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  • NTS-HD-08 Starry Knights

    NTS-HD-08 Starry Knights
    By Darrel James Vanwinkle
    June 3rd, 2014

    Chapter Seventy-One

    The next morning after saying goodbye to both Rudolph and Krypto, I boarded the space shuttle along with Thundermutt and his filming crew. Thirty whole days was the plan on Planet Starknight. And during this time I would not only be getting acting instruction from the canine actor but I would get to explore the new world at the same time. If I had known what was to come, I might have chosen to stay on QC Planet. But for now, I was happily seated on a rug across from Thundermutt who was seated in a posh chair with a serving cart next to him. During the flight which would take about four days, he would instruct me on acting and throw tests at me occasionally.

    When the announcement came that we were entering orbit at our destination, I got up close to one of the windows to get my first look at Planet Starknight from space. Needless to say, it looked both pristine and feral at the same time. According to Thundermutt, a few TV shows often filmed on planet with the use of special magical equipment; regular equipment would not function here. The shows that had filmed there were He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, She-Ra Princess of Power, Blackstar, The Pirates of Dark Water, Blazing Dragons, Dragon Tales, and an original series that was about to wrap up it's latest season... a show called Furry Tales. And now, Thundermutt was going to be filming a movie here. I couldn't wait to see the filming locale itself.

    "Now remember, Harold," explained Thundermutt as he helped his master the director and the rest of the crew get set up. "If you wander too far, your communicator won't work. If you need to get a message to me, use your super ventriloquism instead. Also remember that Kryptonians are weak against magic and nearly everyone on Starknight uses magic."

    "I'll remember, TM," I said as I was looking forward toward my exploratory outing. "I figured that I would get my exploratory out of the way now so I didn't mess up your crew's filming schedule later. I hope to be back by tonight. And please don't call my folks if I don't make it back by nightfall; give me some time in case I am showing etiquette to the locals." And off I went. "Rup, Rup, and away!" Into the air I flew and over the trees I sailed. Soon, the filming locale was far behind me.

    During my flight, I saw Prince Adam fishing with Cringer, I saw the Rebel Encampment where Princess Adora was talking to Beau, and I even saw Swiftwind training what looked like a winged unicorn son over a small grassy field in the forest. I didn't bother them since I knew that a training session was serious business.

    As I was flying over a rather pretty and pastel looking stretch of land, I was joined in flight by a cute female pink dragon who looked quite familiar. It was Cassie from the PBS Dragon Tales show. I must have flown over their area without realizing it. "Hi Cassie. Nice day, isn't it?" I chose to be polite since she was one nice dragon.

    "I never expected to see you on Starknight," she replied with a smile. "Are you on some sort of vacation?"

    I, of course, told Cassie the truth. "Thundermutt and his crew are filming a movie on planet this month and they let me come along. I am getting in my sight seeing right now so I can be around later to help him and his crew around the filming location. I didn't know I had flown into Dragon Land. You guys aren't filming, are you?"

    "We were yesterday," she replied with a sigh. "What a chaotic day that was! We had to re-shoot a scene four times all because Zak and Wheezie had the hiccups. It isn't all fun and games like we make it look like on TV. We have to really work at being in top form. So where are you flying to next, Night? We're almost to the border of Dragon Land."

    "I'm just exploring," I replied with a smile. "I've never been on Starknight before. Um... do they film the Max and Emmy at home scenes on planet as well? I ask because it seems it would be a long trip between QC Planet and Starknight for each shooting episode."

    "Yeah," replied the cute pink dragon. "They have a house that is never shown in Dragon Land itself where they chant their rhyme and magical special effects are shown and then we move them directly outside of their stage home to the scene in question. Thanks to magic, kids on Earth think Max and Emmy transport from Earth to Starknight in every episode." She then pulled up to a stop as I continued to fly ahead. "See you later, Night. You're leaving Dragon Land now. Don't get lost." And she turned and flew back the way we had come.

    Cassie is a very nice dragon. She reminds me of Cheer Bear. Ah yes... butterflies in my stomach and everything.

    As I flew across a murky and foul smelling tar floe, it dawned on me that I should have asked the nice dragon what land I was flying into. But since I didn't, it was too late now. I began to notice very large dragons lounging around in various locations. And let me tell you now... these guys were huge. None of them seemed to notice my flying over... or they were playing possum, as the saying goes. The further into the rocky and mountainous land I flew, the larger the dragons were. And the air seemed to be full of both tar and ash scent as well as a mating like smell which Athame once instructed me about when I attended classes at MYTHs. And smelling that scent on a magic laden planet was not a good indicator of what the area I was in could be like. I continued on cautiously, watching more so in case a dragon made a grab at me.

    As I was starting to get nervous about my surroundings, a fast dragon claw snatched me out of the air and pinned me to the ground as he grinned down upon me. "What have we here...? A free mating partner? I hope your medical insurance is paid up, doggy, cause you are mine now."

    But before the dragon could have his way with me, a mighty roar went off behind him as he lifted his head straight out and released a gout of flame high into the air just before he went rolling off to the side and a large combat armored feline grabbed me in his mouth and began loping off at a fast pace down the side of the mountain and with a single jump, across a slimy gorge to the jungle beyond.

    End of Chapter Seventy-One

  • #2
    Chapter Seventy-Two

    Within the top of a crude platform like tree house, the red lion in purple armor which was highlighted with gold etchings and Eternian markings dropped me on the floor as he began to look me over in a physician like manner. "I don't know how you ended up on Starknight, Night, but you need to be more cautious if you're to be snooping around Dragon-Nab Mountain like that. You about got plundered by a dragon in rut." His voice was like a rebel pirate. "Only by wearing armor like the locals do the dragons get the message that you are off limits."

    "You know who I am?" I asked as I allowed the big lion to look me over for possible injuries that I wasn't noticing just yet. "I didn't think anyone knew of me in Frontier."

    "Oh sure we know who you are; you used to be Harold Dangers of the Big Brother program a few years back. And COME tampered with the household cooking ingredients and that resulted in your painful transformation into the all-black version of Krypto. Your career has been on a downward spiral ever since..." Then the lion grinned. "Until today. How would you like to guest star in our independent series, Battle Cat and the Felines of Eternia? We need a black hound to play a Sandovian ambassador and you could even play yourself if you wanted to. Say you will do this and I'll make sure you get a suit of mystic silver Sandovian Hound armor tailored just for you and that would tell the dragons that you were not a sex toy."

