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    NTS-HD-06 The Time of Night

    NTS-HD-06 The Time of Night
    By Darrel James Vanwinkle
    May 11th, 2013

    Chapter Fifty-One

    I spent two whole weeks in the hospital just in case. Shanther could understand why. And he gave me permission to make sure I was clear of this nasty illness. True to form, I guess... canines are sometimes the nastiest beings on the planet. You would think they could wear a little protection just once in a while.

    The day that I was to get out of the hospital started an encounter that I would have otherwise wanted to avoid... or at least I thought I would have. As I slowly emerged from the hospital, I saw Lord Paul standing next to a man dressed like a Swiss nobleman. The odd looking man looked at his watch when I approached and he said, "The time is now ten oh five, Harold Dangers." He then winked with a stern gaze. I suddenly knew who I was looking at.

    It was one of those damned Producers who had been after me since I had transformed. Except... he had Lord Paul with him. Usually you only went over the top when you had evidence that contradicted Lord Albert's ruling. "I can't say I am happy to see you, sir, but I will hear you out. What's with telling me the time? I know what time it is."

    The Producer replied, "Quote, I happen to know that there isn't a single film crew in Meta Star City who will even give you the time of day, unquote." He then pointed at himself. "As you were probably aware of before Shanther and Albert set you up that day... I have a filming crew and we have always been willing to take a chance on you, Harold. But the day Albert sent you to Shanther to supposedly join the Script Writers Union, you were purposely sent to the wrong building. You were sent to Sundered Hearts who just happened to have an opening for their series. When I learned of this deception, I went to Cheer Bear first and pointedly asked her where I could get my hands on a legalized script. She was taken aback at my question and freely said the Script Writers Union. When I mentioned that I didn't know where the building was because I had been given conflicting directions to the union building, she said, quote, It's the black building on the WEST side of Albert's Estate; you can't miss it, unquote. Albert had sent you to the black building on the EAST side of his estate. The studio of the Sundered Hearts production. A popular porn series. Shanther exploited the knowledge of your weakness, needing a film crew, to get you to sign their contract... although he said it was entirely your choice. But he would repeatedly mention that you were doing it because he had a film crew he would let you use WHEN you got the public Night the Superdog show script to film. Not once did he ever try to HELP you find a script."

    My jaw dropped open. Everything this Producer was saying was the truth for a change. But that wasn't the biggest shock of the day.

    He opened his briefcase and handed me a script. "I had one of our script writers create an entire season's worth of episodes for the Night the Superdog show. It is written to be like both Krypto's and Wonder Dog's shows, but set in a city of your own. You will have a boy to pal around with your own age and you will have your own arch enemies to occasionally deal with. Your show takes up a 44 minute slot and once commercials are added in, a full hour. It can shown during prime time and the theme song is Music of the Night, sung in Latin and performed by a symphony orchestra. You would also have guest stars." He then looked at Lord Paul. "For the first time in the history of our filming company, Harold... I want to make a fresh start with you which is why I went and got Lord Paul in on what was going on. You were blackmailed into signing up with Sundered Hearts in an agreement for a show that would never happen because you would be too busy with Sundered Hearts. I am offering my filming crew AND a script."

    Lord Paul commented, "He has even offered to foot the costs of making the show as long as it turns over a profit in the ratings department."

    I was in shock. I held in my hands the script for my show... handed to me by the very person I had been trying to avoid these last few months. I was both ashamed of myself and angry since everyone seemed to enjoy using me. "We film the show on my schedule. Once a week should be plenty of time and shows would release a month later. That way, we would be working four episodes ahead of schedule by the time the first episode aired. And I expect a union based pay check per show released, along with royalties."

    The Producer said, "Because of the Sundered Hearts contract, you are stuck doing that show for a minimum of four years. Next time, it might be best to read a contract entirely and lawyer up before you sign something like that. But now you're stuck. Luckily, it's Libra Trevor in the porn series; I want Harold Dangers also known as Night the Superdog. However... if you want to spiff up your name a little... maybe call yourself Knight with a 'K', you could do that, too. I just want this done right." He held out his hand toward me. "You call the shots, Harold. A filming crew, a script, and your own schedule with Lord Paul as my witness. I'm not about to renege with him standing around hearing my every word to you specifically. You've been screwed over multiple times not only by Lords and Filming Crews but by other heroes as well. What will it be?"

    I didn't shake his hand right away. I still couldn't believe it. The Producers walking the clean path for a change with Lord Paul's backing. I just hoped my time wasn't about to be screwed even more deeply than it already was. I slowly took the offered hand and shook it. "You got a deal. But be warned... my schedule revolves around two shows, now, my Big Brother obligation when the Care Bears and Little Ponies need me, and my classes in MYTHS. I did sign up for classes there months ago. I owe it to Ace to attend those classes. I hope he will forgive my long absence; I don't have much free time time. Especially with my having to take care of the Vagabond Hounds, too. They all call me their Alpha. I don't want to let them down."

    "Perhaps we can have your pack as regulars in the series," suggested the Producer with a smile.

    "What city are we basing my show in?" I asked out of curiosity.

    The Producer hummed. "Because the Vagabond Hounds are more familiar with the railroads, perhaps we can set your series in the city of Railton Heights."

    End of Chapter Fifty-One

    Chapter Fifty-Two

    For those who don't know, Railton Heights was a suburb of Sea Spray Hills on the West Coast of QC America. The very location had some of the most sexiest studs and beautiful women who had ever walked the beaches and streets of this fair community. When Shanther learned about the filming contract and how Lord Paul had been brought into it, he admitted that they did have an opening that day, but he never tried to lie nor trick me into joining their cast. As for using their filming crew, his exact wording (which he also had on video tape for security purposes which he gladly showed to Lord Paul) never stated that he would help me find that script; only that he would lend me his own filming crew for when I did have the script. Oh well, what was done was done. Lord Paul suggested that Sundered Hearts migrate its studios to Sea Spray Hills and then Shanther could keep an eye on his investment. Meaning me. So that was also being done as well. And finally the third surprise... Ace revealed that MYTHS had a branch transport office in Sea Spray Hills at a school called The Citadel, which he sponsored and supported. He suggested that I could take my MYTHS classes at the Citadel so I wouldn't miss any of my filming schedules. It looked as if I was getting a four-way win for a change.

