8:42 a.m.

Our small teams are about to head out to begin assessing the current state of the Island after yesterday's events. Jim and I are volunteering to go to the village to see if there's anyone there and whether anything might've happened there in the last three weeks since we left, especially when that black smoke creature took off in that direction the other night. And speaking of the black smoke, Dogen is giving each team a small bag of a weird grey powdery substance that he says will protect us from the black smoke. If we happen to encounter that creature, we're supposed to dump the substance in a circle on the ground and stand inside the circle, and somehow that will prevent the black smoke from attacking us. I have no idea how a circle of grey powder on the ground is supposed to protect us, but then again, a hostile creature made of black smoke already defies all logic, so I'm just going to do what Dogen says if we encounter it.

Normally we wouldn't even need the grey powder to venture out on the Island, because the black smoke is supposedly bound by some rule that prevents it from harming any of Jacob's chosen people. But the problem is that over the years that Ben has been our leader, he's apparently brought some people into our community that weren't explicitly chosen by Jacob, and none of us actually realized this until the black smoke attacked and killed Harper last week. That's why Richard was surprised at the time, but in retrospect it's not surprising when you consider Ben's deceptive nature. All the more reason to have John Locke take over as our leader... if we can find where he disappeared to!

Anyway, we've all got our supplies ready, and we're about to head out.

3:04 p.m.

Well, now I'm definitely glad that we brought this grey powder stuff with us! Just as we were approaching the outer perimeter of the village, we heard the familiar scary sounds of the black smoke creature approaching us! Jim didn't think we'd have time to make it past the sonic fence and reactivate it, so we ended up dumping the grey powder in a circle around us, just like Dogen instructed us, and it actually worked! The black smoke came right up to us and then stopped in mid-air! Then it started emitting these bright flashes of light in our faces, which I totally wasn't expecting, and then it suddenly left and flew off into the jungle. Jim and I waited a few more minutes to make sure it wasn't coming back, then we made a dash for the sonic fence. All I can say is, it's a good thing I don't have a heart condition or a bladder control problem!

8:08 p.m.

I'm back at the Temple. It's been a while since I've had a busy day like today. When Jim and I got to the village, we could immediately tell there had recently been some major carnage there. The first thing we noticed was a horrible stench in the air. It didn't take us long to realize it was coming from a few dead bodies in the yards! And one of them was Ben's 16-year-old daughter, with a gunshot wound in her head! We also found three more bodies in the front yard of our house, and they looked like they'd each been shot in the chest. I wasn't entirely sure, but I think they were Oceanic survivors. There were plenty of other signs that some kind of shootout had taken place, like fences and houses being shot up, and Diane's old house looked like it'd been blown to smithereens by a bomb or something! And then Ben's house was just a complete mess inside. I'm guessing that whoever was being shot at had taken refuge in there. It makes me wonder if Ben was actually there when his daughter was shot, or if he even knows about it. I guess we'll never know for sure, unless we manage to find anybody who survived the battle.

Anyway, Jim and I weren't sure what we should do with the bodies, so we just left them there and spent the next couple of hours searching the rest of the houses in the village, but found nothing else out of the ordinary. We came back and told Richard what we'd found, and he said he'll go there tomorrow and bury Ben's daughter himself. It turns out that none of the other teams found anything today, either, so Richard is going to have us venture out to the farther areas of the Island tomorrow, which means most of us will be camping with our teammates overnight. Fun.

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