Title: Five Prisoners
Author: Allronix
Team: Tin Men.
Characters: DG
Rating: G
Disclaimer:Oz is the creation of Mr. L. Frank Baum. Misters Long-Mitchell & Van Sickle transformed it into the Outer Zone and created the characters depicted below. I am merely a fan.

She was on closing shift, and the only customer was a lone trucker nursing his fifth cup of coffee. DG wiped her brow, glad Carter wasn't breathing down her neck. Wringing out a bar towel, she started wiping down the kitchen counters.

As she worked, her thoughts drifted to the fantasy landscapes she filled her sketchbooks with. Little round houses of deep blue, factory towns in fields of heather, vast golden grasslands, a city with a facade of grass green...

The downside to the daydreams was opening her eyes. She'd be back in Kansas.

Nights like this were the worst.

Galinda's prison was spartan, but tolerable. The only one who came to visit was that horrid Witch wearing the face of her elder daughter, but there was obviously something of Azkedellia left if she hadn't just murdered her outright.

Sitting outside the hovel that passed for her shelter, she gazed up into a false sky. Had she had done the right thing by her daughters? Her people? So many had paid with their lives.

She could do nothing more. All she could manage was to wait, hope, and doubt.

Galinda ruefully admitted to herself that this was crueler than death.

The leaves fell...

His son spit out a tooth and kept trying to fight.

Snow covered the ground.

The futile shrieks of his wife vibrated the metal walls.

The grass grew tall and green.

Zero was still laughing.

The cabin roof was covered in moss and rot.

The recording kept playing.

The whole point of it was to break his will, make him wish to die.

He wouldn't let the Suit break him. He would let it grind him to sand, let it turn his heart to cold iron.

But like hell he would let that smirking bastard kill him.

Being surrounded by painted, heavily-armed Munchkins probably wasn't a good start to the day, but few of his days started well, anyway.

"Identify yourself!" The Munchkin warrior shouted. "Tell us what you were doing sneaking about our camp!"

"My name is..." As he was about to speak, there was that sharp pain in his skull. Oh, damn, not another synapse misfire! "As for what I was doing near your camp?" He wracked what remained of his mind and came up short. "I can't remember that, either."

The head ankle-biter ordered his men, "String him up until he does."

They had not put chains on his wrists or ankles. Why did these humans snatch him from the death he had earned?

Raw felt the female approach, touch his arm. Assaulted by her presence, he growled and snatched her wrist. Perhaps she would be afraid.

When he looked in the female's heart, he saw much he could not understand. She was not afraid of him, her soul so dazzling to his Sight that he almost flinched away. The reason why he did not was that he saw underneath her good cheer, down into the hollow loneliness that mirrored his own.