Chronicles of the CPDC

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Amazee Dayzee
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Re: Chronicles of the CPDC

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Really wonderful job with how this chapter came out! I hope that you will continue writing! :D
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Re: Chronicles of the CPDC

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"Only up to N2" he says :lol:
*meanwhile Obbl dying trying to study the minute differences between all the uses of 限り* :(
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Wortge
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Re: Chronicles of the CPDC

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College Point Dogs Club, Tuesday 7:19 PM

A crowd of dogs was sitting on the club's many assembled table sets, finishing or having already finished their meals. The buffet table, consisting of three of the regular tables used for the daily lunches at the club connected together, was almost completely empty. An Alaskan Malamute at one of the corners was standing behind a small DJ setup, no more music playing. While most dogs were still sitting, waiting for the final speech, some were already making their way outside or just standing up.

With no announcement, Brian walked up to the podium microphone. Xander and Rob standing behind him. He began his speech. "Good evening, everyone! Hope you all enjoyed our Cinco de Mayo banquet. We've been hard at work organizing it for the last week, and hopefully it was enjoyable for all. As always, feedback is appreciated. Any complaints or suggestions about this event or any future events can be directed to me or to our two co-founders. We can't improve without criticism, after all! The club will be closing for the day in the next ten minutes, please finish your meals and try to not leave things too messy. Remember, the club event schedule for the next week will be revealed on this Thursday. Frisbee catching will be on Saturday! Multiplayer matches on Sunday! Have a good rest of the week! Goodbye!" He stepped off the podium. Casually joining the two co-founders nearby. Some dogs applauded while most just stood up and left.

"So..." Rob started. "Looking forward to cleaning everything up?"

"Things aren't that messy, actually." Xander observed.

"Even with everyone leaving things pristine, there's still the fact we'll have to store all the tables, clean all the plates, move all the chairs. You know?"

"Right. Well, exercise is always good."

"Even with that crazy game you play all the time? Should be enough."

"Did you do well today? By the way." Brian piped in. "Thought you were taking a break."

"I can't take a break if I have to spend the whole day here, staring at that machine! It was great though, I think I'm at my best again."

"See? There's good days and there's bad days, I thought you'd know that at your skill level."

"I know that! I just sometimes want to just avoid the frustration of having a bad one, and then I avoid playing and get worse and my willingness to play again decreases because I know I'll probably play badly due to avoiding practice and it just spirals out of control from there and I have no idea how I'm still active." The Beagle rambled while both Retrievers just looked.

Xander waited a little before talking again. "You know. If I never play that game again, it means I will end it all on a high note."

"It's just a game, dog!" Rob exclaimed. "Don't worry about it so much, do you even play competitively anymore?"

"I could. But the community is pretty much dying. The game's what, twenty years old at this point? People nowadays are into garbage like 'Beat Saber' and 'Osu!' and there's-"

"Club's pretty much cleared up now." Brian interrupted. "We should get started. The sooner we start, the sooner we end."

"That's borderline existential, Brian." Rob commented. "Dibs on disassembling the buffet table."

The three dogs worked on returning the club's first floor to its usual state. Continuously going up and down the stairs to store things in the storage area. Looking for trash and throwing them in the trash bins, emptying them in the club's dumpsters. Rearranging the chairs into their podium-facing positions. Brian suddenly raised his paw and called for attention while in sight of the two other leaders.

"Alright! That's enough for today! I'll leave all the dishwashing for myself, tomorrow."

"That was painless." Rob said between pants. "Haven't been here for the club closing in a while, actually."

"I think this is the first time we three are alone in some time." Xander noted.

Brian paused to think. "Wow. You're right. Last time we three talked alone was... Easter event planning?"

"Maybe." Rob answered. "Let's see... Yeah. All the times we three gathered to talk after that it was on the first floor while the club was still open."

"Us hanging out has been a rarity, thanks to Rob's owner moving." Brian tried to say without offending.

"And every time I come here you're stuck in your room, planning things that will happen months from now." Rob retorted.

"Let's all just take a walk together, alright?" The Beagle suggested. "I'm partly to blame too, being away all the times you two did stuff together."

"I don't think you'd enjoy the movie museum." Rob stated.

"Maybe I would, it's better than nothing. So... Everything set for turning off the lights and locking up the doors?"

"All set!" Brian said in an official tone. "Club's closing up for the night!" He turned the room's lights off and went outside, followed by the two other dogs. Locking the front doors and activating the alarms.

College Point Streets, Tuesday 8:11 PM

Three dogs walked the streets aimlessly, side-by-side. One of them just having finished making a call.

"Shane's probably arriving in thirty minutes or so. Let's try to stay in this general area." Rob informed.

"Right." Brian muttered.

"Now that the dust's settled." Xander began. "Your opinion on your own event, Brian?"

"It's not my 'own event', it's a group effort. I sat down and ate some of the food, I enjoyed the atmosphere. Speaking as a member, I think it was fine. Your opinions?"

"The food's not my thing, not like that's your fault." Rob answered. "But the event itself went really well."

"Pretty good day." Xander finished. "I give it a seven out of ten. Slightly over average."

"Coming from you that's like, a nine." Brian joked. "We shall keep this up then."

"What's the next big thing you gotta prepare for, by the way?" The Beagle asked.

"Uh... I forgot."

"Oh no, sound the alarms!" Xander teased. "What if it's tomorrow?"

"Memorial day is in late May." Rob informed.

"Huh. Probably going to skip that one." The other Retriever said. "There's Father's Day and Independence Day in my mind."

"We're dogs!" Rob exclaimed. "Most of us don't work! What's the point of celebrating all this human stuff?"

"We live in the human civilization, it's assimilation. And it's for fun, not obligation."

"Would fool me. Weekend planning is done with, isn't it?"

"It is. Frisbees are already in the premises and so is the console."

"Would you guys consider having a game night at my home?" Xander shyly cut in. "We just talked about how the three of us haven't been together outside of club business for long."

"Just us three?" Rob questioned.

"Uh... Well, I've been planning it with my cat friends."

"Classic Xander! Would they be OK with us crashing there?"

"They're OK with me, aren't they? It won't be crowded. Are you up for it, Brian?"

"Depends on the day, when is it happening?"

"Xan!" A voice called from behind the group. All three turned, seeing an orange tabby catching up to them.

"Jon!" Xander called. "Why are you never online nowadays?"

"Hey, you three." The cat greeted as he got close to them. "I went to the club to look for Xander, but I guess I was too late."

"We closed it a few minutes ago, yeah." The Beagle confirmed. "What's going on?"

The cat suddenly looked very hesitant. "Uh... The babies at my home are making it very hard for me to catch any sleep and... I wonder if it's OK if I spend a few days at your house."

"I'm well aware of the experience." Rob commented.

"Sure, Jon." Xander answered. "How long is this stay you're planning on?"

"Until I feel better. But just tell me if I have to leave."

"Then just follow me! We three here are waiting to say goodbye to Rob once his owner arrives." The group stopped their walk after Jon joined the group, them just waiting at the side of the road, in silence.

"So much for the rare alone time." Rob started.

"Rob!" Xander yapped. "It's not his fault!"

"Not complaining, just commenting. Shouldn't you ask your owner for permission? It's his house after all."

"Walt doesn't care. He loves cats, in fact."

"Guess you got that from him, then?" Jon asked, teasingly.

"Hey! You were all apologetic just a moment ago. Wait a little before bringing on the banter again."

"Hah! Sorry."

"What were we talking about, again?" Brian reminded.

"Uh... Game night at my place, I don't know how the plans will go with Jon as a roommate."

"I'm fine with you using my room, brother!" Jon piped up. "Are your dog minions joining?"

"Jon! What's wrong with you?! Why are you acting like you just got adopted by us?"

"It's just relief for having a guaranteed calm sleep today! Having some fun with you! Also the prospect of living with a dog roommate just awakened my 'cat with a dog brother' genes, it's weird."

"Well. Tone it down, OK? Pretend you're some poor, almost-abandoned cat while I tell Walt everything at least."

"10-4!" The Tabby replied.

"Is that even the right one?"

The group stood in silence for several minutes, Brian observing Xander and Jon. Rob watched every car that passed by, expecting his owner's ride back home.

Brian suddenly broke the ice. "So, Jon. We haven't really met a lot, how are things with Xan?"

"You should ask me that a few days from now, I guess." Jon began. "We live very close and usually play games together. I also introduced him to my friends who sometimes play games, and sometimes go out."

"Oh. So you're the one who started the whole cat thing."

"Haha! I guess I did. As much as everyone teases him about it, I was the only cat he befriended and all the other cats are technically my baggage."

"I know it's funny and all." Xander piped in. "But I never chased cats around asking for their cat friendship. Just met them via Jon here."

"Didn't you show up with a cat during our last game night?"

"What? Oh! That's a club member's roommate. She kinda latched onto me in hopes of meeting new cats. After finding out about me being in the group."

A car finally pulled up next to Rob, the sound of the doors unlocking being heard.

"See you in a few days then, guys!" Rob waved. He got inside the car and quickly departed.

"So you're finally sharing that fancy room, huh?" Brian patted Xander. "Hope it all goes well. See you around, Jon!" The club leader started walking towards his house, leaving the remaining dog and cat.

Xander smiled nervously, looking at Jon. "Right... I guess it's time to go to uh... 'Our'? House?"

"Let's go brother. Play quietly and don't disturb my sleep this night, OK?" They both started walking.

"You're enjoying this way too much, aren't you?"

"We're both only sons, OK! Well, only pet-wise for me, at least. I guess I've been lonely."

"Remember that loneliness and put up a sad face, OK? Walt might like cats but a cat coming in talking about how he can't stand his home anymore while joking around and laughing is a little suspicious."

"Well said, bro!" He suddenly switched to a begging face.

"Oh, it's just like that Shrek movie! That's a good one."

Stevenson Residence, Tuesday 8:46 PM

Xander unlocked and opened the front door, getting in with Jon closely tagging along. Walt was at his usual place at the living room computer desk.

"Hi, Walt." Xander greeted after closing the door. "No need for dinner today, alright?" Jon stood behind him, looking guilty.

"Alright, did the party go well?" He turned to see Xander, sighting the cat behind him. "Oh, you brought Jon with you? Isn't it a little too late?"

"Is it?" Xander replied. "We've gone for later times before. Anyways, Jon will be sleeping at my room for the foreseeable future. His house has loud human babies and it's turned intolerable." He already started walking out of the living room, towards his room, Jon still following.

"Alright. Hope you enjoy it here, Jon." The human turned his attention back to his computer.

The duo entered Xander's room, The dog turning the lights on and booting his computer up while Jon made himself comfortable in Xander's bed.

"You were a bit assertive back there, weren't you?" Jon brought up. "I was expecting you to at least ask. So much for having to make a 'sad face'."

"Walt would never mind, I already told you. Just didn't want you bantering with me in from of him."

"Is that the green light to start then? Also, 'foreseeable future'? Really? I'm not spending a month here!"

"Just covering my bases, if you go back tomorrow it's fine. If you only go back next year at least I said something that could indicate that."

Jon grabbed one of the controllers on the dresser with the consoles, starting to play a game. Xander just used his computer. Both pets started chatting, without looking at each other.

"Could you imagine me living here for a full year, though?" Jon started.

"I mean, you have the say on when you return. Are things that bad at home?"

"It's complicated. Mom and Dad had their twins, I pretty much don't exist for them now. I never thought I was the type to get lonely, but I guess I am."

"Similar thing happened to Rob, you know? His owners had a kid and it went much worse. The woman started ignoring Rob, the man still gave Rob more attention than his own child. That split ended up causing a divorce."

"Really? I knew they divorced, I didn't know it was over Rob."

"Probably wasn't. That probably just aggravated things. I've only heard the story from his mouth, after all."

"And how is Walt here like?"

"You're here to avoid all the noise, right? Not to get some affection you're not getting from your humans? Because Walt just kinda exists. He buys and prepares food, he talks to me. But overall we just share the house and I'm just a relic of his childhood he has to now care for for most of his life."

"I'm fine with just having a place to sleep. Just pointing out that if I were to spend a long time living here instead of there, they wouldn't really care."

"Aw, don't be like that. It's probably just a phase."

"Where am I sleeping, by the way? Let's get that clarified before the time comes."

"Uh... We could both sleep at my bed, but if anyone becomes aware of that nobody will look at me with the same eyes again. I could grab some of my blankets and make a makeshift pet bed on the floor. If you're OK with that. I could sleep on it too, I won't mind."

"Always the altruist, huh? I can sleep on your bed today then. Just to make up for all the sleep I've lost. We'll alternate later."

"Good. I'll tell Walt to buy a cat bed later."

"No, no! Does that mean I'll be permanently relegated to it?"

"Already making demands, little brother?" Xander teased. "I'll sleep on it too. We'll get it just to have an actual bed."

"Of course you wouldn't mind sleeping on the cat bed."

"I'd never, meow."

"And what's the routine here like?"

"Walt works a weird shift, five-to-twelve. He goes to sleep very early and you shouldn't make too much noise, you know that already. I wake up around eleven, make myself breakfast. Go outside in the afternoons sometimes. Walt's OK with giving car rides once he's back, around noon. Sometimes I make myself lunch or dinner, sometimes Walt tells me he's preparing food for me too and I shouldn't bother."

"I see. Very independent compared to my home, even with the babies getting all the attention. I don't know how to prepare food."

"Pffh, and does it look like I know? It's just microwavable stuff. Or even dog food."

"Oh. Well, I have no experience with that either. What time to set the microwave to and how to transfer the food to a plate."

"I'll teach you, bro. How do you manage to be ignored and spoiled at the same time?"

"You're warming up to the brother thing awfully quick, aren't you?"

"You started it. I'll probably stop once the novelty wears off."

Xander and Jon's Bedroom, Stevenson Residence, Wednesday 10:57 AM

The Beagle woke up slowly. Twisting and turning while hugging the pile of blankets he was using as a bed. Being a little weirded out by the unfamiliar feeling of sleeping on the floor before remembering his circumstances.

"Right. That happened." He thought.

He got up and stored all the blankets back in one of the drawers. Checking his bed to see an orange tabby sleeping peacefully. Xander turned his computer on and left the room, heading to the kitchen. He opened one of the counter doors and grabbed a corn flake package, a glass cup and a small bowl. Later filling the bowl with corn flakes and the cup with some apple juice from the fridge. The Beagle left for his room after preparing everything, cautiously carrying the cup of juice and the bowl of cereal.

He returned to his computer and idly browsed the Internet, stopping to take sips and grab handfuls of corn flakes occasionally.

"Morning." A voice came from the bed.

"Morning, Jon."

"What time is it?"

Xander glanced at the computer's time display. "11:16."

"Wow, haven't woken up this late in a while."

"It was a good night, wasn't it? Hopefully my eating didn't wake you up."

"It didn't. I woke up when you were away."

The cat got up from the bed, slowly walking towards the bedroom exit.

"Do you need help with making breakfast?" Xander offered.

The tabby looked at Xander's food sitting on his computer desk. "You eat cereal without milk?"

"Yeah. I hate milk. Aren't cats lactose intolerant?"

"Not me at least. If you could assist me I'd be grateful. Mom always just leaves my breakfast right by my bed."

"Alright." He got off the computer. "I'll show you around the kitchen."

The dog opened many of the kitchen's drawers and doors, telling Jon where each type of product was stored. The still sleepy cat trying to memorize everything.

"So, any idea on what you want for today?" Xander finally finished.

"Hm. Mom usually grills small sandwiches and offers them with milk."

"With the sandwich toaster? I could try that."

"I don't mean to demand much, Chef. I'm OK with a simpler meal."

"Sandwiches should be like, 'difficulty two'. Can't hurt to try!"

"Maybe just cereal, like you just made. It's just pouring stuff into a bowl after all."

"We don't have milk for you, Walt has intolerance. You could try dog food, not even joking. It's just pouring too."

"Heh. I remember thinking eating that would transform me into a dog as a kit."

"Talk about making things here even weirder. I'll make you your sandwiches. OK, bro?"

"And I'll just watch the disaster from a distance."

"Rooting against me would be against your own interests. Let's see, I think bread is stored here." He opened a counter door full of plastic packages, then flipping the sandwich toaster open and putting two loaves on the press.

"Cheese and ham, please." The cat ordered.

Xander opened the fridge and removed a block of ham and a block of cheese from it. Struggling to cut them into slices with a slicer. He put the slices on the bread loaves and finished with another two loaves, closing the toaster. He pressed a button and a red light on it lit up.

"That was a tutorial, by the way." The Beagle declared. "Hope you paid attention and can replicate that in all these next days."

"You're not even done yet, it's still cooking."

"The grill turns itself off, I believe. At least grab your plates and pour yourself some drink."

Jon grabbed a small plate and put it on a counter, then opened the fridge to look for drinks.

"Right, no milk." The cat remembered. "Orange juice, grape juice. I'll just drink some water."

"Bland, tasteless and literally free! The drink of champions!" Xander boasted.

"You're quite lively aren't you? Been up for long?"

"Twenty minutes or so. I think spending my mornings alone for so long has bottled up some extroversion."

"Then proceed to unleash that all on me, bro!" Jon put an arm on Xander's shoulder after placing his cup of water next to his plate. "Because I really need a brother right now!"

"I thought you were running away from all the noise at your home."

"I am! There's no noise here, and there's the possibility of me getting a temporary brother who's always up for some brotherly ribbing! I'm fine with getting that extra."

"You think I'd be up for that? Once your food's done I'm going back to my computer and probably not saying another word until I have to wish you a good night."

"Then try that! I challenge you to never say a word until it's night!"

"Oh, so that's the ribbing, huh? We'll talk like brothers, just don't expect me to always be running behind you talking."

"I'm a fellow introvert too, alright? I'm just finding living together with an old-time friend pretty exciting."

The sandwich maker being watched by Xander turned its light off, prompting him to open it and check the sandwiches inside. He put them on Jon's plate after checking if it was too hot to touch.

"There you go, kitty. I'm off to my room." Xander started walking rapidly back to his bedroom.

"*Our* room." Jon corrected.

"Just checking if you'd correct that."

Jon entered his room carrying his breakfast while Xander was already back at his computer, finishing his. The orange tabby put his food on the nightstand next to the bed and started turning on one of the consoles.

A few minutes passed before Jon spoke up. "Is it OK if I log in to my account on your 'PS4'? I have to download a bunch of games."

"Go ahead, I only used this thing for a few exclusives. Hard drive is pretty much empty."

"Alright, I'll bring some of my stuff in my old house later today. My cat bed, games, maybe some food."

"Your '*old* house'? You're making this stay look more permanent every time you mention it."

"Nothing's stopping it from becoming my current house again... Also, I've mentioned my parents' plan of moving back to their little Texas hometown, haven't I?"

"Yeah, you were quite worried. Is that becoming more likely?"

"Maybe. They've always wanted to come back ever since they moved here, when I was a kitten still. These last months they started talking about it more and more, since they got really scared by how the epidemic hit New York. I make it clear that I don't want that at all. But as I've said, I'm pretty much invisible to them now. They want their kids growing in a big house surrounded by the open fields and my wishes of staying here are irrelevant."

"That's rough. And I think I can guess why you're bringing this up now."

"Easy to guess, isn't it? If they decide to move I'll demand they transfer ownership to your dad. And since I'd be living here for some time by then I don't think they'll even care."

"Cunning plan, cat!" Xander teased. "Are the loud babies just an excuse then?"

"Oh, absolutely not. It's still hell there."

"I wouldn't mind sheltering my old cat friend. And Walt always wanted a cat."

"Really?!"

"Well... He's never said that. But I vividly remember he switched to being more of a cat person when he was about ten and kinda resented having a dog. He'd hide his enthusiasm, but I think he'd love getting a cat around my age right now."

"That actually makes me so glad!" Jon suddenly cheered. "So if everything I fear happens I'm still not leaving New York! I'm so relieved! Thank you so much, potential brother!"

"Whew. If things were stressing you so much you should've told me about them earlier."

"I didn't want to make my problems someone else's. And it just seemed like an unsurmountable problem, you know? Mom and Dad want to move away from everything, what can I do? I'm just a cat."

"And that's how you decided to run away from everything."

"The plans you come up with at 3 AM, crying while trying to sleep with the sound of screaming humans and babies, thinking of your doomed future."

"I like how you separated babies and humans."

"How can those loud, brain-dead things grow up to be the dominant species of the planet? It's crazy!"

"Are pets any better, though?"

"I don't know. Was I that loud and obnoxious back then? Jeez."

Posting a little late again. I've been trying to keep a writing routine by only posting old chapters here after finishing a new one, and it's actually helping. The full text is now hovering at around 113K words, which I never thought I'd reach.

I remember being worried I was already running out of ideas when I wrote the "Rob loses his car privileges and hangs out with Xander" chapter, to think I managed to write almost over 100000 words after that makes me feel more hopeful.

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Amazee Dayzee
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Re: Chronicles of the CPDC

Post by Amazee Dayzee »

Nice job on this chapter as it is just as great as the others! You really are a very great writer! I hope that you continue to write after the story is done.
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Nathan Kerbonaut
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Re: Chronicles of the CPDC

Post by Nathan Kerbonaut »

I'll pretend I didn't hear Xander's Beat Saber jab :lol: Great chapter! Xander and Jon are entertaining and sweet roommate-brothers.

Wortge
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Re: Chronicles of the CPDC

Post by Wortge »

College Point Dogs Club, Wednesday 1:40 PM

The club's first floor was very empty the day after the Cinco de Mayo party. Less than ten dogs populated the area, mostly at the arcades and podium area. Brian was talking to a yellow-furred mutt.

"'Frisbee launchers'? That's a thing?" Brian questioned.

"Yeah! You don't have that set up for the weekend?"

"I would if I knew that existed... I'm a bit ashamed to admit that I didn't research the whole frisbee idea at all."

"It's alright, I'm not asking for it. Was just wondering."

"You know what? I promise I'll get one of those things before Saturday! It's the least I could do!" Brian proudly declared.

"Really? Hope you can get it then. Well, thank you for the events, as always. Gotta go now!" She bid farewell to Brian.

"Hope to see you this weekend! Thanks for informing me!" He waved.

The Retriever started thinking to himself. "Frisbee launchers? Way to make everything automated in this day and age."

"I wonder if I could automate event planning." He continued. "Have one of those online predictive text generators Xander showed me come up with fun stuff."

Brian noticed Xander approaching the club's main doors. "Speaking of that Beagle..."

"Hey Brian." Xander greeted without even looking at him.

"Hey."

Xander made it to the arcades quickly. Only two of the machines were occupied, both machines hosting Fighting games the Beagle wasn't a fan of.

"No StepMania today, no StepMania today." He thought. "It's never, *ever*! A good idea to have sessions two days in a row. There's scientific proof of that! Like, seriously. I read a long forum post about that once."

"Stop staring at it! Don't even, dare! Set your disgusting feet on that thing! That's for tomorrow, that's for next week, that's for next year, maybe! Let's play one of these racing games and forget about my downfall at stupid arrow stomping. Maybe if toda-"

"Xander! Are you going to play that game again today?" A cheerful voice interrupted his thoughts.

"Gah! Oh, jeez Peanut. I thought I was the only person in the world for a sec there."

"Are you?"

"Am I what?"

"You're playing the arrow game today?"

"No! I mean, no. Negative, non, kekkou desu, nein. I'll play *this* instead." He took a seat on a racing arcade without even looking at it.

"Oh, this is the multiplayer one! I could race you in it." He took a seat on an identical arcade next to it.

"I guess you could... I haven't touched this one in a while."

Both dogs eventually started a race together. Peanut comfortably winning.

"Come on, Xander! Are you letting me win?" The brown dog taunted.

"Even you are taunting me today?! I'm sorry for not meeting your expectations! I'm just avoiding playing the 'arrow game' so I don't feel bad for not meeting *my* stratospherically high expectations!"

"What?"

"I need to get away from the arcade corner for a second. Sorry." The Beagle left the arcade corner and headed outside, leaning on the building's front wall.

Peanut soon appeared next to him, looking actually concerned. "Everything OK, Xander?"

"Oh, sorry for that. I'm actually fine. Had to leave my home for a while for my brother to do some computer stuff and I forgot how tempting that game is. If I start to play it I will do horribly and kinda ruin my day."

"It's just a game, Xan! If a game gets to you just remem-" Peanut's eyes widened as he registered something in the Beagle's previous sentence. "What do you mean 'your brother'?! I thought you lived alone! Do you mean someone from your litter is visiting?"

"Oh wow did I really just blurt that out." Xander quickly muttered. "It's complicated. I have *someone* at my house, and I'm here at the club because of that."

"Who's that 'someone'?" A new voice came from the side, Xander and Peanut noticing an orange tabby newcomer.

"Make that 'no one'. Uh, I mean. Hello, Jon." Xander smiled.

"It's nice to meet you, Jon" Peanut greeted.

"Nice to meet you too, dog." Jon turned to Xander. "Is this one a friend or some random?"

"Be more corteous, please. This is Peanut, Grape's roommate."

"'Grape'? Who?"

"That purple cat from your last game night."

"Oh! Your date for that night?"

"Really?! Knock that off already!"

"Just joking, bro. I know you're known for your extreme aversion to a love life."

"Behave yourself in front of my friends, OK? Or I'm kicking you out to that Texas farm by myself!"

"You dated Grape?!" Peanut suddenly questioned.

Xander turned back to Peanut. "Don't mind him. Jon's an old friend of mine. I brought Grape to meet his friend group once."

"Oh, right! Grape's cat friends. I went out with them once."

"Yeah, I heard it ended with you crying on a beach."

"Don't bring that up! I was lonely!" Peanut defended.

"This dog was in one of the meetups?!" Jon exclaimed. "How did I miss that?!"

"It's all very weird, OK?!" Xander replied. "He asked me about Grape coming to my house one day and I told him she was there to meet my friend group. Then I told him he could meet them if he wanted to and he actually went and did it!"

"The absolute madman! I gotta go over the chat logs for that!"

"Let's go home, Jon!" Xander hurried. "I have no more reason to be here. Bye, Peanut!" The cat and dog roommates left together suddenly, together, leaving a confused Peanut.

Stevenson Residence, Wednesday 2:09 PM

The new, uncertainly temporary roommates were back in their room. The dresser now had a duplicate console in it, Jon currently playing it. A proper cat bed also could now be found on the floor next to the bed. Both pets were talking while Xander used his computer and Jon played his video games. An interaction that almost felt like routine, despite it only being the second day of their house sharing.

"And then he started missing his old girlfriend back home and started crying." Xander continued. "She visited them about a week later and I think they actually talk to each other frequently now. Makes me feel kinda bad for the guy, actually."

"And that's why I really don't want to move." Jon responded. "Abandoning all my friends like that. And cod knows what kind of friends I would find in almost rural Texas."

"What would be the worse part? Leaving your friends or living in the middle of nowhere?"

"Ooooh, man... I don't want to sound like Rob here, but living in Texas just sounds like a horribly boring fate."

"Hey! At least you'd get to brag to everyone about how big your state is!"

"That's the one thing they have going for them, isn't it?"

"I'm glad nobody from Texas is hearing this."

"I guess my Texan parents are making me bitter." Jon briefly remembered his interaction with Xander outside the club during the afternoon. "Do you think Peanut realized we're living together, after that thing at the club?"

"I don't think so. Didn't we just talk about Grape for a bit? You know? I want to start acting like we've always been brothers and see how people react when they find out we actually kinda are."

"I was going for that too! Guess we have that brotherhood sync already."

"I mean, the idea only came to mind once you started calling me 'brother' the second I accepted you sleeping here. Just the idea of me suddenly having a housemate, it's pretty crazy."

"Crazy for me too. But I'll choose a dog around my age over babies any day."

Xander paused the conversation for a while before changing the subject. "Do you think my planned game night might still happen? I scheduled it like, immediately before you moved in."

"Will I get in the way? I'd probably go even if I were still living with my parents. Didn't you even invite your dog club leader friends?"

"I really feel like cancelling it. But I can't just say it's because you're my new brother, I have to only imply that."

"Because that'd be funny?"

"Yeah. Probably."

'Cats of Queens' Discord Server, Wednesday 8:11 PM


ZentrixSM Today at 8:11 PM
Just updated #meetups with some info about my planned game night
that info being that it's cancelled
it all comes tumbling down
like tears in rain


_Ksk_ Today at 8:13 PM
Oh
I was looking forward to that
That's a shame, Zentrix
But understandable


鬱鬱鬱鬱鬱鬱鬱 Today at 8:14 PM
what, did your dog club prohibit it or something
are they keeping you busy the same day?


ZentrixSM Today at 8:16 PM
lol no, they were actually invited
It's just that, things are changing
way too fast
and I gotta hold on for some time
and handling a game night during that is a bit careless


_Ksk_ Today at 8:17 PM
Fair


OldArch Today at 8:17 PM
What does that even mean
sounds super ominous
are you sick?


ZentrixSM Today at 8:19 PM
No I'm not
don't worry about me
worry about the game night
because it's dead


鬱鬱鬱鬱鬱鬱鬱 Today at 8:21 PM
lol
hopefully another one happens soon
feel like meeting you guys next time
after like a year


ZentrixSM Today at 8:22 PM
We'll see
my brother's been getting a bunch of new games
I could go for something big
have all you nerds over


鬱鬱鬱鬱鬱鬱鬱 Today at 8:22 PM
hype


_Ksk_ Today at 8:23 PM
Somehow I didn't know you had a brother
hope your next plan goes well, don't push yourself


N3rveX Today at 8:25 PM
He doesn't lol
he's just being silly as usual
calling his dad a brother


ZentrixSM Today at 8:27 PM
calling Walt a dad is weirder than calling him a brother
just imagining a human being related to my birth
no thanks


9MinutesJon Today at 8:29 PM
Zen has a brother, actually
House-sharing brother, that is
Although he's part of a litter too, I assume


N3rveX Today at 8:30 PM
wow look who's back
Just to tell lies
on the internet
Xander has always been a lone pet
I can't believe I'm unironically arguing this


ZentrixSM Today at 8:32 PM
My brother is a very real dude
but I'm here to cancel game night
not argue about my bro's existence


OldArch Today at 8:35 PM
I mean
I've been to your house many times
So if you've got a brother holed up in there
he's an even bigger shut-in than chinese characters guy


鬱鬱鬱鬱鬱鬱鬱 Today at 8:37 PM
wow sorry for not driving to your houses all the time
ill have you know i go outside at least once every 3 days


9MinutesJon Today at 8:39 PM
I was very shut-in recently, actually
But things are changing, as it's been said
And it's for the better
Sorry about disappearing suddenly
I was still lurking a lot, at least


_Ksk_ Today at 8:43 PM
Good to know, Jon
Very good to have you back
Were your humans locking you up along with them?
Heard some people are doing that, just unnecessary torture imo


9MinutesJon Today at 8:44 PM
No. It's unrelated to the pandemic
Mostly
Garfield's actually an essential worker
So while he probably already got sick at some point at least he's not out of a job
Or out of a life


_Ksk_ Today at 8:45 PM
Right
Just stay safe
I've heard cats can get very mild cases of that stuff
So stay away from the apes as much as you can


9MinutesJon Today at 8:46 PM
Yeah, I'm managing
I'm staying away from them for other reasons already
Just want to forget about Garfield and Melissa for some time


_Ksk_ Today at 8:46 PM
Why?
Actually, nevermind
Sorry for bringing up your personal life


9MinutesJon Today at 8:47 PM
It's alright, Monarch
Thanks for caring


College Point Dogs Club, Monday 2:33 PM

Brian was boredly using the computer at the upper floor, seemingly waiting for something. He soon saw Xander entering the room.

"Hey, Brian." The Beagle casually greeted as he neared the Retriever's desk.

"Hello. Are you still avoiding coming here because of the dance machine downstairs?"

"Why do you assume it's because of that?"

"Are you?"

"No. I got over it. Everything here going well? Need some help with maintenance?"

"I need some help with something else. I'm meeting Rob today and need someone to run the club in my place. I usually leave that for Hope or Cleves but today I finally have a co-founder for that. Good timing on your part!"

"Oh, OK. I don't really have much experience overseeing things or whatever you do."

"Weren't you in charge of the club during my vacation earlier this year?"

"Yeah, but I just opened the club and went home until it was time to close it."

"What?! You promised you'd run it, Xan!"

"And I did! It was functioning and people were able to use it!"

"Maybe I am wasting my time managing this thing." Brian sighed while facepalming. "None of that today, OK? Check today's attendance, manage the food levels and always be here to answer any inquiries, alright? I'm heading off now." Brian hastily left his desk and went downstairs.

"Bye." Xander waved, trying to process his new unexpected task. He sat down on the club's computer.

He began thinking. "Alright. This PC is pretty much Brian's, barely remember using it."

"The password is, uhh... 'at one A V eight'?... Oh thank dog, crisis averted there."

"So... Today's attendance... Very bold of Brian to assume I can tell club members' names, I think Gaspar was here today."

"...I can't do this. How do I not work but make it look like I did work? I've heard humans are good with that."

"Never knew both me and Rob complaining about his workaholic tendencies would backfire like this. Now, where are all the spreadsheets?"

"Here we go. Attendance levels... Past days... 35, 29, 83, 68... Maybe I should interpolate that? Bad idea, today's a Monday. That's not supposed to be linear."

"Let's go with 28, today felt like a 28. Actually, that's too low. Let's go with 37, makes Brian a little happier."

"So, Gaspar was here. Let's check that. The rest, I'll just check some of the people that were here Sunday."

"Devilish. I love being corrupt. Now, food levels? Let's skip that, there's food places nearby."

"And now... 'answer any inquiries'." He heard someone using the stairs leading to his room. "Oh no."

Xander tried to look busy and greeted the visitor without looking away from his monitor, as Brian usually did. "Hello, how may I help?" He asked in an almost telemarketer-like tone.

"Hey Xan. Finally kicked out Brian from leadership?" The very familiar voice of his old-friend-turned-roommate said.

"What are you doing here, Jon?" Xander asked while trying to keep his composure.

