Ferly the I’m Sorry

Ferly the I’m Sorry

When she was growing up her mother did not comfort her when she was feeling down. She appolgized for it, stating “I’m sorry, life isn’t fair”. And when her father left, the last thing he ever said to her was “I’m sorry, but I just can’t stay here any longer”.

When she was 18 her and her mother were in a car accident, she waited hours for news about her mother’s condition and when the doctor finally appeared to speak to her, he simply stated “I’m sorry, we did everything we could”, before dissapearing again.

Years later, a doctor told her “I’m sorry, but you can’t have children” and not to long after that her husband told her “I’m sorry, I really want children” and left her.

One day she arrives at work and her boss tells her “I’m sorry, I’m going to have to let you go”. Then a few months later the sherrif tells her “I’m sorry I have to evict you, it’s that’s the law”. Then, the lady at the homeless shelter turns her turned away saying “I’m sorry, we are full”.

“I’m sorry” seemed to be the theme of her life. So just before she took her life she scrawled just two words on her suicide note…

GP by GP – I’m Sorry!

GP by GP – I’m Sorry!

G.D.U.               Jan 03 – 4141 (Tuesday)

My name is Alistair Cartwright, I am 57 and senior officer at G.C. Taurus II (Galaxy Cruiser.)

I have been under the command of General Ajit Boparai for the last year according to the Julian calendar and have been recently reassigned to Platform 7 on Vorex. It is currently being contained by two tugboats for a drilling operation.

It is a class two ripper and the larger parts of the surface have suffered extensive damage from the separation of the original planet. The main surface contains minerals that are currently unknown to me. Due to my previous experiences I have been forced to leave the military and settle in a quieter routine.

Medical officer BW60v22 has declared me unfit for battle and not sick enough for leave. There have not been struggle or any hint of hostility in the quadrant. I am not agreeing with my superiors, but I am not going to dismiss my pension for petty arguments.

Personal note: If I can get this job done they might reenlist me. Remember to ask General Baranov when the time is right.

 

G.D.U.               Jan 05 – 4141 (Thursday)

I have inspected Platform 7 for the last two days. Crew of 57 active workers with a few additional staff members. We are including me 65 on this Platform when there are no guests or C3’s inbound.

14 Platforms in all and two tugboats all working independently from what has been told me from my staff. I do not appoint a second in command yet, I have no idea if the recommended people are fit for the task.

Drills work Monday and Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Need one day to cool off, Sunday is maintenance on drill and drones.

Tugboats keep the ripper out of gravitational pull and have drones to catch debris before it damage anything or collides with passing stars, creating a ricochet effect that can get out of hand.

We have C3’s inbound Tuesday and Thursday. C.C.C. Blue One (Colossus Cargo Carrier). Arrived on schedule, 779.000 m3 raw Graphite today. I will keep a personal note in this journal to “Maintenir l’oeil personnelle avec dossiers” so to speak.

 

G.D.U.               Jan 07 – 4141 (Saturday)

Weekend rituals are usually sporting activities. Teams from the various platforms often gather to play ball or other rigorous activities to keep up morale.

I had a long talk with some of the other Platform advisors today. I was invited to a meeting and introduced to the colorful characters I am to have a running correspondence with. Communication room is well equipped and several lines are setup for warning and personal communication. Contact with people on Earth One has a 4 hours delay, so we leave recorded messages instead. I have not been living for a long period of time so far away before. I wonder how I will cope with Emilie alone back home.

Personal note: Drinking is advised and I do not approve of it. I will see what I can do to either stop or limit the risk of the  effects of intoxication.

 

G.D.U.               Jan 10 – 4141 (Tuesday)

Weekend ended early. Drilling through Monday and well into Tuesday before we had issues with teeth on the drill. Surface seems to be harder now and they suffer for it. One drill has been taken off duty for two hours. We are not behind on production.

It seems they have measured breakdowns into the schedule, since they didn’t seem to bother much with the hold up. Staff worked more like oiled gears than the oiled gears, if I may leave a witty remark.

I hardly have anything to do other than sign and stamp when the carriers arrive. On that note I need to talk to the cook about stocking on oranges and limes.

C.C.C. Falcon Donkey Arrived 12 hours early. Have been waiting patiently on the 852.433 m3; mostly raw Graphite. We will hear further details from their refinery facility in four days.

 

G.D.U.               Jan 12 – 4141 (Thursday)

Spoke with one of the tugboats today. Heard the second of command whisper why I was named Air Condition. I had to steel myself for a moment before answering their commander. I announced my full name to clarify the acronymic misunderstanding.

Nothing serious to report from their end, 22 pieces picked up over the last three months. I have nothing to refer too and congratulated them on a job well done. They seemed pleased.

Emilie sent a recorded message today; she is as lovely as I remember her the day I left last time, back in 4137. Communication technician Cormack showed me how to save recordings in personal folders. I made my usual password. Keyword: The Real Name.

C.C.C. Ox arrived on schedule. 800.546 m3

Personal reminder: results came back; it is Lead in the ripper. I need to establish contact to discuss matter with other platforms. It is worthless.

 

G.D.U.               Jan 14 – 4141 (Saturday)

Saw her last night after I fell asleep in the communication room. I can’t remember how many times I have watched the video from Emilie. Her smile reminds me of our summer vacations. She has not smiled like that for years. Is she finally coping?

I have not indulged myself in work today, platform meetings are usually Sunday while the staff works through the machinery. I chose to go watch the teams play ball.

I hope I can remember my dreams again tonight. She was such a nice sight for sore eyes.

 

G.D.U.               Jan 17– 4141 (Tuesday)

Nothing happening, no breakdowns and no injuries, I am being complimented by my superiors.

Boring routine, but stable work!

C.C.C. Fortress Forty-two, arrived on schedule. 754.559 m3 graphite and lead mix.

 

G.D.U.               Jan 18 – 4141 (Wednesday)

Drills are taking damage from a lead vein we struck a few days ago. It might delay work, they are sending in a scouting drone to analyze the advantage and risks of explosives.

There is nothing else to add to the daily routine.

I wake up more often after these two weeks. I might unconsciously want to stay in a light sleep so I can remember her face in my dreams.

Personal note: Remind the cook that oranges are orange and not in the shape, size and taste of red peppers.

 

G.D.U.               Jan 19 – 4141 (Thursday)

Drills are performing admirable today, no need to adhere to explosives yet. Might be through the vein.

C.C.C. Whalers Choice arrived half an hour late. 787.855 m3 graphite, they promised to send message if the amount of lead was under 15%.

 

G.D.U.               Jan 20 – 4141 (Friday)

Drills less damaged, we might be through the lead vein. Drones sent in to investigate. Reporting back that the amount has diminished significantly

Emilie sent me a new message today. She finally responded on my record. She sounds like she is improving, weather seems nice where she is. She has a healthy glow and talks spirited about her friends taking her on vacation. We both miss each other.

 

G.D.U.               Jan 21 – 4141 (Saturday)

The relief of hearing from Emilie has left me able to see her again last night. She sat on my bedside and held my hand. I can’t remember what we talked about, but her face was so kind that it hardly matters. I often wonder…

Supplies finally arrived. Seems like the cook finally got my message. Oranges will be mandatory by one per day for the staff on platform 7.

 

G.D.U.               Feb 07 – 4141 (Tuesday)

Few days in and mutiny is already on the agenda. Had to force feed two men their orange before the rest ate their breakfast.

I have tried the friendly approach for a month now, doesn’t work. Need to act like the officer they see in me.

C.C.C. Seagull arrived a little early. They waited patiently for an hour. Received 698.557 m3 graphite.

 

G.D.U.               Feb 08 – 4141 (Wednesday)

I have seen Emilie’s recording again, I can’t recognize the place she is or were. I will send a message home to hear where she went. Maybe it will take my mind of the black space around us here. The only light is the faint stars and the infernal artificial light.

Maintenance went smoothly today. I think they wanted it to go faster so they didn’t have me down on the site. I think I am getting a reputation.

 

G.D.U.               Feb 09 – 4141 (Thursday)

Every night after I watch Emilie I am visited in my sleep. My girl is sitting on my bedside talking to me. She seems happy and content. I still have no clue what she is talking about.

A rather clumsy docking at cargo bay one has left it hazardous to use that port so we sent the carrier to bay two and called up the technicians. They will be here within a few days with the spare parts.

C.C.C. Blue One arrived as scheduled. Damaged bay one and delayed departure by two hours. 822.677 m3 graphite.

 

G.D.U.               Feb 10 – 4141 (Friday)

Drilling through the day. Bay one is leaking oxygen so we have problems storing all the graphite as the other platforms tend to send theirs over to us. Apparently we have the largest cargo bays and aren’t stern enough to refuse them our help.

I feel exploited somehow. I extended my hand and Platform 2 pulled my arm off. 1.500.000 m3 graphite and other unidentified rock. I will write to our superiors about this, positively unacceptable.

 

G.D.U.               Feb 11 – 4141 (Saturday)

The day has shown us an ugly hand. One of the technicians had died during the work last night. He was stuck in the bay door as it suddenly closed after malfunctioning for hours.

I saw my girl last night again. Her voice is getting louder in my dreams, but still incoherent. She left my side for a short while and came back just before I woke up. I quickly wrote in my sleep journal, she is not going to slip from me again.

 

G.D.U.               Feb 16 – 4141 (Thursday)

The week has nearly passed. Nothing impressive, thanks to a DUI we did not receive any carrier Tuesday. The Falcon Donkey and Ox came at the same time today. Since bay one was working properly again we had our largest output yet.

C.C.C. Falcon Donkey arrived two days after schedule. 1.000.000 m3 mostly graphite

C.C.C. Ox arrived as scheduled. 1.000.000 m3 mostly graphite too

Personal Note: We need to prevent these bottle necks in the future. It is too large a strain on the crew.

 

G.D.U.               Feb 21 – 4141 (Tuesday)

It happened again. I am not sure what it is, but one of my crew has gone missing. I had an argument with one of my crew Sunday, he was upset and the walls felt hostile. I sent him to our physician and he was send to bed with a glass of brandy and told to take his mind off work for a few days. This morning the man is missing and we have not seen any sign of activity on the site.

Searching crew has been dispatched, that will allow us to create a little more room in our cargo areas as two of three drills are quiet today.

C.C.C. Fortress Forty-two, arrived on schedule. 874.655 m3 graphite.

 

G.D.U.               Feb 22 – 4141 (Wednesday)

They found P. Bellows this afternoon. He was trying to crawl into the ventilation shaft behind the kitchens, yelling o minus o is c. He used his recording unit as a weapon and has destroyed any evidence that would tell us why he is acting accordingly. His knuckles are white and he will not let go of the shards remaining.

 

G.D.U.               Feb 23 – 4141 (Thursday)

  1. Bellows still acting irrational and becoming incoherent. He is currently restrained in the medical bay. It has created as strange mood among the crew. I told them there is nothing strange about cabin fever and that he will recover soon.

