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HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread 
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
And, just to make it clear... :mrgreen:

Rochelle O'Shea and KPETS (C) Thomas K. Dye

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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
A good start in the next season and after a long time of inactivity now i'm back :twisted:

But for now i need a headache pill i've the complett season 3 on the weekend read

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Mon Dec 03, 2012 10:24 am
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
Renkun wrote:
A good start in the next season and after a long time of inactivity now i'm back :twisted:

But for now i need a headache pill i've the complett season 3 on the weekend read

Sir, you're a true hero! *bows*

the funny thing is the coincidence thing: Honorable Intentions and I just decided to work on the 'animal rights' plot at the same time, it seems :lol:

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Mon Dec 03, 2012 10:33 am
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
Maybe but i think i'm only a little bit crazy that and my girlfriend had no time for me but you know i love your story and all of your character's :lol:

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Mon Dec 03, 2012 10:52 am
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
2.
Gottschalk House, Apt 500, Lev. 50, Terrace High

“Your faces tell me you never heard about me, isn’t that so?” So spoke Maud Gottschalk.
Both Keene Milton and Martin Foster nodded dumbly.
The young woman offered her hand to shake. “You know my name, and I don’t need you to tell yours.” She grabbed first Keene’s paw then Martin’s hand, shaking them briefly. “Don’t worry, father is a man of secrets. You better get used to that.”
“Are you English, ma’am?” Keene asked. “Your accent…”
“Yes, I am. But I was tutored mostly in American schools. I also went to France, Germany, Italy…”
Gottschalk patted her shoulder. “My poor girl had to follow her wanderer father wherever his business would lead him to. But she never stopped amazing me for her intelligence and flexibility. Really, I am unworthy.”
Maud had to raise herself on her tiptoes to peck his cheek. “You have a long way to go before I can forgive you. Especially for your latest gift."
“Dear, you know it’s such an improper word. Abner is a responsibility you were given to prove that you can eventually raise another family member.”
Maud sighed and walked to the living room. “I’m definitely less busy than you, and I can’t even have a cat!”
“You are not so busy now, young lady,” her father reminded her, sternly. “But soon you’ll be working here, and by then you’ll have much less time than now.”
“You *do* realize I am 30, you know?”
“That’s why you are going to work for this firm and with my colleagues, in order to learn the basics. But worry not, daughter: GMF Inc. offers a lot of opportunities to work with pets. I am sure my partner here will be happy to offer you a position when the time comes. Am I right?”
Martin was waken up as if from a snake trance. “Eh? Uh? Who? YES! Of course, sure!” He bowed, much like a cavalier. “Ma’am, it will be my duty and pleasure to have you in my staff.”
“See?” Maud said to her father. “You say that I am your princess, but I need a perfect stranger to be treated as such…what was that sound of breaking glass?”
“Someone’s male ego, daughter. Now, won’t you be nice and introduce your friend to our guests?”
Maud sighed. “’Friend’ is such a big word... Just make sure you don’t get him to prepare a cocktail, trust me.” She put her purse on the table and opened it. “Abner? You may come out, now.”
“I know, I know,” said a gruff, squeaky voice. “Geez, is that really necessary? It’s not that I’m going to be big pal or superfriend or—“ he came out. A rat, a white-furred rat with ruby eyes and an expression to match his voice. “Well, what are you giants looking at?! Never seen an albino before? Or would you rather see me in a laboratory for cancer research?!” His collar was red like his eyes, and sported an equally red ‘V’ tag.
Keene gulped down some saliva. “Howdy, Abner. Wanna be my guest for dinner?”
“Stupid food chain,” the rat lamented, before turning to Martin. “And what about you? Want to feed me to your cat, since we’re at it?”
“How do you know--?”
“Just guessing, genius: statistically, most of you slavers got a dog and a cat. Your perverted idea of political correctness.”
Maud shrugged. “Sorry, Sir. In his defense, he’s like that with people in general.”
A butler came and offered a coat for Martin to wear. “Thank you Jeeves. And don’t worry, ma’am, I’ve definitely dealt with worse. In fact, my shelter offers a great rehabilitation school. Just in case.”
The rat angrily pointed at his tag. “You know what this is for, mister?! It’s for ‘Vendetta’, not ‘France’! I know your kind, you just want tamer slaves, not free people!”
“Yeah, tell that to my Dad, ‘mister’,” Keene said, putting on his trusty sunglasses. “It’s thanks to people like him that now I can transform shiny paperweight into haven assets.” He then hopped onto Martin’s shoulder.
“Yeah,” the rat sneered. “And you still must wear a collar, big deal!”
The ferret answered with a grin. “Yup. And Carmen can take it off anytime, dear. Now let’s go. I want to test the new pneumatic shower tubes.”
“I don’t understand what you are wearing those things at night,” Martin said, walking towards the exit.
“Augmented Reality, man. Plus, they’re my trademark cool factor. Say, are you interested in a diamond jacket...” The door closed behind them.
Gottschalk walked toward his offices. “Tomorrow morning, William will show you and Abner around.”
“Can’t I go outside all alone at night, daddy-y?” Maud said with a girlish tone.
“Feel free to do so, but Gauss and Curie come with you.”
Her shoulders stooped. “Thirty, remember?! And I spent half of my life learning self-defense combat techniques.”
The tall man turned from his study’s threshold. Again, he showed that tender expression that would’ve sent gossip reporters into heaven. “You’ll always be my precious little child, Maud. Humor this old man, please.” He closed the door behind himself.
The woman sighed, then raised her hands. “Fine, I will wait tomorrow! Not that World War III or something is going to happen until then, but it’s a Monday after all…” and on those rants she walked upstairs, followed by the dogs.
“What about me?” Abner asked to the now empty living room. “Hey, ‘Masters’! Am I committed to your timetables or not?!”
Silence.
“Fine!” the rat hissed, tapping his foot. “If that’s the ‘consideration’ you have for your pets, I’ll just go my way!” he walked toward the door. It automatically hissed open. “Well, it’s a starter.”

Abner’s nose poked out, sniffed cautiously at the air. “Just hope I don’t meet some hungry cat…” he stepped into the corridor.
And realized one thing. He scratched his head. “Great, now where do I go?” His stomach grumbled. Abner turned his head toward the door. There, food and a cozy bed awaited him…
Then he gritted his teeth. “Slavers’ traps! You won’t get me that easily.”
His stomach grumbled again. “Food… Where do I get some decent food?”
At those words, a smooth feminine voice said, “Restaurant area: Level 10.” A moment later, arrows in the pavement flashed in the direction of the elevator.
“Nice service, Medusa. And where does a penniless beast go to grab some munchies? Or do you have a list of free-for-all leftovers?”
“All resident pet population is exempted from payments for food and beverages in the public restaurant area, within an amount of $30 each per day.”
Abner nodded, then walked following the arrows. “Well, at least this guy knows how to treat the inferiors…”
---
Level 10

At 10pm, the place was much alive. All tables were filled, and the benches almost had queues.
Maud had told Abner this was a pet-friendly place, but seeing so many of them, almost outnumbering the humans, was something new to the rat. It also appeared that most of the furred ones were unaccompanied. And surely there were no leashes in sight…
And the smell of delicious foods filling the air. Practically, all of the world was represented in this place! Abner looked around frantically. “Chinese! I need Chinese now!”
The same feminine voice said, this time from his collar, “Restaurant, The Gate of the Dragon, level 10-A.”
“Level what?”
“Upstairs, silly” said a voice behind him. A voice accompanied by the smell of a cat!
“ACK!” Abner tried to run away, but someone grabbed him by the tail and pulled him up.
“Don’t get worked up, mister,” said a Finnish Lapphund, pulling him up and then putting him down into his palm. “Liz is vegetarian, wouldn’t eat a living being not even under threat of starvation. Oh, and I am Maximillian Rozen, but you can call me Max. New resident or visitor?”
“Hi,” said the Maine Coon/Norwegian mix, waving a paw. “I’m Liz! What’s your name?”
The rat was trying to keep his heart inside his chest. “Do that again and you’ll have to ask my medium! Anyway, Abner. New slave…pardon, resident.”
Liz giggled. “You’re really funny. You’re like Volant, but cuter. Wanna be friends?”
“That’s my sis,” Max said. “We’re going to another restaurant, if you want some company. It’s on us.” He started walking.
Elizabeth put Abner on her shoulder and followed her housemate.
“Aren’t we supposed to get free treats?” the rat asked.
“Yes, but any extra is given to animal-related charity funds.”
Abner facepawlmed. “Great! Dinner dressed and flavored with guilt.”
Max laughed. “Hey, relax. It’s not that money doesn’t flow from here already. Doesn’t your Dad give you an allowance?”
The rat made a face. “’Owner’, please. I so hate those sweet hypocrisies! Humans own us, they are not ‘Moms’ and ‘Dads’!”

“And bon appetite to you, too!” he shouted from the orchids vase he had been stuck into. “Sheesh, they’re so brainwashed that they can’t even stand a hint of truth!” he started digging himself out.
“I’d rather say they didn’t like your tone, guv,” said a new voice. A squeaky voice from a shadow that eclipsed all of the lights in front of him.
Abner found himself looking at a monstrously-built St. Bernard. A BIG dog speaking with the voice of a tiny creature. “We had this guy, you see, his name was Volant, and he was a bit abrasive. We don’t want to repeat the experience. Pleased to meet ya, fellow rodent: I am Saga. Up here. Oh, and the big boy here is Samson. Samson be nice and don’t drool on him.”
Abner followed the voice, bending his neck to a painful angle. And saw the tiniest of mice peeking out from the dog’s head fur.
“Nice to meet you…fellow. Care to get me unstuck, please? *urk*” The dog’s immense paw grabbed the rat by the neck and out he came, with the sound of a popping cork.
Samson put him onto his shoulder. Abner tried to wipe some dirt from his body. “Look, I’ll be a good rat and won’t say a word, just give me a ride to the Chinese and we’re even. Oh, and a stop to the restroom won’t hurt. Resident or not, I imagine there is a cleanliness code for diners.
“Right on that, guv,” Saga said. “You new?”
Guess I’ll get that a lot… “Abner Gottschalk,” he said. “And no, I don’t belong to the big boss. I’m his daughter’s pet. Charmed.”
“Say that again?!” said a grey/brownish muzzle, almost pushing him down, and giving him the second big scare of his life. “R.R. has a daughter? Like, a human one?”
Abner was growing uncomfortable aware of the many heads turning toward them. Even Saga was speechless. Samson’s eyes had grown so big, they could easily swallow the rat.
“Oh, and by the way,” said the retriever/Shepherd mix climbing to Samson, “I am Frits, the local newshound. Charmed, too. What did you say about this creature?”
Abner blinked. “Err… She’s not a ‘creature’. She’s a girl. Like, human? Offspring?”
“Please tell me you’re going to let me have the first interview! This is, like, epic! A daughter! The Man barely would barely mention he had a life. What’s her name? Does she look like him?”
Abner was pushing hard against the inquiring, wet nose. He was beginning to understand why ‘Daddy’ didn’t want her to get out alone. “Yes! Yes! No, I mean her name’s Maud and she doesn’t look like him at all! I’ll let you meet her, but please! I. Need. To. Eat!”
Frits let go of Samson. “Wait until I tell Mom!” he yapped, running away at full speed.
“I think it’s better get you cleaned,” Samson said. All around them, the diners were engaged in a renewed flood of conversation centered on Maud’s name. Cell phones were springing up like mushrooms. Abner had the distinct impression he had spoken too much…

“There are sinks/showers your size, here,” Samson said, walking in. The restroom was a flurry of canine and feline activities, with some other species thrown in the mix. At the sight of the white rat, they all stopped to stare at him. Abner wasn’t sure if it wasn’t with awe or respect, or hunger… For sure, they started whispering between in a conspiratory tone them while he climbed down Samson’s arm and then hopped off his paw. “What? Never seen a domesticated rat, before?” He walked toward a sink that looked like a miniature bathtub.
While the rat was turning on the faucet, a female Brazilian Shorthair cat approached him. “No, I never saw a big stinkin’ liar such as you…though I should expect that from rats.”
Abner turned, all red in face. “Who you calling a liar, kitty? Or are you taking advantage for being tall?!”
The cat sneered. “I’m calling liar anyone claiming to be a Gottschalk without the family emblem. Where’s your dragon tag, rodent?”
The rat stood on his toe tips, pressing his finger against her nose. “Lady, if I have to wear the medal of slavery, I’ll get to choose mine! Why don’t you get a brand and leave me the geebezuz alone?!”
A black Alsatian stepped in, chuckling. “Olà, looks like someone got more guts than he was born with. Relax, retaco. You need no big names to leave a big impression.” That caused a general laugh.
Now Abner was literally trembling with rage. “Y-you… If I were taller than now, I’d suggest you as main course for that Chinese restaurant!”
At that point, the cat produced a badge with the security logo. “Let’s put it another way, shorty: I am Clementia, and the guy with me here is Hannibal. We both are security, and we both do not want to have another troublemaker in our midst. So, apart from your big mouth, can we please have your IDs or do we have to send for your real owner/s?”
Abner nodded. “Clementia and Hannibal, eh? So, you two work for the big boss, am I right?” he tapped a button on his collar. “Hey, Medusa, can you tell these bozos who I am?”
“Identity: confirmed,” said the smooth female voice. “Abner Gottschalk, Age 5. Owner: Maud Gottschalk. Current Residence: Apt. 500, Lev. 50, Terrace High.”
Hannibal almost lost his fur at that. After spending 5 seconds with his jaws agape, he clamped his muzzle between his paws and ran to the nearest stall. A moment later everyone heard his retching sounds.
Clementia’s ears refused to stand up. “Ah. Uh. Sir, I’m…” she gulped. “Please don’t fire me.”
Abner sighed. “Look, just forget it. Now let me get me clean before I start eating myself.” He turned on the hot water.
“Thank you sir,” Clementia said, before saluting smartly and leaving before he changed idea.
“Not your fault for being an arrogant bully, cat,” Abner said to himself, turning off the faucet. No one of the presents dared to interrupt him. “I know how it works with your kind…” he looked into the mirror.
Which gave him back a reflection only he could see.
The reflection of a human being.
A man named Carl Coppers.

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Tue Dec 04, 2012 8:57 am
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
3.
La Rosa del Salice, Italian Restaurant. Terrace High.

“Why didn’t we go to the Chinese?” Abner asked, by now resigned to be in the paws or greater forces than him.
He hated Italian, but by now he was also so hungry, he could eat a brick.
“Because there’s a reunion of the Club,” Samson said, wagging happily.
“The LFL Club,” Saga said from her position into the dog’s head fur. “One of our members is seeing his father after a long separation. Hope we’re not too late.”
“Nah, I’m sure this party’s going to last all night if necessary.”
“LFL?” Abner asked, his eyes suddenly gleaming. “Do you mean..?”
“Love For Life,” Saga said. “Cool name, eh?”
“Yeah, great,” said the suddenly disheartened rat, while Samson walked in.

