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Thursday
Jan152009

January 15th, 20XII

It's a Sunday. Two weeks into the second term and the kids are already contemplating why they were so happy to have come back. High school is a strange mistress. At this point in their lives it's hard to have a life outside. But inside, the rules and restrictions can sometimes be unbearable.

There are those that ponder, contemplating such rationale and then those that fall by the wayside of simple exposition into hatred. It used to be said that college was to be the best time of one's life. Then the recession hit and the younger generations would be just as screwed as the rest.

Not much to look forward to when secondary education is daunting because of the necessity of at least a second job just to make tuition payments and the occasional portion of a bar tab. It can be mind-crushing. Though such is far beyond where those easy-street thinkers dare venture. Except this is about him. One of the few who hold the weight of a world and then some on his shoulders.

His name is Michael Lamb. Broken down into word meanings, he could be considered a 'god-like sacrifice.' Puts a lot of pressure on someone especially when they're an emancipated minor who's still suffering from the recent death of his mother and constant reminder that once this term ends he'll have little means to make it in the real world.

It's pretty depressing really. Or so that's what flows through his mind. Seventeen years old and with but one true friend. Matheui Rouzer. A 14 year old kid who, like him, has no parents. Michael finds it funny that amongst all the other 'associates' he has made, he feels he can only trust Rouzer. Perhaps it's because of their similar situations or maybe it's just the fact that they share a common love of strategy games.

Most of his peers find games such as those childish by this point but there's just something about them that he can't shake. Perhaps Michael held on to such a hobby as a way to cope with having to 'grow up' so fast. You see the last time he ever felt like a kid was back when his father was still overseas and it was just his mom and sister. Things seemed peaceful back then. He felt safe. No matter what happened in the day, as soon as he made it home he could feel all his troubles slip away.

He loved his mother. She was the best mother in the world in his eyes. She worked all day but still had dinner ready every night and would even make sure they were up and about in the mornings for school. She worked so hard for the family. So much so that he even decided to get a job himself to help out. Although she was against it she really appreciated the help. He felt it was just the right thing to do. That and besides his sister was too young to really understand what was going on.  Which may be ironic since he'd fold to that same rationale when their father came back and he would turn towards emancipation.

But all of this is mere excess that floats around his mind from day to day. The weight that only builds, never seeming to lessen. It's Sunday and already the thoughts have started. Things'll be okay though. It's Sunday. The day him and Rouzer tend to hold their matches. Ever since they've known each other, going on four years, they've made it almost tradition to challenge one another to some type of war/strategy game on Sundays. They usually play online but sometimes even shift to tangible boards and pieces because it hasn't been that long since digital beat out analog.

It was at those times when his mind could be clear. He was just Michael Lamb. Not Michael the student. Michael the older bother. Michael the senior. Michael the Dinning Services carver. Not even Michael, the one feigning interest in things that don't really matter when you're not as terribly fortunate as kids your age, so as to keep up perceptions with the people who've come to rely him you to fill the 'quota.' Perhaps the only time he could just be free of the restrictions and expectations of others.

Yeah. It's a Sunday. But for Michael Lamb, it'll be a good one.

Friday
Jan302009

January 30th, 20XII

It's a Monday. Four weeks now into the second tem yet, most students have only experienced the first two. Life was far from perfect in this dawn of a new year, but it wouldn't be until now that the world itself would seem to shift from reality to some sort of fantasy. Student turnout at 90% of schools, both public and private, had been dwindling ever since the events that came to unfold in the weeks prior. It's the year 2012 and all superstition aside, it appears as though it really has become the end to some people's worlds.

Call it hysteria or worse but, it seems as though some have taken it unto themselves to bring pain and suffering to the masses. The first true scare of it's nature since the early 80s to mid 90s. Some dastardly individual or copycats had crossed a line that no one could have foreseen. Motives unclear as no demands were made but the target, to be put simply, high schools and middle schools around New York City. The kind of world we live in where children become targets? News reports had already started pointing fingers. Some feel weary of terrorists; politicians have turned to their end-all scapegoat of video games while right-wing conservatives; oh, they blame America as they did during the war on terrorism. They see the carnage and destruction brought about as a symbol of justice being wrought on a society that in their views is too 'accepting' of certain 'cultures' and 'lifestyles.'

Though none of that's terribly significant to this day. It's the 30th of January and as Matheui Rouzer is just finding himself awakening in the late afternoon, he yawns and wonders what he'll be able to do to kill time. Poor choice of words given this time of heightened fright but being alone in a a four room, three bathroom, four story, house means not having to worry about stepping on anyone's nerves.

Matheui was an average kid. He did whatever was required of him by his family and by his teachers. School work wasn't terribly difficult for him so he never felt the need to complain and being that his parents were practically non-existent to begin with it wasn't as though there was much to damper his mood. Well perhaps aside from being bored since with his parents constantly traversing the world for business reasons, whenever he was out of school he'd simply be alone. No other siblings and very few friends--who weren't trying to extort him for having an empty house or his well-intentioned monthly allowance.

