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HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread 
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Game Master
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
7.
Foster Manor. The Reading Soiree

“Is it my impression, or is the attendance…a bit below expectations?”
A couple of tumbleweeds passed by the garden where everything had been set for the party.
A female blue cat with a spot on her right eye was reading Fredric Brown’s The Sentinel. A small crowd (if you wanted to call 5 cats and 2 dogs a ‘crowd) was listening distractedly. A handful of pets was nibbling by one of the buffet tables. Crickets were chirping.
Martin Foster scratched himself behind his neck at the reporter’s question. “Ms. Cardore, I am more baffled than you. Admittedly, this wasn’t supposed a big event, but I hadn’t surely counted on my guests of honor deserting it.” He sighed. “Oh, well, I guess that the celebration party for Lundberg’s victory will go better.”
Guinevere Cardore, reporter for Terrace High’s The Daily Fact, didn’t look convinced.
Martin sighed. “What?”
“It’s the polls: The…front of the undecided seems to have expanded, in River Ridge. That, and taking in consideration a historical tendency of voters to desert—“
“Pre-electoral polls are rarely right, Ms. Cardore. Even if good sense should suggest an avalanche, the middle-class man will always show doubts. Not to mention that economics and politics are rarely a thrilling reason to go to vote. On top of it all, we have just started talking about a technologic breakout that must still be fully understood. Many are still convinced that a fusion reactor can go off like Chernobyl, imagine that. I could make a list as long as Manhattan filled with names of people deeply concerned about any kind of nuclear reactors at all.”
Guinevere drank from her cup of lemon soda. “You sound as if you expected to lose.”
“We won’t. I’m being realistic, but we won’t lose. We are not trying to convince the nation, not at this stage. We are trying to make the people of River Ridge understand that they’re going to make money like it never happened since the first industrial revolution. And this is a winning argument in a time of economic crisis. Every major environmental association gave the green light. Animal Care associations are with us. We can’t lose.”
Guinevere saw that the man’s eyes were spanning over the horizon, as if he already could see the new buildings, the new city, transportations –everything the new, clean energy source could gave to humans and animals alike.
We are men with a dream, Miss Cardore, Gottschalk had told her, during their first interview.
Martin had no dreams in his mind: He had a mission. He would stop at nothing because he wasn’t a man of business. He was a man of ideas. Woe to those who stood in his way.

My beloved Sabrina, my Queen among Queens, Guiding Light of my life, the letter started, written in an elegant calligraphy, on a fine scroll of paper whose ends were gold-covered.
Thank you for your letter informing me of your decision to marry. At first, I must be true to you, I felt as if my whole world had been tore away from under my feet. All my life since the day we separated I had dreamt of the day we could be reunited. So, isn’t so terribly ironic that, right after the demise of my father, the opening of my borders, you tell me you have no longer place for me in your heart?
But how could I blame you? I had an excuse for not marrying: I had to wait until father passed until I could claim a mate. I could keep pretending I was interested in someone else…But you had the right to search for new happiness, for that special someone who could give you what I couldn’t.
If you were free, my beloved, I would offer you my Kingdom. And I am tempted to do so, to ask you to rethink your decision…But it would be unfair. To you. To my people.
These days also come as the conclusion of a long diplomatic process between the Kingdom of Feraga and the Kingdom of Buwara. We are going to become a part of something grand, part of a new future for the furkindred in the whole world. And my duties as the next King must come first, at all costs. I cannot waste a minute more. And so, with a heavy heart though, I must announce you that after writing this letter I will marry as well. The next time you will hear from me, our love will be only a part, a sweet wonderful part of our past.
I can only hope that you will not forget me, as I will not forget you. And remember, you will be always, ALWAYS the most welcomed guest here at Feraga. You and your whole family. I am eager to meet this Fido dog who could make you break our vows.
Forgive me for sounding so…resentful with that last sentence. I assure you, I am not. I know you are doing the best thing.
Live happy, Sabrina.
Eternally Yours,
Jata

Peanut lifted his eyes from the letter. He was one step from crying openly. “This…is beautiful.” He looked around, hoping that no one else was looking, but apparently the table they were sitting at was still far enough from the stage. No one was minding him and Fido.
“And you haven’t yet seen the pendant he sent her with that letter,” Fido said. He was holding a can of soda in his paw, looking at it as if undecided to drink it in a gulp or not.
Peanut folded the paper back into the scroll. “Is that why you’re here alone? And you got that…” he touched his own left cheek, like one did to indicate a stain.
Fido touched the point in question, flinched. He looked at the red staining his finger. “Yup.”
Peanut chuckled, as if he reflexively touched his face where once Grape had wounded him with her own claws.
But it was different. Grape was furious because she was still scared for what the bad, bad dogs had done to them all. She had a lot of fear and rage she had kept repressed. He hadn’t understood that.
Peanut looked at Fido. “She chose you. You shouldn’t be mad at her.”
Down went the can’s content. More cans were laying on the table, waiting to be opened. Fido opened the second. “She was crying.”
Peanut blinked. “Uh?”
Fido didn’t move, only his eyes did. There was the same mix of rage and sadness Peanut had seen in Grape’s face, when she had scratched him. “She was reading it, and then she had held it to her chest. She was crying, as if she had…lost someone special. And when I asked her what was that letter about, she had tried to…to hide it from me. I could almost smell her shame for being caught.”
“Fido.”
But the police hound’s mind was again back at her room. He had been waiting behind the door, waiting for her to come out and ready for the soiree…and when he had heard her sobbing…
And then Fido’s surprise had turned into doubts, and then into the questions he had never asked. And every answer had been like a dozen daggers in his heart.
It was his fault too. He had taken her for granted, he had never wanted to…investigate. It made him feel dirty, as if the notion itself could spoil what they had.
Now he wished he had asked everything, back then.
And then the pain had made his latent stress surface.
She had let him and his brothers, and King, to be poisoned. She had planned to save them, but with terrible risks.
You couldn’t gamble on the life of the one you loved!
Is there anything else I should know, ‘my Queen’? Is there anyone else special in your life? Must I train to fight some chieftain for the right to be your mate? Did you marry me because the others were just too far away?!
It had been then that she had hit him. He hadn’t even felt pain. He was too angry. He had left without saying a word, without turning a moment his head. He just wanted, wanted…
Drink himself silly?
Forget everything?
Lash out at someone?
Turned out Fido wanted just to talk to someone. He needed a friend. One who could really understand him… “Sloppy seconds, Peanut, that’s what I am. How can I…compare to someone who, after all these years, can make her cry like that? I’m not a coyote chieftain, a handsome prince, I can’t offer her nothing but…me and a job that will put me in danger. I’m so irrelevant to her that I didn’t even deserve to…to know. I don’t know her at all, Peanut. I am so scared. How can I ever know that we’ll stay together if her past catches her up? I feel like the biggest idiot!” Fido put his paws over his head…and spilled the can’s contents all over his head. He sighed. “Just. Great.”
Peanut collected a drop from Fido’s ear and sucked his finger. “Are you quite done?”
Fido shook his head. “I just begun. I must decide how hard must I stone myself before making some stupid, cathartic decision. Who knows? I could leave the Force, join Fino and stay away from Sabrina as long and far as possible.”
“I had thought about it, once,” Peanut said. He then started licking Fido’s face, who went rigid with surprise. “Hold still! You are not going to become a sticky soda mess. And I love this brand.”
Fido held still. “Why did you want to leave everything behind?”
Peanut paused again. He spat out some hair. “I thought that Grape and I were an item, since that night at the farm. I was so happy, she seemed so happy. We still did everything we used to do before…that kiss. Life was good.
“And then, one night, Grape proposed me that ‘fake date’ thing. I’d be with Tarot, she’d be with Max…just until she had cleared her mind.
“I felt all the bad things, Fido.” Peanut started licking off the soda again. “I felt betrayed because I thought I was only a stupid, weird dog. I felt resentment because she wouldn’t open up to me. And I felt like biting my tail off because I was allowing it, because I was afraid myself.” He paused again. “And you are scared, Fido, you said it yourself. This is not you.” He started licking again. His movements were soothing, touching ancient chords that forced the other dog to relax.
Actually, for a moment Fido felt like regurgitating a meal for this insistent pup. He smiled for the first time in the evening. “And who is the real me?”
New pause. “The brave dog who spent all his life with a great, sweet cool cat. The dog who never questioned because he knew he could trust her forever and ever, no matter what. The loyal dog who’d fight for her and go against all social conventions for his love.
“You have been my inspiration, not because of your rank and deeds, but because you gave me the courage to dream and hope. Whenever I felt blue about me and Grape, I’d think about you and Sabrina. And I know you don’t want to ruin the best thing in your life ever.”
Fido gently pushed the other dog away. “Peanut?”
“Yes?”
“Am I an idiot?”
Peanut shook his head, then hugged him. “You’re scared. Scared people do stupid things, doesn’t make them stupid.
“You know, someone told to me, once, that ‘the worst part is that there are no instruction manuals. There are things you learn with experience. Give Grape her room, just like she’ll do with you. And always remember that you will always be there for each other. Tell her you love her, but don’t make it a ritual. Pet her, but don’t choke her. Stay with her, but remember that sometimes she will ask advice and comfort from someone else as well.’”
Fido chuckled, hugging back Peanut, his voice trembling. “I really should watch that stupid tongue of mine, sometimes.”
Peanut let go of him. “Now run home. You’ll find her there, I’m sure of it. And above all, let her enjoy her old memories, don’t make her regret her past. Let her share them with you and Pixel. You’re lucky to have a mate with such a rich life.”
Fido stood up. He didn’t say anything else. He just nodded and started to run.
Peanut looked around, still wondering whatever happened to Fox…
---
Lindberg House

“So, do you mind me canceling our participation?” Fox asked, as he took another slice of apple from a plate.
“Shut up and feed me,” Allegra said. She was laying all over a pile of sofa cushions, her arms crossed below her head. She opened her mouth enough for the husky to put the apple slice in it and then started chewing slowly, purring. “Oh my sweet! I can have never, ever enough of this. Trash and fresh fruit are so incompatible. HmmMMM! Unless you go to the market! Just wait until the end of the day and you can pick up some decent stuff. I’ll bring you there if you want.”
Fox chuckled “I think I’ll pass, but thank you.” He took another slice of fruit, this time peach, and fed his newfound friend again. He was wagging his tail.
“Dear, you can cancel even the whole world if it means giving me such tastes of heaven. What was next on the menu?”
“Fresh pastries.” He’d never say that to her face, but Allegra needed to put up a pound or two. Her fur was thick, it hid her body fine, but he could tell how bony she was.
“Are you fattening me up to feed me to the wolves? Because if so, wait until you have done a good job. I won’t resist. You do know how to treat a girl…” she frowned. “Hey, why did you stop?”
Fox showed her the now empty plate. “I treated you too well, it seems.” His stomach gurgled. Fox blushed. “Sorry.”
Allegra sat up, a worried expression on her face. “Aw, I’m so sorry. I can be such a glutton!”
Fox stood up, gesturing her to stay. “You don’t move. I’ll go fix some extra fruit, myself—“
“Were you looking for this?” someone behind him said a moment before a white-furred paw offered him a newly filled plate.
“Oh! Thank you—King?”
The corgi smirked. “I do still live here, remember loverboy?”
Fox ate up a couple of apple slices. He regarded King with suspicion. “Exactly, how long have you been watching? Where is Bailey? I’ll bet she’s taking pictures.” He looked around. It had happened often, in their puppyhood, that she’d set him up in the most embarrassing situations and took pictures to be shown to their owners. And the worst thing was not the humans congratulating on her photographic talent; no, it was how they fawned over those pictures! With some luck, the tornado that destroyed the old farm had also destroyed that despicable book!
“Bailey is up and sleeping soundly. Instead of going between happy and depressed, she goes between hypermode and comatose. Which makes me happy, sometimes I had nightmares of her trying to strangle me during a hormonal storm. And I’ve been watching you two since you were halfway with the first plate.” He settled down onto the cushions, next to Allegra. “Hmm, comfy.”
“Hey, that’s our spot, dog!” She protested.
King put his paws behind his head, then shook it. “Ah-ah, Fox said this wasn’t romantic, right? So I want to be treated like royalty too! Bailey is a dear, but I’d like some small attentions too. So start doing your job, pup,” he said indicating his open mouth.
Fox groaned. “Sometimes I miss being a bad boy, you know?” But one could see he was glad to comply.
Fox was just about to feed King, when Allegra’s jaws snapped and took the food with a loud clank of teeth! The dog was almost sure he had lost his fingers, and checked to see if they were still there...
“Hey!” King barked. “That was mine!”
“No, mine, intruder,” she said between chews. Then she spat a seed straight between King’s eyes. “And you can’t even slice fruit decently.”
“Ow. But to be honest…” He reached out for a slice and ate rapidly, a sly look in his blue eyes. He spat a seed against her left ear. “It was intentional.”
Allegra massaged the offended body part. “Oh, really..?” she reached out.
King did the same.
Both took a piece and started chewing, staring at each other like two gunslingers at the OK Corral.
Fox looked at King, then at Allegra, then back at King. “Ah, guys? Please let’s keep this on a civilized—“ Then two seeds hit him in the eyes! “Owchie!” When he opened them again and blinked, he had seed-shaped pupils.
Fox rubbed his eyes clean. He then stood up and let the plate down on the floor. “Is that so, eh?” He went to the kitchen.
“Going to cut your own apples, pup?” King called out.
Fox stopped and turned his head, a sly grin spread on his face. “Did I mention that both Dad and I love apricots?” And then he disappeared into the kitchen,
King and Allegra exchanged an alarmed look. Immediately the Corgi barked, “Quick! Make a barrier with the cushions! I’ll set up the first line of counterattack!” He took a mouthful of slices.
A moment later *SPOOIE!* a big apricot seed flew from the kitchen and into the living room. It flew past over Allegra’s head.
“Hah! Missed!” she shouted. The seed bounced against the wall behind her and hit her behind her skull!
“Vengeance shall be ours!” King shouted as much as his mouthful allowed and spat a volley of black apple seeds.
“Aaaargh!” came from the kitchen.
This was going to be an interesting night, after all…
---
Tarot’s house

