The feeling of wind brushing past my face, my feet hitting the dirt trail. The branches hitting my face, bits of pain assaulting my mind from the scratches. Someone seems to be holding my hand. I don't know who, but I know this person's a woman and I can trust her. I'm leading her to somewhere, but I don't know where. In fact, I don't even know why we're running in the first place. I want to stop, but the feeling of fear courses through me, adrenaline coursing through my veins. I hear people, coming from behind. And from the way they are shouting, I can tell they were angry.
I trip and fall. Intense pain shoots through my ankle. I can't move, my foot caught in a knot of a tree. She is trying to help me, but I can't get me free. I see the people coming, with their torches and pitchforks. They are running straight at us. I close my eyes, hoping that it would be over soon.
Jake Starter awakes in his bed, sweating and panting. He looks down at himself to check his ankle. It was okay. He sighed in relief and pulled the covers back over himself, for it was still early.
He looked around his room, his eyes adjusting to the darkness that permeated the area, making sure everything was in order. On one wall was a bunch of newspaper articles from his parent's newspaper, Fox Tears, dealing with what is happening in the country. Reports of abuse and discrimination were common, all dealing with A.N.I.s, or Anthropomorphic Naturalized Individuals. Reports of A.N.I.s doing the most demeaning jobs, working as slaves for families that were rich enough to afford it, families of A.N.I.s getting separated from each other, people abandoning A.N.I.s on the streets and A.N.I.s trying to find work in a country where everyone looked down on them. There were also reports of a new law stating that if any person starts a family with an A.N.I. is to be jailed for the rest of their life or, depending on how bad the situation is, take the death penalty.
Among the papers were reports dealing with A.G.C., or American Genetics Company, the people behind making the ANIs. Reports say that the company was mad with power, trying to control all genetics companies of the US, so they can be the biggest monopoly of genetics in the country. However, the government caught wind of their plan and stopped them. The A.G.C. broke up into smaller, but still big, genetics companies and the government made sure that this would never happen again. When Jake heard all of this his first time, he couldn't believe that people like that were evil, but it was already taken care of, so he didn't need to worry about that.
He looked over at Ferrari, his A.N.I. She was okay, too. She's a fox/dragon hybrid. She had the figure of a female woman, but is covered, from head to toe, with fur like a fox. She also has facial characteristics of a fox: the ears, the muzzle, even the eyes were like a fox, golden amber that seemed to shimmer and sparkle when the light hit them. She was actually abandoned on the street when Jake's family found her. He remember all of it too well....
He was ten. The drive back home from a week-long vacation seemed to drain him more than it should have. They drove under a bridge and he saw a shadow of a figure. He inquired this to his parents and they looked. He saw the worried look on their faces and his dad turned the car around so they can get a closer look. Upon closer inspection, it was an A.N.I. He saw that it wasn't wearing any clothing, so he saw everything. It was a woman, who looked amazing to Jake, even though he was ten. He looked her up and down and found everything about her beautiful. Her fur was very reddish-orange with white fur going down her belly and going over her crotch. She looked so malnourished, so underfed that they could see her ribs. She was also afraid of what they would do to her that she would back away from their touch.
Jake was determined to touch her, to let her know that they wouldn't do anything to her. So, he ran up, without warning, and hugged her. Her eyes went big and she tried to get him off, to no avail. He just stood there, arms around her waist and looking up at her with them big, blue eyes. She looked at him for the longest time, but then moved down and hugged him back. He smiled and snuggled her neck, really liking the feel of her warm fur, despite how grimy she was.
He begged his parents to let her come home with him and live there. They were hesitant, but when she spoke up for the first time, asking for her to stay with them, especially the little boy, they relented and allowed her to stay. When Jake had first heard her voice, it was what he imagined angels sounded like. It made him want her to live with him even more. They all piled back into the car, the A.N.I. in tow, and went back to the house, Jake hugging her all the while.
He saw her move and tried to go back to sleep, thinking that she would miss him waking up.
What do you think you're doing?she thought.
Ferrari also has special talents like telepathy, meaning she can send and receive thoughts from just about anyone, but she only ever did it to me.
I don't know, Jake thought,but I keep having that dream. It keeps changing, but it's the same over and over.
The one about you running in the woods, Ferrari thought.
Yeah . . .
Well, you shouldn't worry that much, dear. After all, it's only a dream.
Yeah, you're right . . .
It was clear that Jake and Ferrari were going out. They didn't realize their love for each other until a year ago.
He was walking home from school, and Ferrari was sitting by the window looking for him, as usual, when he felt the uncontrollable urge to go up to Ferrari and kiss her. At first, he thought it was a phase and would soon get over it, but over time, it started to develop and grow. He couldn't take it and told his parents about it. His parents were excited and encouraged him to talk to Ferrari about it. One day, he plucked up the courage and asked if Ferrari had any feelings for him, as well. She fell in love with him when she first laid her eyes on him. Jake decided to give it a shot and go out with her.
It was a quiet night, walking through the woods, marveling at how beautiful and mysterious the night could be in the woods. They stopped and Jake started to shuffle around nervously. Ferrari was concerned over her new "mate", so she approached him with a hand outstretched and gingerly put it on his shoulder. He turned and for a few tense seconds, they stared at each other, none of them blinking for fear that this moment would be ruined. Jake did the unthinkable: he reached his hand up to her chin, grasped it, and pulled her in for a passionate kiss. Both were stunned at this turn of events, mostly Jake than Ferrari. She melted into his arms and put hers around him to hold her up. Jake, seriously freaked out now, was still apprehensive about all of this. I mean, she's an A.N.I. How would this work out? How can I pull this off? What would my friends think? What would the WORLD think?
