He found himself in the dark again. But this was a more familiar darkness, neutral, natural.
He could feel the ground beneath him rock.
His eyes slowly began to adjust- where was he now?
a dim light illuminated some sort of container. Another light came from a staircase outside of the room. After realizing the immediate danger was gone- he sat down with a sense of defeat.
He cared little for material things.. now he had nothing. he couldn’t go back to his house, any things he had were left either at the castle or the portal he’d just come from.
His immediate concern however… he had to warn the council! If Ka’atra had infiltrated it. He had no idea how to reach them but-
“There is no council…” he heard. Narice looked up. Where had that voice come from?
Narice suddenly noticed a bird in a lit up tube.
He had to take a step back. This wasn’t any ordinary bird, it was taller than he was- almost twice as tall.
Ok, then, there it is. He moved past it- trying to get the most pertinent information first.
“Why was I sent here?”
“Uh, well this is a cargo ship-“- so that’s why it was rocking, “Seeing as you don’t know why you were sent here, that must have been someone else’s portal…”
For a bird he seemed pretty knowledgeable.
“Do you know Jarrod?”
“Yeah…” the bird responded, “He was on this ship somewhat recently.”
The first thing he’d have to predict-
“Why are you here?’
“I was captured and they want to use my body for experiments.”
“What are they testing for? What are you?”
“I’m Terahawk…” the bird responded, “As to what their intents are with my body – they probably want to use my genetic coding for amassing an army or something.”
“Terahawk huh?” he said- “if I free you… will you help me escape?”
The bird thought about it.
“Ok then,” Narice said.
Narice stepped back into the shadows as he heard noises.
“I heard something over here…”
A guard came up. Hmm, so the cargo was being protected.
The guard looked at the tube, and with a “Hey birdie. Did you know they’re going to make a big stew of you? They’re going to chop you and eat you and use your remains for decor.”
“Kaw Kaw!” the bird replied happily.
“-Alright,” the soldier spoke. He looked in a particular crate, “It must have been nothing.”
Narice checked the gift that Jarrod had given to him before sending him through the portal. He noticed that it was a jewel- in fact, it looked a lot like the fire gem he’d used earlier.
He took it out and stored it in his pocket.
Which meant this cargo was probably headed towards ‘Ka’atra’s’ domain and if he got caught there was no knowing what would happen.
He started looking for a way to open the big bird’s prison. It seemed like it was sealed tightly.
He held the jewel in his pocket on the left side a put his hand up on the glass on the right. He tried to open up the cage with an empowered right hand. However, it didn’t seem to work at all.
“What are you doing?” asked the bird.
“I’m looking for a way to get you out.”
He went around the edges and noticed a key panel.
“There you go, the password is R5n2214,” the bird said, “I was playing dumb so they wouldn’t consider me a factor.”
Narice plugged it in and a door opened in the glass.
“Ok then, now we just have to get you out of here,” Narice said.
“Well, I can fly…” the bird said.
The irony wasn’t lost on him. They were in some sort of cargo ship and the container was pure metal. It was a true indicator of the term ‘caged bird’.
It seemed that the ship was built in layers. Narice and Terahawk slowly walked through the room they were in towards the light from above. A staircase separated them. He figured it would be good to see the guard’s path first and then move.
Narice looked through a round window.
Narice would have to make Terahawk’s way out by going ahead.
Narice walked into the hallway and then slowly crossed down the hall.
Narice was pretty sure the guards were also Aqayans under Marx’s- Ka’atra’s command considering they were guarding things on a cargo ship that Jarrod had been to recently. He wondered what other artifacts could be in the ship and for what purposes they were being transported.
He heard the voices of the guards and watched as they started climbing up some stairs and then motioned for Terahawk to follow. The nine-foot bird tried to piddle paddle as well as he could down the hallway towards Narice. It was a pretty funny sight. Under any other condition Narice probably would have had a laugh about it.
Narice climbed up the stairs and noticed two guards standing watch in the next hall. He’d have to get close if he didn’t want them to use their spells right away.
“Uh… hi.” Narice said.
“State your name!” they said, holding up guns.
“John… I’m sorry I was stowed away in the back- but-.
“John, don’t you know that it’s not good to stow away, we’re going to take you to the captain and see what he says,” one of the guards said.
As soon as they walked up to him, Narice went for it. He knocked one of them in the knees while charging at the other and hitting him in the stomach. He held onto the gun they were using and called for the bird.
The bird came sprinting up the walkway with an ostridge-like speed.
“We gotta go,” Narice said to Terahawk and they ran through the hall.
They charged up the last bit of stairs as fast as they could and got on the deck
Cool air breeze hit them in the face “finally…” Terahawk said, spreading his wings. Narice was surprised, it was so large- it seemed to cover two thirds the width of the boat.
Two more guards looked at them on the top of the ship and Terahawk flew towards them using its wings to strike them down.
“Well-” the bird said, “climb on.”
“Narice raced towards the bird and held onto the edge of its wings.
“Ugh,” the bird said as Narice climbed on top of him, but true to his word, it began to take flight, Narice noticed little whirlwinds underneath them as the wings began to pound. They then dove off the ship and after scraping the waters flew upwards into the height of the clouds.
By the time the soldiers got together to shoot them down, they were already far into the horizon over the sea.
“Where are we headed?” It had been about thirty minutes. Narice was getting tired of holding on.
“think how i feel…” the bird responded to Narice’s thoughts and then answered the question.
“We’re going home,” Narice then noticed the wings were straining more than before. Narice heard him say as they finally saw some land underneath them.
Narice didn’t know that Terahawk could tell how to get home, but it was proof as Narice saw it for himself that they were able to escape the ocean.
A large forest of trees. Narice wasn’t sure what kind of trees, but it must have been what was considered a ‘jungle’. They began to travel over them as the water disappeared behind and soon enough Narice noticed the trees increasing in size the more they went inland. Eventually, they almost seemed to reach the height of their flight, itself.
As soon as they came upon them, He noticed tress standing high above the rest, strangely enough they’d been in just normal woods a little before that and it only looked like a regular forest in the distance.
“Perception magic,” Ka’atrahawk. “The elves and us coexist here. He began to glide down into the trees and a group of birds like Ka’atrahawk seemed be circling around the tops of the limbs.
“Kaw, Kaw!” the birds sounded in the trees.
Narice looked downward and noticed that they were gently going down from the treetops to the ground. Beside him he saw other birds like Ka’atrahawk circling as well. They started coming down a little harder Ka’atrahawk must have been holding out for this- straining the last of his muscles to hold out to this moment.
As soon as they hit the floor with a great thud, Narice noticed a lot of spears pointing towards him.