"What do you mean you don't know where we are?" His voice was low and mostly calm, but there was something of tension in his tone.
"I mean exactly what I said, Colton. What do you think I meant?" Glaring at her little brother, she took a deep breath and turned away, calming herself. This was quite stressful enough without him making things worse. "I can't see any landmarks around here that match anything on the map. I have no clue where we are."
"But you're supposed to have this infallible sense of direction," Jason objected, taking a sip from his canteen before carefully corking it again.
"I still do. I know where we came from and I know which directions are which - I just don't know where we are."
"But we can get back home?"
"We can't go back home, and you know it."
"I know, but you know the way back home?"
"We can't go back!" Kaylee snapped, bristling angrily. This wasn't the conversation she wanted to have right now. She felt like a failure, like she'd messed up, and when things inevitably went wrong it would be entirely her fault.
Colton watched her for a moment, then reached over to put a wing around her shoulders. He wasn't really that much smaller than she was, physically, and he seemed to be trying to step into the big brother role, which she resented more than she ought to. It was sort of nice, after all, to have someone looking out for her, even if he wasn't as old as she was.
"I know we can't go back. But if you know the path we took to get here, we can retrace our steps until we find a familiar place. Then we can keep going in a direction where the map will be helpful. Unless being off the map is a good thing?" He raised his eyebrows at his sister, and Kaylee felt a sort of jolt. She hadn't thought about that. What if her baby brother was right? What if being off the edge of the map would keep them from being found and captured?
Kaylee took a deep breath, then let it out again. "Maybe you have a point. If I don't know where we are, then maybe they won't know where we are, either."
In the distance, something like a wolf lifted its voice in a hunting song. Both youngsters twitched. They needed to keep moving.