But, when Ferrari recovered from her shock, she took full control of the situation, shoving her tongue into his mouth. This action pulled him from his thoughts and turned his attention to the invader in his mouth. The feel of her canine tongue, going over every little bump, ridge, crevice and anything else her tongue could reach. Throwing caution to the wind, he pouched back, loving the way this feels despite what he thought of earlier. He loved her and that was that. He shoved his tongue into her mouth, doing the same thing she did to him. She loved it, as well. Nothing could ruin this moment, but they had to break apart. It left them drained, but empty. Chris noticed that they were up in the air, a couple of feet from the ground.
He looked at Ferrari and noticed the most beautiful, pure white wings spread out from behind her. He marveled at the majesty, the wings slowly moving up and down to keep them aloft. They looked like they were shining in the dark night, an aura surrounding her figure, making her more like an angel than he remembered.
But, time seemed to be against them, for they were tired and wanting to turn in. Soon, they were back in his room, with Ferrari lying next to Jake and wrapping her arms around him, snuggling into his chest. He draped an arm around her and fell asleep, hoping for good dreams this time.
Jake got ready for school, excited because it was his last day of high school. I can't believe that I am a senior thought Jake but I hate the fact that I may never see my friends again. That's why I am going to make this the best last day ever. He was about to leave when he noticed that Ferrari didn't get up yet. By now, she would have made breakfast and got the paper for dad. But she was still in bed and Jake could hear her moaning.
Jake asked, "Are you okay?"
"Yeah," answered Ferrari, "You can just go to school now."
"You sure?" Jake asked.
"Yeah, yeah," Ferrari said, "I am part dragon after all. I can take care of myself. Just hurry up and get to school."
"All right, I'll check on you after school."
"Have fun!" Ferrari said, and then jumped up and rushed to the bathroom. Jake heard the toilet seat being raised and the sounds of retching and something hitting water. Ferrari was throwing up.
Jake went to the bathroom door. "I don't think you're all right. I think we should get you to Chris's dad."
He didn't hear her say anything except the sound of her throwing up.
Jake was still concerned, but he couldn't be late for school. He had exams to do and he was in AP classes, so it was going to be tough. He wanted to be there for Ferrari, but she was right and headed for school. He grabbed a Pop-Tart and said his good-byes to his parents. He was headed for his car, when he heard a loud tapping sound from above. He looked up and saw Ferrari blowing kisses at him. He was embarrassed that she would do this, but since no one was around he blew a few kisses of his own.
He was on the road, thinking about Ferrari and what to do when he arrived at school. He rushed into the library to find his friends, Chris and Rex.
Chris was your average, preppy teen that got straight A's, liked to read a good book or two, and was always nervous. Rex, on the other hand, looked as gothic as you can get, his dark clothes, his many piercings, he always got into trouble cause of his attitude towards everything, but he was nice once you got to know him.
Jake sat down and told them about his dream and what happened this morning.
"I don't know, Jake," said Chris, "maybe you're having some psychological trauma or something that's developing these dreams. As for Ferrari, however, I think she might have a virus or something worse, but that's my opinion. Maybe you should take her to my dad."
"Yeah, I suggested that to her, but I couldn't get a definite answer," said Chris, "I just don't know what to do."
"Nah, it's not that. Listen," said Rex, "you should watch her and see if anything else develops. Hey, for all you know, she could be pregnant!"
"No, don't even suggest that! You know how much trouble we would get in if that would happen and I don't want that," whispered Jake.
"Fine, but it's always a possibility," said Rex.
The bell rang and they said their goodbyes. Jake went to History and stayed for two hours, taking an exam, but struggling to know the different dates and events. Then, he went to Calculus and had to do problems for another two hours. He waited patiently for the lunch bell to ring when there was nothing else to do. When it rang, he was the first one out and arrived at the cafeteria with only a few seconds to spare before the lunch rush came.
He waited for Chris and Rex, but he didn't see them coming. So, he sat down and ate his lunch quietly.
He thought about what Rex said, how Ferrari could be pregnant, but that could never happen. Maybe Chris was right, maybe she is sick and needs to go to his dad. Then again, that pregnant thing seems to be right. I mean, she did go to the bathroom to throw up. But that's just wrong! I mean -
"Jake, Earth to Jake, you there."
Jake stopped thinking and looked up. Chris and Rex were looking at Jake with concerned looks.
"Jake, you okay?" asked Chris.
"Yeah, I'm fine," said Jake.
So, they dropped the subject and talked about what to do over summer vacation. They could go on road trips, they could hangout, or they could do nothing. The possibilities were endless. But, the bell rang, and Jake went to take more exams.
Finally, the end of the day came. Jake invited Chris and Rex to come over and asked his parents if it was OK. His parents said yes, they all piled into Jake's car, and drove out of the parking lot like a bat out of hell, screaming with joy at the top of their lungs like a bunch of crazy fools.
Coming home after a tough day at school was tiring, but he always had Ferrari to comfort him. But today, she wasn't waiting at the door. Jake went to his room and saw she wasn't there, either.
He was concerned. He went to his parent's bedroom and found them, with Ferrari on the bed. Ferrari looked horrible, like she was throwing up all day. She also looked like she was dying to get something off her chest.
"Hello, Jake," said Ferrari, "I have something to tell you."
He thought of every scenario of this and the only logical conclusion was one thing.
Please say I won something in the mail, thought Jake.
"I don't know if you thought about this already, but I'm pregnant."
