At that moment, a dark shape passed over them in the sky, outlined by the lighting that ignited behind it. Then another circled near it. When the next leg of lightning flashed, Annalee glimpsed massive feathered wings flapping and fluttering as the beings landed a few feet from her and Innu. Super tall, lean chests and stomachs centered the wings, which spanned at least 6 feet each. A man’s head sat on the bodies’ shoulders and thick human arms protruded from the wings. Thick painted symbols covered every inch of their skin, even their faces. A feathered kilt wrapped their waists and muscular legs anchored their weight.
Cremoe lopped over to the new comers, bowed to them, then fluttered up several feet to converse with them face to face.
Annalee screamed to them, “Save him!” but they ignored her.
Annalee, you must keep your manners with the Kaqtukaq. Innu fearfully mind-spoke. They are majestic and proper. Disrespecting them makes them dangerous.
Anewj moaned then shrieked in pain.
“If you save him, I will reward you!” Annalee screamed.
The conversation halted. Cremoe turned to Innu and Annalee, his eyes wide in fright. The larger of the Kaqtukaqs stepped forward and knelt beside her.
“Moon daughter, what have you to give to us?”
Annalee frantically searched her own mind for anything she could think of to give to them.
“My wonderstone! I will give you my wonderstone!” she spat out the words and regretted them the moment they hit her ears.
Innu gasped. “NO ANNALEE, you don’t know what you are saying. You are tired and desperate!”
The Kaqtukaq glared at him. “She has offered it. The wonderstone if we can save him, is that the deal?”
Annalee glanced at Innu again, who shook his head furiously at her. She closed her eyes, “If you take us all somewhere safe, let us rest and refresh there, and heal him, I will give you my wonderstone.”
“Let it be so.” The Kaqtukaq stood again and signaled for the other one to help Anewj and Zidi. The second bird-man walked over to the tree line and pulled out a large leaf and a vine. Then he approached Zidi and asked her to step aside. Very carefully, he examined and lifted Anewj onto the leaf, wrapped the edges around him and secured it with the vine, creating a neat little bundle, which he tied to his chest.