Sylvan, Read this ASAP!!!

Sylvan, I received a voicemail for you while you were out.... I transcribed it below, and, forgive me for overstepping my boundaries, but.... What's going to happen?

Sylvan, it's Newton. We're through. Everything is ruined. You know what we were working on? It's out and it's FUCKING EVERYTHING UP.

You were wrong, Sylvan. That Dahlia girl is an idiot. Those parasites she was claiming were the cure? THEY'RE NOT!!!

The PTA parasite only went dormant temporarily, and then became much stronger. It's transmitted so much easier now. And it's like they worked together to become.... stronger or something. That girl, that damned dead girl that you sent over here for us to investigate? She died a few days after she got here. Suffocated on her own fluids. 

But the VERY NEXT DAY, she was moving around. You know how long that normally takes them, but she was UP. By the next week, she got out. She got out of a CDC holding tank BY HERSELF. And all she had to do was touch people and they started dropping. What's worse, is that, once she cleared the whole fucking building, she got out, Sylvan.
Patient zero got out.

And I've watched surveillance video feed of her moving across the god damned state. She's doing weird shit, Sylvan. She found a cemetery and picked up worms and held them up to her face, like she was licking them or something. Then she put them back in the ground. Then, a few hours later, there are all these fucking sinkholes all over the place, like a wave of ground giving way, and then you start seeing all these arms and legs just creeping out all over the place. And they start crawling around and it's like a sea of arms and legs and dead bodies.... And they're all following her, even though she's long gone, they're all going the same direction she went.

I know where they're going. And I do apologize for the tactlessness of this letter, but I feel very much out of control. I guess that's to be expected, I did just awaken yesterday. It's like, I'm getting my old self back more every hour, but now there's this other part of me, this craving, this need, this drive to go there and take as many people with me as possible. The desire to drag us all back there gets stronger every hour, and I don't think I can stay any longer. I'm leaving you this message as I follow it. And I want to tell you so bad where we're going because I want you to come with us so much!
We're going home, Sylvan. All of us. Back to the place it all began. Oh it will be a long walk, but we're going there and we're taking all the humans with us. Come with us, Sylvan. The mother will be so pleased to have recruited a mind like yours. We're going back to where she birthed us. You do remember? Back to the rock right outside Nixa? Come with us Sylvan. I don't want to leave you behind.  
:://End Transcription 



The Little Girl in the Dirt

I could hear a thumping on the door. Belle started to whisper sharply.
"They can hear us, quiet, okay? It's not like they can get in, but there's no need to test it."
I suddenly realized that we were in total lock-down. The shudders were down, the air filters were whirring, and the self-defense cabinet was sitting wide open. I had never seen lockdown mode the entire time we had lived here, and had only recognized it because of training we sat through every few months with the CDC. It felt surreal, like I was inside a movie I'd seen a million times. Except I had never been a big fan of those old zombie films. I'd much rather be in a romantic comedy.

"How in the HELL did we get here, Belle?" I whisper shouted. I was starting to lose my cool, along with the earlier assumption that this was all a dream. This was definitely not a memory, and, although things made no sense whatsoever, they were happening lineally in an organized form. Also, I felt hungry. Very hungry. "More importantly, how the FUCK are you alive?" I could feel tears of confusion burning at the corners of my eyes.

"I fucking buried you, Belle, I watched you bleed out. What the hell?" I sobbed.

"I woke up a few weeks ago, I was in the ground, in a garbage back. I didn't have any recollection, but it slowly started coming back to me. I remember your gramma accidentally shooting me. I remember it now, but, I'm so sorry, when I first woke up I didn't remember anything. I didn't even remember my name, I'm so sorry..."

Belle was speaking softly, but the pitch of her voice continually rose, and she spoke faster and faster, as she told me the whole story.

She had woken up, not knowing who or where she was. All she knew was she was surrounded, this pressure from all sides. Her body was surrounded by this slick, slippery, stuff, and it was dark. She tore her way through the plastic garbage bag, and started pawing her way through the dirt. We had only buried her four feet down, instead of the recommended ten, because when we got to four feet, we found a deep bed of rocks and couldn't go any further. But even under four feet of dirt, a small girl like her should have never been able to get out.

She clawed up through the dirt, slowly but surely she emerged into daylight. The daylight had seemed so bright that she remembered trying to scream, but only a gargled moan came out, and she realized that her mouth was full of blood, and her throat felt like it was scratching itself when she tried to make noise.

She couldn't remember anything about herself, all she knew was that it felt good to be out of that pit, the sun was bright, and she was starving. There were others around, also making that grotesque sound, and they were shambling around town. She felt that they were hungry, too.

