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 ALTERED STATES - EPISODE 1

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Vaudeville

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PostSubject: ALTERED STATES - EPISODE 1   Fri Apr 24, 2009 11:54 pm

CHAPTER 1 — Desert & Detainment
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Tom's eyes opened slowly to a blurry world. He could not focus but his sense of smell was keen. Through his cloudy mind he picked up the scent blood, then that of Kitty and Leo, mixed with the aroma of diesle fuel, oil, the Rat man and the others of his party. There was another scent, he blinked, "MAN!" he thought. The scent of the soldiers was strong, but there was another scent. One he did not recognize and animal scent but not that of the mutant dogs or the ones Kitty had called Rex.

Then pain, immense pain in his chest and head.

As his other senses slowly returned to him he heard Leo's voice, then the a strangers voice. Next he realized he had been bound and he felt hard grates beneath him. As he looked around slowly he recognized the bars of a cage. He had been captured and was in a cage! Anger grew in him as he slowly struggled at his bonds. Looking around his cage, Tom saw a small rough bar, a barb at the joint of two bars, on the bottom of the cage, a flaw in the maufacture of the cage had left a rough weld.

Tom struggled over to where he could lie on his back, his hands behind him, and slowly began to rub the wire tie back and forth across the barb.

* * *


Dalton didn’t even glance back, he merely raised his hand as thought o say ‘so long’ to Leo. Kitty, on the other hand, watched Leo with the rapt attention a child would watch a frightening, babbling madman. She knew his frustration. She felt it too. And to make matters worse, Leo was in a completely different truck than she was. She couldn’t even be near him to do anything to protect him. Not that she could right now anyway. But she DID hear him say her name and while it may not have seemed like it, Leo gave her a great deal of comfort. Maybe it was the way he said it or maybe it was just the fact it was her name spoken in h is voice, what ever it was, she tried to give him a small smile.

Movement beside her caught Kitty’s attention and she glanced over to see Tom moving. Glancing back at Leo, she nodded her head towards the cage next to her, not sure Leo could see Tom yet or not. She knelt down closer to Tom.

“PSSST”

It was all she could do right now to get his attention. When he looked at her, she turned around so he could see her hands and she quickly signed to him as best she could.

soldiers. drugs. in compound someplace. all captured.

Turning back around so he could see her face, Kitty gave him that same desperate, fearful look she had given Leo just moments before. Turning back around, she signed again.

leo awake.

Turning back around, Kitty nodded slightly then lifted p and peered over at Leo again. Seeing him reaching into his coat and the look on his face change, Kitty let her eyes travel to where his hand was and she saw the lock pick in his fingers. When she looked back to his face, she saw the twinkle in his blue eyes and the small, half grin on his lips. With a knowing look in her own eyes now, she nodded ever so slightly as she noticed his gestures.

Looking around, Kitty sat back in her cage and began taking in their surroundings. Where ever they were, they were in a covered place. From what she could see, it was an old abandon building of some kind. And the soldiers were camped out in a circle all around them. This wasn’t going to be easy…at all. And the vehicles were all pointed facing the circle so in case anything happened, they could use their lights to illuminate the prisoners quickly.

* * *


As Kitty and Leo exchanged looks and then communication with each other, a pair of gold eyes watched everything. The panther brother had sunk back into his cage, becoming the obscure creature he was best known for being. There was much to be said about keeping out of sight. You could learn a lot.

Like now.

When he figured out what Leo and Kitty were plotting, he grinned to himself. Like it or not, that human male was going to release him as well. And if he didn’t, he’d blow the cover clean off their little escape party.

Glancing to see that Kitty wasn’t looking in the direction of her human, the panther brother rose up slowly. With a final check to make sure Kitty wasn’t looking, he quickly reached his hand out and grasped Leo by the throat, squeezing just enough so that the human could feel the razor sharp claws that were posed to dig into the tender flesh and cut of f some of Leo’s air supply. Pressing his face to the bars of his cage, the panther actually spoke in a gruff voice.

“If you think you are going to leave me behind, you’re sadly mistaken. You either get me out of this cage when you do all the others, or I expose your plans to the soldiers. And then I will kill you for killing my brother. The soldiers won’t mind….they enjoy a little entertainment now and then.”

A lecherous smile eased over the panther’s face then and he glanced over his shoulder towards Kitty then glanced back at Leo with that same smile.

“They will even let her entertain them. They don’t care if she’s hybrid or not. She’s female…with all the working parts. That’s all they care about.”

Seeing the look on Leo’s face, he grinned even more showing his teeth once more before roughly letting go of Leo and pushing the human back against his cage and sinking back down into his own cage like nothing ever happened between him and Leo. Still, he gave a glaring look at Leo just to make sure he understood.

* * *


No doubt the panther hybrid could feel Leo’s Adams apple bob against the creature’s clawed grip on his throat. When at last the panther man let him go, Leo dropped to the floor of his cage, swallowing and rubbing his throat. He glared over his shoulder at the dark man.

“I would have let you go if you’d simply asked,” he whispered. Then, seeing the cat man’s eyes turn hard as marbles, he said unhappily, “Oh, I’ll let you out. I don’t believe any creature deserves to be caged. Even a creep like you.” He gave his throat a last, resentful massage and looked across at Kitty.

“I’m sorry to hear about your brother,” he said to the panther man without looking at him. “I didn’t realize he’d been injured enough to die.”

Leo was glad to see Tom had come around. Gavin was still conscious, of course, despite his rough handling and whatever drugs they’d shot in his veins, but the rat man could hardly be described as alert. In fact, he was smiling lazily and his eyes, having lost their sunglasses, were half-lidded. He looked like he was having a delicious daydream.

Skittles was stirring and moaning a little and Gregory was still down for the count. They could hardly affect an escape until everyone was up and knew the plan—but how long would that take, and how long could they afford to wait? After what the panther guy said about their captors, Leo wanted to escape tonight, no matter what. If anyone dared to lay a finger on Kitty…

He turned his attention to the activities of their captors and their surroundings, trying to put his plan into a form they could actually manage. His bike was on the truck, he saw, with huge relief. That also meant they should still have most of their supplies. But what about their weapons? If they were going to survive more than just this escape, they were going to need something, at least.

Maybe if just one or two people snuck out of their cages to gather supplies while the others waited with their doors unlocked, their escape wouldn’t be noticed right away. Then the slowest people could escape on the bike, maybe creating a diversion while everyone else ran like hell.

A diversion. That’s what they really needed…

* * *


A good hour away, the hairy beast lifted his horned head while his nostrils flared, sampling the air. Even the monster couldn't quite decide if he was following the tracks of the soldier's vehicles, or if the vehicles had coincidentally gone the same direction he was headed. In any case, the beast continued his hunched loping, long legs eating up the dusty ground. East. Ever east.
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PostSubject: Re: ALTERED STATES - EPISODE 1   Sat Apr 25, 2009 12:12 am

Tom finally managed to cut through the plastic wire tie that bound his hands, then concentrating, his fingernail grew into a razor sharp claw and he cut the tie on his feet. Still sitting with his hands behind him. Tom gave a couple of soft whimmpers, to try and get Leo or Kitty's attention, as he sat there with a determined menacing look on his face, sniffing the air and listening closely.


Last edited by Lac'Nal on Wed Apr 29, 2009 10:19 am; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Story continuity)
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PostSubject: Re: ALTERED STATES - EPISODE 1   Tue Apr 28, 2009 1:45 pm



Kitty glanced back at Leo and saw the look on his face. He didn’t look happy at all. She couldn’t blame him, really. He was stuck, in a cage, simply because he was in the company of someone like her. She wouldn’t be surprised if he decided to cut his ties with her all together after this fiasco. Rightfully so, she thought to herself. Of course, unbeknownst to her, the look on Leo’s face had nothing to do with what Kitty was thinking. It was due to a rather rude conversation the panther brother had with Leo.


Gregory began to stir as did Skittles. Kitty was hoping Gregory would sleep a little longer. No doubt he would have something to say that might sway the soldiers to somehow dispose of her and Tom. After all, he made no bones about how he felt about hybrids.

But it was Gavin Kitty was most concerned about. He looked as though he were in some sort of drunken stupor. Not knowing what happened to the rat man, she furrowed her brows then looked over at Leo. When she had his attention, she tilted her head towards Gavin in a nod like gesture as much to say ‘what’s with him?’.

Frustration welled up again. The least these soldiers could do was let her have her hands to talk with. In another desperate attempt to free them, she tugged, pulled and wiggled her hands to try and free them from the wire ties. All she received as a reward for her efforts was a painful sting and the feel of something warm and sticky on her hands. As her sensitive nose sniffed the air, she knew she’d torn the fresh around her wrists more and new blood mingled with the blood already starting to dry from her earlier struggles. It was useless. Her hands were secure and they weren’t going to be released until the soldiers cut the ties off.

Giving Leo a desperate look once more, Kitty glanced down at Tom when she heard his whimpering. There was no doubt Tom wasn’t happy, like the rest of the rag tag group, at being confined. Like her, Kitty could tell his hands and feet were bound by wire ties as well and knew it was just as uncomfortable for him as it was her. More so for he was much bigger than she was and had less space to move around. Of course Kitty didn’t know he’d gotten his hands free and therefore she tried her best to let him know she was there for him….even if it was for nothing more than moral support. Her mouth moved as she silently spoke to him.

I’m so sorry

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PostSubject: Re: ALTERED STATES - EPISODE 1   Tue Apr 28, 2009 6:53 pm



After Leo got a good feel for the movements of the military personnel, his attention went back to his companions. Skittles was fully awake and muttering through the bars at Gregory, “Guv… Guv! We’re in the hoosegow, looks like.”

Gregory mumbled so softly Leo couldn’t be sure if he was coherent or not, even though their cages were right beside each other.

But it was Tom who captured Leo’s attention the most. With both Leo and Kitty’s awareness on him now, Tom carefully shifted and, when the patrolling guard was out of view, showed them his freed and bloodied hands. After Leo’s and Kitty’s eyes, as well as the ever-sharp panther brother’s and Skittles’s eyes, flashed wide in recognition, he hid them behind his back again and continued to look as if he was still tied.

Leo gave Tom a subtle nod, eyes fixed on the wolf man. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Kitty dart a glance at him. Now Leo was more certain than ever that they had to make their break soon, or lose their chance forever.

