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[QD-LW1] PL-04 Paladin Crusader

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    [QD-LW1] PL-04 Paladin Crusader

    Quad District: Lunar Wolf
    Episode Four: Paladin Crusader.
    Written by James "Aragh Darktalon" Ghaleon; Co-Written by Darrel "Lord Pouchlaw" Vanwinkle
    July 1st, 2013

    Starring: The Wolf Stars
    Lightning Star (a male shadow werewolf), The Leader of their pack
    Thunder Crest (a male timber werewolf), Former human named Vale Knight
    Lunar Laser (a female Siberian werewolf), Russian doctor and healer for the team
    Frostika (a female arctic werewolf), Battlemage and sorcerer extraordinaire

    Known Allies:
    Jean Grey
    Sherlock Grey
    Peter Grey
    Weston Harte
    Savage Squirrel

    Charles Fox
    Danger Coyote
    Dashstriker "Dash"
    Caesar Kodiak
    Artie Vice
    Stan Goldwolf

    Known Villains:
    Baron Von Wolvenklaw
    Madame Umbra

    Chapter One: An Aspiring Actor.

    "Quiet on the set!" Artie Vice, the director, held a finger in the air for a moment and then he pointed at Thunder Crest. "Action!" And the camera started filming the scene.

    "You'd be better off just telling me what I want to know, hood," said the noble Wolf Star sternly to the stunt wolf in the hoodlum costume.

    "How about I just give you what's coming to you instead?!" And the stunt wolf threw a sudden punch into Thunder Crest's stomach.

    Realizing that blow wasn't in the script, both case workers appeared on his shoulders just as four Yuskay Elite Lawyers appeared directly in front of him which made the stunt wolf turn white and cringe since he knew who they were. "Violation of script casting," said one of the lawyers. Finik couldn't resist causing the camera to short circuit and destroy the film which had the scene in it. Quota simply shook her head. "Did you have to do that, Finik?" He just turned slowly to wink at her with a grin. "Do what?"

    "Cut! Fire extinguisher! Quick!"

    While Frostika made with the cold baking soda mixture, Thunder Crest was staring down Artie. "Tell me that you didn't change this script since last night. You know full well that if any monkey business occurs that I can legally walk off the set. Maybe your boss wants me to go next door to United Beast instead. Hmm?"

    Artie looked as scared as the stunt wolf. "I swear, Vale..." he whispered. "...I never touched the scripts until I picked up the copy just before coming on set just now. I'll even take a lie detection test by your lawyers to prove it. I swear."

    The noblest of the werewolf actors leaned in so close they were almost eye to eye. "The stunt wolf is not supposed to actually punch me in the stomach, Artie. It says in my script you gave me last night that he is supposed to punch me in the padding and then I perform a punch to the stomach reaction to make it look real. He socked me right in the weakest part of my stomach. It was deliberate, Artie. My lawyers know it and my case workers know it."

    "What case workers?"

    Thunder Crest just grinned as he remembered that no one could see them except his lawyers, his fellow Wolf Star friends, his high school lady friend, and his siblings. They were never seen by anyone else. "Just take my word for it, Artie. They see you but you don't see them. They know when you are sleeping; they know when you're awake..." He chuckled evilly, then he scowled at Artie once again as he pointed out the scene in his own script. "See? It says he punches me in the padding and I fake a reaction to it. Now open yours."

    Comparing the scripts, Artie's script showed the exact same thing as Vale's script. Then they were confronting the stunt wolf. "Let's see your script for this scene, stunt wolf? And if you don't have it, then you better fess up. Who told you not to punch the padding as it says in our scripts?"

    The stunt wolf was terrified, naturally. "Please... don't fire me, Artie... Ironpaws called me this morning and said you had authorized a change in the script and to punch Thunder Crest off center. And that's what I did. Please... that's the truth."

    Thunder Crest shot a look at Artie and then he nodded his head at his lawyers. "Let's go." And they started to walk off the set. Artie trembled, "Vale, please! Don't leave! You're the only one I trust for pulling off this role! I can't get anyone else in here to do this! Name your price! You know full well that I didn't change the script if Ironpaws called this stunt wolf! Please..." The last was on the verge of sobbing. Thunder Crest stopped and looked back at Artie. "My contract says that after a violation of the script that I get 24 hours off. We'll try the scene tomorrow."

