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Shadows in the Snow. My first story.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2007 10:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bravo! I was just thinking about this story the other day and I'm glad to see another installment. You're dropping plenty of tidbits to keep things interesting. Still enjoying this. Nice work!

-I'll be damned.- Greco said and shook his head. -Corpses don't get up and walk on their own. Who would want to take a dead body and drag it out of the morgue? That's sick.-


- Kendo Virmir

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2007 6:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll be damned if I let this story get stale or incomplete. It's been over four months already, and I used to write one chapter every week a couple years ago.

Shadows in the Snow 11, go!

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2007 6:58 am    Post subject: Shadows In The Snow 11. Reply with quote

Chapter 11.

Instead of the familiar view of the Dome sitting solitarily in the plaza, the first thing that greeted me was a crowd marching and protesting; around forty people I recognized as the nature radicals who hated drillers so much now had turned their attention on the Academy's valuable research work. They had declared it unacceptable, just as many other projects which had been subject of their brutal methods of "expression".

-Let them go! They don't belong to anyone!-

-Stop making money with them! Set them free!-

-It's animal abuse, friend. Who knows what kind of experiments they conduct on the poor creatures?- A protester was talking to me and handed a pamphlet with their beliefs: Rejection to use of animals for profit-making purposes, condemnation of non-supervised research, and respect to life in general. Hard to believe this came from the people who had recently sent several workers of both Quantica and Vectoris to the hospital, injured in one of their rallies.


-Hey, what's up with you? Those guys do their dirty work without any concern for the animal's lives!-

-Yeah, right. And yesterday I saw the wolves playing in there like nothing's wrong in the world. I think you people are taking this too seriously.-

-You're just like those mad doctors! To hell with you!-

-Same to you and your fanatic friends. I don't care.-

The Nature Radicals had camped outside the Dome Exhibit, demanding (not in the most polite way) the termination of the research projects and release of all the specimens inside. They claimed it was evil and unethical; and there would be a form of retaliation if their requests were not answered.

I got to the entrance after making my way through the protesters; their insults and teasing didn't take long to fill the air.

-Hey, he's a driller!-

-He works for those bastards!-

-You sell yourself to them for a few credits, right? The only dumb animal here is you!-

That was it. I turned around and faced them, ready to reach for the impact hammer in my belt if they decided to attack me. We used it to break through solid rock with ease and was formidable as a defense weapon. But maybe there was another way to deal with them.

-Has any of you even seen this from the inside?- I asked.

There was no answer. Before anyone could reply with some insult or evasive, I spoke again.

-Then how can you be sure the animals are being mistreated? I thought you people were smarter than that.- Then quickly got inside, happy to finally be there and getting away from the protesters. I heard some muttering behind me.

-Let him go. They'll soon regret it all. -

-They're giving all of us a bad time by showing here today, just as several school groups had scheduled a visit. I wish these losers went home and looked for something better to do.-

-Hello, Mrs. Martell.- She was standing next to the admission booth with two security guards, apparently in case the protesters decided to riot and enter. -Hopefully this won't last long. They may find another people to go bother tomorrow.-

-Yes, you give them what they want, and then they regroup to reject it and demand you take it back. Hah. Poor fools.- She said half-joking, then turned to me. -By the way, Elly has been in a great mood since yesterday. Apparently, getting to meet someone was good for her. Thanks.-

-I am the one who should thank you. Getting that close to a wolf is normally impossible.-

-She might even recognize you if you go to the habitat.- She lowered her voice. -Just don't get too close, okay?-

-I'll be careful. Sorry you have to stay here watching the entrance.-

-Everything will be fine, don't worry. It's part of the job.-

-All right. See you later.-

Another 30 credits for the admission left my pockets; it was a good price to pay for seeing Elly again. I started to walk to other parts of the Exhibit I had not seen yet; then stopped and headed for the wolf habitat. I was there to see the black wolf.


Either it had been a coincidence, or one of those miracles I didn't believe in was occurring in front of my eyes. Hard to say for sure. But things had suddenly taken a turn for the better since that day I visited the Exhibit for the first time. How long had it been?


She was a beautiful creature. I really liked her appearance and her eyes; they were not yellow-golden or blue like in most wolves. A reddish brown. I also had gotten really close to her, and she had approved of my presence. Obsessed with her? No. Not at all.


