It's 12:40am... so tired...

This is the third night in a row, why is this happening? The others are all in bed, even Dale...

Time seems to flow so differently now. The foggy past of childhood is nothing more than a blurry image in my mind. Am I so sure they're things that really happened and not just dreams? Is there a difference? Who could I ask? Would they think me mad? How can I know if I'm truely sane? I have to keep thinking I am until someone says otherwise. Who are they to decide?

Time flows so quickly when I'm reading my favorite Sureluck Jones stories, or working a case. Time means nothing then. The objective bends to the will of the mind. There is only the crime to solve, be it real or fictional. I suppose I'm in my element then. But what does that make this?

Everyone else seems content. Gadget with her tinkerings, boldly choosing to reshape the now to suit her needs, answer her questions. She doesnt seem to dwell on the past, though she'd probably give me a lecture on REM sleep if I asked. Monty with his hankerings, seeking gratification from the perfect wedge with an insatiable thirst for adventure, the future be damned. How would it be to live as though there were no tomorrow? Zipper the silent oberserver, making himself known when he's spotted something that we all missed.. something so obvious once explained. Always quick to action in order to make things right. What would I see from his unique perspective? Dale... reality always seems to bent around him, which is the master? Does he know? Would he care? He would enjoy himself either way I suspect.

Why am I doing this? Why cant I relax like them, be happy with what is... Am I happy? How would I know? The future isnt written, but who's holding the pen?

The darkness of night comes as it always does. The others seem naturals at it. Sleep takes them or perhaps they welcome it's embrace? Why can't I?

What am I missing? What secret do they have? To be like them, what would it take?

I have to be up early tomorrow, hunt for more cases. A mountain of cases, is that what I am? Is that all there is? What would be different if the Rangers weren't here? How would the city be different?

How would the Rangers be different without me? Would they carry on the fight? Carry the torch?

Are they the mark I've left on the world? Or is it those we inspire through our actions? What will be my legacy in the decades fast approaching?

Does there have to be more to it? How can I be happy like them? Why won't sleep take me?

Why this anxiety? Over what? We've proven ourselves time and again. The years since we met are full of fond memories. Isn't that the point? Have we reached the goal then? What comes next?

Why would I stop to write this? To leave something behind? For who? Is this the only way I can express myself? What am I lacking?

What have we accomplished in this time we've shared? Years that feel so short now. Crime bosses and mad scientists seem content in their endeavours. Are they happy? They're following their dreams...

My dreams are so chaotic, no control over what is myself. Perhaps the balance of the structured environments I try to maintain in daylight? Am I trying to tell myself something?

Why am I doing this?

There I go again rambling, asking meaningless questions to no one. Who else would listen? How would I begin?

What would they think of me if they saw this.. should I destroy it? Then why get up and write at all?

Have to leave something behind, give all of this meaning. Start making some decisions.

It's almost 1am. How unproductive. I'll be slow tomorrow, put them at risk. And for what?

Scribblings that won't make sense to anyone.

This dream journal, why did I start it? Would anything else be enough?

What lies ahead of tomorrow? The inevitable sleepwalk through normalcy... or is it a dreamless night?

My alarm never fails to rouse me, to leave me wondering if this time it's for real.

Dale's snoring, comforting as it seems now, or Monty's breakfast, welcoming as any hot food would be tonight, are good anchors. They're dependable... more so than I am lately. What's changed?

Do they ever have these thoughts? Are they universal? Am I that far behind?

I have to be ready to lead. I can't waste time like this. The Rangers are needed. We'll be there, either way.

Only 1:02 yet the last three days seemed to have flown by... to say nothing of the last five years now that I think about it. So fast and getting faster. What'll the time be next time I glance at the clock?

This can't be right.

I should know better, it's been fine up until now. Why now? Why not a year ago?

Can't focus. That normally comes so naturally. I have to hold together in daylight, keep us safe. Is this the balance then? Is this neccessary?

Why should it be.

...

I don't feel any different. What did I expect?

How do they do it? Every night? Get up afterward, so refreshed and ready for what's next. Never looking back, no matter what. Do they stop to wonder? Have they already figured it out?

Can't remember why I started this. Why did I get out of bed? Isn't that a contradiction?

Why force what won't come so easily? Acknowledge it and move forward. To what? To this? What purpose will this serve?

1:06 and nothing's changed.

This isn't helping the team. What's the answer then? Does there always have to be?

Will I be able to rest then? What was the question?

They've answered for themselves, they are all content. Happy. Have they walked this path before? This path seemingly taken by so many now at peace.

This shouldn't be. I have to do something, understand whatever it is that's changed. How will I know?

I have to be ready for anything, ready to help see us through what comes next. Ranger work is never routine unless you look at it close enough. Did they create us? Are we dancing to their strings in the end? Who's in charge...

What makes me fit to lead? They're capable. Why do they stay? What can they see before them?

And here I sit, asking myself questions that I either don't know the answer to or for some reason refuse to give myself. Futile indeed.

Here I am, so it must serve some purpose.

What lies beyond what I can see? No one can say, but they seem so confident.

Maybe a chapter or two of Sureluck will clear my mind. It'll be 7am before I know it. An hour or two of sleep should be enough, it's not the first time.

I'll find the answers, perhaps they'll come to me in time. At whose whim? Does it matter?

I guess I have the answer I need for now.

Let sleep take me, wherever I may be found.

We'll be ready for whatever the daylight may bring. It's what's expected. It's what we're here for... and what I enjoy.

-Chip, 1:16am