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    ATWD-DC-01 Like Hero Like Fan

    ATWD-DC-01 Like Hero Like Fan
    By Darrel Vanwinkle (Lord Pouchlaw)
    January 3rd, 2012

    Chapter One

    Within the Terryville home of Krypto and Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer, the white super dog had a few of his superhero canine friends over for a movie origin night in the den of their home. The reindeer had made sure the canines had food and drink before leaving them alone to watch their films. Lounging quietly on a side couch was the all black version of Krypto, Night the Superdog. Positioned near the curtains of a window looking as grim as his usual human partner was Ace the Bat Hound. Gnawing on a rubber doggy bone was Stretch-O-Mutt. Sitting in the only easy chair in the room was Thunder Mutt the Canine Actor. And half asleep on a rug in front of the couch was the Australian speedster hound, Warpdrive the Husky. They had watched nearly everyone's origins during the last few hours. All except one. Krypto's origin video was just ending as the dog of steel was removing the DVD from the drive.

    "Thanks for inviting me over to watch your origin video, Krypto," said the golden Olympian hound who was a former real world human some months ago. "I really enjoy seeing how you got your start as a superhero. However... I notice that Ace seems a bit bored." He was now referring to the grim canine guest who was guarding the window off to the side, the canine partner of the Batman... Ace the Bat Hound.

    And when he noticed all of the super canines gazing his way, he quirked an eye at them. "What?" he said in a very nonplussed manner.

    Krypto, the white Kryptonian super hound who was the companion of Superman, replied, "Oh nothing. Damian was just mentioning that you looked bored."

    "He could entertain us for a change..." started Ace. "...say, by telling us his origin story. I've seen your origin video over a hundred times."

    "And I've been forced to watch yours over a thousand times all without yawning even once."

    The gold Olympian hound, Damian, shook his head. "Guys! Cool it! If it would make Ace happy for this one gathering, I will get up and tell my origin story." And he then got up and walked up on the stage. "I don't have a flashy video or spooky music to accompany my boring old tale, but since you're requesting it... this is the real origin of Apollo the Wonder Dog and how I founded K9 Justice International." He glanced up at the overhead cameras. "Okay, cue the wavy flashback effect."

    The wavy lines and expected nausea coated the room with fairy sparkles as the present faded away and the past, a few months before, came into view.

    "Narrators. Ya gotta love 'em. Don't get me wrong; I have a lot of respect for them. My human name was Damian Cedalia and I was from a small farm just outside of Rosemark, northeast of Nashville, Tennessee. Life there was pretty normal, all things considered. It was all pretty normal until the day that fate stepped in and gave me a wake up call. And my life was forever changed after that. ...and that is how I became Apollo the Wonder Dog," finished Damian with a rehearsed serious expression.

    Nearly every canine was smirking or giggling since they knew that couldn't be it.

    Ace on the other paw closed the distance and was in Damian's face. "Nice try. Now give us the real story this time. Or else... I use the Bat Feather on you."

    "Oh all right..." said the gold Olympian hound. "This is the real story." He paused as he faced forward again. "Ace cannot take a joke."

    Even Thunder Mutt couldn't help but to chuckle at that one.

    "Just get on with it," growled the Bat Hound in annoyance.

    "Like I said, life was pretty normal. You get up early, do your chores, go to school, come home, do your homework, have dinner, watch some TV, then go to bed. I could go on and on saying that line over and over again. But I can see Ace preparing the Bat Feather, so I'll just get on to the important day. On that particular day, it was a Saturday. The schedule was normal minus the school and homework part. Except that day would be anything but normal. I was out on the back side of the crop field checking the fences and soil for unwanted pests. It was something that someone had to do and that day it was my turn. It should have been simple and easy... except it wasn't to be that easy."

    "Either get on with it or else... tickle, tickle, tickle..."

    "See? What did I tell you? Ace has no sense of humor at all. Well, a promise is a promise. I said I would tell my origin story and so, I am now ready to continue my tale. I just hope it doesn't put you guys to sleep."

