Chapter A02 - Cold Shower
I stood in the shower, my claws finding no purchase on the fiberglass, the saving grace was that the tiny shower was so small that I had to wedge myself in here so tightly I couldn’t really move. I had nosed the curtain closed but it only went part of the way. If anyone came back to use the bathroom, I would be instantly visible.
I heard her interacting with them. She’d found some way to talk to them. I listened pensively - my legs shaking with exertion.
She had a way about her that sucked people in, even Shen, I remembered. He was so taken with her, from the very first time he saw her. Every time he passed my cage, he was talking about her. He didn’t even look at me anymore, it was like I’d become invisible to him.
I remember her voice. When she came to the lab, she and Shen used to talk, she would cry and whine, she would yell and plead. Shen gave her a special recovery room, away from the other animals, but I could still hear her down the hall at night. I heard her singing one time. It was a sad song. I didn’t understand all of the words.
I could smell her too, her smell was frequently mixed with anger and fear. That floral scent that was there from the very beginning, it was still there underneath it all and getting stronger and stronger. I started to sleep on the side of the cage closest to the hall. And every time the door opened I’d drink it all in.
Finally after one of her treatments, she was silent. It was almost a relief not to hear her crying, but I missed the sound of her voice.
I tried not to think about how Stinger had gotten her scent on his fingers. I couldn’t imagine that she would allow that or encourage that... I thought I knew her and couldn’t imagine her mingling with Stinger. She was so good, so pure. There’s no way that she matched with someone like Stinger who was rotting on the inside. I imagined her fighting them off. I hope she’d bitten them all. At least I knew she got to bite Shen.
The other hunters told stories about Stinger when he wasn’t around. One of them had looked Stinger up, apparently he’d tried to get into the military. He wanted to be a sniper, but they found him to be unfit. So he joined the police and became a SWAT sniper. He was a rising star until a no-knock SWAT raid on the wrong house. He and another team member killed the husband and pistol whipped the wife and teenage son. But that wasn’t a big deal until another cop turned on him and leaked the supposedly “lost” nanny cam footage from the baby’s room onto the web. Apparently there was such a public outcry when people saw what really happened that night, that the police department settled out of court for millions on the civil case, even though they’d already been found innocent of wrong doing in the criminal case. Stinger had gotten paid leave during the criminal case, and was even up for a commendation for his actions in saving the infant, but that footage ruined everything for him.
Apparently, Stinger and the other officer beat the mother and son so bad there was brain damage. They claimed that they were resisting arrest because they were twitching when they were shot with a taser. The hunters thought it was hilarious and acted out the parts of the mother fighting off Stinger and the other officer as they beat them senseless. The baby in the room was unharmed. Stinger had taken the mother out with one sucker punch to the back of the head which was very funny to them, the way she’d fallen like a tree in mid-scream.
I understood all of the words, but I didn’t understand why it was so funny. I didn’t understand the jokes about the boy only being able to sing soprano after that. None of it made any sense to me, it just seemed pointless. Why kill the father and beat up the mother if they weren’t going to take the infant for experiments?
I could hear talking up front, but they weren’t talking to her anymore.
I could smell her a few feet away and suddenly I knew she was scared. I tensed to move...