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."

Monday, September 7, 2009

Bad Hair Day

"Hey Sawyer, do you have the 1/2" socket?" asked Ryan as he searched his toolbox.

"Yup, almost done." said Sawyer who was under their old Malibu. "Just need to--- BAH!"

Sawyer pulled himself from under the car and stood up, his face covered in oil.

"Nice one. Good thing you're a black lab." Ryan joked as he threw Sawyer a rag.

Sawyer wiped the oil off his face, then handed Ryan the tool he needed.

"Looks like we need a new oil pan." said Sawyer "I guess I'm done till tomorrow since it's so late."

"Why? I know of a store that's open till 11." said Ryan "We can go there and get what we need and install it tonight."

"Alright, let's go." said Sawyer

* * * * *

Ryan and Sawyer piled into their truck and headed out towards the car parts store. The street was very dark despite the lamps on the side of the road.

"What's the name of this place?" asked Sawyer

"I... don't recall..." said Ryan, clearly hiding something.

"Yes you do! What's it called?" asked Sawyer a second time.

"Crooked Joe's Junk Pile and Parts..." said Ryan

"Ha ha ha! You're buying car parts from a guy named 'Crooked Joe'?" laughed Sawyer

"Hey, he has low prices." said Ryan "And I'm careful not to buy something that's broken."

Suddenly, someone ran out in front of them, forcing Ryan to slam on his brakes. A woman was frantically trying to wave them down.

"What's the deal, lady?" demanded Ryan "I could have hit you!"

"I was robbed! Two men took my purse and ran into that alley!" said the woman as she pointed to a dark alley between two abandoned buildings.

Ryan and Sawyer looked at the alley then at each other.

"One of these days, we should really just call the police." said Ryan as he pulled their truck over.

"Do we have our guns here?" asked Sawyer

"Yeah, but all I brought was rubber bullets. The kind they use in riot control." said Ryan

"Why?" asked Sawyer

"Because just knocking people out was getting old..." said Ryan

* * * * *

Ryan and Sawyer loaded up their weapons and made their way to the alley, trying to stay close to the shadows as they moved. Ryan peaked around the corner of one of the buildings but only saw darkness.

"You see anything Sawyer?" asked Ryan

Sawyer was able to see in the dark better than Ryan.

"Nope, no one there." said Sawyer "But I see a door. Let's check it out."

Ryan followed Sawyer as they made their way down the alley. They made it to the door and heard voices inside.

"Listen." said Ryan "Sounds like there's about four or five of them in there."

Sawyer put his ear to the door and listened in.

"They're saying something about stealing Social Security Numbers tonight..." said Sawyer

"Who's?" asked Ryan

"Everyone's." said Sawyer "They heard us! Look out!"

Sawyer dove for cover behind a trash can, but Ryan had no where to go. He pointed his shotgun at the door and waited for it to open.

"Who's there?" demanded the person who opened the door.

BOOM! The man at the door doubled over in pain as Ryan pumped another shell into the chamber. He looked past the man he had just shot, saw another target and fired again. BOOM! The second man was hit in the chest and fell back. Ryan saw the opportunity to step into the building and finish off the group. He motioned for Sawyer to follow him as he stepped through the door. Ryan spotted another person reaching inside his jacket and fired again. BOOM! The third man in the building fell over in pain as Ryan advanced, looking to his right just in time to see a metal bar come out of nowhere and hit him in the head, knocking him out. Sawyer hesitated, then decided to stay behind the trash can. The three men that Ryan shot struggled to their feet. Ryan was starting to wake up just as the first one kicked him in the stomach. Sawyer was furious, but managed to keep quiet.

"Take him to Mohawk." said the one with the bar as he slammed the door shut.

* * * * *

Ryan was dragged into another room and thrown on the floor. One of the men, who brought him in, placed his weapon in the corner of the room then left, leaving only Ryan and one other gang member.

"Stand up!" demanded a voice in the shadows.

Ryan staggered to his feet, then squinted to see the figure in the shadows. A man stepped into the light and stared him down. He was about as tall as Ryan, but he had strange hair. Ryan guessed that this was the leader of this group... or gang.

"Who are you?" asked the leader

"Pizza delivery. Knocked on the wrong door." said Ryan

"With a shotgun?" said the leader, motioning towards Ryan's weapon.

"Your boys are terrible tippers..." said Ryan as the remaining goon punched him in the stomach.

"I think you're a Cop." said the leader

Ryan shook his head. "Not a Cop. Just in the wrong place at the wrong time." said Ryan

"What should we do with him, Mohawk?" asked the goon

"Your name is Mohawk?" said Ryan "You're so original. Good thing you don't have a mullet." he mocked

"Lock him in the next room." said Mohawk "We don't have time to deal with him properly. We have to focus on tonight's plan."

Ryan was lead away and thrown into the next room. The door slammed behind him and locked shut. There were no windows, no lights, no chance of escape... unless Sawyer could find him.

