The Ipswich Abhorrence

by Stephen R. Wilk

Never Volunteer. That’s what they always told me.

As an Engineer with three degrees behind my name, I really didn’t like taking a position as Town Dogcatcher – forgive me, Animal Control Officer – but as someone laid off for nine months with a zeroed-out bank account and many bills, I liked receiving a paycheck. Even a much-reduced one. And, I kept telling myself, it was only a temporary position. Just until the economy built up and I had better luck.

I was, in fact, lucky to have gotten the job. I wasn’t exactly qualified for the post. But the town officials knew me. I had a reputation for having a way with animals, and had volunteered at some animal shelters in my college days. So now I snagged unlicensed dogs, investigated suspicious mini-break-ins. I caught and ejected opossums that had gotten into cellars and bats that had gotten into attics. I sent out animals and samples for disease testing (almost always negative), and looked into the occasional odd report. None of which prepared me when I casually overheard on policeman say something to another about the elephant in the garage on Cabot Street.

“Elephant?” I asked, stopping and whirling to face the cops. This shows how much of an amateur I was. An experienced ACO, I’ve been told by others in the know, does not go looking for extra work. No one had complained, or indicated an unsafe or illegal situation, or mistreatment. Sometimes sticking your nose in just invites extra work, and brings ill will to you and the office. But, as I said, I was an amateur. And no one had ever said a word about an elephant in town. It seemed about a likely as a Giant Squid.

The policeman looked a little sheepish. “Well, yeah. They say that Mr. Wheatley has an elephant in his garage down by the Burn.”

“What, for real?”

“It’s what people say. I don’t know that anyone’s ever complained about it.”

“What the heck is he doing with an elephant? Was he with a circus or something?”

“Beats me,” said the other one. I didn’t know either of them by name. They were The Good Looking One and The Bald One.” When he’s at the Food Barn he always jokes about needing food for his elephant when they ask why he buys so much. The kids say they hear something big moving around inside the garage. Some say they got a glimpse of it when the door opens.”

“But he doesn’t really have an elephant, right? I mean, it’s just some old guy’s private joke and the kids talking, right?”

“Probably.” But there was something about their manner that wasn’t convincing. Wheatley was about a hundred years old, it seemed. A retired guy, I figured. These cops might have been some of the kids who thought he had an elephant, years ago. It felt as if they still believed it.

“Did anyone ever check?”

“No reason to. Nobody’s ever complained. The guy keeps to himself. If he’s got a big animal in there, he cleans up after it.”

“Yeah,” said The Bald One, ”Remember the guy who had a chicken farm set up in his garage? He tried to keep it hidden, but the day the temperature hit a hundred…”

“…it stank to high heaven. Yeah.” The Good Looking One turned back to me. I’ve kept a German Shepherd in my house. I know how bad it can stink when you don’t clean up. His garage doesn’t smell like that.”

“But you still think there’s something in there, don’t you?”

“Well…..”

“Uh-huh. Someone ought to check.”

“If you say so.”

“No, really. I mean, if he’s got a horse or sheep or something in there, it ought to get regular checkups. Heck, it ought to be let out in the sun and open air every now and then. I ought to check.”

“Okay, but, y’know, we didn’t say that you had to.”

“I know. Do you want me to tell you what I find? Or is it more fun not knowing?”

There were reports to be filed, and a few minor calls, and the usual busywork, so I wasn’t able to get to it right away. I had a look through the files to see if there had ever been any calls or complaints about Wheatley. As far as I could tell there hadn’t been, as far back as the records went, but that was only about ten years.

As soon as I could, I put on my official-looking jacket and the lathrop-protected badge I never used, got into the truck with the logo on the side (not the ratty-looking truck we normally drove) and went down to Cabot Street.

I passed it twice because I thought it was an abandoned house. The lawns were all completely overgrown with not only weeds but bushes and trees. It was impossible to get in through the front door, in fact, because there were two saplings growing up through the porch blocking the way.

The garage or barn – it wasn’t clear what it had been originally – was off to one side. It might have been the house next door, if it had had windows. Behind it was a thin line of trees, but beyond that was The Burn, a dead and blasted swamp with dead gray tree stumps standing in dead gray water. Together with the chilly overcast sky it completed a picture of bleakness and desolation.

