Fight for Life

Number Nine.
He just looks like you or me, but in reality, he comes from the planet Lorien. An alien, one of the few sent to Earth to escape their planet's destruction. Hunted by his enemies, the Mogodorians, Nine--although he will never admit it--would give anything for a break from his immense responsibilities.
Rachel Vega.
Once belonging to a trio of best friends, Rachel's life turned completely upside down when both of her friends became werewolves. Now one, Olivia Marx, is dead, murdered by one of her pack members, and the other, Grace, is fighting meningitis, the disease which will cure her of being a werewolf-- but only if she survives it first. And worse-- Rachel is becoming sick, herself, with a mystery illness.
When Nine is somehow sent to the world of Mercy Falls, he has no clue why: until he discovers that he could help save Rachel and Grace. Only that. And then leave. But will he be able to? Or will a certain freckled face make him rethink?
For the Crossover Contest...

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3. Nine

***

If anyone is confused, below I change to present tense because the two previous chapters are meant to be sort of prequel chapters. :)

***

With the wolf slavering over me, I close my eyes and wait for the end.

Suddenly, I flash them open again.

What am I doing, allowing this wolf to be my death? I have faced far greater threats than this old dog. Maybe traveling to this place--wherever it is-- has twisted something in my brain.

No time to think about it now, I tell myself. I flex my fingers and, shoving my arms forward, push the wolf off my chest. It flies into the sky yipping like a poodle. I know it will finally start its descent a few minutes later, in the middle of the next country. I brush my hands together like It's nothing really-- then stop when I see the boy looking at me.

He's tall and lanky, with dark hair swept across his face. He peers out from behind a tree in astonishment, then ducks quickly as he realizes I've seen him.

"Hey!" I call. I walk towards the trees slowly. "Whoever you are, I don't want to hurt you--"

He's off. Faster than I've ever seen any human run before. I curse and start to run after him, my feet crunching the dead leaves under my feet, pounding twigs into little . Two seconds pass. If he were normal, I would be in front of him by now.

Who is he? What is he?

Suddenly, I burst into a clearing. What the... Where is he?

Pain suddenly erupts in my arm, and I look down to see a huge dart sticking out of it.

"****," I swear. They've drugged me. Like I'm an animal.

I can do nothing but clench my fists in anger as I go down.

***

"Hey! Hey there, can you here me?" Someone slaps my cheek and I groan. I open my eyes slowly, until I can see a guy standing above me. He had brown hair, green eyes and a strong jawline and cheekbones. When he saw me looking at him, he turned away from me and nodded to someone out of my range of vision. "Yep, he's back."

My Loric body recovers much faster than an ordinary human's from planet Earth, so when I sit up, it doesn't even hurt.

"Whoa, guy," says someone else. "You might want to take it slow."

I turn to him, already knowing who to expect. I'm right. It's the guy from the woods. "You," I say. "What are you? I saw you run in the forest. You're not human."

His lips twitch slightly. "I don't know what you're talking about."

I look into his eyes. They're yellow. Again, another indication that he isn't human. I don't know who he's trying to convince by telling me he's normal.

But then again, neither am I. So I respect his privacy.

I turn to the other guy, who's been watching us with an amused expression on his face. "What am I doing here?"

He smiles lazily. "Let's introduce ourselves first. My name is Cole, and this is Sam." He gestures to the gangly guy, then turns back to me. "Who're you?"

Nine. "Uh... Stanley Worthington."

"Nice to meet ya. Now, Sam's told me he found you in the forest. And if I'm right, he also saw some pretty weird things happen there." He mimes pushing a wolf off his chest. "Would you care to explain, sir?"

What could I say? There was no way I could pretend it didn't happen. "I... work out?" I say, lamely. It's more of a plea for them to accept my answer than an actual statement.

Cole snorts. "Yeah, right. Well, I'm sure you actually do work out, but that's not the point. Look, dude, the thing is, we need the whole story."

"Why?" My body tenses up. I'm becoming angry. "Why do you "need" me to tell you this stuff? Why have you drugged me, then taken me here? You have a purpose, and I'm not telling you anything until you give it to me. And it had better be a good one."

