• Published 3rd Feb 2020
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The Howlite Howler - JNKing



A White Wolf must escape Equestria after killing an abusive pony

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Chapter 1: Into Equestria

I used to trust masters. I didn’t have that much knowledge of the outside world, but I knew that the master was the parent. The protector. The guardian against the cold and the outside.

My memories of my early life are few and with little clarity, but what little I remember involved a human. A female that had found me, freezing and starving in the cold snow. She rescued me; took me to a warm den with food and medicine.

She wasn’t my mother. We were too different in appearance; she had opposable thumbs and digits? I had paws. I had sharp teeth? She had dull teeth. Where she could remove an outer fur layer, mine was rooted to my body.

But none of that mattered to me: when the human fed me by hand, stroked my head and whispered words of love and encouragement, I knew: this was my master. My parent. The one person I could trust in the whole wide world. And it was my duty to watch over her: to protect her when she was in danger. To run and play with her when she was happy. To nuzzle her when she was lonely. To be, in essence, her best friend.

But then a day came when the master was taken from me.

The day I was brought here.

It seemed like such a normal day at the time. The Master was taking me on a walk through her territory. Great trees stretched into the sky above us, and the air was thick with the minty coolness of the coming winter. I couldn’t see the blue sky; it was concealed behind morose gray clouds. Master gave the clouds a cautious look, but her voice assured me we had nothing to worry about. So, I had confidently trekked forward on the forest trail we always used, stretching the lead that connected me to Master as far as it allowed, and invested myself in the scent of prey.

But as the walk wore on, the clouds darkened, giving the illusion of night. Rain began to fall, gently at first, but slowly growing faster. A drop whipped a leaf off a branch, and the leaf smacked into my nose with a burst of pain.

I looked to Master. She was giving the clouds a worried look as well. I nosed her with a whimper, but Master pat my head.

I did not fully understand the strange words she used, but I could understand the meaning behind them: “Time to get to safety.”

We turned around, and went for home. The drops fell faster, hitting my back and sides. Our walk turned into a run, Master shielding her head from the storm. I longed to give her the white fur across my body, if it kept her dry. But such a thing was impossible, so I instead strove to escape the downpour and return to the warmth and food of home.

But as we began to leave the trees behind for the stone dens of human homes, the dark sky lit up with streaks of gold.

Danger! I thought with horror. I had seen these golden streaks before; they hurt my eyes to watch, and were always followed by loud, painful noises. Sure enough, the BOOM of thunder soon followed. I froze, my tail tucking and a whimper escaping my throat.

Master spun, cupping my head in her hands and subtly tugging me forward.

“Don’t stop,” her words conveyed. “Keep moving for home!”

But as another ear-splitting BOOM shook the pavement underneath us, my heart slammed in my chest, and I flattened myself to the ground, crying out in fear.

Master clenched her teeth, even as her eyes shined with a sad light. She looked through the concealing mist the downpour was becoming, and sighed. Entwining her arms around me, she hefted me up like a barrel. With slow, tottering steps, she set out for home.

I yelped again. Shame battled my fear. I was forcing Master to struggle because I couldn’t handle lightning? I considered trying to squirm loose and relieve Master of the burden… when all the hair stood up along my back.

Master seemed to sense it to. She tried to throw me away from her, but she wasn’t fast enough. As I left Master’s arms, she saw one of the golden streaks coursing down towards us.

My last thought as a normal wolf was, “Am I about to die?”

#

Shiva looked around the cell before crossing her arms. “I didn’t,” she admitted. “But I kinda wish I did.”

Twilight narrowed her eyes, a quill scratching words down on parchment.

“Keep going,” she prompted. “Where did you end up?” Her ears perked before Shiva could say. “Was it in the Ever-Free? I noticed a shockwave come from there a few days back. Were you at the core of it? Where did you wake up?”

Shiva glared at her. “Do you want to know, or do you want to drown me with questions?”

The guards stomped their hooves again, but Twilight waved them off.

“Small note,” the unicorn added. “Sarcasm isn’t going to help you here.” She motioned. “Now keep going.”

Shiva rolled her eyes with a grimace.

#

I wasn’t dead. Not yet, anyway. But as my eyes fluttered open, I knew something was different. And wrong. Very wrong.

For starters, I wasn’t in Master’s territory. There were trees all around me, but gnarled and with a strange smell. Nothing like the oak trees that surrounded my original home. The rain continued, but at a much gentler rate than the storm I had been in.

But the biggest shock for me came when I rolled to my paws.

Or rather… claws.

