• Nick Richards

Chapter 5: Enarw - Part Five

“Vehicles or walking?” asked Vialon.

“Let’s try walking first,” replied Jendi. “Seems to be decent weather, it’s early in the day on this side of the planet. But Janen, be ready to bring the large vehicle if we are not back by dark. Renger can show you on the map exactly where we are headed, and we will not deviate from the main path there. If you bring the large vehicle, bring Kinter as well, and lots of weapons, got it?”

“Acknowledged,” said Janen.

“Very good,” said Jendi, “let’s see what this planet smells like.”

Vialon opened the hatch and bracingly cool air came in.

“Nice,” said Grif. “Gotta hand it to these pre-industrials, they know how to make good air.”

“Post-industrial,” said Jendi. “Enarw used to be a top manufacturing center at one time.”

“Couldn’t tell it by this,” said Grif as he inhaled deeply and let out a satisfying sigh.

“All shields functional and ready?” asked Jendi.

Four people answered affirmatively, while Enisaw, who had just come running to meet the group , fumbled with a a bit of her equipment before saying, “Functional, I think.”

Jendi went over and put her hand quite close to Enisaw’s chest until she felt a slight pushback that indicated the presence of the invisible shield.

“You’re good. Let’s get walking.”

The air was deep blue and cloudless, and the sunshine felt comfortable as they hiked along. They were soon clear of the forest and on the plain toward the villages. Jendi said it should be no more than an hour’s walk, though she was sure they would encounter curious locals long before then. Indeed fifteen minutes after clearing the forest they saw a group of locals on horseback riding in their direction.

“Guess we were noticed,” said Grif.

“Yes,” said Jendi, “and here we go again. Stay alert, but appear friendly, and don’t react quickly unless it is warranted. Follow my lead.”

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