Irena sank into the cushions of her seat, letting the slow hypnosis take over as a team of Agency cover-preppers worked on her. Her body was already beginning to change. By the time she woke up, her personalty would have been shifted as well. She cursed her supervisor sleepily. She always came back from these missions with a desire to scratch the linoleum and a month of panicked nightmares.
Rrrina woke up in a crate. How had she… oh. Her Master. Her stupid, mean, heavy-handed Master had gotten bored with her. “I’m sick of Siamese.” Like she was a slipcover or something. She’d yowled and screamed, so he’d sedated her. Her butt and back hurt; he’d beaten her, too. She wouldn’t be sorry to see the back of him, if only it didn’t mean she was in a crate again.
Where was she going? She touched the bars of the crate cautiously – sometimes they went zzap – and peered out. A cargo hold, hrrm. Next to her, a human slave cried in her pen. On the other side, three dogs slept fitfully.
“Awake, are you?” The man looked wrong somehow, something ill-fitting about his coverall, more so than it should be, something about his hat or his gloves that didn’t look right. Rrrina backed up until she hit the wall of her cage, hissing. “Easy, easy.”
The handler knew what he was doing. Those gloves went all the way up his arms, and he had no qualms about tipping her out of the cage and grabbing her collar from behind. Rrrina wasn’t sure how he got the restraints on her; she was tumbling, she’d been grabbed, and then she was hogtied. “Easy.” He patted her shoulder. “Don’t bite me, kitten, I’m the good guys.”
She showed him lots of teeth but didn’t bite. “Let me loose. I’m housetrained.”
“Not until we’ve gotten you off the plane. Come on.” He picked her up easily. Far too easily for a human. Far too easily for most Tuathan. She fell limp in his arms. There was no way she was getting away from him.
“Kitty-town. Now stay quiet, and nobody will notice we’re stealing you.”
Kitty-town. Stealing. Rrrina really wanted to fight, she really did, but something, something kept her quiet.
Deep, deep inside her cover personality, Irena wondered if Miles had arranged this. If he had, she was personally going to shit on his face when she got home.
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