    "Thunder Crest!" Ironpaws had just come down the executive stairs from his office but he stopped when he saw the Yuskay Elite Lawyers. "Um... you know as well as anyone that this episode has to be shipped out tonight. If you insist upon walking off the set, then we'll just have to cut your scene entirely out of the episode. And you get paid per scene and per episode. Not doing this scene will make your wages less than usual."

    "Money isn't everything, Ironpaws. Did you call the stunt wolf about the script change that Artie never authorized? And don't you dare lie; the stunt wolf has already said that you called him this morning about it. If you want me to do this scene, you better fess up. Or else I'll see your ass in court as I sue your studios for falsifying a script change."

    "Busted," remarked Finik as he read over the infernal stock market reports. "He can't hear you, Finik," said Quota as she finished scanning Vale's body to make sure he wasn't seriously injured from that unauthorized punch.

    Ironpaws folded his arms over his chest. "I got word late last night from one of those emergency telegram services that Artie was changing the script. When I got up this morning, I called the stunt wolf to let him know about the change. If Artie didn't authorize it, then I suspect those blackguards over at United Beast might have. They are all the time trying to destroy the best show we have in production. The Wolf Stars has the highest ratings in the industry, Thunder Crest. But it only stays that way with a team of four; two males and two females. All werewolves. And one of those werewolves has to be a..." he made a bleck face. "...goodie goodie like you. Besides... despite what happened, kid... the episode ships tonight. Reshoot the scene by the script. But please don't walk off the set on the last day of this episode's shooting. We're on a schedule."

    Before Thunder Crest could say anything, one of the lawyers stepped forward and displayed a copy of the original contract as he pointed out a clause Ironpaws himself agreed to. If a violation of script occurs during filming, the star has the right to leave the set and resume filming the following day after 24 hours has passed. He alternatively may choose to continue the scene at double the wages for the scene. Ironpaws winced as he read the words double the wages; he had apparently forgotten that he had agreed to that part of the contract. However...

    "Very well... double the wages for the scene for everyone if you PLEASE refilm this segment. Yes, I said everyone. Whoever set us up to get this Wolf Stars episode stalled is going to pay for this. I swear it. Anyway... what do you say, Vale?"

    End of Chapter One.
    "Brave, bold, and with a nose that's true..."

    ~~James "Aragh Darktalon" Ghaleon

    Chapter Two: We're Knights; It's What We Do.

    That night at the Knight Compound outside of Studio City, the Wolf Stars had all joined Thunder Crest for a home cooked meal. None of them wanted to be on call after that episode was finished.

    "Did he pay you, Vale?" asked Crystal with her all knowing grin.

    "Reluctantly," replied Vale with a chuckle. "He about came unglued when he remembered that he agreed to double the wages should a complication in the script occurred. Then he tried to pawn off the blame on United Beast Studios across the street."

    She giggled. "I can't do that for you twice or else he'll catch on." She winked.

    Thunder Crest growled so loudly that it almost knocked his case workers off of his shoulders. "YOU CALLED IRONPAWS ABOUT THAT SCRIPT CHANGE?! WHAT FOR?!"

    Crystal just smiled calmly. She had seen Vale upset over one of her stunts before. "Because I found out how much they want for that mansion estate on the peninsula. The only way you would be able to afford it would be if Ironpaws paid everyone double the wages after a script complication." And then she recited off the amount as she handed over the paperwork to her friend to read over. "See? It's a big price tag. But you did say you wanted the Wolf Stars to own their own estate and headquarters away from Studio City. Thanks to 'double the wages', you can afford the estate now."

    Vale slowly stood up and walked over to the door. "No, I can't. This is ill gotten wealth through trickery. I won't accept it; I have to return my half to Ironpaws and tell him the truth. I have a contract and lawyers for a reason, Crystal. I know you meant well, but that was underhanded. If I accepted this, then I'd be no better than Ironpaws. And I will never be like him. I'm a Knight; it's what we do. The right thing." He then walked out of the keep and sat down outside the walls of the compound and looked up at the night stars in the sky.

