The Lost Journal (A Secret Apocalypse Story)

BOOK: The Lost Journal (A Secret Apocalypse Story)
8.58Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

The Lost Journal

 

A Secret Apocalypse Story

 

By James Harden

CLASSIFICATION: ABOVE TOP SECRET

The following is a partial transcript of a journal belonging to Private Kenji Yoshida of the U.S. Marine Corp. It was originally recovered from the south-eastern section of Sydney. Advanced Recon Team Alpha located the journal whilst tracking and monitoring several nano-virus anomalies within this area of the city.

Unfortunately a copy of the journal was then leaked to Steven Munroe, a journalist with CNN.

Munroe attempted to publish the journal online. It was intercepted and recovered during the uploading process.

Steven Munroe has been charged with treason and detained indefinitely.

The following is classified above Top Secret.

 

EDITOR'S NOTE:

This is the journal of Private Kenji Yoshida of the U.S. Marine Corp. It details his experiences in the field with the Oz virus and in particular the initial outbreak at the small outback town of Woomera - the beginnings of what is now known as the Secret Apocalypse.

It also details his relationship with Rebecca Robinson, the only known survivor of the Oz virus, the only person to have escaped from Australia after a nationwide quarantine was put in place.

At the point of publication both Kenji and Rebecca are missing. It is more than likely they are both dead. Rebecca has been missing since the U.S. military’s press conference last month. Her whereabouts are completely unknown. She has vanished without a trace.

The journal came across my desk from an anonymous source. It came with a brief letter of warning. The letter stated the journal had been stolen, its contents - Top Secret.

I debated for a long time whether or not to publish the journal. In the end I realized that once it becomes public, it will be owned by the public.

I believe whole heartedly that the world has a right to know as much as possible about what has happened in Australia. Across history the suppression of information has never been a good thing. Governments lying to their people has never been a good thing.

Before I interviewed Rebecca Robinson last month she told me one of the main reasons for agreeing to do the globally televised interview was because she believed the people of the world have a right to know the truth.

If I have betrayed Kenji Yoshida’s trust for publishing his journal, then I sincerely apologize. I hope he understands that his words, his story needed to be told.

It is a story of survival, sacrifice and discovery. It is a story of a boy in love with a girl.

It is the story of a man's journey into hell.

January 11th – The Afghan mountains are cold and this is NOT a diary.

OK, technically it is a diary.

Dear Diary...

Nah. I'm not going to do that. I just can’t bring myself to write those words. Even though I just sort of did write those words.

But anyways… Yes, Kenji. This is a diary. But I think I'm going to call it a journal. Sounds less girly, I guess.

So why am I writing a journal? Good question.

I’m not proud to admit it, but over the last two years I’ve made a lot of stupid decisions.

And these stupid decisions just so happened to be life changing.

Let me explain…

 

Stupid life changing decision number 1:

 

I left home for military school without telling Rebecca.

 

I don’t know why I didn’t say goodbye. Maybe it was because I was scared. Maybe it’s because I’m a coward.

In the end there was a part of me that thought she was too fragile to hear what I had to say. I didn’t want to hurt her. I didn’t want to see her cry.

It seems so stupid now. Of course I should’ve said goodbye.

And I should’ve told her how I felt.

I think about her every day. And every day I rehearse in my head what I’m going to say to her, if I ever see her again.

 

My apology speech.

 

It goes a little something like this…

 

Dear Rebecca. I’m sorry I left. I was an idiot. I should’ve told you. I miss you. Please forgive me. Do you want to get some pizza?

 

OK, so I haven’t really worked out what I’m going to say. It’s still all mumbled up in my head.

I don’t know why it’s so hard. It should be easy. Telling the person you love that you love them should be the easiest thing in the world right?

But it’s not. It’s hard. It’s scary.

I wrote a letter to Rebecca on the day I left home. I figured if I was too much of a chicken to tell her face to face, then a letter, a hand written letter would be the next best thing.

But guess what? Yeah, I couldn’t even give the letter to her.

My plan was to sneak over to her house. Leave it under her pillow or something. I don’t know.

But again, I chickened out.

I’m shaking my head as I write this.

My only hope is that one day I’ll get a chance to see her again, to say I’m sorry and give her the letter I wrote for her. Even if she slaps me in the face or spits in my face, even if she screams at me and tells me to go away and that she never wants to see me again; it’ll totally be worth it. And if all else fails, I can at least give her the letter. Hopefully she won’t tear it up.

I’ve thought about posting it to her. I’ve thought about that a lot. But I don’t want to risk sending it off. So I keep it with me in my top pocket, right next to my heart.

I’m not superstitious but I think it’s brought me good luck.

 

Stupid Life Decision part 2:

 

Ran away from military school and joined the U.S. Marines.

 

Again, I’m not even sure why I did this.

Was I punishing myself? Was I so angry that I would risk my life in the armed forces?

At that point in time I hated my parents for sending me away. I hated them more than I thought it was possible to hate anyone. How could they send me off without even consulting with me first? What were they thinking? How did they expect me to react?

I was furious and for awhile I didn’t want anything to do with my parents. So I didn’t tell them that I was enlisting. I guess maybe it was a rebellious thing. An act of total defiance.

