Training Hunting Dogs
Pneuma was Pauline’s pride and joy, a Neanderthal Hound who had thrice won the best overall dog medal at the show. It had been in a state of excitement since the time yacht had fallen from the sky but had finally broken down the door that had become loose in the crash and, seeing Rin’ichirou on its way to its master, had leapt upon him, unheeding of its master’s commands in its excitement, and bitten him. This all happened because Rin’ichirou was naked.
Pneuma had been born in one of the largest producing area of yap dogs on planet Hunde (the second planet in the Procyon system, i.e. Alpha Canis Minoris). In the kennels of the Jansen property in Shang Province – where almost all of the dogs kept by that family were produced and trained – it had learnt all that went on around itself from inside a low-ceiled cage. The first thing it remembered was the dog nigger who was in charge of training it. It was taught the difference between those who walked upright and those who crawled on all fours like itself.
However, once it was taken from the cage and entered the training school – called a canine school – it began to learn that there were white skinned gods who were even more superior than the blacks. It hadn’t been able to beg before the actual living gods while on Hunde but a stereogram of them had been erected and the students of the school had to worship them morning and evening. In their study subjects and in their religious education, the relationship between the white gods and them, the dogs, was taught again and again.
“Your owner will be one of these gods. The only reason you are able to live is through the mercy of the gods who provide you with pilk,” explained the negro animal trainer. “Never forget the debt you owe them.”
Although they were the same race, it seemed the negroes were as different from the white gods as the dogs were from the negroes. When it came time to worship, the negroes prostrated themselves upon the floor and prayed to the image of the white gods just the same as the dogs did. The sacred nature of the gods was shown in their differences to the negroes: the colour of their hair, eyes and – above all – their skin. As far as Pneuma was concerned, it did not matter that the gods were part of a profound doctrine, only that their skin was white. Its supreme purpose as a guard dog was to protect those with white skin. The subject of its protection was its chief god, its owner, but having said that, all those with white skin were gods. Even though its first priority was protecting its master god when the gods fought, it must never use its shock fangs on a god. “Don’t bite white skin.” This was the first rule taught to it and the supreme instruction. White skin was never to be bitten, only licked.
The black skinned negroes were a useful entity that served the gods and as long as they fulfilled their purpose, they were not to be attacked. This was the second rule they were taught: “Don’t bite anyone wearing clothes.”
It was about this time that it was taught, merely for form’s sake, about the existence of those of its kind called raw yapoo. While belonging to the same species as itself, raw yapoo walked upright like the gods and negroes. They were the property of the gods and so should never be bitten arbitrarily. Outwardly they might appear at first glance to be naked gods, but on closer inspection they could be told apart by their collars. This was the identifier of a raw yapoo. As such, the third rule was: “Don’t bite anyone wearing a collar.”
Among the subjects taught at the school were also martial arts. They practised the attacks they would need in their positions as hunting dogs and guard dogs. Jumping over boiling pits of sulfuric and nitric acid, climbing over high walls embedded with spikes, risking their lives over and over again. The dogs who couldn’t overcome these obstacles were melted by the chemicals or pierced by the spikes and died in anguish. Pneuma had passed over these dogs’ corpses and stuck out the training.
It advanced to a senior college on its excellent marks. Even learning that the difference in skin colour came down to different levels of melanin pigmentation in the skin was no hindrance to its belief in the white gods. Pneuma sensed that divinity lay in scarce pigmentation.
Pneuma had graduated top of the class at its college and straight after had been entered in a dog show solely for new graduates. It managed the feat of winning the best overall dog medal and received the honour of becoming the pet dog of Miss Pauline of the Jansen family, a dream it had had since a pup. Along with its friend Pelo who belonged to Miss Pauline’s younger sister Doris, Pneuma was said to be the best of the many dogs owned by the Jansen family.
Moments ago, seeing the strange thing crouching at its mistress’ feet, Pneuma’s instincts to attack overtook it. The thing’s skin wasn’t white, it wasn’t wearing clothes and it had no collar. None of the three rules applied to it. So therefore, it was prey!
