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HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread 
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES
Season IV
Episode 4 – Sweet Slices of Life
By VALERIO

1.
Love for Life social pet club, Terrace High

The grey-furred cat walked onto the stage with a great air of solemnity, ears perfectly perked up, tail raised up in a perfect question mark, paws clasped behind his back, like a perfect gentleman. Even the black patch on his eye looked classy.
The cat stopped at the podium in the middle of the stage. He put his paws onto the podium, cleared his throat once.
Then the bullseye hit him and his composure was replaced by the most enthusiast expression a cat could muster! It was as if pure joy was exploding out of his face, with a contagious voice. An act that, back in the days, had got many customers for his parents when they were selling cars.
Gentlefurs! Welcome to a Very Important Predicamento! Nuntio Vobis Gaudium Magnum! A new member joined our fold! An incredible guy, whose life has always been marked by misfortune. A guy who well deserved a healthy dose of good karma!
“Our new friend had to spend his life in the zoos, hoping one day to live with the human who had kept him nursed in good health. Our new friend lived on unprocessed foods and hope and the love of his many friends… But now he’s got a new life to build, he’s a stranger in a strange world, he needs…” his face became serious as he pointed his finger in an almost threatening fashion. “You!” Then back was the happy mask. “Make no mistake, he has no secrets for us. He want to make sure to know” drum roll “everything about him because he believes good friends should have no secrets to each other. And so now let’s join paws in a good-ol’-fashion applause for our newest, awesome, coolest member:” bullseye moved at the cat’s left.
Illuminating an empty spot, in an embarrassed silence.
Steve facepawlmed. “The right. My right, you dolts! What’s a pro to do, today?”
Bullseye moved in the indicated spot, illuminating a tall, muscular, perfect specimen of snow leopard (Uncia Uncia). “FLAAAASH-GORDONNNN!!!”
“Hi guys,” the feline said, waving, his voice drowned by the enthusiastic cheers and applauses.
On went the lights.

“I want your kittens!” A Maine Coon female was saying, not alone in that display.
“Alandra!” Kwesi protested, blushing madly.
“Let nature answer the call, boy,” said an elder Basenji sitting beside him. “I’m starting to like this club!”
Kwesi sighed, knowing his father would never stop hoping his son could come to his senses and marry a dog to perpetuate the species… And Kwesi’s feline girlfriend was not helping. In fact, there was a certain…tension in the feline portion of the club. The males looked as if they were feeling small and inadequate. The girls were tossing roses and tuna cans.
From time to time, one of them would shiver and look around. “Who the frick left the air conditioning on at full blast?!”
The female sitting next to her friend didn’t even look at her, and said, “Ah, you got a cold, sis. Too bad, the fluffy’s all mine!”
“Dream on! *snitzx!*” Of course, she couldn’t see the ghostly cat hovering above her, a ghost whose sighs of love were causing those shivers.
Morrigan was seriously considering to break her vows, possess a girl and have some good-ol’-fashioned mortal fun with this glorious hunk!

Steve turned toward the Maine Coon that had just walked onto the stage. “Got ‘em warmed up nice and good, Prez.”
“Thank you, Steve,” Tegan said, meaning it. The cat had been one of their best acquisitions. Never the Club got a better PR guy. To think he had spent so much time in a pound and yet keeping his high spirit unscathed…
Tegan was holding a box made of blue-lacquered wood. “This is your club membership welcome gift box. Welcome to the club.”
Flash took it, blushing a bit. “Gee, thanks. I was never given a welcome gift box. I always got leaflets to distribute to the visitors.” He opened it, hesitantly, and managing to look even cuter by the minute. “Ohh!”
The box contained a paper certificate of membership wrapped in a blue ribbon, a member plastic card with a microchip and a holographic picture of Flash, with his signature, and another, paper card with a series of numbers on it.”
“The plastic can be used as credit card,” Tegan explained. “There’s some money in it already, our money hat for you. And it also works as communicator, like a miniature phone. A test device gift from Mr. Gottschalk for our Club.”
Flash was beaming. “Ubercool!” then he scratched his head while looking at the small business card. “And what’s with the numbers? Is it a PIN?”
“No! Those are my cell and home numbers. Call me anytime, prince of the snowy peaks!”
“TEGAN!”
Now Flash was blushing seriously, while his eyes went to the screaming figure. “Ah, is that a dog? Your friend?”
“Boyfriend. Nothing serious.”

The poor Golden Retriever was fuming, arms tightly crossed at his chest. “She’s so gonna pay for this! What could she find in that stupid bundle of spotted fur?! He looks even clumsy!”
“You mean, aside from his lovelock muzzle, spectacular abs, his throbbing biceps, his sculpted chest and a tail that could wrap you up like a snuggly winter coat?” said the figure sitting next to the dog.
Elliot turned his eyes. “Oh, yes, as if he was the first big cat she ever—“ then those same eyes widened like plates. “Guh..?”
“The word is ‘gay’, if you want to pronounce it correctly,” the silver-coated otter said. “And I won’t give a chirp about other pets’ opinion: I call dibs on that beauty as long as I can delude myself that I have a chance!”
“Errol?” Elliot managed to say, still trying to keep his eyes inside their sockets. “B-but…” hadn’t he practically tried to ask a date to all existing females in the building all the time?!
The otter stood up and patted his shoulder. “Don’t worry, dear: I’ll save your mind from meltdown and see you again when you’re ready to cope. Have a nice day.” With that, he stood up and left the room.

In a way, he was proud of himself. In fact, he felt even…relieved.
He had done it, he had said the word and the world was still there. No torches and pitchforks.
He was officially the crazy guy to avoid for dear life, if Elliot’s eyes were an indication of what lay ahead of him.
Errol sighed, while sitting down against a tree. He hoped poor Kwesi wouldn’t get in trouble for having such an odd acquaintance, given the relatives…
“Chirp,” he muttered. “I hope I won’t have to ask for a time machine and shut my muzzle up.”
“The leasing would kill you, let me say it. And then, you’d do an error big time, beauty.” Together with those unexpected words came a true assault to Errol’s senses.
His ears found that voice something so seductive, that alone it was overpowering his nose, which was in turn receiving a combination of wild and delicate… And all of that was crumbling before the sight his eyes met: not just a male, but a genet. A bushy, long ringed tail with two golden bands and a silvery coat covered with perfect line of spots. Moonlight made the fur shine with a splendid aura. His delicate snout was marked by black lines, like in a cheetah. His collar was a thin golden band with a tiny lock as tag. His eyes were two delicate grey pearls.
“Duh…” Errol was having a hard time processing the creature standing in front of him. Granted, this guy couldn’t compare to Flash’s category, but it was just as if heavens had listened to the otter’s prayers and sent him an angel! “Hollabollamolla,” he said—and this time he was quick in clasping his paws around his mouth. He gave a pleading look of apologies to the stranger. “Meep?”
The genet sat down next to Errol. “Jin.”
“Uh..?” Dear heavens and above he smelled so cute!
“Jin. Gene Chester’s my name, but I like Jin. Easier to remember than what you said before. Nice to meet you, handsome.”
Errol extended his paw, afraid that this apparition would disappear as soon as—
But it didn’t. Jin was still there and shaking paw with a good grip. “Now, are you going to keep staring like that all day? Not that I’d mind, but—“
The otter’s voice came out flat, pure dumbstruck mode. “Do you live here? Please tell me that you live here because if not I’ll abandon everyone and everything just to keep your tail wrapped around me.”
Gene laughed, a rich, modulated sound. “Oh, my, not bad for my first proposal! Relax, handsome: I live here and I’m not going anywhere. In fact, I wanted to tell you that I’m so proud that you decided to come out like that: Cheeky with a touch of class. I was beginning to lose hopes.”
“What do you mean? You were..?”
The genet nodded. “Hadn’t the guts to get in touch with you and, well, ask for a date, out of the blue. You had built yourself quite a fake reputation, mon.”
Errol blushed. “I should feel flattered for giving such an impression, but eventually I realized I was just being stupid. I wanted so bad to fit into the group, that I was losing my own identity. And time.” He showed a meek smile. “Heh, thought I needed a good excuse, and kissing someone just to show off was not the most socially acceptable one.”
Gene nodded. “Agree on that. Good for cheesy politically correct movies, but also good for brewing trouble in real life… But now that secret is out, what about getting…more acquainted, hm?”
Errol found himself nodding dumbly. “Whuddoahdo?”
“I’m sorry?”
The otter cleared his throat. “What do I do? I mean, I always dreamt to be with one like you, but…I’m not exactly an expert, being this my first date and all.”
Gene scratched his nose, pensively. “Hmm, you have a point there. We should get to know each other better with a nice meal in front of us, get ourselves exhausted with a long romp, getting drunk on soda and sing dirty songs all night long. And then you’ll wake up the following morning in my arms and asking yourself ‘What did we do, yesterday?’… But before getting worried with the future, and since we have to wait until tomorrow to start our extravaganza, let’s just start with something easy, now.”
Errol discovered three things, at that moment: genets could be fast, they were stronger than they looked.
And they knew how to kiss.
---
Karahalios House, Apt. 494, Lev. 49

“…and this is where Volant let me piggyride him! This is where we fenced with blunt swords! This is where I beat him at chess and this is where he threw the table over. This is where he kicked a bear’s butt for making fun of me…”
Khloe kept looking at the pictures her dog was almost throwing in her face. And despite her own advice, she found herself almost crying with joy. Elpis was such a good boy, well-mannered, well-learnt… But she had never seen him so happy. For some reason, that…that hooligan of a dog was, in Elpis’ eyes, like a big brother. “Yes, I can see, dear. I’m happy you had a good time with your friend.”
“Thank you for letting me see him! I told you he wasn’t evil, see??” and the terrier hugged her with all his might.

Adelphos Karahalios looked at the scene from the couch where he and Adam Male were sitting and sipping whisky.
“I must apologize to you, Mr. Male,” Khloe’s husband said. “Like you, I should’ve been more present as the man of the house and do something rather than letting Volant caged up.”
“Don’t be sorry, Sir. Your wife can be quite a handful when push comes to shove.”
Adelphos chuckled. “You said it. Did you know that Karahalios is the name of her family? For generations, it was us males who had to go beg for the honor to marry a Karahalios woman. Heh, a grand-uncle of her was American, a soldier of the Allied Forces back in the early 40s. Even before getting married, he had dubbed his fiancée ‘K-Special’. He was a guy from the Texas, but he was tamed just like every other male, eventually.”
“Sounds like Elpis must be quite the strong guy, if he still can keep up with her.”
Adelphos chuckled. “We’re pretty sure that he’s our son reincarnated. That’s why she won’t spoil him.”
Adam looked at the amber liquid, seeing the face of Volant in its reflection. “I’ll be happy to accompany Elpis at the shelter anytime, Mr. Karahalios.”
The other nodded. “We knew you would.” He fished an ivory envelope out of his pocket. “Just give this to Volant, next time. One week from today, sharp. I guess you won’t have it more generous from my wife. She doesn’t like to admit her mistakes, not even to herself. Hope Elpis won’t find someone like her for himself. Lord knows even our pets don’t need such a torment…”

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Last edited by valerio on Tue Dec 31, 2013 7:13 am, edited 1 time in total.



Fri Dec 14, 2012 2:53 pm
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
2.
The Pets of Love – Wedding Planners, Lev. 8, Terrace High

“I regret nothing.” So spoke the Corgi, standing before the altar, a black cat dressed like a priest, a Bible in his paws, standing at the small dog’s left.
The church responded with silence. That evening, the ceremony had only one witness: the Alaskan Husky Fox, sitting in the first row of the wooden benches. Like King, he was wearing an elegant black collar with a bow tie.
Standing in front of King was Bailey. A short milky cape of sort was flowing down from her milk-white collar and down to her shoulders.
Both dogs were holding paws delicately, blue eyes into blue eyes, a match made by the oddest stars.
“Things happen,” King went on. “Life will throw at us all sort of things. Some of them we can help, some we can’t.” He paused to drew in a deep breath. He had been freaking out while picturing this moment. Now that he was living it, he felt at peace, as if he had just stepped into the void…discovering there was a pavement under him all the time.
“I can help this, Bailey. I have the chance to build something important with you. Frankly, it scares me down to the bones, because everything is so new to me. But I know you are and will be with me day by day, step by step. Just like Fox helped me discover a new world, now I must rely on you to discover my own soul.
“Bailey Lindberg, I promise you now and forever to be your only mate, to be true to you, to give you all I can. Because here starts the road we will be walking together. I will not worry myself for what is to happen, but I’ll face every challenge, to make sure we stand together, no matter the costs. I love you.” There! And please please please oh Dog PLEASE don’t snicker because of the cheesiness!
The Siberian/Alaskan Husky mix didn’t snicker didn’t grin. She was the portrait of seriousness as she said, “Until today, I had no idea what being scared meant. I was thinking of my comfortable zone only, and hadn’t thought about your own strength, which allowed you to become what you are today. So yes, I collected a lot of stories about you—“ she was interrupted by Fox’s snickering. She silenced him with just a look. Then she sighed and started to talk again. “Like you with me, I will rely on you to accept this new life, fight it day by day, making the best of it for us and for those around us. From now on, King Lindberg, I will not leave you. This is the road we chose, and the world better accept it. I love you.”
Brother Lazarus was beaming. He nodded and said, “By the power given me by the Church of the Order of Saint Anthony Abbot, I recognize you as lifemates. You may kiss now.”
And they did, while Fox started throwing rice at them, whooping and applauding..
And the screen turned off.
Fox, King and Bailey gave Bill a big apologizing grin. “Yay?” Fox said.
“Is that it?” The LCG’s Director asked with a neutral tone. So far, so good, Fox thought: when Dad was mad, he’d make immediately sure to make it clear.
But Bill wasn’t happy, either. He looked at the newlyweds with upset jaw. “King, although I haven’t known you long enough to consider yourself like a son, I was happy to bring you in my house. Admittedly, at first it was because Fox was really sad for not having you with him all the time.”
The grey-furred husky blushed. “Dad! You promised!”
King grabbed the other dog by the flanks and snuggled against him. “Aw, I knew it was love.”
“But!” Bill said, drawing back the general attention. “I still am your owner, and I still would like to be informed when you decide to take an important step in your life. Especially when it involves my sister’s dog and thus her family as well!”
“So that you could tell them no, be good doggies and do everything master says?” said the woman sitting on the chair said, sipping a tea cup. Her eyes went to Chuck and Angela Lindberg as well. “Sorry, dear, but your free will is not in-built, it’s an optional to be turned off. Now be good and roll.”
“Gabriella…” Bill tried to say. Now he was getting angry. Fox wanted much to be somewhere else cowering, but he was here for King and Bailey. He wouldn’t disappoint them!
Bailey was feeling all the cold coming from her owners. Her guts were churning, her heart beating fast. ‘Fight or Flight’ reaction, and she wanted to flight, to say she was sorry, that it had just had been all a stupid play pretend—
“We are not toys,” King said, staring back at all the Lindbergs. He kept holding Bailey’s paw in a reassuring manner. “Okay, we didn’t send you the invitations, sorry. But we thought our happiness was important, that we were entitled to pursue our dream of a family. Dad.” Never had such a common word sounded like poison right now. Old memories were fighting back with new life. Joel was creeping back—NO! I am King, I am a dog fighting for my happiness and mmy peers! Whatever my memories, they’ll be my weapons not my burden!
“Pets can’t build a family!” Bill exploded. “You have rights, and I agree that you must be more protected, that you must be recognized—“
“As full citizens,” Gabriella Lundberg interrupted him, thus drawing her cousin’s ire to her.
“You better stay out of this you—“ when a short but heartfelt laugh interrupted him, he was like slapped into a shock.
“Oh, listen to yourself!” Gabriella gave him a stare as hard as when she’d give a speech to her political opponents. “Did you forget who are you talking to?! In such case, allow me to remind you, Lindbergs! Even if now Bailey and King’s marriage, in fact every pet marriage, is just a symbolic act, when I’ll be Mayor I’ll make sure that starting with the city and up to Babylon and Terrace, the whole Locke’s County, and then the State, and then the whole US of A will see that pet wedding is retroactively recognized in its fullest! And you better believe me now, because it will be less hard on you when I’m sitting at that Office!” she sneered, and King couldn’t help thinking she was much like a Velociraptor on the prowl. “And since it’s no secret…” she produced a USB key, tossed it at Bill. “Read and weep, cousin: the whole program is there, all the addendum to the code, everything all written up and nicely packaged as if it was already printed in the books. You love animals? Then start reading what’s love about.”
There followed the longest moment of uncomfortable silence King had ever, ever experimented. He didn’t know if he should feel admired or scared by that woman.
Not to mention that, when she’d be gone, he’d be left with Bill and Bailey would still have to go back to her owners.
Owner who could harm her.
Like Helias, Honcho and Ringo had been hurt…
But this was it, right? Fight day by day, live the present, build the future without fretting over it.
King had to fight like a gladiator against himself to calm down enough to say, “Please. Ms. Lundberg, stop.”
And he got the bull’s eye. He gulped. He looked at Bill. “Dad, I’m sorry for disappointing you. Chuck, Angela…Bailey didn’t want to go against you. This is not a political agenda. I love your daughter, and…and there’s nothing much that I can say about that.” He smiled at Bailey, and in his eyes she had never been so beautiful. “And I know, we know we depend on you on, well almost everything. But Bailey and I don’t want to throw over your world, we just want the right to stay together.
“Please, don’t force us to be separated just to prove a point. Let us choose where to live, and help out any way possible.” He looked straight at Bill, regaining confidence with each word spoken. “I know, it’s you who pay the bills and the rest, but soon this will change a bit,” he looked briefly at Gabriella, who nodded. “But let’s do this together, without conflict. We are supposed to walk side by side, not as masters and slaves, don’t you agree?”
Bill’s jaw stood square and rigid for a full minute, in a silence even heavier than before –if that was possible.
Then, Bill chuckled. “Heh, so you really want to do this, mutt.”
“I’m sorry?” Old memories made King think of the times old Mr. Robinson had chuckled before drawing the belt…
Bill threw back his head and laughed. “I never thought I’d see the day! My first domestic revolution! I can’t wait to tell the others at the shelter!”
“So…” Bailey said, “Do you…approve?”
Bill reached over and ruffled her head fur. “I admit it, I was upset for not being invited, but I was also teasing you guys. Sorry for sounding a total jerk, but I needed to play the Devil’s advocate to see if you were serious. Nice move, to invite Gabriella over, by the way.”
Fox jumped from his seat and hugged the man. “Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you!”
Bill hugged him back. “Ah, and for what?” Then he tapped his dog’s snout with his nail. “And shame on you, son: how could you think your old man would be against his kids’ happiness? Not to mention that you still have to find your lady. Your buddy is doing better than you!”
Sheepish grin. “Will do chores for forgiveness?”
“You better, slave. Now, we’ll have to arrange the room available to accommodate Bailey as well. Welcome to the family, by the way, lady. I’m beginning to understand how Miles feels with his pack—“
“Now hold it a minute, you!” Chuck exclaimed. “Bailey is our dog and she’s not leaving without—“
Bill stood up. “Chuck, just drop it okay. Gabriella is right: within a few months, our pets will have the rights to choose and we’ll have an obligation to respect those choices or at least to find a middle ground. Now, you can try and be the owner of an object for this remaining time, but believe me: it would be just a waste of your time.”
“What do you mean?” Angela asked.
“I mean that you’re outnumbered and outpowered. I’ll just make sure you won’t leave until the new laws are in effect. Believe me, it was done, once. It can be done again.”
“Is that a threat?” Chuck hissed.
Bill laid back into his seat. “It’s a promise. My boy and Bailey want to be happy together, I’ll help them. If you love Bailey, you’ll do your part and sign the waiver. And the shelter will gladly provide a highly trained dog to replace her, if you’ll still be needing a hand.”
Angela looked at Bailey. “Just say it.”
“Angie,” Chuck tried.
“Hush, hon. Say it, Bailey.”
The female nodded. “I love King. I meant every word I said in that church. Dog knows I don’t want to fight against you, I love you too Mom and Dad. But not to the point of leaving King behind. He’d gladly follow me if I went with you, but he’d have too much to lose. He made a choice, and so must I.”
After a long pause, Angela nodded. “I see. It really seems that I have badly underestimated you.”
Chuck looked as if his brow vein was about to explode. “Angela!”
The woman stood up. “Ah, drop it Chucky. She wants to start her family, you should be happy for her. We’ll just take another dog from the shelter for when we go back in Kansas. And Bill, regarding that waiver—What are you doing?”
Bill was tapping on his smartphone. When he was done, he said, “You got a message, sis.”
Angela’s cell bleeped. She took it, turned the screen on…and saw the electronic form.
“Just sign it and we’re done.”
The woman’s eyes blinked. “When the [censored] did you find the time to fill one? Hey, wait a moment…”
Bill was smiling like a fox. “Had seen it coming since they started hanging up. I knew it was just a matter of time.”
King and Bailey exchanged a very surprised and blushing look.
“Touché,” Angela said, and used the pen to sign the waiver and press the virtual SEND button. “I guess that now my name is in history, right cousin?”
Gabriella nodded. “I will make sure to bring this moment to the talk shows as an example. It will make for a great story.”
“So great,” Chuck grumbled. He stood up and left the room in great strides.
Bailey stood up as well. King noticed how she was tense, this was going against her instincts and education. She needed all the help he could give her. “I’m here, hon. Want to go up? You must be really tired, it’s been an…eventful day.”
Bailey laughed nervously. “To say the least. How can you be so…cool about it?”
King snuggled against her tummy. “I’ve got a really complicated life, believe me. So just relax, okay? This is our life now… Why are you looking at me like that?”
Bailey was biting her lower lip, as if really thinking about something. “King, there is one last thing. I mean, it’s important, but…” she turned her head, lowering her ears, her paw holding her arm. “I don’t know, we could talk about it even in a second moment, but I really feel as if I have to say it now that we’re riding this wave.”
That made King even the more curious. He didn’t even take notice of Fox and Lucky grinning like crazy dogs in a silent squeee! “Uh, hon you can tell me everything, you know that. I will never turn a deaf ear on you.”
Bailey nodded and bent down. Much like he had done with her when he had asked her to marry him that morning, she whispered quickly in his large ear, “King, do you want..”
And that was the moment when his brain melted. No emotions, simply neither fear nor joy. If something could just shut down his neurons, it was that one word that kept echoing stronger and stronger in his mind. A concept both wonderful and terrifying at the same time.
Corgsky.

