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I could feel the car moving as I slowly gained awareness of my surroundings again. It seemed that I had fallen asleep at some point during our trip. With some trouble, I opened my eyes to the gentle morning sun. Eileen was humming something while she drove on a lonely forest road. At least she seemed to be in high spirits. Jay seemed to be asleep, too.

“Morning.” The ex-hunter greeted in all her cheeriness.

”Morning.” I replied with a very dry voice. My throat was somewhat sore. Well, considering all my screaming and lack of hydration it wasn't that surprising.

”Here.” She offered a bottle of water to me. It was quite impressive how aware of her surroundings she was at all times. I mean she hadn't taken her eyes off the road even once after I woke up, and she still noticed I was awake and in need of water.

”Thank you.” I took the bottle, gulping down its contents as soon as it reached my lips. The feeling of cold water streaming into my mouth and down my throat was heavenly.

”You were really thirsty, huh.” Eileen commented with a chuckle as I was wiping my mouth after drinking almost all the water in the bottle.

”Yeah... Drinking can be a hassle when you don't have a stable source of clean water.” I shrugged handing the bottle back to her. Though, since my anatomy was quite different from a human's, I could drink water from ponds or rivers, too. It wasn't as good though.

”Ah. Right.” For some reason, she seemed a bit ashamed of herself. Which made me a bit confused.

”Where are we by the way? Are we close to the border yet?” I then decided to ask. I couldn't relax too well before we had crossed over.

”We are past it already.” She announced casually. ”We're gonna reach Crowmore in a few hours.” A small burn of anticipation twisted my guts.

”Do you know where we can find Raven?” I questioned unable to hide the eagerness in my voice.

”The Corheaven laboratory.” She replied matter-of-factly. ”It isn't a secret organization or anything. Anyone with access to the internet can find it with a simple search.” Which made sense. From what Eileen had told me Raven left Gene corp due to not approving of their ”research” or work ethics. And Gene corp was very secretive. I'm quite sure she wouldn't want to follow in their footsteps. Also, the lab she founded was for helping people so, in order for that place to work, the people should know where to get the help.

”That's good.” I simply said laying back down as I let out a small sigh of relief. I was quite lucky in my misfortune. I had been turned into a monster and was in excruciating pain every day. But I had managed to befriend these two and they were now helping me. And hopefully, I would be rid of my pains someday. I glanced towards the sleeping beauty on the passenger seat in front of me. On top of all that. I had managed to develope feelings for a human. It gave me hope. Hope that I wasn't a cold-hearted monster. Even if I looked like one.

Well, Lily had said that, too. That I was still human on the inside. That I still deserved love. That I never was or will be a monster.

I sighed while gazing out the window. I missed her. Her soft voice. Gentle touch. Comforting words. Bright smile. Just her entire being.

I could feel tears pricking at my eyes so I closed them with a shaky breath. The worst part about missing her was the fact that I didn't even know if she was alive. She had helped me escape my executioner. She had disobeyed the corporation. That never ended well for anyone.

I swallowed rubbing my eyes. Thinking of her wasn't good. It made me emotional and weak. Not yet. I will mourn her eventually. When Jay is safe and Gene corp has fallen.

That damn hell hole. I needed to end it. It had already destroyed the lives of way too many people. Jay and his brother. Me. That monster I killed to protect these two. Lily... and thousands of other people. I couldn't let it go on.

Hopefully, that scientist, Raven, was going to be of some help. If not then. Then we'd be screwed.




Eileen left me to my thoughts for most of the ride. Which I was thankful for. Talking at that moment was pretty tough. Especially since I wasn't that social of a person in the first place. Jay woke up only after we reached the city and damn was it adorable. He was very out of it while demanding that we would stop for a moment so he could come and hug me. So we did just that. It felt very nice.

Soon after that, we arrived by the huge building that apparently housed the Corheaven laboratory. It was gigantic. Looking at it gave me chills. We drove to the customer parking lot near the main entrance so we could get in easier.

And even if my surroundings were all pretty strange, the most surprising part was the dozens of bioweapons that I saw walking around. It looked totally normal. No one was screaming or giving them strange looks. But I couldn't help but stare at the scene in shock. The two towns, Dandelion Valley and Crowmore were right next to each other. Yet they were polar opposites.

”Ren?” Jay pulled me out of my daze with his curious tone.

”Y-yeah?” I blinked a few times trying to get over my shock.

”You ready to go?” His eyes were glistening with affection while he watched me in concerned understanding.

I nodded, uncovering my broken body and sitting up. ”I am.”

We made our way to the main entrance and walked through the door. It was quite hectic in there, but not in an anxiety-inducing way. It just gave off a busy feeling. Eileen lead us to a check-in desk and introduced us to the lady on the other side of it.

”Oh my.” She looked at me, horrified. ”You must be in so much pain.” In a bit of a panic, she scrambled for some documents and a phone. ”We need Raven to take a look at you.” She then gestured for some people to come over. ”This is Ren. He needs our immediate assistance. I will call Raven, so in the meantime take him to room 307.” Her instructions were met with stern nods as the two men slowly stepped towards me. This made me raise my wings protectively as I hid Jay behind them.

