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The Dogs of War 
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Post Re: Children By Any Other Name - A Housepets(!) Fanfic
Just as awesome as the others, dude. I don't know how you do it.

Grape's pouty face just makes me laugh. Nice to see Peanut and Fox hitting it off so well.

Grape meets Max. That will be epic!

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Wed Jan 26, 2011 10:43 pm
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Post Re: Children By Any Other Name - A Housepets(!) Fanfic
DAAAWWWW!!! Too cutey! *melts*
And, wow! Bill being happy? i thought that happened only when he ate RAW STEAK! :shock:

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Thu Jan 27, 2011 1:50 am
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Post Re: Children By Any Other Name - A Housepets(!) Fanfic
You have a good concept for a story. We don't know how Peanut and Grape's first day in Babylon Gardens looked like and your point of view is interesting.

However, one thing bugs me a little. Like Valerio said:

valerio wrote:
And, wow! Bill being happy? i thought that happened only when he ate RAW STEAK! :shock:


Exactly. From what I've seen from comic strips, Bill is a kind of a person who is grumpy, overzealous and is suspicious towards others. Here we have him cheerful and friendly. Or maybe you've planned this? ;)

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Thu Jan 27, 2011 12:36 pm
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Post Re: Children By Any Other Name - A Housepets(!) Fanfic
Karlos wrote:
Exactly. From what I've seen from comic strips, Bill is a kind of a person who is grumpy, overzealous and is suspicious towards others. Here we have him cheerful and friendly. Or maybe you've planned this? ;)


What? Ah. Umm. Yes. All according to plan... >_>

Hold on, gimme a second.

NON-CANON POTENTIAL BACKSTORY AHEAD:

At the time the Sandwiches moved to Babylon Gardens, Bill was a generally friendly and cheerful person. But in the intervening years between then and the beginning of the comic, Fox was kid(dog)napped (for the first time) by someone the Bill considered a friend. After nearly two grueling weeks spent tracking down the kidnapper and wondering whether the dog he treated like a son was alive or dead, Bill was never quite the same...

Yeah, I just made that up on the spot...

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Thu Jan 27, 2011 3:31 pm
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Post Re: Children By Any Other Name - A Housepets(!) Fanfic
Oh, angry, hate of evil.... I don't think Kizer would like this

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Thu Jan 27, 2011 11:10 pm
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Post Re: Children By Any Other Name - A Housepets(!) Fanfic
What a sweet fan-fic, I hope to read the next update

Gee... what happened to me? I remember when I was really cold hearted... NOW LOOK AT ME! Housepets! changed me...WTF?!

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Wed Feb 02, 2011 1:22 am
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Post Re: Children By Any Other Name - A Housepets(!) Fanfic
I don't know what'll happen.
Will my head explode because the cuteness?
Will I go crazy? (Probably not)

I love the fanfic, Coatl.

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Post Re: Children By Any Other Name - A Housepets(!) Fanfic
Quote:
I hope to read the next update

Quote:
I love the fanfic, Coatl.


:D Thanks, everyone.

And now, part the fifth (The Conclusion):

----------

“So... you and your family just moved here?”

Max's tentative question was met with stony silence by the purple cat sitting on the floor across from him. He shifted uncomfortably, spent a few moments scrutinizing his claws, then leaned back with a sigh.

“What did you say your name was?”

The other cat looked up and narrowed his eyes. His? Max thought. I think it's “his”. “I didn't,” the purple cat spat.

“Ah. I see.” Max sat there for a few moments looking at the other cat. Finally, he leaned forward with a raised eyebrow. “Will you?”

The purple cat groaned, slapping a paw to his forehead. Yep. “His”. Male. Almost sure of it. I think.

“Grape. My name's Grape.”

Max let a grin slide across his face. “See?” he asked in a vaguely condescending tone. “Was that so hard?” The comment earned him another withering glare from Grape. His grin vanished in an instant. “Right. Sorry.”

Silence fell for almost a minute. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity of awkward fidgeting, Max decided to try a new tactic. “What do you think of Babylon Gardens?” Grape shrugged with disinterest, turning to look out the window.

Well, Max thought. This whole conversation, and I use that term lightly, is just one long awkward moment, isn't it? Jeff and Officer Bill had said that the cat was having a tough time moving in, and that he was supposed to help him out somehow, but what could he do? He was hopeless when it came to dealing with the emotionally distressed. Well, unless bugging someone until you could almost see the smoke coming out of their ears could be considered “dealing with” them, in which case he was an old pro.

