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KING SHIFTER

CHAPTER ONE: AMONG THE PREDATORS

I woke up feeling dizzy but amazingly warm and super strong. The surroundings were confusing. Five male lions were resting some distance away from me on my right side licking their paws and goldish fur. On my left there was a lioness and her two cubs. At first I was alarmed and terrified. These were the most vicious of all predators in the world and here I was being surrounded by about seven of them one of them being the most feared lioness. Then everything took a new turn when I looked at myself. Instead of hands I had these massive paws, fingers replaced by sharp claws, I was covered bygoldish-brown fur all over. My hind limbs all but screamed one thing, no two, muscles and strength. Surprisingly I could think like a human but my form was the largest lion I had ever seen either in real life or even in movies. I was simply magnificent, something to behold. Then reality hit me, I was the alpha of this pack, on my left was my mate or something, the other lions on my right were hunters of our pack.



I tried to stand but the two cubs came hurtling at full speed oblivious to the fact that I wasn't in the moods for games with cubs. Instinctively I swept out my powerful paws and neatly swept the leading cub's feet off the ground. It fell at my feet as the other cub applied emergency brakes and skidded to a stop right in front of me. I had clearly made my point. Their mother hurried to their side and started licking their fur in turns. I knew that I was the leader of this pack because I could remember having a fight with the previous alpha and defeating him. Having been defeated he had to for sake his pack, territory and even his mate. This was the rule in the jungle, otherwise I just had to kill him and forget about the issue. This was my den now. I was the new king of the jungle. It was also my duty to protect my pack, yet I was somehow afraid.



For some reason, I had even forgotten that I was human. I was busily scanning my surroundings. My den was made up of overhanging branches and closely knit climbers. The sunlight was dim and only a little light could reach the ground due to the heavy foliage. Walking over to the other entrance of the cave I scanned the vast grassland littered with short umbrella like trees and I realized that I was in one of the Savannah grasslands in Africa probably in Kenya, a region fated to have most of the predators in the world. I shivered at the thought and hoped my mate did not notice my fear. How the hell was I supposed to protect my pack from all those predators? Some even vicious than me! I took comfort in my massive form, I could also shift which was an added advantage. I was the king of the jungle, every other animal was supposed to fear me. Besides, I was massive and muscular and I had not yet explored my new potential. So far I was quite sure I could accomplish a lot. It was almost evening.



From the corners of my eyes I could see my mate along with her two cubs flagging each side walking up towards me. My senses and instincts had been amplified almost infinitely. I could hear small sounds and moreover I had night vision. For example, right now I could hear and obviously see a wild kangaroo mouse as it moved around in search of food five adult human strides ahead of me. I wondered how such a small animal could master such courage to come and feed right under the very nose of Simba, the king of all animals who happened to feed on animals like him. Either this was one courageous mouse or it was one of the most stupid animals out here. I crouched and arched my hind limbs, my tail wriggling in ecstasy ready to pounce.



Just before I could pounce the troublesome cubs ran in a circle in front of me and distracted me drawing my attention back to them the mouse forgotten for an instance. By the time I looked back at the mouse it was running so fast through the grass such that it was a blur. But I was faster, using all my newly acquired strength I leapt. The distance I covered amazed me. I had jumped 2.5 meters above the ground and covered 4 meters in one leap! I caught the frightened mouse under my powerful paws. The now alert cubs surrounded me and I released the mouse for them to play with. I knew that after having fun they would eat it. As I walked back to the cave a thought struck me, I was human, but how had I become a lion in the first place? I lay down and closed my eyes intending to see whether I could remember. I found out that I could remember most of it.

CHAPTER TWO: ABDUCTED

I should start by introducing myself. My name is Leon. My friends or who used to be called me simply Leo. Before all this happened I had been a freshman in the university. Since I was a kid up to when I joined school nothing had been out of ordinary. My life had been boring and there is not much to tell. Anyway I had this affinity for cats. During my short time in the university I had formed a rather peculiar habit of feeding stray, alley and street cats and dogs each evening. They had become part of my life. In the evening as I went home I would walk into one particular alley where I knew these animal friends of mine called a habitat, make a clicking sound and in a moment I would be surrounded by a legion of wildcats of different breeds, sizes, colors, and even ages. Nevertheless, I would manage to handle and feed all of them quite easily. If I ever came across two fighting cats or even dogs I would look at them in the eyes and make a rumbling sound, close to a roar and they would tear apart so fast as if fired from a crossbow. Apparently there was something I didn't know about myself.

