Summary: For the usual days of Murray, Mesa's most popular racer, mobster threats, random gang wars, and an unlikely lover can be just enough to make things interesting. Rated for violent language and sexual themes. R&R.

Main Characters: - (does their animal species really even matter?)

- Murray (male hippopotamus)
- Neyla (female clouded leopard)
- Ricochet Adams (male Doberman)
- Seymour "Slick" Samuele (male Chimpanzee) - (Jammin Jabala's character)


No Glory


Mesa City, known for the population of over 460,000 citizens in its suburbs, was such a busy city with many activities going on - some seeming to continue without end even. Even nearing sunset, although some lights and businesses would surely stay active after dark, it was still as wild the usual party weekly, but tonight - for "the Murray" - it was another sweet and solid victory.

After just passing the finish line, and as soon as the Cooper Van reached a complete stop, Murray hopped out and gave the camera a big smile and wave - his image appeared in larger form upon the wide screen of the race track, and the audience cheered for him and his outstanding finish. His biggest racing fans.

All throughout the benches of screaming and cheering fans, he could see them wearing T-shirts and black bandit masks over their eyes - just like his own - and could hear them call his name in a loud uproar.

Afterward, he took his spot on the first place pedestal, holding a large, golden cup in his left arm while he continued to wave to all of the fans and paparazzi, smiling as many cameras flashed and took his picture. Among the crowd of fans, managers and workers, he spotted two figures pushing their way towards him - the same two people he had been working with for the last fourteen months.

Ricochet Adams - the Doberman - was several things, according to his job in Murray's contract he was his personal chauffeur, although considering the hippo was actually the one who preferred to do all the driving, he was mostly there as two other things, his always armed bodyguard and his friend. He had a great personality, with a somewhat interesting sense of humor, but he had a few different interests than he did - whereas while he liked vehicles and driving, Adams liked guns and shooting. Regardless he accepted that - he was still a good friend at times.

On the other hand, Seymour Samuele, the Chimpanzee - nicknamed "Slick," was a little more paranoid and serious. As his agent and manager of his contract, he was always the busy one out of the three of them, every time he saw him he was usually speaking through his cell phone, discussing business and meetings with people he didn't know, with subjects that refer to money or trips - he was the usual business manager. Why, he had even took the liberty of dressing in the casual yet formal apparel for tonight.

"Murray? Murray..." Someone called his attention, he turned his head to face Gary Truman, the head reporter of the paparazzi. "Can I ask you a few questions?" He held a microphone to the hippo.

Before he could even speak a single word into the mike, Samuele stood between them and waved the mike and cameras away, "Sorry, no comment. Mr. Murray has business to attend to," he said, and began to escort the hippo down the pedestal and down the red carpet, to the parking lot.

"Alright everyone," Adams cleared everyone away from the pathway, "make way! Big winner comin' through!"

They passed through the crowd and made it to the parking lot, where the Cooper Van would be there as their luxury transport vehicle. Sure, often at times, Samuele had suggested they use an actually limousine for the purpose of a cruise throughout the city, but Murray always turned down the idea. His Van was the only motorized vehicle he would ever ride in.

Adams broke away from the group to fetch the Van, while Murray and Samuele patiently waited for his return, fans screaming wildly behind them. The hippo smiled and waved to them all, just as a small, specific group of fans passed through the line and approached him. His agent was about to clear them away but the hippo refused his gesture and gave them what they wanted. He signed his autograph on their T-shirts and masks, and even took his picture with them.

Just as his Van finally showed up, with the chauffeur beeping the horn, Murray waved them all goodbye and headed for the driver's seat. However, Samuele stopped and began to escort him to the back seat.

"We need to talk," he said, as the hippo and Chimpanzee hopped in the back and closed the doors. The Van took motion and drove out of the lot, and onto the street. "Now Murray, pay attention. That last race of yours will probably be the last obstacle we'll have, considering the racing season is now pretty much over."

