Summer vacation is a good thing. Sun, travel, and some way overdue relaxation. For me, it means finally having the time to get some writing done. Major thanks to Yunno and ontheair for giving me the extra motivation to actually finish this chapter, much appreciated.
Copyright information: Following its $7.4 billion purchase of Pixar, Disney began to get a bit more ambitious in acquiring new property. They were like "Hey, we've got more money than even exists, we can just buy whatever we don't have now". With that, as part of an elaborate 13-stage plan to possess the Looney Tunes, Loonatics Unleashed is currently owned by The Walt Disney Company. Musical number probably soon to follow.
Chapter 4: Soaring Gonzalez
"…pleased to have this celebration here today. It's an honor to welcome everyone, to which I say to all, hola, salway tai, na-ho, *finger snap*, , and hello. Thank-you all, very much". With these closing words, Sasha finished her speech to the enormous mass of guests of Schlesinger, who quickly replied with a warm roar of applause.
Taking a much needed deep breath, the young lady quickly smiled to the appreciative crowd. Mr. Precudor approached her, firmly shaking her hand in great support, allowing her to take her seat with the rest of the group on the stage.
The small ensemble seated before the enormous crowd was simply enthralled by the energy present before them. The streets were now lined with inhabitants from countless different planets and species, all presenting their own unique way of cheering the festival. Lexi's hearing, though advanced as it was, could scarcely distinguish the variety of claps, applause, and shouts surrounding them. Nor the blends of music and instruments that saturated the planet's atmosphere, creating a very lively and infectious vigor in the air.
The chatter and commotion filled the air around the grandstand, reaching all the way from the crowd seated in front to the skyscrapers far above. The sun shone bright warmth on the large crowd, illuminating the streamers and confetti raining from the sky above, and gleaming on the traffic of flying vehicles throughout the atmosphere. Slam had to raise a hand to his eyes, trying to see the tops of the skyscrapers that disappeared into the hazy sky above.
Photographers and reporters from many different planets had lined the surrounding streets, all trying to get a good look at the start of the festival. Ace, with his enhanced vision allowing him to see all around, was able to see the different types of cameras, many of which looked very different from the ones back home. Instead of quick flashes of white light, a few of the cameras emitted a soft green glow, while others gave off rapid blue beeps.
But of all the members witnessing this testament to the universe's vastness, none were more flabbergasted than Rev. As not only a speedster, but an avid bird of science, he had a natural tendency to constantly explore the ways and limits of the world around him. Architecture, technology, biology, so much from the existence of the universe was present before him. To think, that there was so much more to learn about, none of which was available to him back on Acmetropolis, swarming around him now.
Perhaps it was just the sun or the camera lights, but a small tear came to the red roadrunner's eye.
"Par-don me, Senor Roadrunner, but you seem a tad irritated in the 'ol ojos," came the voice seated next to Rev. Snapping out of his small trance, Rev turned to Jose Rodriguez, sitting crossed legged with his arms behind his head, and looking up at the bird.
Slightly embarrassed, Rev quickly wiped the tear from his eye to give Rodriguez his full attention. "Sorry. I'm-just-really-exciting-right-now-cause-I've-never-been-anywhere-like-this-in-the-universe-which-kind-of-has-to-do-with-the-fact-that-we-just-recently-relocated-away-from-Acmetropolis-and-haven't-really-gotten-to-travel-around-the-galaxy-except-for-this-one-time-we-had-to-rescue-Duck-on-an-asteroid-but-I-guess-that-wouldn't-really-count-since…"
Right away, Rev stopped himself from rambling. Remembering how slowly Rodriguez spoke and walked, he felt like he was giving the mouse too much information to understand. And he didn't want to irritate anyone, especially since he was a guest on the planet.
"Sorry Mr. Jose," Rev stated, trying hard to mask his enthusiasm and slowing his speech, "I just tend to talk really fast, especially when I get excited". He was sure that by now, he had annoyed Rodriguez terribly.
