Chapter 7 – Reunion

Bolt pushed against the snow, making his way to the shed he spotted every time he jumped into the air. The soft snow only lay on the top two inches and everything else could be considered hard or ice. Never the less, he still sunk all the way past his head every time he took a step. "I hate the mountains!" he called out and jumped again, finding himself only a few yards away. Seconds later he pushed himself out of the snow and onto the elevated porch of the shack. The second he was free of the snow, he shook off, throwing snow and ice every which way. A shock of warm air hit him as he pushed the door open with his nose, 'The lock must be broken.' he thought to himself. He glanced around as he entered, using his back leg to shut the door behind him. From what he could see, the shed was a living aria, a bed sprawled out on one side, while a small mach kitchen was made to the other. Near the back of the room was a slightly closed door, probably leading to a kind of office. The table was clear meaning that whoever was here wasn't anymore. Once again Bolt shook wildly, trying to get the melting ice off of his fur, and he heard the distinct clack of a Diaqurotioux Crystal ball. "Bolt!" Rhino hollered as he rolled up to the dog. "Rhino!?" Bolt asked and ran up to his friend, Bolt crouched down on his front haunches, eyeing the hamster, before bouncing around him happily. "I can't believe it!" Bolt shouted, "You're here! Have you seen Mittens?" "Yah, she's on the bed!" Rhino told him, and with one smooth motion, Bolt turned around and ran to the bed before jumping up and stopping dead in his tracks. What Bolt saw was something that constantly broke his heart, Mittens was curled up, shaking and crying wildly. "Mittens?" he asked gently as he walked up to her and placed on of his paws to her shoulder. Quickly she uncurled herself and wrapped her front legs around him, holding him tightly and burying her soaked furry cheeks into his chest fur. "Mittens?" Bolt asked worried what might have made her upset. "I was so scared!" she whispered to him. "I'm here now Mittens," he tried to say, and wrapped his own front paws around her. Mittens tightened her grip on him, "When I got back home, Nightmare was waiting for me, and I couldn't move." she told him. Bolt remained silent as he listened, "The memory," she said, her tears flowing even faster, "my fear, it all came back when I heard his voice, I froze." she told him and tried to bury her face into his chest fur even more. "It's ok Mittens, from now on I'll protect you from him. He won't get past me, I promise." he told her. "I' m still scared." she said through her tears. Bolt kept silent, instead of saying anything, he tightened his embrace and rubbed the underside of his chin against the top of her head. "I'm going over here!" Rhino said as he turned his ball around, he pushed against the other door, entering into the office room and closed it behind himself. "I felt so alone!" Mittens cried into the white Shepherd. Bolt finally pulled her away from him, but only to look her in the eyes, "You're not alone anymore." he told her, "I'm here, Rhino's here, and we won't leave you alone ever again." Mittens let a few more tears fall to her cheeks, "Promise?" she asked. Bolt kissed her on the lips, calming her nerves a little, "Promise." he reassured her when he broke apart. Mittens bit her lip a little, and then pushed her head in to kiss Bolt more passionately.

Inside the office, Rhino rolled around, looking for anything he could find. On the desk seemed to be a typewriter, as well as a few other non-electrical equipment. "How does this place have heat but no electricity?" he asked and rolled his ball further back. "There can't be any hot springs, they'd have melted this part of the region." His search quickly yielded a propane tank, hooked up to a radiator. "Huh," he said, "Brilliant." With that he shook his head, "Still gives me nothing to work with." and with that he turned and opened the door to his ball. He quickly crawled out and scaled the desk. The papers he saw scattered across the surface told him of the person's studies. "Oh, an Echo Biologist!" he said and turned back to the papers. "Let's see, studying penguins and their behavior, along with marine life and Geological aspects of this region. This person is very thorough." he complemented. Next he turned and reached down to open the drawer directly below him. When it didn't budge he just screwed his face up, "You think you can out muscle the great Rhino?" he asked the belligerent drawer. When he didn't get an answer, he reached into his mouth, and pulled from his cheek a device no bigger than his hand. He located the keyhole and tossed it inside, and with a pop the drawer scooted open a few inches. "Take that!" he said and continued to push the drawer open until he could easily crawl inside. "Let's see…paperclips, a pencil, some rubber bands, a butterfly hairclip, twine…" he listed off. Sticking his head back out of the drawer with the roll of twine in his paws, he scowled, "Still nothing electrical, not even battery powered." he said and tossed the twine up before he lifted himself, painfully, to the top of the desk. "HUMPH, I need to go on a diet." he admitted and lifted himself up to his paws. Grabbing the twine, he tied it to the outside of the typewriter, and tossed the twine over the desk down to the floor. Quickly he slid down to the lower drawers and pulled them open using the strength of his own paws, which took a while. "I need to build a miniature weight machine for hamsters." he huffed as he sat atop the open drawer, then turned around and looked inside, "Jackpot!" he said as he dove into the space, and threw out a small digital camera and three sets of batteries. The next thing he threw out was a small tape recorder, with a cassette still inside. Next, a scientific calculator was thrown out. Rhino then popped his head out of the drawer and rubbed his paws together, "Oooohoho, the things I can make with these!" he said and was about to drop to the floor when he heard something, the sound of the door opening. "What the…" a female voice said, "When did this dog and cat get in here?" "Well," Rhino said to himself, "there goes my invention." With that, he dropped down to the floor to exit the room and meet the owner of the building.

End Chapter 7