A/N: So after taking an absence from the series for nearly a year, the second installment for the Tails Series is now in development! Also this has nothing to do with the Tales Series by Bandai Namco.
Just like Tails of Fame, this series takes place in an alternate universe where human beings and anthropomorphic animals coexist, which will be the central theme for every entry included in the series. Unlike Tails of Fame, this story isn't downright depressing and doesn't focus on an abhorrent individual.
The series is an anthology, so every entry in the series can be read in any order, and each entry will focus on a different theme, different set of characters, different plot, etc. Because of this, there's no need to read Tails of Fame before reading this story, as it takes place on a completely different planet and has nothing to do with this story at all, short of one character reappearing from said story in a minor scene. This entry focus on a lion bounty hunter who has been contacted by an unknown party to take down a malicious cartel by any means necessary. And while this is all happening, said bounty hunter is gradually struggling to cope with his own personal dilemmas, along with his deteriorating health as he continues to grow older and his occupation puts unnecessary strain on his body.
Story includes lots of violence, swearing, some nudity, brief M/M sex and rape scenes, death, and gore.
All right, so all that's out the way. Enjoy the story. :)
She kept jogging along the sidewalk, panting softly as she kept up the pace with her friend. The gray-furred rabbit grunted as she quickly side-stepped a couple standing near the crosswalk, moving her way past everyone who was leisurely strolling across the pavement. The rabbit turned around and could see that her friend clad in the yellow tank-top and loose-fitting gray sweatpants was still keeping up with her. The rabbit looked up ahead and saw the giant logo for a café that both rabbits would always stop at during their exercises. As they got closer to the building, the rabbit looked down at the hi-tech watch on her right wrist and saw the time change, stating that it was three o'clock. The moment the rabbit arrived in front of the café, she stopped running and huffed, closing her eyes and wiping some sweat off her face. Her friend stopped right next to her and exhaled.
"Hey, Milz," she said, still out of breath, "how fast was that?"
"Twenty minutes and fourteen seconds," Milz responded.
The other rabbit with light brown fur chuckled before bending over and pressing her paws on her knees. "Good…that's-that's good. We're getting better!"
Milz looked at her friend and grinned. "You're getting better. This was just a warm-up for me."
"Yeah, yeah, yeah, ya damn showoff."
Milz looked down at her watch again and blinked. Her small nose twitched as she looked out into the street and saw dozens of cars speeding by, pumping out exhaust into the air. Then she looked up into the sky and spotted two small hovering spacecrafts that had the letters "IGPA" painted on the sides in bright, white colors. Milz's companion looked up into the sky as well and rolled her eyes.
"Ugh…these damn rallies and shit—got all the cops blotting out the sky. What the hell do politicians need to argue about in LynKaster City?"
Milz shrugged. "Dunno. Maybe they finally wanna change the city's name, Shannon."
"Or maybe they wanna get rid of that old factory at the edge of town. Can't go a week without all that smog clogging up my lungs."
"Eh." Milz shrugged. "Buy a gasmask."
Shannon chuckled. "Yeah, that's funny! Cause I wanna walk around looking like some soldier involved in chemical warfare."
Milz smirked. "S'long as it works."
Milz looked down at her watch again and blinked. "Hey, I gotta go pick up something from my apartment. You go on ahead and start ordering; I'll be back in about…fifteen minutes."
"Fifteen—how are you gonna—"
Milz turned on the corner of the street and disappeared behind a large skyscraper. Shannon stammered, still baffled at how speedy her friend was.
"Tch! BYE!" Shannon shouted, indignant.
She knew she didn't have much time left. And yet, she wasn't worried. Milz had everything planned out precisely. The rabbit huffed as she found a dark alley between two abandoned apartment complexes and ran down inside. Once she reached a brick wall, she looked up and found a ladder dangling from the right building. So Milz sprinted over to the left wall, hopped up against the brick exterior, and kicked herself off. She grunted as she twisted her body around and grabbed the ladder's rungs with ease. Afterwards, she scurried up the ladder until she reached the top, and soon found herself on a set of fire escape stairs. Wasting no time, Milz panted as she sprinted up the stairs and reached the rooftop. She threw herself onto the barren stretch of concrete and brick that had been sullied with dirt and vomit, seconds before she broke out into a sprint. The rabbit could see where she needed to get to, which was five buildings away. As Milz ran, she scooped up a flat wooden plank left on the rooftop and immediately tossed it down between the apartment complex she was on and the building right beside of it, forming a makeshift bridge. Milz ran over the wooden board and arrived on the other building, where she came across a few messily dressed anthros in soiled clothing sleeping on filthy mattresses.
She ignored them, even though her boss would've told her to leave no potential witnesses, and continued running across the roof. Seeing the third building up ahead, Milz gritted her teeth and broke into a sprint, before jumping off the rooftop and onto the next building. The length of the jump had been calculated days ago; Milz knew she would've made it. And she did, grunting and rolling onto the roof of the third building with no trouble. Milz huffed as she stormed her way through two doors that were composed of wire frames and metal before climbing onto a vent and looking at the fourth building. Huffing, Milz waited a moment to get her breath back before she spotted the metal pole hanging from the side of the gray structure. After recovering, Milz sprinted across the vent, which was hanging from the edge of the third building, and jumped off. The rabbit shouted as she latched onto the pole of the fourth building, nearly scraping her paws after sliding down it so roughly. But Milz ignored the pain and climbed up, reaching the edge of the fourth building before looking at the building that had been built to the northwest of the one she stood on.
