Our tiger marches through the fog. With every step her paws sink into gloopy mud up to her ankles, and with every meter she falls apart. A tooth drops into the silt, followed by two whiskers. Her fur loses the clarity of individual stripes. The signal of the television dropped to nothing, and blue screens glow on the modern models, and snow dances on the blocky older ones. The radios don’t even churn out static.
The ground continues in a uniform grey in all directions until it vanishes into the fog. Bubbles of gas popping on the surface are the closest resemblance to wildlife. I opened our cabin window, and the air bit like that on an exposed hillside. It smells malty, like there are factories hidden in the mist. A dull whistle of wind echoed on a loop. I put The Butter Mouse close on the sill, and she flopped over, barely moving.
I asked one of the crew why someone hasn’t changed this place. Turned it into forests with fizzy drinks cans instead of berries. Made a city where you speak backwards upon entry to the bakers. They told me there is something in the landscape that refused to be shaped. Many find this depressing. We performed yesterday to less than half a dozen guests. Most stay in their cabins and play music too loudly, or sit alone in the bars and restaurants.
For me, this is a magical, refreshing place in Nadada, one that reminds me of the stones of Ghasal, or the desert. We forget this is a natural environment, one we still don’t understand. In a land where we’ve found control through chaos, I am enjoying watching an untamed world go by.
Fur continues to fall from the sides of our tiger. If The Kandinsky breaks down, what do we do? Wait for someone to pick us up?
I don’t know.
It’s been two hours since my last sentence. Our ship is pottering along, and the fog is thin, revealing structures hidden in the shadows. The first one I spotted was a mossy bridge that looked like no-one has used it for a hundred years, brittle trees poking out the soil. We must be reaching Pansaers.
The first sign of Pansaers.