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...