On the fateful day I had been walking through my usual alley going to feed my cats before I went home when I was blinded by headlights of a car. Another car skidded to a stop a few inches behind me and two muscular men snatched me up like I weighed nothing. The leftovers I was carrying spilled allover in the ensuing mêlée as I tried to fight the intruders. I knew I was no match for these men but it doesn't hurt to try, I knew I was fighting a losing battle despite my spirited efforts. One of them roughly and forcefully held a rug over my nose and I immediately felt myself losing consciousness. I had been drugged and it was amazing how the drug had such immediate effect considering that I wasn't that small.



"Uh oh!, we are surrounded" I heard one of them say.



I felt a gust of cold wind followed by the sounds of bones snapping and before I slipped into complete darkness I could hear rumbling sounds coming from outside the car. Weird, they sounded like lions, big angry lions.

How they dealt with my vicious army of wildcats I will never be able to explain but when next I opened my eyes I was in some kind of a glass cubicle in a building that I couldn`t say its location because I didn`t know. There were a lot of pipes connected to the cubicle and other machines in the room. Each pipe with a colourless substance. I was in a laboratory, as a guineapig! I tried to open my eyes fully and lift my head but it felt like it weighed tonnes. The throbbing inside my head together with an acute headache made me wince in pain. Outside the cubicle, men in white lab coats flurried around the place moving controls and levers. Scientists! I knew it! A relatively tall man with a grey beard and overly large glasses was standing right outside the cubicle pulling his grey beard and giving out instructions and eyeing me like I was some kind of a trophy. I immediately disliked him.



"Hello there young man?" it was the grey bearded man.

"Why am I here? Get me out this instant!"

Don`t worry, you are in good hands, by the time am done with you you will like the new you” he said chuckling under his breath.

I said am not interested, I wanna go back to my normal life”

Am sorry, that's not possible for now, you never had any normal life to go back to anyway”

WHO ARE YOU TO DECIDE THAT?” I yelled on top of my voice something I regretted moments later from the sharp pain in my head that had me tightly closing my eyes and wishing I did not yell. Probably the effects of whatever they used to drug me.

Can someone initiate the process?” I heard the man yell as I continued to battle with my paining head.

In a few moments a white vapor started filling the cubicle chocking me and blurring my vision. A syringe with an abnormally large injection dripping some kind of a liquid dropped and went halfway through my neck. Mind you, I was conscious! The pain was almost unbearable. SuprisingIy, I couldn't move even a muscle. I had been immobilized to limit my movements yet I could still feel every bit of pain.



Then the unbelievable started happening. The pain immediately disappeared as a tingling sensation took over as fur sprouted from my dark Brown skin. Bones started snapping and lengthening. My eyes narrowed as my hands started clawing. My back bone doubled over and became stiff. My milk white teeth sharpened like fangs and grew longer as a thick bush of a mane grew on my neck. The funniest thing of all I grew a bushy tail and some whiskers. After a few agonizing seconds the process was over. My stomach rumbled loudly announcing that I was hungry and my throat felt parched and dry. I was thirsty but not for water, I was thirsty for blood and I could smell it nearby . I felt strange, my body was practically radiating energy. My muscles felt powerful and I just wanted to test my limits. Then I growled, not much ofa roar but deep enough to surprise even me. Exactly like a lion.

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CHAPTER THREE: ESCAPE GONE WRONG

I looked at my reflection on the mirror of the cubicle and I could not with hold my shock. Instead of a reflection of my human form there stood a massive, muscular and a threatening lion which was now me. I cast a questioning look a t the man outside the cubicle who stood with his mouth open but with a look of triumph. His experiment had obviously worked but with baffling results. He probably didn't expect such a magnificent result. The rest of his crew were celebrating behind their leader giving each other high fives. They had probably been told that this was an experiment to serve their country and been promised huge rewards if it was successful. I pitied them since I knew how the government worked. At the end of the day none of them would be alive in the name of keeping their dirty experiment a secret.



