I thought the posting of the mysterious (possibly hoax) journal would be an end to it. I’m often wrong and this was no time for fate to throw me a straight ball. Sally, the crab I dispatched to carry the journal to Dr Mason’s lab(1), returned bearing a telegram.
JOURNAL RECEIVED STOP THANK YOU STOP MOST WORRYING STOP MUST STOP THE SPREAD OF EVIL STOP IT MUST BE STOPPED STOP BLOW IT UP STOP ONLY WAY TO STOP IT STOP NEED TO ATTEND TO THINGS AT THE SANITORIUM STOP MEET YOU AT THE ISLAND STOP COORDINATES GIVEN TO NICE CRAB STOP GO AHEAD AND SCOUT STOP TAKE CARE STOP JEREMIAH MASON STOP DR STOP
“The coordinates?” I prompted before we blinked ourselves into a coma.
Sally bounced a good inch off the ground as she remembered and began to trace the numbers into the sand with her claw. I memorised them, erased them with my boot and made preparations to leave. These preparations included giving Sally the launch codes to a small thermo-nuclear warhead I had found here or there and stored in the sunken cave just off shore(2). She had strict instructions that if I did not return within two days, she was to reduce whatever the hell was out there to naught but glass and shadows. She saluted and marched off to find some shrimp to munch on.
With my backpack full of food, water, spare rounds for my Webley, dynamite and Elemental, I teleported over and emerged from the queer third space of intra-grid travel in a jungle much the same as mine. The air smelt the same, the humidity was similar, even the trees and the insects in the reminded me of home. I had the feeling that the journal hadn’t floated that far to reach me. Maybe the next island along, I wondered.
Checking my current location, I found that I had actually been deposited some distance south from where I had expected to be. Odd, but not unheard of. I would just have to walk the rest of the way there. On my own. Through the thick jungle. And it was getting dark. I took my pistol in hand and began to hack at the undergrowth with my machete – Dr Mason could follow my path, I reasoned, I just hoped he would come sooner rather than later…
To be continued…
(1) Lovely lass and a keen worker. This was her first assignment. Didn’t she do well. Hope she remembers the launch codes – but not too early though 0_o
(2) Don’t ask. It’s best you don’t know. And if you see it, try not to knock it over or bang it, please.