Direct follow up to The Curse of the Extinctionists
After all the trauma the Pure Ones caused, Prince Rory, felt that now was time to rethink the way he had lived his life, up till this point, while he acknowledged he was the hereditary Prince of the Humanimals, he was about as authoritative as English Royalty and his friends, 'The League of Submissive Gentlemen' were little more then a chummy club bound together by their kinky sexual preferences, the only exception was Warhol the Walrus, who actually was functioning as Prince Rory's Mage.|
Rory now felt it was time to start acting like a Prince, and turn the League os Submissive Gentleman into The Knights of Animalia
|Rory massaged his temples late at night as they came home from the museum "I never want to go through that again." He said|
"Neither do I." Bernadette said as she put little Victoria in her crib "The Scientists are STILL cleaning up the acid snow!"
"I could have done more." Rory said "I spent too much time panicking and not enough time helping..."
|Rory sighed and flopped down on the sofa|
He began to dream...He saw in his dream...
|A lot of chicken, and hot dogs, and hamburgers.|
"Is it Grilling Season already?" he wondered.
|But there is something strange happening over the barbecue pit, the smoke suddenly reforms itself into a head, that of a 5 point buck and Rory recognizes it as his father. "D-d-dad?" Rory said and the smoke says "Hello Son." Rory says "But how can this be? You're dead." Rory's father says "I heard that you used one of your powers." Rory says "Huh? Oh the museum." Rory's father says "Exactly." Rory says "I was being held hostage by the pure ones, I can't even remember how I did it. Could you at least explain it?"|
|(Um...OK, I never at any point said Rory's Dad was dead...OK let's just say he died a few months ago in a car accident?)|
"Rory..." Rufus Stag said "Are you serious about being Prince? Are you really truly going to lead your fellow Humanimals? Or are you just going to waste your power?"
"Dad," Rory said "I do want to be a good Prince...But I don't know how? I didn't even know I was a Prince until I discovered that magic golden artifact!"
"Look." Rufus said gesturing to the Barbecue "What do you see?"
"A lot of disgusting meat..." Rory said
"Not just any meat..." Rufus said "All of this is made from Endangered Species, The hamburgers are made from Giraffes and Zebras, the hot dogs were made from Elephants, Rhinos and...Gods know what else and the Chickens? Well...those are actually Bald Eagles and Peregrine Falcons and..."
"Stop! Stop!" Rory said "I'm going to vomit! What are you trying to say?"
"A new danger looms on the horizon..." Said Rufus "Consider this your warning...You need to get your rear in gear and start doing something!"
|Rory woke from his dream, "Oh, what a dream." Bernadette says "What's wrong? having a bad dream?" Rory says "No, just a strange one." Bernadette says "Could you at least tell me about it?" Rory explains the dream, the barbecue, his father and his warning. Bernadette asks "What does this all mean? And what's this new danger your father is talking about?" Rory says "I don't know, I guess we'll wait until it shows itself."|
|Back at England, Ichabod and Marzipan crashed as soon as their beds hot the pillow at Lavender House as they had been up for 24 hours straight and were really tired.|
Marzipan started to dream, she dreamed about a cave filled with delicious food...
Marzipan feeling hungry from her long ordeal, picked up a hamburger and started to munch on it
"Yuck!" Marzipan exclaimed "This burger has pickles on it! I HATE pickles!"
"Hey Marzipan." Said a Friendly voice, a Beautiful Raccoon Woman stood before
"Hi Patricia!" Marzipan said "How is everything?"
"Not good." Said the Anthropomorphic Goddess of Food and Cookery "Strange things have happened since the Pure Ones came and messed things up."
"Bad things." Said Patricia's husband Pablo the Phoenix "With their acid snow they destroyed many crops and injured many livestock animals, many people may go hungry!"
"That's terrible!" Marzipan said
"Yes." Patricia said "So we would like to ask something of you..."
"Ask something?" Marzipan said
"Yes." Said Patricia "Marzipan, will you temporally become my assistant Goddess of Cookery?"
|"I-I don't know, You're Highness?" Said Marzipan. The fact that she was asleep wasn't helping her ability to think at all. "What would that entail?"|
|"You may have to come to the cave a few nights of every week and work some Goddess magic to help replenish the world's food supply." Pablo said|
"Yes." Patricia said "And with your new Goddess cooking skills you may be required to make food super delicious in order to give people hope in times of famine."
"I guess, it's the least I can do." Marzipan said "How long do you think this will last?"
"Two months I think." Said Pablo
"All right." Marzipan said "Make a Goddess out of me!"
There was a puff of rainbow colored smog, Marzipan woke up
"Oh geez," She said "I feel so warm," She removed all her clothes in order to cool off
She laid back down next to Ichabod who was still asleep, mumbling softly in his dreams.
