It is a dark autumn night in Drake City. The sun has just set, and the industrial city is coming alive. The city natives are out mingling, some headed to work, others stirring up trouble. From a cold, dark alley connected to the main street, emerge the sounds of tussling and a dog yelping out in pain.
A gang of guys is jumping on an overgrown wolflike creature, a Lycan, a fur-laden creature who stands primarily on its hind legs. It is too small to be fully mature, a little muscular but a runt, really. Its fur is black and dirty brown, but that is obscured by being soaked in its own blood. The thing has been beaten to hell, has several broken bones, and is bleeding from its mouth, nose, and ears. The leader of the gang has pinned the Lycan against a trash can and has begun to choke the life out of him.
The leader whispers to the Lycan in a cocky tone of voice, “We’re going to make an example out of you, you overgrown mutt.” He pulls a bowie knife from his belt and holds it against bloodied Lycan’s neck. The Lycan, with a lifeless expression, eyes the pale man’s lips with his blurry vision.
The leader of the gang yells, “This is Drake City! You diseased, bottom-feeding, overgrown rats are not welcome here!” The rest of the gang continues to watch while cheering their leader on, obscuring the view of many curious bystanders passing by.
“I am going to cut you up into tiny kibbles and bits and mail your furry ass back to Puppyland where your own species will eat you without thinking. Mindless mammals you all are!” the leader exclaims with a sick, sadistic smile on his face. The Lycan looks in the leader’s shining eyes and, without hesitation, spits his own blood in his opponent’s face, sternly saying, “Do your worst...parasite!”
The leader, disrespected, rears back his hand wielding the bowie knife and then punches and breaks the Lycan’s jaw. The Lycan falls to the ground, writhing in pain. Knowing it would only hurt more to move, he stays as limp as possible. The gang’s leader wipes the blood off his face and tastes it. With a disgusted snarl and glare, he then begins giving the Lycan another vicious beating. The creature tries to scream, but moving its jaw is too much pain to handle.
“Dirty canine, I’ve tasted better pig’s blood!” the leader yells mockingly while his gang continues to laugh and cheer. “Blood Pack! Remember that in the afterlife, you worm!” the gang leader yells as he stops kicking the Lycan in its tender ribs and readies to sever its spine. He raises the bowie knife in the air with an evil laugh and shouts, “Goodbye, Lassie! It was fun!”
In a flash of light, the gang leader’s hand holding the bowie knife hits the ground in front of the Blood Pack’s grunt members. It is no longer attached to its owner. The Blood Pack’s members freak out, yelling.
The area quickly fills with a thick fog. The Blood Pack’s scared members peer through the fog and see two men coming towards them. The first one lunges at them as if he has been thrown. It is their leader. He lands on the underboss. He is in shock and is clutching the wrist where his hand once resided. The rest of the gang looks on at the second ominous man in the fog.
The man’s eyes begin to glow a deep purple, and an angry voice echoes from the fog. “Take your leader and go if you don’t want to end up like him.” Swiftly, they grab their leader, pull him out of the alley, and make their way up the main street, frightened and knocking pedestrians over. The beaten Lycan hears the commotion, peeks over, and sees a blur of a shadow man in the thick of the fog. The man walks towards the Lycan out of the fog, but before seeing his face, the canine creature blacks out.
A few days later, a man wakes up in a small, dark tent, lying on a small cot. He hears crickets chirping. He smells and hears crackling, burning wood. He lies there gathering his thoughts, feeling lost, light-headed, and starved. He then sits up, immediately feels a sharp pain in his ribs, and remembers the beating he took from the Vampyr gang.
The man gently lays a hand on his abdomen, anticipating pain, and feels some type of cloth. After examining the cloth closely, he realizes it is a bandage. He feels his legs. They as well are bandaged. The rest of him is naked. He has returned to his tiny, frail human form. Wondering where he got the bandages from, he remembers the man in the fog. He hears the crunch of light footsteps on foliage-covered grass, finds the tent opening, and peeks through it. He sees the dark woods lit up by a tiny campfire. A tall, shadowy figure feeds it more wood and then sits down on a stump in front of the fire. He hangs his head down and lets out a sigh of relief.
The man then quickly looks up at the tent. The Lycan inside becomes nervous. The hair on his tail and the back of his neck stands up, and he freezes up, hoping the tall man will forget about the tent. The tall man grabs something next to him, stands up, and slowly walks around the fire. The Lycan, fearful of what might happen, quickly jumps out of the tent, totally disregarding his injuries, and tries to confront the man.
“Ouch! Oh hell, that sucks!” The Lycan falls to his knees, writhing in pain. The dark, shadowy man quickly walks towards the Lycan, who, not knowing the man’s intentions, takes a swing at him and collapses. The man springs backwards, and in continuous pain, the Lycan yells, “By the Spirit!”
