Page 44 of 64

Author:  lightwolf21 [ Fri Nov 16, 2012 3:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread

valerio Wrote:
“Don’t be. And no, they just disappeared. Their scent was mixed with herbal essences, and then that too disappeared completely. They’re really good.”
XD Heh. This is what I thought.

Author:  RandomGeekNamedBrent [ Fri Nov 16, 2012 3:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread

I thought the same, then thought "oh wait, he probably means the essences of actual herbs"

Author:  valerio [ Fri Nov 16, 2012 4:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread

*les groanies*

oh, and since I'm in the mood for a spoiler: due to sudden inspiration caused by Honorable Intention's ficcie 'The Way Back Machine', I changed my plans for the special issue #3. The crossover theme will feature, with his permission, our universes.
Blue Peak Shore will be featured in the next S.I.
But don't worry: I'll make up with two tons of cuteness :D :D :D :D

Author:  kavviyenta [ Sat Nov 17, 2012 10:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread

Interesting, I need to read this fic first :)

While the next season will continue with Terrace High, you might need to show some flashback episodes in Babylon Gardens, mainly:

Joey and Blanche's wedding in February,
Antares and Celestia's newborn pup in May,
and Bino's graduation in June, that is, if he got his motivation back. Would be more interesting with his trying to relate to Bosco on Father's day.

The Way Back Machine, here I come!

Author:  legendario13 [ Wed Nov 28, 2012 9:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread

Maybe I should check that out but I have some more reading to do.

At least I got a good dose catching up here :D

Author:  valerio [ Wed Nov 28, 2012 11:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread

legendario13 Wrote:
Maybe I should check that out but I have some more reading to do.

At least I got a good dose catching up here :D

when I'm back here, you'll have another dose. BIG dose...

Author:  legendario13 [ Thu Nov 29, 2012 12:19 am ]
Post subject:  Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread

Now I'll be unable to sleep thinking on when will you update!
:Cries: HEHEHE

Author:  valerio [ Thu Nov 29, 2012 1:36 am ]
Post subject:  Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread

now, now *pats* I'll post one update a day, so that you guys don't get overloaded. Better?

Author:  valerio [ Thu Nov 29, 2012 2:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread

“Glad to see you, too, guys,” answered the Rhodesian Ridgeback from his bed, where he sat cross-legged as if meditating.
A Rhodesian Ridgeback whose brown-golden fur had almost completely turned black. The LCG’s standard collar was still there…only, it also presented two curved spikes, like small horns protruding from his throat.
Shelter’s guest were encouraged to choose their own tags, a way to help them focus on their identities. In case of Volant Male, his tag represented the chess piece of the Tower.
NOT a good sign.
“Missed me?” Volant asked, with that tone that also said ‘do you think I care?’.
His guests, Tegan and Elliot, kept staring at him, and then, at last, turned to the human behind them.
Martin Foster, from the threshold, shook his head. “Don’t look at me, guys. Considering what I have been through in a relatively short time, I’m just glad that the DNA tells me this is Volant or a good clone. You deal with him.” And with that, he left.
When the door was closed, Volant laid himself down. “I see you like what you see, guys.”
“Are you planning to be a guest of Extreme Pet Makeover?” Elliot asked.
“Nah,” the Ridgeback chuckled. Unfortunately, just as Tegan had feared, there was no trace of joy in that mirth. She had hoped that Volant had softened during his stay here, but he had grown even colder. “It’s the mark of my Master, the sign that I am his Dark Paladin. Admittedly, he had made a mistake with my predecessor: cuteness does not fit his servants. So, what brings you here? Wanted to report if poor Volly was crying and asking Daddy to bring him home? Well, you can tell Piper to shove—“
“He’s been arrested,” Elliot interrupted him.
Volant sat up suddenly, starting the retriever. “Say that again!” Did his left eye just flash?
“*Eep!* I-I said that Piper’s been arrested. And Macajuel too. Something to do with criminal organizations. I know nothing else. Please don’t eat me!”
Volant did not get mad. Instead, an ironic smile crossed his lips. “Guess they had it coming after all. Thank you for making my day, you two. Anything else?”
Tegan stared back at him, showing no trace of hesitation. “Yes: Elpis wanted at least to know if you got his e-mail. Believe it or not, he still misses you.”
The mask cracked, and for a clear moment the Maine Coon cat could see another dog inside Volant. “An…e-mail?”
Tegan nodded. “He sent it to you shortly after you were sent here. Volant…”
The Ridgeback laid himself back down, staring at the ceiling, his voice once again flat and emotionless. “Now go. Don’t bother to come back unless it is something important.”
“You heartless…“ Elliot hissed “You didn’t even care to check your inbox!” He wanted, really wanted hard to punch some sense into him, but Tegan held his arm.
“Let’s not cause trouble,” she said, shaking her head.
“But—“ Elliot tried, before sagging. The cat opened the door and he followed her, not before throwing a last look to Volant. “You are not alone, idiot.”
When the door closed, Volant said to himself, “That much is true, right Master?”
The immense shade of a blue-feathered gryphon filled the room. “I perceive your distress, my Paladin,” the supernatural voice said, at the same time delicate as a whisper and powerful to make walls tremble. “Is there something I can do to relieve you?”
Volant chuckled. “You could share the good news with me, instead of keeping them for your amusement only.”
The creature known as large as ‘Pete’ smiled.“Piper, Macajuel, and even Elpis…they are part of your past, bonds you’re supposed to be free from. Your first field test was satisfactory, but your role is more important than that.”
Volant nodded. He didn’t mind to be part of Master’s plans –in fact, he was proud. That silly rabbit could be a prophet, but Volant was Master’s strongpaw!
And yet… “Do I have to keep staying here?” Just pronouncing the word made him feel as if he had eaten something gone rotten.
The shade nodded. “It is the most important part of this plan. Soon, this Game will be over. If I want to win, your position in this shelter is essential.”
Volant grinned, an insolent expression that, he knew, Pete had to tolerate. “Even if it means that many, many mortals will get their happily-ever-after?”
Pete chuckled. “That comes with my victory. I can accept it.”
“Yes, my Paladin?”
“Can I ask you a favor?”
Pete shook his head, creating a soft breeze in the room. “Yes, I will help you get in touch with Elpis.”
Tegan would’ve been extremely happy to see the first, genuine warm smile stirring Volan’t mouth.
The Ancient Roads Spice Shop, Terrace High

