Thursday, August 30, 2012


People say, no one comes out. Just a big no-man's-land, a whiteout miasma of mist and fog. If this were the history books, there'd be a big map in there with a big splotch right in the center saying, "Here there be dragons." But this isn't, and there isn't. Right now, it's just got a big question mark. The Mapmakers don't go in there anymore.

Once in a while, guy gets it in his head that he's gonna go climb the mountains in there. Get to the top, put a way station up there, so people that get themselves in a pickle can go on up and find somewhere to stay alive. You can bet your shiny boots he's not coming out again. Guess there's got to be thirty, forty dead bodies all over that wet ground out there, rottin' away in the mist. Maybe now all that's left is their guns and their glasses. Not much to shoot in there, or if there is, it never comes out to say hello.

Tied a rope around one of 'em once. Sent him off as far as he could go. A few miles of rope is an awful long way. Took a whole town's worth of stock and then some just to get it together, and even then you had to store it in a whole building. So we put up a set of shacks just for the rope and tied on a new coil every time he started running out.

Guy died in a couple of days. Least, we saw the rope stop moving for too long. Didn't even take up a mile. Decided we'd just leave him there, pull until the rope came free, that kind of thing. So we hauled his body back, turns out he didn't even get to the mountains. Didn't even get lost...after all, we gave him a full pack of food and a whole lot of water. Something about that mist just kills you. So, the whole lot of Mapmakers just threw up their hands and gave up. Didn't no one have the guts to call them chicken. It ain't being scared; it's just smart thinking.

'Cept one person tried it again. I won't lie; we all said she was crazy. Girl stood just inside the fog and sat there a while, too far away to see, too close to have run off. We all left her there, figured if she wanted to die, that was her business, no place here for someone without half a brain in her head anyway.

She came back half a day later, told us what was what. It's sleepy-juice, that's what it is. All that white stuff makes you tired. Like breathing the sweet smoke off a pile of black mushrooms, it'll make your head spin. You sit down, think you'll close your eyes for just a while, don't wake back up again. Dream yourself to death. That's what she thinks happened to all those people. After all, don't drink water for a couple days, you dry right up and die. And it's real smooth too, she said. Get too afraid, think too hard about keeping on, and you don't notice you're that tired 'til it's too late.

Girl said she'd sign up for the Mapmakers, go off and see what was in that killer place. Well, we all wished her luck and sent her off, said don't blame us if you die, but you got a lot of guts.

Haven't seen that girl in a couple years now. Some guys say ever' so often, she comes back for a pack of food and a few canteens, then heads out again. Stack of maps on her back. Guys tell me she can stay in there for weeks, months at a time. Got used to the sleepy fog, I guess.  Don't know how she didn't just roll over 'n die like the others. Hope she'll come back with her map roll full of drawings. We folk back here got hemmed in by the fog a long time ago, and we need to know what's out there to the east.

Rumor has it she'll come back Resonant. Got to find the thing responsible for all that fog first. Resonant's a hard thing to get to, a hard thing to be.

But if anyone can do it, she's got it taken care of.

(Author's note: I am so sorry I felt the need to write a thing in Bastion-speak. But I did. It was like lancing a wound or something, just had to let all the Bastion-speak out.

This is the Resonant Universe, only I will do my best to write all the rest of it not in Bastion-speak.)