If I could get him talking, this would be a heck of a lot easier. Max let his eyes wander around the room, looking for anything that could advance the conversation beyond glares and stammering queries.

Then, sitting on a shelf to his left, Max found what he was looking for. He got up and crossed over to the shelf, plucking a mid-sized paperback book off of it. He tucked it under his arm and walked over to Grape, who was now looking at him with more curiosity than contempt.

Good start. Time to capitalize on this. “Tell me, Grape. Do you read?”

The purple cat shrugged. “Some. I can, if that's what you mean. What book is that?”

Max held out the book for Grape to see. Emblazoned on the cover is gold block letters was the title “Hunters of the Pridelands.” Below the words, there stood a spear-bearing lion in tribal gear. The sun was beginning to set behind him, and the last red rays seemed to catch the tall grasses aflame.

Grape raised an eyebrow. “Could I take a look at that?” Max shrugged and handed over the book.

“It's actually the first one in a new series,” Max said, rocking back and forth on his paws and looking entirely too pleased with himself. “Just came out a couple of weeks ago.”

“Hmm.” Grape looked at the back cover, then absently flipped through the first few pages. “Is it any good?”

“Any good!?” Max sputtered. “I've already read it twice, and the only reason I'm not gushing about to you is I don't want to spoil it. I have not yet met the cat who read this book and didn't like it.”

Grape looked up at Max, then back down at the book. “Huh. Can I borrow it?”

Max shrugged. “Sure.” Aaaand consider the ice broken. I am so smart. Max paused for a moment, then rolled his eyes. Great. Now I'm starting to sound like Bino.

“Well, Max, I think I'd better head home now. Thanks for everything.” Grape got up and started for the door.

Ah, crud. What did I do? “Wait!” he said. “Don't you want to see the rest of the neighborhood?”

Grape paused at the door, then looked back with a faint smile. “Maybe some other time, alright?”

Max shrugged. “If you insist. Just make sure you bring the book back when you're done with it.”

“Of course. See you around, Max.” And with that, Grape walked out the door and down the hall.

Well, Max thought with the barest hint of a smile crossing his face. That went rather better than I thought it would. He glanced around the now-empty room. Well, I'm bored. I wonder where Bino is...?

----------

As Grape walked down the sidewalk back to her new home, the sun's position in the sky was rapidly coming to mirror the cover of the book she held tucked under her arm. The red orb set the sky aflame just above the treetops, turning nearby clouds into blazing orange and yellow bursts.

It was hard for her to imagine that just half an hour ago she had looked at this place as if it were a brand new prison that she was being thrown into against her will. Now... well, she still wasn't happy about having to leave behind her old friends, but she was at least willing to look at the advantages the move held. A bigger house, better neighborhood...

“I could get used to this...”

It wasn't long before she finished the short walk back home. The first thing she noticed was Peanut, sitting with a book on the steps in front of the door. Grape looked at him with her head tilted to one side.

“I thought you were getting the grand tour from that one dog,” Grape said. “Where'd he go?”

It was a moment before peanut looked up from his book, seeming surprised by Grape's sudden appearance. “Oh, hi Grape,” he said absently. “You mean Fox? Yeah, we walked around for a little while. Then he introduced to a dog named Bino. Then they started arguing about something, Fox said something about calling Fido...” He shrugged. “After that, things got weird. I just sort of took that as my opportunity to go.”

“Uh... huh.” Grape took a seat next to Peanut. “Well. Besides that, how did it go?”

At this, Peanut seemed to visibly perk up. “Great! Fox showed me the dog park, where he lives, the library, which is where I got this book, then we talked for a while, and I think that he's coming over tomorrow for a while, and-”

Grape clapped a paw on Peanut's shoulder. “Breath, pup, breath.”

Peanut took a minute to catch his breath, then looked back up at Grape. “What about you? Dad said you went over some other cat's house.”

Grape nodded. “Yeah, Max. He lent me this book.” She held up the paper back so that Peanut could see it.

“Oh. Is he nice?”

Grape shrugged. “I guess. He seemed a little weird, but...”

“I mean, it's just that you seem less... angry.”

Grape shrugged again. “You could say that.”

The pair sat in silence for a while, watching as the red light of the sun began to finally sink behind the trees and extinguish itself. The fiery reds in the sky began to make their subtle shift to deep purples and blues. Long shadows stretched themselves still further down the empty street.

“You know,” Grape said. “I think I might like it here.”

Before Peanut could respond, a familiar voice called out from inside. “Peanut! Grape! Dinner time!”