As the manager spoke, Murray zoned out and began to hesitate on a different subject. Racing season was over already? It was a real shame, he felt as if he had only just begun to have fun and enjoy the thrill. But now seeing how quick it all went this year, like it did last year, it was just enough to make him miss the odd days.

Back then, over a year ago, he was the driver and the brawn of the famous Cooper Gang, he had drove his Van in drag races and police chases more extreme than the racing he was doing now. He missed how free he felt back then, the risk and rush of actually putting your life on the line, able to drive by his own rules and no one else's. Those were the days when he had the real fun, but now as a retired thief and professional racer, he could only reminisce and think "those were the days."

"Murray? Murray!" Samuele slapped his hands together in front of the hippo, snapping him to attention. "Pay attention. In a few weeks, once we get that big bonus and agreement to renew your contract for next year, we'll have that big vacation in Hawaii."

"Right on! Ooh-ah for Hawaii!" Adams cheered, and suddenly jerked the steering wheel to avoid collision with an unexpected driver passing him. He stuck out of the window, "Hey! Watch the fuck where you're going, asshole!"

"Ah yes, indeed," Samuele seconded, "but until then, while I'm discussing the renewal of your contract I advise you to please lay low for time being. Feel free to take a stroll around town but do keep a low profile, and do stay clear of the paparazzi. Truman can be very determined to get what he wants out of people, so don't talk to them, don't acknowledge. Clear?"

"Okay," Murray nodded, as the Van began to pull into the driveway of his home in Mesa. The Big Winner's Den Casino. It was an enormous and very expensive hotel, reaching to about twenty-nine stories high, with many high class suites. Middle Class had regular suites, higher classes such as First had the Queen suites, but he - considering Samuele owned the whole casino - had been given the King suite, which was practically a whole apartment with his own room, private bathroom, big kitchen and lounge, and with the best view of the whole city. Pretty much named after him, because plenty consider him the "Big Winner."

As Adams parked the Van into their personal garage, Murray and his two companions strolled through the lobby and casino, where a lot of the real money seemed to come in. All around were aristocrats and patricians gambling, giving away their money in Poker, Black Jack, and several of the slot machines, all the while dancing girls performed on the stage, putting an excellent show for the customers. Yes, Samuele made sure that they would all be happy as they paid for their enjoyment, and as long as money filled his pockets, he would be happy too.

The Chimpanzee manager sent them away as he stayed behind in the casino to speak with several of the visitors, and so Murray and Adams were now on the elevator, heading for the top floor - to his suite. As they arrived at his suite's door, he positioned the keys in and opened it up, entering the King suite.

To anyone with eyes it was a luxurious paradise, the King suite had a special feature - additionally two floors to itself. Upstairs was his room, where his king-size bed laid all to himself with its own personal bathroom, beside that was a second, similar room which he had given to Adams, and across the hall from the staircases was the entrance that led to the rooftop. In its lower floor, the lounge was the first thing to notice - never mind the kitchen it had, what with the long sofa, love seats, coffee tables, wide-screen television, and - of course - the large shielding of glass that allowed them a extraordinary view of Mesa City.

They both took a load off and hopped on the sofa, tossing their shoes off and carelessly resting their heels on the coffee table. Adams pulled out a weapon - a Thompson submachine gun - on his lap and began to fiddle with it, "Boy Murray, I'm tellin' ya, we're living the good life here.

"I mean, look at us; living in the top suite of the best casino in Mesa, all the money and popularity we could ever need... whew, life doesn't get much better than this."

"Yeah, I guess," the hippo replied, remaining silent with his head lowered.

"You 'guess'? What's wrong, Murray?" the Doberman asked, "Not satisfied with all this good stuff?"

"I'm just... I'm just not feeling all that willing to relax, is all?"

"Oh, I see. You're bummed about it being the end of the racing season, aren't you? Well don't worry, soon we'll be in Hawaii. Just think about it, wide, open beaches, big Lou-outs almost every night, and, best of all, hula-babes is coconut bikinis. Then the real party begins."