The sight that welcomed them was, at least in the eyes of Abner, something unique. Yes, he had to admit he hadn’t expected that.
The large banquet room was entirely occupied by pets of many sizes and breeds. There were even Clementia, Hannibal, Maximillian, Liz, and that bean-spiller of Frits. Two bunnies, an otter, a stoat…
You could all be living free, why mimicking your captors instead?
Instead, their attention was all but for the trio sitting at the center of the tableau: three Basenji dogs, two of them wearing the closest thing to tribal clothes a body with light fur could allow. They were obviously the parents of the younger one between them.
As soon as Samson had come, a golden retriever waved at him then pointed at the empty seat. “Sam! You’re here at last, come! There’s still lots of pizzas to go!”
The Saint Bernard licked his chops. He went to his seat and made it creak as he sat down.
“Hi there, Lil Abner!” The blond dog offered his paw. “Elliot. And this pretty girl here is my girlfriend, Tegan.” He pointed at a female Maine Coon with a ‘7’ tag. “Welcome to TH.”
“Lil Abner. What a riot,” the rat shook paw. “Cute couple, by the way,” he added with a smile. And he meant it. He still couldn’t understand why interspecies pet couples were so frowned upon among pets themselves. They were supposed to be united as one, not divided into prejudices… Sigh, another trait they had gotten from the ‘masters of the world’.
“I like him already,” Tegan said. Then, to Clementia. “Let’s give him a chance, okay?”
Abner blushed. “Sorry for being a, well, whatever I was, okay? I am a bit stressed from the moving.”
Elliot shrugged. “No prob. And you can’t be worse than—“
“Than that Volant guy, I know.” Abner got down onto the table and run to a plate containing an assortment of deep-fried foods. He took a big bite of a fried mozzarella –if his nose was right. Hmm, it was. “Heaven.” He felt an immense paw petting him on the head.
“Don’t mind Samson,” said one of the two rabbits, a male black specimen. “He likes everything small and cute. In fact, you’re going to be his best friend like it or not.”
“I think I’ll like it.” Abner took another bite, then another. Before he knew it, he was done and ready for another delicacy. This time, a rice ball. “Guys, I hope the owners won’t mind having a rat at the their table. At least, I hope they’ll let me finish before throwing me out or what.”
“Oh, you can stop worrying then,” boomed a merry woman’s voice.
Abner turned, and saw a real-life matron, wearing a kitchen cap and a large white apron with the restaurant’s logo. She was holding a big, steaming ceramic bowl from which a ladle’s handle would lean out. “You must be Abner. Mr. Gottschalk told us you’d come living here. Benvenuto, I am Rosa Franca, owner of the place together with my husband Franco. And all our furry friends are welcome at our table as long as they’re clean and well-mannered.” She put down the bowl and lifted its cap, causing all canine tongues to unroll in hungry panting. “Your tortellini in brodo! Now be good boys while I serve you. Abner, feel free to eat everything you can.”
The rat surely did so. While munching, he walked toward the center of the table. “I guess I don’t need to introduce myself, my reputation precedes me. And you guys are..?”
“Kwesi Hassid,” said the younger dog. He then pointed at his parents. “And these are Zuri and Abebi Boustani, my parents and best spice traders. They just moved here from our homeland in Chad.”
The older male bowed his head slightly. “Honored to make your acquaintance,” he said in a good English, flavored with an Arabian/French accent. “Rats and mice have helped us many times to find the best spices during our trips.”
“Glad to hear that. You surely came a long way to see your son.” And in saying that, Abner did feel happy for them: it was so good when an animal family was reunited. And, even better, these two canines didn’t wear a collar. Hooray for real civilization! “Will you bring him back home with you?”
“Oh, no!” Zuri laughed. “We came to stay here!”
Memo: find a way to destroy human civilization! “Sorry for the misunderstanding, Sir. I just—“
“Don’t worry,” Zuri said. “I can understand why you asked. Everybeast here thinks that the life of a Spice Trader is the best in the world. And they are right, mind me.” He wiggled a finger at Abner. “But nothing in the world beats keeping family united. And since our only and dearest son wants to continue the family business in this country, the least we can do is support him. But on vacation, we go back to homeland.”
“Lucky you. Wish I could come.” Abner finished his mozzarella, then burped. He looked around the table, wanting to taste something else, wishing he could eat like in the old days. Knowing his body couldn’t: it was like being on a forced diet, and even worse, a diet that could last forever for all he knew…
<That depends on you, Mr. Coppers,> said a voice straight into his mind. A voice that was cold and amused at the same time.
A voice he knew all too well. He almost opened his mouth to answer, but managed to think his words out. <Could you please leave me free to socialize and eat, at least?>
<Oh. Sorry, I recalled you had an allergy to domesticated animals?>
<They just don’t know what they are missing! Give me time enough and many of them will stop believing they’re living their perfect life!>
<They don’t seem to miss trash and wild game.>
“Oh, just shut up!” Abner exclaimed. Realizing too late what he had done.
“What?” said the otter he had spotted earlier. “Don’t you like jokes about seashells?”
Abner sat down. “Can’t I just die and get this over with?”
<I remember you weren’t so eager to, last time we talked.>
<I hate you,> he thought, but the truth was, he hated himself much more…
***
Outskirts of Babylon Gardens.

Carl Coppers crawled toward the van. He was crying without shame. He was too scared to feel any pain from the bullet wounds that had disintegrated his shoulder, the adrenaline kept him awake despite the blood loss. “No. Please, no…” Why were they doing this to him? He was their friend. He respected they were strong and wild as all animals should be!
But the Milton wolves ignored his pleading gaze, and kept coming at him.
“You dared to threaten good people and their pets,” Miles said, with a voice much like Fenrir himself. In that moment, it was impossible to associate this predator to the kind and civilized animal that had chosen to join civilization together with his family. “And you made countless innocent suffer, without the least remorse.”
“You wanted to see what the behavior of a feral is?” Lucretia said, proceeding between her mate and Daryl.
Carl Copper’s last legacy to the world was the content of his intestines—
“Tsk. Quite inglorious, won’t you say?”
Despite his mind telling him that this new voice did not belong to the wolves, he still let a full minute pass before he’d find the courage to lower the arm he was using to pitifully shield his face.
Now he was sure he was dead and ready for the ultimate punishment.
He was standing on a…crystal platform, just big enough to accommodate him.
A platform floating in the middle of a starry night. A familiar jingle was echoing in the air. In fact, even the stylized moon and stars looked familiar in this context…
“I’m here, Carl,” said that voice. A voice like someone young’s, cheerful. Familiar…
…Like the character it belonged to: a funny black-and-white furred animal of sort, with unnaturally long ears, a red cap and pants. And a big golden ring in his hands.
Carl blinked his eyes. Surely the owners of the netherworld had a strange sense of humor. “Klonoa?”
“I assumed this form, since your mind finds it a most comforting one. And no, I don’t do autographs.”
Carl stood up…and discovered he wasn’t feeling pain at all. He checked his shoulder and found it intact –well, one punishment less, it seemed.
‘Klonoa’ smirked. “Well, at least you know what you deserve. I am pressing many buttons to have this chat, my dear: say thank you.”
“I do not deserve hell!” Carl growled. “What I do, I do it to help animals!”
The videogame character tapped his chin, feigning to think about that. “Hmm, funny. Because to me, they are not really appreciative of your ‘help’.”
“They just can’t understand! They are brainwashed into slavery!” The platform under his feet, just like in the game, started dissolving, but he didn’t care. “They think they can live only on canned food and the support of squeaky toys! Animals aren’t born for that life!”
The platform dissolved with a merry sound. Carl screamed as he fell into the night and then into a black void.
His scream stopped when he landed onto something hard. His breath went away in a painful huff. He lay there, tasting the rock with his hands and mouth, his nose perceiving the awful stench of brimstone. Somewhere near, a fire was burning…
“And so was Man, like every other beast,” said a new voice. One Carl recognized as well, having played that game countless nights believing himself the hero, not imagining that one day he’d have to fear the silver-armored knight that was now holding a flaming sword while standing on a knee in front of him.
Maximo. “But Man won the race, and created comfort. And the animals that once were only workforce became company, friends, family. Is it that wrong that they too benefit from the status of their masters?”
Carl stood up on his knees. His fear was being once again replaced by rage. “What ‘benefit’ is it, if it can be taken away at a mere whim? Their happiness is illusion, and when the illusion shatters they find themselves ferals! We just do what is right, give them the real life.”
All around them, the ground started to crack open. Carl groaned. “Couldn’t we avoid this, please?”
Maximo grinned, an unpleasant expression to see on that noble visage. “I could go on all eternity, you know…but your words told me another story.”
Carl raised an eyebrow. “Uh?”
“You said that those ‘benefits’ are illusory, a lie. I could also go as long and say that you are right. Would you work to make sure that the illusion is replaced with reality?”
Carl sneered. “I won’t help consolidating their slavery!”
“And what if, instead, I’d ask your help to raise their position in society, instead?”
“Impossible! My species won’t let go of its privileged position.”
“In this case…” the VG character said, with a voice suddenly different, filled with a happy malignancy.
The voice of Death, Maximo’s weird buddy in the game. Death, dressing a ragged brown robe and a holding a scythe in her skeletal hand. “In this case, our conversation is over.” Death raised high the scythe. “Oh, and by the way: you’re going back to where you were before I contacted you. Dem wolves looked very hungry…”
Carl almost emptied his colon again. He raised his hand. “No, please, wait!”
“Too late for the last wish.”
Carl’s voice became a childish, hysterical shrill. “Okay! You win! I’ll work for you. Just spare my life, please!”
The scythe stood high over Death’s head. “Would you sign that?” with a *poof* of smoke, a contract and a pen appeared, floating in front of the human’s face. “Read it carefully. And remember: A signature is for life.”
Carl didn’t care to read. He just grabbed the pen and scribbled his name at the bottom of the page. “Why care? I’m sure you can circumvent what’s written anyway, right?”
*Poof* the contract was gone. At its place, appeared a collar around Carl’s neck. The collar sported a red ‘V’ shaped tag. “You liked that movie, right?”
The human sighed, while his fingers brushed the tag. “What now? I will be reincarnated in a dog? Playing karma and the such?”
Death shrugged. Her empty sockets shone. “Allow me some creativity, boy. You’ll know when you WAKE UP!
Down went the scythe!
Carl screamed. He thought his throat was going to explode…
***
Instead, he had woken up in a pet shop, in the shape of a rat, and some guy had ‘bought’ him like an object for the daughter of none else than R.R. Gottschalk.
Abner still wondered how could he be of help to a family that had literally enough money to invade a country. Just to be on the safe side, knowing this new condition was no dream, he had tried to escape. That first attempt had ended up in a slow chocking from the collar. Trying to remove the collar had given him quite a jolt! Cursing had served no purpose. Crying had drawn the attention and the ridiculous cooing of that spoiled brat.
The worst part was the touching. He was naked and a girl would touch him whenever she had the chance. Better that the contract with Death came with an Good Health clause or he’d try and kill someone before going to the vet!
The only good upside, so far, was the he was no longer glandularly challenged. He would burn calories like a miniature stove.
<So, what’s the plan? Why didn’t the collar work this time?>
<Because the whole premises are your home now. You are free to move at will within Terrace high, Babylon Gardens and the city. Anywhere else, you must stay with Maud as per contract.>
<In this case, I think the world is big enough. I’m a rat, this tower is like a whole city in itself. By the way, is there any chance I can go back to be-->
<No. you can only choose between making the best of this second chance or die and extinguish your debt in Hell.>
<Had to try.> Abner yawned. “Sorry, guys, anyone for a ride home? You should know where I live.”
While Samson picked him up, the last conscious thought of the rat was, Don’t care of no stupid contract. You’ll be free…one day…

HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES
SEASON IV
Episode 1
FIN

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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
*Walks in to leave a comment on the update that he read an hour ago but didn't comment on due to lack of time*

*Sees the new update*

*Remembers he has to do a business English writing assignment that is due tomorrow because he's going to a play later with a friend, and doesn't have time to read*

*Cries*

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Tue Dec 04, 2012 4:19 pm
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*pats* Now, now. All the best for when you got some time to kill, then...No, the time! Not ME! Jeff, stop growling, Jeeffyyy...

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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
Reminded me of a certain fic where Kevin didn't know what a taser was. Now if it is a baton or mace...

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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
just finished the crossover. now I have one episode to read.
you're updating too fast for the end of a semester :/

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Wed Dec 05, 2012 1:45 am
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
don't worry: soon I'll catch up with myself and then I'll be posting real time.

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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES
Season IV
Episode 2 – Rewind and Re-Play
By VALERIO


1.
Karahalios House, Apt. 494, Lev. 49, Terrace High

The door hissed open and Elpis entered his room.
It had been a great party. The Australian Terrier had enjoyed the sounds and smells that had surrounded him and filled the air. He had heard many comments about the looks and the colors of the other pets and the food.
He almost pitied them. They couldn’t enjoy the rich nuances he could perceive. Sometimes he loved to play ‘Daredevil’ with his friends and make them think he had a built-in lie detector. He had listened to the adapted broadcast of Lie to me, and thought several times to send a script based on voice perception instead than only visual clues.
Okay, so I still hope to get an eye transplant, one day. He couldn’t be tired of living in a world of darkness, after all he was born with anophthalmia. He didn’t know anything else.
But sometimes, it was upsetting. Yes, the electronic collar could guide him through a mine field, as long as he was inside the premises, but he was really curious to try out this ‘sight’ thing. It sounded really awesome.
Elpis went to his bed, proceeding along the room he had learnt by heart. No one would’ve suspected that those green eyes of his were artificial.
He laid himself down.
Most of all, he missed Volant. No one else missed him, and they used his memory to do bad jokes. One of them, Sigmund, had taunted him about Volant not sending him even a simple e-mail. Samson had wrought his neck, but still the truth of that remark burned.
Volant had cut any contact since ending up at the Lucky Charm Grove.
Every time somepet asked him why he was still loyal to that hysterical dog, Elpis would give them the same answer: “Because he’s a good dog.” No hesitation, no passion, just a honest answer. He didn’t care if someone would go ‘dawww’ or ‘you’re an idiot’ on him. Elpis knew Volant was someone worth to fight for.
His fake eyes closed, his body obeying to law older than his condition. The small dog soon felt into a comfortable drowsi—
His ears perked up at the sound of the computer turning on. To Elpis, it was like the turning on of a light. He immediately sat up. “Who’s here?” he asked, sniffing at the air, not finding any other scent but his and his Mom. She always made sure to check his room for any object in the way.
Perhaps she had turned on the computer and left it in standby? No, she would never break his privacy. And anyway, computers didn’t went into active mode by themselves. “Barrymore, who’s here?”
The Domotic AI answered with the voice from the namesake butler character from Hound of the Baskervilles. “Confirmed presences: Elpis Karahalios.”
Elpis shook his head. Okay, so his PC had decided to get a bug, big deal! “Computer, turn off.”
The soft whirr from the machine didn’t stop.
Elpis stood up and walked to his desk. By now, he had half an idea of calling tech maintenance and telling them something ill-mannered –actually, that made him chuckle. He needed to vent his stress from time to time, like when he had had a conversation dressed with the foulest words he had heard from Hannibal. It was really incredible what one could do with an educated tone and the speech of a sailor!
Elpis pushed the ‘off’ button.
Nothing.
Elpis sighed and turned. “Barrymore, call—“
“Dear Volant,” the computer said. Two words that stuck all words between the lungs and the mouth of the small dog.
Elpis turned, as if he was expecting to see a screen that wasn’t there. His computer had a vocal interface, a Hi-Fi output and one of those ‘scents transmitters’. He didn’t need anything else.
Elpis had composed vocally his latest mail to Volant. The only mail, swearing to himself he’d write one only if Volant answered.
“Dear Volant,” the computer repeated. In the same tone Elpis had used back then. “I hope you are doing fine at the shelter. I am writing this to you to let you know that you can count on me. I was, am and will be your friend.
“I am listening to Mozart right now. You told me that you liked Wagner, back when we had that ‘date’, remember? I wish I could’ve seen your face when you realized the date was with me and not Tegan. And I still remember that we had fun, together.
“It was then that I learnt something about your true self. I saw (personal pun) what you might be if you had a chance to let go of your fears. *sigh* I don’t know what else to tell to you. If you answered, we could start a conversation of sort. I have heard about the Grove, it’s a nice place. You shouldn’t get bored there, so…please write back soon. Elpis.” After a short pause, the computer said, “PS! I know for certain they have a great video library! Don’t forget to check their first movie of the series ‘Huskies’n’Hoodies’. See ya around (ha ha).”
There was one aspect of his condition Elpis couldn’t stand.
He couldn’t cry, couldn’t shed a tear. He could only sit there at his desk, his fist on the desk top, sobbing dry tears.
“This is not funny…” He said to the unknown author of that prank. “It’s not funny, do you hear me? It’s—“
Something touched his shoulder! Smelt and felt like paw!
Elpis didn’t turn. He didn’t need to, after all. “Volant..?”
“It was a wonderful email, Elpis. Thank you.” His voice spoke of sincerity, there wasn’t the all too familiar angst. A voice that came at the same time from behind him and from the computer, creating an eerie echo. “My fault for not giving you much to write about. And for being late in answering. Sorry for both accounts.”
Elpis smiled. His own paw touched the bigger dog’s. “Don’t be. You’re answering, that’s what matters.”
“Elpis, I don’t have much to write, myself, except that they are treating me well after all. I…I am not really socializing, but I guess you could imagine that already. I wish you could come and visit me.”
The terrier felt all of his breed’s energies coming back to him with a vengeance! Suddenly, sleep, worries, anxiety, were a thing of the past! “I’ll do it! I’ll come, Volant, I promise! I—“
“I am listening to Verdi. Not bad for a human, lots of tragedy and death but with style. And yes, I watched that movie…and I guess I like that aspect of yours: you act such like cute and well-mannered pup, but you got a streak if you like action movies.
“I don’t know if my human already replaced me like with a defective product…but heck, it’s not that he’d be wrong. Say ‘hi’ to him for me, will you?” A chuckle. “Well, I guess it’s time to go brood some more. And please, don’t ruin everything by telling me the other furs miss me. I just hope they are not giving you any troubles. In case, let me know. See you around (ha ha!)” *click**whirr*
Elpis touched his shoulder, but Volant wasn’t there anymore of course.
Was this a dream? Would he just wake up and discover himself laying on his bed?
Those question lasted but a fleeting moment. Living in darkness had taught him very well to trust his waking moments.
And he was awake, quite so. Elpis wanted so much to turn on again his PC, but he decided to wait and write an answer on a cooler mind. He wanted to give Volant the impression of being happy, of course, but rational, not sound like an overexcited, attention-seeker puppy!
Elpis got off his seat and trotted toward the door. “Barrymore, please arrange a covered route from here to the Colyseum Sports Center.” ‘Covered route’, meaning a path that didn’t cross open areas. Another one of the many rules his Mom had set up for her beloved son’s safety. Elpis had permission to leave his apartment unattended only if the building could follow his step. And yes, it was weird to think of the building as a living thing, but Elpis had listened to the many articles explaining how its AI system was state-of-the-art, constantly updated. Of course, someone less informed had redubbed the AI ‘Skynet’, but that hadn’t stopped Gottschalk Technologies from installing it in the LCG. There were proposals to do the same to run the essential services and security of Babylon Gardens and the city. If it worked, the first macro-neural net ever would be born.
And the end of the world cultists would become rich as well. Everyone hap—
“Route effective, Sir,” said the fictional butler’s voice. “Please follow the indications. Have fun, Sir.”
“Thank you, I will!” And he ran out.

