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Chapter One: Turncoats

 

At the edge of town, few residences, a diner, a poor convertible in front sizzling slowly in the dry hot air, Shiva's car (a dingo/coyote hybrid with grayish brown hair and tanned skin). She had given Siam (evolved cat with black hair and pale peach skin) a lift to the dinner where she worked and were Siam would usually meet her friend Cougar.
Siam looks at the 7 foot and a half tall hybrid who had been trying to keep quiet and serious about something. Siam was able to tell it was a secret that she had been keeping. Both of them had very few friends, they were both outcasts from their surroundings, so they understood each other. Siam's only friends were Cougar, whom she was waiting for that morning, Shiva and this teenaged girl who she helped out for she had as well an abusive childhood. She didn't have a good relationship with her family, Cougar's twin sister, Shadow, didn't like her either.
-So spill it, you've been holding back something. [Siam goes.]
-You know I've been dating. [Siam nods] Well on our date last night... [Shiva bends down and lowers her head to whisper. Siam leans in as well, keeping her arms crossed over her chest.] ... He asked me to marry him. [Siam's eyes widen.] ... and I said yes.
Siam lifts from the seat and slams her palms onto the table
-No way! How could you ever think of saying 'yes' when you haven't even mentioned to me who the guy was? [Siam smiles at her in a you-little-imp stare mixed with a I'm-happy-for-you look.]
-I must have been so in love it slipped my mind. Anyway, his name is Claw Kentrose...
-Lieutenant Kentrose! That lizard-iguana looking fella. Cougar mentioned him to me. How can you match up with a reptile.
-We have a lot in common! And he's NOT a reptile! Claw is a mammal/lizard hybrid. He's very brave to be living in this country.
-Sorry about that remark, I never knew he had mammal genes in that blood of his. As long as you love him, I wish you a wonderful life together.
-Thanks. [Shiva looks at her watch.] Hey, isn't you friend suppose to be here by now.
Siam looks out the tall and wide windows overlooking the parking lot and the road. All she saw was the old convertible in the lot and motorcyclist on the road ahead.
-Yeah, but he's always late a couple of minutes when it doesn't have to do with science. I don't see his car yet.
The phone rings and Shiva turns to answer it. Out the outside of the dinner, the motorcyclist approached the diner's parking lot. Siam looks closer. The rider takes off his helmet, revealing a clean cut crop of blond hair.
-Cougar? [she hushes.]
She got up from her seat and left the diner and entered the dry dusty air outside to get a better look of this rider. It was indeed her best friend, Cougar Lyon.
-Siam, I apologize for my lateness, but I had to get my bike from the dealer this morning, it just came in. Told ya I was gonna own a motorcycle one day.
-Forgiven. I can't believe I doubted your word. It's a very nice vehicle. Yours?
-Of course it is.
At this moment, Shiva rushes out and hopped into her car.
-Shiva, were are you going? [The hybrid pulls out her keys and sticks one in. The convertible starts with an unsure roar.]
-I just got a call from Slugger, Claw's half brother. Apparently, my fiancé went to announce our engagement to his genetic father. For some reason, they called him a traitor and they're gonna hold him captive if I don't come along to get him out. [Shiva sped onto the road and was out of sigh in a matter of minutes.]
-How can that be? [She turns to him.]
-What do you mean, Cougar? [He looks straight at Siam]
-I met up with the lieutenant half an hour ago. He told me about the engagement and that he CALLED his half-brother ten minutes before to tell him the same thing, then he went back to the Academy to assist with the training evaluations or something.
Siam's eyes went wide.
-We've got to stop her. Their probably planning on kidnapping her and using her for bait to lure Claw. What I don't understand is why? Something's got to be brewing in their scaly clutches.

:-:-:

Across the border, Shiva parks her car in front of a round building covered in tinted windows. She runs to the front door.
-Where is he?
She yells to a lizard stepping out, a spiky headed reptile, Slugger.
-You'll see him soon. I'm glad you came.
He took her inside and into a large, dark room.
-Is he in here?
Behind Shiva, Slugger aimed and hit her in the back of the head, knocking her out cold.
-The traitor will be here, he'll see the right light, even if we have to brainwash those thoughts of his towards the mammals.
Slugger laughed and the room wash filled with chuckling from two dozen dragon warriors and their leader.
-Excellent plan. If it works you will certainly deserve a ranking of general.
-It will work, Oh Mighty One. Claw will be giving himself to our side and will be part of our rebellion, he is a very strong warrior. [Slugger smiles wickedly as the 'Oh Mighty One' laughs evilly. Slugger ties the mammal to a post at the far side of the room.] Time to call my dear half-brother to announce the terrible accident his beloved ended up in.

