Shauna Rose; Guardian of Disease-
D.E.U.S Children are super humans mixed with monsters from all over or machine implants. I’m one of them. A monster that killed my mother while I was in the womb and a deformed premature baby hated by her own so called family. Some children were forgiven for their mothers deaths and had time with their human families. Most weren’t that lucky. We had a supervisor (kind of a psychologist and an admin to the trainer) to see the child strong suit and a trainer to teach each child how to fight and kill. We were creatures to ensure obedience of provinces, to lay carnage of those who oppose the empire. I couldn’t force myself to kill a bird beast or lizard beast and even a human. My strong suit was to produce highly toxic venom and to be milked three times a day, and when needed five times. The diet i ate was high with proteins, vitamin and mineral induced and a few freeze dried fruits such as blueberries, bananas, and if they felt like treating me they gave me live apple or cooked beef (that tasted like salted cupboard, but it was a change from turkey jerky and a supper of bitter high protein shake).
Rebellion in empire occupied provinces in Iraq and China had risen again. I was unable to sustain the demand for more than five times a day, so i got hit every time from my trainer. Calling me monster with no use, monster that cannot suply anything. Useless bitch with no family to care about, a monster that won’t serve the empire at all. As if the hitting and scolding with devil’s tongue would help me produce enough venom to sustain the war. I worked enough to get fifth of the dose they wanted to produce in those days. I was fed up and ran away, not knowing where I’ll find a place to stay. My tail dripped venom, killing grass and trees in my wake, and toxic fumes come from my mouth, putting guard and patrollers into a system shock. I’m no monster. I’m no monster. I’m no monster. I kept telling to myself scratching my face, as if to prove myself something that I . I had to escape. Got to a fence and sprayed poison from my tail on it. The fence melted enough to open a hole for me to go through. Siren broke off, screaming like an eagle beast howl. I kept running hitting mines with my scaly leg. If something’s good with being a deformed monster is having immunity that will blast off any human leg. Got away from the mine fields and went into a siege. Apparently they didn’t hear the alarm because I snuck from behind them got a first aid kit since I needed more adrenaline syringes, numbing cream for my leg and elastic bandages to slow down my poison/venom from dripping all over the place. When I was finally ready I set my eyes to the city, maybe I could hide there as a fugitive like from the forbidden novels I… borrowed from the library at my supervisor apartment. Ran through the gates of the city as an armoured vehicle drove and hid the shade, away from the army eyes. Went away into an overlooked cove in the wall and curled into a ball and cried as the pain surged on. With trembling hands I smeared another batch of numbing cream, put a new bandage and injected adrenaline into my healthy-ish thigh, got up and ran into an alleyway to hide from the cyborg patrol and get some food. While I was walking in the alleyway and snooped around the bins I found some score dishes, like a takeaway asian noodles and cooked honey and spices salmon. Why would people trash out fine edible food? Anyways… after I ate my first improvised dinner went into a hidden corner, gathered up newspaper and cardboard box and a worn out pillow and fell asleep from exhaustion. In the next morning I packed what I found in a worn out bag and roamed the alleys to see what people I will find strolling them in the morning. I saw children playing hopscotch, rope skipping and a few more games that I didn’t remember their names. While looking at their dirty clothes and faces, their scratched feet I couldn’t help but wondering if my life were that good as their happy faces. I felt their warmth of happiness seeping into me, making my heart beat happily. I sat behind an alley wall drinking from a half full bottle of coke with no gass as a girl ran past me as she played tag with her friends. The boy chasing her stopped to look at me with curious eyes. “Are you new here?” asked with innocence in his eyes, as if a monster like me was a common sight in the alleys.
“Y-yeah,” I answered startled, “i-is it okay to stay here?”
“Sure is!” he said happily, “there is a shelter for people like you, by the way.”
“What do you mean?” I wondered.
“I’ll call mom,” he said, “I’ll come catch ya soon!” he shouted to the other kids. He grabbed me by my hand and started to walk dragging me behind.
“My mom helps special people like you find a safe place to call home,” he said with spark in his eyes, “she was caught a few time and was sent away…” he looked at me happily, “the people coming to our home are all unique and very nice, they are fun and smart too!”
I was flooded with the information that kid gave me. Is there really a safe place for me? This morning I evaded around ten D.E.U.S and cyborg patrollers, and almost got caught a few times. To think that a civilian would go to lengths of helping federal fugitives like me and risking her freedom for the sake of helping us… what is that safe place he’s talking about? Well he’s showing me the way to his mother. A woman walked out of a worn down door, went down three dusty steps and set her gaze toward us and hurried us into the house. For a small rundown alley house the front rooms were common to find such mess in it. It was filled with filth, a few piles of dirty clothes, one small washtub an old fashioned laundry scrub, three small buckets, one big pot, a small fridge that probably didn’t store much, greasy stove and oven and they slept on the luxury of a mattress. She led me behind a pile of old magazines and went through a manhole. That basement was sweet for covering operations done by the empire itself, it was filled with screens, touch screens, old fashioned keyboards and gadgets probably stolen from empire secret gadget development lab. I’m not complaining but that’s highly dangerous including hiding me. Except machines I didn’t see any other D.E.U.S children, so that woman is probably the connection between the city and that safe place. The woman had bright brown colored hair and dark brown eyes, She had simple shirt, brown skirt and worn out sandals. She shot a picture of me and the computer showed her my codename: LDB 779 (Lizard D.E.U.S Beast no.779). How the hell she had access to my files?! Is she working with the empire? Will she send me back to this hell?
“A reacher coming to pick you up,” she finally said, “let’s wait for him outside.”
Well… I didn’t have anywhere to go so… No. I better escape! I studied this block of alleys during the night and during the day, I know where I can hide. I just have to get there the moment I step out of the door. She didn’t pick up the communication device sitting right next to her and went up the ladder. I came right after her a spring in my step we reached the door and a boy was sitting on the steps playing with a bot cute griffin. It had a puffy beige chick head and chubby and fluffy brown-beige spotted kitten body with wings that were beige with brown tips. It stopped playing and locked onto me. The boy turned around and my heart skipped a beat. He had sharp angelic features, dark brown messy hair, dark blue eyes that had a slit in them and they went wide as he looked at me, as if locking onto me for another reason that I couldn’t figure out. He had cream shirt, a grey camo hoodie, a scribbled denim and blue sneakers.
“Heya,” he said looking away quickly, “so… I came to pick you up,” he said that uncomfortably, like he was embarrassed, trying to form words.
I remembered my plan and just skipped above him, trying not to drip poison on his pretty face, and zigzagging along the alleys. I got to my safe hideout but he outran me, the griffin sat calmly in the spot and the boy landed behind me. “Gee… all of us are fond of this spot aren’t we?” he said nostalgic as he went looking up the mural decorating this spot, he pointed towards a big graphic sigil that looked like a flame, or perhaps… a feather?
“That’s what I added to this spot,” he said, gesturing with his hand proudly, “all of our reachers add something of their personality here… and you won’t find such a spot in any empire facility ever,” he added quickly as I became alarmed by the word reacher.
“Then… you don’t work for the empire?” I asked suspicious.
“Heck no!” he said alarmed, then he scratched the back of his neck, “but… you have the right to be suspicious, I guess…” why does he look so hurt? Is it something that’s not common when he comes to pick up strays?
“Well… I don’t have anywhere to go anyway so… lead the way.”
That seemed to lift his spirit and he pushed a hidden mechanism in the wall, the wall turned with clockwork sounds as the wall ticked out of the way and some kind of a dimensional gate was inside.
