BeagleGoose

*

Rated PG for crude humor and mild peril

I do not own any character already copyrighted to Cosgrove Hall Films. Every other character here, including Judas Franklin and Sabrina Panthera, are my characters, and should not be used without my permission.

Author's Notes: Yes, as some of the older DM fans may be able to tell, this character was inspired from the movie BeetleJuice, and the title characters for both that movie and this fanfic share similar traits. Let's just say if you've seen the movie, you already have a good idea of this new character's personality (though I did make a few changes).

While this particular story would seem more suitable for Halloween, I had to push this episode ahead of schedule to make the rest of the series work. In the coming months, you'll see why… but for now, enjoy! ^_^

*

*

It was mid-afternoon in the English countryside. Danger Mouse- the World's Greatest Secret Agent- had just gotten off from another case, and was offered a brisk walk by a fellow agent. The land, known to them as The Greens, was owned by the agency, as a place for agents to sit back and enjoy nature.

Danger Mouse strolled along the dirt pathway as his fellow operative- Agent 92- walked beside him. She was a tall cheetah of slender stature, with mostly tan attire (apart from the black goggles and a brown leather utility belt). She had long arms and legs, and a slightly longer neck; rumor had it that she used to have a tail, until it had been cut off on a past expedition. One of the most unusual things about her was in the way she spoke: she had a mostly British accent, but having lived the first years of her life in a small African colony she had adopted that accent as well.

DM smiled. "You picked an excellent day to go walking through the greens," he remarked. "I'm glad you invited my friends and I… you didn't have to, though."

Agent 92 scoffed. "No problem at all," she replied. "After all, it's least I could do after having called you in for reinforcements. If it weren't for you, half of Asia would have been blown to smithereens!"

The mouse chuckled lightly. "Yes, I suppose you're right," he reasoned, looking behind him. "I do hope Penfold and Judas are alright."

"I wouldn't worry about it," Agent 92 commented. "With Aubrey helping them along, they'll catch up in no time."

Again, the two agents looked behind them. A young sugar glider sauntered up the pathway. She wore blue jeans and a denim jacket, with a bright red shirt underneath. A small ponytail fell from the back of her head, and a pair of blue goggles fell over her eyes.

The cheetah smirked. "Aubrey!" she called out. "How are you coming along back there?"

Aubrey panted lightly. "We're coming, 92!" she assured, her Australian accent quite apparent. "The dog and the hamster aren't too far behind!"

Sure enough, two more figures appeared behind Aubrey- a young hamster, perhaps a tad shorter than she was; and a German Shepherd, quite tall in comparison to her. Both of them were breathing heavily from all the walking.

Danger Mouse rolled his eyes. "Good grief," he sighed, gesturing to the hamster and the taller pooch. "Come along Penfold, Judas."

Groaning, Penfold and Judas reluctantly sauntered onward. They had so much to complain about- their feet were sore from all the walking, their hands were raw from sharing a crude walking stick, and they were just plain getting tired! As far as they were concerned, they wanted to go home!

With yet another heavy sigh, DM turned to Agent 92. "Forgive them," he said. "The only walks they're all that used to are to the park and back."

A broad smile crossed Agent 92's face. "It's quite alright, really," she answered. "Aubrey's not all that used to it either, so I'm conditioning her for future missions."

Nodding, DM considered that idea. Conditioning, he thought. Yes… I wonder why I never thought of that before. I'll have to take them on these sort of excursions more often.

It was then that Danger Mouse stumbled upon something. He stopped and looked to the path; a corner of what appeared to be an old book was sticking out of the ground. Curious, he took a moment to scratch around the edges and pull it out.

Needless to say, this caught the attention of the three younger agents. Penfold watched from aside his chief, Judas knelt down beside them, and Aubrey peered over his shoulder. Whatever it was the agent found, it was bound to be a wonderful discovery.

At that moment, Agent 92 stopped and turned about. "Danger Mouse?" she inquired. "What are you doing?"

DM continued digging around the buried book. "I think I've found something," he remarked, pulling it out of the ground. "Come- have a look at this!"

As the mouse dusted off the relic, the three young companions glanced at it curiously. It was an old leather-bound book, with large imprinted runes and other strange characters. The pages were worn and jagged, as was the cover, and yet the book had been locked; the lock itself was a rusted metal hinge, almost to the point of falling off. What seemed to stand out the most, though, was the menacing face of a grinning wild dog.

Aubrey gasped in disbelief. "Agent 92!" she cried. "Quick! You need to see this!"

Quickly, Agent 92 made her way over and glanced at the book; needless to say, she was shocked. "I don't believe it," she murmured. "Of all the books to find in the middle of the greens…"

Concerned, Danger Mouse turned to the cheetah. "Agent 92," he addressed, "do you know anything about this?"

Agent 92 veered off sharply. "Oh, no- not at all!" she lied, gesturing to her assistant. "Come, Aubrey; we have to go."

As the agent and her companion sprinted off, DM once more called out to his friend. "Are you absolutely sure?"

Judas cocked his eyebrows. "I don't think they're coming back," he muttered, giving the book an odd glance. "I think the book might have had something to do with it."

Danger Mouse nodded. "Indeed," he replied, turning to Penfold and Judas. "Come along, then. We'll take this back to headquarters and see what Colonel K makes of it…"

*

Later on that day, DM got in contact with Colonel K. The newfound book was a surprise to him as well, though he was as curious as his agent was. Nevertheless, he did agree that the book should go to the proper authorities; however, the archives were so filled up that they had no room. The book had to stay with them, for now.

In the meantime, the agent did his own research with the book. It seemed to be written in a Middle-English form of Latin, so he thought it would be good to brush up on his ancient languages. He had a book in his private study room on just that topic.

As Danger Mouse studied a book on how to read medieval Latin, Judas sauntered into the room; he held a small plate of cookies (fresh from the oven), and had already stuffed a few into his mouth. The ancient book caught his eye… and he wasn't too happy about it.

At that moment, DM looked up from his language book. "Oh, Judas, I'm glad you're here," he commented, burying himself in the book again. "Hand me that old book, would you?"

Shocked, Judas shook his head fervently. He tried to speak through all the cookies in his mouth, which came out hardly understandable.

Of course, the agent had to address the pooch again. "Judas, swallow your food," he muttered. "I shouldn't have to tell you that."

Swallowing, Judas shook his head once more. "No way!" he shouted. "I ain't touching that book!"

"Why not?" Danger Mouse questioned.

Judas rolled his eyes. "Come on!" he groaned, pointing to a character on the book cover. "Tell me what that is, DM!"

DM glanced at the book. "A pentagram," he answered. "What about it?"

The pooch moaned. "A pentagram!" he repeated. "As in, witchcraft! As in, demons! Don't tell me you don't know that!"

The agent rolled his eyes. "Good grief," he murmured. "Judas, you're over-reacting again."

Angered, Judas approached the White Wonder. "I am not over-reacting!" he yelled, pointing to the book. "That book is dangerous, DM! Who knows what kind of demons lurk in there!"

Danger Mouse sighed heavily. "Judas, we already talked about this," he pressed. "I accept your beliefs- you have a right to what you believe in- but now you're getting ridiculous!"

Just the same, Judas remained firm. "Look, if we have to keep it here a few days, then fine!" he spat. "Can we at least leave it alone? I really don't want us getting into what that book's about! You saw Agent 92- why else would she just walk off like that??"

Nodding, DM considered the matter. That is true, he thought. Why did Agent 92 suddenly leave us there, with hardly a word?

After thinking it over, the agent finally turned back to his recruit. "Alright," he said, "we'll keep the book on a high shelf, where no one else can get to it. I'm going to contact Agent 92 about this."

The American dog smiled. "Thanks," he replied, walking out and stuffing more cookies into his mouth. "Hey, Penfold! Got any more of these?"

*

Some time later, Penfold went around the pillar-box and did a little dusting. He really didn't have much else to do, and it had been a while since he last dusted, so he thought he might as well get that chore out of the way.

As Penfold walked past DM's study room, the door creaked open slightly. The sound alerted him, and drew his attention to the doorway.

It was then that a quiet whistling voice urged him closer. "Come here, little one", said the voice. "Come in here… I will not hurt you…"

Unnerved, Penfold began backing away from the door. "Who's that?" he questioned. "Who… who are you?"

