A large Ethiopian stared into a small stream, making sure to keep his shadow off of the water. A few fish swam close before darting away as if they could sense danger near. The man waited patiently, and after a few minutes a brave fish swam close. A hand darted into the water, and before a second could pass the fish went from swimming freely in the stream to flopping on the ground. It's suffering did not last long. The man took a rock and in a quick movement (although slower than the last) the fish moved no more. He closed his eyes for a moment before tossing the fish to his companion and turning his attention back to the stream.
After catching two more fish he walked over to the companion, who had failed to start a fire in the time it took to catch the fish. He smiled and gently took the stick out of his friend's hand, re positioning the base stick. He placed the stick in his hand in the groove on the base stick and began moving the stick back and forth. When he felt a change he applied more pressure and moved the stick faster, smoke becoming noticeable. Once and ember appeared he continued a little longer and then stopped. Grabbing the tinder they had collected earlier he pressed it against the burning coal and collected the burning embers. He loosely covered it with a small amount of other tinder and gently blew on the bundle. Once the smoke thickened he created more air flow with the help of his friend. Eventually the flame ignited and they were able to put kindling on it to feed the flame.
"Thanks, Tafari. One day I will be able to start the fire by myself. Now let's eat!"
Tafari only smiled and took the stick his friend held out for him. He speared one of the fish and held it over the fire. As it cooked he looked around his surrounding. This had been his home for the past year and a half, but it felt more like a prison. Four walls surrounded them, but from where they sat only two could be seen. A door could also be spotted, but it rarely opened. On his left was the stream, while a forest was on his right. Above was a glass ceiling with a hole in the middle. If it was not for that hole a fire would be a rare thing. This place was like a fake paradise.
He looked at his friend, named Spencer, who was whistling as he waited for the fish to cook. The glasses were falling down Spencer's face, and his brown hair grew longer and messier with each month. They were like opposites. Spencer was a skinny white boy, while Tafari had brown skin and large muscles. While crocodile scutes grew out of Tafari's back and covered his eyebrows and knuckles, feathers grew randomly out of Spencer's arms. Spencer had showed up a few months ago after the other kids that were here all disappeared. He and Spencer were like ying and yang. If Spencer had not come when he did Tafari would have gone crazy, and without Tafari Spencer would not have survived very well.
The fish finally cooked, Tafari was about to take a bit when he heard a noise that caused his muscles to tense up. His eyes turned to the door and a few seconds later it slowly opened. If he had been close enough he would have attempted to try an escape, but now all he could do was wait.
It was silent for a moment before a girl was shoved into the room, she stumbled and toppled over as the door slamed shut behind her before pulling herself to her feet and spinning around to glare at the door. Her hair was long and a mix between white and baby blue, it fell down her backs in waves, bouncing with her movements. She was average height, wearing a white tank top, denim jeans and loose black hoodie.
When she turned around to face them the female kept her icy blue eyes locked on the males, backing away as far as she could, which wasn't very far. Despite how hard she tried to hide it, her eyes showed how scared she truely was.
Angel didn't know how she got here, one minute she was looking for her herd, the next everything had gone black then she was being dragged to this room. But that didn't matter, what mattered was getting out and getting away.
Her blue eyes flickered around, taking in her surroundings again, before her body melted into a new form. A tall and lean deer like creature stood in her place.
It's ears were longer than any other deers and it's fur was a crisp white, it's muzzle baby blue with a small black nose at the end. Two very small black spikes protruded from her forehead, a much large and slightly curved one stuck out of the centre of her chest. Two longer but thinner spikes stuck out from her shoulder blades and a smaller, thicker one protruded from the small of her back. Each spike was jey black in colour. Her tail was long, three smaller black spiles further up top and three at the end of her tail, two more protruded from the sides of the tip of her tail.
The deer like creature let out a snort and shook it's head before curling up by the door, lowering it's head to the ground, but keeping it's jet black eyes locked onto the other two. Angel stayed there, sat in front of the door with her eyes locked onto the males.