    Railton Heights was ideal for the Vagabond Hounds as well as being both warm and homy for the pack itself. The movie was still in production and they were looking forward toward being regulars in my series. Yes, everything was finally starting to look bright for the dark canine of steel.

    I kept wondering when the rug was going to be pulled out from under me. I didn't have to wait long, however...

    One afternoon while I was resting at an outdoor cafe and having a meal while trying to do some of my MYTHS homework, one of the local sexy studs approached my table and after placing a huge paw around my neck, he gave my muzzle a huge healthy lick. It was out of the blue and totally unexpected. I almost made a mess in my seat as he spoke.

    "Got wolf?" He winked at me with a smile and then he sat at my table, not on a chair since he seemed to be a posture problematic lupine himself, but he was huge. "I apologize for surprising you, Libra, but when I saw you over here, I couldn't resist coming on over to your table and giving you a kiss and my famous line. I am Silver Surge, one of the local shadow werewolf actors over at United Beast Studios. And while I am not recruiting for any shows, I have always wanted to meet the new talent."

    I casually used a napkin to wipe the wolf drool off of my muzzle. "Um, yeah..." I started in my normal voice. "...but I'm only Libra Trevor for Sundered Hearts. My real name is Harold Dangers. Night the Superdog." I winked with a smile. "At your service."

    Silver Surge smiled as he reached across the table and petted my free hand. "My human name was Bartholomew Barrington, but my friends call me Bart. I also do stunt work under the name of 'Steel'. If you really want to be at my service, Harold, then please accept my invitation to a gathering tonight at Buddy's Cookout. All male and all canine, with the exception of those who are guests of the canines. Its the Friday night place to unwind and just be yourself with no obligations. What do you say?"

    "I like the idea of a cookout," I said. "I just have to finish up this MYTHS homework first, then complete this afternoon's Sundered Hearts session. My regular show's first pilot session starts on Sunday. Both Krypto and Rudolph will be attending to see it. They don't trust the Producers, but... Lord Paul is involved this time, so..."

    "Sounds to me like you have been loaded down on purpose," said the big werewolf. "I never liked it when someone gets taken advantage of. If you'd like, I can let you talk to my Yuskay Elite Lawyer at the cookout. His name is Havenfang. No charge nor obligation. Just having another canine around will make things fun."

    I smiled as I petted his furry paw in return. "Okay, Bart... you've convinced me; I'll take a break and be myself at the cookout."

    He grinned. "Ace told me to see that you got a night off." He winked.

    I glanced at him when he said that. "You know Ace? Where has he been hiding you at?"

    Silver Surge giggled. "I've been here in Sea Spray Hills with my friend Lance. You should see his Olmec were-jaguar form. He's hot."

    "I think you are just trying to get me excited," I told him with a grin. "If you want me to come to the cookout, then you better let me finish this homework. Otherwise I'll make you do a taping of Sundered Hearts."

    He giggled. "And my mom would kill you, too. Anna Carmichael won't let me sleep with any producers." He winked before he headed off laughing.

    I shuddered at the mention of the name. Anna Carmichael was a famed horror writer. A damned good one. To think she was in town might be useful in getting rid of some annoying pests now and then. I tried to get back to work on my homework.

    I glanced up and looked at the sky. "Now I can't focus. Stupid werewolf. Why did he turn me on for?" I once again tried to focus on the MYTHS class work assignment. If Silver Surge was going to be arousing me occasionally, then I'd have to start toting wolvesbane around.

    End of Chapter Fifty-Two


      Chapter Fifty-Three

      Buddy's Cookout was quite the place. First of all, it was located far outside of the city in the Wolf Wilderness. Buddy himself was a giant sized werewolf who always seemed humored by everyone and everything. He was thrilled to meet me, of course, which he said he'd been trying to follow the adventures I had been having. I blushed, of course.

      Then Silversurge (Bart) introduced me to the Olmec Jaguar (Lance) along with Sherlock Grey, his friend Weston Harte, and several other canines from all walks of life.

      At that moment, I heard Buddy saying, "Stupid charcoal! Damned stuff won't ever light when you need it to!" So I went over to look at what he was trying to do. There was a very large fire pit and the charcoal looked to be wet.

      "Allow me, Buddy." And I set off my hell hound fire and the entire fire pit dried and lit up better than it had ever done before. I extinguished myself and with a wink at the big werewolf, I headed off once again.

      "Yipe! Night the Superdog is hot stuff!" Of course Buddy thought it was funny. Did nothing ever water down his mood?

      As I was getting a wine cooler out of the ice box, I was approached by Wonder Dog. "Hi Damian. Never thought I'd see you on the west coast."

      Wonder Dog sighed as he placed a paw around my neck. "I hate to tear you away from the party, Harold, but this is important. Your Big Brother, Timesheart, is in the hospital at Cloud Kingdom Memorial. I was asked to fetch you. He is in really bad shape." He eyed the wine cooler which I hadn't opened yet. "Alcohol overdose."

      I slowly put the wine cooler away as he sadly looked around the gathering. "Never fails... my one night off and this happens. Okay, Damian. Let's get going."

      Silversurge was right there as I turned to leave. "It's okay, Harold; we'll take a rain check. You can attend Buddy's cookout next Friday night. Just go show your support."

      After Damian and I left, Silversurge placed a call to Ace the Bathound to ask if the emergency was a real one. Bart was one suspicious lupine; but he put up with as much crap as I often did. It pays to be suspicious in our line of work.

      Ace did the smart thing when he heard what had happened: he contacted both Krypto and Cheer Bear to see if there was any truth to the story.

      Krypto hrmed over the conference call. "First I've heard of this, Ace. What do you think, Cheer?"

      Cheer was on the other phone but she finally said, "Okay guys... this is what I found out. Timesheart and Dalis are both off at the Tower of Time this evening. They are having a clam bake down on the beach. Brightheart Raccoon and Braveheart Lion are with them, so it's verified: Timesheart is NOT in the hospital. Someone is pulling a fast one on Harold by using the one story that would affect him the most. Do whatever you have to do to find him, guys. We Care Bears are going to help with this one."

