Oni2:The Hasegawa Journal
- Story name
- The Hasegawa Journal
- Michigan, USA
Nov. 9, 2009 -- James Hasegawa
-- I’m starting this book at Jamie’s insistence. She wants there to be a safe place to record our memories. We’re only going to write in here when something memorable happens, because it’s so small. But it’s enough.
Today has been both one of the best days of my life, and the most harrowing. Jamie, my wife gave birth to a son. I named him Muro, and he’s a joy to both of us although the past few months have been frightening, to say the least. We’ve only been married a year, and our research is starting to attract attention of the authorities. We had to move twice in three months. Also, the Syndicate’s attacks are becoming more frequent, leaving buildings decimated, and the streets cluttered with bodies and rubble. But I finally found a safe place for us to raise our little boy. Jamie’s brother is a respected influential doctor at the University, and he pulled a few strings to get us an apartment near the campus.
Little Muro is already settled in, with a crib and room of his own. He’s quite the talker, crying so much we had to soundproof the apartment so as not to disturb the neighbors. We’re very happy, although I’m starting to get restless with all my research in boxes in our closet.
Nov. 30, 2009 -- Jamie Hasegawa
-- Muro is tiring me out. James and I take turns calming him down at night, but it still is wearing on us. He’s such a loud child, it’s starting to worry me. Although when Phillip looks him over, he says Muro is perfectly healthy. He’s done so much for us these past few weeks. He got us this apartment, looks after Muro, and even lets James borrow his car when I take the truck somewhere.
Anyways, I’m writing here because we found a new piece of the government’s puzzle. James was returning from an interview when he realized that the forest on the other side of the city is one of the infamous “Wilderness Preserves” we’ve been trying to access. I don’t know how we missed it before, but I think if we can just get a few pictures, or a sample, we can start making some real progress. I want to go in soon, but James says we should wait until summer.
July 17, 2010 -- Jamie Hasegawa
-- Muro said his first word today. I was putting him to sleep, when he looked right at me and said “Daddy” as if it were something terribly important. James can’t stop laughing, and if he doesn’t stop, I’m going to hit him with this book.
-- James H. -- No she won’t.
August 23, 2010 -- James Hasegawa
-- We couldn’t make it into the forest. Me and Jamie were in the truck with everything ready when it started raining. I thought we should push it back another day, but she insisted. So we threw in the rain gear and started off. After the drive through the city, we arrived at the spot I’d chosen. We got our things, threw the camouflage over the truck, and started hiking. It turns out it’s a good thing there was rain, as we saw when we arrived at the fence. Instead of the splash of rain hitting mud, we heard a fizzling sound. It turned out to be the raindrops hitting the fence, which has an electrical current running through it. This will take some time to figure out. If there’s a current on the fence all the time, how can we get over or through it without getting fried?
August 30, 2010 -- James Hasegawa
-- Happy Birthday Jamie!
Oct. 12, 2010 -- Jamie Hasegawa
-- Happy Birthday to you too, old man.
Nov. 9, 2010 -- James Hasegawa
-- Muro’s first birthday. Phillip even managed to get a cake for him. We, of course had our own small cake, as Muro tried to eat his with his whole face. We’ll be cleaning frosting out of the carpet for weeks, but we’re still happy he got it. No-one can be sure of anything with the Syndicate’s attacks growing ever more frequent.
Dec. 3, 2010 -- James Hasegawa
-- We finally feel safe enough to get out all our old research. Sadly, it’s not much. A whole bunch of dead-ends and inconclusive leads. I’m not sure how many old newspapers we’ve got pinned up around the apartment, but it’s clearly all been edited by the government. There are articles that make no sense, references that lead in circles with no solid information. Yet for some reason, we both have a feeling that all the answers are hidden behind that fence. That fence. It’s the most frustrating thing I’ve run into throughout this whole venture. I’m a biologist, not an electrician. I suggested tunneling underneath it, but our tests have suggested that the fence continues underground. And it’s charged every hour of the day, so we can’t just cut through. I just don’t know anymore.
Feb. 10, 2011 -- Jamie Hasegawa
-- James thinks he’s got a plan. He won’t tell me what it is, because he’s worried I’ll let it slip by accident and then it’ll be ruined. But he says that with patience, we’ll be able to get in next summer. Meanwhile, I’ve been working with some friends on organizing a mass protest. If we get enough people all wanting the truth, the government MUST give in. We’re so close now, I can almost taste freedom already.