But there was part of me that really wanted to go. There was part of me that wanted to push myself, find out if I was strong enough to be a soldier.

But of course, my father found out. I knew he would. He has his ways.

He called me up. I thought he was going to yell at me and rip into me for being stupid and careless. I was expecting him to pull some strings and get me discharged for being a minor. I knew if the military looked into it, my fake birth certificate wouldn’t hold up under close investigation.

But he didn’t rat me out. Instead he quoted something from ‘The Art of War’.

He said the warrior’s path is his own. It is lonely.

"The first rule of war."

"Yeah, I know." I said cutting him off. "Know your enemy."

"No. Remember. Think back. Focus. The first rule of war is, know yourself. You must know yourself; know your strengths, weaknesses, capabilities, and limitations before you know anything else. Go. Find yourself. Know yourself."

I’m glad we were talking over the phone. I think I started to cry a little bit. And I did not want my father to see me crying.

But that phone call helped me get through the first few months of training. And For awhile my mind was clear. But then we got the call up. We were being deployed in the Middle East and all the fear and uncertainty I had felt before was back, stronger than ever.

Was I too young for this? Was I brave enough? Did I have the courage to put my life on the line?

My father has always told me that our family comes from a long line of Samurai. Our ancestors were the personal guard to all fifteen Tokugawa Shoguns.

Do I have that warrior’s soul?

I had no idea. And really, I still have no idea. But when we got our orders I had no choice but to find out. The answer would be life or death. Sink or swim. Live or die.

No pressure right?

So yeah, I’ll admit it. I haven’t always done the smart thing or the right thing. But to my credit I’ve stuck by my decisions and I’ve lived with the consequences.

Unfortunately, I think the only way that I’ve been able to survive and cope and keep going is to compartmentalize everything, to bottle everything up.

I didn’t notice it at first, but keeping these thoughts and feelings bottled up and buried deep inside were slowly taking their toll on me.

And yesterday...

Yesterday I saw something that pushed me over the edge. When we got back to the base, I felt numb and sick. I felt dizzy. I couldn’t breathe.

I made an appointment to see the psychologist on base. I needed to do it. I was completely freaking out and I wasn’t even sure why.

But I couldn’t stop thinking about that poor kid.

So I went and saw the counselor. She assured me that after everything I’d been through, a reaction like this was perfectly normal. She was actually surprised it hadn’t happened earlier.

She advised me to start keeping a journal. She said I needed to verbalize and articulate and materialize these feelings. Get them out of my head, out of my heart. She said keeping them inside and bottled up will destroy me, tear me apart. She said they would infect my insides. Kill me from the inside out, like a virus.

Yeah, that’s it; she said it would be like a virus. It would spread through me, overwhelm me and destroy me.

I do not want that to happen.

So here I go. Let’s get this stuff out of my head before it kills me.

Yesterday (Jan 10th) - Patrol in the Hindu Kush

We were on patrol, the four of us. Gordon, Franco, Drake and I. We had taken a Blackhawk chopper up into the Hindu Kush mountain range. Command had received an unspecified distress call from a small, isolated village. We were sent up there to find out what was going on.

We flew up to an elevation of about eight thousand feet, following a narrow valley all the way to the target area. We were dropped off a small distance away from the outer-wall of the village.

The Blackhawk took off in a mini-dust storm and in a matter of seconds it was out of the valley and had disappeared over the mountain range.

As soon as we entered the village walls, a woman came rushing up to us. She was crying, wailing to the point of hysteria. Her eyes were red and swollen, like she had been crying for days.

Franco stepped forward and tried to calm the woman down. He did not have much success.

Franco is a short Italian guy who fancies himself as a bit of a ladies’ man. But that’s not why he was speaking to this woman. He had spent the most part of his childhood in Italy, France, Spain, Egypt and probably some other countries around the Mediterranean. I think his dad worked for an oil company and they moved around a lot. As a result, Franco is something of a linguistics expert. He is the only one on our team that knows a little bit of the language. Unfortunately, he was struggling with this particular dialect.

He had to get the woman to slow down and repeat herself a couple of times. After a few minutes he figured out the woman was crying over her son.

She said he was sick.

The woman led us to a small hut at the back edge of the village. She was urging us to go inside, to help her son. But the other villagers warned us not to go in. They were waving their arms at us, trying to push us back and away. I couldn’t understand what they were saying or trying to do.

"I’m not entirely sure but it sounds like they’re saying the boy is cursed," Franco explained to us. "They’re saying he is evil. That he has changed into a monster, a demon."

I assumed Franco had mistranslated.

We pushed our way through the crowd of people. The wooden door to the mud hut was barricaded and locked from the outside.

Lance Corporal Gordon, our team leader, asked the villagers if anyone could open the door for us. When no one responded we were forced to remove the barricade ourselves and kick the door in.

BOOK: The Lost Journal (A Secret Apocalypse Story)
8.58Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

From Deities by Mary Ting
Force Me - The Princess by Karland, Marteeka
Sleeping Beauty by Judith Ivory
The Heroic Baron by Nikki Poppen
GreekQuest by Herbie Brennan
This Duchess of Mine by Eloisa James
JACK KILBORN ~ ENDURANCE by Jack Kilborn
Breath of Earth by Beth Cato