After a day of grieving, all five foxes knew that they needed to keep looking for the cure. They felt like they had to be close, but the end of the search still felt so far away. Billy proposed that they spend the day testing their current cure on other infected foxes, although Apollo was fully against the idea of doing so. Ultimately, Apollo stayed with Kura by the fire, staying in a pair so that nobody was out on their own. Meanwhile, Sora, Noiz, and Billy went to search for an infected fox to test the experimental cure on.
As the three searched the area, no colorless foxes were in sight for the first couple hours. However, it was inevitable that the group would find one eventually, and such was the case as they came across one at the shore of a river, crouching near the water. This time, it was Sora’s turn to be heartbroken when he realized it was his sister, Hikari, at the lake. Normally, Hikari had light brown lower legs covered by brown sleeves to function as shoes, and they had white fur lining the insides. Her inner thighs were white, and her outer thighs were more light brown. Her sides, back, most of her tail, and a lot of her face were also this color. The tip of her tail was a darker shade of brown, while the outer sides of her ears and arms were an even darker shade of the color. Her upper chest and stomach were white, and a single line of white went from her neck up to between her ears. She had a full head of hair, brown of course, and that hair always covered one of her eyes, even doing so now. However, whatever was spreading across the land had affected her too, and all of these colors were now only visible in shades of grey.
Sora’s eyes had widened at the sight, and he was having to hold back tears as he had a flashback to the moment Hikari was attacked. Billy and Noiz, however, could easily see his emotions despite his attempts, and decided to go on without him.
It had been a normal day, only a couple weeks after the initial attack, when he heard the scream. The brother and sister had been travelling together for awhile, and this was the first time they had been out of one another's sight since it had happened. Sora went running in the direction of the noise to see the tail of a fox as the assailant darted away. In front of him was Hikari, with all of her colors, sobbing to herself while she clutched her side with a hand. When Sora reached down to help her, she turned and snapped at him, gnashing her teeth and screaming at him. The infection had acted fast, her face and head already losing its color. The grayness travelled to her neck and chest as she slowly stood up, continuing to lose color down her arms and thighs. Her tail and legs were the last things to go, fading to grey as she stared at Sora, helpless in her losing battle. Tears welled up in Sora's eyes as he turned and ran, hearing another shrill scream behind him as he swore he'd find a cure for Hikari.
As Sora came out of his flashback, he found himself looking at Billy and Noiz approaching Hikari, and he did his best to catch up silently. Now knowing the stakes of the matter, he was hoping with his entire being that this worked.
Billy was holding a syringe in his hand, in it a small amount of bright blue liquid. This was the cure he had been experimenting with for so long, and such was the cure he was about to test as he came within arm’s reach of Hikari. Looking at Noiz, he gave a signal to the purple fox to hold Hikari down. Noiz nodded and went to do so, but was shoved out of the way as Sora wrapped his arms around Hikari as tightly as possible.
For the moment, the infected Scarfox found herself dazed as something suddenly grabbed her from behind. She took a moment to realize what was going on before struggling in its arms, looking down at her restraints to see the blue color in them. Something about those arms seemed… familiar… but her mind wasn’t able to focus on it for long as the urge to attack overtook her. She gnashed her teeth at her restraints, while a certain Billy prepared to inject the syringe. When he had an opening, he stuck her in the shoulder with it and pressed the plunger, watching the liquid go into the infected Scarfox.
By this point, Noiz had recovered, and he watched with worry as Hikari kept trying to break free. He stood in an offensive stance, ready to attack just in case things went south. Hikari kept trying to break free, kicking her legs and wriggling in Sora’s arms. Sora, judging by his expression, was starting to struggle to hold onto her.
As the cure started its quick work, Billy immediately noticed some changes in Hikari’s behavior; except they weren’t the ones he wanted. Rather than being pacified, Hikari became even more aggressive, putting more effort into her struggles against Sora. Sora had to try even harder to hold her back, but ultimately she managed to break free. Sora fell back, grunting as he landed on the ground and rolled to the side. Noiz leapt to the attack, grabbing Hikari and, with much effort, throwing her to the other side of the river. She tumbled on the ground, quickly getting up and releasing a shrill scream towards the group before rushing away, presumably trying to find a path to get to them again.
Billy was helping Sora up, and Sora seemed to be in a lot of pain. Noiz, after making sure Hikari was a safe distance away, rushed to Sora’s side and immediately started making sure he was okay. “Sora, are you hurt? Did she get you?”
Sora shook his head before grunting again as he worked to stand up. “N-no, I’m fine. Just a little stunned is all…”
Billy looked in the direction Hikari had gone, sighing. “I thought it would work… I-I thought I had everything right… What went wrong?”
Sora looked at Billy with a grin. “Hey, at least we got to test it. I think we’re still getting closer by the day. Let’s go find the others, tell them what happened.”
With the three of them in agreement, Sora was aided by Noiz and Billy on their walk back to the camp. As they moved along, however, Sora knew something had happened back there; something he didn’t want to accept...
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Apollo and Hikari owned by: VesselofEve on DeviantArt: https://www.deviantart.com/vesselofeve
Kura owned by: Spoopyvlat on DeviantArt: https://www.deviantart.com/spoopyvlat
Noiz, Sora, and Billy owned by: MurderousLover on DeviantArt: https://www.deviantart.com/murderouslover
Scarfoxes are a closed species made by: Kakiwa on DeviantArt: https://www.deviantart.com/kakiwa