So here the story finally starts proper and we finally meet our hero, while in earlier stories I kind of had the Mizzer Humanimals be kind of uniform with the curse slowly beginning to be lifted from all the Domestic Districts across Mizzer, I realized no country is completely uniform, there are cultures within cultures and I've been establishing for a while the Humanimals who have traveled far out to the East are less uptight than the Humanimals who are still in the starting point of the West Coast, so it's really like the inverse of the real USA where it's Eastward Ho instead of Westward Ho
Gray Wulf was born in Twin Rivers 15 years before the Wrangler Invasion of Mizzer, and I know what you're thinking 'Gray Wulf' real creative name, well I'll tell you about his name, when he was born, his Mother noticed something very special about her newborn son, she noticed around his neck were some silver tipped hairs that she knew would become a regal ruff of pure silver fur when he was older, none of his two older siblings had this silver fur and his Mother Midnight, as her name suggested was a pure black wolf, she knew this was a rare trait in her family tree so she named him as almost an inside joke, knowing that as he became a teenager, his ashen gray fur would be enhanced by a 'bloom' of silver.
In most ways the 'Wulfs' were a typical Mizzer Humanimal Family, they lived in a suburb of their designated district in the Humanimal Side of Twin Rivers, his Dad had a respectable job working at the Mint, and they lived their lives in total comfort never feeling a particular want for anything.
Like most Mizzer Cubs, Gray and his Siblings were obsessed with TV, particularly the reruns of 20th century television that had been made on Earth.
When Gray was three years old, his family had settled down to watch the marathon of Halloween Cartoon Specials, because that year there was a fierce rain storm on Halloween Night and so no trick or treating, even the Fish People who lived in the River didn't want to venture out in their underwater Neighborhoods, the current was much too strong, the children would risk being washed out to sea.
So everyone, Human and Humanimal stayed huddled in their houses and watched the classic Newspaper Comic Characters Garfield and the Peanuts gang go on their Halloween Adventures.
It was mostly Gray's two older siblings watching the TV, Gray being still a toddler, still very much in the 'Puppy' state of mind, was much more interested in playing with his red and white striped rubber ball.
But then something came on the TV, a report of a Missing 'Child' actually at this point the young human man was 19 years old he had been last seen in Thorn Valley all the way on the West Coast of Mizzer's Western Continent, the opposite side of where they were, but hey that was only where he was LAST seen he could potentially be anywhere.
"Oh dear..." Midnight said as she knitted while watching the TV with her husband on the sofa, "Seems the humans are always getting lost."
"It's because they don't have an internal compass like we do." Said her Husband.
Both of them knew they were lying to make things seem not so scary for the cubs, they knew that young man didn't just wander into the woods and get lost, he was STOLEN, it's still why children were taught about 'Stranger Danger' it seemed many years ago, the Humanimals had 'weeded out' those perverse elements in humans but just like a weed pushing its way up through a crack in the pavement it seemed those perverse elements kept resurfacing in the humans but they just had to get more sneaky and clever because they had learned if a Humanimal catches you harming a child he or she will tear you to pieces!
But Gray stopped chasing the ball and turned and faced the TV, after seeing the young man's face on the TV he had his first vision! He saw the Young Man being grabbed by several other Human Man into a pickup truck and the truck drove off into the Mysterious Rain Forests to the South of the Equator!
Not having any words for what he was seeing, Gray just yipped and ran off with his tail between his legs.
Man I remember watching cartoons in the early 90s and those cartoons would reference 'Missing Signs' on Milk Cartons but I must have been born too late for that because I never saw a missing child on a milk carton and that's probably super obsolete now that we've got Amber Alerts