Part 6: HURRY UP AND WAIT
PART 6: HURRY UP AND WAIT
It was the same pattern over and over here. The rise before the fall. Everything seems to be looking up, getting better; you can see the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel and then the hammer drops and you're pounded to a level you didn't know you could sink to.
But somehow life goes on.
I was so lucky to have Penny. If I were alone this new knowledge might have been the end of me, might have made me finally give up, roll over and die. Instead we shared our misery and in some indescribable way it made things livable, even at the worst of times. Alone we were just scared children, but together we felt like we could handle anything. Even Nook.
Some time passed before we could figure out our castaway conundrum. We don't know what they did, but neither of us managed to stay awake for our fateful cab ride to camp and we both suffered from zero visibility as our driver maneuvered through a torrential downpour. The only possible answer was that something happened to us in that cab, some kind of gas or fume that caused us to pass out and lose time, something that the frog-like cab driver was immune to. Who knows how far we actually traveled?
But then there's the question of how we arrived on an island. Penny says she can't picture him anymore- she's been trapped here several years- but I remember the strange cabbie.
He wanted me to call him Kapp'n. He had an odd, fishy smell and was my first glimpse of the horrible animal residents in camp. He had a salty accent, like a crusty fisherman past his prime. The only explanation that makes sense is that the man runs a boat, maybe one big enough to drive a car onto. Maybe he even operates a car ferry like the ones my family used to take when we make road trips cross-country. Penny thinks this is probably right- she's always wondered how they found the bottled messages she had flung out to sea.
But our method of capture may be our means of escape. Looking at the map we stitched together, there seems to be two logical locations where a ferry or boat might be docked, on the western or eastern tips where there didn't appear to be an enclosed camp.
Stealing their own boat would be our best bet- we'd have a reliable getaway and with any luck, they wouldn't be able to chase us. We just hoped it didn't have sails.
We knew we couldn't take all the other captives with us- even with all the other children on the island we were outnumbered 10 to 1. It was obvious that we'd have send help later.
First we needed to escape from our own camps, and I had been failing at this pretty consistently. Even with the prospect of real escape and Penny's friendship, the gyroids hung like storm clouds in the back of my mind. How could I escape and still take them with me?
I had only been thinking about the problem for a few months, but Penny had a hundred plans.
Water escape was too risky, too many factors.
From the shore we could see tall breakers out in the ocean, rolling over ten feet high. We knew we wouldn't have the strength to overtake them. And the mere thought of trying to build a full-sized raft under the watchful eyes of Nook and his spies sent a shiver down my spine. Penny was punished for just sending bottles- I don't know what they'd do if they caught me in the middle of an all-out escape. Not to mention the Kapp'n and his boat which we suspect he'd use to patrol the surrounding waters.
But ground-side looked equally impossible.
Just like my town (and I can only assume, all the rest) Penny reports guard dogs permanently on duty at the camp gates. The only times the gates would be opened were to move animal residents in or out, which they would only do when they were sure nobody was watching. Our saving grace was that over time Penny found out something interesting: there was someone that never used the gates to get around. Tom Nook.
We need to know how Nook traveled between camps after he closed up his shop every evening.
Penny's problem was that he was almost never in her town anymore, which is where I came in. I wondered why I saw so much of Nook if there were so many different camps to watch over. Are there Tom Nook copies all over the island? That seemed far-fetched, even after the fucked up things we've seen so far. No, what probably happened is that Nook will concentrate on fresh meat, spend most of his time on new campers until he's managed to break them or feels confident that they're too stupid to understand what's going on. I've been giving him trouble so he may have been sticking around longer than usual.
I would never have figured all this out on my own. Between the two of us, we came up with a plan and put it into action the next evening.
It's go time.
Nook doesn't use the gates to get around the island, and we don't want the guard dogs messing with the plan. As inconspicuously as possible, I spent the day "digging for fossils" in front of my camp gate. Penny helped me come up with a design for a pit trap that I laid over the holes to camouflage them.
If the guards were to come charging out the gates that should slow them down.
My next problem was that once Nook emerged from his shop in the evening it would be tricky to shadow him. I'd have to stay in camo and avoid any residents that were still roaming the camp in the evening light. I'd try to take cover behind trees and make quick dashes if I was going to remain unseen.
Realizing their love for retarded bullshit festivals, I put up a notice on the bulletin board that I hoped would keep some of the more stupid residents indoors that night.
The third problem was that once I escaped, I couldn't just abandon the town without putting everyone on alarm. Once I knew where to find Nook's secret escape route, we'd have to find one for Penny too- hopefully in a similar spot. Then we'd have to make another effort to find the docks and steal a boat. It was all very risky and complicated and honestly the longer we waited the more my nerves got to me. I wouldn't allow myself to imagine what would happen to us if we got caught.
The moment of truth. I couldn't risk being seen, so I strained to hear the beep and woosh of the automatic sliding door that would mark Nook's departure.
As I hid around the corner of the Nook'n'Go, the sun setting slowly on the horizon, I began to get jittery and paranoid. I jumped at every rustle of the leaves and the buzz of evening insects. I constantly glanced back at the town gates fully expecting guard dogs to come charging around the corner, hurdle the pit traps and sink their spears into my aching chest.
So I waited. It was the longest night of my young life.