Thunder detonated with a loud boom over the sleeping city. At this time of night, many people would be spending the night safe and blissfully unaware in their homes.

That would, unfortunately, not be so in the case of a certain someone.

The figure, hidden from clear view by a raincoat and ball cap, moved through the soaked streets as quickly as his feet would carry him.

Why did it have to be me, he thought as he hurried to stay out of the potential sight of anyone who happened to be wandering amidst the monsoon.

Any longer and his fur and skin would be even more thoroughly soaked through.

His fur. He still couldn't believe that he had to apply a personal pronoun to the word.

As the storm picked up, he slowed down to give his eyes time to adjust to the rain, and for the tumult raging inside to still.

The last thing he needed was that thing making it all worse. He should have never gotten that so-called "cure". Maybe if he were dead, he might have at least been with his family, in a way.

With a growl that he didn't even want to acknowledge, he forced the thought away.

As another blast came down, he could hear a somewhat distant noise…

A howl.

A chill went down his spine.

It couldn't be that, could it? He'd heard tales of that monster, but…

Forcing an even darker troop of thoughts away, he searched through the storm for any sort of sanctuary from it.

Soon enough, he found a small strip of black amidst the dark grayish gloom.

# # #

Almost collapsing into the alley he'd found, he suddenly felt exhausted as the adrenaline left his body. Like a siren, sleep called for him. He began to listen, too tired to even dream, until a sound caught his ear.

Trying to ignore it at first, he found that the talking kept a constant pace in spite of the rain that should have drowned it out.

Another one of his freakish "abilities"... Maybe he should have been glad that his now elven ears had an actual use, but he honestly wanted them off his head more than anything.

Just as he had this thought, though, someone passed by. Thinking quickly, he dipped behind a trash can. A guy decked out in combat gear did briefly sweep the area nearby, but missed him.

"...must be just the rain…"

The man had gone away before he let himself breathe…and let out a rather canine whimper.

It appeared that just sneaking away from the scene and pretending nothing happened wouldn't be happening, especially as other people streamed by wearing similar clothing. His only real choice was to investigate.

After all, as little as wanted to admit it, there was a part of him that waa kind of curious. It seemed like that would never change no matter what he looked like.

# # #

The boy moved on down the alley while keeping hidden, only finding his curiosity rewarded when a group of men walked by carrying a large package.

What was that for? He decided to listen in, and amidst the increasing cacophony…

"...this serum to the back…"

Now his ears really perked up at that. Serum? It couldn't be that, could it? He moved in deeper until he could see what looked like a security door.

Sure enough, his suspicions were seemingly confirmed when another soldier mentioned not wanting anything to do with making "mutated freaks".

Before the lupine boy could make his next move, the chatter died down and made a way for a new presence to make itself known. He could only guess from the dumpster he was now taking cover behind, but it probably wasn't good if it could silence a small army.

As the moments passed, he was laid down stock still, strangely very much aware of how soaked to the marrow he really was.

If he made it out of this, he would need a bath.

Peeking out from his cover, he decided to take a look at the new person. He squinted.

The figure looked like a young woman, maybe in her twenties physically, but almost as if she was crafted completely out of metal. Was she some kind of robot?

"You have the last of the packages, correct?" The woman's tone showed no emotion, but kept everyone listening at attention regardless.

The audience saluted at once. It was creepy how in sync they were, considering the somewhat unorganized convoy that he had been evading on his way here.

"Then prepare them for shipment. 'He' will not be pleased if one of them is wasted."

Dread started to cloud the boy's thoughts. Maybe he really was in too deep… He stumbled as he got up to scamper away, causing the strange woman's gaze to fix itself specifically on him, and in a movement faster than he could ever perceive, she was right on top of him, staring him in the face.

"Hmm… Reject."

He didn't have the chance to smart at the remark before he found himself thrown out into the sea of bodies. Surprisingly enough, he wasn't hurt by the fall, and if he weren't staring military-grade laser guns in the face, that fact might have meant more to him…

"Leave no trace, and keep on schedule," came the distant command. Another sound was just audible to him in the midst of more thunder.

Another howl.

The next moments would come as a blur of motion. The group of would-be executioners turned their weaponry away from him, looking up, just before they began falling systematically by the hands of...something.

Shots rang out, catching the creature as the boy clambered to his feet. A canine creature straight out of one of his nightmares seemed to tower over him. This had to be that monster.

It clutched its head and side, clearly struggling with something besides the obvious pain.

Did he dare walk up to it?

Stepping around the fallen soldiers, he glanced between the sight before him and the outside world. He'd made his decision…

...only to find himself locked in place…

Staring at it snarling like that, for just a moment, he felt five years old again…

...only to be snapped out of his would-be trip down memory lane by the creature suddenly and swiftly leaping over him, causing him to duck reflexively.

It turned out that he had nothing to worry about, as the creature had merely taken out a soldier who had been playing possum.

He opened his mouth to respond, to no avail as his rescuer fled, and he was soon swallowed up in a sea of darkness.