“Ladies first,” he said in chivalry tone and bowed gesturing to the gate. I took a deep breath and stepped inside. the place looked like a luxurious facility, with white walls and high white lighted ceilings, automatic doors, white floral printed milky glass and what seemed like a large resting ground filled with grey pouf couches, high large army khaki L shaped couches, mahogany high and low tables and a bar area. the oddity of this place: no humans around, just D.E.U.S kids, like me, roaming around. some kids tended to take care about live big engineered plants, talking with each other, playing, laughing. I never seen a D.E.U.S kid laugh, it was strange that such a place exists, a peaceful realm where you can play and laugh, not to fight all the time to interact with a friend. A marine girl in a large roam-ball filled with water, she had pink tail, fins and large ear-fins, swam past us, turning inside the ball and friendly waved us, then she swam towards her friends. The boy held my hand and lead me toward a corridor, a gang of three LDB’s, two BDB’s (Bird D.E.U.S Beast) and four CBD’s (Cat D.E.U.S Beast) waited just outside that corridor.
“I don’t have time for you,” the boy said annoyed, “ ‘reacher mission objectives to deliver the kid to leader’, so crawl away!”
“Sorry no can do, Oliver” he said walking towards me trying to touch my cheek and I stepped back, feeling threatened. I remembered I didn’t change bandages in time so the bandage began to be eaten away and poison dripped on the floor. A bot black cat sniffed the paddle and hissed alarmed crouching threateningly alarming all the gang and the boy, Oliver towards the puddle, starting to smoke the floor. poison streamed from my tail to the puddle, enlarging it as the cat squirms to his owner shoulder. “Umm… boss,” said the owner, “I think we should let that kid go…”
alarmed an enforced glass irobot came to suck the venom raising a white flag. “We should move,” said Oliver and the gang moved away letting us pass.
“You can’t control sphincter, eh?” said one of the gang kids, and they began to laugh.
“don’t mind them too much, okay?” said Oliver, “oh! I haven’t introduce myself properly,” he said and stood before me, “Oliver’s the name, you can call me Ollie though, if you want to.” He turned around and continued to walk slowly until we matched steps.
“So… Ollie, right? I wondered who is your leader?” I asked curiously.
“You’ll see her soon enough,” he said happily, “but the moment you see her don’t feel too threatened, okay?”
“Why’d you say that?” I nervously asked.
“You’ll see,” he said as we reached an automatic door that beeped the moment I stepped in front of it, “I’ll see you soon.”
I stepped nervously inside and led lights shone from the floor leading me in a corridor through snaking pathways until I reached an old fashioned clockwork door that ticked open as I stepped in front of it. I stepped inside and it immediately swung shut behind me causing more poison to flow. Man I suck. I can’t control that and it causing an embarrassment instantly.
“Come in sweetie,” I heard a calm voice calling from the inside of that giant sleek black room like something out of a designer magazine. Sleek black couches and silver tables with blue lines streaming through it, forming elaborate shapes, like a precursor site from that game I played once, for studying purposes. There she stood, the leader, behind a silver office desk designed as the rest of the tables. She had metal left leg and right arm, wings from a fine strong material with a strong membrane that moved as she breathed, and a tail moving around as she inspected float screens all around her buttons being pushed automatically while she set her gaze on papers in her metal right hand. Alarm siren sprung in my head as she lifted her head from the papers and smiled softly her red eye glowing with warmth. I breathed deeply to calm the threatened feelings. “Y-you’re a cyborg!” I called without much thought.
“Yes I am,” she said as if counting the words and analyzing them, “what of it?”
“I thought those kids don’t work for the empire!” I tried to step back but fell over a puddle of my poison as the irobot buzzes annoyed. Did they have emotions before? Didn’t seem to. So… did she gave it emotions?
“You better stand up,” she said walking away from her desk, “Chlor doesn’t like giant dirt, and that’s what he considers when people stand in the mess he tries to clean.”
“You gave it a name and actual emotions?” I curiously asked, “why would you do that?”
“It far more fun having an emotional machine instead of a just motoric ones, isn’t that right Chlor?” Chlor buzzed happily and nudged me a little so I stood up and walked away from the puddle, clothes melting.
“We better get you new clothes…” she said calculating what to do than she stopped and her wings twitched and her red eye blink and a dreamy look in her healthy eye, “all done!” she said happily, and a silver precursor styled closet came wheeling into the room. “This is Cloth, an emergency clothing for… inconveniences,” she said petting the closet and it ticked a low purr, “let’s hope you won’t see him too much,” it hollowly mawed and she petted him again, “will you show her what you have for her?” at that he slid open and revealed a grey army pants, yellow black scribbled top, forest green baggy sweatshirt with an eye like sigil embroidered on the front. Why does it look familiar, but I can’t remember where I have seen it before.
“The threads of this clothes are made from a different durable beast wool and plants, so no inconveniences when it comes to drip mess,” then she analyzed my tail, “since you were a milking cow you never learned to control the poison drip… I wonder if Anden could make something to help you to limit… accidents like this.”
I took off the no longer white facility clothes and wore the clothes she gave and they felt extra comfy and warmed me up, (I never noticed that I was not able to sustain body heat for too long thanks to the adrenaline shots and the adrenaline I had in general while wandering those streets.)
“Now I shall introduce myself,” she said waving Cloth away, “my name is Lila *Avine, code name Dragon 001,” she smiled as she observed the shock in my eyes.
“The cyborg that is missing in action,” I said, my throat drying, “so… you’re not working with the empire, huh?”
“As you can see I am free to build a sanctuary for the wary D.E.U.S kids tired from their work and limitations, to be able to see the world away from facility walls and supervision,” she explained with a gleam in both eyes, “you can study here anything you desire, most of your needs are supplied and you have the privileges of free choice and privacy.”
“That sounds too good to be true,” I said cusiously, “that sound like a dream.”
“Well… you are wise to doubt the opportunities I offer you,” she spread her arm dramatically and smiled softly, “but would you rather hide from the cyborg and D.E.U.S patrols forever, since without my help it would be nearly impossible,” she said methodically.
I really don’t like my chances, and like any place there are good and bad people, and Lila doesn’t sound too threatening compared to my trainer and supervisor, she’s sweet a cotton candy fluff. And it seems that she averted the cyborg and D.E.U.S patrols off my back. If I say no she’ll probably stop that and it’ll end up returning to the milking cow life. Well… I don’t have anywhere else to go then I’ll just roll with it.
“I accept your offer,” rolled off my tongue.
“Lovely,” she said clapping her hands in joy, “then let’s give you a familiar,” she said walking behind her desk and bringing out the most adorable bot lizard anyone could design: it was white as snow and smooth as if cartoonish, it had round emerald stones for eyes, it was as chubby as a gecko could look with very flexible feet that didn’t even had claws. When it looked at me it opened its mouth as if to smile and it had flexible glass chubby tongue and glass constrictor snake teeth.
“He has a void stomach so for now he can clean your area easily,” she stood in front of me and presented me with my new familiar. I took him from her hand, I felt a local burt sensation in my arm and a burn appeared at the spot of the pain. “W-what?” I felt terror build up but the cute gecko licked the spot and the pain subsided.
“A partner always cause a high wire in the tracker chips,” she said petting Snow head as he licked the burn mark, “wear that mark in pride, and remember that from now on the empire cannot track you any longer.”
“Y-you mean it?” I asked with surprise.
“I designed the familiars like that,” she said crossing her hands, “everyone here has one, you’ll be surprised what else they do,” she smiled playfully, “but for now enjoy being here, let your familiar guide you to your room.”
I laid the little fella on the floor and went through the door and led me here and around possibly different corridors and we got to the same door. Oliver was waiting right outside playing with his little griffin that noticed me and squealed happily.
“Hey…” I said as he turned to me, and felt heat leaving me, “how long you waited here?”
He stood up and and patted his pants and breathed deeply. “Where you need to go I will escort you there,” he rubbed the back of his head, “since … you know… those guys and all.”
“S-sure, I’ll be happy to,” I stumbled on my words while saying this sentence, and my awkwardness seemed to relieve his unknown stress, “go ahead Snow,” and the familiar walked on and we followed.
“The little buddy name is Snow?” he choked, “Lila always picks the best names, always literally.”
“Is it a bad thing?” I asked curiously.
“Naw, just funny,” he said crossing his head behind his head.