All those questions were resulting in more questions instead of answers, and I was wasting time thinking like that. Shaking my head and laughing quietly at myself, I began to walk again towards the west wing of the Central Dome.

Lost in my meditation, my ears didn't perceive in time a loud sound coming from the entrance to the predator's exhibit area; it was until a strong air current blew against me that my senses warned me something wasn't right. A booming sound accompanied by ground vibrations came next, and the second air current was strong enough to make me cover my face with my arms to avoid the debris flying everywhere.

-Now what!? Damn it!-

The floor trembled again and another of those gusts blew from the entrance; some terrified screams filled the air, then I froze with fear. I hoped it wasn't what I thought.

-No! The children! The Nature Radicals did this!-

Rushing inside when the dust clouds faded, I looked for anyone who could be hurt. There was a great risk of having another of those tremors (or whatever that was causing parts of the Dome to come down crumbling) occurring again, but someone could be in need of help. If there was somebody there, I prayed to whoever was listening they were alive. After making my way around big chunks of debris from the ceiling and walls, I came across three little girls in uniform, kneeling on the ground, huggled and almost crying. They had only a few scratches on their faces, but the surprise and fear had them paralyzed.

-Are you hurt? You must get out of here!-

-I... ah... no, don't know...Claire, where's Claire!?-

-No! I want to go home! What is going to happen?-

I carried one of them on my back and the other in my arms while the third one grasped my clothes on the way to the exit. I saw one of the workers of the Dome getting a group of people to the outside; I decided to hand her the girls and go back to look for more people while the rescue personnel arrived. All of the chaos had started in what a few minutes before was a quiet afternoon. The Radicals had gone too far this time!

Back at the entrance of the predator's exhibit, I found a part of a steel bar. I decided to take it; some of the animals could be loose in the area and not precisely in the best of moods. It was a foolish idea, but turning around would be a coward thing to do. Somehow, the silence in the area made me feel uncomfortable, rather than relaxed. I would have given anything to hear a voice in that moment.

Then, it suddenly came from the back, a female voice with a tone of desperation:

-Somebody help me, please! This one must not escape!-

A specimen trying to get away, all confused and scared. And maybe a concerned worker standing on its way to stop it from fleeing. I was glad I had my tools and the steel bar with me.

-Hang on! I'm almost there!-

Climbing two huge fallen pieces of the Dome that blocked the way, I arrived to where the voice had come. Some growls and noises of metal or wood hitting rock could be heard. It was close to the wolf habitat. My pulse accelerated when I saw a human figure fending off one of the wolves. Naturally, it was baring its fangs and had the hackles raised.

A black wolf.


-Damn it... not her!- I said to myself when climbed down and approached them, from the side. It would be better to let the wolf go than risk both our lives trying to stop her. -It's all right, don't make any sudden move and step back slowly. Let's try to show we are not going to hurt her.- I said, then turned to Elly and tried to calm her. -Elly, it's me; please don't harm us. You can leave if you want. We are not going to attack you.- Then I knelt down and extended my right hand towards her slightly. I hoped I didn't have to use the steel bar.

Then the person took a step forward and swung what appeared to be a stick at Elly, aiming for the neck; she dodged without difficulty and resumed her fighting stance, but she wasn't growling at me.

-Hey, didn't you hear what I said!? Don't attack her!- I noticed an acrid smell in the air, similar to that of burnt dead flesh. -Ugh! Hey, I'm talking to you!-

The person emitted a hissing sound, like somebody exhaling breath while in pain. Two gray spots on the head moved along the surface of what seemed a plastic hood. (Hadn't I heard a woman?) The vellum on my face rose slowly as a chill ran through me. I stepped back.

A female voice, the same which had called for help, hesitatingly talked to me, as if explaining what was happening.

-This... is the one who must not escape. Please help me stop it, or many will perish. Please!-

Slowly turning my eyes and head, I looked at Elly. No. It could never happen. No. There was nobody else there. She wasn't baring her fangs anymore and as her eyes were looking up at me, the voice again filled the air.

-There's no time! I'll tell you everything you want to know. Please, don't let it get away!-

Another angry hiss cut me off before I could say anything. -Hhaaghhh!-

-Watch out!-

The figure had taken a few steps towards me and tried to hit me with its weapon, but the hiss and the warning made me react on time to avoid the attack. It was then when I could look fully at it.

What is this!?