"No trouble, but only Senor Precudor calls me Jose. Everyone calls me "Dawdle" Rodriguez," the small mouse slowly responded, causing Rev to smile in surprised appreciation, "and my cousin always talks very quickly, and we work very close together, so I got it figured out".
It caught Rev off-guard to have someone respond so easily to him. Having Mr. Precudor understand him when they arrived was already a pleasant experience, but Rodriquez seemed naturally too sluggish to keep up with the speedster. I really wonder who this cousin is that everyone keeps mentioning? he thought to himself.
By this point, the crowd was beginning to disperse from the street intersections. There was a lot of chattering around the stage as numerous visitors made their way to different regions of the planet, sure to enjoy the festivities of the day. The other stage guests also stood up and began to talk amongst themselves. Growing more excited, and even more curious, Rev turned again to Rodriguez.
"Well, I guess that would be alright," Rodriguez responded (slightly cutting off Rev's sentence), lifting himself up to stand on his chair, "I'd be happy to explain on the way".
The others were talking nearby. "…who are the dominant race on a small planet about three galaxies from here. The inhabitants have never actually named their planet, so out of respect, it's the only known planet that remains intentionally unnamed". Sasha was busy describing a few of the many species that had come to the festival to Slam and Lexi. Mr. Precudor and Ace were talking with a few reporters, while Acregh began to make his way away from the stage.
"We'll have to get to the southern region of the planet. The limousine should get us there in an hour," sighed Rodriguez, seeming a bit disappointed. Rev too felt sorry that they'd have to take so long, but didn't want to make anyone upset by seeming ungrateful.
It was then that Acregh passed by the two, sulking past the stage. "You know, I'd have thought you'd just fly your way to wherever you darn want," the officer stated very coldly. Again looking from under his black hat, the man gazed the roadrunner down, giving him a very uncomfortable chill in his feathers. Like Ace before, Rev couldn't figure out why this person, who'd they barely knew, had shown so much hostility toward the Loonatics. He couldn't act like this to everyone, could he?
"That's an excellent idea Acregh," cut in Mr. Precudor, apparently done with the reporters. "Mr. Roadrunner, you have my full permission to travel the skies of our planet. Senor Rodriguez knows this planet like few others do, he'd be an excellent guide to wherever you wish", proclaimed the energetic mayor. Hearing this made Rev start bouncing a bit on his feet, smiling as large as his beak would allow.
Sneering, Acregh just continued on his way. He didn't even take a backward glance, just trotted into the large crowd out of sight.
"Hey doc," called Ace suddenly from the stage to Mr. Precudor, "I had a question 'bout them fancy cameras. Know where ya can get one?" Waving farewell to Rev and Rodriguez, the mayor walked over to the rabbit, leaving the two free to leave.
Setting Rodriguez gently on his head, Rev prepared to launch into the sky traffic above. "If you fly high enough," explained Rodriguez as he sat down for flight, "you'll be able to soar above the planet without any vehicles to get in the way".
Wow-is-this-ever-exciting! I-can't-wait-to-get-into-the-skies-and-really-see-this-planet,-man,-is-this-gonna-be-awesome! Rev thought eagerly, still bouncing a bit on his feet. He planted himself firmly on the grassy ground away from the stage, enough to give himself some distance for takeoff. Looking into the skies far above, he found a gap between the flying traffic. Perfect.
Wings extended. Rodriguez holding tightly on. Red eyes facing straight above. Focusing on flying high into the atmosphere. 3.…2.…1.…
In mere seconds, the fiery wings had propelled the duo off the ground and soaring through the skies. Wind roared past Rev's face as they traveled past the lines of levitating vehicles, filled with countless vehicles that sped through the atmospheric highway. Climbing higher and faster, the two soon reached beyond any other object in the sky, leaving open space for them to safely travel.
Rev instantly slowed down so that he was floating calmly in the sky. Taking a good look around was simply breathtaking. From high above they could see a never ending abundance of city blocks heading to one edge of the planet. In another direction began rows and rows of agricultural fields. Layers of vegetation, one above the other, made numerous designs of very bizarre growing regions. Still more land stretched past the misty edge of the planet, farther than Rev's glowing eyes could see.