Tafari watched the strange creature, trying to figure out if it was good or evil. Before he had been taken from his home he have instantly thought evil, some kind of voodoo, especially with those spikes sticking out of it. He could not judge it on looks, for he now looked like a monster instead of just a man. It's eyes were full of fear, but if it were evil then the fear could be a way to trick them. He was lost on what to do.
Spencer stood up and rocked on his heels. At first seeing the girl change into this deer like creature had frightened him, and he was still frightened, but if there really was a girl under that deer form he wanted to find out. "She is terrified. I am going to try to help her." It would be great to have another person for them to talk to, especially one of the opposite gender. If it had not been for the glimpse of a girl his cowardice would have taken hold. Putting on a friendly smile he took a step towards her.
Tafari held out his hand to stop Spencer, but did not take his eyes off of the creature. "No." If anything bad happened to Spencer he would never forgive himself, and this place had already given him enough memories that would be hard to forgive himself for. No, he would die before allowing anything bad to happen to his friend.
That one word left no room for argument, so Spencer sat back down. "It is not like you can go over there. No offense, but you do have a frightening appearance." He put his hands behind his head and looked up. "Fine. Maybe she will come to us, but if not at least let me try to get a bit closer." He looked towards the deer girl and gave a goofy smile. "Hello! My name is Spencer and this is Tafari. We won't hurt you, and I am sure you have some question we can try to answer. There is also an extra fish if you are hungry. I know how scary this can be at first, but it helps to make friends."
Angel watched them communicate, her ears twitching. She now knew that they spoke English, which would make it easier to talk to them. She looked around once more before raising to her feet and slowly making her way towards them, she came to a stop a couple of feet away from them, slowly lifting her head which had been lowered.
Waves rippled across her body as she shifted back into her human form, her hoodie hanging off both of her shoulders, she dropped her icy gaze to the floor, "My... My name is Angel... But, my brother calls me Ange." She turned to the side, biting on her lower lip, "Y-you guys can too... If you want..."
The white haired female sat on the ground, pulling her hoodie up so it wasn't falling off her shoulders, she glanced towards the spare fish and shook her head, "Not hungry... I just... I just want to go home, my brother must be looking for me..." She pulled her knees up to her chest, wrapping her arms around them and hiding her face.
Tafari relaxed some as the creature moved closer. The way she moved did not speak danger in any way, and the fact that she was able to come closer meant that fear had not overtaken other emotions. He felt even better when she was human again. He listened to her name but was not sure if he would be able to speak it, so he decided to try later. If anything he would settle for "An'. For now he would leave the talking to Spencer, because his friend was right. He was not the most comforting to look at, or even hear speak.
"Angel. That is a beautiful name. If I remember correctly it is Greek for 'messenger'." He felt bad for this scared girl, and remembered his first day being here. There had only been Tafari in here, but luckily he was outgoing and soon got used to the larger boy. His heart sunk at her next words, and fell even lower when she hid herself. He wished there was something good he could tell her, but it would not be right to give her empty hope. "I wish you could go home too. I don't know of a way out of this place, though. Every idea I come up with has already been tried before." He scooted closer and put an arm on her shoulder. "One day we will get out of here. I can promise you that. Then we will all be able to go home."
Tafari, who had finished his fish while Spencer was speaking, stood up at the words 'we will all be able to go home', and walked over to the water, leaving Spencer to comfort the girl. The words Spencer spoke were not true, because he knew what would happen if he went home. He looked like a demon and would never be allowed back. Bending down he washed his hands and then went back over to check on the fire. It was slowly dying, so he threw the last fish in it and left it to die. The gathered wood he moved back over to the trees since they did not need it right now. Once the task was complete he sat down next a few feet behind Spencer.
