Diary Excerpt from Captain Canute Glasikis, August 4, 1855
August 4, 1855
Happy day. Hip hip hip happy day. Clearly losing my mind, but who cares? The last week was just an explosion of momentum (alert: gross misuse of physics vocabulary - old Cadmus IV would be annoyed) and we are, if we can trust chaplain’s calculations and Cadmus’s (V, confusing, is it not) scouting reports, a bare 10 miles from Svestapol. And that’s pretty much the end, assuming I can get us in the water without everyone getting shot and slash or blown into tiny tiny pieces and that, once in the aforementioned water I can actually get a vortex to open and get us out of this place. No problem. Scarcely ever think about it by this point. No waking up the night, drenched in sweat for this here captain. Oh hell no.
So yes, some degree of sanity is fleeing. Whether the heat or the Haul or the vodka (really cut back on that, following the incident with the birch tree, the stoat and Juniper’s oboe) something is definitely sapping the coherence from my thoughts, making my words blur into those of everyone around me. There is a low hum surrounding me and it may be my thoughts or my voice or the voices of others or the background noise of the creation. I have to hope that, assuming we make it out of here (and I’m just going to take that as a given - out of sheer inertia, I’ve become an optimist, which may or may not flatly contradict the sarcasm of sentences #s 6-8) this lapse of coherence will prove temporary, and I won’t go the way of Anteas. Speaking of whom, not sure what to do with him. If we were in a land that didn’t feature frequent gunfire, I’d be tempted to leave him behind, friend (or whatever he was) though he is. He’s been getting in everyone’s way and getting on everyone’s nerves and he sure as hell doesn’t have much to contribute beyond a lot of vague nonsense (or not all that vague - the stuff about bones makes me squirm, and I have to think the chaplain isn’t a huge fan of it either). I mean, if he could do anything, anything at all - Marcus is almost as old and spends more time resting and smoking than he does pushing the ship, but at least he can whip out a nice folksy aphorism at the drop of a hat. What’s Anteas got? That feather? Whoo.
But there’s no place to leave the guy behind and I know if I tried there’d be crying all around and I just can’t abide crying. So he stays.
Enough gloom. We’re doing well. We might live, some of us. And we’re getting damn close and it’s been over a month since we had a break. Time to announce that, after lunch, we’re not going anywhere. Going to just park ourselves right here in the dust and rest through the morrow. Gonna have a damn party. Of course, the only thing that remotely signifies a party, what with the near constant drinking/smoking/song that is already happening, is the fact that we won’t be Hauling the DR. Not the point though. It’s the name. It’s the energy. Gonna have a party. Feel’s good to say that, doesn’t it? You, whoever the hell you are (and it best not be you, Jeremiath), you got to admit, you feel a little thrill, don’t you? Maybe even a little jealousy. Because we are going to throw one king hell of a party right here. There will be food and drink and there will be much hollering and maybe a bit of fisticuffs. If we had any sort of device to amplify music (we used to, wonder what happened to it?), said device would be exploded from the wanton decibles traversing it. Authorities would be called, as I’m told happens in places where such a thing is possible. There will probably be a bonfire. Large creatures will be roasted and eaten while still hot enough to burn the skin from the roof of the mouth.
And there will be Rot. Oh yes, enough of the vodka. Back to the tradition. We are going to get Rotted. And we’re going to have a good time.
And then, in the morning, we’re going to Haul that damned ship to the sea,