The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 7.2 – Kurâmã

Image result for bakairi statue
7.1

I never got those Cubans. I felt better as predicted. There was also a fresh distraction to take my mind off physical woes.

It was the oddest thing. Watching the natives avoid Hoyt.

Apparently there wasn’t a medicine strong enough to purge whatever demon he had.

He never stopped smiling that same unpleasant Sphinx lip smile. His demand and tolerance for tobacco was disturbing. I swore he went through a pack and a half a day. None of our protests meant anything and not even Lobo was able to stop him from using some unknown connection supplying him with a crate of Pall Malls.

‘Wherever particular cacodemons congregate.’ I mused.

His accent was now 100% British but unlike any variation I’d heard before. I don’t know why he’d decided to pull a Madonna. But it was certainly creepy. And made creepier by the fact that he seemed to be trying to mask it.

Otherworldly influence certainly seemed the correct position. Given our line of work it wasn’t unlikely. But, given our line of work skepticism was in order. Martial grade psychedelic research for the express purpose of fashioning a new religion to nudge the herd from the cliff edge required scientific precision.

He did suffer a psychotic break at the lodge. Who knows what sorts of novel neural connections our various disciplines and chemical regimens produced. Who knows what sort of subliminals Thornton was implementing.

I chuckled briefly as I was transported back in time to my introductory philosophy course. I’d just reconsidered the brain in the vat hypothesis. What if our experience is merely a fantasy and we are all just brains in vats fed memories and experiences by some alien? I think this was a variation on something Descartes had theorized in a similar vein involving a demon.

What if we weren’t in the jungle at all but strapped to gurneys at some black site? Or catatonically entranced by some new electromagnetic gizmo at the lodge.

Well…I guess I didn’t feel entirely better. I’d downed a bottle of honey jack to allay the monotony of preparing for the first leg of the journey. The hangover certainly felt real.

The old man that the kid had gotten the planty tasting thing from shook his head as I passed to fetch a coffee from the mess tent.

It was going to be a long trek east towards some half guessed location. It had to be made on foot. Cook wasn’t about to toss away his opportunity to document jungle depths on Uncle Sam’s prodigious war dime. Furthermore there were preestablished, roads, circles, and ruins that had to be ugh…I think the word they used was activated…Thornton was definitely taking vision inducement seriously. The honeyjack was warranted.

What if I didn’t want to converse with my holy guardian angel? Angels are boring. The most boring concept of all an angel, a demon, really it is…it’s just a clerk with fancy keys. They can’t do anything outside of a certain determination…unlesss…anyway…

I felt water hit my face.

“AH!” … “Hey! Watch it fella…”

The elder was grinning. His fingers half-submerged in some other earthen bowl full of god knows what. Part of that whatness was now drops rolling down my cheek. Had he flicked it at me?

“What the hell are ya doin you goof…” I said trying to hide my annoyance. But I didn’t have to try for long. My hangover was gone.

I cocked back my head. The old man laughed, teetered, and mumbled.

“Uh…thank you.” I said.

He just stared at me. I remembered that Portuguese was probably a better choice. Though I wasn’t sure he spoke it either.

“Obrigado.”

The wizened head nodded in acknowledgement. His hand waved me on.

The healthy sized Professor was spreading a nice thick schmear on his breakfast bagel.

“Uh, who’s the geezer with all the potions?” I inquired.

“Not sure.” Cook said stirring his coffee.

“Well, he’s the Shaman right?”

Cook shook his head.

“Old man, weird, healing potions, talks about spirits…not a shaman?”

“Well, I suppose he probably is a shaman but he is not their shaman.”

“Come again?”

“They say that he’d emerged from the jungle in the middle of broad daylight. Nobody had seen him coming. He was alone and seemed harmless so they let him stay. They were glad they did.”

“How long ago was this?”

“About a month.”

Doesn’t speak a word of Bakairi…or any related dialect…but seems to understand some Portuguese…weirdest damned thing….”

Bakairi?”

“Yes, that’s the language here…these are the Bakairi.”

Not Kuikuros?”

“You really ought to stop drinking Mr. Baird.”

