by Creedog VanDrey
Genre: Humor, Action/Adventure
Rating: TV-14 V L D
Summery: Shelby, or Kinopravda, as he likes to be called, narrates the League o' Justice's adventures on a strange floating island in the Aegean Sea.
Everything is in tip-top shape on the Moving House. My subjects have just returned from the Outside. I'd be more specific, but this is a special type of house where the outside keeps changing, ergo "The Moving House."
Perhaps I shall introduce myself. I am Kinopravda, the greatest nature documentarian of our age. Though, perhaps if you have not had the good fortune of being born a Canine, you would be inclined to call me "Shelby." I don't mind; it's a name I associate with the kindest subjects I have gotten a chance to study. You see, this is actually my fifth location of study. The first was my place of birth. It was a nice place and I got along well with my brothers and sisters. Though, it was quickly apparent that I stood out from the rest, intellectually. Being an autodidact, I found my true calling in life to study the larger and reasonably intelligent lifeforms known as Humans.
My second location was the Scary Place of Pointy Objects, where I developed my first impression of the Humans: they were evil creatures who delighted in torturing us higher beings. I escaped after being struck by a Metal Cow, which led me to my third location, which was the Big House of the Groundworkers, who changed my perceptions quickly.
It was there where I was first introduced to Herakles (as I named him; the Humans also name themselves, quite uncreatively, I might add), who would be my most intriguing subject. But I eventually had to leave the Big House. The Alpha Male, Beauregard (whom I affectionately called "Beau"), a groundworker, died. His mate, Dutchess, soon began taking several retreats to place she identified only as "Wichita." I must admit that was unable to discover whether this was a real location or some metaphorical state of spiritual retreat. Herakles stayed with me for awhile, but he too had to go on a retreat, so I was left in the care of Miss E.J. in the House of Smells. I liked it there because there were always crumbs on the floor downstairs, even though the brown water that Humans like to drink tasted horrible. Miss E.J. was a Human female who showed up at the Big House often during my study there. I first figured her to be one of Herakles's mates. Originally, I hypothesized (wrongly it would turn out) that because Herakles wasn't quite a Human, he might be polygamous, which we Canines consider to be part of a more advanced social system. It turns out that Herakles possibly had lost Miss E.J. to another male, a man-pup I named Blinky, named so because of this strange lightning-producing box he carried around with him constantly, like a collar. I never understood why Miss E.J. chose him over Herakles, who was larger and stronger, clearly the signs of an Alpha Male who should have his pick of the females. Herakles, on the other hand, seemed pretty attached to this other bitch, who reminded me of a Chinese Crested Dog. She would never pet me.
For my Human listeners, I think you have a different definition of "bitch," right? You should be appalled.
Anyway, I tried to study Miss E.J. and Blinky's behavior during mating, to figure out why it was that she thought him to be a superior mate, but my presence seemed to make them uncomfortable, and pretty soon, Blinky stopped visiting. I guess Heisenberg was right.
Herakles finally returned, and he and Miss E.J. brought me to the Moving House, where I had a number of very intriguing subjects to study. Perhaps you'd like a tour?
I always like to start the tour with the lair of the Alpha Male, otherwise known as Reynard. I've never understood why Reynard holds this status. True, he is tall, though not any taller than Herakles. And Herakles clearly outmatches him in strength. Reynard's singular talent seems to be launching pointy sticks with this other stick. While I can see the potential value in such a talent, Reynard rarely puts it to use. I've not once seen him fetch the stick.
Perhaps in time, I shall understand their social structure. At this moment, Reynard's personal cave is blocked, so just give me a moment to play with this box on the wall… Ah! There it goes! As you'll see, Reynard is currently asleep with his mate, Madonna. Now, as far as Human females go, she seems attractive enough. The only unattractive quality I kind find about her (besides not being canine) is that sometimes she sounds like a cat whose tail is being stomped on. Times a hundred. Though, I shouldn't be judgmental of Reynard. I went through this Schnauzer phase when I was about four that in retrospect I don't understand at all.