They were celebrating at the expense of my human dignity. I felt anger building up inside me until I could no longer control myself. I roared deeply fixing my gaze on the man with the grey beard. I leapt through the air and hit the wall of the cubicle with so much force until I thought I felt some bones snap. The damn thing was double reinforced but this didn't faze me. The celebrations ceased immediately and everyone fixed their eyes at me. I reared back and again smashed the cubicle with more strength and stamina than before.This time round, I felt It loosen. The room was now deathly silent. The third time the cubicle toppled over with flying shards of glass and equipment and hell broke loose in the lab. Everyone was trying to run towards the emergency exit and in the process running into each other. However, my attention was focused on their leader who in the confusion had fallen over and was trying to take cover under some glass tables in the corner of the room.



The animal inside me was taking control, I was reeking of violence. I leapt and landed on top of the glass tables smashing them under my sheer weight on top of the man`s head. I licked my lips a gesture that didn't escape the man`s eyes who knew that despite my human status I was now beyond control and a predator.



Fate must have been on the man's side since I started shifting back to my human form the moment my sharp carnassials teeth sunk into his leg. The process was less eventful this time but much tingly as the newly acquired fur shrunk back under my skin. In a few seconds my massive lion body had disappeared and I lay there naked since my clothes had been torn earlier during my first shifting. Grabbing a lab coat from one of the hangers on the wall, I dragged the man by the neck collar and walked through the emergency exit. Someone must have hit the fire alarm or maybe it was automatic because it was raining dehydrators and the alarms were blasting full volume and the moment I stepped outside I was surrounded by cops from the local police department all pointing guns at me.

Put your hands in the air and kneel down”, the man on the speakerphone boomed.

I was sure I could beat them all in my animal form but I had not learned how to control or even call it at my will. Again, I had never had a good relationship with the police and there was no way I was going to let them cuff me. I continued walking forward disobeying the order to stop and lift my hands in the air until the click of a gun being corked behind me stopped me in my tracks.

I wouldn't mind blowing off your head young man” I turned to have a look where such cold voice was coming from and I came face to face with the muzzle of a Beretta pointed straight at my forehead. The holder was a medium sized man with bulging biceps and a thick moustache wearing a cowboy hat and a faded jeans trouser with a smoking cigarette still in his mouth. He looked quite serious and menacing as if he was used to blowing people's heads off. He would no doubt do it if i missed my step and he didn't look like he could miss a rice grain five paces away so I dropped my captive on the ground like a sack and lifted my hands up in the air in surrender.

Luck must have been my side because the moment he tackled me to the ground to cuff me the building burst out in flames. Apparently the building had been set on self-destruct mode in case something like this ever happened to wipe out any incriminating evidence it might hold against the government. Rock debris and glass shards flew out in every direction. A particularly large block was headed towards the cop's head. Out of reflex I kicked his legs and he buckled over and fell saving his head in the nick of time and the block passed over head and slammed into one of the police cars completely folding it up. The cop looked at me with eyes that said that he was wondering why I had saved his life when he was just about to drag me into the cooler for a long time. However, his troubles were far from over, I tackled him and neatly cuffed him with his own cuffs which he wanted to use on me at the same timed drawing his Berretta. My plan was to use the scientist as a hostage and my shield before the confused cops managed to figure out my plan so I lifted him from under the debris and held the gun on his temple.

Drop your guns before I blow his fucking head off” I told the still bewildered police.

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CHAPTER FOUR: CAPTURED, AGAIN

The man must have had a high political ranking since the police hastily dropped their guns and kicked them away just like I had ordered. Walking over to one of the police cars I shoved my hostage to the co-driver's side and sat in the driver's side and took the wheel. Driving was a piece of cake for me since as I said earlier I had defensive driving skills and I was quite a good getaway driver. I slammed the car into reverse gear and revved out of the premises in cloud of dust.



Thank God, on the highway there was mild traffic because I was standing on the gas pedal. I had forgotten that the siren was blasting full force. Actually, this was a welcome thing since all the other drivers quickly made way for me making the escape easier. This was a muscle car, I admired how it had such a strong engine. I had no place in mind that I could go but I kept on driving.



Looking over at my hostage I found him sitting so calmly and comfortably as if I was his chauffeur. This put me off, I slammed on the brakes and the impact jerked him forward making him hit his forehead forcefully on the dashboard just to show him who the boss was. Immediately blood started gushing from his long pointed nose. The smirk on his face had magically disappeared and was replaced by raw fear, he looked like a caged rabbit. That was when I saw the red flashing light flickering from his partly open coat.



What's that?"



“what?”



The light.”



