That night we slept together on the floor in front of the fireplace. Lucky and I set up a small futon, and he lit up the gas fireplace to get the wood burning. I thought he was cheating, he told me to go out and get some kindling if I wanted it authentic. Lucky went to the other room to get a blanket for the two of us.
For a few moments, the world was perfect. It was quiet and peaceful, I was on my side, close to the fireplace, and the flickering of the flames, the sounds of the popping logs, I was asleep before Lucky got back.
I found myself dreaming. I was dreaming I was in a castle, on ground level. Like I was already on all fours but it was normal for me. I was playing with a small pack of dogs, mostly mutts but we had a strong bond of family. They say in dreams you can't smell, but one had the scent of "Lucky." I'm sure of it. We were playing a game like tag in a room, until we were whistled by someone.
We all turned to look, and it was a man. Really tall, lots of muscles, a large sword on his hip, and armor on his torso. He spoke in a language I didn't know, but I think it was German or something. We all understood him. Then things melted and warped, and I was on a field of battle. I was still on all fours, but I was more powerful than I had thought I was. I was fighting next to my master in a large scale melee of some kind. The details were hazy, sketchy, but I recall leaping onto a man and biting his throat hard, growling and snarling.
I closed my eyes for more purchase, and I opened them to find myself feasting on a cooked legbone from either a cow or a sheep. There was no way to know what other than it's size. It was a festival, a celebration. My neck felt odd, it was a collar of some kind that was different than what I knew I should be wearing. When I looked up a few of my pack mates were also feasting. We all were wearing new leather collars, smaller than what I knew we always wore. But they all had a seal pounded into the leather. It reminded me of something, but I wasn't sure what.
From the crowd a man with a leash comes over to me and asks if I want to go out. He leashes me and takes me out of his house and we walk down a cobblestone road. Images flash by very fast, but I get the idea of colonial America. The clothing I can see, the things I hear, all to fast. I try to slow down, but my brother won't slow down and let me get a good look.
I jump into the covered wagon for a rest and ride along with my owner. He's talking to the wife about where to settle in Texas, and hopes that his farming equipment will hold up. With a scratch behind the ears he tells me that I'm the best defense against coyotes and wolves he knows. we're on our way, so I decide to lead the horses up the trail.
We get out of the jeep to the smell of gunpowder scorched metal and rotting bodies. A slight rain is falling, and our troop is not in contact with HQ. I hear someone say "Come on Private!" and I follow that voice. My handler unclips my leash and pulls me up off of my paws. Once I'm up he gives me my uniform and a rifle. I watch him as he puts on his collar and quickly changes form himself. The rest of the K-9 squad had done the same and we begin to clear the city of German soldiers.
I round the corner of a building and see a woman wearing a tie-dyed shirt. She opens her arms to me and I jump into them, licking her face. She always likes to have her face licked I remember. She calls me Morrison and listens to funny music. He runs her fingers along the collar she made for me out of hemp rope while talking on the phone to a friend of hers at Berkeley. "You have to meet Morrison" she says to the phone. "He's a real cutie."
"No thanks, I already have one of my own!" I hear the phone say back. Phones can't talk, and the thought of one talking strikes me as funny. The tie-dye woman says she has to go and feed Morrison, and when she hands up the phone a loud pop is heard.
My eyes snap open. I'm in front of the fireplace, laying on my side facing into it. The fire is dying out now, the logs are popping and sizzling a little. There's a blanket over me, and Lucky is curled around behind me. And I feel comforted by him, his protection. I work backwards a little, pressing my back to his chest, and I feel his erection against me as well. And even that is comforting enough to help me back into sleep nuzzling under his head.
I woke up in the morning alone. But not without the smell of bacon, eggs, and toasted bread. As I was leaning around to get up, Lucky came around the corner. "Morning Spike!" he said. "Don't move, I'll bring you something."
"Are you always this good to puppies?" I asked
"Probably." he said from the kitchen. "You're my first one." he came in balancing a few bowls in his paws, and two glasses of milk. He handed me one, and inside was breakfast. "I hope you like eggs."
I nodded. "Thank you Lucky." We ate breakfast while watching cartoons on TV. After we had eaten, I finally asked. "Lucky? I had some weird dreams last night."
"It started in this castle place..." and I described as much of the dream as I could remember. not in all it's detail, but enough. It took me a while, pretty much all of breakfast.
Lucky nodded. "Your memories." I perked and swiveled my ears. "We all have a memory of our past in the pack. Last night I didn't tell you all of our history because I thought you'd have a few nights before your memory caught up with you. I'll have to fix that." he paused. "After we clean this up."
