I groaned as I started to wake up; the right side of my neck hurt and felt stiff. I sat up, opening my eyes to see I was in some kind of bedroom. I looked around the room; it looked like the inside of Mr. Bose’s and Ms. Avery’s house, so I still must be out in the forest. I don’t really know how long we’ve been out here, but I’m worried Ms. Clare might think we got lost…or worse. I reached into my pocket to pull out my phone, but I couldn’t feel it. I sighed, “Ahh man, I must’ve left it back at the apartment.” I got out of the bed and walked out of the room, as I got closer to the living room I could hear everyone talking.
“So, I’ve been meanin’ to ask ya,” I heard from Ezekiel, “Bose was sayin’ you’ve kidnapped kids?” “He’s exaggerating,” Ms. Avery responded, “I don’t “kidnap” children, I simply ask them if they wanna come live with me and my husband. Not fault they agree.” “That’s kidnapping, dear.” Mr. Bose replied. “Well….I want kids, but you already know the problem with that.” “What’s the problem?” Belle asked. “We were unfortunately created in a less advance time,” Mr. Bose said, “So there were side effects to gaining animal DNA, one of them being infertility. While I would love to have children, I just physically can’t.” “That’s terrible.” Belle responded. “Haven’t you tried adopting?” Ezekiel asked. “We would, but you need to be a citizen of a city and be able to provide for the child,” Ms. Avery told them, “But to the rest of the world, we don’t exist.” I made my way through the living room and walked into the kitchen. The floor creaked as I walked closer so everyone heard me and turned and looked at me. “Uh, hello.” I said. “Look you finally got up,” Ezekiel said, “Enjoy your nap, buddy?” “My neck’s a little stiff, but it’s probably been the better sleep I’ve had.”
I sat down on the empty chair at the table. “Did you want me to get you some food, Ferral?” Ms. Avery asked, “There should still be some left.” I nodded, and she got up to get me whatever food was left. “You seem a little distraught, Ferral,” Mr. Bose said, “Is something wrong?” I looked at Belle and Ezekiel, “I think we should be headed back,” They looked at me confused, “I don’t wanna be away from Ms. Clare for too long. Even though she’s with Mr. Buck, I don’t wanna make her worry.” The two didn’t respond, then Ms. Avery placed a plate with food in front of me. “Thank you.” I said. She smiled and nodded then sat back down. “You think she’ll worry, or YOU’RE worried?” Belle asked. I looked away, not wanting to respond. Ms. Clare told me not to worry too much when we weren't together, but there was just that part of me that would. I was afraid something bad was happening to her, she already got in an accident before I couldn’t let something worse happen. “I just….can we please just go?” Ezekiel looked at Belle and shrugged, “Alright Ferral, we’ll go.” They got up as did I; not even touching food. “Thanks for having us.” Ezekiel told Mr. Bose and Ms. Avery. “Yeah, you guys were very nice.” Belle added. “Thank you.” I said. “You're welcome,” Ms. Avery responded, “It was nice having you three. Even if it was cut short.” Mr. Bose nodded, “Indeed, I hope we can meet again.”
Ezekiel and Belle smiled and nodded, “Yeah.” The two said together. “As for you, Ferral,” Mr. Bose turned to me, “You were a formidable opponent, as far as I’m concerned you’re no failure.” I nodded, “Thank you. You were pretty strong too.” As we started walking out, there was another part of my mind that couldn’t stop thinking about our sparring match. I lost, which means I’m still weak. And if I’m weak, then I won’t be able to win the test or protect the people I care about. I stopped and continued to get lost in my thoughts, something I noticed I do a lot. The twins stopped too, looking at me. “Buddy, you okay?” “Ferral?” I said we would take these two months off and train the last two, but maybe that’s not the best idea. I’ve been becoming lazy, and I can’t do that. I need to be strong, Mother told me to be so I can always protect those who can’t protect themselves. Not to mention, if I’m going to free all the other experiments, I can’t let anyone stop me. But…Ms. Clare…but….I turned around quickly to Mr. Bose, “Do you think you can train me?” I asked him. Everyone looked surprised by my sudden outburst, but Mr. Bose regained his composure. “Is there a reason?” He asked. “Yes, there’s this very big test thing happening in four months with all of the other experiments, and I want to be able to hold my own against them.” He didn’t respond, “Please, you’ve shown me there’s still so much for me to learn. And I want to learn it all….please.” Mr. Bose and Ms. Avery looked at each other, then Mr. Bose turned back to me. “Alright, I will.” I smiled, “Thank you!” The twins looked at me confused about what was happening, “Hey, if you’re gonna start training we should too.” Ezekiel said. “Yeah, we wanna get strong too. Would be unfair if only you did.” Belle added. “I could train you two.” Ms. Avery said, “While I don’t like to fight, I still know twenty-five different fighting styles.” “That’d be awesome!” Belle responded. “If this is the case, we’ll start tomorrow,” Mr. Bose said, “You three go back home; don’t wanna make this Ms. Clare any more worried than she might already be.” The three of us nodded and continued on our back to Central City.
While we were on the trolly, the sun had begun setting which meant we were gone for quite a while. Ezekiel had fallen asleep, so it was just me and Belle. “Why did you ask Mr. Bose to train you?” She asked. “Because….I want to protect everything and everyone.” I responded. “You’re a very confusing person, Ferral. You want to free the other experiments, but you also want to be some kind of protector. What’s going on in that you’re head of yours?” I looked at the sun setting, “A goal…and a promise.”