“Not to be a bigot but…all these tribes look pretty similar to me.”

Cook laughed. “Really?”

“What?”

“I thought CIA was supposed to be observant.”

It was my turn to laugh… “I’m not CIA…and…hah…he..CIA is not observant.”

“That is hard to believe.”

“Donut dippers love to mythologize.”

“Well, the cultures around here also love to mythologize and though there is a common thread, the clothing, ritual, and customs vary greatly from tribe to tribe.”

“All I see are feathers, bowl cuts, and body paint.”

“Sure, but you wouldn’t call yourself Moldovan.”

“What?”

Think about it, Europe, the United States, Canada, Australia, even some parts of Central Asia all share the business suit. Generally eye and hair color stay within the same range. Social organization also has a very similar culture. Drop one of the Bakairi man in any of the aforementioned places and he wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.”

“Yeah, I get that, but I mean this is more like the difference between a Welshman and a Scott…if that…hell this is more like…”

Cook sighed.

“I don’t blame you for neglecting one of my favorite disciplines. But really you did not note the thatched dress and the masks?”

“On occasion but again…doc…that ain’t my field.”

“Well, you’d better start taking an interest. We’re going to need many pairs of sharp eyes out there.”

“I’m not against it. You’re just going to have to help me put on the old anthropologist goggles.”

Well, let’s start with something interesting then.”

“O?”

“Have you noticed how no one talks to Senhor Hoyt, how they disperse at his presence?”

“You bet.”

“Have you seen how all the Shamans the stranger included draw shapes in the ground in front of Senhor Hoyt?”

“No.”

“So you have not seen Senhor Hoyt invariably step around them?”

“Well, it would be rude to trample some recent graffiti.”

“Hmm.. I don’t know…but I do know what the Bakairi here call him…”

“O?”

Kurâmã.”

“And that means…”

“It is hard to translate exactly…but…it means roughly…conceptually…demigod…”

I laughed so hard I shot coffee from my nose.


Well, I didn’t quite make my marathon as epic as I’d intended. But to be fair to my poor bones I did intend for five hours and completed four. In the update post I said I’d be awake till 3 AM. That would be seven hours. Woulda been badass but too much content reaching to make for a good read. Gonna catch some ZZZ’s, as concerns this story, see ya’ll Tuesday.


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The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 7.1 – Precious American Fluids

Guaraná, Jungle Remedies, Amazon, Peru, Peru For Less
7.0

I awoke with a start. I was no longer floating. As I sat up I noticed that we had landed in front of a settlement.

Various porters were conveying our gear to what I assumed was the village square. There had already appeared a neat little stash of our alien looking wares beneath a grey canvas.

They must have decided to let me sleep. I suppose I was grateful for this. Every so often a deep fatigue would settle over me. The warm sticky air, the feeling of being swallowed in some great green blanket, it was a feeling of depth, of heaviness, and it drug me down.

I wasn’t the only one. Which is I suppose why they’d decided to extend a courteousy they no doubt wished to have reciprocated.

The ground that greeted my boots was muddy, it sank, but not overmuch. I mused on the now familiar sight of Indians – Kuikoros milling about in various states of undress and ornament as they had done for time immemorial.

It was odd to imagine that Fawcett had seen a nearly identical sight nearly a century prior. It was one of those things that made you feel part of a vast eternal sea. The sea of time, ever undulating, yet remaining one.

I was suddenly struck with panic. What if this deep fatigue was the result of some infection? I hastily inspected any readily bare portions of flesh for ticks, or bites of any sort. True, we had been thoroughly inoculated but didn’t put my mind any more at ease.

We were in an ocean of trees, and neither boats, nor helicopters seemed sufficient insurance.

“You look like hell.” Lucas said.

“Yea…I’m not sure about this.”

“Me either…but…since we’re here you should probably follow Lobo’s advice and refrain from drinking. I’m sure it’s not helping matters.”

“Alcohol cleans the blood Schmidt. This place is crawling with parasites.”

“Trying to keep your precious American fluids clean?”

“Always.”

A kid ran up to us and just stood there staring out of rich dark eyes. He muttered something and ran off before we could respond. We ignored it.

