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HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread 
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sorry for being late in updating, but I got a case of the cold and I should be back tomorrow...

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Tue Jan 31, 2012 3:05 am
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
I hope you get better soon Val. Can't wait to see the next one!

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Tue Jan 31, 2012 9:31 am
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
valerio wrote:
sorry for being late in updating, but I got a case of the cold and I should be back tomorrow...



Must give feel better hugs!
*feel better hug*
by the awesome power of hugs you should be feeling fine now. and if not then more hugs are needed!

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Tue Jan 31, 2012 1:16 pm
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
Don't worry about it Val just rest up :D

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Tue Jan 31, 2012 7:09 pm
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
Rest a lot and don't forget to drink a lot of water.

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Tue Jan 31, 2012 8:13 pm
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES
Seaason III
Episode 2 – A Lesson in Journalism
By VALERIO

1.
The Daily Fact editorial office, The Fulcrum, Terrace High

Guinevere Cardore wasn’t the kind of woman to be intimidated. In fact, the more pressure one tried to apply on her, the more she felt challenged to return the favor. Being a young African American woman, she had been always underestimated by her interviewees, and when they realized their errors it was too late.
It was funny, in a way: had Guinevere chosen a career in another branch of journalism, she would have shined, everyone told her that, her own family first in line. Her parents appreciated that she was a strong and independent woman, respected the fact the her concept of ‘family’ began and ended with her pet companion… But they couldn’t understand why she chose to cover ‘pet reports’.
And every time they met, Guinevere had to explain them that she was making a difference, that she was helping building a future for those who, despite sharing a brain with the so-called ‘superior species’ didn’t share equal legal rights.
Guinevere’s strongest regret was that she was too young when the Whiteman House scandal had occurred. Now, that was a piece she would’ve written with magma ink!
But for now, she must satisfy herself with another target. One that could mark the end of her career or the stardom.
Provided her boss was inclined to give her the green light.
“You’re one crazy idiot, you know that, do you?”
Meet John Terence ‘Beef’ Cox. Built like an ox, strong and stubborn as one. Legends went that he had literally trampled the Director of a bank to get his loan and open this internet newspaper. Much of the Fact work was on the e-field, but Beef wanted his reporters to be able to distinguish a veritable news from gossip, and so far it had worked, and the Fact was legitimate to be sold.
And the fact that Guinevere always brought up juicy and accurate news, be them good or bad, about pets, helped to sell to that market share that the majority of the daily press almost neglected.
Beef was a good boss, knew how and when to spend, hated recommendations, and could equally chew a senator and a street mime. He was a meritrocrat through and through: either you were good or you were out.
And that was the only reason Guinevere was still sitting at the desk in the meeting room, instead of sitting on the pavement outside the offices.
“Lass, I appreciate your style: you know how to go for the throat and that shows something to your so-called peers, who clearly need, and desperately, a virility transplant. But apart from that, I believe you have stepped over the border of good sense this time! What the [censored] do you think you’re doing? No, forget the ‘think’ part, because you must have sniffed your dog’s butt and melted the few neurons you still owned!”
“Beef, come on—“ the woman tried, and she was almost pushed down by the sheer power of his boss’ roar.
MARTIN EFFING FOSTER COVERING PETSLAUGHTER?! What part of ‘insanity’ can’t you WRITE?!
At this point, two things could happen: either the offending underling scampered away, whimpering like a baby and hoping he’d be fired rather than being within 100 meters from Beef, or that underling would stand his or her ground.
And, as we already said, Guinevere was not one to retreat in front of the enemy. “Granted, Beef, that guy is Mary Sue and Santa all rolled in one. And no one could doubt his dedication to his own pets…”
“But you do.”
“The Whitemans looked like the perfect couple, too, and we all know what happened.”
Cox leaned over the table as if he wanted to pounce and devour her like a gazelle. “The Whitemans took advantage of Mr. Henry Milton’s bona fide. Mr. Foster is already filthy rich and he’s building more richness with his animals-oriented work. Why should he partake in criminal activity is beyond reason!”
“Oh, but I am not accusing him of animal abuse, Beef.”
The man’s brows knitted. “Hm?”
“His brother. Joel.” Guinevere started counting them on her fingertips. “Shady past, ASPCA, then PETA, multiple accuses of abduction…”
“Only one of them accounted for, the others were scam.”
“Oh, yes: that” she wiggled her index fingers “’convenient’ witness who happened at Joel’s trial just in time to clear him of all the previous accusations. And of course, since that testimony shut up a criminal ring centered on a shady shelter, Joel, being the little brother of Babylon Garden’s hero, was automatically discharged. Well, you know what I think?”
“I know that you will pester me with your paranoia until I listen to you, so go ahead.”
Guinevere started to feel the excitement building up. “Martin knows his brother is up to his eyes in it. He knows that if Joel started to sing about his own misdeeds, he will likely ruin Martin’s reputation, and it would be a serious blow for a guy who lives to protect animals. Martin got this good friend, an ex-cop then turned private eye. He tells his friend to dig up some evidence before law does, and he comes to learn about our future witness. He promises a nice amount of money under the counter and the dog happily yaps that Joel was framed. Everyone happy. Except justice.”
Cox rubbed his temples. “You know, this paranoid train could also reach its destination somehow…except that you omitted a detail, Guin.”
“I’m all ears, Beef.”
The man pointed his finger upward. “Since back then the Milton Estate and our beloved landlord, Raimund Radulph Gottschalk, were not partners with Foster, don’t you think they made their homework and discovered the same things you’re just conjecturing? Why would they want to associate with—“
Then something prodigious happened, something that would be retold for a long time in the corridors of the e-newspaper: Guinevere scolded her boss. “Please, Beef, don’t tell me you’re that stupid.”
Cox’s eyes went all big like a fish’s. He opened and closed his mouth a couple of times, momentarily unable to find the right words, but you could bet they would not be pleasant.
Guinevere knew she had crossed the line. Now she could only go all the way on or literally die trying. “The ferrets have been given a token amount of money and some decisional power, but the real wires are being pulled by their administration. And Gottschalk is the top shark with a nazi family. Both of them can decide that Foster had a right to settle his own family matters, as long as he’d perform well in their partnership, which he’s doing. So, yes, they know and they are covering it. I don’t need to expose that particular aspect, the scandal will be enough to allow the other media groups to.”
Cox sat down. His eyes spoke murder, but there also was a glint of interest. “I don’t get it: why would you attack the next best thing that happened to the local pet communities since Milton founded the Gardens? Do you have any idea of the consequences?”
Guinevere shrugged. “I also believe in integrity: I’m a reporter, and if I sniff out a deception, I want to uncover it, not put it under the rug. I always worked like that, Beef. You know it.” She could’ve avoided adding that last part, especially in her smug tone, but at this point either she was dead or she was good to go.
Beef nodded. “I still believe it’s farfetched, but I didn’t hire spineless thugs, so what can I say? Go for it.”
Guinevere started to stand up. “Thank you, Beef, you won’t—“
“But!” he interrupted her with a sudden sharper tone, like a whiplash that momentarily paralyzed her. “You will not write one single word until you got the most solid evidence since the Watergate scandal. You stain Foster’s name without evidence, and I will demote you to errand girl for the rest of your life. I will keep you in this newspaper just to make sure you’re humiliated every single day until your retirement. Got me?”
Guinevere nodded. “And if I am right, I want a consistent raise.” She stood up. “May I go to prepare my piece now?”
Beef gestured at the door. “Vaya con Dios, muchacha.”

Even before opening the door, Guinevere knew she would find the last person she considered the lowest life form on the planet – save for animal abusers, that is – waiting for her.
Harold Jagermeister III, the current errand boy, born of a wealthy family, sent to the Fact to shape up. Luckily, his father wasn’t one to promote even his own flesh and blood only because he owned the newspaper.
Luckily, because Harry was the quintessence of the human idiocy. Beef was surprised that a 30-years-old in full health and with a good college instructions could also lack any trace of neurons. There was the suspect that Harry made heavy use of botox to smooth the brain’s wrinkles. He was so vain to do that when they said him that a man must look good inside as well as outside.
Beef hoped Mr. Jagermeister II wouldn’t ask him to promote Harry, ever, because any other chap in his position would never rise through the ranks.
And if there was something that Guinevere feared now, it was to be demoted and work side-by-side with Harry. Who –surprise! – had a heavy crush on her.
“So, Guinny, looks like we’re going to be colleagues soon.” Harry flashed her that grin that, honestly, could win the interest of any girl who still didn’t know him (that was why he liked to get them drunk enough to stop at his appearance). “My, if you wanted a date with me, you could have just asked, rather than coming up with this…flight of fancy.”
Guinevere walked toward her office, avoiding even eye contact. Harry was good-looking, he knew how to dress, he knew all the fancy drinks, he never used the wrong aftershave or the wrong haircut. He was just a complete self-centered idiot. Luckily, it hadn’t rubbed off on the Fact’s mascot. “Harry, I’d rather date that love-crazed otter, Errol. At least, he’s a funny animal. You are not. And now, please, dematerialize: I’ve got work to do.”
The young man stopped, grinning like a pirate. He made the gesture of shooting her. “Can’t wait to teach you how to use the photocopier! And remember: one day all of this will be mine!”

Guinevere walked into her office and closed the door. Argh!
She sat down at her desk, and examined the file she had on Martin Judas Foster –what a great middle name, just perfect when she’d expose the scam! Once she’d make herself a name, she’d leave this place and run for the real money! Heck, she could also end up applying for Beef’s position! Harry would never know what hit him! And he would never inherit the Fact, it would be easier that the Sun rose west!
Enough with the happy thoughts, girl! Guinevere brought her attention back to the file. Martin’s PR had done a good job, playing the card of the regretful human. His only recorded sin was leaving his beloved pets to the care of his abusive father, which ended up in Joel’s kidnapping by their paws.
Morally, he was a lowlife. Technically, he wasn’t the owner, Plus, he had escaped a family situation that could put his own life at risk, it wasn’t much different from self-defense, even if he let someone else take the worst… But, in the end, he had atoned by devoting himself to the care of pets and ferals like no one else had done, salve old Henry Milton and now Gottschalk.
And people loved these tales of redemption.
“Now, dear Uncle Martin, where to start?” She couldn’t just drop the bomb, even if her speculations were well-based. She needed something else to spice up her story…
And the article she was reading could just be it. The piece about the confession given by a William McKillan, a very convenient confession to get rid of yet another obstacle to Mr. Foster’s career…

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Wed Feb 01, 2012 12:24 pm
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
Ooh a twist! I wonder how this will work out.
Hope you are feeling better Val!

