Over the next few hours, Winter felt like a cop tracking a suspect with old-fashioned legwork. She usually didn’t like to delegate authority but was relieved to rely on Kafira to lead the way. Her leadership since arriving in Taru wasn’t exactly the stuff of legends like the Charge of the Light Brigade. It was more like the reality of that charge—a dismal failure.
Toby sat up and sighed. Now if you were an expert on sighs and other forms of emotive breathing you would have taken note of the extended gradual lowering in tone of this sigh and maybe attributed it to the fact that Toby was losing all interest in his one great passion, art.
The fire roared in the dark of the forest. The flames danced and cast flickering shadows on the trees surrounding the camp. The boar’s corpse turned slowly over the flames, licked by amber tongues as they hissed with each drop of fat that dripped off the meat. Beros sat to the side, rotating the spit and prodding the pig’s flesh occasionally with the tip of an arrow. Each time the arrowhead sank in with greater ease than before, but the hunter remained unsatisfied. When the fire seemed to be getting low he would reach in and sort the hodgepodge of twigs and broken branches by hand, protected by a pair of worn and dirtied golden gloves, red gems glistening on the back of each hand.
Gali’s brain may as well have been made of lead. Or maybe he now knew how the sea felt, propping up the continents.
Garvin was a sprawling metropolis covering fifty densely-packed square miles. Thousands of ships dotted the azure blue ocean landscape. A vast swell of vessels were in the process of unloading, queuing, docking, or departing the area. It was mega commerce of the highest degree. Winter figured the city wasn’t as large as Earth ports like San Francisco, New York City, or Singapore, but the sheer magnitude of ocean craft was probably greater.