“So how’s’t here so far?” he asked, interested.
“I dunno…” I took a moment to think, lifting my head and scratching my chin, “haven’t been here long enough.”
“Fair enough,” he saif smiling to me, “ya’now I was Lila’s first recruit?”
“How come?” I was interested.
“But that’s a story for anothrr time,”
“Aww come on,” I said nudging him with my elbow, “you say something interesting then pull back? That’s not how it works!”
“I’ll tell you another day,” he snorted, “would you want to see the city better with me?”
“Are we allowed?” I asked warily.
“Sure I’m sure,” he said happily, “we’re not in a formal facility are we? Then why would we be forbidden to go out and have fun?”
“What is your definition of fun?” I asked scared.
He looked forwards. “Oh!” he pointed, “we went to the nurse room first.”
A male medium sized cat-hamster hybrid, he had the face of a cat and the cheeks of a hamster. He came out of the nurse room. The hybrid kitty wore white nurse clothes, a white apron and a nurse cap. He was chubby with chestnut colored hair and pale siena fur,cat ears and paw-like hands. “Well, hello there,” he mewed happily, “why have you come to me?” Snow barked cute barkes so the cat man looked at him, “is that your familiar missy?”
“U-umm, yes?” I said, I really need to work on my trusting issue, “his name is Snow.”
“Adorable name to an adorable familiar,” he said tickling the little lizard, “so what is your problem, missy?” he looked at me and his eyes went wide and his hand flew to his puffy cheeks in worry, “sweetie you have some nasty injuries!” and he immediately pulled me into his office and closed the door on Ollie.
“Take your clothes off,” when he saw my distrust, “I’m the nurse and doctor around here so it’s ok, go on.”
I took off my jacket and stayed in my boxer and chest bandage. I had blue marks all over, deep infected cuts along my scaly and human-ish feet from the mine running, cuts on my hands, my stomach and probably on my face. The cat began moving around with great speed making concoctions and taking samples of my infection, disinfecting my smaller cuts, putting fitting plasters and bandages, injecting weak anesthetic concoction, cleaning my bigger wounds, and as blood spilled out of them he both took a sample and used a slow blood clotter to hold the blood in place, then he sewed them and finally put fresh bandages on. Only thanks to my hyper vision I could inspect what he was doing because he was so fast no pain was felt, only little stinging.
“Aaaand done, missy,” he said as he closed the last bandage on my stomach whiskers moving up and down happily, “come back tomorrow to continue the treatment.”
The cat nurse helped me wear my clothes. And I finally tried to stand up but my legs were numb so I barely felt the floor. “I just call Ollie,” the cat-like man said looking at a screen showing the front door but my sight was a bit blurry, “he’s just outside.” He ran and opened the door, Oliver went in with a springy step and tried to help me up.
“Be careful,” I said trying to move my tail sluggishly away, “don’t touch my tail… Its highly toxic.”
The cat ears jiggled and the chubby cat came quickly to my side with tiny old fashioned glasses that weirdly pinched his furry nose. He looked at it and ran to take a sample of both my toxins and tail tissue. Then he wrapped the tail with three layers of toxin absorber and a fourth layer of thick non-reactor fabric to seal it. Oliver immediately cradled me in his arms, close to his warm chest so I could feel his fast heartbeats. I felt myself drawn to his warmth as he walked to my room after Snow. I wasn’t paying any attention to my surroundings, but I feared many eyes were following us.
“Raise your hand sleepyhead,” he said I reluctantly raised my hand above me away from his warmth, the door clicked open and my hand returned immediately to his warm chest, and it seemed to increase his already fast heartbeats.
He reach to a bed and dropped me there, then he took a puff blanket and covered me. I began to doze off because of the anesthetics as I heard a muffled sweet dreams and fell into a dreamless sleep.
I woke up in my apparently new room. The bed was soft and warm on its own. I set up in the bed and absorbed my location. The room was as big as a small penthouse, designed in modern eclectic style, sleek white closet, a classic french style white vanity stand and a big commode, a grey short L couch, four soft yellow, green, blue and pink colored puffs and three round short fabric stools and an indigo modern coffee table, near my bed was a stand with a full glass bottle of mineral water with a straw, and just besides it on a rocking chair was the boy, Oliver dozing off. As I focused on his head his messy hair looked more and feathery. I found my hand trying to reach his head to ruffle it, but stopped myself just in time. He sleeps so peacefully I will feel kinda bad to wake him up. I slid off bed and studied my surroundings. There was a door that lead to the bathroom, the closet and commode were empty, so the drawers on the coffee table. Checked the stools and they were able to be opened. Empty too. As I pushed the door of the bathroom open it creaked like hell and left me with buzzing ears and woke up sweet Ollie. “I-I’m sorry,” escaped my mouth even though I already realized why he was here to begin with. To see if I’m up. But why did he stay here for so awful long while I was sleeping. I looked out of a window at the back of the room and a fluorescent sun welcomed me with baby blue clear sky, engineered trees with green leaves and odd shapes fruits, a beautifully lush green grass and along it I could see houses, children playing, though they were humans. Do they keep humans captive here as an opposed to the hell we go through? Doesn’t seem so though, an occasional D kid passed and interacted with a few of the families, they don’t seemed trapped. “Those families are sheltered from the empire eyes, in case you’re wondering,” said Oliver walking standing besides me, “Miss Lila gives shelter even for families in case a kid here wants that.” After a while of silence he added, “I also have my family here.”
It was a bit of a sting. “My family despises me,” I mumbled with burning emptiness in my heart.
“What did you say?” he asked innocently, “is something on your mind?”
“It doesn’t really matter…” I said avoiding his glance, “by the way, why my room is empty?”
“Oh yeah… well you have to buy the stuff in your room to fit your taste.”
I felt alarmed. “How? I don’t have money!”
“Yeah, Lila covers the financial problems since she works at building sites for people from around the world,” he said happily.
“Hmm… that’s all fine and dandy, but I still feel uncomfortable to take her money…”
“Well… you could work for it in the Grand City of Beast, I think,” he said as a matter of fact, “the issue here you need a contract to get there, and well… it’s nine thousand levels of complicated…”
“Then isn’t there something else I can do?”
“Yes but first we need to see your real talents,” he said cautiously, “not the ones that are written in your data, to see your real skills in battle,” he paused to see my alarm, “and you don’t have to actually try to kill.”
“Then what do I do?”
“First you need you go to Russell,” he said freely, “so he could decide what you can try to do first, aaaand to switch your bandages since they began to drip…”
“Oh… we better go right away,” I said heat runs off my face. Our familiars played together happily making cute squeaky and little growl sounds as they played happily. They stopped and ran to us running round their tails. I jiggled my tail, squatted and spread my arms with a big smile and Snowy jumped into my arms and clawed onto me wagging his tail wildly.
“You seem familiar with your familiar,” he said as his griffin bumped into his head squealing as he flew towards Ollie’s head, “hey buddy! Being excited aren’t we?”
“So where to go now?” I asked curiously, “this place is rather big isn’t it?”
“Yeah,” he said holding his familiar front bird claws and smiling at the little familiar, “you’ll definitely get lost here if not for the little guys,” and he put his griffin on his shoulder so that the little guy could rub his head against Ollie’s face, “and rather bored too.”
We went out of my room which automatically shut behind us.
“Privacy is number one here,” he said after I seemingly got startled by the shutting door. After a while of silence he asked me why I didn’t wake him up when I got up and I responded in “why?” and he said blushing “no reason in particular…”
“You were so peacefully asleep I didn’t want to wake you up,” I mumbled and when he half smiled asked what I said I just stood stood there, chill running down my spine.
“What’s wrong?” he asked worried.
“N-nothing… I-I’m f-f-fine…” I blurted out.
He walked towards me and held my hand. Warm against cool, both veins pulsing like insane, his gentle sweet bitter scent calming my nerves.
