Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Redlight, Part 1

Divided into two posts due to length.
Also, because of the large numbers of blogs included, there will be no links in the main article. All relevant blogs will be included at the end.

Super ultra major spoilers ahead.

By now, I’m thinking that Redlight’s been dead long enough us to start believing that he might maybe possibly actually stay dead this time. Hopefully.

So, this Redlight fellow (or redlight, if we’re sacrificing grammar for the sake of dramatic parallels). Perhaps the most popular open source character in the Mythos, outside of Slender Man. For a while, he was the Big Bad proxy. And now he’s dead, which means two straight months of songs dedicated to his memory, TV specials, and shrines everywhere. Since I have never been one to avoid jumping on the bandwagon in order to boost my blog’s views in order to boost my ego in order to help my fans, we’re going to spend this post discussing this mysterious gentleman in red, Redlight.



Redlight originated from the blog “White Elephants”. Unfortunately, his introductory posts have since been deleted (which means I could just start making up stuff about him and none of you could prove me wrong! AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!..... But of course I would never do that. Trust me, I’m a doctor.)

It was an interesting time in the Mythos. Robert Sagel, going by the alias “greenlight”, had passed on the titles of Sage to a new group, and Core Theory was at the heights of its popularity. Bloggers were having epic battles against proxies, titles were candy, and superpowers for everyone. Good times. Robert (Sage/Guardian) had found a weapon which could defeat the Slender Man, was in Slenderland protecting it, and all we needed to do was wait for the Hero to come and claim the weapon, thus gaining the power to vanquish evil.

Course that wasn’t how thing were to be. Hope? In my Mythos? Don’t be silly. Timed to almost perfectly coincide with the climax of the rising Hype Backlash against Core Theory, White Elephants got hijacked. An unnamed proxy took control, and crushed everyone’s hopes and dreams with the revelation that Robert had not been waiting in Slenderworld for the Hero to come and claim his weapon. Rather, he had been chilling in regular, boring old real world, acting like a madman and gibbering to himself while posting nonsense about weapons and heroes. Then he proceeded to spend quite a lot of energy taunting bloggers and letting them know how worthless and pathetic they, as well as Core Theory, all were.

Now, the bloggers didn’t seem to take well to being insulted. There was a bit of back and forth between Redlight and the bloggers, Redlight giving his speeches on Doomy Doom Doom, while the bloggers often responded with Hope, Love, Justice, and Light! It’s here that Redlight got his name; specifically, it was from a comment made by zero. Robert (greenlight) was acting as a beacon of hope and defiance, while this new proxy was the opposite, crushing hope and defiance. Therefore, the name Redlight.

Being the wonderfully helpful man he is, Redlight proceeded to wipe Robert’s memories of Slender Man, robbing Core Theory of its figurehead. Redlight then gave the option for other bloggers to abandon Core Theory and their titles. Some did, others didn’t. Redlight’s memory wiping abilities eventually appeared again, when zero gave Nessa to him, hoping that she could be free of the hell which she had been going experiencing. Beyond that, most of Redlight’s actions at the time revolved around dealing with Robert, with mostly indirect interactions with the rest of the blogosphere.

Following the end of the Core Theory arc, Redlight temporarily moved from a pan-Mythos character back to focusing only on White Elephants. The memory wipe which had been given to Robert turned out to be not be entirely effective, as an encounter Robert had with Slendy in a park soon showed. Redlight couldn’t be having with none of that, so he captured Robert, and began to drive the man insane. Redlight then gave the audience a choice: they would vote on whether Redlight should kill Robert and end his suffering, or if Redlight should let Robert live, only to extend his torture. The general reaction to this was defiant, and only a few voted for Robert to die.

The faith of those who had defied Redlight was soon rewarded, as Robert launched a daring escape which involved copious amounts of fire, hitting Redlight with boiling Chef Boyardee, and sticking one of Redlight’s hands down the garbage disposal. Fun stuff.

Expansion into the Mythos

Redlight’s first appearance outside of a Core Theory blog was in The Mystic, where he paid a visit to Zeke Strahm. Continuing his trend of offering Runners choices, Redlight gave Zeke the choice between accepting a folder containing leads on his investigation, or to walk away and not be a part of the Mythos anymore. As this is Zeke we are talking about, he took the folder.

From then on, Redlight’s role in the larger Mythos began to grow, as the number of his appearances in other stories increased. The entire month of February could almost be called Redlight Month, as he almost overshadowed Slender Man himself as the Big Bad of the Mythos for a time. This is also the time where Redlight was temporarily changed from a human antagonist into a Revenant (by the time Redlight made his next big appearance in the Mythos, Revenants would have been retconned out of existence, reducing Redlight back to normal).

