BONZA! Chapter 2 done! So this is where the story begins! GAHAHAHAHAA! Ahem... Ok,so just to make a note: I will unable to update very often from now on because examinations are due in two weeks. So read while ye can, mates! PLS R&R, they're greatly appreciated!
Disclaimer: Blinx and all related concepts (characters,locations etc) are owned by Artoon and Microsoft. Materials not within the Blinx franchise are rightfully mine, including Scamp, Harris, members of the fictional Chippinski family and certain characters in this story. Songs and other abtracts are copyrighted to their respective owners.
The land was serene and was nothing but peace. The lush green grass was abundant, dotted with thick leafy bushes and the occasional bright-coloured flowers stuck in it. Trees were not in sight, and even if they were, they were only a lone wooden tower for little creatures to live in. A small breeze rustled leaves and grass as it blew gently across the land, leaving a heavenly calmness in its wake.
A young otter bent down at a bush, examining it. He squinted through the little glasses perched on the end of his muzzle, trying to get a closer look. Reaching out a hand, he gingerly plucked out a white flower, smiling to himself. This was the one flower he had been searching for seasons; the flower that would appease his family back in the small little village. Bringing the flower to his nose, he sniffed it delicately and sighed dreamily, reveling in the sweet scent of the pretty thing.
"This world is beautiful as it is, I assure anyone of that. Nothing could ruin it," he remarked as he placed the flower in his cap.
The smile was wiped off his face when darkness loomed over him, eating away all the sunshine that had glowed valiantly on the land. The otter looked up and wished he hadn't. He turned tail, fleeing in the direction of his village and shrieking with utter terror.
"Operator, we've got the area under control," Scamp reported through the watch on his wrist.
"Good work, Scamp. Pickup team will be there anytime soon," the Operator replied. "Meanwhile, try and do some cleaning."
Ensuring the Operator went offline, Scamp threw the bat he was holding aside and growled. "Of all the flea-bitten jobs we do, this one is the worst!"
One of his teammates, a gray-and-white tom named Arthur, approached him. Arthur was the kind of person who'd understand almost anything. He absolutely loved to help others when it came to jobs and problems, and he was the only Sweeper on the team to know what Scamp meant. "Cheer up, Captain. The Monster's dead and gone, and there's a huge mess here, what's wrong with helping clean-up crew to… well, clean?" he teased lightly. He knew better than to totally oppose Scamp's decision when he was in a bad mood, so he kept his voice placid with innocence. Scamp on the other hand was thinking. He was thinking about Arthur's words, changing it here and there and manipulating it all over. A cocky grin spread across his muzzle and he jumped.
"Well, well Arthur! Great idea! Now, you go on ahead with Hervey and Fisher," Scamp suggested with a sinister glint in his eye. He was expecting his second-in-command to nod and hurry off, but Arthur stayed. "Aaaand what abou' you?" he asked with a flick of his tail.
"RIPPER TIGERS! CLEAR THIS AREA AT ONCE! AND I MEAN, NOW!" Scamp thundered, turning to face his entire team. With shaky salutes, the team turned on their heels and bolted around the wrecked area. Scamp flicked his tail as he surveyed the land. It was badly torn and scarred by the Shred Monster's destructive claws that… shred… Hence, it was named so. Scamp cringed as he saw a collapsed hut not too far away, and began wondering if anyone was hurt. We'll see later. Gotta assess the damage first… he thought. He resumed his observation, noting how close to breaking certain things were. If his team of Sweepers hadn't arrived soon, the damage done would be on an even larger scale. "Curious how that monster even came about. The Tom-Tom Gang weren't here… unless, they've those Hypercloaks… Hervey!" Scamp beckoned to the golden-brown tom.
"Scan out this area. See if there're any Tom-Toms about."
There was a brief whirring noise and a beeping sound. He heard Hervey shuffle somewhere to re-scan the place before lifting his head up. Hervey was tapping a few keys before slipping the device into his pocket. "Negative. Why'd you ask?" Hervey spoke at last, eyes wide with alarm.
