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Author:  EvanAierkan [ Thu Dec 29, 2011 8:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread

It's beautiful, though it's a shame that all good things have to come to an end eventually... until the next season that is.

Author:  kavviyenta [ Thu Dec 29, 2011 11:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread

Now this is one very wonderful and heartwarming moment :D

It's going to be one or two long seasons before we get to see them again while focusing on another setting. One element I'm looking forward to is who will be Max's new love.

Nutella, heh.

While we do know of the deities, it's somewhat of a deus ex machina to solve the mafia problem by Pete, but if it's for the nine kids to be born in peace, we'll set that aside.

Author:  RandomGeekNamedBrent [ Fri Dec 30, 2011 4:33 am ]
Post subject:  Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread

responses to the first part:
you used Albert as Zach's last name instead of Arbelt.
Kwanzaa is an actual holiday celebrated by many African-Americans and it seems odd to say "It’s a wolf thing."
the rest is all awesome.

Author:  valerio [ Fri Dec 30, 2011 5:15 am ]
Post subject:  Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread

thank you!
Corrected the typo.
Corrected the cultural reference.
(and yes, NEVER heard of Kwanzaa before, anywhere)

Author:  valerio [ Fri Dec 30, 2011 8:06 am ]
Post subject:  Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread


Inside a dark room.
A bulb lights up.
The light cone reveals two figures, each one of them tightly bound to a seat, back against back.
On the left seat, a dog. Cinnamon-colored fur, lighter on the belly, darker on ears and tail. A bone-shaped white tag hang from his red collar.
On the right seat, a man. Thin, short-cropped uncombed hair. The lights reflects against his square eyeglasses.
“Graaaape!” The dog is howling, pleading. “I didn’t want to neglect you, believe me! You know that when I get an inspiration I must work on my comic! And it’s been a long time since I last updated!”
From the darkness outside the cone of light, a couple of malevolent, gleaming yellow eyes stare at the prisoner. A purring voice says, “It doesn’t matter, Peanut. You are a father now, you have responsibilities. This time, someone else will carry on the job. Also, this is for calling me a ‘Zeppelin’.”
“Grape, please!” Peanut tried to get free, but in vain. “I am the author!”
Things are not going better for the human, stared at by three equally sets of cruel eyes. “G-guys, you can’t do this! You know it’s been over for some time now! They won’t just produce it anymore! So please, give me back that thing and let’s be friends, okay?”
“Consider it a compensation for the unpaid overtime,” chuckles one of the figures in the shadows.
“You’re addressing the wrong persons, gentlemen,” says a new voice, with a marked Italian accent...and a marked disrespect for grammar.
“YOU!” human and dog say together. Then Peanut notices a curious feature about the newcomer. “Is that a moon orbiting around you?”
The light reveals only his hands, holding two big red stamps. “Your fat jokes can’t impress me. I volunteered for this feat.”
The man’s legs start agitating. “You can’t do this! You’ll harbinger the age of shame! Think of the consequences!”
“I did. Peanut, your punishment will be illustrating my work.”
Peanut howls like the tormented soul he is. “Nooooo!!! You’re famous for your huge walls of texts! Every panel will be large like an A3 page!!”
“Your just retribution for neglecting me in favor of a comic,” the female in the shadows says. The three other figures chuckle maniacally.
“But why me?” the bound man protests. “It’s not even my genre!”
“True that, but I wanted to try another crossover. And I am…your fan.”
“We lost enough time already.” The stamps, now ablaze with energies, are lifted. “It is time!” and then down they go against the camera.

Special Episode 2
Experimental Senseless Narration

ACROSS Headquarters

“This world is rotten!”
So claimed the tall human figure, sitting on a wide throne, at the end of a short stair.
At the center of the large empty room, stood a huge planisphere, a fine reproduction of Earth, clouds included. It was a nice planisphere, but to the slit-pupils eyes of the silvery-haired, caped figure, it was “Rotten. A globe filled with promising wonders, polluted by the presence of their petty inhabitants, short sighted lowlife unable to see the world past their noses…”
From a corner, King gave the thumbs up.
The tall figure stood up, his white, broad-shouldered cape entirely covering his body. The cape rustled with each step he made while walking down the stair.
The solemn figure reached the globe and caressed it. “But we will herd the blind, single-minded masses. We shall give them a new, common vision, the vision of ACROSS.” His voice was calm, deep, patient but steady, like a father addressing his beloved but foolish son. “The world will be back to its ancient splendor as it was meant to be, under our guidance. No matter what the cost—“
“Wise are His words, everybody listen to Him but first fall on their knees before His Majestic Preseeeeence!!” The girl came out of the glob like from a cake, in an explosion of fireworks and confetti, shouting with all the enthusiasm the most of the devoted could muster.
The girl (chestnut hair, succinctly dressed in a green and white costume) clasped her hands at her chest, her eyes shining with fiery stars. “Your Sublime Excellence, faithful Excel is always ready, 24/7, even on festivities, to work harder than hardest to do everything You ask to spread the gospel of ACROSS to the infidel masses!” She put a silvery trumpet to her mouth and blew the intro of Fratelli d’Italia. “Sorry, Your Excellence, I just started the course. But I am already writing a proper anthem for ACROSS. Wanna hear that?”
Keeping an impassible expression, the solemn, tall figure extended from under the cape his hand, holding a remote with a big red button. He pushed the button.
Hundreds of minuscule dots lit up over the planisphere. Then, from Northern America, Russia, Europe, and China as many mini missiles took off.
“Ohh, cute!” Excel said, looking at the minuscule fiery trails aiming at her. “Your Excellence knows how to replicate World War III to celebrate the imminent victo—“ then the missiles hit their target. The explosions followed one after the other, until the whole world went off in a single nuclear explosion!
The tall, solemn figure went back to his throne and sat down. “Enough playing, Excel. It is time to plan for the new Mission.”
This time, the girl assumed a dignified, sharp posture, her right arm extended in the unfailing salute. “Heil, il Palazzo! I am ready to do your bidding!” Then she discreetly blew away a last flame burning on her shoulder pad. “What are your orders. Highest of Leaders? And why are you not looking at me?”
Il Palazzo kept looking at a point at the right of his minion. “Excele, where is your faithful assistant, Hyatt?”
The girl thought about that for a moment. “Hyatt, Hyatt, Hyatt… Oh, yes, Great Overlord! My faithful assistant is momentarily indisposed. But don’t worry about that, your faithful Excel is ready to work for two, to unleash the Apocalypse, to rewrite the laws of physics and if needed I can also cook a wedding banquet if you just gave me the money, not that I’m complaining over the pay, but—“
“Irrelevant. Bring her here.” A silk chord slid down next to him. Il Palazzo pulled it.
A trapdoor opened under Excel’s feet and she disappeared into it. “Aaahhh! An opening to the Depths of Hades! Your Excellence, you could have given me some holy water first!” Then came the sounds of a fight, accompanied by the lugubrious laments of the lost souls. After a while, Excel’s voice said, “My, this is so heavy, Your Excellence Il Palazzo, and to say its content should be so light. Are we sure Hyatt is not just thin-looking?” A moment later, a coffin peeked out the trapdoor between fire and sulfurous hisses.
Excel managed to bring the coffin to the light. She looked terrible, her costume all tattered, and she was fighting against a horde of skeletal hands that were trying to get her. “Back off, maniacs! The soul is mine and only Il Palazzo can approach it!” As soon as she was out, she went on her knees. Raising weakly her harm, she said, “Recovery mission accomplished, Your Excellence. Hngr.” And she fainted, her arm still raised.
The coffin opened with a creaking sound. Out came a girl with black hair, and a purple and blue costume with a short pink gown. She was most definitely pale, and it looked she hadn’t more force than the necessary to sit up rather than standing up. “…Palazzo,” she whispered, barely audible.
Il Palazzo nodded, his face inscrutable. “Very good. Now that you are all here, it is time to disclose you the details for the plan 333333 for the conquest of the world.”
Excel came back to life. “Yes! Just say the word, and your faithful Excel will—“ she noticed his hand going to the silky chord displaying the word 罰 (Punishment). A big drop of sweat ran over her head. “—will respectfully fall silent until you’re done, that is.”
“You see, our precedent efforts to rule this world have been compromised by a fatal discrimination—“
“Discrimination?” Excel interrupted him. “Impossible! ACROSS does not discriminate, ACROSS does not consider anyone more or less important than anyone else, except when it comes to Your Excellence and His faithful minion—“
Il Palazzo pulled the chord.
The mechanical hand of Mazinger Z squashed Excel.
Il Palazzo repositioned his pince-nez. “As I was saying, the discrimination I am talking about has been perpetrated at the expenses of the animals.”
“Animals..?” Excel asked. She had a bad headache now.
Hyatt clasped her hands. Her face assumed a seraphic expression. She even looked healthier now. “Your Excellence Il Palazzo is such a sensible person! I too think we should show more respect and love for the animals.”
Excel looked like she wanted to eat her faithful assistant. “Hyatt, what are you saying?! The only function those sacks of fur and fleas is to be food! This is not some Disney production—“
“Hyatt got the point right,” Il Palazzo said, and pulled the chord.
Ton of bricks over Excel! After the dust had settled, a small flag with the red sun waved out of the mess. “Yatta! This time he didn’t throw me into the alligators pit—“ the trapdoor opened at that moment.
And while the noises of Excel’s desperate fight for survival filled the air, Il Palazzo said to Hyatt, “Animals deserve respect. They make up for a large number within the corrupted human society, every day they learn new things, accumulate data. They are the perfect infiltrators, they will be our most precious resource in our strategies toward world domination.”
“Your Excellence is so wise,” Hyatt said.
“Hey, that’s my line!” Excel protested, while she emerged from the pit. She was in terrible conditions. She managed to stand up, despite the many wounds. “Heil, il Palazzo! For the unconditioned love Your Excellence feels for this morally challenged world, we will recruit the flea-ridden bags and fulfill Mission 333333…” Then a series of question marks appeared over her head. “But where we will find the new recruits? Will we take them from their homes, or go campaigning in the streets?”
“You will find them in America. Other questions?”
Excel was relieved that there was no chord within hand’s range. “Without questioning His Excellence’s wisdom and foreseeing, last time we traveled to America we passed through the center of the planet, and that was somehow hot…”
“This time you won’t travel that by mean of gravity.” Again he used the remote.
Two metal bullets covered the figures of Excel and Hyatt. A moment later, the bullets took off in a blast of flames.

While the bullets flew from the ACROSS headquarters (here) to the Big American City (there), Excel said, “This is so awesome this is my first flight even though in extremely touristic class I hoped there’d be a movie but I brought my peanuts oh Il Palazzo is such a generous boss we can’t fail this mission and he’ll marry me after this success why the stratosphere is so cold iiiii no gravity but now we’re falling oh I’m burning with love for Il Palazzo and I’m also burning in the atmospheric reentry AAAAHHHH…”
Target acquired.
Commercial break.

Author:  Renkun [ Fri Dec 30, 2011 9:14 am ]
Post subject:  Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread

the prologue is nice and you have that's so fast written I'm very impressed my work need definite more time :lol:

Author:  EvanAierkan [ Fri Dec 30, 2011 3:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread

I have no idea what's going on

Author:  valerio [ Fri Dec 30, 2011 3:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread

You tube
Excel saga
Die laughing
Come back here

Author:  valerio [ Fri Dec 30, 2011 3:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread

Scene: a white, black-spotted cat is idly playing with a yarn, barely pawing at it.
A big dog of undefined breed laying on the pavement, sleeping. His eye just opens up long enough to give a bored stare at his squeaky bone.
Out-of-screen male voice: “Are your pets tired? Do they lack their energy? Do you think you got…toy pets?”
Cat and dog are now two mini robots yapping and mewing with electronic voices and nodding.
A bag of pet food falls between the robots, who instantly turn back into pets. They stare curiously at the bag, which sports a stylized silver shark over a green field.
“Then let them taste Sargasso! The first and only pet food created for both your cat and dog! Sargasso tastes great and will give your kids the energies to be at their best, always!”
The bag zips open. Cat and dog grab some food and it. Their eyes snap open wide, then they look at each other with a mischievous grin.
In the following scene, the house is covered in yarn. The dog his proudly carrying around the family car in his mouth.
Sargasso! The taste of life!”
End of commercial break

A Bank in a Big American City

“Come on, boys! We got a 5 minutes head start before that heroic fleabag is on us!” So saying, a small dog, his eyes covered with a domino mask, and dressed with a…pink girl dress led his gang out of the (only) Bank in the City. His minions were all holding big bags of money.
The dogs of the Collarless Gang jumped on their car. “Woo! That was awesome!” said the dog at the wheel. “This plan actually worked!”
“You can say that again!” said a male with yellow fur, black hat and shirt, and a bionic right arm. “I created disasters through the whole city, I worked on my days off and didn’t even watch Un posto al Sole. Our friend will have too many alarms to answer to before caring for a bank robbery. After that, we’ll hide in my ultra-secret hideout. He’ll never find us!”
“Uh, are you sure?” the dog in pink asked. He was looking at the sky. He seemed worried.
The cyborg rolled his eyes. “Of course! I know Spot operates on his own priority levels, and he will never care for a bank right now! I mean, I mined the dam, half of the orphanage has crumbled, the foods factories are producing stuff a goat wouldn’t eat, and half of the ambulances have been sabotaged…”
“Why not all of them?”
“I don’t like foul play. So get a hold of yourself, boss. We’re the last thing in the mind of that red-caped justice…bully…” Then he saw them too. “Oh, no.”
Two flames in the sky, just like falling stars.
Heading straight for them!
“I hate him,” said the dog in pink.

IMPACT! The deflagration was followed by a tall mushroom column of smoke and flames.

