2011 NANO Part 13
Through a series of miricles, dumb luck, and a mild combat with a secutiry robot that didn’t know who Rebecca was they manage to get themselves into the jungle. Rebecca looks around at the dense green foliage, birds and other animals flit through the treetops and she can sense things moving around outside of the small clearing they’ve landed in watching them warily, “Where are we” she asks half in wonderment half in fear.
“I don’t know exactly. Somewhere in South America. Many of the deep jungles are still unexplored by modern man. Jerimia and I made this waypoint years ago. This is close to the deep jungle where I need to be, but not so close that I will impinge on the jungle’s magic or interfere with Jerimia’s technology. He walks around the small clearing clearly looking for something. She watches him carefully until he triumphantly “Ah-has” as he digs into the ground a little bit and uncovers a chest. Inside are several back packs each carrying water, food, a small tent, sunscreen, vitemens, flares, and all sorts of other things needed to survive. He hands a pack to Rebecca along with a sturdy pair of boots, “Here you are going to want this.”
“What about you”
Wilson smiles as he takes off his shoes and socks. He wriggles his toes in the soft soil of the small clearing as he seems to drink his suroundings in. Satisfied he then takes off his shirt and pants leaving him in only a pait of boxers and a smile, “Normally I’d do this naked but I won’t on your account. I know that I am not much to look at and I won’t force anyone to see the whole monte”
“Oh my dear, don’t stop on my account. Let it all hang loose.” She laughs and for a moment he can’t tell if she is joking or not. He stops to consider it but decidies, “No. It is better I keep these on. If I get to far into it then I won’t be able to turn back when the time comes and I don’t know if even you could make me. Once I am here it is nearly impossible to find me unless I desire it. While part of me wants that again, most of me is glad you are here. I can cut pretty loose knowing that you will hopefull bring me back”
“Is there anything I should be worried about?”
“Oh no. Not while I am with you. I am the king predator here. Don’t worry”
“But what if you’ve lost all of your abilities as a result of being disconnected by the great snake”
He pauses. She can see by the look on his face that this is a senario that he has very much not considered. After a moment though he rallies by shrugging, “Well there is the off chance we might die together and to be fair I would of mentioned it if I had thought about it before we left. However, now we are here. The teleported will bring us back in 3 days, assuming it is still in operation by then, and everything will be just find don’t you worry” He awkwardly pats her on the head and heads off into the jungle.
She wonders, not for the first time, if she should regret coming along with him. However as they lope off into the jungle and she feels the world close in around her she definitely regrets it. Then she looks as Wilson. Poor bald little Wilson. He is over weight and he always has been. Some men look good with bald heads, it makes them seem, she doesn’t know exactly distinguished. His baldness just makes his head look larger than usual and slightly deformed. Most times he just looks awkward. Now though? Now in the jungle things are totally different. Lithe isn’t the word to describe him, mostly because of his pot belly and his ham thighs but it the closest we are going to get to describing his motions. As she watches him move through the jungle she realizes that he is doing it with absolute silence. He doesn’t disturble, twig, leaf or branch unless he absolutely has to. Most time though they thread a winding path through the trees if only to accommodate his silent mode of transportation more than anything else. She winces as she listens to herself. She must sound like a heard of 1000 stampeding elephants tapdancing over broken glass. He doesn’t seem to mind though as he checks back frequenly to make sure she is okay. Which she is. Not made out of spun glass indeed. She isn’t even particularly sure what spun glass is. After a couple of hours they stop near a stream. He drinks directly from it while she sips on a bottle of water. She remembers his stern lectures about conservation of water and food. They don’t stay long before they are on the move again. As she watches him she realizes that she doesn’t regret this at all. She starts to believe that it is side of him that everyone shoud see. Not the strange awkward man who seems like he constantly wants to pick at his wedgie but this one. This calm cool confident man who is silently streaking through the jungle like it is nothing. Like it is parting ways for him as if he is its master and it bends before him him, afraid that his wrath will be the end of all things great and small. Just like Jared has his computers Wilson has the juingle. After a couple of hours of walking the novelty wears off. Sensing her discomfort he slows his pace. Then after a few more moments she can hear water flowing off somewhere. A little bit latter and they come across a secluded grotto, that makes her gasp with wonderment. He smiles at her. It is one of his favorite places as well. The outcropping seems to rise up out of nowhere, the thick trees rising along with it like the jungle is rising up in a great wave. A water fall takes up one side of the outcropping., feeding a deep clear pool of water. The surrounding area seems to be home to every type of brightly colored flower, and butterfly giving the whole place a look that is almost cultivated, “A tiny eden in the jungle” she says more to herself than to him.
He nods and points to just behind the waterfall. She can see the altar. Most of it is in the shadows but she can see the skulls all around it and then it hits her. There is a faint smell of death in the air and the jungle isn’t littered with animal sounds like it normally is. Wilson smiles, “This is the gateway to the deep jungle. It is one of the earth’s great secret places and it is still jealously guarded by the snake cult. After we failed I took them all and lead them to the other side, into the deep jungle where they would be safe from both they prying eyes of the world and the surviving light bringers who are still dedicated to the cause of wipeing us out” The sun is going down and she wonders if he positioned himself so that he is backlit by its firey red glare on purpose. It looks impressive either way. He continues, “In order to open the gate I need a sacrifice. We used to use humans but they is just traditional. Anything with an abundant amount of red blood will do so long as it is fresh. So I regret to tell you that we must part ways for a bit while I go hunt by the moon’s light.” He sees the fear in her eyes and realizes that some additional words of comfort are going to be required if he hopes to keep this smoothed over, “Don’t worry this is a holy place. Animals won’t come near it, not naturally anyway. You’ll be safe here, and I’ll build you a fire and help you set up your tent before I go”. That did the trick which is good. He’d planned to do all of this anyway. He wanted night to be well on his way before he set out. Night time is his time to shine.
