Pilot-Sly Fox Show

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Xanadu story universe
Author: JT Fox

Adam Reason surveyed the landscape of the Xanadu parking lot. His TV news station had sent him down here to report on the strange Xanadu incident. For one reason or another, everyone at this costume convention had really turned into their costume.


Adam was the little dog as far as reporters went at Channel 6. He was the guy that they usually stuck with the stupid human interest stories and other meaningless filler. Adam also never got to go do a live shoot before today.


Well, he was supposed to today anyways, but well, a dragon kind of flew right into their satellite dish on their truck. Now they were having to tape delay everything until they could upload it to the station.


"Man, just my luck, 'eh Andy?" Adam said, turning to his kid brother. "It's just like them to send us out to the things that everyone back at the station is too afraid to touch."


Andy looked up from his digital video camera. He and Adam weren't real brothers, but they felt like it. Andy hard started at the station a year ago. He was a wiz at computers and technology but didn't know the practical side of working in a big company like Channel 6. Adam instantly singled Andy out as the cameraman he wanted though. After that, the two were like a dynamic duo, and worked really well together.


Andy picked up the large camera, "Come on, this won't be so bad Adam, we've just got to try and have a little fun with it. I mean, look around, everyone's been turned into their dream come true. I'm sure we'll get an interesting interview or two. As for the satellite? They'll pay for it, don't worry."


Adam adjusted the settings on his mic, "Well, come on, we better get started." He headed for the southside parking lot where a good deal of people were gathering. Andy chased after him like a lost puppy constantly tweaking the settings on his camera.


Meanwhile, Sly Fox stood outside of the chaos that was the Xanadu convention. Still shaken by the sudden loss of his movie deal Sly pondered what to do next.


"Man, I still can't believe Serge would do something like that." said Sly, fixing his gloves and gazing at the various police, TV crews, and monsters around him.


"Well Sly, this is quite a predicament you've gotten yourself into, now isn't it?" He tapped his paw on the ground lightly, "Now then, lets see... I can't count on my movie to get me any TV deals now... I guess I'll have to do one of those pilot thingies..." Sly stroked the end of his muzzle curiously, "Now then, a plot... plot plot plot... I've never had to write one of those before. Lets see, Sly Fox at Xanadu, that was supposed my movie plot, might work for the pilot as well."

Across the parking lot, Andy scanned the area with his camera for more people to interview, and also tried to make some interesting sweeping shots for a clip show he'd been working on. Adam had already interviewed a horse, a friendly minotaur, and a person who was stuck on all fours as a large dog.


Adam grumbled under his breath, none of the interviews had went anywhere. All he wanted was an interesting person who wasn't freaking out about having a fur coat or horns or something. Sure, this was all insane to begin with, but he had a job to do. But who should he interview next...


"Uh, Mr. Reason, you better come check this out..." Andy was staring into his camera, staring at the small viewscreen.


"What is it Andy?" Adam came over and looked into the screen.


The two both looked into the screen, amazed at what they were seeing. On the other side of the parking lot a cartoon fox was pacing around walking back and forth talking to himself. Adam and Andy stared into it for a while, before looking at each other.


"Did someone edit your film or something Andy?" asked Adam, raising an eyebrow.


"No, this is all digital. Lens is fine too." replied Andy, just as baffled.


"Err, that means that there's actually..." trailed off Adam.


"...a cartoon fox over there." finished Andy.


Adam fixed the tie on his business suit, "I think we just found our next interviewie."


Sly paced back and forth, not knowing he was being watched, "But how am I supposed to get my face out there? It's not like some good public relation's gig is just going to walk right up to me and say-"


"Hi, I'm Adam Reason with the Channel 6 news, mind if we ask you a few questions?" Adam held the microphone out towards the cartoon character as he spun around and realized the news crew was standing there.


Sly looked over the Adam and the cameraman, "A news crew 'eh? Well, you're in luck, I've got plenty of time for questions."


Adam looked back at his camera, "You ready?" Andy nodded, "Just remember, this is all on tape like usual so we can do a second take."


Adam held the mic out in front of his face, "This is Adam Reason reporting from Orlando Florida Convention Center were the incomprehensible has happened! What are you seeing is not special effects nor editing! Ladies and gentlemen as impossible as this all seems, this is very real! Due to an unknown and unprecedented phonemes people at this year Xanadu science fiction fantasy costume convention has literally become what their costumes represented! This is no joke ladies and gentlemen nor a hoax! The police have refused to give any answers and the event's sponsor Eric Winters can not be found at this time! It is near absolute chaos here as police struggle to control the situation! I have next to me one of just one of the hundreds, nay, thousands of people effected by this phoneme in seemingly countless ways as diverse as the number of victims! I remind you again, regardless of what you might believe, none of this has been edited or altered!" The camera moved over to include Sly.