We did the dishes, and Lucky took me back to the fireplace. Lucky started up the gas igniter and threw a little more wood into it. "I still think it's cheating." I said.
"Cheating or not, it's a really nice place to relax." He walked over to the main table and turned on the CD player. We were listening to a collection of blues and jazz CD's as we lay down next to the fireplace. He pulled the blanket over the two of us, and he told me our heritage.
"We don't have an exact record of our past. Some of it is written down, some of it is passed along. some of it is story, some is truth. But it's all we have to really latch onto. If you take a bit of the myth, and a bit of the truth, and a bit more of the myth, you'll have who we are.
"Our earliest history is around the 1500's or so. We don't know who created us, or how or why. We do know we were created like you were last night. From normal people into animals. From what we can find we were supposed to be 'war wolves', creatures of warfare. The problem was that what they did was dress their people in wolf skins, and then transform them. They went feral, and escaped to the woods. They were never seen again."
Lucky laughed a little. "Some of us think they were the reason that stories of 'werewolves' were told. But we can't prove anything like that. But we do know they existed. What happened to them remains a mystery. Some claim to have hunted them down, some claim the first ones are still around.
"But the knowledge was later restored, and it was found that humans could be transformed into dogs by use of a talisman. If done correctly we retained the best of both species. The brains of the human, the brawn and senses of the dog. Or, sometimes, the body of a dog, the mind of a human. If you trained a soldier well enough, and then give them a pack mind, we are devastating soldiers."
"We're supposed to be soldiers?" I asked.
"We were. Even magical technology is born out of war." He thought a moment. "Remind me to tell you that part too. I want to tell you more about our history first.
"We were used as soldiers for years, usually secret forces or as messengers or any role which required fear. Middle ages, rumors and half truths, rabid soldiers are believable to people who believe in dragons. We fought well, well enough to be unofficially recognized by kings and dukes of several generations. Our ranks were small, and after times of war were over the pack was disbanded.
"Someone kept the knowledge of the pack going. My mentors believed it was a Wiccan tradition, I believe it was enchantment. Either way you want to believe it, it was kept up. We had a long generational gap, but resurfaced a few times in Russia for some skirmishes. I think a few Vikings were part of the pack as well because I dreamt of longboats when I was a pup. I still do, sometimes.
"When the new world was discovered, the pack went there too. you dreamt of where? Can you nail it down?"
I thought hard. "Not really. Cobblestones, an ocean, nothing more than just blurs."
"We fought for the Colonies in the Revolutionary war, it wouldn't surprise me if you were there too."
"What do you mean I was there? I'm reincarnated?"
Lucky thought a moment. "Not reincarnation like you think of it. It's more like the spirit of the pack. We can make anyone a member of the pack, it's a question of the pack accepts them, and lets them draw from previous experience. Sometimes, when I'm stuck in a situation or something happens, I'll get a flashback to somewhere I know I've never been. It's the pack helping me out, we watch for our own."
I nodded, Lucky picked up his story. "We fought a lot. From what you're saying it sounds like you went to Texas. You may have been at the Alamo too if you're lucky. It's a long tradition that hasn't ended. A lot of the pack is in the military, or doing police work, or guarding places and working security. Not all of us, just a lot of us."
Lucky looked into my eyes. "A lot of us also do volunteer work too. We have a small club of us here in town that trains to be sniffers for rescue and emergency. We switch off dogs and handlers." Lucky laughs a little. "We may be from a culture of warriors, but we can also do some good while we're here."
"How many are 'we'?" I asked.
"Including you, I think we're up to about 400 or 500 in the pack. That's in the US. World wide, I think we're up to 2000." My jaw dropped. "We keep a low profile."
"Why?" I asked. "I mean, last night you said I'm immune to diseases, and that I'd have better hearing. Why can't we share that?"
"Not immune." Lucky reminded me. "Super resilient. Nothing is 100%, and you still will get sick from time to time."
I sighed, and let my ears fold down. "Ok, ok. But why can't we share it with everyone?"
"Spike... When I was a pup I asked the same thing. And in some ways I wish I could share this with everyone I know. But I can't because of what would happen. Ever watch X files?" I nodded. "Instead of aliens put you or me in there. What would the government at large do if hey found us right now?"
"Poke and prod us, figure out how we're made..."
"And then find an application for us in the military. Or just lock us up because they don't know what to do. We have pack members in the military, and through some politicking they get placed in the same units and train together, but that's as far as we go. That and do you honestly think that the world is ready to all be dogs?"
I thought a moment, and said "My landlady is a bitch. Does that count?"
"I know some very nice bitches." Lucky said with a grin. "You may be surprised. But the world isn't ready to be like us. So, we stay low. We let in only those we like, those like us, or those we must. Trust me, it's better like this."
