(Artwork by @Vurrunna) United under one banner and on the verge of industrial revolution, humanity made a startling discovery in its explorations; another sentient species. These so-called lupusad, resembling wolves physically and biologically, were intelligent yet uncivilized beings, and were just as startled by first contact as humans were. Nevertheless, they also proved to be an ample supply of labor for local colonization efforts, and were quickly pressed into use across human lands. A century has passed, and the lupusad are still in chains, one way or another. Slavery is still practiced in some areas, and everywhere else they are unequivocally impoverished second-class citizens. It is easy for them to be hateful of humans. But as one young lupusad discovers, there might be more to these people than she thought... As planned, the time has finally come to take the story down for now, in preparation for future publishing of the re-written version. It's a pretty bittersweet moment; I've got a lot of great memories about uploading chapters and eagerly anticipating people's responses. I'd like to thank you all for following the story all these years, and I'm glad you enjoyed it so much. I'll be keeping the thread itself up for now in order to keep you all updated on where H&L goes from here. Issue #1 - 05 / 01/ 2015 Jonesy: "Hello, and welcome to our very first edition of Ask the Cast for Human & Lupusad! Tonight we are joined with one of our protagonists. Jakob, thank you for coming." Jakob: "Thank you for having me here." Jonesy: "You are most welcome. Now, our question tonight is from InceptionBwaaa, who would like to know what you think of the Keidran." Jakob: "The what?" Jonesy: "A race of felines, canines, lupines and vulpines from the webcomic TwoKinds. Here, have a read." *Jonesy hands Jakob his phone* Jakob: "What's this? A man in a forest. With no memory. Gods, what a cliche. And now he hears a... tiger? A tiger Keidran? OK, he saves her... *many hours later, Jakob slowly hands the phone back* Jakob: "That... was an incredible experience." Jonesy: "So, thoughts on the Keidran?" Jakob: "Oh. Well... it would seem slavery is alive and well in their world, which is sad to see. Especially the casual offer of having a slave impregnated while her master stays at an inn. Even though most of the lupusad were once slaves, and some few still are in the colonies, we never stooped to such barbarity." Jakob: "So, you're not impressed by the humans of the TwoKinds universe?" Jakob: "Well... it seems some are a little more accepting of the Keidran. Trace, and Eric, for instance. Men after my own heart." Jonesy: "You mean by sleeping with-?" Jakob: "NO! That's not what I meant!" Jonesy: "Sure, Jakob. Any other observations?" Jakob: "Well... it seems that the humans are the ones who arrived in... whatever the place is called. It would seem they brought civilization to the Keidran, wheras in my reality the lupusad themselves were brought to civilization. As it were. Considering human culture was forced onto a different race in both cases, they're likely just as bad." Jonesy: "Interesting comparison. Anything else?" Jakob: "I'm also interested in mention of 'The Resistance'. I don't know if it actually exists, given the character who mentions it, coupled with the fact it is never mentioned again. But having a human group dedicated to saving Keidran from exploitative conditions is a fascinating prospect." Jonesy: "Getting any ideas?" Jakob: "Of course not. That would be illegal. Morally justifiable, but illegal." Jonesy: "Only if you get caught! But I'm afraid we're out of time tonight. It's been a pleasure, Jakob." Jakob: "Likewise. That... saga was quite fascinating. Very moving." Jonesy: "Quite. In any case, that concludes tonight's interview. Goodnight Jakob, and goodnight readers!" Issue #2 - 29 / 03/ 2015 Jonesy: "Welcome, welcome, to our second edition of ask the cast. It's been a while since the first, and Chapter 12 was only very recent, but I figured I'd bring out another guest to share their thoughts. Tonight, we have our favourite lupusad vigilante. Rakai, it's a pleasure to have you here. Rakai: "Of course it is." Jonesy: "Quite. Now, Bellhead has a question for you. Given that you carry a sword when out and about, how often have you had to use it?" Rakai: "Once." Jonesy: "Really? What happened?" Rakai: "A human asked me too many questions." *Jonesy tugs at his collar* Jonesy: "Very funny. But in all serious, how many times?" Rakai: "Not once in anger; just when I'm practicing with Dozoen. I'll be ready when I need to use it. Jonesy: "On whom, do you think?" Rakai: "Humans. Jonesy: "Any in particular? Or is it just a... general sort of thing?" Rakai: "Whichever ones threaten me. Slavers. Thugs. Watchmen." Jonesy: "But not a lupusad?" Rakai: "No. We'd be on the same side." Jonesy: "Right... why do you feel humans are such a threat?" Rakai: "Go down to the lupusad slums sometime. Have a look around at how we have to live. Humans make us make them money... but won't let us have our own. Humans want us to live like them... but they don't want us to equal them. Humans want us to be civilized... but treat us like we're not. We're living in a society where those who built it are working against us. I think you can forgive me for wanting to ensure the safety of myself and those around me." Jonesy: "Surely there are exceptions to what you're saying. What about the Kingsleys? The Rileys?" Rakai: "Two families, with a limited number of businesses between them. Doesn't change what everyone else is doing." Jonesy: "Then that would mean a sword won't change anything. Killing a human certainly wouldn't." Rakai: "I can't change the world. I can only do my best to survive it." Jonesy: "Well, I suppose I can't judge you for that. Do you think if more people were as accepting as the Kingsleys and Rileys, things would be different?" Rakai: "I... don't know. It certainly