Star didn’t care at all for fire or the smoke that it carried with it. I had gathered as much ‘meat’ as I could as well as what few belongings I had left before hopping on her back. I’d ridden her several times now, but I swear this time she moved faster and with more purpose. She had every intention of getting as far away from that fire as possible as quickly as she could.
When she tired of running, I was able to convince her to slow to a walk so that I could take a look at my watch to determine our location. The screen must have cracked in the scuffle with the Stormriders. Based on what I was able to read through the cracked and scratched screen, it appeared that we were halfway between my original assigned coordinates and home. What should I do? I wondered. Should I turn back toward the underground where I know Ellie must be worried sick, or should I press on and try to complete my original mission.
I’d never fancied myself a hero, and considering the changes in the weather and my circumstances, I sincerely considered turning back. Star reminded me, however, that the decision wasn’t entirely mine at this point because as I was taking a sip of water from my canteen, she burst into a sprint again in neither direction. I struggled to hang on as she galloped toward the unknown. “Where are you taking me you crazy animal?!” It was all I could manage to say before she stopped abruptly, nearly throwing me off her back. I scolded her a bit while regaining my composure. When I looked up, I realized why she’d stopped.