Chapter 19: Shaken, not stirred
The soldier with light purple hued eyes sighed, feeling his whole body feel weak, maybe it had been the fact that he was feeling a bit under the weather. Yeah, thats probably it, he thought trying to reassure himself that he was sick, but even the soldier knew that it wasnt that. He had eaten about an hour ago, so there shouldnt be a need to eat again considering it was more than a full meal. And I already took my medicine
He had just returned from taking the wolves back to their cell. It amused him that the two were stuck together, at least something good had come out from seeing them in such a state. He had noticed that the little bird on the girls shoulder said nothing; the thing only looked around from time to time.
Ienzo sighed and decided to let it go, maybe it was the stress from the job that was probably putting a strain on his health as a whole. He got up from his plain cot and turned the knob on the door, his feet moved against the tiled floor and out he went, back to the underground cells. Yomis lucky today, he didnt have to be on call
he thought, fuming for a moment as he walked past several of the soldiers that had been part of the reconnaissance mission.
Out of all the people there, the only ones he could talk to, or rather feel comfortable around, were in fact the two captive wolves and his good friend Yomi, the wolf in soldier clothing. He descended down several stairs and made his way along the wide hallway, trying to reach the elevator. He dusted himself off, noticing the white fluff on his dark colored shirt and muttered saying he needed another lint roller.
Yo, Ienzo! a voice seemed to crept up behind him. The soldier turned around and stopped a tall muscular looking individual with short cut hair. Where are you off to?
Hey Durus, the soldier said chuckling. Im off to make a little trip downstairs.
With those wolves? he asked. Ienzo nodded, and the person before him seemed to look a bit confused. What do you see in them anyway? he shrugged at the question and dismissed himself. Dont work yourself so hard, buddy.
The soldier with light purple eyes leaned against the wall inside the elevator, pressing the little star icon that indicated a certain floor. He closed his eyes, they were starting to blur a bit and it was giving him a small headache. The soldier in human clothing sighed, and tried to focus his vision on something but it seemed to be difficult, the blinking light on the elevator caught his attention.
A soft ping sound echoed through the confined space as it finally came to a stop. He shifted his weight and took one step forward before the door even slid open. There was a little chill in the air considering that the air cooling system worked all through the whole building. He breathed in and out and felt a surprising yawn take over. He stretched and leaned back a bit feeling a little better, and with that the soldier walked through the hallway.
Just relax your breathing
There were small groans of frustration here and there, it was enough to make the soldiers mind wander a bit before being dragged back into the present situation.
Just follow my lead, all right?
The same figure growled and huffed, she was probably tired of doing whatever is was she was suppose to be following. It was at that point that the soldier decided to step quickly and to his surprise both of the wolves were standing upright. The girl was in her own cell as was the male in his own block. Both were facing to the side, and the girl was apparently trying to mimic his movements.
Their right leg moved forward as they stood in a defensive stance, pretending to have somebody right in front of them. They squatted for a bit and breathed in, trying to maintain a balance of some sort. There was an exhale as they jumped up and then their left leg sliced through the air and touched down on the ground gently.
how many more kicks?
Until you can control your breathing, he responded slicing something with his forearm, and she did the same.
Stick me in water
she answered, turning on the tip of her toe and outstretched her left arm forward and her right leg back.
Well are we anywhere near the water?
What the hell are you guys doing? the soldier finally came in.
The two stopped their session and looked at the soldier that stood in the middle of the hallway, right down the line of both their cells. The two wolves chuckled slightly and stood up straight watching the soldier for a moment.
The interview really made me tense up
the girl said. She scratched her head a bit and smiled.
Huh, I thought she wasnt going to do that until tomorrow, the soldier muttered to himself and just shrugged it off. Are the drugs still in your system?
the male didnt seem all that happy about it when he answered. So, whats your reason for coming here?
Im talking to my two favorite wolves in the entire world
the soldier rolled his eyes and shook his head.
They all somehow walked themselves, figuratively, into a conversation, bring up old stories from what they had either heard or learned from olden days. Myron provided some old stories of Paradise, making things center on that for a good amount of time. It gave the Key of Paradise some insight as to what not to do, and what to do in a situation. Edward was surprised by the knowledge that Ienzo knew of both clans, from Moksha and Samsara.
Ah, have you heard of Chela muntejeri inovitdaibeli? Ienzo asked sitting on the floor in-between the two cells.
Yeah, my grandmother told me that story
Edward said looking back at his companion. What about you Selma? the girl shook her head.
