Pretty sure, seeing as how I’ve known death before, it does not feel like a face full of soil. Also, that felt like falling out of bed, not falling from a thousand feet.
I roll over and spit out dirt from my mouth, laying on my back, and wipe my face. I hear a sigh that sounds oddly familiar and look over to my side, started by it. Yes, Mika is standing on the ground next to me.
How did she get down here? Literally fell a thousand plus feet, and just, seconds ago, hit the ground. Yet here she is? “Uh, hi. How did you get down here?”
“I Jumped?” She looks at me with her arms crossed, with a concerned face like I’m clearly defective.
“What?!” Yes, I am clearly defective, and clearly hit my head much harder than it feels. Jumped?! Thousand feet?! What nonsense is this?! ‘No big deal, I’ll just jump after him.’ Terminal velocity my rear. Something isn’t right here, and judging from her expression, it’s clearly me. “How hard did I hit my head… I didn’t die again, right?”
She uncrosses her left arm, and buries her face in it, shaking her head. “I don’t know who you are and where you came from, Tristain, but clearly you’re not from this reality. Come along. Stand up, and let’s go see the elder, maybe he can help with this headache you’ve caused. I feel like you’ll only be troubling me more in the future.”
I didn’t catch that last bit, as it was under her breath, but I’m pretty sure I was insulted. I get up as instructed, agonizing over the fresh new injuries, wondering if this world is this dangerous, if I can survive at all. It’s literally been less than an hour, and I’m pretty sure I’m going to be well bruised if not dead for real by tomorrow. How did I survive that fall?
Looking up, surely I fell from somewhere very high… right? “How, how did I not die from falling that high?” I voice out to Mika. I rub my chin in thought.
“What are you, a Void? Look, I…. I can’t even, let’s just go talk to the elder.” Mika seemed exasperated, and walked away.
Chasing after her, I looked around at the people bustling about around. It seemed about half of them had places to go, and they walked casually following worn foot paths between roots, while there appeared to be steps carved, or perhaps grow into their tops. The people moving around rarely looked at those near themselves, but casually smile when they do.
Maybe a quarter of the populace out and about were sitting, relaxing, with a few others. They seemed like separated cliques of sorts, nestled onto what looked like naturally grown long curved tree-bush-like-grown-sofas, arranged in ¾ circles. Some had an open centers while others had a table, and a few had small trees with low hanging fruits. The odd bit about these people is that they often had what looked like blue luminescent runes on their skin, glowing ever so faintly. It gave me a somewhat eerie feeling.
The final quarter stood looking out over the scenery, either leaning on railings, or sitting in little indented coves, watching idly.
It was quiet. Footsteps were the only sounds readily heard. I felt something was out of place, but I couldn’t think of what it was. Sure, the glowing Runes were odd, but so many people had them, i couldn’t place them in my mind as odd. Shrugging, I continued watching, and walking.
It wasn’t far, by comparison of the size of these trees. It was perhaps 2 trees over, crosswise between a few closer grown specimens. We reached our destination after around 20 minutes, and entered a wide doorway at the trunk. Looking into a well lit room, illuminated by glowing fruits hanging by vines from the ceiling, which happen to be dome shaped, and 40 feet up, I again wondered at the architecture.
“Boy, this must be expensive to heat in the winter time…” My pragmatism got the best of me when I looked at the height of the ceiling.
“Huh? What is… that… Winter?” Mika looked back, with a coy smile. I felt like that smile said ‘Tell me something crazy so I can tease you about it.’ Nope, no interest.
“Oh, nothing, uh, so where is the elder again?” I looked around at the room, and there were maybe 30 people sitting cross legged in a semi-circle facing towards the back center of the room. And sitting there was an older man with well grown waist length beard, runes scrawled along his entire body, glowing and gently pulsing. His eyes were closed, but he stiffly motioned for us to come in closer regardless.
As we came closer, all of the other people, whom were sitting still suddenly got up at the same time, and walked outside the room. The fact that it was nearly identical in timing was somewhat creepy. I stared after them a bit, before continuing forward with Mika. “That was odd…” I muttered to myself.
“Welcome to the Enclave.” The man spoke, smiling. “We have been waiting for you. You are welcome to stay as long as you like. But it appears that, like Mika here, you do not possess the presence to unconsciously hear us, nor do you broadcast your thoughts clearly.” His smile dimmed a bit. “You can discuss that with Mika a bit, but I think you may find yourself troubled by your inability to understand our culture and it may be difficult to interact with others.”
“That’s…” Mika grimaced a bit. There was a lot in that statement that I didn’t understand properly.
“To that end,” The elder started speaking again, “you and Mika will be sent to the Plane as our next offering. This will give you the opportunity to grow in a more suited environment.”
“You would condemn us to our deaths?!” Uh, what?!
Thanks for the support! I am in your care! I will continue to release on Tuesdays. I have 18 chapter backlog! Almost to where I can release 2 chapter a week. We’ll get there. Hopefully I can start that next week.