The village wasn’t entirely unfamiliar with outsiders but its remoteness meant that the appearance of brancos was rare enough to make us a novelty.

So, really…. what’s up? I mean I’ve never known you to be pensive.”

“I just feel really tired. Like something is sucking the life right out of me.”

“Dude, it’s called a hangover.”

I was getting annoyed. I really hadn’t been drinking that much.

“It could be any number of things. When I got excited for this I didn’t consider the fact that I might die shitting myself or muttering in the grips of yellow fever. I don’t want a weak statistical death.”

Lucas laughed. “I see that you still have your Viking complex.”

“Absolutely, I watched that man die slow, wither up like a shit stained raisin…no way man…”

No sooner had I entered into this reverie then the kid returned holding some sort of earthen bowl.

He extend it up to me and muttered something.

Yo,” I said lapsing into American pseudo-urbanism, “I ain’t about to start this party with poisoning.”

“Don’t be rude.” Lucas said motioning for Cook to join us.

The squat bespectacled pit bull sauntered over.

“Yes?”

“Tell us what he wants.” Lucas said.

Cook engaged in some native banter and then pointed off to a nearby hut at the front of which sat an old man before a small fire. The man regarded us calmly.

“They say you have a demon.”

Lucas laughed again. “I think they’re a bit mixed up. We’re NATO boys…we are demons.”

Cook didn’t seem amused. “Look, things here work a little differently, there’s stuff in the air, I know it sounds insane, but I’d listen to them, especially if you don’t feel right…you certainly don’t look right…”

I threw up my hands.

“You should drink it.” Lucas said.

“Dude…hell no…I have no idea what that is…”

“Please, Mr. Baird drink it…I assure you that it will not harm you…we do not want to alienate these folks…please take the gift…”

“What the hell is in it…”

“I wasn’t really able to gather but I’m pretty sure it’s nothing more exotic than some Guarana blend. It’s not so much the actual chemistry…it’s the spirit they infuse into it…”

I was getting tired of this woo. And I felt like shit…so fuck it….

I drank it up. It was bitter but the bitterness soon resolved into a sort of pleasant plantiness that tickled my tongue.

Did you like it?” Lucas asked.

I shrugged.

The kid smiled and scampered off.

“If you don’t feel better in a couple of hours I’ll give you three of my Cubans.”

“It’s a deal.”


I have to eat crow again and make excuses for falling short of my posting goals. The good news is I have four days in which to research and write the rest of this chapter. Thanks for your patience and stay tuned.

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The Sketch of Sam Monroe (Part III) – Chapter 7.0 – Parallels

Image result for fawcett's real coordinates vs fake coordinates
Chapter 6.15

There is an ennui. It is the nagging suspicion that everything has been mapped. It’s that claustrophobic sensation that all serious mysteries have been surmounted.

What is one to do with wanderlust?

In the Amazon all such worries evaporate. The explorer whose footsteps we were tracing had called it “the last great blank space in the world.”

Henry Percival Fawcett, his son, and a family friend had disappeared somewhere round the Xingu National Park. The vanity of early twentieth century exploration had certainly spelled doom for that vastly inadequate force. Fawcett did not want to suffer the fate of Scott who had glory stolen from him by Amundsen. Towards this end he had provided false coordinates.

The real goal lay somewhere between the Tapajos and the Xingu tributaries. A fact that was uncovered by the unlikely David Grann a nebbish news hound in 2005.

All these years and that statement “the last great blank space in the world” remains as salient as ever. Despite satellite imaging, drones, and the whole blasted litany of high-tech abominations… that thick impenetrable canopy still hid as much as it had in Carvajals time and many aeons prior.

It was a rare treat. I blessed Thornton for the opportunity as these thoughts ran through my head. The mystic sensations swirled round me like the currents round the aluminum hull of the twenty-five foot outboard driven boat that served as my bed.

We were following in the footsteps of Expedition Fawcett and Expedition Lynch. The latter having occurred in 1995 was more closely aligned with our current method. Much as it had appeared those two and nearly half decades prior…that was the state of the jungle. Overgrown. So we had to proceed up the Xingu by boat and have our supplies air dropped in the field next to Kuikuros settlement.