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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
[insert fangirlish squee here]
keep up the good work.

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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
3.
Berkowitz House, Apt. 490, Lev. 49. Terrace High. The Morning after

“What are you doing?”
“Gak!” The otter almost fell of his chair. He clicked a button and turned off the computer screen. He tried to hide the blush of shame with a grin, failing. “Eh, ah! I mean, nothing, just doing—“
“Just doing a research on me, right?” the genet said. He took a bite off his jam sandwich. “You could’ve asked, luv. It’s not that we live on different planets.”
Errol turned. “I’m sorry, Jin, but in a way we do: you kept an ever lower profile than me. You are registered as a member of the Club, came to the meetings only when I went there, but otherwise you have been invisible! Heck, you order your meals from home. If I didn’t know better, I’d swear that either you’re a prisoner or you’re terminally ill and can’t leave. Much as I enjoy the love of my life to be a mystery-wrapped gift, I am also too curious to just ask.” He fiddled with his fingers. “Sorry.”
Gene finished his sandwich. “Don’t be. After all, you could say you’re right on both accounts.” He pronounced those words with nonchalance, but they made Errol’s heart skip a couple of beats. Oh, heavens no! Just don’t take my newfound angel away now that— “Why are you smiling?”
The genet licked his nose. “Relax, it’s all right: I’m not gonna die. Not for now, at least.”
Now the otter was getting irritated. “Stop messing with my heart and soul and tell me what’s the deal, okay?! Despite the appearances, I would like something serious, not just a touch & go. So, if you’re really interested in being my boyfriend and not just a most memorable experience, can I please know what’s going on with you? I just discovered that Gene Chesters is your first name. You have no family name, how is that possible?!”
Gene sat down on the bed. “Because my housemate asked it to be kept reserved.”
Errol blinked. “Is that even possible?” Even if a degree of privacy was granted, that didn’t extend to data such as location, contacts and names. If you wanted to know who was living in a given apartment, you were supposed to know.
And that’s why Errol had never found any trace of Gene: he should’ve run a complete list of all inhabitants, and he had never cared to do so. Until now.
Gene nodded. “It is, if your family works in Security. Please turn on the screen.”
Errol obeyed, revealing Gene’s ID, complete except for the contacts and family name. For a moment, he thought this was a cover up and that his sweet genet was just a cover for a pet under witness protection or something. Or, perhaps, Gene was a spy! Yes, Errol considered with a sudden surge of excitement. It must be, Gene was a secret spy and now a humble otter had been drawn into a world of secrecy—
Click on the ‘Show Hidden Data’ tag and enter this password…”
The otter’s fingers tapped quickly on the keyboard. A moment later, every data was showed.
Including the family name.
“I don’t get it,” Errol said, scratching his head. “Why all the secrecy? I mean, it’s not like it’s such a big deal, right? Your housemate is—“
And then came the pounding at the door! It sounded as if a grizzly was outside the apartment and trying to bring down the door.
“I know you are there, Gene! Now you better tell your ‘friend’ to open the door before I ground you for life!”
Gene sighed. “Looks like he found me. Took him longer than expected, though.”
---
Gordon House. Apt 192, Lev. 19

“Looks like someone decided to remember where he lived.”
“Wheeee!” the snow leopard answered to the human in a bathrobe. As for the big cat, he was wearing a paper hat and several paper ribbons. His fur was now dotted with confetti. “Whattapahrty!”
“I can see it,” said Alfred Gallbraith Gordon, sipping his coffee. “I’m happy you got to socialize.”
Flash leaned down against the human’s shoulder, almost spilling the coffee. His breath smelled like orange soda. “Oh, yush! Them ladies, my man, them lady kitties: never thought such small creatures could be so flexible. Wheee!”
Alfred carried his friend to the bathroom. “And you ate things you shouldn’t have, right?”
Flash nodded. “Oh I did. And I decided that consumption of roasted burgers should be made mandatory throughout the States! And now let’s go get sick for a while, shall we?”
Alfred made it just in time…
----
Lindberg House, Babylon Gardens.

“Will you stop acting like a pup, Lucky? I already told you, I’m sorry for not inviting you to King’s wedding!”
The Alaskan Malamute was still sitting there, arms crossed at his chest and looking the other way with an indignant expression. “Only because I was the last to join your happy family doesn’t mean that I didn’t even deserve a call!”
Fox sighed. “Technically, the last to join before Bailey was King—“
“Oh, come on! What are you, a lawyer?! You knew King for far longer than me, he’s practically your brother! Me? I’m just a mutt taken in out of pity from Mr. Foster!”
“It’s not about you! It was a sudden decision, the inspiration of the moment! How many times must I tell you? I am still shocked for what happened: we were just supposed to contact a wedding planner to organize everything, then King and Bailey had an argument out of the blue and they looked as if they wanted to break up and after a few hours *bam!* we were in the church and they vowed to each other! You saw the home movie, did it look like a princely event?! I had to go and buy the rice to the nearest grocery. Bailey, King and I had to pay with what we had and we were lucky to get the collars and a rental camera. And if I didn’t call you it was because I feared that those two would change their mind in the time you’d take to come!” He stopped to regain breath.
“Sorry,” Lucky said., fiddling with his fingers. “But I still have…issues. I mean, back when I lived with Princess Periwinkle, I was competing for attention and since being abandoned I still feel like everyone’s ignoring me…”
Fox squeezed his arm. “My fault, Lucky. I don’t usually snap like that. Heh, I guess I am stressed a tad more than I thought I was.”
Lucky nodded. “I can imagine it. After all, it’s not that we got much sleep tonight. Are you really that worried?”
Fox’s eyes went to the staircase. “It all happened so fast, and we’re talking about a big change for Bailey and King. Heck, I still can’t believe it’s happening for real. And poor King, he was so scared that he was barely breathing.”
Lucky shrugged. “She asked him to have puppies with him. I mean, why should it freak him out like that?”
Fox sipped his warm milk. “Believe me, I know him.” And he knew that this could easily destroy his relationship with Bailey. Fox knew that King would start building up excuses to avoid this step. No matter what he had promised in that church, this was too much for him. Soon the door to their room would open and down would come a defeated dog, and Fox would have to—
“Is that music?” Lucky said, derailing that train of thought.
Fox’s eyes perked up. Yes. That was definitely music, and it was coming from King’s room.
Both dogs left their chairs. And when they reached the staircase, the door slammed open on the notes of a James Brown’s song.
And there he came out: King, wearing a top hat, a tail coat and carrying a cane. A spazzy dancing corgi karaokeing “WHA-O! I feel good. I knew that I would. Now I feel good, I knew that I would.” King jumped onto the handrail and slipped down to the ground level. “So good. So good. That I got you!” he ended up with a bow.
Definitely, that wasn’t what Fox was expecting. “Duh?” A moment later, the top hat landed on his head, while the jacket ended up into Lucky’s arms.
“Who’s the top dog?” King asked, grinning like an imp. He suddenly turned and pointed the cane at the top of the stairs. “Tell them my wild lady, who’s the top dog?”
“You are,” Bailey said, walking out the room, wearing an even more impish grin and a ruffled fur.
“And who’s a happy lady?” King said, opening his arms.
Bailey jumped onto the handrail and slipped down into his arms. “I am,” she said…a moment before there came this sound like a branch snapping.
“And who’s the dog with a broken back?” King whimpered with a rictus grin.
“Aw, poor dear.” Bailey stood up and took him into her arms. She startled cradling him like a pup. “Now now, mommy will make the pain go away.”
Fox and Lucky snickered. King blushed. “I also have a reputation to defend, lady.”
“You did that already, lover.” She kissed his ear. “Our pups will be the pride of our neighborhood.”
“O-ho!” Lucky yapped, wagging excitedly. Then, to Fox, “See? Told ya it would be all right.”
The husky nodded. “Uh-huh. I mean, wow, congratulations. King, may I talk to you for a second?”
Bailey but her husband down. King followed his friend toward the door. “Do you think I’d miss the chance to boast?”

Soon as they were out on the porch and the door was closed, Fox said. “I know I should congratulate you, but…what happened?”
King chuckled. “Please, as if you needed to ask.”
“Okay, I mean: what made you change your mind? You were scared out of your wits. In fact, you were like paralyzed. Bailey almost had to drag you upstairs. And now here you are, and you are saying that she could start expecting?!”
“You seem upset.”
Fox rubbed his temple, as if he had a headache, and in a way it was so. “I’m not. I’m just…curious.”
King sat down on a step and Fox did the same. The corgi looked at the street coming to life. He saw Antares and Celestia passing by. A little black wolf pup was riding his mommy’s neck. King waved at them. “It just happened that…I jumped. That’s all. I was there, with her in the room, and all of a sudden I realized that I had two choices. Both easy to take.
“I could run away, destroy everything I had just built, negate my new life forever, lose your friendship…or I could have her pups. Start a family. Do the right thing.”
“I thought you said you weren’t still ready for that. And you sounded quite convinced of that.”
King nodded. “And I will be scared like heck until I hear their first whimper, Fox.” King’s eyes were smiling now. “But this is what Bailey, my Bailey wanted. And it was high time I stopped thinking about myself. And…” his head bent down like his hears. All of a sudden he looked like a puppy in need of a hug. And Fox didn’t let him down.
King’s voice trembled. “I’ll never forget how much I suffered as a kid, Fox. I’ll make sure that my sons will be treated like I never was. I-I will never let them down. I j-just can’t keep running away from my demons. I want this litter, I want it and prove to that old madman that I’ll be a far better father!”
“And because you love me too?” said Bailey’s voice from behind them, making their fur stand up head to toe.
Quickly King disentangled from Fox. “Bailey! I-I mean, it’s not like it sounds, I—“
She sat down at his other side. “Relax. I understood perfectly.”
Fox’s and King’s stomachs churned. “…you did?” the corgi asked, not daring to look at her.
Bailey nodded. “You told me already that you used to have a bad owner… But I hadn’t imagined that he could’ve hurt you so much if you still talk about him that way.”
Epic moment or relief!
Bailey rubbed her mate’s nose with a finger. “You’ll be the best of daddies, believe me. you are more than just the most adorable bundle of cuteness there is. I wouldn’t have fallen in love with you, otherwise. So now, instead of playing the little angry human, why won’t you come inside and eat something? We burnt a lot of calories, last night.” She stood up and grabbed him by the wrist. King had just the time to wave goodbye to Fox before disappearing into the house.
Which left the husky to decide how to help out his other housemate. Poor Lucky needed to feel important…
And, perhaps, there was something that could be done, yes!

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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
couldn't resist your squee, Brent. :mrgreen:

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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
AWESOME! First flash gets all the lady cats to fall in love with him just by entering the LFL club. Then they have a huge party to which Flash returns from drunk off soda, sick to his stomach, and super excited. You wrote those scenes so great, i smiled the whole time.
Also King and Bailey get Married!! Huge shock there, but i love how bill reacts first to the whole ordeal. Wonderful! My favorite part of those last 3 chapters is when both Tegan and Alandra hit on Flash. My close second is when king emerges from the room with a tophat, and cane after trying to make puppies with Bailey(which are going to be the cutest ones in the neighborhood). Just awesome! That is one of the only words i can use to describe your story except Amazing, wonderful, excellent, the best, and terriffic

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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
aww, thank you MC! I'm so gonna have fun with the Lindberg family... :mrgreen:

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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
4.
Berkowitz House, Apt. 490, Lev. 49, Terrace High..

…a few seconds from the apocalypse.
“Gene Chesters, I won’t say it again! Open up this door now!” The owner of that roar pounded one last time against the door, before falling into a silence, broken by the sound of deep breaths. Like a bull’s, before charging. The doors to the apartments were supposed to be soundproof and explosion-proof.
As of now, Errol Berkowitz wasn’t sure of the second as well. The poor North American River Otter gulped. “P-perhaps, if we stop breathing he’ll go away?”
The genet by his side kissed his cheek. “Now, now, where is my brave hero who is supposed to keep me free from the grasp of domestic tyranny?”
Errol kept looking at the door, like a deer frozen before headlights. “He discovered his newfound love for life. Can he force the door open?”
“No,” the genet said with that matter-of-factly tone which, in better circumstances, Errol loved. “He can just open the door with his passepartout. He’s waiting that we show some reason, or he’ll be thinking the worst. And that would make him really mad.”
Errol remembered what day it was. He facepawlmed. “I so hate Monday… Wolowitz, door.”
“Sure thing,” answered the voice from the Big Bang Theory show. “Oh, and nice pick, by the way. Can I record you two, next time?”
“Door!” the otter shouted angrily.
The door slid open, revealing a hulk of a German Shepherd dog wearing the security uniform. Just above the TH logo, the grades of Captain were clearly visible.
Errol was more worried about the dog’s angry expression, though.
The dog walked in. “There you are, you stupid, tricky, manipulating creature!”
Gene crossed his arms at his chest. “If you want to insult me, just remember that ‘stupid’ is incompatible with those other two adjectives. Why couldn’t you just let me go for one night?!”
“Because you had masked your localizer! You disappeared from the system the moment you stepped back into the Fulcrum! I had to discretely question the whole population before someone in the Club told me you were with this—this—“ He looked at Errol. “Weren’t you a ladies’ otter, by the way? What were you doing you two?”
Gene wrapped an arm around Errol’s neck and another around his waist. “Anatoly Darkolm, meet Errol Berkowitz. My boyfriend.”
Errol grinned and waved ‘hi’.
The canine’s jaw slacked. His eyes almost disappeared. “Your—“ he managed to say, eventually.
“Yes. Mine. Any problem with that?”
Anatoly sighed. All of a sudden, he looked as if someone had drained him of all his energies. He went and sat down on the couch. He sighed again. When he spoke, he sounded as if he was bearing the weight of the world. “Why? Why are you doing this to me?”
The genet scoffed. “Oh, and you even ask? Like you didn’t do anything to me! Didn’t it cross your mind, provided you have one, that I would’ve liked to keep on living instead of hiding out?!”
Anatoly pointed a finger at him. The ire engine was recharging. “What I did to you? So, saving your life, taking you off the street and convincing Dad to adopt you wasn’t enough, you ungrateful—“
“At the price of my soul? I didn’t remember I was supposed to be your toy in return!”
Anatoly laughed a mocking laugh. “Oh, really?! I don’t remember you protesting when we were alone, or when we had our walks paw-in-paw!”
But we don’t do that anymore! Since coming here, your only worry was your career, your rank, your image of super-duper tough doggie! You were so worried about terrorizing your underlings, that you didn’t even notice you had practically abandoned me! How did you think it would make me feel?!”
Errol looked at that fiery exchange with the weird feeling he had just stepped into the Twilight Zone. He also felt like a bird just shot out the skies with a Cruise missile.
This was even worse than being refused flat.
He had been drawn into a triangle!
“We talked about that!” Anatoly roared. “Being…what we are, and in an interspecies relationship, how long do you think before I lose every form of respect from my subordinates?
At this point, Gene’s tail had puffed up and had gone so rigid, one could have used it to club the dog. “Being what we are? Now you can’t even speak the word? Are you afraid it could brand you in the butt like some old west cattle?!” he threw up his arms. “Gee! I really wonder why I decided to join the ranks of the living!” then he walked to Anatoly and stuck a claw against his chest. “Well, doncha worry, pup! I ain’t going tell everyone about our dead affaire, long as you stay the tail out-of-my-relationship. Got it? Or before you know it, just as I hacked into the system to cover my tracks, I’ll instruct every loudspeaker on the premises to narrate in every vivid and sordid details what we did our first night ‘together’.”
That had the effect of physically deflating the dog. Anatoly sighed, then stood up. “I guess this is it, then. All right, truce. You’re free to do as you choose, as long as you don’t speak about us…” His eyes narrowed. “One suggestion, though: soon as that Lundberg human gets elected, you better ask to go living with your new beau!” With that, he left the room stomping so hard as to make the walls tremble. He slammed the door open and did the same to shut it.
“Didn’t know it could be done with a sliding door,” Errol commented. He then looked at Gene with a marked fear in his eyes. “You know, this is a horse gift worth to be examined thoroughly in the mouth. What did you get me into, Jin?”
The genet sat down on the couch, occupying the same spot of Anatoly. He sniffed at the synth-leather. “Hmm, I’ll miss his scent… But about what you asked: it’s easy, I broke up with that pseudo-Alpha to start a serious relationship with you. What’s to understand?”
Errol sat down next Gene. He wasn’t sure if to hug him or put a firewall between them. “I’d like to understand if I’m going to celebrate new year’s eve alive, for a starter. Doggie doesn’t look exactly happy about your choice. And are you sure he won’t make a rug out of you, soon as you’re home? And how the heck did you hack into the system?!”
Gene chuckled.
“And why are you amused?!"
The genet quickly turned his head and kissed the otter’s nosetip. “You look so cute when you’re fretting. Relax, Anatoly wouldn’t pluck a hair out of my tail. Pluss,” he touched his own collar. “These babies transmit our health status to the system so that vet rescue can intervene rapidly. Cameras are synched so that in case of aggression the villain can be identified & hunted down ASAP. But we won’t be needing them: Anatoly would never run the risk to be involved in an aggression. He’d put his career in front of his very life. And no, I didn’t hack the system, that was big talk to impress him and distract him: I paid Tobee’s weight worth in cookies for his services.
“So…is it really over between you two?” Errol asked, hesitantly.
Gene nodded, then wrapped first his arms around the otter, then the long ringed tail wrapped them both. “Dogs can be really stubborn when it comes to affection. He’ll try and stay ‘friends’, I’m sure of it. You just pray he never leaves his duties and becomes an instructor at the Academy after retiring from TH.”
Errol rolled his eyes. “In case you hadn’t noticed, I need to be comforted, not scared more than necessary.”
Gene nuzzled against him. “Well, I still think it’s better you know now rather than discovering the bitter truth later. But don’t worry: that big hulk said one thing right, I am going to move to your place, legit and all, before Christmas comes. We’ll see NYE together. Better?”
“Guess it’ll have to do. But you have a lot to make yourself forgiven for.”
“Hmm-mm, any idea?”
Errol grinned. “Actually, yes…”
---
When Flash woke up, it was almost afternoon. But that was the last of his problems: his head was ringing like an old telephone set on EARDESTRUCTION. His stomach felt like a glass factory used as dancefloor by a T-Rex. And his mouth smelled as if he had kissed the Alien Hive Queen.
“Welcome back to the world of the living,” Alfred said, stepping into the room. He was carrying a tray with a single steaming bowl. “Hope it was worth it.”
The snow leopard nodded as slowly as possible. He was sure his skull could otherwise split up and vomit his liquefied brains. “All…worth it. How did you know I was…wake?”
The human sat down on the bed and put the tray onto the nightstand. “Computer told me. Microwaved some bouillon. Your favorite.”
Flash looked at the liquid with open distrust. He was pretty sure he had become hydrophobic as well. “No ‘ungry.”
“You emptied yourself, yesterday. You need something to fill your tummy, boy. Now eat.”
Flash giggled, while sitting up. “You’ll never stop me treating like a pet, will you?”
The man squeezed his shoulder. “I’ll never stop caring for you, Mr. Flash Gordon Amadi of Buwara. And you must be lucid if you want to start studying your new country’s laws.”
“But I like Flash Gordon With nothing else.” The big cat took the bowl and started sipping. “And I read a lot about Buwara already.”
“You can use Gordon as middle name, but your papers cannot see you treated as a pet. And reading all existing fiction set in that country hardly qualifies you as ‘expert connoisseur’.”
“Aw. I’m beginning to hate being a citizen.”
The man patted the cat’s thigh. “Ah, don’t be silly. You’ll love it. And don’t take it too long. Before the year’s end, you’ll have to pass an exam to formalize your citizenship. Have fun”
“Unfair!” Flash tossed a pillow at the man, missing and hitting the wall while the door closed behind Alfred. “Stupid bureaucracy,” he grumbled before finishing his soup. Then he sat with his back against the wall. He could go to his desk, but it was so cool to be able to do everything from his bed. Now, let’s see if he remembered what Tegan had explained… “Uhm, computer on?”
“That is my permanent status,” said a male voice from an hidden loudspeaker. “How can I be of assistance, Sir?”
“Cool! I must study stuff about Buwara. Dad should have arranged something, I guess.” Despite everything, he just couldn’t stop calling ‘Dad’ the human that had taken care of him since he was a kitten…
“There is a comprehensive database for beginners in schooling, Sir. Please, allow me.” A moment later, lights built in the walls turned on…and a hologram of a library materialized in front of the snow leopard!
“*Eep!*” True to his name, Flash was quick to hide under the sheet! After a minute or two, he decided to peek out, his snout sniffing at the air. Then his face came out.
The floating holograms stood there, showing a row of assorted virtual books. He examined the covers of the five books displayed: history, constitution and law, geography, biology, cultures and language. “Uhm, what do I do with them?”
“Just touch the selected book to open, Sir.”
Hesitantly, Flash’s claw brushed the book of history. Immediately, the other books disappeared and the selected book opened with a real rustle of pages.
“*Eep!*” he disappeared again under the cover.
“If you prefer, Sir, I can make the process slower.”
Flash’s head came again out of that ‘shelter’. “I’m not scared!”
“According to my readings, Sir, your physical parameters suggest a state of tension also known as ‘fear’. Associating such condition to—“
Flash tossed the sheet away. “Okay, okay, so you took me by surprise, you stupid machine! Now let me study in peace. And no peeking!” He wanted to try a thing: he ‘grabbed’ the book with his paws and…drew it to himself. His enthusiasm won any fear and he started reading.
---
The Good Old Dogs Club, Babylon Garden

