Needless to say, the tall demon could still taste his mate’s fear on his tongue as the fog cleared out somewhat and he could look around too. They were in that strange place from Gabrielle’s dream. Another… dimension perhaps? Because the whole place had a very different vibe from what they were used to, not to mention those faded colors around them. With all these monstrously big plants and trees and the humidity, the scenery should have had bright greens and other vivid colors, but they were pale and much gloomier-looking.
Jim wanted to echo Corey’s comment, but was still too stunned from their new foggy environment and the spell that brought them there. So this was the goal of the enemy? Take them out of the equation without a real fight. Typical attitude, but he didn’t expect much more from such cowards. In a fair fight the Grays could probably overpower them with ease. So this solution was left for them, it seemed.
Exchanging a long look with Corey, Jim decided to take things into his hands. “Jay, look around for a way to get off this… thing,” he looked down at the levitating piece of “island” under their feet. “Maybe there are strong enough roots to climb off to the ground,” he said, checking if he had his backpack and weapons. Luckily it seemed they got transported along with them and Jim felt so damn happy that he’d decided to have his katana with him too, just in case.
As Jay wandered off to the side a bit, Jim did the same in the opposite direction, but he wasn’t looking for a way down. He tried to strain his eyes to look as far out as possible, although the thick fog and the tall trees and plants of the “rainforest” made it difficult to see far.
With a sigh he walked back to his mate and put his big hands on the narrow shoulders, waiting until Corey looked up at him. “You okay, love?”
"No," the beast muttered low. Jim could feel it anyway. It was no use to say he was okay and all was cool.
How the fuck could he be so stupid??? He should have tried to stop the spell they were chanting when he had the bad feelings. They would have managed somehow. But the ones they had left behind.... Fuck... That song they had a few years back started playing in his mind... The irony of it all.
"I'll be okay. Don't worry, babe. We have to find a gate home. This was a one-way only kind," he looked down at the runes that kinda self-destructed themselves. "Maybe it's a path. Just we don't see it," he said thinking out loud and looking out at the edges of the little platform while letting his power scan their surroundings.
"Here. Come this way," he looked back at the other males, pulling one of his short swords out just in case, and stepped into 'nothing' and kept walking on it. "It's magical. Keep close behind me and really DON'T peek down, ‘cause if you look, it will vanish."
Of course Corey wasn’t well and he was clearly blaming himself for ending up here. Jim knew better than to say anything verbally, but he made sure to make Corey feel through their bond that all was gonna be okay and that they would figure this out and fix it together with time. Now they had to get somewhere hopefully safer and less exposed to anyone or anything to see them. They were in an unknown world, after all. They couldn’t know what might be lurking between the trees and plants. Not to mention that the air was so thick with magic that even Jim could clearly feel it and judging by the way Jay kept absently rubbing his hand against his thigh, he could too. Jim was curious how that might affect his shaman mate.
“Shit…” was the first word he muttered under his moustache as he got behind Corey and stopped himself in the last moment from looking down and making them fall. Getting their bones broken in such a place wasn’t a good idea… But he trusted his mate more than anything so he kinda literally followed him blindly until their feet hit the actual ground and they tried to decide which way to go.
"Fucks me up hugely," Corey growled at Jim’s unsaid question. He could feel his beast features coming forth without anything he could do about it. Stepping on solid ground was a good feeling at least. And as they looked around he couldn't shrug the feeling that the magic lingering in the air so thick was familiar to him. And as it heightened his senses, he could tell that it felt similar to Jay too. "Let's go along this riverbed, it should lead to... people – if there are any around – and drinking water."
Sid just stood there and stared at the black burnt ground where the symbol was with his clan members a few minutes ago. They were all gone. The demon kept howling 'fuck' as he started to panic and run around in all different directions, unable to decide what to do. He should get Chris and the others. So he ran out of the alley to find Chris as he kept howling curses-like desperate cries.
