The Mind Manifests 13
I got up from the table and looked over to Maxwell, who replied "Of course, let me just get the program rea-"
he was cut off by pounding on the door to his lab. He rolled his eyes, and opened it "What is it now?"
A soldier on the other side replied "It's CNN, quickly, turn on a TV." He went over to a TV and turned it on, changing the channel. On the screen was a sight that shocked me, Dan Rather was being held at gunpoint by a Wolf anthro, who wasn't exactly looking very happy. The wolf's face had several scratches on it, his left eye was blackened, one of his ears was bleeding, and he looked like his left arm was broken, but his right arm, the one holding the pistol, was still fully functional. What was most surprising, were the clothes on the wolf, it was a police officer's uniform, and it had several tears in it, a couple of which were wet with blood.
After a moment, I heard a faint voice off screen, and the wolf looked at the camera, and made a speach "Your government has been lying to you, and this is the only way I could get the truth out, I make no claim to justify my actions, and will claim full legal responsibility afterwards, but this had to be made public. They knew about the crystals from space long before they landed, and made no attempt to warn us of exactly what we were dealing with. After the crystals landed, they lied when they warned the public, and on top of that, victims, such as myself, have been being called brainless mutants and have been being carted off to various facilities to be probed and tested on. This is so the world can know, we aren't monsters, we're simply people, like every one of you, and the fabrications of global dominance and an alien invasion make me sick to my stomach. The very fact that I had to hold a celebrity at gunpoint to get my message out is proof enough that there is something very wrong going on...Mr. Rather, I apologise for putting you in this situation."
He tossed the gun away, and was quickly taken down by several armed gaurds and carted off as the screen went to the "please stand by" image. I was speachless and in total shock, I didn't know what to think. I looked over at Maxwell, and he was equally as stunned.
After a long silence, I asked "What now?" he just shook his head, and said "I have no idea, I honestly don't...we should continue as planned, and wait for orders, I'm sure military intelligence knows what to do."
"Military intelligence is an oxymoron, Doc."
The soldier laughed weakly, sounding very nervous, then looked over at me, and asked "Are you all actually intelligent like that?"
"I don't know, but every crystal victim I've met so far is perfectly fine and mentally stable."
"I feel wrong now, we've been treating you guys like Prisoners of War...you're just civilians..."
"Don't blame yourself, you're just following orders."
Maxwell turned off the TV and said "Right, let's continue. You're dismissed, private."
The soldier half saluted, then walked away, mumbling to himself. He looked like somebody had just punched him in the gut. I bet a lot of people were very confused, it's not every day a wolf holds a CNN reporter hostage on national television.
As he was about to leave, I took a quick look at his uniform "Pvt.2C S. Fitzgerald" I felt like that was significant somehow, but I quickly shook it off as the door closed behind him, and I was led by Maxwell over to a seat in front of a projector.
I sat for a good hour with a controller in my hand, it had four buttons "human" "dragon" "predator" "prey" and I had to click any buttons that reflected how I felt about whichever image was being shown at the time. it was a little difficult at times, but I got the hang of it.
before it was finished, a phone on the wall started ringing. Maxwell went over and answered the speakerphone. "Dr. Maxwell, Herpatology, what's this about?"
"You currently have two..uhh...dragons, in your care, correct?"
"An escort has already been dispatched to pick them up, they will have proper clearance papers. When they arrive, you are to turn over custody of both reptiles to them, and finalize all research for submission. Do you understand your orders?"
"Of course, but may I ask why the sudden change of plans?"
A click signaled the officer on the other end hung up on him, and he sighed "Well, looks like you're shipping out. I was just starting to like finally having company."
"I guess, but why both of us? Tealwing came to you before the crystals hit, he can't be one of the victims."
"And you expect my superiors to be smart enough to know that? I guess i'll pack a care package for you, and for what it's worth, I thoroughly enjoyed all the time we spent together, I'll be pouring over that data for months, it might completely revolutionize some of my other projects."
I smiled and nodded, rubbing Tealwing's head "Yeah, this is nothing like I thought it would have been, I was expecting cages, concrete, and raw meat meals, not anything like what you've been supplying."
About a half hour later, sure enough, four soldiers showed up, two with assault rifles, two with shotguns. Maxwell gave me a large sack, with a few packages inside, and I took it, thanking him. Once both I and Tealwing were fitted with muzzles, we were led out of the Laboratory, and down a long hallway, meeting up with another escort team, who was leading an albino wolf anthro. They merged with my own escort, and kept leading us down the hall.
We eventually came to an aircraft hangar where there were several trucks, and a crowd of nonhumans, circled by a large number of soldiers with heavy weapons, as well as a soldier on a chaingun turret on a hummer. I heard a voice call out "Daniel!" and Yevonna came running over to me, glomping me and hugging tightly, causing tealwing to cling tighter to my back and whine in protest.