Oh, it's a heat regulator made with this suit for moments like these”



I wasn't a fool. Again I slammed on the brakes and parked the car on the roadside. I yanked him towards me holding him by the collar and snapped a GPRS tracking device fixed on his white shirt. Ruffling his hair roughly I came up with a microchip and looking in his ear dug out a radio.

“ How long have they been tracking?”

“ Since you abducted me”

“Shit” I cursed



For the short time I had been in this world I had learned a thing or two about scrambling radio signal by use of magnets and disposing off GPRS trackers. So I kicked the left side of the dashboard and dug out the sounds peakers and then attached the radio to the magnet. I knew that the person listening on the other side wasn't hearing anything worth hearing. I then threw the GPRS tracker into a passing waste disposal truck. Problem solved. Simple and easy.... Wait.. what was that sound? It couldn't be... a chopper!! No, no, no, they wouldn't dare risking the public knowing about them. But I was wrong, the chopper landed on us! Or I could say it landed and we were already in it since this particular one had the lower side open so when it landed on us, we went inside it. Then hooks dropped and grabbed the car on each side of the roof and in a blur we were being lifted. Reflexively, I kicked on the gas pedal but I was a few seconds late. All the tires could do was spin since they weren't touching the ground. While in the air the lower open part of the chopper closed and the hooks released us and we hit the hard metal floor with a bang. My head hit the steering wheel and I began losing consciousness again. Through the looming darkness I could see heavily armed men surrounding me. Then a tranquilizer dart hit me. A tranquilizer dart on top of my unconscious form. I doubted I would survive the odeal. I remember being hauled out of the car before I blacked out for good. The next moment I woke up I was in the jungle in my now familiar lion form.



One thing I want to tell you as my readers is that this is a scientifically initiated shifting. The reason is still unknown to me. I am in the jungle in a place I knew from my geographical studies as one of the African Savannah grasslands. I have not yet explored my potential but that's my first priority before heading back to the city and track my captors and make them drink from my cup of wrath. I was sure they were watching me something I was planning to make use of.

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CHAPTER FIVE:THE HUNTING EXPERIENCE

I led my pride members to hunt a herd of gazelles that had been grazing not far off from our den. I had realized that pride members could communicate telepathically. No wonder wildcats are so organized in their hunting. I had also named my pride members according to their birth months.



June, take the northeast corner next to the Willow tree, April you cover the left side and prevent them from escaping to the river , Augusta will take care of the right side, octo and Jan will cover the entrance to the cave, we're going to lead them to our den and octo and Jan will start the attack as soon as they are cornered, you don't attack until I say so, my job is to lead them from the center. Don't worry about how I will do it, just do your part. Are we clear?”

Everyone nodded in agreement telepathically.



Alright, to your posts”

I slinked through the tall brown grass leveling myself with the ground making sure to camouflage wit the grass and avoid being noticed. As usual my animal instinct had kicked in and my ears were pulled backwards and my whiskers were working in anticipation. I could catch every distinct scent in the air including that of my fellow huntsmen. I had blended perfectly with the tall grass. Stopping at about 20 metres from the herd I prepared myself for attack . The previously ignorant gazelles were now seemingly restless. Apparently they had caught our scents due to the sudden change of wind direction. Nothing was supposed to go wrong since I had two hungry Cubs, the queen mate and a whole pride of Lions to feed. I wasn't letting go of this chance. I focused on the largest gazelle but before I could pounce the incredible happened.



Holyshit! I found myself cursing mentally as yet another shifting process began. My mane disappeared in less than five seconds leaving my neck smooth and bare. Carnassial teeth were replaced by herbivorous ones and my bushy tail disappeared with a lot of tingling and my paws and claws shrunk only to be replaced by hard hooves. I had become one of the gazelles. The only thing that didn't shift together with me was my lion scent. I cautiously rose from my hide out and approached the herd cautiously. Even their herd leader feared my massive form. He only pretended to start a fight but gave up as soon as I stamped my heavy hooves on the ground and lowered my pointed horns ready to take him up on his offer of a fight. In just twenty seconds I had gained control of the herd. In other words I had became their new leader within seconds.



Then I telepathically gave the signal to attack and warned them not to attack the biggest gazelle which was me. Not that I feared them because I was big enough to take down a full grown male lion with just a single kick.



It was amazing how my pride hunters could maintain absolute cover considering how close they were to the herd. I saw June and Augusta leap from some nearby trees and head directly for the herd in a coordinated manner. I started galloping through the tall grass heading to our den and the gazelles followed suit. A few metres ahead just at the entrance of the den Octo and Jan emerged from the heavy foliage and started the massacre. April was at the back of the herd preventing them from turning back while June and Augusta flagged the sides, decapitating any that tried to escape.



