A Word from the Author
Ok you guys!! I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry! Please don't kill me!
...Whew...Ok. Take it slowly...Good news is, my other computer is fixed and virus free! (Halleluia!) The bad news...Well, somehow I lost a whole bunch of my files to the virus or something, including Luigi's Mansion and Super Mario World...
Yeah. I know. I could just go and write it again. But while my net connections were down, I wrote all the way up to chapter 12...Now it's all gone, and I've lost all my gusto to rewrite all that. Until then, I'm working on other projects...Like this one!
For one, I don't own Conker or any of the characters or settings in this story. They belong to Rare, who have betrayed me by switching to Microsoft...They'll pay for it in the end, when they go bankrupt...That's right, Rare! You'll come crawling back to Nintendo, begging for forgiveness...Oh...Er, anyway...
Secondly, this'll be my first try at an original fic, not novelizing a plot to an exsisting game. So, in this case, I'm only going to update when I feel like it. Pressure makes me lose interest in writing. If I can't have fun writing, then I won't.
And finally, a big thanks to all my readers for their support on my other fics, and hopefully my future ones.
Well, I hope you all like this one!
Skulls & Squirrels
Chapter 1: Meeting Old Friends
Conker was miserable. Simple as that.
He wasn't always this way. There had been a time when the red squirrel had lived happily. Back then, he had a small, but well-kept house, and he spent his days with his girlfriend, Berri, or making the occasional trip down the The Cock and Plucker for some good coversation with whoever was there (not to mention Conker liked alchohal).
That was before he woke up one morning with a terrible headache in a strange land of talking cogwheels, drunken scarecrows, angry pitchforks, and a tyrannical panther monarch.
Now, Berri was dead, and Conker was king of the bizzare country known as Windy. He wanted nothing to do with it, but he had sort of been forced there by those obnoxious critters that he had helped in his quest to return home. The rodent longed for his simple life again, to wander through woodland near his abode with Berri, or to get totally intoxicated at the bar, knowing all he'd have next morning was a hangover.
Conker was miserable.
On this particular afternoon, he sat in the huge throne room of the imposing castle, which loomed over Windy, the darkness of the pillared chamber reflecting his mood. Today, in particular, he thought of Berri. He missed her terribly, and partially blamed himself for her demise. He longed to see her beauty, he smile. Hear her laugh in that somewhat ditzy manner. For the past few nights, he had been plauged by nightmares of her lifeless body, drifting through the cold vacuum of space.
He needed someone to talk to, and not one of his so-called "subjects."
"Hey you. Guard," Conker called out into the shadows. A couple of helmeted weasels carrying pikes emerged.
"Yes, sire?" the taller of the two hissed.
Conker tipped his always loose crown back up onto his head. "Go get me...General Rodent. Yeah. Get him."
The weasel guards bowed and shuffled off. Conker sighed. Rodent had become his general after he had taken the reigns of the kingdom. If anything, the little guy was the only one of these idiots he actually liked...sort of. But it wasn't Rodent he wanted to talk to...
When he looked up again from his thoughts, Rodent stood before him, looking as comical as ever in his little shell of body armor and his huge glasses. "You called, your highness?" the nerdy grey squirrel said in that gratingly high voice of his, flicking his bushy tail about nervously.
"For one," Conker moaned. "don't call me that. Listen. I've been king for a couple of weeks now, yet no one's come to me and told me how Windy's doing. You know, problems and such."
Rodent looked quizzically at Conker "What are you getting at, Conker?" he asked.
"Isn't the king supposed to perform some administrative functions or something?" Conker answered.
"Oh. Well, not really," Rodent said. "You tell us what to do, we do it! That's how it worked in the past."
Now Conker was confused. "But...I'm king," he said slowly. "A king is supposed to take care of his country, right?"
Suddenly, Rodent burst out laughing. Conker watched as the other squirrel rolled about on the floor. "What's so funny?" Conker asked, annoyed.
Once the laughing had died down to chuckles, Rodent answered "I'm sorry, sir. It's just that that's a funny joke...King taking care of his country. Heeheehee!"
Conker shook his head. "Ok. Whatever," he said. "You just keep an eye on the place 'till I get back."
As Conker walked away, he heard Rodent's squeaky voice. "Where're you going, Conker?"
The red squirrel was quiet for a moment..."Out for a drink," he said at last, and stepped through the huge double-doors at the other end of the room.
That night was dark and rainy, just like the eavning when Conker had stumbled off into the darkness and into his current situation. Though it was foggy and cold outside, the atmosphere inside The Cock and Plucker was rather cozy, what with the lantern light and quiet jazz music performed by the weasel band. The forlorn squirrel sat at the bar, gulping down the last of his second scotch. It wasn't all that crowded tonight, with a few other rodents here and there and a gang of monks sitting in a shadowy corner.
