“Thank you, Chancellor,” Master Shepherd said as he ended the video conference.
“He didn’t sound very surprised abou’ our sudden drop-in… did ‘e?” Colleen noted.
“Nyet… wondering if he is knowing something we are notski…?” Exile added.
“I know… kinda weird that the transport tube’s navigation leads us here. Are we cleared to land, Master?” Hunter asked.
“Yes, Hunter, the Chancellor has secured the private runway. He also has someone waiting to escort us to the mansion,” Master responded.
“Here we go… initiating landing sequence…” Hunter said as he flipped several switches and prepared the plane to glide down.
The jet’s engines slowed to a low purr as they turned vertically to bring the plane down to the ground. Master Shepherd clutched his seat as the plane descended. While the rest of the Rovers were accustomed to the sudden shift in motion, their usually absent passenger had to swallow the sudden nausea that rose in his throat. The ground brought the much needed relief to Master as the thrust engines died down.
Master Shepherd opened a bottle of water and guzzled it down to settle his stomach. He pulled a handkerchief out of his coat pocket and wiped his soaked forehead.
“Please tell me that’s not another ‘upgrade’…” Master Shepherd asked eyeing Exile.
“Do not do the looking at meski… Sonic Rover always is doing this…” Exile defended.
“Yeah, I thought you’d be prepared for that, Master. Didn’t you design the Sonic Rover…?” Hunter added.
“I don’t think there are enough training manuals out there to prepare for a ride in this thing…” Master said.
Colleen and Shag just shrugged their shoulders as they looked out the window to watch the movement of the plane along the ground. Muzzle was still curled by Master Shepherd’s side acting like nothing had happened. The Rottweiler looked up to his master as if to say, “If I can get used to it, so can you…”
The hiss of the vacuum release of the jet’s door filled the cabin with the bite of the cold late autumn air outside. Chills went down everyone’s spine as they made their way down the projected staircase to the cold wet asphalt of the runway.
“Blimey…! I di’n’t know Berlin was this cold this time of year…” Colleen noted as she shivered.
“I am not noticing … feeling like spring breeze to meski…” Exile said.
“Well, Exile, not everyone was blessed with three layers of fur like you…” Master commented.
“Yeah, really, Shag, you wouldn’t happen to have coats with you…?” Hunter asked.
Shag dug around a moment and found a stash of down feather coats, knit gloves, and wool hats.
“You are a bloomin’ wonder, Shag…” Colleen said as she bundled up finally feeling warm.
“Rararara rara rarararara…” Shag said saying he just believed in being prepared.
“You’re more than just a Boy Scout, Shag…” Hunter laughed as a stocky man dressed in a dark suit and thick coat came into view on the other side of the breezeway tube.
“Die Kanzler hat mich beauftragt, Ihnen in die Villa zu nahmen…” the man said.
“Uh oh… I forgot about the language barrier…” Hunter said with a blush of embarrassment.
“No problem, Hunter… here…” Master said handing him the tablet.
“Huh…?” Hunter wondered staring at the screen.
“It’s a universal translation app,” Master explained.
“Oh, nice… okay… I’m Hunter. Thank you for showing us in,” Hunter said.
“Ich bin Jäger. Vielen Dank für das uns in,“ the tablet app conveyed.
“Gern geschehen…” Heinz replied as he opened the door to the expanded SUV.
“My pleasure…” the tablet responded.
The twenty-minute ride from the remote airstrip to the mansion was relatively silent. Most were conserving energy to keep warm for when they had to get out. The evening hours had painted the entire scene in an inky blackness only broken by the reflective lights of the runway and the glow from their destination ahead.
Meanwhile, the Chancellor watched from the top floor of the mansion in his private office/den as the shadow of the jet could barely be seen at the far end of the property. The slight drizzle against the window pane reflected onto the Chancellor’s face appearing as tears running down his cheeks. His dear wife and daughter were cuddled by the fireplace as Heidi rocked Eva, trying to get her to go to sleep.
A soft knock came to the door.
“Komm Herein…” (Come in) The Chancellor beckoned.
“Sie sind hier…” (They are here) Alaric said as he entered the room.
“Danke…Heidi, sind sie hier. Vielleicht können Sie ihnen sagen, wo Sie an diesem Morgen sah Blitz ... sollte ein Anfang sein ...,” (Thank you…Heidi, they are here. Maybe you can tell them where you saw Blitz this morning... should be a start...) the Chancellor informed his wife.
“Hoffentlich…” (I hope so) Heidi replied as Eva finally fell asleep.
Eva clutched her soft white bunny tightly to her as her mother’s arms wrapped around her. The Chancellor’s heart twisted inside his chest as the guilt he still held gripped him tighter.
“My darling child… I hope I can bring him home …” The Chancellor thought silently.
Once unloaded, the Rovers and Master Shepherd were ushered inside and unburdened from their heavy wet coats by Alaric and a few other household servants. The Old World style of the entryway was absolutely breathtaking. There was even an enormous fireplace right as you walked in. Just as the comforting heat began to thaw them from the outside, a maidservant came right in with a tray of hot apple cider.
“Thank you very much…” Hunter said.
“Vielen Dank…” Master’s tablet app recited.