    Getting a fine suit of magic armor is a class act for getting this black superdog to smile. And don't let anyone tell you that it isn't. I agreed to do the show for the red battle lion and I was soon on the Eternian set where I got to meet Battle Cat and the rest of the Felines of Eternia. B.C. was the green tiger leader; the red lion was his second in command; the gold cougar was the tactics expert; the black jaguar was the stealth and information agent; and the blue lynx was the lightning quick female feline of the team with a teleport power. I was fitted with a mystic silver suit of Sandovian Hound armor which had markings upon it that reminded me of Anubis' cult itself. But I didn't care at that point because it was magic armor that would protect me from magical attacks. And boy how that would come in handy the next time the High Command attacked. But I am getting ahead of myself.

    The rewrite of the script provided me with the perfect excuse for Night to be on Eternia at all. I had been in Railton Heights when I heard a distress call coming from somewhere in the sky. When I flew up to investigate the source, I had encountered a space-time portal which dumped me one-way on Eternia in the Sandovian Hound kingdom where my arrival was just in time to thwart the enemies of the Felines of Eternia. Escorting the royal family to Eternia, I would meet with Battle Cat's team and after a few close calls, I would help the felines to win the day before B.C. would get the Sorceress to assist me in getting back home via a portal of her own. It was a good plot and I liked it. Guest starring in someone else's show might just boost my own ratings for my own popularity. But I did make sure that the script writers knew to make the Felines of Eternia come up with the plan that I would help to win the day.

    When the filming of the episode ended, the Felines of Eternia escorted me back to Thundermutt's set where the acting canine was starting to worry about me. Of course when he saw me arrive with my armored feline escort, he quickly came over to me and hugged me. The last thing he wanted to do was to report my being missing to my sponsor parents. After a photo shoot between the battle felines, Thundermutt, and myself (for prosperity's sake,) the Felines of Eternia hugged me briefly before heading back to their own set over in the Eternian region.

    Of course I looked snazzy in my new armor. And Thundermutt said as much, too. He was glad I had returned because he and his crew were about to move over to another filming location and he didn't want me to think that they had abandoned me on Planet Starknight. Not to mention he actually feared having to call my sponsor parents if something went wrong.

    During the move between locations, I resumed my acting lessons with Thundermutt. Getting the mystic armor gift seemed to have improved not only my attitude but my acting education as well and Thundermutt could tell. A happy Night was a smart Night. I was learning a lot from my new mentor.

    The new filming location was at the base of a layout of ruins which had an ominous black lens positioned between two gigantic stone angels. There was something familiar about the markings around the base of the platform the lens sat upon because it continued to draw my attention to it. It was beginning to drive me crazy because I knew I had seen those marks before and I couldn't figure out where. After dinner that evening, I had walked over to look at the ruin and shiny object close up. I knew Thundermutt and his crew had gone to bed early since they had an early shoot to do at sunrise. And that was fine by me since it would allow me to sleep in.

    Or at least... that was the original plan. Sometimes I can be more curious than a cat. And that isn't a good thing. Streaky should know.

    As I approached the lens, the markings on the platform suddenly lit up and that was when it dawned on me what I was seeing; it was the same markings that were on this suit of armor that the Felines of Eternia had given me. And before I could back away cautiously, the lens flared in my face and there came a sonic boom as a vacuum like suction activated without warning causing me to flip tail over head directly into the vortex that had opened in place of the lens. Stupid me had gone near a real space-time gate and the markings synced into activity.

    "HELP!" That was all I could manage to scream as I was drawn through the star gate and I vanished from view in the distance as the artifact caused a wind storm in the filming area. Thundermutt heard my yell for help, but it was all he could do to not be dragged into the vortex himself. Of course he did the smart thing; he activated his emergency beacon to my folks. But I wouldn't get to find out how that went for quite some time.

    Somewhen on the other side of the galaxy...

    The midnight sky over an Earth-like world was shattered as a cannon like sound echoed through the darkness as a small curled up armored object emerged at super speed from the closing space-time gate. The object penetrated the clouds and plummeted down into a forest of what seemed like a Summer Camp causing a magnificent explosion and crater.

    End of Chapter Seventy-Two

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    • #3
      Chapter Seventy-Three

      My next conscious thought was the feel of a damp sponge being gently pressed against my forehead. But the conversation occurring around me was an interesting one. I chose to keep my eyes closed so I could perhaps learn where I was before I officially woke up. Hey, I did learn some tactics from Ace while I was at MYTHS!

      "Not quite the scoop you thought you would get, eh Nick?" came the one voice who was heard snapping pictures of me as I lay there feigning unconsciousness.

      "Oh be quiet, Lawrence," replied the other as he wrote some notes about my unheralded arrival. "Strange he looks like your dad, River. Except for the armor, that is."

      I looked like someone's dad? That wasn't a good thing to wake up to. I was now wondering who I had screwed this time.

      Then came the voice of the dad's son; the one who was using the sponge on my forehead. "It's a good thing this guy was wearing this armor. At the speed he was moving, I am surprised that Planet Toonscape doesn't have a giant doughnut hole in it currently."

      And that was when someone who sounded like Ace arrived and said, "My dad sent Dean and I over here with a first aid kit. Man, this new dog sure looks like your dad, River."

      The one called Dean was heard to say, "If he wasn't years younger than your dad, I would say it was him. Sorry for that; just my Bathound training kicking in. Ever since Ace retired, I get more and more into the role. At least Deuce has been helping me train."

      Sad news indeed... my favorite canine detective had retired in this world, but he was apparently still around. Now I feared that I had landed in some sort of weird future that I needed to tread lightly within. The one called River was obviously my son in the future. I needed to decide on a name to use while I was here or else they would know that I was really Night the Superdog. And that was the last thing I needed to do was to run into myself in this time period.

      "Den DA Duh!" And an unheralded POOF occurred and a new voice was heard saying, "I just peeked in on your parents, River. They are both still at home watching a movie on TV. Apollo and Night looked really relaxed on the couch. I could give you a play-by-play, but... some things should remain private." He then giggled.

      Oh my fucking god! I and Damian had... a son. I felt ill now. I was really hoping that my mate to be would be a nice toon female... not one of my own teammates from the New Super Stars. Even my doing it with Joey Boy or Arcana made more sense to me than my doing... Apollo. He was my friend and I respected him. I needed to get up before they said anything else.

      The one called River said, "I am glad this guy isn't my dad; he's too good looking to be my dad. Although if there wasn't a crowd around, I wouldn't mind sampling his tush, if you know what I mean. Thanks for the report, Noah."

