Dotada

[Item 405j-208]
[Transcript of pages from presumably a journal, translated from Spanish. Discovered in a cave on the Argentinian coast, near Rio Grande, alongside aberrant fish and crustacean carcasses <see Items 599b-326 and 599b-327>. Other pages apparently torn from the same book were also recovered, written in an unidentified language <recommend comparison to Items 347t-607 through 347t-729>. No trace of front or back cover found. No indication of correct order of reading. Order of arrangement assumed.]
[Page 1: Side A Start]
what He is gifting me with. I pray that I may endure the pain as He shows me the truth, and what it means to be perfect.
I praise Him.

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Thomas Turnbull-Ross
Harbinger

I’m sitting in a dark canvas tent by the door, listening to the rain. It’s absolutely hammering down, but I’m still considering waiting out in the street. That way I could avoid the resentful looks and whispers.
She shouldn’t be here, they say.
Maybe they’re right.
There’s a soldier standing just outside. He’s wearing a waterproof and holding a rifle, while he stares out into the street. If I wasn’t dressed in a t-shirt and jeans, I’d join him.
The sullen faces around me are thin and pale. I can see signs of the virus here and there. Others are struggling with life-ending conditions. Most people wouldn’t be visiting the emergency health centre on a day like this if they had a choice.

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Allen Stroud
Towards Freedom

Athena

Seeing Athens vanishing into the mist gave her an odd flashback to her youth, to the streets of Exarcheia when the government had decided to drown the city in tear gas. Then too, there had been people screaming, clutching at their eyes, coughing blood. But even when the riot police had advanced on them, they'd felt at home. This was their city, the people's city.
But now, with this mist creeping in from the sea, with people changing, with strange creatures lurking in the shadows, the city no longer felt like home. The streets and buildings that had once signified a living society had turned into an alien landscape. The cafes, the bookstores, the cinemas... everything she had treasured about the city, everything she'd once hoped to rebuild, was slowly being taken away.

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Jonas Kyratzes
Soulstealing

I raise my camera and click.
The girl looks up from where she crouches. Her face is dirty, she is dressed in the black and white of a maid. “Why are you doing that?” she asks in hesitant English.
I lower the camera and look at her, squatting amidst the ruins, glaring at me. “Because you’re beautiful,” I say. “Beautiful, surrounded by the ruined beauty of someone’s work.”
“You’re a thief,” she says. “You’ve stolen part of my soul into your magic box.”
“It’s just a photograph.”

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Allen Stroud
The Second Step

On the plane to Moscow I got into a conversation with an old man. This always happened to me; something about my face made people open up. It was probably a big part of what made me a good journalist, and while it could be irritating when I wanted to be left alone, in this case the distraction was welcome. I was supposed to be reading my notes, of course, but I knew that all I'd end up doing would be obsessively refreshing my newsfeed. Was the mist spreading? What were the Americans doing? What about the Chinese? Had something new happened in India? Every day I expected some idiot to blow up the world. It was why I'd asked for this assignment.

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Jonas Kyratzes
Launch Codes

My name is Ravi Chaudhri.
I’m twenty-eight years old and I don’t want to die.
11th of May, 2023. The Pokhran-III nuclear programme signalled the start of renewed tension between India and Pakistan. We resumed underground testing as a response to threats from the new hard line regime across the Kashmiri border, but really, we could have made a different choice. 
We should have made a different choice.
My grandfather was eighty-one back then, and was asked to attend the test. He’d been one of the scientists involved in Pokhran-II, a member of the Bhabha Research Centre team. The pre-event reception was a wonderful opportunity for him to meet up with old friends while in the background, a new generation of experts prepared another weapon of mass destruction.

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Allen Stroud
Hanamaru Sushi

The conveyer belts are depleting too quickly. Indeed, our restaurant, the Hanamaru is full of customers today and we’ve never been this pressed to keep going.
Bowls of fish and shrimp await my knife on the table. The sushi must be beautiful, uniform, and most importantly, fresh.
I’ve been at it for half an hour. I descale, behead, and fillet, leaving not a single bone, then place them aside.

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Chris Fellows
Semper Fidelis

I suppose the reason I ended up here is more or less my own stubbornness, so I can't complain too much. But I figured it would be good to explain a few things before I pull the trigger. Hell, maybe telling my own story will finally help me make sense of the whole thing myself.

Where I come from, you had two options. Either you went to work in the coal mines, or you joined the military. Seeing as half my family had died in the mines by the time I was twenty, I figured the military was the safer choice

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Jonas Kyratzes
Hafgufu

[Item 256x-329]
[Transcript of voice recording, translated from Norwegian. Poor sound quality, with sections rendered unintelligible by background noise.]
[Recording begins]
Is this…? Agh! [inaudible]
Ok, I think this is working now.
My name is Mia Madsen. I live… well, lived, on the island of Sandøya for almost all my life. I wish I could stay, but there is nothing, and no one, for me there any [inaudible] since the day the dead island appeared.

