June 8th, 1982
The creatures were back again, scratching at the walls. I resolved to see who it was, as the sound was destroying any hope of sleep that I had. Breaking open a hole in my ceiling and climbing out, I quickly popped a torch on the roof and glanced over the side. Shocked, I fell off the stairway and reflexively sealed the hole back up.
I couldn’t believe it. They were humans, not slavering horrors! Each was dressed in a certain way, with one sporting a leaf-green outfit, one in a lighter-green box, and even the white man from the other day. Masks covered their faces, but I still had the impression that my gopher impersonation took them by surprise.
What terrors of this island could reduce these men to beasts, good for nothing but primal needs to eat? Beings so braindead that they would scratch at a wall for hours because there might be something to eat inside? I’m sorry to speak about myself as a steak, but you must understand that I speak from the perspective of the poor bastards.
I did not sleep well for the rest of the night.
At daybreak, when the scratching stopped (as it always does), I decided to track down the white man. While verbal communication might be impossible, I may be able to solve some of the mystery from the bizarre fellow.
Approaching the tunnel from the day before with my sword in one hand and a torch in the other, I peered around for anyone watching me. There was a feeling in the back of my mind, one of the ones that you get when passing by dark alleys in the middle of the night. The ones that make your hair stand on end and ears burn. Shuddering, I slowly walked through the tunnel, intensely listening for any sound that would indicate the movement of the man.
However, the chamber was empty. Except for the few arrows that embedded themselves out of reach, the cave was utterly devoid of any indication that the man had been there. At least, that’s what I thought at the time.
Figuring that I was already in the cave, I began digging away for more coal. I was running low, after all. While the torches seemed to last forever at the start, they have been burning down much quicker since the first night. Picking my way though the walls, I collected heaps of the sticky substance. However, my blows were interrupted by another tapping sound. It was almost rhythmic, an even tap-tap tap-tap.
I began to head in that direction, digging straight through the rock. When I was close enough to accurately locate the sound, I paused. It sounded like it was getting closer! As I peeked back over my shoulder, the wall in front of me collapsed into dust suddenly and a pair of arms yanked me forward. Then, just as quickly as it disappeared, the wall was rebuilt and I was plunged into complete darkness.
I was terrified. Being in a dark, narrow tunnel with a hostile creature is not good for one’s sanity. However, I didn’t want to light a torch and give my exact position away. Perhaps I could sneak down the rest of the tunnel, back the way that the monster came! If I could outrun h-
“Hey,” the man said, “one second, let me get us some light”.
A flare flashed and the tunnel was filled with red light, clearly revealing the mask of the white man. Said mask was quickly removed, however, revealing a moderately handsome, tanned face underneath. I was flabbergasted.
“I… but you… how…”
The man put up his arms to stop me. “Yeah, I know that you must be confused. I’m sorry that we must meet under such drastic conditions, but I don’t really have a choice. My friend, you are in terrible danger”.
“Let me introduce myself; my name is Gavril Lutrova. I am a worker here worker of twenty years on this island, where I play the Skeleton Man. Now, it would be difficult to fully explain the depth of your situation without speaking on the history of this place”.
The man gestured to join him in seating, so I did. While I was curious, the simple fact that I was hearing another person’s voice was a wonderful thing, and I felt that I could relax. Replacing the sputtering flare with a torch, I motioned for him to begin.
“Okay. A research time landed on the shores about twenty years ago, as they are wont to do. The reefs around here are treacherous and the storms fierce, so the scientists were stranded for a very long time. They made a discovery of gigantic proportions within a day, however.
The science is fairly foreign to me, but here’s how I understand it: every material on this island is… infected with a kind of touch-based psychic link. Basically, the material is organized into a solid block that is held in a rigid, cubic structure until someone interacts with it. Using some kind of conduit, you can cause the structure to bend and break into whatever you wish. It was a miraculous find, one that the scientists found an endless source of uses”.
Gavril sighed. “Such tales always end the same way, however. When the other scientists set sail with samples, one of the more “eccentric” ones jumped overboard and into the sea, intending to swim back to the island. Well, the rest of them couldn’t turn around and go back for him, as the winds were already picking up and they certainly wouldn’t risk their find for one loon. So, the man got away and the scientists set sail again. But you already know the latter part, no? I expect that the material made a huge difference on the mainland”.
I shifted uneasily. I had never heard of such technology before, despite the earth-shattering ramifications of such a find. “No, I’m afraid not.” I rasped out.
“Then they must have been lost at sea,” Gavril said sorrowfully, “what a loss. Still, the man escaped, and he set about turning this island into his own twisted nightmare. You see, he was tryi-“.
The hidden watch on the man’s wrist beeped loudly, cutting him off. Gavril leaped to his feet, swearing loudly. Replacing his mask and grabbing his hidden bow, he began to run back the way he came. Thinking twice, he briefly stopped to shout a warning.
“Listen, my friend. You must find a way off of this place. Trust me on this, it’s your only way of survival. I won’t be able to help you in the open, I must keep my cover. But you have a friend, trust me”. And he ran off into the darkness.
Confused, I returned to my house. I suppose that I should begin to build a boat, but what if it’s a trick? What if Gavril was the mad scientist? I will mull over it more tonight. For now, rest.