“Are you better now?” he asked, the heat from his face was intense. I just nodded and hummed as we reached the nurse office. One knock on the door was enough to get Russell to open for us, gemologist old fashioned glasses pinched his nose, he took them off immediately and put them in his bulged pocket, which seemed to be his ink, pen and glasses stock. His almost every equipment, I realized, is old fashioned. His basic equipment, glasses, clothes, even his hairstyle was like out of an old photo of the beatles. Actually his computer screen has a background of the band standing together. They actually were humans and not beetle hybrids as I first thought when I heard their name. Kind of embarrassing really… Well other than that it was a pretty ordinary office with a few brown leather beds, sepia curtains,
“Well, well, nice to see you two getting along,” he said looking at our faces with a purring smile, “anyway get in, yes you too Oliver, according to miss Smith orders.” We got into the room and he locked it quickly behind us. I sat on the therapy bed as he took off the bandages behind a curtain to block Ollie’s view.
“So, uh… what did you find on Shauna?” Oliver asked. Who is Shauna? Is that…by any chance, my real name?
“Well I have created an immediate anti-venom and anti-poison in case anyone get hurt,” he purred.
“How long did you have my data to create an anti-venom and poison?” I asked in disbelief.
“About since you got here, in my office missy,” he said annoyed a bit.
“I-I didn’t mean to disrespect,” I said and straightened up as he got to the bandages on my back, which he tore out of my back with a sticky sound, “but as a new person here it does sound far fetched.”
“why would you say that?” Oliver asked as I heard an office chair twirling around.
“Because the facility had my data since I was born,” I said cautiously, to not trigger the hamster cat taking care of me, “and the anti venom or poison was beyond their reach.”
“Ah, that’s because their technique of creating anti venom and poison is outdated,” I was about to comment about being outdated but I stopped myself before I would hurt myself, “their approach to creating the anti venom or poison is based on outside force that would stop the invasion to the target cells,” he talked on and I heard Ollie grunting in annoyance as the chair creaked at the sudden pressure of him stretching his legs, “as I said,” said Russell ignoring Oliver’s complaint, “it’s about teaching the body’s self defense to recognize harmful substances, like say, your toxins for example, and adapt the anti venom to anyone’s systems.”
“It’s like an adaptability, right?” I asked curious.
“Quite that,” he chuckled, satisfied, “you’re very perceptive.” he pulled the isolator from my tail and extracted the venom in a very outdated way: by twisting the absorbents above a large pail and it filled a quarter of the tub.
“Great… another brainiac,” mumbled Oliver, “anyways, what else did you find?”
“Not enough,” rumbled Russell, opening the curtain after we finished, “just when I first got your data, Ollie-boy,” he said heading towards Oliver, shooing him off the chair that stood near his computer which changed into a Marilyn Monroe background, “it takes too long to process it, I still haven’t managed to figure out all your data…”
“I’m going to ask a stupid question,” I declared warily, “what do you mean ‘takes too long?’ my data’s been here in less than a day.”
“Our minds can’t comprehend how fast Russell can process all the data of almost anyone who gets here in less than a day,” Oliver said as a matter of fact, before Russell could snap at me, “when it takes for him more than that he gets annoyed, so…”
“I get it,” I said calmly, “I’m sorry that I dubted you Russell.”
Russell pulled his pinched glasses, put them on and activated the computer which woke from a save screen of a human male band named Queen, and the screen woke into a tapestry of diagrams and charts, equations and speculation in a very unorganized matter. How can he understand anything with all the information jumbled around like that? Well, don’t question a genius they said, so I understand where that comes from now. They are completely nuts. “What I still can’t catch is,” he mumbled to himself annoyed, “why both your D. beasts died at the moment you were born and why you have an other form, a complete form filled with wild instincts and hard to control…”
“What does he mean that we have another form?” I wondered quietly as Oliver sat besides me, leaning irritated on his his palms.
“Well… if you don’t remember turning to that form means you’re lucky,” he said staring ahead distant, “I remember too much of it, including a fine share of nightmares.”
“I don’t have dreams at all…” I mumbled.
“How lucky of you,” he said stretching, then leaning on one palm smiling at me, “what else should I be jealous about.”
“Well… I dunno…” I said thinking counting my fingers, “I had access to books, played video games for studying purposes, draw while my venom was extracted, watching pirate television one of the cyborgs hacked for me–”
“Now you see how lucky you are?” he said happily, “we, uh… want to test your skills in combat–” he paused to look at my alarm, “the dummies won’t melt and the combatant will be dressed in durable robes so don’t worry about the objects or combatant, if that was the cause for alarm…” he said flagging his palms.
I sighed. “When do we start,” I said reluctantly.
“Today if you please,” said the cat.
“The more data we get the more efficient we’ll be able to help you,” said Ollie urgently.
“It just… I never was good at fighting…” I mumbled nevously.
“You take it the wrong way,” said Oliver as he stood up and stretched his hand to me, his griffin flies eagerly behind Russell as the nurse brushes it off. I took his hand out of politeness. His hand was soft compared to my rough scaly hand, his long fingers close gently over my hand, my heart beats went off the roof and so were his. He turned his head quickly to hide his heat. Wait… is he… attracted to me? No way… sure his scent is a bit weird… but what is that? Never mind I shook my head and laid Snow on the floor, mumbling about the training area, and he squealed, walking ahead stopping to see if I still followed him, his emerald eyes blinking. We got to the training area where kids were heading up a stairway and my little lizard blinked me to get downstairs as the last of the kids headed up. I went as my little familiar led me down, I looked back and saw that Oliver didn’t come down with me. Then… I guess he’s not my match. Well he was vague about who my partner might be, he just held himself quite closely not to laugh when I think about it… I saw a few other kids looking at some kind of ball game, glide soccer maybe, they turned to me in an odd sync. Well no backing up now, I guess. I headed to a corridor my familiar showed to me but didn’t follow. I entered a medium arena with some kind of human shape ballistic gel absorbent, inside it were pig intestines and synthesized human bones. Since that body is a sustained animation body parts, I suppose is alright to fight full force. I walked and did a few strong punches and the crowd around me shouted encouragements that I can do better. Especially Ollie that stood in the front of a glass sticking his hands on it. I don’t know what happened, a surge of a weird scent and a strange sound filled the air, the dummy began to annoy me, flapping, jumping, touching and hitting me turning on the savage instincts I was afraid of, moving my muscles for the kill, and sinking my hand it like a projectile to the dummies throat and tearing its windpipe, point stab the liver, the eye and the left leg knee tendon. The I bite the hand leaving a tooth, a lot of venom slowly spreading and eating away the gel and a horrid bite mark. Then I picked up a wolf scent and a figure covered from head to toe with a thick dense plague armour and a thick non reactive plastic hammered into the helmet. According to the obscure shape I figured it was a female she-wolf hybrid. She had slim body and stood on strangely strapped feet.
“Are ya gonna study me all day or attack?” the defence mechanism activated as a corridor sprung locking both of us. She approached me slowly but unfazed as she began to corner me. The fighting response activated and I launched myself and she headed towards my, evading my slash, throwing me behind her. I rolled to my feet and belched toxic fumes to the air melting the surrounding a little.
“Holy crap!” she said covering her face with her arms, as I can surging bumping into her.
“Well Vulpa,” shouted Oliver in a provoking tune, “are you’re grateful for the heavy protection?”
“Oh shut up Ollie,” said vulpa, trying to rub her mouth remembering she’s covered, “YOU wash that suit after I finished, you high and mighty smug!”
I jumped and twisted in the air, splashing venom all over Vulpa and her surroundings that no longer were defined by walls. “Hell’d come if I’m washing that!” shouted Ollie.
“Oh you big baby!” the crowd giggled as she shook the venom off with disgust and launched herself at me. I guarded with my scaly hand and gave her an uppercut with my free hand and she staggered backwards. “I think we got enough data,” said Lila solemnly, “she is not going to show that part yet.”
“Why not?” cried the nurse besides her, “she shows advanced instincts, she might pull that off.”
