Tag Archive: The Disc

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.



Fallsday, 06 Torp

Earned 32 / Spent 14

Savings 17,243

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I take the gold needle every day.  My nervous hands feed the syringe into the fissures of my petrified shins, deep and deep until I feel the nip of the needle against the secret flesh within my leg.  Close to the bone.  The outer two inches of my legs are stony wood now, grey and unfeeling.  Amazingly, I can still flex my toes and ankles.  The petrified wood creaks and complains when I do.  I am unforgiving with the long, glass needle.

Does it make running any easier?  When I pass through the muddy thoroughfares of Kernel, past The Den and along the edge of the jungle, I don’t notice much of a difference.  But has the infestation of the drakeroot slowed a little?  Are the writhing tendrils, which are at their worst first thing in the morning before the sun rises, a little less vigorous? 

It will take another month for the gold needle to build its cumulative effect and start to defeat the infestation.  Meanwhile the Disc moves back and forth across the sky, sometimes breaching the edge of the sun’s radiant circle.  Other times it disappears behind a cloud and, although I can still feel its gaze burning into my chest, I can almost ignore it.  It will be long into Vernuz before I settle on the gold needle dosage.  By then I’ll know whether the alchemist will have to up the amount.  At least I’m not fiddling around with blue totems anymore.

She warned me of side effects.  Nausea.  Loose bowels.  Impotence.  I remind her that I’ve taken the gold needle before and that it beat my infestation.  I never felt for a second that the drakeroot hadn’t been completely scorched from my system.  But maybe it hadn’t been; perhaps a lingering tendril of the invasive little plant still remained, deep in the marrow of my bone.  

Of course, like the most frightened of cancer victims, I carried on sucking in smoke.  The drakeroot infestation took hold again.  Sometimes you’re just too scared to do anything else, and the root is part of my life.  I can’t run without it, even though it’s destroying me.