Diary Entries 01
[The cover and subsequent pages of a small Moleskine brand pocket journal have been scanned and displayed in an image gallery. It is a personal diary containing handwritten text and hand-drawn sketches.]
In case of loss, please return to: Emily Ballard
As a reward: $ No.
I found this smooshed in the bottom of my backpack. Guess I bought it at some point and never used it, and then it ended up here. I feel like I’ve had an unused notepad at the bottom of my backpack for as long as I’ve had a backpack. Doesn’t everyone?
Might as well write in this. It’s as good an option as anything else.
(Jesus, this was $14.99 when I got it! I must have been a freshman)
[Emily has taped a piece of the plastic wrapping with a dirty price tag on the adjacent page.]
They attacked our camp like they’ve been attacking everyone’s camp. I’ll spare you the details, since you’re just a part of me I feel like writing to for some reason.
[Emily has drawn a sketch of one of the alien invaders. It looks like a big slug with small flippers, a huge brain, and a strange earlike opening on top of its head. Two big, flat eyes like dinner plates house small, crossed, beady pupils. Three tentacles stick out from each side of its face like whiskers; something like a bulbous nose hangs down over what might be a smile.]
I actually saw one of them. The aliens I mean. I hate that it was almost cute. It’s worse when something that looks nice wants you dead. You expect something to be ugly on the outside when it’s ugly on the inside. I mean, look at politicians, right? This just looked like a big slug with googly eyes. Like the kind I used to put on things all over my room and pretend I was in Pee-Wee’s Playhouse because that and Moreau were all dad ever let me watch.
Jesus, it’s been five minutes of writing in this thing and I’m already spilling about my father. Too quick miss diary. Let’s take things a bit slower. I am after all betrothed to another.
(I need a pencil sharpener)
(I got a pencil sharpener.)
Jenna is taking this whole thing weirdly well. I think she feels like some kind of journalistic god. I probably would too if I was one of the last reliable news outlets in NYC. But Jenna has access to a lot of information because they haven’t taken down the internet. Isn’t that fucking weird? Why wouldn’t they take out the internet? She says there are people in Silicon Valley who are doing just fine because they live in the same buildings as servers, and the aliens haven’t touched them. It’s like they don’t even care. The aliens OR the people. Would I care?
They’re trying to get me clearance as a Chief Warrant. The army I mean. I don’t know what the hell that means but if it’ll let me get closer to all of this then I want it. If there’s any way I can help at all then I need to do it. I can’t afford to think about the cost right now.
I HATE THE SMELL!!! They laid down all this gross shit and we’re pretty sure it’s poisonous. The aliens I mean. I almost don’t care if it’s poisonous I just hate how it smells! Six or so of the privates have decided that it’s their job to “shoot it to death.” I’m pretty sure they’re just releasing spores or whatever into the air. Penny Lowell would probably know. It’s apparently popping off over on Twitter between her and Carrie but I can barely keep my phone charged enough to text, and there’s hardly ever a good signal out here because the army insists on camping in stupid places. That they think are strategic or whatever.
It breaks my heart to think that people think they have a plan. They’ve already used up all their plans and they all just bounced off.
We’ve split up into 2 camps. One of them is heading back up toward the base near UNIT which is interesting. I’d always heard whispers that they were storing away some weird tech there and even stealing it from our engineering programs. That’s what they’re talking about now. Some kind of special weapon that could disrupt the shields. If I had a proper lab and access to the right information I might be able to help with that but it’s all wrapped up in red tape. It’s like they don’t know who I am. Emily Ballard anyone? Emily “neural stack” Ballard? Emily “shoestring budget Fallout 3 roleplay nuke simulacrum almost kicked out of middle school” Ballard?
They have my technology! They stole my goddamn ion beams from the school program!
Look. I’m not even really that mad. In this case it’s fine because of what we’re up against. But they stole it before the aliens came and I hate to imagine what they would have used it for if this never happened.
My tech was made for advanced microwelding of metamaterials for sensitive experimental equipment. Not for making weaponry. I don’t even know what they plan to use it to make.
I’m gonna confront them about it. What’s the worst that could happen?
I don’t know how to process all this
I don’t know if I want to
I hear them stomping around and it’s like is this the end? Like is this actually the end of everything? We talked about the end of the world like this far away thing we never are gonna have to deal with and now I know what it sounds like
[Emily has drawn one of the alien tripod tanks. It is peeking up over the tree line of a forest, moving to the right. It has three flexible legs and a number of grasping tentacles. Its body shape is similar to that of the aliens themselves, and it has the same huge dinner plate eyes, as well as a crest on its head similar to the ear seen on the sketch of the invader.]
I’ve seen it breathe and walk and choke the earth
It’s like everything hurts like when you’re so cold and can’t get warm
But the cold is Mars and it has a face
I love you Jenna
Ok they promoted me. I don’t know why they want me to wear a uniform. It’s not like any of this conventional crap matters right now.
They want to use my tech AS a weapon. Not to build one. From what their technicians can tell it’s going to require a special ion cocktail to break through the shields, and they think my beams will work because they use this specific type of semipermeable lens that went out of production in the 70s. That plus their standard heat beam magnification tech (already top secret to begin with) should be able to break through and damage the tripods. At least that’s the idea.
All this is good but they have another request. They want me to fly one of their special fighter jets when the time comes. “Thunder Child” is real it turns out, and they want my tech to be part of it. But they’re going to need someone in the air who knows how it works. These aren’t standard fighter jets and these aren’t standard weapon controls.
I don’t want to do this. But I can’t just sit here either.
I’m gonna die. That’s the pull here right?
Am I supposed to be a martyr
Do we even need those anymore
I’m bringing my bag with me and you with it. If I’m gonna die you don’t get to get out of it
You and me Miss Diary