Young Fuzzies: Chapter 1 Apr 19, 2012 2:33:00 GMT -5
Post by The Wonderful Wachter on Apr 19, 2012 2:33:00 GMT -5
Another one of your hair-brained schemes...
Another one of your hair-brained schemes...
By Jackalope and The Wonderful Wachter[/center][/i]
Aaron read the note again.
'After Lessin 4. Meat at the Pipes.'
Tucking the note into his rucksack, he quickly checked that the Teacher hadn't seen anything. Mr. Tobius stood, writing equations on the board. Luckily for them, he was a norm, a near genius when it came to quantum mechanics – though how much he was paid to teach basic math to kids, only Father Time knew – he was still only human; one of the handful with no special abilities that taught them. If it had been any number of the other teachers, Aaron might've been in trouble. After all, Mr. Wentworth & Dr Scklz were psychics. Professor Crane was a robot with a number of cameras available to him, and Ms Yuts, well, she really did have eyes in the back of her head.
Aaron turned his large magnified eyes to Tom and caught him staring back. Usually by this stage in class, Tom should have been napping, but today the kid looked positively buzzing, his eyes wide and green, pointed ears flicking around. Aaron shook his head, trying to communicate through non-existent psychic means; 'no- I'm not going to meet you at the pipes after lesson 4 - which by the way you spelt wrong, because I don't want to get in trouble.'
Tom nodded back, communicating something akin to; 'yeah, you'll come, don't be a wuss.'
Aaron shook his large head even harder, pushing; 'no, you always do this, this time I don't want to go, last time I missed the next lesson and I spent the next 2 hours writing- I will not be late to my Fundamentals of Arcane Languages- in arcane languages!'
Tom nodded his dark fur covered head, seeming to Aaron to be saying; 'yeah, you'll come, don't be a wimp.'
Aaron narrowed his eyes and shook his head more firmly, being definite in his opinion; 'it's not happening Tom, I don't care what it is, really, I don't and you can't make me...'
Tom raised one eyebrow, smirking and gave one last curt nod, concluding; 'yeah, you'll come, don't be a sissy.'
Aaron sighed, adjusting his glasses, he nodded; 'fine.'
“Are you agreeing with ze equation I havt written upon the board, Aaron?” Mr. Tobius's clipped German accent made Aaron jump. He turned to see his teacher and the front half of the class staring at him. Sally, one of the Jersey Eleven, stuck out a forked tongue at him. “Or was zere something you would like to share with ze entire class?”
Aaron could feel his fuzzy cheeks grow warm. Once again he shook his head.
“Good,” Mr Tobius continued, “Perhaps you would be as kind as to come to ze front of ze class and solve ze equation I havt written upon ze board?”
Aaron got up and slowly walked between the desks, making sure not to step on any tails or in one case a 6 inch student named Thumbtak. He gave one last scowl to Tom but it was wasted. Kid-kitty was asleep.
A bell brought an end to the forth lesson of the day, and a start to lunch. Most of the students took it in the training dome, a giant circular room converted to allow the creation of buildings and obstacles, whilst landscapes or newsfeeds could be displayed on the curved walls. Today the room was a park, complete with a fully working playground and a warm sun beaming down on them. Aaron looked out over at the rest of his classmates playing. Nina, a Naga exchange student was slithering around a jungle gym, chasing Hector, a Were-rat kid, in a game of tag. Sighing, Aaron turned and walked to a patch of blue sky and hit the red button that seemed to float within the air. A thin gap appeared in front of him, which widened, revealing a long corridor. He stepped through and heard the door hiss shut behind him.
The S.H.A.D.E. headquarters was enormous. No one was quite sure how far it sprawled. Like an iceberg, the part of which showed up on any satellite maps was only a fraction of what existed below. There were even rumors that it stretched right into the earth's crust, where it supposedly got the power to keep the whole thing running. Much of the base was off limits to the kids, they got the run of Floor 17 but above or below that- higher access was required. Except on special occasions, true daylight was rarely seen. As Aaron reflected on this fact, he hung his head, a familiar feeling of distress and longing making his fur flatten.
T.V. showed a constant stream of strange tightly-nit families all attractive looking and happy. Chiseled-jawed champions seemed to be taking to the sky more and more to people cheering and clapping. And here they were, the other ones, weird looking, majority parentless, hiding in the shadows.
Looking up, there was Tom standing at the end of the corridor, next to the room, known to the kids as 'the pipes'. The cat-boy made a lazy gesture with his hand, “C’mon dude, I wanna show you something.”
