The next morning during breakfast, Selena gloomily ate dinner pondering over the events last night. What had it meant? Free who? She had so many questions but no answers.
At one point Phoebe came up to her and asked if she was alright and Selena replied that she was just tired. She didn’t want to share what had happened. Not now. There was no need to burden the team with knowledge of another enemy, not while they had to go fight this one.
Soon after, the team packed up all their stuff and got ready for the road trip ahead. They debated if they would reach the Canyon by walking or by vehicle for a while, but George eventually ended it, saying that they had to walk because they didn’t know when or if they might come back. That way, there would be no need to return a vehicle once they had defeated the beast or were destroyed by it.
Keeping this thought in mind, the team started journey. They knew it would be a couple hours of walking with rest in between. They had planned to stop every hour to recharge their strength. Surprisingly, nothing had attacked them for the first hour. During their rest, they simply lay in the soft sand and took measured sips from their thermos. It went on like this until sundown, when they had reached the destination of the monster. The desolate wasteland beheld nothing except a gaping hole in the ground that ends with a trickle of water at the very bottom. The air was filled with forethought of giving up and leaving.
As they were resting on the ground George addressed them, “ If we wish to have the strength to face this horrendous beast, we must rest here tonight and continue our journey in the morning. But beware, we are in unfamiliar territory now, we must make sure that we are constantly alert. I’ll set up a wall around us so it will be harder to get to us. Connor, Martha, you two set up a fire ring around us. Jackson, have some water stored up. We will have one person keeping guard at all times. It will be one hour shifts, but I’ll take two shifts. If you see anything, wake everyone up. Always keep your weapons at hand if you want to live. But, for now, get some rest.”
They set up their gear for the night by putting up tents, picking tent mates and laying out sleeping bags. They finished with all the preparations while George took first watch. The rest of them slipped into their tents and lay down to talk for a bit, then to get rest. Throughout the night, they woke each other up to get ready for their shifts as a guard. Near the end of Luke’s watch, a rogue skeleton reached the outside of their shell, searching for a way in. He quickly slashed it into pieces without trying to wake anyone up. But before he could reach down to pick up the destroyed skeleton, it burst into flames and quickly disintegrated into ashes. He looked around to see Connor standing outside of his tent, watching Luke.
Luke walked over and said hello, “ I still have a few more minutes left in my shift and then it’ll be your turn.”
“I know,” Connor replied, but I woke up when I heard your sword crush that skeleton.”
“Thanks for helping me make sure it was gone.”
“No problem. Don’t worry ’bout it.”
They sat around a table while talking in quiet tones for a while. During the conversation, the question they had all been trying to ignore was roused up.
“Do you think we’ll make it out alive?” Connor asked, “ You know… from the beast.”
Luke pondered the question for a while, and took a breath before he answered, “ I don’t know what will happen in there. But if we work together, we stand a chance to overthrow the savage. The angel has to have sent us on a quest that was at least possible.”
They continued in silence until Luke said he was going to hit the sack. The rest of the night was silent without anything to bother them.
The team woke to a blazing sun and they produced lively chatter and a hearty breakfast. They needed to have full stomachs if they were going to fight a brute. After they were all finished with their meals, they remembered the task at hand, and they fell into a gloomy trance. They set out down the canyon, some fearfully, and some bravely.