:-:-:

At the Academy, Claw had been wandering around looking for the teachers lounge. It had been over five years he had not been here and they invited him to give a speech on the government and the defense. He encounters a familiar face in the crowd heading to the auditorium. It was Shadow, Cougar Lyon's twin sister.
-Claw! What are you doing here?
-The academy asked me to make a presentation about the military. What are you doing here? You were done with school six year ago and said you'd never come back to this hell.
-I'm doing a presentation too. My subject is on espionage.
-Hmm, I guess it's career week again.
-Oh dear, I hope we won't be as boring as the geezers I had to listen to on the career week I went through.
One of the professors noticed them and indicated them to come through the back stage. Inside the auditorium, the students were all disciplined and sat in silence as the principal stepped to the mike.
-This week we will be honored by guest speakers every morning to talk to you about many different opportunities and fields of interest you might want to follow someday in your bright futures. Today, we start with government and military defense. Our speakers are: Senator Davis Hickory... [ a slightly chubby, dog-like person standing about 6' and 6'' high, steps out onto the stage through the curtain at the sound of applauding.] ... Researcher Shadow Lyon ... [ Out steps the 6' 3", curly, short haired blond dressed in her office uniform, she steps also into applauding.] ... and Lieutenant Claw Kentrose. [the crowed starts to applaud, but all went silent except for the sounds of awe, gasping and surprise, as the 9' lizard-like hybrid stepped out; no one had ever seen such a sight.] Lieutenant Kentrose, I suppose you should begin.
Claw steps up to the mike. He clears his throat.
-Thank you everyone. [he stares at the jaw opened and hung audience, embarrassed.] I would like to begin by explaining myself. I know I may be different physically, I may even look like a freak compared to most of you, but I, like every one of you, I have a heart and a passion. My mind gives me intellect and knowledge, my heart tells me to protect instead of fight. I am guided by a vision of peace. This peace needs to be maintained, for many still are greedy for power or other things. This greed leads to chaos, I am here to bring order to it. And that's what the government is for too, to bring order in this civilization composed of minds and hearts.
He pauses and looks down. His head bowed. He heard a faint sound, then it grew. It was clapping. The students began slowly applauding him for his beautiful speech, it was at first a dozen, then it doubled and then the numbers doubled again. When he lifted his green, scaly head, he noticed that none of them were stunned at his appearance. 99% of the crowed were cheering for him. One of the teachers came to his side and whispered something in his ear when Claw leaned down three feet. Claw's eyes widened.
-I have to go, it's an emergency!
Claw ran out, leaving behind the loud stomping his heavy weight placed on his feet.

:-:-:

On the dusty road. Dirt clouds grew around the motorcycle as it sped towards the border of the territory.
On the motorcycle, Cougar was driving and Siam held him tight as she sat behind him. In their helmets, they wore their goggles and CVDCs (Compact Virtual Data Communicators.) so they could talk to each other without having to cut through the wind.
-How much further is their compound in this area?
-Not much. We should reach it in about a few minutes.
Cougar tugged on the handle and sped his motorcycle as the acceleration made the wind put on twice the gravity force onto the vehicle and the pressure contacted Cougar's sleeves onto his arms.

:-:-:

Claw ran up to the landing pod where a large Chinook rested. This compound had almost everything for the students to learn: aeronautics, weaponry, heavy machinery, bombs(duds of course and blank cartridges for the riffles). The lieutenant came up to the pilot.
-Get this chopper started, damn it! Fly this hunk o' junk down south east for twenty miles. Hop-to!
-Yes SIR, Lieutenant, SIR!
The pilot started the rotors and the blades were now twirling fast. Claw had settled himself at the edge of the seat across from the open door and gripping onto the walls, almost tearing holes into them.
The Chinook lifted off the ground and the air was sucked under the landing gear.