The door creaked open a little more. "Come inside, young one," it pressed. "Please come inside…"

Swallowing hard, Penfold slowly tiptoed inside the study. He looked around; nothing seemed too out-of-the-ordinary. Not at first glance, anyway.

At that moment, a book fell from the top of one of the bookcases. It was the same old book that Danger Mouse found in the Greens!

Curious, Penfold walked over to the book. "Crumbs," he murmured. "What a strange book this is." He walked over to the short center table, setting the book down. "I'll just leave it here for DM."

Just as Penfold turned around, the book burst wide open, flipping through hundreds of pages before stopping at the very center. Clearly, this was no ordinary book!

Shocked by the abrupt noise, Penfold turned about and glanced at the book. "That's odd," he commented. "I don't remember leaving it open…"

Yet again, the soft voice interrupted the young hamster's musings. "Look into the book," it hissed. "Behold the wonders of the book… and you shall gain a new friend…"

Although still unsure of himself, Penfold was slightly comforted by the thought of having a new friend. "Well… alright, then," he muttered, looking into the book and reading the text:

~

Locked away for many years,

A soul who knows all mortal fears.

His eyes as bright as his fur is coarse,

In every deed he shows no remorse.

Although this rhyme is almost done,

His mischief has only just begun.

Set him free, and let him loose,

The lost soul known as BeagleGoose!

~

Before Penfold could actually go back and figure out what he had just read, a familiar voice called to him. "Penfold!" DM shouted.

Quickly, Penfold turned about and headed out of the room. "Coming, chief!" he replied.

As soon as the young hamster had left, an eerie silence came over the room. The book glowed bright for a moment, before the translucent head of a hyena stuck his head out. His hair was completely messed, and his eyes were a tad wider than they should have been.

The hyena chuckled sinisterly. "Well, well, well," he muttered, "it's about time someone came along and freed me from this prison. Looks like I've made myself a new best friend…"

*

In the parlor of the pillar-box, Danger Mouse and Judas seated themselves on the couch. When Penfold finally arrived, the agent stood from his seat. "Well, now that you're both here," he said, approaching the videoscreen, "let's contact Agent 92- apparently, she knows something about the book that we don't." He gave his assistant and his recruit a sidelong look. "I would feel more at ease if you knew, so hopefully neither of you would make a mistake."

While DM typed in Agent 92's contact number, Penfold bit his lip in worry. Ooh, crikey, he thought. I hope I haven't done anything!

After a moment, the image on the videoscreen cleared; however, it was not Agent 92 they saw, but her assistant Aubrey. "Danger Mouse," she greeted. "G'day! What are you up to?"

The agent smiled. "Nothing really, Aubrey," he answered. "Could you get Agent 92 on the videoscreen? There's something I'd like to talk to her about."

Nodding, Aubrey headed offscreen. There was an awkward moment of silence before Agent 92 actually came to the videophone. "Ah, Danger Mouse," she addressed with a smile.

"Good evening, Agent 92," Danger Mouse commented. "There's something I need to ask of you. Do you remember that book we found in the Greens?"

Unnerved, Agent 92 loosened her collar. "I… I… I don't know what you mean," she lied.

DM sighed. "Well, in any case, we found a spellbook in the Greens and brought it back here," he continued. "We're keeping it here for a while, just until the evidence room at headquarters cleans out a little. We were wondering what you really knew about the spellbook."

Agent 92 shook her head fervently. "No, no, no!" she insisted. "I don't know anything about it- I swear!"

Of course, the agent could tell that his friend knew more than what she was revealing. "Please, 92," he pressed. "Any information you may have would be greatly appreciated."

The cheetah was silent for a moment; she then leaned over and turned off her videoscreen. Apparently, this was not a subject she was comfortable with!

Danger Mouse cocked his eyebrows. "Now that is odd," he remarked. "Why would Agent 92…"

Judas sighed. "I'll tell you why," he snapped. "It's that spellbook! It's gotta be cursed, or something!"

Angered, DM turned around and glared at the pooch. "Judas, I don't want to hear another word about curses, or demons, or anything else about that spellbook!" he spat. "It's just a book, and nothing more!"

With another heavy sigh, Judas stood. "Fine," he growled, sauntering out of the room. "I am so tired- I'm going to bed."

The agent nodded. "That's a good idea," he murmured. "I think we all need some rest after today."

Once everyone had left the room, the translucent hyena appeared again. Now the rest of his attire could be seen- loose pajama-like clothes, all white apart from the huge black spots decorating it.

The hyena smirked. "It's just a book, and nothing more," he taunted in DM's own voice, quickly switching back to his own and cackling quietly. "Ooh… he don't know me very well, now do he…"

*

With a wide yawn, Penfold sauntered off to bed. He had already dressed himself in his soft, light blue pajamas and brushed his teeth. He dragged his teddy bear into the bedroom, turned on the night-light, and hopped into bed.

As the young hamster closed his eyes to sleep, a gentle breeze whistled into the room, softly closing the door. He opened eyes for a moment; he saw nothing, and curled up to go to sleep.

Suddenly, Penfold was awakened by some light snoring. He looked about the room, saw nothing, and went back to sleep.

Again, the snoring woke him up. He looked around, and once more saw nothing. He groaned, and went back to sleep.

This time, when the snoring awoke Penfold, he stopped for a moment. He could tell where that sound was coming from now… right next to him. Slowly, he turned his head to see a hyena nestled in the blankets beside him. He opened his eyes and grinned. "Hi, honey…"

Extremely frightened by what he had just seen, Penfold jumped from his bed and bolted out the bedroom door. There was no way he was going back in there now!

The hyena walked over and peeked out the door; he now had the attire of a haggard wife, lime green facial mask and fuzzy pink bathrobe included. "Oh, come on!" he complained. "How's a lost soul supposed to get any sleep around here?? Really, the nerve of that kid…"

*

In a room not too far down the hall, Judas murmured peacefully in his sleep. "No, no, don't thank me," he mumbled. "I'm the president- it's my job."

Quickly, the door burst open, and a fearful young hamster jumped on the bed. "Judas, Judas, Judas!" he cried, shaking the pooch's shoulders. "Wake up, Judas! Wake up!"

With a wide yawn, Judas opened his eyes. "Penfold?" he muttered. "What are you doing-"

Penfold took Judas by the hand and led him to the door. He crawled behind the American recruit, shivering nervously.

Of course, Judas was both half-awake and very confused. "Okay," he groaned, "what's going on?"

His hands shaking, Penfold pointed down the hallway towards his room. "Th- th- th- there's s- s- something in m- m- my room," he stuttered.

Rolling his eyes, Judas sighed heavily. "Penfold, there's nothing in your room," he moaned. "It's probably just a bug or something."

The young hamster fervently shook his head. "Oh no, Judas!" he countered. "There's something in there- I know it!"

The pooch growled. "Okay, fine," he murmured, dragging Penfold back to his room. "Look, I'll show you- once and for all- there is nothing in your bed-"

It was then that the pooch got a good look at the hyena (still in the haggard wife get-up) sitting in Penfold's bed. As he filed his nails and hummed a quiet tune, he peeked out of the corner of his eye. He shrieked like a woman, standing on the bed and pulling the blankets close to him. "Eek!"

For a moment, Penfold and Judas were silent. Finally, they turned to each other and screamed, "Ahh!"

"Eek!"

"Ahh!"

"Eek!"

"Ahh!"

"Eek!!"

"Ahh!!"

Scared out of their minds, Penfold and Judas ran out of the room and further down the hallway. There was only one person who could save them now!

Now calmed down, the hyena got down from the bed. "Well, that's not good hospitality, now is it?" he said, snapping his fingers and changing back into his usual attire. "It looks like I'll have to teach them some manners…"

*

Down the hall, Danger Mouse was sleeping peacefully in his own bed. He snored quietly; not much seemed to bother him in this state. Sadly, this silence would have to be shattered…

A loud, thunderous banging at the door shook DM from his sleep. The muffled cries of alarm also alerted him as he sauntered over.

As the door opened, two brown blurs shot past the agent and cowered behind him for protection. After what they had seen, they weren't about to leave his side!

To say the least, this perplexed Danger Mouse. "Penfold, Judas," he addressed with a yawn, "what are you doing?"

Raising his finger, Penfold pointed down the hallway. "There's something down there, DM!" he squeaked.

The pooch nodded hard. "It's true!" he confirmed. "I saw that thing- whatever it is."

DM rolled his eyes. "Apparently, you're both seeing things," he snapped, grabbing his assistant and his recruit by their hands. "Alright, let's go."

