Posts Tagged journey
The sun shines over the river. Nathan climbs out and lies down on his towel, his skin is instantly dimpled with goosebumps from the breeze lightly dancing with the water along the more sensitive parts of his body. Brian also comes over, lying down on his towel. Nathan watches him, but he keeps his eyes averted, not looking at Nathan. Nathan sighs, and falls asleep, leaving Brian to work it out on his own.
In his dreams Nathan is walking through a vista filled with hardy, low-growing bushes and grass, sparse trees, and a yellow-green color to the plants contrasted by the dark rocks scattered everywhere. Most of the plants seem to be growing out of the rocks themselves, and there’s very little soil. Nathan is having problems breathing, but he forces himself to stop, stand still and take a few deep breaths of the cold, arid air. The sky above him is a deep, almost black blue color, entirely clear of clouds. He looks around the empty landscape a little more, hoping for some sort of animal or guide. Finding none, he keeps walking.
Progress of any sort in this environment, Nathan finds, is difficult. Every couple of yards he has to stop and regain his breath. Still the landscape is devoid of obvious life. Nathan reaches out, trying to feel the world around him, listening to his proprioception. He knows there must be life here; life has proved itself to be everywhere, regardless of hardship. He senses nothing and sits.
Sitting gives him a chance to look at himself, to see the heavy hiking boots he’s wearing, the high-altitude climbing pants and jacket he’s wearing, his bare hands at work in the world. Nathan thinks that his hands should be covered by thick gloves, and the dream opens up before him like a flower, shedding the barrier of scripted observation. Aware that this is a dream now, Nathan looks around again.
“Honorable guides of the dream-realm, I ask for your presence,” the words are whispered into a drying breeze. The very air here is quiet, hushed, reverential. It demands the same from Nathan, and he obeys out of respect.
Standing up, Nathan sees a llama, or an alpaca, coming up towards him from the northwest. His horizon is close, as the mountain he is on rounds away and down in that direction; other mountains rise up behind the immediate horizon. The South American Camelid approaches him fearlessly and stops a yard away, it lowers its face to eye level. Nathan speaks.
“It seems I am lost in your mountains.”
“Not yet,” the guide responds. The mouth of the “animal” moves in an articulated and human way, its teeth clacking together on the “t” sounds and making them echo. Nathan has had enough training to ignore it, but the mimicry is uncanny. “You will be though.”
Nathan nods. “What brings me here?”
“Events will come to pass, things that happen,” the animal spits, “You will come here for guidance.”
“Why have I come here now?”
“To see and to know. Your work here will be dangerous. It is best you are prepared.”
“Thank you for your warning, auspicious guide.” Nathan nods, and as the animal turns away he wills himself to wake up.
Up ahead, three overhangs and on the wrong side of the canyon from him, Roob spied the vein of black-amidst-the-green running vertically along the wall and pooling at the bottom of the canyon. The black stood out starkly because of the green tint of the goggles and Roob pressed himself harder. He abandoned keeping his breath even and let it come in shortened bursts. Dust was coming up from the non-critical sections of the walls and floors of the canyon: the Change was starting just as Roob dived into the chasm, his vision swimming. Despite a lack of breath, Roob quickly set to work.
He knew that the critical material was a thin vein in the rock on the canyon edge, so it would hold; but, he didn’t have a survey-map of the area, and wouldn’t know how much of the rest of the canyon would hold against the Rain, and how much would turn critical, until the rain stopped and he left the crevice. Then there was the matter of whether or not he could leave the crevice once the rain stopped. Quickly he pulled a folding-screen made of critical material, hammered thinly into shape, out of his bag. Pulling off his glasses with the other hand; the charcoal colored light coming in from outside painted the chasm in its natural blood-red color. The tempered-glass joints squealed slightly as they rubbed against each other, more as Roob wedged the folding-screen into the entrance. It billowed out slightly, both to prevent too much pressure on the screen, and to prevent build-up near a shelter entrance.
Once that was in place, Roob quickly pulled out a glass bubble filled with a sky-blue, gel-substance and shook it, making sure to cover the openings; he set down the now-glowing container in what he assumed to be the center of the crevice, and pulled-out a bio-pen. The pen was filled with a similar substance as the lamp, but was made of less sturdy construction than glass. With the entrance-screen to his right, he went to the wall and drew a symbol on it, the bio-pen reacting with the critical material. The sigil started glowing brightly in a cobalt color as the critical material… pulsed is really the best word for it. Not wasting time, he drew another glyph on the entrance screen, and another on the wall opposite the first. Roob went to draw a third on the wall opposing the entrance, but didn’t find the wall. Instead it seemed the crevice continued. Cursing softly, he instead drew half the sigil overhead, and the other half under the lamp. Now he could rest, safe that the material would hold, and he would be able to leave.
Roob took a moment to settle everything, placing the unnecessary things back in his bag. He started to undo the straps for the leather, now that he was indoors, but stopped himself. His eyes moved opposite the opening, down the crevice. There was no way to know if the critical material continued to line it, and if it didn’t, he would have to be careful. Without the continued lining there was a greater likelihood that Rain would start pooling on the ground, but hopefully the Rain wouldn’t last long enough for that to happen. Running his hand down the wall (careful not to disturb the glyph), Roob picked up the lantern, left his bag behind and started his journey into the crevice.