June 2, 2011 -- Jamie & Muro Hasegawa
-- Muro found the journal. As you can see, he thinks it’s his turn to make an entry. He’s so smart, for a baby. I’ll bet he grows up to be as brilliant as his father. I’m moving our research out of reach now, as he seems to want to draw all over it. My protest is coming along quite well, although we’re starting to have trouble keeping everyone in control. It’s supposed to be a peaceful march, not a riot.
Sept. 20, 2012 -- James Hasegawa
-- It’s been over a year since we’ve written in here. We’re running out of pages faster than I’d expected. Muro’s scribbling filled half the book. Jamie says we should get a datapad to use, but I’m not so sure. Anyways, I’m writing this because of Jamie. She’s pregnant again! Phillip took an ultrasound, and she’s carrying a girl! We’re excited and worried at the same time. Having two kids will mean we won’t be staying in this apartment for much longer. I’m looking for larger apartments or even a house right now. I stopped in a café for a coffee and to write this down. Jamie’s back home taking care of Muro. I can’t believe he’s almost two already! He builds little cities all over the living room with his toy blocks. Jamie says he’s going to be an architect when he grows up. If he grows up.
The Syndicate is growing even more aggressive. Yesterday they assaulted a weapon manufacturer. Massacred everyone inside and stole the weapons. The police is everywhere now, but no-one feels safe. Partly because they’ve done next to nothing against the Syndicate. The government is too busy establishing itself as the WCG, and it’s resources are all focused outwards. That means there’s less funding to the police, which means they’re less willing to fight large-scale crime like the Syndicate.
Nov. 3, 2012 -- James Hasegawa
-- I was fired from my position at the university. The research is filling my head so much that I let it slip during a lecture. I was talking about the flora that inhabits the wilderness preserve here, and a student asked why the trees there are discolored. I told him why, and only realized after the class that I had given him the real answer instead of the government’s lie. Someone told staff, and I found myself before the board of directors. So I’m searching for a new job to pay off the house.
We did settle for a house after all. It’s a small thing in a suburb just outside the business district. It’s two stories, with the bedrooms upstairs, and everything else at ground level. Jamie wants to paint it green, rather than the current tan. I hate telling her no, but we just don’t have the money right now. Maybe after I get a job.
Jamie’s rally is finally ready to go, too. She managed to calm down the violent-minded people, and everything is set. I’m unsure about her going, with the baby coming, but she insists. I hope she really did get those violent people out of it.
Dec. 21, 2012 -- James Hasegawa
-- Today is Jamie’s rally. They’re marching down the main street and ending at the courthouse. I hope it goes well. I’m sitting here at home watching the whole thing on TV. Meanwhile, Muro is out playing with Uncle Kerr. I told Phillip tha-- (writing scratches suddenly across the page)
It all went wrong. Jamie’s rally is all wrong. The violent types went and started their own rally. Except it wasn’t a rally. It was a goddamn riot. They started burning cars, and even beat a policeman to death. They crashed through the city, smashing things and beating anyone who tried to get in their way. The WCG cracked down hard, with the newly formed TCTF spearheading the attack. They didn’t even try and differentiate between the people on the streets, they just brought out these tanks... Huge things with beams that threw people like rag dolls, and burned what they couldn’t throw. I don’t know where she is. Her and the baby... Oh god, I hope they’re okay. I called her phone as soon as I knew, but it isn’t turned on. Maybe she got off the street before the tanks hit. Maybe, maybe, maybe... I’m headed out there now. I’ve gotta find her.
Dec. 22, 2012 -- Phillip Kerr
-- This is quite the journal you guys have. I’m apologize for writing in here, but I think it’s warranted, since you’re both missing. I brought Muro home this morning, but no-one was here. I saw a scrap of brown leather on the table, and decided to check it out. I opened it up, and found this journal.