Angel lifted her head up slowly, sending Spencer a strained smile, "While your words are kind, they are not true. That I know, and your friend agrees. It won't be easy to get out of here, and finding my herd will be even harder..." She sighed and pulled herself up to her feet, stretching her arms above her head, "I feel like I need to tell you a little about myself, so listen carefully. I come from a species known as the Kanjō, deer like creatures that can sense and read emotions. Emotions affect us differently to humans, sometimes they effect how we feel. If surrounded by happiness and love, we feel joyful, if surrounded by negative emotions, we can become violent or nervous quickly." She yawned, leaning against a tree, "Despite this, we are capable of our own emotions, and we can normally control them very well."
Angel rubbed her eyes, letting out a sigh through her nose and muttering something in an unknown language, glancing around before letting her gaze drop to the ground. She was tired, the effects of whatever kind of drug they had used to knock her out was still rushing through her system, but she refused to sleep. She wanted to find a way out, or atleast figure out a plan to get out.
Spencer listened quietly to everything Angel said, but struggled not to interrupt. Even if Angel had not been able to sense and read his emotions, his face gave everything away. When she said his words were not true and Tafari agree he became confused about what part his friend agreed with. An 'oh shit, busted' look came over him at the mention of reading emotions. He found her very beautiful and planned on hitting on her (like he did most every girl). Most of the time the girls just laughed at his attempt, and he was always rejected. Couldn't blame a guy for trying, though. After learning the emotions of others could effect how she felt he stood up and smiled.
"That is quite a bit to take in." Spencer admitted. "I guess now I have a few questions. First, what part of what I said does Tafari not agree with." He would have asked Tafari himself, but he knew his friend would not answer. "Second, I take it it would be nearly impossible to hide anything from you? Not that I would, but you know." He put his hands behind his head, feeling nervous slightly nervous. "Third, happen to have any escape plans? As you know every idea I come up with has been tried before. Tafari has not told me about any of these attempts and what made them fail, and some of the ideas I came up with involved two people." Spencer's voice became quiet. "He won't tell me anything about his time here."
Unlike Spencer, Tafari's features gave nothing away. He had not been surprised by anything Angel said. After getting over the initial shock about seeing her turn into a creature it was easy to stay calm through any other information. What she said about emotions made sense. Anyone could learn to read emotions, perhaps not in the same way she could, but it was still possible in another way. The emotions of one person also effected everyone around them, even if people do not realize it. It only takes one person to make a bad day for everyone else. When Spencer spoke Tafari closed his eyes. His friend was right, he hadn't and didn't plan on telling about his time here. The only thing that mattered about the past was that due to what had happened he vowed to get Spencer, and now Angel, out of here safely.
"Why ask me? Tafari is right there, you can ask him yourself." She nodded her head towards the male, "And while it is possible to trick us Kanjō, it is highly unlikely unless you do not physically have emotions, it's the way my kind work. If you have any form of emotion, we can sense it."
She stood up straight and rolled her shoulders, clicking her tongue, "Hmm, an escape plan? Not... Really... But, have you ever tried just luring the guards at the door in here?" She walked over to the only door, "From what I can sense three guards stand outside, I'm guessing the guards take turns and switch out, so we would need to figure out how long it took for the switch to take place. Wouldn't want to lure them in as the other guards came over. As for how we would lure them in..." She paused, tapping her chin.
"I have no idea."
The silver haired female sighed and sat down on the door, yawing into her hand, "Tafari not telling you about his past here is probably because it isn't a nice one. Don't try to force yourself in, he's probably trying to protect you. Seems like the type of guy who would." Her voice had lowered to a murmur as her eyes slowly shut and she fell asleep, leaning against the wall with her head tilted down.
Ask him himself? He already told her Tafari would not answer, but he tried it anyway. Spencer looked over at the big Ethiopian and opened his mouth to speak, but Tafari shook his head, so he closed his mouth and looked back at Angel, who had fallen asleep. That was fast, but they could talk more when she woke up. For now he went through the conversation in his head. He felt a bit embarrassed about wanting to hit on her, especially since she could sense emotions. As for her being a Kanjo and not human, that was fine by him.
The luring the guards in would not work. They refused to come near Tafari, and Spencer could not blame them. The look that sometimes came over his friend when they talked was that of a predator waiting to snap the life out of prey. It was hard to believe, because after getting to know the guy he was a very peaceful individual. This place must have done something more to him than just the experimentation.
