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...