Humanoid in shape, dark in color. It was covered with some sort of shiny material which appeared to have been a liquid that later had solidified. No face at all; only those gray spots that floated on the surface of its coating. I could see its bony fingers in one hand, the other held the weapon. No, the weapon wasn't being held. It was attached to the forearm at the ulna. It was bone itself, serrated and pointy. The appearance of this being was that of a nightmare. Its terrible scent accompanied every step it took towards me, as I studied, paralyzed, the creature's bizarre form.

-We can defeat it by attacking together. It's not too strong. Let's go!- The voice again, coming from my side this time. Elly was on my left, growling at the dark shape. I looked at her, and trying to make myself snap out of my stupor, asked:

-What is this?-

The voice actually coming from her, answered firmly.

-This is The Aberrant.-

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2007 10:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nicely done! Things are really heating up!

So now we have a telepathic wolf! The confusion with the narrator mistaking Elly's "voice" with the creature was a really cool switch and nicely executed. Now with it being suggested that Elly has been sentient the whole time, lots of questions are raised. And not to mention the whole Aberrant thing, and light possibly shed on the culprit in the mine killings. Really glad you're continuing to write this, and I am certainly looking forward to the next part.

- Kendo Virmir

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2007 11:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice twist there. Loved the creature, reminded me of something out of Silent Hill,
and the description of the face and blade weapon were great.

Im going to have to root for the Aberrant in the inevitable fight.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2007 4:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chapter 12

What was all of that? A hissing creature which killed by instinct, then a black wolf asking me to help her face it, and the Dome crumbling partially... a part of my mind still couldn't accept what my eyes saw. It seemed as if all logic had been suspended in that area. But it was all very real, just like the cold steel bar in my hands. And like the slash the creature tried to attack us with one more time, fast and precise.

-Can we retreat?- I asked.

-It will follow us.-

-Why is it doing this?-

-Its only purpose is killing.-

-Great. Now I'm more confused than before.-

-It's part of its nature. It doesn't have intelligence.-

A shriek of pure rage came from the faceless creature, frustrated at the ease we evaded its attacks with. But then, each successive cut began to get closer and closer. How did it know where we stood? Was it capable of seeing even without eyes? There was no other choice but fight if we were to remain unhurt.

-Get ready! Here it comes!-

-Seems it's really mad now. Let's see what this thing is made of!

In a blink, a descending slash aimed at me made the air buzz, but the steel bar got in its way parrying the otherwise lethal blow; both the creature and myself took a few steps back. I didn't expect it to be that strong. We studied each other for a second, and at an unspoken signal advanced again to continue. Elly was out of sight.


-Hah! Take this!-

Moving sideways to dodge another cut, I landed a blow on its legs with a swing, on the thighs; almost anyone would fall to the ground in pain after that, but this Aberrant absorbed the impact as if not feeling it.

-Damn it!-

-It's not going to work like that!- Elly was now behind the creature, trapping it between us. -Try something else!-

I remembered some advice given by a good friend a while ago, when I was still a young boy working in the mineral processing plants; in those times it was necessary to fight to avoid being robbed by others of the little money I made.

(Aim for the joints, kid.)

As the creature turned to Elly and attempted to hit her, I charged towards its back with a cry and landed a smashing blow on the shoulder. My effort was rewarded when our foe roared in pain after some of the bones and ligaments in that part resented the impact.

Elly immediately took action, and leaped towards the other arm, biting hard on the biceps and making the Aberrant lose its balance. Even though the right arm was severely hurt, the creature tried to hit her with the bone slasher as she was pulling in an attempt to make it fall. Again she dodged and got ready for the next move.

Seeing the monster was still busy with Elly, I activated my impact hammer, and holding it in two hands, charged to land another blow on the lower back.

The Dynamic Tension Mechanism humming in the air...

The pressure on such a small point...

The horrible shriek again being heard as more bones got fractured... and it was still standing.

-Isn't that enough?- I yelled. -A man would be paralyzed or dead after this!-

-This creature will take more than that before it goes down! But we can defeat it if we keep on like this! Let's go one more time!- She now looked confident and bold, with a hint of defiance in her eyes.

-All right!- Now the Aberrant turned to me, after realizing I had delivered the two previous hits causing so much damage. If it had had any face, its expression probably would be one of pure rage and hatred. -Come here! I have more of that for you!-

Then it charged towards me hissing and brandishing its slasher, but not with the same strength or speed as before. I took the bar again quickly to defend myself.