Spencer glanced at his friend, who was laying on his back and had followed Angel's actions and fallen asleep. He wanted to both smile and frown. Maybe one day once they were out Tafari would tell his story. It would be nice to know it now, because he could have information that would help them in an escape, but he would not press. Angel had spoken accurately. There was no doubt Tafari would protect him, with his life if needed. And he himself would be one that would want to run at the first sign of danger. Spencer the coward. He sighed and looked at the two sleeping forms. What now? If only his mind would allow him to nap.
At least an hour passed before Angel woke up, she yawned and cracked her neck, pulling herself onto her feet and stretching her arms above her head, hearing several cracks that made her sigh. Without thought she shifted back into her Kanjō form and trotted over to the stream Tafari had been catching fish in before, bending down to drink from it.
After a moment she straightened up again, one of her long ears twitched several times, her nose doing the same thing before she turned to face the two suddenly, letting out a surprised sound before shifting back, speaking in an unknown language before pausing, "Wait... You guys don't speak-nevermind, forget you heard anything." She sighed, before sitting down with her back to them and eyes focused on the small body of water, watching smell fish swim past. She was thinking, thinking about how it would take some getting used to being around people who weren't Kanjō, thinking about how much she missed her brother.
"I wonder if Kita has noticed my absence yet, he is rather forgetful." Angel mused to herself, continuing to mutter in a different language. Though it seemed as if she was rambling to herself rather then actually trying to talk to the other two.
Spencer shot up to his feet with excitement when Angel woke up. Finally someone to talk to. He had become use to the lack of speaking, but now that there was someone else in the room with them he found no reason to not socialize more. That he seemed stuck with two of the most unsociable creatures on the planet did not bug him in the slightest. In fact, there was not a whole lot that could bring his mood down. He made his way over to Angel and sat down next to her. "So you speak another language? That is so cool!"
Tafari slowly opened his eyes when Spencer passed him. He had been awake the whole time, he just did not want to answer any questions and needed time to think. He did not come up with really any ideas except for one that had a low success rate. He had to wait for Angel to move away from the door, though, and now that she had he stood up and walked over to it. Without giving a second thought he started punching the door, the scutes on his knuckles protecting them from becoming bloody pulps. If it took brute force to get out of this place then so be it.
Spencer put his hands over his ears. What was that?! He turned and saw Tafari hitting the door. Had his friend gone crazy or something? "That is not going to work!" he called out, but Tafari ignored him. There was no way he could break the door, especially since it was thick and locked by electronic means. He looked at Angel and gave an apologetic smile, shrugging his shoulders. "He will stop when he gets tired."
Angel looked over at Spencer, "Indeed I can, it is the language of my species. We communicate in two ways, growling, grunts and clicking noises or our language. But we can also learn other languages. Just a fun fact, my name is only Angel when translated to English, originally it is Tiānshǐ, but I understand that it would be easier to call me by my English name of Angel." She gave a small smile, which was replaced with a frown when Tafari began trying to punch down the door.
She turned her body around completely to face him, "Tafari, please stop that. As Spencer said, it won't work." The emotions rolling of the two people she was locked up with were effecting her emotions. With a sigh she shrugged and shook her head slightly, "Baka, Tafari, baka... I suppose you are right Spencer, we can only hope he stops soon, my ears are ringing."
The silver haired girl rubbed her ears to further add to her point, wincing at the throbbing she could feel in her head.
Excitement swarmed Spencer as he listened to Angel speak. This was incredible! Would it be possible for him to learn her language? He added that to a list of question to ask later. She was right about it being easier to stick to English, but not for him. Tafari would have a very hard time trying to say Tiānshǐ. It was also a good think his friend did not know what baka meant. He shook his head at the pounding, praying for it to stop if only for Angel's sake. A few seconds later it did just that.