“You believe in that Mumbojumbo? Well, at least your jaw is back to normal,” the mysterious man says, bending down to assist the Lycan. “You need to rest. You haven’t healed all the way yet.”
The Lycan hears the concern in the man’s voice, and it angers him. He stands up, trying to see past the shadows, and realizes what happened before he blacked out. He yells at the mysterious man, “Why did you do it?”
The man, confused, replies, “What?”
“Why did you interfere?” the Lycan screams while growling.
The man thinks for a moment and then gives a tiny chuckle and states, “Because you were getting your ass beat?!”
The Lycan’s golden skin quickly sprouts fur, his face forms into a muzzle, and his limbs grow out as he transforms into his Lycan form and barks loudly at the mysterious shadow man, “I did not ask for your help! I can handle myself on my own!”
The shadowy man pauses for a moment, turns his head in confusion, and replies, “They were going...to kill you!”
The Lycan responds, “What’s it to you?!” He is too weak to fully transform and recedes to his man form.
There is an uncomfortable silence for a few moments. Even the crickets have stopped chirping due to all the yelling. But then the mysterious man begins shaking in anger. He breaks the silence. “You ungrateful shitbag!” he yells, balling his fists. “I had more important things to do than saving your nutty ass and nursing you back to health! My only family is in jeopardy and I take the time to help you, and it turns out you’re just a waste of time and flesh!” he says to himself, turning his back on the suffering Lycan. He throws the things he had prepared for the Lycan on the ground and runs off, disappearing into the thick of the woods.
The Lycan, after cooling off, thinks about what the mysterious man said. Being hard-headed, he dismisses the man’s words. While still in pain, the Lycan realizes how cold it is in the woods and walks towards the fire to keep warm. He steps on the thing the man had thrown to the ground. He picks it up, curious, and continues his path towards the fire. He sits on a hollowed-out log next to the fire, examining the object. It’s a bag. He opens it up and begins feeling around for what’s inside. He feels something mushy and warm. He smells blood and tastes it as well. There’s no mistake. He pulls out a fresh slab of cow meat.
The Lycan immediately devours the meat from a freshly butchered cow while huddling up to the fire as closely as possible. Even then, the autumn breeze gives him uncomfortable shivers and goose bumps. He is still too weak to turn Lycan and use his fur to keep warm.
He sets his sights back on the bag and sees that it is not yet empty. He loosens the tightly closed drawstrings and looks inside. It contains clothes: an old leather coat that belonged to a member of the Blood Pack judging by the insignia on the back, a newer pair of sweatpants, and beach slippers from about a century ago.
The Lycan quickly puts the clothes on. The sweats even have a hole for his tail. It makes him think about the mysterious man. Then he begins to think about his past and how in the last several years, no one has cared about him enough to salvage anything for him. He began to think of the loneliness he has endured all these years and suddenly regrets the things he said to the mysterious man.
Later on that night, back in Drake City, the recovering Lycan, in wolf form, stalks the mysterious man who seemed to be searching for something high and low, causing disruption in the area. The man has asked around of some of the more friendly locals and even interrogated some of the lowlife city gang member grunts.
The Lycan, waiting for the perfect moment to reveal himself, follows the mysterious man nonstop from roof to roof, from basement to basement, catching only darkened glimpses of his face. The mysterious man shows no signs of slowing until he stops on the roof of a building to scope out a very popular Blood Pack hangout below, on the outskirts of the city. That is when the Lycan chooses to reveal himself, but before he can, the mysterious man calls him out of hiding.
“Had a funny feeling I was being followed,” the man says out loud while watching the Vampyr grunts below party and dance to the loud, catchy music.
The Lycan steps into the light, surprised, and asks, “How did you know?”
The mysterious man replies, “Your footsteps are kind of heavy. Don’t think you’re fully healed.” The mysterious man slightly turns his head over his shoulder and asks, “Why are you following me?”
The Lycan looks at the man sternly and responds, “I’m not a waste of flesh, asshole.” The mysterious man chuckles and redirects his attention to the Vampyrs below. “And I’ve come to help make up for some lost time I caused you,” the Lycan continues.
The man yells back, “It was my choice! I do not need your help!”
Frustrated, the Lycan quickly replies, “Really? Is that why you’ve been running around incoherently searching everywhere? Interrogating everyone with no real leads, no clues, because you don’t need help? If I were you, I’d take all the help I could get. This is a big city, and I bet you haven’t covered ten percent of it.”
The mysterious man hangs his head, ashamed of his progress, and responds, “You’re one to talk about help. So what do you want for your help?” He chuckles, “For me to end you?”
The Lycan steps forward, smiles, and quickly replies, “I can smell someone from a mile away.”