When the elevator’s door opened, at the same time Elpis smelled a presence and heard feet shuffling back to allow him to enter. “Good evening, Liz. Going to the gym for a run. You with me?”
The cat nodded. “Sure! Some good company never hurts!”
Elpis chuckled. “Heh, not even the company of the weird little doggie?” A moment after speaking those words, he felt a finger pressing his nose.
“Beep for being silly! I am the weird one, not you.”
“I am the green-furred pup whose best friend is locked in a shelter. You can’t be weirder than me.”
The sound she made suggested she was sticking out her tongue. “I am the kitty with an imaginary friend, so there: Well, of course Morrigan is not imaginary, but everyone thinks so and I let them think I am weird, but they are the weird ones, get it?”
“…You just said that you are the weird one but that the others are weird?” note to self: get eye transplant to make epic stupefied expression!
“Noo, I never said that I am weird. I’m just the weird cat.”
Elpis was beginning to feel the throb of a headache. “Whatever. I like your company, after all, so no harm done, right…” then it dawned on him. “Say, what were you doing in the elevator?”
“Oh, it’s my secret place for when I want to talk with Morrigan without the others thinking I’m weird. Then she told me that you needed company and so here I am!”
“Well, it’s very nice of her. Say thanks to her for me.” Why not just humor her? Elizabeth wasn’t surely crazy, she was just like any other enthusiast young feline with her quirks—
“You’re welcome,” said a voice, female, barely a whisper in his ear.
A voice he didn’t know!
Elpis shivered, but that was because the air had suddenly chilled. “Did someone turned the conditioning on Arctic Mode?”
“Morrigan! Bad kitty!” Liz whispered. But to who? Elpis used his sharp ears and nose just like anyone else would use their eyes, and according to his senses there was no one but them two in the cabin... Okay, my boy, considering what just happened in my room, better not to ask!
The doors opened on the underground corridor. A treadmill was humming in front of them. “Ohh, pretty!” Liz started running and hopping in the middle of what was basically a springtime landscape –if the sounds, smells and temperatures were right. Elpis was surprised, though, to perceive the softness of grass under his feet. “Nifty.” He actually jumped when he heard a virtual bee passing near his snout! “Wonder how much did they spend on this stuff.” Was this part of the future of the cities, too? How much energy was required?!
Having grown in a quite money-smart family, Elpis had learnt since his puppyhood to think about money. He couldn’t help thinking that that Mrs. Lundberg, perhaps, was promising something that would eventually drain the wallets of the taxpayers. Hi-tech was indispensable and cool, but such a capillary use couldn’t be sustained… Unless she had omitted that only a restrict class would benefit of the top treatment.
Not good, when you introduced GMF as a society working to everyone’s benefit.
Elpis felt a sudden urge to talk with that rat, what was his name? Abner. Gauss and Curie acted like their Dad’s shadows, it was difficult that they’d divulge any secret unless given a written permission in triplicate. That Abner, instead, sounded like a chatterbox… Of course, provided that this Maud gal had confided him something.
Nah! Maud had been officially non-existent until tonight. If she knew something, she was too deep into family secrets to slip, perhaps, the biggest scam of them all!
“Hey, Elpis!” the sound of Liz’s worried voice almost didn’t register to his ears. Elpis wasn’t even realizing his breath had become ragged. He jumped when he felt her paws on his shoulders! “Elpis, you look so scared, what’s wrong?”
Elpis turned back and walked toward the elevator. “Must talk to Frits!”
“But he’ll be sleeping, it’s late.”
“Doesn’t matter. This may be bigger than any nocturnal nap.”
“But you can’t go there!”
“Yes I can!”
“No you can’t!”
Elpis sighed, throwing up his arms. “Fine! Why not?!”
“Because you’re walking the wrong mill, silly.” She giggled.
The dog facepawlmed. “Not. A. Word.”
Liz didn’t say anything. Instead she took him under the arms and put him onto the right track. Elpis waved to her. “Thank you.”
---
The Milton Temple (because Zachary didn’t want it called ‘Temple of the Opener of Ways’), Babylon Gardens.

“This is unfortunate,” said the Gryphon, holding in his eagle paw an orb showing Elpis going to the elevator. “Very unfortunate.”
“Not that you can do much about it, boss,” said the ferret as he examined a diamond. “You left your best agent at the shelter, after all. Hmm, this will do a nice necklace for Dolores, once properly cut—Hey!” he protested when the diamond *poof*ed away from existence.
“Every single piece of value here is to be used for the purposes of your partnership with Gottschalk and Foster only,” Pete said from his throne. “Just don’t forget it.”
Keene Milton rolled his eyes. “Difficult to, since you keep reminding me.”
Pete leaned forward, the sound of his ruffling blue feathers filling the air. “And you seem to keep forgetting, but don’t worry: my long exile taught me the value of patience.”
“So Volant is going to stay where he is? Who will take care of this matter? We all are very near to the end of this Game of yours, and if the little guy says something to the wrong persons—“
Pete leaned back against his throne. “I can’t influence his mind or free will. And the Heavens wouldn’t be lenient on me if I caused him harm. So, for now, Dragon has an advantage for how much unrequested.”
Keene started tossing a doubloon with his thumb. “Sooo, what will fate decide?” he asked in a squeaky imitation of two-Face, half his snout furrowed in an impish grin… “Ouch, that hurt my tongue too.”
“I believe someone already has, for how much temporarily,” Pete answered enigmatically. “But what really matters is, from now on you and your associates must be very careful with the media. Your voting ritual is near, humans can’t doubt now of all times.”
Keene nodded. “leave that to us, boss. We are far more interested in winning than you can imagine. Even if it means helping you.”

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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
Ok then is my question redundant i want to ask you: "how can you write so fast?" but better so as 3 weeks waiting for a new update :lol:

by the way good update ;)

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Wed Dec 05, 2012 10:37 am
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
heh, my updates are short after all. I'd be really fast if i could update awesome walls of text like Honorable intentions. :lol:

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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
2.
Arbelt House, Babylon Gardens. Does it matter how long ago?

They knocked at the door.
Zachary the rabbit, who had just come in, turned to open—
“I’LL GET IT!” said someone with a hysterical tone, just a second before an orange missile trampled the poor rabbit!
Then Tiger almost ripped off the handle. “Ha! 1.6 seconds… Oh, good morning Un—Mr. Foster.”
The man looked at the orange-furred pitbull with some perplexity. “Uh, hello Tiger. Why the rush? You’re all panting like a steam engine.”
“Don’t mind him, Sir,” Marvin the cat said. “He’s become a bit obsessed with his health, since looking at pictures of dogs fattened up by poor exercise. So now he gets to do every chore in the house, including opening the door.”
“That would explain the constant odor of cleaning products coming from your place, and the impeccable lawn. And why do you look beaten, if I may ask?”
Marvin sighed. “His calories consumption has reached an unheard of peak. Dad is considering feeding him with rocket propellant, it would save buckets of money.”
“You’re all just jealous of my perfection!” Tiger exclaimed, puffing out his chest. “And now sorry, I must fix the roof.” He left in a hurry
“It’s not broken,” Martin said.
Another sigh from the cat. “He’ll break it and repair it. At least he’s good at that.”
The human decided not to inquire further. “Listen, I have come to see Zach, is he…Oh.” What he had mistaken for a rug started getting up.
“Don’t worry, Sir…” the rabbit said, massaging his back. “I’m starting to get used to that. What can I do for you?”
“It’s rather private, can we discuss that outside?”
Zachary didn’t need to be told twice. Living under the same roof with Tiger had become synonymous of ‘collateral danger’. He followed the man outside.

“I’m here on account of Keene Milton,” Martin explained. “Do you remember the temple?”
“Frankly, I hope I could forget about it. I’m still afraid those weird forest critters will kidnap me again and lock me in to summon some other mythological beast…” He gulped, looked at Martin with anguish in his eyes. “Please don’t tell me you believe that Opener of Ways nonsense, Uncle Martin. I mean, last time you used it for some awesome PR, but that was play pretend. Was it?”
Martin scratched his neck. “Well, at first I believed so. Then I read certain papers Keene gave me. Papers handwritten by Henry Milton.”
Zach was somehow between being officially worried and intrigued, now.
“Milton found the temple in the Middle-East, where the old Babylon would lay, decades ago, before Babylon Gardens was born. The man had heard about an ancient cult centered on the equality between humans and animals. Equality which was lost thousands of years ago.
“In the temple, Milton met…well, Pete. That’s the name of the Gryphon you saw the night you set him free. Pete offered him to restore that equality if the man brought the temple to somewhere where a new cult could be reinstated.
“Milton did so, and the animals of the forest gave Pete strength with their adoration, but Milton didn’t want to wait for the Gryphon to recover enough strength to do his part of the pact: he also built Babylon Gardens, both to make sure to work toward equality with his own means and as amend for what his ‘friends’, the Whitemans, had done.”
Zach shivered at the mention of the name of the infamous family that had hosted a pet fight circuitry right under Henry Milton’s nose, abusing his trust and friendship… “So, how do I fit in this history lesson?”
Martin drew a breath. “I don’t know what kind of bond has been forged between Pete and the forest creatures, I am no expert in metaphysics, but I was told that in the moment Pete was liberated, part of the energies from that bond went to you. Like it or not, Zach, now you are a real prophet, a living link between the faithful ones and their demigod. Sorry.”
The rabbit’s snout twitched. “And…who is this reliable source?”
“I’ll tell you later. Right now, I must ask you to embark with us in a quest. I think I have deciphered enough of those paper to make sure that…well, the dream of animalkind can come to fruition.”
This time, Zachary stared at the human as if he was seeing a crazy doppelganger! “Do you believe it’s all true?! To the letter?”
“I met Pete in a couple of occasions. And one thing I know for experience: when it comes to magic, he can master some. To what level? I don’t know, but the only fact that magic exists has ignited my hopes. And now, I am doing something I have never done before as an agnostic: a leap of faith.”
“B-But—“ He was interrupted by a finger on his nose bridge.
Martin was shaking his head. “I must give it a try, Zach. Call it a quirk of a spoiled rich man, but Henry Milton believed it, believed it so much that he built this community.” His arm encompassed the neighborhood as far as they could see. “He believed, and something good came out of that. Perhaps, well, almost surely we won’t find anything useful, or perhaps we’ll find a treasure chamber… But right now I want to pursue a dream, honor the efforts of the father of all Babylon Gardens. We all owe him that much. Including you.”
Zach hung down his head. “You should found a party, you know?”
The man tut-tutted. “Please, I am better than that. Anyway, can we count on you?”
The rabbit sighted. “Do I really have a choice?”
“Do you want me to answer?”
“Guessed so. And…can I know, now, who are the other members of this expedition?”
---
Sandwich House

“Peanut! I need you to help me save the world…from itself!” So spoke, with a booming, solemn and, well, really heroic voice, the titanic white-furred hound at the threshold.
And heroic he was, built like a tower of might with his billowing red cape and his eyes glowing with a golden light.
“Awesome!” Peanut Butter Sandwich said, still staring with fanboy eyes at that dream come true: The creator meets creation!
Peanut then turned his head “GRAAAAPE! Spot (Superdog) wants me to save the world! Can I go?!”
“Long as you’re back for dinner, pooch!” came the answer from upstairs. “Tonight is your turn to play hide and seek with the kittens!”
Wagging, Peanut turned his attention back to his creation. “Let’s go th—“ but Spot wasn’t there anymore. Peanut pouted. “Aw, must have been in a hurry.”
“Not really, Peanut dear,” said a squeaky female voice.
The Canadian Pointer mix turned his head left and right. “Who spoke? Is it you, Camoufeline?”
“Down here.”
Peanut lowered his head. Back was the smile as he saw the collared black rat. “Oh, hello! Have you seem Spot?”
The rat nodded. “That was me, or rather a projection of what you once became and may become again. Can I speak to you, in private? Oh, and please take me on your shoulder.”
Peanut bent down and picked up the female. “Sure. So… Do I still get to save the world from itself?” He closed the door behind him and started walking down the road.
“Proceed to the Milton Ferrets residence, please. And yes, you do, but only if you want to.”
“Of course I want to! Now that I am a father, I must make sure the kittens grow up in a better world, right?”
The rat nodded. She extended her paw. “Wise consideration, Peanut. I am Chocolate by the way, honored to meet you.”
He shook. “The honor is mine, ma’am. So, what do we do?”
“Do you remember the Akkadian temple in the forest?”
Peanut nodded. “Of course! It was awesome, I discovered that Tarot could speak into my mind, and then Zach set Pete free…”
“We have to go back there. An expedition is being arranged to decipher its most important secrets. This could go as far as granting the return of the equality between humans and animals.”
“As long as I can be back for dinner, it’s okay with me.”
***
Terrace High. Now

Never had the elevator seemed so slow to reach its destination.
Elpis was thinking really hard but he couldn’t come with any safe explanation that could dissolve his doubts, his fears.
It didn’t even matter that what he knew came from listening to conversations and Wikipedia: he had to know if Gottschalk was scamming everyone, including his partners at GMF Inc., into believing that he was working for animal welfare while preparing to take over the city as his personal feud.
But would that human do with the city? He could buy one, all customized. He could work anywhere else outside of the States and find governments ready to hand him the scepter in exchange of money. Heck, Italy was practically begging for foreign investors!
“No sense, no sense, no sense…” He couldn’t involve his parents, they wouldn’t understand. Even if he was wrong, they wouldn’t take him seriously, the downside of being considered an eternal puppy!
He needed a reporter, someone with the skills and the will to go to the bottom and open the can of wurms! Better a devastating choc now than when it was too late— *YAAAAAWNNN*
Mom would find it extremely rude to yawn like a wolf in a public place, but it looked like all the tension and the lack of sleep had caught to him…
Elpis yawned again, then smacked his lips. Hm, perhaps he should ask Frits if he could crash by and discuss this thing, tomorrow…morning…first thing…