"Hi everyone!" Sly waved towards the camera.


Adam held the mic up to Sly, "Now then, would you be willing to tell us your name sir?"


"Sly Fox!" Sly said enthusiastically, "Trust me, it's not going to be the last time you hear that name!"


Adam fixed his glasses, pushing them to the bridge of his nose, "Sly Fox... Ah, I see, that was the name of your costume, yes? Do you remember what your name was before the change?"


"Sure do! Sly! Sly Fox at yer service!" Sly made a slight bow at the camera.


Adam grew a bit nervous now, "I see. You can't recall what your change was like? Or who you were before hand?"


Sly tightened his toon gloves, "Mr. Reason, as far as I'm concerned, that whole human thing was just an old gig of mine. I'm Sly now and I'm just gonna keep on being Sly."


Adam regained his composure quickly, "Ah, I see. There you have it viewers at home. Some people were so in character that they now believe they ARE their character."


Adam thought back to his journalism roots. Who, what, where, why, how? Well, almost all of those no one knew the real answer to. Why everyone at Xanadu transformed into their costumes would probably always remain a mystery, but he might as well go through the usual with this Fox character. Having already gone over the who, now that left...


"Now, Mr. Fox. Not to be rude, but do you have any idea exactly what you are?" asked Adam, the lump in his throat returning. Please let this tape not be picked up by some Xanadu rights group a few years from now.


Sly laughed, "Mr. Reason, you obviously didn't watch any cartoons as a kid. I'm a toon fox my good sir. Yup, a real classic star type."


Sly suddenly pointed, "What's that over there!" Adam spun around to see that there was nothing, only to get hit with a cream pie moments later. Andy blinked, Sly had pulled that pie out of no where.


Adam tried to get the cream off him, visibly surprised, "Sly, that was amazing! How did you do that?"


Sly chuckled, not having a single piece of pie on him, "Once again Mr. Reason, you must have been a busy child on Saturday mornings. I'm a toon, I can do toon things."


Adam did his best to get the cream off, but his suit was still ruined. He pulled the coat off and set it aside, still trying to look presentable. Anyways, Where... Well, Sly's at Xanadu obviously, but maybe he knows where his change happened. "So Sly, any idea where you were changed?"


"It all went down in the main hall. I was planning on how to sneak on stage when I got my award. I'm sly, get it?" Sly said with a grin on his face.


"Then of course, everyone panics! I wasn't paying attention, and so I was flattened like a pancake by the crowd. When I came to, I got attacked by some stormtroopers, and then a minotaur, and well, it's been a pretty crazy afternoon."


Adam nodded. Stormtroopers, minotaurs, man, this Xanadu thing was insane... "How was I picked to be on the scene here anyways...?" He mumbled to himself.

"Alright Sly, sound like you have had a traumatic day indeed. Now then Mr. Fox, any idea how or why all this happened?"


Sly grinned, "It's the opening premise for my cartoon, The Sly Fox Show. As for how, well, you know how creative those writers can get."




Adam and Andy both gave the fox a blank stare. They'd been told some of the Xanadu con-goers were delusional, but still, this fox was off his rocker. Still, you had to admit he looked amazing. It was like someone had drawn a cartoon in front of them, only it was moving around and talking. He'd make a good sound byte when this was all over at least.


"Well Sly, it sure sounds like you are an interesting character indeed. This is Adam Reason, reporting from Xanadu." Adam nodded, looking at his cameraman, "You get all that?"


"You bet sir! It's so amazing sir, it looks like someone painted Sly onto my film. It's pretty trippy."


Sly pried in, literally pulling the field of view back over to himself. "Can you guys be sure to send a copy of that to Warner Brothers Studios? A guy's gotta eat ya know."


Andy looked down at his camera, "Uh, sure thing Sly, you bet."


Adam looked Sly over from head to toe. "So, this is what it's like for a delusional Xanadu victim 'eh? It's a shame we can't get inside their head and figure out what there thinking."


Sly's ears perked up, "What was that?" Right now Sly was concentrating solely on getting some more air time.


"Oh, I just said that it's a shame we can't experience what you're thinking, in sure it would clear up a lot of questions."


"Really?" Sly said dubiously, "Are you sure that's what you want? To know what a toon feels?"


"Well if it was possible of course." Adam amended.


Sly pulled a bucket of toon paint out of thin air again, "Well, you better get that camera rolling."


