From my memories of books, I had seen, I deduced I was in something of a medical examination room. I braced myself for further interrogation.

"I'm very excited to come across a living creature other than demons and humans." Samuel's eyes brightened and turned toward one of the benches.

I felt nervous by the sight of his glistening red eye and decided to see what had excited him. Blood rushed to my head and went cold against my chest when I saw Small Cap unconscious on a metal tray on the bench. 

His legs were stretched out and clamped down by tiny pincers connected to the arm of an apparatus, and a set of small knives (I recognise as tools called scalpels) were laid out next to him.

"Whaddahell are you gonna do to him?!" I shouted angrily.

I stumbled towards Small Cap to free him from the pincers, and was able to free his legs, but my arms were forced backwards and held captive by Leinard when I went to scoop him up.

"Small Cap - wake up!" I shouted desperately to jostle the spider out of his unconscious state.

My heart picked up in beat when his legs twitched to life. I heard his voice groan inside my head.

"Free-nd? Wher..." His voice trailed off when he saw the terrifying form of a man looming over him.

"Amazing!" The mad doctor squealed with delight as he closely examined Small Cap's return to consciousness with a scalpel posed for cutting in his trembling hands.

"Ugh!" Small Cap shrieked with fright and took the mental order I gave him to run and hide.

His small body scrambled into action, running blindly across the bulky equipment to find a way off the bench. The mad doctor chased him around the bench; he was a surprisingly fast mover.

"To the left! The right!" I shouted out my assistance and attempted to bite off the hand that Leinard had cupped over my mouth to shut me up.

His other hand kept a firm grip around my arms to hold me back from going to Small Cap's aid.

I sighed with relief when Small Cap was able to leap off the bench and scurry into a tight crevice between the wall and a glass cabinet. He'd be safe for now.

"Boo." Samuel pouted, childishly, with disappointment.

He came at me with a threatening look in his eyes and the scalpel raised and ready to attack my face.

Bring it. I'll bite his nose off and smash his head with my own to ensure Small Cap's safety.

He surprised me when his mood and attitude became clinical again. 

He placed the scalpel back in the pile with the others, pulled out a stool that had been hiding under the bench and took a seat. His eyes scanned my body before he spoke again.

"Interesting friendship."

"Doctor Mercer." Leinard prompted the man.

"Well." Samuel sighed as he stood up. 

He grabbed a needle, which formed the head of a clear tube container holding strange liquid.

I yelped when he stabbed me with the needle and pushed on the tube's base, so all the liquid drained out, and into my arm. Tears welled in my eyes from the instant pain I had felt.

The needle-tube thing was pulled out of my arm and tossed aside once it was emptied. 

Samuel slapped a wet patch over the puncture wound the needle had created.

"Ouch!" I involuntarily let out.

"That completes quarantine. You'll be able to move him out of the infirmary ward," he advised.

Leinard dropped his hold on my arms and faced me with a choice.

"From this point on, you are to live by one of two choices."

I felt queasy at the thought of the two choices. It was obvious I would accept choice number one since the other saw myself no different to a prisoner and with little opportunity to find my brothers.

"Fine. I am Famine from Gat Shiem and my friend, whom your kind doctor was about to cut apart, is Small Cap. We place ourselves in your care." I reintroduced myself to Leinard with a formal bow.

It seemed to earn a smile from him. Albeit for a split-second.

Upon hearing his name, I saw Small Cap emerge from the crevice. He ran up my arm and into my pocket before the men had a chance to recapture him.

"You'll obey the instructions of my captain and his squad's sergeant." Leinard's voice assumed a serious and threatening tone to his next words.

"If you so much as attempt to escape or break order within the squad, I'll not hesitate to send the spider to our kind doctor for dissection, and for you to helplessly watch as he cuts away his legs, piece by piece, alive."

I nodded with understanding and felt Small Cap's body shiver. It was clear he understood this as well.

I followed Leinard out of the examination room and into a white corridor that held signs of natural light.

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