“The Lady fell for another
To the Beast she was a mother
Dragons talk and Dragons mock
But the Beast begins his stalk
They stand! They fall! Then they flee!
How many of them will he reave?
- Child's skipping rhyme on Scylla, origins unknown
There were many firsts during this trip for the teenager. While he had been on shuttles before, this was the first actual ship he had been on. This was the first time he had slept alone, technically speaking, in a room. The death cultists handlers that never seemed to be more than a raised voice away were gone, replaced by League of Silence personnel in their severe black uniforms with the arrows and moon over their hearts. They had the same wary fear they tried to mask with dispassion as the Harvester Suicide Commandos though, but without the benefit of iron masks to hide their faces behind and iron discipline from harsh training.
That was nothing new to him though – as long as he could remember he had been raised in controlled settings by people who thought negatively of him. First it had been contempt, and then as he grew into his strength and the terrible training worked its wonders on his body, contempt turned into fear. After they had taken him and his dog into the room -
Red flashed in his mind as he sat up in the cot that was provided him in the small room, his mind instantly blanking out and knocking him out of the dreamy reverie he had been. He would not allow himself to relive that moment that had changed him.
“You were thinking of it again, weren't you?” a woman's voice asked from the shadows, cultured and yet slightly rough.
He nodded in the bed, sitting up and pushing down a sheet that covered a muscular torso. Some scars were here and there, mostly on his back from beatings, and he didn't feel the pain from the tattoo along his ribs, the one that read CLAY-FOSsil-S/N 003R. He also didn't want to tell her the truth, but he wouldn't lie to her either. “I was,” he admitted after a moment, with a voice just starting to deepen.
Claws clicked on the bare tile as the female rose up and came into the light, her tail flicking out behind her. She was a beauty, as far as Scytheclaws went. Nearly the size of a horse, her eyes shown with fierce intelligence. Bright blue and glossy black feathers colored what scales did not in the same configuration, and on each clawed foot was the large talon that gave the utahraptors their distinctive name. In every muscle that flexed under her scales and every cant of her head it was proclaimed that she was a predator in the truest sense of the term.