Both Penfold and Judas struggled to resist. They screamed and complained; forcing them to go back there was near impossible!

Now more angry than before, the agent glared at them. "Be quiet, you two!" he demanded, hushing the two boys and dragging them down the hallway. "Honestly- I don't believe this!"

Just the same, Penfold had his doubts. "But, chief-"

"Enough, Penfold!" Danger Mouse groaned. "Now, I understand that you're scared, but it's probably nothing anyway." He opened the door to Penfold's bedroom and added, "I'm going to show you that there's nothing to be afraid of!"

A hand rested on DM's shoulder. "Oh, now, I wouldn't say that…" a creepy voice hissed.

Turning around, the agent and his companions now saw clearly. It was a hyena, still dressed in his usual attire of white pajamas with big black spots. He gave the small group a sinister smile. "Hi," he greeted.

Danger Mouse, Penfold, and Judas screamed in reply. They ran down the hall and into closet.

The young hamster breathed heavily. "See, I told you!" he gasped.

Surprised, DM stared at Judas. "What was that??" he questioned.

Judas shook his head. "I don't know!" he admitted. "It looks like some kind a wild dog, or something!"

Another figure made himself known within the closet. "Actually, I'm a spotted hyena- you know, species crocuta crocuta? Also known as a laughing hyena?" he informed, rubbing his hands together. "So, what are we hiding from?"

Again, the agent and his confidants shrieked. Quickly, they ran from the closet and dove underneath the agent's huge bed.

The pooch gasped for breath. "Okay," he breathed. "A hyena… my mistake."

The White Wonder gave Judas a sidelong look. "Well, why is it here??" he queried.

"You know, I've been asking that same question myself," said the hyena, who had just appeared under the bed with them. "Say, this place isn't half bad- whatever's chasing us, it'll never find us here!"

A moment of awkward silence followed. Danger Mouse, Penfold, and Judas were all too shocked to speak.

Of course, the hyena had grown too used to the routine. "Hey, guys," he addressed, "isn't this the part where you… I dunno, scream and run for dear life?"

Finally, the intrepid trio cried out once more, this time running into the parlor. As they ran for the door, the hyena appeared before them once more. "Hey, hey, hey!" he snapped. "Not so fast, my friends!"

It was by this time that all of them had just about run out of breath. Sure, they were scared, but not scared enough to run anymore.

The hyena sighed. "Finally!" he spat. "You know, I've been trying to talk to you guys for the last few hours, and yet you didn't seem to notice. Scaring you out of your minds was the only way I could get your attention."

After taking a moment to catch his breath, DM approached the hyena. "Well, we weren't expecting company," he commented. "Who are you, anyway?"

A light chuckle escaped the hyena. "Who am I? Who am I?" he repeated. "You should already know who I am! You were smart enough to find that cursed spellbook and bring it here- into your own home!"

The recruit glared at his chief. "See?" he cried. "See?? I told you that book was cursed!" He turned to the hyena questionably. "How many more of you are there?"

Cackling, the hyena patted Judas on the shoulder. "Kid, I'm a one-of-a-kind lost spirit," he answered. "I'm the only one like me!"

The White Wonder cocked his eyebrows. "Well, what are you, exactly?" he questioned. "Apart from a hyena, anyway."

With a deep breath, the hyena began to float in midair. "Well, I can tell ya I was born around the Middle Ages, and at the time I was a brilliant philosopher," he beamed, tossing a classical black mortarboard into the air. "As time passed by, however, my search for knowledge eventually lead to my insanity. So, the townsfolk sent the village sage to drive me into the forest and trap my soul in the spellbook. The old hag then buried the book and kept its location a secret, taking it to her grave. My book was never found again…" He grinned widely and chuckled, adding, "Until now."

Penfold swallowed hard. "Cor, I don't like this at all," he murmured.

Then, the hyena scooped Penfold into his arms. "I have a special place in my heart for this little guy," he admitted. "He saved me from that book, that prison that my soul was cast into hundreds of years ago!" Again, he changed his wardrobe, into a lovely Sunday dress with a bright blonde wig and overdone makeup. "He's my little hero!" He pressed his lipstick-smothered mouth on the young hamster's cheek, quickly changing back into his usual clothes.

Obviously, this was unsettling to everyone. "Okay," Judas remarked, "that was scary."

Shaking his head, the hyena strongly disagreed. "No, that's not scary- that was just creepy," he clarified. "This is scary…" He made a quick display so horrifying that I couldn't even begin to tell you what it looked like; then, he went back to normal. "How's that?"

Although still shaken from all the madness, the agent managed to regain his composure. "Look, we still don't know who you are," he informed. "We don't even know your name!"

Once more, the hyena chuckled lightly. "Well, that's the thing," he said. "See, I can't tell you my name, because… well, it's a curse in itself. My name is the sole source of chaos wherever I go, and now that I'm free, no one is safe." He paused, then added, "Of course, if I gave you a few hints, you could put two-and-two together and find out for yourself."

A smirk crossed Danger Mouse's face. "Fine, then," he agreed. "Now, what are our hints?"

At that moment, the hyena pulled out two animals- a beagle in one hand, and a goose in the other. "Figure it out, boys," he dared.

Judas was a bit puzzled by this. "A dog and a bird?" he questioned. "What sort of hints are those?"

Not amused with the pooch's intellect, the hyena left the beagle and the goose hanging in midair. He switched into a flashy game-show host's outfit and approached Judas, hitting the small buzzer in his palm. "Ooh, I'm sorry, sir," he responded sarcastically. "Could you be a little more specific?" With that, he zipped back over to the beagle and the goose.

DM snapped his fingers. "Ah-ha, I see," he commented. "A beagle and a goose. So your name must be-"

An array of buzzers and whistles went off, and the hyena ran over and hugged the agent. "We have a winner!" he cheered.

Needless to say, Judas was still very confused. "Okay, I don't get it," he murmured. "What's his name again?"

Before Penfold could reply, BeagleGoose quickly stepped in. "Hold on a minute!" he halted. "Now, look- if any average mortal said my name, they would find themselves in the middle of great chaos. If he said it… he could banish me to parts unknown!"

Danger Mouse and Judas both looked at Penfold. "Say it," they snapped.

Nervously, Penfold swallowed hard. "Ooh, carrots…" he mumbled.

BeagleGoose approached Penfold, kneeling down to his level. "You don't wanna send me away, do you?" he queried. "We're pals, right? You're my hero… you wouldn't do that to me… would you?"

Penfold closed his eyes tightly and said, "BeagleGoose."

A great burst of wind shot through the room, carrying BeagleGoose away in its wake. He struggled against it, but nevertheless he was carried off.

As the wind died down, Penfold hung his head. He didn't really want to send BeagleGoose away; he would have been a nice fellow, had he not woken them up in the middle of the night.

Stretching his arms, Judas turned around. "Glad that's over," he muttered with a yawn. "I'm going back to bed."

It was then that DM saw his young assistant's troubled look; concerned, he placed his hand on his shoulder. "Penfold?"

With a heavy sigh, Penfold turned about and sauntered back into the bedroom. He needed sleep, and his teddy bear must have been awfully lonely.

The agent shrugged, walking back to his own bedroom. "Well, at least we can get back to sleep," he said. "It looks like we don't have to worry about BeagleGoose anymore, now do we?"

*

Far above the streets of London, BeagleGoose hung lightly in midair. "Thanks, Danger Mouse," he remarked. "I'll be sure to return the favor…"

*

Dawn settled in over London. Most everyone had gotten a good night's rest, and was ready to start the day.

Back in the Mayfare pillar-box, Danger Mouse wearily opened his eyes. He soon saw the wide-smiling face of a familiar hyena. "Rise and shine, sleepy-head!" he chimed.

Surprised by this, DM jumped in his bed. He then realized what was going on and glared at BeagleGoose. "What are you doing here?" he questioned.

The hyena chuckled. "Oh, no reason," he replied. "You just called me back in the middle of the night, that's all."

Of course, the agent had little idea of what this fellow was getting at. "Beg pardon?" he inquired.

Staring right into the White Wonder's eyes, BeagleGoose began to use his own voice. "It looks like we don't have to worry about BeagleGoose anymore, now do we?" he repeated, switching back to his natural voice. "That's what you said, isn't it?"

Danger Mouse sneered. He hated to admit it, but he had made that mistake. Perhaps Penfold was the only person who could banish him, but anyone could summon him!

