Alex here. Charlie is crashed out so I’m hijacking this for a minutes.

MDs and a floppy disk. Japanese school are a little behind sometimes…

Along with Charlie, Taro and I have been taking turns keeping watch, though he seems mostly invested in keeping his wife and daughter safe. Can’t say I blame him. His wife doesn’t really speak to us at all and keeps her distance. Can’t say I blame her either. Risa, their daughter, is a bundle of energy. She spends a lot of time asking questions and playing with Charlie when we’ve got downtime. It’s difficult to try to explain to her what’s going on. She seems confused when we hear noises outside and her father grabs her and covers her mouth. At first she protested it, but after some stern words from her old man she’s no longer fighting it but you can still see the fear build up in her.

Since arriving at the school, we’ve seen a few cars, but no one stops. More surprisingly though, I could have sworn I heard a helicopter early this morning, but it was so far away that I’m not sure if it was. Maybe my mind is playing tricks on me. I’ve been through some tricky situations before, and I understand the value of maintaining a sound psyche, but this is a scenario that no amount of training can easily overcome. One of my Army buddies in Korea was sending me messages and trying to help me get some information from outside Japan for a while but his last message to me indicated that he’s been told to stop. He didn’t directly say it, but it was clear enough to me that somebody is trying to keep us in the dark. His last words to me, when I asked him about a military intervention, were pretty grim: “Expect nothing.”

Taking that into stock, I’m convinced that the Japanese government is still functioning. The electricity, though spotty and becoming less and less reliable, is still on. That means that there are still people operating the power plants and, to a lesser extent, substations. The internet has also gotten slow with numerous blackouts. It seems that it works most reliably in the dawn hours, with regular blackouts during daylight and almost no connectivity at night. Taro believes that the SDF, while retreating from the major cities, simply reconvened at crucial infrastructure points and that if we make it down to Shirahama and find it unsafe, that we should attempt to make contact at the nearest power station. I’m inclined to agree, but I’m also concerned about what measures they’re willing to take to defend them. I don’t exactly want to be shot on sight.

At the risk of sounding comically American, I feel naked without a real weapon. What I would give for a single AR-15 and a few boxes of ammo…

Taro hasn’t had any luck getting in touch with his family. When the phone lines work, he tries calling. Half the time it just cuts out before it can ring, other times it gives him an automated message saying the lines are currently busy or down and to try again later. Rarely, when it does go through, it just rings and rings. Instant messages aren’t being answered either. This is one of those extremely rare occasions where I could not be happier that my family is nowhere near me right now.




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