Since it was hopeless to try the front door, I went around to the side entrance. This was evidently the way he used to get in and out. There was a path scored from it to the garage, and the paint had actually been worn off the stairs. The wooden stairs themselves were worn down in the center. Around the back of the house you could see Old Man Wheatley’s beat-up truck.

I went up to the door, looked for a doorbell, and not finding one rapped on the door itself. Nothing happened, so I knocked harder. Much harder.

“Mr. Wheatley!” I called. “Mr. Wheatley! Anyone Home?”

I kept it up for ten minutes. I considered leaving, but I didn’t want to turn back now. Besides, he might be in trouble. Did anyone ever check on him?

“What?” came an angry, petulant voice from behind the door. “What is it? Who’s there?”

“Animal Control, Mr. Wheatley,” I said, trying to sound as hard and professional as possible.

“Who? Who’d you say?”

“Town Animal Control, sir.” The “sir” sounded good “Can you open the door, sir?”

“Huh? Wait. Wait a minute.” It was a couple of minutes, actually, before the door finally opened. Wheatley was unshaven, dressed in a robe, and looked out through thick glasses that magnified his eyes alarmingly. Hate to have his prescription, I thought.

He squinted, nonetheless. “Who are you?”

“Town Animal Control,” I said, holding out the badge. “We had a call about an animal in your garage.”

“A what?” He seemed to have a hard time grasping the concept.

“Someone called and said they heard sounds of a large animal in your garage. Are you keeping anything in there? Or is it possible that a deer or something got trapped in there?” I thought that was a nice touch. I pointed to the garage.

The effect was electrifying. The squinting eyes opened wide, the pupils amplified into big black discs by the Coke Bottle lenses, and his mouth compressed into a tight circle. But only for a moment. He got himself under control and his eyes narrowed into a hostile and suspicious glare, and the mouth turned into a scowl.

“You get the hell out of here. It’s those damned kids again, isn’t it? Out, dammit! Get out of here!” He mumbled under his breath, and I swear that it sounded like Latin or something.

“Mr. Wheatley, I’m concerned about not only you but the wellbeing of whatever might be in there. Can you please let me have a look inside?”

“No! Get the hell off my porch! I’ve got a shotgun and a permit!” He slammed the door shut and I could hear ransacking noises inside.

Great, I thought, Now I really did it. He’ll report me to the Town Clerk, or worse. Then I reflected that it could be worse. He might really have a shotgun, and be willing to fire it through the glass on his door. It might be smart to get off the porch.

I stepped down from the porch and walked over to the garage/barn. As I did, I noticed that there were several lines running to it. That it had electricity wasn’t that surprising – it was so far from the house that you’d want a light in there at night. But there were several cables – this garage had a telephone, and internet, or maybe cable TV. Maybe all three. And was that – yes! There was a satellite dish attached to the corner!

I turned back to the house – there was electricity there, but I wasn’t even sure there was a phone land line. Well, plenty of people used cell phones now….No, I didn’t believe it. Somehow I couldn’t see Wheatley with a cellphone.

But you can see him with Internet and a Satellite Dish in his Garage, right? my inner voice mocked.

There was a large swinging door on the side. It would be large enough to drive a car in through, but there were two hasps, each with a padlock. They were shiny and new, and looked completely out of place on the peeling weatherbeaten door.

As I got closer, I could hear something, faintly. It was the sound of voices, pitched just too low for comprehension. Was there someone in the garage? With the door locked? Maybe there was another way in. I circled the structure. It was big, much bigger than a modern garage, and taller, too – two and a half storeys. In the old days a lot of farmers had turned their barns into garages, when they had sold land to the growing towns and bought autos with the proceeds. Not surprising. No windows, but that was no surprise, either.

Around the back the sound was a bit louder, and it definitely sounded like – television. Somebody was watching TV in there.

Stupid! Wheatley had fixed up his old barn/garage as a living room, or something, and moved his TV in there. And he left it on while he was in the house. Maybe the wiring in his house was substandard – the house was old enough. Must get cold in the winter, though. And why lock it up? Was somebody going to steal it out here?

There were no other entrances that I could see. But if it was just the TV talking to itself, that made sense. Maybe he locked it because kids would sneak in if he didn’t. The way I was greeted at the door suggested that. I put my hands on my hips and looked up at that anomalous satellite dish, when suddenly the door of the house opened and Wheatley stepped out. And he did have a shotgun, which he was brandishing, with many threats and profanity.