On the other hand, all communication beyond the tugboats and Platforms has been met with further delays. It is not uncommon out here, satellite links gone due to moving planets and stars. It will clear later tonight.

C.C.C. Whalers Choice arrived early. Received 799.254 m3 graphite.

 

G.D.U.               Mar 07 – 4141 (Tuesday)

Link came back up the other day, Command central at Earth one told us that Blue one is off to be repaired. We will be sent a temporary carrier next week.

C.C.C. Seagull arrived as scheduled. Received 802.425 m3 graphite.

 

G.D.U.               Mar 14 – 4141 (Tuesday)

I have sent Emilie a new message. Missing her dearly these days and the lack of weather and season are getting slightly on my nerves. I have administered some wall projections of springtime on Earth One to help the morale. No one is talking about it, so I guess it is working… no news is good news anyway. I feel spirited and I can see at the corner of my eye that people are smiling slightly when they survey the recordings.

C.C.C. Pointless Remark arrived as scheduled. Received 825.677 m3 graphite.

 

G.D.U.               Mar 15 – 4141 (Wednesday)

Sleepless night again. They are slowly coming back after the third blitz in Borrux 42q12, as soon as I fall asleep I am dreaming of the long nights staring at the empty space, waiting for the fleets to appear. We were sitting ducks out there, I still don’t quite believe we survived by looking like wreckage. It was a brilliant idea, although so many things could have gone wrong in that maneuver. Hiding between my dead wingmen with a fraction of the crew… I can still hear their cries. I reach out for them and they vanish like smoke… not even my girl is beside me tonight. I am worried.

 

G.D.U.               Mar 16 – 4141 (Thursday)

  1. Bellows are dead. He ate the remaining recorder during a fierce night of screaming and struggling. He tore his restraints and managed to suffocate himself still yelling his nonsense.

We are holding a ceremony for him and sending him into space, although I fear one of the tugboat drones just collect him and send him back. This morbid tennis could become amusing for the staff, but I will not lose face towards them. I do not believe they trust me completely yet.

The Falcon Donkey sent us the message that there might be some irregularities in arrival for the carriers. There are some new digging sites and they are being shipped in several directions from now on. We ought to make the most out of those we get.

C.C.C. Falcon Donkey arrives on schedule.

Personal Note: Funny how one incident in February has made us ignorant of arrival times? Two times a week and yet I missed some here in March. How fickle the mind is!

 

G.D.U.               Mar 17 – 4141 (Friday)

We are missing a drill? HOW CAN WE LOSE A DRILL? It is nearly half a mile long?

Maintenance on the other two is going well, there have not been too much enhanced surface and it left our drills in better condition than expected.

Drill dropped out of its mouthing during the night apparently. It is a couple of miles down, embedded in the rock and beyond repair.

When recordings are done I will strangle someone… let us just hope it is the guilty person!

 

G.D.U.               Mar 18 – 4141 (Saturday)

We are drilling today since we used yesterday to pull out the third drill so it didn’t damage the other two as they continue their work.

New drill ordered, costs the company over 26 million I1-Credit. They are livid and a supervisor is coming to inspect the accident. We can only show him surveillance and the remaining drill in several pieces… good luck with that.

 

G.D.U.               Mar 21 – 4141 (Tuesday)

Emilie sent a message today. She says it is warm for a spring day. She looks tired and concerned. She wants to know when I come home. I wish I knew myself. I wanted to go back to the front when this is done, I am just not sure anymore. I need to go home first anyway.

C.C.C. Ox arrived on schedule, maxed capacity at 1.200.000 m3 graphite.

Personal Note: The crew onboard might eat rock since we shoved so much inside it might have filled the kitchen. What an amusing thought… they will still eat better than us though.

 

G.D.U.               Apr 08 – 4141 (Saturday)

Fortress Forty-two delayed at another place again, we are tired of their tomfoolery. They have had the audacity to send a construction crew to build two additional cargo bays and given us the bleak promise that they will improve their schedules so we weren’t forgotten entirely.

Personal Note: I am not sure what they expect, but we are working for them and not the other way around. What is so important that they will leave us days at a time without communication or carriers?

 

G.D.U.               Apr 11 – 4141 (Tuesday)

I sent Emilie a message today. I have wrecked my brain to get this right. I even made a manuscript so not to forget anything. Days are worming themselves along. This place seems to get under your skin sometimes. Luckily we had so much worked today that we hardly had time to speculate on our inevitable demise.

C.C.C. Fortress Forty-two finally arrives with backup. Filled to the brim, 1.2m graphite

C.C.C. Whalers Choice, additional arrival. Maximum capacity 1.2m graphite

C.C.C. Seagull, additional arrival. Fully loaded 1.2m graphite

 

G.D.U.               Apr 12 – 4141 (Wednesday)

I overslept this morning. We are so tired after all that loading work into the wee hours of the night. I let the men sleep in for three hours. Maintenance usually goes spotless and we haven’t had any problems lately.

We had a power outage during the early morning, which is the reason our timers had reset; old unreliable technology. Backup generators are being serviced this evening. They have apparently malfunctioned.

 

G.D.U.               Apr 13 – 4141 (Thursday)

I was woken by my second in command, Timothy or something… I keep forgetting his name, due to extensive lack of interest. He said the reason the generators malfunctioned was because an electrician had used the main power cord as a noose.

Took me a few minutes to understand what he was talking about, but apparently one of the builders for the new cargo bays are dead.

A know this is not the place to write it, but it sends cold shivers down my spine when I remember that my girl sat back down next to me last night in my dream. Why am I thinking of home? Is it the fear talking?

C.C.C. Blue One returned and received 1.094.331 m3 graphite and a coffin.

Personal Note: Let them shoot it into space outside the reach of the drones.

 

G.D.U.               Apr 14 – 4141 (Friday)

We held a ceremony for the deceased and drank to our health… since he was dead anyway. The crew is subdued, but still managing to do their work.

I talked with a few of them today. Work seems to be the only way they can keep themselves busy long enough for the cabin fever to stay at bay… I hope it will be bay 7 so it won’t appear until they build it the next time around.

Cook made pot-roast today and used a small rope to keep the thing together while cooking. The men didn’t think he was funny and most of the staff went on hunger-strike until he boiled his brain.

It took nearly five hours to calm the situation down. We don’t need the mutinous attitude these days. It is bad enough as it is!

Personal Note: We are low of fowl after the second cook-off and its going to be over a week before stocks are back up. I need to have a talk with the cook and his “humor.”

 

G.D.U.               Apr 15 – 4141 (Saturday)

Emilie sent me the same recording today. I was a bit confused at first and my request is still pending on the mistake.

The staff is getting ready to receive new drill. Still no sign to who made the mistake. We are looking forward to getting back on three drills. The stations have been crowded since everyone has been desperate to keep themselves occupied. There has been a few arguments and minor brawling between the staff. Some of them are reporting to our physician that they are suffocating. He has set it to be a mental state, since the maintenance crew assured us all that there is no leak anywhere.

We quit early today and went to play ball with Platform 3 and 11.

 

G.D.U.               Apr 19 – 4141 (Wednesday)

o minus o is c. o minus o is c. o minus o is c. o minus o is c. o minus o is c. o minus o is c. o minus o is c. o minus o is c. o minus o is c. o minus o is c. o minus o is c. o minus o is c. o minus o is c. o minus o is c. o minus o is c. o minus o is c. o minus o is c. o minus o is c. o minus o is c. o minus o is c. o minus o is c. o minus o is c. o minus o is c. o minus o is c. o minus o is c. o minus o is c. o minus o is c. o minus o is c. o minus o is c. o minus o is c. o minus o is c. o minus o is c. o minus o is c. o minus o is c. o minus o is c. o minus o is c. o minus o is c. o minus o is c. o minus o is c. o minus o is c. o minus o is c. There is no 41!

 

G.D.U.               Apr 22 – 4141 (Saturday)

I have been stuck at Platform 11 for a week. Came back this morning to see the staff doing what they could without power. Something hit the entire nebula I guess. There has been no contact with anyone or energy the last week. Emergency procedures had been initiated for airflow and essentials. All electronics have suffered some kind of damage and it took us a week to make Platform 11 livable. They are still working on their drills and machines.

Platform 7 has done the same procedure in my and half the crews absence. We have helped restoring the minor issues that kept us from removing re-breathers.

C.C.C. Seagull arrived during the chaos. 1.2m graphite shoved inside as fast as possible. We have received spare parts from their technicians so we could get power going again.

Personal Note: There was no power for the entire week… April 19 is freaking me out. What does it mean? More pressing matter… how and who wrote that? The surveillance was down with everything else!

 

G.D.U.               May 02 – 4141 (Tuesday)

NOT NOW!

C.C.C. Every goddamn carrier and ice-cream truck in the vicinity! 7.2m graphite will be sent.

 

G.D.U.               May 03 – 4141 (Wednesday)

Still loading the last two carriers with graphite and what else we can find in the bins. Stopped two of my crew trying to sneak onboard to get away from the work, reminding them the carrier’s cargo hulls weren’t filled with air. They went back to work and I swore I could hear one of them sob behind me.

This is getting out of hand. We can’t maintain a leveled stream of goods if they keep doing this to us and just after an electric meltdown. Sending the crew to bed… there is enough to keep the next carrier happy if any should come as scheduled tomorrow.

 

G.D.U.               May 04 – 4141 (Thursday)

Even I can feel the mutiny today. People are downright dangerous to converse with and work couldn’t start quick enough. We are down to under two loads of graphite in the bays and to my utter lack of surprise, there was no pickup.

I had the most glorious dream last night. Emilie was by my side too. It must be a sign of my home sickness. It is getting worse.

Personal Note: If the walls could speak; they would have asked for a transfer home too.

 

G.D.U.               May 05 – 4141 (Friday)

I was woken by… Timmy or Tibbles… or whatever his name is today. Two of my crew has gone missing during the night. I quickly rounded on the two trying to sneak out and found them safe and sound.

It is two of my drill crew missing so I am generally worried, both for their health and our process. Maintenance is going according to plan, although a little slower. A search crew has been dispatched and vents are being searched.

They didn’t find any of them, but my surveillance officer… (Who knew that was a job?) Informed me that there was something written on the stone half a mile inside the dig site.

We sent down a probe to what was first dismissed as something insignificant and now stood like writing on a parchment. “H4ve 1 been naughty Mother?”

 

G.D.U.               May 06 – 4141 (Saturday)

It was blood. They reported one of them men smashed against rock nearly two miles down. Somehow it had been written in blood on the ledge and the man had leapt to his death. Since the other one isn’t accounted for in the hole, we must assume it is suicide. How he managed to write that I will never know?

Personal Note: Keep an eye on stew and broth.

 

G.D.U.               May 11 – 4141 (Thursday)

Irregularities are getting to be as common as communication failure. We lose more and more contact with main command at Earth One. They are not concerned and talk about shifts in management, so we will get better conditions in the future. They are just humoring me… like a pet monkey jumping for the banana.

