Dr. Wolf: One More Time

The light from the hearth’s roaring flame contends with the shadows creeping across Dr. Wolf’s townhouse walls, much like the war that is happening in Dr. Wolf’s mind. The Wolf and the Man go round and round, gaining and ceding ground in the Doctor’s conscience. The endurance of a wolf, however, can eventually eat away at the resolve of a man.
Dr. Wolf: One More Time

The last time we saw our contemplative and dashingly bearded doctor, he was mulling over the morality of vigilante justice. In this meditative storm he’s contending with a sinister voice, advocating within his thoughts to let go and give in to the full embrace of the Wolf…

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The light from the hearth’s roaring flame contends with the shadows creeping across Dr. Wolf’s townhouse walls, much like the war that is happening in Dr. Wolf’s mind. The Wolf and the Man go round and round, gaining and ceding ground in the Doctor’s conscience. The endurance of a wolf, however, can eventually eat away at the resolve of a man.


“It would only take one more time,” reasons the Wolf, “one more time to really rid this city of this cancer. One more time so that the good people of Cremouth could raise their heads once more. One more time so that they can live in peace.”


“One more time?” mused the Doctor, “One more time becomes the cry for you forever and ever. You will never stop. It will always be one more time. Besides, if we give Develin what he deserves, there will always just be another.”


“But cutting the head off of the snake may kill it, and send a message to others that snakes are not welcome in Cremouth. Anyways, it is worth the effort. Doing nothing while evil abounds is just as bad as doing evil yourself,” answers the Wolf slyly.


The Doctor looks over towards the fireplace. The cane is leaned against the brick, the flames glinting off of the wolf’s head handle. Dr. Wolf reaches for the cane…


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Develin stands in front of the massive bay window of his mansion in the aristocratic part of town. It was quite a gaudy building, and being positioned in the middle of the city meant that the property value was astronomical, but Develin had both the money and the power to obtain this sort of living situation.


Develin understood that the townspeople hated him. He understood that almost everyone, his colleagues and the townspeople alike, knew about his “business dealings.” His colleagues didn’t care, most of them being crooks of some form or fashion themselves. The townspeople didn’t understand that he wasn’t a monster, he was simply ahead of the curve. Surely if he didn’t do it, someone else would. It was only a matter of time, might as well be him.


The true monster is out there on the prowl. Develin finally had control of the city's notorious crime lords and had brought them together as instruments of the state. Develin had brought order to chaos, but someone didn’t see it that way. Someone was dismantling this order with premeditated gruesome murder. They took Develin’s instrument of the state and dismantled it. This would not do. Order was for the greater good. Develin could not restore order if he was dead, so Develin had organized a security team from the remnants of the syndicates. 


“When the monster comes for me I will be ready,” thinks Develin to himself, as he wipes off his prized shotgun. The wood stock and pump on the gun is made up of a bright orangish/red padauk wood, with silver and gold accenting. The barrel stretches out to 24 inches, an appropriate length for such a fine hunting shotgun. His typical ammunition has been replaced by a stronger load, propelling silver buckshot. Develin wasn’t one to be superstitious, but these were strange times. 


Develin’s train of thought stopped when he heard a wolf howl pierce the night.


Develin typically took this gun out hunting foxes with his friends in the Parliament, but tonight he would use it to hunt a wolf…


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Mark is a plain name, as are his features and intelligence. The best word that could describe Mark is average. You wouldn’t notice him in a crowd, you wouldn’t notice him in the pub. And that’s what drove him to join up with one of the local crime lords. “I won’t ever be overlooked again,” thought Mark as he pledged himself to the operation. 


Currently, Mark’s decision seems to have paid off for him, not as he had expected though. One night when Mark was at the pub, his boss was mauled by the Wolf that was prowling about town, or that was the story anyways. Mark didn’t believe in that though. Cremouth’s criminal empires were always nipping and biting at each other. Mark didn’t see Develin’s criminal consolidation plans working out in the end, the syndicates’ rivalries and histories were too much to overcome. This whole “wolf” thing was just the gossip associated with a new and relatively vicious hitman that hadn’t been named yet. That’s all. Someone new to the business making their mark and covering their tracks at the same time. The only mystery to Mark was who’s “wolf” he was, as it seems to have struck at the heart of every major crime family in Cremouth.


