Once upon a time, on a day very much like this one, a fleet of ships descended from the sky and an invasion began. This is how the story always starts when it’s told to children at bedtime. Life changed dramatically after the invasion, and things were never the same.
It was on a day like this one that Max went out into the forest to gather herbs. The forest was not like the forests we know today; it was a magnificent forest that stretched from the foothills to the horizon. People lived in harmony with the forest, not knowing what the future would bring.
The story of what happened next is nothing more than a fantastic tale that grandmothers tell their grandchildren about a world that our ancestors lived in. They say it was a beautiful world that had to be sacrificed for the survival of the species.
Max was gathering herbs in the depths of the forest on an ordinary morning, making his way to the far end of the forest. This part of the forest was dangerous, but Max knew how to navigate it. However, he was venturing deep into the territory of predators, unaware of the many dangers that were part of the forest’s natural harmony.
As Max journeyed through the forest, he expertly navigated his way deeper into the woods, becoming one with his surroundings. Even though he was only thirteen, few people knew the area as well as Max did. He had learned his navigational skills from his father, who was the best herbalist in the tribe. Max knew that gathering plants in the depths of the forest was his destiny.
Max was searching for a rare herb that only grew in the territory of black jaguars. His senses were always sharp as he moved stealthily through the forest, knowing that this was the only way to survive. He had recently seen a jaguar, but the animal had not noticed him.
During his excursions, Max would think of ways to improve the tribe’s health with his elixirs. Unlike our world, tribal life was intertwined with nature, and going against the will of nature was a mistake made by only a few. Max was not one of those people who practiced dark arts to prolong life beyond its natural limit.
While Max was kneeling to gather herbs, he felt a disturbance deep in the forest. This was the first time Max had felt such a powerful change, and his mind searched for a reason for it. Suddenly, a large black jaguar appeared within Max’s range of vision. Max had not noticed the animal before, but now there was no time for regrets. The beast was charging toward him.
Max had no time to react and stood frozen as the jaguar approached him. He felt helpless as he watched the animal’s sleek movements and realized there was no escaping its attack. Max only had time to think about the bag of herbs, which contained no weapons. He watched as the jaguar advanced step by step, forgetting about the disturbance in the forest.
Despite the impending attack, Max felt exhilarated at the prospect of seeing a magnificent beast of this size leaping at him. The animal leapt towards Max as if it were flying, and Max could only lower his head and accept his fate as the jaguar’s paws brushed his hair. Max felt the warmth of the animal’s body as it overtook him, and his mind jumped back to the disturbance in the forest.
As Max closed his eyes, he could feel the fear coursing through his bones. He was consumed with thoughts of the disturbance and the looming responsibility of investigating it. Max couldn’t bear the thought of letting down his tribe, but he was acutely aware that there was no one close enough to investigate it. Despite his duty to bring back information, Max’s lack of awareness of the jaguar’s proximity filled him with guilt, knowing he had failed to live up to his responsibilities.
Max couldn’t comprehend why he heard the great black jaguar land as if he were an insignificant obstacle. The beast continued to run, not once looking back at Max. Max understood that the jaguar was fleeing, and the only reason it would do so was because of the disturbance.
With no one to seek counsel from, Max lifted his head to the sky and watched the birds fly away from the disturbance. He began to run towards it, knowing that there was no time to waste.
As Max weaved through the trees, dodging branches and animals, he couldn’t shake off the image of the predator stalking the forest. Closing his eyes, Max allowed his instincts to take over, and he found himself sprinting towards the disturbance, which grew larger with every step he took. As he got closer, Max’s anticipation increased, but he was plagued with fear and doubt, unsure of what to do.
Suddenly, Max caught a glimpse of a flicker of light, which grew stronger by the second. The light was like nothing he had ever seen before, and Max knew that it couldn’t have been created by anything on this planet. He slowed down as he spotted the beast lurking in the forest, and fear consumed him as he took short steps towards the light, observing the size of the beast.
As Max hugged a nearby tree, he trembled with fear, his eyes fixed on the beast. He could barely believe what he saw and wiped his eyes to make sure he wasn’t hallucinating. He confirmed his fears as he reopened his eyes, watching in disbelief as hundreds of humans walked out of the belly of the beast, alongside other creatures that had no legs.
The beast was shiny, like the surface of a lake, and bigger than anything Max had ever seen. It was not the only one either, as others came out of the belly with no legs moving next to the humans. The beast had left a huge hole in the forest, with thousands of trees scattered on the ground.
Max turned around and ran as fast as he could, filled with a sense of urgency to tell his tribesmen what he had seen. He knew that he had to relay the information to them, even if it meant putting his own life on the line.