The New Normal [Entry Log #1 – The Event]

        My name is Dr. Reed Faustus, and something happened today.
        I was working in my lab when it occurred. The lab is underground and built like a nuclear bunker. The exterior radiation shielding protected the inside, even though it was actually installed to keep extraneous radiation from getting out during my experiments. It is funny how things get flipped on their head sometimes.
        The entire lab shook for more than a minute. We do not get many earthquakes here in Connecticut, and if this was an attack, surely there are more important targets.
        I fell from my chair to the ground and hid under the desk. My equipment rattled and fell from the shelves, smashing on the floor.
        Then it fell silent.
        That’s when I realized Bruce was nowhere to be seen. There was only one reason he would not be in the lab: he snuck out to have a smoke.
        I frantically ran up the stairs to the lab’s entrance and reached the blast doors. There was a small round window on the door, and I peered out to try and grasp what was happening. The sky was a bright pink, and thick grey clouds swirled in the air.
        Right below the window at the base of the door was Bruce lying unconscious on the ground. I could see his chest moving up and down, so I knew he was still breathing and not dead…yet.
        I banged on the door and yelled profusely, trying to wake Bruce up, but there was no response. Now I had to make the choice of whether to go out and help him, possibly exposing myself to radiation or whatever harmful things might be out there, or letting my best friend die.
        I contemplated for a moment, but the choice was easy. I would have rather died than live in a world without him, and have to bear the guilt of letting him die.
        I pressed some numbers on the keypad located next to the door, and it played tones for each press, culminating in a trill that signified I’d entered a correct code. There was a sound of air pressure evening out as the door began sliding open.
        As soon as the crack in the doorway was large enough for me to fit through, I rushed outside and knelt down next to Bruce.
        “Bruce! Wake up,” I said, as I lightly slapped his face.
        There was still no response. I knew I had to get him inside, but he was 250 pounds of muscle, approximately double my size. I could not carry him alone, or even lift him onto a stretcher, which I currently did not have anyways.
        I grabbed his left arm and pulled as hard as I could. His body slid a few inches across the dirt. I continued pulling slowly but surely, knowing it would take a while but having no other options.
        Finally, with one last big tug, his entire body was inside the door. I slapped some buttons on the keypad and the door slid close and re-pressurized. I fell to the floor and sat with my back against the wall, breathing heavily and completely exhausted.
        “What the hell happened?” Bruce asked in a groggy voice like he’d just been woken up from a deep slumber.
        I scoffed and said, “Oh, now you wake up.”
        “My head is pounding,” Bruce said, “and why am I covered in dirt?”
        I chuckled and leaned my head back against the wall, still completely out of breath.
        Bruce grunted as he sat up, then asked, “Honestly though, what happened?”
        “I wish I knew,” I answered, “It shook the whole lab. What do you remember?”
        Bruce stared into the distance for a moment, collecting his thoughts. “I snuck out for a few puffs, then there was a bright white flash, and the next thing I know I’m waking up next to you covered in dirt with my whole body aching.”
        “Well, I’m glad your ok, but I should probably run some tests. We should get back to the lab, and we can check the news to see if anybody knows what that was.”
        “Right,” Bruce said, “let’s go.” He grabbed a handrail attached to the wall to hoist himself up, but the metal rail buckled and crumpled like paper in his grip. Bruce was always strong, but never that strong.
        “Whoa,” I remarked, flabbergasted.
        “Uhh, I barely squeezed.”
        “We need to get to the lab right now,” I said, “but please don’t touch any of the glassware or equipment.”
        We made our way down to the lab very carefully.
        The rest of the night was spent running tests on Bruce. They will take some time to process, but I will report my findings in the next entry.
        All connections to the outside world were down. The internet was completely down, and the T.V. was nothing but a solid tone on every station. It appears the effects of whatever happened was more widespread than I initially thought, and may be worldwide. I began to wonder how many people were exposed and will be affected similarly to Bruce.
        I will continue to document the situation as it develops.

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