For a long while no one talked. Amana heaved with sobs. Oetho held his eyes closed and tried to concentrate, seeking a solution. He was certain there was something he was missing, some knowledge from his past that could help him. Yet it had been so long ago that it was difficult to remember much of what he had known.
The Ban-Tho walked in circles within its enclosure, occasionally testing the strength of the barrier or the walls. Of course, it was no more trapped than the two of them; each in there own separate cells.
Eventually, Amana cried herself back to sleep. Oetho began writing notes down onto the floor with the chalk, bits of ideas, fragments of spells he once knew. He grew so enrapt in his thoughts that he did not see when the creature finally laid down. Only when he momentarily paused to stretch out his arms did he hear the loud grunting snores coming from it.
Oetho worked on. He played with ideas, theories governing the rules of energy and force, the powers that controlled the world and reality. He recalled bits and pieces of the old texts, prophecies and truths written down by the first Mystics. His mind swam in the innumerable facts and possibilities. The weight of the knowledge bore down on him. It was like exercising muscles that had not flexed in decades. Soon, he too felt weary and before long he was also asleep.
He awoke, startled, sensing something amiss. He leapt to his feet and was immediately aware that much had changed. Either the whiteness had dimmed or his eyes had simply grown accustomed to it. The void itself had grown again. The oval was much larger, and the ends had turned into tunnels. Yet this is not what troubled him. Amana was gone.
Oetho raced back to the chalk line. The barrier was still in place. He could see the Ban-Tho still upon the floor, its breathing sounding as contemptible as ever. Thank goodness, he thought. There was only one place she could have gone.
The tunnel stretch upward; a smooth grey tube turning in wide arcs. Oetho followed it with some difficulty, slipping every few steps. He expected to find her squatting at the end somewhere, holed up as far as she could be from the creature. Instead, the tunnel did not end. It opened into a much bigger place.
Amana knelt on the ground in a field of grass. The cavernous space was mostly still white, but the grass growing out of the floor was vivid green. In her lap was the young goat kid. There was a tear in her eye that she ignored as she smiled and rubbed the animal’s short hair.
“How did you?” Oetho said, but stopped short. He saw then that there were others. At least three more kids sat on the ground by her feet, nuzzling her.
“Isn’t it wonderful?”