Peanut's eyes took on a mischievous glint when he turned them back to the cat sitting at his side. “Race you.”

Grape shook her head almost imperceptibly, but she was unable to keep Peanut's grin from infecting her as well. “All right, ya mangy mutt. You're on.”

With a cacophony of shouts and laughter, the two dashed through the open door and down the hall.

----------

(Note: The first section is told from Max's point of view. Which is why Grape is referred to as "he". Also, I seem to enjoy describing sunsets entirely too much. That's not exactly important, I just wanted to get it out there. :P)

Well, it's happened again, you've wasted another perfectly good hour listening to Car Talk reading my fanfiction. As the beginning of the post said, this is indeed the last entry (aka The Conclusion. Underline required.) I had actually planned on wrapping things up long before this. My original plan was to sort of say "and the rest is history" after Peanut and Grape got adopted. But at some point I guess I said "why not?" and kept going.

Anyway, this isn't it for this thread. I've still got a couple of short, stand-alone things that I plan on writing and posting here. So, stay tuned.

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Wed Feb 02, 2011 1:56 pm
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Post Re: Children By Any Other Name - A Housepets(!) Fanfic
Cool! I guess that's an interesting way for those two to meet.

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Post Re: Children By Any Other Name - A Housepets(!) Fanfic
DDDAAAAWWWWWW :D :D :D The epic cuteness is gonna grant me 100 extra years of life.
But then, AW, it's over already :cry: :cry:
Huf, hope you give us some more cuteness doses soon...

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Post Re: Children By Any Other Name - A Housepets(!) Fanfic
Woot! That was relaxing to read... too much presure in school.
Thanks and you did a great description of the sunset.

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Wed Feb 02, 2011 3:07 pm
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Post Re: Children By Any Other Name - A Housepets(!) Fanfic
Nice update!
Can't wait for the next one!
Peanut & Grape are so cute! ^_^

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Wed Feb 02, 2011 3:09 pm
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Post Re: Children By Any Other Name - A Housepets(!) Fanfic
Hopper200456 wrote:
Nice update!
Can't wait for the next one!
Peanut & Grape are so cute! ^_^


Nice ending there Coatl-Ruu! Especially sneaking in The Pridelands book series!

Can't wait for your next story!

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Sat Feb 05, 2011 1:57 am
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Post Re: Children By Any Other Name - A Housepets(!) Fanfic
Okay, update time! New name for the thread, and a preview for what's to come. I've got ideas for three short, one installment stories. They are, in the order that I intend to write them:

Channel Surfing: The basic idea for this was spawned from me geeking out about some of the potential ways the Housepets world might be different from our own. I thought a good way to demonstrate that would be to have a short story with a couple of characters watching TV - namely, news, commercials, reality shows, and other various programming.

I couldn't think of a way to do this that wouldn't be incredibly dull. Then I saw this page. And I knew what had to be done. 8-)

The Dogs of War: (alternate title: Let Loose the Dogs of War). This one is actually going to be more on the serious side (and, just to give y'all a heads up, more on the "PG-13, potential violence ahead" side). It follows Private Duke Walters, a German Shepherd who's just been deployed in Afganistan as a part of the United States Military Animals Program.

Recursion: Actually... I think I'll hold off on describing this one for now. Suffice to say, it should be... interesting.

Well. I clearly have a lot of work to do. Adios for now, folks!

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Last edited by Coatl_Ruu on Thu Feb 24, 2011 9:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Mon Feb 07, 2011 7:29 pm
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Post Re: Children By Any Other Name (And other assorted fanfic)
wow! Very interesting ideas, can't wait to read each one of them. :D :D

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Tue Feb 08, 2011 12:08 am
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Post Re: Children By Any Other Name (And other assorted fanfic)
Pretty much what Val said, but about the Channel surfing one, I am expecting close ripoffs of products we know.

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Post Re: Children By Any Other Name (And other assorted fanfic)
The Dogs of War! we need more War and less love... but all your ideas are good!

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Post Re: Children By Any Other Name (And other assorted fanfic)
Alright! Channel Surfing is completed. It didn't turn out quite like I'd hoped, but if nothing else the ending makes it all worth it.

----------

“Alright,” Jeff barked, looking through narrowed eyes at Max and Bino. “Are you two ready to be in the same room without trying to kill each other?”

“In my defense,” Max said, clasping his paws together and casting a sly glance at the dog standing to his right. “Bino started it.”

“What!?” Bino exclaimed, turning to the cat with fire in his eyes. “You crossed on to my side first! We had rules!”

