I've always wanted to try my hand at writing journals from a perspective of one of the other Travelers, and since Patrick is my favourite Traveler, I figured it should be fun. Hope you like them! JOURNAL #1 THIRD EARTH Are you reading this, Jay? If you are, then I have to breathe a sigh of relief. It's critical that you receive my journals, seeing as these are the only record of what's to come. In many ways, it feels like just yesterday that my life was as normal as could be. I spend a lot of time reflecting back to those days, because already it feels like a lifetime ago when actually, it hasn't been long at all. It's amazing how time can play with your mind. It's thrown me for a loop, that's for sure. Up until recently, I was a teacher and a librarian at Chelsea High, and I couldn't have asked for a more gratifying job. The school was like a second home to me, the students were great, and I was able to teach what I loved – history. Growing up, I never had a fleeting doubt that becoming a teacher would be the perfect job for me. It was no accident that I had ended up a teacher and librarian; this really was the one and only place for me to be. This had become my world – history, knowledge, and more books than I could ever possibly read. I felt safe and secure when surrounded by countless books and computers that allowed me to further my knowledge as a historian. What I never could have anticipated was that my once peaceful life – the life I loved – would be thrown completely upside down and inside out. There was no warning whatsoever, no indications at all that I was actually destined for something I never could have imagined in the first place. No, I'm still trying to wrap my head around all of it. I have an infinite number of questions, yet twice as many answers I've still yet to uncover. My only hope is that my head won't explode by the time I find more of the answers. Maybe I ought to rewind the clock back to when things first changed for me. It was the first week of October, and the leaves were just beginning to swap out their colors for the usual reds, yellows and oranges. Of all the seasons, autumn was always my favourite. I often traveled up to the aboveground world over Chelsea, just to get a glimpse of what looked like a painting. It was like something you'd see from Vincent Van Gogh. It was a beautiful sight, and the view alone was enough reason to take a trip aboveground. Up here, you could feel the crisp, cool breeze in your face while strolling amongst the green, rolling hills of countryside that stretched on for miles. I had gotten up at the same time I did every morning, showered, eaten breakfast, and taken the elevator down to the fifteenth floor. On most days, I was able to make it from my apartment to my classroom in twenty minutes or less. As for today, it was another seemingly normal day at Chelsea High. The only difference was that when I left home, it didn't occur to me that my ordinary life was about to change in ways that would have made my poor head spin. "That's it for today's lesson," I announced, looking around at my students. "Anyone have any questions?" "Do we have to have homework?" sighed Roger. "Yes, Roger," I answered, not surprised by the question. I knew my students well, and I knew them well enough to know that homework wasn't exactly exciting news. "I know you don't like homework, but history is important. If we want to learn and prepare for the future, we need to have an understanding of the past. We can't move forward while forgetting what's behind us. Besides, history itself is quite extraordinary." "But it's the weekend," he countered with a small smile, as if hoping to change my mind. "I know," I shot back, shutting down the computer system. "And you'll have plenty of time to get the assignment finished before the weekend starts." Of course no one ever looked forward to homework, so I tried not bombarding the students with too much. I knew what it was like having to spend the bulk of your weekend completing assignments or research projects. Then again, I always liked challenging myself, especially when it came to history. Math and science, on the other hand, I wouldn't have minded leaving behind in the classroom. It'd been a few years since I first started my teaching career. More than once it had been pointed out to me that I had a certain knack for presenting history in a way that made it seem fresh and interesting, alive even. To bring the past to life in an engaging, energetic way was something that came naturally to me, or so I've been told. I think it helps that I have a great passion for anything to do with history, so perhaps it helps others see history in a different light. No, I wouldn't trade being a teacher and a librarian for anything else in the world. I loved my work, but I was about to learn that there was another, shocking part of my life that would make me question everything about myself. Not only that, it would make me question the laws of how the world itself operated. It was the end of the day, and I was just packing up and was about to head back to my apartment. It was only a few floors down from Chelsea High, so I was always packed up and back home in less than five minutes. That was the plan – but someone else had other plans that apparently involved me. "Hello, Patrick." I heard the voice before I saw who it was. I quickly turned and saw a man who looked to be in his forties standing in the center of the doorway. He had shoulder-length brown hair, and wore a work shirt and jeans. Over this he wore a long tan coat that fell to his knees. By the way he carried himself, he seemed to be a man on a mission. There was an unmistakable spark in his eye, and without even needing to ask, I knew I needed to speak with him. How that even makes sense, I haven't the slightest clue. One moment, I'm thinking about home, and the next, my focus is on this stranger. But…who was he? "You know me?" I asked in confusion. "I'm sorry, but I don't think we've met." The man chuckled, and told me, "I've been watching you for a while now." "Uh…what?" was all I could say. I was feeling a little strange, but not in the traditional sense of feeling frightened by a stranger. For whatever reason, I didn't feel nervous around this guy, whoever he was. No, if anything, I felt like he was to be trusted. "There's a lot to explain," the man went on. "But it's time you learned the truth." "Excuse me?" I asked, perplexed. Instead of answering, the man simply remained standing in the open doorway, the expression on his face unchanged. It was like he knew exactly what I was thinking, as if he'd known me his entire life. "The truth? And what's that?" I asked, feeling both curious and slightly fearful. "Let's go for a walk," the man suggested. "It'll take a while to explain." "I don't know why," I told him, while following him out of the classroom. "But I feel like I can trust you, if that makes any sense." "I get that a lot," the man shot back with a knowing smile. "So who are you?" I asked, my head swimming with questions. "Press Tilton's the name," he said, holding out his hand to shake. "Nice to meet you." I shook his hand, and said, "Okay, Press. So what exactly is it you need to tell me?"