This is actually a logbook fan fic that I posted by mistake rather than the review...
December 23rd, 1985
We have come to the pleasant end of a long and harrowing night. Somehow I felt confident that this night would work out all right. Somehow. I donít know why--perhaps the joviality of a traveling carnival made me feel that way. It certainly affected Betty and Fitzhugh because they posed as dancing, signing marionettes for a puppeteer named Goalby. They had to be admired; they were, to all intents and purposes, putting their lives on the line, exposing themselves to help a friend in trouble. I guess their motives at least were similar to my own, only acted out in a very different way! For the record, they were not too bad as singers...but their dancing...well Betty was a great dancer. As for Fitzhugh...the less I write about that the better. Although I doubt they would appreciate my saying so, they wouldnít really make it in Hollywood but perhaps Broadway? It was most unlike Betty to disobey my orders and not return to camp and I suspected she was urged by Fitzhugh to do this however later she told me that it was she, not Fitzhugh, who came up with the idea and she who connived Fitzhugh into singing and dancing for Goalby, who could not perform his puppet act without the use of his hands.
Goalby saved Valerie from an escaped gorilla that captured her earlier in the night. I must tell you there have been times since crash-landing here that I have felt helpless but never as much as when I saw one of my passengers, well Val at this point was way past being just one of my passengers and charges, she was indeed my friend, but when I saw her in the grasp of that giant leviathan, the giant gorilla, I couldnít have felt more helpless. Yes, we did do some things to get her away but we needed help. Goalbyís help. A nice giant, thank goodness. He caught Val from a incredibly dangerous fall from the gorillaís hand...I didnít think the giant furry ape meant to drop her, he was just afraid when Goalby blew the whistle for the trainer of the ape to come. But Val dropped a huge drop. That alone could have killed her. Lucky for us she, like most of the rest of us (Fitzhugh are you reading this?) were. The whole image of the giant ape capturing and falling for Val reminded me of the old black and white monster movie classic KING KONG from 1933! Here it was live and real and in color!!!!
No sooner had the giant, Goalby, rescued Valerie from the gorilla, then he had to also pull Betty free from a bear trap and broke his hands. Thus, Betty and Fitz became his stand ins. I hate animal traps, always have, even on Earth. They just seem cruel, especially the type that nearly snapped Betty in half. Those ankle breakers. I think they should be banned if they arenít already on Earth. Iíd also settle for them being banned here...it would save a number of animals and be a lot less headaches for a band of seven humans as well.
While we were scouring the carnival for explosives, Val was again captured by Bobo---the name of the gorilla. He just reached out and grabbed her as she and Dan were moving past his cage. Good thing he had a thing for Valerie...he wouldnít have hurt her it seemed. If he had gotten Dan instead...and he almost did a few times as Dan tried to find out where Val was in his giant gorilla cage. I donít want to think about it if Dan was in the gorillaís palm. This time Val was saved by the unscrupulous Brady, owner of the carnival, who then realized Goalbyís secret and he had the knife thrower Carlos toss a knife to capture Dan. With such precision, the thrower was able to spear Danís jacket but not Dan himself! Not only was Carlos mean but Brady, he was the worst. He would have thought nothing of putting a pencil right through Valerie in order to keep Fitzhugh and Betty performing for him for his money making scheme. He was also incredibly mean to Goalby and Lisa as well as even being mean and chasing a little girl. Well she was not too little by Earth standards but she was young. You get the idea.
Goalby and Lisa were nice people and had some talent. They deserved a better boss than Brady. In the end, I bargained for my peopleís lives with Goalby and Lisa, through I was not really sure I could deliver my end of the bargain--to give them a really good act but with help from Fitzhugh we put together hand controls and with help from Mark their were mini tape recorders that go inside his new puppets--recordings of Betty and Fitzhugh singing. Unfortunately our plan required our using the explosives (which is why were in this mess to begin with--trying to acquire these) to free Bobo, who earlier had gotten loose on his own. Setting him free was a risky venture but it provided the needed decoy for everyone so that Lisa and Goalby could free the others. I also had to toss explosives at Carlos who was directed by Brady to throw a knife or two at Goalby. One pinned Goalby and the other...if I hadnít stopped Carlos with the blast, who knows. Carlos, I hoped wasnít hurt too bad but he had it coming. As for Brady, the gorilla went after him and the last we saw he was running...out of a giant tent. I normally wouldnít advocate violence but...there seemed no other way out. Hopefully the gorilla wore himself out chasing Brady and didnít kill him. Then again, hopefully Brady was taken by the authorities for attempting murder.
This rather bizarre episode has shown the fondness Fitzhugh has for Betty. For him to risk his life in this way to help her repay the giantís kindness was truly amazing. I donít believe it was just bravado or his incredible desire to be the center of attention. No, our con man is mellowing and he has shown himself a valuable asset to this group many times. Though, of course, this fact does get overlooked when he is being cantankerous and stubborn. Good old Fitz, we can always rely on him for shaking up our group in one way or another! Usually in a bad way, however, heís changed to the point of never being a negative to our gang or a liability.
Despite our success in escaping, I now feel a change in the air. An unease makes me feel we may again have to move to a new part of this giant, unpredictable planet. It never will stop surprising me, this land so like ours, yet so different. Yes, change is coming.
What this change holds for our tiny band of seven very different people, shaggy dog, and a weathered spaceship, is hard to tell. But we face the future with realistic optimism and together we will be better for it. If we never get back to Earth, so be it, we will have as good a life here as we can. But we will continue to push to try to get home. If we do, we do. If we donít, we donít. I feel that just by being together and having survived this long in such a strange, new world, we have that to be thankful for. We have made valuable allies, seen some beautiful sights that human eyes have never seen before and probably never will again, and lived through horrible events that would drive isolated men insane. Impossible events, impossible escapes. Itís the story of our lives and we will enjoy it, whether reaching our goal to get back to Earth or not, sometimes itís the quest or the mission rather than the goal itself. Still, it would be nice to get back sooner or later
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