“I don’t care,” said the small Maine Coon, a look of defiance on her face. “I don’t care,” she repeated with added emphasis, her paws on her hips, “if Mac was in love with me. I don’t care if it’s weird or not! He cared for me and he was a good pet! You should be ashamed of yourself, Kwesi Hassid! Not gloat over his arrest!”
The basenji dog stepped back under the advancing furious female. A small part of Kwesi felt ashamed of that reaction, he who had stood his ground with a lioness when he was a pup… But it was also true that the cat was his girlfriend, and he had learnt from his father that it was better that one’s female should be let free to vent, or the consequences of her wrath would’ve lasted for a long time..!
“Alandra, please,” he tried, in a pitiful attempt to regain some masculine dignity, ending up looking like a begging pup instead. “I wasn’t gloating over his arrest. I was worried that you were giving your affection—“ A sharp claw poked him in the ribcage.
“I will be friend with whoever I desire, ¿Claro que sì?
Kwesi gulped. “Crystal, my love. Just don’t start a fight, please. If I break one of these vases, Mr. Sandor will keep me out of this shop forever—ACK!” to his merit, he jumped like a real pro to save a terracotta vase containing a Mediterranean Spice Mix. “Why?!” he barked/growled to his girlfriend…then his pupils shrunk to dots. “Please no,” he whimpered at the sight of her ‘innocently’ pushing another vase with a finger.
“I was wondering, what’s more important, mi amor? Working in this shop or to stay with me? Perhaps I should help you decide.”
Poor Kwesi saw his future as a spice trader relegated into the trash bin, together with the fragments of those vases. “Ali, you know I love you. Please don’t—“
“I can’t believe it!” said an angry voice from the threshold. Neither Alandra nor Kwesi had heard the door chime. “I can’t believe that a female can have such a grip over you! Did I raise a dog or a goat?!”
For a moment, for an interminable moment, Kwesi stood there, mute, immobile, unable to process any thought.
This time, his mind was screaming IT CAN’T BE! With such intensity that he was getting a headache.
He was hallucinating, that was it, yes! At last his sickness had prevailed over the medicines he was taking and he was getting completely crazy.
Because it couldn’t be the voice of his father. His father was in Africa, probably walking back to his home from Egypt.
He and his mother couldn’t be there, standing in the shop, looking at him.
“Mr. and Ms. Oakfield?” Bill asked, though that was only out of habit. There were only the two humans, in his room
The two youngsters stood up as if he had prodded them with an electric staff. Their heels almost clicked sharply.
Bill motioned them to sit down. “Guys, relax. I’m not here to arrest you. In fact…” he walked to his desk and put a file marked with Stefanie’s name and registration number at the shelter in front of the siblings. He opened the file and produced a three-folded letter with the County Courtroom logo. “Judge York came to a decision: you can take Stefanie back with you. Congratulations…”
Brother and sister hugged each other, emitting a long “Squeeeee!” and jumping on their seats.
On the ground,” Bill said, freezing them and causing them to turn pale, “that you keep all the necessary means to take care of her and Gaunt. Consider this your last chance to do the right thing.” Those words were pronounced with the old ‘bad cop’ tone. As a cop, Bill had had his share of mistreatment, and working here had reinforced his idea that there was not enough severity in the world for those who harmed pets.
And yet, after interviewing Stefanie, it was clear that the only fault of these two kids had been not to live off their family money. They weren’t rich (at least for what concerned the big league), but they had decided to go rebel against their old man about ethics matters. And because daddy didn’t want them to have a pet.
“…Err, why are you looking at us as if you wanted to eat us?”
Bill shook his head. “Sorry. My mind was elsewhere.” He handed them the judge’s letter and an LCG- blue and gold envelope. “Now you can go pick up your lady. Any questions, there are the references inside the envelope. A recommendation: since there is a school for pets at the High, I suggest you send Stefanie there, since she already started her class here. In fact, if I remember well what I was told, she has a talent for history and geography.”
Mira’s eyes glistened with tears at the memories. She nodded. “Yes, she always wanted to learn everything about the new places we’d move to. Give her a couple of days and she’d be ready to give tours.”
Bill stood up and offered his hand. “Well, I guess she’ll have a lot to say about the history of Terrace High and Babylon Gardens then. Again, congratulations. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have another appointment.”
Stevie and Mira hurried up to shake hands and left the office almost at a run. A moment later, a woman walked in. Short blond hair, tall, her face chiseled to an almost masculine complexion, her skin showing a tan, her eyes two grey pools. Her grey suit completed the impression of a no-nonsense creature.
Bill knew firsthand that such impression was well-founded. “Gabriella, I am almost surprised to see you here.”
The woman sat down in front of the desk. “Gee, I wonder why, dear cousin.” When Gabriella Lundberg would speak, it was hard to determine if that sarcasm was natural.
Bill sat down. “Perhaps because you never cared to have a pet in your life? I thought that running for the office would eat at that few free time you still have.”
“Won’t you offer a guest a drink?” she said, just as if she had been listening to white noise.
Bill’s jaw trembled. “I would, but I fear you’d set it on fire.”
“How cute. I get a lot of that anyway. Have you heard the one about me and a viper walking into a bar?”
Bill sighed, while leaning forward, his hands joined. “Gabi, I know you have a duty to act and look tough to the benefit of your PR, but here you can relax. So, did you come here to adopt, or is it just a courtesy visit to one of your best supporters?”
“I came to adopt. My image will never pass the test of public examination if my lifestyle screams ‘hypocrite’. Like an Italian Prime Minister babbling about family values, you know?”
Bill had the distinct impression he’d empty the drug cabinet before the end of the day. “Gabi, you are a solemn hypocrite. The one reason your side of the family ceased all contacts with mine is to avoid a bloodbath. In fact, I wonder what can you hope to accomplish with this absurd animal rights campaign of yours.”
Gabriella looked sincerely offended. “Heaven’s sake, cousin! Do you question my integrity?”
The shelter’s director really, really, really wanted a couple of handcuffs and a taser right now! “Cousin, you know better than me that even if you won, you couldn’t accomplish more than some symbolic gesture, just a token or two to keep your seat under your butt and the voters content. And while I am used to polisickos playing their parlor tricks with people’s trust, help me, I will *never* help you take advantage of the real innocents! And this means, no! I will not let you adopt a poor guy you will likely discard once your campaign is over. And yes, I think you won’t get elected.”
Again she looked at him as he was a malfunctioning TV set showing a buzzing snow-effect. “Are you done?”
Bill looked like a bull ready to charge. A wolf would’ve run away whining like a pup. “That depends on your will to leave in one piece.” How could that Foster guy be so cool when he was angry, it was beyond him.
Gabriella didn’t sound the least offended by those words. In fact, she looked…amused. “Ah, did I miss these bickers of ours, cousin. And also seeing you in the mud. Really, visiting the farm was such fun. But back to business.
“First of all, stop deluding yourself: you know that I will win. I am backed up by so much money and influence that I could run for the Presidency and win before my rivals announce their candidature. But I need to build myself an image, one of a radically different…what was that word, ‘polisicko’? I like it, it has a knack. My Press Agency will love it.
“And you know why even Foster is supporting me, of all people: I am the only one of the bunch who will use the power to do something good and lasting for animal rights. So yes, cousin.” Gabriella Lunderbg’s smile became something the Wicked Witch of the West would’ve envied. “River Ridge will be the start. It’s example will set off other politicians to follow my lead. And while pet rights will be the new trend, I will eventually run for the Senate as the first woman who helped build a better society. I will win easily, and your rich friends will make sure of that, because through me those animal rights will be enforced throughout the State. And when I’ll be President…well, let’s just say that this time there will be a great pet together with a great woman. Everyone happy ever after!” She glossed, like an overgrown cheerleader.
Bill sat back against his chair. Every argument he had thought of had melted like a snowball in the desert. No matter how much he detested his cousin and her family: as long as Gottschalk, Milton and Foster supported her it meant she was honest about her reasons. She craved power –heck, her whole family was worse than the Ewings when it came to power, but as long as she stood for animal rights, Bill pondered, he better make the best of it.
Not to mention that her supporters made for the best Sword of Damocles. Foster would likely strangle her with his own hands. Gottschalk would bankruptcy her. And the Miltons would feed her to the wolves, literally.
…And Bill had just an idea.
“When you smile like that, cousin, you mean business.”
The man shrugged. “You came just for that, right? I may have just what you need: fierce, loyal, well-trained in the art of fight, would make excellent protection. Not to mention that your reputation will skyrocket with this adoption.”
Gabriella nodded. “Sounds almost too good to be true.”
Bill stood up. “Why don’t you come see them? A live impression is always better than a paper file.”
“Two brothers. Former pet fighters. Imagine: Mayor Lundberg cares for the most unfortunates, she believes in redemption! Or something like that.”
The woman stood up as well. She combed her blond lock with her fingers. “And I guess they will make sure I behave as well?”
“You said it, cousin.”
“And I also guess that if I refuse your generous offer now, the media will scorn any other choice, right?”
“Gossip is part of the game.” Bill walked toward the elevator. “Now come, I can’t wait to show them to you. You’re lucky, you know? We had only one brother until this today, when the other came and volunteered to be put in the adoption list as well. And we don’t separate families if we can…which happens to be in your program as well, right?"
Gabriella groaned. “Just my luck.”
The same words were crossing the mind of Inspector Li.
Six years of field work. Two tons of paper. Three kilograms of antacids. A carefully crafted operation to dismantle one of the most efficient drug cartels ever.
And the boss of said cartel…had disappeared.
Interpol Inspector Li kept looking at the empty cages that, until one minute ago, had contained a parrot and a python.
Two cages well locked, not a sign they had been tampered with.
He had been sent for because, one minute ago, the camera keeping a tab on those cages had started acting crazy. But when vision was back, the prisoners were gone.
As if by magic.
“I should’ve known better,” the man hissed through clenched teeth.
“Sir?” asked the man in the black suit behind him.
“Looks like I underestimated the resources at disposal of General Elegante,” Li said. “But as long as we have the files, he’s just like a declawed cat. Not to mention that the System can’t prosecute an animal on the grounds of leading a criminal cartel.”
“And what about his accomplice, the ‘Puppet’?”
Li nodded, his eyes glued to the empty cages. “One thing at a time. We’ll get them all, wherever they’re hiding…”

“Heaven is a desert on Earth, hmmMM!” Macajuel did his best to roll in the hot dust. “Admittedly, a jungle would be better, but at last I get some real warm climate, not that toxic conditioning.”
“For once, I am tempted to give you credit on this,” Piper said, goofballing himself up, to eliminate some dust from his feathers.
“But just the fact that I’m free again won’t prevent me from making you pay for hiding the fact that you were the real General, and that you kept me in the dark about your real plans.”
Piper wasn’t impressed. “As you may have noticed, it worked, you overconfident walking stomach: those stupid humans and the traitor thought they had defeated me, didn’t even suspect that I would have my little special help from my friends.” He turned. “My dear,” he said, “I hope that you arranged a pool for us.”
The woman he had talked to bowed with sincere respect. “Yes, General. Your rooms are ready, despite the…short notice.”
Piper scowled at her. “Just a minor complication, my dear. What happened today, well, accelerated my plans. I understand that our lawyers did what I asked?”
The woman smiled. “Yes, General. The money went to an offshore account and from there to a series of dummy corporations which bought the place. Soon, I will have the workforce and the tools for the maintenance.”
The macaw nodded. “Perfect. What will the authorities say?”
Estrella Delasangre shook her head. “Nothing, Sir. They were simply too happy to get rid of this property. In fact, they almost gave it away for free. As long as inspections are allowed to make sure nothing…shady is going on, we won’t get disturbed. A bribe will keep closer inspections at bay.”
Piper flew from the ground and up onto her shoulder. “My dear, I knew I could trust you. Our common friends showed better taste than I imagined, myself.” This time, his gaze went to the rusty-colored New Guinea Dingo and the pitch-black female Savannah Cat.
“How long, before Oasia comes to a completion?” asked the dingo. A deep scar ran across his muzzle, while his chest sported a cross-shaped scar. The ‘medals’ of a pet fighter.
Piper looked past the canine, past the other six animals waiting in a disciplined line – a male German Shepherd and his mixed breed feline companion, a male Doberman and a blue cat with a fox-like tail, a male corgy/husky mix and his blue-furred Bengal cat companion. A line of the last fighters, the Kings of Champions who survived the ordeals of their old lives.
Piper’s gaze went to the ghost town that once had teemed with the life of the perverts and the sufferance of countless innocents.
Not a ghost town.
A town of ghosts. From her position, inside Piper’s body, Bora could see them clearly: thousands and thousands of them, fighters and victims for the dark pleasures of the human inhabitants.
The ghost hawk’s soul soared at that sight! Countless presences shining with an angry emerald light, waiting to see justice done once and for all.
A feeling which Estrella Delasangre shared with all her heart and soul. Her own family had built that city using bloody money, gave it a prosperity that only the most twisted minds could appreciate. Once, those minds had been exposed to the horror they had created or contributed to create, and since then Isla de la Paz had been abandoned. The Government didn’t dare to claim it, it was a stain too horrid to be even remembered, just as, in Babylon Gardens, House Whiteman had been buried from the community’s memories.
She had joined Piper’s cause not only to amend to her family’s faults, but also because what they had done had destroyed any faith she could have in humankind. She would help the cause, whatever the costs! Being Piper’s second in command, in this regard, was the highest honor she could aspire to!
Piper smiled. “Soon, my dear Asesino. Soon, Isla de la Paz will become the ultimate sanctuary, the kingdom where we will rule, where humans will have no place.”
“The first of many.”
Piper’s laugh echoed strong in the desert air.

Episode 20

Author:  Honorable Intentions [ Thu Nov 29, 2012 5:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread

Woot season finale! Definitely been quite a ride since episode 1 this season, and an interesting approach to your series over all, what with many of the major characters being OCs, but I liked it. Can't wait to see where things go from here. :D

Author:  JeffCvt [ Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread

A very interesting finale. I was quite honestly not expecting Piper to get away. But I guess you wouldn't have much of an overall plot for season 4 if you let that happen.

Alright. Season 4. LET'S GO!

Author:  RandomGeekNamedBrent [ Fri Nov 30, 2012 3:31 am ]
Post subject:  Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread

darn you, waiting until the last section of the last part of the last episode of the season to bring my characters back. Now I need to wait until after the special episode. :evil:

but still, I am excite. :D

Author:  JeffCvt [ Fri Nov 30, 2012 9:07 am ]
Post subject:  Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread

My thoughts exactly Brent.

But I actually thought that they wouldn't be introduced until the 5th or 6th season, so I'm happy with this.

Author:  Obbl [ Fri Nov 30, 2012 10:35 am ]
Post subject:  Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread

OHMIGOSH! I love chapters when plot points start coming together. But wow is Piper amazing (with an extremely difficult personality to understand). Love what your doing with this. :D

Also: "Gabriella Lindberg", no?