Although it was an altogether different Kuikuros settlement, an altogether different dead horse camp, because we followed the true coordinates from Fawcett’s diary rather than those published in Expedition Fawcett.

We were not after Fawcett, we’d be thrilled to learn of his real fate, to find his bones, but what we sought was far more elusive. What we sought was not some dead mans fate but what Fawcett had sought: The Lost City of Z or rather its method. If this seem unduly cryptic I apologize and promise that it will become clear soon enough. My circuitous methods may be unsavory to some but there is a reason for them.

It is difficult to piece together these mad events so many years after their occurence. More difficult still after the chemical lobotomy I’d narrowly thwarted at the facility. I do remember the salient details. Yes, many of them are too deeply buried in esoteric contexts that too few could fathom. But the core of what I communicate should help bolster our flailing humanity despite such hurdles.

Hoyt’s map that was the key. It was what Fawcett had been missing. Even if Fawcett had found the actual location of Z he would never have been able to enter it. This was not a labyrinth that could be decrypted. And so it was that the old Portuguese map Graham’s ancestor had pilfered from RGS had found its way into the hands of P.L.A.T.O. the organisation most suited to implement it.

As the gangly scion of that weird little Cambridge club played strange airs on the guitar I fell into even stranger dreams.


NOTE – I know that I promised in my last post to start making these longer and I will! Bad habits die hard but die they will. As I promised I will post again on Monday. I’m hoping for at least a quarter of a chapter. I hoped you enjoyed what I was able to muster and see you soon!

20181005_151805
Annual eye exam means dilation which means two hours of potential research time gone to the blur!

 

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Fractal Radio | Episode 22 – The Sketch of Sam Monroe Update and Ancient Civilizations Ramble

 


Just some updates about a new posting schedule for The Sketch of Sam Monroe (a novel in progress you can find on my website). Also, I go into a bit of a super informal ramble about one of the themes in that story: ancient civilizations.

Topic Links

9.7 million year old tooth – https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2017/10/21/9-7-million-year-old-teeth-discovery-germany-could-re-write-human-history/787140001/

Graham Hancock – http://grahamhancock.com/

Randall Carlson – https://sacredgeometryinternational.com/

Carlson and Hancock on JRE (featuring Skeptic Magazine’s Michael Shermer) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tFlAFo78xoQ


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The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 6.15 – The Wizard’s Nod

Black panther
6.14

 

    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.”

 

“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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The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 6.14 – Situations

Ankh Full HD Wallpaper and Background Image | 2896x1944 | ID:571214
6.13

Two days to departure and I watched Graham like a hawk. There was something that I couldn’t place. Yes, by now it’s well established to the point of tedium that he was decidedly freaky. But there was a fresh aura of mischief about him now.

That silent placid gaze in which nothing could be read but everything was mocked. The thin cruel smile that was unsettlingly familiar yet unplaceable.

I even decided to try a trick. He was reading something a few yards away. I fetched a loaded Colt from the arsenal.

Removing my shoes I slowly crept behind him. I was absolutely certain that the ambient noise of the jungle masked any stray noise that escaped my stride. I’d taken the safety off yards and yards away. I’d already cocked.

I stood a mere ten feet behind him. I aimed directly at his head and allowed my finger to tease the trigger.

Fluidly, he turned his head so that I was able to see that smile in profile. “And what’s the point of that?”

I was momentarily lost. “Just testing your situational awareness.”

Hoyt laughed in a hollow amused sort of way. “There are more situations to be aware of than you can possibly imagine.

I believed him.

“Graham,” I said. “What happened back at the lodge.”

“Well, you know already. I dreamed about a jaguar and had a stimulant induced seizure. Because of Sam’s picture. Right?”

“Yes…but…” Something kept me from prodding further. Like an invisible sucking drain that drew away all will to know.

Hoyt just regarded me with the same cold amusement.

“Nevermind.” I said departing and he returned to his reading.

