Monday, 22 April 2013

I'll try to keep this short; today was eventful.

We drove out this morning in a single Jeep. The Jeep broke down. Xi was upset: one of her fears is to be stuck in The Sick Land overnight. Sergei decided that he would walk back to the station with Xi. I would stay with the Jeep. When they got back, Sergei would drive out to pick me up and tow the other Jeep.  We can't all walk back together because it's too dangerous; there's a risk the whole team could be wiped out. I watched them walk away.

I tried to start the Jeep. It wouldn't start. I realised we'd broken down about a mile from the haze. I walked to the viewing point. The haze was twenty metres out; I went to it. I could have reached out and touched it. I put my hand in my pocket.

I found the flux detector, which Sergei said didn't work. I switched it on, producing a constant high-pitched sound. I waved the detector toward the tape measure. I thought it sounded different. I stepped forward. Waved it through the patch of space where the haze appeared to be. The pitch increased. I held it there, moving it up and down. The pitch was highest at the bottom of the movement. I crouched. The pitch increased. I put the detector on the ground. For a second, it squealed. The sound was somewhere between a mosquito and inaudible.

With a pop, the device broke.

I dug down into the ground. Found something. Went back to the viewing point. The haze was gone. Carried what I found back to the Jeep. Wrapped it in a sleeping bag. Turned the key, knowing the Jeep would start. It started.

I drove to the station. Sergei and Xi had just got back. I told them the Jeep had started. I took my bundle back to my room. I'll look at it in detail later.

It's a skull.

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