Kelly checked the sky as she considered. An hour before sunset and miles to go before they reached the relative safety of the forest. And there, in the East, rainclouds. "No, Perry, I don't think any supplies we could bring would be worth heavier load and the delay. It's time to get going now." She stepped off briskly. After a short hesitation, Perry shambled after her.

"Am I up to this?" he wondered. Open air, blustery wind, hard leather shoes - quite a change from his carpet slippers and dressing gown. And how much brighter and multidimensional the world was after a lifetime interpreted by the two-dimensional video screen. "Davin asked for me." He knew Davin's reputation. He decided he could trust his judgement. "I will make it!" he vowed.

Kelly had come to a similar conclusion. "Davin asked for him, and I will bring him." She reviewed the items in her backpack as they continued in silence. She had not expected a fellow traveler, and the dried meat and small leather canteen would not suffice. By evening tomorrow she would have to secure food and water. If they reached the forest before the rain they would have some shelter, but no stars for navigating. She patted the rolled maps and quickened her step.

An hour later they could see the border of trees in the shade of the mountain. "Another quarter mile," she thought, and they would be safely hidden by the trees. Looking ahead, some movement caught her eye. Four huge crows flapped and cawed around a bundle on the roadside. "What's that?" Kelly asked, but she shushed him. She didn't know, but her suspicions were high. It could be someone in need, but it could be a trap. "I don't know."
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