Bring Me Back A Tiger
"In the past, those who foolishly sought power by riding on the back of the tiger ended up inside." -John Fitzgerald Kennedy
Chapter One: Warning! Infected May Bite
Note: I've decided to go a dual route with this story. Half of it going to John and embracing humanity and half of it going to Sebastian and embracing animal instinct. This is Sebastian's half of 'Bring Me Back A Dog'.
Bloody bitch asshole son of a whore fucker.
Sebastian Moran was not happy. He was too big for this cage and his massive body was cramped between the stone walls and fence door. Given enough room, he could easily knock the door off, but that was exactly why he wasn't given enough room. Most of his joints were beyond the normal flexibility of a healthy human, and thankfully, so were his hips. It allowed him to nuzzle himself on his feet with his knees high above his back without any discomfort. At least, there wouldn't have been any discomfort if he hadn't been in his position for eight hours. He couldn't stand up straight even if he wanted to, nor could he even straighten his arms out beyond the elbows. It wasn't even long enough for him to lay flat on his back. He had no choice but to crouch in his position for all of those eight hours.
He'd spent four of those hours trying to break the lock on his muzzle. He supposed he shouldn't have bitten the man bathing him. He could bathe his fucking self and the stupid bitch's hands were getting a little too low for his comfort. Now he didn't have any way to continue his escape plan. For the last week, he'd been chewing on the fence and managed a small hole in the corner with his massive teeth, but now he was out of luck. He'd been mitted as soon as he arrived, preventing any use of his claws on either his hands or feet. Not to mention he couldn't use his bloody fingers now.
To be fair, he was dangerous. Sebastian wasn't in the pound to be adopted. He was here because they couldn't put him in prison. He had warned his Trainers that if they kept treating him like an animal, he would start acting like one. What did animals not like? Being stabbed repeatedly by injection needles. Sebastian hated the behavior controlling injections. They fogged his mind and made him paranoid and agitated for no reason. He broke out of his binds and proceeded to attack the two healthy human Trainers. They ran and he chased them down, injuring anyone who tried to get in his way, healthy and infected alike. Sebastian killed both of the Trainers.
Now he was here, awaiting his judgement. His crimes were too heinous to put him down immediately. Instead, they were going to put him through a trial. Sebastian knew it would end one of two ways; he would be put down 'humanely' and this was all just to torture him or he would be submitted for research to control his aggression. Whether it was to dull it or make it worse, he didn't know anymore.
Sebastian was aggressive, territorial, and didn't like to be in a cage, but that wasn't the only way he was like the Bengal Tiger. His thick tail swished around to show his displeasure and warning anyone that he would pounce the moment he was given the chance. He clawed constantly at the inside of his mitts, trying his best to tear them open with his thick claws. His rounded ears listened attentively for anything and everything going around and sharp yellow eyes glared down the woman that appeared in front of his cage.
"Alright, Sebastian. Time to go." She sighed irritatedly. He was out of time. Fuck. Sebastian wouldn't hesitate to use his teeth if she was stupid enough to just open the cage. That was why she wasn't, much to his displeasure. His muzzle wasn't helpful for that idea, either. He could still tackle her to the floor and give her a concussion. He didn't blame her, she was doing her job, but she couldn't blame him for hating her for it. Sure enough, one of the guards came to her side with a tranquilizer and aimed it at him as they always did. Sebastian didn't even flinch. They'd shot him twice in the face already because he hadn't looked away and even that didn't make the tiger any more likely to look away.
Sebastian Moran had never needed the cure and never needed to be Infected. To be honest, he'd never wanted to be, either. When he was a teenager, his father had taken him to a shady man to be injected. It had been a slow and painful process and what had it gotten him? A stay in the military. After his father had seen what the cure turned him into, the man turned his back on him. Sebastian had confined him to a wheelchair and never looked back. The army hadn't been completely bad, some of it was actually enjoyable, but he simply could never get used to being treated the way he was. Every part of his life was controlled and what they couldn't control was subdued with shots and behavioral training. Sebastian had fought it when appropriate and allowed them when there was nothing he could do.
