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Because I’m trying to write a book, and not spending as much time blogging (although I seemed to have taken a break from blogging anyway), here is the very beginning. I’ve written more than this, but we’ll save the rest.

—–

I was jolted awake by Tilani, who was frantically shaking me.

“What is going on? What’s wrong?” It was pitch black out and this was the first time we had been able to stop and sleep since we had been entrusted with this mission.

“We need to leave. I heard voices not far from us and I think they picked up on our scent. They are coming back with search chimeras. We need to wake up Nai and get out fast!”

I started mumbling outloud to myself, “Search chimeras? Who the hell do they think we are, an army of wizards? This is ridiculous. They are not sending a search party, they are sending a murder party.”

“Aramea! Shut up or you are going to scare Nai awake. I think it’s best if we don’t tell her the exact details. We need to move and we need to move fast while covering our scent and tracks. Apparently you’re the goddamn brains of this operation, so do you have any bright ideas? I’m gonna go wake Nai up while you figure it out. And try to keep your voice down, will ya? We don’t need another ‘murder party’ chasing after us, I think one is enough to deal with.”

Tilani had a point. Tilani always had a point. She was always the level-headed one about everything, even if I was the oldest. As the “goddamn brains of this operation” I was feeling pretty lousy about our survival in the face of the chimera. I mean, the “search chimera.” Let’s take chimera one step further and breed them to be search chimera, gee, that sounds bloody brilliant.

“What’s going on? Why do we have to leave? It’s still dark out and I am exhausted,” Nai whined.

“We need to move and we need to move fast. They sent spotters ahead who found our location, we can’t stay here. We need to cover our tracks and scent so they can’t follow us either. I would say let’s take to the trees, like we normally would, except I don’t think that is a viable option for this time. The water is our only safe route because it sounds like their search animals might have wings. We can save our tree skills for later.”

“Aramea, that is a ridiculous idea! There can’t be water near here for miles! By the time we find the water, they will have already found us,” Tilani scoffed.

“Don’t take me for a fool, sister. I’ve been tracking a water source since we left Teebiza. We are not far from a river that is running east, thankfully. By pure luck it is running out to the Lorna Sea. We will be at our first stop in no time. And then maybe we can get this ‘mission’ business straightened out.”

“Yeah, some mission. The fact that someone is sending search animals after us in the first place worries me, though. How are we a threat? I think that old man was withholding some serious information from us,” Tilani, always the conspirator.

“Can we have this conversation while we get out of here? I’m still exhausted, and the sooner we create distance, the better,” Nai had a point.

“All right, let’s pack up our packs quickly. Now is the time to ditch all superfluous items. We don’t have the time or the strength to take on anything more than necessary. I am going to set a pace for us and I need you to both keep up. If you suspect danger, or if you get hurt on route, we need some sort of a signal they will not be able to interpret as voices or human communication. Ideas?”

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