Adam did a double take, "Wait wait... you actually can?"


Sly nodded, "How'd you like your own paint and ink fur coat?"


"What do you mean exactly...?" asked Adam curiously.


Sly pulled out a large pen and started to draw in thin air. The ink stayed standing there as he drew the outline of a cartoon character. The character had big floppy ears, and a dark black nose. Adam realized it was canine.


"Any breed preferences Mr. Reason?" asked Sly, switching to paints.


"I've always been partial to yellow labs myself." said Adam, wondering what exactly Sly was up to.


Sly now dabbed his paintbrush full of yellow paints and started to color in the outline. In no time at all Sly had colored in everything but the eyes, which remained oddly empty. It was like another cartoon character was standing in front of them but not moving. Finally, Sly drew a zipper on the back of the character.


"Well Mr. Reason, you ready to try your new wardrobe on?" said Sly, unzipping it.


Adam nodded, "This is Adam Reason here once again at Xanadu. One of the victims here as agreed to make me feel like a toon, so I can accurately report back to you this strange occurance here at the convention hall."

Sly held the suit open for Adam, "I messed up one of your suits, let me repay you with this one." he grinned.


Adam approached the suit. Stepping inside, he could suddenly feel his new paws on the asphalt despite the fact that he was wearing shoes. He felt a bit lighter on his feet. Wiggling his toes, Adam laughs and pulls up his waist. He suddenly feels something is missing, while at the same time gaining a tail. The tail wags as he pats his crotch, "I'm in a PG cartoon 'eh?" It was unsettling to feel nothing there but he kept on going, pulling his arms up to the suit's paws, not able to feel his pinky fingers inside.


"And now for the mask..." Adam said, pulling it up over his own face.


It was unusual. He felt like his face was being stretched out to fit the mask, not the other way around. He was suddenly hearing sounds from the top of his head. It was amazing, his nose smelt way better than before too.


Last but not least, Sly tugged the zipper all the way up. Adam suddenly felt like his whole body was being flattened, and the air pushed from his lungs. But then, the feeling went into a whole new level of wrongness. It was like his soul was being crushed, smothered out by one of a new existance. Adam shook his head, clearing the literal stars from his face. As Andy zoomed in on the ink and paint stars, Sly reached back and peeled the zipper off Adam, throwing it in the trash.


Adam patted himself down, "Ladies and Gentlemen, I'm not sure how it happened but I somehow have been transformed into a cartoon dog! This is amazing folks! Oh man, things smell so much more vivid... the sounds, even the lack of color is amazing." Adam pulled on his arm a bit and watched it snap back into place, "Even my body feels different, it's like I really am a toon!"


Andy nervously adjusted the lens on his camera. The scene in front of him seemed so strange, it was like Adam's head was sitting on top of a toon yellow lab. Sort of like those old green screen effects with floating heads, only Adam's body was attached to a 2D cartoon. The whole thing baffled Andy.


As Andy continued filming this though he was also amazed. His boss and best friend really looked and sounded like a cartoon. Adam bent and stretched in ways Andy never thought possible. One of the most interesting things though, is when he was getting the costume on you could see his two human eyes through the suit's eyeholes. Now that Sly had zipped it up though, Adam had two stereotypical big white toon eyes with the little black dots on them. His boss and best friend really was looking like a toon.


Sly then stepped into view, "Now then, reporter, I do believe the standard interview procedure is who what when where why how, correct?" Adam nodded.


Sly pulled out a microphone shaped like a fox tail and then put in a cartoony fake clip on tie. "Well, if you'd be so kind then, why don't you tell us?"


Sly held the mic up to Adam, "Well. Who? I'm Adam Reason. What? I'm a reporter for the Channel 6 News. When? Well, right now, though there's a slight tape delay. Why? My station sent me down here? How? My newstruck."


Sly nodded at the camera, "See, this is step one of the toonification process. Adam here has no character, no essence. He might have the body of a toon, but not the soul."


He gestured to the toon lab, "If you see here, Adam is not acting like a dog. He's not panting, his tail is not the least bit energetic, his overall demeanor is that of someone you'd see every day on the city streets."

Sly reached into his 'pockets' (which really was just a flap hidden in his fur), and pulled out a pair of white toon gloves, handing them to Adam, "Here, put these on. Any respectable toon wears toon gloves." Adam looked down at the gloves and obediently put them on, feeling a bit more confident as he did so.

"Ah right, I kinda do feel more toonish, I guess."


Sly then pulled a red dog collar out, "Also, any self respecting dog wears a collar Adam. You wanna be more like a toon dog, right Adam?"