The flaming tire bounced a couple of times on the road, before stopping against a wall.
“Oy oy oy oy.” Excel emerged with difficulty from the wreck that had been a car. “I love Il Palazzo, but I don’t think I’m ready to be used as WMD. Next time I’ll walk. I don’t think I got one whole bone left… Attak anyone?” Then she saw a hand held out in front of her face.
“Allow me to help you, Senpai Excel,” Hyatt said, looking angelic against the sun glare, despite the ashes staining her dress.
“Hyat??” A big question mark replaced Excel’s face for a moment. “How can you be alive at all?” Hyatt was so fragile that once she died after puncturing herself accidentally with a thumbtack. “And what the heck are you wearing? Did Il Palazzo generously offer you a new wardrobe? Because I too would need a replacement for—“ And only then did she notice she too was wearing a t-shirt and blue jeans! She blushed as if she had just discovered she was naked! “M-my pretty, fashioned costume! Where did it…” She looked around in desperation, covering herself. Then she remembered and slapped her brow, smiling in relief. “Ah, but of course! This is a PG-13 rated episode, true fashion is not allowed. Soo,” she addressed her assistant. “That is why you’re not a walking corpse again, right? You would offend the sensibility of the weaker American readers.”
“Well, Senpai…” At that point Hyatt collapsed against her companion. All of her back side was roasted like a Sunday hamburger.
“AAAAHH! She’s really dead now! No, wait…” She auscultated Hyatt’s heart. “Thank Rating, she’s just fallen into an extremely deep coma. OK, now to find a way to wake her up!” She slapped her assistant’s face. “C’mon, snap out of it! We’re on a sacred mission for His Excellence, you can’t do this to me! We’re not even near half the episode—“ a gun pressed against her head, interrupting her.
“And you won’t get even close to the end of the episode,” the cyborg dog said. “Least I can do to repay you for ruining our mission.”
Excel saw that bank notes were flying all around like snowflakes. “Mission? Were you robbing a bank?”
“She knows too much!” said the dog in pink. “Shoot her!”
“Bakara!” Excel’s mightiest punch sent the cyborg flying into the sky, screaming, until he was just a lemony dot in the blue.
Then Excel turned on a tape player she carried for the occasion, and a dramatic music played while she assumed a statuesque pose. “You Americans and your fixation for cash! Everyone knows that phishing online works way better! Even if you put your ill-gotten cash in an offshore account, you’d get only a meager interest on it! Not to mention that you can’t spend cash without people asking questions! Cash is for losers, just say no!”
As she finished that part, the cyborg dog fell back on earth, still screaming. His prosthetic arm fell off him and wrapped itself like a scarf around Excel’s neck. “You don’t lack will, but you mutts clearly need to improve the technique!” Then she pressed her thumb against her chest. “And the ACROSS is the right school!” She saluted smartly, her eyes lost on the horizon line, where her leader towered like a benevolent god, smiling only for her in approval. “Under the wise leadership of His Excellence Il Palazzo, you’ll earn the privilege to enslave the human oppressors, once the world will be conquered! No more banks to rob. Instead, you’ll start your own and you’ll steal billions without raising so much of a finger!”
Then the dogs too saw the majestic figure appearing on the horizon. “Wow!” Said the dog in pink. “If her boss can do that trick, he must be one big shot.”
“Of course!” Excel extended her arm, her fingers in the ‘V’ sign, and a shower of stars all around her. “His Excellence Il Palazzo can knock out even Chuck Norris. O yeah!”
Collective shock! “CHUCK NORRIS?! TU-TUMM!”
“Problems, guys?” said a voice from above. Excel lifted her eyes…and all of a sudden her potential candidates were forgotten.
She had never seen such h-u-n-k. Blue eyes, black floppy ears, short white fur over defined steel muscles, red collar and cape dramatically billowing even in absence of wind (status of the true macho!)
Above all, Excel had never seen a flying dog. She was moved, her eyes sparkling and immense. “I will get the highest distinction from His Excellence if I will bring to Him such an exemplar for our cause!”
“Hey, watch it, lady,” the cyborg said, taking his arm back and reattaching it. “That is Spot (Superdog), our mortal enemy. You should help us get rid of him rather than—“ She gave him a Falcon Punch! without even turning.
The cyborg hit his accomplices with a STRIKE! Sound.
Spot scratched his head. “Uh, I guess I should thank you, lady,” he said, floating down to land. He looked at the still unconscious Hyatt. “Uh, does your friend here need help?”
“Oh, just a tranquil place where to recover. At your place, or doghouse, or wherever you live. And in the meantime we could talk like two good friends before a good drink, a nice dinner and a draft of a contract for the acquisition of your soul. What do you think?”
Spot thought that he was feeling uneasy under her eyes. But he could never refuse to help a human in need. He bent over Hyatt. “Well, let’s go then. The Fortress of the Solitary Orphan got everything I need to cure your friend.” He caught her in his arms…and he collapsed!
“Oh, no!” Excel sagged. “Due to the rating we cannot show how much Hyatt’s blood is toxic and so all of her body has become toxic! And what do I do now?”
This time she found herself surrounded in this order by: 4 guns, 1 bazooka, 1 rocket launcher, bow and arrow and a slingshot.
“What we’ll do is to end this accursed mutt’s existence once and for all. And you too, meddling human! Last wish?”
Deadly danger!
Commercial break (tough times, guys!)

Author:  Daggy [ Fri Dec 30, 2011 6:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread

The christmas special was FANTASTIC. Great work there.

This spinoff is just...I don't even know. Hahaha.

Author:  RandomGeekNamedBrent [ Sat Dec 31, 2011 6:10 am ]
Post subject:  Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread

thoughts on the second part of the finale:
Shouldn't Bosco's last name be Costner and not Byron? or did he take Sasha's last name? not sure how the naming thing works with pets.
Parnok is indeed an epic name.
and of course, Nutella is a delicious name. mmm.
did you have that one before I said it, or did I just get to name a Grapenut Kitten?
and as always, truly an epic fic.

Author:  valerio [ Sat Dec 31, 2011 6:25 am ]
Post subject:  Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread

RandomGeekNamedBrent Wrote:
thoughts on the second part of the finale:
Shouldn't Bosco's last name be Costner and not Byron? or did he take Sasha's last name? not sure how the naming thing works with pets.
Parnok is indeed an epic name.
and of course, Nutella is a delicious name. mmm.
did you have that one before I said it, or did I just get to name a Grapenut Kitten?
and as always, truly an epic fic.

Hehe, I guess the pup won't be very grateful to his daddy for THAT.
Sasha belongs to the Byron family, so is her pup. And thus is surname.
Epic name for a kitten who will have to live to it! But Maxie can be a good teacher...
As for the last name, yes, it was there from the previous release. So, sorry, no cigars.
And thank you.

Author:  valerio [ Sat Dec 31, 2011 7:10 am ]
Post subject:  Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread

Split screen
On both windows, a mailman is walking down the road, doing his round of deliveries.
When both mailmen reach their destination, a typical American suburban house, they not welcomed…warmly by the local watchdog.
(Zoom on both dogs’, both Dobermans, wary expressions. Close-up of mailmen’s eyes, equally ware. Western duel music on background.)
Dog on window #1 starts growling, baring his teeth.
Dog on window #2 bends down to pick something.
Cut on scene: dog on window #1 is barking and snarling at the mailman, who has managed to escape on a tree, his uniform all tattered.
Dog on window #2 is playing a 'Magic: The Gatghering' game with the mailman, and both are chatting amiably.
Out-of-field voice. “Maybe you can’t see the difference in these two men, but surely they can smell it. Its name is Treat.” A bottle of cologne superimposes on the scene. On its cerulean glass there is the stylized head of a Doberman under the logo. “Treat, the new fragrance for men, created to send the right signal to our best friends. Treat, by Bruno Gangia.”
Cut on scene: it’s night. On window #1 the mailman is still there, screaming for help. On window #2, the mailman is still playing with the dog. The man says, “Can I go home now?”
“No,” says the dog.
End of commercial break

A big American city, where our heroine’s life is in grave danger for meddling with the business of the mostly dangerous Collarless Gang

“Last wish, human?”
The only dog that Excel ever hanged up with was Mince. Mince was a good dog, delicate, leaning a bit on the fat. And perhaps a bit edgy, but that last was irrelevant, since he was the organization’s emergency food supply.
Excel wasn’t used to the idea that a pack of dogs could actually hold against her enough weapon to atomize her beyond every reasonable doubt. “Hehehe, nice doggies..?” She tried, smiling with rattling teeth.
“Last wish,” the pack leader, a small mutt with a domino mask and a pretty long pink girl dress. And a very masculine voice.
Excel’s desperate grin slowly transformed into a sad expression. Her eyes became large like headlights as they started to tear up. “You…you can’t do this… It would be so…” A corner of her mouth started trembling.
Excel fell on her knees, her hands clasped over her head in pleading. Arcs of tears flowed from her eyes. “Nooo! You can’t, you just can’t! I am here on behalf of His Excellence Il Palazzo to spread the gospel of ACROSS to the world and to your benefit as well! What waste, what ignominy would my premature passing! We’re supposed to fight together for the enslavement of the whole humankind! How could Il Palazzo ever do without his most faithful agent?!”
ACROSS headquarters, undisclosed location

In the silence of his room, sitting on his throne, Lord Il Palazzo was examining the Job Ads. “Secretary, Call Center, Massage Parlor, Actress…” after a while, he let the newspaper fall down on the pavement.
“This world is rotten,” he muttered.
“So, this is your last wish?” The cyborg dog asked. “You wish to be spared?”
Excel was back in her usual self-confident mode. “That would be greatly appreciated! I knew you were very reasonable, for being flea-bag—And now why are you all pulling the triggers?”
The dog in pink grinned. “Bad doggies.”

Dear readers, this is Grape Jelly Sandwich, the cat that everyone loves, laying in her bed, feeding her kittens, purring and licking their backs. Ain’t it a sweet vision, inspiring peace and serenity in your hearts? Please enjoy it while elsewhere a scene of unbelievable violence, unfit to the rating of this story, is being consumed…

A crater lay where Excel had stood a moment before.
The Collarless Gang sheathed their weapons. “Grab all the money you can,” said the pack leader. “With some luck we can pay the rent for the secret lair and buy us some groceries.” He then approached the inert bodies of Spot and Hyatt. “I think we could try to take advantage of this…”
“No way,” said the cyborg, collecting his share of money.
“And why not?”
“Leave them there: Rule 171 of the Good Baddie: don’t disturb the Hero’s apparent death and put as much distance as you can between you and him before he recovers. I’ll come up with a better plan, next time, hoping we won’t be disturbed again…”
From above, an ethereal figure observed the scene unfolding. Then the dogs ran away, leaving the presence all alone in the company of her sorrow.
Excel’s voice sounded like a pale echo. “I have failed, Your Excellence Il Palazzo. Unworthy Excel didn’t carry out her duties and even worse, poor Hyatt is left without my guidance.
“It’s over. There is no better punishment for me than wandering as a restless spirit, never to find peace, because my demise will surely cause His Excellence Il Palazzo many and many restless nights—“ A celestial light appeared behind her and a celestial music filled the air.
Excel turned.
Before her, there was now a sky filled with stars and towered by an immense elliptical galaxy.
Excel’s spirit clasped her hands to her chest. “Oh, Great Will of the Macrocosm! Once again you come to my rescue!”
“Excel,” said a feminine voice from the heart of the vision, a voice as sweet and ancient as time itself. “Excel, you know you cannot die. This story can’t go on without its lead character. Now let the Great Will of the Macrocosm fix this terrible mistake.” And her loving hands went to the spirit.
Excel was nodding frantically. “Oh, yes, Great Will! Allow me to serve His Excellence once again—“ and then she noticed something out of place, there. “Hold it! How come your arms are short and furry like a Pomeranian’s?”
The entity crossed her arms, drumming her fingers, as her voice became snappy and yappy. She barked, “I am subbing for the Great Will since she retired from the production, Ms. Nitpick! It’s already upsetting enough to answer all those stupid lotto questions at the Oujia call center, so enough with the fussing and take my paws!” The celestial music was back, and the GWotM’s voice was back to celestial mode. “Let the story start anew.”

“Last wish, human?” asked the leader of the Collarless Gang, ready to shoot.
Excel, back exactly to the point where this mess had started, instead of pleading, just said, “Yes. Aspirin, please?”
*big sweat drop* “Whoopsie!” said the subbing Great Will.

Dear readers, this is Peanut Butter Sandwich, the father of the most beloved kittens in the Gardens. As you can see, he really loves Grape and never leaves her alone. He is a dog who loves a cat. Be their example of inspiration to the peoples of the world while once again a terrible violence is consumed somewhere else.

Celestial music. Ancient, timeless voice. “Excel… Excel, now let the Great Will of the Macrocosm bring you back to life so that the story may continue. Come, take my paws.”
Excel spirit looked a bit nervous, this time. “Err, mind if I just stay hovering here? Being a wandering spirit is not that bad. I still can go visit the dreams of Il Palazzo, and I’m not even hungry in this condition.”
In a house at Fukuoka, the dog Mince started dancing and barking happily, amidst a rain of festoons and confetti.
“Excel, you know the story must go on. You can find peace together with the man of your life only if you’re alive. So come and take my paws. Let your destiny be fulfilled.”
Excel gulped. “Couldn’t this time apply a little variation on this theme? Perhaps the author is getting tired of these sappy scenes to preserve the rating…”
I got many left, to be honest. Season’s leftovers.
She looked through the 4th wall. “I hate you, did I tell you already? Anyway, Subbing Will, why not do it this way..?” and she whispered to the floppy ear protruding from the celestial apparition.
The Subbing Superior Will’s paws unfurled a paper roll thickly printed. “Yes, that is a clause present in your lead character contract. You can do it, but only once.” The roll went back into the galactic body. Back came the music. “And now, let the story start anew.”
Mince’s eyes watered and she whimpered pitifully.
“Last wish, human?” said the dog in pink, aiming his gun at…
But this time there was no one to aim their weapons to. The members of the Collarless Gang looked at each other, shrugging, shaking their heads.
Their designated victim was no longer there. Instead, there was this sign reading,
Question marks hovered around the canine heads. “Anybody knows what does it mean?” asked the pack leader.
“I only studied French, at the evening class,” the cyborg said.
From above, like the Divine Wrath, came Excel’s voice. “It means Clause 147 to give the lead character the chance to avenge only once without a chance for the enemy and without sappy interruptions!
In her hands, she was holding a very oversized hammer.
The dogs put on safety helmets. “Kids, don’t do this at home.”
Excel’s hammer fell down. “HYAAAA!”

A dome of light bloomed in the American continent, and it swept away the clouds.
A crack opened in the Earth.
Commercial break (hey, look, I earned 5 cents!)

Author:  angelusbr [ Sat Dec 31, 2011 9:30 am ]
Post subject:  Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread

great specials

Author:  valerio [ Sat Dec 31, 2011 3:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread

Dramatic music.
Scene: a man is getting ready for a challenge. Single shots of him wearing thick gloves, then moon boots, then armored plates, and finally a face protection.
“Bring him on!” he commands, when he’s ready, bottle shampoo in one hand, grim determination in his eyes.
A bulldog, chained to the bathroom tub, snorts and expels fire through his nostrils.
Out of screen voice: “Washing your dog has become something worse than a chore? Then, why not start from avoiding it from the start?”
Man and dog both look at the camera.
A rotating object falls in the hand of the man: it’s a pills box, with a glossy golden wave over the logo, “Silcare! The all-new treatment in pills to heal your dog’s fur without recurring to frequent baths.”
The man opens the box and tosses a pill to the bulldog. The dogs eat it, and voilà he turns into a lusciously furred creature with a dazzling Hollywood grin. Immediately, a swarn of females starts asking for autographs.
Silcare! For the care of your pet, and your relax!”
End of commercial break

A Big American City about to be destroyed by Excel’s avenging fury

If you can imagine a five-megaton hammer blow, you can also imagine it’s not easy to stop it, right?
But of course you also know by now what’s the series we’re crossing over with.
“I know Japanese, and I also think it’s time to stop it here and now, madame!” Spot (Superdog) said, his paw blocking the fatal blow. Energies were still sparkling from the point the two forces had met.
The Collarless Gang exhaled a breath of relief.
Excel, still in mid-air, in the act of inflicting the blow, was admired. “Wow! You absorbed all of the kinetic energy, and the earth was cracked because it was like nailing a supernail!”
“Superscience should be my line, madame!” Spot grabbed the hammer. Superquickly, he started reshaping it with his claws until he got a perfect toothpicker. He cleaned his fangs. “My breakfast was interrupted by these emergencies, sorry.” When he was done, he sported a smashing cool shiny grin.
“Weren’t you into a coma, no longer than a minute ago? Or was longer? I get always confused on time lapses when the Great Will rewrites the story!”
“I was only fainted. Of course, my superimmune system was tried to its limits, but I’m still invincible, except when I’m exposed to Orphanite.”
“Like this one?” cyborg said, tossing a piece of luminescent rock to the superdog.
Spot grabbed the object. “Yes, just like—Oh, no.”
This time, all the weapons were aimed at him. “This is our golden chance, guys. Fire!”