“I doubt it,” said Lila decidedly and that awful noise and sound subdued, “she was provoked to her limit, her vital signs are going haywire, look at the monitor,” she said showing him a hover screen that was mirrored from my side, that seemed to make him quiet. At the moment I looked slightly more focused on the monitor she was having, I lost consciousness and found myself in the nurse office plugged to machines and monitors. I found it hard to breath, move and to form words in my mind.
“Welcome back sleeping beauty,” said a young woman voice in front of me, a creaking sound was made and after that a quiet stomping and right besides me stood the a woman with crazy fuzz of black hair, amber jolly eyes, thin lips with two upper lip fangs sprouting, an olive skin dotted with freckles. Her face was youthful with unguessable age, she smiled mischievously as if planning her next prank on someone, and gave me a glass of water with a straw. “You should drink some,” she said with tranquility, “it tastes like vanilla.”
Vanilla water. How dubious. “What’s in there?” I asked concerned.
“Oh?” wondered Vulpa, her eyes swirling, “Russ! What’s in the water?” she shoot the question toward the chubby cat behind my curtains, as Vulpa moved the curtain we could see him tweaking with a cellular centrifuge to study different types of blood, there was black blood, dark green blood, dark blue blood, etc. It separated to four layers red in the bottom and color at the top. “Some vital nutrients and anti inflammatory substances,” he said walking towards my bed unplugging me from whatever monitors I was plugged to, “the vanilla flavour and a bit of fructose are added to mellow the bad aftertaste.”
“It will make you strong again,” said Vulpa placing the straw in my mouth, “it helped me too, once or twice.”
“How about we say quadruplice,” said Ollie as he stood in front of me, behind the curtain line, “you needed that booster quit a lot.”
“Urgh!” said Vulpa annoyed, “why you don’t shut your beak.”
“How’re you doin’ Shauna?” he asked me then, without waiting for my answer he sat where Vulpa was and the chair creaked under his weight, “Snow give us an update,” he told my little familiar. Surprisingly it answered him with a high pitch robotic male voice, “working on recovery,” the little friend said, “venom and poison production is low, more nutrients and proteins for healing and reproduction process are required.”
I sighed weakly and began to sip slowly from the cup. It did taste like vanilla sweets and a positive aftertaste was left in my mouth after I finished, then after a few minutes I felt my vision clearing, I could breath properly and no more horrible migraines. I sat up slowly and looked around. “Welcome to the world of the waken, you hibernating sleepyhead,” said Vulpa and nudged my head cheerfully, “What did you dream about?” she didn’t wait for me to open my mouth and answered her own question, “I bet it was about a boy you like, wasn’t it?”
“I don’t want to burst your bubble,” I said quietly, “I don’t have dreams as you perceive it, I just sleep, it if there’s any I can’t remember ‘em…”
“That’s a shame…” mumbled Vulpa, her train of thoughts was stopped on it’s tracks as Ollie grumbled, “Lucky you…” then he turned cheerful again, “well… we have a city to grind, aren’t we?”
“I don’t think it’s advised—” Vulpa was cut by Russ saying its alright to see sunlight from time to time, so I can regain my strength, to organize my room to my preferences and to know my surroundings navigating around the city.
“Then it’s settled,” said Oliver happily, “get a fresh set of emergency clothes and move along.”
Indeed I found myself in green patient robes and a clean set of clothes lied on the nightstand besides my bed. “Umm… Can I have some privacy?” I asked and Vulpa said to Oliver to give me some privacy and dragged him out of the little area given to me by the nurse. I wore the clothes, a light cobalt top with a grey camo wind coat, grey jeans with some flexible non reactive material, white socks and blue sneakers to match the top. It was a dusky contrast compared to my white hair and pale skin, dotted with red toned scales, like a crocodile addict- on my face, neck, right arm and leg that were covered with them, my chest area was covered strategically with the scales and my human hand had scales on the knuckles and just dotting the back of my hand. I got one half fingered glove and put it on my healthy hand, looking for an other glove somewhere, but I do think one should suffice. I walked out of my recovery area, saying my goodbye to the occupied nurse and walked outside, turning left I was greeted with Vulpa’s backslap, I was shocked and winced a little, “we need to work on the toughness of your skin if you want to survive out there,” said the she-wolf, concerned and with half a smile, “but first let’s start with being comfy around here, know as many D-kids as you need,” she posed dramatically, “the name’s Vulpa, child of the wolf, protector of the cla—” she was cut but Oliver nudging his elbow to her ribcage smirking yeah-yeah-whatever attitude. “Anyways,” said oliver, waving a piece of magnetised plastic, a credit card, “we can go to a shopping spree in the city, you have the free choice of what to buy and decorate your room with, no limitation on money spent,” he put it in his pocket, “you can pay her back by either working in the ‘Enlightened’ pub network, or do missions for miss Lila directly, like reaching to other strays, sabotage missions, intel collecting or helping to cook and clean.”
“It’s up to you really,” said Vulpa, “I chose to be the punching bag of the new kids,” she rubbed the back of her neck, bashful, “there are a few others… you might’ve seen them, when you entered, they voted that I’ll get the most punching, but they get a few punching too when I’m doing recon etcetera…”
“Anywho,” said Ollie excitedly, “it’s you and me out in the city so no sweat it too much, mkay?”
“Why Vulpa didn’t come?” I asked curiously.
“Because I didn’t invite her,” he said as a matter of fact, “now let’s get going,” he said cheerfully.
We went into the city from another entrance, closer to the downtown market district. We went to home decor, I chose a few antiques, a clock, a wood owl catching a snake statue, a sewing kit, a modern styled vase and a planter with a few herbs and flowers. Electronics for tv and consoles, I chose two types of consoles, the old ps4 and an old 3DS, a strong laptop with 10 terabytes with a number of old school cd games, the ones I always played for studying and a lot of new ones. I bought a sewing machine with all the accessories, I took photos of different clothes so I could design outfits that could survive a few accidents, I also took a few sewing books and magazines, so I could sew on my own and bought hygiene necessities. We went to an an alleyway to get the strengthened non reactive fabric, they were quite pricy but Ollie managed to bargain a lower price, so we sent my goods with an unpiloted rickshaw that headed through a portal it generated in the alley and we went to the ‘Enlightened’ pub. The pub was quite, small, dim lit, packed with small coffee tables with low Roman style couches, a few high tables with mismatching high bar chairs. The bar itself and the bar stand were half full with humans and different D-guys and gals, drinking water or. Besides the bar stood a dark colored dragon hybrid with blue horns and bright hair, cleaning the stand and glasses. We sat on the bar stand and gestured me to sit besides him. Never was in a pub before in my life, it’s so surreal that humans and D’s can be together, laugh together. They served alcohol, even if it was prohibited from the masses to produce and the prices were high so only high ranking army officials could afford some and they in turn shared with who they liked.
“Give me the usual Garu,” called Oliver to the bartender, “what would you like? A cocktail, wine or beer?”
“Never tasted any of those…” I said embarrassed.
“None of us knew we could get some reasonably priced alcohol, heck, to even get our hands of some was too much to wish for,” then he scratched the back of his head, “and a tropical cocktail for her.”
While waiting for our orders came in some of the D.E.U.S patrols to get their fix. Oliver put his hoodie on and so did I. “Give us two bottles of Jack, three bottles of tequila and a six pack of the usual beer!” shouted one of them aggressively and the bartender hurried to deliver the order, while we were still waiting for our own orders. There were man bull waiters that delivered the heavy booze, and a few minimalist dressed cat, prey mantis and floppy ears women came and talked to the aggressive bunch, as they touched the women in inappropriate places, kissing them passionately. Then they noticed that I was staring at them. I turned my head quickly, but the damage was done. “Hey princess,” said one of them in mockery, “you want some hot stuff?”
I sat in silence not knowing what to do, which rock to hide under. Then I heard him stand up and walking towards me, chuckling.
“You do not want to mess with her,” said Oliver silently.
