The Tale of Horatio

By

Darkness Shade

A Dusty Cantina

As a young hamster makes his way into a bar, he wades through the smoky atmosphere looking for someone; upon finding the man he looks for he orders two drinks and sets himself down.

The stranger at the table doesn't initially acknowledge the younger hamster's presence and it is only after being offered the drink that he finally speaks.

"What could you possibly desire from one such as me?" the stranger speaks with a slight Spanish accent, "Ah, I can tell in your eyes…you wish to know the Tale…the Tale of Horatio."

Receiving an affirmation from the young hamster, the stranger laughed and smiled at his request.

"Very well…I will regal you this tale but I warn you not to go after what he did." The stranger began talking as the scene shifted to another time and place….

"Horatio was a strong man, a very brave one that sailed the seas for adventure, gold, and women much like everyone dreams of."

As his tale was told an image of a young strapping hamster began to appear looking over the outcropping rocks that served as their port; an eye-patch covering his right eye and an old scar adorning his left cheek

"Captain! The crew has packed the supplies and they are ready for your orders!" His first mate reported with a salute.

"Ah, that is good news first mate; tell the men to board the ship as our search for the treasure begins today!" Horatio commanded his cloak billowing in the breeze.

As their ships takes off, Horatio can tell it will be quite an arduous adventure as they run into massive waves that block them and rock their ship, and terrible whirlpools that threaten to suck them to the bottomless abyss of the ocean.

"After three days, Horatio had noted that the seas had finally calmed themselves and they were sailing smoothly…"

Horatio paced back and forth on the deck of his ship, this calm weather clearly was not setting well with him.

"Captain, the crew is wondering what seems to be troubling you?" the first mate asked at seeing his behavior.

"This calm is unnatural, after the rough seas we have dealt with it should not be this quiet." Horatio explained, "Let me see my map!"

Brining him his map, the first mate laid it down upon the table and spread it open for him to examine.

"As I thought, we've drawn close to the location of our goal: The Treasure of Of-If-Is!" Horatio explained, "Tell the crew to be prepared for any type of event, I fear we have much to deal with before the treasure may be ours."

"Despite his worry and the crews, the brave group of hamsters continued on undaunted; then again gold can make a man do crazy things…"

Horatio had long since stopped pacing and just stood by the wheel of the ship, staring out into the cold blue ocean and waiting for what may come.

"I know something is waiting…I can feel it coming closer."

Suddenly, a ruckus was made up in the Crow's Nest as one of the crew shouted down below at the captain.

"Captain! The island is within sight!"

"Excellent…we've made it to the island after all this time." Horatio sighed, relieved that nothing had happened, "First mate…tell the crew to prepare for…what's that rumble?"

Without warning, the sea began to quake and rock the ship back and forth as if something massive was coming up.

"Crew! Prepare for battle!" Horatio shouted as the crew readied their cannons and watched the water with baited breathe.

"I never thought I would see this day." Horatio spoke as a large, multi-armed creature rose from the water, "Yet it truly is the one I have heard legend of from my father; everyone brace yourself for it is the beast."

"Sir…you can't mean…"

"Yes, it is the mighty Krakham!" Horatio shouted as the hamster-octopus roared and flung its tendrils back and forth.

"Hmm? What's that? You thought it was a legend? Heh, boy, this was no legend they fought, but then again the treasure they seeked was no ordinary one as well…"

Despite all their best efforts, the crew could seem to do no damage against the Krakham and soon they were running out of options.

As their ship was rocked back and forth as the coming storm churned the waves, the lightning made the Krakham seem ever more impressive and unstoppable.

"Captain, we've fired all we have at him and it's done nothing." The first mate reported as the rain began pouring down.

"Men! We will not go down to this beast!" Horatio shouted loudly, "This crew is the best in the world and nothing can stop it! Now fight!"

The crew shouted in agreement as they soon discovered the plan necessary to defeat this mighty beast.

"Horatio may not have been the most powerful man, but he knew a good crew member when he saw them and it was this quality that made his men second to none and would prove to be their greatest strength…"

The crew being a smart lot knew there was only one way to approach the creature in this storm; as such they loaded themselves into the cannons and fired!

Launching them into the fray, the brave hamsters gave their all to attack and defeat this all-powerful entity and soon seemed able to turn the tide of battle…however; they could not deliver the final blow that was necessary.

"Oy, who fired the fish!" the first mate shouted at seeing the supplies having been shot into Krakham, "Captain! Our plan is working but we can't seem to finish it off; what are we to do?"

As the ship continued rocking back and forth, Horatio pulled his hat on tight, rose up to his full height, and jumped headfirst against the mighty creature.

"CAPTAIN!"

"You can do it Captain! Show him whose boss around here!"

With lightning crackling and the Krakham threatening Horatio deftly outplayed the beast and soon had slain him where he floated; with that the passage to the island was cleared for them.

"Incidentally, the Krakham is not the tastiest beast in the sea; however when your supplies are low or were used as ammunition it is the most pleasant delicacy you could ask for…but I'm getting side-tracked; where was I? Ah yes, the island…"

Horatio and his crew got as close as they could to the island and anchored the ship, paddling the shallows to the beach ahead and soon entering a thick jungle.

"This way men!" Horatio shouted as they chopped down the thick foliage and soon made their way to the ruins of an ancient city.

"Captain, is this the place? I can't believe it's real."

"Indeed, this is the fabled lost city of Or-If-Is and within it the grand treasure that was left behind." Horatio replied with a haughty laugh, "Quickly men, it must be nearby!"

