Dog and His Boy
Chapter 14: The Cure
Copyright© 2011 by TC Allen
"What do you mean the houses must be torn down?" demanded Steve. "We got all the permits and the inspectors have signed off on every one of them." He stared up at the face of the tall, gangly man wore a new hard hat and carried a new clipboard.
"Well, according to my records the inspector who supposedly signed off on the flooring was off ill on the day you have him listed. And since he no longer works for the county I can't verify it by him. You might as well get busy. I am red tagging both units. Both houses were put up without proper signoffs. All construction shall halt on the new buildings. I have a hunch it will all be worked out in time." He smirked and waited.
"Sir, would you step over here?" Gage asked politely. "You are about to get your pants cuffs and shoes dirty. This purple board here." He pointed to the purple slab with the old car seat on it.
Steve's eyes widened as he saw Gage was up to something, which boded no good for the inspector. "Ah Ga... ," he tried to get out but he was too late.
Without thinking, the man stepped quickly where Gage pointed and shot up into the air nearly a hundred feet. Gage hopped onto his bike with the purple band and rose till he was level with the screaming building inspector. The inspector stared horrified at the sight of a teenager who sat on a motorbike seeming to ride the air currents.
"Now you can jump off to get down or you can tell me who you are, your choice.
"I ... I ... I work for the county building inspector. You ... your ... buildings are not according to code."
"Then why do you smell like a Raak?" Gage demanded. "My friend Dog smelled you and said you stink like a Raak."
Overcoming his fear of heights the phony inspector grabbed a small caliber pistol from his hip pocket. Before he could aim it the platform shot another hundred feet into the air and took him with it. Gage grinned and returned to the earth, landing beside his father.
"Gage, what did you just do?" Steve looked at his son who was now as tall as he. "The guy could cause us all kinds of trouble."
"Dad, Dog said he's a Raak and he has a gun. I didn't dare tell you in front of him, he might have shot you."
"Well, can you get him down?" Steve stared up at the tiny figure two hundred feet in the air.
"Sure. Watch this," Gage laughed and caused the platform to turn upside down, spilling the Raak over the side. He laughed as the screaming figure grew larger and larger. At the last possible second the platform shot down and caught the man, and lowered him gently to the ground.
Vikki hurried to Gage's side. "What's up?" she asked.
"He's got a gun," Gage told her.
She ran the ten feet separating her from the Raak and kicked once. The gun dropped from a hand attached to a badly sprained wrist. "You're wrong, Shorty, I have a gun."
She slowly walked back to where Steve was still trying to shift mental gears as he witnessed so much action in just a couple of minutes. "Chuck Norris, eat your heart out," he muttered under his breath.
One of the security people came running up. "What happened?" He looked at the sullen enemy holding his injured wrist.
"Call Mister Storm and ask him to step over here," Steve directed.
"He's at his house working, one of the inside guards said." The guard removed a handheld radio and called the house. "Will someone bring Mister Storm to the to the construction site?" He replaced the radio on his hip and asked, "What about him?"
"We'll handle this guy, go on back to what you were doing," Steve told him.
"Mister Larsen, we were hired to protect you folks and the property here. Now is the only time we got a chance at some action, these two kids take care of it," the guard complained. "All we do is wander around and look happy."
"Don't worry, before much longer you guys are going to earn your keep," Steve reassured him.
Henry came riding up on one of the regular motorbikes. "What's up?" he asked. Then he saw the phony building inspector, "You." he hissed. "Raak."
"He just tried to shut us down," Steve told him, "I think we need to ask him some questions."
"He won't know anything. The low level ones like this one are not privy to inside information. Their leaders never tell anyone anything under them. It is both their strength and their weakness.
Steve looked at Henry with a mean, thin-lipped grin on his face. Here was no humor in his grin. "Let's tie him up and save him for tonight. I know one way to get this clown out of our hair without killing him. I don't believe in killing stupid people just because they're stupid."
"What do you have in mind?" Because Steve was such a quiet man usually, Henry was a little nervous about what his partner might have in mind.