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Wed Feb 01, 2012 1:38 pm
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
The suspense is starting early his season.
I also hope you're better from the cold by now.

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Wed Feb 01, 2012 4:34 pm
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
Ack! This is gonna be another of those situations that claws at my heart till it's resolved...I can feel it already.

And Guinevere the 'bad guy'? This frightens me.

Anyway, looking forward to the next chapter, and I hope you're feeling better. If not...then I have a few family remedies I can recommend if you need.

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Wed Feb 01, 2012 6:26 pm
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
Finally caught up. I really like your work, cant wait for the next update.

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2.
The Daily Fact offices, the Fulcrum, Terrace High

“Hey, Frits!”
The retriever mix was sitting on a bench in the waiting room. He looked sad, and the animal that had called out to him, a Siamese cat who showed an inverted color pattern, felt a pang of sympathy for him.
The cat sat down next to the dog. “Bad news?”
Frits sighed. “Oh, it’s nothing, Lilian. It’s just that…” another sigh. “Mom promised me she would bring me to the theater. I wanted to see that new Laika movie. With her.”
Frits had had a difficult past, like so many pets, before being adopted. He still was very shy, and needed all the family comfort he could get. But he was unlucky enough for ending up with Guinevere Cardore: make no mistake, she was a good owner, but her love for animals and her love for career as a reporter tended to coincide a bit too much. She was a zealot in her using the power of news, and when she had work to do, the rest of the world tended to fade away.
Including poor Frits. Lilian rubbed his back. “Your Mom is hot on a trail, something really big by the looks of it.”
The dog’s triangular ears flickered. “How big?”
The cat shrugged. “Beats me. All I know is that Beef was ready to chew cigars like J.J. Jameson. And Harry is gloating as if he had won the lottery. Whatever it is, your Mom is risking a lot this time.”
That didn’t surprise Frits: Mom wouldn’t do less than that for a report she considered important. “Any chance to learn anything about it?”
Lilian shook her head, her blue eyes showing fear. “Oh, no, no way nossir! Beef himself ordered total silence about the matter. Harry knows something, and he too is been ordered to shut up or, quote, ‘be served as main dish at one of his father’s charity dinners’. He sounded pretty serious.”
Frits stood up. “I get it. I’ll find something else to do then,”
Lilian stood up as well. “Wanna go to the movie with me, instead?”
The dog shook his head, a meek expression on his face. “Uh, no. Not that I wouldn’t mind some company, but this was to be some quality time between me and Mom, you know…”
Lilian patted his shoulder. “No prob. Just call if you need anything, and I’ll keep you updated on the situation if possible, hm?”
Frits beamed up. “But, say! Would you like a game of Frisbee when your day’s over?”
The cat rolled her eyes. “You want to lose again? Tsk, and here I thought that only old dogs couldn’t learn. What about a different challenge? I heard they are going to open a club dedicated to mixed species couples., and that they will put up a sort of collective sport event: A big snowball war. You and I could time up and have a chance to win at that. And I get to write a great on-the-field story.”
“Well, it does sound intriguing...”
“It’s a ‘yes’, then.” Lilian slapped him hard on the back, make him whimper. “Now go enjoy yourself: I still must fix the snacks for Beef. *sigh* I wish he’d drink instead of eating when he’s nervous.”
---
River Ridge County Jail

“Do I get a reduction of sentence for this?”
Guinevere didn’t flinch or hesitate as she answered, “No.”
The heavy-set man sitting at the other side of the table shrugged. “Oh well, one must try.” He wasn’t the kind of man who would inspire confidence, and he was proud of that. In fact, William McKillan, ‘Mac’ for both friends and enemies, had worked hard to make sure they feared him. Because mac believed that respect came through fear and the proper use of brute force. His wasn’t an act: he would kill for the fun of it, if it served to set an example.
He had so much enjoyed the days at the old shelter: he could exercise his brutality at its fullest extent and being paid for it. That place was the set for a horror movie, but it made money, and Mac got his fair share.
Until that meddler good-doer of Martin Foster had come to adopt a couple of pets. After that, Mr. rich guy had decided to take over the place and demolish it. Mac had been the first lay-off, after being beaten like a jelly-filled sack –he must admit it, the guy belied his physical appearance!
And the worst had come not much later, when Foster had paid a visit to Mac at the hospital. Mac, of course, wanted to get the best deal out of the accusations of petslaughter, animal abuse, association with zoomafia, fraud, etc., and he thought he was untouchable as long as he could strike a protection deal in return for information…
Foster had broken his finger. Just one, painfully, as a starter, to make Mac understand that every other bone would have followed until he either talked or was dead.
Mac respected strength, and looking into that fanatic’s eyes he knew he was in for a long, painful ride. And so he had started talking, and talking, making it sound like the regretful word of a sincerely repented man. And before he could send for his lawyer, the ‘confession’ had gone straight as an MP3 file in a popular pet-friendly blog, Simon Says…
By then, it was too late. The authorities had used that confession as proof, trashed every agreement intention and sent Mac here to rot for the longest time law could allow.
“Will you pay me for a full interview?”
Guinevere felt dirty only by looking at this poor excuse of a man. For a moment, she doubted this was a good idea at all –heck, this guy had every possible interest to throw mud at Martin Foster’s reputation… “How do I know you’ll be telling the truth?”
The grin he showed her made her feel as if worms were crawling all over her. “You’ll be the judge.”
Fair enough. After all, Mac’s lawyer had tried to sell his client’s version to other newspaper, getting nothing but laughters from the editors. Who would care for the fabrications of a criminal with his petty revenge agenda?
Too bad that Guinevere had another story to support this first one.
“…And you know what? No money. No favors. In fact, I’ll enjoy you publishing nothing but the truth…” Mac waited until she had produced a tape recorder before talking, sparing no details…
---
The Treat pet diner

“Hey, why the long face?”
Frits lifted his eyes from the menu. “Oh, hey. T.J, Zane.” He waved at the black Labrador and the brow-furred tabby. Everytime he saw them together, he couldn’t help thinking of brownies and get a pang of the munchies.
The two pets sat in front of him. “You don’t mind?” T.J. asked, showing that happy expression, which, for some reason, everyone found irresistible. “Ah, not at all,” the retriever mix answered. “In fact, I was going to come to your place after getting something here.” He gestured at one of the pet waiters and signaled him the ‘2’, then pointing at his friends. “Caesar Pastrami for you too?”
“You know us well,” Zane said. “So, what’s the occasion? You seriously looked like you needed a friend.”
Frits nodded. “I wish Mom spent more time with me. I know it sounds…selfish, but since we moved here she has even less time than before, and when she comes home she’s either upset for something or tired. And now she’s hot on some new assignment. I miss here. Stupid, eh?”
T.J. patted the other dog’s paw. “Not at all. Dad is like that, working for Gottschalk tends to eat up most of his free time. He’s paid well but we wish too he got more time for us.”
“You can say that again,” Zane said, making a face. “At least I could stop worrying over Lucinda trying to dress me up as a girl.” He bent over and rested his chin on the table. “*sigh* Today we got a tea-party with her dolls. I swear, she’ll be the inglorious death of me.”
T.J. rolled his eyes. “And what should I say? I am supposed to perform the guest of honor, a Prince of Northumberland or something. Since Mom gave her that book about medieval lifestyle, she wants us to talk like shakespearian characters!”
“So, what’s this ‘hot assignment’ you were talking about?” The cat asked.
Frits shook his head. “Can’t say. Lilian told me it’s so secret that no one at the Fact is supposed to know the details except her boss. Harry has been threatened with death if he spilled a word.”
“Sounds interesting,” Zane said. “Not to put salt in your wounds, but this sounds as if she won’t have time for you until she’s done right?”
The dog nodded meekly.
“I see. So you could join us for a sleepover. And before that, we’ll make the best of the time together.”
“Including Lucinda’s tea-party, right?” Frits asked with a knowing look.
“Guilty!” both T.J. and Zane said.
At that moment, the waiter served the pastrami sandwiches dressed with Caesar Salad.
“I love this place,” T.J. said. “I wish my sister was here, she’d love Terrace High.”
Frits wagged, then chunked a bite of sandwich. He gulped it down then got a forkful of salad. “Oh, you have a sister? How cute that you are still in touch with her. What’s her na--?” At that moment, his phone rang. Puzzled, Frits took it. He wasn’t expecting any calls, since his only close friends in Terrace High were T.J. and Zane… “Hello?”
The voice that answered him sounded exactly like the Janitor’s in Scrubs. “It has come to my attention that you’d like to know about the new, hottest gossip.”
---
When Guinevere entered her car, she was shaking with excitement.
If he took for true what Mac had told her, she had enough material to write the first part of a reportage that could demolish Foster’s reputation!
This story not only involved an illegal confession and physical abuses, but also corruption of a public officer, and it went up to the complicity of the DA’s office!
The woman inserted the key in the starter, but didn’t turn on the vehicle yet.
This was big. Beef was right, even at this stage her story could do a lot of damage and not only to Foster, but to Alex Konstantin, possibly a justice…
Okay, so it wasn’t the Watergate or some high-level scandal, but it would propel her into a bigger newspaper, that was for sure.
And then, she thought, how many innocents would suffer her decision to publish? She knew Beef, he’d give green light if the story was solid, even he wouldn’t violate his principles as editor.
The first consequence would be the nullification of dozen of sentences and an investigation. Konstantin and Justice Elizabeth York would be suspended if not interdicted.
Mac would be set free, heck the whole ‘Coffin Gang’ that ran the old shelter would be set free! And they would make sure to disappear before justice could once again lay its hands on them.
Guinevere leaned her brow against the wheel. It was the ancient dilemma that came with the job: what came first? The duty to your assignment and to the truth, or the compromise for the ‘greater good’?
And Guinevere was particularly torn about this because serving the truth would cause harm to a countless number of innocents, especially the current guests of the Lucky Charm Grove for the Abandoned and the Ferals. Not to mention she would be spitting on the graves of the countless ones that had died horrible deaths at the hand of Mac and his accomplices…
But your job is to investigate and report the truth, right? Because if you start lying through your teeth now, then you will do it again and again until you will be working as spokeswoman for the most corrupted politician.
And the truth was, Guinevere Cardore wasn’t ready to step down, even in front of the direst consequences truth would bring. Her boss would love her for this, but she would always hate herself.
And now it was time to do some serious reporting!

