No one knows for sure what happened that day, all they knew it was a sad day in Disaegia (Dis-age-eea) for a race called the shifters. They were about to lose, not just comrades, but hope that this conflict would ever end. They would find themselves desperate and alone hoping someone would come and save them.
They heard the last howl after a few shots were fired. The howls echoed in the ears of a bunch of members crowded around a large computer interface, “She said to back down,” one said frantically, though the shaking of his hands showed he was as anxious as everyone else, “what the hell happened?”
“We cannot just sit here,” another said, “we are losing a lot by giving the enemy 'them!'”
Conversation carried on as a whoosh was heard and the boulder on top of the secret underground base swung open. All the activity hushed and all knew it was a death sentence to go out, but what other choice did they truly have, “I am going after them,” one of the men said bravely. He was standing half
out of the base already.
Another that seemed to be in charge tried to dissuade him, “It's your funeral.”
The brave one gave a smug smile trying to be as sarcastic as he could before taking off, all alone. He sighed, then he began to change as a sound of cracking and crunching ensued in a grotesque manner. His body changed shape till only a wolf of brown was left. He never made it back to the base.
They waited hopeful he would return victorious, but it never happened, “Well we lost one of our best hackers,” one proclaimed.
A few took off their hats they had on, “Stephen was a good man and 'them,' we may be finished...”
That night those men drowned themselves in alcohol, fearing their three, maybe more, comrades dead. They knew they only had proof they were MIA (Missing In Action) but were sure they were KIA (Killed In Action). The mens actions showed all of them had lost all hope and they had no faith anyone was left.
- - -
About two hours before the first shots were heard in a town a few miles away, a hover-combine was harvesting grain in a farming community known as Hummingdale. It was a peaceful scene, birds were chirping and the lack of sound from even the combine made everything seem perfect, if only that was the case.
A vehicle called a GE (Government Enforcer), basically a Stretch hover-Hummer, with a loudspeaker on top came blasting propaganda. It destroyed the once peaceful looking scene and as a result people were running every direction trying to get inside, while the GE told everyone to get to their homes and stay there.
When Hummingdale was completely empty of pedestrians the doors, located on the sides, opened upward like a fancy sports car. Twenty or more mercenaries spilled out of that lone GE, just as more showed up. Soon there were over a hundred men standing there looking at the forest in the distance.
There was a man in their midst whom was tattooed and looked seriously scarred, no doubt from other encounters. He yelled out orders, almost as a Sergeant in the military. He pointed at the forest, “Spread out but stay in the same general area,” he yelled, “and if ya break formation, I'LL KILL YA MYSELF!”
It was automatic, these men obviously believed him. They listened and started almost immediately breaching those seemingly untouched woods. The tattooed man stopped holding up a hand to tell his men to hold position. He then pulled out a small slapmap, which was a electronic map that had a touchscreen interface. He touched a few points and again began to talk, this time a bit quieter, but with the same anger, “According to intel 'those two' always scout this area about this time.” It got quiet as he looked around at them, “You all are to hide, if you are spotted before we all attack, you DIE!”
All of the men then rolled in mud to become more elusive, another hint that they may have had some military training. Their prey had strong noses and the mud would severely cover their scent so they would remain hidden, not only that but it also was better than camouflage. As they finished they hid in trees and underneath large fallen limbs, K-180's in their hands held tightly underneath their stomachs. The ones in the trees laid as well but there K-180's had been fitted with scopes and had them sighted towards the ground.
A K-180 is a small full-auto handgun that has the power of a sniper rifle without the recoil. It could be fitted with a scope and converted to semi-auto, should the user feel the need. Most of the mercenaries knew how to do such a task. As a result the numbers of the shifting race were depleting quickly.
- - -
At the exact same time a few feet away a black and a white wolf approached. As they neared one of the men on the ground, he stood up fearful he would be noticed anyway and began to raise his K-180. The poor guy never got a chance as the black male wolf jumped on him and crushed his windpipe then ripped his throat open. The man choked for only a second till he bled out and died. Vale's fur was now partially covered by the mans blood. It was like a crimson trophy instilling fear in anyone else that might be out there.
As he got up, readying to take down more men, a few shots fired, all direct hits. His eyelids felt heavy, 'What the h...' He thought so all could hear. He didn't finish because he had fallen asleep, he had been tranquilized.
The White female wolf laid her body down to show she submitted to them. Before they approached she let out her warning howl. She hoped her comrades listened knowing all that came would probably not survive. She then continued to lay as a sound was heard, like crunching and cracking. Soon a woman was laying where the white wolf had once been.
She stood up raising her hands into the air, “I will go,” she said wondering if she should show she was a special shifter or not. She thought it to be a dangerous endeavor and decided the men probably had no idea what they had caught. Her thinking was dead wrong. As they began to take her away she caught sight of a brown wolf fast approaching. She quickly turned wanting him to go back, but instead received a few rounds of the tranquilizer.
Stephen watched her fall, 'I couldn't leave you out here alone,' he thought, knowing she probably was already asleep. He saw the tranquilizer darts protruding from her back. He knew he had to surrender to ever have a real chance. He changed forms with that same grotesque crunching and cracking. When he finished his hands were held high. He knew what he was doing and had a plan. He knew what Vale and Sebra (Say-bra) were and knew they were very important to the cause. Plus he just had to help them get away, he after all was a close friend and had risked his life a few times helping them.
As they loaded back in the GEs the propaganda continued to play but it now said it was safe once again to come back outside. The GEs had a lot of speed, though a low powered fan gave them there velocity. The bottom had an anti-matter nuclear covered plate which made the vehicle gently hover above the ground even when off. They had made it so it absorbs its own radiation so it was much safer than in past years.
Time passed as they drove. Porous bags covered each of their heads, so they could breathe but not see. It seemed it was hours till they had arrived. They took the bags off of their heads. By this time Sebra and Vale were coming back to and though a bit drowsy they were expected to walk.
The first thing the three captives noticed that they were at a research facility. They had only heard stories of the awful things that went on in such places. Even Stephen was a bit fearful when he realized what was going on. He began wondering if it was a good idea that he had got captured, these facilities had a lot of surveillance and it would take a genius, possibly more bright than himself to escape.
A week after they were caged like animals, a discovery was made. Sebra, Vale's wife was pregnant. Stephen found out that same day. Then later an explosion happened near his cage, they wrote a report and among the casualties was one, 'Stephen.'
Vale and Sebra held onto the hope one day they would be rescued. They constantly used Vale as a lab rat, testing new poisons in too small doses to kill him. Sebra they let her be, thinking the new addition would make a great new test subject. They even thought about the possibility of raising him to recruit him to their cause.
The day Sebra gave birth she held her miracle in her hands. As she did one man was given an order and shot her repeatedly in front of Vale. The baby was then ripped from her cold dead fingers. They bathed the baby and put him in an incubation chamber. All his mother's blood was literally washed down the drain, as if she was a piece of trash.
As a result of the events they killed Vale that same day...