At level 13 with a merry chime, the doors slid open.
Revealing the sleeping doggie shape laying on his back onto the floor, his tongue sticking out and dripping.
“You can take him, now,” Chocolate said to her black rabbit housemate.
Shadow obeyed, grunted when he lifted up the terrier. “Well, he’s surely heavy for one so small. How long till he wakes up?”
The rat followed her friend home. “Long enough to organize a plan and keep his doubts from spreading. For now. Without violating his free will.”
<It is wrong all the same, Chocolate,> said a voice inside her head.
<It is not, Master. I am sorry, but I have made my choice. Our goal is near complexion, Spirit Dragon is too hesitant.>
<With good reasons, I told you.>
<And would those be, Master..?>
A mental sigh. <I cannot tell. You know how it works with spoilers.>
<That they will influence free will, and that is forbidden. Then I am sorry. I am not ungrateful to you and to master Tarot, but I will not let this opportunity slip away. I remember we’ve dealt with this, before…>
***
“…And how did you get to know Sabrina, if you lived in the city?”
“She and Tarot passed by my Dad’s shop to buy item,” the rat answered, looking up at Peanut. “And they took notice of me. Sabrina offered to teach me via psychic link.”
“Wow! It’s like when Tarot showed me the pathway to avoid Bino one day he was particularly upset. Well, he’s always upset but it was after the first party thrown by Joey. Bino thought it was all my fault if there were so many cat lovers and dog lovers and wanted to hurt me bad, so Tarot showed me all the routes to avoid him and his bodyguards. In the end – at the end of the day, I mean – he was tired and hungry and stopped searching for me.”
Chocolate nodded. “More or less. Only that in my case I got help into looking for the best books of magic and stuff.”
“Cool! So, what we’re supposed to do in this temple?”
“I’ll explain you once we’re inside,” the rat repeated. She had been warned that the dog was one to ask the same question tirelessly until his curiosity was satisfied.
“Peanut!” a new, feminine voice called behind them.
Peanut turned, wagging. “Oh, hey Tarot. I was just talking about you! We’re on a quest to save the world, are you joining us?”
“Please do not get inside that house. You should not be involved,” Tarot said…and only then did the dog notice her deep green in eyes in place of her golden ones.
“Dragon..?”
Spirit Dragon turned to the rat, while the world around them fragmented into the astral plane. “You are abusing your position, Chocolate. You weren’t taught the arcane arts for this: Peanut’s fantasy is not supposed to be used for tableaus like this.”
Chocolate’s eyes shone with an eerie blue hue. “Peanut is the ideal candidate. Trust my judgment. His life won’t be endangered.”
“I know he is. But there will be consequences.”
“Is it my impression, or will even your plans carry consequences?”
“I can manage them. Tarot and Sabrina know what I am doing. You don’t.”
“Your mistake, then,” Chocolate had not lost her composure, and yet it had the effect of a slap on the immense serpentine dragon.
“Impossible! The dragon roared. “What you know must be the fruit of false or partial information!”
“Your choice to think so.”
One could almost see the gears in the emerald beast whirring madly, in search of an answer, for how much improbable…
Apprentices must be declared, that was the rule. A player could keep his or her Apprentice’s identity hidden from the other player, but the GM had to know. Which meant, being Kitsune the GM, that identity was not a problem of secrecy.
Kitsune had to be super partes…but it was also true that he’d enjoy a twist of rules now and then, if it served to amuse him. Ye gods…
But Chocolate could not be a minion of Pete! It would breach the rules, she was still Sabrina’s apprentice! Minions and followers, and whoever worked with them could not walk two paths at the same time… “…Unless you are working for someone who is not playing the Game!”
Chocolate frowned… Or, rather, her whole expression stirred into a dreadful sneer. Her eyes shone with a sapphire blue light. And this time, when she opened her mouth, came a booming voice, filled with un unpleasant mirth. “Took you long enough, dear. Bra-vissima!” The rat clapped slowly.
A voice that the Spirit Dragon recognized! You! What’s the meaning of this—“ A muzzle *poofed* up around her snout, clamping it shut.
Chocolate lowered her paw. The creature possessing her said, “Manners, please. Now, I am not interested into playing one of those Q&A games mortals love so much: my minion has an appointment to attend. Just be a good draggie and stay out of my businesses. After all, as you said, I am not playing the game. We’ll talk later, ciao!
Chocolate closed her eyes, her expression relaxed. And when she reopened her eyes, reality was back as she had left it.
“You okay?” Peanut asked her. “For a second there, you…sort of dozed off.”
The rat nodded. “I’m fine, except for a little headache. But let’s go inside, I would not like to waste more time. Tarot is not joining us.”
Peanut nodded. “Sure. See you, Tarot! I’ll tell you everything when I’m back!”
Tarot looked as if she wanted to say something, but all she did was lift her arm and wave back at the dog.
Eventually, one of her green eyes turned back to gold. “Is there anything we can do?” Tarot asked.
“At first, I was tempted to isolate the whole premises,” Dragon answered. “But I know who our new adversary is. A battle of powers would gain us nothing and sic on us the harshest of sentences in non-subjective time Bahamut could inflict. I am sorry, Tarot, but unless I find a shadow player myself, the scale has just been tipped in favor of Pete.”
It was weird to see how half of Tarot’s muzzle was shown a genuine disappointment, while the other, with the golden eye frowned in a mask of determination.
“But why would someone decide to help him? A friend?”
“No. Just like me, he always held a fascination for mortals. In more than one occasion he tried to join their ranks, but failing due to his impatience. I wonder what his plans could be, considering that Pete is not exactly fond of them.
“Tarot, I’m sorry but I must ask you not to interfere, for now. I can and I do promise, though, that I’ll see Peanut is safe.”

The green eyes left the place to the golden one.
Tarot was satisfied, for now, to know that her master would keep an eye on Peanut.
She sighed. It was in moments like this that she really wished she was still his girlfriend.

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Last edited by valerio on Mon Dec 30, 2013 2:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Wed Dec 05, 2012 2:56 pm
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
New player in the game!
Or rather, someone who isn't playing but seems to have a great impact on what is happening.

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Wed Dec 05, 2012 4:16 pm
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
Hooray for rapid fire updates! Always gives me something fun to do when I get home.

I'm liking the build up thus far, keeps me on the edge of my seat. It's pretty cool seeing the new characters as well. I am quite curious to see how things turn out :D

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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
3.
Milton Manor, Babylon Gardens

“Ah, good, now everyone’s here,” Keene said while opening the door. “Now we can begin,” he added while accompanying his latest guest along the corridor and into the living room, where a round table was waiting. The tabletop had been engraved with a silver pentagram, in turn surrounded by a circle made of runes.
Martin and Zachary were sitting at the table already.
“Hi there, Uncle Martin, Zach!” Peanut greeted. Then his attention was drawn by the messenger bag laying on the table. He immediately ran to it. “Ohh, cool! And there’s everything in it, including snax! Who’s it for?”
“That’s for you,” Martin said. “It contains the…tools we’ll be needing to explore the temple. And after our adventure, you can keep it. Do you like it?”
Peanut wagged, nodding, then went and hugged the man’s waist. “It’s awesome! Thank you so much…” He frowned. “But what does it mean that thing about the tools? Weren’t we supposed to go into the temple?” He turned toward Chocolate, who was climbing up a seat and from there up the table.
“Yes and no, Peanut,” she said once she was on the top. “Tarot is right on one point: we have not enough experience to deal with what’s awaiting us inside the temple. Raw power won’t do, either: the gryphon’s incommensurably more powerful than any mortal. But there is one thing he can’t fight with raw power, and that is your greatest gift, Peanut, the same gift angry spirits sought to get back into existence.” She stared right into the sky-blue eyes, and by reflex Peanut gulped. “Your fantasy, your imagination.
“As Spot, you are the embodiment of wit and power, our ‘front man’. The unbeatable champion. But outside of the astral plane you need energies to make your fantasy become reality. Energies connected to that temple.”
“And that is where Zach comes in,” Martin intervened, ruffling the dog’s head fur. “We will go there, all together, but at the same time we will be here, safe around this table. Should something go wrong, we will only have to do like in a dream and ‘wake up’.”
Then he fell silent. Everyone looked around as if expecting to actually wake up in their beds.
Didn’t happen.
Peanut took place on his seat. “So, all I need to do is draw our adventure and we’ll live it?” he opened his bag and took a pencil and the bloc. He opened the bloc and looked at Chocolate as if the rat wasn’t exactly the smartest cookie of the litter. “Why didn’t you just tell me so?”
Martin snickered. “Told you so. And, Peanut, inside the bag you’ll find some reference pictures taken by Keene’s staff.”
Chocolate nodded. She sat down, cross-legged, in front of Zachary. “Don’t worry to reproduce them par, just a sketch will do. Now, Zachary, I’ll link your aura to Peanut’s mind. Are you ready?”
Peanut’s hand seemed to fly over the paper.
The rabbit was nervously looking around. “Promise me we won’t be meeting the knife-fingered guy.”
“Just don’t give Peanut suggestions.”
Zach’s mouth snapped shut. He tried desperately to think happy things while Chocolate’s paws touched his temples. Zach closed his eyes.
Contact!
***
Barons House, Lev. 13, Apt. 130, Terrace High. Today

“Ma’am? Yes, this is Shadow Barons. Your son Elpis crashed by us and now he’s definitely crashed…” his chuckle lasted a second before he gulped. “No, ma’am, Perhaps it wasn’t funny as I thought. Anyway, if you want to come to my place and pick him up… Oh, all right then. Thank you for your trust. He’ll call you as soon as he wakes up, my word. Yes, ma’am, or my hide.” The rabbit hung up. “Chocky, we seriously need a plan before this thing goes Watergate. Who else is likely to come to Elpis’ conclusion?”
“Potentially, everyone with half a mind.”
“A bit more specific would help.”
“Does it matter? Within few weeks, the secret will be revealed, and at that point even the most recalcitrant voters will run toward Gabriella Lundberg’s third party. Everything else will follow, just like the domino pieces falling to form the picture.”
Shadow sighed. “Wish I shared your optimism. My rabbit sense tells me we’re in for troubles big time.”
Chocolate regarded at him with perplexity. “There is no such thing as rabbit—“
“*sigh* You know, for one who deals with the supernatural on a daily basis, you sound so strict-minded sometimes!”
“In my line of job, ‘figurative speaking’ is the best way to fall into perdition. After watching me deal with the supernatural for so long, you should know better.”
Shadow looked genuinely surprised. “Wow, my dear friend just did a rebuttal?!” he put his paws to his chest. “My girl is growing up, I’m so proud!”
Chocolate facepawlmed. “You know, I must still decide if it’s easier to deal with your sense of humor or with Pete…”
***
Temple of the Cult of the Golden Age, Milton Property, Babylon Gardens

Zachary knew he was breathing and his heart was beating. So far, so good.
He opened one eye, then the other. “Wow.”
The first thing that hit him was the lights. Dozens of torches burning bright, hanging from the walls so that there was not a corner left in the shadows. It hit him because, despite being there fires everywhere, there was not a trace of smoke in the air.
The second thing that hit him was the space. Last time he had been there, it had been a small, dark place. Problem, now, was that this place looked immense. Too big for the structure as he had seen it from the outside…
Scratching his head, Zach leant with a paw against a nearby rock.
“I must be really good at drawing,” the rock said, startling the poor rabbit.
“P-Peanut?”
Not Peanut. A dog big as life, white fur rippling with muscles, and wearing the trademark superhero cape. “Not Peanut,” said the towering figure, wagging. “Spot (Superdog).”
“Your art doesn’t do you justice, boy,” Martin said.
“Yes, yes, he’s all awesome and stuff,” Keene said, looking around. “Now, rabbit, where to?”
Zach shook his head, shrugged. “No idea, honest! This chamber alone is larger than the temple! Not to mention that I don’t know what we’re supposed to look for!”
Chocolate nodded. “This place encompasses several planes, wandering aimlessly is a sure way to get lost.”
“Being this the case,” Martin said. “That’s why you wanted Spot. In one of his adventures, he knocked a couple of aliens, secured them and delivered all of Santa’s gift to the children of the world.”
Keene rubbed his temples. “Really cute, fanboy. I’m sure it would be quite useful in case we had a Christmas Emergency, but…” his arms encompassed the chamber.
Martin lifted a finger. “In one second.” Spot, who by now was tall like the human, nodded enthusiastically.
“But—“ the ferret was about to say. Chocolate interrupted him.
“Do not forget: Peanut’s fantasy, here, is reality.” She turned to the superhero dog. “Spot: Master Tarot told me that Pete has a throne room. Go find.”
Spot saluted smartly. “Aye aye, Ma’am! Be here in a couple of seconds!” And off he went, leaving a small whirlwind behind him.
1…2…
“Well,” Keene huffed. “This place must be bigger than we estim—“ he was interrupted, this time, by a white/red missile that passed straight over his head! A moment later, a loud sound of broken stone announced the end of the missile’s run.
“I think…I found it. Ow.” Spot massaged his head, while leaving the impression he had left in the wall.
Martin ran and offered his shoulders for support. “Where? What happened to you?”
“I met the watchdog.” And, as if those words had been a signal, the whole chamber started to tremble. Rhythmically, as if a giant was getting closer…and closer…
“Perhaps we’re lucky and it’s just a terrier showing off,” Keene suggested.
No such luck, as the titanic, monstrous shape proved emerging from a corridor. It was so big, it filled up the corridor and had to proceed with its head low. A thing made of some rocky, luminescent substance. A thing with many spikes along its body, and a mouth entirely made of crystalline fangs.
“It’s even worse than that,” Spot said, weak against Martin, the man had the unpleasant sensation of supporting an onvergrown puppy. “It’s made entirely of orphanite.”
“Great! Our enemy is a fanboy,” Martin growled. “Chocolate, please come up with something or we’re so quitting this nice field trip.”
“No need for that,” Spot said. “Orphanite or not, I am still a supergenius. Hold it a moment!” And on that…he ran away
“What the..?” Martin said.
The thing advanced.
“Uh, do we have a plan B?” the man asked to the rat.
Chocolate looked at the thing.
“Chocolate?”
She kept looking.
Zach was going into panic mode. “I don’t want to play anymore I don’t want to play anymore I don’t want—“
The thing advanced.
“Chocolate!” Keene shouted. “You must say the words, now!
Her lips moved to form one single word. “Emet.”
The thing stopped. The light from the orphanite it was made of faded into nothingness. It became a simple, ugly rock statue.
A moment later, with a sound like of an avalanche, the thing crumbled and collapsed into a pile of rubble.
Three jaws fell agape. “Not exactly the word I was hoping for…” Martin said, eventually, “but I guess it’ll have to do.”
“What did you just say?” Zach asked, sniffing cautiously at the rubble.
“This creature is a golem,” the rat answered. “In time, its legends were mixed up and rewritten, and with them the magic that makes them alive. The word ‘Emet’, or ‘Truth’ is a ward, it forces the golem to contemplate the consequences of its actions. In this case, it was not, you could say, ‘programmed’ to—“ Her explanation was cut short by the rumble coming from the rubble.
The pile trembled and, as if the stone was made of magnetite, the pieces came together one after the other.
“—hurt us,” Chocolate finished, stepping back.
The golem, back into shape, let out a roar that stunned the intruders!
“I don’t think he’d agree with you on that,” Martin said.
At an impossible speed for something of that bulk and size, the golem extended its head, just like a snake about to eat prey…
Chocolate opened her mouth to say the words, but what resounded in the air was a merry, “Fetch!” a moment before the spike-filled mouth was filled by the segment of a column!
“This is our cue to go Scooby!” Keene said, before starting to run for dear life. A moment later, Zachary caught up with him and picked him up.
“Thought you were out of juice!” Martin said to Spot, who apparently was definitely back in shape as well.
The Superdog was ripping another column from its base. “Orphanite weakens me within a certain radius, independently from the quantities. And this is safe distance! Fetch!” He threw the column with ease.
“Oh, a real stroke of genius!” Keene commented. “But I must admit it, it’s a nice show to watch,” he added as the column hit the golem, snapping its head backwards. “Now, if only I had popcorn and a soda—“ *poof* a cup of soda and a bucket of popcorn appeared in his paws. “Hey, nifty! Thank you, management.”
“You’re welcome,” said a deep voice…before Keene *poofed* away!

