Chapter 28:

A Name and Plan

A Tour of the World Between Worlds

After the beast was felled, the group split up and began to look around. Lerato stuck his hand in the world-lake; I suppose to check the status of the place the monster had come from. Enas and Casey began to search the remaining area as if they expected more to appear. Pythagoras and Orrin crept closer to the dead beast and began to poke it. The goblin defended his actions by saying they were purely for scientific research. He quickly gathered several jars of monster parts.

I think they also looked inside, where the stomach should have been, in an effort to recover the weapon the creature had eaten. As it turned out, the inside was empty. Not only was the weapon missing, but the goblin was surprised to see that it lacked organs and didn’t follow basic principles of biology, from what Pythagoras explained. It seemed like whatever it ate was simply lost; where it was lost to was a mystery that the goblin began to rub his chin and ponder.

Lerato stood up and shook his head while everyone gathered around him. I joined in but stood slightly behind the rest of the group members.

“That world is in dire straights,” Lerato explained. “looks like this one is a spawn of a much larger monster.”

The mood was sullen. I quickly glanced at each face of the group. It seemed Lerato, and Enas were ready for a fight; perhaps they thought about jumping into the world. Casey frowned and gripped her spear tightly; quite possibly, she was on the fence. Pythagoras’ eyes darted back and forth between the three; I suspect he didn’t want to get involved and was worried the other three would.

Orrin’s face was covered with a wide grin, and it was impossible to tell what he was thinking.

“I’m not going!” the goblin finally shouted. He began to collect the samples and tuck them away in his ratty clothes.

Enas sighed. Lerato chuckled.

“No one said anything about going!” Orrin shouted in shock. Was he the only one who was oblivious?

“It’s just an act,” a voice seemed to whisper. I jumped and turned around. There was no one nearby other than the group. A sigh escaped me as I shook my head. Likely, the wind, combined with my worries, led me to hear things. The others didn’t notice my odd movements and continued.

“It would be wise for us to investigate this world. Trouble like this never seems to stay in one place.” Enas said as he pulled his weapon apart and began to inspect it. Though it was no blade, I recognized the actions of a warrior preparing their equipment for a battle.

Orrin hummed and rubbed his chin.

“Your probably right; how about Casey, Enas, and I go! Pythagoras, Lerato, and Kiko can hold down the fort!”

“Are you sure we shouldn’t all go? That thing was dangerous,” I replied. I felt my brow furrow after speaking. Why was it that I offered myself to go on this dangerous mission? I owed the group for taking me in and being kind to me, but I hardly knew them enough to join a reckless run into danger.

Orrin shook his head. His smiling expression gave no way for me to anticipate what he would say.

“We avoid having everyone go into a world at once,” the green-clad man explained.

I suppose that made sense. There was a possibility of everyone dying.

The others seemed to agree with Orrin’s decision, so I didn’t offer any objections.

“But, before we go,” Orrin continued, “ we need to name this thing!” he pointed to the dead monster.

“I don’t see the point,” Enas said with a roll of his eyes.

“Hmm, well, it seemed like it would eat a lot, maybe something along those lines,” Lerato offered.

“Oh, I like that! Maybe an eater, or muncher, or consumer, or stomacher, or bellyer, or….”

Orrin continued throwing out names that followed a basic pattern of adding ‘er’ to the end of a word. The others didn’t seem to mind Orrin’s mumblings, so I left my opinions on his names unsaid.

“Or a hungerer….” Orrin paused a moment on the last one. “maybe the extra er on that one isn’t needed, just a hunger then?”

“I like that!” Enas suddenly shouted.

“Yes, let’s go with that,” Casey added.

The others quickly followed suit. I got the sense they were just waiting for a pause, then agreeing to the name Orrin landed on at that moment. He seemed satisfied, though, and made a thumbs up with his pale hand.

“Awesome! Now that we named it let’s see what’s going on!”

They wasted no more time. Orrin grabbed Enas’ and Casey’s hands and, with a shout of ' geronimo,’ leaped in.

Once the splash of the world-lake settled, the grey scene got almost unnervingly quiet.

Pythagoras broke the quiet with a grunt.

“Let's get back to camp; I have a lot of samples to check before I can get back to more important things.” I suppose he meant his machine by' more important things,’ but I remained quiet.

Lerato laughed.

“Well, let me know if you need any help!” the hero replied.

We made our way back to the camp. All the way, Lerato, and Pythagoras bantered about experiments and how useless the hero was with them. I kept my distance and stared off into the grey woods.

The invisible sun was beginning to set as we approached the camp. It seemed the others were starting to feel tired near the end of the day. I couldn’t blame them. Pythagoras’ words got shorter and less technical, and Lerato did his best to hide yawns while struggling to hold his shoulders up—his head was beginning to droop regardless. We parted ways as the sky got darker, and I retreated into my cabin. The bed was soft, and I quickly felt myself fade.