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Cause [2.2.7]

A few hours later, Geoffrey arrived on the island, appearing so suddenly that almost nobody noticed as he sat with the group and watched Zack, Lola and Serafina training.

“Hey, gang.” Geoffrey replied. “That wasn’t so bad!”

“Do you have the instructions?” asked Levan curtly.

Geoffrey nodded with a lazy grin. “We’re fine for now. Once we hit the deepest part of the Reaches, then we have to be careful about how we travel. But eh, chillax for now. It’s not gonna be for an hour or so yet.”

Mizar raised an eyebrow, surprised at Geoffrey’s detailed response. “Alright then. Guess we continue training.”

“I mean…” gasped Zack. “A break wouldn’t go amiss.”

Denneb relented, raising his spear and placing it by his side before nodding.

“You may rest.”

“Woo!” yelped Serafina, diving away from the training area and sitting with the rest of the Zionids and Voidians on the slope of the island. “Got some water?”

“Mm… though our supplies are running thin. We may need to start rationing it more harshly.” muttered Harrut. “Such food and drink is the essence of life, but when food itself is hungry, then the very essence of life itself fades…”

“Hey now, we’ve got more than enough food!” Fafnir admonished. “After getting a bowl of peanuts, which apparently backstage calls ‘a meal’, I’m pretty familiar with eating lean when I have to. Let’s not stress ourselves out unduly.”

Caroli nodded. “Yeah, we’ll be fine. We have approximately twelve more days of food. We won’t need it all… Geoffrey, you said it’s a few more days before we find the incubator?”

“Mm, s’gonna be about four.” Geoffrey replied. “The way back should be faster though; we can make a beeline for Void from here and restock before we go back to Zion.”

“I’m trusting you. Or, well, I’m trusting Vasa.” replied Denneb.

The next few days had little trouble. Deeper in the Reaches, the lost ones were far less frequent, and the only problem the group had was trying to keep a lid on Zack’s temper and convincing Geoffrey to go back to Void for his training each day.

It was during this time that Yasen had made her way back to Zion, doggedly followed by Cassil. Back in her apartment, safe in the knowledge that Cassil didn’t know where she lived, Yasen remained, a prisoner in her own thoughts; free to leave the house, but terrified of who, or what, was waiting for her.

Six days after the fateful dream of “one month left”, with twenty-two days remaining, a speck, shining brightly like a beacon, was spotted on the horizon: the incubator. It would still be many hours until they actually reached it, and the island wasn’t heading directly towards it. The group decided, on Vasa’s advice, to take another island to get a bit closer. However, Vasa had been quite adamant – islands wouldn’t go near the place, and would naturally flow around it. To reach the place, they would have to wade through the mire and risk becoming lost. It was a difficult thing to consider, and as everyone retreated to their tents to sit with their lonely thoughts, the speck on the horizon slowly grew closer, glowing with a powerful energy.

Cause [2.2.6]
Cause [2.2.8]

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