Author:  valerio [ Fri Nov 30, 2012 10:50 am ]
Post subject:  Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread

No, it's Lundberg.
In my idea, the Lundbergs were the original family, cotton industry aristocracy guys before they got separated in two branches, with the 'rebels' secretly working toward the emancipation of their workforce and financing the work of a certain Mrs. Foster. Their separation, though, costed them all the benefits from the family name and had to change it to Lindberg.
We know how history wents, but in the end even the Lindbergs didn't gain much for their standing against slavery and soon, though still a large and relatively prosperous family, had to stay in the fields while their counterparts followed the victors' bandwagon and moved north.
The two families are still in touch, though with some diffidence...

Author:  RandomGeekNamedBrent [ Fri Nov 30, 2012 1:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread

I have a question. Was the whole "Piper is the General" idea yours, or did that come with his character when Rick made him?

Author:  valerio [ Fri Nov 30, 2012 1:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread

RandomGeekNamedBrent Wrote:
I have a question. Was the whole "Piper is the General" idea yours, or did that come with his character when Rick made him?


Author:  valerio [ Fri Nov 30, 2012 2:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread

Special Episode III: A Meeting of Generations
Written by VALERIO, by kind concession of HONORABLE INTENTIONS

Sandwich House, Babylon Gardens

A golden-furred paw knocked at the door. Less than one second later, a merry voice barked, “I’LL GET IT!” and the door opened on a happy brown-and-cinnamon muzzle with darker, floppy ears and bright blue eyes. The Canadian Pointer mix was wagging rapidly. “Tarot! Sabrina! Glad you could make it!”
“You knew I would not give up such an occasion, my dearest Peanut,” the female Pomeranian said, showing a happy smile.
Peanut Butter Sandwich bent down and gave Tarot a peck on the cheek. “I guess you’re right, as always.” He then turned to the black cat, Tarot’s oldest friend, teacher and apprentice –yes, theirs was an odd relationship. “How’s Jinx, Sabi? I thought that Fido was on duty tonight, and that you’d bring her with you.”
“I left her to Uncle Martin. She couldn’t be better protected and cared for than that,” Sabrina answered. “And you know that I don’t mind at all this job… But, what’s with ‘Sabi?”
Peanut nodded then moved aside to allow his friends to walk in. “Uh, sorry for that!” he chuckled nervously. “It’s Nutella, she loves creating her own lingo. She’s learning to write faster than others just to write down her ideas. She’s filled up a notebook already.
“You two gals are really precious. It’s been almost a year since Grape and I had our first date all for us. I mean, it’s not that living with her is not like a date every day, I really really really love her and raising a family is awesome and all—“ he was interrupted by a black-furred finger gently pressing on his lip.
Sabrina then took Peanut’s paws in hers. “Believe me, I so know the feeling: every couple needs some time for themselves, and you two are the most dedicated parents I ever knew. You deserve a break, in fact Tarot and I wondered how long would it take for you two to ask for this favor.” She then, unexpectedly, hugged Peanut! The poor sweet dog went BSOD, blushing like crazy.
“Err…” Peanut tried to say.
“Hey!” a new voice said, “Paws off the merchandise, lady! That’s my handsome hubby, you know?!”
Sabrina let go of Peanut. Peanut had that terrified ‘it-is-not-what-you-think’ look.
The black cat looked at the nice build of the dog. By now, Peanut had shaped himself up to be a perfect match with her own mate, Fido. She nodded. “Just wanted to see how does it feel, my friend. Lucky gal you are.”
Peanut was by now near to a vegetative state.
Grape Jelly came and grabbed her husband and mate by the wrist and pulled him effortlessly toward the door. “I am wearing my best collar. Mom worked one hour on my makeover. Peanut and I slept through all day to make sure we are fully awake tonight. And I took a bath! I won’t let hormones get in the way! Come, love: The Summer Yarn Ball is waiting for us to burn the stage.”
“I remembered that by now you liked to take a bath with Peanut,” Sabrina said, grinning like a fox.
Her paw on the door, Grape winked one last time. “Hey, leave a cat her reputation. See ya.” And she slammed the door closed.
Sabrina and Tarot stood there, looking at the closed door, blinking.
Then only their eyes moved to meet each other’s gaze…as their mouths curved in an almost devilish smile…
And then they turned and jumped, grinning like excited fangirls “SQUEEEE!”
“I don’t know how you managed to stay so calm,” Sabrina said, running toward the stairs.
Tarot was easily keeping up with her. “One more minute and I would’ve locked them out! Have you shut up your mind?”
They reached the first floor. Sabrina nodded. “Won’t spoil us one single second of this evening. Ready?”
They looked at the door. Tarot nodded. “Ready.”

The door opened. Dog and cat peeked in, not without a certain amount of prudence.
“Kittens?” Tarot asked.
The room was empty. But, as usual, that was deceptive: they had taken this, from their mommy, stalking was a trait of the family.
“Look, we’ll have to enter the room sooner or later.”
Tarot nodded. “We need a plan.”
“Aren’t you exaggerating, now?”
“They’re good.”
Sabrina entered first. She proceeded to the center of the large room that once had been the two separate rooms of Peanut and Grape. The cat turned. “See? They’re just pocking on our nerves.”
“Gotcha!” said a voice, as the pavement under the two females came alive! A moment later, Tarot and Sabrina were trapped in a net, dangling from the ceiling.
“Not. A. Word,” Sabrina said.
“Their mother is a cat, and their father a most creative dog,” Tarot said, nonetheless. “What did you expect?”
Five figures peeked out from Peanut’s and Grape’s bed. Five kittens, their snouts painted with war paints and bands with feathers around their heads. They started running in circle under their prey, whooping and dancing.
“Is it too late to ask for Budweiser’s help?” Tarot asked, thinking of Peanut’s father.
“He’s at Fido’s, playing poker with the K9-U. And he said he wanted to enjoy a night of relax.”
“Silence, heathens!” said one of the kittens, pointing a makeshift spear made with DAS. His fur was spotless white, except for the lavender tail which, like his mommy’s already promised to grow fluffy and long. “You have been found guilty of entering our territory. The sentence will be tough!”
“It should be ‘severe’,” whispered the second male of the litter –the firstborn who had taken every single color from his father’s pattern…and his disposition as well.
The white male facepawlmed, shaking his head. “Dayshaun, we are supposed to instill fear in our enemies, not talk. They are not a plague zombies delegation!”
“And we should give them a chance, Parnok, not kill them in cold blood,” Dayshaun insisted with that voice his doggy daddy used when trying to reason with Bino.
“Daww!” Tarot cooed. No matter what predicament they could put her in, she could spend her whole life tending to those tiny fuzzballs.
“We are not cute!” Parnok said, baring his teeth, raising his hackles, and managing only to look even cuter. “You shall surrender to us or—or—“ without moving, he moved his eyes to one of the three females, her fur an immaculate lavender with a single white spot in the middle of her brow. “Tarot, what we’re supposed to do?”
“I will feed the prisoners to the spirits,” was the solemn reply from the one who’d been named after the dog who had made the miracle possible. That only one event that had allowed a dog and a cat to create life.
“You sure?” Parnok asked, with a hint of diffidence. He was the litter’s ‘frontman’, the charismatic but impulsive leader.
Tarot was the one with the best memory, the most introspective. Her siblings turned to her when they needed advices. “Yes. Louise and Nutella have arranged the altar already.”
The two twins, whose color was a uniform shade of brown like Peanut’s ears, nodded eagerly, grinning innocently.
“I was sure they were to be burnt,” Parnok said to himself, pouting. Then he huffed. “Fine! Bring them down! And don’t try to escape, heathens!”
As the net was lowered, Sabrina asked, “And where did you get those weapons, dear?”
“Daddy has an artbook!” Dayshaun answered. “He said he learnt from that how to build that!” he pointed at the blocky piece of furniture, on which stood the diorama representing a farm. Of course, one couldn’t miss the big barn where, on the roof, stood the two figurines of Peanut and Grape kissing tenderly. The first step of a long walk that had led to this.
The net touched the floor. “Regrets?” Sabrina asked Tarot.
The Pomeranian shook her head. No words were necessary. She could have never forgiven herself, had she stood in the way of…all of this.
Sabrina looked at the net. It had been painted as to blend perfectly with the pavement, including the mat. At least, the kittens had shown patience and precision to prepare their trap—
“We paid the wolf cubs in cookies to do that,” said Louise, all the proud, as Nutella nodded. Yup, it was easy to forget that they were the manipulators of the bunch. One way or the other, they got someone to do their job. “They were good, were they?”
“Enough talking!” Parnok snapped. “Now, to the altar. The spirits won’t be despised!”
“Denied,” Daysahun corrected. Tarot was pretty sure the teaching staff at the shelter was going to have a new member.
Parnok’s glare, on the other hand, promised vengeance…but soon another expression twisted his face as his jaws opened in a powerful yawn!
And soon, the other kittens’ mouths joined the first in a drowsy chorus.
“Looks like there are some other priorities to attend to,” Tarot said. “Didn’t you sleep today?”
“Not since lunch,” kitten Tarot said, rubbing her eye. “We spent the rest of the day setting the trap and waiting for prey.”
Sabrina was amazed. At that age, such focus was more proper for a feral litter under the stress of danger, not hyperactive kittens born in the comforts of civilization. “Then you have been very good hunters,” Sabrina said, ruffling Tarot’s head fur. “Why won’t you take a nap? We’ll stay here as hostages so that the spirits won’t be denied after all. And when you’re awake, we’ll have cookies and milk to ingratiate them. How does that sound?”
“You’re not bad…for a…heathen…” Parnok yawned again, his tail all fluffing up. Like the others, he didn’t put up any resistance as they were picked up and put onto their parents’ bed. They instinctively assembled in a single bunch before falling straight into Morpheus’ arms.
The two females stood there, looking at them, wishing they could go to them and curl up protectively around them.
“I make you this promise,” Tarot said. “I am going to look out for a mate.”
Sabrina’s arm wrapped around her friend’s shoulders. “I knew you would make that choice. Just don’t let the spirits involved.”
The couple turned and went to the door. “Forgive me if I won’t completely trust your judgment,” Tarot said. “I’d like a canine companion.”
“Touché. But then you’ll have to hang out with the Good ol’ Dogs Club, eventually. You know, get a life and all.”
“I thought that the Club was supposed to smother one’s life.”
“Only if you rely on Bino for guidance…”
The door closed on their small talk.
It opened a few minutes later.
“But I don’t want to go to sleep!” Protested a voice. “And you can’t make me!”
“Your parents can,” the voice of aunt Tarot said, with that quiet but firm tone that made it clear she was not going to sympathize with the protests. “They said they want to see you all curled up and sleeping by the time they’re back home.”
“But they’ll be late! Why can’t I watch the Devil Dog marathon in the meantime?”
“Because I still care for your parents’ friendship.”
“Wait until you’ll have your own cubs, dear. Now go to bed.”
“I can’t,” protested the other voice.
A voice that still the kittens did not recognize. Funny pup-like voice. But still they were too tired to open their eyes and look.
“And why not—oh!”
“Who are they?”
Parnok, always the alert one, opened one eye. His brain registered aunt Tarot, who was looking very, very surprised.
And a pup he didn’t know, peeking from behind aunt Tarot. A male, all fluffy, his fur white and bluish with black spots, his ears floppy-tipped, blue eyes. Definitely not Bosco, nor Rigel or Naos, and surely not Mortimer.
Parnok’s eyes opened. “Who are you?” he said, now fully awake. The other kittens stirred, progressively getting aware of this unexpected intruder.
The pup sniffed timidly at that strange purple-tailed feline. “I am Jon Turkey Sandwich, and you are in my home!”