“What’d you say?” that guy asked in disgust, “I can do whatever I want with any girl here you hear, you little kid.” At the moment the guy tried reach his hand to me he was startled as Oliver grabbed his hand firmly thrusting him backwards. “the hell did ‘chu get yourself into,” said the guy, a strong healthy combat scarred wolf and armadillo combined, wearing tattered grey army uniform, “you are dead by the end of this session,” he smirked maniacally. He launched himself with a small dagger in his back hand,slashing and punching. Oliver however just dodged his every attack, learning his opponent. Tables and chairs were moved away from the battlefield, rolling along the sides and corners. The other guy called for backup but they were to occupied in their self indulgent, not hearing their companion over the noise of the customers shouting words of encouragement, passing money from one another as they bet who will win this bar fight. Then Oliver did a move that diverted the guy’s punch by putting his hand on the wolf’s arm using his other hand as balance, causing the man to lose focus. Growling louder then the crowd his allies reluctantly joined the fight, it was five to one. I had to do something. I got up, went behind the half circle and sprayed ellegantly venom from my tail, hitting their bare areas, and breathing toxic gas from behind them. They collapsed in a neurotic seizure on the floor. Oliver left cash on the desk, held my hand and ran off the bar, moving as agile and fast as the wind. We reached a quiet rundown alley where we caught our breath. “This is the first time I used my innate weaponry against a living unprotected being,” a breathed out.
“Well, there’s first time for eberything,” said Ollie streatching wide.
“I was afraid you’ll get hurt,” I said quietly, shaken up, “but I ended up taking the lives of five others…”
“You think it was wrong?” he wondered concerned.
“I’m afraid a patrol will get a sniff of our fight,” I said cautiously.
“The pub is the only place to get good booze out here,” he stated, “they wouldn’t butcher the only facility for moonshine out here.”
“Because if they tell anyone the pub exists, it will be closed shut,” I summed up.
“if they’re closing we couldn’t have a great intel collecting,” he said as a matter of fact, “the prostitutes and waiters get us loads of data for sabotage missions and reaching operations.”
“When you offered the job in the pub,” I calculated my words so I wouldn’t sound mad, “you meant this?”
“I didn’t mean to upset you,” he said quickly, “I only mentioned the jobs we offered… I’m sorry.”
“It’s ok though,” I smiled, “at least I know to what job I wouldn’t want to apply.”
It seemed to calm his nervousness. “Anywho,” he jumped to his feet, “we should head back home,” he helped me to my feet and lend his arm in a chivalric manner, “shall we?”
We returned to our rooms and I began to organize my place to my liking. The owl statue on the ps4 set on the table, black lace map cover on the coffee table, and its games were placed in one of an emerald green boxy stool, the laptop was placed on my nightstand besides my bed with one dualshock and in the drawers I placed pc games. The tv was set on the tv stand in front of the couches in the corner of my room. I placed the rest of the stuff at their right place and took a much needed shower and wore the clothes I got this morning and began looking into sewing basics and took a cotton mop and practiced to sew straight with my hands then went to practice on the machine. I was so focused that I didn’t notice my hunger and thirst. Snow jumped to my lap grunting its eyes blinked alarmed and cut off my training. I heard my tummy rumble and asked the little fellow where is the cafeteria is. After a hearty lunch I went to my room to resume my sewing studying but while reading my sewing book I bumped into Vulpa that was engaged in a furious conversation with my first harasser. Annoyed she turned to face me she smiled when she saw me. “Just who I needed,” said Vulpa, “can you tell him that he should stop eating quadruple cheeseburger with double bacon?”
“I really don’t think you should,” I said bluntly, “your blood will get clotted even if you don’t get weight,” then I turned around and tried to go to my room but Vulpa held his hood and slumped her arm around me.
“John has something to say to you,” the snakey guy, john looked startled trying to back away but a big black wolf held his jeans, “don’t cha?”
“I-I’m sorry I tried to force myself onto you…” he stuttered nervously, “wouldn’t do that again,” the wolf threw him away from us as he staggered away to his gang.
“You may say I’m the women sexual safety cop around here,” said Vulpa calmly with serenity, “you can come to me if that asshole approaches you again with the ill intentions of his.”
“U-umm, thanks Vulpa,” I stuttered.
“I know the thing you need,” said Vulpa with an excitement of a pup, “let’s go to the reacher’s field operation!”
“Wai– what?!” I asked startled.
“I even asked for permission from Lila,” she said dragging me by my arm, leaving my book to a butler bot and signed him to get it to my room. When she said my full name it felt strange to me. Shauna Rose, what an odd name. A name of a stranger but yer so comforting to hear. “Well where were we?” she went silent, “I’ll give you the details while we go there.”
“Should I pack someting?” I asked, “peper spray or bug repelent or-”
“It’ll only startle the target, and only make it more difficult,” said Vulpa calmly, “whatever you do,” she turned to me earnestly as she gripped my shoulders and looked directly into my eyes “do not startle the target,” she turned happily toward a door, two wolves sniffing ahead, “shall we?”
We headed to a beachside city with extremely high steel and glass building slightly sunk in the sea. We walked on a low elevated series of roads, above us a network of higher elevated roads that were very crowded. We headed towards a city size crumbled sunken buildings, jumping from edge to edge. Vulpa’s strong wolf feet jumped swiftly from one to the other. Me on the other hand struggled to get a grip with my sneakers and the unproportionally strength of my feet, and landed on my side and almost falling into the sea. We reached a broken windowed, wall crumbled building and we climbed it carefully, Vulpa struggled a bit but she managed to reach the top and reach her hand to me, I took her hand and there we were, on top a sunken building looking into the horizon. According to the data Vulpa showed me we were looking for a fish hybrid that is very evasive kid, untrackable and unexpected, it’s known that he has resistance to many types of toxins, like those I produce, so having me around should prove as an advantage. He was sighted around this area hanging about. We went down a crumbling stairway and reached to a settled area, there was canned and fresh food and water supplies as well a sleepsack, ropes, a pot that was cooking over an open fire. The weird part was the fresh supplies. How did the person staying here got his hands on fresh fish, seaweed and seafood, they were rare, expensive and hard to catch so close to the shore.
We looked closely and saw the sleep sack wasn’t empty. A young man in his twenties was sleeping silently, he smelled of sea, however he didn’t look much as a hybrid, but as I looked carefully, I could see a shimmer like a sleek fast fish. His hair was short and frizzy. Then he opened his eyes as Vulpa reached for his resources. He jumped off the bed and quickly knocked her off her feet.”State your intentions,” he said furiously, pulling a hidden knife.
“We came here to help you,” said Vulpa, “we want to get you to a safe place,” she said with a shining smile on her face, “where you don’t have to ran anywhere anymore—”
“Such a place does not exist you dog,” then he looked at me as if he knew me from somewhere, “y-you’re, LDB 007,” he stated as if I risen from the dead, “since when did they let you out?”
“I ran away,” I said proudly, “they never let me out… plus they kinda wanted me dead, so…”
“Then you two don’t work for the empire?” he asked confused, “then… who do you work for?”
“We work for an underground organization,” said Vulpa, “we’ll take you to our safe oasis, where no one has to be treated as inferior.”
“That sounds too good to be true…” he mumbled overwhelmed, then he looked at me, as if I’m his safety zone, “did you really came from that heaven?”
“Yes,” I said in certainty, “it isn’t perfect, but… we’re there together in this ship,” I came closer to him he didn’t back up, “I’m just a new member there… this is my first field mission, so… believe me when I tell you you’re safe there.”
“I believe you 007,” he said walking quietly towards me, “I trust you.”
“I have a name you know,” I said happily, “a name my mother chose for me, Shauna, that’s my own name,” he towered in front of me, I didn’t startle, “we’ll find your name too, if you care for it.”
“A name to call my own,” he said thoughtful, “that’s sounds interesting,” he turned to Vulpa, “I’ve heard a wolf escaped for five years, is that you?”
“Yup indeed,” skidded Vulpa, “strange you have so much knowledge about strays like us,” she marched carefully, “where did you get your data?”