“I miss our time together,” the Pomeranian said to the figure in the mirror floating in front of her.
“Yeah, me too,” Sabrina said from the other side of the glass. “Know what? I could chaperon you in your quest for a boyfriend. I seriously need some fun, too.”
Tarot smiled. “Is it going that bad with Fido?”
The black cat sighed. “He went through something only a few elected can survive with their souls unscathed. He…he doesn’t really hate me. He needs time to adjust, and I didn’t help when I hit him. Oh, Tarot, I-I felt so wounded when he said that awful thing. Just as if he believed it! As if the time we had spent together meant nothing to him anymore…”
Tarot touched the mirror’s surface with a finger, as if wanting to wipe the tear that threatened to escape her best friend’s eye. “You almost lost him, my dear; these days have been terribly stressful for you too, and then everybody is worried for the future that awaits us…” The Pomeranian smiled. “But at least I know one thing about you two.”
Sabrina frowned. “Which is..?”
“You are the forgiving types.”
A moment later, Sabrina shouted as she was trampled by the figure of her husband! Sabrina’s protests were silenced by a long kiss.
Tarot smiled. She touched again the mirror. The glass trembled like water, then the images of a renewed, sweet love disappeared.
The small dog opened her mind to get in touch with another friend. <Are you still there?>
“No,” said the anthropomorphic female reptilian. On her shoulder, stood Pixel. The little black kitten looked quite excited, grinning ear to ear. “It’s funny: Millennia of existence, and still I hadn’t babysat. This creature innocence is quite…contagious.” She bent down enough to allow Pixel to slid down her back and along the tail until she reached safely the floor. The ghost of puppy Tomi appeared a moment later, and the two went to another room.
“Thank you for using a bit of premonition,” Tarot said. “Had she witnessed that confrontation at home, the house would’ve come down on Fido.”
Tiankong Tianshi Jingshen sat down in the lotus position, reflecting Tarot’s. “You’re welcome. So, have you considered my suggestion?” She asked with a happy smile full of expectations.
Tarot’s shoulders drooped. “Tian, please! Volant is just not my type and you are the worst matchmaker ever!”
Tian’s head turned in an offended expression. She snorted smoke. “Hmph! For your information, I helped raising whole dynasties, back in the days!”
“Arranged marriages in the Imperial China were hardly a question of love, my friend. You used to pick them for strategic reasons.”
The dragon blushed. “W-well, I was more focused on other details then! And they used to pray me to grant them a long-lasting kingdom! But don’t forget who married the Sun and the Moon!”
Tarot chuckled. “No I didn’t. Speaking of couples…are you okay?”
The dragon made a tray with tea and pastries appear between them. “I am. Maxwell will help give life to a nice litter, I don’t need premonition to know that. He deserves it. And then it will be only our hearts beating together.” She sighed, then ate distractedly a pastry, her eyes lost in some happy world.
Tarot sipped some tea. Teenagers!
“Oh, and by the way, you were right: That place needed someone who could take care of it.”
Tarot nodded. “Cool—“ Then she realized. “Wait. Did you actually create them now?”
“Yes. A skeleton crew, as based on the Hong Dynasty’s palace. And I programmed them to be of any assistance.”
“And…did you make sure they’d understand when they had to leave them some…privacy?”
“Of course! Everything will just work fine so to respect all the protocols, during—“ Tian seemed to understand, too.
Both females facepawlmed.
---
Jingshen House

“Are you comfortable?” asked the housemaid. It was what you could call ‘an ancient crone’, white hairs collected in a bun, wearing a long green robe with a black serpentine dragon depicted on it. “Do you need anything, honored guest?”
Blanche Bigglesworth looked around in awe. The garden was pure Chinese style, a miniature meadow with its own small cascade, a small lake, paper lanterns that were positioned as if they were suspended in mid-air. And fireflies, fireflies everywhere like tiny stars.
At last, the Siamese cat smiled. “Comfortable? Heck, even the grass feels great!” She turned to meet Maxwell’s not less surprised eyes. “Maxie my boy, you were right: This place way beats our bedroom!”
“Not to mention the sacrificial altar your siblings had set up,” Maxwell muttered. The most disturbing thing had been the sulfur smell… “Couldn’t they just leave us alone for the night? I am missing a free banquet at Martin’s.”
“Don’t take it on them, dear. We are used to live as a bunch, I would act the same. That’s why Joey likes my family, there’s nothing to hide.”
Max rubbed his temples, a pained expression on his face. “Thank you, now I will have to live with this image for the rest of my life.” Then he regained his confidence. His arms embraced Blanche, his grin was just perfect and smelled like mint. “My dear, in honor of your wise choice, for this night only you’ll enjoy all the benefits a Max Special Offer. You’ll never forget these moments!”
The other cat slipped off the embrace and grabbed his paw. “Dear, I have collected enough awesomeness for one lifetime! The dinner was superlative. And you get to give orders to a human staff, too! We got a dancing show, better than the movies! And I couldn’t understand one word of the poems they read us but they sounded so romantic! Don’t you even think of turning down such an awesome girlfriend! Now—“ She was interrupted by a discreet cough. Polite, but an interruption all the same.
It belonged to a Chinese servant with a bald head, and dressed like a eunuch at the ancient court. “My liege, shall you need some more food for when—“
Max tried to push the interfering thing away. “My good man, all I need is what I have with me. Just scamper and let me get ready to become papa, ok?”
The human bowed. “As you wish, my liege. And of course, for your protection, your guards will be stay at maximum alert.” He then walked away as silently as a ghost, his robe barely swishing against the grass.
Both cats started looking around themselves. Their eyes had dilated with worry.
“He was…kidding, right?”
Max felt as if every tree had eyes now. “Ah…I fear not.”
“My liege?” a young woman asked, as if she had materialized out of thin air. Max jumped into the arms of Blanche. “GAK! Now what?!
The woman pointed to the lake. She was accompanied by a small staff carrying boxes that smelled like shampoo and soap. One was holding two brushes, another a set of towels.
“A proper cleansing is in order to complete the ceremonial, my liege. Both your bodies must be as pure as your souls.”
This time, pure terror shadowed the felines’ eyes! And, worst of all, there seemed to be an endless army of kind servant waiting for an order!!
“What do we do, then?” Blanche asked.
The black cat sighed. There was only one answer. “Just promise me that the other Biggles shall stay away until tomorrow.”
“Give me the word and I will peel them like bananas.”
“I count on it. Now, on my mark…RUNFORYOURLIFE!!” And before the staff could react, the sounds of their feet had already reached the door…
---
Foster Manor

At least, someone was sincerely happy that night. Everything had gone well, according to plans, and Zachary had even found his own special someone!
At least he hoped so, since it had been her who had come to him to offer herself as his mate. As another zealot of his ‘cult’. So Zachary must hope that she wouldn’t cause him troubles –but what the heck! Let that be a problem for another day. Right now, he could proudly strut around, showing off a big hare, his own child of the wild! She looked buff enough to teach a lesson to any dog around, and she surely didn’t look intimidated. In fact, every time someone looked with surprise or muttered at the back of this new, unusual couple, she’d just silence their thoughts with a glance!
Even her name was something to behold: Fauna! Zachary couldn’t be he could be happier than now. There was only one thing that could make him happier. “When the humans will change their laws, you’ll come to live with me, it will be official.”
Fauna’s normally proud expression was disturbed by disgust. “Pf, as if we needed their permission. But I know what you mean, Opener: The big apes need to feel reassured, for the sake of peace. And so I shall wait for their changes. But I hope we can meet freely. I won’t allow their ways to stand between us.”
Zach looked like a pup who had just met his hero. “Don’t ever leave me.”
Her eyes lit up like lamp bulbs. “If this is what you command…”
---
D'Angelo House

There were still hairs floating in the room’s warm air. A couple of collars, one with a green diamond tag with an F inscribed in it, and the other with an ankh-shaped tag, were hanging from the chandelier. A couple of handcuffs hung from a chair. A police jacket looked like a tiger had toyed with it. Ralph was so not going to be happy about that!
Under the chandelier, two happy pets were snuggling against each other, one of them purring loudly, the other banging his tail against the mattress.
“We should argue more often,” Fido said, grinning like a fox. Then he sighed. “Sorry, my love.”
“It’s alright. We were both at fault. From now on, no more secrets, I promise.”
Fido seemed to think about that. “Hmm, nearly enough.”
Sabrina nuzzled his bare neck. “Ohh, and what must I do to earn your trust once again, officer?”
“Write a confession,” he said “I mean, a book! Write a book.”
Of all thing, that honestly puzzled his wife. She stood on her elbows, regarding his ruffled up figure. “What?” she chuckled.
“I’m serious. You have lived an incredibly intense life. Write a book, for Pixel, so that she’ll know what an awesome mama she has. Imagine, your special friend is a Prince.” He kissed her forehead. “I am so lucky to have you.”
She started to purr again. “And I you. You save lives, you defend the others, teach the pups...Even a Prince can’t compare to that.”
Fido hugged her. “Write it. I will pass it to the new generations, you’ll never be forgotten, by anyone.”
“Wrong,” she said, as she dozed into blessed sleep. “We will never be forgotten.”


HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES
Season IV
Episode 11
FIN

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Last edited by valerio on Mon Sep 23, 2013 12:38 am, edited 2 times in total.



Mon Sep 16, 2013 4:25 pm
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
OOOOOHHHH!!!! SEED FIGHT!!!!! I CALL THE KANTOIAN PEACH!
*runs out and comes back with a bazooka*
They're so big I need one of these.
Also, stay away from the mata nuian cocoanut. They may look like good projectiles, but they explode with more force than a grenade when thrown hard enough.

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Mon Sep 16, 2013 6:15 pm
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
:shock:

*gabeen*

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Mon Sep 16, 2013 7:00 pm
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
Just want to say to keep up the amazing work with your fanfic Valerio! :) Everytime it's a big effort in writing such walls of text. :P ;)

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Mon Sep 16, 2013 7:16 pm
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
Wow, that's an amazing turnaround time on keeping up with the comic, valerio! What's that, under 24 hours?

valerio wrote:
Actually, for a moment Fido felt like regurgitating a meal for this insistent pup.


Yeah, Peanut does have that effect on most people/pets. Really captured well in these stories.

valerio wrote:
Allegra unwrapped the sandwich. “Oh, I am sure that I could purr louder for master, once I was nicely fed. Sorry, I’m no food-driven doggie…


valerio wrote:
“Shut up and feed me,” Allegra said.


