I overnighted in the serpents' cave, lulled by the rushing of the stream which runs through the lower part of the gallery. It proved astonishingly comfortable once I removed a particularly pointy example of onyx from my kidney. The cave system seems to extend quite far; from the composition of the rock, I suspect these tunnels were once volcanic chimneys, remnants of a volcano which has long since subsided beneath the waves. Hephaestus will be pleased - he harbors a special fondness for all things volcanic. I would speculate, if pressed, that this island was once entirely volcanic, and that the coral reef which now forms its foundations grew up to surround the volcano, which then subsided over the millenia. How marvellous a thing it is! If I am correct, there should be a central depression, perhaps filled with water to form a lagoon, which may be where the cultists we were briefed upon moor their ships.
I shall go now to climb that tree I saw yesterday evening at dusk. The sun is high enough now that I should be able to see fairly well, and I believe that it is tall enough to give me a good view of the surroundings. I hope it is a sturdy specimen, as, while I love the earth and all things on it, I have no wish to encounter it quite so suddenly as I've found myself doing recently.
Gaea's Observations, 27th November. Sun nearing apogee.
I have reached the top of the tree safely. I appear to be west of a white shack with a boarded-up door. It's on the bank of a lagoon, and, squinting, I can see what appears to be a settlement, complete with cooking fires. I was right! I feel most gratified. There do not appear to be any ships in the lagoon at present, but I do see a crude dock. I also spy what appears to be the opening of a cave. If my hypthesis is correct, it's entirely possible that I may be able to approach unseen through the volcanic tunnels which riddle Knot Sayphe Atoll. I believe Crusher will be able to help me navigate safely while underground, as will my inherent sense of direction. I shall head for the settlement - where there are people, there will be food, and where there is food, I should be able to find at least one of my crewmates, my lout of a son.
Below is an excerpt from the Logge of Chatte:
Gaea says, "It's pitch-black in here!"
Gaea says, "Brrr. I sense a sinister, lurking presence. What's that?!"
Crusher wiggles urgently, and slithers down towards Gaea's waistband, and the piece of paper she tucked there for safekeeping.
Gaea says, "A light source! Just what I need!"
Gaea unfolds the piece of paper, and the bioluminescent fungus casts a pool of pale light around her feet. She catches a glimpse of something horrible as it flees.
Gaea says, "How gruesome!"
Gaea's Observations, 27th November. Sunset.
I have reached the mouth of the cave near the settlement. I would have gone to greet them, only as I approached, I heard a commotion, and what sounded like the voice of my commanding officer. It seems he is in some distress; I do not wish to deepen his peril, and so I shall wait for an opportune time to go to his aid. I believe at this juncture, I can best help him by remaining hidden.
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