BeagleGoose smiled. "Don't you worry about a thing," he assured, patting DM on the back. "I already got Penfold and Judas up, and I even made you guys breakfast."

Puzzled, the agent gave BeagleGoose a sidelong look. "Why do you keep coming here?" he asked.

"You sound miserable," BeagleGoose commented. "Come on- your little buddy is my hero, so I'm doing everything in my power to make you guys happy. No hard feelings, I hope?"

Just the same, Danger Mouse was still wary of the hyena. He didn't sound very trustworthy, or reasonable for that matter. However, he knew it would have been a good idea to keep him around- perhaps this would explain Agent 92's strange behavior.

After a moment of thought, DM nodded in reply. "Alright, fine," he answered. "You can stay with us for a while, but don't get used to it."

Ecstatic, BeagleGoose hugged the agent. "Thanks, pal!" he cried, patting him on the back. "Oh, you won't regret this!" He let go and changed costumes again (back into the lovely Sunday dress). "You've made me the happiest girl in the world!" Leaving a huge red lip-print on the agent's cheek, he changed back into his normal clothes and flew down the hallway.

The White Wonder shivered in disgust, taking a handkerchief from the nightstand to wipe off the lip-print…

*

Some time later, the courageous trio had seated themselves in the parlor. BeagleGoose was quite the unusual guest; the breakfast platter he had served them looked appetizing enough, but that was before he told them what other ingredients he had included. As a result, none of them ate very much.

A low rumbling came from Penfold's stomach. As hungry as the young hamster was, he was not willing enough to eat what their guest had prepared for them. Perhaps if he hadn't been told…

Judas groaned. "I'm so hungry," he muttered. "That weird food he served is starting to sound pretty good to me."

Danger Mouse cocked his eyebrows. "Then again, you don't seem to have a problem eating out of a pile of rubbish, do you?" he spat.

The pooch growled. "That was just the one time!" he insisted. "Besides, I didn't get enough to eat that day."

It was then that BeagleGoose entered the parlor, carrying a tray with three cups of hot tea. "Hey, fellas!" he greeted. "How's about a nice cuppa?"

DM, Penfold, and Judas stared at each other, then back at BeagleGoose. "What's in it?" they questioned.

BeagleGoose shrugged. "Oh, nothing," he assured, setting the tray down on the center table. "It's just my own secret blend."

The agent took one of the cups, sniffing it questionably. "Your own special blend?" he repeated. "What does that mean?"

The hyena grinned nervously. "Well, actually, it's not much of a secret," he confessed. "It's just tea, really- it's the way I make it that's special."

Although he had his doubts, Danger Mouse brought the cup to his lips and tasted the tea. He smiled pleasingly. "Well, I have to say," he admitted, "this does taste quite good."

Curious, Penfold sipped his tea as well. "You're right, DM," he commented, glancing at the American pooch. "Judas, you should try this."

Chuckling lightly, Judas shook his head. "No thanks, guys," he responded. "I'm not really a tea-drinker."

"Oh, come on!" BeagleGoose pressed, giving the last cup of tea to Judas. "I already knew that, but trust me- you'll like it!"

While he was still unsure, Judas shrugged and lapped up a few drinks of tea. "Say, this isn't half bad!" he complimented. "That must be some special blend! How'd you do it?"

Grinning, BeagleGoose chuckled. "Well, being a canine myself, I already knew you didn't like tea," he explained, "so I used a special ingredient to make it more… delectable to our superior taste buds."

This mildly unnerved DM. "Erm," he interrupted, "what might that be, exactly?"

Again, the hyena smiled brightly. "Oh, nothing really," he assured. "It's just something that we dogs have a taste for. Nothing better than the tangy aftertaste of toilet bowl water."

For a moment, no one spoke. The agent and his assistant glanced at each other worriedly; toilet bowl water wasn't exactly what they were expecting, and suddenly the tea in their mouths turned quite putrid. Quickly, they stood and ran down the hall, towards the bathroom.

Judas looked over to BeagleGoose. "So, this toilet bowl water you used," he queried, "… it was clean, right?"

BeagleGoose sighed and nodded. "Yeah, I made sure it was clean," he replied. "In fact, it was so clean that I went back in and cleaned it again, and I made sure that some of that cleaning stuff was still in there, just in case."

It was then that Judas realized that his tea did have a tangy aftertaste… and it tasted like liquid detergent. He dropped his teacup and ran after Danger Mouse and Penfold. "Gangway!" he cried.

The hyena cocked his eyebrows. "Talk about toilet humor," he muttered, a maniacal smile crossing his face…

*

Danger Mouse, Penfold, and Judas made a run for the agent's private bathroom. It was quite roomy, and very classy (and let's not forget the cute little rubber ducky in the bathtub).

DM paced about the room as Penfold sat on the sink counter and Judas seated himself on the toilet seat lid. "This is the final straw," he spat. "Breakfast was forgivable enough, but tea out of toilet bowl water??"

Of course, Penfold was always a forgiving young boy. "Well," he piped up, "it was clean toilet bowl water."

"Yeah, too clean, if you ask me," Judas remarked, when suddenly he hiccuped and a cloud of bubbles flew out of his mouth. "I'm still burping up soap bubbles!"

Just the same, Penfold was willing to give their… unusual guest a chance if they were. "It's the thought that counts, right?" he squeaked.

The recruit gave the young hamster a sharp look. "You're just afraid to tell him, aren't you?" he snapped. "Admit it- you want him out of here just as bad as we do!"

Penfold bit his lip. "Perhaps he isn't the best cook we've had," he admitted, "but really- he's our friend!"

The agent cocked his eyebrows. "And, how do you gather that?" he questioned.

Doing his best to straighten himself up, Penfold stood up on the sink counter. "I'm being serious," he snipped. "Ever since he came here, he's been trying to be nice. All he wants is to thank us for freeing him."

Although still wary of BeagleGoose, Danger Mouse nodded in reply. "Well, that is true," he murmured. "If he wanted to hurt us, he would have already tried-"

Quickly, Judas intervened. "What, you mean he hasn't already?" he hissed. "This is the same guy that nearly gave Penfold and me heart attacks last night! And don't even get me started on breakfast this morning!"

The young hamster crossed his arms. "You can't just throw him out!" he spat, turning away. "Besides, it's not polite!"

Judas rolled his eyes. "Would you forget the polite stuff!" he screamed. "I don't care how we get rid of him- just get him outta here before I do something drastic!"

Irritated by all the noise, DM turned to his companions. "Quiet!" he yelled, calming down after a moment of silence. "Look, we can't keep him here, but we can't simply throw him out either. We need to-"

It was then that the toilet seat popped open, throwing Judas across the room. A hyena in a plumber's outfit stuck his head out of the bowl and grinned. "Hey, fellas!"

Shaking his head, the agent approached the toilet and glared down at BeagleGoose. "What do you want this time?" he queried.

BeagleGoose shrugged, pulling himself out of the toilet. "Nothing," he assured, holding up a large wrench. "I just wanted to fix some of your plumbing problems, that's all."

Although still uneasy from his flight across the room, Judas knew that something about that phrase wasn't right. "But, we don't have a problem with our plumbing…"

Suddenly, every pipe in the bathroom broke- the shower head, the sink nozzle, the hot and cold valves all broke off as water began shooting out of the broken pipes. Even the toilet erupted like Old Faithful!

Their tempers peaking, Danger Mouse and Judas gave Penfold a sharp look. "Say it," they snapped.

Despite his own opinions, Penfold was not about to question the agent or the recruit- neither of them were too pleased. He swallowed hard, hoping that he was doing the right thing. "BeagleGoose!"

Frightened, BeagleGoose flattened his ears over his head. "Not again…"

A strong gust of wind cam again from out of nowhere, carrying BeagleGoose in it's current but leaving DM and crew unaffected. "No!" he screamed, his voice echoing in the wind as it faded away.

Danger Mouse took Penfold by the hand. "You're coming with me," he said, glancing at Judas. "You- call the plumber, and we'll rendezvous in the parlor."

Judas cocked his eyebrows. "Sorry, I don't speak French," he commented. "I'll meet you there, though."

Rolling his eyes, DM lead Penfold out of the room while Judas left in another direction. "There's a phone in the kitchen," he reasoned, licking his lips. "Maybe Penfold has some of those cookies left over…"

*

An hour or so later, the agent and his companions pulled up beside a simple townhouse. At least, that's what it appeared to be…

After parking the Mark III in a secluded spot beneath a tall shady tree, Danger Mouse hopped out of the car. "Alright, you two," he whispered as Penfold and Judas stepped out. "Agent 92 should be inside. Let's go."

