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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/campfires/item_id/2294405-Death-Incorporated
Rated: 13+ · Campfire Creative · Fiction · Action/Adventure · #2294405
What really happens when you die?
[Introduction]
I don't usually like to have multiple campfires going on at once, but I figured i would make an exception for this, since I don't intend for it to be all that long.

We all are familiar with some representation of Death, AKA The Grim Reaper. Supposedly it is neither good nor evil. It is simply doing it's job, sending souls on their way to be judged. But, have you ever thought about how millions of people die across the world everyday? So it only makes sense that there isn't just a single Reaper, but maybe something like a union of them. And death and the afterlife is their business.

This story will follow Vallory, one such representative of this business. Due to some error in paperwork, her latest client, the recently deceased Andrew, is a rather rare case, where he is marked as "undecided", meaning the higher ups don't know where to send him.

So, Vallory had to keep watch over Andrew until her bosses can sort out the mess. Anybody wishing to join in the story need only to contact me. Enjoy!
On a bench at a public bus stop sat a woman with long blonde hair, and skin so pale passerbys might have mistook her for a marble statue, if they had been able to see her. She was dressed in a white business suit, skirt and high heels, with a small pair of gold rimmed glasses on her face.

She held a clipboard in her lap, which she kept glancing down at every few minutes. She looked at her watch, and saw that in just a few seconds she would be meeting her newest client.

Then, as if from nowhere, a feint scream that could be heard progressively getting louder rang out, until it was suddenly cut short when a young man of around twenty years old dropped like a bomb out of the sky onto the blacktop directly in front of the pale lady.

She had seen quite a few strange sights during her time with the union, but never something like this! The man was dressed in a skydiving outfit, with a parachute that had apparently failed to open.

A crowd quickly gathered around the scene, with somebody shouting to call 911. Then, the young man suddenly appeared next to the lady on the bench, in utter confusion and maybe some shock.

""Huh?" He stammered "What happened? The last thing I remember is falling from the sky and then..."

"Mr. Andrew Reed?"

He looked to see the woman sitting beside him, scribbling something on her clipboard. "Who are you?" ""Your caseworker. Call me Vallory. Now, your name is Andrew Reed, correct?"

"Yes, but why does that matter?"

"My bosses like to keep accurate records. If nothing else, for posterity's sake. Let's see...age twenty?" ""I'll be twenty-one come Friday. In fact...yeah! That's it! My friends and I were on this skydiving tour to celebrate my birthday and..."

That's when he noticed the growing crowd gathering around his body. "Am I dreaming this? What the hell's going on here!?"

"To put it simply, you're dead, Mr. Reed. I'm here to take you to my office so that we may begin your judgement process and ultimately decide where to put you."

"So you're saying that you're..."

Vallory sighed "Yes, I'm the grim reaper, Mr. Reed. Well, one of them, anyway. Now, if you'll kindly come with me, we'll get you back to headquarters." She stood and gestured to a ridiculously long escalator that Andrew swore wasn't there a second ago. It seemed to stretch all the way up to the clouds!

"Is that...?"

"Heaven? Not exactly. I don't judge my clients. That's not my department. I just bring them in for processing." Taking Andrew by the hand, she lead him onto the escalator.
         As they climbed onto the escalator, in just a blink of a eye, they were already in what looked like a everyday office building.
         Trying to keep up with Vallory, Andrew was a bit dazed from the sudden arrival.
         "Come on, my office is right over here."
Vallory lead Andrew to her cubicle, motioning for him to have a seat. She sat behind her desk and began typing to bring up his file. "Let's see now...Andrew Thomas Reed, Age twenty, born April seventeenth, 2002. Parents, Marcus Arthur Reed, and Katrina Elizabeth Reed. Mother's maiden name..."

Vallory went on like this for several minutes, as Andrew sat there amazed at how much they knew about him. "Is everything about me in there?" Vallory nodded. "As I said, we keep all records current. Now, Mr. Reed, this is the part where I answer any questions you may have. Please do not ask me where you'll be going, because as I said, that's out of my jurisdiction. But feel free to ask me anything else."

"Okay...Where exactly am I right now?"

"Death Incorporated headquarters. Every human that dies on earth ends up here, before they are sent to judgement and whatever afterlife the higher ups deem fit for them."

"You mean there's more than one?"

"More or less. It depends on the life each client has lead before their demise, what faith they may have followed, and various other factors."

"Can you at least tell me what kinds of afterlife's are possible?"

"Well, from best to worst, there's what we call The Top Floor. Also known as Heaven, Elysium, Valhalla or whatever else you want to call it. Next, there's The Middle Ground. That's more for souls that weren't saints, but not exactly evil either. There, you never need to eat or sleep, but can still feel pain. It's not all bad, though. There's still stuff to keep yourself occupied so you won't go crazy with boredom.

Then there's the Holding Pen, otherwise known as Limbo. It's basically an infinite blank void, where sinners spend all eternity with each other, with absolutely nothing to do. Last is the Basement, or Hell if you prefer. It's not really all fire and demons with pitchforks as you've probably heard. But, don't get me wrong, you really don't want to end up there. Of course, only the worst of the worst go there."

"What about reincarnation? Is that a thing?"

"Yes, but only in very rare cases. Even if we reincarnate a soul, it's mostly pretty random. For example, if you were eligible for it, you would be reborn on Earth, perhaps as an animal, a microscopic organism, or even a woman. There's really no guarantees with that route, though your past life can effect the end result somewhat. Anymore questions?"
         Thinking of all he heard so far, he rubbed the bridge of his nose.
         "How did you end up with yhis job? As a reaper, I mean."
         Chuckling, Vallery only tapped a finger on her desk.
         "Sorry pal, but that's a secret."
"Anymore questions?"

Andrew thought for a moment. "What about my parents? My family?"

"Don't worry too much. They'll grieve for you, of course. But in time they'll accept your passing, and with any luck you'll see them again eventually."

         Relaxing a bit, Andrew looked to Vallery as she continued working.
         "Okay, who exactly decides where I go?"
         Sighing, Vallery knew this was coming.
         "Basically, the gods. They decide and- Oh! Looks like the results for you are in and-"
         Reading it, Vallery's face seemed to go ghostly white.
         If it was even possible, that is.
"I need to get a hold of someone," she said. She pressed a Button. "Hank - got a problem."

At this, someone who could pass for the Big Bad Wolf appeared. "Don't tell me. Picked up one of mine."

Andrew looked at them "Are you wearing a costume?"

"Think of it as Foreign Exchange program type of thing," said Hank. "Where I'm from, Humans are Canines' Best Friend." They walked up to the desk. "What's the issue?"

Vallery showed him the paperwork.

The wolf's eyes widened. "I hope he hasn't been cremated or something, yet."

"What's the problem?" Andrew asked.

"Do you understand the concept of Parallel Worlds?" Hank asked.

"Like in that Sliders? Andrew asked.

"Yes, we'll go with that," said Hank. "I'm from a world where Canines produced a Canis sapiens, as you might call it, and the human subspecies called Homo familiarus derived from a species called Homo erectus. The perfect long-term companion, although their feral counterparts are rather interesting - used to study them before my death."

"So, what were these feral counterparts of Homo familiarus like?" Andrew asked.

"Rather tribal, like those Native Americans or Aboriginal Australians, or others that live rather primitive lifestyles," said Hank. "Very smart, even recognizing those that are friendly to them." He chuckled. "Some of the females even enjoyed the company of my pet, especially since he knew how to make a version of what's called Strong Juice."

"So, what happened to you?" Andrew asked.

The wolf frowned. "I was killed by poachers, who were after illegally procured human meat."

Andrew grimaced at this. "Human meat?"

"Let's just say that not all worlds are human-friendly," said Vallery. "I've been in more than a few worlds afterlives where I had to explain that I wasn't a pet for pet heaven."

"So, how does this affect me?" Andrew asked. "This parallel world thing?"

"We got the wrong Andrew Reed," said Hank. "You were supposed to be in the hospital with a broken arm and leg. It's the other Andrew Reed from a parallel world that's supposed to be dead."

"Dimensional mix-up with the paperwork," said Vallery. "Happens from time to time, but is rather annoying. With any luck, we can pop you back into your body, and folks will think that you were just in a coma."

"Better hurry before there's another mix-up," said Hank. "I don't fancy trying to pull off a Mr. Jorden situation, not on my time here."

"What does that mean?" Andrew asked.

"It's where we stick your soul into another body," said Vallery. "It's happened a few times."

"Boxer, football player, comedian, doctor, lawyer, two-bit crook," said someone else.

"Thank you Ms. Simmons!" said Hank.
Vallory quickly brought up what looked like a video feed on her computer screen, and frowned. "Oh dear." She said "I'm afraid we're too late." She turned the screen to show what looked to be a funeral. Andrew's funeral.

"What the? I've only been dead like fifteen minutes! How did they arrange a funeral already?!"

"I forgot to mention, time moves differently here than in the land of the living." Vallory sheepishly admitted. "It looks like they've already buried him. We can't send him back to his body now, or he'll wake up in a box under six feet of dirt, and end up back here anyway."

"It's been a long time since I've been to his world. They don't still have bells hooked up to the coffins there, do they?" Hank asked. Vallory shook her head. "No. They stopped doing that a long time ago. Just wait here, Mr. Reed. I need to speak to my bosses about this."

Vallory stood and went to a nearby elevator, taking it to the very top floor, at which there was a board room currently having a meeting. At the head of the table sat a man with a long white beard dressed in a white suit, with similarly dressed men and women on either side of the table. At the other end was another man, this one more younger looking and dressed in a black suit.

"So in conclusion..." The man at the head of the table was saying before Vallory entered the room. "Excuse me, sir. But there's been a mix up with a recent client."

"Who?"

"Andrew Reed." She showed the boss Andrew's paperwork,. "Oh my, this isn't good. Now we have a soul that wasn't meant to die and has no place in the afterlife yet."

"What should we do?" Vallory asked. "You could send him to Limbo, at least until his proper time has come." The man in black suggested. "But there's nothing to do in Limbo, Lucifer. You know that. He'd probably go mad from boredom within a week. Zeus? Odin? Anybody? Any other suggestions?"

"Seeing as his body is already buried, I think I have an idea." Suggested a man with blue skin and four arms " Perhaps we do sort of a semi reincarnation with him. Let him cycle through lives until he finds one he likes. Sort of a Try Before You Buy kind of thing, so to speak."

There were murmers amongst the group, before the head of the board spoke. "That's actually not a bad idea, Vishnu. All in favor?" The decision was unanimous.

"Very well then. Vallory, go inform Mr. Reed of our decision."

Vallory returned to her cubicle. "Well, Mr. Reed, we've never done this before but it seems the higher ups have decided to partially reincarnate you."

"What do you mean, partially?"

"Normally, when a soul is reincarnated, they have no memory of their previous life. They also begin life over again as an infant. But in your case, you get to be reformed into a new body with your current memories. At least until your time comes for real. Then, we'll see about putting you in the proper afterlife."

Andrew sighed. "I guess it's the best deal I'm going to get here." Vallory nodded "I'm afraid so. Remember, the process is random, so I can't really control what you become. But as your caseworker, I will help you however I can. If you would rather try a different life, I'll see about getting you a transfer."

Pushing some buttons at her computer, Vallory prepared to initiate the reincarnation. "Ready?" Andrew nodded hesitantly. "I'll check up on you in about a week. Until then, try to enjoy your new life."

There was a bright flash before his eyes, and Andrew found himself in a sunlit field, with some vegetable patches in the distance. For some reason, looking at them made him suddenly very hungry.

He checked his reflection in a nearby creek, only to see he was now in the body of a rabbit!
"You'd make for a very excellent lunch," said a familiar voice.

Andrew looked, to see Hank sitting next to him.

