The story you are about to read is one that has been, for the last 70 years, left to wither in the hearts of those few who recall it. Of the twelve of us present that day, only I remain, and my own end is rapidly approaching. I write this tale with shaky hand solely in order to console myself in my final moments, and I hope anyone who may discover this document will refrain from judgement upon me or my comrades until the end.
I distinctly recall sitting in a tent with my fellow soldiers just outside of Berlin, huddling around a shortwave radio and listening to the trials of our nation’s greatest foes. They feigned insanity, pled guilty, gave harrowing accounts of every detail and every single crime committed by their hand or under their watch. My favorites, however, were the ones who pled innocent; the ones who said, “I was just following orders”.
The town of Hallowroots is the sort of place that you enter, flee, and somehow end up returning to despite a lifelong promise to never go back. It has an unfortunate reputation amongst a lot of people as a death sentence, but if you’re going to someone’s house to audit them you need to be aware of threats no matter the nature. Everyone here who does audits will have had guns, knives, and much more, pointed at them. It’s no different with Hallowroots, except that the things pointed at you will be a lot stranger. But Hallowroots is also kind of heartening. Like I’ve said to many other employees here; plenty of people live long lives there and a shocking number of them just adapt to the weirdness. It’s nice to see what people can just get over with enough time.
Still, none of you young folk want to hear about that. You want to know all the gory details. I’ve worked for a long time at the IRS and I’ve had my fair share of crazy stories but people only really want to know about my experiences at this specific town. Maybe it was the way Annie Davies came back after trying to audit Intra Inc., or maybe it’s the fact that most of you have snuck a peak at how much the DoD is paying Intra Inc. for a ‘secrecy clause’. I’d like to remind you, by the way, that doing so is a federal crime. Still I’m not here to chide you—Hallowroots is a poorly kept secret—but when I finally retire I’d like you have an understanding of what Hallowroots truly is.