C.C.C. Falcon Donkey arrived apparently. Filled her up with 1.198.244 m3 graphite.

 

G.D.U.               May 17 – 4141 (Wednesday)

We have been ignored again, but it has become a common thing. Staff is complaining about issues with sleep. The lack of routine from outside has made it impossible to maintain daily and even weekly routines and it has created a day and night shift. We are still strictly using Earth One time to plan our days, but they are slowly merging together into one long night.

Staff is dropping in productivity and transfer requests are piling up on my desk. I have been ordered from Main Command to keep them there and try to reinstate a daily routine, even if I should have to make a new one.

Personal Note: Let us see how long that works before I get shot in a theatre.

 

G.D.U.               May 23 – 4141 (Tuesday)

Thank god… well what god that keeps an eye on this nebula, it is Tuesday. We have been in touch with Blue One and they are inbound later today. After tying down an electrician and tackling a drill worker during the weekend, we can look forward to have normal work conditions again.

The staff seems to be relieved with the information and I can’t blame them. I don’t have a direct routine out here and I haven’t been here the tenth of the time they have. No wonder the last officer in charge was replaced.

The isolation is horrifying and the air is slowly starting to feel foul in my nostrils.

C.C.C. Blue One arrived on schedule. Filled with 1.200.000 m3 graphite.

 

G.D.U.               May 24 – 4141 (Wednesday)

I have instated recordings of weather and scenery back home. It was only a test earlier this year. I have to do something to keep their spirits up. Even I am feeling under the weather and I shall not show weakness or a demoralized condition towards the crew. They will be affected and the thin red line between leadership and anarchy will be broken.

I have been dreaming a lot lately, how I wish I could see them again. Everything is slowly fading out and I have to watch Emilie’s recordings to remember her face. It must be the walls… maybe they are shrinking like Bellow’s whispered about in the long nights.

 

G.D.U.               May 25 – 4141 (Thursday)

I was alone in my dreams last night. I am truly getting worried about this. I have seen Emilie’s two recordings several times and somehow I can’t put my finger on it… they are not completely identical. Is it a shadow in the data transfer that has toyed with the recording?

I have sent a recording back to Main Command today; I need to have more stability in our deliveries.

C.C.C. Ox arrived a little early. Filled her up 1.2m raw graphite

 

G.D.U.               May 26 – 4141 (Friday)

Complete chaos this morning, one of our cooks went missing after the notion that one of our food deliveries were delayed a day. He was found two hours later hanging from a banister in a homemade noose made from his bed sheet. We could not save him since he had been dead for over half an hour according to our staff physician.

I threatened the other cooks that I would hurt them if they made anything resembling meat pie or meat stew tonight. We will send the cook out with one of the carriers. Still don’t trust the probes to send it back to us if we shot him out from here.

 

G.D.U.               May 27 – 4141 (Saturday)

It is a very subdued staff today. We received food as promised, one day later. It couldn’t cover the thoughts of the morbid picture of yesterday.

 

G.D.U.               Jun 06 – 4141 (Tuesday)

I am slowly getting paranoid myself. It has been over a week without communication with the outside world. The other Platforms have informed us that they don’t have any contact either. My communication officer is working around the clock to bypass our limitations with the few ways of communication. I told him to write in a bottle and go outside. If he throws it straight up it might find someone who cares… he didn’t even crack a tiny smile.

I have talked with the physician today. I swear I saw Emilie at the end of a hallway today and the janitor I ran into when I turned the corner was flattered that I called him Emilie, although he didn’t “bend that way”, my turn not to crack a smile. I could have sworn…

C.C.C. Whalers Choice arrived as scheduled 994.328 m3 graphite.

 

G.D.U.               Jun 08 – 4141 (Thursday)

It is like my mind has called out, we received recordings today. Main Command is working on a way to stabilize communication, but they can’t drill through large planets to lay down a phone line as they said. I think their spin doctors are drunk or bored.

Emilie’s recording came through too. She looks tired although it should be summer back home. The recording must have been at night, it was dark outside I noticed… didn’t really give me hope or comfort. At least she will visit me in my dreams tonight then.

C.C.C. Seagull arrived on schedule. 1.159.335 m3 graphite.

 

G.D.U.               Jun 09 – 4141 (Friday)

Disturbing dreams barely registers in this tumultuous frenzy. I am fighting to keep them all calm, since we found three men maimed in a closet this morning. The janitor had found them thrown unceremoniously into his storage, throats ripped and faces in shreds. We are running every single surveillance unit over and over to see who was on their feet during the night.

No one was up. Not even the men were spotted. We can follow them to the point where two of them enter their rooms and nothing on the cameras after that. Not even a vague shadow…

Work has been postponed today while we talk with the crew and try to get the stories straight. We have signaled Main Command for enforcers, but they will be here next year if we are lucky to get any.

Personal Note: More cameras!

 

G.D.U.               Jun 10 – 4141 (Saturday)

Today Main Command has sent a warning to us. We need to keep every worker on platform. The other platforms have not had any casualties and we are under administration. Since it will be ages… AGES! Before anyone with authority arrives, I am forced to act inquisitorial and stop this genocide.

Personal Note: They didn’t even act like it was accidents anymore… they haven’t been here and they are already connecting it all to one perpetrator.

 

G.D.U.               Jun 13 – 4141 (Tuesday)

After informing my staff about our situation the subdued mood has turned to blatant hostility. I have been bludgeoned with a plate and attempted stabbing with a fork during lunch. We are having trouble keeping them at bay and it has turned uglier than earlier.

I can barely get them to work anymore and they are trying to force their way into escape pods and hiding in cargo bays with re-breathers.  Fortress Forty-two has been canceled until we get the situation under control, meanwhile food is send down with lines instead of docking.

C.C.C. Fortress Forty-two Cancelled.

 

G.D.U.               Jun 15 – 4141 (Thursday)

Some of the staff has gone back to work. They have calmed down after their rampage. There are a few fires the Janitor has been allowed to put out without getting jumped and officer staff is not allowed to leave their posts. Doors locked!

We are working slowly in regaining control. My eight-ball says that the future is looking foggy.

C.C.C. Falcon Donkey Cancelled.

 

G.D.U.               Jun 17 – 4141 (Saturday)

We have arrived at a milestone in our diplomatic work. A face to face meeting with the drilling staff has been established and carried out without any aggression. They are tired and scared.

They demand more security and surveillance, especially during the nights. I suggested sedatives to get them to sleep, but it was more paranoia that brought them to their livid state.

It has been at every single door this evening. I made individual keys with the staff for five hours, I have the overwrite code and they have the only key each. Exhausted I will crawl to bed now… it is nearly morning and I wanted to use this Sunday to gain their confidence.

 

G.D.U.               Jun 20 – 4141 (Tuesday)

Demons. There are demons walking the surface of the ripper. Platform 11 is silent and no one has heard from them for at least a week. They are sending a ship to see what is going on.

Staff is complaining that they are seeing shadows in the night and the surface is crawling with small demons running just outside their line of sight. Paranoia is spreading rapidly, but at least the belief of outside influence has helped the bond with my staff.

Personal Note: I am sending out a small expedition team to humor my staff. I am sure it is bogus, but it will help my standing with them.

C.C.C. Blue One arrived as scheduled. 1.200.000 m3 graphite and 0 stowaways sent. I counted my staff before they left.

 

G.D.U.               Jun 24 – 4141 (Saturday)

Dark times. Massive leaks in the cargo hold and implosions have torn Platform 11 apart. The pictures we have been presented was gruesome at best. The way they are hanging suspended leaves us to think they died during a sleep cycle. What caused the holes is unknown. I wonder why their emergency system had not activated. One survivor from Platform 11 was taken out by the scouting expedition and he shot himself on the flight back to platform 10.

Discussions about this and my platform struggling with casualties are the only topics of the officer meetings… I am getting tired of recounting those accidents. I can still see their sunken dead faces when I close my eyes.

Our physician has prescribed me some sleeping pills, which I need these days.

 

G.D.U.               Jun 28 – 4141 (Wednesday)

Blood on the drill today during maintenance… since we do not miss any of our remaining staff I guess the lost of the two men a few months back has finally been found. He must have been falling for a long time; we have drilled in that area before.

We are sending yet another scouting expedition down to look at the place it has been drilling, but I doubt they will find anything.

 

G.D.U.               Jun 29 – 4141 (Thursday)

Someone has been writing 1 on my door with blood during the night. The surveillance has caught a shadow walking down the corridor, face concealed obviously. It is tall and moving like a man and since I have not caught the culprit I will not point fingers at anyone. It will just make a bad impression on the staff.

C.C.C. Ox arrived a little early today. We send 1.200.000 m3 graphite and blood samples, three coffins we apparently forgot in all this chaos with it. They will we shot into a nearby star and the blood will be analyzed to determine the origin and or owner.

 

G.D.U.               Jun 30 – 4141 (Friday)

It was our lost man from months back. Analysis came back around lunch. G. Duan had fallen furthest and ended up miles into the deep. How they ended there we will never know.

 

G.D.U.               Jul 04 – 4141 (Tuesday)

I woke last night as my girl stood beside my bed juggling six large balls while laughing maniacal. I seem to hear her more clearly now, she is repeating herself over and over, yet the words are still unknown or too incoherent.

Woke up at 4am completely soaked in sweat… sleeping pills couldn’t keep me out of this painful reality.

Haven’t slept since and the day has been one long stupid task of pushing rocks into the ship. We are several men down so I am assisting the loading crew. So tired and I can’t sleep.

C.C.C. Whalers Choice arrived in schedule. Received 1.200.000 m3 graphite and half my body liquid… so tired!

 

G.D.U.               Jul 05 – 4141 (Wednesday)

I try to stay awake so she can’t speak to me. It is impossible… I nod off every now and then. She follows me around and interrupts my dreams by showing me how good she has become in rolling eyeballs in one hand.

I want the physician to take me out, but he can’t promise me a dreamless sleep.

 

G.D.U.               Jul 07 – 4141 (Friday)

After two soul draining days it happened again. Surveillance clearly shows someone knocking on a door and stabbed one of my crew as he opened the door. It happened close to midnight. I have re-watched the recording four times, how he forced entrance and vanished from sight.

It has taken me three hours to convince myself to go to the room with a group of officers. He were prepared for a bloodbath, but not prepared for this… blood and no body. We have searched the rooms in the small apartment and the ones beside it, but nothing. He was clearly dragged around the apartment; there is blood everywhere, but not even a toenail?

I have reported to Main Command that we have a serial killer on the platform and they tell me to lockdown each night. Everyone has to be inside their rooms and no one can leave.

Informing the crew gave a small air of calm and it is now in full function. I have sat myself in surveillance tonight before we locked down. I want to see!

