We made our way hastily towards the exit of the Hill, our antennae linked as we marched side by side.
“Are you sure we won’t be caught?” Zita asked again, feeling her heartbeat thump.
“I am sure we were meant to do this.” I answered my tone was gentle. “Stop looking back, you have nothing to fear.” I made a gurgling sound of consolation.
“I can’t help it.” Zita said in a low voice, but she strived not to angle her head backwards again. “Maybe Kiki was right… maybe…”
“No, she was not.” I cut in. “Stop second guessing yourself. You wanted us to do this because you knew it was the right thing.”
“Yes.” I stopped at the sandy exit. “This is it.” I told her, my eyes glowing as they looked into hers.
Zita drew in a hitching breath as they stepped through the narrow exit. The moment their legs stepped across the exit into the damp, wide-spread field, her fears and apprehension vanished into the dewy early-morning still-dark air.
I watched as Zita’s eyes widened in her head. They brightened and glowed as they took in the extensive meadow all around us.
“Oh my.” She whispered, letting go of my antennae to rush ahead. “This is utterly amazing.”
I whistled in pleasure, going after her as she moved in quick steps.
We ran across the slightly damp ground, climbing on low plants and gliding down again. There were dewdrops everywhere. I flew over a droplet and it splashed on Zita.
“Ha.” She crinkled, tapping on one too. The water splashed on me.
We ran zig-zag across and all over the field, jumping on dew droplets and splashing them all over the place. Zita picked a morsel of food, took a bite and passed me some.
“Taste this.” She told me. “It tastes so different. Everything here is so different.”
I took a bite, savoured it and trilled. “It surely tastes sweeter than anything inside the Hill.” I pronounced. “And you know why?”
“Why?” Zita asked her eyes shining in anticipation.
“Because it tastes of freedom.” I whispered drawing closer to her and linking our antennae again.
Zita made a shrill sound of delight and crawled off in another direction. For a while, we did nothing else but just run around, play, glide up and down the low leaves of the plants in the meadow. After a bit, we huddled together on top of a wide leaf, staring up into the sky.
The big round moon stared down at us.
“I have never seen the moon this close and this big.” Zita said to me.
I turned my head to look at her. Her entire frame glowed with awe and contentment.
“Me too.” I whispered back.
“This is so beautiful.”
“You are beautiful.”
She turned swiftly to find my eyes on her – unflinching and adoring.
Zita edged even closer and with our antennae still linked, we watched the moon as it smiled down on us.
Much later, we crawled slowly back into the Hill. Just as we were about to separate, Zita nudged me with her head.
“Zoro, thank you for showing me the field. It was simply beautiful.”
“Thank you for coming with me.”
Our eyes locked for some minutes, then she whispered again.
“Zoro… I love you.”
And with that she hastened down in the direction of their resting chamber. I stared after her, my eyes wide, my heartbeat thumping… at last!
I turned and flapping my wings, flew off in the direction of the drone chamber.
Neither of us had noticed the skulking figure of Poki.