This is an original work of fiction meant for entertainment purposes only.
Dogg & Pony
Frank grinned, and tossed the two tubes into the cracked hatch the moment Stripes pulled it open. The tiger slammed it shut in the same instant, and the pair nodded, and mentally counted down.
"Okay," Frank said, and pulled out the magnum now.
"You're actually going to use that thing," the hybrid exclaimed.
"Let's see? Trigger-happy zealots versus me? I'm telling you, partner, I vote me every time."
"I'm not your… Damn," the hybrid snarled as they pulled open the door again, and stood facing nine men in gas masks.
All pointing guns their way.
"Close it," Frank shouted, snapping off a few quick shots as the agents opened fire on them.
"No," Stripes growled, and dropped low, and going on all fours, he plowed into the men before him.
Frank was right behind, shouting, "And you call me crazy," he barked, firing off rounds from the big weapon he carried, but pointedly aiming for legs, or arms.
He heard yelps, and curses, and considered the soon to be increased sales in prosthetics.
Stripes snarled, and roared as he reached the last man, spun around, and just began battering men aside with his free hand, as his other hand jerked out his regulation taser now, and began stunning anyone still conscious, or capable of resisting.
Meanwhile, Frank continued to maim anyone he took aim on, and did so with a disturbing grin as he walked through the fallen, bloodied men gathered before them, and paused to eye the last man, clutching his ruined right knee, and took aim on his crotch.
"Back off, Stripes. This guy wins my attention by being the last man standing, so to speak," he smirked as the tiger came over to join him after ensuring no one else was conscious, or capable of stabbing them in the back. "So, he tells me where the doctor is, or I ruin his reason for living," he said, cocking the big pistol again.
"You…. You wouldn't! Hybrids are supposed to be….be….."
"Tame? Neutrered? Afraid of the Man? Nope, not my style," Frank smiled, flashing his sharp teeth. "Now, first, last, and only chance. Where is he?"
The man whined, but pointed to a solid wall.
"You trying to piss me off," Frank growled.
"No! No. It's a holo-wall. A blind to keep strangers out of the real lab. He's in there."
"How many guards," Stripes demanded as they head something from the far side of the chamber.
The hybrid cat turned, watching the door that slammed open on that far side, and a stocky, florid-faced man in regulation uniform stood there looking like he had been doing a lot of fighting of his own.
"Who the hell told them we were coming," he cursed, and stomped into the room to join them after a curt look at the downed men.
"I think they're just a lot of bad boys looking for trouble," Frank told Sgt. Corlyss. "You should have seen this lots' friends we had to wade through. But our buddy just told us the madman is right through that holo-wall," Frank pointed. "Only since I'm the distrusting kind, I think we should let him lead the way."
"You shot my knee," the man wailed.
"You did what," the officer sputtered, and only then looked at the big weapon in Frank's hand, and the bloody, injured men around him. "Dogg, you know you aren't supposed to be carrying."
"I'm not. I took it off a poser, and I've been returning it. One round at a time."
Ian Corlyss slapped a hand over his face as the big hybrid canine just grinned.
"Well, don't you want the bad guy to lead the way? I've heard disturbing things about those holo-walls. Frankly, why take chances these jerks have this one booby-trapped? It's the kind of thing they'd do, you know? So, once more, hoppy," he called the injured man looking less than troublesome just then, "Lead the way."
"I can't even walk," the man wailed.
"So, crawl," Frank quipped, gesturing with the barrel. "Or I get impatient. You wouldn't like that."
"Frank," Stripes sighed.
"Oh, hell," Frank huffed, dropping the hammer on a spent round. "Guess it was empty," he said as the man howled when he pulled the trigger. "Guess we do this the old-fashioned way," he said, and grabbed up the man by his collar, and one arm, and simply flung him into the wall.
The man screamed as the electrified panel bounced him back, but only after it had shocked him with a lethal charge.
"Well, guess I was right," Frank murmured, sniffing at the aroma of charred flesh.
"Dogg," Sgt. Corlyss hissed. "You killed that man!"
"No, the wall did," Frank pointed. "Now, we're past the usual games here, Sarge. The guy I am guessing is on the other side of that death-trap is about to launch his poison, and kill the planet. So, what do you say we argue later, and stop him now?"
"How," Stripes asked as his partner just eyed the canine with mistrust.
"Funny you should ask," he said, and pulled out a grenade.
"Dogg," Stripes howled, and grabbed his partner, and leapt to take cover as the canine just pulled the pin, and tossed the explosive toward the electrified wall.
Ian Corlyss stood up, gaping at the jagged hole in the now open wall, and looked beyond to the white-haired man that stood in the middle of what seemed a computer array filled with equipment. There was also a lot of chemicals, and vials filling one table. He was, they saw, the only man in the chamber.
