“Owww my head…..”
Jide groaned as he awoke in a small dark circular room with no windows and a single door. As his eyes adjusted to his dim surroundings, he noticed that apart from the stack of fur he was lying on there was no other furniture in the room.
“Where am I? How did I get here?”
He wondered aloud as he got to his feet. Touching the wooden walls of the room, he realised the last thing that he remembered was running into a trio of strange enormous animals. A bird, a cat and a dog was it? Did they capture him and keep him here? Or did someone else find him?
Making his way to the door, Jide began to knock on it, at first softly but with no response from the other side, he began banging on it quite furiously.
“Hey Hey!!! Where am I? Let me out of here! Someone talk to me!!! Arghh….”
He stops as a hot flash briefly flushes through his body. Clutching his chest, Jide walks back to the fur pile where he had awoken and sits. Staring at the door before him, Jide’s mind began to wander.
Was he a prisoner? Looking at his situation it could be a reasonable guess. Guests or even strange visitors get at least a proper bed he mused as he picked out insects from the fur. He had been warned by the Earth spirit…Gaea was her name right? that this world was immensely dangerous for humans… he came here expecting to find Kunle and Bisi but he has already become something’s captive. Well, first chance he got, he’ll find his way out of this room.
In that dim room Jide had no sense of time, his dress torn and tattered, Jide could safely assume that all his things had been lost between the time he was in the jungle to when he got into this room that was looking more and more like a cell as time dragged on. Eyes growing heavy, Jide dozed off drooling slightly onto the fur he had used as a pillow.
The creaking of the door roused Jide from slumber. Barely opening his eyes, he observed the door opening and a figure coming in. as the light from outside illuminated the room, Jide could tell that the figure was male, slender in stature and had dark skin, green hair and fairly large ears(?) overall apart from the odd features, he looked a lot like an ordinary human. As the figure walked cautiously towards him, Jide still acting like he was asleep noticed that the creature had left the door open. Biggest mistake of his life. The creature seemly curious outstretched his hand slowly towards Jide as if to poke him. Once he was in reach, Jide sprang to life, grabbing the creature’s hand and hurling him to the wall. By the time the stunned creature got his bearings Jide was already at the door. Jide grunted as the bright midday blinded him.
As his eyesight yet again adjusted to the light, Jide found himself in the middle of a stunned crowd of…. Well green haired people. Old, young, strong looking, timid seeming… there were a lot of them all of them staring at him. Pushing through them were what he assumed were the soldiers, as they wore what a sort of leather and stone armour.
Jide mutters to himself as he steps away from the approaching soldiers. Spinning around he tries to make a run for it but suddenly his hands and feet are encased in solid earth their combined weight sending him to his knees. As he struggled to get up the earth around him shifts and suddenly encases him in a box where only his head remained outside.
Jide gasped as he futilely struggled against his bonds. Magic had just been used on him! Real, no question about it magic had just been used on him…. His thoughts racing Jide wondered if there was any way for him to get out of this situation. The whispers of the crowd that had gathered around him did little to calm the panic growing within him.
“That creature is creepy!”
“How did it get out?”
“It was Seamus! That stupid sand brain!”
“Mummy I’m scared”
“What shall we do now? Are we safe?”
They all quickly go silent as a male with short olive hair and a stocky frame comes to his view. The hot flush Jide felt earlier began again instead of being a brief occurrence, it was more of an intensifying feeling that grew more uncomfortable with each passing moment.
“The prisoner will be returned to his quarters let his bonds be thrice reinforced, and would someone go and inform the elder that the creature has awoken.”
“I….im …. Not going back into…. That room…”
Jide grunted, sweating as the heat within him was becoming unbearable.
Looking at Jide with disgust, the olive haired soldier made a motion with his arm and the bonds around Jide became much tighter…cutting into his flesh, and making it difficult to breathe.
“Your opinion here has no value…”
His eyes widen as he stared at Jide.
“Put him down!! Put him down!!!”
But it was too late. Something had burst within Jide, triggering an instant transformation. Flesh turned to smooth iron-like metal with the quick clank of bronze like material over it. Within moments Jide transformed from a young human to something more…
With new found strength, Jide broke free from his bonds and broke out of the earth box he was restrained in, the force of it knocking back his would be captors. Fearful for their lives the crowd quickly dispersed screaming and pushing each other to avoid what was happening.
