Heyllo, everyone, it’s your favorite mad woman of the internet. I bet you’re wondering why Chapter 6 is late.
Last Monday was a holiday. So, the chapter did not get posted. Without further chit-chat, here is the chapter…
Angie had to keep herself from rolling out of bed when the banging in the hall started. She pushed her hair out of her eyes and fumbled with the covers before throwing her legs over the side of the bed.
Jade was walking down the hall with earplugs in and banging a garbage lid, “Alright, new pups, this is the one and only time I will be doing this to wake you. Get out of bed, children, and make your way to the cafeteria.”
Angie waved her hand around the area of the nightstand trying to find the lamp and stopped. She was making out the furniture and other things in the room with the little bit of light seeping from under her door. She flipped on the light and her eyes stung before they grew accustomed to the brightness. She walked over to her closet and slipped into a warm-up set and sneakers. She stopped in front of her mirror long enough to tie up her hair and open the door.
Jade smiled, “I knew you would be the first one in the hall. That’s good.”
The den mother motioned to the door at the beginning, “Go through that door and turn right. The cafeteria is at the end of the hall. Grab a tray and get in line, hun.”
Angie nodded and followed the directions and found her nose was being bombarded with a multitude of smells, some familiar and some new, but all at the same time.
“It helps if you close your eyes and focus on one smell. It takes practice, but you’ll get there.”
Angie turned to see Lorn, “You eat here?”
Lorn shrugged, “Sure, why not. The food is as good here as any place you can go. I mean it’s not as good as your mom’s, but hardly any food compares to a mother’s cooking.”
Angie nodded and closed her eyes. One by one the aromas started waning leaving the sausage and eggs at the forefront, “Wow, you’re right.”
Lorn looked surprised, “That fast? You’re quick on the draw. Nice work.”
Jade took a deep breath before opening the feral’s door. He was rocking back and forth on his bed and scratching at his skin. His arms were bloody and his head was constantly shaking back and forth. She stepped into his room and gave him another dose of sedative.
After it took hold, she lifted him and carried him to the infirmary where a doctor looked at the boy and frowned, “Feral?”
“This is the one with ADHD. We need to find a way to save him, Ajay.”
Ajay looked at Jade, “You still aren’t thinking about biting ferals a second time are you?”
“Yes, we’ve tried everything else. This is the only thing we haven’t, and I am getting tired of watching ferals be put down because we have not tried everything.”
Ajay pulled his file and scanned it, “Everything in here but who the suspected sire may be.”
“There are rumors that Armin has surfaced.”
The doctor slammed shut the file and looked at Jade, “No. He made a mess last time.”
“That’s the rumor. There is a squad dispatched to investigate.”
Ajay finished cleaning the wounds and made a note in the boy’s file, “Cody isn’t healing at the standard rate. This could also be due to the half-assed way he was bitten.”
Jade looked at the doctor, “You have documentation of the bite?”
“The person who looked him over in the emergency room took pictures, here.”
Jade took the picture and examined it, “This isn’t even a bite. It’s a nip, and it barely broke the skin.”
Ajay nodded, “That’s why he is having so much trouble.”
“If I decide to go to the council with my idea, would you back me?”
Ajay looked up from examining the boy’s pupils, “I am as tired of putting ferals down as you are, Jade. Lest you forget I am the one that has to put them to sleep. I do not take pleasure in that. I will be there with you.”
After Angie ate her last bite of breakfast, she walked out of the cafeteria and spotted a map on the wall. She looked at the colored lines on it and found out they corresponded to the stripes on the floor. She followed the one which led to the training room.
The room was as large as a basketball court with no bleachers, goals, or markings on the floor save the foot racing lanes. There were ropes hanging from the ceiling and an obstacle course that ran the perimeter of the court. She saw punching bags and even a ring at one end.
She jumped when she heard Jade, “Looking around?”
“Yeah. I’ve never seen a court-sized gym without goals and markings. It’s weird.”
Jade chuckled, “I bet it is, but we don’t teach pups how to play basketball. Here we teach them how to harness their newfound agility and strength when they are in human form so they can blend into the population.”
