Disclaimer:

A/N: To Sci-Fi Christian, no offense taken. I haven't seen it in a while and I couldn't remember season three. Thanks for the feedback all. For now we're going to pretend that the Ancient One still exists. Well, here goes chapter 4.

This time Ciara woke before Tao and Dar a nervous feeling buzzing through her system. She set about stoking the fire awake and finding edible food, which was a challenge since she wasn't used to the flora of this world. Kodo and Podo however were more than helpful in finding food. When she returned Dar had woken up. He smiled when he saw the armful of food she had gathered, he set about cleaning it. Tao woke minutes later. As they ate Ciara thought, she needed this world's clothes and she needed them fast. But they weren't going to go into the city, and she was sure there were no malls around to go shopping. She looked at the cloak she had been wearing the day before; turning it this way and that.

"Do you mind if I tear this?" she asked.

Dar and Tao shook their heads, intrigued at what she was going to do. She retrieved the needle and thread she always carried with her in her emergency kit. First she tore the bottom of the cloth off to make two pieces of material. She put away the portion that would be the bottom. Then she sewed the opening in the front of the cloak closed before tearing the sleeves and the hood off of the shirt. She then went down to the river where they were getting water from and grabbed handfuls of mud and began rubbing them into her shorts to mask the color of them a bit more. She hid in a group of trees and changed into the shirt she had made, it wasn't comfortable but it made her look more like someone who belonged. When she returned she looked down at her feet and realized she would have to do something to her shoes. Tao fixed that by giving her a pair of his. Tao looked at her shoes with awe, inspecting them with a careful eye.

"How do they keep their shape?" he asked.

Ciara was baffled by the question, she had never thought about it. She shrugged.

"Its just the way they make it," she said.

Dar took the shoes and looked them over.

"How do people walk in these? You can't feel anything through the bottom," he questioned.

"You're not supposed to. It's to protect your feet from getting hurt if you step on something sharp. If you think those are hard to walk in you should see high heels."

Tao twisted his head in question. Ciara smiled and shook her head.

"Even if I explained you wouldn't understand," she explained.

"Try me," he said.

So for the next hour Ciara tried to explain the concept of high heeled shoes to Dar and Tao, who the whole time couldn't seem to grasp the concept. By the time they got moving again it was nearing noon.

The sun seemed to be more intense in Dar and Tao's world. Even under the canopy the air was stifling. She was glad she had made a better shirt for herself. Every now and then an animal would skitter away or fly off. Sometimes Dar would stop and talk to one of them. Then he would continue on as if nothing was off about his behavior, and Tao also acted like it was the most natural thing in the world. She could hear Kodo and Podo squeaking in her backpack where they had decided to take up residence for the day. They stopped for a short rest and Ciara dug in her pack for some nuts, but found that the little creatures had gotten into the bag and eaten them all. But she couldn't be mad at them, they were just too adorable for that. High in the air Sharak shrieked, sending the two ferrets into hiding. Dar looked up to his friend. As he sat there his face morphed into one of concern.

"What is it?" asked Tao.

"Something isn't right," came Dar's cryptic answer.

He continued to talk with Sharak. Ciara felt her stomach drop to her toes, what could be wrong. Were her animals alright?

Wait.

Her animals?

Ciara contemplated when she had started calling the animals, the wild animals around her were hers. Soon though she was startled to her feet as Dar jumped to his and began gathering his things. She barely had time to collect her own before the group of three was tearing through the forest. When Dar finally slowed the only thing Ciara could do was ask:

"What the hell?"

Dar didn't notice her and looked around where he had paused. He stepped away and Ciara began to follow when Tao stopped her.

"What's the matter?" she asked him.

He shook his head and put a finger to his mouth to quiet her. When Dar returned he held the corpse of a faun. The sight of the limp body nearly made Ciara throw up. As it was she fell to her knees. She was used to seeing dead animals, just not ones so young. It made her want to cry.

"Who did this?" she asked through her teeth.

Dar and Tao looked to her, almost questioningly. Suddenly, for no reason, Ciara felt anger bubble from deep within her.

"Who would dare do this?" she asked again, her throat tense with anger.

"It looks like Zad's men. They were after the mother I guess," answered Dar.

"But they missed and killed this one instead," finished Tao, "So what do we do?"

"Leave it," answered Dar, "Let nature take over."

Gently Dar lay the carcass down underneath the shade of a tree. As Ciara continued to look at the faun she couldn't help the rising anger inside her. Without realizing it she had stood and had begun to make her way through the forest, somehow knowing where she was going. Dar took her shoulder.

"Where are you going?" he asked.

His calm and soothing words seemed to break her from the spell of anger.

"I don't know," she answered, suddenly very tired.

He smiled.

"Come on, let's get moving."

She nodded and followed.

They didn't talk as they walked and Ciara could listen to the forest around her. She heard the chirping of birds and insects. She could smell the damp musk of rot and rebirth. After a while of listening to the forest around her she was soon able to pick out words or phrases from the woods around her.

I must be going insane. I'm hearing voices now.

So as not to frighten the others she didn't say anything, only continued to walk, the whispers following her.

New protector…

We are…no need to worry…

Safer now…

Every time they walked through a large patch of undergrowth the leaves and flowers seemed to reach for her. She began to feel dizzy and sick. But they needed to get wherever they were going, she wouldn't stop just because she didn't feel well. After another hour though, she felt even worse. She could barely see straight in front of her, she was falling behind. She was sure Ruh was pushing her from behind to keep her moving. Growling out comforting words to keep her moving. The world around her was fuzzy, and it was only getting fuzzier. She stopped, even though Ruh kept nudging her in the knees to keep moving. Ciara felt her legs go limp as she fell to the forest floor. She faintly recognized Ruh, lying down beside her before she blacked out.