Facing a new threat, Tarian dispatches teams to scour the wilderness for the recent peril. Keldon, Engrim, and Caleb are tapped as leaders and they spend every available moment searching for the evasive threat. After weeks of fruitless searching, they believe the initial creature was unique. Will these hunters find another one of these creatures? Or will they finally discover another one of these doppelgangers?
Reaching out, Caleb brushed the damaged branch with his fingers. He dropped to a knee and scrutinized the ground, finding more disturbed undergrowth. He pulled his radio out and switched channels. “Engrim, what’s your team’s position?”
“We’re probably a click or two to the east,” Engrim answered. “Did you find something?”
Caleb moved a brush out of the way and studied the markings. “I may have, and I’d like a second opinion.”
“Isn’t Keldon leading a unit out here?” Engrim asked.
Caleb clicked his tongue rising to examine the damaged branch. “He headed south the moment we departed the settlement.” He turned towards his squad and lifted a finger to his lips. “If we wait to get his thoughts, whatever left these marks will be long since gone.”
“Fine,” Engrim grunted. “We’re on our way.”
Caleb stowed his radio and waved his team closer. “Something passed by recently, but it’s difficult to determine if the damage was deliberate or not.” He tugged on his rifle’s sling, pulling it off his back and twirled his finger over his head. “Everyone stay sharp and keep your heads on a swivel. I don’t want whatever’s out there to surprise us.”
“Are we spreading out?” Mika asked as she examined their surroundings.