“Okay, guys!” Fox said to the assembled crowd of pets. Bino would’ve had a fit if he knew the cats, the Club’s eternal enemies, had been invited, together with every other representative of the Gardens’ furred world. But Bino would be back the next day, and Fox was fairly sure no one would tell on him.
Because he was doing a good thing for them all.
And because Bailey was his cousin.
The husky pointed at the boxes containing an election committee’s worth of pins, hats, banners, leaflets and brochures with the name of Gabriella Lundberg. “I know many of you guys might not be really interested in supporting this particular human. And I can understand you: we are living, after all, the life all humans would like to live. No responsibilities, free food, a comfy house. We do pretty much whatever we like.
“Once, my friend,” he pointed at King, this time, “asked me if I would take the choice of becoming human if I had it. I’ll tell you what I told him: no. For the reasons I have explained already, and because I am not other dogs, I don’t crave for power, I don’t crave for ‘a different life’.
“But there is one thing about me, and about those of you I am sure who share my feelings: There’s a lot of animals out there who suffer and all, and I try to help where I can.” He paused, drawing a deep breath. “This is one of those moments. A human out there is doing something her peers never had the chance to do for real: not giving us the life of humans, but giving us an even better life, a life where we can be more in control. My friend,” he looked again at King, “just married with Bailey. Just like a human. A mockery, someone might say, a play pretend. But their vows were real, important, and the only way to make sure they are respected is to allow their marriage to be recognized. And that must be for each one of us who took those vows.” He looked at Grape and Peanut, who were holding paws. At Joey and Blanche, Mizar and Alcor… “And those animals who suffer out there must see better days.” Again his eyes went to the boxes. “This is our chance. To help and to be helped, so please, each of you take a kit. Lucky and Felix will register you and assign you the areas where to work. And before you start applying, I hope it will be mixed species groups: we want to give the humans the impressions we really care about this, to the point of dropping our preconceptions. So, please, let’s not try and kill someone.”
“Why are you looking at me?” Tiger asked, scowling.
Fox smiled. His voice soared as if he wanted to howl! “Now, let’s go make a good impression!”
He was met with silence. A wall of absolute silence and astonished expressions.
Fox blinked. “Uh, guys? What’s wrong?” He bent his head down to check –no, he hadn’t wet himself like a puppy due to the emotion.
“Nothing’s wrong,” said a voice behind him. An all too familiar voice that made his heart jump. Fox turned, his jaw dropping.
“In fact, I couldn’t have said it better myself, my friend,” Bino said.

HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES
SEASON IV
EPISODE 4
FIN

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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
Ooh, is Bino matured? is he okay with working with the cats? I can't wait to find out. I am excite.

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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES
Season IV
Episode 5 – Campaign!
By VALERIO

1.
The Good Old Dogs Club, Babylon Gardens

YOUR HELP FOR GABRIELLA read the banner under which two desks stood. One was occupied by the cat Felix Marsh, the other by the Malamute Lucky Lindberg. Felix was busy registering the candidate volunteers who would distribute propaganda material around the neighborhood. Though it wasn’t supposed to be difficult to convince the inhabitants of the pet-friendly community created by Henry Milton to vote for Gabriella Lundberg, there was the incognita of people actually hesitant towards pets having more rights. Her victory would mean a step up the social ladder of furkind, and most of the self-proclaiming animal-lovers still saw pets as children to care for, not adults in their own rights…
“…and you two guys will cover these blocks, here and here.” Lucky pointed at the numbered areas dotting the map of the Gardens.” Boris and Yeltsin nodded. “Now go take your supporters’ kits.” He indicated Peanut and Grape, both wearing hats with pins reading VOTE FOR US!, and both busy distributing packages containing leaflets, brochures, small banners, pins and hats.
Peanut was wagging crazy. His kittens were busy passing him and Grape the packages, like so many tiny firemen passing buckets of water.

“Where did you get all of this stuff?” Bino asked.
Fox, standing at his side, nodded. “Uncle Martin. He had stocked some.”
“I’d say.” The new police hound smiled, proud of what he was seeing. “I’m glad you are interpreting my ideals so well, Fox: this truce, much as it grates at my nerves, will show the humans we can work as one for our augmented rights.” He puffed out his chest. “It’s good to see that my influence did you some good after all. I feared that shorty had spoiled your inner dog.”
“Hey, I am here you know?” King, standing by Fox, said with a scowl.
Bino rolled his eyes. “Mutt, I am trying to ignore you for the sake of peace. Just be grateful.”
“I thought you wanted a good celebration party for your comeback,” Fox intervened before his corgi housemate could reply.
Bino shrugged. “Meh. Sorry, old pal, but when it comes to a surprise party for me, no one but moi can throw a decent one.” He put a paw on his chest with the snottiest expression he could muster. “When we’re done doing a campaign, I’ll think of something worth of my newly renewed glory. Not to mention that I must still catch a baddy or two to make sure the party will be a real event.”
“Where are Sasha and Bosco?” King asked, looking around. “Thought they’d be here by now.”
This time, Bino made a grand display of looking annoyed as if King was a puppy needing to be explained everything. “Do I have to shave ‘mind your own business!’ on your body, shorty?! I don’t have to justify myself to your sorry tail, especially when it concerns love life! If you’re envious I got one, then say so instead of bothering*york!*” it was at that moment that Bailey grabbed him by the collar and put his muzzle an inch from hers.
“Are you annoying my hubby, perhaps?” Fox’s cousin asked with a grin filled with teeth.
Bino gulped. “Your..?”
“My bad,” Fox said, feigning distilled innocence. “Forgot to tell you: they got married and all. And she lives with us as well. So, you see, I kept my promise of not laying a finger on you when it comes to matters between you and King.”
Bino quickly scanned her body: female or not, she was built sturdy enough to make him sorry for the rest of his life. Bino decided this was one good moment to show some diplomacy. “OK, I’m sorry, okay. And congratulations for your wedding…King.”
Bailey let him go. “There. Not so hard, after all, right?”
Bino massaged his neck. “If you say so. But what’s with your family for wanting to punch me every ti—ACK!” something hit him from behind and sent him onto the ground. Pets started to chuckle.
Bino started thrashing like a mad dog. “You get off me, y-you heretic! Whoever you are I’ll—You?”
“Good to have you back home, mutt!” Max said, his tail swishing like a snake. “I really missed ya!” He helped his housemate up and hugged him hard. “Wow, you really built yourself up, ol’ chap!”
The dog disentangled quickly and pushed the black cat away. “Yeah, yeah, nice to see you too, stupid feline. Now stop it, okay? And why the tackle—erk!”
Max hugged him again. “Kevin taught me. He was right, it’s incredibly fun!”
“I said, stop it! Or I’ll make sure you spend your next week in the pound for harassment!”
“Can’t, sorry. I promised.”
Bino sighed. “Promised to who? Is this an idea from that weird cat lover?” His eyes went to Peanut
“No. In fact, I was asked to make sure you stood here. For him.” Max let him go…in time for another missile to hit the police hound at full force from behind!
“WELCOME HOME DADDY!!” said the pup sitting on Bino’s back, wagging crazy. A pup with his father’s fur markings, including the brown spot on his back. A pup with creamy socks and his mother’s pointed ears.
“Bosco!” Bino rolled and grabbed his son and started hugging and tussling with him in the ancient game made of growls, nips and bristled fur. This time, Bino didn’t even care about that side of him that told him he was acting like any other undignified mutt. Dog, this was his son, the fruit of his love for Sasha, and he had missed the little bundle!

Bailey squeezed King around his shoulders. King said nothing, he knew he would live a moment like this, one day. And that thought made him feel fuzzy down to his soul.

Many one pets stood there, looking at the show, not daring to interrupt.
“Think we could join?” Parnok asked his dad.
“Better let him enjoy the moment,” Grape answered, shaking her head. She was pretty sure she had never seen him so sincerely, heartfelt happy. The purple cat dared even to think there was hope for that crazy mutt, after all.

When they were done, Bino stood up. He was all ruffled up, covered in dust, panting, and his ears itched after all the pricks Bosco’s tiny teeth had inflicted them. “My son!” he said. “My, how you grew up, videochat didn’t make you justice. I’ve got a lot of time to catch up with you rascal. I’ve heard that you started hanging up with the wrong kind of friend,” he scolded, rubbing noses, making the pup chuckle. “Bad, bad puppy.”
“*giggle* I also hang up with puppies, daddy! With Naos, Rigel and Mortimer…but he’s too young for me!”
Bino refrained from saying what he thought about the Foster pups, since their parents were a mixed species couple. Right now, he just wanted to enjoy the moment. “And where’s your mommy, little one, hm? Where did you hide her?”
“Right behind you,” a familiar voice said.
Bino put Bosco over his shoulders, and turned. “Well, looks like you wanted to do me a…surprise?” His mouth froze in a ‘o’.
Surprise, indeed.
“Hi there, Biney,” Sasha said. A Very Different Sasha, if compared to the latest picture she had enclosed to her letter. Now her head fur was longer, in a big tuft that covered her left eye. She wore pink bangles, and her right hip showed a small brown heart, just like a lovely cutie mark.
“Daddy’s broken!” Bosco giggled.
“This means you like it?” Sasha said, approaching her husband, the father of their son. Bino nodded dumbly, still awestruck –she also smelled better!

“You looked a lot like him the first time you met me,”
Bailey whispered to King.
“You tell him and you die.”
“Promises, promises.”


Sasha’s arms encircled his back before she drew him into a deep kiss, returned with equal intensity,
Bosco and the kittens turned their heads, making a face.
“Now you see what we have to cope with!” Parnok said, making Peanut and Grape blush heavily.
“Aw, never mind them,” Sasha said, caressing Bino’s snout. “Are you going to the Police Station?”
Bino sighed. “Have to. Must report… But you guys can come if you want.”
Sasha clasped her paws. “Of course we want, you silly! I already prepared everything to celebrate properly. But you must forget that I told you!” she put her finger to her lips, all serious. “It’s a secret!”
“Cross my heart.” Bino nodded and nuzzled against her neck. Yup, he had missed these small antics. If it wasn’t his sacred duty to protect the neighborhood and keep Fido from sponging up all the glory, he would’ve dedicated all his time to his family. And to the Club.
Bino gallantly offered his arm. “Time to see how a real dog gets welcomed into the Force. Shall we?” He turned his head. “Fox, you are welcome to join us. Bring the…that guy with you, if you really need to.”
Fox looked at King. “You promised,” he said.
The corgi nodded. Yes, he had promised to be a good doggie with Bino, at least for the day he’d be back from the Academy. Too bad that Bino had organized a surprise comeback, the Corgi had programmed a nice accident that would’ve kept him at bed for a couple of days at least!
Instead, King grinned at his friend. “Wouldn’t miss for all the bones in the world. Bailey, I’ll be needing extra cuddles to recover from the event.”
Fox rolled his eyes. It was good to be back to normality!
---
The Love for Life Club, Terrace High

“Attention everyone!” Steve said from the stage. “It looks like the GODC is organizing a campaign to support the election of the human Gabriella Lundberg. And this means that we are involved as well! We shall not let our Babylon Gardens rivals to bask in the glory of supporting this historical moment! Anyone disagrees?” Strangely, his tail’s shadow looked a lot like a noose!
From the seats, not a word of disagreement came. Every animal head nodded. Someone caressed their throat nervously.
Steve returned the nod. “Good! While them pets will cover the BG area, we will cover River Ridge! There’s a lot of work to do, but already the Gottschalk family is providing us the material to work with. Now, a word from our consultant: Errol Berkowitz!”
The otter stepped up from the ranks. He walked to the stage. “Thank you, Secretary.” He turned to the crowd. “Guys, many of us come from the city. In fact, many of us left it because we were being subjected to all sort of regulations that made impossible for our families to keep us with them. For many of us, luck helped us to come live here at Terrace High.” He drew in a deep breath. When he spoke again, his voice was loud and musical. “Now it’s time for us to do our part, so that no more pets must leave the city anymore! Gabriella Lundberg must not just win, every human must vote for her! And if not everyone, enough of them so that she will meet no opposition! And in this context, our duty is to show them that we care! That pets won’t just sit idle and wait the result! Are you with our kind?!
This time, an enthusiastic cheer welcomed his words.
“You’re not playing to backstab me for the job, are you?” Steve whispered. “Nice speech, by the way.”

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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
Caught up! I was busy with Christmas parades, school, church, and my own writing. Too many things to comment on, so I'll just give my favorite moment from the last update.

valerio wrote:
“Hi there, Biney,” Sasha said. A Very Different Sasha, if compared to the latest picture she had enclosed to her letter. Now her head fur was longer, in a big tuft that covered her left eye. She wore pink bangles, and her right hip showed a small brown heart, just like a lovely cutie mark.
“Daddy’s broken!” Bosco giggled.

My reaction to the "Daddy's broken!" part:
*Falls off of bed, rolling while laughing* HAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!

Alright, that covers it I think.

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2.
Babylon Gardens Police Station

