We rejoin our young hero's wandering through a corn field where Beast Boy loses sight of Aang.
"Aang? Aang! Aang?" Beast Boy called out in a panic searching for his friend. He then saw Aang less then a meter in front of him and gave a sigh of relief.
Aang, not being one to be fooled, looked at Beast Boy and could tell something was bugging the young changeling.
"What's wrong Beast Boy?" Aang asked him.
"I'm just remembering something that Grim told me or rather made me promise." BB answered.
"What did he say?" Aang asked him with a hint of confusion on his face.
"Don't you lose him Garfield Logan…or I'll turn you into a sofa…and I don't mean to," Beast Boy replied with a small hint of guilt because he didn't tell Aang about this sooner. Aang just shook his head with a smile as he went up to him.
"Beast Boy, we're still in Shireville, what's the worse that could happen to us here?" He asked. Then as to answer his question; Buster and Plucky literally ran into them both with their arms full of stolen vegetables; the impact of the collision caused BB and Aang to get knocked over, each having one of the misfit toons falling on top of him. Plucky was the one who crashed into Aang while Buster crashed into Beast Boy.
"Hey Buster, look, it's Aang!" Plucky exclaimed when he saw who he landed on.
"Hey Aang," Buster greeted as all four of them got back on their feet.
"Here hold these," Plucky said handing B.B. a few carrots and a head or two of cabbage.
"What's all this?" Aang asked.
Beast Boy then realized what the two were doing here. "You've been into Old Man Eustace's crop again, haven't you?!"
Before he could say anything else all four heard someone shouting nearby and then they saw a sickle being held in the air.
"Hey! Stupid kids!" Eustace (Courage the Cowardly Dog) shouted angrily. "I'm gonna break your little necks for stealing my vegetables!"
Buster then grabbed Aang and ran off in the opposite direction. Plucky quickly followed.
Beast Boy then realized that he was holding all the 'evidence' in his arms. He quickly dropped the vegetables and ran after the others.
"I don't why he's upset," Buster said as they ran through the corn field. "It's only a couple of carrots…"
"And some cabbages and those three bags of potatoes we took last week and the mushrooms the week before that…" Plucky continued going through the list of vegetables that he and Buster had stolen as they continued running toward the edge of the field…towards a cliff.
"Yes Plucky! My point is, that he's clearly overreacting!" Buster finished as they were at the end of the field they came to the edge of a cliff and stopped…until Beast boy crashed into them from behind and caused all four of them to go tumbling down the hill.
All four of them groaned as they started to get up from the fall.
"Well, that was close," Plucky said in relief, he had just missed a pile of dung.
"Uggh…I think I've broken something," Buster complained only to see that his fears were confirmed. He had broken something…one of the carrots he and Plucky had stolen.
"Leave it to you guys to get us lost," Beast Boy groaned as he got up. By this time all four were back on their feet.
"We're not lost, it was just a little detour, a short cut," Buster explained. "Shortcut to what?" Beast Boy asked as he was clearly annoyed that he and Aang nearly got caught for a crime they didn't commit.
"Mushrooms!" Plucky said in excitement. Then he, Buster and Beast Boy scrambled to a spot where some edible non-poisonous mushrooms were growing. These mushroom were special Shireville mushrooms, found only in the region where Shireville existed and were renowned to be extremely tasty.
Aang however felt a cold shiver of dread crawling down his spine. Something in his gut told him all was not right.
'I think we should get off the road," Aang said as his sense of dread increased.
None of them noticed him. They were all to busy squabbling over the mushrooms to take notice. Aang then saw a breeze kick up a small cloud of old leaves and then down the road he heard a faint but bone chilling cry.
"Get off the road quick!" Aang told the other three. He almost had to drag them into a small hollow in a tree just off the road. They were still handing out the mushrooms when they heard sound of a motorcycle slowing down. Then a feeling of dread griped their hearts. Aang took a peek through a small gap in the roots of the tree and saw a tall figure on a black motorcycle wearing black leather and armour.
The figure dismounted and knelt down close to the ground, just inches away from Aang and the others. He seemed to be sniffing for something and the heroes were utterly silent. Aang then felt the almost unbearable urge to put the ring on.
The others suddenly noticed something strange was going on. Insects were fleeing the hollow. Some burrowed into the ground. A spider crawled across Plucky's shirt. It was like the rider was scaring them off.
Beast Boy noticed that Aang was clutching the ring tightly in his hands and his eyes were shut. The rider seemed to slowly be moving his sniffing into their general vicinity. Beast Boy fortunately grabbed Aang's left wrist which snapped him out of his trance like state. This caused the rider to stop sniffing.
Buster took the initiative by throwing an extra bag of food onto the other side of the tree and into the bushes, making a lot of racket. The purple-eyed figure gave a piercing wail and ran off to investigate the sound. Our hero's took their opening and ran for their lives!
As soon as they were out of sight of the road they came to a stop panting.
"What the hell was that?!" Plucky asked as he tried to catch his breath.
Aang didn't give an answer but merely opened his hand and there was the ring sitting in his palm.
It was dark. Every now and again they heard a piercing wail sometimes more than one at once. They had been running through the woods since they had left the road. Their feet were sore and they were hungry.
Aang pressed himself up against a tree for cover while and scanned the area ahead with his eyes.
"See anything?" Beast Boy asked him.
"Nothing," Aang answered when Plucky came up to Aang to ask him a question while they were catching their breath.
"What's going on?" He asked. "Just who was that creep?"
"That rider was looking for something….or someone," Buster explained. He then gave Aang a suspicious look. "Aang?"
"Get down!" Plucky cried.
They dove for cover as they spotted another black rider at the top of a hill. It gave out a bone chilling cry then moved off. While they were in their cover, Aang turned to Buster with his voice sounding very grim.
"I have to leave Shireville. Beast Boy and I must get to Traverse Town," Aang explained as he looked at Buster.
Buster nodded understandingly.
"Ok, Huckleberry Ferry, follow me," Buster said as he led the others to the ferry.
They moved out with as much stealth and speed as they could. Suddenly a black rider came right out of the trees! It let out a cry and a second rider appeared, this one with red eyes.
"RUN!" Buster screamed as they broke into a full scale run to the ferry docks; however Aang was having trouble keeping up and started to fall behind.
Meanwhile at a small pier the rest of the party ran onto the pier. At the end was a small sized barge.
"Untie the rope Beast Boy!" Buster ordered. Beast Boy quickly did so, and when he had finished untying the rope they were off but there was still no sign of Aang.
They were just moving away from the docks when they saw Aang starting to catch up; but they also saw three black riders hot on his tail.
"Aang!" Plucky yelled.
"Come on Aang!" Beast Boy encouraged the airbender as he neared the barge.
"Jump Aang! Jump for your life!" Buster shouted.
As soon as Aang got to the edge of the dock he used his airbending to jump off and landed on the barge.
The Night Crawlers came to a halt at the end of the bridge knowing that they couldn't get across now. They let out threatening screeches filled with rage.
"How far to the nearest crossing?" Aang asked out of breath and trembling with fear.
"Tom Sawyer Bridge, about 20 miles." Buster answered back.
This gave them some time seeing as how they were already half way across the river. It would take these black riders twenty miles to get to the bridge then twenty miles to get down to the ferry dock and then pick up their trail.
The black riders seemed to realize this and rode off to get a start on the forty mile ride. As they retreated to the main road which passed the ferry they were joined by seven other riders. The four Shire-Toons realized that they could run but they couldn't hide for long...
Sorry for the long delay guys. Hope you enjoyed this chapter!