The Enigma of Amigara Fault, Part 2
Owaki sighed, resting his hands on his knees. He was more out of shape than he had expected. His heart was racing from the exertion of hiking for just a few hours. He dropped his day pack to the ground, and brought out a map of the area. It was several years old, but he bought it for half the price of a new one. Am I still on Amigara Mountain? He scanned the area for some landmark he could make use of, but found none. I better not be lost…I’m miles away from the nearest village, and those were all hit hard by the quake.
Owaki looked up from his map, and spied a young woman, long black hair splayed over her hiking gear, slowly ascending the slope. A light blouse and blue jeans weighed her down with every step; the jeans were a bad choice to hike in, given the summer heat.
“Hey!” Owaki ran over to the woman, his pack left resting on the ground. “I’m Owaki.” He extended his hand.
“I’m Yoshida.” She paused, unsure about Owaki’s forwardness. He realized this, and felt his face redden a little.
“I’m sorry. I assumed you were looking for the fault, and that I should introduce myself, since that’s where I’m headed too. You don’t see many women hikers around alone, and I just…sorry.”
Yoshida brushed it off. “Grab your stuff, we can talk and keep moving.” She fidgeted a little, wanting to start off again. It wasn’t long before Owaki was back, bent a little at the weight of his pack. Was this tent really necessary to bring? Just the sleeping bag could have sufficed…
“I saw the coverage on TV yesterday.” Yoshida started. “It unsettled me, but I couldn’t stop thinking that I needed to come here, to see this for myself.”
“How strange! I got the same feeling, and I just couldn’t shake it. It’ll be good to have company at the fault.” He smiled as he and Yoshida picked their way through uneven rubble, disturbed by the recent quake.
“Hm? Is something wrong?”
“No, I’m alright. Let’s keep going.” Owaki had stopped, but at Yoshida’s urging, continued to move forward, feet landing at odd angles on the various rocks.
The sun was low in the sky when Owaki heard something. The sound of people – low voices, muttering, chatting. He looked to Yoshida, and a nod from her confirmed that he wasn’t just hearing things. They continued forward, and found themselves at the top of a steep hill. The rocky side of the face was nearly vertical, with a few outcroppings where one could safely stand. At the bottom of the fault – this must be the Amigara fault! – hundreds of people sat and stood around.
“It’d be dangerous to go down this way.”
“Yeah, let’s find another path.” Yoshida agreed. “At least we’ve found the fault. It’s really in the middle of nowhere.”