16 November 2008

Sunday and No Rain

16 November …

Another beautiful Sunday has come and gone. Father Flannigan had another good sermon about Saint Paul before lunch. RSM Taggart and I had two guests with us this day as Sergeant Garcia and Corporal Cromwell ventured out with us on the Northerly path to the Venusian Sea. As the weather was pleasantly dry, we decided to take our noon meal with us and eat on the beach. It was a good ride, and you could see the path where it splits to the right (west) towards the temple.

The beach was nice and calm and simply being away from the fort seemed to relax all of us. That is, until we heard the distinctive report of a Martini-Henry rifle being fired twice, just to the south of our beachfront picnic lunch. We saw two figures dancing around on the beach in frantic circles. With the aid of my spyglass from the saddlebag of my Pachysaur, I could clearly see they were two of our men.

When we got over to them, I was unsurprised to see it was our two Cajun cooks, Sergeant Thibodeaux and Private Mistrot. Apparently, they had been collecting sand crabs at the edge of the water when they saw a huge shadow in the water and long barbs breaking over the surface. The shadow was a large fish that reminds me of a flounder, except it had three eyes on one side of its body instead of two, was pink in color and had a tail on its end with a barb like you would see on a ray. The two cooks had shot it immediately, and Thibodeaux did not miss a beat landing the big fish. As soon as he and Mistrot fired their rifles, he waded in after the thing and dragged it on shore. The fish is three feet in length, not including the long, whiplike tail and its wicked looking barb, and Thibodeaux and Mistrot are already talking about adding spices and how they plan to cook it. If I followed their rapid-fire Cajun patois anything like correctly, I expect we're going to be treated to a massive whole baked fish for dinner tonight.

Mr. Griggs said the temple had no electrical charge at all today, and even the lingering scent of ozone that had filled the air near it has dissipated. They still have not found any writing or symbols on the temple, but did find a path made of that same blue granite that stopped abruptly.

Well, tomorrow will be another long day of construction work, so I am going to get some chow - which I am sure will consist of fish and crabs - and hit the rack.

[Editor's note: Most of the fauna of both mars and Venus are, thankfully, edible by humans. The Venusian pink flounder (Paralichthys v. rosa) has a venomous barbed tail. Extreme caution is advised when landing one from a line or net. It is recommended that the flounder be dispatched by a shot (small caliber bullets or birdshot will do) prior to bringing into the boat or onto the beach. The tail barb should be immediately removed and discarded with care. Sand crabs (Mennipe v. arenas) are remarkably similar to terrestrial stone crabs, though their carapace is colored to match the sands of a Venusian beach. They are quite numerous in the ocean waters near Fort Humid.]

1 comment:

Eli Arndt said...

MMMMm....spicey blackened Venusian flat fish. With a light breading it might make a passablefish and chips..:)