The group drew nearer to a large, wind-beaten rusty-brown stone formation protruding from the sand beneath them. It towered into the sky, sprawling for a quarter mile in any direction. A complex series of jagged rock and tiny crevasses.
They wearily scaled it's cliffs and chasms by foot, helping the anxious chocobos along as they made slow progress toward their goal; the secret entrance into the rebel base beneath Odessa.
They came to a narrow opening, just large enough for a chocobo to squeeze into. It was dark and musty. Juakeem lead the way, and Shae'elle followed, ducking into the enclosed passage. Boko backed up, rearing his head away as Stryker tried to lead him in.
"Okay. Relax big fella," he said, trying to calm him down. He tugged his reigns aggressively, stumbling around the edge of a jagged cliff. Ana rushed to his side, wrapping her arms gently around his neck. She could feel his precious heart racing. She held him, lulling him softly.
"Shhhh. It's okay, Boko. I'm scared too. But we have to go down there. It's not safe out here." The fear in his beady eyes was clear to see.
"I need you, Boko. I need you to be strong for me, because I can't do this alone," she whispered.
She took the reigns from Stryker, slowly guiding him back toward the passage. He was timid, but he followed her.
"It's okay. We'll do it together," she comforted him.
Stryker watched as Ana disappeared into the opening, and Boko behind her.