The Mind Manifests 15
I was led through countless corridors, and each offshoot we passed, the group grew smaller, Yevonna, Loku, and I forming a tight group so we wouldn't get seperated.
We finally came to a dead end with four steel doors, and there were eight of us left. We were led in, two to a cell, but I was stopped by a gaurd "Hey, Sarge, what should we do with the little one?"
A sergeant walked over and examined Tealwing "Take it over with the other young ones."
I placed my hand on Tealwing's head "No, you can't, he has to stay with me."
"And remind me when I asked an alien's opinion."
The soldier started prying Tealwing off my back, who started squealing and howling, not letting go. After nearly thirty seconds, something came over me. I whipped around and grabbed the soldier's wrist tightly, twisting it around before grabbing his throat, holding my claw over his corroted artery, and spoke in a voice that was more of a snarl than actual words "The hatchling stays with me!"
The instant I realised what I was doing, I released him, and immediatly got pummeled by rifle butts until I was on the floor in pain. They pried Teal off me, then I was forcefully tossed into one of the cells.
I got up, gagging, and looked up just in time to see Loku's fist collide with the side of my muzzle, sending me spinning and back to the floor. I just sat there, gasping, and spit out a tooth, he could hit like a sledgehammer, and the teeth neighboring that one were all loosened and bleeding.
He glared at me and shouted "Don't you ever fucking slap me again, or I'll castrate you with my bear hands!"
I picked up the tooth and shakily drug myself over to a cot, collapsing onto it "I had to, you were in a panicked state."
He just growled at me, then sat down on his own cot "You know, I could have broken out of this tin can if you hadn't stopped me."
"You think you could, but you don't know about the turrets."
"The turrets, six of them, all .80 cal chainguns, you know, vulcan cannons, the kind they use to take out armored cars."
"And how the hell would you know this?"
"You read my series, right?"
"Yeah, of course, I loved it almost as much as that novel, Legend Of White Wolf."
"Well, I think I have farsight. I had a vision that the order was going to be remanded, and if I had taken the option of freedom, we'd both be dead right now, just like that bear."
"Wait, you mean?"
"Yes, unless I'm mistaken, they're scooping him up with a shovel right now."
"Oh...dear sweet Lupis...what are we going to do to get out of here?"
"Wait...you mean you actually say 'oh Lupis' in real life?"
"Well, I didn't used to, but I'm a whitewolf now, I might as well."
"Well, you're a wolf, and you're white, but I don't think you're a genuine Whitewolf, they only exist in my novel, just like Lupis, he's just a character."
"My blood is blue..."
He brushed the fur on his face forward, and showed a set of blue lines where I had slapped him "By the way, a dragon bitchslap hurts like fuck."
I looked down at my hand, and at my razor sharp claws "oh...sorry..."
I looked back up at him, and asked "If you're a real whitewolf, then is there a chance Yevonna's a Vulpren?"
"Not likely, since she's never heard of them, but you never know...and I know what you're thinking, Dried vulprenian blood is explosive, we could blast our way out of here."
"What? no! That's not what I was thinking about at all, I was just idly wondering...you have issues, dude."
He just grinned at me "Hey, it could work."
I shook my head and looked down at the tooth in my hand. After thinking for a moment, I set it down and reached into my pocket. The crystal shocked me as I pulled it out, but it was only a mild zap, nothing very noticable.
The thing was entirely depleated, and clear. After a couple moments of staring at it, I noticed the bleeding had stopped in my mouth and the swelling had gone down. At least the aided healing was able to patch me up a little, that's better than nothing.
I looked over at Loku, and he was tumbling a blue crystal in his hands. I looked for where he had gotten it from and just now noticed we was wearing denim cutoff jeans. The bottom wasn't hemmed, so they were kind of ragged and gave him a bit of a werewolf look. I looked back at his crystal, "Hey, that looks just like Yevonna's."
"yeah, I know, we compared ours, they're identical, we can even use each other's to stave off those annoying symptoms."
A hundred thoughts went through my head, then I asked "have you seen anyone elses? I'm thinking there's a corrilation between the color and what you become."