“You never specified tails.”

“You started it!”

“Nuh-uh!”

“Yes, you did!”

“Did not!”

“Did too!”

“Hey!” Jeff roared in a voice that seemed to shake the entire room. Max and Bino's protests and accusations almost immediately trailed off into silence, and they looked up with widened eyes at the livid face staring down at them.

“Okay,” Jeff spat tersely. “Let's try something. The power came back on about fifteen minutes ago. You guys still want to watch TV?” Max and Bino exchanged glances, then nodded hesitantly and without speaking.

Jeff's mouth twisted into a thin smile. “Glad to hear it.” Without warning, he grabbed Bino just below his shoulders, hauled him into the air, and placed him roughly down on the left side of the couch. “There are three cushions. Bino, the one on the left is yours.” Then he grabbed at Max.

“Hey-” But before that cat could protest, he too was sprawled out on the sofa.

“Max, you've got the right.” He placed the remote down on the unoccupied middle. “This is the demilitarized zone.” He stood back and glared at the pair. “Now, here's how this is going to work: you two will take turns using the remote to change the channel. The remote is to be left in the demilitarized zone when it's not in use. The only time you are to enter the demilitarized zone is to retrieve the remote when it is your turn to change the channel.

“If you can't agree on something to watch within the next ten minutes,” Jeff glared daggers at both of his pets. “or if we have a... repeat of earlier, you two will be spending the rest of the afternoon shoveling every sidewalk in Babylon Gardens. Have I made myself perfectly clear?”

“Yes, Dad,” Max and Bino droned in unison.

“Good. I'll see you two when your time is up.” Jeff turned to leave the room. The instant his back was turned, Max leaned into the “demilitarized zone” and snatched up the remote, sticking his tongue out at Bino.

“Hey!” Bino lunged for the control, but Max yanked it just out of his reach.

“Bino goes first,” Jeff said, without turning around, just before he walked out of the room. Max's sneer dissolved into an icy glare, and he grudgingly held out the remote control for Bino. The dog snatched it up, leaned back onto the couch, clicked the power button, and flipped to a random channel.

“Winter storm warnings are in effect until nine p.m. tomorrow. Six to eight inches of accumulation are expected tonight, with an additional eight to ten tomorrow and into Wednesday morning. Now, back to-”

“Breaking news: snow.” Max rolled his eyes. “Who'da thunkit. Gimme that remote.” Bino shrugged and handed it off to Max.

Click.

“And on the other hand there are Justices like Brennan or Marshall, who really focused on the broader sweep of history and came at a time during the Civil Rights movement, where they recognized the unique role that courts could play in breaking the political logjam that had locked out too many people in the political process. And so-”

“Oh, god, not the political news,” Bino groaned. “Let me change the channel or I may actually die of boredom.”

“Can't argue with that.” Max was rather more eager to let Bino have the remote this time around.

Click.

The screen shows a city of dilapidated building in the middle of a vast desert. Smoke billows from somewhere in the background. Soldiers in combat fatigues carrying assault rifles stand in groups of three or four in the streets. A running ticker scrolls along the bottom of the screen, giving bits of news from elsewhere in the country. A woman's voice in the background begins to say “In Khandahar today, a roadside bomb damaged an Army convoy entering the region. There were sixteen reported casualties. Among these were four German Shepherds that were serving in the area as a part of the United States Military Animals Program.”

“Great.” Max grimaced and took the remote back from Bino. “Let's try something else.”

Click.

“And that's the word.” A man wearing a black suit, glasses, and a dramatically raised eyebrow points at the screen. “We'll be right back.” A blaring fanfare plays, a graphic flies across the screen, and the show goes to a commercial break.

“And... commercials.” Bino rolled his eyes and held out a paw yet again. “Remote me.”

Max raised a single finger. “Hold up. I saw dad watching this guy one time. I think he's a comedian or a fake news anchor or something.” He shrugged. “Anyway, it might be worth watching.”

Bino shrugged. “If you say so.”

A series of advertisements flash across the screen.

“ - 0% APR! No money down!”

“ - of the Pridelands. Coming soon to DVD”

“Canine Cibble: unleash your - ”


“Boring,” Bino groaned. “When are we going to-” But Max raised a finger and cut Bino off with a shushing sound “It's back on.”