It was inevitable that he would snap. It would happen again, too. The people here would slip up and he would mass murder everyone in the building. He gave a satisfied huff at the thought. Sebastian mentally prepared himself to be sedated.
"Knock him out," the woman instructed, motioning to the mighty beast man. At the last second, the guard turned his gun away from Sebastian and instead pointed it at her. Without warning, he shot her in the face. Didn'tfeeltoogood, diditbitch! Sebastian could barely hold back his smirk, even though it was well hidden by his muzzle. The guard, or whoever it really was, clearly wasn't interested in him and turned away from the cage and the unconscious women to murmur something into his walkie-talkie.
Sebastian spotted the woman's keys on the floor and swiftly shoved his tail out the hole he had chewed out and dragged the keys quietly into his cage and into his mitted hands. A quick search assured him that these weren't the right keys to his cage or his muzzle or his bloody mittens! He wanted to roar in frustration. He heard footsteps hurrying down the hall of the pound and swiftly tucked the ring of keys out of sight and turned his eyes to watch the scene unfold outside his cage.
A short man in a fancy suit appeared and knocked the armed guard aside with an excited look. He giddily searched over the woman, looking through all of her pockets and angrily rolling her over to check her back pockets as well. Sebastian absently wondered why he was looking for. He didn't have to wonder for very long.
"Where are the keys?" the shorter male screeched loudly, causing many of the Infected to go into a hushed silence. Jackpot.
"I know where the keys are," Sebastian grunted, placing a heavy, covered hand on the cage and flexing his fingers around the metal fencing. The fancy man in his fancy suit turned to stare at him with a sneer. The look in his eyes nearly made the tiger flinch. There was something strange in the back of those brown eyes and Sebastian wasn't sure what it was, but it was frightening. He didn't flinch, though, and instead, watched the man with piercing gold eyes. The man's look changed from upset to amused. The tiger wasn't sure if that was better or not.
"Do you?" he questioned and knelt down to come face to face with the man in the cage. His eyes seemed to search over all of him and Sebastian's ears flickered a little. He pushed himself up to sit, arching his back in a form of a confined stretch. He gave a single nod.
"Tell me," the man demanded.
"Let me out," Sebastian shot back curtly. He wasn't exactly going to hand over the keys and expect the man to let him out for being kind. The man smirked and motioned to the lock with a pointed gesture. His armed friend bashed the lock cleanly open with the butt of his weapon and it swung open neatly. Sebastian peeked out of the cage and down either side of the hall strategically. He picked himself up off of his double-jointed haunches and stepped out of the cage to his full height. It felt good to stand again and he took a moment to free up his stiff body. He was easily a foot and a half taller than the man in his suit and Sebastian had to dip his head down to the man. He shook his head a little to make the lock on his muzzle jingle.
The man stroked the side of his face and bristled the stripped, cream mane around Sebastian's neck. The tiger made a small grunt of a noise, though the touching wasn't unpleasant. He hadn't been petted in a long time, after all, and he was a little too big now.
"You poor thing. Being locked up like this." The man obviously wasn't aware of his 'crimes'. Of course, that was such a loose term nowadays. The man brought out a lock picking kit from his suit pocket and after a few seconds Sebastian's muzzle fell to the ground with a 'clank'. The man was clearly some kind of criminal himself. Sebastian snapped his teeth together, enjoying the lovely sound before turning them on the man. He growled low in his throat, threatening the man without the need for words. The man didn't even flinch. Instead, he grasped the tiger's chin loosely, stroking the underside of his throat.
Sebastian lowered his head a little to look at the man properly. He was smiling of all things. The tiger snapped his teeth at him again and again he received no result. Sebastian huffed, his tail swishing and smacking against the ground between his feet.
"You're insane," he grumbled.
"Guilty," the man hummed back. Sebastian flicked the keys at him with his tail. He wasn't going to stick around to get put back in his cage and with a happy swish of the tail, he began his departure. As he walked away, he used his teeth to crack the binds on his hands and tear the mittens away. Before he reached the door, he heard the smaller man speak again.
