Almone couldn't quite open his eyes. There seemed to be something keeping him from doing so. He would have felt what it was but his hands were tied behind his back. And he was laying face down so that made getting his bearings even more difficult. But he could smell the dirt in front of his face and also felt how warm it was on his backside. Must be in the sunlight, he thought. Then he drifted back into that chemical sleep.
Next when Almone awoke, he was able to see and what he saw was not like anything he had seen before. He was way above the ground now, in a cage with other beings. Some he recognized as his countrymen but some of these creatures were nothing like Almone. Their skin, facial configurations and speech were unrecognizable to him. The ones on the outside of the cage, with prods in hand, were pink and much larger than the captives. The creature right next to him was whiter than any snow he had ever seen. Where in the world was he? Who were all of these creatures? And how did he get here? The last he remembered, he was at the crossroads waiting for the tailor.
He didn't have to wait long for an answer of sorts. He saw the most amazing and frightening thing. A box on wheels that was self propelled and it was moving towards where he and the others were being held in cages. The pink ones where pointing in his cage's direction. Soon his cage was being lifted into the belly of this miraculous box along with other cages. When the last cage fit into the box, the huge silver doors closed and all went black around them. That's when the cries and screams began. Then a horrible sensation, Almone knew they must be moving.
Time went by slowly and the crying did eventually die down. But that was replaced with the sound of beings being unwell and retching. It was all Almone could do to not do what others where doing. Crowded in on one another, the heat, the smell, the sound were almost more than he could endure.
Suddenly the movement stopped and the doors opened. The fresh air was whooshing past him and he was glad of it. Then the moving of the cages began in reverse of the loading process. At this time, the cages were lined up in a huge building, the likes of which Almone had never seen. Wherever he was, it seemed to him that all things were made of metal, even this huge building.
Almone noticed his cagemate was on the floor of the cage and was not moving. He bent over to see if there was anything that he could do to help but just as he reached out to touch the white being, a searing pain went through his shoulder. One of the pink ones in blue clothing used his prod on
Almone and the electrical shock immobilized him. He too dropped to the bottom of the cage. That's when he noticed a small, scared looking creature with wings up at the top of the cage, trying not to be seen.
She was about the size of small child, slightly watery purple in color with sparkly wings and every time she shuddered from fear, he would hear a slight ringing of an invisible bell. She was so fragile and beautiful looking. He wished he could make her not feel so afraid, but he really didn't want to encounter the prod again so instead he winked at her and she shyly giggled at him. Almone felt like he had made a new friend and was very glad of it.
Their cage was tossed about as it moved down a big moving ribbon attached to the floor. They sped along until another group of pinks grabbed their cage with a metal hook and pulled them off the ribbon. There he, his winged friend and the white creature were taken out of the cage, moved through a door and into a small room with a window on the door and small benches along the walls. It was small, also metal, but at least there was somewhere to sit until?
The white creature had regained consciousness and was crying and moaning as it made it's way to a bench on the other wall. The winged creature had taken up a spot not too far from where Almone had decided to sit. Almone now had some time to wonder why he had been taken from the crossroad and who these other creatures were?
His thoughts were interrupted by the winged creature when she spoke. "Who are you, what are you called, why are we here"? All of these words sounded like music not someone speaking but he understood the words. The white creature started to speak to the winged creature. But it was not in a language that Almone understood. How could that be? He understood what the winged creature had said in his language but how could this white being be speaking to her? It appeared as though the she understood him as well. At least he thought the winged creature was a female and the white being a male. At this point, Almone wasn't sure of anything.
The winged creature told him that her name was Brell and that the white being was call Kormon. She was from The Forgotten Forest and that Kormon was from a place called Sconmat which lay over the mountains from her forest to the north.
Almone introduced himself and told them where he was from, The Kingdom of Neg. Neither of them had ever heard of Neg. Brell did the interpreting for the group and they all soon realized that each of them had been alone and far from home when they were taken. And none of them could answer the last question as to why they had been kidnapped and brought here. Wherever, here was.