      And the final voice to be added into the mix was last to arrive. It sounded like he had hooves. "I searched the entire sky, River, and I couldn't find the source origin for where ever this guy rocketed in from. I even used my uncle's special powers and still came up with nothing. If my dad wasn't off with his puppy dog, I could have asked him for advice."

      River replied, "Thanks for looking, Starstrike. And I remembered just in time not to use your honorifics; your dad really hates the usage of his title. Good horsy."

      I then mocked a moan to indicate that I was about to awaken and open my eyes. I couldn't wait to see what my son's friends or team looked like. When I did open my eyes, I was a little stunned. My so-called son had dark navy blue fur and ice blue eyes. No wonder he was called River. Around him I could see an odd looking otter holding a pencil and a notepad, an otter which reminded me of a living costume, in fact; a multi-tailed kitsune holding the camera; a floating dormouse wearing a yellow costume who wasn't Dorwin, thankfully; a dark furred hound who wore the Bathound cape and cowl; an angelic white hound who looked too young to be the Deuce I knew; and a nightmare stallion who wore his mane in a Mohawk style, yet he seemed to have a very distinct herd marking on the side of his neck.

      "Oh boy; not a good place to wake up." I slowly struggled to get back on my feet. The otter moved to assist me, thankfully. "Thanks. I am... Knightstar of the New Super Stars. I got separated from my team just after an explosion in space. Um... who are you guys?"

      The blue superdog commented, "Well, that cinches it, guys. He's not my dad. Night never had a team by that name. He led the Crusaders from the Citadel in Seaspray Hills before his show was cancelled due to the anti-canine movement on Q.C. Planet." He then focused on me once again. "I am River the Superdog. The otter is our archivist, Nick; the kitsune is my usual patrol partner, Saint..." he then whispered, "...he's anything but, if you catch my drift;" and then he resumed his normal speech once again. "The black Irish Setter is Dean the Bathound, and the white angelic hound is his training partner, Arch-Angel; the dormouse is our friend, Noah, although Dorwin has been training him to be the new Captain Chaos; and the sexy nightmare stallion is Starstrike, the grandson of Wildfire. Starry's dad had too much fun with his Anubian puppy dog, as you can see..." He winked. "Collectively, we are simply called... The Rebels. We thankfully have a TV show in production back in town, but this weekend, we were glad to get this camping trip outing to figure out what else we could do."

      I was glad to learn that I apparently wasn't in my own future. But the question now was how would I return to my own universe?

      End of Chapter Seventy-Three

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      • #4
        Chapter Seventy-Four

        "You mean to tell me that Lord Albert blew up Q.C. Planet to wipe out COME once and for all?" I asked a bit shocked over hearing the local news. River and his friends had brought me an Arden's Pizza to help me build my strength back up. Heaven knows that I would need energy to make the crossing back into my own universe. But how to make the request without freaking these guys out? "And then he created the Q.C. Pocket Worlds to replace the Quad Counties? I'll bet that was a flop."

        "It was," replied the navy blue superdog as he handed me a bowl of water. "Dad's friend, Drake Masterson, was creating a new animation world in Frontier which he said was to be like the original Quad Counties when it sat on Earth... and he invited our family and all of our friends to migrate to Planet Toonscape where we settled in and began to get our lives back in order. It was a mass exodus, in truth. We even eventually got ten real life Earth families to move in after a year and we are currently integrating with them."

        Just then, Dean and Deuce returned from their equipment gathering outing. "We got all the parts you asked for, Knightstar," stated the new Bathound. "All except the frequency acceleration battery;" added the white hound. "the only person on planet who has one is Mr. Kingsan."

        I sighed when they revealed they couldn't get the battery. "Athame... I should have known. In that case, we are going to have to jury rig a homemade battery... although it might not survive the stress we are going to be putting on it. It might even blow up when I activate the space cannon. But that is the only way I can reach the speed I need to get home."

        River then came over and patted me on the shoulder. "Hey... the Rebels offered to help you get home and that's exactly what we're gonna do. Come on, guys. Let's get this cannon built."

        If I had to do this on my own, there is no telling how long I would be stuck in their universe. But on the initial activation of the battery, it critically failed as it burst into flames. My heart sank when that happened. This contraption was my only way home and now the only battery was ruined. I hung my head at that point and it was only a Saturday night on their world. I was beginning to think that I would never get home. I was tempted to just fess up and tell them who I really was. But I didn't want to cause too much trouble in their universe. Two Night the Superdogs would be hard to explain. As I pondered the truth, something happened to shift my decision away from me.

        Noah arrived back at camp with both Dorwin and Athame in tow. I knew they both would recognize me in an instant and I steeled up to face the music.

        "I don't let just anyone use my FEB's without a good reason," the leeezard was holding the very battery I needed. If I wanted to use it, I had to fess up right then. "So make it good."

        I took a breath as I stepped forward and faced this older version of Athame. And even though older, he was still the cutie he always was. "Athame... my name isn't really Knightstar. I just used that name in case I had accidentally landed in a place where my being here would cause problems. I am from another dimension... where I am really Night the Superdog. And in my world, River... I'm not mated to anyone and I don't have any kids. I'm sorry you are having to find out this way. I could never have sex with my friend Damian. I respect him too much."

        The Rebels went silent at my confession. But there it was... as much as it hurt me to say it. "I had been on Planet Starknight and I accidentally got swept through a space-time star gate and the next thing I knew... I crash landed here on your world. But I can't stay here which is why I need that battery so I can project myself back into my own universe. I apologize for not being honest before, guys... but when you guys found me, you accidentally let it slip that my counterpart was on this world and that he was your father, River." I hung my head again. "Will you still help me get home?"

        The leeezard closed his eyes and when he opened them, he nodded his head and said, "Am I still a young cutie in your universe, Night?" Of course I had to nod my head affirmatively. "Good. When you get home, go find my counterpart and help him with a few things. In our universe, High Command attacked MYTHS one night because they thought Ace was hiding you in there and they destroyed the school. When Ace rebuilt the place, he had it super reinforced with planar steel. The last time Dorwin and I visited the planar realms in our universe, the builders there told us that the original MYTHS was still standing in one of the other dimensions and that my counterpart was schooling there. I will help you get home in exchange for you to help the Champions out of their current mess."

