Black Maru, Bright Future
by Fur and Fantasy
full contents and notes located at the bottom of the file

Seargent Rellos had seem some horrendous things in his time, you did if you stayed in this job for too long, but every so often you ran across something that made you glad for the opaque face mask, because it kept the others from seeing the reaction you just couldn't control.

This was one of those times.

They'd been surprised to find the place empty, but once they got a little further in every one of them was glad. No one wanted to run into the people who had created this place, not without a small army from S.W.A.T. to back them up by going in first at least.

No one looked to closely at the small puddles of fluids. No one looked down as they stood in something slick. They all just wanted to clear the place out and leave.

He wasn't even sure if he'd rather have it be a body retrieval, or if he wanted to find live Maru to take back to the I.A.P.A. hospital for recovery and placement in a good home.

A short sharp bark from another room brought the answer to that. At least one live. There was a moment where he couldn't make himself go forward, didn't want to see what the people who had lived in this filth could do to a living being, but his duty propelled him forward.

It was surprisingly mild. He wasn't scared or bloodied, at least his body wasn't. Rellos supposed there might be bruises concealed below the flat black fur, but he found his lips moving automatically in a tiny prayer of thanks. The poor thing was young, not a child but still too young for this, and curled up on the floor in the classic position to protect his large round ears and sensitive red antenna.

The small mouse biped screamed when an officer bent down to touch him, a long, high-pitched wail. They always did that if they weren't going to fight. It was the one thing he preferred about Maru recoveries over Luprani. The mice-kin tended to be submissive and passive, while the canines would fight more often than not.

Rellos took a deep breath through his long muzzle and sighed. Intelligent or not, by the time I.A.P.A. usually got to them like this, most Maru and Luprani were beyond soothing words. Beyond anything but force. It sickened him more than he could admit to see a body so much like one of his own forms in such a state.

He hated using control sticks on anything, but using one on a Maru was even worse. Many rescues never trusted the officers that did that too them. Most never understood that it was only done for everyone's protection, so they wouldn't have to be tranquillised for removal, or even shot to protect an officer.

This one didn't even seem to realise what was going on as it was looped around his neck, and the stick used to all but drag the biped out from behind the couch he was hiding behind. Rellos clenched his teeth together when he noticed the Maru's antennae, twisted stunted and the usually translucent red color clouded with scar tissue.

It only made things worse when they began to move him, stumbling and whining piteously.

"He's not going to bite, guys," Officer Jerris said over the comm link as she stepped up slowly and knelt so her much larger body was on a level with the Maru. "You're going to be okay," she told the black Maru. "We're here to get you out of this place."

He just fell to the ground, thank Haloe that the officer holding the other end of that stick was paying close enough attention to lower it instead of choking him. Jerris seemed to expect some sort of reply, but Rellos knew there wouldn't be one forthcoming. Maybe not even once they got him back to the centre. Maybe not for days. Maybe not ever, from the look of this one. He'd seen Maru have to be put down that weren't in this bad a shape.

He looked away sharply to push that image from his mind.

"I'll take him out," Jerris said as she slowly scooped the young male in her arms, easily holding the much smaller creature against her body as a mother did. "Keep searching for others."

"Hello," IAPA Officer Syris Xaxith spoke softly from the door to their newest rescue's room, intentionally wearing his Maru form to make him less threatening to the badly abused male.

The dark-furred body twitched as his face darted up, his eyes fixed on Syris. He shifted slightly, uncertain.

"My name is Syris," he kept his voice very soft and didn't move. "May I come in?"

There was no response from the coal black Maru, who remained crouched in the corner, trembling. As much as he hated it, Syris couldn't find it in himself to be surprised, not after a decade of handling abuse case assessment and placements here in SkyCrest Grove.

So he did what he always did when they cowered instead of growled; he knelt to get as close to the Maru's eye level as he could without moving forward and brought a small sugar-treat from his pocket. "I'm not going to punish you, no one here will." He spoke softly and firmly, watching carefully for any reaction, or even just language recognition as he held the sweet out in his flat palm. "I don't want to do anything to you."

For a moment he wondered if even that measure would work, but then the big dark eyes flicked from his face toward the treat in his hand and he let a very slight breath of relief that there was some kind of recognition still in there.

"You don't have to do anything for it," he spoke gently. "I'm going to slid it over to you, okay?" He explained before slowly setting the treat down and pushing it so it slid close to where his new case was huddled. "It's for you."

Those eyes followed the sweet as though it was the most valuable thing on the planet, though he didn't move as it came closer, and eventually slowed to a stop only a few inches from his hands.

"Go ahead, you won't get in any trouble for it."

The Maru's eyes lifted toward Syris again, then spent almost a minute flicking back and forward between the case worker and the tempting sweet. In the end, just as Syris was beginning to despair for him, the Maru snatched the sugary morsel up and thrust it into his mouth in a move that was so sudden and swift it was difficult to track.

