Meanwhile Elsewhere on Rifts Earth
A Trip to Remember
Sam stood on the hill looking down at the village nestled in the valley. All around him were the other hills that composed the onland archipelagos known as Demos Ridge. He shook his wings, a couple of feathers dislodged and fluttered to the ground. "Molting again are you?" spoke Jill, his companion.
"Yeah well, at least I got the feathers to molt!" He looked down at his feet realizing what he just said.
"They aren't that bad," she replied defensively stroking the membranous material of her wings.
"Shhh, here they come!" Sam whispered.
From down the side of the hill came a creature, it looked like a big weird insect with six multi-jointed legs. It had a hairy body, a long segmented tail ending in a blade-like claw. Many eyes on long stalks protrude from the front of the thing, all writhing in different direction. It lashes a long appendage back and forth, it ends in a tooth filled maw and a long narrow pink tongue darts in and out almost convulsively. Sitting on its back was a reptilian humanoid yelling something unintelligible to another of his kind riding a lion with goats legs and a long sinuous tail.
Sam whispered, "Get down, it's a pair of Simvan, one on a malignous, the other a chimera!"
"A chimera, are you sure? I'd love to see a chimera!" she whispered.
"Well go on up and ask to pet it then! Do you think he'll say 'Oh wow, a humanoid with wings wants to pet my beast!' and let you touch it?? No he'll jump you and tear your throat out with his claws! Don't be such a dunce!" replied Sam harshly.
"I only wanted to see it... no need to be nasty about it." spoke Jill just a bit to loudly.
The first Simvan hollered something to the other then both burst up over the top of the hill. The bug automatically turned towards Jill and Sam and bolted towards them dragging its rider along with it. The Simvan seemed agitated until it saw the intended prey then it grinned its shark grin and bit it's feet into the creatures sides. The creature shrieked, a high keening sound really. Sam leapt to the air, but the creature lashed out with its tongue for his ankle. Sam fell on top of Jill and forced her to the ground.
"Get off of meee!" squealed Jill struggling to get out from under him.
The creature stabbed Sam with it's tail claw and his weight bears down more heavily on Jill. She struggles against the dead weight of her unconscious companion. The Simvan dismounts and walks over to her. He pulls a cruel looking blade from its scabbard, grabs her by the scruff of her furry neck and slices deep into her throat. The mailgnous' tongue whips about then laps at the blood as is rushes from her neck. She spits blood out of her mouth, choking on it. Then with a strangled retching sound she vomits blood and a mass of fur covered flesh then convulses and dies. The malignous grabs the furry mass and quickly stuff its into its gaping jaw.
Later Sam wakes up, he's strapped to the back of the chimera. There's a shooting pain in his left wing, he cranes his head towards it and sees half of it is gone. Involuntarily he screams. The rider turns around and clubs him on the head, knocking him unconscious again.
Sam groggily rises to consciousness. He's in some kind of hut with a huge smoky fire in the centre. He looks down and sees he's tied to a pole. He hears voices outside. Suddenly with a look of revelation on his face he whispers urgently, "Jill?!?"
"She be dead friend." whispers a humanoid with three arms and two heads. The left head then speaks, "Aye she be dead... friend."
"Where are we now?" whispered Sam.
The left head starts, "We be in," the right continues, "standin inside the," the left takes over again, "smokehouse!"
"Why are they smoking us?" asks Sam puzzled.
The man's two heads look at each other then the left turns back and speaks, "Why do ye think? They plan to eat us smoked. Silly question from one such as yourself. What, you think they have the decency to kill a man before smoking him and eatin' him??"
A shuffling sound comes from outside. Both of the man's heads droop as a Simvan comes in the door. Sam stares at him defiantly. The half missing wing throbs dully, and Sam can see it's been seared shut. The smoke whirls around now carried on a breeze from outside through the door before it closes itself. Sam feels groggy, the smoke must have something to do with it he thinks to himself. The Simvan pulls out a knife. With great efficiency he slices open the muscle of the remains of Sam's wing and all the feathers skin and muscle fall to the ground. Sam shrieks in pain. The Simvan rakes its claws across his face, Sam shrieks again, sounding like the boar he trapped a couple weeks ago. Then the Simvan places a hand against Sam's side grabs the twitching bone of the decimated wing and wrenches it free from its socket, trailing tendons behind it. Sam faints dead away.
