Luke rolled over into a sit and rubbed his eyes, his gaze following a scar in the sand to the scattered pile of wood and metal that was once his father's ship. "Oh no!" he cried, burying his head in the sand, terrified of the fate that awaited him when they would finally make it home.
"They'll understand," replied the hopeful kacheek, placing a paw on her pal's shoulder, "parents are always too relieved that their kids are safe to be angry when these things happen!" she added, reassuringly. Kenna knew from experience: this wasn't the first time an adventure had gone awry.
The ruki lifted his head and returned to his feet, "alright, let's figure this out. We must be in Tyrannia based on our course and the sand..."
"Have you ever been?" asked Kenna, hoping her friend could make up for the cruising mishap by being a reliable land guide.
"No, but heading inland should lead us to someone who could help; it's really our only option," he said with a shrug and turned to face the vast landscape ahead, "there won't be any means of communication, though, given it's Tyrannia and all..."
"Yeah," replied Kenna, disheartened, "oh well, let's go and hope for the best..." The pair began their trot under the hot sun, its brightness the only factor these Moltaran natives had to contend with.
A couple of hours of shuffling through sand and trees passed and the friends could hear holiday music in the near distance; they exchanged excited glances and quickened their pace.
Stone structures came into view and they knew they were in the Tyrannia they'd heard about and seen in photos. Anxiously approaching, they could see that the music was being played live and although there were no traditional string lights in this prehistoric land, evergreens and berries were strung all around and torches were placed decoratively.
Lanterns! Moltara! Parents! Panic set in as Kenna realized what their families must be going through. Suddenly a jolly blue scorchio bounded toward the pair, "welcome! I'm Liz. And you two are Luke and Kenna?"
"What?!" exclaimed Kenna, looking at her friend and back at the scorchio.
"How do you know our names?" Luke asked Liz, puzzled and growing nervous.
Liz laughed, "no need to be frightened. "Kenna, your mom arrived about half an hour ago by glider. You're lucky you are so predictable to her! She asked me to come greet you two and give you startle..." her expression grew serious and she raised an eyebrow, "I can't imagine why!"
"Your mom," Luke said, gesturing behind Kenna who turned to see her mother bounding toward them. Before they knew it, Luke and Kenna were enveloped in a hug by Kenna's mom who then pulled away abruptly and said "kinda fitting that in your search for snow you'd wind up in one of the only places hot like home, huh?" and rubbed the top of the kacheek's head.
"I'm so sorry, mom," said Kenna, staring at the ground.
"We truly are," added Luke, forcing a nervous smile.
"Well no sense in ruining the holidays; one day maybe we can all head to Terror Mountain for a SAFE family vacation, but for now let's rest here a bit and enjoy the festivities."
"Okay," replied Kenna, "Terror Mountain next December?"
"Oh, we're a few Decembers away from that, dearie. Just so the lesson's not lost, I'm thinking the Lost Desert for the next one?" she asked with a chuckle and ushered her daughter and friend toward the food stall.