Authors note: hi, this is my very first fanfiction so reviews would be very welcome - especially positve ones. :). Also Rio doesn't belong to me so no sueing okay. Other than that I really hope people enjoy this.

His heart pounded in his chest. Panic threatened to overwhelm him. And all around the steel bars of the cage rose up; connecting above him into a barrier solely designed to block his freedom. His wings gripped the bars as he tried desperately to see into the murky darkness around.

Every now and then there was the soft flutter of wings and the silence was broken – briefly. But he did not need to see to know the cause of it. Nor did he need to see the towers of occupied bird cages in the smugglers den to know the danger he was in. No: what he needed to do was get the hell out of here. Before it was too late.

Suddenly he stiffened as he heard something out of the ordinary: the sound of footsteps. And they were coming closer. He pushed himself against the back wall; as far away from the entrance as possible.

"Shh. It's okay," came a soft voice. "I'm not going to hurt you."

A hand slid out of the darkness; silently opening the door, before retreating back into the gloom.

The little bird could barely believe his luck. Standing in the entrance, he could now make out the small shape of a window, high up the walls. A way out! He thought, preparing to jump.

"What are you doing!" a voice roared.

His mind filled with dread as he recognised the voice of the smuggler. Frantically he took off, flapping as he hard as he could to escape. The fingers grasped behind him along with a cry of rage and he knew he had escaped.

"You will pay for this! It's time you were taught a lesson about messing with my affairs," was the last thing he heard before the cool night air of freedom surrounded him.