TheNeverPages Serialisation
Series 6, Episode 1

TheNeverPages - Series 6, Episode 1

And so, after twelve days arduous trekking we find ourselves here, burrowed into the base of the oil-pump, safe from the elements and facing our enemy.

Our pursuit, as noted, was hard and determined and only once did we almost give up. It was on the day, perhaps the tenth or eleventh when we lost sight of it all. We had spent half the day climbing up a particularly treacherous dune made entirely of loose sand and many times we had almost reached the top before sliding down and almost burying ourselves. Our endurance pushed to the very limit. Not ashamed to say that a few times I screamed in anger. Cried in frustration. Paisley did not. Every time he found himself half buried he would dig his way out again, growl at the peak and trudge forward. As ever, I followed him and after a full day we finally made the top, exhausted.

We lay there on that dune breathing hard and elated to have conquered the beast. It was only after a few moments respite that we noticed the tornado to have gone. Though we lost sight of it, we could not give up, not after the trial of the dune and we spent the next day heading towards the tornado’s last position, praying that we were not straying too far, or that it had not vanished forever. It was in the night that the pinprick of fire appeared. It seems that Brekker and Angeline can turn themselves to sand and reform at will like I am able to. Upon spotting the fire, we realised that we had held true to our course and we were not too far from them. This lifted our spirits, and we proceeded. It was after half a day’s trek that the mirage of this oilfield appeared and we entered into it still with that campfire on the horizon. That campfire was our beacon – still is our beacon – and they wait for us. I am confident it will still be there in the morning. Going to sleep now. Little point walking out through this storm. Could lose sight and lose way.

Sleep now.

I dreamt! A real dream! It was set in a realm that I have not been to and have not even seen in a daguerreotype. I was in a large bedroom, modest but spacious, perhaps in a mountain lodge. It was high up and through the window I could see the lush and verdant tops of mountains and below the room I could see lakes of crystal waters. The room I was in had a large open bay window and the breeze blew the white lace curtains seductively I was standing with my back to a wall, an unmade bed to my side. I was happy, excited and my heart beat pleasantly fast. Everything felt right. I could hear faint singing from another room. The air was so fresh. I felt no pain or unease but only a desire to look out of the bay window and to stand with the wind upon my face and gaze at the mountains and the lakes below. I stepped forward…but I could not move. I tried again. Failure. I was stuck to the wall. I tried and struggled and slowly all serenity washed away leaving only anxiety. I tried to move forward, but I felt pulled backwards, into the wall itself! The colour of the brick filtered into my vision as the brilliant sky and white linen in the room turned to terracotta. The singing faded and soon all was the colour of red sand.

I woke up, not with a start, but with the dogged tiredness of a factory worker consigned to work eternal. Paisley was up already. The sky was cloudy and we could not tell what time of day it was. There was a bitter wind. My lips chapped and cold, my throat dry.

We can still see the pinprick fire in the distance. We go to it now and we believe our enemy to be within a day’s march. I hope that between the edge of the oilfield and their encampment lay no obstacles as, if they do, we could find ourselves trapped in this bitter desert without shelter. We go onward. That dream is still with me, bittersweet it is. With that in mind, we go.

At a ridge – we are upon them!

The walk here was uneventful, the wind came and went, sometimes bitter, sometimes warm. The cyclones kept their usual route across the horizon and back again. The oil pumps disappeared just as they had come – like mirages, shimmering into nothing as we pressed onwards.

We are standing upon a ridge, similar to the LHC crater, but much smaller and much shallower. On the other side we can see their fire and we can even make out the shapes of Angeline and Brekker sitting beside it. Cannot not make out the detail of their faces. They are just silhouettes by a fire. Behind them there lies a great plateau, surreal in its flatness, like a plate of sheet steel. Red like the desert around and stretching on in all directions for an eternity. On the horizon behind them we see no cyclones. Perhaps we are at the very edge of the NeverRealm.

This could possibly be the final entry in this journal, though many times I, MGV2 and Tesla (writing their names still pains my heart) many times we have written “this may be the last” many times it nearly was. But we have never been so close to the end and to Brekker. I know I may now never see Lucy and never get to wherever she may be. All that remains for us to do is make this last passage towards them, hold parlay and then when he asks his question give him his answer. 

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