"See, that wasn't so bad, was it?" He smiled, expressing as much approval as he could manage in his voice while remaining completely still. "Would you like another?"

This time the Maru wasn't even looking at him, huddling back in the corner with his eyes cast down onto the floor while Syris silently wished the wrath of every spirit and Celestin he could think of on the ones who did this.

He waited a full minute, his body relaxed as he watched his case, regretfully realizing that they'd have to give him a name for now. There was no way he would get that level of coherency out of the terrorized creature anytime soon, assuming he even knew if had one.

With no movement forthcoming, he slowly drew another candy from his pocket and slid it across the floor to where it was within sight and reach of the dark Maru.

That seemed to get his attention, just the tiniest tilting of his head marking the shift.

"It's for you," he said in the same soft, level voice he'd been using all along. "Go ahead."

This time he seemed even more reluctant, if that was possible. It was puzzling, especially given the incredible urgency with which he's eaten everything else they'd given him. Syris remain still, watching the dark Maru watch the sweet and cower in the corner, until his calves began to ache.

Only then did he stand slowly and step backwards from the room. "It's okay to have it," he repeated softly. "I'll come back with your meal in a couple hours."

The Maru waited for the other male to leave and then almost pounced upon the sweet, swallowing it just as greedily as he had the last one.

"Corlin," Syris' voice and touch were extremely light, though he had no fear of a bad reaction. No unarmed Maru could be that dangerous to a Loup-Maru. "It's time for breakfast."

There was no response from the sleeping figure, his chest rising and falling evenly. It was a remarkably rare opportunity to stand so close to the skittish young mouse, something that even after the two weeks he'd been here he still found difficult to cope with.

It was an opportunity he took in full measure. If the young adult needed to sleep that much, he could have it. It wasn't as if they had anywhere to be yet. He was far from ready to find a new home for.

That would be an effort in itself. Even amongst those willing to take in the Maru that the IAPA rescued there weren't too many who'd be eager to take such a drastic case. He'd turned out to be good breeding stock, the results of those blood tests had been quite a surprise, but Syris was loathe to use that as an incentive to foster him out.

Still, he may turn around after they made a few breakthroughs with him. He wasn't physically in bad shape at least. As much as Syris hated it sometimes, good breeding and good looks did make him easier to work with, and easier to place when the time came.

"Corlin," he gently, steadily, moved his hand over the shirt covering the dark Maru's shoulders. "It's time to wake up, handsome."

Syris could fell the tension running through the Maru's body as he woke to find the caseworker leaning over him.

"No!" It was less a word than a sudden explosion of sound, bursting forth from Corlin's lips as he backed away against the wall. "Sorry. Sorry."

"It's okay, Corlin," Syris kept his sudden elation at the first spoken words to himself in face of what they were. "You are not in trouble. Understand?"

The Maru just watched him, back pressed against the wall and those dark, liquid eyes drilling into Syris. Corlin hadn't begun standing up for himself yet, but he'd grown a good deal more defensive and wary rather than simply cowering and waiting for whatever punishment it was he expected Syris to mete out. It was hard to tell whether that was an improvement.

"What are you called?" He persisted, though he worked hard to keep his voice soft and his body neutral.

Once again there was no response. Syris released a soft sigh, wondering if the panicked outburst might be the only thing that Corlin was capable of any more. Not for the first time he found himself wishing that the monsters who'd done this to him had been caught.

"I'm not going to hurt you," he told the Maru quietly. "It's time to eat," he motioned to the tray he'd brought with a good variety of finger food on it. "I'd really like it if you spoke to me." He said with a slight smile and stood with slow, graceful movements to let the Maru eat.

Graceful wasn't a word you could use to describe Corlin's eating habits. Despite the steady meals they'd been giving him he still ate as though he'd never seen food before, and never expected to see it again. At least he didn't seem to mind Syris' presence while he ate anymore; in fact he barely seemed to notice he was in the room.

Black Maru, Bright Future


12 KB, Story is Closed-Unfinished, Series is Closed-Unfinished
Written January 19, 2003 by Rauhnee Ranshanka and Vorex

Setting: Haloeth

Primary Races: Loup Maru, Martian Mice

Contents: Furry. Gen. Alternate Universe, DarkFic

Blurb: Corlin has had an extremely rough life so far, but a tip from a Maru-lover has set the Intelligent Animal Protection Agency (IAPA) of Haloeth on the case, and it's not one any of those involved are going to forget anytime soon.

Disclaimer: All things taken directly from the sources listed under 'Fandoms' belong to the owners of those shows. No harm is intended and we're definitely not making any money. Now, the things we created are ours, and if you see 'Non-FanFic' up there, it's probably all ours.

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