Frank, meanwhile, had scooped up another fallen sidearm, and now had it aimed right at the man who looked at him in horror.
"You can't stop me, animal," Professor Elkins himself sneered as he stood there, loading small vials into an open warhead. "I already have more than enough of my serum ready to launch, and all I need do is….."
Frank fired instantly, all but blowing the man's hand off where it rested over a vial he was reaching for as he spoke.
"Where are the missiles, freak," Frank growled.
"Dogg, stand down," Corlyss shouted as he and Stripes rushed up behind him.
"Sorry, Sarge. The traditionalist was about to toss his poison at us. I didn't think you wanted to risk that one."
The man stood there, clutching the remnant of his bloody hand, and glared at Frank.
"You…. You are just….one example of all…. All that is wrong….with this world. You must see," he told Ian. "I am only correcting a mistake. I am finishing a long overdue…!"
Ian turned and swore hotly at Frank as a thunderous shot rang out, and the older man fell back, his white hair suddenly red as his head all but exploded.
"Wasn't him, Sgt. Corlyss," Stripes said as he lowered the weapon he held.
"Cyril," Ian frowned at his partner. "You? You….shot him?"
"Look at his other hand, Sergeant. He was about to do something with that remote he pulled from his pocket that he covered with his stump. Considering who he was, and what he was trying, I couldn't let him."
"Damn, Stripes," Frank glanced back at him, and eyed the big magnum in the tiger's hand, "I didn't know you had it in you."
"I don't want to die any more than you, Dogg," he growled, and tossed the pistol aside.
"We still have no idea where the missiles are, or who else might be….."
"That's not an issue, one of the four suits that walked in just then declared.
Frank's weapon came back up, and all four men simply eyed him from behind dark glasses, not even reacting to him.
"Just put it down, sir," the spokesman told him. "We've been sent in by the White House to stop this madness. Apparently, we were only a few minutes behind you. Now, I suggest you let our team take over, and finish this project off before someone else accidentally blunders in."
"How do I know you're legit," Frank demanded harshly. "I've had a bellyful of your lookalikes running around taking shots at me all week."
"Let me put it this way, before you go, we'd like the return of Agent Smith. And, of course, a full report on just how you uncovered Dr. Elkins' intentions to commit genocide. After that, you are free to go," the man in the dark suit told him.
"So, you're the legitimate federal agents here to help," Ian asked.
"Indeed, officer. Now, why don't you, and your partner go back up, and call in support to maintain our perimeter so we can finish the job you started here. Mr. Dogg," he turned back to him.
"Frank," Frank growled.
"As you wish. Frank. Let's talk."
"After we find those missiles…."
"Already taken out. We were late arriving because we took out their launch mechanisms, and the support crew hidden in a public warehouse nearby. We just needed to ensure the brains behind the gambit was dealt with, but you obviously managed that part alone."
"Yeah. Like you said. Alone," Frank nodded.
"Bull," Stripes grumbled.
"Trust me, Cyril," Frank told him, actually using his name. "I was alone. Right, Sarge?"
Ian eyed the big hound, and slowly nodded.
"Definitely. We got the call to come in, and help the federal agents after the fact."
"But, Sgt. Corlyss…!"
"Later, partner. Trust Frank on this one. We don't want our names on this report."
"Smart man," the agent in charge nodded as more men in black started showing. Some of them going at once to the computers, and started downloading data.
"Oh, right," Frank nodded as Ian and Stripes stated to leave. "Guys, catch," he told the nearest agent.
The man fumbled the small, silver sphere when Frank tossed it to him, even as it began to hum, and then a faint burst of light exploded, and turned the entire chamber dark, and silent.
"Oh, man. Guess I activated it," he said with mock regret as they stood there in the dark.
"Let me guess," the lead agent demanded, pulling out a glow stick to illuminate the chamber. "You just happened to have an EMP ball with you?"
"Uh, what EMP ball," Frank asked. "Aren't they illegal? I just found that on one of the bad guys, and was going to ask you guys what it was," he assured them.
Ian looked back, shook his head, and kept going. Stripes guiding him back through the maze he had negotiated earlier.
"You can tell me one thing now, Frank," the agent still using a dull monotone requested.
"You had a partner that first alerted you to this plot? One that knew enough to recognize the toxin, and blow the whistle on her professor? Where is she?"
"Dead," Frank told him. "I did tell you that these guys weren't playing around. She was their first victim. I felt like ensuring she was the last."
"Dead," the man drawled, his expression skeptical.
"Yep. Not even sure how. She just….vanished when they broke into my office. Which, you likely know, is also my residence. By the time I got back in with Ellie, my secretary, she was gone, but there was a lot of blood there. So, yeah, I'd say dead."
"All right. You have anything else?"
"Well, nothing that would concern you," Frank drawled indifferently.
The man eyed him, but said nothing.
