Cave of Fortunes

Exposition one

November, 1930

There was a time not too long ago, before the immortal half-dog, half-humans were protected by law, when they could be freely prosecuted by humans who disliked them. Where a simple false document could get them sent away to rehabilitation centers for life without anyone asking questions. Some people say it was because humans thought they were freaks. Others thought that it was because humans were jealous of their inherent immortality. The full reasons were unclear, but the one thing that was clear was the pure hatred for them. One such rehabilitation center that was quite notorious was the Cave of Fortunes Rehabilitation Center, known throughout the country as the one place that you could never escape from. A place that put on a smile for any government worker, and then turned around and went right back to its illicit practices. Any dog who went there was considered a lost cause. The center rested on the place where a thick forest and a huge desert met. Hundreds of years ago, there used to be a river and thriving farmland where the desert was, but years of malpractice and over farming turned it to dust. The forest where the settlers never ventured remained on one edge, and a mountain range on the other edge. Hundreds of miles from civilization, there was no escape for any of the dogs who came there.

A certain shifter kept that in mind as he was bumped along in a large wooden pen of sorts that was being wheeled by a large car. He'd been there curled up with his sister for what must have been days, having been caught in New Jersey. No one knew exactly what state the Center was in, but it was certainly far away from his homeland. Their motion began to slow, and Dallas lifted his head, ears upright and alert. Since it was so small, the two of them had no choice but to remain in their dog form, which rendered them vulnerable to humans. He'd much rather be in his human form so that even if he was permanently marked by his ears and tail, at least he'd be able to more easily fight off anyone who tried to hurt him or his sister. A soft growl rose in his throat as they stopped and he heard the engine of another car pull up, and he positioned himself over Eve, who had just started to wake. He could hear two people step out of the cars, and then the latch on their pen was unlocked and the door swung open.

"Now now, what do we have here?" A black haired, blue eyes man announced as he peered in the pen. Dallas snarled loudly, keeping Eve under him, the fur along his spine rising as he bared his teeth. "A feisty one, huh? These two the coydogs you caught in New Jersey?" Another man came into view, a heavyset Hispanic man, the one who managed to capture the two siblings.

"Yeah. I think they're the kids of that Genoard shifter, the one who ran off a few years back. Looks like he left some luggage," the Hispanic man replied in a heavy Spanish accent, and the black haired man looked back in the pen.

"Really? There shouldn't be any problem with family then. Now, come here you," the man said, reaching out to grab Dallas's scruff and pull him closer. The coydog didn't waste any time in sinking his teeth deep into the man's flesh, and he pulled back screaming, blood dripping down his forearm. "He bit me!" Dallas retreated further back into the pen, making sure to keep Eve close as he licked the blood from his muzzle, body still stiff and ready to strike again.

"Leave the collaring for Maiza," the Hispanic man said, shutting the pen and latching it shut. "No use fighting with this one." The men walked back to their cars, and they were soon moving again. Dallas gently curled around Eve again, resting his head on top of hers, calming her without having to say anything.

Their hell had only just begun.