Aug 6, 2005

HR, 35

Harlequin landed back on the field he was greeted by his worried friends. He was genuinely confident and spoke to them in eagerly assuring tones.

"It's just the little dogs up front. Perhaps, we can scare them away."

A pigeon perched on the northeastern wall squawked in warning. The dogs were arrived.

Harlequin sprang into action, scampering about at a hectic pace putting his recruits into their proper position and then sprinting to the front as Peg and Hubert desperately tried to catch up with him. Homeless Tony lagged behind, still looking confused over the whole spectacle.

The field came to an end north at the sidewalk, with a wall it's western border. Harlequin was there at the edge, flanked by Peg and Hubert when the dogs appeared onto the sidewalk from behind the wall. Dorian sneered in recognition. He was a little worse for wear from his fight with Jasper, but did his best to look intimidating.

"You know you're in trouble, chipmunk? Attila was a good friend of ours, and the General don't take kindly to no rodent talking about bumping him off. Getting smart with one of the Pack didn't help you out much. But, seeing as we are the law, and we like to keep justice, we'll give you a chance. If you get out of here, the General won't rip you to pieces when he sees you here. I make no promises about myself or the boys here, but at least it would be one less dog to worry about." Dorian snickered evilly. Behind him, Toothless looked at Harlequin with a disturbing interest that resembled hunger.

Harlequin smirked. Something about Dorian brought out the competitor in him. "Listen, runt. You don't give orders here. This field is free now, and you can either enjoy that like the rest of us like a good little dog, or you can be foolish and try to cross me. What's it going to be?"

Dorian snapped his teeth and prepared to strike, but Hubert stepped forward with a surprising air of authority.

"Keep your paws off, Dorian. If you know what's good for you, you'll leave. These beasts are prepared to fight. And I'm with them."

Dorian rolled his eyes grotesquely. "The horror! A ferocious basset hound, a one-legged pigeon and a cat-killer chipmunk. I'm scared, aren't you boys?" Toothless, Jasper and the other dog, named Scout, growled, fur standing on end in anticipation of a fight.

"I think you missed someone," said Harlequin dryly. He cocked his head back towards the field and shouted in English: "Homeless! I could use your help here!"

Homeless Tony staggered out from the wall, prompting the dogs to yelp in fear and step back snarling.

"Get rid of them, Tony! Scare them!" Harlequin encouraged.

Homeless Tony took a lumbering step towards the dogs, and they stepped back slowly. Suddenly he charged them, hollering "shoo!" and "scat!" and waving his arms wildly over his head. The dogs tripped over themselves in trying to get away and bolted back down the sidewalk, not looking back.

Harlequin whooped triumphantly and jumped high in the air, praising Homeless Tony profusely. He ran over to Hubert and hugged his leg.

Hubert looked down and smiled a little, as best as his drooping lips could manage. A familiar scent caught his nose, and his head shot upright. His face fell. Harlequin turned to see two new dogs appear a dozen yards away.

The little dogs had stopped running and now followed these two dogs: Harlequin's heart sank as they came closer. They were the biggest, meanest dogs he'd ever seen.

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