Twenty-eight – 04

[This post is from Marin’s point of view.]

A narrow trail led away from the edge of the rise, not much more than a game trail. Hikers must have climbed this bluff before the end of everything, but no one had come this way except for the scouts—not in a long time. That much was clear as Sif and I picked our way through bramble and brush that had started to overtake the pathway in places. They tugged at the legs of our pants, catching on our sleeves and quivers. Sif glanced at me and offered up a feral grin.

“Well, we’ll certainly hear them coming, won’t we?”

I snorted softly. “Odds are pretty strong we’d figure it out either way.”

She nodded. We lapsed back into silence until we crossed through the stand of trees to a narrow clearing between that stand and another. Beyond that second stand of trees would be the brush-shrouded ridge that we’d array ourselves on for our assault. Sif squinted up at the trees as we paused.

“You think we might want to array some people in the mid-level branches? Trees look old enough to have ones strong enough to support some of the Hunt.”

“Maybe,” I said. “Depends on how much space we’ve got on the other side. This spot looks pretty good for staging, though, and fallback if we start getting hit.”

She grimaced. “Hit by what?”

“I’m trying not to think about the answer to that question,” I told her with a wry smile. “We know that they’ve got some nasty airborne things.”

“Isn’t the plan to have Hecate seize control there?”

“Yes,” I said. “But that’s asking a lot of her, isn’t it?”

Sif shrugged. “I guess. Maybe. Don’t you think she can do it?”

“Of course I think she can do it,” I said, heading for the treeline. “But I’d be stupid not to have a backup plan.”

“What is your backup plan?”

“Thordin.”

She paused a moment, then nodded. “Good backup plan.” Then she followed me into the trees.

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