He awakes to a voice. The two headed man is speaking to him. The left head says, "Shhh, me right side's fallen asleep and I don't wanna wake him up."
Sam looks, the right head has kind of a dented look to it now, and its eyes are swollen shut and caked in blood. It doesn't seem to be breathing any more. Sam nods his head in acknowledgement although he thinks it would be impossible to wake up that lolling head. He begins to speak in a low voice, trying to keep his voice conversational sounding, "Hi, I know I've already talk to you a bit, but in my haste I forgot to introduce myself, I'm Sam O'clock, and I was travelling with... <A sob shakes his body.> Jill Oshink... <sob>. I'm a Crr'llacoe (pronounced Cur Lul-ac-o) and she is a Krehn."
"Well hi there then Sam O'Clock the Crulaco," said the left head, "I'm Mric-a-mrac, and my side is Bric-a-brac and we're Dropples from the world of Secks. I gotta be telling ya, if this is yer world, I don't be liking it very much. Neither does Bric. Sorry if I be offending ya but we come here for a vacation like the brochure said and we get captured by yon reptilians and tied to this here pole. The brochure said see the sights, have some fun and adventure, so if this is adventure I think I'll try sunny Wormwood next year!"
"Well, no..." started Sam, "I'm not from here and I have to agree this isn't a good place. Especially not for a vaycayshun. I was attacked by, what I was later told are, the natives when first I stepped through the rift. They thought I was some kind of monster I guess. I've been stuck on this world for two years now and the only good think that happened was meeting Jill, and now that's a bust too."
"Cheer up pally," speaks Mric, "we'll be eaten soon enough and you'll need not worry 'bout a thing. Just hope one of us gives these burbers indeyejestshun. Bric?? Wake up Bric!!"
Mrac cranes his neck and butts Brac, who rolls towards their back on an obviously broken neck. "Durned bastard won't wake the Dyval up. I've been trying to get him up for over an og now." says Mrac.
"Well I wouldn't worry about that, as you said we'll be Simvan food soon." replies Sam as the door swings open.
In a rough voice, words drifts into the hut, "Go get the chow."
The words are in Demongongian, the language of demons and other monster races. Obviously the voice wants to be understood. It continues, "Don't just stand there go get the feathered appendage from the other side of that byrd. Also while you're at it shut up the other one, he talks too loud."
Another voice carries on, "I shut up half of that creature, what more do you want? It's not my fault it has two heads. It was not my idea to take the thing in the first place. I've got better sense than to take such an abomination. Let me bring you the head that still talks that way it will not talk ever again."
The voice draws nearer with the last words. The door opens. Silhouetted in the doorway is the owner, a short reptilian humanoid with a wild mane of hair crowning its head. Its short tail lashes back and forth as it speaks, "Hello there. Conscious I see. Well <his voice drops very low> now I'm going to get you out <He becomes tall and thin, his hair sinks back into his head, and his skin turns from brown to grey.> of here. <Looking at their surprise.> Well, what did you expect, a real Simvan Monster Rider? Don't panic, but I'm a Changeling... see how much I trust you?? Now _you_ have to trust me."
He shrinks down into Simvan form, pulls out a blade and cuts Mrac and Sam loose. He gestures towards the back of the hut. Mrac runs his hand over the wall and a hole appears where his hand passes. The Changeling Simvan goes back out the door. He shouts something in Demongongian that can't be heard correctly. Mrac whispers, "Unfortunately only Bric can make the hole disappear."
They step out the back of the hut. Sam jumps then falls down, obviously forgetting he can't fly. The hut is at the back (or the front) of the village. There are ten large huts, several dozen small dinosaurs, the malignous, and a pair of the chimera. All in all there must be a couple dozen Simvan, but the smoke hut only had three other small carcasses. This seems to strike Sam as odd. He swipes at his forehead thoughtfully with his remaining wing. Slowly Sam begins to dance, he chants as well. Then slowly he begins to disappear. He stops and says, "Can you see me? I can't see you."
Mrac grabs Sam's hand, "How did you do that? I can't even see my own hand. Was it magic?
Sam squeezes his hand in response. They quietly leave the camp.