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


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


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