"Checking in on my brother, y'know? The usual. I thought you were coming here for the dancing game."

"I came here to maybe help Brian with arcade stuff and he just ditched me for Rob and threw all his work at me. I have no idea what I'm doing."

"You're a reluctant acting president then?"

"Yeah. I don't think the club will collapse because of it." Xander gave a signal for Jon to come to his side. "Check this out, Jon. This is 'Dog HQ' right here."

"Is this all the info on the dog club members?" The tabby asked, looking at a list of names with signup info.

"Yeah. Just some interesting data. I don't think it's classified or anything. But remember privacy is still a thing."

"Barely."

"Let's save the political commentary for when we're home. Want to check anything out here? I guess I have to kill time until Brian comes back."

"Yes, look for info on a dog named 'Xander'."

"'Xander', huh?" The Beagle pretended to ponder. "Here he is." He showed the club file for himself.

"Member number three, 'Co-founder', fancy."

"The power almost gets to me, you know?" Xander deadpanned.

"One inch away from world domination. By the way, opinions on this?" He pointed at a line stating that Xander had no known housemates.

"I'd change it if it were official. Sorry, son-of-my-mother. I kinda butchered Brian's data for today and don't want to then go on and add technically inaccurate info."

"Brian is one of the few people who know about us living together now, isn't he?"

"Him and Rob. And they probably assume it's very temporary since all they saw was you complaining about not getting sleep."

"Can I de-butcher Brian's data for you? Just tell me what he wanted you to do. Maybe I can!" He boasted, slightly sarcastically, pointing at himself.

"Do you know every club member by name?"

"Don't their profiles in the member list have photos?"

"Some of them."

"Then there we go! No need for that."

"You're going to match their faces one-by-one?"

"I'll try to, my dear lazy brother! You have to register the currently attending members, right?"

"Yes, and I'm not asking how you were able to get that just from my question. If you also find a way of 'managing food levels' or whatever, I'm letting you sleep on my bed for a week."

"A bribe huh? Playing that president role well."

"I guess it is. Let's try this together then. A dog and a cat try running the dog club."

"A cat and a 'honorary cat', I believe."

"Whoa, that's an old reference."

Xander went downstairs and took a picture showing the entire first floor. He went back up and showed it to Jon.

"These are the club members present at the moment, let's try to go over them." Xander instructed.

"Let's start with the Terrier, they stand out compared to the rest."

"That's a 'she' by the way."

"Interesting name." Jon joked. "Darn, there's four Terriers registered, they all look the same!"

"It's the third one, 'Star'. I'm pretty sure about it. Do we dogs really all look the same to you?"

"I really don't want to imply that. But look at this!" Jon rapidly cycled through the four different Terrier profiles. "How is there any difference?"

"I can easily tell cats of the same breed apart! Why is that an issue for you?"

"Don't compare your sick cat love to my general tolerance towards dogs!"

"But you even admit it's your fault most of my friends are cats!"

"Did I teach you to get so much into cats you could-"

"A member's coming!" Xander interrupted. "You deal with that! I'm gonna hide in the locker labyrinth!" The Beagle ran to the storage lockers organized in the room's other side.

"In the what?!" Jon soon noticed a Shiba Inu entering the room.

"Who are you?!" She asked, confused.

"Uh... I'm Jon, temporary club president."

"You're a cat! Where's Brian?"

"He's out partying with his traveler friend in the City. I'm the one in charge for this afternoon."

"I can't believe that dog! Now even the dog club is being run by a cat!"

"What do you mean 'even'? Are cats taking things over now? Please just tell me what you're here for."

"One of the arcades froze! I swear I remember Xander coming here a few minutes ago."

"Maybe he's here! Go check the locker labyrinth there." The tabby pointed at the other side of the room.

"This is going to be some cat prank isn't it?" She grumbled while walking towards the occluded part of the maze. Quickly sighting the Beagle. "Xander! Why are you hiding here?!"

"I was about to go downstairs to fix things!" He excused. "Gotta go!" He ran downstairs.

The Shiba started heading out of the room too, confused. "Not sure what kind of cat magic you did there. But thanks, I guess."

"You're welcome."

Downtown New York City, Manhattan, Monday 3:58 PM

Brian and his fellow Golden Retriever friend entered a fancy-looking restaurant. The restaurant occupying the ground floor of an old, ornate skyscraper. Both dogs were greeted and seated by a human maître d'hôtel.

Brian started speaking as they both were done with their orders. "I'm almost afraid to just casually enter these really fancy places like you do. Do you think we'd be greeted like this if humans currently weren't banned from gathering inside restaurants?"

"We definitely would. Rich dogs eat out without humans all the time here. Just be collared, not dirty and try to walk very elegantly. Nobody will assume you're a stray looking for scraps like that."

"Even with all that I'd assume they'd think we don't have the money."

"Maybe at fancy restaurants in smaller towns it'd be a good idea to walk in with a few one hundred dollar bills in hands, just to be safe."

"That just looks like unnecessary flexing, you ever done that?"

"I pretty much never do stuff alone during trips, but I'd do that if needed." Both dogs waited a few minutes before Rob started again. "How's your family doing, by the way? Sorry if this topic's still verboten."

"It was never forbidden." Brian laughed. "Just don't feel like ever sharing it. Ethan's planning on moving out, Rita's almost finishing middle school. Of course the virus put everything on hold for the time being."

"Are they still 'useless' and 'insufferable'?"

"I haven't used those words, have I? They don't really hate me for no reason anymore, no."

"Now they hate you for a reason."

"Har har har. They leave me alone most of the time. Took them long enough."

"Sometimes I just feel so glad Shane's love life collapsed gloriously. I can't imagine having to share a house with a human kid for any longer, planning our trips became so much more complicated when we had to start taking into account Shane's wife and kid."

"Is that really the only reason why you ended up rooting for the divorce? Don't be too selfish, Rob. You shouldn't want the separation of a family just because things are more incovenient for you."

"It wasn't the only reason, come on now. Sarah kept complaining to Shane every time he did something nice to me that didn't also include the kid. And you know she's originally from Omaha, right? The amount of times she tried to convince Shane, and sometimes even *me*, to move to that ***ing hole. Because, you know, 'cheaper houses', 'more space', 'tranquility', always the same reasons. Always as if they're pulled straight out of those stupid 'Why I Hate New York and Decided to Move Out After Renting a Tiny Midtown Apartment for a Year.' opinion pieces you read everywhere."

"I see... Omaha isn't exactly a small town, you know?"

"I don't really have anything against it, excuse the little outburst, I've been there and enjoyed it. Let me just quote what everyone who visits New York says, but direct it to them instead: 'Great place to visit, terrible place to live.'"

"And do your parents still talk after everything?"

"The humans?"

"Yeah, of course."

"They do. Things turned out amiable in the end. I have no interest in ever seeing their faces again though."

"It wasn't amiable for you?"

"No. But who cares? I'm the dog."

A waiter arrived with a big plate containing the ordered food and drinks. Both dogs getting their food served.

Brian began speaking after eating a little of his food. "This is really good, how does it compare to the lunch you had with Xander?"

"Different circumstances, that was roulette. Which is a way of experiencing every food, from worst to best."

"This isn't roulette?"

"No! Do you think I do that every day? I checked the reviews for this place and they were good."

"It better be at this price range."

"Having money problems, Brian? I know that topic is even more verboten than family."

"What do you mean? We talk about our finances all the time."

"Those are club finances. I mean personal finances."

"Oh, it's fine. I have nine hundred and ten something."

"That's pretty comfortable. I thought you'd get a little more from your work and all, that's actually less than my allowance savings."

"Uh. That's in the thousands, I mean."

Rob almost did a spit take. "What?! You have almost a million just lying around?!"

"What did you expect? I'm leading an entire subsidiary from home as my work. And the thing's just growing exponentially in revenue under the current economic landscape."

"There's nothing shady going on behind the P.I.S., is there? You never knew me if you ever get arrested, alright?"

"Hold on for a second Rob. It's all legal and ethical, unless you're against the core concepts of capitalism."

"Alright... In a few years you could even buy your own place, you know?"

"Not in the plans. But yeah. I've checked it and it's possible."

Both dogs finished their food in silence. "How's Xander back there?" Rob suddenly questioned after finishing the food.

"Don't really know, he's acting really weird about his dancing game. More than usual. He's running things in my place there right now."

"Just like he was during your little failed vacation? I see."

"You know he was only opening and closing the club at that time, right?"

"Yes, and I was compliant. Give the guy a break! You know I wouldn't run the club to the extent you do also. And he has to deal with accomodating Jon now too."

"Oh, right. I forgot about Jon living with Xander for a while. I think he's still at Xander's house."

"Yes. With his game night being cancelled I'd guess he's still there."

Brian facepalmed. "Oh no, the game night! I forgot all about it! Thank dog it was cancelled. I'm a terrible friend!"

"It's all fine, dog! We should all do something together some day."

"I was thinki-"

"Something completely unrelated to your club."

"Aw."

Ended up accidentally splitting Wednesday between two chapters, but at least the chapter lengths turned out OK.

Apologies to people from Texas and Omaha. You know, that's what I had in mind when I put the "opinionated characters" content warning at the start. That and Xander's many hot takes on video gaming and movies.

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Amazee Dayzee
Posts: 16423
Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2014 6:24 pm

Re: Chronicles of the CPDC

Post by Amazee Dayzee »

Oh don't worry about it. I'm sure its fine. Nobody is gonna hold that against you. At least I know I won't! Keep up the good work!
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Wortge
Posts: 31
Joined: Sat Feb 29, 2020 11:06 am

Re: Chronicles of the CPDC

Post by Wortge »

College Point Dogs Club, Tuesday 11:47 AM

A brown dog entered the club's first floor, soon followed by a purple cat. A few dogs sat down while eating from the food table while other just talked to each other. Most of the attending dogs were outside, doing activities in the paved area next to the building.

"Is this all the food they have today?" Grape complained. "It's not even noon yet."

"The stuff you like is here, isn't it?" Peanut noted. "Just call first dibs, it's how it's always worked here."

"'This is how things are done here', already talking like a local. I think we're almost tied when it comes to visits to this club."

"I am a local! This is home now, no reason to get so attached to your old hometown."

"Talk to anyone actually from here and you'll make it very obvious you've only been to Manhattan twice." Grape commented as she started grabbing a fistful of dog biscuits, a dog club member unknown to them looking curiously.

"Thrice! If you count the drive to move here. And we've been here for only a month, most people here probably only go there once a month."

"Mind if I test that hypothesis?" Grape asked as she finished munching her food. "Xan!" She called the Beagle currently fiddling with an arcade's settings.

"Hey, Grape." Xander greeted as he got close to the two. "Visiting with Peanut today?"

"Like most times, yes. I have a question for you that might seem very random."

"Alright." He smiled curiously. "Shoot."

"How many times have you been to Manhattan this past month?"

"To the City? Hmm..." He began pondering. "There was Rob, the vet... And some shopping I did for Walt. Three!" He concluded.

"See, Grape?" Peanut began. "We're tied."

"What do you mean 'see, Grape'?! Just driving through it doesn't count!"

"What are you two competing about?" The Beagle questioned.

"Peanut's going on about how he's pretty much a New Yorker now but I'm pointing out we haven't seen the city at all yet."

"Uh-huh. You two are New Yorkers, alright?" Xander declared encouragingly. "This New Yorker right here." He pointed at himself. "Born and raised, recognizes that!"

"But we two don't know the city at all!"

"True, but you live here! That's all it takes. You're just new here. You're *new* New Yorkers, fitting."

"Would Rob have this same opinion? I know he's super arrogant when it comes to cities."

"I don't know. I don't think he'd mock you for not visiting most places here or anything. The thing is, humans do a lot of stuff for us. If we never decide to go outside do something we risk just spending all our lives at home. Although nowadays things are bizarrely inverted, hopefully temporarily. Would you call someone who lives in New York but never leaves their house 'not from New York' though? I wouldn't."

"To be honest, we two should go outside more often. I'm entering a depressing cycle of napping at home, playing with Peanut and following him to this club. Even back in my old home I was acting like this, except for the club part, of course."

"They didn't have a community club or anything similar there?"

"Worse, they had a really bad one." Grape rapidly gazed at Peanut expecting a protest, seeing him just looking at the two in silence instead. "I don't want to bother Mom and Dad with asking for another ride to Central Park like the one we had about a month ago. I'll try to find some place in walking distance that isn't the huge park with the big globe."

"I wouldn't call Flushing Meadows 'walking distance', but that's a good idea. Don't follow my example, there's more to the world than home and the dog club. Go take a walk around Whitestone or something, the bridge's beautiful."

"Whitestone!" She remembered. "Is it really a pet-friendly neighborhood?"

"'Pet-friendly'? They used to forbid humans without pets from getting property there, but of course that didn't stick for long."

"But does it have a lot of pets? Do you barely see humans walking around?"

"Oh, definitely! I've seen large crowds with no humans in sight there sometimes, at some big events. And before the quarantine, of course. Also, like, thirty percent of our club's from there."

"Our old neighborhood was like that sometimes! You hear that, Peanut?" Grape turned to her silent brother.

"Yeah! Sounds cool!" He chirped.

"Xander!" The club leader's voice came from behind them, prompting all three to look at the approaching Golden Retriever. "How did things go yesterday? Why did you leave before I came back?"

"Brian!" He greeted, smiling nervously. "I was done with everything, so I just left the club on 'standby'. It was almost closing time too, did I mess anything up?"

"A little, no extra ingredients were ordered for today."

"That... Hmm... I had no idea how to do that on the computer. Where do we even store ingredients here?"

"You really don't know that? They're in the fridges upstairs. And I taught you how to do all management back when I installed the ERP!"

"The what?! That little tutorial was years ago!"

"Whatever. Was Star really here yesterday? She hasn't visited since October."

"Oh dog! Did I do anything right?! I thought it was her!"

"And I got reports of a cat being at your desk instead of you."

"Oh... Umm... Jon was handling PR for me. Consider him just an extension of me, OK?"

"It's fine. Next time I'll just tell him to run things here instead."

"Really?!... Actually, I'd really like to see that."

"Just kidding, of course. This is all kind of my fault for being so hasty, gotta go back upstairs now! Have a good day!"

"Uh... Good day, Brian." Xander awkwardly said his goodbye to the Retriever, him already going upstairs.

"What was going on there?" Peanut asked after some silence.

"Dude dropped a lot of work on me yesterday because he was heading out while I was here. At least I think I did my best."

"Why was Jon working with you?" Grape asked. "Isn't that the cat from the game night?"

"Yeah, sometimes he just gets bored at home and decides to do stuff with me."

"I see." Grape replied, heading to the food table to grab some more dog snacks. Peanut followed her while Xander went back to the arcade he was working on.

"Aren't you going to eat, Peanut? Or at least do something other than watch me?" Grape asked while trying to hide some annoyance.

"I'm waiting for you to finish, I already ate my homemade porridge at home."

"I have no idea how you're able to eat that stuff. Did the club dogs like it, by the way?"

"They loved it!" Peanut cheered. "Or at least they pretended they did, which's enough."

Grape walked away from the table after almost eating all of the remaining biscuits. "There, Peanut. The 'watch a cat eat dog food' show is now over."

"Good! How about we go check Whitestone now?"

"You actually considered that? Let's go then."

Francis Lewis Park, Whitestone, Queens, Tuesday 12:41 PM

Grape and Peanut both walked a road that passed under a big freeway bridge. After passing under the bridge, both sighted a park to their left. Dozens of cats and dogs played in the park's fields and used the park's playground equipment. Only a single human could be seen in the park, checking her cellphone while sitting on a park bench.

"This is just like the Gardens back in the day! How is the 'pet utopia' dream here still alive?!" Grape started exclaiming as she crossed the park amid all the other present pets.

"Don't you think it's just because humans aren't supposed to be going out? We have yet to see what New York looks like normally."

"Yeah, there's that too. Let's try to not fall in love with the city and then get disappointed once we find out it's normally filled with millions of humans and packed with traffic."

"Don't act like that'd be a bad thing! We all depend on humans working, you know? Most of us at least... The parks back in the Gardens weren't usually this busy with pets, to be honest. Even when the lockdown started. Maybe it's all those petnapping cases from long ago that scared pets off from there."

"And it's so better maintained! Most parks there were just lawns and trees!"

"Isn't our current local park pretty much the same thing though?"

"Yeah, but all you have there are a few dogs and sometimes weirdos staring at planes. I guess this is because of this place being branded 'pet-friendly'."

"I suppose it could make a difference. Maybe all the pet lovers live here."

"Our parents are now relegated to 'pet likers', I guess."

"Don't you think they just couldn't afford it? Whitestone's actually pretty posh, from what I've heard."

"I'm just kidding, I actually had a talk with Dad about where we moved." They both reached the park's end, containing a small lookout providing a view of the bridge and the shore across the river. A small beach jutted from the lookout. In it, a few cats chatted with each other while sitting down on lawn chairs.

"They even have a beach here!" Grape continued. "Hope it doesn't make you flashback to that day."

"Are you really joking about that, Grape?"

"Sorry! Just found it easy to joke about considering how your relationship with Tarot is going recently."

"It's complicated, alright?"

"Oh dear, 'It's complicated'. Didn't know it was that serious already."

"Knock it off. Do you want to head back or explore some more?"

"This is pretty much the start of the neighborhood, I believe. Let's relax here for a bit."

"Alrighty." They both started casually strolling around the park, observing the pets.

Peanut started speaking again after they both walked for a while. "I recognize a lot of the dogs here. They're in the club sometimes."

"Xander did say a lot of the members live here, you don't talk to them much?"

"I usually just play with them. I talk more with Xander and Rob, sometimes Brian."

"Of course, all the founders. What's with your recent love for authority figures?"

"I swear it has nothing to do with it! They were just the first members I properly met!"

"Who were you the closest with back in the 'Good Dogs Club'? Was it just the founders too?"

"Uh... Fido, Bino."

"You're not even trying to hide it now!"

"Wait, Grape! I talked with Fox a lot too! Not a founder!"

"He's a K-9! That's even worse!"

"Not when we were both in the club! And what's with *your* recent dislike for authority figures, huh?"

"It's not recent. Current circumstances are just forcing me to make it more obvious."

"You don't like the club leaders?"

"I don't mind them. But to be honest, only Brian really acts like a leader. And I've interacted with him like, three times."

"So, is your opinion on Brian the lowest one?"

"Probably. I mean, did you see him back there? Bossing Xander around out of nowhere?"

"He's usually nicer. He's very passionate about the club, you know?"

"So is you-know-who. Wait, actually he isn't. More like passionate about himself."

"Peanut!" Someone called from a distance. "First time seeing you here!" Both roommates turned to see a Alaskan Malamute only Peanut recognized.

"Flash! Good to see you!" He greeted.

"Same, dog! Is that your cat sister?"

"Yeah, that's Grape." The purple cat just waved silently.

"Haven't talked to you in a while! Are things with your girlfriend going better now?"

"Uh... We have a means of contact now." Peanut tried to smile.

"Nice to hear! Things are patched up and well?"

"I'll just say long-distance relationships aren't my thing. It's all fine though! All that stuff's in the past! What are you here in the park for?"

"Just hanging out with some neighbors, they all just left. Didn't know you were from around here."

"'Around here' as in?" Grape interjected.

"As in Whitestone. It's quite a walk from the club."

"We're not." Peanut clarified. "We're just visiting, stretching our legs, seeing more of the world."

"Oh, alright." Flash replied. "See you in the club eventually then, Peanut! And Grape too!" The Malamute waved and left.

"Let me guess." Grape began. "Second-in-command?"

"Nope! Just the club DJ."

"Uh-huh. Wanna go back home or do you want to head further?"

"You're willing to walk more for once, Grape? Very nice."

"Peanut, I don't know why you're so sassy recently, but please keep that in check."

"I'll try to! Let's go back home, we should do more of these little 'explorations' once in a while. It's all pretty fun."

"Sure, I've said that already. At least it's an excuse to increase my calorie intake." The two started making their way back home, leaving the park.

"What do you think we should start planning on visiting next?" Peanut asked after a long silence.

"We've done everything we can reasonably do without transport, haven't we? The neighborhood is just houses and warehouses. If we lived in a place with more than that we'd be in some cramped apartment."

"Do you think it'd be better?"

"Really, Peanut?! You're one of the most dog-like dogs I know! You love running around and having a lot of space! And now you're asking yourself if you'd prefer to live in a tiny room just to enjoy big city stuff without walking too much?"

"Maybe I've had enough of that. The club dogs are incredible runners, by the way. Did you know that? We did some races a few days ago and I was in the bottom five!" Peanut exclaimed with awe rather than disappointment.

"Don't you think that might be the dogs from the old club being worse than average? If they keep following Bino as a role model they're all going to become pudgy like him."

"But even *I* was bad when compared to the dogs here. Back in the G.O.D.C. I usually finished in the top half."

"And? What makes you think I'm not including you as a G.O.D.C. member? You were clearly following Bino as a role model there. You pretty much replaced the hole Fox left in Bino after a few months and then just suddenly had to abandon him. From what I've heard he's even worse off now."

"I'm not going to babysit that narcissistic nutjob for the rest of my life. If he goes off the deep end after being away from me for just a few months then it's just not Bino's fate to ever be a 'good dog' or even lead a good life. Ironic how the last thing you should expect to find in the 'Good Ol' Dogs Club' are good dogs, or even old dogs, as only the impressionable pups can tolerate Bino's *** at this point. He's also pretty much ***ed already if he doesn't dump that manipulative *** immediately, and I don't think I'd be able to separate the two even if I still lived there."

Grape stared at Peanut, eyes completely wide. She shook her head and regained her composure after remaining speechless for some time. "Looks like your friendship with him did some permanent damage to you."

"Just saying that *** out loud just makes you feel lighter, you know?" Peanut almost cheered, raising his arms. "Saying that *stuff* out loud. Pardon my French."

"Dear cod, Peanut... Sometimes you remind me you're not a pup anymore in the weirdest ways possible."

"But now we've finally visited Whitestone." Peanut sharply returned to the old topic. "You're not planning on always going there to look for friends, are you?"

"No. I'm past my 'trying to meet new people' phase already, I know enough pets now. Just went there to check if it looks like Babylon Gardens, turns out it's a step above."

"Tough competition, Grape! You can't compare the Gardens to a neighborhood in the largest city of the country!"

"Didn't you just assume the parks there have less pets because of the petnapping attempts?"

"It's a factor. We don't know exactly why that park was so busy. We should ask Brian, he collects a lot of city data."

"I'll pass on that."

"You only have eyes for Xander, after all."

Grape almost fell down. "Peanut! What?!"

"Just kidding! Just kidding!" He almost backed away. "You tease him a lot, someone has to do it to you too, you know?"

"I'm not with dogs like you are with cats. Forget about that... Although Xander, with that brown and white fur and floppy ears, he kinda reminds me of... You." She almost whispered.

"Uh, Manhattan." Peanut quickly steered the conversation again. "When we went to Central Park there were a lot of pets there, more than in that Whitestone park. It's far from 'pet-friendly' territory though."

"That's because it's freaking Central Park! It's one of the most famous places in the country! It's just full of tourists, not locals."

"Tourists? Nobody's visiting New York with the pandemic going on, Grape."

"Oh. That's a very good point. If that park's like that on a Monday, with no tourists and barely any humans, I can't even imagine what it's like normally."

"But all those pets there makes me realize that Manhattan attracts pets even more than a designated 'pet-friendly neighborhood'. For the next days we could walk to Flushing, where there's a subway station, and take the train to the City."

"Don't you mean 'ride the Subway to Manhattan'?"

"I'm a New Yorker! A New Yorker would never say that!"

"You really care about that stuff, don't you? I don't think we're cut for doing that. That'd be like taking the Metra to Chicago back when we lived in Babylon, something we never did by ourselves in almost twenty years of living there."

"Doesn't mean we can't start doing it now."

"Do you have any idea on how to use it? You're gonna end up getting stuck in the turnstiles, and that's something 'a New Yorker would never do'."

"You're giving them too- I mean, *us*, too much credit. I'm gonna ask Rob how to use the Subway, I think you need some kind of card."

"Good luck with that then. It seems like he always goes to the club in the days you decide to skip it." The two pets soon arrived home, opening the front door and entering their living room.

"I'm going for the longest nap possible after all that." Grape tiredly said while making her way to the sofa after being done with closing and locking the door. "Do you wanna be my 'blanket' again?" She asked Peanut with a smirk.

"Yes!" He almost barked. "I can't wait!"

"Make sure to mute your Switch if you're gonna play it while embracing me, OK? Being woken by bad voice acting is just as bad as being woken by your yells."

"Of course! I love hugging you! I love helping you sleep! I love you!"

"Peanut! Calm down! You've done this before! It's not that amazing."

He shook his head. "Ugh. Sorry."

A bit of a filler chapter, even by slice-of-life standards. This chapter actually originally had only around 2K words, all the dialogue after the park visit was padding I added yesterday.

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Amazee Dayzee
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Re: Chronicles of the CPDC

Post by Amazee Dayzee »

I really am liking what you did here with this chapter! I think it is amazing!
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Nathan Kerbonaut
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Re: Chronicles of the CPDC

Post by Nathan Kerbonaut »

Vulgar Peanut is hilarious and slightly disturbing. Maybe it's his way of growing up, but I'm with Grape. I hope Bino's influence didn't do more harm than good. Love what you're doing with this story, Wortge :)

Wortge
Posts: 31
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Re: Chronicles of the CPDC

Post by Wortge »

'Cats of Queens' Discord Server, Tuesday 10:10 PM


Suffering(✿◕‿◕) Today at 10:10 PM
that makes me wonder how intelligent each animal is
so weird that almost every big animal is sentient
at some point some species were as intelligent as say, most fish or bugs
werent they?


鬱鬱鬱鬱鬱鬱鬱 Today at 10:12 PM
yeah species diversify and branch off due to evolution with time
via natural selection
i dont know much about it, just wiki'd that some days ago
basically only the species that were intelligent enough survived


Suffering(✿◕‿◕) Today at 10:13 PM
are humans more intelligent than cats?


鬱鬱鬱鬱鬱鬱鬱 Today at 10:13 PM
i dont know
humans are always perceived as more intelligent due to their mandatory education


_Ksk_ Today at 10:15 PM
Humans basically know a lot of trivia


鬱鬱鬱鬱鬱鬱鬱 Today at 10:15 PM
you know, theres some really fancy pet shelters in manhattan
where like
each cell looks like a freaking hotel room
and the animals there actually have mandatory schooling
ive been to one
as a visitor, im not from one


_Ksk_ Today at 10:17 PM
We can tell


鬱鬱鬱鬱鬱鬱鬱 Today at 10:17 PM
rude


ZentrixSM Today at 10:20 PM
Hey everyone
The Dog has logged in
and I'm here to announce the New Game Night At My House
Confirmed 100% Real No Fake HD Punjabi Free Download
is set for this Saturday at my house
7 PM


NateA7 Today at 10:21 PM
why do you have to meme these announcements up so much


ZentrixSM Today at 10:22 PM
To drive the normies away
we'll do video games, we'll do RPGs, you know how those go
and if you don't you should come


9MinutesJon Today at 10:23 PM
Calm down a bit
We have limited room, after all


ZentrixSM Today at 10:23 PM
Oh, alright
attendance limit is 100
there
first come first serve


_Ksk_ Today at 10:24 PM
Yeah I can make it
Any danger of cancellation this time?


ZentrixSM Today at 10:25 PM
Well you never know what's gonna happen in this world
but it's unlikely


9MinutesJon Today at 10:25 PM
I'll take over if anything happens to Xan
We even have backup plans now
This thing WILL happen


_Ksk_ Today at 10:27 PM
Sorry if I'm coming off as too worried
I know whatever happened to the other night wasn't your fault


ZentrixSM Today at 10:28 PM
no offense taken monarch
you're all free to actually look forward to this one


鬱鬱鬱鬱鬱鬱鬱 Today at 10:29 PM
cautiously optimistic


_Ksk_ Today at 10:30 PM
Anyways, please move event discussion to #meetups


Suffering(✿◕‿◕) Today at 10:34 PM
so moving on
magellan, do u know who mantains these shelters?
havent heard of that
magellan?
how do i even @ your username


_Ksk_ Today at 10:43 PM
He's talking in the other channels


Suffering(✿◕‿◕) Today at 10:43 PM
argh


College Point Dogs Club, Thursday 3:01 PM

A crowd of dogs was still gathered at the club's podium area, commenting on Brian's previous informative speech, given about five minutes before. Elsewhere a Beagle was watching a Canadian Pointer mix navigate the menu of the dance cabinet arcade.

"Left to scroll up, Right to scroll down!" Xander explained. "To change difficulty step up or down twice!"

"Why twice?" Peanut asked.

"No idea! You can also change the options by confirming twice."

"What difficulty should I start with?"

"Hmm... Two, maybe three. You're an agile guy, no need to play it safe with a one."

"Do you remember what you started with?"

"I think a one. But do you really want to follow my example?"

"Yeah! Aren't you the best?"

"According to people who aren't me. I'm at least over the average."

"How about this one?"

"Difficulty two? Go for it. I have no idea what the easy chart for this is like."

Peanut proceeded to begin playing a stage. Trying to time his steps with the scrolling arrows on-screen. Having to step on a panel about every second.

"No need to use the bar yet! Just concentrate on hitting the notes! And stop returning your foot to the center!"

"What should I do after stepping?"

"Just keep your foot there! Coordinate left and right feet!"

"What if I also use my paws?"

"Bad idea! Don't try that!"

He finally finished the level after some time. Sometimes almost tripping on the arcade.

"Good show!" Xander complimented. "Four misses, decent accuracy!"

"Is that better than you when you started?"

"No idea. Don't set me as a target, OK? The target should be fun."

"I am already having fun! But I want to be able to play all the harder ones too."

"Fair enough. Keep going with stuff closer to that difficulty. Once you feel pumped up and warmed up, push yourself with harder stuff! Then go back to what you started with and see how much your scores improve."

"Got it! Is this one fine?"

"Oh no! Don't do that one! That's from a keyboard pack! Some people set the difficulty to one in their files as a joke."

"Why is that even there then?! Can you play it?"

"Probably not. I have to clean up the packs I have in this machine at some point. It used to be at my home and I never bothered making the song selection look more professional once I moved it."

"I want to see you try it!"

"I haven't played this in days! And that stage's for keyboard players!"

"People play this game with a keyboard?"

"Some do. I've tried it a little myself, absolutely terrible at it."

Peanut quickly jumped off the dance pad. "Come on! Just quit if you get too tired!"

"Fine! I'll suffer just for you. This will just have jumps and hands all over the place." Xander fiddled with the game options for a little after selecting the song. Passing the stage while making some clearly uncomfortable movements.

"How is that a ninety-four percent?!" The Beagle exclaimed, already getting off the machine.

"Is that bad?"

"It feels like I scored way worse. Anyways, that's a very light keyboard file. 'D4' material at best. It's just that these jumptrills are really hard to pull off with this playstyle."

"Can you try sounding a little less technical?"

"I swear I'm trying to! Most of the time at least."

"Hey, Xander! Peanut!" A voice called from the side. Both dogs turning to see Flash approaching.

"Hey, Flash." Xander greeted. "Enjoying the food today?"

"Uh... It's... It's 3 PM." The Malamute pointed out.

"Really? Wow, time's passing by fast for me for once."

"Isn't time passing by slowly better, though?"

"Just feeling really bored recently, I dunno. Nothing happens on the Internet, can't find games I like. Not to mention having to deal with Brian's *** last time I was here."

"Can I help with that boredom?" Peanut offered.

"Aren't you going to continue playing, Peanut?" Xander asked.

"Oh! Sure." The dog jumped back on the machine, hastily selecting another stage.

"What happened with Brian and you?" Flash questioned curiously once Peanut was busy playing the game.

"He thought I could do his job while he was out hanging out with Rob. I ended up messing up the food stocks for a day. He wasn't really mad or anything, our friendship is too solid for that."

"Out with Rob? Since when does Brian even leave the club?"

"Even the club members notice that? He's been more relaxed after the Cinco de Mayo party, it's nice."

"I guess you two should start pulling your weight if you don't want Brian overworking himself."

"...Man, that's a good point. Me and Rob thought he was overworking unnecessarily. But if we split some of his functions between us it'd be very good for him too."

"He surely was overworking though. This is just some small hobby club, not a corporation."

"Yeah, but I guess things worked out in the end? He's more relaxed and the club hasn't imploded."

"How well did I do?!" Peanut suddenly exclaimed excitedly, Xander turning his attention to him.

"Oh... I don't know this file. But a missflag for your second play ever is pretty good!"

"A what?"

"Getting only one 'miss', sorry."

Xander watched Peanut select another song, which he did almost immediately.

"Good taste! I love this one, don't know the easy chart though."

"Do you ever play that game on easy, Xan?" Flash asked from the side.

"Never. There's no reason to. I guess I could rate the easy charts but it'd be silly and pointless."

"'Rate'?"

"Speed the song up! Don't know why I'm unable to use layman's terms today."

"Did you check my album recommendation from a few days ago, by the way?"

"'R Plus Seven'? I've listened to that ages ago, it's super mainstream after all."

"No it isn't! You think everyone knows that album?"

"Everyone who's into the genre at least. That album even charted, for dog's sake! And it's good, from what I remember. Little boring at times."

"Good to know, next time I'll come with something only five people know about."

"There's nothing wrong with the album being well-known, just pointing out that makes it more likely I've checked it already."

"And so I'll be sure to bring you something unheard! Anyways, I'm heading home. See you around, Xander. And Peanut, if you're listening."

"I am! See ya!" The brown dog said hastily.

"Bye, Flash." Xander waved. Flash walked away and left the club building.

The Beagle waited for Peanut to finish the stage. "This one is a three, isn't it? Solid score."

"What would you get on it?"

"Why are you treating me like a rival? Chill out. I'd probably get around five 'perfects' or something."

"And the rest all 'marvelous'?"

"Yeah, maybe... Sorry but I'm heading home right now. Looking forward to seeing your progression next time we're both here, OK?"