”It's okay we aren't going to hurt your friend or you.” One of them said, stopping a good distance away from us. He had dark skin and glasses. Didn't recognize him. I lowered my wings slightly, still not letting them have access to my human.

”We're here to help.” The other one said. He had red poofy hair. The quality of it reminded me of Jay's hair. I didn't recognize him either so I lowered my wings entirely. ”Thanks, Minna.” He then said to a woman that was pushing a hospital bed towards him. I was guessing it was for me.

”Would you lie down so we can take care of you?” I frowned at them. I couldn't exactly trust them, and considering my past experiences with this stuff. Yeah, I wasn't too comfortable with it.

”Um, excuse me.” Eileen butted in with an awkward smile. ”Would you let Jay come with? I think Ren would be more comfortable that way.” Oh my god, Eileen! You are a godsend!

”Of course.” The Poofy-haired one cheered with a friendly smile.

”Okay. I'll... get on the bed then.” I stated while wobbling myself over to the weird nest. As long as Jay would stay beside me, I would get through this. No matter how painful.

My human walked next to me while caressing my arm comfortingly. ”I'll be right by you, okay?” I nodded, his warm smile making my heart melt inside my chest.

So the two men wheeled me into an elevator with Jay staying by my side the entire time. It was still quite stressful to just lay there, not knowing where I was going and what was about to be done to me. But I had him here. As long as he was right there, I could do anything.

When the elevator reached the designated floor, I was wheeled out into a long hallway. I was guessing room 307 was somewhere in here. After a bit of silent travelling along the hallway, we stopped at a room and went inside. It was a lab. An operation room. I shivered, memories upon memories flooding my brain. I screeched dashing up and away from everyone. My hand gripped at my shirt as I stared at the others with blurred vision.

”Don't come any closer!” I screamed my breathing getting heavier by the second. I didn't recognize any of the humans. Where did Jay go? ”Go away!” I was desperate to get away from all of them. I didn't want to hurt them in case they were innocent. But I couldn't let them get close.

Then one of them began moving towards me and I could feel anxiety strangling my throat violently. ”Leave me alone!” I shouted at them, clasping my wings together in front of me to shoo them away. But the guy didn't back away. Just slowly made their way closer to me. ”Please. Don't.” I whined, tears streaming down my cheeks. Then they raised their hands towards me, and I instinctively shielded myself with my wings, raising my hands to protect my face.

I waited for a while but they didn't touch me. Slowly I drew my wings back so I could peek at the insane human. They just stood there waiting with raised hands. I had no clue what they wanted. So I just tilted my head in confusion. They chuckled. Which made me frown. Then they softly and gently pulled me into a hug. It took me a moment, but eventually, I recognized this feeling.


It was Jay.


I clung onto him desperately, crying into his shoulder like a lost child. ”It's okay. I'm here.” His words made me wail louder. I was so relieved. So, so relieved. ”I'm never going to leave you.” I could only cling to him harder as a response since I couldn't speak at the moment. ”Sorry about that.” He called back to the others. ”He's calmed down. You can come inside.” I could hear some footsteps but decided to ignore them. I needed to concentrate on my human. He was right there. I inhaled his scent, trying my best to calm down. ”Let's get on the bed, okay?” I nodded and we sat down on the hospital bed while I still clung onto him for dear life. ”Um, I'm sorry to ask this, but would you leave us alone for a little bit?” I didn't care for their exact answers but they mumbled something in agreement and began walking out of the room. ”Thank you!” My human called out to them before they closed the door. Then it was silent for a short while before he spoke again. ”Would you like to tell me what happened?” His question was gentle and inviting. It wasn't pressuring or demanding at all. It made me feel so relaxed. Like I could've just fallen asleep right then and there.

”I think I should.” I replied with a surprisingly soft voice. I guess it was the crying that made it sound that way.

”Go ahead.” I really liked the gentle warmth that he always radiated.

”This place.” I pulled away from him slightly. ”It's similar to the lab where I was experimented on.” A shiver surged through my body like a tidal wave. All the painful memories fresh on my mind. ”It freaked me out. I couldn't tell you apart from the others. I was...” I sniffled staring down at our hands. ”Scared.”

There was a small silence, during which Jay cupped my cheek and turned my head to face him. His warm smile was a sad one. Yet it felt understanding. ”I can't even begin to imagine the pain you went through. But it's in the past now. It won't happen again. I won't let it.” My heart ached at his words. I wanted to believe those words. I really did. But I couldn't help the fear of losing him one way or the other.

I swallowed, deciding to just hug him instead of... all of the other things I wanted to do to him. Especially to his lips. ”Thank you. I wouldn't be able to do this without you.”

He hugged me to his chest securely. ”I'm just glad I can do something for you.”

I could feel my heartbeat picking up as a hot flame seemed to engulf my entire body. There it was again that desire. Thankfully, it wasn't that strong this time. I took a deep breath, preparing to let go of him again.

”Ready to face the scientists?” I nodded and he left me alone on the bed while he went to open the door. ”Sorry for the trouble. I just thought I should make sure he was fine.” The guy explained all apologetically. Was this how he usually was with other people?

