They walked for the next three days, taking only two short naps and then they were moving again and it wasn’t just the unclean ground. They were close and the need to hurry was undeniable.
As dawn broke dimly over the dead land, the group of fighters found what they had spent so long looking for. But before daylight, they found the Mountaineers.
The cool morning breeze made their cloaks billow out, cooling sweaty skin, and the though it was barely beginning to lighten, their sharp eyes picked out details on the cliff they were passing.
“Look. Caves.” The doorways were set high into the stone, dark and ominous, and when Lexa unfastened her holsters, the men did the same. Danger was close.
The group moved steadily passed the first doorway, able to feel the eyes on them and as they neared the second cave, she slowed her steps, got ready. This was a lookout zone. Safe Haven’s? If so, there was no hope. The eyes watching them were full of madness.
“Something moved behind us.” Jacob stated softly and Edward, her second in command, echoed it.
“In front as well.”
“How many?” She asked, needing them to be ready too and it was the normally silent member of their group that answered, the one that was the most like her.
“Too many for being on the ground.” David’s tone was pointed and Lexa nodded, seeing his worried gaze keep returning to the dark cave doorway they had not reached yet. David was part magician, even though he had yet to recognize it, and she never ignored him.
“What was it King said in his book?” She intoned, falling into battle mode with a smooth transition the others admired. And sometimes feared.
“Trouble. And it’s in our road.” She nodded, glad to hear that Jacob at least was set.
“Yes. Shall we go around?”
“No.” Jacob’s tone was firm.
“Shall we flee?”
“Never!” Edward growled, bringing down that cold, hard shield of battle.
“Shall we barter for passage? Beg our way through?”
“What then shall we do?”
And as if on cue, it started. Fast, inhuman shapes began to drop from the caves, their red, insane eyes bulging with hate. They leapt to the ground, huge legs and naked, hairy bodies grotesquely distorted, and then the group was turning to face them and gunfire filled the air…