Illinois Territory, RSA
Late October 2128
The leaves, at first just tinged with yellow and scarlet, were now gaudy, floating down to swirl around them as they walked. The air was scented with the musk of loam, sunshine, and the promise of winter. Autumn in the Unity was merely a different shade of gray. Malila was ever more grateful for the warmth of the old man as she slept.
During the second week, as they reached the crest of a long slope covered in scrub, two tilted and paved plateaus appeared, fading to the horizon, left and right. Woods separated them in many places, and stray vegetation punctuated the pavements themselves.
Jesse grunted and, stepping onto the hard surface, started walking south without comment. Malila adju...
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