WELCOME, OFFICER BINO
Under the big banner, there stood the whole K-9 Unit applauding, his brother at the head of the group.
And that was the greatest gift Bino expected with him joining the Force: rightfully recognized as the top hound!
Sasha’s paws over the organization showed: pink was the dominant theme, and there were little hearts everywhere. Not exactly ‘manly’, but it still was the first thing she had wanted to organize for him, for his first day with the police. And he was grateful for that.
Sasha let go of him, nodding. She took Bosco and put him down, while her husband walked all puffing up proudly toward his peers.
Fido walked to him and hugged him in a renewed burst of applauses. “I am so proud of you, brother!” he said. “This is a great day!”
“It will only get better,” Bino answered. “Who knows? I may end up commanding you as your new Sergeant.”
“Should that be the case, I’d be happy to serve under you. So you better work to earn those grades, or…” Fido punched him in the arm. “I will be your superior officer.” Chuckles and laughs from the crowd.
Bino punched him back. “In your dreams, glory sponge! But now let’s throw this party.” He licked his chops at the sight of the cake. “Meatballs inside?”
“Rex made it himself. And please, don’t mock him because he likes cooking.”
Bino shook his head and took a plate. Terrance cut him a big slice. “Believe me, big bro: After the food of the Academy I am going to forgive Rex anything, just to make sure he cooks my meals for the next year.” He took a bite of the cake and chewed, moaning happily: meatballs and Bolognese Sauce, hmm!
But before he could swallow, a paw slapped him hard on his back! Bino started couching and beating his chest.
“So, pup built himself into a fine police doggie, eh?”
Bino swallowed his mouthful and his pride, recognizing the gruff voice. Despite the respect he held for its owner, he still couldn’t understand how Budweiser could have sired a weirdo like Peanut…
Bino turned and stood on attention, still holding his plate. “Sir! I am proud to report for my first day of duty!”
Bud looked all like Peanut, an older and meaner version of the happy dog. He had been their first instructor at the Academy, an experience Bino would never forget. And it was thanks to Budweiser if he had learnt to think like a cadet and not just like a ‘yapping cur’, as Tiger had called him once.
Bud was wearing the jacket with the colors and logo of the LCG. “That I can see, pup. But don’t let it go to your head, you just started your work. In fact, when you’re done I’d like to test you at the Charm.”
“You work there, Sir?” Bino asked reflexively.
Budweiser nodded. “I do self-defense courses for the guests. Once you’re done with your current assignment, I want you to be my sparring partner. I hope you don’t have any engagement.” He didn’t set any date. Didn’t need to.
Bino just saluted sharply. “Nossir, I don’t have any, Sir!”
Bud nodded. “Good! Now do your things. And don’t eat too much, you got a job already, glory hound!”
The younger dog nodded. “I am not a—“ his indignation was replaced by an apologetic grin the moment his former instructor flashed him the eyes of thunder.
Bino went back to his cake. He addressed Sergeant Ralph. “Is it possible to know what’s with this first assignment? Finding a lost puppy? Rescue a kitten from a tree? Hunt down a mailman who stole the mail? Sir?” his mouth started watering, and it wasn’t the cake.
“Nothing so exciting, but you can never tell: We must make sure the supporters are seen safe and sound through the end of the day. Our team will take care of their HQ, while the rest of the Force will cover the roads.
Bino felt like deflating. “Aw, but it’s boring, Sarge! Fox already arranged it – under my instructions of course – so that it will go smooth like just-combed fur! Why should they ever need a cop for?”
Ralph didn’t flinch, didn’t frown. In fact, he didn’t even raise his voice or lower it to a growl. He just looked into Bino’s eyes, grey against green. “Are you questioning your superior, officer?”
Bino was just happy he hadn’t drunk anything. “Uh, no Sir.” With the tail of his eye, he saw Fido rolling his eyes. So typical of Lord Byron, should’ve seen it coming!
He felt like growling -great way to start the job!
He felt a paw patting him. “What, Milord?” he said. He turned. Fido was smiling –yes, so typical of him that, too, preparing his noble speech to appear as the true good dog and discredit his brother and save his own rank! Well played, brother, this is your turf for now, you can say and do anything you want and I can’t do anything to rebuke… His thoughts were interrupted when he felt something being pressed into his paw.
An envelope. A small creamy envelope with Bino’s name printed in a nice calligraphy. Bino sniffed it cautiously. “What’s this?”
“Before you open it, Bino,” Fido said, “I would like to tell you personally that in a few days I am gonna take a leave. Nothing long, just a week. But in the meantime, you will be my substitute in the team.”
Bino’s jaw just dropped. He heard Bosco giggling and saw Sasha going squee, but he still couldn’t do more than stare at his older brother first, then at the nodding members of the K9-U.
All teams were a close number. And Sergeant Ralph’s was the best one. To be accepted so early in it…
“Ah, don’t be so surprised!” Fido said. He squeezed his younger brother’s shoulders. “Bino, honest, your score at the Academy was impressive. Only a selected few performed so well. When Bud asked you as sparring partner, well, it was his way to tell you he’s proud of you!”
Bino heard those words with the sensation of being blessed by Dog Himself. Okay, he was dreaming, that must be it! In a few moments, he’d wake up and find himself in a cell for doing something bad. Alone and scorned…
“Bino?”
The hound rubbed his ears. “Sorry. I got lost a moment. I…” he just wasn’t prepared for this moment. Simply, it wasn’t contemplated. What was he supposed to say?! “…Why are you taking a leave?” Yes, better. Something sinister must be brewing, Fido would take a leave only if all of his bones were broken. He couldn’t miss the chance to out-glory Bino!
Fido tapped at the envelope. “Open it and you’ll see.”
Bino did so, hesitantly. No catnip scent coming from it, at least. He extracted the card inside, read it…
“You’re officially the first to know, bro.”
---
“So, when are you two breaking the news?” Tarot asked her friend.
The Pomeranian dog and the black cat were proceeding along the road. Kitten Pixel, the spitting image of her adoptive mom, was proudly walking between the two adults, carrying her own VOTE FOR US bag filled with pins and stickers. A small magic drawing board was hanging from her neck.
Sabrina ruffled her head fur. It was like looking at her long lost little brother, as if Shadow had come back to life… “Tonight during the party. After all, I couldn’t just throw it casually: It’s not the kind of celebration that happens every day.”
“I sure hope not. It’s good to see that Fido took a decision at last. You were one of the first mixed species couples, it was such a shame that the Spirits hadn’t seen you married yet.”
Sabrina’s ears flickered. “Don’t tell me. Sometimes, he still acts as if he was scared to be found out.”
“Have you warned the Sandwiches?”
“Yes. They will gladly allow the ceremony to be held at their house.” When you dealt with the otherworld, a good blessing was to be taken literally. And House Sandwich was a one big good luck charm. There lived the first mixed species married couple in the Gardens, the first and only to have been blessed with new life. Plus, the Spirits watched over the place and its inhabitants…
“I have placed charms into Peanut’s and Grape’s room,” Tarot said. “This time, in case of another timelines merging, we’ll be able to trace the unwilling traveler.”
Sabrina nodded. “Good idea. But let’s remember to ask Grape to keep the door locked anyway… Ah, there’s our next house.”
ANDERSON read the mailbox. Considering the owner’s reputation and job, they had expected to see a place barely kept together, with grass tall enough to get lost in it and piles of tires and empty cans littering the garden.
Instead, the place looked just nice and cozy as any other house in Babylon.
Sabrina checked the name on her list. “Okay, according to our information, Mr. Anderson and his dogs are at the landfill and will be back tonight. There should be only his wife.” They walked to the porch.
Sabrina lifted her daughter and Pixel lifted her paw to ring the bell. She had just the time to put her down, before the door opened…and an immense Argentine Dogo showed himself.
Tarot’s eyes moved to her friend. “That’s why I miss having Dragon at my side.”
“Whaddayawant?” Fredd asked, snorting. “What’s with this clowning?”
“Good morning,” Sabrina said. “We are from the Supporting Committee for the election of Gabriella Lundberg as River Ridge Mayor. We would like to have a word with the humans of the house if possible.”
The big dog threw back his head and laughed. “Oh, yes, I’ve heard about you loons! When they told me, I thought it was a joke!”
“We assure you that our intentions are quite serious,” Tarot said. “You will benefit from her election as well.”
Fredd patted the Pomeranian’s head as if with a puppy. “Poor, poor dear. Falling for one politician, just like a human. Since you girls are being so cute, I’ll just tell you to turn back and go, okay? Dad broke a leg and is watching TV. And he and Mom don’t want to be disturbed. Especially for this idiocy.” The last sentence came with a smile and a veiled threat in the voice. “And I am a dog, I know my role. I am happy with what I have, don’t need no stupid ‘rights’. Now, do you need a broken bone or two, or will you just leave? This is private territory and you are not welcome.”
“Perhaps,” Sabrina insisted in a quiet tone, “you may discover that your owners may want to help you to a better life for the whole family, rather than—“ A strong paw grabbed her by the collar!
“What part of ‘broken bones’ didn’t you get, kitty?” By now the Dogo was in full kill mode… “Last fair warning, then you’re on your*brunk!*” …and it was then that the door’s beam fell on his head!
Sabrina adjusted her collar and turned toward Pixel, who was sticking out her tongue playfully. “Next time,” her mom said, “just don’t hit so hard, okay?”
“Next time, just drop it guys,” said a voice from behind them.
It came…from a snake. A green-scaled creature long enough to be wrapped around a man’s arm. “My owners like animals, but they think this ‘improved rights’ thing is too crazy for them. That big idiot,” his tail pointed at the still unconscious Fredd, “is just being too…blunt on the subject.”
“Then it’s our duty to talk to them,” Tarot said. “No sense in trying to convince those who already listen.”
The snake sighed. “I don’t think we really need this enthusiasm, girls: I mean, humans like us because we are their children, their substitute little humans. If they start seeing us all as adults in our own rights, they could even decide to abandon us to our destiny, since we call for more autonomy.”
At that point, Pixel started scribbling something on her magic board. Then she showed it to the snake.
PARENTS LOVE CHILDREN EVEN WHEN THEY GROW UP! The board read.
The snake shook its head. “They need us as we are, not as we want to be. And considering we are not ill-treated in this country, why stir things up? Now excuse me, I better get back inside before Dad decides I am consorting with you.”
The trio looked at the creature slithering into the house.
Pixel scrabbled on the board, WE ARE RIGHT. ARE WE MOM?
Sabrina bent down to pick her up and hug her. “Of course we are, love. It’s just more complicated than it seems.” And it would take longer than one could imagine. The truth was, all the volunteers were just a strict minority. This wasn’t like trying to pass the concept of interspecies love, it was the pets themselves who couldn’t imagine a life where they were once again responsible of their own choices. Hundreds of generations tamed, selected, trained… The real miracle was that there was someone who would want to do the right thing.
But of course, if it was so easy to change the world, the world wouldn’t need a Gabriella Lundberg…
---
“We-ell,” the black cat said, flashing his best grin. “Looks like someone will be in good company for today.”
Grape sighed. “Maxie, I am already in the best company a cat could wish. Plus, you are into a relationship if I remember well.”
Maxwell’s head and ears stooped. “No fun. Could you please at least pretend you’re still interested in me-Ack!” he was hit by a complete supporter kit.
Allegra is interested in you,” Grape said, wearing her hat and bag. “Are you trying to keep at least this relationship alive, or is your dragon friend too interesting? By the way, you supernatural thing, I thought you had rescinded your bond with Tarot. Peanut told me of your recent visit.”
Max was wearing his kit, when his aquamarine eyes turned emerald. “I hoped Peanut would listen to me if I spoke through Tarot. I’m sorry for—“
Grape raised her paw to silence the entity possessing her friend. “As long as he’s fine, let’s just forget about your involvement… But I’m curious: what do you want with Maxie? He doesn’t strike me as the kind of guy you’d rely on for your business.” In fact, one could say that Maxwell was the perfect antithesis to the self-controlled Tarot.
“Well, let’s say that I wanted a wild card for the Game, a Jolly Joker you could call it. Tarot was a perfect avatar when it came to long-term plans, but it was my fault for denying her a love life and then throw her in an artificial relationship with Peanut, taking for granted she wouldn’t actually fall in love with him.”
“Said the Dragon in Love,” Grape muttered. “And so now you need Maxie to break the balance, right?”
“The main advantage is that despite the initial choc, he is very quick to adapt. And he doesn’t fear using my power. He’ll be more useful in a completely different strategy—“
Grape rolled her eyes. “Spare me the lecture and give him back to me. I need a help with the campaign.”
Max’s natural eye color was back. He immediately massaged his temple. “Woo, that gal should warn me when she does that number.”
“You got what you asked for, luv.” Grape kissed his cheek. “Now let’s go.”
The black-furred male followed her up the road. “This thing must mean a lot to you, kitten: it’s almost impossible to separate you from your family, otherwise.”
Grape nodded. “Since being discarded like some…burden. No, even worse, like a useless thing, I always prayed for a time like this. I won’t delude myself over the subject, but this time we are making a difference. If we don’t give our best shot now, it will be forever like Ms. Lindberg said: proper—“ at that moment, something hit her in the face!
An egg.
It had happened so suddenly, that it took both cats about a minute to fully realize what had just happened.
Grape then wiped the food away from her face and licked her paw clean. “At least it’s not rotten.”
Max was looking in the direction the thing had come from…and saw a gang of cats. He recognized them as members of the Schrodinger Circle, the feline elite from the upper side.
And not one of them looked pleased to see Grape and Max.
“Guys, what the fur?!” Max shouted. “We’re not the enemy, you know!”
“You’re right,” said one of the cats, a female Calico with golden eyes.
Max blinked. “I am?”
She stepped forward. “There are no enemies to fight here. And there are laws already to cope with those who harm us. We don’t want to give the humans the impression we could do without them, you idiot!
“That’s not the point, Alana!” Grape growled, walking up to her. “Nobody of us wants to leave our families! But we need something more than being objects in the eyes of the law!”
“Spoke the shelter kitten!” Alana scoffed.
Max saw Grape’s eyes grow to an alarming size, while her fur started standing up. Blood was going to be spilled!
“I’m sorry if you had family issues before living here, Grape,” Alana went on, her tone suggesting anything but sorry, “but this is the most useless and senseless cause you could fight for! Humans won’t like a bit to have to consult us on family decisions. We have to rely on them, it’s a matter of trust. Should they perceive this trust as broken, soon there will be no more families! They will see us as potential competitors!
“Spoke Mrs. Spoil,” Grape hissed, drawing satisfaction in seeing the other female stagger for a moment. “Oh, yes: that is your problem, is it? Lose your privileges: after all, your dignity is sold out already!”
“Why you little—“
“And pray tell me,” Grape insisted, flexing her claws. The feline pack had already surrounded her, ignoring Max. A part of Grape told her to just concede and go back to somewhere less hostile, think of her own family… But she was cat, she just couldn’t stop this caterwauling duel and retreat like a helpless kitten! “Tell me, Alana, what will you do when your owners will send you into a pound because they’ll have to choose between your meals and a new pair of shoes for them? Hm? Unless you tell me here and now that you will have a say in a moment of budget crisis, I suggest you shut your trap!
“Shut up you first!” Alana spat, making as if to grab her rival and—
ROAR!
The cats fell frozen, dot-eyed, like so many statues, their ears vibrating like diapasons.
Max cleared and massaged his throat. “Now, now, ladies and gentlefurs.” He put himself between Grape and Alana. “Each side has its reason, but my lady here and I came to talk to the humans. In the end,” he said to the Calico, “it will be their decision. And the new laws won’t make you less part of the family as you are now. And as for you, my tiger,” he said to Grape. “Please, we are not here to start a war. This is politics and it will be the voters to win or lose. Now let’s go help an allied army to grow. Ok?” he gently took her arms and led her along the road.
Max then turned one last time to the still frozen felines. “And, guys. You provoke us one more time, and I’ll get really upset.”

While walking away, Grape whispered, “Magic?”
Back was the rascal grin. “What? Does a gentlefeline need to recourse to dirty tricks to help his beau?”
Grape snuggled against him. “Why did I leave you?”
His arm found her waist. “Your loss, babe.”

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Fri Dec 21, 2012 1:21 pm
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
and since I am the always-forgetful fan...
Alana (C) Honorable Intentions :D

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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
It's nice to see a lot of fancharacters from others fic incorporated into your work.

Though, I'm not really sure if Alana's in character had she not been influenced by Pete.

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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
3.
Line Q1 bus stop, Bridge Road Plaza, River Ridge

The two animals – a big Kalgan dog, and a mixed breed female cat with long creamy fur - looked at the double-decker, three-section blue-and-silver Autoram Kaiser stopping with a hiss of pneumatic brakes. A moment later, the big doors slid open.
Animals and humans started pouring out of the bus, while others boarded in. The crowd waited patiently…until out came the unaccompanied pets wearing, just like the awaiting crowd was, the VOTE FOR US hats with pins, carrying the bags with Gabriella Lundberg’s name on them.
The Kalgan dog walked up the hulking St. Bernard at the head of the Terrace High’s delegation. “Samson!” The city dog roared, hugging the other.
“Onur! I really missed you. So, you are the President of this Club?”
“President and founder, big mutt: The Martin Luther and Giordano Bruno Cultural Association salutes the Love for Life Social Pet Club. This lovely lady,” he added, putting a paw around her shoulders, “is Takara.”
A Maine coon stepped forward, offering paw. “Tegan, founder and President. A honor to meet you, Sir. Takara.”
Onur shook. “The honor is all mine. And may I know the rest of the gang?”
Tegan turned, her arm encompassing the other pets. “Elliot, my Secretary Steve. The others are Errol and Jin, Maximilian and Elizabeth, Alandra and Kwesi, Linus, Chocolate and Shadow, Stefanie and Gaunt, Butch and Drake.”
“Forgetting anyone, ma’am?” asked a voice from Samson’s head.
“And Saga Booke, our mascot.”
“Enchante,” said the tiny mouse.
“Glad to meet you, Takara,” Elliot said, wagging. “Japanese name for ‘Treasure’, right?” And he could see, why: her eyes were not green, but with traces of blue and gold. They were hypnotic like exotic jewels, and her long fur appeared sleek and glossy, catching the sunlight in strange reflexes, as if her hairs were delicate crystal tub—“*kyiyi!* Tegan!” he barked, turning, rubbing his tail root.
The Maine Coon was contemplating her claws with an interested expression. “Sorry, dear. I was aiming lower.”
He gulped.
“Ah, don’t worry,” Onur said. “She has that effect on every feline-oriented male. I got used to that, eventually.”
“Oh,” Tegan said. “So, she’s your—“
“Girlfriend. I started training under her as a Kendoka, before our human instructor took her place. And by then we had fallen in love. But back to business.” Onur walked to Linus. “Glad you could make it, mister: as I said on Cat’s Eye, we need all the advertisement we can get. I know our allowance don’t make for a great fee, but—“
Linus raised a paw to interrupt the big dog. “Please! This is supposed to be a volunteer-based effort, bub: My Dads already agreed to give you all the support you’ll need from the DE2 Advertisement Agency! Oh, and I brought our legal consultants as well.” He turned and indicated the two pets in question. “Butch and Drake, here, live with lawyers. And Ms. Lundberg is already their client. So, shall we discuss our strategy at your HQ?”
“Be glad to. We got a minibus, courtesy of the ferrets. You surely got friends in high places, guys.”
“You can say that again,” Gaunt said from Stefanie’s shoulder, where he was sitting. “If only the shelters of this city became like the Lucky Charm, the problem of the ferals would be solved in a few weeks.”
The group walked to the minibus waiting for them and got aboard. “Why this particular name for your club?” Tegan asked, sitting on the row behind Onur.
The dog nodded. “It’s a homage to two great humans: The first, you can imagine why: his speeches and ideas spoke of equality and rights, and even if the furkind was barely touched on in his talks, those principles are not less true for us. Giordano Bruno was the first martyr on the road that would have led to heliocentrism. Both those humans stood for what they believed in, and they believed in something good. We of the MLA don’t like to speak about ‘revolution’, we believe in change. And it must come through respect.”
Tegan found herself nodding at every word. “Respect. That’s exactly the message Ms. Lundberg is carrying.”
“And that is why many humans find her dangerous to the status quo. To them ‘showing respect’ implies the loss of rank. Nothing farther from the truth, I know it.”
“What do you mean?” Elliot asked.
“As a Kendoka, I was not only trained in fight, I also learnt everything about the culture of the Kage no Ken, the ‘Shadow-Swords’. While in Europe, the ancient alliance between the species was fading into what you’d call ‘petdom’, the Shadows still shared their lives with their human companions, bonded to each other in life and death. It was more than ‘being property’, because both were properties only of their lords and of the Emperor. When the samurai would start raising a family, so did his Shadow. You will never find a family portrait of a Samurai without his companion.”
“…And didn’t this also mean that interspecies…couples were sort of forbidden?” Alandra asked from her row.
Onur nodded. “Strictly, at least on the formal side. No Shadow could consort with a member of another species, but the…occasional company of a pleasure female was allowed. Eventually, even after the end of the old ways, this custom survived and Japan was the first land in which the pet culture allowed interspecies relationship in modern times whereas—“ He sighed, then chuckled. “Sorry. Keep getting over my head with these historical things. Anyway, what matters is, again, that the bond of trust and respect be re-established, as it used to be.”
“And what’s the situation in your turf?” Saga asked. “Looks like in Babylon and at the High we’re meeting a bit of resistance from several pets. They are afraid the humans will turn on them if they started asking for more rights.”
Onur frowned. “No, here things are going better on that front: just because the humans with pets feel themselves suffocated by the many limitations for their protégées, they are calling out for more help. Much for the same reason, it’s the pets themselves who want to elevate their status here in the city.”
“So, how can we be of help?” Jin asked, raising his paw for attention. “We thought we had to convince people or pets to vote for Ms. Lundberg, right?”
“No. You’re here to convince the ferals to work with the new mayor.”
Series of black stares.
“The local humans,” Onur went on, “expect the ferals to turn themselves in at the new shelters that will be built, to abandon their ways and become pets. If we could convince them to seal a truce before the election, that already would play in her favor when the first new shelters will become operative. Humans will love Ms. Lundberg even more if they see less animals in the street already.”
“That’s all good and neat,” Jin said. “But it’s not as if ferals had a Big Stray Boss or something. They are not organized in a political system. In fact, the city hosts a countless number of gangs! I know it, I belonged to one. And they won’t just give up for a hot soup.”
Stefanie nodded. “My parents and I saw it in every city we passed by: even the word ‘gang’ is inappropriate, here. It’s more like families in their own rights. They take care of each other, their bonds are strong, they won’t just accept to be split to go live each member in a family.”
“I know,” Onur said. “There is a lot of work to do, but we have to start somewhere, or we won’t get anything done. The others have already prepared a map of the zones where to start, based on the information our other consultant from Terrace—“
“I wasn’t informed of another club member coming,” Tegan interrupted him.
“Oh, he was here since this morning. He was sent by Gottschalk himself…and I must say, he’s a gold mine worth of information regarding the most important gangs’ whereabouts. Almost compensates his…attitude. Oh, here we are.”

The bus stopped in front of what looked like an old car repair shop. The old sign had been roughly wiped out with paint, but there was still a BOSCH Spark Plugs sign hanging near the door. A brass plaque had been placed at the other side of the entrance. It read the name of the club in black bold letters.
At the threshold, there stood a Dalmatian waving frantically to the bus. As soon as Onur and Tegan stepped down first, he ran to the big dog. “Guys, lucky you came on time! Hurry, we have a revolution to pawndle—I mean handle!”
The two Presidents followed him at a run…

…in time to see four cats, four ferals if the lack of collar was clue enough, snarling and hissing at the two German Shepherd/Husky mixes. The table had been thrown over already, and paper sheets littered the floor.
“Looks like our place after Volant started arguing,” Linus observed. “But I didn’t know Curie and Gauss were experts on stray life.”
“Not them,” Maximillian said, pointing at the figure standing well behind the legs of the two dogs.
A white rat glaring at the ferals.
“About time you showed up, you dolts!” Abner Gottschalk said.

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Last edited by valerio on Tue Dec 25, 2012 2:42 am, edited 1 time in total.



Sun Dec 23, 2012 3:21 pm
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
kavviyenta wrote:
It's nice to see a lot of fancharacters from others fic incorporated into your work.

Though, I'm not really sure if Alana's in character had she not been influenced by Pete.

that's why I had fun imagining her on the ownership side in a universe where she didn't get the wrong companies... :lol:

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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
Haha don't sweat forgetting to credit me Val :lol: I knew she was mine ;)

I like seeing a bit of a different interpretation of her character. It's funny to see her on the exact opposite side of the whole pets rights thing now, and yet she's still a villain (well okay villain might be pushing it, she's just kind of a nuisance for poor Grape thus far :lol:).

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Sun Dec 23, 2012 10:44 pm
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
EDIT - corrected the Association's name, by publishing the 2.0 release after realizing I had erroneously published the 1.0.
Thank you for your attention.

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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
...Wow...it took me a little over 2 weeks to read this from start to where it is now. And Val I freaking love you! This is easily in the top 10 of my favorite fanfics! I really love the stuff with King...are you going to do more with him?

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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
Cerberusx wrote:
...Wow...it took me a little over 2 weeks to read this from start to where it is now. And Val I freaking love you! This is easily in the top 10 of my favorite fanfics! I really love the stuff with King...are you going to do more with him?

Like asking if I like pizza :lol:
but I'll answer with one word, for what King's future is concerned: puppies!
And when the time comes, there's a little competition I'll throw about it... (mysterious voice)

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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
will we get to name the puppies? I hope so.

