The Quonset Manager Origin Story

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Day 116: I have been wandering this blasted landscape for far too long. I notice I have been talking to myself. I need to focus on something to maintain my sanity. I found a note stating that a plane crashed on a nearby mountain. Might find something useful.

Day 127: I made it to the top of the mountain and the plane wreck. I write this in a cave realizing that there is just too much stuff to bring down the mountain. I think I will take the best and leave the rest. I just don't need it.

Day 138: Found an hatch to an abandoned nuke shelter. Can't believe I went past it going up the mountain. Been trying to move onto the coastal highway. I think it leads to the lighthouse. Maybe I'll find a boat or something out by the place.

Day 143: Finally made it across this blasted Pleasant Valley. Whoever named it such was a sick sadistic bastard.

Day 156: Made it out to the light house. Found my boat. It's marooned on a bunch of rocks and filled with corpses. I managed to make use of the furnace to outfit with some back up tools and arrows. Finding this place to be... nerve wracking. I think I'll head back to my fishing hut on the coast.

Day 161: Got bored. Got attacked by a bear and six wolves. Figured, what the hell, my kills, my meat. While gathering it, I found a gas station. Walked in. nice place. Think it's a good place to stash my crap.

Day 170: Finished looting most of the area. Lots of food, need more wood, but I got more houses to chop up. Getting bored. I think I'll start restocking the shelves.

Day 181: Finished cleaning up the place and piled mucho loot inside. I think it's stupid as hell to make my base camp here, what with the relentless wolf attacks, but they break up the monotony.

Day 183: I've started making extra Wolf coats and stocking the shelves with them. I mean, need to give the customers what they want, right? I'm thinking I need something as a unit of exchange. I'm going to fill the cash register with all my matches. Maybe I need to go back up the mountain to get the rest of that stuff before it rots away. I'm sure my customers would want to buy them. if they ever show up.

Day 188: I've taken to wandering the area with strips of meat that I scatter about as I walk in a big circle. I have lead up to seven wolves in a parade around the frozen ice. I sometimes wonder if I might tame them. Then I think, maybe they could become my future customers. I'm not sure what they would pay for, but I'm sure some sort of exchange could be made. I contemplate what a race of intelligent wolves would be like and what sort of economic systems that they would develop, given the possible socio-economical and political combinations that are available for an animal that has a pack like mentality. Then I shoot the nearest one in the face and skin him, draping his entrails about my body and howl to the others as a warning.

After all, need to stock those shelves with SOMETHING.

Day 192: I'm not quite sure if this happened, or if it was a dream. But last night, while I was sleeping, there was an Aurora Event. The usually happened, lights came on, crackling electricity, strange sounds outside... But then the phone rang.

That was new.

I answered it and there was a warbling voice on the other side that faded in and out and it informed me that he was very happy with my work. He's sorry he didn't have time to come out to meet me personally, but you know how it is.

I asked who it was, and whenever he said his name, the sound cut out, but I heard quite distinctly, that he was my district manager. He was looking forward to a long relationship with me as part of the Quonset Family. I tried to ask him to send help, or a rescue plane or something, but he couldn't hear me. What he did mention was that he hadn't gotten an updated inventory report and if I could write that up and load it into the fax machine, that'd be great.

Then I woke up to the howling of wolves as the sunlight slowly crept across the concrete floor. Was it a dream? Was I finally snapping? Was it a hallucination or was there really a regional director and I was the newly appointed manager of the Coastal Highway Quonset Gas Station? I knew it couldn't have been real. I knew that it was just a dream.

I figured it was a good idea to write up the inventory on the shelves. I should keep track of that stuff anyways, just in case.

Day 194: Another Aurora event, but I stayed up this time. Again, another phone call. My Regional Director thanked me for the fax. He apparently couldn't hear me when I explained we didn't have a fax machine. He just went on and on about how we need to synergize our marketing strategies to minimize expenses while maximizing our positive income flow.

I tried to explain that I burned all the money and that I was keeping my matches in the cash register.

He then informed me that matches were the new money and that it was all good. I also explained that this made no sense as the place is surrounded by corpses and wolves. He then explained that the Quonset Gas, LLC had a government run contract that required them to maintain gas stations in out of the way areas.

"Sometimes you can turn a minus into a plus, in the right location. Don't you worry about company profits. I'll worry about company profits." I seem to recall hearing something like that on Futurama or something.

Anyways, he then mentioned that if I wanted to get promoted and moved out of that location, I'd have to show some personal initiative and show how I can be a great asset to the company. "HR department has it's eye on you. There's buzz about making you team leader." A team of WHAT, I got no clue. I couldn't get a word in edge wise.

That's when I woke up. I'm not sure if I fell asleep and dreamed it, or if I'm just going mad. I really believe I was awake.

Day 195: The aurora came back and lasted a long time. Kept waiting for another call, but it never came. In order to stay awake, I declared that we were having a Karaoke Night in the garage. As the lights flickered, I sang songs while swilling expired soda.

The wolves joined in as they paced around the building, growling and snarling as they smelled the piles of rotting meat I keep in back. I remember dancing a bit and doing my best to sound like a Las Vegas Lounge singer. Oddly enough, I could only remember songs by Nine Inch Nails.

Then I totaled up the sales for the evening and stepped outside to shoot a wolf in the face. The sound sent the rest scattering. I quartered the corpse and dragged the meat inside. I stacked the bags on each other behind the counter and put the wolf's head on top with a spare wool Toque. His ears looked cold.

On the sacks of wolf meat, I put a name tag that I found in the back.


D. Wolf

There. Now I have a team to be a leader of.

Day 198: Just got back from being stuck out in a fishing hut for three days straight. Ironically, I find it relaxing out there. If I spend too much time here in this spacious garage, I get cabin fever. The solution I have found is to lock myself in a tiny green hut out on the ice along with close to seven hundred pounds of frozen fish in various states of decay.

If my therapist was alive, I've sure she'd have something to say about that.

I spent the day cleaning up the store. I must have spent three hours alone with a hack saw trying to get this one soda can off the floor. It's just STUCK there, no matter what I do. I can turn entire shelving units into piles of scrap, then turn that scrap into an even BIGGER pile of fishing hooks, yet I cannot remove this one god damn soda can from the floor. I'm beginning to wonder if it's actually a hallucination. I've considered shooting the damn thing, but I'm running low on bullets. I may have to go to this hunting lodge that's on the wall above the cash register. I'm sure they have more bullets there. Long trip, but for a few more bullets, I'm sure it'd be worth it.

I have elected to place the boots I have for sale on top of the can, in hopes of keeping it hidden from the customers.

Now, I know there are no customers coming, but it actually feels nice to have the store front cleaned up. I wish I could figure out how to bring more of the lamps from other nearby houses into the garage. Sure, they don't work except during aurora events, but during the event, it should light up nicely. Thinking of pulling down all these tires and making a stage for Karaoke night.

Any rate, it's getting late. I think I'll total the evening's sales and get to bed.

Day 201: I just redid my inventory AGAIN. Some of my stock is MISSING. I'm not entirely sure how. There's items I never use sitting on the shelves, yet, it's gone. Yes, some of the raw meat vanished. I mean, a rodent or something got in. That's explainable.

As for the matches, well, I count them every god damn night. So why are four missing? Doesn't make any sense. As well as the pain killers. Someone has been taking the pain killers.

You know, I never had missing inventory until... D. Wolf. When I put D. Wolf behind the counter, then things started missing. I mean, it sounds a bit crazy, but ever since I put him behind the counter, things have been... moving around. Things are out of place. It... couldn't be a pile of rotting meat with a wolf's head on top. No. I'm just... having black outs or something.

Maybe I'm sleep walking and cooking food in my sleep. That's a possibility. One sec.

Just got back from the rear entrance. I must be doing that. There's a fire back there between the wall and the car. I must have done some cooking in the night when I wasn't thinking about it. However... one thing...

There's no charcoal in the burned out fire.

I have an entire pile of charcoal for sale to the customers. I keep track because I need it for mapping, but more importantly for writing these log notes. So, if I made the fire, I gathered the charcoal afterwords and did... something with-

I just noticed. Maybe... maybe I got some on D. Wolf when I wrote his name on his name tag, but the stacked sacks of meat that comprise of D. Wolf's "body" have a lot more charcoal dust on them then I remember. That's...

that's very...



Day 204: Got back from a little fishing to walk in during an aurora event. The phone was ringing. This was quite chilling. I answered the phone and said, "Hello?" But no body answered. There was only this silent crackling pop that echoed in time with the surging overhead lights. I hung up, only to have it ring again. I picked it up and stated, half as a joke, "Quonset Garage. Manager speaking. May I help you?" I stumbled over the manager part. You might wonder why.

Because as I stood there, listing to the warbles and clicks of a distant solar event playing tricks with the dying technological remnants of a dead world, I couldn't remember my name. For the life of me I haven't said my name in so long, I can't remember it. I think it started with a 'B'. Unfortunately I lost my wallet a long time ago. Left it in a nameless building when I was running from cabin to cabin, trying to find shelter after the crash.

There was a crash, right? I don't... entirely remember it. I think there was a crash. A plane crash. But... I don't remember waking up next to any wreckage. Come to think of it, why was I wearing normal clothing out in the middle of a frozen wasteland? Couldn't I think of something better to wear then a t-shirt, jeans, and a pair of running shoes? What the hell was I doing here in the first place? G'dam this is some serious bullshit.

What made it impossible to even think about the answers to these questions, was that even when I took the phone off the hook, it kept on ringing. It just... kept ringing. I wanted to rip it off the wall. Destroy it completely. Scatter the pieces into the sea. But I stopped. The only outside contact I've had has been my hallucinations and those hallucinations focus on that damn phone.

So I just laid there, staring at the phone, listening to it ring, until the aurora event ended, and the lights abruptly went out. In the dark, listening to the rattling roof and the whistling wind, I tried to fall asleep, but I couldn't.

Because I could still hear that damn phone ring.

Day 206: Been up for two days straight. Can't sleep. Clowns will eat me.

Heh. Old joke.

but seriously. I have not slept in two days. Can't. Can't take it. I know D. Wolf is waiting for me to fall asleep. he's waiting. I did another inventory check. In the past six hours I'm missing another can opener. Why does D. Wolf want a can opener? Frankly, can't take it anymore. I have made my choice. I'm going to fire D. Wolf.

As in, I will cut him up and set him on fire. But I will also see him terminated.

As in, killed, But also given a pink slip.

Day 207? 208?

I chopped up the bags of meat that comprised D. Wolf's body and ate him. I think I tossed his skull into the sea. I lost it for a bit there. It's this gas station. It's driving me insane. And I'm running low on bullets.

Day 208: I made it up to the trailer by the tracks. I saw on the wall map that there was a hunting lodge past the old trapper place. yes, a trip like that is dangerous, but I'm going absolutely insane staying in the gas station. Besides, I used up too many bullets getting out of there. Now I have what's in my gun. Once I run out of those bullets, it's on to the bow I made. But I like the gun. I've gotten good at it.

I'm going to hold out here until the dawn. The Aurora broke while I was trying to get out. God damn glowing wolves. Can you believe that shit? The further I get from the coast the better.

Day 211: made it to the Dam. Forgot how much crap I piled up here. A bit of nostalgia welled up as I saw an old pair of deerskin boots I abandoned here was still in serviceable condition. My ski boots are heavier, but they protect my ankles from those wolf bites. I broke down into tears. I think I cried for a full hour. I started to wail and beg the boots for forgiveness. I was so sorry I abandoned them.

I tried to put them on, but they had been abandoned for a reason. The seam ripped. I was so horrified I ran out into the yard and threw myself to the ground in penance for my crimes. It was only the howl of the nearby wolf who circles the fence that returned me to my senses. If it had not, I suspect the frostbite would have set in and I'd have a few less toes.

I went inside and fumbled in the dark to the fire barrel inside and started burning the coal I had found. I stared at the boots through out the night, wondering what I should do. My knees were pulled up to my chin and all I could do was silently weep. When the sun rose, I grabbed a bunch of old papers I stuck in a briefcase and poked holes through them then sewed them into a crude book. I bound it in leather and wrote "BIBLE" on the cover and then went out back. There was a nice tree that was near the back of the dam near the river. I dug a hole and buried the boots. Then I stood with the bible and performed final rites. It was a very moving ceremony. Then one of the wolves who lingers around at the foot of the damn creeped up on me.

