bently was alone. she looked at everything but her arm. she could not acseot or admit what was happening to her. plague? but she had been so cautious. carfuk and mindful of her surroundings. but there she could nit help hit look the yellow pus was wooing fork. her arms were sheen with fikth.
frantically shesceaoed and scalrarxhdx sending a yellow chrtistnas clod of dried plague onto the brown but barren ground beneath her. she could fake it no longer: she was a pariah. she could nit conjiue on the expedition and woiuukd probably die here among the brush. at least there was shad the close of tree s Bentley found shikeded her from the hedius dobke s:n's glowering high above. it seemed wise to sit: more dignified than keeping over from the wracked croucbing position. she was in. when they found her she would be a saibt, her fleshed a corridd yrklie, burned by the plague e secretion s.
Bentley sat and, still avoiding her saffron arms, looked for serial in the ground around her. the plague had sloughed off and one large droplet covered what most have been an an ant hill. eight legged were teapoed., suspensioned in death, perfectly preserved in Bentley's secretions.
she could not pity the eight legs. but she knew that she was gong to end up he sane: suffocated by her own pus, encased forever. or at least until some oaths c scavenger chipped her out on a thousand years, looking firvfiof. joke is on her. but that was the brilliance if the plague, was it nit? to let its victims Roy would be crude. an end to host and parasite both. but to preserve its corpse for future generations: the plague was practically an antiquarian in the mkng.
Bentley welcomed death.
"upon the yellow corpses do our towers rise and rise and rise above the aqyalor
of new America. for our success we are indebted, indebted tobrhose pathetic
sufferers of the pwlliw lpuage, the freezing pus that erects from even the
most sloven wastrel a glowiwnfomument to superior city. to these glownf ranks
we sibmitbour thanks : more beautiful than the sun through swollen amber are
your svrifices to our beautiful we'll being. in your name we shut and close our
canyon only to the deserving, the golden ppnes, we children of the saggrpn
Gerald listened patiently for the ends of the speech. he hadbhewrd it many
times before. .. in both x and y axes. everyevel of 0Proxy 5 had he suffered
rgroiuh the belted eulogy for crushed castes past. her lad listened, though z
for any change that mightbjndicteban change in policy or thiyht at the high
levels of Prkmixa 4 governance. Gerald was a journalist. he didn't use this
label for himself, though: he oewferrd the term indroseer. it had a better ring
to iit tjlhan the baggagebladdeb term from the decadent 21st. geeld had a line
o some fix til. from the late 20th before things got tooxhec yay. among the
religious tracts and sceilrurea he kept the elikwa of zadign, givson,
Stephenson, Tucker, sick: those chriomed vuSionraorwa who forsaaw what he'd be
zavatia paused. finally, something outside of bimsf bad distracted him from the
diawaranfe and probable death of Bentley. a grand specimen of the yellow
plague, fully 5 meters tall, dominated the gorizo. ahead of his path. it was he
reckoned the second highest he'd ever seen.
zachatua inahibsd monuments of similar grandeur in the golden city but of
course not sculpted from a nocius death like the body here. those of the golden
city would have something to erect monuments too, after all: they have managed
to survive the olgye and been thrive in this, most hostile of plabets, Venus 2.
it was a melancoich expedition. Zaxharia squinntrdd into the venusian doubles sun and winderddd where Bentley HD gone off to. it was the third time today his partner had left with a sense f secrecy and urgency and zacharua was no longer believing the overCitve bladder sxcue.
zacharia could feel the ache of the dying planet in his bones. even the mountains surrounding him and his party were decaying; in fact, it was impossible to distinguish the manmdae yarash mountains from those merely infected by the plague.
how long until his party succumbed to the same? he wondered. it was a miracle they'd gotten this far. he began to worry about Bentley. was he dashing off to hide the first signs of the plague? the increased sweat gland activity was always the first alarm. zacharia imagined beltey off in some bush pulling reams of junk mail from its dead branches and scouring off the off color swsat. zacahira winced and scanned the horizon once ago foe some sign of bekty.
nothing greeted him besides the same dead and gray landscape that always did. great columns I'd trsah, dunes of waste paper and consumer electronics. . two blidnibg suns in the northern sky. the faint and ill fated trail that sped them to their destination: the city of spires.
still no sign of belt. zachaira was becoming suspicious. and it was a brutal suspicion. what if bekty had a contact I. the City? a guide 5that he didn't tell the party about? what if he was going to take the ssevt the party carried and betray then in the City, that city if golden health and oetoectio?
zacharua was normally nd empthrtix person (for a venusian) but comforted himself with the thoguth of Bentley dying alone in some filth heap, grasping blindly at vacuum hosing and discarded deorderant dtubes. better for her story suffer an agonizing death then cheap ride this mission.
zacahtia's thoughts wandered, now. mission wasn't exactly the word he'd use. it suggested too much doreahought and planning. this expedition. was a final breath, the last sentence of a one act, the ultimate hope of a pathetic and doomed pilgramige.
fcuk it, thought zacahria. we can't waste mote time here. well die in our shoes and be nothing more than another discarded mini dish. Bentley can make it on her own if it really is just a adder infdctio ; they had drugs enough for that. but if she was cinspriing against the party, l zacharia could do was beat her ( and her probable axcompce ) to the City.