Maral headed for Ambiguberg, the logical first step on her adventure. She was searching for an unknown city, and this was the closest, largest unknown (to her) city. As soon as the it came into view she knew it was not the right one. However, not having any other leads, she decided to explore a bit.
Upon entering, the city underwent the usual afternoon shifting. Maral tried not to panic as she felt the ground moving under her feet. Looking around for an escape, she discovered she was lost and disoriented. Her anxiety increased when she noticed the complete lack of nature and the looming buildings that appeared to be closing in around her.
Feeling desperate, she tried to gather herself, but instead she bumped right into Aileen. This lovely Fairy lady was kind and able to calm her. Aileen agreed to help her find the way out. As they walked, Aileen made conversation asking where Maral was from and what she had been doing in Ambiguberg.
Aileen was disturbed when Maral explained her odd quest. Nevertheless, there was something undefinably compelling that drew Aileen to this helpless little Gnome. However, she felt it was best to turn the conversation to a safe topic, so she began to talk about herself.
Their journey out of the city was progressing smoothly until they reached a street where Aileen instructed her to exert the utmost caution. She had barely avoided getting trampled on many occasions, but there was nothing to fear if one was alert and quick.
While crossing, Maral noticed something bizarre- a young Elf sitting in the middle of the road.
She ran to the Elf and urged her to get out of the street. Indignantly, the Elf pushed Maral away, “I am in a state of meditation that you are violating.”
“But the street is a dangerous place to meditate. You have to move or you’ll be run over.” Maral yelled as she checked for approaching traffic. At the moment the street was empty and silent.
“What are you talking about, you odd, little creature?!” Angrily the Elf stood to face Maral. “It is my choice to be in this spot and I will not move.”
Aileen sounded embarrassed and awkward, “Maral, really, you shouldn’t force your will upon someone else. It is not the way things are done here. We need to go.”
“But she will be run over if she remains here. You said yourself this is a dangerous road.”
“Well, perhaps for she knows something I do not!” Maral stared at her until Aileen quickly turned to the angry Elf, “Excuse the interruption, I had an experience, actually quite a few experiences, here that to me felt dangerous. With this knowledge, do you still choose to remain here?”
“Yes,” the Elf said firmly and defiantly sat back down.
“Ok. Come on, Maral.” Aileen said firmly taking her arm.
Maral moved in a state of shock. She could not believe that this Elf would not listen.
Aileen had begun to walk down the sidewalk but Maral stood frozen. The noise of wheels on cobblestone racing toward them was all her brain could process. In a moment, before anything could be done they had rounded the corner and trampled the Elf.
Aileen turned and saw the mangled Elf. She screamed and ran to her, expertly dodging in and out of traffic. Aileen tried to gather the Elf into her arms. “Maral! Help me, we need to get her to a hospital!”
Suddenly, a shifting occurred that took Maral away from the tragedy, deeper into the city.