My name is Bitefighter and I’m a dog on the run.
I’m a 10 lb. Terrier Extraordinaire with an 83rd level intellect. I used to lead a relatively sedate life posing as Kent Wayne’s loyal little buddy. Two years ago, an evil bitch named Taylor Swift seduced my pet human. She slowly but steadily re-engineered his psychosomatic neurostructure; now he’s a cat and chihuahua guy. There’s no longer room in his heart for real dogs. After 178.3 seconds of crying, followed by 37.9 seconds of sadness, I got the hell over it.
A Terrier Extraordinaire may be huggable and loving, but at the core of our warrior hearts, we’re like furry versions of Batman—we live for this shit.
I can’t remember when I had to last endure Bath Time. For the past couple of years, I’ve been sleeping in sewers and alleyways, evading Taylor’s Humanoid Drone Corps. I am now a member of the Underground Resistance—a rebel network formed by Real Dogs. Until its dying day, The Resistance will fight against the flood of chihuahuas and cats that have infiltrated American households.
(Watch out, French Bulldogs—I wanna see more running and playing out of you; you guys are pretty damn close to making my shit list).
Right now I’m in a cool-as-balls, gritty-as-hell technological fortress I’ve constructed within a dumpster. I call it the Bitemobile. Yeah, it’s capable of firing a variety of high-end weapons, but it’s still got a blue-collar sci-fi vibe, kinda like the stuff in the good Star Wars movies.
“Boss!” my Terrier lieutenant Muttocks barks. “We’ve got incoming!”
I glance over at my security monitors. A quarter mile out, I see a hunter/killer team of chihuahuas wearing advanced cybernetic headgear; they all look like miniature Boba Fetts. They’re being led by none other than my former pet human: Kent Wayne. He’s wearing his usual Man Whore garb: bow tie and booty shorts. And he’s also wearing one of those Mandalorian helmets—probably how Taylor maintains control of his peanut-brained mind.
A mix of rage and sorrow crashes through me, causing my lower lip to tremble. I’m momentarily lost in a wash of heart-stirring memories: scratchies on the sofa, tug-of-war with rope toys, delicious dog cookies from Furry Fiesta Petstore and Bakeshop…
Then my tiny eyes steel over. This is no time for sentimentality. If Taylor finds us, she’ll subject us to a lifetime of baths, haircuts, and small sweaters. Our locomotion will be severely restricted; instead of eliciting yells from random passerby as we romp wildly through the park, we’ll be stuffed into her $50,000 Hermes purses.
Fuck that noise.
I slap a tactical data-monocle down over my right eye. My super-intelligent brain begins working at top speed, processing avenues of attack (and their probabilistically determined follow-on scenarios), a mix of semi-refined data, as well as a host of escape contingencies.
“BOSS!” The panicked yell comes from my Captain of Great Danes, Goofus Roofus. “There’s a cloaked team on the rooftop above us! Our sensors just picked them up and they’re—”
“Say no more,” I hiss. My right hand raises over my head, flicking through an array of holographic toggles. Cool green light reflects faintly off the silver patch of hair that coats my chest.
The onboard computer: “PROPULSION SYSTEMS ENGAGED.”
If this were a movie, here’s where you’d get a close up of my tiny doggy lips as they stretched back into a grin.
On my security cams’ monitors, I see the stealth team ditch their cloak and drop toward us. Right before they hit our roof, my tricked-out dumpster lets off a scream that sounds like a cross between a jet engine and a turbolaser.
(I can’t help but imagine Hans Zimmer’s Dark Knight film score playing in my mind)
We rocket out of the alley, taking fire from a battalion of Taylor’s killer robots. Our auto-locking gunnery is working at full speed, blasting through 20th level Dark Sorcerer chihuahuas (I’m going by AD&D 2nd Edition definitions, so level 20 is a demigod for those of you who’ve led culture-deprived childhoods), Justin Bieber life-model attack clones, as well as her most vicious minions of all: Swiftettes. Each Swiftette has been thoroughly indoctrinated in the ways of Cat and Chihuahua. They’re experts in all manner of physical battle, as well as rudimentary mind-to-mind combat. Swiftettes are easily the most dangerous (and annoying) of them all. If they get their hands on you, your mind will slowly disintegrate from their overpowering instinct to nest; not even Warren Buffet could stem the tide of debt resulting from their animalistic need for superficial bullshit. If they had their way, the only true winners would be the Container Store and Pier One Imports.