"Eh, in that a direction Roadrunner," came Rodriguez's voice, breaking him out of his gaze. "Oh-sorry," apologized Rev, heading in the indicated direction, "But-the-size-of-this-planet,-uh-I-mean-Schlusa-uh-Shinzli-eh-Tzleson-a-well-you-know-what-I-mean,-is-just-really-incredible-but-I-guess-you-already-knew-that-cause-you're-the-one-giving-directions-so-you-probably-don't-need-to-be-told-again".
Easily resting on Rev, the small mouse slowly responded as the wind whipped past the airborne individuals. "Oh yes, I've seen quite a lot of this planet. Me and my cousin work all over the galaxy, but always stop in to visit".
"So,-if-you-don't-mind-me-asking,-just-who-is-this-cousin-of-yours-that-we're-going-to-see?" Rev asked, really hoping to have his question answered. With the time they had to travel through the sky, it seemed like a great time for conversation.
"Well, my cousin is known as the fastest mouse in all of the universe," explained Rodriguez, "and appropriately so. He's broken every recorded relay record, holds the fastest time in the most renowned races, and has yet to be matched by any living or mechanical competitor".
"Really?" asked Rev curiously, "well-I'll-be-I-mean-that's-pretty-amazing-that-in-all-the-universe-which-has-trillions-of-organisms-that-the-fastest-of-the-fastest-is-here-today-which-would-make-sense-since-this-is-a-festival-for-the-whole-universe-and-say-do-they-also-have-the-universe's-tallest-being-or-maybe-the-oldest-or-something-like-that?"
Rodriguez just stared back at Rev, apparently not sure if he was being serious or not. "I don't know about that, but my cousin has become a universal celebrity because of his speed. He's also an expert in aerodynamics, which helps him to design vehicles for planets that can travel faster and more effectively. He's quite smart, you know".
Rev, still sailing quickly through the air, accelerated a bit upon hearing more about this cousin. Well I'm sure he's plenty quick and smart, probably not quite as much as me, Rev thought to himself, but hey, if he's a universal celebrity then who knows, maybe he comes pretty close. The usually humble roadrunner was beginning to feel a little competitive.
Not sensing his attitude, Rodriguez kept talking as they passed more skyscrapers. "I work with my cousin in building vehicles. Being small has it's advantages".
Trying not to be rude, Rev decided to remain modest while the two continued their flight across Schlesinger. "So-what's-your-cousin's-name-Mr.-Rodriguez?"
The small mouse chuckled a bit. "Well, his full name is Salvador Pedro Emanuel Estaban Dominic Yemen Gonzalez, but everyone knows him as…"
But suddenly there was no need for Rodriguez to continue explaining. A large flashing billboard was floating in the sky high above the ground nearby. It wasn't as high as Rev was soaring, but still enough for the two to see, and hear, clearly. Projecting images like a giant television, it immediately caught Rev's attention.
Presenting, the speed demon of the galaxy.
The fastest mouse in all the universe…
In the most daring spectacle of recorded history, Speedy plans to brave the Asced Pregbi trail, the rarest natural formation of wormholes known to astronomers. Created from the combined connections of numerous space bridges, the trail creates a lengthy and narrow race track, solid only for mere seconds. As each wormhole opens to reveal each section of the trail, Soaring Gonzalez will travel through the lengths of the universe, from galaxy to galaxy
Attempting to accomplish a feat only dreamed of by others, Soaring Gonzalez will prove once and for all just who is the fastest in all the universe.