"I know, but I'm - I'm just not thrilled all that much by it, at least not now," Murray said, sitting straighter up in an attempt to relax.

He glanced at Adams, as the canine hesitated for an idea, until he finally snapped his fingers, "Okay Murray, I know just the thing that'll cheer you up." The Doberman stood up and strolled over to the gun case, "Grab your coat, we're going out," he said, putting the Tommy gun away with the rest of his reserved firearms.

"Out?"

"Yeah, out - out to the party, out to live. I know a sweet bar around here, across the street, let's stop by there for a few."

"Drinking? But Adams, Slick informed me to stay out of trouble."

"Ah, don't worry about it, just think of Slick's directions as suggestions, you're just going out for a little fun in this city, and besides, I'll watch your back."

Murray wasn't all that confident, but Adams seemed firm about this, he had known the canine had been intoxicated before - and he had never gotten into any trouble. That was just enough to convince him that they could get into a bar and get out without starting a commotion, so he figured why not? "Okay, I'm in."

"Right on! But get your coat and make sure to keep a low profile, as Slick said before, getting recognized in public might not go so well for us. So c'mon, let's go. I'm driving."


After watching the finals of yet another disappointing race season, Muggshot grew dangerous close to rage as that hippo dirtbag Murray smiled and waved, and took the liberity of taking a photo for a few fans of his. He crushed the cigar in his teeth, it was like he was fucking mocking him and his own casino, the Dog House.

His rage was too visible from the outside, many of the few employees he invited to watch the race had already began to back away, creeping closer to the door, just as the hippo's vehicle passed the finish line of the final lap. They all knew the outrage their boss and kingpin could have, and were quite aware of the eruption, so they wanted to be as far as could be if they were to live. As soon as the bulldog howled in rage, they hurriedly scurried to the door, leaving the danger zone.

"Give me a god damned break!"

Muggshot howled, throwing the desk and furniture over, destroying everything breakable in sight. In blind rage he tore his own couch in two pieces and smashed his flat screen television set. He grabbed the lamp in one hard, menacing grip and tossed it at the wall, but before it could make contact and smash into hundreds of pieces it paused, almost as if caught by an invisible force.

The bulldog ceased his rampage and eyed the floating lamp, as it magically drifted back to its spot on the table stand. "Now, now Muggshot, take it easy," instructed a soothing, yet bone-chilling female voice, "you pump yourself full of steroid every day, you don't wanna heartattack, do you?"

He seethed and took a deep breath, finally calming the rest of his nerves as he lower his massive arms and watched the owner of the voice step into the light, whom was none other than Mz. Ruby.

"Yeah, yeah... you're right." He replied, catching his breath, "But what am I suppose to do? That freak'n hippo won the season final, again, and now the Big Winner's Den is gonna put my House outta business. None of my racers seem to win, and this place is going to the dumps, my business is getting worse because of that stupid hippo!"

"Relax Muggshot," the alligator grabbed the dog's chin and ushed him to look at her, "Calm down. If you keep bursting into rage like this you'll only be scaring off your own business, and then you still lose."

"Well, I'm trying to keep my business intact, and I'm mostly trying to win this little match of mine with that hippo. I don't get it, I've declared war against the Big Winner's Den, I've got the head of the gang war, but for some reason I'm still losing the fight here. That's the whole deal why I offered you the position at my side, I need you to take down Murray."

"I know, I know..." Mz. Ruby told him, "and never worry. I've got a plan cooked up to put down Murray and his reputation and love from Mess, he'll never see any of it coming, only I'll take him down through a different approach."

"Are you sure you can handle this?"

"Trust me, Muggshot, I know what I'm doing."


Disclaimer: The character, Seymour "Slick" Samuele, was originally created by Jammin Jabala.

A/N: Just to let you all know, I'm just getting this earlier than I originally planned it so that I can continue where I last left off with ease. So I'll just let you all know that I'm not gonna be updating this story as I usually do with my other stories - because the most accurate reason will be because I'm mostly working on other work - such as the UC: Crossover Showdown I still have planned.