A tiny Bothan child shivered in the dirty alley way, its dark fuzzy fur matted. It nuzzled against the unconscious figure of the female, seeking warmth.
The woman's dark auburn hair was also matted, her face and clothes dingy, dirty, and barely covering her body. Her skinny arms bore many needle marks and dried blood.
"Mama, wake up mama..I'm cold..I'm hungry.." The tiny Bothan pup whined, nuzzling its small muzzle against the woman.
But she did not stir.
The tiny Bothan whimpered quietly, afraid. "Mama..please wake up...I'm..I'm scared..." After a few moments the pup closed its eyes, attempting to sleep despite the cold and the growing hunger in its belly.
Suddenly the sound of people walking down the dark, dank alleyway. The pup's ears perked up, listening to the sounds of footsteps approaching.
"Mama..somebody's coming..I'm scared.." The pup whined, pawing at her in a vain attempt to wake her.
The pup watched with fear as the dark figures moved closer to them, speaking in a language it did not understand.
The two figures finally stopped inches from them, kneeling down to peer at the child and the unconscious woman.
The taller figure took a small device out of a backpack as the other figure smiled reassuringly at the pup. "Hello little one..don't be afraid. We won't hurt you."
The pup peered at the shorter figure, confused at the language.
The shorter figure began to reach forward, to grab the pup's arm.
The pup growled and snapped its teeth at the figure. "Don't touch me!" It snarled in Basic.
The shorter figure pulled her hand away and looked up at the taller, male figure.
Again they spoke in the strange language. "It doesn't understand what we're saying..it's scared of us. Likely thinks we're going to take its mother away from it."
The taller male figure studied the tiny pup carefully before speaking in Basic. "It's alright pup, we're here to help you. We're not going to take your Mother away from you, ok?"
The pup studied the taller figure, and then looked back at the woman, still whimpering. "I'm hungry.." It whimpered to them, shivering.
The female smiled. "You can have all the food you can eat, where we're going..but first - I need your arm to check something. I'll have to touch your arm..is that ok pup?"
The pup nodded quietly, still watching them carefully.
The male handed the device to the female as she reached out, gently taking hold of the pup's arm.
The device scanned it's arm, then sent information back to the male's datapad.
He studied it carefully. "Positive identification on the pup so far.." The foreign language again.
The woman looked up at him, a brow raised. "So far?"
The man glanced down at her. "Microchips can be stolen and re-implanted. I've seen it before."
The woman nodded quietly before glancing at the unconscious woman. She returned to basic for the pup's benefit. "Pup, is it ok if I also check your Mama's arm? I promise we won't hurt her."
The pup looked at its Mama, studying her for moment before nodding. "O..Ok.." It stammered nervously, watching.
The woman scanned the pup's Mother's arm, glancing up at the male figure.
"Annnd..we've got another match." The male said, studying the datapad.
The female nodded. "Lets take them in..we'll draw blood samples to confirm."
The male moved forward to gather the pup's mother.
"Wh-what are you doing with my mama..?!" The pup asked, suddenly hysterical.
The female tried to calm it, but the pup was clawing and scratching at the male, snarling and biting.
She took out a syringe from her belt and stuck the child with it. "I'm sorry pup, this will just make you sleepy..we're taking you both somewhere safe..sleep now -"
The pup whined and closed its eyes groggily before it saw nothing but darkness.
The small Bothan child opened its eyes, still groggy, its eyes slowly adjusting to the room.
Two figures stood just outside the room, speaking quietly.
The pup strained to hear them but failed to decipher the odd language.
The woman followed the other figure into the room quietly, a clipboard in her hand.
The pup watched the figure move into the room and attempted to hide its face under the blanket, but quickly realized it was restrained to the hospital bed.
The figure was short and wore strange black and gold armor, its face hidden under a dark mask that resembled an animal.
The armored figure turned towards the woman, then back to the child on the bed.
"You are positive, this is the same child?"
"Yes sir, the microchip, blood, and dna tests confirm it."
"And the woman..?"
"The biological Mother..confirmed by the tests."
The figure paused a moment before speaking. "You are sure..?"
"Yes Sir. It's her."
The armored figure nodded. "What is her condition?"
The woman glanced down at her clipboard briefly before speaking. "She overdosed on glitterspice..she is very thin and underfed, her body is missing patches of fur, her hair is falling out..-" The woman sighed. "She's in terrible shape..and going through withdrawal currently."
The man shook his head in disgust. "I gave her everything..I spoiled her and gave in to her every whim..and look where she ended up..in the gutter."
The woman looked down at her feet awkwardly, then cleared her throat, glancing over at the pup. "Oh - it seems the pup is awake. Would you like to meet him?"
The armored man hesitated for a moment before nodding. He followed the woman over to the foot of the bed.
"Hello again little one..remember me? How're you feeling?" The woman spoke in basic.
"Hungry.." The pup said quietly, looking over at the armored man nervously. "Who's that? He's scary."
The woman looked up at the man, waiting for him to speak.
"I'm your Father little one." The man said quietly.
"No you aren't..I don't have a daddy..mama told me so."
The man scoffed. "Your Mother is a liar and a spice addict. That is why I'm here pup. You're going to come live with me now."
"YOU'RE NOT MY DADDY!" The child screamed angrily. He tugged and pulled at the restraints, growling and trying to get free.
The woman rushed over to the cabinet nearby, taking out another syringe.
The man watched her, growling low under his breath. "No. I do not want him sedated again..he needs to hear the truth."
The woman bowed her head and put the syringe away, stepping away from the bed. "Of course. My apologies, Professor Den'kor."
The man moved closer to the bed, peering at the tiny dark furred Bothan. He reached up and removed his mask slowly, setting it on the bedside table.
The pup's eyes widened as he stared at the scarred and burned face. He shook his head and closed his eyes. "No..! I don't wanna look anymore!"
The man leaned close. "Open your eyes Lishan."
The pup opened his eyes in surprise. "H..how do you know my n..name?" He stammered, nervous.
The man smiled at him. "I told you, I'm your Father. My name is North Den'kor and I met you many years ago, when you were just a tiny thing. I'm the one that named you."
"You're my Daddy..? But..you're..you're a monster!" The pup said, still staring at the scarred and burned face.
The man chuckled at the boy. "Yes well..beggars can't be choosers."
Lishan pulled at his restraints, irritated.
North watched the child outside the room, then checked his chrono.
