Sharia is an arctic fox, 5'8", 19 years old, has a very slim figure, but under all that fur lies almost pure muscle. Sharia is the leader of an exploration team that finds deep underground facilities used in the 20th, 21st, 22nd, and 23rd centuries. This particular team has made a fascinating discovery deep underground, under many layers of cement, rubble, and almost ancient buildings that existed long ago. They have stumbled upon one of many secret labs that have been discovered recently under old buildings that survived during the Gene Wars. These buildings were explored and their foundations re-built after 'The Great Reconstruction', but some of these building and foundations were left out for years and forgotten because of the sheer amount of damage done to the areas. Sharia and her team have stumbled upon one of these labs, and have dug down past unstable cement corridors, debris, and the few corpses of human and morph alike. The men, women, and not to mention, morphs (male and female) on Sharia's team were used to seeing such destruction and death from long ago. However, this team was not used to finding a huge metal doors blocking their path. Rusted shut by the sands of time, with many locks that were bolted long ago. The unfortunate one whom stayed behind to lock the massive door was laid to rest beside it. The skeleton that rested in a sitting position against the wall, a few feet away upon the same wall as the door. The corpse looked like it had just gone to sleep. A lab coat adorned this poor soul's remains, and bits of grey hair still rested on the human's cracked skull, and a pair of clouded and cracked glasses lay upon what used to be the nose of the human. This dead man's name was never known, even though he had a name-tag thrust upon his breast, it was rusted and curled up dry by the cruel forces of time.
Sharia did not care for corpses and the remains of those long past, especially those who had caused her kind so much pain and suffering. These dusty bags of bones were the sole purpose of the Gene Wars. Now, believe me when I say this: She had nothing against humans in general, but she knew what had went on down in these labs. With the blood-stained history of the Gene Wars, she knew one way or another that the remains of those whom lie before her were part of it all. Sharia was more interested in the giant door boldly standing before her, not weakened by time, but rusted and degraded by it. This door stood as a testament to the raw stopping power of iron, and the door's makers wanted to make sure that this door stayed shut... and it had brilliantly had made it so for 330 years.
Time Period/Year: 2334 AD
Sharia pulled with all her might upon the old and very rusty metal door, but it would not budge. She sighed at the very aspect of trying to get the door open, because not only was it sealed shut by many locks, combinations, and 3 solid feet of titanium, it was also rusted firmly to it's foundations by time's gentle persuasion. The arctic fox shook her head and scraped at the door with her short claws, some chips of rust came off, but she knew that it would take at least half a month's work before they put even a golf-ball sized hole in the massive hunk of metal standing in front of them. The smell of rust, corpses, and air that hadn't been breathed in hundreds of years, dulled her senses. The dim light in which the small lamp gave off, didn't help when she made her way to the other side of the door's face. Sharia concentrated with her eyes on the door's surface for a keyhole, lock, or anything! When she made her way to the right side of the door again she noticed something, a dent, in the cement wall. She put a short index claw inside the dent and pushed, pulled, and wiggled it around. Sharia was surprised when it flew open on its own and a panel with number buttons and a screen lit up in a frenzy of little lights and gave off mechanical sounds that sounded as if it was going to explode. Sharia ran for cover and ducked her head down, and put her tail between her legs and waited for some sort of explosion, and the others did something along those lines as well. Another on her team, a male fox morph named Tenner (the rest of the team called him Lock or Lock Pick for his skill in picking locks,) came over to the crazy little machine and chuckled lightly as he pushed a slightly bigger button on the panel and all went silent, and the lights flickered their last before dieing away.
Tenner laughed at the rest of the assortment of morphs and humans clinging to each other for dear life, "No applause please, I'm just too gracious," he said with a idiot's grin on his muzzle, "Thank you, thank you all."
Tenner bowed to an imaginary audience, except for the ones still laying on the floor clinging to each other, no one else was there to admire his skill. Sharia got up the moment he took his first bow and grabbed him by the scruff of his silver winter fur he was wearing, "Damn it Ten, I was seriously scared there! Stop acting like an idiot!" but even as shi said this, shi was laughing at his antics, she pushed him playfully out of the way of the panel.
Tenner gave hir a seductive look "Sorry Shari, I was just I loving the way you had your tail between your -----" but before he could finish, Sharia had already unscrewed the rusty bolts from the panel with a automatic screwdriver, removed the panel, and then threw the whole mess towards Tenner's head. Tenner quickly dodged the aerial assault of panels and screws, but he got the point and made a zipper motion over his muzzle. Sharia, pleased with this, went about her work upon the inner workings of the strange device connected to the wall.
Sharia motioned for Tenner to come to hir, and Tenner quickly obeyed, "Take a look at this," shi pointed towards the assorted wires and small connecters inside, and pulled out a abnormally thick wire still stuck inside the inner workings, "What's this supposed to be?"
