Sunday, May 1st

My eyes eased open.

It took me a while to understand what was happening. My head was all fuzzy; it was like I was hungover. No. This was much worse than a hangover. My brain was blurry, most of my senses were in disarray, and there was this really weird copper taste in my mouth. I wasn't sure why I was like this, but whenever I do get hungover, I usually don't remember what I did the night before anyways. I dismissed the thought for now. I'd just have to figure that out later…

But man did I feel shitty.

I groaned with an exhausted heave. I tried to move, but for some reason, my muscles were really stiff, and it was uncomfortable to lift my arms and legs. God. I wasn't exactly certain how I could shake the grogginess away. I felt the constant need to get up. It was a subconscious drive, like something important needed to be done. I couldn't place my finger on why I felt this way, but then again, my skull was just a big bowl of brain soup. I had no idea what was happening.

I made some more attempts of getting up by shuffling around in my spot. I slowly shifted my body parts, studying the searing soreness in my muscles. My arms and shoulders ached pretty bad, but my thighs and calves were unbearably uncomfortable. Even the slightest of movements would cause me to wince in pain. I sighed, eventually giving up the goal of getting up. My body needed more energy, and until then, I'd just have to lay here in the warm comfort of my bed…

Wait a minute.

I opened my eyes, lifting my head and blinking away the blurriness. It took me several moments for my vision to focus. I was in a room. A small, chilly room. It was the size of a closet. On one side, I was laying on a small, lopsided mattress. On the other, a narrow door was shut to a close. The room was illuminated by a lantern sitting on the small, wooden tray beside me. My mind started to clear up…

What the—

An immediate fear consumed me, causing me to jump up to a sitting position on the bed. My body exploded with a dull agony. I scrambled the blanket off me, shuffling to the side and into the wall. I slid back into the corner, my mind beginning to reshape itself in my head. Where the hell was I? Recollections emerged.

Last night came back to me.

I was overcome with anxiety. I felt myself shake, my breaths becoming deep and unstable. It was difficult to find air, no matter how deep my breaths were, I couldn't get enough oxygen. It threw me into a panic. I put my paws to my head, struggling to protect myself from the wrath of those wicked memories.

The screaming, the crying, those deafening gunshots, the president. It was a nightmare, yet I had awakened to another one. No. It made sense. It made horrifying sense. I got captured in the countryside, and now, I was in the Capital, separated from Judy. The government had probably put me in some kind of prison cell underground. Yes. The walls were stone. The room was tiny, smaller than any cell I've been in. This was a prison, and I was a prisoner. I started to hyperventilate.

There was nothing I could do. It was over.

*SLAM

I jolted. The sounds of an opening door could be heard from outside. Ignoring the ache, I pulled my legs to my chest and stared intently at the door. I listened closely, eventually able to hear the distant sounds.

Footsteps.

*Thud *Thud *Thud *Thud

They traveled towards my door. I began to tremble, clasping my paws with a nervous strain.

They got louder.

*Thud *Thud *Thud *Thud

They were rapid. Whoever was coming was running. My trembles turned to violent shivers. My heart pounded. My mind raced.

They got closer.

*Thud *Thud *Thud *Thud

I let out a nervous whimper, kicking my feet out and backing myself further into the corner. There was no point. I couldn't run. I couldn't hide. I waited for the door to burst open. My emotions were close to spilling. I wanted to scream. I wanted to act. There was no escape. This was the end.

*THUD *THUD *THUD *THUD

"Dude! Come on! Give them back!"

"—I don't know what you're talking about."

"My underpants! You stole my underpants!"

"—Pffft… I did not."

"I can see them! You are literally holding them!"

"Yah— okay…"

*Thud *Thud *Thud *Thud

The voices disappeared into the surrounding silence…

What the fuck?

The panic I felt began to dissipate, replaced instead by a growing bewilderment. I lowered my legs, sprawling out across the mattress with a strained breath. The questions were numerous. What just happened? Who were those mammals? Why couldn't I breathe that well?

Where was I?

My breaths lessened in severity, and my heart began to beat normally again. Taking a look around the space, I began to search for answers. The room was fairly empty, furnished only with a bed and a wooden tray. I glanced over at the small stand. The table's surface held a glowing lantern along with a few other items. I looked closer, blinking my eyes and focusing my attention towards the objects.

There was a napkin placed neatly on the wood, two greenish-looking pills resting on its top side. Beside it, a folded piece of paper was positioned; it was creased into the shape of a triangle, standing up and facing towards me. It was a note. I blinked, squinting my eyes and taking a closer look. It took me several moments to read the neatly scribbled writing. I was able to distinguish:

Nick.

Part of me was fearful, yet the curiosity burned like a raging fire. I felt odd, but I tried to ignore the peculiarities in my circumstances. Leaning forward, I raised my arm out and reached for the letter, eventually able to snatch it with the tips of my fingers. I pulled it back over with a gentle touch, careful not to damage it. My eyes were locked on the signature. I took a deep breath.

I opened the paper.

Nick,

If you're reading this, than it means that (A) you're awake, and (B) you're probably really confused right now. I know this isn't the best way to introduce myself again, but the medical team told me that you got hit with an extra-high dose of Telazol, and that you needed plenty of rest. (I still don't know why they had to use the tranquilizer). Anyways, we put you in one of our biggest bedrooms. I hope it's comfortable enough.

If you're wondering about the rabbit, she's alright. I think they put her in the room next to yours. She's not talking a lot, but I think she just needs to recover from what happened last week. Man, that was horrible. I wasn't out there personally, but I heard some recordings of it. God... Nobody should ever have to go through that, Nick. I just want to say that I'm terribly sorry for what happened to you. It's a good thing that we were able to get you out of there before you got caught. You almost ran right into them! Yeah, that would've been bad...

I just hope we can make things better from here on out.

You're probably still very confused about what's going on right now. If I could, I would write out the whole situation to you in detail, but honestly, I think you need to hear it personally from someone you can talk to. You're gonna have a lot of questions. Besides, I'm running out of room on this paper, so I'll be brief from now on.

There are some pills on the nightstand that should help with the altitude sickness. It might take your body a while to adjust to the climate, especially after what happened last Friday. (I've been here for two weeks and I'm still not used to it.) Someone from the medical team should be checking up on you, but if you're feeling like it, you can get up and look around yourself. There's a bathroom down the hall and to the left. If you need food, just ask anyone you see. They should be able to hook you up with some grub.

Well, that's all the instruction I can give for now. I've been kinda all over the place recently, but once you're feeling well, I'd be glad to give you a little tour of the place. There's a lot to see, and we obviously have a lot to talk about. You don't know how glad I am to see that you're okay. I hope we can speak soon.

Tyler


End of Book 3


Okay. Now it is over. Now I am done.

See you guys later.

:)