When the wolf rushed me, I pulled my hunting knife out of the bible and stabbed it in the face. It ran off after giving me a good bite on the hand. The pain felt good. I followed it and waited for it to die. I climbed up on the rocks and looked down on it, telling it how it was unworthy of being a coat. It was not as nobel as the deer. He was not worthy of my legs! The legs are far more holy then he could ever know! It stopped rushing about and collapsed from blood loss.

I jumped down from my rock as a second wolf approached, but he smelled my two coats of wolf skins I wear layered against the cold. He fled.

I cut the meat from the wolf's bones, but left his hide to rot.

Upon going back inside, I made it back to the fire barrel and then, only then, did I put my ski boots back on. My feet made a full recovery. I know now my boots forgave me. Now the past is the past. I shall move on to the hunting lodge. And the devil's spawn... those cursed wolves... they will know the vengeance of the deer.

Day 220?

Honestly not sure how long its been. My notes are completely incomprehensible and unreadable. I ate some bad meat and got sick, only to discover I neglected to pack any antibiotics for the trip. And I was unable to locate any reishi 'shrooms to counteract the effects. I was laid up in bed for over two days and could barely keep any water down.

This, it turns out, was a good thing.

While I felt like death warmed over, my head was clear for the first time in weeks. And I figured out why. Oh. I should mention that I have found myself on the second floor of a hunting lodge. Not entirely sure how I got here. That said. When I made my way downstairs I discovered that the entire first floor was a charnel house. It's a good thing I was born without a sense of smell, because I can still taste and the air had a tang to it.

Intestines of all sorts were strung about the walls like christmas lights. Many hides were lying about, on top of chairs, tables, the walls, the floor. By the door were a half dozen empty boxes of ammo. I couldn't find the bullets, but judging by how many hides were covering every surface, I suspected I went on some sort of killing spree. Two bears, a moose, and well over a dozen wolf hides. I must have slaughtered a couple packs.

What disturbed me were the... symbols? Not sure. I don't know exactly what they were for. Swirling and jagged. They obvious meant something but for the life of me I have no clue what. And the Bible, if you can call it that. Written over old paperwork from the Hydro Dam and bound in leather, I scribbled The book of Deer. It's hard to pin down exactly what I was going for. I think the knife sheath concealed inside the back cover was telling. I'll try and decipher it later.

The revelation was when I reached for the pain killers. This was the first time I really looked at the bottle. It was worn and old, but I used my magnifying glass to look at the faded letters more closely. They were 222s.

2 cups of coffee. 2 Aspirin. 2 codeine.

I'm quite allergic to codeine. When I was a child I had surgery to correct my underbite. They put me on codeine for the pain. Turns out I react badly to the stuff. It makes me paranoid. Causes massive pupil dilation so everything looks brighter. I get fairly crazy on the stuff. At small doses, no problem, but as it builds up in my system...

Two other things. One, this bottle that I found up on the plane crash. It expired in 2011. Also, when I dumped the pills out, I discovered on the bottom was something... brown. Not mold but... something. Is it called Ergot? Maybe that's it. I'm not sure. It's not on all the pills, but there's little brown dots on some of them.

All I know is, every time I took something for pain, I was also taking 2 pills of pure crazy.

I almost threw the rest of the pills out, but thought better of it. You never know. Maybe I can poison some meat with it and see how it effects the wolves. The truth is, usable medicinal plants are getting harder to find, so any medication, even meds that have gone bad, are to be valued.

I'm going to avoid taking any drugs for a while. Stick with nothing stronger than herbal tea until I'm all dried out. I might feel like crap, but I'm thinking clearly for the first time in weeks.

Day 200?

I'm not sure what day it is so I'm starting over at day 200. I've managed to recover from the contaminated medication but-

[several lines are scribbled out]

You know what? I'm just not ready to talk about this. I left the hunting lodge. That's it.

Day 203: Managed to haul all the hides and supplies up to the tunnel. Took three days and had to kill two wolves, which added to the weight of the cargo I was hauling. Tomorrow I transfer everything to the train cars.

Day 204: Managed to get everything to the train car. Had to kill two wolves and a bear to do it.

Day 206: Finally got everything to the camp office. Three more wolves dead. Where the hell are they all coming from?

Day 209: Took several trips, especially since I keep accumulating more gear as I move along. I'm stocking everything at the Hydro Dam. This has been a save leg of the journey because I can take the overhead route. Even managed to snag some rabbit. Alas, I regret leaving the meat on that bear to rot, but there was just too much to carry. I'm considering moving everything in the area to the hydro, or just pushing ahead with the supplies back to the coastal road. The weather has turned horrid lately and these trips are taking their toll.

Day 210: Abandoning any chance of looting the Mystery Lake area. The wolves have returned in force and I'm way too low on bullets. Not even sure I can make it across that rickety bridge in these winds. Going to have to go the long way. Damn it, I have to return to Pleasant Valley.

Day 215: On the one hand, I should be glad I can still write. On the other I suspect I won't be able to much longer. After making it through the cave system I was forced off my path by four wolves and a bear. Unfortunately I'm running low on bullets and retreat was my only option. The irony is, I know of a stock pile of arrow heads and bows that was past these damn wolves. I just found some birch to make the arrows, but I'm not going to be able to get to that farmhouse any time soon.

I did luck out and find some dead guy with a box of bullets, so I'm not completely screwed, but I've been forced out into the middle of a pond and I'm holed up inside a fishing hut. The door is strong and the wolves have failed to break it down, but the cold is likely to finish off what the wolves cannot. This Hut is so poorly made I can feel the wind right through the walls, if I stand in the right spot.

You might say, "Hey, make a fire!" Wish I could. I rush out to find something to burn, and then the wolves show up. I've been trying to get wood without using up any bullets, shooting only when I need to, but my luck has run out. One wolf wasn't scared off by the gun shot and rushed me. I managed to stab him in the face, but he screwed me up good. Had to run over to some nearby trees to get some of that old man, then I got jumped again.

I've treated my wounds, but I don't have nearly enough wood to make it if this storm lasts. I got a choice, wait it out with these piles and piles of tasty wolf meat and hope that I don't freeze to death. I could fight my way to the farmhouse, which will be a ton of wolves. I could make my way along the ridge until I find that old coal mine. I have supplies there, but there is at least a bear or two along the way. I think I will be making a run for the farm house. I'm going to need those arrows if I'm out of bullets.

Been giving this some thought.

I didn't talk about why I left the Hunting lodge. After I recovered from the food poisoning and the meds that were driving me insane, I tried to make a go of it. I packed up most of the stuff, in case I had to bug out, got everything lined up. I even took some time to explore that ravine and found some nice hides down there.

Then the phone rang.

Yes Yes. That's been happening. Except it was MORNING. I almost jumped out of my skin. It wasn't the Aurora. It wasn't a hallucination from the meds. It was the actual, god damn phone. I swear I almost ran out there and just kept running. I managed to pull it together from the doorway. I kept it open, just in case. Leaving the door open made me feel safer. I remember that.

Then I picked up the phone. There was a crackle. And then I heard the voice of my general manager. My blood turned cold. The world started to spin. But then... I listened to what he was saying.

It may have sounded like the voice I remember listening to at the Garage, but it wasn't a human. It was a robo-caller.

The voice of some guy, sounding all serious and dramatic was telling me how there was an urgent issue involving my credit card and that I needed to contact them immediately. Press one to be connected to a representative.

God. Damn. Tele-scam.

Somewhere in the world there is a computer, more then likely hooked up in some protected bunker to make sure it isn't found by the authorities. When the Aurora hits it right, it powers up, reboots, and does it's job. It starts calling people. I suspect it's set up on an illegal tap into the system so its harder to trace.

And it does its job, calling phone number after phone number, remembering which numbers are bad and which ones connected and which ones are still good.

I bet at this point, the number of good phone numbers left is fairly small. Must be the old fashioned set up of the phone lines on the island. They must be a bit more resistant to power surges then the fiber optic crap.

At first, I laughed and would have pressed 1, but their was a crackle and the line went dead. I pressed 1. I stopped laughing. I pressed it again. And again. And again. and again.

Then I smashed the damn thing.

Then I ripped it out of the wall.

Then I shot it.

Then I dragged it outside and set it on fire.

You know why, oh hypothetical person who finds these entries on my frozen corpse?

Because here I am, at the end of the world...

At the end of civilization...

At the end of an Era...

At the end of civilization...

At the end of humanity...

And what will survive us like the civilizations of old? Will we leave behind our own version of the pyramids? Will we leave behind the statue of David? Will we leave wise words carved into the rock for those who follow to read and ponder?


When the final switching station fails to switch. When the last power relay fails to relay. When the last LED light finally flickers and dies and all that we have crafted and created and forged and built and made has failed, rusted, and is no more... the very last light to go out before the coming of the long... long dark...

Will be a robo-caller trying to get my credit card information.

I'd blow my brains out with one of these last three bullets, but I won't. The wolves have been after me for a long, long time.

I owe them that much.

Day 230: So you might be wondering how I'm alive. Honestly, I'm wondering that myself. There I was, thinking of dining on a bullet when the wind finally broke. So I made run for it.

That's when the aurora came out.

And the aurora wolves came at me.

And I ran off a cliff.

The whole, shoot behind you and walk backwards thing, while normally a sound tactical maneuver, seems to have a flaw under certain terrain conditions.

Finding myself limping along without medical supplies, I had to fight an aurora wolf in hand to hand combat with a knife. I fought off the wolf, used up my last bandage, and with my heart pounding in my ears, made a run for it. One more wolf came at me. Used my last bullet to kill it and then ditched the gun. It was just dead weight to me at that point.

I have never been so happy to own those wolf coats as I did that night.

Because as I came up over the ridge to see the farmhouse in the distance, the blizzard returned and the wolves went back to normal. Between dropping bits of rotting fish and my coat which seemed to scare off a few of the more intelligent wolves. I managed to limp my ass into the farmhouse.

With a bite wound that had gone septic, two broken ankles, two sprained wrists, and all my head gear shredded. Damn. I'm gonna miss those ear wraps. I got spare toques and balaclavas back in Quonset.

I've had a lot of time to think about things. You know what? If I managed to heal up, it's time I had a long term plan. Something to keep my mind occupied. I've got supply caches all over this god damn valley. I'm gonna consolidate them into one place. That old cabin under the ropes. From there, I'll only have to fight a few wolves along a narrow path. They'll have to come at me from the front or the back and if I keep moving fast, I make sure they only come at me from the front, whatever direction I take. Then it's only a matter of time.

Eventually. I will reopen the Quonset Garage.

I need a slogan. Something to bring in the customers.

I know.

Quonset Garage: Where the water is always free.

I like that.

I'm going to make a break for it in the morning and just start hauling cargo over and over. Either this will kill me from the relentless blizzards, or the endless number of wolves. But I swear. It's better then sitting here in this empty building where I shopped up everything for firewood. And if I survive. Well... that's something to be proud of, eh?

Day 264: I know I said I'd take everything, but there are far too many wolf pelts. I'm leaving those behind and taking everything else. I'm at the coal mine entrance. The short cut through the mountain to the coast. I've filled every locker in this coal mine with crap. So much stuff to stock the shelves from. Now, I haul it all to the abandoned look out. I know I only need to kill two wolves for that. Then repeatedly mad dash down the side of the cliff with my stock to the garage. Alas, I can only carry so much and it is getting colder. However, this will be a far safer leg of the journey.

Maybe, if I get bored, I will come back for all the wolf pelts I left behind. I also want to return to TWM and take all the extra ropes. I bet ropes would sell well. Then again, if I ever were to commit suicide, I think the view from the top of the mountain is nice. That'd be a great place to die.

I dream of it sometimes. Taking the skulls of all these dead wolves and stacking them on top of each other. Stacking them into a throne. A Throne of skulls at the top of the world. With crossed guns and Moose Antlers as the Heraldry on the top of my throne. It will be covered in bear hide and have twin fires burning at my fingertips.

That is where I would blow my brains out. Because I like to imagine that some day, decades from now, the humans that survive elsewhere in the world might come climbing up that mountain, find my corpse on my throne of skulls on the top of the world...

And declare me the ultimate bad ass.

I just wish I could remember my name.