      Krypto then growled the way he did when anyone messed with his boy. "In that case, I get to use my secret tracker I embedded in Harold's collar the last time he was home after that one time he ran away. All I gotta do is activate it and we'll be led straight to him." And he touched a button on his own collar.

      Ace smirked. "Krypto using devices? What is the world coming to?"

      Krypto glared at Ace through red glowing eyes. "Shut up."

      Near the outskirts of Jaded Shadow, a young man on a horse witnessed two canines arriving near a dark cavern. "That looks like Night the Superdog, but that other canine is obviously not Wonder Dog. Damian is off planet visiting his folks back home on Earth. Well Thunderfire... looks like its time to unleash the mouse. But don't worry, I'll dismount before I summon him. I know how you hate transformations." And with a hand stand and a forward gymnastic flip, the young man landed on his feet in front of his horse as he struck a heroic pose. "Here we go, Virus."

      The young man's eyes sparked as he focused on causing his metamorphosis. There came a flash of light that overtook his body causing the transformation. When the flash of light subsided, a muscular male humanoid mouse stood there, wearing a costume and armor in the fashion of the stars and bars of the American flag. Close ups of the costume and mouse parts then occurred in rapid succession, before heroic rodent man smiled and the frontal view swept back... showing him in his full glory. He then said, "I am Supermouse, champion of justice." He then posed and grinned, showing all of his sharp teeth.

      "Looking good, Supermouse," said a normal looking cartoon rat (Virus) who was sitting on the saddle of Thunderfire with a newspaper in his paws. "You go play and I'll catch up on the financial section of the paper."

      End of Chapter Fifty-Three


        Chapter Fifty-Four

        I was of course starting to get suspicious of where we had been going because I chose to stop right where I was. The main reason? I recalled suddenly that Wonder Dog could fly and we had been walking. My stopping made the other canine glance back at me.

        "Why did you stop for?"

        But before I could answer, Supermouse was standing beside me and his eyes were glowing so red that you couldn't see the pupils anymore. The human sized muscular mouse man in the stars and bars theme said, "The real Wonder Dog went home to visit his parents on Earth. Let's find out who this impostor is, shall we?" And that's when his special vision fired off and struck the impostor where he stood and I could see sparks erupting from the canine's joints and muzzle.

        For those of you who don't know from reading Supermouse's own series, his special vision is the 'Flash Fry' ability. It consisted of rapidly moving microwave molecules which could burn or freeze a target on command. Supermouse was one of those guys you wanted on your side since he was not with any union at all. However, the union often used him and his team to get around the 'red tape'.

        And just as suddenly, Krypto, Ace, and Cheer Bear arrived on the scene. And boy, was I ever glad to see them!

        Supermouse stopped the Flash Fry effect as his eyes returned to normal. The impostor made to look like Wonder Dog continued to spark and short circuit. "It's a robot, Night. I can't imagine who was trying to trick you into going into that cavern. I thought you didn't have any enemies."

        I then recalled who might have attempted this as I turned my muzzle to look at Ace. "Pentad."

        The Bathound growled at the name. "I about forgot all about them. I guess they finally chose to try something. But why go after you? That makes no sense."

        "I'm still trying to figure out how they knew I was at Buddy's Cookout. Silversurge gave me the invitation and no one was around to hear about it. Looks like I may need to talk to Silversurge's elite lawyer friend after all." I then looked at Supermouse. "Thank you for being on alert and being as close as you were. There's no telling what would have happened otherwise."

        Supermouse blushed a bit and then he did something that no one ever does to me: he gave my head a good petting. "That's what Trooper likes getting back at the ranch." And in a flash, the superhero mouse transformed back into the human boy whom I had seen on the horse some weeks ago with Overcat. "Joseph Williams. Just call me Joey." He then walked off toward his horse where Virus the hench-rat was waiting for him. "If you ever need someone cool to hang out with, you can find me just outside of Meta-Star City at the Williams Family Horse Ranch. Of course, all of us are born and bred law enforcers." He winked before saddling up and tipping his hat toward our group. "So long."

        "I will definitely be looking you up someday," I replied as I waved goodbye to him, watching him ride off. I then turned to look at the others. "He's pretty cool. May I return to the Cookout now? I feel bad that I got tricked into leaving after Silversurge went through so much trouble to invite me."

        Ace said, "I approved of that night off for you as a reward for your getting your college homework all caught up, Harold. So you just fly on back and join the canines for some fun. And when it ends, let Silversurge escort you back to your pack studio apartment. True, its not like the penthouse, but you did say it was comfortable."

        I released a shout of joy as I shot off at the speed of light. Having an approved night off was really important for me. And Ace made me happier by saying that I was all caught up on my homework once again. I was going to be having a ball tonight.

        At Buddy's Cookout, I was suddenly on top of Silversurge giving him a big hug and trying to tickle him. But of course, he was a very big posture problematic werewolf; as big as a tall pony with loads of clean fluffy fur. He had me down under him in no time where he gave me a good licking and slurping with a chuckle.

        "So... you came back, eh Harold?" said the big werewolf actor. "Ace called ahead. I'm glad my intuition paid off. Like I said earlier... I don't like seeing someone get taken advantage of. I know you film on Sunday, so I hope you don't mind my coming over to watch your first episode being filmed. We canid types have to look out for each other, right?" Bart winked as he lifted his head and released one of his sexy howls up at the moon.

        "I believe you said I could speak to your elite lawyer tonight; I think I better since even I am starting to get suspicious of things," I commented.

        Silversurge helped me up and escorted me over to where Havenfang, the Elite Yuskay Lawyer was enjoying some coffee. "Night needs a conference with you, Havenfang."

        The sexy stud of a Yuskay Elite Lawyer smiled at me and I almost melted. Have I told you how nice looking these guys are? I have? Good. It still applies.

