Welcome to Port Angeles!
It is June 2013. President Biden has just been sworn in, following the sudden illness and death of the only recently (and narrowly) reelected Obama. The country finds itself led by a sophisticated clown, one they don’t entirely trust.
With Iran’s announcement last spring that they not only possess nuclear weapons but are prepared to use them against their enemies, western Europe and the Middle East loom as imminent battlegrounds. Practice evacuations have become a common, dreary exercise along with the fire drill in the office buildings of our largest cities, and some have followed the President’s advice to have a clear evacuation plan and documentation for all their family members in case of national emergency.
The country is more fractured than ever – gun and survival equipment sales are skyrocketing as nervous citizens continue their slow exodus from America’s cities and retreat to suburbs and small towns. Despite all this, the life of the average citizen has not changed: Here Comes Honey Boo Boo has entered its second season, and the NYC subway still runs more or less on time. Violent crime in our cities continues to grow. The world is ours, only a dark reflection, filled with corruption, apathy, violence and hopelessness.
Your home is Port Angeles, Washington, a small town of approximately 20,000. It lays along the Olympic Peninsula, approximately 2 1/2 hours drive from the bustle of Seattle. The locals of Port Angeles are mostly the kind of sleepy, eccentric small-towers you might expect in northern Washington, as interested in hunting and fishing as they are in the local gossip. However, the area has seen a recent growth in their Gray Wolf population, one significant enough to draw a small community of young college graduates and environmentalists, eager to laud Port Angeles as their crunchy granola, post-urban Mecca. Along with them have come more environmental scientists and biologists, eager to study the phenomenon and pinpoint their migration to the area, perhaps to find lessons to apply to other threatened wolf populations. Port Angeles even received a visit from Sir David Attenborough, celebrating Olympic National Park and Lake Crescent and pointing to the surge in population as a triumph of conservation efforts in the area.
Idealism still thrives in Port Angeles. It is as close to a pastoral small town as one might find in this world. However, as with most things, grime lurks just below the surface. Your cell suspects the truth: that the surge in wolf populations means something very, very bad for the people of northwestern Washington, and if their population is not controlled, perhaps for the world.