Jexa's wings worked to bring her to the tree. She was fighting the wind, and on any normal day, she would have given up and gone in the opposite direction. But today wasn't a normal day. Today was her seventeenth birthday, the day that should would have celebrated with her family. She hadn't celebrated many birthdays in her life, because the owners of the ugly building nestled on the coast of the island had stolen her family from her.
Every year on her birthday, she would fly to this same tree and sing herself "Happy Birthday" silently in her head. She knew her family was in there. She knew, somehow, that they probably weren't alive. It wasn't lack of hope that gave her this knowledge. Just an innate emptiness that told her she was alone.
The giant purple letters of COFAR stared back at her as Jexa transformed into her Human form. She remained perched on branch of the tree and just stared at the building, two tears falling from her eyes; one for her mother, and one for her father.
Toka lifted his head wearily. Ten years he had been in this Hell-hole, and he couldn't have felt any older if he were 150. He shifted his legs, dropping his carapace to the floor as he continued to look around.
He had seen only glimpses of the inside of the compound, but what he saw, he knew he didn't like. The COFAR Humans felt it necessary to poke and probe the Shifters they held captive, frequently using derogatory words, like "freak" and "monster". Toka hated it here. They rarely bothered him because of his reclusive nature, but when they did, he hated it all the more.
Thus far, Toka had been stuck with needles, had blood drawn and injections given, and been forced into transformation with Electro-magnetic shockwaves. It was painful. It was annoying. And it made Toka lose even more hope that he would ever feel the warm sand of the beach again.
"I suppose that's just the way of it," he mumbled. "I'll die here, and never see the free skies again." He said it more to convince himself, to allow himself to accept his fate, but he didn't like it one bit.