I’ve always been called a tomboy. The stubborn one. I got my mother’s looks and my father’s stubborness and pride.
And, the stubborness has always been my curse.
I have always hated to be told that one word. That one specific word that tells you you are not allowed to do what is fun. You can’t do what you want to. You can’t have a snack before dinner. You can’t get your own room.
It frustrated me to no end. From the earliest days of my childhood, it was “No” this and “No” that. It sickened me! I was more than happy when I got accepted into the Enforcer Academy. It meant I would get away from home. Far away from nagging family wanting me to act like a mature woman when I am what I have always been. A fighter. Mom could never accept that. Dad could somewhat, but he had his limits.
A growl interrupts my thoughts and I look up. T-bone is standing in an awkward position in his cage, struggling with something. My eyes widen as I see what’s going on. He’s bending the bars in his cage!!
“Nngggrrr…ssssssssss…..” he hisses frustrated, his muscles straining. The bars are stubborn, but slowly, ever so slowly, they are pulled apart. More and more until…
I can only stare with wide eyes as T-bone now manages to maneuver out of his cage and get over to mine. “You OK in there ,Felina?”
T-bones fangs show as he grabs the bars of my cage and start to bend them, the muscles in his mutated arms tightening like thick ropes. I watch and listen eagerly at the same time should Viper or one of his non-caged creatures come around. I don’t know how long it takes before I can finally slip through the bars in my cage, but all the while, my nerves are on needle-points. Finally, T-bone stops his task, breathing heavily. I carefully slip through the bars, wriggling slightly as I almost get stuck. But, finally, I’m fully out of the cage.
“Come on. We gotta get out of here,” T-bone says, a dark frown on his face.
I nod and, as T-bone signals to me, I crawl up on his wide, strong back, holding on to what’s left of his G-suit. Then, without a warning, he leaps off. Through the room and out the nearest window that works as entry and exit for some of the creatures that come around here. Why they come, I don’t know.
I take one last look as the enormous building disappears behind us, T-bone leaping from one solid root to the next. I feel bad about leaving the kats that are still in there… but, right now, we both need time to get our strength back. To rest. And to plan.
“We’ll come back,” I whisper.
“That’s a promise.”
It is late night when I wake up. Sitting up, I look around. T-bone isn’t there. I remember him saying he needed to try and find some food for us, preferrably non-mutated. A cold chill runs down my spine, despite the fact that T-bone managed to find me a pair of jeans and a much too large T-shirt after our escape. Then, suddenly, I see him.
“I ssssee you have gotten properly clothed.” Dr. Viper smirks as he stands in the shadows of the room, his eyes glowing like lanterns with a cold, menacing flare. I narrow my eyes and growl, getting up in a crouch, ready to attack.
“I would not do that, if I were you, my pet,” he drawls at me lazily, his long tail swaying warningly. I spit angrily at his words.
“I am no *pet* of yours, Viper!” I sneer, extending my claws. I remember my beast-state, and that his creations were at fault for getting me turned into one. I want him to pay! I want to attack him, to rip out his throat, to bury my fangs in that tempting neck, to bathe my claws in his still beating heart as I rip it out of his….
I shake my head wildly. What the heck is wrong with me!? Why am I getting these thoughts!? Why-…
“What’s the matter, lieutenant?” Viper says calmly. “Getting… unnatural thoughtsss and cravingssss?” he grins, his tongue playing between his lips. I snarl and, suddenly, I *POUNCE*!!
He leaps aside easily and, just as I land on the floor, I yelp as his tail connects with my side, sending me flying into a wall. He laughs disdainfully as he now stands above me, eyes seeming to get an even more powerful glow in the dark. Then again, he’s crazy… lunatics get that kind of creepy look….
“My dear, dear lieutenant Feral,” Viper chuckles at me. “You really think you are free? Believe me, you are far from out of the woodssss yet.”
I snarl, slashing after him with my claws. He kicks out and hits my gut, making me curl up on the ground. Damn, I could have sworn he’s gotten a third claw or something…. strangely enough, it doesn’t hurt.
I jerk awake suddenly, gasping, my eyes wide. T-bone looks up from a small make-shift fire he has constructed, trying to light it up. But it’s kinda hard with the enormous claws he has now instead of normal paws and fingers.
“You OK, Felina?” he asks me.
I only nod briefly, brushing my fingers through my damp bangs. “Nightmare…” I utter quietly.
