Captain’s Log – Star Date March 20, 2380 – The Collector, Pt 4
What can I say? What was supposed to take two weeks is clearly going to take longer. It’s always like this, and I should have known better. So be it. Basically we’ve taken a huge detour, and I’m fine with that. If I’e learned anything about these missions it’s to listen to Ellegua. Ellegua knows things that we don’t. I mentioned that in an earlier log. What I have not done, however, is to explain who is Ellegua. He was quick to point that out to me as well. Like I said he knows things, more than we do. He’s a god. Literally. Ellegua is an Orisha. A living divinity who can move between the mortal and spiritual realm. I don’t know much about him, or the Orishas in general. Supposedly there are many others, which doesn’t surprise me given the scope of the universe.
Gibraltar, or Gibby as I like to call him, introduced me to Ellegua. The two of them have a deep seated relationship for some reason. Gibby says it because his ancestry traces back to a terrestrial civilization called the Yoruba people. Apparently they were known to have existed since a period known as the 7th century BCE. That’s a long time relationship. Can’t say as how can I could ever claim a connection of that kind. I don’t know who my people are. I was born to two soldiers, who were the product of four other people from various corners of the known galaxy.
Ellegua told Gibby that we needed to make a detour, and to not run off into this mission. Apparently there is more to it than we realized. Like I said, I’ve learned to listen to Ellegua. Weird as it was in the beginning. Currently, we are headed to Faffrahurl, and for good reason. SV 2380 arranged to play a folk festival there, which will pay some damn good money I know. Those credits mean ship upgrades! I’ve got the band on the hook for ship upkeep since it’s their tour vehicle. Luckily all of them like having solid transport, and understand what it takes to maintain it. I’m not gonna lie either, I’m so stoked for the show this weekend! Faffrahurl, it is friends. SV 2380 is slated to open the whole festival four days from now, so we’re hauling ass to make the show. We’re going to being cutting it short, but I know what the Rocket Snail can do.
Orange Face is putting on a better show than I ever thought he would. It’s unreal. I don’t think anyone is surprised. One day I’ll explain how he came to power. These days the Corp rules everything. It’s all about business. The people don’t matter. We aren’t shit in their eyes. Just another source from which to feed. They are vampires in every sense. Ellegua said vampires are real. If I ever meet one I will spike it so fucking fast. Equal opportunity FVK for life. Let me stop and end on a good note. Another piece of The Collector. It’s so delicious. I love this story. This section in particular hits home.
THE COLLECTOR, Pt. 4
The old man told about the awful fright they endured rounding Cape Horn. He recalled their freighter tossing about in the great ocean most of the way until they landed near Monterrey. From there the family rode in a wagon to the mining town of Negro Bar which wasn’t a town at all, nothing but a weathered, river-bank mining camp. This particular cluster of work-men’s cabins had been thrown together along the American river to accommodate black miners who were not welcome among white gold diggers in the area. As for the great West Indian landholder, there had been in fact such a person, but the land he once held was beyond Negro Bar. In any case he was now dead and the land which he’d owned had passed into the hands of one Captain Joseph Libbey Folsom after whom the neighboring town was named.
The old man told how his father, who was not given to turning back once he’d started out on a vision, and who had put in some time as a master tailor back home, somehow found an old sewing machine and decided to set up shop in the town of Folsom. His mother in the meantime brought in some money by taking in laundry. He never learned if his father had any plans for them beyond this because, on a foggy morning soon after the family had enough money to move into a comfortable cabin, someone shot the tailor by mistake, thinking he was one of the bandits who had been harrassing travellers crossing the sierras into Nevada.
A Swedish engineer for whom his mother had been doing laundry helped them out. He saved the woman and her son from being run out of town altogether, and when he left Folsom to take up a new job in Weed, they went along. This was at a time when Weed was in its better days as a big-time timber town.
The old man spent his high school years in Weed, and went straight to the army after graduation. He served in the second World War, and later in Korea. In fact, he spent all of his working life in the army. He never rose higher than sergeant, but he saw duty in Japan, Korea, Santo Domingo, the Phillipines, and other places not to be named. He’s been a traveller. When not on duty he travelled on his own. He made his first return trip to the West Indies with his mother suffering from a terminal bout of cancer. She was in her last days and did not want to die, as she said, away from home. He took her back to the West Indies where she died and now lies buried in the same yard where she was born.
He himself has never had a family. He’s kept up his mother’s old house and continues to live in Weed now he’s retired from the army, and when he’s not at his cabin compiling a book on his own adventures he takes time to search out and learn what he can about local history. He is fascinated by what he has been able to learn about the Shasta, the Maidu, Wintun, Pomo, and other Native American tribes who inhabited Northern California before they were displaced by Mexicans and white people.
“Not only here, we could go up the coast,” he said, waving his hand to indicate the direction of Oregon and beyond “and all across Canada. Argentina, Australia, the West Indies . . . wherever you go if you know what to look for you’ll find ruins or remnants of earlier folk who’ve been pushed out or over-run. Right here in California . . .” And on he went, adding to the list of Bodie, Allensworth, Shasta, on and on.
It was a compelling moment. His lean jaw jutted, his eyes lifted on a level with the horizon. With his thickly veined hands folded on the head of his cane which he held like a royal sword in the ground before him, he had the aura of an elder feeling the loss of those gone before, and, as I think about it now, perhaps his own eventual passing.
He gave me his card, and I promised to call on him when next I passed that way. To myself, I had already made up my mind to see some of the places he mentioned, had already begun to imagine how he would be impressed the next time I just happened to meet up with him in Shasta and could relate a story or two about my own forays and encounters.