Author: AelunaSheWolf PM
AU. Shira's life is filled with pain, suffering, and torture. Will she ever be able to settle down, and begin a new life for herself, or will her instinctive self-pride overrule the chance of her freedom? Rated T.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Adventure - Diego & Shira - Chapters: 24 - Words: 26,549 - Reviews: 62 - Favs: 13 - Follows: 13 - Updated: 12-16-12 - Published: 08-24-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8462228
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Shira panted as Jaya sped ahead of her. She was born on her previous ship, and had lived there her entire life. Helping out had gotten her quite strong, but the tigress had little speed or stamina. The furthest she'd ever run was when she was a cub, after she'd fallen overboard and drifted towards a small island. The boat came back for her, but she'd had to run to get back on.
"C'mon, slowcoach, hurry! We've been dawdling, the sun's nearly at northwest!" Jaya moaned.
"Sorry, I'm no good at running!" Shira yelled back.
"Oh, geez. Remember what the lion said? Learn!" The jaguar threw back, and instead of slowing down, sped up. "You'd better keep up, or you'll be soon lost!"
After quarter of an hour, Shira and Jaya stopped at a large wooden door. Shira wondered what was inside, when she heard the sound of a screaming animal. She looked at Jaya with a worried expression.
"Yeah, I know how it sounds. Just work hard and be good, and you'll be fine."
Shira swallowed, and pushed open the door. Inside was a small room, with tree trunks inside. To her surprise, animals were on top, running as the logs spun. As Shira looked closer, she saw fine holes in the ends of the trunks, and a bowl below.
"Its a hollowed out log, and its filled with food. You get on the trunk and run, and after a while, a piece of food will fall into your bowl. After three hours, you swap to the water trunks that leak water when you run. Its scarce, they make you run fast so very little water actually comes out. Its designed to make you work harder, for less. The harder you work, the better you eat. Except with the water one, but then if you get slow you get whipped. Its a matter of fitness. So you'd better get used to running. C'mon, there are two spare trunks, its time to get to work. I'm starved."
The jaguar bounded over to the tree trunk and stepped towards a vine. "Shira, if you bite onto the vine, it'll stop you falling off if you were to slip. Handy for beginners like you. Just make sure, if you feel like you're slipping, you grab it tight." After her little speech, she grabbed the vine in her mouth, leaped upon the log and started to jog. She moved the vine to the side of her mouth, and looked at Shira again. "If the whippers aren't looking slow down a bit. Best to get a rest if you can, or you wont be able to survive the trip back. Now, get on!"
Shira walked cautiously towards her vine and picked it up in her mouth. She carefully climbed up onto her log, and took a step, which made her trip. She could feel the immense pull on her jaws as she held her weight, trying to get back onto the log.
"Get back on, you worthless kitty-cat. This boats gotta move, so get running and turning those pedals!" A large bear shouted, and whipped her. "Hurry up!" Shira whined and got back on, and started to walk. The bear, frustrated now, whipped her again. "Come on, lazy bones! Get movin'!"
"Oi, Yoto, give her a break. She's just got outta camp and has never been on motor duty before. She's still learning!" The jaguar shouted, whilst running flat out.
"I don't care if she's just swam to shore and back, she's going to move those stubby legs of hers!" The bear shouted back, and whipped Shira again. The poor saber, who was just about getting the hang of running on the trunks, yelped and moaned, put hung her head to hide the tears that threatened to form. She moved faster, slipping and tripping lots, trying to please the bear.
"And you, little miss pussy, lay off the attitude and stop answering back. Focus on ya own life, eh? Its every man for himself down here, so stop worrying about little wimpy over there." The bear snarled and lashed Jaya with the whip. She screamed in pain and ran faster, eyes wide fear.
"Don't send the h-herd in, p-please!" The jaguar whimpered. "Have mercy, have mercy!" She cried, terror evident in her eyes. The bear laughed.
"The herd's only in camp, pussy. Get back to reality!" He slapped her cheek, and she yelped again.
"Jaya, grab... the vine! You might... fall!" Shira yelled between breaths. Finally, she'd gotten running full speed, although she was absolutely shattered and gasping for air.
"N'no! I've got to k'keep working! I must be good or they'll send the herd in!" the jaguar cried.