Arf! :lol: Understandable, though, being a stray and all.

kavviyenta wrote:
I believe it's the latter. Styge did mention Helias had three little ghosts so they are all white.


Missed that; good catch (unless it's "ghost" in the non-literal, "they move sneakily" sense, but I doubt it). I just love the fun previously-unknown relationships, though.


Last edited by andyyee on Tue Sep 17, 2013 9:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Mon Sep 16, 2013 10:23 pm
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
I know what I'll have to do after work today. It should only take an hour and a half to do the edits to do this and the last chapter all together.

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Tue Sep 17, 2013 12:10 am
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
omg it is too hard to catch up with the story because i am always getting distracted by school and other stuff ;-; :cry: so i spend most of my time in the weekends trying to read but cookie clicker keep making me distracted XD but yea i'm still trying to catch up

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Fri Sep 20, 2013 4:34 am
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
DarkWolf670 wrote:
omg it is too hard to catch up with the story because i am always getting distracted by school and other stuff ;-; :cry: so i spend most of my time in the weekends trying to read but cookie clicker keep making me distracted XD but yea i'm still trying to catch up

Heh, don't you worry: I tend to take a longer pause from time to time, both to recharge my batteries AND to allow new readers to catch up :lol:

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Fri Sep 20, 2013 4:38 am
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
Your attention please. This is a PSA from your unworthy writer.
Sabrina's family name has been changed in this ficcie accordingly to latest canon data.
Thank you for your attention

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Mon Sep 23, 2013 12:39 am
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
Hiya, guys!

I am truly, truly sorry for not updating for so long, but among other things I also want to see where this arc is leading to, for I need the social implications references to better write the next update, which focuses a lot on that. So please bear a little more patience. *bows*.
In the meantime, please enjoy HUKLEY's bit he made as a my new artist for this ficcie -a piece which also happens to be his birthday gift to me, yay!
You can find it in Season I, Episode2, chapter 2 or, in the fanart thread.
See ya soon, guys!
There is no. escape.

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Fri Oct 11, 2013 1:12 am
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
no need to apologize, I'm still at least 1 update behind cause I've been doing other things. If you weren't waiting, I'd probably be 10 behind

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Fri Oct 11, 2013 4:19 pm
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
37 strips of Jungle Fever followed by 26 strips of Imaginate, Too. The turning point we've been waiting for five years.

What can you come up with in this parallel story which Jata is spared public humiliation and hopefully won't have to meet Uncle Deadeye? ;)

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Mon Dec 02, 2013 1:54 pm
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
kavviyenta wrote:
37 strips of Jungle Fever followed by 26 strips of Imaginate, Too. The turning point we've been waiting for five years.

What can you come up with in this parallel story which Jata is spared public humiliation and hopefully won't have to meet Uncle Deadeye? ;)


It seemed like Jata was just going to be a letter, but who knows, maybe Valerio will write him into the wedding :-)

Although the Jata letter seemed to be written back when we though Jata was a good and noble guy.


Mon Dec 02, 2013 8:14 pm
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
Jata is going to make his official appearance in episode 10 of the final season V. Since he got an AWESOME role in the mainstream, I must write something entirely different and yet epic. Will be a toughie!

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Tue Dec 03, 2013 2:25 am
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Take as long as you need. Work has been a nightmare so I'm hoping that by the time you post again things will have settled down.

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Sat Dec 07, 2013 2:29 am
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
Must been a huge writer's block. Then again, I could say the same thing to all the other authors like Jeffcvt, Karlos, Geckozy, and HI. I know how it feel.

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Sun Jan 12, 2014 10:13 pm
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
I just wanted to say, Valerio, that I absolutely love your work here. I discovered your fiction around mid November (the first fiction I've EVER read BTW) and since then I have read the ENTIRE thing nearly three times. I'm absolutely smitten by your story. And, I must admit, there are quite a few moments that stirred me quite a bit. As one who barely felt anything from the ending of the last Eragon book, several parts of your story brought both tears of joy and sadness to my eye. You're a brilliant writer and I absolutely can not wait for the next chapter, and even more so the next season. I thank you for continuing to update this, even if there has been a lengthy holiday hiatus, and I must also thank you for bringing PowerQuest to my attention. THEY ARE AWESOME. Children of the Dream is my new favorite song.

Thank you again.


Sat Jan 18, 2014 2:02 am
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
thank you so much not only for your kind post, Bren, but also for being it your first post for this reason I am also announcing that at last the hiatus is OVER!!!! if i find a decent hotspot tomorrow, I'm gonna post part 1 of episode 12 YAY! So thank you all again for your patience, you won't be disappointed

EDIT - made it today, miracle!

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Last edited by valerio on Sun Jan 19, 2014 10:13 am, edited 3 times in total.



Sun Jan 19, 2014 9:15 am
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES
Season IV – Episode 12
New Climatic
By VALERIO

1.
Sandwich House, Babylon Gardens. 5am. 2 months after the election of Gabriella Lundberg as Mayor.

“PEANUT!”
“GWAZ!”


“You were right, mama,” little Dayshaun said to the female purple cat, looking up. “He can jump higher than you.”
“I think we’re hanging out too much, love!” the Canadian pointer mix dog said, looking down from the lamp he was hanging to.
Grape regarded that sentence with a glare that promised nothing good. “’Hanging out’…is that what you call a marriage with kittens, ‘love’?” she said, adding a grin that she would have reserved to a mouse before the meal.
Peanut, still hanging where he was, gulped nervously and turned to the kitten whose fur pattern matched his biological father. “Shaun? Go fetch a notary, I need to write down my last will till I am still alive.”
“No way, lug,” Grape said, sighing. She yawned. “I need you to help us with the first redistribution, first. If you’ll be still alive, after that, I will finish you off. Lovely. Happy?”
“I guess it will do.” Peanut let himself fall onto the bed. He yawned loudly. “Why did we volunteer, again?”
Grape pushed her husband toward their bathroom. “We volunteered, along with several other pets, to redistribute the food the markets would throw in the dumpster, so that the new administration would save money on staff. And to prove that pets can act responsibly and help out other animals. And because I won’t let Bino and his Club hog up all the glory!” One final shove and Peanut was thrown into the bathroom. She slammed the door shut. “And don’t fall asleep!”
“But we are members of his Club!” came his whine through the door. The water started running in the sink.
“No need to remind me that!”
As a matter of fact, every pet in the neighborhood was member of the new Babylon Terrace FurNet. It had taken a long, hard work of diplomacy, but eventually the pets had decided that they needed to present themselves as a united front, under their own banner, rather than mimicking humans’ silly parties and divisions. That didn’t imply that now cats and dogs would smile and throw kisses at each other, or that territorial competition and other species-related issues had magically disappeared… Rather, when it came to do the ‘greater good’, now the pets would act as their own parapolitical entity.
Gabriella Lundberg had promised them more rights, and she had maintained her promise. Although said rights were confined to the city’s borders, it was a start. As far as law concerned the city, and thus the Gardens and Terrace High, pets were treated as citizens. It had followed that they should start acting as people, themselves.
A quantum leap, one could say, but in that first month since Election Day there had been no revolutions, no strikes, no parades. Pets had no intentions of leaving their families, and their families had no intentions of throwing them out in the street.
The ‘revolution’’s better effects had hit the feral population, both in the city and in the woods. Vaccination campaigns and food redistributions were the two pillars. While waiting for Peanut to get done with his hygiene, Grape considered her own thoughts she expressed about consumism during her trip at the mall with her family.
She had severely underestimated the amount of food humans would throw away every day just because it didn’t meet their silly selling standards! From butcheries to greeneries, from restaurants to markets, there was a whole mine worth of calories to give out to those in need. Ironically, the poorest humans couldn’t benefit of the new laws since that food was still, officially and unmistakably, trash. But animals didn’t pose a problem, since ferals literally lived off it. The administration would save much money in redistribution rather than repairing and cleaning after the damage the scavengers would cause in their hunt raids.
Grape would miss brooming the raccoons, although already, thanks to Martin Foster, the Gardens were long spared the trash raids. In fact, it had been the eccentric pet lover’s example who had convinced the Council that redistribution could work, while his partner in business, Herr Raimund Radulph Gottschalk, would take care of creating the new soup kitchens for the humans in need. That would help his reputation and his own business and keep the Council and media quiet about speculations of specism—“Gak!” Lost in those thoughts, she didn’t hear the door clicking open. She would have fallen on the floor, hadn’t two strong cinnamon-colored arms grabbed her.
“Always to the rescue, for you,” Peanut said. He now was also wearing his harness. A moment later, the dog kissed her.
“Hmm, spearmint,” Grape sighed when she stood up. She still wasn’t used at how well-looking he was, now that he could compare with Fido. Peanut had really worked hard at the gym to reflect at its best his wish to fight for his family, if necessary.
“Ready?”
“Anytime you want—Ack! Leggo!” But he didn’t obey while carrying her out. “Shaun, remember: You are the firstborn and your siblings must obey you!” Grape said. “And don’t tease Pixel, again, you rascals! Or you will be cleaning up after the mess!”
Dayshaun kept listening, mumbling assent, his mind already busy with the adventures awaiting him and the other kittens and pups once all their parents had all left—
“And you’ll be having a sitter.”
Dayshaun stopped, pouting. “Mama! Sitters are grownups!”
“That’s the idea,” Grape said from over Peanut’s shoulder. “You’re citizens, not responsible. I know you, you know. You’re going to the Lindbergs: Bailey will take care of you guys.”
This time, Dayshaun wagged his tail –the second tract he had gotten from his biological father. “Yey! I like aunt Bailey: She knows cool country things!”
“And she won’t be alone,” Peanut added, as they started walking down the stairs. “Look.”
The kitten did…and he beamed like it was Double Christmas. “Grandpa!”
There he was: Budweiser Sandwich, Peanut’s father, waiting with the other four kittens of Grape and Peanut’s litter –Parnok, Tarot, Nutella and Louise. The grizzled canine, who otherwise looked like every inch his son, was also wearing his old K9U vest. “It’s been too long since I had a class under my command, and I expect you li’l ‘uns to behave like true grunts!”
---
Lindberg House

