I was lying in a patch of grass, letting the blades cushion my body as I stared at the sky. My friend, another red pikmin, was right beside me. He began to speak.

"What do you think those clouds are made of?"

"Beats me," I replied.

"They looks like large chunks of snow..." he mused.

"Well, that might explain why snow falls out of the sky every year."

However, I quickly saw fault in my own theory.

"No, that couldn't be it. Snow doesn't turn grey, and the clouds are grey sometimes," I corrected myself.

"Now that you mention it, they seem to always be there when it rains."

"What're you getting at?"

"I think... I think they're the spirits of past pikmin, gathering in the sky to rain water and give us good fortune."

"Water kills us, though..."

"I guess that means they're the spirits of blue pikmin," he joked. We both chuckled.

Afterwards, we were silent for a long period. As the time crawled by, I slowly closed my eyes and dozed off...

...

"Move!"

I stirred groggily at his voice.

"What...?

"MOVE!"

Reality hit me like a rock as something grabbed onto my stem and dragged me high into the air. I looked down and saw my friend lying face down, struggling to get to his feet. It had then occurred to me that he had to jump to get out of the way.

Wiggling my arms and feet, my eyes shifted to my abductor. I couldn't see much, but it was a creature that flew by some wings on its head. I'd seen them before, but never thought them to be dangerous...

Scared for my life, I furiously struggled to get loose and screamed for help. My eyes fell back to the ground below and I saw my friend trying to give chase, but having a mere bud, he was falling behind. He was shouting something at me, but I couldn't hear him. Soon enough, he was out of sight.

A horrible feeling surged through my stomach as the creature swooped under a branch, crossing over a small stream and past a tree stump at high speed. Then, it gradually slowed to a stop...

I held still, keeping my eyes fixated on its head. I hung there, waiting miserably for it to eat me and end my life. I just hoped it would be quick...

And then, in an instant, it swung me upwards and threw me straight down. All I remember is seeing the ground getting closer and closer before I blacked out...

...

I don't know how long it had been. I couldn't have known. I had been unconscious, merely drifting in a sea of black.

The problem was that when I awoke, I was still in a sea of black. I tried to wiggle. No success. Arms? Stuck. Legs? Stuck.

I tried moving my stem, and thankfully that was met with success. There was no mistaking it. I had been buried.

I sighed internally. I probably should've been grateful that I didn't become a meal, but now I was stuck with no means of escape. And there was no telling how long I'd have to stay like this.

I just remained in the soil, waiting. Eventually, my bud bloomed into a flower. That was a plus, I suppose. I flexed my stem to see if I could check the outside conditions. The temperature had dropped from before.

I continued to sway my stem back and forth. It was all I was capable of doing. At one point, something approached and came into contact with my stem, but disappointingly, it left. Must've been some beast in the forest. I flexed my stem to feel the temperature again. There was a slight breeze. It was very welcoming. I wished I was above ground to fully experience it.

Then, I felt something grab a hold of my stem.

I felt one tug, but I was still firmly rooted in place. I felt another, and it dislodged me slightly.

The last and final heave pulled me out of the ground. With a dizzying sensation, I did a flip through the air and landed unsteadily on my feet. I looked to see who my rescuer was.

It was my friend from before.

"It's you!" I cried, happier to see him than I had ever been.

"I had been looking for you ever since that thing took you away. I thought it would've eaten you by now."

I have always been glad he said that. Most pikmin wouldn't have gone through that kind of effort for another, especially for one that was presumed dead.

"Say, how long has it been anyway?"

He looked as if he was at a loss.

"I... don't know. I had been searching so long I lost track of ti-"

He stopped. A disconcerting look crossed his face. I realized why when I turned my attention to the sky.

It was orange.