There was a blankness in my mind. There had been something strange about his terse sentences. Each word, each phrase, its order, its cadence took root somewhere deep in the spine and suggested vistas and chains beyond all reckoning. I wasn’t the only one that felt this way.

I didn’t mind accidentally killing him during that test. That’s what I found the oddest. It was like he was a nonperson. It wasn’t even hatred or disgust or any such thing. There was something in me that wanted to join oblivion with oblivion. Of course I couldn’t because oblivion had become flesh.

‘I guess I’ll just let zero unfold.’ I said as I drew an ankh in the dirt.


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The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 6.13 – Stiff Upper Lip

Image result for english moors by night
Chapter 6.12

 

“It’s done!”

“And well that it is…” I said as I shoveled the last bit of earth over the fragments of that shattered stone.

I gazed at Jones. His lip was aquiver. It was odd to see such a tall man so contorted by fear.

“Take courage…what can they do…they have no flesh.”

Jones gulped.

“Is there something you want to tell me Fred?”

He stared into the middle distance for an inordinate period.

“It’s not true.” He said so faintly that I could barely discern the words among the woodland noises.

“What’s not true?”

“That they do not have flesh.”

I laughed heartily and slapped him on the back.

“You take that Crowley fellow far too seriously. The man is a charlatan… a con artist. Thrilling conversationalist when he’s in a pleasant mood… but damn it man! He’s as unemployed as I and utterly lacking in inheritance. Charms and perversions have long been the trade of loafers the world over.”

Jones shook his head. “No…no…I saw them..”

I laughed again. This was a welcome break from the monotony of musing on my failures. “My man we have spent too many nights on the moors. I myself have had strange nauseas and fancies and I was born here. This desolate house is no place for an opium hound like yourself.”

“I have not touched the stuff in three years. I’m quite sane Roderick…a bit too sane really…a certain sleep has left me. I must say…I do not fancy the light of dawn.”

His words had a certain poetic quality that made them settle in my brain most oddly. I was momentarily dumbfounded.

“Look! Opium or no opium all this hullabaloo with spirits and orders and the like. These are fantasies. I mean we entered into this for the fun of it for the distraction…to rid ourselves of moneyed dissipation and now…it’s gone too far…we must quit this place Freddy. Let’s go to Spain …Italy even.”

He is in Italy.”

“Who?”

“Perdurabo and his chief…”

I had no idea what he was talking about nor did I have time to question him because just then I turned round to glance back towards the house. A figure was dashing towards us across the moors.

“What on earth…!”

I took out my binoculars. It was Beatrice! Her red locks all akilter my revolver in her hand…I’d never seen her run so fast.

I lowered the glass and just stood and stared while Jones leaned against a tree.

In the span of a quarter hour the diminutive figure reached us. To my great surprise I saw that she was barefoot.

I stared as she collapsed a few steps in front of me breathing heavily.

I leaned down and placed a hand on her shoulder.

“Betty…betty what is it?”

And odd sort of half groan half whimper came from the quivering nightgown that lay before me.

“Roderick…” She hissed…. “Roderick…the house…the singing…”

“Beg your pardon?”

“It…IT HUMS…Roderick…”

I felt a hand on my shoulder. Wheeling round I saw Jones face wear a somber tight lipped expression that sent shivers throughout my frame.

“Zo..d…e..c..ah”

It was unbearably hot and humid. The grim face that the hand on my shoulder possessed belonged to Graham Hoyt. His words were quite at odds with his bearing. “Are you coming to dinner?”

I rose from my folding chair and followed Hoyt to the mess tent.


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The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 6.12 – ‘Shot a Man in Rio’

 

Chapter 6.11

I found it amusing that only a few of even my own group understood my reference. There is something of inevitability in the unfolding of history. I do not believe in predestination and in fact count it as a blasphemy. There are however instances of such incredible confluence that a defacto form of predestination can be said to exist.

One such phenomenon is the global power of English. How is it that a small island nation surrounded by a frozen sea informed and continues to inform the whole Earth. How small the number of her sons, how great in number the adversaries and perils that beset her, yet she sat as regent of the world. While power proper has inarguably waned… for good or ill the world is still so very English.