"Cuff him with those Velcro things you guys carry around," he ordered the security guard. " Then put him on the purple platform and help Gage take him back to the old barn." He turned to Henry and began to explain his plan. Henry was laughing hard as Gage, the prisoner and a nervous guard made the quick trip to the old barn, which had not been torn down yet.
At four o'clock the next morning a sleepy Gage piloted the prisoner and Steve into town. Steve took the now duct taped Raak under the arms and using more duct tape fastened him solidly to the front door of the county court house. Printed with a ballpoint on his forehead was the word "CROOK." For a finishing touch a wad of hundred dollar bills were shoved in his shirt pocket. His gun had been replaced in his hip pocket.
"Dad." Here comes a cop car," Gage warned.
"You be good now," Steve told the Raak and hurried to join his son on the platform. Quickly they rose high in the air and hurried home.
An admiring Gage told his father, "Boy, I sure don't want you to get real mad at me, Dad. You can get downright lethal. Steve ruffled his son's hair and the rest of the trip was made in silence. They came down quiet as a sigh. Gage placed the platform back in the barn and closed the doors as he left.
Henry was waiting for them. "Steve, The council is sending a committee to talk to us. Please remember they are the elders of The People. They are accustomed to great respect."
"Henry, we are people too and we are accustomed to guests acting like guests. Okay?" Steve stopped and thought a moment, then continued, "Look, if they think they can come in here and take over, they have another think coming. If we can create a partnership of equals, fine.
Now if they try to run things, we'll just call off the whole thing. We have too much on our plates with the Raak for me to bother with a bunch of people with their heads still in the past."
"Steve, our past is all we have. It is our identity as a people." Henry was aware of the explosive nature of the Larsen temper. "Please try to make allowances."
"Okay Henry, for you we'll cut them some slack. But you better tell them we will not be pushed around." He and Gage started their bikes and left for their new home a short distance away.
Linda met them at the door, "My conquering heroes return. What evil deeds did you do to the Raak jerk?" She laughed until tears streamed down her face as father and son took turns telling her. She hugged Steve and Gage and said, "I'm glad you aren't mad at me."
"I already told Dad the same thing, Mom. What's for breakfast?"
"The way you eat, it's a wonder you don't weigh nine hundred pounds." Linda started to prepare breakfast for them.
Before Gage could answer the phone rang. It was Henry. "Tell your father the council members are here."
Steve left the table and told Henry, "Okay, as soon as we have our breakfast, we'll be right over." He hung up.
"What did Henry want, dear?" Linda asked.
"Oh, the committee of old codgers is here and he's a bundle of nerves. They really messed with his head when he was growing up." Steve shook his head and returned to the table.
Gage finished first. "Dad, let's take the bikes over. Those guys may want to have a demonstration of what we can do."
Steve placed the last bit of egg in his mouth, swallowed and rose from the table. "You got it, Gage, let's go.
"What about me? Aren't I invited?" Linda asked.
"Sorry, Hon, I didn't know you wanted to come along."
"Ride with me, Mom." Gage urged. "We'll make a big entrance."
"Just don't go too fast, now," she ordered as she followed them out.
The two bikes stayed side by side all the way to the Storm's new house. As they came into the yard Gage saw the barn doors open and a group of men examining the purple platform. "Hey, you guys get away from there."
One turned and gave him a dirty look while the others concentrated on their task. They were trying to move the slab. Gage concentrated and ordered the slab to float up out of their reach. "My son told you to get away from his purple sled, so do it." Steve strode forward. "I guess you people are the committee Henry was so worried about. Go home we don't want you until you learn some manners."
Gage ordered the purple to come to him. "This is mine. Go get your own."
Be careful, these people are treacherous and will harm you without a second thought. To them you are a savage." Dog came to stand by his friend's side.
"Do you allow these natives to speak to you like this?" The eldest of the six asked. The others looked threateningly at the three Larsens. "If we make one call there will be twenty reinforcements here in seconds.
"They are hiding in the woods behind the barn," Dog said.
"You mean those clowns trying to hide behind the barn?" Gage asked. "Call 'em and see what happens. Gage yelled toward the house, "Hey Vik, come get on my bike." He and Dog stepped on the platform. They sat on the old seat and waited for Vikki to mount his bike.