I have strong suspicions that Madonna may have been spayed. You see, she and Reynard seem to mate quite a lot, and I've never seen any indication that she's going to have puppies. But, it appears they've tried again, so let me see if I can detect any change.
Oh, I'm getting too old to jump on beds. Now, let's see if I can get a good sniff in.
"Shelby!" Madonna cries to me, grabbing my muzzle, "Get your snout out of there!"
Well, Miss, I didn't get a good examination in, but I'd say you're not pregnant.
She covers herself up, as if I care. She seems to forget that my species has exposed milk glands. In fact, seeing them would actually aid in my pregnancy diagnosis.
"How'd you get in here?" Reynard asks me, a little tired.
Same way you did: through the door. You think the blinky box would keep me out? Please. Sometimes I wonder how intelligent Humans really are.
Reynald seems pretty cranky, which would contradict the theory that he's the one that's fixed and therefore responsible for Madonna's lack of puppies.
Anyway, nothing going on here; let's move along. My next subject is Asimov. The door to his cave is open, so let's see what he's up to. He's working on the Glowbox, with numerous wires sticking out of his forelegs. I moan and he turns to me and grins. He reaches out his paw and rubs my head. Underneath his skin, his hand feels hard, but he's really good at the rubbing, so I don't complain.
"Hey, Shelbs," he says to me, though I can barely pay attention through the rubbing, "looking for someone to play with?"
In truth, I am, but I know once he was connected to his glowbox, he's hard to drag away. Miss E.J. is the same, though at least she's notphysically attached. I myself try to avoid leashes.
I wander off, leaving Asimov to his work or play.
I find that the Big Door to the Outside is open, and I see, briefly, Jack-Boy fooling around. I say briefly because he tends to disappear. After long hours of study, I realized he was running, much like a jackrabbit, hence the name.
I head out. Jack-Boy seems to be the pup of the group. In truth, he's not really a pup; it's clear from his interactions with Miss E.J. that he's been through puberty. Being the most fun-loving of the group, he's an easy target for play. With my fuzzy ball of tastiness in my mouth, I approach him. He quickly grasps the ball and throws it. I start running, but a gush of wind tells me the effort's futile. A second later, he's beside me again, with the ball in his paw. "Looks like you were too slow that time, boy."
I resist the urge to bite him on the hock… or elsewhere. "Elsewhere" might earn me a couple of brownie points with Miss E.J., but I decide it's not worth it. He launches the ball again and I respond by lying down, eyeing him, daring him to make the first move. Jack-Boy's not what you would call patient, so he quickly darts off to retrieve the ball.
Upon returning, he states, "Shelby, I promise to let you play this time."
A likely story. It's not really fair to their species, but I guess I'll have to use my intellect against him.
He winds up and throws the ball, chasing after it immediately, only to return a moment later to find me with the ball already in my mouth, relaxed and waiting. He takes on a rather bulldog-like appearance, his mouth wide open and his tongue nearly hanging out. I'd love to tell him that I grabbed the ball out of his paw before he could throw it, but it's not worth the effort to take the tasty tennis ball out of my mouth. Like he speaks Dog anyway.
Realizing that his primitive brain—okay, that's harsh; Human aren't that far behind Canines, especially when you faction Cows and Felines into the equation—will shut down before he realizes what I've done, I lay the ball on the ground and look up at him expectantly. He snaps out of it and throws the ball hard. So hard that it lands in the nearby pond. I race after it. Jack-Boy stops short of the water, complaining about a lack of a swimsuit. I leap right in, naked as the day I was born. As if it were such an unnatural occurrence. Triton, another of my subjects, does it all the time. In fact, here he is. Let's take a dive underwater to see if…
Yep. He's so predictable.
