Alice spun around with a gasp, she remembered that voice, except it wasn't quite as polite last time she heard it. "Queen!" Alice blurted, so shocked to see the normally so proper queen, crawling around in the dark tunnels. "Shhhhhhh" the Queen said, hushing Alice, "There are far too many evil ears in these tunnels, for you to be making a ruckus". With these words she dragged Alice, by the sleeve, down through the dark, narrow passages. "Where are we going" Alice managed to say, yet the Queen didn't respond, she kept running at an alarming speed, seemingly oblivious to the numerous times she almost crashed them into one of the damp walls. "Queen" Alice stammered her breath ragged, "You really must slow down". Right as Alice said these words, the Queen jammed her heels into the ground so hard, Alice could've sworn the stone underneath her sandal clad feet groaned and cracked. "Alright Alice listen here" the Queen said, without turning around. Alice stood straight like her mother had taught her, for she knew the Queens temper, and she had no desire to offend her. The Queen waved her off "No time for formalities Alice, these are times of great peril." Alice didn't quite understand "What do you mean?" she blurted, quite forgetting her manners. The Queen looked puzzled "Well I simply mean what I said" she said, looking at Alice with a peculiar look. Alice was stumped for a second, not sure how to respond "What do you mean by peril?" "Stop asking such dull-witted question" the Queen said, and Alice quickly stopped talking. "I must presume that what you're trying to ask is what kind of peril we're in" the Queen said "To which I say, a great one." And with these words she once again grabbed Alice, and sent the both of them flying down the tunnels.
It felt like an hour and Alice almost fell asleep, flying behind the queen like a blanket in the hands of a happy child. Their surroundings had not changed, long, dark, narrow corridors flew by so fast Alice could barely make out the walls, and any attempts to keep track of where they went had been nothing but failures. If Alice was left alone here, she would probably never find the exit. She looked forward, hoping for any sign that they had made any progress, "Queen" she said, and received no answer "Do you even know where we're going?" She continued, "Of course not" the Queen exclaimed, as she kept barreling through the tunnels, at a speed that seemed impossible for any humanoid. "Then where are you running?" Alice asked, confused "Nowhere" she said, and her eyes shone with trickery, as she turned a corner, and Alice found herself surrounded by trees and the sound of chirping birds, the real Wonderland she remembered. Ahead she saw a long table, its surface covered with porcelain cups of the finest variety, although the owner didn't seem to be aware of that, seeing as many of them had cracks and chips taken out of them, and some were all together shattered, and the ground below the table was littered with shards of all shapes and sizes. At the end of the table three figures were seated, the Hatter, the March Hare and the Dormouse. Alice let go of the Queen dress, and walked towards the familiar trio hesitantly, she no longer knew what to suspect from this new Wonderland, and she had no idea what this great peril was.
"Is there any sugar left?" The March Hare was practically yelling. The Dormouse, whom was sleeping besides him, twitched at the sound of the Hare's exclamation, which was quite the rarity. The Hatter silently lifted his hat to reveal a single little sugar cube, perched upon his head. "Indeed" he said, and smiled at Alice, whom was staring at the whole situation with a highly confused look on her face. The March Hare didn't seem to care where it came from, he dropped the sugar into his cup the moment the hatter gave it to him. As the Hare concentrated on his tea, The Hatter turned to Alice "What a pleasure" he said, getting up from the chair, greeting Alice by taking off his colorful hat. Once again little Alice found herself so confused, that she completely forgot to greet her old friend.
"Manners girl!" Said the Queen, as she walked past poor Alice. Alice shook her head "I apologize" she said, as she curtsied. "No need" the Hatter said, smiling at Alice, "It has surely been a while my dear Alice" he continued, "how have you been?" Alice shrugged "alright I suppose" she looked around "certainly better than you it would seem." The Hatter sighed "Your wit never lets you down Alice" he said, his features suddenly sad, his eyes far away. "What happened?" Alice asked, eager to finally unravel the mysteries about what had happened to her beloved Wonderland. "We're not exactly sure" the Hatter admitted, almost apologetically. "After you left, the forests started dying, and the animals followed suit" Hatter said "We're even running out of sugar" the March Hare yelled, from his seat at the table, causing the Dormouse at his side to groggily blink his eyes "agreed" he mumbled, before going back to sleep, although Alice doubted he knew what he was talking about, the Queen didn't look convinced either. Alice turned to her "Why are you even here?" she asked, "dear girl" the Queen said, pretending to be shocked "you really let your manners go didn't you?" Alice frowned, irritated that the Queen would pick a moment like this, when there was clearly more important matters on hand, to be picky about her way of acting. But if she knew one thing about the Queen, it was that she was more stubborn than any other, man or creature, in Wonderland, she sighed and bit down her pride, no need for her to further slow them all down. "Queen?" Alice said, and the Queen smiled, always enjoying being in charge, "yes Alice?" she said, sounding, once again, like the Queen she claimed to be, "may I inquire as to why you're honoring us with your majestic presence" Alice said, clenching her fists. "You may" The Queen responded, her tone still proper and arrogant. Alice waited a moment, hoping that she would continue, she was disappointed. "Why art thou here?" she said, keeping her tone low and humble. The Queen did not respond, and Alice looked up to see what was keeping her, and was annoyed to find an offended face staring back at her, waiting for her to continue. Alice clenched her fists even harder, swallowing the last bid of pride she had left "Your majesty" she finished, watching as an arrogant smile crept its way across the Queens pale face, "you're lucky I'm in a good mood, or you would certainly have to do better child" she said, and Alice felt herself growing increasingly annoyed with the Queens arrogance. "My beloved castle happens to be under siege" she said, and her voice almost sounded sad, which was the most amount of feelings Alice had ever heard the Queens express, yet she didn't quite believe the Queens explanation "But Queen" she said "How did you, if I may ask, manage to leave your castle?" The Queen looked offended, but continued regardless. "It's not your typical kind of siege" she said, trying to make it sound like she had fallen victim to the most terrible of misfortunes, although Alice had already guessed what had happened to the Queen "Did the Jabberwocky escape your Majesty?" Alice asked. "It just so happened that the Jabberwock-" the Queen began, but stopped herself when Alice words dawned on her, and her face changed from arrogant to shameful. "It would seem that even the Queen was hit hard by our new found crisis" the Hatter said, smiling. He was obviously enjoying seeing the Queen in the same boat as him, a place she would've have never come If she wasn't forced to.
Alice was trying to keep track of it all in her head. "So Wonderland is in ruins, the red castle has been overrun by the Jabberwocky, and we have no idea how to fix it?" The Queen looked puzzled, as if she wasn't quite sure how to respond to such a bold inquiry. The Hatter seemed to have no such reservations "Correct" he said, a smiled spreading across his face, as though Alice had just solved the mystery of where his left loafer had disappeared to. Alice sighed, it would seem as though she, once again, had managed to get herself into quite the mess. She looked around at the others, all of which were staring at her, except, of course, the Dormouse, whom was still sound asleep at the end of the table, seemingly unprovoked by the mess Wonderland had become, Alice smiled, at least someone is at good spirits she thought.