He leaned toward the panther brother’s cage and said in his lightest whisper, “You want to escape with us, you have to do your part. Tell Tom what I tell you in sign language.” Tom’s cage, between Kitty’s and Gavin’s, was on a separate vehicle, and Leo was afraid of speaking as loud as he would have to if he was to communicate with them.

The cat man glared at him but gave no sign of objection, so Leo assumed he would comply. He said, “Tell him to act ill, and when I get that guard to go over to his cage, to spring up and drop him as quietly as possible.”

The panther man stared at Leo a moment longer, then, after a surreptitious glance to make sure he wasn’t being observed, signed the words to Tom.

Tom nodded his understanding and proceeded to curl up on the bottom of his cage like a sick animal. The wolf man maneuvered his position so that he could rise from it fluidly and easily when the time came.

Kitty, who had also been able to read the signs, stared at Leo and mouthed something he couldn’t quite catch. No doubt she wanted to know what he was thinking, but she would have to be patient a few moments longer.

Gregory made another noise and was now sitting more or less upright. His expression was as hard to read as ever behind his dark goggles, but Leo thought it might have been something as gloating and caustic as an, ‘I knew this would happen,’ expression.

Leo fished his motorcycle keys out of his jacket and slipped them in a pants pocket; next to come out were the lock picks. As he quietly rummaged, he scooted up against the bars separating him and Gregory and murmured, “We’re getting out of here. Just hang tight, okay?”

There was one guard patrolling the central area where their vehicles, the ones with the cages on it, were located. Leo could also see half of one guard standing watch at the crumbly cement entrance to the parking ramp, and there might have been another because, though the entrance was out of earshot, he saw the half-a-guard turn sometimes like he was talking to someone. Dalton was still in a meeting with someone, somewhere, the vigilante-looking man who didn’t seem to belong with the rest was also out of sight, and the remainder of the military personnel had just settled in for a bite to eat. They were concealed from view at one end of the vehicle corral, but Leo could hear sounds of eating and drinking that made him realize how thirsty he was. Now or never, Leo thought.

He waited for the patrolling guard to turn away and begin walking towards the other end of the encampment before he slipped a hand out to the lock on his cage. A crook-tipped pick nosed into the hole and Leo bit his tongue. It was an awkward position, his wrist cocked like a crane’s neck, and he feared he wouldn’t pop it before the guard turned around again. Luckily, it wasn’t a superior lock—not compared to some of the locks in the ruins Leo had explored before—and he heard a satisfying click before the guard even reached the end of his run. Leaving his cage door closed, Leo sat back and waited. He could feel the eyes of his imprisoned companions on him, tense and waiting, wondering what he was about to do. There was no time to explain at the moment, though; they couldn’t risk discovery.

“Hey, excuse me,” Leo called conversationally to the patrolman as he passed near.

The man, tall and probably twice Leo’s weight—all of it muscle—glanced at him thuggishly but said nothing. Leo was glad he was having Tom do the takedown. While Leo might have managed the stunt himself, he trusted Tom’s superior speed and strength when it came to dealing with a hefty specimen like this one.

Leo went on, “Something’s wrong with that guy,” he pointed across to the prone Tom, who was doing a good job of acting, panting pathetically while managing to make it look like his hands were still bound. You’d think he was a possum hybrid, Leo thought wryly. “Maybe an allergic reaction to your tranquilizer stuff? I’m no doctor, but I thought I saw some hives on him…”

The soldier snorted and walked over to Tom’s cage. He leaned close to the bars. “I don’t see any hives,” was all he had time to say before Tom sprang up like a snare and seized the man’s head through the bars, one palm covering the man’s mouth. With a sharp twist, Tom produced a fragile cracking sound from the man’s neck and the man sagged. Tom lowered the body to the ground like a velvet curtain.

Leo immediately wriggled out of his leather jacket and stuffed part of it through the bars next to Gregory’s cage. “Keep this hanging up so, in a casual glance, my cage doesn’t look empty,” he said to Gregory, who shook his head a little, like that was the stupidest idea he'd ever heard, or maybe he just wasnt with it yet. “Don’t you dare lose my jacket.”

With the coast clear—for now—Leo creaked his cage door open and slipped out. It was harder to move than he expected, for he had grown stiff from waiting in the cramped cage, and he felt like he was making more noise than he ought to be. Fortunately, the soldiers were making more noise.

“Hey, remember what I said,” rasped the panther man.

“Yeah, keep your shirt on; I remember.” Leo scuttled across the space to where the patrolman’s body lay and dragged it under the truck. The effort caused a light sweat to break in his armpits and at the back of his neck. He proceeded to strip the man and pull the uniform on over his clothes. It was baggy on him, but would have to do. As the final touch, he put the man’s smelly hat on over his tousled blond hair.

Feeling like he could blend in for at least a little while, he emerged from the dank shadows under the truck breathing a little easier. A quick glance showed him that no one had come by—or that no one who had passed near had bothered to linger in the area. Things were going according to plan.

Leo went down the line of cages, unlocking each one, even the panther brother’s, and after the first two, he had the pattern down and could pick the lock in the matter of an eye-blink. To each of his fellow inmates, he urgently whispered, “I’m gonna get our supplies and some weapons. Don’t go anywhere, or it’ll blow our cover. If it sounds like I’ve failed, then scram.”

He wasn’t sure how well Gavin understood him because he barely responded, and he was worried the panther would run the first chance he got, but both waited. The panther said, “Get me a weapon, too, and don’t forget it.” Kitty was the one who looked the most worried, indicating the bonds on her hands and feet again.

“Don’t worry, I’ll get something to cut you free,” he promised.

She mouthed his name, a silent command to do what, he did not know.

“If you have to scram, then scram as best you can,” he told her. “Don’t worry about me. My luck hasn’t run out yet.” He flashed a grin and began a hurried search for anything that might be their supplies and weapons, hoping his disguise would last long enough.

After three minutes that might have taken a year off his life, fast as his heart was beating, he arrived at an obvious storage vehicle. The back hatch was segmented metal that could roll up into an overhead cradle, and it was partly open, as if someone had just retrieved something from inside and hadn’t bothered to close it all the way. Leo grabbed the lip of the door and flinched, preparing to make a racket as he hauled it fully open, but the door wouldn’t budge. Something’s jamming it from the inside, he realized.

He reached into the opening to see if he could pull any supplies out through it and felt a blunt, cool object with unusual indentations. Jimmying it out, he found Gregory’s auto-bow. His joy was short-lived as he strained to grab something more from inside but found little within grasp. There was the pliant and familiar edge of his backpack, but it was too heavy for his straining fingers to get a good hold on. He hunkered over and tried sticking his head through the opening and almost got stuck. His hat fell off and he snatched it up, stuffing it back on his head in frustration.

He could go in through the front of the vehicle, but he was sure someone would notice him if he tried that, for the soldiers were nearby. Then the image of a narrow opening beside a dumpster and Gavin, wriggling through it with impossible contortions, passed through his mind. Gavin, he thought. This is a job for Gavin…

“What are you doing, there?” he heard a man’s voice behind him and froze.

Act natural, he told himself, and, without turning around, replied, “Oh, just…stuff, you know…”

A hand gripped his shoulder and spun him around and Leo found himself smiling in counterfeit innocence at an astonished soldier.

“Who are you?” the man demanded.

Leo groped up the auto-bow behind him and swung it like a bat into the side of the man’s head. The soldier staggered back and crumpled to the floor, unconscious. “I’m the worst headache you ever had,” Leo told him, and dragged him under the storage truck.

Feeling the seconds slipping away, each one a step closer to discovery and quite possibly, death, Leo stripped the man in rough hastiness, using the soldier’s undershirt to bind his hands and his socks to gag him. He left the soldier in his boxer shorts in the shadows beneath the vehicle and crept back into the corral with the auto-bow and spare uniform bundled under his arm.

His companions still waited in their unlocked cages and he could almost feel the disappointment and anxiety in their gazes, like seaweed slithering over his skin, as he returned with little to show for his efforts. He tried to reassure them with an air-patting hand gesture and slipped Gregory the auto-bow, saying, “I hope it’s not dented, or something… Anyway, don’t go anywhere yet, okay?”

Then he headed across the way and as he passed Tom’s and Kitty’s cages, he whispered, “I can get our weapons and supplies with Gavin’s help. We’ll be back in a flash and then we can make a break for it.” He added as reassurance, “I’ve got wire cutters in my pack,” before moving on to Gavin’s cage. The rat man was still woozy from the narcotics and grinned at him placidly.

“Gavin, hurry up and put this uniform on and come with me!” Leo hissed.

Whatever else the drugs may have done to the rat man, they hadn’t made him argumentative, and, with complacent sluggishness that had Leo gritting his teeth, he slipped into the uniform and chuckled softly at the way it bagged and bulged on his lean figure. As Gavin clambered out of his cage, he fumbled his sunglasses up from the cage floor and put them on, smiling like it was all a marvelous joke.

“Gavin, listen to me,” Leo whispered, gripping Gavin’s shoulders and staring at his cracked and crooked sunglasses. “You’ve been drugged.”

Gavin snickered.

“Just don’t do anything except what I tell you, okay?” Leo tried to keep his exasperation under the lid, but he knew it was only a matter of time before someone noticed that their cages were empty, or realized two soldiers were missing.

Fearing Gavin might decide to scurry away, Leo grabbed him and guided him towards the storage truck, pushing his head down to duck as two soldiers passed on the other side of a half-track. Oh, Jesus, don’t let them notice anything…
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PostSubject: Re: ALTERED STATES - EPISODE 1   Wed Apr 29, 2009 10:09 am

The soldiers hadn’t had a good nights rest in a few weeks so when they stopped for the night, after finally seeing something worth while for their efforts, they were a little more lacks than normal. They were in the compound they had set up as a staging area a long time ago. Nothing dared come here and try to do anything. Not unless it had a death wish, of course.

As Leo and Tom pulled off their ploy and knocked out the first soldier, those who weren’t on duty enjoyed a meal in the mess tent sharing stories and laughs. It wasn’t too often they were allotted the down time as Major Strauss was rather anal at times about duty and responsibility.

