I ran a finger down one of the silvery metal bars of my cell and sighed. I was alone in the building; the others had escaped without me. It was cold and damp…I morphed, pawed at the bars and cried. How could they forget me? I howled and cried some more.
“ Samara…” I heard a familiar whisper and looked down at the tiny brown mouse sitting in front of me.
“ Kenai!” I licked him.
Kenai was my best friend. He’d gotten me out of trouble hundreds of times and I should’ve known that he’d come back for me.
“ Hey, quit it already! I’m drowning in drool here!” He wiped his whiskers with tiny brown paws.
“ Oh, sorry…can you get me out?” I stared down my nose, he giggled softly.
“ No, I can’t find the keys to your cell. We’d break through the wall but then they’d just come after us…”
“ But isn’t that what they’ll do anyway?”
“ Not really, since the gates were unlocked with their keys we don’t have to” a loud ‘boom’ behind me cut him off.
The wall shook and cracked but wouldn’t fall. I turned to Kenai and cocked my head to one side. He morphed into a wolf and sat next to me growling menacingly.
“ What’s wrong? Its just Thrush knocking down the wall right?”
He growled. “ No…it can’t be…”
“ Well then who else could it be?”
The wall shook one final time and then came crashing down throwing bricks and debris everywhere. Something big and black was standing in front of Kenai and I and was growling and staring down at us with dark black eyes. Kenai bit my back and I slipped past the beast that ignored me and faced him. I ran outside feeling the cool grass under my paws and wished that they’d been under my feet instead. Strangely there weren’t any guards around and the surrounding buildings seemed vacant. A shriek of pain came from the cell and I looked back at it. Whatever that thing was Kenai was probably killing it. He was very capable of it and so was I; as a matter of fact we can usually take down anything twelve times our human size…even as mice. But I guess that today wasn’t a usual day because the beast walked out torn and covered with blood but not dead. I shifted to a bear and charged at it. It held out a paw and tossed me off my feet with one swipe. I landed on concrete and growled in anger. I got up and charged again making sure that its paws weren’t in my way. I opened my jaws and when I was about to close them on its neck I felt something long and sharp pierce my back and tear at it from the bottom up. I feel backwards and stayed down. The beast leaned over me and breathed over my wound with its horrid hot breath. Kenai, where are you? I tried to morph into a rabbit and run away but I was way too weak to think strait.
Before I could morph into something, I had to build up its body in my head. It isn’t as easy as simply thinking about the outer features but you had to mentally slice it open and make sure that all organs were in the right places, and if they weren’t you wouldn’t be able to change. It was complicated but at least you didn’t ever have to go face to face with the animal and get DNA from it. In truth we already had at least eighty-six thousand different fragments of genetic material from at least nine million different species, we just needed to figure out what was what and building the body up in our minds told us which traits were needed to change.
The beast lifted a paw and something big and brown tackled it. It threw whatever it was off and was attacked by two white wolves. I built up a wolf but got a dog instead and tried working with that. Kenai was sitting next to me pawing at my tail with his head cocked to a side.
“ You just changed, are you awake?” He pawed at my back.
“ Yes,” I stood and shook myself off.
“ Your back…” He cringed.
“ I know, it hurts too…”
“ Hey! A little help would be appreciated!” One of the wolves walked over to us.
The beast was pinned down by Syria who was a beast similar to it. She growled and snarled clawing at its muzzle and tearing at its neck. The beast was whining and crying begging for mercy. It was bleeding all over and had deep gashes in its face now.
“ Stop!” Cirri, Syria’s sister, growled. “ Don’t kill him he might be one of us!”
Syria stopped and leapt off and morphed back into a wolf.
“ He is…that’s why I’m killing him. He’s a traitor!” She growled.
“ Even if he is that’s no reason to commit murder.” Kenai said.
I ignored their conversation and looked to the beast. He changed into a sparrow and flew off. I barked and the others they also morphed into birds and went after him. I stayed on the ground (I’d throw up if I ever tried to fly), and followed on foot as a gazelle. The wounds on my back would be gone in a few hours since our bodies regenerated skin and closed wounds easily and quickly. I reached the edge of a city and changed to a dog. I sniffed around for anyone I knew and found a friend of mine in human form. I followed her home and borrowed some clothes. As a human I considered myself fairly attractive and so did many of the guys I knew. The only problem was that I, like many morphs, was stuck with an annoying thirty-six inch long fluffy wolf tail. I had a wolf’s tail but a morph could have any tail. My friend, Grace wasn’t a morph. She had speed. She did everything quickly, talking, walking, fighting…everything. We left the city and wandered through the woods nearby.
We heard talking up ahead and quickened our pace. Grace got there long before I did and waited just outside a clearing. Syria, Cirri, and Kenai had probably been to the city (since they were human and dressed) along with whoever the beast had been. The beast was a boy about the same age as us (Grace, Kenai, and I), about seventeen. They had him tied up in the middle of the clearing and had been talking until they noticed us.
“ Hey…” Kenai smiled at me.
“ What’s going on?” Grace asked.
“ This guy was trying to kill us.” Syria said looking to the scared boy sitting in the middle of the clearing.
Grace noticed the boy and her eyes lit up. She walked over and looked at his face closely.
“ Leo?” She started laughing and the boy frowned.
“ Who the heck?” Cirri looked to Grace questioningly.
“ Leo, he’s Xoa’s son.”
“ Xoa!” I was shocked.
Xoa was the most dangerous Moon Slave in the world. He wasn’t just a danger to the humans on the opposite side of the war, but he would kill his fellow slaves too…and amongst them were my mother and father. A rumor went around saying that he’d had a son but no one really believed it all. The boy looked as evil as his father and looked like he would lunge at Grace’s throat at any moment. The wounds that we’d given him had already healed the only mark on his face was a dark scar that went around his left eye and down his left cheek. He smiled at me without the others seeing and I shuddered. Grace stood and he disappeared in a second, leaving his clothes behind. Everyone looked down at the pile of clothes. Kenai changed into a mouse and was about to go after him when Grace picked him up and held him in her palm.
“ No way!” I wasn’t going to open the door for anything.
“ Open it…”
“ Let him go Kenai…let him go…” She sighed.