Outside he built a small cairn of stones to mark the position of the hole. He would mark the trail to Gorda with such cairns. At last he straightened up and turned defiantly to face the desolation surrounding him. The rocks seemed to scream down in soundless laughing mockery. The stars above remained unmoved. Koriel glowered up at the cleft, rising up toward the tiers of crags and terraces that guarded the ridge, still soaring in the distance. His lips curled back to show his teeth. “So—it’s just you and me now, is it?” he snarled at the Universe. “Okay, you bastard—let’s see you take this round!” With his legs driving like slow pistons, he attacked the ever- steepening slope.