 

G.D.U.               Jul 08 – 4141 (Saturday)

We were made known today that Platform 1 have been abandoned during the week. No one from the place has informed anyone and every single soul there is gone. Escape pods have all been deployed and carriers diverted through the distress signal.

A voice instead of the usual noise is saying “We are empty!” It repeats itself slowly every ten seconds and the sample is shut off after the third repeat. Officers are clearly offended that they have taken that decision without consultation.

Personal Note: If I didn’t obey Main Command like the lapdog I am, it might have been me four months ago!

 

G.D.U.               Jul 11 – 4141 (Tuesday)

Work is back to normal, if paranoia and suspicion could be called normal. The crew is working, but everyone is looking over his shoulder every three steps. Who can blame them? Even I have been told I look queer at the officers when I think they aren’t looking.

Personal note: My second in command… Tommy does not show any sign of affection or fear. It could be bold righteousness that gives him a feeling of security as officers are better guarded than the rest… I honestly just believe that he is heavily retarded and no one has found out yet. If he is a robot I will be the least surprised!

C.C.C. Blue One returned and took 1.200.000 m3 graphite, leaving us the only platform still performing flawlessly. The rest have shown signs of reluctance in their work and mild hostility towards the carrier crews.

 

G.D.U.               Jul 13 – 4141 (Thursday)

There is definitely a shadow in the corridors at night. Someone has learned to move in the edges of the surveillance and is only spotted by a foot or an elbow as they try to pry open doors at night. We will set up stunning traps to see if we can get the sucker.

C.C.C. Seagull arrived as scheduled and received 1.001.299 m3 graphite.

 

G.D.U.               Jul 15 – 4141 (Saturday)

The same morning I found the large bloody number two on the opposite side of the entrance to the surveillance room, I am been told that Platform two and three has left during the last week. Sending out similar messages they have abandoned their platforms, shot pods out during the maintenance time while the drones were being inspected by the tugboats and gone!

It is long time before mutiny has been discussed in my log, but the mood is getting unbearable. Chaotic and loud the commanders in charge have been arguing all morning. No result!

It wasn’t until later this evening we found the third number written on the wall inside the latest dead man’s room. The killer must have his keycard. I have changed the lock and set a stun trap extra myself.

 

G.D.U.               Jul 18 – 4141 (Tuesday)

No luck with the traps. I have been in contact with Main Command, which has issued that any further attempt to leave our posts without permission will be treated like treason and the whole crew including those left behind will be executed.

This will make people feel obligated to stay and work for the safety of their fellow men.

C.C.C. Fortress Forty-two arrived late today. 1.200.000 m3 graphite loaded and sent. We tried to hire additional crew, but they knew our bloody situation and declined gracefully.

 

G.D.U.               Jul 19 – 4141 (Wednesday)

Someone has tapped into the sound system and is replaying a screaming man’s voice. The recording is making the crew angry and the search for the source is like a witch hunt. Cables are been followed from the main center and people are crawling the vents and pulling panels off to find the source.

The noise was interrupted abruptly after four hours exactly as a voice said over the speaker “I have done what I was sent to do!” A distant explosion has been heard and the usual scout crew has been dispatched. We were all sitting together in the dining hall waiting new, watching the transmitted live-feed on the screens.

Pandemonium… burning wreckage from gas fires were displayed so vividly we could almost feel the heat through the transmission. Nothing left of Platform 4!

Personal Note: I have requested a complete evacuation of Platform 7 and it has been flat out decline by main command. If further issues happen, I will disobey orders and pull my men out of here within an hour!

 

G.D.U.               Jul 20 – 4141 (Thursday)

Work is slow today. People are tired, scared and confused. We are working two drills, having a sleep rotation where the men can sleep under guard of the others and full surveillance. It doesn’t know if it would help anything, but some of them seem to get some good sleep out of those few hours they are permitted.

C.C.C. Falcon Donkey arrived today with plenty of room since they had not been filled from the others. We gave them 3.344.154 m3 graphite using the other’s quota and emptied our cargo holds completely.

Personal Note: I have been nodding off all day, she didn’t return in my dreams. Maybe I am slowly feeling safer again?

G.D.U.               Jul 21 – 4141 (Friday)

More blood on the drills… a lot of blood! I knew it was too good to be true. We apparently hit a hole, digging in a certain direction and whatever is down there is wounded or minced completely!

Our scouting crew is sent down with stomach medicine and vomit bags. I could see the fear in their eyes when I issued the order to go back down.

The first couple of pictures had been sent while I nodded off in the surveillance room. I don’t have the stomach for this!

 

G.D.U.               Jul 22 – 4141 (Saturday)

Corpses… a lot of limbs everywhere the eye can see! We have confirmed that our work overlapped Platform 1 and the result was blood… shitloads of it! All fifteen escape pods were scattered down the large hole leaving dead bodies and severed limbs everywhere as out drill pulled some of them apart. We can’t be sure that everyone is there, but we can account for at least 96 men and women, if we count the pairs of limbs floating everywhere from the four pods broken.

Total lockdown. Chaos is spreading as we send information to the other Platforms and Main Command responds four hours later that we are to make total lockdowns every evening. People are not even allowed to leave their own apartments during the night. No one leaves, equal no apparent risk.

I am personally more interested in my men sleeping all together with both eyes open, but still orders are orders and as Tulips says, “It is the best way to keep everyone separated.”

 

G.D.U.               Aug 08 – 4141 (Tuesday)

I awoke this morning in the sickbay. I have no idea what happened? Tonga informs me that he has kept control of the situation while I was out. No one saw anything and surveillance has been down for weeks now. I was found in the corridor unconscious, no obvious traumas and the physician thought he was funny by saying that my case of deadness was still pending.

C.C.C. Whalers Choice, cancelled.

Personal note: Is it illegal to punch and doctor if he wears glasses? Two minus must be a plus?

 

G.D.U.               Aug 09 – 4141 (Wednesday)

Since there have been no working recorders for the last two weeks, I have no idea what has been going on? The staff is being rounded up as I write and I can barely remember the last entry on the log.

Two more missing I see. This is getting more out of hand. Someone is biting the wires in the walls, I want to hunt the psycho down and shoot him, but do I hand out weapons on the Platform, we are all dead within a day.

Personal Note: I have not remembered anything in my unconscious state… maybe I should use a mallet when I want to sleep?

 

G.D.U.               Aug 10 – 4141 (Thursday)

I need to find them!

As I dreaded, they are both dead as I saw it in my dreams. I went to cargo bay five earlier with some officers. It is hard to act casual when you lead them to corpses with so much confidence in your step.

I saw my girl last night again. She was standing at the door to cargo bay five watching the two missing men struggle over the single re-breather between them as the transfer gate was opened. One suffocated nearly instantly and fell crashing to the ground as she closed the gate. She opened the door and shot the second man through the re-breather mask and out the back of his head.

Personal Note: I am withholding this information for now, since they are impossible and I would be suspected of murder.

C.C.C. Seagull was cancelled due to murder investigation.

 

G.D.U.               Aug 11 – 4141 (Friday)

I am beginning to fear that I have been taking something on board the ship when I was instated as first officer of Platform 7. It has been tumultuous and confusing, since Emilie stopped sending recordings. Things have changed… or is it me that has changed? I can’t tell anymore what the matter with this place is.

 

G.D.U.               Aug 12 – 4141 (Saturday)

I need to lock myself inside my quarters. I have notified Turok that I will not see anyone and they must send me my food. They are naturally concerned of course, but I assured them it was for the best… I assured…

 

G.D.U.               Aug 17 – 4141 (Thursday)

I have had no real contact with the staff the last couple of days. Food has been delivered as promised.

Tina writes that he has continued work and that I may be able to take all the time I need until I am ready to talk about it. They know something is up!

 

G.D.U.               Aug 22 – 4141 (Tuesday)

I can hear them work; the drilling is rattling my bones. I fear that I will break like a branch in autumn. I don’t feel any sustenance from food or water anymore.

I have started to record nosebleeds… they are getting frequent.

 

G.D.U.               Aug 23 – 4141 (Wednesday)

Tuna has left me a note again today; three crewmembers from drill two had snuck onboard the Ox and are on their way back to the processing facility. I am not sure what they will face their… not my problem… I have my own! I don’t want to share them.

I had only one nosebleed today.

 

G.D.U.               Aug 24 – 4141 (Thursday)

Emilie visited me last night in my dreams. I fear the worst. I need to send a message to Main Command.

Main Command refuses to let me talk with anyone beside them. I want to talk to my wife!

They said I was unstable and relieved of my duty… it was strange to hear yourself laugh without feeling you were the one uttering the sound. Such a sarcastic and cruel mirth I portrayed. Never heard that before…

C.C.C. Blue One arrived while I were out, I am not in command anymore so I don’t know how much they sent with it or who they sent along?

 

G.D.U.               Sep 05 – 4141 (Tuesday)

Days pass and nothing happens. When I dream of Janice it is me holding her hand and not the other way around. She tried to stand up, but I hold her down by my side.

Personal Note: Keep it hidden, keep them safe!

 

G.D.U.               Sep 06 – 4141 (Wednesday)

Solitude in this room is getting on my nerves. I feel imprisoned here, the same as nine years ago. I can’t get the feeling out of my head that something is watching me from the walls. There have previously not been cameras in this room, but since I am not I command anymore how can I know?

 

G.D.U.               Sep 08 – 4141 (Friday)

I have been sleeping more, I don’t feel any vitality and I yawn with short intervals. I can’t see any reason there should be any training like that back in 4132. What are they driving at?

Personal Note: Food is getting worse… I didn’t expect you could cook a door handle and make soup?

 

G.D.U.               Sep 09 – 4141 (Saturday)

I still have her here… she is firmly in my grasp!

 

G.D.U.               Sep 12 – 4141 (Tuesday)

It has been several days since I have seen anyone. Food is still arranged although the quality is reminding me of entropy. I can’t take this silence much longer; even the drills are not soothing anymore… they sound hollow and taunting.

 

G.D.U.               Sep 14 – 4141 (Thursday)

Janice? I have to get up sweat-heart. My head is ringing and your breathing is interrupting my sleep!

 

G.D.U.               Sep 16 – 4141 (Saturday)

We were kids… old kids. How could they treat us like that? Janice… are you still afraid?

 

G.D.U.               Sep 19 – 4141 (Tuesday)

Sleep eludes me… I feel more awake than two minutes ago. Now I am 10% more awake than the last sentence! I can hear humming from the walls!

Like leeches surfing, the continues humming is consuming… How strange it all feels suddenly. I am lying still with my log and still my room is moving around me. I feel rooted! Food taste like poison today, they might try to drug me so they can flush me out. They did it once before, Almack didn’t survive it and Penniless lost a hand. They will not get me!

 

G.D.U.               Sep 20 – 4141 (Wednesday)

I hid beside the door for nine hours straight and I have apparently lost consciousness. I have been saving some of the bread and only drinking purified water from my bathroom. They didn’t know I had a bottle stashed in there… or did they? Are they coming while I write this?