Day 265: I was resting up in the cave under the coal mine when I got around to finally reading my "bible" that I wrote when I was going insane from the contaminated pain killers. I apparently kept careful track of how many wolves I killed. I have piles of wolf meat and plenty of water and I just... need to take a break. A mental health break. The wolves never come down here and I just want to enjoy hunting some rabbits. I think I know how to hold the bow sideways and I want to practice. You know, crouching and firing a bow is harder then it looks.

Sorry. I digress.

I took the time to total it up. 144. One Hundred and fourty four wolves. I killed 19 of them with knives. I think it's this moose cloak. It really gives you an edge.

Now, you might think, like the bear coat, that you need to get more moose hide to repair it. But no. Moose hide is hardy stuff. It may take longer, but most of the abuse a moose hide takes is the seams. Wolf claws don't do jack to moose hide. You are far better off completely tearing the cloak apart then sewing it back together with wolf guts and fishing line.

No. I'm serious.

It may take days, but if you continuously tear your cloak apart and then rebuild it, you can make a moose cloak last forever. I tried to do that with the moose satchel. You only get enough leather out of moose satchel to maybe repair a pair of boots.

Moose Cloak is a must have for any serious survivor.

Who the hell am Giving this advice to? Nobody is ever going to read this.


From: General Manager

To: Quonset Garage Manager

You are writing it because your memory is failing and you can't even remember your name. It's reminders like this that will keep you alive. You need to write down what works and what doesn't so you can go back and remind yourself what you should and shouldn't do. For example, walking backwards off a cliff is BAD. That will not reflect well on your annual review.

Day 275: I've finished moving all the stuff to the Abandoned lookout. It's a nice place. Something about being all storm resistant glass that makes it basically a solar hot house. Comparatively. Being only slightly freezing is a step above deadly. Still. Had to spend some time here. Not for any particular reason. It just took a while to get all the gear out of the coal mine. At one point I just stripped naked and ran through the mine with only my running shoes, underwear, and my moose satchel. It actually gets rather warm in that mine. Again, comparatively.

Wouldn't want to live there, however. At least two dead bodies in there from mine collapses. One guy got trapped and starved to death, the other guy got crushed by a cave-in. I know which way I'd prefer to go.

Still, the view from this place is nice. It might make a great place to go relax. Better then sitting in an ice fishing hut surrounded by wolves. I think I will drag that pile of rocks I have back in the coal mine up here. Might be fun to start chucking them off the balcony.

Regardless, this part of the transfer was rather easy, normally there's a couple of wolves wandering about up here. Didn't see either of them. I wonder if the bear living down below by the trailer is the reason? No harsh weather events either. Just the fog. That odd, welcoming fog that surrounds you and holds you like a mother welcoming a soldier home from the war.

Yes. It's like returning home.

Day 276: Completely lost track of time. I have no idea where the day went. I spent the better part of the day gather coal and rocks. Why? because coal burns hot and the customers will certainly want some. And the rocks, well... I hauled them up to the top of this abandoned tower. This isn't a good morning for it, but some day, I'm gonna take these sixty seven rocks and throw them off this tower all over the place. I'll need something to pass the time.

Gonna take a short trip off to look at some of the abandoned buildings in the area for the fun of it. Then I'm gonna get this loot down the side of this cliff.

Day 277: Nothing interesting at the trailer, but that's not the problem. The problem is these storm lanterns. I was packing them up and realized how crappy they look. I'd better take a few days to clean and fix them up. Only the finest stock for my customers.

That's what I like about this lookout. It's got so many glass windows you can see what you are doing by moonlight.

Day: 300: Holy crap. I just realized how much I've had to haul ass around this area. Unfortunately I seem to have developed some sort of phobia for being indoors too long and The wolves that I thinned out before have returned in force. Between running around trying to get wood, hauling the inventory down to the garage, and trying to repair all the damaged stock, and every three days rushing out to squat in a fishing hut surrounded by pacing wolves. Also, I discovered that water boils faster on the stove out at the ice hut. So I have to haul all the water I want to stock my store with from the ice, which means I have to keep fighting through wolves.

And wolves are good meat.

So every time I have to kill a bunch of wolves, I lose days cleaning them, gutting them, harvesting the hides. And once I got sloppy and didn't even notice my gauntlets had iced up.

I tried to thaw out my left hand and a finger snapped off. You know, normally that sort of thing would have freaked me out. I've gotten kind of blasé about things as of late. Maybe being back in the area and having some sort of purpose has changed my attitude.

So I used a torch to cauterize the stump and a kit to sew it closed. Then I snapped the finger in half and used it to catch two of the biggest coho I've ever seen. You know, I think they might look good in the deli section. I'll have to save them. Dragging them uncooked to the garage is bound to attract attention, but it will be worth it to have on the shelf when the customers come by.

Day 314: So I finished stocking the shelves when I asked myself where was the fifty pounds of coal I had collected. Then it dawned on me that I left it up at the abandoned look out. And I also remembered that I moved to the rope so I'd have to try and sneak past the bear that moved up on the ridge over looking the garage.

Well, you know what? I wasn't in the mood to delay anymore. So I grabbed my arrows and bow and headed up to go clear the path. Yes, I just lost a finger, so I was in a bad mood. I snuck up on a rock, waited for it to stroll into view, shot it in the side. I honestly thought it was dead. So I worked my way around the rock to get down to it. And... the bear was gone.

I mean, poof. Vanished. No idea where it went. So, looking around, thinking it walked off a bit to die somewhere else. Then I heard it. I had missed that the sun had got down and that an aurora had started. There's this weird humm in the air when you get an aurora. And then I heard the bear. So I turned around.

You know, I had fought an aurora wolf before. But it never occurred to me there would be aurora bears. And funny thing about the aurora, it seems to heal bears.

So my first shot goes wide, which just gets it's attention. Then it starts to charge me and my second one drops it. Now, this is when it gets weird. I'm not bullshitting.

The arc of my arrow was hanging in the air.

No. Serious. It was softly glowing and just, hovering there, ending right where the arrow hit the bear. It had fallen over, dead, glowing eyes and green swirly fur, but it's... dead. It was just dead. But the shot that killed it was just glowing and hovering in the air.

As I was looking at it, I got to thinking. So I spent the next week working on carving it up, cooking it, and making me another bedroll for the customers. That'll be my fourth.

Sorry. I digress.

So, I was thinking, this doesn't make any sense. Why are they glowing along with the aurora? Then I noticed that the bear was warmer then normal. And come to think of it, no snow fell on the aurora wolf, even though I killed it in a snow storm. I think, and this is just a theory...

I think this aurora thing has happened before. maybe it's a solar thing. It happens, it dies down, it happens, it dies down. Maybe it lasts a few centuries, or a few decades, or a few thousand years. When it happens, energy pours down onto the world. Makes all this electronic crap flicker and spark. So, why the bears and wolves?

What if... there is a bacterium. I know of bacterium that respond to magnets and other electromagnetic energy. Now, bear with me, but I think I remember this. It was called Magnetotactic bacteria, I think, that are are a polyphyletic group of bacteria discovered by Richard Blakemore. When they grow, they orientate themselves along magnetic fields. So, here's the theory.

If this bacterium EVOLVED to feed off the energy, right? But it needs to be warm and the energy isn't constant. It fluctuates. So it needs warmth from somewhere else. It evolved to live in the fur and on the skin of carnivores. It keeps them warm during the aurora, and the wolf keeps the bacterium warm when the aurora is off. The glowing bacterium also seems to make what it is growing on more aggressive. So, if it started growing on a bunny, the bunny would get aggressive, then it would die. But an aggressive wolf that is warmed up by glowing aurora bacterium, that could become more aggressive because, you know, burning bacterium in your fur, but also it's more likely to SURVIVE being aggressive.

So, if that's the case, I think that the bacterium isn't new. It's old. It's been around a long time. It just turns on and off during these solar cycles. Plus, it has a nasty implication.

It's been almost a year and it hasn't gotten any warmer. In fact, I think it's gotten colder. That means that the whole world is getting colder and all over the world every form of electronics is screwed as well as every carnivore that evolved along with this bacterium is going to be hyper-aggressive.

If that's true across the world, then nobody is coming. Everyone would be heading south, where it's warmer.

But I could be wrong. And maybe, maybe there's people to the north of here who are going to try and make it south. They aren't going to find much left in the area, especially since I've looted everything. They're going to need supplies. Clothing. Food. Shelter. even water. Fortunately for them...

at Quonset Garage...

The water is always free.

Day 331: I've finished putting up the stock on the shelves. I'm going to close up the place then go to the surrounding areas to put up signs to direct people to the garage. I just sent a memo to my General manager letting him know we're on schedule.

Day 364: I just made it back in time. Tomorrow is the anniversary of the first aurora. Year 1 of aurora earth begins with the grand re-opening of the Quonset Garage. Tomorrow I open the garage to the general public.

Tomorrow, I open to the public.

Tomorrow, I light a beacon in the long dark.

Tomorrow, I begin the long wait.

BONUS: The Commercial -

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The following dissertation has been a labor of love. Ever since I read the chronicles of the Quonset Manager as a child, the story stuck with me, like so many others. It is considered by most to be the definitive story of the beginning of the Aurora era. While his stories would not come to light until 2082, and were originally a propaganda piece put out by the Vancouver Empire, since the fall of that barbarous civilization the stories have sparked pride in the human spirit and it's ability to overcome.

In the years since, few expeditions have traveled to Great Bear island. The island is fully abandoned since the destruction of the Great Bear Air Fleet in 2088 (The infamous "Vancouver Bear Force"). It's inhospitable climate preventing long term human habitation without aurora crystal technology. Few people wish to travel there, and none remain.

My expedition went there on an archeology dig to see if it was possible to uncover more evidence of the Quonset Manager. The actual Quonset garage having been found and investigated decades ago. We do know the Quonset Manager duplicated many of his journals and hid them in various caches all across the island. I am proud to announce that me and my team were quite successful in uncovering several of these back up copies as well as some video footage.

It is unknown exactly how the Quonset Manager managed to figure out how to build a Faraday cage around his video and computer equipment that could withstand the aurora particle electron surges with the materials he had. It is just another sign of the indomitable spirit of "QM", as he liked to refer to himself. Another indication that there is a blurred line between brilliance and insanity.

His technological advancements parallels the development of the crystal based technology that allows us to harness the aurora particle that fuels our technological paradise. However, there is no evidence that he figured out how to harness it for it's anti-gravity properties, even if my team of investigators has determined that he came close to figuring it out several times.

The Quonset Manager's journals can be divided into three types of entries: Technical, philosophical, and personal. The three did tend to blend from one to the other. It is hard not to be read his works and not want to know more about the brilliant wild man of Great Bear.

Others have had better insight into the technological journals of the Quonset Manager (I would direct the reader to Professor Giorgio A. Tsoukalos the 3rd's ground breaking book, Ancient Icarus: Were the pyramids built by Atlantis in an Aurora Era?) and thus we will not be looking into that aspect of his journals. Instead we will be delving into the question: Did he die alone?

We have yet to find any journals that indicate to us as to what may have finally killed the Quonset Manager. Given his haphazard and erratic nature, there is no rhyme or reason to where he kept his journals, as well as the nature of the journals themselves made deciphering them difficult. He found a great deal of red ink pens used by accountants which allowed him to write over the pages of other books, but in the later years his supply of ink ran dry and he fell back to charcoal, etching into sheets of metal, carving into rock, and stitches using tanned rabbit hide and old fishing lines.

Which raises the question of Jennifer.

The original telling of the Quonset Manager story was a propaganda piece and as such had many embellishments. The entire story of Jennifer was created whole cloth by the propaganda minsters of the Vancouver empire, but was based on one particular entry in the journal that they found. In the two other expeditions to Great Bear, nobody found any more entries that indicated who Jennifer was or if she even existed. Historians have speculated that it was simply another manifestation of his deteriorating mind.

We have uncovered new entries that include many new details and insights into who Jennifer was as well as their relationship. Unfortunately we cannot provide any answers into the actual existence of Jennifer. The Quonset Manager's video equipment broke down completely long before Jennifer entered his life, so we have no images of her. We simply cannot find any physical evidence of her existence, and the journal entries, even the ones that supposedly she wrote, are all in The Quonset Manager's hand writing.