With minimal men on duty to guard the prisoners and act as sentries, Leo discovered his efforts weren’t as hindered as they would have been had the group stopped outside the compound. But even he knew that all good things came to an end and luck ran out….sooner rather than later.

As the two soldiers walked slowly towards the trucks, they were still sharing a few laughs from some funny story they’d heard during their meal. Guns slung haphazardly over their shoulders, they took their time moving towards the prisoners. As they approached, they called out to one of the downed men that had been disposed of.

“Hey. Gordon. It’s yours and Baker’s turn for chow. We’ll keep an eye out on the derelicts while you two go stuff your pie holes.”

When they didn’t receive an answer right away, they called out again.

“Gordon? Baker? You guys alright?”

A bit more cautious now, they slid the guns off their shoulders and held them loosely before them. As they moved closer, they could see two figures standing together close to the trucks.

“Will you two stop playing pussy foot with each other and get your asses over to the chow hall and eat, for Christs sake?”

It wasn’t until the men were a few feet away from Leo and Gavin that they realized what was happening. Both of them sucked in their breath to yell a warning as they pulled their guns up but they never got the chance to do anything. Two figures pounced on them from overhead. Tom and the panther brother attacked both men silencing them.

The panther brother looked over at Leo and growled.

“Stop goofing off. We’re running out of time. In a few minutes, this place will be swarming with soldiers.”

Back in the truck, Kitty, still bound and in her cage for fear of alerting the others, looked as though she were ready to completely freak out. She was fighting her feral instincts more than she ever had and it was all she could do to keep herself in control. The only thing that kept her from turning into a full animal was that voice in her head that told her if she did, Leo would no doubt be dead before she could hit the ground.

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PostSubject: Re: ALTERED STATES - EPISODE 1   Wed Apr 29, 2009 5:11 pm

Tom, , stood up over the soldier whose neck he had broken and gave the panther brother a frustrated and semi-threatening look, then turned to Leo and Gavin and said softly, in his gravely voice. "Where is our equiptment?" He then followed Leo and Gavin to the supply truck. He lifted the segmented cover up enough for Gavin to crawl inside. As he held the cover open, Tom listened closely for any approaching soldiers. He whispered to Leo, "I smell something coming closer. It is not the scent of man or mutant, it is animal, but it does not have the stench of a Rex. The scent is musky like damp fur, stronger than the scent of rats."
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PostSubject: Re: ALTERED STATES - EPISODE 1   Wed Apr 29, 2009 5:41 pm


He'd felt this way before. He knew it was a life or death situation and he knew his mind was altered, but this did little to stop Gavin from finding nearly everything around him at least a little amusing. At the same time, his muscles felt as though they had been filled with cement and every movement was a test of strength and endurance. At the same time, the world around him swayed and warped, intensifying with every movement until it was downright nauseating by the time he'd run across the camp and knelt in front of the large storage unit.

For a moment, he simply paused, the smirk dropping from his face which went slightly pale as he swallowed whatever meager contents remained in his stomach. When the images in front of him settled to a kind of gentle wave, as though we were looking at everything through a pond, he lifted himself up to the storage unit and began to crawl easily through the little space Tom held open for him. As his body dipped down into it, his lazy muscles groaned and protested and he slipped with a crash that was just a little too loud for Leo or Tom's comfort. At this, Gavin's grip on his wits faltered again and he lay against the storage unit's contents for another moment, snickering to himself and letting his limbs settle. Meanwhile, Tom and Leo's heads whipped immediately behind them at the sound of the crash and there was a tense moment, infuriatingly broken by Gavin's chuckles from inside, in which they were both sure he had blown their cover. When no one appeared, however, Tom recovered from the panic and gave Gavin a kick hard enough to jerk him back into his semi-focus.

Twisting impossibly in the tiny space, his legs draped out through the opening, Gavin began pulling their belongings out and dropping them unceremoniously either into a waiting hand or the floor between the other two. When he'd emptied the storage unit, he slithered out backwards and slid to the ground, his head hitting the floor with an audible thud. Immediately, the undercover rat hybrid dropped to the floor, his sunglasses askew revealing his fluttering eyelids.

No... a voice in his head protested, stay with it . . . just like . . . just . . . like . . . be . . . before . . . While Gavin struggled to force his eyes open and his body into motion, Tom and Leo wrenched him painfully to his feet and began urging him forward while his feet stumbled beneath him. Giggling at his own awkward gait, Gavin's eyes fluttered again and he bumped into Leo, nearly sending the both of them tumbling over.
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PostSubject: Re: ALTERED STATES - EPISODE 1   Thu Apr 30, 2009 12:07 am



Trying not to curse as the narcotized Gavin bumbled into him, Leo dragged the rat man, his own backpack, and an armful of weaponry back into the center of the corral with Tom and the panther man. Gavin had not only rescued all of their supplies, he’d tossed out a few weapons—including a machine gun and a brace of grenades—that must have belonged to the solider. The panther was happy with the situation, and took the opportunity to arm himself while Leo rifled through his pack for the wire cutters. He knew they were in there somewhere.

He felt like his hair was turning gray, between the sounds of soldiers moving around—like they’d finished eating and were about to crash in on them—and the stare of crystallized desperation Kitty was giving him.

“Found ‘em!” he breathed at last. He was sweating even though it was still night time in the desert and not all that warm. He slid Kitty’s door open and she scooted forward and torqued around to show him her wrists bound at her back. The sight of blood streaked down her fingers made a stab of anger pass through him. If he ever saw that Dalton guy again…

Leo eased the nose of the cutters into the crack between her wrists, trying not to make the wire bite her any deeper, though it was impossible to fully avoid. “Sorry,” he whispered, wincing on her behalf. When he was sure he had a clear cut, he squeezed the handles together and, after a full second of straining, the wire snapped and sprang apart. She shifted so that he could cut her feet free, and no sooner was the job done than she sprang out of her cage, landing with the softness cats are known for.

Leo smiled at her and wanted to say something, to embrace her, but there was no time for that now. When he turned around he saw that Gregory and Skittles were also out of their cages, and armed. Everyone was ready—except perhaps for Gavin, but he was as ready as he was ever going to be.

“Let’s go,” Leo hissed, perhaps unnecessarily. “But I’m not leaving without my bike.” He threw the wire cutters back into his pack and pulled out his keys from his pants pocket. “Gavin better come with me, but when I fire that baby up, the jigs up.” He looked around at them all for confirmation. The band was out in the open, he realized, the jig was already up. There was no turning back now.

He thought he heard a voice, Dalton’s voice, in fact, and not too far away. “Yes, Sir. I’ll take care of it.”

Everyone had the same idea at the same time, and scattered towards the front of the underground parking ramp, towards Leo’s motorcycle and the only exit they could see. They hunkered and scurried like guerrilla fighters through a jungle, but their only cover were the vehicles and their canvas flaps, and soon there wouldn’t be any cover at all. All they had left was the element of surprise.

Leo didn’t even want to know whatever it was Tom thought he smelled. Knowing our luck, we'll crash out of this frying pan and into some kind of fire…
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PostSubject: Re: ALTERED STATES - EPISODE 1   Thu Apr 30, 2009 9:35 am



Dalton had finished up briefing Major Strauss making sure the Major knew exactly where they were in this mission. It was the finer details of things the major liked to hear. It gave him a better picture of the situation as though he were looking through a microscope at it instead of studying it for face value. While Dalton thought the major was being anal at times, he reported to the major what he wanted to hear. If it made the major feel better then so be it.

As he left the major’s tent and headed towards the chow hall tent, he glanced over at the trucks holding the prisoners. Apparently the prisoners had finally decided it was of no use to do anything and had hunkered down for the night. No doubt they were still feeling the affects of the gas they had inhaled earlier.

Dalton had just ducked into the chow hall tent when something struck him as….odd. Pausing when he stepped inside, he got a strange look on his face. A couple of the men looked up at him when he entered and grinned.

“Hey sarge. Pull up a chair. It’s not exactly a feast fit for kings, but it sure beats jerky and dried fruit.”

Dalton just stared at the men saying nothing. Their grins slowly faded when he quickly turned on his heel and stepped back outside the chow tent and looked over at the trucks with the prisoners. The soldiers shrugged and went back to talking to themselves.

Squinting slightly, Dalton began to walk towards the vehicles. The closer he got, the more worried he became. Where were the guards? He should have seen them by now. And…was that something UNDER the trucks? By the time he reached the trucks, he glanced in the cages, saw they were empty then heard something from under the truck. Dropping to his knees, he saw the poor guy Leo had stripped and stuffed socks in his mouth.

“Oh shit…”

Something caught his attention on the other side of the truck and he looked over in time to see a figure quickly darting towards the entrance of the garage. The sinking realization the prisoners had escaped hit him like a ton of bricks. Scrambling to his feet, Dalton quickly yelled then fired his gun into the air.

“PRISONER’S ESCAPING!”

It didn’t take but a few seconds for several soldiers to come running with guns and tranquilizers. Dalton quickly barked orders to the men.

“They’re headed for the exit! Stop them using what ever force you have to but DON’T kill the hybrids! We need them! I don’t need to remind you they’re our bread and butter! You two stay here and get him untied and find out what happened to the others! LET’S GO!”

Dalton and 10 other men took off towards the band of misfits. This was not going to be a pretty sight for any of them and there was no doubt blood from both sides was going to be spilled.

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PostSubject: Re: ALTERED STATES - EPISODE 1   Thu Apr 30, 2009 9:58 am



Kitty wanted to draw Leo into the tightest hug she could but she knew that wasn’t a good thing to do. With the threat of alerting the soldiers and dashing their hopes for escape breathing down their necks and the fact it simply wasn’t acceptable for her to do such a thing to do with him, she simply quelled that urge and darted from her cage. Her limbs ached as the blood began to flow properly back through the muscles but she refused to give into that pain. There was only time to escape and nothing more.

When Dalton’s voice was heard the band of escapee’s froze for a second in time then, after exchanging glances with each other and coming to a silent conclusion, darted as quickly and as quietly as they could. Even Skittles did his best to keep up but he simply wasn’t as fast as the others.