"I didn't feel it right to just let you crash and blunder, as it were, and just become lunch for some random predator before the end of the day," the wolfman said. "You could be in your world, or another. You probably won't get stuck in the body of another person, like in a Mr. Jorden situation, but you will be stuck in the bodies of one animal or another. At the moment, you're a rabbit, and for a lot of things, you're lunch. Keep that sort of thing in mind. Of course, being at the top of the Food Chain has its downsides too."
In his current form, Andrew could not speak. But he still understood what Hank had said. He remembered Vallory would check on him in a week, so he needed to survive until then to get another body. In the meantime, he had an idea. Making his way to the garden of the nearby farm, he dug himself a burrow directly under the vegetable patch. Now, with the garden giving him a plentiful food supply, he just had to wait it out until Vallory showed up. He decided to take a nap, tired after all that digging, only to wake up to find...
         ...he was staring at the snout of hound dog.
         'Oh carrot cakes.'
         Staying completely still, you wait in hope his sense of smell wasn't any good.
         Unfortunately, fate had other plans as growling was heard.
Running might be a good idea, he thought.
Andrew's bunny brain's instincts took over, and he immediately ran in the opposite direction, with the dog in hot pursuit. He managed to find his burrow and dived inside. The dog paused outside for a moment before beginning to dig it's way in. At this point, Andrew knew there was only one way to go from here. Down.
         Digging deeper, he Andrew began making his way deeper in the earth to get away from the hound that was chasing him.
         Finally, after twelve long minutes, he relaxed, exhausted from what had gone through.
         'Finally! I can't believe this, I gotta try and survive as a fluffy bunny! This is gonna be a long week...'
The bad news was, the dog was a very good digger. Worse than that, they had very big teeth.

Andrew found himself in a room. Hank was sitting across from him, reading something called "Daily Departures".

"Not even twenty-four hours as a rabbit," the wolf said. "At least you left no one behind that will now die - no young kits or anything of that sort."

"Small blessing I guess," said Andrew.

"At least it wasn't like your predator was sapient that also knew that you to were sapient," said Hank. "On my world, the only way for a human to live past forty is to either be really good at avoiding predators, or killing them, or be owned by a Master that doesn't make it a habit of eating humans on a regular basis."

"Did you ever eat humans when you were alive?" Andrew asked.

Hank nodded. "Reminds me of pork." The wolf got up. "That being said, I belonged to a religion that didn't just hunt down or slaughter humans just to eat them. If you were dying of something, we might end your suffering. If you tried to kill someone we cared about, our ourselves, we'd do what it took to protect whomever it was, even if it meant killing you. If you were already dead - not going to pass up fresh free meat. However, we wouldn't raise you for slaughter or hunt you down for food. If you were one we cared about, we'd clean the bones off, place them in a spot that you liked, put up a marker, and pour Strong Juice over your grave, which is a lot better than what most humans on my world tend to get."

"What would otherwise happen?" Andrew asked.

"What did you do to the bones from T-bone steaks and such, to say nothing about those from chicken wings?" Hank asked.

"Wait, the bones would go into the trash?" Andrew asked.

The wolf nodded. "That, or they'd be ground up before entering the septic system or sewer."

"You mentioned that you had a human as a pet with you," said Andrew. "What happened to them?"

Hank smiled. "The herd adopted him, he became the herd's distiller, he named a son after me, and it wasn't until he was in his sixties that he did die. It was only fitting that I was the one that got him. The real question was where to put him afterwards - with the spirits of my family's other human pets, where they serve the spirits of my family, or do I put him with the spirits of the feral herd that had taken him in after my death? Suffice it to say, I put him where he belonged, with them that care for him." He chuckled. "Of course, there are those that overlap, and my family tended to get on well with the local ferals anyways."

"Is it possible for me to see your world?" Andrew asked.

"Might have to pull a Mr. Jorden type of situation, but it could be done," said Hank. "Stick you in the body of someone that got their head hit hard or something, which might explain the alterations in your Host body's behavior, as head injuries do cause people to become odder at times."
Vallory then walked in, looking over paperwork. "Well, Mr. Reed, I certainly didn't expect to see you again so soon. Had a run of bad luck in your new body, did you?"

Andrew nodded. "Ended up as a rabbit and a dog got me. Is there any chance I might be able to go to Hank's reality?" At this, Valley looked surprised. "You want to go there? But humans in his world are little more than cattle." Just then, Hank remembered something. "I think I might have a good candidate for Mr Reed."

He pulled up a file on screen. "Allan Greene. Human male, age 24, lives with in a small community of humans and wolves that live together in peace, far from any farms or cities. Married to a female wolf named Sylvia. Been in a coma for several weeks after tripping and hitting his head on a rock. Due to expire within the next hour."

"So we bring him here and put Mr Reed in his body, then?"

Hank nodded.

They both looked to Andrew, awaiting his decision. Thinking it over for a moment, he made his choice. ""Let's do it."
Andrew, along with Hank and Vallory were next to the unconscious Allen. Across from them was a sobbing wolf, who looked like they'd had made a rather difficult decision.

"Pineapples, yams, maple glaze," she said. "I think that you'll like that." She stroked the human's hair, as she took out a vial. "I'll make sure that your children know all about what kind of a man you were." She kissed the human's lips, as she slipped the vial onto his maleness. "Also, that peach brandy that you like so much."

"What's going on?" Andrew asked.

"Genetic material collection to try to make sure that his line continues, followed by pulling the plug, and then, prepping the body for tomorrow's supper," said Hank.

"Wait, she's going to eat him?" Andrew asked.

"Of course," said Hank. "Prime Grade, worth easily twenty million dollars - practically a crime to not eat it."

"It's the way things work here," said Vallory. "Takes some getting used to if you're from a world like ours."

"Still, their religion is similar to mine," said Hank. "They'll collect, clean, and bury the bones, followed by placing a marker over the grave."

Andrew gulped at this. "So, how does this process work?"

"Well, they collect the genetic material, pull the plug, then when the body is clearly dead, cut him open, remove the intestines and such that aren't eaten, remove edible organs, prepare them, prepare the body, create the stuffing, stuff them, and put them into the oven to cook for at least twelve hours," said Hank. "While that's going on, the guests, who have spent the last week showing up, and preparing for either a funeral or a recovery, they'll be swapping stories, usually the good or funny ones. The food served will be Allen's favorites, most of which you'll probably like according to the files we have on both of you. Then Allen, along with a pig, or some other human-sized animal, the meat of which he liked, will be served - both cooked in a similar manner. As his wife, Sylvia will get to make the first cut, and have the first portion, possibly his heart. Then, the designated cutter gets their portion. After that, folks ask for what they can, the cutter cuts it off, serves it, and so on. It's rather nice, actually. Thus, symbolically, Allen will be in the family, especially if Sylvia finds a suitable female human to carry Allen's offspring."

"Um, fascinating, but not quite what I was talking about," said Andrew. "I mean, how do I take over for him?"

"Let Vallory and I handle that detail," said Hank. "At least you're not learning a whole new body type."

"So, any suggestions?" Andrew asked.

"Go with a Selective Amnesia thing," said Vallory. "You don't remember her, or much of your past, but you remember other things, meaningless things, like knowing how to read, write, speak, use the toilet, table manners, and a strong feeling where she's concerned."

"She does love him," said Hank. "And thus the decision the pull the plug is a lot harder than what to cook him up with."

Andrew then watched as Sylvia placed her hand on the breathing tube.

"I'm sorry, my love," she said. She pulled the tube.

"Now!"

Things became dark, and suffocating.



A gasp came out of Andrew, as he jerked himself, upwards, barely missing the wolf woman's head.

"Allen?" she asked. "You're awake?"
Andrew, now in Allen's body, took a moment to compose himself as he ran his hands along his new form. For a short while, his body felt numb, but that quickly faded as life reentered Allen's corporeal being.

The next thing he knew, the wolf named Sylvia was embracing him in a tight hug, and practically assaulting his face with her tongue.

"I can't believe it! It's a miracle!" She cried joyously "I was just about to let you pass. I couldn't bare to see you like this anymore."

Andrew hugged his new wife and kissed her, figuring that was what Allen would probably do in this situation. "It alright now, honey. I'm back." For a long while they stayed there, enjoying each other's touch. Until Sylvia said ""Come on, our families will want to know that you're up and going again!"
In that moment, Andrew froze.

"Allen, is something wrong?" Sylvia asked.

"I feel as if I should know you, but, I can't remember you," said Andrew. He frowned. "I don't remember much, if anything important. Where did we meet? How did we meet? What do my folks look like?"

Sylvia frowned. "Are you sure about that?"

Andrew nodded. "It's like I know you in my heart, but not in my head."

"The doctor did say that it's possible that there might be some memory issues from the blow you took," said Sylvia. "I'll let the others know the news, both the good, and the bad. I'll also get the doctor to see about running a few tests."

"Um, thanks, I guess," said Andrew.

Sylvia gave him a kiss. "I'll be back in a bit." She left the room.

"Pretty good so far," said Hank, as the wolfman sat next to him. "Now, you'll be able to see me, Vallory, or whomever else that gets assigned to work with you - they won't be able to see us though, so be careful there."

"So, just who is Allen Greene?" Andrew asked.
"Why don't you ask him yourself?" Hank gestured to the young man sitting on the other side of the bed, whom Andrew didn't even notice. "Before I move on, promise you'll take care of Sylvia, will you?" Allen said.

Andrew nodded. "Tell me what I need to know, and I swear I'll treat her like a queen."

Allen smiled "Thank you. We met about five years ago, when I foolishly wandered into a trap. I was separated from my herd, and couldn't get free. Sylvia found me, and released me. My ankle had been badly injured, so she brought me back here to heal. Over time, we got to know each other and ended up in love."
         "Any chores you have to do?"
         Chuckling, Allen only grinned.
         "Just the normal farming, repairs, and well... giving Sylvia 'special massages' when she's in heat."
"Special in what way?" Andrew asked.

Allen grinned. "They were internal," the man said. "Truth be told, I wouldn't have mind it if she'd eaten me by herself, but, I wouldn't have mind being shared by the rest of the family - they are good people, helping the local ferals during bad years."

"So, what happened?" Andrew asked. "I heard that you tripped."

"Is that what they told you?" Allen asked, as he looked at Hank.

Andrew looked at the wolf. "What did you not tell me?"

Hank frowned. "It wasn't an accident. He was murdered."

"Murdered?" Andrew asked.

"Allen has a little mark on his back," the wolf said. "He's supposed to be Protected - saved Sylvia's nephew. To harm him is to harm one of Sylvia's family."

"So, what happened?" Andrew asked.

"Sylvia has an ex, um, boyfriend, or whatever," said Allen. "He's never like the idea that Sylvia picked a talking meal-to-be for a preferred choice of mating partners. This area is supposed to be a Special Park - one where feral humans and wolf folk can peacefully interact, without the need for violence - wolves don't hunt humans, and humans don't need to fight to stay alive, usually. I mean, there are special circumstances, like the wolves going after one that's been sentenced to death for stuff like killing another without a justifiable cause, along with Safe Hunts - bag a selected human during a hunt, you get to call dibs on a part when the human dies. Likewise, curious humans can satisfy their..... curiosities, without ending up as a forced sexual partner or as a permanent addition to a wolf's belly fat."

"Um, okay," said Andrew. "So, what happened, exactly?"

"I was after a wild boar, when I heard something behind me," said Allen. "I turned, and got hit on the head with a rock, fell down a steep hill, bunch of additional minor injuries and such. I got a good look at them though - it was Sylvia's ex alright."

"What does he look like?" Andrew asked.

"Messed-up right eye and ear, with a burn-like scar between them," said Allen. "He hit his head on a silver rock as a cub, and silver-related injuries don't heal up quite right with wolves. There've been times I've wanted his head as a trophy, but Sylvia didn't want a fight, and I respected her to not do so. I still find it hard to believe that he snuck up on me."

"Such things happen," said Hank.
At that point Sylvia came back into the room. "Well honey, looks like your would be funeral feast will be a sort of party celebrating your recovery instead. Both our families are already here, so let's not keep them waiting!"
Andrew frowned. "Do they know about my loss of memory, that I might not know them?"

Sylvia gave a slow nod. "They're willing to take things slow. Your folks, and siblings, as well as my parents and siblings, will great you first. As the food comes out, I'll reintroduce you to the others."

A smile came to Andrew. "That would be good." He touched the back of his head. There was a dull ache, as if the wound the body had gotten had healed.

"Are you alright?" Sylvia asked.

"I think I can remember something, like someone hitting me," said Andrew.

He then saw Hank standing just behind Sylvia.

"This is what Sylvia's ex looks like," the wolf Grim Reaper said, as their appearance changed.

"Um, it's Sylvia, right?" Andrew asked, cautiously.

Sylvia nodded.

"Do we know of a wolf that has a messed up face on this side?" Andrew asked, as he carefully indicated the areas that were now messed up on Hank's face, gently pointing at the same places on Sylvia's.

