The next few days, Seouls couldn't stop thinking about what had happened. The Spiridion, the Krawk, the mystery about his voice... it was all so strange! He had to find out more.
Seouls visited every library and bookstore he could find, trying to dig up more information on the Du'an. All he could find were vague speculations and things he had already learned from the Krawk. Which brought up more questions-who was that Krawk? And how did he know so much?
Seouls closed the book he was reading. In it were only trivial facts about how some Avira like oranges, some bad luck Avdimi with an obsession with left shoulders disappear when you throw salt on them, etc. Possibly useful, but not giving him answers.
Seouls left the library. He wandered around town, all the while pondering. Ialu and Abaddon... what would they look like? What do other Avira and Avidmi look like? Who was that Krawk?
Frustrated, Seouls opened his wings and took off, ruffling the feathers of a nearby grumpy-looking Pteri in more ways than one. Seouls soared through the sky, enjoying the giddy weightlessness that accompanied flying. His scales shone in the sun as his wings pumped rhythmically. He looked over at the forest in the distance, and the questions came bubbling back into his mind. He angled himself toward the trees.
He flew over the forest slowly, looking for a place to land. He eventually found a good, solid branch in a high tree. He landed on it and sat down, leaning against the truck and dangling his feet over the edge. He closed his eyes, and softly sang.
He noticed something. It was subtle, but there did seem to be something extra to his voice. But the realization was merely a quick blurb of thought that was soon forgotten. He opened his eyes and looked around. The Spiridion were back! They were a bit harder to see during the day, but he saw the small blips of light floating around him, like dust in a shaft of sun. His song was slow and relaxed, and the small Avira drifted around lazily, just happy to be there.
Seouls closed his eyes again, and continued the forlorn melody. The whole forest seemed to hold its breath as he sang, and whenever he opened his eyes he saw more and more Spiridion in the slowly fading light. Some were quite large compared to what he remembered from last time. The bigger they were, the more complicated and detailed they seemed to be. Seouls felt immensely relaxed, and was content to sing for the Avira for hours. He sang until the sun reached the horizon, when he stopped his music and flew home.
For days after, Seouls repeated this routine. Every day he would go far out into the dense forest, sit on that branch, and sing and hum for the little otherworldly creatures. Taking advice from some of the books he read, he began to take treats to the Avira. It was rather humorous to see them flock to a cut orange or orbit around an open bottle of spring water. They never seemed to eat any of the things he brought, but they sure did love being near them!
After a session of singing, Seouls opened his eyes to see he had stayed a tad longer than usual. The sun had gone down, and deep shadows had set in. As he stood up to prepare to take off, something caught his eye-an eye! At first he thought it was just another one of the many fading Spiridions around, but at a second glance he noticed the shape was too blue and unmoving. Seouls twitched in surprise when he saw the glowing thing disappear, then reappear.
"I see you didn't listen to my advice."
Like the first time, Seouls was left speechless. The glowing eye slowly blinked again and turned. As the Krawk's body rotated, his glowing staff was revealed behind him.
"I... I... I just-" Seouls began.
"Decided that you'd be fine singing to the Spiridion? That in itself isn't too awfully dangerous, but there's more out there. The trees have eyes, Seouls. You may not have realized this yet, but you've attracted unwanted attention." Seouls could see the Krawk's glowing eyes scowl.
"It may already be too late..." the Krawk continued. "I suggest you go home and lay low for a while."
"But I-" Seouls protested.
"GO!" the Krawk growled. And disappeared again.
Seouls stood with his mouth partly open for a few seconds longer. He shook his head, and took off toward home.
Seouls landed in the middle of the city. He stopped by a 24-hour grocery store to grab some food. If he was going to be stuck at home for a few days, he had to at least have a few snacks.
Seouls walked toward his home with the paper bag full of food in his arms. The night was moonless, and clouds covered the stars. He was walking through an older, more run-down part of town, and some of the street lamps weren't working, while others flickered uncertainly. It created a strange strobe light effect that amused Seouls when he walked under one.
As Seouls was passing a row of three darkened lamps, he heard something to his left. Seouls stared down the alley where the noise had come form. He couldn't see anything. He brushed it off as just a stray Meowclops and was about to turn away when something flew out of the darkness and buried itself in his chest.
