At some point in the game, after losing the Diary, notes about the Program can be found at the door if you check it before it opens.
The first time we learned about the "Program" was in the fall, about six months after the unrest. They described it as a community initiative. Most of the tenants gathered in the courtyard of our complex. No one knew what was going on. Everyone was shouting, worried and guessing what will come next. All kinds of rumors.
It came down to this: they would be removing children. As if from unfit parents. For what purpose - who knew? But against the backdrop of everything our government had done and justified in recent years, the outlook was most sinister. At point I decided to grab my son and escape the city, to the middle of nowhere.
First news about the Program. First, the summons arrives, and they announce a gathering. Usually at a school. Then the door knockers come, young bastards like volunteers, wearing some party insignia. They go through the complex with lists and check who shows up and who doesn't.
I'm not the only one getting clever. Everyone is getting ready to leave for somewhere. We've already been given another family's furniture to look after. Everything is changing. Parents are hiding their kids with other people, so now we have two more. I don't leave my child's side for even a minute. Even in my sleep I hold his hand. The other children sleep with us too. It's crowded. The world is falling apart. Seems to me, this situation is headed for civil war.
I had a nightmare that our turn came. We were led to the school, shoved into what used to be the gym. My son and I sat in a cell with a small barred window. I tried to push him through the opening. From the other side came shouts, that any kid they catch would be taken unconditionally. There is no suffering worse than this feeling of helplessness.
(6 is skipped, whether intentionally or not is uncertain)
It's past the time when I should leave this apartment, but concern for the children stops me. Stumbling around like a sleepwalker, I don't recognize a thing. They took the little ones - I haven't seen them for at least two days. I suddenly found another child in a corner. Whose is it? No one knows. It sits in the corner wrapped up in a blanket. Doesn't show his face. Doesn't say a word. Sometimes I think it may be a girl.
I won't drink anymore. All I can think about is my little invisible one. Doesn't eat or speak. I'm not pressing, don't even want to watch. Let it keep playing hide and seek. The child is like clothes with nothing inside. Doesn't take food. But all those kids, they forage for themselves. Somehow, little by little they've learned to look after themselves. Most likely all I need to do now is just love her, and eventually she'll show herself.
Maybe it's a boy after all? It started to make little noises, from inside his blanket cocoon, odd squeaks and croaks. It still turns away, but at least now it's reacting to me. It seems like it's really invisible. It tries to reach out and touch me from time to time, but there are no hands there, only emptiness. Maybe she escaped from the Program? Is that what they're doing to our kids? I shouldn't be thinking about it. I don't want to.
Found the bedding on the Invisible's bed, crumpled and tossed about as if in disgust. I gently asked why. It only creaked out something about how the bed smells bad. I took it out for a walk. It's a dry autumn, lots of scents in the air. We picked berries and leaves, and I asked which smell it likes. Silence. It accepts nothing. And then it lets me know it wants to get something to show me. I let it go. The city is almost deserted now, why not let it run around a bit?
There is no child in the house. But on the bed I found what it brought back for me. Strange selection: a few shriveled maple leaves, all mixed up with wet dirt, as if scooped them up from the ground in cupped hands and carried them home folded in its clothes. Now all these rags have to be washed. Whether I want to or not, I'll have to see what's hidden inside. But I think I can already guess. We became strangely close in the weeks that we spent together.