A young girl of about eight plodded around in the dark confines of her "cage", cursing a blue streak in many different languages, irritation evident in everything she did.
Surprisingly, she managed to maneuver through the black as pitch room easily, even managing to punch the walls quite a few times, claw at the heavy steel door and glare fruitlessly at the one way mirror in the southern wall with neon-green slitted-eyes.
The room itself was a dull sight. White washed walls, colorless tile and the ominous tinted one-way mirror, not to mention that nearly everything was worse for wear due to a certain child's temper tantrums.
Her ears twitched every now and then, followed by a flick of the tail.
She was soon irritated with walking like a human, settling for her hands and feet, pouncing in an incensed manner, hissing, mewling and spitting at random things, fully abandoning any human language.
Of course, she only proceeded to do this when said humans were not physically around her, or when she did not feel a presence behind the glass. When she did, she blocked everything out so well that you could think her dead if not for the slight movement of her chest that signified breathing.
A frown made its way to her sickly pale skin as she curled up on her bed (which truthfully was just a straw mat on the floor with a thin sheet) not caring if her ebony-silver hair fell in her eyes.
Really, they expected her to cooperate with what they did? She was sure it was inhumane, given she was not all the way human but that was both besides the point and their fault.
She was completely stoic to whatever they did to her, even the "limit testing," which consisted of things like physical limitations (bullet aversion, contortionism because she had over thirty vertebrae unlike the standard 26 of a human), pain tolerance, mental limitation and emotional limitations and ample amount more…but she knew that this was a perverse form of torture for the sake of "human" knowledge.
She turned a different leaf when they began providing her with books of morals and of "regular" life. That, conveniently, was at the age of three. She full out became resistant to the tests, got punished severely by the scientists, psychologists, geneticists and biophysicists.
She quickly learned it was safer on her part (though living life in a laboratory was far from being safe at all) to do as they said and tend to her own devices and rants when she was alone.
Her hopes were not high, that is, her hopes to be saved.
She could not even comprehend what hope was for that matter. In her head, the chances of leaving the hellhole were slim to none.
Little after testing her, they proclaimed her a complete success. The humans were completely and totally enthused about finally creating the perfect (in their eyes) combination of cat and human.
Though she had her own behavioral quirks, varying in degree.
She loathed walking like a human, using the extra little appendage on her hands called a pollex (or thumb to humans) unless it was absolutely necessary, her dietary choices (fish, milk, sweets and anything that was labeled "unhealthy"), how she tended to dig her nails into her skin when she was irritated or deep in thought, the way she twirled her hair viciously when stressed, her furry tail, fluffy ears and many more.
But over all, they deemed her more favorable traits, well, more favorable.
She could scale walls without any further assistance, squeeze through bars so tight it should have been physically impossible for the human anatomy, she could sense most anything, mimic others to the point that it seemed surreal, a photographic memory of things she chose to remember and fast as a bullet reflexes.
But they had failed to ever see that their experiment was unhappy and just following what she thought was for her own well-being. She had trudged along her life like this for years on end…and it was not at all fulfilling, leaving a hollow and vacant feeling in the center of her chest. The female, or Kat, as she referred to herself in private, had lived a gloomy and miserable seven years, always bearing the torture for others' benefits or to satisfy their sadistic and wicked curiosity.
A growl built up in her throat, teeth gritted. She took to jumping on the walls, hissing vulgar threats into thin air.
Then, a high and trilling sound met her ears, startling her thoroughly. She twisted her top half first, followed by her back, landing on all fours. A red light flared relentlessly, the shadows seeming to dance around her as she sighed and leaned back on her haunches. The idiots at the control panel must have gotten intoxicated, were mating on the switch board (she gave a violent twitch at the thought, having read book on both human and feline mating rituals) or the ignoramuses had been caught in one of their more gruesome experiments and the proper authorities were on their way to retrieve her.
