Friday, March 1, 2013

Statue of the snake


Little Jack had landed Odin's Revenge in a clearing sprawled enough to accommodate the vessel.  We were surrounded by the deep emerald of the wild jungle on all sides.  The local sun was just rising over the canopy of trees, casting razor-like shafts of light that slashed toward the ground 'tween the long reach of the black shadows.  The distant din of squawks, growls, and other animal noises thoraned across the wooded barriers, echoing out to us like chattering warnings that we were outsiders, and this was their territory.
We registered the area where the lost city should be shrouded among the heavy arb and magum, but we did not know the exact location.  I led us into the wall of woods in the strass I believed it to be.  My legs had to rise above our waists to make the journey over the underbrush, while Little Jack almost fully disappeared below it and we simply hoped not to step on any snakes.
We were relieved to chance upon another clearing, and we took the opportunity to escape into it for a moment.  I removed my Universalis Sextant from my utility belt and magged a reading of the twinkling stars, which were barely holding onto life from the encroaching pink and orange sky that the morning was bringing in over Vallouris's two moons.
Flipping out the proper filters at the back of the device, I pressed the button which brought up the hologram at the front.  It registered the stars and from them got the reading which explained exactly where we were, and gave a map leading to the area where we believed the lost city to be.
Little Jack was not anxious to re-enter the woods, but we jonned ahead anyway, and soon we found exactly what we requited, a true sign of civilization, a stairway.  People often miss signs of a former society because they are looking for grand markings, such a pyramid, or an artifact of great power.  They forget that something as simple as stairs is the purest sign of sentient life.
And just as I had ciphered, the stairs led directly to a major clue about the Siguerans, whom I had been searching for.  A large rock carved out into the shape of a snake.  I stood there and studied it.  Little Jack quietly pulled out his gun, so silently, in fact, that I didn't hear him until he fired directly at my feet.  There, two parts of a charred snake lay smoldering by my feet.  It had evidently intended on biting me.  Perhaps the statue was a warning?  I had no idea, but it was time to move on.