Then, all of a sudden, she could smell this delicious smell, and, she says, she couldn't think words, but it was like she could read smells, and the smell was fear. If I had to guess, I would say that she smelled adrenaline. She followed the smell, along with the others, and they found a woman, not like them, clean. Breathing. Shaking and speaking.

That was the first spark of memory for Belle. She knew, somewhere in her bones, that she should not touch this woman. But she was so hungry, and she didn't remember who she was or how to think. So she and the others, there were five of them total, ate the woman.

Belle bawled and wept as she told me who the woman was, why the woman had come outside, even though the dead weren't staying dead. Belle ate my grandmother.


The End is Near

Last week, when I went to visit Sylvan, he wasn't in his office. Nobody was in the entire building. I was early, but I was always early. I waited around for about ten minutes, before giving up and walking back towards the entrance door. As I was stepping out the doors, suddenly everything went dark, and I have no idea what happened for a while after that.

The next thing I remember, I was sitting in my bedroom, on the floor beside my bed. Looking at a ghost. I thought I was dreaming. Had to be a dream. Sylvan gone, random blackouts, seeing Belle... That's why I didn't freak the hell out right then and there. Had to be a dream. I mean, how else would I be back at the CDC barracks again?

In retrospect, I should have not accepted everything as fantasy so easily. I should have asked more questions. Should done... something... I have no idea what, but I keep thinking there was some way I could have changed something about how all this is happening.

When I came to, thinking I was dreaming, I sat up and leaned against my old bed, and stared into the eyes of my adopted sister/daughter for the first time in so long.

"Dahlia," she started, the tears in her eyes dancing in the moonlight seeping in from the cracks in the window cover. It had been early morning the last time I could remember, now it was obviously at least late evening, if not the middle of the night.

Belle's voice sounded somewhat different than I remembered it. A little bit more mature, a little bit raspy. But it was definitely her.

"Dahlia I'm so glad you're okay. I'm so glad I found you. That snake Sylvan... I couldn't figure out where he was hiding you. I was starting to think you were dead..."

"Belle, what are you talking about? I was hiding. They were trying to catch me and kill me!"

"No, they weren't; that was a lie, Dahlia."

"What are you talking about?"

Belle looked at me in disbelief, "Dahlia, they've been holding you, hiding you from the world for the last few months. Sylvan's been up to something, but nobody knows what. Nobody's seen him since you left your grandmother's. And so much has been happening.... There's been another major outbreak since you've been gone, Dahlia."

"There's no way! I've been searching every day for any updates, there's been nothing going on since I left."

"Did you not find that a little bit odd? I mean, six months and nothing happening?"

"I... I guess I did..." I thought back to when I had first realized I was being censored. I knew there were things being hidden from me, but this? This was huge. A whole new outbreak? That meant a new strain.

"Have you at least found anything useful since we've been apart?" Belle asked.

That's when I started to realize I wasn't dreaming, because suddenly I realized we weren't alone.



Time is slipping away so much lately. I keep thinking it's only been a few days, and then the next thing I know an entire week has gone by. I'm in a rut. I've started to suspect that Sylvan is keeping some things from me. From everyone here. There is no way that nothing has been found or suggested in the PTA research community. Not a single new rumor or theory in 3 months? That's just unheard of. But no matter what terminal I search from in all of Coober, there's just... nothing.

I'm trying not to let him see how much I suspect him. I've been sort of seeing Jace, bouncing from one pointless customer service job to the next. I've worked in the pharmacy, the grocery store, a couple restaurants. It's amazing how different this place is from most in the rest of the world. Even if Sylvan is sheltering and censoring us, at least we're able to live somewhat human lives here. There are still the obvious precautions that come from a decade and a half of panic, but we're ultimately safe enough that we can go grocery shopping, we can eat meals out of the house. We can go on dates.

It's like stepping back in time, to before everything went crazy. It's easy to lose track of time when you're not counting every single hour as a miracle.

I guess I'm also kind of having fun, too. Jace is pretty awesome. I'm kind of wary of him after what happened with John, but... I like him. He's funny, and he tells me all about himself. And he asks me questions about myself, too. He's the first person who's gotten me to talk about Belle again.

Apparently Jace has two kids, but they're not in Coober. His ex-wife and he got separated somehow, a few years ago, and the kids were with her. They were teenagers, so he still held out hope that at least one of them had made it, but he knew it wasn't likely his wife had made it. She wasn't well, which was really the only reason they were still together at that point. He didn't care about her, nor she him, but for the sake of the kids he knew she needed him to function. So he was staying until the kids were old enough to go on their own, after which, he and she had agreed, they would go their own separate ways.

"And then the whole damn world collapses, and they're all gone, and I find this place. I want to find the kids, but I have no idea where to even start at this point," he told me one evening over tea.