    Night glanced over at the Golden Retriever. "It can't be more boring than Warpdrive's and my own, Damian. Besides, everyone knows about your sense of humor when you aren't working."

    The Australian Husky toon made a sly grin. "Oh go on, mate. Life is an ongoing adventure; yer only being asked to tell 'ow yas got to be Apollo. Yas don't 'ave to recite War and Peace, yas know. Or Dune. Just go for it."

    End of Chapter One

    Chapter Two

    My friends are right of course. It is only my origin; not the recital of the Presbyterian Proclamation. Unlike Stretch-O-Mutt, Night, and Warpdrive, my transformation was not caused by Toonium exposure. As I mentioned before, life was pretty quiet in Rosemark, Tennessee. Put that away, Ace; I'm not not stalling this time. The afternoon in which I was weeding the back part of my mom's garden, no one else was supposed to have been around. But as you guys know, sometimes the producers of popular cartoon and anime shows like to film in actual locations to help make their productions feel more real to the viewers. They later edit the backgrounds to give them that realistic anime appearance and then no one is the wiser.

    "In other words, they cheat," remarked the white dog of steel, to which I replied, "You got it. They find it cheaper to do it that way instead of creating a full animation."

    As you also know, a lot of heroes and villains have been "lawyering up" whenever a strange script or a weirder than usual offer is made to them regarding a show or an episode. After being on the receiving end of a few of these legal beagle hero lawsuits, the studios began to likewise do the same thing which made it even harder for actors on Q.C. Planet to find work. On this particular day, one studio had somehow convinced the mayor of Meta-Star City and another female hero in hiatus to team up in what was being called "a lost Justice League episode." Their enemy was none other than the goddess of transformation and the faery queen of dark magic. The plot was that Morgana Le Faye had asked Circe to enchant one of her wands to combine their special powers to use against Wonder Woman. Zatanna, the daughter of Zatara the Magician, had contacted the Amazonian princess to let her know of the impending threat. Their battle of magic versus magic had supposedly carried the conflict well outside of the confines of the city and into the country where the heroes assumed that no one would be hurt.

    Zatanna had just managed to somehow dislodge the wand out of Morgana's hands; what actually happened according to the script was that the faery witch had deliberately thrown the wand into the air which would make it look as if Zatanna had done it. Wonder Woman then cracked the flying wand like a whip with her magic lasso which sent it in a direction which no one on the crew had thought to check for safety reasons. Circe who had been a bit more alert than anyone, especially since she wasn't in the ongoing scene, somehow saw me working the garden beyond the bushes. Just as she tried to shout out a warning, the brittle wand, which was actually empowered with the magics in the script (realism, remember?,) struck me on the head and promptly broke, showering me with magical power from all four sources. I was on the ground immediately crying out in agony as my body began its magical transformation.

    My clothes were no contest for the divine level of the alteration powers which were running rampant all over my body and well inside my lungs and blood stream. Earlier that day, I had fed and played with the family dog so I still had his scent and some of his doggy drool on my clothes and skin, so that was what the magic was using as a template for my transformation. I guess I am lucky the family dog is a Golden Retriever. Ever since the Road Rovers cartoon I had watched years before, I had always wanted a dog just like Hunter. But I never thought I would get changed into one. As I changed and screamed for help, my parents heard me and came running, as did the family dog and one of my brothers. From the other side, the production had been halted because of Circe's shout and once I started screaming they were converging on me from the other direction. Circe and Wonder Woman knelt down and when the Amazonian princess accidentally touched me with her magic bracelets, the alteration magic copied that power into my shaping form.

    As the transformation ended, I lay there panting and barely crying for my mom. I was for the most part still myself mentally. But I was wearing a magical metal collar with the similar markings as Wonder Woman's bracers. My coat was otherwise much like Formula-One's fur; he's the family dog. (All the good names were taken.) I could hear my dad asking if it was safe to touch me. I of course said, "I've fallen and I lost my clothes." My brother then commented with a smile that I still had my sense of humor. Then I heard my dad saying that if I wasn't restored he would sue- but before he could finish the statement, the directors had their Yuskay Lawyers on the scene. And as all of you know by now, these anthropomorphic Hell Hounds are sexy studs. Talk about your eye candy.

