Throughout the time they were quickly traveling through the rough terrain, Diana taught Kiyro everything she knew about how to survive and control the wagon. Kiyro patiently listened to every word she said and only answered when needed. He knew that the time they were together was riddled with danger and that he needed to be ready when the times comes.
It took more than two hours to get to the safehouse. Although a large path through the forest had been created, the ups and downs of the wagon made Kiyro feel a bit queasy. He never even ridden a wagon before, but he heard stories about how there was supposedly flying cars. He dreamed and wondered when he would be able to one day ride such vehicle.
It wasn’t until when the sun were setting that they were able to make it to the base of the safehouse. The safe house was located high in the thick trees, in reality it was more like treehouse. The main part of the treehouse was carved into the giant tree that towered over the other trees. He had had come to this place once before with Steve so he remembered his way around.
“I can help.” Kiyro replied with a cheerful tone, trying to get the rest of the children in a more calm mood.
“Thank you Kiyro. Why don’t you take this bag near the tree and pull down the levy for the lift.”
“Okay.” Kiyro whistled a small tune and picked up a small bag. He was happy to help out with moving things. It was just that in reality, he was scared. Something was wrong, and he could sense it in both Diana and Steve. He understood that something dangerous was coming their way and they did not know what it was.
Both Diana and Steve made sure to block their minds so that Kiyro could not hear their thoughts. They did not want to give him unnecessary worry that Kiyro might not be able to handle.
The young kids came out of their and watched Kiyro cheerfully move with the heavy bag. At first they were scared, but in matter of minutes, they forgot why they were scared. Each one of them leaned out of the wagon wondering how to get down.
With a light thump, Kiyro placed the heavy bag onto the ground. He looked up and saw the wooden lift dangling from above. Luckily for Kiyro, safe steps were made for him to climb and he made it up to the top without much harm. Safely leaning towards the edge of the wooden walkway, he gently pulled the lever down. Loud noise of the contraption went downwards onto the ground.
“That’s good enough Kiyro.” Diana called out from the ground.
Kiyro pushed up the lever up and the lift stopped. Peeking over, he watched Diana hoist up the large supplies with barely any effort. Transporting boxes of supplies on to the lift barely took much time. Finally, she bundled up the four children and placed them into a large crate in the middle of all the supplies.
“Don’t move from here.” Diana sternly told the kids. They nodded wondering what was going to happen next. She went back and picked up the crate where Alex and Eve was sleeping and also put them on the lift. She went back once more and unhitched the Phillia.
With swift steps both the Phillia and Diana both climbed up the treehouse effortlessly and was right next to Kiyro in seconds. The moment Kiyro learned about these mechanical suits, he always dreamed of having one for himself. He wished that he would be able to one day get one just like his mother and father.
Diana placed him in a small stall that was next to the treehouse. Then she effortlessly pulled on the heavy ropes of the lift, and brought the supplies to the top. Kiyro waited patiently for Diana to finish pulling the lift to the top.
“Mom, when would dad be back?”
“I don’t know. For now we are going to stay here for awhile. I’m going to need your help more now that your dad is gone.”
Kiyro felt proud that he was the oldest. It was one of those times when Kiyro reverted back to a child and the simplest things would make him happy. Most of the time, because of his higher intelligence he would talk like a nine years old.
Diana pulled the lift to the top, and tightly wrapped the ropes so the lift would not fall. The kids in the crate were squealing in delight as they were brought to the top. When they finally reached the top, they let out a squeal of disappointment asking for it to go higher.
Kiyro couldn’t help but shake in his head and roll his eyes from their childish behavior.
“Everyone stay inside the crate. I did not tell you to move yet.” Diana barked orders making the children freeze. She had begun to pick up the supplies and bring it inside the treehouse.
“I don’t want to stay here,” Will cried out with a temper tantrum. “I’m bored. I want my mom.”
“Bam. Bam. Bam.” Jack somehow had a stick in his hand and was banging on the side of the crate as if he was fixing something.
Both Isabel and Alan were looking around and pointing at the birds in the trees excitedly.
