"Dog Juan"

"Dog Juan"

or


Man's best friend's unsuitable alliance!

"Y'know, these little suckers really are butt-ugly!" Ice carefully transferred his grip, so that he could look into the dozy puppy's face. Black and tan like Mom, them ears look like something off a Martian, broad square nose, huge ugly feet.

"They're not ugly…………..they're just kinda…………….individual!" Alphonse attempted to leap to the defence of his pet's offspring, but faded in the middle, okay, they're ugly. He tried to rally "You're no Picasso, yourself!!"

"I dunno, I reckon Picasso would'a liked 'em!"

"Charlie, shuddup!!"

Alphonse leant over and snatched the puppy from Ice. He had to use two hands, man they're heavy!! He put the puppy on the floor and it shambled over to join its brothers and sister.

Ali leaned over and picked a puppy up, "Y'know, I swear I've seen something that looks like these recently."

Alphonse bristled, ready to leap to his pet's defence again, but he could detect no humour in the Scot's expression. "Whaddya mean?"

"I mean, I've seen a dog that looks just like these in the last couple of days!"

Damn, this is boring! Ali sat by the window and watched the lot opposite with a pair of binoculars. He was videoing the whole thing as well. This is gonna be difficult. No obvious way in. A black shape trotted into view, he swept the binoculars round, great, a guard dog, Ali's poaching skills included dealing with guard dogs, but he didn't like the risk. Some were trickier than others.

He looked at the dog again, then homed in a little closer. A devious smile crossed his face, solved a mystery and got an entrée all in one. The sometime bounty hunter grabbed his camera and took a couple of shots of the dog.

Ali was enjoying himself. As much as he liked being part of the team, and his friendship with the other three, he couldn't resist the opportunity to show off from time to time. Especially when that time included winding O'Connor up. The Senior Agent was very dubious of the Scot's motives and it irked him no end that the bounty hunter was very well aware of this. So when Ali got the opportunity for a little O'Connor baiting, he seized it with both hands.

"I've got us our 'in'!" Ali's smile was triumphant.

"McBride, stop wasting time and get to the point." O'Connor's voice was taut with contempt. His ire rose as the big Scot's taunting smile widened slightly. What is it about this man that annoys me more than other three put together!!

"Och, weel, ……..it's verra simple really. Our contact is ……….Tilly!" Ali spun it out as far as he could, deliberately deepening his natural accent to be annoying.

"What!" Alphonse surged to his feet. "What on earth are you talking about, no way!" he waved an angry finger at O'Connor. O'Connor chose to ignore his big undercover agent.

"McBride, now you're giving us fairy tales. If you can't come up with something more concrete and sensible than that….."

"No, hear me out!" Ali cut across. He settled down to explain. "You know how we were speculating about the father of Tilly's puppies."

"McBride, this is rubbish." O'Connor cut in again. Ali frowned.

"Hear me out on this one! Tilly had to have mated with something big, okay. And we know what the puppies look like. So……" the Scot leaned over and put a video disc into the drive. "Charlie, see what you can do with that!"

The computer expert stared at him, then began to work on the disc without comment. In seconds he had pulled up the pictures that Ali wanted.

"Look at this!" Everyone crowded round the screen, Ali tapped the picture with a pudgy finger, "If that's not the puppies' father, then I'm a Chinaman."

O'Connor was fit to bust. "I have never heard so much rubbish in my life. McBride, what were you doing all day up there, surveillance was the duty, not providing parents for Royo's menagerie."

Alphonse started to square off to O'Connor. "Let me tell you……."

Ice poured cold water over the fizzing argument. "Alphonse, leave it….."

"But……."

"Chill. We have a job to do."

The hot-headed Latin subsided. He had no intention of dropping it, but they had more important things to deal with just then.

O'Connor sighed. This had better be good! "So what do you propose!" His stance indicated scepticism.

Ali smirked. Here comes the piece de resistance!!

He began to explain to his incredulous audience.

"Someone remind me whose ridiculous idea this was!" Charlie grouched for the fifth time. "We've been waiting for two days for something to happen."

"Patience! Patience! It is a virtue ye know!"

"Ali, shuddup!!"

"O'Bannon, McBride, you're supposed to be watching, ………." O'Connor leant over and pointed at the screen, "there they are! Right on schedule!"

"'Phonse, you awake. They're here. So give 'em about ten minutes, let Tilly go and then go in yourself. You have to confirm that they've got the stuff on them."

A disembodied crackle "Charlie, I know the plan okay. So quit telling me what to do! We're all set."

Alphonse got ready, this is the dumbest idea I have ever been part of. What if they shoot at Tilly. He looked down at his pet. She leant against him and looked up, dammit, she trusts me and I'm putting her at risk! He badly wanted to back out of the deal.

Instead, he crouched down in front of his dog. "Good girl, you gonna do the business for me, eh!" Impulsively he hugged the dog to him, a great slobbery tongue stroked up the side of his face, embarrassed by his feelings he let go and got to his feet. "Go get him, girl!" Alphonse unsnapped the lead and let the bloodhound through the fence. She trotted away in the darkness.