Sylvia gasped. "Yes," she said. "But, are you sure?"

"It's the last thing I can recall," said Andrew. "A wolf with a messed up eye and ear."

She frowned. She then held Andrew to her. "Don't you worry about him. I'll make sure that he's not to ever come here again." She then gave him a kiss. "Now, let's go visit our families."
Taking Andrew by the hand, she lead him downstairs where several dozen humans and wolves alike were waiting. For over an hour, they all came up to him one at a time and proclaimed how they were so happy to see him alive and well, as well as reintroducing themselves.

He met his parents, siblings, in-laws, cousins, pretty much an entire family reunion.

"Okay. Now that everyone is reacquainted, let's not leave all this food to waste." Sylvia said, and everyone made their way to the dining room for the feast.
"Forgive me for holding your mouth shut for a moment," said Hank's voice. "What you need to know is dinning behavior for a feral like Allen - while he knows how to use spoons for soups and such, as do most ferals, most of the time, ferals don't cut the meat off of the bone, as it were, it it's long enough to be used as a handle, and tend to use their fingers for more solid foods. That being said, he has learned how to use a fork and a knife for such things, even eating in a manner that you'd be alright doing. That being said, make sure to 'slip up', as it were on occasion, and use your hands to grab things like solid meat and such, and eat it without bothering to cut it - ferals don't exactly learn the proper manners for 'Fine Dining', if you get me. Blink twice, if you understand."

Andrew blinked twice.

"Good," said Hank. "Now, take things slowly - you're recovering from a head wound. Savor the little things, and don't drink a lot of the Strong Juice - that's easily100 proof, possibly higher. Good blend though - makes me wish I was alive again."
Andrew followed Hank's advice during the feast, eating with his hands from time to time, and only having less than a cup worth of strong juice. Although, even that was enough to get him buzzed.

After everything had been said and done, Andrew's new family bid farewell, once again saying how happy they were to have him alive and well, before returning to their homes, leaving him with his new wife.

She embraced him as though he had been gone for years and licked his face affectionately. That will take some getting used to, he thought.

She then looked him in the eyes with a loving smile. "Tell me, do you remember our wedding night?"

Andrew shook his head, afraid Sylvia would get upset. But to his relief, she only smiled wider and said "It was the most wonderful night of my life. After the ceremony, it was a full moon that night, and we laid together on a hill not too far from here, making passionate love as the moonlight glistened on the surface of the lake. Come to think of it, I believe there's a full moon out tonight. What say we relive that enchanting evening, hmm?"
"Um, can we take things slowly?" Andrew asked. "I'm not sure if I'm up to having sex just yet."

Sylvia chuckled. "It wasn't just sex, but I understand," she said. "Head wound and all."

"Right," said Andrew.

The wolf smiled at him. "Let's go for a walk."

"Alright."



Ten minutes later, they were at a hill that overlooked a lake.

Sylvia sat down. "Mind sitting on my lap, so that I can hold you close to me?"

"Um, sure," Andrew said. He carefully sat on the wolf's lap.

She pulled him close to her, her arms around him. "Thank you, for this."

"You're welcome," said Andrew.

Her grip on him tightened. "Too bad you're not Allen."

Andrew's eyes widened. "What do you mean? I am Allen."

"You look like him, you sound like him, you smell like him, you taste like him, but that's because you're merely using his body," said Sylvia. "You don't talk like him, you didn't put a knife on like him, and you certainly didn't eat like him - he'd use his fingers more than he'd use the silverware. Furthermore, he never reeked of fear around me. Tell me the truth, or I'll swallow you down - I'll simply tell the family that when I woke up, Allen was already dead, that he must of relapsed, or something. They'd understand if I wanted to have him to myself. Then, after a trip, or two, to the bathroom, collect the bones, clean them off, bury them, and pour peach brandy over the grave."

"Got to give her credit, she's pretty observant," Hank said, as he showed up. "Thankfully, there is a precedent for such a thing." He then grinned. "In this case, simply tell her that you're a spirit from a parallel world, who, after death, was given a chance to see how things were in other worlds."

"Are you sure telling her that's going to keep her from eating me?" Andrew asked.

"Who are you talking to?" Sylvia asked.

Hank chuckled. "Tell her that you're talking to the Great Wolf."

"The Great Wolf?" Andrew asked. "What does that mean?"

"You're talking to Death?" Sylvia asked.

"Tell her that her grandfather was killed by poachers, that his pet human joined the nearby feral herd, becoming their distiller, later on having children with them, one of which became a member of the Greene Herd, and had a son among them named Allen," said Hank.

"Wait, are you trying to tell me that you're her grandfather?" Andrew asked.

Hank nodded. "Tell her this - the gold locket she wears contains an image of me and her grandmother on our wedding day. She gave it to her before she passed away."

"The locket contains an image of your grandparents," said Andrew. "Your grandmother gave it to you before she passed away."

Sylvia's grip shifted, easing a bit. "I never told Allen that. How do you know?"

"Apparently, your grandfather's telling me this information," said Andrew.

"You can talk to the dead?" Sylvia asked.

"Somewhat," said Andrew.

"So, who are you?" Sylvia asked.

"I guess you could say that I'm a spirit from a parallel world," said Andrew. "Seems that there was a mix-up in the afterlife, and I got yanked early."

"And, the Great Wolf decided to have you put into my husband's body?" Sylvia asked.

"If that's what you call the Grim Reaper, then yes," said Andrew. "Like I said - I was declared Dead too early. They decided to give me another chance at life - well, another, chance at life, as being a rabbit didn't turn out too well."

"You were a rabbit?" Sylvia asked.

"Didn't make it a day before a dog got me," said Andrew.

"So, what is your name?" Sylvia asked. "And what is your world like?"

Andrew heard Hank chuckled.

"One bit of good news," said Hank. "She's into that sci-fi/fantasy stuff."

"Well, my name is Andrew, Andrew Reed, and as for my world, let's start with the bit where bipedal wolves don't exist, and humans are the main dominate species, with no actual competition from other races," said Andrew. "I mean, it might sound like Science Fiction to you, but there are no wolves that are like you."
At first Sylvia stated incredulously at Andrew, as her brain tried to process what he just said. "As crazy as your story sounds, I actually believe you." She finally said "For what it's worth, I promised Allen I would be a good husband to you before he moved on." Andrew said "That is, if you'll have me. If not, I understand."

Sylvia thought about his offer for several moments before deciding...
         ..."Okay. I'll try and make this work with you."
         Sighing in relief, Andrew relaxed.
"For what it's worth, Allen told me that he wouldn't have minded being eaten by you," said Andrew.

Sylvia rubbed her chin against the top of his head. "Good to know," she said. "The comment about the one with the scarred face - did he tell you about him?"

"Allen told me that he caught a glimpse of your ex hitting him with something like a club," said Andrew. He sighed. "I probably would have told you, but the Grim Reapers suggested that we stick to me having amnesia."

"I can understand that," said Sylvia. "Brain injuries do strange things. I'll help you to pretend to be him. Tell me that you know things like how to make a fire without a lighter or a match?"

"I've done some camping, but I guess that's nothing compared to what humans on this world have to go through just to stay alive," said Andrew.

"You'd better learn, or some Poacher will bag you," said Sylvia. "I can teach you certain things under the guise of therapy. But, for now, just let me hold you close - if my scent's on you, others will think twice about asking you to do the things that this park is known for."

"Safe encounters between humans and wolves, both in terms of having sex with them, as well as swallowing them, and then letting them go," said Andrew. "I've been informed about that."

"We'll do those things when you're ready," said Sylvia. "For now though, what's your world like? I'm sure that the sci-fi and fantasy story makers get things wrong."
"Well,I haven't seen very much of your world outside this park, so it's hard to say." Allen said. "Why don't you ask me what we have specifically, and I'll try to fill in the blanks."

"Okay. You said wolves like me don't exist in your world. So if the only sentient beings are humans, do you eat each other?"

"Most of us don't." Allen said "There are some cultures that practice cannibalism, but they're very few and far between. "

"Do you keep each other as pets?"

"Not really. Most would consider that a form of slavery, and that's illegal in most countries. "
         And so, the two keep talking about the differences of each others worlds, unknowingly being watched by a vengful ex.
         'Damn human, he just had to recover! Guess I'll have to resort to plan B then.'
"So, how did you and Allen meet?" Andrew asked. "I heard that it involved him getting caught in a trap, you finding him, and then bringing him here to recover."

"Well, we'd met long before that," said Sylvia. "As kids, playing around. Hide and Hunt, Grab, wrestling, racing, fishing, and so on. We even engaged in recreational sex and swallowing when we were older. But, there was nothing really romantic going on, more like, um, friends I guess."

"So, what changed?" Andrew asked.

Sylvia smiled. "For starters, he saved my nephew," she said. "Little cub decided to go for a paddle, and underestimated the speed of the current. Allen was nearby, and managed to get to him before he got swept down a waterfall. He got the Protected mark for that. In as far as the law is concerned, his blood relatives might as well be wolves. After all, it tends to pay to encourage humans to not try to kill wolves, especially if folks want to, well, use the feral ones to improve the bloodlines of their livestock, or, at the very least, not get killed while hiking."

"So, humans can fight back?" Andrew asked.

Sylvia chuckled. "They prefer to get the drop on wolves and yank teeth instead of killing them, usually, but most feral humans know how to kill wolves," she said. "Bash the head in, stab the heart and lung, decapitation - those are popular methods used to kill wolves."

"So, what about humans that are slaves, pets, or livestock?" Andrew asked. "Can they fight back?"

"For them to attack their owner is typically a death sentence," said Sylvia. "That being said, should they protect their master, they'll probably get the Protected mark, which, again, makes them and those of their line wolves in the eyes of the law. They're not usually freed, but they do have lesser restrictions placed upon them."

"What if they decided to try to escape?" Andrew asked.

"It would be a very bad idea for you to talk about that sort of thing," said Sylvia. "Most slaves, pets, or livestock don't have the skills to survive out in the wilds. For a feral herd to take one in, they need to have a skill that can be beneficial to the herd - distillation, medical knowledge, be able to operate a motor vehicle, or something. Of course, females would have a slightly easier time joining a herd, but, in general, if you was to risk your life to save a member of the herd, you're practically considered a member of the herd, especially once the herd leader invites you to a feast, and gives you the first portion of food and drink, at which point, you are a member of the herd."

"I see," said Andrew. "I guess that I have a lot to learn."

"That you do," said Sylvia.
About a week after his miraculous recovery, Andrew was fishing at the lake where Sylvia and her former husband had spent their wedding night, looking to catch some dinner. He heard a twig snap behind him, and he turned to see another female wolf approaching.

Her fur was darker than Sylvia's and her eyes were a sparkling green. "Hello." He said in a friendly way. "Do I know you?"

"You did. Though you don't know it."

"What do you mean?"

"My name is Kira. I was a close friend of your before your accident. Before you met that Sylvia. You might say, we were practically mates. I heard you recovered, but have memory loss. I enjoyed our time together before you married that other female, and thought this might be a second chance for us."

"But, I'm already married."

"I know. But would you be willing to take a second wife?"

"Is that even... legal?"

"In wolf culture, it's actually pretty common. The trick would be getting your current mate to agree to it. So, what do you say? Want to give it a try?"
"Andrew, this is the little voice that's in the back of your brain," said Hank's voice. "Normally, this is where your instincts would tell you to fight, run, or hide. However, let me tell you that fighting would do you no good - you're not up to it. Forget hiding, for Kira would smell you out. That leaves running. That being said, this can't be a run-for-your-life type of run. This needs to be a well-executed withdrawal. Just think - I can hear you that way"

"I'm guessing that Kira isn't a friend of Allen," Andrew thought. "Sounds like she doesn't like Sylvia."

"Hardly," said Hank. "Kira is none other than the sister of Sylvia's ex. Her plan is to get you into a stewpot with carrots, potatoes, and celery, along with some human broth - not a bad combination, and would taste good actually, but Allen would be rather upset if you settled for Kira as the one to eat you. At least Sylvia would make sure that your body's line would continue and such if you died."

"Alright," thought Andrew. "What do I do?"


"Tell her that you need to think about it, as well as talk to Sylvia," said Hank. "After that, walk, and do as I tell you, when I tell you.

"I need to think about it, and talk to Sylvia," said Andrew. "See you around."

"Now, walk," said Hank. "Just head back to Sylvia's place."

