Damn it. Why the hell did I come here? I should never have listened to him… What was I thinking?

Thoughts of James Hunter, Hocmar 28th 2134 on the Nirnivian calendar

The second that James saw the disfigured statue, he deemed it painful to watch. The sculpture depicted a man, but not of normal proportion. The arms were far too long, paired with short legs, and the right eye appeared thrice the size of the left; a pittance compared to the elongated spike forming the nose, or the mouth contorted in a grimace. The grotesque shape failed to please James' senses and now that he sat leaning against it, the figurative ache turned literal as the sharp stone dug into his back.

Even with the intense heat, James shivered. The recent revelations chilled his blood and, no matter how hard it tried, the sun couldn't warm him again. He rubbed his chin, pondering all he learned. His hand brushed against his stubble and he scowled at the itching sensation. In most cases, he shaved every day, a habit his unplanned trip broke. Then again, next to his companion, a bit of extra hair was nothing… The freak still stood a few feet behind, laughing to his heart's content. What a horrendous chortle. How James yearned to shut him up via his fist. "Gwa ha ah aha ha! Ha ha aha! Ha ha! Come on, why do you take things so seriously? You still don't get it, do you? Gwha ha ha ha ha! You should laugh more; it'll do ya good! Gwha ha ha ha ha! Wha ha ha ha Gwa ha ha!"

Thanks to a considerable effort, James ignored the taunt. He focused on his current predicament instead. A cruel decision lay before him and it required thought. As he considered his situation, a gust of wind blew dust into his mouth. James coughed before shielding himself with his hand. Though now gone, the gale shattered his concentration. He sighed as he was about to resume his musing, but then his stomach churned, causing him to gag and cover his lips. How long since he took his medicine? Panicked, he glanced toward the brown pouch lying beside him and reached inside. The search produced a syringe offered earlier by the one they used to call Doctor Death.

James gritted his teeth while he contemplated the needle. For a choice between an injection and a fatal sickness, the latter appealed to him quite a lot. The syringe rested against his arm like the cyborg demonstrated. Fear paralyzed him except for a slight trembling. At that moment, the despicable voice returned, "Gwa ha ha ha! Radiation kinda sucks, huh?"

Instead of listening, James took a deep breath and relaxed. A touch of pressure and the needle plunged into his skin. Pain assailed the poor soul, so he countered by imagining the sweet melody his good friend often played on the violin. He pushed on the plunger and the brownish liquid left the plastic tube for his insides. The task done, James exhaled while he peeked at the sky. A small white bird flew around the scene. How did a living being survive here?

After chirping a few random notes, the avian landed on a rock a couple of feet away from James and waited, studying the human; gauging him. Blue eyes… Did his imagination trick him? Can birds even have blue eyes? He never paid attention to such details before. In any event, the feathered observer troubled him. Maybe he should scare him away. Perhaps he could throw something. While biting his lip, he grabbed a pebble, only to drop it with a groan. Despite his anguish, pity stalled his hand and he endured the staring bird. In the end, the animal showed mercy and took flight; thus leaving him alone with his torments.

How did it come to this? I mean, it's crazy… I'm just a regular guy; I have no business here. I wish… I wish I could erase the last few years; forget everything that happened. I remember how my life used to be so simple. Back then, I hated it; I found it boring. Let me tell you: boring's good. Boring's great! I should've been thankful…

Thoughts of James Hunter, Hocmar 28th 2134 on the Nirnivian calendar