“Officialdom is swarming all over the crash,” Cracker hissed when he rejoined us behind the rise. “We won’t be going that way.”
I was lying between Arr and Jake on the ground. I reached out and squeezed both their hands in an ‘I told you so’ moment. They both smiled back. The first time I had seen either of them smile since we crashed.
Jake signed to Arr. They both quietly rolled to their knees as the trio of malefactors continued to discuss strategy. Jake kept an eye on Klaid and his men as Arr proceeded to signal to Kayo behind us. I couldn’t see the dar-dolf, but caught the movement of the grass as he crawled through it to our right. Jake reached back over his shoulder and tapped Arr on his back as he kept his eye steadily on the trio. Arr signaled again with a combination of hand signs and a trill from his throat that sounded like a bird.
Kayo broke cover and made a beeline to the stand of trees at the lower edge of the rise. From there he would be able to see the movement of the people at the crash site. Dar-dolfs are intuitive beasts. They reason out problems as well as a 5 year old. He would convince whoever was there to follow him, provided they didn’t shoot first. A lose dar-dolf was recognized as a threat on almost any planet.
As soon as Kayo made the tree cover Jake and Arr fell back into their places at my side. We all took a deep breath of relief – or I took one as deep as I could.
Klaid and his men came back to us a few moments later. He grabbed my chain and yanked. “Up,” he ordered. “Change of plan. We got some more walking to do.”