He turned to the woman. "I'd like you to remove his restraints so that he may accompany me to the cafeteria and eat lunch with me."
The woman looked up at him, raising a brow. "Sir..are you sure? He's extremely volatile and agitated. He attempted to bite the nurse this morning.."
North looked at her. "He's lived on the streets for who knows how long - he's afraid and believes he has to defend himself..that is all this is."
The woman nodded quietly. She unlocked the door to the room and walked over to the bed, taking out some keys.
Lishan watched her. "What are you doing?"
"Your daddy asked me to remove your restraints little one. He'd like you to eat lunch with him. Doesn't that sound like fun?"
Lishan narrowed his eyes at her, then his gaze moved to the man standing outside the room.
The woman began unlocking the restraints, although hesitantly.
When she finished the child rubbed his sore wrists and watched as North stepped into the room.
Lishan glared at him. "Where's my Mama?"
"She is indisposed."
North smiled. "She's...busy."
"I wanna see my Mama."
"No Lishan, you cannot see your Mother right now. Why don't you come eat lunch with me instead?"
Lishan sat up and swung his legs over the side of the bed. He peered down at the floor. It seemed like it was miles away for the five year old.
North smiled behind the mask. "Would you like some help?"
The boy looked up at North, his fur ruffling as he blushed, embarrassed. "...yeah.." he whispered.
North moved forward and swiftly picked the child up, setting him down onto the floor.
Lishan winced. "The floor is FREEZING!"
The woman quickly opened a closet and took out a small robe and slippers then held them out to Lishan.
Lishan eyed the items suspiciously for a moment before slipping the robe on and sliding each tiny foot into a slipper.
He looked up at North, still a bit apprehensive.
North offered a gloved hand to the boy.
Lishan took his hand and peered up at the man curiously.
North smiled. "Shall we?"
The pup nodded before adding. "I'm starvin'...and their food is gross.." he whispered in basic
North chuckled quietly as they left the room and headed down the hall towards the elevator.
The woman watched them go and smiled, making some notes on her clipboard.
North and Lishan left the cafeteria and walked down the hallway, the small pup still holding the armored figure's hand.
Lishan observed all the people walking by, speaking the strange language.
"Where are we?"
North smiled down at the boy. "This is where I work."
Lishan perked his ears up. "I can't understand what their sayin'.."
North looked down at him. "Their speaking Bothese, our native language. You do not understand it?"
Lishan frowned and shook his head. "Nope.." he mumbled quietly.
North sighed, disappointed. "I was hoping your Mother would teach you our native tongue..that is very unfortunate."
Lishan looked up at his Father. "Will..will you teach me? I wanna learn."
North smiled under his mask. "Of course I will pup." He ruffled the small child's dark mop of hair.
Lishan blushed sheepishly as several people walked by, mid ruffle. The girls in the group smiled at the boy, giggling amongst themselves.
Lishan turned to watch them, curious. "Who are they?"
"And what do you do?"
"I'm a teacher here. I teach several different subjects."
"You're a teacher..? I heard about school before from Mama..she said I was almost at the age for school..and that I'd get to play with other kids."
North looked down at the boy. "Yes, that is true. You are. However I have a different plan for you Lishan."
Lishan raised a brow, looking up at the man curiously. "Whatcha mean?"
"You will be home schooled. Many of your lessons I will teach you myself."
Lishan pouted. "Can I still play with other kids?"
"I will arrange for socialization for you, do not fret pup."
Lishan peered up at him, again confused. "Sosh-wha?"
North smiled. "Play time."
Lishan grinned happily, stopping to hug North's leg mid-walk.
North appeared rather startled as he paused in the hallway. He patted the small boy's head awkwardly. "Let's go pup, I have a surprise for you."
The armored Bothan and the small boy stepped out of the elevator and walked down the hallway, stopping at a desk. A woman behind the desk glanced up from her paperwork, appearing somewhat startled at the masked figure.
North smiled behind his mask. "Good afternoon, we're here to see patient 37. Is she ready for visitors?"
The woman rifled through some paperwork, reading it briefly. "Let's see here...she is currently detoxing..but the Doctor strongly recommends a few more days pass before she can have visitors."
Lishan looked up at North, then frowned and shuffled his feet.
North glanced down at the child, then leaned over the desk slightly, peering at the woman. "Check. Again."
The woman shrinked down into her chair, her ears going back. Her fur ruffled. "Umm..oh wait..it says here that visitors a-are perfectly ffine.." she stammered nervously.
North grinned behind the mask. "That is excellent news. What room is she in?"
"Room sssix..." the woman stammered again, then she quickly stood up and briskly walked towards the break room.
North led Lishan by the hand down the hall to room six. They stopped in front of the door. North looked down at the child. "Go on pup..talk to your Mother."
Lishan looked up at North, hesitating. "B-but..I'm scared.." he whispered.
North knelt down to the child. "Why are you scared? This is your Mother..do you not miss her and wish to see her?"
Lishan's ears went back as his dark fur ruffled. He stared at his feet. "That day those strange people came..Mama wasn't herself..I didn't want her to do those bad things..she..she.."he looked away, ashamed.
North narrowed his eyes. "She..what?"
Lishan looked up at North, his eyes welling up with tears. "She..got mad and hit me.."
North snarled, then took a deep breath, composing himself. He opened the door, looking down at Lishan. "Come in pup."
Lishan looked terrified and wouldn't move an inch.
North held his hand out to Lishan.
The child took his hand slowly, then followed North into the room.
North led Lishan to the foot of the bed.
Lishan looked up slowly and saw his mother lying in the bed, various tubes connected to her. Her dark auburn hair still appeared dirty and greasy. Her hands and feet were in restraints.
The tan furred Bothan opened her eyes at the sounds, looking over at the two figures.
North stared her down, quiet.
The woman's bloodshot eyes widened in terror as they set upon the armored Bothan. She looked at the 'panic' button beside her bed, frantic, but unable to reach it due to the restraints.
North chuckled. "That won't be necessary Gia."
The woman hissed, her ears back. "What do you want you son of a bitch?"
North shook his finger at her in a 'tsk tsk' gesture. "Not in front of the child." He said in Bothese.
The woman snorted and switched to their native tongue. "Give me a kriffin' break..that kid has heard worse..much worse."
Lishan frowned at the strange language, unable to decipher it still.
North growled and stepped closer to the woman. "Yes Gia, no thanks to you."
Gia growled, glaring at him.
