Author: Usami PM
The only thing stronger than the Kratt Brothers' desire to protect the animals...is their desire to protect each other.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Drama/Family - Martin K. & Chris K. - Chapters: 5 - Words: 18,436 - Reviews: 98 - Favs: 35 - Follows: 40 - Updated: 02-16-12 - Published: 09-14-11 - id: 7382730
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
I've been itching to write this Wild Kratts chapter story for a while, but I've always held it off because I wanted more episodes to air before I attempted it. But seeing how long it takes them to show new episodes, I decided to just go for it anyway. Hope it'll be all right.
Looking over his plans once more, Zach knew that his genius would never be questioned again.
Granted, its overall success relied on quite a number of variables, but he wasn't concerned. He had no doubt that things would fall into place without a hitch. Besides, getting to his goal would be half the fun.
And he was definitely going to have fun with this.
Because they had all been a pain in his side for far too long…always messing up his plans and getting in his way. Those darn Wild Rats and little Miss Know-It-All Aviva. How dare they think they were smarter than him…that they were better than him?
Well, he would show them. This time, he would show them all.
Chris panted as he furiously flapped his wings, pushing himself to his fastest limit. He wasn't particularly tired – at least, not yet – but he simply had to hurry if he was going to beat his older brother this time.
"Gotta hurry," he said, trying to encourage himself. "Gotta find those horses before Martin does."
In the steppes of Mongolia, the Wild Kratts team was on a search for a herd of Przewalski's Horses. Unlike the more common feral horses, such as the Mustang of North America, the ancestors of Przewalski's Horses were never completely domesticated, making them the only true "wild horses" left in the entire world. But they were such rare animals, making them very difficult to find.
Of course, that didn't stop the Kratts from having some fun trying to find the horses. That morning as they were setting out, they decided to see who could find a herd of the wild horses first. Each brother would use a different mode of transportation to travel the grasslands, and the first to report the location of the Przewalski's Horse was the winner.
Chris had opted for locating the horses by air…mostly because Martin had already called dibs on using the Createrra. The older brother thought that searching along the ground made the most sense when looking for a running animal. And Chris didn't necessarily disagree with that logic. He was just hoping that he would be able to spot the horses sooner than Martin up in the sky.
It would normally work…if he was using a machine that could fly faster than he was at the moment. But to make the competition more fair (although Chris was still quite sure this wasn't fair), it was decided that he couldn't use something that was faster than the Createrra. Up in the air, he could already see more than Martin could. So he had to use something that moved as fast as their terrain vehicle – or even something slower – to balance out the difference.
And what better way to do that than by flying with his own strength?
Well…technically he was using the Creature Power Suit. But still, even though the suit provided him with the wings and the ability to fly, he was still using his own muscle and energy in order to pump his feathery appendages. And he had to fly hard if he had any hopes of beating Martin.
Because their usual choice of a creature-powered flight was the peregrine falcon, that could be found anywhere in the world. Unfortunately, there were no peregrine falcons at their current location. The steppe was just not hospitable enough for the bird of prey.
There were, however, plenty of Rock Pigeons to be found…
Chris huffed; the effort it took to maintain his current speed was beginning to take its toll on him. But he couldn't give up yet. Though he was hard pressed to answer his Creature Pod if someone tried to call him, the fact that no one had yet meant that Martin still hadn't found the Przewalski's Horses either. Even flying at only 45 mph, there was still a chance he could find the horses before his brother did.
Still, if he was going to keep going, he knew he would need to take a little break. He was already nearing the end of his stamina, and he made an unsteady landing on a shrub just below him.
"Whew…" he breathed, pausing a moment to preen his wings. "I knew these horses would be hard to find, but I didn't know it'd be this hard. I hope we find them soon."
He wasn't just talking about his challenge with Martin either (well, not completely). In truth, he was just eager to find them at all, even if his brother found them first. Despite all the information about horses that already existed, including information about Przewalski's Horses in captivity, the opportunity to see the true equines in the wild was simply too amazing to pass up. And to see them, to study them, to get to know them in their natural habitat would be incredible!
The Kratt Brothers also hoped to learn more about the creatures so they could help maintain, and with any luck even increase, their limited number. They were considered critically endangered, as there were just over 1500 of the horses in the wild. At one time, the Przewalski's Horses were even considered extinct in the wild – a status that was only changed a few years ago when some were rereleased in an attempt to save them. And the Kratts wanted to do everything possible to prevent their disappearance from happening ever again.
But there wasn't much they could do if they couldn't find the horses. The small number of the wild equines stretched across a vast region of land made their exploration so much tougher, like looking for a needle in a haystack. And Chris knew he must have already been searching for hours; though there were plenty of pigeons in Mongolia, the territory of Rock Pigeons lay just outside of the territory of the Przewalski's Horses. So flying to the horses' territory after acquiring pigeon power took a great deal of time…possibly hours, in which Martin also hadn't found the horses either. Chris was beginning to wonder if they would ever locate a herd.
