Talking excitedly with your fellow Gaians, you never noticed the young woman standing close by. She begins to walk past and suddenly shoves a red box into your hands before rushing off. You stare after her in surprise, only catching a glimpse of her red shirted back and long black and gold hair before she rounds a corner. You rush over and look around, but she has vanished without a trace. You frown and look at the box, finally noticing a note tucked under the white ribbon:
Life is an immense dream. Why toil?
All day long I drowse with wine,
And lie by the post at the front door.
Awakening, I gaze upon the garden trees,
And, hark, a bird is singing among the flowers.
Pray, what season may this be?
Ah, the songster's a mango-bird,
Singing to the passing wind of spring.
I muse and muse myself to sadness,
Once more I pour my wine, and singing aloud,
Await the bright moonrise.
My song is ended--
What troubled my soul? I remember not.
don't feel lonely me dear fellow
let me sit right by yer side
t' listen th' bird's melody mellow
gettin' drunk 'til th' sadness cast aside
The walls closed in on her, blocking out all memory of the sun. Mary couldn't remember what it was like to walk down a sunlit path, or sit beneath a tree with her love. The images were like a painting splashed with turpentine, all runny through her mind, leaving her hands covered in slime whenever she even attempted to touch their surface. She was just another number, a chew toy for the creatures that lurked in the dark hallways of her prison of space and steel.
The sound of scratching shuffles and the smell of rotted flesh signified the beginning of her day. The wall in front of her melted away like sticky tar and two creatures in the outside hall, tall black shadows wearing clothing made of flesh, still fresh and slick with blood that ran down their wavering black bodies. She stared at the clothing as a point of hope, knowing that someday she would adorn their bodies and finally be free.
&Get up,& one of them said and Mary complied. The other creature remained silent, just like all the rest. Only one of them ever spoke and in her mind he was the Creature, something real and more dangerous, while all the others were just things. He ran his finger down her cheek and over her mouth, leaving a smear of blood that mimicked a the wry smile she used to have. The creatures grabbed her arms and started forward, down the cold black hallway, illuminated in red by a panel over their heads.
Mary walked between them, her bare feet barely touching the ground, which was a blessing, since they had long ago been scraped free of skin, leaving only dried blood and bone. They never healed her feet after their games, and Mary could only guess at the reasons. Not that she did much guessing anymore.
The creatures led her down the hall, past identical doors of solid steel. The further the walked, the louder it became, like a zoo of barely human monkeys screeching out in pain. She swallowed and continued to stumble along, and the two shadow beings smiled down at her with hungry grins.
-You are next-
me bucko yer anon be quite disturbin' but I give ye me thanks fer th' gift. I liked it, so I be usin' it right now.
You hear squeaking in the field as you search for grunnies. Looking down, you see little hamsters scurrying around and think they&re looking for something. As you walk towards them, you hear the leader yell &&Let&s go find us an Easter Bunny! Hamtaro and Bijou, you come along with me! Oxnard, Pashmina and Penelope, that way! Panda, Dexter, and Howdy in that direction! And Cappy, Maxwell and Sandy that way!&& They head off, but one of them seems to have left you a shovel and you wonder if they really know what they&re doing.
~Boss the Hamster
Don't forget yer shovel, wee hearties! n' use a map 'n compass in yer search.