Did Dee’s designs so many centuries ago help seal Britannia’s destiny as sovereign? Given the nature of our research, the heritage of the United States, and our current relationship to that jilted forbearer I could not but help feel that we were continuing Dee’s work.

So I knew that we would soon head north and east. I knew that we would be successful. What I did not know was the nature of that success. Even now I can not fully grasp the enormity of the implications that we uncovered for the sake of civilization. But I get ahead of myself.

Our training ground was actually just west of the true location of Dead Horse Camp. I have already described the first week of the second round of training. A lot of calisthenics, hygiene, and packing drills, basically what one would expect.

Week two was a lot more of the same. Except that it was tinged throughout with dire warnings of death.

“I will leave you, which means they will leave you, once we are more than a hundred miles in the depths, if the equipment fails or the helicopters aren’t avaialable, you will die. So don’t get hurt.”

One thing that I didn’t understand throughout all of this is why exactly we had to do it on foot. I mean…we had the coordinate why not just airdrop our way in? Of course the answer was a mixture of pride and ambition.

Cook had long wanted an excuse to risk his life and the lives of whoever was mad enough to accompany him to mount an on the ground expedition. An expedition where he could travel slowly and take in the terrain, the locals, what artifacts he may find. It did make sense from a scientific standpoint. The closer you can get to your subject the better.

I was relieved that upon hearing of all the random shootings, robberies, and deaths Anna was no longer keen on joining us. Honestly I wasn’t too keen to get a lung full of birdshot from the Amazon’s version of Johnny Cash. Some folk shoot you just to see what its like to watch a man die. Lobo had made sure to recount a recent case of a kayaker’s narrow survival after multiple shotgun blasts.

“He was lucky he was close to a village. We are not going to be close to a village.”


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The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 6.11 – Rule Britannia!

John Dee Ashmolean.jpg
Chapter 6.10

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.

Cook sighed.

“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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The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 6.10 – Shoulda Been a Son

A Mk.82 bomb, dropped by a Brazilian Super Tucano, strikes ...


Lobo’s duffel dropped onto the damp earth with a dull thud.

He was late.

The second bout of preparations had been set to begin half a week ago. We’d spent the last four days drilling methods of keeping the perpetual damp off our gear and food. When Cook ran out of lessons we’d grapple with Fabre and talk history with the boffins as we loafed around the camp.

“Nice of you to join us.”

Lobo shook his head.

“You’re taking a girl? On top of it all…you are taking a girl…”

“Only as far as dead horse camp, she wants to use every opportunity to get some exposure to Kuikuro chatter.”

I breathed a sigh of relief. Though I couldn’t help but worry that once we reached the camp she’d just keep going…you know…for science…

The big spec ops guy psychically mirrored my internal concern.

“That better be so…cause this is not Scandinavia.”

Anna looked exasperated. “Holy shit, I know that. I’m thirty fucking two years old and my dad is a cop.”

‘O no.’ Nirvana’s ‘Been a Son’ started playing in my head.

“Do you know why I am late?”

She bugged her eyes out and shook her head in annoyed dismissal.

“I’m late because anaconda and Indians aren’t the most dangerous thing in this Jungle.”

“So what. Yeah, it’s a jungle smugglers, drug runners, whatever…they don’t wanna run into a small army…”

“Everybody out here is a small army, prospectors, drug lords, human traffickers, you think the Amazon is easily policed…there are resources here so many….the trees are thick…they hide a lot more armies than you could imagine. Armies with methods that you wouldn’t want to imagine…”

“Gotta die someday.”

“I don’t intend to die but I’m gonna be real fucking pissed if I die cause one of you bichanos does something stupid. Which is guaranteed…”

“O come on…” Cook began protesting.

Lobo held up his hand.

“I do not trust the guides, I am familiar with only a few of the security detail, and the rest are typical desperate looking underfed mercs, there are people out here guaranteed to offer a better deal…”

“Well what?!” Cook got mad. “I can get someone else if you don’t want to…”

Lobo laughed.

“You will not find such fools…there is not even one…in all of Brazil…in the whole continent….”