The same-black-suited man leans in towards the screen. “My guests tonight are some of the fuzziest multbillionaires on the planet. And probably the first to corner the market on 'shiny things'.” Audience laughter. “Please welcome Keene and Simon Milton!” The studio audience cheers, and the black-suited man gets up and all but jogs a victory lap over to a table set in the corner, where a pair of ferrets are already seated. He sits down across from them, makes a show of shaking each of their paws, cracks a few jokes. The audience begins to quiet, and he sits back in his chair. “Well, Mr. Milton and Mr. Milton, I must say that it's great to have you on the show.”

“Great to be here, Stephen,” Keene says, taking a drink from the ferret-sized mug on the table.


Bino made a barely audible groan. Max turned and looked at him with a raised eyebrow. “What's the problem?”

“I said,” Bino growled. “it's those stupid ferrets again. Can't stand 'em.” On the screen, Simon made some witty comment that left the audience cheering again. Bino's eyes narrowed. “All right, that's enough. Gimme the remote.”

Max smacked a paw to his forehead. They'd been so close! “Look, let's just watch this and try not to make dad mad again.”

“No,” Bino said, crossing his arms and fixing Max with a stubborn glare. “It's my turn, and I want to watch something else. Give me the remote.”

“What if I don't?”

“Then I'll take it.”

Max sighed. “Bino, I'm trying to extend a peace offering here, but you ain't makin' it easy.”

“Yeah, yeah, white flag. Give me the remote.”

Max's eyes narrowed. He considered the plastic control in his paw, running a claw down its side. “No.”

Bino's eyes widened, and his paws clenched into fists. “Max. I'm warning you.”

A sly grin spread across the black cat's face. “No, I think that the remote control likes me better. You see, we're quite happy together, it and I, and I don't think-” Max never finished that sentence. Bino flung himself from his seated position into a flying tackle that sent them both tumbling onto the floor.

“Ack! Mad dog! Mad dog!” Max stretched his arm out so that the control was still just beyond Bino's grasp.

“Give... it... to... me!” Bino lunged forward, but Max planted a foot in his stomach ...

“No means no!”

… and shoved. The dog tumbled back, but he and Max were back on their feet in a moment. Max brushed himself off and glared icily at Bino. “Well,” he said slowly. “If you're willing to concede defeat, I would-”

Bino charged. Max looked up and his eyes widened. “Oh poo.” The dog struck him like a freight train, and again they both went tumbling back.

Crash. Max's back slammed into the coffee table, tipping it over and sending the assorted debris that had accumulated on it rolling off across the floor. Bino pinned him down and looked directly into the cat's eyes. “I'll say it again: Give. Me. The-”

But, as was becoming common policy, Bino didn't finish that sentence. He was struck in the side of the head by something green and fluffy. “Eh?” He released Max and plucked the object off of him. A moment later, something similar landed on Max. The pair picked the soft projectiles up and held them out.

They were their scarves. “Crud,” they muttered simultaneously.

“Ahem.”

With sinking hearts, Bino and Max looked up. Jeff was standing directly behind them, staring down with a look that could probably have ended both of their lives right then and there, had it been so inclined.

“I suggest,” Jeff hissed “that you get started immediately.” He dropped Bino's hat on the ground next to him. “Shovels are in the garage.”

“Yes, dad,” Bino and Max droned. They picked up their scarves and trudged off toward the door.

“Oh, and Bino?”

“Umm... yeah, dad?”

“I'll take that.”

With a sigh, Bino took the remote out of his hat and tossed it to Jeff. The man caught it and took a seat directly in the middle of the couch. “Might want to get started. You're burning daylight.” He leaned back in his seat and aimed the remote at the TV.

Click.

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Thu Feb 17, 2011 6:49 pm
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Post Re: Children By Any Other Name (And other assorted fanfic)
Well that was a nice little story. I can't wait to see what you write next. Technically Max is in the wrong, but oh well. Bino always deserves what he gets. :lol:

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Fri Feb 18, 2011 2:18 am
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Post Re: Children By Any Other Name (And other assorted fanfic)
That was really good, me likes! :P

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Post Re: Children By Any Other Name (And other assorted fanfic)
Gracias, senores! :D

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Sun Feb 20, 2011 9:55 am
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Post Re: Children By Any Other Name (And other assorted fanfic)
Coatl_Ruu wrote:
Gracias, senores! :D


No, thank you for bringing us such wonderful stories! :D

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Post Re: Children By Any Other Name (And other assorted fanfic)
I could've SWORN I commented on this... oh well, nice job on Channel Surfing. :D

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Mon Feb 21, 2011 6:01 pm
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Post Re: Children By Any Other Name (And other assorted fanfic)
I really enjoyed it :) It reminds me when my brother was mocking me like that.