Muro toddled off into the living room to play with his stuffed animals and blocks almost as soon as the door was open. The stove was still on, so I rushed over and turned it off. Luckily, it didn’t burn anything. I opened a few windows to help cool things off, and the house came back down to normal temperature in no time. I cleaned up the kitchen, and he watched one of those cartoons. Then Muro wanted food, so we went down the street to that diner you guys never visit. Muro’s eyes were almost as big as his pancakes when they arrived, and he could only finish half of one, so I ate the rest. Now he’s sleeping on the couch while I write this.
I’ve been keeping up with the news on my datapad all day now. They’re still sorting out the dead and wounded, and scrolling a list of names as they identify people. So far, Jamie hasn’t been on the list. Now, I know you’re worried, James, but you’ve gotta keep your head on straight out there. Panicking in the street like a lunatic won’t help any. Just keep your head high. She’ll recognize your hair from a mile away. And Jamie, hang in there, wherever you are. James is coming.
Now look at me. I’m writing as if you guys can read it right now. Not very scientific of a professor, wouldn’t you think? Anyways, I’m just keeping the journal up to date in your absence. I think I might scan this into a datapad for you. It’d solve the problem of limited pages, and datapads come very cheap for me, since the University provides me with supplies like that. Consider it an early New Year’s present.
--End of scanned images. Switching to word processor mode.--
Dec. 23, 2012 -- Jamie Hasegawa
-- The rain fell lightly throughout the whole city, dampening clothes and the signs we held. I looked back at the hundreds of people holding paper signs and marching in semi-organized chaos behind me. My closest friend walked on either side of me, helping me hold up the large three-person banner I’d painted the day before. Beyond them, there were more protesters, and then the police that lined the sidewalk. The young men stood stiffly at attention, clearly disturbed by so many people crying out against the government. The dark grey of their uniforms blended in against the concrete buildings and sidewalk that served as a backdrop to our tense scene. In contrast, or signs were brightly painted, and we wore colors to match. Usually people in this city wore drab colors, to avoid drawing attention to themselves, but today we wanted to be seen.
After a ten blocks of the same grey streets, we entered the open green that stood before the courthouse. Slowly, hesitantly, a chant rose from the crowd behind me, and my friends took it up. I refrained, however, preferring to march in silence. We had almost reached the courthouse, and people were starting to spread out now that we weren’t confined by the street any more. I slowed to a stop, and the crowd fanned out around me, chanting louder.
But then I heard an explosion behind me, and whirled to look. There were people in the way, and the rain made visibility even worse, so I pushed through the crowd to see better. Eventually, I stumbled out the back of the crowd, and saw what had caused the noise.
A mob of people flooded out of a street parallel to the one we had been marching on. They carried clubs, torches, and anything else they could do damage with. Smoke rose from something behind them, and as I watched, homemade grenades arced into the air and shattered through windows and caught fire inside. Reacting quickly, policemen ran from their stations in our street and tried to subdue the riot. They were mowed down. I turned away and ran back through the crowd, telling people to get away, to be anywhere but here, but when I got to the front, I saw that I was already too late. A line of tanks had rolled out from behind the courthouse, and were unleashing streams of fire into us.
Jan. 1, 2013 -- James Hasegawa
--Jamie’s recovering well from the riot. She had burns on her shoulder, neck, and face, but Phillip managed to patch her up pretty well. He even says the scars won’t be too bad. Unfortunately, he’s been extremely busy looking after people who were hurt in the riot. All the public clinics are turning away people involved with the freedom protests, so he’s been taking in quite a few patients on the unofficial side of things.
There’s still fighting in the streets, despite the WCG’s crackdown with those tanks. It seems the Syndicate has taken an interest in the rioter’s cause, and is reinforcing their numbers with their own men and weapons. It’s gotten bad enough that I even bought a gun. Of course, it’s an illegal gun. The government wouldn’t allow a civilian to carry a firearm even in normal times. So I bought it off a Syndicate man.
Also, I’ve finally worked out a solution to the fence problem. There’s a scheduled maintenance in August, and they shut down the power for an hour each day for a week so the repairmen can check it for flaws. The wire itself isn’t much of a problem. A few snips will let us in, and some soldering will seal it behind us. The real rick will be getting past the guards they are sure to post, but with a little creative use of smoke grenades should take care of that.