“It’s no concern of yours,” he barked at her.
“Will you come with us?” I asked cautiously.
“I need to think about it…” he answered carefully, “but if you come again tomorrow you’ll have your answer, Shauna.” the way he said my name made me a bit tingly.
“Sure we’ll come,” said Vulpa and reached her hand for a shake, and was startled by his look. It was clear as day he didn’t want her around. She took her hand and scratched her head nervously, “sure Shauna would come, won’t chu?”
“Sure thing,” I smiled brightly at him, “it’s a deal.”
Vulpa and I had a conversation about what happened in the dimensional traverse. “I don’t like sending you alone to him…” she considered.
“But he probably wants somebody that just came from the outside,” I rationalized, “he wants to know what I think about it and perhaps he will join.”
“What else that he haven’t gone wild from solitude,” she counted, “he also has canned army food,” she gave me a concerned look, “what if he works for the empire on the fields.”
“I don’t think so,” I said thoughtfully, “you saw how he reacted to us appearing at his camp,” I reminded her, “he was cautious of us at first, and assumed we were sent by the empire.”
“You can never be sure…” she mumbled.
Then I remembered that the fish said that Vulpa ran away five years ago. “He said you escaped five years ago…” I began to asked as we materialised in front of the hanging gardens, “so you were with Lila for five years?”
“No,” she gestured me into the gardens, “for five years I was tracked by the empire,” she led me into an isolated garden with grapes and jasmine vines and a bench, she gestured me to sit besides her, water flow was heard from all around us, “I was tracked for five years, and another off grid five years just before I joined the organization. they lost track of me after the five years, I was wondering about in the wild woods, the only place any beast hybrid would feel safe,” then she stretched backward, “this place calms my nerves every time,” she said with a smile, “I hope nothing goes wrong on your first solo mission,” she patted my shoulder with pride, “by the way,” she thoughtfully looked up as to remember something, “he does have a similar beasty scent, like the two of you,” she looked at me, “he probably sensed familiarity with you.”
“Maybe…” I was thinking, “by the way,” I looked at the two wolf familiars curled near their owner, “how come you have two familiars?”
“Well,” she looked ahead, “the furry buddy on my left is my spirit guardian, and the other is my build in familiar here.”
“How come you have a spirit guadian?” I asked curiously.
“Its probably ‘cause I was in the wild for quite some time,” she said thoughtful, “I was in the wild for ten long ass years.”
“When did you join in here?” I wondered, “the target said that you were missing for five years.”
“Oh…” I said amazed, “then what did you mean by ‘being wild’?”
She sighed in sadness. “I was like an animal for ten years since my escape from the facility i was held in. I was running a murderous rampage, killing any human, cyborg and D-kid in sight, they tried to put a containing iron muzzle on my face but moved so wildly their arms were torn, letting me escape. I ran through the front door in my highest speed. I was running for five days in a wasteland until I was exhausted and hungry. The big boy over here is the one that rejuvenated me and took me to his forest home. He fed me, taught me to survive in his home. I came to meet the king of the forest as well,” she said proudly, “not every outsider gets to have such an honor. Right in front of the god of the forest stood miss Lila, talking about recrutement. Of course I tried to kill her with my claws but she deflected them with her tail without breaking a sweat after a few hours until my strength was exhausted, she sat besides me, petting my head as I growled threateningly. She didn’t say a word and took off into the sky, and her scent trail disappearing from the air. Then I spent my days in the forest being taught by the forest spirits how to survive and stay away from sight. Every year miss Lila came, offering me to leave the forest and help her to bring change to the world, but the big words sounded too good to me. But after ten years of forest dwelling a straight organized army attack on the god of the forest, spirits and beasts lying around dead and the god was turned into a stone slumber to heal his awful wounds and to prevent being abducted by the empire, to become a research subject like a few other land gods before him. This time Ollie came, bidding the dwellers goodbye laments. He saw me and said hello friendly, his scent was unafraid, strong and easy going. ‘There’s no place for us here,’ he said holding his hand to me, ‘where will you go? We’re going home, wouldn’t we.’ Aaaand I joined the organization. Of course I went a rehab of my wild behavior so I would stop attacking anyone on sight…”
We sat in silence for a while, listening to the flowing water. “Oh!” barked in remembering, “I’ve heard that you never killed before on the sorting battles.”
I sighed. “Yeah…” I said in sadness, “this is the first time I went wild…”
“But it seems that the beast within you,” said Vulpa thoughtful, “you just ended up exhausted.”
“I dunno what you’re talking about,” I said quietly.
“But what will get you there?” mumbled Vulpa, “oh, sorry!” smiled Vulpa unthreatening, “I’m talking about your beast state, a very rare ability that Ollie and apparently you have.”
“What is a ‘beast state’?” I asked a little scared.
“That’s a state you have immense power and being able to reach your true spirit potential,” she said excitedly.
“But it’s incredibly hard to control,” said Oliver distant from behind the bushes, “it’s too powerful, once you turn into that form.”
“Hey Ollie,” stood Vulpa, “what time is it?”
“It’s night time,” said Ollie looking at us, “did you even ate supper?”
Our rumbling stomachs proved that point. Vulpa laughed embarrassed. “We better head for the cafeteria,” said the wolf. So we ate a small supper and went to our rooms to prepare for tomorrow. I went and sew a two wide sleeve tops and two wide legged pants from the magazines, just leaving an opening for my tail. The next day I packed a few absorbent pads, food and clean water, adrenaline shots, and special environmental adaptive shots that Russell gave me to use as a precaution. He told me if I use it in the water I’ll be able to breath underwater for three hours, and if I’m using it in the city I’ll become more agile along the buildings, etc. I went through the portal without saying goodbye to anyone, and sent a message to miss Lila about recruiting the guy. She sent a confirmation and his name. Dylan Vann… a fish beast hybrid… he looked different from the rest of the rest of the hybrids, like Ollie. And he has a similar scent to him too… I was told that this scent is the beast scent, sweet and bitter with a bit of powerful gravity from them. I headed toward the building where Dylan camped. I walked towards him and sat besides him. He smiled looking at the dancing flames. “So you came,” he said happily, “aren’t you afraid?”
“Nah,” I said laid back, “you seem trustworthy.”
“Thank you,” he looked at me, his blue eyes looking softly at me.
“I wondered…” I said cautiously, “how did you escape?”
“Oh,” he said startled, “I turned into my beast form and busted myself out with all of captives, most of them were caught and a few disappearing from the empire grid but appearing from time to time, sabotaging underwater and beach facilities, and there I am collecting data about patrols and strays like me, trying to built a rebellion,” he sighed, “but it seems they disappear from the area before I can make contact, or that they tell me they already are in an rebel organization, and offered me to join them. I declined every time because I was still looking for information about the supposed rebellion, but came with nothing, except about runaways like you and the she-wolf, heard she went on a rampage, killing any patrollers who came into the forest, and the forest dwellers were either taken in as subjects or dead, but haven’t heard of the wolf being or saw her corpse, and then she comes here to recruit me,” he looked into my eyes looking for something, “why did you join them?”
“They took me in,” I said, “even though they wanted to see me going wild intentionally…”
“Are you going to stay with them?” he asked urgently, “or will you come with me?”
“Why can’t it be both?”
“If you want me to come,” he sighed, “very well.”
He offered me to eat with him, so we ate roasted fish and cooked canned food. And so we headed to the dimensional facility I came to call home, and asked my familiar to lead us in a quiet less populated way.
“Why do you need those little… what you called them? Familiars?”
“That’s right,” I started to explain, “they were designed as guides and they have some functions that I have no idea what they are yet.”
“Do we actually need them here?” he asked worried.
“Even if you found yourself without one, you’ll become lost,” I explained, “the layering of this place changing all the time, sooo…”
“It’s just for convenience for the time being…” He wondered quietly.
