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    [NTS] HD-01 In His Own Words

    [NTS] HD-01 In His Own Words
    By Darrel Vanwinkle (Lord Pouchlaw)
    June 3rd, 2012

    Chapter One

    Hi there. Harold Dangers here. The real one. Not the multitude of clones from the Role Playing Games. The really REAL one. I think its high time all of you learned the real story behind Night the Superdog directly from the canine's mouth. I mean, directly from me. I know that Miyuki is likely tired of all the fake origins and such that appear in the Role Playing Games, so this will be the official origin of Night the Superdog. That's right. And believe it or not, it doesn't happen like you may have read in the Role Playing Games... My life couldn't be that fantastic, so here goes. (My brother Clark is in Coolsville.)

    This story begins a full two years AFTER my moving in with my sponsor family of Krypto the Super Dog and Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer. Oh yes, I was often doing chores over at Champion Pony's new ranch, mainly gardening, weeding, and attending to yard work. Oh and I would pitch hay on Saturday. During these two years, my mental psychosis problem was also resolved greatly thanks to continuous assistance from my new guardians. And yes, Timesheart Tiger did come in once a weekend to spend time with me. Yes, Cheer did convince him to give it another try.

    My story begins after spending a homework session with Miyuki Tsukino. If you don't know who she is, let me tell you a little about her. She's a cousin of Sailor Moon. And really nice and very helpful at homework assignments like this one. She is normally from Japanopolis, but she is often in Terryville as part of a little project that she, Dalis Haley, and Timesheart Tiger are all part of together. Aside from that, I don't know anything about it. All I know is that they like doing it. Timesheart smiles a lot these days.

    Anyway, Miyuki had just left the house after the homework session. It was a rare afternoon where both Krypto and Rudolph were off at work. At least one of them would be home in an hour, but I was a little hungry right then. So I went into the kitchen and started looking around, opening cabinets and drawers.

    What I came across was one of Rudolph's secret stashes of his magic corn. It wasn't labeled so I naturally thought I had found some popcorn. I carried my find over to the pan and poured in an appropriate amount. Then I recalled that both Krypto and Rudolph often added oil and salt to the popcorn, so I dug around again and came upon some cooking oil that Streaky had left at the house one time. Except... it had a label in some language I couldn't read. But it was cooking oil. Looked like it. So I poured some of that into the pan, too.

    Then I found some of Krypto's favorite salt and accidentally poured a little too much into the pan. I sighed when I noticed the excess. But I chose to turn on the heat anyway. I was hungry. Maybe it wouldn't make the popcorn too horrible. I covered the pan with a cooking lid then set the egg timer and waited.

    Eventually, I heard one of the kernels of corn pop. And when it did, it blew the cooking lid off the pan so hard that the lid embedded itself in one of the walls. I quickly ran into the kitchen and that's when it happened. The explosion that I shouldn't have lived through. I should have been dead... but luckily, Krypto had been on his way home from work when the explosion occurred and he came to my rescue at the speed of the light. The fire department arrived and then Superman and Supergirl arrived to assist in stopping the Kryptonian projectiles. Rudolph arrived next with a doctor and I got treatment for burns and bruises as the heroes fought hard to stop the chaos that I had unwittingly created.

    And then Timesheart was there. Thanks to his time manipulation powers, they were able to get the stove turned off and the pan out of harm's way and off into Frontier where it wouldn't hurt anyone.

    When I came to it was very very late and I was in my bed upstairs. The superheroes had repaired the house perfectly while both Krypto and Rudolph were sitting nearby obviously worried about me.

    "Hey Harold," said the white dog of steel softly. "How you feeling?"

    I was weak when I replied. "I tried to make some popcorn. I still hurt all over."

    The red-nosed reindeer then set a hoof on my bed. "Yeah, you accidentally used some of the special food ingredients that are not human safe. It is our fault that you found them so easily. We should have put them away better. Superman and Supergirl repaired the house for us. But we are more worried about you."

    "I'm sorry... I was hungry. Am I grounded?"

    Krypto replied as he patted my head with one paw, "No, Harold. We can't do that to you. You got hurt so grounding you wouldn't be fair. But next time you get hungry, call one of us on the phone so we can send some safe food your way. You like Arden's Pizza, right?"

    I smiled at that. Krypto seemed to always know what to say. Sadly, I was hurting too much to eat just yet. Plus, I now needed to heal from the Kryptonian oil burns that I had sustained point-blank when I walked into the kitchen before the main explosion. Little did I know just what that oil was going to do to me in the days to come.

    End of Chapter One

    Chapter Two

    When I was able to be out of bed again, and thank god for that small miracle, I found myself behind in my classes, yet again. But luckily, my fellow school mates were more than eager to help me get caught back up again. That's the nice part of having toon friends; they all want to help when you're out of the loop. But my life was about to get weird.

    It was a Saturday. The night before, Timesheart, Dalis, and Miyuki had taken me and another young man, a boy named James Talbot who was living with Kit Cloudkicker and Max Goof a few blocks away, out on a mystery solving weekend to, get this, Merlin the Magician's Keep, of all places. James and I had teamed up and we had met someone from Coolsville Paris named Arthur Lupin who was humorously stuck in a box. Turns out that he had a crush on Miyuki and she couldn't stand him. The outing probably wouldn't have ended early except I twisted my ankle by accident and Krypto heard my cry for help and zoomed out to make sure I was okay. He wanted a doctor to look over my injury.

