Personal log of Kowalski, Roger
The blizzard was wailing the whole night and the day. We used the time to try to dry our clothes, but the small snow cave filled with five persons made it difficult, we had to vent air inside every hour, which at least dried up the wet stuff to damp. The damp stuff remained damp. Everything is damp after a while. Even the atmosphere.
Babs tried to cheer us up a bit, offered to play some games. But the three geeks are a buzzkill, like she put it. They seem to have recovered from their novacoke crash, but they just hang around and do something.
In the early evening hours they suddenly opened their eyes as if there was a signal to do so and announced that they managed to use their senses while being joined. A very alienating thing, when three people talk and act as one. They still didn’t move. After that they kept busy with themselves. Like trying to balance an empty bottle on a finger and things like that. It seemed they made experiments and were actually working on their project somehow.
They asked us about food. Babsie was against it, but Richard and me decided to share some soup. They protested about that it was too few energy, or should I say ‘it’? To see the hive mind at work really creeps me out. And I wonder who had shown interest on such a project?
In a small space like this little things come to notion. Like Babsie’s impression that they are behaving strangely like BTL users, which I can confirm now. Like that their personalities seem to be a little unstable. Even in the moments they leave their joint you have problems to put the finger on the person you talk to. It is like a mix up and their personalities bleed a bit into each other. After a while this goes away, but it must be like those persona-fix-chips, where you have to feeling to be someone else. One of the medium level chips, but some of those who cause most trouble on the streets, when Joe Average is thinking he is some action hero vigilante and fires on imagined ‘evildoers’ in the next supermarket.
But whatever these three do, it’s looking harmless enough to see them try to sing together and do experiments like that. Babsie is really pissed off by them, but we let them try for a while, until Babsie screamed: “Shut the fuck up!” I looked at her. “Pretty please”, she said. They started to do something else, were just looking at Babsie in a strange way.
“It’s looking as if the weather is clearing up”, Richard announced after he went out to let air ventilate our cave. “I guess we start off tomorrow at dawn. Everybody make himself ready, so we may get to the shelter in one day. But I can’t promise that we make it, because a lot of snow had been fallen. So we will be slow.”
Babsie and me were talking a little bit about survival things with Richard, who was happy to share. Where we have to go, he showed us the route on the map. But there’s still the creek between us and the crest that will lead to the highland where the shelter is. “I don’t think any chopper will fly at this weather. Even without the storm the low hanging clouds are limiting view and the snow is still falling. So the shelter is our only hope.”
“What then?”, Babsie asked him. “We wait for to be picked up by the copter. This journey ends there. It was planned to go a bit further after a day or two rest, but with this weather and the boy dead, we can’t. It was planned to follow up the crest and over the pass here into the next valley. We had prepared a raft there, so we would be able to drive it the creek downstream, until we arrive here.” And he pointed on the map with his finger. “Which was the place for the end and the pickup.” He sadly shook his head. “But we really can’t. If we’re lucky the Salish Rangers already are looking for us. I didn’t radio Sarah, so she will have contacted the next station.”
“So we have to cross the creek?”, Babsie asked again. “Yes.” “But with all this snow and the rain won’t it be difficult?” “That’s what I fear. But upstream here is a ravine. And on the top of it, it might be possible to get a rope on the other side. It’s the point, I hope we can cross.” I watched Babsie, but she nodded. “Sounds fun.”
The rest of the day was more or less waiting.
The three geeks joined us in the late evening, when we all made us ready for sleep. “So tomorrow we go?” It was not clear who was asking, even if Skylar did. Richard nodded. “Yes.” “Good. We have not enough energy to keep up the joint.” “Then don’t use it. Conserve energy”, Richard said calmly. “But we have to link. Either that or…” But Skylar just side-glanced to her comrades. “It will be difficult for us.” “Conserve energy. Whatever you do. Don’t waste resources. You have already wasted yours. Those self-heating meals were a waste of weight and space with too few energy in it. My list advised you to use other stuff. But you are grown adults, you must know what you do.” “But we have run out of food”, Skylar said. “And I say that’s your problem. Be thankful for the water we give you. You even don’t have a cooker with you to melt some for yourself. Just this self-heating shit.” Skylar clenched her fists. But Mark said: “Unacceptable. We of course are willing to pay you for the food. I give you a hundred for each meal.” Babsie answered before anyone of us was able to: “Forget it, jerk. See? I have not shared my rations. I will share them with Richard and Dirk in the moment they run out of food. But not with you. The stupid must pay. I won’t. And I disagree with the two others to give you anything.”
“It is just one day if we manage to go fast to the shelter. So no need to argue anyway. Nobody starves in a day or two. And you will get water”, Richard tried to mediate. “But we use up four times the energy when we join, if not more. For us it is as if we had not eaten for nearly a week now.” “So don’t be stupid. Don’t use it in this situation.”
The three just glanced at each other. “Okay”, they said unison. “Then we go to sleep now.” This argument was given lost a bit too lightly for my taste.