Though there was Michael. Michael Lamb. He was a senior at their high school and, a good friend. Matheui's best friend actually. He met Michael almost five years ago when he decided to take up a martial art. Michael had apparently been going for years already and was seemingly one of the school's best/worst students. While sparring he had a keen sense and was quite intuitive although, his forms left much to be desired which was why after all the time he'd spent there he was still just at the second rank even though he was allowed to go toe-to-toe with those of rank five or more. To watch him spar was something in and of itself. He always brought something new to the fray and never seemed to fight with anything shy of jovial intrigue. Never anger or rage. Always with a smile on his face but with a drive to be better, to never surrender. That's what got Matheui interested in talking to him in the first place. He was hesitant at first but once they started talking he found Michael to be one of the coolest people he knew.

They had fun back in those days. And then when Matheui made it out of middle school they would continue the friendship in high school. Michael had, shortly before Matheui graduated, to quit martial arts. It wasn't going to be until much later that Matheui would find out the true reasons why but that didn't damper their friendship as they still would hang out. And especially the special Sundays when they'd have their war/strategy games/matches.

In all the years they had their war games, Matheui had almost always been able to beat him. Their play styles were like night and day. Matheui would utilize his resources to their fullest but Michael seemingly could never commit to losing his soldiers. Most matches could be won if Matheui just destroyed enough of his adversary's troops or focused on destroying his heavy weaponry. It was easy enough to figure out but actually getting it done would serve as the reason the games could still be worthwhile after all those years for him. There was just something about his friend that he just couldn't put his finger on. He was a good person. Noble even. Just being around him, Matheui felt like he could be a better friend, a better student, and just a better human being.

It's a Monday and although most parents have forbade their children from going to school until the 'psycho' or 'psychos' are caught, he knew Michael would be in class. And being that his parents probably didn't even know about the situation--being on the other side of the world and all--he could go to class as well. It's a Monday but school's out for the day by now, he thinks to himself. He figure tomorrow he'll definitely try to make it since it'd be far more interesting that being in an empty house continuing to talk to himself all day again.

Thursday
Feb122009

February 12th, 20XII

Dear Journal,

Wow I can't believe how idiotic that sounds. But well I was advised to do this, after all. So here goes. Hello, "Journzies." It's me Mael. Mael Lehrer. I guess me and you are about to become good friends. ...friends. That's a funny term now that I think of it.

All my life I've never truly had many. Friends that is. It was either because of how smart I am or because of my...ailment. This is stupid. She told me I should write out my feelings. Not just because I can't speak but because of what happened...because of what IS happening. You see Journzy ole pal, yesterday marked my first day back in school. It's funny that it took a crisis to be able to convince the board to let me attend. But given the circumstances it really couldn't be more win-win. I finally get to experience life outside of this bubble and the school has a better chance of staying open. Of course there's also Bianca.

My one true friend. Bianca. Even with my condition, she's never looked at me or treated me any differently. To her I was just me. I could feel normal. And now I'll be going to the same school as her. Though given what happened, that hasn't exactly been much of a plus. You see, we haven't spoken since her brother, his friend Matheui, and a couple of other students from the school, disappeared a few weeks ago. I guess disappeared isn't the best choice of words but given that they're missing and no one saw them leave the school...well what can be said? Needless to say, as my only friend outside of my "support network"... with her not speaking with me... being in school, well its been quite a time.

I'm still optimistic though. Whoever it was that seems to have been targeting schools has seemingly stopped and things are beginning to get back to a sense of normalcy. Well I guess if anything in my life can be considered normal. ...I can't do this. I'll try again later, seeya Journal.

- Mael

Tuesday
Feb172009

February 17th, 20XII

Hey Journzies,

Okay, well what can be said now? It's been a whole week now since I've started going to school. My mother's still worried about me... for that matter so's my therapist. So I got roughed up a bit this week. Everyone gets bullied in high school. It's practically mandatory right? Besides, now that Bianca's finally feeling better now I'm no longer alone. I can't believe no clues to her brother's disappearance have been found yet. I want to help but I don't have any idea whatsoever where to start. that and when you're born without a mouth, nose, and ears people are less than willing to talk to you. Sometimes I wonder in maybe I was ever supposed to be born. I'm a freak in the most apparent sense. All these years and all the consultations and doctors still aren't sure how I'm even able to be alive. I can hear just fine and even smell. I even breath somehow but they don't understand how. And aside from having to be feed intravenously, everything else about me seems to be perfectly normal. Well I mean if you accept that I'm also super-mega smart. Lol. That always makes me laugh. My therapist hates when I refer to it that way since I'm very well one of the smartest people in the world apparently. In all honesty I'd rather just believe I'm just me and that such a thing is a trivial as how I survive.

I survive. The constant reminders that I'm doing so against quite very many laws of nature and probably physics don't help the will to do so. But then there's Bianca. I have to help her. She's done so much for me already by just being my friend. I hate hacking but maybe if I had access to the case reports maybe I could find something the authorities missed. I just hope that he isn't a casualty of the madman that'd been at large until late. That and I hope he doesn't come back either.

From his targets so far I've been able to deduce that he couldn't possibly have been caught yet. The media's still full of speculations and the silence of the police leads me to believe they've made little to no progress in that case either. I'm worried that my school may be next. Given the path of destruction, the probability is indeed quite high. But given all the publicity I just hope he stays out of the limelight... at least long enough till I can zero in on him. I will stop him. Before he has the chance to hurt her... or ANYONE else.

