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contents Wai Z contents


Arrival

Namzo awoke first. He remembered arriving exhausted in the cave, and collapsing as the marten disappeared. He looked around. On the ground lay his friends, he counted. 11, they were all there. He thanked Nature, the marten and his friends. He wanted to wake them and shout for joy, to celebrate with them, but exhaustion - let Nature recover them. He looked round the cave as a guide would, and there was a tunnel. Their journey wasn't over, but at least that wind and rain were not now their companions. He had half expected a deer or marten to appear, but maybe now he must trust in himself. He heard sound.

Mpho and then Yunio awakened. He went over to them. "By Nature you are safe," he smiled.

"We followed you, without you we would be dead now," Yunio thanked Namzo, wondering at Namzo's puzzlement.

"Yes we seemed to get separated. We had almost given up and Yunio said we must trust in Nature. We started up the mountain again, and there you were. You led us here. Thank you. Thank you," she kissed him gently on the cheek but began crushing him with her embrace.

Once she had relaxed her grip, he simply said "I didn't lead you", and he told his story. Mpho and Yunio remained quiet - astounded.

And the others slowly began to awaken. You could see the groups beginning to chatter as in their excitement they explained how they came to the cave. And then in unison they came over to him, Namzo had been all their guides. What did it mean?

"Who knows?" answered Namzo with a smile. "If you are our guide, what do we do next?" Laconically he pointed to the tunnel, "let us rest here for a while there is no rush."

Blenbu came to Namzo. "Perhaps I should tell you this . again," he began with a smile "when we ." his face showed a question "when we entered the tunnel I thought I heard rocks falling - and I had felt snow."

"Maybe an avalanche," Namzo asked and Blenbu nodded. "We are the last," sighed Namzo deeply, as memories flooded in. It was so final.

They rested that day but by nightfall knew they had to move on - they were running short of food. The supplements were tiny - intentionally so, whilst the wind and scrambling had taken all else people were still left with some. It would be better to find real food - even if they weren't running out. And there were no food sources in the cave - too high up, he thought. Maybe the occasional marten would appear but how could they now eat them? And as for water, some had managed to keep their packs but they would soon run out. And he didn't think the cave would provide that either, but who knows with their luck?

At their link that night Namzo made this clear, as well as conveying the finality of their situation. They were alone, this 11. None would follow, and they could not return. At least the wind couldn't follow either. They had a collective vision. The joined minds of the four left the cave, and moved up through the pinnacle of the mountain. This was far so their image was not detailed but they still felt the blast as they emerged into the wind. The wind blew the link and they panicked yet Namzo calmed them. "Go with it" he impressed on them, and the four became centred in the wind. It blew them and blew them carrying it with them, it was as if they were enmeshed inside this tube of wind. "Will it ever stop?" they thought, and then to came to them. It wouldn't, that is what would save them from the legacy of the greed and gangs. The wind will save them, the wind will blow away the poison greed had let loose on the earth. And as they realised that the wind had brought them back full circle to the pinnacle of the mountain where they were deposited and quickly sought the comfort of their bodies.

They were safe.

But will they live?

Their link had taken much out of them this time, and they went back to sleep. Mpho had watched Namzo stagger a little to begin with, but recovery was quick. That night she dreamed of them in their cave. She dreamed of the cloud, but this time the cloud had faces popping out. She saw gang colours, and she watched as these youths pushed towards the cave and the wind blew them back. Keido's face appeared "Let me in, I am one of you," he pleaded.

"We cannot," she cried "It was not our decision, you made your bubble."

"It was useless against the cloud," his hands gestured despair and forlorn hope.

What made you think you were better than Nature, Yunio thought beside her.

"We must move up," the colours called out. And working in unison for once they sought to move up. The wind blew them back, they went around and the cloud got caught in the wind. After a while it was brought back to the cave entrance, and around again. She awoke thinking how many times they would circle?

The next morning the whole group came together, knew about the food and the need for water. This invigorated their step, and they quickly went out through the tunnel to their new life. As Namzo took them down the tunnel, Namzo stumbled; no-one noticed but Mpho. They walked for an hour and the tunnel began to get small until the group needed to crawl.

"I will go ahead and check," Namzo told the group. Who would argue after all he had come back for all of them before? Mpho was puzzled, looked at him, but let it go.

Onto his stomach he moved along the tunnel, then began to feel a wind sucking him to the end. He felt the cold as he got closer, its icy grip tearing at him, his feet and toes beginning to tingle. And then that stopped. He reached the end of the tunnel, and it was blocked. No it can't be blocked, how had he felt the wind? He could imagine the panic if the others had been with him - blocked in a tunnel. He began to scrape away at the entrance knowing there was a way out. He made slow progress as he moved the earth behind him. Scrape, scoop, pull, slide the earth. Move that small rock. After what seemed hours he had moved little more than his torso but it was enough for him to feel the wind for real, how had he felt it before? It was guiding him.

