Dr. Arthur Randolph's Journal
"It has been two weeks since Philip came back to us... Even conscious, every day is a crap-shoot. So far, we have managed this much, he is no longer in the intensive care wing, and his wounds have all healed. If this was a forum for diagnoses most other doctor's would ask, 'then what is the outstanding problem?' And my response would simply be...his blood. He is still very weak. His blood can still clot, as shown by the scars that have formed over his eye sockets. Wicked fleshy goggles in a fury of uneven X's. No amount of cosmetic surgery will be able to cure him of his facial disfigurement. It is truly sad, and appalling, what those monsters over-seas did to him, but at least he is still alive.
On a side note, Dr. Fitzsimons is acting increasingly irritable towards me. The longer I keep him here and attempt to cure him, the more there is a chance the doctor loses his only lead on the ever elusive plant. Time will only tell how this will play out, but I will always be there to make a plea for Philip's well-being, rather than turning him over to the US Military, who got him in this situation in the first place, and sealing his fate as a lab rat. It is up to me to keep Fitzsimons at bay.
Back to his blood...yes it is strong enough to clot and flow normally, but some unknown factor is tainting it to suppress the patient's ability to make a full recovery. In short, he does not have enough strength to get out of bed. As if some force is draining the life from his blood. All tests come back confirming his normal condition. All but the most basic, his blood-pressure. This is some case, the most rare I have ever come across and I am certain it is all because of this suspicious plant.
On a lighter note, Philip has been spending some much needed time with his family mending bridges which have apparently been burnt for many years. That is all for now, tomorrow I will decide whether or not he is ready to be discharged under home care. I will remain his doctor, but there is no longer any need for him to stay in the hospital. For we have run every test, dozens of times. And progress, has seemed to come to a complete halt . . ."
Sarah Thompson-Dresden's Diary
"I have been going to see Philip for days straight, and it has been taking an awful toll on me. Still no answers on why he left me-us, why he left us all here in Oklahoma. His Mother, his Father, his Grandfather, and his. . . wife. . . Poor Philip, but it seems that his dissatisfaction with life has finally caught up with him in fate. For as long as I can remember Philip, he has never been happy. That is, except the first day I met him and the day of our wedding.
I remember it like it was yesterday, one of the best memories of my life. I'm sure it is written somewhere in the deep passages of this diary, but I feel it will do me good to write about it again. . . .
It was the Millennium Carnival at Oaks Park. He was the most handsome man there. I remember coming off the tilt-a-whirl with my cousin Susan, and her pointing him out by the game stands. Holding that black sleek rifle in his hand, we went over to watch him. For there was already a crowd forming behind him. He was shooting the star out of a piece of paper unlike any person I have ever seen do it before. He shot out the outline of the red star first and then with one last pellet, pushed the star perfectly out of the hole. It seemed magical, unnatural. Everyone looked in amazement, even the guy working the stand. He gave him choice of any prize. He grabbed a lion almost as tall as the tiny little guy behind the stand handing it over to him. When he turned around, the group watching him seemed to have startled him as we all clapped at his achievement. He panned the audience and stopped at me.
My heart skipped a beat.
His dark brown eyes pinned me down with affection. He walked over and I passed a giggle along to my cousin. My cheeks flushed red as he was now clearly approaching me. I looked around and then deemed it important to be the first to speak. And so I said, 'That's some prize you got yourself, there" and then he responded as only prince charming would, 'I'm glad you like it...I won it for you.' As he handed the ambitious lion over to me. My cousin was speechless. The same went for me before I managed to squeak out an offer to match his gift, 'would you like to go on the Ferris wheel with me?' He nodded his head and together we walked over to the Ferris wheel. I must have got lost in the moment for I forgot about my cousin. I looked back for my cousin's permission and she was already motioning me to go along with him. It was the most beautiful ride I ever went on. We bonded more in those short moments than we did our entire marriage. Ironic, that after that ride I already knew I was going to marry him.
It was not long before his underlying dread surfaced in our relationship. His resentment towards his parents. His self-loathing. His hatred for everything that made up the outside world. The man I discovered at the game stand had vanished. For the longest time, he made me feel like I was the only thing keeping him from going under. And I thrived off that memento. And then, the day after our marriage, he was gone, enlisted. And ever since then I have been racking my brain to figure out what happened on that day that was the breaking point for him. Forever picking up the pieces of our shattered life together. For months I stared at the divorce papers I had written up. Stared and cried. In those dark days for me, I found some peace in talking with his parents. Our bonds grew in the shadow of his abandonment.
