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    JCS-05 Rescue Rites

    [Cardinal Sins]
    JCS-05 Rescue Rites
    By Darrel "Lord Pouchlaw" Vanwinkle
    August 4th, 2019

    Chapter One
    :Freeborn farm, Ridgeview, South Dakota; Planet Earth:
    The Information Devil Mouse whom specialized in politics then continued speaking, (See the last episode to see the highlights that led up to this point.) "I am going to skip over your background, Isaac Freeborn since yours and Halopaw's history were witnessed by Lord Impy already. And before you complain, your Angel pack name was Halofang, but until you become an alpha, the legal suffix is -paw."

    The IDM now focused on the tablet in his gloved paws. "High Royal Prince Dragontail Warsurge of the pack of the same designation. A militant pack whom do everything by the book. They are trained to be fearless and will confront someone whom appears to be breaking the rules at a moments notice. Will fight to the death in regards to an earned ally if the need arises. Was in the process of working his ass off in preparation for the Rites on Earth when that female fake took his place by jumping through the Rites Portal to escape from her betrothal to another pack's alpha. The female whom was often called Lazynose... not her real name, but should have been..."

    Isaac muttered, "...agreed..."

    The IDM continued as if no word had been stated. "...When her deception was discovered, she was handed over in chains to the alpha whom had purchased her. And the real Dragontail then made his journey topside to join you. At first he was suspicious of you, Isaac, but eventually he warmed up to you when you impressed him by making the offer you made to come with the pack to the second Rite."

    "Crown Prince Firepaw Flamerush of the Hell Furnaces. You were constantly impressing him, Isaac. He regards you as a loving close brother whom he feels that he could share his deepest secrets with. Even when you kicked his rump for the programming card, he didn't hate you for it. He cared too much for you to let you take the fall by yourself. He would have signed his soul away to save you from Impy's accusation. When he made the pack joke statement of Former Slave of the Hell Furnaces and oh so glad to out of that cess pit... it was not a serious statement. Anyone who works in the sewers of the Underworld has the right to make that joke."

    Isaac then took a stab at something since it appeared that the IDM was preparing to speak of the next Hellhound. "Am I some sort of Prince as well?"

    The IDM nodded his head. "Don't let this go to your head... Low Halo Prince Isaac Freeborn of the Angel Hound Repair Squadron. Mechanical and Reparation specialists. It was their job to service the Angelic war machines and other mundane devices. Thus your profession of Jack of all Trades is connected to the truth of your heritage."

    Isaac nodded his head slowly. "No wonder Dragontail and Firepaw got along with me so well. We are all royalists of some sort. What about the others?"

    The IDM looked over his tablet again. "Coingazer Shadowtalon, Shadow based Hellhound of the Twilight Packs. Specialists in gambling, predictions and luck. And from the title alone I think you can guess what that implies for the Demon Hound in the main house. The real Coingazer is currently in juvenile prison for cheating at a poker game against a powerful Hell Lord. His proving rites would have occurred with the others had he not been in lock-up. The Demon Hound whom was never a part of the council hounds chose to take Coingazer's place when he learned that Lord Impy was looking to make a new show and the Proving Rites were to occur on Earth for the first time; a prime place to do recruiting."

    Isaac was starting to glow slightly becoming angry over the deception that the demon hound had performed.

    The IDM not noticing the glow from the Angel Hound in human form continued, "Royal Alpha Southfang Kisume the First was the pack alpha of the 87th Hellhound Brigade. He had one son whom defied his orders on multiple occasions. His son, calling himself Southfang the Second, recruited several other young Hellhounds, both male and female, from his father's pack to join a pretend pack of his own in an act of defiance to his father's constant seemingly unfair instructions. His true name was Southpaw Kisume but his father often referred to him as Toiletpaw Kiss-My-Ass because he was rebelling so often. Between times of running around with his fake pack, Southpaw encountered a Hellhound female who falsely showed a love interest in his, and I quote, ...intelligent and rightful to rule sexy studliness... unquote. This female was none other than Poisonpaw Bladetalon. She dated him long enough to get him to reveal the weak borders of his father's pack grounds which she in turn told her alpha about for the strike to kill off the Kisume pack in the middle of the night. Her final mission was to slay Southpaw so no loose lips could testify that she was even there. When she attacked the fake pack, the strike she performed on Southpaw sent him rolling off into the bushes so he would not see her kill off his friends. Later she came back to him and told him to keep quiet about her being there and she would let him live because, and I quote, ...she still loved him... unquote. She then cast amnesia on him as she knocked him unconscious and left him there in the bushes. Later, when her alpha learned that he had survived the assassination, he gave Poisonpaw one last chance to go finish the job on Earth and afterwards, perform some recruiting there to add new blood to the pack. Then he sent her through a Proving Rites portal where she met up with Southpaw. She kicked him out the side of the Proving vortex and then she cut a deal with the Demon Hound whom she recognized and together, they made a fake Southfang whom only had a portion of the memories of the former Southpaw. When she saw you, Isaac, she realized that the Freeborns could recover and undo her pack's evil work and thus, her focus turned to you to make you completely lose the Freeborn ability by permanently becoming a Hellhound. But then Impy's Nightmare judges and Devil Kangaroo administrator showed up and she had to change her plans."

