All forms of life have one single thing in common. From the simplistic wildlife and the so called extinct race of humanity; to we, the biogenetically created furvian race created by human scientist have blood of one form or another flowing through our veins. This life giving force pumps through our bodies sustaining life and continue or meager existence in the universe. Human or biogenetic doesn’t matter in our time. The humans left the planet to us ages ago. Some may still be around; we stick to the cities living an existence that is a mirror to the world they left behind. Some few of their original creations took on the role of mad scientists and warped reality in their own perverse ways. That’s where my kind comes into the picture. Don’t get me wrong I’m still pretty much a normal Furvian. Alright, maybe I’m not exactly normal. I have a few enhanced senses like most Furvian. A heightened sense of smell, better night vision, some enhanced reflexes. Then again because of those mad Furvian scientists I have a few abilities that most of my kind doesn’t normally possess. A few of us managed to survive those experiments. We escaped, and managed to put those scientists in prison. Some of us became heroes, others became villains; a few of those joined the scientists in those prisons. In either case as heroes and villains we all share one defining problem. Our blood is polluted from the experimentation; because of that one of us giving blood is a dangerous proposition. If it doesn’t kill the receiver chances are they may become one of us.
I have two names in society. My first name was given to me at birth; Dan, Daniel Hansen. My second name was thrust upon me just like my powers, Scarlet Shadow. I try to do good things in the world. I fight the villains and protect the innocent. I try to keep my secret life hidden from those around me. My race was based off panthers, jungle cats moving through the trees, shadows in the night. I too live in a jungle; my home is the concrete jungle. Tall buildings pepper the landscape of my home. I leap across the rooftops, my body tumbling and swiftly moving from one roof to another. The poisons in my system enhance my healing, increase my dexterity, extending my hearing. Adrenalin pumps into my polluted bloodstream, combining with the poisons within me. The combinations of toxic chemicals double my strength and fuel the chemical changes that build the warring forces within me. I am the raging beast they called my ancestors. Leaping from one roof to another I become the deep scarlet of drying blood, a shadow hidden in the middle of the light.
The beast within me senses the evil force gathering below near the entrance to the bank. My senses are dulled by the power running through my veins as I leap and roll toward the building entrance. The car is parked in front of me, the driver, a ferret, twitches nervously looking at his watch as my clenched paw strikes through the window snapping his jaw and knocking him into the deep slumber of unconsciousness. I leap over the roof onto the sidewalk then sprint into the revolving door slamming into the back of the gunman. He collapses swiftly to the ground as the fireball passes by my left ear. The heat feels like its singeing my fur beneath my costume as I bound across the room from the gorilla on the floor. The door behind the collapsed rogue explodes outward in flames and slams into the waiting escape vehicle. I know those burning green flames. My mind leaps with my eyes across the room to those red eyes.
The horned buck stares back menacingly. I knew him as two creatures; the first was Eric Hart. Before the time of the mad Furvian scientists he was already a desperate furry. A silent cutpurse to some, a pickpocket to others, Eric had a hatred of all Furvian, even himself. The experimentations fueled his hatred and became pyrokenesis. Sometimes he simply moved objects, other times he moved molecules so fast that bare air burst into flames. The public at large now calls him by the name of, “Burnout”. He laughs manically as a second ball of green flames forms in his paw as he twirl and throws the spinning naphtha toward my head. I cartwheel to the side into the wall and over the vivacious pantheress in the miniskirt laying face down with her paws across her lovely neck. For a split second her pheromones fill my senses as I move swiftly away from her then bounce off the wall, leaping upward toward the ceiling. A third fireball smacks into the wall as my feet leave it behind. I roll as I hit the ground before him sending my feet up into his stubborn chin. Both feet connect with the force of my entire body rocking him, rocking me. His eyes roll up as the fire laden spark shining in them goes out. I reach into the satchel on my belt pulling out two things. The first is an equalizer, a device made to inhibit powers like Eric’s or mine. I stamp it between his eyes and activate it while he’s still unconscious. The second item I pull out of my satchel are plastic restraints. I slip them around his wrists and tighten them behind his back. I take out two more pairs as I calm the bystanders. The luscious pantheress smiles as she eyes me while I move towards the door. My back is toward the room as I cuff the gorilla.