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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
Okay, I hate Mac really bad now.

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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
I like that Guinevere has a moral dilemma to face now. It will be fun to see how this plays out.

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Thu Feb 02, 2012 3:09 pm
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
angelusbr wrote:
Okay, I hate Mac really bad now.

Wow! :shock: Considering what he did before, I wonder how could he be more hateful than then... :?

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Thu Feb 02, 2012 3:48 pm
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
why are so many people out to destroy martin. poor man, most people would have become extremely paranoid if they were in his position.

Mac must pay severly even more so than before, prefrebly by martin himself, he usually gets the job done when dealing with unpleasantries. Though I do hope Guinevere doesn't actually go through with this, I can't bear to think what would happen to all the poor animals at the Lucky charm grove.

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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
valerio wrote:
angelusbr wrote:
Okay, I hate Mac really bad now.

Wow! :shock: Considering what he did before, I wonder how could he be more hateful than then... :?

Imagine it like this: I hated him before, now I want...let's just say i want to play a game with him now.

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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
3.
James House, Apt 192, Lev. 19

When Frits Cardore rang the bell, he didn’t really know what to expect. Okay, let’s take for granted that this guy knows everything about Mom’s current assignment… Why all the conspiracy to tell me? And no answer came to his mind, for how hard he thought about it.
The door slid open. “Are you alone?” asked a voice before he could step in.
Frits rolled his eyes. “There is an Entryphone, remember?”
“I know, but I like to say it. Come in, boyo.”
Frits walked into the apartment.

Once the door slid shut, he said, “Okay, so you wanted here me alone. What’s the deal…Oh.”
Of course he hadn’t noticed the big dog sitting in the living room, and now Frits felt himself getting jittery, for that dog was the infamous Volant Male, Someone said he was a misguided good guy, someone else said he was a loose cannon. Sure enough, no one had wanted to make friends with him, except the only one he had punched.
Frits looked at the Rhodesian Ridgeback’s blue eye, the other covered by a tuft of fur, and he didn’t like what he saw. Then the Retriever mix turned his attention to the Military Macaw standing on a perch near the couch in front of the TV set. “What do you want from me, Piper?”
The parrot chuckled. “Nervous, puppy? Don’t worry, ol’ Volant wouldn’t harm a fly…as long as I tell him not to. But please, sit down, we got something to talk about. A drink?”
“No thanks,” Frits said as he sat at the opposite side where Volant would sit. He didn’t really know Piper, and had never thought the parrot capable of mischief, but seeing him consorting with this…brute didn’t put Frits at ease. Nossir. Especially after that not-so-subtle threat…
Piper shrugged. “Suit yourself. Now, to business: What can you do in exchange for information?”
Frits’ brow knitted. “I’m sorry?”
The parrot grunted. “Okay, I’ll be more clear: if I tell you what your owner’s on, what will you do for me in return? It’s a limited-time offer, because if this thing blows before you can do anything, it will be yours and your human’s funeral. Good riddance from Terrace High and all that stuff.”
Now Frits decided that this bird-brain was getting on his nerves with that tone… But he was also starting to get worried. That parrot didn’t sound as if he was playing a practical joke on him… “De-depends. How important is it? Why should we be expelled from Terrace High? What do you want from me?”
Piper grinned like an imp. “As for what I want, well, let’s just say I’d like a fifth column inside the information temple of this nice building. Just once, because I play it fair. I want information when I’ll ask for it. Deal?”
Frits regarded the bird with renewed suspect. “And why don’t you use the same source that reported you the same big news you want to blackmail me for?”
The parrot let out a snarl. “Because I could use this particular source only once, Sherlock! So, have an agreement? And since I’m feeling extra generous, today, I’ll give you faculty to withdraw if you don’t think this offer is worth the deal. Now, take it or leave it, boyo?”
The dog stared at the parrot. “Take. Now tell me.”
Piper did so, and before he was over, Frits felt like a blade of ice stabbing into his very soul…
---
The Daily Fact Editor’s Office

A much similar sensation was running through John Terence ‘Beef’ Cox, Editor of the e-newspaper.
He turned off the tape recorder. He felt like vomiting. “Jesus, Joseph and Holy Mary, Guinevere…” He looked at his reporter with something between respect and fright. “Do you understand the implications?” He feared to raise his own voice, he felt as if he was sitting in a room of a Muscovite hotel during the Cold War.
Guinevere Cardore nodded. “Honest? I’m trying not to think about that aspect. Beef, I’m a reporter. If the newspapers can shake the Presidents of the US of A, then it’s my duty to ask that this reportage gets published. Let the authorities and the sponsors deal with the consequences.”
Beef nodded. “Granted, if you had given me this interview with that crook before your idea regarding the trial to Joel Zechariah Robinson, I would’ve laughed it off as yet another empty conspiracy against Martin Foster, but… Lady, are you sure you are solid on the corruption in that trial?”
“Not 100%, in the sense that I still must get in touch with the witness that cleared Joel, but my theory remains…and it’s even more than a theory now that I have this.” Her eyes went to the tape recorder.
Beef was sure he could see a radioactive glow coming from the thing. Reluctantly, he nodded. “Lady, you give me the rest of the story, and we’ll go online. But, remember, only when you got it all. I don’t want this stuff to blow in our faces if this tape proves to be a big fat lie, got me? Not a hint, not a word. Or I promise you, you’re worse than dead.”
Guinevere stood up. She took the recorder. “Consider it done, Beef.”

When she left the office, she felt momentarily relieved for her complexion. Had she been Caucasian, she would’ve gone whiter than a shroud.
‘Consider it done!’ Girl, what were you thinking?!
She was sorely tempted to try and insist with her boss to get the first part with the interview to Mac published, but she knew she had to prepare to face the greatest obstacle of all: Witness X’s lawyer. And even if the reporter was marginally glad that that same lawyer worked at the Fulcrum, it was of scarce consolation, considering who the lawyer was…
---
Warreck & Verde, Attorneys at Law. Level 2

Melissa Verde and Daniel Greene Warreck were a classic case of ‘weird match’. In his job, Daniel tended to be a compassionate man, one who preferred to listen to his heart before applying the rules of the law.
Melissa, despite her name, was a killer whale. Any adversary in a case was an enemy to be humiliated and defeated -not necessarily in that order. She applied the law like the Russian Army used the Katyusha on the German troops. And woe to those fool enough to stay in the way.
But they had in common enough to work together in their own firm: they loved animals, they owned an animal each, they had specialized in animal legislation, and they would not accept an animal abuser as their client. Period.
Oh, and they had quickly discovered that they needed a full-time secretary. They had hoped that the hi-tech which came with the building would help them manage their schedules and their files… But that illusion had lasted three days before they had to look in the ads.
At least, this meant there was enough work to pay the bills, treat their pets and build a nice saving fund.
Their first and best choice so far had been a ‘first resident’ (as they called those who lived in Terrace High before the new batch of winners of a lottery that gave apartments instead of money came to live here), Donald Berkowitz, owner of Errol. Unlike his pet, Donald led an almost ascetic life. He lived for his internet activities when at home and performed excellently at W&V. If he had a sense of humor, he saved it for his online companions. “Ms. Verde?” He said in his earpiece. “Madame, there is a Guinevere Cardore from The Daily Fact for you. She hasn’t an appointment—“
“Oh, her,” came from the earpiece. “Send her in. And hold off all the calls until I am done with her, Donnie.”
Donald was puzzled. Though he had just started working at this firm, he had been made clear that unannounced guests were to take an appointment, unless it was a real emergency. And that counted especially for the media, even the pet-friendly ones like the Fact.
Anyway, he did as ordered and told the African American reporter to go to Melissa’s office.