    I had awoken early and there was a scent in the air that always made me smile. Pancakes. That meant Rudolph was up. It was the first of Krypto's two days off, he luckily got a full weekend unlike some toons did, so the dog of steel was sleeping in. Gotta love unions.

    After using the toilet, I was in the midst of taking my morning shower when a sudden pain hit me just above my anus. It surprised me so much that I let off a yelp a little louder than I normally would have. Well, Krypto and his sleeping almost on the other side of the wall was up immediately and trying to find me. When he did find me covered in human safe shampoo and Zest soap, he could see that I was holding my rump and rubbing it.

    "What happened Harold?" By now, Krypto had seen me in my birthday suit many times and didn't think anything sexual about it... unlike the first time.

    "I was showering and something... stung my rear end. It felt like someone had shoved a knife through me. Could you please have a look, Krypto?" And I turned around for him.

    What he saw got the household doctor called in to check it out. In this case, that meant Dr. Yakko Warner. One of the Warner Brothers in his off camera job. I was used to seeing Dr. Warner so much that it was a treat to see him when he was around. Except this wasn't a treat.

    It was a canine tail. Like Krypto's. Except mine was dark gray. It would have been black except there was pigmentation from my human genetics mixed in with the color.

    "You say this just happened, Krypto?" asked Dr. Warner as he checked out the new extremity with care.

    "Harold said he was taking a shower and he felt a knife like pain. When he asked me to look at it, I saw the tail. I called you immediately."

    Dr. Warner said, "I'm glad you did, Krypto, because this looks like Toonium Exposure. Except... I know you and Rudolph are too careful about letting that happen here in the household, so I have to wonder where he encountered this stuff at."

    Rudolph peeked into the room and commented, "They sometimes work with small amounts of Toonium at school. If Harold had accidentally sat in some of it, that might account for the tail, except... if that happened, his buttocks, not his tail bone, would be the area affected. And it's not."

    "I hope its not the application of a toon student's practical joke or someone will be getting severely punished by Lord Albert."

    Lord Albert was one of those names you rarely ever heard mentioned around the household. Although whenever it was stated, it was usually from Dr. Warner's own lips. The doctor once told me that Albert was a cat guy with a huge libido problem. I didn't know what that meant and I didn't ask either.

    Dr. Warner then said, "Harold, now that this has started, I need to warn you. More will be on the way. No one ever just gets a tail and then the process stops. It continues until you are all the way the toon species you are becoming. At the moment, all I can tell about this hairless tail is that it seems to be canine. Each change will be painful just as the appearance of the tail was. The reason pain is involved is because you are not a toon yourself. But the more the toon species you become, the less it will hurt."

    "Don't worry, Doc," said the dog of steel. "Rudolph and I planned to spend the whole weekend with him. Even during his chores at Champion Pony's ranch. We were going to make it a family outing. We'll keep a careful eye on any further developments. I can promise you that."

    "Make sure you call me if something else happens to him. This is a serious event. I need to get going now. Mr. Pink needs my help with a doctor related issue concerning one of his Grand Wish Show subjects. I think something must have gone wrong." And then he departed.

    Rudolph smiled at me as he said, "We got pancakes, Harold. Just the way you like them."

    That got me to smiling again. I really LOVED Rudolph's pancakes. How he makes them without hands is a real mystery.

    End of Chapter Two


      Chapter Three

      After breakfast, Champion Pony and Rubs-a-lot Rabbit were both sympathetic to what had befallen me although they admitted that stuff like that occurred more often than Dr. Warner and the others ever admitted. The pony added that I'd always be good old Harold to him. I like having him as a Big Brother Sponsor. Timesheart approved of him.

      Pitching hay was the number one chore on Saturday. I filled the water and feed troughs throughout the week. Having Krypto and Rudolph to monitor me was a little strange, but since that incident this morning with the tail growth, they are really concerned about it. But as Dr. Warner had warned me, things were about to get weirder than that.

      Fortunately it wasn't a body part this time. But still just as bad as my hearing suddenly heard Superman give the Krypto code whistle. "OW! My ear drums!"

      The Superdog of steel was about to zip off but when Harold said those words, he looked at the boy holding his head with his hands. It was almost like Harold heard the dog whistle. But that wasn't supposed to be possible. "I'm calling Dr. Warner, Harold! Sit tight!" And he zoomed off to make the call first, then check in with Superman to see what the man of steel wanted on Krypto's official day off.

      It wasn't long after that Dr. Warner along with Dr. Tennyson and Lord Albert were checking Harold out. Hearing a Kryptonian dog whistle was a top priority emergency since it had the power to kill a normal person's hearing. After a few minutes, the cat lord told Rudolph, "Its Toonium Exposure from the oil he got the severe burns from. The magic corn incident just last week. That Kryptonian Oil contains Kryptonite Toonium. Harold was completely doused in the stuff. If he had gotten the appropriate treatment last week, we could have prevented his transformation now. Sadly, he is going to continue to transform into a Kryptonian canine. I would also suggest a Kryptonian Flea Collar."

      There it was. It was the oil that Streaky had left at the house. It contained Toonium of the Kryptonian variety.

      But just then, my new super hearing heard Ace the Bat Hound speaking into a microphone as he said, "I know you're off duty, Krypto, but I need your help. I'll make it up to you during one of my days off." And he overheard Krypto's reply even though the sponsor dog wasn't even around. "My boy is hurt, Ace, and calling on Superdog has got to stop. I'll come help this time. Superman told me that Jimmy Olsen accidentally blew the Kryptonian Dog Whistle so it was a false alarm."

