“What … are you? Are you … real?” Chase stammered.
Clawfire had no idea what the Landwalker had said, but he heard the noises and spooked. He whirled, whinnied, and trotted quickly out of the cave.
Chase warily followed the white steed. His eyes must be playing tricks on him, he thought. He blinked a few times to try to clear his vision and the wings disappeared. ‘So I was right,’ Chase thought. ‘This animal is a horse, not a pegasus.’
To the Landwalker’s surprise Clawfire reared his head, as if offended. The white captain reared up and flew to the top of the Freedom Tribute as if to simply spite the Landwalker.
‘What?’ thought Chase in surprise. He noticed two things: that the ‘horse’ had flown, which meant it was a pegasus; also that it seemed to have responded to his thought. His mind sparked by this suspicion, he had to try something.
‘Fly back down,’ he said in his mind. ‘I won’t hurt you.’
Clawfire was dubious. The Landwalker seemed harmless but the captain remembered the stories from his foalhood: that they could grow food, they tamed wild animals, and most frighteningly somehow controlled fire. Although when he thought about it, he admitted to himself that those skills would be rather useful when one needed to survive.
He had indeed felt - rather than heard - Chase’s thought. He still didn't want to trust the Landwalker, so he snorted loudly from his vantage point on top of Freedom Tribute and shook his head dramatically for ‘no.’
Over the course of a couple of days the two of them started trusting the other more. Clawfire was now accepting being on the beach together with Chase instead of on top of Freedom Tribute. They continued communicating, Chase saying what he was saying in his head, and Clawfire doing so with the pegasus form of talking; sounding to Chase like a horse but somewhat more complex and resonant. They both managed to tell the other their name, each of them thinking the other name was very strange and somewhat amusing. They now started getting along even more closely, sometimes even sleeping together. But whatever Chase did, Clawfire would not let the Landwalker on his back no matter what. Aside from the fact that he could not ride him, Chase admired and trusted the white pegasus. This feeling was mutual, but on the fourth day, two things happened, one much more inconvenient than the other.