        Dorwin then added, "According to my sources, an impostor showed up in MYTHS claiming to be you, Night, and he led the Champions away from the school and nearly got them killed a few times. I know you don't want that on your conscious, so please go put that fake in his place. I am sure you don't have to be told that the fake has a bad scent all over him. Ally yourself before you go face him and then... kick his sorry ass. You suffered to become Night the Superdog; don't let some fake steal your identity."

        But then River padded over to me and... he slapped my muzzle once before he hugged me tightly. "That's for lying about who you were. But the hug is for being a nicer guy than my dad. The Rebels promised to help you get home and we keep our promises. Maybe someday the Rebels can team up with your team in your universe." He was sniffling at that point. "If you do ever have kids, Night... my real name is Hudson. Name one of your sons after me." He then glanced at the rest of his friends and shouted, "Let's get this cannon working, guys!"

        Once the device was completed, I gave the signal to the adult leeezard and once the cannon was activated, I flew super fast around the campground before changing my flight path directly into the cannon portal as a sonic boom rocked nearly the entire Summer camp. The last the Rebels saw of me was my streaming shot into space as I vanished in a pinpoint of light.

        "Don't forget about us, Night," whispered River as he watched a real hero fire off into the heavens of space and stars. "I wish he was my real dad."

        End of Chapter Seventy-Four

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        • #5
          Chapter Seventy-Five

          Midnight on Planet Starknight; three years after the disaster at Thundermutt's filming set.

          The still air over the ruins was suddenly shattered by a sonic boom as the lens temporarily flickered to life as a curled up metallic object rocketed out of the vortex and slammed through several jungle trees, splintering the trunks in one fell swoop. Then the lens gate shattered into a million fragments which was heard all over the planet.

          The next morning, I awoke in a bed so royal I couldn't think of where I had landed. But then I saw Cringer and Orko looking in from the hallway door. "Oh wow! He's awake, Battle Cat! Night woke up! Come quick!" And before I knew it, the green tiger leader and his teammates were gathered around my bed where I lay recovering from my crash landing.

          "Ow... anyone get the number of that tree?" I was aching all over. Luckily my mystic armor had taken the brunt of my crash which is likely the only thing that saved my life. "What day is it? How long have I been gone?" Last I knew, I had only been in the Toonscape Universe for a single twenty four hours. But for some reason, it seemed longer and I was about to learn why as Battle Cat came over close to my bed side as he patted me gently on my head.

          "I hate to be the one to tell you this, Night..." he started. "But after the space-time gate accident at Thundermutt's set, you were gone for three whole years until someone found you unconscious at the ruins in a mess of broken trees and the star gate itself was destroyed. You were brought here where the doctor said you only suffered from a hard knock to the head. We sent word via communicator to your Big Brother, Timesheart Tiger, and his friend Dalis. The Terryville All-Stars are on their way to fetch you. What happened to you anyway?"

          I told these cats the truth and I told them about the Toonscape Universe. Then I told them about the older Athame's warning about the impostor and the worry about MYTHS regarding High Command. And I told them about River's team, too. "The Rebels are a nice group of young heroes. Their leader is my counterpart's son and he is one of a kind."

          "If the Athame in any universe told you to help your friends, then you better do it, Night," said Battle Cat with a smile. "The leeezard doesn't look nice with lil tears in his eyes."

          Luckily it didn't take the All-Stars long to reach Starknight and with a fond farewell as well as a copy of the episode I had guest starred in during my stay with the Felines of Eternia, the trip back to Q.C. Planet commenced. And I wasn't quiet on the trip back either; I told the All-Stars exactly what I had been told by the other Athame. Then I listened to their updates about the three years I had been missing and what the impostor was up to. The more I heard about this fake, the more I wanted to borrow Super Rat to use Flash Fry on him.

          "So this fake wants the glory of being Night the Superdog, does he?" I said with a growl as we began our final approach to Q.C. Planet. "Then I think this wannabe should receive all the bad that comes with the good as well. Just as I had to deal with it. If he tries to lawyer up, we'll be there with the Yuskay Lawyers to put him out of his misery once and for all."

          That's when I noticed that my Big Brother was frowning. You know its bad when your tiger is making the sad face. I felt bad myself since I probably caused it. "I'm sorry, Timesy." Then I hugged my legacy caring cousin closely. "I know I shouldn't be all mean and stuff; that's why Dalis exists." And yes, when the panthagoyle piped up in a retort, the caring tiger laughed. I got my tiger to smile. He looks a lot better with a smile than he does when he's depressed.

          When we arrived on planet, the first task was to locate where the Champions were currently roaming around at and therein we would find the impostor. I privately contacted Ace first to let him know that my tiger bro had finally brought me back. I gave him the reinforce message regarding MYTHS which he took more seriously than I thought he would. Then I asked him if he knew exactly where the Champions were at that moment. Fortunately he did and he warned me that High Command had a force of werewolves in the area attacking the group right now.

          Remember how I mentioned that my new armor would be useful? Now it was personal. I knew the impostor stood no chance against High Command so I now had to perform that part of being a hero that most heroes hate to do regarding clones and such... I had to make the effort to save him from the werewolves. But I wasn't going to be stupid this time. I sent word to both Supermouse's team (The New Protectors) and my own team (The New Super Stars) to meet with me in Railton Heights. That's right; my impostor had moved the Champions to my own back yard.

          When the battle heroes arrived on the scene, we saw how bad it really was. There were eight werewolves from High Command this time. It seemed that they weren't going to stop until they dragged me back to Earth with them. And then I saw the impostor in a losing position. Using my x-ray vision, I quickly saw that the fake wasn't a robot like I thought it might be. He was for real, except... there was something familiar about him. Like I had met this guy before. I flew in and snatched the fake Night right out from under the claws of the elite werewolf alpha as I heard his claws connect with the mystic silver of my armor which caused a massive flash and explosion which knocked the lupine backwards as if he had touched an electric fence. I knew mystic silver on magic armor was good but I didn't think it would be THAT good. I was glad that I had this armor on now.

          Of course Super Rat and Darcadia were working together on the field of battle. I knew how scary those two really were. Supermouse and I protected the impostor from possible harm from the werewolves, as Arcana and Shaolin Priestess used their magical powers to shield us from the unwanted claws of High Command. Kangaroo King and Mountain Spirit gave a werewolf a double teamed rocket kicking back and forth before the marsupial chose to tail slap the werewolf entirely off of the planet, thanks to Trigger the Time Trooper's portal making powers.

          The alpha in charge was about to launch a back attack at the leaders when he was stopped by a very powerful grip upon his wrist. "Got wolf?" That Studio City werewolf heart-throb, the Silversurge, was there holding the alpha's arm in a godly grip. "Now call off your boys or meet the aurora of the corona... the sun itself."

