Secret (kingenemy) wrote in clevo_gamenight,

Gilbert's Summer Vacation

In Casablanca there is too much to notice, too many strange Europeans examining him, restless eyes, furtive hands – the heat is not uncomfortable.  He has a suit cut – English tailor, his hands are the most furtive of all, Gilbert decides not to be troubled.  The Ship returns to the sea, his friend living in the satellites and the waves of electrons between them sees to that.  He is Aneas now stranded in bountiful Africa, unsummoned guest of an ancient empire.  Warnings against the desert go unheeded, the greatest desert is beneath the waves and he is a far traveler.  The dunes are relentless though, and the stars are haunting.  Far into the wastes and there is no light but the stars and they are hypnotic.  He allows himself to deteriorate in the elements, only just, the heat and the desiccation might kill everyone, anyone – not him.  He continues and accepts disorientation.  Sometimes he aims toward the east, but always his pace is measured.  From time to time there are other travelers, oblivious to the west, to the east.  They say their prayers and wander the Sahara indistinguishable from their grandparents or their grandparent's grandparents for 20 generations at least.  There are places as well – uncanny ruins ruined by the scouring wind – slivers of jagged bone – places where the world began.  In one of these he is lost, letting himself go, too far.  He falls into the dunes, and finds himself snared.  There in the ruins of the first of all countries he notices her and she commands him.  She is of the stars, of this he cannot be dissuaded.  She suspects as much of him.  They do not share any language but that is not required, they are alike in the ways that matter now.  Aneas – and he calls her Queen Dido, the mistress of great Africa.  She speaks only an antique speech, ancient beyond any other.  When the sun rises she prays to ancient gods and different ones as the sun sets.  He lingers there with her as long as he can – eventually they speak the same speech and she begs his assistance, she floats in the air – diffuse and sometimes imperceptible, he is dazed and obedient – she tells him this is her witchcraft, a gift of her pagan divinities.  He follows after her as she floats on the wind and in the days that follow he sees too many terrible things. 


            Deep in the desert there are settlements – so poor and precarious it is a wonder that the people there have anything at all – but they have enough that one among them might seek to dominate – this is the way of all people he thinks and his theorem is proven by the warlord Ishango – Daddy Ishango governs through rape and terror and cruelty.  He takes from everyone – his mind eroded by the powers that perverse nature has granted him.  She says that he is a creature of the night gods, mirrors of her own saints who bestow wickedness and trickery on mankind.  Daddy Ishango is wickedness and trickery.  With a touch he takes on the shape of the sand, or of the air or of the bare wind-whetted rock.  He calls on the fire and he cannot be separated from the earth nor from the wind, nor from his mortal coil.  Gilbert struggles with him for ten days and nights, they do not cease their conflict.  The world does not shake, though perhaps Africa does.  Fire falls and smothers everything, Gilbert struggles on.  The mountains crumble and collapse upon him, Gilbert struggles on.  In time he erodes the resolve of Ishango, in time he is able to wrest him from the earth, from the rock – Ishango becomes wind and escapes – into Queen Dido's ready embrace, at last the despot is crushed, he dissipates in air and whatever is in him spreads through the wind.  Gilbert lingers long enough to see how matters will resolve.  The people of the desert are ready to give him their service, the golden man out of heaven – but they are filled with fear of Queen Dido who it seems will be their new despot, though perhaps less cruel than the madman Ishango, nevertheless a tyrant.  Out of love he leaves her, lest he be called upon to be her usurper or worse – her king.  She is hostile to his betrayal and pursues him over the dunes compelling his thoughts but not his feet, he wanders far and she pursues – everything is visions and the malice of God.  He runs but cannot escape, she pursues and will not be dissuaded.  His thoughts undone, his strength defeated he lies in the sun and waits for the eons to erode him as they do all things.  His final surrender is sufficient for her jealousy he will not submit to her affections but it is enough for her that he succumbs to her malice.  The stars and then the sun and then the stars.  The wind rises and the stars are occluded – the sand falls like a torrent and he lies buried.  That is the long night the length of which he cannot guess.  It's during this long night that the seeker finds him.


            He cannot place her accent but she speaks to him in English.  "It seems you're very sad Sir, or perhaps you're an Ostrich?  Will you lie in the sand until it becomes rock?  It seems you'll survive it!  Gracious and what are you?  I've found a golden man in the desert."  He learns that all of her dreams come true.  In a dream she knew she would find him there and so she came across the desert.  In a dream she knew that she would help him and that he in turn would save her – for the desert's harshness had marooned her in the wastes.  "In my dreams I see a place and then sometimes I wake there." She concedes.  "I haven't dreamt of anything but this for weeks now, I don't know if I can escape."  She is afraid, but she needn't be.  His strength is back upon him and he carries her out of the desert in a day.  "I knew you would save me, I saw it in a dream, it's only correct anyway – since I saved you."  She tells him her name and in a Mogadishu hotel they linger through August.  "You should go back to where you're meant to be." She scolds him. 


            "I'm meant to be here." He tells her, "I saw it in my dreams."  She is kind to him and he fears her reasons.  She says nothing about her home and won't help him place her language.  "In a dream you left me here."  He tells her and to this she only nods.  In a few days he wakes alone, her things left behind along with him.  It doesn't require much to contact his friend.  His ship appears and he sails it alone back to the place that is supposed to be his home.  The sand pouring over him, covering him forever seems more hospitable and he wonders if she'd come to save him again.


            The Cast:

                        Queen Dido –

                        STR     3          PER     3          APP     4

                        DEX    3          INT      3          MAN   4

                        STA     3          WITS   4          CHA    2


                         – DENSITY CONTROL        4

                        -  DISORIENT                        4




                        Daddy Ishango -

                        STR     4          PER     3          APP     1

                        DEX    4          INT      1          MAN   3

                        STA     5(2)      WITS   3          CHA    1


                        -  MATTER CHAMELEON                3

                        -  ELEMENTAL MASTERY               3



                        The Dreamer -

                        STR     2          PER     5(3)      APP     4 (3)

                        DEX    2          INT      3          MAN   2

                        STA     3          WITS   4          CHA    3


                        - PRETERCOGNITION                     4

                        - PREMONITION                              4

                        - LUCK                                               5

                        - TELEPORT                                       4

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