"Tranq him." That was a terrible choice. Sebastian turned on a pence and with a limber waist, dodged the dart. He bared his teeth viciously and then he was running. The armed guard struggled to reload his weapon. He was too slow. Sebastian tackled him to the ground with a powerful force and the shorter man backed away as if to give him room. The healthy human under him thrashed about, but the Infected had his massive maw of teeth around his throat before he could properly defend himself.
Sebastian gave no mercy and with powerful jaws, he snapped his attacker's throat, killing him instantly. He dropped the guard like foul prey and turned vicious eyes on the guard's boss. That had been a terrible idea for the nameless man. He took a menacing step toward the shorter man.
"Fantastic," the man breathed. Sebastian was stunned. The short, stupidly insane man started scratching his neck and ears like he was some sort of house cat! He didn't know how to respond to the fingers around his neck and against his scalp. A healthy human, of all things, had never petted him before; only other infected. Sebastian shoved him away with a jerk of the shoulder, shoving him into the opposite cage and growled loudly at the man.
"Get off me!" he snapped loudly, warning the man with a growl and an irritate shake of the tail not to do that again. The man made a strange noise back at him. Was that- a roar? Was the man roaringat him?
"What- what are you doing?" Sebastian demanded loudly, turning his ears back. However, the man only continued his strange noises.
"Stop it," the tiger insisted a little louder. The man started growling! Sebastian threw his head around in confusion and irritation, confused and unsure of what to do. He really didn't like this! The tiger breathed out a frustrated noise from his maw, wrinkled his nose, folded his ears back and lashed his tail around in anger and annoyance. Finally, when he couldn't take it anymore, Sebastian let out a mighty, ground shaking roar. The already hushed Infected suddenly fell into eerie silence and so did the tiny, healthy human. For a moment, anyways.
"Brilliant," he breathed out, clearly pleased with himself. Sebastian debated lunging at him, as well. He wasn't entirely sure why he didn't. The man deserved it. Had he been teasing him into roaring? Why would he do that?
"You want to come home with me, boy?" the man questioned. He did not just call him 'boy'. Sebastian prepared another growl but the man began to scratch his ears again and the noise died in his throat. He had to admit, that wasn't that bad. His little manicured nails scratched his skin in the most wonderful way. Sebastian settled down a little, though his tail still lashed around.
"Don't call me 'boy'," the tiger huffed instead, crouching down a little more to allow the human to pet him some more. He couldn't help it. It was wonderful.
"What's your name them, Mr. Bengal Tiger?" he asked. Sebastian ran his tongue over his bloodied teeth a little, but didn't hesitate in his answer.
"Sebastian Moran. 12-197-8. Bengal Tiger type 7," he introduced himself in the way that had been hammered into his head constantly in the service. Some of his training was actually useful. He wasn't sure if this one was, actually. Nothing wrong with introducing yourself to a complete, unarmed, stranger. The man brought his hands down and grasped the collar of his shirt, suddenly yanking him forward. Sebastian steeled himself to prevent himself from losing balance. The man nuzzled his face against his stubby mane and scared face. He didn't smell like an Infected, but he was certainly acting like one.
"My name is Jim. Jim Moriarty. Consulting Criminal. Number one." Sebastian didn't have the least idea what a consulting criminal was, but he was right in thinking that the man was a criminal. Normal people couldn't pick a lock that fast. Sebastian could barely pick a lock that fast and it was part of his training. He didn't have to ask the question, nor did he get a chance to answer the man's question. The tiger realized he might not have had much of a choice anyways when Jim removed a choke chain from off of a hook and pulled it around his neck. He let out a menacing growl, but again the human ignored it as though he weren't a huge, dangerous beast. Sebastian wasn't entirely sure what to do about it, though. The man, Jim, wasn't afraid of him. The next logical step would be to lunge at him, but Sebastian was wary of the idea. If Jim wasn't afraid of him, perhaps there was a logical reason for it.