The leader had no chance to speak as a portal appeared to his right. Four cats leapt out of it, clad in orange uniform, followed by another four cats with midnight-blue jackets. Scamp nodded to his last teammate, a short red tom named Fisher.
Fisher shuffled up to the tallest cat from the first team of Sweepers. "We've cleared out a third of the mess. Nothing much to report, except that you might need to scout the area for any sign of life," he reported. The tall cat he talked to chuckled.
"Clean-up crew we are, and so it'll always be! C'mon fellers! Time t' do what we do best!" he commanded the crew.
Sighing with exasperation, Fisher saluted to the other team before rejoining his. Apparently, the two teams were about ready to leave the world. "He he, wot a surprise ye survived Scamp! And I thought you'd be as yer named surgested! Ha! I was wrong t' see it tha' way then mate! Ha ha ha!" the leader of the pickup team teased in his odd English accent. Scamp remained calm like a willow in summer, and shook the tom's paw gently. He smiled and imitated the tom's accent.
"Well, wot would I be if I hadn't done so, eh? A real joke to all the Tullgrews here!" he joked heartily, switching his speaking to that of an Englishman. (A/N: Tullgrews refer to the members of the non-mission crew e.g. clean-up team, pickup team. I made it up.)
Searching the tom's face for signs of knowing, Scamp held the hand tightly and smirked. The tom yelped for a bit and stared. "Wot are ye plannin' there, mate? 'Tis an innocent laugh for all, right?"
He was answered with a mighty thump on his head. The tom opened his eyes to find his world turned upside-down and a headache pulsing through his skull. He lowered his eyes and saw the sapphire tom leaning in close to him. The tom instantly knew that Scamp had tossed him over his shoulder in a taekwondo maneuver. He groaned, realizing how painful it could actually be "Naow, oi reckons zurr Quilltole will be a takin' us'ns back oop that ee portal and 'ome for some vittles? 'Twill make loife eeziurr for me and moi pals," Scamp spoke in the English dialect that some could never understand, including the occasional Quilltole right before him. The pickup team leader was evidently ashamed. "Oh alright, mate! We Tullgrews will take yer back to the Factory."
(A/N again: I love the Redwall series, and I've taken a liking for the mole dialect. So yeah ^^)
As soon as they landed safely on the platform, the other cats on Scamp's team began rushing for the Locker Room, shouting "Me first!" to each other. They were gone in a blur of fur and tail. Scamp chuckled and proceeded out to the moving floor. As the floor brought him along Great Hall, Scamp found himself dwelling in his thoughts.
He wished he could take a vacation one day. The continuous work and missions assigned here at the Time Factory was enough to send a cat running for the mental hospital. Scamp laughed to himself, imagining a real Sweeper running for the place meant for deranged muddle-brains. But that wasn't what he wanted… He wanted a vacation, a real, no-trouble-or-missions vacation. He liked looking at the pamphlets and magazines on holiday trips to countries like Florida and California and sometimes the tranquil side of Italy. Scamp put his head in a hand, finding himself delving deeper into his own untold thoughts. A vacation did sound wonderful right now. The types that promote serenity and deliver a sense of relaxation into mind and body were almost perfect for him. The beaches seemed like an ideal location… nah, too many tourists. Or maybe, the river town Italy? Houses lined up along canals and decorated marvelously with twinkling lights during special celebrations. Yeah, that seemed better, better than being crammed at a beach. Then again, it'll be rather noisy with all the street performers and what not. Scamp grumbled for a second and sighed, trying hard to make up his mind. He just wanted a nice, quiet rest to escape from the hubbub at the Time Factory. Right now, most of the locations he thought of would be teeming with travelers. He needed some calm place… maybe a country plain was good. The place where meadows were lush and springing with life, and tall mountains peaking the skies at great distances, and the soothing wind blowing at his fur… just the basic village life. That's an even better idea! A holiday in a village!
"Scamp, you daydreamer! Hey!" a voice rang in Scamp's ear. Scamp snapped back to attention, his eyes darting about to see who it was. Thankfully it was only Necoji. The gray tom had his paws akimbo, raising an eyebrow at the once-stiff tom in front of him. "Fancy you sitting there-"Necoji started.
