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.