North peered at her, disgusted. "Look at you..you are pathetic. A spice junkie, living in filth..selling her body for money..why..? Why Gia?"
Gia hissed and looked away from him.
North stepped up next to the bed. "Why did you leave and take our pup with you? I took care of you. You had a warm bed, every luxury in the galaxy..no reason to work anymore."
Gia huffed. "I left because you're a freak and a monster..I couldn't leave a tiny defenseless pup with you. Who knows what would have happened to him. I bet he wouldn't even have survived to be this old."
North chuckled. "You are a hypocrit Gia..Lishan just informed me that you hit him when he tried to stop you from overdosing on spice."
Gia glanced over at the small boy, then quickly looked away, ashamed.
"Is it true, did you hit my child?" North asked, raising his voice slightly.
She glared at him. "*My* child."
North smirked under his mask. "No..he belongs to me now. He is yours no longer Gia. You lost that privilege when you became a spice addicted whore. Now tell me..did you hit him? Do not lie to me."
Gia whined and looked away again, tears sliding down her cheek. "....yeah..it's true, I hit him..."
North's head swiftly turned to Lishan. "Lishan, leave the room please."
Lishan's ears went back and he nodded quickly, moving towards the door.
North waited until he heard the door shut and calmly walked to the door, locking it.
He walked back to the bed, staring down at the woman for a moment before he wrapped his hands around her neck, choking her.
Gia kicked and flailed, but was unable to fight him off with her arms and legs restrained.
North applied more pressure to her neck, watching her eyes begin to roll back into her head as she fought for air.
He suddenly snarled and let go of her, breathing heavily. He walked away from the bed, pacing back and forth.
Gia gasped for breath as North let go of her, then whimpered quietly.
North looked over at her, then removed his mask slowly, hanging it from his belt. He stepped closer to the bed and looked down at her.
Gia winced at his face, looking away.
"Look at me Gia."
She closed her eyes and shook her head.
'Look. At. Me." He repeated.
Gia whimpered and turned to look at his face, her eyes moving over the burns and scars.
"You knew what I was..who I was..what I looked like..so why were you even with me to begin with?" He asked.
The woman sighed and looked away again. "Cause I knew you had money..a nice house, cushy job..it all seemed pretty damn appealing at the time..better than swingin' on a pole for money. I wanted that life of luxury you had...but then I got bored of it..and sick of you."
North narrowed his eyes. "And the child?"
Gia huffed. "He was an accident..I forgot to take my control meds..he wasn't planned.."
North growled. "You told me that you loved me and that you wanted to have pups with me. I should have left you in that filthy strip club, you lying bitch."
Gia hissed. "Yeah, maybe you should have. You disgust me. Always have."
North leaned close to her, smelling her neck. "Interesting..because I seem to remember you enjoying those times in my bed..and always wanting more.." he whispered into her ear in Bothese.
Gia laughed, then spit at him. "I'd rather frekk a Hutt."
North smirked. "That can be arranged."
He unhooked his mask from his belt and put it back on. He turned to leave, then glanced back at Gia.
"You will finish your detoxing here and rehab elsewhere. The child belongs to me now. I will have my Lawyer bring the paperwork to you shortly. You will never see Lishan, nor I again."
Gia turned away, whimpering quietly as more tears stained her face.
North opened the door without looking at her. "Goodbye Gia."
He closed the door behind him and glanced around, noticing Lishan sitting on a bench down the hall.
North walked down the hallway and smiled down at the boy. "Let's go Lishan."
The child looked up at him. "What about Mama?"
"Your Mother is leaving. We will not be visiting her again."
Lishan frowned and nodded quietly.
North smiled at him behind the mask. "You are going to live with me now Lishan. You will never have to live in the gutter again, pup. You will never want for food. I will take good care of you. And I will never raise a hand to you because I care for you..do you understand?"
Lishan bit his lip, nodding silently.
North nodded and held out his hand to the child.
Lishan hesitantly took his Father's hand and they walked down the hall towards the elevator.
A loud scream echoed through out the apartment.
North sat straight up in the bed, his ears perked.
He threw the sheet off of himself, clad only in pajama pants. He swung his legs over the side of the bed and hopped onto the floor, then opened the door, racing down the hallway to the smaller bedroom.
A piece of paper was taped to the door of the smaller bedroom, showing a drawing of tall buildings below a bright sun. The drawing was beginning to unstick from the door, its corners curling slightly.
North swung the door open swiftly, then turned the light on.
Lishan was sitting up in bed, hiding under the blanket.
North couldn't help but smile in amusement, but resumed his serious face and tone. What's wrong pup?"
Lishan whimpered quietly. "I..I had a scary dream..there was a monster in the closet..it had red eyes and big teeth.."
North walked over to the bed and sat down next to the child, pulling the blanket off of him.
"It's alright Lishan, it was just a bad dream." He ruffled the boy's hair.
Lishan looked up at his Father's face, yelped, then quickly grabbed the blanket and threw it over his head again.
North sighed, realizing he forgot his mask. "I'm sorry pup, I didn't mean to frighten you."
He pondered for a moment, looking over at the closet, which was close to his own room.
Lishan whimpered. "...yeah..?"
"Was *I* the monster in your closet?"
The child whimpered but said nothing.
North sighed, his brow furrowed.
"Lishan..I know you are frightened of my face, but I am not a "monster". These are just burns and scars I received many years ago, before you were born."
Lishan slowly pulled the blanket off, peering up at North.
He lowered his head, his dark shaggy hair in his face. "Sorry...."
North chuckled, ruffling his hair again. "You could use a hair cut pup."
Lishan growled quietly. "But I like it!"
North smiled at him. "Very well. Just a trim perhaps." He pat Lishan's head.
"Time to get back to bed pup. You have a big day tomorrow."
Lishan perked his ears curiously. "Lessons?"
North smiled at the child. "Yes, the start of many." he tucked the boy back into his bed, ruffling his hair.
Lishan watched his Father move to the door, about to turn off the light.
North turned to the boy. "Goodnight pup."
"Goodnight Daddy." the boy said quietly, cuddling a plush graul toy as he rolled over onto his side.
North switched the light off and closed the door.
He returned to his own room and sat on his bed, switching his bedside lamp on. He glanced over at a framed holophoto on the bedside table.
In the photo a white furred female Bothan with dark hair was hugging a small dark furred little girl with braided pig tails, beside the little girl was a slightly older dark furred boy with short spiky hair.