March 7, 2013 -- Jamie Hasegawa
--I’m laughing so hard right now, I can barely write this. Muro was asking me questions about “why my tummy big”, and so I told him that his little sister was inside me. Mai’s been kicking lately, and I let him feel her move a bit. When he realized she was really in there, his eyes got as big as dinner plates. Then he put his eye right up to my belly button, trying to see her. When he couldn’t, he looked up at me and asked,
“It’s dark in there. She doesn’t need a nightlight?” His little eyes were edged with concern. I think I’m gonna let James explain this one. I need to rest now.
April 12, 2013 -- James Hasegawa
--Writing this at the hospital, while I wait for our second child to be born. Jamie went into labor this evening, just after we put Muro to bed. We rushed here as fast as possible of course, and the orderlies rushed Jamie to the delivery room. We held eye contact as long as possible, but hospitals these day don’t allow the father to be present for the birth, so I have to wait in the lobby. I’d better call Phillip and ask him to watch Muro while I’m here.
April 13, 2013 -- James Hasegawa
--I am a happy man. Jamie just gave birth to our second child! She named her Mai. I’m relieved that she’s healthy, considering how much stress we’ve gone through these past few months. Jamie, on the other hand, is so exhausted that she’s going to have to stay at the hospital longer than usual. The doctors won’t tell me why, exactly, just that she has to stay. It’s a bit frustrating, but I can’t really do anything about it.
Meanwhile, Muro’s been helping me put the finishing touches on Mai’s room. He made sure she had a bright nightlight and a mobile above her crib. He even managed to sit still long enough to draw portraits of me, Jamie, Kerr, and himself. I helped him tape them up on the wall, and he even stood back with his thumb up, to make sure they were straight.
April 20, 2013 -- James Hasegawa --Well, Jamie's home again. She's been sickly since giving birth to Mai, laying in bed a lot and not eating much. I'm terrified for her, but I have to put up a brave front for Muro, who's already worried enough without my adding to the tension. We've been spending a lot of time together the past week, since Mommy's been out of it. I've been learning some origami with him, and he's obsessed with making a perfect swan for Jamie. The kitchen table is covered with paper scraps from our attempts, but he just plods on ahead. His determination is impressive, even if he were older. My cooking is also getting better, moving up from toaster waffles to microwave dumplings.
Philip found a wet-nurse for Mai, since Jamie can't take care of her. I'm a little worried about entrusting my newborn daughter to someone else, but I don't really have a choice. She's a nice young woman, always polite to me and Muro, and she seems to know just how to keep Mai calm. When Mai sleeps, she goes in and talks to Jamie for hours. I think it's good for Jamie to have another woman around. She's more alert since Irena's been here, and even managed to throw a pillow at me when I was playing marshmallow baseball with Muro.
April 25, 2013 -- James Hasegawa
--Jamie’s well enough that I’m comfortable leaving her by herself for a while. Today I took Muro to his favorite diner, thanks to Phillip. He ordered a stack of pancakes bigger than himself, and we had a little contest to see who could eat more of them. After cleaning the syrup from our faces, we strolled back to the car and headed over to the shop.
I forgot to mention this earlier in the journal, it seems, but I’ve been working for my neighbor in the florist shop she runs. She pays well, and I’ve liked working with her.
Anyways, I took Muro to work with me, and he decided to help me by rearranging the plants on the shelves he could reach. Now, of course, I couldn’t have that, but he was insistent on helping, so I let him help me pot some roses. He really loves getting his hands dirty, and laughed the whole time we were taking care of the roses, despite sticking his finger on their thorns.
Then we came back home, to find Jamie and Irena cooking up a storm in the kitchen. As soon as we were in the door Jamie cast a baleful glare my way and shooed “the men” out of the way and into the living room. I laughed and told Muro that women are best left alone when they’re having cooking fits. He grabbed the remote and flicked the TV on, instantly absorbed in the football match.
May 3, 2013 -- James Hasegawa
--Noon came quickly this morning, but somehow we got all our equipment packed and ready to go. I rummaged one last time through our backpacks to make sure we had everything we’d need. Vials and bags for samples, scalpels for cutting said samples, a camera drone, notebooks, datapad, scanners, a small tent, and an assortment of other small stuff. Jamie prepared our immunization hypos in the other room, and walked back out to me, holding one out to me while rubbing the sore spot hers had left on her arm.
