Alan Wake Wiki

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Alan Wake Wiki
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Quote1 They have no idea that when I open that door and see my beautiful wife and boy look up at me and smile, that I am awash in the light and warmth of a thousand suns. They don't understand that I have treasures beyond their imagining. That I am untouchable, alive, and that I walk in light. Quote2
― Clay Steward.

Clay Steward is a minor character who briefly appeared in Alan Wake. Steward was a library assistant who lived in Madison, Wisconsin with his wife, Anna, and son, Milo. Sometime before the Bright Falls Altered World Event of 2010, Steward began to experience recurring nightmares involving author Alan Wake, a lighthouse, and the Dark Presence. After travelling to the town of Bright Falls, Washington in search of answers despite his wife's objections, Clay compiled all his discoveries in a book titled The Alan Wake Files.

Appearance[]

Clay Steward is a Caucasian man with short, brown hair. He wears a white shirt under a green varsity jacket with yellow sleeves which has the B and F letters stamped on the left side (most likely standing for Bright Falls). He also wears gray pants and a pair of brown shoes.

Personality[]

Prior to becoming involved against his will in the conflict between the supernatural entities that inhabited Cauldron Lake, Clay Steward lived a quiet and uneventful life. Once he began experiencing a series of recurring nightmare, Steward's life gave a turn for the worst as he became desperate with discovering the meaning behind his visions, neglecting both his profesional and personal life in the process. His desperation grew to the point that he was willing to continue his search even if it lead him to his death as long as it provided him some sort of peace.

As he himself has admitted, while Clay was initially in love with his wife Anna during their youth, in the years following their marriage their relationship become stale and distant, with his nightmares only worsening his already declining marriage as his wife was unable to comprehend their true nature and the significance of his dreams, believing them to be merely an excuse to avoid his responsibilities as a husband and a father. In addition, despite his best efforts, he also had difficulties in raising their newborn son, Milo.

Steward showed a great empathy for the former FBI Agent Robert Nightingale, who, just like him, also saw his life being forever changed by unknown supernatural forces beyond his control. While he acknowledged his flaws and unethical behavior, he believed that the man he used to be was still inside somewhere. Despite being certain that Alan Wake was the reason behind his nightmares and the disappearances and/or deaths of many people, including Nightingale, Steward did not show any hatred or resentment towards to the writer, considering him to also be a victim of circumstance.

While his investigation ultimately reached a dead end, it did help Steward to move on and achieve the peace he desired. By the time of the publication of The Alan Wake Files, Steward has reconciled with his wife and their relationship seems to have greatly improved, with Steward being content to see her and Milo after each hard day of work.

Background[]

Early life[]

At the young age of 20, Clay Steward married his girlfriend Anna, who at the time was 19 years old. While the two were initially in love, since their wedding day, the two had grown apart in their relationship. Around a decade later, the two had a son named Milo.[1]

Recurring nightmares[]

At some point before September 2010, Steward began experiencing a series of recurring nightmares. On his first nightmare, he found himself alone in a cabin in the middle of a forest at night when he heard someone knocking at the front door. Stepping out onto the porch, Clay found no one there, but noticed that his lantern was broken in a way that seemed meaningful to him. The second dream followed the exact same sequence of events, except that now Steward heard noises coming from the forest and saw movement, which he decided to follow to the forest edge until it stopped. In the third dream, after the noises became louder and trees began fall, Steward ran down the road until he reached a lighthouse, which, due to his dream logic, he realized it was a safe place. The door of the lighthouse was being held open by an unknown man who urged him to enter. However, before Steward was able to do so he was caught and killed by the dark entity chasing him.[1]

LighthouseRainCove

Rain Cove Point, the primary setting in Clay Steward and Alan Wake's shared nightmare.

The following dreams saw variations of these events, with Steward and the unknown man being attacked and killed by either the dark entity or by "men consumed in shadows". Due to these nightmares, Steward began staying up late into the night watching television to avoid falling asleep. One particular night, after staying up late watching reruns of Night Springs, Steward heard the voice of the man from his dreams coming from the television as he was being interviewed. Watching the show, Steward learned that the man's name was Alan Wake, author of the Alex Casey book series. After this discovery, Steward began obsessively researching Wake's writings and any type of information he could find about him, confirming that he was the indeed the same man he had been seeing in his dreams, and, believing them to be some kind of warning, attempted to contact the writer by writing a letter to his publishers, but only received a post card encouraging him to purchase his latest book, The Sudden Stop, in response.[1]

As Steward continued to experience the nightmares, he began having visions of an "underwater world" populated by "unknowable, dark forces" and of a small town being destroyed, followed by "a whole world consumed by darkness". He would keep track of these vision in a dream journal, and concluded that Alan Wake was somehow the cause behind his nightmares and that he needed to find him and warm him. While this was happening, Steward's personal life and marriage began to slowly deteriorate: he lost his job as a librarian, leaving him unable to provide for his family, and his wife, with whom he barely spoke anymore, considered his obsession to be only an excuse to avoid taking care of their son, Milo.[1]

Clay Steward faces the Hitchhiker

Clay Steward faces the possessed Hitchhiker.