Meanwhile Rory, was trying to think of what to do in order to be a better Prince, but ideas were in short supply and he was tired after his long ordeal.
|"I'm going to have a long day," he muttered, trying to clear his head.|
|"There are times that I wish there was a guidebook on how to be a prince." He said to himself.|
Meanwhile on the Fellowship, the crew is handling a crisis, ever sense the Pure ones acid snow there was a food shortage due to infected farm animals and crops. Matoaka says "We need to do something, many humans and humanimals are going hungry because of that snow the pure ones imported from Io." Jim says "I don't have any ideas." Bill says "We can always import some of those crops from the farm we grew up on." Wingate says "I would put that on hold, for all we know that could do more harm then good." Matoaka says "Do you have any better ideas?"
"How about the algae planet?" Bob said.
"What's that?" Jim asked. Bob was such a treasure house of ideas. He read every book, watched every science program, he strived to know everything.
Bob rubbed his hands together, happy to be able to expound on a topic. "It's a planet covered with oceans where the algae grows thick and nutritious. Very few people live there, since there is no land, but they make all their food from the algae. They dry it and grind it into a flour to bake with. And they mold it into patties and fry it. They do all kinds of things with it."
"So what's the name of this planet?"
"It's called Oceania, for obvious reasons, and I am sure they would be happy to sell us all the algae we wanted."
"The problem," Matoaka said, "would be getting people to eat algae foods. They don't sound very tasty."
"If the choice is between starving to death and eating algae... I think I know how people will choose."
|"Excellent, Bob! I'll draft a plan for bureaucracies' sake, present it to the world leaders, and then we can take the Fellowship to Oceania and collect some of this algae. With the new ultra-spatial hold, we should be able to carry enough for a planet. People should be able to live off the emergency food supplies until then, and -Wait a second, this place is Federation, right?"|
|"I...think so..." Bob said, they all looked at him|
"Hang on." He said "Let me check."
He went on the Intergalactic web and said "Oh...Crap!" He fumed "It's an Empire Planet."
"Figures." Bill said with disgust, "You'd have to be Wrangler Filth to want to live on algae!"
"OK." Matoaka said "Let's review, the global situation."
She got a map of the Earth.
"The acid snow only affected the Northern Hemisphere of the Earth," Matoaka said "The Southern Hemisphere was left untouched."
"Great." Jim said "So our banana supply is safe but our apples are ruined!" Jim was most distraught at that thought as apples were his favorite fruit.
"All is not lost Jim." Matoaka said "We lost a lot of food, but not all of it...Crops grown in greenhouses are safe, and the livestock who were brought safely indoors before they could be harmed are...Well...Still viable." Being an Herbivore, Matoaka was very hesitant to refer to her fellow ungulates being eaten even if they were of the Non-Anthropomorphic type.
|Jim thought about it. "So if people are willing to change their ways and eat foods they don't normally eat, there is no reason the earth can't supply enough to feed everybody?"|
"That's what I think," Matoaka said. "Of course somebody needs to do the calculations and be sure."
|Marzipan woke up feeling a little strange. She stretched her arms and legs cat style, and looked at Ichabod next to her|
He was damp with sweat, glistening like an eel. Marzipan didn't know what the heck he was dreaming, but it must have been awful to produce a reaction like that!
Marzipan got a towel and patted him dry.
Meanwhile at the Fellowship, Matoaka was further looking over the world situation
"OK." She said "Almost everything located near the equator OK, the closer you get to the North Pole however things start to go downhill."
"Yeah." Jim said "All wild fruit and nuts are probobly kaput at this point."
"Not necessarily." Matoaka said
Meanwhile As Marzipan was patting Ichabod dry, he woke up
"Oh hey Marzi," He yawned as he woke up "Was I disturbing you?"
"No." Marzipan said "But I was a little concerned, You seemed to be having a nightmare to end all nightmares!"
"Oh Marzi..." Ichabod said as he rubbed the sleep out of his eyes "I was dreaming about that news article a while back, you know, the one about the planet where they raised clones just to harvest their organs? I was just thinking, that could have been me! By some twist of fate I could have been one of those clones, but I wasn't I was merely a clone by necessity my parents loved and kept me."
Matoaka and her Fellowship crew started getting hungry talking about food, so they decided to stop for a quick snack break because fortunately the snow could not harm food inside kitchens and pantries.