Even though he was expecting it, what Ferrari said struck him hard. He couldn't think straight. How could this happen. Maybe it was someone else.
"No Jake, it wasn't someone else, I took the test and determined that you are the father. You are the only one that I would ever trust myself to," said Ferrari.
Jake sat down on his parent's bed and Ferrari came to comfort him. He was barely aware of that his friends had not said a word.
"Mom, Dad, did you know about this?" asked Jake.
"Yes, we did. But, we're excited about it," said Jake's mom.
"They really seem to like the idea of you being the father of my child," said Ferrari.
"Stop saying that."
"But it's true. The pregnancy test said -"
"I don't care what it said! I'm just not used to the idea that I'm going to be the father of your child yet. In fact, I don't remember the time we did "it"."
"It was a couple of weeks ago and -"
"Stop! Just stop. I'm not ready to accept it just yet. I'm still new to this whole A.N.I. thing and - and - I'm just not ready yet. I don't think the world is ready for this yet."
"Okay," said Ferrari, "I can wait. But we A.N.I.s are different than you humans on babies. We developed cubs in about 3-6 weeks."
"Don't worry," said Chris, "my dad is happy to help at any time."
"Oh, thank you, Chris," said Ferrari, "I am thankful you have such wonderful friends, Jake."
"Yeah, well, there goes the summer," said Jake.
So, the next few weeks were bad, for Jake at least. Ferrari went through mood swings so much, Jake got dizzy trying to keep up. She went from happy to sad to angry to happy again in no time at all. Jake tried his best not to show he was irritated by it, but it was hard. Him a father of an A.N.I. cub? If word got out, he would have to go to jail.
But whenever the family and Ferrari went out, Ferrari tried her best not to show she was pregnant. Sometimes, it got hard for her with her weird eating habits. But, if she couldn't take it, Jake's parents would help in any way possible.
One night, when Jake and Ferrari were in bed, Jake was asleep and trying not to dream, for fear of having that weird dream again, when Ferrari came up behind him and hugged him. Jake was surprised by this action.
"Thank you for helping me realize my dream," said Ferrari.
"Your dream?" wandered Jake, turning around to see Ferrari smiling in the dark.
"Yes. For as long as we A.N.I.s have been created, our dream but to be free. We are not as stupid as everyone thinks. I mean, they made us. We should get the same respect as them, don't you agree Jake?"
"I guess so, seeing it from your point of view."
"But, we have been denied our rights to be equal with our creators from the start. But I feel a new age is coming, and we will lead it. All because of our cub."
Jake was stunned to hear her say these things. All his life he heard the things others have said about A.N.I.s, but never from an A.N.I.
Ferrari came up and kissed Jake on the mouth and nuzzled him.
"I love you, Jake," said Ferrari.
"I love you, too, Ferrari," said Jake, uncertain of his feelings toward Ferrari. Well, thought Jake, she is pretty and helpful around the house, but I just don't know about this.
He went back to sleep, and the last thing he saw before he dreamed was Ferrari getting up to go to the bathroom to throw up.
I seem to be doing that a lot lately.
She is holding my hand again and I'm leading her somewhere.
I turn around.
It was Ferrari, holding the baby. I could tell it was a boy because of the way he acted. At first, he was scared and crying. I should know, I would too. And then he stopped when he noticed me looking at him and started to laugh. At first, I thought he said it, but I knew he couldn't.
He thought Daddy.
I trip and fall, my ankle full of pain. Again.
I bring down Ferrari and the baby. He starts to cry again.
I knew I had to make a stand. I had to buy time for her and the baby.
I stood up.
"Run," I said.
"No," said Ferrari, "I can't leave you!"
"Take the baby and go."
"No, I can't."
I make my move and I charge, head on, toward the crowd.
I hear a gunshot.
I fall. Ferrari screams.
Jake wakes up, drenched in sweat, panting as though he did run through the woods.
"What's wrong, Jake?" Ferrari asked, ears perked in alarm.
"I - I don't know. I keep having those weird dreams," said Jake.
Ferrari calmed down. "The one about the woods, huh?"
"Yeah, and I didn't notice this before, but . . . I was leading you somewhere."
"Really?" Ferrari asked, fully awake, tail wagging, ears perked in excitement.
"Yeah, and you were holding our baby, too."
"Oh, wow! Really?! What did he look like? Is it a boy? Was it a girl? Did the cub look like you or me?"
"Um . . . I think it was a boy, and he looked like you."
"Wait a minute . . . " she stopped, looking Jake up and down, "there's something you're not telling me. What is it?"
"If you really must know, I dreamt that I was shot in the chest by an angry mob."
"No! You couldn't be shot at. It was all a dream. But if it was all a dream, then what about our baby?"
"I don't know, but you're right. It was a dream."
"But, our baby -"
"It was a dream. I don't know if it is going to happen or not, but I know it's just a dream."
"Okay, but I'm starting to worry about you, Jake."
"I know. I don't blame you. I'm starting to worry about me, too," said Jake.
So they went back to sleep and as soon as Jake's head touched his pillow, Ferrari came and held him. Jake was surprised, but he held her, too. They fell asleep in a lover's embrace, worrying about the future.
The next day was surprisingly mild. Jake and Ferrari just did nothing. They went out and did some shopping, but that was it. Chris and Rex didn't come over and Jake just sat around and did nothing. Ferrari tried to think of names for the baby, to pass the time.
"I was thinking, if the baby is a boy, maybe Zeke? No. What about Kyle? No, that doesn't sound right. I know! What about Jake, Jr.?"