Luckily, Milz was standing on a building that had a billboard on it that was still under construction. She ran towards it, spotting the buckets of paint, the giant chunks of stone and concrete, metal poles, and other construction equipment that the crew left just sitting around. Milz knew that the crew only worked at night, so she wasn't worried about being spotted. Nor was she worried about taking the ladder that led straight up to the metal platform in front of the billboard. Milz crouched down after hopping on the platform and took a long breath, moments before she broke out into a sprint again and hurled herself off the billboard. The fifth building had a very long flagpole in the corner of the structure, one that Milz was able to grab on with no trouble. She immediately slid down the metal pole and dropped onto the roof before spotting the final building straight ahead. One of the windows of the final building had a broken glass pane, leaving a hole big enough for Milz's body. She sprinted to the edge of the rooftop, leaped, and grunted as she made it through the open window and into a decrepit bedroom.
Sweating and out of breath, Milz crouched down and reached underneath the bed, pulling out a suitcase and a duffel bag. Milz opened up the bag and saw a new change of clothes, all of which were black and gray. The rabbit swiftly removed her tank-top and sweat pants and put on the new clothes before bending down and picking up the case. After acquiring the case, she ran out of the apartment and started to head up the building's staircase. When she reached the top floor, Milz shouted as she shoved the door open and found herself on a flat, empty rooftop that provided her with a perfect view of one of the city streets. Milz looked at her watch again before blinking and looking up into the skies. No spacecrafts or helicopters were around, and no one bothered to put any snipers or other police enforcement agents on this roof. Smirking, Milz walked towards the corner of the rooftop before crouching down and opening the case. In less than thirty seconds, Milz removed the components of a Dragunov sniper rifle and assembled it. Afterwards, the rabbit lied flat on her stomach, looked through the periscope of the rifle, and steadied her paws as she gripped the rifle.
Milz spotted an armored limousine moving through the city streets, with at least five cars wedged behind or in front of it. She couldn't see through the windows, but there was no need to. All she had to do was wait another thirty seconds, and her target would be visible. The car convoy eventually stopped in front of a tall skyscraper hundreds of yards away from her position, and several anthros clad in black or gray suits exited from their vehicles. Milz took a deep breath as one of the guards opened up the limousine's back door, allowing a tall, burly bull to exit the vehicle. Milz stared at the horned beast in a charcoal-colored suit as he stepped onto the street and straightened out his tie. He didn't have time to take another step before Milz shot him in the temple. The rabbit stayed still long enough to see the bull fall down as two of his guards were sprayed with blood, and what seemed to be brain fragments. Not bothering to stay and wait, the rabbit quickly disassembled her rifle and dumped the parts back into the case. She took off her watch and tossed it in there as well, before bending down and picking up the bullet casing too. As Milz began to walk towards the staircase, she removed a small earpiece from her new clothing's pocket and stuffed it into her right ear.
"Is it done?" someone asked over the other end.
"It's done," Milz responded.
Milz removed the earpiece and tossed it into the suitcase along with the bullet casing. Then she took out a small, light green grenade, removed the pin, and put it inside the suitcase before calmly closing it. As Milz headed back to the stairwell, she heard a hissing noise, and knew that the grenade just detonated and was deploying an acidic substance that would get rid of the evidence. Milz rushed back down into the bedroom, took her old clothes out of the duffel bag, and switched outfits again. As she finished putting on her sweatpants and tank-top, she crouched down, pulled the pin from another grenade attached to the black outfit, and dropped it into the duffel bag. She zipped the bag closed and backed away, watching as the bag began to hiss and dissolve after the grenade went off. Exhaling, Milz wiped her face off before she climbed out the window, sliding down a nearby pole and landing on the ground with a soft thud. The rabbit looked around the environment; there was no way anyone could've followed her, not with the chaotic route that she took. And she didn't bother using the front or back door, so there was no need to worry about any cameras catching her.
Her paws in her pockets, Milz walked back onto the street so she could head back to the café.
Milz grunted as she sat down on the opposite end of the same table Shannon sat at. Shannon exhaled as she removed a packed pastry from her pocket and slid it across the table.
"Oh hey, gotcha one of those cinnamon flat bread thingies."
Milz chuckled. "English muffins."
"Whatever. I don't understand why humans couldn't just name everything the same. That's like naming a blue pencil a blucil. It's the same damn thing!"
"No," said Milz, opening up the package and taking out a muffin. "There's a distinction."
"Tch! Distinction my furry ass."
As Milz began to eat her muffin, she took out her cell phone and started scanning the device for local news stories. From what she could see, someone just issued a breaking story about a politician who appeared to have been assassinated.
"That your job again?"
Milz exited out the browser's page and slid her phone back in her pocket.
"Eh. Nothing important."
The obese reptilian creature clad in a white lab coat and dark gray pants snorted as he sat in his chair. He rubbed his dripping snout with a hand that only had three fingers on it before blinking and licking his teeth. He slowly gazed at all the numbers appearing on the computer monitor in front of him before he grinned widely and rubbed his hands together.
"Good…good," he hissed.
As the reptilian beast examined all the numbers, he heard the automatic metal door behind him whoosh as it slid open. The reptilian beast snarled as he turned around and spotted a tall, dark blue alligator wearing a vest and black pants standing in the doorway.
