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|Notes from Pankratij Egorov #01||546.1||-3862.4||The Swedish machines are mocking me. It’s the small ones, they keep exploding at random times, resulting in all the circuits getting completely fried alongside my fingers.
I’ve been going crazy trying to understand the cause of the explosions without anything seemingly linking them to each other. Until today.
Another one exploded as I was standing by it, talking about the problem with a colleague - and I realized: it’s the WORD! “Explode!”
Each time I say the word “explode”, the next time I touch it, it explodes. As if to deliberately hurt me. But what’s worse is this suggests that the machines are still semi-active, when they are supposed to be utterly and completely turned off.
This led me to doubt the status of all the machines that we have stored here. We have their internal power modules removed, they have no access to any power source, they SHOULD NOT be able to operate; but there is so much we still don’t know about them.
What if they have additional power modules that we don’t know how to identify?
My colleagues refuse to see the danger this puts us in. Even with their weapons removed these machines are designed for killing. Who knows what secret weapons they might still carry.
Everyone in and around this lab is in grave danger.
It’s confirmed! Finally, it’s not just my own theories anymore.
I stayed in the lab all night, pretending to sleep, and then I saw the red light of the Hunter machine flicker to life!
The light went directly to the notice boards, and then to the documents still strewn around all over the desks; it was scanning them, collecting our data and theories.
My heart was hammering like a storm. All this time the machines have just been pretending to be captured.
If it noticed me, I was sure I would die. But it didn’t. As it finally powered down again, I got to the nearest gun and shot the machine to pieces.
The others are upset. They think I acted impulsively. Some even say I was dreaming, sleep deprived, having worked too much. But I know that I saved us all.
They have captured ANOTHER Hunter and they don’t listen to my words of caution. I was close to being removed from the lab after what they call “my crazy night”, so I cannot risk shooting this one as well. I CANNOT be removed from this research.
I’ve dug deep into this new Hunter. The wires connect in loops that should be redundant, but I suspect they might be of some important use so I’ve hooked them up to our displays, despite the others’ objections.
It took several days before the machine turned on. It clearly knows when people are watching, I had to hide and pretend to sleep once again.
How can I use this knowledge? I need to find out where it gets its power from. If I could only be closer when it’s active, I might see how it works.
I will make preparations. The next time it turns on I will be close enough to observe its insides.
I will find its hidden power source, then I will remove it, and then we’ll be able to gain control of its code. If I can just get close enough.
|Notes from Nika Tarasova||-109.9||-3012.0||The news about what happened to the first Hunter machine we captured has reached my team. It’s causing a sense of discouragement to spread. The researcher in question should be immediately removed from the project, and publicly so.
I need my soldiers to know that the machines we capture here are not mindlessly destroyed down the line.
It takes a special type of person to crawl into those fields with the intention of getting close to a machine without firing one single bullet. Heaven knows that I have to fight myself sweaty in order to not shoot when their heavy footsteps get close.
It’s a hell of a job, and if you carry even the shadow of a doubt about the importance of your work, it will have you retreat, or shoot; and probably get yourself killed. I hope Commander Makarova will listen to my request.
We captured our second Hunter today. It did not go well. Two of my soldiers are badly wounded and I’m not sure they’ll survive the night.
The EMP trap didn’t trigger in time. A delay of only a couple of seconds, but enough for the Hunter to fire its guns before it went into stasis.
If we could just shoot the machines and disable their guns that way it would be a lot easier.
But orders are to deliver them fully intact to our researchers, so that’s what we’ll do - I will not have the whole Operation Red Eye jeopardized because we can’t provide machines in good enough quality.
|Commander Makarova’s notes #01||842.8||-4185.3||I think I have made a huge discovery.
I went to the lab where researcher Egorov has been working. A request to have him publicly transferred from the research team came in this morning. Apparently he has aggravated several of the soldiers on the capture team.
I know that the capture team is hard pressed out there, but we need every researcher that we have, so my intention was to talk some sense into this Egorov and request him to write a formal letter of apology to appease the capture team.
But I found both Egorov and the second Hunter that was captured gone. The remaining researchers hadn’t come in for the day yet - which was a stroke of luck, because I also found Egorov’s notes and they contain some disturbing ideas that should not be spread lightly.