The maid curtsied with a broad smile as she took the tray back to the kitchen. Another servant stoked the fireplace helping the heat fill the room faster.
“Talk abou’ a warm welcome…” Colleen politely complimented standing near the fire to dry her slightly wet fur.
Shag and Muzzle agreed silently as they stood next to the fireplace with their warming drink. One of the maids even brought out a dog bowl so Muzzle could enjoy it easier. Muzzle lapped up the sweet beverage greedily, giving the maid a lick of appreciation to her cheek. She scratched his ears as she continued serving the rest of the guests.
“I am being understanding whyski Comrade was so sadski being away from here…” Exile said.
“Yeah…it’s like a dream…” Hunter commented as he took another mouthful of the sweet cider.
“Der Kanzler wird Ihnen in nur einem Augenblick zu treffen,” (The Chancellor will meet you in just a moment) Alaric informed.
“Danke…” Master expressed, getting the jest of what was said.
Alaric respectfully bowed as he disappeared to the inner workings of the house. The group nestled into the receiving room off to the right side of the foyer awaiting the Chancellor to come for them. The room was filled with more grandeur than the elaborate foyer. The cream-colored porcelain tile in the foyer morphed into polished wood flooring supporting the finest examples of Old-World style furniture. There was even an antique mechanized cuckoo clock with two hand-painted porcelain Bavarian milk-maid figurines that circled the pedestal of the clock in a charming twirl pattern when the clock chimed every half and whole hour. As Hunter sat in a plush rocking chair, he noticed something lying beside the couch.
“Hey… what’s this…?” Hunter said as he pulled the object into view.
“Wha’ is it, Love?” Colleen asked.
Hunter revealed the item as a very expensive down-feather filled silk dog bed. It was solid black with intricate gold embroidery along the edge. Hunter turned the bed around and came to realization of whose it was. The name ‘BLITZ’ has been tightly stitched into a beautiful Old-World design with red thread intermingled into it.
“It’s one of Blitz’s dog beds. It looks like it’s been cleaned recently,” Hunter noted.
“That is being oddski since Comrade has been being at Headquarters for long time…” Exile said.
“I wonder…” Colleen thought silently.
“Willkommen …” (Welcome) a voice came from the entryway.
“Chancellor…Madame…” Master greeted.
“Professor Shepherd…” The Chancellor acknowledged.
Heidi carried her now sleeping daughter over to the overstuffed sitting chair across from Hunter so she wouldn’t wake up. She draped a fuzzy blue blanket over her so she would continue to sleep. Everyone moved to the far side of the room so not to disturb the little girl.
“Is Eva going to be alright?“ Master asked before beginning.
“Ja, she vill be as long as ve don’t talk too loud...“ the Chancellor said.
“Can’t be going to sleep in own bedski...?“ Exile questioned.
“*sigh* my poor little girl… she can’t go to sleep in her room at all anymore …” Johann mourned.
“Why is tha’, sir…? If I may ask…?” Colleen queried.
“Blitz vould alvays sleep in Eva’s room till she was fast asleep. She told us he scared dhe monsters avay. Ever since dhat horrible day … Heidi has to cradle her most of dhe night,” Johann explained with such remorse that tears brimmed at his eyes.
The canines’ ears folded down in pity for the small child. Being stripped of her guardian angel, as it were, must have been horrible. The Chancellor walked to the large window stared out at the dismal rain.
“You seem relieved to see us, Chancellor… what’s going on?” Master asked.
The Chancellor uncomfortably cleared his throat. The knot he had been trying to suppress kept trying to force his emotions out.
“Heidi, sagen, was Sie an diesem Morgen sah…” (Tell them what you saw this morning) Johann said looking to his dear wife.
“Jeden Morgen während dieser Zeit des Jahres, mein Boysenbeere Büsche überprüfe ich früh damit die Köche beginnen Herstellung von Marmelade und Desserts für den Urlaub. An diesem Morgen, bemerkte ich eine dunkle Gestalt Squeeze durch die Eisenzaun hinter ihnen. Als ich ihn sah, wusste ich, es war unser Blitz. Ich beobachtete ihn, um sicher zu sein, aber auch wenn er auf vier Beinen war, er immer noch trug sich ihnen gleich. Ich weiß, er muss zurück aus einem Grund hier zu sein. Nun, da ihr alle hier, gibt es keinen Zweifel ...“ (Every morning during this time of year, I check my boysenberry bushes early so the cooks can begin making jam and desserts for the holidays. This morning, I noticed a dark figure squeeze through the iron fence behind them. When I saw him, I knew it was our Blitz. I watched him to be sure, but even though he wasn't on four legs, he still carried himself them same. I know he has to be back here for a reason. Now, seeing you all here, there is no doubt...) Heidi explained.
The translation app on Master’s tablet translated as the Madame Chancellor spoke. The Chancellor turned away as his memories began flooding his mind. As conversation continued on without him, the day that Blitz came into his and his family‘s life began to play:
It was the day before Christmas. The Chancellor had just been elected to office a few weeks prior and Eva was just a baby. One morning, his private line to his office rang.
“Kanzler Johann...?“ a voice on the other line asked.
“Ja... Wer ist das?“ (Who is this?) The Chancellor answered suspiciously.