“Get the fuck away from the barn, you idiot! Move! Now!”

I was shouting, too. I tried to calm him down, dissuade him from doing something stupid, wondering if he was crazy or desperate enough to fire, when suddenly I heard and felt a severe blow. I threw myself on the ground, and I saw Wheatley back up. He hadn’t fired! The noise had come from behind me! I sprang up and looked at the door.

Something struck it from the inside – something BIG. The entire door pulsed outwards, straining at the hinges and the hasps, scattering dust from beneath. Not knowing what it was, not knowing what to do, fearing that now Wheatley might be frightened into discharging that shotgun, I ran back to the truck. Wheatley moved, too, surprisingly fast for a guy his age. And he was carrying that shotgun in a very purposeful manner. I gunned the motor and drove off.

For the next week I walked around with a quiver in my guts. I’d had a comparatively cushy job, and then I’d gone and endangered it by busting in on a citizen and bullying him. I was certain that it was only a matter of time before Wheatley lodged a formal complaint about the rude Animal Control Officer who knocked on his door and started nosing around for no good reason and upset his…his what? His Hippo? His Rhinoceros? What was a fragile old guy like that doing with a big animal in the first place? How was he controlling it? At the back of my mind was the feeling that my initial instincts were right, and I really should be doing something about what had to be a potentially dangerous situation.

But Time went by, and the other shoe didn’t drop. I still avoided going down to Cabot Street, and going to the Food Barn, not wanting to run into him. The uneasy feeling in the pit of my stomach went away. Everything was going to be fine.

And then, of course, Wheatley called.

“Is this Animal Control?” rasped the old voice. I didn’t realize it was him. For one thing, he wasn’t shouting profanity at me. It could have been any of the folks from the Senior Center complaining about raccoons in the garbage again.

“Yes. Can I help you?”

“Is this the One who knocked on my door week before last?”

I froze, holding the receiver a bit away from my head, as I tried to figure out what to say.

“You there? I asked if you were the one that came to my house.”

When in doubt, play it straight and official.

“Yes, Mr. Wheatley. I was there checking on reports.”

“Uh. I see. And what have you done?”

“Excuse me?”

“What have you done? Have you made report or a complaint?”
Well, there was a surprise. All this time I’d been worried about Wheatley turning me in, and it turns out that he was worried that I’d turned him in! Now I knew that he did have something to hide, and my investigative instincts were roused again. Now I could really put the screws on, hold the threat of exposure over him and use it as a wedge to get inside.

Only I didn’t. Something told me not to play a heavy hand. I could coax something out of this shotgun-wielding loon more easily than bullying it out.

“No, sir. I still don’t know enough about the situation. I thought I’d give you a chance to calm down before I talked to you again.”

“Yes, well…….I wasn’t pleased, sir. Not at all. I thought you were rude and harsh. I’ve never had a complaint. Not in all the time I’ve lived here.”

“Well, I’m sorry that you feel…”

“Just a minute,” he barked, cutting me off. He didn’t sound at all like a reedy old man, now that he had his motor running. “I’m not finished. What I wanted to say was this: despite your manner, you started me thinking about something I should have done. Done a long time ago. So I want to talk to you about that.”

He stopped. I wanted to say “Talk to me about what?” but I’ve learned a thing or two about dealing with the public. All I had to do was keep quiet now, and he’d continue on his own. As soon as he figured out what to say. Or built up the nerve.

“Do you like animals?”

“Do I like them?” Okay, so I hadn’t learned as much as I thought I had. I certainly hadn’t expected that question.

“Some people take a job like yours because they don’t like animals. They want to put them away or get rid of them. So…did you have pets?”

“Yes, I had a dog and a cat and a cage full of mice. I like animals of all kinds. You should know, Mr. Wheatley, that we’re supposed to treat all animals with kindness, caution, and respect in Animal Control. They’ll throw out anyone who willfully mistreats an animal, and we always try to do what’s best for it.”

“Any kind of animal?”

“That’s what the rules say.”

“But you destroy them sometimes.”

“Rarely. If they’re too ill to be saved, or they’re a danger to the community, or can’t be controlled.”

He was very quiet. I think that I hit pretty close to a nerve.

“Can you come over to talk?”