Conker gave a heavy sigh, pushing the empty glass away. Already he was feeling the effects of the alchohal numbing his brain. He figured he should stop now, or who knows where he could end up the next day. Besides, his thoughts were still on his long-lost girlfriend...
The burly bartender came over. "D'ya want anythin' else?"
Conker hiccuped. "No thankyou," he said, slightly slurred. "I should probably quit while I'm still concious."
"Yeh always seem so down when'ervr I see ya," the bartender said, picking up Conker's glass and taking an old rag to it to clean it. "What's got yeh troubled, friend?"
"Well, it'sa long story," Conker muttered. He didn't much feel like describing his entire situation. "I'd rather not talk about it."
"Yeh say that every time ye're here," the muscular squirrel said. "Woudln' it be best if'n yeh got it off yer chest? If yeh keep lettin' it stagnate, then it'll just come back t'ya even worse at some point in th' future."
He had a good point. Conker did want to tell somebody, even if it was just to make him feel better. He just wished he could put some of sorrows away for good. Maybe change something..."Well," he said. "alright. If ya think it'll help...Well, it all started when-"
The bushy-tailed ruler nearly toppled out of his chair in surprise at the sound of the small, girlish voice. Turning around, Conker was greeted with the sight of two old friends: a nervous looking turtle, and a little mouse with yellow fur. His shocked face split into a smile.
"Pipsy! Tiptup!" he said happily, standing up and approaching them with open arms. "I haven't seen you guys in ages!"
The mouse named Pipsy jumped up with a joyful squeak and gave the squirrel a hug, which he returned. It had been a good number of years since he had seen them, the last time being when he had travelled to Timber Island to help battle a alien hog named Wizpig.
"We've been looking all over for you, Conker," Tiptup spoke in that somewhat uneasy voice of his. "Pipsy and I were in the neighborhood, and figured we'd look you up. A weird scarecrow tipped us off on where to find you." The turtle's eyes darted left and right, scanning the tavern's patrons.
Pipsy hopped up and down excitedly. "It's great to see you again, Conker!"
The bartender looked down at them. "Friends of yers, eh?"
"Yeah," Conker said. "Get'm whatever they want on me!"
Once the trio had all taken seats at the bar, drinks in hand (Tiptup got a bottle of Pond Scum ale, while Pipsy was given a lemonade), stories of what had happened recently started to pass around. Apparantly, Tiptup and Pipsy had been invited to the grand re-opening of Timber's racetracks, which were under the tiger's management since his parents had retired. On the way, they had both run into each other in Windy, and decided to see their old squirrel buddy. Only Conker remained silent, nodding and chuckling here and there.
"So, Conker," Tiptup said later on. "What have you been up to? How's Berri doing?"
Conker looked sullen and stared down at his feet. Realizing he had said aomething wrong, Tiptup tried to recover. "Well...did something...?"
"Berri's gone," Conker said, barely audiable over the music, and there was a little sniffle. The squirrel rested his head on the bartop, looking just about on the verge of tears.
There was a long pause. Eventually, Pipsy spoke up "I'm sorry, Conker...We didn't know-"
"No. It's alright." Conker kept staring off into space as he spoke. "I need to tell someone what happened. But I warn you...It ain't pretty."
So, Conker told them his story. They reacted in shock, of course, to several parts. Pipsy made several disgusted noises when the Great Mighty Poo was mentioned, and Tiptup shivered during the telling of the zombies. The red furred squirrel removed some bits of it, such as the sacrifice of the baby dinosaur, as not to upset Pipsy. And at several points, Conker would go quiet, doing this most often when describing what happened during the assault against the Tediz.
When he had finished, silence hung in the air around them, save for the background music. Conker took a long swig of his drink, then said "Well, here I am now. King Conker...Bleh." He belched loudly.
"That's...awful, old pal," Tiptup said, now looking throughly depressed. "And to think, you actually died several times."
"Hmm?" Conker took a look at his terrapin friend. "What did you say? About me dying?"
Tiptup gulped. "Er...Well, you said yourself you met the grim reaper, and that he said squirrels have several lives. That must've been real scary!"
An idea was forming in Conker's half-blurred mind. Gregg had said that squirrels have extra lives. But, if that was true...
Conker was suddenly grinning from ear-to-furry ear. "I think I might know a way I can save Berri!" he said, unable to contain his sudden excitement. He jumped up, started to charge out the door, then stopped, turning back to his friends. "Thanks, you guys!" he called. "You're true blue mates!" And then, he was gone.
The two animals stared out the door after him, mouths hanging open. The squirrel barkeep came over and looked out into the rain as well.
"So, which one of yeh is payin' for 'im?" the big creature asked.
Alright! There you have it! Believe me, things get a lot wackier in the next chapter...A Deal with Death!
Until then, your reveiws are appreciated!