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The platform was carved out of the natural crystal and overlooked the entire Montgrove. Leaning heavily upon her staff, J'sica watched the Greater Star ascend over the horizon. The star's blue light was set in contrast to the Lesser Star's deep red light from higher overhead. J'sica turned quickly at the sound of approaching footsteps. She watched as her fellow warrior reached the platform.
"How fares the vigil?"
"Do you really have to ask, K'ren?"
"Of course, I have to ask. I always ask. So, how fares the vigil?"
J'sica gave her fellow a stern look, shook her mane slightly, then turned back toward the slowly rising star.
"It can't be that bad. Look on the brighter side, soon C'ndy's cubs shall be fully weaned, and then we won't have to stand any more long vigils."
"C'ndy should have allowed a lesser warrior to stand in her place. Instead, she forces the rest of us to stand longer vigils." J'sica growled deep in her throat.
"So challenge her." J'sica slapped K'ren. K'ren's eyes narrowed. Their gazes locked. K'ren blinked. "Yes, of course. C'ndy has cubs; therefore, she isn't at her full strength. It would not be an honorable challenge."
"If only we would invade the Quarks, again, then there would be something to do. Life is too easy when food comes willingly to the slaughter."
"So, why don't you join the herders?"
"It is a demeaning task best left to lesser warriors than ourselves."
"You should do something. You have less meat on your bones than most male hunters. Why don't you have a litter of cubs?"
"There." J'sica pointed out across the Montgrove. "Tell the herders that the Devrills are returning from their grazing."
K'ren looked at J'sica, snorted, then walked to the back of the platform. She picked up a horn and put it to her lips. With the sound still reverberating in the distance, K'ren replaced the horn and walked over to her friend.
"It will get better. I promise."