We reached Lila’s office and Oliver was there too. As he saw Dylan his smile faded. “So you finally came divider,” said Lila, when she saw Dylan fazed look, “that’s your beast name.”
“And your human name is Dylan Vann,” I said happily.
Oliver held his hand to Dylan with a threatening look in his eyes. I could sense their hostility to each other. “BDB 719, the rouge bird beast,” he looked at Oliver’s held up hand, hostility in his eyes. Dylan shook his hand stiffly.
“The name’s Oliver,” said Ollie annoyed, “Oliver Harper.”
“Very well,” said Dylan irritated.
“I summoned Oliver here,” explained Lila, “because I wanted the three of you to form a team,” she took an old book from behind her, “have you heard of the big three nature gods?”
“Yeah-yeah,” said Oliver annoyed, “they’re the parents of three certain races of spirit people,” counted Ollie, “the fish people, the beast people and the bird people, but where are you heading with this?”
“The three of you have a certain connection to these deities,” Lila put the words cautiously, “I know it’s sudden to put you on the team right away, but I trust your skills and judgement,” she told dylan, “can you trust me?”
“I find it a bit difficult,” said Dylan, “for obvious reasons.”
She laughed a friendly laugh. “I understand,” she said kindly her red eye glitters, “but can you at least trust your teammates?”
“I’ll think ‘bout it,” he said irritated stucking a threatening glare in Oliver,
“Well… I can trust Shauna alright,” said Oliver, “but I can’t trust fish sticks over here.”
“Who’d you call ‘fish sticks’?!” shouted Dylan, “you bird brain!”
I stepped between them. “This won’t help us to be a team,” I said assertively, “we need to work this out, from now on we’re a team,” I stood between them firmly, “let’s get it into our heads.”
“Urgh… fine,” said Ollie.
“What our first mission?” I asked energized.
“You’re excited aren’t you,” said Lila, “I’ll assighn you three missions soon enough.”
I dragged my teammates out of the office annoyed. I asked Snow to lead us to the cafeteria. “Well…” I sat awkwardly in the head of the table, they sat on opposite sides of the table, glaring intensely at each other. “I’ll get us something to eat,” I said, hoping for the best for both of them to get at least a bit warmer to each other. I got grilled fish, fried chicken, fresh vegetable salad and a few slices of fluffy cheesecake. I reached the table and Ollie turned to play his 3DS with his headphones on, and Dylan was looking away from him, both of them got a sniff of the food I brought and Ollie closed his game, and took from the food. “Then…,” I tried to break the silence, “Ollie.. you said you were one of the first recruits, can you tell us your story?”
He paused at a bite of fried chicken. “Huh?” he swallowed, “sure… I was in a facility you were in before you were moved to the high secured facility you escaped from. I was railing a rebellion against the head of the facility, the staff and most of the trainees were working together, we were all tired of working for the empire as soulless pawns, treated as less than humans, despite the fact that we were designed as super humans. The reason we did that was because the people there knew too much… about the war, about the empire, about the human resistance, some of the staff were working for the human rebels by trading weapons and information. I was seventeen, the leader of the coup, we wanted to hold that facility as a base of operation, and as blackmailing the empire, it was in key location and was an advanced weapon laboratory, where the rebels got their weapons. Before we could secure you out with us, they already moved you out of the area, you were in some secured room with loyal empire soldiers. Your poison is an expensive resource for the empire. You’re the only one they evacuated, the only one who was kept separated from the rest of us, that didn’t know about the coup. We obviously failed, those who didn’t manage to escape were either killed or locked up for taking part at the coup. I was the one that destroyed the facility, rubbled it to the ground…”
“So…” wondered Dylan, “you turned into your beast form? Were you pushed to your limit?”
“Yeah…” Oliver agreed grimly, “they cornered me, all of the soldiers surrounded me and their captain mocked me, making me afraid and resentful, turning into the monster inside. The moment I woke up I was in a hidden alley. That’s when I met miss Lila, and the rest is history.”
“It was the same with me,” remembered Dylan, “they tried to push me to my limit, even though I wasn’t making a coup, I was worked up to my limits, making me furious. I got beat up for saying rebellious thoughts.”
“Same here,” I said, “I stole a few books from the old world, and had exhausted my production, I got hit both at times when I either got caught, or not enough venom production.”
“They think they can do anything with us,” said Oliver resentful, “as if they have some advantage over us.”
“But isn’t it the same with Dragon 001?” questioned Dylan, “she forced us to be a team.”
“It’s not the same, Dylan” I said calmly before Ollie snapped at him, “she didn’t beat us for declining.”
“Well… you didn’t give us much time to complain, Shauna,” said Dylan powerless.
“I want the three of us to get along,” I said, “it doesn’t sound that bad that we’ll be a team.”
“Shucks…” said Oliver, “let’s hope fish sticks won’t drag us down…”
“If anyone will drag you down is me,” I said accepting, “don’t forget I’m inexperienced in field work, let alone I’m very deformed so my speed and power is uneven…”
“Once you get to your beast form you might change,” said Dylan optimistic.
“Let’s hope she never gets there though,” said Oliver concerned.
“Yeah…” said Dylan thinking, “we can’t be sure how your beast will behave…”
That’s why Oliver sounds so afraid. I wonder… how does his beast behave?
“We can’t put anyone at risk when that happen,” Oliver summed up.
“And both of us need immunity to her venom,” said Dylan, “which is impossible to have…”
“Don’t chu have a resistance to it?” asked Ollie curiously.
“Resistance isn’t in the level of immunity,” explained Dylan.
“Oh well,” said Oliver calmly, “let’s get the ‘immune teach’ from Russ.”
“You sound as if you have a vaccine already,” said Dylan startled, “and who is Russ?”
“Russell Catwalk is our nurse,” I told him, “and he’s quite the talent when it comes to every type of D-kids.”
“Is he human?” he asked suspecting.
“You’ll see,” said Oliver standing up, “we’re going to meet him either way.”
We headed to the nurse office, getting curious looks towards the three of us. They probably heard that we’re a team from now on. Dylan walked with innate pride, Oliver walking ahead of him and I struggled behind them.
Russ welcomed us happily, offering Dylan the patient bed, and I sat next to his bed and Ollie sat by the computer. The cat asked for approvement from Dylan to draw blood and have a few DNA samples, even though he felt uncomfortable about it, let the nurse take what he asked for. “What do you need these for?” he asked uncomfortably.
“He needs to collect data about each of us,” said Ollie laid back, “all of our data is stored in the guy’s head, and some data in miss Lila’s computer.”
“Is there data you don’t share with miss Lila?” I asked curiously.
“Not all data is shared as a precaution,” Russ talked on, “at some point there would be… inconveniences… so some of the data is not shared with miss Lila.”
“Makes sense,” said Dylan, “even her subordinates completely trust her.”
“Oh, we completely trust her,” said the cat irritated.
“She’s the one who doesn’t trust herself…” said Oliver in sadness, “she’s afraid of herself… what she might do if the empire managed to hack her…”
Dylan laid back lost in thought. And Russell made a happy sound and held two syringes, one bright blue and the other one was in weak gold and asked from Oliver and Dylan to lift their jacket sleeves, and injected the blue liquid to Dylan and the weak gold to Oliver. “You might feel a bit exhausted,” said the nurse, “but eat high protein and fat, come here at the evening for examination and exposure.”
“Makes sense…” sighed Dylan. Suddenly a gust of wind opened the door to the office, turning chairs and separating curtains, ruffling Dylan’s hair. Then the gust stopped and a flying winged bright blue eel mixed with a blunt muzzle of a dolphin, green eyes and a purple gem on its forehead. The little guy nuzzled Dylan anxiously, mumbling that it finally met his master.
“Huh?” Dylan was startled by his familiar affection, “what is that?”
“I’m your familiar,” said the little guy, “my name is Ula.”
Little Ula was very attached to Dylan and at the moment he stood up he stumbled dizzy and immediately was supported by Ula. “Master-master you need rest!” he told him and it opened a portal from it’s purple gem and led him through it.