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Planet of the Rovers

by Scott Oliverson


     The cage door slammed shut and Thunderbolt locked it. Without
so much as a good night, he shuffled off, dousing the lights and leaving
the humans alone, caged in a corner of the kitchen. The two servants,
McLeach and Cruella curled up in seperate corners and fell asleep. Ace
waited for a while, listening for any sounds from beyond the kitchen,
Robyn said nothing. When time had passed, he slipped the sharp prong
out of his sleeve and reached through the bars of the cage. The
tink-tink sound of the prong scraping against the lock sounded loud in
his ears, but he was sure it did not carry out of the kitchen.

               ROBYN <Startled>
What are you doing?
               SPACE ACE
Enjoying the benefits of a misspent youth.
               SPACE ACE
I'm picking the lock. <The lock popped open>

     The sound of the cage door opening was quieter even than Robyn's
whisper, but McLeach and Cruella jumped up as though an explosion had
just rocked their world. They stared at Ace, then at the open cage,
then back to Ace.

               CRUELLA DE'VILE
There's a curfew for humans.
               PERCIVAL MCLEACH
If you're found on the street at night...they'll kill you.
               SPACE ACE
And if you stay here you're already dead madame, sir.

     He stepped out of the cage and Robyn followed him eagerly. They
turned and looked at the butler & maid. The former poacher hesitated,
then stepped outside.

               PERCIVAL MCLEACH
In that case sir, where you go...I follow.
               SPACE ACE
Suit yourself. <Grins>

     All 3 escapees looked at Cruella. She stepped backward,
pressing herself against the inside of the cage.

               CRUELLA DE'VILE
Our mistress has been so kind to us.
               ROBYN <Frowns>
She is your enemy.

     Ace waited one second longer and then turned away. He didn't
have time to deal with people who did not want freedom. He hurried
through the dark kitchen to a drawer and found a knife. He stashed it
inside his jacket and turned to Robyn.

               SPACE ACE
Can you lead me back to the place where they caught us?

     Robyn nodded. Ace hurried to the door, but the girl did not
move for a second or two before she spoke again.

Not without my father. I promised I would find him again someday if I
were to escape from this cursed place.

     Ace grimaced. His escape was about to turn into a hostage
rescue mission.

               SPACE ACE
It's too dangerous, you want to risk being taken hostage again and
killed? We have to leave now.
Then you can look for the place on your own.
               SPACE ACE
Look sister, you don't have a clue who I am. Or where I came from. And
you wouldn't believe or understand if I told you. But I can help you.
In that case, you can help me find my father.
               SPACE ACE <Surrenders>
Fine, have it your way lady.
               PERCIVAL MCLEACH
Wait, I'll help too. I know your father, we used to work together
before I was taking POW by the Rovers.
               ROBYN <Suprised>
You knew Dave?
               PERCIVAL MCLEACH
Yes, I am his best friend since we went to school together long ago and
graduated together after high school.
Wow, cool. <Grins>
               SPACE ACE
Hurry, the sooner we leave to find Mr. Sevile the better our chances are
of escaping without being seen.

     Blitz's quadrangle at night was a quiet place. He liked it that
way. The truth was, Blitz was a peaceful canine at heart. He liked his
quiet, and liked to be clean, and he had precious few opportunities for
either one in his business. Late at night, he liked to retreat to the
solitude of his own chambers at the top of his house and pamper himself.
 That night, he chosen orange blossoms. He crushed them in a stone bowl
and then, standing in front of a mirror, began to rub them over his arms
and legs. Tomorrow, the smell of people would cover him again. But for
tonight he could relax. If Blitz had stared in the opposite direction
out into the courtyard, he might have seen 3 shadows hurry across the
square to the human pens. Ace and Robyn took the lead with McLeach
following nervously behind.

     They made their way quietly and quickly across RoverCity.
Sneaking through the streets & avenues had been easier than they
thought. All they had to do was stay quiet and out of sight. Robyn
crouched down beside the gate to the human pens and peeked between the
slates. She nearly jumped back when a pair of eyes met hers, reflected
by the moonlight. It was David, as alert as ever.

               DAVID SEVILE
Robyn? How did you...
No time father, I'll explain later. Take this rope. Pass it back
through the bars.

     Ace formed a makeshift vice around the middle slat of the cage.
 He crushed the slat until it snapped with a loud crunch. Everyone
froze, listening but no one came to investigate. The gate to the slave
pen rattled open. Mr. Sevile stepped out, followed by his son Richard
Tyler and a third young man called Zak. Zak was a big brother to
Richard and also Sevile's son (He is from the animated FERNGULLY THE
LAST RAINFOREST) Robyn's eyes went immediately to David's arm, which was
bent stiffly at the elbow and pressed against his ribs.

Daddy, you're hurt.
               DAVID SEVILE
Never mind, I'll be OK. <Then asks> How did you escape?
This stranger helped me father.
               DAVID SEVILE
Who are you sir?
               SPACE ACE <Shrugs>
Just somebody trying to get the h*** out of here and back home where I
came from.

     Zak eyed McLeach, who kept looking around nervously.

This is one of Lassie's servants, her butler. He thinks he's better
than us...he thinks he's part dog.

     Ace groaned, rolled his eyes. He had no time for this. To
Robyn he asked.

               SPACE ACE
Alright, I kept my half of the bargain by rescuing your father.
Right, a deal's a deal. And now I shall keep mine. Daddy?
               DAVID SEVILE
We'll go together.
Alright, about time someone came to break us out of jail.
Then what are we waiting for? Let's go.

     A few moments later the shadows, now doubled in number, crept
back across the square and scampered up a wall to the roof. They jumped
from that roof to the next and sprinted for an attic door. Suddenly,
four figures reared up before them in the moonlight like ghosts. For a
panicked moment, Ace thought they had been discovered. But the four
figures had their backs to him, and they were drinking and laughing.
Then one of the figures said in a male voice.

Whazzat! I hear something.
I think it's my mother calling.

     The speaker turned and came face to face with Ace!

Hey! Ish humansh!

     He lunged to grab Ace but he retaliated with lightning speed.
Jumping high in the air he brought both feet together like hands
clapping on both sides of the canosapien's head which made the greyhound
to yell in pain and fall backwards onto the roof, out cold. Zak, Dave,
Robyn, McLeach & Richard just stared in shock. Then Ace ran for the
door and sidekicked it open, then ran inside and down a flight of stairs
to the top floor of the building. He heard the footsteps of the others
following him. Behind and outside, they could hear shouts of alarm from
the other 3 canosapiens.

     Ace raced at full speed down a hallway, hoping the others would
keep up. When the hallway ran into a door he roundhouse-kicked it open
and ran into an apartment. Suddenly he was standing in a bedroom where
Jenna was standing over Balto who lay snoring in bed. Obviously the two
lovers had been making love in bed. Then he was gone before Jenna could
awake and spot him. Out a back door and into another hallway, and CRASH
into another apartment where an old Rover was pulling off his wig and
false teeth. And then out onto a balcony, climbing over the railing and
jumping across a short void to another balcony across the alley. He had
the sense the others were still following. Ace broke through another
door and ran into a bedroom and this time the scene brought him to a
complete stop. A canine child was putting a small human child into a
blanket-lined cage, and Ace recognized them both. The dog child was
Hunter's niece, and the human girl was her pet.

     Robyn didn't slow for an instant. She pushed the dog child out
of the way and snatched the little girl from the cage. She was in
motion again before Ace could protest and started after her. They left
the canine child in their wake, howling in protest.

               END OF PART XI

               Proceed to Chapter 12