"Let's go." she yelled as she grabbed the handlebars and hopped on. Platform and bike shot into the air and came down silently behind the ones lurking in the woods.
Gage lowered the bike to the ground and Vikki got off and silently slipped up behind the first one. "Boo." she yelled in his ear. She ran back to the bike and got on. Gage lifted it in the air as the others came running. Gage brought the sled down and caromed three of the intruders from behind. One drew his weapon and Vikki swooped down and grabbed it out of his hands.
"Let's go back to your house," Gage said and brought them down in the yard by the barn.
Ten angry people ran out of the woods. Just as they rounded the barn Gage let fly with a rock. The lead man dropped, a bruise appeared in the middle of his forehead. Vikki attacked from the side and brought two more down with her lethal kicks. Gage's bike flew through the air and struck another one. Suddenly Dog sprang into action and crunched the wrist of one with a strange looking pistol in his hand. Steve and Linda stood side by side, their arms around each other's waist watching the mayhem. Henry stood in horrified silence.
Dog dropped the strange looking weapon at Steve's feet and went for his next victim. Gage rammed two more with his bike as the purple ring on it did his bidding. Vikki and Dog finished off the last pair. Vikki went from one to the other and disarmed them. The six members of the committee stood in silence as they saw their "invulnerable" guards defeated by two teens and a big black dog.
Steve looked at the futuristic pistol and deduced, "I bet it's some sort of a ray gun. We'll keep these for study. They look pretty old. I bet you can't make any more, can you?" He stared at one committee member who kept his angry silence.
The look on the committeemen's faces was answer enough. Gage stared at one of the weapons. "Dad, they all got a real tiny bit of something like the purple stuff in them. It's a little different, but I can feel it. We have to be careful how we handle them."
"Those skulkers in the woods are some sort of an honor guard. They carried the last of the old weapons still functional. Their job is to guard the committee members when they go out into the real world." Dog relayed what he was able to figure out to Gage.
"These are all of these Flash Gordon ray guns you got, aren't they?" Gage grinned. "Well, now they're ours."
Steve grabbed up his cell phone and rapid dialed Ralph. "Hey, Ralph, why aren't there any guards around us here?" he asked.
"Henry told us we weren't necessary. He told us to stay away." Ralph sounded frustrated and a little angry. "Why? What happened?"
Steve told him in detail. Ralph thundered over the phone, "Steve I can't do my job if someone keeps getting in the way."
"Send some guys over on the double," Steve ordered. "I think Henry just learned a lesson about security."
Thirty seconds later Ralph was in Henry's yard with ten men. A growling Dog snapped one last time at the thoroughly intimidated bodyguards. Plastic sticky cuffs were used to secure the ten men.
Henry told Ralph, "I am sorry. I did not realize the leaders of The People whom I have been a part of my whole life could act so dishonestly."
"Henry, when you're stabbed in the back by your own it is always more painful than if it had been an enemy. Now we were lucky this time." Ralph turned away to supervise the captives.
"Why were you so faithless as to actually set up an ambush like you did? Were you going to take us all captive?" he asked the leader of the committee. He saw the answer to his questions in the man's eyes. "You were." he exclaimed.
"You have been associating with these natives. We are no longer certain where your loyalties lie."
"Until this moment my first obligations were to The People. This is no longer the case. I see now the council is a bunch of old men living in the past who are interested only in retaining their places of authority. You have no more honor than the Raak." Henry's voice rose to a shout. Then in a quieter tone he said, "I cast my lot with my friends. I can trust them."
"It is the way I feel too," Ellen said quietly as she came to stand by her husband.
"Well, since we're on the subject, all of my friends who are of The People feel pretty much the same. I have already been telling them about what Gage and I have done together. They think Dog is way cool and everyone wants one of his puppies." Vikki stood by her parents.
"Okay, here's the deal. You can take it or not." Steve stared at the oldest member of the committee who seemed to have the most to say. "You have records we would like to see. We share all knowledge equally between us and work together. If our offer is not good enough for you, hit the road. We have work to do."
"What about the cure?" one of the younger of the committee asked anxiously.
"What cure?" Steve asked, not certain of what they were getting at.