Their ears still rang from the explosions as Flynn came to in a small square room. They found themselves sitting on a chair, their hands cuffed behind their back as a soldier in fatigues stood next to them, his hand resting on their shoulder as they waited. He said nothing, and neither did they.
As they waited, Flynn could see several other soldiers walk by the door, occasionally looking in on them with curiosity as they waited in silence before a pair of voices, amplified by their isolation, approached from down the hall.
There was laughter, and after a moment a small group entered the room, one of the soldiers pulling up a chair for the oldest officer who sat down directly across from Flynn.
The enemy squadron appeared to be rather properly trained and geared up (unfortunately.) From what Flynn could tell, the facility was well maintained and each soldier the hyena saw had been sporting rather new looking uniforms.
Their fatigues were oddly colorful, very unlike Flynn’s night uniform which was a dark, unremarkable grey. These were almost floral, being a pastel rose hue with splotches of bright pink, red and yellow. Extremely visible and rather attention grabbing. They had camo print patterns, though one could hardly see how they’d be used as camouflage...
“Twelve captured, no casualties.” One of the accompanying soldiers remarked.
“As it ought to be! A civilized fight for a civilized age!” The captain responded jovially, clapping his hands together before turning to Flynn.
He was a graying walrus, and a bit far from the water, truth be told. His movements had a bit of a weight to them, as if he had to exert a good bit of energy to move and only seemed to manage just enough. As Flynn watched, the old soldier pulled a tin from one pocket, and opening the top, drew out a damp rag from it with which he began to wipe down his face and neck. He had a big, bushy white mustache and a perpetual grin plastered on his face, which was gentle and good humored, but also confident in his position, which right now, happened to be the position of power in this situation.
“Now then! It’s a pleasure to meet you. I’m Captain Forden Bright, of the 7th Defensive Company,” he remarked, extending a hand before remembering that Flynn’s were cuffed behind their back and balking just a little, but retaining his smile.
“Now, as you can imagine, I’m in charge of this facility, at least for the moment. And as the current “landlord”, I take some exception to you coming down and trying to blow up our bridge.”
“Is that so?” Flynn asked, speaking up for the first time, to which Captain Bright gave a gentle nod.
“Indeed. We understand the Meadowland has had some issues with us in the past and, admittedly, our current talks have been less than successful, but trying to damage our infrastructure is just a dodgy way of going about things.”
“Well, I think it would have been a rather clean job, given the circumstances, had you lot not started shelling us.” Flynn responded with a smile. Bright gave a nod in return.
“Oh, I’m sure it would have been a fantastic piece of work… Private, was it?”
“Of course.” The Captain gave a little nod and dabbed his forehead slightly with the rag in his hand once more. “Well, regardless, I think that the Meadowland will have to cut a much more generous deal now that we’ve gotten ahold of some of their troops! It was a bit of a gamble, and though I must say that I respect the effort, it would seem that it was one that you’ve lost.”
Motioning to the soldier behind Flynn, they tugged Flynn firmly into a standing position.
“Please, show the Private to their quarters. As the days go on, we’ll discuss things further, but for now, please accept our humble hospitality! It’s quite lovely country, you know.”
And with that, the soldier lead Flynn out, prodding them in the back with their weapon as they went.
Flynn stood slowly with their hands raised, the point of one of the mysterious ambushers’ spears rested snugly in the small of their back. When the strangers spoke to one another, it wasn’t anything Flynn had ever heard before. They managed to almost catch a word here and there, and the cadence was almost familiar, but as far as the hyena was concerned, it was mostly just a bunch of very serious sounding gibberish.
One of them turned away from the group and proceeded up to where the strange field was and said something imperative that Flynn didn’t understand before there was a light flicker in the air. Then, suddenly, what seemed to be a little village just... appeared, seemingly out of nowhere.
It was just a few small buildings, no more than maybe a half dozen, built out of what looked to be salvaged materials and branches. Inside the largest one was a fire burning away merrily, with a couple more of the strange people tending it.
Had all this just been sitting out in this field, completely out in the open, invisible? How was that even possible?
The ambushers walked Flynn forward past where the barrier had been, and with another unintelligible command, the air flickered once more, presumably as the strange field closed back up behind them. They marched the hyena over to the building where the fire was, guiding them inside and the one that had, up to this point, been threatening Flynn with their spear motioned to what was basically a small reed cot against one of the walls.