Jeez. I guess writing in you is easier than I thought. Hmm, who knew? Ah well, I think I'll end there. I'm too riled up. I'll never get to sleep now. Besides, these cases are more important anyway. Especially since the requirements for school are so limited I should have more than enough time to get this done.

Maybe I shouldn't've only completed half that placement exam. Then again, had I finished it I probably would've ended up in college. Can't do much for anyone there. Once things really get back to normal, that's when I'll feel okay with that. Yeah. Ah well, so I'm off before I start up again. Night Journzies.

- Mael

Thursday
Feb262009

February 26th, 20XII

Hey Journal,

I'm in a terribly good mood right now. Here it is, the beginning of another week... the end of a week. I think I've finally found a place at school. I actually made it the entire week without getting beat up. Not even once! Hard to believe for even me. I have to say though that I'm sure Bianca's gift has helped in that regard. A bandanna with a smile on it. It's perfect.

Things just don't get any better. Life's settling down quite nicely and it really does look like a sense of peace is returning. Student enrollment seems to be on the rise as well. Things are finally getting back to normal. Yup.

I'm really looking forward to school tomorrow. I don't think I even know why really. Maybe this is what I'd been missing this whole time. This feeling. It's indescribable but it's just, pure. A great feeling. Hmm I think I'm finally, sincerely, happy. I wouldn't trade this for anything. I have a life. I have my best friend. I'm not alone anymore. Ah, to good days. I look on to such a bright future.

Hmm, write you later Journzies.

- Mael

Sunday
Mar012009

Februart 29th, 20XII

It was fifth period and a Wednesday. Mael was strolling through the halls, as per usual, since he couldn't exactly 'eat' during his lunch period. Because of such, he had made it a habit to stop by Bianca's class midway through the period. It was almost as if a tradition had come to be once she begged him to, once she started going back to school. She told him it would be a big help and that him passing by would help refresh her for the rest of the period. Mael had offered to just tutor her but it wasn't a matter of her doing poorly in the class more than just her finding the teacher very 'dull and uninteresting.' So, Mael complied.

He was happy to see her smile. He was even happier to be the cause of it. Especially since it wasn't something that happened often since she lost her brother. Even now many had declared Michael Lamb and the other students that 'disappeared' that day, to simply be victims of the urban terrorist. It really hurt her, and Mael couldn't stand by and let his best friend wallow in despair without doing all that he could. It was because of that drive that he decided to change things up after the first few days. Instead of just passing by and waving he soon tried making funny signs and then eventually silly faces. He used a marker on Monday to make a really amazing face for himself that was so funny he got her to laugh out loud. Her teacher even noticed and that made his day. Since yesterday, he had begun trying the newest dance trends. Since he received a pretty good reaction the day before, he decided to pull out all the stops today. As he made his way to the second floor stairwell he gave a subtle acknowledgement to the custodial staff as they took care of some student's 'creative expression' in the bathroom and focused on the routine he was about to perform.

-----

10 minutes into the period and already Bianca was bored out of her mind. It's not as though she hated science but just that there was something about this teacher. Biology was actually kind of interesting to her. Especially given Mael's predicament. She didn't even really mind being bored so much as to what the boredom would always eventually lead to. Whenever her mind wasn't preoccupied with something else, it would find its way to being preoccupied with what happened to her brother. Not knowing whether he was dead or alive really disturbed her. And worse yet, their father's reaction to his disappearance was even worse.

Michael had been emancipated and lived on his own. He keep their mom's last name after she died and went on to live, alone. Their father and him never got along but they were a family after all. When he found out about what happened to his son, it was as if he didn't even care. How could he not care about his own child was all that would flow through her mind. She couldn't help but be utterly perplexed by the thoughts as well as just what actually happened to her brother in the first place. And not just her brother, but his best friend Matheui, and all the other students that vanished that same day. The questions were beginning to overwhelm her. But as she looked at the clock she saw that 20 minutes had past. and Just two more to go before Mael would show and cheer her up.

-----

It was 15 minutes before Mael would make his approach. He decided to take the scenic route since he wasn't supposed to be wandering the hallways in the first place. Each student was supposed to be in a faculty supervised area at all times as stipulated by the new rules instated since the first attacks. Though with a wave to a custodial worker transporting a ladder somewhere returned by a frightened look, Mael rationalized that such contact would be acceptable since the custodial staff are considered faculty. Mael made his way along until he found himself stopped. He started to contemplate about situation that just took place.

When he first got to the school he received plenty of scared and hateful looks but it'd been almost a month since he had started and it was very rarely that anyone still returned such glances. He then began to recall the faces of all the staff and students. Since he had been identified as having an eidetic memory, among other things, he was able to recall the incongruity. A fear rushed over his being. It wasn't fear towards Mael, but fear towards being caught. The conclusions were all the same. Mael had just crossed paths with the culprit of all the pain and suffering that had been spreading around since the dawn of the new year.