I guess not…

 

G.D.U.               Sep 21 – 4141 (Thursday)

I am slowly losing… can’t really write today, I am so hungry… food poison…

 

G.D.U.               Sep 22 – 4141 (Friday)

o minus o is c. o minus o is c. o minus o is c. o minus o is c. o minus o is c. o minus o is c. o minus o is c. o minus o is c. o minus o is c. o minus o is c. o minus o is c. o minus o is c. o minus o is c. o minus o is c. o minus o is c. o minus o is c. o minus o is c. o minus o is c. o minus o is c. o minus o is c. o minus o is c. o minus o is c. o minus o is c. o minus o is c. o minus o is c. o minus o is c. o minus o is c. o minus o is c. o minus o is c. o minus o is c. o minus o is c. o minus o is c. o minus o is c. o minus o is c. o minus o is c. o minus o is c. o minus o is c. o minus o is c. o minus o is c. o minus o is c. o minus o is c. There is no 41!

There… I wrote it too… can they come and get me too now?

 

G.D.U.               Sep 23 – 4141 (Saturday)

[Entry deleted] – Manual Overwrite.

 

G.D.U.               Oct 07 – 4141 (Saturday)

Tabitha woke me up in the infirmary yesterday. I have been out… is it really October? I don’t believe it!

He was talking incoherent like Janice. He stood just in front of me and nothing made sense. I remember my old projector… when I hit it, it sometimes stopped flickering… well he didn’t. I found my log and I will hold on to you with my dear life!

The place is dark and empty. I haven’t seen anyone out after I left Tango in the sickbay.

 

G.D.U.               Oct 10 – 4141 (Tuesday)

According to clocks, it should be morning here, but I don’t hear or see anyone. I have ventured to the dining hall to get some food, but it is empty.

I went back into my old surveillance room… the smell was unjustifiable. Someone has definitely decomposed in here. I can see that no escape pods are left and all cameras have been turned off. Am I alone with Tubby?

C.C.C. Ox was originally scheduled to arrive, but all contact has been restricted and carriers have been diverted to other projects.

No contact with Main Command had to leave the room… smell overwhelming.

 

G.D.U.               Oct 11 – 4141 (Wednesday)

Went back to sickbay to talk to officer Tungsten, but he is still sitting where I left him two days ago. At least he isn’t arguing with me anymore.

Food is sparse in the kitchen… at least no one there to poison me!

 

G.D.U.               Oct 12 – 4141 (Thursday)

I have eaten some old pie… I don’t feel so good today. I am happy we have not introduced pets to this place or rats would have infested it all!

Toilet system is still working… happy to know that, since everything I ate the last two years are being forced out by the speed of sound!

Personal Note: Changed the password to the kitchens, don’t want strangers in there! It is 45120891912121789147

G.D.U.               Oct 13 – 4141 (Friday)

I am feeling weak from food poisoning and I have been sitting in the surveillance room all day looking over footage. I have reactivated the cameras to see if someone is sneaking around, no one has been seen yet though.

I have experienced something interesting. Someone is trying to call me at 8pm, but it is a coded line and I have no idea how to take the call. Tipsy must be the only one with the password and he is angry at me.

 

G.D.U.               Oct 14 – 4141 (Saturday)

Hurt my hand after hammering the dashboard of the main computer. Went to the sickbay for bandages, Tofu is still angry with me… didn’t even get up when I passed him. So be it you loathsome bastard!

I have worked over the passphrases in the surveillance room for two days now and I am getting nowhere fast!

 

G.D.U.               Oct 18 – 4141 (Wednesday)

I had given up on finding anything of importance in that stupid room, until I went back to Tool and took his clothes off him. Surprisingly he didn’t object… I need to keep an eye on him; he is acting perverse and suggestive today!

His log had various passwords written down after I got his fingerprint to open it. I think he is flirting with me… all naked and anticipating in that chair. I need to keep him in the sickbay, he needs some help!

 

G.D.U.               Oct 21 – 4141 (Saturday)

I’m Sorry!

I never expected this! I have been perusing the previous calls to me and Timothy… whoever that is? And this is so wrong!

I need to write a few details down for future reference: I was relieved of duty and the official resignation from the army came august 24th

I am watching footage of shadowy figures moving around corridors at night now? People are being slaughtered left and right! How is that possible, I was locked in my room? I took myself out of the equation!

 

G.D.U.               Nov 07 – 4141 (Tuesday)

I am lost here. First I wake up in a small white room in torn straight jacket and now I am sitting in the bathroom of Platform 7’s kitchen. I can’t distinguish what is real anymore.

A large man told me to stop screaming while I lay shivering in that tiny room… it was not me screaming! I had nothing to scream about!

I wish my dreams would return to normal… I need you Janice. Can you tell me how Emilie is doing?

 

G.D.U.               Nov 09 – 4141 (Thursday)

Janice was sitting by me as the two large men came to my little white room in my dream. She is still looking out for me, even if I couldn’t save her!

Food is nearly gone and all communication with Main Command is refused. I have send messages that I was still here and I am hungry! No response yet.

 

G.D.U.               Nov 11 – 4141 (Saturday)

Janice told me last night that Emilie was fine. She had been a little sick from the flu and was getting better. She was taken to the farm by our friends so she could relax and regain her strength.

Happy to hear that she is improving… I always wondered if she forgave us for what happened to Janice?

 

G.D.U.               Nov 14 – 4141 (Tuesday)

I have been through the various apartments on the platform… nobody home. Everything is silent as the grave. But who’s grave? Janice rummaged through their supplies and found me some snacks. What a wonderful change in flavor!

C.C.C. In your dreams arrived on schedule and got fuck all we had! No surfing leeches or snooty officers left on this forsaken rock. Just me and my bread! Flour and water… flour and water!

 

G.D.U.               Nov 16 – 4141 (Thursday)

I found something a little confusing today. Emilie send me a recording all of a sudden? Her smile reminds me of our summer vacations. She has not smiled like that for years. Is she finally coping?

Maybe the farm air is doing her some good!

 

G.D.U.               Nov 18 – 4141 (Saturday)

The same recording was sent today! She is still smiling broadly to me and talking about the same feelings as two days ago… the only thing is that the green color is taken out. Bad recording I guess.

Her half grayish smile doesn’t seem that warm the second time. She has not forgotten what happened!

 

G.D.U.               Nov 21 – 4141 (Tuesday)

Messages are coming in over and over; I have stopped looking at them. Someone is messing with my head and they are not allowed to win.

Janice has made me a necklace to ward off the evil spirits trying to invade my mind. It feels a little heavy as the keychain dangle cold from my neck with the large mans lower jaw as the centerpiece. Somehow I feel safer… because she made it for me.

She isn’t disturbed about the messages, she believe that Emilie has forgiven me. It was part of the training and she understands what had to be done… Janice is trying to convince me Emilie see’s it that way too, but I am not convinced yet.

 

G.D.U.               Nov 22 – 4141 (Wednesday)

Evil spirits are attacking me. I have locked down the Platform and locked the door in the white room. Janice said she would keep watch for me and tell me when the coast is clear! Waiting for instructions!

 

G.D.U.               Nov 23 – 4141 (Thursday)

My mind has been breached! They are coming to get me. They want the password to the kitchen. MY BREAD!

No one had changed the combination to the gun storage; Tootles had the last password on his log. I have armed myself and if they want to steal my brain, they have to scoop it off the wall!

 

G.D.U.               Nov 24 – 4141 (Friday)

Janice calmed me down. I am not dead yet, I can dance and I can sing! Although I never learned the Highland fling? We warded off the evil spirits together, one by one. She found a special rifle in the storage that could harm spirits and we defeated them all. Even the large man disguised as a police officer that kicked down the door to my white sanctuary has been conquered. Janice told me that I could hide inside him, if I took his skin. We could leave the place in his image.

 

G.D.U.               Nov 25 – 4141 (Saturday)

I got out of the strange place in my dream. It felt like a long walk. We waited until night and walked downstairs and out the front door. No one tried to stop us. They made a path clear and I can finally smell the fresh air. How easy they are fooled…

When I woke up I sat in the surveillance room again, it is making sense now. I needed Janice for this. Just like the other times I was in war, I needed this bond to survive the slaughter.

She is the best scout I have ever had… I love you Janice!

 

G.D.U.               Dec 05 – 4141 (Tuesday)

The spirits had a scout craft at the third bay. I need to get to it. It is not too late to get off this place. I need to tell someone that we are still alive out here. We need someone to take a look at this mess. Where are the law enforcers when you need them?

C.C.C. Unicorn farts rainbows were cancelled today due to unforeseen circumstances.

Personal Note: Spirit bullets work on flatulent horses too!

 

G.D.U.               Dec 07 – 4141 (Thursday)

In my dreams I stood in the street by the police vehicle. There was no one there? I thought they usually came in pairs. I told central station that it was a bogus run and set out to meet Emilie at the farm. It shouldn’t take more than a few days on the open road.

I woke up in the kitchen bathroom again. Pants down and apparently passed out during a tricky shit. Janice had saved some food for me, but I had to eat it quickly since it couldn’t stay fresh for too long. She said that spirit meat would help me understand how they thought, so I could prevent them from entering my head that easily.

 

G.D.U.               Dec 08 – 4141 (Friday)

Janice told me that I could try to connect with a spirit like they had forced me to do with her. The emotional bond they made nine years ago to her and how they slit her throat right in front of me and bathe me in her blood while beating me unconscious.

I have tried to wound spirits, but they are easier to kill than wound apparently. Work in progress I guess.

 

G.D.U.               Dec 09 – 4141 (Saturday)

I haven’t had any luck yet and eating their meat doesn’t help me. I have no idea what they are doing… those insane creatures are flocking around bay 3 like bees. Took me hours to lure a few away, they sting like hell when they get too close.

 

G.D.U.               Dec 12 – 4141 (Tuesday)

I have fortified myself in the sickbay after they advanced on me. Lost a lot of blood and is getting hungry again. I need another food source. Todd doesn’t taste like the spirits…

 

G.D.U.               Dec 14 – 4141 (Thursday)

I have made a run for the kitchen with the things I could use from the sickbay. I don’t think thunder-buns need them anymore. He refuses to comment on my reasoning and watched silently as it left the room. Odd fellow.

 

G.D.U.               Dec 16 – 4141 (Saturday)

Janice had been absent in the sickbay, she doesn’t like Turtle, he disapproves of women onboard.

She was making bread in the kitchen when I met her. It smell great in there… the oven had heated the room and she was humming an old maiden tune Emilie taught her.

It reminded me of them both standing in the kitchen back home, before the wars began. I still remember my enlistment. Soldiers aren’t what they use to be… they are more prepared and resolute on both sides. I never flinched during my career and Janice had always been beside me in sick and in health.

Tonight I eat like kings; the next time I feast is in Hell!