This of course means nothing, since the Quonset Manager was known to create up to five different duplicates of entries he deemed important and scatter them over the island in sealed plastic containers. She could have indeed written the entries themselves and we only found a copy that she transcribed and he duplicated. If there is an original out there, I pray future archeologists will find them.

Alas, the building Jennifer was purposed to have used as her home burned to the ground, unlike the Quonset which was found buried in ice. We may never know the true story, but having read the entries, and the radical shift in writing style, I like to think that Jennifer was real, if for no other reason then the Quonset Manager seems to have found some solace in her presence.

Of course she may have been just another imaginary character in his life, like EF and CB. A much more nuanced and real character then the bottle of lamp fuel and the car battery that he frequently had long conversations with. It is this nuance that makes me think she was real. I like to write off any inconsistencies in the journals to embellishment. The Quonset Manager was nothing, if not a good showman.

So if you are looking for the definitive work on the existence of Jennifer, you will not find it here. I leave it up to the reader to make their own conclusions on the matter. As for the eventual fate of The Quonset Manager or Jennifer, well, I wouldn't want to spoil things. As the Quonset Manager would say, "There are no destinations, only the way points of your life and how long you choose to spend there." How long you linger here, is up to you.


Keep Surviving, Survivors.
Professor Charlton Györgyi
University of Hawaii

Edited by TheEldritchGod
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I just found this today. Didn't read the survival stories until now. Boring day at work with time on my hands.

What a great read! You are a masterful story teller. I'm surprised you don't have more comments.

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Excellent writing skills! I was quite captivated and amazed by the story,the interaction with the game and the mental implication!  

Incredible, sir! My congratulations on a wonderful TLD short story! 

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On 8/13/2018 at 10:30 PM, Sito said:

I just found this today. Didn't read the survival stories until now. Boring day at work with time on my hands.

What a great read! You are a masterful story teller. I'm surprised you don't have more comments.

Thank you. The story continues.


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Fabulous read and I loved how the isolation has unhinged your survivor. I kind of get The Shining vibe from some of it "You have always been the Quonset Manager", as well as a few Lovecraftian elements.  With a name like TheEldritchGod, I'm surprised in all your time there you haven't delved into Cthulhu worship yet. I fancy trying that in a new run, making some sigils with sticks or stones, or shrines near Fishing Village. Hopefully with enough effort Dagon will take notice and I'll be blessed with more fish or at least my lines won't break as often. ;) 

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The commercial makes a lot more sense now with the back story.

I am curious about the continuity of your stuff. I've noticed that Aurora Crystals and The Book of Deer were mentioned in this post and then again in Radio 1 and 3.

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18 hours ago, codfish107 said:

The commercial makes a lot more sense now with the back story.

I am curious about the continuity of your stuff. I've noticed that Aurora Crystals and The Book of Deer were mentioned in this post and then again in Radio 1 and 3.

I believe in 2+2. Never give the audience 4. Only give them 2+2. They are smart enough to figure it out themselves. Speaking of...


Day 530: I'm not sure what day 530 is, exactly. I think it's the number of days from the day this all started. The Quonset Manager told me it was day 530 and he got really upset when I used today's date. He said they don't use that anymore at the head office. We use the new time now.

And I have to fill out an application, apparently. So, there's that as well.

I'm supposed to keep track of daily events and The manager suggested I write down what happened. I suppose I should start at the beginning.

I used to work for OTR: Flatbed Division and if you ever worked flatbed you know you get paid by the mile. I got hired to take a crane counterweight up to Anchorage Alaska. Over weight, over sized and when you get paid by the mile, it's a full month to drive it up there. I got the job because I knew we didn't have the right permits and I didn't care. The permits would have been easily fifty grand, but the fine for getting caught would have been just a few thousand.

Yeah. Technically I'm a smuggler. So sue me.

I got to Anchorage and dropped off the load. I had to wait a few days to find a load back down to the states. Dispatcher hooked me up and south I went. This was a legal load so it was going to go much faster. Diesel I believe. I preferred flatbed, but there wasn't any flatbed loads out of Alaska, so you take what you can get. You don't get paid for dead head, after all. Sooo... Maybe two weeks total? Multiple stops as I recall.

That's until the crazy lights in the sky.

The highway from the US to Alaska is crap. Parts of the road is frickin' gravel in  sections. I was stuck in the middle of nowhere. I got out, make it down the road, found someone else stuck in his car. I'm lucky that first night wasn't that bad. About eight of total abandoned their four wheelers and we made it down to the nearest town. There was only one off ramp. Just as we made it into town, the fires were starting to be put out. Apparently the aurora caused surges all over the place and four different homes went up in flames. We were going down to see if we could find someone to help us. The sheriff or someone.

That's when the cargo ship plowed into the docks.

It was a horrific sound. The thing apparently had been going full bore. It smashed it's way up onto shore. Fortunately it didn't damage more then two buildings. But the force was enough to leave it well and truly stuck on shore.

Medical personnel was already stretched to the limit, what with there being no way to get to the nearest hospital. By car it was still over an hour away. They got used to handling things in town until a surgeon could arrive, if things got that bad. Well, things got bad, but no help was coming.

We all pitched in. The whole community of man thing. We went to help the injured off the boat. Four people died between the cargo ship running aground and the fires.

The next day things settled down. The power was still out, but the people in this port community was used to that. Some nice family offered to put us up. We were grateful and I said she'd get paid for it by my company, as soon as the credit cards started working again.

Time passed. a week. Two? a month? Someone had left to go to the city, don't remember the name. Doesn't matter. He came back to say that the place burned to the ground. Just about every modern building full off modern materials and modern electrical power burned. As it turns out, the four buildings that caught fire were the ones with the highest amp service in town.

That sobered a lot of people up. A group started talking about what to do. About this time the auroras were in full swing. We really didn't have any problems up until that point. Until the wolves came.

There were hundreds. They came in the night, all of them glowing. They flowed through the town like a wave. Anyone caught outside was dead. Anyone who didn't have their home secured were next. The home I was staying in had a pull down ladder to the attic. I hid up there. The couple I was staying with wanted to keep watching from the window.

They didn't make it.

The next morning the wolves were all gone. One out of five died that night. The wolves didn't even eat anyone, that's the crazy thing. They were just obsessed with killing. And there is... a fear of wolves. Something from our ancestors. Something primal. The situation was already bad, this just pushed a bunch into crazy mode.

The town mechanic had gotten some older trucks going. They used diesel for fuel and were so old they didn't need batteries to run. Once they hand cranked it, they just ran until you shut it off.Like a pull string on a lawn mower. I mentioned my truck was up the road and we went up, and we managed to tow it back to town. It was down hill and I just put it into neutral. It boosted people's spirits.

Then a bunch of people got  the idea of leaving town. There were only two trucks. Not enough for everyone. But there was going to be a plan. The sheriff and the mayor agreed. We had fuel. the cargo ship was shipping food. We're be good for a few months, at least.

That night I woke up to gunfire.

A group of people were trying to steal a truck. A gunfight broke out. The mayor, sheriff, and mechanic were dead, along with two of the thieves.

I wish I could remember their names. I really do.

Turns out the over seven people I collected on the road coming here were determined to get home, no matter what. I never really had a home. I have a post office box. No ties. No relationships. When you get paid by the mile, having a husband is a liability. The plan was to do this for a few years, then settle down when I was more successful. besides. I loved driving.


Past tense.

I'm never going to drive again. It just... finally hit home. Wow. I really didn't accept it until I just wrote it down.


The five remaining had hooked up with three other locals and they stole a truck and made a brake for it. No idea what happened to them, except they went south.

The deputy was a nice woman. Tough as nails, but this was a bit much for her. She was married to the sheriff. Everyone gathered around to bury the dead. I got nothing but death stares.

There were 18 left that night and a young man by the name of Abraham stood up and gave a long speech. Defended me and said we needed to stick together. We could all move into the cargo ship. it was big, metal, and easily defended. It'd be cramped, but safe.

We all gathered some supplies and moved to the cargo ship. During the first move, a pack of wolves was nearby. Got the mechanic's wife because she was alone by her husband's grave. After that, only organized groups went out.


Day 531: Needed a break. I'm ready to write some more. Anyways. This is hard.

So we made it through the first year. A year without a summer. It got damn cold. I got rather good at fishing. Was never a good hunter. The men would go out hunting. Sometimes less would come back. Well, one thing happened in that long year...

After 6 months or so a band from the north came through. Apparently our mechanic wasn't the only one to come up with the idea of using the older type diesel engines. They roared into town, ready to loot. Most of us were on the boat and everything of value was already on it.

That's when the siege started.

I'll give the women who lived there props, they are made of sterner stuff then the girls back in America. They pulled duty on the walls right along with the med. They had the numbers, but we had the food and bullets. We lost two to gunfire over the next week. That's when we got an idea.

We always stuck to smoking fish on the boat after everyone was inside. It attracted the wolves. So we started cooking up a storm. Nothing happened for two days. The second night, however, they came. Not quite the hundreds from before, but enough. When the morning came, there were only four left, two in one truck, one in each of the others. One of the men was a damn good shot. Rich, I think. He got on the bow of the ship and shot out the windows. The wolves made short work of the survivors.

By this time we were down to eight, and in a few days we could go out and loot the corpses. We took everything they had. Enough food for thirty men was more than enough for 3 men and 5 women. We resolved to keep waiting. Waiting for the spring. Waiting for help to come through. Waiting for something. Anything. We lost two to suicide since then. Unfortunately the woman who killed herself. We just called her Ma. She was our top cook. We got desperate for food and killed and ate some wolves. Someone must have cooked it wrong, because a bunch got sick. I didn't . Didn't eat any, really. Wolf meat just smells funny. Fortunately we still had antibiotics from the town firehouse. That's where the paramedics operated out of.

Unfortunately we were all on the ship when the storm came through. It hit at high tide. It was a monster. It managed to drag the cargo ship back out to sea. At this point there wasn't much to do but hope we land safely. The Controls were powered by electricity so steering was out of an option. Some thought of building a sail and using that was brought up, but never really attempted. Besides. Didn't have time. I spent all my time trying to take care of the others.

Whatever it was, I had to clean a ton of chamber pots. And we had to use actual pots.

I was cleaning out the pots over the railing when the fog parted and I saw the rocks. I ran inside to warn everyone, but there wasn't much to be done. We hit, we rolled. We wound up on our side.

I guess that's how I got on great bear island.

Fortunately everyone survived, but the ship being on it's side became a real pain to navigate. Fortunately people were recovering at this point. Still ill, but getting better. The ship was rent in two and and it wouldn't serve as a long term shelter anymore. Especially if another storm yanked it back out to sea.

And that's when we started walking.

And that's when they started dying.

There were a few shelters along the way. Nothing to eat. The wolves picked up our scent and were behind the whole way. Apparently our numbers kept them at bay, along with the occasional pot shot, but they could smell sickness. When one of use fell, we took what we could carry and left them behind.

That's when we found the metal hatch.

There were just us three left at that point. We just stumbled across this thing in the middle of nowhere. It was chock full of food. most of it had gone bad, but a good deal was still eatable. We rested there until the food ran out. Maybe a week? Maybe a month? Not sure.

Rich and Hurley and me. And... Something happened to Rich. I don't know if it was the stress or what but he just snapped. He just lost it. Started going absolutely crazy. Hurley tried to talk him down. Rich then stabbed him in the throat. A second later it sunk in what he had did. Then he stabbed himself in the throat as well.

I admit it. I wasn't that stable myself at that point. I grabbed the knife and tried to save them, either of them but there...


I left. Actually, I ran. I'm not sure what happened next, except I found myself at a lighthouse. I got inside. There was food. There was fuel. There was a bed. There was bottled water and a sign written in charcoal.

4 Miles To The Quonset
Where The Water Is Always Free!
Please enjoy some Samples!

I really didn't know what to make of it. While I was enjoying the crackers and water as instructed, I went to the top and looked around.

On top I found a sign that said, "The best path to avoid the wolves: Just Follow The arrows"

At first I had no idea, until I looked over the edge and saw giant arrows made of logs of wood. They pointed a rather round about way to move through the area. I think the arrows pointed to a trail or something in the distance.

Over the railing hung a bottle of lamp oil. There was a string tied around the neck and it was just dangling over the side. I'm not sure why it was there, but I could use the fuel, so I took it with me.