"Ferrari, not to sound mean, but stop trying to think of names for the baby. It's getting on my nerves."
"But Jake, we need to think of a name for him or he'll be left nameless."
"We'll worry about it later, when the time comes."
"When the time comes, like when the baby is born, okay?"
"All right. But can I still think of names until then?"
"Sure, but it better not be something ridiculous, like Bob or something. We want something that is special, like your name."
"Oh, okay. What about . . . Chibii? With two i's?"
"Hmm . . . that sounds good. That could be a keeper."
"Oh, Jake," Ferrari said and kissed Jake for a long time. Then, they broke apart and Jake thought That was weird but pushed it out of his mind. Let Ferrari have her moment.
It was about 7:00 that night when it happened. Ferrari had to go to the bathroom and Jake, sensing something was wrong, followed. Ferrari just stood there, somehow in disbelief. Jake was puzzled by this.
"What's wrong, Ferrari?" asked Jake.
"My water broke," said Ferrari.
It was a madhouse when she said that. Jake's parents were not prepared for this and packed as many things as they could. Jake and Ferrari just stood there, transfixed on Jake's parents moving around, shouting at each other. As soon as his parents were ready and packed the car, they got Jake and Ferrari in the back seat, while Jake's mom and dad were arguing where to go for Ferrari to have the baby.
"Where to?" Jake's dad said.
"To the hospital, of course," said Jake's mom, thinking of nowhere else to have a baby than a hospital.
"No," Jake said, now entering the argument, "Did you hear the news? If they know that I impregnated an ANI, I will either go to jail for a long time or get the death penalty right away."
"Well, where to? I don't have all day," said Jake's dad.
That's when Ferrari started to go into labor. She started to scream and breathe rapidly. It made the situation worse.
"Quick," Jake said, remembering about Chris, "go to Chris's house."
"No, we should go to the hospital," Jake's mom said.
"No, mom, just trust me," said Jake.
There was a brief silence, except for Ferrari's breathing and screaming.
"Fine," Jake's mom said, "do you know the way?"
"Mom, use the GPS!"
After a couple of minutes on the road, they found Chris's house. They rushed to the front door and knocked. They waited for a while, taking all the insults Ferrari said, until someone came to the door.
Chris finally came to the door. "Can I help y-?"
Ferrari, Jake, and his parents came bursting through the door. While Jake's parents tried to find a comfortable place for Ferrari, Jake tried to get help from Chris.
"Chris, where are your parents?"
"They're in the dining room, eating supper that Dexter prepared for us."
"Okay, I just need their help and - Dexter?" Jake wondered, never hearing that name before.
"Dexter is our new A.N.I. We just got him today and he's the best. He made this excellent dish that I can't remember the name of and -"
"Can you tell Dexter to get your parents?"
Dexter came into the living room in whatever clothes Chris gave him. He was a grey wolf A.N.I. There were only several types of ANIs to choose from, since this was still a new technology, and wolf and fox species were popular. You had to pay big bucks for it, but it wasn't a problem for Chris's parents, them being doctors. He wore a t-shirt, jeans, glasses, and a fedora.
"Yes, Chris, what is the matt-? Oh good God! What is going on here?"
"Ferrari, Jake's A.N.I., is having a baby. Can you tell my parents about this?"
Dexter seemed happy by this, "Yes, Chris, I shall. Jake, you are one lucky man." He rushed off in the direction he came, smiling all the while.
"What was that all about, Jake?" asked Chris, curious by Dexter's reaction.
"It's a long story," said Jake, "I'll explain it another time."
Just then, Chris's parents came in and surveyed the scene. They told Chris and Jake to go to a different room and stay there until it was over. Jake left without hesitation, but Chris was curious and wanted to stay. He sulked out when his dad told him no and to get out now.
"Man, I wanted to see the baby as soon as it comes out."
"Trust me," said Jake, "you don't."
They waited for what seemed like forever to them. Dexter kept coming and going and when Chris wanted to know what was going on, Dexter kept his head down and just muttered to himself.
After several hours, Chris's dad came and gave them the good news.
"It's a boy," he said.
For the first time since Ferrari announced that she was pregnant, Jake was happy.
He went down the hall and went into the living room. He saw Ferrari holding the baby to her face. In Jake's mind, it was the most beautiful sight in his life. He knew for a fact he was a father.
Ferrari noticed Jake enter the room and said, "Well, you were right."
Jake walked over and looked at the baby. My baby, he thought. He looked exactly like Ferrari. The fur, the tail and the colors. He checked and on his head were horns. He looked at Ferrari and saw that her horns had developed over the last couple of weeks.
Jake asked, "What are we going to call this little bundle of joy?"
"It was already decided, remember?"
"No, not exactly."
"We decided the name in your room a couple of hours ago, don't you remember?"
Jake thought about it and couldn't remember anything important about the name. Then, it hit him. Oh, okay . . . what about -
"Exactly, and the name suits him, yes?"
Jake looked down and saw that, in some weird way, he did resemble the name. He was small and fragile-looking, but Jake knew he was tough. He was squirming to get out of Ferrari's arms and into Jake's. Ferrari handed him over and when Chibii saw Jake, he said his first word.
Jake was stunned that an A.N.I. that young could learn to talk that fast.
Ferrari could tell by his expression and said, "Of course we can talk that quickly. It is programmed into every A.N.I.'s genes that they talk at an early age."
"You know a lot about A.N.I.s, Ferrari," said Jake.
Ferrari laughed, her first real laugh in what seemed forever to Jake, "Of course. In case you haven't notice, I am an A.N.I."