Its kind of like The Ugly Duckling except its a wolf. You see, a long time ago when very few wolves could turn into humans you were judged by how you carried yourself within a pack. The female wolf in the story was timid, a little small too. Time went on and the alpha male was in search of a mate. Well time passed and before long the females within the pack held a competition of some sort, and that female wolf was in there as well. They were struggling to climb the social ladder, and the female wolf wasnt doing to tell, she was struggling
She was rather weak compared to the others, of course with her size the roughhousing seemed larger than life, and she backed down a couple of times. All the time the male was watching, trying to see if his potential mate would appear sometime soon, and well after watching the competition he made his choice. He choose the timid wolf, considering he would protect her till he couldnt anymore, and it was beneficial for her. One day though, while the pack was taking down a large caribou a grizzly and her cub were in the middle. The alpha male stood in front of his pack, ready to protect them and as the bear swiped at him the other wolves decided to join in and attack the bear
The female felt helpless watching her own mate put his life on the line for all of them, as well as the rest of the pack putting their lives down for one another. The grizzly mother bear launched the wolf into the air, and he landed hard with a sickly crack. It set something off in her mind and she found herself defending her mate. Towards in the end, the alpha wolf realized why he had picked her, it was because in the end, that wolf was destined to do something great and unforgettable. The bear was coming down with its jaws open wide, and when the alpha male looked up his mate had stepped in for him
Thats why shes called the unforgettable woman, Edward said.
With Pravus and Ace
Its nearly sunset, Ace
the more wicked individual said.
I know that
They had all agreed that when the night sky was up they would find a way to break into the Novak facility. Shauni had relayed the information to them, from what Myron had fed into the mental link. From that small piece it was safe to point out that they were in fact somewhere inside the Novak building. Everyone was mentally preparing themselves for what might happen, Yuki and the other girls already had some experience at hand as to what to expect. This was going to be his first time in there.
Ace, are you all right? Valse asked. She noticed the far off look on the young wolfs gaze. Ace nodded vaguely, which was enough to bring her down towards him. Come on, dont let this get you down.
well you know something goes wrong, and we might kill people along the way? he asked.
Ever since she could remember, Ace tried as best as he could to be a kind individual, someone that respected life. He wanted to be a hero, but in a way that didnt involve taking someones life, which was why it made sense that he wanted to be a fireman. It had been his dream to be one some day, but they day they started their journey, for that elusive Paradise, he had to put that aside. A lot of the wolves that searched for Paradise in the past had given up their dreams for living a normal life, it was part of a never ending cycle of sacrifices.
she didnt know what to say to him.
Theres nothing you can say to him, Valse, whatever will happen, will happen regardless of how much caution is exerted. Pravus held no remorse in his voice.
Pravus, the Beastia disliked it greatly whenever Pravus did include himself in the conversation.
Shauni and the two Protectors were in another corner of the abandoned building, no doubt they were trying hard not to think so much about the little rescue mission. The tallest one out of the group, or rather the tall female out of the group moved towards the Galapagos hawk and the Shaper. She patted him on the back and they exchanged a couple of words it was mostly encouragement from Yukis side of the conversation.
Dont worry Ace, things will turn out okay, Yuki said nodding. Besides the guards arent too tough in the Novak place, we can just knock them out, and poof well be on our way.
Shes right Ace, you dont have much to worry about, Jacquelyn was within earshot now of the conversation.
Shauni breathed in and out for a moment with Nero right by her side, she was trying to mentally prepare herself for the little assignment they were about to embark on. The Beastia still couldnt hear anything; there was static playing in his own mind as he tried to connect with Myron the little crow. She looked down at the handgun in her possession and sighed, somehow her eyes wandered back to the blade that was in its sheath, she felt strange handling the weapon. Im not a really expert with swords, Case-san was the expert on that
I was good with firearms
she thought remembering to a good memory of their first battle against a group of demons from ages ago.
I wonder if she remembers that first fight
she asked herself watching the handgun glisten a bit as the sun stared to set.
The colors were decorating the pale walls of the building, illuminating the building with faint tinged colors of a deep golden yellow, and the rays of light seemed to move across the cracks as time moved forward. Shauni stepped outside the abandoned building and looked up at the sky, somehow she seemed mesmerized by the sky, because of the colors they had produced at the beginning of dusk.