    As he took a breath to continue, the IDM couldn't help but to notice that Isaac was glowing so white that one wouldn't be able to tell that he was even human inside the light.
    End of Chapter One

    Chapter Two
    The IDM pleaded, "Isaac... please don't go and make a big mistake; you are an Angel Hound in human form and that is the opposite of a Demon Hound. If you connect with him while you are glowing like that, all of South Dakota will be removed from the United States map. You will accidentally kill millions of people and animals. As well as Maria."

    At the mention of Maria, the glow winked off and Isaac had that suicidal look on his face. "Continue..."

    The IDM took a short breath and released it slowly. "Too close..." Then he continued. "Southpaw is still alive but stuck in a side dimension. He has been punished long enough, wouldn't you agree? He lost all of his friends, was lied to by a false love interest and in the end, was about to obey his uncle's request to perform the proving rites. When you spoke out against the fake Coingazer, the fake Southfang retaliated because you questioned his punishing his creator. The fake Southfang is a shadow given solid form. You never actually gave birth to puppies from him since he was partially created from demon energy and your angelic fluids would eventually dissolve the phony pups a day after their creation. And now for some good news... when you lit up like that, you purged off all the contaminents that the phonies ever pumped into your body. Self-purification. and in doing so... you regained full control over your angelic powers. I know you want to save the Rites Pack, Isaac, but don't just charge in there like a bull in a China shop."

    Lord Impy said, "He's right, Isaac. You touch the demon the wrong way and the farm and nearby town will cease to exist. No one outside the zone will know what happened."

    Isaac said, "Then I should save Southpaw first, tell him the truth, and see if he will listen to reason. Then bring him back, get together with Dragontail and Firepaw and confront the Demon Hound when we go to save John from losing his humanity entirely. But I don't know how to cross dimensions. How will I find Southpaw?"

    The Yuskay Groomer spoke up at that point. "I'll play escort to Isaac. I can jump dimensions at will. However, and I should bring this up, human... Of the original hounds you met on Holloween Night, Only Firepaw has proven to be exactly whom he said he was. All of the others proved to be fakes. Firepaw likes you unconditionally. One more detail, since you never got to meet the real Southpaw whom we are about to rescue, that means the proving rites have not succeeded. And the last rite was not officialized since the fake Southfang is not and has never been real."

    Lord Impy nodded his head. "And now you know why the TV series has not ended. Until the last rite is successfully completed and every pack member makes the trip back to the Underworld... the show is still running. And you, Isaac, told the whole pack that you were in this until the end. Dragontail and Firepaw would both vouch for you."

    Isaac asked, "Is there a Camera Imp keeping an eye on the demon hound?"

    Again Lord Impy nodded his head. "Yes."

    Isaac looked to the Yuskey Groomer. "Then lets go rescue Southpaw. But first..." he lowered himself to the floor on all fours where upon he fluidly transformed from his human form into his Angel Hound form of Jackpaw. "Since the real Southpaw alpha never lifted the darkness from my powers, then how am I able to use these powers still?"

    Lord Impy replied, "I had my brother Diablo Kisume perform the rite on both you and your brother one night after we learned the truth about the fakes. That is how you are both freed and unlocked. Good luck on your mission, Jackpaw; the Camera Imp will be recording your mission invisibly. Bring my nephew back to us."

    The IDM said, "You mean I'm a guest star in the Cardinal Sins show? Awesome! I cannot wait to receive my residuals."

    Lord Impy said, "I'll need you to sign a waiver for permission to show you in the series. Go on, Jackpaw... and good luck. If you get attacked by demons in the Underworld, feel free to light up their lives; the Groomer, the Camera Imp, and Southpaw will survive whatever you do."

    Putting on a heavy duty pair of gloves, the Groomer laid a hand on Jackpaw, The Law Imp, and the Camera Imp as they vanished from the Pack Education Building.

    Mid-Jump, the Law Imp said, "I am going to see about getting the real Coingazer out of jail and into the Proving Rites pack. You were promised the real Hellhound and you should get him." And the Law Imp headed off to do that.

    Arriving in the Portal Vortex realm which lay just outside of the Rites dimensional tunnel, The Groomer released Jackpaw as he leaped off to locate Southpaw. The Demon Hounds at the arrival location tried to pounce the Angel Hound as he suddenly appeared in their midst and the promised whiteout condition occurred which blinded the entire realm and flatted the landscape of that pocket dimension removing every possible shadow within the dimensional realm itself. Aside from those immune to the blast, only the non-demons could be seen in the flattened realm. The Groomer located Southpaw whom was still wearing the original blindfold which he had placed over his eyes when he made the initial jump. The Camera Imp was heard narrating as he filmed. "That blinding light you just experienced, members of the audience, was what happens when an Abyssal Demon Hound pounces an Arcadian Angel Hound. The Groomer is checking on the medical condition of the Hellhound we came to rescue. I cannot personally see a single Demon hound in the realm anymore. Oh well, let that be a lesson for you viewers at home. As the Real Ghostbusters would say, Never cross the beams."
    End of Chapter Two


      Chapter Three
      Jackpaw was in shock that his positive Angel power could cause this effect. "I am glad the IDM stopped me from getting revenge on the demon hound back home now... or else this would have been South Dakota."

