Death. Silent as death. It was so quiet it was like nothing lived here. But trees and undergrowth count as life. And forests hide all kinds of life, even new species.

And who really wants to take the time to explore every inch of a forest, especially now that every species ever seen has been documented? There couldn't possibly be a single species we've over looked… could there?

The daily news had arrived. I heard it ring the doorbell as I came up the stairs. I opened the door and picked up the little silver rectangle of metal.

I entered the kitchen and sat down on the table bench, setting the wretched thing in front of me.

"Would you like to hear today's news?" the silver box asked in a computerized voice.

"Yes." I watched as a screen rose from the box and lit up with a picture of a large forest surrounded on all sides by mountains. Then the voice of the recorded announcer filled my ears.

"It's July 18th of 2292. This forest is new to scientists. But as they were filming this new forest for study—" Suddenly a section of the forest burst into flames. "—this happened." Then a black shape rise from the trees and sped toward the mountains, disappearing a moment later. "That's all we have for now—"

"Oh, don't tell me you didn't notice that!" I opened the control panel on the box and rewound the recording. I watched the black shape rise and speed away again, and smirked.

"I knew it."

An alarm went off. Shit, I thought. Why do you have to go to work, even in the year 2292?

I sighed and told the news box to stand-by. Getting up, I looked around. Where was that cat? "Dagger!" I called.

The cat came around the corner, looking tired and annoyed. He opened his mouth wide in a yawn, displaying his white fangs. He looked up at me with white eyes, which contrasted brightly against his black fur and white paws. No, he wasn't blind; that was his natural eye color. Obviously he had been asleep for a while because he didn't normally stretch his black and white-streaked wings.

"Dagger, I'm going to get ready. Make sure that that wretched machine—" I pointed to the food processor behind me as I walked toward the cat, who I pet on the head without much bending since he was about the size of a large clouded leopard. "—doesn't go on the fritz again." And then I walked away to the bathroom.

It took me about 20 minutes to finish getting ready, even with all the electronic help because I take pride in my makeup and hair. I came back to the kitchen to find Dagger finish up breakfast.

"Your breakfast, Storm," he said, pointing to a plate of waffles and a fresh mug of hot chocolate-peanut butter (it's melted so its not so sticky and clumping). He leapt onto his own table and began to eat his own breakfast. I couldn't tell what it was, but Dagger obviously liked it.

I sat at the table, moving my tail out of the way…

Oh, did I mention I'm a Wolfia by birth?

Fun. History I've been trying to forget. But I'll talk about it for you. When I was born I looked completely normal; normal size, normal skin complexion, except for two things: silver and black wolf ears and wolf tail. Don't ask why they didn't see it on the ultra sound. They were stupid with horrible observation skills is what I always thought.


My mother took me in without much consideration about her unnatural baby, but my father had rejected me at first sight. That's why I never knew him; my parents divorced when I was about one year old. When I was ready to go into school, my mom refused me going to public school and home schooled me. I was never a very social person, anyway. But when I was sixteen years old my mother died in a car accident. Having no siblings and no other family I traveled to America (I was born and raised in England) and wandered the wildernesses of the continent alone, avoiding human civilizations.

While in the Rockies, I found Dagger. I had stumbled upon a small family of these cat-like creatures while wandering through the mountain cliffs in my second form; Wolfias can Transform from their semi-human form into a large wolf. My unique color pattern is mostly silver, with black patches on my muzzle, black on the front of both of my ears and a little on the back of my ears, some black on my back and sides, and some on my tail as well, with black paws. Dagger had been outcast from his group for some reason—he never told me why—and I felt I strong connection with the cat-like creature. I decided to take him with me and he never objected.

Only recently did I return to buy a house of my own. Being 21 and having almost no money whatsoever, it wasn't easy. But I managed a two-story house all the same…

Ah, enough depressing history. Back to the present!

As I sat down to eat I looked at the "news-cube." Hesitantly, I picked it up and told it to zoom in on the paused picture. A control panel for zooming the image appeared and I zoomed in on the black shape shooting from the forest. If I were a skeptic and normal looking, I would probably call the shape a large bird. But because I'm not normal and I believe in the supernatural, I dismissed the thought about it being a bird and focused on what I knew it was.

But how was I to go and investigate the damn forest if I didn't know exactly where it was? Bloody hell, I'd be wandering the mountains of the world for years!

Then the machine started up and showed the news reporter from before. How convenient, I thought.

"This just in. We have a location on the leading story today. It's in England, near the middle of the Grampian Mountain. Well, that's all for now." The machine fell silent.

How convenient.

"Dagger," I said, turning. That cat looked up from washing himself and cocked his head. "We're going to England."