    All four female heroes were scanning me with their magic but every time a spell got too close, it seemed to get sucked directly into my body never to be seen again. After losing a magical spell effect for the eighth time, they called in the Yuskay Groomers. By that current time and by special request, Yuskay had authorized a Yuskay Groomers business to be set up in Angel City, literally the location of Q.C. Planet's Washington D.C. Yuskay was very adamant about setting the first one up at that location. Once a law dog, always a law dog.

    Like the Hell Hound lawyers, the groomers were equally if not more eye pleasing than the lawyers. Their team then worked on me for an hour on the spot. Every time they thought they had succeeded in reverting me, I would change back into my canine form. I must have started to look depressed or I must have sighed or something when Circe and Zatanna came up with an idea. They conferred with the groomers who then began to alter not myself, but my magical collar that I was wearing. And that did the trick. I was fitted with a magical transformation device set into the collar. However, they did warn me that if I ever removed the collar when I was in human form, I would instantly shift back into my dog form and need help getting the collar back on. It was not the best solution in my opinion, but it was the only one that would work.

    When I asked them about the magical spells that my body had absorbed, they told me that my Olympian Retriever form had magical abilities like the four ladies present. I then shot a glance at my brother as I said, "Wanna help me learn how to use my form and my abilities?"

    My brother smiled as he knelt down and petted me the way we would Formula-One. "If mom and dad let me go with you, we'll give it the old Cedalia try."

    Now you know why my brother Cedolph lives at my place in Angel City; he is helping me deal with my new life. His name literally means "War Wolf" which Morgana has since mentioned is similar to the Worg Raiders in the old Lion Force production which was filmed in Magicwood on Q.C. Planet. Cedolph and I have had a few good adventures together but more on that later. When the groomers had finished with my collar, they instructed me in how to use it and with a magical flash, I was back in my naked human body, for which I was quickly cloaked in Wonder Woman's full length cape. I was glad to cover my modesty in front of the ladies, although I didn't mind the Hell Hounds seeing what I had. They are hot.

    End of Chapter Two


      Chapter Three

      I am not sure why Cedolph and I agreed to migrate to a northwest suburb of Angel City where we were moved into a nice estate jointly owned by both Le Faye and Circe, but our lodgings there were anything but shabby. We even had space for Formula-One at the estate. Morgana did inform us that Earth animals developed the ability to talk after living for a year on Q.C. Planet, therefore at the end of the first year, I would be able to have conversations with the family dog. Our estate flanked one edge of the Magicwood Forest where the Worg Raiders lived peacefully in a forest village of their own. As most of you may not know, the Worg Raiders are pony to horse sized wolves, just smaller than a draft horse, who were posture problematic or more to the point... non-morphic, but intelligent and fluent in speech. Le Faye introduced us to several of them after we moved in and a good time was had by all.

      I should also mention that a couple of girls and another boy from Rosemark also chose to make the move with us to Angel City and were also living at the estate. At Rosemark High, we had been collectively called The Mystery Five by the local sheriff, and the local newspaper had often asked us if we knew anything about local events or even mysteries. The others consisted of my friends "Sissy" Susy Lorren (and her boa constrictor Precious,) Philip Ransom (and his horse Stretch,) and Cedolph's friend Catherine Sethwick (and her Irish Setter Lucia.)

      We had a full house with an interesting assortment of pets. Woe be it to the crook who bumbled across "Precious" in the middle of the night.

      I hadn't been moved in long when I chanced to witness one of Cheetah's feline companions being chased after by a certain dark hound who is in the room right now. Yes, that's you, Ace. He was trying to nab Crafty who had done something stupid in Ace's patrol area over in Meta-Star City and had fled back to Angel City thinking the Bat Hound wouldn't give chase. As if, right, Ace? The dark hound displayed the Bat Feather again, wiggling it at me. "Just get on with it."