"Jaya, the bear... said that the... herd only come... in the ca-"
"Hey, theres... no point reminding her. She's gone... into a trance. She thinks she's... still in camp. We all get... them. Hours where you feel like you are... still in camp. She'll get over it. Dont... worry." Shira looked around to see a beaten-up kangaroo hopping on her branch. "I'm like her. They cant... decide what to do with us... so we are in limbo at... the moment. I've... been in limbo longer... I've gotten over the... camp experience. It took me... about 4 years... She's only been here for 3 years."
Shira, panting already, couldn't help but admire the kangaroo. Clearly, she'd been here for a long time, and that meant a lot of starvation and hard work. Shira tripped, and regained her balance before turning back to the kangaroo.
"Why are you two in limbo?" She asked curiously.
"Well, us two are the real... puzzle captives. They know both of us... have potent-"
"No!" Jaya cried. "Don't call Kingo, please! I'm begg-"
"Shut it, feline!" A heavy-browed mammoth ordered, and slapped her with the whip. "Snap out of it!"
Shira looked at her friend, who was crying and sobbing, whining and moaning, and pleading to be pardoned from an imaginary fate. "Are you sure we... cant do anything?" The tired feline begged her bouncing friend.
"No, I'm sorry. By the way, you might want to hold that vine tightly. At break i'll wrap it around your tail, OK? You're slipping left, right and everywhere. Take care."
"Thanks..." Shira said, and clamped her teeth on the vine, and just in time, because a surprise whack on her backside made her fall and she dangled in the air.
"Come on, tiger, get back on your log before they whip you even more. Quick!" The kangaroo whispered urgently. Shira, deciding it would be best to listen, forced herself down onto the log and began to run again.
"As I was saying, the... crew know we both have great... potential. However, we are both... rebellious. They want shipmates with... potential, and strong willpower, but they don't want... traitors. Hence why we are down here still. I can see potential... in you, and good willpower, and even a hint of rebellion... Be careful how you act, ok?"
"Yes, thanks. Uhm, whats your name?"
"My name is Ama, whats yours?"
"My name's Shira."
"Nice to meet you... I caught a glimpse of you... before I went to work earlier, from across... the cage room. They turn the... lights on for a couple of hours or so below... deck, and at night so they can... punish us if we start rebelling easily, but... you were out of it when they... turned them on. I'll look out... for you tonight, and we can... chat. Before bed. Thats when they let us... out of our cages. There isn't so much... room, but everyone deals stuff at night. Perhaps... a blanket for food, or something like that. Some animals even trade their cage. Food... or water, perhaps, is like a currency to us, if... you want something, offer food... and you'll get it. It's too busy for... me though, and too hot. I stick to... what I earn and go outside for the whole... time. See, we've got this one nice detail on... the bottom deck. Its like... a viewpoint underwater. The ice is... crystal clear so you can... go and watch the... fish. And its so cool because you are right next... to ice cold water. I actually... love it there... Its so nice."
"Wow, I didn't know the crew were... nice enough... to give us something... nice." Shira said, tripping like mad with deathly painful legs.
"They aren't. Us captives... made it one day... because we thought it would be nice to see something beautiful... below deck." Ama explained.
Once again, Shira tripped up and dangled in the air.
"Get down from there, pussy cat!"
"Eek! Sorry.." The worn out saber replied, and got back onto her tree trunk.
"Ugh." The bear said and walked off again.
"Unlucky. You're... gonna have to practice that... I reckon." Ama said.
"Yeah..." Shira told her new friend. "Woah, dizzy moment." Shira laughed between precious breaths.
Suddenly, her face went straight. Another dizzy spell. This wasn't right... Quickly, Shira threw the rope to Ama and shouted "Tie it to my tail, now!" in desperation. Ama could tell something wasn't right, and did as the female saber requested, tripping herself, thankful for the vine around her belly.
The saber gasped. The whole world was spinning; she knew she couldn't run properly like this, yet she carried on, occasionally putting her paw too far forward and moving Jaya's log too, making her trip.
"Shira! Come back to me! Wake up!" She heard Jaya shouting.
"Jaya... I'm so dizzy..."
"Oh, god! You whacked your head, on the ice!"
"Ugh..." Shira moaned, then collapsed, hanging by her tail in the air, paws scuffing the still spinning wooden log.
"Shira! Come on, snap out of it!" Jaya cried.
"Wake up kitty, come on, quick!" Ama shouted.
Shira only opened her eyes and blinked, then fainted. The vine lowered at the added weight, and her body hit the spinning wooden log, hitting her body as the tree trunk carried on spinning.
Hope you enjoyed it! Please review! Your comments help me to be inspired for this story!
So, Shira has experienced work and found a new friend... but how will she fare? Find out in the next one!