Raptor Run

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A pig ran past, squealing with fright. Suddenly, it ran through a gate, and it closed. A raptor claw tapped impatiently.

"HOLD!" Rin commanded.

The raptors waited obediently.

"HEY!" He held his hand up.

"Okay!" Pressed a clicker.

"Eyes on me! Blue?"

Rin glared at a raptor with blue markings along her body. He'd raised these raptors. Named them, trained them from hatchlings. He was the alpha and none of them would challenge him.

"Blue!" He clicked the button a few times. "You better watch it. Aria! Hey, don't give me that shit! Oi, Yuri! Lock it up! Good! Aaaand now we're movin!" He moved to where a basket hung from a railing. "HOLD!" They stood still, waiting.

"That's damn good." He murmured, pressing the clicker. "Very good! See Aria, that's what ya get!" He threw food to the raptor, who promptly snatched it from the air. "Yuri, there you go, hon!" He chucked more mice Yuri was always a show off, so she jumped higher than Aria.

"Shura?" Rin got the raptor's attention. He tossed her a treat.

"Blue? This one's for you, girl." He threw her a dead mouse, Blue's favorite treat.

"Now HOLD!"

"Eyes up!"

"Go!"

They scattered and he grinned, dusting off his gloved hands.

On the platform, hands were shaken and cheers were heard. Yukio approached Rin and slapped a high-five on his raised hand. "You finally did it, Rin!" He patted Rin on the shoulder.

"Woah! I was starting to think I hired the wrong guys, but damn, you got them eating out of your hand!" Michael Gedouin–a tubby, arrogant ex-military man–walked up to the two brothers. Rin still couldn't believe this rude, ugly pig had ever been in the military.

"Actually, you just came on a good day. It's not usually a happy ending, you know." Rin told him.

"Oh, is that why you haven't been sending in your reports?" Gedouin snarked. "We've been busy." Rin shrugged. "Not too busy to cash your paychecks." The tubby man grumbled. "Hey, listen here, I live off of those paychecks and for a damn good reason, too. You don't live off of reports. You can wait a while." Rin glared at the man.

The man sniffed. "Anyways, we need a field test. And I've just seen they can respond to commands. We need to take the research and get it on its feet." He switched the subject. "Uh, that's gonna be a hard No. These are wild animals, Gedouin. Trust me, you don't want them in the field." Rin told him immediately. "I just saw a real bond. Between man and beast." Gedouin tried again. Rin pushed past him, followed by Yukio and Gedouin.

"Come on, we're the same. We're dogs of war. We know that the military needs to reduce casualties. Some people think that robots are the future. Look, nature gave us the most effective killing machines 75 million years ago. And now we know they can take orders!" Gedouin claimed. "You are nowhere near the same. And it was 65 million years ago, for your information." Yukio put in. He'd had a good job as a surgeon before this, but honestly, he liked being able to spend more time with his twin. And he had to make sure the older didn't get himself eaten. Watching Rin raise those raptors from just hatchlings had been a different experience. He wondered if Rin would ever marry or have actual kids. But for now, he'd defend his brother and make sure the other military creeps who knew him couldn't hurt him more after what happened on his tour.

"We finally make progress and that's the first thing you say? Make a weapon? You're an idiot, Gedouin." Rin shook his head with a scowl. "Come on, men! It's grown-up time! Drones can't search tunnels and caves. And they're hackable. The minute a real war breaks out, all that fancy tech is gonna go dark! Animals, though, animals can't be hacked! They're perfect! All you have to do is train them!" Gedouin's face was beginning to turn purple.

"Oh, is that all?" Rin snorted. "You did it!" Gedouin huffed. "Yeah, I did. Do you know how many times I've nearly lost a hand or a foot? Do you have any idea how many scars I've gotten from those raptors?" Rin demanded.

"The tech isn't gonna eat them if they forget to feed it. Miss one feeding session and those men are on the menu. I just happen to be exceptionally good at training dinosaurs." Rin explained. "Look at these things." Gedouin gestured to the Raptors. "They have millions of years of instincts in their cells, instinct that we can program. Their loyalty cannot be bought. These guys are gonna run straight into the enemy's teeth and eat them, belt buckle and all!" Gedouin was irritating both brothers by now.

"And what if they decide they want to be in control?" Yukio questioned. "We'll remind them who is. We'll terminate the rogues. Promote only loyal bloodlines." The man noticed both twins laughing at him. "What?! What's so funny to you?!"

"You come here and you don't learn anything about these animals except what you want to know. You made them, and now you think you own them. These dinosaurs are alive, Mr. Gedouin, and they are not weapons." Yukio said. "Excuse me, but we do own them. Extinct animals have no rights." Gedouin responded matter-of-factly.

"They aren't extinct anymore." Rin pointed out. "Exactly! We're sitting on a gold mine here! Pheles doesn't understand what he could do with these things! One of the richest men alive and all he's interested in is keeping these things in a park for people to see and play with like a damn petting zoo!" Gedouin's voice was getting shriller by the second. Both twins stared at him with a deadpan expression.

"Do you hear yourself when you talk?" Rin raised an eyebrow and Yukio snickered.

Gedouin sneered. "This is gonna happen. With or without you boys. Progress always wins."

"Well maybe progress needs to lose for once." Yukio countered. Just as Rin was about to kick the older man out, a scream was heard.

"Pig loose! Pig loose!"

He scanned the pen below him and watched as said pig ran past. He cursed at the idiot who tried to catch it, but got pulled over the railing instead. The twins raced down the stairs to the gate. Someone opened the feeding gate for the pig and it ran through. The raptors were now practically salivating at the free meal they would've had. Rin ran in and stood over the new guy who was about to be raptor chow.

"Rin, no!" Yukio called after him. "I got this bro!" He called back. Rin approached the three raptors. "Hold your fire!" Rin called to the security aiming for the raptors. While Rin held his hands out placatingly to the raptors, Yukio pulled the fallen employee out of the pen.

"Blue, stand down. Stand down!" Rin ordered. The dino snapped at him and he snarled. "What did I just say?! Stand. Down. All of you!" They shifted from foot to foot uneasily, unwilling to challenge the alpha. "Yukio, close the gate." Rin called. "Wha–Are you nuts?!" Yukio cried. "Just do it!" Rin growled. He heard a frustrated sigh and then the sound of the gate closing. He held the raptors gazes. At the the last possible second, he dropped down and rolled underneath as the gate slammed shut. The raptors tried to follow and only succeeded at ramming their heads into the metal bars.

Yukio pulled Rin into a tight hug. Rin smiled and patted him on the back. "I'm okay, bro." He assured. Then he turned to the new guy. "You're new huh?" The guy nodded. "Lemme give you some advice: never turn your back to the cage. There was a job opening for a reason." Rin smirked at the guy's panicked expression.

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