    Lightning Star, Lunar Laser, and Frostika followed him as they sat down around him. "If it means that much to you, Vale... we'll hand over our halves too," said Lightning Star. "Bye bye present for my boy..." He looked sad and Vale could understand why; Lightning Star's boy was in the hospital. "No, Starlight... you need that money for Tom Rivers. Just because I have to return mine... doesn't mean you should have to return yours." He gently patted Lightning Star on the shoulder with one hand.

    Frostika hummed. "Vale... let me buy the estate and then when you can, you can buy it from me." He shook his head. "I can't accept that offer, Frostika. It wouldn't be right. Besides, if you bought it, your lord would have to inspect it and then it wouldn't be sanitary for what I wanted to use it for." Frostika sighed. "I forgot about that part. Sorry. But what if I loaned you the money and let you pay me back? That estate is important to you or you wouldn't be making such a big fuss over it."

    Lunar Laser then said, "It just occurred to me that we haven't gotten to hear your origin story yet, Vale. We told ours but you haven't shared yours yet. Mind indulging us while we have time?"

    The Wolf Stars gathered around and the lights were dimmed with a single soft lunar blue light shining on Thunder Crest himself.

    "It all started back in Drodunk, Minnesota.

    "Home video of the Rampaging Wolf Beast - Take 4!" shouted the girl with the video camcorder. "Action! And get it right this time, Vale!"

    "I was a tall slender good looking human boy with light tan skin, blond hair, and aquamarine eyes. I was six feet tall and weighed 185 pounds. I normally wore blue jeans, white tennis shoes, and a red button up dress shirt adorned with the logo of my school. I also had wire framed eye glasses. I had the body of a apprentice gymnast and I was often seen carrying a book of some sort with me where ever I went. That day however, I was dressed up in a fur suit that I had custom made for me from a well known furry costume maker. It appeared to be that of a black furred shadow wolf, or that's what the maker had called it. And it was extremely well made. It fit me like a glove. I had been tempted to sleep in it a few times. It felt that good; very silky on the inside.

    "The dog trainer had the trained black retriever run across the parking lot and into motel room on the other side where I was suited up and ready for the cue to emerge. When I got the signal, I emerged from the motel room and then... all Hell broke loose! I had just barely ambled out into the parking lot and was beginning my similated howl, when suddenly a gout of fire and brimstone just barely missed me as it erupted from the parking lot pavement and a horrendous metallic hound monster with horns on its head materialized out of the flames and released what was perhaps the most wicked of howls ever heard on Drodunk Mountain. Needless to say, I could hear bodily functions from my friends from clear across the parking lot.

    "Keep that camera rolling, Krystal!" I shouted, as I reared back and punched the Hellish beast right in the solar plexus. It went without saying that the sudden pain in its stomach had not gone unnoticed and as the monster turned to the source of the strike, I power punched the creature in both eyes which sent the beast flailing backwards with its paws over its eye. And then I leaped forward and as I landed on the houndish monster's toes, I drove an uppercut directly into the scrotum of the beast! As the beast fell over in abject pain, two more creatures suddenly appeared on the scene. They were what appeared to be the sexiest hell hound ever seen and the most handsome moon dog ever to grace the Earth. And both were armored for battle. And they both arrived in time to see a human boy in a fur suit put their enemy on the ice, so to speak. "How in the...?" started the hell hound.

    "But before he could finish, the Hellish beast surprised me and sank his teeth directly into the my neck and shoulder. And that was when my life started it's strange falling journey into the most bizarre encounter that I could ever dream of. As I hit the pavement, bleeding profusely from the bite wound, all time seemed to stop around me lying in the also stopped pooling of my own blood.

    "What just happened?" I asked, realizing that everything just stopped around me. "I feel so hot inside..."

    "Hear that, Quota? He feels hot inside," said a nearby minuscule voice that stood on my left shoulder. The creature appeared to be a small 3 inch tall black mouse with small golden devil horns on his head and who had a barbed devil's tail that jutted outwards from the back of his three-piece all red business suit. Instead of holding a red pitchfork, he held a devilish pitchfork shaped PDA with wireless Interplanar High-Speed Infernet Access and a light pen accessory. On my opposite shoulder, a female pristine white small 3 inch tall mouse dressed as an angel with white feathered wings and a gossamer halo over her head appeared gently and replied, "At least this time you didn't cause this twist of fate, Finik. But worry not, young Vale. An act of god-"

    End of Chapter Two.
    "Brave, bold, and with a nose that's true..."