Without much else to do, Flynn sat down on the cot and looked around at the small group of people around them. They were all dressed in what amounted to ponchos made of large leaves, blades of grass, and some sort of fabric thread. They had sort of gently curved basket hats, similarly covered in vegetation, that shaded their faces. Beneath that, there was little more than simple fabric cloth covering their more sensitive areas.
The hunter that had been minding Flynn turned to another, smaller member of the group and motioned at them, then towards Flynn, saying something to them in the strange language. The smaller of the two gave a nod and walked over, sitting down nearby Flynn, presumably to watch them while the other group broke and went off to do their business. A few of them filtered out to the other buildings while others sat down around the fire and took off their hats.
They were… human, of course, of different subtypes. One was rabbitesque, while another had more feline ears. They all mostly had a sort of brindle pattern to them, though the person that seemed to be directing the hunters had white fur with brown splashes on the end of their fennec-like ears. They were some sort of foxdog, perhaps. It was hard to nail down, but regardless, they set about drawing items out of a bag nearby and began cooking something in the fire.
The small one nearby eventually took off her hat and smiled at Flynn. She was very lapine, with long ears and a sort of bronze coat. She had scruffy dark brown hair and very inquisitive amber eyes that looked Flynn over as she fiddled with her spear in her hands, doing her best to be an attentive guard.
Flynn smiled back, nodding to her.
“Well, at least you’re cordial. I’ve been in similar situations before, and it’s always much better when people play nicely.”
The girl cocked her head and said... something in return, though there wasn’t really anything in the way of mutual understanding. Still, she didn’t seem to mind too much. The foxdog’s cooking seemed to be coming to completion and after a while, they handed off some to the girl on a woven grass plate before walking over to Flynn to offer them some as well. Some kind of meat and tubers, along with the shoots of sort of plant.
Flynn looked between the two, then down at the food for a moment before taking the plate. The dog gave them a sideways glance and a nod before saying something to the girl again and going back to what they were doing.
In all fairness, the food was delightfully cooked and seasoned, and warm on top of it, which was nice after having ones’ clothes more or less soaked through.
“Well, I must say, for such a simple kitchen, I can’t fault your skill. My compliments to the chef,” Flynn remarked, smiling up to their captors after they’d finished their meal. The girl seemed to like this, but the others just looked around to each other with some indifference.
“Well, I suppose that’s to be expected…” Flynn remarked and after a few moments of not a lot going on, they slowly laid down on the cot and tried to get comfortable.
Despite being trained to be out on their own, Flynn had to admit, it was nice to be around people. Certainly, they might be strange people who spoke an entirely different language and lived out in the untamed wilderness, but they were people, nonetheless. They didn’t seem to be antagonistic, just surprised and uncertain, much like Flynn themselves.
With the warmth from the fire, the exertion of the day’s events and the little bit of bare comfort from the straw cot, Flynn found themselves drifting off once again.
After a sleep only punctuated by a scattered smattering of images and placeholder dreams, Flynn found themselves nudged awake by a foot in their ribs, uncomfortably prodding a sore spot.
Flynn opened their eyes, seeing the foxdog leader along with the rabbit girl standing over them. The leader was holding their spear down at them, waiting for Flynn to open their eyes before motioning for them to get up.
The camp had been cleaned up more or less, the fire put out and everyone having packed their materials and equipment into the hand-crafted leather bags that they slung around themselves. Most of them refrained from putting their hats and camo back on, and slowly filtered out, the group proceeding towards the back of the little cluster of half-ruined buildings towards the hillside behind it. Flynn followed along, a spear once again at their back.
The rain had stopped and there were low clouds capping the ridges, rolling along, presumably off the nearby lake as they approached. Getting closer, Flynn could see a cave present in the side of the ridge, somewhat surrounded by bushes and low trees.
The group marched inside, the ranks tightening a bit as they proceeded into the dark. After a few moments, one of the people near the front of the group pulled a small stick from their cloak and twisted the top, the end of the stick lighting up brightly to show the way for the others.
How very strange, Flynn thought to themselves as they proceeded through the cave under spearpoint. The cave itself was a long winding passage with several branches and occasionally Flynn could hear the crumble of a loose rock or the dripping of water in the relative silence among the shuffling of the group. The floors were wet and slick, and the group had to proceed slowly and carefully through to avoid anyone falling down. Now and again Flynn would see a soft green glow down one of the tunnels, or hear an indeterminate rumble from another part of the system, but not heading in those directions, they were just left to wonder about it.