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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
the contest will be about that, yush!
But you won't know the gender and number until the time is ready. After all, we all wanted this, it's only fair you too get involved somehow :mrgreen:

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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
4.
The Martin Luther and Giordano Bruno Cultural Association, River Ridge

The room was a mess of overturned furniture, sheets of paper everywhere and claw marks in the walls.
“Disappointing,” the Kalgan dog was saying to the assembled animals. Four ferals and half a dozen pets, all looking meek at the MLGBCA’s President, their arms behind their backs and ears low.
“Honestly, we are supposed to be of good example, to show that we can put differences aside and work for a higher goal for us all… But I can’t leave you barely an hour alone, and look!” His arm encompassed the mess. “Now that you had your fun, you are going to clean up, but first I’d love to know what happened. And you better be convincing.”
“Our fault, Sir,” Gauss said, stepping from the line of the pets from Terrace High. “We were supposed to keep our quarry in rein, but the situation escalated before we could intervene, and by then we were worried of protecting him, even if it caused a further escalation.”
Onur sighed, rubbing his temples. “Anyone willing to translate?”
One of the four feral cats, a male, stepped forward. “Little Abjerk here…” he started to say, pointing at the albino rat sitting on Curie’s shoulder.
“Hey!” Abner Gottschalk protested.
“…started doing his job, telling us where to find the most dangerous humans, kidnappers and such after PETA dissolved. It was all going fine, then he starts bratting something about us, I mean us ferals, being lucky. You should have seen him…”
“Please! I only told the truth! They are already living the life there were meant for! Ownerless, free to decide their own fate, not bound to any human law! Why should they abandon all of this and put their lives at the discretion of their slavers?!”
“Because we are tired of living like this!” the cat exploded, his fur bristling.
Abner had the wisdom to run down and hide himself behind Curie’s legs.
The cat stepped forward, ignoring Gauss silently baring his teeth. “We are tired of running from the animal control, tired of being hunted down, tired of foraging for scraps –when we’re lucky. Tired of dying for the infection of a small wound, tired of depending on some politician’s trophy fundraising to get some better food. Tired of seeing our litters dying off on us because we can’t see them to a vet!
“So far, no one had done anything for us. Then that Foster human came, and many of us found a place, went to a school, are living in a shelter as if living in a home, without cages. And if that Lundberg human can help him set up more shelters like that, then it’s a reason enough to support her. And that’s why we’re here, to start spreading the word among the local cat clans. Do we have to repeat myself for the third time?!”
“And that was when he tried to eat Abner and we defended him,” Curie said.
Onur looked at the albino rat. “You said what you had to say?”
“Yessir.”
“Then get lost until we need you again. Now let’s clean up this mess.” He took a table and put it back into position.
“Oh, by the way,” a cat who looked a lot like a raccoon, including the mask, introduced himself, “I am Styge.”
“Charmed,” Stefanie said, her muscles bulging as she put the bookshelf back into position. Then Gaunt started passing her the books. She put them in place according to the argument they treated. “May I do something for you?” She asked, noticing the interest he was putting in regarding her.
Styge shook his head. “Oh, no, I didn’t mean to upset you ma’am. You see, those are my books and I’m always a bit protective of them. But I see you have a certain knowledge of them, it seems.”
“Oh, you see, during our travels Mom and Dad used to go to the local library and take a lot of books for us all. I learnt a lot of stuff on the road, you could say.”
“Oh, so you were wanderers?”
“Nice way to put it, kit. You get to live. I decided to volunteer for this meeting because I know what living with a family, at a safe place, means. Sometimes I hear humans talking about how ‘romantic’ life on the road is, and I wish to kick their butt into next weekend.”
“But you lived with your parents as long as they kept on wandering from town to town. Didn’t you ever try and change their mind?”
Stefanie stopped, frowning as if considering the question… “I never considered my situation as ‘bad’. I grew up with them since I was a pup, it was perfectly normal for me. Until I was separated from them to be put at the Grove. And then I understood. Any other question?”
“So you’re one learnt cat,” Gaunt said, noticing her tone. “Went to school?”
“Studied online. Mom and Dad are two education buffs. I submitted some ideas to Ms. Lundberg, did you know? They have been exposed on her showcase!”
The stoat’s eyes widened. “Really? I’m sorry, I still haven’t browsed all of her site, so I must have missed it—“
“Nah, don’t puff your tail: truth is, there are a lot of ideas that go on showcase. Ms. Lundberg promised to see them realized, but there’s a lot to read for anyone. Mine, well,” Styge puffed out his cheat instead, “regards education. Online customized courses! It came to my mind after watching her interview at KPET.”
“I think she’s right,” Stefanie said. Gaunt noticed even the ears of their club friends had started listening. “We don’t live long enough to be educated like the typical human.”
“Yes we can!” Styge said. “The only part of the educative process we’ll be sharing is the writing, counting, grammar…the strict basis. After that, we will just move into one direction. Instead of wasting more years to learn a bit of it all, we’ll just do one course, covering it until graduation, and with a lot of years to spare! Even if some disciplines can’t allow us to be higher specialists anyway, we will make great consultants and teachers! A dog like Peanut Butter Sandwich could be an astronomer and stay at the terminal waiting for the great discovery!”
Elizabeth raised her paw. “Ohh, so this means I can study to open a veggie restaurant? Or to become a guide? Are you a PBS fan?”
“There are no limits, pretty one, and yes I am,” Styge said. Then he took her paw and bowed to kiss it. “Enchanté. I think we haven’t been introduced properly.”
“*giggle* We don’t need to, we’re friends already.”
“And honored to be, my lady. What’s your name?”
“Elizabeth. Call me Lizzie. You look funny, a coon that smells like a cat.”
“Because I am a cat. A newly created breed, the Bandit Cat.”
Lizzie giggled again. “But you are not a bandit.”
“I can be whatever you want. Are you engaged?”
She rolled her eyes. “No. Apparently, no one wants to engage in a nice outdoors field trip. Males can be so boring sometimes!”
Styge looked at Stefanie, as if asking for help. Maximillian just said, “Welcome to her world.”
“We-ell,” the Bandit Cat said, “as a matter of fact, I like a good field trip, and the Association organizes them periodically, so…you are free to join us.”
“Really? YAY!” she easily wrapped him in her arms and lifted him up. “I have so many ideas to make an ecological trip! Who’s your favorite character of Spot (Superdog)?”
"Well, to be honest I am more a fan of him as a dog than an artist: I mean, the guy and his cat girlfriend fought one of those monster dogs that terrorized Babylon Gardens, and he almost lost his life to defend his Dad against all odds. Wish i was that gutsy!"
Suddenly, Liz snuggled against Styge, almost causing him to get a nosebleed. "Would you fight against a monster dog for me?"

“Looks like she found herself a potential boyfriend,” Chocolate said to the ghostly entity standing near her. “About time.”
Morrigan nodded, smiling, and a tear of joy escaped her eye. The tear fell and hit Abner, make him shiver.
“Boyfriend, girlfriend, wedding…” He was shaking his head. “What will be next? Dressing up in funny pants and gloves?” he shivered again, but this time not for the supernatural contact. Then he looked at the black female rat with a plea in his eyes. “Listen, I did what I had to do, right? Now you know all you need about names and location of my former buddies, can’t you just send me to hell so that I can serve the rest of the time in a more painful way and be done with it?”
“Oh, Carl…” Chocolate’s red eyes turned blue. “And where would be the lesson? Didn’t you just learn anything from those ferals’ words?”
He crossed his arms, fuming. “I only learnt that Foster is more dangerous than ever! Yeah, sure, toss around a few costly crumbles and destroy an innocent’s life! Great lesson, that!”
“Then I guess you’ll have to wait and see. Remember, your life as a rat is not going to be really long. Make the best of it if you want to gain some leniency in the afterlife. After all, you were quite cooperative so far.”
“Only because you made it clear you could extract those information from my mind anyway! I don’t understand! You could’ve just got everything you wanted from me and then let me become a wolf’s meal! Why this torture?!”
Chocolate looked at him with an expression of cold fury that made his mouth snap shut. “You are not supposed to question me, mortal. But if you want, I can still turn you into a feral and leave you at the mercy of the food chain you seem to appreciate so much.”
“I’ll pass thanks.” But there must be something he could do. He was still a human, rat body or not, and he was by definition superior than any magical animal!

“Max?” one of the feral cats said to the Finnish Lapphund. “Don’t you recognize me?”
Maximillian was finishing putting the papers in order together with Butch and Drake. The dog looked at the grey tabby –and yes, he looked familiar somehow…
Problem was, with Mom’s line of work all ferals looked alike to him after a while…
“Mayo,” the cat said. “Because I loved the—“
“The mayo and ham sandwiches Mom did for us!” Maximillian snapped his fingers. “You were quite the glutton!” Then he blushed and went all meek. “Sorry.”
“Nah, don’t worry: it’s an impression we tend to make when it comes to food. So, your Mom now works at Terrace High?”
“Oh, yes! You should see her study, it’s really awesome!”
Mayo shrugged. “I think I will, should rules allow ferals in your garden.”
Max nodded. “They do. I mean, some of the humans are snotty about that, but basically no help is refused if asked. Mom has a contract with the Lucky Charm Grove to take care of their guests in case of need, or she can send her patients to them. But tell me, is there anyone taking care of you guys now that we’re gone?”
Mayo shook his head. “Her old study became a cafeteria, and guess who are not the welcomed guests?”
Maximillian’s ears dropped. “Aw, sorry. So… Old Jezebel..?” She was the matriarch of the clan of which Mayo was part. Max remembered her well, the typical big gruff lady with rude manners and a golden, protective heart. She had given birth to litters until a car accident had interrupted her pregnancy and taken away her womb… Mom had had to perform the surgery and she had cried a lot for Jez and her unborn kittens.
Since then, though the cat had gone on and never left the clan, her health had bent on the precarious side and needed constant check-ups…
Mayo showed a bitter smile. “She’s in a better place, now, but without the cures she suffered a lot before giving up the ghost. Watching her suffer made us realize what we had lost without you guys. Basically, we realized how our life sucked, and we were unanimous in saying ‘never again’.” He stuck a claw into Max’s chest. “So help me, if that stupid rat keeps bragging about how ‘lucky’ we are, I’ll make sure to make a meal out of him, Gottschalk or not.”
Max raised his paws defensively. “Hey, we’re on the same side: In case, I’ll help you gladly. So, we can count on your clan for this?”
Mayo nodded. “We have some good dog friends in the streets. We’ll spread the word. How will this new shelters thing work? We had only some outlines, and them Gottschalk dogs are more tight-lipped than secret service agents.”
The dog sighed. “Never mind them, that attitude comes with their job. Drake, will you explain, please? You have been studying this for longer than me.”
The Persian cat nodded. “Animal control will be reformed so that you’re encouraged to abandon the streets and live as guests in structures obtained from renewing the current shelters. Then the GMF group will acquire the vacated buildings owned by the banks after the real estate big crisis and turn them into a series of decentralized shelters. This in turn will make Animal Control more efficient and allow to optimize each shelter according to its guests.
“After this first step, there will come the schooling: you will all be taught the basics and develop handy skills. The idea is to make not only cute pets out of you but also needful ones. Show humans that ferals can be reformed head to toe.
“Then comes the adoption stage. Foster rules, here: you get to say yes or no in case the candidate adopter doesn’t suit your instincts or tastes. The shelter will have the obligation to check up on each adoption periodically for one year, on the schedule of surprise inspections. Should thing go wrong, you go back to the shelter and will talk to a shrink so that there won’t be mistakes with the next adoption. If you have a mate, or a biological relative, you may ask that he/she/they come with you, or at least that you are kept in touch, always.
“With the new laws, you can keep on studying and eventually get a job, but that’s not mandatory. If you do, though, your opinion will have the same legal value of a human’s in that field.
“To make it clear: if you don’t get adopted, your life will revolve around your shelter: job, career, care, everything as if you were living in a family already.”
“That will be the hardest part,” Mayo said. “convincing the others it won’t be just a gilded cage.”
“But your clan has still some influence, right?” Maximillian asked.
“Oh, a lot of that. It helps that we are united in this, it will set an example…” while talking his eyes kept wandering at the basenji working with a broom.
“Never saw one of the breed?” Drake asked. “The guy’s name is—“
“Kwesi!” Mayo almost shouted. “Kwesi ‘Later’! is that really you?”
Kwesi jumped at the sound of the voice. “Mayo?”
“Yeah. Glad to see that you made it out of the streets, you crazy dawg. And with style, I’d say: look at yourself, all clean and perfumed…” he sniffed at the dog’s body, making Kwesi jump a second time, with extra blush. “And smelling like cat.” He looked at Alandra and flashed a grin. “Don’t tell me you’re into one of those spicy illicit affairs, pup!”
Kwesi pushed the cat away. “I am, much for your loss. Oh, and I am taking medicines, so taunting doesn’t work anymore.”
Mayo’s ears and tail dropped. “Aw, then you’re fun no more. What will be next, adopting a pup, Mr. Respectable?”
“That’s the idea,” Kwesi’s mate intervened. “I got a name, by the way, and it’s Alandra. You used to mess with my chico?” Her voice suggested Mayo to better shut up if he cared for dear life.
The cat shook vehemently his head. “I’m needed elsewhere, ma’am. Glad to see you again, ‘Later’. Shall we get a drink in the name of the old times, later?”
Kwesi sighed. “After we’re done with cleaning up.”
After Mayo had gone away, the cat asked the dog, “An old friend of your?”
“Meh, you could say that. His gang tried to help me, but…well, what with my problems I was more a burden than a friend. Eventually, they started mocking me to see how my mood would set off. In the end, Jez told me to try my luck at Terrace High, since no gang in the city would take a crazy dog like me.”
Alandra frowned, her tail swishing. “Well, that was certainly rude of her, considering what they just told about her.”
Kwesi shook his head. “She was just being realistic. You’re lucky, Ali: you never got to see me…in that condition. Sometimes I wake up in the night, my mind filled with nightmares about what I could do to you if I lost control ever again…” At that point, he felt the feline arms hugging him.
“Shh, mi amor. Don’t think about that anymore, you’re different from then. And I’m sure you’d never hurt me or our friends. You’re not alone anymore.”
---
Gordon House, Apt.192, Lev.19, Terrace High

“Flash?” Alfred rapped at the door, hoping his roommate hadn’t turned on the soundproofing. “Flash. It’s me, I have brought lunch. Come on, shy kitty: sooner or later you’ll have to open the door…” Since leaving him there to study all he needed about Buwara, Flash had pretty much exiled himself. Alfred knew his friend was alive because the tray with the meat was left empty every time he returned to collect it, but other than that it was like living with a prisoner under house arrest.
“Flash, I know you are hungry, you can’t fool me. And this time I will not just leave the tray on the pavement. Why all the secrecy?”
In answer, the door slid open…just a bit. Enough for a thick-furred, spotted arm to extend, a paw gesturing to the human to hand out the tray.
“No.”
A stomach grumbled loudly. Claws appeared and the paw extended to try and grab the thing.
Alfred stepped back, holding the tray closer to him. “I said no! Bad kitty! Now open.”
The paw retreated. The door slid closed.”
Alfred sighed. “Alpha, open the door.”
“Cannot comply,” answered the artificial female voice. Afred loved that old show, Space: 1999, and was enamored of the computer’s voice in the first series, so he had the computer’s settings reprogrammed. “Only Flash Gordon Amadi can open the door of his room. I am programmed to obey the pets’ instructions first, unless an emergency occurs.”
“There will be an emergency, if he doesn’t eat his meals on a regular basis. You know the clinics, Alpha, so now open.”
“Permission granted.” The door opened a moment later.

“You cheated!” Flash said…from the circle of virtual books suspended in mid-air all around him.
Alfred’s mouth opened with stupor. Apparently, his new adoptive country had become more than just an interest!
True to his name, the snow leopard darted out of the bed and grabbed the tray with the meat. “Thank you! You were right, I’m starving!” He started chewing the fresh, unprocessed meat. Only natural, biological flavors were admitted. “Hmm, onion and rosemary!” it took him a few bites to gobble down the stuff. Flash burped out, sounding much like an engine revving, then went back to the holobooks.
Alfred could swear, in that moment, that he had never seen his friend so excited! “Buwara is just…It’s just the super-duper most amazing place I ever read about! I mean, I thought the novels were somehow exaggerating, but it’s true, it’s all true! Leopards rule in every single aspect of that country, they are s-so numerous that no natural enemy dares to invade their territory! Even the humans cannot walk there undisturbed! And there was this royal family, they came from the snowy peaks at the edge of the country; I wonder if I could be their descendant—“
Alfred raised his hands, almost physically hit by the deluge of enthusiasm. “Whoa whoa, boy! You don’t need to convince me, I knew everything already.”
Flash blushed. He still looked like a wee kitty and Alfred felt the strongest desire to hug him. “Sorry,” the snow leopard said.
Alfred accompanied him to the bed. “For what? For being proud of your citizenship? Boy, I can’t wait to see you move where you really belong.”
Flash snuggled against the human. “But you will come with me, will you?”
“If you want me to, sure.”
“Thank you.” The leopard chuckled. “Who knows, you may make a good pet.” Then he stuck out his tongue playfully.
Alfred laughed out loud. “I knew you were out for revenge!”

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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
Things are getting a little hectic!

In fact, we need Karishad to play a role!

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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
kavviyenta wrote:
Things are getting a little hectic!

In fact, we need Karishad to play a role!

currently, Karishad is still employed at the RR zoo, as Keene never hired him.
Plus, I am TERRIBLE at English-based puns, and i don't know how to use awesome fox :cry: :cry:

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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
valerio wrote:
kavviyenta wrote:
Things are getting a little hectic!

In fact, we need Karishad to play a role!

currently, Karishad is still employed at the RR zoo, as Keene never hired him.
Plus, I am TERRIBLE at English-based puns, and i don't know how to use awesome fox :cry: :cry:


Figured that might be the case. Sorry, Kari! :(

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Mon Dec 31, 2012 2:27 pm
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
valerio wrote:
currently, Karishad is still employed at the RR zoo, as Keene never hired him.
Plus, I am TERRIBLE at English-based puns, and i don't know how to use awesome fox :cry: :cry:


Well that's what beta readers and editors are for. They'd help you with that.

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Tue Jan 01, 2013 8:17 pm
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
thankx, Cerb: I may have some idea for Season V, so who knows? ;)

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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
5.
The Martin Luther and Giordano Bruno Cultural Association, River Ridge

“I was wondering,” asked Mayo to the pet bent over the map. “Of all the pampered animals from the High, why would you two volunteer for this thing? And how do you come to know so much about the gangs of the city?”
The two pets being the otter Errol and the genet Gene –not exactly two representatives of the more common cat and dog kind. The question being asked to the catlike mustelid.
The genet shrugged. “Because I used to live in the streets. I was abandoned as a kit and lived on my own. And since I never put roots in a single territory, I got to explore the whole city before I got domesticated again.”
The cat regarded Gene with a frown. “So you were a thief. Never heard of you, though.”
Gene flashed him a grin. “I was that good, kitten. Not to mention that a good thief is not supposed to advertise himself. I never stole more than what I needed to live the day, and never mingled with the clans.”
Mayo shook his head. “Please! It’s obvious you never met Ghost: now, he was a thief. And a real kicktail of a thief if I ever met one. Few dogs dared to stand against him, he made our clan very proud.”
Gene nodded. “I heard about him. Too bad he got captured by Animal Control. Did you get any news about him?”
“No. And it’s not like those offices have an information booth feral-friendly. So, are you sure that this block is safe for your friends?” He pointed at one of the blue-circled areas, four miles west.
Gene nodded. “I know the dogs that rule there: they’re reasonable guys, they will listen at least.”
---
Post Station Block

