When Pips awoke, he was in a room of white. It was confusing, and waiting for him to awaken was the man he had seen before he had passed out. Head spinning, Pips drew on all the folklore he knew of humans to determine where he was. As far as he could tell, he was not about to be sacrificed, and he certainly was not being married, so where was he exactly?
"Ah, John Doe rises." said the man.
Beside the man who spoke was another man who seemed to take a subservient role to the speaker. The speaker had grey in his hair, Pips supposed he was a village elder and the other man was his council. Perhaps humans were not so different. Confused at the speaker's words, Pips drew on his knowledge of dealing with elders, and thought of what one was to say in his situation.
"My name is Pips of Ferngully." He said. "Are you the leader of the humans?"
The men gave Pips a queer look, and then looked to one another as if psychically conveying a message. Horrified, Pips wondered what he had done wrong and whether humans were capable of telepathy. Desperately Pips thought back to when Zak was amongst his people, and if Zak had heard all of the horrible things he had thought of him. Brushing it off for the time being, Pips returned his thoughts to the present, and the men before him.
"I'm Jorge Torres," introduced the speaker, "You might know the towers I am building around here. It is a part of the new revitalization project for Buenos Aires?"
When Pips gave Jorge only a blank stare, he seemed to grow steadily worried, but said nothing. Pips was both frustrated and distressed, he was a proud member of Ferngully, and he had never received so little of respect, but on the other hand he knew it was critical to win over humans to bring their magical devices back. Jorge looked upon him like a predatory bird eyeing a curious object, determining whether it was prey or even worthwhile. Gesturing back to the man Pips assumed to be his councilman, Jorge introduced him.
"This is Pedro Soto, my driver, he helped bring you here." He told Pips.
Looking at him curiously, Pips had no idea what being a driver meant. Assuming the man was still part of Jorge's council, perhaps a driver was someone who drove ideas? Regardless, Pips felt lost and small, despite his now fair size. These feelings drove deep within Pips, whose ego refused to feel anything but necessary and respected.
"I am not sure where I am exactly, but I need your help, it is for my people." he said. "Do you know a human by the name of Zak?"
Again, Pedro and Jorge gave Pips a strange look that drove Pips beyond the point of frustration. He was asking simple questions, and yet these men treated him like a lizard demanding a million mangos. It was not he who was foolish, but them, and Pips was slowly coming to the conclusion that all humans were slow creatures. It was evident that Zak was not so bright, but it was clear that neither were these men before him. With a sigh, Pips supposed that these men could do nothing for him. It would be a fool's errand to think that men such as these could give him man's tools of light, music, culture, and magic. Removing the blanket that covered him, Pips was surprised to find he was in the uncomfortably tight garb of humans. How difficult it would be to fight off the teasing of the Beetle Boys.
"I must go." He said to Jorge and Pedro. "Tell me how to find your leader."
"Pips you said your name was?" asked Jorge.
"Yes," confirmed Pips, growing suspicious, "What of it?"
"Don't worry Pips, I'm just here to help." said Jorge, lifting his arms in a show of pacifism. "What is your surname?"
"Surname, what is that? I come from Ferngully." said Pips.
"A surname, a family name, the one that comes after your first name, do you know it?" asked Jorge, who was speaking to Pips like a child now.
Behind Jorge Pedro had taken an aggressive stance. A tension had formed in the air. It was tangible less in the conversation between the two men than their posture. An animalistic instinct was overcoming the two humans, something Pips knew to be the evil that so easily conquered their hearts. For them, even if they did not know it, their true human side viewed Pips as an injured animal that was in the way, something to kill. It made Pips uneasy, and he knew it was time to leave.
"I don't." answered Pips.
"That can't be, you must have hurt your head harder than they thought." said Jorge, looking to him with pity.
"What are you talking about?" asked Pips, sounding almost offended.
"You were hurt Pips, and it was all Pedro's fault. He is very sorry, and because he works for me, I suppose I am at fault too. Let me help you, and I will see about returning you to your people and getting you what you need."
Pips regarded Pedro first, who looked anything but apologetic, but like the councilman he was assumed to be he remained respectful. Examining Jorge, Pips saw he truly was a man of power, though perhaps not a wise man. These were dangerous men, but considering his situation, Pips wondered how much of a choice he held in the world of humans. Not a lot, he supposed, even in his home of Ferngully, he doubted they would welcome so openly someone with no family, no identification, and who spoke of things so strange. Thinking back to Zak's arrival, Pips knew the man had been lucky that Crysta had been so welcoming. Hoping that Jorge could be his Crysta, Pips opened up to the man.
"How might you help me?" he asked.
"I will take you in, and I have a lot of money, I will hire someone to get you healthy and home." answered Jorge, suave and confident.
Picturing this man as Crysta, Pips felt much more at ease. He remembered why he was here, and why he could not give up so easily. There were people counting on him back home, and he could not let them down. Pips had transformed into a human, and Jorge was the first man he had run into. Knowing this was more than coincidence; Pips guessed it had to be what mankind called "destiny" that brought him here. He was here because of fate, and Jorge and Pedro surely still had some role to play in the salvation of Ferngully. This man seemed to want him, for whatever reason, and was willing to let him into his home. Though Pips carried many doubts, he knew that at the moment, Jorge Torres was his best bet.
"If I come home with you, would I be imposing?" he asked Jorge.
Jorge laughed whole heartedly.
"You're a funny man Pips! I can't tell if you're crazy, bold, or something perfectly in between. You'd make a wonderful businessman, but we would have to do something about your last name." he managed to say through his guttural laughs.
"My surname?" asked Pips, who was still not quite sure what a surname was.
"How does Gutierrez sound for the time being Pips? Until we get things sorted out for you that is."
Pips considered the offer, and deciding it was best to conform to his only comrade's wishes, relented.
"Of course." He said.
Closing off the distance between them, Jorge slapped Pips on the back in a show of friendship. All smiles and warm looks, Pips could not bring himself to unleash his anger at being knocked forward in this aggressive show of friendship. Instead, he smiled back at his new friend of sorts. Jorge turned to Pedro, who was patiently watching his boss and his bizarre new find.
"Bring the car around Pedro, we must leave immediately." ordered Jorge.
"Yes sir." Said Pedro, knowing his boss was blatantly ignoring the doctor's orders of letting the man named Pips rest.
Leaving the room, Pedro knew Jorge well enough to know the gears in Jorge's head were spinning. Jorge saw more than just a pitiable man in Pips, he saw potential. Though Pedro was blind to such potential, he also knew Jorge enough to not ask questions and follow his boss until he saw this plan through. Whatever the case, Pedro could not escape feelings of pity for the strange person named Pips.
"Come with me, my wife would love to meet you." Pedro overheard from the room.
Reaching the car, Pedro could not escape the ominous and evil feeling growing within him.