"Aw, already? Can I come to your house again?"

"Sure. You're bored without me? That's flattering. Where's your purple cat roommate?"

"Grape's home. Probably talking to her boyfriend online." Peanut almost sighed.

"I see. Detecting some of that roommate-boyfriend jealously." He smirked.

"No way! We're all very fine with it!"

"Fine with what? Actually, forget I said anything. Let's go then. Make sure to return the game to the title screen." Both dogs made their way outside.

Stevenson Residence, Thursday 3:58 PM

Peanut and Xander approached the house's front door, the Beagle proceeding to open it.

"If you have, for example." Xander explained to Peanut while closing the door and making his way across the living room. "A sequence of left and down arrows, you put your left foot on the left panel and the right foot on the down panel and you alternate the stepping. Imagine if you had to return to the center every-"

"Bringing guests today, Xander?" Walt interrupted from his desk. "It's not the 'Game Night' day yet, is it?"

"No. It's not even night!"

"Right, right. I can't see the window from here. Good to see you bringing a dog for once!"

"Yeah, yeah. I'm not close with a lot of them despite founding the dog club and all. We'll be in my room!"

"See you tomorrow, Xan!" Both dogs exited the living room, Peanut waving to Walt and not being noticed.

"'Game Night'?" The Pointer wondered.

"'Cats of Queens' stuff, ask Grape about it."

"Am I allowed in?"

"You're not a cat and barely 'of Queens'... Just kidding! If you want to join, just tell me. I even planned on having Rob and Brian join last time before I had to cancel it." Xander reached his room's door, which was closed. He opened the door, revealing an orange tabby cat wearing a virtual reality headset, standing in front of the computer and making random arm movements while using two controllers. The monitor showing a first-person shooter game.

"Jon, what's the meaning of this?! How did you even get that?!"

"Hi, bro! Bringing a friend home today?" The cat greeted, turning to face the two and removing his headset from only one eye. "Who's that?"

"This is Peanut, you've met him already."

"Uh..."

"Grape's pet-brother!"

"Oh, the crying beach dog!"

"Jon! That's extremely insensitive!"

"It's fine, I don't care!" Peanut cut in. "I recognize how silly I was acting back then."

"Where did you get this, Jon?" Xander asked again.

"Brian gave it to me. You know I've always wanted to play that new Half-Life game, and with your beefy PC it's no problem!"

"Brian?! Since when do you two even have contact?"

"Since I started hanging out in the club more. Good place by the way, even with the dogs."

"You didn't tell me Jon was already hanging out here, Xander." Peanut observed.

"I live here." The cat pointed out promptly, returning to his game.

"His home life's complicated, he's staying here indefinitely." Xander added.

"Oh, interesting. You never said anything about it. I noticed the cat bed there but thought it was just you being you." Peanut replied.

"No, I'm not pretending to be a cat. They're super comfy though, you should try them!"

"I have! They're really good!"

"Oh yeah, you do have a cat sister after all." Xander jumped on his bed, Peanut following. "Anything you want to try out? My PC's obviously taken."

"I've never seen someone using these virtual reality things at home before. It must be like Tarot's mental projection."

"Maybe, whatever that is. I haven't seen it either, I don't think I'd like it. Having to stand up while playing, getting motion sickness. And it's really silly how he moves around by teleporting around in the game."

"It's a blast, you should try it!" The cat exclaimed.

"You just put that thing on *my* PC without my permission! I guess I have to try it now! And are these black boxes stuck on the walls part of it? They're making the décor look awful."

"They're the base stations! Don't even think of touching them! Calibrating this is a nightmare."

"Such a stupid gimmick." He grumbled before turning to Peanut again. "Do you play RPGs, Peanut? Or do you want some video game?"

"I'm liking watching Jon play there. Can I try it at some point?"

"Wait for your turn, dog!" The tabby answered. "Maybe once this segment here is done."

"You know, you're really not charitable considering everything I've been doing for you recently." Xander pointed out.

"You're a spoiled little pup, Xan! You can afford to be charitable! I'm only getting my way now, let me enjoy it until I get used to it."

"Choke on that enjoyment, kitty. You'll be getting your own PC if you keep using mine from now on."

"Why did you phrase that like a threat? I'd love that."

"The more spoiled you get, the less you can play the 'poor kitty' card. You're reminding me of the pets that get adopted from those fancy 'spa-shelters'."

"Just play with your fifteen game consoles until I'm done, OK? I'm sure you'll find something fun there."

"I can wait, Xander! I really don't mind." Peanut piped in.

"Peanut here has experience with having a cat sibling, learn from him."

"We get along well, Peanut." Xander explained. "This is eighty percent just brotherly teasing."

"Grape watches me play games too." Peanut began. "Usually when I'm playing as she's trying to nap."

"Jon here never naps! He's a pretty weird cat." The Beagle pointed out.

"A weird cat for a weird dog!" Jon ribbed.

"What a household."

Both dogs watched Jon play for a few minutes. Eventually he saved the game and removed his headset.

"Whoa! This actually is a little tiring. Feel free to try it out, Nut."

"You and Rob should realize that it's impossible to give Peanut a good nickname." Xander said. Peanut got up from the bed and excitedly put the headset on, struggling a little.

Jon sat next to Xander on the bed. Both watching Peanut trying to get used to the controls in a level that was hours into the game. "So, Peanut's a friend of yours? I've never seen him around." Jon started talking quietly.

"He moved in a month or so ago from out-of-state. You know Grape, don't you?"

"New member in the Discord, went to a small meetup in Brooklyn and my last Game Night. Seems to be close with Wolf and you, that's all I know."

"Have you seriously never talked to her?"

"Directly? Not that I recall."

"She teases me a lot, actually. Wonder if you two would get along well. I had her and Peanut over here at my room a few days before you moved in, it was pretty much a taste of what living with you would be like."

"You two aren't any close to a romance, are you?"

"No! She's a cat! I've been with Alma before and nobody said anything about it."

"That's because Alma is taken, it'd be rude."

"So is Grape! She has some long-distance boyfriend from her old city."

"Oh, really? Call me out if I tease you about it accidentally then. And how's Peanut?"

"Umm... Very energetic. He hangs out in the club a lot. His excitement is a little contagious, you know?"

"Isn't that every dog though? Dude's even got a bone as a collar tag!"

"Maybe every dog as a puppy, and I never actually paid attention to that. Grape has a fish as a tag and she's never mentioned her love for seafood."

"Isn't that another cat stereotype? Liking fish?"

"Is it? Maybe to humans. Most pets here don't have themed tags, it's usually just collars or ID tags."

"Do you regret your dice tag? You don't really play RPGs a lot anymore."

"I'll try to change that next Game Night. Although the VR might steal some attention. I can't really regret wearing something I can just throw away."

"If you do everyone will assume you're quitting role-playing forever or something."

"Yeah... I can keep it and claim it actually represents my love for geometry. I'd represent that with a tesseract though, not an icosahedron."

"Where do you even learn those words?"

"The Internet... It's good for something, you know?"

The room quieted down as the housemates continued watching Peanut try to play.

"Find some cover, Peanut! Have you never played a game like this before?" Jon suddenly advised.

"Not like this!" Peanut answered. "It's so weird!"

"Do you feel sick?" Xander worriedly asked. "I know these things can turn your brain into mush."

"No, it's awesome! It's like I'm really getting shot at!"

"You know it's accurate when someone from Chicago says that." Xander quickly joked towards Jon.

"He's from there?" Jon questioned.

"Somewhere close, that city that had some animals claiming to be transformed humans last year or so."

"Oh, I remember that! Weird people."

"They had their school and their entire neighborhood vouching for them. Peanut also says it's real."

"But that stuff just doesn't happen! Imagine all the biology behind changing from one species to another."

"Maybe it's mass hysteria, who knows. It's a weird world."

Finally reached the content I wrote back in the middle of March, which means a lot less work trying to rewrite things to take into account the current epidemic. Sorry about incorporating that in the story, by the way. I feel like it might come off as in very poor taste to some people, but I decided on doing that instead of just ignoring it or even retconning the fic into taking place in a later year. One of my favorite things about the HP! universe is the fact that it's just the real world but with mostly sapient animals, and I like incorporating real things into it and trying to worldbuild around it, even if they're terrible diseases.

I feel like with the length the story's going to reach I should start numbering the chapters or even naming them (really bad with that, by the way. I honestly only came up with a name for this thread one hour before I posted it, after working on the story for two months).

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Amazee Dayzee
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Re: Chronicles of the CPDC

Post by Amazee Dayzee »

Keep up the nice work with writing this! It definitely is getting very interesting!
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Wortge
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Joined: Sat Feb 29, 2020 11:06 am

Re: Chronicles of the CPDC

Post by Wortge »

#meetups Channel, 'Cats of Queens' Discord Server, Saturday 4:03 AM


_Ksk_ Today at 4:03 AM
@ZentrixSM Any info on who'll be at the meetup tonight?
If you're not AFK


ZentrixSM Today at 4:09 AM
why are you online at these unholy hours


_Ksk_ Today at 4:11 AM
Why are you online then?


ZentrixSM Today at 4:12 AM
trying some stuff
time flies, feels like it's 11pm
You're planning on coming, right?


_Ksk_ Today at 4:13 AM
I am


ZentrixSM Today at 4:13 AM
Expecting around 5-7 people
me and jon 100% coming
obviously
then there's you, Magellan(@鬱鬱鬱鬱鬱鬱鬱 guy)
Nate, arch and n3rvex said they won't come
King(@CrumblingBox) believe it or not has told me he might come


_Ksk_ Today at 4:16 AM
Wow, King?
That'll be interesting


ZentrixSM Today at 4:17 AM
Hopefully it'll also be fun
no idea what he's into
going through my PMs here right now
Rob might come
from the dog club, very old friend of mine


_Ksk_ Today at 4:19 AM
Ah, you did mention that'd be a possibility
Is that all?


ZentrixSM Today at 4:21 AM
Maybe
we have most of a day still left
anyone needs transport?
I forgot to think of that, darn


_Ksk_ Today at 4:22 AM
If they needed it they got it sorted already
I don't think anyone would claim they're coming and not have a plan to get there


ZentrixSM Today at 4:22 AM
Dude, one of the attendees is Magellan
you know how he is


鬱鬱鬱鬱鬱鬱鬱 Today at 4:22 AM
yo
also, rude


ZentrixSM Today at 4:23 AM
ffs how are you online
why aren't we sleeping


鬱鬱鬱鬱鬱鬱鬱 Today at 4:23 AM
this is prime internet hours
i have transport sorted out
i live quite nearby, in corona


ZentrixSM Today at 4:25 AM
Ah yes, College Point's unfortunate named neighbor
see you then, then


鬱鬱鬱鬱鬱鬱鬱 Today at 4:26 AM
could you not?
it just means "crown"


ZentrixSM Today at 4:27 AM
Yeah I know
it's just a funny name this year


鬱鬱鬱鬱鬱鬱鬱 Today at 4:27 AM
oh yeah so funny
thousands of humans dying is comedy gold
you really are a honorary cat


_Ksk_ Today at 4:28 AM
Guys, please
Move this stuff to #general or #memes
Or preferably just stop


ZentrixSM Today at 4:29 AM
You're modding at 4 AM?
I guess mods are never asleep after all


鬱鬱鬱鬱鬱鬱鬱 Today at 4:30 AM
he does it for free


ZentrixSM Today at 4:31 AM
Let me head out already
don't want to wake up at 2pm again
See you next night guys


鬱鬱鬱鬱鬱鬱鬱 Today at 4:36 AM
rob, though?
does zentrix even have permission to bring his dogs to the night


_Ksk_ Today at 4:38 AM
Xander's a dog and his friends are like, 95% cats
Let the guy have it for once


鬱鬱鬱鬱鬱鬱鬱 Today at 4:39 AM
yeah whatever
maybe the dogs fine
especially considering i don't think xan would be friends with a typical dog


_Ksk_ Today at 4:39 AM
I really want to see King hanging out with two dogs though
Being all haughty


鬱鬱鬱鬱鬱鬱鬱 Today at 4:40 AM
lol your right
now im definitely coming just for that


Xander and Jon's Bedroom, Stevenson Residence, Saturday 5:59 PM

"We're nearing T minus one hour!" Jon exclaimed to Xander from the bed. The cat playing his video game as Xander used his computer, as usual.

"Why are you so excited for this? You're seriously counting down the minutes?"

"It's part excitement, part anticipation. You should be preparing already! Get off this computer for once!"

"Preparing with what? It's just games that aren't decided on yet. There's plenty of snacks available, if you're worried about food."

"So you'll just sit down there until someone comes?"

"Yeah, that's how I've always done Game Night here. How did you do it at your old home?"

"First I had to ask for permission with the humans. Then I'd organize the living room to give everyone lots of playspace, the day before. Since the living room there's always cluttered. Then I'd wait at the door starting from thirty minutes before the scheduled start."

"Seriously? You just stood behind the door? I did notice it was a bit weird how fast you always opened it."

"Since you were usually the first one to come, yeah."

"None of that, OK? This is still mostly my home. People will ring and I'll take my sweet time to answer them, as always."

"But circumstances aren't 'as always', are they?"

"You're not going to wait behind the front door! It's unnecessary! Forget about it!"

"Whoa, first time I get a 'fuhgeddaboudit' from someone from here."

"What do you mean 'from here'? As if you're actually Texan."

"Your accent's way stronger. I'm just generally American, you're very New Yorker."

"Why is everyone going on about this now? As if it's something to be even proud of!"

"Hey. Epidemics, hurricanes and terrorist attacks aside; Once the dust settles people still envy us for living here."

"Keep telling yourself that. Maybe you should try your parents' hometown for a while, teach you some humility."

"You'd miss me terribly and you know it."

"You got that right, kitty! But it'd be worth it. Give you some perspective."

"Perspective of losing everyone I know and then having to live in a place where everything I have is my own home and trees? That's brutal, Xander. Don't even joke about that."

"I'm not serious, bro! Relax! As long as you want it, I'm keeping you here."

Both pets returned to full attention towards their games for some time. "Are you going to clean your room, at least?" Jon began again.

"Clean my room? Now that's a request I've never gotten in my life."

"Yeah, yeah. After living a week with Walt I know how lenient he is. And also how weirdly neat you are. Aren't you at least going to check if it's prepared for the party?"

"Not really a 'party' is it? I think it's tidy and all, in line with how it's always been during our last Game Nights. Apart from all these wires running over the walls, and that's your fault."

"Do you want to dismantle the VR for the Game Night?"

"No."

"You loved it, didn't you?"

"You're gonna tease me about that now? Some of the minigames were fun. But I still mantain that VR is a stupid gimmick that won't survive the decade."

"You just love being wrong, don't you? I bet everyone coming will want to try it out."

"Because it's new for them, they'll all get motion sickness and never want to do it ever again. And then I'd have done my part in preventing the video game industry from going down this silly path."

"Do you hate it because it's gimmicky or because you think it'll replace traditional controllers?"

"Yes."

"Don't be that guy who answers 'yes' to questions with 'or', nobody likes those people."

"Mostly the latter. I want to sit down and enjoy my games, not wrestle with motion controls and pretend my paws have five fingers."

"I see. I remember you also hated the Wii, similar reasons?"

"Yes! I was afraid motion controls would become widespread! And guess what happened? It ended up just being a gimmick everyone forgot about. Faded out just like Bitcoins, Google Glass and 3D movies!"

"Pretty sure these are still going on."

"Yeah, I know. But you can just avoid them now. I don't even know what Bitcoins are, just remember Brian going on about them ages ago."

"He's a bit eccentric, yeah. He's like a CEO who got turned into a dog."

"He's actually a dog who got turned into a CEO. Why did he give you the VR, by the way? That was sudden."

"It was in the club's storage lockers, apparently he bought it but gave up on setting it up there. Also told me he didn't like it."

"That's a lot of money he just gave away to a relative stranger."

"He's probably aware he's gifting that to you as well by gifting it to me. Also, you just said he's a CEO. Probably has tons of money to spend."

"Not CEO of an actual company, just some little subsidiary his owner set up. I don't know how much money he's been getting from that but I think it's well enough for the club's operation, at least. With his work he stopped worrying about the club's budget and nowadays he even stopped worrying too much about the club's management, with Rob going out with him a lot and distracting him from workaholism."

"Have you been going out with them a lot?"

"Hah! What do you think? I'm the token nerd of the three dogs."

"They all seem quite nerdy to me."

"They're not. They're geeky. Basically they're heavily interested in things that are actually useful."

"Oh, come on! Don't undersell yourself! Don't you know like, ten languages? That's a useful skill."

"For a dog? That never travels? Sometimes I wonder if Rob envies me in that regard. And I only know five."

"'Only' five." The tabby rolled his eyes. "You still invested time in learning them. You weren't born knowing five languages already."

"He could envy me actually enjoying the experience of learning a language."

"Has he ever tried?"

"He's commented about disliking having to learn 'common phrases' before a big trip. Also I heard his French pronunciation once and it's soul-crushing."

"You know how the French are about their language! Can't believe you also get that just from learning it."

The doorbell suddenly rang, making both pets interrupt their conversation briefly.

"Already?" Jon exclaimed while jumping from the bed. "What time even is it?"

"6:51" Xander answered, looking at his computer's clock while leaving his desk. "And don't you dare greet them first! I'm the original resident here!"

"That's a competition now? Go ahead then, just wanted to be nice."

Jon returned to the bed while Xander crossed the house to get to the front door, unlocking and opening it. Revealing a tall, fairly muscular black cat.

"Magellan!" The Beagle greeted. "Good to see you in person for once!"

"Hi, Xander." He greeted shyly. "Is nobody here yet?" He glanced at the living room, which only had Walt silently using his computer at the corner.

"Games will be at my room. Unless things get really crowded and I have to move people to the living room TV. Just follow me."

"OK."

Xander soon arrived at his room, Magellan following behind.

"Magellan!" Jon greeted. "I had even forgotten your name these past months! Everything fine?"

"Yes, I'm good. Please stop all the 'you never visit us anymore' talk. You're already making me regret this."

"We'll make that regret disappear very soon!" Jon patted the cat in the back. "Anything you want to do before the rest comes?"

"What are you playi-" Something on the room's floor suddenly caught Magellan's attention. "Xander, why do you have a cat bed in your room? You know you can't become a cat, no matter how much you want to, right?"

"Me and Jon share that." The dog answered. "It's probably temporary, we'll get a bunk bed eventually."

"Wha? Since when do you two even live together?"

"We're roommates! Brothers! Pet-brothers! You didn't know that?!"

"No?" He tilted his head. "That's the 'brother' you were talking about?! Jon lives in a separate house, I've been there! What's this Mandela Effect stuff going on?!"

"It's a recent development." Jon began. "Not retroactive continuity. Anyways, what do you wanna do now?"

"I'll sit down here and wait." The black cat sat on the bed and started staring at the game's pause screen. "Don't want to start something and then get strong-armed into doing someting else once everyone's here."

"You can be the loner playing video games while the rest plays RPGs. We won't judge!" Xander encouraged.

"No, thanks. I'm not into DnD or whatever but my mind is set on socializing already."

"You probably wouldn't even be alone anyways, it's very unlikely Rob will be playing with us."

The doorbell soon rang again. "Your turn, Jon!" Xander exclaimed.

The cat left the room, leaving the Beagle and the black cat alone.

"So Jon's really living with you? Did he get abandoned? Would explain his sudden long absence in the Discord."

"Long story. Ask him about it, I don't know if I'm allowed to explain." Xander remained in silence for a few seconds, getting back on his computer. "But no, he didn't get abandoned. He abandoned his owners, if anything."

"Got fed up with them and fled to his old dog friend, that's heartwarming."

"You actually summarized it really well."

Jon soon appeared back in the room. Two cats behind him, a Skogkatt and a Persian.

"Hey there!" The Beagle greeted. "Monarch and King! Loving the themed naming!"

"That never occured to me before." King observed. "Hello, Magellan. Pleasure to meet you for the first time." He shook paws with the cat.

"Hey, you two." Monarch waved towards the Beagle and black cat. "What are you playing?"

"Just killing time while you all arrive." Xander explained. "It's time already, isn't it?"

"Almost!" Jon answered. "Maybe the entire crew's here already. It's technically your Game Night, bro. Is everyone who confirmed here?"

"Uh... Let me see." The doorbell rang yet again.

"I guess that's a 'no'. I'll be right back!" Xander left the room again.

King started waiting on the bed alongside Magellan while Jon and Monarch moved towards the computer. Standing next to it while looking at the room's many stored games.

"Is that a VR helmet next to the monitor?" Monarch asked Jon.

"Yeah. I got it recently."

"You? You set it up on Xander's PC?"

"My PC would never handle that. Also I don't live there anymore."

"What?! Are you homeless?!"

"No! I'm Xan's brother now!" King looked at the interaction from the bed with confusion while Magellan just observed with interest.

"You switched owners and just kept it from us?!"

"I just never mentioned it. What are you gonna do, ban me?"

"I'll send you a strongly-worded letter. Some of us were worried about you, OK? And then you come back and decide to be all cryptic saying 'things are changing' and that you want to 'forget your owners'."

"I wanted a gradual reveal. Although having this Game Night might make everyone aware of it now. Also, it's nothing official. I'm staying at Xander's so that if my old owners want me back, demanding an ownership transfer would be very easy."

"You're fleeing from home? Are they abusive?"

"No! I mean, in a way. But they're not beating me for fun or anything. The babies don't let me sleep and they're planning on moving states despite my protests."

Xander soon arrived with the last batch of guests. A Golden Retriever and a purple cat.

"Good night, Rob!" Jon exclaimed while moving towards the two new guests. "And... Grape! Don't remember you saying anything about coming."

"I confirmed presence a few hours ago." She clarified.

"I think Xander said something about it and I thought he was rambling about food."

"Yeah, yeah. If you think my name's funny wait until you hear my full name. Is everything set? I'm just seeing a bunch of pets waiting."

"Now the fun begins!" Xander boasted, moving towards the center of the room.

"There's all these video games." He pointed to the dresser with the consoles and TV. "There's all these non-video games." He pointed to all the stored tabletop games. "There's the other TV set in the living room, I guess. And there's my PC." He concluded without pointing anymore.

"Is that the virtual reality goggles Peanut told me about?" Grape started.

"Yeah, that's Jon's stuff." The Beagle shrugged.

"You want to try it out?" The tabby quickly offered.

"It's the most interesting thing in this room by far." King added.

"I'd like to check it out." Magellan also piped up.

"I've tried it before in a trade show, it's pretty cool!" Monarch remembered.

Jon quickly sat on the computer, closing everything Xander had been doing. "I got a lot of games for it! I'll show you some of the better ones and then we take turns!" The crowd soon left the bed and the area near the room's door to stand next to the computer desk, observing Jon starting to set the game up. Xander stood still, watching. Rob also staying.

"Hmm... Can't say I didn't kinda foresee this." Xander told his dog friend. "You're not interested, Rob?"

"In VR? No thanks. Did Jon hijack your plans?"

"I was thinking of a four, maybe five player RPG session and then the rest would try some video games. Not five people crowding around my PC's new gimmick."

"Hah! Why did you even get that?"

"I didn't. Jon did! And guess who gifted him!"

"I don't know a lot of your cat friends... Spline?"

"Tip number one: It was a dog."

"A dog that knows Jon? Spot?"

"It was Brian!"

Rob's eyes widened. "Brian?! Really?! And I thought I knew everything about that mutt."

Xander sat down on his bed, Rob following him. He returned to the conversation. "Jon's been hanging out in the club now. Mostly just to bother me."

"You're the token dog of the cat nerds here. I guess Jon will be the token cat of the dog club."

"Haha. The club has Grape though, she's always there for the food."

"I don't think I've noticed it. I should really be going to the club more often."

"Don't push yourself. We all know you're not a short walk away from it anymore. At least it seems you're enjoying the City more now that you're in Harlem."

"I'm enjoying what I can enjoy. But yeah, there's way more stuff to do than here."

"So... I assume you don't want to play an RPG with me?"

"Never been into that. And I feel like I'll cross the nerd event horizon if I ever try it."

"Calls people nerds immediately before throwing theoretical physics terminology around, alright." Xander deadpanned. "You want to play something?"

"Sure, try finding some game. I know you only like PC stuff though."

"Jon has a truckload of games! I'll just borrow his account for a second. Or his console."

"Ah, so that's why you have two 'PS4's now! I was starting to wonder. How long is Jon's stay meant to be?"

"Quickly went from 'probably a week' to 'indefinite'. And Jon's been acting like he's my new permanent brother since day two."

"Oh, jeez. Does Jon think the kids will never grow up?"

Xander glanced briefly at the rest of the guests to see if Jon was listening in. Seeing King using the VR headset while the rest enthusiastically commented on his gameplay. "That's pretty much a cover-up. He's moving because his owners might move to Texas soon and he doesn't want to move with them."

"Huh. Texas isn't so bad! Maybe if he were better informed on all the neat stuff you can do there."

"Whoa, really didn't expect that comment coming from you."

"What? Are you going to go on about how 'elitist' I am? I don't know why everyone assumes I have this deep love for my hometown, I don't think I really do."

"Then why didn't you move to the Midwest like your owner's ex-wife wanted to?"

"Because it's the freaking Midwest! It manages to be far away from both Europe *and* Asia! She would always go on about 'quality of life' and 'cost of living' but we both knew she just wanted an excuse to go back to her family. Just desperately wanting me and Shane to join the ranks of all the morons who move away from here and then keep bragging about it, believing they're enlightened for discovering that a mansion in Kansas costs less than a broom closet in the middle of Manhattan. How about you just get the *** out, don't let the door hit you on the way out, and then just shut up about it?! Boo hoo! Just found out New York isn't for poor people like you?! Too bad! Maybe in another life you'll get to enjoy it! In the meantime, go ahead and enjoy your amazing fifteen bedroom manor you just bought for twenty dollars in some endlessly flat green void!"

Rob finished his rant just to notice Xander trying to recover from a laughing fit. "Hahahaha!" Xander breathed in deeply. "That was such an easy bait! There's your 'elitism', Rob! Just keep in mind concrete jungles aren't for everyone, especially for people with pets. You're just a little oddball of a dog."

"I was raised here, what can I do? I just don't want to lose everything I take for granted."

"But anyways. Jon's owners are planning on moving to some small town in Texas, not Houston or Dallas."

"Oh, that's just depressing. A broom closet would be an improvement to most of the houses you see around there. Keep him safe here then."

"I'll try my best." Xander stared at his consoles briefly. "Are you OK with some Gran Turismo? I don't even need Jon's console for that."

"It's that racing game, isn't it? That brings me back, go ahead."

"Don't even know what else would have multiplayer, to be honest." He quickly hopped off the bed to grab the controllers and set up the console. Both dogs soon starting to play some races as the rest of the room was busy with VR minigames.

"I have some experience with Mario Kart. Maybe you won't completely destroy me." Rob smirked.

"Apples and oranges. You're more of a Nintendo guy, right?"

"I only have a Switch because the rest of the games all get released on PC anyways."

"So what? You can usually emulate Nintendo consoles on PC six years or so after they release too."

"At five FPS and with graphical glitches everywhere. You dirty pirate. Don't you have a Switch there anyways?" He looked at the console collection to check again.

"Walt gives me new consoles as they come out by default. That's one I've barely touched, I only have Mario Galaxy."

"Galaxy?"

"Whatever it's called! The last 3D one."

"You probably mean Odyssey. Don't you think Walt's spoiling you a little?"

"I don't think he's running out of money over that. And I'm avoiding thinking I'm entitled to everything."

"Tell him he doesn't need to do all of this for you. Maybe he's running into debt out of fear of disappointing you."

"You think he'd do that? Right now would be bad timing for me to tell him that. With Jon gradually shifting into becoming a member of the family we're gonna need a bunk bed and another PC. A proper one, not his laptop."

"Oh dear. If things go bad you could ask Brian for help. Dude told me some days ago he's loaded."

"Because of his pet independence stuff?"

"Yeah. It's been getting bigger and busier very quickly."

"Is it because of most humans being quarantined because of that new Coronavirus strain?"

"Of course! Humans are being fired left and right and pets are jumping right in. It's a chance of starting a career while the market's completely desperate, then they use self-ownership firms like Brian's to make sure they're not subject to someone who might want to take it all away from them."

"The age of the pets has begun, huh? Terrible circumstances though."

"Enjoying human civilization without humans, what a year this is. All fine and dandy until a dog pandemic that spreads to humans happens some other year. They'll do to us what they did to those airport birds after that plane crash."

"Don't even joke about that, jeez." Xander waited for the race to end before leaning next to Rob's ear. "By the way." He began to whisper. "May 16! Happy twenty-second!"

"Don't even think about telling the rest about that." He warned quietly. "You know how much I despise happy birthday songs."

"I won't. It wouldn't be a 'happy birthday' if I incovenienced you, would it?"

"What birthday?" Monarch asked, being close enough to the two dogs to hear them while waiting for his turn.

"Nothing!" Xander excused. "Birthday plans for months from now."

"Oh, alright. Leave your planning for the club hours! Enjoy the night, dogs!"

"The night is being enjoyed, thanks." Rob replied. He leaned towards Xander to talk more quietly and not be overheard. "Did you plan this for my birthday? Shane barely remembered it, not that I mind."

"Nope! Realized that when I went over the date. Glad you could make it though, what happened to Brian?"

"Who knows? Didn't you invite him?"

"He just said he'd be 'busy'. I'm just assuming you know more about him than I do."

"Nah. I have no idea what he's doing on a Saturday night. Is that some hint of jealously there?" Rob teased, smirking.

"Haha. I don't mind you two hanging out all the time. Not like I ever see him outside of the club."

"I go out with him, I'm out with you right now. Do you two really never hang out?"

"I guess it's rare, isn't it? We two hang out, you two hang out. You're pretty much the bridge between me and Brian. My fault though, when I see Brian I don't really have the wish of going out with him."

"And I suppose Brian's never invited you. I can't believe I'm the group's extrovert!"

"The e-word! Who would have known?"

"I'm one step away from actually going out to dance parties and getting wasted, the horror!"

"Finally moving from the quiet suburban life here to the busy city life, huh? That was fast."

"Everything I want to check out is so close now! I wish you two moved with me too! Time for the 'Harlem Dogs Club'!"

"The critically-panned spin-off. Don't they have dog clubs there?"

"Never looked that up, dogs there are probably too busy."

"Or most likely can't afford to rent something in such a gentrified area." Both dogs resumed playing their games quietly for a few minutes.

"These plans of us three going out together are still in my mind, you know? Apparently I have to set them otherwise you two just forget it."

"Go ahead, 'extrovert'. We talked about that but that was before Jon even lived here."

"That was just one week ago! Not my fault your life's so hectic! Expect something soon, OK?"

"I'll expect it. Good luck organizing that."

"Guess it's my turn now. You have your Game Nights, Brian has literally every weekend at the club. Now I'll show you two my co-founder skills."

"Gotta hope it's not a disaster like this night right here." He looked at the rest of the room, seeing all the cats still entranced by the VR games.

"It seems you've found the yarn ball of the twenty-first century. Don't complain just because they're not playing what you intended to play."

"The novelty will wear off, whatever. I have so many games I've never tried yet." The Beagle whined.

"First-world problems. Celebrate my birthday with me, OK? Consider it an honor." Rob said in a sarcastically proud tone.

"You should join 'Cats of Queens' too, you know? It'd make the meetups better."

"Uhh... Let's not go that far, OK?"

'Cats of Queens' Discord Server, Saturday 11:11 PM


Suffering(✿◕‿◕) Today at 11:11 PM
thankfully they just disappeared
weird how that works


OldArch Today at 11:11 PM
Really?
when?


Suffering(✿◕‿◕) Today at 11:13 PM
stopped appearing in, like
march, i think?
maybe sooner
not good with dates
not that long ago


OldArch Today at 11:15 PM
Did you stop leaving food in your desk around that time?


Suffering(✿◕‿◕) Today at 11:16 PM
of course not
giving me way too much credit
maybe it was the season


N3rveX Today at 11:17 PM
I hate when problems just solve themselves
and you just have no idea what youll do if it happens again


9MinutesJon Today at 11:20 PM
You kill it with fire
There's probably some giant nest in your house
I've heard insects sometimes infest electronics, worst fear of my life


N3rveX Today at 11:21 PM
I thought the worst fear of your life was a hard drive crash?


9MinutesJon Today at 11:22 PM
Hard drive crash caused by ant infestation
aaaaaaaa
I'm just paranoid after seeing everyone here complaining about losing their files months ago
When will I be next?


ZentrixSM Today at 11:25 PM
Do you even use your PC anymore?


9MinutesJon Today at 11:25 PM
Eventually I will again
very important stuff there


ZentrixSM Today at 11:26 PM
haha I bet there is


OldArch Today at 11:26 PM
also, you're both back from the game night?


ZentrixSM Today at 11:27 PM
yeah it's over
My RPGs got shafted in favor of my VR goggles
so that lowkey sucks
but at least most were happy with it
the total happiness in the world increased
so whatever


N3rveX Today at 11:29 PM
Of course you have a freaking VR setup now
how rich even is your dad
or owner, guardian, whatever you call him
did you like HL:A?
if you have it


ZentrixSM Today at 11:30 PM
The howl's that?


N3rveX Today at 11:30 PM
half life alyx


ZentrixSM Today at 11:31 PM
no, it sucks
But I don't like shooty games anyways
and the thing was free, Jon got it


N3rveX Today at 11:32 PM
he brought it to your house?


