Hermes T. Haight was the former executioner at Abbott State Penitentiary. He was known during his time there for his insistence on using the antiquated gas chamber for a majority of the executions he oversaw, and for how much he enjoyed his job. Since his suicide in the very gas chamber he used, there have been innumerable reports by both a majority of C.O.s and inmates alike claiming to bear witness to his ghost. So many and so similar that it is a general belief that they are true.
Appearance EditNo photographic records of Hermes prior to his death can be found at any point in the game, so it remains to be seen just how accurately his ghostly form captures his true appearance, though it can be assumed that as a C.O., Hermes wore the standard uniform issued by Abbott.
In any event, his ghost is little more than a floating transparent wraith in the shape of a tall, thin human figure, comprised entirely of a translucent sickly green gas; completely bald, sunken-eyed and gaunt-featured, he is half dressed only in a pair of uniform pants and shoes - both of which only become noticeable in the event that he manifests a body below his waist. Easily the least human of all the ghosts on the island, he appears cadaverous to the point of almost appearing decayed, an impression only worsened by his transparent form and green coloration. Most sightings are near the old gas chamber and near grates and open pipes.
Though he primarily manifests as a human, he can take the form of billowing clouds of gas long before manifesting his humanoid shape, travelling through gratings and pipes in this fashion; he can even appear as diffused gas in the air. Indeed, this also makes Hermes the stealthiest of all the supernatural threats on the island next to the Nooseman, for he can make himself effectively invisible in certain areas until he chooses to strike; In the guard tower in Chapter 7, Torque can end up stumbling into a fatal cloud of Hermes' substance and not even know it until the ghost himself speaks and the gas begins to coalesce.
Hermes speaks in a low-pitched monotone, enunciating slowly, drawing out certain words and rarely speaking at any volume above a languid whisper. In a further nod to his favorite means of execution and his chosen means of suicide, he punctuates his speech with long, slow breaths, as if he is savoring the taste of his own toxic gas.
Since the cataclysm, several claims have been made that he has killed several people, notably with the gas that accompanies him.
Cold, unfeeling, lacking even the most basic form of empathy, and obsessively dedicated to eliminating human life wherever he finds it, Hermes prides himself on being a consummate executioner. Throughout the game, he kills without hesitation, smothering his victims in his gas the moment they arrive within reach; early on, should Torque refuse to kill a guard trapped in the gas chamber, Hermes will simply activate the chamber himself and look on with a smirk as the unfortunate corrections officer suffocates to death.
He freely admits that he enjoys killing, and has so ever since he took the post of executioner - initially due to the sense of accomplishment he gained from being congratulated on "a job well done," but later due to the sheer pleasure of the act and the sense of power he held over his victims.
He frequently demonstrates a profound sadistic streak, not only in tauntingly encouraging his victims to "breath deep" as they die, but also in his very appearance: as he notes during the boss battle, the gas used for executions was clear and odorless, effectively invisible to the condemned; Hermes, however, felt it would be better if they could actually see their death approaching. So, as a ghost, the gas that composes his spectral body is deep green in colour - all so his targets could experience the fear and desperation of watching the poison inching steadily closer. As he himself remarks, his victims can only hold their breath for so long, and Hermes takes particular delight in watching them try to hang on.
During his time on Carnate, The already unstable Hermes developed a disturbing fixation on the nature of death, his enjoyment in the taking of life turning to near-sexual gratification. He also developed a curious attraction to darkness, preferring to sit in the shadows of the gas chamber's control room, where he felt empowered by the sense of total anonymity. It is interesting to note that he was the executioner responsible for the death of Horace P. Gauge.
