Pet has existed in a limbo of confinement and pampering as her owners use her for a symbol of their power.
During an attack they eject her in a survival pod and she ends up on a habitable world, working to survive.
When a group of men arrive and they seem to be looking for her, she fights the urge to run to them for safety, choosing to hide instead.
They find her anyway and bring her to their ship, and that is when she finds out that her true identity is not Pet, but it will be found in a single drop of blood.
She crouched along the edge of the treeline and watched the ship land. The people exiting the ship were not Marcovian and had a comforting similarity to her own features. The four men had palm scanners and as their sweeps came her way, Pet huddled in the underbrush.
She cringed back as they all started to walk toward her. When she had moved behind the cover of trees, she ran for it, hiding in the backup hole next to her camp. Her fire was still burning and her meal was nearby and untouched.
She watched from her hiding spot as they investigated her camp and she remained quiet while they touched the few items she had put together. One of them swept past her hiding place with the scanner and when he passed her spot, she exhaled in relief.
Her exhalation must have caused a ripple effect in the leaves, because a hand suddenly ripped open the top of her little hidey-hole. Light covered her and the men gasped as she was exposed.
They crouched around her and each of them put on a smile that was meant to be reassuring.
“Miss, we need to take you in for medical treatment. How long have you been here?” One of them spoke softly to her and she looked up at him.
“What is my name?” It was the question that burned in her soul every moment of every day.
They jerked visibly as she spoke, her voice rippled over them and their eyes glazed over. She darted past them and was halfway across the clearing before they came out of their stupor.
The men were fast on their feet. She had to give them that.
She tried to scream when she was lifted in the air, but a hand covered her mouth and she was held against a hard body while it walked back to the ship. The hand stayed firmly clamped against her mouth, but it was thoughtfully positioned so she could breathe.