Following him into the room, Aaron pulled off his beanie, revealing his oversized pointed ears. 'The pipes' were hot, a room filled with a network of crisscrossing pipes, the kids from Floor 17 often snuck in there to smoke, or some of the older kids did other stuff. Yuck, Aaron scrunched his face up when that thought crossed his mind. Suffice to say, as a furred creature, all those traits made him wary every time he entered.
“Did you fart?” Tom asked innocently, looking at his face.
“No,” Aaron retorted.
“Must be me then,” Tom laughed.
As the smell hit the bat-kid, he stuck his tongue out. “You're gross. Ev'ry time you have sloppy joes!” Tom kept laughing, until Aaron finally smiled. “What do ya wanna show me?”
“Check it.” Tom pulled a match book out from his jacket pocket. The small square front was black, and in a shimmery red it had a picture of three lines crossing one another, with a small 'o' in the middle, and the bottom of it had the words 'The Oblivion Bar,' the o's being small golden yellow eyes.
“Woah, where'd'you find that?” Aaron asked poking it.
“It just fell outta' Frankenstein's pocket...” Tom said a little too smugly.
Tom raised his voice, “It's true! He was walking by a week ago, he was a bit wobbly, he must've just been in a big fight or something... I saw him. He pulled something outta his pocket and this dropped out.”
“You saw Frankenstein?” Aaron said with awe as he started to believe, “That's sooooo cool!”
“Yeah, he's massive! He has all these scars and stuff, and a giant sword! He could totally beat Superman in a fight.”
“Na-ah, Superman can fly and shoot lazer outta his eyes.”
“Well Frankenstein can't die,” Tom muttered, pushing the smaller Aaron back.
“You don't know that, you're just making stuff up!” He didn't hit Tom. Tom was pretty tall for the kids his age, and though he was pretty relaxed, Aaron had seen him angry. You didn’t want to make a cat, anthropomorphic or otherwise, angry. You did and you’d suffer the wrath of the claw.
“Whatever,” said Tom, pulling his bag around and grabbing out a bag of mini-chocolate bars. “You know, we should light one.”
Aaron shook his head, “We'll get caught! We only have like 10 minutes left before the bell!”
“Scaredy-bat,” Tom mocked, flicking open the box, “It'll take like a second.” He walked over behind some of the pipes and sat down by the concrete wall. Taking the last of his chocolate bar into his mouth, he wiped his hands on his jacket. Aaron walked over to sit down beside him, nervously looking around to see if anyone was watching.
Tom broke off a match and swiped it against the lighting strip. Nothing happened. He tried again, biting his tongue. Nothing.
Rolling his oversized eyes, an impressive gesture to anyone watching, Aaron snatched it from him, “You're doing it wrong. Look.” He broke off another match and struck it with an easy flick. The flame burned green, then blue, then red. They both leaned into gaze at it, the colours reflected in their eyes. The light flared and they leant back.
Suddenly the wall collapsed behind them. They looked up to see the wooden door of the Oblivion Bar open, looking out into to the S.H.A.D.E. building that they were just sitting in. The door swung shut. Tom rolled over and looked around. Their entire world had just shifted into the unknown and they had never taken a single step.
The bar was quite large, full of wooded tables and chairs, filled with a strange mix of humans and creatures. Behind the bar a huge horned troll was cleaning glasses. The dark furred cat-kid smiled, “Cool...”
“We're gonna be in so much trouble.” Aaron whispered, pulling his red beanie back on to cover his ears. He looked around but Tom was gone, the cat was already walking confidently to the bar-counter.
Tom climbed up onto the stool that looked like it had been carved in the dark ages and cleared his throat. The hulking Troll turned around, throwing a tea-towel over his shoulder. His eyes searched around until it finally settled on the small blacked furred cat-hybrid in the blue and orange jacket that could barely reach the bar. He raised one hairy eyebrow.
“One of your finest Ales, Mr.. uh, chap,” Tom tried. Behind him Aaron shook his head. Covering his face the boy-bat jumped up on the stool beside him.
The troll looked at the both of them, then turned to Aaron. “And for you, young lord?”
Still covering his face, Aaron peeped, “W-w-water. Please.”
The Troll tilted his head slightly to them. He grabbed a couple of glasses and filled them up with a brown liquid, then placed them before each of the boys. Tom winked at Aaron and grabbed his glass, taking a sip. His face contorted. “It's ginger beer,” confirmed the Troll, “I don't know if illegal to serve alcohol to minors out here, but I'd feel pretty bad.” Aaron took a sip of the soda. The Troll put his huge clawed hands on the bar and leaned on them. “Would you like to tell me why you two kids are unsupervised?”
Tom coughed. “How do you know we're kids? We might just look like this...”
“...or have a curse.” Aaron added shyly, averting his eyes down to his glass.
