We are thrill seekers, we are the Pixilates.
We have been on the Red River for what seems like days now. As yet, no one has come up with a plan exciting enough to get us off the river. It is vast and surrounds us on all sides. Our problem as it stands now, is that each minute, each second that goes by means we are that much closer to an attack from the White Pirates.
To our great surprise, the White Pirates have yet to show up. If for some reason they do, we all know it will be certain death or a carnival of errors--on their part. They can be tricked. But only for a while.
We see the signs of where they've been such as the day we passed through the Great Covering and barely escaped. We could have left then but the docking was dried, caked, crusty and very nearly sealed.
When we are through with the Exit, I am going to get drunk.
"Mate! the strategy meeting is in two minutes, Don't forget!" the peg-legged Idiot yells.
Yes this would be a crucial meeting. The women love them and contribute the best ideas. They will watch our backs and advise us according to whatever plan we decide on. The excitement of the Exit (usually from the Great Covering) makes us think better and clearer in the ensuing chaos.
"We all agree that we don't want to leave through the Dark Mud Flats and possibly get impacted there, right?" said Matie, seeking assurance.
We all agree with that statement. The Dark Mud Flats have a stench that is almost unbearable. However, as some of us have pointed out, the safety there is alluring. The White Pirates never go there, at least not the ones that are still alive. Nothing there is living or wholesome. What little is living, is not something anyone wants to think about too much. It is a wasteland. Going there for the Exit is a last resort.
"We also agree not to exit through the Yellow Estuary either, agreed?" The Oracle said while she jabs my ribs.
She always reminds us of the one time we in grave desperation, tried exiting via the Yellow Estuary. It very nearly cost us everything. We almost drowned there.
"We could try exiting at the Large Forest near the Great Covering." A crew member suggests.
True enough and the landing most likely would be a great deal softer. Problem is however, none of us think we have enough time to wait for a tree to fall that opens a portal. We have dallied around here long enough and too many scouts have spotted us.
"I have an idea that we could try." the Oracle says thoughtfully.
"Of the many times as we have passed very close to the Great Covering, I have noticed aberretions, irregularities in the Covering." said Oracle.
"I have a strong suspicion that if we can find the largest irregularity there, in the area of the Twin Lighthouses, our exit would be swift and quick." she said.
The idea is like a brilliant white light. It lit everything up in our minds.
"Let's get to work on our plan and then execute." I said.
Everyone agrees and we get started.
Some areas are cluttered and crowded with Red Barges carrying food and supplies. But travel at those times are swift, very swift. It is only when we get close to the Covering that movement, though less crowded, is much slower and more treacherous. It is fortunate that the Red Barges are usually empty at those spots. All we need to do when we get there is to pass under the last bridge to get to one of the Irregularities.
In our case, it is one large Irregularity. It will depend on perfect timing. If we can get close enough to the base of it, then we might be able to pull this off. We are excited by the idea. What ingenious ideas Oracle comes up with. She always comes through. Now if we can only pull it off fast enough. Why hadn't we thought of it sooner?
We are located near the Filtering Plant. It is necessary now for me and my fellow Pixilates to map our route and calculate our time. The timing is very crucial. We also know the risks. Even though we can fight off and slow down the White Pirates with the best of them, we also realize they can be our doom. Time is running short.
The Oracle oversees the plans and puts them to memory along with the other memories she has stored. In time of an emergency, she puts together her vast knowledge and wealth of creativity to guide us away from peril.
"First we'll need to get in the correct chamber of The Valve. This should shoot us upward, and get us closer to the Twin Lighthouses."
Her perceptions are instinctive. The Oracle also points out that if we get in the wrong chamber of the Valve, the Back Surge will take us in an undesirable direction. So we strap down and are off within a matter of seconds.
We know that once we are in the right chamber of the Valve time becomes critical as we get closer to the Twin Lighthouses. We will have to rely on our steering abilities at that point.
With only a matter of seconds left to arrive at the big Irregularity, navigation becomes critical. In the distance, hordes of White Pirates are gathering and in each of us our hearts are pounding. Once in the narrows close to the base of our exit point we must then wait for the External Forces and then if lucky enough, we are free.
We fight off a number White Pirates one at a time. They are soft and mushy. The Pirates are not fully organized yet, for a full assault. But we know they will be soon enough. We travel for a short time under the Great Covering and come to rest at the base of the Irregularity between the Twin Lighthouses; waiting.
Having not waited long, we feel a massive surge that we have been waiting for. We have left the branch of the Red River and are now inside the Irregularity. It's now only a matter of time. Another massive surge occurs and we are certain the next one will eject us to freedom once again, as it always does.
I am startled by a great straining sound far off in the distance. This is followed by an immense pressure build-up all around us and we brace ourselves against what will be a massive expulsive eruption of the Irregularity that is certain to occur.
We find ourselves flying through the air and in a nanosecond we are smashed against a gigantic Mirror covered in Ejecta.
"Goddamn it! That zit hurt like hell! Shit!" Ed Hulver grimaced as he reached for the hydrogen peroxide to clean the wounded pimple. It was just enough time for the stunned Pixilates to gather what little wits they had and scurry off to find another victim for their thrills.