It turned out well :) I'm looking forward to see more of your stories.

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Mon Feb 21, 2011 8:15 pm
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Post Re: Children By Any Other Name (And other assorted fanfic)
Thanks again, all! Anyway, a couple of updates: The Dogs of War will probably be a two-parter, because I enjoy keeping you guys waiting it looks like it's going to be fairly long (well, relatively speaking). That, and I'm planning on making a couple of Inkscape'd illustrations to go along with it. You'll all get to see my only-slightly-above-mediocre art skills! (Not sure if that'll be a good thing or not. :P)

EDIT: Also, a shiny new thread title.

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Thu Feb 24, 2011 8:24 pm
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Post Re: Coatl Ruu's Fanfiction Repository
Oohh! Shiny! *stares at new name for a couple hours*


...... OH! Sorry. Shiny things tend to distract me. Anyway...What was I saying again?

Illustrations sound awesome! Can't wait to see it!


*Stares at thread name again* SSSSHHHHHHIIIINNNNNYYYYY!

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Thu Feb 24, 2011 10:13 pm
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Post Re: Coatl Ruu's Fanfiction Repository
Art? Sounds interesting :) It will be nice to see it.

copper wrote:
...... OH! Sorry. Shiny things tend to distract me.


Now we know what to use on you, Copper ;)

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Fri Feb 25, 2011 6:11 am
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Post Re: Coatl Ruu's Fanfiction Repository
Oh, so you'll be doing kind of what Two Twig did with Symphony in Periwinkle? Should be awesome... 8-)

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Fri Feb 25, 2011 11:50 am
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Post Re: Coatl Ruu's Fanfiction Repository
*checks* Why yes, I suppose I am. Just with inferior artwork. :P

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Fri Feb 25, 2011 12:21 pm
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Post Re: Coatl Ruu's Fanfiction Repository
(Yay, double post.)

Speaking of my artwork of questionable quality, I've got a sketchy sketch to show y'all. (Just try not to look to hard at his left leg. :?) In other news, it'll probably be a few days before I deem part 1 of The Dogs of War ready to be posted. So... bear with me, I suppose.

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Sun Feb 27, 2011 12:09 am
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Post Re: Coatl Ruu's Fanfiction Repository
If that's just a sketch, I can't wait to see your real artwork! :D

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Sun Feb 27, 2011 12:36 am
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Post Re: Coatl Ruu's Fanfiction Repository
OOhh! Commando! He looks like he is going to do some damage!



Very good sketch though.

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Sun Feb 27, 2011 12:37 am
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Post Re: Coatl Ruu's Fanfiction Repository
Well, here it is. The Dogs of War will be divided into two parts, this being the first one. If you want to see my drawing the "banner" I made was derived from, click here. (linked for size)

And finally, a word of warning *ahem*: The following program story contains material that mat be objectionable to some. Viewer Reader discretion is advised.

Or, in a more plain way, this is rated PG-13. Or at least, part 2 will be. Part 1, not so much. But still, there will be violence. I don't think it'll be excessive, but people will get hurt. Don't say I didn't warn ya.

And with that, I'll stop rambling and let you guys read.

----------

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An army caravan rolled along the dusty desert road, a straight line of trucks and armored vehicles in the vast, sun-scorched waste. To the left, right, and back of the line the world was nothing but a stretch of hard-packed road amidst a sea of sand. Ahead, the faint outline of a group of low-set buildings was visible. A few men in combat fatigues, seated in the lead Humvee, were having a discussion with another passenger.

“So, Duke,” said the deep-voiced Sergeant James Anselmo, a large man who was at that moment looking into the rear-view mirror from the Humvee driver's seat. “Is this your first tour of duty?”

Private Duke Walters, a German Shepherd who was seated in the back, nodded sharply. “Yessir. I've been here for almost a month. This is my combat mission off the base, though.”

“Alright,” Sergeant Anselmo said. “First combat mission, huh? What have they had you doing up until now?”

“Mostly security, reconnaissance. I've worked with a few of the other dogs to help identify potential bombers before they made it onto the base. Sir.”

“Well, if you were hoping to see some action, don't get your hopes up. Should be pretty routine. But, boy,” The man let out a bark of laughter. “I don't know if they told you this, but no one calls a sergeant 'sir'. I'm Sergeant Anselmo to you and everyone else.”

“That reminds me,” Private Daniel Vourlis, a stocky man sitting to Duke's left, cut in. “Back at the base there were a couple of dogs who're supposed to be sergeants.” The man smirked, glancing at Duke with a raised eyebrow. “I don't suppose that means Rover here has pals who could order me around?”