Slowly, the light of day began to seep in around them as they proceeded further and eventually the group emerged from the other side of the ridge into a valley bordering the lake itself. It was a lush, forested place and nestled amongst it was a village, cradled in the valley below.
Flynn walked along with the others, down the ridge and into the settlement. The leader had relaxed a bit, walking alongside them with the young lapine in tow as they proceeded. There were people present along the path and some emerged from the little buildings that lined what became obvious as a road as they passed. There were many different types, many of them mixes that were unidentifiable at first glance. Flynn didn’t want to linger or stare, and risk upsetting their captors, so they carried on.
On the whole, there was nothing about them that seemed to be hostile… just cautious; curious about this strange traveller from elsewhere. As far as Flynn could tell, they were all dressed in simple yet softly woven cloth presented in a variety of manners. Some had it wrapped tightly around their bodies, while others had large bolts draped loosely over themselves. Some were nearly naked while others were covered almost head to toe. The cloth itself was generally either white, beige or brown but it had a fine, glossy look to it and seemed smooth to the touch, in contrast to the hunters’ rough, almost mealsack-like cloth.
It was all so odd!
Flynn had heard about people that stayed out in the wilderness before. Bandits, hermits, adventurers. Some people eschewed modern civilization completely, though they were by-and-large in the minority. But here they were, an entire town of them! It was strange to actually see them with one’s own eyes!
The dilapidated hovels that they’d stayed in that night had apparently been little more than a campsite. The village itself was much grander, and as they continued other signs of civilization began to appear, with woven banners and long shaded avenues lined with rough cobblestones leading into the community proper.
The trees began to peel away slowly, giving more space to the strange buildings. A good portion of them were newer structures, made of wood and thatching, highly decorated with little hung mobiles and what appeared to be chimes made out of glass and metal. These were the more lived in structures and actually seemed to be homes or shops, it was hard to tell which. Scattered amongst them with some regularity, however, were old shells of concrete and iron, still gutted and empty. These older ruins were mainly bare and left alone, though some had colorful tapestries hung upon the empty windows and designs chiseled into the walls.
Another thing Flynn noticed, with increasing regularity, were the odd, tall, metal poles that were positioned along the road. Upon each of these little devices were mounted, and though they were harder to figure out at first, passing close enough to one Flynn noticed it track to follow them. This most likely meant it was probably a camera of some kind.
Further along from there, perhaps a hundred feet or so, there was a strange screen bolted to a wall. It wasn’t thin like the crystal displays, rather about an inch deep and made of black plastic.
As Flynn approached it, it flickered to life and a large white symbol somewhat representative of an eye against a flat black background appeared upon it. It appeared to just be a picture, at first, but as Flynn got closer, it shifted to ‘look’ at them, the pupil following them past, its expression subtly changing somehow before the screen switched off once more. After another hundred feet or so, there was another, and they quickly became more numerous as they approached the heart of the town.
It soon became clear that they were entering a village square of sorts. Here, the new buildings had crowded out the old concrete structures entirely, many built on old foundations of the structures that had once been there. Here, the grass and groundcover had been stripped away, revealing a clean, well swept concrete tarmac that had been whitewashed to keep it from getting too hot in the sun.
The layout, minus the new buildings, along with the tarmac itself reminded Flynn of their airbase… had this place been some sort of installation once upon a time?
The interior of the central village structure had several of the strange screens, all of them coming to life as the villagers lead Flynn inside. It was a single open room, carpeted with tightly woven thatching and lit by rudimentary incandescent bulbs made of blown glass and metal filaments. Several large fronds, painted red, lead up through the center of the room to a single large chair made of rebar and tightly woven wicker. Sat upon it was what could only be described as very large woman…
She sat before Flynn, her face covered by a featureless black helmet that obscured not only her expression, but also any sort of indication of her type or heritage. It was, however, obvious that she was watching Flynn as they approached her.
Her body was draped in several nearly translucent veils of material, all of it colored a deep purple that, to that point, Flynn had only noted very sparingly in the village. Her whole form seemed to exude the color, and what wasn’t the vibrant violet was a dark grey or black.