-----

It had been 40 minutes since the period began and Bianca was beginning to panic. Mael hadn't shown up, so she couldn't help but be fearful that he had been abducted just like her brother. She was scared and starting to have difficulty breathing. Using stress management techniques, she learned from mandatory grief counseling session the school provided, she was able to make it to the end of the period. By the end of the first bell she was already down the hall and on her way to Mael's sixth period class. She didn't even bother to take her things with her. She just had to know if he was okay or not. She couldn't bare to loose anyone else. Reaching the class she stood at the doorway too focused to pay mind to the perplexed looks. He wasn't in his class but there was still two minutes left till the second bell. She prayed. One minute left and still no Mael. Her heart was beating rapidly. The bell rang and Mael didn't show up to his own class either. She fell to her knees, tears welling in her eyes as she began to hyperventilate. Mael's teacher rushed to her aid as the other students, as few as there were, all tried to get a look at what was going on. Bianca was taken to the nurse's office as Mael's teacher had a custodian watch over her class till she returned.

-----

Mael, many times wished he wasn't born the way he was. Many times he'd find himself wishing he were normal. Average. Mundane. Mael couldn't help but hate his life. His circumstance. Himself. Mael Lehrer didn't have many friends. Not just because he was so smart, talented, gifted even, but because he was always right. Perhaps not truly always, but enough of the time to make people around him weary of being around him. It would be this time now that he would hate such a trait the most of all. He was right, and now he had only moments to act. Given everything he was able to dig up about the assailant, he knew the general routine in which she would perpetrate her attack. Having 'borrowed' his school's blueprints, Mael had a fairly good idea of where the pivotal points of attack would be. Given the crime scene reports he also 'borrowed,' he was able to decipher that time was in a factor of how long it would take the madwoman to get clear since her attacks seemed to be remotely executed. Perhaps done just so she could have a front row seat and a feeling of satisfaction holding such devastating power within her hands. There was no time to waste as spending time to vilify this woman who would commit such acts or attacking her directly would simply put lives in even more danger. Mael had to play this smart. And just as the bell signaling the end of fifth period rang, his plan was set and it was time for him to go into action.

-----

It was almost the end of sixth period and Bianca was passed out in the nurse's office. The nurse left her desk to check on her and upon returning found a message on her computer. It was from the main office and detailed an assembly that was going to be held during the next period that, everyone HAD to attend. She made a note of it but didn't take it too seriously. It would be five minutes before the end of the period when another message would appear on her monitor reminding her of the assembly. She thought it strange since she hadn't received notification sooner than that period and then because 'reminders' were never sent. So, being that she couldn't just leave a student all alone she sent a junior nurse to the office in her stead to get some answers. As it turned out, she wasn't the only one.

Once everyone had gotten to the office there was simply a note that read, "At Assembly In Gym. Meet There." With nothing else to be read and the office doors locked they all decided to just follow along. Teachers got the news from students they had sent to the office and the junior nurse reported the same to her superior. All went about gathering everyone together to go to the gym. Even the custodial staff was told to gather there as well. Everyone made their way, floor by floor--starting with the highest floor first, as directed by the assembly notifications. Everyone made their way to the gym aside from the senior nurse who opted to look after her passed out charge instead. As the last few classes were making their way there, it was the custodial staff that would mark the last group to enter. Upon entering however, they found that there was no one else there except for a kid wearing a bandanna around his nose and mouth; a large toothy smile graphic displayed on the front of it. A boy with what looked like explosives strapped to his chest.

-----

Mael Lehrer had spent the majority of his sixth period out of class. He knew it was wrong but felt his time best be utilized doing other things. Other things such as getting rid of the threat posed by a madwoman who had a thing for tormenting children and, in the aftermath, their families and the United States as a whole. Mael wasn't delusional enough to believe he could get every single explosive before the would-be destroyer got antsy, so he decided on the best course of action being to try and secure a large enough area of the school to fit everyone into and then to get them into it. The first part of the plan went off without much of a hitch. He was able to remove a number of key explosives from support frames both below and above the gymnasium. It had to become the safest place in the school if he was expecting to get his plan accomplished and thwart the woman who would try and extinguish so many lives.

The second part of Mael's plan was then to get everyone into the gym. Being that every classroom and office was fitted with a computer and all were networked, it just became a matter of making it to the main office and sending out a message that would get what he needed accomplished without causing a riot or alerting his adversary. It was easy to get the principal out of his office which, lucky for Mael, was isolated from the other areas of the main office but still had a doorway that led to the main office hallway as well as one leading to the rest of the main office. Once the principal was out, talking to one of his assistant principals about a student that 'mooned' him, Mael was able to slip in and send a message about an assembly. Upon sending the message he made his way to the gym equipped with some duct tape, the bombs he was able to remove, and the principal's favorite mug after leaving a note dictating that the mug would be where Mael needed him to be.

After high tailing it to the gymnasium Mael commandeered the gym office's computer to lock out the principal's computer, making it impossible to cancel the assembly notification. After that he knew he only had so much time before the teachers would return. The period was almost up and by the interim between periods everyone should receive the message, be on their way to the gym, or be on their way back to their offices.

With all the preparations in order Mael had only one more thing to accomplish before everything went down. He needed to disarm the bombs. They were definitely remote operated. They were also very crude. This wasn't some bomb expert he was dealing with. Just a fanatic. And one with no training whatsoever as evident by the sloppy way the devices were cobbled together. It wasn't like a movie. There were no dummy wires. It was all fairly simple. The only thing that made the explosives potent was their small size. With that understanding, he could only figure that the reason this madwoman was so successful was because her pattern hadn't been figured out yet. But that was going to change. Now, she was up against Mael Lehrer, prodigious savant.