As DM and Judas approached the front door, Penfold sighed heavily as he followed along. Somehow, he still felt compassion for their unusual acquaintance, and he felt bad for kicking him out like that.

The White Wonder knew, however, that their ghostly friend was more than the mere annoyance he had shown himself to be. He knocked gently, four times.

The door crept open. "Hello?"

The agent leaned forward. "Official business," he murmured.

Sticking her head out the door, Aubrey peered back and forth. "Come on in, Danger Mouse," she greeted, opening the door.

DM and company stepped inside, taking in the atmosphere of the place. It seemed like any ordinary townhouse, and yet so much had been disguised. None of them saw any trace of Agent 92.

The one-eyed mouse turned to the young sugar glider. "We need to talk to… you know," he hinted. "Where is she?"

With a heavy sigh, Aubrey guided the team up the stairway, down the hall, and outside the door to one of the rooms. "She's in here," she answered. "I have to warn you, though- ever since the whole book incident, she hasn't exactly been…"

A moment of awkward silence followed. They weren't exactly sure what to think.

Again, Aubrey sighed. "Well," she said, "let's just say she's got… perhaps, a few kangaroos loose in the top paddock."

Quickly, Judas turned around. "Where?" he barked. "Where??"

Frustrated, Aubrey turned and opened the door. "Look, just see for yourself…"

Inside the modest room, Agent 92 curled up in a fetal position on the bed. She buried her face, muttering something to herself. It wouldn't have seemed too unusual…

Aubrey bit her lip, closing the door. "She's been there since you called the other night," she explained. "She hasn't moved for anything- bathroom, meals, her favorite TV dramas… absolutely nothing." She leaned against the door, keeping her face downcast. "I hope she'll be right soon enough…"

It was then that a call came in on the agent's wristwatch. He pressed a small button, and immediately Colonel K appeared on the watch-face. "Danger Mouse," he addressed.

The White Wonder nodded. "Yes, sir?" he inquired.

"We have another urgent mission for you," Colonel K informed. "It seems as if Baron Greenback and his henchmen have been spotted at the Field Museum in Chicago, and they're bringing all of the exhibits to life."

"Good grief," the agent muttered. "We're on our way."

The colonel smiled. "Good show, DM!"

As the tiny screen flickered off, DM gestured to Penfold and Judas. "Come along, you two," he suggested. "Let's get going- we have quite a trip ahead of us."

The agent and the recruit dashed downstairs and outside, but Penfold was not as quick to respond. He sighed again, sauntering down the stairs.

Concerned, Aubrey followed her hamster friend. "You alright there, Ernest?" she queried.

Penfold stopped, glancing at the sugar glider curiously. "Tell me, Aubrey," he squeaked. "Has Agent 92 ever told you… why she's afraid of the book?"

Unsure, Aubrey shook her head. "Not really," she admitted. "It has something to do with an old legend, but I can't remember it exactly. Why?"

Shrugging, Penfold continued down the stairs and out the door. "Nothing," he lied. "Nothing at all…"

*

Meanwhile, in the city of Chicago, hundreds of people evacuated the Field Museum building- visitors and staff alike. They dared not to stay there much longer!

Inside the building, various animals roamed freely about the museum. Whether it had been a mere skeleton or a stuffed taxiderm, it hardly mattered anymore. Perhaps what people were most afraid of were the wild cougars in the wildlife exhibit, or the live raptors in the prehistory wing!

The manager of the museum paced back and forth in his room, absolutely panicked. "What am I going to do??" he wailed. "It's total chaos out there! Oh, the mayor will have my head for this!!"

The door to the manager's office opened, and a hoarse voice chuckled. "Not if these three beasts get to it first…"

Suddenly, the vicious head of a sabertooth cat peered out from behind the door, growling menacingly. Two more cats poked their heads in, pushing the door open. All three gazed upon the frightened manager, licking their chops hungrily.

No words could describe the manager's utter horror. Without even thinking, he ran out the door and out of the museum, screaming helplessly.

After a moment, Baron Greenback stepped into the office, his pet caterpillar Nero curled up on his shoulder. He wasn't afraid of the small pack of saberooths; he controlled them.

His henchmen- Stiletto, an Italian crow, and Sabrina, a New York black tabby- soon followed their boss inside. "That was easier than I thought it would be," the feline remarked. "Not as messy, either."

The Baron seated himself at the manager's desk. "Stiletto, Sabrina- get going," he order, patting Nero gently. "I want an army of vicious creatures at my command within the hour!"

Stiletto nodded. "Cie, Barone!" he answered as he and Sabrina made their way back into the museum.

Greenback chuckled evilly. "Yes, my pet," he murmured. "Everything is going according to plan. Today, Chicago… tomorrow, the world…"

*

The Mark III soared high above the streets of Chicago. The closer the agent and his team got to the museum, the more Pandemonium they saw on the streets below. More and more people started running, even to the point of evacuating any area surrounding the museum.

Penfold gasped in disbelief. "Crumbs!" he exclaimed.

Even Judas was surprised by the situation. "My gosh," he muttered. "I don't think I've seen this much chaos since… actually, I don't think I've ever seen this much chaos."

Finally, Danger Mouse found an open space near the museum entrance to park the Mark III. "Stay alert, you two," he told his two companions. "We're going in…"

*

The Field Museum seemed all too quiet as our courageous trio stepped inside. DM, of course, being the bravest of the bunch, walked ahead of the others, keeping a sharp eye out for danger. Judas tiptoed close behind him, as Penfold clutched onto the pooch's leg.

A loud bellowing noise echoed through the vast expanse of hallways. It sounded… natural, as if it had come from a wild beast… and yet it was not a sound they were familiar with.

Without a word, the agent gestured to his comrades to follow him. Quietly, they made their way down the corridor with not so much as a sound.

Suddenly, Danger Mouse spotted something unusual (but nevertheless dangerous). He pulled Penfold and Judas aside, as a large pack of wolves galloped down the hallway. Some stopped to sniff the air, but quickly move along as the rest of their pack disappeared into the surrounding rooms.

To say the least, Judas was quite confused. "Wolves?" he questioned. "What are wolves doing in the museum, let alone in the city?"

DM frowned. "I don't think they're even native to the area," he murmured. "Odd… what in the world is happening here…"

At that moment, the White Wonder and his companions were alerted by the same bellowing noise. Watching from their position, they saw a huge shaggy beast trudge down the main corridor of the museum. Huge claws could be seen growing from it's four gargantuan paws, and it's long brown fur covered every detail of it's body (though it's head, legs, and short stubby tail were distinguishable).

Penfold yelped quietly. "What is that?" he whimpered.

The agent glanced at the beast curiously. "It's not something I've seen before," he muttered, "but I think it may be a sloth."

Surprised, Judas gave his chief a sharp look. "That's a sloth??" he snapped. "No way- sloths are those little furry creatures that live in the rain-forest, hang from trees, and barely move around!"

"Not that one," Danger Mouse countered. "That is a prehistoric sloth."

A familiar chuckle caught their attention. "Clever, aren't you?"

Slowly, the heroic team turned around. Lo and behold, there stood Stiletto and Sabrina- two of Baron Greenback's top henchmen. Each of them had a black-and-green remote control device and their hands, and a wide smirk across their faces.

Again, Sabrina laughed. "Well, it looks like you've figured out our little plan," she hissed. "Fair enough…" She turned to her companion. "Stiletto, let's give our friends here a demonstration of the Baron's latest invention."

It was then that all of them noticed an exhibit not too far from where they stood- two lions, stuffed and mounted in a display case. These were no ordinary lions, though; these were vicious lions that caused many a strife back over 100 years ago, when the railway in South Africa was being built. Their very names struck fear into the hearts of their prey: the Ghost and the Darkness.

Stiletto grinned evilly, charging his control device. He glanced at Sabrina, who simply nodded in reply.

His eyes wide, Penfold cowered in his friends' shadows, grasping hold of their hands. "Oh, crikey! Oh, crumbs!" he yelped.

With the flip of a switch, Stiletto activated the control device. A green ray shot out, hitting the two lions with tremendous force. The display case broke open, sending shards of wood and glass everywhere.

