Ascended

Max's body continued on autopilot as his mind searched the planet. Although the effects of the mushrooms had worn off the others, Max's dedication to find his parents pushed him out further and further until he was barely aware of his physical body anymore.

Mom, dad, I need you to find me. he thought

The humans that you seek still live. said a voice in Max's head.

Who's there? Where are you? Max tried to look around him but he only saw the rolling hills and mushroom forests that made up the beautiful landscape.

We are the first. the voice said back.

Suddenly everything went pure white around him - as if he were on the inside of a flashlight. In front of him, there were five beings with long white robes. They're bodies were humanoid; but they were obviously alien from the shape of their heads and the ridges on their faces

One of the beings spoke to him without opening it's mouth. The people that you are looking for

Then from another They are still alive.

A third voice chimed in - all inside of Max's mind. We will help you find them.

My parents? Max asked You know where they are?

The first voice responded, Your parents. Your companion's friend

Then another They are all alive.

We will help you.

Okay, what do I need to do? Max asked, unsure which of the beings to look at when he posed his questions.

First, you must make a promise to us

A solemn oath that cannot be broken

That you will protect our planet

The voices were coming from all five of the robed beings.

Another group of travellers came here.

They put machines on the creatures of our planet

They control minds and destroy everything that they see

They must be stopped.

Alright Max thought Then what can I do? Maybe if you help me find my parents first, they could help too.

Follow your comrades where they lead

We will handle the rest.

Just promise that you will fight on the side of the natural law - fight against these aggressors

"I promise." Max said, not just in his mind but through his lips as his body slept.

Then everything went dark around him and he could here some kind of noise around him.

"Max, wake up." Judith was saying to him. She was wearing the backpack that they'd found the day before and looking uncharacteristically giddy. Behind her, John, was standing in a guarded position with his rifle and gave Max a small shrug.

"We are going to go find Judith's friend." John said.

"Right." Max said, stretching out his stiff limbs. "Ready when you are."

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