"Zak, ya' lazy begar. Go into the woods and bring some wood."

This was the last thing my mother ever said to me. I bet she's kicking herself now.

I nodded to my mother and trudged up the hill, to the forest that loomed over our tiny settlement. Soon I was in the thick of it, hacking off any obstructing twigs and limbs and throwing them into the whicker box that hung off my back. I completely failed to notice how the wood were so unusually quiet that day.

OK, you may be asking how, if I failed to notice this fact, it is now apearing in this tale. Well stop asking questions. Jerk.

Midday came (not that you could tell: the thickly interwoven branches blocked out all but the dimest, most mood-setting light) and I was starving. My stomach growled at me to stop but I couldn't. I had no food and plus anyone who stayed still in these woods usually STAYED still in these woods, if you get my meaning. So I turned and started to head back, following the path that I had cut through.

WWWWSSSSSSSSSSHHHHHHHHHHHHHH-THUD

Something zoomed passed my head and embedded itself in a nearby tree. It was a knife, all serated and pointy and vicious looking and it hung quivering in the blackened bark of the tree, glinting faintly in the dimness.

"Oh, (Slang word for zargon faecees added in here)," I said. And I ran. What from I didn't know. Quite frankly, when you've just had a knife scimm your face so close that a small trickle of blood is now running down your face from a nik in your pointy ears, you dont really care for such details.

The path wound violently. Branches tore at my clothes and skin. Soon I was exhausted and bleeding badly. I staggered to a stop and listened, but all I could here was the pounding of my heart. Other than that the forest was deadly quiet (See I did realise.).

"Found it." This was precisely what I heard and this could get a little confusing. Back then, I knew no English. All I knew was the language in which my species spoke and the slang and accent that defined my clan. This being the first English I had ever heard the words were foreign to me yet I remembered them from their oddness and later translated them.

Anyway...at the second I heard that, a stream of blue light leaped out of the trees to my right and caught me squarely in the gut. I nearly doubled over, nearly blacked out, as the hot energy ripped through my gut, tightening up my digestive tract, tying my stomach in knots, and putting me in excrusiating agony. I screamed from the pain, swore a bit, but somehow, with all the strength and endurability of the Timead species, forced my legs into a run. I got only about 10 metres, doubled over and screaming, before I saw my first ever human.

It emerged from the bushes, slow as anything, hands outstretched towards me. I admit it wasn't a great first impression- the figure wore a full-body, grey plastic suit and mask obscuring the face-, nor was it the most diplomatic of meetings. As the pain ripped red hot lines through my chest, my vision dissolved into white snow and I stumbled forwards, feeling myself colide with the figure. Cold, gloved, unseen hands caught handfulls of my hair. Other hands grabbed my arms and legs, held me steady. I could feel my energy failing me, draining away into blackness, fatique filling my body faster than anything I've felt before. My sight returned to me a second before I collapsed to the floor, limp as a doll. I made out five figures stood over me, then my eyelids slid down under their own weight, my eyes slid back into my head and I saw no more.