Dinner that evening was not as chatty as had been. Both Alex and Kassie were still stewing from their earlier encounter and their dialogue was strained. The Venerable chose wisely not to inquire. Farmer Sal broached the subject he had discussed earlier with Alex.
Alex took this opportunity to interject “Tomorrow morning, as part of our training regimen, Kassie and I will ride north to survey the land and see how to best put this project into operation.”
“And who said I would go with you?” snapped Kassie.
“Kassie… That is part of your training. We already agreed that you would comply. Regardless of any of your other feelings or opinions, while we are here, we have to be ready for anything. And, training you to survive is part of that. I know you think I like playing toy soldier. But, you didn’t think I was a toy soldier when I rescued you from those 4 ISIS assassins, did you? I put my life on the line for you then!”
“Yes, I know you did, And I’m very sorry. I didn’t mean to make fun of you. And thank you again for rescuing me.” She said softly.
Alex acknowledged her statement with a slight bow to the head. Then turned to The Venerable and said, “I’m going to dialogue with some of the other outworlders. Is there anything I should know, or tell them, or bring with me? I’m all out of shrimp”.
“That would have been a coup Alex. But just be pleasant and charming, and you will win them over. If all else fails, have Kassie smile at them.” That elicited a chuckle from all of them.
The next morning, after a quick breakfast, Alex and Kassie mounted their steeds and headed north. The found an easy spot to ford the stream just north of The Venerable’s homestead and headed onward..
This is the first time either of them had gone beyond the opposite side of the stream. The Venerable had given them a general layout of the land and where to find their closest neighbors. These would help give directions to those even further north.
As they were riding along, Alex remarked, “Kassie, you are really riding well. I guess all that training we’ve been doing has improved your abilities.”
Kassie acknowledged with a silent nod of her head.
They spent the rest of the day meeting with several of the various neighbors explaining the plan to them and asking them to spread the word to the others further down the line.
The two weary travelers managed to return to the homestead without major incident just before sundown. That evening, over supper, they recounted their travels and experiences to The Venerable and to Farmer Sal.
The next day, Alex and Kassie rode along the stream bed looking for the best source of clay for the project. They found several areas that showed some promise.
The ensuing few days were basic repeats of each other. Farmer Sal was out tending to the crops. The Venerable tended to “Venerable things”. Alex and Kassie tended to Kassie’s continued training including riding, running, weapons skills, hand to hand combat, and basic survival skills.
Kassie might have been diminutive in size, but she had now become a formidable adversary., a veritable powerhouse in ability. Her natural talents were now honed razor sharp.