Redlight was a major part of the eleventh hour Trilogy, where he took the hallowed Cynthia under his wing as part of his Evil Plans (TM). Redlight also had several interactions with the blogs “The London Librarian” and “What You Are in the Dark”. While in Ireland, Ava and Reach went on the hunt for something called The Heel, which could possibly harm Slender Man. There was quite the epic confrontation as the two heroes tried to get the Heel, involving Revenants and Labyrinths and such, but all was in vain, as Redlight appeared and destroyed the Heel before it could be claimed (taunting Ava the entire time, as he loves to do). Ava escaped, but Reach was captured. When Redlight appeared again, he had taken over WYAITD, and was offering a new choice: Redlight would either kill Reach, or an innocent pedestrian (who was later revealed to be Catherine Shaugnessy, Reach’s daughter, who was actually Reach’s mother. Trust me, it makes sense in the context) depending on how the readers voted. The votes were going in favor of saving the innocent (urged on by Robert, who claimed he had a plan), and Reach was pushed into a lake to die. Suddenly, Robert swung into the picture, and took a third option, saving Reach at the last minute. While this allowed for both Reach and Catherine to survive, Reach lost his status as a Revenant (or just had the illusion of being a Revenant removed…. Curse you, retcons! You make everything so confusing!) and Catherine was told about Slendy, marking her as a potential target.

Redlight responded by capturing Robert (again). Then the PTC gets involved, launching a full attack, gunships and all, against Redlight in Ireland. The attack was a failure, and Redlight escaped. It seems that after this, Redlight wanted to take a short break from the fast paced action, as the next time we see him, he was meeting Ava for what was supposed to be a nice, calm, Valentine’s Day discussion. Redlight brought Cynthia along, and offered Ava three choices: She could kill him right there (given later revelations about Redlight, that choice in itself was a trap), she could take Cynthia, or she could free Robert. Instead of choosing, Ava stabbed Redlight’s hand, grabbed Cynthia, and ran for it. That later turned out ineffectual, as a few dead civilians and a Slendernapping later, Cynthia was back under Redlight’s control.

The next big Redlight event came when Ava, Reach, and Tony (Cynthia’s father, from “Get your game face on”) launched an attack to free Robert. This turned out to be a trap set by Redlight, and as a result, Ava was captured and Reach badly wounded. However, Robert was rescued, and Reach survived his injuries. Ava was found over a week later, after being put through a large amount of mind screw by Redlight.

During this month, Robert had occasionally been posting information about Redlight on White Elephants. Here we learned that while Redlight was a servant of the Slender Man, he was far from happy in his servitude. Redlight had his own agenda, which was to break free of Slendy’s control. However, this did not put him on the side of the Runners; he was still willing to harm anyone in the way of his goals.

Another claim which Robert made about Redlight was that he was not an individual, but several people connected by a hivemind. This could be used to explain the discrepancies between some of Redlight’s appearances (such as how he was human in some, but a Revenant in others, or how writers occasionally seemed to forget that he was supposed to have an injured hand). Unlike previous posts about Redlight, this one proved less popular amongst Mythos writers. Redlight as a singular force seemed to carry more weight than Hivemind Redlight. This would later be retconned into Redlight not being a hivemind, but an individual who could body surf, possessing other bodies when necessary. By the time that retcon was made, the damage had been long done, and the hivemind post seems to be the point where this phase of Redlight’s popularity began to drop. For several months afterwards, we wouldn’t see any major Mythos events with Redlight’s involvement.

Intermission 1, Fakelight

Just because Redlight wasn’t a rockstar anymore didn’t mean he was no longer a part of the Mythos. Stories which were using him as part of their main plot (WE and EE trilogy) continued to make reference to him, and the side effects of his actions in February were still referenced to.

Then, there was the blog “Copper and Chrome”, and its companion blog, “Copper and Chrome: Dark Nest”. For some time, it looked as though it had been building up toward a Redlight-centered story arc. C&C had been following a plot about the protagonist taking a suitcase from Redlight and investigating the journal he found within, culminating in Redlight temporarily taking over the blog. Meanwhile, on Dark Nest, we got cryptic messages saying, “Savior thy name is Redlight”. This came to a head with the creation of the blog “The Network”, which was supposedly run by Redlight himself.

Audience reaction to Redlight having his own blog was not favorable. Redlight had thus far been treated as an open source character, free for any writer to use. Which meant that preexisting blogs had plans for his future actions, which they did not want to be controlled by another author. In addition, many felt that the whole idea of Redlight, someone who had been shown as aloof and condescending towards the blogosphere, making his own blog was extremely out of character.

In response to the backlash, the blog was changed so that its writer was a proxy only pretending to be Redlight. This came too late to contain the negativity, and as a result, the blog and story arc were dropped.

Part 2 found here.

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