Wounded, Weary, and Threatened
October 26, 2015
As soon as Jack woke up, he knew his team was going to need another day to recover from their encounter with the Dead God. In addition to the loss of two members of the group, Vel-Linna showed no signs of being able to escape the dazed trance that claimed her faculties.
Add to this the loss of much of their equipment and extra food and it became obvious that a day of rest along with repairing their gear and hunting for food would be required.
It hurt Jack to think that every lost day set the armies of Darken closer to the camp of the Tezcatlipoca Stalwarts, but some things couldn’t be helped. Theirs was not an easy journey and if they weakened themselves further, they wouldn’t be able to help anyone.
So after they had dined on their meager breakfast of dried fruit and lizard meat, Jack gathered the others around him. He ran his fingers through his dirty hair and figured adding a bath to his to do list wouldn’t be the worst idea.
“I know we’ve been through a lot and even with our impossible timeline, I think it would be in our best interest to take a day to reconstitute ourselves.” Looking around he saw mixed reactions to the news, but when no one complained, he went on.
“The way I see it, we have several things that need doing. First off, we need more food, so a hunting party should be organized.”
Stalker nodded, “I’m more than happy to head that one up.”
Jack eyed him. “Okay, but let’s figure the rest of this out. Vel is in a seriously bad state. Instead of having a powerful shaman, we have a walking mentally wounded. If we could get her mind back in working order, she would go from being a liability to a strength.”
When no one offered up an easy solution to this, he continued. “I would also like to see some of our gear repaired and other more mundane preparations made.”
Tynilia caught his eye. “I could also try to teach Huth the language spell. I know there aren’t as many as there used to be, but this barrier and the need to translate is getting old.”
“If this is the case,” Shadowknife began, “then I will take up the hunt as well. Fresh meat will aid many of us.”
Jack nodded toward the Xemmoni, although his dark continence left him wanted to find a patch of sunlight. “Okay, it’s settled them. You two will set off hunting, while Tynilia and Huth work on the spell. I’ll try to get the camp in order and repair what I can and we’ll all see what we can do for Vel throughout the day.”
* * *
The day turned out to be more relaxing than Jack would have imagined. Vel-Linna ceased her vacant staring when sleep overcame her at last. Knowing she needed her rest, Jack chose to hold off on any attempts to reach her inhibited mind. Instead he focused on fixing their bags and back packs while taking breaks to stretch his legs and gather up some fire wood.
He started a small fire around mid-day. Tynilia and Huth moved next to it, but it seemed like their spell would never be completed. Since Vel-Linna still slept, Jack began to clear them a more comfortable space under the rocky overhang. Rocks we tossed out into a parameter around camp, while branches were either thrown into the fire or used to build up a makeshift crescent protecting their position.
By the time the sun had begun to set, the hunters had still not returned, but Jack had created a three foot barrier around their campsite. With the rock wall guarding their backs, Jack felt more secure than he had in a while.
He was just finishing up a wooden spear for himself, when Tynilia said, “Thank the vacant throne, finally.” She and Huth got to their feet and strolled over to him.
With a rare smile, Huth walked up to Jack and shook his hand. “Good eve to you, Primus. We converse at last.”
“Nice for us all to be on the same page. It sure has been a long time in-”
His sentence was interrupted by a long drawn out scream erupting from Vel-Linna. When she looked over at them from her seated position, Jack thought he saw that the light in her eyes had returned, but then a moment later she went into a seizure.
To be continued next Monday