A wisp of tobacco smoke drifts through the air, curling around the brim of Dr. Wolf’s bowler hat, dissipating into the twilit room. Dr. Wolf’s brows crease, the man deep in thought. It wasn’t thought of self-preservation. It wasn’t thought of his reputation. Although these aspects were important to the prodigious physician, it was the whole morality of the matter. Was it better to allow the dark underbelly of this city to continue to thrive while the clueless authorities, stretched thin as it was, struggled on ineffectively?
Or was it better to recklessly pursue justice, purging the muck and filth that haunted the city by night? It was incredibly irresponsible. The things he did, the things he does...but it’s not him. It’s something else, something terrible. And all the while, the constant pull to truly let go of that last little iota of himself and lose control to the beast within, like loosing a rabid dog from his leash, gnaws at the back of his mind.
“Is it even about justice,” mused the good doctor. When Dr. Wolf was a youth, he was one of the best fencers in his military school, his other interest, of course, being medicine. The young doctor entered into the King’s service as a field medic. The Doctor excelled in his service until a knee injury sent him back home for good. Back home, Wolf used his medical knowledge to serve the community, but he missed the feeling of power he felt when locked in a duel with a competent swordsman. Not that he could, as the years past, the wound of his past continued to limit his activity. Now a long, brisk walk was as much exploring as Dr. Wolf did. Dr. Wolf grew older and milder in his home borough. He was granted the status of alderman, basically a deputy of the constable, but in his small borough, the largest disturbance would be a drunken disorderly. Or it used to be anyways.
“Or am I just as power-hungry as they are,” wonders Dr. Wolf.
Dr. Wolf stared into the empty eyes of the wolf’s head, positioned atop his dark oak cane-sword. He had thought acquiring the oak cane-sword comical, considering his last name. Maybe he should have been a little more wary of buying from the beautiful woman. Dr. Wolf was on holiday in a coastal village. Her hair was fiery, as was her stare. She had a mysterious black tribal tattoo that climbed up her arm and there was something about her that sent chills up the spine. “The Enchantress’” little store in the bazaar had various items that she claimed to be enchanted. It was, supposedly, owned by a Romaninan ruler who took upon himself the form of a wolf. The ruler would roam his kingdom at night, seeking whom he may devour. The blessing of the wolf, or the curse, was carried on through the item. Dr. Wolf, never one for superstition, laughed her off and purchased the cane-sword, ready to impress his old friends at the barbershop.
Dr. Wolf chuckles to himself while running his fingers through his thick beard. The hair that graced his chin was a dark amber, like fields of grain ripe for harvest. Getting his beard trimmed and shaped at the barbershop with his friends used to be the highlight of his week.
Or it used to be. Most of his friends were now too afraid to leave their houses. The barbershop wasn’t too busy now-a-days. The streets of Wolf’s borough had rottened. Street gangs organized and managed to buy themselves friends in high places. It was nothing to payoff local authorities, but they even managed to bribe judges, which made the courthouse a rotating door of criminals coming and going as they please.
It didn’t take long for one of these politicians to realize the power he could hold if he could consolidate his colleagues who had been bought off and the street gangs. Through blackmail and flexing his political power, a politician, named Devlin, gained not only political allegiance from his colleagues, but a personal army of shadowy figures roaming the streets every night, preying on innocent townspeople.
Businesses have been struggling. From robberies, to the dues that shop owners had to pay for “protection,” most businesses were on the verge of collapse. And that’s how Devlin wanted it, he held the fortunes, and thus the cooperation of almost every citizen. Dr. Wolf had seen the handiwork of his hooligans. The only business not struggling was his medical practice, where he found himself stitching up wounds and performing autopsies on a near-daily basis.
It was one fateful night when the Doctor was walking home from the pub, that he found that he had power too. The Doctor stepped out of the door, walking down the cobblestone street, the fog thicker than chowder. He began to stroll down the street when he heard a struggle. He proceeded down the alleyway where a figure was standing over a young man, curled up in the fetal position.