"I can already see the rest of that clan of animals act just the same," the elder laughed, flicking the butt of his cigarette down from the window where they were standing. He was pleased with the witches and shamans’ work. Now it was time to take over his own clan and lead them back to the position they deserve. Without the interruption of such animals.
“I’m sorry, babe,” Jim murmured to Corey but otherwise nodded and followed his mate with Jay protecting their back. Jim was still holding onto that throwing knife and forced his fingers to relax a bit so he could actually throw it if needed.
His demon features were less obvious than Corey’s – only his eyes were slightly glowing – since the magic and different vibes didn’t affect him as much as they did the shaman… and apparently Jay? With a light frown Jim glimpsed at the younger demon who just stopped scratching his side.
“What? It’s just itchy a bit,” he shrugged at the questioning look and swirled one of his twin swords that were similar to Corey’s just somewhat longer.
“Okay, man. Let us know if it gets worse. We have to stay healthy and in one piece. We don’t know anything about this place and how it might affect us…” Jim told him, glimpsing a bit worried at his mate and his very visible beastly features which Corey could usually hide if he concentrated enough, but Jim knew this time it wasn’t going to happen. Then he rather focused on the natural trail they have started following in hopes of some civilization and water. The bottles they had in their back packs wouldn’t last long in such humidity. Yes, trying to focus on the more practical things was his kind of way of coping with the new situation. It was much better than a panic attack…
Jay felt strange to the small shaman as well. But his senses started to focus on other energies. Halting the others he let his powers scan the site. "We are being followed. Jim, remember Gabrielle's visions?" he whispered to them, focusing to the right. Between the thick fog and rich vegetation some figures were moving, he could make out some white and red colors on their skin. They felt like "ghouls…" Corey said out loud, frowning. Creatures feeding on human meat were known in their own dimension too. From time to time some appeared. "Maybe there are humans here too… Come on. They won't attack us directly. But can be tricky so pay attention."
As they walked along the riverbed it started to change into a river, luckily for them and their supplies. They just had to decide how to get home now…
“Oh yeah…” Jim murmured under his moustache, seeing the pale shadows now too. He remembered something like them from their séance. Well, flesh-eating creatures like that didn’t help on relaxing either, but oh well, they had worse enemies before. He just hoped they wouldn’t try any of those tricks on them. They weren’t the kind of prey they would prefer since all three of them were demons, but one could never know in an unknown world.
The tall demon was about to turn and tell Jay to pay extra attention not to let them attack from the back, but the drummer was already on it. That made Jim smile a bit under his moustache. At least they were stuck here with one of their best guardians.
Seeing the water with the fog over most of its surface made things look a bit brighter for them at least. The question was if the water was drinkable.
"Maybe we should rest a little and look around what these trees and all are," the beast sat down on a bigger rock, trying to make something out of the rainforest-like thick plants. This moist air was tiring them out faster than it was for his liking. Maybe they will have to make a camp somewhere. None of them knew what happens around here after nightfall.
Not so far from the trapped demons, three other males were walking among the dark tall trees. Their leader sniffed the air then looked at the two following him close behind. Intruders came to their land.
Yes, they weren’t used to such humidity back home. It made their skin glisten and their shirts stick to their bodies. Wiping his forehead with the back of his hand, Jim looked around where they stopped. “Yes, a camp could be set up over there,” he answered his mate’s thought while pointing to the left, a bit further from the edge of the water. It was protected from one side by the roots of a huge tree and that same tree gave them good spots between the branches to keep an eye on their surroundings. They’d have to take turns in their watch.
“Jay, collect some wood to start a small fire. I saw trees that looked pretty much like some at home so probably burning them wouldn’t release some toxic shit,” he ruffled his hair then slid his throwing knife back into its sheath. “I’ll climb up on that tree to keep an eye on the ghouls and look around from above a bit while you check out the plants,” he told Corey. “Some protecting spells might come handy if we stay here for the night,” he suggested then moved towards the tree.