-----

It was about 10 minutes before the end of sixth period and Bianca was finally regaining consciousness. It was apparent that her mind had blocked out the pain as she could not recall anything prior to her sitting in bio. But before she could attempt to remember she found herself startled by the nurse staring in her direction with a concerned look. She informed Bianca that she had been out for just over an hour and asked her a few questions to ascertain her health.

Bianca thought about her predicament briefly, contemplating feigning illness as to escape her next class but then at the rumble of her stomach and realization of the time--currently being her lunch period-- decided to let hunger take the wheel. She assured the nurse of her wellbeing unfortunately to find that the lunchroom would not be her destination and that an impromptu assembly would. Bummed out that she was going to miss lunch and the fact that it was too late to play sick, she complied, following the nurse to the gym.

Along the way she begged and pleaded but to no avail. Dragging her feet at the nurse's instruction to pick up her pace she stopped. Then looking towards her pseudo warden, she asked if there was a faint sound just then. The nurse looked at Bianca and shook her head. "I'm not falling for that one," she replied as she turned and continued to walk. Bianca let out a sigh and continued along behind her. They were about to turn the corner to the gym when all of a sudden a loud boom echoed down the hallways. It was an explosion. The school was under attack. Bianca turned to the direction of blast and looked onward as similar sounding explosions trumpeted around their location, growing closer and closer. The nurse began panicking while Bianca just stood there, awaiting her end in an emotionless daze. The nurse quickly grabbed her charge and dragged her toward the nearest set of doors just to find that they were locked--as per assembly protocol. She then tried to make her way toward the gym, with hopes that they may be able to find help there or at least escape. Escape from the destruction.

-----

The custodial staff glanced towards Mael and Mael glanced back at them. There's silence. The boy with no face stares intently. The custodial staff begin to inch away in fear. All except for one. She stands her ground and begins to walk toward Mael. It's her. Mael recognizes the face. She's the one. Mael feels a rage boil within him. She's a killer he tells himself. She'll kill him and everyone else in this place if she's not stopped. He puts his hand in his hoodie pocket as all the other custodians run for the doors. Mael scowls at the sick woman who simply continues to walk towards him. Mael stands a top the bleachers and watches her get ever closer. Upon reaching the the bleachers she looks up towards the child and begins to smile. Mael's eyes grow wide and removing his hand from his pocket reveals that he had a cellular phone in hand. In what seems an impossible speed she raises her hand to Mael. She's holding a detonator and as her tongue peeks under one of her canines, exposed by her devilish smile, their faces are like mirror images of each other. The only difference is Mael's smile doesn't include a tongue. He leaps for the woman but is too late. She pushes the button.

-----

Bianca had given up. She remembers as she's dragged by the nurse. She remembers it all. She remembers now how she got to the nurse's office. She remembers Mael being gone. Gone like her brother. She remembers and cries. The nurse pays little attention to the weeping. Her only goal is to get them to safety.

She wasn't old enough to die yet. She hadn't even settled down. She was 24 years old and made a living as a school nurse. It was appalling. Going out like this, here and now, would only make her life truly meaningless she felt. She had to save them both. Save them both or at least that child. She continued to pull her to the doors. Surprisingly the gym seemed to be safe. As everything around them was going up, it was as if that area was going to be spared.

Bianca, in a catatonic state, wasn't phased by the flashing lights. but as she felt her body enter past a door the light of the gymnasium shined brightly upon her. It was at that moment that she heard something. Something familiar. Something she never thought she'd hear again. She heard the nurse scream, "Mael."

She quickly snapped out of her trance and turned to see that it indeed was Mael. To see him fighting, wrestling with a custodian. Wrestling with what seemed like a bomb strapped to his chest. What was going on here is all that the two ladies could ponder. What was Mael doing? Was he the mad bomber the police had been looking for? Is that custodian the only one who tried to stop him? Did anyone else survive? Just what was happening? All questions and more raced through their heads along with a cold panic. The nurse watched as the custodian kicked Mael off of her and stood up. She watched along with Bianca as the crazed worker smiled taking something out of her pocket and tossing it to the ceiling above the young man. They both watched as she turned her back and began walking towards them. They continued to stare, statuesque, as the woman licked one of her canines while sporting a truly grim smile.

-----

Mael awoke, unsure of how long he'd been unconscious. He found himself unable to move so he waited for his vision to settle. Upon being reoriented he realized that he had been pinned under some rubble. With a bit of effort he was able to get one arm free but was unable to do much else. He preceded to survey the area for anything he could use to help get himself free. A lot of rubble, some larger stones and pieces of twisted metal. He figured perhaps he could make a lever but with one hand it would be a challenge. It was then that in the corner of his eye, he noticed something move. It was the door. Someone or something was coming through and he was a sitting duck. Things seemingly would only go from bad to worse now.

Mael was ready to give up all hope until he noticed it was Bianca who was coming through the door. She limped over to him holding her leg. Mael had a concerned look on his face so she explained to him that after the ceiling collapsed on him, her and Margrett tired to run. She told him about how the crazed woman turned after them, throwing timed explosives, which was how her leg was injured. She said they were able to make it to an area of the second floor that hadn't fallen but that the woman caught up. After those words she broke eye contact with Mael and told him how her and Margrett spilt up. How she made it to the stairwell. And finally how she heard an explosion and then just laughter. Mael noticed her crying and put his hand on hers. He couldn't say the words but she knew he was trying to comfort her. She wiped her eyes and stood up. Declaring that she'd try and find a working phone to get some help for him, she shuffled off towards a hole in the wall.