Andrew began to walk.

"Do so with a sense of urgency, as if you are afraid of her," said Hank. "But, don't run."

Andrew moved a bit faster.

"When I tell you, stumble to the left, and try to catch yourself on that paper birch up ahead," said Hank. "Keep moving."

Andrew heard something following him.

"A little bit more," said Hank. "Now!"

Andrew stumbled to his left, and had to catch himself on a tree. As he did, he felt himself grab a hidden rope. He head a snap, and something falling.

That was when he heard a shriek of terror.

"What was that?" Andrew asked.

"Net trap," said Hank. "Not lethal, but it will buy you enough time to get to Sylvia, and let her know that Kira was trying to poach you, and I don't mean in the sort where one girl tries to snag another's boyfriend, but of the sort where she was illegally hunting, because not only are you in an area where hunting without permission isn't allowed, she doesn't have any of the appropriate tags."
Andrew raced back home as fast as he his feet would allow. He found Sylvia tending to her garden out behind the house. ""Sylvia! We have a problem."

"What's the matter?"

"Your ex boyfriend's sister just tried to poach me. In a no hunting zone, no less." Sylvia growled. "I should have known she'd try something like this. Wait here, I'll deal with her. Where is she?"

"Caught in a net near the lake."

Shortly after Sylvia left, Vallory appeared to Andrew. "So, Mr. Reed, how is your new life going?"
         "Pretty good so far, though her ex's sister tried poaching me. But other then that, all's good so far."
         Smiling, Vallory decided to inform him of a bit of news that he might not want to hear.
"I got some bad news about your family," said Vallory.

"What kind of bad news?" Andrew asked.

"The kind that someone like me gets involved in," said Vallory.

"Are they dead?" Andrew asked.

"Your father will be, in six months, due to an aggressive form of brain cancer," said Vallory. "Your mother will follow three months later, of a broken heart."

"Is there anything that can be done?" Andrew asked.

"Your father has been on the Within a Year Schedule for a little while, because some things we cannot change," said Vallory. "Your mother though, that's on us. We've done some checking, and she should of had another thirty years."

"So, she's going to die of grief?" Andrew asked.

"I'm afraid so," said Vallory. "Some just lose the will to live."

"Is there a way to make her want to live?" Andrew asked.

"She must have a reason to want to live," said Vallory. "Good news is, there is a way."

"How?" asked Andrew.

"Jennifer, from your high school," said Vallory.

"Why her?" asked Andrew. "She probably has a new boyfriend by now."

"She's pregnant with your child," said Vallory.

"So, what are you planning in doing?" Andrew asked.

"Let me guess, Message from Beyond the Grave?" Hank asked, as he walked into the room.

"How does that work?" Andrew asked.

"Simply put, point out a bunch of clues that advise your parents to talk to Jennifer about what you two did after the ball game six months ago," said Vallory.

"Problem is, its like they must be some cryptic code," said Hank. "We can't just say, 'Hey, Marcus and Katrina, your son got a girl pregnant before he died. You'll be grandparents.' I've always hated that aspect."
"So, how do we get this message to them?" Andrew asked. "I managed to pull some strings with the bosses, and they've agreed to temporarily send you back to your world to resolve this matter." Vallory said.

"Will I still be in this body?"

"Yes. That should make things a bit easier, at least."

"But what about Sylvia? Won't she notice I'm gone?"

Hank chuckled. "Don't worry about that. Time moves much differently from world to world. Most likely, you'll be back before she's finished dealing with Kira."
The next thing Andrew knew, he was standing on an empty sidewalk, beside a familiar-looking section of pavement.

"That looks like-"

"The place that you weren't supposed to die at," said Hank. "The answer is yes."

"Okay," said Andrew. He checked his outfit. It had changed from what he'd had been wearing.

"Can't have you looking like something out of a caveman scene," said Hank. "You got two hundred dollars cash, a non-driver's ID, a draft card, and a prior charge for possession of cannabis."

"What?" Andrew asked. "It's legal in this state."

"Hey, a drifter with a minor criminal record of being a pothead is more believable than being some traveler with a clean record, trust me on that one," said Hank. "Don't worry though - it was before your body was 18, in so far as this world is concerned, before possession of cannabis was legal, so, only a deep search would uncover it."

"So, what about you?" Andrew asked. "How do I explain you?"

"You don't," said Hank. He walked over to a still pond. "Take a look."

Andrew walked over, and took a look. Right were Hank's reflection should have been, was that of an attractive woman in a red dress. "Seriously?"

"Someone's idea of a joke," said Hank. "Gets real annoying when I'm forced to use a physical form on the wrong side of town, if you get my drift. If I'm lucky, people think that I belong to someone powerful, or something similar."

"And if you're not?" Andrew asked.

"I'm a Grim Reaper," said Hank. "I'd just get a new physical form if this body is killed somehow - another attractive female human. I think that it was Ms. Simmons's doing."

"So, who is she?" Andrew asked. "I mean, I've heard her voice, but I've never seen her."

"Let's put it this way," said Hank. "You know of the Egyptian Goddess Bastet?"

Andrew nodded. "She's the one with the head of a cat, right? Goddess of Pregnancy and Childbirth, right?"

Hank nodded. "Have you heard of Sekhmet?"

"Was she the lioness that liked to kill, and the only way to stop her was to get her drunk?" Andrew asked.

"You are correct there," said Hank.

"Is she one of those two?" Andrew asked.

"Worse," said Hank. "She's a descendant of both of them, and many other feline-type gods, or at least those who inspired those myths."

"Meaning?" Andrew asked.

"Much like Canines are among the ones that became bipedal in my world, Felines are the ones that became bipedal in her world," said Hank. "She too is part of the Exchange Program."

"So, how are humans treated on her world?" Andrew asked.

"Depends on the country," said Hank. "In some, humans and felines have equal rights. In some, felines are slaves to humans. In others, humans are slaves to felines. In others, it's a mix -humans and felines can be slaves to humans and felines."

"Do felines eat humans there?" Andrew asked.

"Depends on the country, but in general, yes, but not as an every day meat, for the most part," said Hank. "Don't worry though - you'd have to royally piss her off to make her want to eat you."
"So, any idea how far we are from my parents, and how exactly we're supposed to get this message to them?"

"We're about an hour's walk from their house. Plenty of time to think of a plan."
"So, how does one become a Grim Reaper?" Andrew asked.

"It's a little complicated, and you, quite literally, need to be hand-picked to do the job," said Hank. "That being said, I have talked to others, and the one big thing is this - we care about the lives of others, even at the cost of our own. Many even died in the process of trying to save others."

"What about Vallory?" Andrew asked.

"That's a topic that's best discussed with her, but I'll give you some hints," said Hank. "She was a teacher, cared about her students. One day, there was an incident, one that made her have to choose about whom to save - herself, or her students. She picked her students. She made sure that they were safe, at the cost of her life."

"So, what happened?" Andrew asked. "Was it a shooting, a fire, or what?"

"You'd have to ask her, and she'd have to be willing to tell you," said Hank. "I've read her file, she's read mine - we've all read each others' files. I don't mind talking about the dangers of poachers, especially since you will end up facing them, and, in fact, have faced them, but not everyone is comfortable about talking about their demise."

"What happened to you?" Andrew asked.

"I was shot, repeatedly," said Hank. "I think each bullet had a trace of silver in it, so that it could be potentially be used against other wolves. Even then, I was shot in the jugular vein and carotid artery, so even if silver wasn't an issue, I was unable to eat any meat that might have been able to save my life. I died, held by the human that I'd owned as a pet-slave. Next thing I knew, I was in an office, facing those who did the job. They offered it to me."

"Why did you take it?" Andrew asked.

"Just as it's my job to escort souls to the afterlife, it's also my job to influence those who can save lives," said Hank. "Such as veterinarians who offer their services to feral humans."
As this conversation was going on, Andrew and Hank began their walk towards the home of Andrew's parents. Hank, now appearing to the living as a lady in a red dress alongside a rather plain looking guy, of course drew quite a bit of attention as they made their way through the streets.

Andrew also noticed the number of stares and turning heads as they walked side by side. "Does this happen a lot with you?" He asked, and Hank sighed. "Yes. I think Ms. Simmons does it just to annoy me sometimes. "

Just then, a black limo pulled up beside then, and the rear window rolls down revealing a handsome man in a black suit. "Hey there, sweet stuff. How about you ditch the loser and let me show you a real night on the town?"
"Sure thing, handsome," said Hank. "Tell you what - I'll give you a free kiss first."

"This is a bad idea," the driver up front said. "What will Sarah think?"

"Shut up," the man man said, with a grin, as he opened the door, and stepped out. His lips were puckered, clearly expecting a kiss. His eyes bulged as Hank lunged towards him, his jaws enveloping the man's head. The man's screams were muffled as a result.

Andrew was about to scream, when he saw the reflection in the mirror. It looked like Hank, or rather the form he took, was chewing the man out, as if the woman in red was calling the man seven kinds of shit.

The driver's passenger window rolled down. "Um, I guess that your friend is at least faithful to whomever her husband or boyfriend is," they said. "Or her wife or girlfriend, or whatever."

"Something like that," said Andrew, nervously.

"She's doing pretty good at the ass chewing, that's for sure," the driver said. "She's got one hell of a wicked tongue."

"Among other things," Andrew muttered. I hope that I don't make Sylvia angry enough to do that!

Hank then opened his mouth, and let the man's head out. The man was gasping for breath, and scared for his life.

"Now that you know a little about me, Fred, let me tell you what I know," said Hank. "I know about your wife, about how you treat her, about how you're unfaithful, about all those other women you like to abuse, about how you mistreat and underpay your undocumented employees, about how you lie on your income tax, and how you have an overdue book from the library. I could easily ruin your life. So, here's what you're going to do - you're going to give us a ride to a specific destination, as well as a blank envelop, a sheet of blank paper, and a blue pen."

"And, if I refuse?" the man said, trying to regain his courage.

Hank grinned. "I'll make you disappear, never to be found, save as a pile of bones."

The man paled. "Alright." He got back inside the limo, the door still open.

"Would you really?" Andrew asked, looking at Hank.

The wolf chuckled. "He'd prefer it over what I'd actually do - contact folks in the IRS, Better Business Bureau, Immigration to talk about exploited migrants that were bought through Human Trafficking, and many others," said Hank. "Might just do that anyways."

"Dumb question, but, what did he taste like?" Andrew asked.

"F-Grade," said Hank. "That's Fertilizer."

"Seriously?" Andrew asked.

"Okay, he'd be more of a C Minus, something you'd eat any day at home, but you're not going to be willing to pay a lot to get," said Hank. "Now, let's get inside."

"Wait, what did you do?" Andrew asked.

"I let him see the real me, and find out that I could easily eat him," said Hank. "Anyone else simply heard an attractive woman call him out for the slime he is. Bend's a rule or two, but I can say that I was inspired by some book or something, like that Christmas Carol one."

"Is that actually based on an actual incident?" Andrew asked.

Hank grinned. "Yep." He got into the limo.

Andrew followed after him.

Hank scribbled a note on a sheet of paper, and passed it on up to the driver. "Take us to this address. You'll be well-compensated for your time."

"Sure thing," the driver said. "Let me punch it into the GPS."

"So, what are we doing?" Andrew asked.

"Get out your ID," said Hank, as he grabbed the items that he'd asked the now scared passenger to get. "Write a letter to your folks, telling them about the night behind the bleachers. After that, address the envelope to the one on your ID, as if it was sent from your collage dorm room, and sent to that one by mistake."

"Will this work?" Andrew asked, as he started writing.

"Better odds of making sure that things will turn out well, than if we don't," said Hank. "As it is, I might even bend, if not break, another rule or two, and let you actually speak to your folks, like in that YuYu Hakusho thing, so that you can give them a proper Good-Bye."
Andrew had finished writing the letter by the time they arrived at his parent's home. As he stepped out and made his way up the front walk, Hank passed the driver a couple hundred dollar bills.

"Thanks for the ride." He said, as the driver looked surprised at the hefty tip he'd received for such a simple job.

Andrew slid the letter through his parent's mail slot, and made his way back over to Hank. "So, what do we fo now?"
"Well, I'm going to call the Alphabet Soup on dear Fried," said Hank. "Nothing quite like dealing with the IRS, Immigration, CPS, FBI, ATF, to say nothing about the state and local cops."

"So, what's going to happen to him?" Andrew asked.