I had to look twice to see it. My front paws had changed; instead of simple legs designed for running, they had changed into arms. My nails extended into clawed fingers, and my dew claw was extended into an opposable thumb. The pads were still there on my palm, allowing me to stand on all fours. And to be fair, when I stood on four legs, I managed to look mostly like how I had been. But I was equally capable of standing on two legs. And when I stood on two legs, that's when the changes became more obvious.

My heart rate increased. I panted, my tongue lolling out of my mouth as I checked the rest of my body. Aside from the new arm/front leg hybrids, the rest of my body seemed mostly unchanged. My pelvis and hips were a little different – likely all the better to let me stand as a human…

Human!

It clicked. I was like Master. The arms, the hips, even the upper part of my legs… they all changed to that of a human. My chest, head, and lower back legs were still canine, and I had even retained my tail, snout, ears and white fur. But the changes were clear enough that I really wasn’t a full wolf anymore. More of a semi-wolf.

#

Twilight pondered Shiva’s body, scratching her chin with her hoof.

“I wonder…” she said. “How close were you from your master? When you were transported here?”

“Still in her arms,” Shiva said.

Twilight’s eyes brightened. “You must have fused with her!” she said excitedly.

“F-Fused?”

“Two became one!” Twilight said ecstatically. “Oh, I wonder what brilliant unicorn was capable of making the spell?” she faltered. “And why’d he fire it into an alternate dimension? I thought Princess Celestia banned inter-dimensional spell testing. Do you think your master's personality was...?”

Another knock on the door jarred Twilight back to reality.

“I-I mean…” Twilight composed herself and indicated Shiva. “Continue.”

Shiva gave her a dark look, wondering what she was talking about ‘fusing,’ and her master's personality, before reluctantly continuing.

#

Okay, I thought, trying not to panic. I’m more like Master now. Okay… wait… am I… thinking?!

I wasn’t sure how, but the world seemed sharper in a way. I knew more about the forest than just the smells and sounds. I could see the state of the ground underneath. A shiver went through my new body as I noticed a series of paw prints. Far bigger than my own.

My ears flicked. There were no foot prints. No sign or smell of Master. But I knew paw prints. I had seen other dogs like myself with masters of their own. They never really did much aside from bark warnings or offer to play with me, but they had to be better than nothing.

At least, that’s the reasoning I had with my oddly human thoughts… until I smelled the track, and realized it didn’t match any of the scents I knew.

A snap of a branch sent me spinning around, my body naturally transitioning to all fours. My eyes darted back and forth, my nostrils quivering as they picked up the stink of compost and dead leaves. My ears flicked forward as another snap sounded; right in front of me.

I bared my fangs and let loose with a warning growl. My tail swished back and forth, held high above my body. Master taught me not to fight unless absolutely necessary. But with Master missing, the territory entirely unfamiliar, and something that screamed dangerous coming at me, I could assume that fighting was pretty necessary.

But then two lights lit up in front of me. At first, I wondered if they were fireflies – before wondering what fireflies were. Then the leaves around them moved, and I realized they were eyes. Eyes attached to a body of wood and leaves, made in a dull representation of my kind.

I snarled at it, only for another pair of eyes lit up. Then another. And another. My heart stopped as four wooden wolves emerged from the darkness.

They split, two going off to the right while two went off to the left. They growled and snarled like actual wolves, their eyes not leaving mine as I tried to track them.

Don’t run, jumped into my head. Running only lets them know you’re prey.

But I wouldn’t be able to keep them in my sights forever. A few seconds more, and I’d be forced to shift my attention from four to two of them. That would expose my flank to the others, and they’d be able to tackle me. I knew this technique; if I had a pack, I’d be just as likely to try it.

So, knowing their technique, I went on the offensive. Instincts fought against each other, and I found herself lunging for a bite while one of my claws slashed forward. My teeth sunk into one of the wooden wolves, while my claws carved across the other. There was more force than I recalled, because with an odd white flash and a weird little pop, the slash knocked the wolf’s head off. It crumbled into a pile of bark, and the head shattered into dead wood, the eyes fading away.

But I couldn’t focus on that; the taste of dead leaves was in my mouth, but the wolf was starting to buck and snarl, though there was an odd weakness to its movements. It’s struggling slowed, a confused whimper escaping its timber mouth. I, on the other claw, started to feel stronger. The world around both of us seemed brighter than usual. Meanwhile, the other two wood wolves were racing towards me, jaws open and ready to clamp down on my back and nape.

