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20 / F / In the jaws of a...
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Posted 11/23/09
Homeostasis

Prologue

When I woke up, the first thing that greeted my eyes were a multiple of colors. Where I come from, this was very rare; Serephs usually preferred neutral colors, like white and sometimes a very light peach. Because of this, the walls of my own cage were a plain white, blank and somewhat frugal. The fact that whatever was before me now blared and stood out like millions of neon lights (which I supposed they were), lead me to one conclusion: I was out of my cage and apparently, not in a Sereph-frequented area.

This revelation triggered different reactions in me. One was to cause havoc. Whenever I did this, which was often during those first few months I was captured and brought to the Showcase Center, one of them would close the curtains of my cage, shielding me from the disapproving, disgusted faces of the onlookers. Another instinctive reaction was to bolt for it. With any luck, I'd bump into one of the citizen Serephs and be taken back to my cage before any real harm happened to me.

Instead, I did neither. I allowed my vision to clear and the dull, familiar sting of a tranquilizer dart fade away from my head. When the dizzying pain gradually receded, a million thoughts--mainly questions--took its place. Where am I? Why am I not in my cage? What am I going to do now?

No answers came to mind, so I settled with experimenting with my body; I checked if my body parts were still working, if I could still hear, smell, see, feel. Everything was still in contact, so that meant I hadn't been beaten by the caretakers and left to die.

Then again, I could already be dead.

Stop being so pessimistic, I snapped at myself. I couldn't be dead. If I was, then the pain should've been over by now, right?

Beep, beep!

With frighteningly loud clarity, a blaring light flashed past me, and then another and another. My body moved on its own and I hastily sat up from the... the bench I realized I laid on, taking a look around.

In fairness, what I saw scared the shit out of me.

Wherever I was, it was certainly very loud... and colorful. Dozens of multicolored lights shone in the impending darkness like stars drowned in paint. Green, blue, red, yellow, orange, purple...

And it was also very noisy. Not just one loud sound at a time, it was a combination of bangs, claps, beeps, shrieks, honks all at once.

The light burned my eyes and the noise hurt my ears. How absolutely terrible. It seemed not even my nose was spared from this dastardly place. The air around me reeked of pollution and gas and oh God... I covered my fragile nose with one hand, squeezing my eyes as hard as I could. Maybe, if wished hard enough, I'd be back in my safe cage at the Showcase Center.

It didn't matter if I was treated like an animal there. That's okay. At least I had shelter and food to keep me content. I wouldn't die a homeless creature.

Compared to Even, this world was so... different. Tall structures were everywhere, all crowded in one space, all trying to reach for the sky. Giant humani, still and lifeless towered over fast, racing blurs.

Humani.

That word brought back a feeling. I couldn't understand what that feeling was; there was an aching sense of homecoming, of nostalgia, of... of... something.

But wait... wasn't I of the human race? I remember something... a vague memory from my early domina...

"You captured one of them?" a voice whispered. Serephs. "You don't know what that human can do! They're dangerous!"

"Don't worry. I've shot it with the Na*O2 dart. It won't be waking up for a while. And when it does, it'll be behind bars."

"This isn't funny!"

"It's for educational purposes, Loretta. The Herlings could know about the humani and not to cross them. Besides, they're endangered too. We can't just have Serpehs, Herlings or adults, hunting humans! Millions of them are dying everyday; we can't afford that at all."

"But... this could end so badly..."

"I know. But we have to risk it. For our sake and for the human race."


Human race. I remember now. I'm a human.

If I'm a human, that must mean only one thing. If I was abandoned in a completely strange place teeming with people: then I was released from my cage and thrust into my so-called 'natural habitat'.

I couldn't have wished for anything less.
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