Knot, 24 Torp

Earned 0 / Spent 41

Savings 17,549

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I awoke to pre-dawn Kernel to find it in snow.  The township was blue in the non-light, glittering with the faintest traces of dawn that were being sketched across the clouds closest to the horizon.  This is Torp in Terrene, where the freeze comes suddenly and without warning: a cold snap biting at your heels even when you’re surrounded by jungle. 

The air is naturally full of moisture all around the rainforest, and when it gets cold enough you suddenly remember this fact.  The air crystallises.  You might wake in the night to the sound of thousands of trees bending and groaning under the weight of their new snow-white coats.  You can almost hear the deliquescing ice tinkle like glass across the vanes and veins of giant fern.

The giant fauna in the jungle go quiet during these times.  All those cold-blooded reptiles, be they giant vegesaurs or tiny bumbling promicroceras, go to sleep waiting for the rime to recede down the trees until it’s thin enough to be melted by rainwater.

Today is Knot, which means it’s my day off.  But a courier never stops running, even at the weekend, so I put on my best-gripping shoes and took off across the slick pavements and slushy thoroughfares of Kernel.

I saw stage drivers de-icing the wheels of their coaches.  Someone else was taking a sick-looking xylem across town in a wicker cage, presumably to the tree vet.  The creature squirmed unhappily in his temporary home, pawing half-heartedly at a scrap of blanket.  A person from the Jade Reefs, looking particularly uncomfortable in the cold outdoors, was shovelling snow away from his or her restaurant.

As I ran I tried not to think about the Disc.  On days like this, the air is clear and the sun visible if one dared to look; but so is the Disc, at the other side of the sky, turning (if indeed it turns) like a hole that bores itself into the heavens.

Another letter from Foist came yesterday.  I always relish them, these moments, and cling tightly to the memories I make myself create.  Breathe it in, savour the feeling.  She is happy, and has become more determined for us to be together in Metrodon.  In turn she has galvanised me into saving harder; together we make plans and await our reunion.  I’ve saved 17,549 in seeds, including a few nuts.  Every one is still fresh (I pay for food and rent with the old seeds and save the new).  But I need much more – almost twice as many.

In her words I sense Foist’s dedication to us, but the waiting between each letter gets longer each time.  She is telling me that I am too close, even here in Kernel; that she must not be smothered if she is to grow.  I know that I can step back if I must.  The feelings will not change, but she’ll recognize that they are felt even if they aren’t constantly put into words. 

When the moon passes in front of the sun, it casts a shadow over Terrene.  But when the Disc is low with the light behind it, there is no shadow that you can see, only the feeling of its uninterrupted presence.

— RSR

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