Eyes Without A Faceearliest post first | most recent post first
With the Eyes Without A Face as his personal wrist-mounted drone, Orin has become the envy of all his friends.
We were able to remove the motor from a broken bath toy and install it as the engine on the ship (though it takes three crew members to wind it up, it still beats those damn sails). We've convinced Orin to wear a terrycloth wristband (which we found at the bottom of his toy chest) and are able to connect to it securely using the ship's docking clamps. This arrangement keeps Orin's direct handling of us to a minimum, which is important due to his enormous size and our relatively delicate construction.
We've decided (as a crew) to remain with Orin for the time being. It's excellent cover, and running "missions" around his back yard or the park allows us to explore this Land of Giants without directly exposing ourselves as alien visitors. If we were apprehended by a grown up, we'd undoubtedly be shut up in some laboratory (or worse!). As it is, Orin doesn't let anyone touch us, and even got into a scrap over us at the park with some over-zealous chums. We circled the altercation, and even got to try out the new needle launchers the Captain had installed.
The nature of the Colossal Mega-Monuments should have been obvious. The moment that we saw the human figure coming over the horizon, we were immediately shocked into the reality the terribly inverted world we were in. A young boy, perhaps 9 or 10 years old, in a rugby shirt and shorts and tall socks, bounded across the landscape. In some ways, the most natural of scenes. But as he drew closer and his size became evident, it was terrifying.
Truly, THIS was the Colossus.
We barely caught the wind in time to make clear of what we now knew to be an enormous ball, just before the child kicked it over the eastern horizon.
His name is Orin. He spotted us quickly, buzzing at ground level over the grass, and thankfully he did not crush us in his giant hands. Instead, we raised enough ruckus on the ship that we caught his attention. He put his enormous eye up to the windows of the bridge and said "HELLO IN THERE!" We were able to communicate with him enough to let him know we were too special to be destroyed, and indeed that we could be wonderful friends. He agreed, and has taken us back to his room, where I am currently surveying his collection of broken toys for equipment we can use to upgrade the Eyes Without A Face.
THE VALLEY OF THE COLOSSAL MEGA-MONUMENTS is not a valley, but the captain thinks it sounds better than THE BIG FLAT GRASS PLAIN OF GIANT SHAPES. It is one of the more unusual things we've seen on any of our voyages, however, and deserves being recorded in our logs as such.
Traveling at a higher altitude (given the increasing height of the grass) soon became second nature. The breezes are different here, but the sails are operating even better than before. Or perhaps we're just getting the hang of them.
After many miles of the seemingly infinite sea of green, we spotted shapes on the horizon. After a full day's travels, it was hard to understand their size, or how far away we were. It was the scale of the behemoths that threw us off. A perfect sphere, resting nestled in the grass, many hundreds of feet high (and much taller than our current cruising altitude). Large columns, apparently made of a kind of steel, painted white and arching into the sky, meeting at some point just beyond our field of vision in the clouds. Massive chain links, each one larger than the ship herself, dangling down from the heavens and suspending a platform on which 15 ships of our size could safely land. Other objects of more abstract shape and made of alien materials dot the plain, each equally massive and forcing us to change our route as if around small mountains. The captain surmised one could have been made of leather, though it would take very large herds to create a single piece of material that large.
We've dropped the sails and are floating peacefully underneath the yaw of the massive sphere. Here we'll spend the night. Our popcorn stores continue to hold, and we've discovered more than adequate quantities of water held suspended in the massive blades of grass each morning. Still no sign of living civilization, though these monuments were undoubtedly created by highly intelligent beings, sophisticated enough to build such massive structures. Are they here even now? Perhaps dwelling far below the grassline? Being people of the air, we won't be exploring down there.
After we left the popcorn fields, the grasses grew to tremendous heights. We'd grown used to flying relatively low, on account of the great openness of the Infinite Prairie, and that we were still mastering the sails. But now the grasses have grown so tall that we're being forced to fly higher, and the winds are different up here.
The grasses are hundreds of feet tall. We've lost sight of the ground between its stalks so there's no telling how high we are now. We steer clear of the seed heads, ever since snagging a loose ley line on one. The canopy looks like a sea of green, waves rippling in the breezes, spreading out in all directions. The captain figures we could land right on it if we wanted, but I don't like to think about how big the aphids or caterpillars might be down there.
As we've passed over the endless miles of popcorn fields, the bloomed kernels have become larger and larger. Currently they are the size of basketballs. The novelty of it has done good for the crew's morale, having had little but popcorn to eat for weeks, but our supply of butter has begun to grow short. The greater danger, however, is the weevils, which have also been steadily increasing in size.
Early on the weevils were tiny and not so plentiful, and could easily be brushed out of the nets as we brought our bounty on board. Eventually clubs became necessary to subdue them, but today one was able to overcome a crewmember and make its way on board. All hands took up arms (axes, machetes, solar-powered tasers) and were able to coral it in the hold. Given our recent hard times, there's nothing in there for the creature to eat, so it's been decided to leave the door shut and wait until it starves rather than endanger the crew any further. The sailor who was initially attacked sustained deep lacerations, but the doctor says she'll be alright.
Operating the sails is a lot easier than we thought. They're more like parafoils, and we are able to control them directly from the bridge via a relatively simple rigging of cables and controls. Even when the wind isn't completely in our favor, we're able to tack across the Infinite Prairie in an efficient enough manner.
We've left the herds of Wild Toasts behind, and the land has now turned to popcorn in full bloom as far as the eye can see. When we dip low enough, we cast out the net and scoop up great bushels of it, much to the delight of the crew. While we have still found no signs of civilization, the crew is happy just to be airborne and moving again, with no further signs of the madness that plagued us in Grasshopper Town.
The Eyes Without A Face has been airborne for a few days. The discovery of store of spidersilk canvas in an abandoned warehouse in Grasshoppertown was key--the Captain redeeming himself with his discovery. Using the Grasshopper folk's native wind-powered electrical grid, we were able to produce enough electrolysis to fill the bags. On top of that, a wind has finally perked up, which means the sails the Captain traded our engines for are finally useful! We left with the first breeze.
We brought along as much of the crew as we could gather. That is, the ones still mentally able--roughly 2/3rds of our original compliment. Enough to man the ship. We only hope the best for those left behind. The rest wandered off into the grasses, under the spell of the Prairie Madness. The Doctor says there was nothing we could do.
Being marooned here on the Infinite Prairie is taking its toll on the crew, as evidenced by their hallucinatory log posts. The formerly bustling Grasshopper village is now a ghost town, its inhabitants eaten or captured by the dragonfly raiders. The Eyes Without a Face remains a wrecked skeleton of its former self, though myself and the few remaining crew members who have not lost their minds are attempting to effect repairs.
The disaster of our encounter with the dragonflies has been a sobering wake up call for the Captain. Though he attempted to abdicate his position, I and the remaining sane members of the crew feel he’s still the best person for the job, so long as he allow for a more consensus-based leadership technique.
As far as the rest of the crew, they appear to be suffering from what the ship’s doctor refers to as “Prairie Madness,” which is a combination of the nervousness that any Airworker feels from being on the ground too long, emotional issues related to the destruction of the ship, and potentially a reaction to unknown allergens native to the Infinite Prairie. It’d be a heck of a place to have hay fever, I’ll tell you that.
Whether or not there are the right materials here in Grasshopper Town to get the ship flying again remains to be seen, but there are few other options short of succumbing to the madness.
I suppose we're takin shit from paris now