STORY BY:  Blue Heeler SunFire

Blue gave a chuckle as he set down the book he had just finished. "It's a pretty good tale." he said to the air. He looked around his small living room in the cottage that he had built. "And parts of it were even true." He thought back to where he saw this book.
******
   The city of Ageon rose before the canine as he made his way along the trail. "Will be nice to have a rest in a bed again. This traveling has taken a tole on us." Blue turned and looked at his companion.
   The fox that was walking with him smiled back, "Yeah, that last spot we camped had more stones than some of those mountains we had to climb over." They continued to walk along watching the city walls grow the closer they got to them. The walls looked in excellent condition from afar, but the closer they got, the more crumbled they looked. The gates looked as if they wouldn't close now, the rust very evident.
   "Do you still have that pass, Blue?"
   "Yes, Frampy, got it all here, and notorized. We shouldn't have a problem." They approached the guards that were standing at the gate. There was minimal fuss with the paperwork, and they were admited in the city. The city was once the leading center of culture and commerce for a very large region. The markets must have once been in excellent condition, but now, they were faded, falling down, many of them abandonded.
   "This looks like it was a great city at one time." Frampy looked at all the faded paint buildings, the scorched walls, the falling balconies or missing entirely. "What happend? It seems that this is on the major land routes."
   "They were, and this has only happened in the last 50 years. The war that happened back then took much of the resources out of this city. Many of the merchants moved on, found new places to live and ply their trade. Fortunatly, there is still some parts of the city that are alive." They kept walking until they reached an inn. The sign board was hanging down, but said in faded letters 'The Drop Inn.' "Here we are, the best inn around."
   Frampy looked around and raised an eyebrow, "This dump? Are you sure?" Blue only smiled as he led his foxy friend into the main door. If ever there was a place where the phrase night and day fit, it was this inn. The inside was bustling with people, there was bearly a single table open. The talking was plentiful, there were musicians off to the side playing the current popular tunes. The mix of furs was impressive, hard to see all the different species. The whole common room looked and smelled clean (if for the small smell of smoke).
   "There's some seats over there." Blue led the way over to an empty table, and sat down. Very soon afterwards, a barmaid came over and took their orders. "The food here is very good, so don't worry 'bout that. I'll get a room." Blue quickly talked to the inn keeper, then returned with a key. He handed the key over to the fox, who put it in his pocket. "That's all set, now let's enjoy the food, then bathe, and tomorrow we set out to see this once great city."
   The next day, they set off early and searched around the city. One of the first stops was at a book store.
   "What about this book, it's over here in the history book section. It sounds like it's about you." Frampy came padding over to show the book to the blue canine.
   "Hmmm, well, I'll have to get this one, it is about me." Blue took the book up and paid for it. "Here, hold this for me, you've got the pockets." Blue kept wondering where Frampy got those extra deep pockets, but then he had seen stranger things, and it never really lingered in his imagination for long.
   They walked out of the store and headed down the main street, at least the main street that still had activity on it.
   "What's that?" Frampy pointed to a large area of construction.
   "Not sure, lets find out." The canine and fox walked over to the area, and read the sign. 'Site for the new space and air port.' "Hmm, looks like they are trying to bring some industry or at least some commerce back to the place. This region does need a new one of those. It might just be the thing to bring this town back." While they were looking at the building, a small group started to form around them.
   As they turned to head off to somewhere else, one of the black cloaked figures stepped forward. "Where do you think you're going?"
   "That way." Blue pointed.
   "This is our city, you have to pay us the proper walking fee."
   "I beg you're pardon?!? A walking fee? This is the first I've heard of that."
   The figure clenched his fist and pounded it into the other paw. "Well, you've heard it now, so just hand over all your valubles and you can be off."
   "Well, I don't like what I've heard, so if you will just step out of our way, I'll make sure you don't get hurt." the canine was smiling all the time, but his voice just hit that more serious tone.
   "That would be the wrong answer." and the figure signaled, as the others closed in around the two.
   "Blue!" Blue shouted out as he tossed something at the figures. The fox covered his eyes, then a moment later, after the mini-sun had burst, opened them and slashed out with his sword. The canine used this time to lunge at two of them, kicking one, and punching the other. The figures let out a yelp in surprise as they were blinded by the burst of light. They stumbled around clenching their eyes as slowly they got knocked down or wounded. Shortly thereafter, Blue and Frampy walked away from the groaning pile of black.    Frampy replaced his sword into a sheath that couldn't be seen.
The rest of the day went very smoothly, the city looked like it was in rebirth. There was still crime here, but it seemed that the city was trying to quench it. The two arrived back at the inn late in the day to eat the evening meal. As they enjoyed the food and the music, they noticed a few figures enter the inn. Frampy pointed to them as they entered, a few limping. One of the figures looked around the room, then shuddered as he saw the two. He then whispered something to one of the other furs, who left out the door. The remaining group sat down at a table and started eating, or it looked like they were eating, but really they were watching Blue and Frampy. A short while later, some members of the watch entered on the heels of the one that had left earlier. The large wolves paded over to where Blue and Frampy were, and stood over the table.
   "You two, come with me!" He started to turn around, when he realized that they weren't immediatly jumping up to his command.
