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There are friendly ports of call, but the way ultimately lies beyond.

They stop in a village in the foothills, and spend the night there. The village headman explains the way; the crew and villagers sit in a smoky room, sipping tea.

"There is a pass, and a descent, and and after that a desert."
"And after the desert?" the Navigator asks.
"After the desert there are more mountains."
"And after those mountains?"
A pause. Then: "More mountains."
"Nothing else?" says the Navigator.
"Can you draw him a chart?" the Captain says.
"No," answers the headman.
"We need you to give us a map," says the Captain. "You have been there. You must know the way."
"There is no map," says the headman, "and I have never been there."
"We will die in the mountains," says the Navigator.
"You will die anyway," the Headman tells them. "You go to the Mountain and the Mountain is the death and dissolution of all things. The Mountain is perfect and terrible. When you go to the Mountain you accept death. Otherwise you will not reach it."
"And if we don't reach it?" asks the Captain.
"You will die." the Headman says.
The Geologist remarks to no one in particular "Well, if the mountain won't come to Mohammed. . ."
The Captain grins.

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