Thursday, November 15, 2007

Into the Eric Sea

It was smooth sailing and pleasant weather, having exited the confluence of the Tethys River. I had landed up in the North Tethys, a river much less rapid and intense. It was a prime opportunity to relax and let the river carry me down, all while the scenery comes into focus.

Repairs still had to be made, while the going was good. And so, I docked at the first pier I found, which was connected to some kind of stadium made of granite and etched stone.

The owner was a purple skinned blue haired human. I wanted to ask her for permission, and inquire about any docking fees, but alas she seemed away from her keyboard, and did not respond. She just stood there, in front of her 'under construction' banner, staring soulless at some point beyond me and along a wall fifty meters away. Which was a good thing, because her velvet blue eyes were just a tad eerie.

It was hard scavenging parts nearby. For one, Ms. Purple had cleared much of the land for her massive club space. The best place for parts is abandoned lots, plots where the owner is eternally AFK and autoreturn is on, so junk collects in it. You'd be surprised how you can strip an engine from a freebie hoverbike and retrofit it to an inverse retrograde quanto-capacitor, sometimes upwards of 60 GF you can pull from those. I was going to have to really stretch on this one.

It took three hours, but I managed to bring the Nunchuck to a state somewhat suitable, as well as any vessel was going to be after the recent triathlon. I shoved off, and continued along the North Tethys, eyeing some of the more unusual builds. Like this one. A gigantic hot tub with a water slide. The hot spring dribbled off into the river, which caused me no fewer headaches, as the rising temperatures did not mix well with the just thawed metal. It was a relief however to finally not shiver during daylight. The spring itself was wonderfully and masterfully down, almost like the architect planned each and every molecule of water to fall precisely where he or she wanted it to. The water slide was disappointingly childish and simple. Both were simple loops, and I apologize but a two loop water slide is just not going to cut it in today's water slide markets.

Cruising farther down, I saw the most intricate, prim heavy, and beautiful builds all in one. Hard to pull off, but this bridge managed it. It was intended to carry rail traffic, for a railroad that never made it off the ground, instead, limited to this 400 yards of track, going nowhere. A majestic arch suspended two hundred feet from the river, and now completely and utterly useless. No one wants a bridge without a rail line.

Not a few feet downriver lay a bridge of a different colour, this particular bridge was a simple log. Someone had knocked down what must have been a gargantuan tree, hollowed it out, and used it for foot traffic. It dwarfed the previous bridge. This tree, when alive, must have been on a scale unimaginable, which of course means that I can imagine how large it must have been. This log bridge could accommodate two eighteen wheelers going in opposite directions with room for a bike path.

And then, there were simpler, smaller, more conservative designs.

Cruising down lazily, it seemed like there was no end to the parade of bridges. This was proven false by a small waterfall. Bored and a tad reckless, I decided it much more prudent to 'hop' the falls. The Nunchuck flew off the edge and belly flopped down. Bolts, pins, and plates popped and flew everywhere, punishing me. Another hour spent patching together the poor Nunchuck.

At this point, the North Tethys river empties into the Eric Sea, an average sea and one of the older bodies of water in SL. At the mouth of this river, stood an old and ancient fort of sorts, topped by a lighthouse so ridiculously over sized as to be worthless. The actual lighthouse portion stood so tall over the water that airplanes would find it more useful than ship traffic. It appeared to be more a monument and testimony, one voice in SL saying "I was here".

The town that settled at the base of this was small, and composed of the usual mix of small shop rentals. What was far more interesting was what lie under the waves, for at this point lay an interesting geological feature, one which piques the interest of those interested in theories of how SL's continents drifted, collided, and mingled. At this point, you can observe a direct mash of three distinctive SL rock layers, between snow, rock, and sand. The delineations are distinct and sharp, indicating that collisions between these three continents into the current one must have occurred fairly recently.

Further along, much farther into the sea itself, isolated far far from the coast and 60 meters under, lay a lone avatar in the icy depths, standing idly. She was bald (or perhaps her hair had not rezzed?), and silent. Repeated greetings and inquiries met only the cold silences of the sea. It was eeiry, and perhaps all a dream. For one stands silly under the ocean, doing nothing but watching the currents flow?

With this, I leave off this second part of the NSS Nunchuck. And perhaps the final part, as well, for not soon after this I hit some banlines, and the Nunchuck, under the repeated beatings and stresses of the long voyage, finally fell to pieces. I couldn't manage the numerous leaks and I ran out of duct tape, and in the Sutherland straits the Nunchuck settled on the muddy bottom, a curiosity to river divers for generations to come.

But for nomads, there is no time for nostalgia and the path calls on.

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