Episode 6: The Earthquake
Theovelt woke to the sound of the slat in their door clanging shut. Breakfast. More rocks. His stomach grumbled. He pried his eyes open and tried to rub the sleep out of them. The hay wasn't nearly as soft as the wool stuffed mattress he was used to.
Theo rolled over and all signs of sleep left him as adrenaline coursed through his veins.
"Ah! Don't do that!" he gasped at Val. "Were you staring at me the whole night like that? That's terrifying."
"Is three hundred and seventy-four minutes the usual reboot time for your species?" she asked.
"What? I have no idea."
"Well, I must say, I am glad Visagetome Corporation Clones do not need to sleep. It did not look very pleasant. You spent the majority of the night rolling around and shouting about someone called Mr. Teddy Bear."
Theo stared at her blankly. He walked over to the door, picked up a breakfast stone, and licked it to assure his stomach that it wasn't edible.
"How long until this place opens and people come again?" he asked.
"Any minute now. In fact I think I see the attendant opening the gates right now."
Off in the distance a Globinian walked into a lever, absorbing it, then stepping backwards, brought the lever with him. Mechanisms whirled, and a large double hinged gate began to crack and then open in the middle, showing a few patrons behind it. The gate swung wide, and the zoo began to slowly fill with spectators ready to learn about and observe the collection.
A group of Globs gathered in front of Theo and Val's window, oogling at their strange non-blobular forms. This new group of spectators had no knowledge of the fear present in yesterday's crowd. Theo and Val sat on the other side of the glass simply observing their observers.
"You're going to have to talk to them and convince one of them to let us out, you know."
The crowd perked up at the strange noises coming from the blue one.
"I know," Theo replied. "Just letting them get used to us."
The crowd winced at his clear words. They began to mummer to one another as their anxieties grew.
"So much for that," Theo said. He stood up and waved his hands in a downward motion meant to hush and subdue the crowd. "Greetings, people of this great planet. I come from far away to save you from great destruction. I am using advanced technology to speak with you in your own language. I am here to help, not harm you."
Silence fell on the crowd. Val was impressed; they seemed to be listening to what he was saying. Taking their silence as his cue that they were actually paying attention, Theo continued, "A disaster is about to happen that will destroy this city and wipe all life from this planet. I am here to help stop this disaster from happening, but first you must let me free to work with you and find a solution."
Theo and Val waited with bated breath for the crowd to respond. Well, Theo did. Lacking lungs, Val just waited. They felt that this group was actually listening to them this time.
"They've come to destroy us!"
"This evil monster wants us to release him so they can kill us all!"
The crowd erupted in chaos.
"Are they complying?" Val asked. "Are they grateful for our help?"
Theo plopped down on the pile of hay frustrated and defeated. "Not exactly," he replied. He turned around, away from the mob, and stared at the pile of rocks in the corner by the door. The rocks began to move ever so slightly. Then a little less slightly. They began to vibrate. One fell from the pile and rolled across the floor. They began shaking more violently and the pile fell apart. Theo now felt the ground beneath him shaking. He looked up at Val and saw her face change as she began to feel the disturbance as well.
"It is beginning," echoed Arthur's voice through the communicator.
Their whole cell was now shaking. Theo and Val reached out for whatever they could find to brace themselves and steady their balance. They looked out and saw the crowd still shouting and giving reasons why Theo was a wizard. They seemed to take no notice of the world shaking around them. Val noticed a smaller Globininan that wasn't shouting with the rest but instead was looking at various things around the zoo.
As the ground began to settle Arthur cut in, "My calculations predict you have less than two days to save the life on this planet."
"Two days! We have no hope of escaping this cage in years much less two days!" exclaimed Theo.
"I trust you will succeed. Have patience, and things will fall into place."
"Yeah, we can't give up hope yet. We have almost two full days to figure this out. That's plenty of time," Val said reassuringly. "Get back up and talk to them again. I'm sure there will be someone who will hear what you have to say."
Theo smiled and got to his feet. "My name is Theovelt. I am here to help you. There is a giant wall of water coming to wash away the city. I am here to help stop it. I want to save you."
Val watched the little Globinian again. He was the only one in the crowd intently listening to what Theo was saying.
"The wizard speaks lies! He will kill us all with his magic water!"
The blobling's eyes widened, and he began to shake. Val felt that he suddenly became very afraid. More afraid than the rest of the crowd and for a different reason. Theo was trying to calm the crowd down and convince them that he wasn't a magical wizard while Val watched an expression of courage and resolution come over the blobling's face. His eyes tightened and his mouth straightened. He made himself as tall as he could and moved his way through the crowd to a boulder on the side of their cage. He climbed the boulder and did the blob equivalent of clearing his throat. It was a piercing glug sound.
The crowd continued shouting and arguing about Theo's wizardom. The blobling glugged again and this time drew some of the crowd's attention. A third time and the crowd was finally silent, all looking intently at him up on his rock, waiting for whatever he had to say.
He paused for a moment mustering up the courage to speak in front of all the big blobs. "He's not a wizard. They are the ones that the prophecy spoke of. They are here to save us," he pleaded. "The prophecy says one savior will fall from the sky while another will appear at our gates. The one will speak with us, and the other will save us from a wall of purple."
Some of the Globinians understood the blobling, nodding in agreement while others continued to argue.
"They aren't our saviors the prophecy speaks of. He is the wizard who causes the wall of purple water that we need saved from!"
"Kid, your grandpa is a quack, the prophecy isn't real. The tablet is just scribbles from a child like you."
Frustrated, the blobling yelled, "He's not crazy! He knows what he's talking about, and if you don't free these people you're going to get everyone killed!"
The crowd just laughed at him. The little blobling got down from his pedestal and left the crowd to argue among themselves.
"What'd that kid say?" Val asked.
Theo responded, "Something about a prophecy of some sorts. I guess he knows of some prophecy that says we save everyone."
"Sounds like a smart kid. He seemed to understand what you were saying and not be afraid. I thought he might be the one to understand you and convince the others."
"Me too," sighed Theo. " I guess we have to keep trying."
Theo and Val spent the whole day trying to convince someone that Theo wasn't a wizard and warn them of the coming danger. He pleaded to be let out so that they could help save the people, but no one wanted to hear them and even if they did, they couldn't have over all the shouting and arguing coming from the crowd.
Finally, after the zoo had closed, Theo decided to go to bed early since speaking to a deaf crowd took all of the energy out of him, and he needed to recover if he was ever going to find a solution that would save the life on this planet.
Since she had no need of sleep, Val stayed awake trying to come up with a plan to get out of their prison. She was deep in thought when she heard a loud clang against the cell door.