These entries are written from the point of view of Logan, a character referenced by Dark World’s main protagonist Ruby R-1042 as her deceased grandfather. These entries take place 52 years before the Dark World series begins, when Logan is a young man of fourteen, only a few years after an alien invasion decimates the surface of our planet forcing the survivors to live in a large underground bunker known as The Complex.
September 2, 2026
Adults always talk about how quickly time goes by for them. Time takes FOREVER for me. I’m fourteen, and this is the third year that I’ve lived in The Complex. I remember what things were like B-I, but that was a different life. I wanted to be a firefighter, it was a badass job because you got to impress chicks by rescuing kittens, and you have lots of days off at a time, too. Even when they’re working, firemen just sat around the fire station and hung with their friends when there wasn’t a fire. My friend Jimmy’s dad was a firefighter, he told us it was pretty sweet. I also thought about being an EMT though too, how badass would it have been to be right on the front line of emergencies, helping to save lives? Okay, fine, that was also partly to impress chicks, but still, the saving lives part is legit. I’m not a total sell-out for the ladies.
They tell me I’ll have to start doing construction in a few years if we’re not out of here by then. They haven’t let us go back up to the surface yet because they’re still “assessing the damage.” Come on, either we can go back up or we’re stuck down here for the rest of our lives. Hell if I know what’s confusing about that! I never wanted to be a construction worker. Not to be a jerk, but that’s the kind of job you do if you don’t go to college. I figured I’d go to college when I got older, or at least trade school or some kind of secondary education. Never thought I’d be some worthless orphan stuck doing menial man’s work because that’s all I’m good for. Doesn’t anyone get how dumb that is? All people could talk about B-I was how messed up sexism is. My mom was a “feminist” who always lectured me when I thought of a new idea to impress girls about how girls can be firefighters too, and guys can be ballet dancers if they want to. Now though, men do “men’s work” and women do “woman’s work.” No one cares about “gender equality” anymore. Wait, I take that back. We’re equal, I guess, it’s just that we’re all basically considered worthless.
Penelope is forcing me to start this journal. She says it’ll help with my “communication skills” and “emotional maturity.” Why do I need those things if I’m going into construction? I already know how to say things like “Grab the 2 by 4” and “Bring the hammer down!” It seems stupid to me, but I’m going along with it because Penelope is nice. I don’t have anyone else, and she sticks her neck out for us orphans. I owe it to her to try and be a smarter person, or a better person, or whatever it is she’s trying to teach us. I guess writing isn’t such a bad way to waste away some time. Maybe that’s all this really is, a way to waste away the time. Or…
It might be dumb, but if we do all end up dying down here in this giant bunker, someone, someday, might want to know in detail how the world as we knew it, ended.
Penelope was supposed to be here a few hours ago, but she hasn’t shown up yet. People aren’t usually late anymore. There’s not a lot going on to keep any of us busy enough to be late, but us orphan kids are pretty much considered charity cases, so we’re last priority. I’m starving, but I’m used to it. My stomach growls like a ticking clock. My hip bones stick out and clothes fall off of me. Anyway, I know what will happen when she gets here. She’ll ask me about my dream. It’s really no big deal, I can handle it. Others have been through worse. At least I survived the invasion, my dad wasn’t so lucky.
I’m smart enough and old enough to know that even nightmares are still just dreams. They suck, don’t get me wrong, and they bug me, but it’s not like Freddy Krueger is in my brain. I’m not going to die just because I had a bad dream.
Penelope told me to write down my “feelings.” Fine, here it is. I miss my dad. It sucks when I have the nightmare. It’s not like I need a dream to remember what happened that day. Here’s the real scoop :
On the day of the invasion, Dad and I were fishing on Lake Superior. We fished a lot after Mom’s cancer took her away from us when I was five. Dad always used to say that we had the privilege of enjoying holographic interactive films, but the government still hoarded the cure for cancer so the pharmaceutical companies can keep raking in money. Man, did he hate the government. That’s why we practically lived “off the grid” for the last few years B-I. Dad tried to do things with me “the old way” so I didn’t get completely controlled by the media and the messed up government system that was controlled more by the media than by actual politics. Dad wasn’t off his rocker, but people still whispered. He didn’t care.
