Shem Good Boy
The Revolver barked again and again, each time its bullet finding the target I was aiming at. The Tall Mage barked an Order of his own and his staff spewed fire over a group of undead, incinerating them.
As my hand-gun clicked empty, I realized that the female had no way to defend herself. then I noticed that the undead were charging the male, not seeing the female...
Quickly, where there once were twenty undead, nineteen piles of ash lay. the body of the leader , minus its head, lay there twitching. returning the gun to its holster, I dropped from my perch to the ground. it was only three stories, but my legs were designed to take that kind of drop. Approaching the headless corpse, I kneel and rifle through its clothing, piling what I find beside me.
The scents coming from the humans bring a grin to my face. He is riding a combination of Anger, fear, Combat-joy. She is afraid, but...
Pocketing the items I looted from the dead guy, I drag the body to a sewer grate, lift the metal lattice, and drop the body below. Dropping the grate back into place, I turn to see a three foot stick pointed at my face.
"Who are you? What are you?" the combat juicing is wearing off, the stick in my face is twitching.
Turning my head to look at the Beast at his heel, 'Is he always like this?'
'You have no idea. The question still stands; Who and what are you?' the Beast cocked his head.
Slowly my right hand comes up and releases the catch on my helmet, and I pull it off.
Let me give you a few details here; think an American Bulldog, on its hide legs, at 6 feet. now add in the opposable thumbs, sixth grade education, and Army boot camp, and you got the basics of what I am.
I doggie-grinned, then cocked my head to the left, then the right. A sound causes my head to snap up, my right ear perking up, "Law. We go. Detail Later."
Shaking my cloak in to place, as I hook my helmet to my belt. I pull out a lead. The beast frowned, then grinned as I snapped it to a collar about my own neck. The human male frowned, then nodded, and muttered something I was not to hear as I walk over to where I smelled the girl. He started laughing when I offered her the lead.
"Might as well take it, Grasshopper. It seems that you have been spotted. Besides. we do not want to be found here, by the police." he looked about, "Or anyone else." Pulling his hat lower over his eyes, he waved his hand the piles of ash were swept away by a minor gust of wind. The mage then strolled out of the light, the massive dog trotting along at his side.
"Come on then." the air shimmered, and standing beside me was a young female in leather knee high combat boots, torn denim shorts, and a shredded and patched denim trench coat. "Walkies."
As we strolled into the drive of an old brownstone, there was a small female perched on a massive motorcycle. As I had been watching the Mage for the last three days, her appearance was not unknown to me. If the younger female had not met my requirements, I would have chosen the smaller female as my new 'Boss' as I feel an important bond to the Keepers of Law and Peace.
To those who know about the origin of Dog-boys, those who are asking why am I am choosing to a mage rather then hunting them down? one answer; how else am I to get home?
Seeing us stroll up the drive, the short female swung off the bike. "Hey Dresden, out walking the dog? " her grin turned impish, "Or is he walking you?" she reached out and scratched the beast's ears.
The beast, wagging his tail the whole time, gave me the doggie version of a raspberry. Sensing something off, the young mage reached over and scratched behind mine.
"There were reports of gunfire about ten blocks from here." the small female spoke as if talking to the dog. "And seeing as you are just getting back from that direction..." she let the sentence trail off.
The tall mage reached under his heavy leather coat, and slowly pulled a massive handgun from an inside pocket. Massive for him, for me it would have been standard issue. Handing the weapon to the small female. "As you can see, I have not fired my weapon for some time." the Mage smiled 'down' at her. In her hands the hand-cannon was even bigger.
But then only the 'Dog-beast' looked up to her. I snorted at my joke, drawing her attention.
"Who do we have here?" she asked, the gun was now a part of her, as the swirl of Power was apart of the Mage.
"Shem." I wagged my tail. "Good boy." and I open my mind to those around me. Only the beast and the young female are talented enough to pick up the details that I am offering.
"Ahh, Harry?" the young mage took a step away from me. "He is not human. Never was. But he just opened his mind for me too see into it." then she frowned, "Would looking closer be breaking the Laws?"
