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Vulpes

I stood watching silently, eyes straining, ears perked, on the roof of the Melrose Hotel, the swankiest joint in town. It was a nice evening to another day of hiding who I was while also helping those who the police didn't see. A mother and daughter crossed the street at I thought of my pack. "You have to move slowly until you can hear the animals heart, and then jump all at once to begin the chase." Sage, the alpha female, whispered to me, I did as she said and on silent feet approached the herd of elk. My attention was divided between where I set my feet and the slow distant beat of an elks heart. As the sound grew stronger I turned to Sage, she nodded and I charged the elk. Startled the animals cried out, though I couldn't understand them. As the elk ran my brothers, sisters, and I chased, I barely kept up. This was my first hunt, I had never been allowed on hunts before, because I was, well, human. This memory of my first hunt led to another, the day I was taken. It was a day like any other in the den, it was summer, so the pups that had been born in the spring were now nearly big enough to learn to hunt. I had just arisen from my nest in the den as my brother Pine had poked me awake, as he wanted to go hunt squirrels. We set out towards the clearing where the most squirrels were chattering. As we entered the clearing Pine turned hearing twigs snapping nearby, we scented the wind and smelled them, humans. I had lost my human scent long ago when I was a baby, and these humans sounded close. I turned to Pine who whispered "Run!" we turned and sprinted but not before I saw them. I has seen other humans before like the rangers, but never at this close a range. As pine and I ran I heard them pursuing us, there was a clicking sound and then a sharp pain in the shoulder. I kept running but suddenly I felt tired, I stumbled, and was falling. When I hit the ground Pine, scared and desperate, turned and I told him to go. That was the last time I saw any member of my pack, and the last time I was home. "This is why it's hard" I thought, "because I'm still hardwired to live in the wilderness and defend my family, but instead I'm here in the city and I don't even know where home is." I sat for a moment longer remembering and then thought to myself " But that's why I do it, that's why I help them because now the people of this city are my family." I then returned to watching the girl and her mother walking alone down below on the sidewalk. And I looked down just in time, a man was approaching too fast and sinister, I smelled alcohol on him. He approached the mother daughter pair, and that's when I saw it, a gun. "Come now Vulpes," I heard Sage's voice whisper in the back of her head "you must protect your family." Then I turned ran to the edge of the building and jumped.



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