Kiyro sighed and walked over to his bag that he placed. He picked it up to help Diana with the moving. He wondered when they would all grow up and stop being such a nuisance.
It didn’t take long for everything to be put away, the kids were running around squealing in delight. The treehouse was large and vast. Three small wooden buildings were stringed across quite of bit of trees. The first one was a supplies building where all the necessary food and weapons were stored. There were even a solar powered refrigerator that were installed to keep food fresh.
The other building was the stall that they kept the Philia, while the main treehouse that Kiyro was in had three decent size rooms, a kitchen, and a large living room like space. Each were safely protected so none of the children would fall out. Diana, Alex and Eve were in one room.
“Mom, I’m going to stay with the other kids,” replied Kiyro. He felt that it was also his job to make sure the other four children would not cause problems in the room. “We’re all going to sleep in the same room.”
“Are you sure? There is an extra room if you want it Kiyro,” Diana called out. She was busy making bottled milk for Alex and Eve.
“I’ll be fine. I promised I would take care of them and I would.”
Kiyro entered the room where the four kids were situated. He noticed Jack and Will fighting over a handmade teddybear. While Isabel and Alan was on the bed playing teaparty.
“Hey! Give me that! I found it first!” Jack yelled in anger.
“No, it’s mine!” replied Will just as furiously while he tugged harder.
Their small bickerish fight awoke both Alex and Eve, making them cry.
Kiyro couldn’t stand their useless bickering, and he picked up both his toys that he played with frequently. It was a small truck and a police car that Steve had hand carved for him.
“Guys. Stop fighting. Why don’t you share?” said Kiyro calmly. Diana was about to intervene between the small skirmish, but she was busily rocking the twins so they would stop crying.
“No. He’s taking my bear!” Will yelled in outburst.
“No. It’s mine!”
Kiyro held up his hands and showed them his toys. “If you guys stop fighting, I’ll let you play with my toys.”
Both Will and Jack stopped fighting and stared at Kiyro’s toys. They nodded as they reached over. Kiyro pulled back and said, “You first need to apologize to each other. Then I’ll let you play with my toys.”
Just like that, both Will and Jack said sorry to one another. They grabbed their new toys excitedly as they begun to play with one another.
Kiyro let out a loud sigh, and shook his head once again. He thought, they have a long way to go.
Diana couldn’t help but smile at Kiyro’s behavior. She knew that Kiyro was growing up fast and learning at an incredible pace.
One week has gone by without news of Steve appearing at their hideout. Diana was worried that something might had happened to Steve in the fight with the monsters. She sat near the window facing towards the small village hoping she would see some sign of Steve coming towards their hideout.
Everyday was a simple routine of helping and watching Diana cook up food. He would diligently watch and pay attention on where everything were. He kept a mental tab on the things that were around the room. Diana noticed Kiyro watching, and taking mental notes. She had begun to teach him very simple dishes that even Kiyro could remember. Even teaching him how to hold a small knife and hand-made wooden bow.
Diana felt that Kiyro was intelligent enough to understand the dangers of a weapon. Each day, when a stray animal past by she would use a bow to snipe from afar. She did not use the gun for the fear of attracting unwanted loud attention it might possibly bring. Then she would go down and grab her kill. Once again, she would teach Kiyro how to skin and gut their game. Kiyro was learning faster than normal. He knew everything that she taught him was essential.
Kiyro knew that Diana had her hands full taking care of both Alex and Eve at the same time. He would make sure to keep in line of the other four children and play with them when needed. Will had begun to notice Kiyro’s behavior and started to copy him and slowly Jack followed after.
They look up towards Kiyro with admiration and envy as they saw how Kiyro was being taught things that they were not. It became a fierce competition between the Jack and Will to see who could learn new things the fastest. They even roped Kiyro in, but Kiyro tried his best to stay away from their little squabble.
Kiyro knew he had many things to learn fast, and he didn’t have time to be roped in on their childish behaviors. Diana watched Kiyro grow quickly before her eyes, she could not help but smile when ever she saw Kiyro trying his best to help her out. Her heart tingled with warmth.
