From the Personal Journal of Richard Abraham Oberf

From the Personal Journal of Richard Abraham Oberf

by Jay Osako AKA Schol-R-LEA;2
First draft, 29 Sept 2001
Most recent revision, 20 Dec 2001

Based on the "Faans!" webcomic by T. Campbell, with addition references to "College Roomies From Hell!!!" by Maritza Campos, "Sluggy Freelance" by Peter Abrams, "Bruno" by Chris Baldwin, "Boy Meets Boy" by Sandra Delete, "Nukees" by Darren Bleuel, "General Protection Fault" by Jeff Darlington, and "Clan of the Cats" by Jamie Robertson.

September 11, 2001

I don't know what to say about what happened today. It's too incredible, harder to believe than anything out of fantasy or the movies. Dear God, how could something like this happen?

Both of the towers of the World Trade Center were destroyed by planes that were flown into them by hijackers. Another one hit the Pentagon, and apparently there was at least one other one that crashed somewhere else. Rumors are flying all around, about the airports all getting closed, about other planes being hijacked and car bombs in front of the White House, about passengers calling for help just before the crashes. Everyone is stunned and afraid.

Everybody is going crazy around here, and to be honest I am, too.

Will is talking about going back to New York, to see if any of the friends he has there need any help.

September 12, 2001
I'm exhausted. Between watching the TV reports all day, and then that frantic IRC conversation with Dave all last night, I'm thoroughly burned out.

That IRC chat was really disturbing. He seemed convinced that this would lead to World War III or worse. The funny thing is, he seemed equally certain that I would have all the answers, and was upset when I didn't. I hope that his friends can get him to calm down.

I've been waiting for a call back from Jones about the matter, but I haven't been able to reach him yet.

September 14, 2001
There are all kinds of stories going around about Arab students in other schools getting beaten up or harrassed. I haven't heard of anything like that at Billberg, which I hope means that no one will.

Septmber 18th, 2001
I can't believe that people think that that man speaks for God. Even if he did retract it, it was still the last thing anyone should have been saying at a time like this.

October 12, 2001
In the news today, the Army has started moving into southern Afghanistan from the Pakistani bases. Everyone is hopeful and scared at the same time, and peace groups on campus are holding meetings and rallies almost every day. I went to one today, to see what they were saying, but I'm not sure what my parents would think of it. I've often wondered about Mom's past, and what she thinks of what's going on now.

November 27th, 2001
I'm worried about the way the war is going. The reports that are coming out of Afghanistan are all glowingly positive, but now Congress has just voted to start selective service after the first of the year. From history, I know that the military gave false reports during earlier wars, and I wonder if that's what is happening now. Still, its been less than two months, so how bad could it already be?

January 3rd, 2002
There are more and more rumors about the war, none of them good. A lot of soldiers are already coming back wounded, and most refuse to talk about what happened while they were over there.

At least the economy is picking up. Dad had been worried about that he might get downsized, but now business is booming.

March 26th, 2002
I just received a draft notice today; it was waiting at home when I got back for spring break. The weird part is, when I called everyone else about it, I found out that so did Tim, Will, even Guth. It seems too much of a coincidence that we all were drafted on the same day, so obviously it must be a setup of some kind. Will is absolutely furious, and is talking about going to Canada to avoid it, and Tim will probably too. I know what happened to Will's mother, and why he hates the army so much, but I can't imagine him just running away from a problem like that. What I'm wondering is what this is all about. FIB has to be behind this, but why have us drafted? It doesn't make sense. If he wanted to get rid of us, there are easier things he could do.

March 28th, 2002
I'm pretty sure this draft notice won't hold up. Mom told me that during the Vietnam War, her first husband was deferred until after he left college, and he'd done everything he could to keep going through the doctoral program. I could tell that she was holding back, but since I know her first husband, Alex, had lived in Halifax before he met her, and she once mentioned having been part of the anti-war movement when she was in high school, I can guess what she's thinking.