“This is not something we should do often, you know,” the female Pomeranian said.
The room was lit by a few candles only. Tarot was sitting in front of the red velvet cushion, over which would stand a crystal sphere. Kneeling in front of her was the canine trio composed of two Huskies – the first, a sturdy female, the second a thinner male – and a male corgi sitting in the middle of his wife and his best friend.
“Just this once. I believe they deserve to have a look,” King said, caressing Bailey’s tummy, which was now showing the sweet swelling of her pregnancy. “I know you wanted it to be a surprise, but I feel bad knowing everything in advance. Humor me, it will definitely be worth it.”
Bailey giggled. “I can’t imagine anything more thrilling than meeting our still-to-be-born litter. So, don’t justify yourself.”
“And thank you for inviting me as well,” Fox said. He still felt divided between embarrassment and pride for sharing something so important in his housemates’ life…
King blushed. “I owe you all of this. And don’t say otherwise. So now, just enjoy the show.”
Tarot closed her eyes and focused. She might have lost her connection to Spirit Dragon, but she still was a powerful psychic and well-versed in the magic arts. Connecting with that special part of the Beyond where the souls-to-be dwelt was something she could do…
Tarot’s eyes shone green. “I call you, Rook, Lira and Mackenzie Lindberg. Your parents want to meet you.”
A gust of wind coming from nowhere smothered the candles! The sudden darkness was replaced, a moment later, by an eerie blue light coming from the sphere!
The other three canines looked intently at the sphere. Wisps of…some blue fog started appearing in the crystal, then followed the sounds of laughs and giggles…until the ethereal smoke erupted from the sphere! A moment later, it took the shape of two female corgi pups looking like their father, and a male, taller husky male!
Fox was awed at the sight, to say the least. Bailey was pressing her paws to her mouth, as if fearing to speak out her emotions. But she couldn’t hold out her tears of joy. “My pups…”, she whispered. Those were their litter, the highest achievement of her life with King, their future. And they looked just perfect.
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“MAMA! YAY!” one of the corgis said, throwing herself at her. Two things happened at once, then: she passed through Bailey, and Bailey felt distinctly the kick in her tummy!
Rook shook his head, facepawlming. “We are still spirits, you dolt! Wait till you’re born, will ya?”
Fox chuckled. “Guess you took a lot from your papa, right?”
The male pup nodded. “I am the lucky one, after all. But I must admit, it’s never boring with them around.” He looked at Lira and Mac, who were giggling and running around Bailey, their laughs echoing eerily in the room, their glow the only light in the room. “And they are less stubborn than I am, I guess. Much like you, mama.”
Bailey’s trembling paw reached out and brushed her son’s snout, passing through it. Another kick came from her belly. “Oh.”
“We love you too,” Rook said, reaching out back. “Take care of yourself, I can’t wait to nurse at you.”
Fox rolled his eyes. “Too much information!”
“Can I make up by telling you that I really love to read?”
Fox beamed. “Can’t wait to see you open your eyes!”
“Just wave your goodbyes,” Tarot said. “Long-distance calls can be a real burden!”
And mortals and spirits had just the time to do so, before the spiritual figures dissolved in a last wisp. The sphere just turned back into an ornamental object. The lights turned back on.
Tarot massaged her brow. “I’m sorry for acting so…rude, but…” she held Bailey and King’s paws in hers, at the same time giving them a tender although sad smile.
King frowned. “Anything wrong?”
“No, no.” Tarot shook her head. “It’s just…You see, what you saw is a glimpse of future, not a certainty.”
“What do you mean?” Bailey asked, sincerely puzzled, in contrast with her eyes still wet from the tears of joy.
“You must be careful, if you want this birth to be a success. So far, you two are doing fine, but should anything happen…what you saw today may change for worse. That’s why I don’t do this often, King: It’s like offering you an illusion, not the reality. Any difference may hurt a lot, do you understand?”
King found himself nodding. And he also found himself very, very stupid for not thinking before about this aspect! He couldn’t take anything for granted, not until the birthing had occurred, and even after that he’d have to work hard to make the best of parents—
His thoughts were interrupted by Bailey’s arms wrapping around his smaller body.
“I wanted to see as well,” Bailey said, crooning him. “And I am happy I did. Now I know I will do my best as well, my love. If I had reason to take care of us, now I have even more. And if our litter came and rescued you when you were hanging between life and death, it’s up to us to make sure nothing will happen to them. Am I right?”
King abandoned himself against her softness. Yes, she was right, and that’s why he loved her as well: She was the voice of reason, the balance to his tendency to paint everything bleak…
Tarot stood up and put the sphere and the cushion into her backpack. “I will send you the bill. Bailey, are you sure you can manage sitting a bunch of kittens and cubs?”
The other dogs, too, stood up. “Oh, it will be fun to teach them something about DIY, and I’m sure that Budweiser will make them work hard enough. So, Fox, you still of the idea of distributing books instead of food?”
Her cousin nodded. “King was a lot of help: We’ve collected enough to create a library just for the ferals. Much as they need food, they need knowledge if they want to improve themselves.” The idea of opening the Gardens’ library to the ferals was rejected on the grounds that it was better to open one in the woods, closer to their dens, rather than forcing them to long trips. Also, if the animals had each a stack of books, they could exchange them between themselves rather than abiding by the humans’ lending schedule.
But food and books weren’t the only things to be distributed, starting from today –and that was also why it had taken a month to organize this first large-scale expedition…
---
Arbelt House

“I’d ask you to kill me, Tiger, but I’m fairly sure I’m dead already,” Zachary said. He looked like he’d been used for a rug by an angry lumberjack. It happened when he’d spent less than 6 hours to sleep.
The pitbull didn’t look better. He was sitting in front of his cereals, unable to lift his first spoonful. To the rabbit, he said, “I’d ask you to kill me, but first I must impress my fangirls.” Those were the sisters Coke and Pepsi, the first females who had actually started dating him. The only reason he had started abstaining from pizza; since then, he still had monstrous nightmares of him getting fat and losing love forever. His housemates and human had since then discovered the benefits of earplugs.
“You two kill me for getting along without a decent reason,” Marvin said. Well, he had been dragged along, actually. Misery loves company and Zach and Tiger didn’t want to suffer alone. “And you shouldn’t complain, either, you impish bunny,” the orange-colored cat added. “You are going to meet your girlfriend, you are the hero of the year for those ferals, and you get to distribute life-saving medicines.”
Medicines. Something the ferals had rarely access to. Martin’s shelter hadn’t been as successful as the human had planned, after all. The ferals couldn’t get past the fear that they’d end up in the hands of Animal Control, and so they had kept the most of their old habits –stealing and raiding for what they needed.
It seemed just fair to Zack that he’d provide to the medicine distribution, he had tasted what it meant to be wounded and helpless, back when he had risked his life to save the raccoon kits from the Whiteman Dogs. He could imagine what it meant to live so precariously, on the health side, every given day…But now the Milton Industries would now provide for any drug they needed, and handbooks to make the best use of those medicines, while Foster had arranged an emergency veterinarian service just in case.
“Speaking of love life,” Marvin went on, “Planning a family with that lady of yours? Fauna, right?”
Zachary felt suddenly very awake and very embarrassed. Fauna was technically his girlfriend and had she proven it, alright…But Zach must still decide if that was out of true love or some zealous opportunity…
But kits? No way, oh nossir! He wasn’t family-crazy like…like everyone else! he liked his life with its routine and quiet…
Yeah, thus spoke the Opener of Ways who made a pact with a Magical Gryphon to bring equality between humans and animals!
Zachary wondered if some nice Italian cosmetics laboratory still accepted lab test animals…
---
Milton Manor

“And with this last signature, your contract with Hollywood is ancient history,” Keene Milton said, handing out the paper to the dog sitting at the other side of the desk.
Fino signed the paper. “Much obliged, amigo. I really detest the idea of staying away any longer from my family and the Gardens, especially during these much interesting times. So thank you for covering the penalties with my agent and movie producers.”
The ferret chuckled. “Don’t thank me: You’ll be working for Rock’s videogames and ads productions house after all. And with you as our star, we’ll draw even more attention to pet rights than we’d do with you doing movies.”
Fino put the pen back onto the desk. “So…Now you’re officially back in business for good, I take it?”
Keene nodded, a sly grin on his face. “Gottschalk was right through and through, must concede him." The North Koreans, who had bought the farm from Thomas and Celia had done the worst possible job. They had just taken the hardware to start their own business in Asia, and the stock had plummeted so fast that Gottschalk had bought it back for a dime and a sandwich before giving everything back to the ferrets so that, officially, it seemed that it had been Keene’s plans all along. Gottschalk knew that the future of animal equality also passed through Keene’s PR talents. The world must see that animals could do their part to the highest level.
And, while his partners Foster and Gottschalk organized the inner front, the Milton ferrets would also take care of the bonds with the African nations of Buwara and Feraga, and with the newborn Oasia, in Mexico –in other words, those countries effectively ruled by animals, a prime example how the future could be…
---
Foster Manor

“Mortimer, you are responsible for your cousins,” Martin Foster said, while putting on his jacket. “Don’t disappoint me.”
“Aye aye, SIR!” the black-furred half-wolf cub saluted proudly.
“Hey!” Protested one of the white German Shepherd pups, a male, sitting on the bed. “Rigel and I are older than that runt!”
Martin gave one last look at his reflection then turned, smirking. “Don’t I know it? And still, Naos, you are particularly stubborn when it comes to following orders. Sometimes I suspect you are more blood-related to Parnok.” He threw in that one especially to see the pup’s stuttering reaction, which never failed to be comical.
Naos crossed his arms and fumed. “I hate you!”
“No you don’t. Also, Mortimer is one who learns really fast, and his mama is a wolf, and he benefited of the teachings of her pack; while you did your worst not to listen to your papa’s teachings.”
“Alcor is a cat! Sergeant Ralph is my papa, and I’m going to be a cop and chase down criminals and bad ferals!”
Martin sighed, resigned to the fact that he couldn’t drill any better thought into that stubborn pup’s mind. At least, Pixel would be with them, and Naos knew better than ranting against cat-and-dog couples with her around. Also because Pixel was not-so-secretly enamored with Mortimer…
“How long will you be staying away?” Rigel, Naos’ twin sister, asked. Not without some apprehension.
Great question! Martin thought. “Worst case? All day long, perhaps more.” He had learnt, in his life, not to sugarcoat the pill. His family members deserved that, at least. He, Mizar and Alcor, with the help of Antares and Aldebaran, were bound to look out for Alcor’s two siblings. After discovering that he was the very son of Helias, his pet cat when he was a boy, Martin had decided he’d not rest until he found out what had happened to the rest of the litter! Unfortunately, his rescue agenda had just come in the way, and Martin knew he couldn’t delay his commitment to a lifetime’s work, but he had also spent that time making sure every official channel would be used to locate those two cats.
Having failed that, now the only thing remained was to search the whole city if necessary, walking down the streets where the strays his and hunted. It was way the longshot, but the last shot nonetheless. Martin wouldn’t leave no stone unturned! Plus, Fido and Sabrina would take care of following his instructions in the distribution of home tools –for it may sound trivial, if compared to food, medicines, instructions…but a respectable living was also made of commodities. And pottery, cutlery, window covers, lighting , cleaning tools and the such could make a difference. If it wasn’t possible to build a new city without destroying the woods’ ecosystem, it would be possible to turn crude dens into real, small-scale houses. And when everything would be ready and going, agriculture would follow.
But those were thoughts for the future, and right now Martin’s mind was focused on his mission. Admittedly, it had also a weird thrill to it: It would be the first time he’d get to actually walk Mizar’s and Alcor’s steps from before he adopted them…
---
Jingshen Manor

“Maxwell?”
A grunt from under the sheets.
“Maxie?”
“No wake.”
“Maaax? Get up, we got work to do. Remember? We promised.”
The sheets moved –just enough to reveal a black-furred ear and a slit aquamarine eye peeking from the shadows. “Nu. Promises made to break. Sleep nau.”
“But we’ll go together,” the female voice insisted, more sweetly. “It won’t be fun without you.”
“Sleep is fun. Work, bad.”
The voice sighed. “As you wish, silly cat. But I will not show you a preview of my mortal body for after the Game is over.”
Lost in the midst of residual sleep, Max’s mind went to their latest chat. What was about? Oh, yes: His girlfriend could play pretend she was some very exotic pet as long as she had the power to create a whole believable background for herself, while what was left of the Game lasted…But after that, since it was clear by now she had lost it, since it was Pete who was bringing equality between humans and animals before she could do it, herself, she’d become fully mortal. Powerless, forced to live in a mortal body until death claimed said body. The pretense would be over. Spirit Dragon could not exist as herself anymore.
But she was used to plan ahead, her egg hatched no fool. Max had agreed that a cat would take Dragon’s place. A cat in all respect, a new family member for Jeff, more cause of despair for Bino, yay!
Max idly remembered he wanted her choice to be a surprise. Since she knew him better than anyone else, he was sure of her taste.
But now he was awake and curious enough. “All right, all right,” he said, emerging from under the sheets, then yawned. “But I warn you, if I don’t like it you’re going to leave…me…alone…”
His voice disappeared along with his thoughts.
Once, after seeing Grape all prepped up for a dinner, he had thought he had seen the most beautiful cat in the world ever. His jaw still hurt pleasantly at that memory.
Now he was sure: Heaven had sent him its most beautiful angel. “I want your kittens,” he said, believing it with all his heart…
---
Byron House

“Are you going to get married? Are you going to get married? Are you oging to met garried?” By the 10th time she asked, Sasha was also starting to break the floor as she kept hopping on the same spot.
Fido, not for the last time that day, answered. “We are going to get married, Sasha. We’ve just been really busy with organizing it all, that’s all, I swear. You’re in the top list of our invitation.”
The albino German Shepherd seemed to calm down. “Because I designed the bridesmaids dresses. I prepared all the invitations. I also have fifty shades of pink rose bouquets to get!” Sabrina thought it had been a nice idea to let Sasha organize those details: The energetic girl lived for events like this, and she had done a fine job with hers and Bino’s. Not to mention that Sabrina wanted to dedicate all the time she had to Pixel, the kitten she and Fido had adopted.
And Fido, her beloved dog, had become even busier since the reorganization of Babylon Gardens’ security. Many ferals, both from the city’s streets and from the woods, had volunteered to create vigilante groups. And if this was a benefit to security during a time in which administration had to cut humans, it also increased the work for training. Animal Control had to be reorganized so that now its members worked along at most a couple of ferals for each human.
People were uneasy that ferals could walk along the streets, unmolested, but as long as they respected the law the Administration would treat them as human homeless for the time being – which was way better than their previous legal status. Doing them any unjustified harm would be cause for imprisonment. And any animal was from now on entitled to have the benefit of self-defense if responding to an attack, instead of being shot down where it was—
“You still there?” Sabrina’s voice broke into his train of thoughts.
Fido shook his head. “Yes, still here. Sorry. Every time I try not to think of the job ahead, I feel like I worked for a hundred years.” He hugged his beloved black cat. “It’s really happening. Like you and Tarot predicted.”
“And how that makes you feel?”
“Terrified. And Happy. I think I could be the happiest dog in the world.”
Sabrina snuggled into his arms, completely oblivious to Sasha’s adoring expression. “Hmm, and what would make you the happiest doggie in the world? Marry me?”
Fido nipped her ear, oh so delicately. “Seeing you having your litter.”
And THAT made Sabrina forget about everything else in the world.
Except for one thing: This was So going to be the gossip for Sasha, if the glitter in the Shepherd’s eyes were enough.

