Late January was bitter with sub zero temperatures. There were several cases of frostbite that needed tending at the gathering spot and the medics made a point to question everyone if they needed to be treated. Frostbite if not treated could lead to infection and the loss of a limb.
Sarah proclaimed her newbie, Ben as ready to solo. There were two others willing to solo and the elders grudgingly gave their approval after issuing strict warnings about the dangers of these extreme temperatures. Each soloist had two weeks supply of food they had prepared ahead of time and warm clothing. They felt they were ready.
Four more people had gone. They just packed up and headed west toward the coast. The medics kept track of them until they were out of range. The winter months were the ones when they lost the most people even though it was the most dangerous time of year for travel.
That month not many showed up at circle. Zee and Kevin continued staying together and didn't show up at circle. Neither did Wayne or his soloed student. Tobal suspected they were waiting out the winter together. Char and her partner didn't come either and it was probably because of the bitter cold this time of year. Tara and Nick were not there either. Those were just clansmen Tobal had hoped to see but didn't.
Mike and Butch showed up in high spirits and looking to have some fun with the girls like last month. They were hoping for a little casual sex with no strings attached. Just something to release the tension of cabin fever that started to grow this time of year. Last months' week long celebration had given the two eternal optimists much encouragement and they hoped to push their luck again. The trouble was no matter how much they tried none of the girls seemed interested.
Crow was back and talking with the others when Tobal got there. They all looked as he came over. Becca slipped into his arms and gave him a passionate kiss.
"Everyone knows", she whispered in his ear.
"Knows what?", he said with a grin. Teasing one of her stray hairs back in place.
"About the rogues, your parents, Crow's parents, Sarah's parents, the massacre and the possible attack on the village."
"What!", his smile vanished.
"I told Melanie and Nikki", she confessed. "On the way to sanctuary last month. It seemed important. They are both very concerned. But Crow has been telling everyone else since he came in this morning. He's getting a group together to go to the village to ensure its protection."
He turned to listen to the rest of the group. Anne, Derdre, Seth and Sarah were all going to visit the village. Sarah was hoping to meet Howling Wolf and ask about her mother. Anne, Derdre and Seth had just come from soloing and didn't feel like training any newbies in the extreme cold. They were needing a little social time after an entire month of being alone.
The village was within the area the medics monitored and it wouldn't be as if they had left the area.