Sorry I took so long to get back to you on this (excellent job on your latest story, by the way, Ladsone), but I wanted to wait until Catfan1 and I finished our latest story. This is a 23rd century Dog Star Squadron story and Part Two of this story even ends with a lead-off to the next installment in our multiverse epic. Catfan1 and I would like to thank all of you for your patience (just as *I* would like to thank Catfan1 for his help as usual) and... without further ado....
Rushing Blue Attacks (Part One)
There's excitement on the ship of the 23rd Century Dog Star Squadron as Professor Tralfaz (aka Starhound) leads a group of puppies and kittens on a tour. The "History Scouts" (as the collection of youths refer to themselves [though Dash likes to smart-aleckly refer to the youths as "the Starhound Fan Club"]) are learning all about the history of the team, its mission and greatest battles.
And as a special treat, the history professor has a 3-D video presentation on the original Dog Star Patrol. But as he details the biography of Brainy Barker, behind him a different picture appears: a French Poodle posing on her back with the title "Intergalactic canine playmate of the year" hovering overhead. There's twittering (mostly from the MALE puppies) and some confused stares as Tralfaz turns around, gives out an embarrassed yelp, then says, "But I checked it just before it started. The only way this could have happened is if someone with super-speed switched..." as he turns around and glares at Dash who begins laughing loudly.
"Gotcha, Poindexter." Dash manages to say AS he laughs.
"I find it ironic that, in ACTUAL dog years, you are, technically speaking, the oldest member of the team and yet, you are also the least mature." Tralfaz says in an understandably annoyed tone, but one also indicating he IS doing his best to keep calm.
"Hey. I have to keep myself young at heart." Dash Hound says with a smirk.
Later, an angry Prophetic Pup has just had words with Dash (who, being quite used to scoldings from the Squadron's leader, simply retorts with a crack along the lines that he isn't surprised that Prophetic Pup is sticking up for her WOULD-BE boyfriend) when priority one alarms go off. The main group of Dog Stars are needed to deal with an emergency on a nearby planet where buildings are slowly growing smaller, causing all kinds of problems. Whizzy sighs, "Tab and Tanya again," he says resignedly. "If I start now, I should have a solution ready by the time we get there." the science-savvy super-cat says as he starts toward his on-ship laboratory.
Prophetic Pup looks at Dash sternly. "An informant just passed word to the space rangers that someone will try to rob a cache of rare chemicals from an Intergalactic Council Lab. The vault is made out of one of the strongest metals in the universe, is sealed up airtight, has a state-of-the-art lock AND is further protected by a powerful force field, but the space rangers called us because they don't want to take any more chances than absolutely necessary. I want you and Tralfaz to investigate and I expect you two to work together with no problems."
The two heroes glare at one another, but are polite in front of Prophetic Pup.
As they leave, Air Dale comments that those two don't exactly show the makings of a good team and asks if she's sure she did the right thing,
"Only about 93 percent, but I think they can handle it and they need to learn to work together," she replies.
"Yeah, but I still can't help feeling sorry for Tral having to put up with Dash on his own." Air Dale comments honestly.
"You and me both, AD." Whizzy says over the radio transmitter in his collar as he's working in his laboratory.
On the way to their mission, Dash insists on piloting. "Then is it ok if we listen to my Schubert audio cubes?" Tralfaz asks.
"Knock yourself out, nerd-boy," Dash grumbles in reply.
But when Tralfaz inserts the cubes, he's surprised and quickly covers his ears.
Dash laughs, "I switched that classical claptrap for my 'Best Hair Bands of the late 20th century' cubes. Like it?"
"How can anyone with sensitive dog ears listen to that?" Tralfaz replies indignantly. "The legendary bad singing of Streaky the Supercat could not have been much worse!"
"Just what I'd expect from an elitist snob like YOU, boss lady's pet," Dash growls.
"It has nothing to do with me being an elitist snob. I actually have a pretty good tolerance for many things. This so-called music just doesn't happen to be one of them." Tralfaz says honestly, but in a tone indicating that he's only controlling his temper via great effort.
Fortunately, just then, a signal goes off on the craft's monitor as they approach their destination. The two are seemingly all business as they approach the lab.
From a long distance away, a pair of cat eyes are watching from her cloaked space ship.
"So the Dog Stars think they can beat me with their 'B' team," a clearly female Russian Blue in a suit of strong, but lightweight armor gloats as she adds, "This should be no challenge at all."
Inside the lab, Starhound and Dash are getting into position to try to guard the rare chemicals they are assigned to protect, the two heroes agreeing to each guard a different entrance so that they'll be twice as likely to spot the perp in time (and, on a more personal note, so they can actually get a brief break from each other).
"Remember geek-hound, if you see anything, let me know," Dash says, "So I can come and bail you out."
Tralfaz stiffly replies, "Of course the same goes for me." Dash smirks,
"I doubt that will be necessary," he replies as he leaves to guard his entrance.
Tralfaz is still angry with Dash, but reminds himself he's on duty and, at any rate, he can't let his other teammates down.
