We started the long trek at what I believed to be noon. The past morning had been quite hectic: kidnapped, world saving, plane crash, and now escape. Everything around me was changing to often that I could hardly keep up. I decided that the best thing to do at the moment was to get to know some of my new travel partners, so I began to walk with Antonio.
"Hello there," I introduced. "I'm Elliot."
"Antonio, Antonio Romano." We shook hands, and continued walking.
"Where are you from?" I asked him, he seemed Italian.
"Italy, just outside of Roma," he answered me, grinning a smile of gleaming bright teeth. It occurred to me that he rather handsome, as weird as that sounded. Tan, Italian accent, stunning white teeth, He reminded me of a certain celebrity that many girls back home swooned over. "What about you?"
"United States, New York," I replied. His face looked slightly surprised, perhaps because my accent wasn't of new York, but rather from further south, Pennsylvania to be precise. "I moved there seven years ago, but I originated in Pennsylvania."
"I thought everyone from New York was, well, different than you."
"I don't know, just... different." Antonio responded. A silence reigned our walk for a long five minutes. The sounds of the others talking and the crunching or sticks under my feet was all that I could hear as we continued on.
"How do you know English so well?" I asked him after a while.
"I learned in school, and from the millions of tourists that visit my city each year. You wouldn't believe the flocks that come to see polished rocks and dead popes," he joked.
"I've always wanted to see some of that," I laughed, suddenly realizing how interesting it seemed that the way he phrased it made touring Rome seem silly. My aunt had been the year before, and said that it was beautiful, and her pictures backed up her claims. Perhaps Antonio had been desensitized to its beauty.
"Is there any water around here?" someone asked from a huddled group. Antonio and I walked over, and saw a girl sitting on a rock, looking very tired.
"I think the shock of it all has taken its toll," a girl said, I think her name was Aimee. The girl in the middle, Elle I believe her name was, tried standing, reassuring everyone that she was fine. She managed to stand, but she looked weak, and seemed like she could faint at any moment.
"We need to find water and food, soon!" Rose insisted, drowning out all the small private conversations that were going on.
"I agree," I said. "Should we spilt up, and meet here in an hour?" I asked the group. I felt like someone needed to organize us, and I figured I might as well.
"Sounds good to me, how about groups of three, and then one group of four?" Olivia asked.
Everyone agreed, and started to pair up. I was with Elle, Aimee, and Antonio.
"Let's go east," Aimee suggested, seeing that everyone seemed to avoid going that way.
"Sure," Elle agreed, and she started off, trying to out on a brave face. However, both Aimee and I saw that she was weak, we walked beside her, and tried to give her some support, while Antonio prodded around, looking to see if there was a hidden patch of fruit or a silent flowing stream.
A cheetah suddenly appeared next to us, and Elle tensed up.
"We found food!" it growled. Antonio let out a slight sigh, realizing that the cat was just one of the talented teens. The voice had sounded strange, but it was definitely belonging to one of our group. The cat, or, person in cat form, ran off and left us to turn around on our own and get back to our home base.
"So, what have we got?" The animal transformer asked, I believe her name to be Liv.
"How do you feel about bananas and waterfalls?" Juliane and her group grinned. They sauntered off down a small path, leaving the rest of us to follow in wonder.