Upon seeing the billboard, Rev became really intrigued. After passing the floating screen, a sly little smile came to his face. Continuing to fly ahead, Rev turned to Rodriguez
"So-what-exactly-is-the-deal-with-this-Acid-Praybee-trail-or-sorry-however-it's-pronounced-I-mean-I've-traveled-through-wormholes-before-well-OK-once-and-it-was-actually-just-today-but-I-know-that-its-a-way-to-travel-through-regions-of-the-universe-like-there-was-a-jailbreak-once-where-a-wormhole-was-used-to-transport-the-villians-to-a-distant-astroid-made-with-this-really-cool-wrist-device-then-there-was-this-guitar-me-and-Tech-made-that-created-a-wormhole-oh-and-of-course-there's-the-generator-on-Blanc-cause-it's-the-center-of-the-universe…", ranted Rev, quickly losing his train of thought, again.
"It's really simple", explained Rodriguez. "Wormholes CAN be generated, but they also appear naturally in space, like a storm does on a planet. And sometimes, when two wormholes appear at the same time, they create a solid bridge between each other that stays solid as long as the wormholes stay open. Once every 2500 years, the right wormholes open in the correct order to create a series of temporary space bridges that circles the entire universe. If someone was fast enough, they could actually run across the bridges, from wormhole to wormhole, all the way around the universe".
"And-so-this-'Soaring-Gonzalez'-is-fast-enough-to-safely-travel-the-entire…uh", stuttered Rev, trying to pronounce the name right this time.
"Asced Pregbi trail," corrected Rodriguez, "and yes, he probably is. In fact, the whole reason that the festival is being held today is because today's the day that the trail will appear. And it won't reappear for anothe…".
Wow, that's really gotta be something to see, thought Rev excitedly to himself, I mean that's a really dangerous trail to run. If he doesn't make it across any one of the bridges fast enough, it'll disappear under his feet and he'll probably get hurt or lost in space. And that's a long way to run too, around the entire galaxy, wow, that's a RE-HE-EALLY long track to run.
"…hundreds of cameras near the points where the wormholes will appear, so the relay will be televised across the universe", continued Rodriguez, who was still explaining while Rev was thinking. "And since this is such a legendary event, every planet is scheduled to broadcast it live".
By this point Rev was becoming almost too wound up in exhilaration to keep his wings straight, let alone fly in the proper direction. To his relief though, Rodriguez began indicating to the ground below, meaning that they had made it to the right part of the planet. Had Rev looked down at the ground below, he would have known right away that they were in the right place.
Thousands of people were gathered around a mile wide oval race track, cheering and applauding along the railing surrounding the track. Even hovering miles above the ground, Rev could see the dust rising from the track, trailing behind a single point that was careening around the track. Lap after lap ran the small object, picking up speed with each revolution and making themselves impossible to see through the rising dust.
Nearing the large crowd around the track, Rev slowed down and prepared to land. Sensing the distance between him and the ground, the roadrunner aimed for the inside of the track, trying to avoid running into anyone below. As he lowered himself to the ground, there came a low murmur from the people below, looking up at the Loonatic in the sky above.
"Do you see that?" "What is that, some kind of aircraft?" "No wait! I've seen that before". "Isn't that the superhero from Blanc?" "One of them, I think there's a group of them". "Yeah, I remember. Um…the Loon and Ticks, right?" "That must be the Loon then". "No, it's not a loon. It's what they call a roadrunner". "But he's flying, shouldn't it be called an air flyer?" "Wonder what he's doing here".
Noticing that his presence was blatantly apparent, Rev felt a little uneasy as the eyes of the surrounding crowd looked at him. Maybe a fiery-winged entrance wasn't the best way to arrive, thought Rev sheepishly. Perhaps we should have just taken the limo instead.
"Arriba! Arriba!" came a shout from the race track. Rev could hear, amidst the murmurs of the crowd, a loud and energetic chanting from the source of the dust cloud. Accompanying the quick paced runner on the track, Rev could tell it belonged to a fellow speed demon.
A fellow speed demon…
"Uh, Senor Roadrunner, what are you doing?" asked Rodriguez, still sitting on top of Rev's head.
But Rev wasn't listening. Instead of landing softly on the ground, the red avian began flying to the ground at an accelerated rate. Quickly setting Rodriguez on the ground, Rev aimed for the source of the dust trail inside the track.