Sam sighs. "Cole, why don't we just tell him."

Cole nods his head. "Yeah. I guess we never had a choice, did we? You tell him, then. I'll be the proof."

What does he mean, I'll be the proof?

Sam turns to me. "Stanley, look at me." I do. "You've got to promise to tell us your story after we tell ours."

I hesitate. "I-- I promise," I say. Why did I do that? I have no reason to stay here...

But they need me.

"The thing is, well..." Sam closes his eyes for a moment, then looks back at me, straight in the eye. "We're werewolves."

I snort. "Yeah, right, Fenrir Greyback."

"Who?"

"Never mind." I shake my head. "The point is, dudes, that is hands down the lamest story anyone has ever given me. You really couldn't come up with anything better?"

"But it's true," Sam says, a little defensively.

"Not buying it." I jump off the couch and head towards the door. "I gotta go."

"Stanley, wait--"

I kick the door open and breathe in the cold winter air, then turn back for one moment. "And a tip to you guys-- you really shouldn't have the heater on so--"

My breath catches in my throat. Cole is doubling over in suppressed agony, teeth clenched. I rush back inside. "Oh, God, Sam, what's happening-- you need to get him to a hospital--"

"Keep the door open!" Sam says so sharply, I do as he says. "And stand back. Don't touch Cole."

I prop the door open and walk back to stand beside Sam. I itch to help Cole but Sam just puts a hand on my arm. "Wait," he says simply.

But I can't wait. I have such a massive urge. I feel-- I know that if I touch Cole, he'll be healed. I know it...

I think I've just developed a Healing Legacy...

Sam tightens his grip on my arm. "Wait," he says, more firmly.

"Sam," says Cole. He's panting hard, swallowing screams. "Sam, when it's over, when he's seen it, close the door. Immediately. Okay?"

Sam swallows. "Okay," he says, so quietly it's almost a whisper. "You're okay, Cole. You can do this bit..."

Something odd is happening to him. His back is pressing against his shirt and his hands against his mittens. Cole groans as the mittens split open and his T-shirt tears along the armholes. He wails once, a long, low wail... then silence.

The boy I knew as Cole is gone, and a wolf stands there instead, wearing his clothes.

Well, what's left of them, anyway.

I just stand there, gobsmacked, as Sam rushes to the door and shuts it. "See?" he says, a touch of smugness in his voice. "Werewolves."

"How... how..." I daren't tear my eyes away from the wolf. What if it attacks? I'm more concerned for Sam's safety than mine.

"Cold changes us into this form. Heat allows us to remain human. See? Cole's already shifting back."

I watch the whimpering wolf as he slowly changes back into Cole. "Why didn't you change, though?" I ask, finally looking at Sam.

"Because." I swivel my head to see Cole: human, and shaky but otherwise unharmed. "Because friends of ours injected Sam and another guy with meningitis bacteria on purpose; to kill off the wolf, in a sense. The other guy died, because he was human when he fought it, but Sam fought it as a wolf, so he lived, and the wolf inside him... died. Or at least became dormant for a while. So, what's your story?"

I sigh heavily. "I guess I owe you guys one, don't I?" I avert my eyes as Cole pulls on his torn pants.

"You do." Sam smiles a little.

"I'm an alien from the planet Lorien. The Mogadorians killed off every one of our people nearly a couple of decades ago, but nine--or ten, we're not too sure, nine of us escaped. Orphans. We all have mentors, called our Cepans. Mine died." I clear my throat. The memory of Sandor has just made my throat clog with potential tears.

"We are each named after a number, and before we could only be killed in numerical order, but now that's history. Tell you later. Three of us have died already. One day, we remaining Loric are going to have to fight the Mogs, but not now, not until all our powers have manifested."

"So you do have powers." Sam gazes at me, wide eyed.

I shuffle uncomfortably. "Yeah," I say. "And... my name's not really Stanley. It's Number Nine."

"No wonder you haven't died yet." Cole smiles at me, but his head is tilting and his smile is sad. I can see he's been genuinely moved by my story.

I clear my throat sharply. "So... what do you want with me?"

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