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Testimony of: June 12, 2022
The forest was quiet that night; no animals seemed to be a stir (my company excluded) and very little noises could be heard. All I could really do was keep staring at Chris the entire night after our escape from the compound. I could see the pain and mistrust in his eyes every time he looked at me; how could I blame him after everything that happened between us, and how we eventually separated after mom’s death.
It wasn’t my fault believe it or not. Chris wanted it that way. He just couldn’t accept that I acknowledge death as an ultimate end. In hindsight, his way of thinking is the right attitude to have. If I could have agreed with him on his beliefs back then, I could have been there to help him a long time ago.
However, that isn’t to say I wasn’t trying to help him this whole time though. By joining the FLC, I was hoping to gain inside intelligence that I could feed to the resistance but the opportunity never presented itself. I trained my body and mind to ascend the ranks of the church, using all my skills both rudimentary and technical, and eventually rose to the position of captain. I always tried my best to steer those under my command towards the improvement of relationships between us and the furries, but it was constantly a losing battle because we were always sent on missions that involved the arrests and eventual execution of resistance members, all in search of the famous doctor who invented Cedoperforin, my brother; Chris. He’ll never need to know this, but the only reason he wasn’t captured up until recently was because I always mislead the FLC with my depositions. Any one of my cadets could have read my reports at any time and realized I was fabricating the truth, but even if they had viewed them, I suppose they too didn’t see the point to furthering the church’s plans either.
“Hey Dante, I’m feeling pretty tired. I don’t think I’ll be able to make it any further.” Chris said as I saw him stop and situate his body against a nearby tree for support.
“Chris we can’t stop now. I know you’re hurting but I really don’t think we’re in the clear here just yet. Come on just a little farther.” I tried to negotiate with my brother, but his half opened eyes and posture really said it all. “Fine we’ll do this my way.” I hoisted my brother onto my back and started to blaze a little bit more trail, but only cause I was running at full speed to make up for time. I knew that the FLC could be right behind us at any moment. If it had been my team in pursuit, I know we would have already been caught by now.
It started to rain then, our luck going from zero to completely nonexistent.
I managed the best that I could to navigate the terrain mixed with the deluge of water, but the weight of both Chris and the supplies finally hit me as I felt my knees buckle, my strength failing me. I tripped at this point, simultaneously launching Chris a few feet in front of me. I could hear the impact of our bodies as we splashed down in the mud, my face plastered with the substance, obscuring my vision as thunder crashed above us. I army crawled my way over to my brother and grabbed for his hand to pull him closer, finding a paw instead but remembering that it still was my own flesh and blood.
“Chris. You ok?” I asked as I shook his shoulder.
“Ugh I’m ok. What happened?” I could feel him trembling. The thunder grew louder and the lightning that followed didn’t take long to flash, indicating the epicenter of the storm is close by, and being in the forest is not all that safe at this time for us.
“Gravity my dear brother! You really got to lose some weight there buddy!” I tried my best to illicit a laugh from him, but what I got was a slight chuckle mixed with an intense moan. “Let’s go find us somewhere to get out of this rain.” I said as I helped him onto his feet and supported him with my body. “I’m sorry about all this.”
“Why are you apologizing? It’s not like you’re the one who turned our world into such a fucking hellhole.” Chris grunted as we limped along at a steady pace. I didn’t know whether to pity my brother or just keep my mouth shut; I chose the latter.
We huddled together in the base of a rather corpulent tree we managed to find that was fairly hollowed out allowing for the occupancy of two bodies. It was uncomfortable at first to split such a tiny space with my brother, but it was almost as if we were sharing a twin size mattress again like back in our younger days. After some discussion we decided to do a rotation shift in which someone constantly keeps watch for the FLC and the other can rest for a bit. I took first watch.
When I saved him, Chris was completely naked, well at least as nude as a wolf can get I suppose I should say, and unfortunately the woods were not an excellent source of department clothing stores, so I had to give him several articles of my own clothing, none of which really fit over the sheer girth of his body in this animal state. I had the foresight to pack and bring some clothes with me before I quit my post at the FLC and made this rescue attempt, risking not only my job but my life to keep a promise…
I tried as hard as I possibly could to comfort him in his sleep, but I just couldn’t bring myself to lay my hands on Chris. I felt like a monster that doesn’t deserve his respect. After all these years of avoiding him because I thought I lost the man my brother was, I see now with my own eyes that he is ever still as much the person I grew up with; even still drools like he used to. To be honest, I thought I’d be more bothered with the whole situation, harboring a fugitive and more than likely be court marshaled for my actions, but looking back now it was the easiest decision I’ve ever made because as both Chris and I know all too well; family comes first.
Every few minutes, he would convulse in pain, crying out in his sleep with howls of agony. All I could do for Chris was cover him with the blanket I brought with me and let my lookout shift run a little longer so he can rest his weary soul more.
Fatigue was eating away at me now, myself feeling the weight of my eyes, so I had to find a way to stay awake. I got up from my post and tried my best at covering up our footprints, but damn if Chris’ paw print wasn’t just everywhere, but I’ll give him respect for managing to walk at all after his FLC torture in the first place.
As soon as I was informed by my superiors as to what was going to happen to Chris, or Wolf rather, I knew I had to take immediate action. I’ve often been accused of being a hard ass with a good heart, a womanizing philanthropist and self-centered narcissist, so I figured the title of furry sympathizer would be an actual well intentioned improvement towards my notoriety.
I looked back at Chris and played witness to my brother’s shudders of dismay as his sleep continued on. All I could do was think; If only you knew what the FLC had really been planning for you…