North looked away from the photo and sighed heavily, reaching up to touch his burned face. He closed his eyes, images and sounds running through his mind. Images of flames, the sounds of screams, and the smell of burning flesh.
He shook his head, wishing away the thoughts. He reached up to turn the light off and laid back in the bed, staring up at the ceiling before closing his eyes.
The older Bothan woman with glasses walked out in a huff, looking quite irritated. She pressed a few buttons, waiting for the door to open but it didn't.
The sound of clanking armor approached.
The woman turned and saw North standing at the doorway of the room.
"Leaving so soon?" His gloved hand rested on his sword sheath.
The woman swallowed slowly. "I..I simply cannot work with that child. He is disrespectful, disruptive, and violent."
North raised a brow, stepping closer. "Violent..?"
"Yes. Your son tried to bite me - twice!"
North narrowed his eyes under the mask and moved even closer.
The woman stepped back, practically right up against the door now. She adjusted her glasses nervously. "I'm asking politely..please let me leave Professor Den'kor..I have other students to teach."
North chuckled and tapped a few keys on his belt. The door opened quickly.
The woman looked relieved but before she could step out the door North was standing in front of her.
He closed the door again.
The woman's ears went back.
"And I am *politely* asking you to keep your mouth shut about my son's behavior. In fact..tell no one that you were even here. Is that understood?"
The woman nodded quickly, her fur rippling.
"Good. Because I do know where you live, should I have to remind you.."
The woman bit her lip and lowered her head. "I promise I won't say a word to anybody Professor Den'kor.."
North nodded and stepped back, opening the door. "That is good to hear. Safe journeys Ma'am." He bowed his head to her.
The woman briskly walked out the door, heading down the hallway of the apartment building towards the elevator.
North chuckled and tapped the buttons on his belt, securing the door again.
He walked out of the room and down the hallway towards the study.
He paused outside the room, peeking his head inside.
Lishan was still sitting at the desk, various books and papers scattered about the room.
His head was on the desk, under his folded arms. He appeared to be sleeping.
North cleared his throat.
The boy raised his head, his hair in his face. "Wha..?"
North narrowed his eyes and leaned against the doorway. "Lishan..did you *bite* the teacher?"
Lishan sat back in his chair, his ears back. "No.."
"That is not what the teacher told me.." He folded his arms sternly.
Lishan frowned and lowered his head. "...yeah..I tried to.."
North growled quietly, his eyes moving to the scattered books and papers on the floor.
"Did you do *this* as well?" He gestured to the mess.
Lishan whimpered. "She made me mad."
"What did she say that made you so mad, pup?"
"I don't remember.." the boy mumbled quietly.
North sighed. "Lishan..you cannot do as you please. You cannot bite somebody for no reason."
Lishan bit his lip, nodding silently.
North pondered for a moment. "I have an idea..follow me, pup."
Lishan hopped off the chair and followed North out of the room and down the hallway.
North stopped at a sealed door and tapped a few keys on his belt, opening the door.
Lishan followed him inside, looking around.
The room had various armor and weapons mounted on the walls, along with various training devices.
Lishan stared wide eyed at everything. "Wow....."
North chuckled. "Do you like it?"
"I love it!"
North smiled at the small boy. "This is where I practice and keep in shape."
Lishan tilted his head curiously. "Practice with what..?" He eyed the sword sheath. "That?"
North nodded. "Yes. Swords, blades, staves, pikes..unarmed combat.."
Lishan jumped up and down excitedly. "I wanna practice..I wanna learn!"
North chuckled at the child's enthusiasm.
"And we will do exactly that..starting tomorrow morning."
Lishan beamed excitedly.
North ruffled the boy's hair. "Let's go get dinner started pup..I'm sure you worked up an appetite..studying and..biting.." he smirked to himself behind the mask.
Lishan giggled and ran down the hallway happily.
North and Lishan were in the traning room. Both wielded wooden swords.
North was showing Lishan how to wield his sword properly.
The child giggled excitedly, poking at his Father's armor with his sword.
North growled low under his breath. "Stop that Lishan, pay attention."
Lishan stuck his tongue out at him playfully.
North chuckled. "Brat."
Lishan stopped and appeared to be deep in thought for a moment.
North observed him curiously. "What is it pup?"
"I remember what the teacher said yesterday that made me so mad."
North tilted his head, intrigued. "Tell me then Lishan, what did Mrs. Vu'lik say to you?"
Lishan stared down at his feet, his ears back. "She said..she said that you'll never love me as much as your other kids.."
North narrowed his eyes. "What..?"
Lishan looked up at him and nodded quickly. "That's what she said..but..I thought I was your only pup?"
North sighed, his brow furrowed. "You are pup..you are.."
Lishan bit his lip. "So..what happened to the other kids?"
North clenched his fists. The wooden sword handle snapped and the fake sword fell to the floor with a clatter.
Lishan's eyes widened and he stepped backwards, afraid.
North set his jaw before speaking. "Go to your room Lishan..I will let you know when lunch is ready ."
Lishan made a pouty face and whined quietly, his fur rippling. "But I wanna practice more -"
"GO." North snarled.
Lishan yelped and dropped his sword, running out of the room.
North looked down at the small sword and sighed, a single tear sliding down his burned cheek under the mask.
About an hour or so later Lishan peeked around the corner of the kitchen, watching an unmasked North flip some nerf burgers.
North smelled the air and turned to see the small child standing in the doorway.
"Lunch is just about ready pup. Wash your hands and have a seat at the table."
Lishan climbed onto the step stool and washed his hands, then hopped down and sat at the table.
North turned the burner off and set the plate of burgers on the table along with the buns and ketchup.
He poured two glasses of juice and set them on the table, sitting next to the boy.
Lishan made his burger, putting lots and lots of ketchup on it.
North watched him and started putting his own burger together. "Lishan -"
Lishan looked up at his Father. "..yeah Dad?"
North smiled sadly. "I'm sorry."
Lishan took a big bite of his burger, listening.
North sighed. "I did have a family once pup. It was a very long time ago. I was married and I had two pups, a boy and a girl."
Lishan chewed his burger, still listening. He stopped eating for a second. "Where are they? Can I meet them and play with them?" He looked excited at the idea.
"There was an accident - a fire..a very bad fire in our Home. They..." he peered at Lishan.
Lishan's ears flattened against his head. "So..I don't have any brothers or sisters to play with?"
North shook his head. "No, you do not pup. I'm sorry if you got your hopes up..and I want you to know that I care for you very much..what that teacher said is not true."