“Sprechen Sie Englisch?“ (Can you speak English?) the voice asked in its attempted German.
“Ja, I do. Let me ask again. Who is dhis?“ The Chancellor asked about to alert security.
“My name is Professor William Shepherd. I am searching for permenent homes for some very special dogs in my custody. Would you be interested in hearing about them?“ Master answered.
“Dogs...? Vhat kind of dogs?“ The Chancellor asked, intrigued.
Secretly, he had been wanting to obtain a skilled guard dog/family pet to protect his wife and infant daughter when he was away on business. Perhaps this man had such a dog...? It would make a splendid gift for his family for Christmas as well.
“The dogs I have are highly skilled and fierce guardians, in fact, I have a Doberman that would do extremely well for you if you are interested,“ Master explained.
“A Doberman...? You have my attention. Tell me more,“ The Chancellor said as he relaxed in his office chair.
“His name is Blitz. He’s very strong and a first class protector. He’s good with people... loves a lot of attention. Give him a job and he will give it his all. What else do you need to know?“ Master said.
“Blitz, huh...? A good strong name... vhat is your price, Professor?“ The Chancellor pondered, finally making the decision.
“All I ask... is to give him the best care you possibly can. Do you accept these terms?“ Master said plainly.
“Vhat...? You ... you have no price...? Vhy...?“ The Chancellor stammered.
“I have no need for money; plus. he’s priceless. What is your decision?“ Master stated.
The Chancellor thought for a long moment. Could this be real? Nothing seemed misleading about this man. He felt his weight of suspicion leave him as he gave his answer.
“Vhen can you bring him here?“ The Chancellor said, smiling to himself.
Master smiled broadly on the other end of the phone.
“Just plan on an extra guest for dinner tonight...see you soon, Chancellor,“ Master said with a soft click ending the call.
The Chancellor put the phone line down and walked over to look out on the elaborately decorated lawn of his new home. Excitement filled his heart at having such a surprise for his family. He headed downstairs and informed his staff of a canine joining the family. As the hustle and bustle filled the mansion with the ambiance of a busy beehive, the Chancellor made sure to keep every detail secret.
A few hours later, the Chancellor and his wife were sitting down with their staff as dinner was put out on the table family style. One extra place had been set in preparation for the secret Christmas guest. Heidi was fastening Eva into her highchair when the front door’s chimes rang. Their head of household servant, Alaric, excused himself and opened the door.
Silently, he ushered a bundled-up figure in along with a rather large box that was on wheels. Alaric took the figure’s coat, scarf and hat and led him into the family’s dining area. The Chancellor rose to his feet to welcome their new guest and have him seated at the table.
“Velcome, Professor Shepherd. Please sit down. You’re just in time. Our cooks have prepared a fine meal tonight, as alvays...“ The Chancellor said.
“Danke, Kanzler... this all looks fabulous, but before we enjoy it, shall I reveal the reason I am here? Your ‘investment‘ would like to get out of the box,“ Master explained as he motioned at the decorative box sitting in a spacious corner of the room next to an ornate Christmas tree.
“Johann, was ist los?“ (What is going on?) Heidi asked with a smile.
“Heidi, seit ich gewählt wurde, habe ich die Notwendigkeit, irgendeine Form von Schutz für Sie und Eva haben fühlte. Ich möchte Sie, diesen Schutz zu erfüllen,“ (Heidi, ever since I was elected, I have felt the need to have some form of protection for you and for Eva. I'd like you to meet that protection.) The Chancellor said motioning for Master to reveal the surprise.
Master walked over to the box and knocked on the top. The box began to shake and roll a little until the lid of the box finally popped off revealing a black and brown furry form. A Doberman’s head covered partially by a bright red Santa hat peaked out from the top of the box to be met with coos and squeals from the crowded room.
“Come, Blitz,” Master requested.
Blitz stepped down to the ground and walked to sit in front of the Chancellor. A bright red bow was attached to his collar and golden name tag as he displayed a friendly smile.
“He’s… he’s perfect… Professor, I agree vith vhat you said. He is priceless. How can I evah tank you enough…?” The Chancellor said as he knelt down to Blitz’s level.
“All I ask is you love him... and a good home-cooked meal in exchange doesn’t hurt either...“ Master said with a chuckle.
The Chancellor looked into the Doberman’s expecting eyes. He ran the back of his hand under Blitz’s chin making the canine’s back leg twitch in grateful pleasure.
“Johann...“ Heidi whispered in a happy emotional whisper.
“Ja, meine liebe...?“ (Yes, my love) The Chancellor acknowleged.
“Er ist wunderschön. Er ... er ist wirklich unsere ...?” (He’s beautiful. He… he is really ours…?) Heidi squeaked.
“Ja, meine Liebe, sind Sie überrascht?” (Yes, my love, are you surprised?) The Chancellor asked excitedly.
“Ja! Johann, danke! Er ist der beste Geschenk überhaupt!” (Yes! Johann, thank you! He's the best gift ever!) Heidi said happily as she wrapped the Doberman in her arms, scratching his ears as the decorative hat fell to the floor.
“I’m so glad you are happy with him, Madame,” Master said with a broad smile.
