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 9, 2026
The flatfoots did a sweep last night. They confiscated our volograph console, they said it takes up too much electricity. The rest of us never even used it, we figured the younger kids that were really scared deserved it more. At least they could escape into a holographic video world of car chases and river raft rides and forget, at least for a while, that we’re all screwed and alone. I get that The Complex isn’t wired for long-term use and we’re already overstaying until the government tells us it’s safe to go back up to the surface, but come on, they’re just kids. They need the escape.
Penelope heard about the sweep and managed to sneak some non-perishable stock to us last night. It was the first time since I’ve been down here that I’ve even seen Twinkies and HoHos, but when people used to joke that Hostess made foods that could withstand an apocalypse, they weren’t kidding! Man, were they good! I never thought much about food when I was little, but now that we only get to eat every few days, I’ll shovel anything in my mouth. I’m used to plain crackers and a lot of scraps, but I can’t remember when the last time I had chocolate or sugar was before today! My heart is pumping so fast and I’d love to go for a run in the corridors, but they don’t let us out much, and when they do, someone has to “supervise” us. It sucks being an orphan, it seems like we’re everyone’s last priority.
I wish I had something – anything – from my life before the invasion. I wish I had a picture of my parents, or my truck pillow, or my jack russel terrier, Bennie. He was staying with my aunt and uncle while my dad and I were fishing on the day of the invasion, but I never saw any of them again, I guess they didn’t survive. I don’t like to think about what probably happened to Bennie. Okay so, you’re an alien. You see a planet that has some resources you think you can use. You notice humans and how badly we’ve ruined our planet already, so you come in and take what you want. But, couldn’t you at least leave my dog alone?
When Penelope came with a stock of non-perishables, she told me in confidence that she doesn’t think the government wants to go back up to the surface. I asked her what she meant, but she wouldn’t really say. If we’re running out of food, electricity, and other stuff that we need to survive, we need to go salvage what’s left up there even if we can’t actually live up there. I just want some answers about what’s going on that aren’t elusive and vague.
See what I did there? Penelope has been helping us “expand our vocabulary” and she tells us to try and use a few new words in a sentence each day. Yesterday she taught us “elusive” and “vague” so A+ for me!
We learned today that the government is officially naming all the divisions they’ve stuffed us all into after the states on the surface. At first, I was like, NO WAY IS THE COMPLEX BIG ENOUGH TO BE UNDER THE ENTIRE COUNTRY! But Penelope explained that it was loosely modeled like a mini-version of the US even though it only spans from the upper Midwest toward the East Coast, so like, one-third of the length of the country, but not very wide either so I think that means it’s more like one forth of the size of the US. I don’t really know, it’s hard to picture, okay! I’m not that great at geography. Still, it’s weird because I’m from Minnesota, but Penelope says they’re going to name our division “Rhode Island” because it’s super small. Why don’t they just name us “The Orphan Division” because this is where they stuff us, unless there’s other orphan barracks in other divisions. I wouldn’t know, they don’t tell us things like that. Even though people with in-tact families can travel between divisions, orphans aren’t allowed to because “we have no reason to need to go anywhere.”
Why do they have to name our divisions in the first place? Who has time for that when they should be taking scientific readings of the surface to determine when we can go back up there, especially since we have so few supplies left.
I know I’m going in circles, but the more they try to define this place, the more unlikely it seems that they even want any of us to go back up to the surface. This place is a prison, not a home. I don’t even have a bed, I have a three inch thick foam cot, and a flat pillow with a dirty pillow case on the ground with a torn sheet for a blanket. Our cots are lined up right next to each other’s, so none of us really have any room and DEFINITELY no privacy. Let me tell you, waking up with morning wood next to a bunch of other kids my age, some of the GIRLS, is darn crappy!
I know I can’t turn back time and stop the invasion, but I’m tired of being in the dark about everything going on. I’m so SICK of it! We can only use our lamps for a certain percentage of the day, and soon, they’ll be shut off for fourteen hours straight. Then, when we’ve slept so much that we can’t sleep anymore, we’ll gather in a circle and make up stories together about how we defeated the aliens and took our world back. I wish they were true. I wish so many people didn’t have to die, or as messed up at this is, I wish if they had to die, I wish I could’ve died with them.
Orphan 018, Division Rhode Island