 

G.D.U.               Dec 19 – 4141 (Tuesday)

I am hidden in the cupboard at the janitors’ closet near bay 3. There aren’t many spirits left. I will purge the ripper for their presence tonight.

 

G.D.U.               Dec 20 – 4141 (Wednesday)

[Entry deleted] – Manual Overwrite.

 

G.D.U.               Dec 21 – 4141 (Thursday)

I am at the sickbay again. I don’t feel so well. The dream last night disturbed me a little.

I reached Emilie at the farm… she hit me with a shovel when I wanted to hug her. When I came too she was shoveling dirt ten feet above me… I’m Sorry? I’m Sorry!

 

G.D.U.               Dec 23 – 4141 (Saturday) Debriefing:

This log has been taken into custody by Fifth squad, sweeper crew.

Alistair Cartwright, 58. Previous senior officer at G.C. Taurus II and Commanding officer of drilling operation Platform 7 has been found dead in the sickbay.

The log will be handed over to investigators on Temp Earth Two, Industrial Law Enforcement.

Investigations upon death of his daughter, mentions several times in the log will also be performed. Since records of wife and life on Earth One are gone Aug 24th we cannot conclude anything at this point.

Sleep Journal added to evidence box, please use for reference.

Happy Christmas.

I’m Sorry | My Bad

I’m Sorry | My Bad

If you asked (most of) my friends, they would say that I’m a good person. That I am kind, compassionate, warm, fun, snuggley and pretty damn cute.

They are not completely wrong. After all, I am devastatingly attractive. And I do strive to be a better person, every day. But this is mainly cos I know that I’m not as nice as people think I am.

I am a bit of a dichotomy. I’m quite open and candid about many things in my life. Including things that a lot of people shy away from or feel would be seen as weakness or failings. I don’t agree with this view. These are things that happen… to many, many people. They are a huge part of who I am now. And I’m not gonna be embarrassed about talking about me.

The flip side is that I am emotionally tight lipped. I internalise. I don’t discuss many things that affect me quite fundamentally. Be they large or small. I like to think that I deal, but I’m not sure that I always do. But what I don’t do is talk about them.

I Can't Speak
In the spirit of this month’s theme, here are a few of the things I’m not sure that I have dealt with…

 

 

 

When I was at school, there was a guy in my class called Anil. He had a really rough time. It was a Grammar School (in the UK, in my time, Grammar Schools were the top end of state funded schooling. They were selective, based upon academic ability), the level of abuse was more psychological than physical. Anil was the only Indian guy in the school. In fact I think he was probably the only non-white guy in the school.

I don’t believe that the abuse he received was racism. But this may be that at that time, I’d never heard of racism. He was a loner. Socially inept. Shy, quiet and didn’t kick back. He was ostracised, spurned and treated pretty badly. He wasn’t the only one treated this way, but he had it the worst… and is the only one I have seen since.

I wasn’t the one that picked on him (I think). But I didn’t stand up for him.

A couple of years later we ended up on the same course at college. I actually went up to him and apologised for the way he had been treated at school. I hope this helped a little.

 

More recently, I have hurt a couple of my closest friends. I was asked to be the best man at one of their weddings. My words and actions caused sufficient upset that things got messy. My inability to deal with the situation well (I had my own stuff going on at the time) means that I missed the wedding and the subsequent birth of a child. The other friend, I hurt. That was entirely my fault. I needed to deal with a situation, but handled it badly. Very badly.

(Please note, when I say ‘hurt’ I don’t mean physically. I mean in the way that causes significant, invisible damage)

I hope to fix one of these broken friendships. The other, I don’t think I will be able to.

 

And finally…

I have a death on my conscience. How and why is all part of my not sharing the truly personal stuff. But suffice it to say that he died, and I feel that I could have done more to prevent it.

Wow. That was pretty big for me. I’ve never even mentioned that much before… To anyone.

Anyway, before I get too emotional…

 

I am sorry.

To everyone I have hurt, upset or failed… I am truly sorry.

 

I’m not sure if this is what was intended by the month’s theme… But this is what I’ve got to give.

Theme: I’m Sorry!

Theme: I’m Sorry!

Burden Banner

The murmur and music outside grew louder. It was an awkward silence. People passed by outside the window. Some going left, some going right and others stopped to read the flyers outside. There was a small menu posted in the window on the worn front door and several newspaper headlines were propped outside. This was a weird little place and by the looks of it, it only just managed to make ends meet. It was discount. It was cheap. Dirty. The tables were worn and looked like they had started their service around Woodstock, and decades of service taken for granted left the – once pristine and polished – wooden table tops looking like cracked windshields. They looked tired somehow. And the chairs were no better. It was clear that half the chairs came with the tables. They were quite uncomfortable and they squeaked, creaked and strained under any weight. The other half of the chairs were obviously bought from a thrift shop when the originals had given in to wear and tear. The lights were dim and the hum of the incandescent lights was clearly audible, even with the soft murmur coming in from the busy street outside. Every now and again the bulbs would flicker heralding their end of service. If only the worn furnishings had the same prospects.

The shopkeeper-slash-newsagent-slash-tobacconist-slash-cook was an old woman. Her grey hair fell in a mess of clusters unto her shoulders. And while she was worn, and her eyes were dead, she wore a quiant shirt, a long skirt and a pair of unfashionable orthopedic shoes. These were likely prescribed by a physician. She looked respectable, and the clothes looked fresh although the labour and the dust were leaving an impression as the day went on. It was early in the afternoon and the Saturday crowd brought in a few stragglers looking for a cup of coffee, a pack of smokes or a newspaper if a full moon was out. A small bell rang with forced enthusiasm when the door opened and someone entered. The old crone was at the counter in a flash, with a kind smile, a rehearsed tone and dead eyes. Her question: “What can I get you?,” ran over her lips with the routine of an old lumberjack cleaving the billionth log of his lifetime. And the customer would make a request or put the pack of smokes on the counter, the old shopkeeper would take care of it, her kind smile long gone.

My name is Giles. Giles Burden. And I was on a date with the devil. He sat across the table from me with a smug smile. He was observing me observing the interior. I took a sip of my coffee. It was warm, strong and fragrant. And black as night. The cups and saucers did not seem worn or marred by time. The service was clean, but definitely not fancy either. Probably the cheapest solution available, but in this hellhole, it seemed almost luxurious. “How long’ve you been with us?,” he asked. “13 years, sir,” I replied after some consideration. I put down my cup and he raised his. He sipped. In the hue of the buzzing light he looked old. He had recently turned 32, but under these lights, in this place, in this conversation, he looked at least twice his age. His tone was grave and his expression was set in stone. He slowly put his cup back down and hissed at the coffee. “Too strong for my taste,” he added.

The door creaked open and the bell jingled solemnly. A street musician was pouring his soul into his craft outside and a young girl stepped in. The old crone sprang alive: “Good afternoon.” “Hi,” the girl replied glancing around the shop. Her distaste was immediate and unmistakable. “What can I get you?” “I’ll have a latté,” the girl replied. “If only,” the devil sighed under his breath. “A what?,” asked the shopkeeper. “A cup of coffee,” the girl replied with repressed disappointment. “Coming up.” The old crone turned to the coffee machine. Her kind smile had vanished. She poured a cup to go, put it on the counter and named the price. The young girl paid, got her change and the old crone closed the register. It gave a loud and cheery chime. The young girl left the store and the doorbell rang contently behind her. From outside we could hear the street musician still at it. Why on Earth these people insisted on playing sad and obscure tunes was beyond me. Surely upbeat, happy and common tunes would resonate better with passers by.

“How’ve you been lately?,” asked the devil. His red face had a concerned expression, but his eyes were blank with disinterest. “Busy, sir. I’ve been juggling several large projects,” I replied. He was, after all, responsible for these projects ending up on my desk. “Giles,” he smiled: “I know what you’ve been doing, but I’m asking how you’re feeling.” “I’m doing great. I love my job and the work is interesting.” Aside from big company contracts and major stock exchange I had recently worked with some of the firm’s veteran customers. I had helped Denver Airlines recover from plummeting stocks. I had redesigned the business strategy of Gibbs Brothers’ Dentistry Inc. from the ground up and helped them stay alive and in business. Most recently I had assisted in a company restructuring of Murtaugh’s Marksmanship Emporium when the old CEO retired due to old age.

“Giles,” the devil began again: “You’re not on trial here. We’re not at work.” “It’s during business hours,” I interjected. “Yes, but this is not business. Be straight with me, please.” We might not have been at the office. We might not have been here for business, but he was still my boss. I worked for the devil. And it was evident he did not believe me. “I’m doing great,” I repeated: “I love my job and the work is interesting.” He sighed. Every bit of mock concern from his face was gone.

“We’ve been talking,” the devil stated sternly after a moments pause. The old crone looked at him briefly, but swiftly minded her own business. “We’ve been going over your performance reviews,” he continued. I nodded. We both knew where this was going. “It’s just not good, Giles.” He concluded. “Looking at your reviews and comparing them to company benchmarks, you’re–,” I stopped listening. Outside two teenagers passed by the window and looked in. Their paced slowed, but then they hurried out of sight – hand in hand.

I met Catherine in my early twenties – over a decade ago. I was 22 years old and on my way to campus when my useless heap of a car broke down in mid traffic. It was towed to a local mechanic. Catherine was working as an apprentice mechanic and that was where and when I first met her. At first it seemed as if we had nothing in common. I was a young lad steadily making my way through business school, and she was a mechanic with a flair for engines and exhaust pipes. Sure, we were both good looking, but that is hardly common ground for conversation. Well, not particularly interesting conversation. Anyway, it was love at second sight. When I came back a few days later to retrieve my vehicle, I got a few minutes with the mechanicess as she went over the repairs. She was funny, sarcastic and pragmatic to the exclusion of many other qualities. And I loved her for it. There was nothing she could not fix with a wrench, some grease and an oily rug. And that made her happy. She asked me out as I got in my car to leave. I went with her on my first date in the age of 22. It was terrifying, but it went smoothly. I had no frame of reference then.

On our one year anniversary we moved in together. We got an apartment in this city, close to her garage. Then we went out for a lovely dinner. Business had been going well for me and my plans were extravagant. When we got to the restaurant she looked around and turned to me: “What’s this about?” “What do you mean?” “This is really high end,” she replied with a smile. “Oh, come now,” I started rather pompously: “No less is good enough for you.” She smiled, kissed me and said: “That’s sweet, but I’d much rather go for a burger and a beer.” “You can get that here.” “Yeah, no, it’s all fancy crap. Probably a burger in a pretentious not-so-whole-wheat bun with some prime steak and oven baked fries with 75 thousand different spices – and no grease!” The sight of this lovely young lady in a stunning dress nagging about fry grease was something to behold. I had caught her eyeing the dress she was wearing and I had bought it for the occasion. The maître d’ scowled at us. Catherine noticed the scowl and turned to me. Her eyes sparkled. “And the beer is probably some import of a local brew from somewhere in Northern Fantasia that tastes like hops, halibut and horse piss,” she said quite audibly. The maître d’ started at us, but I quickly dismissed him: “Don’t worry, we’re leaving.” We left for the greasiest burger joint we could find. Our search ended in a questionable dive. Me in a suit and her in a stunning dress, among truckers, scum and low-lives. We had a lovely evening. Before she fell asleep that night I said to her: “I’m glad I met you.” She whispered back, tired and blissful: “I’m glad you met me, too.” She fell asleep with a smile on her face. We were engaged a few years later. Then she died.