Once elevated close enough to the track ground, Rev immediately began running on the ground as the fire from his wings ceased burning. Going quickly from flying to running, Rev began picking up speed as he circled the race track, becoming engulfed in the cloud of rising dust. Upon doing so, he himself began to build a trail of dust behind him, adding to the already present dust and surrounding the whole air in a hazy cloud of soil.
Gathering more speed, Rev's GPS noticed a small creature running in the lane right next to him, keeping up the same speed so that they were racing right next to each other. He couldn't see through the dirt fog to actually glimpse them, but the sound of dashing feet told him that the two were rushing at the same rapid speed. And while Rev tried to gain a bit of ground ahead, he could sense his competition trying to do the same.
It was a strange experience for Rev, making him a little annoyed. Ever since the meteor gave him his powers, he'd always been able to outrun anything or anyone. But now his enhanced speed wasn't naturally carrying him past his opponent. Instead, the two were locked in a battle to pass the other, both matching the other's quickness and trying hard to get ahead. The two continued to circle the race track in faster laps, frantically failing to beat their opponent.
A few more laps of this caused a whirlwind to build around the spectators, blowing around hats, maps, and even causing some people to fall over.
Whoops, thought Rev, better slow it down. Don't wanna cause anyone to get hurt.
The avian, used to having a solid ground to ease his stops, dug his feet into the ground to slow down. Skidding on the dirty race track ground, Rev slid to a screeching halt. But next to him, he suddenly found his small opposition running rapid circles around the roadrunner. Soon all the dust in the air was circling around Rev, making him cough as he was forced to eat the dust of the fellow speed demon.
Fortunately for Rev though, the runner decided to cease and came to a quick stop right in front of the now dust covered bird. With the running finally ended, Rev could now get a good look at the opponent in front of him, the one he'd been hoping to meet.
Standing proudly amidst the setting dust stood a foot tall mouse, dressed in a slick white and red racing outfit, like the ones Rev had seen race car drivers wear back on Acmetropolis. His paws were fitted with a pair of white leather gloves, while his large feet were bare on the track ground. What really caught Rev's attention was a large yellow sombrero seated on his head, supporting a small visor in front of his eyes like a windshield.
"Well-well-well", said the mouse very excitedly, "I-do-believe-that-this-is-the-famous-Rev-Runner". He pressed a button that caused his visor to extract into the sombrero, then lifted it off his head in a sweeping bow to the Acmetropolis hero. "It-is-a-great-honor-to-finally-meet-the-most-impressive-roadrunner-that-I-have-ever-heard-of".
Though still dusting off the dirt from his uniform, Rev felt kind of flattered. "Well-thank-you-Mr.-Gonzalez-and-I-apologize-for-interrupting-anything-I-just-came-here-with-your-cousin-Jose-"Dawdle"-Rodriguez-and-he-said-you-were-a-really-fast-runner-which-I-can-clearly-tell-that-you-are-cause-you-almost-beat-me-there-on-that-race-track-and-if-I-may-say-so-I'm-a-pretty-quick-runner-myself".
"Oh absolutely", responded Gonzalez. His speech was just as rapid as Rev's, but sounded a bit more thought out and less rambling. He also spoke with an accented dialect, revealing a cultured voice that sounded like Spanish to Rev.
"I-was-just-warming-up-a-bit-for-the-big-relay-later-today", he continued, "it's-nice-to-have-a-little-competition-beforehand-to-exercise-the-legs. How-fast-can-you-run, Senor-Roadrunner?"
"Well-I've-been-known-to-reach-speeds-up-to-9887.9-miles-per-hour-of-course-that's-just-for-a-starting-speed-I've-probably-gone-even-faster-than-that", bragged Rev. Secretly he wasn't sure if he could go faster than his record speed, but his competitiveness was making him act a little arrogant.