Out of the cave the wind blew him to the right, and it seemed to be directing him down a path it had made. But it was blocked. He moved the stones and marked a cairn; that will make Blenbu happy, he thought of the cairns of his dales. The wind continued to move him down, and he made more cairns to mark his trail back to the cave. After a while the wind started to dissipate as he moved lower and lower, and then as the wind seemed to stop the land levelled out. He moved along the moonscape, and marking his trail he moved across. He was getting near the edge, he felt an expectancy. Over the edge he saw it, the lake - the water they needed. He ran over. The lake was huge. Nearer he ran. A waterfall, and the lake emptied out into a stream that lower down became a river. Their new home.

He had done it. He had found their new home. He had the water, the food must follow the water. He called out to them, Mpho. Yunio and Sarpo. He traced his mind back up the path paste the cairns through the cave entrance he had made, scrambled along the tunnel to where they were - getting agitated. He found the three together, imposed his mind into theirs, and showed them the lake, the waterfall, and the river. They screamed for joy together their journey almost over. "Tell Blenbu to start along the tunnel," he told the link "I will meet you."

"It has been a long time," Sarpo told the group "Blenbu take us down the tunnel. It is what Namzo would have wanted." Unsure he did as he was asked, and the others followed in trust.

Meanwhile refreshed Namzo climbed to the waterfall. He had swum, the water was cold but so refreshing, he wanted to dive off the water. He climbed up - a little difficult, and reached the top. He dove. He aligned his posture - graceful to the last, he thought. A thudding pain hit his chest. Time froze in mid-air, as the pain sped across his body. And then stopped. He hit the water, and he gratefully gave his life to the new land - his job done.

By the time Blenbu had reached the end of the tunnel, Namzo beckoned him. He pulled him to the cairns, "Lead them with the cairns if you lose sight of me," Namzo told Blenbu. The 10 emerged from the cave, and followed Blenbu down the wind-made path. Namzo showed Blenbu the moonscape and they gleefully followed Blenbu across the scape. Blenbu saw Namzo at the edge of the moonscape pointing. In his head he heard "To the lake". He looked around, Namzo had gone. They reached the edge and saw the lake. He turned around, and saw Mpho in tears. Namzo was gone, she knew. He had led 10 to the new land, his mission done.

They reached the lake and took their fill before the sadness of their loss hit them. Resting by the lake the three remaining of the link joined in sorrow. Their link initially was engulfed in sorrow, and their joint grief initially worsened that process, but after a while it gave them strength they knew Namzo had fulfilled his purpose, and in one lifetime that is something to be measured. "Please don't feel sorrow for me," Namzo appeared before them and joined in as if a normal link. They welcomed him, and his feel calmed their tears. Their comfort as four felt natural, and Namzo pointed to Tanbo as his replacement in the link. Yes, Blenbu was dependable but dour. His message conveyed, his presence moved off to the new land, the land he had brought them to, the land that was their future.

Soon sleep took the three, and when they awoke they found the group ready to move and Blenbu directing traffic. Comfortable with this and refreshed with mountain water, thoughts of food and security reached into their consciousness, it s time for comfort after their long journey. They readied themselves and followed Blenbu. Blenbu hugged the river bank as it descended. Time passed quickly as danger had passed and their descent was hastened by te surety that they were going to find their new home - trust gave them power. The terrain greened quickly, and soon they head a strange moan, and not far to their right was this huge yak-like creature with its matted coat. Man must follow, they thought.

Hugging the twists and turns of the bank they continued to make quick time, There were hills ahead and the river was taking the group to these hills. Accepting they followed their watery guide and saw that the river had gouged a valley between. They followed through the green channel, and soon descended further More of the yakkies appeared, and watched their progress. Then amongst a herd of these yakkies appeared a biped. And then several more coming over to meet them. Their faces shone with smiles, no fear, and they beckoned to the group to follow them. They took them to a small hill to their right, and they began to climb, up and over, and there in the distance was a village. Down the hill they rushed almost running, and soon gained greater energy as the children rushed out to greet their only strangers.

As they approached the village appeared more like a town and the children and the farmers were still directing them. Blenbu turned and saw that children had held of the hands of Gium, Bper and Faa skipping whilst others ran around them. The joy was infectious, and there were smiles on all their faces.

And then before them was this ornate building, a centrepiece of the town. They were ushered to an entrance, and as they reached it the children backed away sill cheering. Only one farmer took them into the central hall, and motioned them to sit. And as they waited from a door behind the altar an old man walked out and sat before them. He extended his arms towards them, said "Sannadee", and they had been welcomed to their new home.