Hank grinned. "He's going to go through Hell, until he decides to try to disappear to escape punishment," the wolf said. "Said disappearing act won't go according to plan."

"What do you mean?" Andrew asked.

"You've heard of the Bermuda Triangle, and how the various ships and planes occasionally just vanish, never to be heard from again?" Hank asked.

"He's going to die in a storm while out at sea?" Andrew asked.

Hank chuckled. "That would be too easy. He's going to end up in another world, much like you have, minus the whole body surfing thing. He'll encounter folks like me and Miss Simmons - Anthros. He'll be placed in a chair, get his brain scanned, allowing the authorities there to search his memories, and when they see what sort of person is, well, he's not going to be allowed to go free, as it were."

"Are they going to eat him?" Andrew asked.

"Only after he dies," said Hank, as he punched a few things into his phone. "He'll get a second chance as a Seeing-Eye Human to a blind bear-person. If he does a good job with that for ten years, he'll have earned his freedom. Otherwise, it gets extended by another ten years - possibly up until his prison sentence otherwise would of been to."

"So, how many people have had something like that happen to them?" Andrew asked.

"Name a disaster where all the bodies weren't recovered, every missing person never found, and you'll find out that it happened to them," said Hank. "Not to name names, but there was a ship that sank, and a building that collapsed - officially, very tragic, with large losses of life, but, in truth, not all of them died."

"So, what happened to them?" Andrew asked.

"Most were compensated, and after learning about their new worlds, lived out the rest of their lives, but there was always that part that wanted to come back home," said Hank. "Doesn't work that way though. Most such trips are one-way, which is of course the real tragedy."
"So, have we changed anything regarding my parents?" Andrew asked hopefully. "Well, I'm afraid nothing can be done for your father. He'll still pass on due to the cancer. But at least your mother should go on living now that she'll become a grandmother." Hank replied.

"You guys can't cure his cancer? Or have him die of something else?"

Hank shook his head sadly. "We're reapers, not miracle workers. Beside, once a soul's fate has been set, it generally stays that way." "What about Jennifer? Will she and the baby be alright?"

"I can take you to see her, if you like. "


"I would like that," said Andrew. "I would like to say good-bye to her, if nothing else."

That was when the door of the house opened. Andrew found himself looking at his mother and father.

"Excuse us, you two," the man said. "Did you see who left this envelope?"
Andrew knew they would never believe him if he told them he was their deceased son, so his only real option was to lie. "No, sorry. We didn't see anybody. " Thankfully, his father seemed to buy it.

What he hadn't expected though, was for him to open the letter right then and there. Quickly reading it, his father's hands began to shake slightly, as his face was overcome with disbelief.

"What is it, honey?" Andrew's mother asked.

"If this is real, and not some sick joke...We're going to be grandparents. "
"Sounds like a congratulations are in order," said Hank.

"Um, the problem is, our son died in a freak accident not too long ago, but he never told us about his girlfriend being pregnant," said Andrew's father.

"Maybe he was going to tell you, and the letter was one of those, 'In case of,' type of things," said Hank.

"It's possible," said Andrew's mother. "But, she hasn't told us."

"Maybe she wanted you to grieve first, and not get your hopes up, just in case something happened to the child developing within her," said Hank. "I mean, maybe they just found out about being pregnant."

"Maybe," said Andrew's father.

"Now, it's not my place, but I hope that you are wise enough to not pressure this girl too much, okay," said Hank. "My sister was given guardianship of a friend's child after said friend and their husband died. There was issues with the grandparents, where, due to legal reasons, they were unfit guardians. Luckily, the courts ruled in favor of my sister, and the child was doing well, last I checked."

"Alright," said Andrew's mother. "Thank you. We'll give her some space, but hopefully, we can talk to her about raising the child together."

"That would be best," said Hank. "Sorry for your loss, and congratulations." He then grabbed Andrew's hand, and the pair began to walk away.

"Is that true?" Andrew asked. "Your sister took in a friend's child?"

"From a certain point of view," said Hank. "You own your pet's offspring, do you not?"

"Um, yes," said Andrew.

"Well, my sister owned a female of a prized line, and had her bred with a male from a prized line," said Hank. "Problem was, the breeder's family were the sort that killed geese that lay golden eggs - those are real and very rare by the way - and, well, let's just say that they ended up stressing out the male too much, after they killed that breeder and made off with the male. Then, they went after my sister's pet, reasoning that they owned the offspring, somehow. My sister got her back, but it was too much, and she didn't recover, and died shortly after the birth of the child. Well, those in my family are not afraid to spoil our pets, as it were. A happy pet is a loyal pet, and a loyal pet will look out for their owner when things get tough."

"So, what about these days?" Andrew asked.

"Oh, Rachael is looking after those grandhumans of hers, when they and the grandkids come over to visit," said Hank. "You'll be seeing them soon, by the way. Rachael in a firm believer in making sure that the youth spend plenty of time in the wilderness, hiking and camping, and such, wolf and human alike."

"Is your sister also of whatever religion you were of?" Andrew asked.

"Oh, yes," said Hank. "My family has been of that religion, or a similar one, for the last two hundred years."

"Why is that?" Andrew asked.

"For some, the choice is a matter of money, as human meat is more expensive per pound, like $40 on the very cheap end for Fertilizer grade, while most other sources of meat are under $10 per pound, and are a better source of calories anyways, and for other practical reasons," said Hank. "For others, it's because some random Feral saved their life instead of letting them die. As for great-great-grandpa or whatever his relationship to me was, in involved the fact that he lived in a very remote area, few wolves lived in the area, no one wanted to come to the area, he owned a large farm, and he had a price on his head for murder in the nearest town, which was just on the other side of the border. In short, if he wanted to survive, he had to rely upon humans to help him out when it came to getting supplies and such. Thus, he couldn't just eat humans - you don't bite the hand that feeds you."

"Sounds interesting," said Andrew. "What about you?"

"I never saw the point of raising someone for two decades or so, just to eat them," said Hank.

"So, what are we going to do about Jennifer?" Andrew asked, deciding to change the topic.

"Good news is, she's been feeling off over the last month or so, which she had mentioned to you, even suspecting that she might be pregnant, which she also told to you, so she went to see a doctor, who told her to head to an out-patient clinic, one where our Vallory is at in place of the usual doctor that covers certain things that are of a female nature," said Hank. "Just a few simple tests, and she'll know that she's going to be a mother."

"Um, thank you, for all of this," said Andrew.

"Like I mentioned, we could set up a visit for you and her," said Hank.
"Yes, please." Andrew said. "If nothing else, I'd like to see her one last time before I go back."

He and Hank began making their way to the clinic. "Its just a shame I'll never know my own child." Said Andrew, a hint of sadness in his voice.

Hank placed a hand on Andrew's shoulder. "Look on the bright side. At least your child will have a loving mother to care for them. Your mother will help however she can, as well."
"That being said, let me speed the pace up a bit," said Hank.

Next thing Andrew knew, he and Hank were right by the clinic. "Um, how did that happen?" he asked. "The clinic is like ten miles away from my folks' place."

"Teleportation," said Hank. "I can only do it when there are no witnesses around, or they are unreliable."

"Then why the thing with the guy with the limo?" Andrew asked.

"Let's call it multi-tasking," said Hank. "That bear that Fred will soon be a seeing-eye human for happens to be married to a doctor. With Fred around, said doctor will be feeling a lot less stress, which will help them save lives. That, and I like riding in cool vehicles."

"So, will Fred reform his ways?" Andrew asked.

"He will, especially once he realizes the perks that come with the job," said Hank.

"What sort of perks?" Andrew asked.

"That bear is married to a vixen, and those two ladies wouldn't mind a male being part of a threesome," said Hank.
Just then, Andrew realized he'd overlooked a very important detail. "Oh man, I forgot! How am I supposed to explain to Jennifer that I'm her dead boyfriend in the body of someone else?"

"If we're lucky, she might still be in the waiting room. Maybe she's fallen asleep, and you'll be able to communicate with her through her dreams." Hank replied.

"And if not?"

"Well, in that case, we'll improvise."

Unable to think of a better plan, Andrew decided he would just have to wing it, and stepped into the clinic.
As he entered the waiting room, he saw that, aside from Jenifer, who was looking at several sheets of paper, the place was empty. He looked back at Hank, with a questioning look.

"Sometimes timing has a way of falling into place," the wolf said. "Like no one being here at this moment, but the receptionist and the doctor. Speaking of which."

The receptionist looked up. "Oh, Sally, thank goodness you're here," she said, punching out, and coming from behind the counter. "I'm so sorry for bothering you on your day off."

"It's alright, Samantha. I understand," said Hank. "You just go, and be with James."

The receptionist left the clinic.

"James?" Andrew asked.

"Construction worker who, due to exhaustion, just fell three stories while on a job site," said Hank.

"I hope he's going to be alright," said Andrew.

Hank chuckled. "Well, luckily for him, he merely broke his leg," the wolf said. "Had he fallen a few paces before or after where he did fall, it would be another story, in one manner, or another. That being said, aside from me and 'Dr.' Vallory, it's just you two. That being said, be smart, and don't sit right next to her."

"So, what do I do?" Andrew asked.

"Just be you," said Hank. "Surely you had a pet name for her, and she for you. Then, there's those little things only you and she knew, like that terrible Valentine's Day poem you wrote, that she still loved."

Andrew smiled as he remember. "I never was good at poetry," he said. "Thanks for the suggestion."

Hank chuckled. "Best of good luck," he said. "This is a chance that not many get."

"Thank you," said Andrew.

Hank then went behind the counter, where he held up a sheet of paper, and looked at him.

Andrew went up to Hank and took the sheet, and a pen. He then went and sat down a couple of seats away from Jennifer. He looked at the sheet. It was blank. He began to write the poem from memory, speaking quietly.

"Love is like a gem, harder than a diamond, yet softer than a plushy," he said. "Stronger than steel, yet gentler than a breeze. Your laughter is like music - the best of country and rock. Your breath-"

"Like mangos and mint," said Jennifer. "Your hair, like a mix of fire and ice."

Andrew looked at Jennifer, and saw that she was looking at him, in shock.

"Andrew?" she asked.

Andrew nodded. "Hi, Jenny."

"How?" Jennifer asked.

"Um, it's like that 'Heaven Can Wait' movie, with a bit of that 'Sliders' tv show," said Andrew. "The kind where one guy dies early, and gets a second chance by being placed into the body of another dead guy, one who lives on a parallel world, and the big guys are being nice enough to give me a chance to say Good-Bye, at least, until we are allowed to meet again, hopefully like fifty or so years down the road."

"I guess that's good to know," said Jennifer. She started to cry. "I've missed you."

Andrew frowned, and nodded. "I've missed you to." He held out his hand.

She reached, and grabbed it. "What's heaven like?"

"To be honest, I didn't get that far," said Andrew. "Got put in a waiting room thing. Then they tried to give me the body of a rabbit - that didn't turn out too well. So, they put me in this guy's body."

"So, just what is this guy's world like?" Jennifer asked.

"In a word - Highly Dangerous," said Andrew. "Actually, that's two words."

"What does that mean?" Jennifer asked.

"Um, it's like those werewolf movies, only the werewolves are out in the open, and humans are not in charge of the place," said Andrew. "Thankfully, there is someone who cared for the prior occupant of this body, and has become a friend to me, enough to help protect me."
"Jennifer?"

Vallory stepped out dressed in medical garb. "Want to come back with me?" Jennifer asked. Andrew nodded. The two of them went hand in hand to the exam room. Jennifer lay on the table and lifted her shirt to expose her prominent belly. "So, how are we today?" Vallory asked, as she prepared sonogram machine.

"Getting used to the morning sickness and such." Jennifer replied "All in all, I'd say I'm doing good. " Vallory applied petroleum jelly to Jennifer's baby bump and pressed the wand against her skin.

Andrew marveled at the image of his unborn child on the screen. He'd never thought he'd actually be a father. It just saddened him he wouldn't be around to hear their first word, or see them take their first steps.

"Any word on the gender yet?" He asked. "Pretty sure it's a boy." Jennifer responded. "Anythjng you'd like to say to your child?" Andrew gently pressed his cheek to Jennifer's stomach. "Hello, little one. I'm your daddy. I just want you to know, I'm so sorry you'll never know me. Hopefully when you're old enough, you'll understand. But just know that I love you, and I know your mommy will take good care of you." His gave Jennifer's belly a small kiss.
"Excuse me, Mr. and Mrs. Reed, but I give the two of you a minute of privacy, while I get things ready," said Vallory. "Hank will be by with any additional paperwork." She stepped out of the room.

