Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Challenge 5: A few days in our time

Dear Tuck,

I promised I’d keep a diary for you, It’s a beautiful book. I hope to do it justice! It’s strange to be writing by hand rather than a transcriber. Nevertheless, it’s nice to think things out, to ensure they are phrased well – to not have to focus only on thinking the right thing in the right order! I suppose – and I suspect it to be a common problem –we become accustomed to restricting our thoughts, structuring them such that a first iteration from a transcriber is comprehensible. I anticipate it will take some time before I can think a hundred things at once and structure them in writing, but I do look forward to it.

19 January 2010
Four days in, my fear is that someone will discover my diary. I shall tell them everything – this included! is some fiction I’m writing. But, dear Tuck, I must tell you about this fantastical world. Even here, a paper journal is anachronistic. They use the ‘computers’. They’re not quite as I imagined – somewhat larger – though smaller communication devices (do you remember the word ‘phones’?) and variations thereon, are widespread.

In other news, there was an earthquake – can you believe it?! – in a little country in the Carribean. I’m not sure where it is (you know my geographical knowledge is lacking!) & we shall have to look it up when I return. The Captain mentioned it, but I haven’t been in communication with the others since arrival. The earthquake was devastating – I’ve never seen such awful happenings as they show on the ‘teevee’ (abbreviation, ‘television’). Back home, we never think about fault-lubricating systems or whatever they use to keep landmasses moving smoothly without these dangers.

Sometimes I wonder how I ended up with a scientific team! However, I’m privileged to be the student assistant. As for the others: Captain and partner are travelling. Yts (I should say ‘she’, as Captain is female for the purposes of this mission) is, of course, familiar with this routine. Samy (female, historian), is buried in a library nearby; Innley, (biologist) has gone off on his own – apparently that’s typical, though he’s the one with the other DEVICE so hoping we have no problems! The rest are crazy – the two geologists have found their way to the earthquake, and the chemist went in search of a warzone! I wish I could have accompanied the others, but, Tuck, don’t call me immature – I understand they can’t risk inexperienced members getting into trouble. I’d like to tell you more, but I have a sore hand! And it’s time for dinner – my host family is kind, and the ‘father’ is an excellent cook – besides which you’ll get to see most of the other details in my report.

21 January 2010
I promised to write everyday, didn’t I? It’s easy to become carried away in absorbing this world - seemed a shame to spend a moment sitting here writing. Had a ‘phone call’ from the Captain –meetings all going well and hoping to be back within two days. No word from the chemist – who knows what yts wanted with a warzone – or Innley; the geologists are enjoying their studies but not the devastation. Samy met me for ‘coffee’ (hot, caffeinated drink of which there are many varieties) before leaving to visit another university. She’s thrilled by all this.

23 January 2010
The computer’s not functioning! Something to do with angry ‘farmers’ and ‘power cuts’. So back to writing. No communication. Is this normal? I don’t remember, though I’m sure they were to check in with me daily - so far all I’ve had is that one ‘phone call’ and the meeting with Samy.

24 January 2010
No word from anyone – the Captain at least should’ve checked in by now. Samy’s back and worried too. Departure tomorrow!

25 January 2010
Dearest, dearest Tuck. I wonder if I’ll see you again. I wonder if you’re even still real. The Captain came back alone, a mess. They won’t share the details but someone attacked yts and now they have the DEVICE, or so she says. If Innley returns perhaps we can return to the 22nd to stop it, but what if we screw things up further?

28 January 2010
The three day leeway’s gone - the gateway will be closed. Maybe one of you will come for us after the twenty year rest period. If the world is still here. If the future is still there. There’s talk of high-tech weapons – they’re banned in our time! – and war. Captain says her monitor recorded DEVICE flux last night. Someone’s up to something.
Word count: 769

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