I skidded to a stop just inside the cave due to the high speed I had been going with and in the few split seconds it took me to turn around and face the cornered gazelles I was back into my magnificent lion form. When I raced back to help in killing the gazelles I realized that something was terribly wrong. Every Hunter in my pride had killed a gazelle and as If that was not enough they had started slaughtering the young kids which could not defend themselves.



Stop it!! That's enough” I boomed into their minds and they immediately stopped when they realized I was staring while in my fighting stance. The second the massacre stopped the few remaining gazelles scampered off and disappeared thankful to have escaped alive.



I really can't put the scene that I was staring into in words. It is hard but I will try to give you a mental picture of the scene. There was about ten to fifteen gazelle carcasses.The normally goldish-brown grass was now dark red. Every lion was bathed in blood from head to paws until I could not distinguish between them. Each was standing on a dead gazelle ripped open at the throat and still bleeding. A small young gazelle was still alive and trying to stand from the ground but it seemed like it was hurt because each time it tried it flopped back to the ground. Apparently, it had not met the claws or worse the sharp teeth of the lions. But the moment was short lived, the ever notorious Cubs streaked past me and even before I had a chance to stop them the young gazelle was dead and the Cubs were victoriously enjoying their kill.



Jeepers! How the hell am I going to control these freaking Cubs?” I mentally cursed and wondered.































CHAPTER SIX: MEETING NEW FRIENDS





After the earlier hunting experience and the massacre that followed I had realised that my combined cat and human form were driving me on the edge. I mean at least I was in control but if this is how things would be running then I was sure I was doomed. If I continued like this then we were going to destroy the ecosystem and imbalance the food chain. One thing was clear, I was too efficient to continue planning and executing of hunting expeditions since we have seen that my organised planning led to the killing of almost a whole herd of gazelles. So I decided that the second male of the pride, Augusta, would lead the hunting plans.



Presently I had realised that another lioness not belonging to our pride had been hunting and feeding in our territory. This could not be allowed so I had planned to put a stop to this today. This particular lioness was extraordinarily large almost my size and weird features so at least I was going to meet my match. I slunk through the tall blade like leaves of the dense savannah grasslands headed towards my target. I was roughly 30 metres away from my target when I saw it resting under an acacia tree. This was no ordinary lion since it had antennae like those hideous insects I used to see in movies especially in “kingkong” . It also had eyes like that of a snake. I could see it flickering out its forked tongue from time to time so I was convinced that this was a crossbreed between a reptile and a wildcat. Science was really making the impossible happen. Anyway after assessing my opponent for quite some time I came to the following conclusions.



  1. The hybrid before me was venomous since I could see two curved fangs on the upper jaw otherwise all the other teeth were carnassial.

  2. My opponent had already noticed my presence since its previously folded antennae were now alert and pointing upwards, it was also looking around and sniffing the air while flicking the ridiculous tongue once in a while.





I also knew that I had the upper hand since I was heavier and more masculine and I had an added advantage since I could shift and take the shape of this hybrid.

So I showed myself from my hiding spot and immediately I did so we started circling each other trying to find each other`s weaknesses. The hybrid growled in a deep rumbling sound followed by a hiss of a rattlesnake and a flick of the ridiculous tongue. I stopped circling and focussed on making the hybrid make the first attack attempt so I could assess its speed and find a way to counter its attack. I faked an attack and pulled back before the hybrid could realise it and it jumped surprisingly fast for an animal of its size and clamped the empty air with its fangs. I made another half circle and jumped a good two metres over my opponent planning to land on its exposed flank but the hybrid was faster. It brought up its sharp claws and grazed my underparts. Extreme pain erupted from the scratch and I felt it even to my intestines. The caged animal inside me fluttered to life. All I was feeling was pure rage and my head started throbbing. I felt new energy grab hold of my muscles and everything else in my mind was tuned out and I was left with the hybrid. All I could see, think, smell, and even feel was my opponent. My instincts were sharpened infinitely. The moment I touched the ground the hybrid dove at me with its fangs bared ready to rip the flesh from my bones but this time round I was faster and more prepared . I sidestepped the attack and batted the unstable enemy with my massive muscular paws sending it sprawling to the ground headfirst yelping in pain and sending up a cloud of dust. In an instant I was on my fallen enemy bringing my sharp canines closer to its throat and end its miserable life.



