Chapter 1 - Escape from the Lab
I bit the hand that feeds me... hard.
Shen pulled his hand back with a squeal of pain, involuntarily grabbing at his hand. My canines punctured deep as I bit down with all my might. I could feel his hand bones crunch. I was so hot with hate that I barely felt his slap on my face.
He stumbled backward into the door with a yelp and lost his balance when I let go of his hand. I leapt over him and out the door as he fell. Free from my prison at last. Free from that room where every memory was of countless days recovering from the surgeries. Days and months passed in dreams of pain since the accident.
I could still taste Shen’s hand in my mouth and the smell of him made me want to gag. I raced down the hall. Shen’s squeal had set off the dogs in the lab. Their cries echoed down the darkened hallway.
I burst through the door to the lab. Rows of cages stacked upon one another. On each, a chart carefully, dispassionately, cataloging the atrocities committed in the name of science. For the good of the many, the few will sacrifice all, I thought. No comfort, no memory, and no acknowledgement save the shared misery, they live out their days in painful ignominy.
The dogs caught my scent immediately. It sent them wild. They sensed my terror, and my anger. I wanted nothing more than to comfort each of them. To set them free, as I now was, but I knew that I only had moments to make my escape. If I stopped to free them I would lose my chance. Their barks chased me through the lab to the door at the end.
I stood before the door to freedom. The keypad glowed green in the dim night light of the lab. I had made a promise to myself - I would escape tonight or die trying.
I remembered Shen punch in the code. I hoped it was still the same. Suddenly the hairs on the back of my neck rose. Over all that noise I heard the sound of slow measured breaths. I turned and glanced at the last cage on the end, larger than the others.
In the last cage, was a large silver timber wolf whose blue eyes glimmered with a light seeming to come from within. Head low, in a full crouch, ready to strike as if through the bars separating us. He was an apex predator at the top of his food chain. A chill ran down my spine, but his gaze held me - I was looking into the eyes of a killer.
A crash from the other end of the lab, shook me loose. My hands didn’t work right anymore since the accident. I keyed in the code with my nose. The door beeped and clicked with a red flash... the dogs once again caught the spirit. I bolted through the door, my blood thundering in my ears. My feet flew across the small parking area, a streak through the pool of light by the door.
I used to be a runner. I remembered that feeling.
Before the accident.
Before the car hit me.