Scouring the area, the hamster crew soon discovered a large building and inside was all they had dreamed off.

"It was all true, they had found an incredible treasure: gems, gold, precious stones, and all sorts of treasure awaited them by the armful, by the chestful, the room filled with the things men search for…"

"Captain! We've loaded the last of the treasure aboard and are awaiting your orders!"

"Very good first mate, we've gotten all they we came for and more let us return home and live like kings!" Horatio shouted as he and his men departed the island and headed back to sea for home.

As they returned to sea, the sky was a bright blue and the waves quickly aiding them in their journey; so it was no surprise how brightly and hotly the sun shone down.

"Ah, this rum will cool me down." Horatio stated, opening his personal bottle and chugging deeply, "Fantastic."

As Horatio drank and became more excited over his find, swinging his sword above his head and shouting drunkenly in joy; the first mate noticed an odd smell coming from below deck.

"Hmmm, now what could that be?" he wondered, heading below to check, "Oh look, the supplies didn't get lost…I wonder how they got back on the ship?"

Meanwhile, above deck, Horatio was continuing to celebrate and dreamed of how he would spend all of that lovely, lovely treasure they'd found.

"Of course, not even the great Horatio could have foreseen the event about to befall him."

As Horatio was lost in his own little world, the first mate soon found that the supplies had begun to rot in the heat of the day and for some reason the fish was in a barrel that looked rather familiar.

"Ah, it's so dark down here, where is my lantern?" the first mate murmured before finding it and lighting it, "Ah, now let's see what we have here."

Reading the letter on the barrel, the first mate's eyes turned a very small size and he soon ran for the upper deck as the light shone and revealed one simple word: GUNPOWDER.

"Everyone, quick! Abandon ship!"

"What? What are you going on about?"

"The fish went bad…and it's setting off the gunpowder!"

"WHAT?"

At this the crew lost all semblance of reason and began running around in quite the panic; to which the captain didn't pay much attention to at first.

"Yes…the gold…the girls…the rum!" Horatio shouted before his first mate bumped into him, "Oy, what's going on?"

"Sir! The Fish!"

"What? The supplies? What of them?"

"They're going to explode the gunpowder!"

"WHAT?"

With that, the scene shifted to the barrel with the fish in it as it began to sweat at its predicament; not too long after that the barrel exploded in a fantastic manner sending the ship, the crew, and sadly the gold into the ocean.

As the flashback ended and we returned to the two men, the young one seemed a bit perplexed.

"Oh, you wish to what became of him? Well, let us say that he has quite the talented crew, even if they can be… a little silly." The stranger explained with a laugh, "After that explosion, Horatio was quite devastated at losing the gold, but when he saw his crew quickly form a raft from the wreckage he quickly got over it. Raising his flag and pointing onward, he and his crew sailed forth to find more adventure, more fortune, and more glory."

A brief moment passed before the young hamster scoffed and wondered just what proof there was that this whole thing was true.

"Ah, the youth of today is so mistrusting; always needing some type of proof to believe in anything." The stranger sighed before reaching into his pocket and pulling out a strange medallion, "You may look but if you try to take it, I will not hesitate to cut off your hand."

Gulping at the terms, the young hamster picked it up and examined it looking for some proof of the tale; it wasn't until he turned it around and read the back that his eyes became wide and he dropped the coin.

"Yes, Or-If-Is. I see now you believe…but I see one last question on your mind." The stranger stated, standing up from his chair and pocketing his medallion.

It was at this point the young hamster soon noticed a strange eye-patch over his right eye and a scar near his left one; his hat and cloak both a brilliant red outlined in gold.

"How is it that I know the Tale of Horatio so well?" the stranger chuckled, before turning and leaving the cantina as the young man stood there in disbelief that the stranger he had been talking to was truly that man.

Quickly stand up and running out the door after him, the young hamster hoped to catch him and maybe, just maybe, find some of the adventure, fortune, and glory that come to the man known as…HORATIO!

Outlaw Star

"And…done! That was fantastic!" a certain winged half-demon shouted at his success at what he'd produced.

"Dark! What the heck are you doing in here?" Yoshino asked as he entered the common room and saw Dark, a multitude of hamsters dressed like pirates, a ship, a pool of water, and what appeared to be a stuffed octopus with a hamster head, "…"

"Well, you remember that discussion we had that one time when I first beat Horatio?" Dark asked, getting the hamsters contained and standing up, "Well, I finally got the inspiration to do it and so I wrote a story for the Horatio video from DDR X! Then I figured I'd go one step further and reenact it with voices and a more detailed video from my script."

"I…but…how…um…you know, somehow I feel this is partially my fault." Yosh sighed at his antics, "Well…I guess I should see how it turned out. Where did you get those hamsters anyway?"

"Well, you remember that one place we visited that was a lot like our Earth but all cute and happy?" Dark stated, trying to jog his memory, "And there was that loli by the name of Larua with a hamster for a pet?"

"Oh God, you don't mean…" Yosh sighed in terror.

"Yep, its Hamtaro time bitches!" Dark shouted, "Kushi-kushi-ticky-ticky WOO!"

"…"

"Hey guys, I heard some noise and wanted…to know…what…was…going…on." Ryan stated as he entered, saw the hamsters, saw Dark singing and acting out the Hamtaro theme, Yoshio sighing with the power of a thousand suns, and soon walked backwards out of the room, "I don't even want to know…"

Author: And with that little shred of nonsense I hope you've enjoyed yet another Bemani video that I've story-fied; leave a review and let me know what you think and maybe I'll look for another one that I can do this to in addition to continuing DDR HEARTS II. Thanks for reading!