The sky wasn’t clearing up at all by the time Sam returned to the other ship. Yik and Mark were taking shelter as Vortran threw anything nearby and small enough at them, shouting profanities about their families. The stream of cursing and thrown objects stopped as he approached though and the others peered out from behind their log.

“Whoa, what’s got you so fired up?” Sam asked as Vortran climbed back up on the log with a huff.

“Nothing, just keeping those idiots in line.”

“That’s a little uncalled for.” Mark ducked back behind the log as Vortran shot him a look. Sam couldn’t guess what the problem had been but it seemed to be resolved so he let it go.

“Did the other guy show up yet?” Sam walked over to Calvin, who was still sitting in the mud where he’d been left, and waved a hand in front of him. Snapping his fingers got nothing but a slow blink from the man.

“No, we put his pants by the door for him.” Yik gestured to the neatly folded but clearly dirty pair of pants.

“I have a tow on the way so we just need to hold out until he gets here.”

“Hedgy?” Vortran asked, looking less annoyed for the moment.


“How long is that gonna take? We’re in the ass-end of nowhere here.”

“I… got distracted before I could get an eta…” Sam suddenly remembered the pendant and shoved it in his pocket.

“Sam, we can’t stay here that long we don’t have supplies to feed this many people. And he’s not gonna last long without medical attention.” Vortran gestured to Calvin.

“I’ll force feed him if I have to… and I’ll figure something out about food. We need to find that other guy though, figure out where they got this meat from. Jessie mentioned something about a fish too. We’ll have to cook in the other ship but it shouldn’t be too much trouble.”

“There is a fish in the kitchen here.” Yik volunteered, “I saw it before.”

“Alright… was it cooked?”

Yik simply shrugged in response and Sam sighed heavily, taking a seat next to Vortran.

“It still looks like rain.” Vortran looked up at the sky. There was an ominous rumble in response.

“We should get him inside again just in case.”

“I do not want to hear the screaming again.” Yik covered his ears.

“Put him in my ship, that shouldn’t upset him. Not like he’s going anywhere anyways.” Sam made no move to get up.

“Don’t everyone get up at once.” Mark sighed and walked over to Calvin, struggling to get him up on his feet. He supported the man on one shoulder and muddled his way past Sam towards the ship.

“Good man.” Sam said as he passed. He shouldered the weight a bit more evenly and disappeared into the woods at the edge of the clearing, half-dragging Calvin along. The silence was oppressive.

“I will go help him and get food.” Yik hopped to his feet, breaking the silence and heading after Mark. Vortran slid off the log with a yawn and started marching after him.

“Where are you going?” Sam asked.

“Making sure he doesn’t eat all the food.”

With that Sam was alone in the clearing, listening to the wind pick up and the storms start to roll in again. He moved into the ship and sat in the doorway, waiting.


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