Duke narrowed his eyes at the “Rover” jibe. Suppressing a growl, he opened his mouth to respond.

Lance Corporal David Evanko, the soldier sitting in the passenger's seat up front, beat him to it. “Nah, I think they're running this kind of like they do with the K-9 programs. The highest rank one of the Military Animals Program dogs can get to is 'sergeant', and even then they only have authority over other MAP dogs.” He glanced back at Duke for confirmation. “Right?”

Duke nodded, casting a vindictive look at the man who'd made the “Rover” crack. “Yeah. The higher-ups have actually been considering setting up squads of MAP dogs under the direction of human officers. The individual fire teams would be commanded by dogs that got to the rank of corporal or sergeant.”

“Hmm.” Sergeant Anselmo furrowed his brow and glanced back at Duke. “I suppose they'd be fire teams in name only, eh?”

“What do you mean by that si-... ah, Sergeant?”

Sergeant Anselmo chuckled humorlessly. “Now you're gettin' it. But my point is, all you've got as far as weaponry goes is that dinky little knife, Marine combat training, and whatever natural defenses God saw fit to give you. But out here, you and your pals could be going up against insurgents armed with automatic weapons. No offense meant to the big man, but I don't like those odds.”

Evanko turned to Sergeant Anselmo. “I think they're mostly involved in non-combat stuff. You know, search and rescue, bomb sniffing, that kind of thing.”

Duke nodded yet again. “Exactly. That, and most assault rifles are a bit too large for some of us to use comfortably.” He allowed himself a faint smile. “It would be kind of like one of you trying to fire an AT rifle from the hip. Just doesn't work out very well.”

Sergeant Anselmo shook his head slowly back and forth. “Still. They should at least issue each of you a nine mil or something. And I don't buy that bit about an assault rifle being too much for you guys to handle. They could solve the size issue pretty easily, just gotta shorten the stock. As for recoil... well, I've seen a K-9 officer pin down, in five seconds flat, a guy who could have easily passed for an NFL quarterback. Besides, don't they train you guys in marksmanship?”

The man seated to Duke's left spoke up again. “Makes perfect sense to me. If they don't trust the K-9s to use a taser, they sure as heck ain't gonna give the Mutt Patrol over here friggin' M-16s.”

Duke's head whipped to the left. “I'm sorry,” he growled. “I don't think I heard you correctly. 'Mutt Patrol'?”

“You heard me, Rover.”

“You know what-!”

“All right,” Sergeant Anselmo snapped. “Vourlis, can it. Walters, don't listen to him.”

Duke leaned back in his seat with his arms crossed over his chest. He cast a cold glare at Private Vourlis, but said nothing. Vourlis rolled his eyes, but maintained the silence. “Good,” Anselmo said coolly. “Never thought I'd see the day where I'd have to stop a dog and a knucklehead from killing each other in the back seat. Gentlemen, we live in interesting times.”

Corporal Evanko chuckled softly. “Actually, that might not be as unique of a situation as you'd think. Dogs have been used by armies for thousands of years. A Persian emperor actually deployed armored dogs against Egyptian archers back in like 500 B.C., and-” Corporal Evanko immediately snapped his mouth shut when the dashboard radio let out a short burst of static, followed by a tinny-sounding voice.

“Forward Operating Base Delhi to Sergeant Anselmo. Do you read, over?”

Sergeant Anselmo picked up the handset from the dashboard to reply. “FOB Delhi, this is Sergeant Anselmo, I read you loud and clear, over.”

“Hostiles have been sighted about two clicks from your position, heading x-ray niner alpha six delta five. We advise that you and your men be on the lookout. How copy, over?”

Sergeant Anselmo furrowed his brow, glancing off into the distance. He raised the handset again. “Solid copy on all, FOB Delhi. We'll keep our eyes open. Over and out.” Sergeant Anselmo reached down to the dashboard and switched the radio channel before continuing. “All units, be advised: hostiles have been sighted to the north-east. Be on the lookout. If you see anything, I want to hear about it. Sergeant Anselmo out.”

Anselmo placed the handset back down on the dashboard before glancing to the back seat. “That goes double for you, Duke. I want to see those legendary detection dog skills at work.”

Duke shrugged, leaning forward a bit in his seat to get a better look at the sandy landscape surrounding them. “I'll see what I can do, Sergeant. I don't think I'll be too much help in here, though.”