He was waiting on the porch by the side door when I drove up. as far as I could tell, he didn’t have his shotgun with him. A glance told me that the Garage was securely locked up. He motioned me over with his hand.

I could tell from the smell what it would be. It had a musty, rarely-cleaned smell. Not the smell of a never-washed apartment with dirty dishes in the sink and garbage on the floor – the kind that called you about rats – Rats! – unaccountably showing up. This was the old and musty smell of a neat but rarely-cleaned bachelor place. The sink wouldn’t have any dirty dishes in it, but the drapes probably hadn’t been touched in years, and would be covered with dust. And that’s what I found.

He conducted me into the living room, and asked if I wanted a drink. I declined. We sat on two very old upholstered chairs, and I waited while he figured out exactly what to say. While I did, I looked around the room. At one point, I think there had been a woman’s touch, putting down the foundation of a basic living room in good taste. But she’d left, or died more likely, and with no restraint on him Wheatley had started putting in things on his own, with little regard for taste.
I think I would have expected all of that. But I wasn’t really prepared for what he’d moved in. Pocket Fishermen. Cheap plastic vegetable slicers. Shammy Cloths and Mops made of plastic microfibers. Epoxies and Cleaners, Kid’s toys and Hair Devices. All of them As Advertised on TV.

“Do you have any relatives, Mr. Wheatley?” I asked.

“No. I have no one.”

“I mean, anywhere. Do you have family elsewhere in the country, or in any other country?”

“No. I’m old, Mr. Animal Control Officer. I’m older than I look. Any family I had died off a long time ago.”

“But…”

“How old……do you think I am?”

“I don’t know. In your eighties, maybe.”

“I’m older than that.”

“How much older?”

“You wouldn’t believe me. But I’m getting old enough to know that, no matter how old I get, I won’t live forever. I don’t have family, like I said. And as far as I’m concerned, the world can go to hell after I’m gone. But there’s something I don’t want to leave undone if I should die unexpectedly.” He went to a wooden cabinet and pulled out something, hen sat down again. He showed it to me.

“This is a pyxis. It’s Greek, from Corinth. Fifth century before Christ There haven’t been that many found. I found this one myself on the Isthmus. To an art collector, to a museum, this is priceless.” He regarded it carefully.

I was stunned. I would have expected him to pull out a cubic zirconia ring, or something from the Franklin mint. This was a complete non sequitur. So was what he did next.

He threw it up into the air, in a high lob that would carry it near me. Without thought, I stood up and caught it carefully. It definitely was a fragile ceramic original, not a plastic replica. the priceless thing would have broken into a thousand pieces if I hadn’t reached out for it.

“You caught it,” he commented. “Why did you catch it?”

“I didn’t want it to break.”

He shrugged.

“It wasn’t yours. It was my fault it was put at risk. You could have stayed in your seat and it would not have been your fault.”

“You know why, or you wouldn’t have thrown it. This is a rare and important thing, if what you say is true. It would be a pity if it broke.”

“Give it to me.”

“You’re not going to throw it again, are you?”

“Not right now. I might throw it later, but probably not. I’ve kept it this long. Maybe I’ll give it to a museum. Or to you. You’re pretty smart for a dogcatcher.”

“You’re pretty smart for a crazy old man.”

He laughed at that.

“Touché.” He got up again and got out something black and bulky.

“You’re not going to throw that, are you?”

“Never. You treat this with respect.” He came over and handed it to me.

It was a book. An incredibly old book, bound in thick and blackened leather, with hinges at the sides instead of simply creased leather. There was embossed lettering on the cover, but it was so old and dark that I couldn’t read it. I think it was in that old style of German ornate lettering, which made it that much more difficult. I opened it, carefully, and saw that the interior as printed in the same.

“What is it?” I asked. Somehow or other, this was connected to what was in the Garage, but I wasn’t going to rush him.

“It’s the first 1840 edition of Von Junzt’s Unaussprechlichen Kulten. Are you familiar with it? “

The name stirred something in my memory. I think it showed on my face.

“It’s in a class with the De Mysteriis Vermis of Ludwig Prinn and the Monas Hieroglyphica of Dr. Dee. I have copies of those as well.”

I knew where I’d heard of it now.

“And the Necronomicon?” I asked.

