I don’t know why I confided in her. I guess it wasn’t anything important. There was no way this was a breach of security. Who cares if she knew about Sam’s vision. High ranking academics like Cook and Bohm were of course privy to the true nature of our presence. She didn’t have that clearance.
Anna and I were the last to be sitting around the fire that final night. She was calm and looking forward to getting back to Cuiaba for a proper shower. I was slightly inebriated. Something in the feminine prosody of her voice made me open up.
“You know,” I said, “I’ve been having the most fucked up dreams.”
“Hmmm…?” She queried midsip.
“You know just those really vivid things….that come like pictures…of really different kinda shit…but somehow seem to have a certain logic?”
“O you haven’t dreamed of a panther have you?” She asked with genuine curiosity.
“No…but Graham had a massive freakout at Luckadoo’s…cause of a picture with a jaguar…”
“Luckadoo’s? That’s a funny name…”
“It’s not important.” I said quickly shifting the conversation away from a classified subject. “What makes ya ask? Did you?”
“Well…no not personally but you shouldn’t be afraid if you had…it’s considered good luck by the Achuar.”
“They’re a tribe from the Amazon basin, not far removed from our position relatively speaking, but…uh yea.. they are unique in that they place a special prominence on dreams. Each morning they wake up before dawn and drink a tea that they then spit up for purposes of purification. After this they each describe their dreams to one another. The world of dream is considered more important than the waking world. It is their reality. This notion has been implicated in their survival as a people in this harsh environment. Very, very fascinating from an anthropological standpoint.”
“And they think jaguars or panthers are uh good luck?”
“Well, it’s a bit more complicated than that. The panther is a manifestation of the spirit of the rainforest…something that they call “Arutam” and it seems that your friend saw this before you guys came down here. That’s the strange guy right…the tall one…? What exactly happened?”
“Tell me more about these tribespeople.” I said deflecting again.
“Umm…well not long ago or relatively not long ago they had dreams about us “the people of the north, the people of the eagle” we’re called that because we are technology and mind oriented whereas they the people of the condor are more imagination and heart oriented. Anyway, the interesting part was that they dreamed something malign coming from us just as Peru, Bolivia, etc were talking with powerful companies about oil extraction. These dreams that they take seriously as a sort of divination and navigation tool stirred them to action. They formed a coalition with missionaries and local tribes to protect their area. It was effective. So it looks like the Arutam was with them and if you saw it…or weirdo saw it well that’s a good sign. They say that one day the eagle and the condor will fly together.”
“Hmm…well…that’s nice…and I don’t mean to be a prick…but I’d like to have good dreams tonight so I’ll leave on that note.”
“But…hold on I’m curious about Graham…”
“Ok I lied the real reason I have to go is that I can’t bear to sit next to a pretty girl, beside a dwindling fire, and not try something. It’s maddening…like castration of the sou…”
She laughed. “Well then…you’d better go unless you want to feel a real castration.”
“Right.” I said and shuffled off to my tent.
‘Phew.’ I breathed a sigh of relief. Any longer and I might have spilled the whole tale.
I fell asleep before my head hit the pillow.
That night I did indeed experience good dreams. A sort of Wizards nod. I awoke the next morning knowing precisely what I was about.
End of Part II
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