Matoaka got out some things to make sandwiches with, Bob started making himself a tuna fish sandwich and Jim started making himself a peanut butter and apple sandwich (Probably spurred by the thought apples may soon be hard to come by) Matoaka decided to make herself peanut butter and honey sandwich.
|Freddie came in "Oh good, some food. I just got back from training and I worked up an appitite. Any more of that tuna left Bob?" Bob says "I thought you bird-types prefer seeds that what Wingate eats." Matoaka says "Freddie's an Eagle, a Raptor-type they prefer meat over seeds." Freddie says "Actually I prefer fish." Bob passes a can of tuna to Freddie "Here you go." Freddie says "Thanks." and makes himself a tuna sandwich.|
|"Am I the only one whose bugged by this?" Bob asked as they ate "But with all this focusing on crops and wildlife, we haven't given much of a thought to wild non-anthropomorphic animals...What are they going to eat?"|
Everyone had to stop and think about that
"Don't worry Bob." Matoaka said "The Humanimals who live in the wilderness are caretakers of the wildlife, they'll protect our non-anthropomorphic brethren."
|"I hope so," Bob said.|
|Meanwhile in the Great Gothem Forest, Flora and Trevor was passing out food that was stored for emergancies. Flora says "Wow Trevor, good thing you had these stored away, and best of all they are not contaminated like the rest of the forest's food supply." Trevor says "It's good to be prepared I always say." Flora says "What will you do if we run out?"|
|"I don't know, really. I did all this as much for peace of mind as in case of an actual catastrophe. But I'm sure that they'll be able to airlift food in if things get desperate enough." Trevor replied hesitantly.|
|Meanwhile Marzipan was back with Ichabod at Lavender House|
"When do you think Matoaka and the Fellowship Herd will be back from the States?" Marzipan asked
"As soon as they can get the Spaceship working I guess." Ichabod yawned as he did his morning stretches
Marzipan was looking through the cupboards and fridge looking for something to make for breakfast, it seemed they needed to go grocery shopping for Lavender House as all Marzipan found was a half gallon of milk, a pitcher of ice water a bunch of bananas, two apples, some assorted mixed nuts still in the shells, there wasn't even any tea left it had been used up yesterday
|Matoaka is checking on the repairs, "Good, we replaced all the carroded metal. How are the engines coming along?" Gatorchomp says "The warp drive is almost fixed, just waiting for a couple more parts Edward and Kong are bringing in and we'll be all set to fly back to Earthport." Matoaka says "Ah good, sooner that's fixed the sooner we'll take off." Wingate flew in quicker then a flash with a bagfull of food and supplies "There we go, a something for the road or should I say the sky, I had to outrace a bunch of triggure-happy rednecks for these." Gatorchomp says "Wow, I guess those Pure ones certainly made a mess of things when they brought that toxic snow."|
|(Um Steve I stated in an earlier post that there was NO acid snow in the southern hemisphere therefore there would have been no acid snow in Antarctica)|
Matoaka rubbed her temples and sighed "We can never seem to find a moment's peace." She said "No matter where we go trouble seems to find us."
|"Too bad that a sign won't pop up saying 'Warning! Trouble ahead!'" Bob chuckled.|
|Wingate says "Still, they should show more respect to the Federation." Just then Cooper calls in, "I was informed that you needed Plutonium crystals for your warp drive." Matoaka says "Yes, and a glass container to hold it." Cooper says "You're in luck, because I have both. I'm currently in Earth's orbit and on my way in." Matoaka says "How did you know we needed them?"|
|After a long and fitful sleep, Rory jumped off the sofa with the grace only a Deer can manage|
"That's it!" Rory said
"What's it Rory?" Asked his Mom Daisy, as she was arranging some flowers in a vase (Rory is still technically in high school at 17 years old)
"I need to have knights!" Rory said "I need to have Humanimals who I can depend on in times of crisis."
"Very well." Daisy said "But who will be your knights?"
"Well...The League of course." Rory said "For the most part we've just been this chummy little club bound together by little more then common interest in our fetishes...I think it's time we really started acting like royalty."
"Rory." Daisy said "Are you sure they would really want to be knights?" Most of them have their own jobs to take care of..."
Rory sighed "You're right Mom." He said "I think that would be asking too much of them."
Bernadette came down with Victoria "I think there is something we need more then knights." She said
Rory and Daisy turned to see
"What we need is some scientists to both see into cleaning up the remaining toxicity, and making sure this food shortage doesn't become a full-out famine!" Bernadette said
"You've got a point there." Rory said as he began to pace "My friend Niccolo Oak the Beaver was always interested in biology and the environment, maybe he can help with that and that Merric Moose knows a lot about Earth sciences...maybe he could help in that area too..."
|Meanwhile at Lavender House, Ichabod and Marzipan had to make due with a breakfast consisting only of fruit, nuts, milk and water.|
"We really need to go grocery shopping." Ichabod sighed
"Tell me about it." Marzipan said "But it's going to be murder getting anything good."
Meanwhile, on board the Fellowship Marina was packing her things
"I have to head back to Hartford." She said
"Already?" Freddie said
"You forget." Marina said "I'm married with cubs, they're probobly wondering where I am."
