• I woke up long before Zill should come to get me. I sighed as I started pulling at a nail in the door. It was all I could do to keep from screaming. My breathing started to race as the darkness swirled around e. I curled into a ball, the nail forgotten. I gasped as my eyes flew open. “Let me out!!!” I screamed, “I know you hear me! Come get me!!!”
    The only response I got was a soft thud on the other wall. “Keep it down!” he hissed, “Some of us need sleep!”
    “I don’t CARE!” I moaned, “Just get me out of here!”
    I pounded on the door weakly. I let my body slide down the door slowly, my breathing now difficult as the walls started to seem closer and closer. I could barely hear the angry footsteps as my breathing became shallow. I couldn’t stand small spaces. I practically fell out of the box as the door opened. Shay arched an eyebrow as she grabbed my arm. “Zill was planning on getting you in two hours.” She sighed, “Now I’m stuck with you until he gets back.”
    “Lock me in a cage for all I care, just don’t put me back in one of those rooms again.” I shook slightly.
    Shay held my wrist tightly as she towed me forward. Her hands were too warm to be human, but not uncomfortable. She looked back at me once and asked, “What are you thinking?” She didn’t break pace as she marched forward.
    I’m trying to figure out what you are.” I whispered.
    “Must you know?” she demanded.
    “Yes.” I set my jaw.
    Shay stopped, but I kept going forward. My arm popped as Shay held my wrist and pulled me back. “I don’t repeat myself so listen well.” Her brown eyes were burning as her soft brown hair fell around her face. “I am part Shadow Wolf, created if you will. Me and my siblings are four weapons of mass destruction and totally lethal. We each are different mixes of creatures. Zill, vampire. Zeek, vampire, werewolf, and shadow wolf. Sylar, were-wolf.”
    “Why so many?” I whispered.
    “Zeek was experimental, a very flimsy prototype.” Shay sighed, “He turned out so much better than we expected, but then again, he failed. He was almost perfect except for his emotions. They were magnified beyond what we expected.”
    “How so?” I prodded.
    “His hormones are nearly twice as powerful as a teenage boy. Sometimes it’s passion, sometimes it’s hate or depression.” Shay released my wrist, “We’ve managed to stop his depression with time. When he first joined us though, his…cravings were insatiable. If he wanted something, he took it. Death followed him wherever he went.”
    “He had no compassion, no pain at the devastation; just what SHE wanted: a ruthless killer with unheard of senses and reflexes.” Shay paused, “Syra is part werewolf and is the most incredible elemental I’ve ever seen in a long time. Complete mastery within a year. She isn’t as strong as Zeek, but not to be underestimated. Her power makes up for what her weak physical strength lacks. The werewolf in her makes her incredibly strong and fast, but nothing like Zeek or Zill.”
    “So…?” I prodded.
    Shay glared at me. Sylar was the third sibling and one of the many phases of Zeek’s final form. I was second, and Zill was the first.” Shay leaned against the wall, “He was created with a vampire who was gifted. He managed to retain the power and our mother magnified it.”
    “Wait, Mother?” I stopped her, “I thought you were created!”
    We are.” She rolled her eyes, “Our mother had to carry us like any other human mother would have to.”
    My eyes narrowed. “Zill is the oldest of our family and one of the weakest links. His compassion for the human life is… misguided.” Shay said slowly, “He is the strongest out of all four of us, but the vampire in him doesn’t hurt. He’s the most controlled out of all of us, but mother has him going to therapy every few weeks or so. We all can read each others’ minds, but Zill can read any mind near him… All but you.”
    I cocked an eyebrow. “When he tries to read you, he gets nothing.” Shay whispered, :every time he tries, all he gets is a burst of colorful static that sends us reeling with pain.”
    “So… I cause all of you pain?” My eyebrows furrowed.
    “When Zill really tries, yes.” Shay sighed, “All he gets is really powerful blasts of colorful static.”