"How did she know your name?" Jennifer asked.

"That doctor is really a Grim Reaper," said Andrew. "Same with the receptionist. They've arranged for the three of us to have the time needed to say, 'Good-Bye' to each other."

"What about your parents?" Jennifer asked.

"I left them a note, telling them about your pregnancy," said Andrew. "They'll need the good news, especially given what's due to happen."

"What's going to happen?" Jennifer asked.

"My father has cancer, only, they don't know about it," said Andrew. "He has six months, and there's nothing that can be done. Even the Grim Reapers can't grant him an extension, and I doubt that they'd be able to do for him what they've done for me. However, there is someone whos life could be extended, or at least restored to what it should be."

"Who?" Jennifer asked.

"My mother," said Andrew. "She'll follow my father three months later, unless she has a reason to live. She was supposed to have another thirty years or so. But, due to my, well, prescheduled demise, as well as my father's upcoming death, she'll just die, of a broken heart."

"I see," said Jennifer. "Our child gives her the will to live."

"Hopefully," said Andrew. "It's the last favor that I can ask of anyone, until we can meet up again. Please, for me, be there for her."

Jennifer smiled. "I will be."

The two of them kissed.

"So, what is the name of this friend you have?" Jennifer asked.

"Sylvia," said Andrew. "Hopefully, the two of you can become friends, in the afterlife."
Just then, Hank, still appearing as a woman in red, came bursting into the room, an uncharacteristically worried look on his face. "Andrew, we have a problem." He said "A very BIG problem. "

"What's the matter?"

"Would you step out into the hall with me? It's probably best Jennifer doesn't hear this."

Giving Jennifer a reassuring look, Andrew left the room with Hank. "So what's this big problem?" Hank looked him dead in the eyes and said "There's been a breach."

"Breach? What do you mean?"

"Remember when you first arrived, and Vallory explained the different levels of the afterlife? Heaven, Hell and all that?"

"Yes, what about it?"

"There's been a mass escape from Hell. Dozens, maybe hundreds of the most vile souls to ever exist across the multiverse have escaped. We still don't know how many for sure."

"How do you know this?"

"Vallory just got a call from the Higher Ups, all HQ is in a panic. There's no telling exactly where these escaped souls might end up, or what they'll do!"

"So, what happens now?"

"Now, we've got to find a way to hunt down these souls and put them back where they belong. I'll have to recommend tighter security for them as well, once this mess is sorted out, if it ever is."

"What about me, and Jennifer? If what you say is true, then nowhere is safe!"

"There is one place. Headquarters. Safest place in all existence. We could bring her there until this situation is resolved, but there's a big risk."

"What risk?"

"No living soul has ever set foot in HQ, let alone one carrying an unborn child. There's no telling what could happen during the trip. I'll let you explain to her, and the both of you decide if you want you take the chance ."
         Nodding in understanding, Andrew returned into the room and cautiously told her of the situation. Carefully thinking about it, they came to a decission.

(Sorry guys, been having a bit of writers block lately.)
While Andrew went to visit Jennifer, Vallory showed up next to Hank.

"We got a problem involving your granddaughter," she said, bringing up a window between the dimensions, showing what was going on.

Sylvia was fighting for her life, against a possessed Kira.

If a wolf's fur could pale, Hank would of became an albino in a flash, as he recognized the spirit infecting the would-be poacher.

"I have to save her," he said. "I'll take her to HQ."

"That's going to break a lot of rules," said Vallory.

"We're already contemplating that sort of thing," said Hank.

"Andrew and his family falls under our jurisdiction," said Vallory. "What you're doing is personal."

"That one killed me," said Hank. "I won't let him kill my granddaughter." He looked at Vallory. "You wouldn't let that gunwoman kill your students. You killed her in order to save them."

Vallory frowned. "Just hurry."

"You look after those three," said Hank. "I'll meet you in HQ."
Back in the exam room, Andrew had just finished explaining the situation to Jennifer. "This day just keeps getting weirder." Jennifer said with a somewhat exasperated sigh. Andrew couldn't help but chuckle a little.

"Never a dull moment, huh? So, what do you think? Should we take the chance? Until this mess gets sorted out, nowhere else will really be safe."

Jennifer looked down at her belly for several moments, contemplating the risks. Finally, she came to a decision. "Let's go. If it means our child will be safe, I think it's the best option."

"Just so you're prepared, the place we're going has some rather...unusual sights, yo say the least. So don't be shocked when you see it's denizens." Andrew said, taking her hand and leading her out into the hall.
"Okay," Vallory said, as she finished a drawing on the wall. "Got this set up. Let's go."

"Where's Hank?" Andrew asked.

"Problem with Sylvia," said Vallory. "The one that killed Hank decided to possess Kira, and Sylvia is fighting for her life. Hank went to save her."

"What's going to happen?" Andrew asked.

"Complicated, and I do not know," said Vallory. "Place your hands on the portal opening."

"Is this safe?" Jennifer asked.

It was at that moment, that the clinic began to crack, and shatter.

"Safer than here," said Vallory, with worry in her voice. "Hurry."

Andrew placed their hand on the drawing.



Next thing Andrew knew, he, Jennifer, and Vallory were at the Office.

"Never thought that I'd be glad to be here," he said.

"What was that?" Jennifer asked.

"Standard teleportation portal," said Vallory. "Now, where's Hank?"

"Breaking every rule in the book," a catwoman said, as she came by. "He's going to kill that body of his, in order to save an innocent. Take a look!" She snapped a finger.

An image appeared on the wall, or rather, video.

There was Hank, or rather, the woman in red, all but dragging Sylvia after them. In their free arm was a javelin. They turned, and threw it, getting Kira in the leg, causing her to stumble. Hank then traced something on a tree, a familiar image, and Sylvia touch it.

Sylvia then appeared in the Office.

"Hi Sylvia," said Andrew.

The female werewolf looked at him. "Is that what you look like?"

Jennifer looked at him. "You don't look like that body."

"True forms allowed only," said the catwoman.

"Than you, Ms. Simmons," said Vallory.

"Um, this might be a silly question, but, where is a Feral human called Allan Greene at?" Sylvia asked.

"He's in his proper afterlife," said Ms. Simmons.

"We can make arrangement, if you wish to speak to him," said Vallory.

"Not at the moment, but what just happened?" Sylvia asked. "Kira was much tougher than normal."

"She was possessed by one that wanted your family dead," said Ms. Simmons. "Ah, he's pulled out the javelin, and has charged Hank.

Andrew watched, as the javelin pierced Hank's body in the stomach.

However, Hank punched the possess Kira, knocking her away, pulled out the javelin, caused it to glow, somehow, and stabbed Kira in the heart and lung. There was a screech and then, Kira seemed normal.

"She's going to die," said Sylvia. "She deserves a beating, but, not death. She needs meat, badly."

"I wouldn't worry too much," said Vallory. "She's about to get a hundred plus pounds, and quite the lesson."

Andrew listened to what was being said.

"The one that possessed you is gone, Kira," said Hank's body, as they tried to put a hand over their wound. "He'll trouble you no more."

"I'm dying," said Kira, gasping for breath. "I can't die like this."

"You won't," said Hank. "I'm the one that will die. A hundred pounds of B-Grade meat, right here. Outfit is biodegradable, and stomach friendly. Now, eat my body, and heal up. Just know this, don't ever poach another human, or take another human life to satisfy your hunger. Otherwise, I won't save you then."

That was when Kira swallowed Hank's body, becoming 100 pluss pounds heavier. Then, there was some spasms, as her belly shrank, and her wounds healed, and -

Hank showed up at the Office, gasping for breath. He then shuddered, and checked himself out. "Anyone who says that Rapid Digestion is painless is an idiot. Drowning and burning at the same time."

Sylvia looked at Hank. "You look familiar."

"I should hope so," said Hank. "I am your grandfather, after all."

"You're going to need a new Living World body," said Ms. Simmons.

"An adult male, about 35 years old, please?" Hank asked.
Ms. Simmons gave a mischievious, knowing smirk. "I'll see what I can do, but I make no promises." As she walked back to her office, Andrew asked "She's not going to give you what you asked for, is she?" Hank sighed "Probably not. Now, we'll have to come up with some living arrangements for you two while we sort out the situation." He said to Jennifer and Sylvia. "I apologize in advance, but we've never had living souls here before, so there's no telling how long you'll actually be here."

"Anything I can do?" Andrew asked. Hank hesitated. "By now we should have every available reaper scouring the multiverse for escaped souls. Some of them will be far more difficult to recover than others. I don't think it would be wise to involve you directly in this matter."

"If these escaped souls are making my home world unsafe, I want to do whatever I can to stop them, if nothing else, for Jennifer and our child's sake."

Hank thought it over for a good long while before replying "Alright. It's your decision, but I'll have to talk to the higher ups about it first."
         Nodding, Andrew sat and waited as Hank went off to talk to the higher ups.
Sylvia looked at Jennifer. "So, you're Andrew's, um, girlfriend, correct?"

"I suppose it's complicated," said Jennifer. She looked at the werewolf critically. "Why did you hesitate with your words, when you were trying to place my relationship with Andrew?"

"The terms used for human couples are not the same for werewolf couples," said Sylvia.

"I can make a good guess, and I know what I saw on the wall, when that other wolf creature ate that woman in red," said Jennifer. "Humans are slaves, pets, livestock or wild game to you, if not all four, and on the menu in any case."

"You're not wrong," said Sylvia. "Humans are indeed as you have said on my world - slaves, pets, livestock, and wild game, all on the menu."

"Who was this Allan Greene you mentioned?" Jennifer asked. "A slave? A pet? Livestock? Or just someone you desired to eat?"

Sylvia looked away. "Someone that I love with all my heart." Tears began to fall down the werewolf's face. "I miss him every day, knowing that he is gone."

"What was he to you?" Jennifer asked.

"My best friend, and my husband," said Sylvia. "I would of made sure that he fathered some children with the help of a willing mare, cooked him up and served him with his favorite foods, find a spot he'd of liked to watch over, buried his bones, and placed a marker, to remember him."

"Odd way to remember someone you loved," said Jennifer.

"It's better than what most humans get," said Sylvia.

"So, what's my Andrew to you?" Jennifer asked.

Sylvia looked at her. "We're working on figuring that out," she said. "I'm not over Allan, and Andrew's still in love with you."

"Well, know this," said Jennifer. "When my time comes, if he dies before you, if I find out that you merely saw him as a meal at the end - I'll haunt you for the rest of your life, and when you do die, I'll kick your tail for the rest of eternity, even in the next hundred lives!"

Sylvia grinned. "You know, I think I might like you," she said. "Let's get to know each other, that way we'll have something to talk about in the afterlife, when our times come."
After a while, Hank returned. "The bosses say you can help." He said to Andrew. "As for you two, you may stay in the lounge until this is over. You'll be perfectly safe from any harm there." Sylvia and Jennifer were lead to the employee lounge. It was surprisingly spacious and luxurious, with plenty of comfy furniture and a fully stocked fridge and snack bar. There was even a large flatscreen tv and mutiple game systems. "Wow." Said Sylvia "This is where you hang out when you're not on the job?"

Hank nodded, chuckling. "Being a reaper does have its perks. As for you, Andrew, we'll need to get you armed and ready before we set out. I doubt you know much about self defense or weapons, especially the kind we use. There's no time to fully train you, so you'll have to be given the crash course, as it were."

Andrew nodded. "Alright. Let's do it."
         As Hugh and Andrew headed to the training area, Sylvia headed off to a nearby computer to run his name into the mainframe.
(Feeling tired, Wolfkingdom? No offence, but Sylvia doesn't work at the place. Vallory though does. Also, it's Hank, not Hugh.)

Sylvia looked at Jennifer. "So, is Andrew the father?"

Jennifer looked down, before looking back up. "Is it obvious?"

Sylvia tapped her nose. "This is better than most machines," she said. "Also, I've helped out a few pregnant mares at the park my family runs."

"I hadn't been feeling myself, and at first, I thought that it was just stress, but then, I realized that I'd missed my period," said Jennifer. "So, I took a test - it was positive. So, I went to a clinic, to find out more, and all this happened."