When Kitty heard the man sound the alarm she knew their luck had just run out. When they reached Leo’s bike, Kitty heard the man ordering his men what to do and she made her decision then. Quickly signing to Tom and the panther brother, she asked Tom to interpret for Leo once more.

we stay and distract soldiers to let Leo and others escape. soldiers not interested in them…only us. we catch up with Leo and others later. have leo leave scent trail for us to follow. tell leo no other way…he MUST go now without us. we catch up




After Kitty signed her message, the panther brother growled softly and jerked her shoulder around so she was forced to look at him. Signing a message back to her, he let her know exactly how he felt about the situation.

you risk your life for puny human? stupid. run away. live another day. humans not care about you. only use you for what ever they need you for. just like humans who made us.



Kitty growled viciously at the panther and quickly signed another message to him.

coward. leo not like other humans. saved my life. i owe him. you run if want to. i stay and try to help leo get away.



The panther brother growled again then looked past Kitty to see the soldiers closing in on them as they stood here and argued. Looking back at Kitty, he snarled as he signed his next message.

stupid bitch….die for all i care. hope your stupid human gets killed too. i leaving. good riddance



Without any further communication, the panther brother slipped into the darkness quickly disappearing into the inky blackness of what was left of the night. Kitty looked at Leo then and practically pushed him towards his bike and she wasn’t all that nice about it either. Just like the first time she’d ever seen him when he rescued her from the cannibals, she snarled viciously at him.

“GO! NOW!”

Her growling like voice ordered Leo into action and when he tried to turn and argue with her, she snarled once more before she growled at him. He had to leave and leave now or the window of opportunity would close forever. Pointing towards the exit, she shoved him towards his bike once more making it very clear what she wanted and needed him to do.

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PostSubject: Re: ALTERED STATES - EPISODE 1   Thu Apr 30, 2009 10:24 am



Tom looked at Leo and said “Kitty says we stay and distract soldiers you and others escape. soldiers not interested in you …only us. we catch up with Leo and others later. Leave a scent trail for us to follow, no other way…you MUST go now without us. we catch up.” He then added “I promise she will be safe and we will find you. Now you must go.”

He saw the exchange between Kitty and the Panther brother. Tom shook his head and growled at the panther as he left “Coward.” he called to him. Tom then signed to Kitty come we must cause a distraction. As Leo Gregory and Skittles moved off on the bike, Tom motioned for Kitty to follow him towards a down ramp at the back of the underground garage, that was serving as the staging area. When they reached the down ramp, he gave out a long mournful “HOOOOWWWWLLLLLL”. They then ran down the ramp.
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PostSubject: Re: ALTERED STATES - EPISODE 1   Fri May 01, 2009 10:53 pm



Leo knew what Kitty was saying even before Tom interpreted for him, but he wasn’t about to leave her behind—not now of all times, not when so much was at stake.

“Kitty, no!” He tried to grab her arm, take her with him, but she shoved him away, snarling, “GO! NOW!”

He stared at her a split second longer, realizing with a sensation like a knot cinching around his heart that if he wanted to save her, he couldn’t do it by arguing with her here, in the middle of their escape. “Be careful!” he pleaded to her, urgent, gave Tom a glance that wanted to say all the things there was no time to say, then turned and scrambled away, dragging Gavin along with him.

He kicked the loading platform down off the truck that contained his bike, and heaved Gavin up, at last stuffing him half-in to the sidecar. The rat man was still narcotized and there was no way he would be able to defend himself. Leo had to take him on the bike . “Just get in there and hold on like hell, Gavin!”—but what about Skittles and Gregory? If they were to make this getaway, he could take one more person, tops.

He whirled around to see Gregory right behind him, no doubt ready to take his customary seat. Over Gregory’s shoulder, there came Skittles, shuffling up in last place.

The idea came to Leo in an instant. He grabbed Gregory’s hand without thinking about his Current Amplifier. Fortunately, it wasn’t charged, no doubt in preparation to escape on the bike, which involved holding on to it. Leo pressed his keys into Gregory’s gloved palm. “Take Skittles and Gavin and I’ll be right behind you. And be careful with my baby or it’s your teeth!”

Without waiting for Gregory to answer, Leo jumped off the ramp and ran around to the driver’s side door of the truck. It was unlocked and he threw his backpack in, climbing after. He put the truck in neutral and heard Gregory start up the bike. The truck bounced as the bike pulled off and squealed onto the parking garage pavement.

At about the same time, Leo heard renewed hue and cry rise among the alerted soldiers: “What the hell is that?” “Some kind of freaking monster!” “Goddamn, it’s strong!” "Where the hell did it come from!?"

As Leo found his pocket knife, shots rang out, a few dinging off the door next to him. “Shit.” They could have been bullets. They could have been tranquilizer darts. Either way, they weren’t a good sign.

Luckily, this was a military truck and the dashboard wasn’t enclosed. Leo peered under the steering column, trying to keep himself breathing and thinking coherently. There were four wires, barely visible, like deep tendons exposed in a cut. He bit his tongue and reached up with his knife, prying the wires down, yellow, black, red, green until they sagged in loops.

There were more shots and shouts, and now audible footsteps. Leo’s heart felt like it might explode. His hand was shaking as he shaved the insulation away from the wire, exposing copper beneath. He crossed the black and the yellow and nothing happened. That was a good thing.

“I saw one hiding in that truck!” someone shouted. “Keep that thing occupied and I’ll get this one.”

“Jesus,” Leo muttered, as he touched the red and green together and caused a spark. The starter turned over but didn’t fully ignite. “Jesus, come on!”

The window beside his head cracked into a spider web and then burst just as the engine rumbled to life. Leo hit the gas to keep the ignition alive as he felt glass sparkle through his hair. He switched into drive. Something that might have been a bullet whistled past the hair on his cheek. He cranked the wheel and the door flopped open, dragging a soldier with a gun in his other hand.

As the truck roared through the parking garage, sparks flew up from the ramp dragging behind. Leo couldn’t see Kitty or Tom, but there was a puff of dust erupting just outside the entrance, silvered in the moonlight, that must have been his bike. There was also something big, something brown and wild like an oversized gorilla who knocked another vehicle over with a flail of his arms. “Holy crap!” Soldiers were shooting like crazy. In fact, the soldier hanging on his door managed to pull himself up and raised his gun at Leo.

“I don’t think so,” Leo snapped, and fired his Glock at the man’s hand, trying to shoot the weapon away. All his shots seemed to miss, as did the soldier’s. “Shit,” Leo swore, and cranked the wheel again, trying to lose the man. More shots from somewhere else caused his windshield to spider, but the reinforced glass held up better than the side window.

Where the hell are Kitty and Tom? he wondered desperately. This place is a madhouse! He pressed down on the accelerator and careened towards the exit. The truck didn’t handle quite like anything he’d ever actually had the opportunity to drive before, though, and Leo was forced to give up shooting at his door assailant in order to keep both hands on the wheel. His reckless maneuvers caused one side of the truck to lift momentarily off the ground, rolling on the right-hand tires. “Oh, Mother!”

The change of angle allowed the door hitchhiker to flop into the driver’s seat with Leo, swinging a fist at his eye. Leo saw stars.

He brought his left knee up in self-defense that was only semi-effective, jarring against the other man’s stomach. He felt a meaty grip seize his collar, jerking his body up in preparation to give him a royal uppercut goodnight.

Leo steered into the edge of the egress, two soldiers on the ground springing out of his way, and the door crashed against the cement corner, buffeting his assailant in the back.

“Oof!” the man grunted, losing his breath as well as his grip on Leo.

As they cleared the parking garage, Leo shoved the attacker out of the cab and drove into the desert, door flopping beside him, trailer ramp dragging behind.

* * *


The monster had arrived at something that stood between him and his destination. There was the smell of fear, and of anger; of poison, too.

He did not have much concept of moving quietly, though, possessing no hearing of his own, and as he shuffled in curiosity towards the mouth of the parking garage, thinking himself well-hid in the shadows, the soldiers on guard duty at the front heard him about the same moment that Dalton realized his prisoners were missing. As such, they were distracted and shining a light in the direction of the noise, their weapons aimed and ready, when Dalton’s voice rang out.

The bright light frightened the monster and he bellowed like only something that has never known language can bellow: bald and frighteningly primitive. He threw his arms up before his horn-clouded face.

Chaos broke out then. The monster could smell those others, the others he had smelled before who these men had poisoned with their bad air, the ones who had gone before him. It was their fear and anger he smelled, and that scent, coupled with the light and the sour tang of his own anxiety caused him to heave up the rock he crouched behind—a stone the size of a barstool—and hurl it at the soldiers.

The light went away and when the monster dared to open his eyes again, eyes that gleamed like twin blood moons beneath his hairy brow, he saw the animal people—running, cornered. There were guns and the violent men would poison the animal people again. With another roar, the monster loped towards them. He moved with savage speed, faster than seemed possible for something large enough to brush the top lip of the underground exit wth his horns.

Two tranquilizer darts stuck in his thick pelt but did not penetrate. A trio of bullets—three of many fire at him—gouged into his flesh, and unlike the darts, they hurt him. His bellow was like shattering glass. He seized the nearest thing—a swerving military vehicle—and with an expulsion of his massive strength, toppled it onto its side, wheels spinning.


* * *


“Sweet Liza Jane,” remarked Luther as he loaded a canister of napalm on his grenade launcher, “nothing quite beats the joy of when the quarry comes to you.”

Since he was still with the soldier boys when their prisoners managed to escape—someone sure dropped the ball there—he figured he would help round them up. Hopefully, that would give him a chance to figure out why young Sophocles was traveling in such sordid company. It would have been easier if the boy hadn’t escaped with them, but Luther was sure he had his reasons.

All of that flew from his mind when he saw the beast break in on the scene. Was he part of this rabble the soldiers had rounded up for their Godforsaken rites, or whatever they were going to do with those impure malefactors? He had been certain the beast was traveling alone—but why was it here?

He would probably never know. For one thing, he planned to eradicate it right now in beautiful, purifying flames. “That’s right, come to Papa, you hairy sack of deformities…” Luther narrowed his eye along the sight, waiting for the moment when the overwhelmed soldiers had backed sufficiently away that he wouldn’t risk hitting them and missing his real target.

The soldiers, stretched between fending off this hirsute two-legged army, dealing with the escaping vehicles, and trying to round up the runaways who were still on foot, at last gave him the opening he was looking for. With an elated sigh, Luther let fly the canister.