Mael was relieved that she was okay and happy to see she was getting out of there. He could be fine with dying if at least Bianca was okay. But all that steeled resolve soon faded when he felt something dark and ominous. He turned his head to see the madwoman stroll over to him. His eyes focused on her and then he turned to see if Bianca had made it out yet. The woman noticing his gaze, saw Bianca and decided it was time for some fun. She spoke a few simple words to him as she began to slowly make her way toward the injured female.

She had said to Mael that she hoped he'd enjoy watching his girlfriend die after messing up her plans. The gymnasium was in shambles and with only one free arm he couldn't do anything to stop her. He tried using all the strength he could muster but just couldn't get free. He was going to fail her. He was going to fail Bianca. He looked around for something, anything within reach that he could use till he heard a click. It was one of the timed explosives she'd used before. Time was running out for Bianca and there was nothing Mael could do, until he saw a way out.

Mael pick up a twisted piece of infrastructure and began to cut into the area in which his mouth should've been. The pain was excruciating but he bared with it. He would not let Bianca die in such a way. He continued on, clenching his jaw as to make sure no sound escaped out. He knew that his mouth would begin filling fast as soon as he tried to speak. He was done in seconds. Bianca was just outside the hole created by one of the explosions and the crazed woman was halfway between the two children. Then dropping the piece of metal to replace it for a stone, Mael prepared to throw.

As the woman got ready to toss her own little surprise she heard an odd noise and instinctively turned towards it. Before she could make eye contact she heard in an estranged voice, the words, "Think Fast" wailed in sort of a gargle. As her eyes shifted downward to the rubble in front of her she wasn't able to react fast enough to the stone that had come flying her way. Dropping the device in hand she looked down towards it and quickly tried to jump out of the way.

-----

Mael's mouth was filling with blood. He was getting light headed and wasn't sure he'd make it. He coughed a bit and hoped that what the doctors said would hold true.

He was told years ago that he indeed had a mouth or rather a jaw and teeth and even nostrils. He was told that the necessary passages were there and that his skull structure supported them, only that his skin had apparently grown over the surface of such oraficies--ears included. Gambling on being able to produce two syllables he tried his best to say what he could to get the woman's attention. After which he tossed the stone with all the strength he had left, hoping it would be enough. As he watched her turn and then drop the explosive he felt a sense of bliss and blacking out from the blood loss, was completely unconscious the explosion's carnage that followed.

-----

Bianca continued on, out of what was left of her school. She was unable to move terribly fast as she had to drag her injured leg. She had just made it outside when she thought she heard a sound. Figuring it best to just keep moving she tried to pick up her pace. So close to freedom she was a bit relieved until she heard something else. A voice. One that she hadn't heard before. One that still, for some reason, sounded familiar. She quickly turned to see that the psycho woman was facing Mael and had dropped something. Before she could even react, she watched as the woman tried to move only to be caught in an explosion. The force was so great that it knocked her down even as far as she was away from it. The gymnasium, already in shambles, began to crumble. Bianca with all the strength she had left tried to crawl to Mael only to succumb to the pain and black out.

Monday
Mar092009

March 9th, 20XII

"The world is a swirling mass of energy. We are all but parts of something unfathomably larger.

Order can be sought through chaos as in all chaos there is the spawn of that which shall bring order.

Our essence traverses the universe in forms that fall short of divinity. To be one with the ether of existence is to know absolute truths.

The seas doth come alive in these times as if prophecy of the coming hardship. Whether oblivion rears its head as it has so many times past, faith and hope shall not be lost.

The approach however faint does not escape all gaze. This location's purpose will come to be known and the renewed paths made aware from this time on shall hold that which shall fold or unfold the very fabric of this plane.

An end comes to me as it shall so many others. Natural or unnatural, the fates have decreed what is to pass. In my time I was not allowed to show favoritism however, I still hope.

My adoptive son's path is stained as is his past. His will is strong. Let that be enough for him in my passing." - The Great Master

Sunday
Mar152009

March 15th, 20XII

"The days are persistently terrible.

This sucks.

I'm bored out of my mind.

Why we have to write out our thoughts at the end of each day makes no sense to me.

I wonder what Luc's up to.

He hurt one of the newbies earlier.

The Great Master didn't look too happy.

The stress he gives his grandfather must be enormous.

I hate training.

The only one worth a challenge is Luc.

Marcus and Johnas aren't half bad either.

Not on our level though.

Guess it's cause we take it 'seriously.'

Seriously, this sucks.

I'm done for tonight." - Mathus Hueghs

Thursday
Mar262009

March 26, 20XII

"Nothing of note" - Marcus Meair

Tuesday
Mar312009

March 31st, 20XII

"The sky was mundane.

Beauty seems so shrouded in,

Ominous shadowns.

Lucas has left us,

Off on a new excursion.

The Great Master speaks,

He will return soon.

Through a pained voice, his words end.

Zuerker is smiling." - Johnas Arthur Peinth

Tuesday
Mar312009

March 31st, 20XII

"I didn't make it back in time.

The school is in ruins.