ZentrixSM Today at 11:32 PM
He brought it to our house
he's my brother, you know
but that thing's going on his PC as soon as it's here
freaking cat magnet


N3rveX Today at 11:34 PM
You're still going on with the brother thing?
Jon's your neighbor


ZentrixSM Today at 11:34 PM
Not anymore
he's been promoted to same-house-neighbor


_Ksk_ Today at 11:35 PM
Xander's right
Jon lives with him now
And I'll announce that properly instead of them both just acting like we already know that


N3rveX Today at 11:36 PM
really now
Jon has a new dog brother then?
what's even going on


CrumblingBox Today at 11:41 PM
Zentrix's Game Night was amazing, guys
He has these goggles that make it seem like you're in another world
and you can interact with everything
sci-fi stuff


ZentrixSM Today at 11:42 PM
VR has been a thing for years


CrumblingBox Today at 11:42 PM
Then shame on me for missing out all these years
I'm definitely going to more of your meetups
that was a blast, good job
you and your dog friend even kept their distance


ZentrixSM Today at 11:44 PM
That won't be a thing next times
VR is Jon's stuff
I guess with Jon living with me there's no distinction between me and him when it comes to the nights
argh
I don't want you all to abandon everything for VR when at my house


_Ksk_ Today at 11:47 PM
We'll do your games next time
Don't worry, Xander


CrumblingBox Today at 11:48 PM
I won't
Can you both leave that for me then


ZentrixSM Today at 11:49 PM
certainly
My VR has been claimed by King
the rest should come for the other stuff
I think I'm coming off as selfish
like
at least someone should do something else


_Ksk_ Today at 11:51 PM
Just chill, Xander
Lol
That was the first day everyone saw that
We'll all play with you next time
Is VR really that bad for you?


ZentrixSM Today at 11:53 PM
it's silly
it's not serious gaming
whatever, anything I type will come off as whiny
but at least I can claim I tried it and didn't like it


9MinutesJon Today at 11:55 PM
You clearly did, though
Xan's just paranoid thinking regular video games will disappear
And this hostility comes from that


ZentrixSM Today at 11:57 PM
Imagine something you like being replaced by something you like less
it's not good


N3rveX Today at 11:58 PM
I'm coming to your house tomorrow to try that out btw
get ready


ZentrixSM Today at 11:59 PM
go ahead wolf
sorry for the bitterness
Just don't want you all treating me as the "VR guy"


OldArch Today at 12:01 AM
We won't, you have other nicknames already
you coming for the monday meetup, btw?


ZentrixSM Today at 12:04 AM
That's RL stuff isn't it?
pass


OldArch Today at 12:05 AM
"RL stuff"? really?
at least try to sound less nerdy

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Amazee Dayzee
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Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2014 6:24 pm

Re: Chronicles of the CPDC

Post by Amazee Dayzee »

I really am enjoying how you are writing this! I hope that you can continue soon!
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Wortge
Posts: 31
Joined: Sat Feb 29, 2020 11:06 am

Re: Chronicles of the CPDC

Post by Wortge »

Perhaps a bit too soon. This week ended up being a very busy one in the story, so I hope the incoming frequent walls of text aren't too overwhelming.

Xander and Jon's Bedroom, Stevenson Residence, Sunday 12:03 PM

Xander got up from his chair, turning his computer off. "Heading to the club right now, Jon." He told the cat playing games from the nearby bed. "Do you feel like warning me you're going to visit me there later?"

"Very unlikely I will, bye bro."

"See you later then." The Beagle left the room.

Jon waited until he heard the front door closing. "Alright! It's time!" He thought to himself excitedly. Turning his game console off and heading to Xander's computer. He was soon wearing the VR headset while standing in front of the PC, browsing a game list. His entertainment was briefly interrupted by the sound of the doorbell coming from the front door, the cat quickly ignoring it. The sound echoed again after several seconds passed.

"Did Walt forget his keys inside?" The orange tabby thought. "I swear to cod." He reluctantly removed his headset and headed to the house's front door, checking the peephole and seeing a Siberian cat.

"Wolf? What brings you here?" Jon asked with the door still closed.

"Jon?" The other cat called from behind the door. "So you're really living here, huh?"

"You thought it was a conspiracy or something? Do you need help with something?"

"Yes! I need your help getting inside! I'm here to check Xan's virtual reality goggles! Didn't he tell you I'd come?"

"Nope, just another one of his surprises. Let me open the door for you then." He quickly grabbed the nearby keys and unlocked it.

Wolf entered the living room, taking a look at the empty house. "You're alone here? Where's Xander and your dad?"

"Xander's in his club." He answered as both made their way to Jon's room. "And I don't think I'm ready to start calling Walt 'Dad' yet, really weird."

"Beats your other dad's name, doesn't it?"

"That's something I'm not gonna miss." Jon handed Wolf the VR headset as both got close to the computer. "Do you need a tutorial? Have you tried this before?"

"Never! I've seen lots of videos though."

"Were those videos tutorials?"

"No, I'm not that eager. You just put it on, right?" The Siberian cat started wearing the goggles and grabbed the controllers.

"Pretty much, if there are problems with calibration you'll soon notice. Point at things and select them with the buttons."

"I guess these are my hands, haha!" Wolf started looking around. "Can you adjust this for cat paws? These are a lot of fingers, breaks my immersion."

"Uhh... Maybe? That's never bothered me, you play as a human in most games anyways. It's just one extra finger."

"Let me check that, actually... Hahaha! I'm trying to make the extra finger move, it just glitches out sometimes!"

"It's called the 'pinky', by the way. You get used to it really fast."

"Yeah, yeah." The cat started flailing his arms around, the game struggling to replicate it properly.

"Having this much fun already before even choosing a game?"

"Always wanted to check that out. What game is this?"

"This is just the game list."

"Oh, fancy. It's a house and stuff."

"Do you know how to move around?"

"You teleport, right? Oh... got it."

"Just like in real life."

"You blink and you move. No need for that fancy leg movement stuff."

"I mean, I don't see how it'd work. We don't have a field to play on."

"These controllers have analog sticks on them. Couldn't they use that for walking?"

"It's actually an option, but it's really disorienting to move around without moving your legs."

"Why? Haven't you ever been in a car?"

"Do you want to try it?"

"No, whatever. I'll just teleport around like the demigod I am." Wolf soon chose a game in the list almost randomly.

"Alright, in this one you point at things and you shoot them." Jon explained.

"Riveting, it's every game ever made."

"Stop with the cynicism, I have enough of that living with Xander."

"Actually, it's really cool." The other cat conceded after some silence. "Are you getting annoyed by Xander? You two seem to get along really well."

"Do we really? I'm always afraid our constant teasing sometimes makes us look like foes. And no, I'm not. He's my best friend and brother now."

"But he has a problem with everything, doesn't he?"

"He always has his reservations. But he's very passionate about the few things he manages to like."

"And he just hates everything else."

"It's not 'hate'. He just dismisses it. Sometimes a bit too openly."

"How are things even working out here? Is this your computer?"

"I freaking wish. This thing is my dream machine. Xander allows me to use pretty much all of his stuff, but his computer I can only use when he's away or for less than one hour."

"Does he even use everything in this room?"

"I don't know how often he used the rest of the room before I came, been spending most of my free time playing on the TV here. I'm slowly transferring stuff from my old home to here, thankfully there's enough space."

"I'm surprised your parents are giving you away. Is it because of their new kids?"

"They're not giving me away, I'm fleeing."

"Whoa, what?! Are they abusive? You might consider going somewhere farther."

"They're not abusive, it's impossible to live with the kids crying all the time. And they were planning on moving to Texas and dragging me with it."

"I mean, you're a pet. Do you think you're in a place to decide where they should live?"

"Do you think they're in a place to force me to live anywhere? Times have changed! Providing for my every need doesn't mean someone has complete authority over me! If they want to drag me kicking and screaming to freaking no man's land, I have my rights to say 'No!' and abandon ship!"

"'No man's land'? Texas isn't all cowboys, you know?"

"Do you have any idea where 'Kingsville' is?"

"We should send King there."

"I won't be sent there. That's one of my life objectives now. I'm never setting foot in that town! It's my birthtown, but that doesn't count, I had no choice there."

"Oh, you're Texan, Jon? That's an interesting fact."

"In very liberal terms, you weren't born here, were you?"

"No. Who even is born in New York City? This is just where the humans are forced to move to find jobs. I'm from Missoula, Montana. Really miss the mountains."

"Wouldn't even get that in that part of Texas. You're enjoying the game?"

"I'll try another one." Wolf quit the game and started staring at the game list, clearly indecisive.

"Need help? Remember some game you were interested in?"

"I know everyone loved the new Half-Life, but that's a long one."

"Imagine having to play a whole game at someone else's house."

"Hah, imagine that... I'm actually getting hungry right now."

"You didn't eat before coming here? It's noon."

"No, I'm a forgetful mess. Am I allowed to grab some lunch?" Wolf removed the goggles and looked at Jon.

"We'll go get some snack, follow me." Jon led the guest to the kitchen, opening a counter door that revealed many food packages.

"See if you can find something." The tabby presented the boxes.

Wolf looked inside the counter, judging the food options presented to him. "This is just cereal, dog food and pasta."

"Pick your poison? It's all good to me."

"You like dog food?!"

"It's alright, don't really see what makes it 'dog'. I eat it when I just feel like getting rid of hunger. We have no milk for the cereal, by the way. Xander loves eating just the flakes as a snack."

"Good gravy. From what universe did you and Xander even come from? I'll get the spaghetti."

"That's not one of the options! You have to cook it. You're not going to eat it right out of the box, right?"

"Of course not! I'm not going to follow you two's weird eating habits. I've prepared spaghetti before, where are the sauces stored? Do you have a hairnet for pets?"

"No! Do you think we two cook?"

"Oh, it's alright. Nothing wrong with some fur in the food, that stuff's already all over your body anyways."

"Are you doing a bit right now? You can't cook in someone else's house!"

"One hundred percent serious, Mister Arbuckle. Aren't you hungry too?"

"Yes, but I'll just grab something easy. I can't have you cooking here! What would Walt think? I have no reserve secondary homes after this one!"

"Do you have instant noodles anywhere then? Just feel like having pasta today."

"Not really a 'snack' is it? Xan makes it sometimes, they're right here." He opened another door, showing many stacked packages of instant ramen.

"Oh, delicious! I haven't had those in a while, guilty pleasure of mine." Wolf quickly grabbed one of the packages. Pouring water into a saucepan and starting to heat it on the cooktop later.

"This still looks way too much like cooking. Well, whatever. I'll be at my room, if you get me kicked out I'm going to haunt you."

"Homelessness doesn't equal death, you know? You're offending all the shelter cats and alley cats out there." Jon was already out of the kitchen by the end of the sentence.

The front door was heard being unlocked after about a minute. Walt silently heading to his bedroom to get changed. He noticed someone using the kitchen, not stopping to look at it.

"Finally actually preparing some food, Jon?" He commented from far. "Call me if you need help, OK?"

"OK!" Wolf replied quickly.

"What's with your voice? You're not hiding a cold, are you? Remember I still need all your vet papers."

"I'm fine! What's with *your* voice?" Wolf tried to deflect.

"My voice? Whatever, Jon." The human shrugged.

The Siberian cat finished his cooking, grabbing the bowl of ramen and heading to Jon's room, not being seen. Closing the room's door after getting in.

"I heard that. By the way." Jon noted, pausing the game and taking his headset off.

"Your new human acts like AI in a stealth game, good stuff." Wolf sat down on the bed, starting to eat his lunch.

"He has his head in the clouds, yeah." He glanced at his friend's food. "You're eating with chopsticks like Xander? I'm surrounded by weebs."

"You want me to eat this with a fork? Next thing I know you'll tell me you unironically watch dubbed stuff."

"Yeah, imagine me doing that." The tabby deadpanned. Returning to his game, both of them remaining in silence as Wolf continued his food.

"Didn't you tell me you were hungry back in the kitchen?" He asked Jon.

"I'll grab something quick if Walt doesn't prepare something, I told you."

"He's assuming you're having ramen right now, you know?"

"Right, you did that. My plans haven't changed. I'll grab something once you're done."

"Won't he assume you're eating too much?"

"I'll tell him I'm bringing it to you. And you know Walt, he won't say a word unless I'm starting to burn down the house. Which I feared you would do."

"Burn down a house by preparing ramen? This isn't 'The Sims'."

"I mean, you were looking for a hairnet there. You originally had grander plans."

"Plans for some quick spaghetti. I'm not trying to be a chef here! Does Walt even cook?"

"Occasionally. He's addicted to takeout, not that I mind."

"Oh yeah, I remember that. Sometimes I forget we're talking about Xander's owner here, not a stranger. Pretty much forgot I was originally preparing to spend the day with Xan here."

"I've had some talks with Walt before, really cool dude. They do say pets get their owner's behavior, so no surprise there."

"You don't really act like your old owner though, do you?"

"I... Way to destroy my little hypothesis immediately."

"Guess your PhD will have to wait now. I'm done here, by the way. Put my bowl back in the kitchen when you go there for your little snack, then it's VR time for me."

"You're reminding me of myself back when I moved here, just asserting yourself. I guess it's karma."

The room's door suddenly opened with no announcement. Walt looking at the two cats.

The human's eyes widened. "Xan, is that you?!" He asked Wolf, shaking.

The Siberian cat held some laughter. "Yeah!" He began saying with an exaggerated New York accent. "Who did you expect here?"

"Wolf!" Jon chided. "You know this cat, dad!"

"Oh. Hey, Wolf." Walt calmed down. "Sorry, I've been having these dreams where Xander... Have fun, you two." He hurried back to the living room, closing the door again.

"I didn't need to know that." Wolf commented after some silence, chuckling.

"I'm wondering if he considers those good dreams or nightmares."

"Could you imagine that, though?"

"Walt's actually a cat person, it's definitely a fantasy of his. Now I'm wondering how Xan would act, he'd finally one hundred percent fit in with us."

"Physically and mentally. What about his dog club?"

"The guys don't have cats joining them just because of the 'Dog Club' label. I go there all the time now as a non-member and they still treat me like one. With a cat in their 'Leader Council' the club would enter a new golden era."

"What a weird universe would that be."

"Seriously."

College Point Dogs Club, Sunday 5:05 PM

A Beagle and a Golden Retriever chatted in the almost empty first floor of the club, the Beagle wagging and looking very outwardly happy.

"Second in the world, baby!" Xander continued to exclaim. "You won't believe for how long I've been trying to 'triple A' that!"

"Three years?" Brian guessed.

"Rhetorical. I don't keep track of that, it'd just depress me."

"Well, uh. Congrats! I know I certainly can't even process that song."

"These tiny highlights are why I still bother! Nowhere to go but downhill from here!"

"You're slipping off into pessimism again."

"Who cares?! Worst comes to worst, nobody is taking this 'triple A' from me!"

"Yeah, just make sure that video doesn't get corrupted. Your session's done, right?"

"Of course! I returned to the title screen, two sessions in a day gives you bad luck."

"I don't think being tired is 'bad luck'. Haven't seen you this happy in a while, it's almost dog-like."

"Finally proving to you guys that I'm a dog, huh? Now all we need is for you to act dog-like today and finally the pigs will start flying."

"You clearly don't know me well enough. You should know that 'Office Brian' isn't my normal."

"I know, sorry for never visiting you outside of here. Rob's plans for Tuesday night are still set, right?"

"Of course! I'll warn everyone in advance if I'm unable."

"Good. See you later then, Brian! Don't you usually close the club now?"

"These two guys are holding it up." The Retriever discretely pointed at two puppies playing next to the podium. "It's pretty much closed, though."

"Aww! Later then!" The Beagle left the club building, walking the path to his house.

As Xander made his way back home he sighted a familiar purple-furred cat coming towards him, walking on the same sidewalk as him. He continued walking normally, acting as he'd act if the cat were a complete stranger.

"Xander!" Grape shouted as soon as they passed each other. The anticipation before the shout making Xander deeply startle.

"What, Grape?" Xander turned back, regaining his composure and asking as calmly as possible.

"Do you feel like finishing that Pridelands session today?"

"I barely remember that. You know that Jon's living with me now, right?"

"Of course, I was at your house yesterday!"

"Right, right. With everyone crowding the VR it ended up just being me hanging out with Rob for me."

"Your loss, right? Hope you had fun."

"I did. And how is it 'my loss'? That thing's attached to my computer, I can use it any day I want."

"Stay humble. You can't enjoy it with friends whenever you want."

"I don't think it has multiplayer, enjoying it with friends is just playing while someone comments over your gameplay. And I have Jon 24/7 there, going all 'Hahaha, I bet you're really secretly liking this thing you tell everyone you don't like.' every time I try it."

"And you know something else that you also secretly like? Pridelands."

"I've never watched the thing!"

"It's a book! The movies are adaptations."

"Yeah, yeah. It's the 'Harry Potter' effect. What makes you think I like that drivel?"

"You play the characters really accurately."

"That's all? You made me role-play that, I might as well go all-in. I'm not going to be bitter and try to ruin your adventure."

"But anyways, you still up for it? I can recap things if you want to."

"Yeah, let's go to my home." Xander finally started walking again. "Jon will have a field day with me arriving there with you and proceeding to play an RPG themed over some trashy books for cats. Tell you what."

"I can shut him up if you want to. You know, playing with you is a lot funnier than playing with Max."

"Grape! You're comparing me to your boyfriend?! I have absolutely no romantic interest in you! Let's nip that in the bud before some gossip starts rolling around!"

"I'm saying I prefer playing RPGs with you. Not *other* things." She smirked.

The Beagle stared at Grape, dazed. "Uh... You're way too open about this. Some people have joked about us two having a romance, but when the joke's coming from the 'interest' itself. It's just... Stop!"

Stevenson Residence, Sunday 5:31 PM

Xander entered his house, Grape tagging along. He was visibly fumbling with getting the key to fit into the keyhole.

"Is this some early Parkinson's or are you just really excited to restart our game?" Grape commented.

"Somehow I got one of my biggest gaming achievements just one hour ago... There we go!" He finally locked the door. "Was that so hard?" The duo started crossing the living room.

"Hey there, Xander!" Walt greeted from his corner. "Looking very canine today! Good!"

The Beagle gave him a brief confused stare. "Yes, it's indeed a fine day to be a canine. My primate friend." Dog and cat soon left the room.

"What was with that comment?" Grape asked before reaching Xander's room.

The dog shrugged. "Go figure. Hopefully it's not foreshadowing."

Both opened the door to the shared bedroom. Jon looking away from his game at the bed while Wolf continued his VR session uninterrupted.

"Hello! Jon, Wolf." Xander greeted. "We two are using the game table, keep doing what you're doing."

"Whoa!" Jon exclaimed. "This is over half the people we had yesterday at the Game Night! Going for two days in a row?"

"No, this is all. Some unfinished business with Grape here."

"Hi! Xander and Grape!" Wolf tried to guess without removing the goggles. "Up for some 'shooties'?"

"Nah, keep doing whatever you two are doing." Xander repeated. "Sorry for stooding you up, Wolf. Kinda forgot you were coming. Hope Jon's been a good replacement."

"No problem, Xan. I even forgot this was your house after a while."

Xander started getting the game package as Grape got seated. Trying hard to hide it from Jon, who was dividing his attention between his game and Xander's actions.

"You're trying to hide it, aren't you?" The orange tabby taunted from the bed.

"Hide what?" The dog disguised.

"You're playing that RPG about lion warriors with Grape, you think she hasn't told me that yesterday? Don't be ashamed of it!"

"I swear I'm going to find out who gifted this thing." He facepalmed, sitting down with Grape and the game. "Alright. Set up your stuff, Veteran." He told the purple cat.

"Why is Wolf here?" Grape asked quietly as she prepared the game.

"He wants to try out the VR. He wasn't here yesterday. Hopefully the last cat attracted by this cursed gadget."

"Do the dogs not like it?"

"I wonder if it's a species thing, it's curious. I think it's alright, but traditional video games are way better and will always be better. Rob wasn't interested, I've heard from Jon that Brian didn't like it. Other club dogs don't really know about me having it, so I can't gauge their interest."

"So all other dogs hate it, but you just 'don't mind it'? Hmm..."

"Stop it with this meme! I'm not a cat! I don't act like a cat! Holy ***!"

"I'll stop, I'll stop. No need for the tier-three swearing."

"You know this will only get worse with time, right? Since I'm going to get Jon's personality more and more, living with him."

"Uh... I like to think I don't really get a lot of quirks from Peanut."

"You like dog biscuits, you go to the dog club, you're borderline cheating on Max with Peanut. I can easily turn the tables on you, you know? Dog lover."

"Alright, that's a side of you I don't wanna see. Let's get this started again already." She adjusted her chair. "Do you really need the recap?"

"Yes, the faux East African attempts at names is all jumbled up in my brain already."

"Are the names inaccurate?"

"I mean, nothing's stopping someone in an isolated Amazon tribe from naming their kid 'John', but some names in this are like a mixture of Hindi and Russian. Then we have some attempts at Pseudo-Swahili, which I guess is OK. The thing about Africa is its extreme language diversity, especially prior to colonization. Some North-American writer will try to come up with exotic-sounding words and it might even turn out possibly accurate, considering you can just chalk it up to being a name in an ancient, extinct, very local language."

Grape stared at the rambling dog. "Right. Have you gone to school by any chance?"

"Are we switching from calling me a cat to calling me a human? Because that's Brian's territory. No, I haven't. Just too much free time with an internet-connected computer."

"I've heard that's a sure way of giving yourself depression. Anyways: You're Lord Parnok, warrior of the Sokuto pride. One of the most powerful regiments in the Kokuma bushlands. After the untimely death of Commander Nabet, you're assuming temporary leadership of the Pride. Leading it in the last leg of your retreat back to the capital city of Awara. As the sun sets, you observe your surroundings from the lookout next to the encampment. To the north: The massive tower of the Awaran citadel, centerpiece of the Kingdom, juts from behind the horizon. To the south: Slow-moving lights can be seen, very likely the pursuing Kaporian army."

Xander looked down and scratched his head. "Ah! This is worse than I remember it being."

"Your situation or the naming?"

"The naming. Right, uh... After resting, at the crack of dawn. I lead my pride to the Capital, as fast as possible."

"Are you going via the roads or via the concealed savannahs?"

"The roads. As I've said: 'As fast as possible'. I'm deep within my own kingdom's borders with most of its army. I shouldn't be worried about any kind of ambush."

"Let's roll the outcome based on your luck and speed, roll D6 and D20..." Grape launched two dice at the table. "Six and nineteen!"

"See?"

"A massive storm forms suddenly to the south, greatly increasing the discharge of the rivers you cross on the way to Awara, destroying the bridges minutes after you and your pride cross them. Trapping the pursuing army in a large fluvial island as reported by some observing bird soldiers. Your arrival at the Capital is celebrated by the citizens, cheering your return from your successful southern campaign."

"Head to the Citadel for the great celebratory banquet! Also try to drop hints that there's a massive enemy army in the island right next to the Capital."

"Xander!" Jon suddenly called. "Wolf's leaving, just letting you know that."

"Oh. See you later, Wolf." Xander and Grape waved at the Siberian cat briefly.

"See you, Xander. Bye, Grape." The cat left the room, Jon following him.

"Your PC's unclaimed right now." Grape noted. "I can see you salivating already."

"Please, Grape. I'm enjoying this, especially after my plans derailed last night. Also, you willing to bet Jon's going to switch from his game to the VR immediately once he's back?"

"Speaking of betting, is it true that Rob's always betting on random stuff?"

"No? He used to bet on some tournaments at the club but Brian prohibited that after some drama."

"Right... Peanut lost some money to Rob on a bet, I've heard. Never took him for someone who'd do match bets."

"Oh, I actually remember that! It wasn't a match, Rob tricked Peanut with some magic card trick."

"Ah... Well, that's one dog off my 'good dog' list."

"How's my banquet going, anyways?"

"Thinking of dinner already, bro?" Jon asked from the door, quickly making his way to the PC and using the VR goggles.

"Told you, Grape." Xander whispered. "At least turn the 'PS4' off before jumping back on my computer!" He scolded his cat roommate.

"Sure, dad." He blindly reached for the console, still wearing the headset, managing to find and press its power button.

"Nice zombie-walk there. I can see some cartoonist making a drawing of that saying VR is turning everyone into zombies already."

"Bet you'd enjoy that, boomer."

"You're one year late for that."

"Uh." Grape tried to cut in. "So, a great celebratory banquet is held for the elite warriors of the Sokuto pride. Being the highest ranking surviving officer, you're seated right next to the Council, who congratulate you for your successful leadership through the last half of the campaign."

"Am I getting that 'commander' rank now?"

"Is that an action?"

"Uh, no. Don't ask the Council that. I inform the Council of the pursuing Takovian army, advising them to strengthen the Capital's defenses and immediately deploy the garrisoned army to the immediate south."

"It's 'Kaporian', you know? You just spent months in Kapor, after all."

"Whatever. That sounds Eastern European, by the way."

"Roll charisma, D20... Nine! The Council heeds your warning, promising to strengthen the city's defenses, but hold off on deploying the army. Concerned about the approaching storm from the south."

"I try to enjoy the rest of the banquet. I also tell some of the lieutenants to be on the lookout for any attempts made by the enemy army to cross the rivers."

"Luck check, D6... One! The lieutenants are drunk and ignore your commands. Also most of your food is overcooked."

"Uh... Go to the Citadel's spire and look for enemy movements by myself."

"Luck check... Five! You head to the spire's observation decks with some of the more senior officers, you and them sight some of the army's attempts at reaching the Capital and they scramble to organize the army for a proper defense effort."

"Can I join in on this?" Jon asked, interrupting their game. "I think this needs a second PC, also I actually know at least some TPC lore."

"Finally got bored of those stupid goggles?" Xander teased.

"I've barely begun playing. Can I join or do you two want your alone time?"

"You said you'd stop with the romance implications! In front of her, too!"

"Shove off, Jon." Grape answered. "Most of the fun here is Xan's complete cluelessness towards the lore."

"Jeez, alright then." The tabby returned to his game.

"Didn't you just say I play very in character a while ago?" Xander questioned.

"You do! You got Parnok's personality down to a T. You just have no idea of what each clan is, how the governments in the Pridelands work, you never remember the NPC names. It's like seeing an amnesiac Parnok in action."

"An amnesiac Parnok who's about to be promoted to commander! Has that happened in the series?"

"Do you want me to spoil that?"

"Who cares? Do you really think I'm interested in this universe? I don't even like reading."

"Are you a fan of anything, Xander?"

"Of course! Don't I make that obvious? I like rhythm games, RPGs, the Internet, some video games."

"But are you a fan of say, any franchise?"

"'Fan' is a strong word, and it's almost negative. It's like calling myself a 'gamer'."

"Are you interested in any franchise? Like, any media franchise, with a plot."

"I don't think I do. I watch things, I play things. But I never really invest time being interested in a setting, I just enjoy the main show and bail out once I'm done."

"Right, right. Honestly, I think it's healthier. I was getting into forum arguments over the Pridelands' last book some time ago."

"Heh. Don't you think I'm safe from that. Never been involved in one but I've observed a lot of discussion. You know, I've never seen a Star Wars movie, but I just love the fact that some of the actors clearly dislike and don't care about the last movies, and they don't even pretend to be hyped for them in the interviews. Until it gets really close to the release date and you notice they probably got threatened by the Disney executives and they start acting really fake and canned. I was watching some compilations of that some months ago."

"Would you say you're interested in these videos?"

"Oh, yeah. Total Youtube fan right here. I guess you've found it." Xander remarked sarcastically.

I actually have never played a tabletop RPG or even watched one being played. Don't know if the gameplay ended up being unrealistic or implausible.

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Amazee Dayzee
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Re: Chronicles of the CPDC

Post by Amazee Dayzee »

I am really looking forward to reading more! Please keep up the good work!
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Wortge
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Joined: Sat Feb 29, 2020 11:06 am

Re: Chronicles of the CPDC

Post by Wortge »

'Edge' Observation Deck, Hudson Yards, Manhattan, Tuesday 6:28 PM

A large, triangular platform jutted out from a tall glass skyscraper near its top levels. Three dogs leaned on the tall glass fence at its edge, looking at the city's skyline from above, standing side-by-side.

"Very beautiful." Xander commented, neutrally.

"Is this the part where we all have a very emotional heart-to-heart as we look over the city?" Rob quipped.

"Nah. We gotta wait for the sunset for that."

"Have you two ever visited here before?" Rob asked. "It opened this year, March." The two other dogs blurted a 'No' at the same time.

"It opened for like, three days and then they closed it for humans."

"Ah, yeah. I remember the animal uprising." Xander joked.

"'Highest observation deck in the western hemisphere!'" Rob boasted sarcastically. "Easy to win if you disregard Asia, of course."

The three dogs continued observing the city in silence. "Rob, you're the city lover here." Brian began. "Can you tell us what's your favorite building in the city? Aesthetic wise?"

"Uh... Probably One World Trade Center, right there." He pointed to his right, at a distant tall glass tower. "Not a fan of the spire, which they added just to win some height records. But I love the modern look."

"Do you prefer it over the old towers?"

"Of course! Those things were just two gray sticks, eyesores."

"Bad taste, Rob! Really?! You prefer some generic glass tower over the Twin Towers?"

"Why do you prefer them? They were just iconic, nothing else."

"Just the sheer height of them compared to Downtown! They were so wide and still so tall. Just these two looming giants, yelling 'look at us!' with their sheer presence. Do you even remember them properly?"

"Of course I do! As a pup I went there all the time with Shane and his rich parents. They loved the top-floor restaurant there."

"Oh. Oh dear. Second favorite, then?"

"You're going to have me rank the entire skyline?"

"How else will we pass the time here?"

"I'll tell you my least favorite, it's right there." He pointed at a very thin, extremely tall blocky tower. "That thing doesn't even have a name, they just call it by its address. I think it's even taller than the Empire State, disgrace."

"Hm, I see. Reflects your previous opinions."

"It's just housing for billionaires, who never live there. And why are the windows so freaking big?"

"The view from there must be quite nice, wouldn't you like some big windows?"

"Of course you're going to defend the billionaires. Do you plan on buying some apartments there with your millions eventually?"

"Haha, let's not go that big. My favorite is the Empire State Building. Must've been a wonder to see it back when buildings over one thousand feet were a rarity." The three dogs looked at the mentioned nearby skyscraper.

"Common opinion, but yeah. The thing's gorgeous."

"Do you have any horse in this race, Xan?" Brian asked the quiet Beagle.

"I dunno, aren't these towers just workplaces for humans?"

"Mostly. And that's why I said 'aesthetic wise'. The entire city is in view right now, can you pick your favorite tower?"

"Uh... That one right there." The dog pointed. "With the triangular top."

"'Citicorp'?" Rob asked, clarifying Xander's pick. "Interesting choice, not a very prominent one. Kinda hipster."

"Oh, come on!" The Beagle reacted. "What am I supposed to pick? Another one of the tallest ones, like you two?"

"It's fine, Xander." Rob rubbed the Beagle's head. "It's a cool-looking one. And it's very visible from Queens too."

"Do you two feel like standing on the glass floor there? Maybe jump on it a little?" Xander invited. The three dogs looking at a part of the deck with transparent floor.

"You serious?" Rob recoiled. "I know the glass is strong, but I don't want to stand somewhere where my primal instincts just keep telling me I'm about to die."

"Big pup." He taunted. "I'm not jumping on it, but I'll wait for the crowd to clear and check it out."

"Afraid the floor's going to break if too many people stand on it?"

"At least I'm willing to check it out."

"I did already, I'll pass."

All three resumed watching the view in silence. Xander eventually left to check the glass floor, just staring straight down while on it for some seconds. Brian also deciding on doing almost the same thing right after. The three dogs then returned to their original positions next to the edge. Brian grabbing his smartphone and taking pictures of many places in the city, zooming in and out with the phone camera.

"Here's an interesting prompt that I keep forgetting to ask you guys." Brian started again. "If there was a movie where you're the protagonist and it could take place at any time, from your birth to this very moment. What would it be about?"

"Uh..." Rob muttered. "It would probably be some light-hearted comedy about me and Shane's trip to India, what a mess that was." The Retriever laughed.

"My movie would probably be about all my failed starts at a big community project." Brian spoke. "With me eventually finally managing to start the current dog club, against all odds at that time. It would end with our one-hundredth member ceremony, back in '16."

"Very predictable answer, come on!" Rob criticized.

"What can I say? What else could it be about?"

"I don't know, your life seems super interesting. Also, your movie would end in 2016, despite all the troubles the club ran into right after?"

"Any good movie needs some room for a potential sequel. That's how you get investors for it!"

"Of course. Business-savvy Brian."

"What about you, Xan?" Brian asked.

"Ooh..." He scratched his head, covering his eyes with a paw. "I was dreading that question would be thrown at me too... I don't know."

"Just think of your life, make it flash before your eyes!"

"Walking back to that glass floor would be useful now. Let's see... Birth... Growth... Death... Oh wait, not yet... It could be about Jon moving in to my home, but that's extremely recent, and technically still ongoing."

"Oh, right. I guess you're living the most surreal time of your life right now. See? You ended up giving us the most interesting answer."

"I think founding a club or going on a big trip is more interesting than helping some cat. It's interesting because it's less obvious than your answers."

"I don't know why you keep saying that you 'don't travel'." Rob cut in. "Haven't you been to France and Japan? And knowing the languages too! I hoped you'd tell me more about that when you visited the travel club with me, but you just listened to everyone else there."

"You know how shy I am with strangers. It was nothing special compared to your trips, they were both the only times I ever traveled by plane. I never left Paris, I never left Tokyo, we just visited the most famous stuff there and left. But knowing the language I guess improves the experience, I dunno. Not like I can know what it's like to be in Japan without knowing some Japanese."

"Oh, get outta here! Are you serious?! You never left the cities?! That's disgusting! What a waste! Next time you two travel I'm coming with you! Or maybe you're coming with us when we travel! Brian will pay for the ticket!"

"Hey!" The other Retriever exclaimed.

"I can't believe you'd come to Japan knowing Japanese just to check overrated *** like Akihabara and Shibuya! It's a massive country out there! And in Tokyo it's all translated for foreigners anyways!"

"It's hard to pass off as a local in Japan, you know? Unless you're an Akita or a Shiba any small less-than-perfect pronunciation will give you away."

"What about France?"

"Talked to a lot of French there. But they probably assumed I was a permanent immigrant, not French-born."

"What makes you assume that?"

