So we went to see the train. I know that I was quite clear that everyone should stay away from the train in my last entry, but it seems that the message did not get out as more and more people were heading there. So a group of us from the Archive headed out to the sticks of Australia, with various amulets, blessings, equipment and most importantly an analytical and critical mindset. We didn’t know exactly what we would find, but prepared for most eventualities.
We approached the area from downwind, there was a rank smell of unwashed people and another scent underneath, flat and dusty. It took a while, as we were moving backwards using small hand mirrors to see where we were going (we did this to avoid certain possible dangers which take effect through direct ocular contact). J- T- had insisted on joining us there with a couple of his employees, and he was using a rather snazzy cap with a built-in periscope mechanism.
The secondary advantage of using small mirrors became apparent as soon as we came within sight of the site. The tiny view field prevented any of us from seeing the whole awful picture at once. L- volunteered to drop the mirror and look straight at it, and since she showed no signs of rushing off to join the scene the rest of us could look straight at it too.
I don’t know how anyone could have ever called it a train. That strange mass of bones and open muscle fibres strung between a framework of trees. Every so often a gigantic muscle chain would flex from some unknown stimulus, bending the support trees like a storm wind. The people/victims were spread throughout the strange structure, sitting on bones and fleshy lumps, surrounded by a spider web network of what might have been nerves and chatting away quite happily. Some of them waved to us. Several were missing limbs. As we watched a young man tied a belt round his arm, picked up a sharp piece of flint and started extracting a tendon, still talking distractedly to a neighbour.
Unfortunately I am being called away, this entry will conclude next time.
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