Beneath that, a bodysuit, perhaps, made of glossy rubber or a more modern material. It clung exceedingly tightly to her, almost as if it was her skin and as she shifted in place her form pressed against itself quite visibly. She was full in a way that was historically difficult for most people living after The Splice to manage. It required some definite effort on the part of anyone attempting to maintain such a body-type, certainly, and few cared to put in the effort to manage it. Thick around the middle with smooth, ample flesh to the rear and thighs, not to mention the large, heavy breasts that sat atop her midsection as she rested on what was rather obviously her throne. It was a major contrast to the shaped, toned physique that was required of Flynn as a pilot. Exotic, in a way, just like everything else here and motherly in its scale and comport. Standing in front of her was enough to make one feel like a child, and Flynn found themselves only a couple feet away, eyes level with her chest as she looked down upon them from her seat.
The woman knit her fingers, the vinyl of her long black gloves squeaking loudly as she did so. She had matching boots, zipped tightly all the way up to her hips, and she made a point of recrossing her legs a few inches in front of Flynn’s face, the metal heels gleaming in the light as she did so. With that, her helmet flickered noticeably and a single white eye appeared upon it, gazing down upon her guest.
“Ah, you must be their leader…” Flynn said, giving the woman an amicable smile, “Always a pleasure to meet someone of such impressive attributes.”
When she responded, it came out as something that Flynn wasn’t familiar with. It was the same sort of odd language that the hunters had spoken, naturally, and Flynn paused unsure of just how to respond. Upon sensing the hyena’s hesitation, the large woman cocked her head to the side curiously and then tried something different. It was a different dialect, perhaps a different language altogether, though equally impossible to understand and she looked somewhat confused as Flynn shook their head.
“I’m… sorry, I don’t understand a word of what you’re saying,” Flynn said and the woman leans on the arm of her chair, rubbing her fingers together. There was a moment of quiet, the woman’s electronic ‘eye’ gazing down at Flynn, as if looking for a clue of some sort, before her helmet flickered again, the display turning yellow as the eye’s gaze narrowed.
There was what Flynn could only discern as a soft, high-pitched whine for a moment that caused a bit of an uncomfortable pressure on the inside of Flynn’s ears. They winced, screwing their eyes shut and rubbing their head until the pressure passed. Upon pulling their hands away, Flynn noticed a small spot of blood was left on one of their palms.
“Augh… what the hell?” Flynn said, staring at the spot on their hand…
“What about now, stranger?” A voice said suddenly, and Flynn looked up, glancing around for the source before settling on the woman again, a little surprised at the sudden, familiar tongue.
“Wait, what did you do?”
“Ah… I was just a little off. Interesting…” The woman gestured with her hand towards Flynn in a somewhat magnanimous expression, the eye on her helmet turning white again as it adopted a subtle cheerfulness once more, “Welcome to my home, stranger.”
Her voice spoke from somewhere within the helmet, though seemingly not… where her mouth would be, giving it an almost pre-recorded quality. It was gentle in tone, if a bit particular in pronunciation, possessing a disciplined edge like a school teacher or principal. This contrasted Flynn’s cadance somewhat, which was scratchy and sandpapery but easy going, often making them sound as if they were trying to sand the corners off their own words.
“It has been a long time since an outsider has come to our village, but do not be afraid. No one here wishes to harm you,” she remarked, gesturing over to the ones that had brought Flynn to her. They gave a bow, and then slowly exited the hut, leaving the two of them alone.
“Tell me, now, what is your name, traveller?”
“Captain Flynn Fairaday. Of the Meadowland 4th Squadron,” they responded. Normally that would be all that an interrogation would get if they’d been captured by the enemy, anyway, so it was a common courtesy. But this wasn’t exactly that sort of situation, either…
“Oh! A soldier? How interesting.”
“And you are, miss?”
“Well,” her eye narrows a bit and looks to the side as she tilts her head a bit, “I have had... many names over the years, some less flattering than others, but for many generations now, the residents of this village have called me... “Mother”.”
“Certainly. Several of your lifetimes.” She stated rather matter-of-factly before slowly standing. It’s… at this point that her stature could truly be appreciated. She was absolutely massive, towering over Flynn easily. Stepping down from the little platform that her chair rested upon, she placed her hand on Flynn’s shoulder. It was unusually cool, and she didn’t grip down, resting it there lightly.
“Come, child, walk with me.” She said, almost in an imperative.
“Mother” turned to walk out through the door through which Flynn had entered, Flynn following along after a moment’s hesitation. There wasn’t much of a choice, and for now, at least, they were a guest in this woman’s village. If she was their leader, then making her upset would only lead to the rest of the village giving Flynn a hard time…
The little crowd had dispersed somewhat, though there were still people mulling around, watering the planters or lounging about in the noonday sun, now that the fog from the morning had burnt off. Many had spread out large coarse blankets near the buildings lining the plaza, weaving baskets and tapestries, sharpening tools and carving vessels out of gourds, There were also a large number of children, playing games and horsing around in whatever free corners weren’t being used by the adults.