An atomic mushroom raised from the center of the city.

When the smoke dissolved, Excel was covered in ash. Her hair were a total mess, but she was alive. And not thanks to the Great Will… Spot had protected her, the Superdog still standing like the statue of Atlas, invincible, majestic! Unhurt!
The Collarless Gang was staring at him with hanging jaws. “How…How..?”
The cyborg facepawlmed using his artificial limb –and hurting himself in the process. “Of course! Hero Rule #2: what doesn’t kill makes you stronger! Ow.”
“Correct. Allow me to put it even better,” Spot said. He put the Orphanite in his mouth and ate it with gusto. “Hmm, tastes like chicken.” He gulped down and used the cape to clean his mouth. “You see, the prolonged exposition to that lady’s toxic body made me twice invincible. Orphanite only got me back to my normal invincibility level.” He crackled his knuckles. His grin didn’t look so friendly now. “Guess what I’m going to do to you now?”
The pack leader tossed his gun. “Couldn’t we just surrender?”
“You made me cancel all my schedules. And I had a lunch planned with my girlfriend (who is a cat). Last wish?”
The dogs clasped their paws much like Excel had done before. “Please! Spare our teeth! Tomorrow, at the pound they serve the fries!”
Excel, dressed like a cheerleader, was waving to small flags –one American and one Japanese. On her shirt, there was the picture of Uncle Sam…or rather of Il Palazzo posing as Uncle Sam, and a line reading His Excellence loves YOU! “Yeeah! Get ‘em hero boy! Spot Spot go Spot!”
“Ok, just keep us away from her,” the cyborg said.
The white-furred punch moved at hypersonic speed, ready to send the canine criminals into next century…
And something stopped it.
A human hand. Fragile, pale, and yet belonging to a creature so sweet as to be able to stop a hero’s avenging fury!
“Hyatt?” Excel split in two with stupor. “But how..?”
Excel’s assistant was looking at the superdog with pleading, sweet eyes, her hands holding the mighty paw. “Spot, please, no more violence. We are here on a mission of peace, and we need you to make peace triumph in the whole world. Show everyone you are better than this. Abandon the ways of hate.”
Spot was impressed by the pastel colors and the glitters around her face. “Uh, lady, I do not hate them at all. I must punch them because—YOU STOP THERE, GUYS!” he growled to the canines who were trying to sneak away.
Spot took Hyatt’s hands in his. “Lady, your words are wise, but how else could I defeat the bad guys if I do not punch them? I solve everything with my brains, punches or by spinning.”
Hyatt smiled, and Spot felt as if an angel was smiling to him. “Then join the ACROSS and use your brains and your spin, not your punches. His Excellence il Palazzo wants only the best for the world. Will you believe me?”
“Well, put it this way…” Spot started to blush.
“Dawwwww!” went the Gang.
Spot gave them the cold stare. They shattered into ice cubes.
Then Spot smiled at Hyatt, glitters all around his face as well. “Your proposal honors me. As member of the Justice Club, honorary member of the Scout for Safe Street Crossing, President of Orphans Protection, Founder of the Arts Divulgators Association—“
“Yes yes, thank you for your most interesting pedigree!” Excel interrupted him appearing between him and Hyatt. She was holding pen and paper. “Now, if you just want to sign this contract, your future Master, not to mention Global Overlord, will welcome you with open arms and a luxury doghouse! ACROSS always treats its employees with style!”
Spot turned, showing his perfect back. “Girl, I will answer to your insolence showing you my macho back and offering my superior indifference in which you’ll fall!”
The ground actually opened under Excel’s feet. “I got it! But please think it oveeeeerr!!!” And her fall into the abyss of Earth went on and on and on… “Oh look they sell Prada in hell but why does everyone make me fall in a pit perhaps it’s a metaphor but who cares I don’t know what I’m saying and I talk to keep company to myself AAAAAAHHH the center of the planet it burns and I forgot to bring the hot dogs…”

Inside ACROSS headquarters, Il Palazzo was engaged with a Star Wars Pinball, when the trapdoor opened and Excel came out, partly carbonized, but posing in the ordnance salute. “Heil il Palazzo! Status report on mission 333333!”
Without even raising his eyes from the game, the head of ACROSS said, “Your dedication is noted. It must not have been easy to come here from the other side of the world just for that. Tell me, Excel: any progress? Did you and Hyatt recruit our new allies for the cause?”
Excel assumed the Peanut pose –eyes downcast, floppy hair and fingers tapping each other. “Ah, to be honest, the recruiting campaign is still subjected to technical difficulties. It seems that the offer of a doghouse is not enough and—“
“Come back only when you’re done with this mission.” Il Palazzo launched the ball into the ‘Special’ hole. On the board, there started the laser ignition sequence of the Death Star. And when the laser destroyed Alderaan, the trapdoor opened under Excel’s feet. Four gigantic pinballs followed her.
The return trip was followed by a series of pinball dings.

When she reappeared in the US of A, she said “Ta-daaa!! I’m back you adorable lowlife! Ready to be convinced to join the sacred ways of ACROSS…” Then her enthusiasm faltered, as she realized where she was.
Inside the pound.
Surrounded by the largest pack of bad dogs she had ever seen.
Excel turned to sky. “Err, Great Will of Macrocosmos… What’s your policy on overtime?”
Inside a room dominated by a sign reading Macrocosmos Spiritual Assistance, the subbing Great Will, with a headset on her floppy ears, was saying, “Yes, avoid ordering anchovy pizza for dinner tonight, or a great love will be endangered. To learn more, your credit card will be charged with $7… Hello? Spiritual Assistance Service. No, we don’t give out lotto numbers. Hello..?”
Excel’s head fell. “I hate Mondays.”
The growling jaildogs were ready to attack en masse, when a more powerful growl stopped them!
Excel caressed her belly. “*sigh* I’m hungry too. It’s not fair, I’m in the US and I couldn’t even go to a fast food.” She put her hand in a pocket and produced a handful of coins. “And to say that for once I collected enough change to buy me a…hamburger…” At that point, she noticed one thing.
She was surrounded by dogs. Many dogs.
Dogs = Living beings = FOOD
Drops of drool started falling at the feet of Excel.
Now the dogs hesitated before that creature that made them think of the bad sister of The Grudge monster.
“Good doggies, tasty doggies, gooood…” The girl had fallen on all fours and now was advancing toward those delicious morsels. Her eyes were shining with the hunger… Then she jumped, fork and ketchup ready in her hands!
*BITE!* her fangs sunk into the flesh…but not even her determination could eat away Spot’s indestructible muscles.
In the end, Excel had to stop because her teeth crumbled like glass.
“Senpai Excel!” Hyatt said, kneeling next to her. She promptly inserted a new set of teeth into Excel’s mouth. “Are you okay?”
Excel checked her jaws. “I think so. Yo, supermutt, if you don’t want to join the cause, just let me eat in peace!”
“But Senpai, he just accepted!” Hyatt showed Excel the contract, signed both with an elegant calligraphy and a paw print. “He’s a member of ACROSS now. Arent’t you happy?”
Excel wouldn’t answer. She stood there, cataleptic, mute. Instead, her face split in two and a miniExcel dressing a long gown covering her body said with a shrill voice, “How did you do it?! How could you convince him? I am the lead character! I was supposed to make him join our side! YOU are an assistant, and not even paid…” Then she thought it over. “Well, I’m not paid too now that I think of it.”
Spot put a paw over Excel’s shoulder. “This girl explained me how many orphans will be saved, should your organization conquer the world. Environment will be restored. And there will be more carpooling. A little humiliation for humankind will do them well, if that will prevent more wars from happening. I like your ideals, though we’ll have to renegotiate this ‘slavery’ thing: I really do not approve of that, you know—“
Miniexcel facepalmed.”Stupid,” she said, before sliding back into the face. The face closed. Excel reset herself. She stood up and stuck a finger against Spot’s chest. “Renegotiate what?! Puppy, there’s nothing to renegotiate! Each single human will be enslaved to serve at their best the ACROSS ideal and make His Excellence Il Palazzo even more comfortable! We will need all the work force we can get to run the world in an efficient way! And I will be needing my personal guards to loot the world’s best restaurants and organize sublime banquets—“
Spot was back in grim mode. “I would have done everything.”
Excel started to tremble. “E-eh? Really? You? No need for enslaved masses?”
Spot took the contract from under his cape. “I’m sorry, Hyatt, but I cannot tolerate a liar!” he breathed on the paper, and his fire breath consumed it. Then he said, “Be right back.” And he took off at superspeed.
Excel was in a panic. She was desperately trying to put together the ashen remains of the contract. “Hyatt, hurry, don’t you stay there and help me put together at least his signature! With some luck, we could attach it to a new contract—“ A moment later, she was hit by a smartphone! The blow buried her face into the asphalt.
Hyatt took the phone, which was ringing with the Ride of the Valkyrie. “Good morning, agent Hyatt here. Yes, Your Excellence. If she’s still alive I’ll pass the call. Senpai? It’s His Excellence. For you.”
“I’m dead,” came the muffled answer. “I’m dead. Please tell him that I am unworthy and irreparably dead.”
Hyatt bent down and placed the phone at Excel’s ear. The phlegmatic ACROSS leader said, “Excel, can you explain me why our potential recruit is zoning our headquarters?”
Excel raised her head from the ground. “That was a rhetorical question, right, Your Excellence Il Palazzo?
The chord fell down. A small sign attached to it read, 究極の罰 (Supreme Punishment)
“Yes.” He pulled the chord.
The sky darkened…

…And the asteroid fell on the city.
At Fukuoka, Mince made a somersault and howled. “Oyayz!”

Special Episode 2

Author:  valerio [ Sat Dec 31, 2011 3:19 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread

the good thing about covering this episode today is that i will start the new year with season III. Yay!
Hope you liked it.

Author:  Renkun [ Sat Dec 31, 2011 5:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread

why should we it not like?
you write it or not? :mrgreen:

Author:  Shirosune [ Sun Jan 01, 2012 1:32 am ]
Post subject:  Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread

*pants dragging self to the finish* Finally...caught...up...*Grins like a mad man*

Started reading this six days before Christmas, and have spent every moment I've been allowed trying to catch up to current since.

My eyes hurt, my neck is killing me, my laptop is screaming every vulgar curse it knows at me for the amount of time I've kept it running...and for this, it's all been totally worth it.

I really get into stories that I read, and when written well I feel for the characters. And let me tell you, there were times while reading this where I had to stop in the middle of some of the tough spots to take care of something, and it nearly tore me up not knowing for sure how things resolved. If that isn't feeling for a character, I don't know what is.

To me, the sign of a truly amazing writer is the ability to convey a sense of emotion to the reader in the right moments, and that Val is something you have down pat. From the sting of Grapes anger with Peanut at the farm, to the Joy when they were married, and even the stress of Joey finding a girlfriend, you did an amazing job conveying it all.

I can honestly say that I am mostly a ghost on the internet, I don't like joining forums because I don't say much and it almost feels a waste because of it, but I joined here, because I needed to commend your writing. And for a story like this, I feel pretty safe in saying I'll be sticking around and commenting, so this account will be well worth it.

And on a note from far back in season two, thank you so much for giving Grape and Peanut that miracle in this story. I could have accepted it if you hadn't in the end, but I can't tell you how happy that actually made me. What can I say? I'm a hopeless romantic... Actually, there's a lot of other stuff I'd like to comment on in regards to ride this story has been so far(All of it coming with praise), but I fear were I to speak on them all, I'd leave a post as long as one of your chapter sections. So I'll hold my tongue and just say this...

Looking forward to reading more and can't wait to see what's next. Till then, ja ne Val-san.

Author:  valerio [ Sun Jan 01, 2012 1:38 am ]
Post subject:  Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread

Your words make me happy to no end! :D
I am glad and honored you enjoyed my series, and that you joined the forum just to comment it. I hope I can keep up the standard now that I switch to another neighborhood entirely.
If you'll scroll back the thread, you'll find a series of links to the fictions that pushed me into writing the series, so your computer can understand why it had to be martyrized. :mrgreen:
Thank you again!

Author:  musclecar326 [ Sun Jan 01, 2012 2:19 am ]
Post subject:  Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread

Well hey that was a very interesting special episode there at the end. i was kinda confused through most of it but it was great anyways.

The new season is going to be awesome! :D ! Also i have your count done. you have posted 153 chapters in a single year. That is very impressive :o but i think you can beat that number next year. Also Happy new year!!

Author:  RandomGeekNamedBrent [ Sun Jan 01, 2012 5:01 am ]
Post subject:  Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread

valerio Wrote:
As for the last name, yes, it was there from the previous release. So, sorry, no cigars.

It's okay, I don't smoke. At least I can take solace in the fact that I had the idea completely separate from you, so I think similarly.
maybe Peanut and grapes grandson can be Monte Cristo Sandwich.

thoughts on the special:
interesting way to include yourself in the fic, Val. Mine was better though XP.
and you're fat? I had no idea. Not that it's a complete shock seeing as how I had absolutely no idea what you looked like.
I have not seen or read Excel Saga. But I bet you did not actually get permission for this crossover.

I liked the censorship cut-aways there.
and of course, you installed a break-away 4th wall here.

and caught up and eagerly awaiting season 3.

