Part 11 by Kijikun

Warning: This section contains depictions of child abuse.

Disclaimer: Standard disclaimer. Zoey, Karen, Race, and Grace belong to me. Please ask before using. You can draw them or anything else pertaining to Blood Ties as much as you want with out asking.

same day as part 10; early morning

There was daylight, she could see it. At least she thought it was daylight. She had never actually seen daylight before. But this had to be it. She didn't remember anything being so warm and bright before. It shimmered and danced, tempting her closer. She wondered if she could take some and put it in her pocket. Take a bit of sunlight with her.

Inching her way slowly to the half open window, the small mouse child was determined to get to that sunlight. Out there was the daylight where he parents were. Out there no one could hurt her, she'd be safe. They couldn't reach her out. No more pain.

She looked cautiously up and down the long bare hall way. Fallen plaster lay in pills on the floor, the paint had worn away to reveal grimy metal walls. Seeing that only she was there and as she could hear no one coming, the child stepped out of the shadows. She had blended perfectly into the shadows. Her white fur was almost dark gray, for weeks without a bath and due to the escape route she took through the air vents. It had been a dangerous and daring thing to do, but days without food or water had made her reckless. The child known as Zoey figured the worse that could happen was for her to die. And compared with all the alternatives--death didn't seem so scary.

Though Zoey was only three she knew what would happen were she caught. And she knew it wasn't pleasant. About a month before, another prisoner had attempted and failed to escape. Zoey had been forced to watch has to poor creature took three days to die. And that had been a merciful death.

The baby was tired, dirty, and hungry. A combination when added to the fact she was three and her genetic background made Zoey a daring young creature. But it was obvious this was a last despite attempt on her part. Her ears and small antenna, which had she been a normal Martian child (her antenna) would have been considered deformed being so small drooped noticeable. She was clinging to what was left of her crushed sprit and hope.

Zoey did have to admit that all this danger and threat of death was kinda exciting in a way. It all seemed fun strangely. Vinnie would have been very proud. Charley would have said insanity must be genetic.

Taking small, soft steps Zoey grew closer to the window and her freedom. Her heart threatened to beat out of her chest. She was surprised the sound of it hadn't been noticed by someone, it seemed so loud. Her green eyes were so focused on the window she didn't watch where she was stepping. Just when she seemed about to reach her goal, her bare white furred foot came down on something very sharp.

She cried out, forgetting herself. Her voice seemed to echo around her as the sound of her cry of pain filled the hall way. Not bothering to see what caused her pain, her back went ram rod straight. Zoey froze like an animal caught in headlights. Like a timid rabbit her eyes grew wide and scared. Her head whipped from one direction to another as she looked up and down the hall, looking to see someone coming to drag her back to her painful life. Every fur stood on end as she stood there.

After several moments of not breathing, she inhaled sharply. Dragging her wounded left foot behind her she hurried to the open window. Reaching it she grasped the dirty ceil with her small hand and pulled her self up. Out the window was a long alley way that led on to street. She could her voices coming from that street, she could see people. People who would take care of her and keep her safe, they'd help her find her parents. Wish I hadn't left teddy...

She was just lowering herself to the ground, when a large hand grabbed the back of her ragged shirt. Another hand clasped over her mouth as she screamed. AS she was jerked back her forehead was banged into the edge of the window frame. A trickle of red blood, another thing that distinguished her from most Martians, traced a red line down her dirt face, mixing with the dirt.

The blow dazed her long enough for her captor to drag her back into the depths of the lab. The thug had a grip on her brown and white streaked hair, pulling her along the floor by it. The already bawling child, cried harder. It wasn't fair; all she wanted was for all the hurting to stop. For all the pain she knew daily to go away. All she wanted was her parents. Was that to much to ask?

Zoey found herself hoisted into the air by her abused hair. Her poor scalp screamed in pain. Everything around the child was a blur. She blinked trying to see straight, but only saw more hazy images. Then she saw the blurry image of the mean old Doc.

Karbuncle sneered at the offending child. Haunted green sphere closed against the offending images. She wished her world away once again. A silent river of tears escaped from the tightly shut dam and flooded her fur, carving new paths in the dirt and blood. The tears turned read as the mixed with the blood.

Zoey could hear voices and knew they were talking about her. But she couldn't make them about. All the words were a jumbled mess. Even with her eyes clamped shut everything seemed to spin out of control. Don't feel good, .tummy hurts.

She hurt every where. Her small head throbbed in pain. The swirling emotions around her, severed to confuse her more. Her developing empathic abilities couldn't handle it all and left her open to all of it.

Suddenly she was being dragged again. Her already bruised and battered body was dragged down flights of stairs, her head hitting the floor with everyone. Zoey howled and struggled, but her hair was held tight by thug.

She was again hoisted into the air as she was thrown head long into the small room where she spent most of her life. Zoey slammed into the wall, her battered head bang against the wall. Slumping down on to the mattress the child cowered. Grabbing her teddy she held it never, sobbing and howling. After a while her cries died down and her shoulders only quivered every now and again. Then, finally she fell into blessed oblivion.

