Chapter 4: The Cave Dwellers
Daniel laid in the center of a small hut. Interested villages packed themselves into the hut to the point where they could hardly even move. He was the first outsider any of the villagers had seen before, but that wasn’t the only reason they were all surrounding him. The reason for this intense interest was the fact that he had actually survived the fall, even though he was badly injured in it he was still alive. Daniel looked around as much as he could, he saw one villager that looked different from all the rest. She must be the village leader he thought. He tried to say something to her, but he couldn’t make any sound still. Then he noticed her telling a few of the villages something, they quickly left and brought back a small bowl filled with a green, yellow, and brown paste. They mixed it around until it became one color and then they added a little water to it, then began trying to feed it to him.
The village leader moved closer to him, she smiled, then spoke loud enough for only him to hear. “Come on you have to eat, you need to get your strength back before you can do anything. Don’t worry, I know it tastes like it will kill you, but it won’t trust me, it will have you back on your feet in no time.” She said with a reassuring smile, Daniel was shocked and confused at the same time by the village leader, not by what she had said but by the fact that he could understand her perfectly. The strangest part of all this was the language she was speaking.
He had only heard this language spoken by one other person during his entire life; and that person was his father. As a child, he learned to speak this language, even though his father said that it was a dead language. Oddly enough, he never learned to speak this language by choice, the reason he did speaking it was because his father spoke it more than he spoke any other language. So in order to understand his father, he learned to pick up on it.
As Daniel forced himself to swallow the horrible tasting paste, he thought that he must have been hearing things when the village leader had spoken to him before. She couldn’t have been speaking the language he thought she was. However, as the silence in the room was broken by the villages speaking amongst themselves, he realized that they were speaking the same language. This just brought even more questions to his mind, and made him even more confused about the villagers.
Within an hour, he was able to sit up and speak. “Hello, my name is Daniel, thank you for taking care of me. Can I ask where I am and who you are and how did I get here?” The villagers were shocked and amazed, not only by the fact that he had healed enough to sit up and speak, but mainly by the fact that he spoke their language. “How is it possible that you can speak our language when you have never been here?” Asked the village leader in a surprised and confused tone.
“I learned to speak it as a small child; it was the only thing my father spoke at home.” Replied Daniel, the chief looked at him with disbelief and surprised. Then after pausing for a few minutes, she began to speak again. “Well, we haven’t had contact with the outside world in what seems like forever.” She paused for a few seconds, then continued. “Your father wouldn’t happen to be Carlton would he?” Asked the chief with a very skeptical voice.
“Yes, he is my father, and to answer your next question, yes, he is that old.” Replied Daniel, surprising even himself by the words he was speaking. The chief just laughed, Daniel looked around and could see most of the villages in the hut were actually smiling too. “We all know how old he is, he is the person responsible for our home here. If it weren’t for him, we would all be living on the surface right now. But we never thought that the cursed one would have kids, actually we didn’t think he could have kids.” She said happily, and then looked him up and down for a while. “It’s a good thing that he was able to have children, from what I was told as a child he seemed like a very lonely person. So how old would you be Daniel.” She said very eager to find out the answer.
Daniel looked at her with confusion, then tried to answer her while stumbling over his words. “I, 200 years old, how do you.” Daniel stopped for a second; he knew he sounded like a complete moron. He took a deep breath collected his thoughts and tried it again. “Sorry about that, I’m 200 years old it was my birthday the day before I fell down the waterfall. But what I really want to know is how you know about my father and our curse?” Daniel was extremely confused at this point even more than when he had just woken up. Everything that was happening was just raising more questions in his head.
“It’s simple really. He saved us all and brought our people here when the Great War ended and the world was left in pieces. Famine and disease were spreading across the world and rumors of new wars were all that anyone talked about. Then he came bringing us together from all over the world, and bringing us here where it was safe. He taught us to live off the land, using every resource efficiently and without wasting, and without causing damage to the environment, and having more than we could use. He is even the reason for the green glow in our eyes, caused by the plant that he gave us to keep us healthy and to give us a longer life span.” She explained with a smile.
Until this moment, Daniel had no idea what his father had done after he was cursed. The people in this village were what his father had protected from his time. They had advanced technology that he had only seen in his father’s lab before now. Not only that, but they seem much more peaceful than anyone he had ever seen. As a few of the villages helped him up and took him outside of the hut he thought about his journey. Though it had just started, he had learned more about his father than he had himself, which also made him think he was never going to get away from his father’s control. He had just basically fallen off the planet and yet he was still in his father’s shadow. Which wasn’t a very bad thing, but for going on an adventure of a lifetime, it made him feel as if he was still following his father’s plans.
He looked around the village as the thoughts filled his mind, and then he took a deep breath. “You know what, this is my adventure and I don’t care what my father did a long time ago. This is my time and I’m going to enjoy it.” Daniel said softly to himself, then smiled at the villagers that were helping him along.
As he looked around where he was and out into the village, he couldn’t help but wonder how on earth did his father manage to build a city all the way down here, and not only that, but how did he get all these people here without killing them all on the way down.