“Go! Quickly! Find him!” Thundering footsteps pounded against the cold tile flooring.
A man spun around towards a tube and smiled. His eyes were hidden in the darkness. “I’m sorry, but I can’t join you. Take care and create your own world to live in.” He rubbed his hand on the glass tube and sighed. “Live a better life, won’t you?”
“He’s in there! Grab him,” a harsh voice commanded.
“Goodbye.” The man flipped a hood over his head and blended in with the surroundings. “Perhaps we’ll meet again someday.” There was a sinister grin as lights flashed. There was a cracking sound. For one of the first times in her life, the girl felt curiosity rather than terror. What happened to lead to her drifting alone in the darkness? Time lost it’s meaning as she floated. She spent what seemed like hours just blankly staring at her surroundings.
Then suddenly, there was light. The girl fell to the cold tile flooring below. She slowly blinked open her eyes as she adjusted to the sudden light.
“Whoa! Are you okay?” The voice in front of her sounded concerned. It was distinctly male and had an accent.
The girl’s eyes focused ahead of her. There she saw a koala staring at her. The koala was about the size of a child and was standing on two feet. He wore a white tank top, beige pants, cream-colored gloves, and a belt with an assortment of items attached to it. The fur on the top of his head was spiked.
The girl screamed at the koala. “Y-You talk,” she yelled. “Koalas don’t talk!”
The koala backed up. He slammed his foot on the ground. “Talk? Well of course I talk! I can sing dance, play the harmonica, and all sorts of various activities!” The koala narrowed his eyes. “What were ya doing in that tube thing? That’s a weird place be sleeping.” The koala crossed his arms.
The girl blinked. “I don't know.” She grabbed her head. “I mean, I really should know, but I don’t!” She grabbed a clump of brown hair and began to tug on it. The koala placed a gloved hand on her arm to stop the tugging.
“Relax with the pulling, will ya. If you don't remember, you don't remember. So, what’s your name?” The koala removed his arm and placed both hands on his belt.
“My name’s Lane,” she answered. Her voice was shaky.
The koala gave a thumbs-up. “So you remember your name at least! Very good! Alright, now I should introduce myself.” He placed his hand in the tuft of fur on top of his head. “The name’s Victor. Nice to meet ya.”
Lane furrowed her brow at the koala. “Why, out of every animal in the world, did a koala come here? I lived in the US,” she stated. Lane crossed her arms.
“Look you hairless ape, do you know just how dangerous Australia is,” he questioned. “My family wanted out of there,” the koala explained. He crossed his arms and pouted.
“Hairless ape?” Lane furrowed her brow. “I’m not an ape.”
“Really?! That’s the part you zero in on?!” Victor sighed. “So, you’ve been in there for who knows how long, correct?”
Lane nodded. “Yeah. Do you know what happened?”
“I’m trying to piece that together, actually.” Victor placed a hand on his chin and began to pace. “Maybe we’ll be able to figure something out from something in here,” the koala offered.
Lane looked around. In the room there was a pile of junk with two pictures and two books. With limited space in the pocket of her dress however, she wouldn't be able to fit everything. In the corner of the room, there was a toolbox covered by rubble. She wouldn't be able to reach it. Lane furrowed her brow and reached for a single item from the pile. And done for now! Welcome to this little project I've been working on in my spare time. So here's how this thing is going to go. There are five choices and the one with the most choice gets it. Can't guarantee that it'll be a good outcome and I can't guarantee that you'll always have the choice.
The Choices: A photo of two children only A photo of two children and a man. A photo of two children and a woman A leather-bound journal with a panda pen sticking out of the book A leather-bound book with writing on the front
Thank you! Anyway, now to see sort of how the choice changed the story. Lane set her sight on a worn and dusty book in the pile of rubble. She gingerly grabbed the book and blew at the cover. A large cloud of dust enveloped the room.
Victor and Lane began to cough as the dust tried to invade their airways. Victor waved his arm through the dust cloud. “Alr-COUGH-ight! Bad idea.” He covered his mouth. The dust cloud was dissipating. “So, lesson learned. Don’t blow the dust off of books in a tiny room.” He grabbed the book from Lane and read the cover. Victor frowned. “Journal of a Scientist? Seems both boring in the uncreative title and as far as what I’m expecting to read. You sure about this, joey?”
Lane nodded and crossed her arms. “Don’t judge a book by its cover. Just open it!”
Victor sighed and complied with the demand. He flipped through the pages until something caught his eye. “...not suited for this experiment...loses temper far too easily,” Victer read quietly. His eyes widened at the page. Quickly, he shut the book and stuck it in a pouch on his belt.
Lane frowned. “What did it say?”
Victor shrugged and laughed nervously. “What book?”
Lane scowled. “The book I dug out. The boring one.”
“Oh you mean that book.” He stuffed his hands in his pockets. “It had a lot of strange words that I didn’t get. In order to understand anything in that book, I have to get a dictionary or something. Sorry about that.”
“Well then, I’ll just grab the other book then,” Lane grumbled. “Maybe it’s got translations.”
Victor stopped her. “Nah. We’ve got the resources. Don’t worry about it.” Victor bolted to a broken wall. “After being in that tube, I figure you’d want to see the world, correct?”
