There it is. Finally, there it is, coming over the horizon towards us. We've been waiting so long for this and now the time has come. This is the day everything changes. This is the day everything begins anew.
Hold on a minute, something is wrong here. Are the batteries dead in this thing? I can't hear anything.
No, batteries are fresh, the headset appears to be functioning normally. Nothing to worry about there. Hold on a minute. Where did it go? It was just there, coming over the horizon. This is not the way it is supposed to happen. And what the heck is wrong with the headset, anyway?
"I've seen it! It was there then it was gone, but I saw it!" I paused, waiting on a response. "Joe, are you there? Kyle? Is anyone there?"
They were there a minute ago. I could hear the usual chatter and then it stopped, but the headset appears to be working normally. Why can't I hear anything?
Back to base camp. It isn't coming back, at least not today. This watch is over.
Back at base camp I am greeted by Kyle. He looks tired. I give him my headset and tell him it stopped functioning. He checks it out and says there is nothing wrong with it, confirming my earlier suspicions. I ask him where Joe is so I can give him my report. He asks me who Joe is.
I attempt to explain but realize the effort is futile.
Kyle shrugs and hands me back the headset. This wouldn't seem so strange if it wasn't for the fact that it has happened before. People disappear around here. They don't just disappear, that doesn't tell the full story. They stop existing completely. They never existed. And fairly soon I'll forget about Joe and have no memory of him at all. This is how it goes.
I remember Joe, but I've forgotten what he looks like. I can't remember his face. Now I have a vague memory of who he was, but I don't remember what he did or why he was here with us. It isn't much longer before I find myself saying "Joe" and not knowing who or what I am talking about.
"You should probably go give your report to Deborah. She's waiting."
I nod. I don't know who Deborah is but I assume it will become clear to me when I see her.
Now I see it. There it is, coming over the rise, as clear as day. The hills obscure part of it from view, but that is definitely it. The first sighting ever. I wonder how close it will come. I better call in to base camp and let them know I am the first to actually see it. That bugger is real, damn everyone who said this was a waste of time.
Oh great, my headset is dead. Probably the batteries. I always forget to check them before I head out. Nope, the batteries are fine, something must be wrong with the headset. Never had one crap out on me like this before, and right when I become the first person to make an actual sighting.
Wait a minute, it's gone. It was just there a second ago. I better hold on and wait to see if it comes back. If it doesn't I still need to make a report back to camp. I was the first one to see it. This is going to make me a hero.
Heading back to camp I throw my headset at Peter. "Damn thing crapped out, but I made a sighting. I finally saw it. Where is Marshall?"
"Who is Marshall?"
"What did you see?"
"See? I didn't see anything."
Coming out here on my own was a mistake. I used to imagine there were others here, but it was all in my head. Now, even if I see it no one will ever believe me. Here I am, watching the ridgeline every day hoping for a glimpse of what everyone says is impossible. What an idiot I am.
My name is not important. I've recruited some of the best people I know for an impossible mission. We are going out to the edge of things to find that which we've been told cannot possibly exist. I am the only one who believes it does, in fact, exist and can be found. My associates don't believe this mission will be a success, but they believe in me and so they have agreed to come along. Some of them find it amusing, others feel some sort of debt to me, but for whatever reason I'll accept their assistance. I can't do it alone.
We have supplies for three months, but I like to think it won't take that long. If it is out there, I will find it and I like to believe it will come to me if it knows I'm waiting for it. We had to come out here the hard way. There was no easy way to get to this place. It isn't even on any maps.
"Has anyone seen Chris?"
"Who the hell is Chris?"
Who am I? And what is this thing coming towards me?