A satire of dysfunctional politics and economic disparity.
Chapter VI: Day/Page 58 CONTINUED FROM YESTERDAY. . . . Pils said the LAAC sensor was located two miles due west from the coastline where Dr. Thrush’s pod had crashed, and that the pod would be another 300 yards off shore and about 50 feet deep in the water. Looking around one last time, she sees nothing else of use in the dismal little shack, so she kicks dirt and sodden leaves on the fire to squelch it, tries drinking the water, but the fetid smell is revolting. (Ugh, if I drink that I’ll puke.) She pours it on the dying embers instead. After checking her compass and clock, she starts walking due east, following the salty scent of the sea. She has 29 hours, until 11 o’clock tomorrow morning, local time, before Dr. Thrush’s pod times out.
While walking, she asks for a favor. (God, let’s not kid ourselves. We both know that you and I don’t talk much, since I’m not even sure if you’re there. But that also means I don’t typically bother you with a lot of trivial stuff. And what I’m asking for this time isn’t even really for me. So, if you’re out there somewhere, and there is anything you can do to help save Dr. Analore Thrush, now, respectfully, would be a good time to get off your ass and come lift a finger. Thanks! I really appreciate it.)
Flickering shards of bright sunlight dart through the leaves and trees as the rising sun inches over the horizon, splashing morning’s first rays of light onto a calm blue sea. Excitedly, she quickens her pace until she is running and moments later surges out of the trees, stopping abruptly at the edge of a limestone cliff. Far below her, frothy waves rush and retreat melodically against the rocky shore. Grey-white birds glide effortlessly on the breeze, pushed up by the turbulent currents. The ocean glitters and sparkles in the light of a new day unfolding on a new world—her new world. (What a world… It really is beautiful!)
She peers over the sharp edge of the cliff, searching for a reference point to mark the spot on the shore below her. Seeing a large boulder thrust prominently into the foamy surf, she makes a mental note of its size and shape so she will recognize it later when returning with a boat. Her gaze drifts further out to sea. (There… That’s where the pod should be.) The thought of the lonely pod being jostled about on the ocean floor 50 feet down in dark water hastens her pulse and impels her to turn and follow the rocky cliff-line south to where Pils said a city should be.
An hour later she catches whiffs of garbage and smoke. In the distance, near the shoreline, appears to be a small town, but it’s too far away to see clearly. She realizes now that although her sense of smell in the canine body is dramatically enhanced, the keen vision she had as a Falcon is greatly diminished. Squinting into the sharp rays of the sun, she makes out what appear to be hundreds of billowy smoke plumes rising from a jumbled clearing back against the mountainous jungle, and beyond that, near the coast, the faint silhouetted skyline of buildings clustered together to form a town. (That must be the city… but it’s hard to tell. Wow, these people really are blind. And what is that god-awful smell? Damn, is there anything my nose can’t pick up? Those buildings are like a mile away.)
What Sofia cannot make out clearly in the distance . . . TO BE CONTINUED TOMORROW. . . .
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, organizations, places, events, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
Copyright © 2013 by Gregory James All rights reserved