"Hmm...well...let's see...that bear had a blue one, the naga's was green...that gryffon nad a yellow one...oh, and I saw a pheonix anthro, his was yellow, too."
I snapped my fingers "That's it!"
"The color affects what you become, blue is furries, yellow is birds, and green is reptiles."
"Wow...that actually makes perfect sense."
"Well, that will be usefull knowledge if we ever get out of here."
"Hey, wonder what other colors there are?"
"No idea, but I wouldn't mind finding out."
"Heh, I bet you ten bucks there's a black or red varient for demons."
"Heh...You may be right, but we won't know until we're out of here...until then, I'm taking a nap, and wait for this crystal to restock a little so I can heal up the rest of the way."
I laid down and closed my eyes, but what felt like half an hour later, Loku was already snoring and I still couldn't sleep. The sound of Tealwing's cries kept echoing in my head.
Another long stretch of time, and I was finally able to find a comfortable position on the concrete floor, curled into a tight ball, and I drifted off to sleep.
I came to on a rack, and looked around, there were countless others on the racks. I quickly tried to identify as many colors as I could. green, blue, yellow, red, white, black, and purple. the purple ones caught my eye the most, glowing like blacklights. Those were all the colors I could identify before the rack started moving, being taken down a long hallway. It was lifted up, and loaded onto a conveyor belt before being placed in a holding mechanism in what looked to be a cargo hold. Something furry, yet reptilian looking skittered past just as the lights went out.
I woke up and looked around, the room was darkened, a single dim red light flickering on the cieling, with a metal cage around it. I stood up on four legs and stretched before looking around. Loku was still asleep on his cot, kicking and making quiet barking noises occasionally. I couldn't help but laugh at the sight, which woke him up "Hey, what's so funny?"
"you were having a dog dream."
I moved to my cot and licked at where I had lost the tooth. Another was already cutting through the gums, that was nice to know, dragon teeth grow back quickly. I picked up the one that had been knocked out and examined it a bit, then glanced over at the door, then up at the light. Something was formulating in my head, but I wasn't sure what.
"Alright, what are you thinking about, Drac?"
"Nothing, I guess my mind's just wandering. We have to get out of here."
"Well, fat chance, you said youself that there are turrets set up around here."
"Yeah, I know, but there has to be a back door."
"Drac, this isn't the movies, they don't always have a glaring security fault that the hero can exploit."
"Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know."
I just sighed and leaned back, crossing my legs and bringing my tail around. Out of boredom, I started scratching at it with my claws, picking out bits of dirt that had gotten lodged in the crevices. About halfway through that, the red light turned off, then the bright white one turned back on "Morning, I guess."
"Yeah, I hope they have some breakfast, I'm starving."
We waited, staring at the door for a while, and nothing happened, so I went back to preening. I finished cleaning bits of dirt off my tailblade, and even licked it a few times, giving it a nice shine, causing Loku to curl his nose in disgust "Dude, that thing drags the ground, that's just nasty."
"Hey, at least I don't lick my own genitals."
"...touche, but I don't do that, I prefer showers."
"After which you still smell like a wet dog."
"Can we talk about something else, please?"
"Hey, you started it."
"And now I'm ending it."
I shrugged and went back to preening a second time, moving on to my scales. Cleaning any grime and scraping away any imperfections was plenty to keep me occupied.
I looked up when I heard a pounding on the door. A sliding panel next to it opened, and a voice said "Here's breakfast, enjoy it."
I heard skittering, and a tray of lab rats was shoved in. I scowled and looked up at the door "What the fuck, man? You think I'm some kind of animal?"
Loku jumped up and hammered on the door "HEY! We're not eating this shit!"
His protest was ignored as the sliding panel was closed and we heard footsteps going away. I growled, looking down at the rats, then went back to preening "Well, so much for breakfast." I heard squeaks and screaches from a nearby cell, followed by crunching, and just sighed "At least somebody enjoys live food."
Loku's stomach grumbled, and when I looked over at him, he was looking down at the rats. "Loku, no. They're trying to bait us."
"Yeah, I know...but they're looking real tasty right about now."
