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Prologue Part 2: Nicolas the Puppy Doctor

A lone dog wearing a lab coat sat outside of the art school, waiting patiently for his owner while discreetly reviewing the latest set of equations for his latest discovery. In his paws was a pad and and a few scrapbooks, filled with theories and blueprints for future ideas. Maybe later I could go to Phineas and Ferb to see if these ideas might work, he thought, going through them once more.

Ding! Nicolas quickly stuffed all his materials back into his coat just in time to see his owner walked out of the door.

“Hey, boy,” He said, pressing a button on his earpiece. “Been waiting long?”

“Not really,” the dog replied, grinning at him. “Just for the past twenty minutes or so.” They then began walking down the street, Django explaining what he had learned during his time there and his dog listening, smiling to know his boy had a great time today.

“So how’s your mission? Did you hurt Dr. Bolts really hard?”

Nicolas chuckled. “No, not really. We just exchanged a few friendly punches, that’s all. Besides, most of the damage he suffered was from his machine blowing up and I had to perform first aid on him.”

Django’s chuckles became louder, then suddenly his expression became serious. “What about...” he whispered, “... your other job?”

The dog froze, looking around before whispering in the same tone as his owner did. “It’s....fine,” He reassured Django. “They don’t usually contact me since I wasn’t officially a part of them, but there were times they asked to do a little task for them...”

“Task?”

“Potential dog recruits, keeping an eye on OWCA itself, making sure no one knows about them or any D.O.G.S. buildings. Remember, this is an organization so deep and absolutely ridiculous that not even S.H.I.E.L.D. knows, Django. An organization completely run by dogs? Most people would think you are insane and even if there are some who would believe you, you’d have no proof and there are eyes and ears around. Camera eyes and dog ears.”

His owner nodded, looking around stealthily, hoping no one overheard their conversation. “So what are you going to do now?”

Nicolas’ expression became lighter all of a sudden, the ends of his mouth already tilting up and his eyes had a mischievous sparkle in them. “I was thinking of going home, taking a bath and having some dinner. What do you think, Django?” Their conversation then ended in laughter.

As they were about to exit the town into the suburbs, Nicolas then heard coughing in front of them. Looking forward, he saw two cloaked figures walking ahead of them. He narrowed his eyes in suspicion; since when did those two appeared in front of them, where did they come out from and why on earth were they wearing cloaks on such a hot day?

“Um...Nicolas?” The frightened tone of his owner’s voice alerted him of two more of them walking out of an alley behind them. The two in front then stopped and turned around, effectively surrounding the boy and his dog. Immediately, he jumped onto his two hind-legs, dropping his bag and took out two metal rods from within his lab coat.

“Django, catch!” Nicolas shouted, tossing one of the rods to him and got into a defensive position, flicking his wrist at the same time, causing the other rod to extend into a bo-staff. Out of the corner of his eye he grinned, seeing his boy getting into his own position as well, his own staff extended and ready. His mouth making a few clicking noises, activating the rings on his hind legs instantly. The Hover Rings spun quickly, reaching the velocity needed for anything the dog would do. His attention on the two ambushers near the alleyway, he tensed up, waiting for someone to move first.

The four figures then began rushing towards them, forelimbs raised and paws and hands clenched, ready for battle. Nicolas dashed forward as well, swinging his staff forward and holding it in his two paws, with one end pointing at his foes, preserving as much of his energy as he could before the actual fighting began. The corner of his mouth lifted a little, sensing his owner was doing the same to the other two attackers behind him.

When he and the attackers he was facing were about a few feet away from each other, Nicolas quickly jumped lightly and jammed his staff onto the ground, using all his strength to push it downwards. The staff bent away from him before straightening, pushing the dog up into the air like a high-jump competitor, the Rings giving him an extra boost. Seeing Nicolas in the air, this forced the two attackers to stop in their tracks to brace themselves from his attack. Letting go of the staff, he flipped over, winding a fist and brought it down onto one of the attackers...only to hit something hard and invisible in midair.

What! But that... He cried mentally, his eyes widened as he saw his attacker thrusted with a fist. Suddenly, something hit him in the chest, making him fly into the air before landing onto the ground with a hard ‘thump’, rolling a couple of feet before stopping.. How...is that...possible?!! His mind screamed as Nicolas pushed himself up, getting back into his attack stance. His eyes narrowed at the two figures, analysing their stances for possible weaknesses and brainstorming every possible move to counter whatever he’d just hit.

“Nicolas, look out!” The dog spun around at the shout of his owner, only to see one of the two fighting him slip past Django and ran towards the dog. The other was holding him off and seemed to be having the upper hand. Quickly, Nicolas brought his paws up, ready to combat the new foe. The three of them surrounded the dog, circling him, waiting for a chance to attack. Django instinctively shifted his eyes towards them, worried for his dog and closest friend.

Seeing the boy distracted, the hooded figure landed a strong uppercut on Django, throwing him onto the floor a few feet further away. The metal staff clattered onto the ground a metre away. Seeing him land with an ‘oomph’, his eyes widened in fear as the figure walked towards Django calmly.

“Django, get up! Hurry!” He screamed, fearful of what the figure might do to him. “Leave him alone!” He immediately ran towards him, but the third figure quickly blocked his path and swiped the air widely, as if he was ‘slapping’ the air. Not a second later, Nicolas felt a great force hitting him from his left, sweeping him to the side of the road. But how? The thought rang through the dog’s mind as he sailed through the air and hit the floor, rolling a few times before stopping. How is that even possible?! He strained to push himself up, eyeing the three of them as they stalked towards him. He had no choice but to take them out first. He chanced a glance towards his best friend, extremely worried for him.