The five dogs were still laughing after six full minutes.
“Does it mean they like the idea?” Alandra asked in a whisper. “I don’t know how it works with American ferals.”
Kwesi and their feline escort didn’t look as much confidential. In fact, they exchanged a worried look.
The pack leader, a wolfish-looking mixed breed with four scars crossing his left eye, wiped his tears. “Eh eh eh… Didn’t hear a silliest one since you told us you could raid that butcher’s shop all alone, do you remember Chess?”
Chess was some mastiff mix, with an irregular pattern of black and white, as if someone had tried to paint a chessboard over his body nb after drinking some strong ones. He too was trying to regain control. “Oh yes, boss! Do I remember: I also went to the shop and actually challenged the butcher to come out and fight for the right of territory!” That started another round of laughs, the dogs hugging to each other –if not to start rolling down and kicking out as if they had done before.
“Ah, guys,” Kwesi tried again. “This is serious, honest. We’re not mocking you.” He addressed directly the pack leader. “Tokugawa, right? This time the humans we are supporting really want to do the right thing. I mean, look at me! I was—*eep!*” he almost jumped back when he found the feral’s snout almost touching his.
Tokugawa was grinning, but it there was no mirth in that expression. “Pup, you were just a lucky loser’n’goner if I ever saw one. Humans love your kind, they go all daww over you and start spending themselves poor just for their sense of accomplishment. No love lost. Have you taken a good look at us?”
Kwesi did so again. Four males, one female. Each one of them forged by a whole life on the streets. Each one of them bearing scars inside and outside their bodies. Each one looking as if they could give a hard time to any human silly enough to approach them.
Tokugawa nodded, reading those considerations in the Basenji’s eyes. “We’re not some adorable critter, pup: those like us will never get adopted unless it’s for pet fight club. So no, thank you, we won’t ‘register’ ourselves and give ourselves to the new pounds. But since you were so funny as to come in our territory and make us laugh, you may go away unscathed. Any question?” He turned and the rest of the pack did the same…
“Yes, I have one,” Alandra said.
Tokugawa sighed, without turning. “That was a rhetorical one, cat.”
“Are you so scared?”
That made the pack turn as one, growling! It had been a while since Kwesi had feared for his dear life…and it still was an awful sensation. “Say it again?” Tokugawa asked.
Alandra stood her ground. If she was scared, she was very good at hiding it. “I asked, are you guys scared of doing it? Do you like this life so much?”
The sound that came from the pack’s throats was the closest thing to a demonic rumble Kwesi had ever heard. The cat standing beside him whispered, “I think I am falling in love with her.”
Again, Alandra’s voice stood firm while she went on. “A bunch of cats can try and abandon this life. Are you any less than tem?”
“A proof that your kind is made of weaklings, if I ever had one. But please,” the wolfish dog grinned again. “Go, if you want it so much. We need the territory. Without you pests we’ll be only the happier.”
“Perhaps you don’t understand,” Alandra said. “This is not a matter of choice, after all.”
The pack surrounded the group. Three more bulky dogs, two males and one female, emerged from the shadows and added themselves to the number.
“Are you sure that genet friend of yours didn’t want to get rid of us?” the cat asked. He was a large and muscled one, more similar to a lynx than to a feral tabby, but he knew he couldn’t even help his protégées to escape by sacrificing himself if push came to shove.
“You are still alive, cat,” Tokugawa growled, “because I admire your guts. Before I make an example out of you, care to explain yourself?”
Alandra nodded. “Animal Control will be improved. With more means and men than you dealt with so far. What we want you to do is to show that you can work along change instead than against it. If the ferals prove themselves reliable, things will go better for everyone. And no more prisons, those will disappear—“
The big stray nodded. “Drop it. Humans want just to get rid of us, and for what I’m concerned, I understand you are not even worth a swipe of my claws: keep living your daydream, cat. I pity you.”
“So, do you pity me as well?” said a new voice, a female’s, from behind the pack.
It had the effect of freezing Tokugawa, as if he had just been struck by Divine Judgment.
And not only him.
One of the females was the first to turn. “Impossible…”
“Hi there, Serra,” said…a German Shepherd, her fur of the purest white, interrupted by a black diamond on her brow. Her eyes were two blue tourmalines. And she wore a collar with a milky tag in the shape of a star like a jewel. “I’m happy to see you too. Missed me?”
“Angel…” Tokugawa whispered.
“It’s a trick, you dolt!” Serra, a setter/husky mixed breed, lean but firm shape covered with a silver, black and brown pattern growled. “Don’t you see it? She’s got a collar! She’s been sent by AC to lure you! It’s a trap!”
The pack tensed.
The white-furred female ignored that, and walked to Serra. “A trap? Like the one you set up for me?”
Despite his better instincts, which were shouting him not to trust what he was seeing, Tokugawa asked, “What do you mean?”
“I mean that my owner, the human who saved my life, told me how I happened to be found, that night, alone, to be captured and sent to the worst of the pounds.”
Serra turned to her pack leader. “Liar! She’s a (censored) liar! It was her who ran away! Do you remember? She always sighed at the sight of a collared slave, as if she belonged to that world!” And that much was true, Angel had been always an embarrassment to the whole pack whenever she opened her mouth to speak her heart.
But Tokugawa loved her, had really loved her, to the point he could never decide between her beauty and the stronger and more pragmatic Serra. Serra…who had never confessed him that she was sterile due to an infection. Serra, who had been relegated in a lower position for that deceit.
“How can a human’s word be trusted?” Tokugawa asked. How could he know what happened?”
Angel smiled. “Because he bought that place. Before destroying it, he read the personnel files, the shifts, everything. And he learnt that an anonymous call had sent them where they had found me that night, the men from the worst place an animal could end up into, short of an arena.”
One of the dogs said, “Your human…is Foster? That one?”
Angel…no, Mizar nodded, touching her tag, recapping what had happened after her capture , how she had met Ghost…Alcor. How they had become a couple…everything. “I was destined to death, cremated like a piece of trash. That human gave me a hope and a purpose, and not only to me. Since his coming, not one life was wasted among those guests. And before you, Serra, start doubting his commitment, he risked his own life to save all of us.” She didn’t need to add more. Everyone knew about how he had killed the fiercest of the Whiteman dogs.
Tokugawa’s heart sank at a part of that tale. His beloved Angel, who he had thought a traitor to the pack, had ended up loving a cat. And she had given birth to a litter with another dog… And she was fine, she was happy and yet proud just as he remembered her.
And seeing her, listening to her, the pack leader knew that it couldn’t be a trap. He knew –no, every feral knew about the old ‘lager’, and its existence was reason enough not to trust the humans. Not an animal of sane mind would risk ending up there, ever. And blind trust hadn’t come with its end, but every stray who had happened in the proximity of the Lucky Charm Grove had testified of another, entirely different world—
It was Serra who broke his train of thoughts. She just roared and attacked Mizar. Like she had done that night –quick, no rules, nothing but get rid of the one who had threatened her run to mateship. At that time, Serra was sure that sending Angel to that horrible place would have been the greatest punishment. At worst, those who came out of there, those few lucky ones, were never seen again in the streets. Angel was supposed to stay there, to become ash and be forgotten forever! But no! An infection had deprived Serra of her natural right to have a litter, the ghost of Angel had kept ruining her life, polluting Tokugawa’s memories! Serra would correct her mistake this time!
That delirium took no more than the time the dog needed to cover the distance between her and her old enemy. And, oh, was she fast. No one could stop her from—
Something hit Serra at the solar plexus. She had just a fraction of a second to realize it was Mizar’s fist. That whelp, that puny weak whelp had dared to hit her…
And then Mizar’s knee hit her enemy behind her skull, causing Serra’s vision to be filled with light, while a monstrous nausea made her knees buckle. Before she knew it, Serra was on all fours, barely standing in that position, emptying her stomach, trying to breath between the retches…
“Oh, and I learnt to fight as well,” Mizar said, the mocking in her voice –and that was the worst, Serra thought with the last shreds of her conscience. The knowledge that she had been not only defeated, but humiliated in front of the pack. After this, she would never regain respect…never…
Serra lost her consciousness, her face falling into the pool of her own vomit.
As one, the pack started retreating from Mizar, and from the Terrace High pets.
“Angel,” Tokugawa said. He still remembered the delicate creature of once, the one he had always felt protective to.
Mizar walked to him, put her paw against his cheek. “I know that look, Gawa. And I’m so happy that you steel have it—Erk!” at that point, she disappeared in his arms, her bones threatening to crumple.
“I never stopped hoping, no believing you were fine!” He slowly let her go, still holding her shoulders. Then he showed her one rare sheepish smile –and those who saw it agreed that it would be in their better interest to forget about it all. “No second thoughts, I guess, hm?”
Mizar shook her head. “Was about to ask you the same thing. Tokugawa, look at me: this is the right moment, I am proof of that.”
The big dog shook his head. “No, my dear: you are proof that not the right laws, but the right human can change your life for better. I have a responsibility toward my pack, toward my peers: I can’t tell them to run the risk of losing what few we have in the name of chance. I am happy for you, except for the cat part, but remember it: you are privileged. Do not set yourself as an example.” Again, he turned to go, and the other dogs did the same. Two males collected Serra.
“What will you do with her?” Mizar asked.
“She’s disgraced, but she’s still pack. Believe it or not, Angel, but she was always loyal to me, to us. She’s been punished, and that’s it. And please,” he chuckled “don’t worry about your message getting lost. You know it.”
Alandra threw Mizar a questioning glance…before her sensible ears at last took notice of other presences all around them.

“Well, I have seen many things in my life, mademoiselle, but this is new even to me.” The brown rat bowed to Chocolate and took off an imaginary hat. “Chapeau. Tristan de Montferrat recognizes that this is a most intriguing development between humans and animals relationship.” He and the other rats with him kept watching the scene unfolding. “But surely you don’t expect us to advertise this idea successfully to the our predators. They’ll think it’s a trick to get rid of the competition. Not to mention that small prey’s opinion isn’t given much weight anyway.”
Chocolate answered calmly. “In fact, the idea is that you give the example.”
Tristan’s eyes widened. “Parbleu! Coup de Theatre, if I ever heard one. And how do you plan to do that, mademoiselle Chocolat?”
“Maintenance, information, surveillance, scouting… You have a great, unused potential. You can do many jobs that would otherwise require robots. With the advantage that you are more versatile and not as much costly: train in the new shelters, show what you can do. Soon you’ll turn from pests to something better. Something needful.”
The rat smiled, while the other rats started to exchange opinions. “So… Mademoiselle, exactly who was supposed to benefit of this day? Us or our natural enemies?”
Chocolate smiled back. “That is for you to decide.”

On their way back to the Cultural Association, Kwesi said, “Well, that was a neat family reunion, ma’am.”
Mizar rolled her eyes. “Please, I have a name too.”
“Well, not everypet belongs to…sorry, lives with the Martin Foster. So, were you following us all the time?”
She nodded. “When Gottschalk told Dad about your plans, he asked me to keep an eye on you. Soon as I saw where you were headed, I knew who you wanted to contact.”
“I’m impressed,” Alandra intervened. “Nobody noticed your presence, and it’s not that you’re, like, invisible.”
“Yup. But even if I was never good at fighting, back in the days, I was the stealthiest member of the pack. Heh, Serra always teased me calling me ‘kitten’.”
“She teased you about a lot of things.” Kwesi sighed. “I know the feeling.”
“What I hate most about her is that she never tried to understand that I didn’t want to climb the ladder. I just wanted a place in the pack, I wanted to feel protected…”
“Oh, come on!” Alandra said and nudged the white dog. “It’s not that Toku wasn’t worth a thought or two.”
Kwesi pointed both arms at her, in a mock exaggerate fashion. “My girlfiend, ladies and gentlefurs!”
Still blushing, Mizar said. “N-no, it wasn’t like that. I could never tell him, but he was…like a big brother to me. I loved him, but not in that way. And this, Serra had never realized.”
“Do you think he’ll listen to you?” Alandra asked her.
“He’ll be needing time, but he can’t just take that decision out of the blue, no matter how right: he must discuss it with the other pack leaders, and before that he needs to keep his own pack united, to show they all believe it. But I know that he’ll try.”
“And Serra? Won’t she try to isolate him?”
Mizar sighed. “I don’t know what she’ll do…but by now her reputation is at such a low that they’ll barely pay attention to her rants.”
Kwesi showed a sly smile. “That is why you didn’t try to avoid that fight. That is why you chose the right moment to appear: You practically teased her into attacking you. Bad doggie.”
Mizar chuckled. “Not that I am really proud of it, but it served to put her out of the game without bloodshed. I hope Tokugawa got the message.”
“If he didn’t, he never deserved you.”

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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
6.
Sandwich House, Babylon Gardens

“…And then I found myself facing one, no two huge mastiffs watching the house of that drug dealer! You should have seen them, with those bloodshot eyes, and the spiked collars. They were out to make no prisoner, I tell you! Two of my friends were put out of commission already…yes, their wounds were bad, and I was now alone. And worst of all, I knew I had no chances—“
“Then how did you make it alive?” Louise and Nutella asked with one voice, preceding for a second their sister Tarot and their two brothers, Dayshaun and Parnok.
The Canadian pointer mix tapped his temple, showing a sly smile. “Heh, because ol’ Budweiser’s got brains other than muscles. Your daddy got them from me as well, you know? You see, a big brute can be taken down if you play it coo—“ until that moment, his audience had followed him with the outmost interest, each kitten leaning forward as the former police dog told of his adventures in the force.
But despite his brains, Bud had committed one mistake: he was standing between the litter and the main door. And so, when they heard it opening and Grape’s voice saying, “I’m home!”, the kittens shouted “Mommy!”, much like a happy Hun horde.
The old dog had just the time to see them going off…before he was trampled like an old rug, again.

“Kittens!” Grape looked as if she had fought several battles, her fur was all ruffled up, her hat was half chewed and only a strip of leather was left of the bag she had used to carry the supporter’s kit. She was tired as heck… But just welcoming the little ones in her arms made her feel alive with new energies. She was home, with her family. No problems, no stress, no bickering, nothing could beat that. The lavender cat started purring losing herself in the group hug. “How did it go with grandpa…oh.” She saw Bud leaning against the threshold, dusting himself. “Sorry, grandpa.”
“Heh, my bad: I tend to forget they got that from Peanut as well. But you too look as if you had an interesting day.”
Parnok climbed up his mother and sat behind her neck. The whole group went for the kitchen. “Milk. Cold. Make it double,” she instructed Peanut’s father.
Budweiser opened the fridge. “Your wish is my command, ma’am. He took out the jug and put it on the table, then went and took a glass from the kitchen counter. “So? Care to share your stress with this ol’ hound? If you do, I’ll give you cookies.” At that magic word, the kittens lined up two seats near grape and made a pile of grinning, hungry furs.
Bud took the cookies –vanilla and raisin brownies. “Sometimes I wonder if their appearance is not just an actual disguise, my dear daughter-in-law.” He proceeded to fill other five glasses and as many plates with cookies.
Grape ruffled Dayshaun’s head. “'The best of two worlds'… You know, I am still puzzled that you’re still so nonplussed about them. If word about their birth came out, we’d have a revolt.”
Bud shrugged. “Heh, you don’t know half the secrets I learnt to keep such during my years in the force. I could write a book, get skinned alive the day after the publishing and leave the money as your inheritance. So no, I am not scandalized or such by your beautiful litter. In fact, I am truly happy that my son has passed something to the new generation.” His eyes went to Dayshaun while he served the food. “Best of two worlds. Right. But why do I have the sensation you are trying to skip the argument? I’ve seen cats in a fight before, but you have a special responsibility as a mommy, dear daughter.” He tutted.
Grape downed her milk, then nibbled at a cookie. “Well, Maxie and I kept doing our shift, we met the Koenig, the Russell, the Carter families… And, well, we weren’t exactly welcomed each time. When we were at the Bergman’s, Max decided he had had it, and…well, I too had decided I had had enough. So we started arguing with the Bergman cats a bit louder than before, and then other pets joined, and then there was this brawl…” she bent in two and rested her head against the table top. “Way to ruin a campaign.”
“Now, now. You didn’t ruin anything, don’t give yourself so much importance.”
She flashed him the eyes of death. “If that was supposed to make me feel better, remember that I still can eat your tail.”
“Perish the thought. I was only saying that you are very passionate about animal rights, it’s not a mystery. And the guys offended that passion, did they? It’s not like you went and started defaming Ms. Lundberg.”
Grape stood like that, bent over the table. Parnok puffed out his chest. “Mama is the toughest kitty! If she was provoked she had a duty to defend herself!”
The lavender cat nodded to the dog’s words. “You should have seen them, Bud: the pets, I mean. They were at best indifferent, at worst scared, as if they had everything to lose! What’s wrong with them?”
Bud rubbed her back, between the shoulder blades. “There’s nothing wrong with you or with them, lady. Tell me, didn’t you notice anything in the numbers?”
“What do you mean? And keep rubbing. Hmm, I thought only Peanut knew that spot.”
“Who were the pets who reacted with more vehemence against this ‘more animal rights’ idea?”
She realized it before she spoke it out loud. “The richer families’.”
Bud nodded. “And would you consider them a majority, in the neighborhood?”
“No. But—“
“There are no ‘buts’, Grape.” This time, Budweiser’s face was serious. She couldn’t not think of what Peanut could become, given some more year. “The better your life, the more scared of losing it you become when things start to change. And it’s not a human thing, everyone has their habits and security zones. This is a big change, it wasn’t supposed to be smooth.”
Grape sat up and sighed heavily. “Guess you’re right. You’ve seen that a lot, after all.”
The dog nodded. “From strays to pampered animals. But this time we may be making history. If things go well with this election, the future will become something…hectic, but all in all wonderful.”
The cat smiled. “Do you think so?”
Bud nodded again. “I believe it. And I know you do too. You just don’t want to run the risk to feel yourself disappointed.”
Grape frowned. This guy knew her so well, and it wasn’t as if they had known each other for a lifetime… “Are you sure you are not Peanut in disguise?”
Bud laughed. “Dear, allow me the advantage of having a son who not only loves to talk with his father, but also talks a lot about his mate! After a couple of days spent with him, it was as if I had known you forever.”
Grape gulped. “Please tell me that mutt hasn’t told you everything.”
The dog leaned back against the chair, arms crossed behind his head. He didn’t say a word, but his grin spoke out enough.
Grape used her paws to cover the tomato-blush burning her face. “He’s so, so, so dead…”
---
The Good Ol’ Dogs Club

…or rather, outside the Club. By now, entering the Club house or even its proximities would mean lose oneself in a maelstrom of furs partying, chatting, organizing their support for Gabriella Lundberg. Such was the pet density per square meter, a pin couldn’t have fallen onto the ground.

“Ugh, politics,” Bino scoffed, while sitting against a tree. He loved his hour of well-deserved glory, but even a good leader needed some rest.
“You said it,” said the young human sitting beside him, mirroring the dog’s position. “Ugh, more pet rights. Who needs them?”
“Yeah. I mean, this will only make my job harder, everyone will start complaining and whining! And it’s not as if we’re living a bad life as it is.” Bino shivered. “Ugh, imagine: parades of ferals walking these streets, ferals standing up to us domestics.”
The boy gave Bino a puzzled look. “Say, aren’t you the boss of this so-called Club? Why are you supporting this stupid idea?”
Bino sighed. “I’m a dog of the people. And I learnt the art of compromise: do you see how many brainwashed dolts there are there? My weird brother and his weird cat-loving friends would hang me by this tree if I contested their political ideas.” He shrugged. “But it doesn’t matter: as soon as they realize their mistake, the Club will go back to its roots and into the arms of its rightful and beloved leader. Just you wait—“ he then noticed someone in particular leaving the house. The hound stood up. “Hold it there, be right back.”
Bino walked to the dog, to Peanut. “Hey, cat lover.”
Peanut turned and wagged. “Hi there, Bino! I was wondering where were you.”
“Yes, I’m sure you were.” He grabbed Peanut’s arm and dragged him toward the tree –without hurting him, despite his intentions. Better not to draw unwanted attention.
When they were far enough, Bino growled, “Now, what was the idea, you weirdo?!”
Now, Peanut was used to see the hound in an angry mood. In another occasion, the Canadian pointer mix wouldn’t have been worried by that outburst, but Bino’s change of mood from the dog who had just come back all happy from the Academy was…well, confusing. Peanut blinked a couple of times. “Uh, what do you mean?”
“Fido’s marriage, you cretin! This was your idea, was it?! YOU convinced him to marry that…that…thing! And worst of all, he had the nerve to hand me the invitation personally! In front of everyone at the police, so that I couldn’t refuse!”
Peanut shook his head. “Bino, honestly, what are you talking—“
Bino flexed his paws, imagining to slam repeatedly that dog against the tree. “’Honest’ doesn’t belong to you, you virulent entity! It was already hard to keep the dogs and Joey in line as it was, then you do that pathetic outing thing and Joey founds his cat-lovers club. On top of it, Fido goes public as well! But I tried not to be a sourpuss because a good leader doesn’t wage war. And I tried to ignore the growing tide of…deserters of their own species.
“Then you marry Grape, and from then on it’s as if another universe had overlapped to ours! But even then, Joey marrying a Bigglesworth of all cats sounded almost normal to him!” Bino was breathing like a bull before charging. “But I won’t forgive you this, Peanut Butter Sandwich! Not this final humiliation, not that glory hog staining the good name of the Club with this unholy mockery!” He stuck a finger into Peanut’s chest. “So you better listen well now, because I am not going to repeat myself: I am a cop, one of the best. And as soon as Fido takes his leave, I’ll double my efforts to find you guilty of something, and I’ll even try to invent something you could be guilty of, just for the sake of handcuffing you and throwing you into our dampest and darkest cell! And you know what’s the best thing about it, you fluke? I’m sure you’ll do something to make my wish come true.” He suddenly smiled as if to an old friend. “Oh, and don’t you start whining with someone else: from now on, it’s your mutt’s word against a true cop.” He patted his shoulder. “Now off you go, enjoy the party and all. As we use to say in the Force, ‘Your Guardian Angels will watch over you’.”
Peanut said nothing, his shocked face was enough. He just turned and ran away.
Bino sat down back against the tree, a contented expression on his face. Heck, he felt like trembling with this so much needed endorphins shot!
“You got style, dog. I like it.” The boy offered his hand. “Matt.”
Bino shook it. A human recognizing his talent, almost as good as humiliating that pathetic cat lover. And he could use some human ally outside the police department…
“Hey, Bino!”
And yet, for a moment, the voice of Fox made his blood freeze. The rapports between him and his old buddy had deteriorated with time. Fox had changed, and not for good. Bino knew he had run a risk by leaving Fox to his own devices, but he had thought that the responsibility of being the pro tempore chairdog of the GODC would’ve brought him back to his senses.
No such luck. King had taken advantage of Bino’s absence to become family with Fox! That little, lousy, no good—
“Bino!” All of a sudden, Fox was a foot away from him!
“ACK!”
The Husky was looking at him with a frown. “You had again that expression: what were you planning?”
Bino blushed. Better to stay put, for now. Fox had proven already he could get very…physical, when it came to defend King. “Ah, nothing! Nothing at all, just…thinking about the baddies, yes!”
Fox raised an eyebrow. “The baddies?”
“The criminals! How I despise those lowlife forms! To think they had kidnapped poor Peanut too!”
Fox didn’t seem entirely convinced, but he decided this wasn’t a day for fighting. “The conference.”
Bino blinked. “Wut? I hadn’t planned one.” then he felt a new wave of pride energizing him. “Did they ask for one of my awesome speeches?”
“No. Gabriella’s speech! The big announcements the humans have been talking about for days…” he sighed, then grabbed Bino’s arm and dragged him toward the Club house. To Matt, he said, “If you want to, you’re welcome to join us!”
Matt stood up, shrugged. “Well, why not? A good laugh at a politician’s promise will make my day, hopefully.”
---
Gordon House, Apt. 192, Lev. 19, Terrace High