Sylvia smiled. "At least his line gets to continue," she said. "Hopefully, Allen's will also continue." She looked away.
Jennifer placed a reassuring hand on Sylvia's shoulder. "Don't worry, I'm sure once all this is sorted out, there will be plenty of time to worry about that. Now, since we're going to be here a while, how about we relax with a game or two? Do they have Mario Kart in your world?" Sylvia shook her head. "What's that?"Jennifer smirked "Just something me and Andrew used to play in our free time. Come on, I'll show you."

Meanwhile, Hank was with Andrew in the armory. He handed him a strange looking device resembling a pistol. "Ever used a gun before?" Andrew shrugged "BB guns, that's about the extent of my experience." "Well, this is a lot stronger than any BB gun. Don't worry too much about missing and hitting someone else, it only effects spirits and the possessed. Just aim and squeeze the trigger."

"What if they get too close?"

Hank handed him what looked like a metallic nightstick, which almost seemed to give off a dull blue aura. "Just give them a good whack with this, and that should stun them for a few seconds. Unfortunately, we really don't have time for you to practice, so you'll have to learn on the job. Don't worry, I'll be right with you as backup."

Leaving the armory, they went to Ms. Simmons' office. "Ready?" She asked, and they nodded. "Have you prepared my new body?" Hank asked , and Ms. Simmons smiled "Yes I have. I hope you find it to your liking. Now remember, these escaped souls are extremely dangerous and unpredictable. They could be in any world, possessing anyone. You'll have to force them out of their host before they can be sent back where they belong. Good luck."

There was a bright flash as Andrew and Hank suddenly found themselves in what looked to be a ridiculously oversized alleyway. "What the?" Said Andrew, looking around confusedly "Why are we so tiny?" "We're not tiny." Came Hank's voice "Everything else is huge. We must be in the dimension of the giants. That's going to make this a lot more difficult to say the least." Andrew looked to see Hank's new physical form, and had to stop himself from laughing.

"What? What's so funny?"

He turned to look at his reflection in a nearby puddle and groaned.
Good news was, the form wasn't that of an elderly person, or a child. The other good news was, the form wasn't overly obese or skinny as a broom. More good news was that the form wasn't ugly.

The annoying news was that they were a woman. Other news was that they were of African ancestry, with ebony-colored skin.

"Well, at least I'm not in a form that's almost dead," said Hank.

"So, how are humans treated here?" Andrew asked.

"Depends on the dimension," said Hank. "Some giants look like humans, only, well, 60+ feet tall. Others are more anthromorphic, like Ms. Simmons and myself. Others, look like something else. Some locations have a mixture."

"You didn't answer my question," said Andrew.

"Again, depends on the location - snacks, pets, or equals," said Hank.



Meanwhile, Ms. Simmons was in another location. Some wolf reapers were looking at her.

"This isn't your Afterlife," the one said.

The feline pulled out her badge. "Salina Simmons, Dimension 26489, currently stationed at Dimension 53791, and this is Official business," she said. "I'm sure that you've heard about the recent incursions."

"Who hasn't?" asked the speaker. "So, did Hank send you here, asking for help?"

"No, but it wouldn't be a bad idea, to form a joint-task force," Ms. Simmons said. "No, I'm here for a feral human, Allen Green. His Wolf wife, Sylvia, is in my temporary posting, until things are done. It would be nice if the pair actually had a chance to say, 'Good-Bye' to one another."

"You do know that sort of thing is against the rules," the wolf said.

Ms. Simmons grinned. "I'm glad that you agree, Jeffrey," the feline said, as she pulled out a folder, passing it to them.

The wolf grabbed the folder, opened it, and saw what the file was. He looked back at Ms. Simmons. "I won't ask how you got this."

The feline snatched the folder. "I'm glad that you're willing to see things my way."

Jeffrey snapped his fingers, and Allen showed up beside them. The wolf looked at him. "You have a visitor." The wolf looked back at Ms. Simmons. "You got two hours."

"I'm glad that you understand," the cat said. She looked at Allen. "Follow me. Someone you know is in an area I'm stationed at."

The two began to walk away, only for Ms. Simmons to stop, and hold onto Allen. She looked back at Jeffrey. "My sister sends her regards, and hopes that the two of you can work together again."

A quick smile came to Jeffrey's face, only to fade just as quickly. "Tell her I say the same."

Ms. Simmons and Allen began walking again.

"What was that about?" Allen asked.

"Oh, he and my sister ended up having to work together, and things went from being purely professional to becoming rather intimate," said Ms. Simmons. "Somewhere, a wolf and a lioness got a child looking like a blend of them delivered to their doorstep."
Back with Andrew and Hank, they peeked out from the alley to get a look around. Sure enough, just like Hank said, there were multiple giants walking past them, some human and others anthro, each of them several stories high, not even noticing the two of them. "So, do we know who we're after in this world?" Andrew asked. "Not specifically. Just be on the look out for anything out of the ordinary." Said Hank.

At this, Andrew chuckled. "I'm from a world where giants and anthros don't exist. This whole place is out of the ordinary to me!" Just then, an enormous shadow was cast over them. They looked up to see what looked to be a young girl, maybe seven or eight years old, except she was around twenty feet high.

"Ooh!" She said as she bent down and plucked them off the sidewalk. "Somebody left these neat toys just sitting here. Oh well, finders keepers!" Before they could protest, Hank and Andrew found themselves stuffed into the girl's pocket. "Molly! Come on, time for lunch!"
The girl's mother called form some distance away. "Coming, mom!" She skipped in the direction of her parents, jostling Andrew and Hank around. "Well, this certainly complicates things." Said Hank. "You think?" Andrew replied sarcastically.

"On the plus side, it might save us some footwork," said Hank. "Especially once we meet up with our contact here."

"How will we know this guy?" Andrew asked.

"One look, and you'll know," said Hank. "Whatever else, we are picked because we care."



Ms. Simmons reappeared at the office, Allen beside her.

"So, evil spirits were after Sylvia, and The Great Wolf managed to save her from them, and brought her here for safety?" Allen asked.

"Pretty much," said the feline, as they kept walking. They soon went to the Guest Room. "Sylvia, got a visitor for you."

Sylvia looked at Allen. "Is that actually you?"

Allen nodded. "It's me."

Sylvia ran up and grabbed him. "Oh, how I've missed you."

Ms. Simmons walked away. The cat went to a desk, and Vallory next to it.

"Breaking a few rules," the human said.

Ms. Simmons looked at her. "They didn't get a proper chance to say good-bye," she said.

Vallory grinned. "Nice to know that Miss Stick-Up-Her-Tail has a heart."
In the realm of giants, Molly had finished her lunch and was playing in a nearby park with some friends. "We need to get this kid's attention somehow if we're going to find this contact." Andrew said "Otherwise we'll never complete our mission." Hank smirked "I think I might have a way." He cut a hole in the wall of Molly's pocket with his claw, before reaching through and giving her a light pinch. Molly, feeling the sharp sensation, reached into her pocket to see what was causing it.

The human and the wolf found themselves in her palm, with the child staring down confusedly as them. "Hello there." Said Andrew, trying his best to be polite and not scare the kid. "You're alive?" Molly asked "I've never seen toys like this before!"

"We're not toys." Hank said firmly "We're people. Now if you would be so kind as to set us down, we'll be on our way." Just then, another girl around Molly's age came up from behind her. "Hey Molly. Who are you talking to?"
"Um, tiny ones," said Molly.

The girl took a look. "Cool." She then spoke up. "Comer take a look at the tiny ones."

Hank groaned. "This is an annoying part," the wolf said, quietly.

"What?" Andrew asked.

"Puppies and kittens," said Hank. "Kids crowd around, thinking that they are cute. I'm sure you know the rest."

"Oh, I see," Andrew said, as other children came over to look.

"So cool."

"So small."

"So-"

"Molly, what's going on?" Molly's mother asked, as she came over.

"Um, found some tiny ones," the girl said, as she lifted Hank and Andrew up.

The woman looked down at them. She then held her hand next to her daughter's, flat. "Best let me keep them safe, while you play," she said. "After all, if they got someplace to be, we'll have to leave to take them to it."

"Yes mother," said Molly.

Hank and Andrew got onto the woman's hand.

"Now, you children get back to playing," she said.

The children ran off.

"I hope that my daughter didn't bother you too much," the woman said, as she went to a bench, to watch her daughter play, setting them on a table.

"It's okay," said Hank. "Children are all that way at that age."

"I hope that she didn't take you from someplace important," the woman said.

"It's okay," said Hank. "We're in the city, about to visit a co-worker, providing that we can find them. We tend to talk over long distance, and they are rather quiet about their size. We don't know if they are your size or ours."

"Will you be able to identify them?" the mom asked.

Hank nodded. "We'll know them by sight."

The mom looked at Andrew. "You don't talk much, do you?"

"He's not used to big ones," said Hank. "I went to a co-ed collage, and I had plenty of fun there."
"Is there anywhere I could drop you off?" The mom asked.
Hank got out what looked like a smartphone, and did some texting. He got a message back. "7th and Main," he said. "That's where they are."
After asking her husband to keep an eye on Molly and her friends, the giantess got into her car and placed Andrew and Hank on the dashboard, driving to their destination.
         Upon arriving, she set both Andrew and Hank into a carry bag before exiting her car.
         "Okay, you want me to drop you boys off here, or take ya to a certain location?"
(Just a reminder - Hank looks like a dark-skinned human woman to the eyes of mortals while in a mortal world.)

"Excuse me," said a lizardman, in a suit, who was the same size as the woman, who walked up to her. "But, I believe that you have some of my co-workers with you." He showed her an image on their smartphone.

The woman glanced down into her bag, while Hank held up his smartphone, showing an image of the lizardman. "Alright," she said, as she carefully got Hank and Andrew out, placing them onto the lizardman's hand. "You take care."

"Take care," said Hank. "Make sure that you teach your daughter to be careful with folks like us."

The woman got into her car, and drove away.

"Agent Hank, good to see you again," the lizardman said.

"Agent Luzon, good to see you to," said Hank.

"Is that the Mr. Jorden I've heard of?" Luzon asked.

Hank nodded. "He was assigned to my world, only complications occurred in his native world, which became more complicated because of the recent incursions," the wolfman said. "I'm sure that you understand."

Luzon nodded. "Been busy trying to keep issues to a minimum, and unnoticed by mortals."
"So, just who is it we need to find?" Hank asked.

"Someone from your friend's world, oddly enough." Luzon replied "You might have heard of him, actually. His name is Vlad Tepes, but he was better known as Vlad the Impaler." Hank looked at Andrew, who instantly recognized the name. "Know of him?" Hank asked, and Andrew nodded. "He's pretty infamous in my world's history. He was known for his extreme cruelty to his enemies. Some say he would literally drink their blood. He was even the inspiration for the most famous vampire in my world's literature.So, where do we find him?"

"I've been tracking his spirit, and he doesn't seem to have possessed anyone as of yet." Luzon said
Andrew then looked at Hank. "Um, are vampires real?"

"In the right dimension, yep," said Hank. "Name a creature from some sort of mythology, it exists. Fun fact, in some worlds, humans are the mythical creature."
Luzon pulled out a sort of handheld radar device "If we're lucky, we might be able to find Vlad before he finds someone to possess. Which means we need to get moving, now." Placing the two of them on his shoulder, Luzon headed in the direction the radar indicated Vlad the Impaler was.
         Far in the diztance, said spirit found a host. Only that looked just right to cause a bit of mayhem.
         Chuckling he began to move to his new body.
Meanwhile, in the Office Guest room, Sylvia and Allan were cuddling.

Jennifer was busy checking the settings on the game system. The human woman couldn't blame the male human and the female wolf. It wasn't often that one got a second chance to say good-bye to a dying loved one if the chance was missed. They were being given their chance together, just like she'd been given one with Andrew.

"Well, on the plus side, looks like we can play Mario Kart, and, more importantly, all three of us can play at the same time," she said, as she hooked up the controllers.
"I hope this Andrew is treating you well." Allen said as the game started up. "Oh yes, he's been a perfect gentleman to me. Haven't really gotten around to having sex together yet, but you'd be fine fine with it when we do, right?" Sylvia replied.

"Of course. Everyone has their urges, I get it."

"Wait a minute now!" Jennifer cut in "I was his girlfriend first, don't I have a say in this?"