The boy got up and, seeing the fourth figure getting closer, scrambled to get to his weapon. But the figure saw that, pointed at the staff with two fingers and swiped the air. Instantly, the staff was pushed away and landed further away from Django’s reach. He then grabbed the boy by the collar, holding the boy up high above the ground before pulling his other hand back, already curling into a fist. His eyes wide open, Django tried to bring up his arms to defend himself but he was too late. The figure struck him at the cheek with the whole weight of his body, the force strong enough to make the boy spit out blood.

“DJANGO, NOOO!!” The dog screamed, horrified to see the head of his best friend hung limply on his shoulders. Instinctively, he got onto his four feet and raced towards the fallen boy, neatly sidestepping the third figure who was a little too slow in stopping him in his path. His ears perked up at the sound of the others chasing him but he’d already dismissed them, his mind focused on getting to the boy and pulling him away from the fight. Maybe he could even call some backup and finally get the upper hand in this pointless fight.

But he overlooked one thing; in his haste to get to his boy, he wasn’t fighting just three foes.

He was now fighting all four.

The fourth figure saw the dog coming and quickly raised a palm just as he was about to jump. Nicolas was about to clear the last few metres and over the figure with a boost from his Hover Rings when he slammed head-first into another invisible barrier. No! Not again?! He mentally screamed as he slid down the barrier. He tried to stand up again but the enemy was too quick. He did another slapping motion, sending the dog flying to a wall with a hard thump.

Landing on the ground, Nicolas stayed still for a while, trying to regain his breath. His back was stinging in pain, his muscles ached and his mind was still clouded in confusion as to how they were able to perform those feats. But how? His mind screamed as he glared at them. How are they doing them?

The three figures that he was fighting before finally came close to him, one standing in front of the other two. With the two behind tensing up for any tricks the dog would be playing, the one in front raised his paw at Nicolas, with two fingers pointing at him. With a word, a glowing, patterned circle formed an inch in front of the fingers.

Seeing the circle, Nicolas’ pupils shrunk in realization, finally understanding what had really happened all along. Magic, the word bounced around in his head rapidly. He was...experienced with it and its uses. But the fact that these guys were using them without the intention of killing any of them was what that scared him most, their unknown motive shocking him to the core. His breathing increased, his heartbeat accelerated, his body trembled at that thought.

No. The word swept away every jumbled thought and brought up the perilous circumstances to him, as clear as in big, bold and highlighted letters. No. No! NO!! The word kept repeating in his mind, each time filling him with panic and fear. The moment he realized this, each second seemed to stretch forever.

Galvanised by fear and guided by instinct, he jumped from the floor and got ready to pounce onto the enemy with the outstretched paw, intending to stop him from casting his spell. Whatever it was, it didn’t matter at that moment but he had to stop him at all cost.

But once again he’d forgotten about the other enemies he had to fight. The minute they saw the dog got into position to jump, they brought their forelimbs forward, not giving him any time to react before slamming him into the wall once more.

Nicolas coughed out blood, his energy spent from being smacked with great force four times, twice into a wall. No! He struggled to get up, eyes focusing on his boy. He had to get help now!

Pulling the fur on his left forepaw back slightly to reveal a watch, he pressed a button on it, activating the tracking beacon and the code red alarm, just in time to hear the enemy snapped his fingers. “We’re being attacked!” He muttered as loud as he could into the speaker in the watch, knowing that he hadn’t had much time left.“Send backup! Repeat: we’re being...”

That was the last thing he said before glowing chains started sprouting out of the ground and wrapped around the dog. He yelped in pain as the chains tightened. Quickly he tore off the watch and threw it as far as he could towards his boy, hoping that help would come soon, at least to help Django and probably pick up his trail.

The figure then lifted the bound dog into the air with his magic while the other three gathered around him. With no way out, Nicolas could only glare and growl weakly at them, struggling at his bonds in a futile effort to free himself.

One of the other three figures then stepped away from them and slammed his paws against each other, his hidden snout mumbling words that the dog couldn’t understand. With each word spoken Nicolas couldn’t help but shiver, in fear or apprehension he couldn’t tell. But he knew that whatever the enemy was doing he didn’t like it, so he struggled even more, gritting his teeth in desperation.

But it was already too late for him. The figure finished chanting and immediately slammed both paws onto the ground. The ground then trembled, waking the fallen boy who raised his head only to see his dog hanging in the air bound in glowing chains and the space in front of one of them seemed to thicken and cracking.

His eyes then widened to see the air in it swirled and spread outward, lights shined forth from the hole it created. He then glanced at Nicolas, completely afraid of what’s to come next. Then he saw the four took a step towards the portal.

“No!” He screamed, just as Nicolas yelped in terror. “Stop!” He crawled weakly towards them, the sight of Nicolas frothing while struggling with utmost desperation bringing out whatever meager strength left within him. “Don’t take him. Please!”

His plea was ignored and the four of them stepped into the portal without even looking at the pitiful sight behind them. Nicolas looked back at him, both eyes locked onto the other for a moment, one seeing his best friend lying injured and extremely weak on the road, the other seeing his best friend bound in chains and being taken away, both seeing utter terror within each other’s eyes.

“Django!!” The dog cried out in desperation, the cry broke the boy’s heart as he reached out from where he laid.

“Nicolas!” He wailed, but no matter how far he stretched his hand, he couldn’t reach him. Then the floating, chained-up dog was brought into the portal and the last thing he saw of Nicolas was his tear-stained face and frightened eyes before the portal finally closed.

“Nicolas!” Django screamed, but this time there was no answer.

“Nicolas!”

“NICOLAS!”

When the backup finally arrived, all they would see was a boy curled into a ball, battered and bruised, clutching a watch that was torn from its strap, crying his heart out.

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