He spat – very literally spat on his own floor – and made a disgusted rumble in his throat. “That piece of shit fantasy! Every stupid kid has heard that name, and knows nothing! It’s a fantasy, made up by writers with no more knowledge of reality than The Wizard of Oz. But these books – they contain the real power. There are processes and working implied in here that will open the Doors Between Worlds, to those who know how to read them.”

I was stunned. My unexpectedly erudite host had suddenly taken a left turn into weirdness. Again, I started to wonder about that shotgun.
He stood up and looked at me.

“Crazy Old Man, you’re thinking, right?”

“Well…”

“What if I prove that I’m not? It will take five minutes.”

“How?”

“Come with me into the barn.”

He may have spoken lucidly, but he still walked slowly. He went through the kitchen, taking a ring of keys from a hook, and went out the side door, beckoning to me. I followed. We went down the steps and across the sandy gulf between the house and the garage. The sky was overcast and gray, and the Burn still made the atmosphere bleak and cold. He undid the two locks and swung back the hinged hasps. Then he stood up and waited for me to come up to him.

“Did you tell anyone you were coming here?”

“Yes,” I lied.

“I hope that they have your discretion. Before I open this door, I want to caution you. No sudden moves. And for Ptah’s sake, don’t shout. Or scream. Make slow, confident motions and you will be alright.”

He swung the door open wide enough for us to walk in, then shut it behind us and threw a couple of bolts to secure it.

There was a wall ahead of us, blocking it from the rest of the building and making a sort of antechamber. The wall was covered with paintings on black velvet and Limited Edition collections and Plates from the Franklin Mint. There were more boxes of Late Night TV goods in mostly unopened boxes in the corners. This room didn’t look as if could possibly belong to the cultured if mean-spirited man who collected Greek pottery and old European books.

I could hear the television, now, much more distinctly. It was telling us that there were only 24 minutes left to order before sales were closed. It was another of the ubiquitous cable home shopping networks. I could hear a telephone receiver being lifted, and the characteristic boop-beep of the touch-tone dialing. Someone was placing an order.

“Not again! Too much!” complained Wheatley, and went around the partition as quickly, apparently, as he could.

I slowly walked to the edge of the partition and around. There was an unpleasant smell, of mixed mustiness and mephitic sulphur, and there was a liquid plopping sound. Now I could see posters and replica swords hanging on the walls, and computer printouts of pictures evidently downloaded from internet sites.

As I rounded the corner, I saw that the room beyond was made up of the rest of the Garage/Barn. Lights were suspended from the ceiling. There were multiple flatscreen televisions arrayed in a semicircle, and two computer setups, both of them turned on and each with its own oversized screen. There was also a large telephone console. The contrast between this room and the old house could not have been more complete – here was the latest, most up-to date internet connectivity.

Wheatley was remonstrating with something seated before the screens. There was a sort of bed with a mattress resting on the floor, and on this was what appeared to be a very large ellipsoid of thick ropy fibers and tendrils, like a giant gray Rastafarian wig. At least, that was my first impression. Then I noticed that each of those tendrils was in individual motion, contracting and lengthening , twisting and questing like a maggot in search of food. And I noticed that they glistened with slime. The ends of each tendril were open, each like an obscene elephant’s trunk, and dripping moisture. It was Huge, and disgusting, and I almost involuntarily cried out. Remembering Wheatley’s warning, and the way the door had buckled, I bit the back of my hand to quiet myself.

This motion attracted Wheatley’s eye, and he looked up at me. Instantly, the Thing reacted. From everywhere on that tentacle-covered body eyes seemed to appear. Big brown ones with slit pupils. Some extended themselves above the rest of its bulk on eyestalks and wavered in my direction, questing. Some of the trunk-like tentacles started to stretch toward me as well.

“Leave him alone!” commanded Wheatley, and some of the Eyes shrank back, cowed. The trunks laid back against the huge bulk. Most of the eyes turned toward Wheatley, questioningly, I thought. Then they turned back to me.

“He’s a visitor. He’s not for eating.” I wasn’t sure if Wheatley was joking or not. The….Thing seemed as if it might be capable of eating me. It could certainly flatten me. I thought I could see a pang of regret in those appendages. “Go back to your TV. It’s time for SpongeBob.” He walked as casually as he could away from it and back around toward me. Most of those eyestalks returned to the television and the mindless cartoons.

“Do you believe me now? Do you want to talk?” I looked at him, away at the Thing, and back at him.