"What I mean to say is, you know a lot more about A.N.I.s than any A.N.I. I've known," said Jake.
Ferrari stopped smiling, looking sullen.
"I . . .," Ferrari started, "I used to work at slave for some rich people."
"Wait, you were a slave?"
"Yes, I was. I pretty much had to wait hand and foot for just about everyone. The daughter was a brat, wanting me to play tireless games with her and if I felt tired or showed fatigue, she would use a cattle prod on me and tell me to keep playing with her. The mother wanted me to do all of the house chores while continuing to insult everything I am and everything I do. But, the father was the worst. Whenever he was angry, he would beat me with whatever he could. And it would be at any moment, when I'm not around he finds me and beats me senseless. I still have the scars from when he would use to cut me with his collection of swords. I still dream about it now, but the dreams seem less scary when I'm with you.
"Whenever I got the chance, I would slip into the study and read everything there. They had all sorts of books in there and I read them all. I learned about A.N.I.s from the few books they had there. Sometimes, when going shopping for the family, I would read more and more about my heritage. It was worth the beatings they would give me when I would come late."
Jake just stood there, listening in amazement, and thanked God that she got out of there and wound up on the streets, just to be founded by us. He shuddered at the thought that another person could have found her and maybe killed her where she stood and no one would help her or call the police. We were very lucky to have found Ferrari, as though fate brought us together, Jake thought.
Jake was interrupted when he heard Ferrari starting to cry.
"Don't leave me! Don't leave me to those animals! I don't want to go back to that life. Jake, promise me that. Promise me!"
Jake put down the baby on the couch and held Ferrari's hand and stroked her face.
"Ferrari, listen to me."
Ferrari looked up at him, tears streaming down her face, matting her fur.
"I won't leave you," Jake promised, "I will never leave you. It would take a lot to separate me from you, like an angry mob."
Ferrari smiled and hugged him in a chokehold. "Oh, thank you, Jake! Thank you, thank you, thank you!" She kissed him all over and Jake was starting to get wet. He told Ferrari to stop kissing him and she did, but Ferrari kept hugging him.
A few days later, they were home. Ferrari stayed there to recover from giving birth and everyone waited on her hand and foot. They got home late and they went straight to bed.
The first night at Jake's house with the baby was a nightmare. He was all over the place, tugging on Jake's hair and Ferrari's fur. Ferrari didn't seem to mind, but Jake, on the other hand, was up all night with the baby screaming and yelling, taking in his surroundings. After a while, he finally went to sleep. They didn't get a bed for him right away, so he slept in between his parents, snuggling up to his mother. Jake finally went to sleep, but was grouchy in the morning.
Oh man,thought Jake, what have I gotten myself into?
A year had passed, and Jake and Ferrari now live in an apartment. Jake's parents helped with the rent every now and then, but Jake usually brought home some money. He worked at a genetics company that helped make their own version of A.N.I.s, like some cheap, knockoff brand of the original. Jake was working as a delivery boy to the higher ups, getting documents to and from certain areas, getting lunch and coffee whenever someone wanted it.
Ferrari stayed at home to look after Chibii. She did a variety of odd jobs like cooking, cleaning, and babysitting. She had many clients from different parts of the neighborhood. She loved doing what she did best, and that was taking care of a person's house.
They seemed to be one happy family. Jake and Ferrari got married by Rex's dad, a pastor, before they moved into their apartment. It was a secret wedding and no one knew about it except for Jake's parents, Chris, Rex, and their parents.
One night, when Jake got home from work, he walked only a few steps before he was pounced on by Ferrari and Chibii. They were excited and looked like they had news to tell.
"I'm going to start school," said Chibii.
"I'm going to start a business," said Ferrari.
Jake thought for sure they were joking, but their faces were telling otherwise. Jake knew the world around him and hated to see them be sad over not being able to do what they want to do.
Chibii sensed something was wrong with Jake, "What's wrong, Dad?"
"Oh, nothing," Jake said, amazed his son could talk in complete sentences, do complicated math problems he remembered doing in high school, and do just about any sport he can get his hands on.
"No, there's something wrong, Dad. You can't fool me," Chibii said.
Man, he's good,thought Jake. Chibii had the same traits as his mother, and Jake started to wonder when he would get his traits. Jake was starting to lose hope that his son would be like him, in some way.
"Well," said Jake, "I just think that, maybe, you're getting ahead of yourself."
"I know, but this is exciting! I can go to school, but I would be in advanced classes," said Chibii.
"Hold up," said Jake, "exactly how did you get into a school?"
"Well," started Chibii, "I saw an ad on TV and I begged Mom to call since I'm not old enough to. Mom called, went through the proper procedures, and finally Mom hung up and said I'm got accepted."
Jake looked at Ferrari and she started to nod her head in agreement. So, I guess he's telling the truth, thought Jake.
"All right, where is this school at?" asked Jake.
"That's the best part. It's near our home, so I won't have to walk far!" Chibii said, as though he waited all day to get it out.
"What's it called?" asked Jake.
"A.N.I. High," said Chibii.
"And," Ferrari said, helping Chibii out, "it's going to be the first school for A.N.I.s ever. They proposed a law a few months ago that A.N.I.s could not go to school and when the council members saw the petition that your mother and father did to disband the new proposal, they couldn't say no. I'm so proud that you are going, Chibii." Ferrari came over, hugged him and kissed him lightly on the forehead.
"All right, it's time for bed, Chibii."
"Aw, but I'm not tired yet. Can I stay up, please?" begged Chibii.
"Nope," said Ferrari simply, "now off to bed."