If what he writes is true, these machines operate in a completely different way than we have assumed. They might even be sentient.
Sure, this man might be crazy, as the capture team hints at, but he might also be onto something - and I did not rise to this position because I shy away from uncomfortable truths.
I need to find Pankratij Egorov and have him continue these experiments.
|Notes from Pankratij Egorov #02||1098.4||-4035.9||The Hunter in the lab saw me. I had positioned myself much closer this time, I needed to!
If we hadn’t disabled its guns I would for sure be dead. So close. But with the constraints we have the machines in, it was too slow - I actually managed to outrun the killer machine!
And before, BEFORE I ran, I saw inside it as it powered up. My displays were still connected and I could see which module was used for the extra power!
I just need to get back to everyone. The lab. The team. And we’ll be able to actually examine these machines WITHOUT them secretly monitoring what we find. It’s all coming together!
The only problem is that damned machine. It must have understood that I know its secrets because it’s still looking for me, and it has gathered friends. They are SMART, that’s one thing I’ve learned. Way too smart, at least sometimes.
Why the hell did I run into the forest when I fled! If I can just get back to the lab and to the rest of our forces we will solve this.
I will try tonight. In the dark I can sneak past them. I will save our country and show all those imbeciles on my team that I was right all along. They will learn to listen to me in the future.
|Commander Makarova’s notes #02||818.5||-4441.4||Operation Red Eye is proving harder than anticipated.
Bolshakov’s reports from the start of First Viper led us to believe that our Mechanical Units would be superior to the Swedish machines, but they are not.
He was a well respected Captain, but I am starting to see why he failed his mission so spectacularly, being blinded by our own progress, as so many are.
The Swedish machines can clearly be controlled over large distances. We still don’t know who is controlling them, but someone is very intent on sending more and more machines our way.
Eradicating the hostile machines from this area and claiming it for ourselves as planned might call for a harder fight than we are ready for.
The soldiers are hard pressed. Each day someone dies.
The Swedish machines throw themselves at us even if they’re at a disadvantage, causing desperation among the soldiers. I see them being unable to rest, which is wearing us down too fast.
We need reinforcements if we are to hold this position. In our current state I see no other option than to leave this position and scatter into smaller, more moveable teams. Our own Mechanical Units are strong but simply too few and too limited to secure this town.
When we left for this mission, the Golden Faction was working to get their hands on the Firebird machines, a machine as of then still being developed by the government. I can only hope that our faction has been successful in gaining access to this new machine and can send them to support us without the government being the wiser.
I will give the order to evacuate Hagaboda, but our mission is still to get these Swedish machines under our control. A retreat back to the Motherland without them would destroy all the work the Golden Faction has done the last couple of years and is not on the table.
The research to override the machines’ code will have to continue in subpar conditions, but maybe researcher Egorov’s theories will serve to hasten our findings, even if the man himself is still not found.
|Notes from Anya Solovyova||1868.1||-3407.4||Commander Makarova has ordered everyone to leave the town of Hagaboda.
At first I wanted to laugh with joy. The attacks from the Swedish machines have been relentless, and I’d been dreaming about retreating back to the hovercraft for days. Maybe there I could finally sleep. Well, that hope has been crushed for good.
We are not retreating. Apparently we will make sure that the research continues at any cost.
We will spread out in smaller groups that are able to adapt better to the attacks of the machines as we wait for further reinforcements.
We are moving further inland, spreading out over the North Coast, but we cannot hold Hagaboda and have no secure line of retreat to our hovercrafts.
I try not to think about it. No hope, no nothing, just one day at a time.
It’s actually easier now. I only think about the mission. These horrible machines that have felled so many of my comrades cannot be allowed to move in on the Motherland. Someone needs to stand in their way.
If I die taking one of their bullets, I die an honorable death. Commander Makarova is right; we are the wall for humanity. We will not let these Swedish monsters wreak havoc among our families, our children.
We will do whatever it takes.
|Commander Makarova’s notes #03||761.9||-3265.9||The scouts we sent to the nuclear area have reported back. They managed to find a Soviet Captain’s Insignia, one bloody fingerprint in the middle of it. Apparently it was placed in a way that looked deliberate, on a tree stump in the outskirts of the bombed area.
