Time to check my traps. Not necessarily for dinner, but you never know.
“Hey! Get me out of this cage, and we’ll talk.”
Great. I’ve caught something, and it is chatty. I did not see that coming. “I think we’ll talk for a minute just like this first, thanks.”
“But you must let me out?”
The trap is indeed sprung, and there is something fluffy in the cage. It turns slowly. It is the cat that has been fading in and out around our campsites and generally acting smug. “Not so smug now, eh, wise guy?”
“Call me Bruce. And let me out!”
“Ok, Bruce. You know I’m Sydney and she’s Gwen. Time for a little cooperation.”
After pumping him for all he was worth, we agreed he was acting independently, and was likely not connected to any of the mysteries. So we did let him out.
But did that ungrateful monster thank us?
He faded out practically in my arms as I opened the cage!
This morning we set out on a test run. If it goes well, we might just press on from there, but we also planned to return to Gwen’s palace and regroup if needed. I’ve been soaking op knowledge about this world. Hopefully most of what I remember is true and useful. I also feel like my memory is about is reliable as a birdcage. It captures things, but possibly only the big, flashy, important bits. The small bits tend to find a way to be unaccessible when I want them.
We are back to the river as a start. There’s a fish here somewhere who worked with one of the last successful visitors. If we can find him and get him to talk, we might learn a few tricks. Tricky bit here is that all anyone seems to remember was that there was a fish. Not what kind of fish, how big a fish, how mean a fish… just fish. At the same time, saltwater fish are a lot fussier to keep alive, so the smart money’s on it being of the freshwater persuasion.
Our pattern at each stop on our journey is simple: first dodge any indoctrination efforts, then continue on our way in search of fish.