Lishan nodded quietly. "Ok..." he bit into his burger again hungrily,
North smiled slightly.
Suddenly his comm buzzed. He unclipped it from his belt. "North Den'kor."
North listened to the person on the other line before turning his comm off, a somber look on his face.
Lishan's ears perked up. "Who was that? Was it Mama?"
North shook his head. "No pup..but it was about your Mother. I regret to inform you that she overdosed on spice..she's..dead."
Lishan's eyes welled up with tears and he began to sob. He hopped off the chair and ran down the hall.
North could hear Lishan crying and sobbing for his Mother, but he remained where he was.
He opened his datapad and accessed his holomail, writing a message:
Your account will be credited with the agreed on price. Thank you for your service
The small pup opened his eyes sleepily, his eyes adjusting to the darkness in the room.
He quietly slid out from underneath the bed, tugging his blanket with him.
Lishan paused to look at the figure in the bed and perked his ears at the light snoring.
His eyes moved to a framed picture on the bedside table. He grabbed it and scampered out of the room.
He quietly shut his bedroom door and climbed into his bed, turning on his bedside lamp. He peered at the picture.
A white furred Bothan woman and two small dark furred pups smiled from out of the holophoto. He wondered if these were the dead siblings his father told him about.
His ears perked as he heard a noise and he quickly shoved the photo under his pillow, turning the light off. He slid under his blanket and pretended to be asleep.
North opened the door quietly, standing in the doorway in his pajama pants, his feet bare. He listened for sounds of breathing before closing the door once more.
He walked down the hall to his study and turned on the light, then poured himself a glass of red wine, sitting down in a leather chair.
On the desk in front of him was a file folder. He opened it and began to read:
"...shows signs of aggression."
"..extremely malnourished and underweight for his age."
"..fur was matted and covered with fleas."
"..extremely protective of his Mother."
"..evidence of physical abuse. Various bruising, cuts, scrapes, and old scars on body."
North narrowed his eyes.
He paused and opened another file folder.
"..hair and fur loss.."
"malnourished and underweight.."
"track marks from spice needles on arms.."
North growled and tossed the file across the room angrily. "Foolish whore..You had everything and squandered it for a life in the streets.." He mumbled in Bothese.
He leaned back into the chair, rubbing his temple. He sipped his wine and sighed.
He heard a noise and glanced over at the doorway.
Lishan was standing there, clutching his blanket. He sniffled quietly. "I miss Mama.."
North narrowed his eyes and scoffed. "Enough Lishan. I've had enough of your incessant whining. It has been well over a week now. She is gone. And good riddance.."
Lishan's eyes filled with tears and he started to sob. "But I loved Mama..she took care of me..."
North peered at the small boy and chuckled. "How..by allowing you to be abused and mistreated by strangers? Or perhaps that was her own doing.."
Lishan shook slightly, whimpering. "..Mama played games with them to get candy..she said that since she didn't have any money..that was the only way.."
North looked away from the pup in disgust. "Silly naive pup..your Mother did not play games. She whored her body out for spice, not for food. You were practically starving when they found you in that filthy alleyway."
Lishan sobbed quietly, staring at the floor. He wiped his eyes with the back of his paws.
North watched the child for a moment before speaking. "I will have no more of this ridiculous crying over your Mother. Do you understand?"
Lishan narrowed his eyes and growled quietly before running at his dad, clawing and biting at his leg.
North snarled and stood from the chair, picking the child up by the scruff of the neck. He held him in the air, glaring at him. "Do *not* bite me..you are not an animal."
Lishan growled quietly but stopped, his ears back.
North sighed and set the child down. "Your aggression must be controlled. We will begin working on this in the morning. Now..remember what I said, and go back to bed pup."
Lishan turned, nodding quietly.
"Oh and Lishan?"
Lishan turned, his ears perked up.
"Bring that holophoto back to me please. It does not belong to you."
Lishan whimpered quietly and scampered back to his bedroom.
"Tell me Doctor..what is your evaluation of the pup?"
The gray muzzled Bothan leaned back in his chair slightly, peering over at the armored man. He removed his glasses and set them on his desk. "He is very bright..but very scared, withdrawn and angry."
North nodded, listening. "He spent most of his life on the streets, with his spice junkie Mother."
The Doctor nodded. "Yes, he mentioned her. Quite often actually."
North sighed, sinking further into the leather couch. "She abused and mistreated him, and allowed others to hurt him..why does he still care so much for her?"
The Doctor smiled solemnly. "Because he's just a pup, he doesn't know any better. She was all he knew..all he had in this world." The Doctor chewed on his pen briefly before speaking again. "His aggression is rather disturbing for a child his age..have you thought about sending him somewhere for treatment?"
North looked up at the Doctor, narrowing his eyes. "Send him somewhere? Doctor, I was just reunited with my only living child. Surely you don't think I'm about to send him away because of a few little temper tantrums?"
The Doctor scoffed. "A few temper tantrums..? Professor Den'kor - he attempted to bite and claw me several times, and all those books on the floor when you came into my office, whom do you think did that?"
North cleared his throat. "I apologize for that Doctor. I would be happy to compensate you for any damages."
The Doctor shook his head. "There's no need for that Professor. I am going to recommend that you send the pup away for treatment. It is the best thing for him. Otherwise I only see him harming himself or others."
North growled behind the mask quietly, gripping the arm rest of the couch. "He would do no such thing."
The Doctor opened his desk drawer and took out a large blade, then set it down on the desk, peering over at North. "Lishan brought this into my office today, Professor. It is obviously something he shouldn't be able to get a hold of, wouldn't you agree?"
North's eyes set upon the blade and he chuckled quietly. "I am teaching the boy skills for the field..the real world..it's likely he borrowed it after lessons."
"Borrowed or not..your very young, impulsive, and untrained son brought a weapon into my office that could have hurt somebody..or worse."
North sighed, peering at the blade. "As I told you before Doctor, the pup lived on the streets. He's probably carrying that blade around because he thinks he needs to defend himself or..me."
The Doctor laughed, eying the sword sheathed at North's hip. "I seriously doubt the latter. I'm starting to get the impression that Lishan fears you as well, Professor Den'kor."
North scoffed, shaking his head. "That's absurd. We've been getting along wonderfully."
The Doctor glanced down at his notes briefly before looking back up. "Funny..because Lishan told me how he often has nightmares..and usually you are the monster in the dream..snatching him away from his Mother's arms.."