Fires pillage my brothers and sisters.

Old Man...

Grandfather...

The Great Master is dead.

This is my fault.

If I could've only warned them about her sooner.

My dearest friends,

Brothers,

Your blades will receive retribution.

Zeurker's blood will be your tombstone sheath.

The path of demons awaits.

Grandfather's memento will be returned.

I will bring his soul peace,

Then to hell I'll travel...

Zuerker won't ever be free after this." - Lucas Toussaint Baise

Sunday
Apr122009

April 12th, 20XII

OPERATIONAL LOG>> DDAT FORMAT ENCRYPTION>> CODE BETA>> DESIGNATION:  RESURFACE

LOG ENTRY>>224

Project Head:  Allison Breath

Test samples have finally begun showing signs of progress conducive with previous theoretical limits. The data recovered from Project Black Box has proven to be quite useful once again. This level of biomechanics may not have been possible without it, however it concerns me that the father operation doesn't seem conceivable without this research and study in which it is the cause of.

Project parameters are holding and inception into the neogene systems may very well be feasible as soon as this year. The world may finally be at peace with these new developments.

END LOG>

Friday
Apr172009

April 17th, 20XII

 

OPERATIONAL LOG>> DDAT FORMAT ENCRYPTION>> CODE ***~>> DESIGNATION: RESURFACE

LOG ENTRY>>***~

 ***~>>***~

The work continues at an alarming rate. This project has the potential to solve the word's crises but there are too many things that don't make sense.

Project Black Box. Just what was that operation about. Information from it has been declared level Omega priority. The level of clearance dedicated to all things concerning the Omega protocol.  But that branch of R&D was designated solely to military and private sector.

What does it have to do with Project Resurface? What exactly was Project Black Box and why has all pertinent factors from it been reported lost or damaged if? We're working of artifacts reverse engineered from that data yet if it were as corrupted as the reports state then just how far advanced was this? Just how far behind are we, and what Just how much of what we've been briefed in its regard has been fact?

We shall continue the work but this feeling doesn't seem to be easily shaken.

END LOG>

 

Wednesday
Apr292009

April 29th, 20XII

OPERATIONAL LOG>> DDAT FORMAT ENCRYPTION>> CODE BETA>> DESIGNATION: RESURFACE

LOG ENTRY>>237

Project Head: Allison Breath

Progress continues to be made on the project. The research we are now conducting point towards practical tess being possible within mere hours. THe discoveries here will indeed change mankind and for the better.

Samples 87 through 92 all show signs of increased activity and stand as the first generation test batch to survive. Preliminary readings on batches 93 through 98 show promise that the results can indeed be replicated. Final result should be awailable by the end of the day and with it the project continues to move forward. Thanks to "Black Tech."

END LOG>

Thursday
Apr302009

April 30th, 20XII

The elevator doors slide open revealing our scientist. Her name is Allison Breadth. She works for an R&D division of the government under the joint discretion of the DOD, DOE, and DOHHS. She is one of many workers looking over the edge of the next technological revolution. She is currently the head of a team of other experts working on Project Resurface and today is her toughest day yet.

-------

Allison makes her way to her office as per usual only to find herself loosing balance. It would appear that someone bumped into her and whoever it was would be facing her full wrath once she got back on her feet. Today was to be the first practical test of the new system she was heralding and tensions were high. After the introduction of a previously unheard of system of technology, her project seemed to finally be producing results. Results however that far exceeding any calculations her team could've conceived. Today was a big day for the project but more importantly her, as it was barely a month since she had been put in charge after the former head was fired due to lack o progress. Albeit not a terribly unusual thing to happen in the field of development but what was strange about it was that after leaving, her colleague hadn't been heard from since. And such was more than a little disconcerting. Either way, she would not let the same thing happen to her. Today was her day.

Getting up to her feet Allison glances around just barely catching the culprit making his way around a corner. It was Garden Schelling, Victor Schelling's son. She always hated Schelling. Not just because for some reason he was able to be excused for having his child run mischief in a government facility but because he was privy to whatever all departments worked on,. He was the one with direct access to the technology they were all incorporating into their individual experiments. Schelling, in essence, had the key to her dream and of course, he was far from willing to give her the information and supplies. But today was her day. Even with all the guess work that became necessary to develop the “Resurface System” and integration phenomenon she was going to prove herself worthy and make her vision a reality.

-------

The test results were within parameters. Allison was speechless. The results, they were as magnificent as she could’ve ever hoped for. With the data collected she was assured she’d be granted anything she’d need to further her project. There was just one obstacle left, presenting the findings to Schelling. It would require swallowing her pride and stifling herself when faced with the endless and very much unnecessary questions that man would pose before finally receiving approval to present to the government liaisons.

A small price to pay for the future of the world, she reminded herself as she prepared the data for transport. Instructing her subordinates to consolidate the information and then organizing the final reports herself, it would be a bit of a process but one well worth it.

Her fellows on the field were experts after all and that may have been one of the few breaks she had. With the constant setbacks from the start of the project, almost two years ago; to be the one who would lead to such success was far from solely her efforts alone. Allison appreciated the work her team accomplished. They were all hard workers and without them such a leap in development may not have even been possible. For the glory of science they entered into the realm of creation and were able to return with results. To be at the forefront of mankind’s potential for survival was the honor of any scientist. Nothing could ruin this.

