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The Journey Continues Edit

Purple had been driving for a long time, furthermore the find and burial were stressful for all. As an experienced engineer Purple was used to giving orders to lower ranking slaves even to low ranking free workers, so Purple decided on a rest while the regular driver took over the controls. Purple was still a bit resentful about the way Blue Tentacles had been rude earlier, he didn’t want to be called a slave ever again but he realised that leaving the party the way he did could have made things much worse. His friends were with Amber Tentacles, the experienced homeless Centaurian who had led the death ceremony and remorsefully Purple joined them.

Yellow Tentacles already understood life in homeless swamps but was new to this region so Amber Tentacles pointed out to him areas where currents were dangerous. The journey through inhabited areas was interminably long with many detours to out-of-the-way settlements where passengers left and others were picked up, always Amber had words of wisdom about difficulties in each area. Yellow was a bit bored after some time though Silver Grey listened carefully. Purple warned Blue Tentacles that survival could depend on understanding danger while Blue found all that confusing new information scary. Silver Grey wrapped a comforting tentacle round him and told him he would be OK so long as he stayed with the family and didn’t swim off on his own. Blue Tentacles was sure he wouldn't do anything silly like swimming off on his own. Then Yellow looked a bit jealous so Silver Grey wrapped a second tentacle round her own son.

It was a long time before the group was calm enough so Blue Tentacles felt like eating again but in time Silver Grey suggested he might like to share the muddy delicacies he’d got with Yellow and with some other homeless youngsters, after they’d eaten the adults left the youngsters to play. Blue Tentacles started to look quite uncomfortable and came over to the adults, Purple prepared to explain that Blue shouldn’t take too much notice of tutors and others who had taught him Plebeian games were beneath him but that wasn’t the problem.
“What shall I do about the sea monsters?” Blue asked terrified.
“Which sea monsters?” Amber countered.
“They’re as big as houses with arms hundreds of metres long!” Blue told them, “The others all have been telling me about the monsters!”
“I don’t know of any monsters like that.” Amber explained, Silver Grey called her son Yellow over.
“You shouldn’t have let them tease Blue Tentacles like that,” she scolded, “we’re poor but we should still keep to standards.”

Purple considered uneasily how young and inexperienced Blue Tentacles was and how many totally new problems he had to face.
“May Our Lord the Sun forgive me over the way I left young Blue with strangers just because he was discourteous!” Purple thought. “May Our Lord the Sun forgive me because soon I must leave young Blue for longer as I work for the Galaxy Shipping Company, surely the Mistress would be displeased if she knew!” Purple wondered what he personally could expect after death. Far too frequently Sun Priests who got their salary from slave owners had told Purple that the Lord Sun would reward slaves for faithful service to their masters and punish the disobedient slaves. Purple was uncertain and fearful, what was his duty?

Did the Lord Sun punish sinfulness after death? Alternatively did all enjoy happiness in the afterlife? The religious message at the death ceremony had certainly been correct. Indeed Purple had driven Patricians to formal Death Ceremonies when deceased Centaurians from the master’s family were laid to rest in the sacred mud of Patrician burial sites and Purple had heard the same assurance of superior divine mud then. Such messages were even given at times when the servants all knew a departed Patrician Centaurian had not lead a particularly good life. If that message was true how was it that the religious message after the submarine was found empty spoke about divine retribution? Avoiding sinful religious doubt would be far easier if the different Sun Priests and Sun Worshipers just would avoid contradicting themselves or contradicting each other.

Purple was still contemplating his sinfulness when Silver Grey and Amber Tentacles came up to him and asked him to stop the vehicle. They had agreed on a new home and Purple looked where the two indicated with their tentacles. There was a rough walk through an area strewn with with huge boulders leading to a stream rushing down a cliff-way. The rainbow above the waterfall looked beautiful to Centaurians as it would to humans but the stream was unspeakably awful, far too much clean water. And what was that? All that water was rushing out from a cave! Not long before Blue Tentacles had been living in a Patrician mansion, now Blue would start his homeless life in a dismal, dreary cave, and he, Purple was the last Centaurian Blue knew, and Purple would promptly have to leave him! Blue was crouched on the deck of the vehicle, Yellow had tentacles wrapped round Blue, trying to comfort him but Blue was crying inconsolably.

The regular driver was surprised that the engineer ordered a detour and unscheduled stop for only a small group of passengers but Purple didn’t want his friends to hike very far. Silver Grey and Amber Tentacles managed the drunk together while Yellow hauled everything. Blue Tentacles was so upset the others didn’t even mind this time when he didn’t feel like carrying anything. Blue’s tentacles quivered with distress at the parting and his eye stalks reached out desperately, longingly towards Purple. Much younger human or Centaurian children complain that daddy shouldn’t go out to work but should stay with the family though Blue was old enough to understand it was all unavoidable. Drawing out the leave-taking would only add to upset and might get others on the vehicle annoyed.

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