The jazz CD changed over to something new age to break our silence. I finally said "You said something about magic."
Lucky nodded. "That I did. What do you know about magic?"
"Role-playing stuff." I said. "not much."
"Magic isn't like games." Lucky said. "Magic is around us every day, we just don't always recognize it. A sunset can be very magical. So can a rainstorm. So can music. Magic is... It's like the force. you can't see it with your eyes, just with your heart and your mind." I stifled a laugh. "Hey, I can't help it if that works."
"Just don't make me wear the blast shield?" I said, pantomiming a light saber in my paws. We laughed a little.
"But what we're wearing on our necks is a talisman. It's holding our human forms, and it's holding us into this half-form. That and the rubber suits."
"That's an important part too?"
"Well, they don't have to be rubber, I'm just a rubber fetishist too." He smiled. "The suits are a focus for the energy it takes to transform you. It's also the way to control what breed you are. You can do it with a specially made collar and no suit, but then your breed is mixed based on what your personality is like. Some of the pack like that, some don't. You wanted a Dalmatian, so I got you a Dalmatian suit."
I blinked a few times in amazement. "You got this for me?"
Lucky half closed his eyes and rolled his head a little to the right. "Weeeelllll.... It's one of my old suits. It fit you just so well I couldn't resist."
I shook my head. So much for feeling special, I figured. But I did think a moment about it. "So why didn't I transform when I put on the suit in the first place?"
"The power is latent. You need some concerted effort to make it work. It's like... a roller coaster. You need to push it so far up the hill before it goes over the first bump and starts rolling." He looked down my body, we were still naked, and he licked his chops looking at my maleness. "For pups, it's easiest to do transformations with a sexual experience because they are the most powerful emotions other than rage and love. And when you're being led through your first change, it's a painless way to do it in case something changes wrong."
I thought about that while Lucky was speaking. "So... if you put someone in a suit, that's a focus but not an immediate change."
I went on slowly, connecting pieces. "And my collar is holding my human side?"
"Mostly." Lucky said. "It's holding your human appearance, once it's removed your human appearance comes back as you wearing a Dalmatian suit."
"So... What would happen if I put on the suit, and transformed into a dog without my collar? What would happen to my human body?"
"It would be lost. Your mind would still be Dan, but your body would be Spike. Or whatever you decided to be." Lucky said. "You're getting the hang of this."
"So, wait, what about the wolf guys?"
"The first ones?" Lucky asked, I nodded. "When they transformed they used real furs because that's what they thought would need to be done. But the real furs tipped the balance between human and canine in their brains, so they went feral. After that the transformation costumes were cloth."
"So they don't have to be rubber?" I asked.
"Well, no. There's a guy on the north side who uses a mascot costume he bought from a costume shop. And one of the females I know uses a jumpsuit she made for Halloween one year that we made into a focus. Like I said I have a thing for rubber."
"How do you make a focus like that?" I asked, eager to know.
"I'll teach you some other time." Lucky said. "Or I'll take you to California, they can probably teach you better than I can if you really want to get into that." Lucky began to pet me gently behind my ears. I closed my eyes and just soaked it in.
Then I thought about something else. "Lucky? Hootch asked me last night if I was a virgin. Why?"
"Because a virgin is easier to bring into the pack." Lucky said. "No pre-conceived notions of what sex is, and the pack ancestors seem to take to virgins easier. Your dreams means they like you, and they want you in the pack. I guess they chose you quickly."
"Were you a virgin?" I asked
"Yeah." Lucky said. "Masturbation doesn't count, thankfully. Blitz brought me into the pack, I was his pup. Hootch and Blitz raised me as their own pup, a fact I'm still thankful for."
We laid there for a while, listening to the music. Lucky then said "Wanna go outside? It's a great day for it." My eyes shot wide open. "Nobody's around. Trust me. We've had bondage parties out there with no complaints. Besides, I have a pool."
"It's kinda cold to swim."
"Ok, we can just lounge around then."
I thought about it a moment, and figured that it couldn't hurt. "Sure."
We turned out the radio and went outside. We spent the rest of the day just talking about the pack, what it was like, what I had gotten myself into. I still felt like a puppy, but at least I was learning.
This is (unfortunately) a work of fiction. It depicts sex. Lots of quite graphic sex between several genders and arguably a few species. Af any of this offends you, or anything vaguely pornographic bothers you, don't read this, and don't send me your nasty e-mail (I may enjoy it, you know...)
Being a work of fiction, none of the characters herin are based on a real person (Save the narrator and one other person...) And similarity to any person alive, dead, undead or unalive is coincidental, totally. However, if you see yourself or someone you know in a character be honored. You've been immortalised.