In my heightened state I just hear the sound of a hammer click as a body slams into me. The gun fires over and over in my ears as I feel the rushing body going limp and hitting the ground, I react flipping toward the wall. My mind feels the echoing blast of the gun as it chambers another round. I hit the wall and bounce. My body twists in the air as I bring my hands downward. The echo in the room centers below my passing body as I strike with both paws. I see the Terrier, Scottie Rogers, called Precision, as my closed paws strike to either side of his neck. He crumples like a sack of clothes at the laundry mat. I hit him twice then cuff him swiftly. Forget the driver; I give a cuff to the bank guard asking him to take care of the last rogue as I run back to my savior. The pantheress lies on her side, her blood pumping from the gaping wound. I place a pad from my satchel over her wound; my thoughts are on all that blood upon the ground. I wrap the pad in tight bandages keeping her from bleeding further. Picking her frail body up I nod to the crowd and flip the emergency beacon on my belt. My heart is pounding harder with the force of energy running in my veins. I run toward the nearest emergency room with the injured lass in my arms. Her pulse is weak, it trembles and staggers like a drunken sailor in an ocean storm. I hear the ambulance moving toward us from a block ahead. My body moves almost on its own as I leap without thinking; the driver slams his foot down on the brake as it skid to a halt sideways blocking both lanes. The side door opens swiftly revealing Dr. Dale Parker. I’d known Dale a long time, he doesn’t know my real identity, but I’ve found him to be a good and honest lemming surgeon.
“She took a bullet, at the bank, I owe her my life.”
“Wait, she saved you? That isn’t exactly normal.”
“I slipped up, I thought there were only three, and it turned out there were four.”
“She isn’t stable, her heartbeat is irregular, it’s both rapid and unsteady. She’s lost a lot of blood. We’ll get her to the ER fast as we can and type her blood then find a donor.”
I left the girl in good hands as I pounced for the wall of the building leaping back and forth between buildings headed back for the rooftops. I vanished into the shadows leaping and bounding from roof to roof. My body moves in automatic as my mind turns to the injured pantheress I left behind. I see her in my mind as the blood covering my body leaked out the gaping wound. I feel the crushing force of the blast pushing her covering body away from me again and again. She shields me from Precision as he shoots to kill me, his bullet throwing her away as I move to stop him. The intoxicating pheromones of her body still fill my senses as I enter my room and wash away her blood in the shower. The pain of her injury feels me with disgust in my lack of power. I would have survived the shot if it had hit me. I was careless because I knew bullets weren’t a threat to me, but nobody else knew my secret. I felt the salty tears flowing down my cheeks as I dried my fur then pulled on my suit. As I sat slowly on the couch the phone began to ring.
“Is this Daniel Hansen?”
“Yes, who is this?”
“Mr. Hansen, I’m Doctor Parker, we have a bit of a problem…”
My body tightens a moment. The muscles in my belly squeeze in fear, has Parker found out who I really am? I keep my voice neutral and answer as if I’ve never heard his name.
“What seems to be the problem Doctor Parker?”
“We have a shooting victim at the Saint Vincent right now, she has a very rare blood type and you’re the only donor on our list with the same type.”
My heart thrummed in my ears as he spoke. I saw her bleeding body over and over in my mind. The intoxicating pheromone scent of her body playing over and over in my mind, was it her?
“May I ask how she was shot?”
“She was shot in a bank robbery on Tenth and Minnesota.”
It was her; did I really have a choice? I was her only chance, even though my blood could kill her. I owed her a life, half a chance was better than none at all.
“I’ll be right there, it’s not far.”
“Not to worry we have an ambulance that should be down stairs any moment now to get you here.”
“How bad off is she?”
“The faster we get you here the better her chances.”