      I sighed. Krypto was doubly upset not only because I was hurt, but because his quality time with me was being interrupted.

      Dr. Warner snapped his fingers in front of my eyes which startled me. "You looked spaced out, Harold. What happened?"

      I closed my eyes and said, "Super hearing. Ace called Krypto to come help with a job and Krypto is pissed off since the dog whistle was a false alarm."

      Lord Albert sighed himself and said, "As sorry as this will sound, Harold, we are going to have to cancel all of your upcoming outings until your transformation completes itself. You will need to stay within an anti-Kryptonian sound proof home so no one else accidentally blasts your ear drums off. As of right now, you are quarantined from attending school since it could be dangerous if your changes occurred there without supervision and all of your home work will have to be brought to you. You will also be excused from the chores here at the ranch."

      "No! I got to do the chores! Please! It's part of the Sponsor Family agreement!"

      "I'm sorry, Harold," he replied. "Once you're fully transformed, you won't be a Charge anymore; you'll be a local. A citizen of Q.C. Planet. After that, you'll need training in how to use your new form. At that time, Krypto and Rudolph will become your official guardians, so you can continue to live here. But also sadly, your ability to have hands will be gone. We got the test results back concerning your changes. Because you had your accident during a new moon, you are changing into a black version of Krypto."

      I just sobbed at that point. It wasn't supposed to be like this. I felt like it was all my fault.

      And if I was sad, you can imagine what Krypto was going to be like during his outing with Ace and whoever they encountered. Krypto wasn't on the clock, at the moment, meaning he could play some serious hard ball on his day off.

      Rubs-a-lot approached me and gave me a firm hug. Yes, this is exactly what I needed right now. The Sponsor home was going to be reinforced with the sound proofing and a room at the ranch would also be getting the treatment just in case. That way, I'd have an alternate place to go if I needed privacy while I was screaming in agony.

      Rudolph then said, "You're still Harold to us. We love you. I am sure Timesheart will feel the same way."

      Champion Pony hrmed. "There is no guarantee of that, Rudolph. He wanted to be one of the Sponsor Parents of Harold the human boy. If Harold becomes a super canine, he won't be human. Timesheart will likely start drinking again. If he hasn't already."

      End of Chapter Three


        Chapter Four

        Solitary confinement is what being in the sound proof bedroom feels like. It had been a week and my ears did develop next. I suppose the super hearing should have been the tip off. I almost wish the ears were rabbit or donkey length so I could just muffle my own hearing whenever I wanted. But no... perky Kryptonian dog ears. Yes, they were as dark as my tail. I was really hating the dark knight aspect of becoming Krypto.

        What happened with Krypto during his outing with Ace? It was indescribable. Bud, Lou and Isis nearly got killed. Ace had to defend them from the angry Superdog. I think he even spooked Ignatius, even though Ignatius wasn't even there. But the iguana reads the union newspaper, so he could fully understand what he got to avoid. The union enforced time off for Krypto until I got through my metamorphosis.

        Today, however, Krypto's on-set boy, Kevin, came over to spend some time with me. This was actually my first time meeting him.

        "I don't suppose anything like this has ever happened to you, has it?" I asked Kevin as we worked on my school homework.

        "Off camera, no," he replied. "On camera, I've shared Red Kryptonite effects with Krypto resulting in some weird situations. But nothing like what you're going through, Harold. I really feel sorry for you. But on the plus side... if you become a dark superdog, you could very well get your own show. I'd love to guest star in your show if you were to get one. I could even help you with memorizing the lines and show you how to act on the set. Krypto still isn't perfect on set." He winked with a smile.

        I sighed. "Krypto not being able to work isn't all that great, you know. He spends his days on patrol with one ear listening to hear if I need h-e-l-p."

        "He's that on edge? He'd be better off being forced to work instead."

        "The funny part is that my sound proof room is supposed to be Kryptonian proof," I said with a giggle. "If that was true, then Krypto would never hear me cry out for anything." He then got serious. "So I am wondering if they really made it that sound proof or not."

        "You can test it with two words."

        I knew what Kevin was implying and it would be funny to see if the Superdog actually showed up or not. "KRYPTO! HELP!"

        What I would learn later would be that Ace was again defending someone from the angry glare of the on edge Superdog and my cry for help prevented an innocent 'bad pet' from getting killed. The moment Krypto heard my shout, he vanished in a blur of light in the direction of Terryville. Kevin and I sat there quietly waiting for Krypto's appearance, but then the unexpected happened: I starting screaming for real as my hands and feet began to painfully transform into their canine equivalents. Dog paws.

        Krypto burst into the room with Rudolph, Principal Scooby Dum, and Dr. Warner at that moment. Kevin was absolutely petrified as he watched in horror as the transformation occurred. The Superdog went over to his show partner and hugged him. "I'm sorry you had to see it happen, Kevin. This is what Harold is dealing with. Without hands, he can't even write his name on his homework." He glanced at Principal Dum. "Any suggestions, sir?"

        Scooby Dum sighed feeling helpless as he watched the transformation. "We'll just have to excuse him from all classes until he is over this. Then he will have to be schooled in a different way. Poor Harold... everyone in school is worried about him and now this."