Gonzalez looked Rev up and down, analyzing the Loonatic in front of him. "You-know, your-outfit-is-pretty-useful-for-running-very-quickly". His gaze then shifted to Rev's wrist, where his communicator was fastened to his arm. "Except-for-that-device-on-your-wrist. It-seems-to-be-heavier-than-your-other-sleeve. I-think-you'd-be-able-to-run-faster-if-you-had-a-balanced-design, don't-you?"
Rev looked at the useful communication device on his arm. Noticing the weight of the device, he realized that it was indeed a few grams heavier than his other arm. But he wasn't sure if it was really slowing him down a bit, or if Gonzalez was just trying to mess with his thinking.
"Hmmm-you-may-be-right-I-mean-you-are-an-expert-in-aerodynamics-after-all-but-then-again-I've-never-had-a-problem-going-really-really-fast-and-trust-me-you-could-ask-any-villian-back-on-Acmetropolis-or-any-person-for-that-matter-and-they'll-tell-you-that-there's-no-faster-bird-then-yours-truly", Rev responded. He was trying not to sound too boastful, even though Gonzalez seemed to be somewhat defensive himself.
"Oh-don't-worry-Senor-Roadrunner. I've-heard-how-well-you-and-your-team-did-back-on-your-home-planet", said Gonzalez. The surrounding audience was now really caught up in this conversation of speed demons, even if some of them had trouble keeping up with the fast pace.
"It-has-been-a-pleasure-to-meet-you-Senor-Roadrunner. We'll-have-to-continue-this-little-competition-some-other-time", stated Gonzalez, "after-all, the-Asced-Pregbi-trail-waits-for-no-mouse".
"Well-sure-I-mean-that's-why-everyone's-here-today-and-I-wouldn't-want-to-keep-you-waiting-or-anything-like-that", responded Rev casually while Gonzalez prepared to leave. But Rev then lightly cleared his throat.
There was a sudden simultaneous gasp amongst the surrounding crowd, so loud that it made Rev turn his head to look at the surprised crowd. There was shock on everyone's face, staring right back at the young roadrunner. It gave him a feeling of both amazement and concern.
He then looked back at Soaring Gonzalez. Rather than looking shocked though, the little mouse had his arms crossed over his chest, and a casual look on his face. His look was aimed, deadlock, straight at Rev
"Are-you-suggesting-that-YOU-could-get-to-the-end-of-the-trail-faster-than-ME?" asked Gonzalez, sounding much more intrigued then upset.
"Well, maybe", Rev responded, slowly but assertively.
More whispers from the audience. "Is-he-actually-challenging-Soaring-Gonzalez?" "Well of course! Did you see those two tear up the race track?!" "My money's on Gonzalez". "I don't know, I've heard tell that bird is mighty fast".
Gonzalez smirked back at Rev, crossing his arms firmly over his outfit. "What-do-you-say-we-find-out".
Rev eagerly nodded. "We-both-race-along-the-trail…
Bending down to Gonzalez's height, Rev extended a wing to his now race competitor. Gonzalez responded with his own paw, making for a very enthusiastic hand shake.
"May-the-best-win! Arriba!" shouted Gonzalez, throwing his sombrero into the air in excitement. Rev replied with a shout of exhilaration, as the on looking audience cheered on the two racers.
The relay of a lifetime had just become the race of history.
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Again, apologies for the failure to update in a timely fashion. Trust me, I don't like the guilty feeling anymore than anyone else likes the irritation of having to wait. Writing is fun, but it also takes a lot of mental effort to focus, especially if you don't want to ruin the story by rushing it. Hopefully this strain will cease to become a problem.
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-- BREAKING NEWS -- Copyright update: Following the recent monorail accident at Disneyworld, The Walt Disney Company has decided to forget about their diabolic cartoon takeover to focus on these more pressing matters. I guess a defunct transportation system to a multi-billion dollar theme park is pretty essential priority. So once again, Loonatics Unleashed is owned by Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Good news for us, not so much for whoever was driving that monorail.
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By the way, it would make my job a lot easier if you'd please leave a review. I've held up my end of the writing bargain. Your turn.