The Dogs of Akritiri
by Judy
Series: VOY
Part: NEW: 1/1
Rating: PG-13
Codes: P/K
Summary: Before the events on Akritiri that sent Tom and Harry to prison,
they befriended a small pack of stray 'dogs'. The story is told from the
dog's POV. The events of September 11, 2001, formed the origins for this

Disclaimer: They're Paramount's, all of them, except for the dogs. There are
spoilers for The Chute.

Copyright, 2001. Public or private feedback is welcome.

Warning: Angst and loss.

Archive/Post: PKSP; ASC/EM; ATPS; others please ask.

Oct. 8, 2001

The Dogs of Akritiri
by Judy

We met them at the open-air market. My pack and I had hung back in the
shrubbery just checking out the territory, waiting for a dropped morsel of
meat, bread, a sweet. The weather was mild, the day filled with gentle
scents from the market. We weren't hiding but we weren't trying to draw
attention to ourselves either. In this place, you never knew when someone
would lob a bomb and run.

A two-legged person with very long legs and reddish yellow fur on top of his
head came very near to our place. The black-pelted one with the shorter legs
pulled on the forearm of his mate and spoke sharply. They were strangers to
this place.

My pack says I should say how I knew they were mates. It was the smells,
don't you know? They smelled of each other. Heavily, the scent almost more
tantalizing than food. And you couldn't tell which was the bitch and which
was.... The pack says that's enough information.

So, long legs came right over and I eyed him warily. I didn't know what he
wanted. Oh, and besides the smells of each other and of some place we never
could identify, they carried food in their paws that reeked so much I began
to salivate. A lot. Run or stay? As leader, I decided a well placed growl
would be in order.

That very strange yellow maned guy laughed. I put a little hair raising
effort into the next growl and he laughed some more. I had my eyes locked on
his. They were eyes like a large pool of blue water, sparkling, gentle,
nonthreatening. His mate pulled on that arm again, so now I had to growl at
the mate. The arm the mate was tugging had been extending food in my

The food warranted at least a sniff, right? About then, I realized they were
talking and I could understand their words. They were words like I had heard
all the time when I was a pup, kind words. Words like "Good boy".

The other three members of my pack crowded around and now both men were
squatting down in front of us. More food came out of a paper bag that was
then crumbled and placed on the ground. Four people paws were extended
toward us with food in each hand. The pack and I gathered closer and scarfed
down the very good food.

"Hey, Harry, see they're friendly."

The mate called Harry grunted and said, "We're giving them food. What will
happen in a minute when the food's gone?"

"They'll be our friends."

"Tom. We're on a strange planet and these are alien animals no matter how
much they look like the golden retriever you had as a kid."

I took matters into my own paws and licked Harry. Interesting tastes on his
face, food and sex. Before I could get in another lick, he moved back.

Tom laughed and his now empty paws ruffed the fur around my head and patted
my sides. I licked him, too. Food, sex, and the musk of Harry. Very nice.

"They're friendly," Tom announced once he'd pushed my head away from his
face. I crowded back into him and rubbed bodies. I got a good sniff of his
crotch. Oh, my. Once again, he pushed my head away but patted my head at the
same time. Apparently, he had no hard feelings over the crotch sniff. Maybe
I could get another good whiff later.

"All right, Tom. You've made friends with the local dogs. Now what?"

My person sighed. "I wish we could take them with us."

So did I. He seemed very kind. He liked me. For generations those of my
kind, me and the others in my pack, had been bred to love these two legged
creatures. All they had to do was feed us, show us a little affection. And
we gave them unconditional love. Totally. Without holding back. We'd been
without someone to love for a long time, since a bomb had blown up our
people's home and sent us running when there was no way we could save them.

I gave him a friendly 'woof' to let him know I'd go with him. So would all
of my pack. We wagged our tails and gave them displays of body shimmies to
show our affection. Even Harry bent down to pat the heads of my pack.

"So?" Tom asked him. "We could sneak them past the captain."

"No, Tom, we couldn't. And even if we did...." Harry's voice had a sound
that made me think of the kind of patience it took to wait for a child to
drop a cold treat from his hands to the ground. He really liked Tom and
wanted to make him happy but he was practical. He was like the mother who
reminds her child to hold the treat up straight so it didn't fall.

"Harry," Tom wheedled. Oh, he was like a needy pup. He needed our love. So
did Harry only Harry didn't know it yet.

"We were going for a walk, remember?"

"And then we were going to have a drink at the Laktivia Cafe," Tom added

"The Laktivia Recreational Facility," Harry corrected with a face.

"Yeah. That place."

They were going for a walk. No reason the pack couldn't join them. We padded
along ahead and to their sides with me in the lead. "Where are we going,
boy?" Tom asked me and ran his hand along the fur from my ears to my back.
He had gentle hands with long fingers. I would take him to the body of water
that looked like his eyes. We could play.

It was a wonderful afternoon. They bought more food from a vendor near the
lake and shared it with us. Tom found a branch and threw it. I ran after it
and brought it back as he urged me to. He tugged it out of my mouth. I let
him take it, and he threw it again and again. Finally, I lay down at his
feet, panting and content. Harry had thrown a few sticks, too. Eventually,
my whole pack fell to the ground in boneless heaps of panting yellow fur.

With Tom and Harry we had the best day of our lives since we'd had to leave
our home. It felt so good to feel wanted and loved, to have carried out an
important function like making these people play and laugh. They joined us
on the ground, Harry's head on Tom's belly, like puppies curled around each
other. I inhaled again the wonderful scent of Tom's crotch.

Darkness began it's daily draping of the world. Harry stirred and told Tom
we should go back before it got too dark. With a lot of grumbling, Tom
finally agreed. My pack and I went back with them. At the entrance to the
building, Tom placed his hands on either side of my head and said they'd be
out again later. "You're a good dog. You really are."

I licked his hand. Harry patted me, too. They gave pats to the rest of the
pack. Tom gave me one last stroke to my head and I gave him a soft 'woof'.

We stayed where they left as we'd been instructed and watched them enter the
building. I didn't have a good feeling about it, the smell was wrong, like
the smell when our home blew up. I whined but they went inside anyway.

I led the pack over to the bushes where we could watch the entrance for
their return. Just as we settled in, with me thinking it could be a long
wait, the sky lit up furiously with red and orange flames, and loud, very
loud, booms broke into the nighttime quiet. We could do nothing to help them
so we howled into the churning night.

The building was engulfed in flames on one side. The other side remained
standing for the time being. We didn't know how long it would last. A bomb.
Another terrorist coward had struck at someone I loved. After standing
restlessly, our fur raised on end, we retreated further into the bushes away
from the overwhelming smells of death and destruction and the great heat.

Maybe they survived. I hoped with all the love in my heart that were in the
part of the building that hadn't died in the initial explosion.

We settled down to wait and watch. I cleaned my claws over and over.

Rescue workers went in and came out, helping people. We didn't know who was
being helped, but we didn't dare move closer. The awful odors from the fires
made it impossible to smell our people.

We waited through the night and the next day, licking up water from the
run-off used to put out the fire. The last part of the building collapsed.
Workers did what they could.

We waited another night feeling the hurting ache of loneliness that the loss
of our people had brought us. We wanted to see them again, go with them to
wherever it was that Tom had talked about. We wanted to love them some more.
We needed to love them.

But we never saw Tom and Harry again.

The end

This is dedicated to the SPCA of the New York area. Their efforts rescued
countless pets in the aftermath of September 11th.