-Hah!- I parried the descending cut one more time by holding the bar horizontally, and pushing upwards. The recoil again pushed us back. -Is that all you can do?-

A black blur then sprung at the Aberrant's neck from behind and held it with strength between the jaws. Elly had taken the opportunity to attack just as the monster lowered its defense by turning at me. No time for hesitation.

(Do it right. Use the bar. See that spot in the abdomen? Now!)

It struggled to shake Elly off its back. The horrible creature intent on killing had been hurt by our attacks very badly, but still kept on trying. The distance between us closed rapidly... not completely thinking, I charged forward, measured my steps, concentrated on that point... contact...


It worked! I had driven the bar into the Aberrant, piercing its abdomen and severely wounding it. Judging by the screams and spasmodic movements, it would not survive that. But then, it began to swing its weapon left and right, in blind rage caused by the pain. Elly had jumped off its back and retreated a safe distance.

-Is this it?-

-Yes. These are its last attempts. It's over.-

Just in case, I reached for the plasma blade in my belt and held it ready in my hand. The Aberrant still took some feeble steps towards me, slashing at the air slowly, and finally came to a halt. It raised the right arm with a very quiet hiss, then it fell forward twitching briefly.

-Well done, Mr. Malcolm. I couldn't have stopped it alone. Thank you.-

I kept my eyes on the fallen body of our foe, studying it for a moment. Then the emergency power turned on some of the lights in the Dome. I looked at Elly.

-I have to go now, Mr. Malcolm. I cannot stay here any longer.- She actually articulated the words she spoke, her voice was not floating in the air as I previously thought. More and more lights and devices in the Dome came back to life slowly as we stood there.

-Wait,- I finally thought of something to say, -I want to know exactly what this thing is, and what was it doing here. Was it caged here too?-

She listened to something in the air. -No. The Aberrant came here to try to infest more creatures.- After looking in the direction of the Dome's entrance, she said: -Somebody is coming. They will hold me here again if I stay, and I have to return to my pack.-

-Why can't you stay?-

-I am not a common wolf, Sir. But they don't know it and will keep me here for their studies. Now that the Aberrant has appeared again, I have to go back with my people.- She began to walk towards a big hole made in the back of the Dome.- I suggest you do the same; they won't understand what has happened here.-

I followed her after taking the steel bar from the creature's body; it was better not to leave any evidence. The acrid smell had begun to intensify with its death; it was decomposing very quickly, and under the coat of the unknown dark substance, I recognized the logo of the Vectoris corporation on the shoulder. This thing had been human. It had been "infested" just like Elly said. And I had killed him. I could be charged with a cold-blooded murder!

Repressing the chill running through my body, I called her: -Elly, wait! Um... - I turned back to see if no one was in the area and then hurried after her. -Leaving the city is not as easy as it seems. The exit is far away from here and many people could see you. I can take you safely to the outside.-

She remained still for a moment. -Can I be sure you won't deliver me to the caretakers?-

-I promise you I won't.-

-You could try to attack me with your weapons and then take me to them in exchange for credits. And you'd tell them I can talk.-

-Then you'll remain quiet and they will think I'm crazy. Besides you can defend yourself from anything I can do. I helped you with the Aberrant; why wouldn't I help you now?-

-Why would you?-

-First, we both need to get out of here at once. Second, if somebody sees you outside you will be brought back here by force.- I knelt in front of her. -Third, I have questions to ask. And you already know me.-

She got close to me and sniffed my hands again. She looked at me in silence for a moment. -All right. I'll trust you for now.-

A piece of electronic equipment fell to the ground behind us with a loud clang; it began to throw off sparks, and the lights on its surface died. It was a good idea to get out of the place immediately. Elly and I looked at each other and then headed outside.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2007 12:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice fun fight scene, Syrius. I was a little surprised of Elly's mistrust of the narrator after the battle. My initial impressions of her were that she was there willingly, sort of keeping a watch on things. But this development suggests otherwise. I'm liking the teaming up of the two and am looking forward to reading the next part!
- Kendo Virmir

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 3:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry it took so long to post another chapter. It was a bit of writer's block, some perfectionism, and just plain unwillingness that kept me from writing more. Shadows in the Snow 13, coming up! (COMMENT, COMMENT, COMMENT! CRITICIZE, DECONSTRUCT, INQUIRE! NOW! NOW NOW NOW NOW!)

