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The Deaths of Ametrine Gauvreau

Chapter Text

Electronic Text File
5th of December, 2161 CE
Saturday - 17:19 PST

As I type this, it is the end of my first day outside the vault, ever in this life. It has been an emotionally chaotic day.

Crossing the threshold of the great steel door of the vault felt like stepping yet again into an entirely different world. The exterior tunnel is unfurnished and unimproved in almost any way and would be easy to mistake for a natural cave if not for the relatively smooth trail worn into the floor. The rough-hewn rock was a pleasant sight and sensation for these sore eyes and tired hands. As soon as the outside air hit my lungs I felt like I was finally alive again. It wasn't an especially pleasant smell, but compared to the stale, overly purified air of the vault, it may as well have been the scent of roses. There were rats about, scrambling quickly out of sight as we mutually startled each other. They are alarmingly large but it was nice to see wild animals again, for the first time in years.

My relief collapsed rapidly. I didn't recognize it until I was almost on top of it, trying to navigate by the dim light of the computer, but less than one hundred feet up the tunnel was a dead body. It had mostly been picked clean by the rats by now but it was obviously human, and obviously a vault resident based on the surviving scraps of clothing. That nauseatingly bright blue and gold can't be mistaken for anything else. Obviously one of the previous victims of Jacoren's scheme. I panicked and ran back, and this is when I finally realized that the moment I was clear of the vault door they had immediately closed and sealed it again, before I had a chance to get cold feet. I screamed for them to let me back in but they claimed to be having technical difficulties with the door, and quickly stopped responding on the intercom altogether.

I am all alone now, and no longer have any option of turning back.

After what felt like hours of sobbing, collapsed against the sealed door, but which the computer clock assures me was only a few minutes, I collected myself enough to venture up the tunnel again. I finally exited to the outside world just after sunrise, finding myself high up in the mountains. Seeing the sky and the sun for the first time with these eyes, and feeling the sun's warmth on my skin, momentarily put me back on top of the world. Only for me to come crashing down again once I finally comprehended the world I was now looking at.

There are no trees.

In fact there is very little vegetation here at all. It is dry, rocky, dusty, and the wind is biting and unpleasant. What few plants are present are small and sickly looking. Some of them look wrong - like, I'm unsure if it's from the poison (which I am told is known to cause mutations of living things) or if that's just how flora looks in this world, but they are almost unrecognizable to me as being plants at all. Foraging for food seems like it will be impossible. The normal looking plants have little in the way of edible roots or fruit. Some of the alien plants bear fruit, but they frighten me and I think trying to eat that will be an absolute last resort.

Had I been thinking, I would have caught some of the rats from the vault entrance cave and brought them with me for meat. I think I will have to devise some way to trap the small critters I see from time to time above ground. I haven't seen any animals larger than the rats, which is at once worrying and reassuring. There are snakes, some birds, and more rats. They seem to survive on insects. What the insects are surviving on I have no idea. However the extreme lack of woody vegetation, dead or alive, will make constructing a cooking fire difficult. The availability of potable water, or in fact any water at all, seems like it is also going to be a problem. This is compounded by how blisteringly hot it is during the day. That I did not have sufficient food and water for the long-term journey was obvious before leaving the vault, but I didn't anticipate it being this serious of a concern.

I feel I've strongly overestimated my ability to survive off the land here.

I made my way down the hill to the closest point of interest marked on the computer map, a town by the name of Lone Pine. What I found was what looked like the cold, months-old remains of a campfire, scaled up to cover the footprint of a village. Small scraps of charred wood here, the remnants of stone-paved roads there. Bits of scrap metal half buried in the rubble as evidence of the ancient presence of motorized carriages, automobiles, a concept I have only a cursory familiarity with from books and computer files in the vault. And there is no pine tree there.

There is such a thing as too much of a good thing, and twice now I have learned to be careful what I wish for. The sun has been far too enthusiastic about being felt on my skin. I eventually pulled out a change of clothes to wrap around my head to shield my skin from being burned, having to keep my hands in my pockets for the same reason. (The one good thing I have to say about the vault suits now is that despite the weight and texture of the fabric, they breathe well enough to protect the skin without letting you overheat and boil to death in your own sweat.) It is so bright at midday as to be blinding, difficult to keep my eyes open enough to even see where I'm going. I slipped and fell a few times trying to find my way down the hill because of it, and this makes having to keep my hands in my pockets a problem of its own.