She scoffed at the absurdity of the latter thought, settling for the former assumptions, mood darkening upon realizing that her life might not have a "happy" ending like in the books she read so much about. No "Philip Marlow, Sherlock Holmes or Hercule Poirot" to save her and bring the culprits to justice.
Yet, strangely enough, the gods were against her usually accurate probabilities.
The lead bolted door burst open with a loud bang, revealing two humans in the doorway before Kat retreated to the darkest corner of the room. Her thoughts focused as she concentrated on becoming a small, furry tabby cat kitten.
Her heart was beating wildly with adrenaline. Test? Can't take too many chances…
It was just a preventative measure; she was not going to be foolish enough to throw caution to the wind, it was most certainly more knowledgeable then being too lax.
Her eyes, neon green and holding an inconceivable amount of secrets, aimed at the humans, fur on end.
Kat listened in on what they spoke noticing with inquisitiveness why they were speaking a different language in China, even more, why they were speaking English?
The girl, clad in baggy clothing and sporting western physique (the whole she-bang, blue eyes, fair skin and blonde hair).
She said, "Damn! I thought she was supposed to be here! I was so sure!"
Kat stared at the two people that entered her enclosure, speculating whether they were here for their own benefit or hers. Of course, being the pessimist she was, she was keener to sway to the negative ideas rather than listen to the little voice in her head that wanted her to be optimistic for once.
"Just because she is not here in her human form does not mean that she is not present in the room in any other of her appearances, W," She eyed the old man, he seemed kindly and had a certain air about him, making her think of friendly environments found in novels. But what threw her off balance was the fact that he had called the girl "W." Is that not a letter in the Roman alphabet?
"Right, Watari," W (Kat assumed was the girl's name) made a beeline for the corner Kat had situated herself in, the man lagging behind. Her instincts wanted to take hold of her as she estimated her distance from the wall and the likelihood of her escaping in time.
And if they are here with good intentions? She froze.
It seemed completely preposterous. No one knew of her existence (at least, not anyone outside of the ghoulish facility) and were more likely to worry about their own things than a child like her.
And should you run out, who is to say you shall, indeed, survive? Another point, all she had to go on were books that never ceased to be without the clichéd happy ending. This was reality; people were killed on a daily basis, died of poverty, starvation…
She had given too much time to the morbid thoughts, it seemed.
"Kew Keikan?" The girl, W, asked her, inching forward, even if hesitantly. Kat tilted her head at the name before snapping out of it, readying herself to leap at the wall.
But one single sentence stopped her from doing so.
"We are here to save you, Kat," The elderly man said.
Everything seemed to stop and spin around her, a wave of vertigo hit her.
Had he just uttered the words that she dreamed of the majority of her short life? Maybe she had fallen unconscious after the scientists attempted to riddle her with bullets again?
"You can change into your other form, we are well aware if the fact that you can, Kew," There was that name again! It sounded Japanese like "kyu" but also like the "kew" for loveable in Chinese! Her name was Kat!
Though her mind was reeling with rants, accusation and questions, she nonetheless felt her bones realigning themselves again.
She timidly took a step forward, narrowing her eyes into a glare. "Who is this 'Kew Keikan' you speak of? I am only aware of myself; Kat," She informed them quietly. W gasped; face twisting up in something between horror and disgust, scanning her eyes over Kat's body, teeming with inquiries. But then it all seemed to melt off her face into a mask of apathy.
"Kew Keikan, That is your given name, but we can call you Kat if you wish," The man, Watari, informed her.
The tomboy looked at them with little interest; all emotion slipping from her face as she slipped out of the room with a grace that Kat had failed to find in any other humans.
"And, if you are here to 'save me' then how am I to know that you will not treat me worse?" Though I highly doubt the probability of that, in the stories I read, the adults do not shoot bullets at their children for the purpose of selfish benefit or curiosity of boundaries.
Watari took on an even softer demeanor, ruffling through his bag and pulling out a fur lined black coat, holding it out to her.