“How can I be of disservice?” was the first thing Melissa said the moment Guinevere closed the door behind herself.
“Does that mean that I will have to challenge you to a duel?” Guinevere asked. “Because I won’t leave without what I need.”
Melissa motioned the woman to sit down in front of her desk. The lawyer was tall and had an imposing presence, much like Sharon Stone during her golden years. The first impression counted for a lot, in her job, and she had always made sure to look aggressive as she was. Men, in particular, found that…intimidating.
Guinevere wasn’t intimidated. In fact, she perceived the challenge and was ready to bare claws and teeth in return. “Do you know why I am here?”
Melissa nodded. “I have an idea.”
Guinevere raised an eyebrow. “How..?”
“Well, for a starter the Robinson trial was the most relevant issue I worked on since I came to work here. You wouldn’t come unannounced to a legal firm if you weren’t in a hurry. A reporter in a hurry means this is big… Okay, I admit it’s a very generic conclusion, but it’s the closest I could come with. Am I wrong?”
Guinevere shook her head. “You are right. I got my hands on something really big, madame.” A little politeness at this point would do it. “Can we speak confidentially?”
The woman nodded. “Dear, any pet owner in this building is my client as per convention with the Administration. So anything you will say will be treated with the utmost confidence, but on one condition.”
“Which is..?”
“Turn off the tape recorder you have in your purse and speak to me as pet owner, not as a reporter. Or you’re out before even your shadow can follow you. Am I clear?” Melissa had developed the perfect tone to intimidate someone into obeying without shouting. Those who underestimated that voice would immediately discover she was one to keep her promises.
Guinevere opened her purse, unplugged the tape recorder from the hidden mike and turned it off. “Done.”
“Good. Now ask away.”
“Ms. Verde, if I am right this could have important ramifications in the police and the DA depts. Your client at that trial has been corrupted by Foster to clear his brother Joel. Now, though I find that highly disturbing, because it would mean that Joel was an accomplice in animal abuse during his time at ASPCA. And even more so, it would prove that Martin Foster drew out an irregular confession and corrupted a police officer, with the complicity of the DA Konstantin, to have things their way instead of letting justice do their job.
“Now, we have two ways of setting this straight: you summon your witness X, we have a nice chat here with a promise that his or her name won’t be published and any other condition you’ll want to set to protect him and your firm. Or I will publish what I have so far, and that is the interview I had with William McKillan. It will be enough to make a big stink and it will eventually reach your client. And I will make sure that your firm will be named in capital letters.” Guinevere was happy she had practiced her poker face at many, many sessions with her colleagues. She felt her stomach churning at the idea Melissa could see through her bluff…
The lawyer leaned back in her chair. “Well, you surely seem determined to go all the way. A classic: truth-seeking reporter against evil lawyer. And you know what? I would like to spend a couple of hours bickering with you about the many ways I could destroy your career for your impudence, dear… But time is money, ‘lotta spending money’ as George Harrison used to say, so I will just hand you the truth.”
Guinevere felt torn between relief and incredulity –was it really being that easy?!
Melissa put her hand on the folder laying on her desk, and pushed it toward the other woman. “I see myself as a good judge of persons, Ms. Cardore. And I feel pretty sure you will not publish this, once you read through this file. And you’ll see that everything that Mr. McKillan told you was a lie to lure you into a game of mud-throwing. Now, take this folder, and read it in the meeting room. It’s still strictly confidential material. Any question?”
Guinevere took the prize as if it was part of Blackbeard’s fabled treasure. She still felt disoriented: why was Melissa so sure she wouldn’t publish? This was the lottery ticket, there would be no way she’d rip it! “No, ma’am,” she found herself saying, before mumbling a ‘thank you’ and leave.

When she walked into the large soundproof room, Guinevere was humming happily. She hadn’t any question, right now, but she’d make sure to have a lot of them by the end she was done with this folder, oh yes!
The more she thought about it, the less she felt guilty about it. It wasn’t just about her career now, it was about doing the right thing: justice couldn’t just be nudged into a direction, even if it was the right one. When rich guys started deciding what was good and what was not, they did the wrong thing, no matter the intentions. Not to mention the hypocrisy: Foster had unilaterally decided his little brother was a good guy despite what he had done, he couldn’t possibly run a shelter on a clean conscience!
And she’d expose Mr. Foster for what he was—
“Hi, Mom.”
“EEEK!” Guinevere was not one easy to scare, but for a moment she thought that Martin Foster was there and waiting to beat the carp out of her! Then the word ‘Mom’ registered. She turned, only now seeing her dog sitting at the far end of the table. “Frits..? What are you doing here?”
The dog’s eyes went to the folder. “I know what you’re doing.”
“What?” She felt confused, she didn’t know what he was talking about. “Look, if it is for the movies thing, I promise I’ll make up for that once—“
“Your reportage. I know everything.”
That was the second blow to her mental processes. She hadn’t told even her own shadow! “What? What do you mean? Nobody knows—“
“Mom, I know, all right? And I must tell you, you are doing a mistake. Foster didn’t corrupt me, what I told was the truth!” The dog’s voice had risen to an almost shrill tone. He started crying. “How can you think those horrible things about Mr. Foster? I only wish I had been at his shelter instead that cage at ASPCA!”
Guinevere had listened with an expression of growing stupor. At last, all the words sank in.
And yet, she had to check. She put the folder of witness X on the large table, opened it and ran through the papers until she found the picture and the name of that animal…
A grey-furred retriever mix by the name of Frits Cardore.
Guinevere collapsed on the nearest chair, feeling…empty. All the energies that had pushed her up to this point had just abandoned her.
She had been tricked. What Mac had told her was a lie. She had been chasing a chimera.
She had actually threatened a lawyer to publish a scam.
And ruin countless innocent lives.
And everything because Guinevere Cardore had developed a shell made of cynicism, ambition and arrogance. After reporting so many abuses, she had started losing faith in the human genre. She had wanted to believe rich good people were a rarity among rarities.
“Mom..?”
She barely realized Frits was caressing her arm, trying to console her. “What was I doing? You..?”
Frits nodded. “It’s all there: I and other animals at the ASPCA shelter were to help the manager to harass the newbies who tried to challenge his authority, no matter if they were right or wrong. We were given extra food and more time out of the cages. It…it worked, until that Joel guy. He was a nice once, really, and he and I had made friends, but he would always have something to say about the management. He wanted something better for us.
“The manager offered me a lot of extra food, TV time and walking time. And I…I just accepted.”
Guinevere held her crying dog to her. “Oh, Frits…”
“I… that’s why I’m so shy around the others, I can’t even trust myself, I still can see Joel’s face when I told the manager he had beaten me out of frustration!” he sniffled and tried to wipe out the tears from his face. “When I read that he was going to go under trial, I called Ms. Verde and made a deposition about the truth, telling everything, every name of the animals involved. And that cleared Joel’s name, although I was too late already.”
“Frits—“
“No!” he almost snarled. “If I had spoken out before, Joel wouldn’t have joined PETA and kidnapped that Fox guy! He wouldn’t have gone to jail! It was my fault, but at least I had done the right thing, and I hoped no one would ever open that can again, but then you came and… Oh, Mom, I’m so sorry! You’ll think that I was a monster!”
Guinevere held the dog tight to her, petting his back and head. “Shh, no, no, you are no monster, dear Frits. In fact, you were incredibly brave to testify. And it was all my fault if you did it without telling me everything: I did so little to earn your trust, my dear.”
This time, a weak smile appeared on Frits’ lips. “You adopted me and always did your best to give me a good life. It’s not your fault if you like your job so much.”
“Touché.” She rubbed her knuckles between his shoulder blades, making him giggle. “But still, I still must make up for a lot of quality time. Any idea?”
Frits feigned to think about it, tongue tip sticking out, eyes turned to the roof. “Hmm, there was this movie..?”
The woman rolled her eyes. “Loud and clear, my captain. And extra butter on your popcorn… But first, I’d like to know: how did you learn about my reportage?”
Frits shook his head. “Uh, no, sorry, can’t say, honest. I promised to keep my source secret.” He tried an apologetic grin.
Guinevere decided to let it drop. For now. She still felt guilty for what she was going to do. She felt guilty for neglecting her beloved dog. And she was way too scared for her future as a reporter, once she’d tell the truth to her boss. Beef was not one to take such an error lightly, even if it didn’t get published…
---
James house

“You know what’s the best thing about this deal?” Piper asked while sipping from a drink made with water and honey.
“I can imagine,” answered the python, who was coiling lazily in the grass, in the middle of the swamp that was his room. That parrot knew how to devise a plan, but if he just hadn't this habit of bragging about to the benefit of his vanity!
“I could’ve asked nothing to that silly mutt, considering what we have already.” He touched the tape cassette hanging from his neck. “Boy, I can’t believe that the trick of the air conditioning conduit still works! Really, ol’ Gottschalk should invest more in security. Mac, I’ll make sure you get a fair share of whatever I can get from this baby. Foster will pay big bucks to make sure this thing stays under silen—“
They rang at the door. Piper scoffed. “Aw, I hate when my monologues get interrupted!” he didn’t notice Macajuel breathing with relief as he turned to shout, “Volant! Go open!” He heard the clicking of the dog’s talon before turning back to the snake. “Now, as I was saying, we should start planning how to spend all of the money! I always wanted one of those superspy things so I can record everything, wherever I go. You could get a lifetime supply of the best living food—“ then someone tapped him on his back. He turned, “Volant! I told you that I—eep!
It wasn’t Volant, but rather a nightmare coming to life: Gauss and Curie Gottschalk! The two GSD/husky mixes were looking at him with a very, very upset expression. The male brother was holding out his paw. “Actually, Dad did invest in security. There are hidden cameras inside the conduits as well. Now the tape. Before I decide to roast you alive for my dinner. Boyo.”
Piper gulped and gave it to the dog. “Err, no harm done, right? I mean, your owner will not throw us out for this little practical joke, right?”
The grin Curie gave him was enough to make snake and parrot shiver. “Oh, don’t worry: Dad had a talk with your owner, and I’m sure he’ll know how to inflict a proper punishment. Especially since he’ll have to pay a hefty fine for this violation of the privacy perpetrated by your slithering friend here.”
Gauss nodded. “Yup. Dad believes that hurting the wallet works way better than sending for the law. I hope you like cheap food, because that fine was really hefty.”
Piper let out a dispirited sigh, as he also understood he would better try not to cash that ‘favor’ from Frits. “Can I at least curse against the adverse fate?”
“Be our guest,” Gauss said, walking out, a moment before the air was filled with words that weren't heard since a certain angel was cast off the heavens for misconduit...


SEASON III
Episode 2
FIN

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Fri Feb 03, 2012 6:10 am
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
Aaaaand, I still love how your episodes always wrap up so nicely. I loved how we were given all the more reason to hate Mac, the situation that was used to bring Guinevere back around was also awesome, and most importantly, I loved how the episode ended. Not the last we'll see of Piper I'm sure, but it was nice to see him get knocked down a peg or two.

As always, I'm looking forward to seeing what comes next.

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Fri Feb 03, 2012 8:04 am
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
That was amazing seeing this was a call back to the first chapter of season 2! Again...amazing.