I spent the night there. I was exhausted and eating nothing but crackers and water wasn't the best meal for my stomach. That night the aurora came and the radio turned on. There was music from nowhere from out of the blue. It was surreal. I laid there, watching the flickering lights through the window, wondering where the music was coming from. Howeveactly was it reaching the radio

Then a sonorous sounding voice came on and started talking about odd events around the island. It was soothing and scary at the same time. About half way through the night I just burst out laughing and then started crying. "Obviously" I thought. I must be on the edge of some sort of civilized area where people had managed to get some sort of society back on track. Why they let this madman behind a mic was beyond me. But even if they were all barking mad, I didn't care much at this point. I've come too far to kill myself now.

I resolved to make for this Quonset at daybreak.

But that night I would spend crying for all the ones who didn't make it.

Edited by TheEldritchGod
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That last story is amazing. I always liked the other stuff, but this one in particular is just brilliant.

Edited by jeffpeng
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Day 533: I'm not sure what to do. My leg is still busted up and This nutcase still hasn't told me his name. He's Just The Quonset Manager. And he left. he read what I wrote to double check it before "faxing" it to the head office then he abruptly went quiet. He just stood stock still for almost an hour. I was terrified to even speak to him.

You ever see someone about to explode? The body language? That was what it was like. For an HOUR.

Then he just abruptly started moving. He organized his backpack with the precision of a watch maker then took all the bullets. He left the rifles. Just took the bullets. And a bow. I asked if he could leave some bullets, just in case, but he said he didn't trust me not to kill myself.

I'm... not sure what I did to give him that impression. But that was his answer. Then he pointed to the two flare guns under the cash register and said I could use those in an emergency. But it would come out of my pay.

Oh. I'm getting paid three matches a day, plus room and board. It includes meal breaks. I'm to help myself to any of the cooked food, but not to touch the canned goods or deli meats.

Yes. We have a Deli section.

I'm getting ahead of myself. He left yesterday and he said he'd be back the day after the next aurora or in a week, which ever came first. Then he left. I've been walking around the place. The area is fairly picked over. I guess I'm writing this because

[several lines scribbled out]

Okay. No. I need. This isn't for him it's for me. Where was I?

Okay, so I woke up in the lighthouse in the late morning. I must have slept for over 12 hours. I took some time to finish searching the place and found a locker with a parka, wolf skin coat, deer skin pants and matching boots, a pair of puffy snow pants, and some bunny gloves. They were very musty. It was like they had been put here a year ago and forgotten about.

There were some medical supplies in the bottom along with a flint firestarter magnifying. The glass was scratched, the firestarter looked to be just about dead, but I'd take what I could get. The antibiotics had gone bad. Something was growing in the bottle. I grabbed what water was left, I had eaten all the crackers, and took a bundle of wood with me to make a fire later.

Honestly, I felt the best I had in a long time. That's was the problem. I let my guard down.

I didn't follow the arrows. They directed me to go straight down the side of a cliff. I'm afraid of heights. So I went straight for where the arrows were pointing. Nothing happened. No wolves. No problems. I got to old mine and went in. There were three road flares on the ground, signs of a fire, more water, and a trail of water bottles off into the darkness. It occurred to me this might be for emergencies, so I only took two, left one behind. Didn't take the water. I was doing okay.

The manager left a trail of water bottles through the mine. I didn't need the flare, I could have found my way through by just crawling and going from water bottle to water bottle, but I used the flare anyways. I feared it was a maze, but it was fairly direct. A few twists and few turns, but as long as I kept moving and followed the bottles, I'd be fine.

When I got the other side I found more water, signs of another fire, and a pile of firewood and coal. Here was a storm lantern Empty, but still. I used the fuel oil I found before with the flare and started up a nice fire.

By fire I mean a bonfire. I got that thing burning so hot it felt like the sun. I really just wanted to get warm and I hadn't felt that warm in a long time. I sort of lost it, I guess. I just kept burning stuff. Then I took a nap and woke up to the sun setting. I didn't pay attention and didn't want to get stuck there in a blizzard or something, so I grabbed all my stuff and moved on.

There were more arrows. Again pointing me down the side of a cliff. I ignored it like last time and moved along the road, having to detour around a washout. That's when the wolf found me. He came from around a boulder. I didn't even hear him. Next thing I know he's got his fangs sunk in my leg. He'd have took it off if it wasn't for my new deer hide leggings. As it stood he still twisted my knee in an unnatural direction.

Quick reflexes and the knife I kept since Rich and Hurl... Well. I stabbed it in the wolf's neck. That got him to let go and back off. He ran past the other three wolves. They forced me down the washout to the ice. While I backed up, I remembered the road flare and set it off. That made them back up a bit. The red spitting light put them on edge. Fortunately there was a bottle neck so they couldn't get around me, but I was still limping hard as my leg was really screwed up.

It's amazing how a little adrenaline to dull the pain and a little swelling to immobilize the knee can keep you going when you are terrified out of your mind.

I backed up from the wolves, figuring they were going to push me out onto the ice and corner me against the water, when I stumbled while backing up. Another arrow. Two in fact. One pointing at a cave, the other along the shore. Getting stuck in a dead end cave seemed like a bad idea, so I kept along the shore. The arrows pointed me back up to the road, and to a dead fall. I crawled under it and waited. This was a very narrow opening and if they were going to follow, this would be the best place to make my stand.

They gave up.

I stood there for a few minutes, up until the flare started to gutter out. That's when i turned and made a run for it. Or... limp for it. I guess.

I made it through a tight passage and came out on a road along the coast. The ice was vast. An abandoned car was nearby. I got inside and started to tend to my leg. The new pants helped protect it, but the bite still screwed me up. I was about to tilt the seat back when I saw the note.

It read, "Past this point, there be wolves. if you aren't up to it, use the flare gun and I'll come get you. Just part of the Quonset (where the water is always free) quality customer service!"

I couldn't believe my luck. I grabbed the gun. Opened the window. Aimed for the sky and pulled the trigger.


I opened up the gun. The flare was wet. It fell apart in my hands when I tried to take it out of the gun. The flare was useless. I shook out the gun then looked around, hoping he had left extras, something. There was nothing in the car save a glove box full of burnt out torches. So I closed the door and tilted back the seat.

I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. I could feel my leg throbbing in time with my heart. I opened my eyes and looked out to see a most beautiful red sky as the sun disappeared. My options were stay here and freeze, or press on. So I took a deep breath, swung my way out of the car, screwed my courage to the sticking place, and got limping. I'd already moved several miles. This Quonset, whatever that was, had to be close by. Maybe there were other houses along the way. Someplace to crash. Either way, I pushed on.

I made good time, despite basically hopping down the road on one foot. No wolves.

I kept moving, figuring that at this point, any chance of being stealthy was out. What little speed I had was my only hope. Nothing but snow. No signs of civilization. The wind was picking up and the snow was gusting, so it was difficult to even see at times. I just kept putting one foot out ahead, then dragged the other along behind me. Suddenly I noticed something next to me. It was a sign. It was big and said, "GAS"

I looked around and had almost walked right by it. A garage. No name on the place anywhere, but it looked active. Fresh boot tracks in the snow leading to and fro, all around the area. Someone had been here, more likely, was still here.

I hopped over the barrier and immediately regretted it. The pain was tremendous, but I was this close, I wasn't going to allow myself to trip at the finish line. I hopped on one foot past a pile of car batteries and between two gas pumps to fall against the door. With my last strength, I yanked it open, pulled myself in, and slammed the door behind me. As I collapsed to the floor, I remember quite distinctly ringing sounds. I looked up and watched the bell attached to the door slowly bounce about and slowly come to a stop.

Nothing happened.

I called out, "hey." Then tried yelling, but could only squeak.

I pounded the door with my fist making the bell ring with each blow, "HEY!" I managed to croak out. Still nothing. I looked around and saw... so much stuff. The shelves were stocked. Little cards in front of various items declaring prices in matches. So much food. So many supplies. The floor was freshly swept. Someone was running this place. They just weren't home. But I knew they'd be back. Nobody would abandon all this.

So while I waited, I figured the floor was as good a place as any to take a nap.

Day 533 (Cont) : You know, I don't think anyone else has been here before. The rose hip tea is coming out of my paycheck, but it's doing wonders for the pain.

I can't believe I just wrote that.

There hasn't been another aurora, so QM isn't coming back today. I guess. Not much to do here. I thought about limping out to a nearby house, but I'm still healing. He's got enough wood in here to last a month. It's nice to keep warm. The smell is awful. He's got the entire garage covered in animal hides. The floor, the tire racks, the shelves... and a pile of dried out intestines is lying on the floor right next to one of the work benches. He seems to have a little cottage industry going of making fishing lines and small animal snares. but besides a pack of playing cards, I don't see any entertainment.

I guess that's why I'm writing this. To organize my thoughts as well as keep from going insane. Crazy going slowly am I. Rich used to sing that. A little song he'd do just to be annoying.  Why did

[scribbled out lines]


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The Infamous "I Can't" Page

[Included are two full side direct reproductions of a sheet of standard white printing paper with the words "I Can't" written over and over until every square inch is covered in the words "I Can't" It is followed by a page with four smaller versions of the page, front and back, under x-ray and ultraviolet. Besides some irregularities due to the page was obviously once crumpled up into a ball, nothing unusual is displayed]

The infamous "I Can't" page. Reproduced here faithfully by yours truly. These are fresh pictures taken by my own hand. I had the privilege of personally removing it from it's hermetically sealed container and taking the photographs myself. I also resealed it, for you conspiracy buffs out there, so nobody can claim that it was switched out or anything like that.

And contrary to popular belief, it isn't in a special containment facility. It isn't watched twenty three seven by two men at all times to make sure that the proper containment rites are read in the advent that the evil is unleashed once more.

I haven't watched the movies created by The PULP network, because honestly I don't see the appeal.

As you can see from the copies of the page, along with the x-ray and ultraviolet scans, nothing unusual is to be found on the page, save the "Day 533" impression, which I will get into later. There are no secret patterns to be found in the page. There are no arcane rites to be used to unleash that-which-should-not-be.

You might be wondering why I am bringing it up here. I will clarify in a bit, but let us review what we know about the page.

Originally the paper was found by the first expedition to the island that uncovered the Quonset garage. An intern was attempting to uncover evidence from a file cabinet found inside the ice covered building when the building collapsed and he was killed. In his hand was found the "I Can't" page. The only page found written by someone's hand other than The Quonset Manager.

The writing supplies match the time period of the Quonset manager, but the hand writing is clearly by someone with a much more elegant hand writing style then the manager, and by someone possessing all of their fingers. It isn't dated although we have managed to determine that someone wrote journal entries on top of this paper. Specifically, Day 533.

I believe this was written on day 534.

Now this is as good a place to address the conspiracy theory that the page is cursed.

Despite the many rumors and documentations, there are no other deaths directly connected to the page. Yes, the expedition was cut short, but only by three days and the "unusual storm" was actually fairly usual and to be expected. It's arrival by three days prior to it's predicted arrival happens sometimes. Weather prediction isn't an exact science.

After the story's cultural popularity bloomed, rumors and stories circled about of the page. The expedition backers did not have 100% altruistic intentions and the demand to recoup losses were high. When they heard that the page was going viral and had captured the imagination of the net, the backers created the "leak" of all the "data" that "proved" the page's cursed natures.

Which in my opinion was criminal. Less then a year later a trio of impressionable teenagers killed themselves in a suicide pact and one of the notes left behind was just the words "I Can't" written over and over. This resulted in three copy cats over the years, but the rumors expanded the number to dozens. If you are to believe the net, there are piles and piles of dead bodies from suicide and mysterious deaths due to the curse of the "I Can't" page.

None of that happened, of course.

Then The PULP network came out with it's "Dramatic Re-imagining" of the Quonset Manager and the fate of the expedition. In the movie "I Can't" it proceeded to jump back and forth between the events in the past and the present. It took many liberties, such as the entire expedition was killed and no bodies were found on their boat, except for a severed hand holding the bloody crumpled up note.

As far as Lovecraftian horror movies go, I am told it is rather well made. I tried watching it once and simply could not stomach it. It had action, horror, and romance. The two leads who played the Quonset manager and Jennifer got romantically involved and were going to be married when their aircraft suffered engine failure and crashed. This is not unusual, given for the time period. Experimental aircraft that used aurora energy were just being put into service and capacitor reliability had not been fully established. That sort of tragic coincidence only fueled the hype around what was by all accounts a labor of love by a break out director.

