Chapter II

Garma's company had split into four groups in the hopes of being less conspicuios in smaller detachements . Their captain was keen to go unnoticed by whatever may be crawling in these century old ruins. The companies had split off, with the Headtail scouts marching ahead to find a safe route.

Garma and his second in command, Horus led a small company along the tops of the broken structures. The fog continued to swirl and twist at the foot of each one. It seemed to whisper malevolently as it flowed between the moss ridden rubble. The men trod carefully as every step, every movement had to be carefully planned, one wrong step could be disastorous.

"Garma, I can't say I think its a good idea to let the companies get so far from eachother. What if we lose eachother?" Horus said as he walked alongside his captain. Horus was the taller of the two and seemed far more able to bear the heat of the wreck than Garma. Not a hint of breathlessness or strain was audible as he strode on.

" We are less likely to be spotted this way. We don't know whats here Horus." Garma said dismissevely. He was renowned for being short with people, even Horus, despite the fact they were almost brotherly in their closeness.

"Yeah we do. A lot of rubble and some fog and not a whole lot-"

"What?" Garma said, he detected the alarm in Horus as he suddenly stopped speaking  and reached for his blade. He watched intently at the surrounding structures. Broken windows and filthy, shattered and most importantly empty buildings were all he could see.

"Did you hear that?" Came Horus' cautious whisper.

"No. What was it?"

"It was," Horus relaxed a moment after scanning the surroundings, he stood straight with a thoughtful look in his emerald eyes. "A deep growl. Like a, I don't know a kind of throaty noise."

Garma watched Horus intently, then motioned the rest of the company to be on guard.

"We have to keep moving." He said striding on. He found himself unnerved by this noise, even though he hadn't heard it. He detatched the safety latch on his scabberd and continued on.

They heard no more noises as they continued but Garma made sure everyone kept their guard up. He couldn't take any risks, something was watching them and he had no idea where the other companies were until the scouts got back.  If they were attacked they were alone.

The group of twenty took a few well earned rests as Garma and Horus planned what seemed the safest route. Then they grumbled with fatigue when they were told to move out again. The decision had been taken to use the highest structures as paths, the farther they were from the fog the safer.

"I don't understand what that noise was." The agitated Horus said. He stepped nimbly across the tops of the buildings, avoiding any cracks in the moss covered floor.

Garma didn't reply, he like everyone else, was busy navigating his way through the rubble and hoping the floor stayed strong.

"No fog wraith could make that noise. It was the sound of an animal." Horus continued, mostly to himself now. He turned and watched the other men keep up, walking backwards as he did so.

"Be careful Horus. Watch your step." Garma heaved as he sluggishly pulled himself over more rubble. It was nearing mid day and the extreme heat was becoming overwhelming.

"But I still can't" Horus was suddenly cut short by a loud crack as the less than solid stone work of the building gave way under his feet. Garma braced himself until the resounding crash faded, then peered into the fading dust.


The End

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