From The Adventures of Fox Tayle
, Chapter 17
We continued down the hall for about another hundred feet before we came to a door. It was unmarked. "Here, Fox, there's something I want to show you before we leave." Carlos swiped his keycard in the lock and opened the door. The motion-sensing lights came on upon our entering, and I was confronted with a disturbing sight. Along the left wall were two glass chambers identical to the one I had been in, but they were filled with something other than water. It had a yellowish tint to it. Carlos was silent as I took in the scene. Inside the chambers were two creatures that looked similar to me. They were roughly six feet tall and covered in fur, and had tails and digitigrade legs like myself. They were both canine, but each had a different head shape and fur color. Their eyes were closed and they weren't moving. They seemed to be asleep ... until I noticed the neat row of bullet holes across the chest of one. They were dead! Then I realized the awful truth -- these two corpses were Wolf the gray wolf and Shep the German Shepherd, my counterparts from the experiment! They had both been shot and killed in their cages on that fateful day ten months before. I fought to keep from vomiting at the terrible epiphany.
Carlos spoke up. "Dr. Cardiff couldn't bear to have them carted off to the furnace. He had their bodies preserved in formaldehyde in these chambers after their deaths. They've been here ever since. Cardiff comes here every day and looks at them. He locks himself up in here sometimes. Most of us think it's a morbid curiosity he has. Others believe he's haunted by them."
I leaned up against the glass of Shep's chamber and looked at his face. He had a peaceful expression, probably from muscle relaxation after death. I imagined that he probably died a horrible death, shot clean through by multiple rounds from an automatic weapon. Wolf looked much the same way, but his mouth hung open slightly, his tongue out. They had been brought into this world to be made into soldiers, to kill. Instead, they were the ones who were killed, for no reason other than that they were no longer wanted. Had they had the chance to plead? To protest? To defend themselves? I doubted it. And I myself was alive only because they were dead. Only I had escaped, because the gunfire that killed them woke me up. I already had a sinking feeling that I was the only anthropomorphic animal on the planet, and now having seen the proof that Wolf and Shep were dead, I could finally believe it.
"We need to keep moving," Carlos said urgently. "Vámonos
. Let's go."
I touched the glass with my hand and closed my eyes. "I'm so sorry," I whispered. Then I turned and followed Carlos through the door on the other side of the room. The lights shut off behind us, darkness again hiding the lifeless bodies of Wolf and Shep from the world.
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Fox Tayle character, story, art, etc. are all (c) wannabemustangjockey.