"What are they?" I stared out the window at the hundreds of Black Baggers whose heads were turned to look back at me. Not that they could see; their heads were encased with bags of black plastic.
Jason glanced out the window and then back at me, "I call them Baggers and they used to be residents of the Other Lands. Many of them I used to call friend."
"No one is sure. One day they just started to appear and soon there were so many that they became a serious threat. Many species had to team up to fight them but without the power of the fairies and the angels there was nothing we could do."
"Under the command of Dorothy we stood together," A voice behind me spoke. I turned to see Alex pushing himself off the bed, "But whenever we battled them we lost and they gained. I watched as people who I cared about were dragged into the crowd and the next time I saw them they had a black bag over their face."
Alex walked to the window and closed it. Drawing the curtains he turned, "Before I go on, you're going to have to tell us who you are. Otherwise you go right back out the window, and this time we won't give you a rope."
Stephanie stepped between Alex and the child, "Jesus Alex! She's just a child!"
"She could be working for Mardockt! We can't take any chances, we've already lost so much! I'm not going to get all teary eyed over a follower! If she can't tell us who she is then the Baggers can have her."
Stephanie grew silent and I realized in horror that she agreed. None of the others spoke up either. They were all willing to end my life to avoid the risk that I worked for someone named Mardockt.
"My name is Alice. I was sent here to find you Alex. I was sent here by a man named Ben Wiltshire/Ashford."
Alex stared at me as Jason walked over, "Ashford? As in the son of Wilson Ashford? Little girl, you had better not be joking."
"I'm not. He wants me to ask Alex about the thing that wants to escape. Also, Carl wants me to say hello."
Alex sat down in surprise, "Carl. Carl Miller? I haven't heard that name in so long. Time here works a bit differently so it's been over three hundred years since the last time I spoke to him. How is he?"
"I don't know him that well. I only just met up with everyone."
"Everyone? Does that mean John was with them?"
"No, I didn't meet any Johns. The only people Ben runs with are Carl Miller, Saba Zahid, Crystal Ferguson, Nick Brown, William Melahn, and Kelly Hartmen."
Jason looked surprised, "My sister . . ." He smiled, "If she can get her powers back then we'd certainly have a better chance."
I sat down on the bed, "So, could someone tell me something to tell Ben please?"
Alex walked to the window and glanced out, "The being he's worried about is known as Mardockt and we can't really tell you that much about him. All I know is that for the last three hundred years we've all been fighting against his minions."
"Ben had a book. A book written by his father. He needs to know why his uncle would want him to think he's a murderer."
"A book?" Jason spoke up, "Wilson never had a book. He hated the things, he said that the best way to learn was experience and memory. There is no chance that it was written by his father."
As if on cue the entire building began to shake.