"I saw the Universe

arrayed in a swathe of vermilion color,

with adamantine stars and flaming caps of fire,

and a reflective hue of meteoric, catastrophic, bubbling blue,

the nest of some great bird beyond the human heart's

ability to know

and see

and divide

the false from the true.

Hail to thee, O Phoenix, bringer of light and dark!

Hail to thee, O Phoenix, singer of songs so stark!

thrice-hailed one,

dying you live again,

and living you burn within

the heart of every Creator, Destroyer, Artist,

stand thee ever so, and strong, O Great Artificer,

now, and at the hour of my death..."

So wrote I in a gasp of  inspiration, without any concept of time or place, not knowing whether the river had taken me to Elysium or some limbo state between death and judgement.  Fine sand of the purest white surrounded me, catching the brightness of the African sun like a freshly fallen sheet of snow on the northern moors.  Yet, here there was no waylaying wind whistling through the undergrowth; here, there was only calm, a dead of quiet unlike the jungle from whence I fled in dream or in some alternative reality all of those eons ago. How queer it is that humanity may wield its surroundings and turn them into the moving forms of their own spirits.  How queer that the white sands of our subconscious hold the pictures of gruesome dreams, morbid phantasms, yet such bedazzle and entertain our fancy as it winds its way down the stream of being!

Surely, somewhere in the distance the river still rolled endlessly on its course, for I saw a streak of luxurious blue ahead of me, though my eyes squinted in the brightness.  O the peace of that place – the sacred stillness of that place!  If only I had stayed there and not climbed into the heights to see the orchids stained with speckles of red!  

Only the awkward shape, the lustrous form of the radio of many voices, set there in the sand, reminded me of what I had seen some time ago.  

I wish that holiday proceeded without an end – world without end, amen, and all of that rot:  there, between thought and dream, content without the presence of bikini-clad Californian ladies, I rested on the sandy beach of the riverbank.

"Seven, the number of your eternality. Five, the number of your humanity. One, the number of your existence. Three, the number of your subsistence.  Two, the number of your dimensions. Four, the number of your Fates."

The sacred silence fled, along with my peace, leaving me with a steel knot, tied with Gordian fastness in my stomach, for, if I had not possessed some shred of wakefulness, I would have placed the voice that proceeded from the radio as the voice of Brodeur, calling to me from beyond the grave.  

"Who speaks to me here on this holy ground?" I said tremulously.

"I am yourself.  I am your world.  I am who you wish me to be."

I rubbed my eyes to clear the fog from my view, and sat there pondering the last time that I took a sip of water.  The tales of fever-induced delirium coupled with dehydration haunted me as I remembered the accounts of this Continent.

"I am the spirit of the Continent – the sum and total of those who walked with you."  

That aforementioned steel knot tightened in my belly, for the current of this voice fell far too nigh unto the current of my thoughts.  

"I am Brodeur.  I am Rothschild. I am Barton.  I am Existence."

Venturing a response, "You do not exist.  I am merely dehydrated, bereft of friendly succour, and lacking my usual medicinal constitution.  This conversation you fain to generate proceeds directly from my thoughts."

"I am your thoughts."

My catatonic laughter broke the silence around that sandy beach, as I responded once more, "And how, tell me, is it possible that you, a working of wire, copper, and iron, powered by an electronic current, deem your portion within the elevated sanctissima of my thoughts?"

Enigmatically, the radio responded: "Seven, the number of your eternality. Five, the number of your humanity.  One, the number of your existence. Three, the number of your subsistence. Two, the number of your dimensions.  Four, the number of your Fates."  

"What good is this string of numbers repeated ad infinitum?"  I chose to play along with my thoughts to see if they might be quelled. "It seems you have thought this idea through rather much, so why not present your teaching of such, if in fact you are the person you preach?"

Like an arcade machine the "bloke" – any other name escapes me at the moment – rattled off his system of ideas like an Oxford professor taken with the bubbly at a class reunion.  

"Seven times seventy seven times the seventh heaven have we seen the manner of this world, and all that there is to see is the contour of recurrence, for all shall live forever.  

Five men built a kingdom, and that kingdom was called society.  Yet, the kingdom's frontiers fade faster than the flying sands of Saharan storms.  

For One is existence, and existence is One, and all that ever shall be or is has already been and will be yet again.

And yes, the Three – Three most known to you – such transcend your puny thoughts or dreams of human intent, for Three abides and subsists in quiditty. Yea, they transcend every path known to you, for the paths open to you are only Two, life and death; good and evil; light and dark.  Behold the boundness of your being in Two! Behold the straitness of the gate that is your destiny, cleft in twain, forever Two!

Yet, finally the Four of Fate, the fates of More branch off to Four, for Four pardons more, Four choices more, Four passages still to go, and then it is that you shall know.  Yes, indeed, forever you shall know."

