Rocky Mountain Rump
June 20, 2011
It didn’t take long for some of the people that we had rescued to contact the various authorities and they came swarming into town on foot, by vehicle, and chopper. It also didn’t take long for us to realize that everyone we worked so hard to save was being put into quarantine.
Maybe it was for the best, but we sure weren’t interested in sharing their fate so, using our various means of trickery, we fled northwest into the San Juan mountain range. In some respects, this was good because as a servant of Yig I certainly love all things nature, but it also meant I was leaving another motorcycle behind and it didn’t take long from the griping to begin.
As we climbed up a steep shale covered hill, Ethan tried to complain between gasps for air. “That’s the thing about hanging out with you Yig types; you just think nothing about hiking upteen miles through the forest. Oh, there is a 14,000 mountain in the way—I bet there will be a great view from up there. You know I didn’t work my ass off saving all those people just to sleep in the dirt and have a pine cone for dinner.” When I didn’t grace his tirade with a response, he went on to say. “Oh, what does he care? He’ll probably just become a snake, curl up under some leaves tonight and eat a chipmunk or something.”
Sweat was glistening off Hannah’s brow as she spoke. “For once I kind of agree with big mouth over here. What’s the plan anyway? Are we going to hike without any real supplies all the way to Cortez.”
“I’m not sure about you, but personally I’d rather be free over being locked up for a few weeks while soldiers ask us a lot of questions we can’t answer and people keep bringing up things like me becoming a snake or you firing rays of burning light out of your hands.”
“Good point,” was all she said and then kept her breath for hiking.
It was getting dark by the time we crested the mountain ridge and made our way into a densely treed valley. The going was easier on the lungs, but the trees were so thick that I took to carving a path through the dead limbs with a good sized club that I have found for myself.
“This place is sorta creepy,” Hannah offered as night worked its dark fingers into the land.
I was just about to suggest that we find a place to bed down when I smelled smoke. I pointed it out to the others and Ethan said, “Well crap, since I’m hanging out with you it will probably be some degenerate tribe of cannibals or something.”
Ignoring Ethan, I sent out my Detect Darkening spell. We were still a ways off, but even at this distance something was registering. A sickly swirling gray, like the color of dead skin. “It’s the Glooms,” I managed to get out before Hannah’s boot hit the tripwire.