Tenner looked at the wire for about half a minute, and Sharia was getting impatient. Tenner finally broke the silence 12 seconds later with a snap of his paw, and dug into his coat pockets. Sharia cocked hir head to the side and looked at Tenner with a deer-in-the-headlights look, but Tenner only smiled and pulled out a little pocket saw/knife. Tenner smiled "We're very, very lucky . That's the lock wire, and if someone cuts it or it shorts it out with electricity, the door will open.....or just remain closed. It's all up you to you, you wanna cut it or spend 2 months working this door open?" Sharia sighed, ether way it was going to be hell opening this door, and there was a slim chance this would work. She took the miniature saw and started to work.
After much toil upon the old yet still strong wire, Sharia and Tenner broke and ripped the wire apart. There was a moment of silence as Sharia and the rest of the team looked upon the reinforced door......nothing. Sharia threw down the tools in sheer frustration, "Damn it Lock! Great plan! Now it'll nev----," but just as she was about to wreak her wrath upon the unlucky fox, there was a creaking and a groaning, almost like someone was trying to lift something that was too heavy. Then there was a screeching and grinding of locks coming undone, and the sound of the huge rusty door's movement, screeching and screaming like a banshee, it was all music to Sharia's ears. As the door was opening, a strange and faint blue light shone through the cracked opening that the door was slowly making bigger. Sharia rushed into the opening when it was big enough and trotted through an amazing place. Sharia walked down a long cement hall, just like the long corridors that she explored while coming to the door, and all around her were capsules, pill-like things that stood straight up against the walls and the only openings that could be seen on them were little windows that resided on the top-most part of these capsules. The faint blue light was shining brightly, further down the long hall, so she ran towards it. Her mind was racing, and a million thoughts went through her head at once as she ran down the rows upon rows of capsules. "How can there be power after all this time? Is it a computer? Is there a human? A morph?" All these questions pounded at her until she got to the source of the blue light. It was one capsule, one capsule that was still operational! From what she could see, the lights were on.....but was anyone home? The little window was just a bit higher than her, but she could tip-toe to see through, and so she did. She touched the glass window....it was cold! Sharia pulled her paw back quickly... though surprised as she was, she was still determined to see inside the strange container. Sharia breathed on the cold glass and wiped away at it with her paw-pad, and what she saw shocked her... she screamed and fell back , and knocked her head on another tank. This one was long dead but its door still had power to open up. Without her knowledge, she had pressed a button on the side of the container when her arms flew back to catch her fall, and opened it up. The lights weren't on, but it wasn't empty... she turned around to look at what she had done... she screamed again as the remains of what appeared to be a wolf morph, leapt towards her. Everything went pitch black....
-20 minutes later-
Sharia awoke to the sounds of steel to titanium, as she sat up from her laying position she threw a sleeping-bag cover off of her. Her team was hard at work getting the capsules open, some had rusted shut during the long ages undisturbed. There was a screeching noise towards the left of her, and she turned to see Tenner opening another capsule, "Wait! Don't!!!" but he already had the door fully open and another skeleton collapsed at her feet. This time the corpse looked like a female tiger morph, from what the bone structure could be seen, the shoulders were less broad then a male's, and the hands and feet were also a little less large. Sharia almost wanted to cry, "All of these innocent..." then there came another screeching sound behind her. She turned just in time to see another mass of bones fall... a human! The female explorer bent down carefully, and poked around the bones "This... is a human skeleton," she picked up an arm bone and the skull, "Wait... something's different. Peter! Come take a look at this!" Peter was the team's archaeologist, and basically, he told everyone which bones were which. Peter is human, 5'11, male, 22 years old, and does not like to mess around when it comes to his job.
Peter trotted over to Sharia, and gently took the skull she was holding. It was some time after he had turned the skull over and under, examining from many angles, "This is... astounding!" he said with a light in his eyes. Peter spoke quickly as if he was trying to hurry and finish his sentence, "This is a human alright, but look at where the nose is supposed to be, there's a calcium growth just under the eye socket there, that means this human was starting to grow something of a muzzle!" Sharia couldn't believe her ears, she looked at her own muzzle and then at the 'would-be' human's muzzle.
"How can that be? Human and Morph DNA work totally different from one another, except by mating. There can't be a 20% Morph in a human... can there?"
Peter shook his head, "No, there can't, but someone was trying to break that Law of Nature with this human. Poor guy, he must have been frozen to keep him alive until they could figure how to feed him properly."
Sharia cocked her head in confusion, "What was wrong with him to begin with?"