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Fri Feb 03, 2012 10:36 am
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES
Season III
Episode 3 – Along Came a Club
By VALERIO


1.
The Hexagon Park, Terrace High

The male GSD/husky mix sitting on a snow-dusted bench was intent typing something on the screen of his tablet. Sitting at his right, a female of the same mixed breed, yet looking more like a husky while he had the pattern of the German Shepherd, was intent reading at the Skype exchange.
What made this sight particularly interesting was the fact that the male was smiling. Indeed, those who knew Gauss Gottschalk or even met him occasionally, had never saw him smile. Except when it was to bear bad news…
“Now, that’s a moment worth remembering,” said a voice, distracting them. Immediately, Gauss’ eyes lifted toward the owner of that voice, his face darkening in the familiar scowl.
“Aww, and now it’s gone. Too bad,” said the Scottish Collie standing in front of them.
“What do you want?” Gauss asked/growled.
Unfazed by that tone, Pawdrick pointed at the tablet. “Ah would like t’know what made ye so happy.”
“If I tell you, will you leave?”
“Cross my heart, lad!” He walked to the couple and sat down at the left of the male. He found himself looking at the picture of a male German Shepherd wearing a sort of combat suit. The name of the chatter was Duke Walters. “Cool! Who is he?”
Curie leaned back to answer for her brother and draw the Collie’s attention, while Gauss started back typing. “Duke is our cousin. He and we share the same biological father, only that he was bred with another GSD to be raised as military dog. And quite successfully, too. He and his team are deployed in Afghanistan as part of US Military Animal Program. Sorry, can’t tell you more, you know, secret stuff and the such.”
Pawdrick shrugged and started to stand up, when Curie noticed something in the written exchange.
WONDERDUKE666 - Did she tell him? :?
GAUSSRULES111 – No.
WONDERDUKE666 - *Whew*
:!:
At that point, Curie said, as if in an afterthought, “Oh, yes, and Duke made friends with a local female, a very cute jackal.”
“Now Podge is interested!” the dog said, wagging happily, sitting back down.
GAUSSRULES111 – She just did.
WONDERDUKE666 – Aw, and what the frick, man! :shock:
GAUSSRULES111 – Can I kill the witness? :twisted:
WONDERDUKE666 – Only if she tells him of The Masterplan.
8-)
“What’s the Masterplan?” Pawdrick asked.

A moment later, a very screaming dog was falling down from the skies. “Ye could’ve just said noooooo—“ he landed in a snow dune, raising a big white dust cloud. “Ouch,” he said, raising from the impression he had left. He shook thoroughly. “That lad really needs to cheer up… Oh, hi there Siggy!” he added to the grey-furred Weimaraner hound who was regarding him with a very puzzled look. “I upset the Gottschalk siblings.”
“Oh.”
“And what are ye doin’ out here? What with that short excuse of a fur, ye should be freezing!”
Sigmund Follett was one of the dogs trained to be part of Terrace High’s Security. He wore proudly a red jacket with the compound’s logo and reflectors. At Pawdrick’s question, he waved his paw. “Ah, that’s not a problem: I drank seven cups of scalding-hot chocolate and I keep on lasting until the end of the shift! See?” he pointed at his feet, and only now did the Collie notice the snow was melting.
“Wow.” Pawdrick then joined the other dog in the patrol walk. Luckily, he was bred and raised to stand the harshest weather the Highlands could throw at him, but he didn’t mind Sigmund’s body heat. It was like a furry oven.
“So, man, did you hear the news?”
“Podge always loves to hear news… Ye won’t toss me like a Frisbee, will ye?”
“Relax, buddy: the news is that we’re going to have a brand new social club for pets, an old-style thingie. It will be dedicated mostly to the mixed couples who want a safe oasis instead of lurking and to those who enjoy potential mates beyond the species barrier… But of course it will be open to everyone. It will be interesting. This place had never had its own club!”
“Ye seem well informed.”
“Errol spread the word. He already signed up. Are you interested?”
“Did ye sign?”
Sigmund nodded vigorously. “Bet on it! I can’t wait to meet the girls!”
“I thought ye had enough of them to handle already. Didn’t ye become a watchdog to that purpose?”
The Weimaraner blushed a bit. “Uh, yeah, sort of, but I am always busy with my job, so I have not much time for my fans. The new Club will change my free time, and not only mine! Oh, and did you know that the founders sent for a management consultant from Babylon Gardens? A guy with great expertise, they say! Ohh, this will be so awesome!” Sigmund emphasized that by pumping his arm.
“I see. Sounds interesting.”
“I already pre-signed. Tobee used his lunch breaks to set up the website. Will you join?”
Pawdrick thought about that. “Heh, why not? Country life makes for very interesting relationships, ye know? Once I had this flirt with this cute kitty…” he blushed. “But anyway, what’s the URL?”
“www.loveforlife.pet. Sappy, but it’s the manager’s call. First meeting should be in a week, after the members are sorted. You’ll get your e-mail with all the deatils.”
“Podge likes it. One last question: who is this consultant? I heard about Babylon Gardens, and especially about a cat and a dog who have had kittens..?”
Sigmund waved again. “Oh, that’s an urban legend! The litter came through a donor. What’s real is that one of them little ones got the fur pattern of ‘daddy’ dog. Now, that’s weird, though in a cute way. And no, it won’t be them to come, but one of their friends…”
---
Terrace High Underground Parking Lot

“I can’t believe it, we’re actually doing it!” said the female Maine Coon, rubbing her paws for the umpteenth time.
The Golden Retriever standing by her right grasped gently her wrist. “Perhaps it’s better to stop, before your limbs get naked, hm?”
The cat sighed. “Sorry, Elliot. But it’s the first time I feel…in control, you know? Like, I am doing something I really wanted to, instead of wasting my time running after your tail. No offense.”
The other cat, a female Maine Coon mix a bit smaller than the first, standing by the dog’s right side, giggled. Elliot blushed. “You’re going to make me pay for that for a long time, are you?” His friend Tegan had had a giant crush on him since they were kittens and pup. Elliot, who had never conceived the idea of a dog/cat relationship, had also never got a clue about her feelings. And when they finally had a heart-to-heart on the matter, Elliot had crushed any hope of a romantic involvement.
It had been just then, when Tegan had felt the world falling on her head, that Errol had come up with the idea of the Love for Life Social Club. Tegan had grabbed the chance like the sign she needed to move on with her life and get a dog fiancée before she turned old.
Tegan had forgiven Elliot for being not exactly kind on the subject, but now there was a tacit agreement under which Tegan could tease her friend with no limitations. And she knew how to hurt.
“And thank you for joining the project, Alandra,” Tegan said to the other cat. “Your presence means a lot.”
“Ah, don’t fret about it! This was a great idea you came with, and as your elected stepsister I am going to be of help as much as I can!”
“Elected step..?” Elliot asked, scratching his head.
“Like a blood pact,” Tegan answered, “but without the blood.”
The dog shook his head and sighed. “You give me the headache sometime.”
“Oh, really? Sorry, I understand you can’t absorb new concepts: your head must manage all of that prejudice already.”
Elliot scowled. “I hate you.” Then his eyes went to the LED clock camouflaged in the big wall painting. The object d’art was made with a special kind of NanoCrystal™ paint that, once polarized, could be reshaped and recolored in any desired scene. It also was a perfect setup for a series of services that ranged from time to forecasts to music and video entertainment. It could do everything a plasma or LCD screen could, but with the advantage of reducing the thickness of the surface to microns, and without glass that could easily break. It was called ShoWall™.
“This place rocks,” Elliot said, watching the winter country scene they had selected via the vocal input. “I could wait all day long and notice it—“ he was interrupted by the growling of his stomach! “Whoops?” he said with a sheepish grin.
Tegan shook her head, unbelievingly. “Elliot! Do you realize you ate a breakfast that would scare off Samson a couple of hours ago?!”
“Hey, what do you want me to say?! I’m a fast burner, you know that! Can I go to the vending machine?” His muzzle went to the device filled with snacks and drinks.
“No. I don’t want him to come and find you munching like a famished pig.” Tegan watched the ShoWall. “Relax, he’ll be here on time. It’s only five more minutes till—“ Then the noise of a car approaching made the animals’ ears flick.
“No going back, now,” Tegan said to herself.
The green sedan entered the parking lot a few moments later. It stopped near the column where the animals were waiting.
The door opened, and a young, brown-furred dog with a darker shade of tail and floppy ears came out. His most prominent feature was the perfect circle around his left eye… Although it was easier to notice the female mouse sitting on his left shoulder.
Tegan ran to the dog and hugged him with all her might. “Joey! I’m so happy to have you here!”
“*erk!* Thank you, Teggie! My ribs. Please.”
The cat let go of him. “Sorry. And hello to you too, Squeak.” She held out a finger for the mouse to shake. Then, to her feline friend she said, “Alandra, this is Joey Parker, and this little gal is his best friend, Squeak. Squeak, Joey, this is Alandra Garcia, treat her like my sister.”
“Charmed,” both dog and mouse said together, offering their paws.
“I’m sorry,” said another voice from the car, with an indignant tone. “Aren’t you lovebirds forgetting someone?” A moment later, a siamese female with a silver ‘B’ for tag came out the vehicle.
Joey blushed with embarrassment. “Uh, yes, sorry Alandra. Ah, this is Blanche Bigglesworth, my fiancée.”
The Siamese offered her paw as if she were a noblewoman. “You may kiss now.”
“Can’t I bite it, instead?” Alandra asked with a wicked grin.
Elliot saw sparkles flying between the two felines’ eyes. Alandra’s owner had been a poor man who lived with precarious jobs, before luck turned favorable to them and allowed them to move to the US and live at Terrace High. As a result, she wasn’t very fond of ‘social class’ jokes…
The dog went to the car’s trunk. “Well, I guess this is time for the man of the house to get the luggage. Let’s go, folks, I want to show you a diner that alone is worth the triyyaaahhh!” He had just lifted the lid and found himself staring into 10 pairs of blue almond, slitted eyes like ghosts from a dark pit! “HELLO, STRANGER!” said merrily ten voices as one.
Tegan sighed. “Blanche, you brought all of your housemates with you, did you?”

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Fri Feb 03, 2012 4:35 pm
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
kavviyenta wrote:
That was amazing seeing this was a call back to the first chapter of season 2! Again...amazing.

I second your words.

