As always, I'm working on some of your favorite stories!
But I can't help but come up with some more ;)
You see, when I have an idea, I feel I just need to express it in writing, whether the story finishes or not, I just have this need to get it out there :D
Please enjoy reading!
Pushing the cart through the steel doors, he looked to his partner. "Where'd you find 'em? I reckoned out in one of them sanctuaries where they run wild. But no, he's feral alright. The fur on that thing would make any woman sigh with envy!"
His partner coughed into his sleeve, trying to get over a cold he'd suffered from for over a week. "I'd prefer not to disclose the information, considering that animals with such rich a color are hard to come by. But if you insist, I trapped 'em way up in Canada. Snatched him right up, I did. He's young, but mature."
"What do you reckon this place wants 'em for?"
The wheels squeaked under the weight of the crate as they slid across the linoleum floors in the large, domed room. They directed the cart towards the door just to the right of the central hallway.
"Not sure. I just heard they needed some animal to pursue their studies with, so I offered myself for the job. It was good money," he grinned. The cart bounced over a small lip in the doorway, and they began to hear clamorous wailing from inside the crate.
"Dang runt!" he kicked at the wooden boards, stifling the creature into a stunned silent. "Much better," he sighed.
"Here we are!" his partner announced, dropping the cart handle to the floor with a satisfying thud. He grinned at one of the laboratory workers, smoothing his hair back in a stupidly, but what he hoped to be enticing, way.
Rolling her eyes, she stated coldly, "You can leave the package there so you can be on your way. We can handle it from here."
"Are you sure you don't-"
" Out. "
Sighing, she walked over to the crate and crouched beside it, tucking her bangs back behind her ear. Shifting her glasses into place, she peered inside, staring sweetly at the face whose green eyes gazed back with utmost terror and uncertainty. Its ears perked up when she slipped a piece of her bagel inside, then shyly slid over and licked it up.
"Much better," the woman cooed, standing up as the laboratory door opened up behind her.
"I see the package has arrived. All's well then, for now," she announced, glancing from the crate to her coworker. "Let's bring him in then! Time's a wasting!" She walked over to the cart and lifted the handle, pushing the crate through the doorway into its temporary holding cell. Her partner, with a crowbar, snapped open the front boarding and released the red fox into its momentary home. Tongue protruded, it began to pace restlessly back and forth.
"How long's it been in there, Steph?" she inquired, raising an eyebrow.
"Who knows? The guys just brought him in today, and we commissioned them over a week ago," Stephanie explained, shrugging.
"Has he eaten anything?"
"Well... Only a piece of bagel that I know of..." she began, but quickly explained herself. "It was only a small piece! Besides, he was hungry, Liz. I'm sure you would've done the same."
"Yeah, unless it had the possibility of ruining the whole experimentation," Elizabeth muttered under her breath, shaking her head. Walking over to a secure door, she typed in a numbered code with her pen, and unlocking the door, walked inside the room they had prepared for their subject, and hopefully more, in the future.
It was a synthetic landscape they had created in the lab so that the animals wouldn't go into shock from being thrown into another world so suddenly and so violently. Workers had covered the floor with a sheet of clay and a thick layer of soil and sand, to recreate small hillsides. A few red maples had been planted inside as well, and a static "stream" was carved out to run through the middle, filled with clean water.
Although not perfect, it would be enough for the fox for a few days while Elizabeth and Stephanie observed its behavior and anatomical changes. Their lab adviser would oversee the whole process, and determine the safety and legitimacy of their discovery.
Liz walked over to where a panel was installed into the simulator walls, where hillsides were painted, and above that, a blue sky with shaded clouds, and rummaged inside the basket placed beside the panel. She pulled out the garments, inspecting each one carefully, determining if it would be the right size, then folded them neatly back inside. She slid the panel open and laid a small piece of meat at the mouth of the panel to entice the fox into its new home.
Almost immediately, the animal came trotting down, jaw dangled wide open, before she snatched it away and shut the panel. She the the fox an apologetic look, knowing it couldn't eat for another day, then ushered it out into its environment. "Sorry, buddy!" she called, leaving the room.
"Is he all ready?" Stephanie asked as Liz came back in, shuffling through the drawers.
"Yes. Watch through the window in case something goes haywire. I don't want any of this stuff in me," she said, holding up a syringe containing a cloudy blue liquid. "If anything goes haywire, you come in immediately."
"Of course!" she reassured Liz, pulling out her laptop and notepad, ready to write down anything she could observe from day one.
"Here I go," Elizabeth murmured, pulling open the door and walking over to the fox, huddled behind one of the tree roots. Quietly, she walked up behind and gripped the fox's torso to immobilize it, then quickly injected the serum into its neck. "I seriously hope this works. I've worked far too long for it to fail me now!"
The fox began to whimper and squeal, then squirmed out of her grasp and running quickly away to hide elsewhere.
"Alright, Steph. I'll be back tomorrow morning. I've got to go pick up the kids and make dinner. All that fun family stuff. See you tomorrow," Liz said, shoving her car keys into her pocket and heading for the door, "and if anything goes wrong, just call me, okay?" And she was gone.
"Sure. Whatever." Stephanie sighed and reclined in her swivel chair. She knew it would be at least a day before anything noteworthy occurred. She saw no reason to remain here throughout the night, but she knew she had to stay. If the fox's body didn't coincide well with the injection, she had to be prepared to quickly stabilize the situation. Or, if the serum worked far quicker than what had been estimated, she had to be able to record it.
Three hours had passed, and the fox had fallen asleep in the middle of the environment. Although an uninteresting moment, Stephanie wrote it down anyway. It would be a starting point to compare further behavioral alterations that could occur.
Slowly, the fox opened its eyes, blinking a few times before standing up. It remained stationary, looking around at its environment with some foreign sense of curiosity. Then it saw Stephanie, and they locked eyes. The fox betrayed no trace of fear or anger, anything typical for a feral fox. They were wondrous and curious. There appeared to be some new found, even if minute, form of intelligence building up inside of the creature.
And its eyes... they seemed almost... human.
Note from the Author
I've never included a note before, but I'd like to know what you think of the chapter, if it seems like an interesting concept you might like to continue reading about!
These changes in the fox are only the beginning, and there are several more characters to come, besides a fox, if you are so enticed to read it! :)
Please respond and leave a comment, or at least rate so I know you enjoyed it enough that you might check in for more chapters to a story I would love to write for you! :D