March 28, 2016
The remaining four members of the team sat around a shallow campfire in silence. They had found a small cave just big enough to fit them, but not big enough to keep out the howling wind and the bitter cold.
No one spoke. The loss of Huth had hit them all hard. Jack was no exception. Huth was the first person he met on this strange world that hadn’t tried to kill him. They had problems getting along at first, but in the end the both grew to respect each other, but now he was gone.
He looked over at Tynilia, who had at least stopped weeping, but still rejected any attempt he made at comforting her. Shadowknife and Stalker kept up a silence bordering on the profound. He couldn’t say he was sorry, when Stalker mumbled something about trying his hand at hunting again, and Shadowknife joined him. Yet as soon as they were gone, he realized that this left him alone with Tynilia. He wondered what she might have expected from him and wondered even more if he had what she needed.
He felt relieved when she broke the silence. “Do you still think we have any hope of finding the Lava Dragons?”
“We’ve gone through so much. We have to be close now.”
A humorless laugh escaped from her. “Close… how can you say that? We can’t even be sure they still exist and even if they do, there’s no real reason they should help us. Hell and balls, there’s no real reason they shouldn’t just eat us.”
Jack gazed into the fire as he spoke. “I guess it comes back to, we have to try. If there is a chance that it could work, we have to try. We’re talking about the fate of your whole world here. If we don’t stop Vile now, he’ll become unstoppable soon enough.”
She also refused to look his way. “How do we even know if the villages are still there? We might be struggling to rescue people that aren’t still alive.”
“I’m sure there are more people on your planet and they all need saving too. Left unchecked, Vile will destroy all that’s decent and good on this world and then just drain it of all isn’t energy and resources so he can use them to move on to the next place. Unchecked, he will leave the whole Multi-verse in ashes.”
“Sometimes I wonder if that might be what we deserve.” He sighed. “We struggle and struggle and then what, just grow old and die. Maybe it would be better if we didn’t exist at all.”
His mouth felt dry and no words came easily. “Perhaps the struggle is what life really is. The desire to strive, do better, make things better.”
“Well, I think it just sucks. I…”
She paused looking past him. Outside the night had just begun to blanket the land. Her voice became a whisper. “Jack, what’s that behind you?”
He turned. In the distance, he saw that one of the mountains glowed in a fiery light.
His voice dropped too. “Looks like an active volcano. We couldn’t see it during the day. There on the side, it looks like lava is flowing. That has to be it. They both stood and she let him embrace her. “We found it Tynilia. We found it!”
“Now we just have to do the impossible.”
To be continued next Monday