“Okay boss, your turn. Don’t wanna catch cold on our field trip.” She winced a little as she spoke, the aftereffects of the injection bringing the inevitable sour taste to her throat.
“Thanks honey.” I said, taking it. “Better try your pack on to make sure it’s not too heavy.” I winced as well as I injected myself, but the taste and soreness would pass momentarily. Grunting, she heaved her pack on, and strode around the room to get a feel for it.
“Pack’s okay. I’ll just tighten the waist strap a bit more.” She did so, and nodded to herself before slipping out of it. I watched, and leaned in for a quick kiss as she passed me on her way to our room.
“I’ll go see to the kids. Love you.” I said, and she continued on her way. I watched her go, then turned and walked into the living room. Irena was rocking Mai gently to sleep, but Muro wasn’t to be found anywhere. I frowned.
“Where’s Muro?” I asked, speaking quietly so as not to wake Mai. Then, from behind me a small voice piped up.
“Here I am!” Muro marched in, wearing my lab coat and peering at a vial. “I’m a doctor just like you dad!” I scooped him up, tousling his hair.
“That you are! What do you have there?”
“It’s a mysterious plant from the dark forest!” He held the vial aloft, proudly displaying a dandelion he was studying.
“Oh! That must’ve been very hard to get.” I said, widening my eyes at his find.
“No! I’m a famous scientist! Nothing’s hard for me!” He peered closer at it, then waved it in the air. “This plant has sleep powder in it, dad! You’d better not breathe it, or you’ll die!”
I puffed up my cheeks, making a show of holding my breath, and he laughed. Then I set him down and he scurried over to show it to Irena. I chuckled, and headed to the kitchen to pack our lunches.
A few minutes later, me and Jamie were in the car, driving across the city towards the foreboding fence that we meant to cross. I checked my watch, and counted down the seconds to when the fence would shut down. An ominous buzz filled the car as we drew near, and then suddenly stopped. Right on time. Quickly, Jamie pulled over to the shoulder of the road, and we unloaded our packs, threw the tarp over the truck, and marched off to the reserve. While she wasn’t looking, I dropped a couple stun mines in our wake, to prevent anyone from following us in. We reached a pole in the fence, and I quickly set to cutting the wires so we could get in. It’s unusually warm in here, as we instantly felt as we stepped under the canopy. Jamie had dressed for the heat, and seemed little effected by the humidity, laughing gently at my stubbornness in wearing long-sleeved pants and shirt. Soon we started to encounter plants that were unrecognizable, even to a botanist such as myself. We were both excited, and began taking samples.
...Then Jamie stumbled. I turned to look at her, and she smiled reassuringly at me. She pulled out a bandage and applied it over the small cut on her leg. Frowning, I walked over to the plant --which we had taken samples from-- and bent over to look at the thorn that seemed to have sprouted in the last few moments. I brought my scalpel around to slice off the thorn, but then Jamie screamed. Quickly I whirled, and saw a horrid green and purple... infection... crawling up her leg. I rushed to her, and caught her as she fell, lowering her gently to the ground. I scrambled to find a hypo spray, throwing my vials in desperation to get at the medkit. Finally, I found it, and jammed the hypo into her artery, watching the ever-spreading color in horror as the drug only sped it’s progress.
“No!” I yelled, but tried for a more reassuring tone when I saw the pain in her eyes. “Hold on Jamie, we’re gonna get you to the car. There’s a better medkit there.”
I tried to lift her, but when her leg moved she screamed in pain, so I set her down again. The infection was spreading fast, so I tied a tourniquet around her leg to try and stop it. And it seemed to work, but after a minute of hesitation the infection surfaced again on the other side and continued up towards her hip. She spasmed in my arms, one of her hands hitting me on the side of the head. I caught it, and held it tightly against my chest, realizing there was nothing I could do for her. By now I was weeping openly, my vision blurred through a cascade of tears. Then I felt her other hand reach towards my hip and pull my pistol from my pocket. She swung it around towards her head, but another spasm threw it from her grasp and sent it tumbling to the ground. Tense, claw-like from the pain, her hand reached for it again, but it was beyond her reach. I looked at her green eyes, clouded with pain, and saw, more than heard, her final word.