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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
Sorry for not posting for a long time but i was busy. Great episodes, I really liked how chapter 2 ended. Now on to this one, It is awesome how Joey and Blanche came to Terrance High to help set up the new club! And Joey and Blanche engaged! :mrgreen: That was never mentioned before! And I feel sorry foe Elliot since he now has to deal with all of Tegan's jokes. :( Oh and it was funny when Joey found all of Blanche's housemates in the trunk! :lol: Just a wonderful job well done their Val.

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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
*Nearly dies laughing* Oh lord...the whole Bigglesworth clan running loose in the High at once? I can't wait to see the next chapter, this is gonna rock.

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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
whoever watches the monitors from the security cameras will think they're going crazy seeing the same cat on multiple screens. XD

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Sat Feb 04, 2012 12:50 am
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
Oh, and since due credits are due...
Duke Walters is (C) Coatl_Ruu, used with kind permission.
His appearance ties my narrative continuum with his wondrous 'The Dogs of War'.
Cheers! :D

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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
the highest praise a fanfic writer here can receive is to have their characters cameo in your fic. and is it odd that Duke appeared just as DoW had it's last chapter?

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Sat Feb 04, 2012 2:13 am
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
RandomGeekNamedBrent wrote:
the highest praise a fanfic writer here can receive is to have their characters cameo in your fic. and is it odd that Duke appeared just as DoW had it's last chapter?

Now you're making me SO happy :D :D :D
Not that odd -I had just caught up after stopping at chapter 7, and when I got to finish reading DoW, WOW! I knew I had to do something for a cameo...ESPECIALLY since GunRacer had already linked DoW and my universe in his ficcie! That gave me the inspiration to link Coatl's work and mine.

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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
2.
Jackson House, Apt. 202, Lev. 20, The Fulcrum, Terrace High

“Fiancée?” The female Maine Coon asked, blinking her eyes.
Joey rolled his eyes. “I’m happy that it finally registered, my dear friend Tegan."
The cat shook her head. “Uh, er, buk… Oh, I’m so sorry, but honest, congratulations!!” she hugged him again with renewed enthusiasm.
“My ribs. Please.” When she let go of him, he massaged his arms. “Are you sorry that I’m about to get married?” He asked with a mildly upset expression. And seeing her lowering her ears and eyes in shame, he quickly added, “I was kidding, only kidding! I know that you couldn’t conceive the idea—“
Tegan put a finger on the lips of Fido’s and Bino’s youngest brother. Joey blushed madly. “Don’t be silly. I knew it was only a question of time before you found the right girl for you, and I’ll bet there’s a crowd rooting for you back at the Gardens, but…I mean, a Bigglesworth? I couldn’t imagine it was that serious when Elliot and I moved here.”
Joey chuckled. “Yes, sometimes I can hardly believe it myself… But you know what? Blanche is even crazier than me—“
“Thank you luv!” came from behind them.
Joey turned his head and blew a kiss. “You’re welcome!” Then, back to Tegan, “She’s not just one very pretty cat, she also loves everything I love, and she’s helping me to run my Common Life Society Club.”
“Daww, that is so cute!” Alandra said. The other, smaller Maine Coon was sitting nearby together with Elliot, who in turn looked desperately embarrassed to be involved in this kind of conversation. He just couldn’t conceive the idea of a dog/cat relationship, heck! He was here because he owed it to Tegan to help her with the club, after breaking her heart, since she had spent years longing for him… “Err,” he said, clearing his throat. Say something nice about his marriage, try it darn it! “Uh, and when will be the ceremony held?”
“The wedding?” Joey asked. “A month or so. I’ll send you the invitations, don’t worry. Uncle Martin will fix a bus service, for the occasion. Did you know about his new transportation toy?”
The Golden Retriever shook his head. “Uh, no.”
“He bought one of those Chinese superbuses, the Youngman JNP6250G. He could easily carry half of the pet population of this building in one trip.”
Tegan sighed. “Good ol’ Uncle Martin: always thinking big. But stay sure, we will be there no matter what. Isn’t it true, my dear friend?” She showed a grin that could sent shivers down the back of the Ice Queen.
Elliot gulped. “Of course, my dear friend… Is that why you brought the whole gang with you, Blanche?” He asked, rhetorically.
The rest of the living room was occupied by a pack of eleven Siamese cats, each one identical to the other. And every one of them looked very busy discussing a part of the wedding ceremony project. Papers flew, phone calls were being made, the harshest tones were exchanged, measures were taken, a coffin was being built…
“200 guests should do…”
“No, King, we can’t use Bino as pinata…”
“Hold still! You don’t want me to pin your dress to your tail now…”
“What do you mean, ‘you can’t be the bridesmaid’?!” “You are a guy!” “And so are you! So there!”
“Gay couples?” “Moderated”
“Do we sing Praise be Lord, or O Fortuna?”
“Not enough budget for the food? We’re having the banquet at Heathcliff’s! How much could trash cost?!”
“Where do I bury the groom?!”
Joey passed a finger between his collar and the neck. “Oh, they wanted to tour the place as well. And yes, they are the wedding’s organizers. Not that I have much choice, the clan is very united.”
Blanche hugged Joey from behind and nuzzled his cheek. “So true, luv. Bigglesworth do everything together. And if someone dares to look prettier than us, which means me, they’ll turn her or him into a nice rug for our bedroom. Aren’t you happy?”
Joey thought about Grape and he had the sensation that WWIII was going to explode.
Blanche kissed him on the forehead. “Aw, don’t worry. Grape is excused because she’s mommy, and Mizar too is excused because he’s so naturally gorgeous. And he’s daddy as well.” Then she turned to her housemates. “Bigglesworth! Now Joey and I have to help Tegan organize her club, so disperse!”
A moment later, a gush of wind was echoing in the now almost empty living room. Only a rustle of papers testified the former presence of 10 cats now let loose in the compound.
“Now I am even more worried,” Elliot said.
---
Security offices

“There!” the Minipinscher was pointing frantically at the multiple screens set. “There! See? I wasn’t crazy!”
The female husky and the black Alsatian, too, were looking at the screens with very perplexed expressions, coking their heads in unison.
Each of ten screens was showing an identical Siamese cat walking around the premises.
“Okay, it’s official,” Hannibal ‘Psycho’ Bates said, “We have ghosts in the building.”
---
“Howdy, stranger!” said a Bigglesworth, waving to a passing pet. The season was proving ungodly cold, and the ‘Dining Level’ had been put under siege by the resident pet population. The Treat was filled to capacity. Everywhere one pointed the nose, he or she would get a whiff of food.
“Howdy, stranger!” said the Bigglesworth walking next to the first.
“Howdy you?” said the Persian cat, waving hesitantly to the twins. “And you would be..?”
“Butch & Bill Bigglesworth, my clawed fellow,” Butch said. “Straight from Babylon Gardens, visiting this nice place, planning mayhem.”
Bill nodded. “The usual.”
The Boxer walking together with the cat lit up and wagged his stubby tail. He immediately started gesturing at the namesake cat…before remembering that there were few pets who knew the sign language.
Butch Bigglesworth just patted the dog’s shoulder, then started gesturing in return.
Butch’s pupils swelled to saucer-size, then he too started a silent chat with this unexpected new friend!
“Where did you learn to do that?” Bill asked.
“I took a correspondence class with the Scuola Radio Elettra di Torino.”
“Oh.” Then Bill noticed Butch (the dog, not the cat) giggling silently.
“What did he say?” Drake (the Persian cat) asked the dog. Despite knowing the sign language, he had been distracted by these two weird strangers, and was increasingly growing frustrated because he was going to miss his favorite pie at Aunt Lina’s!
Butch thought about it, then he shrugged. He gestured ‘It was a French joke about Camembert and a pear. You wouldn’t understand.’
Drake went for the shop. “Suit yourself, coconut! I’m gonna eat my pie and nothing else will get in the wa—“ it was then that he saw the most dreaded of the visions: eight more cats, identical to Butch and Bill, walking out Aunt Lina’s each holding a big slice of a meat-and-potato pie. Drake’s ears and fur flattened as if he had just been showered with icy water. “My pie. They took all of my favorite pie.” Then he fell on his knees and screamed at the sky.

“Strange guy,” said a Bigglseworth female, eating some of her pie. Then she addressed another cat, who wore the red Security uniform. “Wowa, hold it keptin! White Elephant ahead!”
“Are you talking to me?” the female Brazilian Shorthair cat turned and said, with a tinge of irritation... And it didn’t get better by the moment she realized she had lost track of who in that group of doppelganger had talked to her!
A brown-furred paw tapped her shoulder. “Were you looking for me, white elephant?”
The other cat turned. “Actually, yes! How did you call me, lady?”
The Bigglesworth squirmed with delight. “Oh, thank you! I worked so hard to make sure they would see me for what I am! I didn’t want it to happen like that time Bigglesworth dated Bigglesworth and both were boys—“
“That was me,” said a male twin. He held out his paw to the mostly confused female. “Buck Bigglesworth.” He then pointed his thumb at the female twin. “She’s Barbie.”
“Yup!” Barbie said. “And what is doing a cat in a dog uniform? Is your name Rover or something? I ask because we got this poor nice doggie called Tiger, and he’s got such a bad temper *tsk*”
The Security pet was about to explode. “My name is Clementia, you dolt! And if you disrespect my uniform once again, I’ll make sure to get you in a cell faster than—“
“Please!” Barbie waved. “Clementia?! With such a name, you could at most frolic in the grass and pick up daisies! So, why are you doing a dog’s job, lady? Is your boss that desperate? We know a couple of twin hunks who could do a great work and make a great promotion for the job! What do you think?” She added, chewing the last of her pie.
---
Security Ward, Sublevel 1

The gate closed with a loud clang.
“Hey!” Barbie shouted. “What about our phone call?!”
“We want our lawyer!” said Baby.
Clementia and Hannibal looked as if they had fought against a horde of mongols. They were both heavily panting, and their uniforms were tattered. Tufts of fur from the Siamese were clinging to their own bodies.
“Forget it!” Clementia said, glaring at the group. “I won’t allow anyone near you, for their own safety! You’ll just spend all the time here until Joey Parker won’t leave Terrace High!”
‘So you’re telling us that we’re just going to stay here?’ Butch sign-asked.
“Alone?” Billy added, his voice trembling.
“Too bad!” Clementia and Hannibal stomped out of the room, and a moment later the cats were alone. They looked at each other (it took some time). Then Berenice produced a couple of card decks. “Canasta, anyone?”