A Monday morning she was going for her usual jog before work. She left the apartment and ran her usual 45 minute track down the street onto the main road, through the park, and then back home. That morning she never returned. According to an eye witness, Catherine had passed him on a bench and turned right – as per usual – when he heard a guttural growl. He turned to look. Catherine never heard it coming. Ear plugs blasted loud music into her ears and she had not seen or heard the beast behind her. The large ball of fur went straight for her and the man on the bench had screamed for Catherine’s attention. She had stopped and turned around only for the dog to pounce. She did not even have time to scream. The witness had called the police. Two officers arrived within minutes. They had been patrolling near the park and the city center. When they arrived they found her mangled body, torn to shreds. Muscles and limbs were missing. Blood was everywhere. Her throat had been ripped open and the dog had had its feast. A trail of blood vanished into the bushes and the two officers searched for the mutt. It was gone. Later, the police showed me the pictures of the crime scene. It was gory. Horrible. Messy. Most of Catherine’s face had been eaten, but just enough remained to confirm what her dentistry records already concluded: it was indeed Catherine. Was. When she had been out for an hour and a half I called her cell. Sometimes she could be gone for over an hour if the traffic was bad, or she had stopped for a drink on the way back. No one picked up. I tried again a few minutes later and an officer answered. There had been an accident, he told me. They came by to take me to the station to confirm the identification of her body. The pictures. The carcass. We were sitting in a dark interrogation room with a large mirror spanning the far wall. In the center of the room was a basic table with three chairs. One chair on one side of the table and two on the other side. I sat alone across from two officers when the pictures were pushed in front of me. I hurled.  Faintly brown bile sprayed partially onto the table and partially onto one of the officers. The room was cleaned and I was driven home. I called in sick and went to bed, pulled the covers over my head and tried to escape.

The next morning, after a sleepless and tearful night, the officers came by to pick me up. They asked me if I had had breakfast. I had not. They asked me if I had eaten at all. I had not. They gave me a cup of coffee and some sandwiches, but it tasted weird; metallic. I forced myself to eat it anyway. They asked me about my whereabouts the day before, and I told them. I was at home in my apartment, eating breakfast and catching up on the news before getting dressed for work. Any witnesses? No. None. Not after Catherine left for her run. And her testimony beyond reach. The officers told me that the technicians and the coroner were unable to confirm the eye witness’ report. The bite marks did not appear canine. Not even in the least. Their analysis indicated it was closest to a primate assault, but this was not entirely certain, either. It was likely an error, they told me. No way a ferocious monkey could have assaulted a woman in a park and gotten away unnoticed. Too unlikely. They would have the technicians run the tests again and keep me in touch if anything new came up. It did not seem as if foul play had been at work, they told me. They just needed to find out the exact type of animal, and everything would be solved. I asked about the eye witness, but they could not tell me anything.

They asked their questions, but I could not answer most of them. The ones I could answer were trivial. A description of the devoured, her route and routines. She always went the same way and nine out of ten days she was like clockwork in her return. The officers, ever the pillars of understanding, recorded everything and sent me home. I went to bed. Next morning the same thing happened. Officers showed up, drove me to the station and offered me food and drink. It tasted better this time. A fourth person had joined the interrogation. He was introduced as a grief counselor. They called him Grey. He wore a white coat, sported a homely haircut and looked otherwise unremarkable. He was worried that I was struggling to adjust and cope. And I was obviously struggling, I agreed. The officers told me the details of the investigation. They had tracked the trail of Catherine’s blood in the park as best they could. A lot of feet had been over the ground since the assault and any hopes of finding a definite print of whatever consumed her were gone. The blood trail had lead them to a small duck pond where they had found a set of teeth. A pair of dentures were placed on the table in front of me. They had been at the bottom of the pond for 48 hours, and that had left an impression. They told me these dentures matched the marks on – and in – Catherine’s body perfectly. I looked at the dentures uncomprehendingly. What were they driving at? The officers told me that due to the pond’s contamination they were unable to recover any useful DNA or evidence from the dentures – only bird feces and algae. Somehow I felt relieved. A person did this. A person can be caught and punished. A beast might not. No, this was a sick maniac. A psycho. And the psycho could be found, stand trial and be punished. And vanish. As it should be.

Grey took over from the officers and attempted to tend to my mental well being. No such thing. I just needed to get out and get some fresh air. Maybe work would do me some good – take my mind off of things. It did not. Returning to work and entering my old routines of financial reports, moving numbers around columns and studying market developments and models, I had more time to think than at home under my bed covers. At nights I had vivid nightmares. I was there in the park, watching her get pounced. I tried to call out, but my voice was feeble and failed me. I could not move. Pinned, I stood and watched the psycho with the dentures tear her apart. I saw the teeth sink into her flesh. Her blood. She struggled, and then she just stopped. I was sprayed with her blood. Chunks scattered across the ground. I was dripping. Dirty. Messy. The psycho would turn his face to me, and I would wake up bathed in sweat. When I turned on the news, the report was there, and the nightmare returned. Even in my day dreams I could not escape. The only escape was the big projects. Working with clients on big assignments. This was able to distract me sufficiently. I could not think about Catherine. I did not have time to. And when the projects were over, I was sitting in my office, angry and confused, my thoughts fixed on her passing. My coworkers noticed. The higher-ups noticed as well. They offered to send me to therapy, but I declined. They offered me leave, but I declined. So they kept me busy.

When I had finished one project a new one would appear on my desk the next day, almost magically. Contracts and deals I had not caught the slightest wind of. Somehow, I always showed up to a fresh stack of papers and a hot cup of coffee on my desk. And when I had read the files and reports, people would come by. Collaborators, interested parties, financial backers and business contacts. My colleagues came by to have a chat now and again, asking how I was, how I was getting by and if I needed anything. Occasionally we would chat about a story on the news, but I never watched TV anymore. Turning on the TV brought me back to that Monday when ‘it’ had happened. It was amazing how fast I found a routine living day to day. Just getting by. But it worked. And it worked so well for me, that time flew by. The police eventually sent me a copy of the final report of the case. Until they were able to acquire further evidence in the case, i. e. the psycho struck again, they were unable to conduct further investigations. They ceased to care.


[Exerpt from the police report]

Mr. Giles Burden, fiancee of the deceased, has been cleared of all suspicion. Dr. Grey has found him incapable of committing the murder, nor have we any reason to believe he had any motive for committing the crime. The profile of the murderer by Dr. Grey, here attached, states we are searching for a character […] with a split personality disorder, at least one of which is self destructive, and at least one of which is extremely hygienic and neat. The murderer is narcissistic and suffers from a severe inferiority complex.

[…] The eye witness was unable to shed any light on what had transpired. When she had seen what had happened, she immediately contacted the police. She did not get any clear visuals on the murderer. She arrived at the scene of the murder approximately five to ten minutes after the assault had taken place. The pictures of the deceased, here attached, along with the technician’s and coroner’s reports clearly assert how the murder was conducted. […] It was an extraordinary circumstance that no one was around in the park that Monday morning to witness the crime, but considering the ruthlessness of the murderer, this was likely a lucky happenstance as well.


Something in this report rubbed me the wrong way, but I did not heed it. I put it behind me. As time heals all wounds, I stopped caring about the investigation. Time heals all wounds, but it leaves scars. It was clear, even to me, I had changed. But people never change. No. I had adapted. Dr. Grey tried to get in touch with me, but I brushed him aside. Everything was fine. I functioned. I did something. I was useful. Was that not enough? He did not think so, but it was my choice.

“Now, Giles, we’ve all noticed you have a bit of a temper,” the devil said from across the table. I found myself back in the small store. I took a sip of my coffee. It was cold now. It tasted faintly metallic: “And the fact of the matter is, you’ve not been doing well with other people since–” “Since what!?,” I retorted in an excessively aggressive tone. I apologised immediately. The devil sighed. “We know that losing,” he started. It felt wrong for him to say her name. “Don’t say it,” I pleaded silently. He looked at me puzzled. “It was tragic,” he nodded and drank the rest of his coffee. “No hard feelings, right?,” he asked as he got up. His horns cast shadows across his forehead in the light. I did not respond. “Come now, be reasonable,” he said in a courteous tone. He reached out his hand for a shake. “I’m sorry,” I said and shook his hand. It was cold and sweaty. His grip was firm, though. “All the best,” he said and started for the door. That was when I heard the growl. It began silently and distantly. Then it grew. I felt it. Then darkness.

An officer asked me what had happened. We were back in the old interrogation room. Nothing had changed since I had seen it last. The table and chairs were the same. Only this time I felt like more people were watching me. They asked me what had happened and I told them: “When the devil was half way out the door, the old crone had sicced her dog on him and everything went black.” The officers looked skeptically at me and turned their attention to some paperwork on the table. They had several folders in front of them. One was labelled “The Catherine Incident”. “And the dog tore him in pieces,” I continued. There was a knock on the door. The door opened. An armed officer came in, and one of the interrogators went out. He then returned with a man in a white coat. His hair had faded a bit and he still looked unremarkable. “Giles Burden,” he said and shook my hand: “It’s been a while.” Grey sat down at the end of the table. The armed officer stayed in the room. “Tell me,” Grey began: “What happened the weekend the week before Catherine passed away?” “Why do you care?,” asked one of the officers. Grey sighed. “Someone hasn’t been paying attention.” He nodded at the door. Grey and the officer went outside and shut the door behind them. They returned after a minute. “So, what did happen that weekend the week before her death?,” Grey asked. “Nothing that I remember,” I answered. “And that answer could pass a polygraph,” Grey nodded. “Think, Mr. Burden. Think,” he said compassionately and gave me time to consider. Nothing came to mind. I told him so.

“Bring him in,” Grey said to the mirror. The door opened and the devil entered. He was clad in a fresh suit, and his red skin glistened in the dim lights of the interrogation room. His horns cast faint shadows onto his face. “Thank you for coming,” Grey said. “I don’t think–,” protested an officer, but was interrupted by the white coat: “Could we have a chat outside and leave these two alone?”. They went outside. I looked at the devil. He looked back at me. Was this real? Maybe the dog had killed the crone and the devil had escaped? No. Maybe? Everything went dark after I heard the growl. I think I passed out. What dog? Never mind. “Sorry to get you mixed up in this,” I remarked. The devil smiled: “Nasty business,” he said and nodded. “Is there any way I can make up for this?,” I asked. He shook his head: “Don’t worry too much about it.” “But, I do. I do worry.” “It’s alright. They caught the bastard,” he said in a reassuring voice. I wanted to believe him. “Can I see him?,” I asked. The devil looked into the mirror and shook his head slowly: “I don’t think you can.”