Entirely without regret or remorse, Hermes feels nothing for his victims other than withering contempt at best: if Jimmy is still alive by the time Torque reaches the lighthouse, Hermes will envelop him in gas and watch him die in agony, before dismissing him as uninteresting compared to Torque. During the boss battle that follows, he muses on his past victims by remarking that people on death row are neither smart, successful or happy, and claims that he was merely "putting them out of their pathetic misery - thinning the herd." He also admits that, as an executioner, he wasn't interested in the crimes that the condemned had committed and barely knew who they were; the only important thing about them was that he was allowed to kill them. He even remarks with disappointment on the fact that he "never got to snuff a woman" and envies Torque for it, implying that, had his obsession with the gas chamber not gotten the best of him, he may have actively sought out victims beyond Carnate and would have become a serial killer.
The only individual spared immediate death at his hands is Torque, and then only because he wants to test his mettle as a killer. However, in keeping with his leanings toward Social Darwinism, he has no interest in manipulating him directly or even keeping his rival alive: should Torque stumble into a pocket of Hermes' gas by mistake, the executioner will simply let him succumb to its effects. Noticeably, he relishes Carnate's dark history, branding it the perfect place for himself and Torque.
He is the most malevolent of Carnate's ghosts. Where Horace is enslaved by the electric chair and tries to sway Torque to being good and Killjoy genuinely wants to help him in spite of his murderous tendencies, Hermes is an unapologetic psychopath, wanting to bring out the killer in Torque. He represents the future.
Hermes encourages Torque to give in to his dark side, and is most satisfied when Torque surrenders to corruption with the bare minimum of prompting: should players take the good morality path, Hermes will express disdain and disappointment, encouraging him to "try harder"; similarly, if Torque resists transforming into his rage form for the first time, Hermes even reacts with a rare moment of anger in shouting "Come on, you bastard, do it! You think you're better than us?!" On the other hand, during evil morality playthroughs, Hermes will react with delight at the growing death toll, musing upon how much he loves to watch the convicted killer at work, and remarking with admiration that Torque was "twice the killer I thought you to be." He even reacts with near-orgasmic delight at being destroyed in the lighthouse furnace, enraptured at finally bringing out the killer in Torque.
Ultimately, one of Hermes' most defining characteristics is his obsession with death and the gas chamber: having grown fixated on both ever since he started work as an executioner, his desire to understand the former and enjoy the latter drove him to increasingly twisted acts in his attempts to indulge his obsessions - even if it meant killing himself. As a ghost, he regards the gas with rapturous exaltation for its purity, observing how it has become an expression of life itself for its green color: "first it giveth, then it taketh away."
Several years prior to the events of the game, Hermes T Haight worked as a correction officer at Abbott State Penitentiary on Carnate Island. A devoted worker, he later claimed that while others found work so that they could live, he lived for his work, and nowhere was this more true of his career at Abbott, where his dedication to his job eventually won him the rank of captain. As the prison was the Maryland Board of Corrections' primary venue of choice for executions in the state, Hermes was one of many applicants for the role of executions, and though countless "eager sadists" applied for the job, he was the only one competent and efficient enough to earn it. It's not known how much of his psychopathy was due to his own nature and how much of it was due to the corrupting nature of Carnate Island; whatever the case, his new role soon grew to define him.
Despite his cold professionalism, Hermes soon found himself enjoying the executions: initially this was due to the praise he received for his effectiveness, but soon it became a matter of the power he held over the condemned inmates at "the most important moment of their lives"; eventually, Hermes' enjoyment turned to near-sexual gratification in the taking of life. This pleasure inspired him to indulge himself in the widest variety of methods possible, for over his tenure as executioner, he used everything from the hangman's noose to the electric chair; worryingly enough, it's not known how many of these executions were legally sanctioned, for though he later claimed to have executed inmates by rifle, firing squads on Carnate had been discontinued in the aftermath of World War II.
What is known is that Hermes' favorite means of dispatch was the gas chamber. Admiring it for the "purity" he saw in its method, he took great delight in watching inmates struggle to hold their breath as the deadly poisons flooded the chamber. Indeed, the only thing that spoiled his viewing pleasure was the simple fact that the gas itself was completely imperceptible to the condemned until the condemned actually started inhaling it, and he believed that it would be more entertaining if the mixture was colored so that the victim could see their death creeping closer.