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Last edited by valerio on Sat Feb 04, 2012 10:23 am, edited 1 time in total.



Sat Feb 04, 2012 10:10 am
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
RandomGeekNamedBrent wrote:
whoever watches the monitors from the security cameras will think they're going crazy seeing the same cat on multiple screens. XD

yes, Brent, I *owed* you that scene :lol: :lol:

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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
Gahahahaha! Have I mentioned that I love the Bigglesworth clan? Also love that you actually put in the monitor scene. I somehow get the feeling that their cell is going to turn into a Bigglesworth populated casino before everything is said and done. After all, the Bigglesworth clan seems to enjoy breaking reality.

That said, I can't wait to see the turn out for Tegan's club on opening day. Also loving very much on seeing Joey and Blanche again.

And an odd question...since they all have their own names in your fic...which of the Bigglesworths is the one that wears glasses? It have been said at some point, but if so, I've either forgotten or completely missed it.

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Sat Feb 04, 2012 11:39 am
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
Oh, you're gonna see...
you're gonna see....

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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
thank you for including the monitor scene. it just makes sense. ^_^
and yay, I read an update without starting 3 updates behind.

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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
It's nice to see someone could tell their gender apart...just wait till they find out there is someone who could tell each of their identity apart.

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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
3.
The Hexagon Park, Terrace High

“Living in a condominium like yours has its advantages,” Joey said. Bino’s and Fido’s youngest brother, together with his fiancée, Blanche Bigglesworth, and his friends Tegan and Alandra, was standing in the middle of a prefabricated wooden small house. A first inspection confirmed that, even once it was furnished, it could host up to sixty pets. “You can have reunions at the apartments of the single members, each place is large enough to accommodate up to thirty members, so it’s perfect for slumber parties, smaller meetings, and any occasion dedicated a few restricted friends. But remember, what’s most important in a Social Club is to make sure that the esprit de corps is kept high—“
“Do we get to kill someone we don’t like?” Alandra interrupted him.
Joey’s shoulder sagged. “Like, ha ha. Can I go on now?”
“Please do.”
The young dog scoffed. “As I was saying, never let the Club to disperse. Doing things all together is the hardest thing to organize, but also the most satisfying: it gives a purpose, a sense of belonging. So, we must come up with something that not only celebrates the foundation of the Club, but also a recurring event to bind the members in joy. The important thing is that they won’t feel it as an obligation, or your seat as President will be endangered.”
“Wow,” Tegan said. “I hadn’t expected this to be so complicated. I was thinking of starting a thing to help mixed couples and out-of-species lovers to come out.”
Joey nodded and smiled at her. “Yes, of course, that must remain the heart of your initiative. But you don’t want a club dedicated to a single policy line.”
“I don’t?”
Joey shook his head. “You don’t. The reason I founded my club was that Bino had that strict no cat-lovers policy. In the end, it made things easier for me, but I still don’t like the idea of…this rivalry with my brother.”
Tegan scratched one of his floppy ears. “Aw, that’s so nice of you. I see your point, but what if someone starts a no cat-lovers club, then?”
The young dog wagged. “Then you’ll be at an advantage: whoever decided to do something against you will be seen as a petty individual, especially if your club becomes popular before that!”
Tegan sighed, shaking her head. “But I don’t know what I could do to start a popular thing!”
Joey put a paw over his chest, while displaying a solemn expression. “And that’s where I come in, dear. And I think I have the perfect idea, just for the season.”
“Oh, I’m sure of that!” said another voice. “Your voice gives me good vibrations.”
At that moment, four figures came down the stairs –well, three of them, since one was sitting on the thick-furred shoulder of the white female Shiba Inu. “Joey, this place is simply adorable!” Squeak the mouse said. “We should have one like this, our clubhouse is falling apart!”
Joey waved a finger at his small friend. “Squeak, our clubhouse is kept together by our savings and contributions. We’ll hold an event to collect some funds, but no Mary Sue. And you know who I’m talking about!”
“Aww.”
“Well, I don’t mind paying the rent for this clubhouse,” Elpis Karahalios said. “What do you think, Tsuki? A couple of days will do, as you said?”
The Shiba nodded. “Yes.” She consulted the tablet she was holding in her paws. “I have a complete list of the furniture. Water, heating and electricity are ready to go. The bathroom fittings are present and those cannot be modified.”
Elpis nodded. “That’s excellent! Send me the bill, I’ll cover for everything.”
Alandra kissed the Australian Terrier’s cheek. “Aw, you’re so generous. In return, I’ll cook something of my own country just for you.”
“That’s an idea!” Tegan snapped her fingers. “For the first day, we’ll have the members bring each a dish of their own choice!”
Joey patted her back. “See? You’re already in the spirit. Who pre-signed, by the way?”
The Maine Coon stuck out her tongue. “Uhh, Sigmund, Errol, Tobee, Clementia, Athena, Hannibal…or was that Hooch? And then Tsuki here, Alandra, Elpis, Isaac, Gaunt, Shadow and Chocolate, Podge, Max and Liz, Elliot because I’d rip his tail off if he refused… And then Linus, Samson, William, T.J. and Zane, Brother Lazarus who also vouches for a feral mouse by the name of Saga, Butch and Drake, Gauss and Curie, Jasmine, Lilian, Frits… Oh, and Frits vouched for Piper, Macajuel and Volant—“
“Volant will be in the club?!” Displaying a surprising amount of energy, the small dog jumped at the cat, grabbing her chest fur and almost throwing her down. He was almost delirious with joy. “Please, tell me you’re not joking!”
“*Erk!* No, I’m not joking. Although those three give me the shivers, if Frits vouches for them, I’ll trust him.”
“You seem to have a very good memory,” Joey said. “That’s good, it makes you an even better President.”
Tegan squirmed, blushing, “Aw, that’s nothing. I remember them because I met all of them personally at the New Year’s Eve party. Then there is a list of about 40 more pets who have signed, so the club is filled to capacity. Frits should have the cards printed within the end of the day. Chocolate promised to supply the medals of the LFLSC.” She didn’t like to pronounce the whole acronym, but LFL, as she had discovered after a quick browsing on Wikipedia, tended to generate…bad jokes. But she wouldn’t drop the name: Love For Life was not only dedicated to the joy of living one’s life at the fullest, free of prejudices, but also a promise for those members who would find their commitment beyond the species barrier. Like Peanut and Grape… God, how she missed being with them! She hoped Joey would marry soon, so she could have a chance to visit them, and especially their kittens!!!
Because, urban legend or not, Tegan wanted desperately to believe that the litter of five belonged to that cat/dog couple in every sense…
---
Barons House, Apt. 130, Lev. 13, the Fulcrum

“Aren’t you usually scared of the…applications of my knowledge?” the female brown rat asked. Chocolate was sitting on her blue satin pillow in the middle of her room.
The black rabbit standing near the door with his arms crossed to his chest shook his head. “Sister,” Shadow said, “why don’t you just call them ‘powers’ as any normal person would?”
Chocolate sighed, while examining once again the gold-and-copper medal with the pentacle hanging at her neck. “Because, brother, they are not ‘powers’: those qualities are part of the supernatural entities, such as the spirits and the divinities. I am a magician, I apply a form of knowledge, just like any artist would draw after learning how to.”
“An artist can’t summon a thing galled Death of Insanely Overpowered Fireball just to make a barbecue. The ins guy’s hair turned white and he had to retire after that.” He chuckled. “Though that was fun. So, what’s your idea for providing medals for about 100 members of this new club thing? Spirits can’t just forge things, right?”
“Watch and amaze,” Chocolate said, as her eyes turned into two green orbs.
“As if you never did…” the rabbit muttered.
The rat draw figures with her clawed paws, actually tracing bright green light lines, and chanting words in an Akkadian. Shadow had tried to learn it, but he had stopped after accidentally summoning a very angry spirit.
A minute of that arcane work brought to the desired result: an ethereal flame burned on the ceiling, and a moment later a series of object fell down, clinking on the pavement in front of Chocolate’s pillow.
The flame extinguished with a sucking sound, then the ethereal green lights disappeared as well.
Chocolate removed the medallion. “Well, my part is done here. You take them, wash them and bring them to the typography for the incision. And don’t forget to bring the list of the members’ names.”
Shadow made a face at the small pile of jewelry, covered with protoplasmic muck. But since he had promised to help with the Club, he’d do as he was told.
He already hated this club! The only reason he had accepted, for now, well the only two reasons, were that 1) he must make sure Chocolate wouldn’t scare off all the members, and 2) (most important!) he knew that Jasmine had signed up. And by jingle, he wouldn’t miss this chance to talk again to the prettiest of the rabbits in the whole world!
---
The Farm Greenhouse

‘Farm’ might have been a pretentious word for a small compound mainly used to turn a hobby into something useful. There weren’t many residents with a green thumb, and few of them, save the children and the pets, had the time to tend to their own vegetables garden. But still, it was a good and healthy experience, and it helped develop a greener conscience…
“My congratulations, child. Your corner is actually greener than your neighbors’.”
Kwesi Cira felt a pang of annoyance at being addressed to, but as usual he had to check himself. He ran a risk coming to tend to his garden, but he needed food, he couldn’t just live off scraps. It was unhealthy and below his dignity.
The Basenji dog turned…and whatever he wanted to say to make this guy go away melted in his mouth when he saw the black cat…robed like a priest?
The plump feline smiled at the canine. “I have this effect, the first time. Very pleased, child, my name is Lazarus. Would you care to take a walk with me?”
Kwesi’s brow knitted. “And why should I, ah, father?”
“’Brother’ will do. Oh, and this is my dearest sister, Saga.”
“Very pleased,” said the minuscule female mouse, emerging from the cat’s head fur. She had no collar, Kwesi noticed, although it was possible that it was because who could arrange a collar for such a tiny creature?
Kwesi grunted something that could be exchanged for a ‘Hi’, then repeated, “Why should I come with you two?”
Brother Lazarus shrugged. “Well, I like to have company when I walk in the park. Also, because I would like you to join a club.”
Of all the arguments he could have imagined, that took Kwesi by surprise. “I can’t understand, Brother, but—“
The cat lifted a paw. “Please. Before you answer, why won’t we just talk? It’s too good a day to stay hidden in a hole, don’t you think?”
Kwesi felt his heart stopping. Was this guy actually threatening to tell Security that he was a stray living illegally in the park?! The dog couldn’t stand the idea of moving yet again out of a place where he thought he could settle down for a while, it was so unfair!
Lazarus put a paw on the Basenji’s shoulder. “Relax, child, I am a priest and a son of God like you. I will not cause you undue trouble. Now, please, let us go.” And he walked toward the exit.

