Plight of the Tivinel
by Joel Morison
It's been five years since the events chronicled in Cry of the Bunyips. I'm now seventeen, soon to turn eighteen, and have just finished high school. Loraine topped the year as expected, with David not too far behind. I surprised myself (and more so my parents) with my marks, doing well enough to qualify for university entry into most courses, but I'm still not sure what I want to do and wouldn't mind taking a gap year before deciding. Loraine and I have often talked about going to Europe to do the barefoot Camino walk along the Paths of Saint James, as described in that book my parents gave me for my thirteenth birthday, but I don't know if we can afford it. Anyway, now that Christmas has passed, we're going on a bushwalk for a few days in the Sunshine Coast hinterland, which should be nice.
David has been accepted into Apogee University on Cornipus to study astrophysics and will be leaving in a few weeks. If he goes on to do a doctorate, as everyone expects he will, he'll be away for eight to ten years and I'll miss him terribly. We've been best mates since that bunyip business and hang out together most of the time, so it'll be tough. He told me his room-mate is going to be some rich kid from the planet Hazler; I hope they get on okay.
Billy Collins and Peter Thorpe are now well into their nineties but are still fit and well. Billy's organising a symposium on extraterrestrial links to indigenous cultures, to be held at the Darling Harbour Conference Centre in Sydney next month. Loraine and I have been roped in to help set it up, which should be fun. I haven't been to Sydney since I was a little kid, so it'll be a new experience for me even though I don't really like big cities. With speakers coming from across the world and over a hundred delegates already registered, it'll be a grand affair, I'm sure.
Jason and Jenny's subspace research company continues to thrive, with the interstellar freight companies always looking for faster and more efficient subspace drives. There's also a growing demand for intergalactic freighters to take advantage of trade opportunities with the Triangulum galaxy, but the shortage of high-grade fractal crystals since the implosion of Burrumbulla two decades ago is making it difficult.
I hear Jeff Pages is writing another book, so something noteworthy must be about to happen in our lives. Whatever it is, I hope we all survive; it makes me nervous when I see him snooping around taking notes. My backpack's ready and I'm about to drive over to Loraine's to go off on our bushwalk, so maybe that's the start of it.
See you soon,