Mom always used to say that she loved Lake Superior, and Dad said it was where he liked to be when he was having a hard day and really missing her. I liked to go with him because I didn’t remember Mom very well, and the only time I could really get Dad to talk about her was when we were there fishing.
One minute it was a really nice day out, and the next, the world went crazy. Our boat tipped over and the lake was rocking back and forth like one of those super woozy amusement park rides. We looked up and we could barely even see the sky because it was almost completely covered by a gigantic freakin’ flying saucer! Dad screamed at me to swim to shore. He was a big guy, and he had been on the water all his life so I thought he would be right behind me. I swam as he told me to. I wasn’t scared… only a little. Whatever, fine, I was freaked out big time. I was way too freaked to look behind me so I just kept my eyes on the shore. I managed to reach it, but my arms were exhausted and they felt like noodles about to fall off of my body. The lake was sloshing back and forth – no, not just the lake, but the whole planet. I stumbled to my feet and I could barely keep my balance because the ground was churning just like the water. I turned around and didn’t see my dad, but I figured he had to be right behind me, the lake was just sloshing too much for me to see him. He was my dad, he’d be fine.
I ran to the cellar, managed to yank the big door open, and then I lost my balance and fell down the stairs. That freaking hurt! I banged my elbow up real good and hit my head on the wall. I didn’t pass out, but it felt like needles were shooting through my brain. My ankle twisted. The whole earth rumbled like it was growling. Seriously, it felt like I was in an old Stephen King movie, I just knew a killer clown was gonna jump out and finish me off at any second. My heart pounded so hard in my chest that I thought it was gonna explode. I kept glancing toward the stairs at the cellar door and half of me wanted it to open so Dad could come through, and the other half of me figured that if it did open, an alien monster would come down and eat me.
Why am I even writing about this? Everyone tells us never to look back.
Dad never came down into the cellar. No aliens came down either, but I didn’t have food or water. The food wasn’t that big of a deal, but water .. man, I got so thirsty. My lips were dry and I couldn’t see so well, though it was really dark anyway. Then my head started to hurt, and my muscles, too. All I wanted was a freaking sip of water. A glass of water. A drop of water. Anything! But, man, I just couldn’t bring myself to open that cellar door and try to make it to the cabin. I saw what was up there in the sky. IT WAS A FREAKING SPACESHIP! An alien ship. And this wasn’t a movie. If the crazy people we had in politics showed us anything, it was that reality was even worse than movies. Whatever was in that spaceship had probably taken over the whole planet by now, I thought, and if I went up there, they’d capture me and probe me to death. Better to die of thirst than to end up probed.
I don’t know if my dad drowned in the water or if the aliens took him, but from what the government says, the aliens didn’t take anything but our oceans and other natural resources. Then again, they might’ve taken a lot of people and the government either doesn’t know about it or doesn’t want to tell us.
What sucks the most is that when I’m dreaming about the day of the invasion, I do look back before I get to the shore. I see my dad waving his arms in the water trying to get me to help him, but I can’t. I know if I go back, I’ll drown too. I get it, that’s not really what happened, despite Penelope trying to tell me that it might have and I just don’t remember it that way because “my mind is trying to keep myself from feeling guilt.” Cripes, I hate psychology. Dad told me to swim to shore, and that’s what I did. I’ll always wonder what happened to Dad, but I know I’ll never know.
I was just a kid, what was I supposed to do to save him? Even if this had happened now, when I’m fourteen and not a little boy anymore, I probably still would’ve done what he told me to and swam like my life depended on it because it obviously did. I did what Dad told me to do. He said he’d be right behind me.
I think I hear footsteps. I hope Penelope brought us some food today. My stomach is really starting to hurt.