      No sense of humor, I tell you. Anyway, Crafty was loping through the suburb and made the stupid mistake of leaping over the retaining wall around the estate and landed in the middle of Precious' coils; Susy had her outside in the warm sunlight. Crafty was caught instantly by the 'oh so scary' boa constrictor. Ace was much smarter as he chose to simply look over the wall to see what lay on the other side. No sense his getting caught in the same thing. And then Krypto flew into the scene and helped Ace remove Crafty from the property. Not surprising, neither hero hound paid me much mind at the time since they had no idea who the kids and their pets were at that location and we never tried to get their attention. They both only focused on Crafty as they convinced the snake to give up the cheetah before they carted the feline off to jail. And for a while, that was the last I saw of Ace and Krypto.

      I think if they had known that I was to be the newest hero hound on Q.C., they would have hung around longer. But at that time, they were both busy helping you, Night.

      That evening, we got to meet Fenris Worg, the were-worg captain of the Worg Raiders from the old Lion Force adventure series. He stood easily at a size of seven to eight feet tall with bulk and muscles to boot. But more importantly, he revealed that he was to be my magical instruction teacher so that I learned how to best use my special powers. I had recalled seeing the old series and I did remember how impressed I was with the former villain of the series before the evil spell was removed from him which turned him good. Not to mention, like the Yuskay hounds, Fenris was one of those super sexy hunk types. Yes, he had the affect to make me sit up and beg. I liked him that much.

      Fenris even revealed that he was an open minded Alpha type which meant male or female... as long as he was getting to have fun, he didn't mind who the partner was.

      I spent the next few weeks learning from Fenris; most times my brother was there to assist us with the lessons, but most of the rest of my time was spent alone with the big stud. I didn't know what the rest of my friends were doing in the meantime. I was only told by Cedolph that they had found something to occupy their attention. That usually meant that they were applying their mystery solving skills to good work either for the police or for the news agencies in Angel City. Whichever it was, I remained in the dark as for their activities.

      Finally, Fenris announced that I was past the basics for magical instruction. He gave me a graduating... ahem... I'd like to say it was a kiss, but we know how Fenris is. This took about two hours. Like I said, I would have liked to say that it was just a kiss. Oh well, I did learn something during the activity and I did have fun doing it as well. He is a sweetheart of a were-worg. I'm just glad he didn't bite during the congratulation activity. He did mention looking forward toward teaching me the more advanced stuff.

      Now you know how my magical lessons usually went. And still go when I report in for a new magic learning lesson.

      I think one of my favorite spell lessons involved the canine portal spell called Wolf Gate. Because I had learned it from Fenris, I could use it whenever I liked. It was a fun way to get around long distance when I needed to be somewhere fast. Although my next few lessons would occur when I discovered that I could fly much the same as Krypto and Night. Unlike Harold, however, my flying lessons did not involve the fear of floating off the planet thanks to some quick thinking on behalf of Fenris, my brother, and my friends. I was more the living kite which made outings fun, in truth. I was equipped with a wireless mic on my magic collar and whenever I was 'high as a kite' during my flying lessons, I could give commentary on anything I could see while I was in the sky over the city.

      This was helpful a few times when I was able to see where a fleeing felon was running away from police to and I could indirectly give the officers precise directions. I got a few awards and treats for the few times that I helped them out. Thankfully, they kept my real name out of the papers because the last thing I needed was for those crooked producers to show up in Angel City. They tend to love cases like mine, Night's, and Warpdrive's. Almost as if we were a magnet for bad press. But I was doing good, so far. And my big break was coming soon to a television screen near you. Well, that is the joke Cedolph likes to say every time we remember the event. And for this special event, the toon secret service would pay a visit to our home away from home at Le Faye's estate. And the adventure I would have would place the name "Apollo" freshly on the minds of everyone involved.

      End of Chapter Three