Virmir, to answer your concern belatedly, Elly is distrustful of Malcolm due to the adrenaline high, however, that is not all there is to it. I will explain her reaction and why she was there further down the story.


Last edited by Syrius on Thu Jul 17, 2008 11:05 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 3:59 am    Post subject: Shadows In The Snow 13. Reply with quote

Chapter 13.

Like a swarm of angry insects, the huge air conditioner units behind the Dome hummed performing their duty of recirculating the air inside of the building. They provided us with good cover for the time being. Getting out of the area was easy; getting out of there without being seen was a totally different matter. Rescue and animal control personnel could be arriving at the place that very same moment, and if we were found of course they wouldn't believe me if I said Elly had followed me all the way.

My mouth felt dry when the humming stopped and nothing else could be heard for some moments. I feared somebody from the security personnel carrying a drawn weapon would appear suddenly and catch us; but it was just my imagination. A quick look confirmed no one else was there.

Advancing a little, I signaled Elly to follow me to the fence in the back. -Now.- I whispered, and knelt so she could jump on my back using me as a step and pass over the bars; she did it with very little effort, barely touching me.

She looked around when I jumped down the fence. -Where are we now?-

-This is the back lot of a commercial plaza. The rest of the way to the exit will be easier after we get out of here.-

-Then let's hurry up. They will be here soon.- She kept on listening for any signal of danger. The only sounds I heard were those of the machines and some hissing from the steam exhausts. Feeling my pulse quicken, I approached one of the delivery doors in the plaza and tried to open it; it was closed.


-Someone's coming!- Elly gasped in a low voice and backed off suddenly. We had to hide immediately. Several metal crates and a garbage container five meters away were our only options.

-There! Run!-

Three workers came out of the delivery door, chatting and laughing, right towards us. Elly immediately got in between the container and the crates while I hid behind them. Her size allowed her to fit in the relatively small space. She got around from the other side, between the wall and the crates, and sat next to me. We crouched and pressed ourselves against the cold metal and remained silent while they passed only a few meters away. We remained perfectly still until they left.

I sighed with relief. -That was close.-

-Why are you so worried? You're not the one who will get in trouble if caught.-

-It's better not to cause any suspicion if we want to get away with this. They would have thought something was wrong if they saw me trying to enter through that door.- After taking a careful look, I noticed a rubber curtain covering the entrance to an area of the plaza still in construction. -There, maybe we can hide for a while.-

The place smelled of fresh paint and chemical solvents. There was a cart with brushes, tools and cans of paint and mortar mix next to a corner; the staff apparently was done for the day. We could use that time to rest after fighting the Aberrant and getting out of the Dome. It was time to ask some questions, too.

Elly sniffled and coughed three times as she laid down, (the smell of the paint must have been too strong for her) and addressed me. She knew what I had in mind.

-What is it that you want to know?-

I sat down on the floor. -First, about the Aberrant. What exactly was that thing?-

-It has not been fully destroyed. You only eliminated one of the beings it had taken possession of.- She paused. -I know it's a dark, evil spirit which only exists to kill and infest creatures. It can regenerate and spread like a disease.-

-Hard to believe. But I saw it taking all of that punishment.- I said, nodding. -Now, how is it possible for you to speak?-

-I am not like the other wolves I lived with at the Exhibit. My people is different, we are capable of talking just like you. But I had to learn your language while I was here.-

-So not all wolves can talk.-

-No. There are not many of us. We have lived away from you all this time. We don't know much about you, and since you spend most of the time inside this place, there is no way to make contact.- Her voice acquired a slightly disappointed tone. -We have treated each other like enemies for a long time, anyway.-

I didn't want to reply to that and quickly fired another question. -Then why are you here between humans?-

-I was captured more than one cycle of the seasons ago by the researchers, and brought here to be part of their study. Had to make them think I was another regular wolf to remain safe. At first, I thought they were going to hurt me. I wanted to escape at the first opportunity, but... - She shook her head and made a gesture very similar to a smile in disbelief. -... it was not like that.-

