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The Operator is an unknown creature with supernatural powers in the famous YouTube Horror Series, Marble Hornets and the main antagonist of the movie, Always Watching: A Marble Hornets Story. He was initially the main antagonist in Marble Hornets, but was ultimately upgraded to being the Bigger Bad while Alex Kralie took over.
Operator made his debut in the first episode of MarbleHornets, before the events of MarbleHornets, The Operator was stalking a man named Alex Kralie, The Operator then started to stalk Alex's friends, including Jay and Tim.
While the series progresses, it's revealed that The Operator may have been using Alex to kill the others, seen in Entry #86. Alex tells that he was trying to help the others by killing everyone that has a connection to The Operator, Tim disagrees and tries to say that The Operator was only using him, only to be interrupted by The Operator himself.
The Operator has been revealed in Entry #86 by Alex to spread in power and appearance by effectively "infecting" individuals with his presence. These individuals, whom Tim called "Source(s)", are essentially individuals whom have 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 states the only way to contain his spread is for all sources to be killed. Tim states this is impossible, since it is physically impossible to locate and contain every possible source, and that there is no possible way to be certain that every 'infected' individual would be either visibly infected, or even know it.
While the Operator's origin is unknown, Alex tells Jay a tale in Entry #38 which may be linked to his existence. Alex says that in an area of what is now Rosswood Park, the flora, particularly the trees, would grow abnormally fast. As punishment, the locals would string up criminals from the trees and let them grow, misshaping the criminals. After the criminals died of dehydration, the locals would burn down the trees, body and all. The practice was suspended when a missing child was found dismembered in the trees.
On the hunt for an intriguing news story, a small-town news team follows a crew inspecting repossessed houses. Inside a particularly strange house, the news team discovers a box of video tapes inside a locked closet. Sensing a story, they decide to take them back to their studio. From the tapes, they learn that the family who had lived in the house was not pushed out by the banks, but fled the house in fear for their lives. Trying to decode the story, the crew keeps seeing a faceless figure dressed in a dark suit appear in the footage that causes the videotape to scramble. Their fear mounts when this figure, The Operator as he is deemed, starts to appear in their real lives, standing quietly and always watching them. Tortured and terrorized, the three crew members must track down the mystery of The Operator before it's too late.
Comparison to the Slender Man
The Operator came about before the contemporary mythos and his depiction has helped shaped the mythos, but he has multiple differences in attitude and behavior compared to the Slender Man.
- He does not have any tentacles or tentacle like powers.
- He rarely seems to move on camera.
- His behavior is a mix of animalistic and sapient, making him highly unpredictable.
- He seems to cause odd behavioral changes in people, such as Alex becoming aggressive, Hoody running about trying to kill Alex, and Tim's shifts between Masky and himself.
- The name "The Operator" has thus far never been used in the series (except once on a scribbled sheet drawn by Alex, and in several Totheark videos); the name was ascribed to the character in interviews by series creators Troy Wagner (who portrays Jay) and Joseph DeLage (who portrays Alex).
- In an interview, Troy and Joseph were questioned about who plays as the Operator. They did not give an answer, originally stating that they would wait until the series was over to reveal the method they used. However, they later decided not to explain as it would ruin the fear that the series induced into the audience.
- The Operator is the first villain seen in a Slenderverse web series.