So, for now, the mighty Bengal Tiger allowed himself to be slightly less mighty for the moment and be led out of the building like an oversized dog. Unconsciously, he shook his feet with each step, trying to shake off the mittens covering his feet.
"What's a consulting criminal, exactly?" Sebastian murmured, swishing his tail around calmly. The first breath of fresh air was the greatest. He was free. He could do whatever he want and go wherever he wanted and no one could tell him otherwise. Most of all, he wouldn't die a horrible death of dying. The first thing he wanted was some booze and a cigarette. His chain was yanked, momentarily choking him and making him follow the shorter man.
"I fix people's problems," Jim explained, holding the other end of the leash much too happily. "When people are in over their heads, they call me. For a price, and if it's worth my time, I solve everyone's problems. Please Jim, fix it for me." He sighed happily as the door to a limo opened up. Jim shoved him inside and Sebastian quickly slipped to the other side to give the man room. He looked around curiously, lips parted to take in the scent of the new space better.
"So. You're a paid killer?" Sebastian confirmed. It was the wrong thing, clearly, for Jim scrunched his nose up and scowled.
"Never something so boring." He gave another pull on the chain and Sebastian was jerked forward. The man practically pulled his face into the finely dressed stomach and began to part his orange hair to view where his rounded ears met his skin. Sebastian growled again and attempted to push away, but Jim held onto his ears tight and it was rather painful so he had to allow the man his work.
"You're a sniper," Jim mused. Sebastian perked his ears a little. How did he know that? "How can you even hold a gun with these hands?" He released the stiff ears and changed his sights to the tiger's broad hands. Again, he growled and was ignored. Sebastian wouldn't argue that he had strange hands. They were a little shorter for a man his size, but thick and fuzzy with orange fur. The more obvious distinction was his thumb, though. It rested high up just off center of his palm, not quite on his wrist but clearly where it wasn't supposed to be. While it was fully opposable, it wasn't in the right spot to use in most cases. Sebastian had learned to live with it, though. Jim was fascinated with them, however. He pulled at his claws, flexing them in and out of the protective sheath. Then, as suddenly as he was interested, he was interested in the next thing. That next thing, unfortunately, was his feet.
Jim yanked off the mittens and the look that came over his eyes was one of pure joy. He yanked the tiger's feet up and Sebastian naturally positioned himself more comfortably. He didn't have feet but rather massive tiger like paws. Sebastian spread his toes out in relaxation and again, Jim fiddled with his claws. The beast wasn't sure if he liked that, but the man's curiosity was enjoyable. Most people didn't like him and they didn't like his features. He was one of highest forms of Infected and often times, even other Infected were intimidated by him. He was more animal in instinct, to be brutally honest, and perhaps, Sebastian thought, that wasn't a bad thing. Jim seemed to be okay with it.
"God you're furry." Jim yanked his shirt up and Sebastian was less upset this time. The man was obviously intent on helping himself to whatever he wanted. He rubbed the matt of short yellow and black fur that spread over the Infected's chest and across his belly and into his trousers. Then he was being petted again. Sebastian couldn't help himself. That felt amazing.
The great and powerful Bengal Tiger laid back in his seat, as much on his back as he could in the limo seat, and with every heavy our breath, purred low in his throat as the small man assaulted his stomach and chest with sweet little nails. It took him a moment to realize what he was doing and when he did, Sebastian hurriedly shoved the man off of him.
"Stop it," he grunted, prickling his fur up unhappily. Jim only giggled though.
"Fine," the healthy man answered playfully. He gave another yank on the choke collar and Sebastian bared his teeth this time. He sneered at the human, loosening the loop of chain around his neck and scooting a few inches away. Jim snatched up the leash swiftly, though, jerking him forward with a surprising amount of strength. He held the tiger by his collar, keeping his head low and in what Sebastian knew well as a submissive position.