-What happened?-

-I began to understand your language; it's very easy. And the researchers were very patient with all of us. I cooperated with them because by doing so I would be able to know more about your people and everything you do; they were very impressed with me and that earned me a special place in time. I even allowed them to touch me sometimes.- A genuine smile in her expression caught my eye as she spoke. -They liked me. And I liked them. It's not as I had been told.-

Now I was getting curious. -I heard you're friendly with everyone, not just your trainers. But, how was your relationship with the other wolves? What was your place in the pack?-

-You see, I feel my behavior was being disruptive to the pack's order. It would have been easy to become the second in command, but I don't like harming anyone. So it was just a matter of staying away from any member who wanted to challenge me. I don't like to submit either. Instead, I tried to earn the respect and trust of the others and make up for my behavior by taking care of playtime. The other pack members always came to me whenever they wanted to play. And it sure was fun.-

Scientists had spent countless hours and resources to study and understand the behavior of these wolves. And Elly herself was giving me the answers to all their queries! But my curiosity was not yet satisfied. -What kind of games do wolves play?-

-Sometimes we designated a wolf to chase the others and whoever got caught by him had to take the place as the pursuer. Or if a pack member has a toy, he can invite the others to try and take it from him; the point is to keep it as long as possible. The pups liked to play by dragging toys or each other. And we also had several games I had come up with.-

It was my turn to smile. -Everything you're telling me is amazing. There are so many things my people could learn from yours. But, why are you so interested in us? We are pretty boring creatures.-

-I wouldn't say so. You're able to cure diseases, know how to control fire and do not need to... - She looked to the entrance and got up. I did the same; that could not be anything good.

The noise of several vehicles arriving hastily to the area got to me only a few seconds later, and my fear was confirmed when they stopped around the back lot of the plaza and the Dome. It was the personnel the Academy had hired to take care of an eventual emergency involving the specimens inside. These were well-trained specialists. With weapons.

-Take positions! Make sure nothing leaves this place. All the specimens are to be captured alive, but our safety comes first. Move!-

-Comb the area in teams of two. Check any possible hideout, and get ready to fire. Ralzo, you and Coltare go left.-

-Got it.-

-Those things must be worth a lot if they want them alive. Hmphf!-

Great. At least I knew Coltare was the man who had just removed the safe from the heavy Stunner Rifle. If they used the special electric charge from that thing on us, we'd find ourselves drooling and mumbling for hours. Stepping away from the painted window, I cursed myself for being careless and forgetting all caution knowing we weren't safe yet. We still hadn't been found out, so there was time to do something.

-They're coming this way! What are we going to do?- Elly asked.

-If we just exit running through the middle of the plaza, everybody will see us. We have to stay hidden!-

-Either we flee or fight! They're going to catch us!-

I shook my head. -It's you who they want. Not me.-


-Quiet now!-

One of the men's voice echoed when they entered the annex, almost making me jump. -Hey! What are you doing here!?-

-What ya' mean what I'm doin' here? I'm painting the walls. Can't you see?- I turned to them, brush and can in my hands. -Whoa. What's the matter? You one of them police guys? That's one heck of a gun.-

The thinner man answered in a more calm manner. -No. We're control personnel. Some wild animals escaped from the Dome and we're looking for them. You shouldn't stay here; those beasts are loose and very dangerous. Have you seen anything?-

-Other than two stray dogs in the street, nothing. But that was half an hour ago, when I just started my shift.- I said, signaling with my head to the outside and then turned to the wall to continue painting. -I'll yell if I see something.-

-Look, you better go back into the plaza and tell your supervisor what's happening. We already called for the police to help us and the area will be cordoned off in a minute. It's not safe around here until we catch all of the animals.-

-Oh, damn it. I'm not going to get paid for this if I don't finish.- I shook my head. -Ack. All right. Let me take my stuff back to the shop, and call my boss from there. This hasn't been my day.-

-Thank you, sir.- The thin man named Ralzo turned his Shock Rod on. -Let's go.-

-Take care guys. Good luck.- When they left, I placed the brush and can on the cart and started pushing it towards the door leading inside the plaza, walking calmly and chuckling as if nothing had ever happened.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 11, 2008 12:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ha ha! Love how the narrator grabbed a brush and posed as a painter. Smile To make the ruse more convincing, I would have him brush a little paint on his clothing first. A painter with clean clothes may be a little suspicious.

Interested in finding out more about Elly's race, particularly why they look like normal wolves. Did they evolve from common ancestors? Or did Elly's come from someplace else? I'm betting on the latter.