It is so strange to think of Mom the way she was back then, especially since she usually refuses to talk about it. I wonder what she really thinks about the war.

April 7th, 2002
I am so angry I can't think straight. When we got back to Billberg, I was told that the SF club had been disbanded and all the members expelled. It supposedly was over the damages to the room last spring, but that's ridiculous. Obviously, we are all now eligible to be drafted, which I guess was why it happened.

I can only think that it's Agent Jones, up to his old tricks. What is his game with this? Why would he want me in the Army?

Mom seems... I don't know. It looks to me like she's caught between telling me that I should do my patriotic duty, and packing me off to Halifax to dodge it. I've never seen her seem so uncertain before, she's usually as solid as a rock, but she can see as well as I can that something isn't right about this.

April 8th, 2002
Will didn't even say goodbye. It sounds like he saw this coming, and left without even bothering to show at the University. Tim is still around, but I know his parents are helping him plan a way out of it.

I'm going through with this. Jones has already broken his promises; I doubt that running will do any good. He's not going to let anything stop him from forcing us into government service of one kind or another, but I'm still not sure what it will get him.

April 12th, 2002
Tomorrow is the big day, even if it won't be what Mom had hoped for. Even though we've been 'married' for several months now, I'm still nervous about actually going through with it. I just wish we could have had more time together before I left.

Alison even has gone so far as to start writing her name the was it was originally. Mom still doesn't like her, much, but I think she sees a lot of herself in her.

April 15th, 2001
When I got to the processing center, I found out that Tim and Guth were going to be in the same Basic training group as me, as were Roger, Dave and Mike from last spring. At this point, it doesn't even surprise me anymore. Tim told me that a group of MPs showed up at his parent's home, along with a county sheriff, and they 'escorted' him to the base.

I'm begining to wish I'd gone to Canada with Will.

April 16th, 2001
The sargent told us that Will was caught to day, making a point of staring into my face as he did it. He must have been told about us, and is pushing it in our faces.

April 18th, 2001
I don't believe it, I can't believe it. Mom just called to tell me that Alison is missing. I can't believe I am stuck here while my wife may be in mortal danger.

I just tried to call the others. Kath, Shanna, Meighan, even Rumy - none of them are around, and no one knows where they are. That clinches it, there can only be one answer to who is behind this. Damn you, Jones, I swear to God that if you have hurt any of them, I will... I don't know what I will do. But I know what I want to do.

Mike says he can't get in touch with his girlfriend or her roommates, either. I suppose I should have guessed.

April 19th, 2002
They brought Will in here today, literally dumping him in front of the platoon as we were lining up for roll call. He's been badly beaten, and hadn't eaten since he was caught.

April 28th, 2002
I'm sensing a definite pattern to the other recruits in our platoon. Several of them know one or two others already, and an awful lot of them seem to be the sort of people whom the FIB would be keeping an eye on. They were all drafted under unusual circumstances. Tim's already made several friends, Riff and Torg in particular.

April 31st, 2002
I just found out anther funny thing about the men in our platoon - several of them are related to each other. Riff, Roger, Gavin, and Fooker all turned out to be cousins; and Gav mentioned that he has another relative named Jubal, who Roger seems to recognize from some adventure he'd had where he'd run into him.

I've got admit, even I find that strange. Does their family have some kind of genetic propensity for strange things happening to them, or some kind of psychic probability alteration? Perhaps that's part of what FIB is trying to find out.

June 1st, 2002
Another 10 mile run today, and I am exhausted. Tim has lost about 50 pounds, and he's still ending up in the infirmary ever other day. The one I'm worried about is Will, though. His injuries still haven't completely healed, and his spirit is so crushed that he looks like a whipped dog. The sergent has gone out of his way to make him the scapegoat for the platoon. I'm afraid he'll try to run again, and if tries that now, they probably shoot him for desertion during wartime.

