For anxious seconds, Chax strove to make some sense of the shape. It came to him in slow jumps of understanding that he was seeing a bipedal being, something like a Strasmin. Relief flooded over him for an instant, but reality brought him up short and tense again, for the being was definitely not Aun! Straining further against the pressure on his trapped leg, he strove to gain more detail. The creature had a face like an Oistrem, with two eyes above its mouth, and it bore about its knobby frame a set of planar surfaces that imparted to it an unnatural linearity.
Only his long training in facing unpredictable combat scenarios permitted Chax to stay calm. "Friend or foe?" he demanded.
"Arrec," stated the creature, defiantly, stretching forth its appendage which bore a gray bulbous stick. Pressing a knob, it unleashed a mighty blast of noise that assailed Chax's ears, in which he thought he made out the word "cruel." Reeling, he understood that there was to be no escape; that this being would imprison him here with it, immobile, forever. It would not harm him, would not lie, but it also would not release him, and the bitter knowledge overwhelmed Chax with a horror that lasted through the gibbering hours that remained to his sanity. Lasted, indeed, until Chax looked back and read the first letters of each sentence, at which point he punched right through reality and struck the impudent author a mighty blow on the protonastic centrum.