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!! Ashes to Ashes

!! %center%Chapter 2

!!! %center%Defiance
"It is no man's dog, father. I found it digging through the trash at the edge of town."

"Then that is where it should have stayed. If it is no man's dog, Phineas, then it is not ours either."

"But it will die if I take it back. Look at how the skin hugs the ribs!" Phineas rubbed the dog's black ears close to their base.  Responding, the dog thumped his foot against the floor and wagged his fanned out tail enthusiastically.

"Tenderness is not a bad trait to have, my son, but you must temper it with reason." His father began the ritual of cleaning his pipe, and Phineas knew that this was turning into a "life lecture". There would be no hope of leaving until his father was satisfied that he had learned this lesson. "A dog is not trainable to the level that would make it a tool for your -- our -- life's work and an attachment to such as this would make you vulnerable." Father paused to see if his son was listening. "It could easily come down to the difference between life and death. Do you understand that?"

At home, his father forbade pets. Phineas had always known this.  Still, the dog plucked at his heart.  "I will take him away, father.  I understand."  He didn't understand.  Dogs could be trained.  He knew this deep down where his sense of duty to the family warred with his sense of right and wrong.  It was wrong to ignore this dog's plight.  Right and wrong won the fight on conscience's side.  Perhaps Suki could help.  Maybe she would keep the dog and he could come and care for it every day.

It was the only time he'd ever defied his father.  He felt giddy with power.

[[Conflictphoenix.Ch3|Chapter 3]]

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