          End of Chapter Seventy-Five

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          • #6
            Chapter Seventy-Six

            One high pierced whistle later and all of the remaining werewolves were in custody thanks to Lord Paul's own personal involvement thanks to a call from Ace the Bathound. Of course the werewolf alpha was heard to say as he was being taken away, "...you won't always have your team to back you up, Night! High Command wants your traitorous ass and they will have it!"

            I shook Supermouse's hand at that point. "From one non-unionized team to another... thanks for the assist yet again. My debt to you just keeps growing and growing."

            The empowered man-sized mouse then changed back into his human form as he smiled at me. "Real heroes don't hold debts over their allies heads, old chum. Besides... it's fun to work with you occasionally. I am sorry you are having to deal with another stupid Earth based organization. I and my team dealt with the American government during our early days and while I cannot fault the entire government over the actions of one of their generals, we still have contact with the guy and occasionally he asks us for assistance regarding some new issue. So as sorry as this will sound to you, Night, eventually you and your team will have to directly confront High Command themselves and make them stop sending operatives after you. I had to do that with General Sloan and you will likely have to do the same thing."

            I then turned toward the impostor who had been calling himself Night the Superdog. I was curious as to why he seemed so familiar to me and when I lifted his chin up to look him in the eye, I saw the recognition for what it was. And I couldn't believe it. "River? What are you doing here? You should be back in the Toonscape Universe. How did you arrive on Q.C. before I arrived back in this universe myself?"

            "Ten minutes after you left our universe," the navy blue superdog started. "I told our Athame that I wanted to see your universe and how strongly impressed I was by your resolve as a hero. He reset the dim-cannon for my team's use and... with Dorwin's assistance, we reached the speed necessary for activating the cannon. But... something must have went wrong. I know there was an explosion and... the next thing I knew, I was waking up in your Meta-Star Towers apartment. Streaky had found me and brought me back to the apartment. He kept calling me Night because he thought I was you under the effects of Red Kryptonite. I chose to call myself Night until such a time when I could find the other Rebels. But when I went to check in with Ace at MYTHS, the rest of the Champions all hugged me and... I didn't have the heart to tell them that I wasn't the real you. I should have told them the truth."

            I glanced at Lord Paul and gave him a description of the missing members of River's team, the Rebels of Toonscape. "When you find them, bring them to the copy of Krypto's Terryville home in Care-a-lot. That will be the gathering point for the reunion. And I think I know where to look for Nick. I can almost guarantee that he would have wanted to go see our version of Scoop, so we can check out the offices of The Scoop! in Talisman City. If the wearable otter is there, then finding the others may become a little more simple."

            River then reached one paw up and activated his collar communicator. "This is River calling the Rebels. I apologize for being on radio silence but if any of you can hear me, please respond right now. Over." And we all waited for any response at all. It was a long fifteen minutes of silence before someone answered.

            "River! Thank Inari! I was worried sick about you!" It was Lawrence also known as Saint. It would be the kitsune that replied. "Starstrike and I are holding up within a set of ruins just north of a city which looks like old Central American temples. Nick is in the city right now working for his idol, a younger version of the Scoop we knew."

            The navy blue superdog then asked, "And where are Noah, Dean, Deuce, and Vaughn at right now? I don't need to remind you that there is an older version of Deuce in this universe."

            "Noah pops in and out as usual because he was searching for you. Dean, Deuce, and Vaughn are hold up over in another section of the ruins. You know the black and white hounds... always in training. Vaughn chose to hang out with them because he thought it would be safer than taking a chance of getting separated from the rest of us."

            Lord Paul looked at me and said, "River's friends are around the ruins just North of Talisman City. I think we can forgo Care-a-lot and simply get the Rebels an official headquarters set up in the ruins. As for the problem of having two Deuces..." He was now glancing aside at my team's version of Arch-Angel who had recently married Egyptia. True love, obviously. "We can decide what to do about that later. Also, there is a small hero team in that city right now who call themselves the Disc Dragons. So the Rebels could find support from them."

            The white furred Great Dane in costume smiled at me as he had an arm around his wife. "I think I can come up with a new hero name so the younger Deuce can still use the Arch-Angel name on Q.C. Planet. As for my real name, I think Ace and I can make a civilized decision on that. Perhaps Pharaoh since I married Egyptia. As for my real name, maybe Wyld Wayne?"

            His feline sweetheart gave him a kiss. "Maturing becomes you, honey. Pharaoh and Egyptia makes a lot of sense to me."

            I was now focused on River once again. "Since you are now in my universe, we need to decide what to tell the public about you. Even though your dad back home is my counterpart, you cannot call yourself my son in this universe. One, I'm not married to anyone, and two, I like girls. Damian and I will never mate like Pharaoh and Egyptia have." I then smiled as I hugged the azure canine. "In private you can call me dad if you want to. But my real name is Harold, as you already know. Krypto and Rudolph are my official parents but they are not mated to each other. Publicly, I am referred to as Krypto's cousin; in private, they call me their son. And I think you can do the same thing."

            "Thanks, Harold," he replied as he smiled at me. "And I am sorry I got the Champions in trouble. But since I have them away from MYTHS, what should we do about them? As you know, I have my own team and you obviously do as well. It isn't fair that I dragged them out into public and now they don't have a leader anymore."

            End of Chapter Seventy-Six

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            • #7
              Chapter Seventy-Seven

              Thankfully our buddy Silversurge came up with a good idea on how to make it up to the Champions and that was to give them their own TV series filmed out of USB, the studios he worked for. Since I and my team rarely visited Railton Heights, the Champions would be given the official welcome as the city's premiere hero team. And I would lead them when I was on the clock. But for hard core missions, my original team would take the point. It made sense because I was already filming at least three shows in Seaspray Hills and since the Champions were being based in one of the suburbs, I could easily check on them when I was in town.

              But that brought up Supermouse's suggestion from earlier. It was time to go confront High Command on Earth. Yes, it meant being on their home turf but perhaps if I just went to them they would finally get off of my case once and for all. Worst case scenario was that we would all be captured or even killed. I've been through worse pain than what the Wolf With No Name had done to me in the battle I had with him. There is no pain as defined as the first time I transformed into my toon canine form. And if anyone tells you otherwise, they can go to Hell. I know what I am talking about.