      The Law Imp then appeared beside Jackpaw along with a black Hellhound with red eyes. The new Hellhound remarked, "What happened to this realm? Looks like it was hit by an atomic blast!" Then he laughed. "Whomever did this is my hero. I love seeing the aftermath of a hound attack when it isn't me that's receiving it." The Law Imp looked to Jackpaw and said, "Isaac Freeborn... meet the real Coingazer Shadowtalon of the Twilight Packs. Coingazer, this is the Angel Hound I told you about whom is usually called Jackpaw, but his real identity is Low Halopaw Prince Isaac Freeborn of the Angel Hound Repair Squadron."

      Coingazer then shook paws with Jackpaw. "Nice to meet you, sexy. And thanks for getting me sprung from jail. I hope I get to see more of you around."

      Jackpaw smiled. "I am sure you will since the Proving Rites pack are staying at my house on Earth."

      Coingazer then hugged Jackpaw. "Even better, stud. I promise not to depants you in my gambling games unless you are okay with it."

      The Yuskay Groomer was then bringing Southpaw over to the group albeit still blindfolded, just as the Camera Imp appeared from his invisible state. "Lord Impy told me to tell you that your original property is still where you remembered it being near the highway, Isaac. The filming set farm was arranged when Impy learned about the fakes that were still with the pack. He made your original farm invisible so no one at the filming farm would see it and wonder what was going on. He is in the process of cleanse purging all of the fakes scentmarking of your property from your farm so the real pack can claim it properly."

      Jackpaw then said, "Okay, you hounds, time to go fetch Dragontail and Firepaw before we kick the demon hound's ass. That slime tried to recruit the husband to my childhood sweetheart. I really wanted to blow him away like I did to this realm."

      The blindfolded Southpaw said, "I am not blind, but the blindfold was so I didn't get sick to my stomach in the Proving Vortex. I didn't want to puke on the others making the trip to Earth. The Groomer told me whom kicked me out the side of the Vortex and whom had me as their prisoner. I find it hard to believe that Spiritpaw was actually the Bladetalon assassin known as Poisonpaw; but since she lied to me and got my friends and father wiped out, I should feel fortunate that I am getting a second chance. Can we go to Earth now? I'd like to get my Proving Rites properly handled."

      Jackpaw then said, "As soon as we get the rest of the pack out of the filming set and we regroup at the real farm, steak night for all Hellhounds. I promise you all this offer."

      After a well placed planar jump back to the farm, Dragontail and Firepaw were quickly located as both had been with Maria fending off a bizarre demon hound attack on the filming set. When the group appeared beside the hellhounds, Jackpaw leaped out in front of his friends and set off his angelic flash bulb effect which bowled the demon hounds head over heals backwards across the yard. Jackpaw shouted, "We need to rescue John! The Coingazer he is currently with is a fake! We have the real Southpaw Kisume and the real Coingazer Shadowtalon with us right now." Maria remarked, "We figured that out when I asked the fake about John and he implied that there was no one in the house with that name and then he asked me to prepare a bowl of oatmeal with Secret Ingredient in it for him and his mate. I had to ask Firepaw what the fake meant and together we made a bowl of oatmeal which contained Holy Water and Silver Iodine. When I gave the concoction to the fake, he said, Thanks bitch; you're good for something after all. And after he gobbled up a huge portion of Heaven's Mana in his mouth and swallowed it, his body ignited in silver flame just before he and the fake Southfang both popped out of existence and then this attack on the farm started."

      Dragontail sniffed Southpaw and Coingazer before commenting, "You are still wearing your blindfold. I recall how the others told me how you were wearing it in the vortex between worlds. Why haven't you removed it as yet?" Southpaw sighed, "I tried to but it is stuck and I was too proud to admit that I needed help." Firepaw reached up and singed the blindfold off of the hellhound's head. "Now you can look upon our packmates. John is still in the fake's bedroom. Recordspaw was in the process of untying him from the bonds the fake wrapped him up in for deportation back to the Abyss. The reported pregnancy was false."

      Southpaw remarked, "I guess for the phony pretending to be me, it really was strike three. I learned my lesson long ago when my father's pack and my friends got wiped out. I may be the son of a former alpha but I surely don't deserve to lead a pack. My experience in doing so at an early age revealed how stupid I was. Besides, another tipoff that the phony was a fake is the following fact that even the real Dragontail should have remembered since his home pack does everything by the book... A hellhound is not born with the -fang suffix on their name. It is only acquired after they become an Alpha with a pack they are forming. Therefore, if Dragontail became an Alpha, then his new name would be Dragonfang. And if Firepaw were to be an Alpha, then his new name would become Firefang. When I had my teenage pack, my father would not let me use the -fang suffix as it represented an insult for someone as young as I was back then." Firepaw nodded his head. "That's right; we should have remembered that rule but we were obviously distracted."

      And then a gigantic hellhound appeared in front of the group facing the demon hounds. "Begone foul excuses for felines in canine clothing! You are embarrassing the entire canine species! Return to the Abyss before you are unable to!"
      End of Chapter Three


        Chapter Four
        As the demon hounds fled rapidly, Southpaw lowered his head and stated, "Grandfather... I am not worthy to be in your presence." Jackpaw arched an eye as Firepaw provided the name... "General Diablo Kisume of the 87th Hellhound Brigade. My father told stories of this hellhound's greatness in battle." Dragontail commented, "More than just stories; his fame as the first Imperial Hellhound goes beyond legends." Jackpaw then said, "I guess Lord Impy asked General Diablo to get involved. Since I offered the Rites Pack steak for tonight, would you care for a steak of your own, sir?"

