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."