The Mage looked about, scanning the street. "Everybody inside. "
As we tramped down into the lower level of the brownstone, I could feel the sleeping wards in the stone and concrete. As the young girl was having trouble moving the heavy door, I reached out and aloud my heavier mass to drive the door open. as everyone slipped by me, I heaved the door closed.
the Mage was keeping a close eye on me, his power at the ready, should he need it.
The lady cop was watching me, the gun hanging loosely in her hand, but I knew that it could be pointed at me and fired, in less time then I could blink.
The 'Dog-beast' just wagged his tail, nosed the massive cat sitting on the couch, and tromped into the kitchen, lead and all, to help himself to a massive bowl of kibble.
With the door closed, I Sensed the Mage flare the wards, adding a layer of protection, a wall of stone like energy. Both protecting those within, and trapping 'me' if I turned nasty.
I raised my chin, allowing 'Boss' access to my collar. When she failed to catch the hint, I tugged on the line. scanning my mind, she got the idea. "Oh, I see, you can put it on, but you can only remove it, if I am in trouble." she unclipped me, then handed me the lead.
I turned my back on the lead, instead pulling my battle cloak off. I hung my cloak on the coat rack, taking my time as I knew that they were watching me, looking me over. I also hung my helmet on the rack. Then I stretched. Shook the kinks out. I moved slowly, taking my time, but needed to show them what I was.
Turning to 'Boss', I take her hands, lead her to the couch, and as she sits, I crouch at her feet. looking into her eyes, I open my shields, pushing what I want/need to say at her.
Let me fully describe what I am. I am of the next evolution of the 'K-9 corp.' of the military-industrial complex. In short, I am a six foot four inch tall doggie storm trooper.
while many of my fellow 'Dog boys' are breed, a few, like myself are cloned. for six months we are raised like the puppy/children that we are. after the six month period, where the weak, defective, are weeded out, we are then put through a vigorous training regiment that is a cross of boot camp, school, and obeisance training. it lasts for another 18 months. We are trained from the crib; we live to serve humans. we are not taught to read, or write. if fact it is illegal for us to be able to read or write. any human caught teaching us, is killed, as is any dog, that is caught reading.
While many of us are just packed together as a platoon of disposable troops, some are given to a commander as a squad, for hunting down mages, rouge telepaths, demons, and other non-humans.
My first boss, a hunter squad commander, was a believer that we were more then just dumb beasts. when I had learned to read, through simple exposure to printed text, street signs, and comm. networks, he ignored it. when he noticed that I liked to tinker with weapons found on the bodies of outlaws, he got me the readouts and tools so I could repair, and upgrade the items for our squad.
Scratching the scarred mess that is my left ear. Life for a dog-boy is not easy, nor is it safe. but I had 'Boss' and so life was good, and I was happy. burrowing my head into her lap, then last week, I was hunting a mage with 'Boss'. and we were caught on a leyline, during a storm. a bolt of lightning struck me, and I woke up six days ago outside this city. My comm. gear did not read any sign of my chain of command. when it finally found a signal, it was a police band, calling for back up. I quickly found my way to you, and HIM. but something drew me to you.
Looking up into her eyes, my head in her lap, I need a Boss, you need a dog. He has the 'Guardian Beast'. Until such time as I find myself home, I am yours.
As Boss explained everything I told her to others, I just crouched at her feet, her fingers scratching my ears.
He grunted, but looked about at his dog who having bolted his entire massive bowl of kibble, had slumped on his side, covering more space then a human would, had they been in the same place.
"What about the gunshots that were reported?" the small cop asked. Unfolding from my little patch of heaven, I drew a hand-cannon from the small of my back. it dwarfed the piece that the Mage had offered to the small female.
setting it on the low table, followed shortly by its holster, I sat beside my new boss.
Dresden whistled. "I thought the .45 mag. was the biggest hand gun on the market, Murphy."
"It is." Murphy tossed the gun back to Dresden, who tucked it inside his duster. She then picked up the big bore. "This is not from here." looking it over, she popped the drum out, and pulled a spent shell. Looking at me, "Why are you just handing this over?"
"What?" her nose wrinkled cutely.
"He ment, he was out of ammo, and no one in this place and time will have the ability to reproduce more. Besides, to his mind, a favor to a cop is favor to us all." Boss spoke up, her fingers finding that spot just behind my ears...