Author:  valerio [ Sun Jan 01, 2012 5:35 am ]
Post subject:  Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread

Season's Pilot 2
The Canticle of the Creatures

The Fulcrum, Terrace High

“We are men with a dream, Miss Cardore.”
The man by the window was registered as 50 years old.
He could have been of any age over than that. His features were pretty unusual: as for a starter, he was tall. Six feet tall. And thin, remarkably so, like one of those sci-fi characters from the old ‘50s movies. He was thin, but his movements betrayed a good use of his energies and of his body. He was surely not a frail man.
But more than his sheer physical presence, it was his face that drew attention: a long face, of pale flesh, as if he hadn’t seen the sun for a long, long time. It was impossible to read an emotion in it, if its owner so decided. When this man smiled, he could be heartwarming. When he scowled, you better fear for your life.
And his eyes: two pools of the deepest blue you could imagine. Hypnotic eyes, with which he had charmed many rivals into partners, or scared competitors into resignment.
The fact that he was one of the top 10 most influential industrialist in the world helped him to decide of the destiny of many people.
And this time, much to the surprise of the media and Average Joe, Raimund Radulf Gottschalk had decided to throw himself into a new kind of enterprise. But the surprise had not lasted long…
“Gottschalk Technology & Entertainments,” the man went on, speaking in that tone as ageless as his features, “has always provided the best application to improve our everyday life. We worked in partnership with the top research centers to improve the quality of our knowledge… But I realize I have never worked to improve significantly the quality of life of our most trusted friends.”
That was her cue. Guinevere Cardore had enough experience as reporter to know where the bone was thrown to her. And, considering that Herr Gottschalk rarely released personal interviews, she was determined not to mess this occasion.
Not to mention that she would not live through such a failure. The newspaper she worked for, the Daily Fact, could have its offices here at Terrace High, but there were surely more notable newspapers worthy of getting that interview!
“And so you built Terrace High?”
The man nodded. He turned, and again Guinever felt a shiver running through her spine –it didn’t matter that this man was the modern Henry Milton, as someone had started to call him, he moved like a ghost and it was not easy to get used to his features.
Gottschalk walked to the diorama representing the complex of Terrace High. It was something: the building itself was 900 ft tall, plus the ‘e-tree’ positioned on the last floor, an antenna that provided TV, radio, and Internet. There were other means to get those commodities, but Gottschalk wanted his communication to be as much autonomous as possible. Cable was for emergencies.
The building looked much like the famous Capitol Records Building, only that its 50 floors were each almost double in height when compared to other skyscrapers. And what the building would lack in height, it gained in width.
50 floors. 39 dedicated to the housing and teleworking, ten to the shopping and one for the headquarters and administration, The Fulcrum.
The park was another wonder in itself: The Hexagon counted 4 square kilometers, designed on the model of New York’s Central Park, but with several variants: the Running Path ran along the perimeter, allowing joggers and bikers to exercise in safety along the tree-lined single path without interfering with the games and other more…relaxing activities of the residents.
Each of the vertexes displayed a unique structure –The Amadeus Mozart Concert Hall, the World Theater of Arts, the Noah's Ark Biopark, the Gaea's Greenhouse, the Coliseum Sports Center, and the Omnibus Hall Museum. But the Hexagon’s most prominent feature was its river system, the so-called Venetian Channels, a blue cobweb that in some points ran underground into the enormous hidden reservoir tanks. The hexagon also hosted an amusement park, whose attraction were scattered all around, to stimulate humans and pets into moving rather than idling. And foods and drinks vending points were also easily accessible so that the residents could restore themselves at any moment.
Of course, on top of all, each apartment was a detached house in itself. Residents could customize them according to their needs, but they could count on the most advanced GTE gadgets. That made each apartment a symbol of modern lifestyle, and a paradise for videogamers and internauts.
Terrace high was surely a place where getting bored was hard.
“Families with pets are mostly penalized, when it comes to living in a condominium. Most building owners tend to forget that, despite us referring often to them as ‘children’, pets are creatures with their needs, needs that vary according to the species. And so, those who want to raise pets usually oscillate between the bare minimum for them or those who can afford large expenses to grant them a comfortable lifestyle.
“Henry Milton did the right thing when he founded Babylon Gardens: a community dedicated to the world of the middle class families who needed a respectable housing for them and their beloved pets. He was not the only one of course, as the existence of other Pet Friendly communities proves…but I wanted to take a further step.”
“A luxury housing complex for families with pets,” Guinevere said.
“Let us call this a prototype, a Phase I. I will test the best possible solutions here, before building other compounds like this.”
“So, this means the future condominiums will be less comfortable?”
Gottschalk showed her his heartwarming smile, though there was something in it that kept her wary. “Oh, no. It means that I’ll adopt the less expensive solution, yet granting a good life quality for the residents. After all, that is the spirit: the more at the less price, be it rent or purchase.”
“Will all the next building erected in a park?”
“Alas, no: Not on this scale, at least. Phase II will consist of refitting existing buildings in town to make them ideal for families with pets, and trying to build a park wherever possible… But that is still in the planning stage.”
“Of course. Mister Gottschalk, why this dedition to this project? What pushed you into the idea of Terrace High?”
The man’s eyes went to the picture, an oil canvas depicting an austere individual with the family’s piercing blue eyes. His hair was black instead of the white-blond of his descendant. Plus, the balding individual in a black suit did nothing to hide his scowl, to tell you he was the king of the world and the observer mere lowlife.
It was difficult to imagine that something good could have come from that man, who sported a pin with the Swastika on his suit.
“Karl Reiner Gottschalk, my grandfather. Never had Hitler a most devoted servitor. His ideas in technology were used by Speer, a mere architect with a bad taste, to prolong the war of the dying regime. But years before that, when he was already an affirmed communications and weapons industrialist, he celebrated the raise of the Nazi Party to power by opening a breeding farm for German Shepherd Dogs, Hitler’s most favorite breed.
“A breeding farm for fighters, for the meanest, toughest dogs. Dogs who were taught to suppress their feelings except for hatred and bloodlust. Dogs used by the SS guards at the concentration camps. Dogs used as living weapons, to suicide themselves against the Soviet troops.
“My grandfather managed to escape from the Soviets, but was eventually captured by the Americans and processed as war criminal. It was during the trial that one of the prosecuting lawyers, Richard Patterson, elaborated the fundamentals of the future law against animal cruelty that would carry his name.
“But my father didn’t wait the end of the trial. He was eighteen, and that made him elegible to move to the USA. Once here, he put what he had learnt from his father to use, and opened a repair shop. He worked hard, and eventually used the family money to build a new empire under the flag of peace and coexistence.”
Guinevere tried not to chuckle –that was the line for the PR, and he sounded really convincing at that. Anyone who had tried to cross Herr Gottschalk’s path either became a partner or a corpse –financially speaking of course, though there had been rumors of competitors driven to suicide…
“Is this your revenge against your grandfather then?”
R.R. shrugged. Nothing said, nothing denied. “I like to think that right now he’s rolling in his grave, in eternal frustration. He believed animals were meant to be our slaves, that all the sufferance we inflicted to them was part of their very same existence.” The way he was looking at the picture suggested he was mentally spitting at it.
Guinever wondered if there was more to it than the animal factor… But for now she’d refrain from asking questions: when it came to his family, Raimund was even scarcer with information. She guessed he’d speak of that particular ancestor because he kept a portrait hanging for everyone to see.
Guinevere went to the next point of their agenda. “So, today is the big day: a load of new families moving in, thanks to your program..?”
Gottschalk extended a tapered hand to a bottle of whisky. Guinevere thought he’d played well the piano with those hands…or he was really good at spinning webs. He poured some whisky into a glass, then added an ice cube. “Ah, yes: Two hearts and a valise, although, of course, I expect more than two hearts and a single baggage.” He took a sip.
That program had been a PR strike of genius: 15 families balloted for a free housing! Each ticket had cost $500, but it was totally worth them, since each apartment was worth not less than $100,000, and expenses-free!
Gottschalk had made more millions with the lottery. Each ticket had been sold via a specialized site, where you had to register and give all your generalities. Tickets couldn’t be sold to families who had to take loans to buy them. Tickets couldn’t be sold to people with a high income. Only middle class, to maintain the condominium’s minimum social standards.
Guinever thought it was too bad she had to rent her own, but by then R.R. hadn’t disclosed his plan. He had waited to rent or sell before opening the ballot. That had caused some malcontent among the current residents, but, as the landlord had said himself, they could always clear their houses in favor of other owners.
The reporter hoped this tension wouldn’t rub off on the pets. Already, for some reason, most of them harbored this absurd grudge against the mixed species couples, adding social status fights wouldn’t do anyone good…
“Is it true that all residents work here?” she asked.
“Yes. That was another of the parameters on which I chose them, even for the ballot: they humans must be able to provide for themselves and their families, and they must telework or have a job here at the condominium, in the commercial area. The idea is that the families are never separated. Commuting is stressful and time-stealing, it adds fatigue. Going straight back home or being there already with your family is relieving. Don’t you agree?”
She found herself nodding. Now that her dog could come and visit her anytime, she felt…closer to him. And instead of getting out of office and into the chaotic life of the city, she could take a walk in the park and just sit down and watch the animals play in a serene environment. Hmmm, who cared if she missed the lottery? She’d make sure to work her butt off, if it would serve to keep her here with Frits…
“Another question, if you don’t mind…”

Author:  valerio [ Sun Jan 01, 2012 5:42 am ]
Post subject:  Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread

And so it starts!
This short update just to give you all an idea of the general environment, much different from the most beloved pet-friendly community. Next updates will deal with our furry stars, each one created for the occasion by one forumite, and in fact, I'd like to thank for your exceptional contribution:

RICK GRIFFIN (yes, he actually submitted two characters, that was a great joy!)

KAVVYENTA and MUSCLECAR326 for two latest but interesting contributions

To all of you, thank you again, and I promise I'll make the best of your characters.

(PS and if you want a sneak peek at the cast itself, have a lookie HERE

Author:  Shirosune [ Sun Jan 01, 2012 2:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread

*Grins* Okay, this is gonna fun. Though I wish I had known about the character submission thread soon fault for rushing through to catch up and not paying attention to anything but the chapter posts though I suppose.

Still, I'm gonna miss a few of the cannon characters, but alas, can't have everything, as they say.

Looking forward to the next section, and to seeing the pet characters introduced when the time comes.

'til then, ja ne.

Author:  valerio [ Sun Jan 01, 2012 2:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread

Main Hall, Terrace High. January, 1st

The golden retriever looked at the squirrel with a sorrowful expression: “Sorry, William.”
“Don’t be,” the squirrel said. The creature then dusted his red, gold-buttoned suit. “It’s me, I’m a bit edgy. Have you seen the list of our new residents? The lottery guys?”
“Yes, of course: I read it before Mom published on the paper. So what?”
“’So what?’ you ask?” Showing unexpected strength, the squirrel jumped up and pulled at the retriever’s collar, dragging him down. “Man, there is a snake among the pet list! One of them snakes who eat them small and juicy creatures such as me, got it?! I don’t think I will survive the first week! I already hate my job!” William started looking around nervously. “Think I should ask for a bodyguard? Security could loan me one of those new guys from the Academy.”
Frits readjusted his collar. “Now, I think you’re just overreacting. Selections are very strict, you just can’t bring in a dangerous pet.”
“Not to mention that whoever threatens you must ask our permission first,” said a new voice.
The voice of a male German Shepherd mix. Despite the breed’s marking, one could tell the husky’s build and of course the eerie blue eyes.
“What Gauss means,” said another voice, “is that you aren’t in danger at all, William.” This came from a female whose lean GSD body displayed the fur pattern of her husky mother, but the hazelnut brown eyes of the father. Like her brother, she sported a blue collar with a golden rampant wyvern, symbol of the Gottschalk dynasty.
“You just relax, boy,” the male said. “Today we’ll work with you to introduce ourselves to the new guys. Too much work in one day for a pipsqueak such as you. Right, sister?”
The female sighed. “What he means is that he trusts you to do your part.”
Gauss stuck out his tongue. “Killjoy!”
William climbed up over her shoulder. “Thank you, Curie. And thanks you too, Gauss, though one believes you should’ve learnt some manners from your Da-owner,” he corrected himself as soon as he saw a dangerous glint in the Gauss’ eyes. For some reason, that was the only known dog who thought of his human as owner –Okay, not surprising, given the owner. If that Gottschalk guy had a heart, it was really hard to tell…
A black-furred paw knocked at the door.
“Baby, come out of your den!” said the owner of that paw, a North American River Otter with a coat of a uniform, glossy silver, except for black paws and feet. “I know you’re in there. You’re always in there. Come on, it is time to meet your new neighbors, it is time for love!”
After a minute of silence, a voice said, “Go away, Errol! You know I am not interested!”
The otter checked his claws. “I know you feign not being interested in moi, dear lady (though it must be hard), but I’m not talking on my account this time.” His paw made an encompassing gesture. “Perhaps, out there, in the great unknown we call World, there is that special one who will quench your thirst for love. Give it a try, at least. You’re not obliged to take all their numbers.”
“Errol, you know I am busy!”
“You always are, lady: and see what good it’s doing to you. You’re not a slave, Jasmine, I’m sure they’ll give you a hefty permission once you explain your urgent, long-neglected social necessities! So now go to your human and tell her to—“
“Go away!”
The otter facepawlmed. “Not exactly what I had in mind, Jasmine dear. Now, let’s try again: what you must say is—“
The door opened, and a white-furred paw scored a perfect blow on Errol’s head with a frying pan!
The door closed, leaving behind a mammal suddenly reduced to the state of drunkard. “Eshactly what I meant, baby-blue! Jusht a sharp and clear anshwer.” Then he collapsed.
At the zoo, a tiger was sharpening her teeth with glasspaper.
A wolf was gargling, while a pack of his peers was refraining their howls with a director leading.
A snake was drawing new figures with his body.
And a fox was checking the most important items for the party dedicated to the visitors. “Memory foam pillows, instant ice, electrodes, battery…”
“I hate it when Karishad comes for family visits,” said one of the other foxes.
“Yeah,” said a cape dog from the nearby pen. “Luckily, the new visitors are residents and should not ask for refund. I don’t know how the River Ridge Zoo manages to make ends meet, sometimes.”
Security offices