Tafari stopped when he heard the door make a sound. It was one he had heard many times before in his long stay, and before he lost this chance he quickly opened the door. Three guards stood in front of him, looking confused, and when they saw him the one with a gun reached for it. Quick as lightning Tafari was out the door, grabbed the head of the guy who had the gun, and twisted. He turned towards the other two and, seeing that neither carried a gun, he settled for a hard punch, knocking the two out cold.
Hearing the commotion Spencer tore his gaze from Angel, jumped up, and ran to the door. The first thing his brain processed was the the door itself. From their side the door was dented. For someone to be able to do that to strong metal was impressive, but that could not have been the reason the door was opening. His eyes moved from the door to the people on the ground. Surely they would not have opened it, so why did the door open? As much as he wanted to know it was not as important as other things at the moment. He looked at Tafari. "Did you...are they..." Dead? He could not finish the sentence. He knew what Tafari was capable of, but knowing and seeing were two different things.
Tafari cocked his head in though, and then understood what Spencer was trying to ask. He pointed the two lying close together. "No." He then pointed at the guy with the gun. "Yes." He then gave a look that asked, 'Why is that important? We can get out of here now.'
Angel jumped and, out of pure instinct, shifted into her Kanjō form, letting out a bunch of odd clicking sounds. She glanced towards Spencer as he rushed over the the (now open) door. After a moment Angel straightened up and slowly made her way towards them. Her ears folded back when she noticed the three guards on the ground, her gaze locking on the one who had a gun. She shifted back into her human form and tore her gaze away from him and back to Spencer and Tafari. She pulled her hood up over her head, her icy blue eyes flickering between the two.
"As much as I wish to ask what happened, I also wish to get out of here. Questions can be kept for later, as of now, let's focus on escaping." She stepped over one of the men and looked around, letting out several clicking noises before her eyes landed on a door, "I feel like that way would be the best way to go. I faintly remember being brought in through that way."
Several ripples ran through her body as she shifted again, letting out a snort once back in her Kanjō form before making her way towards the door. She could sense the emotions of other people out there and her tail flicked in anticipation as she looked back at the two males with a look that read 'well? What are you waiting for let's go!'
With a shake of his head Spencer followed Angel, Tafari following behind him. At least with Angel it should be easier to avoid any guards, or at least have an early warning. He pushed through the door and looked around. It was mainly a guessing game for which way to go, so the best thing to do was just run. After turning down multiple hallways he wondered how the scientists and guards even got around this place without getting lost. It was a maze in here. After a few more minutes he stopped in front of a large door. If that was not an exit than he did not know what was. He opened the door and smiled.
Tafari kept an eye behind them as the navigated the halls. It was strange that there was no sign of guards. You would think they would do everything they could to stop their experiments from gaining freedom. It made no sense. He followed out the door and stared at the collection of trees in front of them. Was this another room like the one they had been put in? A quick glance above his head gave him relief. There was nothing but blue sky.
"We get out of one forest only to find another. At least this one is not surrounded by walls." Spencer pushed his glasses farther up his nose. Why had escape been that easy? "It is good to be outside, but I can't help but think we are missing something. That was far too easy, and still no one is coming after us."
Angel was keeping up with them easily, her hooves clicking against the ground as she trotted. She couldn't sense any emotions, aside from Spencer's and Tafari's. And that greatly confused her. She should be sensing others, so why wasn't she? It was almost like nobody else was in this building, but a slight buzz in her gut told her there was. So why had nobody showed up to stop them?
Feeling the sun on her fur made her release a happy little humming sound, followed by several clicking noises and even a few chirps. She shifted out of her Kanjō form, her head tilted back and eyes closed, "As great as it feels to be free, I can't help but feel anxious..." She looked towards Spencer and Tafari, "I couldn't sense anybody on our way here, and our escape... It was far to easy. Nobody came to stop us... The guards looked surprised though, I felt there surprise, they couldn't of faked it... Unless."
The silver haired female turned to stare into the open doorway of the building, a chill ran down her spine and her gut twisted in nervousness.