* * * * *

Sawyer stayed hidden, trying to think of a plan. He didn't have a phone, so he couldn't call the police, but he still had his weapon. He always had the element of surprise, he just hoped that whoever opened the door was a dog-lover. He walked over to the door and started scratching at it, whimpering as if he was cold and hungry. The door opened and out stepped one of Mohawk's goons.

"Hey there, little buddy, what's your name?" asked the goon as he pet Sawyer on the head

"Perfect!" thought Sawyer "Now just let me inside and we're in business."

"Are you hungry? Come on in and get warmed up." said the goon

Sawyer walked in and noticed a telephone and the metal bar that had been used on Ryan. The goon walked past it and reached for a bag of fast food.

"You remind me of a dog I had when I was a kid." said the goon as he pulled out half of a cheeseburger.

"I don't think so." thought Sawyer as he picked up the bar.

"Here you go... What the-- !?" cried the goon as Sawyer attacked, hitting him in the jaw with the bar.

Sawyer dragged the goon into the corner of the room and tied him up with the telephone cord. He used his collar to gag the goon just as he started to wake up. Sawyer hung the phone up, then dialed 9-1-1. He couldn't talk or even hear the operator, but he knew they could trace where the call came from and hoped that they would investigate. Sawyer turned to the goon and grinned as he took a bite of the cheeseburger. The goon fainted.

Sawyer made his way down the dark halls, keeping his nose to the floor as he searched for Ryan. The trail ended at a room with no lights showing under the door. Sawyer took his AK-47 out of his back pack and opened the door.

"Ryan?" said Sawyer

"Sawyer!" said Ryan in a whisper "Am I glad to see you!"

"Let's get out of here." said Sawyer

"We can't yet." said Ryan "If they're really trying to steal everyone's Social Security Numbers, we need to stop them now or it could be too late."

Ryan lead Sawyer to the next room over where he had met Mohawk. He kicked the door open and followed Sawyer into the room. It was empty, but they had left Ryan's shotgun in the corner.

"Now we're in business." said Ryan

They quietly proceeded down the dark hallway. Sawyer stopped at a closed door and listened for a moment.

"They're in here." said Sawyer

Ryan put his ear to the door and heard Mohawk ordering his goons around.

"Hurry up with that password!" said Mohawk

"I almost got it, boss." said the goon "There! We're in!"

"How long will it take to download?" asked Mohawk

"About two minutes." said the goon

"Sawyer, we gotta move now." said Ryan "I'll take the right side of the room, you take the left."

"Got it." said Sawyer "On 3. 1... 2... 3!!!"

Ryan kicked the door open as he and Sawyer poured into the room, guns blazing. Mohawk was behind a desk, along with a goon at the computer and three other goons throughout the room. Sawyer shot one of them with a burst of rubber bullets and Ryan took out another.

"Shoot them!" cried Mohawk as he dove for cover behind the desk.

The hacker goon grabbed the laptop computer he was using and joined Mohawk behind the desk as the remaining goon pulled a pistol out of his jacket pocket. Ryan turned a nearby table over on it's side and ducked behind it. Sawyer sprinted towards the table and leaped to safety just as the goon opened fire on them.

"We have less than a minute to stop that computer!" said Ryan

Sawyer pointed his machine gun around the table fired blindly in the direction of the bad guys. A bullet hit close to his paw as he pulled his gun back and reloaded.

"As soon as he reloads..." said Ryan

Just then, the shooting stopped and Ryan heard an empty magazine hit the floor.

"Now!" yelled Sawyer

They both stood up and charged the goon as he tried to reload. Ryan and Sawyer each hit him as he fell back in pain. Ryan ran around the desk, pointed his shotgun at Mohawk, pulled the trigger and 'click'. His gun was empty. Mohawk grabbed the gun and pulled it from his hands. Sawyer pointed his gun at the hacker, who put his hands in the air in surrender. Sawyer shot him anyways, grabbed the computer and tried stopping the download.

"30 seconds!" yelled Sawyer

"Stop the download!" said Ryan as he wrestled with Mohawk.

Sawyer clicked 'CANCEL' and was asked for a password. Sawyer looked at the hacker, who was knocked out and tried to think of what it could be. He typed:

'mohawkrules' 'PASSWORD DENIED'

'mohawk4life' 'PASSWORD DENIED'

"Less than 10 seconds!" thought Sawyer. Then he remembered hearing Mohawk yell at the hacker.


"I did it!" yelled Sawyer

"Good!" said Ryan "Now stop this guy!"

Sawyer picked up his gun and aimed it at Mohawk. The gang leader stared down the barrel, then looked up at the snarling dog and stopped fighting.

* * * * *

The police arrived shortly after and arrested Mohawk and his gang.

"You haven't seen the last of me, punk!" yell Mohawk as he was placed in a squad car.

"Don't drop the soap, Moe!" said Ryan as they closed the door and drove off.

Ryan called Annie to let her know why he was late.

"Yeah, we're fine..." said Ryan "Yeah, I'll get Starbucks on the way home..."

Ryan hung up and he and Sawyer drove off in their truck.

"From now on, we're buying car parts online." said Ryan

"Sounds good to me." said Sawyer "Do you think that was Mohawk's entire gang?" he asked

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