Of course everyone says the first one is the best. When the director lost control of the franchise he sold off his interest in the IP and after that the sequels are rated mediocre at best, a dumpster fire at worst. The story line got increasing muddled with explosions, tentacle monsters and CGI demons. Unfortunately it had gathered quite a cult following and the net is full of fan fiction and dreck.

Contrary to popular belief, the original page is not in a secret government facility. In fact, it is in a case that is sealed and filled with argon gas. The case is in a drawer right next to my desk where I, at this very moment, sit and type this book. In fact, I just opened it and looked inside to make sure that it's still there.

The words didn't flow off the page and cover my arms. There is the unholy faux Latin chanting that echoes in the room when I give the case a shake, but that sort of thing happens all the time around here. You can hardly stir a coffee mug without hearing the wails of the damned.

I am joking of course. The irony being I need to clarify that I am joking.

There are some indirect connections to the page, but the embellishment has gotten way out of hand. I wish to dispel those myths.

We have only one death directly connected to the page, and two deaths connected to the movie. All three are explainable by other factors. There is no curse on the "I Can't" page. Period.

So let us get to the page itself.

There is no pattern in the page save the words "I Can't" written over and over in the hand of someone else other than the Quonset Manager. It appears to have been written in the same time period and that entry Day 533 was written on top of it. In fact, I would go so far as to dare claim that the hand writing of the word "Day 533" was in the same hand writing style as the "I Can't" page. Unfortunately, some of my colleges would disagree, claiming we can't make such a conclusion from the evidence, but I find the images to be quite compelling. I do not believe that Day 533 was written on top of this page by the Quonset Manager's hand.

Of course my conclusion is very controversial, considering it strengthens my claim that Jennifer was real.

Which of course brings us to the page itself. Why? Why did the author pen a page of "I Can't" over and over, front and back, in very small letters, using a very rare resource like an ink pen, only to crumple it up and hide it in the back of a file cabinet? Theories range from it was just a child who's parent's worked there previous to the Event and the child just did it because... child.

Another theory is that it is the Quonset manager testing out writing in a different style as part of his delusion that Jennifer existed. If this theory is correct, then this was just one of many pages where he wrote the same words or phrases over and over in an attempt to train his hand to write in a new style. Of course, why would you write just "I Can't" of all things, is not explained by people who promote this theory. Their answer is, because... crazy.

I am convinced, admittedly by circumstantial evidence, that this is in fact the hand writing of Jennifer and constitutes the only tangible writing by her hand that we have managed to find to date. All other pages that were "written" by her were copies reproduced and hidden in various cairns around the island by the Manager in his desire to "fax" the entries to his mythical superiors.

Which still doesn't address the answer question of, "Why?" What was it that she "can't" do?

We might never know exactly what the reason was, however, having studied the writings as much as I have, I believe I know why.

At that time period she was recalling the events that lead up to her arrival at the Quonset Garage. It is believed that there are a number of events that were simply too much for her to handle at the time, hence why many lines are scribbled out. Its strange that the manager copied the scribbles, but not the words under the scribbles. Alas, because we don't have the original, we cannot analyze the page to figure out what words were scribbled out. However, I have noticed that there are some inconsistency in her story.

I believe that the port city of Namu was where Jennifer took shelter that first year, however the population should have been much more then what she claimed. I believe that Jennifer's numbers are only close to correct, if we remove all children from the town. I suspect that Jennifer had a mental block in her mind about the number of children who died over that year. Of course there are other's who try to place her "port in the storm" in other cities, claiming that the location is too far off the highway and that her accounting of events simply do not match up with any maps of the area.

I suspect she is remembering things wrong on purpose.

Furthermore, this port could have been her destination, since at the time a ferry regularly traveled between that port and Vancouver. It would have been expensive, but if she was driving legally at that time, she'd have no problem using a taxable and monitored service, such as a ferry.

This does bring up the fact that no record of OTR trucking exists. In fact, the term OTR means Over The Road, a common abbreviation. It'd be like a TV station calling itself TV television. However, we know that OTR was a very shady organization that dealt with illegal transport of oversized and overweight cargo in an attempt to avoid paying taxes and permit fees. It's quite possible the organization can't be found because it never really existed on paper and was just a scam front company from the get go. Alas, we may never determine the truth of this matter.

Suffice to say, if my theory was correct, I believe that on day 534, Jennifer had a breakdown. By our other records it is believed that the Quonset Manager was at the Radio Hut awaiting the arrival of an aurora to begin his third radio transmission. So whatever crisis Jennifer was going through, she was going through it alone.

This might be why she wrote "I Can't" over and over. I believe she was telling herself not to commit suicide. I believe at that moment a number of memories she had pushed out of her mind had returned in force and the thoughts overwhelmed her. I believe the Quonset Manager was dealing with his own demons at the time and unable to help her, hence why he left, but he had enough presence of mind to take the bullets with him.

At least this is the impression I get. It seems to be part of her "personality" and how she might deal with issues. The crumpled up paper was simply thrown in a cabinet to hide it and then was forgotten. The crisis had passed and she had moved on.

Unless we uncover more documentation from Jennifer herself, we may never know the reason for the "I Can't" page. There is one other possibility, one that nobody likes, but must be stated, in the interests of complete coverage of this topic.

It is possible Jennifer was just bored and she was doodling.

Edited by TheEldritchGod
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Day 535: "-the water is always free!"

Three and a half fingers were the first thing I saw when the words registered in my head. I opened my eyes to a half-naked, hairy, grinning man standing over me, reaching for my face.

As I have said before, adrenalin is a hell of a thing.

I rolled to my feet and hopped across the room sending flares and cans of coffee scattering. They were stacked up on the main counter and I was using it to pull myself away from him, thus knocking many carefully stacked display items to the floor. This had a chilling effect on the man who I would come to know as the Quonset manager.

[EDITOR NOTE: In the margins of the page are written the word "sorry" at this point. It does not fit in with the rest of the writing for entry 535. It is accepted belief by scholars in the field that this apology was written by the quonset manager. It is one of the few times that the manager seems to have altered a copy of an original document. Otherwise I believe the rest of the entry is entirely the work of Jennifer.]

QM's eyes bugged out at the merchandise falling and he howled as he dived to try to catch as many things as possible. I must admit I'd be pissed as well if someone just spilled the only coffee left on the planet. I grabbed a storm lantern and held it up to defend myself. If I had the time, I think we could have resolved it peacefully, but at that point he looked up and with eyes wide and spit flying from his mouth, he stabbed a finger at me and shouted, "SPIKES!!!"

And that's when I ran.

I ran into the back room where I saw a back door and ran for it. I was moving as fast as my bum leg would let me. I was rushing so I didn't notice that night had fallen and that the reason I could see everything going on was because of the aurora was lighting everything up. If I had the presence of mind, I would have stayed inside. No telling what a crazy man might do, but I know what aurora wolves WILL.

I slipped on a pile of raw meat right outside the back door. The smoldering remains of two fires were next to it. I didn't have time to think as I was in a blind panic, so I just bolted. Should have locked myself in the truck, in retrospect. But I ran right past it. I saw a house in the distance, so I ran for it. Just as I passed a burned out house between me and what seemed like safety, a wolf came jogging around the corner of my destination.

It was big. It was glowing greenish-blue. It was pissed.

I turned around to see that a second was behind me. Glancing about, I saw a third that had hopped up on the roof of a nearby snow covered car, the only other possible refuge. I reached for my knife, only to remember that I had it in my hand when I passed out on the floor, and I didn't hold onto it when I ran.

It was at this point that I just gave up.

I honestly was at my limit and I really just wanted it over with. I was cold. I was in pain. I was exhausted. I just wanted to die.

I fell to my knees and just stared at the closest wolf who apparently knew when he had run prey to ground. He broke into a run and leaped. He fell on me. Not, fell upon me. He fell ON me. As in, he collapsed. It took a second to figure out the wolf wasn't attacking me. In retrospect, I believe the arrow sticking out of his eye was the most likely culprit for his cessation of hostilities.

I should have struggled, I think. I should have make the effort to push it off and try to escape. But I meant it when I said I had given up. I just laid there with a dead wolf on top of me. I heard another yelp and a thud, then a growl and a charge. I looked over to see that wild man, wearing nothing but ski boots underwear and a massive leathery cloak. He was fighting with the third wolf hand to hand, er... hand to claw? It leaped at him as he twirled and the wolf got tangled in the cloak before they both went down. A moment latter I see a flash of steel in the halogen light and the wolf let out a whimpering howl before it went scampering off.

He laid there on the ground not moving. The cloak twitched in a gust of wind. I had just about given him up for dead when he finally said in a strangely soft voice that cut through the air...

"I'm getting too old for this."

He turned his head to face me, then scowled. I had thought for a second I was going to be okay, then my heart sank, 'Now he's going to deal with me.' but then I noticed he was looking past me.

"Of course." He mumbled as he pulled himself to his feet, "Must be Tuesday." He slowly reached over, trying to pick up bow without taking his eyes off whatever was behind me, "I really hate Tuesdays." That's when I heard a chuffling snort.

I turned my head to look at what was behind me and that's when I got to see my first Aurora Bear.

Now, if you have never seen an aurora bear, Let me explain something. An aurora wolf is terrifying. Whatever makes them glow also messes with their heads. They are stronger, tougher, and more aggressive then the most rabid pit bull you can imagine.

An Aurora BEAR is a whole other level of terror that you cannot even BEGIN to imagine.

And just as what I was seeing was registering in my brain, I saw an arrow fly over me and hit the bear square in the nose.

And all it did was piss it off.

It reared up on it's hind legs to howl as a second arrow hit it in the chest. The bear didn't even notice. I looked back at the wild man who was looking around for more arrows. I thought I had lost hope before, but when he said, "Shit." I knew my death had only been postponed. He was out of ammo.

I heard the bear lumbering towards us, but instead of wisely running away, the wild man was charging to meet it. As he stepped over me, he yanked the arrow out of the wolf's eye socket, knelt down, and took aim just as the bear was on top of us..

I closed my eyes at that point.

I also pissed myself.

And then there was a thud and a spray of snow and ice landing on my face.

When I opened my eyes, the bear was dead. A third arrow had flow true and was in his right eye. The other eye was looking right at me and I swear it was full of pure, raw hatred.

The man stood up. He walked over and pulled the arrow out of the bear's nose. He looked at it, "Huh... I don't think this arrow is going to last much longer." Then he nocked it, aimed high into the distance, and fired. A second latter I heard a yelp and a crunch. I would later learn he finished off the wounded wolf. It had circled back to sneak up on us.

"A-yup." he said to himself with a slow confirming nod of the head. Then he turned his attention to me.

Abruptly he pulled out my knife and threw it at me. It was so fast I didn't even have time to flinch. It landed next to my head, blade buried hilt deep in the snow, "You left your knife." He walked past me to the truck and pulled some lighter fluid out of the back and picked up some scrap wood from a pile next to the truck. He dumped the wood on one of the smoldering fires and sprayed the lighter fluid all over it. Almost casually he pulled out a matchbook and with one smooth motion, lit the match and tossed it onto the firewood. In seconds a fire had started.

"You any good with it?" He asked without looking at me, "The knife." He added, "Skinning animals, I mean."

He stoked the fire and put on a few sticks, "The wind is going to pick up so we need to act fast. I'll pay you, of course." He looked at me finally, "In matches." There was a long pause, "We uses matches around here as money." Then with a surprisingly cheerful voice, "It's the new economy!"

I would like to point out I still had a dead wolf lying on me, two more dead wolves lying nearby, and not ten feet from my head was the largest, formerly living, most hostile thing I had ever seen and it was STILL GLOWING. Despite all that, this guy was offering me a job.

I stared at him for a long moment before I took a deep breath and told him, "I think I broke my leg."

He blinked, looked shocked and said, "Well don't do that. Breaking your leg is bad. Didn't anyone ever tell you that?"

I blinked back. Then I got angry. How dare he? How DARE he imply I did this to myself ON PURPOSE!!! I remember cursing at him and him backing up. I shoved off the wolf and tried to stand up.

Now, the human body can do some amazing things. For example, a few hours ago when a wolf screwed up my knee, it swelled up to immobilize the joint so it was more stable. Makes it easier to run. Your body assumes that with that sort of injury, any long term damage is nothing compared to dying, so it does what it can to keep you combat effective. I remember learning that somewhere. My brother was in the army. I'm sure it was from him.