    ~~James "Aragh Darktalon" Ghaleon


      Chapter Three: Rising Thunder.

      "Nature!" interrupted Finik in an annoyed manner of voice. "I meant to say nature." She sighed. "I was trained the old way, Finik. Everyone makes mistakes." "Including the big guy upstairs?" "Who do you think came up with the idea of a male-only urinal?" "Touche, Quota. That was truly disgusting. But shouldn't you be continuing with the explanation now. We're on a time schedule, you know..." "Oh yes, the union. Coffee break will be coming up soon," she said with a smile at me while I bled. "An act of nature will heal your wounds and you will live through this encounter. But your life will be forever changed after that. And you can expect to see the two of us around later. We are your case workers and-" Finik's PDA started beeping. "Coffee break! Sorry kid, you're on your own for the next hour. Come on, Quota. I'll buy you some of that heavenly sugar cream you seem to like so much." And with that, the angel mouse (Quota) and the devil mouse (Finik) both vanished.

      "And suddenly time seemed to be moving again. But before I could groan in pain, the promised act of nature occurred as a twin lightning bolt arced down out of the sky and struck me on the spot. And in the next few instants, I found himself hovering in mid air in an upright position as my body glowed brightly and my form began to painfully transform. I could feel the hairs on the back of my neck prickling up as my body began its painful metamorphosis. My feet slowly changed into large wolf like foot paws. My legs then became digitigrade like a wolf which supported my still changing body. I felt my tail bone tingling as the tail of a wolf slowly snaked down from my tail bone. My genitalia also changed anatomically into their wolven counterparts. The changes continued up through my torso as I became more fit and buff than before as I grew in size slightly. The shifting continued throughout my arms as I developed muscles and a strength greater than I had previously had before. My hands became like a furry's wolven paw although my claws were very sharp. My head then seemed to slightly inflate abnormally as my ears shifted shifted to the top of my head and became that of a wolf. Then as my new thick fur began to cover my body, my face slowly began to push out into a defined wolven muzzle. My bloodied costume although tattered and torn from the battle, the lightning, and now the harsh transformation, somehow continued to cling to my hulking wolf man body. I then lifted my head toward the storming sky and released a very ominous howl that caused all nearby to cringe and freeze in their tracks. Including the metallic hound monster and the two planar anthropomorphic hounds who had been fighting him! Needless to say, the hellish monster probably learned that day that there will always be a beast far more powerful than he as he reflected upon his defeat in the bowels of the underworld. He definitely knew how Humpty Dumpty felt!

      "I on the other paw was currently undergoing one of the strangest examinations that I had ever had. Dr. Yakko Warner from Q.C. Planet and an anime assistant of his, one Dr. Tennyson, was examining me while my parents, my friend, and Cat Lord Albert Atticus stood nearby watching. "Are you sure Vale is going to be alright, Mr. Atticus?" asked my mother, Margaret. Lord Albert glanced over at my mother. "That is what we are trying to determine right now, Mrs. Knight. Normally, what occurred to your son would only happen on Q.C. Planet. This is the first time I've ever heard of this occurrence happening on Earth. Something major must be disrupting the planar energies to cause something like this to occur." My father, Terrence, asked, "Then Vale is a werewolf of some sort now? Isn't that dangerous?" "Apparently your son seems to be in control of his new power. But his normal life as a human boy is over with. He will need special care and cautious support in his new life. Because you're his parents, you will have the final say so in what happens to him with regards to his relocation and reeducation." Margaret arched an eye. "Relocation to where?" "To Q.C. Planet, of course," replied Lord Albert. "And before you complain, allow me to explain something to you folks... if your son stayed here, eventually, and you wouldn't know when or where, a werewolf hunter would appear who would have it in their head that your son was a threat to be dealt with in the only ways that a hunter knows how. And that would mean to kill him. And I know you two don't want that. So we have to get Vale someplace safe. And the only place safe that I know of is Q.C. Planet, where things like Vale's experience is normal." Terrence then asked, "And what of this reeducation process you mentioned?" "Because Vale is a werewolf now, he will need to learn things that only another werewolf can teach him. And I don't mean the classic hunt down a fresh victim and feast on their innards, either. Most enlightened werewolfs don't do that sort of thing anymore. They know that a sirloin steakhouse is going to have much cleaner food that is better for them. No, the things they would teach your son involves werewolf life, the use of his powers, and... how to resist the light of the full moon."