        "How does it look, Dr. Warner?" asked the red-nosed reindeer.

        The medical Warner brother sighed as he replied, "Arms and legs will be next, then his... family jewels... followed by his torso, and his head will be last. He'll be completely changed by the end of the week. Has he had any other super powers emerge aside from super hearing?"

        "Not yet," replied Krypto. "He got super hearing before the ears popped in. But if that is any indicator, he could get super speed before his arms and legs change."

        Dr. Warner said, "I would suggest you get a Kryptonian strength treadmill and hook it up to a power generator. When he starts getting super speed, he can put it to good use."

        "Superman has one of those," said the Superdog. "I'll have him bring it over and hook it up." He glanced over at me and tried to cheer me up. "I came, Harold. I guess the sound proofing isn't Krypto proof." He made a smile, although he had a worried look in his eyes. He was clearly worried about me.

        I was whimpering after my paws were formed. It still hurt. I couldn't even stand up on these things now. How would I eat or hold a glass? How would I hold a roll of T.P. in the bathroom? Toilet paper was going to be the least of my worries come the morrow.

        End of Chapter Four


          Chapter Five

          The next day I was miserable. I had my first adventure with a litter box. All four sponsors were very supportive, luckily. Even more fortunate that Rubs-a-lot Rabbit had hands, so he was my hands for the rest of my transformation period. When the super speed did activate just as Krypto predicted it would, it was accompanied by the transformation of my arms and legs. One then the other wouldn't have been so bad. But not both at the same time.

          Champion had put a bit into my mouth for me to bite down hard on during the transformation. That stifled a LOT of the expected screaming that would have accompanied that much pain. Unfortunately... my super strength must have been secretly building because during the course of the arms and legs transformation, I somehow bit the metal bit in half. My teeth are nowhere near that tough. But it happened.

          Dr. Warner had examined my canine legs first, but now he was checking out my teeth after hearing how I had bit a steel bridle in half. "Your bone structure has changed, Harold. You don't have human teeth anymore; they are canine like Krypto's. At this rate, your changes are going to happen even faster. I know I gave you a week before, but with this evidence... you have maybe three days."

          "That bit tasted awful, Yakko," I said. "Not one of the better tastes I have ever had in my mouth. Is there a way you could maybe just knock me out so the changes could happen while I was unconscious? I don't know how much more pai-i-i-i-" And I started crying out in pain again as the aforementioned changes to my privates then occurred. It was actually too much for me because I blacked out.

          I wasn't sure how long I was out of the loop, but when I did awake, it was dark and everything around me seemed... to be at a weird angle. I felt weak and almost dehydrated. " someone" My cry for help was almost non-existent, but in a flash, Krypto and Streaky were right there at my side with a bowl of water and what looked like a bowl of dog food. For a moment I thought my Sponsor had flipped out. The water helped a lot. Then the dog food... I was hesitant since I wasn't born canine, but it smelled good. So I tried a little; it was surprisingly good. After a while, I weakly said, "what day is it?"

          Streaky said, "You've been unconscious for a week, Harold. Apparently your mind needed the sleep what with all the daily pains you were going through. Um... you're done transforming; you just need therapy in learning how to get around and how to use your powers."

          "Mirror," I shakily said. "I want a mirror. I want to see myself."

          The super cat looked at Krypto briefly and the super dog nodded his head. Streaky went and brought back the supported mirror for me to look at myself in.

          It was like looking at Krypto except... everything that would have been white was black. All else was normal colored. "As dark as night," I quietly said. Then I brightened as it dawned on me what I was looking at. "Of course... I am... Night the Superdog."

          Krypto said, "Take it easy, Harold. Don't give in too easily. You're still Harold currently. But if you want to use that as your name... you can. We still love you."

          Rudolph then looked into the room. "Hey... Timesheart came by to see if you were awake. He's sober and he feels sorry he wasn't around for you. Would you like to see him?"

          "Yeah, I would. Um... I need help getting around still."

          A few moments later (with help) I was downstairs on the couch next to the caring tiger cousin. "Hi Timesy."

          He hugged me tightly. I guess I could understand that. I was his assignment and now I was a local. "I'm sorry I wasn't here, Harold."

          "It isn't your fault this happened to me, Timesheart. Please don't blame yourself. But you can still be a big brother to me since I still need help."

          The tiger half-smiled. "The producers and I were talking this morning. They are going to give me a chance to be in a series, but the series they are looking forward toward making is yours. I told them that they would have to clear it through you, Krypto and Rudolph, since I wasn't a full Sponsor Parent. I think I told them the right thing."

          Krypto growled, "How dare they already be planning the show even before Harold is even recovered from all this yet! I'll kill them!"

          Streaky coughed. "The one you should kill is Ace. You know he has the most pull with the producers. If they got the idea to do Harold's new form as a show, then it had to be Ace's idea. Trust me, Krypto. Blame him since he was all the time getting you away from your boy on your days off."

          That went without saying, in truth. Krypto was mad enough to separate all of Terryville from Q.C. Planet all together.

          End of Chapter Five


            Chapter Six

            Fortunately, Timesheart came up with the perfect place for my therapy classes to occur at. It was in a coastal community called Port Ottercrest. They had a clinic where they treated cases like mine so it was simply a matter of getting me signed up there. I was lucky that they had on campus housing. I call it a campus even though it was only a therapy clinic for educating transformation cases. Krypto gave them specific instructions that if Ace the Bat Hound showed up down there to have him arrested and/or doped up.