“Happy…? Ve are stupendously joyful! Let us celebrate our new family member, Blitz!” The Chancellor called out as he raised his glass for a toast.
“Willkommen, Blitz!” (Welcome, Blitz!) The entire room shouted.
Blitz beamed as his entire body shook with excitement. As the crowd settled back down at the table, one of the housemaids revealed a raised food dish and called him over. It was right at his head height, black with a red rim around it and his named engraved in gold. Suddenly, it was filled with the luscious bounty that was displayed on the dinner table. Once the meal was finished, the Chancellor met Master at the door before he left out.
“A million tanks again, Professor… he is truly a rare find…” the Chancellor said.
“Take care of him and treat him well, and he will be the best friend you’ll ever have…” Master said as he buttoned his coat.
“Ve vill… have safe travels my friend and Frohe Weihnachten! (Merry Christmas)“ the Chancellor said.
As reality faded back in, the Chancellor felt light-headed as he pinched his eyebrows tightly together at his reverie. Softly, he heard someone calling him...
“Johann, hörst du?” (Are you listening?) Heidi’s voice echoed as he left his memory.
“Vas…?” (What) The Chancellor asked groggily.
“I was just saying, sir, that his journal… told us things we never thought could happen to one dog in a lifetime,” Hunter re-stated.
The Rovers looked at one another with sorrow and drooped ears remembering the truth contained within the tattered journal.
“Is it dhat bad...?“ The Chancellor rasped.
“Only the nightmares of fiction could come close...“ Master stated.
“Read it, please… I must know…” The Chancellor pled.
“Ja…” (Yes) Heidi agreed.
“Very well…” Master said as he began telling the Doberman’s tragic history.
Across town, darkness filled the night sky. Not even a star could be seen through the thick storm clouds. Light to heavy drizzles came and went as the night hours began. The small convent of sisters had gathered around the bed in the upstairs loft where they had moved Blitz’s sleeping body.
He had stopped tossing about and grimacing a few hours ago so they assumed that he had finally fallen sleep. Sister Maria Genevieve dunked her cloth into the bowl of cold water once again and laid it across Blitz’s forehead trying to get him to come around.
“Komm, mein kleiner Welpe. Aufwachen…” (Come on, my little pup. Wake up…) Maria Genevieve pled.
The other sisters simply watched their beloved pet sleep as they tried to process what happened to him. Sister Maria Genevieve could almost reach out and grasp the confusion racing through the other sisters’ minds. Timidly, the youngest sister, Maria Ciara, knelt beside her superior gently touching the Doberman head-fur.
“Mama Geni, was ist los mit Adel?” (Mama Geni, what is wrong with Adel?) The dark-haired young lady asked quietly.
The matriarchal woman looked into her young ward’s eyes and smiled softly. She ran her soft hands over the canine’s rough paw pads before answering.
“Maria Ciara, ich bin nicht sicher, was genau ihn plagt, aber ich weiß, dass er unsere Unterstützung mehr denn je. Etwas ... in seinem Kopf ...” (Maria Ciara, I am unsure of what exactly plagues him, but I do know that he needs our support more than ever before. Something… inside his mind…) Maria Genevieve answered, gesturing to imply his subconscious.
Maria Ciara nodded, understanding what her matriarch was referring to. She had only been a pre-teen when Blitz was with them, but recalled the love she had for him. She lightly rubbed his head and ear yearning to feel the soft downy fluff his un-cut ears used to possess. The rest of the sisters that were crowded in the loft continued praying as Blitz continued to dream.
Blitz felt a slight stinging sensation all over his face His eyes struggled to either open or stay closed. He couldn’t decide which his body was wanting at the time.
“Vake up…! Come on, you sissy hound! VAKE UP…!” the faint voice of ‘Orel’ echoed in his half-awake/half-asleep ears.
“Huh…? Vhat…?” Blitz moaned groggily as he felt another wave of stinging pain.
“VAKE UP!!!” “Orel” bellowed.
One final slap across his face jolted him to full awareness of being back inside the subconscious prison he had forged so long ago, but it was vastly different. Cracks and rifts littered the walls so densely that even a misplaced sneeze would cause the whole thing to collapse.
“Vhat… vhat happened… vhere am I…?” Blitz asked as he shakily stood up.
“Still stuck in dhis hell-hole of pain and torture…” ‘Orel’ said with a disgruntled snarl.
Blitz remained silent, unsure what to say. The last thing he could remember was playing the piano, then pain in his head before blacking out.
“Vhat do you expect me to do? Forget about vhat happened… forget about my family…?” Blitz growled back as his irritation grew.
“You are so naïve… letting go doesn’t mean forgetting…” “Orel” said, calming down.
“Sounds like dhe same ting…” Blitz retorted.
“You know dhat dhis…’Blitz’… persona you’ve been putting on is not who you really are…” ‘Orel’ stated as pieces of rock fell from the ceiling of the room.
“It is now… evah since…” ‘Blitz’ began.
“Don’t shift reasoning… you’re hiding like a pup dhat still needs its mutter’s milk…!” ‘Orel’ yelled as steamed seemed to snort out his nose.
Blitz stiffened at that comment, but said nothing. He turned his back to ‘Orel’ as tears clawed at the edges of his eyes. He couldn’t bring himself to break down.