Looking forward to the next part. Smile

- Kendo Virmir

Virmir's Stories
Metamor Keep
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 7:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, Serius; Returning the favor from my story thread. Smile

Enjoying what I'm reading so far. Looks like we do have some ideas in common. (What, you mean there could be drawbacks to holing up in cities away from nature and saying 'Look, but don't touch'? Get out! Razz ). BTW, how is Elly able to talk. when her lips and esophagus are all wrong? Wink Personally, when they look 'normal', I think it's more fun if they can't talk, but it certainly makes for fewer headaches for the writer! Laughing And yes, I do also like - 'The Aberrant' notwithstanding(?) - that there's no 'magic'(or the sci-fi equivalent, technological handwaves, as this isn't exactly a fantasy setting). Do wish you'd chosen at the outset to put dialog in quotes, though. Confused

Please keep updating.(See we have something in common with that, too. Razz Laughing I wanna see how this develops. Smile
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Location: The S.S. ScurvyDog, Arizona! YARR!

PostPosted: Fri Sep 03, 2010 9:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

(Shame on me. Two years and no updates? I have dishonored my ancestors. Atone for my transgression I must.)

Chapter 14.

-Excuse me... pardon me... all right... thank you...-

(Now what? I'm lost in this place. Damn.)

-Oh, great. I forgot the keys.-

(How many times have I said that already?)

-Hey, what's wrong? It's the third time you pass around here.-

-I'm sorry, miss. This is my first day here and don't know the place. Could you tell me where is the maintenance shop so I can drop this cart? The other workers didn't tell me, and they already went home.- I patted slightly the back of my head, making myself look silly on purpose.

-Oh, sure. After the fountain you'll find a door on the right side. Go through it, and the shop is the third room in the hallway.-


Had to be very careful there; the more I tried to avoid contact, the more attention I would draw towards myself. I had to act naturally, like an actual worker would. After pretending to check two lamps beside the fountain, I pushed the cart through the door; the hallway was empty.

-We're alone.-

Elly stuck out the tip of her muzzle from under the clothes I had covered her with. -Is it safe to come out now?-

-Not yet. Hold on a little longer.- I tried to open one of the doors. - All right. Let's go into the closet.-

She jumped out of the crate I had stuck her into and stretched. -Hm. That's uncomfortable. I cannot believe I could fit in there.- She sniffed the air and shook her head. -Ugh. We both smell like paint.-

-I'm sorry I had to put you in the crate.-

-Don't worry. It was all tight and smelled terrible, but those men couldn't find me. We're safe. Now what?-

I took my uniform jacket off. Had to stain it with paint to make it look I worked there. -Can't believe they fell for it. It really worked. Now I need to find something else to put you in before we go out.-

-Are you going to place me inside a box again?-

-Well, do you have a better idea?-

-Cover me with some cloth, and pretend you're taking your sick dog to the doctor.-

-Hmm... that could work. As long as no one sees you're not a dog, we'll be fine.- I nodded. -Let me go get a blanket. It won't be long. Stay here, ok? Don't go anywhere.-

-As if I could.-


She chuckled. -Never mind that. Please hurry up.-

Less than ten minutes later I was back at the closet, making sure no one was around there to see me opening the door. Everybody in the store I bought the blanket at must have thought I was crazy when I paid and left without waiting for the change. Seven lost credits was a small price to pay in that moment. Getting to know Elly, how she could talk, other wolves just like her; all of it just didn't seem real. I was afraid it actually wasn't, and that I would find out any time soon. But Elly was still inside when I opened the door.

-All right. Let's hope this works. Ready?-

-Yes, Mr. Malcolm.-

-Please, just Malcolm.- I opened the packaging and then heard the sound of the door to the hallway opening. -Oh, no... not again.- Somebody walking slow and heavily was coming right our way. Elly remained quiet, but ready to react in case we were found.

And then the person on the other side of the door began to fiddle with some keys, obviously looking for the one to unlock the closet. This time we were trapped. We couldn't run, hide, or make any noise. Maybe I could cover Elly with the blanket and turn myself in, saying I got lost or something... or maybe...

-Oh, come on. What's the problem now?- It was an old man, trying to pull the door. It wasn't going to budge. He hit the knob several times with something heavy, tried to open the door again; and finally gave up and left, mumbling unintelligibly.

