WATCHER (METRO 2033)
Metro: Last Light
Watchmen (Russian: Страж), previously Watchers, are a mutated species of large mammal. They are slightly bigger than the average human, have a dark tail, and are covered with dark grey fur.
Watchers resemble Dogs, both in behaviour and appearance. The Watcher can commonly be found standing up on two hind legs sniffing the air or baying into the distance. A Watcher’s mouth is very odd, it is angled upward and sunken into the face, giving the watcher a face reminiscent of a Bull Dog or Boxer breed of dog. A pair of phalanges adjoin either side of the mouth and have some teeth lining the lower edge. These are probably used to give the watcher a greater surface area when biting, or to amplify its howls.
Watchers are pack hunters. The novel dictates that watchers will stalk their prey, observing them for weaknesses or for a proper time to strike. When on the prowl, Watchers usually move in packs from five to ten. In an exception to this rule, it is not uncommon to see hordes of 50 or more, as seen in Tower, and Echoes. Unless in these massive packs, they are almost never seen in open areas such as empty plains, because they are a potential food source of demons. It is not known if they are hunted by slimeslugs, however, Watchers also fear these creatures. Watchers have no preference as to what time of day they hunt and are found active at all hours a day.
Watchers are the remnants of some undiscerned mammalian animal; likely descendants of rats, dogs, or even wolves (Exact taxonomy is unknown however due to the significance of mutation upon the Watcher’s behaviour and appearance). Their behaviour resembles such animals, they hunt in packs, they howl, they actively hunt as opposed to scavenging. Further evidence of a canine ancestry lies in The Gospel According to Artyom, where a pack of mutated Dogs depicted as Watchers attack young Artyom.
Watchers are some of the most common mutants living on the surface; they are often seen scouring the city for food and have been seen travelling into the metro if food is available. Although it is unknown where they den, or any of their reproductive habits for that manner, they likely rest or conceal themselves in abandoned buildings, refuse piles, or vegetation; seeing as demons tend to pick off ones caught off-guard in the open. they seem to be defensive of their homes as shown at the Kremlin.
Watchers are social predators that scavenge and hunt for any food available. Although not specifically mentioned, Watchers are likely omnivorous predators seeing as they take surprisingly a low-level position in the Moscow food-web but also actively hunt for prey. The novel discerns that watchers tend to stalk their prey as they hunt them, observing them for weaknesses, and waiting for a proper time to strike. When on the prowl, watchmen usually move in packs from five to ten. In contrast to this average, it is possible to see hordes of 50 or more Watchmen moving about the surface in search of food. Watchmen also appear to be opportunistic predators, as they move in to feed when Artyom is fighting the Bear; only having attempted to bring it and its cubs down earlier.