Adam nodded, his ears flopping up and down in a humorous fashion. "Err, sure, I'll do anything for the viewers."


"Great!" the fox jumped in the air and slapped the collar onto the yellow lab. As Sly put it on the dog let out a surprised "Arf!"

As the collar finished fastening itself, something amazing happened. The blank dog tag started to inscribe itself with information about it's wearer. However, rather than having the tags match the boring character of it's wearer, they instead decided to alter their wearer into a much more interesting character.

Sly stepped back on screen, "Alright! We've given this toon his identity. So, mind giving us the who what when where why how?"


The dog tugged on his collar as his ID tag dangled back and forth. It wouldn't budge an inch, and the clasp seemed to be gone. "Err, alright Sly. My memory's kinda fuzzy though..."


The dog tried to think back, but his head was swimming as old facts got updated with new ones. "Who? Well, I'm a Newshound. What? I'm a toon of course, can't you see the gloves?" He held up his paws. "When? Err..." He pulled up his dog tags, "Since 1962." Everything seemed to be coming back now, slowly but surely, "Where? I'm reporting at Xanadu right now. Why? I always sniff out a big scoop! How? We took my news truck."


Andy was awestruck, talk about a change! Adam honestly thought he was a dog! He was kind of worried, but this could be his big break. Anyways, Sly was doing a good job with the strange interview, and he saw no reason to intervene.


Sly looked at the camera again, "Now then, we've given him the body and identity of a toon. How do you feel Newhound?"


The Newshound grinned, his tongue hanging out, "I feel great Sly! If this is what the change is like, then I wouldn't mind being one of the victims myself!" Newshound realized that sound byte was probably going to come back to bite him in the tail, but he didn't mind, he felt great.


Holding the mic, he looked at the camera, "This is the Channel 6 Newshound, signing off."


Sly and the Newshound looked at each other, the Newshound ecstatic, "Sly! That was great! This change is amazing!"


"Glad you like it Newshound." Sly patted the yellow lab on the back, "But I'm not done yet!"


"Arf?" He let out a confused bark, "But I thought you were just going to make me into a toon?"


Newhound patted himself over again, "And by the looks of it you succeeded."


"Nah, you're still thinking like a human," Sly stretched his toon gloves out, "But I promised I'd get you thinkin' like a toon before the day was over."


Newshound took a visibly large gulp. "Make me think like a toon you say? Well, I think this is all the time we have for today ladies and gentlemen..."


Sly put his arm over Newhound's shoulder, "Oh come on, you'll do anything for a story right?"


Newshound nods, his tongue hanging out, "Of course I'd do anything for a scoop!"


Sly chuckles, "Well, you promised to let these people know what a toon thinks like right?"


He grins, "Yeah, I guess I did! Come on pup, fire up that camera of yours!"


Sly laughed, and pulled out a dog bone, "Lets see... Hold still..." He held Newshound's ear open and slammed the bone inside. It rattled around inside what was apparently a hollow skull.


Newshound's head felt fuzzy, like someone had just sprayed Windex on it and was currently rubbing a rag into it. His vision of the world was swirling. Everything appeared to be cell shaded to the dog, not only was the toon fox made with bright colors and a thick outline, but so was his cameraman, and the sky, and the clouds, and the trees, and the convention center. He was seeing the world like it was one giant cartoon... which made sense, he was a toon after all. Yeah... he was wasn't he? His name was, he double checked his dogtags, Newshound of course! He was drawn in 1962 and was the best newshound Channel 6 had ever seen! There wasn't a story he couldn't sniff out. No scoop he couldn't dig up! He always got down to the bare bones! He was glade to have the demonstration over and be back to himself again!


Newshound's eyes lit up, grinning ear to ear as he grabbed the end of his tail like a mic, "And there you have it folks! One completely converted toon! This is Newshound, signing off!"


Andy was shivering in his boots now as Sly and Newsh- err Adam talked. His friend, mentor, and boss, who he treated and looked up to like a brother, was now completely a living cartoon character! This was insane, impossible! None of this stuff was supposed to be able to happen in real life.


"Err, guys, we got enough filmed for the day. Think you should take that suit off?" tailed off Andy with little confidence.


Sly looked down at his tie, "Oh right." He tossed it and the mic back into the nothingness from where it had come.


Andy was sweating bullets, "Err, no, I meant Adam."


Newshound and Sly both tilted their heads. Andy slapped his forehead, "Err, right, I meant Newshound's suit."


Newshound and Sly both laugh now, "Hahaha, Andy, bro! We did that suit-up farce for the sake of the newscast. Do ya see a zipper?" Newshound showed Andy his back, and Andy did indeed see, there was no zipper to be found. "I'm a toon bro! The whole Adam thing was just the set-up."