Nero sigh for a moment perching himself on Shaunis shoulder. He turned his head to the side, the sun was reflecting off of a pair of fighting fans. The items of Paradise had a special bond that formulated upon the first meeting they each shared with one another, it was hard to describe, but that bond was almost indestructible.
So then were off to rescue the princess
Yuki said chuckling.
Right, were off to rescue Selma
Jacquelyn paused, looking back at her. What?
I was talking about Edward
Hes not girly
the lanky teen muttered.
Sure buddy, sure hes not
she brushed off the Edward comment, not to be nosy are anything, but how did you end up knowing Selma? Jacquelyn asked.
Yuki paused for a moment and looked down at the ground, it had been a while since she had even thought about the first time she met the small navy furred wolf hybrid. She explained that it was when she was still a little kid, they were playing on the playground, building something in the sand.
One day, I sneezed and poof, I turned into my little wolf form, Yuki said. I didnt know how to control it, and I got scared thinking my parents were going to get mad at me, but they hadnt noticed it yet. I remembered that I wasnt suppose to show it to other people and well
It was kinda weird just watching her smile, she told me not to worry because she was one too. I didnt know how to turn back and she thought that maybe sneezing again would help. A lot of trials and errors on that, but it worked, well sort of anyway, I think it was the panic I felt
ANYWAY, thats how I met her. We lived close by and one time her dad was working on this computer that was from the company my dad worked at
Since then weve been good friends. Weve kinda have each others backs, she said looking back at Jacquelyn with a smile.
The dark browned haired teen nodded:
It must be a horrible feeling, to almost feel like losing someone close to you
Its like losing family, she said. Im sure thats how Shauni and Acer here feel. The items of Paradise are united, like siblings in a sense.
We still got a long way to go if we want to understand this whole Paradise thing, Jacquelyn said turning her attention to the faint rays peering through the cracks on the ceiling. Ugh I still cant believe its been a week since they were taken away
her fellow Protector nodded. Which on some weird note reminds me, did you take your medicine?
she responded chuckling. Im pretty sane
Only an insane person would say that
Hey you guys, were moving out now
Aces voice seemed to echo throughout the building and the other companions looked at one another, they probably had just one shot to get this executed almost flawlessly.
Being dragged through a desert for about a week, and now were here in a prison
Edward sighed for a moment hearing Selma whine a bit. At least we get to sleep on a comfy cot
Can you just let it go? he asked.
Im doing it to annoy you
Its working, he mumbled.
Both the little crow and the owner of the feathered bird looked back at the Nokian teen and laughed quietly amongst themselves. He leaned against the wall and slumped towards the floor, moving his head a little to lean against the edge of the cot. He seemed exhausted, more than usual. That was natural of course considering when Ienzo had offered to watch them another guard that walked in made sure that he give the two wolves more of the bizarre substance.
she responded gently making sure not to raise her voice.
Its the drugs, his voice was built into a snarl of some sort. I hate it.
Just calm down, the little crow responded in a gentle tone.
The young girl sighed and looked up at the ceiling wondering what on earth her pack was doing. She had a silly notion that they would not come for her, being pessimistic on her end. Within her own instincts though she knew that something like that would not come to pass unless something happened, like a life changing experience of some sort. She brought her head back and felt the cool concrete on her as she closed her eyes trying to count back from ten.
So whats up with you and Jackie? she asked as the numbers in her head started to countdown.
Nothing, why? he asked closing his eyes for a moment.
Its just out of curiosity. You like teasing her a lot, I just wouldve assumed
she paused as she hear him laugh and he slowly calmed himself down.
There was silence again and she seemed to relax as his laughter seemed to break off slowly and against she tried to continue with her counting. Her mind started countdown back from ten, but there werent numbers playing in the back of her head, just colors and shapes. A beige background starts morph about with a light brown color and somehow the colors black and white started to tug at the corners trying to engulf everything inside. The number nine then appeared as the black and white morphed into a deep shade of blue with black swirls all about.
Hey, can I ask you a question? Edwards voice seemed to break the flow of numbers she had within her conscious. She sighed and Edward took it as a sign that he could speak and so he did once more. Have you ever felt like you were stranded?
Stranded? she asked looking back at him.
The expression seemed rather honest; his gaze was placed on his very feet as they shuffled about on the ground. He looked like a child that had been told to sit down, he was fidgeting about trying to keep his mind off of something. His golden colored eyes glanced back up at her and he nodded in response to the question she had asked in response to his.