couldn't hurt." Jonesy: "It certainly couldn't. And I'm afraid that's all we have time for tonight. Thank you for answering question from a human." Rakai: "You're welcome." Jonesy: "And don't forget, readers, new submissions for the 'ask the cast' are always welome. Good night!" Issue #3 - 24 / 05/ 2015 Jonesy: “Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to our third ask the cast! University’s been quite hectic lately, but the next chapter is nearing completion. But in the meantime, we’re joined by Lord Kingsley. It’s an honour to have you on the show, my lord.” Lord Kingsley: “The pleasure is all mine, Mr Jones.” Jonesy: “Tonight’s question is from Bellhead; what are your thoughts and opinions on the recent events with your son and the shelter?” Lord Kingsley: “I wholeheartedly approve of him taking its helm, and he’s done a fine job in assisting those less fortunate. But yes, it is extremely sad what has happened. The Gazette article, the drunkards, the murder… all beyond his control. It’s more than I would want to face.” Jonesy: “Has he been coping well?” Lord Kingsley: “Somewhat. But I fear that with each new blow, he gets driven deeper into despair than before. After the… incident at the ball, he was in such a state that I raised my voice at him. It’s been so long since I’ve had to do that, and the fact does not sit well with me.” Jonesy: “With all that has happened thus far, are you sure it's still worth it?” Lord Kingsley: “Definitely. People are starving out there, and sleeping in the street. My son is trying to change that. It’s an endeavour we can all respect, but this controversy must end.” Jonesy: “Is there anything Jakob can do about it?” Lord Kingsley: “Outside of simply riding it out, I don’t know. But it seems he is finding ways to cope. Zyanya has done a lot to comfort him, and it seems that spending time with Elaiel and Enukr helps as well.” Jonesy: “I suppose the cubs are living proof of the shelter’s success.” Lord Kingsley: “They are indeed. I didn’t expect their arrival, but I’m glad they’ve found a home. Zyanya has been taking good care of them, and they’ve been keeping out of trouble.” Jonesy: “In that case, what do you make of Jakob’s bond with them?” Lord Kingsley: “I’ve nothing against it. The cubs need someone to look up to as a father, and it wouldn’t hurt for Jakob to get some experience in looking after children.” Jonesy: “Some might say it’s beneath his station.” Lord Kingsley: “Then they’re wrong.” Jonesy: “Agreed. But that’s all for this week, folks. Thank you for your time, Lord Kingsley.” Lord Kingsley: “You’re perfectly welcome, Mister Jones.” Jonesy: “Stay tuned for a new chapter of H&L in the coming weeks. Until then, good night!” Issue #4 - 09 / 02/ 2016 Jonesy: “Hello, and welcome to the latest issue of ask the cast! I know it’s been a while, but I thought it’d be a good idea to dust it off, and get back into the habit. Tonight, we’re here to chat with our favourite little scamps, Elaiel and Enukr!” Enukr: “Hi!” Elaiel: “How do you do?” Jonesy: “I’m well, thank you. Tonight’s question is from FrogSteaks; what do you think about Zyanya and the Kingsleys taking you in and giving you a proper place to call home?” Elaiel: “They’re family now, I guess. Zy’s going to be our mother, and Jakob our godfather. And the estate’s the best place to live, ever.” Enukr: “Yeah. They care about us. Now, we don’t have to worry about food, or finding a place to sleep. It’s all just there, y’know?” Jonesy: “I do. So, it doesn’t matter that they’re not related to you?” *Elaiel shakes his head* Elaiel: “Family’s people who care about you. Doesn’t matter if you’re related.” Enukr: “Or human.” Jonesy: “So, Jakob being a human doesn’t matter?” Enukr: “He’s… different to others. They’re usually really mean, but he’s as nice as Zyanya. And not just to us, but all lupusad.” Elaiel: “Yeah. He has the shelter, and looks out for Taima and the others. Nobody’s ever done that. Not a human.” Jonesy: “Then, do you think other humans could be like him?” Enukr: “Some, maybe. Richard’s our friend. Jessamine and Daniel are alright, too.” Elaiel: “Wish there were more like him.” Enukr: “He and Jessamine are in love. They’re going to have cubs one day.” Elaiel: “Hope so. Can’t wait to play with them.” Jonesy: “We’ll see what happens. But back to Richard, for a moment; when you first met, how did you get along? Was he very different from you?” Enukr: “He was, yeah. So neat, and smart, too. But he wanted to be our friend, and play with us.” Elaiel: “Just wished he hadn’t kept asking about our family.” Jonesy: “Well, I won’t ask after it, then. But one day, you might want to tell Jakob and Zyanya.” Enukr: “Maybe. I trust them, but… still not something we tell people about.” Jonesy: “Fair enough. Anyway, now that you’re at the estate, what do you hope to happen with Taima’s pack?” Elaiel: “I want Jakob to let them move into the shelter. That way, they’ll always have food and beds, and don’t have to risk stealing or scavenging. Nothing can happen to them in there.” Jonesy: “It would be the best place for them. So, overall, do you think things are looking up for you both and your friends.” Enukr: “Uh-huh. Thing have never been better.” Elaiel: “Yeah. Hope Jakob keeps helping people, and making things better for them as well. He’s great like that.” Jonesy: “I’m sure it means a lot for him to hear that. But I’m afraid we’re out of time tonight. Thank you both very much for coming.” Elaiel and Enukr: “You’re welcome!” Jonesy: “In any case, the next chapter of H&L is in the works. It’s probably going to be another long one, but I’ll have to see how it shapes up first. I’ll update you if it will take a while. Until then, good night!” by @stumblinbear by @Mystic_Wulf by @rhomboid by @Dragonith by InceptionBwaaa Copyrighted by Jonesy. First published 2014. Feel free to leave a comment if you enjoy the story. I always love hearing peoples' thoughts on it.