Scout

Post 70

In the morning, Ned woke and lay for a moment. He rubbed his eyes and peered up through the roof of branches. Breathing in the smell of pine, he listened to water lapping at the shore. But there was something else. A twig snapped. Ned looked to his left. A branch moved. His heart pounded. A deer came into view. He breathed a sigh of relief and stood to look over the open waters. It was an incredible view, but he was still in enemy territory. Ned kicked dirt over the remnants of his fire to cover up his camp. He packed his gear away and moved off toward the Northern edge of the lake. Continue reading

Reflection

Post 69

Ned settled down for the night. He built a fire and warmed his hands. Looking through his crest of wolf teeth, the darkened waters were foreboding. He had moved fast over the hills and his map reading was spot on. Gripping his fur clothing, Ned worried about that shape moving over the moorland. It was not a Malaxian unit, but it may have been a scout. That would be a big problem. On the death march, when the Malaxians made camp, he watched the scouts. They were nasty individuals and tended to stick together. One in particular was an archer who used to sharpen his knife and stare at Ned. Remembering it sent a shiver down his spine. Continue reading

Lake

Post 68

Ned went along the edge of the pine forest, looking for an entry point. The branches were low and thick, so he crawled into a bush and kept on his hands and knees through a bed of pine needles until there was enough space to stand. It was dark and impossible to walk in a straight line with all the dense trees. But it was not long until the ground fell away. Moonlight flowed through the canopy. Moving slower, he realised it was getting dangerous. He walked upwards and carefully around to a less steep part of the wooded hill. At its base, he looked up at the white-blue light. He had to keep going. It was a clear night and the forest was opening up so he moved with care by moonlight. Continue reading

Stream

Post 67

The next hill was immediately beyond the tree line and it was steep. There was no time to lose, so he went straight up. It was about a fifty degree slope, and he used his arms as much as his legs to make progress. About halfway up, he stopped for a moment, panting for air. His chest heaved and sweat poured down his brow. There was nothing else for it. He sat and took out his water container. Putting it to his lips, he drained it. But he had spotted a feature on the map earlier, which spurred him on. He pushed onwards. His arms hurt from the climb and his thighs had pains shooting through. But all that mattered was getting away. The slope evened off further up and he walked to the top of the hill. Continue reading

Climb

Post 66

Ned ran downhill. It took a lot of concentration as the gravel and slippery rocks underfoot were a hazard. He kept going until the land flattened out. It was boggy down there and he pushed on through the peat and water, trying to stand on protruding grasses to get traction on more solid ground. He jumped from one mound to another. And then the land began to rise and dry out. Continue reading

Dark Shape

Post 65

Ned lay awake as the yellow and orange sunrise broke over the hills. The storm had cleared and there was no time to lose. His bag was packed and he had a quick bite to eat. He stood on the cusp of the valley and looked down. It was a mixture of heath and scree slopes, then an ascent on the other side. Taking a moment, he looked back over the moor. The forest over in the West was way out of sight now, which gave him some comfort. He set off along the edge of the valley, deciding not to lose height in the ground below. Ned circumvented along a ridge line in case the soldiers on his tail had made up ground. By the time the sun was high in the sky, he got to the foothills. And there was no sign of the Malaxians. With only a brief stop, he decided to go for the summit and struck upwards. At first, he moved at speed uphill, thinking it was at least a change from running. It was hard-going and his legs ached, but he kept moving. Continue reading