“I…I can’t let…dhe odhers… see…” Blitz hissed silently through the sobs swelling in his throat.
“You are so pitiful…” “Orel” jabbed.
“Nein…” Blitz commanded himself as the raw emotion flared.
His entire body shook. He clenched his teeth so hard his jaw began to throb. His heart began to race as he tried to keep from admitting his central problem. ‘Orel’ watched this take place and knew he had another window of opportunity to get him to realize the wall he had built.
“You tink you’re so strong for keeping it all in…? For letting no one help you bear dhat burden vith you…? Ha! Just another sign of patetic veakness… to veak to admit you need help…Hunter admitted dhe separation from his mutter… even Colleen admitted to her hard life and her losses. You’re just too veak…” Orel continued.
Hearing Orel’s prodding, Blitz’s eyes dilated as the pupil shrunk to nearly pin prick size. His body stopped shaking as his face began to twitch as if he was on the verge of an irreversible mental collapse. He shut his eyes tight as he finally lost the fight with his tears. It began as soft whimpers that gradually grew in intensity to pained fits of crying. Blitz collapsed to the floor screaming at the top of his lungs as the sobs fought their way out. He couldn’t hold it back now. Waves of tears and choked sobs echoed throughout the room. All Blitz could comprehend was that Orel was right.
‘He’s right… I… I can’t do it alone…I needed my team…Vhy didn’t I trust dhem…?” Blitz sobbed.
All the while, the mental prison that surrounded them began to shake violently once again as it had done before. Blitz seemed unaware as the sound of glass breaking, metal and concrete falling away, and steel rattling free grew louder as his cries continued. Every heart-wrenching scream put holes in the molded gray brick walls surrounding his private hell.
The noise of stretching metal filled Orel’s ears which made him snap his head back to the chain-locked steel door that had been his barrier for so many years. Suddenly, loud popping sounds accompanied the noise of rivets plinking to the ground as the door began to crumple in on itself. In a mere instant the door flew off its cemented hinges ‘Orel’ ducked as the large steel door sailed off into oblivion behind him. The light from the rest of consciousness flooded the darkened dungeon nearly blinding him. He sat in the midst of the rubble in awe.
“It’s… its open…finally… open…” ‘Orel’ stammered.
He looked back at the image of his outward persona curled on the floor. Blitz’s crying had ceased as he began to fade back to reality. Here was his chance!
“I’M FREE!” Orel rejoiced as he walked to the door and jumped back into his former abode
Blitz barely heard ‘Orel’s’ last sentence when he felt a cooling sensation over his eyes and forehead. A small groan left his throat before he could stop it. He heard a small gasp from someone near to him as he felt another pounding headache beginning to surface.
“Adel…?” Maria Genevieve’s voice whispered.
Blitz tossed his head side to side slowly as his eyes adjusted back to the real world. Maria Genevieve removed the wet cloth from his face revealing his swollen tear-stained eyes. Gently, she blotted the cloth over the raw area as he came around entirely.
“Was… was passiert, Geni?” (What… what happened, Geni?) Blitz asked as he tried to sit up.
“Einfach, Adel… Ich wollte dich das gleiche fragen,” (Easy, Adel… I was going to ask you the same.) Maria Genevieve said as she urged him to sit against the pillows behind him.
“Ich ... es tut mir leid, Geni. Ich kann nicht wirklich erklären ... es klingt ... lächerlich ...” (I… I’m sorry, Geni. I can’t really explain… it sounds… ridiculous…) Blitz explained vaguely.
The wizened nun had seen many come and go through the past few years with struggles of every type. A human-like canine was no different than anyone else. Sadly, that meant the trauma he suffered affected him greater because of the difference between species.
“Sie würden überrascht sein, meine Liebe Adel. Komm schon ...sagen sie mir...” (You would be surprised, my dear Adel. Come on… tell me…) Maria Genevieve coaxed with a warm smile.
Blitz paused a moment and felt the sense of calm he had felt before. There was no fear of judgment or ridicule, just someone who loves and cares for him… wanting to help him. He took in a deep breath and let it out with a tired sigh.
“Hmmm ... nachdem ich ohnmächtig wurde, glaube ich, bin ich aufgewacht ...” (Hmmm… after I passed out, I guess, I woke up…) Blitz began as he recounted every detail of the scene that played inside his mind with his true self.
Maria Genevieve listened intently as the remarkable encounter was told. Even though on the surface it seemed like the Doberman had indeed went ‘mad’, as it were, but there was a true sincerity in his voice that sealed its truthfulness to her. Upon finishing his tale, the motherly nun warmed her arms around him as she would a child.
“Oh mein lieber…” (Oh my dear…) Maria Genevieve sighed as she stroked his ears.
“So lange, dachte ich, ich niemanden, der gepflegt, aber ich merke, dass ich tat, aber schob sie alle weg,“ (For so long, I thought I had no one that cared,but I realize that I did but pushed them all away) Blitz said.
“ Dann, es klingt für mich wie Sie irgendwo zu sein, Adel,“ (Then, it sounds to me like you have somewhere to be, Adel) Maria Genevieve said with a smile.
