Now that I knew that it was imperative to find a way off this rock, it became even more important for me to complete my mission. I had never wavered in completing a command. I did what I was told like a good soldier should, and I suppose this time should be no different. At least I was more prepared, and somewhat more protected than my men who had become meals.
I shuddered. Not at the thought of having to resort to cannibalism, I’d made my peace with that, but of having eaten my own men. But they weren’t all accounted for, which meant some of them could still be alive. I checked my watch and wondered if I could reach them via message, and thought I may as well try, hoping the messages wouldn’t be interceded.
While any wireless and radio towers had long been destroyed by raging storms and other such natural disasters, there were still satellites floating around in space. The weather inside the globe seemingly had no impact on that which floats just outside its realm. Cloud cover did often interfere with the signal, but our scientists had found a way to modify our watches so that we could use them to communicate with each other using satellite signals while out in the field. We were always told never to use them, though, unless our circumstances had become a dire emergency. If this situation hadn’t become an emergency, I didn’t know the meaning of the word.
I was careful not to give out my coordinates, but I wanted to know if any of my men were out there alone and if there was anything I could do to get them home safe to their families and friends. I prayed to the Great Mother that I received some responses then Star and I headed out in search of technology, so we did not go back home empty-handed. I knew we’d have to move further north into the remnants of a city if we were to be successful. The air was growing colder by the hour. I wasn’t sure we would make it, but for once I had faith in something besides myself.
“If we don’t find anything in two days, we head back girl. I’ve been absent long enough.”
Star nodded in agreement, and unlike her usual self, she awaited my command. When I gave her my intended coordinates, I just assumed she’d know where to go. I was right. She took off in the right direction, and we only stopped when night fell, so we could set up camp.
This time there were no Stormriders, in fact, she’d picked a peaceful spot among the dried, leafless trees where we could at least hear and see what was coming, with several directions to escape in the event of being attacked. There was also a beautiful spring, which seemed out of place, but I knew it had to have been help from the Great Mother herself, and I said a soft thank you before placing my lips in the cool water and having myself a drink. Star followed suit, and soon we were hydrated.
I reached into my pack and pulled out some remnants of Benebarak which had dried into some semblance of jerky and was well preserved. It was the only food we had, and I had no problem eating it, and when I offered it to Star, though she looked displeased she ate it as well. Extreme measure tends to make a virtue out of necessity.