North snarled and stood up quickly, moving to the Doctor's desk.
The Doctor's ears lowered and he whined quietly as North approached him, shrinking into his seat a bit.
North glared at him from behind the mask. "Listen to me Doctor..I am not sending Lishan away. He is not a threat to himself or anybody else. He is just a traumatized child that requires socialization and schooling."
The Doctor closed his notebook, peering up at North. "Very well Professor..I think you have made your point. Now if you excuse me, I'm running late to a lunch meeting." The Doctor said, grabbing his datapad and standing up quickly.
North watched the man leave the room in a hurry, smirking under his mask. He stood up and walked over to the notebook, gazing at it for a moment before tucking it under his arm.
He opened the door and stepped out, making his way towards the elevator.
North entered the key code and the door opened quietly. He stepped inside the apartment and glanced around before setting his briefcase on the sofa.
"Brenah?" He called, peering around the corner.
A grey furred Bothan with dark hair pulled up into a bun appeared from around the corner. She smiled at North. "Good evening Professor. How was your day?"
North removed his mask and set it on the table beside the sofa. "Long..and rather irritating."
Brenah nodded. "Mind if I ask why?"
North sank down into the cushions, putting his feet up on the table. "A new crop of recruits. They are young, arrogant, and quite naive.."
Brenah smiled. "I remember when I was that young. I had the whole galaxy in my hands...or so I thought."
North looked at her. "Yes perhaps..but you were not nearly as self absorbed as these students. I seem to remember you arriving on time for every class and actually paying attention to what I was teaching."
Brenah smiled, her fur rippling slightly as she blushed.
North observed her quietly but said nothing.
"Would you like some red wine, sir?" She asked, her voice shy and slightly timid now.
"That sounds nice...thank you Brenah."
The woman nodded and left the room momentarily, then returned a few moments later with a glass of red wine. She set it on the table next to him, bowing her head.
North smiled at her and picked up the glass, swirling the wine around for a moment before taking a sip. He glanced up at her. "How is the pup doing today?"
Brenah watched him sip the wine, her fingers tapping near the hem of her dress skirt slightly. "He's taking a bath at the moment. I wanted to stay in the room but he asked me to leave and locked the door -"
North's ears went back and he set the glass on the table. He quickly began moving towards the bathroom down the hall. He stopped and tapped on the door quietly. "Lishan?"
North narrowed his eyes. "You know you are not supposed to bathe alone, pup. Why did you lock the door?"
"I don't need her help. She's not my Momma."
North sighed and entered a key code into the door, watching it unlock.
He stepped into the room, observing the child in the tub, his knees pulled up to his chest amongst the bubbles.
Lishan looked up at him, scowling.
North sat down on the edge of the tub, peering at the small boy. "No, she is not your Mother. Your Mother is gone. But Brenah is here to help you..don't you like having her around? She's very nice, isn't she?"
Lishan relaxed slightly and began kicking bubbles with his feet. "I guesso..." He mumbled quietly.
North ruffled the child's dark mop of hair. "I have hired her to work for us. She will be here for a very long time, to watch over you and teach you various subjects. I think you will find that you enjoy learning, just as I did as a pup."
Lishan looked up at him and nodded quietly. "Yeah maybe..." He mumbled.
North smiled and stood up, moving towards the door. He left it open and exited the room. He noticed Brenah standing down the hall, close enough to hear most of their conversation.
Brenah was blushing again, staring at her feet as her fingers gripped the hem of her dress.
North observed her and smiled politely. "What I said is the truth. You are a very nice person, and pleasant to be around. I have never been irritated by your presence Miss Treskae."
Brenah blushed. "Thank you Professor.."
North smiled at her. "Please, call me North. This isn't school anymore." He walked past her, towards the living room.
Brenah watched him for a moment before stepping into the bathroom, observing Lishan.
Lishan was playing with some bath toys in the tub. He stopped when he noticed the woman watching him.
Brenah smiled warmly. "You didn't have to stop Lishan. It looks like you're having a lot of fun over there."
Lishan blushed and set the toys down in the water, letting them float away. "Can you..wash my hair Miss Brenah?" He asked, biting his lip.
Brenah smiled and walked over to the boy, picking up the shampoo bottle. She squirted a bit onto her hands began lathering up the child's wild mop of hair.
Lishan giggled and picked up one of his water toys, squirting her in the face with water.
Brenah looked shocked, then laughed softly, splashing the boy in retaliation.
North sat on the sofa down the hall, his ears perked as he heard them laughing and giggling. He smiled and took a slow sip of his wine, savoring the taste. He set the glass on the table and leaned back into the sofa, closing his eyes. He began to drift off to sleep after a long, tiring day.
North opened the door to the apartment and stepped inside. The house was quiet and the lights were dimmed.
He hooked his mask to his belt, set his briefcase on the sofa and walked into the kitchen, expecting to see Brenah cleaning up from dinner.
The kitchen was empty.
He made his way down the hallway to Lishan's room. He paused at the door, his ears perked as he listened for any noise. He opened the door quietly.
Lishan was asleep in his bed, tucked in under his comforter and blanket, clutching the stuffed graul.
North watched the boy sleep for a few moments before his ears perked up as he heard somebody walking up behind him.
He shut the door and narrowed his eyes slightly.
Brenah was standing there. Her fur ruffled slightly. "I'm sorry Professor - I didn't mean to startle you."
North smiled politely. "It's fine Brenah..how was he today?" He asked her, nodding towards the kitchen area.
She nodded and walked with him back towards the kitchen.
She sat down at the table, and North did the same.
Brenah smiled. "He's warming up to me considerably Professor." She subconsciously buttoned and unbuttoned the buttons on her shirt, revealing a bit of cleavage here and there.
North observed her curiously and smiled at her. "Please..call me North."
Brenah lowered her head. "I can't Professor..I remember what you said in class all those years. To never address you by your first name.."
North leaned back in the chair and chuckled. "Well we're not in class anymore Brenah."
Brenah blushed and nodded.
"I take it that 'warming up to you' means he hasn't attempted to bite or claw you today."
Brenah laughed softly. "No..he's never tried that on me. In the beginning he yelled a bit and kicked or threw things..but he never tried to bite me."
"Good, good..I wish I could say the same of everybody else that has been in contact with him since I found him."
Brenah nodded, standing up to pour herself a cup of cafe. She sat back down, sipping it slowly. "He talks about his Mother a lot."
North narrowed his eyes. "Yes..so the Doctor tells me.."