            The first two weeks went by without a single Bat Hound incident. But then as if on cue, exactly as Krypto had predicted, Ace showed his face in my bedroom as I was preparing for bed. "So this is where they hid you." The moment I heard his voice, I pushed a secret button beside the bed to summon medical help.

            "You shouldn't have come here, Ace," I started. "You are trespassing."

            "And what are you going to do about it? Yell for Krypto? He's off planet with Superman."

            And that's when Ace got the hulking surprise of his life when a giant otter administered a large hypodermic needle full of knock out drug into his ass! And the Bat Hound fell on the floor hallucinating. "Are you okay, Harold?"

            "I am now. Thanks, Lesco. I'm glad you were on night duty. He said he waited until Krypto and Superman were off planet before coming to look for me. It was just like Krypto predicted. Wait until Ace wakes up in the rubber room."

            "We have a nice straitjacket for him. I am sure Batman will love hearing about this fiasco." And the giant otter lugged the drugged canine in cape and cowl out of the room.

            I made sure pictures of Bat Hound in a straitjacket were emailed to ALL of Ace's arch enemies so they could all enjoy the humor of his situation.

            Two more weeks passed without further incident. Perhaps Ace learned his lesson or maybe Batman had grounded the Bat Hound. The humiliation was surely a factor.

            I was actually getting around without the wheelchair now. It didn't hurt to walk on my paws and I could support my own weight. And I was beginning to get training in the use of my super powers. I was the black version of Krypto so everyone thought they knew what to expect. Well... they thought they knew.

            Streaky was on paw to help the doctors just in case something went way wrong. Krypto had promised Streaky all the fish he could eat if he helped me with my training. Yes, bribing the super cat's weak spot. His stomach. Works every time. And since this was a coastal community, there would be a lot of fish to be had.

            My super hearing was as sharp as ever. My super speed was top of the line. Flying wasn't too great since I hadn't done much of it but at least I didn't pancake during my landings. But then I was asked to try using heat vision. Since I was the black version of Krypto, I should be able to do the heat vision. What happened was anything but heat vision. I was given a target to set on fire and then I was up at the plate. I focused my eyes on the target. Normally Krypto's eyes would turn red just before the heat ray came out. My eyes turned a dark purple. Streaky's fur stood on end when he saw that. And then a black ray shot out of my eyes and the entire target was enveloped within a shroud of spooky inky black darkness. It was an eerie cloud that just hung all over the target. "Um... did I do that?"

            One of the otter instructors remarked, "Shadow Vision. I thought only the nobles of Q.C. Old Europe could do that. But since you are capable of doing it, then perhaps you have their other ability as well. Intangibility. Approach this wall prop and slowly push your way through it without damaging the wall."

            I approached the brick wall and focused on it as I laid my front paws against the wall. It felt solid. But the otter said that I could do it since I had an ability that was only available to the nobles overseas. Surprisingly to all who watched... I slowly and fluidly passed through the wall. Once on the other side, however, I collapsed.

            Everyone rushed to my side. Apparently to do that trick took a lot of prepared energy and since I was still a novice, it would take practice to perfect it.

            "You are as much the noble as the old ones are," said the medical otter. "Your chosen nickname is appropriate as well. From the dark side of Krypton, comes the canine lord of shadows... Night the Superdog."

            To hear the doctor say it, he made it sound like spooky narration. But I liked it and committed it to my super memory. Bad guys some day would be messing their pants.

            "...and that concludes your tests, Harold," finished the medical otter. "Streaky may escort you back home to Terryville today, if you'd like. Right after the fish dinner that was promised to the super cat."

            I giggled. "In that case, let me just call Rudolph and have him help me get back home. Streaky will probably be too fat to fly after that many fish."

            End of Chapter Six


              Chapter Seven

              I thought I would be back in Terryville after my outing, but instead... Rudolph and Krypto had me in the Cloud Kingdoms at a look-a-like of their Terryville home. And it was right next door to Champion's real ranch this time. And then I saw Cheer Bear and Braveheart Lion waving at me. That got me to smiling. Being in the cloud kingdoms was going to be awesome. I could train all I wanted and Ace would never think to look over his head to find me.

              Of course the tackled hug I gave Cheer and Braveheart was expected, I withheld the full strength of what I could do by accident to them. I was happy to see them. "Thanks for being here, guys. I love you both."

              Cheer said to me, "The Sponsor/Charge Board thinks you are the appropriate age to help someone else like Timesheart helped you. But we won't rush you into this. We know you have training to perform and you're not fully rested just yet. But the Board has approved you as a big brother Sponsor."

              "Thanks, Cheer. And you're right; my schedule is going to be a bit involved. But I'd be glad to help someone else when I am ready."

              Braveheart then said something that likely would make Krypto start growling again. "Since you got unionized, Harold, the Sponsor/Charge Board had no problem approving you."

              "Since I got what? Back up a second, Braveheart. I'm not unionized. I haven't had time to go see the union. When did that happen?" Then I yelled, "RUDOLPH! KRYPTO! COME HERE! NOW!" I focused on the care bear and care bear cousin as my guardians showed up fast. "Now, repeat what you said to me about the union and me with my guardians present."

              The lion looked a bit pale since both guardians looked like they didn't want to hear bad news. "The Sponsor/Charge Board had no problem approving Harold because they looked at his union records which were in good standing. Cheer and I both saw the records for ourselves. They were processed some three weeks ago."

