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The Equinox Diaries

VC: "The Equinox Diaries"
Jason — 30 Aug 1999, 12:26 PM

The Continuation of "By the Harshest Light of Day".

Caravan Log, September 27.
It's been four days since we were last forced to stop travelling. Since then, our caravan, which we've now dubbed the Equinox for good luck, has been travelling well and there have been no further breakdowns. There's still no sign of a way out of this desert or any inhabitation of any kind, but I'm hopeful that with a renewed sense of direction and determination we'll find our way out of here soon. There's still the matter of our horse, whose condition appears to be getting worse, not to mention the fact that none of us have eaten in sixteen days.

"Rudy," a voice called.

Rudy turned abruptly, he didn't like to be disturbed while writing in his journal, and because he was so unaccustomed to it he was jarred when his voice was called. He was so used to this being his own personal time-the time when he wasn't forced to attend to his crew's needs.

"Yes," he replied, closing shut his journal. "What is it, Max?"

Max, the First Hand, sat down beside Rudy inside the moving caravan. "Rudy, we're getting closer to the mountains we saw in the distance. There may be no way out of here. What do we do?"

"We continue toward the mountains. Hopefully there'll be some kind of wildlife living there. It's better than this desert."

Max nodded, he didn't particularly like the idea of getting lost in the mountains, but there didn't appear to be any other way out save turning around and wandering back through the desert.

Then, Max's stomach growled. It was embarrassing, because he was sure that Rudy could hear it.

"Hungry?" Rudy asked. Without waiting for an answer, he silently turned back to his journal and muttered, "so am I".

"I don't know how long we can go like this," Max said. "We either have to find something to eat... or... make something to eat."

Rudy didn't respond to this comment, still digesting what Max's intention was. (The irony that it was the only thing he had digested in a long time was not lost on him.)

"I hope we make it to the mountains," Rudy said. "Hopefully the horse will last that long."

"I know how we could solve our problem. We could eat the horse," Max suggested.

Rudy turned. "Do you really want to walk to... and through... the mountains?"

"It's just a suggestion," Max responded. After a moment, he turned and went outside, to sit at the front of the caravan, leaving Rudy to his journal.

The golden haired woman was out there, sitting with Noah, the black man, and the fifth man. The sun was going down, and it was finally starting to get cool again.

"What's that?" she said peering in to the distance.

"Miss Marla?" Max asked.

She pointed in the distance... there was a light, coming from a clearing in between two peaks. There was something definitely there. Max turned, and returned back into the caravan to deliver the news.

VC: Equinox Diaries, Part Two
Jason — 30 Aug 1999, 12:29 PM

Personal Journal Entry, September 28.
Last night, we finally saw something. In the distance, I managed to spot a dim glow on the horizon. It looks like it was a camp fire. If that weren't reason enough to be hopeful, this morning, in the desert, we discovered discarded spears, old foot-prints, all leading toward the mountains... definite signs of some kind of habitation. Now we're headed toward the clearing I spotted last night. We should be there by the end of the day. Whoever we're headed towards, I just hope they're friendly. On another note, I think my decision to change my attire from a dress to a more practical pant-suit is having the opposite desired affect. Instead of getting less attention, it appears I'm getting more. The other men seem to always be looking at me. And whenever I return their glance, they pretend they haven't even been looking at all. Maybe I made a mistake when I decided to start wearing my tight-fitting black leather pants.

Miss Marla put down her ink pen and closed her journal, sliding it underneath her dress. This was the dress which she thought she would never miss but she now found herself looking at longingly.

Outside, Noah and Max were sitting together, watching their destination get closer.

"Think there's a pass ahead?" Noah asked.

"Maybe," Max replied.

"Have any idea where it might lead us?" he asked.

Max thought for a second. "If I were to guess, I'd say we're getting pretty close to Voyager City."

"Voyager City? I've heard of it. High crime rate, I hear."

"Yeah," Max said, "but it's a lot of fun. And they have the best looking women there this side of Defiant City."

"You've been there?" Noah asked.

Max took a second to think back to his days at Voyager City.

"Yeah," he replied. "I been there. It's where I learned to become a horse trainer."

"Sounds like there's a story there." Noah hinted.

Max laughed. "Only the same old story. Went there because it was the best place to become a horse trainer. Met a girl, fell in love."

"So what happened?"

"Same old story, she broke my heart. I was head over heels for this girl. She was beautiful, smart, stong, and she had ridges you had to see to believe." Max recalled.

Noah was interested. "And...?"

"And..." Max continued, "she dumped me. Threw me out. She's a love 'em and leave 'em type gal, that one is." He thought about it some more, then continued. "I opened up my heart to her. I loved her. We were so much alike. Kindred spirits. Rebels. We were both going to drop out of our horse-training program and run off to Federation City together. But, then she wanted nothing to do with me."

This was obviously difficult for Max, as a tear streamed down his cheek.

"It looks like you're heart really got broken," Noah said. "Maybe that's why you keep everyone at arm's length."

Max hadn't thought of that. "Yeah," he said. "I guess I just never realized it-but I don't think I ever quite got over her."

"Looks like you've got a score to settle when we get to Voyager City," Noah said.

Max nodded. "Yeah, I guess I do have some unfinished business left there. If we ever get there." Then, he tried to look on the bright side. "On the other hand, am I ever happy to be out of that relationship. She was too high-maintenance. And you know the type--- she chews 'em up and spits 'em out, and has a great time doing it." Max chuckled. "Man, do I feel sorry for whatever guy she's with now."

A few minutes later, when Marla came back out, she heard them continuing to talk. Max seemed to be talking about a woman he'd once been with, and in his typical fashion was pointing out all of her flaws.

"Not to mention her father!" he said to Noah.

"What was wrong with her father?" Noah asked.

Part Three
Jason — 30 Aug 1999, 12:30 PM

"Man, talk about giving the heebie-jeebies! You could hear him breathing from the next room! And don't get me started on that tattoo, either."

Marla always liked tattoos, so she was intrigued with the story and continued listening to it, the most interesting part dealing with a dispute between Max and the girl over a stolen sweater. While listening, Miss Marla looked out towards them, as the clearing drew closer. What ever they were going to find there, they were going to find it soon.