He shook his head. "I can't think like that," he muttered to himself. "Can't give up yet. We'll find them."
The words scarcely left his lips when suddenly the ground beneath him began to rumble. Startled, he looked up and spotted a cloud of dust across the distance, led by a large collection of galloping animals. Their pounding thundered across the grasslands as they ran, disjointed and frantic in their speed that Chris knew it was a stampede; whatever they were running from had them scared. And his eyes widened when he realized that they were charging in his direction.
Flapping his wings, he quickly took off in the air just as the group trampled over the place he had been. Watching the animals below him, he discovered with astonishment that the crowd was actually a whole herd of Przewalski's Horses!
"All right!" he exclaimed, flying in excited circles. "I found 'em! Wait'll Martin and the others hear about this!"
But then he paused, frowning as he hovered in the air. For further across the horizon, a column of thick black smoke rose into the sky. And it was too obvious that it was in the direction where the horses had come from.
As much as Chris wanted to tell the others about locating the horses, whatever was over there had frightened them and caused them to stampede. There was trouble, and he had to check it out in case it caused a serious threat to the animals. It was his job, if he truly wanted to protect them.
He knew, though, that there wasn't much he could do in pigeon mode, but he could at least scope out the situation. And he could get there faster if he flew, then he could call the others to inform them of the situation.
With that reassurance, Chris pumped his wings and flew towards the rising black pillar.
A low hum suddenly reverberated throughout the area, but luckily for Martin the nearby horses only seemed slightly concerned before returning to their previous actions. Looking up, he grinned a little when he spotted the Tortuga as it began its descent. Still he kept his eye on the herd, hoping they wouldn't be too scared and run off.
The ship hardly touched the ground before the doors opened, and Aviva and Koki stepped outside. Martin couldn't help but notice the matching expressions on their faces, which he could only describe as eager.
"Hey, guys," he greeted as Jimmy finally stepped out with them. "Glad you could make it."
Quickly heading down the ramp, Aviva and Koki stood beside him on the grassy land just as a few horses ran by in a playful race, nickering and baying at each other.
"Wow…!" Koki said.
"They're so beautiful!" Aviva murmured. Martin could see the way the girls' eyes lit up, transfixed as they watched the horses.
Jimmy chuckled. "What is it with girls and horses?" he wondered, gently elbowing Martin.
The blue-clad Kratt simply grinned and shrugged. He really had no right to say anything, because he couldn't help agreeing with the girls.
Though he had to admit that he was a bit surprised; he of course found the horses remarkable, which is to be expected of both the Kratts, given their natural love of any animal. But he actually hadn't thought the girls would think so. Przewalski's Horses were a bit different than the horses that people were normally used to. The wild horses had shorter legs and stood at a smaller height, just a little more than four feet tall, and were of a thicker build compared to domestic and even feral horses. Their short manes resembled more of a Mohawk than the free-flowing manes of other horses, and also had shorter tails.
Then again, the entire Tortuga gang was learning to more appreciate the look of a variety of animals, even those that most other people wouldn't consider really attractive. And with their golden-brown fur and light yellow-brown markings along the legs, belly, and muzzle, the Przewalski's Horses certainly had a beauty all their own. It was incredible to actually find these amazing and rare creatures, and Martin knew Chris would be just as excited as he was to get a chance to study them.
"Oh, that reminds me!" Martin said, turning to the girls. "Have you guys gotten in touch with Chris yet?"
Finally snapped out of their spell, Aviva was the first to answer Martin. "Not yet."
"We tried calling him," Koki added, "but he wasn't answering his Creature Pod."
"Really?" Martin frowned. He had also tried calling his brother earlier when he first found the horse herd, but likewise received no answer from the younger Kratt. And while he knew how difficult it was to answer their Creature Pod when in bird form, Chris must have expected a call from them. Wouldn't he at least check-in with one of them sometime?
Aviva watched the blue-clad man carefully, noticing the worry etched in his features. "Think we should go look for him?" she asked.
He considered her question for a moment before brushing away his concern with a shrug. "If we go looking for him, we might lose the herd, and who knows if we can find them again?" Then he allowed a small grin. "Besides, I'm sure he'll turn up sometime."
The reassurance seemed to be enough for the others, as Aviva and Koki headed back inside the Tortuga to get some equipment for studying the horses, dragging Jimmy along to help them. Normally Martin would have helped as well, but he lingered outside for a while longer. Despite his words, he still felt a bit uneasy, especially since the Tortuga relocated its position and Chris wouldn't be able to use the pigeon's homing power to find his way back to them. Who knows how long it would take for Chris to look for them before he finally found them?
Then again, if his younger brother called them, they would be able to get his location, and instead maybe they could go pick him up. Plus, Martin knew Chris was just as eager to see the Przewalski's Horses as he was, and Chris knew better than to ignore a call…let alone two calls. It just wasn't like his little brother, who, among the two of them, was the more responsible one (though Martin would never admit so out loud). So what was keeping him?