Climbing up on the thick branches wasn’t hard. But just when he was about to look around, they heard some strange noises. To Jim it sounded like… whales? Frowning he climbed a bit higher where he could look out over the water between the branches and he… couldn’t believe his eyes…
They were whales, alright. But he expected to see them in the water… not in the sky. “You have to be fucking kidding me…” he mumbled under his moustache. Looking down at the other two, he answered their unsaid questions. “They are flying whales! Fucking flying whales!” he yelled down with disbelief.
"Nice…" Corey snorted. What else? Ghouls and flying whales… And yeah, protecting spells. Somehow he felt a bit insecure about his magical skills since they ended up here.
Jay came back and started a fire. The beast still just stood there feeling lost. Oh yeah. They were lost. Thinking about it he wanted to see the whales too. "Come on Jay. Climb like a beast," he waved to the younger one and with ease they jumped up upon the tall tree, standing next to Jim. "Where?"
“There. See?” Jim put an arm around Corey’s shoulder and with the same hand pointed towards the two whales that were “swimming” closer, following the river upstream. “It’s kinda awesome,” Jim smiled somewhere above his mate’s head, because true to his words the sight was magical.
“This place is a real mind-fuck without any real hallucinogens,” they heard Jay from a branch above them and that made Jim chuckle a bit, his hand caressing Corey’s shoulder to make him ease up a bit. He hated to feel him so tense. “Look at it as an adventure… Our tenth anniversary honeymoon?” he murmured into his ear.
"If you insist…" Corey rolled his eyes but smiled watching the truly majestic animals moving in the air. "They are amazing..." he whispered leaning against Jim's body and let his mate's calming attempts work on him. Closing his eyes he let the sound of the flying whales go through his body and mind. Like some kind of led meditation.
The feeling that truly bothered him the most was that he felt it all familiar. Not like being here before. More like the senses and the magic felt like something he knew well. But how??
"I feel like I've been here before," Jay added above them just like a comment to his thoughts while he kept scratching his left side lost in his thoughts.
"Let's make a camp. The plants seem harmless as far as I can know. And many are the same as at home. So hopefully we’ll find some edible fruits too,” Corey finally said.
"The whales will show the way," the nearby local creatures' leader said. He was the tallest of the three with short slicked-back black hair and white skin. The others, a long haired and bearded male and a bald even smaller one followed him with practiced ease through the thick bushes, cutting their way. They all could sense the others by then.
It was good that Corey felt calmer now that he let Jim’s energies seep into him a bit to help in that. But hearing both males saying that this place felt familiar to them was strange to say the least. It wasn’t for Jim. Or rather not really. The little familiar feeling he felt about it was coming from Corey through the bond and the memory of Gabrielle’s dream. So in this regard he was the odd one out.
“You two can go finish setting up the camp and searching for food. I can cover quite a range from here with ease. I’ll stand guard. Also I had put some energy bars into the backpacks. Last minute decision,” he shrugged then let Corey go after a peck on his lips.
“Good thinking,” Jay said already starting to climb down to busy himself with the tasks.
After a smile Jim watched them both reach the ground then he found a better place to sit and carry his gaze around, trying to glimpse only a few times at the unbelievable creatures passing them.
Corey started to make place for the runes all around their camp base to form a protective shield. He just noticed that his red fog-like power started to leak from him and was swirling around him like a second aura. He couldn't do anything about it... The magic-filled air got that reaction out of him.
Maybe he could use it. His powers should be stronger here and if he really calms down, he should focus on his skill and use it more to their help. But the thoughts about that summoning circle and how it could work kept coming back.
Up at his post Jim tried to keep an eye on everything. Truth be told, this part of the forest felt calm and nice aside from the humidity, but he was starting to get used to that. And of course aside from the ghouls. But they kept their distance so far, so that was good. Also, no other exotic animal came this way, luckily. Just a few strange birds here and there, making kinda eerie noises as the night was starting to fall. From that branch Jim could admire as not one but two moons have started to climb upwards on the horizon. One was roughly the size of their own moon just bluer with a tint of green, the other thrice the size of that but pale with a faint yellowish hue at the edges.
