Chapter 4: The Beetleworx

As the boat gently cut across the dark ocean to the Gremlin Village, Mickey was examining his paintbrush. Gus was standing on the steering wheel and driving as Mickey looked over the enchanted paintbrush.

Mickey noticed that near the brush itself, there was a small 'p' on the handle. And towards the bottom, there was a small 't'. Curious as always, Mickey flipped the brush upside down to take a look at the 't'. As he did this, another brush sprouted out of the end side!

"A new brush?"

This brush had a strange blue kind of paint on it.

"What is it Mickey?" Gus asked.

"I don't know…some kind of new brush…"

"What does it do?"

Mickey was about to find out. He took the newly sprouted brush and traced a line in the air. When he finished, the blue line suddenly fell and ate right through the deck and bottom of the boat like acid!!

Mickey jumped back in surprise as the boat began to fill with black water.

"Oh no!" Mickey cried.

"Paint something and plug up the leak!!!"

Mickey flipped the brush to the other side and painted a large cork, which he stuck in the hole in the boat. It stopped the leaking, but they were now ankle deep in the black water.

Mickey sighed and sat down on one of the benches on the boat.

"What kind of paint IS this??" Mickey asked, flipping the brush to the 't' side again.

"That's not paint…" Gus said. "What you have there is thinner, one the two things the Blot is made of…"

Mickey looked at the brush with interest now.

"Thinner…this means that I can erase things as well as create them?"

Gus nodded. "I think you'll have to utilize both powers in order to survive in this place…"

Mickey nodded in agreement. He then flipped it to the Thinner side again. He wiped the brush over a piece of the rail, and it vanished, leaving a space in the railing. He couldn't help but smile. The power to just erase things seemed…fun.

The cork in the boat began to shake before it popped loose and the water began to fill up the boat again!"

"WAAH!" Mickey cried.

He tried to paint up the hole, but he couldn't paint through the water, which was already partially up to his legs. The boat was sinking, and fast!

"Gus! What do we do??"

"Don't worry Mickey, we're almost to Gremlin Village, we can make it!"

Mickey grabbed Gus and climbed up on top of what was left of the canopy of the jungle cruise boat. He saw that Gremlin Village had no shore, and it was sitting on top of a small, rock pillar.

The boat continued to move forward despite it slowly sinking. As the ship was about to sink completely, Mickey saw that there were close enough to land and he made a jump for it. He managed to grab onto the edge of the rock pillar and slowly managed to climb up.

He and Gus looked down and watched the Jungle Cruise boat sink completely under the black, inky water.

"There goes our boat…" Mickey sighed.

"No worries, I'm sure we'll find an alternate means of transportation here…" Gus said, pointing to the castle that was the 'It's a Small World' attraction.

Mickey looked up at it with awe. This one was A LOT bigger the one he was used to in Disneyland.

He then heard a mechanical whirring and a few footsteps.

"What's that?"

"Get down!!" Gus cried.

He pointed to a large rock, gesturing that he wanted Mickey to hide. Mickey hid behind the rock, wondering what the commotion was about. He then saw what had Gus worried.

A strange looking machine stepped into view. It had two plasma cannons for arms, which Mickey recognized from Lilo and Stitch. For a body, it had…was that the front of Mickey's car? But what shocked Mickey the most, was that at the front of the car body, it had the head of none of then HADES.

"…Hades? Gus, what IS that thing??"

"It's what's called a Beetleworx." Gus said. "The Mad Doctor has built an army of those things…their machines that do his dirty work…those guns can shoot thinner and ink."

Mickey could see why Gus was concerned with this thing. He moved to try and sneak by, but his foot shifted a few smaller rocks. The Beetleworx heard it and spun before firing thinner shots at the boulder. The rock melted from existence, exposing Mickey and Gus.

It leered at Mickey and fired again. Mickey leapt out of the way, grabbing Gus and stuffing him into his pocket.

"Hold on!" He cried as he jumped.

Mickey breathed heavily as he jumped out of the way of another thinner shot. He then gripped the paintbrush as he stared down the Beetleworx.

It was something the mouse hadn't done in awhile, but he knew he had to if he wanted to survive…he had to fight.

Mickey painted up a shield and held it up as he ran at the Beetleworx. It shot more thinner at him, which made the shield dissolve. Mickey then jumped up and landed on the Beetleworx's shoulders. It tried to shoot at Mickey, but its arms weren't built to bend far enough to shoot at its shoulders. Mickey tried to erase its head, but found that the thinner didn't work on it!

It then jerked forward, sending Mickey flying off its shoulders. Mickey skidded across the ground and the Beetleworx opened fire. Mickey reacted fast and painted another shield to protect him, which it did.

As the shield dissolved from the thinner shots, Mickey stood and thought rapidly. He looked around and then looked up at the castle that was 'It's a Small World' He then got an idea.

Dodging another thinner shot, Mickey ran to the castle and began to rapidly climb up its awkward walls, grabbing onto any footholds and handholds he could find. The Beetleworx tried to shoot him down, but Mickey was too fast at climbing, like any self-respecting mouse.

Soon he had reached the wobbling clock face on the main wall and used the thinner brush to erase what held it to the wall.

With that gone, the face stopped wobbling and fell right off the wall, flattening the Beetleworx underneath it as it hit the ground!

The machine could be heard writhing and sparking from underneath it before it went limp.

Mickey couldn't help but grin mischievously as he clambered down.

"Ho! Ho! Well played Mickey!" Gus cheered.

"I still got it after all these years!" Mickey grinned.

Mickey then walked past the now dead Beetleworx and towards the entrance to the building. The 'It's a Small World' sign was all faded and broken. Every now and then the light inside would flicker a bit.

"You said it's dangerous inside?" Mickey asked.

"To someone small like a Gremlin…only a little…to someone normal sized like you…yes…" Gus replied.

Mickey looked back at where the Beetleworx laid and he let out a confident grin.

"Aw, I can handle a little danger!" He said with confidence as he strode right into the entrance, as Gus just hid in his pocket.