*poof* “What the—“ Keene’s initial surprise was replaced by a sensation of hunger at the sight of the endless piles of riches accumulated all around him! He actually started drooling. “Ok, I won’t fill a complain, for now. In fact, I wonder if I have enough to clone a popstar or two and start my own band…”
“And here I thought you would be better than the others who ventured this room,”said the booming, disgruntled voice, freezing the ferret’s mind and soul.
Sloooowly, Keene turned… He gulped. “Oh. Hi there, master of the house.” At that moment, he knew what a mouse would feel, given the same situation.
After all, he had never seen a real-life gryphon, especially one so big as to fill a two-stories building, sitting on a stone throne. And looking annoyed.
A predator should never looked annoyed! “Welcome, mortal. I am not exactly keen on your kind intruding my privacy, but I admire your ingenuity. Call me—“
“Pete,” Keene said, collecting back his self-control. “I needed to talk to you, in fact.”
“That I knew, Keene Milton. You are here for the promise I made to your owner.”
Keene crossed his arms at his chest in his best bold pose. “Nice of you to remember. I am here, my Dad’s legacy is living through me and my siblings. And it will live on through my associates and our descendants. I am here to collect, big boy! What do you say?”
Pete smiled, and it wasn’t a pleasant expression to see. “I say that I am not bound to carry on that promise, silly mortal. I let you go as far as you could in this temple because you amuse me, nothing else. Any other demands I could spit on?”
Keene blinked. “Eh?”
The immense wings rustled as Pete leaned forward. “I made a promise to Henry Milton. I was bound to carry it on to his bloodline, not to a…property. Your position in this world is equivalent to a tape recorder demanding rights. The fact that you hold the memories of what I said doesn’t legitimate you to be a beneficiary.” The eagle paw snatched Keene and brought him nose-to-beak with the monster. “Give me a good reason for me to live up to that ‘promise’.”
Keene…growled. He actually bared his teeth at a creature who could use him for snacks. “You owe it to the creatures of the forest! There is a cult, out there! Living individuals who are adoring you, expecting the golden age of parity between humans and animals to come.”
Again, that smile. Like a kid knowing something the adults didn’t. Pete tossed Keene against a pile of gold coins. “Yes…and no. Those poor, deluded souls are divided, like with any cult worth its nature. Some of them want equal rights, walk with Man as equals, like in the ancient times. Others want revenge, the defeat of mankind so to become the new masters of the planet. And…” Pete shrugged, his most innocent expression on his face, “as a good demigod I can’t take a position until the cult is unified in a single purpose. Sue me.”
Keene’s mind worked frantically, but he just couldn’t bring it to elaborate a solution.
Because the truth was, he couldn’t outsmart Pete.
His Dad had worked for nothing. The Gardens were only a pet project that would last as long as the short lives of the six Milton ferrets.
And Keene and his siblings couldn’t write a will in benefit of their litter.
One day, Babylon Gardens would be gone, swallowed up by some urban development.
“I have failed,” Keene said, tears welling up in his eyes.. For the first time in his life, he felt all the weight of his position as a pet. He was just, what? A spoiled child playing with his riches, like that comic book character.
The Milton Industries Board tolerated him only because he’d die first, leaving them the juiciest free-for-all of all times…
Drops fell on the coins.
A gigantic claw brushed his chin, lifting it gently for something so big. Pete clucked, shaking his head, a sincere expression of sorrow on his face. “*Tsk* Poor, poor neglected creature. But please, don’t think I am heartless or ungrateful. I am just a bit…complicated. And I am sure I could come up with a customized pact with you and your bloodline if you really believe in your ‘father’’s dream.”
Keene wiped his tears. “W-well, there’s s-something you could do. I think…”
Pete nodded slowly. “Of course, anything. Long as you promise to work for me as a minion. You know, much as I am intrigued by Henry Milton’s ideals, I still resent him to abuse his advantage on my imprisonment to force me into a pact. This time, I would like to play with the upper hand… And why are you smiling, all of a sudden?”
Keene was showing him his most mischievous expression. “Because for being a self-proclaimed smart jerk, you’re a big time sucker!”
“WHAT?! Why, you little—“ and at that moment, the wall broke! Like a cannonball, Spot flew in! Pete had barely the time to see the Superdog’s angry, angry expression before being hit like a sack! And it didn’t matter that at that moment Spot was a tiny figure in front of him: the PAUNCH threw him off the throne and against his possessions, causing geysers of gold and jewels!
“Impossible…” Pete tried to stand up. Only a fellow higher being could beat him up like that. “Im*quark!*”a white-furred paw grabbed him by the throat as if he was a Thanksgiving turkey.
And Spot did NOT look like as if he wanted to pardon him. Pete tried to break the hold but to no avail.
“Spot may not be omnipotent,” said Chocolate, walking in through the breach together with Martin and Zachary. “But Peanut made him the ultimate power mover. Whatever trick you’ll try, Spot will out-do you. Now, you know what to promise if you hold dear your existence. As a whole being.”
Pete nodded frantically. Spot let go of him, making him fall on his butt over the gold.
The gryphon, while massaging his neck, looked at Keene with hatred. “Your thoughts…you were lying!”
Keene shook his head while walking toward the creature, paws clasped behind his back. “No, that’s what fooled ya. I was gaining time, as planned in the case you teleported me here, thus saving us the time to look out for you.” He stared into the hostile golden eyes. “I am the only one who can lead the family because I am obsessed with those thoughts. Every time I prepare for another day of work and fun, every time I think of something to benefit the inhabitants of the Gardens… I am fully conscious of what will happen if I don’t to something! But I hold back the fears, so that I can work with lucidity. I won’t waste my life crying over myself.
“But in your case, I opened the dam. And I must admit it, I needed it. Saved me some bucks on therapy. And made you think I was ready to be your puppet.”
Pete chuckled. “Mortals… My bad for forgetting you may be tricky.” He walked to the throne and sat down. “Well, you had your fun and can put this enterprise on your curriculum, Keene Milton. So what? I still am not bound to carry one my promise to your owner.”
“Blah blah blah! Sticks and stones, birdbrain. Chocky, if you please?”
The rat advanced. And when she talked, again her eyes turned into glowing blue orbs. Again, her voice became definitely a male’s, grumbling like a leviathan’s. “And what if I had a better proposal, Pete?”
This time the gryphon was genuinely taken aback. “You?!”
“I’m getting a lot of that… Yes, ‘brethren’, it’s me. Please, don’t be surprised: you know how much I always liked mortals.”
Pete laughed a booming laugh. “Oh, yes! Don’t I know it! Too bad that, unlike Draggie, your attitude gets the best of you in the end! So, what’s your plan, this time?”
Chocolate gestured and created a throne of gold fit for her size. “To help you win the Game.”
Pete frowned. “You have my attention.”
“I have been watching you guys doing this thing for some time now. You, the manipulator of chaos, and Dragon as the wise guardian. But despite me appreciating Spirit Dragon’s position, she’s too afraid to intervene more…directly in the businesses of mortals. She cares both for humans and animals, and that makes her impossible to decide, even if she occasionally tilts in favor of the pets.
“I know how humans work: I know there can never be true peace if they don’t concede positions first. That is my intent, and I know how to make them to. Without breaking their free will. And, especially without creating chaos.”

Pete blushed, and turned his head with an offended expression. “And what makes you think that I would?!”
The creature possessing Chocolate chuckled. And that sounded even more sinister than the gryphon’s mirth. “You want to win, nothing else matters. If winning would make you spend centuries in non-subjective time, you’d accept it. But you also rely too much on yourself as the center of the events. This brings you to underestimate the consequences of your actions. And leading you to bend the rules, to make mistakes.”
Pete tapped his claws impatiently on the armrest. “One more slapping and I’ll make sure to have you as guest for the next 1,000 years. Come to the point.”
The rat nodded. “I cannot play, but I am sure you’ll appreciate my proposal to be your…counselor. After all, rules don’t forbid a player to consult with a friend for strategies.”
Pete was thinking hard. “I am not sure I like the idea of having someone telling me what to do.”
Chocolate, unfazed, flexed a clawed finger and toyed with her snout fur. “I can play my part and setting the tableau for you to keep your promise to Milton. You will only have to do two simple things: protect my…investment, and doing one move now. Something really, really easy. Allow me to explain.” She fell silent.
Martin, Keene, Spot and Zachary looked at them.
“I’m not getting any of it,” the rabbit said, scratching his head.
“Demigods like it complicated,” Martin shrugged. “At this point, we can only hope our…friend there, whoever he is, is as benevolent as he claimed.”
“Better be, or I’ll buy your business and make you work with the mop at my place for the rest of your human life,” Keene said. “And you don’t want to clean after a saloon covered with dried soap.”
Eventually, Pete started chuckling…then louder, louder, until his joy erupted in a powerful guffaw.
“Is that a good thing?” Zach asked, rubbing a finger inside his offended ear.
Pete slapped his eagle paw against his thigh, his body bent in two. “Ahahaha, this is so rich! To beat up Draggie at her own game! Hohoho, brethren, you know your mortals better than I thought!” He leaned back against the throne.
“Do we have a deal, then?” asked his interlocutor.
Pete grinned. “Oh, we do, we do.” The shadows moved. Like in a Galanty show, they crawled along the walls to form an eagle paw and another, equally titanic limb reaching out and shaking.
Pete then raised his left paw and snapped his fingers. “It is done! I can’t wait to see the results, my friend.”
The rat nodded. “You will see them soon. And no peeking in the future,” she admonished him with a waggling finger. “The surprise will taste even better.”
Pete nodded. “Knowing you, I expect no less. And now, since this deal involves our friends…right, ferret?”
Keene nodded back. “That was the idea since the beginning. And if you try to hide us anything, now…” his thumb aimed at Spot.
Pete touched his throat. “No need to go that far! You know, in a way you are just like your ‘father’. He too knew how to be convincing.”
The ferret stuck out his tongue at the gryphon. “That’s why I was his favorite—Oh, wow!” he almost fell on his knees when a flood of information invaded his mind. “Warn us next time, you big…” then his eyes went wide like a kit’s. “Oh, wow.”
Martin’s eyes were moving back and forth, as if he was reading something at high speed. “Wow, indeed. It’s so…easy!”
The entity possessing Chocolate said. “Yes, it is. It combines strategy and speed. It just…accelerates what was to happen anyway, but giving our cause a significant advantage. Soon, very soon the plans your associate Gottschalk was carrying on will reach complexion and with them, the first step of the new world will be truly walked. The rest will follow quickly.”
The information flow stopped. Martin and Keene rubbed their temples with equal gestures and grimaces.
“I’ll so need a Tylenol when I’m back,” the man said. “But I think it was all worth it.”
“Same here, partner.”
“Any question before I leave…partner?” the rat asked the gryphon.
Pete’s eyes narrowed as he asked, “Yes. Why intervene now of all times?”
“Fair enough: Let’s just say that an interesting combination of event has taken form with Babylon Gardens, Terrace High and the city. This is the right moment, simple as that.”
“And where does this leave us?” Zach asked, stepping forward. “What will be of the forest animals? Don’t they have a right to be involved—Eep!” He quickly stepped back as rat and gryphon turned their heads in his direction.
“So, you are concerned about them, are you?”Pete asked.
The rabbit looked away, ears flattened against his back, his fingers rubbing as he said, “Um, yes?” And he knew he was telling the truth. Annoying as they had been, the forest creatures did believe in something better, in a future where they had a place not just as victims of the humans’ progress.
Not to mention those poor raccoons, who had died because they had trusted his words…
“Then it’s up to you to convince them to join humankind in the ways of peace,”Pete said. “You can’t be a prophet and skip your duties as such.”
“I’m not—“ Zachary tried but the mythological beast cut him short.
“Please! You can’t even invoke the clause of reluctance: you risked your life to help those who believed in you. Another reason I allowed you to use your energies to come here is because I respect you, despite involuntarily stealing my avatar.”
Zach sighed. “I guess I can’t know what will be of me in the future or something like that, right?”
“In your defense, few mortals can stand the stress of seeing the path unraveled before them.”
Zach nodded. “Then I accept.”
Another *snap* of eagle fingers. “Then it’s done, my minion.”
“WHOAH!” Zach almost fell down when a geyser of light erupted from his brow! “W-what have you done?!” He rubbed his brow as if it was dirty. To no avail, if Spot’s words were clue enough. The dog was now capeless and wearing a large pair of round glasses, and was examining a golden mark glowing in the middle of Zachary’s brow.
“Interesting: looks like a glyph. If I still know my Akkadian, it’s the word for ‘The Constructor of Bridges.”
Pete nodded. “Only animals, Foster and Gottschalk can see it. You are officially the link between me and those who walk toward the new golden age. Through you my power will flow, mortal. Be proud, for few have ever earned such a honor.”
“And what about the riches?” Keene’s arms encompassed the piles of gold. “Either they are an illusion or you accumulated them for a reason!”
Pete leaned down to grab a pawful of coins, and let them flow through his fingers. The golden waterfall tinkled merrily. “They are for you, Foster and Gottschalk to spend –as long as every spent penny goes to the final objective. Oh, and this money is cursed as well: try to steal any, no matter the amount nor the reason, and your fortunes will turn to dust. Like this.” What was left of the gold dissolved into dust.
Martin nodded. “I’ll make sure to use what I need only.”
Keene gulped, pulled at his collar. The worst thing was, his siblings would never have to learn about this secret, or their spending mania, especially Pit’s, would literally ruin them all! “I’m in, boss.”
“And you?” the mysterious entity asked the human and Spot. “No questions from you? You won’t get often demigods answering them.”
Martin shook his head. “You know what I care for. And, at this point, stepping back would not help my line of work. And you know that should any of you two try and deceive us, there will be consequences. And not of the canine kind.” His head pointed to Spot.
Chocolate laughed. “I know you are sincere! It’s a trait of your family after all. I like you, I should’ve met you centuries ago, Foster.”
Spot (Professor), said, “As for me, what could I ask more for? I already have my kittens, I have a wonderful mate, a loving family, an awesome messenger bag and you guys are going to build a better world. So, if you need any help, just call for Spot!”
The rat nodded. “Then my presence is no longer required. See you in a better world.” She closed her eyes, and then back were the ruby, natural ones. “Wake up,” she said, softly.
And no.
It wasn’t…

HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES
SEASON IV
Episode 2
FIN

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Last edited by valerio on Thu Dec 06, 2012 8:17 am, edited 1 time in total.



Thu Dec 06, 2012 2:16 am
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
Honorable Intentions wrote:
Hooray for rapid fire updates! Always gives me something fun to do when I get home.

I'm liking the build up thus far, keeps me on the edge of my seat. It's pretty cool seeing the new characters as well. I am quite curious to see how things turn out :D

Your wish is my command. 8-)

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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
I finish one episode and you've posted the next :/
you're too fast, man

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Thu Dec 06, 2012 2:20 am
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
as promised, I just caught up with myself. :lol:
From now on, only real time updates... And no, it's just a coincidence that one should be ready for tonight... Why are you looking at me like that? What are you hiding behind your back...good brenty, good... *runs away screaming like a girl*

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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
caught up. I should have been asleep an hour ago.

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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
RandomGeekNamedBrent wrote:
caught up. I should have been asleep an hour ago.

hope it was worth it...

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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES
Season IV
Episode 3 – Family Care
By VALERIO

1.
Lindberg House, Babylon Gardens. 7am

King sat on the porch, his eyes focused on the low hills, a cup of coffee in his paws. The coffee had gone cold, and not a sip had been taken.
“Someone is worried,” said a voice behind him. There was a very restricted numbers of furs and people who could make him wag his stubby tail instead of scaring him into a jump.
One of them was his girlfriend: Bailey, Alaskan/Siberian Husky mix magnifique. “Something wrong, love?” She said, sitting next to the Corgi.
King let himself wrapped into her arm, leaning against her soft and strong body. “Hmm… Not now.”
Bailey kissed his ear. She was positive it was his most irresistible feature. “Can’t fool me,” she said in a chanting tone.
“Because you can read me like an open book?”
The dog nodded. “That. And the fact that you love to spend all the sleeping time cuddling with me when I’m guest at your place. Are you worried about Bino coming back from the Academy?”
King almost bared his teeth. The fact that he and that insufferable canine had a truce didn’t prevent Bino from picking on him whenever he had a legitimate chance. There had been actual peace in the latest months, though, while Bino finished his training at the Hunter’s. But in a few weeks he’d be back as a fully endorsed dog cop. Disrespecting him – and Bino could see anything he liked as disrespectful! – could, no would cause legitimate comeuppance!
“No, I wasn’t thinking about him, but thanks for the reminder, hon.” He drank the cold coffee in a swipe, made a face. The coffee was dog-safe, thus it couldn’t really wake up a canine. But once cold, it tasted like distilled sewer water! And the shock served to wake him up. “Ew. I was thinking about…us.”
Bailey raised an eyebrow. “What do you mean?”
“Uh…” he felt the blush building up. “I, well… I mean, I have considered this for some time now, and…and…” Heck, he had rehearsed that a zillion times during the latest days and nights. In fact, he had started drinking this stuff because of all the sleepless night thinking of the implications, deciding if this was the path he was going to walk for real! Because, had he imagined this moment when he had just met her, oh man!, ‘creepy’ wouldn’t have been enough!
But I’m a dog, I’m a dog, I’m a DOG!
“King?”
“ACK!” King almost jumped out of his fur, turned his eyes to her. Saw her concern.
I’m a dog. I love her. I couldn’t live without her. And that was it, in a nutshell. Whatever they had done together, how their relationship had grown… Nothing of that had happened out of some instruction leaflet. He hadn’t fallen for her because of his canine nature, that same nature he had voluntarily embraced forever.
I love her. I couldn’t live without her.
Fox was his best friend, he had filled the void created by old traumas. Fox had healed King, and King could not imagine a life without the grey-furred Alaskan Husky. No matter if a certain someone taunted the corgi about the solidity of that bond: King was proud to have Fox.
I couldn’t live without her.
But Bailey had touched chords he didn’t think he had. King had found in Bailey something not even the deepest friendship could offer him… Bailey was truly King’s better half. And even if Pete planned to force him to choose between living with Fox or Bailey, King would know the answer.
And he knew that Fox would approve: they had spent much time talking about that, after all. That was another great aspect of Fox’s personality: one could confide on him, and he approved of King’s decisions regarding his love life.
“Hon…are you crying?” Bailey asked.
King nodded slowly, staring into those ice-blue eyes, inhaling every nuance of her scent. “Because I’m happy.”
This was the perfect moment. It had helped that, as of recently, there had been a sudden increase in pet population with new births…and even more the fact that part of the new generation was born of dog and cat. It had helped him coping with his initial (although not unjustified) reluctance on the subject.
That, and time, had taught him that he couldn’t waste the rest of his life just getting older. Being a dog, at first, had been someone’s idea of punishment. Then it had turned into something strange but filled with promises. Eventually, it had become a true, wonderful dog’s life.
Now, he wanted something more. It wasn’t the world who owed him, no: it was him who owed it to himself.
It was the time to ask. And if everything went okay in the world of human politics, he and Bailey would never get arbitrarily separated because of their pet status. So why not bet on good luck for once?
Okay, and perhaps Bailey would just say no and they would never talk about that again.
Oh well, nothing ventured nothing gained right? “Ah…” King wiped his tears. “Bailey, would you…” he almost stuck his snout into her ear as he whispered the rest of the sentence, as if not even the plants should hear the words…

“YES!”
the shout/howl was enough to make the glass tremble.
Lucky opened his groggy eyes. “I guess he asked, at last.”
Fox extended his arms and yawned loudly. “Better late than never. I feared I’d get a white nose before he’d gather the guts.” He stood up, scratched his back. “Gonna get tea. Some?”
"Gladly. And a tranquilizer for her.”