"I... I don't know! I'm a perfectionist, OK! I make a mistake and then I'm immediately thinking 'Uh-oh, my cover is blown!'. Sometimes I mess up so badly that they start trying to speak English! The German do that all the time! It's terrible! Just let me fit in! I love your language!"

Rob laughed a little at the outburst. "Have the Japanese ever tried 'English'ing you?"

"No, Japan's very monolingual. But I could tell they were dumbing things down for me!"

"Oh, Xander. You're priceless! We're going to Japan next year, OK? I'm not giving you a choice. We'll do Hokkaido, haven't been there yet."

"Whatever, I'll be your translator."

"Oh, it'd be so cool!" Rob started his uncontrolled wagging. "And it's so possible! I'm telling Shane today! Don't you dare schedule anything for next year's first half!" He hugged Xander, beaming.

"Jeez! Chill, Rob!"

"Sorry." Rob let go of Xander and sharply returned to his stoic façade.

"Do you guys know what you're gonna do next?" Brian asked after some more silent viewing.

"I'm in charge of the plans, right?" Rob answered. "I have everything outlined, don't worry. Let's leave this building at seven."

"But do you know what you're gonna do next... In your life?" Brian smirked, looking at Rob.

"What? Knock that off, Brian! Don't make me think of my future! Being alone most of the time already gives me enough existential dread."

"Oh, sorry. We just talked about our past, just wanted to follow that with a question about our future. You're not having depressive thoughts, are you? You should never hide that!"

"No, no! It's just... I'd like to avoid thinking about that... I can talk about my future! I'm going to Japan with Shane and Xander! Yeah! Just keep it the immediate future!"

"You're really certain about that, aren't you?" Xander commented.

"I mean, Jon managed to suddenly assert himself into being your new permanent roommate. I guess it'd be easy to just force you to go travel with me next year."

"Haha. Well, Jon did it gradually. You two remember day one, right? He came to me and said he just wanted some sleep. Only in the next days he revealed that he's not OK with his current owners. He might even go back eventually, I don't know why we started assuming it's likely permanent, his owners might backtrack on things, especially if they miss him."

"How should I plan this trip then? Day one: 'Hey Xan! Would you be vaguely OK with leaving the State within this decade temporarily?' Day two: 'Xander! Could you show me your passport really quick?'"

"No need for that. It's just funny how it quickly went from something nobody had in mind to suddenly something that might dominate our lives next year."

"That's how I work! You think you can travel the world being indecisive?" The conversation stopped briefly. "I think we're done here, do you two want to check the platform's other side, perhaps?"

"What can you even see from the other side? New Jersey? I'll pass." Brian scoffed.

"Ouch. And it's still me who gets the 'arrogant New Yorker' reputation here."

Hudson Yards Grounds, Midtown Manhattan, 7:08 PM

The three dogs casually strolled along the plaza next to the modern skyscrapers of the development project. A large structure composed of connected staircases towered over the plaza's center.

"I've seen that abomination from the car a few times." Xander commented to his two friends. "Can you climb it?"

"Yeah!" Rob chirped. "Do you want to? You need tickets in advance, I believe."

"What?! You gotta pay to get there?! It's just some stairs!"

"Nobody's going to build something and then get no money for it, you know? It's also used to avoid crowding, you can only visit for one hour, I think."

"As if there's even a need for that this year! Where's even the booth?"

"It's really thin at the bottom, there's only one entrance. They control access from there."

"Eh, I'm not missing anything. If not for that it'd be a great place for exercise, for the locals here."

"Something I'm really lacking, by the way." Brian noted. "Busy, busy, busy."

"I thought things were more relaxed now, Brian." Rob recalled.

"Club-wise they are. But I'm managing." He quickly thought of a way of steering the conversation. "Are you exercising often, Rob?"

"Yeah, I walk to Central Park from home a lot. Sucks that the north side's pretty boring."

"Spoiled!" Xander teased. "College Point just has a glorified playground and you're here complaining about the giant forest inside the city you have access to."

"The waterfront park there has better views, to be honest. At least compared to where I can reach just by walking from home." They continued walking across the plaza until they reached the other sidewalk. Rob signalled the other two to follow him, crossing a crosswalk and heading to a nearby large subway entrance, a large glass roof suspended over it. The three dogs descended the first escalator and passed the station's turnstiles.

"So, where are we going now?" Xander asked as they started walking down more escalators.

"'Are we there yet?' 'Are we there yet?'" Rob mocked. "Surprises are this night's theme, alright?"

"Rob, please!" The Beagle whined. "If this is another 'Roulette' I'm gonna throw you off this thing!"

"It's not roulette! And also not a trip to the hospital." They got off the escalator and headed to the platforms.

"So, Xan..." Rob small-talked. "You doing well on DDR recently?"

"StepMania." Xander corrected quickly. "Very fine, all things considered. I 'triple A'd one of the hardest files in Tachyon Gamma a few days ago. Proud of that, considering my accuracy's been garbage. My speed's really suffering recently though, not good! I finally posted the video today on FFR, people are calling it 'insane' so that's a quick and easy ego boost."

"Right... Uh, I'll check that video later." A train soon approached and opened its doors, the three dogs getting in.

"You really overestimate my knowledge of that game, you know?" Rob added once the train started moving.

"I'm trying my best here. A 'triple A' is all 'Perfect's or better, 'Tachyon Gamma' is a level pack, 'FFR' is a website. What else didn't you get there?"

"It's fine, but when these terms come at you rapid-fire it just sounds like technobabble." Rob stared blankly at the window until the train approached the next station. He left the train, the two other dogs following.

"Transferring lines, huh?" Xander commented again. "Was fearing we were going back to Queens for some reason."

"What do you have against your own home? And we're 'transferring' alright."

"What do you mean by that? Are we doing something at the station?"

"You'll see, stay tuned." Rob continued leading the dogs to the station's upper levels.

"You're making me feel like I'm walking down death row. Why is that so ominous?"

"It's nothing big, OK? Just kinda funny."

"Why are you suddenly so nervous, Xan?" Brian cut in.

"I was OK with just following Rob, but then he called the next thing a 'surprise' and it kinda activated my fight-or-flight."

"Nothing to get hyped for, to be honest. Or scared about." Rob and the other two soon reached the street level, leaving the subway station entrance, which was built into a skyscraper's ground floor. The Retriever started walking towards a nearby intersection surrounded by animated electronic billboards attached to the sides of numerous skyscrapers.

"Times Square?! Really?!" Xander exclaimed. "What's there even to do here?! It's just ads!"

"It's a lesson in marketing, you know? Brian likes it." He partially joked. "It's just a place you rarely ever consider going to, even though tourists are fascinated by it."

"It's a little interesting and all." Brian opined. "But really all you have here are big franchises you can find anywhere else, since only them can afford a store here."

"That's a common opinion, I know." Rob surrendered. "I know New Yorkers hate this place. I don't want to go anywhere yet, just hang out here. It's such an obvious attraction that it ends up being creative. Like a Parisian visiting the Eiffel Tower or an Angeleno visiting the Walk of Fame."

"Yeah, I can say I haven't been here by foot in years." Xander conceded. The three dogs sat on a large blocky granite bench, looking at some of the billboards for a few minutes.

"Ads for days!" Brian laughed. "You two feel like buying something yet?"

"Feeling like heading to a souvenir shop and buying an 'I Heart New York' shirt for pets just being here." The Beagle joked.

"There's news there if you're interested." Brian pointed to a nearby news ticker.

"I've had enough of that stuff." Rob dismissed. "It's the same bad stuff over and over! Corolla's virus killing billions of humans in seconds! Blasted 'experts' who are always there just to 'predict' how everything will just get worse! It's all downhill! I swear if I hear the term 'unprecedented times' one more time I'm gonna do something unprecedented!"

"Good news are the normal, you know?" Brian argued. "That's why only bad news are worth reporting on. Don't know why that's such a common complaint about newscasts. 'Someone had plans and executed them successfully' isn't news."

"It's just... It's better to live in ignorance. If I were stuck in the train tracks with a train about to run me over, I'd rather have it come from behind."

"Things aren't that bad with the world, Rob. You're acting like there's a meteor coming." Brian consoled. "Weren't you just raving about going to Japan minutes ago? What's with the mood swings?"

"Easy for you to say that when you're a non-human millionaire. I honestly find it easy to just ignore and forget things that make you feel doomed, but this year's been pushing it. With the quarantine I was afraid I'd just get stuck home forever, they'd close things for humans, then for pets, then they'd just prohibit everyone from leaving their homes. No more vacations, no more New York, no more of you two, even. Dreadful times."

"The scare will be over soon." Brian continued consoling. "And then once it's over, people will just continue complaining about other things, saying that we're living in the worst times ever. Don't let that get to you."

"I don't, I just told you I'm able to. Why did this visit turn so bleak? No wonder Xander was dreading it, nice sixth sense there, little guy." The three dogs chuckled. Continuing to look at the scenery silently.

"Take a load of that dog family taking a selfie." Xander tried to point out to the two dogs using only his snout. "We'll be forever in that picture of them, sitting here, staring at nothing. We'll never know anyone who sees that picture and they'll never know who the random dogs in the background are."

"This will probably sound like bragging." Rob started. "But imagine me, having been to so many tourist attractions. Just imagine in how many photos I'm in without knowing, just standing there, visiting some place, minding my own business."

"You're definitely the record holder here, yeah. And these pictures will stay in whatever servers they post them to forever, outliving us all. The last remnants of our lives."

"Shut up, Xander! Are you serious?!" Rob shouted. "What's with the existentialism today?! You've never said things like that!"

"We've all thought things like that, though. It's alright, Rob. Just pretend they'll invent the miracle life extender in your lifetime and you'll live for infinite years. We'll all outlive the universe!"

"Augh! Stop! Is this my punishment for bringing you here?! Do you two dislike this stupid tourist trap so much?!"

"Close your eyes and chill out, Rob." Brian advised. "You just need a distraction. *We* need a distraction, to be honest. Open your eyes and discuss the first billboard you see."

"Thanks for this, Brian. I feel distracted already." The Retriever closed his eyes and shook his head randomly, suddenly opening his eyes and stopping the shaking at the same time after a brief moment. "Uh... I didn't catch the name of it, some video ad for some series on ABC."

"Hah! TV?! In the year of two-zero-two-zero?!" Xander joked. "Who does that?"

"Have you ever watched TV, Xan? In any year?" Brian asked.

"I'm just being obnoxious. Of course I've watched TV, even recently."

"You don't really follow any series, do you?"

"Never have, that's like, a one hundred hour investment. Movies are around two hours and that's pushing it for me already."

"Video games are usually like, ten hours though. Is that OK with you?"

"It's different media, I like stuff that doesn't require me to just look at a screen."

"What about reading?"

"Never tried it, to be honest."

"Really? Never picked up a book?"

"Nope! I've read short stories online, if that counts."

"Barely. What about comic books?"

"The stuff's like, ninety-five percent superheroes. Second worst concept after zombies."

"Didn't Peanut make you read some comic he makes a few days ago? He was showing everyone in the club that."

"Oh, that? Guess what? It was a superhero comic. I thought the art was passable until I learned he's been drawing for over ten years."

"Well, some people plateau too soon. Can I get a trademarked 'Xander Rating' for Peanut's little superhero comics?"

"Oh, haha!... One out of ten... Actually, zero out of ten. Because I'd rather do nothing than read that again."

"Ouch. Your bluntness and sincerity is crushing when so negative."

"What would you rate it?"

"I didn't get to see it. Just heard things from members. Most liked it, did you know?"

"And I don't know whether I should mock or envy their low standards. Enjoying things is nice, you know? Nobody chooses to be picky. But if you end up being that, you might as well try to entertain yourself by mocking all the stupid things people manage to somehow enjoy."

"Rob!" Brian suddenly called. "You've quieted down, you're not in the existentialist nightmare again, are you?"

"Don't worry." The other Retriever assured. "Just enjoying you two talking, have nothing to add. I wasn't in the club that day and the only thing I've watched recently is 'The Mandalorian'."

"That stupid 'Baby Yoda' thing?" Xander piped up.

"Knew that'd be your reaction. Do you two feel like walking again?"

"Why do the TV ads here show Eastern and Central time?" Xander suddenly questioned. "Literally nobody here is in Central Time. That only makes sense if it's on national TV."

"That's how touristy this place is." Rob began answering. "There's so many people from outside that the ads assume a good portion of the viewers will be back in the Midwest by night." He joked.

"Uh, you're probably not serious. But that's honestly kinda true... I feel like leaving, by the way. Sorry for interrupting."

"Let's go then." Rob got up, the two other dogs following him. "Going to show you two a pretty good pizza place, walking distance. It's not roulette! Don't worry, Xan! No need for violence."

"You can't go wrong with pizza, can you?"

"Have you ever tried Brazilian pizzas? You definitely can."

"Thought you were going to make the pineapple comment, that's a new one."

College Point Dogs Club Internet Forum, The Internet, Tuesday 11:02 PM

Image

Decided to have some fun with my rudimentary HTML skills here instead of just writing it like the chat segments. Here's a download mirror of the forum discussion image in case it disappears, because there's nothing less permanent than images posted to internet forums: https://mega.nz/file/uyITQARC#tk1Pu_Lwy ... 5LqAVxI7TI

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Amazee Dayzee
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Re: Chronicles of the CPDC

Post by Amazee Dayzee »

Wow you actually made a forum for them to go with your story? That really must have taken a lot of time! You must be so dedicated to this!
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Wortge
Posts: 31
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Re: Chronicles of the CPDC

Post by Wortge »

I wouldn't say "made". Just wrote the forum post elements to a text file, copy-pasted them into an existing forum's HTML using the F12 developer tools, and screenshotted it. Coming up with the writing still takes a lot more time than doing that.

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Amazee Dayzee
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Re: Chronicles of the CPDC

Post by Amazee Dayzee »

It might take more time for you but I would NEVER be able to come up with a forum like that for a story. It really is awesome! Sounds complicated also though.
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Nathan Kerbonaut
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Re: Chronicles of the CPDC

Post by Nathan Kerbonaut »

Setting up a new forum isn't too tricky these days, there's plenty of sites that let ya do it for free. The hard part is getting an active community going.
Respect for your HTML approach, Wortge. That I couldn't do. It looks great and makes for a fun addition. Props for the rest of the chapter too, I really enjoy the exchanges and adventures these guys get into. :)

Wortge
Posts: 31
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Re: Chronicles of the CPDC

Post by Wortge »

Grape and Rob's Direct Messages, Discord, The Internet, Wednesday 9:45 PM

Grape
This is the beginning of your direct message history with @Grape.

——————————————————————————————————————May 20, 2020——————————————————————————————————————

Grape Today at 9:45 PM
Hello
This is Rob from the dog club, right?
the club from college point
new york
not any dog club


RobHrlNY Today at 9:53 PM
Yes
the one and only
Sorry for the wait
You're Peanut's roommate?


Grape Today at 9:55 PM
Yes, Xander gave me your tag


RobHrlNY Today at 9:56 PM
Right, right
I know you're buddies
Sorry for not really interacting with you back in the last game night


Grape Today at 9:57 PM
that's OK
I'm trying to be recognized as something other than "Peanut's roommate"
and apparently it's not working


RobHrlNY Today at 9:58 PM
Hey now, he's a club member
Of course I know him better
but you could also be "The cat that comes for the food and leaves"


Grape Today at 9:58 PM
honestly? thats better
Anyways
I'm actually not here to chit chat randomly
I've been thinking of for once looking around the city
beyond our immediate neighborhood
like how our parents tried to back when we moved
you remember that, right? central park
and I know you're good with that
don't expect more compliments


RobHrlNY Today at 10:01 PM
What's with the hostility?
But you're in luck, I just had a really fun night with Brian and Xander in the City last Tuesday
Xan had his "Game Night", I guess I have my "City Nights"
don't the "Cats of Queens" people do stuff there all the time though?


Grape Today at 10:04 PM
yes they do
but you know
Peanut
I want to check the city with him
and while the cats seemed ok with him I think they were just putting up a facade
I remember when we three were together
and it was honestly pretty fun


RobHrlNY Today at 10:05 PM
Aww
I'd love to repeat that, Grape
Giving the new residents a little tour
Show what the city looks like outside of the suburban monotony of Northern Queens
no offense
99% of my life was there, I have nothing against it


Grape Today at 10:07 PM
so, how would that work?
what day could we possibly do that?


RobHrlNY Today at 10:08 PM
I have no plans
As in, I have no plans for anything for the next days
But of course the possibilities of your outing are numerous
you can choose any day, except for today, of course
try to keep it before monday though
Not a fan of long term stuff


Grape Today at 10:10 PM
friday would be nice


RobHrlNY Today at 10:10 PM
Good
Start waiting for me outside at 10AM
we'll ride to the city and rock on
be ready
Could you give me your house's coordinates?
I vaguely remember it from when we were at the Multiplex, don't want to risk getting it wrong


Grape Today at 10:13 PM
Coordinates? what?
what happened to giving people your address?


RobHrlNY Today at 10:14 PM
Coordinates are way better
Dog knows how many "10th streets" there are in the world
coordinates are unique
Open Google Maps and click on your house


Grape Today at 10:17 PM
yeah, yeah. because just finding your house in a map of the entire world is so easy
40.789894, -73.838140
does this work


RobHrlNY Today at 10:24 PM
That's indeed what I remember
See you later, Grape
No club visit for me tomorrow, so see you this Friday


Grape Today at 10:27 PM
see you later, Rob
stay good


Sandwich Residence, Friday 10:03 AM

A dog and a cat waited in front of their house, looking at both sides of the road. Eventually a black SUV arrived and stopped right next to them, unlocking the doors.

"Good morning, you two." The Golden Retriever on the backseat greeted as they got in and clicked their seatbelts. "Remember: First Avenue between Forty-fourth and Forty-fifth, try to drop us off on the left side. Please go via Queens Boulevard, don't take the tunnel." Rob directed the human driver flatly and rapidly.

"Got it." The human started moving the car again.

"Are things really that formal between you and your 'owner'?" Grape asked Rob.

"What? That's not Shane, that's just a driver. Don't make things awkward, Grape!"

"Do I get a tip if I pretend to be 'Shane'?" The driver played.

"Your tip will be a removed 'star'." Rob played back.

"Please don't ruin my job over this, you'll destroy a family."

"It's the 'Butterfly Effect', isn't it? I'm sure I've directly destroyed some family just by existing. But don't worry, I know how hard things are for you humans."

"'You humans'?! As if you little leeches don't depend on us for everything! Especially for money!"

"Need I remind you who your income for this hour is depending on?"

"Sorry! Sorry."

Peanut and Grape glared slightly at Rob. Him noticing the look of disapproval. "Uh... We're just teasing each other?" The Retriever excused.

"Sorry. Just a bit stressed lately." The human apologized again.

"It's fine. I need to apologize too." Rob said solemnly. "Sometimes I'm unaware of how privileged I am. My owner has a giant safety net. Even I do. I know things are bad, for pets and for humans."

The trip resumed in an awkward silence for almost one minute. Rob deciding to end it eventually. "So... Rocky start?" He smiled nervously at the cat and dog passengers.

"Where do you plan on going?" Peanut ended his silence to ask.

"We're gonna cut through Manhattan by foot from east to west. At one of its most interesting latitudes." Rob answered.

"Awesome!" Peanut cheered.

"Of course it's gonna be a giant walk." Grape groaned.

"Two miles!" Rob exclaimed. "Three point two kilometers! Not even an average day's worth of walking, to be honest. But of course it won't end there."

"What's next?" Peanut asked again.

"Let's not spoil the whole thing, alright? Maybe it'll even be more dynamic. I have the rough plans in my head but might decide to change it up from what I think we'll do."

"Can't wait, Rob!"

"First of all: Do you two have your own money? Just in case someone wants to suddenly indulge in something. I can cover your costs, but I want to avoid acting like some kind of rich benefactor."

"I'm with one hundred dollars, don't know about Grape."

"Nada." She said bluntly.

"Oh, that's enough for a lot." Rob assured. "Do you remember how much is on your MetroCards?"

"What's that?" Peanut tilted his head.

"Card used for public transport. Good if you dislike walking, like a certain nearby cat."

"I don't dislike walking." Grape protested. "It's just you all who love it too much."

"It's a means to an end, how do you expect to visit a place without moving your body? Anyways. You do have cards, right?" The Retriever asked for confirmation. "If you don't, we'll have to keep hitching rides like this all the time even in the City."

"We don't, Rob." The Pointer said almost sadly.

"I'll buy two for you two then, OK? So much for not being the 'rich uncle' here." Rob grumbled. "I know you two haven't been doing much, but I thought your guardians would get you basic necessities like that."

"Ah, yes, basic necessities. Food, water, shelter and MetroCards." Grape deadpanned.

"Exactly. So that's already a deviation we have in my original plans, gotta stop by some subway station and buy you your cards. I'll deposit fifty on each, OK?" He stopped as both just nodded. "You've been to a subway before, haven't you? You lived near Chicago, after all. Love the 'L' there myself."

"We haven't." Peanut informed. "Have you, Grape?"

"Nope."

"Really now." Rob almost sighed. "I was hoping you weren't such small city types. I wouldn't consider River Ridge Illinois 'countryside', but dang."

"What would we even do in Chicago?" Grape questioned. "We just went there for some events and festivals with Mom and Dad. It's a one hour drive!"

"You think that's too much? A one hour drive from College Point gets you to Staten Island. Haven't you ever wished to occasionally go to Chicago just to see something that isn't houses, trees and small office blocks?"

"No." Grape answered. "That's not one of our 'basic necessities', unlike how it is for you."

"Have you been to River Ridge, Rob?" Peanut asked curiously.

"Me and Shane have driven past it. And we used the mall there as a rest stop once, driving back to Chicago."

"Do you know 'Babylon Gardens'? It's where we lived there."

"You expect me to know neighborhoods?" Rob's eyes suddenly widened. "Yo! I actually remember it! We were in the Interstate and some sign said 'Next Exit: Babylon Gardens' and I made a joke like: 'Wow! The Hanging Gardens are here!'."

"And do you remember the neighborhood?"

"No, we didn't leave the highway. I remember seeing just trees. They plant a lot of trees next to interstates after all, you can't see anything even deep within the suburbs."

"We're in an interstate right now, aren't we? There's a lot of apartment blocks and not really a lot of trees."

"I wouldn't call Corona 'suburban'." Rob suddenly turned his attention to the driver. "Remember! Exit nineteen: Queens Boulevard! Think of your family!"

"Rob!" Grape scolded.

"I remember." The human replied, almost impatiently.

"Just making sure we go the scenic way. For you two." Rob smirked. "Don't want to just zoom past all of Queens and then get in some boring tunnel." Rob paid attention to the car's path, it exiting the freeway and entering a big avenue.

"Pretty sure when we went to Central Park Dad drove this way." Grape remembered.

"Oh, really? He was probably avoiding the toll." The Retriever pondered for a second. "Well, you're not really missing anything. They have sound barriers built all over the expressways here, even more boring than trees."

"Can you tell us about this place?" Peanut eagerly asked.

"Well, there's Queens Center to your right. Wonder if this thing even works with the epidemic."

"What happened to it?"

"They say malls have been suffering for a while. And then with pandemic, 'non-essential businesses' were forced to bar humans from gathering inside, meaning most clothing stores decided to just close completely, since they shouldn't expect a lot of pet shoppers buying at those. Malls could keep their restaurants open for takeout and pets, but who's going to enter deep into a deserted mall for food? Poor things, I kinda liked them. Cool thing about malls is that no matter where you are in the world, they all look the same. It's just a constant."

"I'm sure they'll manage." Grape piped in.

"Life, uh, finds a way. And by 'life' I mean consumerism. I'm just exaggerating, I'm sure these things will be full of lights and Santa Clauses by December."

The ride continued in silence for some moments. "Want me to continue the tour guide talk? This is Elmhurst, known for... Nothing, really. Nothing good at least."

"Cool." Grape deadpanned.

"Awesome!" Peanut cheered.

"To be honest I'm really not in a place to be all neighborhood-elitist. College Point is barely New York after all. Shane's family lived there because of the 'small town feel' and I always resented that. Turns out I eventually got my wish, huh?"

"Hooray, now you live in some cramped apartment." Grape snarked.

"Wouldn't have it any other way now, Grape. I love it!" Rob started his wagging, as much as he could while sitting down in a car. "The city lights lighting up during the evening, every day! It's gorgeous! I can see the Midtown skyline from my bedroom! World-famous buildings I can see from my permanent living space! Simply incredible!" His voice's pitch increased with each sentence.

"Are you OK, Rob?" Grape asked, concerned at the sudden mood shift. "You're acting like Peanut. As a puppy."

"I'm very fine." He returned to a neutral voice almost deeper than his normal. "This place here is Sunnyside. To your left you can see the elevated subway tracks, that's the 7, connecting Flushing to Hudson Yards. In front of you: That's the Long Island City skyline in the distance. Good ol' 'L.I.C.', they're pretty much trying to expand Manhattan to over there."

"Oh. Dad didn't go through here." Peanut noted once the car started crossing a bridge over a train yard, worrying the driver. Elevated train tracks now ran directly over the avenue.

"Really? This is Sunnyside Yard. If not for all the train tracks over the avenue you'd be able to see the skyscrapers in LIC from closer. But we'll have plenty of that in Manhattan, if that's your thing. There are very new developments here."

"Peanut was making commentary like this back when we drove through here." Grape observed. "Do you two want to compete?"

"I was using my phone to check, Grape. No fair." Peanut argued.

"It's also not fair if you're competing with someone who's been living here for what? Ten years?"

"Ten years? Really, Grape?" Rob asked, smiling. "I'm flattered, I'm twenty-two."

"I'd guess somewhere around that but that little puppy outburst made me remove some years."

First Avenue, Midtown Manhattan, Friday 10:48 AM

The black SUV approached the left side of the avenue and stopped. Rob quickly opened his door and crossed a small bicycle lane, stopping on the far right side of the sidewalk while leaning on one of the bollards. Watching Peanut and Grape getting out of the car and joining him, standing behind him. The car quickly departed.

"I hope my rider rating survived that trip." Rob joked towards the two. Then looking right and pointing to the other side of the avenue, using only his snout. The three looked at a large building complex across the avenue consisting of a large rectangular tower and a much shorter building with a visible dome at its center. Dozens of flag poles were lined up right behind the complex's grass fence. "That's the United Nations Building." Rob told the two. "Kinda looks like a giant game console. Please refrain from long discussions about how successful the organization inside that brick is with 'keeping world peace'. Flags of every single country in the world there, as you can see. In the rare occasion I'm walking by here I try to guess every single one without slowing down, the wind never helps though."

"Bet you're proud of that." Grape deadpanned.

"It's really easy, especially after browsing a lot of travel forums. Anyways, let's start our planned walk, because as you can see-" Rob pointed at a red notice in a light pole. "No standing! Anytime!" Peanut quickly started walking rapidly with a start, going past Grape and Rob.

"Calm down! Come back here, Nutter!" Peanut stopped his walk and rejoined the two again. "That sign's just for cars, I'm joking. Although this area is full of embassies, maybe loitering here will make you look like a terrorist, I dunno. Anyways, you two follow behind me. We're turning left at the next street, the fabled 'Forty-fifth'." Rob stopped leaning on the bollard and started walking on the sidewalk, turning left before crossing the next street. Brown dog and purple cat following behind at the same pace.

"Try to enjoy the view, OK?! This is a very vertical part of the city." Rob exclaimed. "Guess the flag hanging right there, by the way, quick! Don't read the building name!" The three pets looked at an approaching black-yellow-and-red flag with a drawing of a crane in the middle.

"Uh..." Peanut attempted to guess while Grape ignored the 'challenge'.

"Uganda!" Rob revealed after they passed under it. "References to dead memes expressly forbidden."

"What?"

"You don't know? Lucky you." They all continued the walk. Rob walking rigidly while Grape checked her surroundings with mild interest and Peanut looked up at the buildings in awe.

Rob started talking again. "I'm assuming from our previous talks today that you two don't have much experience with walking outside of the suburbs. Here's a small crash-course on 'sidewalk etiquette': Stay on the right half of the sidewalk. Don't walk slowly. As in, I'm not telling you two to start running or jogging. Just walk as if you have a destination in mind, which you do, in fact. Most importantly: If you have to or want to stop, do that only right next to the buildings! Keeping doors and garages in mind, of course." The dog rambled and instructed as they continued.

"Got it!" Peanut nodded and saluted.

"What's up with the salute? K-9 experience?"

"Don't even joke about that." Grape replied. "What's the 'destination' we have in mind, by the way?"

"Hudson River! We're crossing the entire island, I've told you that already."

"Right. We're taking a dive?"

"Ideally not. We just left First Avenue, we'll cross many more until we're there. Can you guess how many?"

"Uh... Seven?" Grape guessed.

"Twelve! Come on, Grape. You've never heard of Eighth Avenue? Anyways, we're approaching the second one. Wait for the lights to switch from the hand to the walking human. Unless there's somehow no cars coming, which is actually kinda common now because of the humans being scared by the 'death plague'."

"Could you not joke about that, Rob?!" Grape hissed.

"Ah! I'm sorry." The Retriever almost whined. The pets crossed the avenue, Peanut looking at both sides, admiring the 'urban canyon' caused by the large avenue running through the dense part of the city. The two followers tried to keep straight behind and close to Rob, Peanut sometimes veering slightly off and correcting himself.

"Forty-five Deli!" Rob read from a nearby awning to the two, exaggeratedly exclaiming and quickly regaining his cheerfulness. "New Yorkers love pretending delis and bodegas are a concept that only exists here, but you find similar stuff at any city."

"Aren't these just grocery stores?" Grape asked.

"Pretty much, you stop at those if you need something quick. Usually something edible. They're mostly manned by cats, by the way."

"Really? Why?"

"Originally for pest control. Nowadays because of the death pl- uh, I mean, the 'COVID'."

All three continued the walk in silence for a moment. "Do you usually walk this road, Rob?" Grape questioned again.

"Like this? For fun? No. Sometimes I happen to walk parts of it just to get somewhere. But I only went out of my way to cross it like this once before, and I remembered enjoying it... Are you two enjoying it, by the way? Is my commentary annoying you? Do you two actually hate cities and want to run off to the woods this very second? Criticism is always welcome, especially negative."

"I'm loving taking a look around my new hometown, don't worry about it." Peanut assured.

"You're really comfortable with just forgetting Babylon, aren't you?" Grape directed at her brother. "I'm enjoying looking at things." She replied to Rob. "Sorry if I seem grumpier than usual, just need to bring up something with you."

"'Bring up something'?" The Retriever repeated curiously. "What do you mean?"

"I've heard you can do magic card tricks."

"Like, two of them. It's really easy to impress people with, like juggling or that stomping game Xander plays."

"And I've heard you've been using them on Peanut for monetary gain?"

"What? Oh, do you mean when I- Why are you bringing this up now?! That was forever ago!"

"Peanut's pennies are gone forever too. Why did you do that to a poor naïve dog?"

"He started it! How do you even know this?! Did he tell you?"

"He told me he lost his money to you. A mutual friend later told me you tricked him with an unwinnable bet."

"I just-!... It was funny though!"

"Oh dear lord." Grape facepalmed. "I'm sandwiched right now by Peanut and Bizarro Peanut. No more tricks, OK?!"

"This is a new me, Grape." Rob declared. "Peanut was barely an acquaintance back when I decided to be a little bully. Don't worry. Also I'm planning on spending a lot on you two today, consider that an unplanned compensation."

"Why didn't you weigh in, Peanut?" Grape looked back to her roommate. "It's your honor I was defending there!"

"What?" Peanut was lost in thought, looking at another 'canyon' of skyscrapers as they crossed another avenue.

"Nevermind, 'Nutty'." She returned her attention to the group's front dog. "Can you just resume your commentary?"

"Really nothing to add at the moment, this is just really standard New York right here." They walked in silence for a brief moment. "Try looking left as we cross this next avenue, you might see a huge fancy tower with a tall spire. That's the Chrysler Building, used to be the second tallest in the city. Then fourth, then second again. Now it's like, eleventh or something." The three crossed the avenue while looking left and up, succeeding in not disturbing the foot traffic while glancing at the mentioned skyscraper.

"I lied about the 'twelve avenues to cross' thing, by the way." Rob returned to the 'commentary' after they crossed the avenue. "Crossing this street there are also Lexington and Madison. Also, Fourth Avenue is called 'Park Avenue', because there's this little park at its median. We won't be seeing that though, because it goes over this street."

"Fascinating." Grape deadpanned.

"Bored already? We're almost a third of the way through."

"Sorry! I'll tone the sarcasm down."

"Feel free to keep it up. We need the stereotypical sarcastic cat here. I'd love to see you and Xander discuss about movies, you two would offend anyone who's ever liked something."

"I'm not like him! That mutt makes a snarky comment every time you mention a brand name."

"He sure does! That's just an overdose of Internet though. You're not allowed to enjoy anything because it's 'cringe', so before trying anything you gotta say it 'sucks' and then enjoy it 'ironically'."

"Is he like that with his RPGs even?"

"I don't know. I've never talked about the subject with him. Not into it."

"Oh, right. I should ask the cats about that instead. Speaking of the cats, why didn't you join us with the video games at Xan's house?"

"I dunno. When I was at the door of Xander's room that night, I saw the world being split into two. Option A: A small crowd of cats taking turns at one game. Option B: My lifelong friend standing right next to me, asking if I'd like to join them and abandon him. Obvious choice there."

"You'd choose Xander over me and an extra four people. I see."

"Does that offend you? Would you choose me and every other dog in the club over only Peanut?"

"Of course, since Peanut is included as a club member."

"Oh, you smartie. You know what I meant. In the end, I still played games with Xander that night and it was all in all fun. What would happen if I had tried the virtual reality goggles with all the cats instead? Who knows? My guess is that it'd be eighty percent of the fun I had with Xan."

"That's quite high, actually. Considering he's a long-time friend. Did you ever try the goggle stuff?"

