Tara looks up at the sky and wonders what's happening with the other escapees. Where they are, if Eva is as close behind them as she seems to be with her, if they're looking over their shoulders or if they could blend in enough to disappear.
The wind picks up, making her tree sway harshly in the wind. Standing, Tara grips the rough bark with her bare toes and walks as far out as she dares- until the wind is ripping through her hair and dragging at her feathers as her wings work to keep her balanced. Tara knows the danger she's in, knows if she's thrown from this branch the wind will scoop her up like nothing and do as it pleases. She will be helpless, and most likely be killed from it, but the doesn't deter her. If anything, she revels in the feeling more.
Any fear of danger or pain was ripped out of her and her cell mates long ago.
8 years earlier
Eva's newest serum had worked, the Avian and Feline DNA had melded seamlessly with her genetic code and over the past year has transformed Tara in something she doesn't recognize. Two large black wings grew out of her back, just below her shoulder blades. black feathers stretch almost as long as her leg, a total of 20ft wingtip to wingtip. They measured. Her ears also grew, so long they met in long tips at the back of her head. Next her canine and incisor teeth fell out to be replaced with thin, sharp fangs on the top and bottom of her gums.
The doctors marveled over their creation, Eva especially, but they still had to sleep. And while they slept, it gave Tara some time to get to know some of her cellmates. From what she could tell, they had been experimenting with all kinds of animals from reptiles to mammals. Everything from crocodiles to birds to the land based predators like Lions, Tigers and Wolves.
Some looked beautiful, as if they were meant to become the creature they were melded with, but others- well, let's just say they weren't as successful.
Tara made friends with a boy a few years older than her who was directly across from her cell. He said he was blended with a fruit bat. He had large leather wings where his arms should be, his fingers extending into the long finger bones of a wing, thin membrane connecting them each together. His wings always dragged behind him as he walked, like they were too long for his body, and he never had enough room to stretch them out properly. Two large ears resembling large conch shells rose from his head in place of ears and two little fangs came up from his top and bottom teeth.
His name was Jackson, and they became fast friends. H would stay up making up stories to help calm some of the younger kids who could hear us. Jackson was a wonderful storyteller. Sometimes he would spin tales of adventure, some of romance, but no matter what he told, they would always listen. Many used the stories to fall asleep at night.
Tara doesn't know what happened to Jackson after the escape, he got lost in the madness. The Martyr that he is, he had to make sure everyone had a fighting chance and stayed back to guide the younger children out. Then in the confusion of the guards outside, a lot of the prisoners scattered and went their own ways in search of safety.
Sometimes she thinks of heading out to find him, find out if he's ok, But if Eva is watching her that would be Jackson's downfall, and he would be brought back to the facility they had worked so hard to get away from. Instead, she moves from place to place, flying so she doesn't leave a trail and staying high enough that anyone watching would assume she was a bird.
Tara can only hope that'll be enough to keep Eva from finding her again.