I kicked out with my back paws. Just like the first one, the kicks had more power than I appreciated, and with the same odd flash and pop, the wolves exploded into timber. The kicks gave me some added momentum, and I knocked the fourth and final wolf onto its side. My teeth repositioned, my claws came down, and I tore the wolf’s head from its body, the head collapsing into dead leaves and wood that poured over my head and got in my mouth.

I hacked and spat, clearing my mouth of the dead plants, and took a moment to breathe. I wasn’t sure what had happened, where Master was or what those things were. But for now, I was safe.

Or so I thought.

As I backed up, the compost glowed the same yellow color of the eyes. My ears perked, but my tail tucked as the timber raced together, and began to reassemble into a bigger, stronger, and far tougher wood wolf.

I backed up, before another growl escaped my throat. I lunged forward, ready to blast this one to compost as well. But the beast had learned from its past lives, and the wood solidified around its head and shoulders. It ducked under my charge and rammed into my gut, knocking the air from my lungs and sending me tumbling across the ground.

I rolled with the fall, and while commanding my lungs to work again, I turned tail and raced away. My instincts screamed, warning me that I was making myself prey in this manner, but the strange rationality that dominated my thoughts was that I couldn’t fight that thing. It also pondered whether being bigger made it slower. I wouldn’t claim to be a natural sprinter, but Master had given me plenty of exercise. Thus, I bent my head, put myself low to the ground, and bounded across the wet ground, escaping the beast as it let out an angry howl.

Time lost meaning to me. All that mattered to me was the pounding of the ground under my paws, and the feeling of the wind in my fur. My front paws thankfully weren’t so malformed that I couldn’t run on them, and Master’s exercise allowed me to skim through the trees with relative ease. ‘Relative’ in that I still had to watch out for roots and crags that seemed to pop out of nowhere. This really wasn’t my forest; it wasn’t my territory.

My nose opened up to the new smells however; I smelled more compost like the wood wolves, and even the odd mixture of what seemed to be a cat and a scorpion (Master’s neighbors had weird ideas for pets). But there was absolutely nothing indicating what had happened to Master or her territory. No smell, no sound, not even a recognizable landmark.

It was as if my home had been lifted away and replaced with these strange woods and stranger creatures.

My legs started to hurt, and I considered slowing down… but then my feet hit packed dirt.

The trail!I thought gleefully. It didn’t smell like the usual trail I had walked on with Master, but it was still something human made. And that counted for something. I skidded on the dirt packed road, picked the left side by pure impulse, and sprinted down the trail, the ache in my legs all but forgotten.

Trails were made by humans, I thought. So, they have to lead somewhere humans go, right? Maybe home? Maybe one of the ‘camps’ where humans try to live in the wild? I held back a laugh. I don’t honestly care, as long as I can find Master.

I wasn’t sure how long I ran. The ache in my legs came back with a vengeance, forcing me into a walk that admittedly allowed me to test walking on two legs. The sun slowly crept across the horizon. My stomach grumbled, though I couldn’t smell any prey, and I settled myself on water from a river the trail crossed.

Despite my worry for Master, I couldn’t deny that wherever I had landed, it was rather beautiful. The grass was a bright, healthy green. The blue sky didn’t have a cloud in the air, and the sun bathed everything in a pleasant warmth; not too hot or too cold. Scents like an all-you-can-eat buffet flickered around me, just waiting to be explored once I found Master or the humans. All covered by a strange scent I could only describe as ‘sparkling.’ Maybe it was the magic.

Right when I started to despair that I’d ever find Master again, the trail ended. I spotted a large wooden wagon, the size of a small house, set next to some sort of cage. A fire burned just to the left of the wagon. And dark shapes huddled around it. Equine shapes – their features blurred by the fading evening light and the dancing flames. They perked up as I approached.

“Hey!” I barked, gasping and clutching my throat for a moment as my voice came out sounding oddly like Master. “H-Hello? I need help!”

The equines stood, staring at me with wide, strangely humanoid eyes. I froze, sensing the tension in their muscles. And for a moment, we observed each other. In the light of the flames, I noticed that two of them were… different. One had large wings, like that of a bird, tucked next to its sides. And the third had a horn the size of my snout jutting out of his head. A horn that promptly lit up with a strange glow.

I peered curiously at it, before I felt a strange sensation creep across my body, as if I was being wrapped in mist. A soothing voice whispered in my ear.

“Sleep.”

Before I could see who had spoken, my eyes lost focus. The ground spun out from under me, and I fell into darkness.

Author's Note:

Edit: I made a revision September 13th, 2020 based on an idea I got. Hope the revision works for you guys.