"What happened to her?"
North sighed and rubbed his temple. "She was a spice junkie. We found her on the streets with Lishan, living in filth."
Brenah frowned. "Where is she now..?"
Brenah's ears went back and she looked solemn. "I'm sorry...I didn't know. Lishan talks about her like she's still alive."
North growled quietly. "No..she was in the hospital, detoxing..apparently she somehow got a hold of some spice and overdosed again. This time it killed her."
Brenah reached across the table and took North's hand, squeezing it gently. "I'm so sorry..I can't even imagine what you must be going through."
He narrowed his eyes and peered at her. "I'm fine Brenah." He pulled his hand away quickly. "My feelings for her faded many years ago, after she left with my child."
Brenah blushed and nodded. She sipped her cafe, eying him curiously. "Has there been anyone since?"
North chuckled. "No..I'm a bit too old for the dating world, I'm afraid."
Brenah scoffed. "I wouldn't say that. Besides - this apartment is way too big for just the two of you."
North raised a brow. "Are you asking to move in with us?"
Brenah blinked and laughed, her fur rippling. "I could never do that."
"Just stay the night then."
Brenah's eyes widened. "Professor..I can't.."
"North. And yes you can, I've seen how you look at me. And I remember that same look years ago, when you were my student."
Brenah's ears flattened against her head but she remained quiet.
North smirked and stood up. "Please lock up for the night. The key code to my room is 865."
Brenah looked up at him, still shocked. "Why are you doing this?"
North turned to look at her. "I would like it out of the way. This...'crush', this lust you are feeling will interfere with our business relationship. If Lishan enjoys your company, I would like him to continue to do so for many years to come."
Brenah nodded quietly.
A few moments later North sat on the edge of his bed, peering into the dark silently. The door opened and Brenah stepped inside.
He turned to look at her, watching as she slowly began undressing.
He raised a brow at her suddenly uninhibited actions. "Brenah..before this happens, I want you to understand that this is not the start of any sort of committed 'relationship.' If you cannot accept that you should leave now."
Brenah grinned at him as she approached the bed. "I'm fine with that.."
North nodded and sat up quickly as she approached him.
He moved to the door, locking it. "It's also very important that Lishan not see you in here. Please be careful."
Brenah nodded and slipped under the covers to finish undressing.
North watched in amusement and joined her.
The small Bothan child sat alone on the swing, kicking at the sand.
He glanced up at the other children at the playground who were laughing and smiling and having fun amongst themselves.
But for whatever reason whenever he approached any of them, they just screamed and ran away from him.
He sighed and hung his head sadly, looking depressed.
A few moments later the sound of others approaching made his ears perk up.
He brushed his messy hair out of his face and observed the approaching figures - two children who were a bit older than him, perhaps 7 or 8. Both had reddish-brown tinted fur and were peering at him curiously.
He observed them staring at him, tilting his head.
"...Hi." He said shyly.
One of the boys shoved the other one forward, smirking. They spoke to each other in the strange language, the 'Bothese' that Lishan was still learning. He strained to understand the words.
The boy that got shoved forward huffed before saying something to Lishan in Bothese.
Lishan frowned, his ears going back. "I don't know what you're sayin'." He said quietly, embarassed.
The boys turned to each other and exchanged odd glances before the closer one spoke in Basic. "I said, is it true, are you the Monster's kid?"
Lishan gripped the swing tightly in his fingers, narrowing his eyes. "..Monster?"
The boys looked at each other before stepping back. The other one spoke this time. "Yeah, everybody calls him that here."
Lishan kicked at the sand, taking a deep breath in an attempt to control his temper. "He's not a monster."
"So why's he wear that scary mask?"
Lishan looked up at the two boys as he kicked off, beginning to swing back and forth slowly. "He was in a fire.."
The boys looked at each other and shrugged. The boy on the left watched Lishan on the swing. "What's your name?"
"My name's Turok. And that's my brother Vurok."
The other boy waved, smiling smugly.
Lishan smiled back slightly, looking at them curiously. "You both look a lot alike.."
"Oh..I read something about that in one of my books." Lishan said, smiling.
The boys turned to each other and laughed.
Turok smirked at Lishan. "You're some sorta book worm eh?"
Vurok snickered. "Ya know Tur..I think maybe he was in a fire too, maybe that's why all that hair's in his face..coverin' up the burns.."
Lishan ignored their comments and continued to swing, going higher each time. He clutched the bars of the swing tightly, feeling his anger rising up again.
The boys watched Lishan for a few minutes before turning and walking away, speaking to each other in Bothese again. They shoved each other back and forth playfully before chasing each other towards the other playground equipment.
Lishan watched them and frowned.
After about an hour by himself he was ready to leave. He slowed his swing down and began to stand up from it when he noticed a little girl in overalls approach the swing set. She hopped onto the swing next to him and began kicking off, beaming happily.
He turned to look at her, a brow raised. "You...aren't afraid of me?"
The little girl turned to look at him. She had white fur and two pigtails of dark hair, complete with two pink bows. She squinted and peered at him, as if studying him under a microscope. "Nah..you aren't scary."
Lishan smiled at her. "I'm Lishan."
The little girl smiled at him. "My name is Morryn."
"Are you friends with those two boys Morryn?"
Morryn wrinkled her nose as she swung. "Who, the twins? No..they're mean. They make fun of my name. Call me 'moron' instead of Morryn." She huffed.
"That's not very nice.." Lishan growled under his breath, looking over at the boys on the 'monkey bars'.
Morryn giggled quietly. She turned to observe Lishan. "Don't listen to the other pups..they're stupid. I think your Dad is kinda cool. I like his mask. And I like your hair, it's fun!"
Lishan smiled at the little girl, his fur rippling slightly as he blushed. "Thank you...."
Suddenly somebody was calling Morryn's name. It was a woman by the entrance of the playground.
Morryn's ears perked up and she began skidding her feet against the sand, slowing the swing. "Uh oh. That's my Mom. I gotta go!" She hopped off the swing seat and curtseyed to Lishan politely. "It was nice meetin' you Lishan. We come here a lot, so I'm sure I'll see you soon...See ya later!" She waved, then ran off towards her Mother.
Lishan waved back and watched her go. He smiled brightly. He had just made his first friend.
Lishan admired the bracelet that Morryn had made for him as he swung on the swing.
It had been a few weeks since they met and they had become fast friends, spending as much time together as they could on the playground.