I was just about to tear open my victim`s throat which would have killed the hybrid instantly when something heavier landed on my exposed flank and yet again sharp claws sunk into my flesh sending immeasurable pain throughout my body. I yelped in pain and jumped away anger consuming me like a hot burning coal in my insides. My second assailant was a male almost like the first hybrid but this one lacked the antennae and it spotted a darker mane as compared to mine meaning it had been in the jungle longer than me and probably more experienced than I was but now I wasn’t thinking about the odds. I just wanted to kill these assailants and get on with my life. I felt threatened as the two hybrids continued circling me all the while tightening the circle and getting closer to me. I readied myself for an attack before yet another incredible thing happened. Perhaps it was the urgency of the situation that initiated the shifting. I felt a rippling sensation as my muscles started bulging and my bones thickened and elongated. I felt as if my teeth had been sharpened and increased in size. The ground seemed much further away from my face than it had been a few seconds ago. Ina few seconds the process was over and the final result surprised even me. Earlier I had been thinking I was abnormally huge but now I was more than huge .This time round I was almost the size of a minivan.

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CHAPTER SEVEN: THE HYBRIDS

I was feeling so powerful and strong that I decided to test my strength on the acacia tree next to me. I batted it with my paws without even putting much effort behind the attempt and the tree shook violently to its roots. The second time my paw connected with the trunk there was a loud crack and the tree flew five metres way and landed with a thud branches flying in every direction leaving a billowing cloud of dust flying all over. I couldn’t believe it myself. I had felled a mature tree with just a single swipe of my paws. I looked at my momentarily forgotten enemies and found them cowering under my sheer size and violent display of strength. The fight was simply out of them. They knew they had lost the fight even without trying.



As I watched they shifted into their human forms. The man had long dark oily mass hair and an unkempt moustache. When I looked at the lady only one thing came to my mind, Medusa. They were both wearing some kinds of elastic jeans that had seemed to blend with their animal coats.



I shrunk back to my normal lion form and back into my human form in that order. My clothes were exactly the same as the ones worn by the man before me. Apparently they had been made elastic to accommodate my shape shifting and they could blend with my skin such that I couldn’t tell that I was wearing clothes in my animal form. The looks on my fellow apparent shifters were kind of funny since they didn’t expect me to be a shifter and again there is no documented information of any shifter that could increase in size at will.



“So for how long have you been in the jungle” I was asking the man who had identified himself as Dave and the lady as Flora. Well, not Medusa as I had thought.

“Almost two years” I whistled through my teeth

“Two years! What happened?”

“The same organisation that brought you here” answered the beautiful lady as her face clouded

“We were supposed to be among many volunteers for the testing of a newly developed drug but they had lied to us. They had found a new component called Trozicca that could make the human cells regenerate faster than their death rate under controlled conditions which when mixed with a DNA of another animal could initiate shifting. After the drug didn’t bring the desired results after the test on us (I had seen their animal forms and they were no that impressive) they decided to kill us but we managed to escape to the bush since we did not know how to control our shifting we decided ourselves and getting killed.”to come here and master how to do it rather than attracting attention to



“So this means you know how to control your shifting” I asked after the man finished explaining.

“Oh yeah, and a few more tricks” answered Flora

“Could you please teach me?”

“You seem to know too much for someone who has been in the bush for only two weeks”

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CHAPTER EIGHT: TRAINING



“So we are going to start with the basics, what have you learnt so far” this was from Dave who had agreed to help me learn how to control this fucking crap of shifting. Flora was seated a few paces away changing from a human to a hybrid once in a while. I also noticed that she could change colour like a chameleon.

“Well, just a few tricks like I know that I can shift according to urgency of the situation and that I could take any form I desired just by looking and focusing on an image or a real life form of the animal”

“Okay, there are a few tricks I will show you that will come in handy surroundings so as not to be noticed.”

“I thought that that was only possible for hybrids like you only”

“I am also not sure that it will work on you but it doesn’t hurt to try, does it? Anyway, could you first look around you and take in the details of your in times of need. For example, changing colour and blending with the

surroundings?”

Looking around I could see brown grass and red soil so the only significant thing was the grass.

“Done”

“Now make sure you are in contact with the grass and close your eyes and concentrate, close every window in your mind until there is nothing else left but the surroundings.”