        End of Chapter Fifty-Four


          Chapter Fifty-Five

          I spent the next hour explaining my situation to Havenfang; showing him my copies of my contracts; and describing the work load that had been dropped squarely on me. He then called up an official who overruled Lord Albert and Lord Paul and spoke for another hour regarding my situation. Then Havenfang stayed by my side as we enjoyed the rest of the cookout. Hey, it was Buddy's Cookout and you were there for a good time. So why not?

          As the culinary part of the cookout was dying down, Silversurge located me and he explained that unless I wanted to give a Sundered Hearts sex scene with every wolf at the bash, then it was clearly time to leave. Those who had control of themselves, like Bart and his friends, were heading over to the Knight Compound where we could enjoy a discussion, snacks, and polite although protective solitude.

          The Knight Compound was located almost on the other side of Seaspray Hills near Studio City itself. It was actually the home to one of the Wolf Stars and his human siblings along with a female friend from Earth who was an aspiring film maker. The female junior film maker was very polite though. She agreed not to film me if I didn't want to be filmed. She scored some high marks with me that night. I wish the others would learn that lesson. Oh well... fat chance of that.

          In the meantime, Havenfang received a call from the guy he had alerted to my situation and now he had news to share. And thus began the witch hunts; starring yours truly.

          "Harold..." started Havenfang. "We have accomplished some results in your unique case. Let me explain that upon the sunrise, temporarily, all of your contracts and obligations will be null and void due to the truths we discovered regarding your history and your life. If you are ready, I will begin..."

          "Go ahead, Havenfang," I said. "What all did you find out?"

          "First of all on Earth, you come from a magical line of special hunters which are mainly canine although publicly they reside in human form so they can live among human kind without causing unnecessary chaos. These hunters are primarily werewolves, although a few have either underworld or planar ties giving them extra powers in their werewolf forms. Your ties are underworld related which is why you developed a black outlook instead of a white one like your sponsor Krypto. However, in your particular case, you do not gain your werewolf form either until you become an adult or... successfully score your first kill upon a species that you would normally never kill. I know, it sounds icky... but remember: these are serious hunters. For most of the line, they would choose to hunt down someone who is wanted dead instead of dead or alive and then never claim the reward, satisfied that making the kill themselves to gain their werewolf form was reward enough. Yes, that means killing humans."

          I made a face when he spelled it out for me. As distasteful as it sounded... it explained that I could gain a werewolf form with all the powers I currently had.

          It actually sounded really cool.

          "Second of all, we look at your life from the first encounter with the Care Bears on up to present day. Nothing the Care Bear Family did was out of place, underhanded, nor inappropriate toward you specifically. Even with their suggestion that you live with a Sponsor Family in the Cloud Kingdoms or on QC Planet itself. Had you simply lived with Champion Pony, you would never have become Night the Superdog. And for the most part, you would have been happy... until you became an adult. Full moon, anyone? However, you were placed into the Sponsor Family unit of Krypto and Rudolph in Terryville near a ranch that Champion Pony owned because neither Krypto nor Rudolph had chores for you to do. So Champion arranged for a chores environment to be available to you. In effect, Harold, he is listed first on your Sponsor Family forms, followed by Rubs-a-lot Rabbit, and then Krypto and Rudolph. Technically, you are legally the son of Champion Pony, which is why you still like him so much. He was good to you."

          "Next up, the accident which triggered your transformation. The first thing we learned with Timesheart Tiger's assistance was that the catalyst ingredients which caused your transformation were not normal to start with. In fact, from an official audit of items purchased by Krypto, Streaky, and Rudolph, the only item that was supposed to be there was the magic corn that Rudolph loved to snack on raw. You thought it was popcorn. The salt supposedly purchased by Krypto and the cooking oil supposedly brought in by Streaky were not on the list of purchased goods. Those ingredients were planted in the kitchen so you would find them. It turns out that an organization called COME whose sole goal in their twisted minds is to transform real world humans into toons experiment on those humans who are on QC Planet; You were one of those test subjects, Harold; they planted those doctored ingredients in your Sponsors home since they knew you were often there alone."

          "During the transformation when the Producers you are working for now contacted Bathound... did it never dawn on you where they even learned about you from? They weren't supposed to have had any idea that you even existed. Yet they approached Ace and asked him about getting him to talk to Krypto about putting you into a TV series. Naturally and wisely Ace said no; he refused to do it due to his respect for Krypto. We learned that COME tipped off the Producers to a new toon with super powers who would soon be available for a TV series. You. After that, Ace being the ace detective hound became very suspicious and he started his own investigation into this. And he learned part of what we had found out, but not all of it. Although he would make mistakes himself later on."

          I was beginning to see now why Silversurge said these Elite Yuskay Lawyers were in such high demand; you get them on your case and they find out everything. And I wanted to know more if I was to get to the bottom of this mess. And Havenfang was a professional. And sexy on top of that. I nodded for him to continue.

          End of Chapter Fifty-Five


            Chapter Fifty-Six

            "During the transformation, it was pure coincidence that Lord Darcadia ended up in your body by sheer accident. He had made a slight miscalculation when trying to split the vampire from the hound on himself and it reversed the polarity, sending him over the ocean and into your body. Since what he was attempting was not deliberate and he is no longer part of you, we will not mention him again."

            "After your transformation and after Ace cleared himself from the false accusation everyone had laid upon him... Ace now made his first mistake. And it involves his school for Maverick heroes. You may not be aware of this, Harold, but there is a QC Planet law regarding every hero and villain school across the planet. A toon may not join them unless they meet two requirements: they must have been a citizen of QC Planet for a minimum of 12 months, which you did qualify for, AND... you have to had been a toon for at least a year before application, which you did NOT qualify for. Ace simply and honestly forgot about that law since he was seriously trying to help you to dodge the Producers however possible. This means no Hero school could legally have you in their academic halls since you had only recently transformed and had not been a toon for a year as yet. Therefore, your obligation to Ace to attend MYTHS is voided."

            I sighed. "He won't like hearing that. And neither will the students who liked having me as a member of the school. But please; continue."