Anyway, the incident with his boss was fortuitous, as he was thrilled to be selected to serve on Develin’s security detail. He may disagree with his ideas, but the position was prestigious and that was that. Mark’s mother couldn’t claim that his brother’s employ was grander anymore. Develin ran Cremouth and Mark was his security. Checkmate.


This thought warms Mark’s cold bones as he begins his rounds walking around the mansion. It’s cold, but not too bad for a Cremouth night and Mark is thankful it isn’t raining.


“AHHHHHHHHHH…”


Screaming cuts through the night. Mark runs around one side of the mansion towards the direction of the sound, just in time to see a fellow guard flying through the air and crashing into the rod-iron fence. Mark runs over to check on the guard. His flesh was cut to ribbons with a massive gash across his chest.


Meanwhile the screaming continues. Mark looks over as a guard is carried off into the shadows by some creature with bright yellow eyes.


Mark is a plain man. Plain looks, plain intellect, plain strength. And plain courage. And plain courage just wouldn’t do with The Wolf on the loose.


Mark turns and flees.


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Develin hears the crash, as the front door is torn off the hinges and thrown through the house. The skirmish continues through the foyer as guards are caught off guard by the pure savagery of the beast that has invaded the mansion. Develin’s panic was beginning to creep into his heart, then interrupted by a gunshot that he hoped found its mark. Less than a half-second later, the hope is dashed as the stray bullet flies through the floor and into the roof. 


Develin braces himself, pointing his shotgun at the door. The trouble with shotguns is that, even with such a fine specimen as Develin’s, craftsmen still haven’t found a way to eliminate the rattle caused by tolerances allowed for the pump’s mechanism. Thus, Develin’s shotgun rattles as Develin’s whole body shakes in fear. Second by second the scratching, shooting, clawing, screaming, and growling grows closer and closer. 


Finally the cacophony of sound ceases. Develin hears the sounds of footfall moving down the hallway. Develin raises his shotgun toward the door, preparing to shoot whatever beast walks through the door. The footfalls have grown silent. Suddenly, The Wolf tears through the wall rushing into Develin, taking him by surprise. Develin fires the shotgun wildly, before dropping the weapon. The Wolf’s tackle pushes Develin to the wall and the beast advances on the shrinking figure in front of him. Develin realizes he is cornered by the Wolf.


The Wolf extended a claw, stabbing into Develin’s chest, hooking his collarbone. The Wolf then raises Develin off of his feet, bringing him to eye-level.


“Please, please we can work something out,” cries Develin, weak from the bloodloss.


“You have nothing I want,” growls the Wolf, “except for your life. Now these people can live without fear.”


“Without fear of me, but what about fear of you,” questions Develin.


The Wolf snarls as he throws Develin through the mansion’s bay windows. Develin fell through the night crashing to the ground below. The Wolf jumps through the window landing next to the lifeless body of Develin. The beast sniffs the man, confirming tonight’s objective has been met. The Wolf throws back his head, howling at the moon in triumph until…


“FFFFFFFFFTTTT”

A sharp, piercing pain explodes in the Wolf’s shoulder. The Wolf stumbles around, it’s muscles refusing to move. The Wolf licks the wound. 


“An exotic tranquilizer,” thinks the Doctor, as the arrow falls to the ground. The Wolf’s body falls forward, mid-transition into Dr. Wolf. 


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A cloaked figure steps forward out of the shadow to examine the body, as town police run into the mansion to assess the damage and search for survivors. The figure rolls the body over. It was the town doctor, lying incapactated on the ground. A cultist, an extremist, a foriegn agent would have made this case easier. Now things have grown more complicated.


The Marksman walks over to the chief of police to collect his fee, and turns to head back to the inn. This was not over, in fact, it has just begun.

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