"Not in someone's house like that. Brian told me he almost set that up in the club... And, you know? Xander being a long-time friend actually increases that 'fun estimate' for playing with the cats. Since when you spend what would accumulate to whole years with someone, you kinda run out of things to do. At least the cats would be a unique experience. It's like New York right here." Rob raised his arms for emphasis. "A lifelong question of mine: What would it be like to experience this place as a visitor, like I've experienced so many other places? I'll never know! Everything that I could think of doing here has been done by me already, most of them when my age was still in the single digits. And now I've been in this giant 'trip drought' caused by a divorce and Shane deciding on traveling only at the end of this year instead of during the summer as usual, not like that'd even be possible in this blasted year. I'm just sick of waking up every day and being restricted to doing stuff only in this very tiny piece of the planet and it's really eating me up. November is a freaking lifetime from now."

"You club dogs complain about such trivial things! You complain about not traveling! You complain about the very non-essential club you're running not getting a lot of interest! You complain about games you've never played! There's so many bad things happening out there and you're here complaining about not getting to see the Pyramids every year or something!"

"Are you seriously going all 'children in Africa' on me right now? Nobody is ever satisfied. Give the most miserable person in the world everything they could have and more and after one year they'll be complaining about minor stuff too."

"Whatever. Just next time you have to complain about some restaurant that had to close because of the virus, for humans *and* for pets. Remember that there are families being torn apart by that virus, and your minor incoveniences are nothing compared to that."

"You think I don't know people horribly affected by that? I actually live here, you know? Me and my whole family. I'm not some transplant like you."

"Augh, whatever. Let's go back to the commentary, sorry."

Rob quickly looked backwards to see if Peanut was still following, sighting the two still following him. "We really didn't miss anything, let's see what the next avenue is." They continued walking in silence until Rob approached the next crossing. "Sixth! Halfway there!"

"Didn't you just say there were more than twelve?" Peanut asked.

"I believe all numbered avenues are the same distance from one another. Lexington and Madison are just extras. Six is still the halfway point."

"Um. OK."

"There's another one too, 'Broadway'. Doesn't really count because we'll cross it at a point where it's only open for pedestrians."

"I've heard of that one!"

"Yeah, it has its fame. Next avenue we'll cross will actually be the Seventh and Broadway at the same time, check it out." The group reached the next crossing. This time, on each side of the avenue, the 'canyon' was bifurcated by skyscrapers covered in electronic billboards. Similar animated billboards were present all over the junction.

"Wow!" Peanut's eyes widened as he looked over the junction in awe, waiting for the stoplight with the other two. "It's Times Square! Didn't know we'd cross it right now!"

Rob tried to hide his giggliness after looking at Peanut's reaction. "Hahaha! I don't know what's with me bringing people here with no warning recently. But I love how contrasting the reactions are."

"What do you mean?" Grape asked the Retriever.

"You see the people here? Zero percent New Yorkers. I don't know why the city decided to put all this advertising here at some point in history, but it attracted the entire world while really offering nothing other than some interesting eye candy." The group started crossing the avenue. "Don't even think of spending New Year's Eve here, by the way."

"Have you ever done that?"

"Nope! And I will gladly let that be the one thing I'll never experience in this city." The group started approaching many buildings with big vertical signs. "This area here is full of theaters, far from my favorite kind of media. But if it's your thing, I guess this is the place for you. You'll have to wait a few months for that though. Or maybe years, decades, who knows at this point."

"Does Xander like theaters?"

"What's with this fixation on him today? I honestly can't imagine Xander watching a play. He'd probably riff on it a lot and enjoy it moderately. Secretly, of course."

"Seems about right."

"All the skyscrapers suddenly end right around here." Rob continued after crossing Eighth Avenue. Reaching an area with mostly row houses around six stories tall. "We now just have some housing that could pass off as somewhere in Queens."

"This really doesn't feel like College Point, though."

"That's not the entirety of Queens, you know? Go to nearby Flushing and it will look like this already."

"I've had enough of that place already, Peanut made me cross it twice."

"Hah! Really? I crossed it back when Shane was forcing me to take the Subway to the club a few times this year, almost nostalgic."

"When are we visiting the Subway, by the way?" Peanut asked from the back.

"'Visiting'? We'll be riding it too. Uhh... Oh! We'll go to 50th Street Station after we reach the river. And then there's no more long walks after that! Ain't that nice, Grape?" Rob paused briefly, calculating the subway ride. "Actually... I'm planning on taking the downtown 1 Train to South Ferry, so... The first 50th Street is only C and E and you can't transfer to the 1 going downtown from there. We'll have to take the uptown C and then transfer to the downtown 1 at Columbus Circle, just a little bit of walking there."

"Was that even English?" Grape questioned, confused.

"You'll be talking like this in no time if you keep coming here by yourself. Don't worry."

"We're taking a ferry?" Peanut wagged.

"No, it's just the station name. But you're not missing anything, the ferry goes to the middle of nowhere."

The pets continued walking among the neighborhood's apartment buildings. "Tenth avenue, Grape!" Rob exclaimed. "Double digits! Are you planning on taking a nap once this is all over?"

"Are you taunting me now?" The cat glared.

"A little, but it's not an exaggeration. Some pets actually nap on the pier lawns, although I'd place my belongings in a locker before ever doing that. My trust in the police force isn't that high."

"Oh!" Grape remembered. "I've been meaning to ask this to a local eventually, how safe is it here? Like, the whole city in general."

"As safe as you'd expect any major American city to be... Way safer than River Ridge, at least. That's far from the most reputable place in Illinois."

"Really?! People are aware of it all the way here?"

"No, no. I'm just a geography nerd. The average person here very likely won't be able to name Chicago satellite cities." The group walked in silence until they finally reached the last avenue. "And here it is! Twelfth Avenue! Kinda terrible for crossing, compared to all the other ones. Do you two want to use a crosswalk or use that fancy footbridge to the right?"

"Is that a carrier?" Peanut ignored the question to ask, looking at an anchored aircraft carrier at a pier across the avenue.

"Yeah, it's the 'Intrepid'. It's a museum for military planes."

"We are *not* taking the footbridge, by the way." Grape informed sternly. "If I have to climb some stairs right now I'm going to shatter."

"Bad news to hear when you're planning on riding the train. Let's go left then." Peanut continued gazing at the carrier while the pets walked parallel to the avenue. Eventually they crossed the avenue and reached a pier with huge, decorated paved areas.

"Don't remember the name of this pier." Rob introduced. "It's all numbers and who cares. My plan is to just go all the way to the end and look at the river. There in the distance across the river is New Jersey. Not to be confused with the Channel Island of Jersey, which I've been to, by the way."

"Humble." Grape deadpanned.

Peanut and Grape observed curiously some people who were lounging at a small section of the pier with grass and trees. The group soon reached the pier's end, the two dogs leaning on the pier's rail to rest their legs, facing the river. Grape sat on a nearby bench instead. Rob nudged Peanut towards the pier to their right, the same that had the anchored aircraft carrier. "You see that aircraft tail?" Rob asked the Pointer. "British Airways Concorde. We stole it from the Brits and plopped it right there. Managed to fly in that thing only once because the company upgraded our tickets. Back in 2002, I believe."

"It was the fastest plane, wasn't it?" Peanut continued their conversation.

"Fastest passenger plane, yeah. I think there was a Soviet one that was faster but was a complete dumpster fire and died even before the Concorde."

"Can we go check it out later?"

"Uuugh, Peanut. Not today." The Retriever tiredly sighed. "See if you two can make it there by yourselves some other day, that's my weekly challenge."

"Do I need to send you video proof? Are you gonna bet on it?"

"What? Forget about that, Peanut! Just want you two to not depend on your humans or Grape's friends to get around. Rhetorical challenge."

Rob rested his head on the rail, all three proceeding to stay in silence for some time while looking around randomly. "Ever been there, Peanut?" Rob broke the silence by pointing at the land across the river. "New Jersey might get shafted by New Yorkers a lot, but there's honestly a lot of stuff to do there. It's more than just suburbia, neglecting it is like neglecting Brooklyn or Queens. Of course I mean the part close to New York, not the whole state."

"We drove through it while moving. Don't remember much, to be honest."

"Right... Where have you been to, actually? I mean, around here."

"Most of College Point, Flushing Meadows Park, uuh... Central Park, Natural History Museum, Hudson Yards... Brooklyn Bridge Park, Coney Island... A little bit of Whitestone."

"Huh. Not bad, really. I know you two mostly just walk to the club and back nowadays but it's surprising how much you stack up even with very rare outings, when you have to list everything like that."

"How often do you go outside, Rob? It feels like you're always treating your day-to-day life like a vacation."

"Oh, I'm flattered. I don't go outside to visit attractions every day, no. Shane would kill me for that. I mostly just walk around. I try to limit going to paid stuff to once or twice per week, not counting food places or the Subway, of course. About one fourth of my days are just spent entirely at home, just PC and games. Club visits are usually during weekday afternoons."

"That sounds cool. Is it safe for me to just go out and look around using the Subway then?"

"I'm an adult, I can take care of myself. I believe the same applies to you. Of course if your money depends on your owners you should ask for their permission. Also College Point isn't served by the subway system, back when I lived there my owner would drive me to Flushing to use it. Or he'd drop me off at his workplace Downtown, see if you can arrange something similar. Under extreme circumstances take the Q25 bus to get home or to the station."

"Umm... Mom works in Long Island City. Can I use the Subway from there if she drops me off after her commute?"

"Oh, definitely. LIC is super well-served."

"Sweet!"

"Well..." Rob suddenly raised his voice. "Are you well-rested, Grape?" Rob and Peanut noticed the cat had fallen asleep at the bench. "Oh."

"I'll accept that as a hard 'yes'." Rob commented towards the other dog. "Can you wake her up, Peanut? I don't think I'm intimate enough for that."

"You should try it! Just yell her name!"

"Uh... Here it goes then... Graaaaaape!" The Retriever yelled, some people in the pier turning their attention to him.

"Ack!" The cat jumped. "Rob?! Really?!"

"Hope you had sweet dreams, as they are made of 'this'. We're heading off right now, on your feet!"

"I swear I'll start smacking you once you're less of a stranger. Let's go to the Subway then." The cat rolled her eyes. "How many hours is the walk gonna take?"

"We'll walk uptown to Fiftieth Street and then walk it until we arrive at the first 50th Station. I could use the second one to go directly to South Ferry but you two need a quick tutorial on train transfers."

"You mean like, switching platforms?" Peanut piped in. "I know how to do that."

"Oh no, no, no. 'Platforms'? We have many platforms that are served by different services here, it's a glorious mess." The Retriever finally walked past Grape's bench, the two other pets following him back to the start of the pier. "Although transferring from the C to the 1 at Columbus is just a platform transfer, so let's just head to the 1/2/3 50th Station. Less of a headache, just for you, Grape" He smiled at the cat.

"That still sounds like gibberish."

"Lots of numbers, isn't it? Too many lines for colors like everywhere else."

South Ferry Station Platforms, Downtown New York City, Manhattan, Friday 12:33 PM

A train stopped at one of the station platforms. Two dogs and a cat among the leaving passengers.

"Here's something you sometimes face in the subway system, an escalator!" Rob pointed out as the group made their way to the escalator connecting to the platform. "You two have used these before, right? Just stick to the left and walk on it."

"Walk?" Grape repeated. "Why not just stand?"

"Escalators just give you a boost! They're not meant to replace walking. If you desperately need to stop you should change to the right side though." The three pets walked up the escalator, passing by some standing riders on the right side.

"Ugh. Almost tripped there." Grape complained as they got off.

"Seriously, stopping on these will just waste your time. Take advantage of them." The group continued making their way to the street level exit. Leaving the system, they came face-to-face with a large glass building with a big 'Staten Island Ferry' sign in its front. Rob sharply turned right, the two following.

"Right." Rob began. "This is Downtown, the original 'Downtown'. If you ever wonder why some towns have 'Downtowns' that are right in the middle of the city instead of 'down'. It's because of this place. We'll be visiting Battery Park here and also grabbing some food." Rob commented while crossing a road and reaching the mentioned park. "Are you two hungry or can we look around first?"

"I'd love to look!" Peanut answered before Grape could even make any sound.

"Good. Let's head to the waterfront, lots of water in this little 'tour' today, I guess."

"Keep that up and you'll be seeing all that water really up close." Grape warned.

"'Keep' what up?" Rob asked, almost afraid.

"Nothing. Let's look at the river again."

"Try to not fall asleep again, alright?"

"You're keeping it up!"

"Ah! Sorry!" The group arrived at the park's waterfront; Rob, Peanut, and this time Grape started leaning on the fence next to the river, facing the water.

"I don't know why I expected the view from here to be wonderful." Rob started. "You can see the Statue there, and to the right you can see a little bit of Jersey trying to look like New York and failing. This is right at the tip of Manhattan, but the trees get in the way of all the buildings."

"I can do some 'local's commentary' here too." Grape cut in. "The view from Brooklyn Bridge Park is way better than this one. And they have those binoculars there too, and a good restaurant."

"Agreed! And we'll try the restaurants here today, maybe they'll be better... I swear I remember binoculars being here, might be misremembering. The amount of lookouts I've seen in my life must be very high, after all."

"You came here just for the view and for some food? Why make it such a mystery then?"

"I told you we were going to South Ferry Station all the time, not my fault you don't know in what part of the city that is. And honestly, I myself am not sure about my plans. I originally intended on walking along the Twelfth after visiting the pier, just looking at stuff. Of course that changed when I noticed you were tired and bored. I'm actually trying to keep this a good experience, for both of you."

"It's fine, really. Thanks for doing this for us."

"It's fun for me too! Don't act like this is some kind of sacrifice. I honestly have no plans after eating here, so if you two want any input, go ahead."

"I want to see the Statue of Liberty!" Peanut chirped.

"Good news for you then. Try looking in front of you."

"You know what I mean, Rob! I wanna visit the island!"

Rob gave a short sigh. "Can that wait? We need to ride a ferry for that and take the schedules and everything into account."

"He desperately wants to ride this river, for some reason." Grape said towards Rob. "I've seen that thing in every movie ever made, I don't mind missing it."

"Aaw, Grape!" Peanut whined. "Support your brother!"

"I already did and you didn't even notice. You're out of 'supports' now." The group remained silently watching until Peanut began a conversation with Rob.

"Rob. If you ever visit River Ridge, I'd love to show you around like you're doing right now."

"What's there to do there?"

"Theme Park World!"

"Oh, it's there? I can never tell where theme parks are, they're like my achilles heel of geographic knowledge. Everyone says to skip it and go to Great America instead, it's better and cheaper."

"Did you like the mall, at least?"

"I just told you all malls are the same. They provided us food and restrooms, which is everything we wanted from it."

"Umm... There used to be an old temple there."

"A temple? What kind of temple?"

"Akkadian temple! It was destroyed though."

"You mean like, a replica? Akkad's in Mesopotamia."

"Milton relocated it to his property decades ago. It was never open to the public but if it were it'd definitely be a tourist attraction."

"What do you mean 'relocated'?! You can't just dismantle a historic ruin and then rebuild it a continent away! This is just some typical Midwestern tourist trap garbage. Might as well just go to Vegas for that."

"Uhh..." Peanut was almost whining trying to come up with more points of interest in his old hometown.

"Aww, Peanut! Please! I'm sure your old town is fine, OK? Sorry for my elitism! I'd say being close to Chicago is an attraction in itself!"

"It's fine, Rob. We'll probably visit our old friends there next year. If you're by coincidence in the area around that time I'd love to have some tour like this one."

"Hokkaido trip's almost confirmed, sorry! Hope you have fun. I never had to leave friends behind like that. Trips aside, my lifetime was spent here."

"I'm hungry and ready to eat, you two." Grape piped in from the side. "Can we look for something? Hopefully not a boat restaurant, don't want to tempt Peanut with his boat ride lust."

"Let's go then." Rob continued the walk along the waterfront. "Let's just follow the river here. The walls to your right are a war memorial, don't go there take selfies like some tourists who don't know what a memorial is do."

"Is the restaurant here at the park?" Peanut inquired.

"There's some here, there's some good ones outside. Battery Park City is full of good ones, we'll go there." The group crossed the rest of the park in silence. "I think I'll end this outing after this, by the way." Rob informed sadly. "I don't want to stretch this into the afternoon, sorry. Do you two want me to call you a Uber or can we just part ways?"

Peanut responded eagerly. "I want to try the Sub-"

"Call us the Uber, please." Grape interrupted. Peanut decided to not protest.

"Alright." Rob started. "I think that's the better option."

Sandwich Residence, Friday 1:43 PM

A white car approached the residence, dropping a dog and a cat by the front door.

"Ah." Grape sighed with relief. "Home sweet home! I don't care about how 'not green' it is, nothing beats the convenience of a car ride." She followed Peanut to the house's entrance, waiting for him to open the door.

"Easy to say when Rob's paying for it!" Peanut argued while both entered the house and Peanut locked the doors again, both heading to the living room sofa. "Didn't you listen to his little subway tutorial while we were eating? It's super simple!"

"Peanut, please! None of that made any sense! 'A train'! 'B train'! Express and local stations! How about I just give the driver an address and they figure it out? Way simpler." Grape discussed while watching the TV.

The dog sat next to her. "I'm riding with Mom to her work on Monday and I'll be using the train to check the carrier! If you don't want to come that's fine!"

"Don't get yourself lost in a megalopolis, Peanut! This neighborhood could even pass off as some parts of Babylon but Manhattan looks like a maze of boxes!"

"It's a *grid* of boxes! Didn't you hear him explain the grid system?"

"Oh, whatever. You can be Rob two point oh if you want to. Just make sure you have money for tickets and an emergency plan for dognappings."

"I can't wait! You'll warm up to the idea eventually. Remember you said you'd never come to the dog club? Or that you'd never be my friend?"

"Going really far back there, aren't you? Just let me catch a nap today for once. At least now I have an excuse to be tired." The cat transferred from the sofa to the cat bed after a very brief TV-watching session.

Peanut lay on the sofa and grabbed his phone, starting to enthusiastically examine a subway system map.

Longest chapter so far, I believe, and it's mostly kind of a self-indulgent commentary on New York and its culture. I think if you don't live in New York City or don't know enough about it this will feel like reading an "Imaginate!" arc based on a work you don't know (something which I can relate to at the moment, by the way, despite the coincidental Jurassic Park reference in this chapter, sigh).

Also a little fun fact. This was the last chapter I completed before creating this thread, although both "backstory chapters" and many modified paragraphs and scenes in already-posted chapters are still newer than it.

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Re: Chronicles of the CPDC

Post by Amazee Dayzee »

This really was a lovely chapter! Please keep on putting everything into this story!
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Re: Chronicles of the CPDC

Post by Nathan Kerbonaut »

Great chapter! I love tours and Rob is a great guide :D

Wortge
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Re: Chronicles of the CPDC

Post by Wortge »

Cornell Residence, Saturday 2:50 PM

A Beagle approached the front door of the old house of his house-sharing cat friend. Nervously ringing the doorbell and waiting for an answer.

The door opened to an adult man. "Xander? Jon's not here." He informed the dog. "Isn't he spending some time at your house?"

"Uh. Yes, Mister Garfield." Xander answered shyly. "I'm here to, um... Grab some more stuff for him."

"Why did he send you here for that?"

"I don't know, laziness?" The dog lost some of his shyness. "I'll be in his room for like, a minute. That's OK, right?" Xander eagerly anticipated the human moving somewhere to stop blocking the opened door.

Garfield stepped to the side. "Come in. Don't make any noise."

"I won't. I know how much you value silence here." He stealthily snarked. The Beagle hurried to the cat's old room, opening some drawers and looking around the room. He noticed the cat's owner was staring at him from the room's door.

"Well. That's not good at all." Xander started thinking to himself. "So I have to get all the papers, basically revealing to him that Jon's planning for something more than just a really long sleepover." He finally noticed a good amount of paper files in the lowest drawer. He tried to quickly check it without leaning too close. Glancing at one of the files, he noticed the familiar look of an immunization record. "Alright, that's enough. I'll just grab all of this." He looked at the other drawers. "Chargers, USB cables, a leash, nothing I could hide these things in... Actually..." The dog closed all drawers except for two at the bottom, then headed to a small desk and grabbed a laptop computer and a laptop bag from it. Xander then approached the drawers again, opening the bag and putting the laptop charger and the files in the bag at the same time, trying carefully to shield them from the observing human's view with his body. Finishing off by then putting the laptop inside and closing the bag. The Beagle had to suppress a sigh of relief after noticing no protests coming from the human after he grabbed the cat's personal files.

Xander closed all the drawers and started walking away with the bag. "That's all, Mister Garfield! He just needs his PC. Thanks for everything!" He almost jogged towards the house's exit.

"Wait!" Xander's heart almost stopped at the human's cry. Him stopping and turning to face the human again. "Is Jon planning on coming back any soon? Be frank here, I know you two are extremely close friends."

"Uhh... He's having serious trouble sleeping here, he told me. Are things more in control recently? As in, the past week?"

"That entitled cat!" The human exclaimed angrily. "Does he think we two are getting any sleep?! We give everything to that little orange ball of fur! That cat gets nothing but love and care from us! And at the smallest hardship, he'll just run away to the most convenient place! Ignoring all the sacrifices we make for him!"

"Uh, you should be telling that to him. I'm just a witness to your family drama."

"How?! He sent you here for a reason, didn't he? He didn't want to grab his computer by himself and have to talk to me! And he's just fleeing from us gradually, taking this thing we spent thousands on now! 'We' as in *we two*! Garfield and Melissa! The cat gets no money! Its only purpose is to live and look cute!"

"Uuuuh... Do you want it back?" A panicked Xander offered the laptop bag, paradoxically grabbing it with more force instead of handing it.

"He can keep his trash! I know he's all rebellious because he wants to keep living in this chaotic cesspool of a city! Melissa already decided on this and after this I'm making it final! Jon's going to finally get a taste of this city he loves! We're sending him to a shelter!"

"OK." Xander's panic turned to haste. "Could you open the door? I'll tell him all that at home."

"Fine." The human approached the door, unlocking it. "Sorry you had to listen to all that. Hopefully he'll get adopted by someone who can let him visit you."

"I sure hope." The dog stepped outside. "You need his papers to put him for adoption, don't you?" He asked the human rapidly.

"Of course. Why are you asking this?"

"Just curious, bye!" Xander almost ran towards his house.

"Don't check the drawer, don't check the drawer, don't check the drawer." The Beagle repeated in his mind as he started to run the last stretch to his house's front door, hurriedly unlocking and entering the home. He trotted to his room after locking the door again in record time, Walt not giving the dog any special attention despite his hurry.

"You owe me like, five hundred bucks for this." Xander teased Jon while handing him the laptop bag. The cat lounging on their co-owned bed, playing video games. "Never felt danger like that in my whole life, what the howl."

"Is everything here?" Jon paused his game and started opening the bag.

"Laptop, its charger and all your papers."

"You're awesome, bro!" The cat cheered. "You even got the charger? I was already planning on having to search for a new one."

"Haha. I used it as an excuse to grab stuff from your dresser while your owner was looking." Xander immediately remembered the urgency of the current situation. "But stuff's really bad now! Code red! DEFCON one!" Jon turned his attention from the bag to the shouting dog. "Garfield wants to send you to a shelter immediately! He probably realized I stole all your papers as soon as I left!"

"'Stole'? Please, Xan. This stuff's mine, you're not stealing it if you're bringing it to me. What can he even do? Come here, bust the door open and petnap me?"

"Yes! We must warn Walt immediately, let's go!" Xander hurried back to the living room, Jon following with less haste.

"Waaalt!" The dog called while entering the room. Standing by Walt's side as he continued seated on his chair. "Jon's owner wants to ship him to some shelter right this instant! Don't even think of allowing him in!"

"Alright. I won't." The human answered stoically from behind his PC.

"Are you fine with assuming Jon's ownership? I don't know how it works, do we need Garfield's permission?"

"No. We need a signature from either both owners or just the pet and the new owner. We'll go to the court on Monday, OK?"

"Oh no!" Xander started impatiently pacing. "It's Saturday now! Bad timing! How do we keep his old owner at bay until then?"

"What can he even do? Come here, bust the door open and petnap Jon?"

"Yes! And apart from the door-busting part he has the rights to do so!"

"Calm down, OK? That dude hasn't cared about his cat for weeks, he's not going to get off his house to demand it back today. What prompted him to suddenly want to abandon Jon anyways?"

"Uhh... Jon sent me to his house to get his laptop and all his papers. Garfield was really outraged by his cat not suffering along with him with the crying babies."

"Well, getting the papers makes everything on Monday way easier. Good thinking."

"How would we even transfer ownership without his papers?!"

"It's a simple request at the court. It used to be more bureaucratic but animal rights groups made it really easy if it's the adult animal's will to do so."

"Why do you even know so much about this?"

"Uhh..."

"Been fantasizing about owning your first cat, huh?" Jon finally spoke up with a smirk.

"Oh, shut up. Remember you're at my mercy here."

"Noted. I'm going back to my game, remember to barricade the front door." He continued joking.

Walt turned his attention to his dog after the cat departed. "Shouldn't you know more about this, considering Brian's work?"

"Why would I talk to him about his work? I barely understand it myself. It's like, he manages a subsidiary of his owner's company that 'owns' pets so that they don't have to be owned by actual people."

"He probably does ownership transfers all the time. You never brought up Jon's situation to him?"

"He knows he'll inevitably be part of this household officially but never talked to me about the whole process, no. Also he doesn't deal with the paperwork himself, he's the manager."

"You still have to know what your enterprise deals with, whatever."

"Beware of Garfield, alright? That sounds absurd out of context. I'm off to my room then."

"Haha, I'll stay away from newspaper comics. Don't worry about Jon's dad, he's Texan. Probably super afraid of entering someone's house and immediately getting shot for trespassing."

"Meanwhile you probably wouldn't be able to tell which side of a gun the bullets come out of. Anyways, see you later." Xander left his owner's side, returning to his computer.

"Aren't you at least a little bit scared?" Xander asked his cat roommate as he got back to his desk. "You're inches away from being sent to some shelter. You have no idea what that's like."

"All the horror stories about abuse and forced euthanasia are from like, the eighties. Please, Xander. Haven't you seen how luxurious those places are nowadays? Most adopted pets probably live worse than the pets in those things."

"You mean those shelters with hotel rooms? That's an exception! You think they have those throughout the whole country?!"

"We're not in the 'whole country' though. This is the largest city and the most developed region of the nation."

"We're in Queens! Not the Upper East Side! If you get placed in the local shelter it'll probably be a stack of cages where you're only allowed to go outside for one hour every day. 'Outside' being a tiny playground behind the facility!"

"I'd still have my PC there, whatever."

"Oh yeah, I'm sure they have outlets for you."

"But enough playing around. I'm not really taking this seriously because it's impossible. I have everything that ties me to Garfield right here, he can't just go to some shelter and sign me up without any authority. Walt won't give them back, in mere days he'll be considered my official guardian. So, whatever."

"It's just, the way he said it." Xander quieted down, talking sadly. "He said he'd be 'sending you'. It just felt really urgent, imminent. I hope everything goes well for you, I believe it's very likely. Monday just can't come fast enough. I can't wait for you to be my brother. If you were to be taken away right now, never to be seen again, I... I'd... I don't even know..."

"Aww bro! You're almost cuter than Grape's brother when you get emotional!... Are you actually crying?"

The Beagle sniffled loudly, his voice returning as almost a whine. "I'm sorry... I took being separated from my litter really badly, OK?!... Oh, screw you for this! If you tell anyone about this I'll tell them about you crying at that game's ending!"

"Hey, hey! Don't compare crying at a game to crying about having to separate from your birth siblings. It's fine, Xander. Sorry for reminding you of that. Don't you still have contact anyways?"

"Yeah... But what makes me sad is remembering all my puppy memories from that time... Remembering how sad them and my mom were... The way they were looking at me when we reached the day..." The dog shook his head abruptly and tried to return to a stoic voice. "Whatever. I think I'm OK now, sorry."

"We'll be together forever. Don't worry, doggie. I'd be hugging you right now if I weren't at a boss."

"Priorities... That's fine, by the way. Not a fan of hugs."

'Cats of Queens' Discord Server, Sunday 12:49 AM


O_s_Tor Today at 12:49 AM
you need to add a constant if it's indefinite
because the derivative of any constant is zero
and therefore for that function you could have any constant number there


NateA7 Today at 12:51 AM
still find it unnecessary
but I'll play along
just like how you play along with everything in this world
the universe is a river and you're just a worthless leaf that got caught in it


O_s_Tor Today at 12:52 AM
it's literally just a plus and a letter you have to add
what's with the edgy philosophy


9MinutesJon Today at 12:54 AM
It's official now, guys
Me and Xander are going to have the same owner
In paper and everything
After more than a decade, we're brothers


NateA7 Today at 12:55 AM
oh it happened?
very glad for you jon
i know you two live right next to each other so at least it's not a big change


9MinutesJon Today at 12:56 AM
Yeah, neighborhood-wise nothing changes
But of course it's a whole different house
No matter how much time I've spent here as a guest
Waking up to someone in your house who isn't one of your owners is just surreal
Someone who's like, an equal
I know if I stayed there eventually the kids would grow up and we'd have a similar relationship
But I'd have to do that in some small town with nothing


O_s_Tor Today at 12:59 AM
you don't really go out much, though.
do you?
I don't see how it would make a difference


9MinutesJon Today at 1:00 AM
How can you even say that?
All my friends are here
And why do you think I'm not going out much? lol
My old owners wouldn't stop taking care of their children to go out with the cat somewhere
Especially with the virus stuff
And that's not their fault, I recognize that
But I love experiencing the city
I love it here
The parks, the restaurants, all the really specific things that only the largest city in the country can offer
What are you going to find in Texas?
Your house and farms
Which we can get here after a 1 hour drive anyways


O_s_Tor Today at 1:03 AM
fair enough, fair enough
just had the impression you didn't do much other than online stuff


9MinutesJon Today at 1:05 AM
I was about a month away from just hitting a breaking point and deciding to go out by myself
I know how busses and trains work, after all


GrapeJS Today at 1:05 AM
my brother just hit that breaking point
He visited Manhattan yesterday and now he's planning on going to visit the carrier by himself
also really excited about using the subway


9MinutesJon Today at 1:06 AM
Excited for the Subway lol
Some people can be excited for things you find very ordinary
OldArch used to do trainspotting, actually
And with that he comfortably gets the prize of nerdiest person here


NateA7 Today at 1:07 AM
nerdiest CAT here
FTFY
every time


9MinutesJon Today at 1:07 AM
Why? We need to include Zentrix in that too
Is "nerdiest pet" fine with you?


NateA7 Today at 1:08 AM
yes, thats fine


9MinutesJon Today at 1:08 AM
I'm going to try getting a human added in here just out of spite now


N3rveX Today at 1:11 AM
@9MinutesJon How are your old humans handling everything?
Are they moving out right now?


9MinutesJon Today at 1:12 AM
Well, as you can notice with my faster typing speed
I sent Xander to retrieve my PC back today
And told him to also get all my personal files
Just in case
I don't really know what happened between Xander and them
But they decided to send me to a shelter immediately after his visit
Impossible now since he successfully grabbed everything
1000 IQ plays
So now hopefully and very likely I just lay low until Walt handles the paperwork
And I never see my old humans and their babies ever again
As they *** off back to Texas


N3rveX Today at 1:15 AM
Whoa there
you spent your whole life with these people
how can you just dismiss them like that now?


9MinutesJon Today at 1:16 AM
sick of it all
I don't care
I spent my whole life with Xander too
And I'd choose him over 10 copies of Garfield and Melissa
At least they brought me here and are ultimately responsible for me knowing Xan
But that doesn't matter when they're planning on bringing me back and separating us
That's like adding 10 just to later subtract 15


O_s_Tor Today at 1:19 AM
you kick them out without thinking the second it looks like it might become a 9


9MinutesJon Today at 1:20 AM
There was plenty of thinking
I'm actually worried, am I being selfish?
What would you do in my place?


GrapeJS Today at 1:21 AM
I don't know if you know this, Jon
but I've only been living in Queens for a few months
Was born and raised in Illinois
Had family, friends, roots there
nothing here
for me New York was just this place that shows up in way too many movies
and then after almost decades, I'm just suddenly told we're moving away "next year"
and I just accepted it
they're my source of food, source of care
my brother was somehow ecstatic at the news while I was miserable
there was no fleeing from home. I stayed with them, the day came, and all my friends were reduced to images in a monitor
and in the end it was fine
I found friends here too
you'd find friends in texas too
but I don't think you're selfish, you're just stubborn
change was scary and you bailed out
and just like in my case, in the end it will most likely be all fine too
just don't diss your old owners like that
humans sacrifice a lot for their pets
and you're complaining they're not sacrificing their planned future for you


9MinutesJon Today at 1:27 AM
Grape
If your owners decided to move to New York with only you
Your brother staying behind at the neighbor's house
Would you move?
Taking into account the neighbor is perfectly OK with you staying at their house?


GrapeJS Today at 1:28 AM
if staying were that simple then no
but I wouldn't be so bitter


9MinutesJon Today at 1:30 AM
The bitterness comes from aggravators
I couldn't sleep back there with all the noise
And apparently they really took offense in me leaving temporarily just to avoid that
I have to 'suffer with them'
How about they go suffer in their new home by themselves now
So long


GrapeJS Today at 1:32 AM
Oh well
if you can just forget them like that then more power to you


9MinutesJon Today at 1:34 AM
Maybe I'll miss them and have a nervous breakdown after a month
Who knows
I've heard that happens to you when someone dies and you don't grief at first


O_s_Tor Today at 1:40 AM
well, jon
hope everything goes well for you
how's xander doing during all this?


9MinutesJon Today at 1:40 AM
He's fine
Just chilling at his computer right next to me right now


NateA7 Today at 1:41 AM
are you two sleeping together now?