            "Your Big Brother status with the Care Bears is not in jeopardy; you have A-1 standing with them." Havenfang paused before continuing. "The next issue occurred when you went to speak to Lord Albert about the scripting laws and you learned of the Script Writers Union. As you later learned, Cheer Bear knew where the correct building was all along and even the Producers asked her about it, which is where they got their correct information from. But when you spoke to Lord Albert about it, he sent you to the wrong building for two reasons: one, the guildmaster of the union was also a star in Sundered Hearts and he was at his studios that day; and two, Sundered Hearts had a recently available opening since a previous actor had just left the team to work for a prime time production elsewhere. According to the Studio Laws on QC Planet, Albert and Shanther performed entrapment to get you to agree to sign the Sundered Hearts contract. One, they had that provocative screen test video of you; and two, they preyed upon your one weakness at the time: needing a film crew. That is entrapment. Therefore, your contract with Shanther is also voided until you and he work something out."

            "And now to kill off your last obligated contract..." stated Havenfang. "I know you were hoping I wouldn't target your long desired TV series production, but I must because you asked me to find out all I could. Although it was classic to bring in Lord Paul to play lie detector for him, the Producer, like Ace, made one mistake that voids the contract even before you ever signed it. Not only did he also prey upon your weakness, but he and his cohorts performed harrassment and strong arm techniques to get you to agree to their terms of a TV series solely so they could make money and you would get your desired fame. But the bottom line is: even Lord Paul was taken for a ride this time since he was not aware that they had harrassed you early on and had he known that, then he would never had agreed to stand with the ignorant fool. You really should have heeded Timesheart Tiger's warning about the Producers. They only care about money."

            I hung my head since I felt like crap again. Bye bye cloud nine... maybe forever this time.

            Silversurge slowly padded over to where I was standing; I looked as if I was on the verge of tears... which I was. He placed one large paw around him and quietly said, "It isn't the end of the world, Harold... the Producers aren't the only ones with a filming crew. Unless you already forgot; I work for United Beast Studios locally. Tomorrow morning, we'll take you over to talk to my friends there and maybe we can see about filming a pilot episode for your show. But Harold... write the damned thing yourself. No-Heart nailed it when he told you to opt for writing your own scripts. That way, you control the whole production. Just like Shanther controls Sundered Hearts."

            I was now sobbing while I leaned into Silversurge's fur. I felt so useless and stupid.

            Havenfang at that point added, "I informed Lord Paul and Lord Yuskay of my findings already. You have legal support now. Lord Paul is off kicking Albert's ass for doing this to you. Lord Yuskay informed me to continue helping you for free since you are going to need it."

            "I told you he was good," said the large non-morphic werewolf actor as he held me closely, allowing me to sob it all out. "But being in the Script Writers Union only permits you to write your own scripts; if you want to do this right, you better join the Studio City Acting and Managing Parliament. That's what we call the union out here. I know it spells SCAMP, but the wolves love it. We even have our own version of the Hero and Villains Union; we call ours the Central Heroic Intelligence Parliament."

            "Sounds like I need to join SCAMP and CHIP then," I muttered sadly. "Will you help me get registered? I have two TV show ideas I really need filmed. One is my own, but the other is for my pack... the Vagabond Hounds. I promised to get them on TV."

            Silversurge nodded his great head. "I'll be glad to help you with that."

            Havenfang said, "I also learned that COME tried to lure you into a trap earlier tonight with that robot. You're lucky Supermouse was there to help you."

            I grinned. "I owe the big rodent some cheese."

            End of Chapter Fifty-Six


              Chapter Fifty-Seven

              All of Sunday was spent getting my schedule ironed out and with Bathound, Shanther, and the Producers all wanting to meet with me about the former now voided contracts I had with them. I could have handled Shanther by myself, but he had brought Steris along with him. And... dammit... I really liked that bull stud. Good thing Havenfang was sitting right there at the meetings. I would have folded under if Steris had asked me to. And I think Shanther knew that. Interestingly enough, Bathound never entered into any meeting with me since I had my Yuskay Lawyer at my side. Instead, he opted to speak privately with Krypto and Rudolph. The Producers PALED considerably when they saw Havenfang. I think this lawyer is one of the most extremely well known Yuskay Lawyers out there. When you had him on your side, no one messed with you anymore.

              Around lunch time, Ace padded over to my cafe table and he sat down and looked at his menu. "Harold? Krypto and I think we know a way you can still get MYTHS training without enrolling in MYTHS and there is nothing the law can say about it."

              Havenfang who was also seated at the table remarked, "Be careful what you say, Ace... for it can be used against you in a court of law. But what is your idea?"

              Ace sighed. "Are you going to live up Harold's butt, HF? Anyway... there is a Sponsor Family clause which extends to a Sponsor parent adopting you officially which permits the parent in question to educate you in everything you need to know to function away from home. In order for you to continue to receive MYTHS like training without attending the school is to simply have your sponsor parent teach you what you would normally learn in the school itself. It isn't considered joining a hero school since the parent is NOT an official member of the school himself; he is only teaching you as a father would to his son."

              I looked at Ace. "Then you better go talk to Champion Pony about this because according to the adoption papers, his name is listed first, followed by Rubs-a-lot Rabbit, then Krypto and Rudolph. In that order. Champion would have to be the one teaching me or your idea wouldn't work. Besides, Krypto helps MYTHS through a Union sanctioned agreement with the Hero and Villain Union which I had Havenfang abolish because their union banned me from their scripting departments. I had Silversurge help me join CHIP officially out here in Seaspray Hills this morning. I also joined SCAMP at the same time."

              Ace nodded his head. "Then I will go have a meeting with Champion Pony. However... if you insist upon calling Champion Pony your dad for all intents and purposes regarding this situation, then you damned well better have HIS permission to be away from home since the Pony's adult age is 18; not 13 like the toons. And you're not 18 yet and therefore, you are away from home illegally." He looked at Havenfang. "See? I did my homework, too." And he got up and padded off looking all smug and stuff.

              "He's kidding, right?" I asked looking worried.

              "I'm afraid he's not kidding, Harold. That is one factor I overlooked. As long as you called Krypto your dad and your cousin, that made your adult permission be 13. But if you call Champion Pony your dad, then you won't be able to do what you want without his clearance on anything because you aren't 18 yet."

              I raised my voice at that point. "KRYPTO! I need you!"