Yeah, they were definitely far from home.
“Jukai” by Useless-girl
With a sigh he looked down at their little camp, watching his mate placing the runes. He was still nervous and upset probably both from his “failure” at the magic circle and because of this place that was affecting him the most. And through their bond Jim too. Although the tall demon could still hold his beastly features back with some more concentration, his blue powers were leaking around him too as if wanting to react to Corey’s even from this far.
Sending some more calming energies and his love for his mate, Jim turned his eyes towards the forest again, searching for any sign of civilization. Smoke, or a tall building, some port by the river, but wherever he looked that endless forest was stretching in all directions. How were they supposed to get out of here?
Placing the last rune and putting up the spell they were finally protected. Corey added one of the crystals they all had with them to the barrier so they could go in and out easily.
Sitting back he noticed again how Jay was scratching his side. "Jay! Are you sure that you're okay?"
"Yeah sure. Probably all that moisture here. But what do you think, Corey? Why does this place feel so familiar?" the younger male came closer and sat by the shaman.
"I have no idea. I was born on Earth and was raised there. I was only a year old when they took me, so I couldn't know things from my parents. But my power remembers this place. With you… I'm not sure…" Corey started as they watched the twin moons rising.
"I was bigger… About five or six when I became a slave. And Robb tried to brainwash me but he couldn't. But even if… I'm not sure from where I could know this… but those moons were in my dreams a lot of times," Jay added laying back to watch the sky.
Corey just hummed trying to feel the lurking creatures around them. The sky was also magnificent. And in the distance even a few other planets were slightly showing.
"Someone is coming. Not ghouls."
Above them, just under the top of the protective shield Jim leaned back against the tree trunk too, a bit more relaxed now that the barrier was up, both Corey’s and his powers fuelling it thus making it twice as strong as a normal one. Letting a long leg lightly swinging in the air, he admired the night sky again, feeling that Corey found it fascinating too.
In a minute that small smile brought by that slowly faded and he got more on alert, taking a defensive position as he could feel it through their bond that someone was approaching. Looking towards where they came from, he saw movement. Straining his eyes, he counted probably three figures, but the fog was still thick between the trees and plants. He warned Corey through their connection, also telling him that he was going to stay hidden, but ready to attack. With that he slid a black throwing star into his right, and a knife into his left, ready to protect his mate and Jay.
Standing up and letting his senses scan over the said direction again, Corey closed his eyes to focus more on what he could feel. "Three males. Feels like demons too. They are coming our way. Get ready, though I don't feel danger from them," he said to Jay and Jim could hear it through their bond.
"Alright let's get back-to-back, Cor. I hope we can get some answers from them," Jay added pulling his swords out.
Jim let his mate know that he was ready for the encounter too and then they waited. After a while the hiding demon could feel their presence too and probably the arriving males also could tell that there were three of them, even if they saw only two by the small fire.
From behind the branches he watched them come closer, their figures becoming clearer as the fog opened up and swirled around them. All three of them were wearing black clothing, similar to what they were wearing, yet it was somehow different in the details. Jim’s thumb rubbed along the star in his hand, a nervous energy coursing through his veins as adrenaline started entering his bloodstream.
The strangers slowly came closer, their – especially the taller leader’s – power surrounding them and telling the onlookers that they were strong. Right before Jim would’ve told Corey through their bond to tell them they were close enough, they stopped and silence fell upon the small gathering.
Corey and Jay could see the others as well. It was clear who their leader was as they came closer.
The taller guy walked up right in front of Corey, stopping outside the barrier. The other two split up and stood at the other two sides of the triangle-shaped shield walls.
Corey could feel Jay swinging his swords around, and he also grabbed them stronger, sizing up the other demons – it was clear at least that they were demons. One thing got the shaman's attention and that made him frown. Aside a bigger bush knife to cut their way through the wilderness, none of them carried any weapons at all.