Friday, December 25, 2009

The Amazing Adventures of Ryan and Sawyer Christmas Special

Sawyer cast his fishing pole and leaned back to relax in his chair. He was fishing in the Gulf of Mexico with Ryan and Phil. They were on vacation during the Christmas break and decided to try their luck at fishing by Galveston, Texas. Since Phil had learned about Sawyer the past summer, Ryan was able to invite him to join them.

"What do you think you're getting for Christmas, Sawyer?" Phil asked

Sawyer patted on the steering wheel of the boat.

"Yeah, right." said Ryan

"What time are your other friends meeting us down here?" asked Phil

"Well, Mike and Brad will be here around 6 and Jacob and Michael live here so they can show up at anytime." said Ryan

"Two Mikes." said Sawyer "We should think of a nickname for one of them."

"I'm sure we can keep track of who's who." said Ryan

"We should have them try some 'Stuff'." said Phil

"Do you have any here?" asked Ryan

"Yup!" said Phil "Right here in the cooler."

"What's 'Stuff'?" asked Sawyer

Phil tossed him a jar and explained what it is and how it's made.

"You take an empty jar and fill it halfway with sugar, then top it off with Mountain Dew." said Phil

"It looks like mud." said Sawyer as he stirred the contents of the jar with a spoon.

"Nah, it tastes worse than mud." said Ryan "Try it."

Sawyer scooped up a spoon full of Stuff and put in his mouth. The sugar rush was intense as he tried to swallow the thick substance.

"Blah!" cried Sawyer as he spit it out and threw the jar into the water. "It's horrible!"

"Hey! Don't waste it!" cried Phil

Ryan laughed as Sawyer frantically drank a bottle of water.

Suddenly, the water around them began to bubble as they heard a low rumble beneath them.

"What's that noise?" said Phil

"Is it an earthquake?" said Ryan

Then, with an enormous splash, a ship burst from the water less than a hundred feet from them. They couldn't see movement on the ship. If there was anyone on board, they didn't appear to be alive. Then the door to the captain's quarters swung open and out stepped an undead pirate. Ryan gasped at the sight of the monster, causing it to look right at him. The pirate stared at him and squinted his eyes then ground his teeth in fury.

"You..." said the angry pirate

"You..." said Ryan, a bit freaked out.

"It's the two landlubbers and their beast!" cried the pirate as a full crew of undead pirates stormed out of the cabin and onto the deck of the ship.

"It's Black Beard!" cried Ryan "Sawyer, get us out of here!"

Sawyer gunned it towards shore as Phil took out a knife and cut the anchor just before they ran out of rope. The pirate ship lowered their sails and turned towards the fleeing boat. A single cannon at the bow of the ship rang out as a shot was fired.

"A fortune in treasure for the man that cuts them down!" cried the undead Black Beard

"And a keelhaulin for all ye that fail the Captain!" added the Boson

The water beside their boat exploded as Sawyer struggled to keep control.

"Where did he come from?" yelled Phil

"It must have been the Stuff!" said Ryan

"I had no idea it was that powerful!" said Phil

Ryan pulled out his phone and tried to reach his friends.

"Brad! Is that you?" asked Ryan

"Brad's busy right now." said a female voice

'Oh great...' thought Ryan

"Ma'am, could you please give him the phone? This is an emergency!" said Ryan

"Just a second..." said the girl, impatiently

Then Brad answered the phone.

"Hey man. Can't you tell I'm doing something right now?" said Brad

"I don't care!" said Ryan "I'm in a world of trouble here and need your help right now!"

Another cannon ball missed the boat and exploded nearby.

"What was that?" asked Brad

"That's the world of trouble I was telling you about!" exclaimed Ryan

"I'm on my way. I'll pick up Mike." said Brad as he hung up

Ryan got a hold of Jacob and Michael and asked them to assist as well. They all agreed to meet in downtown Houston and try to figure out a way to beat the pirates. Sawyer managed to put some distance between them and the pirate ship. He ran their boat onto the beech and the three friends sprinted to their truck and away from the ocean. Ryan drove them towards an abandoned building that they had all agreed to meet at. Once everyone was there, Ryan explained the situation.

"OK, first of all, we have two Mikes here so Michael, you're Jim until further notice." said Ryan

"Why do I have to be Jim?" asked Jim

"Cuz Mike is one year older than you." said Ryan

"Whatever." said Jim

"Now, a group of undead pirates chased me, Phil and Sawyer out of the ocean and I'm sure they'll follow us into the city." said Ryan

"Come on, Ryan." said Mike "You expect us to believe that garbage? Have you been watching too many movies?"

"It's true." said Phil

"Well then I'm sure it's all over the internet." said Mike as he pulled out his laptop and checked the news

"What the..." said Mike "TNN and Coyote News are both reporting that zombie pirates have stormed the city of Houston and are attacking the citizens."

"Zombie Pirates in Houston?" said Jacob "I knew I should have moved to Dallas when I had the chance!"

"They're saying that when the zombie pirates attack someone, they also become a zombie pirate." said Mike

"We need to stop them." said Ryan

"How?" asked Phil

"Brad, can you get us some weapons?" asked Ryan

"Sure, what do you need?" he asked

"I'll take a shotgun, get a sniper rifle for Phil, a M-16 for Mike and whatever you want." said Ryan

"I'm on it." said Brad as he left the building.

"What about me and Jacob?" asked Jim

"You guys are going undercover." said Ryan

"As undead pirates?" said Jacob

"Try to find a costume store and get zombie costumes and pirate costumes. Combine them and hope it works." said Ryan

Jim and Jacob looked at each other and shrugged. They left the building and made their way to find a costume store. Brad returned a short time later with a weapons cache.

"Where did you find these so fast?" asked Mike

"A S.W.A.T. van was abandoned down the road. I just helped myself." said Brad as he loaded his M-240

Ryan picked up the shotgun and smiled.

"I think I'm going to keep this." he said "Phil, take the sniper rifle and Sawyer to a tall building and keep an eye out for us."

"Where will you be?" asked Phil

"The news is reporting that the majority of the zombie pirate activity is happening around the Toyota Center." said Ryan "Find a spot there."

"Got it." said Phil "Let's go, Sawyer."

Phil and Sawyer took Ryan's truck and drove towards the Toyota Center. Ryan, Mike and Brad finished loading their weapons and left the building as well. Ryan had given everyone radios and headsets to communicate with.

"Watch Dog?" said Ryan "Do you read me?"

"We hear you, Slapshot." said Phil "We're in position."

"Do you see anything yet?" asked Ryan

"See anything, Sawyer?" asked Phil

Sawyer shook his head as he slowly scanned the streets below them with a spotting scope.

"Nothing." said Phil

"OK. We're on our way to you." said Ryan

"Team West Texas." said Ryan "Did you guys find disguises?"

"Yes." said Jim "Why are we Team West Texas?"

"Because Team Jacob was taken." said Jacob with a laugh

"OK, Team West Texas. Try to find Black Beard." said Ryan "As soon as you find out where he is, get out of there."