              And he was at my table in a flash. I'll say that for Krypto: he drops everything for me. "I'm here, Harold."

              "Tell me the truth, dad... is your name listed first on the adoption form and can you prove it?"

              Krypto opened his collar and pulled out a form, laying it open in front of me. "See? Right there it says Krypto and Rudolph will adopt Harold Dangers. And on the witness lines thereafter, Champion and Rubs-a-lot both signed to make it official. On the Big Brother form, the pony and rabbit are first; but on the adoption form, Rudolph and I are first. As it should be. We love you, Harold. Why did you need to know this for?"

              Havenfang now realized that part of his information wasn't correct. "I apologize, Krypto. Our investigation revealed that your name wasn't listed first in the official adoption records. But you are showing me now that it is. Someone messed up in the records department. I'm glad you have a copy of that form."

              I hugged Krypto fondly. "You made me very happy. Then all we really did was get rid of Ace for a day. He went to talk to Champion Pony about me."

              Krypto rolled his eyes with a sly smile. "I hope he took the bat frying pan with him then. Champion Pony is in heat right now. He might try to pounce our friend."

              At that moment, I noticed Steris approaching my table. Shanther wasn't with him this time so this was either an honest wanting to talk to me move or Shanther's newest trick. Either way, I had Havenfang and Krypto present. "What do you want, Steris? And if Shanther sent you over here, I'll be disappointed in you."

              The sexy bull stud handed a video tape to Havenfang and said, "I think that it is in your best interest to watch this surveillance tape, sir. There is sound included for the legal record." Then he looked at me. "So help me, Harold... if Libra Trevor doesn't show up on set by 5 PM tonight... you will be facing jail time. And for the record, Harold..." He placed both hands on the table and pressed his nose to mine. "I have never liked Libra Trevor and that FAKE voice of his; you were the one who impressed me."

              He then departed back the way he came.

              Krypto sighed. "It wouldn't be the first time a Sundered Hearts star tried to get out of their contract. These guys are smart enough to video tape everything that occurs around their studio, Harold. And I mean everything. You think you are getting ahead of them and then they produce a video from their files to hand over to your lawyer. And that is exactly what Havenfang is holding right now. But now you need to make a decision, Harold... Steris likes the real you over Libra Trevor. Even though Albert and Shanther performed entrapment on you, I seem to recall now that Shanther never said you had to sign their contract. He merely pointed the contract out to you."

              End of Chapter Fifty-Seven


                Chapter Fifty-Eight

                "What are you saying, Krypto?" I asked in surprise. "Are you saying that they didn't trick me into going to the wrong building just so he could pitch the offer at me and wave a film crew in my face?"

                The white super canine sighed again. "This morning after Shanther learned that you were ditching your obligation to him, he went to one of the top interview programs on QC TV and gave an exclusive interview with video tape evidence to be seen by everyone who was anyone. They had been after him for a while to get the scoop on Night the Superdog working for Sundered Hearts. This morning, they got their wish." He paused as I suddenly shrank down in my seat feeling stupid again. "First of all, there is the security tape where Shanther asked you if you would honor a test for him. Then they showed your screen test video; the one you were embarrassed over. Then there is the security tape conversation between you and Shanther in his office where he shows you the Script Writers Union forms and the Sundered Hearts contract. He never made you sign that contract. In fact, from the way it looks, he said that you could use his film crew when you got the script. He never said that if you wanted the film crew that you had to join. And then... the most damning video was shown which probably destroys all of your credibility and any possible fans you would ever have... he showed the gym scene."

                There were tears streaming out of my eyes at that point. Shanther had pulled out the stops and released the videos incriminating my actions to the news media on QC Planet. I was as good as ruined. No one would want to take a chance on me now. Now I knew how the guys in the Outcast Bar in Jaded Shadow felt. Even if I filmed my own series, it would be banned because of this stinky blunder I had gotten stuck in.

                "Shanther then said he would be turning the security video of your signing the union forms and the show's contract over to your Elite Lawyer," Krypto finished. "So now everyone across the planet and on Earth knows about this. I will always stand at your side to support you, Harold, but I don't know how you're going to get this mess cleaned up. We still have that contract with you where you said you would fill in for Ace if he was ever unavailable. And if Champion Pony pins him down, then I will need you on Monday... wearing the cape and cowl."

                I slowly sat up and said, "I've been banned before, dad. I am going to go ahead and film my shows as planned. But if no one on QC Planet wants to take a chance on me... then I will give Lord Impy the chance to do it. They film and show some really questionable things and I know he'd jump at the chance to have me in his studios in person."

                Krypto would have paled if he was capable of doing so; even Havenfang looked shocked and that's saying something. "Lord Impy of Chaosmire? You would go to him? If you did that, then you would be on your own. I have no jurisdiction down there. You would have no one to bail you out if you got into something you didn't like. Are you sure you want to take that chance over this little mess? We can salvage and clean it up, but if you turn to Lord Impy, then all you are admitting to the fans is that Shanther and the unions are right: that you throw a tantrum when you don't get your way. That you are no hero."

                Havenfang then stated, "Krypto is right, Harold. If you go to Lord Impy, you will even lose my legal backing. And once you sign one of his contracts, you are stuck for sure doing whatever shows he wants you to star in. And some of those shows are far worse than Sundered Hearts. Far, far worse."

                I nodded my head slowly. "I need time to think it over. In the meantime, I have a 5 PM appointment. With you guys as my witness, Steris never said I had to be in front of their cameras; I only had to show up at their set. So I'll go to fulfill Steris' statement to the letter of his message."

                At the Sundered Hearts studio locally, I padded into the building at 5 PM. I was on edge because I was using X-Ray Vision to find all the damned secret cameras... and Heat Vision to melt them. Yes, it was vandalism but in showing those security videos on TV, Shanther proved that he filmed me without my consent. So I had him on that issue.

                I soon saw Shanther staging a scene between that deer I had seen the first day and one hell of a sexy great dane. That is when I sensed someone walked up to me from my right and stand beside me. It was Steris. "I came. But you never said I had to be in front of a camera." I still had on my collar and blue backpack.

