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I hope you find this. I was out scavenging when I spotted the big old maszyna, I mean the big, four-legged ones. All of them carrying crates, but to where? Moving heavy equipment. Possibly supplies? I wonder if they're done hunting us and starting to build forts for the Russians? That would be just our luck. I'm not sure I could stomach pulling the trigger on a real person instead of a robot... Let's hope it doesn't come to that.
If they're getting ready for something, I have to know. One way or another, I know they're up to no good.
Stay safe. Good luck!
|Valuable Cargo||-3552.1||2431.0||Dear Basse,
In case you're reading this, I need to let you know what I found. Share it with the others if I don't come back... I hate to be so grim, but it pays to be a pragmatist in these times.
So the big old machines were carting cargo about. The big ones move real slow, so I spent hours just observing them.
Luck dropped on my lap. After a while I realized they stashed some of their valuable cargo here, and if you're careful not to get caught, there's good ammunition inside. The rounds that Karin likes. Grab some extra. Don't weigh yourself down though.
The wiring on them is unlike any I've ever seen. I've always been good at being patient and watching... it came useful for my old job. Now I guess it's useful when fighting killer robots.
I'm going to keep monitoring the machines to see what other supplies the machines drop. Restock everything then get your tail back to base. Don't worry about me, I'll be fine. I made it through Östervik alone when the maszyna dropped out of the sky and opened fire on all of us. Consider me your big brother; it's my job to watch after you. Not the other way around.
Your friend, Janek.
|"Engineer" mode||-2789.9||2425.1||December 19, 1989
Dear Basse (if you're reading this)
If you found this note, please make sure the others know where I am. At this point I'm beginning to think I might not be home for a while. I started following one of the big four-legged maszyna because it looks like they're gathering supplies for another invasion. Also every so often I can steal something good off them.
That's when I found these strange powerlines. Dozens of them, all leading south. They look so much like ours that I almost didn't notice them. But when I realized the machines were building them, I immediately went into "engineer" mode and started trying to puzzle them out.
By all accounts they look like normal overhead power lines. There's no other function they could serve. That might put a hole in the 'alien invader' theory. But what are they powering? My first instinct is to destroy it and sabotage them. But I don't want to notify them of my position and risk leading them to you.
I'm going to follow this trail and see where it leads. Surely it leads somewhere?
As always, stay safe.
Your friend, Janek.
|Four Walls and a Roof||-2938.8||2917.4||December 21, 1989
I don't really think you're reading this. In fact, I hope you're not, because we're deep in enemy territory. (We're always in enemy territory, but you know what I mean.)
At this point, I think I'm just starting the notes like this out of habit. I've always been accused of being too polite for my own good. Calle says he likes it, at least. Marta always liked it too, said I was a good influence on her son. When all else fails, good manners can still remind us of what civilization ought to be. Or something. I was just raised right, I think.
The maszyny are building forts. They look almost like those rushed camps the Swedish army were erecting every other day, when the invasion first started. Maybe Freddie really is right, and the Russians are coming to wipe us out for good. I know Uncle Calle thinks it's aliens, or our own government. When he gets REALLY into it, he insists it's "aliens created by our government." Good old Uncle Calle.
After seeing the kind of destruction the machines can wreck, I'm not sure what to believe anymore...
One thing I know for sure, the machines are our enemies. But why would machines need four walls and a roof? Hmm? They don't! So there must be something inside they are protecting. What could it be? Russian soldiers? A new weapon? Whatever it is, they're using human tactics to try and keep us out.
Maybe we have them scared?
Your friend, Janek
|Useful Information||-3526.7||3281.7||December 23, 1989
While out stalking the machines to gather more information, I discovered some horrible furnace they built, larger than the Devil and twice as ugly.
The machines often go and offer it sticks, trees. Fuel. That kind of thing. Puts a wrench in my old notes, though. I thought the machines were solar-powered, or perhaps even wind-powered. I know that sounds like something out of sci-fi, but... well... look at us. I'll have to go revise my old notes... gotta go back to the drawing board.
