Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Day Five-Seventy-Three: The prudent decision

Nope. Not doin' it. Not fuckin' doin' it. For once, I am going to pursue the intelligent course of action.

The Dauphine is still all tilty. We haven't managed to so much as budge the stupid thing. The ground is too unstable, and we don't have the freakin' manpower to make it happen, you know? Not even the rhino can move the Dauphine at this point, either on the Hamster Wheel or by pushing / pulling the hull. We may actually have to abandon the old girl.

That raises questions. How long will it take to dismantle the Dauphine? Will we be stuck here for a month or more assembling carts to continue the journey? What's to be done with Queen Daena's tree? What will happen back on the Indy Planes... hell, even in the Imperium... in the meantime? Will the Non catch up to us? Or will something inside this jungle find us and finish the job the mud began?

At the moment, it's the jungle that daunts me the most. We're in a scary-ass place, even during the day. The depths of this place are near-unfathomable: if you dare peek into the darkness beyond the riverbed you'll see only hints of what might lay within, formed of sinister shapes and strange noises that move close and then go silent with alarming speed. I think I'd rather know that there's, say, a cult of cannibals watching us than to simply think there's one.

This brings us back to my original declaration: I am not going into the jungle. Nor is anyone else. Not until I absolutely have to. We're all staying by the river, by gods, and we're gonna like it.

I don't know how Plato and his rat survived for over a week in this jungle. I kinda want to ask, but that would mean semi-supplicating myself in front of the jackass who got us stuck here in the first place (who, I might add, is back in his 'cell' for the moment). Their continued existence hints that the jungle is not as sinister or dangerous as it looks, but I'd rather not take chances on that. Plato's a Non, after all, and the Non seem quite capable of taking care of themselves in bad situations. Humans? Sometimes, not so much.

And what could we find in the jungle that would help us anyway? A giant pry bar? A tonic that makes heavy objects magically fly? A helpful clan of labourers who love to push things out of mud? I can't think of anything feasible (though I will admit that I dreamed about a combination of all three last night, and I'll be damned if they weren't effective). There's no practical point in leaving our camp.

People keep asking me if I'll be leading an expedition into the jungle. I guess they expect that I'll try it eventually. I keep giving them the same answer: "Just because something's there doesn't mean you have to interact with it." I say we let the jungle keep its secrets while we wait for Libby to puzzle a way out of this predicament. She's done the impossible before, and I say that she can manage it once again.

(I hope, anyway.)

Enough writing for now. We're set up in a series of tents along the river's edge, and the light from my candle is probably keeping more than a few people up. We're getting precious little sleep from the combination of intense heat and irksome mosquito mantids as it is. Stupid little bastards with their pinchy claws.

Sleep, Dragomir. Sleep. Maybe tomorrow will have some answers.


Dragomir the Wanderer

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