Adamantine Mine Journal
In an undiscovered cave of the Adamantine mine, you find in the bones once possessed by hungry souls, a journal. This journal is a hardback bound in leather and the pages have yellowed with age. As you pick up the book, you realize it's in a very poor condition and the pages may crumble if you are not careful enough in handling them. Luckily, for a book that has been found in a once sealed cave that could be several millennia old, it has been preserved fairly well.
Unfortunately, the writing in the book appears to be of a language you have never seen. Should you have a way to decipher such a language, such as a magical device or spell that translates languages, then you would know that the journal details the lives of those trapped in this cave, each day a chapter. On the page before the writing, you see a name. "Azerisces Pendulum" (as-er-iss-eez pen-dul-um), presumably the writer and owner of the journal in the time it was written.
The Journal reads like this:
It has been a few hours since it has started. We are all afraid, but the panic has died down now where there are no longer crying children and screaming mothers trying to make their way back out for missing family. We are safe here, in the adamantine mines. All of us here made it in time, but it was such a shock when the sirens sounded off. Something has happened. The blasts from above were so powerful that they have caused a collapse in the adamantine mines nearer the surface. We are trapped, but not doomed. Once the land above is cleared from fire, our military will send search and rescue teams. It is only rational to believe our country will still follow protocol. The collapse is only a minor set-back... I hope.
I write this because these are strange times and I fear should worse come to worse, I must leave something behind to share our story. Our world is at war. Tensions grew among the triumvirate as our leaders developed different interests. At first, it was only arguments. People were only a little concerned of the sudden tensions rising in our government, but no one was prepared for this. It was so sudden. There were no announcements, no declarations of secession, no preparation. Only when former president Mallick Tripline lit aflame the Sunset Coast did we know that we will face the first war in millennia.
The triumvirate and their respective districts had split into thirds, the two remaining faithful against the one that had betrayed us all. The Red Faction had turned to a dictatorship, keeping their population under lock and key. Families were torn apart and any attempt to leave the Red Faction was punishable by hard labor, which meant death. The world was in shock at the sudden attack, and even more so by the following atrocities, but the Pheonix and Voyager factions soon gathered their bearings and mobilized their forces to overthrow Mallick and his loyalists, and to reintegrate his faction into the population of the free.
Now here we are. The Red Faction was in charge of devising strategies to overcome possible threats and hypothetical situations as we ventured unto unknown territory. They were in charge of security and safety among other things, yet now they are the threat we need to defend against. Now, the Pheonix and Voyager faction struggles to maintain their borders and prevent invasions. Our use of force has accelerated exponentially until now we are considering using weapons of mass destruction. I hope that isn't the case now as we lie in wait to see what's left of our beautiful home.
It's been a while. According to time, it has at least been a full day now since I last wrote in my journal. The earthquake-like impact the hellfire from above created had ceased, along with the roaring sound of devastating destruction. I hope once we leave, there could be something left, that there is still a chance that we could bury our dead and rebuild, but considering how violent the happening above was and for how long it lasted, I doubt it. Now there is nothing but silence, save for the few concerned cries of lost family and the speculating whispers of the disciplined.
Once our community was aware how dire the situation was, we began rehearsing air raid drills and developing contingency plans for the potential hazards to come, as instructed by our faction all across the nation. Sometimes I wonder what the Voyager faction's drills were and how much they differed from our own if at all. We are all creators, but they're our scientists, our greatest minds, the reason why we're expanding our knowledge about the world around us and beyond. If anyone could find a way to defeat the strategists of the Red Faction, it's the elites of the Voyager Faction, they'll just be doing it in an unconventional way.
For now, I hope the rest of my family had found cover in time to survive this. We are all awaiting one of our factions to send search and rescue teams to find us. It's only protocol to send search and rescue teams to places that were attacked by the enemy, assuming they're still there to put forth the effort. The Phoenix and Voyager factions ARE still there, right? That's the only question grating my mind right now. They have to be there. We can overcome this war. We can survive. We can rise again. That's what the Phoenix faction is all about.
It feels like it's been too long. According to time, this is probably now day five since we had to evacuate the city into the mines. On that day, everyone was panicked and we tried to take what we could. Some took personal things for mental support, some took food and water preparing for the future, and some took weapons, expecting a fight when we return to the surface. It has been what feels like forever. Surely by now there should have been at least some form of communication that we have been found. Even if the city was taken over by the Red Faction, they would still search for survivors. All of the factions know that we would have retreated to the mines in the case of an air raid. They should know where to look for us. Had they given up?
Some of us had scouted ahead and the mines had collapsed. We tried to figure it out a way we could help ourselves, but no one thought to take mining tools as we were are fleeing as the sirens sounded off. Being a mine, there was some mining equipment already down here, but we are deep and the large, useful equipment can't be turned around in the restrictive mines. In functioning mines, there are ventilation units installed to make sure our miners have fresh air, but with the collapse, fresh air is limited and we fear that if we could reverse the machine to face the collapse, the fumes it exhausts will suffocate us before we could see light.
We are running low on what supplies were brought down during the evacuation. We shouldn't be waiting this long for rescue. Something is wrong. Something is very very wrong and I can't help this sense of dread welling up inside. The local guard escorting us to safety have lights to illuminate our faces. I can see the concerned thoughts on all of them. We are all thinking the same thing, and I know it without ever speaking a word to them. I hope I'm wrong about our situation. I hope this ends soon.