"Standing. Whatever, what is it?" Scamp interrupted irritably.
"Not to intrude or anything, but you didn't happen to see Blinx did you? Anytime today?"
Scamp blinked, taken aback by the sudden question. "Uh… no, I thought he went to the Ruins of Time for inspection with his team."
Necoji gave a heavy sigh, scratching his whiskers in vague thought. "Aw, where'd that mucky excuse for a Time Sweeper run off to?" No sooner had he finished his sentence did he felt a heavy thonk on the head. He shrieked and held his head.
"Call Blinx a mucky excuse again, and I'll make sure it's more than that!" Scamp warned the grimacing gray tom. He shook his pelt and adopted a lighter tone. "Sorry. Need me to check on them? I'll be passing by."
Receiving a grateful handshake from his friend, Scamp hopped off the moving floor and proceeded into the bedrooms. He stretched and yawned as he trudged down the corridor, considering that it was late into the night and that he hadn't slept since morning. He was yearning for the soft bed that awaited his return in his team's bedrooms, but the thought of Necoji's request rung in his head. Stifling another yawn, Scamp went for the first door and knocked on it. There was a moment's silence, then locks could be heard unlocking and it slid open. Scamp's widened when he realized it wasn't the Sweeper he was looking for. The Sweeper had black-and-white fur, yellow eyes and was clad in a purple jacket. Upon seeing Scamp, the tom grinned, "Evening to you, Scampski!"
"Watch it, Picaro! Eh… I came to the wrong room didn't I?" Scamp snapped.
Picaro raised an eyebrow. "You're looking for Blinx, aren't ya? Well, tough luck! Fabio said he isn't in; he went elsewhere."
Inwardly, Scamp was screaming in frustration. He was told that the whole of Team Blinx went out for some kind of mission or cleanup, but here, he was told that only the leader was gone. That wasn't very pleasing to hear. Where was his friend anyway? "Ah, thanks anyway. Night," he muttered before trotting off to his own bedroom. Picaro watched him leave, twitching his whiskers in a show of contempt. "Furball's gonna kill me if he keeps doin' tha'!" he spat.
Sometime in the middle of the night…
The hallways of the Time Factory were quiet, excluding the occasional noises from late night workers and Guard Sweepers. Majority of the felines were asleep, some dozing fitfully while others hardly made a move. The place was engulfed in an oppressing silence.
In the Ripper Tigers' bedroom, the team was fast asleep. Fisher and Hervey occupied one double-decker bed, while Scamp and Arthur occupied the other. The youngest member was rolling about on his own bed, his muffled giggling reaching Hervey's ears. As if he was awake, Hervey smacked Fisher's unconscious form with a pillow. His arm fell back and both of them were fast asleep again. Everyone slept peacefully… except the leader. Scamp tossed and turned on his bed, unconsciously shaking the bed at the same time. The dream… it came back… but what did it mean to him, he didn't know…
Scamp shielded his eyes from the bright light, gazing into the vast land before him. He stood rigid, awestruck by the view that greeted him. Green meadows stretched across the land, beautified by flowers and the presence of peaceful creatures. Many deer nibbled freely on the grass, some of them running and bounding through the lush meadow while rabbits hopped merrily about along with them. The sound of birdsong reached Scamp's sensitive ears. The cheery chirping and trilling brought a longed sense of relaxation into his heart. Scamp would have wanted to be excited over it, but he didn't want to disturb the tranquility of the land. What am I doing just standing here? Won't hurt to frolic for awhile! He thought happily. Testing his first step, he pushed forward into the scenery that seemed to draw him closer. The moment he set foot on the meadow, Scamp started to skip around, laughing at the sheer joy he felt. The worries and exhaustion that had clung onto him released their grip, allowing him to enjoy the serenity by free will. The long grass brushed against him as he dashed through them, feeling the warmth and tickling sensations. He stopped skipping and lied down, staring up at the sky.