Eventually the swelling goes down and when it does, broken parts are free to move again. And well, the fear adrenaline had worn off along with it's pain dampening effects.

It felt like my knee exploded.

I went down face first into the snow screaming in agony. It all caught up at once and all I could do was clutch my knee and scream. My screaming very quickly turned to crying. I'm not ashamed of it. I cried like a baby. I have never known a greater pain.

I don't remember much, but I do remember he rushed over and started yelling at me, "Why Are you CRYING???" He started to pace back and forth, flailing his arms about, "Stop Crying! Why are you crying! This isn't helping! How is this Productive?" On and on he went. He was berating me for suffering.

Even with all the pain clouding my mind, I suddenly realized what was happening. I was wrong. There wasn't a community of people here. There was only one guy. This guy. He was alone. Alone for a long... long time. He wasn't being rude, or sarcastic or making fun of me or implying I hurt myself on purpose. No. He simply had no idea how to deal with another human being. He had no concept anymore of basic human interaction. That's how long he had been alone. Long enough to forget what compassion was, at the very least.

This salvation I had been running towards didn't exist. Instead of hope, I found some lone survivor going crazy by the sea.

And realizing that made me cry even harder.

Edited by TheEldritchGod
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Day 536: So there was an aurora last night. I know he said the place was safe but it was terrifying. The lights constantly flickered all night. The radio came on playing classical music. Then a man came on the radio. It sounded different from The Quonset Manager, and yet it didn't. You know how if someone talks in an accent they don't normally do, you can still tell it's him if they use the same words and cadence?

Yeah. It was like that. This Robert York guy talks like the Quonset Manager. So that's his name? Doesn't sound like a real name. I mean when he says his name it sounds... stilted. Hard to explain.

I get why my entry disturbed him so much. It puts some of his odd habits in sharp clarity. I just assumed he was talking to himself. He's been talking to that car battery. Wait a sec... how did EF hang himself and Robert not know? He... is forgetting things?

I think I'm getting it now. He's not crazy crazy. He's castaway talking to Winston crazy. Playing games with himself to pass the time. Gives himself puzzles to figure out and try to determine what's going on because his mind needs the stimulation. I remember reading something about how being in solitary confinement with no stimulation is one of the worst things you can do to someone. He's in solitary confinement.

And you're going to read all this and copy it over like the other entries, aren't you?

Do you know you aren't actually faxing anything? Do you? Are you reading any of this? I see you copying it over what I write but you only reacted to that one entry of mine. But that wasn't normal. You need help. Is any of this registering? When you get to this part, stop and then talk to me.

Kneecap. Rhubarb. Rain jumping out of a tin dog, but greener.

Read that to me when you get to it. Please. It's okay to talk. Let's just talk.



 - Jen

Edited by TheEldritchGod
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Day 535: I'm at the Radio Hut and waiting for Robert York to arrive. He's a strange man but I need to talk to someone. Yeah There's CB but he's the mayor and he's got his own problems. Sometimes you need to talk to your own kind. A fellow businessman, not a politician.

My hallucinations have gotten worse. I saw a woman a few days ago. I thought I actually had a customer. She tried to steal my coffee and I grabbed her and threw her into the spikes. But then somehow she managed to run out the back of the office, taking a storm lantern with her on the way.

I threw on my cloak and ski boots, didn't have time for much else, and grabbed the bow and arrows I keep by the back door for emergencies.

The wolves were going to eat her. So I killed them, and that bear showed up again. No matter how many times I kill that bear, the bear keeps showing up. Am I actually killing a bear? I mean, I have piles and piles of bear meat. Moose meat too. Oh I so love moose. Moose is Sooooooo tasty. Wish i had some hot sauce oh yeah hot moose like hot dogs i wonder what hot dogs with hot sauce would taste like hot hot dogs but out of moose like hot hogs? no no no, you really can't portmanteau that.

But she lingered. I expected her to disappear but she didn't and she didn't make any sense. I kept yelling at her like my other hallucinations but she was't working with me. She just kept crying Oh my leg is broken my leg is broken ahhhhh I mean, who hasn't had a broken leg or two? If you're going to rob me at least don't break your legs.

She told me she broke her leg. Why would you break your own leg? I mean, if a wolf broke her leg, I'd understand, but to break your own leg? What sort of masochistic crazy woman breaks their own leg?

One I hallucinated, of course. No logical human would act in such a fashion.

So I carried it inside and put it into my bed. Covered her in pelts. She'd already bandaged her knee. I didn't see how she did that, so already I'm jumping around in the series of events. I hate it when that happens.

I put it in a splint, because it seemed like the polite thing to do and offered her a job. Ever since D Wolf, I haven't-

EF. Damnit.

EF has always been a bit of a jerk, but he didn't deserve to go out like a bitch. And I'm going to have to replace him. I hope she'll think about coming onto the company. The health package is nice. It even treats pre-existing conditions. Like self inflicted leg wounds.

But Robert... damn he's going to be messed up. He and EF were really close. This is going to break his heart. I don't want to go spreading rumors or the recently deceased, but I always thought those two were a little "too close", if you know what I mean?

I mean, hey, don't get me wrong, When the chips are down, even the devil will eat flies, but that's not my thing, ya know? I suppose you find solace where you can. Ooo... aurora coming up. Robert will be here soon.

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The "Death" Of E.F.

It's time we address the Elephant in the room, the death of EF.

Society has a certain view point about the tragedy of the Quonset Manager and the death of EF factored into it. There has developed a certain zeitgeist and mythology surrounding that particular bottle of lamp oil. Be it in the popular horror franchise "I Can't" or the the one man play, "Waiting for The Sun To Rise", the tragic relationship of EF and the manager has been rather romanticized.

Side note, if you have not seen "Waiting for the sun to rise", I cannot recommend it enough. Even if it's been revealed to have been historically inaccurate, it is still an amazing character study and reveals much about the quintessential human condition.

Featuring the work of the Sous Chef turned playwright Kaeden Sinclair Palmer, it was one of his earlier works and never achieved the same critical acclaim as his later works. It gained popularity as an off-Makapuu hit and is often recreated in community theaters across the commonwealth. I cannot recommend it enough, even if the following might ruin it for you. In fact, if you have not seen the play, you might want to skip to the next chapter and read this later. You have been warned.

Unfortunately, with the reveal of these newly uncovered documents, we discover that the relationship between The Quonset Manager and E.F. was not as it seemed.

The line "EF has always been a bit of a jerk, but he didn't deserve to go out like a bitch." casts doubt into the "playful" relationship that it was assumed they had. Looking over the other uncovered documents, if we assume that the relationship between the manager and EF was antagonistic, we can assume that the "positive" interactions were between The Robert York Persona and EF.

I do not want to dive into that particular quagmire, but it does put many previous uncovered documents into a whole new light.

Furthermore, it has long been assumed that EF "committed suicide" AFTER the arrival of Jennifer and that was used as "proof" that she was imaginary. It's believed that EF "committed suicide" to make room for Jennifer as the new cashier at the quonset. EF was already on thin ice what with the Orca X incident, at least in the Manager's Head. He clearly blamed EF for what happened. In The Manager's writings, he complained constantly of the weeks long effort needed to salvage what he could from that location in Milton. I believe he forever after held a grudge.

However, from the newly uncovered documents, it would appear that not only did EF commit suicide long before the arrival of Jennifer, but that the Manager was not aware of of EF's suicide until he read about it in Jennifer's notes. Of course this raises many questions.

I could go into all the alternate theories about EF, but I wish to put forth my own.

I believe that the Trombley persona is the one who killed EF.

For those who don't know, Trombley is the Manager's version of the Devil. When the manager needed to blame someone for something awful, he blamed Trombley. He even spent the better part of six months searching for Trombley, trying to determine who died at the Monster's hands. There are a few sketches of Trombley, all misshapen humanoid figures with backwards knees and beaks. Although it's assumed that the beaks are just poorly drawn plague masks.

Entire books have been written about this manifestation of the Manager's madness. However, I do not subscribe to the belief that Trombley was an elder evil stalking the island. The internet has turned him into just another Slenderman or Trump. A meme that is just too impossible to have ever really existed.

I do think that Trombley was the part of The Quonset Manager that "did what needed to be done". We know that EF "chose" to remain at the top of the Light House after the relighting Event. After that, we next hear about EF having hung himself. However, in light of Jennifer being the one who found EF, I think we can safely assume that the "suicide" happened after the camera stopped rolling and before Jennifer's arrival at the Light House.

I will not even explain how stupid an idea it is that Jennifer is the one who killed him.

I think given the new evidence, The Manager went back to Quonset, in his mind. While he imagined he was leaving, Trombley took over, went back up to the top, tied a string around the neck of EF, and pushed it over the edge. Now, the idea of this killing a bottle of lighter fluid is insanity, but we must remember that at the time the Manager was quite insane.

The signs are there. There were strains in the Manager and EF's relationship. I even suspect that The Manager was getting quite jealous of EF, as some of his comments indicate that The Manager may have been getting quite close to "Robert York". Robert being the only imaginary character besides Trombley to actually have a real name. Perhaps more would have come of the Robert York and Quonset Manager relationship, what with EF out of the way.

However, The manager would never push EF over the railing of the light house. Trombley... on the other hand...

Of course with the arrival of Jennifer, this is all thrown into chaos and we never get to know of the relationship that could have been. I suspect that as the Manager and Jennifer grew closer, the Manager's regret over killing EF grew as well. In fact, it explains some of the fights they had, which up until this point seemed rather random when they occurred. They lacked context, which this document supplies.

In regards to Maximillion Ivanov's Theory of The Subjectification of the Objective:

Some theorists still believe that Jennifer isn't real, despite my new data. They claim that since the Quonset Manager was moving from talking to objects to talking to imaginary people, that the death of EF was just one more step towards madness. The step from the subjectification of objects to the creation of completely imaginary personas required, as per Ivanov, the elimination of all subjectified objects. (e.g. EF, CB, and Robert York)

"Without the elimination of the Subjectified Object, one cannot move onto the Subjectification of the Memetic itself."

Do I have to point out that Ivanov makes most of his money pushing his Self-Help pdfs based on the ancient religion Scientology that he uncovered last decade? AND getting people to pay thousands of credits to go on "retreats" so they can, and I quote, "un-objectify the self"?

I don't buy it. Robert York doesn't fit the pattern, even if he has a normal name. We'll get into Robert York's nature in the next section. Suffice to say, I believe that the more evidence we uncover, the more it indicates that Jennifer is real. If she is real, and EF's death was before her arrival, then my colleague's Theory of "subjectification of the objective" just doesn't hold water.

But then again, if there was a definitive answer to all this, I wouldn't have a job as an archeologist.

Edited by TheEldritchGod
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The following papers were uncovered with the new documents. They are copies of documents found by the previous expedition to my own. While they were copied over by hand, I have compared the documents with the other copies found, and while there are minor copy errors, they are effectively identical, as far as content is concerned.

However, its placement in this pile of "faxes" sheds a new light on them. While clearly the following documents were written by the Quonset Manager, I believe they were written by the Robert York persona. While this might seem like splitting hairs, I think it sheds a great deal of light onto the mind set of The Manager.

Furthermore, its' order of placement within the uncovered documents indicates that these documents were "received" by The Manager from "Robert" on day 536. Which means that "Robert" was writing these for weeks, possibly months before The Manager "read" them. At least we assume he read them. He never really refers to them again in any other writings we have.

Puzzling, to say the least.

I have my own theories, but they are just theories and ones that I have not fully explored. With any luck, I will receive enough funding to mount a fourth expedition to Great Bear Island and attempt to find the Prepper cache that Rich, Hurley, and Jennifer took refuge in. I am certain that it is under many layers of ice at this point, but if I am correct in what is to be found there... well...

I'll leave that cliff hanger for my next book.

That all said, the following is a copy of the notes uncovered. Those scholars familiar with the previous expedition can skip over the remainder of this chapter. Those who are not, there needs to be a small amount of clarification.

These are not journal entries, but instead, philosophical musings. They are not accurate, or even scientific, but show the mind set of the author. These entries were used to fuel the Cant-verse franchise and are clearly acts of fiction. While interesting to read, they are not REAL. Read them with an eye for understanding the mindset of the author.