Through the gloom, the undercover agent could just about make out the shape of the ugly guard dog. The two animals met, wagging tails. Okay, part one successful. A little too successful for me. Alphonse headed for part two of the plan. Plan, who am I kidding, this isn't a plan, it's a joke!

He got into the car. Drive round the front, then go in. Dumb ass looking for his lost pedigree dog. He looked down at the two thousand dollar suit and the flash accessories that he'd been kitted out with. All this fuss, for the dumbest plan ever dreamt up, this ain't gonna work.

With bated breath, the rest of the team waited in the shadows. "C'mon, c'mon, 'Phonse what you waiting for, a favourable horoscope!" the computer expert muttered under his breath.

"Patience, Charlie!" Chrissy cool and laid back.

"It's going a treat!" Ali so laid back he was nearly horizontal.

Alphonse drove in the front gate.

"Hello, anybody there!" he yelled loudly. Getting out of the convertible Mercedes he'd got from the impound.

An unpleasant looking man appeared in the doorway, "What are you doing here!" the voice was as unwelcoming as his appearance. Alphonse played the rich-boy idiot.

"My dog's been stolen! I was driving past, and I saw her in your compound!"

"What you talking about, dog!" the man's face was a picture of contempt, "I don't have time to listen to this crap. Get lost, before I forget I'm a nice guy."

'Phonse moved a little closer, fastidious expression on his face, looking for an opening. "I'm telling you, that's my dog you've got." As if on cue Tilly trotted out from behind a rusting pile of junk, closely followed by the ugly guard dog.

"There she is!!"

"Dammit." The man moved to kick the ugly dog, who side stepped it easily. Alphonse got a closer look, the animal was filthy, covered in mud and dirt, numerous scrapes and old scars criss-crossed its battered hide. It was very ugly. Tilly clearly took a different view.

Just as Alphonse was about to press his advantage, all hell broke loose. One of the waiting teams jumped the gun. The goon spun round as agents started to flood into the compound, he went for his gun.

Alphonse dived for cover as bullets started to fly, grunting in pain as a stray bullet punched into his upper arm. Tilly and her scruffy friend had fled. The undercover agent tried to slide back further into his very inadequate cover, his good left hand clenched firmly over the wound in his right arm, he looked around in panic.

Too busy trying to find more cover, he didn't see the goon coming up on his right. The muzzle of the gun placed against his temple he was hauled unceremoniously to his feet. Gasping in pain as his injury was jarred.

"Don't shoot." Chrissy stopped the over-eager agents. The FBI were all over the drugs deal, and she'd started to stand down when the worst possible scenario stepped out from behind the rusting pile of junk.

The goon was completely concealed by Alphonse's body. The gun pressed against his temple, he was being held as a shield by the back of his collar, blood soaked through the sleeve of his jacket and dripped down his arm. Pleading, pain-filled blue eyes met Chrissy's in desperation.

"We're leaving, any attempt to stop us, and your friend dies, okay."

Tilly appeared from nowhere, crashing into the two of them, Alphonse and the goon fell to the ground, Alphonse cried out in pain as he landed on his injured arm. The goon's gun hand swept round as he took aim at the bloodhound; a snarling fury slammed into him from behind, savage teeth buried themselves into the man's arm and hand. Tilly's ugly friend attacked without warning. The gun dropped harmlessly to the ground.

Agents swooped in, dragging the goon away from Alphonse. Chrissy moved in, kneeling in the mud by her friend. She put a hand on his shoulder.

"'Phonse, are you alright!"

He looked up her and nodded. "Yeah, I guess." He sat up, and winced. "Maybe not."

"Paramedics!!"

Alphonse sat in the back of the ambulance. Ice and Charlie on either side of him, a paramedic stood in front of him gently tending the wound. The two dogs trotted up.

"Y'know, you two saved my life. My so-called friends were nowhere in sight!" Alphonse addressed the two dogs, they looked up at him.

"'Phonse, Y'injury's touched y'brain. They're dawgs for Gawd's sake, they don't know what y'talking about!"

"Charlie…………Shuddup!"

The paramedic finished dressing the wound and strapped Alphonse's arm up in a sling.

"Mr Royo, we'll get you to hospital and get some stitches in that." The man looked at his patient's partners, "gentlemen, who's coming with him."

Ice replied. "I'll come, Charlie, you take care of the dogs."

"Dawgs! Dawgs, that's plural!" the computer expert sniffed, then caught sight of the older man's expression, Ice jerked his thumb at Alphonse, okay, if that's what 'Phonse wants, that's what he's gonna get. Charlie wasn't about to admit it in a hurry, but he'd really thought they were going to lose the big man when that creep grabbed him.

Later that night, Alphonse had taken sole possession of the couch, Charlie was over-cooking dinner, Ice and Ali were arguing over the effectiveness of Ali's plan.

Alphonse relaxed, his arm had been stitched, re-dressed and put in a sling, light duties only! This is the life!! Despite the ache, he was pleased with himself. He looked down, eight dogs sprawled on the floor next to the couch, Tilly lay on her side, her scruffy paramour lying content next to her, the puppies peacefully feeding in a row. Somebody had taken the opportunity to give the creature a bath, man, he's ugly!