T-bone gives a small nod, then returns to try and lit the fire. I watch him for a while, then I take the matches from him and stroke one, the small flame greedily eating into the dry wood. T-bone looks to me sheepishly, and I only chuckle.
“It works better when you got normal hands… no offence,” I state.
He only shakes his head and curls up next to the fire, enjoying the warmth of it. I sigh and curl up myself, staring into the flames. I wonder what has happened to kats other places….
Uncle Ulysses… I wonder if he made it out of here…
I hope he did.
Viper looks up as I come in. I snuck away when I was sure T-bone was fully asleep, and Viper doesn’t seem the least bit surprised that I have come back. A grim smirk sneaks over his muzzle when he sees me, and he turns around from his work-table. I try not to let out a startled sound as I see his changed form in the light. Before, I have only seen him in strange, dim shadow….
I remember seeing him like some large monster from a Siamese monster-movie… His back is covered in dark-green scales, from his neck to the tip of his tail, the underside in aquagreen and mint-green stripes, his face in the same green color as it was before his monster-mutation. His eyes have a dark ring around them, giving him a more sinister look, and his feet have gained an extra toe. His claws too look more vicious. I can’t help but wonder if they can secrete acid like they could when he was enormous… I note vaguely that he has a sort of “mane” of spikes down his back, going out in a stegosaurus-like fashion at the tip of his tail, which is most likely poisonous. The horns he had on his chin though, have disappeared.
“Ssssso, lieutenant Feral…You have returned,” his voice interrupts my thoughts briefly as he lazily crosses his arms. Despite the spikes, he still wears his trade-mark labcoat. I briefly note he also seems taller, his entire structure seeming more muscular… more kat-like than reptillic in the way he stands, where he was so hunched over before.
I glare at him coldly, clenching my hands.
“I know you did something to me, Viper..” I growl, my eyes narrowing. “You turned me back into a kat…why!?”
A grin sneaks its way across his features, his eyes narrowing as he watches me. “Do I really have a reassson to tell you, lieutenant?”
In one second flat, I have him nailed to the floor, my fangs bared. I growl deep in my throat, extending my claws. I can feel the blood pulsating in his throat, I can smell a salty whiff of sweat from him, I hear his breathing as he calmly glares at me with his bright, golden eyes… Kill! Kill! Kill! Kill!!!!
In a swift move, he strikes. He kicks out with one leg, kneeing me in the gut and sending me tumbling to the floor.
Kill! Kill! Kill! Kill!!!
What is happening to me!? Why are these thoughts haunting me!?
Kill! Kill! Kill! Sweet flesh… I wonder how his flesh will taste on my tongue… Kill..kill…must..kill…
Hunger… feed…. I am starving… I vaguely remember I haven’t eaten for days… kill… food… want food…
Fish on the floor… I grab it in my claws and shove it in my mouth, ripping into it with my teeth, ignoring the sharp fish-bones, hissing as I do so. Hunger… vanishing… good… good fish…..
“You underssstand now why you came back, lieutenant?” Viper tells me as I eat.
“The beassst in you obeysss me, and ssso you felt a need to return to me, your masssster.”
I look up at him, feeling pieces of the fish dripple from my chin. Slowly, I wipe the gooey mess off my face with one arm, and I realize what just happened… I lost control… I went from being a more or less sane being to a ferocious, crazy animal….
Viper grins at me.
“What do you want from me?” I growl lowly.
Viper chuckles, crossing his arms.
“A bargain. I need you to find ssssomething….. or rather, sssomeone for me…. Iteressssted?”
“Why should I ever be interested in making a bargain with scum like you?” I sneer, then stop myself. Anger makes my instincts take over again… and I hate the feeling of losing control…
“Becausssse…” Viper says calmly, tapping two claws against his left arm. “The mutagen I injected into you, which turned you normal, isss not permanent. It will only lassst for 72 more hoursssss. And then, you will become a beasssst once more. A wild animal with no control over yoursssself at all. And, we all know how the dear lieutenant hatessss to lose control now, don’t we?”
Kats, can he read my thoughts now too!?!? I stare at him, knowing my eyes are filled with hatred and disgust. So, that’s his plan!? To remutate kats, but only temporarily so he can toy with them afterwards!? The mere thought disgusts me to no end… but so does the thought of being nothing but an animal… a creature with no control at all…… no knowledge of telling friends and foes from one another…
No way of telling if the next kat I kill in my uncontrollable rage could be my uncle….
I bow my head slowly, my hair hiding my face from his view as I slowly grit my teeth.
“What’s the bargain?”
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