I pressed on through the day, but I had to take it easy to not overheat or fall headlong down a slope and so haven't gotten very far. I have realized that the only way I'm going to survive this journey is to sleep during the day and travel at night, as I have read of people doing in stories set in the desert. (Does this count as a desert? I always think of deserts as being flat and sandy but it feels like an appropriate term here.) It is just after sunset now. I've sat down to have a rest and a snack, and to type out this journal entry. The air has cooled off but the rocks are still so hot that I feel like I'm sitting on a skillet, like the plastic fibers of this suit are going to melt and burn permanently into my ass cheeks. But despite how little sleep I got in the vault last night, I will be pressing on again through the cooler night, hoping to cover more ground. The question of where to sleep is a bridge I will cross when I get to it, in the morning twilight. Hopefully my exhaustion will counteract how difficult it is to sleep in such a bright environment.

As much as I have worried and complained herein, I think I do not regret undertaking this mission after all. Now that it has cooled off, the fresh air really does make me feel truly alive for the first time in years. The wide open sky and far off horizon feel so freeing. The magnitude of relief is hard to put into words. I can't help but smile. This version of nature is horrid compared to my beloved forest, but I will take whatever nature I can get. If I am going to die again, I would rather it be out here than in those accursed tunnels.

The sky is clear tonight and the stars are coming out just now. The moon is down past the horizon so it will be a dark night, but I saw it earlier in the day. It looks different than the one I remember, and I'm unsure if this is the waxing or waning crescent, but it is beautiful and I am glad it is there.

Even in Prenton, I do not think I ever appreciated until this moment just how beautiful the night sky is.

It's not a bad birthday after all.

I am going to make a prayer to Astraeyos, and then get underway again.



Electronic Text File
6th of December, 2161 CE
Sunday - 17:44 PST

I've just woken up from my first day of sleep outside the vault. Still alive. So far, so good.

Traveling at night is definitely better than at day, but I wasn't prepared for how extreme the temperature difference is between day and night. It gets COLD. The jumpsuit that protects my head and face from the sun during the day gets doubled up over the one I'm already wearing at night. Twenty-four hours ago I would have scoffed at the suggestion that I need a jacket in this place.

In the early twilight I searched for a place to sleep that would shelter me from the sun, but while looking for a suitable cave the image suddenly flashed through my mind of the dead body outside the vault, and of the enormous rats. The last thing I want is to accidentally contest some animal's den and get my face bitten off. In the end I elected to sleep out in the open. I found a berm to lay behind to shelter me from the wind, and fashioned a lean-to from my second jumpsuit and my backpack frame. During the trek to what eventually became Prenton we would make these from foliage to shield ourselves from the rain, large enough to completely cover two people. This one is just large enough to protect my head and hands, but it's a working solution. Sleeping in my clothes and boots is uncomfortable as hell, but it is far too hot to cover myself with the meager bedroll I was provided. As a cushion the bedroll is better than laying on the bare dirt and rock, but only barely.

I slept with my knife and pistol close at hand but I don't think it would have done me much good. If anything investigated or crawled on me during the day I have no idea because in spite of everything, I was indeed so worn out that I slept like I had become part of the earth itself. I didn't bother setting an alarm. The computer says I slept for eleven hours.

In any case that's one survival problem solved.



Electronic Text File
7th of December, 2161 CE
Monday - 02:02 PST

As I cannot put this problem off forever, I tried the fruit from one of the spiny alien plants tonight.

Something I learned from Mama in the forest is how to deal with food of unknown edibility. If you are secure enough in food, then compost it and don't worry about it. If you are not secure in food and are desperate for anything you can get, boil the mystery food, try a very tiny piece of it, and wait several hours to see if you get sick before trying a larger piece. As I don't have the luxury of being able to boil anything, I skipped that step and just tried a small piece of it raw.

I couldn't help myself from immediately finishing the rest and eating two more. They are pulpy and full of seeds that have to be picked out but they are very juicy and are the most amazing thing I have eaten in years.