”That's okay. We want the best for him, too.” That statement made me stare at the human in confusion. ”But we have good news.” Well, he seemed happy about that. ”Raven will be here soon. She will definitely be able to fix whatever the root of this problem is.”

”You really care about my kind, huh.” I said with a stern frown.

He seemed very confused with my words. He even had to adjust his glasses. ”Well, of course, we would.” I had not expected him to look at me in that concerned manner. ”Your kind as you put it. You're still human. Or at least were. Most of you still have the same psyche as you did before the mutation. You're no different from us.” His explanation made me stare at him in shock. In Dandelion Valley you would never hear anyone, and definitely, not a scientist say that we were still the same as them. As humans.

”O-oh.” Was the only thing I could muster.

”Yeah, you're actually better than humans in my opinion. I mean-” The poofy-haired one was smacked on the head by the other.

”We're equal. Physical capabilities aside.” He scoffed.

”Right. Of course.”

This was so strange. I had never seen anything like this before. It was. I don't even know. I took a hold of Jay's hand, hoping it would give me some comfort. It did. He would come even closer to me but didn't sit down anymore. How odd.

”Ah, Raven!” The sudden exclamation from the poofy guy made me shift my attention to the strong-looking female that was just stepping into the room. ”This is the new patient, Ren.” I froze. The person that had tormented me for years. The person that had mutilated my body. The person that caused this. That person was Raven.

”We're leaving.” I simply stated. I was not letting her touch me ever again.

”Ren?” Jay was confused. Reasonable, but right now I needed to get us out of there.

”Ren...” That tone. I stopped dragging Jay and turned to look at the person that ruined me. She was crying with terror shining in her eyes. ”It's you.” She collapsed, covering her face while sobbing. I blinked my eyes. I couldn't understand this situation.

“Raven?” Her subordinates went to her side immediately. ”Are you okay?”

”I'm fine.” She lied through her tears. ”Ren.” She faced me and I didn't move or answer my human's questions. ”Would you be willing to listen to what I have to say?”

I stayed silent, staring at her broken-down self. Then I nodded, dragging Jay back to the hospital bed, and sat down. ”Speak.” I demanded not having much or at all patience with her.

”Leave us alone for a moment.” She ordered the others and they obeyed. Then she would take a deep breath before standing up. She didn't come any closer, though. ”I know this doesn't mean much nor does it change what I did to you. But I am so sorry for what I did. You were the reason I founded this place.”

”Um, back up a bit. What are you talking about?” I was the reason she founded this place? That made no sense.

”Right.” She cleared her throat, apparently trying hard to keep herself together. ”I was one of the scientists who founded Gene corporations. I thought it was research worth looking into. I thought it would be good for our people.” Well, I guess some backstory is fine. ”You were my first experiment at Gene corp.” She said turning to look at me, her eyes filling with tears again. ”You were a prototype. I was basically given free hands on the job. So I chose to try and create a mix of a crow and a human. Since I really liked them.” Well, that was pointless information. ”But that wasn't all I tried. Since you were a prototype I experimented with different things. So your teeth, eyes, intestines, etc.” Why was she telling me this. As if talking about me like a test subject would make me hate her any less. ”So during the time I worked on you, I completely disregarded all the things that you would need to continue living a relatively normal life.” A sob escaped her and she had to stop for a small breather before continuing. ”I was doing all those horrible things to you, thinking that you would just be killed after. Because we wouldn't need a prototype in the future, would we? Experimenting on you was just to make sure that our techniques would work on the real products as well.” She gave me a look of pure guilt and regret. ”I had never even stopped to think of how much it all hurt you. Until one day I caught Lily going to your operation room.” My eyes widened at her revelation. She had known. ”I saw her comforting you while you cried. I saw the way you two interacted. How you had become actual friends.” She sniffled. ”That's when I started questioning myself. I realized that what I was doing was horrible. Completely unforgivable. Just revolting.” The bitterness in her voice was immense. Damn. ”So after trying to convince myself that I was doing it with the right intentions and failing horribly, I decided to leave Gene corp. This would mean you would be killed. And in all honesty, I thought it would be for the best. You wouldn't need to suffer from all those things that happened. All the pain your body would go through.” She began sobbing again. ”I had no idea Lily would help you escape.” She knew about that, too!

”What happened to her?!” I snapped, desperate to know what my dear friend had to suffer with. If she even survived at all.

”I couldn't save her.” She cried, gripping her wrist when the grief seemed to crush her chest. ”She ended up like you, Ren.” The look she gave me was desperate. ”She was turned into a bioweapon.”



Submitted: December 04, 2022

© Copyright 2023 Mako. All rights reserved.


Add Your Comments:


Jack Eaton

Yeah, fuck Raven. Don't bring those tears on us and try to excuse yourself, filthy wench.

Good chapter, though.

Sun, December 4th, 2022 10:34pm


Raven is... Something. I hope she doesn't come off annoying though.

Also thank you! I'm glad you like my stuff!

Sun, December 4th, 2022 2:37pm

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