So... the machines use wood, or maybe coal, to power the generator... that means maybe they aren't that much more advanced than us. That's good news, I think.
Then they use the generator to power their other structures. And also to power... themselves? Do I have this right? Ahhh, I still don't know exactly how they work! If only I could get my hands on one intact and take it apart! A more clever man would have found a solution by now, I bet.
Still, this is all useful information to have. I'll do my best to get this intel to the others. Perhaps from there we can form a plan. Calle is crazy, but crazy like a fox. Maybe he'll know what to do.
Better to know than not know; better to be prepared than to be caught off guard again.
Your friend, Janek.
|Smoke on the Horizon||-3069.9||4078.4||December 24, 1989
I keep thinking about that first summer in Sweden. We were still trying to learn the language so we wrote notes to each other every day. We'd sit at the table with a dictionary and a grammar book and do corrections on each other's papers. You were always better at that sort of thing. I worked better with my hands. Guess that's why I got a job in construction while you got your education.
While out stalking the machines, I saw something that left me filled with this awful, stomach-eating dread... the kind of dread that has you writing letters to your missing sister, I guess. The kind of sadness that makes you want to sit in silence and wait for the leaves and snow to cover you.
Smoke rises on the horizon from where the home camp is. I don't want to think about what it means that I can still see the glow of embers here in the dead of night.
It took me a while to realize it, at first. All I heard was a distant pop. When I clambered a tree to take a look around, I saw that thin pillar of smoke from far away... it was so thin, it was like I'd drawn it in the sky with my pencil.
But that smoke is coming from my camp where all my friends are. I know it is. I know in my heart it is. And I want to be sick.
It's still smoking as I write this. Måsskär is up in smoke.
I wish I could have run right towards that smoke. Even though it is several day's journey on foot, and there's no solid proof the home camp is in danger. I shouldn't have ventured this far out. I should be there with them now. I promised Kenneth I'd help him build the new walls next weekend. But I decided to play investigator instead, and follow those strange cables the machines had built.
Stupid. I'm so stupid. My friends are in danger... injured, or worse. The only other people I've seen since this whole calamity began, and I don't even know if they're alive.
You might be dead, too, Marta. I've been looking for you everywhere and I can't find you anywhere. It's so lonely out here.
I wish I was with you and your children. I miss my nieces and my nephew.
Please forgive me, moya myszka. I'm so afraid.
|Hunting Mammoths||-3675.5||3883.2||December 27/28, 1989
Dear Basse, if you are still alive. Dear Marta, if you aren't. Who am I even writing these for? "To whom it may concern"? Let's go with that.
Lost track of time. I think I've made camp three times since the last note. I didn't know what else to do, so I kept following those powerlines I found. The ones leading south. This might not have been the best idea. But it was better than sitting around biting my nails. Unfortunately, the machines were out scouting for more survivors to scoop up. God only knows what they do with the people they take.
Even from this far away I can still see the smoke... surely if Calle and the others were still there they would have put it out by now.
Am I all alone? Am I writing these letters to no one?
In any case, they spotted me when I got too close to their fort, and tripped an alarm. The maszyna chased me all the way down the hills, and I'd lost all but one when I tripped and sprained my ankle. So careless... I'd never forgive myself if that were the end of me, but I didn't want to attract attention with gunfire.
So I lured it by a little hidey-hole I had, waited for it to run past... and jumped it like it owed me money! I HAMMERED THE HELL OUT OF IT!!! Ever since that first day when the machines dropped on my construction site, I held onto my sledgehammer. It takes up a lot of space, but there's nothing like slamming a maszyna until it crumples like a tin can.