I did as I was told and focused on the brown grass. It was really hard not to think of other things like the colour of my clothes so that when I opened myself I couldn’t believe my eyes. The upper part of my body starting from my head to somewhere around my waist was exactly like the grass around me but the lower part was the colour of my pale blue jeans

“Wow, that’s nice for a start, I had to try it a hundred times before I could manage to do it even halfway like you.” This was from an amused Flora

“I guess that am a genius” I answered returning her sunny smile

“Whatever, try it again” she said with a roll of her green eyes that could drown someone.

After a few more trials I could blend well though with much difficulty. I had learnt that Dave was a very friendly guy and Flora was… well, Flora was a nutcase but helpful. However, there was something in her eyes that made me hesitate but was soon bottled up by her cheerful jokes and savage nature.



In the excitement I had forgotten about my pride. Flora and Dave had completely got my head from thinking and I doubted if I was ever going back to them . I was already missing the troublesome cubs and the company of the pride members. Anyway, my first priority was discovering myself and finding my captors.



“So are you guys a thing? I mean you and Dave?” this I was asking Flora who was resting under a tree drawing incomprehensible things on the soil.

“Why does it matter to you? Wait! Don’t tell me that you are hitting on me!” she exclaimed pretending to be shocked.

“No, relax am not hitting on you, I was just trying to start a conversation since you seemed to be overthinking plus you are kind of intimidating to talk to”

“Humph… she snorted, “says the man who beat two hybrids easily me being one of them”

“Am sorry about that, I may have lost control of myself and my powers back there but that’s not who I am”

“Oh, and so who are you” she retorted.

“Cut the shit out and tell me what you are hiding Flora, am not gonna hurt you, we are helping each other right” for a moment it seemed that I had her confessing but that look was lost just like it had emerged and the aloof Flora was there staring at me again.

“There`s nothing to tell, and just so you know you are not my patron to keep me under control”

“Okay,but this is a promise am giving you, am going to get past that all strong mask of yours and i will find the vulnerable Flora inside you and when I do I will know all your secrets and weaknesses, just wait and see.”

“So is that a threat?”

“Oh, damn yes it is”

With surprising agility and cat-like grace she leapt up the lowest branch of the acacia tree and shifted midway the upward journey.

“You gotta give her time to adjust and get used to you” said Dave from behind me startling me out of my wits.

I did not mean to scare her earlier, it was just animal reflex since am yet to learn how to control the beast inside me”

“She took it too personal when those guys deceived us and she is always insecure around strangers especially intimidating ones. But I have a feeling that you two will get along very well.”

“Nah, I think she hates me, she would probably tear my throat open in my sleep”

“I`ve been with her in the bush for the last two years and I know her, trust me, she wouldn’t even think of it”

***************************************















CHAPTER NINE:FLORA'S FIGHT

The train (named Madaraka Express) snaked its way through Africa`s sixth longest bridge Athi River Super Bridge as it approached Kenya`s capital city Nairobi. We were huddled in the second class cabin everyone busily thinking about something so silence was all around us. How we had acquired the tickets was dramatic. We had planned Flora to act as a distraction to the inspecting officers as web stole the ticket book. She was strip teasing the officers as we stole the book and as soon as we had accomplished that then I pretended to be Flora`s angry husband in order to get her from the hungry eyes of the male officers. I stormed into the room and I immediately lost my words when I found Flora half naked dancing for the men. They were looking at her curvaceous body with pure burning lust. Her rounded breasts provocatively prodded the blouse she was wearing and I was glad to notice she was wearing no bra and the hard nipple tips were evident through the thin fabric. Wrapping her legs around the pole she was using for support she tossed her head backwards her long wavy mass of black silky hair billowing out with the force of the act. For an instance our eyes met and I thought I saw lust in her eyes too and that’s when I realised I was too staring at her mouth wide open. I abruptly closed my mouth and cleared my throat noisily enough to get the attention of everyone in the room.

“Ahem….” I had captured their attention.

Flora immediately stopped what she was doing and scooted to a corner pretending to be frightened.

“So this is what you guys been doing to peoples wives eh?” I asked crackling my knuckles and edging closer to the men with an evil grin plastered over my face.

“Uh-oh, its not what it looks like….” The youngest guy started.

“What was it? I see it as taking advantage of people`s wives for your sexual satisfaction” I snapped back yanking a metal bar off the counter .

