Dead Skeptic, also known as "DS" in the Journals or "TDS" during player interactions, is a group in The Blackout Club (game).
Description[edit | edit source]
|If you're willing to help us, know that you cannot trust Them. Renounce Them, in direct prayer, using Their names. It is a form of defense, flimsy... but better than tinfoil. Until we speak again. Stay awake.|
|— Dead Skeptic, broadcast|
The Dead Skeptic is a mysterious group based outside of Redacre that aims to enter town and alter or resist The Voices' overall control over humanity. The structure, members, and objective of the Dead Skeptic is not yet clear, aside from their strong dislike of the Voices. It was previously thought that the Dead Skeptic was a singular person, as both Isabela Madi-Shaw and Gwen spoke with someone marked only "DS" in journal entries. In addition, TID once mentioned a "she" while speaking on the Dead Skeptic, stating she waiting for a safer time to send more messages. Much later he told of a telephone call explaining Dead Skeptic had made an attempt to get into Redacre that failed, and stated he suspected she was working with a group. SPEAK-AS-ONE is seemingly also aware of the Dead Skeptic, and has stated that the confiscated materials from Bells were already erased, with only traces of messages sent to her left. They stated "WE WILL SEEK A WAY TO BAIT THEM. THEY DESIRE FIRSTHAND ACCOUNTS." 
Twice, Broadcasts from the Dead Skeptic were left via the television in The Hideout. The broadcasts were accompanied by the image of a skull smoking a pipe. The first was left after a month period of the Unknown Caller texting various club members attempting to figure out which were not aligned with any Voices, slow to trust anyone and outright cold to those who were active followers. Eventually, automated dead man's switches went off indicating something happened to the Unknown Caller, as he was unable to reach the switches. The conclusion of the dead man switch messages led to the first broadcast, a recording of HUNT-THE-STRONG and THEE-I-DARE speaking with each other via Colm Ryan's sleep-talking. As it is exceptionally rare to record Voice activity, it can be assumed the Dead Skeptic group is considerably knowledgeable about Voices, though they expressed confusion when being told about The Place Between. The second broadcast revealed that the Dead Skeptic was not only a single person as was previously thought. In the broadcast it was stated they were seeking information on the state of their colleague, the Unknown Caller, and advised that to join their honorary ranks club members had to renounce the Voices via Light of Rebellion.
History[edit | edit source]
Before the Game[edit | edit source]
At some point, both Gwen and Bells had chat conversations with unknown members of the Dead Skeptic. Bells was told several in depth details of the origin of SPEAK-AS-ONE, a variation of the First Fire story, and SPEAK-AS-ONE's first name for THEE-I-DARE, "Daughter of Doubt". Gwen's conversation was similarly detailed, regarding how SPEAK-AS-ONE directs CHORUS Communities to find, influence, and invite new residents into Redacre. A third journal entry references a Dead Skeptic Podcast, and speaks on the nature of Voices at large. While the tone of the Dead Skeptic is informal, the details they give again reinforce a background of considerable research, knowledge, and experience regarding the Voices.
In-Game[edit | edit source]
Some members of The Blackout Club have received texts with the sender's name obscured, intentionally scrambled with ASCII characters. Their first appearance in early May 2020 was in reference to Devin Esposito, who had recently went missing according to The Blackout Club (HQ). The message read "Your friend isn't missing. They just...woke up. Don't worry about them. Worry about Them," implying that Devin had been taken under their wing. Members of the Club continued to receive text messages with scrambled ASCII characters, though their sentence structure changed to all lower case letters. Players believed this texter to be Devin themself, due to their relationship with Gwen, Dax, and HQ, though it was never explicitly confirmed because "they don't do names. Names are a waste of time".
In late July 2020, the sentence structure returned to proper capitalization and would reference the Club members as 'kids', implying the texter had changed and was an adult. They asked some members of the Blackout Club to fly Drones out over Hoadly's Leap, looking for dead zones in order to create a relay that SPEAK-AS-ONE and CHORUS Communities would not easily locate. The relay allowed them to send their broadcast to the boxcar.