"You don't understand, little kitty, kitty." Jim scratched him behind one ear, but it wasn't pleasant in any way. Sebastian's tail stiffened against his will. "You belong to me now." Once again, Sebastian had no idea what he was supposed to do in this situation. He must have agreed to something unwittingly to make the man think that he belonged to anyone. Sebastian must have not been listening properly enough to have agreed to such a thing. He couldn't come up with an answer quick enough.
"Don't worry. I'll take good care of you," Jim purred, cupping both of the rounded ears much more gently. Sebastian had clearly gotten himself into another terrible situation and he wasn't even sure how this time. This man was scary. Sebastian could be sure of that. He decided, or rather convinced himself, to check out these living conditions before making any unwise decisions. Any place was better than his tiny cage, but the man's suit said that he was well off. If it was a nice place with nice food (and more petting), then there was no harm sticking around? What was the worst that could happen that wasn't going to happen before?
"And if you betray me, I'll turn you into a rug." That was new. Sebastian decided to not think about it too much. However, once again his mind wandered to what exactly Jim was doing in the pound. Surely he wasn't there for the Infected. The car came to a stop and Jim released his head. Upon stepping out of the car, he realized that the flat was high priced just from where it was located. He glanced around a little, taking in the new sights. There was a little cafe right across the street, several signs for restaurants, and the buildings scraped the sky. He could go for some good food right now, actually. His leash was jerked and Sebastian hacked viciously.
"My hearing is great, you know!" the tiger snapped at the shorter man irritably.
"This is fun, though," Jim teased with another tug. Sebastian was going to bite him. Neither of them paid much mind to the people very clearly avoiding the massive, Infected, and dangerous looking Sebastian. The tiger was used to it and Jim enjoyed the fear his new pet struck in people. His flat was very high up and Sebastian would admit, he liked it. There were never any good trees in London.
"Mew." The first thing he was met with was a tiny cat. Well Sebastian supposed it was big for a cat, but it was fairly tiny compared to him. It sat on the back of the couch and stared at the door as if it were expecting them to arrive. Sebastian sniffed at the strange little animal before ignoring it to examine more important things. The flat was huge and spacious and everything was color coordinated and smelled clean. He loved it so far. Before he managed to wander too far, Jim snapped him back.
Going to. Bite. The fuck. Out of him.
Jim pulled the chain from around his neck and much to Sebastian's displeasure, didn't burn it. The Bengal Tiger glared at him with a piercing stare before going off to examine the rest of the flat. It was nice. It was very nice. He turned back to Jim for some sort of further instruction, but the man was one step ahead of him. He stood before the open door of one of the bedrooms. Sebastian wearily padded in.
"You'll be sleeping in here."
"You were expecting me?" Sebastian grunted suspiciously. Jim laughed and leaned against the door frame.
"This is Shere Khan's room," He shrugged simply. The little feline popped up on the bed and meowed at him again. Sebastian grunted. Sharing a room with a cat was better than his cage. This situation really wasn't fair to him. Everything was better than his cage and even knowing that, Sebastian wasn't thrilled to have the tiny thing sharing a room with him.
"Right. Your cat has its own room." It wasn't like that was unreasonable for an unreasonably wealthy man or anything. And Jim was unreasonably wealthy. He was also a criminal, though, and Sebastian wasn't sure how those things went together properly.
"Yes you do," Jim responded teasingly. He received a glare and the very obvious lack of amusement.
"That's not funny."
"Yes it is," the man responded smugly. "Bath." He jerked his head toward the hall and disappeared out of sight. Sebastian, for now, decided it was a good idea to do as he was told. A bath also sounded wonderful, so he wasn't exactly going to argue. He flickered his tail against the ground and 'Shere Khan' followed him out of the room. The tub was the appropriate size for the flat; huge. Jim ran warm water and Sebastian didn't wait for him to leave. He had been bathed by the people in the pound for the last couple weeks and before that, he'd bathed in public showers with the other Infected under the watch of Trainers. His nudity was no problem to him and Jim didn't seem to care either. The very opposite, in fact.