              Krypto was again growling under his breath about KILLING Ace.

              Rudolph seriously looked to the two. "That registration was falsified then, Cheer. Three weeks ago, Harold was in Port Ottercrest at a Therapy Clinic. He had just undergone a painful transformation and couldn't even walk. He had been in a wheelchair up until week four. There is no way he could have gotten to the Union in Meta-Star City."

              Cheer sighed. "I knew it looked too good to be true." She then turned to look at Harold and Krypto. "I'm sorry if we learned the wrong thing. We'll support you in getting the records straightened out. What makes you think Ace did it, if I may ask?"

              And we told her the truth. Ace and the producers' idea for a show involving my new form as the star. But as everyone in Q.C. knew all too well, you couldn't do shows unless you were with the union. And during the transformation, I was not part of the union. When Ace got the idea, I wasn't even thinking about the union. I was in pain.

              "Sneaky no good conniving little..." and the rest from the female Care Bear was pretty nasty. Good thing Grams Bear wasn't around.

              One hour later, a union official was on hand along with a Yuskay lawyer. The Yuskay lawyers were another one of those species you rarely hear about but if you have one on your case, you're in good paws. And this one was tendered by Rudolph, surprisingly. He was from God's gift to canines stock and pleasing to the eye. Glad he was on my side.

              When the union official learned that the registration had been falsified, he was likewise upset and it showed. He offered to help Krypto kill Ace. But first, they had to abolish the false registration for me since I was incapable of making the application -- with witnesses in Port Ottercrest.

              The Sponsor/Charge Board on the other paw was more lenient about the newest fiasco. They agreed unanimously that my honesty was enough to award me with the Big Brother status and I could still help out a deserving young man on Earth some day. Yeah, they proved to be real friends. I'll have to send them a proper thank you later.

              Cheer and I hugged as we sat with our backs to a haystack in the field. "I am glad we were able to get your records all straightened out, Harold. I can't believe Ace is doing these things behind your back. He is supposed to be a hero. Why he is doing is villain activity?"

              "Maybe No-Heart got to him," I joked.

              And just as suddenly, No-Heart was standing there in front of us. "I wouldn't want him. Stand down, Cheer. This is my day off. Truce, okay? I've been looking over the new script for next year and quite frankly I don't like it. Too many new characters and too much inappropriate material being introduced into Care-a-lot. The producers are considering making Passion Park an official part of Care-a-lot. You know what that will cause, don't you?"

              Cheer growled, "What? Let me see those scripts!" And she grabbed them and started looking over them angrily.

              End of Chapter Seven


                Chapter Eight

                One week later was the next time any activity from Ace was heard from. Apparently he had been actively looking for me every given second. Moving me to the Cloud Kingdoms had definitely thrown the Bat Hound for a loop. While Rudolph and Krypto continued to live in their normal house in Terryville, the secret portal door to the Cloud Kingdom house was never shown around visitors. I lived in the Cloud Kingdom house and I got to train with some real pros. Even No-Heart took an interest in me since I had shadow based powers. He offered to help train me in his off hours. I was getting the education I wouldn't have gotten down on Q.C. Planet.

                The way Ace learned where I was at was a matter of accidentally overhearing someone saying something where they shouldn't have been talking about it. The place was the Maverick Institute of Technology and the person overheard was none other than Dalis Haley. He had been talking on the phone to Dr. Warner about my apparent health since I had all but disappeared and he was worried about me. Apparently Timesheart had kept him out of the loop. Stupid Bat Hound.

                His next challenge was to figure out how to get to the Cloud Kingdoms since unless you used magic, the only way to get there was to fly. And even though Ace had a bat glider, it didn't have that kind of altitude capability. Fortunately for him, he looked at the union schedule to see who of the Cloud Kingdoms would be active that day and he learned that Shrieky was to be on Earth to recruit some 'help' to capture a Care Bear. The script never mentioned who would be helping the female villain.

                When Shrieky arrived behind the bushes by herself, Ace the Bat Hound stepped out in front of her. "What are you doing here, Bat Pest?"

                "If you can get me to the Cloud Kingdoms, I'll help you capture a Care Bear. I know your script says you recruit help, but it doesn't say who helps you. So how about it? And you know if I bag them, they won't escape from whatever I do to them."

                Shrieky wasn't sure what Ace was up to, but he told the truth. Her script wasn't specific on the details this once. "Okay, Bat Hound. You have yourself one ticket to the Cloud Kingdoms. I don't know what you're going to be doing up there, but I know you have to keep your word. The script says the helper helps me."

                "I'm working on a case and my query went to the Cloud Kingdoms to evade my finding them. Let's get going."

                One hour later, Champ Bear, Luck Bear, and Gentleheart Lamb all snoozed under the effects of a bat gas canister. Shrieky was overjoyed of course. When she turned to thank Ace, he wasn't there anymore. He got what he wanted and he left; it was his Method of Operation. Shrieky just shrugged and tied up the three and carted them off.

                Unbeknown to Ace, this was the one day I wasn't in the Cloud Kingdoms at all. Streaky had borrowed me for a patrol through Meta-Star City since Krypto was again off planet with Superman. With Ace AWOL, Isis (Cat Woman's Feline,) Bud and Lou (Joker's Hyenas,) as well as Artie the Puffin, Griff the Vulture, and Waddles the Penguin (Penguin's Bad News Birds) were all pulling a heist. And with Krypto off the planet, Streaky knew he couldn't do this alone. So... in with the substitute.