"No problem." said Jacob

Ryan, Mike and Brad made their way down the streets of Houston, listening and watching for signs of the zombie pirates. The city was almost completely silent except for the sound of Brad lighting a cigarette. Then Mike heard something.

"Behind us!" said Mike

All three turned around and saw hundreds of zombies and zombie pirates coming towards them.

"In front of us!" said Ryan

Hundreds more suddenly appeared down the road they had been traveling on.

"Push forward!" cried Brad with his cigarette bouncing in his lips as he opened up his M-240 on the zombie mob

The group steadily moved forward as they fired their weapons, constantly keeping an eye out behind them. The Zombies were closing in on them as they fought their way to the Toyota Center.

"Team West Texas!" yelled Ryan over the sound of gunfire. "Have you found Black Beard?"

"Aaaarrr, we have not." said Jacob "But we be in with the crew. We'll have him nailed down in no time a' tall."

"Hurry up!" said Ryan "Watch Dog! Can you see us?"

"We see you." said Phil

"Any help you could give would be great!" said Ryan

"You got it." said Phil

He fired shot after shot into the crowd of zombies and took out as many as he could.

"Avast this suicide mission, lads!" said one of the pirates "There be a sharp shootin bilge rat in that building! Turn ye vengeance on him!"

The zombie crowd turned towards Phil and Sawyer's position and began running towards it.

"You're about to have company, Watch Dog!" said Ryan

"We see it!" said Phil as he continued to fire "Just find Black Beard!"

Sawyer took his AK-47 and waited behind Phil for the zombies to rush through the door.

* * * * *

"Aaaarrr, we be growin weary of this dry land!" said Jacob to a random zombie pirate "Where be Black Beard?"

"Who be ye to ask this of me?" said the pirate

"I be... Cutlass Jake! And this be... Head Shot Jim!... Aaaarrr!" said Jacob

"Why is he called Head Shot Jim?" asked the pirate

"If ye don't tell us where we can find the captain, we just might have to show ye." said Jim "Arrr."

The pirate hesitated for a moment, then told them.

"The capt'n be plottin our next move within the buildin with the frozen floor." said the pirate "But if I be ye, I'd not bother 'im. He ain't in the mood for talk since he found a mirror."

Jacob and Jim started to walk away as Jim called Ryan.

"Slapshot, we have Black Beard's location." said Jim "He's in the Toyota Center."

"Got it, good job." said Ryan "Now get out of there."

"We're on our way now." said Jim

Suddenly, one of the pirates called back to them.

"You two! Stop!" said the pirate

"Aarrr, what be ye wantin with me and he?" said Jacob

"Ye be Cutlass Jake and Head Shot Jim?" said the pirate

"Arr." said Jim

"Lies!" said the pirate "These two here be Cutlass Jake and Head Shot Jim!" said the pirate, pointing at two other zombie pirates.

"What were the odds?" said Jacob as they turned to run away.

"Slapshot, they're on to us!" said Jim into the radio

"Try to get to safety. We'll find Black Beard and try to end this!" said Ryan

* * * * *

Sawyer flexed his paws as he waited with his gun pointed at the door to their position. Suddenly, a zombie pirate peaked inside. Sawyer fired a single shot at him and took him out. Phil glanced over his shoulder and saw that the zombie pirates had arrived.

"They're here, Slapshot." said Phil "Have you found Black Beard?"

"We're in the Toyota Center." said Ryan "Try to hold them off."

Where would he be?" said Mike "This place is huge!"

"If you were a pirate who had been dead for hundreds of years, where would you go?" asked Brad

"The bar." said Mike

"Let's check out all the alcohol vendors in this place. He's probably there." said Ryan

* * * * *

Jacob and Jim ran frantically across the street and into an apartment complex.

"Let's hide in here!" said Jim

He and Jacob found a vacant apartment and closed the door behind them.

"I think we lost them." said Jacob as he leaned on the door trying to catch his breath.

Then, without warning, a shot was fired through the door, just missing Jacob's head. He peaked through the hole and saw the eye of a grinning zombie pirate.

"Guess not!" said Jacob as he and Jim ran to the window and out the fire escape.

"They're chasing us!" said Jim into the radio "What's the hold up!?"

"We're close." said Mike "Hang in there, Team West Texas."

"Let's split up." said Ryan "Brad, take the north wing, Mike, check the east wing. I'll check south, then swing west."

* * * * *

Sawyer fired at another group of zombie pirates as they tried to enter the room. He threw and empty mag towards Phil to get his attention. Phil looked back at Sawyer as he reloaded his gun and signaled that he was loading his last mag. Phil slung the sniper rifle over his back and tied a rope to a beam inside the room.

"We're leaving, Sawyer!" said Phil

Sawyer held on to Phil as he lowered himself down the side of the building. The next room down was crawling with zombie pirates, so Phil swung to the side and checked another room. This one was clear, so he broke the window and got inside with Sawyer. Phil setup the sniper rifle and Sawyer barricaded the door shut as best he could.

"Slapshot, we had to move." said Phil

"Can you still see the Toyota Center?" said Ryan

"We're still able to see the western wing of the building." said Phil

"I'm headed there now." said Ryan "Brad, Mike... see anything?"

"A few drunk zombie pirates, but no Black Beard." said Mike

"Nothing on the east wing." said Brad

"South was clear too." said Ryan "Meet me on the west side."

Ryan checked a few rooms on the west wing of the arena, but found nothing. He walked into an office that overlook the street below and looked out the window.

"Seems to be clear." said Ryan "You sure they said he was here, Team West Texas?"

"Positive!" said Jacob "I'm also sure that there are about 50 of them chasing us and getting closer! Hurry up!"

Just then, Ryan noticed an empty rum bottle. Then the door slammed shut behind him and he spun to see Black Beard hiding behind three zombie pirates.

"We meet again, landlubber." said Black Beard "And I don't see your freak dog to save you this time."

"Why don't you step out from behind your meat shields." said Ryan

"Yer in no position to give orders." said the captain

"Let me cut 'im in two, Cap'n." said one of the zombie pirates "I'll give you his head as a---."

Ryan blew the zombie pirates head off.

"Anyone else feel like cutting me in two?" he said

The other two hesitated.

"Ye be killed by him or me." said Black Beard to the remaining two zombie pirates

The last two looked at each other then charged Ryan. He fired quickly, killing one as the other ran to his side. Ryan aimed at Black Beard but he had ducked behind a chair. Ryan kicked over a desk and called to Mike and Brad.

"I found him!" said Ryan "Hurry up and get over here!"

"We're trying!" said Brad "We ran into a bunch of zombie pirates ourselves!"

Ryan could hear gunfire over the radio. He peaked over the desk and ducked back down as a shot was fired at him. He saw a long TV cable and tied one end to the desk and the other end around his waste. If he had to make a quick exit, he'd jump and hope for the best. Suddenly, Ryan heard footsteps running towards him. He pointed his shotgun past the side of the desk and waited until the last moment and fired. The last zombie pirate fell forward and cried out in pain. Ryan broke the window overlooking the street with the butt of his gun. He dragged the pirate over to it and pushed him out. The pirate held onto the ledge with all his might.