If I die, let it be known that it was for some delicious fucking food.

It strikes me now that it's weird for a plant to be fruiting in the middle of winter but maybe that's just a consequence of how gods-damned hot it is here. I am terrified of what the summers must be like.



Electronic Text File
7th of December, 2161 CE
Monday - 03:55 PST

I can hear dogs howling in the distance. That is an encouraging sign! Also a little bit scary. I've triple-checked that my pistol is loaded correctly.



Electronic Text File
8th of December, 2161 CE
Tuesday - 00:10 PST

As I continue my journey eastward and downward, I have come across an area with thicker vegetation than what I've seen until now. There are small, dry, scrappy trees here that I am more inclined to describe as large bushes, but they have wood suitable for building a fire, which I have done. I've decided to stop here and spend most of the night resting my legs and improving my nutrition situation.

I am pleased to report that the small alien fruits (which fortunately have not made me sick) taste even more delicious when roasted. I have spent the night collecting far more of them than I can eat and crushing them to squeeze the water out and fill my canteens. The stalks as well. The leaves are sharp and painful to handle so I am avoiding those. It's a lot of work for not much liquid but it's better than nothing, and better than gorging myself on fruit to attempt to stay hydrated.

I am adding extra firewood to my pack, in case there isn't any wherever I find myself tomorrow night.

Every night I am feeling a little better and more hopeful than the last. Even if I do complete this errand and return with the spare parts, I don't think anyone will be able to convince me to move back into the vault.



Electronic Text File
10th of December, 2161 CE
Thursday - 05:12 PST


Given what I was told in the vault and what I've seen thus far on the journey, I've been worried that I may be the only living human above ground for a thousand miles. Imagine my surprise this morning at seeing lighted windows on the horizon!

This place is called Shady Sands. It's surrounded by a defensive wall, but the guards/greeters at the gate were friendly enough and allowed me in after I established that I wasn't hostile. The guards seem on edge. Apparently there are problems with gangs of bandits attacking the village to raid for food and supplies. That should concern me, a lone wanderer traveling through these lands on foot, but that feeling is outweighed by the relief of learning that there are other groups of people up here. Not only this village and the bandits, but I've also been informed of larger towns a ways to the south, and traveling caravans of merchants connecting them! Contrary to everything I have been led to believe in the vault, the breath of civilization still inhabits California.

I stand out like a black eye here because of the brightly colored vault suit and I can see it raising a lot of peoples' eyebrows, but one of the greeters, a woman named Katrina, instantly recognized it and said she's from a vault herself. (Perhaps this is why they didn't immediately take me for a bandit.) In fact she's from the one I have been sent to find, a couple more days to the east from here. The bad news is that after a series of infights, exoduses, and raids by bandits, she says the vault is no longer inhabited or operational and hasn't been for years. But it may still contain the equipment I've been sent to retrieve, so I'm still going. It's honestly a relief to meet someone who's been there and can verify that it actually exists.

I don't carry any currency for this land, but I traded one of my remaining vault rations for a locally cooked meal. Grilled rat, Yucca fruits (I have been informed this is what the spiny alien plants are called,) along with beans pods and some other vegetables I don't recognize, all grown here in the village. This is possibly the best meal I have ever had. After dining together and hearing the story of my journey, one of the guards offered to let me sleep in the guardhouse. No sleeping on solid rock today! Tonight I will trade for supplies to continue my journey, but tearing myself away from this place may be a challenge.

I want to run back to the vault and tell everyone, you don't need to live underground anymore! There are people up here with towns and villages and agriculture and trade networks! Screw your water system, Jacoren! But many of the inhabitants would probably be too scared to leave, finding the idea of living up here like this as uncomfortably alien as I find living in the vault. And as much of an unpopular outcast as I am with those people, I can't just leave them hanging and let them die. I know what it's like to struggle in a resource-starved community and I don't wish that on anyone. Perhaps I will bring Jacoren his ridiculous water system parts and then drag Dad and Lyle back out with me to settle here. That would be nice.



Electronic Text File
10th of December, 2161 CE
Thursday - 15:33 PST

I'm well rested and well fed and surrounded by friendly people above ground and I'm happier than a bee with a field of flowers.

