The Dragon Caged

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chapter 4

I woke to something warm holding me I buried my head in to the soft warmth curling up in it’s protection, I was convinced I was still dreaming, my senses became more aware I could smell a combination of warm spices and sweets that made my mouth water and could feel the gentle rise and fall of some one breathing determined to figure out what was going on I opened my eye’s to find that I was curled up on Abbies lap, my head nestled between her breasts and a blanket wrapped around me. Abby seemed unconcerned by what was going on holding me close gently with one arm and scrolling through her phone with the other. it’s only when I tried to move my head that she looked up from the screen to agknowledge that was awake.

“Good morning jess”, she said while smiling like the Cheshire Cat from Alice in wonder land her toothy grin promising wild adventures in far off places I pulled my self away trying to untangle myself and get out of the bed with least a little dignity.

“I um ….. how did…. I mean why was I laying on you what happened last night and why are you laughing”

“ Calm down nothing happened, you seemed to be in som distress as you slept I came to check on you and when I sat on the side of the bed to see if you where okay you kind of just climbed on to my lap a little like how a cat would I tried to get you of but you wouldn’t move so I just got comfortable on the beaded let you do you thing once you adjusted in to a comfortable position I wrapped the blanket around you and you seemed to calm down completely”

I thought for a moment if I had any dreams last night and then it hit me I was thinking about being back in those caves with druk as my only companion, and Jeremiah experimenting on me, back in those days I would rest beside druk I felt safer being close to her and could sleep soundly knowing that nothing would happen at least for a little while. I went as white as a sheet when I realised this.

“ I am so sorry I didn’t mean to use you as a pillow, I was just reliving something from my past when druk and I where together” I could feel tears begin to fill my eye’s and wiped them away before they could fall

“Jess you don’t need to apologise. we are friends after all and friends support each other through all the wired and wiled shit that happens in the course of our lives, but when we are out today I might need to pick up some more t-shirts” she indicates a huge wet spot between her breasts. “I wasn’t expecting you to droll in your sleep”

I was horrified and the look on my face must have shown it. Because Abigail just burst out with laughter. “Hey not cool I can’t be held responsible for my actions in my sleep and if you tell people I drool I will hunt you to the end’s of the earth. Now let me grab a shower and we can look at the available gym’s in the area”.

*

After my shower I packed a bag of gym sweats Into a bag and we headed out “so are you going to be doing the gym’s with me or are you going to be doing something else ?”

I’m going to look at the gym’s with you but when it comes to going them im sure you don’t need me there so im going to be making my own enquiries also I have sorted your employment situation while I was getting my glamor sorted I got one that looked like you ive also recruited someone to be you during the day when you should be at work it’s at those times that I will be training you.”

“When the hell did you organise all that? I haven’t even secured a job yet.”

“I organised it. You got the job at the coffee shop, it’s 6 am till 5 pm but 6 days a week the person doing the job won’t blow your cover so don’t worry.”

“I don’t know if I should be shocked, impressed or terrified that you have sorted all that while ive slept”

“Unfortunately it was something I needed to become adept at when working for the vampier council when things went wrong and we needed people to no longer exist it was easier to slowly remove them from society so we would employ people to take there place and give them glamours. “ she hung her head in shame “it’s not something I’m proud to have taken part in but it was something that was necessary”

Looking her in the eye’s I could see that this was something that weighed heavily on her and how I responded would mean more than I either of use could ever say. “Abby you only did what you had to do and your actions probably gave families closer that they wouldn’t have had otherwise I would never be able to look at you badly for that. Now come on we are wasting time you go be sneaky I have some gyms to infiltrate how about we meet for lunch in a few hours and compare note’s”

“Okay but be careful”

We then headed in separate directions hoping that we would make some progress without getting into to much trouble.

*

It took me a few hours but I managed to make it round to all the gym’s that Paul had listed, only one seemed like a good place for me to start and it was only a 20 minute drive from the house I had tried to set up a membership there’d then but when I said Paul had sent me to train they told me I had to come back the next day and gave me an appointment but wouldn’t tell me who it was with. Once I left I was hoping I would be able to watch the comings and goings of some of the regulars but it was tucked away so I couldn’t stay out of sight and watch them without being noticed. I would have to see if Abigail could figure out some remote way that we could get some surveillance on the place. accepting my defeat I messaged the little blood sucker to say I was done and asking where she wanted to meet I got a short message saying to go to ottimmo Bao Bao.