The sky was a clear painting of blue and white, with brilliant golden hues by the radiant sun. It was like a real holiday, exactly what Scamp had in mind. "This place is perfect! I have to know where this is!" he exclaimed. He searched around his vicinity for someone he could ask, but the only things there were the animals that he saw earlier. His shoulders slumped, disappointed that there wasn't anyone to tell him what this place was. With a sigh, stood up and prepared to leave, but then, a soft breeze whistled through the blades of grass and rippled Scamp's fur. Scamp took a deep breath of the cooling breeze, and stopped moving for a heartbeat. He caught something drifting in the breeze… a scent! Scamp sniffed it again and turned around, having deciphered which direction it came from. After turning, his eyes locked onto the figure of an otter some feet away from him. Scamp blinked, wondering why an otter would be here in the middle of the meadow. "Hello there, what are you doing here?" Scamp called.
The otter came closer and began tugging gently at Scamp's gloved hand. Upon closer inspection, Scamp noticed that the otter was slightly older than a pup. It had a grey-brown pelt, each fur strand tinged with white. The young otter's eyes were a valiant grey, and it had a strange tone. The tone of both happiness and seriousness in one. "What are you doing here? Who are you? Where're your parents?" the questions poured out of Scamp as he looked around the place for a settlement. The young otter smiled, tugging the gloved hand once more. He obviously wanted the tom to follow him. Scamp did so, guided by the young otter's little hand.
They made their way slowly through the tall grass, navigating the green maze in a painstakingly slow pace. Scamp noticed the other creatures stop doing what they were doing and stared at the rustling sections of the meadow. He winced; the curious eyes seem to be prickling his fur. He could sense something wasn't right. They stopped walking after five minutes, finding themselves near an old oak tree. The young otter pointed a free hand at something in the distance, nodding curtly to Scamp. Scamp squinted against the light, trying to make out the shape of the object. It was difficult, but Scamp managed to figure that it was a sort of tree, standing alone in a faraway area. The young otter then spoke in a singsong fashion, his voice like that of a mysterious aura.
Kagayaku ume ichirin ichirin hodo no Sono atatakasa"
Kagayaku ume ichirin
ichirin hodo no
Scamp couldn't understand what the young otter said. He shook his head slowly, half-expecting the child to explain. But the otter just kept repeating the same phrase over and over, his grey eyes slowly becoming dull. Then, he faded in Scamp's grip. Alarm pulsating through his limbs, Scamp drew back and looked up. Dark clouds started to overwhelm the sky, and the land became cold and hostile. The animals Scamp had seen earlier dashed for cover, bellowing and yelping in terror.
"What's going on?" Scamp mumbled, turning this way and that as he searched for cover of his own. The place suddenly became bare and lonely, and he found himself unable to find any sort of shelter. He stepped back further, the panicky feeling welling up inside him. Then, a strong gust of wind bowled him over, sending him rolling down a hill. Scamp tumbled heads over heels as the momentum of his tumble rendered him unable to slow himself down. He screwed his eyes shut, thinking it would help him forget the downward descent. But he could still feel the force and speed of it.
He finally came to a halt as he smacked into a withered tree. Scamp grimaced, opening his eyes and looking around. An ominous creaking told him that this wasn't the worse of his problems. He looked downward where the tree he had crashed into stood. It was quivering, like how a child would shake from the cold. The frail tower of wood creaked and shook, before it tilted dangerously towards Scamp. He watched in horror as the tree angled towards him, and fell right next to Scamp's face. A tree limb narrowly missed his cheek, causing a shudder to run down his spine. He jumped to his feet and began looking around for a way out of the deathly land.
The wind howled madly, its immense force almost knocking Scamp off of his feet. He perked his ears at the sound of something distant. It sounded like a rumbling noise… a droning like construction machines. He looked up in the direction of the noise as it started to become clear. His lower jaw slacked the moment he made out the sound. It wasn't rumbling… it was a shrill roar!