Blitz thought a moment. He needed to go somewhere, but was unsure where to start. Yes, he had to get back to the team, but he was pained with thought of leaving the convent again. As these and more decision-provoking thoughts danced through his mind, Maria Genevieve allowed a few of the other sisters to come up into the loft.
“Vhat is it I need to do...? I still feel so incomplete...“ Blitz pondered.
“Nice to see you finally getting vith dhe program, Blitzy...“ Orel’s voice chided gently.
“You... how...? Vait... nevahmind...“ Blitz asked.
“Haha... ready to get going...?“ Orel said with a slight chuckle.
“Vhere...?“ Blitz questioned.
Flashes of faded memories lit up in his mind’s eye. The mansion... the Chancellor... Eva... his life with them...
“Home... I... I...I vant to go home...“ Blitz decided.
“Geni, ich... ich muss nach Hause.,“ (Geni, I...I need to go home.) Blitz assured as he sat up putting his feet on the floor.
“Ich weiß. Maria Ciara, nehmen Sie bitte Adel Sachen,“ (I know. Maria Ciara, please get Adel’s things) Maria Genevieve requested.
“Ja, Mama Geni...“ Maria Ciara replied as she fetched the bag he had come in with along with his clean and dried coat and scarf.
After quickly wrapping himself back up to brace for the weather outside, the Doberman was once again surrounded by the loving sisters in a tight embrace. The temptation to stay arose, but he knew he needed to put hi demons to rest once and for all.
Pulling away to head back out onto the street, Blitz said, “Danke. Ich verspreche, ich werde wieder kommen“.(Thank you. I promise I will come back)
“Wir werden Sie beim Wort nehmen, Adel. Wir lieben dich sehr,“ (We will hold you to that, Adel. We love you very much) Maria Genevieve said as she waved goodbye.
Blitz waved back as the darkness swallowed his form. The rain had ceased its unpredictable drizzle cycle making the street lights even brighter as he continued to walk. The serene silence of the late hour along with the feeling of being cleansed of some awful muck inside his soul brought a near perfect aura to his journey back towards downtown to get to the Chancellor’s mansion.
“Please... please let him accept me again...“ Blitz thought as he walked.
“Keeep vith dhe positive...“ “Orel“ reminded.
“Easier said dhan done...“ Blitz replied.
“Be who you really are... and you ‘ll be surprised...“ Orel said in an encouraging tone.
Suddenly, a flash of a long buried memory rose in Blitz mind. He had heard this kind of tone from someone else before. A gruff, but friendly voice echoed in his ears…
“Haben Sie Ihre Zähne zu schärfen? Ich schwöre, Sie könnten durch Stahl zu essen, Spitz!“ (Do you sharpen your teeth? I swear you could eat through steel, Spitz!)
That nickname... who gave it to him...? Spitz meant sharp or pointed, which obviously referred to his claws and teeth.
“Ja, Spitz, Sie ergreifen könnten sich nichts! “ (Yeah, Spitz, you could take down anything!)
The feeling of pride of the compliment given him over an apparent job well done filled his heart with such happy memories.
“Sehen Sie, wir können auf den Straßen, aber wir sind nicht allein,“ (Look, we may be on the streets, but we’re not alone)
Now, he remembered. The face of a bryindyl and black boxer faded into clear view. His body was covered in scars from scraps he had with the street packs. His ears were uncut as well as his tail. A friendly, jovial attitude permeated his character. Even his reddish brown eyes were full of life. It was the encouraging voice of his best friend, Otto.
He had met Otto by accident when the latter had ducked under the junkyard fence to hide from one of the many street packs. Blitz, being a broken and vicious ‘guard‘ dog, immediately found him and squared off with him, wanting him out of his territory. However, instead of cowering away, Otto saw beyond the facade that the Doberman was portraying. Partly because Blitz was only half his size and he could have easily overtaken him, but also he knew of the cruelty of the junkyard owners. Blitz was nothing but skin and bones. He just stood there still without fear waiting for Blitz to calm down. When Blitz realized that the Boxer was not intending to hurt him. he dropped his guard dog routine and hid Otto underneath the carcass of a totaled Volkwagon that he had padded with every scrap of canvas and cloth he could find.
At first he wouldn’t admit it, but Blitz was so thankful to have a friend with him in such a lonely place. Nights became less cold and even having someone else to just mill around the garbage heaps with brought him happiness. Blitz made sure to keep him out of sight so the junkyard owners would not inflict the same pain on Otto as they had on him. It wasn’t the most stellar life, but at least they each had a friend to count on.
He felt guilty for never returning to the junkyard after Master had chosen him to be a Rover. Surely, Otto thought he had abandoned him. He probably just moved on to another part of town.
“I vish I knew vhat happened to him...“ Blitz whispered aloud just to hear a sound.
Blitz continued his unhurried pace down the concrete block until he heard the rumble of an engine around the corner. His ears circled around the brick building and he heard voices that were from his nightmares. He peeked slowly around to witness what he thought was his own past replaying once again.
“ Komm schon, du wertloser Köter!” (Come on you worthless mutt!) one voice said as he strained on a steel chain.
The sounds of growling and snarling were heard as a four-legged form emerged from the dark alleyway. Bellowing barks and yelps filled the otherwise silent back street as a dog fought hard to get away.