Putting our minds together, we have constructed a simple device to turn pee into drinkable water. We realized with our dwindling water resources that we need to conserve, so we did. We've organized a system to dispose of waste in a manner to keep us healthy and in clear mind, but there is a problem. We are approaching the end of our food supply. We rationed it out as best we could, but there simply is not enough to last past this day. This day... I have almost forgot to keep count. It took me a moment, but I am certain this is day 12 from the day we fled to the mines, and it looks like we're just going to have to tough it out until we're rescued. We'll have aching stomachs and we'll feel weak, but the human body can last a long time without food. We just have to keep it together.
We recovered the water within the machine. It's clean water... well, clean enough. Sometimes the machine runs the risk of overheating, so we use water to cool it. Now if only the machine had a use for storing food, then everyone would have a higher morale.
I'm. So. Hungry. It hurts. I never had to go so long without food. Our society, the Triumvirate, the world... we were in such a long term of peace and prosperity that this sudden shift serves as salt in the wound. None of us knew a life of struggle before. None of us had to face such strife. It's not fair. Why did this have to happen? Why did Mallick have to doom us all? It's all his fault this is happening. We should have seen the signs. The paranoia, the demands, the push from an economical to military society, we should have resigned him from power before he could do any real harm. I don't know what Mallick found that caused him to act this way in such recent years, but it's only hurting the people, not helping them.
In the beginning, we were afraid, but we were sure everything would turn out all right. We were confident that our vast and mighty civilization would come through for us, but it hasn't. We're dying here, and some of us are worse off than others. Children cry, the elderly face their age without the medicine they use to live comfortably. Some of us are going faster than other, deterioration at an accelerated pace while the rest of us stand relatively strong against breaking. It's taking a toll on them.
One woman broke out screaming how we have been forsaken, how we are all going to die. Another is becoming increasingly hostile. The soldiers had to break up a fight. Oh the soldiers, I feel for them the most. They are trying so hard to remain disciplined, to stay as the leadership figures with the higher values we all hold them too, but they have never seen war before either. Like us, they had no clue just how bad it could be. Sure, they've had extensive training, but can anything really prepare a person to something of this caliber? What will become of our soldiers? I can see their hands, they're shaking, they're jittery, and they won't let go of their weapons. I can see what the others are looking at. They can't stop staring at the weapons.
I knew this would happen. We were all thinking it. All it took was one person to suggest it. We're out of food. Water is limited. It's been... how long has it been? It had to have been at least a month. It felt too long, and judging by the weight of my body, it had to be so long.
We're trying to be rational about it, to maintain our morals. The children, we have to fight for them. We have to try and protect them from as much of this tragedy as we could. Most of us were in agreement about that, the soldiers especially. They had the weapons, they had the power, we all knew that. We all knew it wouldn't be them to go first, either. It's lingering in the back of all our minds, I know it. Small groups of people huddling together, whispering. I've been a part of it, too. I know what's happening, what they're thinking. For now, the civilians remain under control.
Who will sacrifice? We asked this among ourselves, to pry for the altruist who wanted to do what was best for the rest of us, but all were silent. Next, who was the most expendable? The soldiers didn't press for an answer. They waited for the civilians to answer, but they did present a constant reminder. We must decide. The people looked toward the elderly for surely they were the most expendable, right? They're nearing the ends of their lives already. They surely disagreed. Argument broke out. Tired, weak bodies stood and shoved, threats were thrown about, a solution was demanded.
Thankfully, yet tragically, one of the weaker minded people rushed one of the soldiers, screaming 'I DON'T WANT TO STARVE!'. He was a young adult. He made a grab for the soldier's weapon, but upon reaction, the weapon went off. There was no way the young man would survive a shot to the gut. He went into shock, but he wasn't the only one. As the kid fell back and bled out, I could see that look on the soldier's face. This was probably the first and only person he's ever killed. No one was unmoved by this, but deep down we were glad that the decision for now was finally over. Now we will have to struggle to find a person willing to... 'ration' the food.
Our soldiers had taken it upon themselves to be in charge of rationing to spare us from the trauma. We had difficulty at first accepting this as food. Some of us outright refused to eat, but they succumbed to their hunger eventually. Sentiments were nice at first, but as time went on, our leaders have grown more and more desensitized and so have we. They show less emotion, thought about their actions less. I don't blame them. If they did, they may go insane too, but this is only making the situation worse. Still they try to adhere to some form of morals and they choose who to kill. First the elderly, then those without children. One of the soldiers broke. She couldn't take it anymore so she took her own life.
Slowly but surely, we were being picked off one by one, and the soldiers held priority. The civilians, or what's left of us struck back in desperation. The civilians no longer wanted to be under the mercy of the soldiers, and during the fight, many had died. If whoever's reading this thought that the soldiers would win out this conflict effortlessly, you're wrong. The civilians stuck together, planned, and communicated in secrecy. The soldiers may have the fire power, but we are all brilliant minds. We thought and planned so thoroughly. A distraction, a persuasion, a bribe, we did what we could, but by the end of it, there was hardly anyone left.
Our leaders are dead, and the rebels too. Now it's just the few of us who have resigned to our fates and the children.
Looks like even the most innocent could be turned into monsters under the right circumstances. I'm one of the three adults left. They're looking at me. I don't want it to happen like this. I know how I could stop it, I just have t-
(The writing cuts off from here.)
They're all dead.
We're all dead.
And so are you.
(The handwriting looks nothing like it was in the pages before. It's sloppy, scratchy, and harshly written.)
(There is nothing left of the writing, only blood stains that looks like someone has been clawing at the pages.)