To his relief it was Ellen in her red medic's tunic.
"Are you alright?" she asked sharply.
"I'm fine", he said. "Why?"
"You've been appearing and disappearing from our monitors the last several days. Can I check your med-alert bracelet please?"
The way she was holding her hand out told Tobal that she was telling him and not asking. Wordlessly he took off the med-alert bracelet and handed it to her. Immediately an alarm sounded at the air-sled and she went over to shut it off. She was on the radio a few minutes and then started to do some tests on the med-alert bracelet. It seemed to test out ok and she finally handed it back to him.
"What were you doing over by the waterfall?"
"When I soloed I came out here", he told her, "and decided to make my base camp on the lake over there."
He pointed to the area where his burned out camp had been.
"I spent a lot of time and work building things up", he continued. "Then I was training Melanie and brought her out here with me. We found my entire camp destroyed and burned by rogues. I was only able to find one food cache left intact. We didn't want to meet any more rogues and felt it was not safe to stay in the area."
"What does that have to do with the waterfall?", Ellen interrupted.
"Everything", said Tobal." We headed around the lake and saw the waterfall. We decided to try finding a way up the stream and explore in that direction while I was training Melanie."
"Did you know there is an abandoned gathering spot there?", he interrupted excitedly. "It has a huge pile of stones in the center of it too!"
He was watching carefully to see what effect the news of the cairn had upon her. He was disappointed since she didn't seem to care either way about it.
"Anyway", he continued, "we went up the stream and then cut cross country to where my base camp is. That's how I originally found my base camp. That was last summer but I always wondered what really happened to my first base camp and wanted to come back here before snowfall and see if I could find anything of value the rogues had missed. I was worried about Melanie before and didn't want to endanger her. I thought I could come down here and check my old base camp real quick and be back in plenty of time for circle."
"I never heard your camp had been burned out", she said. "Did you tell anyone else?"
"I talked with Rafe about it quite a bit. He was pretty upset too and told me the lake wasn't a good place for a base camp."
"Rafe was right", she said grimly. "I's not a good place to hang around anytime, especially by the waterfall. As medics we are given explicit instructions to keep a very close eye on anyone in this area because this is where most of the rogue attacks happen. Get on and we'll go look at your old camp."
Hardly believing his luck, he carefully climbed on the back of her air sled and directed her to what was left of his burned out camp. Together they poked around and he showed her the remains of his teepee, smoke rack and sweat lodge. They did find a stone axe. He looked at it and recognized it as the first stone ax he had ever made. He told Ellen and she grinned. She seemed more relaxed now that his story had proven true.