"Watchdog." said Ryan "You see the zombie pirate hanging from the window?"

Phil and Sawyer searched the side of the building until they found him."

"Yeah, I see him." said Phil

"That's the room I'm in." said Ryan

"Got it." said Phil

Ryan slammed his shotgun onto the zombie pirates hands like a hammer. Phil and Sawyer watched as he dropped, then heard zombie pirates outside banging on the door.

"There must be a lot of them!" said Phil "They're breaking the door down!"

Phil ran to the door and wedged a board under the door nob.

"Watch the room Ryan is in!" said Phil "I'll try to hold them off here."

Sawyer nodded and watched the room through the scope of the sniper rifle.

Ryan checked his shotgun. He was out of ammo. He picked up a sword and called out to Black Beard.

"Why are you hiding?" said Ryan "I've never used a sword in my life. I'm no match for you."

Black Beard emerged from behind the chair he had been hiding behind and drew his sword.

"Hard to believe you could get uglier than the first time I saw you." said Ryan

"When I be done with you and your filthy dog, you'll be wishin you looked like me." Black Beard growled back

Ryan backed all the way up to the window where the zombie pirate had fallen. Black Beard inched closer with his sword drawn. No way Ryan could beat him in a sword fight, so he thought of a plan as fast as he could.

"Mind if I say a few last words?" said Ryan

"Make it quick." said Black Beard "You have about 20 seconds before I reach ye and cut ye down.

Ryan pressed the talk button on his radio.

"I would like to say good bye to this world..." said Ryan as Black Beard got closer

"We're about to say good bye ourselves!" said Jim as he and Jacob huddled in a corner surrounded by drooling zombie pirates.

"My back is to the wall and I am about to fall..." said Ryan

"Poetic." sneered Black Beard

"Hurry up, Ryan!" said Brad "We're low on ammo!"

"When I fall I pray that if anyone is watching over me, please slay this monster..." said Ryan

Sawyer's ears perked up as he listened through the radio.

"I can't hold them off much longer, Sawyer!" cried Phil as he tried to hold the door shut.

"Anything else?" said Black Beard as he stood face to face with Ryan and raised his sword above his head.

"Just... bye!" said Ryan

Ryan threw himself backwards and out the window. He grabbed the cabled and held on for dear life just as it tightened. Shocked, Black Beard approached the window and looked down.

"Yer daring escape seems to have failed, landlubber!" he laughed

Black Beard raised his sword up to cut the cable.

"Take the shot!" Ryan yelled into the radio.

Sawyer held his breath and squeezed the trigger. The butt of the sniper rifle recoiled into Sawyer's shoulder. Ryan swung to the side as Black Beard's lifeless corpse fell past him.

* * * * *

Brad and Mike were back to back, firing frantically.

"I'm out!" said Brad

"Me too!" said Mike

They dropped their weapons and prepared themselves to fight hand to hand when all of the zombie pirates fell over, dead. All the zombies they had turned fell to their knees and started to change back to normal.

* * * * *

Jacob and Jim held each other as the zombie pirates closed in.

"I love you, man!" said Jacob

"I love you, too, dude!" said Jim

Suddenly the zombie pirates fell over dead. Jacob and Jim quickly let go of each other.

"Sooo... This never happened?" said Jim

"I don't even know what you're talking about?" said Jacob

"Good." said Jim

* * * * *

Everyone met back up and congratulated each other.

"Good job, everyone." said Ryan "And thanks for coming. Couldn't have done this without every last one of you."

"What time is it?" asked Phil

"10:45." said Jim

"Well, it's still the 25th so Merry Christmas, guys." said Phil

"Did you get Annie anything?" said Jacob

"Starbucks gift certificate." said Ryan "And a coupon for a free night of Ryan Lovin."

"She still hasn't used the one I gave her." said Brad

"Shut up, Brad." Ryan laughed

"You think Black Beard is dead for good now?" said Mike

"I don't really care right now." said Ryan "Merry Christmas!"

* * * * *

And Merry Christmas to my readers.

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Return of General Evil, part 2

The robot that had captured Sawyer landed behind a large abandoned building and carried Sawyer inside. Sawyer struggled to free himself, but the robot was too powerful. General Evil was waiting inside.

"I have the beast, General." said the robot

"Very good, Sergeant." said General Evil "How was the flight over?" He mockingly asked Sawyer who growled in response.

"I know that you understand what I am saying, but I can't understand you." said the General "Not a problem. I prefer to do the talking around here anyways."

Sawyer made a rude gesture with his paws.

'You understood that, didn't you?' he thought to himself

"Disobedient." said General Evil "But that will change."

"Bring him with us, Sergeant. Let's show this beast his new home."

Sawyer glanced around the abandoned building as he was carried around by the robot. General Evil explained what the various floors and rooms were for as they went. It appeared to be an old abandoned train station. The first room Sawyer saw was very large and filled with robots, all standing in formation. Just like the ones he and Ryan had destroyed in Romoskovia. The next room was just as big, but instead of completed robots, an assembly line was making more.

"You and your pathetic friend made such a mess of my last army, I was forced to make more." explained General Evil "Not to worry, though. You'll make it up to me soon enough."

Finally, General Evil showed Sawyer a smaller room with just one robot being put together. Sawyer was surprised to see this robot's features. It wasn't like the others...

"This is why you are here, beast." said the General "I will have many more of these built later and you will command them."

Sawyer felt uneasy. He could never command a robot army to destroy innocent people, but General Evil seemed sure that he would, anyways. Then the General took a metal collar from out of his pocket.

"I want to give you this collar, beast, as a way to... convince you to cooperate." said General Evil as he approached Sawyer

Sawyer struggled as hard as he could to free himself, but it was no use. The robot held him down even tighter as the General put the collar around his neck. Then, the robot released him. Sawyer made his move. He ran away as fast as he could, glancing back to see if he was being chased. To his surprise, General Evil was laughing. Suddenly, he slowed down and stopped. Sawyer tried to keep going, but his body wouldn't listen.

"What has he done?" thought Sawyer

Then Sawyer's mind started to cloud over. He couldn't even think for himself.

"Come here, beast." said General Evil

Sawyer turned and walked back to the General, then sat beside him. General Evil showed Sawyer a picture of Ryan and Annie.

"These are your enemies, beast. You will hate them." said the General

Sawyer looked at the picture and tried to fight it. How could he hate Ryan and Annie? All those good times, they had... then Sawyer growled at the picture. He felt uncontrollable rage as he grabbed the picture with his mouth and shredded it. If he ever saw Ryan again, he would destroy him upon command of his new master, General Evil.

