Twelve Years Ago
Eastern State Penitentiary. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Fuzzball Ortega stood in front of the desk as his possessions were returned to him. The guard then handed a clipboard with a paper attached. Fuzz signed the paper and handed it back to the guard.
"Congratulations," the guard said, "you're a free man"
A short time later, Fuzz found himself outside the prison walls. He looked to see a man in a black suit, complete with black bowler, carrying a satchel, walking towards him.
"Mr. Ortegavich," the man said, "or do you prefer the name you adopted when you came to this country?"
"Doesn't matter." Fuzz replied, "Who are you?"
The man smiled, "Doesn't matter. What does matter is that you are free." he opened the satchel and pulled out a piece of paper, "You're claim was that it was self defense."
Without any emotion, Fuzz replied, "It was self defense."
"Yes. You came to the aid of a woman being threatened by a man, he attacked, you defended, but at a cost." the man said, still smiling
"Nephew of the judge." Fuzz snorted as he started to walk away. The man followed
"Yes," the man said, "and you'd be happy to know that all record of this has been erased."
Fuzz stopped and stared at the man, "How? You manipulated time?"
The man chuckled, "No. Let's just say, with the right......persuasion....you're criminal record has been eliminated. You're safe to walk the streets and not be branded a criminal."
Fuzz looked the man over, listening to his pulse, trying to catch a scent of foul play, "Where were you three years ago when I was put in? And what do I have to do in return for all this?"
"All you have to do, is live your life. You owe us nothing." the man put the paper back in his satchel and tipped his hat to Fuzz, "Good day, sir."
The man walked away. Fuzz began to follow, then noticed a woman looking at him. She was tall, slender, with black hair and green eyes, and extremely beautiful.
"You must be someone very special." she said, "I mean, to have Pinkerton's to release you from prison."
"Pinkerton's?" Fuzz asked
"Detective agency." she explained, "Although there is rumor of a special branch that deals with some special, top secret missions. Someone there must really like you."
"Hmmph" was the only reply Fuzz gave.
She glanced at the points of Fuzz's ears, "Must've been hard being in there. I've heard werewolves aren't great at being in enclosed spaces."
Fuzz looked at the beautiful stranger, "Meditation. Who are you?"
The woman extended her hand, "Valerie Greene."
Fuzz looked at the hand, then back at the woman, "Fuzz."
"Oh, you're going to be a tough cookie." she said, smiling, "I like a challenge."
Twelve Years Later
Regency Hospital, Caledon
The matron led Fuzz down the hallway of the hospital. She could tell he hadn't slept, having hurriedly arrived in Caledon from Steelhead almost overnight.
"He was brought in a few days ago." she explained "He insisted on speaking to you. I hope there was no important business that you had to leave behind."
"No," Fuzz replied "I've just returned from overseas with Lady Eva and Doctor Mason. Afraid I haven't had the chance to start any other business."
The matron smiled, "We've heard all about the Fusang adventure." She motioned at the room at the end of the hall, "He's in there."
Fuzz walked in to find a large wolf laying on the bed, asleep. On each side of the bed, a normal sized wolf sat. Fuzz walked to the center of the room, and knelt on one knee in front of the large wolf. At one time, the large wolf was King Lycaon. Myths and legends differ on the events, but it was said Lycaon angered the being once worshipped as the god Zeus and was transformed into a wolf, and was responsible for the Lycan race.
As he bowed his head, Fuzz whispered to the matron, "What's wrong with him."
"He's dying." she replied.
Fuzz looked up, "What? How?"
The reply was from the large wolf, who was only able to speak slowly, taking breaths as it was becoming difficult for him to speak "I'm afraid........that time has finally......caught up with me."
Fuzz got up and walked closer to the old wolf, "Oh now, you defied odds this long, surely you can keep going to the next century."
"The longevity....." Lycaon said, "is also........part of......the curse........It's almost......time for...........me to........join my wife..........You..........are early........Fenris'......Bane."
"I got a message you needed to see me," Fuzz explained, "if my cousin wasn't recouperating from his change, I would've been here sooner, but I took the fastest airship......"
"Forgive me........it......has been.......too long......since......speaking......my birth tongue.......Return.......to the land......you have sworn.......to protect.......you are needed.....there.......When......you......are back......in these.......lands,.....we shall........talk......I must sleep.......now."
The large wolf closed his eyes and returned to his slumber. Fuzz bowed to the wolf then walked out of the room and whispered to the matron, "He's not the only one who needs sleep."
The matron smiled, "The doctor feels he doesn't have much longer before he passes away. Perhaps you should stay in Caledon."
"No," Fuzz replied, scratching his chin "he seems to know when the time is close. I'll do as he says and return to Caledon later. A return trip would be nice, been awhile since I've been here."
Fuzz said farewell to the matron and walked out of the hospital, too tired to have noticed the elderly gentleman in the steam powered wheelchair making his way to the matron. Without smiling, the matron greeted the gentleman and motioned for him to follow her, and the two went down another hallway of the hospital.
Steelhead City, Two Days Later
The earthquake had been quick. Fortunately, there had been no damages, aside from a few broken panes in some windows. The citizens started to thank their lucky stars, when it was discovered that the earthquake had caused the train to derail a few miles outside of town. There were many injuries, but no deaths. The ballroom was quickly converted to a temporary hospital as the injured were being taken care of.
"Where is Doctor Mason?" Mother Superior asked Lunar as he walked by.
Lunar turned and shrugged, "I have enough trouble keepin up with your boss." He quickly pointed up, "Not THE Boss. The one who wears a badge and grows fur."
Mother Superior smiled, "Sheriff Ortega should be returning from Caledon soon. He gave me his word."
"He gave me his word that he was going to rest in San Francisco. Instead, he wound up going to the Celestial Kingdom to rescue Hotspur."
"Next time," Mother Superior suggested, "try wearing a habit when he's giving his word."
Mother Superior walked off to help Sister Florence with an injured man. Katt walked up and handed Lunar a pile of bandages.
"Come along, Mayor Worrywart" she said, "Let's help these people out."
The two walked over to Angus GlitterRoch, who was conversing with Doktor Sweetwater and pointing at a little girl.
"Ye call this a serious injury?" He asked
"Eet vas vurse." Sweetwater said, "Much vurse."
"Angus," Lunar asked, "what's wrong?"
"Ach, the lass here said the little lassie was seriously injured." the green haired Scotsman explained, "But, as ye can see, she just has a few cuts here and there. Nothing serious."
"Any child that is hurt is a serious issue." Lunar said.
He looked at the little girl. She appeared to be approximately six years old with black hair. Her eyes, he thought, looked very familiar. As Katt pulled the child's hair back to see if there were more injuries on her, Lunar noticed the slight point of her ears.
"She's a quick healer," a female voice said, "just like her father."
Lunar turned around to see a beautiful woman with black hair and green eyes standing behind him.
"You." he said
"Hello, Lunar." Valerie Greene said, "How's Fuzz?"
To Be Continued
(Where we learn more of Fuzz's past with Valerie Green. A bit of why she's back in his life. Fuzz's true connection with the little girl. Oh yes, and Angelica returns)