                Steris quietly said, "Thank you for coming, Harold. Shanther doesn't know I got you to come in; this was my doing alone. I wanted Harold here; not Libra. Come with me. Please." And he led me out of the building to a building behind the studio which seemed to be offices and such. We didn't go far inside, as he directed me into a side office with a plate glass window overlooking the open street nearby. Anyone could see us in there. And for a change... I sensed no cameras.

                "Thank you for not having hidden cameras staged in here," I said. "So what's on your mind?"

                "I know how to get Shanther off your case simply from reviewing your past history. There is one thing you can do that will fix everything. However, the guy who told me this information wants something in return from you. The real you."

                I was now intrigued since whoever the mystery guy was had asked Steris to approach me in public so he wouldn't have to. "What does this guy want, Steris?"

                Suddenly and without warning, a side wall simply ceased to exist and in the space beyond was another office where Lord Impy was sitting behind his desk having what looked to be a very nice dinner. Lord Impy was the perfectly shaped imp with a hot and sexy body. Imps were kind of like super sexy finely scaled and cloven hoofed deer without the antlers. Did I mention super sexy and hot? Good. Lord Impy was the hottest of the hot. Or more appropriately speaking, GOSH DARN HAWT!

                "Ask and you shall receive, Harold," he said as he took a sip of his wine. "I, Lord Impy, asked Steris to bring you in. I know how to fix your situation and can have the arrangements in place by sunrise. By then, you would no longer have to worry about Libra Trevor ever again. However... the only left over issue is that Harold Dangers signed that Sundered Hearts contract; not Libra Trevor. Therefore even though I can free you from Libra Trevor, you're still stuck with doing the show -- legally. In exchange for my helping you settle the Libra Trevor issue, I want you to sign a studio contract with me; with Steris as your witness. I have Lord Yuskay himself online and listening to this entire conversation, mind you. When you want the best Yuskay law there is, go all the way to the top."

                End of Chapter Fifty-Eight


                  Chapter Fifty-Nine

                  Lord Impy continued, "Havenfang overstepped his bounds a bit and Yuskay is not happy with him. That is why you need your own lawyer. So will you accept my offer or not?"

                  I looked at Steris, then back at Lord Impy. "How do I know that Yuskay is online?"

                  Appearing in front of Impy's desk was a gigantic hell hound's head in holographic form. "Because I am paying attention to this offer. I cannot fit inside Impy's office and if I tried, I'd be doing property damage to his studio. I'm huge, Harold." And then the holographic form was gone. But it was enough to make me have an erection myself.

                  "Like I said... when you want things done right, go to the top," said Lord Impy as he presented me with the contract in question. Looking at the form, I noticed that it only said the following words: "In exchange for solving the Libra Trevor issue with Sundered Hearts, I, Harold Dangers aka Night the Superdog, do herby agree to whatever Lord Impy asks me to do, which will include the filming of my own series and the series of the Vagabond Hounds in Seaspray Hills." It was straightforward and to the point. "You do not have to sign it and you can attempt to clean up this mess on your own. But your career is over with unless you deal with Libra Trevor first. What will it be?"

                  I was intrigued since I was going to approach Lord Impy later anyway and he saved me the trouble by appearing now. "Earlier, I told both Krypto and Havenfang that if I couldn't get anyone to film my series on QC Planet, I was going to come to you. They were shocked to hear me say that. They both implied I'd be stuck in Chaosmire if I signed a contract with you. But this contract says that I get to film in Seaspray Hills. How are you able to do that?"

                  Lord Impy chuckled. "I own stock in United Beast Studios, naturally... you can't run a good studio without financial support. And because I own stock in their business, I can make requests of them. Which could include filming any shows I want them to film. Do you want my help or not?"

                  I sighed as I looked to Steris. "How does this help Steris who wants the real me on Sundered Hearts?"

                  Lord Impy grinned. "Have you ever heard of a concept called... spin-offs?" He winked as he resumed eating his meal.

                  I had to smile at that suggestion. I and Steris could film a spin-off of Sundered Hearts and his fans would still get to see him on both shows. I padded over to the desk and propped myself up, as I carefully picked up a pen and signed my name on Lord Impy's contract. Steris then signed his name as official witness. And the Lord Yuskay notarized the contract on the spot. The notary seal caused the contract to steam where it got stamped.

                  "So what is this oh so great solution that I couldn't think of myself?" I asked out of curiosity.

                  Lord Impy smiled gently. "You didn't think of it because you simply put it out of your mind the first time you had done it. Remember when Steris said that by reviewing your history that the answer was clear to see? I was the one who told him what to say. It is very clear to see, Harold. The solution is this... Darcadia."

                  The light suddenly went on over my head as I started to get what Impy was implying, pun intended. Yes, there is an imp in everything seems like.

                  "Remember when you had Lord Darcadia inside your body and he was starting to take over?" stated Lord Impy while holding his wine glass. "This situation with Libra Trevor can be solved the same way. When Lightfang took you to the time displaced realm to train you in your abilities, we simply say that a Hell Hound who had an accident there ended up inside your body which enabled you to ace your lessons all the more easily. We pull Libra Trevor aka Nighthunter out of your body which will leave Harold Dangers aka Night the Superdog. Then we have both hounds appear on that interview show side by side; you with your normal voice and Libra with his Latin voice; and then your problem is solved. Shanther gets Libra Trevor which of whom he requested by name when he pitched the contract offer to you. And Steris gets Harold Dangers whom he respects very, very much. You did help him save his father's business when you first met him. You impressed him. You; not Libra."

                  I sighed when hearing the solution. Again, I was about to lose some really cool powers that I was enjoying. But the trade off was being free of Libra Trevor once and for all. It stank but it was the only solution. "I'll do it, sir. I want to be free of Libra Trevor and hopefully get the rest of this mess straightened out."

                  Lord Impy nodded his head as he sent one copy of the contract to Lord Yuskay, and then he handed another copy to me. He placed the final copy into his filing cabinet. "Report to the local Yuskay Groomers here in Seaspray Hills and they will help you in the splitting of Harold and Libra. Not to mention, you will get a salon makeover too."

