Rick came round feeling very weak. He was back in the guest hut, and Diane was seated at his side. When she saw him stir, she said: "Thank god! We've been so worried about you, Rick."
"Not worried enough for Harriet and Rebecca to be here," he said a little bitterly. "Rick, you've been unconscious for three days! We've been taking it in shifts to sit with you. One of us has been with you at all times."
"I'm sorry," Rick said. "I had no idea. I thought it had been a matter of minutes, hours at most. But if it's been that long, it would explain why I feel so hungry and thirsty."
"That is a good sign, Sheal'sinir," Katha Silverlock said as she entered the hut. Some sixth sense seemed to have told her that Rick had come round. "I will send for food and drink for you. I am afraid it will not be worthy of you, though. Much of the nearby forest has been petrified, and game, fruit and vegetables are all hard to come by. We will soon have to move on from this village. But even were that not the case, we would not stay here now. The tribe will follow you wherever you go, Sheal'sinir, to the ends of the Earth if that be your will."
"I'm not sure what my will is, Katha. I'm not even sure if I would know what to do with followers, though I appreciate the offer. But you are a wise woman; tell me, what do you think I should do?"
Sat, 17-Nov-2001 11:16:29