The World Outside These Walls: A Journal of the Natural World

ENTRY 4: It Is Dark and There Are Wolves

Anyone living who has ventured close to the old loading bay used for dead disposal runs has heard the above phrase blaring from speakers as the dead disposal drivers go about their business. It is one of many warnings meant to keep people from leaving the city. And while some of these recorded statements are assumptions (You will be stranded outside…to die.) and others outright lies (We have your best interests at Hart.) this statement falls most neatly amongst the half-truths. (R’lyeh has risen and Cthulhu is awake.)

First of all, let us take a moment to recognize the blatant hypocrisy of those who tell us nothing can survive on the surface warning us about wolves.
Second, it is not always dark. There are days when the clouds dissipate and the sun’s warming rays bring temperatures close to 0°! These days are often problematic for you below, as no clouds means that the lightning fueled half of the electrical grid is down, but perhaps if you knew the unparalleled beauty that exists on the surface, you would not mind the roaming blackouts so much.

Third, the outside is not full of wolves. Nor is every representative of Canis lupus a wolf. To date, I have only identified thirty individuals representing four separate packs. And these I have only ever seen at great distance as they seem wary of people. They do not even approach the mass graves to scavenge like I thought they would, and as of this entry, I have still not discovered what food source is able to support such a healthy population.

The one thousand seven hundred and six Canis lupi who prowl around the tower are not actually wolves at all, but wild dogs. These descendents of the animals our ancestors once kept as pets are now feral and viscous and do pose a threat to anyone unlucky enough to find themselves outside. However, as with much in the natural world, this danger brings with it opportunity, for in their DNA still resides those traits bred into them: recognition of humans, obedience to our wills, and a certain gentle stupidity that once made them a favored companion.

Don’t believe me? As it happens I have tamed the largest wild dog I could find. His name is Emerson. He stands four feet high at the shoulder, makes an excellent resting place for a water bucket, and will on command rip the genitals off an intruding raccoon or corporate auditor. Like I said, they make wonderful companions.

So the next time you find yourself seeing off a loved one as the journey forth into that great big hole in the ice, remember that it may be dark and there may be wolves, but not always.

 

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