"A... set up...?" Andy stammered, confused beyond all measure.

While Andy stood there dumbfound Sly snuck around behind him, and started to discretely take the video tape out of the reporter's camera. Andy scratched his head, wondering what in the world was going to happen next. Behind him, Sly waved the tape in the air, for Newshound to see.

Newshound winked, already understanding Sly's unspoken plan.

Newshound walked over to Andy, "So, you get the shot?"

Andy nodded, "Uh huh..." He popped open the camera's viewscreen and hit play.

An error message came up. Andy was awestruck, "What!? I... I put a tape in there, I had to of!"

Newshound hit the eject button, "Doesn't look like it to me bro."

Andy's jaw was hanging down on the ground, "But... but... you went through all that for nothing...?"

Newshound chuckled, "Course not! We'll just do it again, that's all."

"Again...?"

The yellow lab grinned, "Of course, and this time we'll have a proper newshound to do the interview, no offense Sly."

Sly nodded off to the side. He was busy mixing some toon paints together, "No worries buddy."

Newshound pulled out a toony-tripod, and stretched his arm out to grab Andy's camera, "I'll take that thank you." He grinned.

"Hey, my camera!" shounted Andy reaching for it.

Sly pulled him back on screen, "Hey hey, calm down. That tripod can hold the camera fine."

"But I..." stuttered the dazed human.

Newshound adjusted his collar, grabbing a microphone from off the screen. The mic read, TOON TV. He stepped onscreen, next to Sly and his partner.

"You all ready for the interview bro?" said Newshound.

"Interview...? But I'm the cameraman..."

The dog's ears perked up in a trusting manner, "Nonsense, today you're the star!"

"The star...?" Andy kinda liked the sound of that. Wait a second... "Hold on! Are you going to turn me into a toon!"

Sly got his paintbrush out, "It's gotta be you Andy, everyone else here's already a toon."

"But but... but I...!" he trailed off.

Newshound patted him on the back, "I promise we'll change you back if you don't like it, alright bro?"

Andy looked at the cartoon dog, "I err, I guess that'd be alright..."

Sly pouted in a fake and humorous manner, "Fine. Works for me."

TOON TV's theme song started to play in Newshound's head as the filming started.

"Greetings, and welcome to TOON TV, 6 o clock news! We're reporting live here today at the Xanadu convention center where a strange phenominon has caused everyone to become whatever costume there were wearing at the time. Here today we have a Mr. Sly Fox, who would like to put on a demonstration of what the change was like."

Andy waved nervously, forgetting all of his professionalism. Sly nodded at the camera a bit, and grabbed his assorted collection of paints from off screen.

"Well, the change we're going to do here today was much like mine." commented Sly, "We're going to do a full conversion of this person into a toon, compete with his own character and backstory."

"Right." nodded Andy, not sure what he was doing or what he should do. Newshound smiled at the camera, "Well, let's start the show!"

Sly bent behind Andy, grinning maddly as he dabbed some yellow paint on the human's rump.

"Hey watch it!" Andy spun around, and was met not with his blue jean covered rear, but by an unclothed toon rear compete with full wagging tail.

"What, what the heck!?" shouted Andy. Newshound held the mic up to Sly, "As you can see Newshound, a toon conversion can be slow, and part by part, as I have shown here, or it could be a much quickly process."

Andy's tail wagged worriedly, "How much quicker...?"

Sly put his arm over Andy's shoulder, "Relax Andy, here, have a drink." Sly held out a can.

Andy took it nervously, then drank it all quickly.

Sly grinned, "As you can see folks, it's just as easy to toonify someone from the inside out."

"Inside out...?" Andy looked down at the can. Now that he was actually paying attention he realized he had just drank an entire can of ACME TOON PAINT!

Andy clentched his stomach as he felt his insides change. It was like his body was being put in a blender and his innards were being changed into Jello. Looking down at himself Andy saw his body becoming toony and cell shaded. His eyes poped out and went wide as his whole being was turned into a flat 2D facimily of his former self. Strangely enough, Andy found himself still a human, albiet one with a dog's tail attached to his rump. And as far as Andy knew, he was still thinking straight. Although he should have been a little more worried about the fact that he was missing a butt crack...

"I... I'm a toon!" he shouted.

Newshound gripped his mic and turned towards the camera, "This is certainly an interesting development, is this man truly a toon Sly?" Sly leaned in towards the microphone, "Well Newshound, he might look like a toon, but he still lacks some very basic things."

