Chapter II: Shatter

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i. *

I was alone.
As I limped over the molten glass lake, only one set of footsteps cracked the crumbling skin.  My heart floundered in my breast, still wracked even with the argument behind me.  Salty, sour venom dewed on my fangs, my anger leaking out.  My tail uncoiled from my leg, and I drew a shuddering breath, and bit back a cough.
Every motion and habit stood salient in my awareness, with no one else and nothing else to distract me.  The vog renewed its constrictions, so much darker now without the figure in bright-white leading me.  I took another breath.
I needed to dig up five more stones, prove to Hinte I could help her, and convince her to tell me the secret behind all this.