      "Just then, my older brother and sister approached and my brother said, "We would like to accompany Vale to where ever he is going to live on Q.C. Planet. We figure that he might need family support rather than just be isolated off by himself where ever you were thinking of sending him. And since we're both college aged, when the time comes, we can attend a college on Q.C. Planet and still be available for him." Margaret replied in a worried tone, "Are you both sure you want to do this?" My older brother replied back, "We're Knights; it's what we do."

      "Lord Albert must have loved my older brother's response for not long after he had the three knights (that's us) in a nice walled estate in a region of Q.C. Planet called Star Knight. Just outside of the region was the film makers mecca known as Studio City, where I am now. But again, I'm getting ahead of myself. The huge back yard was an enormous plus for my coming werewolf lessons. In a side yard was what appeared to be a tournament area for knights, although our having that name... we really couldn't see ourselves using it for that purpose. But since I changed species, I had learned that you cannot rule anything out. And my life was about to get weird again.

      "It had been nearly two days since my accident and my older siblings were helping me get my bedroom arranged when it happened. "I hate it when the authorities move our clients around, Quota," said a voice that I had only heard from before the accident. Turning my gaze to one side, on my shoulder was the aforementioned Finik dressed as he had been before. "Hello Vale. We told you you'd be seeing us again. We're your case workers after all." Sitting on his other shoulder was the white clad counterpart, Quota. "Yes, Finik. But we always find our clients regardless."

      "WHAT IS THAT?!" loudly exclaimed my older sister. My older brother held her back and commented, "Hold on... they appear to be consciouses. You know... the usual two spirits who argue over someone when assisting their subject in making either right or wrong decisions? Only... I always thought consciouses appeared to be miniature naked versions of the subject. These two look like mice."

      "Quota bowed with a smile. "I am Quota and this is Finik. We are Vale's case workers. Anyone who goes through near death trauma are assigned a pair of us. Our union does not allow nudity while on duty, so... what you see is what you get. And we consciouses are modernized. We don't handle the temptation spiel anymore. Our job is to assist our clients in organizing their lives after their near death experience." Finik added, as he checked his PDA, "And we get coffee breaks and days off like anyone else. And yes, we get both medical and dental, pre-paid. The pay checks are nice too. I happen to like the new PDA we're assigned. It really helps me keep track of things. Like the infernal stock market and the rumor network news." His PDA emitted a small 'ding' at that moment. "One moment..." And he started managing the incoming call.

      "My older sister said, "Well... in that case I guess it's okay. I was just surprised, that's all. My name is Lorraine and this is my brother Basil. We're Vale's older siblings. We volunteered to come along to give him the family support while he was here getting his werewolf training." Basil nodded his head. "Vale's friend Krystal will be along later once she completes high school in a few weeks. When she heard this estate was near Studio City on Q.C. Planet, she declared she would be joining us later."

      "Quota replied, "Pleased to make your acquaintance. However, from now on, if you see either of us on Vale's shoulders, try not to pay us much mind. We are here for Vale."

      "I grinned at my older siblings. "Don't pay them any mind; they said it themselves. I am glad you both came along, actually. This werewolf business is really weird. By the way... when is my werewolf instructor supposed to be arriving?" Basil replied, "According to Lord Albert, it will be tomorrow night. He claimed that your first lesson should be at night and I can guess why. Werewolves are supposedly stronger by night as opposed to their strength by day." I couldn't help but to grin after that. That would give me a whole day to prepare.

      End of Chapter Three.
      "Brave, bold, and with a nose that's true..."

      ~~James "Aragh Darktalon" Ghaleon