Lane nodded. “Yeah. I don’t even know how long I was in there.”
Victor grinned. “Well then, follow me! For we will adventure to the far corners of this globe!”
Lane sighed and crossed her arms. “Now I wanna see what’s happened, but there us no way I’m going to travel all over the globe. Do you know how big Earth is?”
Victor nodded. “I know. And there are several places we haven't even explored properly.” Victor chuckled and rubbed the back of his neck. “Sorry. I’m just excited to be traveling at all. Nobody ever wants to go with me.” Victor frowned. “Bunch of lazy cowards,” he grumbled. He raised his head and turned towards Lane. “So, are you still going to join me?”
“Of course I will,” Lane insisted. “I don’t know anyone, and this is my best bet for finding out what happened.”
Victor smiled. “Well then, follow me, and I’ll lead you to the town nearby.”
Lane threw her hands into the air. “No more stuffy room,” she cheered.
“Right!” Victor grabbed Lane by the arm and led her through the opening in the wall.
Lane stared in awe at the towering trees just outside the buildings. Thin lines of light peered down to the forest below. “Whoa… how long was I asleep?” She spun around to take everything in.
Victor chuckled. “I see you’re kinda shocked to see trees. What do you think this place looked like before all these trees grew?”
“Well. Considering we found a scientist's journal, I would guess it was sciency place.” Lane crossed her arms. “I mean, it’s obvious.”
“Yeah. Obvious. Perhaps I wanted to know, in DETAIL, what it looked like. What color was the science building? Who roamed the science building? You know, things like that. Now come on. If we don’t hurry up, we’ll run into quite a few problems.” Victor jerked Lane towards a path through the trees and onto the beaten path.
“What problem,” Lane asked loudly.
Howling filled the air soon after her question. Victor gulped and began to run faster, to the point where he was almost dragging Lane. “Them. This forest belongs to feral wolves, got it? Feral, meaning NOT FRIENDLY!”
Lane understood the message and quickened her pace. Sharp teeth bit the air surrounding the running duo. Soon, Victor and Lane heard growling up ahead.
“We’re trapped,” Lane yelled in a panicked voice. Oh no, the koala and the human are trapped. Should ther, scream for help, or try to fend off the creatures? Anyway, thanks for reading guys!
”Where are they?” In the forest surrounding the lab, a creature paced around and stared at a shell tied around it’s neck. The creature had a clam shell for a head with eyes peering through a crack. It was wearing armor with shells decorating the outside. “I know that this is the right area! So where are-,” the clam muttered. A scream rang out, as did the sound of growling.
“Help, someone please!”
The eyes underneath the giant clam shell seemed to widen. “It’s night, isn’t it?” A look of determination flashed through the clam’s eyes before he took off towards the sound. “I have to save them!” Lane and Victor were being forced into a small circle. Wolves with inky, jet-black fur drew closer and closer on all side. Intense blue eyes stared from the darkness.
“Help,” Lane screamed. She turned to Victor with a panicked expression. “You’ve got loads of things on your belt! Do something!”
“What do you think I’m doing?” Victor dug into the pouches on his belt. He quickly took out a spray can filled with an unknown substance. “Hold my gloves,” Victor commanded. He quickly removed the gloves and tossed them towards Lane.
“What are you doing?!”
Victor leapt into a tree and clung to a branch. He threw a handful of powder in a circle shape around Lane and leapt back to the ground. A series of explosions happened around them and created a barrier of smoke. “That should hold them off for a little while.” Victor held out his hands. “Gloves.”
Lane handed off the gloves and looked around anxiously, as if she were expecting the wolves to break through the barrier at any moment. “What did you do?”
Victor shook his head. “Not explaining right now. We need to get out of danger first.”
On the other side of the smoke barrier, the growling became louder and rang from different directions.
“We may have a problem,” Victor stated. He pushed Lane to the center. “My barrier may have attracted more wolves.”
“What,” Lane hissed.
“Now, the important thing is to keep a level head. No panicking.”
“How am I supposed to keep a level head, when our LIVES are at stake?”
“Do it because our lives are at stake,” Victor commanded.
Whining of wolves could be heard outside the smoke barrier. There was a loud blast as the barrier shattered and the smoke dissipated.
Lane and Victor clutched each out and screamed to the top of their lungs. “We’re dead,” Victor cried.
The smoke cleared. Right in front of them was a clam-like creature. It was clutching a shell-shaped necklace charm. “You’re safe.” It breathed a sigh of relief and walked forward.
Victor began to back up with Lane. “Who are you, and how are you able to defeat the wolf shades so quickly?”
The creature’s expression dimmed. “I see.” The creature held out a hand. It was dark purple and appeared to be smooth. “My name is uh…” The clam rubbed its weird clamshell head. “Scalder?” It held out its hand once more.
Victor pushed Lane back further. “It’s slimy-looking. What kind of animal is able to take wolf shades out so quickly?”
“Please, I understand that you must be terrified, but trust me, I wouldn’t hurt you.” The clam came closer and offered a handshake. And here we come to another choice. Trust this strange clam man, or do not. Anyway, thank you for reading!