In this new form, Jide felt a rush of power, a sensation he had never felt before. The soldiers quickly recovering from their knock down charge at him creating weapons from the earth around them. Instinctively covering himself, both parties are surprised when their weapons shatter ineffectually against his metal skin.
Grabbing two of them by the collar Jide hurls them into the rest of the soldiers putting them out of commission. The olive haired soldier creates a hole beneath Jide which he falls into and quickly seals it shut. The trap holds for about ….three seconds before Jide bursts out leaping several feet into the air and crashing into a hamlet.
Getting himself out of the rubble and seeing even more soldiers appearing Jide made a quick decision. Flexing his metal form, Jide takes a leap that surprisingly takes him out of the village itself.
Running out of her two room earth house, sunny raced to the village centre as quickly as her legs could take her. It had been two days since the creature had attacked her and Pettie and then passed out from some unknown cause. She had made the decision to make the village aware of the creature and the elders had decided to seal him in a room until he woke up. From the sounds to chaos that roused her fro her meal, the monster had obviously woken up.
Reaching the centre, sunny gasped as she realised the gravity of what had occurred, maybe she had made a grievous mistake in bringing him here.
It was the worst thing she had ever seen within the village of Illien. Houses were destroyed, several of the ilienze defenders were seriously injured, bleeding from severe cracks that if not healed quickly could cause them to fall apart. But the Illienze were strong. Coming out of their shock quickly the people had already set to work, healers were mending breaks and cracks and expert earth weavers were already repairing the houses and general environment around them.
It didn’t take long for the elders to show up at the scene. Three of them in fact. They were the guides and de facto rulers of the village their supposed wisdom had kept the village safe for as long as she could remember. Elder Brisbane the tallest of the trio looked furious. A powerful earth weaver, sunny had heard that he had collapse a mountain in his youth. Singlehandedly. Though he had become old, he was still very powerful and intimidating, sunny shuddered as she remembered the scolding he had given her earlier.
“Eridos!! Where is he? Appear before us and explain what has taken place here.”
Sunny gasped as the short haired Illienze warrior came forward dragging a frightened Seamus by the hair and presenting him before the elders.
“This fool here opened the sealed door and let that monster escape! We tried to restrain it but…it turned into a metal being and…”
Showing the elders the injured defenders still getting their healing treatment.
“We didn’t have a chance at containing him. Luckily for us the monster decided to make his escape.”
The smallest of the elders, Grainis shook her head and spoke out.
“That is no good…send two seekers out there after him. He must be returned to village as soon as possible.”
Everyone in the crowd is stunned at her statement. Eridos blinks twice stuttering in shock at the statement he had just heard.
“Elder, clearly the creature does not want to be here… it is getting dark it would be suicide for us to send anyone out of the village after him….”
Eridos stops his statement as elder Brisbane glared daggers at him. Turning away from the chief defender and now facing the crowd the elder asked.
“Is there anyone here who isn’t a coward, who is willing to prove that the Illienze are a proud people? This creature is a unique existence, we mustn’t let this creature out of our sight. Will anyone come up and help find him?”
The crowd goes silent… nobody made a sound as all there were deathly afraid. Sunny looked around at the faces around her, took a deep breath, and walked towards the elders who silently nodded at her.
“Great elders, I am ready to take on the task. Let me go out there to find him.”
Sitting on the side of the lagoon’s bank, Omojide Omoyemi stares at his reflection in the water. Touching his face and staring at his features reflected on the water, Jide just marvelled at what he had become.
He had spent the last few hours simply leaping as far as he could from that strange village until he found himself at the familiar lagoon where he had first arrived in this world. Washing his face, Jide noted that in a world that had monsters and strange people that could cast magic, becoming some sort of metal man had its benefits. He was strong, durable and could even leap great distances…
Maybe his mission of finding Kunle and Bisi wasn’t so impossible after all.
“Just wait you two… I’ll find you and bring you home”
A sudden scream shocks him back to reality. Staring into the distance, he could see a major disturbance in the trees not far to the east. Curious about what was happening, Jide took a leap in that direction.
When he landed, Jide’s eyes widened in surprise.
“Ehn? You again?”