* * * * *

Ryan loaded his shotgun and Sawyer's rifle into the back of their Malibu. The car wasn't finished yet, but it ran great. It just needed a coat of paint, but they hadn't decided what color to paint it. Ryan climbed in and started the engine, then pressed a button to reverse the car. He and Sawyer had decided to take out the steering wheel and pedals and replace them with a video game controller, so Sawyer could drive if needed. According to Barney's instructions, Sawyer was being held at Michigan Central Station in Detroit. It was an old abandoned train station; the perfect hideout for General Evil.

After a few hours of driving, Ryan arrived at the abandoned building. It was eerily quiet around the old train station. Ryan knelt down next to the fence that surrounded the building and began cutting a hole big enough to fit through. After cutting the hole, he carefully made his way to the entrance of the building and inside. He kept close to the walls, trying to stay in the shadows. Debris littered the floor, making it difficult to walk quietly. Ryan walked down a long hallway and slowly opened the first door he found. Inside, he found many of General Evil's robots all lined up in formation. He closed the door, then made his way to the next. Behind that door was an assembly line, making more robots. Ryan closed the door and continued down the hall. The next door he opened revealed a smaller room with only an empty table in the middle. Then Ryan saw Sawyer's collar on the ground. He picked it up and put it in his pack, then continued down the hall. At the end of the hall, was an open area with pillars holding up the ceiling. Just as Ryan stepped inside, a door slammed behind him, locking him in! Then General Evil revealed himself. He was standing behind a ticket counter, holding a microphone.

"So glad you came, Ryan." said General Evil "You saved me a trip to your pathetic home."

"Where's Sawyer?" Ryan demanded

"He's with me." said the General "And I don't believe he is interested in being rescued."

Sawyer stood up from behind the counter. As soon as he saw Ryan, he growled and barked, trying to claw through the glass to get after him.

"Sawyer? It's me..." said Ryan, confused by Sawyer's hostility "What did you do to him!?" asked Ryan

"I told you, he is not interested in being rescued." said General Evil "But since you are here, perhaps you would like to meet my... other pet?"

A door across the room opened slowly, then out stepped a robot dog. It looked like Sawyer, but was made of dark metal. The Mecha-Sawyer stood on it's back legs and waited.

"Meet my newest creation!" said General Evil "I call him, MAX. Multi-Arms Exterminator. He is the first of many, and your beast will command them for me."

"He'll never command an army for you!" said Ryan

"He will, but you won't live to see it." said General Evil "MAX, kill the intruder."

MAX's eyes glowed red as it activated. It found Ryan and aimed it's front paws at him. His paws dropped down, revealing machine gun muzzles. Ryan ran for cover just as MAX fired at him. He hid behind a pillar and checked to see that his shotgun was loaded. Seeing it was, he side stepped the pillar and hit MAX with a round of buckshot. The bullets hit their target, but had no affect as they bounced off.

"You can't stop him, fool!" General Evil laughed

"Sawyer! Help me!" said Ryan

Sawyer continued to watch the battle as Ryan dove back behind the pillar. MAX approached the pillar and opened it's mouth. Ryan peeked around the pillar and saw a small flame inside MAX's mouth. Suddenly, a huge flame surged out of MAX's mouth, hitting the pillar. Ryan could feel the heat increasing around him as the flame thrower in MAX's mouth burned the pillar. Ryan picked up a brick from the floor and threw it to the side. MAX saw the brick, stopped the flame and fired his guns at it. Ryan used this chance to run to another pillar, arriving just as MAX realized his error and fired at Ryan. Ryan fired at MAX a second time and again the bullets did nothing.

"This isn't going to work." thought Ryan "Maybe if I could get a shot inside it's mouth, but I can't get close enough without it shooting the flamethrower."

MAX fired the flamethrower at the pillar again. As soon as MAX stopped, Ryan charged. He got behind the robot dog before it could turn around, wrapped an arm around it's neck and held it's mouth shut with his free hand. MAX struggled to open it's mouth and point it's guns at Ryan, but he couldn't reach behind. Ryan couldn't let go or else MAX would fire his flamethrower and burn Ryan's arm.

"Give up, fool!" said General Evil "You can't win!"

"Sawyer!" said Ryan "I'm sorry I made you leave!"

Sawyer listened, but did not respond. Deep in his mind, he struggled for control, but the collar prevented his free will.

"Help me, Sawyer!" said Ryan "We'll watch hockey again! We'll order pizza!"

Sawyer shook his head slightly, as he almost gained control, but the collar overpowered him.

'I can't believe I'm going to do this...' thought Ryan

"Remember your favorite song?" said Ryan "Friday night and the lights are low. Looking out for the place to go..."

Sawyer remembered that song. He used to sing it all the time when he was alone. He first heard it on TV during a commercial for greatest hits from the 70's, but who was this guy singing it?

"Anybody could be that guy!" Ryan sang as he struggled with MAX "Night is young and the music's high!"

'That's Ryan.' thought Sawyer 'He's singing my favorite song. He hates that song, why is he singing it?'

Sawyer was starting to overcome the collar as Ryan continued.

"You are the dancing queen, young and sweet, only seventeen!" Ryan sang

'Why is Ryan fighting with that robot dog and... why am I standing next to General Evil?' thought Sawyer

Then he remembered everything. He stepped behind General Evil and removed the collar as the General cheered for MAX. General Evil glanced back just as Sawyer broke the metal collar over the General's head, knocking him out. Sawyer hurried out of the ticket booth to help Ryan.

"See that girl, watch that scene, dig in the dancing queen!" said Ryan as he saw Sawyer charging "Finally! Either kill me or help me! I don't care anymore!"

Sawyer grabbed Ryan's shotgun and pointed it at MAX's face.

"Open it's mouth!" said Sawyer

Ryan let up on his grip as MAX opened his mouth. Before it could react, Sawyer shoved the barrel of the shotgun into MAX's mouth and fired, knocking MAX and Ryan back. MAX's eyes flashed, then went out.

"Sawyer, you're back!" said Ryan as he climbed to his feet.

"I'm sorry, it was the collar." said Sawyer "Nice singing though..."

"You had better not tell anyone!" said Ryan

"General Evil is in the ticket booth!" said Sawyer "Let's get him!"

Ryan and Sawyer ran into the ticket booth, but General Evil was gone.

"He got away!" said Sawyer "We'll never catch him in the truck."

"I didn't bring the truck." said Ryan "Let's go! We still have a chance."

They ran outside and jumped in the car.

"I'm driving!" said Sawyer

"There he is!" said Ryan as he pointed at General Evil who was climbing into a jeep.

Sawyer mashed the gas button and steered the car towards the jeep. Ryan reloaded his shotgun and leaned out the car window as Sawyer closed in on General Evil.

"Hit him!" said Ryan

Sawyer rammed the jeep and revved the powerful engine. General Evil looked back in surprise as Ryan fired his shotgun, shattering the back window.

"Get me along side him!" said Ryan

Sawyer increased the speed and got Ryan next to the jeep. General Evil swerved towards them, causing Ryan to duck inside the car. General Evil hit them, but Sawyer kept control of the car.