"Oh? Tell us more."

"Well, he might physically look like a cartoon, but he lacks any real character or backstory."

"Hey, I've got character..." mumbled Andy under his breath.

Sly shook his head, "No no no, just look at you. A human with a tail? What sort of character is that?"

"Err..."

Sly took out his paintbrush and chuckled, "Hey, no worries mate, this is only the Pilot, we can still do character rewrites. Now hold still..."

"Eek!" Andy figured he knew what was going to happen next, and quickly dove behind Newshound, err Adam.

Suddenly, Newshound fell over with a loud, "KLUNK!" It wasn't the toon at all, he somehow had switched with a cardboard cut out at the last second. Surprised by the loud sound, Andy stuck his tail between his legs and ducked.

Meanwhile, Sly handed Newshound a bucket of yellow paint, "Would you like to do the honors?"

"I'd love to." beamed the reporter.

Andy got up on his feet just in time to see the wall of yellow paint heading his way. He brace himself futilely, and in seconds the paint had fully coated his body. Andy let out a bark of shock as his new fur coat sunk into his body. His ears stretched out ands his muzzle sprung out, ending in a dark black nose. His tail wagged happily, now matching the rest of his body. Andy held his head with his paw as he tried to regain his bearings.

Newshound looked at the new yellow lab, and then towards the camera, "What a shocking development Sly! He's a toon dog now!"

"Yes, I think being a hound suits him quiet well." He nodded, satisfied with his work so far.

Andy was busy looking down at himself, his eyes growing wider by the second, already a foot in diameter.

Sly shook his head, "Alas, his transformation is not yet compete. Though he is a toon, his character is still very human."

Andy padded backwards, "You mean there's more...?"

Sly reached into his pocket and pulled out two white toon gloves, "But of course! Now then, try these on." He tossed them to the confused canine.

Andy slipped them on, they stuck tight to his paws, and he soon found that he couldn't get them off, no matter how far they stretched.

"Arf!? What gives!?" he yelped.

Sly chuckled, "Calm down, toon gloves are one of the most recognizable character traits out there, you can't take away part of your character just like that."

"My... my character...?" asked Andy, his tongue hanging out of his muzzle as he panted slightly.

Sly gestured to Newshound, "See Newshound? His gloves and collar are part of his character, as well as his thirst to sniff out the latest breaking news. It's what seperates Newshound from any of the other generic toons out there."

"Oh, I uh, I see."

Sly capped his paws together, "Yip! I think it's about time we set up your backstory."

Newshound nodded, "Aye, on with the show! The camera's rolling."

As the three stood at the center of the screen, Sly tapped his paws together, thinking.

"Now then, what should his backstory be... If only I had the script on me, this would be so much easier..." He tapped his paw, deep in thought.

"You got any ideas bro?" said Newshound, resting his paw on the second dog's shoulder.

Andy looked up at Newshound, "Err, isn't my own backstory good enough already?"

"Nonsense!" Shouted Sly, "These Xanadu stories are dime a dozen nowadays... Wait a second, Newshound, why'd you call him bro?"

Newshound grabbed Andy in a headlock, "Because, we're like brothers! I taught this little guy everything he knows."

A lightbulb appeared over Sly's head for a brief moment, "That's it!"

"What's it?" asked the two dogs.

"Brothers! Not just any brothers, the Newshound Brothers! A dynamic duo of reporting, sniffing out any big scoop side by side!" shouted the fox.

Newshound scratched his head, "But uh, we're not really brothers."

Andy nodded quickly, "And we don't look too terribly alike," then stupidly addded, "well, for cartoons anyways."

"That's not a problem!" exclaimed Sly, pulling a large pencil from off the screen, eraser side pointing towards the two hounds and leapt upon them like a bandit at the pass.

Working in a fury, (to the point where a cartoony white cloud blocked the reader's view), Sly got to work on the two dogs. Erasing a bit here, smothing out the colors there. Sly left no stone unturned, and got every detail just right on both the dogs. Color, shape, size, voice, manurisms, Sly was doing a total overhaul. Finishing up, he hit the taller of the two dogs on the head with a mallet, evening them out to the same height. He took a step back, admiring the work. The two dogs looked identical now, as they should. Twin brothers, what a great idea, now then... which one was which?

Sly couldn't help but laugh, in his fury of activity he had accidentally erased the elder dog's collar. Looking down at themselves, the two dogs appeared thoroughly confused.

"Arf! What the heck did you do to us Sly?" barked the first dog.

"Yeah, that was crazy..." commented the second one.