              I informed both Lord Albert and Lord Paul what I was about to do concerning High Command. Surprisingly, the primary cat lord chose to place an enchantment on my collar which he told me might just save my life in case things went South during the confrontation. I was on edge anyway regarding my even treading upon their own ground and that was not a good place to find myself in quicksand at. But perhaps there was a way to get on their good side if I worded my request the right way. And that meant finding WWNN before heading to their home base.

              Finding the unnamed werewolf meant traveling to Coopersville on Earth. I luckily recalled that the werewolf had a fondness of that town for reasons unexplained. Apparently my old friend, James Talbot, originated from that town and with instructions from him in mind, I and my hard core team journeyed to the quiet forested city in Western America.

              As we arrived on main street, our appearance caused quite a stir because we were met by the mayor who was smiling. Apparently seeing toon heroes in this town wasn't as shocking as I expected it to be. When he asked why we were in town, I made what I thought would be a normal reply. "We're looking for an unnamed wolf." My expression was serious as I winked. Sadly the mayor's return expression told me that he had no clue as to what I was talking about. In other words, this guy was what WWNN referred to as a Norm.

              Fortunately, a pretty young lady emerged from the city bakery and she told the mayor that she could help us with our inquiry and for some reason, the mayor nodded his head and returned to city hall. Then the lady motioned for our team to follow her and she led us over and behind the bakery. When she stopped and turned around, I saw why she was so special. She was a very pretty witch. A white witch, in fact. "Normally you should be careful in how you speak to Norms in this city, Night, but you worded your inquiry in just the right way to avoid a messy situation. Coopersville is a Nexus Town where the veil between the Norms world is closest to the Uniques World. And yes, 'he' is still in the area. You can find him over at the Were Horse Homesteads where he often spends time with his friend Hoss. If you and he choose to have a fight in Coopersville, please keep it outside of the city."

              I thanked the witch for her assistance and I promised her that we wouldn't start any fights in town. After that, I and my team went to the homesteads where we saw WWNN speaking to what looked like a hefty stablehand who was only wearing torn and faded blue jeans. As we arrived, WWNN arched an eye as he saw who had come to him for a change.

              "Well, well..." he said in a way that seemed to suggest that we had surprised him. He could clearly see that I had obviously prepared myself before coming; I was wearing the mystic silver Sandovian armor. "After our last encounter, I thought I would never see you again. Now you show up in a neutral zone which I have to be civil in. What do you want?"

              "Supermouse suggested that I just go to High Command and confront them directly. Since I have no idea on how to find their lair, I came to you because I recalled that they had given you an order once to bring me directly to them. And that would mean that you know where I need to travel to. I was also hoping that you would provide us with an escort. If you help us, I will get your ban lifted on Q.C. Planet. Otherwise, I have a promise with the baker not to bring the fight to town."

              WWNN didn't smile at first. He simply shot a look at the man standing next to him, then he slowly walked over to stand in front of me. "I told High Command that repeatedly attacking you would have no affect. They didn't believe me which is why I chose to return to Coopersville. But now you come to me..." He then smiled showing all of his sharp teeth. "Very well, Harold Dangers... I will help you gain access to the council of werewolves at High Command in exchange for the ban lifting. Aside from obeying orders, I never broke any of Lord Albert's laws."

              He then lightly ran a claw over the surface of my armor. As the spark lightly occurred, he stopped and withdrew his claw. "Mystic silver. Nice touch, Harold. You're learning. Just like a hunter. By the way... how is that pack of yours?" He winked with a grin. He was referring to the Vagabond Hounds, of course.

              I just grinned in return. I loved it when my pack was remembered in that particular way.

              After that, the unnamed werewolf opened a door in the veil and led me and my team through it to the Uniques World. It was a place where the frequency was just a single decimal point off. Only those with magical powers on Earth could even see the veil for what it was. Once we were within the veil version of Earth, WWNN led us to a chain of mountains in Europe and directly up to a guarded cavern in the side of the rocks. When the guards saw what werewolf was in charge of this group, they cowered and looked away as if to look at anything else.

              Once past the guards, the Wolf With No Name said to all of us, "Just remember that for now you have to follow me; if any of your team strays from the path, I won't be able to protect them from what might happen to them. Just ahead is the inner sanctum of High Command. I hope you don't regret this decision, Harold. But it is too late to back off now."

              End of Chapter Seventy-Seven

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              • #8
                Chapter Seventy-Eight

                Opening the double doors into the inner sanctum, the unnamed special operatives werewolf led us into the open circle before the crescent shaped table where the three alpha werewolf commanders sat patiently. When they saw who had come in behind their operative, they all took notice immediately. "Honored commanders... as I told you before, Harold Dangers would eventually seek you out. Repeatedly sending people after him would not work. He came to me in Coopersville to have me escort him here. All good things come to those who wait. Just like I said many times before. However, I do not think he came to join High Command." He then turned to face me as he mouth carefully, 'Don't blow this.' and then he stepped aside.

                "I was told that the Dangers family line was one from a family of hunters who worked for an honorable High Command of werewolves. However... all of these attacks upon me on Q.C. Planet have been anything but honorable. Cloak and dagger strikes is more correct in terminology. Since there is no honor in striking like a thief in the night, why should I join High Command? What reasons can you give me to accept my family heritage?"

                The Werewolf commander stood up and motioned to WWNN. "The best of the best. It is time you reveal to this hero that whom you really are. Revert to your human form."

                WWNN sighed since this was not the way he wanted me to learn this information. And I was about to find out why he wasn't happy about doing it. The unnamed werewolf turned to face me once again as he met my gaze with his own. "I'm sorry, Harold. This isn't the way I wanted you to find out. When I dealt with that politician who was fooling around with your mother..." And with that, he began to transform from his werewolf form back into his human form. I was shocked as the features slowly became super familiar to me. "...I had to make him disappear. The Dangers surname isn't just a name-" He nodded for me to finish it.

                I was looking at my paternal birth father. WWNN was my dad. "-it's our job. You told me that a week after I moved to Q.C. Planet to live with Krypto and Rudolph. You're WWNN? The Wolf With No Name? The Best of the best? I don't understand this. Why did you attack me? Your own son. Orders be damned; we're supposed to be family."

