Alex got out of the cab of his truck. He told Kassie, “You stay here in the cab while I look around”…
Kassie immediately got out of the cab and went around to where Alex was…
“Which part of ‘stay in the cab didn’t you understand?”, he asked her.
“I’m not staying in there alone”, she fired back defiantly.
“Ok then. But stay close”, Alex said. He then girted himself with a pair of 12 inch hunting/survival knives which he kept on an old style garrison belt.
“What are those for?”, she asked. He replied with, “We have no way of knowing who or what is out here. We don’t even know where ‘here’ is!”
Alex then took a pair of binoculars out of his glove compartment. And finally he picked up two spears (one of which he had used recently to defend Kassie). He handed one to her , instructing her how to hold it in front of her as a defensive weapon should someone or something attack them.
Thus prepared, Alex led them towards the clearing he had seen thru the trees earlier when the mysterious fog had lifted.
Reaching the edge of the woods, Alex took a cursory look around with the naked eye. Before them spread a great open field. There seemed to be woods on the far side opposite them, about a mile or so away. Behind these woods, Alex could see the peaks of some hills cresting above them.
The open field extended to both their left and right. To their right, perhaps half a mile or so away, something there caught Alex’s eye. He now looked thru his binoculars for a clearer view. “Oh”, he exclaimed to Kassie. “There seems to be some sort of dwelling there. I think we should pay them a visit. But first, we have to do some ‘housekeeping’”.
“Do you think it will be safe”, Kassie asked.
“I don’t know, but we’ll find out. Anyway, we really can’t stay here”.
.Alex collected the rest of his survival equipment, mostly camping stuff. He also took the groceries he had just purchased. He reasoned that he could always use them for bartering. He loaded up both himself and Kassie. They then trudged off towards the dwelling he had spotted.
The walk to the dwelling was uneventful. As they were within a couple of hundred feet from their destination, a man stepped out of the shadows, coming towards them.
The man was elderly, pudgy, and jovial looking. He had a full head of snow white hair, and adorned with a full snow white beard. Properly attired, he could have passed for “Santa Clause”. “Hello strangers”, he bellowed. “And welcome”.
“Hello yourself and thank you”, shouted back Alex as they approached each other. Alex passed his spear from his right hand to his left so that he could extend his right in an offer of a hand shake (an ancient custom devised by the Romans to show you were “unarmed” and meant no harm).
The elderly man accepted Alex’s extended hand and cupped both clasped hands with his in a warm and welcoming gesture. Folks here call me ‘The Venerable”, or just ‘Venerable’. I will explain later.. And who are you and this lovely young lady?”
“Oh, this is Kassie, and I am Alex, Quite interestingly, we ourselves have only just met about an hour or so ago”. Alex then added, “I think we are lost”.
The Venerable replied with, “You are not ‘lost’, You have been found and have been brought here. Be advised however, that I don’t know where ‘here’ is. This place looks like the Earth we all know and love, and could be Earth, but I would venture to say that it is not Earth”.
“I will try to explain as much as I can and as much as I know. Other than that, understand that you are probably here to stay. So, you’d better make the best of it”.
“Wow”, exclaimed Alex. “Surely you jest!”. “You mean we are stuck here?”, screeched Kassie.
“To my knowledge, anyone who was brought here has never made it back. They live the rest of their lives here and they died here”.
“But who brought us here and how?” asked Alex.
I don’t really know. The best explanation that I have is that it’s either aliens, or some kind of superior being. Maybe they are running some kind of experiment. But again, I don’t know. In your particular case, there must have been something special about your encounter with each other that created the circumstances that brought you here. But, we’ll get to that shortly.
“I will tell you a bit more about who I am and about your new home. And yes, make no mistake about it, this IS your new home. But, before that, are you hungry or thirsty? Can I offer you something of sustenance?”
“It’s interesting you should ask that”, Alex replied. “Just before we arrived here, I did some food shopping and I have perishables. I would like to offer them to you to thank you for your hospitality. I would hate for good food to go bad. It would be a shame to let them go to waste”.