> Dear Oracle,
> The expedition is going well. There were an estimated 20 saboteurs on
> board when we set out, but the mythical beast that apparently came
> aboard in the coffin we agreed to ship to London has killed off the
> crew one by one, so there should not be more than three or four by now.
> I tasked Dr. Jones, my second in command that fate so miraculously send
> to my rescue after my first choice, Thompson, had a sudden outbreak of
> stabwounditits, with finding them out. (What extraordinary luck he was
> in that dark ally when Thompson became sick, for without him, I would
> have been forced to call off the expedition after all.) He tells me the
> box of dynamite he is carrying around for no reason at all will help
> him with this. A man of many talents, he is, our Dr. Jones, and I must
> introduce you some time when I return. Scurvy has not been a major
> problem so far, as we stocked up on Vitamin-C enriched sparkling water
> with radish flavor before we left Vancouver.
> We made landfall near (old) Amsterdam two days ago and looked for a
> local guide to take us inland. The natives are superstitious and
> afraid, obviously, and we had to part with the larger part of our maple
> sirup to even make promising contacts, but we finally found somebody
> who is willing to make this dangerous voyage with us. His name is
> Guldengrabber, an ugly and mischievous fellow that hides an
> enormous-axe-shaped disfiguration under a black coat that he never
> takes off, even when he sleeps. I do not entirely trust him, because he
> happens to be the owner of the local general store where we acquired
> some rope, tents and a couple of Kawasaki Ninja motorcycles, and he
> took a little long with my Visa in the back room. But he claims to have
> been there, and I suppose it is just my prejudice about his ugliness
> and his pack of large black hounds with glowing red eyes that stir up
> imaginations in my tired mind. We will set out tomorrow, he says there
> is a road that starts directly south of here.
> Belgium! Can you believe it? To be the one who discovers the legendary
> land of chocolate and beer made from berries. You know how obsessed I
> have been with the myth since I first read about it in my children's
> books when I was forty-three. And what triumph it will be when I bring
> back proof to those who mocked me. Me, the discoverer of Belgium, land
> of our dreams, symbol of our desires!
> But now that I am closer to fulfilling my dream, I feel strangely
> unsettled, like I overlooked something or some unknown hazard still
> lurks in some dark corner of the primitive skycrapers around us. Is
> there any last advice you can give me, O Oracle, before I walk towards
> my destiny?
> I entrust this letter to a man who is pointing an automated machine gun
> at me. His apparently excellent marksmanship will, I hope, see to it
> reaching you safely.
> Always yours,