“What the hell is that thing? Where did you get it?”

“I told you before – with the aid of those grimoires I performed the Working and opened the Door Between the Worlds. Most of the Worlds are not like ours, and their life is not our life. I am an occultist, not a scientist. I think that Other Life does not obey our laws of Physics and Chemistry, but I might be wrong. There have been very few who were experts in the Magickal Science and in Natural Philosophy. One day someone should investigate it.

“In any case, opening the Gate is not an easy undertaking. It nearly cost me my life and that of…others I knew. I learned much in doing it, and I brought through many things that were dead, or which died soon after. But one wriggling worm of Life came through and survived. I nurtured it and taught it to live in our world.

“That was over a century ago. It has been growing ever since. I have fed it blood and meats. It began to demand living food, and so I bought animals – dogs and cats, then sheep and goats and finally calves and cattle. But I didn’t care. I have a fortune in gold. Making gold is the first trick an Adept learns.

“But he was getting harder to control. He would fly into rages. Sometimes I think he was lusting for human blood. I could control him, but only with difficulty. Then he struck down Patience.” He fell silent.

“Patience?” I prompted.

“My wife. A true Master should not love another. It restrains him. But I loved Patience. She was never the same, afterwards. And she died, eventually. That was the hardest time. I considered destroying him.”

“Why didn’t you?”

“I had to be sure I could destroy him, if I was going to do it. Because I would never get a second chance. I’m not sure if anything could. Acid has no effect on that flesh, nor any other chemical. Fire is no use – I use a propane torch to clean him. His waste – well, the Burn used to be a crystal Lake. One hundred years of dumping into the lake has turned it into a lifeless waste.

“If I die, he will break out of this paper bag of a prison and make his own way through the world, spoiling everything in his path. I don’t even know if your bombs and missiles would have any effect on him. And if they did, the place where you destroyed him would become like the Burn.

“I would have lost control of him before now, if it hadn’t been for television. I brought one out to the Barn, and it captured his attention instantly. I’ve kept one out here ever since. As the years went by the sets got bigger, got color, more channels. He got more interested. Cable and satellite opened a world to him, and when he found out that he could order things he was insatiable. You can see all the things he has purchased.”

“He watches the shopping networks.”

“He’s not an intellectual. PBS is not for him. He likes cartoons and action movies, wrestling and shopping channels. Anything that is advertised over and over appeals to him, and he has to have it.

“Then he discovered the Internet. Fortunately, since most of it does not move, it doesn’t attract his attention as much. But some things he has found are disturbing. There are certain Japanese art sites that depict monsters with tentacles, like himself…”

“Uhh, I see.”

“Yes. I have steered him away from dating sites and personal contact sites. He is satisfied with this vicarious world. I’ve convinced him, I think, that people are his only source of television shows and Internet content, and that they’ll go away if he ever tries to break out of here. But I don’t like to think about what would happen if the electricity were to go out. Or if I should die. I don’t care very much about the World, because the World never cared very much about me. But I wouldn’t inflict Him upon it. And to tell the truth, I might be more concerned about unleashing the World upon Him.

“I am not immortal, although I have lived a long time. I need to prepare for my possible death. So, Mr. Animal Control Officer, this Beast is not your doing, but he is your responsibility. I ask again, will you catch him, like the pyxis? He is like a pyxis filled with plague. You don’t want him, I’m sure, but you don’t want him to fall and shatter, either. What will you do?”

It took a long time to figure out what to do, but I finally did it. An engineer with experience in Government Contracting has certain contacts, and I was able to use these to circumvent the lower levels of government and go directly to officials with the position and the power to do something about him. Once anyone saw the Gray Monstrosity in its lair, they were convinced. Some of them even tried to pet it. But they believed and understood the danger.

Today the Thing lives on an island compound in a reinforced concrete bunker, well underground. Wheatley lives in a cottage on the island, and spends his time looking after his creature and answering questions. He has trained a cadre of keepers that can look after him – they hope – in Wheatley’s absence. And they keep the Thing happy with television and recordings and carefully screened internet access.

A couple of times a year I visit. I don’t particularly like this, but the Thing seems to have taken a liking to me, maybe because I was the first human Wheatley introduced it to. If Wheatley dies, they might want me to keep it company. So I hope Wheatley lives a very long time yet.

Never Volunteer. That’s what they always told me.

The End