My own parents had passed away a long time ago. And because of that I shunned Philip's parents up until he left. In fact, I took strongly to his Grandfather, a sweet, wise, none judgmental old man. I loved him so whole-heartedly that I asked him to walk me down the aisle at the wedding. But afterwards, he grew very sick and was checked into the hospital. And so i turned to the only other people that could sympathize with me, Philip's parents. They told me he was always selfish, but not in the normal way. He was never an immature child. He was dark in his self-absorption, constantly loathing over his unfulfilled life. His parents never knew what to do. It never really affected his social life or schoolwork. And yet, he never blamed anyone for his misgivings, that is. . . outwardly. Over time, especially after his departure, I began to realize his subtle resentment towards all of us. And now he is back, and the veil has been lifted from my naive eyes. But for now he is so weak, I dare not confront him with all these hard feelings. Right now, he needs me, and poor be it for but I need him. Oh, how I've missed him. And in missing him have I hated him. But all the same he is back. And he will answers my questions. The questions he ran away from.
So far, I have sat in the background and watched his parent's deal with his misery. And all he has talked about is his drug-induced dreams. Dreams of being eaten and summoned by a storm. A god he called it. I just hope he is now not brought to the psych ward. He is scaring us. And all along, his tone and mannerisms have changed. In fact, I thought once, just yesterday, that he smiled at me. A smile I have not seen since the Ferris wheel. I quickly brushed it off as something I made myself see, but now...looking back, I think it was real. I sense excitement in his voice, for once. . .
Just writing this out I am seeing him with new eyes. Maybe I will hold off on the questions I have rounded up for him in the past years and ask him a new set of questions. Questions about these dreams, and his new found purpose. Whether it is real or not real, it has revealed a new twinkle in his eye. Oh, his eyes. His dark hypnotizing eyes. I used to lie beside him, in the bedroom, and just get lost in them. And now... now I can barely stand to look at-
I have stumbled across a topic in my ramblings that I have tried to stay away from in my mind. His bandages have been permanently removed, and in place of them pale scars crossing over his eye-sockets in wild 'X's' It is hard to look at, his face has been mutilated. And now, looking his worst, his attitude is at an all time high! Sick, how twisted and cynical life can be. As if he was waiting for this devastation to happen. As if he feels better in the trenches. Perhaps, that is why he joined the military. Poor Philip, never happy with an easy life. This sense of truth sends a shiver down my back as I think about what his future may hold. If the destruction of his eyes has started up his smile once again, lord knows what else has to happen to him. If this is the formula that makes up Philip's fate. Suffering through pain to happiness. I can only hope, his strength will endure. His parents feel the same way as I do. We have had long talks about it. I like to think that there is something more to do with it, that he is not a masochist. Tomorrow, I will go in and get him alone. Then I will talk to him, in detail about his dreams, and what significance his has pulled from them. For now I put my nuptial qualms at bay, and try to help the man I once loved. For hopes, that one day, I may love him again...as I did that day on the Ferris wheel....
Dr. Fitzsimons Journal
"Today, I walked in on an interesting conversation Corporal Dresden was having with his wife. I made no attempt to join the conversation but listened intently. They were talking about his dreams while he was under. He described them in frightful detail. As if he really thought he was there. She was giving me a cold look, like she wanted to be alone with him that I caught out of my peripheral vision. I merely pretended both not to see her and like I was doing some important test. And so they talked on. He made reference to a god, an 'Asunder God' to be exact. It's name: The Storm Harvester. He told his wife how it was going to cure him. I can only assume he was talking of his blindness. Just as long as he followed it's command. When his wife asked him what that entailed he said he did not know, all he knew was that he had to wait for it's 'sign'. Another interesting aspect of their conversation was what the Storm Harvester was after. 'The Divine Catalyst' he called it. Philip said it was hiding on earth, from, what he gathered was, the human race. Philip put together himself that these two 'forces' were responsible for life on earth, and in doing so, as he explained to his wife, sealed their doomed fate. As a scientist I can't help but dissect these theories and come to one exciting conclusion. The 'Divine Catalyst' is the mystery plant he was introduced to in Afghanistan. And Philip is the 'Storm Harvester'. It is merely a sub-conscious projection using his lucid dreams as a vehicle to show that Philip wants to find the plant, and in doing so. . . cure his condition. So, Philip will eventually lead himself back to the plant. And now, I will, happily, change my entire strategy. I will ease off the dimwitted attending, Dr. Randolph. And allow him to discharge Dresden from the hospital. Then I will keep a close eye on him and play to his delusions. Hopefully, these dreams will turn to fruition and he will acquire a means of retrieving the plant. And I will be by his side every step of the way. And when the opportunity comes...I will take the plant for myself, and drop Dresden back into the slums of the Hindu Kush. I will discard him like the pawn that he is and gain all the fame and recognition for myself. As I rightfully deserve, my time has finally come, and nothing will get in my way. I will make one of the most important discoveries in human history. And alone I will stand on top of society. As the leading scientist of the modern age . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
I, Doctor Mordechai Isaac Fitzsimons will have the entire world in the palm of my hand."