While the trio made their way into the windless sweep of dark blue white, snow and unmapped stars overhead, Werric huffed and panted, keeping his collar up near his nose by holding it tightly there using one hand, then the other, sure to warm the opposite during shift breaks. The pale haired man was a mess of furs and leathers and other than the sliver of moon face that shone out, he seemed a dark blotch on an otherwise pristine landscape.
“So's Ol' Bill goes an' he sez, there's this desert what has rocks, way th' hell out in th' sands. A man gets caught 'cuz he figgers he kin get ta onna dem afore the sun come up agin an' bake'm like a buttered 'tater. Thing is, ever'thing's so big, th' sand an' th' rocks, an' th sky – what was gon' be five kilometers, is fifteen.” He snuffled and wiped his nose, leaving a silver streak on the back of a thick mitten.
Karis was focused on the ground before her and Bart had an ear for the white around but he grunted anyhow. It seemed only right to let Werric lose some worry in talking. He had bluster, but he wasn't going to get much worse if you let him chatter at you like a squirrel up a tree. The bitch, trotting along close at Karis' heels so that Bart was surprised she didn't step on the backs Karis' walking frames. Now and again, her dark ears would swivel back to the sound behind her as Werric talked about the desert and things that weren't pertaining none at all to the situation they were finding themselves in.
The trees got no closer. But the path Karis was following, seemed to be going straight. Bart fancied he could see it, even, as his eyes grew accustomed to the darkness. The fires behind became a line of glint, then a small sliver as they crossed over a hill so shallow that it wasn't until they could see no fires that they realized they'd gotten to the other side. It looked like everything was clear all the way to the horizon.
They trudged, the sounds of Werric's voice dying down as he struggled to talk and keep up, the dog panted, and Bart and Karis moved silently, as if they were a part of the world they had burst in on. It reminded him of some things and didn't remind him of others. He'd thought at first that Dreefus saying this was a light world, meant that there would be close by stars real soon. They'd gone into another “light” world, Dreefus had called it, and it was so full of life and amazing goods; gems and foodstufffs, dogs and slaves, and plenty of artistry. This was the polar opposite of that, dark, nothing growing, and empty as the grave.
Pinter pulled on the wispy goatee at his chin and chewed on his lower lip, then turned and spit some of the tobacco juice out into the snow aside of the fire, where it wouldn't be stepped in. When Lurch didn't make any attempt to take the plate, he grinned a yellow pond water grin. “Ain't askin' ta switch yet, Lurch,” he said amiably. He offered the plate again. He had a plate in his other hand and alongside him, Jude gripped his own in hands too small to be as steady as they were often. In every group there were thieves, declared or otherwise, to help grease along the take-overs when they had to happen. It was good to be friends with a man like Jude.
“May I?” he gestured to the log near his leader and not telling Jude what to do, he straddled it and moved Lurch's pack so he could sit facing the man. He sniffed back the cold then smiled, handsome smile or so he'd come to think of it. “Colder'n a wolf bitch inna snow storm,” he said conversationally. “But ya think we'll be findin' sommat wif a thing'r two on it? Like thet hairy shit we killed last month. Noone saw how it had them silver beads in its hair. It were weird, like it were tryin' ta be a whore's pet, puttin' a jewel'r two onna thing thet ugly's like puttin' a gold collar onna damn rat.” He was careful not to show his judgement over the fact there were some loots which Lurch was careful not to put into the pile later. No doubt they went toward pay offs or some such to the church itself, for what Pinter couldn't say.
Keeping his face carefully neutral, Pinter spit again, leaning lazy like to one side, “A man could use another set'a hands or even two,” he nodded to where Jude stood, his plate huddled up to his chin so he could stay warm in the bitter cold and still eat his food, “ta ensure them things always got ta where they needed ta be.” He smiled winsomely, hopefully. Lurch was as like to reach out and cuff him, though Pinter was new to the whole being on Lurch's team, he was sure that some conversations were delicate enough to keep a man's fists about himself.
Again – hopefully. “Jes gon' say thets what'n we're here fer, ta help.”