“Here they come!” said a minipinscher sitting before a wide row of screens. He pointed at the screens showing the road leading to the subterranean garage’s entrance.
It was a curious show: fifteen cars coming in a neat line, like customers punctual on a Black Friday sale. Suddenly the small dog held out his paw. “Now let the babies come to poppa who is poppa who is poppa hmm?” Despite all attempts to teach him to check his speech, Tobee Gallant kept speaking without interruptions of sort.”
His unit’s colleagues – the Weimaraner Sigmund Follett, the sturdy husky Athena, the steel-toothed Alsatian Hannibal ‘Psycho’ Bates, and the only cat in security, the Brazilian Shorthair Clementia – handed him two $10 bills each.
The small dog sniffed voluptuously at the bills. “Hmm cookies here I come!”
“I hope for your sake you didn’t bet with them,” Hannibal grumbled.
“And what did he bet, exactly, officer?” a deep, rumbling voice asked, freezing the dogs where they were. Tobee was paralyzed in the act of stuffing the money into his collar.
All the five ex cadets at the Academy stood up smartly at their boss’ arrival: an Anatolian Shepherd, big as life, buffy enough to teach a lesson or two to a wolf –which was his breed was originally intended for.
Displaying little fantasy, his owners had christened him Anatoly. It would have been fun, but this guy had already proved, since their first day at security, that there were worse things than their old teacher, Budweiser. The guy came straight from Military, he had been deemed unfit due to war wounds, the same that scarred his chest under the security green jacket. But wounds didn’t mean he had lost his temper or his strength. He was the top dog in security, he knew that and he expected his underlings to be the best.
He hadn’t liked what he’d been given, but he had promised he’d make with them, he’d improve them.
The others had sorely missed Bud since when they heard that phrase.
“I had bet the new guests would come all together about 8:30 because they’d instinctively think the condominium opened at this time and they wanted to make sure to move before they got late and lost their free houses.” Incredibly, he managed to do a pause before saying, “Sir.”
Anatoly grabbed the ill-gotten money. “You’ll have time to play in your free time, officer Tobee! Right now, your task is make sure that there are no troubles with the new arrivals! So keep your eyes glued to the screen. And shame on you, cadets! I know of Budweiser, and I thought his recommendation letter was worth something!” Anatoly then pointed at a wall devoid of any decoration or monitor, save for a row of nails disposed in a roughly oval shape. “You see that?”
Dogs and cat nodded.
Anatoly grinned. “You fail me, I’ll use those nails to hang your sorry hide for everyone to see. Do you think I’m joking?” He put that question with the sweet voice of an ogre about to devour its prey.
Collective shaking of heads.
Grumbling something that is better nor to be repeated, Anatoly left the room. Clementia put her fingers to her temples. “Someone remembers me why joining security was a good idea at all.”
On the screen, the cars were entering the garage. And no one, during Anatoly’s bluster, noticed a canine figure walking in the park.
But of course, who would care for just another dog with a collar, moving at ease, as if he belonged to the place?...
…But that had been his secret to survive through all these years in this country: stay clean, get a collar, and move as if you belonged. People and pets will leave you alone. And keep a good excuse ready if someone asks you question. Animal Control didn’t mind an animal who acted like a pet and looked like a pet. What really was important, was to keep a low profile with the feral population. If you got in a fight with them, it could bring you all sorts of unwanted attentions and troubles.
That’s why this particular dog had chosen this particular park: ferals were smart, they knew security was tight, here. Even the scavengers had learnt that any attempt to look for trash was fruitless: all garbage was recycled, or sent to the compost bins, and those were like safes. The cleaning staff’s work was made easier by the fines: residents or visitors who littered weren’t treated with the kid’s gloves. Gottschalk had been generous indeed in creating this compound, but he’d also make sure it stood neat and tidy. No exceptions.
So, the question was actually easy: how could a feral dog survive in a place with no leftovers at all? Where he couldn’t risk being discovered by asking for food or money to the residents? Where he couldn’t address the other snotty pets for help?
The answer was: go veggie!
This particular dog was a Basenji, an African breed, specifically from Congo.
And it was from Africa that this dog came. He had abandoned his old life, his family, to come in this country and try out his luck.
A bad turn of luck, insofar. Only his pride, his determination to overcome, had kept him alive and fit. He still didn’t know if there would be happiness in his future, and he didn’t want to think about that, but he knew he wouldn’t go back, wouldn’t return to his parents with his ears cast down. That would shame him even more than leaving without permission.
This life was his choice, and Kwesi Citra was determined to make the best of it!
He had started exploring the park since its construction, while most of the workers were busy with the big building –tss, only another luxurious glass trap! He wouldn’t pay to live there, if he had money. But that was just the right place. Humans were concentrated there, not all around like in Babylon Gardens, where he was prone to be met by prying eyes. No, here Kwesi could count on his privacy. He knew that, he had studied the security shifts, he knew how the camera worked, he knew which where the best hours to move without raising suspicions.
Best of all, this was a good land: Gottschalk did not recourse to that sterile cheap soil to grow the plants in the park. This was good soil, rich, fat: excellent to be used for gardening! And Kwesi had found the perfect spot to grow his vegetables!
The President of this country had started this campaign to encourage people to grow their food instead of eating junk food. Gottschalk had caught the occasion to show he cared for the health of his residents, and so he had created a separated greenhouse for the families, where kids and adults were given all they needed to become farmers.
Kwesi had started growing there his garden, ‘hidden in plain sight’. Nobody could remember all the dogs that came here to help their ‘parents’. And nobody cared for a polite, tranquil dog that came to play farmer.
Of course, Kwesi knew that someone was bound to congratulate him, ask him about his secret to grow such a wonderful garden. He had become good at answering polite and being dismissive at the same time. And security wasn’t tight here: the residents had vehemently protested about cameras in the ‘kids’s garden’, and who would send security here? The parents would regularly check that no one planted drugs, here.
The items were counted before and after the use, not during. And the only allowed seeds were the one given from the warehouse. As long as Kwesi used the tools and the products he had brought from the city by himself, he wouldn’t have to fill modules and raise suspicions. Luckily, he knew how to live off the land. In Africa, when you didn’t belong to the spoiled class, either you knew how to make the most of what Nature gave you, or you were good as dead…
Kwesi had done a good job, today. It would take some time before he could taste the fruits of his labor, but for now he was happy he had a garden at all. It had been so long since he could enjoy his own food…
The Basenji sat down against a tree near Main Lake and put his backpack next to him. He fished in it and produced a stick of jerky beef. He opened the wrapping then started to eat idling at it, making it last. His eyes went to the lake –ahh, too bad he couldn’t fish. Well, at least, no one could fish. Or hunt. The landlord was said to be extremely unforgiving when it came to animal rights.
From time to time, Kwesi considered the idea of asking for sanctuary… But no, that was for helpless humans! A real dog shouldn’t lower himself to begging like a common pet! Kwesi had come in this country to forge his destiny, not to become a pampered snotty pet—
“Hello there, stranger.”
Kwesi had learned to keep his emotions in check, another quality that had helped him out of very embarrassing situations. That was why he didn’t jump when someone addressed him and called him strangers.
Also, because he knew the owner of that voice, and he knew he was calling him ‘stranger’ only to jest.
Hopefully. “Hi there to you,” Kwesi said. He was annoyed, but he was also relieved to see that this snotty hadn’t betrayed him so far.
Yup, this weird guy really belonged to the other side of the social spectrum. It was a strange case of Karma, or perhaps the proof that when you were rich fate had to strike you with a problem.
In the case of Elpis Karahalios, it had been blindness. Total. In a way, it was also a blessing, for he was born with a green fur, mint green. Quite the rarity.
In Africa, the Australian Terrier wouldn’t have lived through the day he was born. Cruel, but true: in the pampered Western society, a physical handicap was a mark of pride, in his country it was the mark of death. Sparing them a cruel life was an act of mercy. Too bad he was blind, terriers were great hunter, and that unusual fur pattern was ideal for camouflage.
Elpis sat down next to the Basenji. “I see you’ve been to the garden.” He sniffed once at the scents coming from Kwesi. “You worked on your carrots and potatoes. I hope you can cook a nice soup with them.”
“Hm-mm. Maybe I could offer you some,” he said distractedly, while the first twinges of annoyance were itching at his thoughts already.
When he was at the obedience school of the city pound, Kwesi had learnt to keep his emotions in check, but it didn’t mean he was immune from them. They…accumulated. It was something that had developed after he had come here. The shamans would have spoken about the touch of the foul spirits of the city. Kwesi was fairly sure it was a sort of sickness…
But in the end, what mattered was that after some hour, he just…exploded. That was another reason for which he avoided social contacts, though he would never admit it, never admit he had a handicap!
A defect that had earned him the nickname of ‘Later’. The bullies had taken advantage many times of that: Kwesi could take being mocked at, he never got mad on the moment, and so they enjoyed setting the stage for his explosions, that punctually hit the less fortunate who tried to calm him.
Running away from the pound had been the best thing he had ever done. Living alone was a blessing.
Snotty meddlers like Elpis where just nuisance. But he had to deal with them when they happened. “Everything okay?” Innocuous question, no one gets hurt from that.
Smiling, his eyes lost in the dark nothingness. Elpis shrugged. “Yup. You know, it’s really good to be here. I’m a lucky dog.”
“Yush: back in the city, my parents couldn’t leave me out of the house without being accompanied. Heck, I was afraid to go to the bathroom. But here…here, not only the whole house is blind-friendly, but the park is the safest place I ever been! With all these cameras around, Mom and Dad are no longer scared for me. And the smells! Hmm, even with the snow this place is so rich with them. I can almost see the place.” That was no boast. The lack of eyesight had been compensated by his other senses and a fine memory. Despite the Hexagon being a big place, Elpis had never gotten lost.
For what concerned Kwesi, Elpis was the only ubersnotty pet: his parents came from Greece, and had moved to work in the US long before the crisis hit that country. They were rich, but their dear ‘Son’ needed a special place where to grow. They had offered to pay in full one of the apartments, refitting it to be blind-friendly, and Gottschalk had accepted, though Kwesi was sure it was to see how the experiment would go…
“I imagine you’re looking forward for the concert,” the Basenji asked, referring to the concert the Administration would throw tonight, at the end of the welcoming party for the lottery winners. And Elpis had finely cultivated his remaining senses, especially hearing.
At that question, the terrier nodded eagerly. “Oh, yes! The Royal Fireworks! The fittest way to celebrate the new year…though I wish I could see them.” For once, his expression went sad. “I hate it when I can hear them crackle in the sky, smell the cordite and not know what they look like.”
Kwesi shrugged. “Tss, not a big deal. If you want to feel a good show, wait for when the rain comes. When a storm hits, then you can truly hear nature singing, smell it. This park looks great to do just that.” And it was true, he had done it every time, just standing there, letting the power of the storm wrap his body…
Elpis’ nose quivered. He chuckled. “I believe you. You’re getting excited.”
Kwesi blushed. He stood up. “Look, I’ve gotta go.” And you spoiled my relax already, snotty. “I’ll try to be at the concert, tonight. Enjoy it… And happy new year,” he added, as if as an afterthought.
Elpis waved at him. “Happy new year to you too.”

Author:  valerio [ Sun Jan 01, 2012 2:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread

And so we meet the first pet members of the cast.
since this Pilot is supposed to show them all in a row, know you're in for a long ride, guys! :mrgreen:

Author:  Daggy [ Sun Jan 01, 2012 2:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread

Shirosune Wrote:
*Grins* Okay, this is gonna fun. Though I wish I had known about the character submission thread soon fault for rushing through to catch up and not paying attention to anything but the chapter posts though I suppose.

Still, I'm gonna miss a few of the cannon characters, but alas, can't have everything, as they say.

Looking forward to the next section, and to seeing the pet characters introduced when the time comes.

'til then, ja ne.

It was done last year, he's just now catching up with the english version of the fanfic. :P


Author:  valerio [ Sun Jan 01, 2012 2:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread

more than 'catching up'
from now on, the reboot is total. I had already carried many changes to the babylon gardens scenario, but now we are on a fresh start.
So, except for something that i will recycle, it's back to square one dear readers!

Author:  Daggy [ Sun Jan 01, 2012 2:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread

Well I meant more you were redoing/translating what was just Italian before. Now that you're up to season 3, should be a fine adventure.

Author:  Shirosune [ Sun Jan 01, 2012 4:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread

Hnn, a fine adventure indeed. Characters introduced so far are, interesting. I'm not sure, but I think I read almost the whole Kwesi section past a certain point with a South African accent bouncing around in my head. Is that bad of me?

Anyway...looking forward to the next section once again, and as always, 'til such time shall come, ja ne.

Author:  valerio [ Mon Jan 02, 2012 7:08 am ]
Post subject:  Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread

“Are we there yet?” asked the Scottish Collie happily.
Promptly, the navigator said in a soothing feminine voice, “You have reached your destination: Terrace High, Compton Drive 1.”
“Cool!” the dog wagged his tail from his special seat.
“Have you seen the park?” his father asked from the wheel. Like his son, he had a strong Scottish accent. “It’s just as they described it, it only needs sheep. You’ll love living here, son, just as I promised.”
Judging by the expression of the dog, there were few doubts about that.
Compton Drive led straight to the entrance of the subterranean garage.
It was an impressive work: it was like entering in a world within the world, nothing to do with the cramped spaces filled with fumes and dirt, grey and lifeless.
The illumination was set inside depictions that reproduced faithfully the outside world. William and his wife Mary could even smell fresh air. This place was truly something unique, it must have cost two fortunes…but of course, Herr Gottschalk was one of the richest men.
When the car had to stop in front of a barrier, a double-way spined barrier emerged behind it. The traffic light turned to red.
The navigator said, “Please, insert your Family ID into the slot.”
William was about to insert is patent, when he remembered –the F.I.D. or FIDO, as it had been dubbed, was a biometric document containing all information about the residents. You lost that, there would be heck to pay, for that thing was your passepartout to all services. Each member of the family must have one.
William inserted his FIDO. A moment later, the GPS spoke again, while three pictures with the family members ran through the screen.
“You have been identified as William and Mary Ross, physiotherapists, and Pawdrick ‘Podge’ Ross, former sheep dog. Welcome to Terrace High. Please enjoy your new life.” The reader expelled the F.I.D. The barrier lifted up as the light went green.
And so, the first new residents of the High had officially come. New life indeed!

Luckily, someone had thought that a large garage needed written indications. The Rosses must only follow them until they came to their assigned parking slot.
“There, Dad!” Pawdrick was pointing frantically. “There! Level 26, Apt. 261! It’s our slot!”
William smiled. “I saw it, son, I saw it. I’m not a sheep to herded, boy, relax.”
“It’s not that,” Mary gently scolded her husband. “I’ll bet that our Podge can’t wait to get down from this tin can and go make new friends. Ain’t that the truth, son?”
Podge was nodding eagerly. His eyes were almost shining with excitement: not only there was a new place to explore, and a big place at that, but he’d get to know so many new pets! He had made few friends back in Scotland, there were great expanses but when he herded sheep he had few times for other social contacts.
Now he was without a job, but he was fairly sure he wouldn’t get bored! This place was made for families with pets, there must be so many of them!

