I recently read about this terrorism thing. Which intrigued me deeply. So I looked up as much as I could about it on the internet. Now I think I've got information overload. There is so much information on terrorism. Most of it is contradictory or based on very little evidence. One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter. It's all so confusing about the different groups. Meaning I can't decide which one I'm going to be a terrorist with. It's so hard to choose between them. You don't want a shit one. I know I'm being stupid here, because everybody knows drug cartels are way better than terrorist organizations. But to me terrorism is far more glamorous. You get to wear predominantly black clothing. I look good in black. Drug smugglers have to wear ordinary clothes so they don't standout. I honestly don't care which innocent people I kill. As long as I'm killing I'm happy. If only they did samples or taster seminars. Then I could check out a few to find out which terrorist organisation suits me. Now I'm forced to create my own terrorist group. It's called "The Cucumber Liberation Army." Our aim is to liberate all the cucumbers of the world. Once we've done that we'll change the name and kill more innocent people for a different cause. Telescopic umbrella's are currently at the top of the list, having been narrowly edged out by cucumbers. Purely on the basis they're perishable, therefore having a far shorter shelf life. As we all know life on a shelf is oppression. Let's get out there and liberate as much salad as we can. Join me. - - !(https://cdn.steemitimages.com/DQmbgq4xSje9QJBqbVNPRWXNvkqxxj3VCwUP6wg1to9Jqmm/image.png) (The copyright to this image is the property of Unsplash.) - - "No!" Pip jerked upright on the bed, her arms flying up. She'd been pulling on them in the temple. The other people in the room rushed to her side. Their faces delighted, still concerned with her welfare. "Are you okay?" Sade asked, stretching her hand towards the young woman. Pip scrambled out of the bed. "I'm fine. Somebody check on Scarlet. She should be back, but be careful. Make sure the crew know what's been happening here. We don't want them attacking her." The Matriarch patted her on the shoulder. "It's been several hours since Jake left, they've been made aware. Where is he?" The boatswain pushed past the group, striding to the doorway filled with mist. "Still in there. At least I hope he is. He didn't have enough sparks to get all of us out. Surely he should be out by now?" She spun to look at the others desperately. Morag took her arm. Sade having already left to see if Scarlet was back. "Let's get you sorted first. Take a seat while I do my doctor act." She guided her patient to a chair. Hushing everyone else as she examined Pip thoroughly with the few tools available outside a technology zone. "Sparks?" Poppy inquired once the blonde had been given the all clear. "Time has been introduced into the memory palace. There's no way of telling how long he'll be in there." The Matriarch provided glancing at the space where the door had been. "Or if he'll ever come back." Scarlet intoned solemnly. The others eyed her warily. Unsure as to whether this was the real Scarlet. More importantly aware each of them had been antagonistic to her other personality. Pip hugging her eased everyone's feelings. The others contenting themselves with a welcome home pat and a few words of relief. The two women were still holding onto each other. As soon as they parted Poppy embraced her returned hero. "It's good to have you back. It is the real you isn't it?" "That's a question only Pip is qualified to answer. I'm hardly likely to admit I'm still the other me. Holy shit this is tiring. The whole having two distinct and separate personalities. Made so much worse by me creating the burden for myself. I'm sorry everyone." "Hey. You didn't do anything wrong. It was all her fault." Morag grinned. Minutes had passed since the return of the lost. Them explaining what they knew took another half hour. By the end of which there was still no sign of Jake. News came down that land had been spotted in the distance. Exactly where Norbert and Poppy had calculated. It would be nightfall before they could get there. Adverse currents were slowing the fleet to a crawl as they drew nearer. Erring on the side of caution was advisable. That being the case the other captains had decided to drop anchor at a safe distance to await daylight. Mysterious glints and disturbances had been seen in the distance. It could be the effect of the waves meeting low rocks or shallows, best not to tempt fate. One by one they left as time wore on. Eventually only Pip, Scarlet and Ursella remained. They sat on the end of the bed together watching that portal. Scarlet was the first to make a move. "I'll get back to my cabin, if no one minds. I'm not sure he'll be pleased to see me here anyway. If he.. I mean... when.. I'll go." She hefted her arms helplessly, heading to the exit. Ursella, who had been the least talkative so far, chose to speak now. "He's still very much alive Scarlet. I can feel him, trust me. Although it's harder now there's only one of you in there, I sense his presence." "Are you sure?" The words bursting from her. "This wouldn't be the first time I've been the cause of his demise. I still think it's best I leave." The sorceress stood. "Stay please. Keep Pip company. I have to return to my brother to recharge my.. what are those energy storage things called?" "Batteries?" The youngest one suggested. Mouthing her thanks silently to Ursella. "Yes. My