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Ronan's report


Friday 2nd February, 2010

Jimmy the Wig, ZA company enforcer and master of disguise, looked up towards the wind blown Casters Chorten on the col below the South Ice field. From his position at the top of the low falls in the upper Dollis valley he could see a summit snow plume ripped across the blue winter sky like a white battle banner at the masthead of a giant ship.

Here in the silence of the glowering glacial cwm, sheltered from the worst of the winds by the summit wall, he could also look down on all that was below, the great ZA arcologies and the mighty ZA Hub which stood for everything great about modern industrial living in the outer suburbs. Further east vast grey herds of urban elk grubbed in the snow tracked wastes for mosses and grazed the bark of the park elms. Black against the white quartz fields, chill riffled streams, each rill and run, stones crystal crusted with ice, flowed low between the brassica backs and weasel leas where thin fish lay fin shivering... slow beating hearts of the cold pools.

In his youth he had conquered most of the bare bleak nunataks of the deeply glaciated North Dollis ranges in his pursuit of the perfect place to practice rodless casts and now the wintry mountains held no fear for him. But to challenge these cold and heartless peaks unprepared was to court a savage danger and he knew that these dangers must be confronted with great prudence if one was to survive. He turned once more, and, weighed down by the weight of imaginary rods, began his ascent towards the fluttering pastel prayer flags that marked the high pass that he must cross to reach the deserted Northern Valleys, every step a slow reels heavy ratchet tick away from the places and the people that he loved.

At last, standing on the upper ridge, he looked back for the last time. Perhaps, he thought, he could stay here forever, but to cast the perfect cast and still to live there on the heights was a hopeless dream. Even for Jimmy the Wig, at home in the frozen wastes, the return to the valleys was an inevitability, he must go down, but for the moment, here on his upper casting ground he could live in both the past and the future, from this place, spread out before him, he could look at nature and civilisation coupled and fit its parts into his own personal whole.

As he moved sadly away, past the weathered stone of the ancient chorten, he took out his old ZA Ecloda-kazoo and blew…just to make himself feel better for the journey……


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