Looking up, the two dogs suddenly noticed each other. They looked identical! The two waved their arms around in sync, checking each other over for the one discrepancy that Sly surely must have missed, but alas, the two were the same.

"Sly, what gives, we're-" started the first dog.

"-identical toon dogs!" finished the second.

The two dogs shot each other a look, obviously not meaning to finish each other's sentence.

"Hey you-" "-cut it out!"

The two growled at each other.

"Sly, what'd you-" "-do to us!" they shouted at the laughing fox.

"Calm down you two. I'm just working on your characters."

"What did you-" "-do exactly?"

The first dog snapped, "Bro! Would you cut that out!"

"Cut what out bro?"

"That thing you keep doing!"

"What thing?"

"You keep finishing my sentences!"

"No, you keep finishing mine!"

"Grr!" The two dogs, in true canine fashion, dog piled ontop of each other and wrestled around.

Sly pulled the two dogs apart, "Guys guys, calm down! You two are fighting like brothers!"

The twins tilted their heads, "We are brothers."

Sly grinned at this, and counted mentally in his head.

"Three..."

"Two..."

"One..."

"What!?" shouted the dogs in sync.

Sly chuckled, "Why did you think you two were fighting like brothers? You're twins."

Their tails wagged worriedly, "At least that explains-" "-why we keep finishing each other's-" "-sentences."

Sly patted them on the back, "Look, your backstory's still being rewritten. Just go with it." He held out two collars, a red one, and a blue one.

"Here, try these on boys."

The twins took the collars and looked down at them. The tags read, "Mic Newshound" and "Cam Newshound".

"Arf? That's us?" asked one of the dogs.

"Yup, you're Mic and Cam, The Newshound Brothers. Most famous pair of reporters at TOON TV. You two are almost never apart and you dig up scoops the way other dogs do bones!"

The two dogs stared into the collars wordlessly for a long time or maybe the collars were staring into them. It was odd, the two knew that they each had separate identities, but well, they did look like twins, and it felt right being with the other one. Further still, their head was swimming in a sea of toon paint, bobbing up and down looking for any sort of rhyme or reason. It was weird, as the two tried futilely to think straight, they slowly started to think of themselves not as two people, but one person. It was like synergy. The overall union of the two was greater than the individual parts alone. It suddenly felt good to be beside their twin. The more they thought about what Sly just said, the more it made perfect sense. After all, the mic said 'TOON TV' on it. One of them had a mic, the other one logically was meant to use the camera, so of course they'd be Mic and Cam. And they knew they were reporters, so it stood to reason they were reporters for TOON TV. Everything else quickly followed suit. Newshound's mind quickly went along with the script change, after all,one had to keep pace with the premise changes. Looking at Newshound and himself, Andy was quickly doubting his own thoughts, this wasn't right. Was it? Andy's thoughts were becoming squiggly. It was like someone had just dropped an anvil on his mind. His vision looked weird. Sort of like how Sly and Newshound looked, but everything was like that. Colors started washing out too. He felt oddly out of place, and yet in place more than ever at the same time. The more he thought about his life up until a few minutes ago, the more they didn't seem like sights or sounds and more like words on a script page that had been dismissed for a revision. Fearing for a sudden lack for self, Andy looked at the collars for salvation.

"Mic and Cam... yup, that's us!" The twins picked up the collars, and were about to put them on when they suddenly realized something.

"Wait a second? Who's who?"

"Err, I think I'm Mic." said the first dog.

"No no no, I'm Mic, you're Cam." insisted the second dog. Everyone wanted top billing.

"But how can I be Cam if you're Cam?"

"Because I'm Mic."

"But I'm Mic."

"No you're Cam."

"No I'm not, you're Cam. I'm Mic."

"No, I'm Mic, you're Cam, because if I'm Mic, then you're Cam."

"Wait, wait, wait, who are you again and whose me?"

"Er, can we start over?"

Sly had to stop this before he busted a gut, he was already keeping one hand on his muzzle and was close to using both to keep from roaring with laughter. Sly slapped his own forehead, leaving a large imprint of his glove on it, "Come on you two, don't ya have some reporting ta do?" "Arf! Right!" with that universal truth shinning through, the twin's ears perked up, as they gathered up their equipment, calmly putting on their collars. In Andy's mind the blurring photographs were all revised with crystal clear painted colloid stills and his sounding thoughts became the typed words on a type writer page. Everything he had been before became nothing more than a tossed out script draft that faded utterly from his memory. He wished though The Writers had worked out the kinks in the script before they started animating, his brother had to have the right story for TOON TV after all. One of the dogs picking up the camera and tripod from off screen, the newly inked and paint camera was now proudly labeled TOON TV. Cam pointed the Camera at Mic and Mic struck a pose and jabbered on falling into a perfect clip with each other,

"There you have it folks! A complete toon revision from start to finish! Just like they had here at Xanadu earlier today! Thank you Mr. Sly Fox!"