"It was what they did to him. I'm not sure, but they must have altered his bone structure somehow. It must have sucked all the nutrients and energy he had to grow like this." Peter took a deep breath, " You see, unlike Morphs and Chakats, humans aren’t designed to grow drastically in a short period of time. From what I can tell, this human was... altered somehow to make that kind of change in a short period of time. It takes a lot for a Chakat to grow the way they do, right? That is why they eat so much. Humans however, can not process and gain the kind of energy that Chakats do. In short, this human was literally starving to death trying to grow as a chakat does." Sharia shook her head, "No, how coul…" but she was interrupted when Peter put his finger up and pointed towards some more of the remains, "Look at this too." Peter pointed towards the remains of the arm, "Look at his fingers, they started to grow more dense in the middle. You can also see the bones bending to form claws at the end! How could this be? This is remarkable!"
Sharia gave up on talking any more to Peter. The ranting archaeologist was in his own little world now. Talking to himself, and taking the skull and arm with him, he retreated to his tools and kits in his backpack to take apart and examine his treasures.
Sharia heard a screech of another door, she turned around, and a corpse of a female otter morph fell out just about hit her feet. She looked to see who did it, and Tenner poked his head out of the side of the opened door. Sharia spoke in a gentle-but-firm tone "Tenner, dear, come here."
Tenner did was he was told, and Sharia grabbed him by the scruff of his coat collar, held him close to her ear and almost split his ear-drums as she yelled, "STOP OPENING THESE THINGS!!!"
Tenner understood well, and replied in a whimpering voice, "OK", and went back to helping the others close the open doors quickly.
Sharia just shook hir head, sighed and called to the others, "We have much more important things to worry about guys! Look at this one." Shi walked over to the still-glowing, still active capsule, and tapped on its little glass window, and some part of her was expecting an answer. The curious morph thought of something, and quickly started to look around the strange tank for some sort of button, secret compartment, or anything that may have some clue as to whom the occupant of the capsule was. Sharia never knew if the occupant was a she, he, or it. All she had seen was some ghostly form. Her mind told her that she had to know some way or another.
"C'mon, there has to be some sort of ID number or somethi…" but just as the words left hir lips, hir paw drifted onto a button located on the right side of the capsule, and a little drawer at the front bottom of the glowing tank slid out. Sharia stood up quickly and wasted no time, as she looked into the drawer, and peered into the contents of the secret compartment. By now her actions lured the others toward her, and she quickly spoke, "Stay back now. Peter! Come over here!"
Peter quickly made his way towards the small group, "What is it? I'm right in the mid…" but stopped short when he saw the discovery Sharia had made, "I'll go get my tools." About a half a minute later, Peter re-appeared before them and spoke once more "Ok, what am I dealing with here?"
Sharia replied in a calm tone, "There are really old papers here Pete, and lots of old files. Do not damage any of this. It may tell us more about our little 'guest' here."
Peter replied with an air of confidence, and dash of arrogance "Please, please Sharia! I am fully capable of getting a few simple papers!" The capable human archaeologist set right off to work, first pulling out a small pair of tweezers in his right hand, and a spatula-looking tool in his left, and began his work.
~~~About 45 Minutes Later~~~
Peter wiped his forehead and breathed very slowly as he extracted the last file from the bottom of the drawer, which had been inclined to stick to the bottom of the drawer. The archaeologist was thrilled at his work, "Sharia! Come take a look!" The female arctic fox got up off her rump, and rubbed it, having sat there for nearly an hour in suspense, and trotted carefully over to the human archaeologist, "What's up?"
Peter shook his head and looked at Sharia with grim eyes, "What's up? I work my ass off for an hour, trying to get these important papers out, and all you have to say is WHAT'S UP?!" The arctic fox was taken aback by the human's sudden outburst, but then Peter's face went soft and he sighed, "Sorry. It's just that some of the papers crumbled to dust and...."
Sharia put her paw on the archaeologist’s shoulder, "It happens, alright? No need for heads to start rolling, OK?"
Peter nodded solemnly and stared at the assortment of files and things laying in front of the glowing capsule, then spoke as he pointed to one particular file. The human archaeologist slowly picked up the cracked and aged manila folder and slowly opened it, "I... think this is what you're looking for," Peter then handed the folder carefully to Sharia.
The curious fur then slowly opened the file and cocked her head to one side as she squinted her eyes and began to read the old typing aloud:
Subject Report /--\ Record Date: 9-13-2010
Code Number: 579231
Subject Name: Sherwood Dakneir
Surgeries Undergone: 0
Mental Stability: YBQ (Yet to be questioned)
Blood Type: O Negative
Condition of Health: Normal
Additional Notes: Experimentation on subject X149 did not go well in this human male's recent years. Just by the sheer will to survive, this once docile human subject turned into a killing machine. Subject is to be stored into the Cryo-tank 459 until this problem of his hostility can be resolved. If subject cannot be tamed or if subject's Metamorphosis fails, we will execute X149 before any more staff can be killed.
Chakats and the Chakat Universe created by Bernard Doove.
Story © 2009 Sherwood
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