Year 8 Day 112

The northeastern extension of the linear sea ends even farther south than the northwestern branch I checked out earlier, but it is in a valley that continues north-northeastward. Could it reach the tideless sea with only a narrow bridge of land separating the two, as does the western branch? I needed more height!

Photo Credit

Photo Credit Wood’s Hole.

I foresaw two problems with getting high enough to see far ahead. The first was getting enough oxygen, and the second was balancing the air pressure in my inner ears and sinuses against that of the atmosphere. Oxygen debt takes time, so I could probably look for about as long as I could hold my breath. Air pressure was actually more of a problem, but with some practice I have found that I can hold a sort of second skin over my body that prevents my eardrums from popping and my blood from boiling. I’ve never done it at more than mountaintop height, but I have the principle and I was confident that for a short time I could manage to survive and look around above about nine-tenths of the atmosphere.

It had not occurred to me that the desert heat would feel so welcome when I got back down; it’s cold up there!

I also got my look, and as I warmed up I tried to make sense of what I had seen.

The tideless sea is indeed where I expected to find it, ahead and to the left as far as I could see. To the right, sand and mountains. But straight ahead, bordered by steep sides and even higher mountains, is what I can only describe as a trench in the land, . I think I saw water ahead, separated by higher ground from what lies below me, but I saw no sign of any connection to the tideless sea. Neither can I see an end to the trench.

I’ve wondered before if the continent on which I crashed might be rifting apart, and indeed if the lake on whose shores I now live might be part of that rift. Is it possible that this vast linear trench is part of the same system?

I am going to have to investigate this rift.

Jarn’s Journal is a part of the back story of my science fiction universe. Jarn is a human-like alien, a Ril’nian, who was stranded in Africa by a starship accident some 125,000 years ago. His story is being added to each week on my author site. In this episode, he has just discovered the Dead Sea Transform.