The notes can all be found scattered throughout Big Bend Tunnel:
- Page 1 - On a metal barrel along the southern track, just past the large central room.
- Page 2 - On a table in a USA train car, just past a Blue Ridge gate, near the center of the tunnel.
- Page 3 - On a metal shelf in the large central room. It is next to a military trunk in the last blue pod room, along the upper catwalks.
- Page 4 - On a table inside a wooden shack along the northern track. The shack is connected to a Blue Ridge checkpoint, the first from the west entrance.
- Page 5 - On a barrel next to a lit lantern, at the first Blue Ridge checkpoint from the east entrance.
- Page 6 - On a wooden box near the western exit/entrance, along the northern track.
Journal page 1
January 11, 2083
I managed to find this half-blank journal on my way out of Pleasant Valley and I know writing this is probably pointless, but I guess I needed some place to explain myself.
My name is Carol Sweeney and I'm a part of the Cutthroats in Pleasant Valley. Well I was; I had to leave. What Thorpe did flooding Charleston, that was just wrong. And I know I'm no better - for the most part, I went along with him. I was starving, and Thorpe kept me fed. But no more. A few of the other Cutthroats felt the same and we all agreed to head out on our own.
So now we're here. We used to hide around Big Bend's entrance and jump any unfortunate souls trying to use it for passage. It should be okay here; there's wilderness to live off and enough around to scavenge. If need be, we can disappear into the tunnels. Like I said, I don't expect whatever God there is, or anyone for that matter, to see this and forgive me. But, maybe if I manage to just survive here and live out the rest of my life in peace, I can try to forgive myself.
Journal page 2
November 13, 2085
If anyone else ever read this they'd think I'd gone mad, but I know what I saw: a giant goddamned bat in the sky!
About 2 months ago, the crew began making scavenge runs through the tunnels; we've actually gotten pretty good at navigating through them and, more often than not, we'd end up with a good haul.
But given enough time, you get sick of a diet of nothing but rat, so we thought we'd check out the Eastern Exit near Watoga, even though it's quite a hike. The first thing we see is the damn bat flying out of a hole in the ground like it's something straight out of an issue of Astoundingly Awesome Tales. So, I guess that ends our trips to Big Bend East.
Journal page 3
May 3, 2088
Supplies have begun to dry up around the West Exit, so we've had to search the East to make do. Mostly it's been alright, but earlier this week I almost got my head blown off by a guy dressed up as a tin can. Turns out they're some new militia unit - they call themselves the Brotherhood of Steel? Cheesy, but if it means we've got someone watching the other side of the tunnel I can live with it.
The head of command told me they've set up camp, so they can watch for traffic entering the region. I asked her if she knew about the giant bats in the sky and I was a bit off guard when she confidently stated, "that's why we're here."
Apparently, the giant bats are thanks to some disease or something called "Scorched," caused by the nukes. It's been infecting everything across Appalachia, including people. But she says that they and the Responders are doing everything they can to fight it.
She asked if I was familiar with the Responders. I swear I almost swallowed my tongue. It's been five and a half years, but I still think about it. I told her I had heard of them, but my group keeps mostly to ourselves and I'd better head back to my camp. She told me it was good to see a friendly face, that we could check in from time to time and help each other out. It gives me a small sense of peace knowing some of the Responders survived Charleston and that there are still groups trying to help people.
Journal page 4
Things... have been going better than I expected.
The group scrounges up what we can find, we do a little farming, we get by. I keep in touch with the Brotherhood of Steel at Big Bend East. Their leader, Melissa, has been very generous to us. We'll trade with them, even though 'trading' often ends with them giving us a shipment of supplies and us handing them whatever few weapon parts or tech components we come across. Seems pretty one-sided if you ask me.
One trip I asked her why her group is so nice to us - and she tells me they want to make sure my 'community' is doing alright. I thought about that my whole walk home: a community. It's been over ten years and I still think of us as Cutthroats hiding in a hole waiting for the world to end. It made me hopeful.
This life isn't the life I imagined while vacationing at Pleasant Valley all those years ago; it's quiet and lonely and difficult. But it's also simple and it can be strangely more peaceful than the chaos of the 'old world'. The life that me and my "community" have made is real. It's ours. I think I can be content with that.
P.S. My RobCo watch broke, though, so that's unfortunate. How am I going to keep track of time? It's easy to lose track in the tunnels and the weather is too tumultuous to get a good sense of what season it is...
Journal page 5
Melissa's camp is empty. No note, nothing. Scorched or something must have killed them, right? I looked around the camp for a couple of hours - no bodies. It doesn't make sense. If they left, why did they leave their stuff? Wouldn't Melissa leave some message or clue? Did we actually matter to them?
Whatever happened, without the Brotherhood around Scorched have been wondering into the tunnels from the east. They're a lot more dangerous than the rats and dogs we usually encounter. I'm banning the crew from going to the eastern section of the tunnels and setting up a patrol. We don't know much in terms of organized combat, but we can rig enough traps to keep us safe for a long time. Even if it's back to being just us, we're still a community and we have to look out for each other.
Journal page 6
This will be my last entry. I'm pinned in these damned tunnels and the Scorched are coming.
Yesterday, two men and a woman came to the camp looking panicked. We recognized them - they were with us at Pleasant Valley. We thought they were crying wolf - get us to lower our guns so they could ambush us - but I could tell they were genuinely frightened.
Between the sobs, they managed to tell us that Scorched had reached the mountains and killed most of the remaining survivors. We had a few hours at best before they reached us. We didn't even have time to figure out where we'd go when they attacked. There's just too many. Once they pushed us back into the tunnels I knew it was over. Scorched have been making their way further into the tunnels for months now.
I always knew that this wouldn't last. I'd been evading my comeuppance for too long. Sooner or later I'd pay for what I've done. To see everyone I've cared about be killed and torn to pieces, it's the worst feeling I can imagine, but I can't say I don't deserve it.
All these years, I wondered if it was possible to come back. If people could come back from the horrible things we've done; if I could come back from the horrible things I've done. For a couple of years there, I started to believe maybe it was. But it isn't. I can't come back from the things I did as a Cutthroat. Humanity can't come back from nuking ourselves to Hell. And now it seems we're all gonna die as a result of it.
The rest of the world are laying in the beds they made. I guess it's time I do the same.
When the Wastelanders update expanded upon Big Bend Tunnel and added the Blue Ridge Caravan Company, pages 2 and 5 were moved to accomodate these changes. Page 2 was previously located on a small table next to some boxes, just outside of the large central room. Page 5 was previously located on a chair in the checkpoint near the east entrance. The other pages' locations were not affected by the update.