-------

As Breath made her way to the laboratory to gather a sample she found herself growing tense. It made no discernable sense as she’d just compiled the data from her department and just needed a sample before presenting it al so things really couldn’t have been better. She passed by the elevator used to reach her department’s floor and continued down the corridor. The anxiety continued to grow unexplainably as she turned the corner to the lab. Reaching for her keycard on her lab coat she realized that it was missing. Her keycard was missing.

As she stood at the entrance to the lab her anxiety grew. Her keycard gave her access to all restricted levels in her department. With it, anyone would gain access to all the test samples as well as the data from the allotted mainframe. Whoever pilfered it could mark the end of her project and all the work that went into it. But just who could have taken her card ran through her thoughts. The only time she made direct contact with anyone was….Garden.

_______

Allison made her way to Victor Schelling’s office via security escort, flash drive in hand. Not bothering to even acknowledge the secretary she walked into his boardroom slamming her hands on a conference table. Schelling taken aback by her intrusion dismissed the others in the room and motioned for her to explain just what was going on.

Allison calmly demanded the return of her keycard explaining how his son was responsible and how she was visual surveillance of the theft on a flash drive she got from the office security. Motioning her to wait Schelling left the room. Allison then excused the guard and took a seat. As she waited for Schelling’s return she thought to herself about how such circumstances could be exactly what she would need to bypass all condescending prattle she would have to endure before being able to present her work. Though perhaps unethical it did seem scientifically sound and for the pursuit of science, justified.

Schelling made his way back within five minutes with the card. After handing it to Allison with an apology he was perplexed as to why she continued to sit in the conference room. After be implored to take a seat himself it all became clear.

Given such an ultimatum seemed far from right but given the circumstances, more than reasonable. After agreeing to the terms Allison and Schelling shook hands, Allison making her way out, Schelling making his way back to his son.

-------

Finally back to the laboratory doors Allison prepared to swipe her card with the lights began to flicker. Something was off she thought as for the entire duration of her work there their power flow had never fluctuated. Something was wrong and she had to make sure that whatever it was wasn’t affecting her test samples. Swiping her card and rushing into the lab she found that the incubators had lost power. With the lights continuing to flicker she rushed to the com and began ordering data backups and assistance from any available parties to help her preserve some of the samples.

Everything was a mess. Just what was happening was beyond her. Her only concern became the preservation of the project. They couldn’t loose this. No matter what, she wouldn’t let all their work be for nothing. Allison continued to do what she could until help arrived.

Once others had made it to the lab she began coordinating the retrieval efforts with them. They might just be able to save this she thought to herself as the lights went out completely. Power had been lost in every facet of the lab as well as the surrounding area. Things just seemed to go from bad to worse, so, from save her mind went to salvage protocols. Feeling her way to a supply station she corralled the lab team together and distributed containment helmets.

With the headlights they all continued to collect and contain samples until finally some power seemed to return. Presumably the reserve power Allison instructed the others to continue as she planned to get to her office. Upon reaching the door she found that it wouldn’t budge. Given safety protocols, if power is ever lost, secure doors are released to allow for safe exiting unless already under containment protocols. But given there was no alarm there shouldn’t’ve been a reason for such an issue.

After a few attempts to get the door unsealed Allison called to the others for help. Still unable to get out the group began to get weary. Without full power they wouldn’t be able to use communicators and while within containment mode, every room is sealed with individualized life support systems taking over. With such being the case they were all looking at suffocating if the main power didn’t come back on. All they could do now was wait and perhaps what no strictly scientific mind wants to admit, pray.

 

Wednesday
May202009

May 20th, 20XII

 

Saturday
May302009

May 30th, 20XII

 

 

Sunday
May312009

May 31st, 20XII

 

Sunday
May312009

May 31st, 20XII

The sun's down. I've been blacking in and out for what must be hours now. Not sure exactly what time it is, but that's not important.

Arm's broken and the spring blade's in no better shape. Can't move or even feel my legs...must be pinned.

Uck. I can taste yesterday's breakfast...don't remember there being blood in it. This is a terrible time for jokes. 'Far more a time for such than depression,' he tells me.

At least I'm not alone.'No, just crazy,' he retorts. For some reason I stop hearing his voice. The room starts spinning; vision's going dark. Well now, this sucks...

Saturday
Jun062009

June 6th, 20XII

I never realized how wondrous this world could be. It's just so vast and full of such wonders. I wonder if the Master knew of such wonders? I bet he did. He had to. He knew everything.

Its been almost 6 months since he died. I can't believe someone could take advantage of such a gracious man's kindness. It makes me so mad but, as the Master always said, "Your emotions are like water, they rise and fall, but with temperance and practice such a thing as control can be possible." Well yes, there is a time and a place. And, I now this is neither.

I've been on this train for a few days and am running low on water. Though the signs seem to point to the east I must say I wasn't ready for such drastic climate changes. It's a bit warm for this suit but as the Master always said, "You show respect to others by respecting yourself. Look and present yourself at your greatest will be treated as such." I do miss him.

Though I won't let that cloud my judgment. I just need to return his prized momento to its rightful place. Gee I hope the person who took it will be willing to give it back. I guess time will tell. As the Master always said,"Things happen, always. So, there is never nothing and always hope."