The car stopped. A moment later, there came the sound of quickly unbuckling and then a furry blur running out, just saying, “See you later!”
The dog ran to the elevator, then at the last moment he decided it was too slow, and he took the stairs –or rather, he tried to, for he collided against an obstacle.
A living, black-furred one. Both animals tumbled down the stairs. “Awawaw,” Podge said, shaking his head. “Sorry, old chap, I guess I was a bit overexcited.”
“Same here,” said the black Labrador, He too, apparently, was about the same age of Podge. His collar displayed a yellow smiley tag, where Podge’s was a tennis ball. “Man, did I feel cramped in that car.”
The Collie chuckled. “Doncha understand ye, chap.” He extended his paw. “Pawdrick. Or Podge, as it suits ye.”
The Labrador shook it. “T.J. or Jakes.”
“Wow, I can’t believe it!” said another voice, broke by panting. “Someone could actually stop him.”
Both dogs turned. TJ waved at the newcomer, a tomcat with a brownish fur and blue eyes. “Whoever you are, mister,” he said to Podge, “you’re my hero from now on. I must undergo a kidney transplant everytime our parents must wash him.”
TJ shivered. “Please! Must you really mention that?”
The cat facepawlmed. “You’re a Labrador. You’re supposed to love water!”
TJ stuck out his tongue. “So? Even Ms. Yuan was supposed to love noodles, but she likes tortellini! Anyway, Podge, meet my bro. Bro, Podge.”
The cat tapped his foot on the pavement in annoyance, then cleared his throat. “Forgetting something?”
The Labrador thought about it then, “Hmm, no?” And he flashed a smile that could have stolen admirers to Fido. “You’re my adorable little brother, right? And you love me sooo much. Right?”
Podge had a vision: daggers shooting out from the feline glare, nailing the dog to the wall. Then, the dog saying, “Oh, yes: his name’s Zane.”
The vision passed and Podge found himself shaking Zane’s paw. “Very pleased. Where are you from, guys?”
“Texas. When GTE abandoned the last of their oil business there to convert entirely to renewables, many employees were relocated. Dad was hired here, he’s at administration.”
Podge whistled. “Crivvens! So yer Dad’s a powerful man, eh?”
“We wish,” TJ said. “Dad’s just so…colorless. He’s excellent at taking orders, he’s a good performer but he totally lacks of initiative. Must be still working for Gottschalk because his world is made of numbers and will accept every assignment. He has worked for Herr G for the last 30 years. I suspect he cooked for him.”
“At least we get to live in a nice place, should he get fired,” Zane said.
“Hush! Dad won’t get fired. Really, bro, you should try be a bit more open with him, give him a chance.”
“As if he’s giving me any! Leave it to him, and I’ll be the last to get fed, the last to be told…and his daughter keeps dressing me like a doll! I am a male, I should have the right not to be dressed like a Victorian baby!”
Podge stepped between the two. “Whoa, whoa, boys! I perceive some tension here.”
“He started it!” both dog and cat said.
Podge slapped them on their backs, almost knocking them down. “Know what ye need? To form a nice her—I mean, pack, I mean, group! Yes, we all need to know some nice pets and make friends, getting to know each other. Hm? Hm?”
“Speaking of that,” TJ said. “What did your parents do before moving here?”
“Oh, we lived in Scotland. I herded sheep, Mom and Dad worked as physiotherapists. They’re going to try their luck at the local spa. I’ll try not to get bored.”
“You herded sheep?” Zane whistled. “Cool! A lot of them?”
Podge stuck his thumb to his chest. “This ole hound won championships, lad! I could teach ye a trick or two of ye want. But first, let’s go meet more peers.”
“If you’re referring to them,” TJ pointed to a group of humans and pets entering one of the elevators at that moment, “we just lost the last train.”
The doors closed with a jingle. Podge’s ears sank against his skull. “That was cruel, lads. Cruel, I tell ye.”
“Now, now,” the Labrador patted his back. “I’m sure we’re gonna meet a lot of new pets all the same –I mean, we are the new guys, here, we can’t possibly know anyone, right? It will be like a second lottery, only it will be a social one this time. Let’s go to the park! Last one is a cat.”
“I hate you.”
And off they went and up the stairs.
“Hey, Flash?”
The snow leopard raised his eyes from his dish of fresh beef. He burped and turned to the human at the bars. “Hey, Dad!”
It pained the human that this guy was still calling him that. Even more so for bringing him bad news… But Flash had developed a strong bond with him since the day Alfred G. Gordon had started taking care of him personally because of the snow leopard’s dietary problems.
Perhaps, Alfred shouldn’t have promised that one day he’d manage to adopt him as a pet in due respect. But, after all, that had been his intention since Flash was a cub. And he’d try his best to succeed!
But today… “Sorry, son: management turned down my application. Again.”
The leopard looked downcast. “Oh.” But he was back to his cheerful self in a moment. “Well, I guess you’ll try again, right?” His bushy tail swished like a snake.
Alfred nodded. “Faster than they could say ‘again?’. I won’t give up on you. Flash. I promise.” The problem with the leopard was not only dietary –if he couldn’t eat processed food, his stomach was too delicate for oral medicines. The poor fella must be injected the medicines, always. Luckily, he could eat fresh meat, but it must be bio, strictly bio. No chemicals used in the growth of poultry or beef or any other animal protein supply. The only good news on that side was that that new farm, The Gardens of Eden, was going to become a supplier of the special meat required for Flash.
And thanks again, though it pained Alfred seeing Flash behind bars, at least he was staying in a zoo where money was not a problem…
“Oh! Our first new guests!” William said, upon seeing the trio coming from the stairs. He ran to the cat and the dogs. He bowed politely. “Welcome to Terrace High,” he said with his formal studied tone. “My name is William, and I am the porter of this compound. I will be your guide, or you can count on me for any request.”
Zane looked at the creature all dressed up like a porter, including a hat. “You would be the porter? Ain’t you a bit on the small side for the job?”
“You ever seen the first three Narnia movies, bub?”
The cat scratched his ear. “Er, yes?”
“Remember the swordsmouse? I can do better. And without a sword. Wanna try me?”
“I think I’ll pass, thanks,” the cat said. “And sorry, chief. Uh, can you introduce us to those guys?” he pointed with his head at the three dogs some feet away.
William motioned them to follow him. When the two groups were close enough to shake, the squirrel said, “Gentlefurs, these are Frits Cardore, son of our local top reporter…”
The poor retriever blushed. “Nah, too kind. Mom’s good, but not that good.” But he shook paw with the others anyway. “Charmed.”
“…and Gauss and Curie Gottschalk. Need to say more?”
“I am not worthy!” TJ said, almost genuflecting.
Gauss rolled his eyes. “Nevermind that, pup, though your respect is appreciated.”
“And so my sense of humor, I hope,” the Labrador said, then slapped the GSD mix’s back. “Come on! We could be practically be brothers! My Dad works for yours, so why the formality?”
The other dog looked like he had been touched by a slimy medusa. “Don’t. Touch. Me. Again!” He hissed.
Zane was fairly sure that their dad would lose his job within the next 24 hours. *sigh*
“Please, consider me his PR,” Curie said. “He…tends to take very seriously his role of top pet. Of course, he owns your souls and he could have you all tossed out with just a whimper to Dad, but please consider us as friendly as any other pet!”
Zane, T.J. and Podge exchanged a nervous glance. To break that new iceberg, Podge pointed at the bright yellow Frisbee Frits was carrying attached to his collar. “Say, my good lad: why not try out a game with that?”
Frits grasped the toy. He was suddenly quite nervous. “Err, I don’t know, really.”
The collie wasn’t disheartened by that reaction. “Now, now: if ye have it, it’s to use it. Am I wrong?”
Frits sighed. “If you won’t break it…” he muttered.
“Lad, I would not dare!” Podge looked genuinely indignated. Then he started to caress the discoidal object, his eyes glinting. “Such a fine piece of craftsmanship! I can’t wait to see you how it’s played…” Then he grinned at the Gottschalk dogs. “What I meant, of course, is that I can’t wait to see you you will beat us to this!”
Curie facepawlmed. “Look, nevermind, Pawdrick, okay? That was a bad joke of mine, nobody is gonna throw you out of your house, that is yours in every respect, your family bought them when they bought the winning tickets.”
“Just respect the house rules and everything will be all right,” Gauss said.
She instinctively went into all-solemn mode. “Just respect the house rules and everything—Gauss!” she snarled!
Her brother just shrugged. “What? Don’t we have house rules? They have read them before signing the contract!”
“We did,” Podge said. “And I must say, my eyes hurt after browsing through that Bible 2.0. Seriously, do ye have rules about the numbers of hours we’re allowed to breathe too?”
“We just want this place to stay clean and tranquil,” Gauss said. “Everything’s studied for the general security of both—“Brother!” Curie intervened. “Please, I guess they’re civilized enough to know their manners and stay within the rules. Now let’s just go playing out, okay?”
“Thank you, I guess.” Podge saluted her with two fingers and walked toward the door. “Come on, guys. I’m still in the mood, y’know.”
“B-But that’s not what I meant,” Curie stammered while the others, save for William, followed the collie. “I mean, o-of course you are decent guys, I mean…Aww!” She gritted her teeth in frustration.
Gauss patted her back. “Now, sister, we both know what you really think about them. Don’t be afraid, stay on the rich side of the Force.”
“I hate you.”

Author:  valerio [ Mon Jan 02, 2012 2:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread

One of the elevators didn’t stop at its intended destination, Level 16.
It stopped at Level 1. In the building’s plan, that was the floor destined to the medical structures, and already at the first glance there was no doubt about that.
Drugstores, herbalist’s shops, and veterinarian product stores accompanied the presence of the human/veterinarian clinic. Few people were there for shopping, and apparently only patients sick with flu. No one injuried, or at least no one Constance Rozen could see. The place had a funny smell of herbs, medicines, disinfectant, and air cleaner. Funny, but not unpleasant, not to mention that the colors and the general atmosphere were studied to put patients and visitors at ease, nothing to do with those terrible neuter colors!
“So, this is where you’ll be working from now on?” The Finnish Lapphund accompanying her asked, while staring at the place. “Wow! This is surely an incredible place, much better than your old study.”
His mother nodded and ruffled his head fur. “Yes, you are so right.” She didn’t tell him she really missed her old study –she had worked hard to transform their house in NY in a place where not only she could visit pets, but also stay in touch with her beloved kids. At first, things had gone well, business was flowing… But life was not a telefilm, where the heroine can make end meet without money. Constance was popular in her block, but her suppliers and the landlord didn’t make discounts to her. And the cost of life kept growing, while the income did not.
Constance Rozen had moved from the countryside to be independent, to prove her family a woman could a veterinarian in the big city…and she had failed.
After paying the last of the taxes, she was left with a car, her pets, and $3,000 worth of instruments. She could sell her drugs, but she had preferred to give them out to her clients instead.
Then, while desperately browsing the net for the last time before leaving for her family in Missouri, seeking for a job, any job that allowed her to pay the rent and keep her suppliers happy, Constance had happened into the Two Hearts and a Valise lottery.
Her answer to that chance too good to be true had been ‘Why not?’, after that she had gone to the nearest real estate agency and had subscribed the lottery. She had killed her carpal to fill all the modules, then, like a scholar after the exam, she had nervously waited to know if she belonged to the proper category…and then she had given away $500 for a dream. She had felt really, really silly at that moment, yet understanding what a desperate person could do in desperate times, without resorting to illegality. That ticket had been her last hope. After that, there would be only a marriage and a life at home, slave to the domestic chores forever and ever, amen.
Constance had delayed leaving NY, after all the ballot was in three days. Then she had gone on the program’s homepage, had checked her ticket…
And after that, she had lived in a sort of dream-like state. She just couldn’t believe she had won. That she owned a house in the most luxurious condominium for humans and pets! And that she had a job!
She qualified to work at the local clinic, since every resident had to be employed. But still she couldn’t believe it: this was the chance of a lifetime, to learn from her mistakes and make the very best of it!
The woman hugged her dog and her female cat. “We’re here, kids. We’re really here! Even if I don’t own my study, this time I’ll make sure nobody kicks us out of here!”
“We know that already, Mom,” said the cat, a Maine Coon/Norwegian mix. She was tall, robust, with a long and flowing fur. “But that wouldn’t be so bad, after all: it would be like go camping, only for a little longer.”
Constance scratched her behind her ears eliciting a purr. “That sounds nice, Elizabeth, but for now I’ll pass the offer. But I guess you want to explore the park. And you, Max, must be eager to make new friends, right? I’m sorry you had to separate from your pack…”
“Not your fault, I know it. Don’t worry, this place seems so interesting, I’m sure we’ll get along with a lot of pets.”
“Speaking of which, do you have enough pocket money to offer a snack or a drink?” That was an old habit acquired as veterinarian, a great icebreaker with difficult patients.
Max nodded. “Can we go now?”
“Sure. Don’t be back too soon, I have to introduce myself to the staff and then see if they did a good job of unpacking our stuff.” Theoretically, there was a special moving service that not only carried your stuff to destination, but also unpacked it and set it accordingly to your dispositions. But Constance knew enough about moving not to trust blindly these services… She hoped that, at least, they wouldn’t put her frying pans into the library…
The pets waved her goodbye and ran away. She was so happy, especially for them: they would have made great in the countryside, but here it was like a double blessing. Open space, and everything they needed...

