"Frost forces have overtaken this part of the forest. We spotted a couple of parties a way off, none headed this way. It seems that Frost is taking advantage of Blazes' distraction to start stealing the land out from under them. I doubt it'll be long before they realise Blaze is after something, and after that who knows where it'll lead. Probably straight to us at this rate."
Dane gives Falcon a hard look, mist-white eyes boring into his leader's dark ones, their message as clear as if written on paper.
"How many were there in the parties?" Falcon asks, chewing his lip anxiously, mind whirring.
"About six or seven in each." Dane replies, "One had a local with them, a sort of tracker I presume."
"Had?" Falcon asks, raising an eyebrow. Dane doesn't answer, but pushes a strand of white-blond hair out of his face before continuing:
"They haven't come anywhere near us yet, but it won't be long. They'll be scouring the place for Blaze insurgents and they won't leave any rock unturned. We can't stay here Fal, they'll sniff us out if we do."
"But where he hell can we go? Bloody hell Dane, we can't run forever! We've got children with us for gods' sake! Some of us are already dead, we can't keep going!"
Falcon groans in exasperation and buries his head in his hands. It's all too much, he thinks, he can't cope with this. Even before when they were pretty much ignored by both sides it was hard enough finding a safe place to hide and enough food to go around. Now, with the Blazes hot on their heels and Frost lurking at their gates, his job is harder than ever. He knows he should never have brought Eternal with them, but still that instinct tugs at him. She needs you, it says, you have to help her.
But all the same, the pressure is rising. Both men know that Blaze will not stand for this intrusion into their lands and Frost won't be willing to give them up. The battle is coming, but just when they do not know.
"There's going to be a storm Dane," he says, not looking up. "A bloody big one. And I don't know if we're going to come out of it alive."
The pair are silent for a few moments, and a distant rumble of thunder is heard outside the cave. Eventually, Dane utters the phrase Falcon has had in his mind since the very beginning.