"Dr. Oblingor. Dr. Oblingor, Leon. Must I constantly remind you of proper etiquette when it comes to someone's profession?"
The alligator stared at the reptilian creature as he got out of his chair. He was just barely over five feet tall, and he had a colossal plump yellow stomach that was showing. Vogar tried to tuck in his plaid yellow shirt, but his girth wouldn't allow it, so he wore his shirt and coat with his belly hanging out. The alligator glared at the short, corpulent, dark green creature as he slowly approached him.
"I wasn't aware that cronoks cared about being proper." The alligator flared his nostrils and backed away from the doctor. "It's clear none of you seem to be fond of hygiene."
Vogar chuckled and rubbed his snout. "Hygiene is a waste of time, Leon. Bathing yourself just so you'll only smell fresh for a few hours?"
Vogar waved his scaly, three-fingered hand and snorted. "So why are you disturbing me at this time?"
The guard sniffed. "They need you for the testing procedure again."
Vogar's grin widened. "Wonderful!"
The cronok grunted as he readjusted his shirt and coat, moments before he exited his personal office and found himself standing in the middle of a metal corridor with several wide rooms on each side of the hallway. As Vogar passed by each room, he looked at the button next to each window that had a creamy, translucent covering around all of them. Vogar stepped near one of the rooms, grinning slightly as he reached up and grazed one of the buttons. Leon, however, exhaled and rolled his eyes.
"They're waiting for you, Doctor."
"They can wait another minute."
The cronok pressed the button and heard a faint click. He stood beside the window and blinked, waiting until the translucent particles within the window gradually dissolved, revealing the contents inside the room. Vogar chuckled as he saw what appeared to be some kind of enclosure, something one would typically find in a zoo. Within the enclosure, there were several reptiles, all of whom were naked and covered in scratches and bite marks. None of them looked any different from Leon, but the way they behaved was far too primal. Two caimans were busy fighting each other, snarling and biting each other's faces, trying to see who would be able to eat the last chunk of flesh that someone tossed into the enclosure. Three other alligators were busy fornicating with each other, drooling and panting as they desired to drain their testicles of semen. One crocodile was nonchalantly urinating onto the ground with a blank gaze on her face, shortly before she walked over to the small pond within the enclosure and started to take a drink. Vogar pressed his snout up against the window and let his nostrils widen.
"So primitive," he growled.
After staring at the reptiles inside, Vogar turned and looked at Leon, sizing him up before scoffing at him and shaking his head.
"You all should be lucky. Your kind was nothing but pets to those humans."
"And what are these things you keep in these rooms?"
Vogar smiled. "I see them more as my toys," he said, with a wink.
Vogar reached up and hit the button again, and the window became translucent once more. Sighing, the cronok continued his journey down the corridor, walking through another automatic sliding door and finding himself within the main laboratory. The lab wasn't as noisy now as it typically would be. Most of the scientists and workers had left already, and a majority of his experiments were sleeping soundly in their cages and pens. Leon and Vogar were both walking on a metal catwalk high above the main floor of the lab, feeling the cold steel beneath their feet. Vogar looked down over the railing, staring at the various black barrels full of chemicals and acids. The cronok curled his fingers together, thinking about all the vile nerve agents or viruses he could concoct once he had the right pathogens and chemicals delivered to him and mixed properly. Vogar reached up and scratched around the blue bony plate that was on his head, one of many that started on his scalp and went down his spine and all the way to the tip of his thick tail. Vogar yawned noisily before letting his arms down and scratching his belly-button.
"Any other riveting news, Leon?"
"Baron wants you to contact him after the tests."
Vogar exhaled. "Course he does. I'll call him as soon as we're done here then."
The duo reached the end of the catwalks, and another automatic door whooshed open, leading into an observation room. Vogar exhaled as he held up his hands, while the dozen or so other scientists in the room all glared at him.
"I know, I know, I'm 'late' again. But I was busy, as I always am." The cronok looked down at his girth and shook his belly a bit. "And clearly I'm not as nimble as you all are."
"Yes, we're aware, Doctor. Just hurry up and get the procedure started," said a wily monitor lizard.
Vogar sniffed. "Temper, temper! There's no need to rush perfection!"
Another cronok who looked like Vogar, but was much thinner and with red bony plates on his back, sniffled and rubbed his snout. "Err, actually, Doctor? Didn't the Baron say that we should tr—"
"I was not addressing you, Mollsk. So please still your tongue," Vogar snapped.
The other cronok shut his mouth and shyly moved away. As the guards in the room remained near the doors and locked up the observation room, Vogar walked over to a switch on the wall and flicked it, activating a series of metal shutters near the windows. All of them gradually rolled upwards, revealing a chamber that was merely composed of a few lights and various vents for gases to pump inside. After the shutters went up, Vogar walked near one of the computers in the observation room and quickly ran a few fingers against the keys. One of the other scientists turned and looked back at Vogar, blinking.
"Um, Dr. Oblingor? You sure we need this many test subjects?"
"The last test results predicted one in five hundred. More is better, in this case."
Vogar clicked on a confirmation button once the prompt appeared on the monitor, and the entire room beeped as a warning light went off. Vogar smirked as he walked over to the windows and looked down into the testing chamber that was as big as a gymnasium and currently had a dozen different types of anthros locked up inside with chains. As the lights came on, dark blue mist began to pour out of some of the vents, gradually filling up the chamber and flowing into the prisoners' lungs. Nothing happened at first, and the prisoners were all confused, thinking that they were simply inhaling some kind of drug. But then the screaming and snarling started, and Vogar saw some of the prisoners coughing noisily. Four of them collapsed to the floor and started vomiting profusely, while another ten began to cough up blood. One of the scientists gagged and looked away.