Seouls cried out at the sharp pain and looked down. Growing out of his chest was a bubble-like bulge, followed by a flurry of feathers. Seouls reached up and plucked it out, and found a needle at the end. "A dart?" he thought.
He looked back into the darkness and his vision swam. "Oh no!" he thought frantically. "A tranquilizer dart!" Seouls dropped his grocery bag and began to run. His legs legs started to feel weak. He flapped his wings and tried to take off, but they felt like lead.
Another sharp pain in his lower back. Looking around, he saw another set of feathers. "No!" he yelled weakly. His limbs were beginning to go numb, and he was having a hard time not stumbling.
Seouls heard voices behind him. Loud, angry ones that sounded very threatening. The voices were getting closer.
Seouls ran with all his might, his wings now so numb he couldn't even lift them. Tears of shear terror sprang into his eyes. Seouls hit a pothole in the crumbling sidewalk and fell with a yelp. He tried to stand up again, but his arms and legs wouldn't respond properly. He crawled a few feet until his arms gave out and he crumpled to the ground, breathing heavily.
Through his closing tunnel vision, he saw feet all around him and heard what seemed to be distant voices. If he had any feeling in his body, he would have noticed that he was tied up roughly. Suddenly, everything just slipped into darkness...
Seouls slowly opened his eyes. His entire body ached and trembled. He tried to sit up, but he couldn't move. When his dancing vision cleared enough, he saw leather straps holding him down on a metal bed. He moved his arms and legs to test the bands. They were far too strong for him to break, especially in his weakened state.
His head swam as he looked around the room. There was hardly anything in it. A table off to his right with doctor tools, and a shelf with various objects opposite from him. The walls were white, and the lights were a dim, ruddy color.
Seouls laid there, not knowing what to do. Where was he? Why was he here? Who did all this? He faintly hoped this was just a cruel joke played by his friends, but he doubted it.
Suddenly, the lights blared into blinding white, and Seouls snapped his eyes shut, grimacing as the back of his eyeballs ached. He heard two people walk into the room.
"Awake now, I see?" a deep, sneering voice asked. Seouls cracked open an eye and saw a red Skeith in a labcoat. A skinny green Gelert in rectangle glasses and an overlarge labcoat stood behind the Skeith, a clipboard clutched in his hands.
"Don't worry. The side effects will pass shortly. But let's not bore each other with idle chatter. Let's just get to the point. You have something we need," the Skeith grinned, showing sharp, jagged teeth.
"If you cooperate, this can all be over very quickly and painlessly. So answer me this: how do you control the dancing glowing creatures?"
"The... Du'an?" Seouls rasped, surprised at the rawness of his voice.
"Yes, yes. The Du'an. How do you get them to obey you?" the Skeith asked sharply.
"I... I don't know... they just come."
"And you don't have to do anything?"
"I just...talk to them... Sometimes I sing... they just like it for some reason..." Seouls slurred.
"Song, hm? Interesting. Write that down!" he snapped his fingers at the Gelert. The poor assistant nearly dropped his clipboard in surprise. He then began to quickly write.
"What type of songs?" the Skeith inquired.
"Anything, really," Seouls blearily replied. "They like it all." The Gelert wrote buisily.
"How about instruments? Do they like those?"
"I only tried a couple... but they don't seem to have any effect on them..." More pen scratches.
"What instruments did you use?"
Seouls listed off the instruments, listening to the frantic scribbling.
"Interesting..." the Skeith muttered. He clapped his beefy hands together suddenly, making Seouls jump and the Gelert nearly have a heart attack. The Gelert pushed his glasses back up to his eyes. Eyes that were wild from terror.
"Thanks for the information, my young Draik. We'll analyze the data you have given us and be back later for more questioning," the Skeith released a blood-chilling grin and walked out, the Gelert skittering after. The door shut heavily, and the lights returned to the dark reddish glow.
Seouls relaxed, now realizing how tense he had become during the Skeith's visit. He didn't seem bad... but the look of fear from the Gelert set Seouls on edge. Where on earth was he?