        Diablo smirked. "While steak does sound good, it might be better prepared in your original farm house instead of this stage prop. My son Impy is sanitizing the original property as we speak." He then turned and used one paw to lift Southpaw's chin to look him in the eyes. "Worth without testing is not for the young to guess at. You will get your chance to redeem yourself. As for your friends, I told your father that a test like he was planning was not going to go over in the long run. One of the tests he devised for you when he allowed you to make a pack of teenagers was to replace your friends with ex-cons whom he had hoped that you would have known on sight to not be your actual friends and then they died in the ambush that your girlfriend spy set up, she messed up by not killing you. She was not part of the plan. Your friends still yet live, grandson. Succeed in the Proving Rites and you may see them again. Now if you will excuse me, Recordspaw has asked me if I could help in the restoration of John Holden."

        Southpaw didn't look sad at the mention that his childhood friends were still alive. Diablo entered the filming set farm house and proceeded to where the magical Kangaroo was awaiting him at the locale where the doped up John Holden was laying on the floor looking pitiful. "I hate recruiters, Recordspaw. They don't care for human life at all."

        Maria then said to Jackpaw, "Come on, Isaac. Lets get your belongings packed up for the move over to the other farm. Although I am not sure how we are going to get your van, my car and John's car moved around to the real farm." Jackpaw then lit up briefly as he resumed his clothed human form. "I'll latch a chain between my van and John's car and then I'll tow the vehicle around to the real location. You can drive your own vehicle. I sure hope John learned a valuable lesson from all of this. Don't forget to empty out the ice box; John stocked up the freezer with a bunch of steaks when he came to move in and I would hate to see them go to waste."

        As Maria loaded her car with the items from the ice box, Isaac chained John's car to the towing bar knob in the back of his panel van. Dragontail assisted Southpaw and Coingazer into the side of the Rites Van. Southpaw smiled when he saw the soft floor. "Carpeting. We are truly not worthy." Firepaw nudged Southpaw with a smile. "It's okay; Jackpaw lets us ride back here all the time as long as we don't make a mess on the carpeting. He also lets us sleep in the house under the same rules." And then Recordspaw loaded a groggy restored and clothed John Holden into the front seat of the Rites Van before strapping him into the seat. "Ah'll steer John's car; Diablo is going to 'elp the rest of the farm denizens to get moved back to the real farm via teleport. Maria is loading the food into 'er ve'icle." The Devil Kangaroo then returned to John's car and got in behind the steering wheel.

        Isaac then got into the van and turned the ignition only to hear it refuse to turn over. "I guess Poisonpaw's jump charge finally wore off. But I watched her when she recharge the battery and since I have those powers myself, I should be able to do the same thing. Give me a moment, guys." And he got out and when around to the front where he opened the hood of the van and he reached in and laid his hands on the connectors and focused. "They said that I should be able to use my Angel powers in my human form. Please let this work. I know it is likely wrong, but I love these dogs." And as he focused, he became aware of a glowing presence standing just to one side of himself whom reached in and touched the top of his hand, as it said, "Ah, a Freeborn of the Repair Squadron. Your powers will work. And as long as you personally represent the Rites Pack, your actions with their pack will be overlooked. They would have died long ago had it not been for your selfless actions." And then the glowing presence was gone as the battery was purified and recharged to be like new. He then closed the hood and returned to the drivers seat where he turned the ignition and turned his head toward the pack with a smile. "Next stop, the pack den at the real farm house. I am sure you boys are getting hungry."

        Dragontail remarked, "Isaac? You are glowing again. If any locals see you doing that, they might do something stupid." Isaac looked at himself in the rear view mirror and focused for a moment as the glow subsided. "Thanks for letting me know, Dragontail. I had to recharge the van's battery with my powers." Firepaw then said, "I am surprised that Poisonpaw's battery charge lasted this long. But she did say that the charge didn't dare konk out as long as she lived. So perhaps her Alpha killed her finally. A horrible way to go, but she was responsible for the deception with Southpaw's original pack family."

        Southpaw then said something remarkable. "I have seen Angel Hounds before so knowing that Isaac is one of their number doesn't bother me at all. There was a merchant named Lord Eddie that dad would let me chat with during market day. And you couldn't get any more white than he was. Although he often said that he wasn't an Angel Hound, his appearance was undeniable." Isaac then said, "The White Houndimon merchant? That Lord Eddie? I remember seeing him in DAC season four. DAC was an adult themed Digimon television show where humans were often interacting with them in their homeland. Eddie was a human whom got converted into what they were calling the Merchant Core. He was originally a member of the Junior Adventurers Club in New York City. After his conversion, he moved to the Planes where he chose to continue to ply his merchant trade to make marketing better for everyone. I will admit, he was the sexiest member of their team in both species."

