Lucas was even less thrilled about waking earlier than early.
He stumbled to the spook tent with all the enthusiasm of a snail approaching salt.
It took what would otherwise have been a comically epochal span of time to realize the gravity of the situation.
“Wait….what…what the fuck…” He muttered as his eyes narrowed on the bichromal display.
Slowly, ever so slowly, his face turned ashen white. An effect rendered all the more impressive by his deep Amazonian sunshine induced bronzing.
“Pai Nosso que estás no céu Santificado seja o vosso nome…” Cook muttered under his breath.
“I didn’t know you were religious.” I said.
“I am not but sometimes one must…Ai meu Deus!”
“Nah…god damn is more like it.” Lucas interjected.
“Perhaps…” Cook said looking as wistful as the cramped quarters could afford.
Lucas tugged at my shoulder.
I instantly recognized it as a prompt for private conversation.
“Excuse us Doctor Cook.” I said.
The doctor simply waved us away as he played and replayed the grim little video.
Lucas and I stepped into a thicket just outside the camp’s perimeter.
“Ok…what the hell is going on?”
“Your guess is as good as mine.”
“He’s….killing people…?” The statement trailed off into the tonal quality of a question.
“Uh..yea..looks like it…”
“Fucked if I know…”
We both stared at our boots.
“Your theory…might be right…”
“This is real Alan…”
“Yea…either that or he’s just gone mental…”
“Hoyt…old pussycat Hoyt with the soft gray eyes…the nerdy bent…he’s not even military for Christ’s sake…and since when in all fucks name does he hunt…”
“Since when does he hunt people…” I added.
“No something happened….” Lucas said. “Something far beyond the power of suggestion…”
Again we examined our boots as if they were the most interesting thing in the universe.
“No wonder the natives avoid him. But…the thing that’s got me most bothered is why Lobo allows it.”
“What if he’s commanding it…” Lucas began.
“I dunno…I kinda wanna go back…”
“I don’t think we can…”
“Sure…just call it quits….if Cook and what was once Grahamathy wanna find some abomination in this god forsaken hell they can do it without our help…”
“Yeah…but Baird…if they do…they’ll have ultimate say…over whatever…whatever it is…”
“Is that the way it works?”
“I dunno…but it’s too risky to just let it unfold.”
“Fuck!” I stamped my foot against the ground.
Then as if I’d unwittingly performed some summoning spell Graham Hoyt emerged from the treeline with a pair of wild pigs in tow.
Lucas and I must have stared the oddest stare. Yet he was unflinching as he had been since the Luckadoo incident.
“What?” He asked.
“Where the hell have you been…?”
He was silent for a moment as if considering something.
“The roots were thirsty.”
And with that he made his way past us into the camp.
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