"Urgh, can't we find a way to make this process less graphic?"
"Chemistry isn't about beauty or looking nice and neat. You all know this," Vogar said.
Some of the more squeamish scientists decided to look away from the vile chaos going on within the chamber, finding the sight of all the anthros vomiting inside to be more than revolting. Some of them even began to loosen their bowels, and Vogar could see that some of the test subjects were developing dysentery. Vogar looked up at a timer he had installed within the chamber and could see everyone had only been exposed for thirty seconds. When a full minute passed, Vogar rubbed his hands together and could see that some of the anthros were growing to nearly twice their height, with some of them twelve feet tall or higher. Their muscles expanded and grew as their anatomy changed to the sudden transformation. Vogar grinned widely, happy to see that the test was working.
"There we go…see? I've finally—"
Someone's head exploded, the cranium bursting like a balloon filled with flesh, bone, and brain fragments. Vogar's grin turned into a frown.
Two more heads exploded. Followed by four, and then eight. Vogar exhaled with frustration as he examined the test subjects, watching as many of them either convulsed and bled from every orifice until their expired or their heads exploded, spraying repulsive mulch all over the floor and walls. After several minutes, the gas finally dissipated, and everything in the chamber was quiet. However, much to Vogar's surprise, a dozen of the test subjects were still standing, the anthros still strewn with new muscles and fat. Their teeth were enormous and exposed out the corners of their closed snouts or muzzles, their eyes were dark red or yellow, and their claws and toe claws were as sharp as knives. Vogar's smile returned and he clasped his hands together.
"Twelve…we have twelve this time!"
"Out of five hundred," one scientist pointed out.
"Your pessimism is quite irritating, Dr. Schull. What we have here is progress! Last time it was a single soul who survived—and he died minutes later! But now…"
Vogar pressed his hands and snout against the window, fogging it up. "Ohhhh, they're gorgeous. And they're not fighting each other…look at them. What exquisite beasts!"
"You gonna start ejaculating all in your trousers now, Doc?"
Vogar turned and glared at Leon. He said nothing and merely grinned at him, while all the other scientists moved away from the window after observing the test procedure. The cronok exhaled as he looked up at a lanky komodo dragon and rubbed his muzzle.
"Contact Jurllo. Tell him those soldiers he's been requesting are finally ready!"
The komodo dragon blinked. "Shouldn't we train them first?"
"Absolutely not. We created the product. Jurllo's gonna have to decide whether he wants to use it to fuel his fruitless genocide, or if he wants to merely sodomize those beasts. Go on ahead and call the guards to escort our new products to their holding cells. And get the janitors, obviously."
After Vogar finished speaking with his other assistants, he walked away from the observation room so he could return to the catwalks. The cronok wordlessly made his way back to his personal office and locked his automatic door. Then he walked over to the wall just in front of his computer desk and stepped up to a monitor installed against the structure. Vogar fidgeted with a few buttons on the monitor before punching in a set of numbers, as if he was dialing someone's phone number. A few seconds later, the monitor turned on, revealing a series of static images. Vogar waited patiently, staring at the static for thirty more seconds before the static abruptly switched to an image of a white fox standing inside of what seemed to be a luxurious office and wearing a white suit. The fox wiggled his nose, his icy blue eyes staring straight ahead into the screen.
"What is it, Dr. Oblingor?" the fox asked in a smooth voice.
Vogar grinned. "What's this, dear Baron? No affable greeting this time? Aren't you enthusiastic to see my pretty face again?"
The fox glared at Vogar through the monitor. Even with his mouth closed, several of his teeth were hanging out the corners of his maw, and there was saliva running down some of his teeth.
"Can't say I'm enthusiastic. Or that your face is pretty."
"I'm sure you won't mind it once you see that it's surrounded by millions of dollars."
The fox rubbed his muzzle. "I'm assuming you've perfected the pathogen."
"Alas, no. But my scientists and I have been making progress! Our recent test yielded twelve fully healthy subjects, ready to be shipped out as soon as Jurllo makes his call!"
"Have you trained them?"
Vogar chuckled. "As I told Dr. Komzz, there's no need to. That warlord wanted advanced soldiers. We've made them. Jurllo needs to decide what he intends on doing with them. All you need to know is that we'll be richer soon enough!"
Vogar sniffed. "I also plan on distributing this pathogen out to other sectors of the galaxy…I've found it's quite volatile when it comes to humans."
"That won't be necessary."
"But it'll be fun! And this pathogen will hopefully render all of humanity extinct, with no chance of them migrating to another galaxy this time around!"
"As I said, that will not be necessary. Discontinue further testing on humans for now; it's a waste of time and resources. I need you to focus more on our current goals as opposed to trying to wipe out a race of animals that will inevitably render itself extinct."
Vogar nodded. "As you wish, Baron."