Many of the villagers see me as weird - like I said, it's the suit - but it's a different kind of weird from how I'm seen in the vault. It's a refreshing change.

I've hit it off with one of the guards, a scrappy yet jovial fellow by the name of Ian, the same one I dined with last night. We traded stories over lunch, me talking about life in the vault and him talking about life as a caravan guard before settling here. (I kept my mouth shut about the Prenton stuff because no one needs to hear about that.) Apparently he's one of Shady Sand's more well-versed people in the field of long-distance travel and survival, and he still runs errands for the village, south to a town simply called the Hub. After explaining my mission to recover equipment from the depths of a derelict vault a few days away, he offered to travel there and back with me. He said it sounded like fun. He also seems to think I will die out there on my own sooner than later, and with what I've heard today about the bandits and the wildlife around here I can't say he's wrong. He seems relatively trustworthy based on observing his interactions with the other villagers, so I've taken him up on this offer. So now I have a traveling companion!

I also met the town mayor and his daughter. Mayor Aradesh insists on meeting everyone who visits the village, apparently. He seems nice, if slightly suspicious of others. His daughter Tandi is kind of excitable and rowdy. She reminds me a little bit of Tenise. She clearly thinks this place is super boring and would rather be out traveling like me. I don't think she'd appreciate being told how good she has it here so I bite my tongue.

Now that it's light out I've gotten a better look around the village. It took a lot of effort to not break down crying from joy when I saw the crops. I said a prayer to Pramma on their behalf. The livestock is somewhat more disconcerting. I'd seen cows in person in my last life, in Rowentop. I don't recall them having two heads. Maybe it's an example of the poison mutations I was warned about. But Ian says that's normal here, so I'm just going along with it.

Regarding the wildlife, I'm told the wild dogs here - called coyotes, I guess - aren't dangerous unless they significantly outnumber you. The larger problem is scorpions. I've heard of these before, spider-adjacent creatures with poisonous stingers on their tails. I was under the impression that they're normally quite small, but apparently the ones here are nearly the size of the cows. So THAT'S terrifying to hear. They're a chronic problem, attacking both the villagers and the cattle from time to time, with efforts to cull their population being hit and miss. One of the gate guards, a man named Seth, said his brother was killed by one just last week.

Quite pleased to have Ian traveling with me now, yes indeed.

I spent some time in what passes for a marketplace here, bartering away some of my more superfluous gear for a hat to keep the sun out of my eyes, and a light robe to cover the awful vault suit, at least while I'm in town, and keep me warmer at night. Also a length of rope. Papa once told me that one rule adventurers should adhere to is to always carry a knife and a bundle of rope, so now I've satisfied that requirement.

It's been a pleasant day. I feel well and truly revitalized. I like it here, and I hope this place continues to thrive. But as much as I'd like to spend another day in the guardhouse instead of sleeping on the hard ground, I've got a mission to accomplish. The sun is setting soon, and as soon as it does we're setting out again for Vault 15.



Electronic Text File
12th of December, 2161 CE
Saturday - 06:10 PST

A two-night journey, slightly back uphill from the village, and I've finally arrived at the destination. Unlike the other vault this one has a shed constructed over the cave entrance. One of those scorpions I was warned about apparently made its nest inside and it was GODS-DAMNED TERRIFYING. I drew my pistol but I was so startled that I didn't hit anything with it. Ian killed it. He laughed at my terrible marksmanship but assures me I'll get better at it eventually if I practice. I don't really WANT to practice though. Also when Alex was teaching me in the vault we wore hearing protectors and of course this time we weren't because why would you walk around with hearing protectors on all the time, and the ringing still hasn't quite gone away.

Ian's generally been pleasant company. He's far more crass than anyone in the vault, but that too is honestly a refreshing change. Generally really well humored too. He's been teaching me a bit more about the land here - plant and animal recognition, what's safe to eat and what isn't, and so on. He says I've got a good head on my shoulders for how much I already figured out on my own. I shrugged it off as book-learning, like frontiersmanship was a subject I was interested in and read a lot about while growing up in the vault, which is of course a big fat lie. Anyway, we've been taking overlapping shifts sleeping. It's a bit of a relief to have someone around to make sure critters aren't crawling all over me in my sleep for at least part of the day.