Author:  valerio [ Fri Nov 30, 2012 2:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread

OK so my plans for this thirs special episode were a bit...different, but after reading THE WAY BACK MACHINE by the excellent Honorable Intentions, I just couldn't resist and wrote this piece which, in his universe, is set before the second part of his ficcie.
I wanted cuteness and this is the perfect chance. :D :D :D :D :D

Author:  RandomGeekNamedBrent [ Fri Nov 30, 2012 2:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread

quick question: is reading his fic crucial to understanding this, cause I really don't have time within the next two weeks to read an entire fic. I plan to read it eventually, but I can't right now, so do I have to put off reading this until I can?

Author:  valerio [ Fri Nov 30, 2012 2:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread

RandomGeekNamedBrent Wrote:
quick question: is reading his fic crucial to understanding this, cause I really don't have time within the next two weeks to read an entire fic. I plan to read it eventually, but I can't right now, so do I have to put off reading this until I can?

I hope I have put enough elements in mine to make it clear without needing to read Intention's first.
You be the judge

Author:  RandomGeekNamedBrent [ Fri Nov 30, 2012 2:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread

so It's similar to the crossover fic you did for your first special episode? cause I didn't need to read the other one for that either.

Oh, are there spoilers? cause as I said, I intent to read the Way Back Machine eventually, I don't want any surprises ruined :lol:

Author:  valerio [ Fri Nov 30, 2012 2:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread

RandomGeekNamedBrent Wrote:
so It's similar to the crossover fic you did for your first special episode? cause I didn't need to read the other one for that either.

Oh, are there spoilers? cause as I said, I intent to read the Way Back Machine eventually, I don't want any surprises ruined :lol:

well, you are peeking at a different narrative universe, with references to the events happened in that fiction, so yes you could say there are the measure that EVERYTHING happening in another universe is a spoiler for it

Author:  RandomGeekNamedBrent [ Fri Nov 30, 2012 2:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread

not sure I understand your answer, but I don't really care about spoilers. at least, not enough to put off reading any of your work for a for longer than a couple hours :lol:

Author:  valerio [ Fri Nov 30, 2012 2:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread

Reading Valerio's ficcies causes addiction :lol:

Author:  JeffCvt [ Fri Nov 30, 2012 4:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread

This is looking to be a pretty funny episode. And one with a few sweet moments in it too.

You never fail to entertain. I can't wait to see what the Kittens get into.

Author:  Karl [ Fri Nov 30, 2012 7:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread

valerio Wrote:
OK so my plans for this thirs special episode were a bit...different, but after reading THE WAY BACK MACHINE by the excellent Honorable Intentions, I just couldn't resist and wrote this piece which, in his universe, is set before the second part of his ficcie.

Well... your fic, your choice.

Author:  kavviyenta [ Fri Nov 30, 2012 8:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread

It's all depend how it come out.

Pixel's a jinx, eh? And Mortimer...guess I know who.

Author:  valerio [ Sat Dec 01, 2012 4:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread

Sandwich House, Babylon Gardens. 10pm

“You are a big stinkin’ clawin’ and somethin’ else liar! This is our home! Wait till daddy and mommy come back and you’ll be in giant truffles!”
“That would be…nnn…troubles…” Dayshaun corrected, at the same time trying to keep a hold of his brother. “Help me guys?”
“I don’t need no grammar to teach ‘im a lesson! Lemmego!”
The two brown-furred twins grabbed Parnok’s legs.
“Parnok, why do you have to be so rude?” kitten Tarot asked. “Of course this is a guest, can’t you see he’s with aunt Tarot?”
That seemed to placate, although momentarily, Parnok’s nerves. “Fine! But this is still our place, not his!”
Dayshaun let him go and so did the females. “I am sure he remembered that, by now. Isn’t that so, aunt Tarot? Aunt Tarot? Why are you looking at me like that?”
The Pomeranian looked as if she had seen a ghost, and that was something for one who had had her own experience with the supernatural. “It’s not possible…” if she didn’t know better, she could swear that this ‘Dayshaun’ was like the feline incarnation of Peanut! “Kittens…” she was almost afraid to ask the questions. Especially because she could smell her friends all over those bodies, and it wasn’t the scent that came only from laying in their bed. And even “Kittens, who are your mommy and daddy?”
Even Parnok fell silent at that. He and the others exchanged a loooong look, then Dayshaun snapped his fingers! “Oh, I got it! It’s a game! Like when Bosco tells the other his middle name is The Game and drives everyone crazy. Oh, and you just lost by the way!” he wagged, he actually wagged his fluffy brown tail. “Our mommy is Grape Jelly Sandwich and our Daddy is Peanut Butter Sandwich. Your move!”
“But we don’t even know the rules, you dummy!” Nutella said.
At that point, Jon seemed to win his shyness and stepped forward. He looked as indignant as one of his age could look. “My mommy and daddy are Grape and Peanut! You lie!”
“You lied first!” Parnok exclaimed. “And I can out-lie you anytime…” he stopped and reflected about that. “That came out wrong.”
Jon and Parnok were almost snout-to-snout. “Ha! I’ll bet you don’t even know the name of your shelter!” Jon barked.
“We come from no shelter! We are born!”
"Well, he's a little right," Dayshaun said. "We were born, but in a shelter."
"Yes, but always from Mom and Dad!"
“You a bigger, stinker liar than me…” he too stopped for a moment. “No, wait… Anyway, no kittens can be born from a dog and a cat!”
Dayshaun showed him the tongue, in a way that Tarot was definitely sure mirrored Peanut’s. She shivered. “We were, so there!”
“Wait, you weren’t born from mom and dad?” kitten Tarot asked.
“I was adopted. So what?”
“This game is stupid,” Louise said, getting out of the bed. “And now I’m hungry, I want the milk and cookies you promised…Aunt…” Then realization came, as her eyes scanned the room.
The smaller, unfamiliar room. It was cut in half by a wall.
“Where is the farm?” Nutella, affected by her bond with Louise, asked.
“Where is the picture?” Dayshaun ran to the desk his mother used. He used the stool standing near the seat to climb up and examine the picture portraying Peanut and Grape dancing a lento in the middle of a room crowded with pets. “What happened to the other?” He asked, with that familiar, so Peanut-like anxiety.
“What other picture?” Jon said.
“The one where Mommy and Daddy are married!”
Tarot almost fainted.
A white-furred paw knocked at the door. Less than one second later, the door opened on a rather stressed Tarot. “Tell me you brought them.”
The other Pomeranian handed her a tube of dog-safe analgesic. Tarot snatched it, opened it and downed the content.
“That bad?” asked the white-furred Pomeranian, as she and Sabrina walked into Sandwich House.
Tarot closed the door. “Worse.”
“Are you sure you’re not exaggerating?” Sabrina asked, raising an eyebrow. “I mean, we dealt with magical—“
“No magic,” Tarot interrupted her friend. “No doppelgangers, no clones, no cyborgs. They are…natural as you and I. Just…” she sighed, rubbing her temples. “Better you see with your own eyes.” She led them to the kitchen.

“I am done with that sketch!” Dayshaun announced, all proud, handling out the bloc with a good replica of a portrait showing Peanut and Grape, holding to each other tenderly. The dog was wearing a fine black collar with a tie, and the cat a white collar and an unmistakable veil on her head. “See? This is the picture that has disappeared! Have you called aunt Sabrina to help us find it? Who is the new dog, aunt Tarot? Your sister?”
“Her name’s Arcana,” Tarot said, examining the picture, running a finger over that figment of a reality that had gone even beyond her wildest imagination… “And yes, dear, she’s my sister…”
“Why are you crying, aunt?”
Tarot gulped down a tear, wiping quickly the others with her fingers. “Ah, nothing. I was just thinking they are such a beautiful couple.”
“Yes, they are!” He then giggled. “Even aunt Sabrina is looking funny at me! And your sister too!” and for some reason, that made him even more amused.
“I should’ve brought more of that analgesic,” the cat said. Even worse, she was feeling like a fist turning her stomach inside out. If Grape and Peanut had conceived a litter, had it been a true miracle, a unique gift from the highest spirits, or something that even she and Fido..?
She didn’t dare to complete that thought. “No magic?” she asked to Tarot. “Are you absolutely sure that—“
“Whatever caused that overlap,” Tarot sighed, “it wasn’t of magical nature. And this makes their origin untraceable: we just cannot scan the whole multiverse, it would take longer than the Universe’s age. And time is running short.” Her eyes went to the wall clock. If the kittens were right, they had until 1am before Peanut and Grape, husband and wife, would be back and then discover they had lost the most precious things in the whole world. Something, literally, irreplaceable.
Death would come as a merciful blessing, at that point.
Arcana nodded. “I’ll go check with my friends. You keep an eye on them.”
Tarot nodded. “Well, kittens, looks like you have many interesting—Where are the others?” Namely, Nutella, Louise and Parnok.
“They asked Jon to show them the neighborhood,” kitten Tarot said, while scribbling something on her bloc, without raising her head. “He accepted.”
Tarot saw her life passing in front of her eyes. NOT a nice sensation. “And…why didn’t you tell me?”
“Because you were busy,” Dayshaun answered. “And it’s rude to interrupt an adult!”
Arcana closed the door behind herself. The green-eyed canine walked to the sink, took a stool and got up to get level with the mirror. Then she knocked against the glass. “I know you are online, Pete,” she growled. “You better answer!”
In a moment, her reflection was replaced by one of a blue-feathered gryphon. The creature was sitting at a desk, frowning over piles of sheets.“My friend, please,” he said with a heavy sigh. “This job’s already hard as it is without you barging in.”
Arcana smiled, crossing her arms against her chest. “For one who just won our game, you surely don’t look like you got the best bargain.”
Pete turned, his chin resting against his taloned eagle paw. “I should’ve known better, you—“
Arcana wiggled a finger at him. “Ah-ah, no bad thoughts, Petey: it’s not my fault if you decided to bind yourself to your own cult, thus forcing yourself to spend time on this plane, non-subjectively, while figuring out a solution to keep your promise to the Milton family.”
“Just don’t tempt me into causing a pandemic. I’m beginning to think that it’s the only way to help the non-humans to gain equality… But I guess you called me for another reason entirely, Dragon.”
As Arcana spoke, the shadow she cast was that of the serpentine female that, due to her falling in love with Peanut, had eventually upset the balance of The Game in favor of the Gryphon. “The kittens.”
Pete chuckled. “Yes, interesting development there. It’s good to see you softies sweating it for once. And no, I’m not responsible for their presence in this continuum. Any other question?”
“I knew that already. We need to know what caused this displacement, Pete. Please, don’t play games now: solving this problem is fundamental—“
“Yadda yadda yadda ye,” the gryphon interrupted her with a wave of his paw. “Save it, draggie: Not even I am so stupid as to want yet another problem literally running around the neighborhood. Unfortunately, I cannot solve the problem, for as you too know, browsing the multiverse would take too much time. Just call this number, instead.”
The golden eagle paw passed through the mirror as if the glass were liquid.
It was holding a business card. Arcana took it, recognized the logo, and the name on it. Of course! Stupid...!
Pete winked at her. “No hard feelings, babe: I’d love to hold you on a debt and a well-conceived plot, but I’ll content myself with a date. I’ll also assume a proper mortal shape for our reciprocal enjoyment.”
“Just don’t enjoy it too much.”
The gryphon grinned. “Unlike you, I know I will. Oh, and as for your last question…”
“You’re going to slap me in the face every time with your advantage, are you?”
Pete bent forward. His golden eyes flashed. “I owe you a 5,000 years confinement inside my own temple, dearie. You can bet I will make you hate your mortality… Just pray I don’t make it so that that body of yours lives for the next 5,000 years.”
“Now, for that question: no, the kittens are not magical beings. The spirit magic was used to allow DNA combinations that would’ve been otherwise impossible, but once conceiving had occurred, biology laws took over. The kittens will spawn cats with fully feline DNA. Special #1, no refund, no replay. Only one other known case, but believe me, you wouldn’t appreciate the environmental circumstances. And now, sorry, I got to study away to bring interspecies democracy.” And the contact was interrupted.
Arcana looked at the card.
She just hoped that discovering the truth wouldn’t lead to an even bigger trouble… Sigh, but I knew I wouldn’t get bored with this family.