The cronok reached up and turned off the monitor, moments before he walked over to his chair and sat down, exhaling and scooting it towards his computer again. He quickly brought up the security cameras in the facility and immediately switched over to one of the cages in the lower levels. Inside of it was another anthro who was naked and had lost his sanity. Somewhere over in the corner of the cage, a naked human being was squatting in the corner and whimpering. Vogar licked his teeth, noticing five other human cadavers in the cage that had been picked clean by the anthro. Vogar's nostrils flared as he reached down and rubbed his crotch with his left hand, drooling again. The anthro in the cage noticed the human being and approached him. Even though the cameras provided no audio, Vogar knew exactly what was happening. As the anthro tackled the human to the floor and began to rip him apart, Vogar opened his mouth and started to breathe heavily while curling his left hand into a fist.
"Exquisite," he whispered, drool running down his maw.
He always enjoyed this. No one to bother him. No one interrupting him. No one spying on him. Just his roomy office, a nice musky smell in the air, and the sound of the heater gently humming in the background. The tall, burly, blue-nosed pit bull with cropped ears could feel sweat running down his face as he let the sense of euphoria flow through his loins. Taking a deep breath, the massive dog reached down as he ran a thick paw down the cat's back, grinning as the feline whimpered.
"Shhhh," he whispered.
The cat didn't say anything. He kept whimpering as tears streamed down his face, his body already bruised and scratched thanks to the pit bull. The dog reached around the feline's waist and groped his groin, where he felt an erection.
"Y'see? You're enjoying this. Now stay quiet for a few—"
"Stop," the cat sobbed.
The pit-bull shook his head. "I'll stop when I'm fuckin' finished. Now be quiet," the pit-bull snarled.
The cat didn't say anything else; he knew what would happen if he did. So the pit-bull resumed thrusting, panting heavily in the cat's ear as he pressed the feline against the wall. He kept going for another few minutes, shoving his shaft into the cat's behind, until he finally ejaculated. Once the dog finished, he growled sensually in the cat's ear before opening his mouth and licking the cat against his neck. As he held the cat by his hips, the pit bull growled and wagged his tail.
"You wanna go again?"
The cat didn't answer, which agitated the pit bull. So he snorted against the cat's nape, and slowly wrapped his bulky right arm around the cat's throat.
"I said, do you fuckin' wanna go again?" he snarled.
Before the cat could answer, the wall monitor in the dog's office started to beep. The dog snarled as he turned and faced the monitor, knowing there was only one person who would be calling via the same monitor. Frustrated, the dog pulled out of the cat with a faint squelch before shoving him to the floor.
"Don't you fuckin' move!" the dog shouted.
But the dog already knew the cat wouldn't. His footpaws and paws were bound together by handcuffs, and the feline already knew what would happen if he disobeyed the dog. Panting, the dog stomped over to the monitor and punched one of the buttons so hard he nearly broke it. The monitor turned on, revealing an arctic fox in a white suit.
The fox didn't say anything. He just stared at the burly pit bull and raised an eyebrow as he gazed at his naked body and the excess semen dripping from his penis.
"MUTHAFUCKA WHADDYA WANT?!" the dog bellowed.
"Oh my. Seems like I interrupted you."
"YA GODDAMN FUCKIN' RIGHT YA INTERRUPTED ME!"
The fox blinked. "Calm down. Your voice might crack the monitor."
"Just tell me what the fuck ya want so I can get back—"
"To…what? Being a degenerate? Preying on anthros younger or weaker than you?"
The pit bull folded his muscular arms. "Hmph! You don't judge me, muthafucka. All the fuckin' shit you've done? You ain't got no fuckin' right!"
"You keep telling yourself that." The fox paused so he could adjust his light blue tie. "Anyways. I'm calling to let you know that the other heads are meeting at my tower in a few days. Got something big planned if this meeting I'm scheduled for goes well."
"There gonna be a big payday in it for us?"
"As always. Split five ways, like usual. You're all free to use the money as you see fit."
The pit bull grinned. "Soooooooo if I wanna blow all my shit on cocaine, some dirty-ass boar tail, maybe some explosives—"
"It's your money, Gobor. Use it however you please. That's what you do already, isn't it?"
"Ya goddamn right it is." Gobor exhaled. "Fine then. I'll join your fuckin' meeting. Now leave me the fuck alone, 'less you wanna hear all the nasty details of what I'm doing."
"I'm sure it involves you torturing those felines with that atrocious breath of yours. Or perhaps you're forcing them all to lick your anus as you pass gas in their face."
Gobor punched the monitor again and ended the call. Shortly afterwards, the pit bull walked over to his desk and pushed down on a button that was placed in front of a speaker.
"You still got those bombs planted near those houses?"
"Yeah boss. You wanna set 'em off?"
"Not yet, hold on."
Gobor jogged over to the cat on the floor and quickly picked him back up. Giggling, he shoved him over to the monitor on the wall, inputted a few buttons, and turned it on. The cat could see that someone had installed footage of a suburban neighborhood that was many miles outside of the city, which showed a few pedestrians sitting outside talking to each other, playing basketball, or smoking cigarettes or marijuana. Gobor patted the cat on the back, while the feline shuddered and felt his eyes watering again.
"N-no…no, please! I did what you asked! I-I did what you wanted!"
"Yeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaah." Gobor sucked on his teeth and shrugged. "Don't care!"
Chuckling, Gobor walked over to his speaker and pushed down on a button. "Light 'em fuckers up, Rex!"