In front of him was the plant girl he had seen before, panting and breathing heavily. Her green body was covered in cuts, scrapes and bruises which were bleeding a white fluid…which must pass for blood assumed Jide as she fell to her knees in front of him.
“Help me….save me from the Hercerios!”
Before he could finish a reply a massive bird larger than a truck landed just in front of the two of them. Focusing on the plant girl with evil, hungry eyes it screeched as it made a dash towards her.
Without thinking Jide steps in front of the bird and grabs it by the beak, stopping it in its tracks. His newly formed metal muscles creaking, Jide tightens his grip on the bird cracking its beak. Shrieking in pain it hurls Jide into a tree which snaps in two. As a dazed Jide tries to get his bearings the angry bird kicks him into the air sending him bouncing along the grassy plain.
Jide grumbled as he made it to his feet only for the bird to leap onto him knocking him back to the ground. Holding his hands in place with its feet, the Hercerios prepares to attempt to peck out Jide’s eyes when a vine slaps it in the face.
A few metres away stood the plant girl vine generated from her body panting from the effort. The bird distracted, screeches at her while its grip loosens on Jide’s arms. Taking advantage of that, Jide slips his hands out of the bird’s grip and breaks both of its ankles. Screaming in pain the bird drops to its side, no longer able to walk. Getting to his feet, Jide grabs it by the head.
Focusing his strength, Jide hurls the bird as far as he can, watching as the bird flies into the distance becoming a faint speck in the setting sun.
The fight over, Jide took a quick look at the plant girl who smiled widely at him, her the petals in her head flowers twitching slightly. Jide felt she could be adorable to look at once he got used to seeing her.
“Now how do I get back to norm….oh that’s how it’s done…”
Jide remarked as the bronze and iron retracted to reveal his human form again, with the plant girl staring in shock. But as soon as the transformation wore off, Jide felt his body becoming extremely heavy. Dropping to the grass Jide felt himself losing consciousness with the plant girl asking him what was wrong.
Sunny was shocked at what she had just witnessed. She had been searching for the metal monster as Eridos had called him and had a hunch to search in the general area where they had met before. Lucky for her instincts proved right as she heard the sounds of battle occurring in the forest. Staying in the trees she saw the metal monster defeat the Hercerios. The Hercerios were a fierce deadly predator that she had been warned to avoid at all costs. Here she was seeing it hurled away like trash. Biting her lip, she wondered how she was going to take him down, unlike the last time she was alone and this creature had all of his faculties. She gasped as when the creature reverted to flesh form and promptly collapsed.
“This must be my lucky day…”
She muttered arming her bow while leaping down from the tree. Now just to get the florin out of the way. Stepping towards them with bow aimed at the two, she called out in a clear but direct tone.
“You the florin, step away from the creature.”
“No… I won’t.”
The florin turns to face sunny positioning herself right between her and the creature who was now unconscious.
“You don’t understand. This creature injured many of my people and terrorised my village. I have been sent to find and bring him back to face appropriate judgement.”
“I won’t. He just saved my life. He is my friend”
“Friend? You just met him today! Step away from it florin or I’ll put an arrow in you”
Sunny stated calmly while pulling a little harder on her bowstring. Vines crept out slowly from the florin’s body as her yellow eyes glowed dangerously.
“He’s not an it, isn’t it obvious? He’s a he! And my name is Hibee! Please call me by name when you’re talking to me.”
“Wait, you don’t seriously think you can start a fight with me? I’ve got an arrow aimed at you and you’re almost dead….”
Sunny’s speech falters as she sees a familiar shape squatting beside the unconscious creature.
The elder who was a bit on the plump side dismissively motions at her, while continuing his examination of the creature.
“Hmmm… doesn’t seem to be any damage from the conversion but the sudden exhaustion is something to consider… sunny would you stop that foolishness and prepare to carry him back to illlien?”
“I’m not scared of either of you! I won’t let you take my friend!”
“Calm down… Hibee, that is your name right? Your friend isn’t in any trouble. We just want to talk to him.”
The florin pouts as she glares at sunny who picks up Jide, carrying him on her back.
“How can I trust you?”
Getting up from his squatting position picking out grass from his clothes, the elder smiles gently at Hibee.
“Why don’t you come with us? Then you will see we mean no harm to your friend…”