Slowly, the two began to make a circuit around the plaza surrounding Mother’s hut, Flynn noting the different wares and items being manufactured. Anywhere else this might be considered a marketplace, but there didn’t really seem to be any buying going on, just a lot of making, so perhaps it was more like an outdoor workshop of sorts.
“Tell me, Flynn. Where are you from?” Mother asked after a moment.
“I’m from the Meadowland. It’s a military community in a valley a few hundred miles from here, I… presume. I’m not exactly sure where I am exactly, to be perfectly honest.”
“Is that so? Well, everyone is generally where they need to be, in my opinion,” Mother remarked, Flynn mentally rolling their eyes a bit at the platitude, “So tell me, is there still a war on? Last time I’d heard anything, there was a bit of a situation and things were starting to get… hot.”
“Actually… no. Not anymore.”
Flynn gave a nod. They were still hardly able to believe it themselves. It had still been fresh news after all, and Flynn hadn’t really thought about it since before takeoff the day before…
“A disarmament treaty was recently signed, as a matter of fact. It’d just gone into effect as of… yesterday, I presume. Everyone’s going to be packing everything up for the foreseeable future.”
Flynn turned towards the matron, giving little shrug. “At least, that’s the hope.”
“Oh! How very interesting,” the matron remarked, tapping her chin (presumably, something under the helmet at least), the eye on her visor quirking in her visible, and thus far, frequently proclaimed interest, “Perhaps people really have improved a bit. I wouldn’t have thought, to be perfectly honest.”
“Well, it was a lot of talking and not a lot of people are convinced, but you know how that goes.” Flynn responded and the big woman gave a nod in return, understandingly.
“Of course, of course. Still, that’s always good to hear. The outside world is dangerous enough without people slinging destruction around…”
“I suppose so,” Flynn remarked hesitantly, “But regardless, if I’m not out there, where is here, exactly?”
Mother gave Flynn a tap on the shoulder, and changed direction suddenly, heading out of the plaza. After a short jaunt, the two of them entered a small concrete building with multiple floors, proceeding up an exposed stairwell to the top and exiting out onto a platform with wooden railings driven into holes bored in the tops of the walls. The floor groaned under their combined weight, but the matron seemed relatively unconcerned by this and held out her hand, motioning to the relaxed activity of the village below.
“This, is my home. It has no name, at least none of note. To the people that live here, it is simply “the village”. I have been this village’s… how does one put it… “guardian,” for many generations.”
“Right, you said that before. Are you some sort of… sylvan deity or something?” Flynn asked, a wry smirk settling on their face. The image on the Mother’s face turned yellow and she let out what sounded like a short, brief laugh.
“Well, you could say that! Something like that, anyway! You see, Flynn, I was here when this village was founded. Indeed it was because of me that this village exists in the first place and it is I who protect the people living here. I make sure that they have what they need, that they can find food and have shelter, are free of malady and disease, and are undisturbed by the dangers of the outside world…”
Brushing past Flynn, Mother moved for the stairs again. She proceeded moving with a heavy weight, her motions strangely smooth and carried by a dramatic but careful strength. The woman possessed an intense amount of poise and control despite her excessive endowment, somehow simultaneously soft but also solid, as if a statue had decided to come to life and walk around. She motioned for Flynn to follow, and down they went again, emerging out onto what appeared to be a small street and proceeding towards the outskirts of the village.
Some of the people looked up as Flynn and the matron walked by, most of them making some sort of sign of reverence to Mother as she passed, but lingering on Flynn, watching them with quiet curiosity. Some of the children broke off from their games and began to follow at a distance, gossiping quietly amongst themselves.
“I see… I’ve never seen anywhere that was so…” Flynn tried to quickly find a word that wasn’t at least somewhat pejorative, “...naturalized.”
Mother laughed in return. The eye on her helmet blipped into a bright yellow, her expression jovial, rather highly animated for someone emoting with just an eye.
“Yes, it is quite quaint, isn’t it? But that’s how we like it! It’s a simple life, with simple needs, and none of the “big problems” that you might be used to...”