“Wanna go to the zoo, first? Or the greenhouse?” Max asked to his sister.
“I wanna find a great place to set a tent!” Elizabeth said. Her eyes were glittering with anticipiation.
The dog sighed. “Liz! I think we should ask for a permission or something first—“
“Silly!” she chuckled. “I already checked the rules! There is an area where pets and kids can go camping and even build their own treehouse!”
Maximillian gulped, remembering all too well when Liz had tried to build a ‘treehouse’ on the roof of their building. Before she was even half done, the pigeons had decided to test the place as their new residence. And of course, Liz, who wouldn’t dare to harm another living creature – not even with her thought – tried to accommodate the new winged residents. That had resulted in the landlord screaming bloody murder because the roof had been ‘re-painted’ by the pigeons, and a hawk had to be sent for to get rid of the pests.
Mom hadn’t protested, even when she had to pay a hefty sum for the hawk service and for cleaning the roof, but that was because Liz hadn’t acted out of ill will. And that was the problem with her, that cat wasn’t just made to live indoors. It made her feel claustrophobic. Many were the times she had been found sleeping on the roof, even in winter. Luckily, at least, Liz seemed immune to almost everything weather could throw at her.
Made for outdoor.
“Come on, don’t make that face, Maxie!” Elizabeth said. “This is your chance to put to use those notions of first aid!”
Maximillian cringed internally at being remembered that his sister wasn’t exactly good with handcraft. She was very talented with survival skills and every tools related to them, but put a hammer and one nail in her paws, and you better stay away from her –say, a mile or two would do.
Speaking, the two animals were proceeding toward the automatic glass door…when Max bumped against it. “Ow!”
“Oh, heavens!” William said, looking all worried. “Oh, heavens! I’m so sorry, sir, so sorry for this inconvenience! I don’t know how it could happen, this door is supposed to be working regularly—“
“Well, it doesn’t look that way,” Max said, holding his nose. “Ow.”
“Do you want me to call for a doctor, Sir? They are very good here…”
Max smiled at the fidgety squirrel. “Oh, that I know: Mom is one of them.” He held out his paw. “Maximillian Rozen. And my sister Elizabeth. We’re among the new residents batch.”
“Oh! Very pleased, Sir. Now, if everything is all right, I will open the door manua—“ The glass panels opened by themselves with a hiss and a ding. “Oh, looks like they decided to stop the strike themselves.” William chuckled then turned to the dog. “Listen, I will report the problem to maintenance. The Administration will make sure to make up for this inconvenience with a free breakfast at one of our diners.”
Max made a dismissive gesture. “Ah, doesn’t matter, really. It was only an accident. Let’s go, Liz: this is such a nice da—“
The door closed at one hair’s breadth from his nose!
William almost lost his fur at that! “Heavens! Sir, I’m so sorry, I, I…” he climbed up to the manual control panel and opened the door. “I’ll make sure you and your family get a complete free treatment at our finest restaurant! Please pass by within a couple of hours and I will have your coupons for La Rosa del Salice. The Administration apologies for the inconvenience.” He sighed. “I should have gone into hibernation.”
Max walked out, shaking his head –and that was supposed to be a hi-tech building! When would the Towering Inferno act start?
But the Lapphund immediately forgot those thoughts as he finally saw the park. “Wow!” And what else could he say? It was as if that tower had been built in the middle of sweet nowhere! Everywhere he looked, Max saw only the snowy open tinted with the green of the evergreen trees and the pathways with their lampposts. The air was cool and crisp, it sang at his Finnish genes, it made him want to go run and roll in that white mantle. In the distance, there was a group of pets playing after a Frisbee.
Max rubbed his paws excitedly. Time to make some new acquaintance! “Hey, Liz, thinks we can put aside the treehouse project and go introduce ourselves to—“ he stopped when he saw the cat talking to thin air. “Liz?”
Elizabeth was talking to no one, and she definitely looked upset, as is she were scolding her interlocutor. William looked puzzled. Max hoped the glass was soundproof. “Liz!” he hissed.
“Look, I don’t care if he offended you, with his thoughts. He is a good brother and you should really be more tolerant—“ when she heard her name being repeated, Elizabeth went back to her cheerful mode. “Oh, sorry! I was just—“
Max sighed. “Talking with your imaginary friend. Again. What Mom did tell you about that?”
Liz tapped her fingers. “That I’m grown up and shouldn’t.”
Her brother nodded. “The squirrel saw you doing your number. Within 24 hours, everyone in the building will know that Elizabeth Rozen has an imaginary friend!”
“But I told you already! Morrigan is not an imaginary friend!”
Max crossed his arm, rolling his eyes and moving his head from side to side. “Yes yes yes, she’s a ghost! Too bad that ghosts don’t exist. And that this ghost is invisible, right? Not to mention that it’s creepy. Couldn’t it be just a unicorn? A…girl thing?!”
Liz stuck out her tongue at him. “Morrigan told me she will manifest to you only if you stop being so rude with her!”
Two jets of hot breath exhaled from the dog’s nostrils. “And pray tell me, did Morrigan just mess with the door a little while ago?”
Again, Liz tapped her fingers. “Hmm, yes? But she’s sorry.”
She has abandonment issues, she has abandonment issues, she has abandonment issues! Maximillian repeated that to itself until he calmed down enough. He then hugged her. “Tell her I’m sorry for being rude, okay?” Like Max, Liz had been adopted at the city pound. Pets reacted in many ways at certain traumas: Liz’s imaginary ghost friend was her way to cope with what she couldn’t control. In this, Morrigan was a more complex entity than the usual imaginary friends. Like the ghost of that kid in The Shining.
No, wrong example: in that TV series, the ghost was real.
“Morrigan says you still don’t believe in her, but she forgives you. You must do better.”
Sigh. “Okay, I will try. Now, ditz, wanna try meet those pets?”
She nodded. “Sure! See ya, Morry!” She waved at no one and ran away with Max.

Morrigan could understand why Max was like that.
He had reacted to his trauma by trying to be more in control. Making friends was his way to shape the events. It had become a second nature to him because this way he could make sure that at least someone would not let him down again. To him, ghosts and supernatural were a shortcut, a loophole. He really loved Liz, but couldn’t understand why she’d trust something no one but she could see.
And, unless Max decided to open himself to her world, Morrigan would not shake his beliefs. That would be just rude –though the occasional prank was good for a laug. Hey, even cat ghosts had a right to enjoy their incorporeality!
But even ghosts could get bored. Morrigan was very, very tempted to play a couple of tricks to those mortals intent with their game, but then Liz would get mad at her.
Oh well, she could always explore this place, perhaps start haunting a floor in particular. Yes, that would give these mortals something to talk about during a black out…
<Morrigan,> a voice said. Definitely not Liz’s voice. Perhaps another ghost?
Morrigan turned.
And there was no one. Only that squirrel at the door, trying not to look bored.
The elevator’s door opened. <Morrigan,> the voice repeated, from the light. <Come to me, Morrigan. We need to talk.>
The incorporeal cat walked through the door and to the elevator.

William was starting to get worried. Now the elevator, too? My, my, Mr. Gottschalk wouldn’t like this. At all.
Then the elevator’s door closed. The cabin went up. The porter saw it stopping at Level 13. The owners weren’t much into superstition, when they had planned the building.

The door opened. Morrigan walked out. “So? I think I made it clear with the otherworld, last time: I am not leaving Liz, so whoever you are, don’t try to trick me into that ‘passing’ thing.”
The door to apartment 130 opened in answer. <Come here, Morrigan. Fear not, I am a friend.>
The ghost shrugged. “Fine by me, but if this is a joke, I am gonna haunt this floor for good!” And she walked in.

Author:  valerio [ Mon Jan 02, 2012 5:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread

Apartment 130, Level 13, Terrace High.

Normally, Morrigan didn’t like to manifest to the mortals.
She didn’t like it because it was so…exhibitionist! Not to mention it tended to scare the fur out of their owners (or the ghost, in the worst cases).
And, overall, Morrigan liked to play her poltergeist pranks without being seen. If someone saw her, everyone would know there would be a ghost in town, and she really didn’t want to be invited to some Oujia party! Half the fun of being invisible was that no one knew you were there. Once, back when the Rozens lived in Little Italy, she had manifested herself to a family of humans during a seance. After that, they had started hanging around all sorts of amulets and other things to ward her away. And when that didn’t work, they just ignored her. It had been quite frustrating.
Once, Liz had punished her by not addressing her for one whole day. It had been as long as all the years she’d been dead, and Morrigan had promised to be a good ghost after that.
But this was the first time someone ever wanted to address her. It hat tingled at her feline curiosity.
“Hello?” she said, walking through the door. In the house there was only an african-american guy intent on checking on his items. There was a lot of the strangest stuff, inside that place. That apartment had been turned into a sort of museum, covering everything ancient, from paintings to shrunken heads. Morrigan remembered those episodes of the old Addams Family show.
Upon hearing the cat, the human turned. His face went blank for a moment, as he digested the new presence, then he said in the direction of the stairs, “Chocolate! You summoned another ghost again?!” He sounded upset, but definitely not scared.
“Yes, Dad. Please, send her up.”
The man sighed and pointed at the upper floor. “First room on the left. And don’t move our furniture, please.”
Morrigan nodded and floated up. Well, if that wasn’t something new…

When the ghost cat passed through that door, she found herself facing another unusual sight.
In the middle of the dark room, there stood…a rat. A female brown rat, sitting in the lotus position, her eyes shining with an intense, eerie blue light. “Welcome to Terrace High, Morrigan. Like you, I and my family just moved in. My name is Chocolate Brown.”
“Ah, charmed. If I can say it.”
The rat nodded. She gestured, and the lights went on. The rat’s eyes turned off, revealing two black pools filled with intelligence. “You can use any word you wish, save for curses. I own…sensible items to certain words.”
“So, you’re one real psychic?”
Chocolate stood up, popped her vertebrae and hopped down the cushion she had been sitting on. She went to a bowl filled with warm milk. She sipped a couple of times before answering. “Not really. Although magic requires a more open mind, I can’t read minds like dolphins, nor broadcast with my own mind…that is, without resorting to magic.”
“I am surprised that a rat could know magic at all.” And such a juicy one… Morrigan licked her lips. She missed the days in which she could’ve had a good meal with such a creature.
“Oh, I started early. And I had a good teacher.” Chocolate went back to sit on her silky red cushion. “But tell me more about you, dear. This place was not haunted until I happened to perceive your presence. You didn’t die here, I take it?”
Morrigan shook her head. “No, I died many years ago in New York. Car accident. Drunk driver. It wasn’t too painful. And since then I just…hovered around, until I met this kitten.”
“Elizabeth Rozen.”
Morrigan wasn’t surprised the rat knew her name. She nodded. “I felt…drawn to her. She’s like a beacon to me. She’s so…vital. I’ve been watching over her since then.”
Chocolate nodded. “Good. It happens that a ghost finds a new purpose like you did. I just hope you remember to let Liz grow on her own. You are not supposed to be overprotective.”
Morrigan wished she had lungs, so that she could scoff. “I am not overprotective!”
“And what about all the times you interfered whenever Liz tried to make new friends?”
“How do you know that? And anyway, they were jerks!”
Chocolate smiled, then made a scolding gesture with her finger. “I know because all ghosts are like you. When they are drawn to a living, they forget they are dead, and that they cannot force a living to spend all the time with them. It is socially unhealthy.”
Morrigan lowered her ears. “And what should I do? Just let her go? I already feel so alone, without her.”
“Oh, I know, dear. I’ve dealt so many times with cases like yours. That’s why I called you: wouldn’t you like to spend some of your time with me? I know you’re a nice entity: you just need to…relax a bit.”
The ghost cat sat down in front of the rat. “I guess you won’t accept ‘no’ for an answer, right?”
“I hate you wizards.”
“Sue me.” Someone knocked at the door. “Yes, Shadow?” she said.
The door slid open and in stepped a rabbit. He wore a jet-black fur with white paws. “Hey, sis, just wanted to tell you—Oh. Hello, ghost.” He shivered.
“Are all of you so…accustomed with the supernatural, here?” Morrigan asked to the rabbit.
“Dad and I weren’t, until he had the brilliant idea of adopting Chocky, here.” He thumbed at the rat. “She tried to teach us some magical stuff, but we opted for a nice, diplomatic solution: she tries not to involve us in her mystical business, we don’t ask her what she’s talking to in the heart of the night. Oh, I’m Shadow by the way. Did you die here?”
“She’s the haunting spirit of one of the new residents, brother,” Chocolate said.
“I am not haunting Liz!”
Shadow waved away the argument. “Whatever. I’m going down to meet with someone. Wanna come? Come on, sis, you promised.”
Chocolate sighed. “I guess there’s no use in arguing.” She stood up and went to the rabbit. She used the arm he offered her to climb up to his shoulder. “Looks like we’ll have to have our chat another time, Morrigan. Try to behave, okay?”
The ghost cat’s answer was a Japanese raspberry. After that, she disappeared in a puff of ethereal smoke.
“I’m not asking questions, remember,” Shadow said. “So? Shall we start with a bar? I crave some carrot juice.”
Chocolate’s stomach grumbled. “Yes, I think I too will concede to the stereotype and get me some grilled cheese. But you pay. I had told you not to interrupt me—“ another grumble interrupted her.
“I had to save your life,” the rabbit said, while they went down the stairs. “When you start to go Mandrake, you won’t stop until you’re hungry enough to eye me like a starving piranha.”
One could pick any level of the Mall Section, and find a bar or a diner. Shadow’s choice for a drink shop led him to the 4th Level. There was a flurry of activity, for that was the Level dedicated to clothing. From human to pets, that was the place where a shopaholic would find his favorite pushers.
All Shadow and Chocolate cared for at the moment, was something to quench their thirst, before they picked something to eat elsewhere. Dad had given them enough money, and both had time to kill, from now on.
Luckily, the shop served snacks with the drinks. Chocolate ate with gusto the mixed nuts and the cubes of Parmigiano. She was glad she had someone like Shadow to remember her that she still had a mortal body to satisfy. She really tended to lose count of the time when she started working on her spells. Her teacher had told her already that—
“Say, rabbit! You must be one of the new residents!”
Shadow turned…to meet an otter. A beautiful exemplar, with a glossy silvery fur and black feet and paws. “Yeah, right.” He introduced himself to the mustelid.
“Errol Berkowitz. Listen, are you attached?”
Whatever the rabbit had in mind to say shattered into tiny fragments. So he just said, “Wut?”
The otter rolled his eyes, “Yes, attached. You know, the romantic stuff, the smoochey, the most ancient way of loving! Are you single or not, lad?”
“No. And you’re asking it because..?” Now Shadow was getting nervous. He had never been proposed. Not by a male, not so aggressively!
The otter clasped his paws. He looked up and down the rabbit. “That’s simply great, my lad. You see, I had this great idea for a date. Mind me, I’m not the finicky kind of guy, but—“
Shadow left the stool he was sitting on. “Err, I think I have things to do like now. So, if you’ll excuse me!” And he walked away as fast as possible, not wanting to make a run for it. Yet.
The otter watched him go. He shook his head. “Kids, today! Just when a rabbit is supposed to obey the call of his hormones, I discover the only one with a sense of decency.” He sat on the stool previously occupied by Shadow. “Garçon, tomato ginger por favor. And the apartment number of that cutie bunny boy if you happen to have it.”