9MinutesJon Today at 1:42 AM
lol no
My cat bed's been here since day one
Once all this settles I'm going to go out so much
I miss the outside, man
Just by myself, don't expect me in the meetups immediately


N3rveX Today at 1:45 AM
Have fun, Jon
try to like your new owner better


9MinutesJon Today at 1:46 AM
Nobody is expecting Walt to have babies
or move away
let's hope

Relatively short one right after the longest one. Was debating on merging this with the next one, especially considering I'm posting this one day late, but I'm sticking to the planning.
Last edited by Wortge on Sun May 24, 2020 10:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Amazee Dayzee
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Re: Chronicles of the CPDC

Post by Amazee Dayzee »

I love how well you wrote this chapter! Awesome work as always!
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Wortge
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Re: Chronicles of the CPDC

Post by Wortge »

You read that in one minute?

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Re: Chronicles of the CPDC

Post by Amazee Dayzee »

I got started reading it and made it one-fourth of a way down before I had to go eat dinner so that post was responding to what I did read. I have a bad OCD habit of commenting something on any piece of literature when I read a bit even if I don't read all of it. Eventually I do get to reading all of that but I feel a compulsion to say something about the content that I did read.
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Re: Chronicles of the CPDC

Post by Wortge »

Queens County Civil Court, Jamaica, Queens, Monday 2:07 PM

A human and a cat left the court complex from the main doors, making their way to where their car was parked.

"And that's all done with now." Walt commented towards the cat.

"I'll probably miss them... This all happened so fast, hard to believe I was still back in my old home at the start of this month."

"If you had to guess, when do you think your old owners would renounce their ownership?"

"I didn't really expect that. I thought I'd continue living in your house and when they decided to get me back I'd run to you. Instead they decided on just letting me go."

"We could have ended this way more amicably by approaching Garfield and asking for his voluntary ownership transfer. Since he was willing to give you away already. Oh well."

"No way! Too risky! He could've insisted on the shelter anyways, since apparently he wants to also 'teach me a lesson'!"

"You think he'd do that?"

"I... I don't know. They're not bad people. I was really angry when I left and my opinion just gets worse and worse every day I spend away from them. I just want to turn this page over. You're my dad now, right? You're Dad! You're my dad!" The cat suddenly happily hugged the human's leg as he stopped next to his car, purring moderately.

Walt leaned down and stroked the hugging cat. "I'm your 'dad' now, yes. Forget about all this, OK? You're home and you're safe. No shelter, no Texas, no babies, just me and Xander. Does that make you feel better?"

"Thank you so much for all of this, Walt!" He almost cried while hugging tighter. "I'll be the best cat you could ever ask for!" He finally let go.

"Never seen you like this, haha." He entered the car and got on the driver's seat, Jon sitting on the other front seat. "You still have a lot of stuff back in your other home, don't you?"

"'Other home'? Let's make everything official, alright? That house has no connections to me anymore. And all I have left are some cables, some clothing, games I don't play anymore. Don't risk anything over that, please."

"What do you think can happen? Garfield doesn't hate you or anything. I can just tell him his old cat wants to stay here and is now under my guardianship."

"He wants to sell all of that, probably. Just don't do anything. I'm gonna party once I see a 'For sale' sign in that house."

"Well... He'll find out his cat fled his home and got registered to another human eventually. Probably did already. I think he'll just sell your stuff and move on."

"And you're not going to walk in that house to grab stuff that's arguably his property... Could you drop me off at the subway, by the way? The one next to Jamaica Station?"

"You wanna go somewhere? I can just drive you there, we're literally in a car right now."

"I just want to head to the City and celebrate. I don't even know where. To enjoy my freedom! I haven't left College Point in months!"

"I'll stop by there then. Be careful."

'E' Train between Queens Plaza and Court Square–23rd Street Stations, Long Island City, Queens, Monday 2:41 PM

Jon sat on one of the subway seats, looking intently at an advertisement facing his seat.

"Should've just accepted the car ride." The cat thought to himself.

"In just a few months I forgot how boring this thing is."

"Wanted to look at the pretty sights from the train but it's all just tunnels."

"Do they have Wi-Fi here? Obviously there's no reception in the tunnels, but does the train itself have Wi-Fi? Everything has Wi-Fi nowadays."

"Everyone says you shouldn't access public Wi-Fi though."

"Why? Because it's too easy? Why is everything that's too easy or too enjoyable always bad for you?" The train stopped at the next station, groups of people getting out and then in.

"Last stop before Manhattan... Not like you can see anything, just a long stretch of tunnel under the river."

"I think I'll just exit at the first station, then head outside and just look up at the buildings, like some tourist fresh out of Kansas."

"No more looming dread that I'm soon moving to a place where I can't have that! No more Garfield! Jon minus Garfield!" The orange tabby noticed a dog staring at him from the other side of the subway car.

"That mutt looks like the dog Xander brought home once, Grape's brother."

"Of course it's not him because he's always at the club, just remembered that."

"That's the same tag and collar though! Interesting." The cat looked away from the dog after the short analysis.

The dog quietly moved to Jon's side of the train and grabbed the pole right next to his seat. "Jon?" He quietly asked the cat.

"That's me. Can I help you?" The cat quietly asked formally.

"It's me, Peanut! I was at Xander's house with you before!"

"You can call that *my* house by the way. Officially as of today."

"You're living with Xander permanently now?"

"We both share Walt now, Xander's now my brother in all definitions but biological."

"Cool. What happened to your old family?"

"Moved away without me. Or rather, will move away without me. Let's not talk about that, OK? I just spent the whole morning at the court."

"Oh, sorry. I won't pry."

"Let me pry into your life then. Where are you going?"

"Intrepid Sea Air and Space Museum!"

"The big carrier? I see... Have a nice visit."

"Um... This is the right train, right?"

"The piers are pretty far from any stations. I guess you could stop at the 50th from this train, a bit of a walk. But of course it beats walking from Queens."

"Have you ever tried that?"

"Walking from home to Manhattan? No, that's crazy."

"I've walked to Flushing Meadows Park before. Twice, in fact."

"That's less crazy... I almost always only left home together with my owners, I'm trying to change that now though."

"I've heard the quarantine motivated a lot of pets to go out by themselves."

"Not in my case. New owner, new me! I'm going out to celebrate me being free after being locked up for the last months! Not because of a disease, unless you consider pregnancy to be one."

"Your old owners were imprisoning you?!"

"No, Peanut! They were too busy to go out with me. That's not why I moved though, I moved because they wanted to send me to the farms." The cat looked around the train car for a while. "I missed Lexington Station, didn't I?"

"You did."

"Oh well, 5th is fine too. Even better, actually."

"Where are you going?"

"Just felt like going all the way from Jamaica to Midtown. Gonna walk up the stairs and take a breath of that delicious Manhattan smog!"

"Jamaica? Were you traveling?"

"What? Really, Peanut?! I mean Jamaica, Queens! Not the country!"

"Oh, sorry! I've been trying to know everything about the city but sometimes I forget."

"It's fine, I probably can't name more than five cities in Jersey myself. Focus on Queens though, that's your borough."

The train soon slowed down while arriving at the next station, Jon confirming it was the right station by checking the signs and hearing the announcement. He got up and joined the crowd near the door. "See you at the club, Peanut! Or even my house." He waved while he was passing close to the dog, not hearing any goodbyes coming from him as he exited the train and headed upstairs.

The cat soon reached the street level, being immediately greeted with walls of skyscrapers surrounding his view from almost all sides. "Oh dude! It's still hard to believe this is less than one hour away from my little quiet suburb!" He thought to himself, doing an 180 after climbing the subway stairs and turning right at the first crossing.

"Let's see if I can find anything here. Hope the city still isn't in lockdown mode."

"Or maybe I should hope for that, since they kept some stuff open for pets anyways."

"Don't be selfish, Jon!" The cat continued walking straight. Walking fast but with no destination in mind.

"Oh, I know! Let's try some hot dog cart! I remember loving those! They're all over the Fifth bordering Central Park!" The tabby stopped at the next crossing, preparing to cross to the avenue's other side. He looked left and noticed the dog from the subway ride still with him. "Peanut?! What are you still doing here?! Weren't you going to the Intrepid?!"

"Uh... You see... I'm lonely." Peanut almost whispered.

"I'm going to get a hot dog right now. I can't walk you to the Intrepid if you want me to!"

"It's fine, I love hot dogs! I'll get one too."

"And you'll just give up on the museum?"

"Maybe. I thought I'd enjoy going out by myself, but the second I started talking to someone I knew, I can't imagine being alone again."

"You should probably seek help then, that sounds debilitating."

"I'll go after I eat, you reminded me I'm hungry right now."

"Fair enough. Food courts inside museums and zoos are scams anyways. If they even have that in the Intrepid, don't know."

"Have you ever been there?"

"Never visited it. You can see all the planes from the outside anyways."

"But there's so many more inside! And I've never been inside a carrier before!"

"Yeah, you don't look like you work in the Navy." Both pets arrived at the sidewalk bordering the huge urban park. Many stands were on the sidewalk, selling things ranging from food to pictures and clothing. Jon beelined for a specific hot dog stand while Peanut lagged behind at some of the souvenir stands.

"Peanut, please!" Jon stopped and called the far-behind dog, going back to his side, next to a souvenir stand. "Are you seriously going to buy some painting of the Brooklyn Bridge?"

"Uh. Maybe? My bedroom needs some decoration."

"How will you even carry this home? We both only have our collars!"

"It's not that big. I can carry it while doing stuff, appreciating it. I would buy that one if I could carry it easily." Peanut pointed at a large landscape painting of a generic dense cityscape.

"Do you even have the money?"

"Let your brother choose, cat!" The human running the stand chided playfully.

"Of course you'd like that, huh?" Jon answered. "Think before acting, OK Peanut? I'm not helping you carry this if you fall for it." The tabby turned and walked back to his chosen hot dog stand. He sat on a nearby bench and started eating his hot dog, Peanut soon approaching him again.

"No buy?" Jon asked.

"You're right, I needed to plan before buying that." Peanut looked around his surroundings. "Is this from that stand?" He pointed to both Jon's hot dog and the nearby stand.

"It is. This one is the 'Extreme Bare-bones'." Peanut looked at the hot dog as Jon mentioned it. "Just bread, one sausage and mustard. Cheap, filling, and doesn't explode into pieces as soon as you bite it."

The dog started interacting with the hot dog vendor, sitting next to Jon with another hot dog just as the cat was finishing.

"Chili, huh?" The orange tabby observed. "At least the pigeons will appreciate all the beef that will fall off this thing."

"It's not that hard to eat, just be careful and pay attention to where the sausage's sliding."

"Dad ordered some of those 'gourmet burgers' for delivery for us three a few days ago. What a nightmare! You can't even hold the thing, let alone bite it! And it's not because of my size, humans have trouble with it too!"

"Burgers and hot dogs are very different though." Jon got up and started stretching as Peanut continued eating his food while sitting down. "Speaking of family. You didn't really object to that vendor calling us 'brothers', did you?"

"If we're giving that impression, then whatever." Jon shrugged. "You're pretty much just Xander without the dark spot on the back anyways. Appearance-wise, of course."

"What? We look nothing alike!"

"You're both dogs, OK? I'm a cat, my mind wasn't wired to tell the difference."

"You never had a pet-brother before Xander, have you?"

"Nope. Barely remember my litter. It was always me and the two, then me and the four."

"Four?"

"My old owners had twins. Last year."

"Wow! Congrats!"

"Don't even, Peanut."

"Is that why you moved houses? That's sad. Kids love pets."

"Eh, they'll enjoy running around in the corn fields without me." The cat did a final stretch and raised his voice. "Let's go, then? You can eat while walking too. Xander told me the Japanese don't like that for some reason. Now everytime I do it, that comes to mind and I almost feel guilty."

"Where are you going to?" Peanut asked as he got up. "I thought we were separating from here?"

"Oh! Um. You're right. Don't know why I thought we were going out together." The two pets talked while continuing to walk together.

"I'll take the train to the museum and then head home later. Will you follow me?"

"I honestly have no idea where I was going with with my day, to be honest. I'll make you company." Peanut outwardly beamed at the response. "I feel like I'm being too selfish nowadays. I ran away from my old humans because I couldn't get my way for once. I must make sacrifices a few times too, let's start with this."

"What did you run away for?"

"Grape hasn't told you anything, has she?" The dog shook his head. "They wanted to move to a small town in Texas, their old hometown. I didn't want that but they're moving on with the plans anyway."

"Isn't that exciting, though? It's a new place! You'd find new places and friends!"

"I'll pass on that. It's all over now." Jon slowed down slightly to get behind Peanut and start following him. "How do you plan on getting to the museum, by the way?" The tabby asked after following the dog for some time.

"I'm going back to that station. Isn't the museum a few stops after?"

"You were planning on taking the E train to the 50th, that's only a few blocks from here. We should just take a bus to the museum instead."

"Rob said that I should never ride the busses."

"Why? It's just a smaller train that stops more often."

"I don't know. I'll walk to the museum then." Peanut brusquely turned right at the next street crossing, Jon almost going straight. "You can make that walk, right?"

"Yeah, sure. I need the exercise."

"I crossed the city like this just a few days ago! Using a different road though."

"Where were you going to?"

"A pier next to the carrier. Then after that we went to Battery Park for a restaurant nearby."

"'We'? Was that with Grape?"

"Her and Rob! Pretty fun."

"I see. A nice little outing is always nice... I should have gone home and grabbed Xander today before coming here. It's our first day as brothers and I decide to go to the City by myself, what's wrong with me?"

"Where do you think he would like to go?"

"No idea. He's either home at his computer or in the club playing his dancing game. If he hadn't moved that machine to the club when the club was recently formed he'd probably be stuck in our house for weeks."

"Can you talk about this area we're currently in, Jon?" Peanut asked while looking around, seeing the usual packed high-rises and skyscrapers of Midtown Manhattan. "Back when me and Grape were walking around with Rob he was able to talk about anything he saw around here."

"Rob's like... A competitive traveler. He can probably talk about places he's never been to. Uh... That tall glass tower to the left is pretty new."

Peanut looked left and almost straight up as the building passed by their side, on the other side of the road. "Neat. I've seen this one from far."

"Don't look at it like that! You're going to bump into someone!"

"I'm more worried about hitting all this random scaffolding than hitting other people."

"Scaffolding is more solid and hurts more but people are conscious and embarrass you if you bump into them. I guess which one would you rather bump into depends on your shyness."

"I'd rather bump into people!" Peanut declared with enthusiasm.

Jon had a small laughing fit. "What a weird thing to say, Peanut."

"Which one would you rather hit?"

"Some scaffold pole, of course. Ideally with no witnesses."

"Are you really that shy? You really didn't pass that impression on me."

"I only ever talked to you when with Xander. It's easy to open up if you're with someone you're completely open with."

"You two are really old friends, aren't you?"

"We go way back. Xander was the first new face I saw when I moved to New York. I was so young at the time I barely remember things."

"I knew Grape from a shelter, also at a very young age, both of us. My parents adopted her at my request."

"Grape's a shelter cat? Knew that cheeky attitude came from somewhere."

"Is that something associated with shelter pets? Never heard of that."

"Kinda. When life spits on your face like that I guess you either take everything as a joke or you just curl up into a ball and give up."

"Uh-huh... She took some time to warm up to me, I didn't even know her gender for some time."

"Really? And then you give me trouble for not telling dogs apart."

"How could you tell? Even cats have trouble with that when it comes to Grape."

"We first met online. Knowing that also made teasing Xander about their sudden friendship easier."

"Xander isn't an actual cat lover, is he?"

"He has his fair share of friends who happen to be cats. Do you mean that in a more romantic definition? Because if then, absolutely not. Xander's barely into dogs even."

"Oh, OK."

"How are you and Grape, anyways? Now that our brotherhood is set in stone I guess I need some advice."

"Oh! Umm... We're close."

"Yeah, that's a given."

"I've been trying to let her nap more at home, especially after making she walk too much recently."

"I guess napping for her is like using the PC is for Xan. I don't think I've ever interrupted him... I use it sometimes but he's super nice about it."

"Are we any close to the river, Jon?"

"This was your idea, wasn't it? Check the name of the avenues we're crossing, the one next to the waterfront is the Twelfth."

"Right, right! Forgot about that for a second."

Intrepid Sea Air & Space Museum, Hell's Kitchen, Manhattan, Monday 4:00 PM

The dog and cat stood close to the nose of the Concorde sitting on the pier next to the aircraft carrier. Peanut observed the plane with interest while Jon followed him very casually, as he did during the rest of the museum visit.

"Imagine being impaled by this thing." Jon commented while looking at the plane's pointy nose cone.

"Awesome."

"What?!"

"Oh! Sorry... Yeah, it'd be bad. Why are you imagining that?"

"What else would you imagine seeing such a sharp object?"

"I was imagining this plane flying around, faster than the speed of sound. Look at the size of this thing! Can you imagine it could literally go faster than a bullet?"

"Eh. Seeing thunderstorms and fireworks shows makes you realize how slow sound actually is. This thing still took hours to get you to London."

"Have you ever flown in this plane, Jon?"

"Of course not! I've never flown period."

"Really?"

"I'm stuck in this town forever, Peanut. Even by my own choice after all the ownership drama. I've never traveled beyond Philly."

"Oh, that's not good. Dad went on really long road trips with me back in my old home. We probably will do that again after everything calms down."

"Yeah... Maybe once I'm less indebted to Walt and Xander for helping me out so much this month I'll suggest something. I've always wanted to see Niagara Falls, that's not even in another state."

"It's partially in another country, though."

"Oh, dude! I'd love to visit another country, even if it's Canada! Xander told me he's very likely going to Japan next year with Rob. I'm not jealous or anything, but wow."

"Is he better friends with Rob?"

"I really don't want to compete with anyone. Love triangles are bad, 'friendship triangles' probably are too. While Xander's by far my best friend, us two are probably tied in his eyes. And I can't blame him, they've been friends for longer, they've done a lot of things together beyond just playing games like us. If being his brother now still doesn't bring me closer than Rob to him, then it just means that their relationship is extremely sturdy. And that's good, Rob's a nice friend."

"Are you friends with Rob?"

"I dunno. Xan's friends with my friends, which he knows all because of me. I never spent time with his own friends though. Even with me spending some time at the club nowadays."

"You're spending time with me right now, though."

"Well, I mean the major friends. I haven't even spent time with Rob and Brian, let alone the more distant acquaintances like Flash and Gaspar."

"Have you seriously spent more time with me today than with Xander's closest friends?"

"Well, we know each other for longer. But I've never gone out with any of them by myself... And we're not 'going out' technically, we just met by chance in a train."

"But we had lots of fun! Did you enjoy the museum?"

"Yeah, it's interesting. Planes are nice, I guess. Spline would love this museum. Well, he lives here. So he probably comes to this museum every week anyways."

"Spline's one of your friends?"

"Only online friend of mine who happens to live in College Point. He met Grape by chance, you know? He's the reason for me knowing Grape, although with you being friends with Xander that would happen inevitably anyways."

"We can't go inside the plane, can we?" Peanut suddenly changed topics.

"No, it's some 'additional fee' stuff. You'd think museums would just appreciate having any visitors while being forced to ban humans from entering for months."

"Brian told me they replaced most human staff with self-owned pets who work for less. He says they'll start 'making a fortune' once attendance is back to normal."

"That dog's really into that, isn't he? Oh, well... The rich get richer... Let's head out then?" The two pets started moving away from the aircraft.

"Wait!" Peanut exclaimed after walking a small distance. "I need to take a picture with myself here for proof!"

"Proof of what?"

"Proof that I've been here. That I went here all by myself. For Rob."

"Haha. He's training you on going outside? I know he's out by himself all the time."

"Do you want to be in the picture too?" Peanut asked as he pointed his phone's camera at himself, the aircraft carrier behind him.

"No. And isn't the whole point of the picture showing you by yourself here?"

"Oh, you're right." The dog took his picture, checking it on the cellphone screen later.

"It still counts. I didn't lead you here or anything, just made you company. Work on your loneliness issues, OK? Sometimes we just can't be with anyone else but must proceed with life."

"I'll try to. Let's exit now, then." The two pets started moving away from the aircraft.

"Are we gonna head home together?" Jon asked the dog. "I'm gonna walk to Hudson Yards and ride the 7 to Flushing, I hope they're running the express service right now."

"Mom drove me to the station, how are we getting back?"

"We take the bus from the station to the neighborhood. It's fairly frequent."

"Aw. I see."

"It's not bad, don't know what issue Rob has with it... It's the price of living in a house, right? Imagine if they built a station right in the middle of College Point, it'd all turn into apartments and skyscrapers within a decade. You'd have IT firms popping up everywhere and people would start calling it 'CoPo' or something."

"I'm looking forward to the bus, I'll ask Rob what's the problem with it later."

"Oh, I can't wait to arrive home, actually!" Jon suddenly cheered. "I'm gonna give Xan such a hug! Despite his protests!"

Stevenson Residence, Monday 5:48 PM

A Beagle was staring at many snack options inside of a kitchen counter, furiously debating with himself which one to choose for that afternoon. He was suddenly alarmed by another being embracing him out of nowhere.

Xander looked to his side to see his new pet-brother hugging him, purring slightly. "Alright, Jon. What's the meaning of this?"

"First time I'm seeing you as my actual brother! Did you think I'd just say 'Hey.' and turn my game on?"

"Yes, actually." The dog turned to his brother's side and embraced him back. "This is your new life now, alright? Garfield just called Walt a few minutes ago, he said he won't challenge the transfer and wishes you well."

"Really?" The tabby asked while letting go of his hug. "Did he say anything about moving?"

"Not that I'm aware. Are you going back to grab all your stuff that's left there?"

"No! I'm not risking my life over my USB cables!"

"'Risking your life'?! Why do you think they'll kill you now?! Your opinion really is getting worse every day you spend far from them."

"They can keep my stuff, alright? It's their reward for letting me go easily. If I had to go back to court for a custody battle I'd just die of stress."

"Hey now. That'd be simple if the 'kid' were constantly screaming that they prefer one side over the other."

"It's not a very good argument. My old owners weren't abusive or anything, they just have different plans than I do... I still feel some guilt over this, I've spent my whole life with them and threw it all away in the span of a month."

"No point in dwelling on that." The dog turned his attention back to his choice of afternoon snack, pondering.

"'Nacho Cheese' doesn't even come close to 'Cool Ranch', in my opinion." Jon opined from the side after several seconds.

"Have you eaten anything yet, bro?"

"Had a hot dog from some Central Park stand, pretty good."

"Oh! Of course! How did I almost forget this?! Could you explain to me why the howl were you hanging out by yourself in the City just after becoming our cat?"

"I wanted to celebrate my freedom, alright? Now I'm celebrating my family."

"You could celebrate both at the same time though! Oh, well." The Beagle finally grabbed some snack and closed the counter door, heading back to his room with Jon following. "Hope you had fun there in the metropolis."

"I met one of the club dogs there, actually. Ended up being less lonely than I expected. Turns out I was celebrating my freedom and also my friendships."

"Who? Don't you always go to the club just to see if I'm there?"

"Still get some dogs all over me in these brief visits, you know how dogs are."

"I sure do. Fascinating creatures." Xander deadpanned.

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Amazee Dayzee
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Re: Chronicles of the CPDC

Post by Amazee Dayzee »

I so totally l-o-o-v-e this fanfic!! Please write more soon!
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Wortge
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Re: Chronicles of the CPDC

Post by Wortge »

(19 Years Earlier)

Old Stevenson Residence, College Point, Queens, Friday, September 7 2001, 12:49 PM

A lone, juvenile Beagle sat on a bed while playing a video game on a large black rectangular game console, the small TV next to the bed displayed a car struggling to stay on a race track at very high speeds.

"Why does that happen sometimes? Argh!" Xander complained as his strategy of making a turn by grinding against the wall next to the track made his car abruptly stop instead. All the other racing vehicles immediately passing him. "Last lap too! I should just play something else." The dog paused the game and walked up to the game console, eyeing the game collection next to it.

"Xander!" A woman's voice came from the living room. "Rob's here! Be a good boy and greet him!"

"I'm going, Mom!" Xander called. "Can't wait to test the second controller on someone who can actually play games!" He excitedly thought to himself.

Xander trotted to the house's front door, sighting a young Golden Retriever waiting by the open door. "Hello, Rob!" He greeted cheerfully. "Can't wait to try some 'Gran Turismo' with you! Dad just got us a second controller but Walt's somehow even worse than me! There's no way you can be worse!"

"What makes you think I can play that? I don't even have the new PlayStation."

"Oh, don't be modest! You passed all those 'Driver' levels for me!" Xander closed the door as Rob started walking inside. "I can't wait to tell Walt a dog with no experience can beat him easily!"

"Can *you* beat him easily?" Rob asked as he sat on the bed next to the console, Xander soon joining him.

"Of course! Kid has no idea what a brake's for."

"Can I use the computer instead? I can never use the one at home, looks like the one here isn't occupied."

"What?! Why? Isn't it just for e-mails and work?"

"Wow, Xan! Are you really this clueless? They have maps of every city in the world on the Internet! It's great! I can never check everything at home because someone always has to use it. Shane's parents are just so busy all the time, even at home!"

"Come ooooon, Rob!" The Beagle whined childishly. "Walt's school year just started! I can finally have his video game for myself for most of the day and you want to stare at maps instead of playing with me?!"

"Alright." The Retriever surrendered. "Just for you, Xan. Just for you."

"There's a big circuit that's just a circle." Xander began to say as he started navigating the game's menus after handing Rob another controller. "We start with that one, then we compete in the most complex ones. There's also the city circuits that don't have grass next to the road, so you can just crash into the walls and ride them instead of braking to make the turn."

"Gotta love some indestructible cars."

Xander stared at Rob's neck briefly while a loading screen was displayed. "Why are you wearing that thing today?"

"This?" Rob grasped a little golden globe hanging from his black collar. "It's a themed tag. Some dogs use it, you know? Like how Brian has his little hammer."

"Because of his treehouse? He doesn't even use that thing."

"But he built it, it's the pride of his life. He'll grow up to build great things. And this globe tells everyone I'll grow up to travel the world."

"Oh, how humble. Did you get this in your last trip?"

"Yup! This thing comes all the way from Sydney. Opposite end of Earth!"

"Was the trip fun? When did you even come back?" The two dogs started playing the game together as the conversation progressed.

"Monday. Sorry for taking so long to visit, we've been visiting pretty much all of our family friends this week. I liked Australia. They speak almost understandable English, so that's a bonus considering all our travels to Asia during my puppyhood."

"Can you remember those well? You kinda just rambled about random places you saw when I asked you back then."

"Haha! You remember that? I guess back then I couldn't really appreciate places other than just thinking some things look cool."

"'Back then'. We're talking as if we're not still considered puppies by pretty much all of society."

"I mean, am I going to magically change once I turn four? Or six? Who knows?"

"I just love the fact that a three year old dog can completely destroy a ten year old human in a battle of wits. No wonder the apes are always trying to make it look like they're the ones in charge."

"They kinda are... Could you have chosen a more boring circuit, Xan?" The Retriever suddenly complained. "I can't even get close to your car now!"

"That's on you for making that sloppy turn. The exciting thing about this circuit is the speed, look how fast everything is going! Every half-second one of the one hundred meter markers just whooshes by."

"We're going to play outside once you're done winning this race, OK? Either that or I'm showing you pictures of places I've been to on the Internet."

"Playing outside or feeding your ego, I'll choose the former."

"I'm gonna tell you everything about Australia as we're playing! There's no escape!" Rob teased.

College Point Streets, Friday 1:27 PM

Two dogs walked the suburban streets, the Beagle carrying a soccer ball in both paws.

"Do we really have to walk all the way to the park?" Xander complained. "Every single field here has fences around it! Why?! That's so stupid!"

"Humans really like their grass untouched, OK? Humans just love other species in general, why do you think they keep us in their homes while we contribute nothing?"

"I contribute a lot, Rob! Don't you think you do too?"

"They always go on about how dogs are companionship and unconditional love and whatever, what a joke! I just try to be the smallest burden I can be."

"Don't be so negative! Jeez." The dogs remained in silence until they reached the waterfront park. "Here's the park then. Let's not play close to the river because I really don't want this ball joining the ranks of my Tamagotchi."

"Let's stop by there for a minute." Rob hastily suggested, pointing at the waterfront fence. "I wanna look at the city."

"Really? Don't you already go there every day?"

"I wish! And you can't see all the buildings if you're already inside it! This is the one thing this neighborhood's good for."

"You think you live too far?"

"It's too boring! It's just houses! This place could pass off as a Chicagoan suburb!" The two dogs reached the park's waterfront, leaning on the fence bordering the river. "But look at that! Definitely can't pass off as Chicago." Both dogs looked at the silhouette caused by the numerous skyscrapers of the nearby city core.

"Would be cool to look at if I weren't already so used to it. Do your constant travels make New York seem, uuh... 'New' to you?"

"Not really, I just like observing the abundance of huge buildings in it. When was the last time you went there? To Manhattan, I mean."

"Yesterday. My family was dining out."

"How dare you, Xander! You're beating me in that regard then!" The Retriever ribbed.

"Just move there and you'll be beating me permanently, enjoy your tiny apartment."

"The closer part with most of the buildings is Midtown." The Retriever pointed. "And to the left is Downtown." He dragged his finger to the left while telling.

"I know. I live here too, Mister Tour Guide. What do you have to say about 'Uptown'?"

"Barely Manhattan." Rob switched his attention to the nearby airport across the river. "You have an amazing view of LaGuardia here too, you can see all the planes taxiing."

"Are planes your kind of thing too?"

"They have to be! This is a great way to segue into my Australia trip!"

"Go ahead. Not like I'm in a hurry to throw a ball around right now."

"First of all, it's so far you have to fly to Los Angeles first! And the view of the mountains from the plane was incredible!" The young Retriever furiously wagged as he recounted everything. "Then there was the flight across the Pacific, which is soooo long! Sydney is awesome! It reminded me of New York! They drive on the left there, just like in England! We had to take this flight to the middle of the desert, just to see a huge rock! I didn't like it very much, but the humans seemed to love it."

"Why do you only like looking at big things if they're made by humans?"

"Not true! I just told you about the great view of the mountains. But in the desert there was just this big rock! Proper mountains look way cooler!"

"Alright. Is that all?"

"I'll remember things as we play, let's go then." The two dogs headed to the nearby lawns. Starting to silently throw the ball at one another, trying to catch it.

Rob eventually threw the ball with such force it flew past Xander and hit the waterfront fence. "Rob!" The Beagle scolded. "You're going to ruin everything!"

"Sorry! Wanted to increase the difficulty a bit."

"By making us have to swim? Let's go even farther from the park edge this time." Xander reached the ball and grabbed it again.

"Dad told me that once I turn four next year he'll allow me to go beyond College Point by myself." Rob suddenly recalled while they were heading deeper into the park. "I can't wait!"

"Which dad?"

"My true dad, of course! The humans agree to that too."

"Be very careful, do you think that's a good idea? Can you defend yourself?"

"You're thinking like a human, Xan! I'm a dog, nobody's going to try to mug me."

"Why not? You'll be carrying money with you too, won't you? Not to mention the money they could get out of your family if they petnap you."

"It's safe, Xan! New York isn't 'Gotham' anymore! And I'll only be allowed to walk, not take the train to the City or something."

"I was already imagining you heading there every day. Just think things through before that day arrives, OK?"

"I won't get myself killed, just for you."

"Very selfless." Xander rolled his eyes.

"You two!" A familiar voice suddenly called from nearby. Both dogs turning their attention to an approaching Retriever wearing a hammer-shaped tag.

"Brian!" Rob greeted. Turning to run towards the newcomer, hugging him. "Sorry for taking so long to see you! I went to your house yesterday but there was nobody there."

"We spent the whole afternoon in the City and then went dining out, sorry."

"Really?! Yesterday was a Thursday! What's with all the partying?!"

"What do you mean? We rarely do that."

"Nevermind. It's good to see you after my Australia trip, Brian. Everything fine?"

"Very fine! Do you want to come to my treehouse? I just managed to set up the generator and plugged it to an old TV! We can come inside and watch all the Pixar movies there!"

"Sweet!" Rob cheered, fist-bumping the air. "I thought you had forgotten about that place! Are you coming, Xander?" He looked at the Beagle quietly watching the two.

"Come there to watch all those stupid 3D movies for pups? No thanks." He scoffed.

"See you later then!" The two Retrievers started walking away from the park.

"Bye, Xander!" Brian said later, waving.

Xander observed the two suddenly walking away, shyly waving at them before they looked away from him. He sighed internally. "Oh well." The dog started thinking to himself while making his way back home, carrying the soccer ball. "Fun was had for a while. Knew I had to keep that mutt locked up inside my house."

"Brian recently is just acting like some hungry shark, constantly seeking Rob so he can grab him to do stupid stuff."

"What's the point of movies when games exist? I want to control the action!"

"And then those stupid movies about intelligent toys and intelligent ants. The world can barely handle what's already intelligent! Why add more to it?!"

The Beagle noticed some movement on the way to his home caused by a stopped moving truck. Two humans moved boxes and furniture from the vehicle. Xander stopped nearby to hear their conversation out of curiosity.

"This isn't so bad, it feels just like a small town." The man commented to the woman following him with the moving. "I told you it'd be all fine."

"We'll adapt. I'm mostly worried about Jon, he loved playing in the fields with his friends! What if this move crushes him?"

"Well. He's not crying or anything, just a little shy. I'm sure we'll adapt fine, all three of us... Don't worry about it, Mel."

Xander prepared to continue his walk but noticed a presence to his side before taking the first step. He looked to his side and saw an orange tabby kitten about half his height looking at him, with an almost begging expression.

"Is- Is there something wrong, kitty?" He asked the cat with concern.

"I don't know this place." The cat started shyly.

"You just moved, right? I'm Xander and this place is College Point, Northern Queens, New York."

"I'm from Kingsville! Do you know it?"

"I don't. And there's probably at least five places with that name."

"Where are you from?"

"I'm from here." Xander chuckled a little. "I didn't just move like you, life's just going on normally for everyone else... If you want to go really far back to my litter days I'm technically from Canarsie."

