v) A meager sun rises over the ice

A meager sun rises over the ice. Its rays do little to warm the frozen ground. Wind roars through the camp.

Shyan blinks away the sleep gathering in her eyes. Her watch was uneventful. She spent it lost in thought, after her companions had gone to sleep.

Abianarin catches her eye, sees something there she hadn’t before. A new hardness — her mouth a grim line, her cheeks growing gaunt.

Abia, Cang, and Fassn strike camp. Without a word, they dismantle Shyan’s sleeping bag and tent, as well. She sits on a stone, sharpening their weapons.

Specks of fire burn in the Jiko colony below.

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