So I started trying to find them, which is how I figured out that there is some kind of censorship on the access we have to outside world. For the time being, I'm not telling him. I want to try and figure out the scope and the cause. But I don't think it's right that someone is keeping Jace from his kids, along with god knows what and who else is affected by this? I have my suspicions about the motives and about the source, but I need more time. So I've been acting like everything is normal, and we'll see what happens.


((Out of Character, totally shameless self-promotion over here, hi!!!))

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The blog is also getting --drumroll please....-- A FACELIFT!

Well, a minor tweaks and twangs makeover, that is. So tell us in the comments! What do you love about the Undead Journals' home? What would you do to improve? I know, I know, it's perfect ((except for the lazy-ass author!!!)) But it's been years now, and Dahlia's desk is looking a little drab. Let's dress it up a bit!

((Lazy author here: any theories as to what's about to happen? What characters do you love? Who do you want to die a slow and agonizing death by parasite? And who's going to be here this weekend for the next episode??? Hopefully I will be. come on guys, it's been like... Three years, and I've been active for like 1/5 of it. I'm not very reliable. But my content is *usually* choice!!!))

So yeah, head on over to the drunk rants page. I tried to make it look like it was supposed to be classy, but it's really not that classy. Just my brain going too many ways at the same time. Most of the posts are shorter than this one, so why are you wasting your time here? Go get your giggle on! They're not all funny. Most of them are slightly depressing. What can I say? I'm a slightly depressed alcoholic. Deal with it.


Now, back to the story......

-She who shall not be named


Need to know basis

Private minutes from the office of Sylvan Watts.
Security Rating: 9817/10000
Any information found here is of utmost confidentiality, and any information found or shared from these records are in violation of the Federal code of Coober, New Earth v5.6, section 8474.234.E. Sharing of information found within is punishable by the full extent of the law, up to and including expulsion. If you are finding these notes in error, please disregard and disengage.


Sylvan Watts: She's doing all right. Not very happy, but she's alive, and, for the most part, cooperating.

Newton Crowne (via instant chat link): That's better than I expected. Good work, Sylvan. I figured by this point she would have started getting suspicious. And her little friend?

SW: Unfortunately, the girl began mutating shortly after she got here. We haven't really gleaned any information from her, except that those bugs are interacting extremely strangely. We've had our best people working overtime for weeks, to no avail. I think the only person who had made any progress on it was Linz, but obviously that's not an option.

NC: You have her notes, right?

SW: We confiscated them as soon as she got here. She asks about them sometimes, if we've made any progress. If her friend is getting any better.

NC: What have you been telling her?

SW: I've been trying to subtly put her down. She's started doubting herself. I've tried to hint at the idea that the parasites she was using were of little help, that we've had the girl in ICU, and that she's stable but unresponsive to any treatment.

NC: So she thinks the parasites are a dead end. Does she know about the state of affairs?

SW: Our networks are extremely heavily censored, and very discreetly so. To the best of our knowledge,through the minor surveillance we were confident in planting, she doesn't suspect that her knowledge of the outside world is lacking.

NC: Has she been searching for anything specific?

SW: She constantly searches for any updates or changes in the PTA database. I provided her a minor CDC alias so she wouldn't be suspicious of my intentions. She looks at that, and occasionally runs a search for Dr. John Smith.

NC: Still got that school girl crush, huh?

SW: No, I think she's afraid he's going to find her still. She has no idea of the truth. She's even been getting involved with an organic member of Coober, his name is Jace. They've been sort of dating. It's very awkward, but it's a great way to distract her.

NC: What's she been doing there, anyways?

SW: She's moved around in a few entry-level positions.

NC: Couldn't you have given her something a little more... keen to her interests? She was never a people person.

SW: No, we tried to convince her to go into nursing. She would have been very busy, very tired, and, I think, fulfilled. But she didn't like the idea. I'm not sure why. It really would have been her best chance at getting back in the field, realistically...

NC: Has she tested again yet?

SW: She's due in about a week, but like you said, she's not really a people person. She's not going to do well, until she accepts her lot in life.

NC: All right, Sylvan, I've got to go. Keep me posted.

SW: Before you go, what is the word on Smith?

NC: Very productive. He's heartbroken, it's great fuel. He figured out what we were up to pretty quickly, but he's still got some of the details twisted. Still obsessed with his alien theories.

SW: It's for the best. The more he thinks we know, the more power he'll think we have. Who knows, when it's all said and done, his alien theories are more plausible than anything else that's not been disproven yet. You know what they say, absence of proof is never proof of absence.

NC: There you go with your religious crap again. Whatever. We'll figure it out soon enough. And when we do, we'll finally have the power to achieve our goals.

SW: You sound like some kind of evil villain with a plot. Give it a rest, Newt.

NC: All right, I've really got to go now. Keep me posted. I mean it this time.

SW: Same to you.