                "I was obeying orders, Harold," he said. "I was told to stop you from removing your hunter side from your natural body. When you went to the Yuskay Groomers, I nearly got yanked out of my own throat to go stop you. And then Supermouse's team gave me a beating like no other. That Super Rat is a real killer. He is like me, in a Gothic sort of way. But as I told High Command afterward, despite the Yuskay Groomers skill, siphoning out what makes a Dangers who they are was not going to be possible. They didn't believe me which is why you got attacked twice more. Since I was banned from Q.C. Planet, I couldn't warn you what was coming. The second time they sent two operatives in who messed around with mysticism. That's why you were almost trapped as a feral after dealing with them. Fortunately your new team came to your rescue. And finally, they got word that you had changed your fur color to dark blue. I tried to tell them that you would never do that, but again they wouldn't listen to me. As I learned when you arrived in your normal black fur. I was right yet again." He then returned to his werewolf form as he turned to face the council. "Repeatedly I was right and repeatedly you told me that I was wrong. I know my own son."

                The Archon commander stood up and walked past WWNN to look directly down at me. "You come from an expert family of hunting werewolves, Harold. When we learned that this had happened to you, we were furious. You were to have become the next greatest warrior for High Command and this happens to you. We wanted to get you here to restore you to your human form so you could be the hunter you were meant to be."

                The Hell Hound commander didn't stand like a man as the others had done; he was proud to be on all fours, as much as I was. He padded out from his spot at the table. "I am a Hell Hound, Harold. When I learned that Reliquary was asking about the Dangers family lineage, I was the one who found out that you had become a toon superdog. So I authorized your father to send in one of Arden's personal trainer hounds, Lightfang, to start your hunter training. Despite learning the family ability, Harold, your father was correct; removing that which makes you a Dangers was impossible. Even though the Groomers can change your form repeatedly, and even give you more powers each time, they cannot remove that which your blood makes possible. You are the son of a natural born werewolf; however... you can choose the form of three you want to use. Since you seem more at ease as a Posture Problematic, like myself, perhaps you wouldn't mind agreeing to join my faction of High Command. There are three factions here; the Werewolves, the Archons, and the Hell Hounds. The latter being my faction."

                I focused on the third commander's eyes since he was choosing to be at eye level with me. "Who was it that authorized the attacks on me, as in the one who chose to have no honor?"

                Not surprisingly, both the Archon and Hell Hound commanders pointed directly at commander number one, which sort of made sense. He just cocked his head at me to show that he would have done it again regardless of my feelings. And perhaps he was planning on it anyway since we did beat the latest force he had sent in to find me.

                "The organization who had this slight done to me is called COME, which stands for Cartoon Organization of Master Evil. It is their goal to change all real world humans into toons. Sounds familiar, doesn't it, commander?" I was meeting the werewolf commander's gaze now. "You were furious that another group had beat you to the punch and did to me as you would want to do to the people on Earth. And aside from dealing with your operatives, we ARE trying to find out where this COME is hiding. And we're not having much luck. So again... why should I join High Command since the only thing I have witnessed from your organization is the ability to attack me when I refuse to obey your orders. You don't own me. My dad works for you, but I don't. However, I am reasonable..." I started to smile. "If you three can beat me in combat, I will join High Command. But if I win, you help Lord Albert on Q.C. Planet find COME. Striking at the ones who did this to me seems far more fair than simply forcing me to join you. But it is your choice."

                The werewolf commander arched an eye as he stepped closer to me. "Not in the lair. We will accept your challenge, Harold Dangers. The battle will occur in the nearby forested hills. And this challenge is only between us and you. Not your team, although they may watch. You mentioned honor before, so now your own is at stake. And come naked. We wear no armor and neither can you."

                End of Chapter Seventy-Eight

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                • #9
                  Chapter Seventy-Nine

                  The announcement to every member of High Command to stay out of the challenge produced several moans but a very few quiet cheers of delight. Apparently not everyone in this group agreed with what the commander(s) often ordered them to do. But a challenge to the leaders was one that the entire organization wanted to watch. What an evening this would turn out to be. I was surely in over my head but thankfully my dad indicated that this challenge was the only way I would be free of their command to join them. And I might gain some allies in the process as well. Both the Archon and the Hell Hound commanders quietly indicated that the werewolf commander was the prick on council, so it was mainly him that I had to permanently take down. I had no idea how hard that was going to be, but as WWNN said earlier... I couldn't back out now.

                  The battle was to occur not only at night but without a single implement of protection. No armor, no collars, no weapons. We could only use what came natural to us.

                  Kangaroo King kept my armor and my collar within his pouch for safe keeping as I turned and walked out to stand on the flat stone rise overlooking the bowl like valley of trees and hills before us. One at a time, I saw the flares firing up from the other three challenge rises at opposite ends of the valley and then WWNN fired off the last one directly behind where I was stationed. Then the challenge began as I leaped off of the rise and began charging down the hill side and into the valley itself.

                  As many of you might have forgotten about, my last visit to the Yuskay Groomers gave me the following powers:

                  The Changeling ability to shift between Posture Problematic Black Lab, humanoid Black Lab, and human forms at will. All of my other superdog powers would be accessible in all three forms. My humanoid and human forms would wear a new special uniform to cover my modesty; the werewolf immunity so that none of their powers could work on me; perpetual night and darkness control; and my eyes would glow light blue when I was angry.

                  So even though I usually stayed in my non-morphic form most of the time, I did have these other powers that I admittedly often forgot about. And now I would get to use them.

                  As I hit the floor of the valley, I activated my perpetual night control and plunged the entire valley into a sheer blanket of pure darkness. I could see in my own darkness but no one else should be able to. When I set off that power, I definitely heard the Hell Hound ignite his infernal flames to no avail. At least that told me where he was. I really hated to have to attack him since he came across as being the most caring member of their council. So maybe if I could take him out first, I could convince him to stay down so I could focus on the others in the valley. And luckily, he was as intelligent to the idea as I was hoping he would be for he didn't really want to fight me either. He had been in contact with Lightfang.

                  Dealing with the Archon would not be as easy, but since I was controlling the darkness at this point, I shifted into my humanoid Lab form albeit naked and I soon encountered him in the darkness. As he heard me approach, my biped stance temporarily fooled him into thinking that he was about to team up with the werewolf commander. But as he caught my scent too late, I slammed him down to the ground and told him to stay down. He had been taken off guard and he could sense that I did have the Hell Hound's scent on me proving that I had bested him.

                  Now I only had to deal with the werewolf commander. And doing this was not to be an easy task since he himself was the one who had trained my father. I still remembered how bad of a beating my father had given me in Seaspray Hills originally. This was surely going to be far worse than that. This time I had to fight the master and win. But how?