"Oh dear. You're very well endowed, aren't you?" the man purred. Sebastian swished his tail around, but made no comment. That was such a strange thing to say. He hopped into the tub gracefully, but with a loud thud of his weight. He forgot how great warm water was. The large creature nudged himself against the bottom of the tub with his legs folded up and his knees poking out above his back and gently rested his chin on the side. His tail splashed a bit of water around, but he kept it under control for the most part. Jim touched his out turned knee.
"That's interesting," he purred and Sebastian turned his head a little to watch the man. He clearly had never seen an Infected up close before. The tiger doubted he knew much about them, like any healthy human did. It was best that they didn't, otherwise they might actually hate how the government treated Infecteds. Sebastian guessed that was why they kept everything so secret. After the PAMI trouble two decades ago, everything tightened up. The last thing the military was going to do was give up their greatest weapon.
"What is interesting exactly?" the tiger grunted, shifting mildly as the little man poured copious amounts of shampoo over his furry form. He was already clean, but the man was clearly going to do whatever he wanted anyways and it was a nice feeling. Jim stripped off his overcoat, rolled up his sleeves, and proceeded to scrub his gorgeous orange, yellow, and black fur. It covered most of his body in thick, luscious patches. His back, the outside of his arms, and his legs were covered in orange and stripped generously, while his chest and stomach gradually turned pale yellow. Though he kept his hair trimmed up nicely and proper, the black stripes that followed the same pattern were still clear and the fluffy, straight hairs that lined his throat and under his chin completed his look. Between his fur, his feet, his slightly obscure hands, the fangs, the tail, the ears, and his eyes, it seemed impossible that there were Infected that were in worse condition than him.
"You don't have any joints, do you?" Jim seemed to already be thinking of ways to use this and Sebastian wasn't sure if that was a good thing.
"I'm double jointed," Sebastian informed him with a small huff, gently beginning to purr again under the generous stroking and scrubbing. It was so much better than when the shelter workers tried to do it which, in turn, made him less wanting to bite Jim when he hands wandered to clean more private parts.
"That's not Hypermobility," Jim snorted all knowingly. That was a little irritating.
"No," The tiger growled back. "Not 'hypermobility'. Double jointed," he insisted again. The little healthy thing chuckled at him though, and grabbed his ears in cupped hands.
"That's what Hypermobility is, stupid," Jim giggled as though it were an affectionate statement. It wasn't, that was for sure. Sebastian growled at the man. Leave it to a healthy to think he knew more about an Infected than the damn Infected.
"I know what it means," Sebastian was, in fact, not stupid. In fact, he was bloody brilliant. He'd passed at the top of his class and was just as violent as he was smart. He was big, he was smart, he could strategize, he never missed a target, and he was terrifying. Jim's worst mistake would be thinking he wasn't. "And I'm telling you, I am double jointed. As in, I have double the joints."
The next thing he knew, Jim had his hands in the bathwater again, but this time they weren't washing. The rough fingers pressed into the connection between his pelvis bone and his femur, digging firmly into his skin to feel at the bone under it. He paused with the most devilish smirk.
"Oh," Jim breathed, head tilted and lips parted. "You do. That's interesting. I wouldn't call it a second joint, but," he licked his lips, "You can clearly change the angle of which your bones connect." He removed his hands completely and began to dry them off with a crisp white towel.
"Mm, Sebastian," the healthy man hummed pleasantly. Sebastian was only a little bitunnerved at this point. "You are a weapon of unimaginable proportions. Fantastic." And then he left. The tiger watched the open door curiously, nearly expecting Jim to return for one reason or another. He didn't, but the cat thing did. It pushed against the frame of the door and mewed at him again, then made itself comfortable on the edge of the sink. Sebastian finished his bath and rinsed himself off with the shower before hopping back out. He toweled himself off as much as he could, but the towels collected his fur more than they collected the water. Jim probably wasn't going to be happy about that.