It's just about twilight now. We're camped out outside the shed for now because it's gross inside and probably gonna get hot as hell during the day. We both want to sleep off the journey before we descend so we'll go down in the afternoon. Ian caught us a rat and I built us a fire so we're eating pretty good this morning. He also gutted and cleaned the scorpion for food but I can't bring myself to eat it, just looking at the "meat" makes my stomach turn. I'm not THAT desperate for food anymore. He said the stinger is valuable for making medicines though, which does sound like something I heard about in the other world, so I carefully removed it and wrapped it up to take back when we return to town.



Electronic Text File
12th of December, 2161 CE
Saturday - 19:09 PST

Well that was a giant fucking waste of time.

I mean, I shouldn't say that. Traveling here, getting to experience the outdoors and find Shady Sands and meet Ian and even to delve into what's left of the vault and raid it for supplies wasn't a waste of time, experientially or materially. It's been a hell of an adventure so far.

But there's no fucking spare parts for the water system. In fact there's no water system at all. The entire service section is collapsed under a million tons of rubble. Seeing that makes me extremely nervous about the structural integrity of OUR vault. Like I'm worried about Dad working down there now, if that's something that can happen. Ian said it might have been sabotage but I'm not entirely clear on how that would even work.

Exploring what wasn't completely collapsed was exciting in a lot of the wrong ways. The torches we were using to light the way give off an eerie red light and a horrible smoke that makes my throat feel like I've got the consumption again. The place was full of rats too, much worse than the entrance cave at the other vault that I refuse to refer to as "back home". The smaller ones were scared off by the torchlight but the larger ones got angry about us invading their space. And by larger ones I mean some of them were THE SIZE OF BEARS? WHAT THE HELL. I do not like them. At a couple points Ian and I got cornered and chewed/clawed up pretty bad. It felt like Hazydae might be coming for me again for a minute there, but good shooting on his part and sloppy shooting on my part got us through - I did take a few down myself, saving Ian's ass at one point.

He, on the other hand, fucking shot me. Nicked me with a bullet when making a snap-shot, trying to protect me from a rat. He was SUPER apologetic about it.

All of my medical aid skills are pre-industrial and he's not exactly a doctor himself, but we did the best we could and seem to be alright. At least the supplies I have came with a little how-to-use booklet. But a mile underground in a collapsed, rat-infested bunker under the red chemical glow of a torch is not the best place to be trying to do first aid. At one point I had to use a couple of these 'Stim-Pak' things. I guess they help stop bleeding and get blood pressure back up and energize you and stuff, and the rush really is quite something, but I still don't like needles, and having to use them on myself while my hands are shaking from panic is about ten times worse. But I'm still standing.

So, no water system components, but the place wasn't picked completely clean before we got there. We raided the security station and found a few guns, including one that looks more like the muskets I remember in Rowentop. Like, the kind you put up against your shoulder. That seems like it might be easier to use. Good thing too, because my not-so-trusty gun-steed is now out of commission. Ian said it looks like it already had a cracked barrel and just now finally gave up. Bruised the shit out of my hand as it came apart and it still stings but I'm alright. We also found some weird metal egg-shaped things and what looked like an alarm clock tied to a bundle of red sticks sort of resembling the torches. I'm not sure what the deal there is but Ian looked really nervous about me handling them and said he'd hang onto them for me for now. Also some more medical supplies, a big metal pry bar that Ian said is for opening wooden boxes and stuck doors and stuff, and some other stuff like that. Also my ridiculous patchwork outfit of vault suit and desert villager robes now also includes some soft armor taken from a vault security uniform.

Oh and yeah, good thing I brought that rope, since most of the stairs and all the elevators were toast. Thanks for the advice, Papa.

Anyway we're gonna camp out here for the night, outside the shed again. Take some time to recover. We took some rats with us for dinner on the way out. We'll leave for Shady Sands again tomorrow afternoon.



