Salamandastron

Gullihan was just like all bank voles, at least who they were stereotyped to be, Buffheart quickly decided. The vole was one to complain about everything, but then again, if Buffheart had been the bank vole, he would have been complaining too. The thing was… Buffheart wasn't in the bank vole, so the goodbeast was getting on his nerves.

The first thing that happened was that Buffheart had gone and let the vixen Suna carry all the supplies, much to the ire of one Gullihan. He said it was one thing for her to take the infant, but quite another for her to carry the supplies, when in truth they really couldn't trust her. Gullihan didn't want to tell him that the true trust test was waiting, that of a badger lord and whether or not he would let him into the mountain.

So away they marched down the hot sands, hopping to make the mountain before to long, because the sun was beating down upon them, making them all hot and sticky with the sweat. Not only this was complained about, but so was the fact that the sun was beating down upon them and the wind was a very dry one.

This concerned Buffheart somewhat, not so much that Gullihan didn't complain, but the fact that the mouse babe, Martin, concerned him. Yes, Martin had always been a quite fellow even when he had first met him when he had come to Salamandastron. But even an infant knew to complain about the harshness of the journey. Yet there was no crying from the little bundle. He hoped that the vixen hadn't done anything to him.

They kept walking on and on, the sun burning down upon their skulled, causing the skin below their fur to blister. But they soon came to the mountain's base, with it soon towering above them. The vixen glanced up at the immense structure. "Sights behold… what a structure."

"Eulalia!" The hare yelled as loud as he could.

A couple of hares peered out of the window, slingshots in the paws. "I say sah, wots ya doin' bringing a picklin' vermin here, wot wot?"

"I bring…" Buffheart said, only to feel a cachunk on his forehead as a stone hit it, knocking him out cold.

"Help! Help!" the bank vole yelled, grabbing Buffheart and dragging him to cover. "Hurry, you vermin scum! Before they kill you and the babe!"

"Let me handle this!" she hissed at them. She then held out the mousebabe. "You see this… I have a hostage… I would like to talk to whoever is in charge… now!"

"Wot is she doing?" Buffheart said, raising his head, then clapping a paw to a spot where the stone had hit. "Good heavens… we've got some pretty good new recruits, jolly old chaps!"

"She… she… she said she's … she's going to eat the mousebabe!" the bank vole said, suddenly springing from cover and rushing at her and tackling her.

Suna fell to a sitting position and glared at him. "What do you think you're doing?"

"Saving the mousebabe from the likes of you!" he said, snatching Martin away and running back to Buffheart, only to trip. Buffheart sat up quickly and took the infant from his arms as the bank vole buried his nose deep in the sand.

A face appeared at the window that the two hares had been at, though they could still be heard. "See sah! It be a bloomin foxy vermin type!"

"And did I give the two of you permission to assault our guests?" said the badger lord. "May I ask where the mouse babe is?"

"Over there…" she said, shrugging her shoulders. "Someone thought I was going to eat him."

"And why would that be?" the badger lord asked.

"Because, I used a trick on those to rapscallions to make them think I might harm the babe, which I wouldn't, so that they would stop slinging stones. Obviously they have no common sense if they've hit one of their own," she said, glaring at the two hares, whom looked ready to fight her.

"Sah… she has a point!" Buffheart called out. "Hand them over to me and I'll teach them the meaning of hitting a senior officer in the long patrol over the head!"

"Ahh… I see you've succeeded in you're mission. Congratulations are in order Buffheart,"

"Just let me at the scoff sah!" the hare said.

"Hold on a blooming flippin second," the first hare said, frowning at the badger lord.

"His mission was to bring back a vermin!" the other said.

"If you can call her vermin, then yes. His mission was to bring back a vixen vermin, a bumbling bank vole and a useless infant. Mission defiantly accomplished," the badger lord said grinning ear to ear.

"Why do I suddenly not feel that it is an important mission," Buffheart said, shaking his head at his companions. "I feel degraded sah!"

"If you've figured out who the infant is, you'll know that once he's older, he won't be useless. Nor will those two be. They have great destinies, as do we all,"

"Come along lady vixen… we must head to where we can climb up," the hare nodded and they went through a crack in the wall. A ladder was thrown down and they were all bade to climb up.

"Hells and fur teeth… a vixen fox," a hare said, glowering at Suna., causing her to feel comfortable.

"Stop! This vixen is no enemy… very rarely have those of species known to be vermin have actually crossed the line to be a goodbeast, but there are such beasts!" the badger lord said. "I am Lord Boar the fighter."

Buffheart then introduced them and Suna curtsied while the bank vole just gaped in awe. "Now, where are those two bally nuisances who decided to cream my noggin."

"Over there…" the badger lord said, indicating to the two hares who were looking about sheepishly, as if they hadn't done anything. Buffheart stepped forward to give them a stern talking to, when he suddenly felt himself hugged tightly.

"Love! You're home!" said the female hare.

"Hello Lupin, I am glad to see you again marm," he said. She glared at him and was about to hit him with her ladle when she saw the lump on his head.

"How did that get there," she asked. He glanced over to where the two hares were standing and she turned on them and began to chase them around the hall. "How dare you clobber my husband on the head!"

Laughter came from everyone, including Suna.