The kitten just stared at the Beagle for a moment. Suddenly brightening up. "Do you wanna play with me? You have that ball with you! Let's go to the fields!"

"Aw, kitty! I just came back from the park!" Xander whined. "Do you wanna come to my home instead? Ask your humans first."

The two humans noticed their cat talking to a strange dog before the cat could ask. "Jon!" The man called. "How did you even leave?! Stay away from strangers!"

"Garfield!" The woman chided. "He's meeting new friends, don't ruin it!"

"Sorry." He apologized quietly.

The woman approached her cat and the Beagle slowly. "Who's your new friend, Jon?"

"Uuh... Xander!"

"Alexander, huh?" She looked directly at the dog, him just staring at the humans shyly. "Jon here just moved from Texas, he had a lot of cat and even dog friends back there. Could you help him with getting some new ones? Where do you live?"

"I live there." Xander pointed at a house that could be seen from their spot. "I told him I'd like to go play there instead of 'in the fields'."

"Good idea, he should get used to more 'big city' types of fun. You two go have fun then!" Xander started walking to his house, shyly waving a goodbye to the woman. The cat followed him as his two owners watched the two pets arrive, both pets disappearing from view as they got inside.

"So. You're Jon, right?" The dog began talking again once the door was properly closed. "You're such a cute little guy! Let's go to my room, OK?" They both started crossing the living room. "Mom!" He suddenly called. "New visit! Small cat named 'Jon'!"

The woman took her attention off the TV from the sofa she was sitting on. "Oh, what a cute little guy! You were right! Have fun, Jon!" She waved happily.

Both pets sat on the bed. Xander turned the TV on, it still showing the game stopped at a menu. The Beagle handed the other controller to the tabby.

"You know how to play this, right?"

"I played something like this with Phantom once! It was white though, not black."

"It was a 'PS1' then! This console can play games from that too! Do you remember which game it was?"

"There was a dragon you controlled... And a bunch of diamonds that flew at you." The cat struggled to remember.

"Easy! Spyro! I'll put Spyro Three for you, OK?" The cat nodded. "Spyro One sucks and Two is slightly worse, so why bother." He browsed the game collection, swapping discs and rebooting the console after.

"We can take turns, OK? You go first." He grabbed the controller from Jon's hands and handed him the one he was using while the game loaded. "Wait!" Xander suddenly exclaimed while grabbing the controller again. "Let me just load my save file first, and then remove the memory card... Don't want someone overwriting all my hard work accidentally, hope that never happens in my life." He continued setting up the game for some moments. "Here you go!" He handed the tabby the controller back. "See if you can remember anything."

"I don't remember this level." He walked aimlessly around the game map, using attacks constantly despite the lack of enemies. "Where's the level with the white castle built inside a lake, with the flags hanging from it?"

"That's Spyro Two. We're not playing Spyro Two, there's no point, it's just worse, there's no extra characters, there's fewer levels, you don't even have the cool flying machines when you transfer worlds."

"Fine, fine. Did you hate it?"

"No. But I would if it were released after Spyro Three."

The two pets remained in silence for minutes. The cat actually doing a good job at replaying one of the levels of the already-finished game.

"Where are all the diamonds?" The cat eventually asked.

"I collected everything already. 'One hundred percented' this game ages ago."

"Wow! Good job."

"This game was pretty much built for it. The menu has a lot of stuff telling you what you're missing. I don't think I've ever completed a game like that before."

"I don't have a video game at home. Dad thinks it's not good for pets, especially as they're growing up."

"Well... I don't know if I'd be an argument for or against that. Never been the outdoor type, despite your first impression of me being me outside with a ball in hands."

"I loved the outdoors back home! So many pets and kids to play with! My house was right at the edge of town, we'd play in the large fields that didn't have fences in them!"

"Cool. We're right at the edge of town here too if you count the East River as the end."

"Can we go swimming there?!" The cat excitedly asked.

"No! Don't even think about that."

"Where can you play with friends here?"

"Ideally at their homes. There's the bigger waterfront park and there's some smaller parks inside the neighborhood that are mostly sports fields. I don't really pay attention to them because I don't like sports."

"What would be the best place here to play Tag? Or Hide and Seek?"

"Umm... Either the big park or just the neighborhood itself, plenty of hiding places. Just stay off the roads and don't trespass."

"And what can you do for fun around the city? I saw all the huge towers from the car, it looks awesome!"

"That's the 'Big Apple' for you, kitty. Lots of stuff to do there in Manhattan, yeah. Try to do it on weekdays, otherwise you'll be competing with the rest of the city in visiting anything."

"Mom and Dad only start working after next week! I'll tell them that!"

"You'll find friends here, OK? Don't worry about being lonely." Xander consoled, stroking the kitten. "We live close, do you want to come back here after today?"

"Of course! We're big friends!"

"Haha! Kids surely attach to you fast... You're lucky, you're really young, you'll probably forget Texas in a few years. This is your new life now, alright? Go find some new faces and press on."

The original "backstory chapter" (the others were written after this one but posted to the thread in places where they'd fit better.) Just a small puppyhood/kittenhood tale to complement the ending to Jon's arc.

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Nathan Kerbonaut
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Re: Chronicles of the CPDC

Post by Nathan Kerbonaut »

Jon's arc is my favorite so far. You did a great job building drama and exploring these characters. And the backstory chapter is beyond adorable. Thanks for keeping up with this story, I really look forward to these updates :)

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Amazee Dayzee
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Re: Chronicles of the CPDC

Post by Amazee Dayzee »

I am loving this more and more! Make sure that you keep up the good work!
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Wortge
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Re: Chronicles of the CPDC

Post by Wortge »

(19 Years Later - Present Day)

'Cats of Queens' Discord Server, Wednesday, May 27 2020, 9:17 PM


9MinutesJon Today at 9:17 PM
I'm nowhere close to getting the new PC
You two nerds can stop fighting over processor brands already


OldArch Today at 9:18 PM
yeah, please move that discussion to DMs if anything
In the end it's Jon's decision and Jon's money


N3rveX Today at 9:18 PM
Just take everything ive said in mind, ok?
futureproof your pc
things will be using a lot more cores in the future


鬱鬱鬱鬱鬱鬱鬱 Today at 9:19 PM
things are "going to use more cores eventually" for years now
just don't complain about your pc not being optimized for anything later
not being optimized for anything other than benchmarks


OldArch Today at 9:20 PM
Stop
don't make me look like a mod here
I hate doing that


鬱鬱鬱鬱鬱鬱鬱 Today at 9:21 PM
can you mod me then?
since you don't even want it


OldArch Today at 9:21 PM
April fools is long gone, sorry
it's an obligation, not a privilege
once you realize that, you become a mod


9MinutesJon Today at 9:22 PM
The Tragedy of Spline
Also, I won't be buying my PC with my own money lol
Don't make me feel more guilty than I already am


OldArch Today at 9:22 PM
Figure of speech
We're all pampered here, don't feel bad
do you think you could find some form of income?


9MinutesJon Today at 9:23 PM
Definitely not in my mind to look for that
But if I were forced to have a job
Hmm


Suffering(✿◕‿◕) Today at 9:25 PM
physicist


9MinutesJon Today at 9:25 PM
lol what
No
Some kind of entertainer
Any proper job needs serious training
Being funny though is something you're just born with sometimes
Really doubt that's my case
But if I had to choose between entertaining an audience or writing a paper after studying something for years
I'd try the first one


Suffering(✿◕‿◕) Today at 9:27 PM
the funny thing is
while the first one seems way easier
and usually pays a lot less
if you get really lucky with it, you get billions
and you dont have a chance of getting that much with the second choice, even being lucky
turns out making people laugh is more valuable than saving or improving their lives


9MinutesJon Today at 9:28 PM
Get a load of that society


NateA7 Today at 9:30 PM
do cat physicists even exist?


9MinutesJon Today at 9:31 PM
Of course they do
If your theories make sense it doesn't matter what you are
It even makes you famous
The humans go all like: Wow! Look at the smart cat doing this very human thing!
And then they point at their kids and go: Look! Even some cat can do that while you can't!


NateA7 Today at 9:32 PM
do they really?
sounds humiliating


9MinutesJon Today at 9:34 PM
I'm just joking, I hope not
I've never been a human kid to know that
And missed the chance to grow up with human kids to see the interactions
RIP


CrumblingBox Today at 9:35 PM
Out of context that makes it sound like the kids died


9MinutesJon Today at 9:35 PM
They're pretty much dead to me, aren't they?
I'll never see them again
I'll never see any of them again
Now you're making me sad, good


CrumblingBox Today at 9:37 PM
oops
Let's go over something else, are you coming with us tomorrow or was that DM today a prank?


9MinutesJon Today at 9:37 PM
Why would that be a prank?
Come on, King
I'm gonna hang out for once
This time with someone actually expected
As opposed to the club dog who latched onto me this Monday


CrumblingBox Today at 9:38 PM
haha what?
What happened?


9MinutesJon Today at 9:38 PM
I talked about it here earlier
A friend of Xander from the club recognized me from there
While I was riding the train
And we hung out
And honestly, it was really fun
So if tomorrow isn't as fun, you're getting one-upped by a dog
Imagine living with that


CrumblingBox Today at 9:39 PM
Oh, you know how to play your cards, don't you?
Whatever the dog did to you, I'll do it better


9MinutesJon Today at 9:40 PM
That's almost menacing
But yeah, I hope you do your best tomorrow
inb4 we just go to some restaurant and leave


CrumblingBox Today at 9:42 PM
You'll see now
You will choke on fun tomorrow
It'll be the funniest food you'll ever eat


9MinutesJon Today at 9:43 PM
You know I don't hunt mice, right?
I'm the kind of cat who saves upside down beetles every time I see them


CrumblingBox Today at 9:43 PM
I say "funny food" and you're reminded of mice?
Since when are mice funny?


9MinutesJon Today at 9:44 PM
Since always?
It's their thing
You know, if life spits on your face by making you live as a mouse
You have no choice but to take everything as a joke
Who's coming, again?


CrumblingBox Today at 9:44 PM
Me, you, Alma, Grape
Marra cancelled a few hours ago, shame


9MinutesJon Today at 9:45 PM
Alright
@GrapeJS @CrumblingBox @Xx_LifeDestroyer_xX @9MinutesJon
We are the four musketeers
Get hype for tomorrow


CrumblingBox Today at 9:45 PM
Why would you ping everyone like that?
that's almost bannable


OldArch Today at 9:45 PM
No it isn't
keep going


GrapeJS Today at 9:45 PM
some notification from here just woke me up
who's about to get slapped?


9MinutesJon Today at 9:46 PM
I've never gone out with you, Grape
Looking forward to tomorrow
How about I bring that Pridelands RPG Xander has to the restaurant and we play there?


CrumblingBox Today at 9:47 PM
Could you please not even joke about that?


GrapeJS Today at 9:47 PM
I only play that with Xander now
sorry, kitty


CrumblingBox Today at 9:48 PM
rofl
Look who's getting one-upped now


9MinutesJon Today at 9:48 PM
You never even gave me a chance
Well, whatever
That game is just a soulless cash grab anyways


GrapeJS Today at 9:50 PM
you're sounding a lot like your brother there


9MinutesJon Today at 9:50 PM
See? What makes him so special then?
I can be the grumpy judgmental nerd here too


GrapeJS Today at 9:50 PM
you're not seriously jealous of him, are you?


9MinutesJon Today at 9:51 PM
No, of course not
I don't mind you two playing together in my room
It's entertaining background sound for me
Anyways, see you all tomorrow
Almost forgetting I'm alt-tabbed from a game right now


CrumblingBox Today at 9:55 PM
@Grape There's no chance of your dog brother making a surprise appearance tomorrow, is there?
We already have reservations at the restaurant, we can't just add one more unplanned participant


GrapeJS Today at 9:56 PM
He won't
Honestly, today he's more tired than me
and that's extremely rare
And is this restaurant going to be super fancy?
please remember I'm middle-class at best here


CrumblingBox Today at 9:57 PM
Everyone who's not starving calls themselves middle-class, don't worry
and it's nothing exclusive or fancy
Just averagely priced
And really good
I make reservations just to make sure everything goes well
I know restaurants are still never full, but you never know


GrapeJS Today at 9:59 PM
And that also makes sure no surprise dogs can show up


CrumblingBox Today at 10:00 PM
don't imply that
Your brother is an OK guy, alright?
And I'm glad he's doing better after that day


GrapeJS Today at 10:01 PM
He bounces back extremely fast
again, I've heard most dogs do


CrumblingBox Today at 10:01 PM
True
The joys of having a simpler brain


Stevenson Residence, Thursday 5:54 PM

A purple cat walked up to the front of the house and rang the door. After some waiting, the door opened just as the cat was about to ring it again. A Beagle opening it.

"Hello, Grape." Xander greeted.

"Hey. Was expecting Jon or Walt to answer, are they ready?"

"They're getting ready. Walt's changing his clothes. Jon was going to answer you but I beat him to it, that cat's really weird when it comes to answering doors."

"What do you mean?"

"He just feels obliged to do it. I think his old owner trained him to do that, should ask him about that later."

"Is he settling here fine?"

"Yeah, it's all fine. We did have a headstart of a few weeks after all. Nothing's really changed from the first days he was sleeping here, to be frank."

"Are you done with Grape, bro?" A voice came from the side.

"Yeah, you can have her." Xander stepped to the side and disappeared deeper into the house. Jon replaced his spot at the front entrance.

"Good evening, Grape." Jon greeted courteously. "Walt's fighting his wardrobe or something, I dunno. I don't know why he has to shower when all he's doing is driving us to the City and then driving us back after a few hours."

"It's basic hygiene. You know how humans are with going outside now, right?"

"He'll be stuck inside his car though. He'll have no contact with anyone other than cats... Maybe he's afraid of catching something from you, hmm..."

"What, am I smelly? Peanut told me I'm well-groomed."

"You're seriously going to accept advice from a dog about that? You're fine, by the way. And that's my cat opinion."

"You have a dog brother now! How can you keep this hostility towards dogs?"

"It's not hostility! It's just the fact that dogs aren't known for their care of hygiene and personal appearance. Would you take advice from Xander?"

"Of course! He's extremely neat! Wouldn't you?"

"Ah... You know, you're right, he actually is. I think my friends are hurting my opinion of dogs, it's all just some dissing and mocking that's meant to be playful but the jokes end up getting stuck in your subconscious and treated as facts."

"Wouldn't spending time with your loving dog brother fix that really quickly?"

"Not if we spend a lot of time joking about him being a dumb dog and me being an arrogant cat. Maybe it even makes it worse."

"Think twice before assuming things, alright? Some dogs are surprisingly smart, some are surprisingly dumb."

"A dog being dumb can't be 'surprising', come on now."

"Really?! We were literally just talking about avoiding this attitude! Stop that!"

"It's so easy though! You baited me with an obvious comeback!"

"Alright, here we go!" Walt suddenly showed up next to Jon, grabbing some keys hanging from a key rack and walking outside with the cat, locking the house once outside.

"Do you think we'll be late?" The tabby asked his owner.

"Probably not. It's evening, we can use rush hour as an excuse if we are."

"Real smooth. Are you going to be late to drive us back home too?"

"No. I won't come home after driving you, I'll use this outing of yours to do some stuff in the City by myself."

"We're glad to help you get out then." The three got in the car that was parked on the driveway, the two pets using the backseat. They remained in silence as Walt pulled out and started driving on the city roads.

"Are we getting King first or Alma first?" Grape broke the silence.

"We're going to King's. He lives in Whitestone."

"Oh. There's that place being brought up again."

"What do you mean by that? It's right nearby, of course it's mentioned often."

"It has this 'pet-friendly' reputation. I was really interested in it when I was new here because my old neighborhood was also known for that."

"That barely means anything nowadays. It just means that pets don't have to be leashed and are allowed to go everywhere and stuff. Pretty much the entire region is 'pet-friendly' by now, as the humans get more and more liberal with that. At least in this part of the country."

"Were you afraid you were going to be more restricted in Texas?"

"Restricted with what? As if there's even a reason to go outside in that town."

"What are the reasons for going outside here then?"

"A few days ago I ate a hot dog at Central Park and visited an aerospace museum, for example. Where in rural Texas would I find a giant urban park and an aerospace museum?"

"Maybe your standards are too high. You probably still have parks, restaurants, cinemas."

"If I'm going to move somewhere it has to be either tied or better than here! Come on now, I wouldn't settle for the minimum!"

"Fair enough... You know? Peanut also visited a museum a few days ago. Probably the same one, he was talking about planes a lot that day."

"Yeah, he visited the Intrepid with me. He didn't tell you?"

"What?! He told me he did everything by himself!"

"I didn't help him or anything. He just said he was lonely and I made him company for some time."

"Oh, that mutt! So that's the 'club dog' you were talking about in the chat earlier?"

"Yeah. He recognized me in the train. Small town, huh?"

"If you narrow it down to only one train line it's not that improbable."

"I was coming from Jamaica though. People from College Point would use the 7 train, I'd assume. Not the E."

"There's that weird New Yorker language again. Hope you had fun with Peanut."

"He's very enthusiastic, good dog."

"Did he improve your opinion on dogs?"

"He's fun. Everyone knows dogs are fun. That talk earlier was about dogs being dirty and stupid, he didn't really help in that regard."

"You think Peanut's dirty and stupid? You're almost crossing the line here, Jon."

"I don't explicitly think that! He didn't come across as unusually neat or unusually smart, that's all. He didn't help my bad assumptions of dogs but also didn't eliminate them... Here's King's home, by the way." The car stopped near the entrance of a parking lot belonging to a complex of apartment blocks. A waiting Persian cat started walking towards the car.

"He lives in these apartments? So much for this place being 'pet-friendly'."

"There's a lot of pets inside these things, you know? What's more 'pet-friendly' than other pets?"

King opened one of the back doors and sat on the backseat. "Hello, you two." He greeted as he got comfortable, the car already departing.

"Hi." The two cats said at the same time. "If it isn't this night's organizer." Jon remarked towards him.

"That's me. Me and Alma love this place, you two will love it too. Don't worry."

"I trust you, King." Grape replied. "That boat we went to the other time had really great food. Sorry for never giving you proper feedback."

"I knew you'd love it! After all, that little fish badge of yours stands for something, right? This won't be a seafood place though, it's a Greek restaurant."

"Greek? What do they eat in Greece?"

"Food. Good food."

"Oh... That's good to know."

"It beats eating literal garbage in the alleys, doesn't it, Grape?" Jon teased from Grape's side.

"Why are you bringing that up?! Did Xander tell you?!"

"Spline did! Look, if you actually prefer that over proper dining, there's some really shady places in Brooklyn I can recommend. Just from word-of-mouth, never been to them."

"No! I only went to the alleys back in Babylon because they were close! And they were Max's idea!"

"Is that your old boyfriend?"

"He *is* my *current* boyfriend! Are you going to be jealous of Xander *and* Max now?!"

"I'm not jealous! Do you really think I'm falling for you?! I just wanted to play an RPG with someone other than Xan for once! I haven't done that in months!"

"We can try something eventually, we'll see. Just didn't want you interfering in that particular game, sorry."

"There's always more Game Nights. Ideally not at my home, to avoid another VR incident."

"That's the only good thing about them, though!" King protested.

"'Them'?" Jon repeated. "That only happened during one night. Don't take it for granted."

"I'll take it for granted if it's you or your brother hosting. That mutt's not considering getting rid of it, is he?"

"If he gets rid of it he'll do that by giving it to me, it's safe."

The car stopped by an unassuming brick house after some brief silence. A Siamese cat waiting near the house's front door walked up to the car and sat on the unoccupied front seat.

"Really, Alma?!" King protested from the backseat as the car got going again. "There's plenty of space here!"

"There's only three seatbelts though. I'm not risking my life to cuddle up with you, sorry."

"Tough love, eh?" Grape played with the Persian.

"Beats being in love with a garbage-eater who lives one plane ride away." King shot back.

"What?! You two are really pushing my limits today, aren't you?!"

"That's how friendships are formed, Grape!" Jon exclaimed while patting Grape's shoulder. "Lots of jokes and teasing! No need for fake manners!"

"Feeling like going back to having just an awkward boyfriend and Peanut's weird girlfriend already."

"Go on and tease us, Grape." Jon challenged. "You do that with Xander already. We're easy targets, come on."

"But Xander makes it really easy!"

"See? You're doing it already!"

"Uhh... I don't know! I don't really know you three, to be honest."

"Fair enough. Let that come naturally."

Greenwich Village, Manhattan, Thursday 7:05 PM

The group of pets sat at a table set in a large, decorated restaurant. Waiting for their food after ordering.

"I bet Xander would have a field day with the Greek-looking font in that menu." Grape commented.

"He would!" Jon replied. "Every time he comes across fake Russian he mocks it by reading it as you would read it if it were actually in Russian."

"He knows Russian?"

"No, but he can read it. Same for a lot of other scripts."

"Wonder if he criticizes languages just like everything else."

"I think that would quickly go from criticizing a language to criticizing a culture and its people, it'd get controversial really quick."

"Would Xander even mind that?"

"I don't know, probably not. He doesn't mind going up to your face and saying that what you like is garbage, maybe he'd do the same but to your country too."

"How does he go on without being punched by someone for acting like that?"

"He's shy. And pretty closed too. If he's talking to you about his likes and dislikes you're at least a friend."

"Oh. I'm flattered."

"You two have talked for hours! Why would you assume you're not considered a friend?"

"I guess I'm even more closed than him then."

"Your friendship is a rare treasure, Grape. I hope there's a big reward inside."

"Hah!"

"Tone it down there, casanova." King entered the conversation. "That almost sounded like flirting."

"It really wasn't." The tabby replied. "Never assume anything I do is a romantic approach, OK?" He directed towards Grape.

"You being romantic is an impossibility, 'kitty'."

"There we go!" Jon cheered. "You've teased me!"

"You think I'm joking?"

"Yes! Keep going!"

"You're a weird one, Jon. I see how you and Xan go so well together."

"To think we were born years and thousands of miles apart, after living with him for a month it feels like he's from my litter."

"How did you two meet, anyways?"

"I started coming to his house just after I moved here, when I was really young."

"You just ran into his house?"

"No, Grape! We met outside and he invited me in. We played a lot of video games together back in those days."

"And you don't anymore?"

"Multiplayer video games are all online nowadays, maybe once I get a proper computer instead of my little old laptop."

"You're going to get a fancy one like Xander's?"

"I hope! But I'm not in a place to ask. Walt's already done enough for me already."

The group quieted down as Alma and King's order arrived, the other two continuing to wait once the two were served.

"I guess we ordered the 'complicated ones'." Jon remarked towards Grape once the other two started eating.

"That always happens to me when I go out. At least I won't have to wait for someone to be done once I finish."

"That's a good way of looking at it. You end up being the last one to enjoy the food. You get the last laugh, or rather, the last bite."

"Do you usually go out with these two? Sorry for not knowing a lot about most of the Discord people. I'm new to the group and all and I'm not posting a lot recently, if ever."

"These two are the most outdoor-y ones. For the outdoor outings you usually have King, Alma, Sissel, Suzie and Marra. The indoor people are Spline, Xander, Wolf, Monarch, Magellan, Nate and I'd put you in there if I were talking to someone else."

"Really? You'd label me as the 'indoor people'? I've been to a meetup with King and Alma before."

"And then disappeared for over a week. I'd only take into account the two game nights you participated in."

"That wasn't my fault! Are you seriously going to hold that over me? Could you please give me the usernames of these people, by the way?"

"Oh, I'm the name master in the Discord. Let's go. Uhh... King is 'Crumbling Box', Alma is 'Life Destroyer' with a bunch of 'X's."

Grape laughed loudly suddenly, trying to disguise it to the other two at the table, who were busy with their food and their own conversation. "Really?! Why?"

"She rarely chats, she just found the name funny. I guess."

"Sweet and polite Alma, the 'Life Destroyer'. Alright, continue."

"Sissel is 'Oh Es Tor', Marra is 'Marra Vee Es', Suzie is 'Suffering', Wolf is 'Nerve X', Magellan is a bunch of Japanese letters Xander told me means 'depression', Xander is 'Zentrix Es Em', Spline is 'Old Arch', Nate is 'Nate Ay Seven' but he changes it to weird stuff sometimes, Grape is 'Grape Jay Es', Monarch is 'Kay Es Kay', Uhh... I think I'm done?"

The purple cat clapped sarcastically. "Good job. Would you mind writing that down on a paper for me later?"

"You shouldn't just call everyone by their first name on the Internet, that's reserved for when you actually know them a little bit more."

"Fair enough. It's just that you keep alternating between first names and nicknames in the chat and meanwhile I'm just thinking 'Who's that again?'"

"You'll memorize things eventually. DM me if you need help, OK?"

"I will, 'kitty'."

"How do you even know Xander calls me that sometimes?"

"He does?"

"Oh... Oops."

The food of the two other pets finally arrived, the conversation stopping as they also got busy with eating.

"Does the 'JS' in your username mean anything?" Jon suddenly asked between bites.

"It's my middle name and surname initials."

"And what would they be?"

She breathed in deeply before saying. "Jelly Sandwich." She concluded with an eye roll.

"'Grape Jelly Sandwich'? Really? Did you get it changed or something?"

"My family name is actually 'Sandwich', 'Grape Jelly' plays into it. What does 'Nine Minutes' mean in your case?"

"Really old inside joke with Xander. Nothing interesting."

"OK. What about his name? 'Zentrix'? With 'SM' at the end?"

"I don't know, actually. Zentrix sounds close to Xander, that's all I can get from it. 'SM' stands for StepMania, that dancing game he plays. Google that username and you get a lot of videos of him playing. Also lots of people discussing how he compares to other top players."

"Is he actually internet-famous?"

"Of course not. Probably famous inside of that game's community though."

All the pets eventually finished their food. Grape idly waited as Jon started doing nothing and King and Alma exchanged cuddles from their chairs.

"Let's go before someone we know sees this and thinks it's a double date." Grape suggested to Jon.

"You're worried about that?"

"Of course. You should be too." Grape hastily stood up, alarming the two distracted cuddling cats.

"Go wait outside then, just pay for your part of the bill first."

"What happened, Grape?" Alma asked, alarmed.

"Just hurrying things up, don't mind me."

Washington Square Park, Greenwich Village, Manhattan, Thursday 7:52 PM

The group waited near one of the gates at the edges of the park, waiting for their car ride back home.

"So, did I do better than the club dog?" King asked, directed towards Jon.

"I can't compare a restaurant to a museum, or even to a hot dog stand."

"That's what you two did?"

"Yeah. Today was fine, King. Don't worry, you're not getting one-upped."

"Great! Cat supremacy prevails again!" The Persian cheered mockingly.

"Cat 'equalocracy' if anything."

"Have you been going out after our last time, Grape?" Alma asked. "We know lately hasn't been the best time to go out, with the humans being supposed to be locked up when possible. But we pets aren't really subjected to that aside from our dependence on humans."

"Mostly very locally, with my brother. This week we've been going nuts though. Me and him went here to Manhattan with a dog friend of his and then he returned here by himself a few days later to do a lot of stuff. And now I'm here with you three, just to go to one of the meetups for once and spend some of my allowance that's been piling up."

"That's good. Hope you've been having fun."

"I'll have some fun and then spend another series of weeks at home. Just keeping this cycle up indefinitely."

"Any place you might want to check out?"

"Uhh... Not really. I've been to Central Park already, which is the first thing that comes to mind when you think New York."

"What about this park right here? Ever been here?" Both cats looked at the nearby park beyond the fence and gates they were waiting close to.

"I haven't, it looks like any regular park." Grape looked at the park closer, taking a few steps towards it, Alma following. "Is that a fountain in the center?"

"Yeah. There's also the arch, see if you can see it from this side. That's really all there is to it."

"Hmm..." Grape noticed a classic arch close to the fountain that could barely be seen because of many trees on the way. "Isn't there a movie where a giant wave destroys that arch?"

"That's the first thing you remember seeing it?"

"I mean, it's memorable. Scenes of destruction stick with you, even if fictional."

Walt's familiar car suddenly arrived, pulling up close to the group. They hastily entered the car.

"Everything OK here?" Walt asked before starting to drive. The cats all muttered confirmations at the same time.

"You liking driving four cats around, Dad?" Jon asked the human.

"Hahaha. I'm just glad to help. I've done this before, of course. Just never without Xander."

"Are you done with everything you had to do around here?"

"Pretty much."

"Is there anything I can help you with?"

"Jon please. You're gonna do this in front of your friends, even? Stop trying to make up for me helping you, you're not a burden."

"I promised you to be the best cat you could have, didn't I?"

"Yes. So go ahead and obey me. You don't owe me anything and I *am* going to spend more money on you. Stop being all apologetic and dismissive everytime I bring up your new computer, I know you want it."

"Don't discuss this here, Dad! We can't even talk quietly because I'm in the backseat!"

"Alright. We'll have the father-and-son talk back home." The car trip continued in absolute silence.

"You're calling him 'Dad' already?" King asked Jon quietly from his side.

"Best way to adapt is to pretend everything's always been like this. And it sure works."

"Not even Xander calls him 'Dad' though, I'm surprised he even accepts it."

"Walt accepts everything, that's why I worry about him starting to spoil me for no reason. Xander doesn't call Walt his dad just because he's too cynical to use the word, even though he used to call Walt's parents 'Mom' and 'Dad' back when he lived with them."

"Maybe it's less cynicism and more just not wanting to call someone else 'Dad'? Must be weird calling a human you grew up with a dad once they're not a kid anymore. It's hard to imagine a dog being cynical, after all."

"Oh, you'd definitely be surprised. You haven't spent much time with Xan, have you?" King shook his head. "That makes sense though. If you get adopted by human adults it's not that weird to call them that, but if you're given to a kid then that kid's closer to a sibling than to a parent."

"I myself don't really care about that. I call my owner 'Mom' and I'm actually older than her."

"Haha, what?! How does that even work?"

"Her dad adopted me when he lived alone. He ended up marrying, having a kid and giving me to that kid."

"Isn't your owner like, twenty? Just how old are you?"

"I'm thirty-six. Do I not show it?"

"Not at all! You really take care of yourself, I'd guess your age as around twenty."

"I'm not old or anything, just middle-aged. Of course I'm probably ancient compared to the other Discord people."

"Definitely. I believe Nate is five years old, the server's almost older than him."

"To think I was chatting online at the same time he was busy being an embryo. It's humbling."

"You can go all 'I'm old enough to be your dad!' on him if he irritates you."

"Rather not. I really try to hide my age, actually. Don't want people calling me a 'boomer' for bragging about being old or something."

"Fair enough."

Sandwich Residence, Thursday 8:53 PM

The purple cat unceremoniously entered her house. Being greeted by a sleeping Jill and Peanut on the living room sofa, the TV broadcasting programs to the standstill room.

Grape sat down next to Peanut, grabbing the remote controller. The dog eventually woke up and embraced her gently. "Grape! You're back!" He exclaimed happily but not loud to the point of waking up Jill.

The two snuggled while watching the TV. "That was just a few hours, Peanut." Grape replied while hugging her brother, purring. "You weren't lonely, were you?"

"No, I'm fine. What do you want to watch?"

"Oh, anything. I don't care." They gave up on paying attention to the TV and just continued snuggling happily. "I guess we switched places today, didn't we? I should've yelled your name when I saw you napping here."

"I'd love to wake up to your voice!"

"Jeez, Peanut. We really are night and day, how do we even get along?"

"Opposites attract! How was your day with Jon?"

"What do you mean 'with Jon'? I went out with three cats, not just him. Unlike a certain dog here."

"Jon told you?"

"Yeah. Was it your secret or something? Jon just assumed I already knew that you two went to the carrier together."

"I just... I didn't..."

"'Didn't' what? Didn't want me to know you didn't go there by yourself?"

"I didn't want you to know I was with another cat!"

"Really, Peanut?! You think I'd be jealous?! It's just Jon! I'm not assuming you're jealous of me being out with Jon right now, try to think the same for me."

"I'm sorry. I know it's irrational, I need to fix my way of thinking, maybe Tarot-"

"No! Don't try to rewrire your brain with magic(k)! Ugh, now I'm picturing you and Jon having a romantic moment and I desperately need some eye bleach."

"...And how was your day? You ended up dodging the question."

"It was good. Good food, Jon's alright, Alma's alright, even King's alright."

"King was there?"

"The cat, not the dog."

"Oh, right. I remember him."

"Does that day still bother you? With you two breaking up I'd assume you got over missing her."

"We still talk a lot, she's a good friend. But that relationship would never work, she only started the romance because it was her job as part of that celestial game from years ago, even with me still living close to her I don't think we'd ever reach a good chemistry. It just all felt forced... Because it literally was."

"It's all for the best. Romances don't mean a lot to us pets anyways... Max might visit us for Christmas, I'm looking forward to that."

"That's cool, I can't wait." Peanut replied calmly, the two continuing to cuddle and almost falling asleep. "You know? Thinking back to that day at the beach I just feel ashamed of not being able to hold it. Crying over something so minor."

"Missing someone isn't 'minor', come on. Nobody mocks you for that, OK? And if they do it'll be the last thing they ever do."

"Alright, alright. Nobody's ever commented on it, apart from..."

"Apart from who?"

"Nothing. I like that person, I don't want them to die."

"Smart move."

Wortge
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Re: Chronicles of the CPDC

Post by Wortge »

Double-posting here instead of writing this as part of the chapter's author notes just for higher visibility. The next chapter starts with a time-skip to July and I'm using that as an excuse to have a small break with the posts here.

I tried to keep up my posting balanced with my writing, but in the end I'm down to only five completed chapters after the time-skip. Posts will resume either at the beginning of July or when I complete at least eight chapters, I think the second possibility is more likely, but no promises.

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Amazee Dayzee
Posts: 16423
Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2014 6:24 pm

Re: Chronicles of the CPDC

Post by Amazee Dayzee »

We are fine with waiting if you need to take a break! The story is worth it! I hope you are able to resume soon with it! I just love everything about it! This chapter is great also!
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