Electronic Text File
16th of December, 2161 CE
Wednesday - 02:40 PST

We got back to the village early this morning. They're letting me stay in the guard house again. I've just been kicking back a bit before heading to sleep, reading some of the books they've got here about outdoorsmanship and stuff. It occurred to me on the way back that I've been neglecting and shying away from the curiosity I had as a child in Prenton, that Jaynelle worked so hard to foster in me. In the vault I hardly read anything at all other than what was required for schooling. I think because at first I found this world so offensive that I wanted to learn as little about it as I could get away with. But that kind of behavior, wrapping myself up in the comfort of ignorance, won't help me survive very long. And my desire to read every book I can get my hands on is coming back now that I'm not suffocating in the vault anymore. (It seems printed books in this world were much, MUCH more easily available and less expensive compared to in the other, at least before the war, which is cool.)

I've been chewing on the problem of what to do next. About the water system parts I mean. Presumably I won't find them any place other than another vault, but Jacoren didn't mark the location of any others on the map for me. I'm split over whether that's because he doesn't have them, or just because he's an asshole who doesn't want to give out any more information than he thinks is necessary. I could travel back and ask, like "hey Jacoren, Vault 15 is tits-up, no luck, got another lead for me oh great overseer?" But I'm not gonna give him the pleasure of keeping me on that short of a leash. I refuse to be so obedient.

I've been thinking about the other settlements Ian told me about to the south. The Hub sounds rather uncreatively like what the name implies, a sizable town with a large marketplace serving as major a focal point for regional trade. Kinda like Rowentop. If that's the case then I've gotta be able to find SOMETHING there about vaults, so that's where I'm heading next. Ian said the Vault 15 dive was so much fun (not how I would describe it but okay) that he wants to stay on with me for the rest of this mission. Apparently standing guard around Shady Sands hasn't been feeding his adventurous spirit enough. Fine by me, I'm glad to have him. (As long as he doesn't get any weird ideas about the nature of our relationship. Seems fine for now though.)

But before we head off for the Hub, there's another errand we've gotta run. Seth, the gate guard, was talking about needing to send some people to wipe out a scorpion den near the village. I volunteered Ian and myself for this. After the nightmare that was our delve into the derelict vault, I've changed my tune on wanting to work on my competence with firearms, and this sounds like a perfect opportunity to help out a village I like and get in some target practice at the same time. We'll be heading out there in the afternoon, after we've slept.



Electronic Text File
16th of December, 2161 CE
Wednesday - 17:22 PST

We just got back from the scorpion den. Mission successful! Except the part about me getting stung by one. It hurts a little bit to type with my left side right now.

Before we went out we hit the marketplace again and traded in some of the haul we brought back from the vault (mainly a bunch of ammo that doesn't fit any of our guns) for some tools and medical supplies. I also handed in the scorpion tail we brought back from Vault 15 to the local doctor, a guy by the name of Razlo. He was appreciative and traded us some antivenom for it. Then I made a comment about how well educated he seemed, I meant it as a compliment but he took it in a 'for someone from such a primitive backwater' kind of way and got kind of pissed. So, feeling like kind of a dumbass for that. I just apologized and left.

Seth gave us the directions to the den, Ian seemed to know the way though. Mostly it went alright. We cleared it out, taking down nine in all. The rifle (as I have been told it's called) is indeed much easier to aim and hit with than the pistol, much more stable. I also got in some practice with the other gun we scavenged, one like Ian's, a submachinegun. He fell on his ass laughing when I had it set to the wrong fire mode at first and scared the hell out of myself, putting two shots into a scorpion and the rest into the ceiling. I think of the three guns I've used I like it the least, but the automatic fire setting seems good for when things get up way too close. He helped me improve my marksmanship though, and spent the walk back teaching me other stuff about firearms, like about other kinds of guns and stuff.

We did get kind of cornered at one point and I did get stung, as mentioned. That was scary at first but I chugged the antivenom Razlo gave me and shot up another one of those gods-awful stim needles, and I seem to be alright other than some soreness and swelling. Ian hauled back as much scorpion meat as he could carry and I brought back the stingers for Razlo. I'm just resting now while Ian finishes his dinner, as soon as he's done we're gonna set out for the Hub. He says it'll take about a week to get there on foot, with another village to rest and trade at along the way. (I asked why they don't travel with horses here and he said none of them survive the war. I think he gets a kick out of my vaulty ignorance but at least he's not mean about it.)



