They had been travelling for a few days, with no clear destination in mind. Collins had begun to think of a plan but was unsure what Reve would think. Eventually he broached the subject.

“We need to have some sort of plan Reve. We need somewhere more permanent.” He waited for a response from her. None was forth coming as she was thinking the same.

Taking her silence as a good omen, he carried on. “Some ex colleagues of mine have a base not far from here. I suggest we head there, maybe we can get some help.”

“They'll shoot me on first sight Collins!” She voiced both their fears.

“I've thought of that. We'll make camp not far from the base; you can stay there hidden, whilst I try to find somewhere that's a safe zone. Once I've got what I need to know, I'll come get you.”

Reve was hesitant the thought of being alone without Collins frightened her. She was relieved and grateful when he showed up. This world was a dangerous place, and she wasn't sure how she would fit in it. Or survive for that matter. She felt much safer with him by her side.

If her abnormalities were easily hidden, she would have been able to go with Collins but the scales showed no signs of disappearing. She'd tried to pry them off, using Collins' hunting knife but the sharp serrated blade had not made a single mark. The only thing she had cut was her forehead.

The scales that ran down her spine were much larger than the ones on her forehead and just as bright, tapering off at the base of her spine.

Reve had sat and tried to will them away. Imagining them melt away leaving her skin smooth, but there was no rippling sensation that heralded her body changing. Both Collins and Reve had come to the conclusion that Reve's scales were a result of her eating the rabbit.

Elise had always insisted on a vegetarian diet for all of them, but hadn't explained why. Reve was beginning to suspect that her mother thought something like this might affect her. Collins on the other hand had put Elise's obsession with a vegetarian diet down to her disgust of the Draconians, and their cannibalistic tendencies.

Reve reluctantly agreed with Collins and his plan to contact his old colleagues. She knew that they didn’t have much in the way of other options. So she resigned herself to being alone for a few hours.

They set up a tent close to a large clump of bushes, it hid them from view and the trees provided shade. Collins had promised that he would be two hours, and if in that time he'd not returned. He told Reve to pack up and leave. They both knew she wouldn't, they only had each other now.

He set off and she watched him as he disappeared into the dense wood. Fervently hoping he would return soon. She sat for awhile and listened to the gentle murmurings of the wood until hunger pangs reminded her that it was awhile since she’d eaten anything. Meat was definitely off the menu, which didn’t leave much to eat, having only a few handful of mushrooms earlier.

She decided to trace the way they'd come that morning, and took what appeared to be a rabbit path further into the woods. Here, the woods were more densely packed together, making it difficult for the sunshine to pass through.

Reve used to love nothing more than to bathe in the sun, it was almost as if she was a battery, converting the sunshine into energy. But recently her skin had begun to feel tight, as if she was a snake about to shed its skin. The cool moist air felt like a blessing from nature itself, as she took off her shoes and dug her toes into the wooded carpet. Feeling the cool, damp earth was a treat.

She headed deeper into the woods, unaware of the dark shadow that matched her step for step.

She carried on walking, revelling in the coolness afforded by the trees. She found a large clump of nettles and thought they’d make a great nettle soup. As she began to pick them, she sensed another presence, she lowered her mental shield and immediately was bombarded by a frightening image. His thoughts were dark, and of blood. He was starved, and Reve was his meal. Without thinking, she pounced backwards into him, catching him by surprise.

Her arm swung round, and connected with his head. It was scaly and hard and didn't give so easily. Immediately the adrenalin and fear rushed in, as her whole body rippled in response. Her body seemed to have a natural ability to sense where and when his blows would hit.

He smelt of rotting and things decayed. She knew he wasn't long from dying but the sight of her blood as he dug his talons into her leg renewed his assault. He was strong, and wasn't giving up without a fight. He grabbed her by the hair and pulled her towards him.

She turned her back on him and managed to hook her claw, into the underside of his neck. It was soft and fleshy and she tore through it, spilling hot blood. The Draconian surprised by her attack, flailed, and slumped onto the ground. His blood pooling around him as his life ebbed away.

The dark blood; which appeared black in the dim light seeped into the earth. Reve raised her head and uttered a screech of victory. She staggered, the adrenalin leaving her making her feel cold and light headed.  She Leant against a tree, and saw her claws clearly. They were as long as her fingers but double the width, each covered in little scales, with a huge sharp tip on each end.

Reve took in the enormity of what had happened and began to feel sick, sick to her very soul. She huddled into herself sobbing." I don't want this, I don't want this." she chanted over and over. Until the words all ran together in her head.

"Idon'twantthisIdon'twantthisIdon'twantthis..." Her mind closed down in shock and she fainted onto the earth. Her scaly body was unidentifiable, as anything other than Draconian.

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