Author:  JeffCvt [ Sat Dec 01, 2012 5:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread

More! I want more!

Author:  valerio [ Sat Dec 01, 2012 6:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread

Byron House, Babylon Gardens.

“But I have to go, dog, honest!”
Fido looked at Kevin, who was literally squirming in his seat, and then to the door. He sighed. “All right, Kev. But no more soda when you come back. And close the door.”
The Doberman barely thanked while running out of the room. He had just opened the door, though, that the flash of a camera filled temporarily the room…and startled him.
Mr. Byron smiled. “Daww—Ewww!”
“Sorry, Sir!” Kevin whimpered while trying by now to limit the damage.
Fido rolled his eyes. “I guess you’re done trying to shoot mandatory references, Dad?”
“I guess I should’ve stopped with the first three pics. I’ll be in the bathroom, after Kevin is done.”
The canines waited, politely, then chuckled. “I should commend him just for that stunt,” Sergeant Ralph said.
“Admittedly,” Bino said, “this poker night is turning interesting at last. Now, if we could just get back to the game… Anything wrong, Lord Byron?”
All of a sudden, Fido had started staring at the door.
Bino, Ralph and Terrance followed his eyes but didn’t see anyone.
“Sabrina?” Fido said, instead, his girlfriend as visible as if in the flesh.
Bino facedesked. “Great! Not even on a dogs’ night will catlover stop being a weirdo!”
“I need your help, immediately!” the black cat said. “Jon has left the house and he has brought three family friends with him, three kittens. Please, make sure to bring them back home safely!”
Fido looked at the pile of tokens he had accumulated so far –a miracle, considering that Ralph was best poker body of them all. Eventually, he sighed and put down the cards. “Fine, fine.” He stood up. “Guys, litter escort emergency. Anyone with me?”
Bino stood up as well. “Better be more than one to work on that.”
Fido was pleasantly surprised. “Didn’t imagine you volunteering, brother. My bad. Thank you.”
Bino just pushed him aside while walking toward the door. “Don’t thank me, weirdo! I just want to make sure you do a good job and don’t steal the jackpot. Heck, I wonder how could the team keep you in after you did outing!”
“Because he’s—“ Ralph tried, but Fido shook his head. It would be a waste of breath and time: Since the night Peanut, Grape, Fido and Sabrina had come out in the middle of a party in front of pretty much half of the pet population, Bino had started a war with his brother. Not that before that they were on the best of terms already, but Bino was forced to respect Fido’s position as cop. After that night, the younger brother just wouldn’t miss a chance to demean the ‘weird catlover’.
Fido, of course, knew that Bino had accepted the invitation to a poker night just to collect some juicy gossip to use against him, but he still missed having his brother around. He felt as if he had failed him, in a way, not being able to mend the divide between them…
They knocked at the door.
Bino opened it, grumbling something…and falling silent for a moment, before turning. “Hey, weirdo! Looks like the problem’s solved!”
“You know that I could order you to let me maim him,” Ralph whispered, while he and Fido walked toward the entrance.
“In that case, Sarge, I’d call dibs,” Fido whispered back. Then he saw his quarry. “Hey, Jon! We were just going to look for you. And who are your guests?” He saw that even Bino was sniffing out, trying to remember the scents. Then his brother shook his head.
“Uncle Fido. These are Parnok, Nutella and Louise. And don’t mind the girls, they’ll mess with you over their names.”
“Aww!” both females said, together. “No fun!”
“I brought them here because we should have a supervision, and aunt Tarot and aunt Sabrina were busy—“
Bino rolled his eyes. “All right, enough with the telenovela. Now the pests are here and we can go back to our game,” he turned to get back to the game room.
“And where are your parents, kits?” Fido asked.
“They have a date all for themselves. They will be late,” Parnok answered.
“Not true,” Jon intervened. “Those are my parents!”
Fido wasn’t sure he had heard correctly. Bino, on the other hand, stopped on his tracks and turned, a devilish grin twisting his muzzle. “Glad to make your acquaintance, kittens.”
<Sabrina?> Fido thought.
<We’re working on it. Just bring them home and don’t ask questions. And let’s hope that Bino doesn’t learn about them.>
<Too late for that…>
“You’re pudgy,” Parnok said, interrupting the psychic conversation.
Bino blinked a couple of times. “I’m sorry..?” Looked like that line had definitely caught him by surprise
The white kitten tilted his head just like a curious puppy, his whiskers trembling as if he wanted to touch the dog with them. “You are pudgy!” he repeated. Louise and Nutella snickered. “Yesterday you weren’t pudgy!”
Bino started getting red in the face. “Why you little..!” But it was too late. By now, Parnok was walking around and mimicking being fat and clumsy, his cheeks all puffed out. “InflaBino! InflaBino!” his sisters chanted.
What few self-control Bino had retained exploded in a jet of fire from his mouth. Then the dog roared and started running after them.
Ralph was holding his tummy, leaning against Fido’s shoulder. Fido’s eyes were tearing with mirth. Even Terrance had lost his composure and was bashing his fist against the table. “Inflabino…Oh Jolly Molly…heheheheee!”
“Shame on you, Officer,” Ralph said, wiping a tear with a finger, “for not introducing me to them before.”
“Oh, I wanted to make you a surprise, Sarge. Heh.” And a surprise it was. <Sabrina, that fur color…> He didn’t dare to finish the thought.
<It happened. Somewhere. It’s not likely to happen in this reality, checked already.>
From the kitchen, there came the sound of dishware breaking, silverware clattering and furniture falling over. And something from Bino that can’t honestly be repeated.
“Hey guys,” Kevin said, coming in, “What’s with the racket? Did someone organize a freeze tag without tellin—ACK!” he saw only a flurry of white and brown movement, before turning into a living shelter for three hissing and spitting kittens, clawing for dear life at his body, lashing out with their tiny claws, while Bino leaned against the Doberman as if with a tree, barking madly.
Fido went and grabbed his brother by the scruff, pulling him away. “Bad dog, bro! Bad dog! Now stop it and let’s get back to our game. Kevin, you and I will make sure the kits and Jon are safely seen home… Kevin, are you all right?”
The poor Doberman was standing there, bristling up and twitching, his words spoken through a grimace of pain. “Claws. Tiny, sharp, so many. Ow.”
“Aw, can’t we sleep here?” Louise asked. Fido could swear she was about to whine like a puppy.
“We’re having fun,” Nutella added. “Aunties Tarot and Sabrina are booooring.”
“Plus, this is our territory, now!” Parnok exclaimed, proudly. He emphasized the point by tapping with a claw at Kevin’s shoulder, on which he was standing. “Make us!”
The dog whimpered. “Help.”
“Guys, you’re not being polite at all,” Jon intervened. “I’ll tell you on Mom and Dad if you—“
Our Mom and Dad!” Parnok interrupted him.
“Is that a family thing?” Bino asked from the game room. “This love for mixed couples, I mean? Oh, and Fido, our parents were both dogs by the way!”
Yup, Fido was definitely missing Spo and his loudmouthed rants. Next time he’d play a game of Scopa with him…
“Well, your son likes me!” Nutella said from Kevin’s neck, giving Bino the tongue. “So there!”
“No, me!” her sister snapped.
“Both of us then.”
“Fine enough.”
All of a sudden, a cloak of silence thick as the Moors’ fog had descended over the room. Not a single pair of adult eyes hadn’t shrunk to a dot.
“…I’m sorry?” Bino said, realizing he must be looking like an idiot, hanging jaw and all. Of course it was some weird joke, but the way they had spoken it, as if it was the most natural thing in the world…
“Bosco!” Parnok said. “Yours and Aunt Sasha’s pup! Are you too playing this game?!”
Nutella nudged him. “It must be very popular.”
Bino’s mind was reeling. Sasha? Him? With a…son?
Of course those pests were making fun of him, but the first thing that came to his mind were Fox’s words when he said, “Is she your girlfriend or not?”
His paws started clenching, and the cards he was holding crumpled.
“I’d say the game is over,” Fido said, opening the door and then pushing Jon and Kevin-tree out. “See you later guys!”
Sandwich House