Electronic Text File
20th of December, 2161 CE
Sunday - 04:01 PST

We've been walking south-southwest for four nights now and it's been mostly uneventful, other than last night when we almost got caught up in the middle of a big fight between a pack of cow-sized scorpions and a pack of bear-sized rats. Ian says it's only a few more hours walk to the next village but I'm too beat to walk further tonight, so we'll get there in the evening after we've slept. He says it's a place called Junktown, which doesn't sound very appealing.



Electronic Text File
20th of December, 2161 CE
Sunday - 18:37 PST

We arrived at Junktown half an hour ago. Everything about this place makes my skin crawl. It feels like there's too many guards and they're too well armed. We got a stern warning at the gate about keeping our weapons holstered. Other than that they try to act friendly but I don't like how they look at me. Them or the other residents. Sinister and vaguely threatening. This feels like a town holding itself at gunpoint with a grin.

We're at the general store right now. The guards said the proprietor (and evidently town mayor) is out using the latrine at the moment or something. Ian is browsing supplies while we wait, I see the guards watching him like hawks. I'm staying well clear so I don't get accused of theft. The computer gets me some quizzical looks but at least it's clear I'm minding my own business.

I wish this Killian guy would get back already. I don't wanna stay here one moment longer than we need to, I just wanna get the supplies we need and leave.



Recorded Audio File
[Text Transcription]
20th of December, 2161 CE
Sunday - 19:44 PST

[beginning of audio file]

[sound of fast-paced stamping in the dirt like someone is running]

[sound of a woman trying speak, gasping between breaths of air]

        Kill... ian... he... I didn't... it was...!

[gunshots audible in the background]

[sound of a man shouting in the distance, unintelligible]

[sound of running and hyperventilating continues]

[end of audio file]



Electronic Text File
21st of December, 2161 CE
Monday - 02:09 PST

i shot killian

ive nevr killed a person efore

heart ppunding out of my chesr

handd shking too bad to typ



Electronic Text File
21st of December, 2161 CE
Monday - 03:12 PST

My hands are still shaking but I've stopped crying and puking and I can type now.

I feel Hazydae's icy hand around my heart. He's angry perhaps that I somehow slipped through his fingers in Prenton.

Killian came back to the store. Ian traded with him for supplies. I browsed and chatted with him about the town and the surrounding area. Trying to make nice. Someone else came in and pulled a gun and shouted something about a gizmo. He looked like he was gonna shoot Killian. I instinctively threw whatever I was holding at the gunman but missed and hit one of the guards. Another guard shot the gunman and then they pointed their guns at me so Ian pointed his gun at them and they and Killian pointed their guns at him and my ears were ringing and everyone was shouting and panicking and I just

I couldn't let them hurt Ian.

I blasted Killian with the submachinegun.

Everything after that happened so fast, I can't remember anything clearly. I shot some of the other guards. Ian got the rest. He got hit but I didn't notice at the time. Once it stopped I was stunned and started puking. Ian was freaked out too but he started grabbing everything not nailed down and stacked himself to the gills with guns and ammo and all the supplies we needed. He shook me back to the present and gave me some armor and another gun and said we would have to fight our way out of town now. We managed to sneak around the perimeter in the dark and avoid everyone til we got to the gate. He threw a rock to distract the gate guards but right as we were passing through the little metal tunnel one of them noticed us. I blasted one in the face, and as soon as I was clear of the gate tunnel I just took off running. I didn't wait for Ian. I ran faster than I knew I was capable of running and I kept running until I collapsed from exhaustion. Ian caught up with me a few minutes later. He's alright, he patched himself up. I don't think the guards chased us very far out of town.

Ian seems a little freaked out by how freaked out I am. He keeps telling me it wasn't my fault. He keeps saying we were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. He keeps saying it's important we take care of ourselves first and foremost and that it's good we got out of a bad situation alive. He keeps thanking me for saving his life.

It was a big misunderstanding and now seven people are dead. At least three of them died by my hand.

I am going to have nightmares about this.

We can never go back to Junktown.



Electronic Text File
22nd of December, 2161 CE
Tuesday - 19:18 PST

I killed Killian so he couldn't kill Ian.

I hate how funny that is.