Gobor released the button and walked back over to the screen, while the cat wailed after hearing what the dog said. But there was nothing he could do. What appeared as a regular suburban neighborhood soon erupted into a series of explosions. At least six bombs went off back to back, destroying entire blocks and obliterating several homes. Some of the civilians in the streets were blown apart on camera, and the cat had the displeasure of witnessing a few teenagers getting charred by the fire. After the explosions stopped, Gobor broke out into a fit of hysterical laughter, clapping his paws together as he looked at the cat's face.
"HAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAA! Oh-oh my fuckin' god! YOUR FACE! YOU SHOULD SEE YOURSELF RIGHT NOW!"
The cat's tail went limp as he looked at the floor, all life in his body draining away.
"Yeah, yeah, yeah, who gives a fuck what I said? Does it look like I give a shit what you want?"
"But…you said…you said my-my family—"
"Check your ears, bitch! I said that I wouldn't kill your family if you came to my tower and submitted to me. And I didn't!" Gobor chuckled. "My loyal servant Rex did! So, y'see, I kept my word!"
Gobor walked over and turned off the monitor. Then he walked behind the cat again, leaning forward and blowing his hot, rank breath against his nape.
"Seeing as how your home is gone and your whole fuckin' family's dead, maybe uh…"
Gobor looked down and rubbed the cat's buttocks.
"Maybe you should find a new home…hmm?"
Maybe the cat was physically exhausted. Maybe he just gave up on life altogether. But he slowly found himself getting on his paws and knees, waiting patiently for Gobor to get behind him. The muscular pit bull grinned widely as he crouched down, his semi-erect penis aimed for the feline's tailhole.
Always running. Always moving. Always counting. Always managing time. The muscular dark brown goat wearing only loose-fitting blue shorts and a necklace slowly paced back and forth, holding a clipboard in his hands and gazing at the tables in front of him. He was standing in the middle of a huge warehouse, with various vehicles driving in and out of the facility transporting all sorts of product to different locations around the planet. The goat sniffed as he looked at the seven anthros standing in front of him and beheld the sheer amount of supplies on all the different tables. Exhaling, the goat slowly walked near a table with medical supplies and equipment on it and sniffed.
"Kully. Medical supplies. Five hundred pounds. Gonzu Peninsula. Spacecraft."
The koala standing on the other side of the table blinked. "Ship may be faster, sir."
"Spacecraft. You'll be able to avoid the coast guard that way."
The koala bear quickly started to package the supplies into five different boxes just as the goat wandered over to the second table and tapped on his clipboard with a pen.
"Jonson. Plasma batteries, bullets, and explosives. 'Bout four hundred pounds. Greervin's Island. Boat."
"Which boat, sir?" the donkey asked.
"Speed. S'got camouflage capabilities, although you shouldn't need it."
Jonson started sealing up a crate full of plasma weaponry when the goat stepped to the next table, tapping the pen against his jaw.
"Let's see…Torvo. Seventeen kilos of heroin. Five bags of prescription pills. Six kilos of cocaine. Should be seven. Put the brick back on the table. Asshole."
The gorilla standing on the other side of the table groaned and rolled his eyes as he dug into the back of his pants and tossed the seventh brick of cocaine back onto the table.
"Damn it! Was sure I would've got ya this time!"
The goat looked up at the gorilla and smirked. "Gyver's City. Truck. The authorities there are working with the Baron; you should have no trouble, assuming there's no rogue police officers."
The goat shifted over to the fourth table and widened his nostrils. "Harris. Shower. Soap. Water. Today."
The shirtless brown rabbit standing on the other side of the table exhaled. "What the hell for?! All I do is run around and ride on those confounded bicycles; s'not like this job is hygienic! And you don't smell like a bushel of strawberries either, sir!"
"No, but I don't smell like my ass crack. You do."
Torvo heard the goat's comments and laughed to himself. Harris immediately glared at the primate, and Torvo quickly shut his mouth.
"Anyway," the goat resumed. "Harris. Four crates of semi-automatic handguns. One crate of shotguns. Two crates of submachine guns. One case with a rocket launcher. One case with a grenade launcher. Gyver's City. Truck."
"I—wait, wait, wait, no, no! That means I gotta ride with Torvo!"
"Kolson, I'm not riding with this stank-ass rabbit, okay?" the gorilla protested.
The goat looked up at both anthros and smiled. "Torvo, you're going with him because you keep screwing with my orders as a means of entertainment. Now normally, I don't mind it, but last week, one of our employees did steal from our shipments. And our customer was not very pleased with that. So you're riding with Harris. For eight long hours."
"Are you shitting me?! You've any idea how many times Torvo farts in an hour?! This ape isn't even trying to hold 'em in! I'm gonna suffocate!" Harris complained.
Torvo snorted as he looked at the rabbit. "Hey. I'm a vegetarian. Don't get all pissy that my diet mostly consists of cabbage, beans and broccoli."
Kolson grinned widely. "Y'see? Both of you will cry during the journey. You'll be equally abused. Deal with it."
"But I didn't even do anything!" Harris whined.
"Exactly. You didn't shower. That's on you. Now you two kiss and move the product. On a tight schedule today."
Kolson knew the two anthros would continue arguing, but he didn't care. They'd obey their orders, like everyone else did. So he shifted over to the fifth table that had several stacks of money on it and rubbed his nose.
"Kayla. Seven million dollars. Two duffel bags. Erdyn Airfield. Plane."
The cheetah standing on the other side of the table wagged her tail. "No interference from the IGPA?"
"Not that I'm aware of. Should be a clean flight over there."