“You take yourself too seriously…João will be arriving with the guides in a week…we are going with or without you.”

“Either way is equally stupid..I will go…I will go for the history of my people…for my loyalty to you…but do not insult me by bringing this baggage.”
Cook softened. “It’s out of my hands…”

I guess Thornton had sort of forced us onto Cook…but I wondered what drove him to take Anna…I noticed that Lobo was talking in English so we’d all understand. I understood but I also felt insulted…I’m a United States sailor…sure we’re a bit soft these days but Jesus Christ.

Sam piped up giving voice to my frustration. “Yea that’s real fucking great for morale there guys!”



Part I – Kentucky Door

1.1 (Intro) The Sketch of Sam Monroe

1.2 The Cajun Prayer

1.3 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter One: The Cambridge Gable Scene (‘Gator is Waitin’)

1.4 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 1.4 – The Cambridge Gable Scene – (Horticulture)

1.5 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 1.5: ‘To Luckadoo Cove’

1.6 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 1.6 – ‘Is there anybody out there…’

1.7 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 1.7: ‘Jesse’

1.8 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 1.8: ‘Lungful of Bees’

1.9 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 1.9 – ‘Precedent’

2.0 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.0 -Calvinist Neuroses

2.1 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.1 – Mirage

2.2 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.2 – Estate Planning

2.3 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.3 – High Tech Summons

2.4 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.4 – Amazon Stonehenge

2.5 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.5 – Jung

2.6 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.6 – Dee

2.7 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.7 – Meeting 211

2.8 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.8 – Itinerary

2.9 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.9 – Fact and Fiction

2.10 Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.10 -Kaffeeklatsch

2.11 Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.11 – Catnap

2.12 Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.12 – ‘One Pair’

2.13 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.13 – Reentry

2.14 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.14 – Phoenix

2.15 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 2.15 – Apollo and Dionysus

3.0 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 3.0 – Inherit the Wind

3.1 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 3.1 – Stardust

3.2 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 3.2 – Loyola

3.3 Chapter 3.3 – High and Dry

3.4 Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 3.4 – One DreamSketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 4.9 – Thera_

3.5 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 3.5 – Pensive

3.6 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 3.6 – Feijoada

3.7 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 3.7 – ‘Good food and good work…’

3.8 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 3.8 – A Good Egg

3.9 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 3.9 – Oregon Hill

3.10 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 3.10 – ‘Thick Bushes’

4.0 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 4.0 – No room at the Inn

4.1 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 4.1 – The Union Jack

4.2 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 4.2 – The Genevive

4.3 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 4.3 – Ecclesiastes 1:18

4.4 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 4.4 – Bleached

4.5 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 4.5 – Marty

4.6 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 4.6 – Highland Deep

4.7 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 4.7 – Sunshine

4.8 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 4.8 – What is it?

4.9 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 4.9 – Thera

4.10 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 4.10 – Father Crespi

4.11 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 4.11 – Why this?

Part II – The Wizard’s Nod

5.0 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 5.0 – Thurible

5.1 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 5.1 – Parlour Tricks

5.2 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 5.2 – Tropical Brutalism

5.3 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 5.3 – The Dreamers in the Wood

5.4 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 5.4 – Les Goddams

The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 5.5 – Lobo

5.6 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 5.6 – Madonna

5.7 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 5.7 – Basic 2.0

5.8 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 5.8 – The Least Dangerous Game

5.9 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 5.9 – Bichanos

5.10 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 5.10 – Extreme Parsimony

5.11 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 5.11 – Gut to Guts

6.0 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 6.0 -Silent Chocolate (Celestial Shoes)

6.1 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 6.1 – Of Boffins and ShamansThe Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 6.4 – Those Who Come in Silence_

6.2 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 6.2 – Diplomacy

6.3 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 6.3 – Noble Savage

6.4 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 6.4 – Those Who Come in Silence

6.5 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 6.5 – Malfeasance

6.6 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 6.6 – Social Engineering

6.7 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 6.7 – Inca Roads

6.8 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 6.8 – Why?

6.9 The Sketch of Sam Monroe – Chapter 6.9 – Perkele


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