"Finish that prick off!" said Sawyer

Ryan leaned out and fired a round into two of the General's tires. General Evil struggled to control his vehicle.

"Hit him again!" said Ryan

Sawyer turned hard and hit the General's jeep, causing it to flip over and roll down the highway. Sawyer stopped the car.

"Is he dead?" asked Sawyer

"I don't know." said Ryan "He's hurt, that's for sure."

Just then, one of General Evil's flying robots landed next to the jeep, ripped the door off, grabbed the General and flew away.

"Dang it." said Sawyer "I don't suppose this car can fly?"

Ryan shook his head.

"Let's go home, Sawyer" said Ryan

* * * * *

That night, Ryan, Annie and Sawyer went to Starbucks and relaxed on the patio seating.

"So the car runs good, then?" asked Annie

"Yeah, it's really fast." said Ryan "Not too good on gas, but really fast."

"What color are you going to paint it?" asked Annie

"I think we're going to leave it as it is for now." said Ryan

"Primer?" said Annie

"I've seen worse." said Ryan

Annie stood up to get a refill as Sawyer leaned over to talk to Ryan.

"Do you think General Evil will come back again?" Sawyer asked

"Yup. I'm sure of it." said Ryan "But I'm also sure that when he finds us, he'll have one heck of a fight on his hands."

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Return of General Evil, part 1

Flames flared up as Ryan flipped a patty on the grill. He was grilling at a local park with Annie and Sawyer. Annie threw a ball as Sawyer sprinted after it like a black bolt of lightning.

"Almost done over here." said Ryan

Annie got a plate for herself, as Ryan put a couple patties on a plate and placed them on the ground for Sawyer.

"Sure is a great day." said Annie "I can't imagine how it could end badly."

Just then, there was a rumbling sound in the distance, as if a jet were approaching. Sawyer's ears perked up as he and his owners looked up at the sky. It wasn't a jet making the noise...

"Run!" yelled Ryan as a robot flew over them, firing machine guns.

The robot landed and chased them as they ran for their truck.

"Let's split up!" yelled Sawyer

Sawyer made a sharp turn as Ryan and Annie kept running for their truck. The robot stopped firing and chased after Sawyer. Ryan and Annie jumped in the truck and drove after Sawyer.

"Load this!" said Ryan as he handed his shotgun to Annie

Sawyer looked back at the robot who was closing in fast. The robot reached for Sawyer's tail and was about to grab him, but it was hit by Ryan's truck. The robot rolled into a heap and stopped moving. Ryan and Sawyer cautiously approached the robot.

"Be careful." said Sawyer "It could still be operational."

Suddenly, the robot powered back on and swiped at Sawyer! It was too damaged, however, and could only move it's one arm.

"Who sent you?" asked Ryan

"The General will have the beast." said the robot

"What General? General Evil? What does he want with Sawyer?" Ryan demanded

"He will have the beast. Others will come in my place." said the robot

Ryan shot the robot with his shotgun, destroying it.

"Let's go home." said Annie

"Yeah, let's go, Sawyer." said Ryan

Ryan did a lot of thinking as they left the park and drove home. The robot had said that more would come until they had Sawyer. He remembered seeing how huge General Evil's army was and could only imagine how far he would go to get his pet. As long as there were robot's coming after Sawyer, Annie was in danger. He was going to have to make a painful choice.

* * * * *

When they got home, Annie went inside, while Ryan took Sawyer for a walk.

"Why so quiet, Ryan?" asked Sawyer as they walked "Robot shook you up pretty bad, huh?"

"Yeah..." said Ryan

"Is there something wrong?" asked Sawyer

"Sawyer..." said Ryan "I'm sorry, but you can't come back home."

"Huh? Why not!?" asked Sawyer in shock

"It's too dangerous." said Ryan "General Evil isn't going to leave us alone until he has you and I can't risk Annie getting hurt."

Sawyer lowered his head. He knew that Ryan was right.

"But..." said Sawyer "We beat him before. We can do it again."

"We got lucky, Sawyer, and you know it." said Ryan

"Please, Ryan!" begged Sawyer "I don't have anywhere else to go! We're best friends!"

"I'm sorry." said Ryan, fighting back tears "I have to go."

Ryan turned and walked away. Sawyer watched, hoping Ryan would turn around and let him come home, but he never did. A cold wind blew as Ryan disappeared from sight. Sawyer suddenly felt alone as he turned and walked down the sidewalk. He glanced at a house as he walked and saw another dog and it's owner watching TV. Sawyer thought back to when he and Ryan used to watch hockey together. He remembered how happy they were when their team won the championship. How they celebrated by ordering pizza. Those days were gone, and so was his best friend.

* * * * *

Ryan walked back home, trying not to think about Sawyer. Then he saw a sign posted on a light post, advertising free puppies. He recalled the day he met Sawyer. Sawyer was one of the last puppies in his litter who didn't have a home and Ryan couldn't understand why. There was this little black puppy trying to look up at him. He remembered seeing something in the puppy's eyes that convinced him to pick Sawyer.

Annie greeted Ryan at the door when he got home.

"Where's Sawyer?" asked Annie

"He's gone." said Ryan

* * * * *

Sawyer sniffed a pile of garbage behind a pizza shop. He pawed at it until he found half a slice of pizza. Sawyer sighed heavily as he chewed the stale pizza, then stopped suddenly as he heard the same noise he had heard earlier. It was another robot.

The robot landed in front of Sawyer and aimed a weapon at him. Sawyer growled as he prepared to attack, but was too slow. The robot fired a tranquilizer dart that struck Sawyer and soon knocked him out. The robot picked him up and flew away.

* * * * *

That night, Ryan struggled to sleep. When he finally did fall asleep, he was met with sad dreams about Sawyer. He saw Sawyer being captured by General Evil and forced to serve him. He saw Sawyer being experimented on. He saw him locked in a small cage with little food or water. Then the dream about Sawyer stopped and Ryan saw another dog that he had not seen in years. It was a large dog, though not as big as Sawyer. Tan and white colored fur.

"Barney?" said Ryan "Is that you?"

Barney was a stray that Ryan had met while he was overseas with the Army. Everyone in Ryan's unit adopted Barney and took care of him. In return, Barney watched out for Ryan and his friends.

"Hello, Ryan." said Barney "It's nice to see you again."

"You can talk, too?" said Ryan

"It's a dream." said Barney "Anything can happen."

"I heard that you were..." Ryan's voice trailed off

"I'm here to tell you that you made a mistake." said Barney "You should not have left Sawyer."

"But, Barney..." said Ryan "I was worried about Annie. General Evil was going to keep attacking us until he had Sawyer."

"And he will continue to attack you." said Barney "You and Sawyer stopped his invasion of Romoskovia, costing him millions of dollars and ruining his reputation."

"But if he had Sawyer, he wouldn't need to keep attacking." said Ryan

"His name is not 'General Evil' for nothing." said Barney

"You're right!" said Ryan "I need to get Sawyer back before General Evil finds him."

