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Page 5




As soon as I have my tent set up my own personal base camp, I check up on Kerry. I search for him for a few minutes. He has gotten done negotiating. He's managed to recruit us a small native work force. When I do at least locate him, he's reclining in his tent. His eyes are closed. I know this meditative look. I am in luck - Clarke is not around. I enter.

'Well, eh?'

'Well indeed.' He says, then bolts up, the expression of peace gone. 'We must begin immediately. I shall if no one else shall. We must clear a very large part of the jungle. Our fields will be south of the shore and our fish plantations immediately west. We’ll set up permanent camp to the east.'

If I've not already made clear, Kerry is not one to be argued with. He disappears into the jungle, with a machete. I trump back to my own camp. On the way, I am stopped by Archie. I smile as politely as I can; for I am still not comfortable with most of these people. 'Good-day.' He says, equally polite.

He has his own machete. Good for him, I think. Let him join Kerry in his quest. I am sorry for thinking out so harshly against my best friend. But, I did go back to my tent and grab my own machete. I was not surprised to find that entire crew was assembled, and Clarke and Kerry were rambling insatiably. I mentally shrug them off.

We work until it gets dark. Kerry is the last to stop. He hacks away, still talking with Clarke, who holds a light.

'Right - its sort of like the driving issue. Who decides that seventeen is the age in one state, but sixteen in another?'

'Yes! And what about presidential elections...'

I cook us a meal. A simple meal, a survival meal, a`la Spam. We eat silently. I sleep well that evening. I leave my head outside my tent, and pear through a whole in the foliage, admiring the stars as my body is carried away yet again by the invisible forces, which act in us all...

I awake harshly though, because someone is yelling.

Indeed, my initial sardonic thought that it must be Sal was true; indeed it was her, yelling as she does often. I am not fond of Sal - but when I found that she was arguing with Clarke, I suddenly felt my interest in her piquing. I wondered what the argument was about, therefore I made myself get out of my comfortable spot and head over immediately.

Sal was babbling most literally. Sentences would start, but not finish. All I could manage was that she was bitching about some substance. Clarke was patient; he waited until he could wait no longer, then let loose. 'Morals aside, this is a jeopardy to the team - what if someone else should get into it? Hmm? What about the natives? I don't care what you do on your spare time. That is your spare time. However, this is something more than that. I hope you realize that. If you don't, I'm not sure why you are here.'

They are trading comments back and forth. I'm not sure what it is about. Everyone else is off working. These two are alone. I leave them be, and head out to the workplace.

It is a shriek that brings us all back over to them. To my own shock, it is not Sal that has shrieked, although it was frantic, and high pitched. I run, and leap over anything that obstructs my path; my body still in fairly good shape. I duck under low hanging objects, and run the path to the main camp.

Clarke's body was nicely hacked. I step back. The site is not a new one to me, but it has been a long time since I have seen such a mangled body. I look around. Kerry's eyes go wide. He turns to me quickly. 'Fetch the gun. And be quick!'

I do as I'm told, but with a stumble in my foot. I am not sure what to think of this. Blood is coursing through my veins, and voices are speaking to me in my head. How? Who? Why? During this time the thought of the argument between Sal and Clarke is not a thought in my head. But it is in Kerry's.

I return, with the gun it its holster, loaded. Clarke is dead; we knew that from the beginning. But Kerry just looks at him. The natives are not to be seen. 'What are you thinking.' Kerry's look worries me. My pulse speeds up.

'Where is Sal. Answer me this, my friend, and you shall see.'

We begin to look for her. We move out in a group. Kerry tromping ahead. I don't know how long we search, but we do find her - sitting, by the stream. Hands covered in blood, a machete lying


   
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