A Reflection on My Journey to the Pandyssian Continent (4)

Anton Sokolov


By Anton Sokolov
Chapter 16

Two dead on our first day on the Continent, but the new world was not sated and would have one more! None other than the captain himself! His group had found a cluster of small rodents, much like rabbits or prairie moles. The lure of fresh meat proved too much a temptation for our good captain, who had dined on scant fish and the same rations as the crew all these dreary months. He was able to grab one of the creatures with his bare hands! But the docile beasts were not so tame after all.

Having allowed the captain to pick it up, the creature had become enraged and delivered several stings from a gland hidden in its tail. The Captain complained of "heat and itching" where the stings had penetrated, but insisted they press on. He died of asphyxiation within a quarter hour.

It was suddenly obvious to me that at this rate of attrition we would not only fail to sufficiently research the continent, but we might soon lack enough crew to make the return voyage! Something had to be done to save the venture! And so I immediately declared myself Captain. On my orders the remaining crew kept to the relative safety of the beach for the duration of the week.

Though I sent two young Academy students armed with nets and cages to fetch a live sample of the "prairie mole" that had so swiftly killed the Captain. As first and foremost, ours was a research expedition.