Over the course of his tenure as executioner, Hermes become one of the most infamous figures in the history of the island, both for his disturbing efficiency and for his increasingly morbid habits. His notoriety only escalated as the years went by, particularly following the execution of inmate Horace Gauge, which was said to be so horrific that the electric chair supposedly still reeks of charred flesh. It's not known if Hermes faced any penalty for the debacle or even what caused it in the first place; however, this was soon an entirely academic matter, for by then the executioner had a new obsession to brood over.
Towards the end of his time at Carnate, the executioner's obsession with the nature of death deepened: already taking perverse delight in the dying agonies of his victims, he started to wonder if they experienced something more than he could see from the control room, something too subtle to be observed with the naked eye. By that time, his addiction to killing no longer thrilled quite the way it had before, and Hermes had to explore new vistas of sensation - for "it was never enough" - so he decided to investigate deeper in the hopes of finding a new high to enjoy. He began by eavesdropping on the final phone conversations of death row inmates, listening to the condemned men assuring their families and friends that everything would be okay; however, Hermes only grew more frustrated, for it seemed as though his future victims somehow knew more than him, even though they all showed the same fear and agony at the moment of their execution. Studying the bodies of the dead gave him no joy: even Horace's charred remains provided little illumination.
In the end, his only recourse was to "taste the gas" himself, committing suicide via the gas chamber which he'd loved so much. With no family to collect his body, the executioner's mortal remains were interred at the prison cemetery alongside the bodies of many of his past victims, including Horace Gauge; perhaps hoping to wallpaper over the dead captain's more disturbing tendencies, prison officials gave Hermes a grander tombstone with it's own fenced-off enclosure, and even renamed the necropolis in his honor. Nonetheless, the Captain Hermes T Haight Cemetery was one of the most unwelcoming places in the entire prison, not only because nobody wanted to face the reality of dying on the island, but also because of the reputation its most famous tenant had acquired: Hermes Haight had well and truly cemented his place in Carnate's dark history, remaining a terrifying fixture in the ghost stories told by guards and inmates alike long after Abbott abandoned the gas chamber.
- "I always looked at their bodies when I was done." (hallucination/vision in the infirmary)
- "Death is our stock-in-trade here at Abbot, the final solution... I am one of the few who'd admit that. First they give it, than take it away... "
- "They won't leave you alone until you do it." (when Torque escapes the gas chamber)
- "Don't worry, we all have problems here. You'll fit right in..."
- "Show me why you're in here. I want to know all about you."
- "You've seen death, right? I read about your life, you sick bastard. Put me to shame, I never got to snuff a woman. But did you really do it? Because we get innocent guys in here, sure, innocent until presumed guilty... it doesn't affect me doing my job though, above all else, I am a professional, I am dedicated to the work. Nothing compares to the deep satisfaction of terminating a human life... but you already know that, don't you?"
- "Blackout sounds like a convenient excuse to me."
- "Come on, you bastard, do it! You think you're better than us?"
- "No. You cannot escape what I bring about." (when he poisons two inmates in chapter 5)
- "Show me again that thing you do, I love to watch you work." (when Torque is fighting through the recreation yards)
- "I don't think you understand what we do here. There is not enough blood on your hands. Try harder." (In chapter 7 in the guard tower; only if Torque is of "Good" morality.)
- "I think you're a little indecisive. If you're going to do something, do it completely, that's the Carnate way." (In chapter 7 in the guard tower; only if Torque is of "Neutral" morality.)
- "Impressive. I see I've got strong competition, you're twice the killer I thought you to be." (In chapter 7 in the guard tower; only if Torque is of "Evil" morality.)
- "So easily seduced. But you know Torque, nothing worthwhile is easy..." (In Chapter 12: In a cave near the broken bridge)
- "Escaping isn't as simple as just getting outside, but I don't need to tell you that. You know there is no real escape."