Chibii went to bed without another word. When Jake and Ferrari heard Chibii shut his door, the mood shifted a bit.
Jake started to make small talk with Ferrari, "So, you said something about a business?"
"Let's just go to bed," said Ferrari.
"All right," Jake said, happy to finally get some sleep.
They were in bed, happily going to sleep, when Ferrari shuddered.
Jake was concerned about this and asked, "What's the matter?"
"I was just thinking that this is becoming dangerous," Ferrari whispered, "word might get out that we have an A.N.I. child and if they did a DNA test, they would find out about us, and . . . I don't want to talk about the punishments."
Jake put his arm around Ferrari and said, "Don't worry, everything's going to be all right."
There was quiet for a moment. The only sound they could hear was the wind howling in the night.
To break the tension Ferrari thought, Our lives are changing for the better, huh?
Jake leaned over and kissed Ferrari, Sure.
They fell back into the bed and fell asleep, Ferrari's head on Jake's chest.
Jake was working at the office, shredding some papers, when he heard a sound. He stopped shredding, thinking it was the shredder. He heard the sound again, but it was coming from somewhere down the hallway. He looked around to see if anyone was looking his way. No one was. He walked down the hallway and listened to every door to see if the sound was behind the doors. He checked the first one, nothing. He checked the second door, nothing again. He checked the third, fourth, and the fifth, still nothing. When he checked the sixth door, he found it. The sound reminded him of a small chainsaw, whirling and buzzing loudly.
He opened the door and got the shock of his life.
He was looking into what appeared to be an operating room. There were two tables, one had a human and the other an A.N.I. Jake looked at the A.N.I. on the table, he looked strangely familiar. Then it hit him. It was someone he'd remembered faintly but there he was. Dexter? What is Dexter doing in an operating room? He looked at the human and he looked familiar, too. The doctors were taking something from Dexter. Jake looked at a sheet that was posted on the wall on the door. A.N.I.: Wolf, 04125036, "Dexter", condition: heart problems, treatment: heart transplant. Dexter was having a heart transplant? Jake thought Dexter was healthy and Chris got him recently. What could this mean?
Jake kept looking at the human, trying to figure out who he was. He remembered seeing him on TV, on the news. Then it hit him, again. Governor Swartz, one of the council members voting "yes" to the ANI school? He's taking Dexter's heart? Why? I know he had heart problems, but it wasn't severe, was it? Jake noticed something else on the piece of paper. $120 million. Jake realized the horrifying truth. No way . . . No way in HELL is this happening!!! He had to inform someone about this.
Just then, when the doctors successfully completed the surgery, they didn't care for Dexter. They just left him there to die. They didn't even bother to stitch him up at least. Jake realized how cruelly humans treated A.N.I.s. How long has this been going on? thought Jake. He ran out of the room and down the hall. He just had to tell someone, but whom? People noticed Jake's odd behavior and several people asked him about it. Jake ignored them and some ignored him back. Some followed Jake, to see where he was going. They began to notice Jake's erratic behavior and began to question him until he couldn't take it.
He went outside for air, still under the watchful eyes of the employees. He began to walk away, and when he thought he was in the clear, he ran. People noticed this and began to discuss what the hell was wrong with Jake. Someone noticed one of the hallway doors open and opened it to see the operating room. Everyone came to one conclusion: He saw their secret. They had to protect it at all costs.
The company called the cops and explained what happened and they began to pursue Jake. Jake heard the sirens and ran faster. He ducked into an alley and, making sure the police didn't see him, he ran home. He burst through the door and started to pace around the kitchen, thinking about what to do.
Ferrari, concerned about Jake's strange behavior, asked, "Jake, what's wrong?"
Jake quickly answered, "Nothing."
He went to his bedroom and gathered his belongings.
Ferrari came in. "Jake, what's wrong? You can tell me."
"It's too complicated," Jake said.
"Tell me, then," Ferrari begged.
"No, not now," Jake said.
Just then, Jake heard the doorbell. He went to the door and saw it was the police. How did they find me so quickly? Jake thought They probably went through my records and found the address.
He didn't have time. "Ferrari, get Chibii and go through the window, now," instructed Jake.
Ferrari did as she was told. She went to Chibii's room, got him through the window, kissed Jake, and went through the window to comfort Chibii, who was freaking out over what was happening.
Jake was about to go out the window when he heard the doorbell ring the second time. He looked through the peephole and saw the police about to use a battering ram to his door. He immediately locked the door and bolted out the window. He turned around and closed the window as best as he could and caught up with Ferrari and Chibii. They got in their other car and went on the road, not being seen by the police.
"What's going on?" demanded Ferrari.
"I'm on the run, and I need to get out of town as fast as I can," said Jake.
They were soon on the highway and going well over the speed limit. They got a few miles until one of their tires blew out.
"Ah, man," exclaimed Jake.
There was some woods over to the right and, just as he pulled over, he heard police sirens behind him. They were closing in, maybe a mile away.
Jake, Ferrari, and Chibii rushed into the woods as fast as they could. Ferrari almost tripped, but Jake caught her just in time. Jake kept holding on to her hand as they rushed deeper into the woods.
"You won't let go of me, will you?" asked Ferrari, a hint of hysteria in her voice.
"You expect me to let go of such a beautiful creature, no way," Jake said confidently.
"There right behind us, Dad," informed Chibii.
As Jake ran, something grabbed his ankle and he fell. Pain shot through his leg. He knew he dislocated his ankle and he never experienced pain of this magnitude before. Ferrari tried to care for him, but Jake pushed her away.
"Jake, you're hurt. We need to get out of here," Ferrari said.
