A/N: Hello everybody! I finished typing earlier than anticipated. Here’s an early Christmas present to you, my beloved readers. 🙂
Roucan Global’s Forest Reserve was reminiscent of the enchanted forest Cheska had called home in the years that followed after her mother’s passing. That forest lingered in her dreams even after she’d lost her identity. Regaining her memories should have led her there but, for some reason, she could never find her way back to it on her own again and Cheska loathed asking her most loyal sentinels, Keena and Strago, to open a doorway to that place.
The panther and the Rabyanah hyenas were uncharacteristically silent ever since they left the research facility.
The hyenas accompanied them up to Libya’s borders. They were glad to have been part of a good hunt and extended their offer of help in the near future. Despite their kind words, Cheska noticed a few of the pack’s members giggling; a sign that they were afraid, according to Keena’s interpretation.
Strago was already waiting in the tunnel when Cheska and the panther arrived in the Mysts. The stag’s gaze flickered over her, the hover pod, and Keena before asking where they would go next.
Cheska had intended to seek refuge in the enchanted forest but the portal directed her to her father’s reserve instead. She suspected the sentinels knew that the reserve was not her true destination when she said: “To the forest.” Thankfully, they kept their opinions to themselves. But, sooner or later, the subject would arise the longer they stayed together. So Cheska sent them both on their individual errands: Keena would bring James and Strago would fetch the Libyan guardian and the apprentice.
She waited by the pod that quarantined and kept Fred alive. Cheska hated seeing him imprisoned in what could be his worst fear, trapped in an enclosed space. She prayed that he would wake up and recognize her, yet afraid that when her wishes were granted, Fred would have an anxiety attack, which can be just as deadly for him.
She pressed her forehead against the glass that separated him from the outside world and sent another prayer to any god who might be listening to save Fred. When she opened her eyes, hazy gray orbs stared back at her. (more…)