"Hey, Canine Buddy, what's up? Looking for this?" He pulls the Ball of Infinite Flavorfulness out of the water and throws it across the pond. I go doggy-paddling—what else?—after it. Within a few paws' length of it, a great uprising of water launches further away from shore. I grin and chase it further. I've yet to figure how Triton is capable of this trick, but I don't complain. At least he never steals the ball from me. At least not recently.
I noticed as I zero in on my fuzzy morsel, the water becomes more turbulent. Under the surface of the water, I see him zipping back and forth. I stop for a moment, trying to catch my breath, which Triton is not making easy on me.
But before I know what's happening, I find myself on shore, which Triton hanging over me. "Hey, there, Furry, don't you drown on me. Bro Scout will have my tail."
I simply pant on shore, watching with an inner grin as Jack-Boy covers his eyes, commenting, "Yo, Tom Sawyer, as close as we are, there are parts of you I'm not that comfortable with yet. You don't see me doing my Michael Johnson thing in my birthday suit."
"There was that time Ollie forgot to friction-proof your suit."
I remember that particular occurrence. He was as red as his costume. Former costume. Late costume. Whatever.
I have no interest in taking part in this particular discussion, so I take hold of my ball and stroll back into the Moving House.
Miss E.J. is on her glowbox and Herakles is hovering over her.
Literally. Jack-Boy's a bunny. Triton's a fish. And now my Herakles is a bird. You'd think one of these Humans would evolve into a higher being, like a Dog.
Come to think of it, my subjects teamed up with a wolf-human at one point. I tried to start a conversation, but Wolf is a very distinct dialect, and his was very rusty.
Anyway, I'm getting off-topic. Miss E.J. is shooting Herakles angry looks. He's oblivious, prompting her for more information about something he keeps calling "Intergang." Speaking of oblivious, Miss E.J. is as usual saturating the air with pheromones. Herakles doesn't seem to be responding. Maybe that's where Jack-Boy keeps getting his false positives. Even I knew when to back off that smokin' Border collie down the road of the Big House. What was her name? Annabelle…
"Look, there's nothing wrong with Tiffany," Miss E.J. informs Herakles. "These guys are good at hiding stuff. I'm telling you, a few more missions, and I'll be able to dig further."
I whine at her hindpaws. Frankly, it's a fairly shameless act because it works so well on Humans, but it earns me a head rub, so it's hard to feel ashamed. Miss E.J. is just as good as Asimov, except it doesn't feel like she's hiding rocks under her skins, and…
Dang, she isreally good at this. What was I saying?
Herakles, you buffoon, it could be your head she's rubbing. Or, you know, whatever suits your fancy.
I've always considered the Principle of No Interference to be silly, so… shove.
Miss E.J. almost falls out of her chair, but it quickly caught by Herakles.
"Thanks, Clark." She turns to me, still in Herakles's arms. "Now what was that for?"
For the propagation of your species, thank you very much, Missy.
- - -
Geez, you'd think we were chasing a cat the way Reynard is flying the Moving House. I take my spot in the co-pilot's seat, which Jack-Boy often steals from me, and watch as we come up on some strange piece of land. I wonder if someone needs a bathroom break. There seems to be plenty of trees…
Oh, great, now I have to go. Those waterfalls don't help.
Jack-Boy and Herakles meet us when we land on the island. I race out before anyone can stop me.
With the cat-like agility, a number of Female Humans emerge from the bushes. My subjects take their aggressive postures so I put myself in a prone position. I learned that my subjects tend to get into dog fights with some pretty nasty enemies, so I tend to lay low when they're itching for a brawl. I really wanted to claim one of the beautiful trees, but it appears that I've claimed this spot right here. For the time being, I don't mind having ownership.
Just as expected, the Females and my subjects start to fight. Little do they know my subjects are very talented. Jack-Boy quickly relieves of their long pointy sticks, but is ironically not quick enough to avoid being kicked into a tree by one of the Females. I laugh to myself as this as Herakles is attacked. The Females clearly did not expect him to be so formidable. I actually feel bad for the vegetation and rocks. Herakles and Asimov are both much harder than both. And these Females don't seem bothered by running into trees, which does hurt, take it from me. Don't ask.