What? Was her bandaged chest and sweat pants not enough?
A peace offering, perhaps? Sniffing the air lightly to make sure that there were no noxious fumes surrounding it or something (once more, the probabilities were low).
She took the coat in her hands and put it on diffidently; it was, afterall, not an everyday occasion that she got to put on actual clothing.
"Where might we be going?" she asked, unknowingly pawing the ground avoiding the man's eyes as he stood to his full height. He most likely could easily over power me, she noted solemnly.
"Well, by Chinese law you are eight but by British law you are only seven, and turn eight on October thirty-fist, so you are coming to an orphanage, one for exceptionally gifted children." He explained, holding his hand out for the girl to hold. She tilted her head, ears pointing straight at him. Making sure her claws were retracted, she took his hand, her own shaking a bit.
"If I may ask," She said, in her quiet little voice, being polite so as not get punished (but she truly thought that this human might deserve the kindness and politeness from her). "Why were you making a reference to my date of birth?" She eyed the ground, wanting oh-so badly to just walk around like a true cat instead of be so erect.
"You may call me Mr. Wammy or Watari, little one," he said, looking at her feet as they opened a door, one that Kat had seen many times while they took her from place to place, the main exit.
"And as for your birth date, it means that the Chinese government cannot let you live by yourself without a guardian, that and, the roommate I have set up for you shares your birth date." He said, before he set his eyes out on the snow laden ground and Kat's bare feet. "Miss Keikan, may I pick you up? I do not want you catching a cold."
She scrunched her nose up a bit before turning herself into a kitten; she stared at him evenly as if asking "Will this suffice?"
Mr. Wammy seemed to see her unwillingness to be touched in human form and merely nodded once more with gentleness, picking her up.
It seemed to surreal to Kat, her dream coming true all at once, but now, what mattered in her life? Was her destiny fulfilled? Her wishes were granted but she felt somewhat hollow.
Orphanage: a home or other institutional setting for orphans, often operated by a local government or charitable organization.
Orphan: a child whose parents are either dead or who has been abandoned by his or her parents, especially a child not adopted by another family.
Parents: somebody's mother, father, or legal guardian.
Book definitions with an obscure meaning, she knew what the words meant but she was not aware of the relevance of it to her situation.
Mr. Wammy said she was being taken to an orphanage for "exceptionally gifted children," a facility with others that were similar to her?
Unlikely; she doubted that cat-people were common in the truly calloused world she lived in.
So, if she was going to an orphanage that meant she was an orphan. And that meant she did not have any parents either alive or they simply abandoned her.
She let all of the possibilities wash over her, not comprehending adult humans too well. She was a master mind at finding hidden intentions but was clueless as to why said intentions were hidden. She may have been a genius, one who knew without a doubt that what they did to her at the labs was wrong, but regular humans were baffling to her.
Before she knew it, she had fallen asleep, but when she opened her eyes what she saw was surprising: a large structure, almost castle-like, the type of thing you might find in the fairy book she had tossed aside one afternoon, naming it useless in her search to uncover what was the human mind.
Children sprinted around, smiling, laughing, and a few quietly swinging on the nearby play ground and there was one who was at a bench just reading away. Some seemed as old as adults, some were younger than her and others were just about her age at least.
Of course, she made her observations from inside an antique looking car, paws on the window.
Her eyes widened as they seemingly turned to look at the motionless vehicle.
She turned into her more human form, looking with wide eyes at the audience of children seeming to be chanting 'new comer' to each other. Kat cringed slightly.
Soon a figure appeared in front of her opening the door and leaning in to free her from the straps of the seat belt. Mr. Wammy was very delicate, especially around the healing wounds which she assumed he wrapped himself.
"Thank you, Mr. Wammy," She said, looking at the giant looming gates, than further to the children who were looking towards the car curiously.
Amazing! She thought, giving herself a look than gawking at the kids. Miniature humans! So this is the result when a normal human couple reproduces!
