Thursday, 1 August 2013


Half of the researchers are sick. In the middle of the night, a patch of fungi erupted and sprayed spores into the air. I was woken by the sound of coughing. A thick, purple cloud was illuminated by torchlight. It was blowing away from my tent, in line with the furrow, and the researchers camped near the field each got a lungful.

We're dragging them back to the Jeeps on makeshift stretchers. They won't stop coughing; it sounds like they're tearing their own lungs out. They're hallucinating, too. All they do is cough, and stare into the sky with wide eyes, feebly moving their hands as if they're trying to ward something off.

Five of us are going to stay and continue the expedition; the rest will take the sick researchers back to the facility. I think we're going to lose some of them. It'll take days to get them back to the facility, and if they don't start showing signs of improvement soon, I don't think any of them will survive the journey.

My time with the field team has been tragic. All I can hope for is that we find something of interest at the end of the furrow. It's my fault we're here, and my fault they're dead.

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