"You're welcome. The pleasure was all mine." Sly said with no modesty.

"This is the Newshound Brothers from TOON TV at Xanadu Florida, that's all folks!"

Cam clicked off the camera and the two brothers did a high five on a report well done. "You were great bro! The kids will love it!"

"Naw, you were great!"

"We were drawn together, so that makes us both great!"

"Yeah!" The toon labs wagged their tails, somehow enjoying each other's company today as if they'd never met each other before.


Sly stepped forward bashfully, not wanting to interrupt this tender moment but...


"Err, excuse me Cam, do you mind if I got a copy of that tape?" asked Sly.


Cam reached over to the camera and pulled out the tape. "Why don't you just take the original Sly? We've got plenty of other material." The yellow lab handed the tape to Sly.


Sly glanced at the tape, and pocketed it, grinning from ear to ear. The label on the tape had read, "The Sly Fox Show - Pilot Part B".


Sly looked back at the brothers, "Hey guys, what do they say when they finished a successful day of filming again?"


The identical dogs stood shoulder to shoulder, arm in arm, and say together looking at you, the reader, "That's a wrap!"

After thanking Sly again for making this installment of TOON TV the hit they knew it would be, and waving the fox off the Newshound brothers returned to their banter.

"Say bro, I think we got our collars switched up. Mine says Mic on it."

"Of course it does! You are Mic!"

"Look, I'm telling you, I'm Cam!"

"No, I'm Cam, you're Mic!"

The first dog looked at the second, "Well, if you're Cam, then why do you have a microphone?"

The dog looked at the microphone, and then the camera that his brother was carrying.

"I, err, uh... TRADE!" The dog quickly grabbed the camera and replaced it with this microphone.

The other dog look surprised and looked down at his mic, "Oh wow, I guess I am Mic..."

As the two doggies walked themselves, filming everyone around them, their dog tags blurred, switching names, reflecting the role change. Of course, brothers will be brothers, and they kept arguing, grabbing the other's item, their identities switching from one moment to the other. The collars did their best to keep up, but finally gave up and turned identical shades of brown, both reading, "The Newshound Brothers". Loosing such a basic part of one's life, the differences in the two dogs identities faded away, until they gained a single identity, that of inseparable twin brothers. After all, twins were nearly never seen apart in the cartoons.

The twins watched Sly walk off and leave Xanadu, mumbling something about needing a place to stay. The dogs laughed with each other as Sly walked straight into a pole, shouting something along the lines of, "Stupid credits!"

"Haha, that Sly sure is some character, 'eh bro?"

"I hear that." The two dogs tails wagged happily.

"So, think we should head back to the-"

"-truck? Sounds like a plan to me."

The two dogs walked along arm in arm.

"Say bro?"

"Yeah?"

"The animators didn't give us that many differences, did they?"

"'fraid not bro."

"Heh, I guess that's just a twin's life 'eh?"

"I hear that... Hey, I just got a funny idea to mess with the writers-"

"-and the viewers! Me too! Let me guess we'll-"

"-ditch our collars, and that way-"

"-no one will be able to tell us apart."

The two Newshound Brothers peeled their collars off and left them sitting on the parking lot. As they walked to their newstruck, they couldn't help but laugh. It was great being twins, no one could tell them apart. Think of all the jokes they could play! Of course, neither dog could have ever guessed that they'd eventually forget who was who too, but they wouldn't care. Raising their noses into the air the Newshound Brothers knew that together they'd find the new big scoop.

Stay tuned for the next exciting episode, of the Sly Fox Show!

"Arf?! Bro, did you just-"

"-hear what you heard? Yeah! We're just characters-"

"-on Sly's show. Man, talk about lame."

"Hey wait, how'd he get his own show?"

"Sounds like breaking news to me!"

"Let's investigate!"

"Can't wait to tell everyone at TOON TV."

The two looks back at the convention center, over all the newstrucks, reporters, transformies, and rescue workers. All the two could see were cartoon people and cartoon places who existed for them to report on. After all, it was all one big cartoon world out there, and it might as well be one big cartoon news report. Wait a minute! It was! The newshounds twin came upon their newstruck and their jaws hit the pavement together. It was totally destroyed, no doubt by some monster, probably the dragon from before. Awe stuck and terrified, the two dogs looked at each other and said together,

"Awwr man! We're really in the doghouse now!"