"We're the damned who hunt the damned."

Think of all the things you'd give up to push back doomsday. All set? Okay, if the list starts with your life and includes your soul, you might be a Martyr. Other hunters may sacrifice their lives to destroy the unforgiven. Martyrs have been known to sacrifice their futures - to pawn every belonging, break every tie and even blot out their own good names for the cause. My advice is, "Lighten up," if there's a prayer that it'd make any difference. As it stands, we're the most screwed up, drama-addicted, self-tormenting hunters you can find… and a damn fine bunch despite all that.

Granted, some of us are stoic to a sickening extent, but that's just high drama in a muzzle. What we all ultimately want is to star in our own personal passion plays. Whether that's because we feel there's something that we to atone for or because we see salvation in sacrificing ourselves for others varies for every Martyr. Is it that you cheat on your companion? On your taxes? Lie on your resume? Are you queer? Kinked? Do you masturbate to excess? Steal cable TV? Shoplift? Get over it, honey. This is not about you. As for the rest of you saints, you can use our bodies to shield all the little old ladies and orphans you want, but if getting clawed up and beat on makes you hot, it's a sin.

End of editorial.

Actually, what troubles me most about being a Martyr is how many of you seem to blossom under stress of the job (don't fool yourselves, we got hired). And lots of you (all right, me too) are more satisfied with your lives than ever before. Not happy, mind you, but satisfied. You push yourselves till you drop, volunteer for every duty, take point on the hunt, then spend the next week bitching about what a hard lot you have nd how badly the world chafes your poor shoulders.

Why do other hunters put up with us? Because we'll take a bullet for them. We'll give blood, breath, and body to keep the others alive, and the same goes for civilians. A few of you have even confessed to "murders" committed by other hunters and have gone to prison to preserve their families.

Probably it's my Catholic roots that make me notice this, but there sure are a lot of clergy doing the Martyr thing, though not just nuns and priests. All persuasions turn up, and they run the gamut. Working with these people in circumstances that are not very religious has made me understand for the first time that donning the cloth doesn't make you into some denominational robot. Which is another way of saying churchly folk can be just as messed up as the rest of us. Despite all our flaws, though, I'd give anything to be a Martyr as opposed to any kind of hunter.

Even my life.


Masochism, melodramatics, denial.

If you keep doing what you do because you enjoy the suffering - isn't that why you got picked? - it all boils down to one fact. The undeniable truth is that some of you out there are devoted masochists. You may call it something else - bad luck, an ugly job that somebody has to do. You may deny that you have this problem. Keep things in focus: You're here to deliver punishment where it's needed not endure punishment for whatever reason.

Masochism, incomprehensible as it is to me, at least implies that you're ready to get out there and face the opposition. The self-denial nuts among you sometimes carry things so far that you're literally not prepared for what we do - which endangers all of us. A woman around here took to fasting, in part to help feed the families of people who'd died in the hunt, and in part to "cleanse" herself before combat. One night she passed out in the car on the way to a fight. Then there was the guy who started living in the group's hideaway. Turned out he'd sold everything he owned to buy the rest of us gear. It's hard to knock selflessness like that, but after a few weeks nobody wanted him around - he had nowhere to bathe. Please, people, you can't be responsible for the welfare of others if you won't take care of yourselves.

Maybe it needs to be made clear that "take care of yourselves" means personal health and hygiene, not "We've all done terrible things and don't deserve to live." If you really feel the need to snuff yourself - and you know who you are - at least give your allies the chance to bow out. Ergo, dynamite vests are a lousy option. And besides, they may not affect the enemy you face.


There's a terrifying theory making the rounds, thanks to one of you gloom-and-doomers, that basically suggests the world has already ended and we're all in Hell. Pessimism, thou art a Martyr.

Meanwhile, the rest of you agree to disagree on the countless imminent end-of-the-world scenarios: Only a hundred God-fearing WASP couples of child-producing age will survive the coming cataclysm; only gays and lesbians will survive the oncoming cataclysm; only the 88 most beautiful celebrities will survive the coming cataclysm. What all these outcomes have in common is that you - you alone, you and other hunters, you and whoever else can be convinced that you're right - will make it happen by performing the Ultimate Sacrifice.

Hey, at least the next world will be better than this one.

The Imbuing

The talkative among you commonly describe your First as "relentless" or "a killing machine." I've seen you modest types nod in agreement. Considering the abuse most Martyrs take when they join the ranks, it's a wonder any of us is alive for any sequel.

Starting Conviction

Starting Conviction: 4.


A.K.A.: Cassandras, Losers, Masochists, Fuck-ups.