(Note: Before we get started, I need to say that right now, we're in the middle of switching out computers so I can't guarantee a new chapter every day.)
Part 1: The Beginning of the End
Chapter 1: Humphrey's Return
No one could believe what they were seeing. Everyone stared in disbelief as Humphrey stood before them. It wasn’t possible. Humphrey was dead. He had been for seventeen years. But there he was, right before their eyes. And Stinky’s nose never lied.
However, it didn’t look like the Humphrey they remembered. He had multiple scars all over his body, all from knife wounds. On his face, his chest, his shoulders, his back, and his sides. He had a claw mark scar on his shoulder too. He also walked with a limp and looked like he’d been through hell and back three times over. But the most surprising thing was that he bore the mark of the Crimson Pack on his face.
Kenya was the first to break the silence as she realized that her brother was, in fact, alive.
“Humphrey!” she shouted, running toward him. She tackled him to the ground with joy.
Kate soon arrived back from patrol and was surprised to see such a large crowd. It was only after the crowd began to part, did she see why they were gathered there. Kenya and Humphrey stood up as they noticed Kate approaching. Kate and Humphrey locked eyes and there was complete silence as they looked at each other for the first time in years. Kate stared at Humphrey, her mouth open in shock.
“Humphrey?” she said.
“Hi, Kate,” he replied.
Kate rushed over to Humphrey and the two lovingly nuzzled for a moment before Kate began asking the question that was on everyone’s mind.
“Humphrey, h-how are you-“ she started but Humphrey cut her off, as he had much more pressing thoughts on his mind.
“Later,” he said. “I promise I’ll explain everything, Kate. But right now, I have disturbing news that you all need to hear.”
Everyone looked at Humphrey, wondering what could be worse than what they had already been through.
“I’m afraid your struggle has only begun,” Humphrey said.
“What do you mean?” Stinky asked.
“Your success against the Crimson Pack has drawn the attention of their true leader,” Humphrey explained, “The General, the man who almost killed me seventeen years ago. He, in turn, enlisted the help of a murderous human by the name of Viggo Thanatos.”
“Awesome name,” Jonas said.
“Well I think it’s lame,” Jax replied. “What kind of name is Thanatos?”
“It means ‘bringer of death’,” Humphrey said, “and this is no joke. Viggo is a professional wolf hunter. He will not hesitate to kill all of us in the blink of an eye. Especially us.”
“Why?” Kate asked.
“That story is too long to tell right now,” Humphrey told her. “Just know that I speak from experience when I say that he goes to extreme measures to get the job done. So, don’t think that anything less than extreme measures will stop him. He kills without pity or mercy. But there’s something else. Something that could be far worse.”
“What could possibly be worse than a psychotic wolf hunter?” Runt asked.
“There’s another man who may be even more dangerous than Viggo. He’s destroyed hundreds of packs and killed countless wolves over the years,” Humphrey explained. “He is the most dangerous human in Canada and maybe even the world and he will kill anyone who stands in his way.”
“Does he have a name?” Adam asked.
A cold wind suddenly blew through the valley and sent chills down the spines of everyone present.
“I’ve heard that name before,” Stinky said. “He’s the leader of the Crimson Pack.”
“You mean Robert?” Humphrey asked.
“Apparently,” Runt replied.
“Let me be clear to all of you,” Humphrey warned. “He has earned his name. There may not be a single pack in all of Canada who hasn’t heard of this man. Many are too afraid to even say his name. We have never, in the history of this pack, faced anything like this before. We are now in uncharted territory. Viggo will no doubt be coming for us and we must be ready for anything.”
“Humphrey, why is he coming for us?” Kate asked. “What happened to you out there? Why didn’t you come back?”
“I wish I could answer your questions, Kate,” Humphrey replied, “really, I do. But we have no time for that right now. We must get ready for when Viggo comes for us.”
“Are you that certain he’s coming?” Kenya asked him.
“Like I said,” Humphrey continued, “he is a ruthless killer and he will stop at nothing until we are all dead. Viggo is as relentless as they come. You want my advice; never underestimate him. He is a master at deceiving his enemies into doing what he wants. We cannot defeat him through strength of mind, which means it will take everything we’ve got to get the upper hand and stop him, once and for all. The second he’s able to get ahead of us, it’s game over.”
Humphrey’s return the Western Pack marked the beginning of a long struggle against Viggo, one that wouldn’t end without terrible consequences.