Snowman peers out of the bushes, spraygun aimed at one of the survivors. His hand is shaking; he can't decide what to do. The survivors still haven't noticed his quivering hand yet, but they're bound to eventually. Common, Jimmy, make up your mind! For the first time in awhile it's Crake's voice in his head. He looks angrily at the sky, silently cursing Crake.
Pausing for a second, he laughs at himself. All these months of lying about Crake being a god, and he's started to believe it. "Focus, focus," Snowman breathes under his breath. It wouldn't do to fail now.
Gathering up all of his courage, he steps out of the bushes. Alarmed, the female survivor picks up their spraygun and aims it at Snowman. "S-Screw off, whatever you a-are," she stutters. The two men get up and unsheathe knives. This is not going as planned.
Really? You disappoint me Jimmy, I thought you were better than this. Think, there's something key that you're missing here. Crake says, with half a smile. Even in death he's antagonizing Snowman. Gritting his teeth, Snowman moves forward, daring the survivor to shoot. Oh great, I really am going crazy, he thinks.
What did Crake mean? Suddenly it dawns on Snowman, and he blurts out, "Listen, I'm not one of them, look, my penis isn't even blue!" Suddenly he realizes how stupid he must look, dick hanging out, waving his spraygun erratically.
To his surprise, the survivors seem to calm down. The one with the spraygun falters, lowering her weapon. Good work Jimmy! I knew you could do it! Oryx's voice now, calm and reassuring. God, I hope that they don't think I'm crazy, Snowman thinks to himself.
"What the hell were they?" the woman asks, staring suspiciously at Snowman. She seems to be the leader of the group, even though she's the smallest. Her companions tower of her, yet they stand in the background, waiting for her orders.
Snowman thinks carefully before answering. They might know that it was Crake that caused the worldwide plague; if he told them that the Crakers were his creation they might destroy them. Even now, he has some crazy obligation to himself to keep them safe. I told you, you were the one for the job. It takes all of Snowman's self control not to yell back at Crake. Now isn't the time for insanity. That could wait until they knew him better.
For a long time it seems like there's no way to answer the question without harming the Crakers, but then Snowman remembers something. How the hell would these survivors know who Crake was? Sure, maybe they would know and hate Glenn, but certainly not Crake.
"These strange people, aren't like us, as I'm sure you already know," Snowman continues, noticing with some amusement the woman's slight embarrassed blush. "But they mean you no harm, I have been living with them for some time now, and they are peaceful." No need to complicate matters by introducing their creator just yet. Only if they asked.
The survivor starts to soften. "Who are you?" she asks wearily. She's dropped the tough girl charade; she's the same as he is, tired, hungry, defeated.
"The name's Ji-" Snowman pauses, thinking hard. "The name's Snowman." Jimmy is long dead, and Snowman knows it all too well. "And yours?"
After giving Snowman a confused glance, the girl hesitantly replies, "I'm Alyssa, this is Bobby, and this is Stan." Jimmy smiles. Finally some normal names. No need to be confused by names like Abraham Lincoln.
In his mind he can hear Crake sighing. Be careful Jimmy, these people aren't may not be what they seem.
It's been a week since the first encounter with the survivors, and Snowman's never been happier. Correction: Snowman's never been happier since Crake's genocide. He's started to remember his past habits, the more romantic ones, and he's not sure if Bobby and Stan are happy with it, but he sure is.
Snowman isn't certain if he would have been attracted to Alyssa if there were any other woman in the world, but in these circumstances... Jimmy... just be careful. Ouch. That hurt.
Even now the sound of Oryx's voice can send shivers down his spine. Especially when she sounds so disappointed. Snowman frowns. Screw it, she's just in my head! he thinks. Smiling, he casts a sideways glance at Alyssa, who's tending a fire.
She may not be much, but she just might be the only female on the planet. The only reason that Stan and Bobby haven't been, ahem, attempting to mate with her, is because they're family. Stan's her brother and Bobby's a close cousin. They were raised in the pleebands, in a very remote farm. So remote that Crake's BlyssPluss pill didn't reach them.
So far she's the only one of the three that talks much. Stan hasn't said a word, and the Bobby only talks in three word sentences, Snowman realizes. They've been in close contact for over three weeks, building a larger shelter, hunting with the sprayguns, sitting by the fire, and he still knows next to nothing about them.
No need to worry about that now though. There are more pressing matters at hand. The Crakers have been asking about the strangers, and Snowman knows that it's only a matter of time before their curious minds come to investigate. It's time to act.
"Hey." Alyssa looks up from the fire, Stan peers over his shoulder, and Bobby stops twirling the spraygun. All eyes are on him, showtime. "Remember those... things that you saw bringing me fish?"