The mysterious man laughs as he jumps off the roof ledge. The Lycan runs over to the ledge and watches the mysterious man drop into the middle of the crowd of Vampyr gang members
Most of the Vampyr are too drunk to notice the mysterious man wearing combat gear and a hood over his face. He yells to get their attention, but no one can hear him over the loud music. The mysterious man becomes aggravated and blasts the stereos with lightning from his hand. The music stops, and all attention is directed towards him. He sweeps back the hood, revealing his face. He is a young, deep dark brown male with a wide nose and thin lips. His charcoal-colored hair is short and curly and seems to wave in one direction. He has a serious look in his coffee-colored eyes, a look as if he is ready to kill or be killed.
“A woman went missing from Old District about five nights ago! I’ve asked around this city for answers, and everyone seems to point their fingers at the infamous Blood Pack!” he yells. Some of the drunker gang members respond with cheers at the young man’s somber speech. He grabs one of the gang members swiftly, shocks him severely, and drops him.
“Anymore bloodsucking assholes want to interrupt me?” the man yells, surrounded by the crowd looking at their peer unconscious, smoking on the ground. “Now all I need is a name, and you all can go back to enjoying your miserable bloodsucking lives!” the mysterious young man continues.
“Not if you destroyed the tunes, man!” one drunk and disgruntled gang member yells, trying to be humorous.
The young man clenches his teeth, grabs the gang member grunt by the collar, cocks his right hand, and readies to give him a lightning-charged punch to the face when the member quickly sobers up, signaling no to the young man, frightened. “Blaine!” the grunt yells.
“What about him?” the young man replies aggressively. “If anyone knows about taking humans from that village, it’s him!”
The Vampyr grunt quickly squeals, fearing for his life. The young man drops him and walks away from the party towards the least populated street. The Lycan jumps down and follows the young man.
After catching up, the Lycan asks the young man, “You want my help or not?”
The man looks at him, smirking, and replies, “Can you smell the name Blaine?” trying to imply that the Lycan is useless in this situation.
The Lycan responds, “No, but I can smell Blaine.”
The young man stops, turns, and looks at the Lycan. “You can smell Blaine?”
“Yes!” the Lycan responds.
“How?” the young man asks.
“Well, let’s see. Well, I’m a Lycan! Oh yeah, and I am a Lycan,” The Lycan responds sarcastically.
The young man says, “No, I mean how? Like, have you come in contact with Blaine?”
“Yes!” the Lycan answers.
“How and when?” the young man asks quickly, anxious to hear the answer.
“Blaine is the guy you stopped from killing me,” The Lycan responds.
The young man lunges back, surprised, and immediately becomes angry. He punches the building they are beside, cracking the concrete wall and injuring his hand. “Damn it!” he yells.
“You have serious anger issues!” the Lycan says jokingly.
The young man turns to the Lycan, gives him an evil stare, and walks towards him as if ready to hurt him. “Do you think this is a game?” the man says while gritting his teeth. Eyeing the Lycan, he continues to advance aggressively.
“No!” the Lycan answers, stepping cautiously backwards.
“It’s been five days…five days since they came and took Marie!” the young man yells. “Three of which I have wasted nursing you back to health! The others I’ve worked, all the way up right now!” He rambles while the Lycan stops backing up and takes more of a hostile stance towards the young man. “If you’re going to help, then help! The last thing I need is funny little comments and remarks,” the young man yells, coming face to face with the Lycan.
“OK, I’ll ask again. Do you want my help or not?!” the Lycan asks sternly while looking the young man in his fired-up eyes.
The young man replies, “Yes! Now, please lead me to him.”
“I can but I can’t,” the Lycan replies quickly. The young man, ready to give the Lycan an earful, swells up with anger, but the Lycan stops him. “Hold on, macho man; hear me out!” The Lycan begins his explanation. “Blaine is probably somewhere far on the other side of the city, judging by his faint smell. We could run there, but even then, by the time we reach him, the sun would already be out.”
The young man calms down a little after hearing this but is still anxious about the situation. “So what do you want me to do? Wait until tomorrow?” he asks while balling his bloody fist, eager and anxious.
“Yes,” the Lycan answers in a way that puts the young man at ease.
“What do you have in mind?” the intrigued young man asks, raising an eyebrow.
“I know the building where Blaine and his branch of Blood Pack sarcophagi are,” the Lycan says, giving the young man a smile. The young man smiles back but still shows some concern for his family member. “Look,” the Lycan continues, “during the day we can’t get into the building because it’s bolted shut, but the moment they leave, you can capture Blaine and ask him whatever it is you need to ask him.”
The young man nods. “OK! Sounds like a plan!”
The Lycan laughs and replies, “Does it?”
“Yes, it does,” the young man responds.
The Lycan steps back in relief and says, “Good, because a second ago you looked like you wanted to bite my head off.”
“Well, you’re the Lycan!” the young man replies comically while giving the Lycan a serious look.
“Ace,” the Lycan says, revealing his name while sticking his hand out, gesturing for a friendly handshake.
The young man accepts the handshake and responds, “Anarchious.”