"It's too late." said Barney

"Why?" asked Ryan

"Sawyer has been captured." said Barney "The dreams you had about Sawyer were real. I can tell you where he is, but that's the only help I can give you."

Barney told Ryan where General Evil's hideout was located, then started to disappear.

"Barney, wait!" said Ryan

"Yes?" asked Barney

"I'm sorry we left you behind." said Ryan

Barney smiled, then vanished, causing Ryan to wake up. There was a note by his clock.

'Leave the rubber bullets at home.'

To be continued...

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Keeping up with the Jones'

Annie poured herself a cup of coffee as Ryan tried to decide between Crunch Berries and Frosted Flakes. Sawyer ignored them both as he stared out their backyard window.

"Is Sawyer doing alright?" asked Annie

"I'm not sure." said Ryan "Why do you ask?"

"Well, he's been spending a lot of time looking out that window." said Annie "Normally, he'd be in the kitchen with us, waiting for his breakfast."

Ryan shrugged. Annie grabbed her books and headed out the door. Ryan brought his bowl of cereal with him as he approached Sawyer.

"What's up, dog?" said Ryan

"Nothing. Just hanging out." said Sawyer without turning his gaze away from the window.

"What is it you're looking at?" asked Ryan

"Oh, nothing." said Sawyer "Like I said, Just hanging--"

Sawyer stopped talking and wagged his tail as the neighbor's poodle pranced out their back door.

"Ah, I see what it is you've been staring at." said Ryan

Sawyer sighed happily as the girl of his dreams exercised. His smile quickly faded as he came back to reality.

"Her name is 'Buffy'." said Sawyer "And she's totally out of my league."

"Why?" asked Ryan

"She does shows and she was on the cover of 'Dog Fancy' three times." said Sawyer "And look at her! She's gorgeous!" exclaimed Sawyer

"Well, you're a good looking dog, too." said Ryan "Strong, athletic..."

"That's true..." said Sawyer

"Let's go outside and throw a football or something." said Ryan "Let her see Sawyer in action."

"OK!" said Sawyer

* * * * *

"Go long!" yelled Ryan

Ryan threw the football as hard as he could as Sawyer sprinted after it. He leaped into the air and caught the ball, then looked over at Buffy and saw that she was watching. Sawyer kept staring at Buffy as he ran with the ball in his mouth... and ran right into a bush. Sawyer quickly picked himself up and looked over at Buffy, who put her nose in the air and trotted back inside her house. Sawyer was humiliated as he walked back inside with his head down.

"She thinks I'm a loser!" cried Sawyer

"No she doesn't!" said Ryan "That was an awesome catch!"

"Shut up!" snapped Sawyer "It was your idea to play catch. Did you see the way she looked at me?"

"It wasn't that bad." said Ryan "Maybe we could--"

"No!" said Sawyer "No more advice from you!"

Sawyer went to his room and slammed the door shut. He picked up his MP3 player and sat on his bed, looking at pictures of Buffy on Dog Fancy. A short while later, Sawyer heard sirens approaching. He left his room and found Ryan just as he was headed out the front door.

"Is that the police?" asked Sawyer

"Yeah, they stopped at the Jones' house." said Ryan

"That's Buffy's house!" said Sawyer

* * * * *

"Oh, it's just terrible!" said Mr. Jones "My Buffy has been kidnapped!"

"Calm down, Mr. Jones." said Officer Culver "We'll get to the bottom of this. Did you see or hear anything?"

"All I heard was her cry for mercy as the two thugs showed up and took her!" cried Mr. Jones "I ran outside just in time to see their van drive away."

"Can you give us a description of the vehicle?" asked Officer Culver

"It was white. No windows. I didn't see a license plate." said Mr. Jones

Sawyer was making mental notes as Officer Culver wrote everything down. Ryan could tell what Sawyer was thinking.

"It's too dangerous." said Ryan, under his breath.

"Then stay home." Sawyer whispered back.

Ryan thought for a minute. He couldn't let Sawyer go alone and there was no way he could stop him.

"What's your plan?" asked Ryan

* * * * *

Sawyer sat at the computer and logged onto the internet.

"Why can't the cops take care of this?" asked Ryan "They have access to more databases than we do."

"Of course they do." said Sawyer as he typed "But they won't spend resources on finding a dog."

"So where do we begin?" asked Ryan

"The large white van." said Sawyer "According to this site, there are 37 white cargo vans registered in this county. Now we'll narrow it down to vans with no windows. 12."

"So we have to search all of those 12?" asked Ryan

"Nope." said Sawyer "Now we take the owners of the vans and check for criminal records."

Ryan and Sawyer watched as the computer checked each profile against the criminal records database. Then they got a hit.

"Here we go." said Sawyer "Guy named Mike Samsonite. Breaking and entering, robbery, kidnapping..."

"That would be a good place to start." said Ryan

Sawyer wrote down Samsonite's address, then he and Ryan put their weapons in their truck and headed out. Once they arrived, Ryan parked the truck a block away from Samsonite's house. Using a satellite image, Ryan found an alley they could follow all the way to the criminal's house. After agreeing on a plan of attack, Ryan and Sawyer bumped fist-to-paw, then left the truck.

"Hold on." said Sawyer "I forgot something."

Sawyer pulled a stocking from out of his pack and put it over his face.

"Sawyer..." said Ryan "What are you doing with that thing on your head?"

"I don't want them to see our faces." said Sawyer as he handed a second stocking to Ryan.

"Yeah but, you're a dog." said Ryan

"And we all look the same?" demanded Sawyer, still holding the stocking with his paw.

* * * * *

Ryan and Sawyer approached the house with their guns drawn.

"I can hardly see through this thing." said Ryan as he adjusted the stocking.

"Quiet, you'll give us away." said Sawyer

Ryan peaked through the back window, but couldn't see anything.

"Nothing in this window." said Ryan

"The basement." said Sawyer as he looked through the basement window "I see movement down here."

Ryan pulled out a screwdriver and quietly removed the window. Sawyer climbed down first, then Ryan followed. Sawyer focused in on a blanket that appeared to be covering something. The blanket seemed to rise and fall slightly as if someone was breathing underneath. Sawyer approached it and, with his weapon ready, pulled the blanket away.

"Buffy! Shhhh..." Sawyer said in hushed dog.

Buffy looked up at the gun and the stocking covered face with terror in her eyes. Sawyer slung his weapon over his shoulder and pulled off his mask. Relief swept over Buffy as she recognized Sawyer.

"Do you know why they took you?" asked Sawyer

"I heard them talking about meeting with potential buyers." said Buffy "They were going to sell me."

"Not if I can help it!" said Sawyer as he held out an open paw. "Let's go."

Ryan helped Buffy out the window, then heard footsteps above them.

"They're here!" said Buffy to Sawyer

"She says that's them." said Sawyer "You go ahead. I'm going to give them a surprise they won't forget."

Ryan climbed out and handed Sawyer his shotgun. Sawyer pulled a pen and paper from his pack and quickly wrote something down, then jumped under the blanket that had covered Buffy. Soon, the basement door opened and Sawyer heard voices and footsteps coming down the stairs. He attempted to count the number of people that stepped off the steps. 'One, two, three... four.'