“Please...” She begged me. I reluctantly picked up the gun then, and, with sorrow filling my soul, ended her pain. I wiped my eyes slowly, and then rage filled me. Turning on the plant, I yelled and fired my gun mindlessly at it’s stalk. I watched the ammo indicator count down, until there was only one bullet left, and then brought the barrel to my own temple. But in my sorrow, I squeezed the trigger too early, and the gun fired harmlessly into the tree canopy. I threw the gun away, looking around for my scalpels, but instead my eye lit on the samples we had taken of the plant. Jamie would’ve wanted me to do something with them, I realized, use them to make sure this never happened to anyone else.
Faintly, I heard an explosion from the direction of the fence, followed by much shouting. I turned, and saw figures swarming around the hole I had cut in the wires. They were wearing armor, I could see, but the haze was too thick to make out any other details. Reluctantly, I turned back to the scene of Jamie’s death, and scooped up the plant samples. I also took a sample of her skin near the cut, and pocketed the vials safely away. Then I picked up Jamie’s body, and carried her towards the fence. The armored men approached me, and I saw the roughly painted Syndicate insignia on their shoulders. Two of them raised their guns and shouted orders at me, but a third figure, his armor painted with purple highlights contradicted them.
“No. We want this one alive. Can’t you see he’s grieving? Besides, he’s already got the information we need.” His dark skin wrinkled thoughtfully around his eyes, and he slipped a business card into my pocket. “So you know who to call when you run out of legal funding.” He explained. Then he turned to his men, and waved them towards the forest. They jogged off, lowering protective masks over their faces as they entered the haze. I watched them disappear, and then trudged back to my --our-- truck.
May 12, 2013 -- James Hasegawa
---Audio Encrypt Engaged---
--Since the loss of my beloved Jamie I have tried to find a way to excuse my survival. Her sacrifice must have some meaning or the tragedy of it will overwhelm me. I met Jamie when she was a student of mine. She was one of my best. It was also obvious that she was an exceptional person. I fell for her from the start. Jamie was an activist. She knew government was concealing the facts about the environmental crisis. She was determined to set things straight no matter what the cost. Jamie convinced me to join in the struggle. We both knew it was dangerous but we were young and thought we were indestructible.
--I miss her terribly.
--We never should have left the city. But we wanted proof of what was being allowed to happen. They called it a Wilderness Preserve. It was one of the Contaminated Zones, the dirty secrets that the government made it easy to ignore. We knew that traveling there would brand us as enemies of the state. We thought we were prepared to deal with the consequences of our choice, but what happened was more horrible than anything we could have ever imagined. On our way into the Zone, Jamie cut her leg. The wound became infected almost immediately. I'd never seen anything like it. She was dying in my arms and there was nothing I could do to save her. All I could do was ease her pain.
--The world outside the Atmospheric Processors is poisonous. If something isn't done we are all doomed. Jamie's death won't be in vain. I'm going to do something about the nightmare that killed her. Phillip will help me. He misses her as much as I do.
May 20, 2013 -- James Hasegawa
--It’s been eight days of searching, and we still haven’t found anyone willing to fund my research. Phillip has his clinic’s small lab, but it’s not equipped for the kind of experimentation we’ll be doing. Not even BGI will agree to fund us, and everyone knows they’re the shadiest legitimate company out there. I don’t believe I’m actually thinking this, but I am actually considering taking up the Syndicate’s offer. I’ve worn the business card soft around the edges from fidgeting with it so much. Kerr thinks it may be our only option, but I’m afraid that they want our research for nefarious purposes. And what do I tell Muro? He’s only four, but I can tell he misses Jamie too. He follows me everywhere since she died. What would he think if he found out I’m going to work for the “bad guys”?
June 10, 2013 -- James Hasegawa
--audio to text encryption engaged--
“I knew you’d call, Hasegawa. You looking to start some real research?”
*sigh* “Yes. What are your terms?”
“We’re not too strict here, Hasegawa. Just security conscious. You’ll have a full lab at your disposal, and as many resources as we can spare. You’ll have to live in one of our secure housing complexes, and your outside contact will be limited, but you should find it rather comfortable nonetheless.”
“When will we move in?”
“We’ll meet you at the site of our previous encounter in ten days. We’ll have your lab set up by then, so you can get to work straightaway.”
“It’ll have to be a fully equipped biologic--”
“I know what I’m doing, Hasegawa. You’d best mind to your own business.”