“Okay. Now I know there are weirder things that your mumbo-jumbo,” Shadow said. He still felt a knot at his stomach, and not of the pleasurable kind. “I mean, what just happened.”
Chocolate was still chuckling. “It looks like you are a cute bunny, after all. But it’s the first time I saw someone acting that way.”
“And you won’t be seeing it again, believe me! Ghosts, maniacs…this place is cra*whoof!” He entered the elevator, and slammed against a wall. A pair of strong arms caught him before he fell down.
The doors closed, and Shadow and Chocolate discovered they had just bumped into…a dog. An enormous dog. The king of all Saint-Bernards.
“Ah, sorry, guys. You okay?”
Shadow’s ears dropped down as his eyes shrunk. “Eep.” It wasn’t that he feared animals, but for some reason big dogs made him feel…uneasy. Okay, they scared the fur out of him, but he did his best not to show it right now.
Dogs could smell fear or not?
Shadow gave his paw to shake. “Shadow Brown. Charmed. Please don’t kill me.”
The dog laughed, a booming heartfelt laugh. “Now, why should I? I’m a pacifist, bunny.” The rabbit’s limb disappeared into the dog’s. Shadow tried not to imagine that thing ripping his arm to use as chewtoy. “Samson Watkins. You may call me Sam. And what about you, li’l mousie?”
The doors opened at ground Level. Samson, keeping an arm around Shadow’s waist, dragged him out. The rodent said, “Chocolate brown. And I’m a rat. You too are new?”
“Yup! Straight from Babylon Gardens! Dad decided to open his fitness center here, after losing his old job. Dad is sure we’ll make big money here, since living in a building tends to kill one’s shape. A couple of hours of jogging won’t make for teleworkers who live sitting and eating junk food. God bless the Big Mac.”
Shadow thought that that was a weird philosophy, but this hulking brute acted innocuous, just like a brontosaurus pup. “Well, you surely will make a good testimonial for your center, eh?”
Samson nodded. “I played in a couple of spots. Surely you watched them: they were about a protein drink for pets, Pouncer.”
“Sorry, never been interested in those products. Vegetarian here, you know.”
Samson shook his head. “Oh, yes, of course. Sorry. Well, what do you say if we planned something together? I wanted to test the communal sports center. If the pictures on the site are true, it’s not bad for some occasional exercise.”
“Ah, I’m not much into heavy fitness as well. Running will just do for me. It’s a rabbit thing.”
Samson sighed, downcast. “Okay…”
Chocolate jumped onto his shoulder. “I think I’ll just enjoy the show, instead. Must admit, it’s the first time I see such a big boy live, instead than on movies. I’ll bet you can put quite a show.” It was funny that such a creature could lack company, but apparently he felt really alone. And since Chocolate was a spiritual healer as well, why not help him out? “Shadow, you finish your businesses. See you in one hour for another snack?”
The rabbit started to walk away. “Count on it. See ya.”
When Shadow was gone, Chocolate asked, “Forgive Shadow, Big dogs really scare him. Now, I understood you were new because you were alone. You would have a crowd of fangirls fighting over you already, otherwise.”
Samson blushed. “I understood that about the poor lad. I hoped I didn’t exaggerate with him. And thank you, but it’s a bit more…complicated than this, you know.”
“Oh. Does it mean…” she winked and nudged his cheek. “…that there is a special someone in your life already?”
“Well, more or less. But she…she doesn’t know that.”
Chocolate nodded. “Ohh, so this is you at your first experience?”
“I guess you could say that. I mean, I dated a couple of girls at the Gardens, but she’s the special one. But…”
“She’s got a boyfriend.”
Chocolate cringed. “Ouch. Triangles are never a good idea, Sam.”
“But he doesn’t know!” Samson retorted. “I mean, she loves him, but he’s not interested.”
“How can you tell?”
Samson’s blush got a deeper shade. “I don’t know if I should. It’s a…particular thing. I don’t want others to overhear. She’d hate me. And he’s my friend too, so I can’t just embarrass him.”
When they stepped in, Samson went to a set of dumbbells. He picked up one that could have destroyed the hernia of most men. “Sorry for bothering you, lass, but I needed to talk about this with someone and I guess you just happened.” He laid down and started doing his exercise.
Chocolate looked at the complex of muscles rippling under the effort. Whoever that lady was, the rat wondered who could be this boyfriend-not-boyfriend that seemed more sensible and even more good-looking than this Samson…

Author:  Skruffy [ Mon Jan 02, 2012 5:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread

wooow :lol: so many updates!

Author:  valerio [ Mon Jan 02, 2012 5:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread

Felt like treating you :lol:
Poor shirosune's computer must have committed seppuku :mrgreen:

Author:  kavviyenta [ Mon Jan 02, 2012 6:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread

With Tomi absent, I hope Morrigan can find someone to hang out with. There isn't much of the living OCs interested in her presence. Not even Elpis is willing to interact with her.

Waiting for Alandra and Tsuki to make their debut. Oh, and the "bad guys" too. Hard to believe Rick Griffin created them. Must been a bonus!

Author:  Shirosune [ Mon Jan 02, 2012 8:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread

valerio Wrote:
Poor shirosune's computer must have committed seppuku :mrgreen:

Not quite so, I gave the dear thing a half day to rest and ran through all of today's updates just now. Was nice, and once more some fun characters enter. One thing I'm noticing though...there are very few females thus far. If this keeps up, there is going to be very little romance to be had.

That aside, lovin' things so far, and I can't wait(Even though I'll have to) for the characters to all be introduced so the real story part of things can begin.

Author:  lightwolf21 [ Tue Jan 03, 2012 11:32 am ]
Post subject:  Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread

kavviyenta Wrote:
With Tomi absent, I hope Morrigan can find someone to hang out with. There isn't much of the living OCs interested in her presence. Not even Elpis is willing to interact with her.

Waiting for Alandra and Tsuki to make their debut. Oh, and the "bad guys" too. Hard to believe Rick Griffin created them. Must been a bonus!
Could it be? A fan of my stories...or maybe just my characters? >.>

Shirosune Wrote:
valerio Wrote:
Poor shirosune's computer must have committed seppuku :mrgreen:

Not quite so, I gave the dear thing a half day to rest and ran through all of today's updates just now. Was nice, and once more some fun characters enter. One thing I'm noticing though...there are very few females thus far. If this keeps up, there is going to be very little romance to be had.


Sorry about the meme thing. >.< I couldn't help myself.

Author:  angelusbr [ Wed Jan 04, 2012 4:59 am ]
Post subject:  Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread

wow. I had a lot to catch up with.

Author:  valerio [ Wed Jan 04, 2012 3:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread

Level 20, Apartment 202

What was best than moving to a new and exciting place?
Finding that you didn’t have to open boxes and put everything in place.
And what was even better than that?
“Oh, ay. I made cookies.”
It was celebrating her new life at the High together with her bestest friend ever.
And even better, if that was possible?
They were going to live as neighbors, on the same Level! Tegan was located on apartment 202, Elliot on apartment 203.
Oh, yes: Tegan was the Maine Coon female, standing on the door of her apartment, looking with glittering eyes at the tray of peanut butter cookies.
Elliot was the Golden Retriever standing in front of her, holding out the tray.
“You remembered,” Tegan said, then sniffing at the cookies. “Hmm. You sure you made them yourself?”
Elliot nodded, wagging happily. They were eight months old when he had introduced himself right after coming to live to the Gardens. Of course he was too young to bake cookies, and so he had helped his Mom (that’s Silvia Bannister, 8th grade teacher and old friend to Evelyne Sunman, oh yeah!) to prepare them. And even if, after that, he had to undergo a thorough washing, there had been the fringe benefit of smelling fresh clean when he had gone to the Jacksons.
And Tegan had found herself drawn to this funny new pup who acted like a peasant bringing his treasure to a princess. It was the start of a friendship that still lasted.
A friendship that had grown into something more, for the cat. But, unlike Grape, unlike Sabrina, Tegan had never found the guts to speak out her feelings to Elliot. And, even worse, despite the fact that he had never shown a romantic interest in her, he had never sought a girlfriend himself. It drove her crazy!! How was she supposed to understand if there was a future for them as, well, more than friends, if everytime she brought up the ‘girlfriend’ subject, he’d avoid it with an unnerving ability?
Tegan was lucky, though, that she had two friends like Sabrina and Grape. She had often consulted them, though the answers could be always condensed in two kind of options.
“You must let these things mature without pressing them,” was Sabrina’s answer. “If he still hasn’t found a girlfriend, it means he’s undecided. He’s very pretty dog, but he hangs out with you. It means you are important to him, so make him understand you’ll always be there for him.”
“Don’t do the same mistake Peanut did with me, sis,” Grape had said. “Sometimes these mutts needs a…push in the right direction. He’s obviously afraid of this ‘cat + dog = taboo’ thing. So it’s up to you to show him you don’t care! Believe me, he’s waiting for you to do your next move. And the first time you will kiss him, it will feel awkward as heck, but the second time, hmmm!!”
Tegan was sure Grape was right, but she just couldn’t go and kiss Elliot out of the blue. Uh-uh, no, nada, nix, nyet, nou!
But then, Grape and Peanut now were married, they had kittens…and for some weird turn of fate, one of them bore Peanut’s colors, as if to seal the bond that united them.
And they were not 15, like she and Eliot were. If she waited some more time, Tegan would start growing grey fur before she proposed!
That was why she had written her new year’s resolution in her diary: Kiss Elliot and declare your love for him before the end of the new year! Just for good luck, she had added, Or go drown yourself in the park’s reservoir tank!
This must be the good year. She felt it!
And when she had seen him, posing just like he had done back then, with his tray of cookies, Tegan had so wanted to hug him, kiss him and tell him ‘I love you’.
Instead, she hugged him and told him, “Aw, that was really sweet.” She grabbed a cookie and ate it, feeling it melt on her tongue. “HmmMMM! What did you put in them? Mom will cook for you for a year if you tell her the recipe!”
The retriever blushed. “Heh, she already cooks for me. Everytime I come for lunch. Or dinner. Or breakfast.”
So much for baits! That was she mostly loved and hated of him: his unbelievable naivete. Many times Tegan had told herself Elliot must be too…playful to evolve into a romantic creature.
Tegan stepped aside. “Come in, big boy: wanna see my collection of stamps?”
The dog’s floppy ears raised, while he stepped in. “Do you have one? I didn’t know you liked stamps! Or was a Christmas present from your family?”
The door hissed closed. “It was a joke, dear. Nevermind. Anyway, thank you again for the present. That rain mantle was really lovely. It must have cost you a fortune!”
Elliot put the tray on the table in the living room. He looked around. “Well, not really. It made up for the cheaper presents I gave you all this time. I had collected the money for a special gift for a special occasion, and what better one than our last Christmas in the Gardens?”
I have one right in mind, cutey! “That was really sweet.” She pecked his cheek, the most intimate gesture of affection allowed so far. Before he could start squirming again, she took his paw and led him through her house. “So? What do you think of my new place?”
“Well…aside from the pieces of hi-tech, it looks exactly like your old place.”
“Exactly! Ain’t it just great? Mom was afraid she’d have to unpack tons of stuff, instead we found everything arranged as per instructions!”
Elliot nodded. “Yup! Same with mine.” And that was all his contribution to the argument. Elliot wasn’t exactly brilliant in the initiative department –but that was a quality Tegan knew how to appreciate. Elliot was a good listener, and there were no such things as embarrassed silences with him. You could spend a whole day crying over his shoulder, talking about your interests, and he’d only nod diplomatically.
Heavens help you if you happened to annoy him. Elliot redefined the concept of ‘nip and tuck’ when it came to tongue-lashing.
Tegan jumped up on the couch in front of the home theatre. “Wanna watch something? With this set, I think I could appreciate even Big Brother, Holland version. With Hungarian subtext.”
Elliot chuckled and sat next to her. Each room had a TV set. Of course, the living room’s was the best one, but the others were top quality all the same. And they came with the building’s videogame database! Elliot was sure he was dead and in Heaven. “Why not play Skyrim instead? Our parents couldn’t buy it, and here it’s available…” He looked around and sniffed at the air. “But where’s your Mom?”
“Oh, she went to Human Resources. You know, for her park maintenance job.”
“Yes! She’ll have a lot to do from now on.”
Tegan nodded. “Yup. I thought that Uncle Martin was a megalomaniac, but this Gottschalk knows how to impress: this park is immense!” Her eyes went to the large window. Then she jumped down the couch. “Come!”

As soon as they stepped onto the terrace, they were welcomed by the cold winter gusts. Elliot shivered, holding himself… Before finding himself surrounded by the thick fur of Tegan’s arms.
“It’s wonderful,” she said, without specifying what she was referring to.
River Ridge was a skyline lost in the residual mists of the morning. Somewhere in the opposite direction lay their former home.
All around the skyscraper was the Hexagon’s extension, thick with trees, veined by the artificial rivers and dotted by the lake. The kiosks were minuscule mounds emerging from the snow.
From their position, Tegan and Elliot could see the zoo area, occupying one of the vertexes.
“I wish Grape and Peanut were here to enjoy the view.”
“Yup. Their kittens would have a lot of space to play.”
Thinking of them made Tegan’s heart ache: She could imagine how her friend would be happy and proud to show them around, as if Peanut was their true father… “Elliot?”
“Do you still think that…the whole ‘cat and dog’ thing is weird? I mean, the world didn’t fall after Peanut and Grape’s wedding, and it surely didn’t fall with the birth of her kittens.”
The Retriever chuckled. “Well, that surely caused a commotion in the Good Ol’ Dogs Club. During the last reunion I attended, there ran all sorts of rumors about Dayshaun. And many were not nice.”
Tegan sighed, inwardly. And so there went yet another chance to try to stimulate his romantic side. In fact, she was getting upset. “So what? Strange fur or not, they looked perfectly healthy kittens, and Peanut and Grape were so happy. Don’t tell me you’d side with Bino.” She let him go and gave him her back.
Elliot shivered at the sudden exposition to the low temperatures, “Tegan, I’m not telling they shouldn’t be happy with each other, but come on! They’re a weird couple, and their firstborn looks weird. He will not grow a happy kitten. Or Puten, or Kippy, or whatever!”
“What?” he snarled. “Do you think they made him a favor? Tiger is a neurotic, to say the least, and that because he got only a cat name! Dayshaun looks like Peanut, that is, hoping his ears won't get floppy as well! Do you think they’ll leave him alone? When he’ll be old enough, he’ll be trouble, let me say it.”
Tegan shook her head –perhaps that was why she had never had the courage to open herself to him. When he went bull, you just couldn’t make him change idea. He was such a good dog, but he could become so…so Bino-ish! “And what if he grew up a good boy? Hm? Have you tried to think about that?”
Elliot waved the notion away. “Please! If he got half of Grape’s temperament, he’ll become a killer after being pushed around one time too much. And don’t tell me he’ll get Peanut’s sweet disposition: that would be just creepy.”
“Like the idea of a cat and a dog couple?”
Elliot nodded. “If pushed beyond the ‘best friends’ phase, yes.”
And the worst thing was, he sounded completely sincere about that.
Tegan went back inside. “You know what? Forget everything: you’re hopeless, mister!”
The dog spread his arms in frustration. “What?!”
“I was saying: I’m going to meet someone who’s less close-minded than you!”
“But why are you making such a fuss out of it?!”
You love him, you love him, you love him. You only want to open his head with a tin-opener and fill the void with some good sense and some love. Tegan turned and raised her paws as if to stop him. “Because this ‘species barrier’ thing is stupid! According to the Bible of Bino, you should not even be my friend!”
“I’m not that restricted. It’s only that—“
“Please! Someone’s trying to enjoy the view! In peace, possibly, loverboys!”
“Dad?!” Elliot froze. He went to the parapet, but he couldn’t lean down –as a matter of fact, not even a human couldn’t lean over it, one of the many safety measures of that building.
“Yes,” came the muffled voice from the lower level. Muffled, but unmistakable. “Son, what did I teach you about shouting in public?”
Elliot’s ears went down. “That it’s rude…”
“Correct. Now you’ll go to your room: you’re grounded for the rest of the day. And you, lay, you better leave him alone, or the next time you’ll be caterwauling, you’ll be doing it in your room as well.”
Tegan sighed. “Yes, Mr. Bannister. Sorry.”
Elliot and Tegan went back in. She closed the window-door, then said, “My fault. I tend to be…sensible on the matter. Listen, see you tomorrow? We’ll have some of those cookies and milk together. Hm?” She took his paws in hers as offer of peace.
Elliot nodded, the fight already forgotten. He just couldn’t stay angry with his best friend. “Go pay a visit to Samson. That big oaf will need some familiar company right now.”
Tegan let him go. “Good idea. I had a mind to use him to make you jealous.”
Elliot made a face. “You’re strange, you know that? Ciao!” And out he ran.
Tegan saw him cross the door and getting out. Once the door had closed, the cat just shook her head.
This was so going to be a difficult year.
She hoped the local priest of the Saint Anthony Abbot Order was as good as Father Ghetti. She really needed some comfort before going visit Samson…

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