When I woke up, Melanie was gone. She'd left everything behind. The only trace of her I could see were footprints in the soft soil by the furrow. She'd gone deeper.
I seriously considered leaving her, just packing up the camp and taking the animals away, leaving and going back to the facility. But I thought that was too cruel. She's having a bad response to the mal, and I needed to at least try and find her. With that in mind, I packed up and followed her tracks.
The footprints weren't always visible, but there were enough of them that I was confident we were still heading in the same direction. By the time it got dark, I still hadn't caught up with her, and I began to wonder what time she'd left our camp. I can't carry on following her forever. I'm leaving tomorrow and heading back the way I came.
I made another drawing of the stars. I have a thick stack of them now. Nothing's changed, but I'd be interested to see if my drawings are getting any better. I'll look at them when I'm not in such dire straits.