"I don't want anybody else. When I think about you, I touch myself." - Yes yet again it's time for me to take a sideways look at music lyrics. Yet again I will be shitting all over the work of people far more talented and successful than I will ever be. And as an added bonus, in this case, I'll be dancing on the grave of Chrissy Amphlett like the despicable piece of crap I am. This record was released in 1990 I think. I could Google it, but the truth has never been my strong point. It gets in the way of the bullshit I write. What can I say? I'm journalist at heart. I never let reality get in the way of a story I've made up. I didn't make those lyrics up though. I don't want anybody else. When I think about you, I touch myself. Is a classic. All I can say about that from bitter experience is, don't do it near children. Their parents can get really pissy about it. The police weren't nearly as understanding about the situation as you'd think they would be either. Apparently "my body, my choice" isn't a legal defense. Let's be honest here for a change. When you think of Chrissy Amphlet touching herself, she isn't patting her arms. In your head she's frantically rubbing one out as soon as that lyric hits your ears. Probably in a nice hot foam bath with scented candles burning, if you're as imaginative as I am. I ask you your honor, what man could resist her advice in that situation. Members of the jury you have no choice, but to find me not guilty of indecent exposure and corrupting minors. It's all Chrissy Amphlett's fault for touching herself. The defense rests. - - !(https://cdn.steemitimages.com/DQmVtpfges77EVwzXiq6giZXt2GZyr7H3VbiBTiZrpGynyJ/image.png) (The copyright to this image is the property of YouTube.) - - Jake was getting confused. While it was very easy to confuse him, this was starting to make his brain hurt. Scarlet was looking at him a lot. Alternating between fond smiles and angry frowns. It was the smiling that worried him. It was so out of character for her. Although with her constantly shifting moods, where he was concerned, these things were hard to judge. Up until recently she'd stuck with swinging between tolerating and berating him. Sometimes within the torrent of insults, regardless of her mood towards him, it was hard to tell which was which. Right now he felt like a new puppy that kept shitting on the kitchen floor. And whose owner was deciding between hitting him on the nose with a rolled up newspaper or giving him a cuddle. It didn't help that when she realized he'd caught her smiling at him her face went blank. He really would have to stop crapping on the floor. They were following the wide track that led along the river. Heading downstream. A move which suited Jake down to the ground. The jungle didn't really encroach on the river. Rarely coming within a hundred meters of it. It seemed likely the area had been cleared around the trade route. However once they left this and headed for that pass the way would be a lot harder and less well traveled. Trade caravans through the mountains tended to be a seasonal thing. In a place where there were no seasons this had a logic all of its own. Like when it started to rain. Clear, pale blue, skies in the morning, then a couple of hours later clouds formed overhead. You could see them grow in size, until they all met up and decided to precipitate. Now they were walking in the rain. The rain was warm. In fact it was very warm. Climate and weather in The Never held no truck with science. Especially meteorology. Those mountains were topped with snow. he hadn't actually seen them. Daisy and Scarlet had mentioned that the high pass might be a problem if it had been snowing. So did rain here mean snow there? Stepping from a hot humid jungle, into sub zero temperatures would be a new experience for him. Similar to stepping through that wardrobe into Narnia he suspected. Which could actually exist somewhere in this infinity. Along with the dragons, Minotaur's and other mythical beasts. Oh my God. Middle Earth could be here alongside Narnia. That was both exciting and scary. The sight of Daisy plucking a colorful bloom then placing it in her hair, brought a smile to his face. was she tired of wearing her drab traveling outfit? "Sometimes, you really make me angry." Jake jumped at the unexpected statement from Scarlet. She'd sneaked up beside him while he was lost in his reverie. "You've hidden it well. I'd never have guessed. Although you shooting me several times should have been a clue. Is it worth asking what you're angry with me about?" "Oh there's always some anger, bitterness and resentment towards you, bubbling away inside me. In this instance it's the casual way you do exceptional things. Not only that, you do them while you're in a daydream. It's so annoying." He shrugged. As soon as he did it, Jake knew that was the wrong reaction. "That wasn't an I don't care shrug. It was an I have no idea what I can do to change that shrug. Just to make that clear, to the most beautiful, modest woman I know. Ow." She hit across the back of his head. "Don't. Those words I never say. The ones I never will say. They're still true. Which makes you even more annoying. This bit of you. The bit you're being now. It's the safest part of you. It's only when you start going all competent that things happen. Those are the exciting bits, but you do have a tendency for overkill Sparky. It's the instant switch between buffoon and genius that's hard to take." Jake's head grew several sizes. "Wow. I'm a genius am I?" "Not a good genius. Not someone who comes up with great ideas. Genius is the wrong word. Accomplished and expert aren't right either. Idiot savant is about the closest." "Yeah. I'm choosing to run with the genius bit." Scarlet linked his arm. Laying her head on his shoulder as they walked. "Why did I ever hook up with you?" She mused, turning to give him a peck on the cheek. "That fight at the ferry could have been really gnarly. Pinned down and surrounded. We'd have had to fight our way out using skill and cunning. Pitting our superior skills against overwhelming numbers. Instead of which it