CHAPTER THREE – The Myrmekes

As we passed through the large door, the creature next to me showed signs of stress and anxiety. It seemed irritable. I hastened my step to get ahead of this creature. But then, as soon as we went through the door, I felt myself being dragged backwards. This large grisly creature with six arms and fur all over its body yanked at my tank on my back. “This tank is mine!” the creature yelled. Without me even thinking, Caroline and another grisly creature sprang into action, jumping and forcing it to the ground.

They both pinned it there as the other grisly creature was speaking with it. “Calm, it’s okay, you’re safe with us and you can breathe without equipment.” The creature that spoke had something that looked like a syringe and injected the other creature with some clear fluid. “Is that better?” the creature with the syringe asked. The large grisly creature seemed to relax and then both Caroline and the other creature puled away. I sat up and got to my feet. “Move!” I heard one of the Stilla say to the grisly creatures as Caroline stepped back towards me. 

The grisly creature stood up looking peaceful, and then, without warning, struck at the Stilla. The Stilla dodged the attack, then drew a weapon. There was a flash, and the grisly creature dropped to the ground. Stilla surrounded it and removed the body through another of those doors that were made of muscle. 

“James, come on!” I heard Caroline say as she was trying to pull me toward everyone else. “Move!” I heard one of the Stilla shout at the rest of the crowd. Everyone looked away and proceeded onwards, following the path set for us by the Stilla. 

I still felt as though I was asleep, walking through a nightmare, like nothing was real. I glanced around and it looked like we were being guided to this slope that led up the left side of the room. It seemed like a long corridor that winded round to the right. Curving round causing the other side of the room to disappear. When I looked up, I noticed that there were other floors with an opening in the middle that I was looking up through. It wasn’t much different from a shopping mall with at least 5 or 6 levels above me. A disgusting, sticky, smelly shopping mall with no windows. On the sides of the room, up the slopes, on each floor, there were those muscle doors. We proceeded up a slope. Stilla was walking on the walls and moving organic materials into different places. Building whatever section they required, it appeared they could move, alter, and make these chambers into whatever they wanted. I saw other Stilla carrying the technology they had removed from the other ship further round, down this hall.

The distant sounds of explosions continued however, there was another noise that joined it. It was as if some mechanical device was powering up and then an explosion at a different pitch rippled through the Myrmekes. The distant sound of explosions ceased. A distinct sound of wind seemed to vibrate the outside of the Myrmekes and replaced the sound of explosions. It was consistent in its pitch and not changing. “This shouldn’t be possible!?” I heard Caroline say under her breath. “None of this makes any sense!” she continued as she glanced around, looking as though she was searching for something. I looked at her, confused, as we continued on under the vigilant eyes of these Stilla.

Once we were up the slope and around a part of the curvature of this long room, a Stilla stood in front of us. Our group, composed of around thirty different creatures, stopped and looked at this Stilla patiently. “All of you, in here!” it announced in a booming voice as it beckoned us into a small chamber behind another of the muscle doors. We entered to discover that the muscle door is the only way in or out. The Stilla waited outside and once the last creature came through the door, the door shut tight. One creature attempted to open it with their bare hands. It didn’t work, it would not move a centimetre.

The room was large enough to keep all 30 of us comfortable. It was about the size of a school dinner hall, but it definitely wasn’t a place I wanted to be for long. The walls were sticky with mucus, had the same glowing veins as the first chamber and the usual imperfect dome-like ceiling and walls this place seemed to consist of. There was no furniture, just the soft, warm, bouncy floor of this apparent organism we were in.

As I was following, Caroline led me to a place to settle. In the corner of my eye, I saw a large amount of mucus or whatever it was coming down from the ceiling. I turned my head just in time to see a peculiar lizard type creature with what I can only describe as gills on its throat get covered by this mucus. It dripped down and covered it from head to toe. It made this strange gurgling noise and I could hear a faint hum of frustration from the creature. The other creature similar to it began helping to clean it. I then turned around and hurried my pace to catch up with Caroline.

Caroline found a space on one side, she lent against the wall and slid down, causing her to sit on the floor. The rounded edge and soft bouncy floor allowing her to have a gentle landing. I went up to her and went down onto my knees in front of her as my knees buckled from exhaustion. I soon fell and sat in the most ungraceful fashion. I struggled to focus and my body ached. Even though I was looking at Caroline, I didn’t see her. My mind was blank at that point, not believing what was happening. I laid down and closed my eyes. It wasn’t long before I drifted off into a deep sleep.

A prodding awoke me. I opened my eyes, wondering what it could be. I let out a little gasp as my eyes focused. There, standing over me, was a goblin-like creature. He had large pointy ears that flopped over at the end, large pink eyes, and appeared to have thin red hair that poked out the top of his suit. The suit he was wearing looked similar to one of the new space suits that were being designed by NASA, except a lot more decorative. It had a large visor I was able to see him through, and there were a lot of reds and golds that made the suit stand out. It really looked like they made it for a king. This creature looked far from aggressive. In fact, looked kind of cute, like anyone would be lucky to have him as a pet. However I did understand that he was stressed, as any small sound made him jump. 

This fluffy creature looked round at every other creature in the room suspiciously. They all seemed to be asleep and not able to notice us. I stared at him, not able to process what I was looking at. “You’re Rehew!” he said to me in a hushed tone. He began with a high-pitched voice, but then seemed to change pitch as he continued talking. I looked at him with my mouth open in astonishment. As I came round to the situation, I only seemed to say one word, “what?”

“Your species! You’re Rehew, correct? I know you became extinct, but there were those legends…”

I continued to look at him, “I’m… Human” 

He looked back at me for a moment with those big pink eyes. “I scanned you, the suit recognised you, you are Rehew!”

There was a sound in the room as another creature was turning and began facing us. The creature’s eyes were closed. At least I thought they were closed. I turned to look at it, then turned back to look at the goblin creature. He disappeared. I could not see him anywhere. Then I sprung back in astonishment just as the creature reappeared again and opened his suit helmet that slid away to the back of his head. He looked at me with intensity.

“You need to give this to your Companion,” he said to me, passing me a piece of weird looking paper. It was made from a matt mesh material I hadn’t seen before. 

“What is this?” I asked as I opened the weird folded paper. Inside I found animations, schematics and a lot of numbers. It surprised me to find the content was animated.

“She is the key, just give it to her!” He said as he was pointing to Caroline and then disappeared.

I placed the weird paper into my pocket and looked back at Caroline. She was deep in sleep and I felt I couldn’t disturb her then. Looking around, I saw most of the other creatures were asleep, playing games or distracted by something else. I considered this creature to be a figment of my imagination, so tried to shake the experience off. Soon my tiredness got the better of me and I went to sleep hoping I would be back on Earth when I woke, leaving this madness behind.

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