“Give me the money, and you better be not be late again. This isn’t your money, this is Devlin’s money. And if you ever want to work again, you won’t forget it,” snarled the shadowy figure.
“Excuse me my dear fellow, may I interject?” said the Doctor as he waltzed into the alley. The figure quickly turns to face the Doctor. The street light reveals a familiar face. The constable stares into the disturbed face of the Doctor.
“Well isn’t this unfortunate Wolf?” exclaimed the Constable. Dr. Wolf nodded his agreement. “You couldn’t be compelled to stay quiet on this, not even for old times sake?” asked the Constable.
Again, Dr. Wolf nodded, but this time signaling his refusal.
“I would suggest you forget about this and just walk away,” threatened the Constable, drawing attention to his partially drawn saber.
Dr. Wolf gripped his cane-sword, ready to draw the hidden estoc, adrenaline pulsing through his veins. That’s when his first transformation took place. The Doctor’s fingers elongated, his teeth grew, fur sprouted from every pore on Wolf’s body. The Doctor felt power he hadn’t felt since he was younger, increased by about ten fold. The feeling was… thrilling.
Dr. Wolf, now fully transformed into a lycan, shreds the petrified Constable, leaving nothing but a bloody pulp lying in the gutter.
Of course the Constable’s gruesome death made the front page of the next day’s paper. The article outlined the sparse details that the local authorities had collected. The authorities believed they were looking for some sick serial murderer. The only witness was a young man, who had obviously been a partaker of far eastern molasses, for he told authorities he saw a hairy monster tear the constable apart. This was obviously a hallucination. This was obviously the work of a sick killer, there weren’t real monsters in this borough. No one would ever suspect they were looking for the mild Dr. Wolf.
The thrill was intoxicating as the Doctor continued his rampage through the city, attacking thugs and goons throughout the city. From the common robber to the sickest of murderers, the Doctor’s reign of terror enveloped them all. For the first time in years, they were afraid of setting foot in the streets at night.
Of course, such monstrous attacks wouldn’t stay secret forever. Now the newspapers call for a “werewolf hunt.” A bounty has even been placed upon the creature's head. But still, no one suspected Dr. Wolf. Some of his patients had joked that his bearded chin was rather wolfish, every hair combed down his chin, held in place by the Fable Beard Company butter that he had imported from the realms across the sea. There was, however, no serious inquiry into Wolf.
So, sits Dr. Wolf, reflecting on the morality of his actions, considering the possibilities and the dangers of his new found gift.
“I do it to protect my borough. The innocent people here do not deserve the tyranny of this thug Devlin. As long as the Wolf roams the streets at night, the townspeople can thrive in the light,” reasons Dr. Wolf.
But this time The Wolf speaks back.
“Sure, but you love the power. The exhilarating freedom, the wild prowl through the city, the escape from the oppression of these mere fleshlings. That’s really it isn’t it Doctor. You need me to escape the hopelessness of your reality.”
The Doctor is disturbed by this new voice in his mind, but he recognizes its still his own, just with a dark aspect.
“Yes I do suppose that I enjoy the work, however, I fear that I may grow weary and lose control. While in my, *ahem* altered state, I am still in control, but I feel the constant pull of the Wolf to fully give in and let go. I fear what he may do. What I’ve been doing isn’t right. Despite their wrong-doings they should stand trial for their crimes. Justice belongs to the people. I’m no better than the criminals I terrorize. But if I give full release to The Wolf...” replies Dr. Wolf.
“You’re not that naive” growls the The Wolf, “You use your power to protect the borough. The police will never contain this filth and you know it. They are animals and The Wolf is the top of the food chain. Let go and I will give them something to truly fear. They will fear me as they fear death for I shall become death to all those who hide their misdeeds in the shadows of the night.”
The Doctor drops a blueberry in his mouth as he looks out the window, the sunset nearly diminished. He then turns to the scrap of paper lying on the table, detailing the time and location of a meeting between Devlin and his crime lords. He ponders what the Wolf has said and wonders if tonight is the night where The Wolf runs free.