I'm doing OK, and so is Mike and, surprisingly enough, Guthrie. Roger has been almost impossible, as the more upset he gets the more odd things start to happen around him. He's managed to restraint his lycanthropy (well, latrananthropy I guess) so far, but the strain of the training is clearly getting to him. Dave just looks scared and resigned all the time, as if he's expecting something horrible to happen at any second and there's nothing he can do about it.

10 June 2002
I was ranked as sharpshooter on the firing range today. They told me I should be proud, and that I am one of the best shots they've ever seen, but the idea of having a talent for killing people turns my stomach.

19 June 2002
Graduation, and a week of day leave. They are keeping us on the base, though, with 9 pm curfew, so my parents have come to meet me in the nearest city.

I found out about Alison and the other women today. It seems they all were so filled with patriotic fervor that they all enlisted on the same day I went to Basic. So much for 'volunteering', but by now I can only think it was inevitable. They've been in Basic training, too, in another camp, and were shipped here before being given leave.

At least Alison and I will have some time together, now. Most of the others are off having a night on the town, or doing whatever it was they missed most while at Basic.

22 June 2002
Seeing the news without military censorship on it is has been a real shock. Even with the government trying to keep a lid on it, it's now clear that some kind of disaster has occurred. Even official estimates are talking about 30% casualties, and there is a lot of speculation that the real number is as much as double that. I feel as if I've been asked to walk in front of a train.

The latest news is that Northern Alliance and Taliban guerillas have been fighting in western China, and Beijing is threatening to move troops into Afghanistan themselves with the intention of taking on everyone else. Uzbekistan is in a full scale civil war over the NA bases that have been established there, and the Russians have sent in their army to keep the peace there.

There have been protests and draft riots since the beginning of May, and several cities are under martial law. The economy, which had been going so well a couple of months ago, has fallen even further than it had when the war began. There are so many people who have lost their homes that there is a bill in Congress that would have any 'vagrant' between 18 and 30 to be automatically inducted into the service. How did it get so bad, so fast?

28 June 2002
We finally found out what this is all about, and even now I can't believe what I've just been told. The morning after leave ended, we were hustled out to Air Force base at Groom Lake; Tim was practically in hysterics at the thought of finally seeing the imfamous Area 51, and thinking back, I guess I was, too.

We were brought to a briefing room where, to no one's surprise, Agent Jones and several Special Forces officers were waiting. What they told us confirmed our worst fears, and added some even worse ones, as they informed us of secrets that have been suppressed by every government on earth for centuries.

According to the briefing, wars tend to be hotbeds of paranormal activity, especially modern wars. The boundaries of reality blur because of it, and the violence and hatred draws beings which otherwise could not enter this world. Furthermore, the disorientation and insanity of fighting tends to cause latent psychic talents to energy, often in violent ways, and this also draws things that feed on psi energies.

They also told us that superhuman forces, human and other, were being used by both sides, in a shadow war that is obscured by the mundane one. Each of us, we were told, had such potential, or else had experience with the supernatural in some form, or were in some other way useful to them in dealing with the supernatural threats.

At first, a lot of the others were sceptical, not having seen what me and the others in the Club had in the Unconscious Collective. But then they showed us... things, some of the 'freaks' that were normally held at FIB HQ. The few who hadn't believed us when we had told them about these kins of things before were quickly convinced.

After the briefing, each of us were given assignments for secondary training. I was to go to OCS, and then join the others at a Special Forces program. After that, they mean to sicc us on whatever horrors the ground war in Afghanistan has unleashed on the world.

OK, Jones, you've got what you wanted; we work for you now. I hope you're pleased with yourself, you bastard.

6 Sept 2002
Things have been moved up; the situation is worst than expected. We ship out in two days, regardless of the state of our training, and will be in country by the 11th. If there is an irony to that, I am in no mood to find it funny.

11 Sept 2002
I think Will is still in shock; I know I am. I can't believe that they would put that beast into a uniform again, let alone put him in command of our unit. Bull Ericson, Will's beloved father, expert in murder and rape, and apparently the most experienced demon-fighter to survive the Vietnam War with anything of his mind intact, is now a general once again, and we are at whatever mercy he may have.