As he starts working Rebecca asks, “Why snakes?”
“Huh?” The question catches Wilson off guard and for just a moment he becomes the awkward little man in the office again who doesn’t seem to have any friends.
“I was just wondering, I mean why snakes? Panthers they live in the jungle right? Or maybe some bugs, or I dunno, snakes just seems a little weird to me. I mean when you talk about the great snake back in the city sometimes it sounds a little silly.”
“But out here?”
She bites her lower lip and looks around. Her eye catches the altar again, “Out here it seems to make a lot more sense than it does back there. I’ll definitely give you that much.”
He nods and looks around a bit at his surroundings before answering, “Truth be told I don’t really know why myself. When I didn’t uncover the cult so much as they discovered me. Man were they excited about a large naked white man eating bugs in the jungle. They thought I was going to make a great sactifice let me tell you. Most of them had never seen a white man before, let alone a fat man. The combination of the two was particularly exciting for them. Well I sure wasn’t going down without a fight, and it was something in the way I moved. Or the way I looked when I attacked back. Something made them stop their attack and bring me into their culture. They renamed me the white ghost. The white man who doesn’t burn. Apprently I fit their prophesy as the one who would cause the great snake to return and claim its prize. This universe and everything in it. It is up to use to prepare its passage. Snakes are almost everywhere you know. They may be cold blooded but they survive in the dessert, all over the us, and of course here in the jungle. Some are harmless and they eat what they can get. Those are our eyes and ears. Some are poisonous, they stike like lightning. They are our assasins. They can get anywhere unheard do their deed then vanish. Then there are the constictors. Our muscle. Snakes are primal, and they are fundamentally different from everything we are. They live only to hunt and kill. They don’t feel emotions in the same way us mammals do, and they don’t hear laughter love or screams. They lack ears you know. And who knows maybe there are other things out there, like great badgers, and swallows, and sea cucumbers. Who am I to say? The native americans used to worship all sorts of animals and they might of exerted any degree of power over their lives. Who knows how many secret places were destroyed when the while man colonized america? That’s just it though. The snake? The snake is still here. Slithering through the aether or whatever it is you want to call it looking for food, waiting for an opportunity, as pacient as the cosmos and aloof as a distant god can only be. Where, why, and how it acknowledges me I have no idea. However, I I am betting that what I am feel is such a minute fraction of its dark intelligence that when compared to the whole I am completely ignored just like everyone else. That’s fine. I am pretty sure that if it turned its full atension upon me I would be long dead, past any sort of recovery what so ever. That’s the way it is when you worship a giant snake god I guess”.
“Well okay then, that’s a pretty round about way of answering my question but I guess I will take it.”
“Sorry. It is like asking Stephen questions about his star things. The snake is to big and to impossible to know anything about it for real except trying to figure out the things in the vibrations it sernds our way” Then abruptly he heads off into the woods. Rebecca sits. Then she sits some more. Then she lights her self a fire. The night is deep empty and still. Like Wilson promised there is no sound. The jungle closes around her like a vast creature. Not malicious, nor evil, but not human. She could feel it down in her feet. She gets up and starts pacing around the fire unable to sit still but unable to leave the whole thing feels like a restlessness that will never give up. She’d never felt this way before not ever. Then it hits her arms. All the sudden her top feels unbearable. To light, then to heavy, then it itches, and then clings. As she paces the fire her steps become more and more rapid. Then she starts to add a half step, then one to the side. Soon she is dancing. Around the fire faster and faster to an ancient beat that no one can hear but one that can only be felt, deep down in her core where her “heart of hearts” lie she dances. Faster she goes stripping along to the beat, not erotically as is played out in so many bars of ill repute in cities all over the world but rather to just be rid of them so that she can better feel the air against her alabaster skin as she continues to move, half possessed half elated. Tilting her head back she howls at the moonless sky as a primevil beat takes hold of her and she lets it. Riding it like an expert she feels the pulse of the world beneath her steps as she sways her hips to the backbeat of life itself. The air is thin here. Now she knows what he means by the jungle and how he lusts for it. The freedom, the urges, the dersires. Desires that she never once had before, and will never naturally have again, desires that she would never ever dare to vocalize. She lets the fires flicker over her skin and soon with the whirrling, and gyrating the heat overtakes her. Nearly naked now she sways once, then twice, to far this time she stumbles and almost falls, and now it is her will keeping the beat not the jungle force that has possessed her. With a shriek of laughter she throws her self into the pool of water and then it happens.
Wilson bursts through the woods schilent as a viper. Slung over his back is wild boar still kicking attempting to gore him with his tusks. His body is covered with wounds. He isn’t breathing heavily nor does he seem to be particularly concerned with his injuries. Insanely she thinks to herself, “What is with all these men and not careing when they get hurt. Don’t they feel pain?” He strides over the water messianic style and seemingly from no where he draws is sacrificial dagger. She screams in delight as he slit’s the bore’s throat letting blood pour over the altar. Then she screams in terror when Wilson does the same to his own throat. She runs out of the water twords the altar but before she can the world goes black and she passes out. Somewhere on the wind she can hear Wilson’s gurgling laughter.