Evanko looked back at Duke with a wry grin. “Still, every bit helps. Besides, the rest of us are practically deaf and blind compared to the average dog.”

Duke shifted from side to side, considering that. “Well... I don't know about 'blind'. I mean, a dog can't see that much better than the average human, and-”

Duke was interrupted by a burst of laughter from the driver's seat. “Bah! No need to be modest, boy! Just get on the lookout. Our ETA to the target is about three mikes. If we can avoid trouble until then, we should be home free.”

The German Shepherd grinned, nodding curtly. “Roger that.” He sat up a bit higher, craning his neck to get a better look at the sandy waste around the lumbering armored transport. The faint line of buildings that he'd first seen at least fifteen minutes ago had resolved itself into a wide spread of single-story, dust colored shacks. He could just barely make out a few soldiers standing by the road leading into the village.

Then, something else caught his attention. The faintest whiff of some familiar smell had just passed through the cabin of the Humvee, one he'd been trained to pick out. He could just barely make it out, but if it was what he thought it was...

Off to the side of the road, the sun glanced off a bit of metal buried in the sand. Then, the light caught a thin piece of wire suspended mere inches above the road. The faint smell had grown stronger. Explosives. And they were closing in on it fast.

No. NO!

Duke felt as though his body had been electrified. “IED!” he roared, leaping forward in his seat.

too late

“IED! Stop th-”

With a crash of thunder and a flash of pain, the world dropped out from under him.

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Last edited by Coatl_Ruu on Wed Mar 02, 2011 5:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Tue Mar 01, 2011 5:07 pm
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Post Re: Coatl Ruu's Fanfiction Repository
Very well written, Coatlruu! I can't wait for the rest of this story.

Very exciting as well.

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Tue Mar 01, 2011 10:23 pm
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Post Re: Coatl Ruu's Fanfiction Repository
Very nice! ;) I think you made a good job when describing what the military dogs' place was in the army. This part of the canon is kind of unknown for us, at least until Rick finishes the Infinitesimally Brief History, but I think you found a great balance, it's very believable. And I liked the part with Vourlis and Duke! :lol:

Also:
Quote:
"If we can avoid trouble until then, we should be home free.”

He might as well have said 'What could possibly go wrong?'... :?

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Wed Mar 02, 2011 3:37 pm
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Post Re: Coatl Ruu's Fanfiction Repository
Glad you guys seem to like it so far! Now, for a few specific responses...
Copper wrote:
Very exciting as well.

Oh, just wait. You ain't seen nothin' yet. :twisted:
The Broken Fox wrote:
I think you made a good job when describing what the military dogs' place was in the army. This part of the canon is kind of unknown for us, at least until Rick finishes the Infinitesimally Brief History, but I think you found a great balance, it's very believable.

That was a big reason I wanted to write this. This is something that the canon hasn't really touched on, so I was free to make crap up draw my own conclusions. Also, it turns out that what I had the military dogs doing actually isn't very far from reality. And the bit about the armored dogs being used against Egyptian archers? Also true.
The Broken Fox wrote:
He might as well have said 'What could possibly go wrong?'... :?

Yeah... Sergeant Anselmo is a good guy, but he must not be the most genre-savvy of the lot. :roll:

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Thu Mar 03, 2011 4:30 pm
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Post Re: Coatl Ruu's Fanfiction Repository
(Aaaand... double post)

Okay, couple of updates for those of you who care (that's right, all three of you. :P ) Part two, though almost completed, won't be posted here just yet. I think I may have put a little too much emphasis on the "bloody violence" aspect. So I'll be editing it to that back a couple of notches.

There is good news as far as the illustration goes. The tablet I ordered should come tomorrow, so I'll be using that for my coloring. If all goes as planned, it'll look halfway decent.

Well... that's all I have to say. Adios for now, folks.

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Tue Mar 08, 2011 9:52 pm
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Post Re: Coatl Ruu's Fanfiction Repository
Well, I can wait. I am full of that thing people call patience. Can't wait for the drawings/ story!

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Wed Mar 09, 2011 12:27 am
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Post Re: Coatl Ruu's Fanfiction Repository
Alright, because I am a lazy bum, neither the story nor the illustration is completed. I do, however, have sketch for y'all:
Attachment:
duke.jpg
duke.jpg [ 142.84 KiB | Viewed 2529 times ]

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Fri Mar 11, 2011 8:23 pm
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Post Re: Coatl Ruu's Fanfiction Repository
And an awesome sketch it is! I wonder how that will play out for our little hero.

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Fri Mar 11, 2011 8:36 pm
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