The pack was apprehensive. This was the first time their run had been suddenly cut short and they could not fathom the reason for their Alpha’s restlessness.
He was usually a jovial easy going person; hence it was a shocker to most of them.
Vikram his right hand man came in huffing n puffing into the library where sid was cooped for hours poring over ancient books.
“Alpha” Vikram said with a slight bow.
“Did you get the information?” Sid asked
“Yes Alpha. Those dead guys were a gang of thugs….the leader pasha was a wanted criminal with an impressive track record of felony, murders and rapes. The rest of the lot was no better. whoever killed them actually did a favor on public”
Sid’s furrowed brows relaxed a little…He thought for a moment then said “But we can’t ignore it. It’s not a normal gang war murder. You know we don’t meddle in human affairs but there is something fishy here”.
“what do you mean Alpha?”
“They were killed by snakes poison. I could smell it. And there were no snake bites. Instead they had human bite marks which means the killer is something supernatural”
“I don’t know…We are wolves, never heard of poisonous wolves”
“Maybe it’s a snake…A shape shifter snake…like Sridevi. Nagina”
Sid smiled ” I had thought of that. But Shape shifting snakes have not been seen for centuries. Most of them die off and rest retired deep into the Deccan forests. They shunned society and hate coming out into civilizations. why would they decide to come out now that too in middle of a metro city ?”
“I was just speculating…”
“That’s alright Vikram. I am trying to do some research on other species and I am planning to visit the council elders. They are more knowledgeable about it. Tell all our Betas to be alert but don’t let others in the pack know anything. It might cause unnecessary panic”
“Ok Alpha” Sid buried his head in the books again.
She was standing on the doorsteps of a derelict mansion. The rain had subsided long ago. She shivered due to her drenched condition. She hated moving to new places every few months but it was not really her choice.
She knocked on the door. Another girl of almost same age opened the door. Her eyes widened in relief “Partz !! thank God ur back. Maasa was so worried”
Pratz smiled “I hope maasa is not angry”
“Nah!! She is too fond of u to be angry but better show ur face to her. She is worried though wonder why”
Pratz wondered too. She was more than capable to look after herself at least from humans. She smirked when she recalled the horror stricken faces of those criminals.
Pratz rushed off to meet the matriarch .She peeped into a Victorian looking bedroom.
“come near my child.You know my eyesight is not sharp anymore” A heavy voice called.
Pratz tiptoed into the room.
“Hmmm… I can still feel the traces of anger in you. Wat did you do now ?”
She bit her lips guiltily
“I am sorry maasa. I had to do it”
“Did you kill someone again?”
“I didn’t want to but they were asking for it. I mean I didn’t have a choice”
“You could have run away. I sure they could never match your speed”
She looked down guiltily “Had it been a normal girl………I stopped a bigger crime maasa”
“We are not to judge anyone. We don’t give away our gifts freely. You know we carry a great tradition and a bigger secret. We are few of the last ones left. I allow you to go out and peruse your studies because I want you to lead a normal life. Our discovery will be fatal”.
“I know it masa but sometimes things r just not in my hands. I had to punish them. I didn’t leave any marks and the rain would wash away my scent. Normal humans won’t get a clue” She pleaded
Maasa looked pensive “I am not worried about humans. I am scared about the other kind”
“What other kind maasa ??”
“You are still too young to understand. Now go and change before you catch cold”
Pratz nodded and went in her room. Her room was similar ….Victorian decor with a huge canopy bed in the middle. One thing was peculiar about in the corner were some straw baskets.
Pratz sashayed towards it and opened one of them. She looked inside and smiled “How are you my sweetheart ?”
Just a slithering sound could be heard from the basket. she dipped in her hand and took out a black cobra. It wrapped lazily around her hands as if enjoying her touch.
“Did you have your meal ?”
The snake hissed its forked tongue and caressed her cheeks. Unaffected as if handling a baby she held its mouth and pressed it on a champagne glass. It was covered by a thin rubber membrane. The snake angrily bit on it and a clear stream of venom assembled in the glass. This was the common technique used by biologist to extract snake poison.
“That’s fine dear we are almost done” She cooed gently to the snake.
Putting it back in the basket she held the champagne glass. The venom sparkled and swirled. It was enough to kill 10 grown men.
Looking smug she removed the rubber membrane and touched the glass to her lips. Tipping it further she gulped the whole thing in one shot.
Her head swam on ecstasy and her eyes glowed bright blue. As the venom seeped into her bloodstream her body took a blue sheen.
Smiling she straightened herself and her eyes adjusted itself to its normal midnight hue.
Unaffected by the venom she peeled of her wet clothes and walked naked towards the bathroom. She was indeed different.