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Last edited by valerio on Thu Mar 22, 2012 11:18 am, edited 1 time in total.



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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
Kwesi encountering Lazarus...well that isn't really something I expected to see to be honest, but it's sure to make for interesting reading that it is.

And so many pets already signed up...the opening event is gonna be huge. It should be fun to watch the interactions that occur, especially given the number of possibilities that it's gonna open up.

As always, I'm looking forward to seeing what comes next.

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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
I also look forward to it as always. Great work as always.
and so much work getting put into the LFLSC.

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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
Great job as always.

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Sun Feb 05, 2012 6:12 pm
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
4.
The Hexagon Park, Terrace High

“How long did you know about my…ah, place?” the Basenji dog asked, his breath drawing small clouds in front of his face.
“Since you moved here,” answered the black-robed black cat walking at his side. “Did you honestly believe you could have so easy access to those leftovers?”
Kwesi had do give it to that feline: the security here was at levels worth of a totalitarian regime. Perhaps it was true what they said about the landlord, R.R. Gottschalk, that he had nazi blood like his grandfather…
The dog nodded. “I had hoped in a security breach. But thank you, father. It might have been trash, but it was good stuff.”
“You’re welcome,” the cat said, keeping looking in the distance. “My only regret was that you had to live off scraps like the basest stray.”
“Er, Brother Lazarus, I am a stray. I mean, I have no owner and my parents are somewhere in Africa—“
“Oh, so you come from such a far place?” Again Lazarus showed that heartwarming smile. “Then I am twice sorry for not getting in touch with you sooner. You see, I was afraid that you could refuse any offer to help.”
“I am still tempted to. What were you saying about that club thing?”
Lazarus produced from a pocket an e-mail with the invitation to pre-sign to join the Love For Life Social Club for pets. “I find it interesting that all of the current new resident pets decided to join, it means they must feel a bit unease at being the new guys here. If you too will join, I am pretty sure you will find a friendly atmosphere. It will help you, to have someone to interact with.
Kwesi scoffed. “Yeah, just the time of a handshake and then bam! Straight in the nearest pound. With all due respect, Father, pets are still wary of ferals.”
“Not if you’ll be adopted by the Church.”
Kwesi stopped in his track. “Excuse me..?”
“The Order of Saint Anthony Abbot, to which I belong, has the legal right to adopt any feral for an indefinite period of time. That’s because we work specifically for the Saint protector of all animals. Our chapels are, literally, homes for the most unfortunate children of God.”
“Unfortunate children like me?”
Lazarus nodded slowly. “Yes. I just took my first feral, Saga, here, under my wing.” His claw pointed at the tiny mouse hidden in his head fur. Saga waved at the dog. “I wouldn’t mind some help from a young, healthy boy such as you. I could help you find a proper owner for you without involving Animal Control. What do you say?”
They went back walking. Kwesi was seriously divided over this whole idea. He didn’t know what to say. Since he abandoned his motherland, he had met only troubles. His life had been a long list of studies interrupted, cold streets, brawls, hunger… The one time he had tried to trust the system and turning himself to a pound to be adopted had been a disaster…
But then, he had never tried the church option. Lazarus’ offer was intriguing. He could have a roof and real food, and be treated with a modicum of respect instead of living at the margins… “If I accept, will I still have to join that club?”
“Absolutely. You need to socialize, child. Life is not just about survival. But if it will help you feel better, you will be spending most of the time helping me with my chores. And I hope you know what we religious types say about idle hands.” He winked.
Kwesi couldn’t help smiling back. This guy wasn’t like the others, all enthusiast, all trying to win you over with some easy promises… No, this cat knew what to say and how to say it.
And it had been some time since this dog had needed some honesty in his life. “All right, I’ll try with the club and in return I’ll help you out with whatever you need.”
Lazarus nodded. “Good. Also, because I had already pre-signed you.”
“What?!”
---
The Love For Life clubhouse

“Funny,” Tegan said, examining her tablet. She scratched her head.
“What?” Alandra asked.
“This latest addition. Just came in.”
“And why is it funny?” Alandra leaned over to take a look. “Ohh, a Basenji. They are really cute. And tough.”
Tegan couldn’t say, since there wasn’t a picture attached -but that wasn’t a requirement. But she had seen enough documentaries to know that yes, Basenjis were just like her friend had said. “He’s been adopted by our Saint Anthony’s priest, Brother Lazarus. He was a feral.”
“Can a cat adopt a pet?” Alandra was truly puzzled now.
“No and yes. As a priest of that order, he’s entitled to adopt ferals to give them shelter. It’s a sort of loophole.”
Alandra hopped and clapped a couple of times. “Cool! It will be great to have this guy in our ranks! I’m sure he’ll have a lot of stories to tell!”
“Er, Ali, I don’t think a feral would be happy to share tales of his or her hard life…”
The other Maine Coon crossed her arms in mock indignation. “Hmph, so? Doesn’t her ladyship think that my life was pretty interesting?”
“You had your Dad!”
“But he was always away for something!”
“Now you’re pulling my leash.”
Alandra dropped the act. “Yes, I am. But come on, I dealt with ferals most of my life. Many of them never minded sharing their stories. My…my beloved Antonio was one of them, you know.”
Tegan put her arm around the other Coon’s shoulders. “Aw, of course. I didn’t mean to disrespect his memory. It’s just… You know what? Why don’t you take care of him? He’ll be more at ease.”
Alandra nodded. “I will, thank you.”
Tegan sighed. “Now, let’s just hope Joey and Blanche can take care of the Bigglesworth Clan without making a fuss.”
---
Detention Ward, Sublevel 1

“Look, Ms. Clementia, I’m sorry they insulted your position. I mean, they probably never meant it, since I never heard of a cat doing a dog’s—“
“Do you want me to forget you’re a guest here, mutt?” the Brazilian Shorthair interrupted him.
Joey closed his mouth with an audible snap. The cat, accompanied by Hannibal, stopped in front of the heavy door between the reception area and the cells. She inserted the password in the keyboard. Just before pressing ‘Enter’, she turned and eyed Joey and Blanche Bigglesworth with a wary expression. “And not one word from you, lady.”
In answer, the Siamese cat just started gesturing angrily at Clementia.
Joey stared at his fiancée. “I thought that only Butch knew the sign language!”
Blanche chuckled, as if her beloved dog had discovered she could talk. “There was this old friend of the clan, a southern Italian dog. Matteo, ah, what a botolo. It was then that I discovered Italians are great at gesturing. Also, because he couldn’t speak a word of English. The funny thing is, I am sure he was from Little Italy, actually--”
Clementia opened the door. “Please, just let be done with this,” she said with the expression of a martyr. “Before I decide to lock you up as well.”
The cell where the clan Bigglesworth was held was large enough to accommodate all with room to spare.
“Well,” Blanche said, “looks like it wouldn’t be such a bad idea after all.”
Berenice, Bradely and Buck were intent in playing a poker game. They had cards stuffed behind their ears and were chewing nervously on chocolate cigarettes.
Bob was digging a hole in the wall with a spoon. A roughly drawn map traced a line down to Sicily.
Butch was singing a heartbreaking cowboy song about cows and Montana, while Bill played the harmonica.
Bubba was reading intently The Count of Montecristo.
Baby and Barbie were studying the plans for a soccer game in which they’d challenge the security staff, win and then escape during the celebrations.
“I hate this job,” Clementia whispered.
Blanche cleared her throat. “Bigglesworth, assemble!”
A moment later, all of the 9 cats were out and lining up like good soldiers standing on attention. “Present and accounted for, SIR!”
Clementia and Hannibal took a moment to realize what had just happened. “Uh,” the black Alsatian said to his colleague, “hadn’t you locked the door?”
Baby just waved. “Oh, please! We learnt picking locks since Mom tried to impose us the curfew!” Then she thought again. “Or was that her second, or third wooer? *Tsk* they were always so edgy after coming to our place, who knows why?”
Clementia just aimed her finger at the main door. “Everybody. Just. Out. Now!”

Once the group was in the elevator cabin, Blanche said, “Guys? Where’s Benito by the way?”
Collective shaking of heads. “Dunno,” Baby said. “He said he wanted to organize the Club’s first main event and left without us.”
“Doing things alone,” Bubba scoffed. “Scandalous! And he also took my glasses!”
“Hey, those are mine too!” Butch said.
“And mine.”
“And mine.”
“And mine…”

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Mon Feb 06, 2012 2:42 am
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
communal glasses. eh? interesting.
Yay, I get it read within half an hour after it was posted. ^_^
great work as always.

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Mon Feb 06, 2012 3:19 am
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
*Face palms* Of course they trade out the glasses, all the better to confuse other pets with.

Still, gotta love the Bigglesworths, and the fact that most of them stayed put even though they could have left at any point.

As predicted, the interaction between Lazarus and Kwesi was most interesting, and seems to be making life at least a little better for our far traveled friend, can't wait to see how things go for him at the first club meeting, hopefully his temper doesn't end up getting the better of him.

As always, I'm looking forward to seeing what comes next, and am loving every minute of reading this.

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Mon Feb 06, 2012 3:40 am
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