Entry 1 – This Diary of Mine
- On the way to Chicago, Summer 2028
Mankind has outgrown its gods, left them behind. Not killed them, mind you, such notions are foolish imaginings grown out of hubris so common to us. To kill a god to is to kill an idea, an entire concept of one’s existence – and, to my knowledge, nobody’s ever done that before. No, they are still there, moving through the ebb and flow of time at their leisurely, almost glacial pace, and one day they will catch on. Or perhaps they already did and they’re lurking in the shadows even now, when the world’s slowly moving towards the edge of ruin. No, that’s not it. Not lurking – cheering us on in our drive to self-destruction.
Their domain begins where our prosperity ends, that much is clear. After all, you’ve heard the old adage:
“There are no atheists in foxholes.”
I’ve been to quite a few proverbial foxholes and I’ve seen things in the recent couple of days that have shaken me to my core. I’ve therefore begun to write this diary while making backup copies whenever I can, somewhere nobody can find them unless I want to – not even Ferguson, for all her skills. The internet is a wonderful thing – infinite data redundancy at your fingertips. Or so they say.
They also say in the world of ones and zeroes, nothing’s truly ever gone, no matter how hard you wish for the opposite. I don’t know about that to be honest but what I do know is that if there’s any truth to this statement, it’s going to get tested to its very limit. Coming to think of it, the odds are definitely stacked against us. Should this account survive me, may it serve as a warning of what happens when man messes with incomprehensible forces.
I suppose I should start with myself so you know who you’re dealing with. Samuel Thorpe, formerly of the U.S. Army and more recently of Perihelion. It’s really odd to write of myself this way, it just feels... wrong somehow, so I’ll stick to the cold heart data. Born on December 12, 1997 in NYC, right in the shade of the Twins – or so I was told. I don’t have that many memories of my parents save for an occasional nightmare but I suppose that as many New Yorkers, I had a happy childhood in the Big Apple until it was cut short by a riot that got my parents killed.
Senseless deaths by all accounts – I’ve seen the tapes. Crowds shouting about some perceived injustice or another. Someone pulls out a rifle. Gunshots. Screaming. Mayhem. People scrambling for cover. Several dead bodies. And... that was it.
I remember very little from what followed. Fragmented memories of everything in black, grim faces I’d never seen before (and would never after) offering condolences followed by cold, ugly foster homes – one for each time they got fed up with my escape attempts. I had this... impression that if I would escape, if I made it back to the New York City, my parents would be waiting for me. Just behind that hill... or the next one. Or the one after. What did I know – I was a kid. All it did was land me further and further away.
My childhood somehow flew by as a blur and before I knew it, I was what pretty much every self-respecting parent dreads the most – an edgy teenager. Looking back, the dumb shit I did with my “crew” feels awkward as all hell and underage drinking was the least of my problems. Never drugs though. Seen too many dark alleyways littered by human refuse for that. Suffice to say, the institutions felt pretty happy to kick me out on the day of my eighteenth birthday. You’re a man, Sammy boy, fend for yourself. Screw you very much; it’s just you now. So there I was with no real skills to speak of except for one – to scrap.
The choice was obvious. I enlisted the very same day, a six-year contract. Wanted to kick ass and shoot stuff. I blame the action movies.
Being in the Army is great if you’ve got the attitude for it. In case you haven’t figured it out yet – I didn’t quite fall into that category; following orders wasn’t my strong suit. Got to see different places though, met different people, made a few enemies, made even a few friends if you can believe it. But there was one guy in the platoon I used to be especially tight with. Maddox. We left the Army together, partners in crime, thick as thieves. Those were the good days.
In retrospect, maybe I should have stayed in the Army but Maddox thought it’d be better if we went private. Mercenaries were just starting to become a thing and, well, it beats being a bouncer in some sleazy bar. We dreamt of making tons of money and, more importantly, spending it. Got a few ex-army guys together – you could barely call us a crew. But as it turned out, pretty much every ex-army thug this side of the Atlantic had the same idea and the market became... let’s say oversaturated.
But once again, Maddox saved our skins – his dad was loaded and had a lot of connections. Nothing top-level, obviously, but enough to get us started. Over the next few years, we slowly started making a name for ourselves as a tight group of grizzled veteran instructors willing for the right price to show a bunch of corporate mall cops and glorified security goons the business end of a rifle.
Not exactly a dream come true, but it got us by. Until Dubai.