“Please sir, she came to us herself and started strip teasing, surely you wouldn`t hurt us for looking.”

“Is this true Betty?” it was important to hide our cover.

She started shivering even more as I menacingly advanced softly hitting my palm with the metal bar making soft slapping sounds. Suddenly she bolted out of the room before I could reach her so I followed suit pretending to be very angry. She rounded a building and when I caught up with her she had dropped the terrified act and was behaving as if nothing had happened. I admired her acting skills and prowess.

“You sure can be jealous husband, that seemed almost real” she blurted out

“Well those men were really looking as if they wanted to undress and take you by force so I guess I may have taken it a little bit personal.”



“Hey wake up man, something is wrong, I can feel it” Dave woke me up from my daydream shaking me violently.

“What is it” I asked groggily

“Don’t you see? We have company, bad company”

I looked through the glass and saw what looked like war troops outside our compartment all heavily armed with deadly guns. This time round they had not came to capture us but to make sure we were dead. Somehow they had tracked us down which was baffling since we had taken all the necessary precautions. Then an idea struck me, Flora. She must have sold us out. I slowly turned nd focused on her and she avoided eye contact. Definitely guilty.



“Why?”

“Why what?” she attempted pretense

“I am not going to repeat that, better talk fast before I lose it”

All her confident mask fell off immediately I used that tone and she broke down into tears sniffing and shivering as she cried.

“I am sorry, they promised to let me see my son if I gave you up, I had no choice, they have my son and they are going to kill him, I should not have done it”

“What! Flora, did we not agree no secrets? All this time, two years, you’ve been spying on me? Then you have a son who is in the hands of cold murderers and you decided not to tell me?” this was from an enraged Dave.

“They would have killed him if I did”

“I can`t believe that I trusted you with my life for two years”



“GUYS! We have a situation outside this door and we should trying to find a way to escape with our lives, let`s talk about this later”

“What are we up against?” asked Dave

“There are approximately 15 men all armed to teeth and wearing gas masks so it is probable that they may be carrying poisonous gases, those guns do no look like army guns because they are modified so we don’t know what they are capable of”

“I may have an idea” said Flora

“Hell no! Am not going to let you screw things again” retorted Dave

“Look, it`s my mistake and I can make it right”

“So what do you suggest?” I asked her folding my hands on my chest.

“My spit in animal form can corrode metal but I cannot shift not with so many people looking”

“I can knock the passengers out so they don’t see you shift”

“And how are you going to do that?”

“Watch me”



With that I walked over to the nearest man and pretended to accidentally bump him and in the process I poked him in the neck just below the jaw and he slumped over unconscious. There were three more people in the cabin so when I was done they were all asleep.

“Done”

Flora shifted with so much grace until I could not with hold my shock but no one noticed. The hybrid spit on the door hinges and a sizzling sound started as the metal corroded and lost its integrity. Without wasting time she also made an opening on the side of the train and climbed up on to the roof of the train. Right overhead of the intruders who were now getting ready to smash the door. They just would not risk blowing it off since the explosion would freak other passengers. Dave and I shifted into our lion forms and waited on each side of the door for the men to barge in. once they attempted to smash the door they fell in with it and before they could piece in what was happening the roof caved in on them and Flora was on them in an instant. Dave and I tackled the four who had fallen inside and snapped their necks and then turned to watch as Flora unleashed her wrath upon the men. Catching one man by the ankle she shattered his bones with her strong jaws and tossed him violently. He hit the train with the back of his head shattering the glass and falling down in a heap dead to the world. One them had managed to get clear shot on Flora and there was an evil smirk on his face as he slowly and deliberately got ready to pull the trigger. He was obviously savouring the moment of truimph.

“Watch out Flora” i yelled knowing there was no way she was going to dodge the bullet and I was some distance away from her so even if I tried to save her she would be dead before I reached her.

For a moment I saw Flora hesitate but then something happened that had me cursing in astonishment. She vanished into the thin air! Completely gone! One minute she had been staring at a barrel of a gun and the next moment she was simply not there. The gun fell out of the man`s hand and clattered on the floor. Then something invisible lifted him off his feet and hurled him right through the window shattering glass and leaving the other men confused at what had just happened.But their moment of surprise was short lived since in a few seconds none of them was standing or probably breathing.



Something brushed my sleeves and I jumped in surprise only to see Flora emerge from the thin air. Only then did I realise that I had been holding my breath as I watched Flora do her magic.









               


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