Woke up sweating and panting this morning. Worst nightmare I’d had in years. I was trapped in a giant rotting stem. The thing was heaving and squeezing, like it was alive and breathing. Or maybe dying is a better word because it was certainly working hard for breath. I couldn’t breath, though. My face was covered in a thick, suffocating sap. The sap was as orange as Armbranch’s eyes. It flowed in through my nose and mouth and down into my lungs where it hardened and started to expand until my chest looked like a great bud about to bloom. Or burst!
Crazy, crazy stuff. Armbranch was standing over me when I woke. It was a huge relief, not just because I think he woke me, but also because if he wanted to do me harm he could easily have killed me in my sleep. He didn’t even move the gun away from my side. His new arm is almost fully grown. What look like muscle fibre is forming under that barklike skin. Astonishing. Unreal. Insane. Yes. Insane. There’s no other way to describe it.
Is this some kind of advanced stem cell development?
The first thing he did was ask how I was. Then, before I could reply, he made an offer. He’ll come with me if I pursue the Basilod. He’s certainly genuine about hating the beast. Every time he mentions its name, his eyes flare like hot coals.
When I asked about his reasons for pursuing the creature, he dodged the question. I guess it’s revenge. And it makes me feel slightly better. Whatever he thinks about me, it’s obvious he holds the Basilod at least partly accountable for what happened in the Envelop.