(Before his boss fight) Edit
- "That always feels good. He needed to go, he wasn't interesting enough, not like you. You understand how it feels. They needed someone professional to pull the switch. A lot of eager sadists applied, but I was the only one who took the work seriously. So seriously I wanted to taste the gas myself. That's what Carnate does, it brings out the killer inside. It's the perfect place for you and me. (If Torque comes to the lighthouse basement with Jimmy, who Hermes kills)
- "Finally you are here. You interest me, because you understand how it feels. They needed someone professional to pull the switch. A lot of eager sadists applied, but I was the only one who took the work seriously. So seriously I wanted to taste the gas myself. That's what Carnate does, it brings out the killer inside. It's the perfect place for you and me. (if Torque to the lighthouse basement alone)
(During his boss fight)
- "There's a difference between those that feel safest in the light and those that feel safest in the dark. Which are you, Torque?"
- "In the chamber there is an intense light, everything is visible. In the control room the lights are off, you can't see anyone, no one knows you. I like that feeling."
- "I'm here in the basement of the lighthouse for a reason. It's the one place the beacon can't illuminate. I thrive in that darkness."
- "I love the history on Carnate. Over the years, every form of human killing has found its place. I envy you, because you get to revisit them all."
- "The gas we kill with is clear, odorless, totally imperceptible. But that wasn't good enough, I thought people should see it coming, see it creeping up around their legs, through their fingers, inching towards their nose. So my gas is green, the color of life..."
- "They can only hold their breath for so long. I like watching them try."
- "It was never enough, so I took my involvement to the next level. I put myself in the chamber, but I didn't die, not exactly."
- "Most people find a job so they can live. I lived for my job. Once you've killed a man who was begging for his life, and everyone congratulates you on a job well done, nothing can compare."
- "I always wished they would have kept me busier, my talents were under-utilized. There were certainly enough people who deserved what I could provide, they just needed to be brought to me."
- "I used it all. Electric chair, the rope, rifles, but gas was my favorite. There's such a purity to it."
- "Come on, you can do better than that, or you can do worse."
- "That's what I like about life. First it giveth, then it taketh away."
- "I know you can do it, what are you waiting for?"
- "If placed in the right situation, who's to say you wouldn't kill as many as me? Maybe you already have."
- "I grow weary of this game."
- "I didn't know these people I killed, they hadn't wronged me, but I was in command of the most important moment of their lives. That's power."
- "The people on death row are not smart people, nor are they successful, nor are they happy. I was just putting them out of their pathetic misery. Thinning the herd."
(After being shut in the furnace)
- "Aaaaaahhhh yes. That's it."
- "So you still need some help. In the lighthouse you showed me just how good a killer you really are, but you don't know anything. Go on to the dock where you'll see how things really are." (In Chapter 20 at the broken bridge; the last time he speaks to Torque)
Archive Entry Edit
Since the cataclysm, I have several times saw myself mysteriously surrounded by noxious green fumes. I have fled in each case and I think if I had not, I might not be alive to write this now. When in the gas, I have seen a humanoid who seemed to take great joy in the prospect of my death. Could this be Hermes, Abbott's resident executioner for several decades? If I recall, he took his own life in the gas chamber
|Main characters:||Torque | Carmen | Cory | Malcolm | The Creature|
|Bosses:||Dr. Killjoy | Horace | Hermes | Torque's Hatred|
|Malefactors:||Slayer | Marksman | Mainliner | Nooseman | Burrower | Fester | Festering Rats | Inferna|
|Other Characters:||Ernesto | Dallas | Luther | Sergei | Clem | Hawks | Consuela Alvarez | Hargrave | C.O.'s | Inmates|
|Locations:||Carnate Island | Abbott State Penitentiary | Fort Maleson | Slave Shipwreck | The Asylum | The Quarry|
|Weapons:||Shiv | Revolver | Tommy Gun | Shotgun | Fire Axe | Flamethrower | Gonzo Gun | Browning M2 Turret|
|Explosives:||Molotov Cocktails | Flash-Bang Grenades | TNT | Shrapnel Grenades|
|See also:||List of Good/Evil actions possible in The Suffering|