        Starting the Rites Van, Isaac began leading the convoy of vehicles around through town and back along the highway to the restored entrance to the Freeborn property where the front gate had a restored sign which read, Cardinal Pack Filming Studios; Owner: Isaac Freeborn in association with Impericus Kisume. Firepaw and Coingazer both started laughing. "His name is Impericus?" laughed Firepaw, as Coingazer smirked. "No wonder he shortened it to Impy." Dragontail stated, "Leave it to parents to assign a bad name that a child will change when they become an adult and then the parents wonder why children rebel."
        End of Chapter Four


          Chapter Five
          After having steak night, General Diablo departed to go deal with rebellions in the Underworld which left the Rites Pack to discuss how they were going to get their proving rites done in the Winter. Isaac was back in his Jackpaw form once again as he suggested, "How about we have Firepaw blanket the entire farm property in a Summer heat that melts the snow and ice making it so we can perform the first few rites without freezing our nuts off?"

          Maria, whom was sitting nearby with her husband John, remarked, "The only issue you might have doing that is that most of the local animals are hibernating around this time of the year. I got told about the skunk sniffing and you aren't going to find another until this spring."

          Dragontail said, "We know where 47 is housed up in the canyon. I worry for that donkey."

          Recordspaw hopped into the pack den and said, "Sniffing animals isn't going to be a problem. All yas 'ave to do is scent mark the borders and then return to the barn where a Yuskay Groomer 'as arranged for the scents of all of the animals during late October that yas boys sniffed to be stored in Tupperware containers. That way, yas only 'ave to sniff the containers and not the actual animals. Then you all 'ave to sniff each other. The Bonding session in the canyon can be done in 47's mine cavern since the bloke said yas boys could use it with 'is permission. Climbing those ice covered mountains to survey yer surroundings will be a real problem. But that's the first part of the itinerary."

          Maria said, "Packaged animal glands that make the scent. I am glad my suggestion to the Yuskay Groomer will actually count."

          Jackpaw remarked, "The first three are the hard ones. The last two are the easy ones. We don't even have to leave home to accomplish them. But as I told Dragontail, I am in this until the end. I am not going to be the one to quit."

          Dragontail smiled. "I am always happy to hear you say that, Isaac. You earned your place in my trust. You and Firepaw are like brothers to me."

          John whom had been quiet up to now said, "I still want to document Hellhound behavior, guys. I got tricked by that Demon Hound but whom among us hasn't been tricked at least once in their lives?"

          No Hellhound in the room commented on that fact since they had all experienced that at least once or twice. Instead, Firepaw burped toward the fireplace which sent a refindling of flame into the wood which sat on the coals. "We need to get these Proving Rites completed before Spring arrives. I am sure no non-hound wants to smell us boys when we are emitting the rutting scent."

          Coingazer pulled out a few ping pong balls and began juggling them as he faced the others. "I'm all through spreading the rock salt on the driveway and pathway between the front porch and the barns. Nippy out there, but all work and no play makes gaming hounds pretty dull."

          Jackpaw gave the black Hellhound a smooch on the side of his muzzle. "You've earned some chocolate cake for doing that job for the humans in the household."

          Coingazer blushed. "I just wanted to do my share around here."

          Southpaw wasn't so sure he fit into this group. He almost expected them to kick his ass out into the snow. "If we are going to start this in the morning, then I better get some sleep. I will take the rug behind the easy chair unless that spot belongs to someone else."

          Jackpaw then spoke up. "Actually, no one in this pack sleeps on the floors, Southpaw. Back in the Autumn when the pack arrived, they slept in the den on the couches and love seats; when it got too cold, I migrated the hounds into my bedroom so they could share my thermal blanket and pillows. I won't stop you from sleeping on the rug, but I think you might be more comfortable with the rest of us. It will be your choice. As for the Holden couple, they can either use the spare bedroom or return to their own home."

          Recordspaw then said in his feminine voice, "Does that mean another fun night with 'ellena 'ans Beckett, Isaac?" Maria arched an eye when the male Devil Kangaroo said that; John chuckled. "Every time you do that, stud, it makes me think that another female sneaked into the house." The Roo winked and said in his male voice, "Ah like yas too, John."

          Lord Impy then popped into the Pack Den. "Extra thermal blankets tonight, folks. Due to the clouds clearing off and an Arctic Canadian front moving through the area at around three A.M., it is going to extra nastily cold tonight. And nephew, I would advise against your sleeping on the floors without extra heat near your own body. If the Holdens are planning on going home tonight, I can teleport them both along with their vehicles back to their place. Maria, you have work in the morning at the vet's office; as for John, Maria told your bosses that you were sick with food poisoning and they gave you a few weeks off to recover, so you are off the work hook. I know you want to document Hellhound activity habits; but to do that, you are going to have to live here with Isaac. Recordspaw usually sleeps in the guest bed meaning you would have to share the bed with him unless you slept with the hounds. Or you can go home with your wife. Choose quickly; I'd like to get back to my corporate office in the Underworld where I don't have to worry about icicles forming on my plumbing." Maria said, "You are right; the vet office needs me." John said, "I'll stay here with Isaac; I still owe him for my behavior long ago."
          End of Chapter Five


            Chapter Six
            Later that night after Impy moved Maria's car back to her home... John shacked up with Recordspaw in the guest bed while Isaac made sure all of the hounds as well as camera imps and any chilled IDMs were comfortable in his own Master Bedroom. He didn't want anyone freezing around three A.M.

            Sleeping with Recordspaw was like sleeping with a giant sized living plush which had an internal heater inside. The Devil Kangaroo had his fore arms around the male human while his tail was arced between their legs to apply warmth to the legs. Even though they had a thermal blanket, it still sometimes got cold in the guest bedroom. Recordspaw suspected that there was a crack in the wall to the outside; something he planned on investigating in the morning.

