Run, run, run. Hurry, before
they get you. Where is the forest? What is this place? Am I in Poseidos
Az ran desperately through the dark, metallic halls. Everything was so strange. The hard metal confused her senses; it was hard to tell what direction she was going. And there was the relentless echoing of the booted feet of her pursuers. Soon, they would get her, she knew it.
Blast her claws! She could not run silently in these echoing halls! Every step told those humans where she was.
The Velociraptor looked down over the rail of the metal catwalk she was on. There was another path, about ten feet down. Hoping to put them off her trail, Az jumped.
Normally, ten feet down was nothing, but the combination of drugs in her veins, fear, and confusion made the jump more of a fall. Az fell hard, the impact jarring her whole body, stunning her by the force.
Quickly, she got up and started running again. She had barely taken three steps when there was a loud BANG and a sharp sting in her neck. Reaching up to slap it away, she felt some sort of glass tube. Az stumbled, regained her footing, stumbled again, and collapsed.
No… Get up! Run! Her body would not obey her commands. Slowly, her pounding heartbeat slowed and her rapid breathing eased to the pace it kept when she slept. Az began drifting, not thinking of what was happening.
She vaguely felt the muzzle being strapped over her face and the gloves on her hands and feet as if in a dream. Gradually, she slipped into the welcome, unknowing bliss of sleep.
Slowly, Az came to. It took her a few minutes before she finally regained control of her limbs. She tried to roll over, but straps on her limbs prevented it.
Again, the heart pounding fear returned. She was completely immobilized, strapped to something, flat on her back. What did they want with her?
Two men were talking, but Az didn’t fully understand their language. She could catch a few words here and there and knew they were speaking English, the language of her dolphinback friend Coba. Coba had taught her a few words, but not enough to carry on a full conversation.
One of the men came over to her and started poking and prodding her chest, as if looking for something.
Az struggled, trying to bite him, but even her head was restrained. She was helpless to do anything but watch.
The man was very pale, as if he didn’t see much daylight. He was thin and his eyes held a hungry look, a search for answers that would never end. His dark hair was neatly combed and his suit was spotless. He wore a white coat over his other cloths and in the pocket were several white stick with caps on them.
Nodding to himself, the man took one of the sticks and began writing something on Az’s chest.
Whatever it was, it felt wet against her skin and Az didn’t like it. Then, the realization came; he was marking her for something. She wanted him to stop!
Again, Az started trying to struggle and growled at the man. He paid no attention and continued marking her.
“No,” Az said. It was one of the few English words she could clearly say and knew the meaning of. “No,” she repeated.
The man frowned and stopped what he was doing. “No?” he questioned. “Do you understand me?”
“Smart,” Az replied. “No. Happy.” Her words were garbled, her raptorian accent making the S’s sound more like a hiss and the R’s a growl. Still, it was clear she had said words.
Again, the man frowned. “Sir, I think it’s trying to say something.”
“Nonsense. It can merely repeat words, like a parrot. It’s not intelligent. Continue marking the incision lines, then prep it for surgery,” came the harsh reply, delivered by a cold, hard voice. Az could not see this man, hidden as he was in shadows and barely at the edge of her vision.
The dark haired man she could see nodded again and resumed his marking.
Az closed her eyes in misery. They would not accept her intelligence and were determined to do whatever it was they planned.
In a few minutes, he had finished with his marking and left the room. This time, when he returned, the man had a black case with him. He opened it and pulled out some sort of mask, which he held up to her head to measure. He seemed pleased with how it would fit and began hooking other things to it. He then pulled out three bottles of something and three different syringes. The first bottle contained something vividly blue and the second something bright red while the third was filled with a clear liquid. And impossibly large syringe was filled with the blue stuff and the man walked over to Az. He tied something rubbery around her upper arm and slapped her bicep a few times. Then, he inserted the blue filled needle and Az’s senses were overwhelmed by the burning pain of the injection. She cried out her anguish, but the man still ignored her wailing. Finally, after an eternity, he finished with that injection and picked up the red filled syringe. Again, he slapped her arm a couple times before jabbing the dye filled needle into her vein.
“That should do it,” he said, and got up and left.
Az whimpered for a long time after he left. Her arm felt like it was on fire and the fire seemed to be spreading with each beating of her heart. She didn’t know what it was he had injected her with, but it hurt!
Time had no meaning. Her body was burning up, she was trapped, and there was no escape in sight. Az slipped into something of a trance, trying to think of her family, her friends, her clan.
Inevitably, the thin man returned. He was accompanied by three other humans, two men and a woman, pushing some sort of equipment. The thin man checked Az and smiled; her veins and arteries were showing up nicely with the dye he had used. He then picked up the third bottle and filled a syringe from it. Giving her this shot in the leg, he turned and began helping set up all the equipment.
Az felt cold. She was scared of what was happening, but still helpless to do anything. If the first two shots had been fire, this one was ice. Slowly, she began loosing any feeling in her leg and tail, then the other leg, and the numbness worked its way up.
Again, Az drifted. The muzzle was removed and replaced with the mask the man had used earlier. It fit snugly over her nose and up to the base of her snout. Az knew her head was free, but couldn’t move. A very sweet scent filled her nostrils and Az drifted into the soundest sleep of her life.