His thoughts were interrupted by the drone of an engine echoing throughout the grasslands. Startled, Martin's eyes searched the sky until he found a familiar jet speeding towards their position.
Despite the roaring sound it made, though, Martin could still hear the Tortuga's doors hiss open. "Is that…?" he could make out Aviva's wondering voice.
"It's Zach," Martin confirmed. He would recognize that plane anywhere. He divided his attention between that and the horses, which started to grow restless as the black vehicle passed overhead and landed behind the Tortuga.
Martin and Aviva headed towards the Varmitech ship first, arriving as Zach sauntered outside lazily. His arms were folded behind his back, and Martin felt something unsettling about the smirk playing on the other man's pale face.
"Zach, what are you doing here?" Aviva demanded as Koki and Jimmy ran up behind them. "You better not be planning to do anything to these horses."
Zach scoffed. "What would I want with a bunch of horses?" he retorted. But then he paused, his frown turning thoughtful. "Then again, I wonder if having something actually horse-powered might be useful…"
Martin cleared his throat, not wanting the inventor to get any ideas. "So what are you doing here, Zach?" he repeated, suspicion heavy in his tone.
Zach simply smiled. "Well, actually…I'm here to ask you for a favor, Martin."
Martin blinked wide eyes. "You want a favor from me?" he asked in disbelief. He certainly hadn't been expecting that, especially since he was sure the younger man hated him and his brother. And Zach never called him by name. It was always either 'Wild Rat' or 'Blue Boy'.
"Sure." Zach draped a thin arm across Martin's shoulders. "We've known each other for a pretty long time, right?"
"Yeah…" But if he remembered right, he was fairly sure that they hadn't gotten along as children, either.
"Well, the way I see it," the pale man continued, "since we have known each other so long…instead of fighting against each other, we should team up together."
Martin was actually having a difficult time processing what he was hearing, and a look towards Aviva showed that she was just as shocked as he was. "You wanna work together?" he asked, making sure he understood correctly.
Zach grinned. "Exactly. After all, you know a lot about little critters and things, and I thought you could use a decent inventor to help with all the technology stuff."
Aviva huffed loudly. "Excuse me? What do you mean, 'decent' inventor?"
Martin frowned. "Well…" he began slowly. Despite all the things Zach had done in the past, neither of the Kratt Brothers really held a grudge against him. So the idea of working with Zach instead of fighting against him would really save them a lot of effort. And who knows? It might even help Zach lighten up a little, and maybe even get him to learn about and enjoy being with animals. But Zach's attitude and his implication of Aviva's talents kept him a little wary. "What's the favor?"
Zach pulled Martin in closer as he began in an overly-dramatic conspiring tone, "Well, I'm looking to gather some animals for an army I'd like to put together. And I just figured that your 'creature knowledge'," he emphasized with air quotes, "would make capturing the beasts so much easier."
Aviva and Martin exchanged disturbed expressions. "Seriously?" Aviva deadpanned. "That's the 'favor'?"
Martin pushed the younger man off him. "Keep dreaming, Zach. There's no way I'm doing that."
Zach staggered back, only kept from falling over by one of his Zachbots catching him. Dusting himself off, he surprisingly smiled. "Maybe I'll just give you some time to think about it."
Aviva placed her hands on her hips. "There's nothing to think about, Zach. The answer is definitely no."
"Just consider it. Oh, and take this…" Zach snapped his fingers, and the Zachbot beside him responded by rushing up to Martin.
Martin jumped back slightly, afraid the robot would run him down. But instead, the droid stopped in front of him, pulling out a small white rectangular box wrapped with a black bow. Unable to resist his curiosity, Martin took the small package, shaking it slightly. The contents rattled hollowly inside, and he stared at the offering.
Zach smiled, and something about it indicated that he knew something that he wasn't sharing. "Consider that a…token for my proposition." With that, he turned and began to head back to his jet, followed closely by his Zachbot. "You can even keep that if you still decide not to work with me," he called back as he walked away.
Aviva rolled her eyes. "Whatever," she muttered. "It doesn't matter what you try to bribe us with, Zach, there's no way we'd ever –"
Both Aviva and Zach turned sharply at Martin's words. But Martin wasn't looking at Zach's smug face, and he didn't see the shocked expression on Aviva's. He simply stared at the box in his hands, opened with the lid and ribbon fallen to the ground.
"Martin?" Koki said, noticing the tension in his shoulders that wasn't there previously.
"You okay?" Jimmy wondered.
Martin didn't answer. His attention remained focused on the container he held tightly in both hands. The others carefully drew closer as Martin reached into the box and pulled out what was inside. When he did, they gasped.
Their shocked expressions reflected back at them from the screen of Chris' Creature Pod.
Just a note: All the information about the Przewalski's Horse is stuff I found on Wiki, so apologies if I got any of it wrong. I just...kind of needed some padding, heehee.