Author : Stephen Ahlgrim

May 16, 1787
I cannot pretend to hide my excitement. My ship sets sail today, to the Misty Islands I had only read in folklore. Origin of the Species sits apprehensively on top of my sack. I am certain that Darwin’s spirit is as anxious to see the fabled Homo Triumphus as much as I am. My dreams in the past weeks have danced with sharpened sticks and loin cloths and campfires where these peoples tell myths of their ancestors. A history all their own unspoiled by civilization. I wonder greatly if they have invented a language of their own.

June 6, 1787
Last night’s storm has left us with fewer rations than I am comfortable with. We are miles off course, but the Captain whose name escapes me assures me that we will reach the land God forgot about. I cannot believe such a mystery still exists in the Atlantic, a tamed ocean. It is strange to think that I have not seen a bird in 9 days.

June 12, 1787
Smoke! Oh God has surely not forgotten me, even if my destination is beyond His great sight! The Captain, whose name I have since learned is Abel, saw the pillar that would be our saving billowing into the air briefly before sunset. I am filled with glee to know that tomorrow, with the wind at our backs, we will reach the Misty Islands. I am famished, yet the only thing I hunger for more is discovery. To shake the hands of these simple nomads and fishermen, to see the color of their skin, and to be the first civilized person to record their existence beyond the inebriated tales of pirates and traders is a yearning in my belly far greater than that of forgone sustenance.

June 15, 1787
We were attacked! The assailants were unseen, however I believe them to be my Homo Triumphus. Seafaring craft. Who would have thought! Our ship’s mast has suffered greatly, though not as much as Captain Abel. An arrow-head pierced his empty belly. The tip was made of a metal I am unfamiliar with. A cleverly crafted serrated hook on it made removal difficult. Besides his wound, he has taken immediately ill. The tip glows slightly in the darkness. Was it poisoned? Without a mast we are helpless to sail further. I await our next visit with the arrow safely in my pocket. I still clearly see the tower of black smoke, so they will surely come again tonight.

June 16, 1787
I fear these may be my last words to the world. Discovery is not what it seems. The beauty in Darwin’s theory of evolution is a perverted romanticized lens of the truth. God did not forget these lands. He banished them. Tiny demons, covered in black soot forge these seas without sails, in metal ships without smoke stacks. Our black powder is meaningless to their armor that gleams like knights of old. They launched their tiny glowing hooks without shafts and bows. Amidst the cries and screams of a seemingly complex language, I have only picked up one word, though not its meaning: croatoan. In this endeavor I suppose I have been successful. If anyone by God’s grace comes to read this final chapter of my life, please take heed, and stay far away from the Misty Islands. Homo Triumphus is a predatory and vile species. They are not our brethren.

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