At the last moment, the horned monstrosity lunged behind the vehicle he’d overturned in order to defend itself from the soldier’s renewed attack. The napalm blasted into the sand just outside the entrance, narrowly missing the man Leo had just booted out of his stolen truck.

When the neon-bright flames licked over the sands, a pool of liquid fire, the monster screeched in terror. It knew fire. It feared fire. It leaped away, lumbering hodge-podge through the camp, knocking over tents like they were made of playing cards.

“Son of a biscuit! Of all the goddamned rotten two-bit sweaty-assed stinking crap…” Luther tore the bandanna off his head and threw it on the ground, colorful language continuing to flow.

He only had a moment for regret, though, for it was clear the monster was looking for a way out, and was probably going to make one for itself shortly. The paladin of purity gathered up his supplies and scrambled after the trail of wreckage. He wasn’t going to let the demon get away from him again. He needed to get it away from these humans so that he could slaughter it properly, with lots of explosives.
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PostSubject: The Oasis   Mon May 04, 2009 12:04 am



Beneath the cool light of the moon the desert sands appeared as a frozen wasteland, but for the three travelers making their way through the dunes the harsh reality of the gusts that stung their exposed flesh dispelled the illusion. Long flowing cloaks, face scarves and googles protected their skin, but occasionally the winds would peel away their soft carapace and allow the high winds to bombard them with an abrasive blast.

The leader, a large man, paused atop a high dune and pulled the tether tied to the bound wrists of the second, who reluctantly followed the draw to his side. The third, stood beside them and watched the leader as he scanned the horizon, looking slowly north to south, then back again until he spied the landmark he sought. He pointed to the silhouette of a large dead tree that stood out against the deep blue of the impending dawn, the he pressed on toward it dragging his feminine captive behind him. The third quietly followed, paying little attention to the prisoner, neither assisting nor objecting to her treatment.

They had wisely chosen to travel by night, daring not to brave the scorching heat of day, that broiled the silicone plains to skin searing temperatures, at least that's what it felt like for Plymuth, who trailed steadily behind the other two. The wind was picking up, and so he moved closer knowing all to well how quickly people could become disoriented in a desert storm; his guide, however, seemed unaffected by the blowing sands. He was born to these lands and had walked this trail at least a hundred times, or so he had told Plymuth over their card game, a fortuitous meeting for a man looking to cross the desert.

They left behind them a rolling sea of dunes as they crossed into a vast flat expanse of arid steppes with a sparse speckling of desert plants. In the distance the ruins of an ancient settlement were coming into view and as it become increasingly clear that this was indeed the 'oasis' his guide had spoke of, three days of tension began relax in Plymuth's neck. At one point when they were in the dunes he was sure the man was going to try and ditch him, let him wander until he died from dehydration then descend upon him like a scavenging vulture. Since, that first night he had been on constant guard, and the guide had sensed it the whole way but never once bothered to acknowledge his distrust. It was a harsh world, and littered with the graves of people who were too sensitive.

Plymuth could now see the tree more clearly. A lone giant palm tree, a beacon to weary travelers stood motionless despite the winds. He had read about palm trees in the archives of Avalon, where he had spend a good portion of his young life, and seemed to recall they were not indigenous to this part of the continent. Then again, the world was a very different place since the historical documents he learned from were created.

Soon the half buried rusted remains of automobiles came into view and the remains of what appeared to be a petrol or hydrogen station. There were other weathered remains of ancient buildings in what Plymuth figured was long ago a town, and for some reason one structure had remained intact. The giant palm tree, which was in fact a giant sign fashioned to appear as such stood before the building, and a faded mural on a sheltered wall read, 'Desert Oasis Hotel'.

"Bloody hell! A hotel." Plymuth exclaimed to himself. When his guide had said he would take him to the oasis he naturally had taken him literally and had been looking forward to bathing in a desert spring surrounded by lush green. Of course, this made far more sense and though it wasn't at all what he expected it certainly wasn't disappointing. He had never really seen a hotel before except from the pictures in the archive and he was anxious to see the lobby and the rooms.

The guide stopped before the structure, roughly tugging at his captive who was now trying to put up more resistance. The building that served as a wind break, allowed the man to pull down his scarf, then he pointed at the hotel and grunted, "Oasis."

As if Plymuth didn't know that already, it was literally written on the wall but then it became clear to him that the man was unable to read. The way he played cards, though, certainly fooled him.

"Over here!", called the guide, "I need your help."

Plymuth followed the man and his captive to the main entrance of the hotel which had been boarded up with a make shift wall of wood and sheets of metal. He walked to one side of the windowless metal doors, and motioned to Plymuth to go to the other, then he opened a small door at about his chest height and put his hand inside. Plymuth found a similar small door on his side and flipped it open, revealing a handle.

"We pull at the same time." Instructed the guide and then began to count down from three.

Plymuth grabbed the handle, and at 'one' pulled simultaneously with the guide. There was the loud bang, then a metallic cranking sound and the doors slipped ajar. It was evident now why the guide had not be adverse to his tagging along on his journey since the hotel required two people to trip the lock, and to think he paid him half the winnings he made off their poker game.

The big man tugged the girl so hard that she fell to the ground. "Get up, 'muto'.", he growled, then with one of his burly arms pulled her up to a standing position and pulled open one of the doors. He dragged her into the dark room and casually walked over to a table where he lit a lantern he obviously had left since his last visit.

Plymuth closed the door behind him and heard the lock engage. The guide walked through the hotel lobby carrying the lantern before him and dragging his captive along behind him. "There's another lantern over here, if you need one.", he offered. He then forced the female to sit down on an shabby old sofa, removed her scarf and googles and hungrily observed her.

The girl averted her face from his his, but the big man grabbed her chin and forced her head straight. She struggled for a moment, then quickly realized he was too strong to resist, so she stared defiantly into his ravenous eyes. It was apparent what he wanted but she was more concerned if the other was going to try and get in on the action.

Plymuth ignored the man and his toy, more interested in investigating the ancient structure which to his amazement was in fairly good condition. He attributed it's preservation to the fact that there were no rodents or insects to ravage the hotel and so the dry conditions that prevented molds and rot had kept the building in good shape.

As, Plymuth walked past the furniture, hap-hazardously arranged around a large central fire place the large man, twisted the girls face toward him. "What ya think? Not bad, eh? She only cost a quarter of what she's gonna fetch me in the city."

He didn't comment but the girl was beautiful, Plymuth had to admit. Too bad for her, if she been born a little more plain looking she probably wouldn't be forced into prostitution, but then again what did he really know about her?

The big man stood up and extended his hand to his traveling companion. "Hey, you're the first."

Plymuth wasn't exactly sure what the man was talking about but he shook his hand anyway. "First what?"

"The first one to make it through the desert with me." The man answered as he roared with laughter. "It doesn't take two to pop the lock on the doors, you just disarmed the trap. I thought about taking you out on the first night, but you were just too damn cautious. Hey, no offense, eh? I'm actually glad to have the company."

Plymuth just smiled. If he hadn't been sure that his guide was a complete asshole before his little revelation, he was doubly sure now. He was a businessman though, and despite what may have occurred, his guide honoured his part of their bargain which was to take him to the outskirts of the city and point him around it. They were east of the metropolis and Plymuth had hoped to skirt around it and proceed westward.

"Call me, Texan." The big man finally announced after three days of travel, then slapped Plymuth on the shoulder. "Hey, you wanna have go with her?", then he winked in a most depraved manner and added, "I've been tryin' to break her in, but she's got spirit."

"No thanks." Plymuth said flatly and turned away without another word. The only thing he had left to say to the man was with his knife, and he had to remind himself once more that this man hadn't done any wrong and his business was his own. It was a code he had come to live by and the one that had kept him out of trouble on more than one occasion.

Plymuth left Texan and his slave in the lobby and explored a set red carpeted stairs that wound their way up to the next floor. He walked down a long hallway with many doors that had numbers on them, the glow of his lantern exposing only a few at a time. Plymuth kept on expecting to see some other travelers, seeking refuge in the hotel, which compared to most places he had recently been was the Ritz.

For no particular reason he decided to stay in room 210 which was in the middle of the hallway, and the door like all the others before had long since been broken in, but still adequately closed. When he entered the room, there was a mattress on the floor, beside the box spring and one bed was intact with some sheets scattered across it. Unlike a few other rooms he had peeked into, the bathroom to this one didn't wreak from people or animals shitting all over the place, and it seemed a good place to lay his head. There were dark red curtains blowing in the wind, the glass to the window long since destroyed exposing the room to the elements, which was why there was a small sand dune built up along the wall from the window to where the bathroom jutted out. He looked out the second floor window that was on the calm front side of the building and stared to the southwest. Far off in the distance he could just make out faint outline of the ruined city and from the rumours he had heard was glad to be detouring around it. He closed the curtains and crossed the room.

He didn't trust Texan as far as he could spit, which in the desert wasn't too far, so he barred the door with a chair before he settled down for the day. Plymuth also laid the other mattress against the window to block the hot sun that would be rising in an another hour, made sure his weapons were close at hand, then laid himself down on the comfortable bed and was soon asleep.


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PostSubject: Re: ALTERED STATES - EPISODE 1   Mon May 04, 2009 12:22 pm



Kitty took off with Tom. That animalistic instinct she’d fought so hard to suppress these last few moments could no longer be held at bay and as Tom let out his mournful howl, Kitty joined in with a vicious, loud roar of her own. No doubt the soldiers realized they had unleashed the beasts they had tried for so long to capture.

As they began to run and heard the sound of one of the trucks firing up and taking off, Kitty caught the smell of something else. It wasn’t human....t was an animal. But not one she’d ever encountered before. Just as she had slowed her pace to look behind her, she heard the inhuman roar of what ever it was that had invaded the camp. Shortly after she heard the gunfire erupt. What ever it was, the soldiers didn’t like it invading their territory either.

As her animal instinct heightened, she let out another roar. Before she could figure out what it was, Tom whistled to her and she turned to follow his signal. What he showed her was a storage area for just about anything you could think of. Including weapons. Glancing back up the ramp, certain the soldiers ere hot on their trail, Kitty furrowed her brow when she didn’t see any of them coming after her and Tom. Little did she know the beast she heard was keeping them occupied.

Jack pot!