            Within the hounds bed, Isaac was once again in his Jackpaw form nearly sandwiched between Firepaw and Dragontail. Coingazer was cuddled up behind Dragontail but wisely not trying anything. Southpaw was behind Firepaw just trying to behave himself as he slept. He still felt as if he should be chained to the floor. This bed was too good for him. If his Uncle, Lord Impericus Kisume, had not spoken up, he would have been on the floor. He just knew it. Firepaw suddenly said over his shoulder, "Stop punishing yourself, Southpaw; we're all in this together. We will all succeed or we will all fail. Besides, your pack friends back home still live. Succeed for them if not yourself. Try to get some sleep. We have rites to do in the morning after breakfast."

            John stirred when he felt something different in bed with him. "Recordspaw? Did you transform into your female human form? I ask because I feel round breasts between our bodies. Although I can still feel your tail between my legs." The Devil Kangaroo smirked. "Ah would never make yas cheat on Maria. Although yas 'ave been groping my rump with yer 'ands. It only takes one dirty mind, yas know. Or are yas wanting me to recite some of my old gay porn actor lines to yas -- in bed?" John replied, "Go for it, stud."

            And the rest of their night turned up the heat in the guest bedroom.

            The next morning, Jackpaw nimbly lowered one paw to the bedroom floor and he jerked it back into bed pretty fast. After that he reached over past where Coingazer was sleeping and he pulled open the thermal sock drawer and he pulled out some thermal baby booties and carefully began to place them on all of the hounds' feet with himself last. Only then did he get out of bed. "Firepaw? I'm going to need you to kick up the heat a notch. I think the fire in the fireplace went out. The floor is freezing cold. I put thermal sock booties on everyone's feet. I was going to go use the bathroom and that cold floor almost sent me through the ceiling."

            Firepaw turned up his body heat as he looked at Southpaw who looked to be shivering. "I told you that Isaac cared about us. I am going to go get a new fire started in the fireplace; although someday we need to get this house upgraded to have central heat or we need to take Isaac to a warmer climate." Firepaw then jumped out of bed into the freezing air of the house and he ran to the living room where he loaded the fireplace with wood before he hiked his leg up and released a whizz on the wood before he turned and focused his breath weapon on the wood and set it ablaze. Then he guarded the fire to make sure it didn't get out of control. Being on their asses out in the cold air and snow would not be fun at this hour.

            Isaac had to change back into his human form to hook up the space age heater to heat up the water pipes leading to the hot water heater in the water closet within the bathroom. Thawing out the water was an emergency job in order to have running water in his house. Sadly, if he was having this problem, then the whole town was also going to be having this problem. And that would mean no Proving Rites activities for him today. Isaac then returned to Dragontail to tell him the bad news.

            "I had to do maintenance on my water pipes so we could have running water in the house and that means I have to do my human job today when people call for me. No Proving Rites for me, sadly. I didn't want to have to pull out of my promised activities, Dragontail. I gave you my word that I would be in this until the end and now... stupid real life intervenes. I hope you will forgive me."

            Dragontail licked Isaac's face as he sat up and said, "We can wait for a day when it is less cold outside. I was not looking forward toward freezing my weenie during the scent-marking activities. At least we can ride in the back of the Rites Van with you. I know Firepaw would want to go with you regardless. By the way... thanks for the warm booties designed for doggies."

            Isaac smiled slyly. "They are human baby booties; Earth dogs don't let cold weather bother them."

            Dragontail remarked, "You asshole! But thanks anyway. We can guard the Rites Van."

            Isaac grinned back. "If I am then I belong to Firepaw. He's the only one left of the originals whom arrived on Halloween night. And he has often said that he loves me."

            Just then, they both heard Firepaw call out, "I turned on the local weather and the cold loving woman is saying that more heavy clouds are on their way and she said that the temperature is to only increase a measly ten degrees today! She is further saying that no one should leave their homes unless they have to! I had to thaw the satellite dish!"

            Isaac said, "Mark my words, I will be getting call after call today. If I am wrong then I will suck your weenie."
            End of Chapter Six


              Chapter Seven
              The pack just barely had time to have breakfast when the phone started ringing exactly as Isaac predicted it would. And then the human was having to drive to various citizen's homes all over Ridgeview, South Dakota; one home was the home of the sheriff himself. These people obviously couldn't do anything without the Freeborn family helping them.

              Southpaw asked, "What is the purpose of these outings for us Hellhounds?"

              Dragontail replied, "We get to learn where all of Isaac's neighbors live and possibly see any cute human boys at the same time. Can you blame a hound for being horny?"

              Coingazer smirked, "So Mister By-The-Book has an erection, eh?" He laughed as he said that while focusing on his playing cards.

              John whom was sitting in the front passenger side bucket seat said, "Behave back there, guys. In the case of missing children, the authorities always question the last person whom was seen near the children in question. And that would be Isaac if a cute boy disappeared after a work visit from him. I know you don't want to get Jackpaw in trouble with the Earthian law."

