We’re further along then I thought we would be, I put away my bed roll and we keep walking, the snow is melting slowly but the fact that it is melting at all is nice, the wind is warm and some birds are starting to sing, though the songs are lonely and left without response. Alvii reaches over and pulls my pack from me, I let it take the pack, not that it is heavy I just don’t feel like arguing with a machine that won’t let me take the pack back anyway. The sun shines through the trees and the snow slowly melts, puddles form in our foot steps at we march on. “A-Are you eager to return home?”
“Yeah, I just hope Pythia hasn’t had her kid yet.” Alvii cocks his head.
“S-She was not ready to give birth, if she had while we were away I do not think the child would live.” I frown.
“Comforting, thank you Alvii.”
“H-How is that comforting? D-Do you desire her child to die?” I laugh, confusing it further I’m sure.
“I was being sarcastic Alvii, I don’t want her kid to die.” He nods and straightens. “Is something wrong?”
“T-There is something up ahead.”
“Do we need to be worried?” I stop walking and look up at him, he stares intently though I can’t see anything through the trees.
“I-I do not think so. We shall proceed.” I nod and let it lead the way, he is far more prepared to fight then I. My heart fills with hopes that maybe, just maybe Diomedes saw the light- or was berated till he left- and came to my aid. My hopes are dashed as we enter the clearing and scatter a herd of deer. Alvii watches, seeming to be confused.
“What’s wrong Alvii?” I ask through my giggles.
“I-I could not tell that they were separate beings. M-Most unusual.” I pat his arm, he looks at me when I do it.
“Don’t worry about it, come on let’s keep going.”
While Hera is content to put that fact aside it worries me. Internal scans do not recognize an issue and yet I could not see the deer, they appeared to be one solitary mass. We press on, the melting snow is hard to walk through, it wants to cling to my metal plating and the water is still concerning to me. The sun arches and begins to fall, we pass through the clearing with the rusted Amazon and Hera stops, looking at it intently. “A life never lived…” She whispers. I wonder what she will say when I stop working.
“D-Do you wish to rest?”
“No, come on, let’s go.” She turns away from the machine and we press on, again we walk long into the night, this time Hera remains awake with me though I know it will lead her to sleep in tomorrow. “How long will it take us to get home?”
“I-It took us five days to get to the barrens. A-At this rate I would venture a guess of four.”
“We should keep going,” She speaks through a yawn and even I must admit that I need to rest.
“W-We should rest. W-We both need it.” She reluctantly nods and we set up camp. She crawls into her hut and I sit on the ground but quickly get up feeling snow melt some beneath me, I look up at the tree and cock my head. Without much consideration I climb up to the lowest branch and sit on it, my back against the trunk and my legs hanging down on either side of the branch. Finally I let stasis come, knowing full well I will not be falling out of the tree in my rest.