As Kayla started putting the money into her duffel bag, the goat shifted over to the sixth table that had various bottled chemicals on it.
"Polly. Assortment of volatile nerve agents. Four canisters. Demyl Swamp. Spacecraft."
The brown bear standing opposite of Kolson rubbed her forehead. "Damn…that swamp."
"Make sure one canister goes to Dr. Oblingor as well."
"And I have to go see that cronok?"
"I know that Dr. Oblingor is a pompous narcissist who relishes in watching others suffer. And I know that his creations are unholy abominations and downright sacrilegious. And I know that his breath is deplorable. But these are the orders for the shipment. Don't talk to him, don't engage in conversation; just drop the package and leave. This'll be the last time I send you there."
Polly exhaled. "All right, sir."
As the bear grunted and began to haul the shipment outside, the goat stepped over to the final table and exhaled.
"Franz. Final shipment. Retire early. Gonna miss you."
The giant tortoise standing on the other side of the table chuckled and scratched his bald head. "Aww…c'mon now, don't be like that. You know how it is…just gotta know when to cut and run."
"Least you told me. I respect that. Last two couriers I had who 'retired' just stole our shit and we had to spend a month hunting them down."
The goat exhaled. "Anyway. Volatile explosives. Grenades, dynamite, gunpowder, dozens of rockets. Crate full of laser weaponry too. Rillver Harbor. Ship."
"I'm assuming one of the bigger ones."
"Clearly." Kolson lowered his clipboard for a moment as he smiled and extended his fuzzy right hand forward. "Was nice working with you, Franz."
The tortoise chuckled. "Likewise."
Both of them shook hands briefly. Once they took their hands away, Franz started gathering up all the supplies he had to deliver. Kolson exhaled as he walked over towards his office door and stepped inside, where his personal bodyguard was waiting for him.
"Everything okay, sir?" the lithe panther asked.
Kolson huffed as he sat down in his chair and set his clipboard on the desk in front of him. He rubbed his eyes for a moment before nodding.
"Just a bit tired, Joey. Haven't slept in…fuck, what time is it?"
Kolson chuckled. "About thirty hours now."
The panther nodded. "I understand. Erm, permission to speak freely, before I let you get some rest?"
"I don't think you're making the right call letting Franz go. Shouldn't we kill him? Place a bomb on his boat?"
"Negative. Franz has been nothing but loyal to me. I trust him."
"If the IGPA get ahold of him—"
"He has more than enough money to disappear. And you've seen his scars, Joey. There's nothing the IGPA will do to him he ain't already been through. Do not kill him."
The panther nodded. "It's just…one little error—"
"If Franz is killed and I discover that you were responsible, I'm sending you off into Knochen City so Gobor can have a go at you."
Kolson glared at Joey. "You and I both know how Gobor feels about you felines and what he does to males of your 'stature.'"
Joey nodded. "Yes…my apologies. Oh, um, since you mentioned Gobor? He sent…something yesterday. Between all these preparations I forgot to mention it to you."
The goat rolled his eyes. "Was it another fake bomb?"
"No. Um…about twenty felines. All, err…abused. Horribly. Locked up in some trailer truck."
Kolson's eyes widened. "What?"
"I didn't know if you wanted us to kill them or if you wanted to make some money offa them. I got guards taking care of them, feeding them, don't worry."
"Were these felines raped?"
"How old are they?!"
"Not sure how old they are, but they're young enough to still be in school."
"FUCK!" Kolson shouted, slamming his clipboard against the wall so hard it cracked. The goat leaned back in his chair and groaned noisily as he reached up and grabbed his pointy, slightly curved horns. "Get rid of 'em."
"Take 'em all to the nearest hospital you can find! I'm not shipping off a buncha kittens so they can sell their asses on the streets, and I'll be damned if they're going back to Knochen City!"
Joey sniffed. "The authorities may ask questions, sir."
"Good! Gobor started this! He dumped a pile of dog shit on my doorstep, so I'm gonna throw it right back at him, and he's gonna have to clean it up!"
"What if this leads back to you?"
"I said dog shit, not goat shit. If the authorities figure anything out, he's gonna suffer, not us. And that's just fuckin' fine with me."
Kolson exhaled as he slowly rubbed his face again and snorted. "So take 'em all to the hospital and report to me once the deed's done."
Joey nodded. "Understood, sir."
The panther left the goat's office, locking the door on the way outside. After the panther exited the goat's office, Kolson stood up from his chair and dragged his feet over to the couch he had near one of the walls. Then Kolson lied down on the couch and shut his eyes, sighing. Not even five minutes later, he was unconscious.
The arctic fox blinked as he stood at the window, gazing down into the city below. Everything seemed to glow in a radiant sea of neon colors. Dozens of buildings were showing off their vibrant exterior with colossal signs. Hundreds of vehicles were zooming through the streets, everyone hurrying to their destination, not caring about anything outside of their personal bubble. Spacecrafts and hoverships occasionally rumbled as they floated past the tower the fox stood inside of. Sniffing, the fox ran a paw against his furry muzzle before drinking the rest of the wine in his glass. He exhaled as the crimson-colored fluids ran down his esophagus and sniffed again, still observing the city streets below him.
"I grow tired of waiting, fox! You will conduct business with me starting now!"