“Hi, Tegan! Elliot!” Flash’s tail was already swishing with excitement. “The couch is ready. Dad—“
“Creepy kitty!” came from the living room.
“Alfred already prepared everything. A bowl of cheesy bacon snax is already waiting, Elliot.”
The golden retriever ran to the room. Flash bowed gallantly and extended his arm in the direction of the room. “After you. Too bad we couldn’t arrange a meeting at the Club to watch it.”
“Well, pretty everyone had decided to stay with their families. Looks like this announcement will be a turning point in the race. But we’ll catch up with the election day.” For now, I’ll just snuggle between you and Elliot! Eat your heart out, Grape!
---
Karahalios House, Apt. 494, Lev. 49

Elpis put on a couple of headphones, so that he could listen to the blind-friendly broadcast of the conference while his parents could listen to the regular broadcasting.
Since his first doubts about Gottschalk’s intentions had started burning in his mind, he had decided to keep them on hold until an explanation came, and it looked like this was it. Although he couldn’t really imagine what it could be…
Because if there was a scam behind these elections, it was his duty to warn his parents and the journalists that worked here at the High.
---
Milton Mansion, Babylon Gardens

“It was very kind of you to invite us, Sir,” Miles said.
The Milton ferrets’ private theatre was almost filled to capacity, what with having the whole wolf pack as guests.
Lana slurped some soda. Her cup read ‘SODA-FREE SODA. CAN YOU BELIEVE WE’RE THAT AWESOME?’ “Oh, please, it’s the least we could do. You deserve a good show for being our best ambassadors to the integration programs. Snow, are you comfortable?”
The pregnant, white-furred she-wolf nodded while resting on a reclined couch large enough to host her and her mate, the grey furred Rodney. “Yes, thank you Lana.”
“Good,” Simon said. “Because we don’t want you to drop a litter right now and steal our moment of glory.”
Keene felt like strangling his ‘brother’. Instead, he facepawlmed. “Forgive him, Miles. I’ll kill him later, promise.”
The pack leader chuckled. “Don’t worry: Snow’s cravings may take care of that.”
---
The forest outside Babylon Gardens

“Hold it! Like that…no! Just stay put, man…theeeere, one step forward. Turn left…Bingo!”
The deer didn’t look exactly pleased. “Will I have to stay like this for long?” Not that he hadn’t a right to feel upset: he was carrying a TV antenna built on his antlers and his body had been turned into a walking pantry for snacks.
“Hey,” a raccoon protested, a slim specimen sitting next to a short, stocky one. “It was a fair pollution! Everyone volunteered.” He crossed his arms and put up an indignant expression. “Not our faults if the Opener of Ways couldn’t find a flat PeeVe!” he pointed at the small orange Voxson cube –a 40 y/o model still in black and white.
Zachary sighed. “Guys, this was the only available pronto with batteries and a non-microscopic screen, OK? And don’t try to break it, or Zap will sic the hunters on us!” Then he took a look at the two raccoons. “Say, weren’t you two…a bit dead, last time I saw you?” So dead, in fact, that he still felt his stomach churning when he thought about what had been done to them.
The stocky coon said, “Us? Oh, no, those were Silver and Zen. I am Truck, and he’s Falstaff. But thank you for asking, Opener. We appreciate what you’re doing for us.”
The rabbit blinked. “Uh? Weren’t them who used to visit our neighborhood..? Broom to your face?”
Falstaff rubbed his nose out of a reflex. “Thank you not for reminding that, but I understand your confursion. You see, it’s easy, really: we did shifts.”
“Shifts?”
“Yes: Babylon was large enough for us, it wasn’t our reclusive territory. Silver and Zen were just unlucky.”
“You don’t seem exactly concerned about them, though.”
Falstaff shrugged. “We’re prey, remember? Living on the edge and all. And they were competitors, so now we get a largest share.”
Zachary decided to drop the matter –and to think he had wanted to become a feral, once! He could never get used to the idea of getting eaten or worse just because it was in the swing of things! He fervently hoped this so-called big conference would be of help. The woodland critters were supposed to be united if Pete was to respect his part of the pact and bring back peace with humankind. And if humans could prove to be reliable to work with and not against them, it depended on this Ms. Lundberg…
---
The Lucky Charm Grove for the Abandoned and the Ferals

Bill Lindberg, Director of the county’s top shelter, sat in the theatre room together with part of the staff and the guests who had ended up filling up the seats. Many had chosen to sit on the laps of the others. The pavement was crowded with furs looking expectantly at the screen.
Bill was happy to see such participation: these creatures had all shared a traumatic experience, a hard life, and despite that they had rebuilt their psyche, were working hard, studying, learning jobs… This moment could mark the turn toward the end of the stray life even before the election day! And every animal at the shelter was silently praying for their less fortunate peers…
And yet, there was one guest who had avoided showing up. A malignant part of the Director thought, ‘all the better’.
---
Martin Luther King and Giordano Bruno Cultural Association, River Ridge

“Ok, guys,” Styge said. “Almost there! Everyone cross fingers. Think only happy thoughts, first to bring bad luck I’ll feed him to the sewer gators.”
“Big talk for a small kitty,” said a gruff voice.
“Tokugawa!” Onur was the first to leave his seat. The other members of the club, and their stray feline guests, did so as well.
Two members of Tokugawa’s pack put themselves at the sides of the threshold of the TV room. The pack leader sat down on the pavement, at the front row, uncaring as if he owned the place. “Yep, that’s me. Thought this was worth to call it a truce. Any question?”
No one decided to say a word. It wasn’t clear if it was for the magic of the moment, or for fear of retaliation…
Tokugawa grinned. “Thought so.”
---
Foster Mansion, Babylon Gardens

“You are tense,” Alcor said.
Martin Foster was looking at the screen as if it was studying a potential threat. Despite that, he said, “No, I’m not.”
“Yes you are,” said both Antares and Albaran, sitting on the pavement against the couch, munching popcorn.
“Yes you are,” said the puppies Rigel and Naos. Mortimer, the latest entry in the Foster family, the son of Antares and the she-wolf Celestia, just giggled. “Yush you is.”
Martin rolled his eyes. “Okay, I am tense.”
“Do you fear something may go wrong?” Mizar asked him. Like Alcor, she was snuggling against their Dad.
A knuckle find its way inside her ear and rubbed, causing her to moan.
“Sorry, old habits. I didn’t jump with joy even when I won that lottery. I learnt not to count the money before it was in my pockets…”
“Hey, it’s starting!” Alcor said. Everyone stopped talking and listened…

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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
し~~~~~~~~~ん
I can hear the dust motes dropping. ;)

I love how you make me feel the tension in the air.
I hate how you make me feel the tension in the air.
I Must Know What Happens!!!

*ahem*
Just ignore me as I impatiently bounce over here. :D

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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
I am excite.

something I've been meaning to ask for a little while though: Why do you say "pavement" when you refer to the floor? Is it a translation thing? because when I see pavement I think road.

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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
7.
KPET News Studio

“Good evening. I am Wolfram Blitzen, for our Pet’s People special edition,” said a male Norwegian Elkhound, sitting at the left side of the desk.
“And I’m Rochelle o’Shea,” said a female collie at the right of the desk. “Tonight’s special edition is dedicated to the press conference that Gabriella Lundberg, River Ridge Mayor candidate, and Raimund Radulph Gottschalk, CEO of Gottschalk Technologies and Entertainment and Partner of the Gottschalk-Milton-Foster Unlimited, are going to give from the First National Energies Research Labs.”
As per cue, Wolfram took the lead. “But first, a brief history of River Ridge.” On the screen, a slide of historical pictures started to run. “River Ridge was founded in 1610 by a group of gold miners; the community was then called River Creek Station, and the waterbed was so generous with the inhabitants that soon it was dubbed Yellow River.” Cue on Christie’s Yellow River. “Eventually, Yellow River stopped being generous, but by then the humans and their animals had started a flourishing community.”
“That is correct Wolfram,” Rochelle’s voice said. “Animals were already an important part of American History, but their contribute to the defense of River Creek Station was never forgotten, as the Northern Star Monument in Creek Plaza can testify. But even moreso, the community was the first to enact the first pet-friendly laws, the basis of animal welfare as we know it today.”
Wolfram. “Yellow River kept being generous: its dam system allowed the birth of numerous industries, it helped the city growing, and eventually, when the Alessandro Volta Power Plant replaced the old dams, it gave new energies to the city of River Ridge. Literally.” Picture of today’s River Ridge, built along the sides of the Yellow River. The AVPP’s artificial lake lay 10 kilometers south.
Rochelle. “In 1961, the Government installed the Truman Energy Research Labs, a military-managed nuclear plant to manufacture the fissile material for the US arsenal. The TERL remained operative until 1970, when an earthquake nearly caused a rupture in the containment units. River Ridge responded by retiring all of their workers and started providing any food and serviced to the Government personnel. Eventually, the Government closed the plant, which remained abandoned until 1985.”
Wolfram. Cue on Walking on Sunshine. “By then, the GTE bought the plant and reconverted it in an alternative energies research center, the First National Energies Labs. “
A few years later, construction of a site powered by said alternative energies had started: we know it today as Terrace High.”
Back to the studio. Rochelle. “And tonight, from the Firsts, the expected announcement that may give Gabriella Lundberg, candidate Mayor to River Ridge, the final push toward her victory, the first step of an entirely new career. Is it possible, Renata?”
A new window popped up behind them, to the benefit of the viewers: it showed the Cocker Spaniel, Renata Fayre, holding a mike. She was in the front row of a thick line of reporters from newspapers and TV. “Thank you, Rochelle, Wolfram. Yes, I’d say you're right on that: the major networks worldwide are assembled here tonight. Short of announcing the existence of extraterrestrial life, we all wonder what could be the breakthrough the rumors talk about. Can I have a panoramic, Alistair?”
Change to the helicopter view: Renata and her cameraman…pardon, cameradog the Golden Retriever Kevin J. Dog, two tiny figures much like the rest of the crowd in front of the huge white-walled plant.
Back to Renata, just as the flashes started to pop and the reporters to get excited. She turned to the plant’s entrance. “But there they are! The Candidate and Mr. Gottschalk himself!”
There couldn’t be two more contrasting figures: Gabriella looked like a tanned girl in comparison to the pale, tall figure of Raimund Gottschalk. She wore a blue pinstriped suit. He was wearing a dark grey one and carried his cane.
Both humans were accompanied by their dogs. Gauss and Curie watched over Gottschalk. Garr and Alvaro were Gabriella’s shadows.
The two figures took place behind the double podium, the dogs only apparently relaxed, but ready to intervene at any moment.
Gottschalk and Gabriella waited until the excitement had calmed down a little. Then it was her who gave a slight nod to the industrialist.
Gottschalk started speaking with a calm and firm voice. “As I said once to the reporter Guinevere Cardore, I am a man of dreams.”
---
In the conference room of the online newspaper The Daily Facts, Director Cox looked at the count of the hits of the interview between Guinevere and the man skyrocketing while the staff cheered.
Yes, it was time for a promotion, definitely.
---
“And my dream is one where humans and animals can go back to the life of equality and dignity that once was. A life that history relegated in the legends, but a myth it is not.
“Another man believed this was possible, and he was my inspiration: Henry Milton, who in life dedicated all of his efforts to start the community of Babylon Gardens.”
---
In the theatre room at Milton Manor, six ferrets exchanged bumps. Keene was looking at the value of the Milton Inc. stocks growing and felt even the happier.
---
“I came to River Ridge not just to make money, but to make sure that the Milton legacy would live on. Terrace High is just the first example of what the will and, yes, a lot of money can do.” he allowed himself a smile. Chuckles came from the crowd. Flashes popped.
Back was the inscrutable mask. “Then came Martin Foster, and in a way he completed the circle. Henry Milton first and his ferrets today proved that the middle class citizen can live with their pets in a pet-friendly community. Martin Foster proved that the less fortunate animals can live a second life, turn abandonment to real opportunity, to everyone’s benefit.”
---
At Foster Mansion, Martin squeezed to himself Mizar and Alcor. Like two overgrown puppies, Antares and Aldebaran hugged their human’s legs.
---
“What I contributed from the start, is…an experiment. A prototype, if you want. Terrace High did nothing to add to animal rights or to ferals relocation and reintegration into society. My premises wanted only to show to the world a more efficient kind of condominium, services, protection. And yes, I am still sorry for that…social experiment I inflicted on my tenants.” More chuckles, caused this time by an apologetic smile.
Gabriella was impressed: this man could run a crowd much like an orchestra leader, only using a crack in the mask instead of a rod.
“When my group bought the old Truman Energy Labs, the idea was to keep Terrace High as a prototype, before extending it to other locations. But it was then that Ms. Lundberg convinced me otherwise.” His head turned to the woman. Again, the gesture worked like a charm: Gabriella became an attention magnet.
“I saw the potentialities of Mr. Gottschalk’s project. Mr. Lyndon, the current Mayor,” she did put just that bit of scorn in that name, as if talking about a complete idiot “was just happy to get the tax money flowing as it was. He didn’t think that River Ridge could undergo a new, radical transformation. And when I repeatedly proposed the idea at the Council, I was accused of just wanting an excuse to waste our taxpayers’ money in a public spendrift.” She acted as if she had to calm herself from getting hysterical, actually implying that ‘See, kids? Look who was right now!’ “Yes, as it is, River Ridge seems to be just a nice place. But it’s not enough: ferals roam the streets, there are abandoned buildings, maintenance is faulty in several areas…and in these years, things are not going to get better. And if I never run for this seat before, that's because I could not, in all honesty, promise something I could not achieve: a better city, a better life for humans and animals alike.” Her head turned to the man standing at her right. “But upon studying Terrace High, I understood that there was no need to build more of it elsewhere: River Ridge could become a new Terrace High, the most efficient and modern city in the United States. Mr. Gottschalk?”
---
At the Good Ol’ Dogs Club, King mumbled, “Doesn’t seem this much of a breakthrough worth all this attention. Humans build things every day.”
Bino found himself nodding. “For once, shorty, I’m with you on this.”
---
At Karahalios House, Kloe Karahalios looked at her beloved dog pressing the earphones against his ears. “You really look happy, dear,” she said, although he couldn’t hear her due to the earphones.
Elpis was literally beaming. He had understood where this was going. He felt incredibly relieved and excited at the same time…
---
The crowd was again polarized on the gaunt visage. “Ms. Lundberg convinced me, after a series of meetings, to invest in infrastructures as part of a private plan, with the promise that the city board would repay me in installments only in case said investments would improve the city’s economy.
“I believe in her plans, believe in her strategies. Which included, and that was the main reason I had accepted, a renewed animal welfare and human/animal partnership. To this purpose, I involved the Milton Industries Ltd. and the Foster Foundation. If Ms. Lundberg’s plan was to succeed, I must work in a more organic way, on more fronts at the same time. Thus was born the Gottschalk-Milton-Foster Unlimited: the first step in the advancement of River Ridge on a large scale.
“But there still was a major obstacle, and that was the budget. What I mean is, yes, there is the money and the plans are developed enough to use it wisely throughout the years, but not enough money to be fast and efficient enough at the same time. My experts, in fact, concluded that not even two mandates would have been enough to finish the job, even demolishing River Ridge and rebuilding it from scraps, much like Hitler wanted to do with Berlin and turn it into Germania.” Nervous chuckles, but needed ones. People today tended to mistrust big-time industrialists, and it was no mystery that Gottschalk could scare the heck out of Washington.
“Of course, I never had intentions of retreating from this agreement, but it was bound to the election of Ms. Lundberg, the only one whom I trusted since the beginning.”
---
Somewhere, Thomas and Celia Milton were fuming. He was looking at his sister as if he wanted to strangle her. “Next time, just one next time I hear you talking bad about animal lovers, I’ll feed you to the wolves. We could have just joined the family and shared the money, but nooo, you were too busy hating those –what did you call them? tubular rats! And why are you smiling now?!”
Celia was looking at the television set of their cheap hotel room as if it was the most attractive cake in the world. “My dear brother, I think we could still share a big slice of the money. It’s a long shot, but it’s worth it.
“How long, exactly?”
She rolled her eyes. “Thomas, we’re desperate, penniless, and only a clause in our dear uncle’s will can save us. So just shut up and think positive for once.”
---
In what used to be a hotel room in the now animal-only populated Oasia, formerly Isla de la Paz, a certain Military Macaw let out a contend sigh. “You know, my dear Estrella? I love a strategy well planned.”
The woman, the last living member of a family that once prospered over the pain and suffering of both humans and animals alike, frowned. “Forgive me, Piper, but I still don’t see the connection.”
The parrot chuckled. “Estrella, Estrella dear, of course you can’t see it: it was a secret. You see, my ally was very clear on this: the all-new River Ridge is a prototype itself. The next step will be making Oasia the first efficient city customized for our kin, human-free, except for tourists and you as the only resident. Yessir, this is a great day.”
---
“And so here we are: the reason for which I had summoned you all. Please, follow us.” Gottschalk and Lundberg left the podium, followed by the four dogs. The reporters – Renata, Kevin and Guinevere leading – followed.
Everyone walked through the main gate leading into the complex. At that point, a tapis roulant carried them through a large corridor that could easily fit three large trucks. No one uttered a word while Gottschalk kept speaking. “The key to this plan is the energy, ladies and gentlemen. Huge amounts of energy not only to rebuild, but to maintain and eventually renew again through the years, the decades.
“We have that energy: this center developed many efficient alternative sources, but they work on a small scale, are inefficient for the needs of a large city, unless they integrate each other in a complex ‘smart grid’, which is too vulnerable to incidents, defects and of course terrorist attacks. Gas and oil, no matter if more abundant than the catastrophists used to predict back in the seventies, are still a limited and ever-costlier resource. With time, the new River Ridge would be forced to a progressive recession.”
At the end of the corridor, a thick rose of steel opened with a resounding metallic clanking. The tapis roulant stopped. Gottschalk and Gabriella stepped aside, allowing the press inside.
And, from the platform, they saw.
They saw the machinery, they saw the room that could easily host five football playgrounds, they saw and heard the computers, batches and batches of terminals who would soon sing their electronic song to maintain and control the immense power generated in that technological pit. They saw the swarm of tiny humans working like ants around the machines, making all sorts of electronic and mechanical noises of which the immense tokamak was the epicenter.
“Ladies and gentlemen,” Gottschalk said, “I give you the landmark to the new future of the world, the bringer of the fire of the stars: Prometheus.
Image
It took several minutes for the notion to sink in. And when it did, one reporter from Germany said. “Herr Gottschalk…is this a nuclear fusion reactor?”
“Correct.”
“But… There is an international effort already in progress—“ this time, he was interrupted as if he was trying to talk about a childish matter.
“ITER, you mean: a noble but still fruitless effort. Lack of enough funds united with a faulty political agenda is turning ITER into a spending black hole. Every time new funds are given in, the technology must be updated. There is, simply, no linearity. The tests so far have proven what we already knew: it is feasible, but to become energy effective, much more money must be invested. And that is exactly what the GTE is doing. Not to mention that ITER is just a prototype, before the second stage, DEMO, may be brought into operation. The most optimistic estimates point to thirty years from now before an energy efficient power plant can be developed.” He paused, his face relaxing in a rare, full smile.
Even Gabriella found herself wishing her heart could stop to better listen.
“Our scientists reached the critical achievement: Prometheus will be a fully operational fusion reactor within the end of the year.”
Like breaking a dam! In a moment, the reporters bombarded him and Gabriella with a tide of questions shouted without pity for their throats and lungs.
---
Sitting in his apartment, Alex Michailyevic Konstantin, the city’s DA was speechless and smiling like he had won the lottery. “Someone in Washington is going to be very, very happy,” he said to his guest.
Judge York was shaking her head, her eyes glistening with the tears of joy that threatened to flow out. “And someone else very, very sad. Do you realize? Lundberg’s new laws will mean a lot more of work.”
“Let’s start with River Ridge. I’m pretty sure our budget is going to fatten up like never before.” ‘Kostya’ stood up and went to fill a couple of glasses with water. This was news worthy of staying sober!
Kostya handed a glass to Elizabeth, then toasted. “To better days and to our careers, Supreme Court Justice York.”
She toasted back. “To better days and to our careers, Senator Konstantin.” It came out as a half joke, but it was fully serious. With an ally like the Lundberg, the ladder to the top had just turned to an escalator for the two strongest representatives for animal rights in the justice department.
---
At the Lucky Charm Grove for the Abandoned and the Ferals, the only guest who was not cheering in the theatre was a familiar Rhodesian Ridgeback, the largest part of his body now covered in black fur. He was laying on his bed, his eyes glued to the ceiling, which sported an LCD monitor where the conference was taking place.
“Heh, if only they knew the truth,” he chuckled…then his attention was drawn to the anthropomorphic gryphon standing near the bed. “Is there something wrong, master?”
The mythical godlike beast was checking a golden pocket watch, the thin golden chain hanging from his chest. “Oh, just waiting until a good friend of mine shows up in 3…2…1…”
“PETE!” The roar shook the aether like a hurricane, ruffling the half-bird’s feathers and yet not causing any effect on the physical plane.
The room started to split up into pieces. Still fully relaxed on the bed, Volant just waved ciao to the gryphon. “Tell me how it went, master,” he said, before the bed, like a tiny island, got lost into the abyss of the cosmos.
Spirit Dragon appeared in all her majestic, furious glory. Her face spoke of mostly unpleasant thoughts. Near her stood the figure of the nine-tailed Great Kitsune, and he too looked quite serious. And to complete the tableau, Cerberus herself had come, her three heads growling in an equally threatening fashion.
“Count on it,” Pete said to himself, before addressing the newcomers. “Draggie! Kitsy! And baby, you too came! I’m so happy to share this glorious moment with you guys!”
“Quit the crap!” dragon hissed. “How did you dare to share our knowledge with the mortals?! Do you realize the consequences?!”
“This is court matter,” Kitsune added, nodding. “Unless you can prove otherwise. Cerberus is here to arrest you and detain you unless you can prove us you didn’t cheat big time. Pete, there are limits we are not supposed to break.” It was strange, to see the normally laid back celestial fox to act so seriously. “I’m ready to call it a draw and reboot. So?”
Pete snapped his fingers and a seat appeared under him. He sat down and said, “Tut tut, I played by the rules my dear friends. I am building up peace between humankind and animalkind, exactly as I had promised.” He leaned forward, waving a finger. “When I sealed the pact with the mortals who had intruded my temple, I just gave out the knowledge that they would develop. I just…speeded up the process. They learnt overnight what they would have learnt within their own lifetime. And with no weird time junk. I did not change the past, and the future is a liquid, unstable thing.” The gryphon relaxed back against the chair. “You may say that I have done something extremely dangerous…or I could have laid down the basis for a utopia, not even we can tell that. But I know,” his fingertips touched under his beak, “that things are going better for what our game is concerned, in the chosen area. And you know it. Gabriella Lundberg’s road to the seat of Mayor has no obstacles now, my promise to make sure that Henry Milton’s legacy is carried on will be fulfilled. And without interfering with free will, without hurting anyone, without creating any chaos.” He chuckled again. “Heh, in fact my hidden friend will even take care of protecting my business, and since he’s not a player and is not following any order or indications from my party, you can’t accuse him of violating any rule.” He bent forward, his eagle paw resting on his leonine thigh. “Face it guys: I am going to win big time.”
Dragon’s eyes narrowed in an expression filled with suspicion. “Didn’t you consider that so far your precious ‘friend’ had not done anything to influence those scientists? Pete, he’s using the Game to stay well hidden and make you do his job! I know him! And you know him too!”
Pete let out an exasperated sigh. “Draggie, for one who loves mortals and cuddles with them so much, you surely are a fool! My ally knows how mortal minds and times work: he couldn’t just ‘inspire’ anyone with the secrets of the star fire way before the right time! Had he done so, then the world would’ve been plunged in a chaos: instead, now the world is ready to comprehend and accept a technology that will bring benefits.”
“But—“
“No radioactive releases in the environment, and the fusion weapon are there already: they are called hydrogen bombs and need no nuclear fusion to be produced. Oh, and yes, I have a message for you from him. He told me to tell you that he wanted me to win because he hates your guts, and has waited for the right moment since you broke up with him.”
Dragon blushed, then growled. “Why doesn’t that surprise me at all?”
Kitsune shrugged. “O well, we tried.” Then he patted the dragon’s back. “Sorry, luv: sometimes even monsters get it right. You can’t surely destroy the place or cause a natural disaster, that would be cheating.”
“And not even curses,” Pete added. “You know, that is not a temple in desert. Oh, and it’s not even my temple.”
“You’ll rub my face in that forever, will you?”
“Nah. Just long enough to actually enjoy it. But I promise I will stop if you give up like a good draggie.”
“The Game will be over when the Game Master says so!”
---
At the Good Ol’Dogs Club, Abraham Zapruder was simply ecstatic. He was drooling as if he had just eaten the juiciest morsel of his life and before. “Guys, do you have half an idea of what this means?!”
“Uhh, care to explain?” Fido asked.
The Weimaraner’s eyes went to and fro each assembled pet. “It means that we can have energy without paying the bill to other nations! Not only a relatively cheap source once the costs are amortized, but a self-sustaining one, and an increasingly lower bill! River Ridge is going to become the local Arab Emirates, do you understand? Money will flow like…like rain in a hurricane, and it will pass by our best friends’ hands! Uncle Martin, Mr. Gottschalk and the ferrets will be able to realize each and every plan without caring for the expenses! IT’S IN THE BAG!
At that point, the cheers almost broke the walls.
Matt detested that. He was already envisaging a future in which the humans would have their own reserved cars not to disturb the new masters of the world… But he was also wise enough not to upset a whole crowd of claws and teeth…
Fido noticed Bino rubbing pensively his chin. “Something wrong, brother?”
The hound shook his head. His voice was lost in the storm of general excitement. “I don’t get it… If this thing is so big and important, why point out the pet rights thing at all? I mean, Gottschalk could not and cannot certainly threaten to do this business elsewhere by now.”
Fido patted his brother’s shoulder. “No, of course he won’t. He just pointed out that he’ll use the truckloads of money to the benefit of River Ridge. And that was meant to secure Ms. Lundberg’s position so that she could legiferate in our favor. Do you realize? That human used one of the greatest technology discoveries to make sure we would benefit of it. I can’t wait to meet—“
“Bino?”
Both brothers turned. “Oh, hey, weirdo,” Bino scoffed, a moment before realizing his brother was there and hearing. But right now it didn’t matter, he was in a good mood. “Well, my friend,” he said, putting up his best diplomatic smile. “What can I do for you?”
---
Sandwich house