Needless to say, DM was hardly amused. "Good show there," he said sarcastically. "You managed to break an expensive display case and destroy the contents."

The pooch agreed with the agent's sentiments. "Sure, the stuff's irreplaceable," he reasoned, "but really- what damage does that do us?"

A loud roar came from the debris of the display case. Sure enough, two large lions sauntered over to them- the Ghost and the Darkness, reincarnated.

Penfold shrieked in horror, jumping into DM's arms. Himself surprised, Danger Mouse handed the young hamster over to Judas, who held him close for protection.

The White Wonder suddenly became very nervous. "Alright," he murmured, "this could be a problem…"

Sabrina smirked proudly. "We'd love to stay for dinner," she remarked, walking off with Stiletto, "but we have plans… big plans." With that, the two henchmen wandered off into the museum.

As the heroic trio stood there in fear and slight confusion, another familiar voice caught their attention, this one seemingly on the wind. "Danger Mouse… Penfold… Judas…"

They all recognized that voice, but none of them were all that excited to hear from him. "What do you want?" Danger Mouse questioned.

"You seem to be in a bit of a predicament," the voice whispered. "Perhaps I could offer my services?"

Judas shook his head forcefully. "No thanks, pal," he replied. "We've had enough of your… services, thank you very much."

For a moment, DM looked at Penfold and Judas. He glanced at the Ghost and the Darkness, slowly backing them into a corner, and sighed heavily. "Well," he muttered, "we could use the back-up…"

To say the least, Judas was in shock. "Are you nuts??" he hissed. "We don't know what this guy is capable of!"

The agent glared at the pooch. "Judas, shush!" he spat. "Look… that may be true, and he may be a bit balmy-"

"Cor, you think that's an understatement?" Penfold commented.

Danger Mouse groaned in frustration and looked at the two bloodthirsty lions; perhaps he could have taken out the beasts quite easily, but he would have been risking their lives, and he knew Penfold and Judas could not handle this type of situation. "Unfortunately, it doesn't look like we have much of a choice in the matter," he pointed out, then addressing the voice. "As much as I don't like the idea… we're going to need your help."

The voice chuckled. "You know what to do…"

*

After a moment or so, a loud resounding roar shook the whole building, as if a minor earthquake had just occurred. Silence followed, but not too soon afterward had the pair of formerly ferocious felines ran from their own prey, frantically searching for a place to hide.

Of course, Baron Greenback was not in any way oblivious to this unusual scene. He stood from the desk and opened the door, letting out the three sabertooth cats. Apparently, it would take more than a pair of vicious cats to take care of such a clever mouse.

With a heavy sigh, Greenback picked up Nero from the desk and let him crawl onto his master's shoulder. "I should have expected this," he murmured, taking his cane and walking outside the office. "If you need something done right, you have to see to it yourself…"

*

Not too far away, Stiletto and Sabrina also took notice of the two cowardly lions. Needless to say, they were both confused; these were some of the most vile creatures on earth… and they were running away??

Sabrina growled, charging up her controller. "Let's move…"

*

Within minutes the Baron and his henchmen made their way into the heart of the museum. They stood there in anticipation, waiting silently for the wretched rodent and his teammates.

Meanwhile, Danger Mouse hid in one of the inner corridors with Penfold and Judas; BeagleGoose had, mysteriously, disappeared. "There they are," he whispered, gesturing to his companions. "Let's get going."

As DM made his way into the main gallery, Greenback was only too quick to take notice. "Ah, Danger Mouse," he addressed, "so good of you and your friends to join us."

"I wouldn't count on staying for much longer," the agent snapped.

Baron Greenback chuckled. "Neither should you," he remarked. "My new invention has turned this museum into a labyrinth of hidden creatures."

Penfold shrieked, hiding behind the White Wonder and the pooch. "Oh, carrots!" he whined. "Not this again! Help!"

It was then that a whirlwind appeared in the middle of the room. When the dust settled, what stood in its place was… a hyena with spotted pajamas.

To say the least, Greenback and his henchmen were confused. Who exactly was this guy, what was he doing there… and why in the world was he wearing spotted pajamas??

BeagleGoose turned to the villains, giving them a twisted evil smile. "Well, well, well," he hissed, approaching them. "So you're Baron Greenback, and these must be your henchmen." He looked around at the chaotic scene. "My, my- how disorderly. You've outdone yourself."

The Baron chuckled nervously. "Thank you?" he guessed.

Caught up in his own amusement, BeagleGoose eyed Nero. "Oh, who do we have here?" he queried.

Suddenly, Baron Greenback became very defensive. "Keep away from my Nero!" he spat.

In another quick costume change, BeagleGoose yet again donned his female disguise. "Oh, how precious!" he squealed, taking Nero in his arms. "He's just the most adorable little thing I've ever seen!"

Judas perked his head up, a wide smile across his face. "I know!" he chimed. "Isn't he the cutest??"

While everyone gave the pooch a quick double take, BeagleGoose returned to his normal attire, observing Nero. "He's so small, so compact, so flexible…" He grinned, adding a wheezy laugh.

Before anyone could act, the hyena changed into a Harlem Globetrotters basketball team outfit. He molded Nero into a spherical shape and bounced him like a basketball, dribbling the poor caterpillar and maneuvering around the Terrible Toad.

His anger building, Greenback knew that he had enough of this psycho. Acting on impulse, he tried grabbing the lost spirit with little avail, following him to an untouched exhibit- a long-necked dinosaur skeleton.

Bouncing Nero a few times at the foot of the display, BeagleGoose jumped high into the air. Once near the top, he tossed Nero through the eye socket of the skull, sending the caterpillar plummeting to the ground. "Slam dunk!" yelled the hyena, celebrating as he floated gently downwards.

When at last poor Nero hit the ground, the Baron quickly rushed to his pet's side. "Nero!" he cried, picking up the caterpillar in his arms. "Are you okay, my poor little baby?"

Once BeagleGoose landed (back into his regular clothes), he noticed the leg bones of the dinosaur. Curious, he walked over, "accidentally" bumping into it.

The whole skeleton began to shake, and some of the bones did fall off. One of those bones was the skull, and it landed right on top of Baron Greenback and Nero- sort of a temporary prison cell.

Amazed, Penfold clapped and whistled. "That was wonderful!" he cheered. "Good show!"

Quickly, DM hushed his young friend. "Don't," he suggested. "You'll only encourage him."

Stiletto and Sabrina glanced at each other. They weren't all that surprised that their boss was caught, but still- if it wasn't on Greenback's side, it was a threat to them!

Slowly, the two henchmen began turning away. "On count of three," Stiletto murmured, "we run?"

Sabrina nodded hard in reply. "Let's just get outta here!" she snapped.

At that moment, two hands grabbed their shoulders. The crow and the cat peeked over their shoulders to see…

"Leaving? So soon?" BeagleGoose jeered, smiling evilly. "I don't think so."

BeagleGoose held onto the frightened henchmen tightly as he looked around. He saw another untouched exhibit- this one with a caveman going after the same kill that a sabertooth cat and a vulture were about to claim. "Now there's an idea…"

With the snap of his fingers, Stiletto and Sabrina disappeared and soon found themselves in the display case, in their more primitive forms- Stiletto a crow, and Sabrina an overgrown cat. "Oh, geez," the feline muttered. "This is so degrading…"

Finally, BeagleGoose turned to Danger Mouse, Penfold, and Judas. "So, what do you think?" he inquired, chuckling lightly. "Am I good, or am I good?"

DM sighed. "Well, you did do a good job of apprehending Greenback and his henchmen," he commented. "Good show there."

The hyena smiled. "I knew you'd say that," he replied, taking out a pair of bifocals and a legal document. "Now, about my reward…"

This caught the agent by surprise. "Reward?" he questioned. "What reward?"

Judas nodded. "Yeah!" he barked. "You said you were doing this all out of the kindness of your heart, because of your little hero?" He pointed to Penfold, then crossed his arms.

Laughing, BeagleGoose brought the heroic trio closer. "No, that was the complimentary continental breakfast," he explained. "You see, any work that I actually do for my rescuer and his pals has to be paid for with… the transference of carnal properties." He pulled out the contract and a magnifying glass. "It's all right here in the fine print."

Danger Mouse rolled his eyes. Good grief, he thought, reading the fine print. Of all the ridiculous- just a moment! What's this? "In the event that the lost soul saves the life of his captor, the aforementioned soul may take possession of his captor's body in literal terms." Good grief- that means… Penfold will be…

Quickly, DM turned to Penfold and Judas. "This isn't good," he addressed them. "According to this contract, out friend here is allowed to take possession of Penfold!"

