[The following is a transcript of a recorded conversation between Benjamin Vanderwaal and Rachael Marie Sandings on the 3rd of Feburary, 2012. Tape begins.]
Benjamin: Right, so let’s jump straight into it. For starters, do I get a full name?
Rachael: My name is Rachael Marie Sandings. [She pauses.] That’s the name I was born with, anyways.
Benjamin: What about Maurice and Brian?
Rachael: Brian Adam Peters and Maurice Theodorakis.
Benjamin: And where did you all grow up?
Rachael: We lived in a small town in Northwest Conneticut, near a failed factory city. I’d prefer to not go into the specifics out of respect for the dead and their families.
Benjamin: That’s fair enough. Did all three of you dream of being performers or was that just Maurice?
Rachael: Brian and Maurice used to act together in the school plays. They were both so passionate…Brian got discouraged after a while, I suppose, and decided he’d rather do tech work.
Benjamin: What about you? After all, you’ve outacted them both to get as far as you have.
Rachael: [She laughs.] I…I wanted to be a…writer, when I was younger. Maurice and Brian used to drag me into the plays with them, and eventually I started to act on my own.
Benjamin: Oh, what did you write?
Rachael: I…oh, this will sound silly but I used to write plays. Maurice always wanted to act in something I wrote with Brian acting as the tech. I’ve either…lost or sold them by now. Spencer has a copy of one of my finished plays. I sold it to him for the car.
Benjamin: [He chuckles.] I wonder if I can get him to send it to me. So, a pertinent question, I suppose; tell me about your first encounter with our mutual friend, the Tree Walker.
Rachael: …Maurice saw him first, and Brian after. It was months later, when Brian had left for the day and Maurice…Maurice came back. He’d lost it, raving and ranting, wanting to kill me. He cut me and began to beat me, over and over and then… [She pauses.] He appeared. Maurice stopped and we both looked as His face came to the window, and as his arms reached in…I passed out, and when I awoke, Maurice was gone.
Benjamin: Did Maurice often beat you?
Rachael: She shakes her head. He…no, he never did before. Only when I lived with him, before Brian brought me to his apartment. And then only…twice, I think. I firmly believe that this was Slender’s doing. He had changed.
Benjamin: I see. Fill me on the interim. How did you go from watching your best friend get killed by the monster to working for it?
Rachael: [She chuckles.] Time passed. It was a different time, and I didn’t have the resources you and your friends did. I was alone, and filled with a creeping dread and horror of what I saw. And I was alone. It took time, but in time I broke. It helped that Maurice’s voice was always there, telling me to give in, join Him.
Benjamin: And how long did that take?
Rachael: Months, years…things grow hazy after months and years of being alone. It was a long time.
Benjamin: Hmmm. Tell me about the bar. What’s its purpose?
Rachael: The bar was a place that was intended to be a safe place in the city for both sides to relax. Doc, an older man who I’d met who had just given up and I worked together to buy the space and the house above it. The idea was that it’d work as a bar and hotel for Runners and Proxies where they could be at peace with each other. No supernatural buisness. Just a safe space.
Benjamin: You say “intended”, “idea”. Did the concept fail to pan out?
Rachael: Keep in mind this was a different time. YOU try telling people scared out of their minds to spend time in the company of people just as scared out of their minds who happen to wear hockey masks. There were hardly any customers. Only the lowest of the low proxies would be seen in there.
Benjamin: Unfortunate…hmmm. When did Brian start coming?
Rachael: Brian didn’t start showing up until…oh perhaps five years ago. He followed Barry in one day. They have this weird clock punching friendship. I don’t claim to understand it but almost every night they are in the bar talking to each other and laughing…
Benjamin: Did you ever find Maurice?
Rachael: He’s dead. I’m certain. It had its arms around him when I passed out…and if he’s alive, he’s gone. I’ll never see him again. I’m certain. I wouldn’t be hearing him if he wasn’t you know?
Benjamin: I’ll take your word for it. How long do you think you’re going to get away with killing his minions? You weren’t far from dead when you got here, you know.
Rachael: I don’t know. He hasn’t bothered me directly about this yet. I-I’m going to kill as far up the chain as I can. I’m going to stop them from ruining lives. a pause. But only the ones who deserve it. The Agents. Not the husks not those who want to be redeemed. That’s why I chose Capo.
Benjamin: But you’ve been inside the machine. Surely you know as well as anyone that if you shut down one of these people, another steps forward to fill his place. How can this be anything but utterly pointless?
Rachael: [A long pause.] This interview is over.
Benjamin: What? You can’t even act like it’s not?
Rachael: I am changing the world. I am going to end this. You don’t understand!
Benjamin: I don’t understand? Are you listening to yourself, Rachael?
Rachael: What? What am I saying?
Benjamin: Do you really think you can slay the monster by “popping a cap” in his pathetic little cultists!? And you can’t even fucking do that! If you hadn’t come here, you would have died, Rachael. How do you expect to save the world when you can’t even save yourself from a goddamn infection!?
Rachael: I know I can’t save the world! I want to make it better! I don’t care about me! I’m going to make it better!
Benjamin: When you arrived here yesterday, you couldn’t even raise your arm above chest height! [There’s a scraping sound as he lunges forward and grabs her by the wrists.] Are these the hands that will shape the world or the hands that will dig your grave!?
Rachael: [The sound of struggling as she wrenches her wrists from his grip.] Don’t touch me! [There’s a brief pause, followed by a chair being pushed back and footsteps.]
Benjamin: Fine. Walk away. But the truth will always be at your back, Rachael. You’re going to have to face it eventually.
Rachael: Fuck you!