Normally of course, Pneuma would wait for its master’s command. The reason it had thrown away its usual composure and leapt at its prey was in part due to the agitation caused by the crash, but was mostly due to its memories of hunting native yapoo. One of the most exciting things during the hunts was raw yapoo hunting – which will be explained along with black game later (chapter 27.4) – where yap dogs were released onto hunting grounds where raw yapoo were allowed to have short knives. One step above this was hunting native domestic stock. Native yapoo captured on the Yapun Islands for later hunting were called “yellow game”. Permission from the Ministry of Agriculture’s Department of Indigenous Livestock Breeding and Slaughter Management was required for this, though only the most esteemed noble families were allowed to hunt this game. However, three days after her arrival at their holiday house on Earth, Pauline had engaged in this sort of hunt with her younger sister. Native yapoo possessed human consciousness and unlike normal raw yapoo, did not wear collars. So, if a yapoo was without clothing, it would be seen as “naked, collarless and a coloured person” and would become an ideal target for a Neanderthal Hound.
Only two weeks previous, Pneuma had been praised by its mistress for bringing down one of these beasts with its fangs. This is again why it leapt at Rin’ichirou without hesitation, as he resembled exactly the prey it was used to hunting. If Rin’ichirou had been wearing even underwear that would have gone against the second rule and would have stopped Pneuma from attacking. To think that his nakedness was so misfortunate.
Pauline had a rough idea of what had caused her beloved dog to suddenly attack and as such, wasn’t inclined to scold it too harshly. Kicking it for biting another person’s yapoo was more an expression of her disapproval of this unknown woman who was at fault for walking around with a pantie that wasn’t wearing a collar.
Clara was utterly ignorant of these matters. The dangerous man-dog that had bitten her lover looked like her dead Taro if he had been reborn as a human but something had gone horribly wrong along the way. And Rin’ichirou wasn’t stirring from the strange in-between position he’d been stuck in and wouldn’t reply to any of her questions. She began to lose hope that everything would turn out alright.
“Rin, what’s wrong? Are you okay?” she asked again. “You’re bleeding. Oh Rin! Rin…”
“There’s no sense worrying over a yapoo.”
Internally Pauline cursed the stupidity of this woman who didn’t even know basic facts like what happened when a creature was bitten by shock fangs. She quashed those thoughts and instead answered, “It will regain all its faculties if the antidote is administered. Nothing you do will make a difference until then. It’s a pity that my Pneuma bit your beloved pet. It’s no wonder it did though, it doesn’t have a collar.”
Her comments made it clear where she laid the blame but their meaning went straight over Clara’s head. Pets, collars – even if she had understood the queer misunderstanding that had taken place, she wouldn’t have had presence of mind to question it. All she knew right at that moment was that her lover needed the drug Pauline described and so she demanded it.
“Hurry! Give him the antidote…!”
“Don’t worry, it’ll be fine. The drug’s effects don’t change over time, it’ll stay the way it is… And in all this fuss, I still haven’t asked your name. Now please, take a seat.” While pointing Clara towards a chair, Pauline quickly approached Rin’ichirou. “Let’s put you in a more comfortable position too.”
Rin’ichirou was raised up on his tiptoes so Pauline thrust the tip of her sandal under his feet and pushed against his toes until he flopped back into the sitting position he’d been in before. His arms were twisted like he was going to throw someone in judo but using her knee and feet she manipulated him until both hands were on the floor, supporting his upper body. Rin’ichirou had not been able to move his own body even a fraction, but she had moulded his pliable body against his will with the greatest of ease until he’d assumed a toad-like position. It seemed his ear had stopped bleeding.
Clara hid her inner fear and took up the seat to the right of the couch. She hated seeing her lover go through this but escaping at this point wasn’t possible. She had to get Pauline to give Rin’ichirou the antidote and then they could get out of this place.
Pauline sat on her left. She was exactly in front of where Rin’ichirou was squatting so that it looked like he was bowing to her. All he could see in his field of vision was her snow white lower body and beside her, Pneuma with his forefeet in front of him, sitting like a canis.
And, a little further removed, the dwarf crept towards Pauline’s feet on all fours, its limbs grotesquely shortened. It had received her order waves and was moving to comply. Pauline kicked off her sandals and rested her feet on its back. A hollow had been gauged out of the flesh of its back where her feet fit perfectly. Pneuma stretched out its back legs and got up, went over and lay its head on the stool and began licking the top of the woman’s pure white feet. Its tongue looked more dog-like than human. Rin’ichirou suddenly realised that her toenails were painted a peach colour and that she had only four of them on each foot, lined up like tiny seashells. Her little toe was a great deal smaller than the rest and had no nail.
Just what kind of person was this mysterious woman? Could a being who used humans as footrests and dogs without a second thought be something more than human? Why would happen to him? What was Clara going to do?
These were the worries that occupied all of Japanese Rin’ichirou Sebe’s thoughts in this strange room on a flying saucer.