Mr. Wammy took her hand and led her to the front gates, her ears perked up at every sound she heard, having barely gotten the opportunity back at the facility.
"Am I allowed to show my feline characteristics here, Mr. Wammy?"She asked timidly, biting her lip, a glimpse of her slightly sharpened canines flashing the children unintentionally. All of this was said in Cantonese, she assumed he knew that along with Mandarin Chinese, if he had managed to pilfer her away from China.
"Yes, but the children might need time to get used to it," he said, a smile on his features.
With a grand push, he opened the gate, loosening his hold on her hand. She noticed this and turned to him, head tilted with a soft "Meow?" Leaving her to fall to the tips of her fingers (thumb forgotten) and the balls of her feet in a crouched position.
"I sensed that you were uncomfortable, after seeing many of the security tapes, I noticed you preferred this method of walking instead of the more common one." He explained her silent question, almost as if he could understand her soft meows and mews or the occasional purr and hiss.
She nodded, shaking her tail out of the confines of the soft coat, she kept an eye on Mr. Wammy as he walked along, he was quite a few meters away before she let a glint come to her eye, pouncing over the first meter, she then proceeded to catch up with Mr. Wammy, glancing at the snow, looking at her nose when a snow flake landed on it, enjoying the feel of it on her hands and the surprisingly inviting cold.
She ignored the questioning glances and whispers and simply followed Mr. Wammy inside the large mansion.
The inside was just as grand as the outside, showing bright colors so different compared to the dull shades of the Labs. She made note of every twist and turn and of all of the halls and corridors they passed, not one speck of dirt going un-inventoried. Mr. Wammy told her which door led to the classrooms and which ones should be committed to memory, her wide eyed stare was calculating and curious, taking everything in like a metaphorical sponge.
"And this," Mr. Wammy indicated, pointing to a double door room with intricate designs on them (the doors), the carvings were different on both doors, one seemed reminiscent of Chinese cat-like designs, then the strangely detailed Jyuunishi (the twelve signs of the Japanese zodiac)
Mr. Wammy smiled again, waiting patiently for her.
Moving slowly, she raised one hand to open the doors, peering into the room vigilantly. She jumped a bit when she saw someone already in the room, on the computer, typing away.
"Misutaa Wami! Womotte iru no ga!" She whispered frantically, this time in Japanese. Mr. Wammy! Someone is in there!
"I do believe that is your roommate, Kew," He said, moving ahead of her and opening the door, only to see that the boy was standing right in front of it now. "Kew, this is L, L this is Kew. You two will be roommates from now on."
And then they both examined each other.
Kat found that this L's raven hair was unruly and long, gray eyes in which the pupil was dilated so much it dominated nearly the whole eye not to mention the bags he had and his skin was very pale. He wore but a simple long sleeve t-shirt and jeans. He was slouched with one hand in the pocket of said jeans.
L scanned his eyes over her, she was just about two inches shorter than him but she looked even more starved than even he, the surface of her skin was nearly completely covered with bandages, telling him that either she was abused or in a horrible accident. Her raven hair was mixed with silver and fluffy ears were set on the top, a tail poked out from behind her, swaying rhythmically. She had a small button nose, fair lips and her eyes—those might have been the most exotic part of her person. Bright shimmering emeralds glazed with curiosity to cover the walls she had set up around herself, they were slanted at a slight angle, and the pupil was slitted. She was standing in just bandages, sweats and a much too big parka.
Finally, Kat plucked up the courage to bow, having read it in a book it was a polite way to greet someone. "Hello, L, I am Kat, or as Mr. Wammy put it, Kew Keikan," she said, keeping her head bowed as she lifted herself back up.
"And I am L. Lawliet, pleasure to meet you Kat," he said, a childish smile on his features. It seemed to Kat that on the outside world, people tended to show happiness more often, usually in a smile. She turned her head up, lips twitching up into a grin.