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Thomas Turnbull-Ross
Fragments of Knowing

We turn our thoughts and prayers all to those affected by recent tragedy. At times like this, we feel alone and question our faith. If our God is a loving and caring God, why are we suffering like this? Why are people losing their lives, their loved ones and their homes? When hardships come, things we cannot control, we lash out, we question the existence of a creator and we question whether we have a purpose in some grand fate and destiny.

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Allen Stroud
The Claimed Idol

Early morning in the rainforest. There’s never true silence out here. The undergrowth teems with life, each individual competing for their time to eat, breed, fight and die. This is nature undiluted, at its apex.
Its five in the morning and I’m sweating as I walk. I’m always sweating out here, even now, when the heavy tropical air is a little cooler. My glasses cloud and slip, unable to maintain their customary perch. There’s no respite for my pale European skin in this oppressive heat. The exhausted feeling it brings as you move makes everything a struggle.

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Allen Stroud
The Curator

[Item 083v-820]
[Excerpt from notebook, translated from Arabic. Recovered from curator’s office at the Citadel of Qaitbay Naval Museum, Alexandria.]


Thursday
Today has been bad. Not many visitors, but I can’t just enjoy the quiet and clean the exhibits. No, I have to keep on reminding Aziza to do her job. She just keeps staring out the window instead of sorting the files like she’s supposed to.

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Thomas Turnbull-Ross
Recruiting

The Veterans Association café is never crowded. Some days you wish it was, so you can share. Other days, it’s nice to be alone with your thoughts.
The television in the corner is on. The news reporter is outside a quarantined hospital. She’s talking about some kind of viral infection, spreading down the Canadian eastern seaboard. I’m sort of listening to it, but not over much. 
There’s a coffee in front of me. I’m holding it with my right hand, watching the brown liquid swirl and feeling the warmth through the cardboard cup.

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Allen Stroud
Far Out There

PHOENIX PROJECT
US/G1978-27B

Transcript of a statement to Phoenix Project investigators (US division) in 1978. The name of the witness has been lost, as has the documentation clarifying the context.

---

Look, I'm not a junkie, OK? I love rock music, but that's it, man. I don't do hard drugs. It was just acid! We just wanted to free our minds a little, take a load off. Scientists take LSD too, right? I mean, a scientist came up with that stuff in the first place!

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Jonas Kyratzes
The Tomb of the Phoenix

I must begin my report by assuring you - and I hope that in this I am supported by the doctors who have watched over me - that, fantastic as the events I am about to describe may appear, I am entirely sound of mind. I will not dispute that my stay in the sanitarium was indeed a necessity; but that unfortunate period should not be taken as a sign of some congenital irregularity of mind. Rather, it represents the difficulty with which even the most rational mind can grasp events of such magnitude that they challenge all heretofore believed.

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Jonas Kyratzes
The Hatch

Transcript of a closed session of the Committee on Governmental Efficiency in Supplementary Projects (April 14th, 1986).

Members of the Committee are C1-C3. The interviewee is IN. The astronauts are A1-A3.

Transcript begins.

C1: Can you introduce yourself?

IN: My name is [REDACTED]. I was born in 1932 in Boulder, Colorado. I have a double degree in physics and chemistry and I'm also a certified pilot. I've worked for Columbia University, JPL,-

C1: JPL?

IN: That's short for Jet Propulsion Laboratory. It's a part of NASA-

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Jonas Kyratzes
The Old Man of the Sea

It is 1995 and I’m told my Grandfather has passed away. I am twenty-seven years old.
We called him Grandfather, but he wasn’t my Dad’s dad, or my Mum’s for that matter. I was never really told what he was to us, only that he was ‘Grandfather’ and that we should respect him. I was never told his real name.

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Allen Stroud
Disciples of Anu

Excerpt from a speech given by a Disciple of Anu acolyte at a nearby haven.

-------

Hear me, good people of this haven! You know the world is an evil place; and you know it has been made evil by the corruption inside us. No, I do not speak of the mists and the changes in our bodies. We all know the corruption is much older than that; it is as old as the very beginning of Man.

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Jonas Kyratzes
Synedrion

For centuries, humanity has fought itself in some strange corrupted mockery of Darwin's theory. The arrival of the alien changed all that and provided us with an opportunity to unite. 
We believed we were the Earth’s masters, that we knew better than nature. In our arrogance, we exploited the resources of our world, striving to dominate the ecology that birthed and supported us. It was only a matter of time before we were supplanted, just like the animals before us. 

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Allen Stroud
New Jericho

We are the last of humanity and we must unite.
 

The virus came here and broke us because we were divided. The politics of nations, the racism and prejudice, the hubris and selfishness. All of it, left us weak and vulnerable to something unexpected.
They came at us and defeated us. Individually, we are lucky to have survived, to continue to exist as a species.

 

I refuse to accept survival. Earth is ours, I will not forsake it. We can rebuild and create a future for our children if we raise our heads and work together, accepting our lot and our common cause.

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Allen Stroud