The pooch growled. "See?" he snapped. "Just as I expected- we should have never trusted him!"

Of course, Penfold was trying his best to remain optimistic. "Oh, come off it!" he piped up. "He likes me- we're friends! If he really wanted to, he could have tried that already!"

BeagleGoose cringed a little. "Ooh, see, there's the problem," he explained, picking up Penfold. "No offense- I really do like you- but as a lost soul, I need a body. My old one rotted away before I could actually die, so if I want to get into the afterlife… I need to die, inside a body."

The young hamster was in complete shock. His eyes were wide with fear, and his jaw hung open slightly.

"Don't worry," BeagleGoose tried to reassure him. "You don't have to die yet- just let me rent out some space in your body. I can wait until you die."

It was then that Judas swept Penfold into his own arms. "That's it, pal!" he barked. "You can take your pick of anyone else's body, but Penfold is off limits!"

The hyena grinned evilly. "Fine," he hissed. "I'm not leaving this building until I have a body… and it's gonna be one of you!" He quickly changed again, but instead of costume he changed form- into a gigantic (spotted) T-Rex!

The agent took his recruit's hand, leading them into the more secluded corridors. "Run! Run!!"

*

After a quick sprint down the hallways, Danger Mouse turned to his companions. "Judas, take Penfold and hide," he ordered. "Whatever you do, do not let him out of your sight, and do not let you-know-who get to him!"

While more than willing to comply, Judas still had some questions. "What about you?" he asked. "What are you gonna do?"

"I'm going to get an explanation for all this," DM muttered, shooing them away. "Go on! Go!"

As soon as Penfold and Judas ran off into the darker corridors of the museum, the agent looked at his watch and started punching in various numbers. "That's it," he growled. "I'm getting to the bottom of this right now!"

The tiny screen on the watch flickered on, and the face of a young Sugar Glider appeared onscreen. "Oh, hello, Danger Mouse," she chimed. "What can I-"

Quickly, Danger Mouse interrupted the young one. "I need Agent 92 here," he insisted, "now!"

Aubrey bit her lip nervously. "I'm sorry, sir," she apologized, "but I really don't think-"

DM interjected again. "This is an emergency!"

Without a word, Aubrey ran offscreen. She returned a few moments later, with a very fatigued Agent 92.

The White Wonder sighed in relief. "Agent 92," he addressed, "we have an urgent situation!"

This piqued Agent 92's interest. "What is it?" she inquired.

Danger Mouse breathed deeply. "Alright, now listen," he advised. "We've stumbled across the secret of that book you were so worried about, and-"

Shocked, Agent 92 approached the screen. "You did what??" she screamed.

Now she gets mad, DM wondered, turning his attention back to Agent 92. "In any case, we need to dispose of… him, and fast!"

The cheetah rubbed her chin in thought. "I only know one way," she answered, "but you and your friends must vow never to speak his name again."

"Fine!" the one-eyed agent snapped. "Just tell me!"

With a heavy sigh, Agent 92 nodded. "Alright," she agreed. "Whoever released him in the first place must say his name three times, consecutively, without stopping."

A small smile crossed Danger Mouse's face. That seems easy enough, he thought. Penfold could do that easily.

Of course, Agent 92 had more to say. "Once more," she continued, "he must say it convincingly- he must desire the soul's retreat, or else the soul will never leave."

Suddenly, DM became unnerved by that remark. Oh, dear… this is going to be trickier than I realized…

*

Meanwhile, Judas hobbled down the stairwell to the lower level, while Penfold held tightly to the pooch's jacket as he carried him along. "We gotta hide," Judas said, looking around frantically.

Once out of the stairwell, the two friends soon realized that they had entered the ancient Egyptian wing. Then they saw it- among the many wonderful relics, a golden chest sat on its platform, hindered only by the presence of velvet ropes.

Judas smirked. "Perfect!" he chimed, running over to the chest. "We'll be safe here."

Needless to say, Penfold was still quite nervous. "Are you sure about this, Judas?" he asked as the pooch placed him inside the chest. "What if he-"

Quickly, Judas covered the young hamster's mouth. "Quiet, or you'll jinx it," he whispered, squeezing into the chest and closing the lid. "Trust me- so long as we're completely silent, he'll never find us here."

Penfold sighed heavily. Everything was happening so fast- too fast for him to keep up with. He always knew BeagleGoose was a little out there, but not once had he suspected ulterior motives.

Concerned, Judas leaned over to Penfold. "Hey, little buddy," he murmured. "You feeling okay?"

The young hamster said nothing for a moment, gazing up at the pooch's face. He groaned, burying his face in Judas' jacket.

A small frown crossed Judas's face as he gently rubbed Penfold's back. "It's okay," he reassured. "We're all a little gullible sometimes, especially with people we think we can trust." He thought for a moment and added, "Of course, I dunno what you saw in that guy anyway…"

Needless to say, that remark did little to console Penfold. "He said he was my friend," he mumbled.

The pooch sighed. "I dunno what to tell you," he replied. "There's gonna be a lot of people who wanna be your friend. You have to be sure, though, that they want who you are and not what you have."

A light sniffling alerted Judas. Thinking it was Penfold, he brought the young hamster closer. "It's okay, buddy," he cooed. "We'll got out of this mess soon."

Quietly, Penfold looked up from the fold in Judas' jacket. "That's not me," he whispered worriedly. "I thought it might have been you."

Before Judas could say a word, the two comrades glanced aside, where a familiar friend (er, fiend) was curled up next to them. "Oh, that was so beautiful!" he bawled, blowing his nose with a handkerchief. "So touching… so heartwarming…" He stopped, wiping his face and looking at the two frightened friends. "I'm sorry… where were we?"

With a loud scream, Penfold and Judas jumped out of the chest and ran out of the Egyptian exhibit. BeagleGoose popped his head up, looking around. "Yoo-hoo," he chimed. "Come out, come out, wherever you are…"

*

Danger Mouse ran down the corridors, searching relentlessly for his two companions. He occasionally stopped to toss a bothersome beast aside, but nevertheless he pressed on.

Suddenly, the agent had been ran into and rolled over by a tremendous force. As he stood, he noticed what had caused him to fall over- Penfold and Judas, flat on their faces.

Although not amused with their bimblings, DM had other priorities on his mind. "Penfold," he addressed, helping his young friend to his feet. "Are you alright, Penfold?"

Penfold groaned and wobbled about a little, but he was otherwise fine. "Yes, chief?" he inquired.

Breathing a sigh of relief, Danger Mouse knelt down beside Penfold. "I've called Agent 92 and found a way to get rid of… him," he murmured. "However, you must listen intently."

The hamster nodded, leaning close. "Yes, sir?"

"Here's the plan," DM began. "The only way to stop him is to say his name, three times, consecutively. That means, say his name three times in a row- no stopping, not even for a breath." He sighed heavily and added, "Also, you must say it convincingly- you must want him to leave!"

Unsure of himself, Penfold bit his lip nervously. He then looked up at DM, who gave him a small smile; then to Judas, who had just picked himself up from the floor, gasping for breath. These were his real friends… and right now, they were in trouble, and only he could save them!

A wide smile crossed Penfold's chubby cheeks. "I'll give it my best shot," he assured.

It was then that a tsk, tsk sound caught their attention. Sure enough, BeagleGoose was right behind them. "I'm so sorry, fellows," he replied, "but I'm afraid we had a deal… and I'm not leaving without my share."

Judas suddenly became very defensive. "We signed no contract," he growled. "You can't force us to do anything!"

BeagleGoose laughed. "Please- letting me out of the book was all that needed to be done!" he cackled, stopping to glance at the courageous team. "Not only that… but, as a bodiless spirit, I can do as I please. Sooner or later, you'll get tired of running…" He grinned menacingly, "… and I'll be right there when it happens."

Quickly, the agent turned to his recruit. He whispered a quick plan in his ear, then turned his attention back to the fiend. "You have no idea who you're messing with, are you?" he remarked.

Smiling, BeagleGoose began circling the White Wonder. "I would assume so," he hissed. "You're more popular than you think you are, Danger Mouse. So many speak of you, and yet so very little of them know who you really are."

Confused, DM followed BeagleGoose with his eyes. "What are you getting at?" he questioned.