was over in five minutes. I didn't even have time to warm up." At first he didn't get it. Scarlet seemed to be saying that it would have been far better to be bloodied and injured after a prolonged battle. "Oh I see. You want to be pushed to your limits. A lot of the time I'm just a deus ex machina. Which takes all of the joy out of it for you. Is joy a bit too much? Sense of achievement? I suppose laying waste to the artificers guild in Palamar spoiled things to." "No. That was actually quite well planned and executed. It's the off the cuff perfect fit that rankles. Takes all of the adventure out of adventuring when there's an instant fix. Of course your super weapon did help." "The one you made me leave behind you mean. Was that so this would be harder? I could have picked off those hidden shooters in about five seconds." "Only subconsciously. I was more worried about the potential harm a gun that can shoot through mountains would do. You took out a frigging battleship with one shot. Those rounds don't stop until they hit something vulnerable. According to Norbert he thinks they work at the quantum level. So, in a way, they don't actually exist until they hit a suitable target." "Oh right. Good point." Something had occurred to him. "Didn't Daisy say we only had to follow the river for a couple of kilometers? Only we've been going all day." "She did. She also said, way before that, her knowledge wasn't current. That trail doesn't exist anymore. There are several reasons that could be, but none of them are good. The pass is potentially blocked and has been for hundreds of years. It was too big a risk to take. We'd have had to cut our way to it and risked discovering it was impassable. Therefore we're taking another route." "Which also might not be there?" "That's about the strength of it. Although this route is well used and regularly. The problem is only the traders know the routes fully. If they find a short cut they generally keep it to themselves for as long as possible to gain an advantage over their competitors." They continued onward's before stopping for rest and refreshments. Then they mounted up and rode until evening. Eventually encountering a fork that seemed to be heading in the right direction. They stopped there for the night. They'd fill up with water in the morning then head into the jungle. For some of that excitement and adventure Scarlet craved. Personally he could do without it. If trouble came a calling he was at home. Jake didn't see the point in going looking for it. Not that they were looking for trouble, he had to admit. They were simply walking in the neighborhood where it lived. Oh no. He was missing his nerds. Poppy was understandable. He had a lot of affection for her. Norbert though? Thinking of him fondly was disturbing in many ways. Another quiet night followed. If you discounted the noises coming from that jungle. Some of which sounded terminal. Jake didn't discount those noises. At one point, during his watch, he was sure he heard monkeys. Venomous monkeys no doubt. Giant venomous monkey's was highly likely. He hoped all they did was throw shit at him. That was the best he could hope for in this situation. Although having Scarlet beside him did make all that dangerous stuff recede. No sex tonight. They'd need all their energy the following day. They set off as the light was returning. The absence of a sun more conspicuous as they entered the fringes of that mass of greenery. He was pleasantly surprised to find the trail was again very good. It made him wonder why they had these machetes. Daisy explained that once they'd crossed this mountain range they'd be heading into an area well off the regular trade routes. That flower was still in her hair. The way she moved and the even the way she breathed was filled with delight. In a way this was home to her. Or had been several thousand years ago. The nearer they got to these descendants of The People, the happier Daisy became. The party rode for an hour, then walked for another hour before mounting up again. Once they hit those mountains, which were foothills here, the way would be steep. There'd be more walking. If he thought about it, which he was doing now, then since he'd come to this technologically advanced era, he'd walked far more. Flying cars and matter transporters did exist here yet his two feet were the most common form of transport. If you discounted a sailing ship. That was what was wrong with the future. It had far too much of the past in it. The road became rougher the further they went. Here and there were bits and pieces shed by caravans that had passed this way. Wheel spokes and other unidentifiable wagon parts. Rusted metal and rotting wood. And then a man sitting beside the trail. Wearing a brightly colored suit made up of random patches from a lot of other garments. He was smoking something that had a pungent, yet semi-familiar aroma. "Hey man." He hailed them. His eyes like slits. "You headed in my direction? Only... Have you seen my horse? I'm sure I had one." Daisy stood up in her stirrups. "I think that's it." The man swiveled his head and gave a start when the animal moved. "Thanks man." He pushed himself upright at the third attempt. "Peace to you beautiful ladies and fine gentlemen. I'm headed... Where am I headed again? Oh yeah to the other side of these beautiful mountains. Can you see the colors? Have you seen my horse? Oh yeah. That's the one." Jake sighed deeply. "Oh shit it's a hippy. I swear to God if he's got a guitar." The man stooped and picked his instrument. "Oh fuck no. He's got a guitar." "Where do you hail from?" Scarlet inquired. The man frowned. Scratched his head. Before his face lit up. "Oh yeah man. I'm from earth. Been here a while though. Got high one night at a festival and when I woke up it was like really wild man. Nothing looked the same. No sun. No Moon. And the people man. They are crazy." "How long have you been here then?" Jake asked. "Must be getting on for like fifty years man." he looked at his hands. As though this was the first time he'd seen them. "Only I don't get older. Have you seen my horse?"