Do you mean like being forgotten about? she asked leaning forward for a moment. She avoided his gaze as her hands tugged on the single thread that was on the cot they had given her. He responded with a simple yes and stayed silent hoping that somehow she would continue speaking a little bit more. Why? she asked as her finger lightly caressed the single thread that caught her attention.
he sighed and looked up at the ceiling for a moment. His gaze moved to the side and he slumped back against the wall groaning in frustration. I feel like Ive been stranded. Not just in relationships, but in general. My sister wants to be the alpha more than anything in the world and I really could care less if I do become the alpha male
The worlds starting to move but I feel like Im somehow lost as the tides change
he paused for a moment.
I just really feel like Ive been left back.
Selma sighed for a moment and closed her eyes again breathing in for a second and exhaled slowly as her hands rested on her knees. Edward looked back at her watching her movements, she seemed to be lost in thought. I wonder, can the Key of Paradise really open the hearts of beings? he asked himself. He wanted to try and understand the hidden abilities that each had. He knew Shaunis was tracking, and Aces ability was to render illusion useless, especially by his approach to many things.
Well, you know down the road youll find your way, she responded softly and looked back at him.
he whispered softly to himself and sighed. That seemed almost impossible to do, most of his friends were already paired off. Huh
What? she asked noticing the light chuckled in his voice.
I thought you would have said that someone would find me and guide me back, the Nokian teen responded and shook his head.
Thats the typical girl response, she said cracking a slight smile on her face. Still maybe while you search another person out there is searching for you.
he didnt say anything.
For love theres always a person, or being searching for you, Myron added. He didnt want to remain lost within their conversation. The dark little crow station himself between the little bend between his masters stomach and thighs and made himself comfortable. Selma instinctively placed her hand on his head and scratched him gently.
would it be considered love if both people were out searching for one another? she asked. Love is suppose to be something different, you dont pick who you fall in love with, it just happens. My mother use to say that I shouldnt go looking for someone because theyll find me. Though I always asked myself, what if that someone wanted me to find them?
I think youre starting to misunderstand me you two, the Nokian wolf said shaking his head for a moment. I want
I want a best friend
he said feeling embarrassed.
Selma felt her jaw drop a bit and clenched her jaw together for a moment.
There was still something in his expression that made her want to doubt his words, but still if he was trying to turn that into a joke fifty percent of that joke was true. Edward
she sighed for a moment and looked back down at Myron, he seemed to be asleep now.
I can relate, she said chuckling.
? he looked up at her and opened his mouth to speak but decided silence, for right now would be the best thing for both of them.
</b>With the others</b>
We cant keep doing this
she muttered softly looking back at her sibling. Tears were already starting to fall from her eyes and her voice began to crack. Theyre picking us off one by one damnit! she gripped her brothers shirt tightly and shook him. What the hell are we going to have to do?! What do we have to fucking do to make this stop?!
He took in her words, hearing her yell at him, watching the tears that fell down and sighed:
We have to
we have to find Paradise.
Thats all I ever hear from you
she said roughly pushing away from him. Thats all you ever say Brother! What about how we feel?
The inner wolf in you knows that, dont act stupid! he said taking a step closer towards her. Weve made so many sacrifices already
When do we have to stop sacrificing? she questioned angrily. When can we finally see a smile at the end of the day? Answer me that
because I sure as hell dont.
Arguing isnt going to get us anywhere
their other sibling managed to walk into the conversation. Im just as upset as you, I truly am, but you have to understand things wont ever be great for us
The younger sibling tried holding back more tears and looked away from her older sister and brother. She didnt think it was fair to them at all, they were supposed to be good people and yet the world treated them like criminals. They hid as though they were thieves and were chased for the sole fact they were different. She had taken pride in the fact they were wolves, but now that was turning against her. Her siblings would rather hide in their human forms to at least live a slightly peaceful life.
Our protectors are gone
the younger sibling said. We cant
we cant keep doing this anymore, we just cant. Its
its too hard
I dont want to do this anymore.
Shauni rubbed her eyes for a moment and breathed in; she felt something weigh her down, almost crushing her chest.
Night had finally taken its stand in the sky and the stars were starting to show themselves as the bright light in the sky had started to move to the other side of the world. None of the wolves decided to take their weapons for fear of drawing too much attention and instead decided it was as good as anytime to try and practice how to use their elements. Ace instead opted to using his dagger, and Shauni at least took her handgun hoping that she could practice her aim a bit more.
Well be fine
Shauni said looking back at the blonde haired teen.