"Gentlemen, thank you for coming." said one of them "We know that you have expensive taste and a desire for the finer things in life."

"And we have everything we want." said another "What could you possibly offer to us that we can't buy ourselves?"

Sawyer heard the sound of magazine pages being turned.

"This is 'Buffy'." said the first voice "She is the most prized animal on the Dog Show Circuit. She's cute, cuddly, friendly, house trained..."

'One out of four ain't bad.' thought Sawyer

"Let us see her." said another voice. Sawyer flexed his paws and gripped his weapons in anticipation.

"Very well." said the first voice as he grabbed the blanket "I present to you, Buf--"

Sawyer sprang up and howled with fury as he aimed the guns at the four men.

"What the heck is this!" said Samsonite

Sawyer recognized him from the computer picture. He pointed one weapon at the note he had written and motioned for Samsonite to pick it up. Shaking, Samsonite picked up the note and stuttered as he read it.

"I- I- I'm supposed to tell everyone to take off their pants and throw them into the corner." said Samsonite

Sawyer growled at Samsonite until he removed his pants as well.

"Now I have to tie everyone up." said Samsonite

He took ropes from Sawyer's pack and tied up the other three men.

"You did a poor job of describing this dog." said one of the men as Samsonite tied him up.

After tying up the buyers, the criminal read the next line of the note.

"Now I'm going to call the cops on myself, because I'm a jerk..." said Samsonite

* * * * *

The phone at the police station rang as Officer Culver reached across his desk and picked it up.

"Police Department, Officer Culver speaking." said the officer

"Hello, I'm a criminal who steals things that are not mine. I am bad and look forward to being in prison where I belong..." said Samsonite

"Who is this?" said Officer Culver "Where are you calling from?"

Samsonite gave Officer Culver his address, then hung up the phone. Sawyer handcuffed Samsonite, then gathered his things and headed out the window. He found Ryan and Buffy in the truck, waiting to leave.

"You did it!" said Buffy "You're my hero!"

Sawyer's tail wagged as they drove off.

"What did she say?" asked Ryan

"I think she likes me." said Sawyer with a smile.

A car honked at them as they drove past Starbucks. Ryan waved.

"Who was that?" asked Sawyer, looking over his shoulder.

"Annie." said Ryan

* * * * *

When they returned home, Buffy ran to her house and pawed at the door. Mr. Jones opened it and joyfully hugged her. Sawyer watched from a distance as Mr. Jones opened the door for her to enter. She stopped, looked over at Sawyer and smiled. His heart pounded with excitement.

'The girl from the cover of Dog Fancy likes me!' he thought

"Are you gonna ask her out?" said Ryan

"Yup." said Sawyer, still looking at Buffy's house and wagging his tail.

"When?" asked Ryan

"I don't know." said Sawyer "I guess that will be a story for another time."

Monday, September 14, 2009

Multiple Personalities

The leaves were falling from the trees around the house, so it was up to Ryan to rake them into piles and get rid of them. Sawyer had other ideas. After Ryan finished the first pile of leaves, Sawyer got a running start and dove straight into them.

"Dude! Don't do that!" said Ryan "This is hard work and I don't wanna be here all day."

"Doesn't seem that hard to me." said Sawyer as he rolled around in the pile.

Ryan shook his head and continued raking. A car slowed as it passed their house, then stopped. Ryan looked up at the car as the driver lowered his window and pointed a gun at him!

"Look out!" yelled Ryan

Sawyer was in mid air, diving into a pile of leaves when he heard Ryan yell. POP! The man in the car fired his weapon and hit Sawyer instead of Ryan. Sawyer cried out in pain as he landed in the pile of leaves.

"Sawyer!" said Ryan "Are you alright?"

"I... I think so..." said Sawyer, checking himself over.

The car pealed out as the driver raced away, but not before Ryan got his lisence plate number.

"D-I-A-B-L-I-C, D-I-A-B-L-I-C, D-I-A-B-L-I-C..." said Ryan as he rushed back to Sawyer.

"Look." said Sawyer as he pulled a dart from his rump. "Tranquilizer dart?"

"Maybe. Do you feel sleepy?" asked Ryan

"Hmmm." thought Sawyer "No, not at all."

"Well, I have his license plate." said Ryan "Let's find out where this jerk lives."

Sawyer followed Ryan inside. He was surprised that he didn't feel sleepy or sick after having a dart shot into him. Maybe it was too weak of a dose? Didn't matter anymore. They needed to focus on finding the culprit and bringing him to justice. Ryan sat down at his desk and turned on his computer which made a beeping sound as it booted up.

"What is that!?" cried Sawyer "Is that a bomb? It's gonna blow!"

"What are you talking about?" said Ryan "The computer? It's just booting. Calm down..."

Ryan raised an eyebrow at Sawyer then turned back to the monitor. After entering the license plate number, a name and address appeared on the screen.

"The car is registered to a guy named 'Arthur Vernon'" said Ryan "He has a house a couple towns over."

"Let's call the Police." said Sawyer

"We can't." said Ryan

"Why?" asked Sawyer

"Because that would be too easy." said Ryan with a grin. "Besides, what if he gave you some virus or something. We need to get the cure from him."

"The Police would get the cure from him." said Sawyer

"Yup, but they wouldn't give it to you." said Ryan "They'd run tests on you, most likely. Like a lab rat..."

"Stop! Stop! I'll go with you, just stop telling me these things!" said Sawyer

"Fine, whatever." said Ryan "Get your machine gun and a few clips of ammo."

"Guns?" said a shocked Sawyer

"Yes, guns." said Ryan "What the heck did he shoot you with? Are you sure you're feeling alright?"

* * * * *

Ryan and Sawyer loaded up their gear and headed towards Arthur's house. Ryan tried to plan what they would do when they arrived, but Sawyer was stressing out.

"OK, when we get there, I'll go to the front door, while you go around back..." Ryan explained

"Can I just stay in the truck?" asked Sawyer

"No, I need your help. What if he has thugs?" said Ryan

Tears welled up in Sawyer's eyes as he turned away.

"Are you crying?" asked Ryan as he drove.

"No..." sobbed Sawyer

"Oh my gosh, what is the matter with you today!?" said Ryan

"You don't know what it's like, OK?" said Sawyer "That dart was meant for you but I took it! You would think you could say something nice to me, but 'Noooooo'!"

Ryan rolled his eyes.

"Stupid Arthur. The jerk made my dog a drama queen." said Ryan "Here, listen to your favorite song." said Ryan as he put ABBA into the CD player.

"I... I don't like this song." said Sawyer as he wiped away his tears.

'Well, this new dog has an upside after all.' thought Ryan as he turned the CD player off.

* * * * *

Ryan stopped his truck on the side of the road, a short distance from Arthur Vernon's house. He and Sawyer made their way towards the building, then stepped into a patch of trees bordering Vernon's backyard.