“I am really really really really really really, but really busy right now. Please leave a message or dial SOS-TIMELINE for end-of-the-world emergencies. Any abuse of this toll-free number will cause you to live on Italian Welfare for the rest of your life. Have a nice reality.”
Sabrina dialed the number. “I hope he’s really busy as he stated, or…” But where the heck had Fido gone?!
And it was only 2 hours before Grape and Peanut came back home!
They had gone as far as 10 meters, before the door was almost ripped from its hinges. Bino shouted, “If I had a son, I’d teach him to make a rug out of your sorry cat hides! And if I see them ever again, Fido, I’ll expel you from the Club!!”
“Well, you are already a member of Uncle Joey’s Club,” Parnok said.
“I don’t really like playing D&D…” Fido said, before realizing they weren’t talking about the game club.
The police dog was fairly sure he’d wake up tomorrow thinking of this night as a long, strange dream…
“You sure come from an interesting place, kits,” Kevin said. “And since we’re at it, what else is so different?” He then winked at Fido, who decided not to make his brains explode with the truth,
A reality where Peanut and Grape had conceived was way weird, although wonderful, already. Bino with Sasha’s pup, Joey with a social club…
“How could I know?!” Parnok said. “It’s you who are playing it! We’re just following your lead!”
Fido reflected. What differences, indeed? How many things had gone differently? He may have just a few hours before these kittens were returned to their universe, but he was getting more and more curious by the second…
The hound snapped his fingers. “If I said that King is living with the Milton Wolves..?”
“Nah,” Nutella shook her head. “Uncle King lives with Uncle Fox!”
Fido felt a lump of joy in his throat. Way to go, little buddy, you earned it. He still felt sorry for not intervening those times when Bino had really crossed the bullying line…
It was easy to think in terms of alternate realities, to him. Living with Sabrina and Tarot could change one’s perspectives… “And Joey? Is he still wearing his cat suit?”
“Pffh,” Parnok said, much like Grape used to do. “He stopped after marrying that cat.”
“Are we talking about Joey?” Kevin said, reflecting Fido’s thoughts. “Joey-Joey?”
Parnok nodded. “Him and that Bubblesrot…Blanchewhat…”
“Bigglesworth!” both sisters said.
Fido almost stopped dead on his tracks! Kevin laughed out loud. “Hah! Joey and a Bigglesworth! Guys, I envy your fantasy! Wish I was a pup again!”
Fido felt a lump of terror in his throat. Joey and a Bigglesworth! What wrong did you do to deserve this, my poor little brother? “…And do Sabrina and I live together?”
“No,” Louise said. “That was easy: Aunt Sasha lives with you!”
His heart started screaming like the refrain in Thomas Leer’s Heartbeat. “Uh…guk?”
Kevin was almost bent in two. “Really, you should write a book out of this. Wait till I tell Bino! At least he won’t call you a weird catlover anymore!”
Fido panted to cool down. “Yeah, you could say that. He’ll skin me at the only idea. Do you remember what he sent me for Valentine… Hey, kits, what’s up now?”
The group was near Sandwich house.
The kittens were looking at the end of the road, now.
And their bulging eyes were speaking fear.
“Kittens..?” Fido tried again
Eyes locked on the old house standing in the middle of an unkempt meadow.
“Spooky, is it? The Abandoned Manor has that effect even on the bravest—
“Where’s Uncle Martin’s house?” Parnok asked, his voice trembling with fear.

Author:  valerio [ Sat Dec 01, 2012 6:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread

JeffCvt Wrote:
More! I want more!

Igor delivers, master. Please, spare Igor the whip!

Author:  JeffCvt [ Sat Dec 01, 2012 9:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread

Val, I don't know how, but you had the perfect timing with this. I just ran out of stuff to read on the way back from a parade.

Author:  valerio [ Sun Dec 02, 2012 1:35 am ]
Post subject:  Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread

The Abandoned Manor, Babylon Gardens. Another timeline…

…Where a pup named Jon Turkey Sandwich was adopted from a shelter, to be raised by a dog and a cat in the ways of love and tolerance.
In his young life, Jon had never considered himself something other than a very lucky pup. He had always loved both his human owners and his pet parents with equal intensity. He had already gained a lot of odd looks for treating Grape Jelly as if she were his biological mother, but Jon, though sensible as he was, had never cared for them.
Peanut and Grape were his family, his world, and no mocking would change that.
These five weird kittens from…where?, they had managed to make him feel scared. Mom would tell him it was a dog thing, that Peanut too used to get anxiety crises over the simplest things.
It may be true, but Jon loved to think that he had taken this from his Dad.
Dad had a great imagination, the richest in the world! His bedtime stories were the bestest of the best! For example, once he had told his son of when a Dragon had fallen in love with him…
But the story these kittens – Dayshaun, Tarot, Parnok, Nutella and Louise – had brought with themselves was something else entirely.
Because if it was true, could it happen here too?
“Where’s Uncle Martin’s house?”
“Who?” Fido asked, trying to remember something, anything about a pet named Martin.
“M-Martin,” Nutella said, climbing down Kevin. “Martin F-Foster, a human. He helps pets. He built the shelter where we were born. He demolished that ugly house and built a new one, his.”
Yup, things had definitely gone different, in their elsewhere, Fido thought.
Parnok, Nutella and Louise Sandwich kept staring at the Abandoned Manor. Then they looked at the pup. At Jon.
Reality hit them at last.
They were the freaks here, what couldn’t have happened.
“We’re not going to see them again…” Parnok gulped down his tears. All his bravado evaporated.
He was no longer a lonely kitten in the streets.
He was a lonely kitten lost forever!
“Parnok, please…” Fido reached out for him. He had made a mistake, should have brought them immediately to Sabrina, not indulging them.
But the simple brushing of fingers against fur was enough to set Parnok and the others off like rockets!
“Heck, they’re fast!” Kevin exclaimed, trying to get them. But, like Fido, he had no luck. Plus, they were two and the escapees were three.
Soon, their quarry would lose themselves in the tall grass… “Kevin, I’ll go pick up Terrance you—“
“No,” Jon said, tugging at the older dog’s tail.
Fido almost growled at him. “Jon, this is no ga—“
“They are scared, Uncle Fido. They want their family.” Jon shook his head. He was on the verge of crying, himself. “I would be scared to death, too. They won’t listen to you. Please, let me try. The house is too big.”
That last sentence summed up the real problem, there: time. Even by deploying a whole team, it would take a few hours before the kittens could be found. And a scared kitten was the hardest creature in the world to find out.
Fido nodded. “I see what you mean, but you can’t go in there! It’s dangerous!”
Jon looked at the place. For the first time, he was showing something of the adult he would become, not just a puppy looking after his peers. “Then you come with me. But leave it to me to search.”
“You know where to go?” Kevin asked.
“I’ve heard uncle Max speaking about the best hiding places.”
Yeah, and I heard Marvin talking about something in there that turned Maxwell a total chicken, once, Fido thought. But, again, did he have a choice? <Sabrina? Please, I really need you here.>
The mental voice came back at him like a soothing sensation. <And I need to get in touch with the only one who can solve this problem in time. Trust Jon, love: just like you’d trust Peanut.>
Fido nodded. “All right. I’ll escort you. Kev, go call the rest of the team, just to stay on the safe side. Deploy them along the external perimeter.”
“On it, Officer,” said the Doberman, all business, before producing a cell phone.
Fido and Jon started running. “You believe them, do you?” the pup asked, without eve looking at the cop dog.
“I have learnt from Sabrina and Tarot that…things are way, way more complicated than they seem. I know it sounds so crazy, but—“
Jon smiled. “Actually, I’m cool with it!”
Like Peanut, Jon seemed to have a natural reservoir of air. He was barely panting while saying, “Daddy taught me that new things shouldn’t be feared. They should be studied, understood. And new people can be new friends if you’ll be friend to them. Except Uncle Bino.”
And hearing those words, Fido wondered how Sabrina hadn’t fallen for Peanut all this time. “So, what’s your plan, Sir?” he asked, stopping in front of the entrance. The door was ajar, the kittens’ footprints leading inside.
Jon walked toward the door. “Talk to them,” he said with a ‘what else?’ tone.
Yeah, what else?
“Guys? Please, it’s me, there’s no one else with me.”
The house answered with silence, broken by the creaking of the old wood under his feet. The air reeked with the smell of dust, old things…and its most recent guest. Jon had few troubles following the lead, upstairs. “Guys, I know where you’ve gone. Please, the others are worried. And I’m getting dust all over me. I’ll have to get a bath. I hate baths.”
“R-really?” said a shaky voice from behind a door…the one he had just passed. Hey, they’re good!
“Nella, you’re supposed to be hiding!” Parnok’s voice hissed.
“But dogs love water! I never met one who doesn’t.” A moment later, the door opened enough for one little head to peek out. “Do you really hate water?”
“I like water. I just don’t like baths. All that shampoo makes me sneeze.”
Nutella nodded. “We like water and baths. The other cats think we’re weird.”
Jon sat down – more dust to wash off, later, ew. “It’s okay. Pups think I’m weird too.”
“Because I like to do cat things.”
Jon wagged, and in so creating a small cloud of dust. “Sure! Once we are home I’ll show you my yarn!” He regretted those words the moment he had spoken them. “Sorry. I didn’t mean…”
“’s OK,” Nutella said, her ears telling a different story. “We want to go home.”
“Why come here, then? It’s dark, smelly, dusty. Creepy.”
“Because…there are the ghosts. They lived here, so Tarot said. Aunt Tarot, I mean. They will help us, I’m sure.”
Jon gulped. He’s rather spend the night here during Halloween, when getting scary was the fun part. “I’m sure Aunts Tarot and Sabrina can. I mean, they work with spirits, too. Do yours, too?”
Parnok’s head appeared. “Of course. And I’m sure they do better than yours!”
Jon stuck out his tongue. “Mine can out-spirit yours anytime.”
The white-furred kitten walked out, in his best fighting stance. “Is it a challenge?! Do you think I’m chicken?!”
“I’m stupid,” he said, pouting, when the door to Sandwich House opened.
Sabrina had a stern look on her face. “I was about to teleport there and pick up your sorry tails, you little rascals. You almost scared me to death.”
“Sorry,” said three voices as one, tails and ears hanging low.
The black cat bent down and swept them in a single hug. “Aw, don’t be sad. I know you were just scared, and what’s important, you’re home safe. Hmm..”
Jon chuckled. Fido said, “Ah, Sabrina? I think you can carry them inside now.” What he got in return, instead, was a look that told him more than thousand words.
She was holding a chance in her arms. Something that already happened, somewhere. So, who knew?
Sabrina sighed and herded the kittens inside. “Your siblings were worried a lot, too, you know? Oh, and thank you for bringing them back, Jon. You were very, very brave, but I need you and Fido to make a promise.”
Fido mimicked himself zipping his mouth shut and throwing the key away.
Sabrina nodded. “Apart from the fact that Grape really doesn’t like spirits and such things meddling in her life, she’d likely skin me and Ant Tarot alive, and she’d ground you for the rest of your life if she knew you went to the Abandoned Manor alone.”
The pup nodded. “Our special secret.”
“And, by the way, we weren’t worried,” kitten Tarot said, coming out from the living room. “The Ouija Board said you’d be fine.”
“And Parnok was sca-ared, Parnok was sca-ared!” Dayshaun chanted. And that caused a new round of chasing and hissing.
“And no, we can’t keep them,” Tarot said, coming out the room with the board secured in a slipcase. Wisps of smoke were coming out the case.
“I guess that Arcana made that ‘special call’?” Sabrina inquired.
“Hope it worked,” Tarot nodded. “These things are expensive and the spirits get very upset at such use.”
“Not to mention it gives me a heck of a headache!” said a new voice behind them.
The voice of a male black cat –if you didn’t count the red stripe running from his snout to his skull and running down his tail tip. “I was about to answer your emergency call already, lasses. It’s my job, after all.”
“Running risks has proven counterproductive, as per experience,” Tarot said. “You are the time fixer?”
The cat nodded. “Streak the Magnificent at your service, m’ladies. Especially at yours,” he winked at Sabrina. “So, shall you gather your unwanted guests?”