The power of humor and light-heartedness to quell the aching sensation in my skull and in my belly began to evade me, for this thing spoke in ways I knew not, yet claimed to be my thoughts...to admit it as such would break me. So,  I crawled across the sand towards it, grabbing handfuls of the white stuff in panic-stricken fear.  On reaching it, I fumbled with the knobs to silence it somehow, but this availed nothing for then it was that it spoke again and finished breaking me.  Thus it spoke in the voice of Brodeur:

"Shall I tell you, More, of the jaws of this Creature?"

Then, once more in the voice of Danielson's assistant,  "Shall I be Rothschild, or shall you, dear Dr. More?" The word-play made the name sound like "wrath."

"Damn you, machine, you are not real!" I howled in agony.

Then as if from the blackest void, hidden behind the trains of the blackest star of space, the final voice spoke: that of the Hanoverian King heard in the jungle many nights past in my dreams.

"I AM either your thoughts" – static broke the line for a split second –

"... your God; real as fires of hell AM I!"

A positively Puritanical fear enthused my limbs, as I ceased from moving and prostrated myself there before the radio in a great swoon, unable to flee or speak.

Now, I sit afar off and write in this journal with my last pen and my last thimble-full of ink, glancing furtively at that possessed box, listening for a single word more.  

"A thousand lily-garlands I made

As into the waters of realms unmade,

My body releases and there I find,

A center unknown where I might unwind.

Here, betwixt the bridge of Two,

I craft my paean – all for YOU!

So let the lilies float along

Like us, they shall not wait Four long.

A thousand lily garlands dear,

To bedeck your words,

So strong and clear!"

Here ends the entry


April the twenty-fourth, 1995, seventy kilometers west of the Rwandan capitol; two south of Mbunte and rally-point Delta.

Written very little – short-hand difficult, but will make attempt least-ways.  Three days since More's strange departure alone.  Took only radio and his own pack with him. Worried for his survival.  Tracked him past the black-tower overland. Doubled back, found pack torn and empty.  Followed trail to sandy beach. Found radio perfectly preserved.  Must write out of short hand to try to describe and record this perfectly, in case it be of use at a later time:

The sand was strewn with flowers, and the food from the pack was left in front of the radio in a strange ceremonial array, as if offered to some pagan idol.  No tracks were found nearby, though the native guides Entiso and Fkonye attempted to find a trace of native incursion.  No trace of More was found either, though the radio was warm, as if it had been used to make contact with someone for a prolonged period of time.   After conferring with Vernon and Danielson, we decided that More was lost to the jungle.  We can only pray that he overcomes whatever illness drove him from us, and that a trace of him is found to send home to his family.  I rue the day that I allowed the university to make the decision regarding who accompanied us on this grave venture.  See here the signatures of Vernon and Danielson, confirming the truth of this account, what little of it there may be.  

Strike due west and back north of here.  Fkonye knows of good drinking water nearby.  If only river was not dry.  Plan to reach Mbunte and his village at Delta in a day and a half.  No sign of homo jaksteris.  Tracks found of usual primates.  Entiso seems nervous; crosses himself often – so go French Catholics.  Need to ask meaning of demeanor.  


Written to the U.N. Investigative Committee, December 1999

Few remain who saw the events to follow.  So it is that I have set out to compile the varied accounts into a unified compendium to present to you for your insight.  No doubt the jungle was a dangerous area, and many Hutu or Tsutsi gendarmes could have fled to the jungle to escape destruction after the fateful crisis of 1994.  Perhaps this accounts for the general feelings of disquietude prevalent in the accounts, as well as the eventual loss of life?  On another side of the account, to what degree was there malfeasance between Barton and More?  Little is known on this issue. Similarly, few facts emerge from More's account.  It is clear that he began to go mentally far afield from the beginning of his arrival in Rwanda.  According to Barton, he was obviously ill, but no evidence of animosity between the two men emerges from his perspective. Somewhat more disturbing is the lack of proof to the contrary of any of the wild claims and observations made by Barton and More.  It is this compiler's desire that the accounts to follow be taken without reservation or presupposition.  In the next communicae, to be fully compiled at the end of July, when the students have given me respite, I will send the account of Dr. Vernon, recovered in part through some breach of fortune, along with a few shorthand fragments attributable to Dr. Barton.

Rwandan accounts of the events have been surprisingly difficult to acquire, but leads exist for the natives, Fkonye and Entiso.  The remains of any other member of the party have yet to be found, and no U.N. sponsored parties have made their way to the vast tracts of the Nyungwe since 1995.  For all intents and purposes, they are lost to history and all civilized contact without these accounts.  

As for the primate, homo jaksteris? Its existence is questionable.

Cordially,

Dr. Cecil M. Martin

Chairman of U.N. Forensic Investigation Committee.  

                                                      End of Part I