The night was dark as Zoey sprinted through the trees. She wanted to be as far away from the city of Colten as she could. She was certain that her shot had not been fatal for the man in black, and she was not about to stick around to find out if he had friends that were as strong as he was.
She was a soldier, a fighter, but the introduction of this world's magic was completely throwing her off. Not to mention she had no idea how to use her transformation that allowed her to survive for a quarter century on Gaia. She needed to urgently find a way to augment her combat arsenal. Before that she needed to find somewhere she could be safe. Somewhere she could do some research and figure out how to use and counteract the magic of this world.
Zoey continued to run until the morning sun began to shine through the trees. She had no idea where she was, only that she had made considerable distance. The area she was in was considerably different from where she was when she had come to this planet. The trees and foliage here were wilder, bigger. The trees were almost twice the size of the ones she has seen, and sometimes even bigger. This area was clearly more untamed than where she had come from.
As Zoey was looking around, a shrill squeal sounded from somewhere ahead of her. Instantly on guard she unholsterd her 9mm and moved ahead using the trees as cover. She arrived just in time to see a Vekt fall out of a tree. The Vekt looked like a male of the species, and was curling up in a ball while being pecked by a creature that looked like a woodpecker and a squirrel fused into one. Zoey watched for a moment, considering whether or not to help. She decided in the end to help the poor Vekt as he seemed pretty harmless, after all the woodpecker squirrel was bullying him pretty easily.
She holstered her weapon and went up and shooed away the creature. It chirped angrily at her and even swooped at her, but once it realized she was a bigger threat it flew off, chirping angrily the whole time. The Vekt stayed curled up in a ball for a few moments before he realized the attacker was gone. He timidly looked around and froze again when he noticed Zoey standing there. At the moment Zoey must have been quite the sight. Black clothing covered in a black poncho and a mask covering her face and her gear was filthy from a night of running through overgrown woods.
After a moment the Vekt unfroze and slowly climbed to his feet.
"Thank you. Was hungry, try to get eggs, angry papa find me, fall from tree..."
The Vekt motioned nervously at the tree he had fallen out of. His way of speaking was a little strange, but Zoey could understand him easily enough. She could understand the hunger part at least. She almost laughed out loud when his stomach loudly growled. She took dry ration from under her poncho and handed it to the Vekt, monitoring to him that it was food. The Vekt was a little hesitant at first, but after a taste, he quickly devoured the ration with relish. He finished quickly and was obviously very thankful for the food, cupping his hands and bowing. Zoey understood it was how the people of Darren showed their thanks and nodded to acknowledge him.
After he ate, the Vekt spoke.
"Me Nito. Not seen you before?"
Nito looked questioningly at Zoey. After a moment of thought Zoey removed her mask and answered.
"My name is Zoey. I'm a traveler not from here, and have just arrived."
Nito's face visibly brightened as he listened to her.
"Many thanks Zoey! You Nito's friend! Come, Will show you my home!"
Nito started off into the underbrush, motioning with all four arms for her to follow. Zoey was a little bemused and slightly cautious. Nito seemed a little too trusting, but as long as she was careful there was no harm in following him.
The two of them headed off. Nito was clearly excited at finding a new friend, turning around to check if she was still there several times before heading off again excitedly clapping his hands. Zoey found herself smiling a little at his antics. She could not sense any danger from him, and he seemed to be an honest fellow.
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Around an hour later, they arrived at a little clearing. Nito began to gesture excitedly pointing at his house and inviting her in. He had turned a massive dead tree stump into his house. The tree would have been the king of trees in this area had it been alive. Now all that was left was a hollowed out stump that Nito had turned into a house.
The outside of the house was overgrown with vines with some areas trimmed to make room for windows and the door. Overall it looked cozy, and Nito was obviously proud of it as he stood by the door with grin and presented his home with all four arms. Zoey smiled at his enthusiasm, and nodded her approval, making Nito's grin even bigger. He opened the door and invited her inside.
The inside was certainly cozy. Nito had clearly put a lot of effort into his house. It was one big room inside the stump, with a fire pit as the centerpiece. There was his sleeping area to the left away from the windows, and a living area to the right that had a couple wooden stumps padded with woven grass for seating. Most of the amenities that Zoey could see were made either from carved wood or animal bones, and woven grass was used for containers and other surfaces.
"Its very nice."
Zoey quietly complemented the obviously expectant Nito. He laughed happily and waved his arms, inviting her to sit.
That is how, in one of the vast forests of Darren, in a small hollowed out tree stump, a friendship began between a girl far from home, and a Vekt called Nito.