As Tom ripped open one of the weapons lockers, Kitty tore the lock and door off one of the ammo lockers. In no time at all, the hybrids had equipped themselves with several hand guns, ammo clips for them, grenades, an automatic rifle for each of them, some sort of canisters that was simply marked ‘smoke’ and several cases of the canisters of gas that had been used to knock them all out. Each of them taking a backpack and filling it with ammo for all the weapons as well as grabbing a first aid kit and stuffing it in there, they quickly armed themselves for an all out war it seemed.

Strapping the weapons holsters to their persons (shoulder holsters, hip holsters and thigh holsters), Tom grabbed a 12 gauge shot gun and loaded it before they headed out again. They had to hold off the soldiers from going after Leo. It was the only way they were going to survive this whole ordeal. With a final check of their weapons, Kitty headed back up the ramp to engage the soldiers but Tom whistled to her again to stop. Using sign language, he told her what he planned on doing.

we knock out the soldiers with this. (holding up one of the gas canisters) blow up the supplies here…leave without getting into fight with soldiers.

As Kitty heard the chaos still happening up the ramp, she nodded in agreement. Quickly helping Tom gather up some of the gas canisters, they placed grenades at different places throughout the supplies, pulling the pin on the last one before they quickly scrambled back up the ramp. Kitty flinched when she heard the roar of the flame thrower and she paused a moment. The terror filled screech of the creature told Kitty it didn’t like what ever they had just tried to do. Rage filled her then and before Tom could stop her, she ran up the ramp, let out a loud roar and began engaging the soldiers.

Using the rifle, she fired off several shots in different directions at the soldiers. Using the vehicles and downed tents as cover, she began weaving her way towards the exit. Several bullets whizzed past her each time she moved and a couple came very close to striking her.


Dalton screamed at his men again.

“Don’t kill her!! DAMMIT! We need her! Pin her down and tranq her!”

Fortunately, his men were too damn good shots. While they weren’t aiming to kill her, they were aiming to just as Dalton ordered them to do. So what if a couple come close to striking her. She’d be less likely to put up a fight if she were wounded. At least not bad enough to kill her anyway.

On the unfortunate side, Dalton’s men had yet to see Tom. Kitty, in her haste to engage the soldiers, had given Tom the perfect distraction so he could start distributing the canisters. When the first grenade went off simultaneously setting off the others, it aught the soldiers by so much surprise that all they could do was scramble for cover. This gave Tom and Kitty the perfect opportunity to throw even more of the gas canisters out there. Loading the rifle once more with a fresh clip, Kitty began to fire at the canisters, exploding them and releasing the gas that they contained. A thick fog began to engulf the place as each canister was released.

The one thing Kitty and Tom hadn’t planned on was the gas to start drifting their way. Seeing the gas headed right for them, they both knew they couldn’t waste any more time. Dropping one last canister, they both took off running. Kitty stopped to detonate two more canisters before turning and running behind Tom. The gas was quickly approaching and she wasn’t sure they’d make it to the exit in time.

One of Dalton’s men stood up from behind the protective barrier he’d been hiding behind. Armed with a tranq gun, he drew a bead on Tom and pulled the trigger. Just as he got the shot off, he was struck between the eyes by a bullet. The soldier jerked back, eyes wide and unseeing, as he fell dead to the ground.

From overhead, a dark figure darted away and was lost in the inky blackness of the garage. The soldier’s tranquilizing dart hit Tom’s backpack and the brightly feathered dart bobbed as the hybrid ran away.

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PostSubject: Re: ALTERED STATES - EPISODE 1   Tue May 05, 2009 1:31 pm



Plymuth had been stirring for the past half hour. He just couldn't get used sleeping in the day, and as he lay there trying to think himself to sleep, it occurred to him that his room would most likely become a virtual oven when the sun was high.

"Bullocks."

He sat up and reached for one of his canteens and drained the last of it's contents. Physiologically speaking, Plymuth wasn't that much different from a normal human when on land, but for some reason he seemed to drink a little more than average, so he liked to have good supply of the old 'H2O' on hand. It dawned on him then, nearly literally, that this place wouldn't be such a popular stop if there wasn't any water, and he had failed to inquire from his host where that might be.

As much as he dreaded stumbling open the pig in some unsightly carnal act, he gathered up his gear and headed back downstairs, thinking that he would also try and find accommodations on the lower level, perhaps even the basement, if there was one. He used the lantern again, saving the solar cell on his torch.

When he entered the lobby, he found Texan leaning back in a large, plush chair. He was half clothed and taking a pull on bottle of amber coloured spirits. The slave was curled up on the couch, pretending to sleep, a bruise was forming around her eye and her lip was cut.

Plymuth's jaw clenched at the sight and he considered putting a spear right through the pig's flabby belly. Perhaps after he learned where the water was.

"Change your mind!" Texan hollered, as he took another swig of liquor. "She's good and broke now!", he said laughing as he reached over and slapped her rump.

The girl did not move.

"Where's the water?" Asked Plymuth trying to ignore the whole situation.

Texan looked a little disappointed. Perhaps he had hoped he was more like him, Plymuth wasn't sure, all he knew is that he wanted to find the water, get some sleep and get away from the bastard as soon as possible.

"Downstairs." Texan answered, then he pointed down a hallway. "Down there and to your right, you'll find the stairway. It's round the other side of the pool in a small room. You'll find it."

Plymuth was sure he would. "Thanks.", he told his former guide then cautiously followed the man's directions down the dark hallway.
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PostSubject: Re: ALTERED STATES - EPISODE 1   Thu May 07, 2009 6:50 pm



Leo managed to grab the open driver’s side door and slam it shut beside him as he drove deeper into the desert. He watched in the rear-view mirror as the shaggy giant stampeded out of the parking garage. Not a minute later, faint fog began to seep out of the entryway; it might have been smoke from a fire, but Leo couldn’t see it very well.

“Dammit, Kitty, you better have gotten out of there…”

He expected a pack of vehicles to come squealing out after him, but he was followed only by silence and the darkness of the desert. Ahead, He could just make out his bike by the reflecting glow of the headlight as it appeared and disappeared among the dunes. He ramped up his speed in an effort to close the distance and heard the trailer ramp dragging behind him like a thundercloud. “That thing’s gonna be ruined…”

He figured out how to turn on the headlights in time to avoid plummeting into the crater of an exposed basement and saw that he had about half a tank of fuel left. What did this thing run on, anyway? Probably not the animal fat that powered his bike… He could convert the engine, but that would take time. Still, maybe with Gregory’s help they could fix it so they could keep the truck. Another vehicle would certainly speed things along, and this one had a lot of room in the back to carry their supplies.

He flexed his sweaty hands on the wheel, unable to stop worrying about Kitty, and Tom, too. When he got used to the way the tires reacted to the sandy rubble of the ‘road,’ and felt safe taking a hand off the wheel, he rummaged out a bottle of water and allowed himself a small sip. What a night.

Should he turn around and look for Kitty and Tom? What if they were injured?

“Come on, Gregory, stop already,” he muttered at the cracked windshield.

At that moment, he drove onto the cracked and pitted remains of what was no doubt a massive highway--or had been, anyway. In its day, the highway had been four lanes wide, and though much of it was burried in drifts of sand and rubbish, it seemed to be heading east. Leo hadn't encountered any major roads on his way to the ruinous city, but if indeed this road went east, then maybe it would present easier passage through the rugged hills that lie ahead. It had taken Leo a long time to get through them, and that part of the journey was his primary concern for the ragtag band. With the remains of a road to guide them, they could cut several days of travel off their schedule, which would mean their scanty supply of water might last...if they were very, very careful.
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PostSubject: Re: ALTERED STATES - EPISODE 1   Fri May 08, 2009 11:38 am


Dalton wasn’t expecting anything to come into the camp that hadn’t already been there, so when the shaggy beast began turning the place inside out and upside down, he and the rest of his men concentrated on trying to down the thing.

“What the hell is that thing and where the hell did it come from?!”

He didn’t hear anything his men may have said for Luther decided to fire up his hand held barbeque machine and attempted to roast the poor thing. That was a two fold problem. The thing hid behind a truck allowing the flame to nearly torch the poor man that had just been thrown from the stolen truck AND Dalton was certain that if that thing HAD been lit up, it would have run amuck throughout the camp causing more damage before it was dropped.

“HEY! I don’t think that weapon is ideal in an enclosed environment! Put that thing away…NOW!”

Of course any retort Luther had for the Sergeant was cut off as the first fires were shot by Kitty as she emerged from the storage area. Instinct caused his men to start firing back at her and he had to remind them of their objective.

“Don’t kill her!! DAMMIT! We need her! Pin her down and tranq her!”

His men, still distracted by the hairy beast and the now shoot out with Kitty, were taken as much by surprise by the explosion in the storage area as Dalton himself was. The young Sergeant flinched and ducked for cover before turning to see what the hell the explosion was from. When he saw the area that was now being lit up by one explosion after another, he knew things were out of control.

“HOLY SHIT!”

The first explosion was followed by a series of other explosions and Dalton knew their supplies were ruined. And that wasn’t the worst of it. Now, as his men tried to pin the Tiger hybrid down, he saw a thick fog begin to drift over the encampment. As the fog reached his men he saw them starting to fall over. The air rushed from his lungs and he felt his heart drop to his feet.

“GAS! GAS!! GET YOUR MASKS ON NOW!!”

Unfortunately, between the gunfire and the general chaos that was happening around them, most of his men didn’t hear him and those who DID were without their masks. As Dalton saw the fog coming even closer he knew he didn’t have his mask either and he was only seconds away from dropping like the rest of them.

As he saw Kitty heading for the exit, he pulled his rifle up and took careful aim down the sights. His finger slowly squeezed back on the trigger and just as he was getting ready to fire off the killing shot, he saw a flash from overhead and one of his men fell back. He only saw the dark silhouette as the thing darted away and just before he fell out from breathing the gas, he had only one thought: These hybrids were going to be very, very sorry.

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PostSubject: Re: ALTERED STATES - EPISODE 1   Fri May 08, 2009 11:39 am



Kitty ran as fast as she could ahead of Tom and it didn’t take her long to catch the scent of the truck Leo had taken off in. Tom had stopped just a few yards from the exit and waited for her to catch up to him. After a brief check on each other to make sure they weren’t injured too badly, and Kitty pulling the dart from Tom’s pack, the two hybrids took off sprinting after the vehicles they could faintly see on the slowly lighting horizon. As they sprinted along, they could see the giant, lumbering form of the beast that had turned the make shift camp on its ear.

