“Why has he not awoken as of yet?” The unfamiliar voice that spoke was rigid and unwavering.
“Judging by his outfit I’d say he’s from the Village.” The second voice was calming and pleasing to the ear.
“And what’s that got to do with anything?” A third voice appeared among the others, a voice that reeked of annoyance and ignorance.
In his slumber, Sal vaguely realized he was the subject of the voices’ discussion. However, he was too tired and too sleepy to be worried about the mysterious voices. He didn’t even think to question the who, what, when, where, why, and how’s of his situation.
“Well if you knew anything about villagers, you’d know that they are incredibly weak, especially to supernatural abilities, and especially to the Entity’s supernatural abilities.” the calm voice seemed to be more concerned now, over what, Sal couldn’t exactly figure out in his sleepy haze.
“Maybe he’s dead.” A fourth voice, by far the quietest, whispered the suggestion.
“I’m not dead.” He mumbled.
The voices stopped suddenly, then started up again much quieter and seemingly farther away from what Sal could tell with his eyes still closed. That soon changed however, as he groggily opened his eyes and saw the bodies of the voices. Sal let out a rather high shriek and sat up with lightning quick speed.
The people before him were by far the four strangest looking beings he had ever seen in his short life span. On the far left there was a person of indeterminate gender wearing a black cloak, the hood of which covered every part of their face with its shadows. Next to them was the shortest of all the figures, a boy with a baby face and giant ram’s horns sprouting out of the sides of his head. The fact that he looked like a marshmallow squished between two cinnamon rolls wasn’t the strangest thing about the boy, no, it was the look in his eyes, like he had seen things that had aged his soul far older than his appearance. He soon lost the look when he caught Sal’s stare, switching it for a far more naive and impatient face.
“Hey, you were asleep for a while, do you feel okay?” The calming voice from before took the form of a girl with kind eyes and flowers in her dark red hair. She stepped over to Sal’s bedside to put a hand on his forehead while the others stayed on the opposite side of the room Sal now realized he was in.
“Who are you people? Where am I? What’s going on? How did I get here? Did you kidnap me?” Sal’s chest began to heave at rapidly increasing rates as his eyes widened. “Are you going to kill me?”
“Millicent inquired a moment ago if you were well. Are you under the impression that those wishing to do you harm would inquire about your wellbeing?” The stiff and excessively formal voice came out of a girl with silver skin and short blond hair standing ram-rod straight with her hands utterly still by her side.
“No?” Sal’s breathing relaxed at the idea that he might be safe for the moment.
“Excuse robot-lady, she’s not equipped with the latest social interaction software.” The ramhorn guy sounded as if he could barely contain his laughter.
“Asher is incorrect, I am not a robot, thus I do not have the need for software to interact socially.”
“That’s exactly what a robot would say.”
“I assure you, Asher, I am not, nor have I ever been, a robot.” This prompted Asher to respond similarly to before and they soon began arguing whether or not the robotic lady was a robot.
“I’ve only known Asher and Sophia for a day and I can already tell that they’re a handful.” Sal only gaped at Millicent, who seemed to remember something.”Oh! You must be so confused! I totally forgot to explain.”
Sal only nodded mutely, continuing to gape at them all.
“Hey fish, what’s your name?” Asher was giggling at the nickname he’d called Sal, only pausing to explain. “When you gape like that you look like a fish.”
“My name’s Sal.”
“Okay, Sal-mon, you must want to know what’s going on. Well, we’re four serial killers who kidnapped you and-” Millicent walked over to put her hand over Asher’s mouth.
“We’re not serial killers! Although, technically you were kidnapped, but not by us! We were all teleported here by a malicious, all-powerful, and mysterious creature known only as The Entity becau-” Millicent was abruptly cut off by the cloaked figure.
“The Entity is not malicious, she has virtuous and unselfish reasons for choosing us for the journey.” The cloak’s voice was significantly louder than the first time he had heard it.
“Right, I forgot you’re from the Fog Zone.”
“I’m completely lost.” Millicent glanced at Sal with pity.
“The Fog Zone is a town always covered in fog that worships The Entity like some sort of god.”
“An ancient being with near-infinite power who annually teleports three to ten people out of their original villages and various towns to travel on a road trip from the start point to the destination.” She recited this as if it were a simple fact of life, like saying the sky is blue or that two plus two equals four.
“Are we at the start point?” Taking in his surroundings properly for the first, Sal realized he was in a small bedroom, containing only the bed he was sitting on, a small dresser, and a lamp next to his bed.
“No, we left the starting point almost a day ago, while you were asleep.”
“Then where are we now?”
“Wow, even for a villager, you’re a pretty ignorant fish.” Sal could already tell that his and Asher’s personality’s were going to clash.
“What’s a villager?”
“It’s what you are. Fish.”
“I apologize for Asher’s comment about your lack of knowledge. To clear up any further absences of information, I shall explain. This world is divided into sections, how many sections is not known due to the nature of our world. Each section houses a village or a town. We made the presumption that you originated from the village, named so because of the fact that there is nothing remarkable enough to name it after besides that it’s a village. We made this assumption based on your attire, appearance, and the fact that you seem to have no knowledge of the Journey, as is the case with all Villagers.” When Sophia finished speaking, she went completely still, looking not at all awkward, or showing any emotion at all. Sal was starting to consider Asher’s robot theory more by the minute.
Sal was going to follow up with more questions, when his arm started to intensely itch. He had been so distracted by the current situation, his arm had completely slipped his mind. The itch reminded him of the bandages wrapped around his injury. He was reminded of recent events, of the pain and betrayal that came with remembering. Sal decided then and there that these people he barely knew were far better than where he was just a day ago.
“Hey Sal, are you okay?” Millicent looked incredibly concerned causing Sal to notice the tears streaking down his face.
“I just… need some air.” He weakly got to his feet and went through the only door and into a hallway.
He was shaking, from the pain of the past or from not eating for a day, he didn’t know or care. Regardless, Sal walked to the end of the hallway, past several doors and even a staircase. Opening the door at the end of the hall, Sal entered what appeared to be an RV.
At this point he was beyond confused, but at the moment all he cared about was getting outside. He glanced around and saw the exit near the wheel and stepped outside. Outdoors was a desert, nothing around as far as the eye could see except for sand, the weird RV, and a worn road. Taking a closer look, Sal noticed the RV was the crappiest vehicle he’d ever seen. Most of the paint was chipped off, rust was creeping up the sides, and there were so many scratches along the side that it looked like a racing stripe.
“You were asking earlier how we got here, this is how!” Millicent was standing in the doorway, an excited look on her face. “The Entity gives every team a magical vehicle at the Start Point, that’s why it’s bigger on the inside if you were wondering.”
“I never thought I’d get chosen, I mean, I hoped I would, but I never…” Millicent trailed off, the happiest he’d seen her so far.
“You’re glad this happened?” Sal didn’t think being taken from everything you’d ever known was something someone like Millicent would be happy about.
“Of course! It’s a huge honor.”
Sal half-heartedly hummed in response.
“And if we’re really lucky, we’ll be the first ones to make it to the Destination alive!”