    I sighed and sat down next to Shay. “Can they hear us right now?:”
    “No.” Shay shook her head slightly, “We normally keep our minds silent unless we need help or something. We don’t sleep so there’s no danger of us losing control.”
    “I hope you’re not telling stories again Shay, you know how the others get.” My heart almost exploded at the warm voice.
    Shay laughed, “You startled her, brother!”
    “Glad you think it’s funny.” I growled, relaxing out of my tense crouch.
    Zill chuckled, offering a hand. Shay took it as I kicked myself to my feet. I bared my teeth as I smelled blood on Zill. Shay glared at me as Zill arched an eyebrow. I ignored them both as Zill wrapped his hands around my wrists. “Thanks for baby-sitting, sister.” He smirked at me.
    “Anytime, brother.” Shay sighed, her body shimmering once before she leapt away.
    I looked up and gasped. Zill’s face was beautiful, perfect even. His eyes were a soft shade of violet that sent chills down my spine. His hair was a dark brown that looked black against his pale skin and his eyes were almond shaped, standing out against his creamy skin underneath sharp eyebrows. One was arched, waiting for a reason for my gasp. I shook my head slowly as he laughed. “Shay must’ve been blocking our faces from you.” He chuckled.
    Zill towed me slowly forward, walking at a human pace. “So you’re claustrophobic?”
    “I guess you could say that.” I mumbled.
    Zill chuckled, slinging me across his back gently. “Hold on, we’ve got a ways to go.” He warned.
    I nodded once before pressing my face to the center of his cool back. His temperature felt good against my skin as we started running. His movements didn’t jostle me as we streaked through the castle. The run was exhilarating and frightening. We only stopped when we had to pass a gate to the second ring. When we stopped, Zill was careful to set me down. “We’re going to be welcoming Hugons into the inner rings.” He said, “You’re going to wash their dragon forms when they ask for it.”
    I didn’t see him move as he disappeared and reappeared at my side with two pieces of fabric. “You will wear this.” He stated, turning his back to me, “Put it on, quickly.”
    I obeyed, dressing quickly. When I was done, I asked why I had to wear this. “It looks like a swim suit.” I told him.
    “You’ll get hot quick.” He replied, “Hugons have a hotter temperature than humans.”
    I nodded, taking my place by his side. I felt the before I saw them. The air thudded softly with a pulse that grew stronger and stronger. I gasped when I saw two pairs of wings pulling large reptilian bodies to hover by the rim of the building. The two dragons landed by the stall we were standing by. I fought my face as Zill stepped forward. “Welcome, Nero, Kyrie to the second ring.” His tone was warm as he raised his right hand in greeting, “We hope you can stay for awhile this time.”
    ‘We’ll do our best.’ The voice was female and light inside my mind, ‘Send our regards to your mother, will you?’
    “Certainly.” Zill smiled.
    My fist clenched in response to my shock, rippling slightly when my knuckles popped. Kyrie’s black head snapped over to me. ‘What’s this?’ Nero growled, smoke trailing from his nostrils.
    “My servant, Akidanya.” Zill stated, “She’s here to scrub your scales if you wish.”
    Nero’s tail sliced the air as he began to shrink. I looked away as his body became human. I could hear the soft rustle of fabric as Kyrie cleared her throat. I turned to look at her as her tail lifted my chin. Her eyes narrowed. ‘This human is bony.’ She observed, poking my ribs with a single claw, ‘What are you feeding her?’
    “Food.” Zill smirked.
    Kyrie snorted as I fell backwards. ‘She’s weak.’
    “Hey!” I snarled, “I am not weak!”
    Kyrie growled as her tail whipped around faster than I could see, and pushed me into the hot water. I gasped as I swam to the side of the tub. I wrapped my arms around the rim of it, holding my head above the water. Zill laughed as he walked over to me and offered a hand. I ignored it and crawled out without his help. A puff of black smoke left Kyrie’s black nostrils as she snorted with laughter.