                As Isis rubbed her feline claws together in front of the safe, the room's surroundings were suddenly coated in an inky black shadowy fog as a spooky narrative voice that none of the gathered animal villains would never forget began to speak.

                "From the dark side of Krypton, comes the canine lord of shadows... Night the Superdog." And I materialized out of the fog chuckling. "And it looks like I get to have a meal after all. One cat, two hyenas, and three birds."

                Bodily functions were definitely heard that day as they all six turned toward the arriving canine. I had literally came through the wall without making a hole. After that it was every animal for themselves. No matter where they ran, I was there to greet them with bottles of condiments and a hungry look on my muzzle. The purple glowing eyes didn't make the experience any better for the bad animals either. As they barreled out of the building they crash landed in an awaiting ASPCA cage which Streaky was manning. After the last villain was inside, the Super Cat closed the gate and locked it.

                I treated Streaky and myself to a pizza and fish dinner afterward. Using powers like that was draining for me so I had to replenish my exhausted energies.

                We were soon back in the Cloud Kingdoms where Streaky checked me in with Cheer Bear to inform her of our successful outing and not a sign of Bat Hound.

                Cheer looked upset regardless. "Its a good thing you were both gone today. Bat Hound showed up here in the Cloud Kingdoms. Shrieky told No-Heart that Ace had helped her capture some Care Bears in exchange for a lift up here. He called me immediately. It took some doing, but we tracked him down and captured him. We had just deported him before you two arrived."

                I just had to ask. "Which Care Bear or Cousin caught him?"

                "Befittingly, Scentheart Skunk sprayed him after he learned that Ace had used a gas canister on the Care Bears."

                End of Chapter Eight


                  Chapter Nine

                  The rest of my training was conducted in Pony Land. A lot of the female winged ponies were all too eager to help since I could fly. They had been warned about 'Bat Pest' just in case even though we had learned that Ace had been grounded yet again after a tomato juice bath in the Bat Cave. How I wish someone had leaked that picture out to the public. The Bat Hound needed further humiliation since he wouldn't give up trying to find me.

                  The picnic to celebrate the end of my training was a little over the top, but these were the ponies who loved to throw parties for just about any event. I can't complain though; I did have a good time. I even got to kiss Princess Celestia. She's a very pretty pony.

                  I next checked in with Cheer Bear since I was now ready to play 'Big Brother' to a youngster on Earth. I hadn't seen Bat Hound in almost a month and I was feeling pretty good about myself. "From the dark side of Krypton, comes the canine lord of shadows..." I said with a giggle. "Night the Superdog reporting for Sponsor duty."

                  Cheer Bear almost hit the ceiling when she heard that creepy introduction and was poised to use her Care Bear Stare. Then she saw who it was. "Harold! You about scared me to death!" She slowly calmed down. "It is good to see you. I didn't know that was your signature introduction spiel. That is just plain creepy."

                  "Sorry, Cheer," I replied honestly. "I finished all of my training today and I thought I'd see if there was any Big Brother work I could do for someone."

                  Cheer looked through her files and pulled one out and laid it out on her desk. "Krypto's co-star Kevin has a fan on Earth who is afraid of the dark. His parents can't even turn the bedroom light off or he screams bloody murder. Think you might be up for that one?"

                  "Isn't it customary for an official Care Bear to accompany a new Sponsor on his first outing?" I asked as I remembered a phrase in the rule book. Super memory really helps.

                  "Oh that's right. So who would you like?"

                  "Brightheart Raccoon. Just in case I blow it, Brightheart can make with the light."

                  Cheer hummed. "That's actually a good idea. Unfortunately, however, he's on the set right now. As you might have guessed... he's popular."

                  "Let me handle that..." and off I went toward the set.

                  When I got there, I could see that they were having problems with the artificial fog making machine. For the record, most of these production sets use fog machines to assimilate classy mist like fog conditions on set. But they tend to break down a lot and today was one of those days. I was feeling a little frisky, so... I set off my Shadow Vision and instantly the set had the spooky black neon fog flowing around the floors and clinging to the set walls. I then grabbed a narrator's microphone and a script as I began reading off the written narration in that creepy manner that scared Cheer earlier.

                  Bodily function sounds were heard all over the set. It was always funny to me that everyone was affected by that tone of voice, but I had come to recruit Brightheart Raccoon.

                  One of the toon human actors, named Jason in the script, said, "I'm scared, Brightheart. What's going on?"

                  "I'm not sure," replied the raccoon as he turned on his flashlight. "But I'll bet No-Heart and Beastly are behind this." Although mentally, he was thinking, Or a certain black Kryptonian canine who needs me for something.

                  They stuck to their scripts, I'll have to give them that. They were pros. And when Brightheart used his Care Bear Stare at the indicated moment, I pulled back the black fog to help give the intent that his beam had the desired effect. Then came the battle with Beastly and Shrieky, and Braveheart Lion and Nobleheart Horse joined Brightheart in the line-up to send the bad guys packing. Then the director shouted, "CUT!" and "THAT'S A WRAP! Good job, guys! See you tomorrow!"

                  Brightheart saw me standing over to one side just off set and he walked over toward me. When he got to where I was... he slapped my muzzle. "That's for scaring my co-star." Then he held his paw and whined a little. "Ow... Kryptonian hide... I forgot all about that... ow..."