"It sure is dark in here." said Sawyer

Ryan ignored him.

"OK, let's split up." said Ryan

"No way, I'm staying with you." said Sawyer

"We have to split up in case he has traps set up." Ryan explained

"But..." Sawyer tried to protest as he walked past Ryan, but accidentally stepped on a tripwire. A hidden net sprung up and captured them both, causing Ryan to drop his shotgun as Sawyer screamed in terror.

"It's no problem." said Ryan "Try to get your AK out of your backpack."

"I... left it in the truck." said Sawyer

"Why!?" yelled Ryan

"It's scary and loud!" said Sawyer as his voice cracked

Ryan closed his eyes and sighed. Dark clouds appeared in the distance as rain drops hit their faces. Suddenly, they heard a door shut at Arthur's house, then saw a man come running towards them. The man approached the trapped friends and picked up Ryan's shotgun. He pointed it at them and started to pull the trigger, but stopped when he recognized them.

"You... I missed you earlier." said the man

"Yeah, but you hit my dog and turned him into the Cowardly Lion." said Ryan

"It... worked?" said the man

"If you intended to turn him into a wimp, then sure. Worked like a charm." said Ryan

The man cut the net down and escorted Ryan and Sawyer into his house.

"When did his symptoms first appear." said the man

"Are you Arthur?" asked Ryan

The man nodded. The rains came down even harder on the house and thunder rumbled in the distance as Arthur interviewed Ryan.

"Well, he started acting funny about 10 minutes after he was hit." said Ryan

Sawyer cowered in the corner with his tail between his legs.

"I see." said Arthur

Arthur sat down behind a table, put his head down and chuckled to himself. Ryan creeped towards his shotgun, which was still in the hands of Arthur. Arthur's laughter increased as he glanced up, causing Ryan to freeze in his tracks. Arthur threw his head back and laughed at the top of his lungs as lightning crashed! Sawyer howled in fear and even Ryan stepped back a bit as Arthur pounded his fists on the table, laughing maniacally.

"It works!" cried Arthur "All my years and it works! No longer will I be called Arthur! My name from this day forth is 'Professor Diabolic'!"

"What works!?" yelled Ryan above the thunder and lightning outside.

"My Reversalizer!" cried Professor Diabolic "With the potion that I put in your dog, I can change anyone's personality, feelings, likes, dislikes or ideals."

Ryan knew he had to get his gun back. He had to stop Diabolic. The Reversalizer was too powerful to be allowed to exist.

"But won't the effects wear off?" asked Ryan, hoping to hear that Sawyer would return to normal

"They never wear off." said Diabolic with a grin "Only another dose can alter the mind. It could take many shots to get it back."

"Why would you make this?" asked Ryan

"Imagine a government that could force it's civilians to obey by changing their will." said Diabolic "No one would be unhappy anymore. Everyone would agree."

"That doesn't sound like a happy place to me." said Ryan

"It will." said Diabolic "Once you've had a dose of my Reversalizer..."

Professor Diabolic reached for a tranquilizer gun, but turned his back on Ryan and his shotgun. Ryan lunged forward and grabbed it just as Diabolic realized his error and rushed his shot of Reversalizer. The dart missed Ryan who returned fire. Diabolic ducked just in time, causing Ryan's blast to destroy a mirror on the wall. Diabolic reloaded his weapon, aimed at Ryan's legs below the table and fired. The dart surprised Ryan who quickly pulled it out. It was too late, however, as the Reversalizer quickly coursed his veins. Ryan dropped and crawled to the corner of the room where he tried to hide. He was terrified.

"Sawyer!?" he cried "Where are you?"

Sawyer was also hiding, but suddenly didn't know why. He glanced down at his leg where he found the first dart. He had been shot by accident and was very... angry. He stood up on his hind legs and charged Professor Diabolic, snarling and growling as he ran. Diabolic was stunned as he tried to quickly reload the gun, but Sawyer was too fast. He grabbed the barrel of the gun and ripped it from Diabolic's grasp, throwing it into the corner. Diabolic turned to run as Sawyer howled in fury. Sawyer grabbed a chair and threw it at Diabolic. The chair shattered across his back causing him to fall forward. Before he could react, Sawyer was on top of him, grabbing him by the shirt collar and lifting him to his feat. Sawyer shook him violently and howled in his face before throwing him down on the floor.

"Please! Don't kill me!" begged Diabolic

Sawyer grinned as he reached for Diabolic's throat. The professor dodged his grip and ran for the kitchen. Sawyer was in hot pursuit as Diabolic grabbed a jar of pepper and threw it at Sawyer. Sawyer's eyes burned as he dropped to all fours and growled angrily. When his eyes finally stopped watering, Professor Diabolic was gone.

* * * * *

Sawyer stood over Ryan and sternly told him to stand up. With worry in his eyes, Ryan slowly stood to his feet. Sawyer pointed the dart gun at Ryan and fired it.

"Ow!" cried Ryan "You hurt me you... you... stupid jerk!" Ryan was suddenly very angry and pushed Sawyer. Sawyer growled and swung the gun at Ryan who grabbed it and pulled it free from Sawyer's paws. He turned it back around and fired it at Sawyer, hitting him in the shoulder.

"Watch it with that thing!" yelled Sawyer "You could have... could have..."

"Could have what?" demanded Ryan

"Nothing!" said Sawyer as he quickly grabbed the gun from Ryan and shot him in the thigh. Ryan bellowed out in pain and frustration.

"That hurts!" said Ryan "You... you..."

"You what?" said Sawyer

"You ready to go home?" asked Ryan with a smile.

"Am I ever." said Sawyer

"If we hurry, we should be home in time for the hockey game." said Ryan

"Blah. Hockey." said Sawyer

Ryan grabbed the gun and shot Sawyer again.

"Ouch!" cried Sawyer "Why did you do that!?"

"You still hate hockey?" asked Ryan as he reloaded the dart gun.

"Heck no, best sport ever." said Sawyer "Let's get some pizza and watch the game tonight!"

"I don't really like pizza..." said Ryan "I think I'd rather get some-- Ah!" cried Ryan as he pulled a dart from his rear end "What was that for?" he demanded

"What's your favorite food?" asked Sawyer as he aimed the gun at Ryan again.

"Pizza, of course." said Ryan "What did you think it was? Salad?"

Satisfied, Sawyer handed the dart gun back to Ryan.

"We're listening to 'Dancing Queen' the whole way home since I did all the fighting." said Sawyer

Ryan pointed the dart gun at Sawyer and squeezed the trigger. 'CLICK'

"What was that?" asked Sawyer

"Nothing..." said Ryan with a sigh

* * * * *

Ryan checked his voice-mail as they drove home. He shook his head and tossed the phone onto the dash board.

"What?" asked Sawyer

"Looks like we're stopping at Starbucks." said Ryan

"What else is new..." said Sawyer "Hey, do you think Professor Diabolic escaped with any of those darts?" he asked

"I don't know." said Ryan "I guess that will be a story for another time."