It was possible to get used to it to some degree. But you could never get fully comfortable. I feel that everyone save perhaps the indigenous peoples felt it. That near constant fatigue that always hummed in the background.
It was the heat, the rain, the damp. Even though the scenery and the sheer vitality of the surroundings was exhilarating the constant onslaught of heat was nonetheless oppressive. It slowly drained you from sun up to sun down.
Lobo was determined to not only make us have second thoughts but to feel them. From the dim of 0500 to the setting of the sun we were driven like sled dogs. Cook couldn’t protect Anna from Lobo’s discipline. Not that she wanted to be protected.
Unfortunately she needed to be. It happened on a run down a black earth path. We were all encumbered by sixty pounds of gear. Save for Anna who had on forty. I suppose that’s what they call benevolent sexism. It didn’t help.
At the end of the run as we were returning to camp she began to complain of a constant dull pain that worsened the faster she walked. Once we’d actually arrived and removed her boots she found a telltale swelling.
“Stress fracture.” Lucas said.
Lobo was grinning like a wolf.
“It’s fine. I’ll be ok after some sleep.”
“No.” I said.
She looked pissed.
“Look, you don’t want to put anymore pressure on that. Especially at the pace we’re going.”
“Well, then I’ll just stay off it for a day.”
“It’s hard to diagnose the extent of the damage out here. It would be best for you to discontinue training. I honestly don’t know why you gave in to his bullying. It’s not like you’re going any further than Fawcett’s last camp.”
“I’m doing it because you’re all a bunch of macho retards.”
Lobo chuckled. “They may be retards but I have a hard time calling them macho.”
I really wasn’t bothered by this. I never considered myself macho. Except for boxing I’d always hated sports, was shit with cars, and rarely womanized.
“Dem’s fightin words!” Sam quipped rolling up his sleeves. His biceps had gotten substantially larger. We were all far stronger than we had been at the lodge. While age dampened the effect I felt almost as invincible as I had after my first boot camp.
“These are true words. Two of you idiots almost broke your ankles.”
It was true. We weren’t doing very well. But I felt that he was overestimating our short comings. He was fucking us on purpose. He wanted to sabotage this trip. Anna was his first victim. He hoped that we’d all follow suit. I don’t think he knew that ‘The Fibonacci Five’ didn’t have a choice.
Ever since John Dee…the cosmos didn’t have a choice.
“Rule, Britannia…! Britannia, rule the waves!” I burst forth into song.
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