Rowfologist Rex, my Labrador In Chief, yells, “BOSS! OUR DUMPSTER IS GOING TOO FAST! WE’RE GOING TO TIP OVER WHEN WE TAKE THE NEXT—”
I push forward on a titanium lever. The onboard computer intones: “SIDE-THRUSTERS ACTIVATED; BALANCING PROTOCOL ENGAGED.”
neeeEEOOOORRRPKEW! We take the next turn at 200 mph. Everyone holds on to something as centrifugal force throws us violently sideways. On the external cams, I see our side-thrusters fire up and keep us from tipping.
I flick a switch to my right.
“FLIGHT MODE ENGAGED.”
Wings section out from our sides in a chain of ratchety clanks. A brief thrust of our aerial rocketry pushes us forward…then we’re taking to the skies. Yes! Another escape! But wait…down on the ground I see my former pet human a few hundred yards to our front.
A mix of emotions run through me. Yes—he may be a hopeless idiot that’s controlled by the roil of testosterone metastasizing out from his ballsack and infecting every inch of his organs, but he and I had a sacred covenant: we were Buddies For Life. That isn’t something that I—or any Real Dog—takes lightly.
I grit my teeth. “Computer, engage autopilot. Prime the bungee winch. Swoop in towards the 5’7” human male—the one that’s built like a brick shithouse.”
“AS YOU WISH, PILOT BITEFIGHTER.”
Goofus Roofus yells, “You can’t do this, boss! You’re the leader of all dogs! The movement needs you!”
I finish snapping the winch’s harness onto my little body, then fix Goofus with a level stare.
“And how would the other dogs take if if I violated the holy pact they know as Buddies for Life?”
His mouth opens, then closes. A conflicted look flashes through his eyes. Then he gives me a solemn nod.
I nod back. “Computer: give me an exit and deploy the winch.”
Alloyed plating unfolds under my feet, and I drop into the night, zooming down towards my former pet human. The auto-decelerating cable does its magic and I gradually slow, ensuring that my tiny body doesn’t snap from whiplash. As I swoop by Kent Wayne, I attach a quick-don harness onto his torso and key my command microphone with the corner of my jaw.
“Precious cargo has been secured. Reel me up.”
SHOOOM! I rocket back up toward the Bitemobile. A moment later, my former human and I are lying on the deck of my techno-enhanced dumpster. Even through his Boba Fett helmet, I can see he’s fighting Taylor Swift’s psychosomatic mind control. Due to his voice modulator, his words come out sounding like a robot’s:
“LEAVE…ME…BITEFIGHTER. YOU WERE ALWAYS…A GOOD DOG.”
I bitch-slap him across the face and reply: “Arf roof mcBark AROO!” (That’s Terrier for: “Quit talking that Anakin Skywalker bullshit!”)
And then I open his eReader to Echo, activating its reality distortion powers. Magic flash.
The helmet falls off, and a blaze of light jumps through his eyes. My dumpster’s onboard sensors inform me that Kent Wayne is undergoing a cell-by-cell DNA reconfiguration. It’s finished in a matter of seconds.
Kent stares at me, mouth agape. “I can no longer feel her evil presence!” he exclaims. Then he gives me a hug and a scratch. “I missed you little buddy!”
I close my eyes and sigh. Even though my pet human is unbelievably stupid, I still love him.
He holds me out at arm’s length. A mischievous twinkle dances across his expression.
“Wanna go to the pizza parlor and hit on soccer moms?”
Again, I close my eyes and sigh. This time for a different reason.
My pet human is such a fucking idiot.
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