These rapids will claim our lives if the KoraKora do not. The KoraKora surrounded us yesterday, flying east along the river to catch and kill us. There were canoes filled with the monstrous cannibals in every direction by midday. The rapids are the only thing that saved us, even as they sought to undo us.
We found ourselves locked in two battles simultaneously, both won or lost on the effort to keep our canoes from capsizing. The cataracts are more violent than ocean waves crashing against breakers in a storm. Water is thrown so high in the air that we cannot see how high it reaches through the rain. More than one of the KoraKora’s canoes were crushed at these points, as was one of ours.
Others were cast into the air, where men and boats were separated and lost to the fury of the water. There is no swimming here. No returning to your canoe or grasping hold of another. Once you are in the water, you are dead.
By the time we reached the relative calm between cataracts, we were too exhausted to fight. Even the KoraKora, whose relentless pursuit of us defies reason or human capacity, stopped their pursuit to regain their strength. Only a few made efforts to approach us before we were swept into the next round of rapids.
This water is the single most relentless force I have ever encountered. It is no wonder Inifra can channel such strength from this place. If only she could raise herself to the occasion now.
She has been able to help steer some, and at more than one point pulled some trick to keep a canoe aright. Still, she is not able to do much more. Perhaps it isn’t fair to expect more of her, but she’s the incarnation of a Dread God, by the Angel’s Bones! We need her!
The falls are only another day ahead of us and the KoraKora have fallen behind again. They are as tired as we are, and perhaps for that reason less willing to throw themselves at us. We must take the opportunity to rest, for there are yet three cataracts to survive.