                  The bad part of battling a werewolf was that they could stalk their prey without the need to see; it was all about the scent. Which was why I smartly chose to cover my scent in both the Hell Hound's and the Archon's scents when I defeated them. This would give me a temporary edge. The only part that made these werewolves worse than they had to be was the fact that they could teleport. I had to not only be quick in action but quick witted as well or else I was sure to lose this fight.

                  The first strike occurred before I was ready for it. Damned his scenting ability! He had gotten in the first strike from my blind side and I now had bleeding gashes along my body... for all of a few seconds as I shifted forms back to my non-morphic form which healed up the wounds instantly. That was the best thing I liked about transformation. Hopefully my opponent didn't figure out that I could do that or else he would be striking me even harder.

                  The next few strikes against me made me suspicious because my darkness control should have made it so he couldn't see me; yet he somehow was able to. When I went to move out of a strike's path, he would quickly counter me with a kick to my stomach which would slam me back into the full strike path once again. After getting hit like that for a third time, I thought it was pointless to have the darkness power on, so I cancelled it. And when I did, both of his claws immediately went up to his eyes as he covered them from the surprising shock to his enhanced vision. He had used a spell to give him dark sight and when I deactivated the night control, the spell made him see all white which hurt his eyes.

                  All of those watching around the rim of the valley then heard me growl out loud as the following words were heard, "From the evil side of Krypton... comes the canine lord of death... Night... the Executioner... and I hunger..." but the rest was lost when the werewolf commander was heard screaming as if he had met Super Rat himself on a bad night.

                  And then all was so quiet you could hear the vehicles on a very distant roadway miles away.

                  Everyone was stunned at the silence. Usually a silence like that meant that someone had performed a kill. There was definitely the rich scent of fresh blood in the air. But as for whose blood no one really knew. They had orders NOT to enter the valley during the challenge.

                  End of Chapter Seventy-Nine

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                  • #10
                    Chapter Eighty

                    As the morning light began to illuminate the valley and a weather system was bringing in a light rain, everyone had remained at their posts until the Archon commander's voice was heard over the valley. "The challenge is over! WWNN! Come quick! Your son is in berserk mode and he won't stop!"

                    Everyone leaped into action at those words; Werewolves, Archons, and Hell Hounds alike. Of course my own team also leaped to the ready since they knew I needed to be brought under control or else no one would recover. When the others all converged on where I was at, they saw me mutilating the werewolf commander's body with his own dismembered werewolf claws which had been ripped out of his wrists. There was blood and gore all over the kill zone. And the commander's body looked like I had used it as a wish bone. But I was still destroying him non-stop. And unless someone knew what to do, there would be no end to it.

                    "Rudolph." The spoken name as calm as could be from mid air came from Krypto who was hovering there with Streaky beside him.

                    Upon hearing the name, I slowed down and eventually stopped as I came to grips with what I had done. I had killed someone. I was worse than Super Rat. I slowly stalked off to the side and was heard sitting in the middle of a nearby stream. Krypto flew over to comfort me since he knew I was going to need him. This was not an act so easily forgotten. Once the white dog of steel was sitting with me in the stream, I was immediately holding him and sobbing my eyes out. I didn't mean to go overboard; the stupid werewolf chose to cheat. I simply reacted.

                    WWNN spoke with the two commanders in private as a decision was privately decided upon. Normally when a werewolf was killed by a challenger, the winner became the new commander. But since there is no way they could do that to me since it would breach my agreement regarding the rules and prize of the challenge, my father became the new werewolf commander. Which would free me from the obligation. And with my dad in the council position, the High Command would deliver on what was promised. However, my rite of passage had been successful. I had killed someone. There was no undoing that act and come the next full moon, I would learn how true that would be.

                    Although I could still join one of the other factions and escape the werewolf fate altogether. The Hell Hound commander did admit that it was him who had Lightfang sent to me and that commander was also the most caring, in my opinion. When I was clean enough and more in the mind to speak, I would return to speak with him. But for now... Tears in the stream.

                    When the tear works ended, Krypto and I were cleaned up properly and then Kangaroo King helped me get my armor and collar back on. I didn't feel like a hero anymore. I would need time. But right now, I needed to speak with the Hell Hound commander. Moments later, with my friends behind me, I was facing the commander in his personal quarters.

                    "You mentioned my joining your faction. If I do this, will it prevent me from becoming a werewolf?"

                    He replied, "Every full moon, you would become a Hell Hound complete with the powers of the species. However, if you chose the Archon faction, your powers as an Archon would include every power you have ever had at your disposal since you first realized powers. I will accept whatever decision you make. You had Hell Hound powers once before as Nighthunter. It is entirely your choice, Harold."

                    The idea of having even the lost powers at my disposal was the biggest temptation. I did enjoy using Darcadia's inky black fog power and the ability to phase through solid objects. I also liked having the yummy reindeer form which I sadly never got to show Rudolph. Now I could have it all as a member of the Archon faction. And the Hell Hound commander said he would support whatever decision I made.

                    I was soon meeting with the Archon commander in his quarters. "I want to join the faction, sir. What do I do?"

                    He was a little surprised by the offer but Harold's officially joining them meant both sides would win. "Remove your armor and collar, then get into my bed. I will join you shortly."

                    When I did as asked, the rest of my time was spent in one of the most mind blowing pleasure experiences I would ever experience. In fact, this lasted until the following morning.

                    After a bubble bath cleansing with the commander and a nice breakfast, I was back in my armor and collar as I stood outside allowing the morning wind to blow across my fur. Although sex with the Archon commander was unexpected since I was expecting to be bitten instead, I could tell that my faction link was no longer part of the werewolf lineage. Instead, I had both Archon and Hell Hound ties. Apparently the surviving two commanders were more than just friends. Hint, hint.

                    As I stood there enjoying the moment, I was joined by both Krypto and Ace as they tried to focus on whatever it was that had me smiling. "Lord Albert is meeting with the council, Harold," stated the Bathound. "He has lifted the ban on High Command being on Q.C. Planet in exchange for help in finding COME. You did good work despite what did happen. But if you think atoning for your sins might help, just remember that even Silversurge attends church."

                    "Harold is a good boy, Ace," said the canine of steel. "His adventures are sure to be more exciting now that he doesn't have to worry about High Command anymore."

                    I grinned at the two of them. "Water under the bridge, guys. Let's head home. I am sure there is a patrol needing three canines who are just sitting on their butts at the moment."

                    End of Chapter Eighty
                    End of Episode Eight: Starry Knights

                    Stay tuned for the next episode, The Night Before Christmas

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