After calling a cab and a 20 minute drive in silence I got out at a small fronted restaurant that looked bright and welcoming it had large open windows that looked out on to the street and I could see abby had already got us a table that was situated in such away that we had all the entrances and exits in view if something happened. I entered and headed straight for abby.

“So how has your day been, informative .hope” I asked as I sat down

“Well it has definitely been an interesting day, last night wail you slept I sent some feelers out through my network and told them to expect a list from one of my associates, to clarify I am posing as one of my own employees, even with a glamour I can’t completely erase my sent so the little they pick up from me will be attributed to spending so much time in close proximity to me”

I was surprised by how much thought she had put in to her cover story but with her history with the council I guess I should have expected it.

“Okay so what have you actually managed to uncover”

“It’s a lot more serious than we thought either this Paul character isn’t fully aware or he’s holding out. Considering he went straight to slander on this I would say he docent know everything”

“What do you mean, if it’s worse than what we have been told surley we would have had more report’s before now”

You would think so, but the only reason we know this stuff even existed was because of the recreational off shoot thats’ becoming available, the cage fighting is only something that we have recently heard about because of Pauls intel, with out that we would be completely in the dark.

“The fight organisers are keeping I quiet but the humans that are getting exposed are changing their physical endurance and abilities as well as their personalities are shifting dramatically, to the point that they are getting salted after the matches until the drug runs through their systems”

“Are the human’s the only one’s being affected this way?”

Abby began to answer but stoped abruptly as our waitress arrived tour table

“May I get you ladies anything while you browse our menu today”

Befor I could answer abby interrupted “she will have a ginger and lemon tea and I will have a pot of blood lotus tea from the special menu” as she said this a knowing look passed bettween the ladies. The waitress nodded and rushed off,

“Do I even want to know what you actually just ordered?”

“It’s just tea with a little blood in it I have been assured on previous visits the the blood if free range donated willingly and the donors are rewarded handsomely for it.”

“Okay as long as your happy it’s all legit. But you where saying something about the other fighters”

Abby let out a sigh “every species that I can find has been exposed to it more than a handful of times, need’s to be restrained the compound is giving them a huge power boost but with the increase of power it is making them more cruel and barbaric, it’s like they have been striped of any empathy and are in a constant state of fight or flight with the option of flight being removed from them.”

The though of being stuck in that frame of mind for a prolonged period of times truly terrifying and I could understand that it could change some ones behaviour rapidly. Our waitress arrived as I was processing everything Abigail had told me I was too absorbed in my own thought’s to order so abby to the liberties of ordering for me after a few minute’s of silence while abby watched me like a hawk, I reached for my tea and took a slow sip hoping it would calm my nerves,

“Well you have definitely found out more than I was expecting, I think ive found the main gym that they are operating out of and have an appointment with someone tomorrow about registering there to train. They haven’t given me a contact name but I recognised some of the fighters from the footage we watched from what I could see from their behaviour they haven’t been dosed yet, and the facility is definitely state of the art. Now I just need to find somewhere to train with you or have you arranged that?”

“After we’ve eaten im going to take you to a safe location to train and I will discus the sort of training you should do at the gym you think is connected.”

As she said this our waitress arrived and placed our food down asking if we required a top up on our beverages once she had toped these up I noticed that abby had ordered me a selection of bar and I rice bowl of katsu chicken, looking at abby I noticed she had a selection of small bao but they had a pale reddish pink colour to them, she gave me a knowing smile to say that these contained blood to. I filed this little bit of information away for later, and started to sample the food I was presented. The food was delicious, I loved oriental food but this was some of the best I had ever had. After our meal abby spoke to our waitress and handed her a lot more cash than I was expecting our meal to come to. We made our exit abby lead us around the corner and unlocked a very battered looking jeep. “What the hell is this thing”

“Oh it’s one of my personal car’s completely of the radar and registered under a false name for security reason’s. Do you like her?”

I was in a state of shock “dose it even run? It looks like it should be in a scrap yard”

“This Beaty has seen me through some really tough spot’s she might not lookalike much but I can guarantee she can out preform some of the lates models on the market”

“If you say so” I clime in to the jeep and slip in to the seat harness “so where are we heading”

“ I told you we are going to start your training so it’s a good thing yo brought you gym cloth’s with you, we are going to need to do a lot of work to make you in to a convincing cage fighter by tomorrow.”

