3. The Black-Wolves
The red planet.
A barren rock, visited a couple of times by alien visitors from other worlds… and a few gadgets from Earth.
The thing is, not everything is as it seems. Yes, the planet is red, covered in a red dust, with red dust particles in the thin atmosphere, but that is only on the surface.
Beneath the surface are canyons, caverns, lakes and rivers, all of which provide an ideal habitat for many a creature.
Subsurface forests exist within the caverns, having replaced the need to photosynthesise sunlight, and instead they have developed to grow stronger in the darkness. Within these dark forests, dens are made for the Blackwolves.
These sturdy dens are created by the very paws of the Blackwolves themselves, using fallen bark, branches and leaves, bound together by the Martian soil from both below and above the planet’s surface.
The Blackwolves could be classed as carpenters… if they had the ability to use woodworking tools, but they do a really good job of putting together firm wooden structures without nails and the like.
They also have a telepathic link with other wolves, so when a group of them get together to create a den, they work seamlessly, slotting things into place without any kind of a plan beforehand.
The Blackwolves live in their dens for life, so it suits them well to create something strong and sturdy. The stronger and sturdier the better, for every couple of years the pack leadership passes over to a younger Blackwolf, and usually, it is the younger Blackwolf with the sturdiest den that takes the crown.
As well as their telepathic link, they have a stealth-like ability to disappear from view, only to reappear somewhere else. Sometimes, this trans-dimensional leaping is only for a couple of metres, where at other times the distance travelled can be much further. Could this be how the Blackwolves have been seen on occasion on other planets, such as Earth or Jupiter (and even Europa herself?)
However they transport themselves remains a mystery. It really is a case of here one minute, gone the next.
One final thing about the Blackwolves that is really remarkable is their ability to see in pitch darkness. Living underground for as long as they have done, they have developed a night-vision that rivals no other creature; yet this ability doesn’t affect their vision whenever they venture onto a planet’s surface. In bright lights, as well as their pupils contracting, a thin film covers their eyes, giving them an electric blue appearance, meaning they have perfect vision in any kind of lighting condition.
Next time… the Glacierwolves of Ganymede.