8:08 a.m.

What the heck?! Somehow, both Claire and Vicki managed to escape last night! And none of the guards who were on duty seem to have any idea how they did it. They all say they were attacked from behind and knocked out. I don't see any way that those two women could've climbed out of that pit on their own, so they must've had help. Could the man claiming to be Claire's dad have somehow snuck into the Temple and busted them out? Or is there a traitor working from inside the Temple?? I don't like the sound of either prospect. But anyway, Dogen says it's important that we find both Vicki and Claire and bring them back, so I'm about to join Aldo, Peter and Joel to go look for them. It's an island, so they couldn't have gone very far! Sheesh, this is nuts, I never imagined I'd be hunting down my ex-fiancee like a fugitive!

1:15 p.m.

Umm... I've been sitting alone in the jungle for almost two hours, and I'm still trying to process what just happened. It just doesn't feel real at all. I guess just to try to make sense of it all, I'll start at the beginning.

So Aldo, Peter, Joel and I left the Temple, and since we had no reason to believe that Claire and Vicki would go back to that cabin, Aldo used his tracking skills to follow their trail... which led us straight into their ambush, despite our best vigilance. Claire is apparently a better shot than I'd realized, and she managed to shoot both Peter and Joel while hiding in the bushes! Aldo and I fired back at her in response, but Aldo's gun jammed for some reason, and it took me a few shots before I was able to shoot Claire in the leg. Then as we moved in with our guns still drawn, Vicki suddenly emerged from the bushes to help Claire, and Aldo ordered her to stop. Vicki didn't even flinch and said she saw Aldo's gun jam up, and then she looked at me with cold eyes and a smile and said, "And you are not going to shoot me." For a moment, I actually believed her that I wouldn't be able to do it, but as soon as she aimed her gun at Aldo, with barely a split-second to think, I knew I had no choice but to shoot.

I did stop Vicki from shooting Aldo, but then she managed to run away, which totally surprised me because it should've been a kill shot! I kept shooting while she somehow disappeared into the bushes, and then I heard the familiar "ticka ticka" sound of that smoke creature around me, and then the black smoke emerged and basically formed a protective wall around Claire. Then suddenly something like a tentacle of black smoke shot out from it and threw me back several feet into the jungle with an unbelievable type of force! I have no idea what even happened to Aldo after that; I haven't seen him since. But as I stood up and got my bearings back, I looked up and saw Vicki walking toward me with a stern expression. Then she said something to me that totally didn't make sense: "I'm sorry you had to see me like that." What the heck?! Was Vicki implying that she was that smoke thing??! That's just absolutely insane! I just stood there and stared at her, confused and speechless, while she explained to me that the "real Vicki" died when the freighter exploded and that her body is buried on the beach about a mile west of her camp. It was all crazy talk to me, but I just didn't know how to respond, because I'd never seen her act like that before. But she went on to describe exactly where her body is buried if I want to check for myself, and then she said that either way, Claire is under her protection, and then she turned and walked away. I tried to follow her, but I quickly lost track of her again, which still baffles me.

Anyway, like I said, I really don't know what make of all this. All I can say is that the woman I just spoke with is not the same woman I was engaged to for six months! I'm guessing she wants me to go to that spot on the beach to look for her dead body. I have no idea why or what I'll actually find there, but I've decided to go there anyway, since I really feel like I need some answers, so I'm heading there now. I should get there before sundown.

7:16 p.m.

I can't believe it's actually true -- Vicki is dead. I'm sitting next to her grave on the beach. When I got here, the grave was very clearly marked and even had a shovel on top of it. It was obvious that somebody wanted me to find it and dig it up, which I was very hesitant to do at first, but I knew I had to find out the truth. The horrible stench and the sight of maggots all over Vicki's decomposing body were enough to make me throw up onto the sand, and I just couldn't bare to open my eyes after that... until a man's voice said, "I'm sorry you had to see this, but it was the only way you would believe it." I looked up and saw a man in his late 50's that I eventually recognized from Jack Shephard's file -- his late father, Christian, who was also Claire's father.

I don't know how much of what this man said I can actually believe, but he tried to explain everything to me -- that he was the one impersonating Vicki from the moment I encountered her in the jungle (which really pissed me off), that he's lived on the Island for a long time and must take on the forms of people who have died, that he chose Vicki's appearance in order to gain my trust for a while (which again pissed me off), and that all he really wants to do is leave the Island. He said he's trapped here only because Jacob won't let him leave. Well, if that's the case, and if this man has to use deception to manipulate people, then I'm sure Jacob must have a good reason for keeping him here! Frankly, I couldn't care less what happens to him.

Anyway, this man (who never once even told me his real name) said it didn't matter how much I chose to believe him at that point, but that he wants me to pass on a message to the one who keeps insisting on coming after Claire... which would be Dogen. He wants to make a deal: Dogen and those under his command are to leave Claire alone, and Dogen himself is to never leave the Temple, and in return, this man promises to stay out of the Temple and not harm any of our people. He said that this deal will last for as long as Dogen is alive and keeps his end of the bargain. I asked how we're supposed to know that we can trust him to keep his word, and he simply shrugged and said, "You don't." Then he walked away, leaving me alone here next to Vicki's grave to process all of this.

Shortly after that, I came to a disturbing realization: Earlier today in the jungle, when I still thought I was facing off with Vicki, I actually shot at her, with the intent to kill! If that had really been Vicki, I most certainly would've killed her, in order to save Aldo! I don't even really know what this means, except that I can never go back to being the person I was before I came to the Island. I'm one of these people for good now.

Anyway, it's getting dark, so I'd better fill Vicki's grave back up and then find a place around here to make camp for the night.

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