She started the jeep and it roared to life, it didn’t take long until she pulled up outside what appeared to be an abandoned wear house. “Abby where the hell are we”

“We aren’t far from the house, this is just a safe location that I had set up so we can prepare and train without being bothered, now hurry up we are wasting time and get your ass out of the jeep”

This was a side of Abigail that I hadn’t seen before and I kinda made me nervous about what I was to expect. We approached the dilapidated exterior door but as we got closer I could tell it was only supposed to look dilapidated when in fact it was reinforced and had a biometric keypad entry system and more surveillance than I had ever seen before.

“Abby what the hell are you keeping in there?”

“Oh nothing much it’s just one of many safe houses I have. ive got a few scattered around the world and if im ever planing on being in a place for more than a few week’s I establish a few more locations close by and increases security across them all, you will learn that it’s good to be over cautious in the paranormal world.”

“Are you completely sure this place is secure”

“Until today only one person knew this place existed and that was me, so yes im sure it’s secure”

As she finished speaking the door clicked open and she lead me through into a normal looking office and it quickly became clear that, as was so often the case with abby, there was a lot more to this simple building than met the eye. One end of the room was filled with a well-stocked armoury – guns, knives and other harder to identify pieces of equipment hung from wall mountings. The rest of the room was filled with practice combat dummies, chart tables, computers and several large display screens. If you intended to stage your own private little war, this would be the place from which to run it. Abigail busied herself about the room, switching on computers and checking the building’s security grid. After a few seconds she nodded and turned to me.

“Okay, the perimeter’s secure and it doesn’t look like anyone followed us. There is a bathroom just past the weapons rack go get changed and get started on a quick warm up and I will be with you in a few minutes”

At her brisk dismissal I headed to the bathroom to get changed it was as basic as bathrooms get with a shower basin and toilet but I guess that’s all that’s really needed getting changed quickly I headed back out in to the main room, and started doing some basic streaches trying to limber up my muscles for what ever punishment Abigail was going to put me through,

After a ten minute warm up abby approached me, she had a predatory grin that told me that as much as this was going to be educational she was also going to enjoy it. I let out a sigh resining myself to the fact that I was going to hurt by the end of this.

“Jess I know you are capable in fight but this isn’t the type of combat you’ve experienced or been trained in, ive spoken to Hargreaves about your previous combat training and he confirmed that you are capable but reluctant to attack, that sort of mentality won’t work in the cage you saw that when we watched the footage, they attack and they take the hits. So that’s what we are going to work on, you and I are going to do repeated 5 minute matches we are going to record them then watch them so I can point out what you need to change. Now attack”

Abigail then launched a right rook to the side of my head which I blocked which out thinking. She followed her attack up by pivoting and bringing her left elbow to the back of my neck forcing me to my knee’s then with out missing a beat he launches a kick toy midsection sending me tubing across the floor in to a heap gasping for breath.

“Okay that wasn’t five minutes but let’s review.”

Gasping for breath growl“What the fuck do you mean let’s review you, you didn’t Gove me a changes to get my bearings”

“That’s the point when you are competing they are not going to give you a chance you opponent is going to Hamer you until you can’t keep up, and bear in mind im still pulling my punch’s.”

“What do you mean you pulled you punches”

“Come on, go sit down we will review and then start again”

The rest of the day carried on like this, combat, review then repeat sometimes she would stop and point out when I should have moved differently or show me opportunities I missed to strike her. By the time we called it a day I was hot sweaty and ached all over Abigail didn’t even look like she was out of breath,

“Go get a shower I will wait here then we can head back to the house”

I trudge off disgruntled with how my combat training had gone locking the door to the bathroom I turned the shower on allowing it time to heat enough to help relax my muscles and ease my aches and pains. After a good twenty minuets rinsing away the stress from my day.

We got back to the house later than I thought and everyone had turned in for the night so abby and I headed straight for our room.

“Do you think I will actually have a chance in the cage abby.”

“If I didn’t believe in you I would have pulled the plug already. It’s going to be an uphill battle but I know you can do it. Now get some rest your going to need it if you are going to be training at the gym and with me”

Shutting of the light I crawled into bed and abby got in with me

“I will try not to droll on you this time.” at this she just laughed then focused on her phone.

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