Challenge #01995-E171: Dangerous Beasts

in fiction •  10 months ago

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This isn’t my prompt but I’d like to see what you can do with it.
“I don’t want to know who I was. Before... before... before I was kidnapped as a child,” ze says, and there’s something pained in zir dark eyes. “A happy, drooling kid. Or whatever. Look- if I- if I wasn’t always this way, bitter and angry, that means xe won. That xe changed me. Made me into a new being. I can’t know that. I’m not strong enough.”
I wonder if the pain in zir’s eyes is the kid xe never managed to kill. -- Anon Guest

They lie when they say resistance is futile. Resistance is hope. Resistance is yet another tactic against the enemy. Against the oppressor. Against whoever holds you to their standards and judges you harshly for not being the thing they wanted you to be.

True evil begins with treating people as things. The Human called Fang remembered that.

Selthyr had taken Fang as little more than an infant. Much like a human hunter would take a tiger or a bear cub as a pet, and train it to do tricks. Selthyr never once forgot ze had a hazardous Deathworlder in their retinue. Hir means of controlling Fang were strict, and debatably fair. And it was impressive to have a Deathworlder as a guard dog. But like a bear or a tiger cub, the beast will eventually turn against cruelty.

Selthyr forgot that humans are very, very clever. Humans excel at lying so well that they can even lie to themselves. They can even lie with their bodies, and have invented special words for it. And Selthyr did what all arrogant pet owners have done since the dawn of time, the one thing that proved their collective demise.

Selthyr assumed that their beast was truly tame, and therefore ze could do anything hir liked.

The human mouth is loaded with toxic bacteria that can even harm a human.

One drop of spittle was plenty to poison Selthyr with hazardous human biota. The resulting infection ate hir from the inside. Fortunately for Fang, Selthyr's relatives were kinder to the Human, and attempted to treat her like any other cogniscent. They gave Fang a job, and a home, and as much freedom as they could plausibly afford. They explained things to her. How she was a dangerous species. How most of the Galactic Alliance feared her very existence.

And how they could not return her home because she had missed out on becoming immune to the assorted Deathworlder diseases of childhood that could kill her now that she was an adult.

Fang took this all in with the same blank-faced stoicism that she had exhibited to Selthyr. She said, "That's fine. I don't want to go back anyway."

To say the least, that was something of a shock. "Why?" asked Seldrar, Fang's nominal custodian.

"One: I wouldn't fit. We both know this. Two: If I go back, there'll be people who knew me. Who... expect me to be like the person I was when..." she trailed off, playing idly with the butterfly knife that impressed so many of Selthyr's shadier clients. "I don't want to know who I was. Before... before I was kidnapped as a child." There was pain in Fang's dark eyes. "A thoughtless, drooling kid. Or whatever. Look. If I... wasn't always like this-" she gestured at herself, "-angry, bitter bitch... that means ze won. That means my master changed me. Made me into something new. Something I wasn't to begin with. I can't know that." The knife flew in her fingers. Unfolding and re-folding in a veritable frenzy of activity from an otherwise still being. "I'm not strong enough."

Somewhere behind those pained, dark eyes was the child that Selthyr never managed to extinguish. Seldrar could see her. Somewhere inside, the human named Fang was still hurting.

Seldrar wanted to say, You are already stronger than you think you are, but ze knew that Fang wasn't able to accept that yet. There were years of therapy before she could come close to accepting that.

[Image (c) Can Stock Photo / spaxiax]

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