June 16th 2134
It’s time… time I told someone else about the tunnel. Or maybe not- I- I don’t know… No, no, I do. It’s been days now and I haven’t been able to make any head way as far as identifying the soldier that talked to me. I need help. Out of anyone I could trust, one name comes to mind first: Bianca. She’s a lady in her thirties or forties, someone who was alive before the war. She’s kind, quiet, but has a fire still behind her eyes somehow. She’s a social recluse like me, which is why I think it’s perfect. I’m gonna attempt to let her in on it tomorrow at lunch. In the meantime, I’ll keep dreaming about Jenn. Her smiling face flows into my mind, beckoning me to her, wherever, and when-ever she is.
Okay, deed’s done. Seed’s been planted. The Pandora’s box of telling others about the tunnel has been opened… no going back now. You light a piece of paper on fire, can’t expect it to come back if you change your mind. I asked Bianca about the soldiers, if any hang in the tunnels. She said none, then asked why. I told her about my run in with one, and she asked why I was down there. I could have lied, but honestly, she deserves the tunnel more than me. Bianca acted exactly how I’d expect anyone to act. I tried to tell her slow without losing her interest, and at first she denied it. Then she hated me for telling her about it. Now she’s agreed to follow me there tonight. The foot traffic on the street’s calmed down for the night, so I’m gonna head out now. Wish me luck, and that I’m not just insane.
// Bianca says hello! We’re here together! I didn’t know it would happen like that, but I’m glad it did. I’m writing to you from somewhere sunny and tropical. I feel really good about bringing Bianca here. She’s ecstatic. I’m not gonna write too much more, just wanted to jot this down in case I don’t remember. We’re exploring the zone together, stopping now for lunch. I’ll write back soon. //
// I think I can see him! The man! He’s back! I told you to stay out! Why are you back?! Who are you?! Tell me who you are!… What? (fades away) Bianca! Wake up… We have to go. //
The zone Bianca and I visited last night was Boracay: a small island in the central Philippines. It’s known for its resorts and beaches. We woke up on the west coast, on White Beach. Absolutely stunning. It was backed by palm trees, bars and restaurants. On the east coast of the island strong winds made Bulabog Beach a hub for water sports. Nearby, the observation deck on Mount Luho offered panoramic views over the island. Offshore, coral reefs and shipwrecks were home to diverse marine life. The population of the island was last recorded to be 32 267. I, uh, think I’m going to stop assuming there was a war anymore.
Bianca and I have decided to add another member to our group. We’re both on the same page regarding hesitancy on deciding who. This kind of thing should be treated as it is: sacred. We both decided it should be someone who was alive before the war. We need wisdom on our side, and someone with know-how. Bianca knows most of the soldiers in our district of the city by name, but there are ones that don’t interact with citizens, ones who patrol the boarder. The soldier we seek would surely be one of those soldiers. I’m certain of it. As certain as I can be.
Bianca and I’ve narrowed down our pick for who the next member will be… to one. There is a man who goes by the name of Tarzan. He’s seen by everyone as a fool, one who doesn’t work, is regularly beaten, and lives day to day on scraps. No one respects him. He doesn’t speak unless prompted, and doesn’t say much. He’s reportedly been seen writing on occasion. That tells me everything I need to know about him. Tarzan, while looking like a madman, is secretly one with resolve in how he conducts himself, merely choosing to present a wild man to the public. His rational must be that there’s really no reason to do otherwise in our world’s condition. It makes me wish I had that kind of freedom, but fear and shame still grip my mind like most people.
// FUCK! I just had a run in with Raj. He’s my peer and one of the last kids to get a job before me, at 17, but we aren’t chummy. What are you doing? That’s what Raj asked me just an hour ago. He said, What are you up to? I’ve seen you and Bianca act like you have a secret for weeks now. I want to know what it is. I can’t have this kind of attention! We were careless not to think of how spending so much time together would look. This is the last thing we need right now. Soldiers might be on their way to the library as I write this. I’d have no way of knowing. God, what would they do? Conduct torture integrations? And then what? Kill me? If I make it through the night, Raj and I are going to have a real talk. //
Bianca had a scowl on her face the entire time. We met with Raj instead of Tarzan at lunch and I explained the situation to him. That cocky little bastard laughed at us before threatening to sic the soldiers on us, unless we really told him what we were doing. God damnit all to hell! We… we’ll have to do something drastic. I didn’t want it to come to this, but… he just had to snoop.
We promised to take Raj to the site… If you don’t hear from me again, it’ll be because we failed.
// I… I can’t believe what we just did. I feel sick… We brought Raj down to the tunnels, at the boarder… but, we took a different path. We told him we really planned on escaping, and… asked that he help clear the rubble. He put his back to us… and I… I… I can’t write it! FUCK! I’m sorry Raj! //
Tarzan finally joined B and I to the tunnel last night. We told him about it the day after… what I did, and Tarzan rejected us. B and I reserved ourselves, making sure not to been seen interacting with each other as much during the day, but still, we’d individually find time with Tarzan day after day to plea for his patronage. It took weeks, until finally, he said yes.
The zone we landed in was Times Square, New York, New York. What a zone for a first drop. Even for me it was overwhelming! Times Square was a major commercial intersection, tourist destination, entertainment centre, and neighbourhood in the Midtown Manhattan section of New York City, at the junction of Broadway and Seventh Avenue. Brightly lit by numerous billboards and advertisements, it was sometimes referred to as “the Crossroads of the World”, “the Centre of the Universe”, “the heart of the Great White Way”, and “the heart of the world”. One of the world’s busiest pedestrian areas, it was also the hub of the Broadway Theatre District and a major centre of the world’s entertainment industry. Times Square was one of the world’s most visited tourist attractions, drawing an estimated 50 million visitors annually. Approximately 330,000 people pass through Times Square daily, many of them tourists, while over 460,000 pedestrians walk through Times Square on its busiest days. Tarzan was understandably shocked at first. Then B and I lost him in the crowd! We looked for him for a bit, but figured it didn’t matter, seeing how we’d all meet up in the end, and we did. We all had a buzz about us after the fact. It was such a stark contrast to go from all that noise and all those lights to a dark tunnel. I still feel the buzz now. The kind of life that used to exist… man. Aside from that, no word this time from the figure, whoever it may be, but the mission stays the same.
A thought has been stuck in my mind for days now, and I haven’t been able to shake it. I’m sure I’m just being naïve, but now that our numbers have grown, I’m beginning to think if we shouldn’t expand even more? Why should we all grovel and fear the soldiers so much, when there are so many more of us? I’m gonna run it by B and Tarzan to see what they think.
Hey journal, it’s been a while, sorry about that. We’ve been busy, really busy. Our team’s grown to over thirty people and counting every day. Tarzan’s not a fan of attention but with B at my side, we’ve been conducting nightly meetings at the library as far as documenting patrol paths, sharing tunnel time (which mostly goes to recruits only now), and constructing a viable resistance against the soldiers. We don’t know anything beyond our city limits! It’s too soon to risk digging escape tunnels, or engaging directly with the soldiers, but the more we know, the more confident our people will get. It’s all just a matter of time now. I better get some sleep, another busy day tomorrow. ///