After that I limped away to lick my wounds. I still came out the victor in the end, even though I'm still shaking as I write this. I can't think about it or I start shaking even harder. When did it become normal to smash killer machines!? It's got to be some kind of poetry. I feel as though I've hunted a mammoth! I feel as though I've invented fire! I'm alive! I'm alive and I'm so, so high on pain meds! Christ my ankle hurts! I think I should stop writing now. Good night.
Happy New Year?
This town is so quiet... Almost peaceful. It reminds me of that one winter I spent with my sister Marta, when a blizzard hit. Everyone warned us to stay inside, but we were so stir-crazy we went out for a walk the moment it looked clear.
The snow ate up all the noise, until it felt like we were the only humans left on Earth.
Now it really feels like I'm the only person left alive. It's so lonely. I can still see the smoke in the distance of my old camp. Poor Freddie and Basse and Calle... I really hope they're okay. But I've come this far to gather information on the machines; if I don't get any answers, then what was I even doing out here? What was the point?
I found two large craters in the ground where a building had stood. All that manmade structure turned into black ash. Probably only took seconds. Back in my old job we'd level buildings sometimes. But it was never anything like this.
I'm safe for now, safe enough to write down these letters to whoever might read them. The cables running south must be important. I'm going to find out what they're for, even if it kills me.
If you can, follow the cables south, and join me where they end. I don't want to believe I'm the last man on Earth.
We have to survive. It can't end like this. Generations from now there has to be record that we existed.
Your friend, Janek.
|A New Decade||-5013.0||4185.0||Dear whoever,
It's either late in December of 1989... or early January 1990, the first few weeks of a new decade.
I've been keeping detailed notes on the machines ever since the very first day they dropped. Those maszyny felt like a thunderbolt. I actually thought it was a thunderstorm, at first. The rumbles in the ground... then the gunfire.
I've always been teased for being too eager and curious. Always asking questions. Always needing answers. I hope you're a little bit like me, whoever you are, reading these. I hope curiosity burns bright in you too, and my notes shed some light on the answer. If these notes are of use to anyone, then they are worth it.
The maszyny have erected a gigantic... furnace? core? shrine? near the town. I've been trying to sketch it, but nothing does it justice. It glows bright blue and hums at all hours of the night.
For days I have been limping along, following these cables all the way south. All the way here.
What is it? What is this machine? A bomb? A signal-carrier? Some kind of hub? A mother-port for the machines to recharge, or pass along information?
Whatever it is, they protect it with a devotion that borders on reverence.
Everything leads here. But the final answer slips out of my fingers every time.
I'll keep watching, looking, and taking notes. It's what I'm best at.
|Dear Survivor and Fellow Friend||-4874.2||4798.1||Dear survivor and fellow friend,
I can only assume whoever is reading this is human. If so, that makes us allies.
If you've found this note or any of the others I've left, then you should know this will be the last one. I've run out of writing material. I need to keep some for my own personal research notes.
Before all of this happened, my job was wiring. Electricity. Things like that. I fancied myself a little bit of an engineer. Cables, you know?
We were out on a new build site up north when the first evacuation orders came out. Those never reached where we were doing construction, so when the machines arrived, we were caught by surprise...
I tried finding my sister and her family in Östervik only to find it abandoned. After that, I grouped up with fellow survivors on the archipelago, figuring it would be easier to defend.
For the past few days I've been trying to figure out what the machines are planning to do next. It might be a fruitless quest, but it's what has driven me this far. I'm exhausted, and my ankle is so swollen it looks like a damn grapefruit. This might be the end of my journey on foot.
I'm going to see if any of these old boats are seaworthy. Even if they aren't, by hell or highwater, I'm gonna get my way back to dig up what's left of the Måsskär camp. If the others are still alive, they need to know about what I found out here.
It is my sincerest hope to find you there too, whoever you are. Keep hope. One day we will be together again with our families and our friends. One day we'll be safe again, and we can walk without fear.
Humans are very good at surviving; it's what we do best.
Your friend, as always,