Two hours passed and Zoey hadn't moved. If you hadn't known she was alive, it would be easy to mistake the child for a very dead child. Her small chest barely rose and fell with each breath.

Zoey woke to the mattress under her being ripped away. With a cry of terror, she scrambled to her feet. Her head was still hazy from the blows it had received earlier in the day. So disoriented was she, that she didn't see the large figure move towards her in the blackness. But she smelled it.

Zoey was grasped by the collar of her tattered shirt. She was thrown into a small cold metal cage, which sat where her mattress only recently had. Hugging her teddy tight Zoey shook in fear. The blackness wrapped around her.

The small child tired to sit but, raising her head to look about her. Her deep green eyes met the icy glare of Doctor Victor Hamburg. Zoey knew him only as man. Though she heard Karen call him a doctor, she didn't dare call him that. In fact she never dared speak to him. He terrified her to no end. More than Doctor Karbuncle or that fish-faced man with the bad purple suit (though he was more stinky than scary). While the doc just made her body hurt bad, this man made her head hurt too.

"So you tired to escape, freak" the man cooed, a horrible sound.

Zoey opened her mouth to speak. Instead she screamed. Her young voice was pushed to the breaking as it filled the air. In the offices far above, people raised their heads swearing they had heard a child screaming.

"You are an animal." He reached through the cage bars and grasped her neck. He dragged her up so that her face was pressed again into the rusty metal bars. "Aren't you?"

Zoey opened her mouth to responded. She cried in anguish as severe pain. Her battered and abused form jerked as electric pulses racked her body. A downpour of salty rain streamed down her face. Eyes clamped tightly shut as a voiceless wordless chant began in her head.

Her sobs threatened to shake her to pieces.

Large hands grasped her shoulders, shaking her hard. "No one wants you. No one." Zoey could smell his foul breath and sweat, as he screamed profanities at her.

I'm gonna be sick...

Numbly Zoey nodded, her hair fell into her face, hiding her tormented green eyes.

"Good," His voice had changed to a pleasant tone, as if he was a pediatrician and she was a frightened child getting her first shot.

Zoey felt her chin lifted, but refused to open her eyes. "You aren't going to try to escape again, now are you?"

Zoey shook her head, crying out at the pain the movement caused.

"And you're going to be a good little lab mouse aren't you?" Zoey nodded her chin quivering. "And we're not going to have this conversation again, are we?"

She shook her head.

"Good girl," he patted her head.

He let go his grip on her throat. Zoey scrambled to the far side of the cage. Cowering in the corner, she could hardly see him. But assumed he had left her alone now that he was done.

Quivering in pain and terror, her blood and tears damped her fur. The pierce of plaster had been pulled out of her foot at some point. But her red blood soaked through the thin bandaged.

Zoey's tired abused and broken mind kept drifting. Not letting her eyes stay open.The heavy shutters closed against her will and refused to re-open. Sleep had almost completely invaded her young mind when she felt cold metal touch her neck.

She screamed.

In panic she scrambled forward away from it. Only to be pulled back by some unseen force. The coldness encircled her neck and sat heavily upon it.

Zoey frantically tired to get free but to no avail. With a sob of defeat slumped down into a ball. Her body was pulled backwards. The cold iron collar was attached to a very short chain.

Laughter drowned out her loud sobs. Her shouldered jerked and heaved with every painful sob. The chain was shook violently causing her neck to hurt.

"Just so you don't get any ideas, little freak of nature." She could hear the smile in his voice. Her empathy could sense his pleasure in this. It sickened her. This wasn't right, was it? This man doing this was sick and liking it was even sicker. Wasn't it? She was so confused.

Deep jade eyes watched with growing hopelessness as the chain was fastened to the metal wall. The white furred baby watched helplessly as another shackle was placed about her ankle. That chain was also hooked into the wall. Zoey sat silent and still, not even crying any more.

Dr. Hamburg reached into the cage again, reaching towards her. Zoey sat motionless, her eyes blank.

"Animals and freaks don't need pretty necklaces or stuffed bears," he cackled as her roughly ripped the sliver locket from about her neck.

Zoey's head jerked forward as he did. The chain dug deeply into her neck then broke. The child made no sound. A deep cut and darkening bruise were covered by the iron collar.

Zoey didn't even blink when her beloved teddy was ripped away from her. Green eyes were bleak and empty. Her face was a blank mask. No tears ran from her eyes. Only blood ran down her face.

"They were never coming for you, animal. Who would want a filthy creature like you? This is all you have. This is all you'll ever have or be. Get used to it."

With that he left her, sitting still as stone in her cage.

Never coming for me.....animal...freak...

Zoey's sprit crumbled, her hope darkened. It had to be true. Nothing else made sense to her.

Zoey curled into a ball on the cold metal floor of the cage. Her eyes stared unfocused into nothing. She hurt so much. She wanted it all to end.

The white furred child, who could have easily been mistake for a brown or black furred child now, curled into an even tighter ball. Instinctively she groped for her teddy. Then she remembered.

A solitaire tear ran down her cheek as she closed her jade hued eyes. She said a voiceless prayer not daring to speak

I'm an animal....