There had to be a hairdryer in here somewhere. A bit of searching produced one, sure enough. That figured. Sebastian was very aware of how Jim dressed in the completely, what, two hours they'd known each other? Shere Khan watched him strangely and Sebastian pointed the hairdryer at the creature to send it running. He hated small animals. They were so small and bothersome. He finished drying himself off, finding it no stranger than usual in having to blow dry all of him. The fur really helped, though. It kept him warm in climates healthy humans and some Infected couldn't otherwise stand. Not to mention it allowed him to sit quietly for hours without having to dress or undress with changing temperatures. Sebastian blow dried his face and his tail last before politely straightening up the bathroom and trotting out into the flat in the nude.
Jim was gone. Sebastian couldn't smell or hear him in the flat. Now what was he supposed to do? He did the smart thing and wandered back to his 'room'. The cat was pompously curled up in the center of the bed and Sebastian was tempted to scare it off again. However, the little pink sticky note was enough to avert his attention for now.
Clothes in the wardrobe.
Weird. Sebastian opened up the solid doors with a sneaking suspicion. They weren't clothes for him, though. They seemed to be some weird collection of a variety of different sizes and quality. They were all suits, unfortunately, but he didn't have much of a choice right now. He plucked out one that would fit him and managed to squeeze himself into it with only the minimum amount of altering. His tail had to go somewhere and Sebastian solved that problem by ripping a v in the waistband where his tail poked out. He'd never liked suits. They were so awkward and inflexible. He wouldn't be able to run in this. The tiger sighed heavily and patted out his shirt without using his claws. Once dressed (mostly), he quietly went out to search for the strange little man.
He only found more sticky notes, though.
Meet me on the roof. The yellow note read where it sat stuck to the lift doors. Sebastian wearily stepped in and Shere Khan hurriedly slipped in before the doors closed and sat on his bare feet. He had to guess Jim wouldn't like him kicking the cat. The next note, this one bright green. His color vision was a little less saturated, he knew from the test he'd been posed with, but if Jim was trying to throw him off with these colors, it wasn't working. He wasn't color blind, after all. Things were just a little more gray to him. This note wasn't so much an instruction as it was a complex amount of numbers crammed onto the tiny square. Now Jim was clearly trying to throw him off with math.
Sebastian patiently pressed the button for the roof and followed it up with the code; the answer to the math problem. Yes. Nineteen. Very funny. The lift began to move without a sound to the short distance above Jim's penthouse. The doors opened again and Shere Khan hurried out to sit by Jim's feet. There was another man standing by, apparently having brought a box with him. Sebastian turned his ears towards them more curious than suspicious.
"Took you long enough," Jim complained, motioning the stranger out of the way. Sebastian decided that he wasn't all that important and quietly trotted toward the criminal. He motioned to the much more important object. The tiger's breath nearly caught in excitement. Without a doubt, or need for an explanation, Sebastian was instantly aware of the rifle. It was just anyrifle, though. It was a military grade type seven-c sniper rifle, the very same he had been trained on and later used on a daily basis.
"How did you get that?" Sebastian nearly demanded. He hadn't meant to, of course, but it wasn't like the military just handed out their special, species specific guns to criminals. Jim smiled contently, though by this point, Sebastian was getting the feeling that he didn't smile because he was happy and he didn't frown because he was sad. He just did it to, well, do it.
"I may consult with arms dealers," he laughed. 'Consult with' translating to 'own'. 'May' translating to 'do'. Sebastian smirked a little. He never thought he'd hold a gun again in his life. He had to assume it was for him. It would be awkward for anyone else to handle it.
"Go on then. Touch it."
Yes. Sebastian didn't need any convincing and he didn't need anymore orders. He heaved the weapon up into his hands, the weight instantly assuring him it was loaded. It was perfect. It fit in his hands, awkward as they were, perfectly. He never thought he'd hold a gun again. He was suddenly aware of how much he would have missed it, how much he did miss it.
Yes. Sebastian had two close range targets (three counting Jim) and he was still sure that Jim didn't want him shooting the cat. It was mostly instinct, however, and little to no thought. The unnamed, space wasting man was the unfortunate target. The rifle was silent. Sebastian was wrong. This was a better model than his own. Better model for a better life.
"I can here you purring from over here," Jim laughed at him.