   "Why, good officer, what have we done?" Frampy asked.
   "That will be explained later, now COME!"
   Frampy turned to Blue, who shrugged, and followed the watch guard. They walked out into the street, and were immediatly set upon by a large company of the watch. In a matter of moments, both the canine and vulpine were tied up and being led down the streets.
   "What is this for?!?!" Blue demanded.
   "SHUT UP!! Prisoners are not allowed to speak." came the reply with a thwack of a billy-club. Blue yelped out, but bit back a reponse. They were led down to an old guard house. Once inside they were thrown in a cell, and the door closed.
   "Wait, you can't do this to us." Frampy started shouting to their retreating backs. "What are we going to do now, Blue?"
   "First, we need to get out of the ropes." and as the canine spoke that, the smell of burning filled the cell. With a slight snap, Blue brought his paws around to the front, and started untieing the fox. "Second we will wiat for a bit, play their game. Don't really want to be outlaws in this city, ya know." The wait was not near as long as they thought. A guard came to the door, opened it and led them down to a conference room. Seated in the conference room was a large black furred wolf. There were more medels on his chest than Blue thought proper, but he didn't say anything.
   "Why did you attack that innocent group of furs?" The wolf spoke in demanding tones.
   "We didn't attack them, sir." Blue started. "They attacked us, we only defended ourselves."
   "That's not what they say, and since you are strangers, I'm more intending to believe them."
   "But they are thugs, sir. They are one reason visitors wouldn't want to visit this city. You need to clean them up before you can really get business back here."
   "SILENCE!! I will NOT tolerate strangers speaking this way, remove them from this room. I don't ever want to see them again." The black furred wolf pounded the table as he said that. Blue only had to see the glee in the guards eyes to know that they wouldn't be alive for much longer.
   "Blue!" the canine shouted for the second time that day. The mini-sun went off, catching many in the room un-aware, but not all. Realizing that the big wolf was crossing the area to him, Blue launched a second attack, this time, concentrating on the wolf and watching a myrad of lights circle his head. This didn't distract the wolf for long, he was lunging at Blue very quickly. Blue dodged the attack, bearly, and backhanded the wolf. Blue didn't see the foot come up from the wolf until it connected with his head. Blue flew across the room, and went through the wood door. The wolf was quickly after him. Blue groggly got up, and dodged the clawed fist that was coming at him. This time, Blue didn't take chances and hit with more force on the wolf's elbow. The wolf didn't yelp, but the crack certainly told what happened to that elbow. The wolf tried to kick the canine again, but the canine blocked with his leg, then came down with his arm and cracked the knee. The wolf fell back and panted, groaning.
   Blue got up and walked into the room to see how the fox had faired. While the dog had been busy with the leader type, the other four guards that could see, were rushing into the fox. They were surprised to find that he wasn't in the middle anymore, when one of them yelped in pain. They swung around to find the fox holding a bloody sword. They pulled out some knives and rushed in. The fox paried two of the attacks with his sword while blocking another one with one of the knifes that had found it's way into his paw. The fox sliced with his blade cutting deeply into another one, who clenched his arm and groaned back. On the back swing, Frampy sliced through another one's arm. The remaining two, one with a knife, the other without, started backing out of the room. They didn't notice the blue canine behind them, but then they didn't notice much after their heads were hit together.
   "Come on, we have to get out of here." Blue pulled Frampy's arm as they walked around the bodies, and run out the door. Taking a right, they ran up the hall, and crashed through a door. Blue then sniffed and ran left, breaking down the doors as he went. Frampy followed, keeping an eye out for pursuit. For some reason, there was no alarm sound, and there wasn't any pursuit. Once out of the building, Blue looked around and came to a conclusion.
   "This was all a big hoax. That wasn't the watch, but we better get out of here."
   "Yeah, where should we go?"
   "Take us back to the inn, then we can go from there." Blue held the fox's arm, as the fox closed his eyes and concentrated. A moment later they were standing in their room in the inn.
   "Let's get cleaned up, then find the real watch." Blue motioned to the blood on frampy's clothing. They stripped out of the dirty, stained clothing, and replaced them with fresh clothes. They walked down the stairs. Blue went up to the bar and called the guard on the phone there. Then they sat back down and waited. Shortly afterwards, a contingent of uniformed furs entered the bar. Blue waved them over and the appearent leader sat down.  The dog related the entire story to the Squirrel.
   "Sounds like the Rat Pack gang." the squirrel stated after it was done.   "Their leader, Bardok, is a large black wolf. He's been rumored to be very tough, and you said you broke two joints?"
   "Yes, sir, he will be in pain for a while. I just thought I would tell you about it."
   "Thank you very much for your report. We will take care of the matter, please do NOT trouble yourself anymore with it."
   "Thank you." Blue returned to sipping his drink while the guard left.
************
   A ringing phone brought Blue back to the present. He shook his head to clear the cobwebs and stood up to answer the phone.
"Hello?" ... "AHH, Frampy, long time no see. Whatcha been up to?" .... "What, sure, I'll be right there"
   Blue hung up the phone and ran out of the house. Jumping in his plane, he took off, flying into the sky, and towards yet another adventure.