After their broadcast, the sender's name in their text messages now says "TDS" instead of scrambled ASCII characters.
After being informed of these outsiders, SPEAK-AS-ONE says they have screened all visitors, and don’t believe they are affiliated to Dead Skeptic. SPEAK-AS-ONE believes that if they are here or coming here, they are not using the known border. they says it’s possible there is another way in to Redacre, because their “Wall of Eyes” is only able to cover so much ground.
After learning the fate of their colleague Unknown Caller, they believe that things are much worse than they initially thought. The Dead Skeptic says their people are starting to worry about HUNT-THE-STRONG, because "deciding not to worship something with rage is easier than it sounds. He doesn’t fit the template, he reverses it."
The Dead Skeptic was amazed the Club members managed to trap one of the “worker bees” of SPEAK-AS-ONE and was interested in learning more about it. “Find out what it is now. How does it think. Does it have a name? Is it changing? Applied Terrible Science.” 
THEE-I-DARE said that Dead Skeptic was interested in 919 Hoadly for a reason unbeknownst to him. When asked about their interest in 919 Hoadly, they say the Unknown Caller was assigned to 922 Hoadly (Colm Ryan’s house) first, and then 919 Hoadly when they lost contact with the person originally assigned to it, which is probably the original Dead Skeptic from the laptop transcripts. When asked if she was in trouble or needed rescuing, they said they doubt she's in more trouble than the Club members were.
Dead Skeptic warned that someone was jamming the drones they set up to create their relay. They assumed Chiara Esposito was involved, due to her stealing call signs from Devin. In response, they temporarily moved the drones and pointed them towards the border. They were able to discover that the people who run Redacre have clandestine operatives all over the east coast, and they were calling them all home. They said that whatever Chorus was doing, they wanted everyone to have a hand in it. They followed Chiara back to her broadcasting location, and overheard a conversation about the Voice. Before they lost the drone, they discovered that the agents were being recalled for a "crowning ceremony" and that Chiara was not chosen to be half of the Voice.
Player Interactions[edit | edit source]
Have you had an interaction with Dead Skeptic? Consider sharing your experience here!
Interactions with Dead Skeptic: Dead Skeptic Interactions.
Interactions discussing Dead Skeptic: Discussing Dead Skeptic.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- Before being revealed as Dead Skeptic, the community referred to this group as "Wingdings" for the scrambled ASCII text, or as the "Tin Hatters" and "Tin Hat Cavalry" after a combination of the Unknown Caller's mention of cavalry and the Tinfoil Halo, the Voiceless equivalent of a Voice Mask.
References[edit | edit source]
- Wiki Article: The Hideout/Broadcasts#Dead Skeptic Broadcast
- Wiki Article: Journals/DS - Bells Chat Transcript
- Wiki Article: Journals/DS - Gwen Chat Transcript
- Player Interaction (4 May 2019). Link to Interaction.
- Player Interaction (7 March 2020). Link to Interaction.
- Player Interaction (4 May 2019). Link to Interaction.
- Wiki Article: The Hideout/Broadcasts#Sculptor Sleeptalk Translation
- Nullspeak (19 October 2019), TBC Official Discord. Link. Image.
- Player Interaction (5 September 2020). Link to Interaction.
- Wiki Article: The Hideout/Broadcasts#Dead_Skeptic_Broadcast
- Wiki Article: Journals/Dead Skeptic Excerpt 9
- Player Interaction (9 May 2020). Link to Interaction.
- Player Interaction (17 May 2020). Link to Interaction.
- Player Interaction (3 July 2020). Link to Interaction.
- Player Interaction (25 July 2020). Link to Interaction.
- Player Interaction (16 August 2020). Link to Interaction.
- Player Interaction (24 October 2020). Link to Interaction.
- Player Interaction (2 October 2020). Link to Interaction.
- Player Interaction (20 October 2020). Link to Interaction.
- Player Interaction (30 January 2021). Link to Interaction.
- Player Interaction (12 February 2021). Link to Interaction.