"No," Jake said, remembering the dream, "It's time to make a stand."
The cops stopped in front of Jake, Ferrari, and Chibii, guns drawn, ready to shoot. Some of the officers looked like they were fresh from training, while others looked like veterans, ready to shoot first and ask questions later.
"Why are you trying to kill us? We didn't do anything," Jake said loudly for everyone to hear.
"Because," one cop said, and from the looks of him he looked like the leader, "we need to keep this a secret, and the only way to make sure is to kill you."
"But it's wrong, isn't it? You're taking organs from A.N.I.s, putting them into the humans who paid for them, and then let them die?! When I get out of here, I'm going to tell the media," said Jake, hoping someone would pass by and tell someone, seeing a path not too far away.
When Ferrari and Chibii heard this, they were in shock. Killing ANIs to make money? thought Ferrari That's ridiculous, but Jake would never lie.
"Jake, is this true?" asked Ferrari.
"Every word," said Jake, getting angry at the police for letting this happen, "They are killing A.N.I.s by doing operations for the rich so they can live forever. And to cover their tracks, they make phony diagnoses for all of them and the doctors get all the money. The police are in on this too, with payoffs from the doctors to keep quiet."
"Wow, kid, I'm impressed, and I don't say that to everyone," said the chief, "maybe I won't kill you, but I will kill those A.N.I.s, those things." He said that with such distaste that he shuddered.
"No," Jake said and started to get up, despite the pain in his ankle. He got up and spread his arms out in a protective manner. "I won't let you harm the people I love."
Ferrari saw this and beamed with pride. She was proud to have Jake as her husband. When she heard the police laughing at him, she started to get angry.
As loud, deep, and menacing as she could, she said, "Stop laughing at my husband."
She charged at full speed, spreading her wings to looking menacing as possible, nothing could slow her down. She heard a gunshot and the sound of piercing flesh. She stopped and looked down. She didn't look injured. She looked around, thinking it was a warning shoot, when she looked at Jake. He looked pale and blood was flowing from his chest.
Then it clicked in Ferrari's head. Jake moved at the same moment I did, causing the police to shoot. Since I was faster, he was an easier target.
Ferrari rushed over and held Jake's body in her arms, thinking This can't be happening. This can't be happening! She tried her best to close up the wound, but without the proper tools she couldn't do it. Ferrari tried to be strong in front of Chibii, but the sadness was taking over and tears were flowing freely like the blood from Jake's wound.
Jake looked at Ferrari and said, "Ferrari, go to the genetics center and tell them . . . tell them to give me a 'reverse procedure' . . . they will know what I'm talking about."
"Jake," Ferrari sobbed, on the verge of going overboard, "you promised . . . you promised to stay with me. . . . You promised!"
"Ferrari," Jake's voice was weak, "now is the time . . . Now."
Ferrari gathered Jake in her arms and ran, ran as fast as she could back to the highway. The police were gone, maybe thinking that Ferrari would kill Chibii and herself in order to be with her husband. Ferrari got to their car, fixed their tire by putting on the spare. When they were about to leave, Jake in the passenger seat, Ferrari looked around thinking, Wait, where is Chibii? He didn't get shot, too, did he?!
Just then, the back car door open and Chibii climbed in saying, "You can't get rid of me that easily."
Ferrari sighed with relief and sped, in the opposite direction, to the genetic center.
When they arrived at the genetics center, Jake was trying with all his might to stay alive, but the pain was unbearable. He knew he was going to die. At least I'll give my family a parting gift to remember me by, thought Jake.
With Ferrari holding him, they walked right through while Chibii was saying, "Is there a doctor in the house?!"
Ferrari came to the front desk, hushing Chibii, saying, "My husband wants to have a 'reverse procedure'."
The clerk was reading a magazine and saying in a dull tone, "Sorry ma'am, you have to wait a couple of hours to have a doctor available."
"What about right now?" demanded Ferrari, holding up her dying husband, Jake.
The clerk looked up and saw Jake, bloody all over and, scared out of his wits, scrambled the phone and called in the doctors. They came in a rush and took Jake to a stretcher and then pushed him down hallway after hallway.
"Jake, can you hear me?" asked Ferrari.
"Yes," his voice was very weak and raspy, "come closer."
Ferrari leaned in and could smell him now. Over the blood and death that was gripping him now; she could smell his heavenly scent. The scent that always calmed her down when she was about to go overboard.
"I love you. I always have and I always will. If I'm gone, I will be in your heart and in Chibii's, as well."
"No, the doctors will make you better, I know it." Ferrari couldn't take it anymore. She cried fresh tears and sobbed as quietly as possible to hear what Jake had to say.
"Promise me this," said Jake, having difficulty at first, "promise to stay here until the 'procedure' is over, and then you can do with me however you like."
"Don't speak like that, Jake. You'll get better," Ferrari said, trying to convince herself more than Jake. "Please, don't leave me. I love you."
"I love you, too. And Chibii."
"Yes, we can't forget about him, can we?"
They laughed until Jake started to cough really badly, blood spouting from his mouth. The doctors told Jake to stop or he would make his condition worse. They stayed quiet for a few minutes, Jake wiping Ferrari's tears, weaving through hallways, while the doctors tried to find an open operating room. Then, when they got close to the room, Jake kissed Ferrari and said, "If I don't make it, I just want you to know that you are the best thing to happen to me, ever."
Ferrari kissed him back and said, "I know, Jake, I know."
Jake smiled and closed his eyes. The doctors reached the operating room and told Ferrari to wait. She stood where she was and stared after Jake, still worried and hoping against all odds that she could have her Jake back.
