When I could use my eyes again, I could see that the branches blocking our way were gone, as were the ones that had been holding Kink in the air. She was now on the ground, having had fallen there, and was laying unconscious. The rest of the forest, however, was not taking her attack very well. The trees began to shake violently, all of them at once, shaking in one giant spasm. “We need to get out of here,” I said.
“Agreed,” Lu replied, before making signs with his hands. We all slowly began to rise from the ground, even Kink.
The trees immediately began to close in around us. Lu, in turn, began to raise us up higher, quicker, but the trees were no growing out from the ground. “Faster!” Tam yelled, nearly panicking. And she had good cause, the branches were closing in on us, reaching out for us.
“I’m trying!” Lu screamed.
The trees continued to rise higher and higher, closing on us like a bear trap. I could see whatever this forest really was freeing itself from the dirt. It was going to snap down on us, cage us, very soon, and then we’d be in serious trouble.
“That’s enough of this,” Tam decided. They jumped into the sky and their suit began to glow. Dagger’s of solid light shot from their suit, slicing the branches, shredding them. The daggers emerged seemingly at random several at a time. I covered my head as limbs flew all around us. The barrage of daggers of light finally came to an end when Tam’s suit stopped glowing. They collapsed into my arms.
“They did it!” G’fon exclaimed. “We’re saved!”
I looked all around us. The forest, or whatever it had been, looked like it had been decimated. Tree limbs were lying everywhere. It seemed, if it were even still alive, that it was no threat to us anymore. But then I noticed that we had another problem. “Uh-oh,” I said.
“What?” G’fon almost shrieked, he was filled with such residual terror.
“You know how the forest was holding back that giant cat thing?”
“Well, its not holding it back anymore.”
The giant cat monster raced toward us. Lu did his best to try to move us away from it, but his spell wasn’t fast enough. The cat was coming toward us much too quickly. “Lu!”
“I’m doing my best,” he said, “but there are a lot of bodies here.”
“A lot of dead bodies if you don’t do something quick!” G’fon screamed.
The giant cat monster raced toward us, its mouth wide open, its massive teeth glinting in the sun. It was nearly upon us when it pounced into the air. The giant cat monster was now flying toward us. There seemed like there was nothing we could to stop it. I knew there was nothing I could do. G’fon seemed as helpless as I was. Kink and Tam were unconscious and Lu seemed to have his hands full merely keeping afloat. We were in serious trouble.
And then what remained of the the broken forest rose up out of the ground and snapped closed on the cat, pulling it down into the dirt. The cat monster tried to fight it, but the forest was too strong and too hungry.
“Oh, god!” I shouted. I had enough of all of this. “Get us out of here, Lu! Get us out of here now!”
“Yes,” G’fon agreed. “Do it before whatever that is finishes with that giant hairy creature.”
“I’m doing my best,” Lu said, as he directed us away. We floated away until Lu couldn’t keep us aloft anymore. “I’m sorry, but teleporting us here took a lot out of me.”
“Levitation…” G’fon began to argue, before I cut him off. Whatever he had to say was nothing any of us needed to hear.
“No need to explain, Lu. You saved us. We’re safe now, so walking will be just fine.”
“Safe?” Lu snorted. “Don’t think just because you don’t see the threat means that we’re safe. The worlds of the omniverse can be very dangerous.”
“So what you’re saying is that if you put us down,” G’fon asked, “the ground could open up and eat us?”
“That’s not what I was saying. But yes, that is absolutely a thing that could possibly happen.”
“So, maybe you shouldn’t put us down.”
“Or maybe,” I suggested, “Lu could do some kind of check to make sure that nothing down there will eat us?”
“I can’t do that,” Lu said. “But I can send out feelers to see if there’s signs of life beneath us.”
“Fine,” G’fon said. “Do that.”
He waved his hands back and forth. “Everything seems to be clear.”
“‘Seems to be’?”
Lu sighed. “I’m putting you down.”
He lowered us to the ground and when we weren’t immediately attacked, I took that as a good sign. “Which way now?” G’fon asked.
“I believe the nearest city is that way,” Lu said.
G’fon looked out at the empty landscape. “Ok. How are we getting there?”
G’fon pointed at Tam and Kink, who were still unconscious. “And what about these two?”
I bent over and hefted Kink onto my shoulder. “We carry them until they wake up.” G’fon looked at Lu, who stared back.
“Are you going to…”
“G’fon,” I warned.
“Fine,” he huffed and picked up Tam. The three of us began to walk across the strange and barren landscape.
to be continued…