Yeah, Ace sighed for a moment and shook his head.
He looked back and noticed the Yuki and Jacquelyn were talking amongst themselves about something. He gave a small smile and looked straight ahead. The cement walkway seemed to go on for a little longer, with the streets light illuminating their path. Buildings on either side stretched for miles as the Novak building was still nowhere in sight. Cars started to move through the streets as their headlights casted shadows as they walked and to the other stationary objects like mailboxes and parking meters.
I hope theyre alright, Jacquelyn whispered softly to herself.
Yuki sighed for a moment whispering encouraging words to herself within her mind. Shell be okay, dont worry. Eds with her too and he wont let anything bad happen to my buddy
she shook her head and patted Jacquelyn on the back for a moment.
Hey dont let it get you down, Im sure theyre okay. Yuki said smiling back at Jacquelyn.
she was amazed at the smile Yuki could put even at a time like that.
Pravus sighed for a moment watching the world through Aces eyes and muttered something about the navy furred wolf. Aces mind lashed out at him and the dark wolf chuckled. Shes too nice for her own good
the dark furred wolf thought and decided again to look around through Aces mind, there was nothing new but at least it kept him busy for a while.
Nero and Valse had taken to the skies some time ago and scouted the research facility that was below them. The place was well illuminated which didnt make it hard to spot and so far from what they could tell there were no guards standing outside. The little neighborhood itself was quiet. There were large warehouse type buildings off to the side of it and they seemed to have their lights on as well.
What do you expect? They have what they want, Valse said against the nose of her wings.
It should make things a little harder though, he said looking back at the Galapagos hawk.
The question is if theyre going to take heed
and my answer would be yes, she said sighing for a moment.
Nero sighed as he still couldnt hear anything from Myron. There was still static in their heads as they tried to establish a link to communicate. Theyre probably in a place that has a lot of interference
The small pack finally stopped. Shauni looked off to the side and noticed the expansive park in the distance and sighed shaking her head and looked back at the tall building. She noticed that there was someone at the reception desk and she decided she would talk to the person there, just to make it seem like the needed something.
Jacquelyn said quickly.
What? Ace noticed the panicked expression on her face.
Thats actually not a bad idea, Nero said as he perched himself along one of the trees stationed by the building.
Our little protector here came up with a good idea, Valse said chuckling slightly in her own manner.
then what the hell are we standing around here for? Yuki asked as she started to walk towards the opening.
well now I cant tell them I have to use the restroom
Jacquelyn thought laughing nervously as she walked with Yuki. I never shoulda drank so much water! she thought mentally cursing herself for that small fact.
The man at the reception desk sighed for a moment noticing that it was a group of adolescents that walked in. I swear that Casey creates a lot of problems. Too many kids come here bugging her mother about wolf crap
the man thought. He placed a smile as best as he could.
What can I do for you guys today? the dark uniformed man asked.
The guard wore a slightly dull looking badge and a black uniform, he was a security guard as well, which told the other wolves that the original receptionist had gone home for the night. His night stick was hidden from sight, but that wouldnt be a problem at this point.
Oh, well do you know where we might find a restroom? he noticed that a tall long haired brunette asked. Its kinda an emergency
she said quickly.
The guard sighed and scratched the side of his head, lifting up his cap. At least he didnt have to page Mrs. Novak about visitors so he was relieved. He pointed down the hallway.
You shouldnt have a problem finding it. He said.
Thanks sir. The teen said pulling her friends along with her. Come on you guys.
The Beastia couldnt follow this time around, not until they somehow opened a window for them to use. The group reached the inside of the hallway and Jacquelyn sighed in relief as she found the restroom.
Where are you
? Shauni blinked as she watched Jacquelyn run into the restroom.
Guess she had to use it after all, Yuki said rubbing the back of her head.
Shauni sighed and looked up at the ceiling for a moment. Where are you Case-san? Theres still to much static to try and open a channel with you, she kept trying to reconnect with her mind or at least Myron but that was of no use. What good was her tracking ability if she was in a situation where it rendered it pretty much useless?
We need to look for a chute, Ace said looking back at the others.
Why a chute? Yuki asked.
Well Shauni said that she can hear static, which probably means they might be underground. You know like when you go through a tunnel and the radios on
Yeah I never thought of it like that
Jacquelyn said. The door closed behind her.
Did ya enjoy your bathroom break? Yuki asked chuckling.
Alright, alright, now come on lets get going! Ace whispered.