On the afternoon of September 01, while Alan Wake was traveling to the town Bright Falls, Washington, alongside his wife, Alice, the writer and Steward experienced another shared nightmare. This time, Wake was being chased by a possessed hitchhiker, who was in reality a character from an unfinished story. After the hitchhiker transformed into a giant dark tornado, the writer ran to a nearby cabin, where Steward was waiting for him. He instructed Wake to enter the cabin, but when he attempted to join him, the door closed, leaving Steward at the mercy of the hitchhiker. Clay attempted to defend himself with his gun but was unable to harm the possessed hitchhiker as he was protected by the shadows. The Hitchhiker then impaled his axe on Steward's chest, killing him before resuming his pursuit of the writer.[2]

Some days after, while researching lighthouses at the library of the local university, Clay found an image of the lighthouse in his dreams, which, in turn, lead him to discover that the town it was located near, Bright Falls, was the town he saw being destroyed in his visions. That very night, with his mind made up, he bought a $ 165 bus ticket to Washington. He said goodbye to his wife and son, convinced that he would perish on his journey. Despite Anna's pleads for him to stay and her threats that she would leave with Milo, Steward departed for Bright Falls, with his heartbroken wife wishing him dead.[1]

Investigation in Bright Falls[]

After departing from Madison, Clay arrived on Bright Falls two days later. Once there, he immediately realized that something had happened in the town: many buildings were damaged, some with bullet holes, funeral were being held for residents who had disappeared, and some others had developed an acute photo-sensitivity. Although many locals refused to answer his questions, Steward managed to learn that the damage had allegedly been caused by intense storms and tornadoes, and that many accidents had occurred before the annual Deerfest. After checking into room #2 of the Majestic Motel, which showed signs of having been recently occupied, Steward took his pocket knife and used it to unscrew the panel of the air vent, intending to hide his dream journal within it. Instead he discovered a box containing a stack of documents that belonged to Special Agent Robert Nightingale of the FBI.[1]

By reading the field notes found in the dossier, Clay discovered that the FBI agent had come to Bright Falls in search of Alan Wake, who had disappeared alongside his wife shortly after arriving in town. The stash also contained various photographs, transcriptions of interrogations conducted on various residents, excerpts from Doctor Emil Hartman's book, the Creator's Dilema, and of Bright Falls: A History, pages of a manuscript written by Wake and various newspaper clippings and documents related with the town's history and Wake himself. Believing that his dreams had lead him to find the documents, Steward began his investigation the following day.[1]

TheAlanWakeFiles FOIA

The FBI's response to Clay Steward's FOIA request.

Over the course of several weeks, Steward continued to gather information about the evidence Nightingale had collected, the whereabouts of the agent and Wake, and the events that had transpired in Bright Falls in the weeks prior to his arrival, by interviewing the residents, among them Sheriff Sarah Breaker, with varying degrees of success. He also repeatedly attempted to contact Wake's literary agent, Barry Wheeler, but desisted after he threatened legal actions. After submitting a Freedom of Information Act request to the Federal Bureau of Investigation soliciting Agent Nightingale's records, he received a response stating that they could not be provided due to an "ongoing investigation of an unrelated matter". The letter, however, informed him that Nightingale had been discharged from the FBI following the death of his partner, Finn, and that his presence in Bright Falls was not on official business. Steward concluded that Finn's death was the reason behind Nightingale's desperate pursuit of Wake and deduced that the agent might also have experienced nightmares similar to his own.[1]

During his time in the town, Steward also collaborated on the reconstruction efforts of the Elderwood National Park's Visitor Center. On one particular occasion, while he was returning to the Majestic Hotel on the Elderwood trail, Steward saw a man resembling Alan Wake. He attempted to follow after him but the man seemingly vanished after turning a corner, but not before turning around and smiling at him. Some time after this, seeing that his nightmares had stopped and that his investigations had reached a dead end, Steward came to the conclusion that his part in the matter was over, and, having no wish to continue being involved in it, he threw his dream journal into Cauldron Lake.[1]

Later life[]

The Alan Wake Files

The Alan Wake Files

After returning to Madison, Steward found his apartment empty and his wife and son gone, just as she had warned him. Anna's family also refused to answer his phone calls. Almost a year later, Steward was finally able to locate them and reconciled with his wife. He also obtained a job as an assistant in the basement of an university library.[1]

Steward would later compile the information he uncovered during his investigation of the Bright Falls Altered World Event into a book titled The Alan Wake Files, which, he hoped, would help others who wantto continue the investigation. The book was published in 2011 by Roundabout Press and received positive reviews. The book attracted the attention of the of the Federal Bureau of Control, which proceded to interview Steward and place him under indefinite surveillance due to suspicions of "minor parautilitarian sensitivity."[3]

Appearances[]

Gallery[]

References[]

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