The troll leaned in closer to them, until they could fell how warm, mint-fresh breath. “A barman knows all things.” He stood back up. “But if you want a second opinion… D.C.!!!” he bellowed so loud that both boys winced and covered their ears.
At a table littered with books near the fireplace, an open newspaper shut to reveal a chimpanzee in a tidy green suit, sitting with a pipe in his lips. “What is it Mathias... Oh lord, what are these children doing here?” Detective Chimp adjusted his spectacles and hopped off his high ridgeback seat. “Best hope Rook doesn’t discover them.”
Aaron shut his mouth. Tom didn't. The chimp approached and scanned them over methodically. “8 or 9, cat-hybrid and bat-hybrid. No trace signs of lycanthropy. Good clothes. School-bags- but military material. Haven't seen much natural light. You're with S.H.A.D.E. are you? A little young aren't you, though I suppose it makes sense, monsters were children once too.”
Both of the kids looked hurt. D.C. scratched his chin, “Oh, the monsters thing? My sincerest apologies, I didn't mean anything by it, I have a habit of thinking out loud. I mean look at me,” He held out his arms, “I'm hardly what you'd call normal.”
“Don't tell our teacher,” blurted Tom. Aaron nodded in agreement.
The ape hummed slowly and looked to Mathias, the barkeep, who shrugged. He walked back to his table and grabbed his hat. “I guess we should get you two back to where you belong.” The kids dropped off their stools with hung heads. “Never hurts to have Time owe me one.”
“Thanks...” whispered Aaron to the Troll, who emptied the glasses.
“We'll see you back when you're 18,” he called after them. Detective Chimp signaled to put the drinks on his tab. Mathias nodded.
“You, cat-boy,” the Chimp said suddenly, stopping in his place. The two furry kids stumbled to a halt behind him while he turned to study Tom again as if a thought had entered his simian head. “Do you know who your father is?”
Always one to take offense to a comment about his heritage, Aaron took a step back when Tom’s hair bristled and his fangs were bared. “What’s it to ya?”
“I’ll take that as a no. Now listen carefully. Our very lives depend on it…” The kids waited patiently, though Tom still had his fur on end, as the adult approached one of the Bar’s many doors. Detective Chimp walked to the handle and looked back to them. “If you could both think of S.H.A.D.E. that shall make things easier.”
Tom and Aaron nodded for what felt like the millionth time. D.C. took Tom's hand, noting the claws, and Tom took Aarons. Chimp turned the handle.
They walked into the dark room. By the slight echo of their footsteps off the far walls, Detective Chimp could tell that the room was massive. The door clicked shut behind them as it faded back to the beyond. He rattled around in his jacket pocket and pulled out a torch. He shook it until it flickered it on. Aaron and Tom both flinched and squinted, as their eyes had to readjust. “Sorry,” the Chimp said, “cats and bats both do better in the dark than apes do. It appears that we've ended up in some sort of storage room.” The circle of light swung around the room showing shelves and shelves of items, ranging from both ancient and futuristic weapons to items that looked more like modern art. “Fascinating.”
The detective moved the light around and looked at the dust marks littered upon the ground. “Going by what seems the most frequent, I'd say the exit is this way.” He pointed the torch behind him. Glancing from side to side, he jumped in surprise, feet clearing clean off the ground. The kids were gone. “By Kong! Where are you two?”
“Over here,” Aaron’s voice answered.
Detective Chimp held the torch up, Aaron stood in front of what seemed like a strange grey sarcophagus, upon which Tom was climbing. The box was not very tall, and seemed to be made of a metallic coloured stone. It was covered in a number of mysterious glyphs and at the centre of it there was a stylized elongated face. “Get down from there this instant, kitten,” ordered D.C., realizing how long he'd been looking over the artifact.
“Check it,” Tom said, laughing as he reached down and stuck a finger into the statue's nose. There was a hiss that made Tom jump off, landing on his feet with all the agility of a cat. The three furry beings stepped back as the face on the sarcophagus divided in two and white mist funneled out from within it. The central part of the object opened, revealing a smaller chamber, lit by a blue light, which moved out in slow fashions, until the front face of the inner chamber dropped open. Something small and green rolled out.
Screaming, both Aaron who technically screeched and Tom who hissed ducked behind Detective Chimp. The only brave soul of three for he had experienced stranger in his long life lowered to torch onto the mist covered green thing. The green ball seemed to quiver as the chimp neared it. As the misty-fog cleared, he was sure he could see the reflection of a dark eye looking at him. Suddenly the ball unfolded, collapsing back into a green furred figure no bigger than any of them.
“What is it?” whispered Tom.
“It looks like a green monkey,” Aaron suggested.
“More like a chimp,” concluded the Detective.