“ Beeile dich! Er macht zu viel Lärm!” (Hurry up! He’s making too much noise!) the other man said as he held the trunk open.
“ Dies wäre besser es wert sein. Es war schlimm genug, dass Fang Dober letzten Mal,“ (This had better be worth it. It was bad enough catching that Doberman last time) the previous said.
The other man just sneered as the dog was finally reeled in with the steel chain wrapped tight around his neck.
Blitz’s blood ran cold. It was the junkyard owners. The same cruel sadistic men that had taken him away from Maria Genevieve so long ago. Who were they taking now?
Blitz looked down to see... a bryindyl Boxer with black markings.
“Nein... it couldn’t be...“ Blitz thought as he tuned into what the canine was saying as he struggled.
“ Lassen Sie mich los, du böse Bastarde! Loslassen! Sie meinen besten Freund getötet und Ich lasse Sie mir!” (Let me go, you evil bastards! Let go! You killed my best friend and I’m not letting you get me!) the Boxer screamed as he was forced into the trunk of the old beaten up black car.
“Otto...“ Blitz realized.
Loud thunks could be heard from Otto throwing himself against the walls of the space to get free. Something inside Blitz made him forget about where he was headed and began to run down the side streets and alleys that he knew so well. He had to get to the junkyard before those demons arrived with Otto.
“ I am not letting dhose vile humans have dheir vay vith another dog for dhere own sick amusement! I vill not let dhis keep me back any more!“ Blitz thought confidently.
Orel smirked as he thought to himself, “I .am. back...“
He seemed to fly with lightning speed as he approached the dreadful prison he had been rescued from by Master Shepherd. The steel chain-link fence was showing signs of rust from disuse. Mounds of stinking garbage and trashed appliances littered the viewing area from the street. The small metal security shack stood at the gate, hiding its true sinister purpose.
Seeing the black car no where in sight, Blitz approached the door to the shack. Although his fear had greatly diminished of this place and because he was not in his weaker canine form, he felt his chest tighten. He forced himself to take slow, deep breaths as he shook the door handle gently. He found it unlocked to his surprise. Normally, those men would never leave anything unlocked for any reason. Before wondering for too long, he ducked inside.
Turning to scan the inside of the shack, his eyes shrunk in horror. Old photos littered the walls and desk area. Dark reddish brown stains were smeared across the floor, apparently blood. He turned from the nauseous scene only to find an even sicker display. A dusty corkboard had been fastened to the wall displaying several old snapshots around a piece of paper saying ‘Best Work‘. Blitz scanned the outer photos until he arrived in the center of the macbre bulletin board.
In the center, was a slightly blurry photo of a pup just after its ears and tail had been taken away. Blitz could see the tremendous fear in the tear-filled eyes of the pup. He looked at the small description that had been placed underneath the photo and nearly vomited at its information.
“Anzahl 1 – Dobermann-Welpen... alter 6 bis 10 Monate... nahm in der Nähe von alten Kloster...“ (Number 1 - Doberman pup... age 6 to 10 months... picked up near old convent...)
The photo was him. It was right after they had cut his tail off just before he passed out from the pain. Tears filled his eyes once again, but did not let them last for long. He was not that weak, defenseless pup anymore. His breathing intensified as anger began to pulse through. Blood rushed to his face making his eyes see red.
Blitz looked at the other innocent victims around the room and realized that they were after his time. Some dates were even as recent as two days ago. They had commited all this cruelty and no one has been the wiser. He heard yelps and barks from the yard confirming the evidence before him.
“Dhey vill pay for dhis... today... dhis stops...“ Blitz growled.
Before Blitz could dwell on his anger, he heard the low rumble of a car’s engine pull up. Blitz noticed a small closet just large enough for him to tuck inside without being seen. He hid behind the slightly ajar door giving himself enough of a viewpoint to watch the scene unfold. Suddenly, the door swung open with a shaking clang followed by the sound of dragging chains and shuffling feet.
“Ketten ihn. Ich werde die Werkzeuge zu erhalten,“ (Chain him up. I’ll get the tools) the apparent leader commanded.
His underling nodded as he wrapped the chain holding Otto’s neck tight around a metal hook hanging from the ceiling. He fastened it to where the Boxer could not move his head. Blitz watched as his fury built, knowing what they were about to do.
“ Lassen Sie uns etwas über diesen Ohren, sollen wir?” (Let’s do something about those ears, shall we?) The leader said as the glint of the dagger stood out in the dim light.
Otto began to squirm as the dagger came closer to his ears. The man that had chained him clamped his legs around his body to keep him still. Finally, Blitz couldn’t hold his silence any longer.
“NEIN! LASSEN SIE DAS MESSER!” (NO! DROP THE KNIFE!) Blitz burst out.
The two men jumped as their cruel work was rudely interrupted. The Doberman stood still for a moment before allowing his rage to control his actions. All Blitz wanted to see now was these men begging for their lives. The Rover slowly approached as the men began to panic.
“Holen Sie sich zurück! “ (Get back!) the man wielding the dagger said as he raised his weapon.