The children in tow, Mother lead Flynn around the village in a slow circle, heading from the plaza to the outskirts where the larger, more remote huts stand. Beyond, small patches of farmland could be seen, along with carefully maintained sections of shrubs and berrybushes sitting in the shade of trees that had been tapped for their sweetsap. It was a set-up any agricultural engineer would be proud of, no doubt cultivated with several generations of knowledge. Flynn seemed impressed, reaching out to touch one of the low hanging fruit before leaving it where it was on the branch.
“Quite nice, isn’t it? It’s the middle of the season and we’re starting to see some nice fruit already.”
“They are lovely gardens. Do you get all your food from them?”
“Of course, more or less! In the valley around this village, we have everything we need! There is food in the mountains, beasts to hunt and plants to gather. We farm what is in short supply and collect what is overabundant.”
Continuing further around, the ridge opened up, exposing a long grade, with ancient concrete steps leading down to a wooden pier and a number of dugouts sitting in moor. There were people with spears sitting with their feet out over the water, talking, as some of the youngsters took turns jumping into the water.
“The lake down at the bottom of the ridge has fish and fresh water. We have sun and shade, rain and cool breezes. It’s quite the ideal spot to raise a family or twenty, really.”
A few of the fishermen and women looked up and gave a wave at the matron and Flynn, the hyena returning a somewhat hesitant wave back. Still, they couldn’t help but smile before the two of them moved on, heading up a steeper, more scenic set of stairs along a shaded path back into the village proper.
“It does seem like a wonderful vacation spot, I’ll give you that.”
“I’ll accept the compliment! Though, I would hesitate to advertise. The closely knit nature of the community is one of its most important assets. We don’t mind outsiders, like yourself, but a bunch of tourists would be a bit of a… negative influence on the village, I feel.”
The two of them rounded a corner and came across a family; rodents but with tiger stripes and long blunt tails. The eldest was working on a bow, flexing it and making sure to keep it oiled. The youngest was putting ribbons of dyed fabric in their sister’s hair as the latter made dolls out of fabric and plant fiber. The father was fixing the roof, it seemed and the mother was cooking some sort of meat on a grill in front of their hut.
“Too many people would make things… hectic, and I find the sedateness of it all to be a relief from the outside.” She remarked as they passed by, the adults nodding their heads while the children waved to the two of them. Flynn noticed for the first time, the image of the mother snuck into the various tapestries and images adorning the huts. Even the dolls were made in her image, rather recognizable when you knew what you were looking at.
“You see, Flynn. Life here is as it should be. For living. There are no philosophical debates, no religious quandaries, no power struggles. Everyone knows where they came from, why they’re here, and who’s in charge.” The screens continued to turn on and off as they walked by them, the Mother’s eye viewing Flynn from several angles as they took their long meandering tour about the village.
“Well, obviously you’re the one in charge.” Flynn responded, gazing sideways at one of the eyes as it followed them along their path.
“That is correct. And everyone that is here, save for those like yourself, is here because I brought them here, and they exist to live. Nothing more, nothing less. Life is for the living, a gift of chance.”
“That’s why it’s called the present?”
The matron laughed again, leaning a bit to look over at Flynn with an amused expression. “You’re quick! I like that!”
Upon returning to her hut, The Mother bid Flynn farewell for the moment. Apparently she had something to see to, and in her opinion, Flynn should take some time to get settled in and relax. Rather kind of her, at the least.
One of the spearmen lead Flynn out and back through the village to a small building. This one had been made out of one of the older concrete buildings, but it was done up like a small living space. There was a cot with a feather mattress, some woven boxes with drawers and a few large baskets made for storage, as well as a fire pit with a large grill and a basin for water that was half full.
Upon the wall was one of the screens, which was somewhat disconcerting, though this one remained off, even with Flynn in the room, the Mother seemingly deigning to give Flynn some privacy for the moment. All in all, it was a nice little cottage that they had been provided.
Flynn was a bit skeptical of the whole thing, of course.
It was all very odd, indeed; a remote village full of people completely isolated from the outside world run by a woman who claimed to be something that was many generations old.
They’d heard stories of different spirits out in the wilds and superstitions and such. And it was all great fun, especially during the hallowed season, but as much as Lenny loved to blame problems on gremlins, there wasn’t really any evidence to indicate such things existed. It was a hard pill to swallow, that they’d just happened to run into some sort of “goddess” out here in the wild.
But, regardless, whoever this “Mother” was, she was certainly something else. Just what exactly, however, was something that Flynn would be… well... very interested in finding out.