“DADDY!” Within a minute, Peanut was submerged by a flurry of furs.
“Hi there, champ,” Grape said to her husband. “I thought we had a date at the Club, later. Have you watched the news—Ack!” quick like lightning, two paws grabbed her and pulled her down in a long snuggle dressed with five bundles.
“My family,” Peanut said in a dreaming voice. “Who cares for the stupid Club? I want to stay with you guys. Forever and ever and ever and ever again.”
“Okay, not that I mind.”
Peanut didn’t need to say more.
His family. The achievement of his life.
And nothing, no one could separate him from them, he’d fight to defend them, just as he had done before. He’d fight on at any cost.
As he had clearly explained to Bino…
---
If there was something that could divert the general attention from the flood of news from TV, it was the most surprising of sights.
Dogs and cats were still there, taking turns to look at Bino…or rather, at a dog whose face had just been broken.
“I can’t believe it,” Fox said, the first to break that long silence –if you avoided considering King, who was laying down on the floor, laughing his tummy out, his fists hitting the wood surface, tears of mirth running copiously from his eyes.. “I just can’t believe it.”
Peanut had approached Bino and had said something about threatening to separate him from his family. No one had understood what he had meant, and when Bino had accused Peanut of being a mad dog…
FACE!
Peanut.
Peanut Butter Sandwich had hit someone. Peanut, of all dogs. The friendly, silly happy Peanut.
“I don’t know if I want to get involved into this,” Fido said.

HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES
SEASON IV
EPISODE 5
FIN

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Last edited by valerio on Sat Jan 12, 2013 1:40 am, edited 7 times in total.



Fri Jan 11, 2013 12:56 pm
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
simply captivating. I couldn't stop reading. I loved this update. Bravo, Val.

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Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:15 pm
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
Fixed minor mistakes.
Again, look slike ar*senal is a word the spell-checker dislikes.
KPET, Rochelle o'Shea, Kevin J. Dog, Alistair Katt, Wolfram Blitzen are (C) Thomas K. Dye

And the changes have just started... ;)

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Sat Jan 12, 2013 1:44 am
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES
Season IV
Episode 6 – Bad Dog, Good Dog
By VALERIO

1.
Sandwich House, Babylon Gardens

Peanut Butter Sandwich looked at Ralph and Kevin standing by the door. He tried to see through their masks, but to no avail. They were here in an official capacity, they weren’t supposed to sympathize with a convict.
The Canadian Pointer mix turned back to the kittens who were standing in front of him. His kittens.
His family. That family he had at the same time failed and protected. He felt all the rightful shame for his actions, but he didn’t regret what he had done. He had lived his moment as a wolf, now it was time to face the consequences. As a wolf. So, no trembling, no crying.
Peanut bent down and hugged his kittens one by one. “Papa did something wrong, little ones.”
Lavender-furred Parnok scoffed. “Hitting that meanie of Bino is not wrong!”
Peanut shook his head. “He is a cop and I hurt him while he was on the line of duty. It’s wrong, okay? Instead of reporting him, I let my fear cloud my better judgment.”
Firstborn Dayshaun was looking at him with that solemn expression of understanding. Blessed little one, Peanut could count on him to explain things to the others. “How long will you be gone?”
“One month. And hey, it’s the Grove, not exactly a bad place.” He chuckled, nervously imitated by his offspring.
Grape walked to him and hugged him. “I’ll be missing you.” She wasn’t kidding: part of the agreement was, no familiar visits, no contacts with them at all. Peanut’s record would come clean, but he was supposed to be punished after all. “I should scratch you again, but you did the right thing, stupid Nutty.”
Peanut lost himself in the long, deep hug, her tail wrapping around his body. Dog, this was going to be the longest month of his life! “And I’ll do it again, if he tries to threaten you guys,” he whispered into her ear. He rested his head against her shoulder, inhaling her scent. “I love you so much.”
“I love you too. Now go, before your escort starts getting nervous. And don’t worry, Bino will have to answer to me for this. And to Bud. And to Uncle Martin…”
Peanut chuckled, kissed her forehead. “Hey, save some for me, okay?”
“No promises.” She then kissed him, deeply, like rarely she had done, crushing her husband in her arms, her claws sinking in his shoulder blades.
When she was done, Peanut’s eyes were almost completely dilated and he was sporting the widest grin. “Gee!”
Grape turned him and pushed him toward the door. “Now go. Mom will go with you.”
Peanut walked toward the blue van with the LCG golden logo. Jill was already sitting there, smiling encouragingly. Peanut waved one last to his family, his gesture returned with enthusiasm by the kittens.
He’d miss Grape, true, but he’d miss more and more their beloved litter.
Peanut stepped into the van, followed by the two K9s, then the door closed. Peanut sat beside his Mom.
In a moment, the displays turned on and it was as if the inside of the van had turned transparent.
The van started moving.
Jill caressed her pet’s back. Peanut wanted so badly to just turn and hug her, losing himself in her protective embrace like when he was a pup. His muscles itched with that repressed desire…but he was a big dog now, and he couldn’t be seen acting otherwise in front of Ralph and Kevin, nossir… But he felt so much like crying right now…
“Peanut,” Jill said, “I don’t care what everyone else thinks, you did the right thing.”
“R-really?”
The woman nodded. She had seen the recording of what had happened at the Club: luckily, Zap wanted to make his own mini-documentary about the night of the big announcements that would pave the way to Gabriella Lundberg’s election. And she knew the truth as soon as she saw it on screen. “Do you remember what Dad and I did, when Grape’s old owners threatened to take her away?”
Peanut smiled. Oh, yes, he remembered it well. He also remembered how everyone had done their best to protect the unity of the Sandwich family. “So…you’re not mad at me?”
This time she hugged him, and he returned the gesture. “Of course we are not, pup. Yes, you should’ve told us before, but Bino threatened your family. You did what any daddy would’ve done. No one will blame you for this.”
“Except Bino’s friends…”
She ruffled his head fur. He had grown, he was stronger, but in her eyes Peanut would be her sweet anxious puppy. “You can’t please everyone.”
---
Aikiko Mercy Hospital

“Doesn’t it hurt? To smile like that?”
At Fido’s question, Bino smiled even wider from his bed. “Are you kidding? What with between the painkillers and the sheer joy of seeing that crazy mutt in the shelter, I think I could howl. Stupid, crazy cat lover, I knew he was up to no good!” The sound of his tail bumping against the mattress could be heard loud and clear.
Fido sighed. “I was there, remember?” And he wasn't smiling.
The tail stopped. Bino frowned. “Oh, sure, killjoy, I remember. And I must say that for once your better sense prevailed, your account of the facts supported weirdo’s sentence to*yowlp!*” That came when Fido backslapped him on the heavily bandaged muzzle!
For a moment, it was as if time had frozen, the older dog with his arm still in that position, his eyes glaring. And Bino was frozen more with shock than pain, his mouth agape, his eyes two dots. “You hit me…” he said, eventually, while his mind was trying to process the most appropriate feeling for what had never happened between them. Fido had actually hit him! Bino couldn’t believe it, he was the victim, he was the one in a hospital bed and Fido had…dared to…
The mask of rage was coming back, but it broke again when Fido grabbed Bino’s shoulders, with a force that he had never used before!
Fido’s breath was coming slowly, as if he was trying really hard to keep his own wrath in check. Bino saw that in the light brown eyes and decided not to speak back.
“Through all these years,” Fido said, “I tried, I really tried to be a good brother to you. I supported you any way I could because you were bullied, because everyone mocked you. You were only ‘the brother of Fido’. And I was proud of you when you started climbing the ladder and was recognized as rightful chairdog of the Club. And I felt proud of you when you said you knew everything about Sabrina and me but didn’t tell us out. And I was especially proud of you when you came back from the Academy as one of the top dogs…” Fido chuckled, a bitter, strangled sound. “What a joke, eh? All this time, you were only setting the ground to bring up our competition to a higher level.”
Bino gulped. He had the uneasy feeling that Fido was reading his mind. He tried to speak, but couldn’t think of a word.
Without letting his younger brother go, Fido went on. “You don’t want to become a cop to help others. You wanted to prove that you can do it better than me. You still think it’s all about glory! And even worse, you wanted a way to harass Peanut and his family using the Force as your shield!” by now he was growling, his teeth bared. Last time Bino had seen him so stressed it was when Fox had been kidnapped the second time.
Fido let Bino go. Blood started flowing back into the dog’s shoulders, making them itch. “Peanut is… He is a good dog, Bino. He wanted to be a cop to protect those he loved. He left the Academy because in the end he wanted to spend his own time with them. He risked his life to defend them. He just went to a shelter, because you pushed him straight into attacking you!”
“That’s not—“
“STOP IT!” That bark made the window tremble. “Just. Stop it, Bino. I must accept the common bias against cat lovers, but don’t you dare to insult my intelligence. I witnessed against Peanut because the facts were that he attacked a police dog on the line of duty, without any apparent reason. And I am bound to my oath to respect and enforce law. But I know Peanut had spoken the truth when he said in front of everyone that you threatened to abuse your position as police dog to give him troubles, and that’s a felony even among humans! You put us all to shame, Bino!”
More minutes followed in an awkward silence, for the hound laying under the sheets. Suddenly, his brilliant idea of baiting Peanut into that trap didn’t seem so brilliant anymore.
Fido seemed to regain control. “I have recommended, and Sergeant Ralph agrees with me, that you are visited by a behavioral therapist. Something private, discrete. At this point, inflicting a disciplinary sanction would do nothing except confirming that the Academy had made a severe mistake in educating you, and they don’t want it. I don’t want it.” Fido sat on the bed. “Bino, you have a responsibility now, you’re in the Force and you got a family. Please, this is no longer about you.”
But this time, Bino regarded him with a cold glare. “Heh,” he said. “Is that so, eh? Mad mutt can break my nose and you send me to a shrink. What will be next, cat lover? Put me to paperwork shifts? Make sure I collect fleas while you collect more awards?”
Fido just stood up and walked to the door without saying a word. When he put his paw on the handle, Bino said, “I will be a good cop, big brother, don’t you worry. You just watch your back.” Fido could almost hear him grin.
The door opened and in came a German Shepherd mix pup, carrying a big bouquet under which he almost disappeared. “Daddy! Vet said we could visit you now!” Bosco’s short, curved tail wagged happily.
“Hi, hun!” Sasha, walking in behind Bosco, said. “Like the flowers? Our son chose them himself, and he made a nice get well card too!” The same card that was stapled to the plastic wrapping the bouquet. “He worked a lot on it, you’ll love it!”
Fido felt himself relax a bit. One could say many things about Bino and be right about them, but his family had the effect of calming him. It was the only good feeling he didn’t simulate, when it came to Sasha and their pup.
Bosco walked to the bed and handed out the gift. “Mommy and I decided to play a game: one of us chooses a kind of present and the other chooses the model! This time she chose flowers and I chose which one—Dad?”
Bino was not smiling. He was glaring, his face contracting in tics. “Flowers,” he said, staring at the bouquet.
He grabbed the present, no tore it from Bosco’s paws, making the pup fall back! Sasha ran to the shocked pup, who was looking at his father taking the card and shredding it into tiny pieces. Then Bino threw the pieces against his wife and Bosco, a flurry of red papery snow with some glitter spread in it, whatever message written lost forever.
“You’re a disappointment, son… No, a failure!”
Bosco gulped down the first tears, not understanding the reason of that behavior. Had he done something wrong? Perhaps he should’ve brought something else? “Daddy…”
Don’t call me that! My son is not a cat lover, do you hear me?!” then he showed a grin, a sick expression of the thing that had always been eating at his heart. “But it was my fault! I should have been there for you, to educate you, instead of letting your mother pamper you and socialize with those pathetic kittens and their weird—“
This time, it was Sasha who slapped him!
Fido’s jaw fell: had right now the ghost of Nostradamus come in the room and proved that everything he had ever said was true, it wouldn’t have diverted the general attention from that development. Even Bino didn’t dare to breathe.
Eventually, Sasha picked up Bosco, who was sobbing silently now. The pup snuggled against her chest in search of comfort.
If seeing Fido really angry at his brother was an uncommon sight, seeing Sasha regarding the dog she had always loved and cared for as if he was an enemy was a true rarity. “We’ll have to talk about this,” she just said, then turned and left, leaving behind a lonely angry dog, a mess of flowers and shredded paper.

After they closed the door, Fido said, “It’s my fault, Sasha. I’m sorry.”
She shook her head. “Never mind, please. Not here, not now. He just needs…to rest and recover. He’ll be fine again, the nice dog I know.” She bit her lip. “Perhaps it’s the fact that we live in separate houses, we don’t see each other as much as he needs.”
Fido wanted to believe it, but what he had just seen proved, if nothing else, that Bino had been corrupted by this new power. Becoming a police dog had boosted his ego to a dangerous level. And Dog help him, Fido was going to recommend that Bino would be suspended from the active duty until the therapist deemed him fit… Which, of course, would happen soon: Bino knew how to tick stones into believing he was a charming dog.
And Sasha? Fido could only hope that she wasn’t entering a new stage of denial, just like with her old Dad. She was stronger, and she’d go lengths to protect Bosco, but what if in the end she deluded herself into submitting to Bino’s quirks?
Fido’s arm encircled Sasha’s shoulders. Never mind anything else, she and Bosco still lived with him.
And Fido would teach Bino a lesson or two if his brother tried that stunt at the expense of his own family ever once again!

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Tue Jan 15, 2013 7:51 am
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
Hey, I caught up. Sorry I havn't been reading, but other things have had my attention lately.

I'm just going to give my thoughts on Bino because it would take too long to comment on everything.
I worry for him right now. It's one thing to be a jerk to someome visiting you in the hospital, but to do that to your son is just... Peanut needs to break his face again.

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Tue Jan 15, 2013 11:13 am
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
It's way too dark to me. I'm not sure will I be able to continue reading.

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Tue Jan 15, 2013 2:12 pm
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
Karlos wrote:
It's way too dark to me. I'm not sure will I be able to continue reading.

you know me, Karlos, there's always light at the end of a dark tunnel... ;)

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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
Wow that escalated quickly.

Poor Peanut has to pay the price for punching someone. And not to mention poor Bosco and his daddy troubles. Hopefully Bino gets the help he needs and fast or he might end up in the first ever doggy divorce.

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