When Bailey was finished kissing him, King was in sore need of air. “Well, and here I thought you had something against it. *erk*” he was suddenly held in a crush like only the husky could give him. It crumpled his fur as well, but it was all worth it.
“You silly, silly, silly Kingy! To think that I was fearing there was something wrong with me if you were still waiting. Luckily, Fox reassured me.”
“Oh, he did?” The corgi was happy that this argument had been discussed in the family, so to say.
Bailey nodded. “Yes. You’re one who can think things over and over and over and over and over…”
“Okay, I think I got it. It’s only that I thought that dog marriage would be too much for you. I mean, you like traditions and, okay I’ll just shut up.”
Bailey ruffled his head fur. “King, you should really start to trust the others. Yes, it’s true that I think this wedding thing is a bit over the line…but what really matters is that you want to stay with me. A ceremonial won’t change that. And if it helps you declaring it to everyone, I’m with you.” Then she winked at him. “But I want it to be a lot of ice cream!”
King nuzzled her throat. “A whole cake made only of ice cream, just for you. Promise.” He cleared his throat. “Would you like to set the date?”
Bailey took his paws in hers. “You do that. I trust you on this and I am sure you’ll know how to organize something really, really special.”
King nodded, trying all his best to look solemn and serious about this promise. All the while his mind was desperately trying to come up with a name, a single name for a pet wedding planner! No way I am going to celebrate my wedding at the shelter! Much how I love my ex brother, heck I will *not* seal my love in such a place! But if not there, where?!
But it was too late for afterthought. It done, now. No going back, alea iacta est, etc etc.
King’s new life had just started.
He was happy.
---
The Hexagon Park, Terrace High

Kwesi Hassid had missed this: staying up the night with his parents, just walking and chatting, like in the old days. This place was no savannah, nor a long way through the desert on the Egypt-Chad spice route, but if he was with his family, all was well.
Even if his father was still going crazy about his son’s love life.
“A cat! My son, my only son wasting his blood over a species he can’t even reproduce with! What did I do wrong? Was it because we had that argument over your future, Kwesi? Are you trying to punish your poor father?”
“Oh, shush, Zuri!” said his mate, completely unimpressed by that display. To their son, she said, “he started talking like that since before leaving. On board the ship, he was going to start a party."
Zuri Boustani regarded Abebi with the most outraged look. “Female, you are supposed to stay by my side! What example will you give to our grandchildren?!”
Kwesi didn’t like the sound of it. And yet, he bowed his head in sign of respect. “Father, I have told you already: I will adopt them and they will grow in the family traditions. Alandra will be a good wife.”
His father snorted like a bull. “’Good wife’ indeed! One who was practically flirting with every male at that table! I am sure she ogled at that white rat, too!”
“Da-Father, that is called ‘being friendly’. It is normal for a female, to be friendly with other people.”
Abebi almost buried her elbow into her husband’s flank. “Zuri, show respect for the choices of our son! Last time you started an argument, he ran away to another continent! Do you want him to migrate to Russia, this time? Not to mention that you are not without litters spread throughout the route!” It was no secret that Zuri had been…busy, before settling down with Abebi.
“So?” Zuri asked. “I did what a male had to do! But not one of those ungrateful pups took up our traditions. Kwesi is the only one who wants to carry it on.”
“And you tried to discourage him, husband! You wanted him to abandon the spice trade!”
“Because it was too dangerous for him, what with the humans and their wars! But now he’s in a country where he can be a trader, and his sacred duty is, at least, to marry a nice lady Basenji!”
Abebi retorted something, and that started an even more heated argument. Luckily, no one else but the birds and small ferals were around at that hour: an external observer would have thought his parents were going to tear each other’s throat any moment now.
A chuckle escaped from Kwesi’s mouth. He immediately clamped his muzzle shut, but it was too late: now both his parents were looking at him as if he had just spat on their ancestors’ memories.
“I am trying to make sure you have a future, pup…”
“I am trying to help you! Will you show some consideration…”
Kwesi did his best to show a contrite expression while laughing inside.
He was happy.
---
Noah’s Ark Biopark

Flash wasn’t the most original of names, considering its origins: he was fast, ah ah!
Fast to hide away, but also fast of reflexes. He was the champ of Speed at the zoo, and no one could make a sketch fast and good like he did. Legend was, once he did a portrait of a visitor faster than it took for another human to snap a picture with her phone and email it to the visitor. Children adored him, and the staff allowed them posing with him…despite the fact that he suffered from a genetic disease, which caused him to eat only unprocessed food and only meat. Poor Flash was a sweetie, and many one visitor had asked if he could be adopted.
Only one of them had just gained that privilege.
“Can you read?” said the man, his finger tapping on the papers laying on the table “Flash, please say something! Aren’t you glad? We made it!”
Flash looked at the papers, browsed through them. Oh, he could read, all right.
He couldn’t just believe what he was reading.
His eyes moved to the human sitting in front of him. The man by the name of Alfred G. Gordon, who had spent the last two years fighting with the system, sparring with bureaucracy, verbally abusing even the old Mayor himself. ASPCA as well had tried to convince Alfred G. Gordon otherwise; its representatives still sported the bruises.
Despite his efforts, though, it hadn’t been them that had shifted the situation in his favor.
It had been the stamp and signature of the Ambassador of Buwara, Daro Kamira, next to the Buwaran Monarch’s stamp and signature. An African leopard with all the privileges and the status of his human counterparts. Representative of a country ruled by leopards.
A country that had just privileged Flash with honorary citizenship.
“The system would not allow me to take you as pet,” Alfred was saying. “But as citizen of Buwara with a green card you are legitimated to move everywhere in this Country. And, after talking with the Embassy, we agreed on giving you residency in Terrace High.” The human reached out over table and held Flash’s paws in his hands. “You are free to live with me, if you want, and not as pet, but as an equal. Aren’t you happy?”
Flash nodded dumbly. Alfred had always taken care of him since the snow leopard was a wee kitten. He had spent all his free time with him, turning down his peers every time one of them taunted him about his dedication and care. Flash had always been a son, to him. A feeling reciprocated.
But now it was happening too fast and there was too much of it. Flash had grown up with the literature and everything he could collect about Buwara. Despite the unfit climate, he had always dreamed to live there and be the mightiest of warriors defending his country not as a pet soldier, but as true citizen!
He was a citizenship, now. He could just ask the Embassy and get a flight ticket.
But now he could live with Dad. As…equal.
Perhaps it was the information flood, but the first thing that came to his mind was, “How did you find an apartment here?” Theoretically, they were all taken.
Alfred nodded. “Herbert Jameson. Turned out that the guy wasn’t even a pet owner, his papers were fake so that he could get a free apartment. And he used to work for some drug cartel, so there is no risk of him coming back. And, hold your tail here, we get to live in that apartment for free as well, since it had belonged to the lottery program!”
This time, reality made room into Flash’s brain. “I’ll get my things…flatmate!”
“Good! I am waiting for you outside.”
Flash left the room, giggling like a kitten. For once, things seemed to going in the right direction, yessir!
He was happy.
---
Lucky Charm Grove for the Abandoned and the Ferals, Babylon Gardens

“Is he happy?” asked one of the guests, a white cat, trying at the same time to look busy with his breakfast and look at the Rhodesian Ridgeback sitting at his table. Alone, despite the table being large enough to accommodate up to six medium-sized pets.
Because by now everyone at the shelter had decided it was…unhealthy, to try and share anything with him.
“I don’t know, and I don’t want to know,” said another cat, fearing he was being heard. "When he's happy, it's because someone suffered."
Volant was sitting there, eating, without hurry, every movement showing he could care not less for anyone around him.
Smiling. Well, as far as smiles went, that was a slight bending of his mouth…and yet, it was like seeing stone coming to life.
“I’ve heard someone’s visiting him, today,” said a dog, a female with floppy ears. “Really!” she added at the blank stares she got for that.
“Please!” Said the first cat. He chuckled. “You almost looked sincere.”
“Yah, and who told you that?” said the second.
Before the dog could answer, a human of the staff walked to Volant’s table. “You got a visit, buddy,” he said.
The whole mess hall fell into an awkward silence, while the black-and-brown dog stood up.
“What? A guest can’t have a visit?” Volant scoffed, and walked out the hall.
One by one, discreetly as they could, the other guests present stood up and followed at a distance. They had to see who was crazy enough to come visit the Shelter’s most dangerous animal!

Soon, heads were poking from every possible corner, lamppost, bush and manhole. The sun reflected against the binoculars from the building.
A raven flew down and onto Volant’s shoulder. “You’re enjoying this a lot, are you?” Nevermore asked.
“Had I known it’d have this effect, I would’ve organized this long ago.” Volant grinned, waving at one of the security cameras that were following him.
---
“Guys, come on! Aren’t you bringing this too far?” Keith Greyfield, Head of Security, asked.
The human/animal teams were all there! The control room was crowded to capacity.
“Then what are you doing here?” Temno asked, his eyes glued to the screens. That guy had beaten him every time they had fought. He had even brought down the best humans! “Do you know the guy who—“
“There they are!” Sasha, an Alaskan Malamute said, pointing at the screen in a dramatic fashion.
“What’s that little guy doing?” said the Great Dane, Toro. “Is he crazy?” And he wasn’t the only one to think it.
---
That was a moment everyone was going to remember: a little Australian Terrier with a green-hue fur running with arms spread toward Volant, just as if he was meeting his long lost brother!
And Volant, this time smiling for real, bent down on one knee and welcomed the smaller dog into his arms, hugging him with unequivocal fondness.
Later that day, the veterinarian staff would be flooded with appointments for an ear visit, because those who heard him couldn’t believe Volant had actually said, “I missed you, little one. Thank you for coming.”
“Thank him,” Elpis said, wagging.
Volant stood up and, looking squarely at Adam, said, “Thank you, Sir.” And bowed, the portrait of formality.
Elpis nudged him. “Come on, you can do better than that!”
Volant sighed, and offered no resistance when his Dad hugged him. “Uh, thank you for bringing him here. Dad.”
“I missed you too,” Adam said.
The man was happy.

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Last edited by valerio on Thu Dec 06, 2012 4:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Thu Dec 06, 2012 8:12 am
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
and with this update, I am caught up with myself!
From now on, the rest of the season will see TH and BG's characters mingling, while the ground is getting set for season V...which, I promise, will bring great changes! :ugeek:

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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
Season V...

I can't wait. I can only hope it comes fast.

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Thu Dec 06, 2012 4:58 pm
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
NO WAY YOU FINALLY HAD MY CHARACTER BECOME A PET INSTEAD OF A ZOO ANIMAL!! :mrgreen: :mrgreen: I Love you Val, you just made me happy for the rest of the week :mrgreen: Thank you so so much!

On another note, Volant getting a visit by Elpis, that's awesome! I saw that you wrote that Volant had beaten Temno and other sercurity staff in fights, he must be crazy powerful. Amazing updates the last couple of days Val, it has been an awesome opener for Season 4. Keep up the excellent work.

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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
musclecar326 wrote:
NO WAY YOU FINALLY HAD MY CHARACTER BECOME A PET INSTEAD OF A ZOO ANIMAL!!

not a pet, a Buwaran citizen with a green card. it's better than being a pet.

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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
musclecar326 wrote:
NO WAY YOU FINALLY HAD MY CHARACTER BECOME A PET INSTEAD OF A ZOO ANIMAL!! :mrgreen: :mrgreen: I Love you Val, you just made me happy for the rest of the week :mrgreen: Thank you so so much!

On another note, Volant getting a visit by Elpis, that's awesome! I saw that you wrote that Volant had beaten Temno and other sercurity staff in fights, he must be crazy powerful. Amazing updates the last couple of days Val, it has been an awesome opener for Season 4. Keep up the excellent work.

Well, thank Coatl Ruu with helping me (though indirectly) come up with this awesome solution.
Which reminds me (les oopsies!)
Daro Kamira and Buwara (C) Coatl Ruu :D

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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
2.
Lindberg House, Babylon Gardens

The Pets of Love – Your wedding planner for your pets!
We organize any species, even inter-species weddings. All creeds officiated! Our chapels are available 24/7. We can give your beloved ones the best day of their lives with 24 hours’ notice! We can make it discreet as they please, or urbi et orbi, their choice! From the decoration to the catering, our experts are at your disposal, because nothing is more important to us than making your best friends happy ever after!

Brooke Swords, Chief Executive
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Level 8, Terrace High, 1 Compton Dr.
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(011) 990 – 7373111
333 – 9867141
Brookes@POL.pet
http://www.POL.pet


The site’s front page was a display of married couples. Images taken with Polaroids, or more professional digital stuff, fake old pics…
Clicking on the picture one could learn the names of the happy couples. All information provided voluntarily.
King couldn’t imagine doing so for him and Bailey.
Heck, he had to force himself to imagine a picture of them in that midst!
King sighed. I am really going to do it. He had promised to take care of the organization. Had Bailey accepted, she didn’t know a thing about this ceremonial.
He did.
The dog sighed again. His doubts were coming back to bite at his stubby tail. “I’m marrying a dog!” And then he buried his face in his arms, wishing to facedesk himself into a coma.
That’s when a grey-furred paw patted his back. “That’s why you wanted me here with you,” Fox said. “King, relax. It’s okay.”
King’s eye peeked from under his arm. “It’s not! Fox, you know the truth, who I was before being a dog. Why aren’t you creeping out like a good cousin should do?”
Fox, sitting next to the corgi, showed him that cool smile with which he seemed to face every dilemma of life. “Because you are a dog, now.”
“Am I in time to call it a quit?”
Fox flashed him an unsettling smile, no teeth. “You break her heart, I break you. Into many small pieces. Buddy.”
King gulped.
The husky sighed. “Okay, it is weird knowing that you used to be a human…but, honestly. Do you love Bailey because you hope she might turn into a human, one day?”
King’s ears fell flat around his skull. “No.”
Another pat. “Then I have no problems. You are a dog, King. You chose to be one. And you are only scared.”
King raised his head. “Yes. Very human of me.”
Fox frowned at his best buddy. “And if I told you to get away from our lives and forget about my cousin and never be seen again? Would that make you feel better?”
King’s answer was in his mind even before the Husky was finished asking the question. “No!”
“’No’, what?” Fox’s Blue eyes dared King to choose wisely the words.
King didn’t hesitate a moment. “I wouldn’t be happy. And I will not abandon my family!”
Fox smiled. He leaned over and licked his cheek! “See? That was easy, loverboy.”
“FOX!” the poor smaller dog almost lost his fur.
The Alaskan Husky rolled his eyes “What? I thought you were over with the doggie physical interaction thing!”
King raised his paws. “Yes…and no. you’re a guy, I can’t just lick a guy’s nose or sniff butts or checking zonings…”
Fox chuckled. “Okay, okay, message clear. At least, in that sense you’re in good terms with Bailey. Just remember that your pups will love some licking and nibbling during your plays.”
By now, King was burning his seat. He was trying to shrink into nothingness. “You love torturing me, do you?”
Fox ruffled his head fur. “Because you are so cute when you’re embarrassed. Now, have you decided?”
The corgi nodded, happy to change to a more innocuous subject. “I think these guys will do. The City is too far, and the Gardens…well, I’d like somewhere that doesn’t remind where I come from, sorry.”
Fox nodded. “That I can understand. Why don’t you bring Bailey with you? She’ll love to participate.”
King shrugged. “Ah, she’s not used to that sort of stuff.”
“But she’d love to be with you during the process. She wants to see what you’ll choose and why, the chapel where you’ll be celebrating…”
For a couple of seconds, King regarded Fox with a blank stare. “She said she trusted me on this.”
“Because she doesn’t want to appear like an eager pup.”
King sighed. Bailey was complicated, but that was what he loved in her: a strong female, beautiful, undoubtedly sweet, and especially unforeseeable. She was like an onion, to be peeled layer after layer. Memo, find a better metaphor for my vows. One thing he had already discovered about her: never get her upset. Never.
King moved the mouse and started browsing the site to set an appointment for that day.
“Well, you surely want to make it fast,” Fox commented. “She’ll have to take a leave from the farm…”
“If she loves me, she will. And you know it.”
“Touché.”
Married to a dog.
Married to Bailey. That was it, dear King, he reflected; don’t think of all that could happen. Start this thousand miles voyage with a single step!
<You’re welcome,>said a familiar voice in his mind.
---
Gordon House, Apt.192, Lev.19, Terrace High