Then something happens so quickly Tralfaz isn't sure what's going on. Out of nowhere, Rushing Blue shows up, followed by two cat gang members.
However, Dash is blocking her path. "I shoulda' known you were the thief, Rushing Blue. Give it up, Madame Hurry."
Dash notices one of Blue's gang members racing toward the vault with the chemicals and rushes to put a stop to it, but suddenly Rushing Blue is on the attack and Dash (who finds two-thirds of his speed being drained off) also feels himself knocked aside as the feline speedster rushes toward the vault.
"Thanks for the boost, Dash," she cracks, easily picking up the safe herself (the security measures Prophetic Pup mentioned don't stop "Rushing Blue" from taking the whole safe, even if it still WILL take her a while to figure out how to bypass the force field) and running off while the two gang members accompanying her distract Dash with their borrowed speed (she temporarily gave each of the two hoods half of the speed she drained off of Dash, which means they're both one-third as fast as Dash is normally and JUST AS FAST as Dash will be for the next few minutes).
Just then, Tralfaz enters the room and manages to take out one of the gang members (by aiming a starbolt for where the hood WILL BE rather than where he IS and then trapping that hood in a stellar energy force field while he's still recovering from the starbolt) while Dash subdues the other one with the help of a miniature whirlwind that he traps the crook in, but Rushing Blue is nowhere to be found.
"Why didn't you call for backup?" Tralfaz asks.
"Like you could have done anything. That gal is as fast as *I* am," Dash snaps back bitterly as he's tying up the two hoods.
"Not to mention both stronger AND smarter than you are. Well, at any rate, we have to go after her," Tralfaz says. "I don't wish to go back and tell Prophetic Pup and Dale that we failed."
"Well, maybe the two stooges here have an idea of where that slinky speedfreak is heading." Dash Hound says as he is pointing to the two tied up hoods.
"By the time we manage to get Doctor Aleksandra's cronies to talk, she'll already be light years away. It is notoriously difficult to get a confession out of Cat Crime Cartel members." Tralfaz points out.
"Doctor Aleksandra?" Dash Hound says in a confused tone.
"Yes. "'Rushing Blue's'" REAL name is Doctor Alina Aleksandra. She was quite the brilliant scientist before she joined the Cat Crime Cartel. In fact, I had a great admiration for her before she went bad." Tralfaz explains.
"And, while I'm going to feel stupid about asking this, just how do YOU know that when *I* didn't? Rushing Blue hit the scene BEFORE you took up your big bro's mantle." Dash Hound retorts.
"It's called "'reading her file'" Dash. It's something YOU should try sometime." Tralfaz answers.
"I can't help it if I have no patience for that type of computer work." Dash Hound comments as he hears a beeping.
"Sounds like our ship's remote control scanner has picked up the unique energy signatures on those rare chemicals Doctor Aleksandra just stole. That means we can trace the energy trail and use it to follow her no matter where she tries to hide. Good thing I had the foresight to program the computer to pick up the specific energy signatures of the chemicals, JUST in case the thief DID manage to get them out of the building," Tralfaz says, answering Dash Hound's question about how Tral intends to go after Rushing Blue BEFORE the hyper-fast greyhound can even START to ask it.
"Give me some credit," Tralfaz adds. "After all, I've spent most of my life studying the eternal struggle of hero and villain. Not to mention the fact that, over these last few months, I've learned even more about crimefighting from working with Dale and Whizzy."
"Okay, okay. let's just hit the space ways before that fleet-footed feline felon makes a clean getaway." Dash mutters in annoyance.
"Just one more thing," Tralfaz says, as their ship takes off. "Much as it pains me, I will require your total cooperation to have even a slight hope of success, so..."
"OK, truce, smart guy," Dash replies. "But once this is over, I'm gonna be tempted to knock that collie snout of your's into a pug nose..... and just remember, I've got both the speed AND the muscle to do just that if you press your luck too far."
"And it's a pleasure working with you, too, Dash," Tralfaz retorts as the two begin to concentrate on following the trail of the chemicals. Also during the journey, Tralfaz radios Whizzy for some information and soon, the heroes have a plan.
With the aid of their own cloaking device, Dash Hound and Starhound land on a nearby planet. The area is well guarded, but they have the advantage of knowing where the chemicals are and Dash's super speed. However, Dash's use of speed sets off a series of alarms and soon the two canine heroes are in battle with a gang of henchcats. Fortunately, between Dash's speed and Tralfaz's blasts of stellar energy, they are able to overcome the Crime Cartel thugs and soon reach a room where indicators show the chemicals are inside.
"What are we waiting for?," Dash asks impatiently.
"Doesn't it seem to you that, maybe, this was too easy? Remember, Doctor Aleksandra is very tricky and this looks like a classic super-villain trap," Tralfaz responds. "I'm not going in until we get a clear reading on what else is inside and, so far, I'm picking up ambiguous readings from this scanner."
From behind them, a feminine voice says, "Awww, you spoiled the surprise" just as Doctor Alina Aleksandra hits both canines from behind with a ray that blasts them into unconsciousness
To Be Continued
Edited 3 total times.