Grey’s face had a vexed expression when he reentered the room with the officers. They assumed their seats. “Please, begin,” Grey beckoned the devil. He caressed his horns once or twice, stroking them gingerly. Then he began: “We were at a company retreat the weekend a week before Catherine’s murder.” His mention of her name felt wrong. He continued: “Mr. Burden and his fiancee were there as well.” “No, we weren’t,” I interjected. I had no memory of this. “Now, Saturday evening we had a grand dinner. The food was amazing and the champagne flowed in sweet and bubbly rivers. We were at a five star hotel just outside town, The Excellence, and we all got a little drunk.” “This is bullshit,” I blurted out, but no one listened as if they did not hear me. “Late in the evening, Giles and his fair lady had had just a few drinks too many, so Giles was heading to bed. Catherine was just going to use the restroom and would join him right away. Now what happened next I am not proud of,” he started with a sly smile while gently stroking his red chin. I zoned out, but Grey immediately snapped his fingers in front of my face and I returned. Rage spread inside me. I felt warm. “Shut your mouth,” I screamed at the man in the devil costume. Wait. What? No. The devil. He was the devil.

I observed Giles Burden. He was angry. His face reddened. He took deep and hard breaths. I felt myself uneasy and almost rushing to my feet every third second, ready to bolt for the door. The good actor Henry Stiles was earning his wage. Clad in a cheap suit, red face paint and Halloween devil horns he stood up and said: “One drunken night. I slept with Catherine.” “N-n-no,” Giles muttered. “I slept with his fiancee, and it was good!”. “You shut your mouth, you son of a–” Giles Burden threw himself across the table flailing wildly at Henry Stiles. This was the reaction I was waiting for. Both the officers jumped to their feet and restrained him. The first officer that got his hands on Mr. Burden was bit. Again and again. His arm was bleeding when the second officer reached for his taser and electrocuted poor Giles. He howled in pain. Henry Giles shot me a nervous glance: “Is there a full moon out?” I noticed his discomfort. “Thank you,” I said: “You may go now. Worth every penny.” He smiled and nodded: “If you ever need anyone for this again, call someone else.” The armed officer holding his armed gun pointing at Giles let the actor pass out the door and out of sight.

Giles was sitting pinned down in a corner of the room. The two officers held him down. He writhed and growled. His eyes were bestial. Almost canine. I reached into my pocket and unraveled a set of dentures. “Looking for these?” I put the dentures on the floor in front of him. The reaction was vicious. “I’ll eat you all,” he yelled and tried to bite the officer nearest his face. He did not succeed. The taser found its mark again and Giles squirmed in pain. In a pathetic attempt he bit towards the officer holding the taser, but to no avail. “You killed her,” I whispered. “She was my bitch,” Giles gnarled. “A pregnant bitch,” I remarked. His ferocious eyes locked on me and I met his terrifying gaze. I felt myself tremor slightly. “Your boss slept with her. And a week later you found a pregnancy test in the bathroom,” I explained in a frail voice. “No,” he whimpered. “It was positive.” “No!,” he barked with a guttural growl. “So you tracked her that morning. You waited in the bushes and you killed her,” I continued with disgust. The officers looked disturbed. Deeply disturbed. “She was mine,” Giles protested: “And she betrayed me!”. “So you killed her.” “Yes!” Silence. I could imagine the smile on the police sergeant’s face on the other side of the mirror. “Sedate him, put him in a jacket and throw him in isolation,” I said dispassionately and hurried out of the room. I went into the booth and joined the police sergeant behind the mirror.

“How’d you know, dr. Grey?,” the sergeant asked. “Well, it was a hunch, and it was unlikely, but it was the only option. The only alternative was a primate of unknown species living in the park, eating people,” I replied. “But you cleared him the first time around,” the sergeant remarked. “I did. I had no reason not to. When they brought him in the second day, I had a crew swing by his apartment and scour the place. It was spotless. It was so clean, the technicians had a hard time finding his finger prints. But they went through Mr. Burden’s trash. They found the pregnancy test.” “Why didn’t you present this earlier?,” the sergeant protested. “Would you have believed me if I’d claimed he’d eaten his girlfriend over a positive pregnancy test?” Silence. “They were engaged. A positive pregnancy test would only have had one possible interpretation. They were pregnant.” “So where did you get the idea of cannibalism?” “It was that, or a new species of primate living in the park. It wouldn’t have held up in court.” The sergeant nodded. “The old shopkeeper told us, he had just been laid off when he assaulted his employer on his way out of the store. She said he was inaudible in his brutality, but he was mumbling something about a devil. So I had a theory. A munch. It was a long shot, I admit and I wasn’t sure it would work, but it did.” “Must’ve been Hell inside his head,” the sergeant nodded. The officers were struggling to put the rabid psychotic burden in a straight jacket. Several times he broke free from the officer’s control only to be tased and collapse – back to status quo. “I don’t think so,” I said. “I think he found himself a rather reasonable bloke.” “Where did he get the dentures?,” the sergeant asked after a pause. “I’m guessing he got them from a business contact.” “Guessing?” “Yeah. I’ll leave that to the detectives.” The police sergeant smiled: “You got–” “I got lucky, I know.” He glanced over the coroner’s autopsy report on the autopsy of Catherine. “The coroner found nothing in her womb. It was gnawed and lacerated. That was it.” “Yes,” I nodded. His expression was grave. A green tint washed over his face. “He ate–,” he started, but gagged. “Yes,” I nodded slowly.

The next morning I showed up to work and was immediately summoned to the police sergeant’s office. The night watchman had handed in his resignation. He would not be coming back. He had been making rounds and, well, the security footage speaks for itself. The sergeant presented me with a photography from the cell after the ‘incident’ around midnight. Giles Burden’s body lay near the door of the cell. In the other end of the cell, his head rested near the wall. “He–,” I asked confused: “How?” “He pulled,” explained the sergeant. On the wall the cell, written in blood, were the words: “I’m sorry!”.

On the security footage I watched Giles Burden strolling back and forth in his cell like a caged animal. I watched the horrific images of Giles Burden alleviating his head from his shoulders. It was inhuman. It was impossible. His body collapsed and a cascade of blood poured forth on the padded floor of the cell. His head fell to the ground and rolled away. He screamed and howled. Then he gurgled. Then nothing. The night watchman came rushing to the door. A small crack in the door opened and two eyes looked in and quickly disappeared. Video from a different camera showed the watchman looking and immediately legging it. Nothing happened for the rest of the video. I looked at the photo the sergeant had shown me. The text on the wall caught my eye. I turned to the video footage. No text on the wall. I rewound and fast forwarded several times. He fell dead. Then nothing. The time stamp went as far as one hour before I had arrived at work. “Don’t you see it?,” I asked. The sergeant shook his head. “Do you have video from the last hour?” “Of course,” he said and we walked to the surveillance room. I went over the tapes. Nothing. The only thing in the cell was Giles Burden’s body. No one had come in. No one had written on the wall. I checked the photograph again. “You still don’t see it?,” I asked. “No,” he protested: “What is it?” “Who wrote that?” The sergeant looked at the photo. Then at the video. Back to the photo. And checked the video one last time. He looked disturbed.

We went to Burden’s cell and the sergeant had a watchman open the door. The heavy metal door swung open without noise. The isolation cell had padding on the walls, floor and ceiling. It had once been a pristine white, but after a long career it was now closer to a gray shade of brown. The police sergeant and I stepped inside careful not to step in the pool of blood. A metallic and rotten odor hung in the air. It was nauseating. The blood covered most of the padded floor. Giles’ body lay lifeless on the floor. His severed head rested a good distance from his body. Clearly severed. The eyes were still open. Although they were cloudy and decomposing, they were still every bit as ferocious as they had been the day before during interrogation. A ghastly visage. My impulse was to leave. Get out. Run. I swallowed once or twice and checked my fear. We searched, but we found no sharp objects in the cell – no means by which Giles could have severed his head. I nodded at the wall. The two of us stood looking at the bloody letters in deafening silence: “I’m sorry!”. A growl pierced the silence.

I’m Sorry | Sorry seems to be the hardest word, according to Elton John.

I’m Sorry | Sorry seems to be the hardest word, according to Elton John.

I beg to differ.

Any idiot can say “I’m sorry”. Most people probably say it dozens of times every day. The problem is saying it and giving it substance.

If I bump into someone, I will apologise. If I need to get past someone in a store, or need to interrupt someone, or if I’m running late for an appointment, even if it’s just five minutes, I’ll call ahead and apologise. It doesn’t cost me a calorie.

As I have travelled through life, I have also realised that it’s a lot easier not doing wrong onto others than fixing the damage. There is always damage if you do something that you need to apologise for. Even if you are forgiven, there will be damage. Always. Therefore life is easier if you don’t do anything that needs apologising. So I try not to, and it’s not really all that hard. Making up crappy excuses for why you are disrespectful is more difficult.

Unfortunately, very few people think like I do, it seems. Many seem to believe that they can do as they wish, hurt as many people as many times as they feel like as long as they say “sorry” afterwards, as if it were a “Get out of jail free” card.

It’s not.

Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice shame on me – and the same applies for apologizing. I have a theory, which has evolved after too many people have treated me horribly too many times. I’m not talking about random acquaintances either (I hope to think that I would not allow myself to be treated this way by strangers), no, I’m talking about family and friends. The ones you least expect to betray you.

Which might be why we allow it to happen, again and again? Why we accept that promises will be broken, again and again, and all we will get is a “sorry, it won’t happen again”. But after a while you both know it’s a lie, a charade.

And by accepting that apology, you are telling that person “It is ok to treat me with disrespect as long as you keep pretending you’re sorry. We both know you aren’t, but let’s just pretend that you are, so keep saying you’re sorry and I’ll allow you to walk all over me with spiked heels again and again and again until there’s nothing left of my self-respect but a bloody stain”.

By accepting an insincere apology, you are allowing others to treat you like dirt. That’s what I used to do. I used to pretend I didn’t mind how my family and friends treated me, when the truth was that it left me crying myself to sleep at night.

It’s taken years. Trying to convince yourself that it really isn’t you, it’s them, is so much easier said than done – especially when “them” is your friends and family. I accepted their dismissive treatment of me because at least I got a little attention.

My life is easier now. I try not to hurt people. I don’t allow others to hurt me. I don’t forgive and I sure as hell don’t forget. I don’t give warnings. I will simply let you fade away into oblivion.

A piece of advice: if you ever consider doing something to me that will require an apology, think twice. Apologise in advance and you might stand a chance.

I’m just sorry it took me so many years to understand it.

I'm not sorry I ate this cute creature.
I’m not sorry I ate this cute creature.