                  Steris then added something that got my hopes up again. "The Yuskay Groomers can even add powers to your package upon request. And since Lord Impy is footing the bill this time, you can get exactly what you want. You can finally be original if you desire. But as long as you are Harold Dangers... I'll be happy."

                  Steris is a nice bull. I'm glad he is a friend. So... all I had to do now was get to the Yuskay Groomers. Sounds easy enough, right?


                  As Steris and I arrived at the groomers, I had just barely cleared the door and directly in front of me was the Wolf With No Name. "What are you doing here?"

                  WWNN didn't look happy at all. "High Command found out what you are about to do and they ordered me to stop you. Remember what I said the last time we met, Harold? The next time we encountered each other, I'd fight you until you were seriously hurt. High Command wants you brought in to them immediately. And that means you're going to Earth."

                  And with that, he punched me in the face which sent me flying out the door and through a tree across the street!

                  End of Chapter Fifty-Nine


                    Chapter Sixty

                    I barely had time to lift my head and shake the stars out of my eyes when I saw him bounding out the door with his claws extended. And I let him have it: a blast of heat vision directly in the head which sent him flipping head over heels backwards into a wall. "Forgot about my heat vision, I see." And I was up instantly preparing for the next incoming attack.

                    Too bad their best operative doesn't have the extra powers like I did. But he more than made up for it by being faster and being able to uncannily predict when and where my strikes would be directed. He scored several hard hitting claw rakes to my body which was really hurting me badly. I am invulnerable, but not to magic. And his claws are magical. Stupid werewolf operative.

                    Of course, our fight was making news teams all over the coast very excited. We were on LIVE TV for all to see.

                    I knew this; WWNN didn't. So I made sure to curb my language during the fight. Superheroes don't curse like a swearing salty sailor.

                    Krypto was also nearby, but he was keeping out of the fight since it was my battle. My honor. And perhaps more... my chance to redeem myself to the fans.

                    But just as WWNN had gotten the upper claw over me during one of his uncanny strikes which had me pinned down, he got hit pretty damned hard in the back which sent him flying through an armored car. Floating there in mid air was someone I was glad to see.

                    Supermouse. "Looks like you needed some assistance, colleague. No one attacks a friend of the New Protectors and gets away with it. And we have magic users on our team." And that's when the rest of his team arrived. Remember how I had originally wanted to have a superhero team of my own? Well this was Supermouse's team. And damned fine one it was, too. In his line-up were Mountain Spirit (Robert King,) Weather Crane (Barren Wingstavf,) American Agent (Caroline Smythe,) Cat Queen (Stacey Morita,) Crusader Rabbit (Theodore Kelly,) Ghost Stormer (Evelyn Bishops,) Sky Commander (Kirk Price,) Shaolin Priestess (Ororo Storm,) Ninja (Barbra Lang,) Trigger the Time Trooper (Lance Oscarson,) and Super Rat (Valiance Sawyer.)

                    When WWNN leaped back into attack formation, he got slapped away by Shaolin Priestess who had quickly wove a spell to counteract the attack itself.

                    Super Rat cracked his knuckles and said an unsettling grin, "Can we flash fry him, cuz..."

                    Supermouse grinned as he hovered there in place. "You can if he doesn't let Harold do what he needs to do. Permission granted; you use Flash Fry a lot better than I do."

                    "Oh goody."

                    I cringed over hearing the voice that Super Rat used. And that sharp fanged grin was super unsettling. Glad I wasn't going to be the target. I'd seen Flash Fry once. And now... I was about to see it in action again.

                    Super Rat's eyes turned blood red in such a way that you couldn't even see the pupils anymore and then the ray rocketed out of his eyes which struck WWNN fully and actually pushed him along the ground. But then the Rat lifted one claw which caused WWNN to lift into the air where the Flash Fly vision continued to hammer into him repeatedly. This continued until WWNN was heard screaming in agony. And at that point, Supermouse said, "That's enough, cuz. Let him fall." And WWNN fell out of the air and slammed face down in the street. He wasn't moving. I could tell he wasn't dead, fortunately. Heroes are not supposed to kill their opponents. I suddenly felt sick to my stomach as I went over to a garbage bin and threw up into it.

                    That was Flash Fry. I never wanted to see that again. Ever. If you want to be spooked out of your mind, just watch something like that take place. That will do it.

                    Supermouse then said, "Steris? Make sure Harold gets his appointment fulfilled. We'll make sure this werewolf doesn't interfere."

                    Steris picked me up and carried me into the Yuskay Groomers. Mind you, he didn't have to carry me, but I felt pretty weak now. I was actually bleeding from the gashes and claw marks. I looked to be in the worst shape of my life. And that was the worst fight of my life to date. Damned High Command just scored a spot on my arch enemies list.

                    The Yuskay Groomers took me deep into their lair and began the process on me detailed by Lord Impy in the request. That had luckily seen what I had looked like before the fight so they had a blueprint to work from. I would be in the Groomers for the next few hours. WWNN had almost killed me. If the New Protectors hadn't arrived... well, you get the idea. Now I really owed Supermouse twice. Once for rescuing me from COME, and now again for rescuing me from the Wolf With No Name. If that was how super teams operated in such clear precision like that... then I had a lot to learn. And MYTHS hadn't even begun to cover what I needed to know. MYTHS seemed lacking.

                    Lord Paul arrived and banned the Wolf With No Name from QC Planet for life. He no longer held diplomatic immunity for being on planet. Attacking a toon in that manner was a criminal act for which Lord Yuskay himself had incited charges.

                    The New Protectors were non-union, so they were the team the lords often hired to work around the red tape.

                    As for myself, I was transferred to Cloud Kingdom Memorial Hospital for the remainder of my healing process. The Groomers did listen to my powers requests and they fulfilled the ones that seemed sensible for me to have. But all in all, Night the Superdog was going to be out of the public spotlight for a month. All thanks to a stupid werewolf. I couldn't believe I was actually related to that jerk. As for my powers, that would be revealed in the next episode. For now, I needed my sleep.
                    End of Chapter Sixty
                    End of Episode Six: The Time of Night

                    Stay tuned for the next episode, The New Super Stars