Statement of Judith O'Neill, regarding their time at the Anglo-Brazilian Amazon Trust.
Judith O'Neill worked at the Anglo-Brazilian Amazon trust as an ecological specimen technician. Her job mainly focused on retrieval of various biological samples and babysitting scientists during forays into the Amazon. She was careful to stick to the stretch of jungle that had been assigned to them as it lay next to the Yanomami indigenous territory, and the Yanomami were understandably territorial after decades of various companies trying to strip mine their land.
She usually worked with Fernanda Mikado, another specimen technician, and on this particular day they were babysitting Dr. Nikos Anastos, an incredibly fussy and patronising climate scientist. He was looking to measure pollution levels in some of the nearby rivers and insisted they head out despite poor weather on the horizon. Unsurprisingly, they were caught in a torrential downpour just one hour into the jungle.
Dr. Anastos panicked and insisted they head back before taking off in the wrong direction. As Judith and Fernanda caught up with him, they attempted to calm him down but he ended up losing his balance and sent the whole group tumbling down a muddy incline, landing hard in the foliage.
It had not been a huge fall but they all felt strangely disorientated by it. Luckily, they were all uninjured and the only thing damaged by the fall was some of their equipment. The incline had been fairly short but despite not actually moving very far, Judith found it difficult to get her bearings, and their compasses were not working properly. All they had to go by was a nearby trail and, against her better judgement, they picked a direction and started walking.
They eventually found a shabono, a huge ring of thatched roofs usually constructed by the indigenous Yanomami, but they should not have been anywhere near Yanomami territory at that point. The jungle around them had grown unnaturally quiet and there was something off about the structure. Instead of leaves and wood, the shabono had been constructed out of an array of different materials such as strands of plastic, rusted metal and hunks of cement, but no natural or organic materials.
Judith and Fernanda knew it made no sense for the isolationist Yanomami to have constructed something like it but Dr. Anastos had not realised anything was amiss and entered the shabono to look for help. They followed him and found that there were no actual people in the building. Instead, it was full of rough human figures cobbled together from a hundred different pieces of garbage. Judith found them intensely unsettling, it felt as though they were not actual statues and were just choosing not to move.
Dr. Anastos seemed oblivious to the strangeness of the situation and inspected the figures with delight. He picked a piece of concrete up off the ground and showed it to Judith and Fernanda, it was shaped exactly like a pit viper. They barely had time to react before it moved, spinning around and biting Dr. Anastos on the wrist. He screamed for a second as he began to convulse and grey liquid concrete started to pour from his mouth, nose, and eyes. His limbs went rigid as his whole body seemed to swell with concrete. Fernanda realised that the human-shaped figures had also started to move.
They left Dr. Anastos there and ran for hours, eventually coming across a group of friendly Yanomami tribespeople who helped them find their way back to a familiar part of the jungle. As they returned without Dr. Anastos and were unable to explain what had happened to him, they both lost their jobs. Judith is not too broken up about it, she is done with the jungle. There is something in there and she wonders whether it is something more than just the things left behind by humanity, or if that is all it is and we cannot escape the ruins of our own future. She is not sure which option scares her more.
Martin ponders on the statement. It seems like another piece of evidence that could support the existence of The Extinction, but the fear of the Other and the humanoid figures also seem a lot like The Stranger.
His musings are interrupted when he spots Georgie outside his office. He is surprised to learn that Melanie’s friend and John's ex are the same Georgie and they get to talking about John. Georgie has distanced herself from him, feeling that he is on a path of self-destruction and does not actually want to get better. She thinks he is not only going to destroy himself but also anyone who gets too close, and she is not going to let that happen to herself or Melanie.
Martin argues that John is still worth helping and that he would not want to hurt anyone. Just as the argument gets a little heated, Melanie shows up. When Georgie turns around again, Martin has disappeared.
- Related Entity: The Extinction and/or The Stranger