Milk Inc

Read the first part here

Rohan woke up inside a dark chamber. He had been drooling in his sleep and dreaming. His mind raced through the tinglings of a dream where he was being slow cooked alive in a hot pot. His hands were tied behind his back with a silky string. The chamber had a very low ceiling and the ceiling protruded out in a corner. He looked around and saw that he was surrounded by books - books of different colors and hues, but all of the same size. On looking closer he realized that the book was the manual being used by the blue creature. There were hundreds of manuals around him, all in different colors, filled with the undecipherable dots and dashes. Were they all the same manual? There was also a small, red cake on a plate, kept on the floor next to him. The positioning of the cake made him suspicious.

A big barrel filled with liquid sat in the middle of the chamber. The barrel was half filled. He was wondering what the heck was going on when he heard footsteps coming towards him, from outside the chamber. Would that be his captor? A rescuer? The footsteps increased in pace until it subsided. “The person is somewhere near the chamber…”, thought Rohan.

He heard the sound of a flick and the liquid in the big barrel started gurgling as it flowed down through a mysterious vent. Ah! So someone was collecting the liquid. Then it dawned on him. “Someone is collecting milk! I must be inside the statue of the cow!” He wondered whether he should create a commotion so as to alert the person. That was when he remembered the feather that they shot at him. He clutched his belly where the feather had struck him. What kind of a weapon was that? And where did these creatures come from? The milk in the barrel stopped gurgling and he heard the sound of footsteps receding away. He was tired. His mind was overworked from recent events and he hadn’t yet figured out how to untie his hands. The red cake was calling out to him. It wouldn’t hurt to eat some of it, would it? He turned his body so he his face was right next to the cake and took a bite of it. It tasted pretty good. He hungrily ate all of it and let out a burp. A sudden feeling of nausea crept over him and he passed out.

When he woke up groggily, he knew the chamber was moving. They were moving the cow! He must untie himself. The cord that tied his hands was made of silk - smooth and slippery. He stood up clumsily and scraped the cord against the metallic top of the barrel. A few scrapes and the cord tore. His hands were free! The cow stopped moving. He heard a volley of noises from outside. Suddenly, a part of the floor opened up, surprising and scaring Rohan. He went over and peeped through. “Come on down you brute”, shouted out a voice.

Reluctantly, Rohan jumped through the opening. He was inside a huge warehouse like building, surrounded by hundreds of red dwarfs. He gulped. The last encounter with them had not really gone well.

The chief of the red dwarfs stood apart from the rest of them. Rohan stood groggily before them. He looked back at where he had jumped from, and his hunch was confirmed - he had been imprisoned in the cow! But why?

“You will be taken to the to meet with the Goddess. Only she can deal with you now. Take him away.” the chief said crisply, while maintaining a smug grin on his face.

Two dwarfs wearing quivers with feather arrows strode forward and guided Rohan roughly. He moved with them, surprised he was following their command considering how small they were. Walking together, they barely reached his waist. The feathers were helpful in reminding him how powerful they were.

Rohan’s confused mind meandered through lightless passages as he wondered. Who was this Goddess? Could it be the Mother Goddess? But she was just a myth, a legend from the past…

As they strode through the “warehouse”, it became obvious to Rohan that this was a factory of some sort. There were huge machines chugging continuously. He saw a milk-like liquid boiling in huge containers. The liquid was funneled through several pipes and containers until a white powder poured out from a tap.

The two dwarfs nudged him towards a room in the corner of the factory. A single brown door blocked their entry. One of the dwarfs knocked on the door and motioned for Rohan to enter. Rohan realized his guards would not be accompanying him. He felt alone. He opened the door and walked in. The door closed automatically behind him.

A really old, tiny, dwarf lady stood next to a stove, stirring a ladle in a huge cauldron. “Well hello there. You are right on time, Master Rohan.”

She turned to face him. She was wearing a dress that grandmas would wear - old, frayed and oddly comforting. The room smelled of hot soup and satisfying dinners. Rohan realized he was hungry. She spoke. “I need a favor from you, Master Rohan. The soup I am making requires a human limb. Tell me now, are you more attached to your hands or your feet?”

To be continued