"Go with Agent Jones. We would like our Agent Smith back. You can give Jones your full report along the way. See if you can't recall any other details while you are at it. And, Frank?"
"Don't share. This is all hush-hush as of now. Need to know."
"And no one needs to know. Right?"
"And Mr. Sanders?"
"We have already addressed the matter with Mr. Sanders. He was most cooperative. He assured us you would be cooperative, too," the agent told Frank.
"Well, I do love to help the law," Frank smiled. Then turned to the waiting agent as the others tried to assess the now fried computers around them. "So, you're Jones? Smith, and Jones. You guys must come from really big families. Huge. Am I right?"
"This way, Mr. Dogg," the man growled.
Frank only smirked as he followed him out, the man carrying his own glow-stick.
"You going to be okay," Tisha asked him when Frank had finally shown up to tell her the men chasing her were gone, but that Ara was now considered missing, dead, and it was best for all concerned, her especially, if that remained true.
"I was going to ask you that," he grinned.
"Frank's a survivor, T," Biz told her as the big gray feline smirked at Frank. "If anyone is going to be okay, it's going to be that ugly mutt."
"Who are you calling a mutt, furball," Frank muttered.
"You," Biz sniffed.
"So, you really want to stay here," Frank asked. "You are technically a free agent now. No more baddies on your tail," he assured her.
"I actually like it here," she smiled. "The girls in the dorm are friendly, and I have a good job here that I know isn't leading me into slavery."
"And she's the best bookkeeper I've had in years," Biz added, having put her to work in his office when he learned she was a college girl. "She got my books back in shape inside of a day, and made me a profit doing it," the feline grinned appreciatively.
Frank eyed him, then looked at Tisha, and nodded.
"Sounds like you have a good thing going, then. So, I'll leave you to it. You need any help, though, you know who to call," Frank told her.
"Wait," Tisha called out when he turned to leave the transportation office.
"Yeah," he asked as she rummaged in her bag, and held out a handful of bills.
"For taking my case, and saving my life. If it's not enough…?"
He took the bills, eyed them carelessly, and shoved them into his jacket.
"More than enough. Like I said, if you need help again. Or have a friend in need, you can refer them. I can always use the money for more drink," he winked.
"You going to be okay," Biz asked him.
"Wow, you actually worried about me, Biz?"
"More like, I'm wondering if you're going to be drawing any more government flies around here again," he sniffed.
"They all left after I handed them everything on a plate."
"I hear a few of them tried to have you arrested."
"Hearsay," Frank winked when Tisha gasped. "You know how those guys are when you step on their toes. I just let them have all the credit for the bust, and they went away."
"Bust," Biz smirked. "I heard you blew everything, and everyone up."
"That's….a slight exaggeration," Frank huffed.
"Right," Biz drawled. "Just stay off my block, Frank. You're bad for business."
"Nice knowing you, too, Biz. Later, Tisha. You be good."
She smiled as he left now, and Biz shook his head as the canine left.
"Do you really think they'll leave him alone?"
Biz looked back at his new accountant, and secretary, and laughed.
"Sweetie, anyone comes looking for trouble with Dogg, is going to get bit, and bit hard. Ain't no one in this city tougher. And I'll deny I ever said that if you dare repeat it," the feline echoed.
She smiled, and went back to her desk.
"I like him, too," she assured him.
"I never said I liked him," Biz sputtered.
"Wow, this place is clean," Frank remarked as he walked into the office later that afternoon after seeing to a few loose ends of his own. "Who'd you bribe," he asked Ellie, who was back behind her desk, redoing her ever-changing nails.
"Those government men did it. They called in a service. Something about a favor owed."
"Uh-huh. How many bugs did they leave behind?"
"I only found eleven. But there are probably more," she shrugged, nodding at the small pile of electronics on the corner of his desk.
"Well, sweeping the place will give me something to do for a while. Looks like it is back to business as usual again."
"That bad? Did that filly even pay us?"
"She's dead, El," he told her. "Dead clients can't pay. I did have a good day at the track, though," he said, and pulled out the stack of bills from Tisha. "So pay off the usual bills, and go get us something for lunch."
"Sounds good," the brunette grinned. "You got a preference?"
"Anything but hot dogs," he growled.
She only laughed as she scooped up the money, and headed for the door.
Even as she pulled the door open, a lean, tawny cat in ragged clothes stumbled in, and looked around.
"Mr. Dogg? Is this Mr. Dogg's office?"
"Call me Frank," he told the young feline who had seen better days from the look of him. "What's up?"
"My girlfriend…. She was abducted, but the cops don't believe me. I tried to go after the guys that took her, but they beat me up, and said next time they'd kill me!"
"Who are they," he asked. "Who did it?"
"Wolves," he shuddered. "The West Lupine Gang!"
Frank eyed Ellie, and sighed.
"Here we go again," he said as he gestured for the feline to follow him to his office.