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I have been confined in this stinking hole for weeks now. I owed it all to luck. Simple as that. It was in the older part of the fortress, where the buildings were litteraly falling under the weight of the newest ones. I lost the soldiers who were after me in the higher levels, but I fear it may not be long before they spot me hiding here. After all… I was starting to get hungry. It has been a while since I have last eaten anything. Paranoïa had kept me from eating any of the meals brought to me; I feared they might be poisoned… I couldn't stay here any longer. Nightmare's voice kept echoing in my head, searching for me, for a weakness to exploit.

"Now, my boy… Where could you be?"

I closed my eyes tightly and tried to focus. I had to keep on focusing… My powers were the only that could stand between Nightmare and me. He would not… get to me…

"Show yourself… I know you're here, somewhere…"

I recoiled in the hole as a sudden noise shuffled near me and I waited impatiently for it to leave. It was like something was sniffing… It came closer and closer… until we met. Those bright, fiery eyes pierced mine, and I could only stare at them, mouth agape. The wolf continued staring for a moment longer, before letting out a low growl.

"You are in deep trouble," he growled in his growling language only us could clearly understand. "I've been looking all over for you. Have you lost so much pride as to hide like a lost child?"

"But I am a child…"

"This is not an excuse. Lord Nightmare has been searching all around the fortress for you. You cannot stay here."

The Wolfwrath looked away for a moment, then came back, this time a small bag in his jaws. He set it down in front of me and sat down.

"I brought you this. I won't be able to stay here any longer, or else our Lord will find you."

Without another word, he turned and disappeared, claws clicking on the metallic ground. I remained sitting there, eyes staring at the bag for a moment. The wondrous smell of raw and bloody meat came floating up to my nose and tingled my hunger. I waited until the claw noises left… then I reached out and opened the bag. I couldn't stop the drool from flowing down my mouth. Food! Finally!

"Where are you… Come on out, boy… You won't be hurt…"

Shut up! Stop talking! Let me eat! Without waiting for anything else, I tore the meat apart and ate it all up, savouring every bit and every drop, licking my blood soaked lips. I ate until all of it was gone, but I still wanted more. However, I knew the only way for me to get more would be to sneak in the palace kitchens and I couldn't possibly do that, could I? I would be found out immediately! Instead, I recoiled back in my hole, holding my feet against me and wrapping myself in my wings. This life was not mine… I was a proud and strong demon! I wasn't a stray dog! The last conversation I had with Nightmare might have been my last… What took me over, saying those words? I had insulted him! I had insulted the demons! My own kind! Why…? I didn't know… and I didn't want to know.

"Now, boy, stop playing… I just want to talk… Your punishment might not be that bad if you open your mind to me right now… I might even let you live!..."

Yeah, as if he'd do that… What I had said was unforgivable and I knew it. I couldn't possibly stay here! What would happen to me if I were to stay in this hole? It could only lead me to my death, even if Wolfwrath brought me food here and there… I would grow weak and skinny, lose my pride as a demon and die, eaten by Nightmare. I couldn't let this happen… could I?

"This is getting long, boy…"

You're right, I told myself. It is getting long, for both of us. Maybe all I had to do… was to leave… This place was no longer for me. The day after, I slowly crawled outside of the hole in the building I had been hiding in. The sudden light burned my eyes, and my back hurt like Hell. My wings, unused for weeks, were awfully sore and I had to crack them open; the small, fragile bones stretched out, and I could only cringe in pain. They folded themselves back against my back, numb, and I looked around, shrinking my sore eyes. It wasn't dawn yet… The artificial lights of the ceiling weren't as bright as they usually were. Taking in a deep breath, I tried to orientate myself. I had to find the hangar. There was surely a ship I could steal… There had to be!

"Soooon, I can sense you moving… Your feet are walking fast… Where could you be headed? You are running… You are fleeing… Now, come back here…"

I would never go back! I had decided! There was nothing else to do. I crossed many hallways, hid from guard patrols, had to kill two of them, and by the time I arrived in the hangar, many guards were behind me, yelling calls and swinging weapons toward me. I had to jump to the right to evade a ball of spikes, and duck as arrows and knives were thrown at me. The first vessel I saw was a salvaged Star Warrior cradle that was found some years before… It would be perfect! Anything would do! I ran up to it, breathless… I jumped into the opened shaft, feeling dizzy… What… was happening…? Eyes hurting and burning and my vision filling with black dots, I slammed the dome above me closed and quickly started up the engine. There was still some fuel inside, so I could maybe get as far away as I could… As the ship started rising from the ground, his voice came back, with a sudden, overjoyed tone…

"Found you…"