"Well, it's not like you were married." Sylvia responded calmly. "But I'm carrying his child, that has to count for something, right?"Retorted Jennifer. Allen could see he should probably intervene before the two ladies came to blows.
         Placing a calm hand on both the ladies shoulders, Allen cleared his throught, gaining both of their attention. Only to get fearful of his undead life when they gave him the worst death glare he ever recieved.
         "Now ladies, I now everything going on is a bit stressfull. But whatvif we wait for the boys to get back, then you two can hash something out with Andrew peacefully."
Surprisingly, it was Sylvia that was the first to calm down. "He's got a point," she said. She looked at Jennifer. "As do you - you are the one Andrew loves. Even I can see that." She looked away. "I only care about him because he's inhabiting Allen's body."
"Maybe I overreacted." Jennifer admitted. "I'm sure he cares for you in some way as well." She placed a hand on Sylvia's shoulder. "Maybe we can share him, for lack of a better word. I'm sure he wouldn't mind either, given he's already gotten to know you somewhat."

This seemed to settle the situation, and Allen sighed in relief. "Alright then. Now that that's done with, how do you play this game, exactly?"

The three of them were soon enjoying each other's company, as they played round after round of Mario Kart, blasting each other with koopa shells, banana peels and lightning bolts.
After two hours though, and Allen managed to win a race, Miss Simmons knocked on the doorframe.

"Allen, it's time for me to take you back to your Afterlife," the feline said. "I'll give you a little bit longer, to say 'Good-bye'."

Allen and Sylvia looked at each other, embraced, and kissed each other.

"See you later," said Sylvia.

"I'll be waiting when you arrive," said Allen.

The two let go, and Allen walked over to Miss Simmons. He looked back at her. "I'll see if there's a pond available."

Sylvia smiled. "You do that."

The feline and feral human vanished.

"I guess you got the chance to say 'Good-bye' to him," said Jennifer.

"That I did," said Sylvia. She looked at the pregnant female human. "So, did you and Andrew discuss what names to give your children?"

"No," said Jennifer. She then looked at Sylvia. "What do you mean by children?"

The wolf tapped her nose. "I can smell two inside of you, a boy, and a girl."

"Wow," said Jennifer. "I didn't know that I was eating for three."

Slyvia chuckled. "Congratulations."
Meanwhile, Luzon, Andrew and Hank had finally found their escaped soul. Luzon's detector was beeping rapidly, indicating a spirit was nearby. "He's very close. Probably possessing someone nearby."

"But who?" Andrew asked.

No sooner than he said that, they got their answer as suddenly...
         A teenage giant dressed in a football uniform, with a crazed rabid look in his eye's suddenly charged them with a butcher knife in hand, swinging wildly with a maniacal laugh.
         Seeing this, Luzon dropped the detector and grabbed him before knocking the blade out of his hand.
"This might be a little tricky," the giant lizardman said.

"How tricky?" Hank asked.

"On the plus side, I do recognize his host, know who he is, among other things," said Luzon. "On the plus side, my cover is that of a Law Enforcement Officer, and this wouldn't be the first time he's used something equivalent to PCP, which will make for an excellent cover for his actions."
While Luzon had his guard down, the possessed teen took the opportunity to knee him in the groin, forcing him to release his grip. Then he tackled the lizardman, knocking Andrew and Hank off his shoulder and into a nearby trashcan. As the two giants struggled, the human and the wolf tried to figure out how to help Luzon, once they could find a way out of the garbage.
Back at the Office Guest Room, Jennifer had some new-found respect for Sylvia. The werewolf was very good with Mario Cart.

"Have you played similar games to this before?" she asked.

"Oh, a few," said Sylvia. "But, to be fair, it's missing something."

"What do you mean?" Jennifer asked.

"An incentive to win, and a penalty if they lose," said Sylvia.

"What are you thinking about?" Jennifer asked.

"Whoever loses, has to remove a piece of their clothing," said Sylvia. "If they are fully naked, they are the Loser, and thus must do what the Winner wants."

"What do you want if you win?" Jennifer asked.

Sylvia grinned. "I want you in my stomach, rubbing my belly from the inside," the werewolf said. "For ten minutes, after that, I'll let you out."

"Why would you want me to do that?" Jennifer asked.

"A few reasons, one of which is I want to know the taste of the one who has a real claim on Andrew's heart," said Sylvia. "Second, I want you to be able to trust me, to know that I can keep him safe."

"Is there a third reason?" Jennifer asked.

Sylvia grinned. "I enjoy the sensation of feeling someone squirm inside of me - pure bliss." She looked at Jennifer. "So, what do you want me to do, if I lose?"

Jennifer began to blush. "I wonder if this room has any bondage equipment," she said.

That was when a wardrobe stand showed up.

The two ladies went over, and opened it up.

"Nice to know that they allow one to have some fun that might not be seen as 'Good'," Sylvia said, as she held up a harness. "This one might even fit me."

"Plenty of gags and plugs too, among other sex toys," said Jennifer.

Sylvia then picked up a couple of items, one was a gag that looked like a pig's snout, and the other was a plug that looked like a pig's tail. "Might even spice up my own request." She looked at Jennifer, who was holding onto a leash. "So, I take it, that you want me to be a Pet for you, for a while."

"Something like that," said Jennifer.
"So, I don't suppose you can fly or levitate, or anything along those lines?" Andrew asked as he and Hank tried to figure a way to get out of their current predicament. Hank shook his head. "Not really. Looks like we'll have to climb out of here." They both looked up to the top of the trashcan, which to them seemed at least half a mile up.

"I don't see anything to grab a hold of." Andrew noted "Could you maybe call headquarters and ask for some help?" Hank seemed hesitant to do so as he pulled out a cellphone. "I just know Ms. Simmons will never let me live this down."
         Back in her office, Ms. Simmons was currently working on her computer when her office phone went off. Answering it, she remained dutiful to her work on the computer.

         "Hello, Ms. Simmon's speaking. How can I help you?"

         'Hey, Hank here. We found the spirit but we ran into a complication.'

         Raising a brow, she began to wonder what was going on.

         "What kind of complication are we talking about?"

         Hearing a few grunts on the other end, she started to wonder what was going on.

         'Oh, nothing big. Unless you count THE FUCKING GIANT THE SPIRIT POSSESSED!'
"Ah, I can see how that would be an issue," said Ms. Simmons, as she checked the computer, watching what was going on. "Let me get a hold of another agent for that realm."

"How are Jennifer and Sylvia doing?" Andrew asked.

Ms. Simmons checked another camera, and chuckled. "Oh, looks like they've decided to play Strip Mario Cart," she said. She rewound the footage. "Oh my. Got to love that wager."

"What?" Andrew asked.

"Sylvia wants to enjoy Jennifer inside of her belly, and Jennifer wants Sylvia as a Pet," the catlady said. "The winner will be having fun." She did some more typing. "Okay, on to getting someone to help you."
A few blocks away, someone's cellphone began to ring.

"Hello?"

"Agent Rosa? This is Simmons. I know it's your day off, but we have some agents not far from your location that could really use a hand. You've heard about the current situation with the breach, right?"

"Yeah. Let me guess, one of the escapees is here?"

"Correct. Would you mind giving them some backup?"

"Of course. What's the address?"

Hank received a message from Ms. Simmons stating help was on the way. "She should be there in a few minutes."

"Wait, she? Please tell me you didn't send who I think you sent."

"Sorry, but she was the closest agent in your vicinity."

Hank cursed under his breath as Ms. Simmons hung up. "What's wrong?" Andrew asked "Backup is on it's way, but they probably won't be too happy to see me."

"Why not?"

"We used to date. Broke up on not so friendly terms. Let's
just leave it at that."
Meanwhile, Jennifer and Sylvia were on the race that would determine everything. Both were down to their last garments. Sylvia wanted Jen in her stomach, and Jen wanted her pet wolf. It was the final lap, on the home stretch, the racers neck-and-neck, when -

"What?" Jennifer exclaimed.

"Impossible," said Sylvia.

"I've never seen that cut-screen."

"Likewise."

Somehow, their racers had tied, and were now holding the trophy together.

"Guess we'll have to combine what we both want," said Jennifer.

"How about a Good Pet gets to enjoy a Good Treat?" Sylvia suggested.

Jennifer gulped. "That would work."

"I'll make it fun for you," said Sylvia. "I'm sure that you'll enjoy being eaten out. I know that I do."
Agent Rosa LeCruz, a tan skinned giantess, arrived on the scene, finding a lizard man engaged in combat with a young man in football gear. To anyone passing by, this might seem like a drunken brawl at best, or something worse. But she knew better. As the jock managed to pin the reptilian to the ground, she came up behind him with a taser.
         "Sorry kid. But I'll be honest with ya, you kind of deserve this!"
         Putting the taser at full power, she rammed it right onto the teens ass, and turned it on.
         With a loud scream, the teen fidgeted rapidly as the electricity ran wild within his system.
         To the side, both Hank and Andrew were both surprised at what they saw the giantess do.
         Wanting to hide, Hank ducked behind Andrew, hoping she wouldn't see him.
"What's the deal between you and her?" Andrew asked.

"Um, prior joint-agency mission, one where she and I had to work together," said Hank.

"Did something go wrong during the mission?" Andrew asked.

"The mission was fine, it was what happened afterwards," said Hank. "Let's just say that I prefer to be the dominate one in a relationship."
Agent Rosa reached into the garbage can and lifted the two of them out into her palm. "Thank you, miss...um, I didn't get your name." Andrew said. "Just call me Rosa. As for your partner, he's lucky you were along with him on your mission, or I might have left him in that bin." Hank said nothing, avoiding eye contact with Rosa.

"So, what about him?" Andrew asked, indicating the now unconcious teen. "He'll be fine. Once we exorcise the possessing spirit, he won't remember any of this."
Luzon looked at Rosa. "Well, he's known to party," the lizardman said. "Very good cover."

Rosa nodded. "Glad to be of assistance, officer." She looked at Hank, handed him and Andrew to the lizardman, and walked away.

Luzon looked at Hank. "Take it that she's yet to forgive you."

"Don't blame her too much, though she's at fault for part of the issue," said Hank.

"What happened?" Andrew asked.

"Holy Water," said Luzon. "It does to us what liquor does to mortals. After a few hundred gallons, Rosa got a little frisky with Hank, and decided to insert him inside of her. Little wolf got scared and - Chomp!"

Andrew's eyes widened at this. "You bit her in the-"

"Yes!" Hank said. "Sobered her up real quick." The wolf shuddered. "It wasn't fun for me."
Pushing that image from his mind, Andrew turned to the unconcious possessed teenager. "So, what about him?" "Like Rosa said, we need to exorcise the escaped spirit." Luzon said "After that, it may try to flee or fight, so be prepared." Readying themselves, they prepared to perform the exorcism.

Meanwhile, back at headquarters, Jennifer and Sylvia were making good on each other's bets."So, how was it?" Sylvia asked "Well, I'll say this." Jennifer replied "I don't consider myself bisexual or anything like that, but I can't deny that it was quite the experience."

"So you enjoyed it, then?"

Jennifer nodded, and Sylvia smiled. "Good to hear. Now, it's your turn to fulfill your end of our agreement." At this, Jennifer couldn't help but be a bit nervous. Sylvia sensed this and placed a reassuring hand on her shoulder. "Don't worry. I promise you and your children will be completely unharmed. This is kind of new for me as well. Never tried swallowing pregnant prey before."
"Have you done this with Andrew?" Jennifer asked.

Sylvia chuckled. "Not yet. Did it with Allen, and others, though," she said. "Fun Belly Baths. Assuming that I'm in otherwise good health, and it is a few hours after I've last eaten, a human could be safe in my stomach for about thirty minutes. After that, the air isn't very good to breath, and the human would suffocate to death. Of course, if the werewolf was seriously injured, digestion occurs immediately. You saw that happen."

"But, otherwise, this is safe?" Jennifer asked.

"Last thing I want, is to give Andrew a reason to turn me into a Trophy Set," said Sylvia. "More than one supposedly Harmless human - Slave, Pet, Livestock, Free Domesticated, or even Ferals that avoided violent activities - have become Extremely Dangerous if those they cared for were placed into grave danger, to say nothing about those that lost loved ones. Of course, if at any time you want out, simply pound my stomach, and I'll let you out."

"And, you'll keep your word?" Jennifer asked.

Sylvia nodded. "Something tells me that I don't want to annoy those running this area too much," she said.

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