I think I'm going to be sick. And here I thought the monsters were all on the other side. It is a mockery of everything his uniform stands for.

It has now been a year since 911 Day. When it happened, I thought I had seen the worst that this world had to offer. How stupid, how very ignorant, I was then. I think I have lost all my faith in anything that I once had. I feel as if I have been damned, while still alive. If things are this bad here, I don't want to think about what is waiting for us in the field.

15 Jan 2003
One of the psychometrists, Lt. Baldwin, reported a strong spectral presence in an unidentified item recovered recently. It was intense enough that, before she could finish the reading, she fell into a coma; no other sensitives have been allowed to touch the object since, so there is no other information about it. We are to investigate the area the item was found at, and try to determine if there is any threat to our forces in the area.

I have an odd feeling about this. Something seems wrong, but I can't put my finger on it.

18 Jan 2003
I've been told I was unconscious for two days, while the claw and bone fragments were removed from my left leg. The sortie was a disaster, and Am can only hold myself responsible.

Special Agent Alan, a civilian specialist brought in by FIB for the mission, was the first one killed, hit by a some kind energy burst. Brian and Torg both were severely wounded; Brian lost an arm and an eye, and is being shipped home. Torg's body armor protected him from the worst of it, but he's still in serious condition.

Will... I still don't believe it...

Will died covering the evacuation, poisoned by what looked to be a wyvern, horribly swollen and convusing in agony. Even through the fog of my own pain, I will never forget that sight.

I can't believe that this happened. I failed those who I was supposed to be leading. I actually hope they court-martial me for it, because I don't think I'm deserving of a command anymore.

20 Jan 2003
That bastard, that worthless demon in human form. I just found out about it, and I can't believe he did this, that he didn't warn us, he knew it was a trap, and he still sent us off to die. He sent his own son to die. My God, if there is any justice in this world, let him suffer the way Will did before the end.

He could have warned us. He knew that the area was swarming with Mythicals, yet the briefing told us it was a secured area. This was intentional, he set us up damn it, and I won't stand still for it.

12 April 2003
I've been in HQ reviewing the war all week, and it is worse than I ever imagined. More and more powerful paranormal creatures than had ever been reported in previous wars had already begun appearing when US troops first entered the area. Now, there are reports of 'demons' appearing in large numbers, and showing a lot more tactical discipline than they used to. Several square miles in the norhtwest are devoid of humans entirely. The supernatural threat now far outweighs the conventional one, and word is begining to leak to the press about it. There's no way they can keep a lid on all of this, no way at all.

8 Aug 2003
I just spent the past 16 hours being grilled by CID about Margaret. It seems that she went AWOL sometime last week, and has apparently disappeared completely. The oddest part is, they said that according to her latest physical exam, she was about two months pregnant. Now, Dave was killed back in March during a dragon attack, and I know she was still mourning him when I saw her three weeks ago. It doesn't make any sense that she would have done anything with someone else since then.

10 Aug 2003
I just got a strange letter from Mom. I think the tension of the war has affected her badly; she urged me to desert, that I was fighting the wrong war and that President Bush wasn't what he seemed. It didn't make sense, but it's got me badly shaken. What the hell is going on?

11 Sept 2003
Two years after it all began, two horrible years, and now we're to leave. The idea that this was all some horrible mistake, that our own government was behind the attack that led to this incredible slaughter, is more than I can cope with. I don't know how I will live with this, I don't know how I can return to what's left of the US. I don't know which is worse, the fact that we are leaving all of central Asia to its own devices against the monsters, or that we are now supposed to visit this same evil on our own people, to go kill those in California and Minnesota and Wyoming and all those other former states, people who want nothing but to distance themselves from a government that wronged them.

I've got no choice. There is no way I shall do what they now ask of me. My conscience, my sanity my faith in God, all tell me to set down my weapons and leave.

Postscript: On 19 September 2003, former Congressional Medal of Honor winner Major Richard Abraham Oberf was shot and killed while attempting to desert from his post in Butte, Montana.