                  I sighed. "Sorry Brightheart. I finished up my training and asked Cheer if there was a Big Brother mission I could do and the rules say I have to have someone with me the first time. An official Care Bear presence. I thought you would be perfect for it since the boy is scared of the dark and I might mess it up."

                  Brightheart shook his stinging paw as he thought about what I had just said. "So you're here to get an escort for the Sponsor/Charge outing. Yes, the rules do say you have to have at least three escorts with you. You named me, so who else will be coming?"

                  End of Chapter Nine


                    Chapter Ten

                    "Stop!" Standing there in civilian wear was Ace, minus the cape and cowl.

                    I growled immediately. "Ace! So help me this is the last time you will ever pop up in my face! I will kill you so Krypto won't have to!"

                    "That's your right if you think it is necessary. But I hope you will notice that I came this time without the cape and cowl. That means Bat Hound stayed at home. I don't know why you are so mad at me. When the Union docked my pay for falsifying your union registration, I lawyered up fast. I won that court case even though you never showed up. My lawyer was able to prove that I had nothing to do with that incident. You aren't the only one who had witnesses that week. Batman had taken me in for my weekly vet visit and I was under watch by at least three professional vets and two secretaries. Because I have my own show, there is a lot of fame and little time to be sneaking around off camera. Your accusation hurt. So I started my own investigation and what I learned took a few weeks. The reason I was trying to get to you more recently is because I got results in the investigation. But every time Bat Hound tried to find you, he was attacked by your friends. So after the professional strength detox from getting sprayed by your skunk friend, I knew to get to you I had to do it as Ace, not as Bat Hound."

                    I was taken aback when I heard Ace explain all this to Brightheart and I. "You mean... you really didn't try to get me unionized? Then what about how you and the producers talked about a show showing off my new form?"

                    Ace said, "We did have that talk, but the producers approached me; not the other way around. They asked me if I could somehow help them to get you to agree to do that show. At the time, you were undergoing your most painful transformations and my answer was clearly, 'No'. I respect Krypto and Rudolph, and I knew what problems you had been through, Harold. I never once tried to get a camera centered on you. Some of us hero animals have a workload like you wouldn't believe. We don't have the time to do plots like this to you. Anyway, it turned out that Riff Raff from the old Underdog Show and Mechanikat had been forced together and they were the ones who falsified your union registration... under duress, mind you. They told me that the producers threatened to ruin them if they didn't help them get you on board. But that backfired when Cheer Bear decided to do a background check on you for the Sponsor/Charge program and they found the newly created union registration during a time you couldn't have made it."

                    He then said, "Both villains came with me and told their story to the union official overseeing your case. There is currently an investigation going on versus the producers. You aren't the only one they've been trying to screw over, Harold. You're just the most recent one. And that is why I needed to talk to you today. I knew you were about to go to Earth and I needed to get you the message before you went and here's why... if you do this job, the producers are going to video tape it as an episode of the Care Bears... without your permission. So you now have a dilemma to make a decision on. Do the job and get TV time you didn't give permission for or... lawyer up. I know what I'd do."

                    Yep, I was on my cellphone that second to call Rudolph since it was his Yuskay Lawyer in question. I told Rudolph everything Ace had just told me and how we would be waiting for them to arrive. Lawyering up was the smartest move to make in this case. And Ace had cleared himself.

                    I felt sorry because I had accused him. But everyone said it was Bat Hound doing it. But then I realized... any canine could have worn a Bat Bound costume and falsified the union paperwork and Ace would get the blame. And Riff Raff was a wolf; a canine, as it were. That's why the producers targeted him. He was out of work and needed cash.

                    Shortly thereafter, Rudolph, Krypto, Brainy Barker, and the aforementioned Yuskay Lawyer had arrived. Ace willingly subjected himself to a lie detection test conducted by Brainy Barker to see if he was being deceptive in anything he professed earlier. He passed, naturally. The video proof was very clear in the image between Brainy's ears.

                    "See?" said Batman's canine pet. "I told you so. I'm innocent."

                    Krypto sighed as he looked at Ace and handed him the cape and cowl. "I guess I wronged you too, old buddy. Everyone said it was you and I believed it."

                    Ace was getting into his Bat Hound gear right there. No time for modesty since most of the Care Bears never wore anything anyway. "We all make mistakes, Super Dog. I'm just glad we got this ironed out before Harold committed murder on me. The producers were behind it all. Normally, most of them we can trust to be up front and honest. But there's a group of them who care for nothing more than money. It's like Timesheart Tiger has said all along: There's always time for caring... unless you're a producer. They only care about money. Timesheart nailed it time and time again, and we simply missed his warning. We pay the price. But no more." He struck his Bat Hound pose.

                    "If I ever do a show to show off my new form, I'd want full control over the show, Ace," I said. "There are things I can do that Krypto can't. You don't even want to hear my narrative introduction spiel, do you? Cheer Bear almost went through the ceiling when I used it on her. She almost used the Care Bear Stare on me right there within her office. I've never seen a Care Bear so scared before."

                    Ace grinned. "Can you recite it without the spooky effects?"

                    I nodded my head and did so. "From the dark side of Krypton, comes the canine lord of shadows... Night the Superdog."

                    End of Chapter Ten
                    End of Episode One: In His Own Words

                    Stay tuned for the next episode, Champions of Myth