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Last edited by valerio on Tue Jan 21, 2014 2:42 pm, edited 2 times in total.



Sun Jan 19, 2014 10:09 am
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
And so, in a way, here we start again: because of the long hiatus, I did feel awkward with the idea of getting on with the story as if continued from the moment I left it behind. So I decided to go for a mini-timeskip which should recap the situation in an (hopefully) efficient way about the main themes, while getting ready to go on in the new era of Babylon Gardens and its surroundings.
As usual, forgive me for the typos and other mistakes, since it's really been long since last I wrote here. hope you enjoy!

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Sun Jan 19, 2014 10:23 am
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Great stuff as always val. Glad to see things moving again.


Sun Jan 19, 2014 11:16 am
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YAYAYAYAYAYAY!!!! :D
I knew there'd be something new here eventually.
All good things to those who wait, and all that ;)

So much goodness, and it really works as a great way to bring everything back up to speed.
Great chapter :D

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Sun Jan 19, 2014 12:03 pm
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Great chapter Valerio! :D

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Sun Jan 19, 2014 12:13 pm
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AWESOME!!!!! NEW UPDATE!! Now I don't have to post to complain about the lack of updates!


That would be all I'd post, but I've had something I've needed to talk about this for a long time.

I have NO IDEA what channel this would air on if it were real.
It's got all the things that make for a great show in theory, but no channel would actually air it for one reason or another. Channels like fox wouldn't air it because it's so kiddy, and channels like nick would look at episode ten and toss you out of the building. It has a combination of young elements, like the whole talking animals thing, and mature elements, like North Korean terrorists poisoning people who represent something that could cause enough internal turmoil to overthrow the dictator. It would still be a great show, but I can't think of any station thepat it could air on. Or I could be that I have a limited knowledge of tv channels, you pick.

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Sun Jan 19, 2014 5:59 pm
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2.
Ackerman Reserve, outside Babylon Gardens

“Wake up, Jess! The Opener of Ways is coming today!”
The female opossum was trying to decide what was worse: Being woken up rudely, seeing the privacy of her home invaded, or suffering the inextinguishable joy of her raccoon friend.
Probably, she detested all of them in equal measure. “Ink, do you know what the members of that species are called? Rabbits! Can you please stop with this rant about—Irk!” her protests died the moment her blanket was pulled away from her body. Like a piece of silverware in those magic tricks, Jessica remained on her bed.
“Yes, yes, yes, he’s a fraud and the vision we all had of the spirits talking through him was a mass hallucination. And guess what? We also saw the election of that Lundberg human, and we know animals have been given more rights, and now the prophecy of food is coming to reality! So stop pretending you don’t believe and come out! You’re going to receive your stuff as well.”
Jessica rubbed her eyes as she sat up. “Yeah, yeah, some emergency ration made up of trash and stuff humans didn’t find the use for. With some luck, it will help us through a couple of days of the worst of winter. Oh, and flashy special effects to impress us poor ferals. Whoppee.”
Custom Ink shook her head. “Is there anything that could ever impress you? My dear, you always act as if you lost your best friend.”
“Do you mean, apart from Steve, who got eaten by that wolf?”
“Natural order doesn’t count.” Ink grabbed Jessica’s arm. “Now come out, Your Grumpiness! I’m sure you’ll learn something about humans’ generosity after all.”
Once they were out, Jessica rubbed her arm –gal did have a strong grip, yup. “Human’s generosity goes as far as it’s convenient for them, at the less cost possible. Do you remember when that PETA association collected some stale food for us? I, too, was among the ones poisoned, it was that bad.”
Ink stopped, turned and rubbed the possum’s shoulder. “Sweetie, half of them weren’t poisoned at all. And no, today you’re not going to spoil the mood.”
“I guess I couldn’t even if I tried. How many are going to be there?”
“More or less? Everybody!”
---
River Ridge

“Welcome to The Den,” Alcor said. The white cat’s ears kept moving to and fro like frantic antenna dishes. Standing by his side, his mate and spouse the white GSD Mizar, was instinctively sniffing at the air. Even the massive twin dogs, Antares and Aldebaran, looked wary.
Martin, whom the animals had surrounded in a defensive formation, could understand them: This was the city’s most degraded area. Once, it had hosted a series of small industries, markets, storage areas… It was the commercial heart of the old city, before the era of the malls and the new means of distributions. No one had taken care to redevelop the area, and the real estate crisis hadn’t encouraged to build, too.
‘The Den’. It fit. Martin could almost hear the hundreds of suspicious, hostile gazes coming from every corner, every broken window. The shadows were alive. This really was no man’s land.
“Even the human homeless take care to avoid this place,” Mizar said as if reading his thoughts. “This is…was our territory. Animal Control could get us only when we had to leave to forage.”
“Were you born here?” Martin asked to both his former stray pets.
Alcor nodded. “As safe as an expecting female can get. Mama had earned her space, but I can assure you, if you’re one lone hunter you don’t get much social solidarity.”
“I was born in a pack,” Mizar said. “I was lucky in that regard.”
“So, where do we start?” Martin asked. “I don’t think the locals have a births register, right?”
Alcor stepped forward. Then, speaking to no one in particular, he said out loud, “Listen to me! I am Ghost, firstborn of my namesake mother, she who survived the Whiteman dogs’ attacks! I am part of a litter of three, we came to find them!”
A few moments of silence passed, before the air brought many voices, hate-filled whispers, as if the buildings and the very streets were talking.
“Petss!” “Traitorrrs.” “You stink of your comfy beds.” “You are stale with your rich food.” “We don’t want you here!” “Slaves, you have no business here anymore.” “Leave.”
“And what if we don’t?” Martin asked. There was a hint of mirth in his voice. “You know who I am. You know what I have done for the furkindred. You know I don’t lie.” Then all mirth disappeared, replaced by grim determination.
“Alcor’s mother used to be my pet, back when I was a boy. I tried to save her, but my own father abused both of us, to the point that I too chose freedom over my place. Just as Helias, Ghost, did, herself.
“It is my intention to get in touch with the rest of her litter, hoping they are still alive and well. And yes, I want to adopt them, provided they will agree to that. So, you can make this easy or hard, your choice: Because I. Shall. Not. Leave! And if I have to fight my way to any information I can get, I will. So, what will be your answer?”
Laughter was the answer. Chuckles, giggles, as if a pride of Cheshire Cats was laughing behind their grins. “Catch us.” “Find us.” “Stupid human!”
“Not stupid,” Mizar said. “They don’t need to attack us.”
Martin sighed. “It’s the hard way, then.” He activated his Bluetooth earpiece. “Sigma Team, it’s a Go.”
---
Male House, Lev.30, Apt.305, Terrace High

“I still can’t believe you renounced the Milton inheritance,” Elpis said, temporarily turning off his audiobook. “I mean, dawg, you were worth million!
The green-furred Australian Terrier was laying on his belly over the muscled body of his best friend, a male Rhodesian Ridgeback.
Volant ate another chip, before interrupting his PS Vita CoD game. He ruffled Elpis’ head fur, a rare gesture of tenderness from him, just like his warm smile. “At the Milton Manor, I was a rich dog. Here, I am home. I am with you every day. I have enough.”
Elpis tilted his head left and right –his equivalent of rolling his eyes, since the ones he showed were prosthetics. “I almost stopped hoping to hear that coming from you. So, you don't think the world sucks anymore?”
Volant made a face. “Never said that. Just that I found my oasis, here.”
“So, did you stop brooding after, well, you-know-who?”
The big dog frowned. “Thomas and Celia? I still wish to finish them off. They got away lucky, but I believe they learnt their lesson.” As points of view went, ‘lucky’ was arguable: Thomas and Celia Milton had successfully used Volant to claim the Milton inheritance for themselves, abusing a clause in Henry Milton’s will. Just as they had abused Volant, nearly killing him by starvation when he was a pup. Volant had never forgotten, though. And when the two siblings’ plan had royally backfired, he had tied them to a tree just like they had done to him. If it hadn’t been for the alarm raised by a passer-by, they would be in worse shape instead of recovering in a hospital from a severe shock…
“Will you go after them, then?”
“Nah, they ain’t worth it. And what about you, instead?”
“Uh?”
“I heard rumors about you going to Africa. Already tired of my presence?”
Elpis wagged his tail. “Oh, no, silly! Mom and Dad are competing with the other bigshots to organize a party in honor of the Prince of Feraga! He is coming here to celebrate the pacts with Milton and his partners. Mom just wants to make sure that our family’s name is put back under the spotlight.”
Volant chuckled. “That must be quite the event. And when will it happen?”
“Oh, next year or so. You know, things like this don’t get organized overnight… What, were you afraid that I’d abandon you, big puppy?”
Volant growled. “You should watch your tongue. Not even my Master can call me that.”
Elpis jut giggled. “Ohh, I iz so scared! Puppy-puppy-puppy-puppy-pop…” and while saying so, the smaller dog started tickling Volant’s tummy, causing his snout to contort in the weirdest expressions.
“No—you little imp—gonna kill—hehe—you…” Then his whole body started twisting as he laughed hard.
---
Lindberg house

“Coming!” Bailey opened the door just before the doorbell rang a second time. “Bud! Welcome!” She wagged her tail as she bent down, paws over thighs, to count the little ones greeting her with smashing grins. “Let’s see…Dayshaun, Parnok, Tarot, Louise, Nutella, Rigel and Naos, Mortimer, Pixel—“
“Present and accounted for!” said a new puppy voice as a tiny paw came out from behind the line.
Bailey bent over. “Oh. Bosco! What are you doing here?”
The puppy was enthusiastically wagging his tail. “Papa didn’t want me to come because there are cats, but Mama told him she’d sell him to a taxidermist if he didn’t let me socialize. Papa looks funny when he’s scared. What’s a taxidermist? Has it to do with taxes or taxis?”
Dayshaun was already offering to answer, but a nudge from Parnok made him rethink. Plus, by then Bosco’s attention had focused on other matters. “Bud is gonna teach me how to fight as a winner!”
She looked puzzled. “Oh, but I don’t think it would be a good idea to start fighting in the house. Dad is not really lenient toward breaking his things.”
“And who spoke about this place?” Fino intervened, winking at her. “We got a better place to go.”
At that moment, the claxon of a big vehicle rang out.
“I believe our ride is here, ma’m”, Fino said, moving aside, revealing the bus of the Babylon Gardens-Terrace High-River Ridge line.
---
Ackerman Reserve