Kitty came to a skidding halt and sniffed the air. She could smell a musty scent mixed with something that was similar to the Rex, yet not…and…she could smell…fresh blood. Alarm raced through her. Who’s blood was it? Leo’s? Or that…thing’s? There was only one way to find out. Letting her nose guide her, she found the blood trail, the same one Tom had just picked up on. Kneeling, she leaned down as close as she could to the blood and sniffed even more. IT wasn’t Leo’s. She knew what his smelled like. It wasn’t any she’d smelled before.

Pushing herself up, she looked over at Tom who was eyeing the back of the retreating creature. Tapping his arm as she stood up, she signed to him.

what is it? have you ever seen it? is it a threat?

Kitty stood there and watched the thing moving further out of sight, along with Leo’s bike and the stolen truck. Tom grabbed her hand and practically pulled her along into a sprint again. He was right, of course….they HAD to keep moving. They would deal with the beast when they crossed that bridge. Even now, as Kitty looked towards the East and saw the sky getting lighter with each passing second, she knew they would have to find shelter before the sun rose. It was the only way. There was no way any of them, but especially Gregory, could make it over the barren waste land in he scorching heat of day.

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PostSubject: Re: ALTERED STATES - EPISODE 1   Sat May 09, 2009 7:51 am

As Tom sprinted with Kitty at his side he said "I have sensed that creature before, I do not think it is a threat. In fact I think it may be a friend, misunderstood as we are." He too then loked at the horizon and the coming dawn. "I don't think we have seen the last of the creature. The day is coming we must find shelter soon for the others. Hurry, we must catch Leo and the soldiers will not be subdued for long. Their anger will be great."

Tom then reached into the inside a leather pouch that hung off his shoulder and pulled out a folded map. "I borrowed this from one of the soldiers." he said "Do you think Leo can read it? Some of it makes sense to me but not all."
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PostSubject: Re: ALTERED STATES - EPISODE 1   Sun May 10, 2009 7:10 pm



Finally, when the steely cold promise of dawn appeared in the eastern sky, the motorcycle crept to a halt. Leo pulled up alongside them in his stolen truck and hopped out. Sand slithered around his boots. Gregory leaned forward, hunched over the handlebars like one exhausted. Skittles tottered off the seat on shaky legs and walked in a circle saying something too quiet for Leo to hear. Gavin appeared to be sleeping off the drugs.

“You okay, Greg? Skittles?” Leo asked.

“Fine.” Gregory replied.

Leo leaned over the console and saw that the fuel was almost gone. Fortunately, there was extra somewhere under Gavin’s rear end. He flipped off the headlights and the display went dark.

“Now what are we going to do, Guv?” Skittles crouched, huddled, looking like a lost child with his knees tucked up to his chin.

“If Kitty and Tom aren’t here in thirty minutes,” Leo promised, then amended it to, “fifteen minutes, I’m—”

“Twenty minutes,” suggested Skittles.

“Twenty minutes. I’m going back for them.” He began to pace, and when pacing wore itself out, he stood and stared westward, hugging himself against the chill wind. As minutes crept by, the sand turned from blue-black to pewter-gray. There was an open expanse all around, interrupted by little but humble piles of rubble sparsely placed and resembling lonely boulders. Dunes imperceptibly shifted in the pre-dawn quiet. The landscape made Leo feel almost abandoned, and he was glad he had company, even if that company was made up of the decidedly antisocial Gregory, the decidedly annoying Skittles, and a drugged up rat man.

“That’s it,” he declared. “I’m going to look for them.” He walked over to his motorcycle and gestured for the torpid-looking Gregory to peel himself off. “I’ll be better on my bike.”

“Look, Guv! Something’s out there!” Skittles hooted.

Leo spun around and saw the wiggle of two silhouettes creeping towards them. He walked out to the furthest edge of their impromptu camp and watched for three slow minutes until he could be sure. Then he flung an arm into the sky and called joyously, “Kitty! Tom!” He jogged out to meet them. “Boy, am I glad to see you two,” he told them breathlessly, mostly looking at Kitty—he couldn’t help it—though it was Tom’s shoulder he slapped. “Are you guys okay?” He looked them up and down to confirm that they were without major injury. His eyes lingered on Kitty’s. “Kitty…” he said foolishly. It was a good thing Tom was there, because Leo couldn’t say what he might have done if it had been just the two of them, the way his skin tingled at her nearness.

After accepting Tom’s and Kitty’s own greetings and reassuring them about everyone’s welfare, Leo gestured over his shoulder. “I found a truck.” He grinned and turned to walk back to the vehicles. “I don’t know how far we’ll take it, but it could really come in handy—especially for keeping us all together. I’m thinking me and Gregory can convert the engine, you know?”

Kitty signed something, about fifty-percent of which Leo caught, the rest of which Tom clarified as he translated her signs to mean, Sun come up soon. Need to find shelter.

Leo nodded happily. “Yeah, and I don’t think we’ll find much in the vicinity, unless we head back the way we came, and obviously we don’t want to do that. But my tarp makes a great tent and we can always draw down the canvas flaps on the truck.”

“Maybe you can find something on this.” Tom produced a map from his pocket. “I borrowed it from the soldiers.”

Leo unfolded the map and found himself staring at a topographical display of the desert surrounding the city. After studying it for a few minutes, he thought he made sense of it. “We must be about here.” He drew a circle over a vague space to the east and a little south of the city. “This would be the road we’re following,” he traced the line that headed north-east to the rocky highlands at the edge of the map. “Hm,” his finger paused at a tiny palm tree just north of the roadway and closer to the city than the highlands. “O-a-sis,” he puzzled out the fine print. “That sounds promising. And we might even make it there before the sun gets too high, if we all ride.”

* * *


The monster was hurt and iron-smelling blood glued his fur together in patches. His pace had long since slowed from tearing madness into a determined trudge. Though he was weak as a kitten now, he would not stop because he knew the hunter followed him.

The events in the underground place with all the men and their smoking sticks and fire were a blur now. How it all unfolded, he could not say. He knew only that he had gotten away, and that he had to go east. He hoped the animal people, the little ones, the caged ones…that they had gotten free.

He hung his horn-heavy head and marched against the sandy wind. It could not touch him through his thick coat.
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PostSubject: Re: ALTERED STATES - EPISODE 1   Mon May 11, 2009 2:18 am



For a man who always sought payment for his directions Plymuth felt he was a little too compliant to be trusted, so as he made his way down the stairs he had his triple barreled spear gun at ready. He stared into the darkness and though his eyes could see better than a man's in low light, it was still too dark for him to see and so he thought it prudent to waste some energy and use his clip on flash light which he mounted on his pack's strap.

The stairs entered into a corridor that stretched out to his left and right equally, but Plymuth could smell the cool of water to his right and so he proceeded in what was an easterly direction. Midway between the stairway and the end of the corridor, he came to a junction. To his left was a doorway, over which was a sign that read 'Pool' and to his right, a short hallway that ended with a door upon which was written with red paint, 'Water'. It was obvious that it never occurred to his illiterate friend the meaning of the red coloured words and had wanted to enter the pool area, but why? A trap perhaps. Letting someone or something else do his dirty work seemed to be his style.

Plymuth decided to avoid the door to the pool and headed down the short corridor to his right. He opened the door and found behind it a small room which to his knowledge probably would have been called the boiler room or something like that, he'd check his database later. In the center of the room was a hand pump, that looked as if it had been installed years ago, but still not as old as the ancient pipes that surrounded it . He cranked the handle a few times and out came a rush of stale air followed a gush of icy cold water. It ran on it's own for a while and he caught some in his hands to sample the quality. The water tasted good and so he topped up all of his canteens then he removed his hood and held his head under the cool soothing water. Damn he missed the sea or any body of water for that matter. There was one night he missed the ocean so much that he swore the dunes began to undulate like great waves and he could taste the salt on the wind. He stood up and let the water trickle from his shaved head and down his neck then he gathered his gear and walked back the way he came leaving his head bare. There was no one around that might take note of the tiny ridges tucked behind his ears which had always been undetectable until a young girl commented on them when he was on the Nuork train. Since then he made sure he kept his head covered less he be labeled as a mutant. There were far more advantages to being human in this world and back home he had managed to blend in without the need for a head covering, but people here seemed more conscious of mutants and thus more observant of oddities. All it would take was someone standing close behind him to take notice of the tiny slits hidden in the shadows of his ears and they may make the deductive leap that he was not human. Of course he based his conclusions on the observation of one tiny girl who had been leaning on the back of his seat. At one point her nose brushed against the back of his neck, and that's when she announced that he had "weird wrinkles behind his ears". The whole situation then could have gone bad, but surprisingly it didn't, still the whole experience left him more self conscious of his minute deformity that was in fact near impossible for anyone to spot anyway.

Standing back in the main hall, Plymuth stood before the door to the pool area and curiously peered through the glass window, shining his light down the hallway beyond. The reflection made it near impossible to see clearly, but he could make out the walls of the corridor which had an open doorway on either side and there was a strange blue light at the end of the hall. He turned off his light, and pressed his face up against the glass once more to allow his eyes to adjust to the dim light. By the faint blueish glow his sensitive eyes could see the hallway quite well, and it entered into a large room with what seemed to be a large rectangular depression in the floor. Probably the pool he surmised and as he tried to make out more details his view was obscured by something moving across the opening at the end of the hallway. It looked like a man, but it was far too thin and it shambled rather than walked, the body rigid and the head angled back at a disturbing angle. Plymuth moved back from the window as his mind tried to comprehend what the creature was and couldn't. He instinctively gripped his gun fearing the thing may have seen him, but it did not return to the hallway.

Plymuth considered just leaving the door closed and finding a place to bed down, but he knew he wouldn't sleep a wink until he knew what was lurking in that room. He turned the door handle slowly, as quietly as possible and swung the door inward, then reached round the other side to find that as he had suspected it was locked from the other side. There was a stop on the door and so he flicked it down and made sure it was wedged tight against the cement floor, then proceeded cautiously into the corridor. His nose was immediately assaulted by foul earthly stench that seemed to be coming from the end of the hall. Over the two open passages to his right and left were signs that read, 'Men's Changing Room' and 'Women's Changing Room', he quickly peeked into each but his attention was drawn to the familiar stench of death and the sound of trickling water from the pool area.