"Unless it was planned, and the guards weren't informed..." She took a few quick steps back, her icy blue eyes narrowing at the building, "Can we please, please run? I... I don't want to stay here..." Her voice dropped and she moved closer to Tafari, feeling as if he could give her the most protection if they got attacked.
"Planned?" It that were the case it was nothing but bad news. He looked at the building and took a step back. But who was to say there was not danger out in the forest? Fear filling his eyes he turned to the forest. A maze one direction, and unknown territory another. This was not good. "Yes, we should run, but.." Which way to run? Would there be any safe route through the forest? He turned in circles, stopping when he felt dizzy. Instead he settled for backing up but bumped into Tafari after a few steps.
Remembering what Angel told them about herself Tafari put a hand on Spencer's shoulder to try to calm him down. It seemed to work so he sent both Angel and Spencer a reassuring smile. Spencer always told him he had a crocodile smile and no matter how hard he tried it never looked fully friendly, but hopefully this time it was not too scary. So long as he was around nothing bad would happen to them. He stood up straight and walked into the forest, making sure the other two were following.
A figure sat relaxed in a tree. His hands were splayed behind his head, his back up against the tree, and his legs were crossed with slightly bent knees. The fedora he wore was tilted over his eyes, and the branch he was on held him with no problems. Life could get better, but now this was fine for him. That was until he heard approaching footsteps, and then things became more than fine. He tilted his hat up and looked straight ahead. After a moment of scanning he saw three shapes, and by the look of it it was three of the experiments. How interesting. He was not sure why they were out of their cage, but might as well have some fun while he could. He stayed still, waiting for them to get closer.
Spencer's panicking made her uneasy as she flinched, her heart started pounding. Luckily Tafari calmed him down and Angel sent him a grateful smile, letting out a soft purr of thanks before following him.
The walk was mostly uneventful, until Angel took notice of something. Another person was near them, she could sense there emotions. The Kanjō stopped and grabbed Spencer and Tafari to stop them too, looking around. Her nose twitched to pick up another male's smell, while her body picked up dull emotions. He did indeed have emotions, but it seemed as if he didn't act on them. Or at least the positive ones, like he didn't know what they meant.
Her eyes locked onto somebody sitting in a tree and she let out several clicking noises, walking forwards and shifting. She walked in such a way that made her appear more intimidating, and also made her spikes appear larger then they actually were. Her tail flicked behind her.
For once she spoke while in her Kanjō form, "I can see you, ya know." Her voice was deeper in pitch when she spoke in her true form. It was her vocal chords changing to adept to her new form, at least that's what her brother had told her.
Jackal looked down at the Kanjo. "And?" Did she really think he cared that she could see him. If he really wanted to hide from them, he would have done just that. He jumped out of the tree and studied the three of them starting with Angel. If she was trying to intimidate him she was failing horribly. He smiled when he looked at the spikes. "Put those away. You'll poke your eye out, kid." He turned his attention the Spencer. What a scrawny little thing. "Hello little birdie." He watched Spencer back up behind his friend. And cowardly too. His gold eyes looked up and locked with Tafari, hate filling his heart. "Do you feel safe behind a murderer, little birdie? I know I wouldn't." Before Spencer and Angel came here, the big Ethiopian had killed the one person he could trust in this place, and he was not going to forgive that. Jackal's muscles tightened and for a minute there it looked like he was going to attack Tafari, but closed his eyes, took a deep breath, and relaxed. "Anyway, who let you out of your cage? Not that it matters to me, because you can do as you please for all I care."
Spencer looked up at Tafari. Yes, he felt safe with him. He knew nothing bad would happen so long as he was by his friend, and the same went for Angel. She would be safe too. It was the strange man that he worried about the most. He said he did not care what they did, but that made no sense. He seemed to have free reign of this area, so he had to be working with the scientists. He could tell Tafari felt the same. The larger boy was tense, ready to do what was needed if it came to anything. "W-w-we d-d-" He gave up trying to speak. Fear held his tongue hostage. He glanced at Angel with a look that asked, 'Should we run?'