"Nice to see you, too, Yev."
She looked at Tealwing, who was glaring back at her, and asked "Who's this?"
"Tealwing, I think he's a genuine dragon, he was left with me because I'm apparently the only other dragon here."
From next to me I heard a scoff. I looked over to the albino wolf, who was having his muzzle taken off, and he practically spat out the words "Lucky bastard." I just raised an eyebrow "what's your issue?"
"I wanted to be a dragon, instead, I'm stuck as a furry. According to everything I've found out, I should have become a dragon, not this."
I didn't really have any reply to that, so I just remained silent as the muzzles were removed from me, tealwing, and Yevonna. We were instructed to stand with the others, so we did. Once we were at the edge of the crowd, the wolf next to me started looking around nervously "This doesnt feel right, something's up, why would they have us all in one place like this?"
"I don't know, but with what that guy said on the news, it could be anything."
"there was an anthro, he held Dan Rather at gunpoint on live television, and told the world about us."
I got multiple stares, and everyone started mumbling, apparently I was the only one there who had been privaledged to that knowledge. A naga slithered over, and asked "how did you find out about this?"
"I was watching it as it happened, didn't you each go to specialists who knew about your species?"
"No, asss a mater of fact" he started slurring his speach, and it was sounding more like hissing as he grew angrier with every word "I've sspent the lassst three daysss in a cage, being manhandled by armed gaurdsss and forccced to eat live animalsss!"
"Sorry, I didn't know, I can't believe they were being that cruel to others."
A random voice called out "why the hell did he get such special treatment?" and another replied "it's cause he's a mythological creature, they get treated better because they're rarer."
A Chorus of angry protests started filling the air as everyone grew more stressed and nervous, until several loud thumps sounded. The air was suddenly filled with a hundred yellow rubber balls flying at high speed as several Hornet's Nest riot control grenades went off and my shock collar activated.
I ripped Tealwing off my back, and cradled him in my arms, fighting off shouting out as electricity arched through my body and I was pelted by countless tiny impacts. I felt the sensations of distress calls all around me. My ability to detect others in danger was going crazy with all the people around me who were terrified. Using my wings as a shield, I stayed wrapped around Tealwing and tried to shut it out until the clamour ended.
I dared to look up, and found everyone on the ground, and all the soldiers had their guns up. a single voice called out on a megaphone "That was your only warning, any future outbursts, and the gaurds have been permitted to use deadly force!"
I looked over to Yevonna to find her being cradled by the wolf, there was already visible swelling over his right eye, he must have taken one of the rubber balls right to the face. After a moment of silence, the nonhumans began standing back up, still fearful, but now silent, and I went over to Yevonna and the wolf, with Tealwing clutching my chest tightly and whimpering.
He let her go and she stood up, as did the rest of us. The silence was eery, the only thing I could hear was various bestial noises of pain, and the rubber balls bouncing to a stop. I looked over at Yevonna, and she was looking at the Wolf "Thank you for shielding me, what's your name?"
"Leo, but you might as well call me Loku, that's the name of this body I'm stuck in."
"well, thank you either way."
I went over to him, and asked "what did you say your name was?"
"Leo, or Loku."
"is that by any chance Loku Von Zor'kan?"
"Holy hell, yes, how'd you know that?"
I grinned "You mean to tell me you don't recognise me? it's me, Dracano."
His eyes went wide "DRAC!" and he hugged me tightly "You have no idea how good it is to know it's you."
I had to shove him back as Tealwing whined, and I said "Careful about Teal, he's just a hatchling."
Loku looked down, and cocked his head, his ears folding back "Drac, you had a kid, since when?"
"He was sent to the same specialist as me, and when the order went out to round up all the nonhumans in this place, he was sent along with me."
I pulled Tealwing off my chest, and let him climb back onto my back, before saying "He's pretty much adopted me as his mother, he wouldn't even eat anything until I showed up."
Yevonna went over to him and looked at him closely "He's so cute, you said his name is Teal?" before I had a chance to reply, a loud squawk got everyone's attention as a general climbed on top of the back of a truck, holding a megaphone. "Alright, now that I have your attention. Due to recent discoveries by our investigative teams, and pressure from the public, it has been decided that those of you who have demonstrated intelligence and a willingness to listen to basic instructions, will be released to go back to your humans lives. you will, however, be very closely monitored, and any offenses of any kind will bring you back into the protective custody of the US army. now that we have an understanding, you will each be called by your human names, and be proccessed for release, starting with Arnold Allens, please step forward to the table next to this truck to have your personal affects returned to you."
A quadrupedal gryphon stepped forward from the crowd, and over to the truck. Several items were placed on the table, and he was asked a series of questions and given several forms to sign before his shock collar was removed and he was led away by MP's, who weren't holding any guns.