I tossed the phone onto the receiver and ran down the stairs; I could hear the ambulance as I left the building. I flagged it down, entered, and took the fastest ride I had ever experienced. My fur stands on end just thinking of the swerving cars and red lights we flew through on the way there. Her name was Sheryl Wilson. She was that beauty from the bank. I held her hand as they pumped my polluted blood into her body and I prayed for her life. As I waited in the ICU I pulled out my cell phone and called my friend Amber, Amber Martine was a fellow survivor of the labs. The frisky otter lass knew how to have a good time, but that wasn’t why I called her. The phone rang once, twice, three times, and then was picked up by an answering machine.
“Hello this is the Martine residence. I’m not at home right now but if you would like to leave a message I’ll get right back to you.”
“Amber, this is Scarlet, I have a bit of a situation, if your there turn off the machine and pick up the phone.”
I heard the receiver lift up, and then a click in the background as the machine was turned off. I could hear her breathing in the background as she cleared her throat.
“Alright Dan, the phone is secure, what’s the problem?”
“I had to give blood.”
“I know, it’s a bad deal all the way around, but I was her only option and I owed her!”
“Wait, what happened?”
“It was a bank robbery; she tried to save me from being shot. She took the bullet meant for me.”
“Alright, so even though it wouldn’t have harmed you she tried to save you. I can understand that, but why did the blood have to come from you?”
“No choice, I’m her only blood match in the entire city.”
“You’re kidding me, nobody else with your type?”
“Let’s face it; we panthers aren’t exactly plentiful to begin with. Not to mention my blood type is rare to begin with. If she survives someone is going to have to explain things to her. I did it because it was her only chance, maybe, I did it for another reason, but I’m not sure.”
“What other reason?”
“You know how we are; something about her attracts me,”
“Maybe, I haven’t run into one yet, and I never felt this way about anyone else.”
“Alright, I’ll head on over and read her, which hospital?”
“Keep your shirt on; if she’s alive when I get there we know she’ll need me to talk to her in private.”
“See you soon.”
I hung up the phone slowly and sat down in a lounge chair. Amber could be classified as a hero, she didn’t have a second name, and she also didn’t go looking for fights like I did. Amber lived quietly, both an empath and a telepath she could get lost in other people’s heads. She felt their emotions and heard their secrets. She didn’t like listening in on others so she worked special gigs trouble shooting bad situations like the one I was now in. When someone was infected by our blood we usually knew in about an hour if they were going to survive. Those that did survive inherited the same powers as the blood donor. Someone like Amber became handy in those situations. She could alter memories, fake reports, and filter information hiding us from the normal channels and keeping us safe. Not to mention that if Amber survived the transfusion it would be necessary to remove her admittance papers. In the case of my blood, if she survived she would begin to heal at an accelerated rate. Her wounds were severe in nature. This meant a lot of minds would have to be altered to keep things secret.
Amber entered the hospital 48 minutes later. She walked up to the desk and flashed a badge, or what the head nurse saw as a badge. She was led into the ICU and gave an imperceptible nod in my direction. She walked up to Doctor Parker and shook his hand then flashed the empty badge wallet at him and was led into the unit. Everyone else in the room took on a dazed look and began moving around and changing information in the systems. Already she was at work covering up information. After fifteen minutes Amber walked out of the back room with Sheryl in a smuggled in outfit. Doctor Parker went to the files room and shredded all documents pertaining to Sheryl and the call to me for the transfusion. Sheryl looked around; she was scared, uncertain, confused, and slightly dazed. Amber wasn’t controlling her, but she was definitely unsure what to think about the changes in her life. I felt so guilty for everything that had happened to her, I would spend days, months, and years trying to make it up to her. Little did I know how much this would all change my own life; Sheryl reached out and slowly grasped my hand. My breath hitched for a moment in my throat and she gently squeezed my fingers. I didn’t notice the glance Amber and Sheryl shared as we left the hospital. Sheryl willingly walked with me to my place as Amber headed over to the phone company to have the hospital call erased from that end. The changes in my life had only begun. At the time I had little idea of what was to come next. I felt her tail smoothly twine around mine like our clasping paws entwined as we walked, and all I could think about was the intoxicating smell of her pheromones filling my senses. Somehow I knew she was thinking the very same thing.