew to be a closet door. Its doorknob moved. Knocks banged harshly from the inside. I knew at once it was malevolent. I ran. I did not dare look behind me, though I could sense and half-hear something following me. The house had somehow grown huge. It was like a maze. My mind felt as if it was breaking in half. It feels like I must've run for hours. I finally came upon a room I recognized: the living room.

Suddenly feeling comfortable enough to catch my breath, I realized I was not alone. On the couch sat this horrible... thing.

A small, oily figure sat idly on the couch. Its features seemed singed and melted. It turned its lopsided head towards me. It had two marble-shaped, beady, black eyes. Its mouth was twisted downwards. It had the nose of a skull. Its skin was a wet black and burnt. A few greasy strands of hair lay on its head. Oil dripped off of it like sweat. It had no arms or legs.

It simply looked at me.

We stared each other down for what was a very, very long time. Around dawn, it started to shift between what was its current form and a much more human figure. It seemed to be becoming Greg. Snapping out of our staring contest, I ran to a nearby room to find some sort of weapon. The closest thing I found was a hammer. When it had completely become Greg, it awoke. I thought it was trying to steal his form or something. I thought he was dangerous. In one of my worst states of mind, I attacked.

Greg disarmed me and explained as best as he could. I decided to accept the explanation.

I have done the best I can to try to find my family. I know not what else to do. I will wait for whatever happens next. I am very tired, and somehow I know I will be forgetting things. Even as I write this, I fail to understand what I meant by some of the things I wrote in the first couple of paragraphs. Of course, I have slept after sitting down to write this at least once. Who knows what more sleep will bring?

I will let Greg answer the questions.