Okay, it involves squirrels, alright? Geez, you think they weren't little demons sent to terrorize the Earth and Dogs especially. I'm just doing patriotic duty!
Okay, never mind, because another bitch has shown up. I crouch lower because she's kind of too close to me for comfort. As I mentioned, I'm not the match for trees that my subjects are. Anyway, at this angle, I notice how tall she is. Much taller than Madonna or Miss E.J. In fact, she's only about two paws shorter than Herakles. Like an Amazon or something. She's rather pretty for a Human Female, I think. Her fur is dark, unlike either of my female subjects.
What can I say? Everyone wants to be light-furred. We have a lot of fun.
The Amazon punches Asimov and he goes flying through a tree.
Yes, through a tree. Huh, that's a lot farther than the other Amazons (I like the name; I'll go with it) have been able to send him. And he's not getting up.
Mailman, this is not good news. But Herakles is here. I'm not usually for the hitting of bitches, but this one deserves it.
Anyone, here comes Herakles running like Jack-Boy, and…
Okay, sometimes when Herakles tries to hit someone who's as tough as him, this weird thing happens where they make a really loud noise (especially for my ears) and suddenly there a hard wind from each direction and everyone around us falls on their rumps. This is one of those times.
Both Herakles and the Amazon he just tried to hit are massaging their forepaws, glaring at each other like cats do when they're angry. Suddenly the Amazon grabs Herakles around the ruff and Herakles does the same to her. Then, Herakles does his flying thing, dragging her into the air. I tilt my head to watch. Herakles releases her and after a moment of getting her balance, she too starts to float. Pardon me for examining it so much, but I'm a nature documenatarian, you understand. They fly differently from one another. Whereas Herakles is more of a hummingbird or insect, able to just float there and zip around, this Amazon isn't as stable. She, like bigger birds, seems to be riding on the wind. So when she tries to swoop down at him, Herakles just floats out of the way and the Amazon comes tumbling down.
Reynard, holding his pointy stick thrower threateningly, barks to the Amazons, "Listen, we don't want to hurt you. We're just trying save a man who crashed here."
None of the Amazons seems to understand him, so I try repeating what they said, on the off-chance they speak Dog. They don't.
But then an older Amazon bitch comes out and speaks, in Human, but it's different. The Humans call them "accents." It's comparable to way greyhounds and pit bulls, for example, sound different, even though they both speak Dog.
"We are sorry. This place has not been visited by Man for many years. What business do you have?"
So the Amazon Herakles was fighting starts to speak Human, too, only with a much thicker "accent." "Mother, this one is strong, like Heracles. Perhaps Ares has sent us another conqueror."
Wait, how'd she know my name for Herakles?
The mature Amazon continued, "We are the Amazons…"
Huh, there's another coincidence.
"How did you find this place?" she continues.
Reynard answers, "We saw a plane go down here. We were only trying to help."
The other Amazons start speaking in a language that's not Human. Reynard seems to think it's something called "Greek."
The only time I've ever encountered something "Greek" was when Beau, Duchess, and Herakles ate something called "Greek salad." I tried it. It wasn't very good.
Anyway, apparently there was just a misunderstanding. So, everyone stops fighting. This is odd for me. I mean, I do like it when I'm not in danger of being attacked by a super-strong creature, but we Canines usually only stop fighting when one of us runs off whimpering, leaving the other Dog to mark his territory. It's the Rules of the Street.
Oh, wait, I marked my territory. Maybe I saved the day.
- - -
So, right now, I'm wondering if it would be too much trouble for Reynard and Company to start giving me this "venison" stuff. 'Cause it kind of reminds me of deer meat.
My subjects and the Amazons are sitting around a fire, which is this toy that Humans have, which looks pretty but hurts your snout like a woman if you try to smell it.