Again, BeagleGoose chuckled. "I could tell you," he offered, "but it comes at quite a price…"

As the hyena ghoul began to make his move, a noise from behind distracted him. "Hey! Pajama Boy! Back here!"

Surprised, BeagleGoose turned around to see Judas, jumping up and down and waving his arms in the air. "I'm talking to you, Stupid!" he taunted. "You don't scare me! You're nothing but a big wimp! Come on, Pajama Boy- come here and fight like a dog!"

A gurgling growl escaped BeagleGoose as he made his way over to the pooch. "If you say so…"

While BeagleGoose was distracted, Danger Mouse glanced at Penfold. "Ready?"

Swallowing hard, Penfold nodded in reply. Alright, he thought. I'm not going to be afraid… I can do this… I'm not going to be afraid…

*

Judas hurried down the steps, back downstairs to where he was before. This better work, or so help me…

All of a sudden, Judas' shoelace caught a stray hook. He slipped and fell to the floor, struggling to get free.

A misty shadow loomed over the pooch. "What's the matter, Judas?" he jeered. "Afraid to fight like a dog??"

Although fearful, Judas knew he had to be brave. "So what?" he snapped. "I could still take you!"

BeagleGoose assumed his natural form, still hovering over Judas. "I hardly think so," he chuckled. "I could, however, spare you the torture-"

"Save your speech for someone who cares," a new voice interrupted, apparently that of Danger Mouse, following his recruit down the steps. "You may have an advantage over us, but that doesn't mean we won't keep fighting to the bitter end."

The pooch's ears flattened in fear and disappointment. "We will?" he squeaked.

After taking in the situation, BeagleGoose shrugged nonchalantly. "Suit yourself," he answered, rubbing his hands together. "Wow, what fine specimens we have here… but which one to keep?"

Scared beyond belief, Judas shot a look at DM. "Where is Penfold??" he spat quietly. "I thought you said he'd take care of everything!"

The agent kept a straight face. "Patience, Judas," he advised. "He'll come around… hopefully…"

Finally, BeagleGoose made his decision. "Now I know what I want…" He loomed over the agent and his companion, ready to execute his deathly motives.

Yet again, another voice cried out. "Stop!"

For a moment, there was silence. All eyes turned to Penfold, standing at the top of the stairwell as he gazed menacingly down at BeagleGoose. "You said you wanted to be my friend," he said, a tear rolling down his cheek, "but you're no friend of mine!"

BeagleGoose dropped his jaw in disbelief. "Hey, Penfold!" he addressed, chuckling nervously. "Come on, old buddy! We can work this out, right?"

This only made Penfold more determined. "I won't let you hurt my friends!" he snapped, more tears escaping him.

Judas looked over at the agent. "Wow," he murmured. "I had no idea Penfold could be so… brave."

Danger Mouse smirked. "He's certainly full of surprises," he remarked.

Then, BeagleGoose came up with a last-ditch effort. "Okay," he sighed, holding his hands up in surrender. "I won't touch your friends, or you. Just give me some time, and we can find something that works for us." He hugged the hamster, smiling. "Come on, kid- what do you say?"

An eerie silence followed. Penfold smiled at the thought of having his friends left alone, yet at the same time he noticed the sly grin crossing BeagleGoose's snout. He knew what had to be done…

"BeagleGoose, BeagleGoose, BeagleGoose!"

A violent wind swept through the museum, this one far stronger than the last two. Danger Mouse, Penfold, and Judas all grabbed on to something to keep them from flying away. Random objects, exhibits, and wild beasts flew through the air, and BeagleGoose was caught in the heart of this storm. Soon enough, the wind carried him far far away, never to be seen again by mortal eyes.

The wind died down, and slowly everything in the museum began to return to it's rightful place. All the exhibits were restored, all of the museum patrons returned, and the Baron and his henchmen lay unconscious in the midst of it all.

The agent and his confidants glanced at each other. They had absolutely no idea what had just happened.

At that moment, the agent's watch-phone began beeping. Curious, they all took a look at the tiny videoscreen. "Danger Mouse," said a chipper cheetah, "this is Agent 92 and Aubrey. We enjoyed the walk we had together, and we were wondering if you'd like to join us again next weekend for another stroll in the Greens."

DM nodded. "Of course," he agreed. "By the way, 92- thanks for the information. It came in good use."

Perplexed, Agent 92 cocked her eyebrows. "Excuse me?" she inquired.

Suddenly, Judas poked his head into the conversation. "You know," he hinted. "That weird guy… the one from the spellbook…"

Agent 92 thought hard for a moment, and gave them an even more curious look. "I have no idea what you're talking about," she admitted.

Interesting, Danger Mouse noticed. Only Penfold, Judas, and I seem to recall this event. I wonder… perhaps Greenback and his henchmen?

Glancing out of the corner of his eye, DM watched the two henchmen prop themselves up and rub their aching heads. Clearly, they had no idea of what happened either.

A smile crossed the agent's face. "Send a patrol car around here," he informed. "We have Greenback, Stiletto, and Sabrina in custody."

The cheetah grinned. "I'll put a lock on your coordinates and send them over right away," she answered. "Over and out, then."

Judas gave Danger Mouse a confused look. "What just happened?" he queried. "How come only we remember?"

"Probably because we were the only witnesses," DM explained. "The Baron and his henchmen can't recall because we were in the lower level of the building. As far as everyone else knows, nothing happened." He cocked his eyebrow a bit. "Even we have to accept it, to a degree- never speak of this to anyone, no matter what."

The pooch tilted his head slightly. "So, what are we going to tell them?" he inquired.

Looking around, the agent smirked. "Well, we could tell them we took a bit of a holiday," he suggested. "At least we're in the right place."

Excited, Judas stood. "Let's go!" he exclaimed. "Come on- we haven't got all day here!"

DM laughed, helping Penfold to stand as they walked over to a ticket booth. "I'll see what I can arrange," he assured.

For a moment, Penfold just stood there. He was confused; for one shining moment, he was a hero- a brave hero- and almost no one was there to remember that!

Suddenly, Penfold felt something slip under his arms, lifting him off the ground and onto a pair of shoulders. "Let's get going, buddy," Judas remarked. "We gotta hurry if we're gonna get tickets before the rush."

The young hamster smiled, looking onward over the crowds of people from Judas' view. He always loved this view, and for that one moment he felt that tall in his own bravery. Well, at least I won't have to imagine it for a while, he thought. I already have a perfect view from right here…

*

A few days later, Danger Mouse and his teammates found themselves back in the Greens, where this whole fiasco started. At least now they could put everything behind them… for now.

Penfold busily flipped through the pictures he took at the field museum, and Aubrey was having a hard time getting a good look at them. Often times, she'd stop him and reach back into the pile to retrieve a peculiar or attractive picture. Either way, both of them were having fun.

Meanwhile, Danger Mouse and Judas sat with Agent 92, sipping tea and joking lightly. Of course, Judas couldn't really enjoy himself much; the jokes were confusing, and the tea was too… clean for his taste.

After a while, Judas stood from his place. "I'll be back," he said. "I'm just gonna make some tea with river water."

Surprised, Agent 92 swallowed hard to try and inform Judas. "No, wait!" she cried. "That water's dirty!"

Judas gave the cheetah an odd glance. "So?" he questioned. "I don't care, so long as it doesn't have soap bubbles." With that, he continued down to a nearby creek.

To say the least, Agent 92 was quite puzzled. "Soap bubbles?"

"Don't ask," DM advised, sipping his own tea.

Agent 92 chuckled. "Danger Mouse, you are quite an interesting fellow," she remarked. "I don't see how you can stand to be surrounded by all these characters!"

Before making his reply, the White Wonder looked around. He saw Penfold, playing "keep-away" with Aubrey over yet another picture from their recent trip. He then noticed Judas, fussing over getting a glass of river water that didn't have some type of creature swimming in it!

Danger Mouse smirked. "Perhaps so, Agent 92," he replied, "but honestly- I wouldn't have it any other way…"

*

*

THE END!!

*

PS- Again, very sorry this one took so long! I just kept getting distracted… between real life and other writings… oh, boy- it's just too much work! Hey, I got it done, though- tell me what you think! ^_^

By the way… in case you were wondering, the skins of the two lions- the Ghost and the Darkness- are actually on display at the Field Museum in Chicago. Whether just the skins are displayed or if they have been set up in a diorama I can't recall… but I'd say it's still an interesting exhibit. ~_^