ContactDecember 2005  –  My link into D’ni a few months earlier was well timed.  I ducked behind a dry fountain and lay quietly at its base.  A trickle of water echoed off the surrounding walls.  I resisted the temptation to wet my parched throat and eyed stack after stack of fresh supply containers.  This camp had made plans to stay.  There was no activity to be heard or seen.  I knew from experience which containers would store food.  A few had been opened and I crawled to those first.  I sat warily in the semi-darkness and gorged myself before removing my pack and sweater and stuffing them full of whatever I could take.

As the weeks and months passed, I lived in the shadows just as Slade and I had once done.  I used my small linking book to escape detection, and spent many long hours sitting quietly in the darkness outside this busy camp, watching and listening.  I learned of the organization responsible for the initial restoration effort, and the explorers gossiped openly about new rumors from the surface of the officials attempting to reorganize.  I sensed their excitement, and I waited patiently for an opportunity to make my presence known.

A few new faces appeared as activity in the camp intensified.  One of the new explorers seemed highly educated and possessed extraordinary knowledge of the city and the known ages.  I was stunned to hear him openly discuss the same vision of the young woman I had seen months earlier.  The other explorers called him Johan.  He spoke in a heavy European accent, possibly Scandinavian, and his eyes were a piercing blue that would get your attention when he spoke.  He wore a small device on his wrist and hand that buzzed and blinked whenever he would press its large round face.  He referred to it as a “Key”.  The most shocking thing about Johan was the small book that he would occasionally reveal, identical to mine.  I decided Johan and I needed to chat. 

I closely monitored activity in the camp waiting for an opportunity to approach Johan.  It was just too risky.  If I were going to reveal myself to him, I would have to use the element of surprise.  I needed to talk to Johan alone and I feared being discovered by the rest of the camp.

Johan held nightly meetings in what appeared to be a small theatre, but I could never get close enough to hear exactly what he was discussing.  As the attendees exited the small doors each evening, I detected a buzz among the crowd and a new motivation in their efforts in the days following.  In my opinion Johan was arrogant.  He strutted about with a cockiness that made me uneasy, but the other explorers acted as if he were ruler of the city.  I was not impressed. 

Johan was fond of his tobacco pipe.  He had a nightly habit of smoking it just outside the camp near the edge of the water.  Several nights I witnessed him using his small linking book.  He would disappear for a few minutes and then immediately return.  I had no clue what he was up to.  I decided this would be my opportunity.

A few nights later I lay stealthily under the edge of a rock near his favorite spot.  As I saw him approach the water my heart raced with fear and excitement.  He performed his nightly ritual of pipe smoking and I overheard him muttering about something.  He pulled the linking book from his vest and I bolted toward him.  He heard my footsteps and faced me with blue eyes wide open.  I knocked the linking book from his hands and we both scrambled for it.  My surprise attack had given me the upper hand and I beat him to the spot where the book lay.  I flailed at its cover and placed my hand squarely on the linking panel.  I am sure the sight of my image shimmering out of sight enraged him.

I knew he would soon follow..

Published in: on December 4, 2007 at 9:19 pm  Leave a Comment  
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