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The Hoard

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The Man In White

Later that day, well after the dragon had fallen asleep on Winston's chest, there was a knock on my door. Hoping whoever it was would go away, I left the door unanswered. There was another, more aggressive knock. Reluctantly, I stood to answer it. The knocks grew more impatient and more violent as I leisurely walked to the door. Not wanting the rude visitor to wake my sleeping girlfriend, I ripped the door open and glared at the intruder. It was a man in a lab coat backed by two guys in suits.

"Are you the biological anthropologist Kara Schmidt?" the man in the lab coat squeaked.

"Yes, and who are you?" I snapped.

"I'm geneticist Theodosius Watson."

My jaw hit the ground. Watson's work on gene splicing was legendary. His work was why I was so interested in the biological component of biological anthropology.

"Have there been any strange occurrences in the neighborhood like theft?" one of the suits barked impatiently.

"No? Not that I've heard. Why are two feds and a geneticist interested in theft? It sounds like a bad joke," I remarked.

"Well there's an extremely intelligent animal on the loose with a taste for shiny things that got out of my lab, a raccoon, to be precise. It's very vital to my research; I'm sure you understand," Watson droned. His voice somehow managed to sound greasy. I began to like him less and less.

I did understand, and my blood ran cold with fear. They weren't looking for a raccoon. They were looking for my dragon.

"Sorry, I haven't seen a raccoon. I'll let you know if I do, Doctor Watson," I replied as coolly as possible.

They nodded and said their goodbyes as I closed the door, shaking a little. I didn't, and still don't, know why I lied to one of my idols, but I did.

I rushed to Winston and the small beast to shake them awake and regale the conversation that had transpired.

"Sounds like a conspiracy to me," Winston yawned after I was done explaining. "I mean, why else would the government and a geneticist be interested in a 'raccoon'?"

Winston only confirmed what I had suspected. Watson's work was all theory, there was no reason for specimens, and a simple raccoon would have been no reason to personally go searching for it.

The next day, the suit that had barked at me was at my door as I tried to leave for work.

"Doctor Schmidt? Gus Slade, CIA." he snapped as he flashed me his credentials.

"Back about the raccoon?" I asked as innocently as I could.

The tall CIA agent with neat, black hair laughed dryly. "Yes ma'am. Still nothing?"

A loud crash rang from inside my house. It was Drakon. Winston had named it after Drakon Kholkikos, the dragon that had guarded the Golden Fleece in Greek mythology.

"What was that?" Slade questioned as he moved towards the door.

"Oh, just my dog," I recovered. "What a rascal," I added when he didn't seem convinced.

He nodded slowly. "Well, let me know if you notice anything ma'am."

"Will do."

The agent, still looking unsure, drove away, and I let out a small sigh of relief. I thought I'd managed to get away.

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