“So? Do you like it?” Alfred Gordon asked from the door.
The snow leopard walked around the apartment, inhaling the scents of new furniture –well, pretty much every scent in this place was new to him! After a lifetime spent literally in various zoos, he missed the smells from the other animals and the visitor crowds. It was…unsettling, but he would never tell that to Alfred. The poor human was so proud and happy that he’d never have the courage to tell him this place smelled like something sterile. And it was so…silent. Like the zoo’s veterinary examination room.
But what was there to protest? That was just a reflex from his body which still had to adjust. The question Alfred had asked was another.
“I love it!” Flash said, his eyes wide at everything he saw. Furniture, electronics, the kitchen, even the bathroom! Everything had been set up just as he had wanted it in his many fantasies about living with Dad!
He felt arms wrapping him from behind. “Knew you would.”
Flash let himself relax in the hug. In fact, he turned and returned the gesture. They stood like that for some time.
Time during which Flash thought: Alfred or Dad? How should he relation himself with the human? Best friend ever or adoptive parent?
“I’ll respect your choice,” Alfred said.
Flash broke the embrace. He was blushing now. “Ah, er, I…”
Alfred patted his shoulder. “I never wanted just a pet, relax. I wanted to take care of you. As a friend. It’s only that this ‘daddy mode’ got the best of me during the years, but doesn’t mean you’re a legal object to me.” He grabbed the leopard’s paws. “You said it, you’re my flatmate and best friend. And I’ll keep working hard to give you everything you need.”
Flash went and sat on the couch. “That’s the problem! I’m a Buwaran citizen, I should be able to provide to myself! Instead, I must rely on you once again!”
Alfred sat next to him. “And do you think I resent helping you? You said, you’re a foreign citizen with a green card, like any immigrant. And as any good Samaritan, it will be my pleasure and duty to help you standing on your feet until you are fully independent. You’ll see, the new mayor will change a lot of things around here.”
Flash nodded. His tail tip swished with excitement. “Yes, she will. I’m happy that there are humans who want this to happen.” He smiled at Alfred. “Are you sure she will make it? To be elected, I mean.”
The human nodded. “No way she can lose the race. Half of her program is in favor of animal rights and that will make animal lovers happy. The other half is made of investments with big bucks paid for by her supporters. Plus, there are rumors of a big project, sort of joint venture between Gottschalk and the Government… In other words, her adversaries won’t stand a chance.” He rubbed Flash’s shoulder. “Had anything in mind for your independence?”
“Hmm, yes. I always dreamed to put up a photography shop. Old fashion, with film and all.”
“In this case, you’ll need to do improve those correspondence courses. There’s an arts school here at the Fulcrum.”
Flash stuck out his tongue. “I know! I already signed up while preparing my stuff, back at the zoo. First day’s tomorrow, today I want to sign up at the LFL Club. I got an invitation already… Say, do you think that after she wins, we’ll have to…dress up or something?”
Alfred tried to imagine the leopard in a coat, eyeglasses, a big smile and a photo hanging on the pocket with the mandatory ‘Hi I am Flash! How fast can I help you’. He laughed. “Heh, hic sunt leones. Why won’t you go, now? You have a lot of new friends to meet!”
Flash stood up. Gave the man a last hug. “Will do…daddy.”
The human sported a mock frown. “Don’t. it’s creepy.”
“Daddy. Daddy. Da-addyyy,” the leopard chanted.
Alfred laughed again while putting his hands against his ears. “Ack! Creepy creepy creepy kitty!”
Flash ran toward the door. “See ya tonight for dinner, daddy! Love you!”
---
Lucky Charm Grove for the Abandoned and the Ferals, Babylon Gardens

“How did you manage to convince your…Mom to let you come?” Volant, walking in the park, asked. By now, he couldn’t care less if he still was drawing a lot of freaked-out stares. His only worry was that his only friend in the world would not be bothered. “Last I knew, she’d rather have me skinned and served as the Christmas Turkey.”
The Australian terrier walking next to him said, “Meh. I told her loud and clear that I’d starve myself. I did it, once, they had to tube-feed me eventually. Since then, that’s my ultimate weapon and she knows I’ll use it when I will take ‘no’ for an answer. Plus, she’s in the electoral committee of that human, Gabriella Lundberg: she will never run the risk of appearing as a heartless owner.”
“Lucky us, then, that she loves her image more than you.”
Elpis shook his head in amusement. “You know she loves me, Volant…” the auricular told him there was a bench nearby. He went and sat up. “Did I tell you that she brought me to a shelter, once?”
Volant sat down. His voice filled up with suspicion. “No. Why did she?”
“Because at that time I wasn’t really a good pup, so to say. And so she brought me there to let me sniff and hear what could’ve happened to me if I hadn’t been taken in by her and Dad.”
Volant growled horribly. Elpis couldn’t see him flexing his fingers as if he was strangling the human, but the terrier could imagine it. “That—That’s no way to treat a pup!”
Elpis could read the body messages as if they were written in neon light. Even had Volant been mute, his rage was like a burning fire. The terrier gently took his arm in his paws. “I used to think so, too. I was very scared by that atmosphere of negative feelings, the odors, the sounds… I had really detested her for that.
“But then, that night I heard her crying. She thought I couldn’t hear her, but I did, and I learnt how bad she had felt for inflicting that scare on me. Since then, I have never shown disrespect to her.”
Volant let out a bitter mirth. “Heh, the old ‘Gentle doctors cause smelly wounds’, right? It surely worked for me.” His paw moved to the tuft of fur that covered his red eye, an eye which used to be blue before one of his owners had poured acid into it. “Too bad I never learnt how to be a good boy.”
Elpis looked at him. Somehow, those artificial, sightless eyes could stare into his soul better than any other’s. “Because they didn’t want to teach you something… But, perhaps, ending up here will.”
Volant laughed. “Always the optimist pup! And why should I end up being better off here, of all places?”
Again that look. Elpis’ answer came like the most obvious observation. “Because here everyone’s happy. Except that, around you, there seems to be this…tension.”
“You don’t say.”
“Why won’t you come back home, Volant?” The terrier asked. “Your Dad is still waiting, your room hasn’t been touched since you left.”
“Do you trust his word on that?”
“I trust the computer. And even you must concede that it would be excessive to reprogram it to spread a convenient lie to me.”
Volant chuckled. “Touché. But I won’t change my mind, Elpis. You’re the only one who can stand me, in that community. That’s not my place.”
“And a room in a shelter is?”
Volant didn’t answer to that. He looked at Elpis as if the smaller dog could see his expression.
And, somehow, the Terrier understood. “You are going to leave the shelter. Go back to the streets.”
The Ridgeback nodded. “That’s my place. I won’t be deluded once again into believing life with humans is the best for me.”
“I see…”
Volant placed a paw on his shoulder. “I really appreciate what you are doing, believe me. But--*hoomph*” he was cut short by a fist connecting with his stomach. Unexpected and unexpectedly hard.
This time, Elpis was baring his teeth, his hackles standing up. “Liar! You say you don’t care about the others’ judgment and all of a sudden you do?! You say that you appreciate what I’m doing and now you tell me you’d rather be on the street?! Are you listening to yourself?!” The last sentence came almost like an enraged howl.
---
Back in the security offices, Kevin Fitzgerald Marsh, back to vice head of Security, was monitoring the conversation with apprehensive eyes. That Volant guy was like a darker version of Temno, if that was possible. His file gave a new definition to the word ‘problematic’. “Keith, are you ready?” he asked through his auricular.
“In my sight, and I’m loaded for elephant. Sorry, for asking, but last time I checked, weren’t the collars supposed to calm ‘em down in cases like this?” the voice of his boss, Keith Greyfield, asked back.
“Believe me, that guy eats sedating collars for breakfast. Once we had to taser him, and we lost five batteries before his nervous system conceded something.”
“…You’re kidding me, right?”
“Wish I was. You missed a great time here.”
---
“Heh, I guess that’s why I like you,” Volant said, rubbing his belly fur. “You can speak your mind without fear, not to prove yourself fearless in front of someone else.”
Elpis was still keeping his arms crossed and his head turned. “Hmph! You still are stupid, stubborn, and Stusomething else!”
Volant’s eyes went to the human sitting on another bench. “I don’t know what to do.”
Elpis’s head turned a few degrees. “Yes you know—“
“No, I don’t. Literally. I trusted them, Elpis. I really tried, I wanted to. I tried after I was abandoned as a puppy. Even years later, when my instincts told me that Todd and Bill weren’t the best of choices, I did. And the only friend I ever had had sacrificed himself to save me…” his head hung low.

Adam saw Volant’s head hanging low. He made as if to stand up and run to him, to console him.
Volant must have heard him, because a moment later, that fleeting display of weakness passed and the dog was looking at him with hostility.
The worst thing for Adam was that it was his fault if Volant had been betrayed. He should have intervened long before Todd dropped acid into his eyes. The situation for that poor dog was already bad enough as it was, and Adam had let it deteriorate because he thought he was friend with those two crooks!
But it wouldn’t be the human who’d carry the scars… Uh? Who’s that dog now?

“Aha! I knew you had your dirty, dirty secret, dawg!” said a boxer-lab mix, grey furred with blond stripes along his arms. “You have a friend!” He almost jumped when he saw the Terrier protruding his head, ears and nose toward him. “Uhh, wanna sniff my butt perhaps?”
“Can do from here, thanks.” Elpis sniffed at the breeze carrying to him voice and smells of this new dog. Unlike the other animals at the shelter, he showed no sign of fear in presence of Volant. His voice spoke of confidence, though there still was that edge of prudence.
The Terrier offered his paw, missing the right height. “Glad to meet you, whoever you are. I’m Elpis Karahalios, and before you ask I am blind. And you might be..?”
The boxer mix looked at Volant, who nodded. “Elias. Call me Tommy. Like the old submachine gun, you know. Love them weapons.” He shook Elpis’ paw.
“Are you a friend of Volant?” Again he turned at the dog as if he could see the strange mix of embarrassment and scoff painted on the Ridgeback’s face. “He didn’t tell me anything.”
“He allows me to talk to him without getting a bruise, so I guess it counts as friendship. Sooo…” he leaned toward Elpis and whispered mockingly. “Is there anything juicy you would share with us about this brute?”
Elpis rubbed his chin, sticking out his tongue. “Hmm, there could be. Depends on how good he acts while I visit this nice place. For example, I’m sure his Dad really, really misses a nice walk with him.”
Volant facepawlmed and groaned loudly. “You two are so dead…”

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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
3.
Line 1 Bus Stop, 1 Compton Drive

“Okay, I’ll concede that much: Should my Dad quit the farm job, I’d like to live here.” So spoke Bailey Lindberg, looking at the immense tower of the Fulcrum. All around the tower, the Hexagon Park was like an immense oasis filled with activity. An oasis surrounded by a tall glass fence.
The only entrance would lay nearby the bus stop –a mobile staircase marked by a red sign with a big white L. The three of them – Bailey, King and Fox – were the last ones standing outside after all of the other passengers had disappeared into the passage.
“I guess there won’t be a cab for us,” Fox commented, walking toward the stairs. “Come on, guys, or did you change your mind already?” His eyes focused on King, as if challenging him to say so.
King took Bailey’s paw in a gallant gesture and led her toward the entrance. “Allow me, ma’am.” He turned briefly his head at Fox and stuck out his tongue at the husky.
“Touché,” Fox said to himself and followed. “Anyway, thank you for inviting me, guys, though I don’t know how helpful could I be.”

Any fear that the passage could cause claustrophobia was soothed by the elegant sceneries projected along the walls. It was like proceeding down a smooth hill in springtime.
King said. “You have always been with me since first we met. It’s only fair that I involved you in the preparations of the wedding.” He was making progresses: this time he had managed to say the word without feeling an uneasy lump in his throat.
Fox wagged. “Thank you. It means a lot, you know.”
“Don’t say it You two guys are the most important dogs of my life, after all.” He had just said that, that two paws gently squeezed his shoulders from both sides. King looked first at Bailey then at Fox, meeting their serene blue eyes. Heh, life could be really strange, unpredictable, but he had stopped complaining at last. King had had his chance, he had grabbed it and would fight for it with all his might…
In a comfortable silence, broken only by the sounds of the virtual reality around them, they reached the bottom of the stairs. Waiting for them, they found an egg-shaped car, laying on what looked like a magnetic rail.
The car’s doors opened and the trio stepped in. “First class service,” King commented, looking around. An automated model, no crew. Classy couches, conditioned air at the right temperature. And a mini fridge!
The door closed. There was just a small vibration as the magnetic line lifted the car. It started a moment later, with the dogs barely feeling the acceleration.
Bailey helped herself to the fridge. “Sandwiches! Kingy, wanna some egg and tuna?”
“Chicken and mushroom if they have any,” Fox said. Bailey threw a package at him. She then sat up on a couch, and King sat on her lap.
Fox, chewing his own sandwich, just enjoyed in silence the ride. Windows projected sceneries from a cruise around some coastal area. There were even the smells and sounds from the sea.
“I think I could even live here,” Bailey said.
“Why are you so concerned with changing home?” King asked distractedly. “You have a loving family, a house in the Gardens, a great job at the farm... Plus, your Dad and Mom are making great bucks.”
Bailey sighed. “Don’t I know it. But they want to go back to Kansas, they want to rebuild. Their family has its roots, there. I understand their needs.”
King frowned. “And yours, ours, don’t count?”
“What do you mean?”
King lowered his eyes. “Ah, nothing. I mean…I will follow you everywhere, Bailey. I will come with you to Kansas, if it will come to that, but…” Without lifting his eyes, his mind lost in his thoughts, King said, “Why not adopt another? I mean, the shelter will surely have another dog to give for adoption, someone you could teach the job to. So you could stay here… Bailey?”
Even without looking at her, she could perceive her tension growing. Which was not a good sign!
A moment later, she said, “So…do you think I’m just ‘replaceable’? Like a tool?”
Against his better judgment, King hopped down and put his paws against his ears. “No! I said that you have a choice to build yourself a new life, here at Babylon! With me!”
Her eyes almost sent sparkles. It was so like her, to become a flaming Valkyrie at the least provocation, intended or not. “I belong to a family, King, much like you do. Why should I leave them?”
“Because I would follow you everywhere! But it looks like you are not ready to do the same for me!”
Bailey rubbed her temples, as if trying to contain the building fury. After a very heavy sigh, she said in that condescended tone he really hated, “King, I believe you are taking this ‘wedding’ thing way too seriously! We are dogs, we’re not supposed to start our own families as if we were masters of our lives!”
“But that’s the point!! Why do you think I asked now of all times? Just for the fun of it?!” King couldn’t believe he was having this argument, now, just after managing to choke those voices of old telling him this was wrong… And now he was finding himself fighting for the idea like he had never done before! “Angela Lundberg will win the race, and she’ll do things that will change our lives! For good, for once!” King grabbed her paws, looking at her with pleading eyes. “Bailey, hon, please! We can be masters of our destiny. It’s just a question of months, and then we can tell to those who could separate us to—“ his heart sank under his feet when he saw her shaking her head.
“King, I don’t want this change. I just want to go on with the life I have. I don’t need something…that I don’t care about. I will follow my family as you’d follow yours, so please: If you love me, stop thinking such things. Let’s just be happy as it is.”
The only thing that the corgi’s mind was able to process was that, once, he’d have been the happiest of dogs for that refusal.
Now he felt as if someone had crushed his spirits in ways that not even Pete could have imagined.

