Title: Trackers
Rating: T (for implications now)
Warning: Future gore
Summary: AU- Merton is an Empathic trainee Tracker, a future Supernatural Police officer. He needs a familiar though.
AN: Try to spot the references.
Disclaimer: Not mine, no money.

Merton was a new recruit, top of his class in theory but his less than athletic body meant that he was lucky he got through not to mention despite some mage blood in him, he was still mostly human though from his appearance most assumed he was at least part vampire. After all being a Tracker is serious business, they were the policemen of the supernatural world. Merton was still a trainee and all trainees need a familiar hence why on a Saturday night instead of being in his room studying he was down at the Trackers pound on campus looking to get one. Familiars could be anything as long as they help to do the job.

Merton knocked on the heavily locked and boarded building's door. A voice told him to display his ID, when Merton complied and was deem worthy he was let into the building. It was made form thick breeze block and cement with not adornments unless you count the dozen of deep claw marks and burn marks decorating the walls. Merton hurried to the counter where he was again made to show his ID, the man behind the desk looked part mountain troll or giant. He had a thick brown beard and a deep rumbling voice.

"So you here to pick out a familiar? Are you? Yep I got some beauties here. So any preferences?" The massive man rumbled. Names and courtesies is often ignored in the Trackers, what is the point of become friends with someone if they might become demon chow the next?

Merton looked around the empty room and just said "No cats." He was quickly shuffled into through a door leading to the back. It was a large room filled with cages. There was a number of felines which made his nose tickle. There was even a number of animals that despite Merton's borderline encyclopedia knowledge of creatures left him lacking of information. All the animals though had collar around their necks forcibly stopping their powers. Merton peered through the cages looking at the smaller ones first, sadly it was mostly cats who when bonded can proved magical boosts. Being allergic and with magic which was nothing to write home about, there was little point so with streaming eyes he moved where the birds where kept. A number of hawks, owls and crows was dotted about in ceiling hung cages. A bonded bird meant the ability to share their eyesight and was useful as mail carriers but with the discovery of internet and email and topped with bifocals which the mortal raised Merton knew about, he quickly moved on. The snakes was dismissed as only people with the gift of the tongue could bond with them and there was only 2 in the last century with that ability. Fish was dismissed as the only one seemed to have a deformed fin and was oddly garishly coloured.

The man interrupted his disappointment. "There is others in the back." Then he was led into another room this time with more locks on them. This was apparently the canine and carnivore section. Merton made his way through, stopping at the odd cage to look at the occupant. A blue koala dog thing with four arms was dismissed and the usual collection of Demon hounds was left ignored. There was something that looked like a bear. Merton turned around and asked "Is that a Demon bear?"

The man replied "Nope just a bear, bear."

Merton looked at the creature before muttering "Weird." He left the man waiting at the door and quickly moved on until he heard a massive bang, a door at the back flew open and what appeared to be a bear wolf bounded out snarling and growling dragging a number of Trackers behind it. It looked like it was freshly captured with the ropes still tied around it's body. With a massive jump the animal cleared the other cages while throwing the Trackers free. They quickly scrambled after the creature before it reached Merton who was froze in place.

Despite their best efforts they were too late and the creature reached him and stopped dead in it's tracks. The animal now was definitely a bear wolf with its shoulder coming Up to Merton's head. Merton only true gift was being an empathy, he could feel and broadcast emotions and feelings. However the sheer volume of fear seeping through his shields held him in place but it was fear from the creature. Merton slowly brought a hand up to the creatures nose letting it sniff him to his surprise the creature licked his hand... though by the size of the tongue it was more like lick his entire forearm. The other Trackers finally caught up and watch in amazement as the beast that tried to kill them was happily sitting next to the tiny, in comparison, boy.

They gaped for about of second before they remembered their training and surrounded the beast. Merton turned to one of the others and calmed asked for the creature's papers and supplies. The Tracker in charge just nodded and ordered for the papers to be given to him. One of the junior Trackers gave Merton the papers which he signed and the creature's collar and leash. The next items passed on confused Merton. It was a large saddle and reins. One of Trackers quickly explained "He is big and strong enough to be a mount." A glance at the paper did tell him that it was a bear wolf and that it was captured a week ago but had no name. A glance at the creature in question showed it was listening to the conversation around him.

Merton turned to the animal who he realised really had to be named. "Will Cerb do as name?" The creature actually look like it was nodding. "You do need a collar though otherwise you can't come with me." The creature lowered it's head and allowed Merton to slip a collar onto him he quick attached the leash. It had runes printed upon it which made the animal obey and not to resist. Merton led Cerb out of the building with a heavy box full of supplies.

One of the Tracker's turned to his boss and asked "Why did you allow that kid to take the bloody thing?"

The Head Tracker chuckled "We spent a week trying to break that thing in, it wouldn't do anything unless forced to. It put 5 of my best men in the infirmary. If it kills the boy, it will be put down. Either way it is out of our hands."

Merton held the leash tightly as he led Cerb down towards the entrance to his room. Being a trainee he was still in the dorms which meant he had a neighbor on either side and a communal bathroom and kitchen. Thankfully because of the use of magic and runes even though it was really a wall of 5 doors with small narrow corridors connected, it was magically enhanced on the inside into however large the owner wanted. Like most of the other runes that helped run the Campus it was powered on the ambient energy emitted by the users. Even more luckily the doorways also could be expanded to allow larger Trackers through.

As Merton unlocked the door and led Cerb through the now much much larger doorway. Merton stared at his now enormous room and sighed. The only problem is that even though the room expanded the furniture was still in the same position it was before. The only rooms that didn't do it was the communal bathrooms and kitchen rooms which had sticking runes on the back of all the furnishings which meant as the walls moved so did they. The runes took a lot of energy to power so it was considered wasteful to use on the trainee dorms. It also meant that everything had to pushed against a wall and couldn't be moved without cancelling the runes first and later reapplying them.

Merton carefully kept a grip on the leash and he shut the door behind him activating the locking and intent runes. He dropped the box of supplies on an end table. He made his way to the black faux-leather sofa now stranded in the middle of the room. Cerb seemed to be happy to follow him. He slumped down exhausted and released the leash.

He looked at the bear wolf he now officially owned. He had no idea why he did it. He was barely passing his classes as the physical side of it took up 50-60% of the grade, he was a lousy mage. His spells often didn't do the right thing if anything at all happened. He was openly hated on campus, he was considered a freak even here. Back in the Mortal Realm it was because he was weird, here it was because he wasn't weird enough. The only thing he had going for him was being a strong empathic. Big deal he could sense people's dislike about him or worse their pity. Perhaps he was suicidal after all why have such a lethal companion but that was the case why activate the intent rune? After all it stunned anything at all that had harmful intentions towards him.

Cerb whined loudly enough to break through his moment of self hate, Merton realised he must have been emitting his feelings again. He slowly brought a hand Up to the bear wolf and tried to force happier feelings. It didn't work so he brought his hand up to the beast's shoulder and pet it. He felt feelings of sadness and what felt like pity. Animals was much harder to get a read upon so he could have been wrong. He petted until he had feelings of calmness was brushing his shields. Merton looked at the massive creature and realised he was now responsible for it. He groaned. Cerb looked at him and gave what Merton considered was a smile.

Merton looked around the room. The wall were still black and the natural effect flooring was still the same. The bookshelves needed to be moved though but Merton couldn't be bothered to do so tonight. It was too much work. He just got off the sofa and pulled the cushions off to the pull out the folded bed. He crawled under the silk sheets not even bothering to kick off his shoes. He closed his eyes and drifted off.