What? "Hurts like a woman"? Not so nice the other way around, huh?
Anyway, Jack-Boy is really interested in the reproduction of the Amazons, because there are only bitches here. He is answered by the Alpha Female (because there's no Alpha Male obviously; what a waste), who calls herself Hippolyta, which sounds to me and Triton like the names of those ugly pond-cows I met when Reynard took us to someplace called "Congo." Apparently, her daughter, named Diana, the Amazon Herakles fought, was born out of a lump of dirt.
Not that I'm judging. We Canines love digging in the dirt, so if it didn't mean there wouldn't be copulating, it's a form of procreation that I could get behind.
Though, it turns out that the Amazons do copulate. With each other. This gets Jack-Boy as jumpy as a… well, jackrabbit. Appropriately. While Reynard, Asimov, and Miss E.J. take it in stride, A.C. looks a little uncomfortable and Herakles' skin darkens, especially as he tries to hide glances at Diana, who's sitting beside him.
This worries me, for Miss E.J.'s sake. Herakles is sitting between her and Bellatrix (who I wanted to name Artemis from Aegean mythology, but it turns out one of the Amazons is named Artemis, which makes me think they're fans of Aegean mythology, too; I believe "Bellatrix" is quite appropriate, mixing the Latinate "bella" meaning beautiful as well as "bella-trix" meaning "female warrior"; apparently the name also appears in some Human book about a furry pot-maker and his trinkets; my subjects are all too embarrassed to admit to one another if they've read the book; I would be too; it sounds dull). Anyway, Herakles' body language seems to indicate that he wishes to mate with Bellatrix. And she's emitting what may be pheromones. I have doubts she's Human. She's somewhat like Herakles, but her scent's different. I find it odd that so many species look like Humans while relative few (the lucky ones) look like Canines. But she's also staring at the injured Human who I think is another "visitor" to the Amazon island. I've named him "Beretta," which is the name of a great Human warrior; I also happen to think it sounds rather masculine. Given his current state of pain, I'd say he got the same welcome as us. Poor thing. Human are much less medically advanced than Canines. Humans still prefer to clothe their wounds instead of licking them. Canines have never felt the need for clothing, and that extends to the treatment of our wounds.
Of course, apparently the Amazons have something called a "Purple Ray," which I guess is another Human medical "advancement." I already know it to be a crock because of the name. "Purple" is a "colors." "Colorses" are a number of hallucinations that Humans have resulting from their inferior sight. Eventually they'll learn the healing properties of the tongue.
While Herakles seems interested in Bellatrix, and Bellatrix in Baretta, Baretta seems interested in the air in front of his eyes. I think it's a result of the "injection" Reynard gave him for the pain. Reynard likes his pointy objects. "Injections" are another Human medical fallacy. I believe it's a conspiracy by "The Vet," an evil subculture of Humans interested mainly in the torture and castration of Canines, among other animals. They use "injections"—pointy tools—to put small doses of poison into animals' body. They've tricked Humans into subjecting themselves to the same treatment, only by "The Doctor," a branch of The Vet I can only assume. I've tried numerous times to bring this conspiracy to light, but of course I'm against a large, corrupt bureaucracy whose sole purpose to obscure the truth.
To help Beretta out of his trance, I put my head on his stifle, and lick his forepaw. He looks down at me, still looking a bit post-nap, but he smiles and rubs my head. Now before you even accuse me of ulterior motives, I have a very unselfish reason for…
Damn, he's good.
But my mission's accomplished as Bellatrix, too, begins to rub my head. She's not near as good. She rubs too hard and has long claws (like a Cat), but it's a worthy sacrifice as they start to smile at each other. It's one of those things that Humans do instead of sniffing each others' rumps. How they learn each others' musks with such weak olfaction eludes me. I chance a look at Herakles, who while being very unperceptive in his own courting life, is none too slow about others' mutual attraction. He glances away, trying to hide his sorrow. Miss E.J., who suffers from the same malady, puts her paw on his stifle, and whispers, "You know, Bart hasn't made a lewd comment to me since we arrived. I think it's a good thing he's surrounded by so many pretty girls."