Fox had followed that sudden degeneration with a sense of unreality. What the heck had just happened?! He blinked several times, then rubbed his eyes as if wishing it would wake him up from a bad dream… But it didn’t happen. He sat there, dumbfounded, looking at King, unable to utter a proper word of consolation…
At that moment, the loudspeaker came to life. Only then did the dogs realize that the car had passed their stop all the while they were arguing. “Next stop: Noah’s Ark Biopark,” said a smooth feminine voice.
---
Lucky Charm Grove for the Abandoned and the Ferals, Babylon Gardens

“You know, it is I who should be offended,” said the raven perching on Volant’s shoulder.
The Rhodesian Ridgeback rolled his eyes. “Please, not you too.”
“Oh, poor dear,” the bird chanted. “After all I only come here to visit you, keep some company, share some gossip… I swear, I’m starting to think I must become a ghost and possess you, just to make sure you introduce me to your acquaintances at least!”
Elpis and Elias, walking at the dog’s sides, chuckled. “I thought you were one of the guests, Mr...?” Elpis asked.
A wing went to the black-feathered chest. “Nevermore, but Never you may call me.”
“What species are you? Sorry for asking, but I never had the chance to learn enough bird scents. I can tell pigeons, chickens, sparrows and a few others. You are not one of them.”
“Then inhale and enjoy, sweetie! I’m a raven, best in the category.”
“Now don’t get all head over heels,” Volant admonished him.
“A raven,” Elpis commented, nodding. “Should have known: Volant had told me about Lugh, once. Does he still carry his feather with himself?”
Volant smiled as he tapped his spiked collar. “Still safely tucked in here.”
“Then you’re one lucky little guy,” Never said, with sincere admiration. “You got him to open himself to a part of his life he shared only with a selected few. Namely, me.”
“Lugh..?” Elias asked, raising an eyebrow.
Volant grunted. “Looks like I’ll have a lot of mouths to keep shut in the next days. Thank you Elpis.”
The green-furred Australian Terrier bowed gallantly, “You’re welcome, my lord. And no, I will not help you bottling up your life as if it was something to be ashamed of. I may understand you have reason to detest your life, but I know you won’t hurt me or Elias or Never. Why won’t you try and be a better dog with the others—“ He understood he had done it the moment he felt Volant’s hatred coming out of his body. The dog’s smell reeked with tension. His steps had become less…casual, as if he was getting ready to turn and pounce. But most of all it was his voice that revealed the sudden change. A voice like a dark blade cutting into his heart.
“I don’t remember you had permission to take certain liberties about what I confided to you,” Volant said, his fists flexing.
Elias gulped. “I ain’t gonna say a thing, boss, honest to Dog! In fact, I never heard a thing!”
Elpis lowered his head. “I-I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to—“
“Did you tell about him to anyone else?” a voice that didn’t admit any lie.
Elpis shook his head meekly. “No. And forgive me if I sounded as if I wanted to make fun of it. I never meant—“ then he heard the sound of human footsteps approaching quickly. He recognized the scent as belonging to Mr. Male, Volant’s Dad.
Volant turned to the human. “Now, what do you want, you—“
*SKIAFFO!* It sounded like an explosion! A slap powerful enough to make Volant’s head turn sideways.
Elias’ jaw fell to the ground. Never started praying.
Volant…looked too surprised for words. He didn’t even growl, he just stood there staring with dot eyes to the one who had dared so much!
Adam Male stared back with the most severe expression he could muster, unflinching… And then he only said, “Bad dog!”

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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
uh-oh, trouble in paradise. I knew you'd find a way to fit their argument into your story. :lol:

now make Bailey punch Bino =P

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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
RandomGeekNamedBrent wrote:
uh-oh, trouble in paradise. I knew you'd find a way to fit their argument into your story. :lol:

now make Bailey punch Bino =P

you know the most absurd thing? it's a coincidence!!! it's just that i couldn't believe things could be going so smooth for them, and in fact, danger was lurking in the corner! (and if my way of expressing myself sounds weird, it has to do with my way of writing). This update would've been written time ago if it hadn't been for that hiatus i took

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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
uh oh, you're starting to repeat Rick before he does things. Soon you're going to try and convince us he's writing a fan comic for your fic.
(this wild mass guess inspired by the Doctor Who episode, Midnight)

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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
RandomGeekNamedBrent wrote:
uh oh, you're starting to repeat Rick before he does things. Soon you're going to try and convince us he's writing a fan comic for your fic.
(this wild mass guess inspired by the Doctor Who episode, Midnight)

now now, I'm not *that* evil :mrgreen:

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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
4.
Lucky Charm Grove for the Abandoned and the Ferals, Babylon Gardens

“Bad dog!” Adam Male repeated, while massaging his hand, after giving his strongest slap to the Rhodesian Ridgbeack standing in front of him. Like hitting a piece of marble, but Volant had it coming for a long time…
Apparently, that same dog was too shocked to react, though every human and animal looking at that scene were now getting ready for blood…
“Frankly, Volant, you are such a disappointment, and I am sick of this cheap drama game!”
Volant’s eyes promised murder. His teeth uncovered in a silent snarl.
---
Back in the control room, Kevin Marsh was about to press the button to activate both neural shocker and sedative needle. Should keep him down for a minute or two, hopefully, while the security teams get him…
---
Adam extended his hand until it almost brushed Volant’s mouth. “You want to bite someone? Here I am. I am a human, my peers made you suffer, forged an innocent pup into what you are today. I vowed to take care of you, and I failed because I was too weak.”
Volant’s eyes narrowed.
“I was supposed to take care of you, not letting you getting angrier and angrier. My fault. But I will not let you turn against the only ones who want to be friends with you, do you hear me?! So, if you really want to vent your hatred here I am!” Then the man bent down until he was almost face-to-muzzle with Volant. “But do not dare to take it on them. Heavens know they don’t deserve it!”
Volant huffed an angry puff of breath into the human’s face…then his snarl turned into a grin. “Heh.”
Adam gave him a perplexed frown. “What?”
“Gutsy. I like it. You talk like a cheesy Disney character, but you got guts. I like it.”
A part of Adam almost fainted with relief for the dodged bullet. “So…can I give you another when needed?”
“Don’t get cocky, big ape. You earned a bit of respect, you must do better than this--*irk* I said, no overconfidence!” he yelled when the human crushed him in a powerful hug.
“I love you too, grumpolo.”
“I have a reputation…” Volant blushed with embarrassment. The first chuckles from those who used to fear him could be heard by now.
“So? They know better than mock you,” Adam whispered in his ear. “Make me proud and defend your honor, just don’t maim them, okay?”
“Not even a teensy weensy boney, Daddy?”
“No. Or no dinner.”
“Oh, good. I feared you wanted to keep me off the bowl for more than two days.”
He hugged the man. “Thank you for believing in me.”
“I will always believe in you.” Right at that moment, Adam would have gladly snatched Volant to carry him back home. But, luxury shelter or not, the big dog had a minimum time to serve, and most important he had to prove he was improving, to be declared fit for society once again. It depended on Volant and no one else.
The man let go of the dog, ruffled his head fur. “I’ll go back to the car now. You spend all the time you want with your friends, okay? I’m in no hurry.” He turned and started walking away…when he felt a paw tugging at his arm.
“Wait!”
Elpis, Elias and Never, who was perching on the boxer’s shoulder, exchanged a knowing look and a smile. They quietly stepped back.
“Yes?” Adam asked, turning back.
Volant pointed with his head at the imposing building of the dormitory. “Do you…want to see my room?”
Adam smiled, nodding. “Sure.”
---
Noah’s Ark Biopark, Terrace High

“Hi there, puppy! Do you want to play with me?” Now, such question could be considered legitimate, considering that King, despite being a fully adult, would display The Cuteness Factor. He was used to it, in fact planning a way to avoid the…excessive exuberance of Babylon Gardens’ humans was part of his morning routine.
But when that question would come from an alligator, then King would seriously question if his creator hadn’t put some Cuteness Curse on him!
The Welsh Corgi blinked at the reptile, who had just emerged from the lake. In spirit with the premises owner’s megalomania, the zoo was like a world in itself, a mosaic of highly detailed environments to make sure the spectators would enjoy a full immersion experience while visiting. Including mosquitos, since ‘gators weren’t a cold climate species.
“I’m sorry?” King asked.
The alligator kept smiling like when he had asked that question. “I said, do you want to play with me? Pleeeease?” and this time, teeth were added to the smile.
King started to understand why the humans at the Gardens were still so wary of a wolf smile. “Uh, I really don’t know. I mean, there’s the ‘do not play with animals’ sign back at the entrance…”
The gator pouted. “Aw, I miss having a puppy around. Or a kitten… Dad would always bring me one for my birthday.”
“Uh?”
“I lived in a nice house with him. But he got arrested because they said he had catnapped…kitnapped…knitted my little friends!”
“Kidnapped?” King memories went back to his human days. Days when, as a young ASPCA member, he had read on the Net about a crazy loon kidnapping pets in Babylon Gardens to feed them to his alligator.
The same crazy loon who had kidnapped Fox the first time!!! King stared at the reptile. “You’re Fluffy!
Her scaled body waved with excitement. She was positively wagging, like a half-ton cannibal doggie. “Yay! I’m still famous!”
King’s heart was racing, now. He felt like shivering. This was the very same alligator who could’ve killed Fox, years ago, long before the newly-transformed Corgi could even get to meet him.
What would’ve been his life, had he met someone else? Or no one at all?
“Why are you crying, puppy?” Fluffy’s voice asked, breaking part of that train of thought.
King shook his head out of the trance, but the head of the train was still running.
It hadn’t been Pete, who had changed his life. Turning him a dog was the fruit of a whim, just another way to get a minion.
It had been Fox.
Without Fox… King shook his head again. No, no, no, NO! It was like trying and imagine your worst nightmare.
He couldn’t, he just couldn’t leave him to pursue his own happiness, Bailey or not.
Bailey.
The train made it safe into the station.
I love Bailey. Dog, I’m so in love with her! There would be never one like her, he knew that.
Just as he now understood fully what she had meant during their argument. She, too, had friends, special friends back in Kansas, and he loved her family. And King had been an egotist to ask her to break that bond, and for what? To answer once again to the lure of his old life with its customs.
Dogs weren’t mean to marry, unless the circumstances were favorable, and no new laws would make them such for a while.
I love her. I can’t live without Fox. And I must respect Bailey's choice, whatever the consequences!
“I’m crying because I’m happy,” he said to Fluffy. “Thank you, big monster.”
It was somehow creepy, the sight of her cocking her head sideways in puzzlement. “You’re welcome. What for?”
King wiped his tears with his arms. “Because thanks to you, I know where my priorities lay. Tell you what, I may ask the Direction to play with you one day.” And with that, he turned and ran away.
“I’m counting on it!” Fluffy called back
---
It was a common rule of all zoos throughout the States, that a mascot or two were chosen to represent the exhibit. Said mascots would entertain adult and children, pose for pictures, give assistance… Your user-friendly interface.
Flash was, along with the vixen Nusku, the most popular and recurring mascot. Those visitors who had never met him personally used to see him as the advertising smile in the NAB’s logo. Direction had declared it a day of mourning, when he had left his position at the zoo to live at the Fulcrum. Now that he was a full Buwaran citizen, Flash couldn’t be just an exhibit. Not without many diplomatic issues included.
But for now, as usual, while running among the crowd of the ‘Arctic Base’, he drew calls and greetings from the visitors and the exhibits alike.
“Hey, citizen! You’re missing us already?” a penguin called out from the ice pack.
The snow leopard stopped. He leaned over the glass fence. “I just wanted to thank you all guys for the great time, and apologize for going away like that, without a word. In fact, I feel really bad for that, Hirnon.”
The penguin chuckled. “Aw, come on, big softie: not that you were missing a lot, after all. It’s just a job: all animals here will go back home to be replaced with new exhibits. *Tsk* the things you don’t do for cheap food.”
Flash snickered. “Yeah, and for packs of cigarettes. How are you doing with those nicotine patches?”
The bird shivered as if suffering the cold. His already chaotic head feathers seemed to stand up like hackles. “Please, I had just started forgetting about it for a moment!” he looked around, as if fearing to be heard. “Please, man! Just toss me one! I need the taste, not ersatz poison! Not to mention that the patch is ruining my pretty feathers!”
“I don’t have—“
“Then beg for one! You're more effective than a 1 m/o puppy!”
“Sorry, won’t.” Flash put a paw on his chest, solemnly declaring, “I’m a responsible Buwaran citizen now, my friend.”
Hirnon fumed and crossed his wings. “Knew it’d get over your head, boyo… Hopefully, by next year I’ll be done with this shift.”
“Is that the nicotine speaking?”
“Nah. Just want to explore the world.”
“Don’t you miss your old pack?”
“Orda and the others? Please, now that he and Layna got their chicks, he’d cut my wings before allowing anyone to smoke in the whole Antarctic to protect their health. And I was never cut to take roots in one place: good ol’ me, the odd egg.”
“Heh, don’t I know that. Me, I’m sorta missing the zoo already. It feels really weird…living elsewhere. I promised Dad to get in touch with the local pet club, but this is more like home.”
Hinron nodded. His wing reached his mouth, as if wanting to take a cigarette that wasn’t there. “Stupid reflexes… Anyway, boyo, what’s more important to you? Staying in one place forever just because it makes you feel comfortable, or catch the opportunity to live a better life? I mean, kitty: look at yourself, from mascot to citizen. You could go to Africa, start your own family, pay taxes and do everything a human does without the drawbacks. Doesn’t look like a bad deal, hm?”
Flash lowered his eyes and ears. “Ya, but Dad? He worked so hard to help me… Don’t I owe him too?”
“He didn’t help you so that you’d be his cute slave, boyo. And even if he did, it’s high time you claimed your rights, or you’ll better put on a collar, rip that Buwaran IDs and wait for the next meal whenever your human decided to serve it. Is it what you wanted when you got the citizenship?”
Flash fiddled with his fingers. “…No. I mean, I hadn’t expect such a change. It’s a bit…overwhelming, that is.”
The penguin nodded. “Then face it, a bit at a time. I had exaggerated a bit, Mr. Gordon is one caring human, he’d shackle himself before forcing you into a choice, so give him some credit…and to yourself. Stop thinking like a pet.”
The leopard sighed. “I guess you’re right.” He then raised his eyebrow. “Didn’t see you as a deep person, you know?”
Hinron tapped at his own skull. “Odd egg, told ya. Now go and enjoy your new life. Time is still running for us all.”
Flash nodded enthusiastically. “Will do! Thank you, buddy!” and fast as he had come, he ran away.
“You look like you enjoyed the show, guys,” Hinron asked, turning to the couple of huskies, who were still staring in awe at him. “And, lady, just in case: I am more the feather-oriented kind of guy.”
“Are you okay, Bailey?” Fox asked his cousin. Since leaving the Line, she had just fallen silent, fuming. It was so much like her, trying and not show any weakness. Usually, after a while, every attempt to insist was dropped. Heck, King may be a grumpy stubborn son of a dog sometimes (okay, a bit more often than that), but he wasn’t one to hide his feelings.
And so it came as a surprise to Fox when she said, “Yes.”
Smiling. Just a timid smile, ears low, her sight lost elsewhere. “Fox…”
“Yes?”
“I messed up big time, this time, did I?”
Aaannd this was that awkward moment when any answer would cave your face into your skull! “Uh, cousin, I—“
Bailey shook her head. “Nevermind, of course I did. Kingy is right, he’d go as far as leaving his own family for me. He’d make big changes and here I am, whining because I’d get to live in a good family, myself. With a good dog at my side.”
Fox, wisely, decided to keep his mouth shut.
“I guess there is time… I mean, it will never hurt to try, even without having to call out on this new ‘animal rights’ thing.” She sighed, as if letting go of a great weight. “So, yes. I’ll marry him and give this thing a chance.”
Fox, too, felt like Atlas just starting coffee break. “Bailey, this is so…” he nodded and squeezed her shoulders. “You’re doing the right thing, believe me: King’s a great guy, he’d cut his ears rather than hurting you.”
Bailey hugged her cousin. “I know. I guess I was just too scared to admit it.”
It was at that moment that King showed up, trotting and panting. Fox just winked at him, then his finger went to his lips. He was wagging.
And King knew that from now on, his life would change forever once again.
---
The Lucky Charm Grove

“Are you all right, Sir?” the Hispanic woman asked Bill, seeing him shivering as if he had gotten a sudden bad case of the cold.
Bill felt his brow, discovering a film of cold sweat. “Uhh, I don’t know Ramona: An angel walked on my grave, if I’m allowed… Listen, will you have a look at my bank account? I have really a bad sensation…”


HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES
Season IV
Episode 3
FIN

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Thu Dec 13, 2012 5:58 am
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
Just to make it clear: Hinron is a generous character donation from STU. Those of you who read HP 1X's spinoff will recognize the guy from Orda's pack. And in the future you'll see him appear a bit more often in my ficcie *evil laugh*
Thank you for your attention!

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Thu Dec 13, 2012 8:58 am
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
Cool bean. Events tend to occur differently than Rick's comic and other fandom and still remained in characters. Such is the benefit in a what if universe.

Wild mass guessing time!

OC from STU's work will participate in the climax of this season
Champ is Ralph's father
Sabrina's brother Shadow will return

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Thu Dec 13, 2012 12:34 pm
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
kavviyenta wrote:
Cool bean. Events tend to occur differently than Rick's comic and other fandom and still remained in characters. Such is the benefit in a what if universe.

Wild mass guessing time!

OC from STU's work will participate in the climax of this season
Champ is Ralph's father
Sabrina's brother Shadow will return

Not unlikely, but I haven't planned this far...
You know, I might grow to like this idea....
If he'll do, it will be for another short cameo. Shadow is like Joel's dogs, he's gone and I prefer it to be so.

And I so LOVE to have my own Wild Mass Guessing! :D

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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
And that's another episode read.

It certainly is interesting how the King and Bailey romantic tension arc happens around the same time Rick writes it. Though you know saying "great minds think alike." :lol: I like how this season is going thus far. It is very dynamic and lots of stuff is going on, it makes me hunger for more!

But patience is a virtue :D I can't wait to see where the next episode takes the characters.

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Thu Dec 13, 2012 6:42 pm
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