“Yes, I can see the love. Plenty to go around,” Jessica said, not without some satisfaction.
Ink looked as if she had been replaced with a statue frozen in a baffled position, jaw hanging.
“Where’s everybody?” Tiny Tum, the raccoon’s kit, wondered.
“Perhaps this is the wrong place. I must have misunderstood,” Ink said, eventually.
Jessica read the leaflet she – and every other inhabitant with opposable thumbs – had been given by the humans. “It reads that this is the place. There is also a picture.” She looked up, and sure as taxes that large meadow was the place where the helicopter with the goods was supposed to land.
And ‘everybody’ consisted of a few birds and squirrels, and the three bipedal mammals.
A moment later, the growing sound of the rotors could be heard distinctly. Jessica had heard too many times the sound of Animal Control vehicles, and this one promised to be a big one. “Flashy…” She patted her friend’s back. “Now, let’s find a shelter behind those trees, or we’ll be turned into so many leaves in the wind.
---
“Kittens? Fido, are you CRAZY or what?!”
“I’m not crazy! I checked your medical files. There is a chance you can get pregnant. Mind me, it’s almost wishful thinking, but it’s worth a check-up—“
“Did you check what?”
“Hey, I needed to know. And YOU were the one who hid me everything about your past before coming to the Gardens!”
“*Sigh* Okay, I know that I’ll never apologize enough for that, but Fido, you can’t really think—“
“Just give it a try, all right? I can’t stand the idea that you could have your own litter and not even try.”
“But what about Pixel? She’s our daughter—“
“She’ll have some siblings to play with. It’s all the better for her.”
“You are not going to give up, are you? And what if I just didn’t want to run the risk?”
“Then you answer me now: Sabrina D’Angelo, do you or don’t you want to be a mother?”
“Fido, are you there?
Fido?!”
“*Gykh!*” For a moment, Fido felt as if his heart had stopped. “Oh, no! I mean, yes! I’m going to be a good—Oh, hey Max.”
“You looked as if your mind had gone to some private heck. Problems in paradise?”
Fido exhaled a stressful breath. “I don’t know if I can call them that. In fact, I wanted to ask you if—“
“Where’s everybody?” Grape asked, catching the general attention.
The lavender cat was looking through the window. “Didn’t the humans set an appointment down there?”
Zachary was divided between relief and puzzlement. He just couldn’t stand a mass of adorers, it gave him a massive case of angst; he thought political leaders were all crazy. And yet, he felt worried that no one was visible. “Perhaps they are too scared that this is a setup or something,” he hypnotized.
“Unlikely,” Fido, who Martin had appointed as general coordinator of the operation, remarked. “In these past two months, they have been extremely cooperative during the census operations. We couldn’t have organized the packages and the storage area without their support.”
Zachary gulped. “Perhaps hunters came and…got all of them?”
“I’m sure they are all fine,” Tian, Max’s reptilian girlfriend, reassured the rabbit. “We are about to find out anyway,” she added, as the helicopter started the landing maneuver. For sure, Spirit Dragon didn’t perceive any trace of death nor of sufferance. Nobody had come, simple as that.

“Ok, flashy chopper is flashy!” Jessica had to shout to make herself heard through the monstrous noise created by the gigantic redesigned Soviet Mil-V12.
Just the sight of that titan made Custom Ink understand why humans ruled the world. And she was really happy to have them on their side! The trees bent down under the power of the wind. At first, the animals had lamented the cutting of enough trees to make a landing pad for the thing, but now Ink understood why.
Despite its size, the beast landed gracefully, On its side, it sported the blue-and-gold “Lucky Charm Grove for the Abandoned and the Ferals” logo. After the rotors had stopped moving, two doors opened: one on the helicopter’s side, and the large cargo door.
The volunteers, preceded by Fido, came out, while the three ferals walked toward them.
“Custom Ink!” Fido said, recognizing the female raccoon, “What happened? Where are the others?”
Before Ink could answer, someone emerged from back a tree. Someone clapping slowly, with sarcasm.
Of course, Zach recognized her immediately. “Boadicea!”
The white-furred she-wolf clapped one last time and bowed theatrically, one arm extended. “Thank you, thank you, you’re such a wonderful audience!”
Despite his better judgment, and again to the general surprise, Zach strode toward the animal who had tried her damnedest to stir problems in the last months. It was no surprise that she had threatened some of his followers. To Zach they were friends all the same, religion or not, and—
“Woah, woah, relax, buck!” The feral canine mockingly backed up, raising her paws. “My pack and I did nothing to your precious followers. In fact, I made sure to test their faith!”

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Last edited by valerio on Wed Jan 22, 2014 3:55 am, edited 1 time in total.



Mon Jan 20, 2014 3:15 pm
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
*man squee* UPDATE! WOOOO!

--EDIT--
Great stuff, Val. I check back at least twice a day to see if anyone's posted, you or otherwise, and get really excited whenever a see a new massive block of text. Keep 'em coming, I'm addicted to your story.


Mon Jan 20, 2014 8:53 pm
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3.
The Pentagon Park, Terrace High

“I still can’t see why you guys wanted to come here,” Bailey said, looking around. Last time she had been here, there was the party for Fino’s return and the campaign for Gabriella Lundberg was in full blast. Lots of pets, noise, music…
Now, it looked like countryside, so peaceful and rich with noises of the pets and humans frolicking, the birds singing in the distance, the smell of the woods… Only the imposing presence of the Fulcrum tower belied the nature of this place. “Kingy is going to get crazy when he learns I’m not at home.”
Budweiser nodded to the Alaskan/Siberian husky mix. “That’s why we brought you here, lady: You need some change. You can’t just live inside a bubble until you deliver the pups, I saw that happen way too many times in my line of job, and I know how stressful it can be. Here, through you, the pups will assimilate some nice air, fine food, good water…and, tops of all, enjoy your relaxation. It will do them good.”
Bailey found herself nodding. “I think you are right. Thank you, Bud. You do know a lot about parenting.”
The older dog shook his head, a sad smile crossing his mouth. “Not as much as I should have, when I had the chance. We may be dogs, but I still believe family should count for something; and luckily, with the new laws, humans won’t be free to separate us at their whim—ACK!” That came the moment someone tackled into him and down to the grassy ground. A chorus of giggles from the kittens and cubs they were supposed to take care of accompanied that action.
“Shame, shame, shame on you, old yeller!” Fino Sparks said, though in mocking reproach, to Peanut’s father. “This is a day for enjoyment, not to brood! One more sad word coming from your grey snout, and I’ll teach you some lesson!”
Budweiser growled. “Sez who, you overrated movie star?!” And in a deft move, he turned the table and slammed his opponent down onto the ground. “I am Budweiser the Messenger of Apocalypse, and you don’t mess with me!
Fino grinned in challenge. “Now that’s the ol’ pup your son was talking about! Wanna see a new trick?” And a moment later, one paw went and scritched Bud’s tummy!
The older dog’s eyes went wide, before reflexes kicked in and his leg started moving by its own will. Bud also bit his lower lip –muffins and cookies, that was his soft spot!
A moment later, he was propelled off his prey and down again.
Fino arched up and jumped on his feet. He dusted his fur clean. “Guessed that Peanut took his reaction to scritches from you. Glad to see I was right: You do know how to pin down your opponents.” He offered his paw and helped Bud up.
“You were awesome!” Bosco said to Bud! “Will you teach me to fight like that? Did you learn it at the Academy?”
Bud nodded and ruffled his head fur. “Yup! We must learn how to subjugate humans trying not to hurt them…too much. Except in their pride, that is.”
“I want to learn from you!” Parnok said to Fino. “You are fast! No one had ever taken Bud by surprise!”
“Dogs don’t teach cats, dummy!” Naos barked to the kitten.
The white-furred son of Peanut and Grape stuck out his tongue at Mizar’s pup. “You couldn’t learn anything from him anyway, you’re too dumb!”
A moment later, they turned into a single, furious flurry motion of claws, hisses and yaps.
“I really hate this,” Rigel, Naos’ sister said. “I should cheer for my stupid brother, but I can’t cheer against Parnok!” She suffered her own case of puppy love toward the kitten, and she wasn’t ashamed in the least to show it. In fact, Naos teased her every time he could about that.
Rigel felt someone pat her shoulder in sympathy. She turned and saw Pixel nodding: The mute kitten pointed at Mortimer, who was already separating the two fighters, holding them by their scruff –although that didn’t prevent them from trying and clawing at each other.
“I know,” Rigel said. “So handsome and strong… You really should do something more than looking at him. Ever tried a date? Adults say it’s romantic.”
Pixel’s eyes widened. She vehemently shook her head no!
The pup grinned at her. “Come oooonn, I’m sure he’ll love to be your dancing partner under the moonlight—“
“Would everyone like to quit with that racket?!” someone said…from above.
Everyone’s head turned up.
To the Finnish Lapphund dog laying on a branch. “Pets are trying to nap here.”
“Strange place for a nap,” Bailey observed.
The dog yawned, then lazily pointed at the nearby branch, where a cat was laying. “Meet Liz: She knows the best places. And I must give her that.”
“Hi cute little ones!” the Maine Coon/Norwegian mix waved back to them. “Did you meet my best friend, Morrigan?” She pouted at an invisible presence in thin air. “Say hi to them, Morri! Some good manners never hurt.”
Max sighed. “Liz, with all due respect, I don’t think they’d like—“ But before he could say ‘meet your imaginary friend’, he saw the kittens waving in greeting.
“Hi Morrigan!” Louise greeted enthusiastically.
Max’s jaw dropped. The ethereal feline figure floating nearby Elizabeth Rozen squirmed with delight. “Can you see me?” She said.
Dayshaun nodded. “Yes! We can see all spirit thingies because we are—Ouchie! Why does everybody nudge me hard?!” He rubbed his arm, pouting, while Tarot, distinguished for her entirely lavender-furred body and the white spot in the middle of her brow, spoke for him. “We are special. Long story. Privacy and all. Glad to meet you.”
Maximillian sighed. “Great, now even Liz’s imaginary friend has friends!”
“Glad to meet you! It’s good to talk to someone.”
“Hey!” Liz protested. “I’m not chopped onion, you know?!”
“Chopped liver,” Dayshaun corrected her.
The cat jumped down. “Oh, but I am vegetarian, silly. Tell you what guys: Would you like to play with me and Morrigan?”
Nutella and Louise showed Bailey their best puppy eyes. “Pleeease?”
Max jumped down, too. “*sigh* I’ll make sure to keep an eye on them, ma’m.” He produced his FurNet card. “I’m with the good guys, you know.”
Bailey shrugged. She was still perplexed about this ID thing: It made her feel like a human, while she still trusted a good sniff and body language to tell a good dog from a bad one. “That’s ok, but I’d like to know they’re with someone I know. Doesn’t a…oh, yes! Doesn't a Tegan cat live here? She’s a good friend of Peanut and Grape, and I’m sure—“
“KITTENS!” A female Maine Coon said, apparently appearing out of nowhere! Bailey was fairly sure she got close to miscarrying!
“Aunt Tegan, yay!” Nutella said, throwing herself into the adult’s arms.
Maximillian was baffled, to say the least. “Wha—Where did you come from?”
“I am always ready to take care of my little monsters, you should know!” She hugged Nutella as if the kitten were a plushy toy.
“Ok, you guys creep me seriously out, but at least make sure they’re back here by lunchtime.”
The Lapphund dog saluted. “Aye aye, ma’m!”
“Well,” Bud said, once the group had left. He looked at the remaining quarries. “So that leaves us with…” he looked around… “Hmm, say, Naos, since you have so much energy to go with, would you like to learn to fight like a true ancient warrior?”
Like asking a bear if it liked honey! Plus, he’d get to learn cool things before Parnok did! AaaaweSOME!
“Do I want to know what’s the idea?” Bailey asked, warily.
“There’s this gym where samurai techniques are taught. If Naos wants so badly to be the top dog, this is the occasion. Plus, I am the cub-sitter as well, so you can trust me with these twins. Hm? What you say, Rigel? Think you’re up to the challenge?”
The female’s eyes flashed much like her mama’s did. She stared right into Naos’ eyes. “Me. You. A tatami. Your defeat, bigmouth!”
Naos grinned back. “I’m on. If I win, you’ll be my rug!”
All of a sudden, Rigel started squirming and hopping. “And if I win, you’ll be my chaperon when I date Parnok. Squee!”
“Well, and thus remains this jolly company,” Fino said, rubbing his paws. “Bosco, I know some of the security doggies, here. Care to meet them? Perhaps we can convince them to recruit you for a patrol duty,” he added/whispered, in a conspiratorial tone.
Bosco grabbed his paw and started dragging the adult toward the tower. Papa never brought him to patrol duty! He’d make every other cat and pup soooo jelly!!
Bailey looked at them go. “Well. Looks like this is going to be a quiet day,” she said to Mortimer and Pixel. “Any idea? I’m just a country girl in this place…I wouldn’t know where to go to have fun.”
It was Pixel who came up with a solution! She produced her phone and a pen, then wrote over the screen before handing it to her sitter.
Wanna go to the lake? They rent boats!!
Bailey smiled at the idea. Last time she had been in a boat was back at the farm, with Fox. Just let herself bask lazily in the sun, rocked by the water… Plus, she’d get to enjoy some real quality time, just as Fino had suggested. And then she also made a mental note of scolding her husband for not thinking of a romantic date on the lake, bad doggie—
One of the pups kicked inside her. “Heh, apparently someone likes the idea, too. It’s a deal. And what about you, Mortimer?”
“Meh, but I get to row. I won’t let a mama-in-waiting do the hard work. Real wolves don’t do that!”
---
“So, why should this Jata Prince guy choose Terrace High over Babylon Gardens?” Volant asked.
They were walking in the park. Before the green-furred terrier could answer, a Frisbee almost hit the Rhodesian Ridgeback. Volant’s paw shot up and he grabbed the thing a moment before the impact.
“Sorry, guys!” the Golden Retriever mix said, waving to them. “We were playing and I didn’t catch it. Can you please throw back my Frisbee?”
The way Volant looked at the thing, you could tell he was sorely tempted to throw it in the opposite direction, so far that it would take days to find it…
“Volannt…” Elpis said in a scolding tone.
The big dog sighed, “Alright, alright. Be nice at least once a week. Jeez, how could you even tell? You can’t see!” Frankness wasn’t an issue with him.
“You hold your breath and start smelling funny when you tense up,” Elpis said. “I do still have my other senses, you know.”
“I’ll be Master’s laughingstock…” Volant muttered, and on those words, he threw the Frisbee back to its owner. Frits bent down to avoid being decapitated and it was the boxer Butch who was hit and sent to the ground.
Elpis heard and shook his head. “You’ll be the death of me…Anyway,” he added, as they resumed walking, “Jata is not choosing a specific place to stay…or, rather, he’s going to be guest at the Milton Manor, that’s a granted, but he’s touring the whole place, city included, to see how far the new animal rights thing goes, and to supervise the activity of the Prometheus nuclear fusion reactor since by then it will be up and running. Plus, there is this snow leopard living here—“
“Flash, yes.”
Elpis nodded. “Yup. “From what I heard from Mom, His Majesty’s will come here especially to meet him. She’s trying to recruit him as the mascot of the party. I never heard her so excited about a mundane event.”
---
Lucky Charm Grove for the Abandoned and the Ferals, Babylon Gardens

