We went to meet with the Venezuelans*. On the way, we ran into a herd of wild horses. Not the only animals we met this trip.
The Venezuelans had set up barricades and marked-out shooting zones to defend against the Caravan Club. We could learn from that. They all wear camouflage, but not like Albert or Javier because it’s practical – they dress alike to show they are all the same. Like the Bishop’s people in their tabards.
We met their leader Carla. She is quite a woman. Older, but dressed immodestly young. Striking. I must admit I felt a strange flutter when I met her. A bit like when Maria smiles at me – but different. I think – I think I must really be like those women we saw together at Icod, or some of the ones Socratea told me about that she grew up with in Themyscyra. And now I’ve said it.
Carla was harsh with us – she seems to share the Bishop’s narrow views – a bit two-faced, considering how she dresses and acts. But she was ill – really, very ill I think. She sought absolution, and we took her back to Father Cortes who saw her. We don’t know what was said, whether her views have changed or hardened. As Sister Agatha said, “that is between her and God”.
Our other plan was Kostas’ – to find some overlooked firearms caches and build our own militia. The mission did not go as planned, it is fair to say. We didn’t find one of the Guardia Civil stations the older ones remembered. We did find a small child chasing enormous rodents around a field. She fled, and we decided to retrieve the things. We must have looked ridiculous running round, throwing nets, struggling with the overgrown mice. We were all laughing, for sure.
We followed the girl, and found ourselves at a “zoo”, a kind of land-going Noah’s ark. The people there were untrusting at first, but Ennio helped them with their generators, and we stayed a couple of days. They have the mission of protecting the wildlife in this zoo. Though they do not seem to have done all that well. Most of the big dangerous ones – lions, tigers, crocodiles – have escaped. We did like the funny birds that look like nuns though. I’m not quite sure what they are. Maria says they are pigeons, and Ennio says they are called ”pen-gwines”. If the two cleverest people I know disagree, who knows what the answer is.
The pigeons (or pen-gwines) need to be kept really cold to be happy. I could see the little wheels going round in Ennio’s head, and Kostas was getting that look he gets when he’s up to mischief (“good mischief”, as he likes to claim). I’m sure they were thinking of our refrigerated ship. I hope they’re not planning something silly. Though perhaps silly is what we need in these dark times…
* at the garden centre at playa el soccorro GM