Scroll 7: The Roots Appear

Tawny's blood ran cold. Hovering in the distant sky was the same creature who had pecked a hole through her car.

"Sharden!" shrieked a nearby Shion, pointing at the gigantic black bird.

"Strange," Norn croaked evenly, "Sharden are usually more cunning then that."

"Everyone!" shouted an elder, "Stay closer to each other!" All were happy to oblige as the great feathered shadow came ever closer to the cluster of humans. Norn explained to Tawny that Sharden never attacked humans who were in a large group, which allowed her peace of mind until she realized something. There was somebody missing.

"Loki…" she uttered. That jerk, Loki! He was gone! Great, she thought spitefully, First, he pushes me down, and now he's making me worried about him! Before any kind of common sense could tempt her to stay put, Tawny Bellsong was off, paying no heed to the cries that came from behind her, imploring her to stop.

Why was she doing this? Loki had been rude to her, and Tawny had always lived with the belief that if someone was rude to her, it was because they were hopelessly twisted or stupid, but now…it was strange, really. The rumors that she had heard all portrayed Loki as a juvenile delinquent who brought nothing but disgrace upon his dead parents' name. However, whenever she saw him interact with his grandmother, she could sense the guilt that he felt, and she had the strange feeling that he truly wanted to be helpful, but simply was not able to get over himself in order to do so. Although she was unaware of it, this made Loki a great deal like her.

Of course, the plains were so flat and treeless that no one could hide for very long. She soon saw a figure approaching from the distance…

…right underneath the Sharden.

"You idiot!" Tawny shouted, racing to the figure, her heart pounding in her ears, "Run!"

As she watched the feathered beast descend upon him, claws extended and beak open hungrily, Tawny vividly remembered the monster that had that had killed her in her own world. This thing…it's like the one who attacked me, she thought, So, that thing was a Sharden!

"Please!" Tawny screamed, her vision blurring with tears, "Somebody kill that beast!!"

Her eyes closed and open. She stepped back in shock as she found herself standing in between a man and the dead body of a gigantic black bird. Her heart was beating like crazy and exhaustion coursed throughout her limbs.

"That was incredible!" an unfamiliar voice said, "I thought I was a goner when that thing started coming at me!"

She turned to see a man with blue skin and dark gray hair, who, when he stood, was taller then any human she had ever seen before.

"You know…" he said, "I've met people like you. I bet you don't even know what just happen."


"Oh," he said, slapping himself on the forehead, "I forgot to introduce myself!" He bent down and offered her a blue hand. "My name is Shiori Zinn."

Tawny, knowing not what else to do, held out her hand and gasped as her eyes fell upon her arm. Where there had once been an image of an adult tree, there were now its roots.