‘Excited’ couldn’t describe her condition.
Perhaps that, and an equal dose of ‘terrified’ would do. Or, 20% excited, 80% terrified. She also regretted not contacting her Dad before coming here: Even if she was entitled to more privacy instead of depending on her owner to make an appointment, she really needed him—
Sabrina felt someone squeezing her paw. She felt herself relaxing a bit. “Thank you, Tarot.”
The Pomeranian female, sitting by the bed of the veterinarian’s study, caressed her old friend’s arm. “Don’t thank me. This is what friends are for. And, being a psychic, I know what you are going through. This took a lot of courage.”
Sabrina remained in her position, lying down as if tired from a long fatigue. She felt tired. She didn’t think her emotional distress could go further than the day she almost lost her sweet dog…Plus, the wedding had been postponed sine die, but that was the least of the problems.
She wouldn’t even be here, hadn’t Fido convinced her that it was worth a try, and he was right: Even if he couldn’t give her a litter, even if they couldn’t benefit of the one miracle Spirit Dragon had conceded to Peanut and Grape, he could’ve proposed the siring of a dog litter.
Instead, he wanted his mate to give birth to her own. Fido would gladly sacrifice his progeny to her right to be a mother.
She owed him at least a try toward the truth. If he was right—
This time, she was interrupted by Tarot’s paws rubbing her naked neck. “I don’t know why you’re wasting time with me. You should be out and hunting for a boyfriend, Tarot.”
The Pomeranian shrugged. “I have time for that. Now you need me, just like old times.”
“Yup. That’s you, the Florence Nightingale of souls in need.” Sabrina stuck out her tongue at her in that impish way so typical of her. “If there are good news, you’re SO going to find me the perfect match to produce a healthy litter!”
“Why, I thought you had already considered Maxwell.”
“Puh-leeze! Max is planning to create an offspring with Dragon for when she’s mortal. Heavens spare us from his genetic pool once, twice it would be too much chaos even for Karishad to handle!”
“Well, what about Alcor? He’s really a cute boy.”
“Hmm, yes. He would make a fine donor. Though I must say, and you didn’t hear it from me!, Marvin got those smashing purple eyes. Can you imagine a black kitten with those magnetic eyes?”
“Why not Jata, then? You won’t find lack of enthusiasm there.” This time, it was Tarot who teased her with a wide grin.
Sabrina’s temple pulsed. “I hate you. Bad doggie!”
“Aw, come on: That letter you showed me proves that he’s crazy about you. And your kittens would be royalty: One of them could rule Feraga, one day.”
“Yes, over Fido’s broken heart! He’s already nervous enough for the rumors of Jata’s visit next year, he doesn’t need to fear me…going frisky with a kittenhood friend! Because that’s what Jata is and you’ll stop teasing me!”
“Well, at least I relieved you from earlier stress.”
“By causing me another. Some friend!”
The door opened at that moment. “Ms. D’angelo?” Doctor Stanwick said, a file in his hands. “I have your results.”
---
Ackerman Reserve

“If you didn’t hurt them, what did you do, then, Boadicea?” Miles the wolf asked his female look-alike. He sounded like he was only waiting for her to say the wrong thing to attack.
The she-wolf had waited until every volunteer pet had left the titanic helicopter loaded with enough stuff to feed and cure the whole feral population of that area for two years. Of course, the humans had brought their weapons. “Again, I did nothing: My pack and I just…had a talk with the Opener’s most fervent supporters, that’s all.” She shrugged. “We asked them, why going all the way and come here to beg for your scraps while you could just wait for the Opener and his acolytes to come to your houses with all the goods? What? You don’t think I did something wrong, do you? You should’ve seen how happy they were.” She made a mock modest pose, even batting her eyes to the group.
Zach facepawlmed. “Listen, do you have at least have an idea why we wanted to have everyone here?”
Boadicea waved a paw at the rabbit. “No, o Holy Opener! I was too busy ignoring your Holy Rants!”
“I like her style, even if she could eat me one day,” Jessica whispered to Ink, who in return slapped her behind her head.
“Bad coon! Three Cibum Nostrum and one Journal’s Chant before going to bed!”
“I wanted them here to explain them what to do with their stuff!!” Zach shouted. “There are instructions to follow to properly dispose of their trash! I hope you don’t want to see trash everywhere, like in a humans’ city, right?? This is not only the place where you guys will pick your food and the rest, it also the place where you learn to put your trash in the recycle bins! It is the place where you will be taught to make the best use of your stuff, because you are not used to much of what you’ll receive! Unlike you big fuzzy blockhead, I don’t want to see the others hurt!”
Then there fell a thick silence. Boadicea looked indignant, or rather about to make a meal of Zachary…but then she puffed her cheeks. “Okay, okay, looks like I forgot how you human-educated things are so perfectionist. Sheesh, one can’t even be of help from time to time—“
“Oh, you’ll be of help all right,” Zach said. “You’ll be helping us distribute the stuff. And as for you, birds,” he said to the ones who were perching out to watch the show, “Go spread the gospel—I mean, the voice! I want everybody here yesterday!”
“I won’t take part in this charade!” Boadicea protested. “Not my fault if your liturgy is complicated!”
“But it’s your fault for all the time lost. Luckily it was taken into consideration. Now, if you and your pack are in, I’ll graciously forget this…misunderstanding. Or I’ll make sure you won’t receive not ever a stale crumb.”
“Told you it wouldn’t work, chief!” one of the wolves of the pack said, emerging from a bush together with a female. “That’s the Opener of Ways, not some dumb house pet. No offense, guys.”
“None taken.” Fido rolled his eyes. To Zachary, he whispered, “Where did you get all this nerve? This is so unlike you!”
“After that monster dog almost got me, I got better. Plus, I stuffed myself with NervoCalm.”
The she-wolf approached the helicopter, her wolves following a moment later. “All right, all right. You spoil all the fun!”
---
‘The Den’, River Ridge

“Well, this ‘Sigma Team’ is surely doing a good job,” Alcor commented as the group proceeded along the dedalus of warehouses and abandoned shops. “This is where a lone hunter can find a safe den. I spent a lot of time here.”
Martin would ask him if he detected any trace of his own former presence, but apparently every inhabitant made sure to renew its zoning. Martin’s eyes were almost watering. He was fairly sure he’d need a dozen of shower to get rid of the stench.
They stopped in front of an old butchery shop. “This was my home,” Alcor commented. Standing beside him, the GSD Mizar squeezed his paw. “You were the king of a castle,” she commented. “Wish I had met you, then. Must have been comfy.”
“Not when you’re part of a very competitive pride. Dad?”
Martin was listening to his earpiece. Then he nodded and said, “This is the place. His name is Raptor, and he is the leader of his own pride.”
Alcor frowned. “No good.”
“You know him?”
The white cat nodded. “Didn’t know he was my brother: He has a reputation for being the most vicious. He built his reputation marking in blood both dogs and humans, and challenging his way up to the leadership. His pride is fanatically devoted to him.”
The human seemed to think about that…then he smiled. “Good!”
“Good?”
“It means that he’s alive and well, and that was the most important thing. Helias bred no fool.” He went to the door and opened it. “Now let’s go meet my boy.”

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Last edited by valerio on Sat Jan 25, 2014 3:50 am, edited 2 times in total.



Tue Jan 21, 2014 11:07 am
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
*wakes up in the morning* *checks thread* ANOTHER UPDATE!! *fist pump*


Tue Jan 21, 2014 11:59 am
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
Too many updates...

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Tue Jan 21, 2014 1:01 pm
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
Cerberusx wrote:
Too many updates...

Lies and slander, my good sir.

That being said.. By all means don't overwork yourself, Val.


Tue Jan 21, 2014 1:03 pm
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
Poor Cerberus :lol:
He speaks truly, for he does all of the spellchecking.

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Tue Jan 21, 2014 1:12 pm
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
Oh, I see why that would be a problem for him then. I'd offer help but all I see that resulting in is stepping on toes.


Tue Jan 21, 2014 1:18 pm
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
Yes it would, but right now I'm using a computer so this will get done sooner.

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Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:08 pm
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
Cerberusx wrote:
Yes it would, but right now I'm using a computer so this will get done sooner.


Let it be known that I mean no ill will or disrespect whatsoever. The two of you put a lot of work into this and I am nothing but appreciative for it. I only wish to help if it's appropriate for me to do so. If there's ever a time where you need a break from being the editor, be it one chapter, or what have you, I'd be happy to provide assistance. But you are the rightful person to do so, and I don't want to be a nuisance to anyone. Especially to the people responsible for something I greatly enjoy.


Tue Jan 21, 2014 9:59 pm
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
For the crime of attempting to be helpful we shall all stare at you :shock: (feel the awkwardness... *heh heh heh*)

SUDDEN EXPLOSION OF TEXT!!!
Thank you for your voluminous contribution to our forums, Valerio.
It is well worth the read every time. :D

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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
Obbl wrote:
For the crime of attempting to be helpful we shall all stare at you :shock: (feel the awkwardness... *heh heh heh*)

SUDDEN EXPLOSION OF TEXT!!!
Thank you for your voluminous contribution to our forums, Valerio.
It is well worth the read every time. :D


:o Deploy awkwardness countermeasures *stares back* :shock:


Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:18 pm
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
4.
The Den, River Ridge

There was still the original sign, hanging over the door of the abandoned butchery shop: “CULLEN’S FINEST MEATS!”
“Now let’s go meet my boy,” so said Martin Foster as he opened the door...and then, a white-furred paw closed around his wrist, stopping him. The man looked with puzzlement at his cat. “Alcor, what..?”
Alcor shook his head, slowly. “This is my fight, Dad. If anyone has a chance to convince him, that’s me.”
“Alcor…”
“I mean it. This is not your world. Your words, your intentions, mean nothing to us. And I will not let you risk your own life on my account once again. Raptor is my brother, I will talk to him, and whatever happens to me you will not interfere. Am I clear on that?”
A thousand arguments rose up in Martin’s mind, and his stern gaze showed them…and yet, each one of them broke against the grim determination in Alcor’s golden eyes.
Slowly, the man nodded. “All right. But don’t expect me to let you sacrifice yourself.”
Alcor shrugged, as he removed his collar. “Meh, I expect them to put up a fight, but relax: I survived worse—Mizar, what are you--?”
The white-furred female GSD, too, was taking off her collar. She spoke calmly. “We were born on these streets, we survived our own hell. I won’t let you alone in this moment, not after promising to each other on the brink of death. And don’t give me the ‘our pups’ thing: Dad, Antares and Aldebaran will take care of them.” She gave her collar to Martin. “I’ll make sure this stupid cat is not hurt, Dad. Please, don’t be mad at us.”
Martin bent down and hugged both of them with a sweep of his arms. “I could never be mad at you guys. Just come back in one piece, okay?
“No promises.” Alcor and Mizar disentangled and they walked in. The door closed behind them, slowly.