Herakles laughs, leans over, and replies, "I don't think it's a good thing for Ollie, though. Dinah looks like she wants to filet him alive." He even puts his own paw on top of Miss E.J.'s. I'd say that's Mission Accomplished.
The two of them are right and I feel bad for Reynard. He's tried all night to look in a safe direction. Unfortunately, apparently all of the Amazons here are extremely attractive, so he's taken a very powerful interest in Sue-Joad, Bellatrix's mother and the Alpha Female. I guess she's the safest one to talk to around one's mate. I bet Madonna is glad that Sue-Joad isn't the type of bitch it'd be appropriate for me to name Missus Robinson, if you catch my drift.
The fire's warm, so I figure it's about time to drift off to Beretta petting my head…
- - -
The Amazons are going to have a big dog fight to decide which of them will be taking Beretta back home. The way none of them want to leave, it's almost as if the pack of them is afraid that there's an electric fence surrounding the island.
I was there, moseying around, when Sue-Joad and I caught Bellatrix looking at what appeared to be a swimsuit much like the type Miss E.J. wears. Apparently that meant Bellatrix was thinking about being the one to take Beretta back, which I guess is partially my fault. I'm a meddler. Sue-Joad didn't seem happy about her intentions. I wanted to voice my opinion that sometimes puppies have to leave the litter, but as previously established, the Amazons don't speak Dog.
Anyhow, Reynard isn't letting us stay to watch the fight. We've got some important mission to go on. The way he talks about it, you'd think he found a plot to rid the world of cats. Look, I have nothing against kittens, who I find to be cuddly and affable, but they somehow grow up to be demonic.
So, after picking a particularly good tree to mark as my own, I relieve myself on it and return to the Moving House, where my Yummy Ball is waiting.
- - -
Lex Luthor stormed into the laboratories two stories below the LexCorp building. "What the hell happened to my $3 billion prototype?"
One brave researcher came to him. "At around 1500 hours yesterday, it was struck in midair by a Boeing F-15E above the Aegean Sea. It was only 230 miles from the rendezvous point in Istanbul."
"Then why aren't we out chasing it?"
"Sir, the drone did what it was supposed to. The outer coating polymer warped direct light, making it visually undetectable. Its shape and electromagnetic aura made it undetectable by radar. And we even used an ultrahigh frequency tracker to mask it from all conventional aeronautical scanners. Unfortunately the scanner appears to have been destroyed in the crash. The drone's practically unlocatable!"
Lex, clearly unhappy, grabbed a computer printout. "It says here that the tracking device didn't go offline until two minutes after the jet's engines malfunctioned."
Another scientist came up wearing an audio headset. "Sir, we're tapped into the US Army radio frequency. It appears that the F-15 the drone collided with is experiencing similar malfunctions: engine fairly following much later by transmission malfunction. It think wherever they landed might be distorting the signal."
"They landed over water. What could cause transmission silence in the water?" Lex inquired, his anger dissipating as his curiosity grew.
"The Bermuda Triangle experiences such an effect. But that's caused by the high radio traffic from Miami as well as the Gulf Stream. The Aegean Sea has neither the underwater current nor the high-volume radio traffic to cause such an effect. Frankly, sir, it's like it's magic."
Until the last comment, Lex stared passively. "It's not magic," he seethed, "there's something there. Get my jet back. The experiment was a success. Once we remove the tracking device, we've got ourselves a disappearing jet."
With this, he promptly exited the lab to meet with his private tailor. He had an important mission to go on.
(Sonriso) - Oh, Chloe, my dear, don't beat yourself up. You're just as pretty as those overgrown Amazons.
Director's Commentary: So, sorry this took like months to finish. I have a lot on my plate.
Created Wednesday, March 28, 2007. Finished Monday, January 21, 2008.