              Firepaw was accompanying Isaac into the homes so he got to see more than most did. When a pipe looked too frozen for regular tools, Firepaw would slowly breathe on the pipes causing the ice to melt enough for Isaac to be able to finish the repairs on the plumbing. And as a reward most of the time, nice boys would pet on Firepaw and speak to him in baby talk. Other times in the cases where the family had no children, Firepaw would get a meaty morsel from the owner's refrigerator along with a head petting.

              Soon the two returned to the van and Firepaw shared the meaty morsels with his fellow hounds. "Here are the goodies, guys. As for the boys, they would love to play with us when the weather isn't so cold. One boy kissed me on the muzzle. I am glad I don't have any nasty diseases."

              As Isaac got in behind the steering wheel, he glanced to John and asked, "What family is next on the repair list?" John looked over the recorded calls list on his PDA. "There are only three left, Isaac. The McQueen family whom have those fourteen boys living at the boys correctional ranch; Father Matthews wants you to work on the pipes in the local church. As you might recall, he lives in the back of the church itself; and finally, Maria called to let us know that the Vet office's plumbing needs help as well. I am sure the hounds will love meeting the fourteen boys. The family's real sons are all off at college. That's the place within view of that mountain that Dragontail and Firepaw as well as the others climbed a few weeks ago. The fake Coingazer and you tackled the less higher mountain over by the homestead of widow Sokoulis. She doesn't have indoor plumbing so she didn't call." Isaac said, "We should check on her anyway since she makes those delicious cookies that she gives children on Halloween."

              Fetching a thermal blanket, Isaac stopped by the widow's home and made sure she got the warm thermal blanket; in return, he was given several bags of cookies to take over to the McQueen ranch. Although he kept one bag for himself and another bag for Maria as the rest were handed over to the McQueen family. It was also there where the dogs got out of the van to stretch their legs and sniff over the property as well as to meet any curious good looking boys. Eventually Firepaw was seen out at the pump house building appearing to be circling it for some weird reason. In truth, he was breathing on the plumping apparatus to thaw out the pipes so the main house had running water.

              Southpaw relieved himself on a fence post near the back of the property behind the barn and as he was about to return to the front, he encountered one of the boys whom had followed him to see what he was up to. He stopped when he saw the boy standing there in front of himself. "Kid... don't freak out. Call this Christmas magic if you want to call it that. But you cannot tell anyone else that a dog spoke to you. If you are good, you can talk to me again another time. Um... you are so good looking... may I please see your cock and bare rump?" The boy was surprised that the dog had spoken but he complied to the request by dropping his pants and undershorts down around his ankles. Southpaw approached the boy and licked the penis, and then he nosed the boy's rump as he sniffed the still virgin young man. "Okay, pull your clothes back on. My name is Southpaw. Tell me your name so I will have someone to dream about later." The boy pulled his shorts and pants back on as he replied, "Peter Bartholomew Ericson. Um... may I pet on your fur?"

              Southpaw then permitted the request since it helped him to memorize the nice boy. "Don't run away from the McQueens, Peter, and I promise that when you are older, you will get to see me again someday." Peter knelt down and gave Southpaw a kiss on his muzzle. "I promise I will be good for you, Southpaw. Wait and see. I will turn my life around and then I will be someone you will be proud to be friends with." And then he got up and ran back around the barn for the ranch house. Southpaw glanced up and said, "Law Imp! Contract Imp!" And when they both appeared, he said, "I want Peter Bartholomew Ericson's promise to me placed on the official record. I likewise promised him that if he was good, then he would get to see me again someday. And for the record, the boy is still a virgin." The two imps almost had erections right there at the admittance that there were still virgin children in the world. The Law Imp said, "Thank you for not summoning us out in the wind tunnel between the barn and garage. It is still cold here, but not like that space between the buildings. The promises are recorded, Southpaw. We need to go get warm." And they teleported away.

              Isaac called out, "Southpaw, we're leaving! Come on, boy!" And the reluctant hellhound came running as he slid to a stop at the Rites Van where upon he did some sort of funny dance before he leaped into the warm interior and he laid down with a smile on his muzzle. Dragontail arched an eye as he made an inquiry. "You look happy. What happened?" Southpaw grinned. "I met a virgin." Firepaw giggled. "I knew you would find something to smile about." Coingazer remarked, "At least he isn't being all mopy anymore."

              John remarked from the passenger seat. "Thank you for controlling yourself and not mounting the nice boy behind the barn." Southpaw grinned. "Oh but I wanted to."
              End of Chapter Seven


                Chapter Eight
                Southpaw then continued, "But the boy's value is only valuable if he stays virgin. He is no good to me if someone else gets him before I can collect."

                Coingazer then bopped Southpaw on the nose with one paw. "You registered the boy's promise, Southy?" Southpaw nodded his muzzle. "What of it? If he cannot stay good, then he will belong to me in the end. I don't see what the issue is." Dragontail then got up and padded over closer to Southpaw. "The issue is that we are not on the surface world to recruit. Or have you forgotten that your uncle's camera imps are filming everything we do while we are on the surface world? You are going to blow it before you even get to do one proving rite. Is this how you were back in your father's pack? Are we going to have to retrain you from scratch so you get it in your head not to think with your groin? You said yesterday that you learned your lesson when you lost all of your friends. And now... you did this."

