Chapter 3 Page 5

“You heard the lady, Schvark. Get her legs free.” Bellowed the tall figure. The smaller of the two, whose name seemed to be Schvark, rushed forward. He swatted the tendrils with the wrench he was holding. He may have been the smaller of the two, but Schvark was well built. The muscles stood out like cords on his arms, and he hefted the wrench with very little effort. One by one he smashed the tendrils, releasing Cassandra from captivity.

With assistance from her furry companion, Cassandra scrambled to her feet. She wrapped her arms around his neck to stable herself. He was thinner than Schvark, but his slight frame moved quickly, supporting her and moving her towards the glowing ruin. Cassandra leaned on him gratefully.

“Nice to meet you, Miss.” He chuckled softly.

Schvark dashed passed them, heading for the gate as well. He called over his shoulder, “Time for flirting later, Riggit. This thing is tough. It’s not going to stop. Unless we want to end up as chow, we need to retreat.”

The taller of Cassandra’s saviors peered down at her with strange amber eyes. They had a slit in the center, just like a cat’s eyes. “Ma’am, we have to get out of here. This all may seem fantastic and frightening to you, but you have to trust us. We’re going to need to take you with us.” He sounded almost apologetic.

“Let’s go,” Cassandra nodded, then the three of them stumbled away from the shambling horror, and through the waiting gateway.

As she passed the threshold, Cassandra was enveloped in warmth. Around her, a pleasant light glowed. She felt weightless like she was floating in a cloud. Tiny flecks of light swam around her like guppies. Then the light stopped, and she was stepping out into a world she had only ever heard of in fairy tales.

Cassandra blinked in the sudden light. She had left a drizzly afternoon behind, but above her was a bright sun-filled sky. Beside her, the two rescuers fretted over the gate. The glow it emitted sputtered and died, and Cassandra exhaled a sigh of relief.

She collapsed on her back into soft purple grass, enjoying the warm sun on her nearly naked skin. She looked upside down at the gate looming over her, mirroring the gate she had left behind. Her newfound friends were both looking down at her, concern plastered across both of their faces.

In the clear light, and without previous distractions, Cassandra was finally able to get a good look at the two aliens who had saved her. The first was tall and covered in smooth black fur. Purple swirling runes were worked right into the fur itself. His face, which was beaming down at her, looked more feline than human. He had a round snout, button nose, big luminous golden eyes, and two very pointy ears.

“Hi, my name is Riggit,” he introduced himself formally, offering her a hand. Cassandra took it gratefully, dusting off her bare backside as she stood.

“How do you do. I’m Cassandra”

The second creature snorted. He wasn’t covered in fur, but he was shorter than an average person. His skin was pebbled green, and his facial features were exaggerated and pointed. A huge bright white shock of hair sprouted from between his high tapered ears and trailed down his face via sideburns and a goatee. His eyes were large and purple and narrowed at her suspiciously.


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