The day I cursed the endless sand and boredom, I met a band of Furies.
Be careful what you wish for.
I was slow pulling up camp that evening, not looking forward to another night of walking across endless dunes. Just as I finished packing my gear, I heard a rumble in the sand all around me. I thought it was an earthquake. Then sand fountained up behind me and I turned to see a giant scorpion emerge. Ze picked me up gently in one claw and dragged me down into zir lair. Didn’t even have time to pull my knife. Good thing it only wanted to say hello because it would have been hard to write this letter in the belly of that beast.
I know now why the Furies have remained so elusive. The North American Alliance has been searching for these experiments gone bad since the end of the Egyptian wars. That’s fifty three years now. Their bunkers are flippin’ spotless. Fly, the only one of this bunch that looks remotely human (assuming you disregard zir flippin’ purple hair and skin), tells me they have a network of these bunkers across the desert and up into the mountains. The bands wander between them, mostly to keep from getting bored.
Aside from Fly and the scorpion, there’s an air elemental, a sentient bucket of water, and a giant boulder that did minesweeping back in ‘66. Fly says the bucket is their computer. I just make a point not confusing it with my water rations. Sis, those mad scientists of the Alliance were flippin’ creative. And mad. Don’t forget that part. Fly says it’s what happens when people treat genes like kid’s building blocks and throw away the recommended combinations. Says it’s hubris to think they could out-design evolution. And ze claims only the sanest of the Furies remain, the most dangerous having been put down like rabid beasts during the Great Dispute. When I ask what that was, ze just grins and says, internal affairs.
I don’t think I’m a prisoner. They do insist on escorting me across the rest of the desert. Fly says the bucket of water wants to help me find what I’m seeking. Nice trick, given I’m chasing a myth. At least it won’t be boring.
copyright 2014, Kimberley Long-Ewing
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