“What do you want with my research, anyways?”
“I want what you want. A cure for this dying world.”
“Why do you care about saving the environment? I thought all the Syndicate wanted was to undermine the WCG.”
“Far from it, Hasegawa. The WCG deceives the people of this world, and therefore it must be removed, if the world is going to be saved. Now, as I said before, you had better mind your own business.”
--Phone hangs up--
“Did you get all that Phillip?”
“Every word. You still sure about this?”
“It’s not as though we have any choice now, do we?”
*sigh* I suppose you--
--End of Encryption--
June 23, 2013 -- James Hasegawa
--Well I’m in with the Syndicate. Muro is excited about our new house, and his enthusiasm is almost enough to counter this feeling of depression that I’ve slipped into. I’m missing Jamie more and more every day, and it feels as though an icy hand grips my heart in it’s dead clutch. I feel rage at the WCG for lying to us about the Wilderness, and anger at myself for taking her into the Wilderness so rashly. But I WILL find a way to cure this world, and by doing so, atone for my guilt...
--The Syndicate have given me more than I had ever dreamed of here. I have a laboratory more extensive and far more advanced than anything I ever had at the university. Because they’re operating outside of WCG law, they’ve been able to develop far faster than civilians, and in more radical directions than the military. Some of this stuff I had to be taught how to use, but I catch on quickly, so I can operate most of it fairly well. They’re also housing us fairly well, allowing Irena to move in with the kids so I don’t have to spend valuable research time taking care of them.
July 4, 2013 -- James Hasegawa
--My research has progressed far faster than I had hoped. I’ve managed to extract the plant’s DNA, and splice it into a computer simulation. I’m able to see it’s entire life process unfold before my eyes. This is amazing. I can even place the plant into a virtual environment and watch how it interacts with it’s surroundings. Oddly, it doesn’t seem to use photosynthesis at all. It... Feeds... On other organisms by infecting them with spores when they are scratched by it’s thorns. The spores then intertwine themselves with the body, killing it and reconnecting to feed the main stalk. It’s astounding how the plant can feed off of a single body for weeks. I understand how it killed Jamie at last.
February 5, 2014 -- Phillip Kerr
--James has become infatuated with this plant. I came to their house to see the kids, and he wasn’t here. Irena has been raising them single-handedly, poor girl. Now, I knew that she was becoming stressed about working for James, because it’s been restricting her schedule, but when I arrived she was in tears on the couch, because James hand’t been home in several days. She has formed a bond with the family, and I even think that she’d been hoping for a more personal relationship with James. Now, I’ve been paying her for her time, since James is only receiving minimal support from the Syndicate, outside their funding of his research. But he’s been disregarding her entirely, and she could’t take it anymore. She left her set of keys, and stormed off with only a curt goodbye to the children. I’ll have to talk with James about this, because if he doesn’t get his act together, he’ll find himself with no-one left but his grief. Until he comes home, I’ll watch the kids, and be here for Irena if she comes back.
February 7, 2014 --Phillip Kerr & James Hasegawa
--Audio Encryption Activated--
--door opens and slams closed-- “Hello James.”
“What are you doing here, Phillip? Where’s Irena and the kids?”
“Irena left two days ago. The kids are in bed. Do you know how long you’ve been at the lab, James?”
“I’ve been working on the plant for a couple days. The syndicate gave me a bunk to sleep on when I’m doing overtime.”
“You’ve been gone for over a week, James. Your obsession with that plant has made you lose contact with reality. I miss Jamie too, but she wouldn’t have wanted you to be this fixated. When you two were researching together, you always took time for your family, no matter how busy you were. Remember that?”
“Don’t dictate to me, Phillip. Jamie meant the world to me. She would want my full attention to go towards finishing what we started.”
--couch creaks, followed by footsteps--
“Then let me help. I can’t replace her knowledge in the laboratory, but I can at least help you some. And with both of us working, you’ll have more time to see Muro and Mai. Remember them? Your children who love you?”
“Fine. You can come with me to the lab tomorrow and see what I’ve been working on.”
“Good. You go find a daycare for Mai, then, and I’ll make dinner.”
--footsteps leaving, footsteps coming closer--
--Audio Encryption Ended--