Weeks turned into a months. Eleven months has passed by in a blink of an eye without a single word from Steve. Kiyro could see the worry plastered on Diana’s face. She knew she could not leave the children behind to go see if everything was okay. Their food supplies would last them less than two more months without worry. She thought by now Steve, Tony, or even Sarah would come back with some kind of news. She thought the fight could not have taken such a long time to accomplish.
During the eleven months, Kiyro had learned many things from Diana. Kiyro was finally six years five months old. He was no expert in using his small bows but he was now able to successfully fire it and be able to hit the mark eighty percent of the time.
Even Jack and Will took up the lesson to learn how to fire the bow. They were learning quickly as they excitedly followed suit. It was surprising to see that the Jack and Will kept quiet while they listened to Diana’s instruction. Most of the time they were bickering with one another, but now instead they competed with one another. Already Jack was showing signs of being better than Kiyro.
They were not to far away from the treehouse, and kept close for the fear of possibly being lost. Diana drilled in their heads that they could not go past the red marks that she had personally painted on the trees for the danger that could happen. But as months went by Kiyro, Will, and Jack moved a bit further ahead.
“Kiyro. Kiyro. I beat you!” Jack said excitedly. Jack, Kiyro, and Will were on the forest floor practicing using their handmade bows. A makeshift target a good thirty-five feet away were six colored arrows. Jack had green tipped arrows, while Kiyro had red. Two out of three green tipped arrows were landed closely to one another near the bullseye, while majority of Kiyro’s arrows were spread apart.
“Wait. I haven’t gone yet.” Will replied. He pulled up his bow and nocked an arrow. Letting it go, the first arrow landed close to Will’s three arrows. The second followed right after landing near the right side where Kiyro’s arrows were. He grumbled and finally let loose the final arrow.
With a thunk, the final arrow flew past the tree and disappeared into the bushes.
“Hahaha. You failed.” Jack laughed.
Will stamped his foot in anger and went over to the bush.
“I won. I won. You guys owe me one honey bun for dinner,” Jack danced around in joy singing a song.
“Fine.” Kiyro smiled. He couldn’t help be proud of Jack. His dedication renewed, he promised to himself that he would practice even harder to beat Jack.
“Ahhhhhhh!” yelled Will in fear. Kiyro bolted over with bow in hand and rushed towards where Will were.
“Go get Diana!” Kiyro yelled towards Jack. Jack nodded and bolted towards the treehouse yelling at the top of his lungs.
“Diana! Diana!” Jack little legs ran as fast as he could. His voice trailed behind him fading away.
Kiyro ran towards the screaming Jack. Already his heart was pumping in worry wondering what befell Will. Running as fast as he could, he burst through the bushes. What stood before him was a hideous looking two legged humanoid creature. Already the skins on the body were glistening like a gray snakeskin, eyes that were cloudy and gray, sharp claws, and face that seem to snarl with wicked intent. There were few strands of black hair left on its head and the smell of rotting meat permutated the air.
The smell was so strong, that he could not help but cover his nose. Kiyro remember seeing a similar creature when he was a baby. It was only for a fleeting moment, but it was something he could not forget.
The time when he was born, he remembered these beings that seem to look morph into hideous looking creatures that attacked both Diana and Steve. He did not know what they were but he knew they were trouble.
Will was on the floor trembling in fright. He could not move or run. Instead he peed his pants, unable to move. A clicking of the monsters tongue, the creature slinked forward towards Will. Each step, the creature flicked its tongue out like a snake sensing for its prey. The moment the creature found its target, it ran forward with a gaping jaws. Sharp rows of brown teeth open wide ready to strike down onto Will.
Raising up his bow without much thought, Kiyro aimed towards the monsters head. Landing perfectly in one of its eye, it howled in anguish. Kiyro bolted towards Will and grabbed him roughly by his hand. Pulling Will on his feet, they both ran.
“Run!” Kiyro yelled.
Will snapped out of his fear, and ran with Kiyro towards the treehouse.