We passed into the territory that lead to the village at the edge of the wilderness that surrounds our destination. Only at the sight of that town did I realize that we had not encountered the patrolling drones that plagued us on that former occasion.
I remarked on their absence to Elijah. Even as I did so we both knew the answer. They were needed elsewhere for a bigger military operation.
So too with the village. It was deserted. And there, signs were evident of abandoned encampments at both ends of the town. Neither of which had been there the last time we were in the vicinity.
We stopped to rest in the town square, then took up our march.