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09 July 2012 @ 12:39 pm
When James had retraced his steps to the hotel, he found the first confirmation for what Margaret had told him - there was indeed a room booked in his name. For the moment he was thankful for it as it meant a retreat, somewhere to be on his own, away from this confusing madness. But the fact that Margaret had told the truth about this increased his worrying as well. If there was one thing he couldn't stand, it was being messed with.

He didn't pay the interior of the room much attention. It had a couch to slump down onto and that was good enough for now. He covered his eyes with his arm and wished he'd brought a drink along from the bar. It was hot, but he was used to that, though his tent on Vella La Cava had never been quite this stifling. He really didn't care right now. James fell asleep quickly, only to be tormented by his dreams. He was up in the air with the Black Sheep fighting zeros but he was shot down and the ground kept getting closer and closer and he frantically fumbled with the lock of his cockpit but it wouldn't open...

James woke when he crashed onto the ground. Thankfully he'd only fallen off the couch, not from several miles high in a corsair. A little light entered the room through a window and reflected off something to his left. He pushed himself up and found himself staring at a framed black and white photograph of his friends, his former squadron, which stood on a small end table. Astonished he sat on the floor and speechlessly stared at the picture. He knew he hadn't put it there. After a moment it seemed to give him new strength and his determination to get out of this place grew. He'd be damned, if he left the picture behind, though. It belonged here no more than he did. He removed it from the frame and pocketed it, then left his room to go exploring.

His stomach reminded James that it'd been a long time since he'd last eaten, so he decided to find some breakfast. If he wanted to find a way out of this village, it'd better be done on a full stomach. He didn't have to look far, he hadn't noticed it when he'd checked in, but there was a restaurant right there at the hotel. He put the bill on his room. 'Let the idiot who booked the room and brought me here pay for it,' he thought.

A while later he walked out of the hotel without looking back. He walked in the opposite direction from where Margaret had led him the previous day and soon found a path leading out of the village. He glanced over his shoulder at the village. What was everyone's problem if there was a clearly visible path leading out? Well, he didn't know these people so why should he care?! He purposefully strode along the path and soon the village was lost out of sight, only to reappear in front of him a minute later.

He'd been walking a straight line, he was certain of that. Could this be another village? No, he clearly recognized the shape of the hotel towering over the smaller buildings. He turned on his heel and again soon found the village ahead of him though there was no bend in the road. How was this possible? He'd never been good at science, but he knew enough about navigation and directions from flying to know this should not be happening. Even the sun seemed to sneak around him while he was walking.

James strode back into town, through it and found another road leading into the distance. It soon proved to have the same effect. His heart sank. Could what Margaret had told him really be true? Was he stuck here? Trapped in a village-sized brig? Damn, for once he was certain he hadn't messed anything up so why was he a prisoner? And whose prisoner? Anger flared up inside him again.

He walked back into town seething with fury. He glared, glowered and scowled at everyone he met on the streets as if they were responsible for his situation. After all someone had to be. And if he could only get his hands on him...
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