The door opened.
Streak aimed a device at the center of the room. “Hmm,” he nodded while studying the readouts. “Hmm, much mucho interesting. A textbook case of TCS. You guys just watch. Oh, and for the sake of your lives, keep pup and kittens back. But you can see, though: it won’t melt you away.” He touched a button.
The device bleeped.
And all of a sudden, it was like looking at a series of pictures! As if many realities had decided to converge in turns into that room.
Arcana had explained to Tarot and Sabrina why they couldn’t perceive anything of that phenomenon, why it didn’t belong to magic.
Still, for her friends it was a rare experience to watch.
Pup and kittens were awestuck. This was something they would not forget easily!
They saw a pup, looking like a young Peanut, but dressing a pajama, sleeping in a regular bed together with a Grape looking more human than ever…and even older. She’d dress a nightgown, just like a human.
Then the room changed to one where Grape was sleeping in her basket bed, together with Maxwell. Nothing in the furniture suggested she and Peanut had found love.
The following overlap showed Peanut laying down next to his feline mate…only that he was sporting a big cast around his leg.
Another change, and this time there was…another room entirely! Humans were sleeping in it, and it was so BIG that it belonged to an obviously different house. If there were pets in their lives, there was no trace of them, not even a picture.
“Temporal Convergence Spot,” Streak said, turning the device off. “I’m afraid it happened when, once, my time-jumping devices broke and brought me here. It caused an alteration, like creating a whirlwind in the water, with the eye in these two rooms, separated or whole may them be.”
“So,” Dayshaun said, “This is a place where all alternative realities focus? Cool!” and his tail again swished as if were wagging.
“Are you familiar with these concepts, kiddo?” Streak asked. “But I should’ve known, given your father’s—“
“Oh, no,” Shaun interrupted him, his eyes glued to the room as if he could still see the time currents flowing. “Uncle Joey explained that to me. I’m helping him creating a GURP.”
Streak chuckled. Then, to the three adults gathered, “Girls, I’m sorry, it was purely unintentional. These displacements are absolutely random and well, they are the fruit of technology gone awry. Plus, it just can’t be ‘mended’. These energies will dissipate with time, but I’ll be available nonstop just for you.”
“Yeah yeah yeah, that’s all great and yadda yadda yadda!” Parnok said. “I want to get home, not a school lesson!”
“Fair enough.” Streak tapped rapidly on his device. “Here! You just walk in, kittens, your timeline is awaiting. And, if you needed anything…” He handed them a business card with a red streak on it and a stylized cat head. “You’ll know who to call—“
At that moment, came the sound of the entrance door opening, downstairs!
“Tarot!” Peanut’s voice said. “Are you—“ his voice broke into a pained gasp.
“Are you trying to wake the whole neighborhood?!” Grape hissed angrily.
“Go go go go!” Streak said, while the two pets’ steps got nearer.
The kittens ran into the home and inside their timeline, disappearing from the sight of their unintentional hosts…
…Just in time for their door to open.
“Aw, I so knew we’d found them here,” Grape said, looking at them sleeping peacefully on the pavement.
“At least, they will let us sleep late, tomorrow. They surely look exhausted…” Peanut’s nose wrinkled while he picked up Parnok. “Phew, must have played hide and seek in the cellar.”
“You still use worse places to hide,” Grape chided him. She felt tears of joy welling in her eyes. Their son, their litter. Whatever would happen to her and Peanut, their legacy would live on! Sometimes, she had to force herself to believe it was all true. “I love you,” she said, caressing Nutella’s back, not clear if she was referring to the kittens, to Peanut or both.
She didn’t see her kitten wink at a spotted pup cradled in the arms of Peanut, so close as if to touch him and yet so far, far away…

…And Jon returned that wink, knowing he was a lucky pup, and yet feeling a pang of jealousy for that numerous litter. Yup, he wouldn’t mind having a sibling born of Mom, one day…
But he was too happy to see that somewhere, things for Mom and Dad had gone really, really good.
Who knew?


Author:  valerio [ Sun Dec 02, 2012 1:36 am ]
Post subject:  Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread

JeffCvt Wrote:
Val, I don't know how, but you had the perfect timing with this. I just ran out of stuff to read on the way back from a parade.

because I care for my fans :mrgreen:
Streak (C) Hopper200456

Author:  RandomGeekNamedBrent [ Sun Dec 02, 2012 1:55 am ]
Post subject:  Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread

valerio Wrote:
now, now *pats* I'll post one update a day, so that you guys don't get overloaded. Better?

you just couldn't do it, could you? :lol:

valerio Wrote:
RandomGeekNamedBrent Wrote:
I have a question. Was the whole "Piper is the General" idea yours, or did that come with his character when Rick made him?


I missed that answer. congrats on being an awesome writer.

Author:  valerio [ Sun Dec 02, 2012 2:05 am ]
Post subject:  Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread

RandomGeekNamedBrent Wrote:
valerio Wrote:
now, now *pats* I'll post one update a day, so that you guys don't get overloaded. Better?

you just couldn't do it, could you? :lol:

valerio Wrote:
RandomGeekNamedBrent Wrote:
I have a question. Was the whole "Piper is the General" idea yours, or did that come with his character when Rick made him?


I missed that answer. congrats on being an awesome writer.

Thank you, that was the inspiration given by a character by Rick! :D :D :D

Author:  Honorable Intentions [ Sun Dec 02, 2012 2:23 am ]
Post subject:  Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread

Hey just stopping by to say awesome job with the special episode and thanks again for quick cross over. :D Always a load of fun to read your stuff. I might have to do a "special episode" thing like this someday, just for fun.

Author:  valerio [ Sun Dec 02, 2012 2:26 am ]
Post subject:  Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread

Honorable Intentions Wrote:
Hey just stopping by to say awesome job with the special episode and thanks again for quick cross over. :D Always a load of fun to read your stuff. I might have to do a "special episode" thing like this someday, just for fun.

I'm sure you' do awesome job :D :D :D

Author:  valerio [ Mon Dec 03, 2012 9:50 am ]
Post subject:  Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread

Season IV
Episode 1 – First Steps into the Future

Darkness. Absolute, complete, utter silence of black on black.
And then the Otaku said, ‘Let there be show!’
*click* *buzz*
The screen came to life, showing a studio interior. Two chairs, a round table and in the background the wall featuring the big KPET logo. Under that logo, the show’s name: FURNIGHT. Jingle.
The camera zoomed on the chairs’ occupants: on the left, a female collie. On the right, a blond, tall woman in grey.
“Welcome to Furnight,” said the canine with the utmost confidence. “I am Rochelle O’Shea, and tonight we have candidate Mayor Gabriella Lundberg, best known for her animal rights agenda.”
Gabriella acknowledged with a bow of her head. “Thank you, Rochelle.”
“So, since we both know what the topic is, allow me a direct one: is that agenda the real thing or just a propaganda piece?”
The woman feigned making a pained expression. “Ouch, you know how to hit.”
Rochelle grinned. “Welcome to my world.”
Gabriella nodded. “And it’s not the best of worlds, if I’m allowed. The truth is, Rochelle, this is a world that still needs so much work from our side.” She turned her gaze to the camera, leaning a bit forward for effect, as if she wanted to stare straight into the eyes of each and every spectator at home. “I am not here to change the world, but I am surely here to lay the foundation for that change. And I. Shall. Not. Stop. At nothing.” Then she turned back at the canine reporter.
Rochelle said, “Well, then you allow me to play the devil’s advocate: what could you possibly gain? I mean, it’s not as if you wanted to give pets right to vote or a job, right?”
Gabriella nodded. “If for ‘job’, you mean a position, let’s say, ‘reserved’ to humans, there are too many problems for that. First of all, education: even at best, mastering a discipline takes much too time for any animal. Literally: a dog or a cat, who are so far the longest living of non-exotic pets, should study all their life and die of old age before getting a job. Sad, but true. And in this modern world, the skills a scientist, a lawmaker, any highly specialized employee are required cannot be possibly achieved by our furry friends.
“In the ancient times, sciences were at best a pale shadow of what they are today, that’s why Mayans, Aztecs, Egyptians, Romans, Greek…They all could allow themselves to have animal apprentices and workers. And it’s no bad turn of luck that with progress the number of animal scholars dropped.”
“You know your history, Miss Lundberg, but it’s true that many animals do have important jobs. I am a reporter in a pet-crew news station, in many firms animals can run PR, there are shop-keepers, and dogs can draw funnies for the Sunday newspapers. Not to mention police dogs, farmers… So, still playing the Devil’s advocate: what’s so big about your agenda?”
“You’re property.” Gabriella turned toward the camera again. “Properties. Things. To be given and taken just like any other merchandise. Right to vote? You can’t even participate to joint owners meetings to give your opinion about regulations involving you. Condos can ban your presence at will, and in this they’re doing worse even than Italy. You can be fired from your jobs without notice. You can’t testify in a trial, while a recording from an object is considered proof. You can’t sue over violation of your rights, that’s for your owners to do. If you have any. You can’t own your workplace You don’t have the right to sire a family without seeing it split in most of the cases. Guinea pigs for experiments, even when a human paid volunteer would do. A feral in the streets can be killed on sight for a theft, while a human assassin caught red-handed can’t even be shot without severe legal consequences for the cop. And speaking of cops, trained, trusted dogs won’t be trusted even with a taser against bigger and armed adversaries. And though our shelter laws have improved, the option of terminating a guest after a given time has never been canceled from the book.” She looked at the camera as if daring anyone to contest her words. Just as if she was perceiving the hesitation from the public at home, she nodded then turned toward Rochelle.
This is what I want to change, ma’am.”
Rochelle could almost hear the ratings soaring with an eagle’s battle cry.
“Of course, I am going to run a city. It means a lot of work, a lot of things to do for my fellow humans, and those who are following my campaign, foes and friends, know my program on that. But, and I’ll never stress that enough, I will use my term to change things for those who, so far, had no voice in our matters, even when we call them ‘our best friends’. I will turn this city into the very first bastion of a long-needed change. Though the points I just listed are only a starter.”
Rochelle almost gulped. With that ‘starter’ only, that woman could write history! “Well, at least you look sure enough… But politics is mostly the art of compromise. How will you deal with the opposition? It’s not like everyone is going to appreciate such change.”
Gabrielle nodded. “As I said, animal rights are just part of the program. They are gaining the most visibility, obviously. You vote me, you vote for a 360° Mayor. I will be the voice of everyone in this city. No compromises, this is a win-or-lose, not just any promise.”
“A promise that will cost money,” Rochelle said. “A lot of it, if you want to fit your objectives into at least one deadline. And the city budget is not exactly generous.”
“I will start a privatization campaign over several services regarding the animal rights agenda. The current city pounds and animal control services will be assigned to the most qualified firm, so that they are turned from prisons into rehabilitation laboratories. Our feral population will have a new chance to abandon their lifestyle for good. Some of them will become employees with the option of owning their activities. The online market is open enough, for example…”
“Forgive me for interrupting, but I must say that this is just what the Lucky Charm Grove for the Abandoned and the Ferals is doing, am I right?”
Nod. “Correct. Their model was my inspiration.”
“So should we expect a grand-style entrance of the GMF Inc. in the city business? The same firm who is financing your campaign?”
“The same firm who is doing business on the pet-friendly side. They will cover all of the expenses concerning animal welfare. And forgive me for saying so, I can hardly imagine any Council saying ‘no’ to over 10 billion dollar worth in investments. At their expenses.”
Rochelle was about to drool, as if tasting the best morsel ever! “Ten billion…just given? Where’s the catch?”
“Their initial effort will be a test of their activities. If it works as planned, then the public money will be used to expand said activities. And, since that the new technologies and methodologies will have been tested by then, the costs will be lesser for the taxpayer than financing the first effort. Not to mention that a successful test will mean a new market in other areas of the Country. So, yes, in the end GMF Inc. will get their money back and a lot more, but not by draining our taxpayers.”
“Well, looks like it’s already decided, then. And what if you should lose?”
“Won’t happen.”
“What makes you so sure about that?”
“Do you remember the panel discussion my adversary and I had last week?”
Gabriella turned again to the camera. “Democracy is choice: you choose my opponent, and the only thing you won’t know is how deep you’ll fall before hitting the bottom. But at least you’ll be happy that those filthy beasts won’t have gained any right.
“Many of you may not like me, but I will bring money, jobs and rights. And I am well-backed up. Those of you who don’t believe me, just google GMF Inc. and drool.”
Rochelle chuckled. “Well, first time I hear a politician admit so…frankly her affiliations with her sponsors.”
Gabrielle smiled, and it was an expression that could make the ice shiver. “In fact, you won’t find someone more honest than me, on that matter. I will never promise what I can’t deliver.”
“Speaking of honesty,” Rochelle wiggled a finger at the politician. “Before presenting yourself, you weren’t exactly advocating animal rights. And you never had a pet in your life. What happened to make you change idea?”
“As a member of the city council, I was sent to the inauguration of the LCG. It was then that I saw what money can do when put to good use. The irony is, I was sent because the other members didn’t want to waste their precious time on that event. And, to be honest, I too wasn’t really hot on that: I mean, a luxury shelter, big deal.
“But after spending the day there, after getting to know better Mr. Foster, I learnt something new. And it was then that I decided I’d do my own part. So yes, my original sin is that I wasn’t really a pet person: I have changed, and am ready to prove that in the best possible way.”
“That is why you adopted two dogs from the Grove?”
Gabriella nodded and motioned to someone out of camera. “Garr, Alvaro. Please, come here.”
Two male black huskies walked in. If an animal had ever earned the definition of ‘fighter’, it was them, with their scars and their stern expressions.
Rochelle was taken aback. “Pet Fighters?” she asked. She didn’t knew that much about them.
Gabriella petted Alvaro’s head. “The bottom of the social ladder. Arena meat. Victims turned into assassins to kill and live fight after fight. They are the proof of how low we can descend, Mrs. O’Shea. That is why my first choice went to them. Being their family will be my greatest achievement--”
The screen was turned off.
“10 billion worth of investments,” Martin Foster said. “It’s a starter.”
“Bah!” said the male ferret sitting beside the human in the GMF’s headquarters, at apartment 500, Terrace High. Keene Milton reached out for popcorn and stuffed his mouth. “I could easily buy the city and solve any problems for them. I mean, they don’t even have a decent theme park!”
“You should take fun in this challenge, Mr. Milton,” Raimund Radulph Gottschalk said, from his position in the couch.
“Depends on your idea of ‘fun’, Herr G! And don’t ask me to pronounce your full name, it gives me a jaw ache.”
“’Fun’ being able to use our money for…this.” He pointed at the TV set. “Our work, so far, was aimed at creating oasis of peace for those less fortunate on the social ladder. Now we are going to be proactive. Instead of imposing our presence, bullying in with our resources, we will be the architects of change.” The tall man reached out and filled himself a bottle of scotch. “To a new society and a new economy, colleagues.”
Martin toasted with water. “To the justice for our friends.”
Milton raised his soda. “To the bile of our adversaries!”
They drank. Their adversaries, at least the smart ones, must have abandoned the city by now. After Martin and Gottschalk had proven too tough even for the local Russian Mafia, any pet-related criminal activity had subsided. Only the real desperate, the single individuals with nothing to lose, would keep on their activities –and even those were at an historical minimum in the city…
“Election is three months away,” Gottschalk said. “I take it your strategies are set?”
“Ready aim and fire, chief,” Keene said. “You first, big ape.”
Martin sighed. “First, the complete reorganization of the Animal Control Service. While building the new shelters and training the staff, I’ll make sure the ferals are well fed and cared for on a regular basis, so that in the meantime they won’t have to look for food in the trash or in other people’s houses.”
“The Stockholms,” Keene went on, “will be hosted in my ‘Social Houses’. I will try to housebreak them, or at least keep them away from their human abusers. If it works for women, it will work for ferals.”
Gottschalk nodded. “I will make sure that all council’s ordnances regarding pet-friendly infrastructures are met and tested. Once the trend is on, I will be repaid in stock value. Of course, I will make sure that our good Mayor will meet the least political resistance as well.”
“Fair enough,” Keene said. “Though it feels really weird, y’know?”
“Writing history?” Martin inquired. “I find it more exciting than all the coffee I ever drank in my life!”
“No, the ‘pet’ thing. I mean, we’re going the climb social ladder for real, what will we be considered? Not that I’d mind owning the company and give the stockholders a scare, but…if we’re not pets, what then?”
“Family members,” Martin said. “To be respected and treated as such. Adopting will mean taking a new responsibility, the pet’s wishes will be heard and respected. And that will make sure people think about it twice before taking an animal in their lives. But those who will decide to do so will make the best relatives. Not ‘owners’, but relatives. No more bossing around. Watching yourself or you get a sentence, not just a fine for misbehavior. And those without a family will be cared for anyway…” He sighed. “True, it will take time, it won’t be a smooth transition, but this is the start.” He sighed again, as if on dopes. “And without demigods added—Ouchie!” he exclaimed when Keene elbowed him in the flank. Gottschalk, though, didn’t seem to have noticed.
Speaking of Demigods, there was to hope Pete wouldn’t be a problem. The expedition to the Temple had ended up with Keene striking a deal to become a minion of the Gryphon. Martin hoped their plans for bringing equality in a legal way would come to fruition faster than Pete’s whims. In a way Martin was happy that a supernatural, omnipotent creature wanted to reach the same goal as them, but the Gryphon had proven himself…well, not really caring. He had admitted he had forced himself into a deal with old Milton, and that made him unforeseeable. Unreliable.
The only way to prevent chaos from ensuing was to show Pete that his intervention could serve at worst to consolidate the plans the GMF Inc. had just put into motion, so that he hadn’t to use ‘all of his power’ to win this Game thing…
“Social ladder or not,” said a male GSD/husky mix from the pavement where he was laying on, “I will still have to work to earn my food, right?” he looked at Gottschalk.
“With a difference, Gauss. Unless you prove yourself dangerous to me, to society or even yourself, no force in the world will turn you out of these premises. True, I took you and Curie in the family to take care of security, but also because I wanted to expand my family, not just employees, and surely not slaves.”
“So…” Gauss smirked. “I could just tell you that I’m done working? Like that?” He shook his head. “Nah! You’re playing tricks. And then, what would be the problem? I hate the idea of just sitting idle and fattening myself for the sake of it. All pets should get a job, if you ask me!”
“Hard to,” Martin observed. “The latest census estimate for the cats and dogs population only ranges in the 150 million. Even considering half of them fit for a job in the service sector only, that would make over 70 million new units applying for a job. Add to this the current unemployment crisis in the human world, and you’ll have the perfect social bomb.”
“He’s right,” Keene said. “It’s too much a radical step. It will be hard enough as it is, to cram down the hypocrites’ throats the concept that they can’t get rid of their furry employees slash slaves. We can’t create a new wave of unemployment as well.”
“So,” Curie, sitting by her brother, said, “we can at least expect they won’t think less of us because we ask for more rights without earning our own money?”
Gottschalk nodded. “This is the whole idea: if human will start accepting this evolution without making too much a fuss, we’ll work together to raise the stakes.”
“One step at a time,” Martin said. “Change works better when it’s subtle. You slap people with it, people will slap you back.”
“Not much subtlety, here,” Gauss retorted. “I like the woman’s style and great screen presence, but subtle she was not.”
“That’s why she mentioned the money,” Gottschalk said. “The city budget is in even worse conditions than people know. At the right moment, the media will receive a tip… And, at that point, the voters will have to remember who will bring in the cash. And our adversary can’t possibly do better… Ah, this must be her,” he added, standing up, when they rang at the door.
Both Keene and Martin exchanged a puzzled look. It was the very first time they saw a smile of joy crossing that gaunt face. It was so strange as to look unnatural. And that made them extremely curious to see this unexpected guest –at least, one their host hadn’t mentioned.
“Sorry for not warning you,” Gottschalk said as he went to the door, followed by the now smiling dogs. “But I wasn’t sure she would accept my invitation.”
His guests followed him to the entrance, Keene sitting on Martin’s shoulder.
“You should lose weight,” the man whispered.
“And you should exercise,” the ferret retorted.
Gottschalk opened the door, revealing…a woman. Blond, long flowing golden hair, sky-blue eyes and a face like a delicate oval. She wore a long cerulean and white dress, and a necklace with the family emblem, a golden rampant dragon. She appeared young, perhaps 25, but something in her eyes and posture suggested a more mature age.
Martin was sincerely struck: this was a woman men would kill for. And she had not a trace of make-up on her…
Gottschalk embraced the woman. “I’m so happy that you came, my dear. I missed you a lot.”
“I know that rich men like young girls, but I hoped Herr G had more taste,” Keene hissed
“I think I’m in love,” Martin said, envying the—
In the meantime, Gottschalk had broken the hug and, turning, said, “Gentlemen, please meet Maud Gottschalk. My dearest and only daughter.”
“It’s a go, Houston!” Keene said.

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