"This. What is it for?" the tiger questioned, but his usual suspicions were lost on knowing the answer to his own question. To shoot people. Healthy people more specifically. He could get in a lot of trouble for this. Fuck, he could get in a lot of trouble for being in the same room as a loaded gun. Of course, he was in trouble anyways and regardless of what he did not, if they ever caught him, he would be right back where he started; waiting for death.
"Why don't you try it out properly?" the little man suggested with a knowing smirk. He motioned Sebastian to the ledge, ignoring the dead man at their feet. Sebastian followed easily. Jim motioned a lazy hand out into the great stretch of the sight thy held from the impossibly tall building. The Infected's tail swished around with no reserve, a massive creature ready to pounce on its unsuspecting prey.
"Find me something interesting," Jim instructed. Not very specific at all, was he? Sebastian took up his new scope, only having to adjust it slightly to his vision and went to work. The streets were flooded with meaningless people and things. Everyone just carried on their lives like normal, not ever suspecting and not ever knowing. To think he could strike any one of them dead in the middle of their thinking, their lives, and there would be no more- it was thrilling. Shooting someone would be boring, though. They would kill themselves eventually without his help. No- he wanted to cause them as much panic and distress as possible. The likely answer would be to kill one and watch them scatter and flee for their lives. They did that anyways.
Second; cause a reason for chaos and bring out the 'heroic' side of average citizens. A fire, or explosion of some sort would easily do that, but as much as people would like to believe, there weren't nearly as many flammable substances that a single bullet could ignite. A mere car accident, even with something as big as a bus, wouldn't do much damage to anything.
Sebastian decided on the third. He took aim, taking a moment to compensate for wind and distance, and paused obediently.
"Permission to fire."
"Ooh," Jim nearly purred back. "You really are a lovely soldier, aren't you? Fire away." Sebastian shot and then he sat back to admire his handiwork. Jim nudged him over a little and the tiger let him, allowing the man to view his lovely shot through his scope.
"Interesting," the healthy man murmured as he watched the people below start to gather like flies. "Usually they go straight for the most important person they can find. Police or political figures. Or entertainment." Jim giggled as though his 'entertainment' was not the same as what the public considered 'entertainment'.
"Sorry," Sebastian apologized. "I thought you said 'interesting'. Not stupid." He could have done that and then had to deal with the investigation and those stupid search dogs they would doubtedly bring in when they realized they wouldn't be able to solve it with their eyes alone. Plus, just because it was rare didn't mean there weren't Infected in the crowd. In the middle of the day like this, there was a slim chance someone could pinpoint him if he made too much of a commotion. People were rather fond of their 'models'.
"A message with no message." Jim smiled a creepy smile. Sebastian realized it was far more real than any of his smiles so far. He was amused.
"They'll think and theorize and drive themselves made. They'll probably insist it's nothing, but the public will fuel that it's something. They'll make their own enemies and build their own monsters. A bold statement means everything to those who know nothing. What is it they say? The blind leading the blind." He swished his tail around, content with himself. He couldn't kill them all. He couldn't make them all pay for what they did to him. Some of them didn't even know what they did to people like him, but ignorance was no excuse. He couldn't get to them all, but he could sure as hell make them crash in on themselves.
"Oh Sebby," Sebby? 'Sebby' wasn't sure if he liked that. He wasn't actuallya pet. Not that this man knew that. Or cared. "I think I have some business trimming to do," Jim promised him alluringly. Sebastian swiftly packed up his new toy and tossed the bag over his shoulder. Again, his new 'owner' motioned him to come along so domestically, patting his thigh in a very obvious 'come hither' movement. Sebastian offered a small glance over his shoulder. Even from this high up, he could see the crowd forming around the statue.
The bronze statue with a brand new bullet lodged in the back of its neck. Perhaps not all of them knew, but some of them did. Some of them were completely and utterly aware of the precious spot where every human began its life as an Infected. Sebastian scratched the base of his skull absently, though the needle mark where the cure had been injected had since long faded away. Bloody humans. Sebastian was glad he wasn't one of them anymore.