The group flew across the snow-swept tundra, flying towards the bay that housed the largest group of survivors the ship had left. They followed Rose, who had had to run hard to catch up with Lydia implacable flight to her daughter’s defense.
Dann and Jenny brought up the rear, having only a vague idea of where the cryo-bay was in relation to the terrain of the biome. Lydia hadn’t left them time to do much more than grab what gear they could—supplies had been left behind entirely—and take off in pursuit.
In spite of their best efforts, all traces of Cobb’s passage were gone by the time they crossed into the tundra. The boat trip back had taken too long. The snow that fell was far less than the blizzard they’d seen the last time, but it was more than enough to hide his tracks.
The plan was simple; Dann had proposed it as soon as they’d all made it to the boat. They knew exactly where the cryo-bay was, thanks to Rose. Cobb didn’t, unless he asked Rose Dawn, which seemed unlikely. They were to race to the cryo-bay, either to confront Cobb if he’d beaten them there, or wait for him if he hadn’t. What they did when they found him depended largely on him; Dann had seen Rose handle the bear. He wasn’t too worried about him.
They made their way through snow drifts, or around them if they were too deep, climbing generally upward on the large hill that had to pass for a mountain in the ship’s interior. The size might not have been convincing, but the roughness of the terrain certainly was. Between the exertion and the cold, the trip up the hillside took several hours. There was no sign of Cobb anywhere they could see. That might, Dann thought, have had something to do with their inability to look away from where they were setting foot for any length of time.
Finally Rose signaled a stop. At first glance, the rock face looked like any other they’d seen in their climb; closer inspection revealed that the frost-rimmed, indistinct shapes in the rock were the outlines of the door and lever.
Dann kept his eyes on Lydia; she was far calmer than he could believe, at least at first glance. A second belied that impression. There was enough tension in her stance to rip the mountain apart if it were released. The sight of the undisturbed snow covering the lever only caused the slightest hint of relaxation in her frame. Her eyes were pools of thick lava; heated, implacable, slow moving, unstoppable.
Rose grasped the lever, swinging the door wide.