And on the other side of the door I was holding with all my might to the knob, keeping it from turning and pulling towards the inside, with my foot pushing against the wall to apply even more force; Elly was pulling too, with her eyes tightly shut, after getting a hold of my pants between her teeth and concentrating on not letting that door open no matter what. We remained in that comical posture until the man had left the hallway.

-He's gone.- She said with the cloth still in her mouth, and then released me.

-Blast it. The third time in an hour.- I let go off the knob with a sigh. -I'm glad I locked the door. We may not be so lucky the next time, so let's get out of here now.-

-Right.- She picked up the blanket and passed it to me. -Whenever you're ready, Mr. Malcolm.-

I knelt and covered her with the blanket, using one of the corners as a hood to hide her head, with only the tip of her muzzle showing. She placed her paws against my chest, and I lifted holding her in a firm hug. The warmth of her body against mine was very noticeable in the cold conditioned air of the plaza. I felt a slight chill. Who would think I'd be holding a wolf in my arms one day?

We left the plaza through a service door to the sounds of the streets and the people going on their daily business; just as more police units were arriving at the area. Positive they hadn't seen me due to the distance, I turned the other way and signaled a fare vehicle to stop.

-Hello. I need to take my dog to the doctor; we're going close to the mineral mills. He's not feeling fine. It doesn't matter if you have to charge extra.-

-All right, fella. Can't argue with that.- The driver opened the rear door and turned the light on. -To the Grinders it is.-


The driver took us to our destination without a lot of haste; I tried to put a calm expression even though I felt everybody we saw in the street knew what I was doing. It was just my imagination again. I looked at my watch to pretend I was worried about getting my "dog" to the doctor in time, and noticed how late it was already. Almost sundown.

-I know it's not really my business, pal, but I don't remember if there's any doctor around this area. And it's dangerous to walk these streets at this hour. Are you sure you want to get off here?-

-Oh, we'll be fine. The doctor is a friend of mine, and she's already waiting for us. I worked here some time ago, and met her back then. No need to worry, but thank you anyway.- I handed him two bills and opened the door, acting as if the Grinders was a place I frequented often. -Keep the change. Bye.-

-Thank you. Be careful, sir. Have a goodnight.-

-I am sorry to cause you so much trouble. Did you have to give him many credits?- Elly whispered to me as soon as the vehicle left.

-It's not the end of the world. Don't worry.-

-But you had to work hard for that. -

-It's nothing, trust me. Now we have to go for my vehicle at the garage, so I can get you out of the city. The guards at the gates won't suspect a thing if I say I'm going to check the markers on my site. I guess you can find your way from there.-

-I am in your debt.- She looked at me and smiled. -Thank you, Malcolm.-

-No problem. Let's get going.-

We got to the garage without much problem; since it was late and everybody had gone home, no one saw us when we took the lift or at the moment I got the vehicle out and headed for the last elevator before the gates. Elly had to remain in the back of the vehicle's cabin, safely hidden out of sight.

-I hope you're not uncomfortable.-

-Other than all these tools on top of me, I'm fine.-

I chuckled. -Sorry about that. It will be just a little longer. If everything goes well, we'll be at the digging site really soon.-

(And then, what?)

Elly would leave to look for her pack, free after spending all that time in the city. Just the way it should be. She would be free, yes... and I would never see her again. I closed my eyes and exhaled. It was better that way. We were in front of the gate by then, and one of the guards approached the vehicle. I hoped the stories about having to bribe them so one could pass that late weren't true.

-Good evening. Reason for leaving?- He had a small portable terminal to register all traffic at the gate.

-Good evening. I'm going out to a digging site my business partner and I registered with Quantica. I need to plant some more markers in case someone tries to steal it from us.- I showed him a copy of the claim certificate and my company identification.

-All right. Shouldn't you be bringing someone with you? We can't stop you from going out to do your thing, but it's not safe to go alone. Are you sure?-

-Yes, sir.-

-Please sign here. Remember that you will be responsible for your own safety once you leave the city.-

I signed on the terminal's screen. My name, company card, and the vehicle's code were registered as another outgoing traffic file. I nodded once. -I'll be careful. Thank you very much.-

The pneumatic mechanisms of gate 17 hissed as if they were angry for having to open the external door for me to pass. Outside, we were greeted by a red horizon, bathed by the last rays of light of that day.

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