In the few hours it had taken him to wake up, the world now seemed much darker. The once lit tunnel that led to Twine had been cut off. While not an official visitor to the unknown lands, he had always been interested in the Twine Goddess’ land. Not because people were forbidden from going there without permission but because it had the most wonderful animals, both sentient and non-sentient varieties. Tea parties on Thursdays, snacks on Tuesdays… Those were the schedules he’d picked up among the animals closest to him. A few rabbits that often had the best carrot teas, a beaver that always brought the best nest bedding, a squirrel that found the best nuts..
Gone. He knew it. They were all gone. The little mouse scurried quickly down the long tube that led to Twine, the mouse portal stretching as far as the eye could see before him. In the shadows of this unseen portal land, darkness seemed eternal. There were no flickering lights or stars to guide his way, only the well lit path of cobble stone and flowery scents that led him in the direction he wanted to go.
There were times when he could feel shadows pleading with him and memories as old as time filled his tiny little head. These times, he pushed from his mind almost as quickly as they arrived. He’d forgotten his sword.. his cape. Any creatures there would not know him, except for how he looked without his gear… weak and futile, perhaps. But he knew better. He knew what he could do, what he was worth. The Dormouse had given him his role.
He was close — he could feel it in his bones, in the agitated flick of his tail behind him. He finally broke through.
The landscape, once filled with light and wildlife was a land of blood and portals. Those closest to him were in use. People were being transported, thousands that stood before him with their wrists and ankles bound. Wraiths of the ocean had ascended to land and the air was stagnant with the stench of blood. There were still trees, giant trees, that stretched to the heavens. It was in behind of these trees that he found his place. At least so he could get a grip on his surroundings.
To the north, soldiers were moving their livestock, and despite Brihl’s hatred of the word.. that’s exactly what they were. Some even had machines attached to them, machines that were draining their bodies of their precious life’s blood. To the south, he could hear the great beasts that had assaulted the land and he made no move to go toward that area. He was just one mouse in a world of darkness.
Instead, he acted like the animal he was.
Skittering beneath the feet of the new blood slaves, the Dormouse crept closer, ever closer, to his goal. A hundred yards, no less, held the largest of the portals he could see, illuminating an area that had to be five foot in diameter. Most of the humans being transported were close, if not a little taller, than that height and many were large boned which offered more for the Giovanni lords to feed upon.
He couldn’t save them but he could slow the process. A blur of brown, he sped toward the first arm of the machine and waited. It took only a few minutes before that thrum of energy came through. It passed every few minutes and he’d just missed the most recent. Wires were everywhere, wires that hooked up to generators that powered the machines. Most had a safety wire, he knew that, but some did not. He had no time to figure out whether it did or not… Little teeth worked fast and with a crackling pop and a sizzle of electrical energy, the first of the arms suddenly exploded, the force sending Brihl flying into the woods behind him. Burned, singed fur was what happened when you were too close to the machine. He’d gotten off easily.