The fox chuckled after hearing the watery, deep voice with a slight lisp in the speech pattern. As the arctic fox turned around, he stared at the enormous, eight-foot-tall creature clad in red armor with yellow stripes spread around the exterior. The creature looked like a giant humanoid bee or hornet. He had four humanoid arms instead of two, and if the creature stood up, the fox would see humanoid legs. But his entire head was shaped exactly like a bee's was, and the creature had a bulbous, insectoid abdomen dangling from behind where an animal's posterior would be. The fox walked over to the giant bee-like alien as he clacked his mandibles together and slurped a few times.
"You will learn to be patient. Your ancestors were quite disciplined in that department," the fox said in his quiet voice.
"Do not compare me to those inferior pests that buzzed around on planet Earth!"
The fox exhaled as he set his wine glass down on his desk and blinked. He placed his paws on two different clocks on the desk. One of them was ticking faintly, while the other one displayed what time it was on a flat screen.
"No, Maynard, I will—"
"Commander Maynard!" the alien shouted, slamming his fist on the desk.
The fox exhaled and rolled his eyes. "Commander Maynard, right. You see, your kind used to be inferior. You were used by those humans to make honey for them. You were nothing more than a product, just a disposable tool."
The arctic fox rubbed his paw against the ticking, old-fashioned clock made out of wood. "No one cared for your species, not for what you really were, what you could do. …But look at you now. What are you? A proud apid commander? A valiant warrior? A conqueror? All of the above?"
The fox could somehow sense that the giant alien was grinning, even though his bee-like head wasn't capable of showing such emotion.
"All of the above, Baron. Who else—"
"Incorrect," the fox said, reaching over and rubbing the digital clock. "Sure. Perhaps you've become sentient enough to speak. We all have. You apids, according to those humans, are descendants of bees. And we anthros used to be wild animals that would frolic in the woods on all fours, wearing no clothes, fornicating at our own leisure, micturating and defecating wherever we wanted, eating raw flesh—"
"You are wasting my time, Baron! Get to your point!" Maynard snapped.
Baron sat down in his expensive, comfortable maroon chair and exhaled. "We're all animals. We've all evolved. But nothing has changed. We haven't changed, and we never will."
"You're a contradictory creature, fox! You just said we've evolved!"
Baron shook his head. "Cogs can't evolve," the fox said softly. "Machines don't evolve. They might shift appearances, maybe fool viewers into thinking they're different."
Baron paused so he could stare at the two clocks on his desk. One ticked gently in his ear, while the other one merely changed a number that was displayed on the clock's digital face.
"We're all cogs, Commander. We operate and coexist because we have to make the machine we're a part of function properly. If a cog gets damaged, it'll be replaced. But it'll cost lots of time, energy, effort, money. Perhaps multiple cogs will break. And that will cost more time and profits. Maybe the machine will upgrade, and the cogs must be replaced with circuitry and wires, or coding within a program. But they're all still cogs. And it's all still a machine."
Baron paused again, and he started to run the claw on his right index finger against his wooden desk. "Simple really. Shame most of the cogs I collaborate with don't share the same mentality."
"This is all quite philosophical and relevant," the apid said, sounding lethargic, "but none of it answers my question."
"Ha." Baron rubbed his muzzle again as he stared at the four-armed apid with a smile on his face. "Of course I accept your proposal. Why would I not?"
The apid slurped noisily. "Good, good! This colony has been rather bothersome for the Apis Empire—"
"You mean for you."
Baron chuckled. "And you intend on handling your part of the deal?"
"I never go back on my word. It would be dishonorable."
"But we're both cogs. Have you forgotten already? And if two cogs can't connect properly, well…one of them must be disposed of."
Commander Maynard pounded two of his fists against the desk, tipping over Baron's empty wine glass. "HOW DARE YOU THREATEN THE APIS EMPIRE!"
Baron blinked. "How dare you assault my pristine desk."
"YOU THINK THIS IS FUNNY?!"
"I'LL HAVE YOU KNOW THAT THE APIS EMPIRE WILL COME TO THIS PLANET—"
"And raze this planet to the ground—which you can't do, I should add. You'll kidnap our females. Rape our pups and kittens with your stingers. Mutilate the males. Defecate in our neighbors' swimming pools." Baron waved a paw and exhaled. "I've heard it before."
Commander Maynard snarled viciously and began to flutter his wings. Baron raised a paw.
"Before you start screaming again, I'll have you know—don't you dare spit on my desk."
Commander Maynard closed his mouth and sucked in his saliva.
"Good. Now…all you need to know is that I'll get the job done. This colony? Meh. It is refuse, as far as I know. And this refuse must be disposed of immediately so we can continue to function. If a few hundred thousand—"
"Hundred million. They must all be purged!"
Baron stared at Maynard. And then he blinked. "Meh. A bear is much, much bigger than termites. And termites would be overwhelmed at how large a pile of ursine feces can be."
Baron shrugged. "We're two termites looking at a bear."
"And it just shat in front of me," Maynard snarled.
"No worries. The machine will resume functioning properly soon."
"Good. Don't disappoint me, Baron."
The fox didn't say anything. He sat still and watched as the commander stood up and started walking to the set of double-doors in the fox's office. After opening them up and slamming them shut, the apid alien disappeared, walking alongside other apid guards. Baron, meanwhile, sat in his comfortable chair and exhaled. He flicked his eyes down at his old-fashioned clock made of wood and composed of tiny gears within. Then he looked at the clock that ran on batteries and was composed of circuitry and wires instead.
And then he smiled.