Cynthia Quest Reporting
April 20th, 2013
This was an interview I didn’t expect, folks, so please hang with me. My schedule said interview at noon, but no name and now I understand why. Cynthia looked at the chair she had directed them into with shock.
Will he really let me print this?
Only one way to find out. Let’s get comfortable and have us a little chat with Dog, shall we?
Angela waited restlessly by the door, not sure if Adrian was making a good choice here. The camp already knew Dog was different, but to expose the wolf this way was...
“Let’s see… How do you like being a part of Safe Haven’s animal population?”
Cynthia waited eagerly for an answer, expecting paw stamping, but the wolf only looked back with a bored expression.
Cynthia turned to Angela. “How’s this supposed to work?”
Choosing to trust their leader. Angela waved toward the floor. “Get him out of that chair and he’ll show you.”
Cynthia motioned and the wolf immediately came to her side.
Staring into those golden eyes, the reporter was almost able to hear his answer.
“I have work to do. Ask something that matters.”
Cynthia blinked. “What.. um, what work do you do for us?”
Dog yawned tiredly. “I keep the ants away and make sure the others watch their posts.”
“The other Eagles?”
Dog snorted, slinging saliva onto her shoes. “The other workers.”
Realizing he meant the other dogs, Cynthia gaped at him.
Dog turned to Angela, who shrugged.
“I’m not sure either, but I trust him. Do you?”
Dog blinked once. “Yes.”
“Then we’d best get it over with.”
Instructed, Dog turned back to the reporter in resignation. “Next?”
Cynthia struggled to accept it, to speak. This had to be a cruel joke, right? Her mind flashed seeing Dog herding the ants and rats in the evening, without a trainer.
The reporter’s head snapped up.
“Do your job, or someone else will.”
Cynthia nodded, swallowing. “It’s… it’s just a lot to accept.”
Angela nodded. “Yes, but he wouldn’t have let you know, if you couldn’t be trusted.”
That woke the woman a bit, and she peered up at Angela with a frown of confusion. “Will he let the camp see this?”
“I have no idea.”
Sensing Angela was telling the truth, Cynthia blew out a snort. “Who am I kidding? Of course he won’t. This is just another test to screw with me.”
Dog yawned again, sitting down. “Will this take long?”
Amazed to feel insulted, Cynthia shook her head. “Five minutes.”
The wolf wined. “That long in here, with your smell?”
Cynthia flushed in real offense. “My smell? You’re the animal!”
Angela didn’t smile, but there was no mistaking it in her tone. “Your perfume is a bit… heavy on the nose.”
The reporter’s chin went up. “My mother wore it.”
“Was she a writer, too?”
Dog’s question sent pride into Cynthia, and made Angela wonder if it had been intentional.
“Yes, she was a famous reporter.”
Realizing she hadn’t gotten but one answer so far, the reporter forced her daze back and got to work. “Ok, um…How many pups do you have?”
It was a question she didn’t expect him to know the answer to, but Dog’s flash of hot eyes said it mattered to him. “One. Stillborn.”
Cynthia felt his pain. How could she not with that deep voice in her head? “I’m sorry.”
Dog sneezed again, but didn’t respond.
Cynthia pushed her brain into the moment, and felt that shark inside finally start to come back out.
“Do you know that the Eagles are different from the camp members, from me?”
“Yes. They carry the guns.”
“Do you know they consider you to be a tool?”
Dog seemed to grin at her. “I didn’t see the need to tell them differently.”
The reporter looked down at her mostly empty note page and realized she couldn’t record this interview. Her hand started scribbling, and the comforting motion let her relax the rest of the way.
“Why do you stay here?”
“Yes. I owe him a debt.”
“And when it’s paid?”
“I may go or stay. Nothing has been decided.”
“Why do you owe him?”
“He saved me from the brown coats.”
Cynthia frowned. “The brown coats?”
“Rangers.” Angela supplied. “He was supposed to be put down.”
“Ah, he rescued you. That does make a strong bond. What about Angela and Charlie? Are you bonded to them? If so, in what way?”
They were detailed questions for a mental conversation with a wolf, but Dog had answers to give. Unlike humans, he couldn’t lie.
“The woman and his pup are my family. Where he goes, they go. The same is true of me.”
Angela glanced at her watch, giving Cynthia a hint that the interview was about over.
For an instant, Cynthia was stumped for a question, and then the War flashed.
“Do you understand what happened? Why it all collapsed?”
“As much as I can. The greed of man became too much.”
Thinking that was close enough, Cynthia began to dig into the secret world of Safe Haven’s animal population.
“Are there others like you? That can…think?”
“All of them think, but no, none here are like me.”
“Any that are close?”
“Yes. The Dogs watch me. In time, they too may learn to communicate this way.”
“Do you like talking to people?”
“No.” Adrian’s scent went through Dog’s nose. “Except for the Alpha here. His mind is like mine.”
Meaning Adrian. Cynthia frowned, hand cramping from trying to keep up. “Do you talk to him a lot?”
“No. Only when he needs something.”
“Does it bother you that he treats you like a tool?” Cynthia guessed, not sure how many human emotions would apply.
Dog looked at her with golden eyes. “When he speaks, I am honored to listen.”
“Because he’s your Alpha too?”
“Yes, but also because he is the light.”
Dog sneezed again, and hefted himself to his feet.
Cynthia hurried to get in a few of the new questions that had just occurred. “Will you take a mate soon? The camp would love puppies.”
Dog glared balefully. “Then perhaps you should have them.”
His head went into the air as he padded for the flap. “I might consider you, if your scent wasn’t so ugly.”
Cynthia stared, mouth open. “What?”
Dog stopped to look back. “You destiny is also set. When it comes, don’t fight it.”
Angela and Cynthia stared after the wolf, neither of them speaking. That vivid intelligence was another sign of the future, the world that Adrian was trying to piece together from the ashes, and they were both drawn into the images. Camp animals that could communicate by thought…and then people.
Cynthia’s eyes flew to the doorway, only to find Angela gone. Why had she come with the wolf? Did she understand?
…was she like that, too?
"This is Safe Haven Refugee Camp. Can anyone hear me?
Hello? Is anyone out there?"
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