Leading with his high powered spear gun, Plymuth checked both sides of the doorway and so no sign of the thing, but just a few meters away from him he could here an odd sound emanating from the pool. It sounded like the creaking of wood and the hollow noises of dried branches rubbing against a tree trunk; strange haunting sounds. The entire room was illuminated by violet coloured lights, and he recognized them as 'ultra-violet lights' that they used back in some of the green houses of Avalon. The lights explained why he could see so well, but also presented more questions and so slowly, he made his way to the edge of the pool to spy what was casting such a foul odour. He looked over the edge and what he saw chilled him to the bone. The bottom of the pool was coated with a damp layer of mud, kept wet by the constant trickle of water flowing from a few busted pipes protruding from the side wall, and there standing in the earth were several man-like creatures. Plymuth instinctively crouched down and readied his gun, but the creatures did not move, but remained frozen in their uncomfortable contorted positions, most were buried up to their knees or reclined and partially covered with earth.

The creatures were human corpses, but their hardened flesh seemed to have the properties of wood coating their skeletal bodies. Adventitious roots writhed around their bodies and out of their gaping mouths, a long stemmed flower grew. His colour vision was limited in the dim light, but Plymuth was fairly sure that the flowers all varied in colour, ranging from yellow to red. Studying them, he couldn't be sure, but it seemed that some kind of plant was growing inside the dead bodies of people and could animate them as he could now see at the far end of the pool some more of the creatures staggering around. They were slow, and weak judging them by the size of their limbs, Plymuth wasn't too intimidated. It seemed that they would most likely dangerous if someone allowed themselves to become trapped by a hoard of them, but so long as one kept their distance the creatures were harmless.

In the center of the pool, Plymuth was able to make out a fresh body, no doubt one of Texan's victims. Around it were several of the tree-like corpses. They were laying upon the corpse or crouched over it, with their dry mouths suckling off it's flesh. There were also the strange yellow flowers that were growing from the mouths of the other rigid creatures rooted atop the body, and some appeared to be withering and dieing.

The seafarer couldn't bare witnessing anymore and he turned back to the hallway, making his way back to entrance and slammed the door shut. The things gave him the creeps! He couldn't really be sure if they had any intelligence, and it didn't seem like they even realized they could leave the room, but just to be on the safe side he carried on down the aisle hoping to find a secure room to bed down in, preferably one with another means of escape if necessary. The sun couldn't set too soon for Plymuth.


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PostSubject: Re: ALTERED STATES - EPISODE 1   Mon May 11, 2009 11:09 am



With each passing second, Kitty was certain Leo was too far ahead of them and they would lose his trail. As the sky slowly got brighter, the wind from the west began to pick up and with it, the blowing sand would take with it the scent and tracks Leo was making. As she sprinted along with Tom making as many evasive maneuvers as they could, Kitty kept glancing over her shoulder. Tom was right, the soldiers were going to be very angry.

It was just about the time when Kitty was about to give up being able to locate Leo when she saw him on the horizon. He was stopped, along wit Gregory and the others and he was looking towards her and Tom. Her heart skipped a beat and she wanted to do nothing more than take off running as fast as she could right for him, but that was dangerous. She HAD to keep moving the way she was. It was the only way to be sure they escaped the soldiers.

In what seemed like it took forever, Kitty and Tom had reached close enough to Leo that he jogged out to meet them. Kitty gave the brightest smile she’d ever given when he met them and while she wanted to reach out and bring him into a hug, she knew she simply couldn’t. It was just not the right thing to do. Regardless of how much she wanted to. Of course it didn’t help when he spoke her name and looked at her the way he did. She damn near said to hell with it and reached out to hug him. It was only by forcing herself to remember the awkwardness of the last time they were close enough to each other to touch that she was able to refrain. Instead, she never took her eyes off the young man.

As Leo informed them of his procurement, Kitty eyed the truck with a little trepidation. Still, Leo had a point and if he could keep driving it, they could get further, faster in that thing. As she reminded them of the impending daylight that was about to expose them to the harsh rays of the sun, Tom showed Leo the map he took. As they decided to look into this…Oasis, Kitty thought they had made the right decision. Of course, that could have been because the first orange streaks of sunlight began to pain the sky. It wouldn’t be too long before the sun was up completely and with it, the danger of being cooked alive by it’s searing heat.

Kitty nodded her agreement to riding, even with her reservations, she knew it was far better than going it by foot. Especially with the extra weight she and Tom carried in their backpacks. She was moving towards the truck when she caught the whiff of the unmistakable metallic scent of blood on the wind. And it was close.

Growling, she whirled around and put her nose to the sir, sniffing. The blood scent was very strong and she had to fight her animal instinct to attack what ever it was. If Leo saw her do that, there’s no doubt he would leave her where she was. But she was hungry and she did need the water the blood would give her to keep from dehydrating. Flexing her hands, she crouched but didn’t spring. And it’s a good thing to. From the right, she saw the lumbering form of a large creature heading in the same direction they were headed, but not in the direct path of them.

Snarling, she kept her eyes trained on it and her body ready to spring at it any moment. Tom had caught whiff of the thing almost same time she did and was steady eyeing the thing as well. Finally Kitty recognized it as the creature that had emerged from the soldiers camp. Blinking, she relaxed slightly then started signing quickly to Tom.

creature from soldier camp….need to save it…hurt bad…..bleeding….easy prey for hunters. need to help it. HURRY

Giving Leo a quick glance, she darted off towards the large creature. Leo’s voice followed after her.

“Wait! Kitty! It might attack YOU! KITTY!”

It was moving much slower than it had before. No doubt the injuries it suffered were slowing it down and since they were moving faster than it, they must have passed it somewhere along the way. That still didn’t mean it wasn’t going to welcome her company. Moving parallel with the thing for a few feet, she moved so that she was in direct path with it and a few yards ahead then stopped, holding up her hands in front of her as though she were surrendering to it. The thing seemed to be concentrating on moving for it didn’t see her right away. Kitty was certain the thing was going to freight train right over her but it caught sight of her at the last minute and pulled to a halt.

Kitty and the creature stood staring at each other in what appeared to be a Mexican standoff. Neither moving. Kitty’s eyes studied the thing and could see the matted, blood soaked fur caused by the bullets the thing had taken. She gave a few different audible signals to the thing but it didn’t seem to register it had even heard her. Finally, out of desperation, she slowly moved her hands to see if the thing knew sign language.

no hurt you. help you. mean you no harm. friends. let me help you. yes?

The things glowing eyes seemed to bore straight into her and Kitty was almost certain the thing was getting ready to lunge at her any moment. Once again a Mexican stand off took place and Kitty was wondering if maybe Leo was right.

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Vaudeville

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PostSubject: Re: ALTERED STATES - EPISODE 1   Mon May 11, 2009 12:02 pm



Leo hadn’t found Kitty just to lose her again, and when she went running off towards the huge, hairy hulk, he ran after her, calling her name. He stopped a few yards away as Kitty and the creature stared at each other, cautious and halting as if they walked through a mine field. Leo’s hand was on his gun, ready to do whatever was necessary to protect Kitty. He heard Tom’s loping footsteps coming up behind, muffled by the sand that was beginning to shine like silver as dawn tipped the highest points of the distant ruin city pink.

The monster’s nostrils flared, huffing in the air the way a thirsty man quaffs water. If it understood any of the noises Kitty made or the signs she sketched, it gave no indication. At last, the beast raised its horn-crowned head and wailed softly, a sound both sad and frightening, like the noise a trapped animal makes.



The creature lifted a hand—Leo was surprised to see it had a hand and not a paw—a hand with thick black nails, backs of the fingers matted with the same brown fur covered his shambling body; a stretched and awkward giant’s hand. Leo tensed as the beast reached for Kitty, as though to grab her. “Kitty,” he said with a warning note, and scrambled towards them, half-skidding down a sandy bank.

At Leo’s movement, the monster recoiled his hand, dancing cautiously back from Kitty and Leo both. It made another language-less sound and raised both arms to shield its chest and head.

“Easy, easy.” Leo said, recovering himself and showing an empty, steadying hand to the beast—mutant?—what was it, anyway? “We won’t hurt you if you don’t hurt us, okay?” He darted a look at Kitty. “I don’t think he understands.”

The creature lowered its arms slowly, looking from one to the other, then up the shallow ridge to Tom and the vehicles. Then he hung his head again, like one defeated, and began to edge around Kitty, lethargically shuffling eastward.

Leo looked at Kitty. “I guess it doesn’t seem dangerous, exactly… But I’m not sure what we can do.”
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PostSubject: Re: ALTERED STATES - EPISODE 1   Mon May 11, 2009 12:15 pm

Tom , approached the creature slowly with his head subserviantly down and reach out to touch the creature. As his hand lightly brushed the creatures fur, it stopped and looked down at Tom. Ton then gentley guided the creature twoards Kitty, Leo and the vehicles. A silent animalistic bond of trust seemed to have been established, as they slowly made their way towads the vehicles.

Once they arrived Tom motioned for the creature to climb into the back of the truck.
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PostSubject: Re: ALTERED STATES - EPISODE 1   Mon May 11, 2009 12:51 pm



Leo watched in impressed silence as the creature followed Tom to the truck. He traded a look with Kitty, and the two of them followed the wolf man and the shaggy beast, who was a third again as tall as Tom, and at least three times as wide at the shoulders.

“He’s huge,” he told Kitty. “I wonder why he helped us escape? Do you think he meant to?”

Kitty scrutinized the hairy hulk with a charming furrow on her tiger-striped brow.

The creature had reached the tailgate and his placidity fell away as Tom indicated he should climb on. The beast staggered back with a howl and swatted at the canvas-wrapped frame, causing the whole truck to rock.

“Oh, no…” Leo uttered.

But Tom managed to placate the monster again, through submissive postures and gentle touches, and when Tom crawled onto the back of the truck himself and beckoned the creature, it seemed to have second thoughts. Finally, it lumped its huge form onto the truck bed, causing the vehicle to sink down about an inch.

Leo’s chest deflated and he shook his head. “Oh, man,” he sighed. “Just when I thought our band was complete…”
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