I think I’ve gotten myself in over my head.

My well supplies far more water than I need, and with counterweighting it is no great problem to teleport the filled containers to Storm Cloud’s group. Filling the containers and finding the group each day takes far more work, though they are marking their trail after a fashion. No doubt their marking method is as obvious to them as it is hardly visible to me. Another two days, and they should be in country with grass and surface water. The herds are only a little beyond them.

Lion’s group is more difficult – they seem unable to accept that I can keep them supplied with water if they leave their mudhole, which is going to dry up soon, and teleporting fresh kills to their site is simply not going to work long term – for one thing, it’s hard on the local predators. And it won’t solve the problem of water. They don’t seem able to understand that I can do some things that they cannot but that I can’t do everything, and they keep trying to argue that it would be much simpler if I just made it rain.

Worst yet, I’ve spotted two more groups of people who speak the language I’ve learned. I was going to leave them alone, since I’ve found Storm Cloud’s group, but because of what I found today I have to rethink that.

I was searching for a fresh kill to take to Lion’s group when I spotted a group of hyenas squabbling over something – and the something turned out to be a human body, emaciated to the point that there was little left even for a hyena. I teleported back to the shelter for Patches, and had her backtrack the hyenas. The trail led to a camp of sorts, with enough of a thorn barrier to slow down the hyenas, but those who had built the barrier were dead or dying of starvation. Only one was still conscious, a woman whose skin, far too large for her body, suggested she had survived this long only because she had once had enormous fat reserves.

The rest were beyond any help I could give them, but I teleported two melons and some figs to her. By evening I though she might survive, though the rest of the group were now dead.

What can I do? She cannot walk far, or survive on her own. Nor can I teleport her without further shock which could well kill her. And will the other groups I saw end in the same way as hers?

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