“Do you have an ID?” asked the uncertain officer.

Completely naked, the lion looked back at the police officer with a frown. “Where am I keeping an ID?”

Lion walked through the crowd of ambulances. This is where it had started, he knew, where the Mr. Punch had been summoned and set on his course of destruction. Rescue people were attending to the numerous wounded. Lion could smell the dead, out of sight but nearby, people swatted and smashed like wet rag dolls. Lion knew death, but he knew he could only help the living, so he moved on, until he smelled the puppeteer.

When the team had first touched down in the city and opened the doors of the helicopter, Lion had smelled the air and caught the scent of Mr. Punch. Something that big and active was bound to have a big and active scent. The same scent now enshrouded the man lying on a stretcher next to an ambulance, his left arm wrapped in a bandage and a tourniquet. The man’s left hand was missing. Lion sauntered over with a feral grin.

“You’re not wearing any clothes,” said the puppeteer. Lion could smell the morphine in the man’s sweat. The rescue workers had given it to him for the pain.

“How are you doing, man? Feeling okay?” asked Lion, his voice sweet but tinged with impending anger that the man on the cot was only vaguely aware of.

“They gave me something for the pain…”

Lion stared into the man’s eyes. “Do you think they would have been so eager to help you if they knew that this whole scene was your fault?”

The man was startled. Even under the influence of the morphine he knew enough to not admit that all this chaos, death and destruction was his fault. “I- I don’t know what you’re talking about…”

Lion decided to release the spell that made him appear human. If he wanted this guy to talk, he reasoned that he would have to scare him a little. The puppeteer watched in growing amazement and drug induced horror as the almost pleasant naked man suddenly exploded into a gigantic lion of tooth and claw. Lion’s voice dropped to a deep growling base, and his eyes became pink and hungry as he brought himself nose to nose with the puppeteer. Lion raised a menacing paw, and extended his sharpened claws.

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