                John then spoke up from the passenger seat. "I may be out of line for saying this, but before Diablo told Southpaw that his friends were still alive, Southpaw was acting all depressed and unworthy, while seeking to prove himself worthy. But when he learned that his friends had been spared, that desire to do good seemed to vanish. Almost as if Diablo knew that Southpaw would slide back into his old ways by telling him something to make him fail at his proving rites." John then looked above his head. "On behalf of the Proving Rites Pack, I need an IDM please!" And not a second later, the Information Devil Mouse appeared in his thermal uniform but he looked happy that he wasn't summoned outside of the van, this time. "What is your inquiry, John Holden? And mind you that you can only ask questions in regards to members of the Rites pack." John looked the IDM in the eyes and said, "I will make you some hot cocoa back at home, handsome. My inquiry is thus... yesterday, Diablo told Southpaw that his makeshift pack of friends from his father's pack were still alive. Before Diablo had told Southpaw this information, Southy was acting apologetic and seemed ready to prove himself in the rites. But after being told this information true or otherwise, Southpaw seemed to revert to how he had been back in his father's pack. And then just today within an hour ago, he got a local virgin boy to make a promise to him to stay good, and then he registered the promise into the legal record. I am not knowledgeable in how the Underworld Promises system works, but I was to understand that wishes, promises and anythings were not valid during the proving rites, unless I am misunderstanding the rules. Could you clarify whether or not Southpaw's former friends truly live on or not? We just got Southpaw back and this whole experience is already starting to seem mighty suspicious."

                Isaac glanced over at John and the IDM. "That is a good point to bring up. I am getting tired of these clone games that the demons seem to love to play. Either we rescued a fake Southpaw or Diablo did not actually visit us at the filming set farm. In addition to the cocoa, I'll give you and the rest of the IDM corp a body massage tonight."

                Dragontail and Firepaw growled at the suspicion raised by their alert host's human friend. Firepaw said, "We deserve to know before we restart the rites. Or does Lord Impy want us to sue Devi-TV on the charges to make the Rites Pack fail just so he can get good ratings in the planes? He already stated that a legal incident could kill the TV show."

                Dragontail then lifted his voice, "I need a Law Imp as well as a Mack Roo Lawyer, please!" And three poofs resulted in the arrival of a Law Imp, Mack the Devil Kangaroo head lawyer himself as well as the Imperial Council Mouse, Zecma himself, whom was wearing his council clothes and looking none too happy. "Answer their inquiries or lose thy license, IDM! The Council has been monitoring the Proving Rites transmission from Devi-TV! And quite frankly, all of this cloak and dagger treatment is bordering on what I may have done in the old days! Lord Impy never offered to make my old life into a TV show! Now speak up!"

                The IDM now looked as pale as a heavenly cherub. When the Imperial Council got involved, it usually meant that a major law had been broken. "Um, that is... Excuse me for a moment." And the IDM then checked himself seeming to check to see if he had messed his drawers or something equally nasty. "In regards to your inquiry, I will need to contact Diablo to get his permission before I can report any information on your inquiry and..." And the IDM was blasted out of existence by a very irate Zecma. "That was a lie! I used to work for the IDM myself before I got my life straightened out and there was no such rule in place in those days! Therefore, I will do this myself and the Kisumes can be blessed if they don't like it!" Zecma then pointed a paw-finger at Southpaw and he shouted, "REVEAL TRUTH!" A quite nasty looking ray shot out of his finger and a sickening glow surrounded the hellhound's body revealing none other than Poisonpaw, herself, standing in place of the former disguise. At least she was for all of a few seconds, as she vanished into a prison cube that the Imperial Overseer had created. Isaac was beginning to glow brightly at the new deception that had occurred right under their noses.

                Zecma then said, "Isaac, begin your drive over to Father Matthews church. I happen to recall that he blessed his entire parking lot last Summer. We were all laughing in council shortly after he did it. I will contact the Law Imp and the Contract Imp whom made the promise record and annul it."

                As Isaac started the Rites Van, he began the drive through the outskirts of town toward the church. As he did this, he asked, "This may be a fleeting What if..., Zecma, but is there a real Southpaw the teen aged hellhound in existence someplace in the Underworld? He doesn't have to be a Kisume since they are all acting suspiciously. I mean, the name would have to have originated from somewhere for the evil hounds to start using it." John said, "Hold on a moment, Isaac... you are in enough trouble with the Underworld, so allow me to make the inquiry so you aren't even deeper in neck-deep hound or mouse shit for asking what sounds like an innocent question. Zecma, what would it cost me to have you rescue this Southpaw guy if the evil forces have him prisoner somewhere? And keep in mind that he might not be a hellhound at all. He could be another species. The name sounds common enough that anyone evil would want to use the name in their wicked plot." Zecma then said, "John Holden, I could have summoned him with an imperial decree as part of this investigation, but now that you have offered to repay the cost of the rescue, you are on the hot seat. The Rites Pack could have stopped you from making this offer if they had suspected what you were about to say. Don't quit your day job; you will need the funds for the day I summon you to repay the debt you are about to stuck in. Isaac's debt could have handled one more item added to it, but you weren't even in the same wage racket as your wife's friend." John then said, "I can tell that Isaac wants a Southpaw the Hellhound in his life, and if a rescue is not possible, then I could become the new Southpaw Hellhound for Isaac."
                End of Chapter Eight
                End of JCP-05 Rescue Rites.

                Stay tuned for the next episode, Twelve Wishes Revisited.