The scouts take this as proof that Captain Bolshakov somehow survived the bomb. Many of them have served with him in the past and now they are whispering that he can survive anything.
They treat him like a saint, and that is indeed what we need - instead of a deluded Captain who let his ego get not only himself killed, but also put all of us following in his footsteps at risk due to his clearly misconceived reports.
It is a wonder to me how some men manage to make themselves saints while still being so incompetent.
I will address the bomb and the whole Bolshakov incident more thoroughly tomorrow. The anger towards rogue Captain Tatiana Tereshkova has built up significantly since the scouts’ return. It is a good anger.
After our near defeat in Hagaboda this is exactly what we need. A focus.
If Captain Tereshkova is still alive, I will make sure to find her. The soldiers will get to avenge the comrades that she felled when she defied our faction. They will see that we are still strong. And they will dream of their hero Bolshakov, returning from the ashes to save us all.
We will stick together and fight for our ideals to the end. We might be scattered, but we are still one. I will make them feel it.
|Notes from Pavel Morozov||973.3||-2950.8||Trying to track down rogue Captain Tatiana Ilyinichna Tereshkova is taking us further and further into enemy territory.
Our latest intelligence says that she has in fact been seen by a soldier who later died from the wounds inflicted by the Swedish machine apparently protecting Tereshkova.
When arriving at the location we found no significant leads of Tereshkova’s whereabouts. There’s just lots and lots of forest to aimlessly walk through.
We have been following the tracks of a machine found close to the reported sighting of Tereshkova, but this has been going on for days, and it could be any random machine.
My hope of success is dwindling each day and I keep thinking about Commander Makarova warning us of what Tereshkova might do in the future if she’s not brought to justice.
She’s probably already allied with the Swedish government. And she has inside knowledge about our Mechanical Units. God knows what they are currently planning. We need to stop her before she manipulates more people to follow her twisted will and destroys everything that we are fighting for.
|Notes from Feliks Kozlov||2061.6||-3755.3||Today I saw the apocalypse.
I was hiding under a rock nearly the whole day, and it all caught up with me.
I had gotten grazed by a bullet and managed to retreat to the rock, but the Mechanical Units were still engaged with the Swedish machines, so I just stayed in place. For hours. Watching machines fight machines.
They were an even match. So much stronger than any human. Such hard armor; so much destruction needed to take one down.
I cannot tell exactly when it happened, but they have blurred together. Our Mechanical Units and the Swedish machines that we are here to stop. They have become the same in my eyes.
Even since I came back to the camp I’ve not been able to shake the feeling that we should never have developed these Mechanical Units. They patrol our little camp. Protecting us. But all I can see when I look at them is a world where no humans are alive.
All that’s left is machines designed for killing, raining grenades at each other day after day, not caring what nature or lives they take down in the process. This is not what we wanted. It cannot be.
|Notes from Andrei Borisov||-152.7||-3764.6||I’ve not slept for days. Don’t know how many. When it’s not the gunfire keeping me awake, it’s the deafening silence that follows.
It’s from the silence they come. I saw it happen. My whole team dead as one of those damned machines came upon our camp.
We should have killed all of the machines that patrolled this area, but instead they just keep coming. Forcing me from my team, raining fire on us each night, filling the night with metallic noises that penetrate my mind, eating up my dreams and making me wake up with a cold sweat each night until sleep is nothing but a memory.
Everything is wet. Cold. Dark. Yesterday a machine came within only ten meters from where I was, and then it just stayed there. I had to lay covered in snow for the entire day before it moved on.
I don’t remember what warmth is.
I see no reason for me to go further into this hellish land. I’m going back north. If I follow the shore I’ll get to our hovercrafts sooner or later, and maybe there I’ll be able to sleep again.
I cannot think. I’m just moving. Reacting. Hiding. There’s so much gunfire everywhere. I should seek it out. Move towards it. See if my comrades are there. If they need help. But I can’t. I can’t move towards that sound.
Sometimes I wonder if I’m dead. Maybe I froze to death that long day in the snow. Maybe I’m trapped on this island forever. Is that the fate of soldiers that die in foreign lands? Can our souls not find their way home? I pray each night. I pray that I am alive. I’m alive. Alive. I’m alive.