:-:-:

Shiva opened her eyes to a dark room. She felt weak and could hardly remember a thing. The room was round and dim beams of light were projected form the floors onto the walls. Locks of hair had fallen onto her face, her arms up.
-Where am I? What is this place. [She tried to move but felt that she was restrained at her wrists. She gasps as she remembers what happened.] You lied to me, Slugger. [Her rage started to build up.] YOU LIED TO ME, SLUGGER! [She screamed into the room. She heard a chuckle in one of the darker areas. Then she heard his voice.]
-Let's see. What could I ever lie about? Maybe I didn't have my dear half-brother hear. Maybe Claw didn't come here at all. But I'm sure that he'll come, now that we've got you. [The scaly lizard came out into the light.]
-What are you going to do to him? He did nothing to you. Not you nor your kind.
He quickly came to her, planting his face in front of hers. His harsh breath exhaled onto her nose.
-Yes he did, the moment he met you. He betrayed us and our honor. You manipulated him. [He moves away slowly.] But not to worry, we'll get him back. A strong warrior like Claw belongs in our legion. He will be the key to your nation, our passport and then lead us to our first... ATTACK!
-He will never fight for you!
Slugger, with fast reflexes, pulls out a hand knife and throws it in her direction, plunging itself into the wall between her head and right arm. She screams. Shiva's eyes shut when it is thrown. She peeks with one eye at where it had been planted.
-We'll make him, then. [He laughs and leaves the room.]
Shiva is struggling, jerking and tugging at the restraints as she tries to free herself.

:-:-:

In front of the complex, their stood Shiva's beaten up convertible. A motorcycle comes to a screeching halt in front. The driver and the passenger both stepped off on to the dusty ground. Cougar took off his helmet and stared at the building.
-So... this is the place.
Siam takes off her helmet and shakes her hair into the wind.
-If I'm right. Shiva's in there, locked up and waiting for the Lieutenant to come.
-But why here?
Siam thinks hard.
-Well... this place is very large. Just look at the size of that door, it's gotta be at least what... fifteen feet high by forty six feet across.
-That sounds kinda like a jet could fit in there... maybe even three.
Siam steps forward and places her ear next to the wall.
-The building seems thick, I can't hear a single thing.
-Well I definitely hear something. A helicopter.
Soon enough, the chopper flew by and before it turned around, Claw jumped out. The hybrid noticed Cougar and Siam next to the building. Cougar stood straight and saluted him, Siam saw this and did the same. Claw ignored them and proceeded towards the main entrance.
-Lieutenant, where do you think you're going? Inside? [Cougar yelled at him trying to get his attention.]
-You've got that right, rookie. I'm going to get her out of this mess.
-Oh, no you don't. [Claw stopped in mid track and turned around.]
-Why not, rookie?
-They're planning something. I know it, I feel it. [Siam replies]
-I don't care what the lizards are doing, I just want to get Shiva and go back home. [Claw affirms]
-I've got a brilliant idea.
-What is it, Cougar?
-Look, what are the odds that you're gonna get confronted in there?
-About ninety nine on a hundred, I suppose.
Cougar reaches out of his back pack one of his CVDC's and hands it to Claw.
-With this, we can keep visual and audio recording when you'll be in there. [Claw puts on the extensive band and visors.] I'll be able to keep contact with you. [Cougar activates the extending mike.] This way you can get Shiva and any information which could be valuable.
-Good luck Lieutenant.
-Alright, you watch my back, I'm going in.
With that he opened the door. An image came on Cougar's visors.
-We have to test this first, Claw. [he spoke into the mike] I want you to look at your left paw and then your right. [A few seconds pass] Good, the system is working, proceed with the rescue.

:-:-:

Inside the building, Claw proceeds down the hall and reaches a round room in the center of the building.
-Shiva? Are you here? [Claw's worried voice echoed in the room, bouncing off odd forms.]
A soft laughing is heard.
-Brother, I'm glad you can join us.
-I came for my fiancée. WHERE IS SHE? [Claw hollered]
-All in good time. Why, you should be honored of being here.
-What honor is there to be in the presence of a kidnapper?
-I'm hurt.
Claw makes a sort of low roar-growl like sound and snorts.
-You should be honored that we have chosen you. [A new voice said. the voice emerged from the shadows. This was a winged lizard with a long snout and goldish armor.]
Claw is shocked. This winged lizard was the leader of one of the most mischievous gang of terrorists. Claw had tried about half a dozen times to track him down, with no success. The leader stood there before him now. Claw knew there was going to be big trouble with him involved. His rage grew every time he thought of his name...
-TYRANOUS! [The dragon laughs menacingly, the sound echoing off every single wall, filling the room with his evil presence.]

The End of Part 1

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