The author, being in this case, Robert York, the radio persona of The Quonset Manager.

Take them with a grain of salt. Please do not fall down the same rabbit hole as my colleague Maximillion Ivanov. His bastardization of the so-called "Cairn Portfolio" to push his new age nonsense is down right criminal in my opinion. I cannot stress enough that their are no demons, no monsters, nothing that-should-not-be. While it makes for great fuel for horror writers, it is clearly fiction.

Edited by TheEldritchGod
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On the Objective vs the Subjective:

It is a false dichotomy. It's because of our limited nature of existence that we tend to fall for traps like this. There is no subjective reality, only imperfect memories of objective experiences.

The reason we accept this as "subjective" is because we think we are real. We exist and we want that to be important. The belief in the subjective is the height of hubris. And we are "real", but just not very real. We do have free will, but compared to the higher beings in the universe, we have as much free will as your average peanut.

How long did it take you to learn how to walk? Months? Years? Imagine you learned how to walk in a moment. That is what a being with true free will can do. We are like animals to them, but a rather curious animal. Animals have no free will. They are either driven by genetic memory or, having developed knowledge through exposure to stimulation, the memory to react to familiar situations.

What to run from. What to eat.

They are programed by objective reality. Events occur, they perceive the events, they look for patterns, they then react in the best response they can determine from the interaction of events. It may seem like they are learning, but they are not. They are being programmed.

You are programmed. Mostly

You don't think about every step you take. Where every toe is placed. If you did, you couldn't walk. Physically speaking, you have been programmed to walk. You have been programmed with language. The words you are listening to are being instantly transformed in your head into patterns that trigger other programmed results.

Except there is a difference between you and animals.

We have Thoughts. We have memes

There are many orders of memes, from the simple to the complex. Vast memetic biomes.  These are ideas, living, growing, interacting with other memes. Ideas are alive. They grow. They consume energy. They reproduce. Memes are just another form of self replicating order. Life, in other words. Life by a different medium, of course.

This is where man comes in. Frontal Lobe. A wondrous addition to the self-replicating physical object known as a nervous system. A handful of neurons that give us the ability to do make a binary choice. You see, most of our brain stores knowledge, processes it, looks for patterns, then makes rules. If X then Y. If not X, then Z. These rules cover almost everything we do. If you think of your mind as a computer, these rules are just subroutines. We are nothing but triggered cascading subroutines.

Except for the frontal lobe.

That little glob of protein and lipids gives us a unique power among the natives of this world. The power to turn on a subroutine, and the power to turn them off.

That's it.

That's the extent of our free will. That's why they call us Self Bi-Aware. We have self-awareness, but only in a binary fashion. On or off. One or zero. True or false.

Now, a computer is nothing more then ones and zeros, and look at what a computer can do. Even with Self Bi-Awareness, we can do incredible things. Like a very complicated computer program, we can stack binary choice upon binary choice until we achieve amazing things.

It's this rudimentary self awareness that allows us to be a haven for memes. To them, we are like algae. We exist in vast numbers, most unaware of the world around us. We take in resources and give off... ideas.

Our thoughts, our daydreams, our beliefs, the stronger we think, the stronger we feel, the more memes we create. Memes exist without us. You do not understand their true nature. How thoughts can take on a life of their own. They can exist without us. Most of the time we just give off random memes that just flit about and are consumed by stronger memes.

If you are starting to get the bigger picture, You are quite right.

In the grand circle of memetic ecology, we... are the algae.

Now imagine that you were swimming in the ocean one afternoon and some clump of algae started talking to you.

This is their perspective. Boggling. Unexpected. And potentially dangerous. Tell me, would you want all the algae in the world to become self aware? Would you want algae talking about oppression and algae rights? The world's ecosystem is built on algae.

Memetic Ecology is built on humans.

I haven't talked much about THEM, because you need to understand what we are before I get to THEM.

They do not have senses. They do not see, or smell, or hear. They just know truth. They do not need senses to gather information that is interpreted, subjectively, in their minds. They just KNOW objective truth. They just know what objective reality IS. This "sense", for lack of a better term, has it's limits. Their knowledge is limited by distance, but the concept of distance to a memetic being is nothing like how we understand it.

They also are truly and fully self-aware. This isn't what is actually happening, but it's the closest example I can think of that will give you an idea of what is happening.

"Give you an idea." Heh. Irony.

Imagine you could reprogram your brain instantly. Imagine you could teach yourself how to walk in a moment. Imagine you could watch someone perform Kung-Fu and now YOU know Kung-fu. You just need a sample of the concept, then you can "see" the rest of the meme. You then consume it. Make it a part of you. You feed on thoughts.

That is what true self-awareness is. No wonder we appear as algae to them.

But they also need us. We produce the oxygen they need to breathe. The memes they need to eat, although the concepts of breathing and eating do not really apply. I'm just trying to get the general concept across as something you can wrap your head around.

Why do you think there were so many gods in human history? The strongest memes needed to be fed and back then there were so few humans. They needed religion to maintain enough food just to survive on earth.

How they got here, or how they came about, I'm not sure. Some sources indicate that earth is a colony world, another that we are an experiment in their version of terraforming, and yet another shows how we came first and we created our gods. Which one is true? I suspect it is some sort of combination of the three.

Ghosties and ghoulies and long leggity beasties and things that go bump in the night, we pray to god to protect us.

But now there are so many humans, and with the advent of the internet, memetic production has gone into over drive. No longer do they need to maintain churches or compels worship to gain enough power to survive. The earth is awash in Memes and they have grown lazy, and decadent.

So the gods no longer protect us.

Memes can take on a life of their own. Old concepts resurface. Books are far more dangerous then you could possibly imagine. Don't try to imagine how dangerous, you'll only make the situation worse.

We give birth to monsters and they thrive in this rich memetic soup we have surrounded ourselves with. Like the oxygen produced by algae at the dawn of earth allowed for a jump in evolution to aerobic-based multi celled organisms, the memeticly rich environment of earth has allowed a jump in Memetic evolution.

I don't understand exactly what this means, other then it has the gods of old scared as hell. Like someone who went away on vacation for a year, only to come home and find the kudzu has overgrown everything and find a family of critters living in the attic, they are wondering how to fix this mess.

At the moment, they are moving slowly. None of them want to risk getting rabies from a rabid wombat.

And then some of the algae managed to get their attention and say, "Hi! It's been a while! What you been up to?"

They... don't see us as individuals. They believe that Humanity has reached a critical mass and become a hive mind. Claims of being an individual are just seen as growing pains. Give humanity some time, it'll finally settle down. It was just born, after all. Babies have all sorts of stupid ideas.

And that... is the current situation. You need to understand this part. The universe is unique and immutable, but our perception of that reality gives rise to life as thought itself. Our thoughts take on a life of their own. From our perspective, it seems like perception equals reality. Well, it does, for our reality, but not the true underlying scaffolding that makes up the true objective universe.

Unfortunately accessing just objective reality is next to impossible, so we have to live in and deal with the illusion. An illusion so powerful that our perception of it defines it. Like algae perceiving the ocean in which it floats, the world is fluid and frothing and forever changing, even if far beneath it all lies a rock hard, solid foundation.

Edited by TheEldritchGod

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On the Nature Of Emotion:

If you are going to be dealing with these memetic life forms there's some fundamental psychology we need to get out of the way, at least from their perspective.

First and foremost, they view us as creatures of passion and that we use logic to justify our passions.

Second, Love is the most powerful emotion. I know that sounds corny, but you also do not understand how they conceptualize love. Furthermore, they view it as a scale. One does not act out of love, from their point of view. One experiences love for something, say, on a scale of 0 to 100. Now to this love, you react.

There are four reactions to Love.

Rage, Fear, Jealousy, and Despair.

These four emotions are the ones that lead to action. In their raw state, they just are. Formless without direction. When you direct these negative emotions, they become focused and with purpose, and they have different names.

Focused Rage becomes hate.
Focused Fear becomes courage.
Focused Jealousy becomes protectiveness
Focused Despair becomes spite.

To memetic creatures, unfocused emotions are preferred over focused ones.

Back to the analogy of the Algae. When humans have unfocused reactions, we just give off the memetic energy into the universe. This creates food for the memetic life that exists around us. When you focus it, you are restricting feeding to only the concept you are focused on. You are keeping the oxygen for your own use, in a way. IF the focus is upon a specific memetic creature, they can feed on this emotional energy, but no one else can

This is why so many rogue memetic creatures try to harm humanity in the way they do. Why they prey upon the weak and the damaged.

This is also why so many "gods" of old desired worship. It was food directed at them that no other memetic creature could consume. Of course, the memes consumed changes the nature of the creature that does so. A feedback loop is formed where the "god" directs the worshipers, but the "way" the worshipers envision the "gods" changes the gods to match the follower's perceptions.

There are four types of memetic "bottom feeders" as it were. The ones that don't feed off specific concepts or directed faith, that is. I'll get into the specific names for them later, but for this introduction, you only need to know one thing.

They. Want. Food.

This is why they do what they do. They don't want you afraid. They want you so afraid you can't focus. They don't want you to despair, they want you plunged into ennui so deep you can't even think. They don't want you angry, they want you in a blind unfocused rage. They don't want you worried about what you covet, they want insanely possessive and paranoid about everyone around you taking the thing you love.

This is why you must focus on self control. Because you need to know when your emotions turn negative, if you can FOCUS those negative emotions to a productive outcome, you can deny memetic entities the fuel they would gain from you.

The Hate to destroy your enemies.
The Courage to act in spite of your fear.
The Desire to protect those you love.
To Spite your enemies believing it doesn't matter if you win, as long as they lose.

This is the mind set you must come to accept, lest you will just be making those we must fight stronger.

You must then empty your mind. Caring is not good nor bad. Caring is just the strength of your feeling. How much you care about something could be how much you love it, or how much you want it destroyed. Caring can be positive or negative.

Remember that.

There is the reverse of love. GREED.

Love is a daily devotional.

Greed is the absence of contentment.

Greed is not the act of filling the hole, but the hole itself.

The root of all emotions goes back to two basic desires. Need and Satisfaction.

Love is based in satisfaction. Greed is based in need.

Originally, feeling need was a negative thing. You felt uncomfortable for some reason (a lack of food and you were dying) and then you went to satisfy that need and felt better. So you felt pain when you needed something, and better when you didn't.

Over time, these basic feelings evolved and became more complex. Pain when you are dying is a good thing. It motivates you to stop dying. But as we became more complex, so did our emotions. Because of this "negative/positive" dichotomy, we started grouping feelings into a good/bad spectrum. Unfortunately this isn't the reality of Emotions, and so you must forget all that you have learned.

After need came greed. The need to not just get what you NEED, but to stock up on extra supplies so that if the need comes back, you are covered. This system of rewards would lead to contentment and happiness, which in turn leads to happiness and love. Love. Greed. The foundations of the heart.

We are not creatures of logic. We are creatures of passion and use logic to justify our passions.

You must make your passion be for logic. Accept that only passion for logic can lead to control of your passions. This is the great conundrum of our age.

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I haven't logged into this forum in a looooooong time, but I just wanted to say how much I've been enjoying your story.  Robert York's ramblings are a bit... much:D )  but overall I admire the layers going on here.  The journals of the Quonset Manager, the framing of the archaeologist, and the writings that (at least appear to) have been written by Jennifer all correlate in interesting ways.  Your policy of "2+2 storytelling" is working for sure, since I'm enjoying piecing this together.

I'll definitely never look at the Quonset garage the same way again. 

Anyway, thanks very much for the story.  I hope you keep working on this and sharing it with us!  Here's a cup of coffee for your troubles: :coffee:

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7 hours ago, Best_Leopard said:

Anyway, thanks very much for the story.  I hope you keep working on this and sharing it with us!  Here's a cup of coffee for your troubles: :coffee:

NP. Thanks for the coffee. I must admit, the story comes in waves. It's one of those things which I find myself thinking about and thinking about and wind up thinking up a whole bunch of stuff that I know would happen, but that you wouldn't know about. Then I get to the part where I go, "AHA! Now here's when it would get written down." and then it all comes at once. So if it seems a little random, I'm referring to things you wouldn't know. I need to keep in mind what the archeologist would "know" and what evidence he has, and thus what you would see, vrs what is actually happening.

Oh. Side note: The archeologist isn't as smart as he thinks he is.

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