This is Captain Gianna Best. I have no way of knowing what time it is. Days, years, minutes, hours, calendars, all that is gone. Ellegua told me that today is the beginning of a new Stardate year. As far as I know, I was just on the bridge of the Rocket Snail. All of my sensibilities are out of whack here in the spirit world. All of my gear stopped working too. That’s to be expected I suppose. To be honest, this is not what I expected. I’m a space pilot, and I’ve seen a lot, but this – I have never experienced anything like this. Whatever I told myself about my life after death has all been put to rest. Well, mostly. I had the benefit of knowing Gibby, I just didn’t fully believe him. He always struck me as a bit of a nutbag, but lovable. It’s part of what makes him such a good front man.
All I can really say at this point is that I was on the bridge of the RS, and then there was a flash and a strong smell of cigar, liquor, and popcorn. I heard a voice – it was not a human’s voice. The voice sounded like a chorus of voices braided into one really. Like if a person with multiple personalities had all of their personalities speak through their shared mouth at the same time. I knew it was Ellegua. He told me it wasn’t my time to die, identified himself, and then brought me here. Here all things have, are, and will occur, but I can’t tell. I am still mortal and can’t make sense of what I am perceiving. I have to rely on the voice of Ellegua to know anything right now. He told me it would be a good time for me to write a log entry. By writing I really mean intentionally thinking out a log post. Ellegua said he will make sure the message gets to where it needs to get to. No clue what that means, but I have faith…now.
I have to admit to feeling a bit low. I feel like I led us right into that trap. I know folks got away but where are they? Ellegua hasn’t exactly been forthcoming with that information. I just want to know how the crew is doing. I am also confused and want to know why Ellegua brought me here. If he knows it’s not my time to die, then what does that mean for my…fate and all that. I guess I have a destiny? Like I said, my world view is completely shattered, and I’m seriously confused. If I have to grapple with the reality of spirit world, and Ellegua, does that mean that Groot Desseyn has been right all this time? Is their spirit that they worship, called the Almighty, also real? That’s the spirit that they really celebrate in December, which must have just passed if this is the beginning of a new star year. Does it live here in this same spirit world, or are there multiple spirit worlds? Actually I keep throwing around the term ‘spirit world,’ but I actually have no idea where I am. Except, I know this is not the mortal realm…that is obvious, but maybe this is just Ellegua’s realm? I don’t know. Still, if ‘the Almighty’ does exist then what is Ellegua’s relationship to it? I am seriously out of my realm here…no pun intended. I have 1,000 questions,Truth be told, I’m scared shitless, and full of wonder.
Whatever the answers to these questions in these moments I have to remind myself that Ellegua saved me for some reason. I just have to be vigilant and wait to see what comes. There is little else I can do. Wait – Ellegua is speaking…he says that there is something I need to do, read. Ellegua has given me, a piece of a second part to that JOSM story, The Collector. I don’t mean he handed me the piece of text, rather he made it manifest in my consciousness. I know it to be a fragment. This is all so weird. I don’t know what any of this means, or if anyone will ever get any of this, but I know I am to share it. This is Captain Gianna Best signing off until next time, whatever that means.
THE COLLECTOR, Ep.2, Fragment 1
…but I wanted no delay in getting to Congo Pass, and on the following morning enquired among the taxi-drivers seated near their queued vehicles how best to get there.
One offered to drive me all the way, he said, then asked, “You have family there?”
“No. I’ll just be visiting.”
“To stay, or you’re coming back to the hotel?”
“I’d like to stay. Do you know of a hotel, or a guest house, some place where I could stay for a few days near Congo Pass?”
“Down there? You don’t have no place for tourist down there. The nearest place you’ll find accommodation is San Fernando.”
I had read about San Fernando. The second largest town on the island, and center of the industrial area. “You’re better off staying there and renting a car if you want to be in that part of the country for any time,” he said.
“So, can you take me there?”
“No problem. And I know just the place where you could have a nice stay.”
I checked out of the Hilton, and was soon on my way to San Fernando.
From my memory of the map and the paragraphs in “Lonely Planet” I had a sense of the direction he should take, and was able to make small talk with him along the way. His name was Simon, and he wanted to know what part of California I came from. He, himself, had been to Boston once, and he’d seen a television program about a place called Yosemite.
“Near Sacramento,” I said.
And what sort of work did I do?
“Arbitrator,” I said.
“That sound like a high-up job,” he said. “It does pay well?”
“Well enough.” We had just turned off the east-west highway and were now going directly south on a quite decent four-lane road. “You’re passing through Caroni sanctuary?” I asked. I had read about the Caroni bird sanctuary and the spectacular scarlet ibis to be found there, and remembered it was somewhere nearby this junction where the major highways meet.
“Oh, you know about Caroni,” the driver said. “No, we’re not going through no sanctuary. We’re going through Caroni. This whole place here,” he waved an arm to indicate the expanse of open fields on both sides of the road, “all this is Caroni. The sanctuary’s over there,” he pointed with his right hand, “near the river. You want to see there?”
“No, not really. Not today, anyway.”
“The government make it nice in there,” he went on. “Nice, so tourists and everybody could get on boat and see the birds. Go out and get close up to the birds. Just like in a real jungle.”
“I didn ‘t realise there was jungle here in Trinidad.”
“Well, not wild, dangerous jungle like in Africa, but it have bush. Thick bush. But it’s safe to go.”
“Maybe after I’m done in Congo Pass,” I said.
“Right. And how long you’re staying there?”
“Not sure. Maybe a week or two. Maybe longer.”
“Well, it would be good to know. If you’re staying two or three weeks I’m sure my cousin will give you a good deal.”
“That’s where we’re going. She have the guest house in San Fernando. She’s got a new place, and to be sure they’re going to treat you nice there.”
“And the name of this place again?”
“Frangipani Guest House”
I reached for the lonely planet guide book in my bag, and looked up
Frangipani Guest House in the index. It wasn’t there.