batteries. I'd hate to leave Pip on her own with the vigil." "Yeah I'd really prefer some companionship here. I'm not going to sleep, not after spending a whole day in bed. It would be nice to have someone to talk to while I wait. Jake will appreciate you being here. I know he will." The forlorn woman reluctantly acceded returning to sit beside Pip. "If you see any of the others let them know they're free to take over from me." "Of course I will." Ursella winked at Pip as she left. Despite her saying she wanted someone to converse with the conversation was very limited. Neither of two women doing more than watching, waiting and noting the passage of time. Both of them aware the worst might be yet to come. And for exactly the same reason. Jake hadn't been effusive on finding his supposed soulmate. They'd barely come within touching distance of one another. Each of them had many reasons not to examine things to closely. Pip in particular was afraid of what Scarlet might return to. It was unwelcome, but no surprise when she did. "I meant it you know. When I said I'd get out of your way with him. You love him. You admitted it yourself." Pip slammed her fists onto the mattress with an angry groan. "Yes I love him. Not in that way though. Not really. The sight of him doesn't make me tingle. He's nice and he's safe, but he doesn't make my pulse race." "Is that true? Don't bullshit me. I'll know if you're lying." Pip flopped backwards with a weary moan. "I'm not saying I wouldn't. If I'm honest I thought I'd like him to be my first. That's changed a lot recently. Now he's more like my brother. Close, but not really boning material. Anyway, even if I was to throw myself at him, he'd only move out of the way. Probably apologizing as he did so. He got freaked out when he had erotic dreams about Ursella. Thought he was a pervert for having them. Turned out that it was Hermes lusting after Morag that was causing them. Now that's a romance." The real original Scarlet returned at last. "I've had a few dreams about Ursella myself. I don't feel guilty about them though. What I wouldn't do to that gorgeous babe given half a chance." Pip laughed. "You'll have to get behind Poppy. She's lusting after that lady real bad. Mind you, most of the crew are. Now she makes me tingle all over." She rolled to face Scarlet. "Do you love him?" "Yes. No. Maybe. I'm not sure. I spent so much time trying so hard not to love him. Now I'm a confused mess. Would he even want me after all I've done to him? Out of pure spite. I can blame my manufactured persona as much as I like, but at the end of the day she was still made up out of parts of me. Those parts are still there. I know that. He knows that. How can he trust anyone who might turn on him at any second?" She covered her face with her hands. "Look what I did to Daisy and Pengelly. I don't even know half of what the other me got up to. I never will now I can't connect to my memory palace. You were right to destroy my reputation. The crew were right to despise me. I am despicable." "No you aren't. You've done some bad things. Who hasn't? I blew my own uncle's brains out." The hands covering her face dropped. "I thought you said he killed him?" "Pengelly was bleeding out, wouldn't have lasted more than a minute. It was a stupid gesture on my part. I thought it would bring some kind of closure. I still miss the bastard. I think you're missing Jake to." "Am I? I don't know. I'm questioning myself on everything now. Is it only about me? Am I just thinking about using him again? To get what I want." "What do you want?" "I'll pass on that question thanks. I don't know. I want him to get back here safely? I think. But is that only to ease my guilt for betraying him?" Several soft, nearly inaudible thuds came from the vicinity of that opening. Both of them stood up. "What was that? Did you hear it?" "They could be shifting gear up on the main deck, but yes I did hear something." "You're right. It could have been the anchor being released. False alarm." This time there were three loud thumps. The two of them stared at the foggy portal, gasping when it became a wooden door. One that burst open. Jake staggered through. Distractedly brushing himself down. Not noticing them until he looked up. He drew breath for what Pip hoped would be a wisecrack or self deprecating comment. "It's good to see you safe." He murmured his voice emotionless. He shook himself. "That was a lot harder than I expected. I knew it would be difficult. Underestimated again." Jake shivered. "Are you okay?" Pip asked, concerned. "Ummmm yeah. I'll be fine. I think I need to take a walk to clear my head." he seemed to see Scarlet for the first time. His hands clenching and unclenching at his sides. Pain filled his eyes. "Yeah I need some air." "We should let them know you're back." Pip stated. "No it's dark. Don't disturb anyone on my account. Sorry I don't feel like talking right now." Without another word he strode to the door. Not bothering to make eye contact with the two of them. Evading the questions. He closed the door behind him. "Well I believe that shows what he thinks of me now." The boatswains head shook slowly. "No. Something's wrong. He's hurt, but he's not showing it." "Well yeah. I'm the one that hurt him. Didn't you see? As soon as he looked at me his heart broke. I don't care what you say, I'm going to my cabin. At least that way he won't have to look at me when he gets back." "Scarlet!" It was too late she'd rushed out the door. "I don't care how bad he feels there was no need for him to do that." She muttered to herself angrily.