Blitz let out a snarl worthy of class ‘A’ Hollywood horror movies as his mouth became coated in a thick foam. Muzzle’s fits had nothing on him right now. With the speed of light, he leapt and took hold of the man’s arm with his powerful jaw, making him drop the knife. Blood gushed across the walls as Blitz kicked the man to the ground. The other that had been holding Otto in place charged at the enraged canine, but ended up being tossed over in a heap on top of his boss.
With one swift motion, Blitz unleashed his super-sharp claws and cut the chain off of his best friend. The Boxer was in such shock he was frozen stiff. Blitz tore an opening in the thin metal wall with his teeth so Otto could escape.
“Otto, lauf!” (Otto, run!) Blitz commanded as he pointed to the opening.
The Boxer looked at the Doberman confused and amazed. Blitz’s heart was beating fast as the men behind him started to get back on their feet. He hated to do this, but it was the only way to get him out.
“Raus Hier!” (Get out of here!) Blitz screamed as he viciously charged at the frightened Boxer.
Within a second, Otto had squeezed through the opening and was finally out of harms way. Knowing his friend was safe, Blitz turned back to the evil men that had made his life a living hell.
“Zeit für Vergeltung…” (Time for retribution) Blitz growled.
Blitz stomped over and picked the two men up by their shirt collars. His grip was so tight that their shirts nearly came apart at the seams. He tossed them to the floor and tied them with the same chains that had bound Otto with. Making sure they were tight, Blitz turned his back to them as he shook with anger letting out growls with each exhale.
“Was zum Teufel bist du?” (What the hell are you?) The man who had the knife asked, spitting some blood from his mouth.
Blitz stiffened hearing him speak. He robotically turned to face him, fully displaying his breed’s signature ‘devil-eyes’.
“Sie wollen wissen, was ich bin…?” (You want to know what I am…?) Blitz recited darkly.
The two men looked at one another in stunned silence, wishing they had said nothing.
“Ich werde Ihnen sagen,” (I will tell you) Blitz said with what could be described as a devilish grin.
The two men cowered as the red-eyed dog pushed the tattered photo of what they had done to him into their faces. They remembered the small scared pup very well. He had been their first ‘recruit’ as free security around the junkyard.
“Denken Sie daran, diese Welpen ...? Nun, Sie schauen auf ihn!” (Remember this pup… well, you’re looking at him!) Blitz seethed as guttural growls came in between his ragged pants.
The two men were shaking, even though the chains hid most of it. They were too afraid to speak, thinking it would anger the Doberman further. Blitz lifted the two men up by the chains and hissed in their face as he spoke.
“Sie denke, wir alle wollten verstümmelt und entstellt werden?“ (You think all of us wanted to be mutilated and disfigured?) Blitz asked, stating the obvious answer of ‘No‘.
Suddenly, Blitz threw them against the wall knocking out a few teeth and making their faces bloodied.
“Du verdienst es nicht, zu leben,” (You don’t deserve to live) Blitz threatened.
He picked them up and threw them again into the opposite wall. Both men were whimpering in pain as blood ran down their cheeks.
“Bitte… Bitte beenden…” (Please… please stop…) the underling pled.
He went over to pick them up again when he felt a wave of self-control finally reel him.
“STOP! You have proved your point haven’t you…?” Orel yelled.
“Dhey deserve to die…” Blitz snarled in crazed fury.
“Maybe… but don’t let vhat dhey did to you make you dhe monstah…” Orel explained.
Blitz froze as he felt the red leaving his face. His tormentors were helpless and probably would be for a while yet. The Doberman collapsed to his knees as the adrenaline rushed out of his body. His chest heaved in and out replenishing his lungs with fresh oxygen. Once he felt calm enough to move, he looked down at the picture in his hand. The two men held their breath, unsure of what this crazed Doberman would do. Blitz turned his back to them as he rested on the floor a moment. The crying and barking from their more recent victims rang in his ears again.
These men had to come to justice for all the horrible crimes they had done. He lifted himself up to sit in the old dilapidated office chair. He scanned the desk and found the old disk-dial phone buried under another thick stack of horrible pictures. He dialed the emergency number and waited for the operator to pick up.
“1-1-0, das ist Misty. Was ist Ihr Notfall…?” (1-1-0, this si Misty. What is your emergency?) A young woman’s voice answered.
“Hallo, hat es einen Unfall in der alten Innenstadt von Schrottplatz. Senden Sie einen Krankenwagen für unkritische Verletzungen vorbereitet ...” (Hello, there has been an accident at the old downtown junkyard. Send an ambulance prepared for non-critical injuries...) Blitz said with a gruffer tone in his voice.
“Gibt es noch mehr können Sie mir sagen, Herr? Hast du gesehen, jemand die Szene zu verlassen? Herr ...? Herr ...?” (Is there any more you can tell me, Mister? Did you see anyone leave the scene? Mister…? Mister…?) Misty asked not receiving an answer.
Blitz had dropped the line. He looked at the two shivering men bound in rusted chains and gave them a warning.
“Passen Sie vom Hund…” (Beware of Dog) Blitz growled.
Before vacating the premises, he found a pen on the trashed desk and wrote a note on the back of the picture before taping it to the front door. He turned away from the door leaving the pain of his former life as a junkyard dog behind.