The desert spills right out from the beaches in the north, it is cradled by the cliffs and the ravines, fed further by the valleys. In some places it is soft, elsewhere the people live where-ever their feet won’t sink. Everywhere the ground is in a raging inferno, like a mighty mirror protecting something precious under the ground. The men with the machines from the East knew what it was, and they’re taking it. Somehow we’re advantaged from the arrangement, I think it prevents my husband from working the mines, and my young daughter from fixing more than just a man’s accounts.
The Nelen don’t help in the sense that every family I know has been fragmented or stressed by this war. Over there, do you see? - I can’t pronounce anyone’s name here in Nelen for you, so I’ll just point them out. He hasn’t seen his mother in a year, both of them were told he would be away for a couple of months at the very most. These six are all from the same family, can you tell? Their faces are all covered up?! Have you ever lived in Jou, you idiot? Look at their leggings! All the same! I’m starting to wonder why I’m talking to you, pasty-face.
We’re passing my uncle’s town now. Do you see how all the roads are so well kept and are nice and organised? Must be about three or four hundred years or so now that everyone decided to work together, every sixty or so years since it all started, a rumour goes through Jou man named Proskut has come up with another brilliant idea, and his friend Unskol marches up to the biggest boss in town and asks for help to make it happen. Proskut and Unskol are always different people, one day two friends will wake up completely different people from the day they were before - I’m told the last Great Proskut’s hair went curly overnight! Our people are connected to the desert. We’re connected to the sand, the red earth, the heat, the total, barren hardship. Because we care for the largest, ugliest and unwanted corner of Jardenia, the world gives us help, through Proskut and Unskol. I’m convinced we’re loved by the desert, which is why I’m worried about you lot. No, no, I don’t blame you, you’re just a tiny part of the whole mess, what can you do, eh?
There’s my uncle! He’s going to throw something to me, so look out - would you?
Put this on. You’re going to need help, aren’t you. This is something you put in your mouth. It looks like a big block of wood, but you’re going to need it to breathe. Wear these over your eyes. Yes, they are rather good, aren’t they - now you can see through the clouds, and the ground is a lot nicer to look at, isn’t it? This wraps up your head. You have to wear it, or else you’re going to think you’re walking in the fires of a furnace, once we get out of this noisy beast. I’m telling you… you’re a supreme fool if you don’t…