Out of nowhere, a massive figure materialized from the gloom, its one red eye boring down on the shivering blue tom. Scamp stood rooted to the ground, cowering under the fiery gaze of the monster before him. "No… N-No, no! I destroyed you, destroyed you with the Big Crystal! I saw you disintegrate in front of my own eyes!" Scamp wailed, his quavering voice shrill with terror. The monster took a step forward, its red gaze sending a fresh wave of fear rippling through Scamp's pelt. All of a sudden, it lunged, its jaws wide pointed, revealing rows upon rows of sharpened teeth. Scamp could do nothing; fear had weighed him down, and he was purely terrified by the image he was seeing. The wind picked up, but all Scamp could hear were the young otter's mysterious words ringing in his head as the monster closed in on him…
The horrifying images flashed in his mind, accompanied by the thin wails of children and ear-piercing screams. All of the nightmarish scenes were replaying themselves, as if it was mocking Scamp's courage. Horror, terror, fear… they were prickling his pelt.
Finally, Scamp jolted awake. He looked around the room, panting heavily as the realisation came back to him. He wasn't in the hostile land anymore… no, he was back in familiar territory… his team's room… Scamp jumped as the bed started to shake gently.
"Scamp?" a gray-and-white head appeared from the top deck.
"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGHHHHH!" Scamp shrieked.
The feeling of apprehension vanished when he came to realise it was only Arthur, hanging over the side of the bed. His teammates face was fixed with an expression of shock and bewilderment. Scamp had to find his voice; he knew he had to say something to break the tension. "I-It's y-you…" he mumbled at last.
"Well, who else would it be? Ace with his famous pillow-case ghost?" Arthur retorted with a faint laugh. He gave a concerned look seconds later. "You alright?"
Scamp kept quiet at first, assessing the situation. The nightmare came into his mind again, making him shudder. Maybe it wasn't the time to tell Arthur. It would spell confidence issues within the team. But if he didn't inform Arthur about his problematic nightmares, then… more of those would come to disturb him. He gulped at the thought of having more of those horrific nightmares. The one he just had had shaken him to the core. He couldn't understand the events that happened… everything that came to him. Scamp shook his head. "I'm fine… Just a bad dream," he answered softly. Arthur glanced to the others before nodding and retreated to his bed. As he went, he couldn't help but joke, "I'm surprised they didn't stir."
No sooner had he left did Scamp hear the steady rhythm of Arthur's breathing, signaling that the gray-and-white tom had fallen asleep again.
Scamp shifted back underneath his blankets, unsure on the decision he just made. Was he wrong to hide the nightmare from Arthur and the others? If he made the wrong decision, how would it affect Fisher, the youngest member on the team? There could be a possibility of his mind going berserk after that… Scamp groaned, scolding himself for having thought that. He closed his eyes, ready to get back to slumber, but something popped back into his mind.
The peaceful and dreamy meadow… the beautiful skies… the young otter… His words! The mysterious words of the otter! What did they mean?
Scamp rolled onto his back, thinking back on the dream-turned-nightmare over again.
"Ok, so I somehow came across this magnificent country plain which was an exact replica of my dream vacation. Then, I wanted to find out where I was, but ended up finding a strange otter pup standing in the middle of nowhere. He dragged me to some oak tree and pointed to another kind of tree in the distance, saying… uh… whatever he said, it must be related to the tree. Later, the environment was dark and gloomy and that... that... thing appears and terrorizes me! But I destroyed it! It couldn't have been that! It just couldn't!" Scamp muttered under his breath.
"Are you still awake, Scamp? You better knock yourself out soon. Otherwise, you're gonna kill your brains tomorrow," Arthur's sleepy voice drifted down to his ears.
Scamp fell silent, not wanting to disturb his team any longer. Tiredness slowly crept up his limbs as he began to relax. As his eyelids started to droop, Scamp could understand that the otter's lyrical words were connected to the tree he had seen in the distance. Or maybe… it was telling him how to get there…
Before he could think any further, he had fallen into a deep, deep sleep…
There you go! So that explains Scamp's first problem... not excatly one problem, but you get the point :) The original draft was much, much, much shorter than this, so I took time to expand it. Ta-Da! You got it right here. Look out for the next chapter. Remember to R&R!
And to Redwall fans, I'm working on a Redwall fanfic soon! Be sure to check my profile for updates! :D