“Oh, well that makes sense. Does it include seeing in the dark and smelling everything under the sun?”
Jade nodded, “Yes, but Lorn will be teaching you pups how to harness your senses. I do the physical stuff.”
Angie looked confused, “I thought dudes taught that.”
“They can. We like to switch things up from time to time. Besides, we trade off after lunch. He has an agility and strength class, too.”
Angie held up a hand, “Wait, how many noobs like me are there?”
“Ten. I take five, and he takes five. The smaller the class, the better we can train you.”
“Got it,” Angie looked around, “Where are the others?”
“Let’s just say not all of them are disciplined like you are. They are probably still eating or went back to their rooms.” Jade made her way to the double doors, “You stay here and get familiar with the equipment. I will track down the other four.”
Cody opened his eyes and found himself restrained on a hospital table.
He started twitching when he heard a voice, “I know this is not the ideal way to introduce myself, but everyone calls me Ajay, and I am one of the facility’s doctors. The restraints are there to keep you from scratching yourself as I find a mixture of nerve medicines that will help balance you out.”
Cody relaxed, “You’re not trying to put me to sleep?”
Ajay looked over Cody with a soft expression, “No, Jade and I are trying to save you from that fate, son. Neither one of the two of us wants to put down another pup. After I mix the right recipe, I will administer it and then take you to a safe room until we can convince the council there is another way to help you.”
It took Jade another hour to round up the other four people.
After having them line up, she started pacing back and forth, “Though breakfast is at seven, training is promptly at 8:30. Being late will not be tolerated as your training will determine how long it will take you to acclimate to your new life and blend back into society.”
She stopped in front of one girl who was looking at her nails, “Excuse me, are we interrupting your morning routine, princess?”
The girl stopped, rolled her eyes, and sighed, “I don’t get why we have to get up so early. It’s not like we’re going to school or anything. We’re like, prisoners or something.”
Jade leaned into the girl, “Prisoners. Right. Do you know what happens to werewolves in society who don’t blend in? They are hunted by humans, drugged, and cut open for study. If you don’t believe me, we have records, meticulous and detailed records.”
The girl gulped, “Really?’
“Really, I do not lie to my pups. This training will keep you alive and hidden from those who would turn you into lab experiments. So, I suggest you stop worrying about your fake nails that your real ones are going to reject and start paying attention to your lessons.”
Jade continued to pace, “The first thing we will practice is our speed. You will notice you are faster than you were, very much so. Let me demonstrate.”
Jade walked over to the starting line of the track lines which followed alongside the obstacle course.
She took a deep breath and started jogging, “Those of you who are athletic will recognize this pace as a normal jogging pace to warm up before a meet.”
“This one,” She sped up slightly, “ fluctuates according to your athletic skill and stamina. This is the one you will have to practice if you wish to continue competing. Now, this is your wolf pace.”
In half a stride she was speeding around the track and stopped in front of the pups, “That is the pace you will acquire with training, but it is one you must never use when humans are around.”
One kid looked around, “We’re human. Why do you keep referring like we’re not human?”
Jade stood in front of the boy, “You are no longer human. You are a cursed entity that turns into a flesh-eating wolf that people hunt. The faster you understand that the faster you will learn.”
The boy shook his head, “We look human.”
Jade motioned for them to follow her to one end of the gym. She lowered the lights pulled down a screen and hauled out a digital projector, “What I am about to show is graphic, but it is what happens when you turn during a full moon. If you are weak of stomach, you’re cleaning your own puke.”
The five stood watching in horror as they heard and saw flesh rip, limbs elongate, and a face contort into a snout. Two of them lost their breakfast when the werewolf tore open a deer and dove head first into the carcass.
Jade walked over to a supply closet and returned with mops and a bucket with detergent in it, “Here you both go. It’s your mess. You clean it.”
The boy who was arguing with Jade earlier stood with his mouth agape pointing at the screen.
Jade nodded, “Yes, that’s what you are when you change. Now, tell me you’re a human. I know it’s harsh, but I don’t candy-coat things here.”
She looked at the others, “Now when the messes are cleaned up, we will continue with speed training.”