Nods all around. Something is stirring in Snowman, something from the time of Jimmy. The feeling of an audience. "I know that I've been hesitant to talk about them, but I think that now's the right time. Maybe if I share something with you, you'll share something with me," he says, with a meaningful look at Stan and Bobby. They shift uncomfortably under his gaze.
"They call themselves 'Crakers'. I... I met them after I escaped RejoovenEsense and came to the shore. I think that I'm the first human that they've seen. They think that I'm some sort of spriest sent to them by their deity, Crake," Snowman explains.
Stan furrows his eyebrows. There's an angry spark in his eyes. "Who the hell are you?" he mutters. Bobby raises the spraygun and aims it at Snowman; suddenly their slow, quiet demeanour is gone.
"I suggest you answer them Snowman," Alyssa spits coldly. Who are these people?
"I-I'm telling you the truth I-"
"Shut the fuck up. Who are you? How do you know about these... Crakers?" Bobby demands, waving his spraygun threateningly. A whole week together and now they decide to talk.
Snowman pauses to think. Is there any way to fix this situation? Please, for once just answer me Crake! Silence. Damn it! The one time I actually want him to talk, he shuts up! Ha-ha. "Fuck you Crake," Snowman blurts angrily.
With a satisfied smile, Bobby tightens his grip on the spraygun. "Keep talking," he orders.
He's defeated and he knows it. As he talks he thinks over his situation. In a matter of seconds Stan and Bobby went from silent survivors, to... he's not sure yet.
Crake, Crakers, the BlyssPluss pills, it all spills out eventually. At first he tried to conceal the more important things, but they kept pushing him for more answers. Oddly enough, Bobby seems to know more than he leads on. Alyssa is, as always, cold and calculating. Stan is listening intently, eyes widening when Snowman tells them of the Crakers creation.
Finally when he's done, Bobby grins. "Just as I thought. Finally we find the truth. Now, it's our turn to share." For a split second Snowman can see a flicker of hate in his eyes. In one quick move, Bobby raises his spraygun and fires. Damn, perfect shot.
Instinctively, Snowman ducks, trying to avoid the killing blow. "Got it," Bobby breathes, excitement in his voice. Alyssa and Stan are grinning ear to ear. Snowman stands up, confused. If they didn't shoot him, who then?
"Don't worry about it Snowy, we wouldn't shoot you. Not after what you just told us," Stan says. Then Alyssa motions for him to turn around.
Behind Snowman is a pigoon, shaking and quivering from the virtual bullet. Sprayguns killed you, but they didn't leave any wounds. "Good eating tonight," Alyssa exclaims, rubbing her dirty hands together. Bobby and Stan move towards the pigoon, Bobby grabbing the front legs, and Stan the back.
"Put it on the fire," Snowman orders. He has to retain some kind of control. It's his camp after all, and he won't allow these outsiders to take over. The pigoon is heavy, and soon Snowman and Alyssa are helping carry it to the fire.
During one of his frequent forages Snowman found a metal pan, wide enough to cook a pigoon. He thinks that it used to be part of a bakery, but he can't be sure. Once the pigoon is roasting on the pan they get back to talking.
"This isn't a good sign," Snowman comments, staring intently at the pigoon. Why is it all the way over here? Did they follow him from RejoovenEsense? The pigoon isn't a leader; Snowman can tell by its size. No, not a leader, more of a scout.
Snowman pales. "What's wrong?" Alyssa asks, licking her lips. All that they can think about is the taste of pigoon, but other things are on Snowman's mind.
"I think that that pigoon was scouting in preparation for an attack. There was a horde of them at RejoovenEsense last time I was there, and they may have followed me back here," he confides. Silence.
Wordlessly, they start to pack up, gathering all of their things. Even the roasting pigoon is momentarily forgotten. "Whoa, whoa, whoa, where are you going?" Snowman demands worriedly. It wouldn't do for them to leave. He had finally gotten a taste of human company and now they were leaving, oh no, that wouldn't do.
When Stan sees Snowman's crazed expression he smirks. "Don't go crazy Snowy, we won't be gone long," he says, stuffing some of Snowman's canned food into his pack. Snowman isn't sure if he should be angry, sad, or happy. Sure, he'll miss them, but if they stay he would have a tough time explaining them to the Crakers.
So he just stands there, watching his new companions packing up to leave. At least the pigoon will be all his. "Why are you leaving?" Snowman says, resigned to isolation once again. He knows that he can't make them stay, no matter how much he wants to.
Alyssa turns to look at him, as if she just noticed that he was there. She's about to say something, when Bobby shakes his head. They're hiding something from him. Something big.
"Listen, I've told you everything I know! Now it's your turn, you said so yourself," Snowman reminds them. Alyssa and Bobby ignore him and continue packing, but Stan stops and takes a good hard look at Snowman.
He stops packing, and looks thoughtful. "I think that he can come with us, his story confirms our suspicions that he's immune. Besides, Uncle Pete will be pleased when-"