Dream 7-10-2003

Chapter 1

A Strange New World

Aynne blinked a bit, the light bright in her eyes. She felt someone laying beside her. Turning her head slowly to avoid making the dull ache any worse, she realized that it was Josh. He lay sprawled across the other side of the bed, asleep. She pulled herself into a sitting position, but the pain that flooded through her head caused her to lay back again with a small moan. She rubbed her temples slightly, hoping the pain would subside soon.

After some time, when thought was no longer lost in the throbbing of her head, she wondered where she was, and how she had come to lie beside Josh. As moving still made her dizzy with pain, she settled upon the second question. How has she gotten here? She remembered runes, running through the corridors, and the terrible drilling machine, but little else. She stared up at the ceiling a moment, then closed her eyes; what little that was left of her home had been destroyed. What of her people? Her family?

She lay there a while longer in memory of what had been lost until she could remember no more. Her mind wandered back to her previous question. Where was she? She slowly rose to her feet, stretching as she did so. Her muscles were stiff from sleeping so long. Her head still hurt, but not unbearably so. The pain was tolerable, something she could push to the back of her mind.

Upon standing, Aynne realized she wore Josh's coat. She wondered why, and again looked to his sleeping form. His ankle was bound in torn bandages. She frowned. What had happened while she slept? She shook her head with a soft sigh. Too many questions. She took off his coat and set it down on the bed, still watching Josh. She considered waking him, but seeing how soundly he slept, decided it best to let him rest. To pass the time, she wandered through the room, curious at all the strange objects. Some she picked up--a small statue made out or marble, then a heavy set of bound pages she recognized as a book--turning them over in her hands, examining them. Others--a large box with a smooth black globe in the front, a large pole with light at one end, a bowl made completely out of metal that hung on a hook from its handle--she merely looked at, afraid to touch. She did, however, stop at a large cabinet made almost entirely from wood, running her fingers along it lightly, caressing it. She'd never seen that much wood in one place. The whole room had more wood than she'd ever seen.

After a while, she grew tired of even the wooden furniture. They raised more questions than they answered. She lowered herself to sit on the floor, leaning back against the bed, running her fingers through the soft carpet, mind reeling. She hadn't a clue where she was, only that Josh must have taken her there. She had to be in his world.

A noise on the bed drew her to her feet quickly, turning around and reaching for her belt dagger, only to remember that she didn't have it. She steeled herself to calm down when she saw that it was only Josh, sitting up on the bed slowly. "Are you hurt?" he asked when he saw her startled face. She shook her head, composing herself. Relief was evident on his face as he struggled to stand, his leg appearing to give him some difficulty. "Good that you aren't, at least," he said softly. She glided around the bed to help him up.

"You saved me, didn't you?" she asked as calmly as she could manage, staring into his brown eyes.

"I had to do something. I wasn't going to let you go with those men. I know those types well." He grimaced, and she understood.

She looked at back toward the small statue on the table. "What are we going to do now? I know nothing of this world at all." Her nervous tone betrayed the outwardly calm expression she was trying to portray.