The girl panted desperately, not able to find a way out of the thicket she'd gotten into, except for directly into their hands. Her flat bone earrings clicked against the necklace of her 'father's' fangs.

"There she is!" one of them shouted. Her trained ears told her they were coming in from the same direction as she had. She had very highly attuned sense for a girl of seventeen, and very fast reflexes. She had dodged most of the bullets the humans had shot at her.

She turned and used a final resort. She leaped for the trunk of the nearest tree and dug her strong nails into the bark. She pulled herself up the tree, but slowly, not fast enough. The nails on her right hand snapped at the ends and she swung to her left as the humans came into the clearing. She lost all grip on the tree and dropped to the floor her body reflexively twisted so as she landed on her feet.

She turned to face the humans, pulling her clay mask over her face. Drawing her spear, she took up fighting stance, feet slightly apart, muscles all tensed.

She hopped nervously to look at them all, turning to the last too slowly. He pulled the trigger, and the dart pierced the skin on her neck. She collapsed to the floor, but not before delivering a swift kick to the nearest man. Her body hit the floor with a soft 'thump' muffled by the fur of her 'mother'.

Ashitaka Kodama watched his father and the other research facility employees bring the girl back into Irontown. He couldn't see her face; it was covered by a red mask made of an earthy material.

Her name was San Mononoke. She was the wolf princess. She was the third of three children, giving her the name San (meaning three), and princess of the forest and beasts. Mononoke Hime. Her parents lost her to the wolves when she was very young. Instead of killing and eating her, they brought her up as their own. Very odd behaviour for wolves, said the experts.

They'd named to wolves. Moro was the mother. The father died before San was found, so he was unnamed. The wolf twins were called the Moro No Ko, sons of Moro, because it was impossible to distinguish between them.

The research team, consisting of 6 people, pulled the doors of the ambulance open and pulled out the stretcher. As soon as the wheels touched the floor they were near running into the building. A slight moan came from the stretcher and reached Ashitaka's ears. He followed the men inside at his father's beckon.

Half way down one of the labyrinthine corridors, the men pushing the stretchers stopped.

A feral growl erupted from the girl, and she sprung up, kicking two men in the face in the process. They fell onto the men behind them, taking another two out.

She danced across the fifth man and flipped over Ashitaka's father, before trying to escape down the corridor. That was where her escape route stopped. She ran directly into Ashitaka, who caught her around the waist. Her momentum knocked them to the floor, her face mask snagging on the way down. She pulled the top half of her body off of his, and looked at him. For a moment, their eyes met.

She's beautiful thought Ashitaka. She had light skin, short brown hair and triangles painted on her face in a red ink.

She immediately flipped off of him and onto her feet when she heard a noise behind them.

Another gun was pulled out and a dart fired at the princess of the wolves. She fell soundlessly onto Ashitaka.

"What was that about?" asked Ashitaka as he pushed San off of him. His father looked at him.

"This is San Mononoke, 'Princess' of the wolves. It was our task to find her and see what makes a feral child tick. She doesn't know how to speak, so there's no point in talking to her. We thought that you might be interested in a job, Ashitaka."

Ashitaka nearly dropped the wolf girl in surprise.

"Get her," he said, motioning to San, "to talk."

helloooooooooo CNJ here! First ficcy!

Review if you have the time.

Much Love! Ja Ne