I ignored him, and moved on to chewing my claws down, anything to keep busy. By the time I was on my last claw, I was getting hungrier. I looked over at Loku, and he was staring at the rats like a dog stares at a plateful of food they're not allowed to have.
"But, they obviously expect us to eat them."
"We need to prove that we refuse to eat like animals."
"It's the government, they'd let is die first so they can dissect us."
"Either way, no."
He looked back down at the rats and whimpered, his stomach growling. A moment later, my own stomach growled. He grinned widely "We'll see who snaps first, lizards have to eat, too."
I smirked back, and started massaging my cramped wings, I hadn't flapped them since I caught that buckshot, they were a little tense and sore.
Soon, I was out of things on myself to preen, and out of things to think about as the day just drug on. It could have been two days for all I knew. I was just way too bored, and every time Loku and I tried to talk, we always ended up talking about food, so we both just laid down and stared at the ceiling.
After quite a long time, I just sat up "Okay, I'm done, I'm eating a rat."
Loku looked over at me "You sure?"
"I'm fucking starving, And it's not like I have to chew, dragons can do soft vore."
I leaned over and picked up a rat by it's tail, and Loku grabbed my wrist "Hey, come on, we can hold out a little longer."
"No, I'm hungry, and this body is built for it, plus they don't plan on feeding us anything else, I'm eating a fucking rat, and if you try and stop me, I'll eat you instead."
"You mean you'll try."
"Loku, you're forgetting something."
I let a little gas out of my flight bladder and sparked it, making a nice fireball "I can cook you."
"Look, Drac, I know you're hungry, but I am, too, and I'm holding out, if we wait until the next feeding time, I'm sure they'll see that we didn't eat any, and give us something else."
"Like what, raw meat?"
I jerked my arm out of his grip, tilted my head back, and opened my mouth, dropping the rat in and swallowing it head first. The flavor was no worse than if you chewed on a used towel, but what made it aweful was the clawing and the squeaking, plus the fact that it wriggled all the way down.
I stuck out my tounge in disgust as I felt it struggling in my stomach, trying to escape the acids. After a few moments, though, it stopped, and I was left with both my hunger tempered and my sense of humanity ripped away.
Loku just stared at me, shocked. I looked back over at him "The rat's stopped struggling, it's dead, I can't undo what I just did. It was my only choice to survive."
I was still incredibly hungry, but it was pacified enough that I could last a little longer now. I laid back down in the cot, but just as my head hit, the rat started struggling in my gut again. I winced at the sensation of something inside me moving around, and whimpered, whispering to myself, nearly in tears "Just die already, don't torment me like this."
What must have been minutes later, the frantic clawing and squirming turned into sporadic flops, and it finally stopped. By that time, I was crying. It had just died a slow and painful death by being burned alive in acid. I made a mental note to myself, if I ever had to eat anything that was still alive in order to sustain myself, I'd snap it's neck first. That would be a much more humane death.
What felt like another few hours later, I heard squeaking and rolled over to see Loku holding one up by it's tail, giving it a worried stare.
"Loku, please, kill it first, you don't want to know what it feels like to eat it alive."
He looked at me, then back at the rat "I just can't. It's one thing to kill an animal when hunting, and another to kill a person in a fight, but to have anything at your mercy like this, it just doesn't feel right."
"I know it doesn't. Trust me, kill it first."
"No, I'm just going to swallow it whole if I can."
He put the rat back and grabbed the smallest one out of the others "Here goes nothing"
He didn't listen, he just put it in his mouth and in an instant, it was gone, as the large squirming lump went down his throat he had the same look of disgust I'm sure I had. A moment later, he clutched his chest "Oh Lupis...oh god...it's trying to escape."
"No shit, I tried to warn you."
He didn't respond, he just sat there, taking slow breaths for a few minutes, until at length, he said "There, I think it's dead...how the hell do snakes do that?"
"Don't know, don't care...just let me go to sleep and try to forget what we were reduced to to survive."
I rolled over, and closed my eyes, fighting back the occasional dry heave. My brain was completely rejecting the idea of what my stomach was doing to that rat at that moment.