Journal Entry 17: Attempt

It has easily been a week or so that I’ve been in this land-loop with Lowen. In that time I have taken the opportunity to test the boundaries of the loop. Strangely enough one can see the lands beyond, but if I venture far enough I find myself back where I started. It is not obvious; there is no specific point where I know I’m no longer headed toward any objective in the distance. I just become aware that I am back at my point of origin.

Everything does reset after a few days. Any animals we slay for food return. Fruit and vegetables reappear from where we had harvested them. The temperature and weather are so agreeable we really have no need to build a shelter. If we did we would have to rebuild it again when everything resets days later. Much like trying to travel beyond the looped area, things that were gone are simply back again, and you never actually see them reappear. You simply notice they are there. Anything that had been built or assembled such as a firepit for cooking meat, is no longer there. The phenomenon is enough to challenge one’s sense of lucidity.

Lowen has taken it upon himself to question me in a thousand ways about my jaunting ability, which I refer to as an affliction. I have hardly any information to give him, which he finds endlessly frustrating, though I find his incessant inquiry even more so. Often he will ask the same questions repeatedly as if he had never asked them in the first place.

Of course I have attempted to reinitiate the jaunting, calling upon what I did when confronted with the shatarak. Was it due to being in the presence of a dimension walking creature that allowed me to trigger the ability? Was it from being on the brink of death? Whatever it was, it was nothing I could replicate. I tried stilling my mind, inducing an altered state of consciousness, increasing my adrenaline… I could not replicate it.

Lowen often thinks he is being oh so helpful, trying to assist in triggering the jaunt. He always grabs me with each attempt in the event I do begin to teleport in hopes he can hitch a ride. It seems  he wants to leave here nearly as badly as I do. Perhaps he is as weary of his own company as I am…

LOWEN

(attempting to startle JANUAE)

JANUAE!

JANUAE

Crail, Lowen! Must you do that! And please, let go of my arm!

LOWEN

Is it working? Can you feel it coming?

JANUAE

No! You have tried this how many times despite me asking you not to, how many times! It’s working as well as it had the last hundred times.

LOWEN

You were ready. You can’t be ready. You have to be afraid for your life.

JANUAE

I don’t think so. We’ve established-

LOWEN

JIRASKAR!

JANUAE

Lowen, please! Get off me! Why would you think that would work? There are no predators here anyway.

LOWEN

Your survival instincts don’t know that.

JANUAE

I’m afraid they do. Let’s not repeat that, shall we?

LOWEN

I’ve been thinking… it might be a pain threshold thing. You might need to feel it, you know, the pain. Well, enough pain. If you feel that, if you feel enough pain, it could work.

JANUAE

I’m not willing to subject myself to any level of pain to-

LOWEN

It would be worth it! Then we’re gone and the jaunt means no more loop! So maybe a sharp stick. Spikes from the kenn trees even. Maybe we can find some stinging insect or-

JANUAE

You know what, Lowen? I’m going to take a walk.

LOWEN

Sure.

JANUAE

(after several steps)

And please don’t follow me.

(after several more steps)

Lowen! Just stop. Leave me be for awhile.

LOWEN

Fine.

NARRATION

JANUAE

The man insists on following me everywhere I go. It is utterly aggravating and exhausting. Not only do I want a break from him, I’m also using the time to try to figure out what happened to the wright that came here with him. That is, if they ever did come here. I can find no evidence of a grave. I can’t imagine their remains would have vanished with a reset, as anything that came from outside this loop seems to be exempt from resetting.

I’m also looking for some of the parts from the installation that was destroyed. I would like to try to find out what happened here, what really happened here.

As per usual, I find no evidence of the wright’s remains or of any parts from the installation. Another fruitless search, and I am no more enlightened on how these pieces add up.

Lowen catches up to me and once again starts up the process of discussing the jaunting; what’s caused it, how to control it, what else we can try. Now he’s conceived the idea that the veilwardens attuned the nanites within my body to respond to some sort of timer or trigger. I’ve grown weary of this discussion and I choose to remain mute, hoping he will eventually exhaust himself. Invariably he does, but never soon enough.

Hunting time comes as the light of day ebbs, which I look forward to, as it gives us something to do and is the time I can be certain Lowen will remain silent. We opt to hunt birds to change up from the griffalo meat we’ve had the last few days. In addition, I wasn’t keen on getting pierced by its tusk during the last hunt. The poison still lingered the next day and left me rather ineffective. The meat from the birds renders us rather groggy, and I welcome a peaceful, and quiet night of rest.

MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT

Sound of nocturnal insects

(Sound of footsteps approaching. After a moment there is a slight stab sound. JANUAE wakes with a start, followed by a cry of pain)

JANUAE

Aaah! Lowen! What in murr are you doing to me?!

LOWEN

Shh, shh, shh.

(sound of another stab)

JANUAE

Aaugh! Stop! Lowen, please stop!

LOWEN

(another stab)

Feel it! Surrender to it! Let the pain make you jaunt! I’ll be with you when you jaunt, you just need to-

JANUAE

No!

(sounds of struggle between JANUAE and LOWEN)

LOWEN

You have to let me- we need to jaunt now!

JANUAE

Stop! Stop! Stop!

(each word is punctuated by the sound of Lowen being hit against a hard surface. A crack is heard. Silence. Then softly)

Lowen? Lowen… Lowen, wake up. Wake up. Come on, Lowen… please, wake up! Lowen!

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