She went back into the waiting room, where Chibii sat in a chair, swinging his legs back and forth. Ferrari went to sit with him and waited. She looked at the clock. It was 6:00 in the afternoon. She knew it would take a while, but she didn't know how long.
Chibii asked, "Is Dad going to die?"
Ferrari was taken aback by this, but said the truth, "Yes, I think he is."
"Why did the police shoot Dad? Don't they protect the innocent?" Chibii asked.
"Well, it's difficult to say, but I know we're not safe anymore," said Ferrari calmly.
"Well, this sucks," said Chibii, "and I was just getting to know Dad. Hey, Mom, what was Dad like before I was born?"
"He was nice, kind, still in school, getting good grades. An all-around nice guy," said Ferrari.
Chibii was silent. Ferrari looked over and saw that Chibii looked like Jake did when trying to figure something out.
They were quiet for a few hours, until an assistant came and said, "Mrs. Ferrari Starter?"
Ferrari stood up, so did Chibii. Ferrari stared at Chibii and wondered. Is Chibii starting to act like Jake? From the way he thought to the way he stood, he was acting like Jake more and more. Ferrari started to cry soft, unnoticeable tears that Chibii didn't see. When she noticed that he was looking, she furiously wiped them away.
They walked down the maze of hallways towards the operating room. Ferrari wondered if they healed him, or took his organs and put them in someone else. When she walked through the doors, she got a surprise of her life.
There, on the table was an A.N.I., but where was Jake? She looked all around, looked through the doors and under tables. She couldn't find her husband.
She asked the assistant, "Where is Jake Starter?"
"Why, he's right there," the assistant said pointing to the A.N.I.
Then, after a while, Ferrari understood what had happen. On the table, her husband was transformed into an A.N.I. He looked like Ferrari, except he was a male. He had the same fur pattern, the same build, facial characteristics, everything. Even the tail, which was lifeless and would never move again, even though it was beautiful. She saw a piece of paper on the lifeless body, picked it up and began to read. She couldn't finish it because it was to heartbreaking for her.
It read: Ferrari, please don't be sad. In fact, be happy that this worked. I wanted to be the first human test subject for this procedure, whether alive or dead. I wanted people who, like me, wanted to become more like you and Chibii because I wanted people to experience everything you guys go through. I wanted to become you so that I could know where your strength comes from and to be there for you.
I admit, I was jealous of you as a kid because you have fur so soft that I wanted to just touch it and feel it whenever I had the chance. That was another reason for me to do this: my selfish reason.
But, knowing you, you wouldn't care about that at all . . . But, I had to get that off my chest . . .
Anyways, I have one favor to ask of you: Take care of yourself and Chibii. My death wouldn't have been in vane if you don't go out there and live life to your fullest potential. Go out there and make a difference. For you, for Chibii, and most importantly, for everyone out there who doesn't have a voice . . .
She finished, folded up the page and just stood there. She felt a hand on her shoulder and turned to see the doctor telling her to leave. She was hesitant, but relented, lingering her look on Jake's body for as long as possible before the door closed, leaving him alone in the cold operating room.
When the public heard of the disaster that had befallen the Starter family, people rose up and demanded that A.N.I.s get their civil rights, just like Jake wanted, with Jake's parents leading the way. It took a few months, but Congress caved and made a new amendment. The amendment that stated that all A.N.I.s were treated as equals. Many people still wanted to go back to the old ways, of the A.N.I.s serving them and everyone was okay with that. There were riots that the police tried to control. There were lynchings of supporters in the towns that didn't. No one was safe, so they fled to the only place that they felt accepted: Jake's home town.
A.N.I.s, after getting emancipated, started to make a pilgrimage to Jake's home town. They consider it a sacred place, for the simple fact that Jake Starter really cared about them. He died trying to protect his family: his A.N.I wife and son. So, they all visit his grave site, bearing flowers, wreaths, gifts and such, to don his headstone. Ferrari was courteous to everyone, accepting their apologies and kind words, but not really listening to them. She was deep in thought over what to do now that the love of her life was gone.
She felt a hand creep into hers and looked down to see Chibii, standing proudly. She smiled a little, but still felt empty.
After the ceremony was over and everyone left, Ferrari and Chibii stuck around and stared at the headstone. She remembered the good times she had with Jake: their first time meeting under the bridge, their first kiss in the woods, the wedding. It made her smile, thinking of those good times she had with her beloved.
Ferrari . . .
She jerked her head around and saw no one. She could have sworn that someone whispered her name.
Ferrari . . .
She heard it again! She looked down at Chibii and said, "Chibii, did you hear anything?"
He looked up at his mother, confused, and said, "No, all I heard was the wind."
She was confused now. I know I heard something . . .
Ferrari . . . You must live for me . . . Live everyday to the fullest . . . Can you do that? . . . For me? . . .
She smiled, now understanding who it was. "Jake . . ." she whispered, glad to hear her love one last time before moving on.
She held on to Chibii's hand tighter, placed a kiss on the headstone, and left without another word. She would see Jake someday, but for now, she had to live out her life.
For the both of them.
Welp, that's it. No more. Hope y'all liked it.
Side note: My first furry story, like, EVAR!!!!! So, please show some love for it!!!
The usual BS: All characters are owned by moi. Using them without permission will bring about the end of days for your life, I'll see to that....
So... comment, rate, fave, watch..... whichever you prefer.... But, I insist you comment whenever you read!! I like to read comments, to see if people liked it and to gain helpful tips as to how to better become an epic writer....
See ya starside, everyone.....