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A "Source" is an individual who has been seen or been stalked by The Operator. As a result, they begin carrying his presence with them, causing anyone who comes in contact with them to become a potential new victim and, thus, new sources. Alex and Tim from the MarbleHornets ARG series, are prime examples of Sources, as they have been followed by the Operator since their childhoods and unintentionally spread it to the other characters.
A Source can be considered a memetic form of viral spread. An individual is not sick with a literal disease, but becomes slowly less and less capable of performing daily tasks, thinking, controlling themselves, and realizing their own behavior. This is due to The Operator spending much time around the invidual in question. While he is never seen directly killing someone himself, his presence slowly drives an individual mad until they are wracked with bizarre personality changes, or simply outright kill themselves. There is no known way to be cured other than to die, and the 'disease' is spread simply by coming in contact with other people, who become 'infected' with The Operator's constant presence.
Alex somehow became aware of what he was and attempted to stop the Operator by killing everyone connected to it. This resulted in him becoming more affected by the Operator and being transformed into its puppet.
As for Tim, it is heavily implied that his childhood hallucinations had something to do with the Operator, and he ended up being controlled by it for brief periods of time, switching between his normal and Masky personas. He also appears to be the first known Source, as Alex states several times that Tim was the one who started it all.
Alex uses the word "Infection" when describing Tim being a Source. It was never stated in the series if Tim or Brian were purposely spreading the Source Infection when they were under the Masky and Hoody personas respectively. It is impossible to tell their goals in relation to the Source concept considering the bizarre relationship with The Operator, Alex, Masky, and Hoody being seemingly antagonistic between the four of them.
Known Sources Edit
- Alex Kralie
- Tim (Supposedly starting it all)
- Jay (According to Alex)
- Every cast member of MarbleHornets (Sarah, Seth, Brian, and the others listed)
- Either Eli or Jamie
- Dan Wittlocke
It is never stated if Unnamed man Number One, Unnamed Man Number Three, or Unnamed Woman became new sources after speaking to Tim or Jay or, in Unnamed man Number Two's case, killed by Alex. It's also impossible to tell if anyone in Tim's original hospital including the staff or even other patients were infected.
As Tim explains, it is entirely possible for there to be thousands, or even millions, of sources on the planet.
The only known person to ever be cured of being a Source was Rose Wittlocke. It is never stated how she managed to escape, but her life was still absolutely destroyed after the death of both her child and husband (her child killed by her husband, and her husband killed by her in self defense), and she considers herself as having never truly escaped anything.