About five minutes later he looked up and observed Morryn arriving at the playground with her Mother, who quickly went over to the Mom and Nanny table to gossip.
He continued swinging, watching her climb up onto the 'monkey bars'.
His eyes narrowed as he watched the twins approach her. They said something to her, then started throwing small pebbles at her for fun.
Morryn yelped and fell from the bars, hitting the sand hard.
Lishan quickly looked over at the Mom's and Nannies, but they weren't paying attention and were too engrossed in their gossip to notice what had happened.
He slowed himself down and lept off the swing set, running towards the monkey bars as fast as he could.
Turok and Vurok turned and saw him coming, then burst into laughter.
Lishan stopped and knelt down to Morryn. She was bleeding from her forehead where they had hit her with the pebbles. He growled and peered up at the twins.
Vurok snorted. "Come to defend your girlfriend?"
Lishan ignored the older boy and whispered to Morryn. "Are you alright?"
Morryn whimpered quickly and said nothing, her head lowered.
Lishan frowned and looked over his shoulder at the boys, realizing that she was afraid of them.
He stood up and his hand moved to a pocket on his belt. He removed a small blade and peered at the both of them, his teeth bared. He felt his anger rising to an unhealthy degree.
The twins looked down at the blade in his hand and raised their brows.
Turok stepped closer. "What are you gonna do with that?"
Lishan looked down at the ground and took a deep breath in an attempt to calm himself. He looked up and smiled politely. "Stab you in the eye maybe.."
The boys exchanged looks and quickly started running towards the playground exit, as fast as their little feet could take them.
Vurok turned and yelled back at him as they ran. "Freak!"
Lishan's ears flattened against his head and he sheathed the blade, kneeling down to his friend.
Morryn's fur rippled with embarrassment. "I'm ok..it didn't hurt that much..really.."
Lishan looked at her, frowning. "You're afraid of them?"
Morryn stood up with Lishan's help, brushing her overalls off. "Everybody is..they're bullies Lishan. I'm not the only one they pick on."
Lishan watched as the boys left the playground. "Here's hopin' they won't come back."
Morryn shook her head and kicked at the dirt. "They will. They always do.."
Lishan frowned and walked with her towards the swing set.
They both sat on swings and began swinging.
Lishan looked over at the little girl. "This wasn't the first time they hurt you, was it?"
Morryn shook her head silently.
Lishan gripped the swing set bars tightly. "Well it won't happen again, as long as I'm here, ok Morryn?"
She looked over at him, smiling. "I know..I trust you Li." She suddenly stood up and walked to him on the swing, wrapping her arms around his neck in a hug. "Thanks.." She whispered to him in Bothese.
Lishan stopped swinging and blushed profusely, hugging back. He beamed with pride because he actually understood what she said this time.
Morryn smiled at him and turned, hearing her Mother call her. "I gotta go. See ya later Li.." She waved and ran off towards the exit.
He watched her go, then noticed her Mother looking at her bleeding forehead, concerned. She asked her daughter something, to which Morryn turned and pointed at Lishan.
Suddenly Morryn's Mother was looking over in Lishan's direction, quickly pulling Morryn along as they left the playground.
Lishan watched and frowned, then noticed his Father approach the entrance. Morryn's mom glared at him and yelled something in Bothese, pulling her daughter away from him.
North peered at the woman in slight confusion, then began walking towards the swings where Lishan sat.
Lishan's ears went back as he watched his Father approaching in his mask and armor.
Several of the children nearby began screaming in terror and running towards their Moms' and Nannies.
North paused in front of the swing set, observing the boy.
"Did you hurt that little girl, Lishan?"
Lishan blinked. "Who, Morryn? No..we're friends." He held out the braided bracelet. "See? She made this for me last week."
North sighed. "Her Mother said you hurt her daughter, and that you threatened some other boys with a knife..?"
"Yeah, because they were throwing pebbles at her Daddy! They hurt her."
"Lishan..I've been bringing you here to socialize, not to threaten the other pups."
Lishan huffed. "They deserved it...and I would've hurt them, if they tried anything else.."
North narrowed his eyes under the mask, growling quietly. "No. You would not have. This is not the time nor place for that. Do you understand me?"
Lishan whimpered quietly and looked at his feet.
"If you had harmed those boys, I would be under immense pressure to send you away. The Doctor already recommended such and I refused. Do not give them a reason to take you away from me again, Lishan."
Lishan bit his lip and nodded quietly.
North ruffled the boy's messy mop of hair. "Good. Now..if there *is* a next time, you leave the blade at home. And use your fists."
Lishan looked up at him and grinned.
Lishan was running along a beach barefoot. He giggled and chased sea birds away from the edge of the water, turning to smile at his parents who were holding hands and smiling back at him, laughing softly.
Suddenly he heard the sound of yelling and a loud thump on the floor.
Lishan's eyes shot open and he sat up in bed, his ears perked as he listened for any more sounds.
The door to his bedroom opened slowly, a flashlight being shown into the room.
The pup's ears flattened against his head in fear as he hid his face under the blanket.
The flashlight paused when it found Lishan. The sound of a rough voice speaking in Bothese. All Lishan could make out was "dangerous" and "detain immediately".
Suddenly armored limbs were reaching for him, attempting to grab him roughly.
Lishan's fur prickled as he snarled, attempting to sink his teeth into any bare flesh he could.
He found some. A loud howl of pain and cursing in Bothese as Lishan fled from the room.
Lishan ran down the darkened hallway quickly. He skidded to a halt as he noticed a crumpled up form on the floor by the kitchen.
Lishan knelt down to her, trying to shake her when she didn't respond to him. An overwhelming sense of dread came over him.
The voices became closer. The figures began speaking to him in Bothese. He growled softly, watching them carefully. He observed one removing a syringe from their pocket as they reached out again, attempting to grab him.
Lishan's ears went back, his eyes narrowing as he lept at them like a wild animal, biting and clawing at whatever flesh he could find.
The figure stumbled backwards onto the floor, cursing and yelling at the others to pry him off. They rushed to his aide, finally taking hold of Lishan.
Lishan licked his fangs, tasting the metallic taste of blood as he struggled against them, snarling and kicking.
The figure with the syringe stood up and quickly jabbed the needle into the pup's arm.
Lishan yelped, feeling his body weakening. He could his feel his body collapsing onto the floor but he couldn't move or do anything about it.
He looked over at Brenah, whimpering quietly before he shut his eyes. And then everything went black once more.