| FDC PRESENTS
By Tony Thornley
Oliver Queen looked up at the sky above Star City from his perch over Nottingham Street as it ran into Winick Park. He could see the moon hidden behind the storm clouds blowing into the city. Thunder rumbled softly and he shivered in the October chill. He had only been back in Star City a short time, but it was like coming home. He loved this town.
He tapped the wireless earpiece in his right ear, adjusting it to the police band. Although SCPD had grown corrupt in his time away, police dispatch was still one of the most reliable ways to stay ahead of criminal activity.
"-on the alert," the female dispatcher's voice said in his ear. "We have multiple reports of large animal attacks in Sherwood and the Glades. No injuries have yet been reported, but there have been multiple reports of the animal menacing residents. Descriptions of the animal range from a bear, to a wolf, to very large dog to-" She sighed. "-a Bigfoot. Again, all officers on patrol, please be on the alert."
Ollie raised an eyebrow. "Bigfoot?" he whispered. "Holy crap." Motion from the park caught his eye. He spun to see a large crow flying out of a tree. He started laughing. He was getting jumpy.
He pulled a grappling arrow from his quiver and fired it at a nearby building. The sound of the rope as he swung away masked a growl coming from the park.
The thugs at the intersection of O'Neill and Adams were too busy threatening the person they were carjacking to notice him above them. He fired a flash-bang arrow at the ground next to them. It exploded in a brilliant and deafening flare of white phosphorous. He was glad for the polarized lenses and earplugs that prevented his own disorientation.
He shot another arrow with a line at the ground and slid down it quickly with his bow. He shot another pair of arrows in rapid succession, disabling the two thieves quickly. He ran to the car to find a hysterical woman just inside the open passenger door.
"Ma'am," Ollie said. "Ma'am, calm down." She looked up at him and took a deep breath. "It's all okay now. You're safe. It's time for you to g-"
An animal howl cut through his statement, followed immediately by a scream. Ollie slammed the woman's door shut and waved her away.
"DRIVE, GO!" he yelled. The woman slammed on the gas and roared away. Ollie grabbed an arrow from the quiver and sprinted in the direction of the scream. It was way too close. Whoever was screaming needed help, now. He heard a snarl, then another scream. There, the alley ahead to his right.
He ran around the corner to see a giant beast hovering over a terrified girl.
Whatever it was, it wasn't human, and it wasn't any sort of animal.
"Hey, ass hat!" he screamed. He shot his arrow and immediately grabbed another from his quiver. "Let her go!" The arrow slammed into the thing's shoulder. Ollie shot again, this time scoring a hit in its back. The creature turned and roared at him, and Ollie got his first clear look at it.
"Oh shit." The thing was covered in thick black fur, and its body looked like an exaggerated body builder. Its head was far from human though. Its head was a wolf's.
"Werewolf," he muttered. "It had to be be a werewolf." The wolf charged him with a roar. Ollie dodged and rolled away, grabbing another arrow. He smiled as he saw it was another flashbang. It spun and snarled at him. Ollie fired the arrow right into the creature's mouth. The explosive burst and started the creature's fur on fire. It yelped in pain, dropped onto all fours and ran away as quickly as it could. Ollie considered following, but there was no way he would catch it.
Instead, he ran to the woman's side.
"Are you okay?" he asked. "Are you hurt?"
"No," she said, "I mean yes. I'm okay. I'm not hurt." She stood, trying not to shake as she did.
"Come on, I'll get you help," he said. She took his hand. Ollie didn't notice the bite on her other hand.
"You're sure?" Zatanna Zatara asked. She stared back at him from his laptop screen.
"Almost positive," Ollie said. "Big half man-half wolf. Scary as hell."
"Dammit," she said. "There are three types of werewolf. Two are bad. The third is very bad."
"What are the first two?"
"The first is a skinwalker," she said. "A human being that voluntarily shifts between human and wolf form using a spell. For some it's reflexive. Others, it takes years of practice."
"The wolfbelt," she said. "They use enchanted artifacts to transform. Most common is an enchanted belt of wolf skin, hence the name, but there can be many other enchanted artifacts to facilitate the change, given enough time and skill. Both are powerful. Strong, savage, and nearly unstoppable."
"Great," Ollie said. "And the last one? Very bad?"
"The cursed," Zatanna said. "The type everyone considers in pop culture. That somehow they got exactly right. Full moons, can only be destroyed using silver and " She took a deep breath.
"And they pass the curse along with a bite?"
"Exactly," she said.
"And why is that the 'very bad' one?" he said. "They all sound 'very bad.'" Zee rubbed her eyes.
"Imagine the original werewolf as patient zero in a particularly virulent viral infection. One that lies dormant for a month, then goes crazy in the full moon and spreads like a wild fire, with more and more infected by the night." Ollie sat back, realization setting in.
"Son of a bitch," he whispered.
"Yup," she said. "In a short time, Star City is suddenly Wolf City."
TO BE CONTINUED IN GREEN ARROW VOL 2!