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Ninth Journey Period is one of the periods of the xkcd comic Time, the final period of the Mountain Era. It began on frame and ended on frame . It is the first period marking the continuation of Cuegan's journey after their encounter with the cat left Megan injured.
SummaryEditThe period begins as Cueball and Megan leave behind the abandoned building where they were attacked by the cat and continue up the mountain, having determined to continue the approximately one day journey to the top in order to have a better view and seek help from people who might live there based on a structure they think they saw from the building at the top of the mountain. In many ways, this is like other generically-named "journey" periods, in that not much happens and for the most part we are merely observing them pass from one scenery piece to another. However, this period was heightened in tension by the attack period before it, which added the element of Megan's injury to the journey.
In the first scene piece they encounter a small stream, as mentioned by Megan earlier in frame 2216, who noticed it out of the frame soon after they got to the building. They fill and drink from their waterbottle. Cueball, worried for Megan, then offers to step in and help her over. She disregards his offer and simply jumps across, causing Cueball to raise his hands to his face in apparent expression of surprise and concern. After landing, she reaches to her wounded leg and lets out a soft "Ow." Cueball crosses and they move on.In the next scene piece, they encounter a bush that begins rustling substantially. With their nerves still on edge from their recent encounter with the cat, Cueball signals a cautionary gesture to Megan and they pause. Just then a small squirrel emerges from the bush. Relieved, they continue on and their tiny new acquaintance flees as quickly as it appeared. As they pass the bush from which it emerged Megan remarks, "It's definitely colder up here."
The next scene piece shows a distinct return to particularly steep terrain requiring them to use hands to climb, which they hadn't seen since reaching the plateau during the Weird Tree Period. Halfway through that scene piece, Cueball asks Megan how she's doing. She responds, "Not great." She then comments that the cat is still out there, and probably others as well. Cueball agrees with a quiet "Yeah." During the second frame of this final scene piece of the period, the upper right corner of the frame begins to darken ever so slightly and the spread of the darkening gradually spreads throughout the end of the period, but it is barely visible. This marks the very beginning of the sunset that signals the transition to the Night Era.
Like other journey periods, this one prompted much less discussion in the One True Thread relative to other recent periods filled with exciting discovery of buildings and the cat attack. However, this period still had continuing discussion on the severity of Megan's injury, as well as a lot about Megan's character. This period demonstrates very clearly her headstrong nature and stubbornness, refusing Cueball's help to cross the stream despite the risk of aggravating her injury. Many brought up similar instances in the comic, especially when she brought out the scaffolding materials after Cueball suggested that they couldn't build the sandcastle any higher.
Another topic of discussion was the squirrel appearance. At first this one looked smaller than the one Megan encounterd during her earlier quest period, but then it was rememebered that the camera zoomed in during that period. It was ultimately concluded that the two are actually approximately equal in size.
The sky darkening was actually not caught and discussed while the period was in progress. It would first be noticed at the beginning of the next period.
The small squirpy is seen in frames and , with distinct rustling in the bushes before it emerges.