Ice Rider 5
Sebella had been uneasy for a while. She wasn’t sure if it was the bear following their trail or something else. Perhaps it was the weather, it was about to turn. Normally she wouldn’t mind either as she was prepared to take down a bear and if a storm popped up she was able to build a shelter quickly using her furs and some of the snow. Ice Riders would not be around if they died every time there was a problem. Be prepared was not just a motto but a way of life. She was not alone, however. She had Seth with her. He had been riding Horse since the hot spring cave. She had given him some dried food at lunch and he had fallen asleep afterwards. It was nice, the quiet was. Yet still, something was afoot and Sebella was edgy. When she came across icy snow she made her decision. Her instincts told her it was time to stop even though they were close to the other compound.
Dog helped in the excavation site for the Iglu. He wasn’t very helpful with cutting the ice blocks though. He was having fun and was rewarded for his efforts with a piece of jerky. Seth remained sleeping on horse and did not wake up until the shelter was almost finished. Built in a circle pattern with ice blocks an Iglu was a excellent shelter and could withstand a heavy storm and even the claws of a bear. Their body heat alone would keep them warm.
“What are you doing?” Mumbled Seth as he slid off horse.
“I am building Iglu. We need shelter.”
“But you said we were almost there. Why stop now, can’t we make it.”
“I don’t know,” Sebella confessed. “I just think we need to stop here now.”
“Well ok, I guess. What about horse? Dog: where are they going to stay?”
“In Iglu.” Sebella nodded her head toward the shelter.
“It doesn’t look big enough.”
“That’s because you see the outside”. Sebella hoisted the last block in place. “Go. See for yourself.”
She chinked the blocks with snow, patting it down until there was no holes in the structure. She then took her knife cut a hole in the roof for ventilation
She walked into the shelter and saw Seth inside marveling at the size. It was big enough for the two humans, dog and horse to lay down in comfort. She threw a small shovel to Seth who caught it.
“Make two platforms for sleep,” she said, indicating the sides of the Iglu.
“With what?” he asked.
“Snow” was the curt answer as she went out and called to horse.
Her companion needed to be inside before she built the low entrance. Horse could not really crawl and would be too big even he could. The entrance was a long low tunnel built also of icy snow blocks. The construct ion was imrtant as it not only prevented heat from escaping the Iglu but the length and height prevented polar bears from entering or reaching in with their paws. Once Horse was inside, she finished off the entrance and then crawled in with dog right behind her. She was surprised. Usually dog went his own way during storms or danger .Once inside, he gave Sebella a kiss and then lay down by the entrance to the tunnel.
Sebella was pleased with Seth’s platforms and told him so. Like a child, he beamed with pride and said he might get this survival on the ice thing yet. Sebella assured him wasn’t. She showed him how to lay the furs on the platforms. After a snack of jerky, Sebella indicted that Seth should sleep and she herself, lay down. Soon she fell asleep to Seth’s stories of his childhood.
She woke suddenly. She sat up and listened, she heard nothing. Looking around she saw dog crouched by the entrance the hairs on his hackles standing straight up. Sebella slipped off the platform. She reached into her pack and grabbed her weapon. Someone had once told her that in in the olden days they called it a Desert Eagle, which was quite ironic considering no one had seen a desert in a hundred years. It should be called an Ice Eagle. Sebella had only seen an eagle in the books and she wandered if they still lived. She would wonder later as a slight noise came from the tunnel leading into the Iglu.
Dog was standing, his upper lip curled back when Sebella joined him, armed with her weapon and her knife. She would use her knife before the weapon but not knowing what was coming, it was better to have it ready. She really hoped she did not have to use it. Bullets were hard to make and she would rather not, besides , when she fired it, it knocked her on her rear, it had such a powerful recoil to it. She put it within reach and waited to see what would come through the entrance.
Seth didn’t even move. She was happy for that because he would instantly talk and, of course, give away that there were people inside. She waited, Dog waited. She could hear that someone or something was coming closer. She could hear the sound of a body sliding along the snow and ice. As it got closer, Sebella clasped her knife at the ready. It was not a bear. She would have smelled a bear. No, it smelled familiar. It smelled like…..Seth. Sebella rolled her eyes, reached into the tunnel, grabbed a handful of clothing. She pulled dragged a woman into the Iglu. It was a woman that was not wearing enough clothing to stay warm, a woman that smelled as Seth had, a woman who was bleeding from a wound in her leg.
“Who the hell are you?” demanded Sebella loudly waking Seth.
Seth sat up and looked at the woman. At the same time that Sebella repeated her question, he said “Miriam?”
“Seth?” The woman replied to Seth. “ Oh thank God I found you. I wasn’t sure but they had said you were coming this way. I had to find you . You can’t go to the compound. They will kill you.”
“What?” Seth moved over to Miriam and helped her to sit.
“They will kill you.” Miriam repeated. “it isn’t safe, you can’t go. They will kill you.”
Seth looked into her eyes “What? Who will kill me?”
There was no answer . Miriam had passed out. Sebella looked at the woman. She was in poor shape. How she had not died of exposure was beyond her but there she lay. She at least was covered on her upper body, but for some reason she had no pants on, only leggings that were torn on her right leg. She was of slight build much like Seth but this woman seemed less well fed. Before she passed out she was warning them not to go ] to the compound.
Sebella got Seth to help her put Miriam on a platform. He would not help her undress Miriam though, again with the whole not marred rant. Sebella needed to see the wound and if there were anymore.
There was. Miriam had blood on her thighs. She had been used violently. That ruled out the wound on her leg being from a bear. Those wounds looked more like knife cuts and they were nasty looking.. There were angry red rope burns on her wrists and legs. This poor woman had been through some kind of hell.
Sebella instructed Seth to look in her pack and grab her little can of Sterno. Looking in her pack caused him to rant about hot food and why had she not shared. She should have told him that she wasn’t being paid to share, but Miriam needed her attention. She placated him with the promise of soup if he would use her little pot to heat up some water. When it was boiling, Sebella cleaned Miriam wounds. The woman barely moved, only whimpered. She felt her forehead, no fever yet but Sebella decided to give her one of her precious aspirins. She only had five of them and now she had four. If Miriam got infected, though, she would most likely die. Sebella had no antibiotics anymore. Maybe a n aspirin would help keep her from getting a fever and infected. Sebella hoped so. She needed Miriam to wake up and tell her who “they” were.