20 February 2007

Ranger - The Reindeer


It is cold. The last few weeks the weather has been as low as -31 below. Bitter, though not entirely unexpected here. When I am out for prolonged periods, I check my heart rate and systolic pressure, thinking of Corporal and our cold-weather training. Winter is a time of death.

The cabin near Rogers Pass is quiet at this time of year. It does not appear anyone has been here in some time. It was amusing to find the map of the London Underground still here, your knife holding it to the back of the cabin door. I had entirely forgotten that night, your absurd scheming and laughter. How long has it been since we lived our own lives.

I have been able to check in briefly with Calrissian. I was uncertain about what was happening in Ottawa, and frankly, I believe he is as well. He advised me to disappear for a while, and that he would be in contact. I could not bear the though of deserting my post and so I will wait for death here, or on whatever assignment I receive next. As for now, there is something to be said for bow-hunting caribou rather than facing another human being through a rifle sight.

I hear the sounds of howitzers in the background, clearing the mountain paths.

And before I forget. Toynbee. I was able to make it to Vancouver and the downtown eastside. He was there, though it was some time ago. I checked in at his favourite hotel where I learned about a recent murder. Unfortunately, one of many there. The murder was reported in the local news, but a few key pieces of evidence were omitted. Presumably, the police needed to hold a few details back to identify the murderer, but I can imagine the army was not entirely pleased with what was found. After a few friendly drinks, and some time with a hostess (I eschewed her brand of hospitality, and unfortunately our conversation was not as interesting as I would have wished), a witness confided in me that the corpse was found with a devil’s brigade patch reading “Das Dicke Ende kommt noch.” Toynbee was always an excellent student of history, if not German.

In my present circumstance, I have no way of knowing whether the assassination was rogue or per orders. Only the wolves speak to me here.

I did learn one other thing from Ottawa, though it is now common knowledge. Segoline Royal’s comments in January were not well received, and belie the nature of the ties between the French government and Quebec’s sovereignty movement. I believe we may all be reunited in Bordeaux at some time in the near future.


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