Chapter 6:

Wolf as in Wolfgang

A Moribund Hero

Wolf sighed and leaned against the rust-stained metal wall, next to the studded metal cell door of the room where Leon lay. His mind was recapping the moment they had discovered the man.Bookmark here

Lucy had swiftly left her tank to scramble up the valley bowl to check on him. He had followed. As soon as he saw Leon's bald head and ghostly pale skin, he knew he was another biodefect. It was likely his magic that stopped the attack on Lucy. But why?Bookmark here

He frowned at the nagging question. Why did that biodefect expose himself to save her? Something didn't feel right about the whole thing. The man felt like a harbinger of bad times to come.Bookmark here

The door shortly opened and Butcher stepped outside.Bookmark here

"Wolfgang." Butcher acknowledged Wolf's presence.Bookmark here

"Doctor." Wolf acknowledged Butcher's presence.Bookmark here

Butcher sighed. "Lucy brought home another stray."Bookmark here

Wolf nodded and grumbled. "I thought she kicked that habit. Guess I can't blame the lass. The lad did save her life."Bookmark here

"Well, he's stable for now. I'll check on him in an hour. He should be free to go by then," Butcher said, and turned to leave. His shoes made clonking sounds on the galvanized corridor floors as he walked away.Bookmark here

Wolf returned to his leaning spot. A short while later, the door opened and Lucy entered the corridor. She stared up at her burly, muscly, beefcake, squad partner.Bookmark here

"Thought you were going to trim the bushes," she lightly joked at the expense of Wolf's dense, black, bushman beard covering his broad chin.Bookmark here

It was the most hair on his body, since his head was shorn close to his scalp. There were a few nicks and scars across his high cheekbones, but not enough to draw too much attention. His small gray eyes were softened by the fine laugh lines to the corners. The right stud on his earlobe was his symbol for all sorts of other trouble.Bookmark here

His long-sleeved white shirt was rolled up to the elbows. Complimented with a bottle-green vest hanging over his jeans and leather utility belt. Heavy, steel cap and buckle boots made him taller. He was naturally tall, being at six feet.Bookmark here

Regardless, Wolf was Lucy's kind-hearted big brother. The only other person she would stick her neck out for.Bookmark here

Wolf responded with a wry expression. "How's the hotpot?"Bookmark here

"Still kicking. I mean, he's definitely that fire mage, a biodefect and all. But Butcher said his magic days are done, 'cause he used up most of his reserves, and well." She nervously toed the floor.Bookmark here

"Well?" Wolf's eyes narrowed with suspicion.Bookmark here

"I registered him as my pet." She crouched low, waiting for Wolf's rant.Bookmark here

"Lucy! Didn't yah learn yah lesson from last time?!" Wolf groaned and eased his tension with a sigh.Bookmark here

Regardless of what the man was, he still saved Lucy's life. So, he'll give him a chance.Bookmark here

"Fine. But yah responsible for him. Yah be the one to explain him to Avril."Bookmark here

Lucy raised her head, grinning with gratitude. It further softened Wolf's expression.Bookmark here

"Lass, ain't yah worried he might run away like that Rabbit?"Bookmark here

Her grin dropped and was replaced with a pout. "Rabbit's just having some me-time. She'll be back."Bookmark here

"Whatever helps yah sleep at night." Wolf changed the subject. "We need to find yah a gunner, 'cause can't have a repeat of what happened. Yah lucky a fire mage saved yah ass."Bookmark here

Lucy screwed up her face. "Pfft. Try convincing one to join us. Every time a person finds out we're Squad42, they run off. But, I have an idea for a gunner."Bookmark here

Wolf frowned, feeling he wasn't going to like what she was mulling over.Bookmark here

Beeping from their utility watches disrupted their conversation and drew their attention to the flashing, incoming call.Bookmark here

"Ma'am," Wolf answered his call.Bookmark here

A digital image of an older woman appeared before them. "Report back to base with the biodefect. I want a full report."Bookmark here

The image disappeared.Bookmark here

Wolf stared at Lucy. "Yah telling her."Bookmark here

Lucy groaned. "She's cranky."Bookmark here

"Yah still telling her."Bookmark here

Lucy's groan was louder, but Wolf wasn't going to let her off the hook. If their squad leader, Avril, wanted a full report, Lucy had to be the one to give it.Bookmark here

"Yah make yah bed, yah lie in it." Wolf crossed his arms over his chest.Bookmark here

Lucy huffed and strutted down the corridor. Wolf glanced at the door. The room beyond it was silent. He shook his head and followed the path Lucy had made. Pellet poop was about to hit the fan and make it go flying, that was for sure.Bookmark here

An hour later, they returned to Leon with Butcher, who gave Leon a once over and a prescription of pills.Bookmark here

"Blood capsules. Take two a day at the time you would need to replenish." Butcher nonchalantly handed Leon a metal pocket-sized canister.Bookmark here

Leon pulled out a round, dark ball. It was squishy to touch.Bookmark here

"The canister and capsules keep the blood fresh with the right dosage to balance your oxygen levels. So don't worry about expiration. There's enough in there for three months. See me for more when you run out. I'll put it on Lucy's tab."Bookmark here

Leon placed the ball back in the canister and sealed it tight. "Is the blood?"Bookmark here

"Goats, rats, foxes, and other small creatures. The blood you received was from the goats I prepared for the camp's dinner the other night." Butcher reassured Leon.Bookmark here

"How is it that you know about my condition?" Leon asked.Bookmark here

"I'm a doctor. It's my job to know," he answered with a tone that indicated he wasn't going to humor any more questions on the matter.Bookmark here

Leon gratefully thanked him for the medicine.Bookmark here

"Should stop you from thinning out the herds." Butcher chuckled.Bookmark here

Once Leon was dressed, he followed Wolf and Lucy out of the camp infirmary.Bookmark here

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