Inside, darkness was almost absolute, except for the rare light beams coming from the broken, ill-covered windows.
Shadows were alive, here. The light caught an occasional reflex against slit eyes. They moved silently, not even a rustle of tail could be heard.
Except for one voice. “Took you long enough, rich pets.”
A cold voice, filled with spite, and yet so calm, confident. Coming from the counter top. The light illuminated the half left of the feline sitting on the top. A gold eye encased in…blue fur? shone with a sinister sparkle. And if the distance from the top told enough, that cat was closer to a lynx in size. “You are right on one account: I will not kill you. But I will make sure you won’t leave unscathed. Your nerve deserves a nice lesson.” This time an almost sensual nuance accompanied the last words.
The shadows moved. Alcor and Mizar stood back to back, as the other presences surrounded them.
“We didn’t come here to fight,” Alcor answered, trying to remain calm, his instincts screaming for battle. The place had been heavily zoned, coming here represented a capital offense in itself. “We came here to ask you to come with us.”
A chuckle. “And I should, because..?”
“Because you’re blood!” Alcor serrated his teeth. “You are family. I thought you were lost forever, I didn’t even know your name. I worked for this pride! And all this time, while you became the leader, I almost lost my life.
“But a human helped me. He gave me a new life. And I discovered that I had been blinded by prejudice so please, let me help you—Yes, like a human did with me and my mate!”
A growl, this time. Slow and throaty. And then, more feline sounds of disapproval. “Traitor to your own way, traitor to your own nature! What manner of stupidity made you come here, of all places?! Do you really think I’d follow the lead of such a...deviant? And even worse, a slave?!
Alcor’s hackles rose. “Betrayal, you say? Deviant? I am alive, I live a life where I don’t have to fight for my food! I am free to love, while you with your ‘freedom’ in the streets are still prisoner of your pride! I have a future to grow old, to see my mate’s pups become adult, with their own rights! ‘Slave’, you say? Perhaps, and only until a few months ago, but even as we speak pets are no longer objects, no longer ‘domestic commodities’! And…” He forced himself to calm down. “I want you to come live with us, Raptor. Please. It’s not for the politics, it’s because we are family.”
A long silence followed those words. “Family?” Raptor asked, as if that word sounded like an alien concept on his mouth. “On the street there is no ‘family’. There are packs, prides, swarms…There is all we do to help each other to survive. No niceties. That is why I never helped you.”
Alcor’s eyes widened like platters. He barely found the voice to express his stupor. “…You knew?”
***
A flash of lightning. It illuminated the street as the only source of light. The lampposts were just useless, blind decoration.
Then darkness came back. Darkness, and the seemingly endless rain.
He felt cold, miserable. He was…alone. Mama was gone. He knew she wouldn’t be back. She told him time and again never to stay and wait for her, if she wasn’t back by nighttime. She had drilled it into him.
The kitten kept waiting. He didn’t cry, though, oh, no. Mama would scold him until he lost his fur if she caught him crying. Crying was…for wee kittens…
He’d just wait. She’d come back. He’d ignore everything she had told him about these streets being dangerous, about staying up for yourself. She was stronger than everybody else, she’d…come back…
“What the fur are you doing there, runt?”
The kitten jumped so hard that he turned up the plastic box he was hiding in. Surprise was replaced by a fighting stance. An adult would’ve indeed looked threatening. The kitten just look too cute for his own good.
The other kitten laughed at the sight. “Whoa, what a fighter we have here!”
“This my home! Go away!”
The intruder was covered in a silken blue mantle. His golden eyes and body language spoke of self-confidence. His tail didn’t even swish, to show he wasn’t the least concerned with the threat from his peer. “Heh, you call this junk ‘home’?”
“Go. Away.” The white kitten took another step forward.
“Hm, at least you don’t lack guts. Should I wait for your mama before I get worried?”
That seemed to drain the other kitten’s will to fight. The claws retracted. “She’ll be back.” This time, his words lacked the same, earlier confidence.
She had told him.
He knew.
The white kitten sobbed, once. Just once, because it was…silly…
An arm encircled his torso.
“I know a better place to live, kit. They’ll take care of us. And one day we’ll be the mightiest hunters of the block. What do you say?”

***
“You helped me that day,” Alcor said. “You brought me here. I was fed. We practically grew together. Why didn’t you tell me?”
A hiss. “It wouldn't have made any difference, you fool?! I needed someone to back me up, my own loyal soldier, not a snuggly presence! As my brother, you were supposed to be a fighter -but then, you were always soft on everybody else. You learnt how to forage without hurting anyone. You earned your name, Ghost.”
That name stung. Stung of the endless days without food. Days of pain whenever a festered wound would gave him feverish nightmares. Days of not knowing if there would be another sunrise for him.
Days of pain in that cage at the old shelter.
Pain mitigated by the presence of Angel—Mizar. His first flame of hope, the reason that kept him hanging on against the abuses and odds…
Alcor chuckled. He chuckled in a crescendo, until he was laughing so hard that tears streamed from his eyes.
“Did I say anything funny, pet?” Raptor asked warily.
The white cat wiped his eyes. “Depends: It just came to my mind that you have made me what I am today. In fact, I should just walk out of here and tell to whole world as the mighty Raptor forged me into a dog-loving pet! Ain’t it the sweet irony?”
The golden eye dilated and then contracted with rage. “Say again?!”
Alcor took a step forward, just like that night, so many years ago. “I’ll say it as many times as it takes! You could’ve told me we were brothers! We could’ve been a family, then. I would’ve been even more the cautious, and I wouldn’t have ended up in that lager! I wouldn’t have met Angel. So, yes, thank you, you stupid ‘leader’: I am more free as I am than you are!”
Mizar was repeatedly licking her lips, nervously. She felt like panting. “Uh, Alcor? I don’t think this is the best diplomatic course…”
“Diplomacy is for humans!” Raptor growled. “I listened to your pathetic arguments, slave. Now the two of you leave. I promise no one will be hurt, and that’s as far as I’ll go with generosity.” Back was the mirth. “As you can see…brother…I honor the old times spent together—“
“No!”
“No?”
Another step forward. “I will not leave you. I will not abandon you to this life. Not if I can help it. Then we will find our sister, and we’ll be together, as families are meant to be!”
“Our mother separated us to make us grow strong! You should respect her wish!”
“We lived up to her wish! We are no weaklings. We may be all that is left of her inherit—“ He regretted those words even before finishing the sentence!
There was no mistaking the cruelty in Raptor’s voice and eye now. “You are so right, brother. And to make sure that her glorious lineage is not wasted, I should make sure that you stopped wasting your genes with a dog.”
Alcor recognized the unspoken command. At once, the shadows jumped at Mizar! Her mate turned, trying to cover her back, but was hit in the sternum by a powerful punch! Raptor—muffins and cookies, he was fast!
Alcor could only bend down, fighting back the retching sensation. A second later, he felt the air move in front of his face He realized what was coming, and moved his head, closing his eyes…just in time! A ferociously stinging sensation scalded his eyelid and face! A moment later, he knew he was bleeding. In the haze of pain, he heard Mizar fighting back, but he knew she had no chance. Raptor had made a point to train his pride to fight a pack of wolves if necessary—
The door was broken open as two black-furred cannonballs darted in! Raptor made it just in time to retreat from the incoming figure of Aldebaran. The Ukrainian King of the Mountain put himself between Alcor and his opponent, growling horribly.
Antares had decided to be more creative: He grabbed by the tail the cat standing over Mizar…and used him as a living club against another feline!
Two more cats from the Pride attacked the giant dog…only to be grabbed by their heads and smashed against each other! Then Antares grabbed Mizar and helped her up. “Ти в порядку, старша сестра?”, he asked, in his native language as always happened when he was overexcited.
“I’m fine, little brother, heh,” she said, happy that she had gotten away with just a scratch on her back. She thought she was a good fighter, but a lone dog against a pride like this was no match! “Alcor?” He heard fear and rage in her voice. “Are you..?”
“Hurt in my pride, my love,” he said, as Aldebaran helped him up as well. “Just a scratch, he didn’t get my eye.” Nevertheless, he heard her tongue trying to clean his wound. Then, he tried one last time to the shadows, “Raptor. Please…”
“Go away, slave! You paid your insolence with your blood, today, and it will suffice. But you have earned my enmity, today! We know that your master won’t rest until he has destroyed our home as well. After that happens, you’ll regret the Whiteman Dogs didn’t kill him and your precious friends!”
“Brother!” Alcor called out, but it was useless –the place was empty by now. “Please…” The cat hung his head in defeat.
A hand touched his shoulder tenderly. “I’m sorry for interfering,” Martin said. “But I heard what was happening, and…”
Alcor sighed. “No, you did well: Raptor is beyond help.”
“Don’t say so,” Mizar said, hugging him. “Perhaps he only needs to be caged and meet a nice lady.”
“Ha ha. I can only hope our sister didn’t end up like him… By the way, Dad: Do you think that this ‘Sigma Team’ of yours can--?”
The man nodded, and his hand went to the earpiece. “Hey, chief, did you hear the cat?”
“Heard it, saw it and ‘Liked’ it, man!” said the small mouse, climbing up Martin’s shoulder. “We should do this more often! And thank you for trusting us with this first mission on the field!” He was wearing an actual blue police Special Animal Unit Jacket. “Told you, ‘Sigma Team’ rocks as a name!”
Martin smiled. “Easy, Spo. SAU must do, as long as you are law enforcers. Now, back to business?”
Spo shook his head. “Sorry, but no luck. The Team—the Unit did the possible, but there is no trace of anyone related to Helias except Alcor and Raptor. Oh, and by the way, thank you for making a personal enemy out of him: Now all the Gardens’ small critters community must watch out for another assassin! Just when your program was calming down some predator!”
“Not my intention, believe me. And we don’t even know what she looks like…” Far as he had been told, Alcor’s father was white, too. But that was hearsay: Even a speckle of blue in the family could be enough to become predominant in the litter…
But that wasn’t top in Martin’s worry list. Raptor was right: The Den was destined to requalification, which meant making sure the strays were hosted at the shelter first. Martin detested to wreak havoc on these animals’ lives, but it was for their own good. The whole city would then become a shelter, and the strays that chose to stay so could count on a modicum of food and medical help. In turn, that would lower the city’s expenses and soothe the social tensions…
But that belonged to the future.
For now, Martin’s intentions might well have caused a new danger for Babylon Gardens…

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Last edited by valerio on Mon Jan 27, 2014 5:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Thu Jan 23, 2014 2:04 pm
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
Awesome and suspenseful stuff. I hope Raptor will come to see reason. Awaiting the next chapter with much anticipation, as always. :D


Thu Jan 23, 2014 3:28 pm
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
I kind of like the idea of Raptor refusing to give in no matter what. Like he'd rather die then conform to the new changes. It makes for an exciting villain to have cause problems in the story.

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Thu Jan 23, 2014 5:45 pm
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
Cerberusx wrote:
I kind of like the idea of Raptor refusing to give in no matter what. Like he'd rather die then conform to the new changes. It makes for an exciting villain to have cause problems in the story.

I get what you mean, I just hope he isn't a "lost cause".


Thu Jan 23, 2014 6:01 pm
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