Wolf: a wild carnivorous mammal of the canine family, living and hunting in packs. It is native to both Eurasia and North America, but has been widely exterminated. used in similes and metaphors to refer to a rapacious, ferocious, or voracious person or thing. A wolf is, by definition, wild, ferocious, rapacious. A mammal of superior intellect that never gives up, that is unafraid of death, that sings unto the moon the most beautiful songs. She runs on instinct. She runs on fumes She runs to survive But she is not afraid to die. Johanna's will is much stronger than her body. Crossing a frozen wasteland with no food in your stomach is harder than she thought it would be. All alone she sprints, eyes struggling to stay open in the wind as her limbs continue the interminable motion, burning as they propel the dark shadow across the white snow. She doubts how much longer she can last like this. Though the moon gives her incentive to keep going, it can't keep her alive forever. The worst part is the fact that she can't see far enough ahead of her to know if she's even heading in the right direction of the domed city. Her nose is runny and useless in this terrible weather and her paw pads are killing her. She's had ice stuck between them before, but it was never this bad. They were never numb like this. If Johanna had dared look down at the tundra below her for a second, she would have noticed her bloody paw prints. She will only watch where she is going. Nothing else matters. Not her heart pounding hard in her chest and not her ears that are unable to block out the screech of the wind. One paw in front of the other. That's all. She made it through the last moment of her life, she can live through this one and the next, every step is a goal accomplished as swift as the wind attempting to push her back. Until she saw it. Finally, after more than three weeks traversing this abominable tundra she's reached her goal at last! There it is...the next city, protected from the outside world with heaters, gates and an overhead dome that lets in the image of the sky, but not the temperature or snow. Those humans are spoiled rotten while she can hardly breathe in the biting air. Johanna growled under her breath, but miraculously picked up her pace, clearing the last stretch of snow between her and the resources to survive found in that city. ----------------------------- Sneaking inside was a cinch and Johanna immediately began searching for a heated manhole in an alley somewhere. Slinking along with the shadows, Johanna trotted along the edges of the city while most were asleep. The ice in her paws was starting to melt, but now she could feel the pain of the ice shards that had been cutting up the thin skin between her paw pads. Yes, he was a little worse for wear, but she grit her teeth and endured it. She'll find an alley soon...one with a nice dumpster for a snack and a manhole for warmth. Yes...that would suit her just fine until morning. Johanna found herself in the seedier part of town, which she knew was bad news because the last Hunters hang out in bars when they're not on the job. And their stupid hybrids are always prim and proper at their sides. Johanna's been lucky to escape these drunkards whenever she runs into them. The only reason she has trouble with them though is because she's alone. So she has to find more of her kind and for the last two years, well she's obviously found no new pack to join and no way to live comfortably on this wretched planet teeming with its plague: humans. It's been pretty lonely since her old pack was murdered in cold blood and she still has nightmares about that, unfortunately. She's a Lone Wolf. And she has to fix it. ------- Some cautious corner turns and alleyways later, Johanna found herself loping through a wide alley when a dark doorway opened loudly. Her nose was instantly bombarded by a cloud of smoke and the harsh smell of alcohol. She coughed a little, but picked up her pace, whimpering under her breath when a cut on her front right paw opened up and left a blood in her wake. Not good not good... "Woof!" Someone barked. No not someone...a hybrid. Things just got a ton harder! A trio of wolfdogs instantly gave chase, sniffing her out and ganging up on Johanna immediately. Their owners followed, rifles already backed by their raucous laughter. Johanna outran them for a little while, but didn't last long with starvation and slow paws hindering her so much...not to mention the dead end she was backed into. The three large males growled. One gray, one black and white and the last was a blonde color. All collared. Owned. Bloodthirsty. It was sick. They towered over her while the humans, red faced and rearing for some action, called to their pets. "Sick em boys!" They roared. Johanna snarled and attempted to leap up to the wall. With enough strength, she could push herself off the walls, side to side over and over until she'd be high above this madness. The humans would be too drunk to aim right and the hybrids wouldn't be able to follow well enough. Sore muscles tensed, ready to pounce and up she went as soon as they released like a spring, allowing Johanna to feel the air in her fur and her--- Sharp jaws snapped shut on the end of her tail, stopping her momentum mid-leap. Her blue eyes widened and she yipped before the gray hybrid slammed her to the ground, rendering her breathless and shocked. Two of her ribs were cracked and lying there, staring up at the blurry forms that would tear her to pieces, she knew she was as good as dead. After all this time, taken down by a bunch of dogs! They leaped for her all at once, slicing through her side, her leg, her chest...they were toying with her! ...Stupid wolf... ...Skinny female... ...Kill her yet...On account of her assailants being half-wolf, she could hear bits and pieces of their thoughts, not that she could pay attention between her whimpers and futile squirming to escape. Her claws slashed into them every so often when she kicked at them, but their jaws were stronger, spilling blood wherever they could find purchase on her body. Ragged bubbles of oxygen scraped down her throat as she struggled beneath them. Her main focus? Stay wolf. If she allows her body to shift to its weaker form in order to store energy, she won't only blow her cover, but the illusion of all the Shifter Wolves that survive among the humans on Earth. She was born a wolf and he will die a wolf damnit! Johanna glared at them, letting her anger build as they continued to teasingly destroy her body for the heck of it, until a ferocious growl tore from her throat and she made one last attempt to save her own life. Johanna pushed off of their legs, tripping two of them, before sliding far enough away for her to try to stand. The blonde one still had a grip on her though, so crimson slivers of flesh were ripped from her shoulder when she finally evaded their bloody maws with a last desperate, weeping howl to the distant moon. Swift as lighting, she weakly jumped over them and landed in front of the humans who pointed a pair of rifles right between her electric blue eyes. The hybrids circled behind her like sharks. Having had a taste of her blood which dripped from their snouts and smeared across the pavement, they were torn between loyalty to their masters and the instincts of the dormant wolves inside them. But they would let the humans get the kill. Cowards. Johanna stood proud, even as her legs shook, her right side bled from various wounds and her left ribs had her breathing too shallowly. Her paws left yet more bloody prints, marking the ground where she thought she would face death head on and snarling.