Bob meanwhile was with Geronimo the Giraffe
"I just need to fix the engine and then we'll be ready." Bob said
"I'm pretty good at mechanics." Geronimo said "Maybe I could take a crack at it."
"I...Don't recommend you do..." Bob said "The Fellowship is a VERY complicated piece of machinery..."
"I've worked on my share of Spaceships." The Giraffe said "My Dad used to work on them, sometimes he'd take me to work and show me how it's done."
Geronimo took the wrench in his mouth and stretched his neck down the hatch, all of a sudden there was the sound of electricity crackling and giraffe bellowings of pain
Geronimo pulled his head back up, his mane scorched
"OK, OK you were right." He said as he blew the sparks out of his mane
|Bob says "I told you the engine here is complicated, good thing for that elastic powers of yours or you could've died of electricution. Report to the med bay, just in case." Geronimo drops the wrench and leaves the room. Cooper comes in "Mind if I help?" Bob says "Cooper, I told Geronimo that the Fellowship's engine is complicated." "Don't worry," Cooper says "I worked on engines like this before." Cooper takes the wrench and goes down the hatch, and a few minutes later the engine powers up and Cooper comes out of the hatch "Wow," Bob exclaimed, "You did it but how?" Cooper just said "Like I said, I worked on engines like this before." He hands Bob the wrench.|
|"Don't fry yourself," Cooper said with a chuckle. "Let's hear her purr."|
|"Ion generators functioning; SchwarzenJames super-conductors functioning, nano-drone reserves functioning, and the anti-matter supply is a poolin' nicely, captain. Should we take her for a test drive or zip over to England right away?" Asked Bob from behind his console. The bulk of the crew were assembled on the bridge after the long period of arduous repair work, preparing for a trans-Atlantic hop.|
|"I think now is the time." Matoaka said|
As The Fellowship was making its journey across the Atlantic, Rory was busy talking to his longtime friend Niccolo Oak the Beaver
"I really have no idea what to do." Rory sighed "I need to do something about the food shortage but I don't know what!"
"Rory..." Niccolo said "Do you really want to be Prince? Or do you just feel obliged to do so because the Golden Artifact said so?"
Rory stopped dead in his tracks
"I mean..." Nick continued "You weren't raised as a Prince, your parents had no idea they were part of a royal family, your Dad owned the Majestic Theater and your Mom was a Singer/Songwriter/Dancer...Rory you OK?"
"I just..." Rory looked like a...Deer in headlights for a moment "Nevermind...I just had an odd thought for a moment..."
"So...How are things with Bernadette?" Nick asked
"Everything's OK." Rory said
"Have you...You know..." Nick asked
"Do you mean...Mate?" Rory asked
"Since your Fawn was born." Nick said
Rory rubbed his head "No." he said "No...And there is and important reason why. With Deer People, the Male's sex drive goes down if his mate is still nursing...Most large mammals can only handle one calf, foal or fawn at a time, and deer are seasonal breeders as it is...We generally only mate during the fall and winter."
"That's a tough break," Nick said.
"I'm used to it," Rory said. "You never complain about what always is and never has been any different."
"That's true. About this clean up operation... I see lots of dams being built."
"Dams?" Rory said. "How will that help?"
"Dams are good for the environment. They smooth out the water flow. They provide places for fish to live. They help irrigate crops. More dams has got to be good."
"Well... if you say so."
|"I also hear that they have their down falls as well. The new lakes flood the surrounding area, which is often rare woodland. And the bigger bodies of water can make it harder for migrating animals like caribou to follow their typical routes. And they help secure a food supply like fish and veggies only if people can get to the water easily enough- many of the large rivers are fairly remote, to say nothing of what bringing in all the heavy machinery and materials would do to the regions. Still, I do see your points on the benefits of more reservoirs, the renewable hydroelectricity production aside." Said Rory thoughtfully.|
|Back at Earthport, Ichabod greeted his herd enthusiastically, they decided to get supper at the Black & White the one restaurant in Earthport owned and operated by a Giant Panda.|
"Can I get you something to drink?" Asked a Skunk waitress (Almost all the waiters and waitresses and Black and White animals to follow the restaurants theme)
"I'll just have water." Ichabod said
Almost everyone else got soda or milk or some other soft drink
"I'll be right on it." Said the Skunk
|"So, how are things on your end?" Matoaka asked.|
|"The shortage is starting to tell- but me and Marzi have enough food to get by on. The grocery store's been virtually looted by food hoarders since people realized how badly the snow hurt everything, so I think we'll end up eating out for a lot of the near future. Who new famine would be so good for restaurants?"|
"Well, I wouldn't call it a proper famine as yet, Ichy, thank goodness." Said Minsk, before resuming with slurping her milkshake ecstatically.
"Indeed. The Pure Ones will have their work cut out for them making reparations." Said Mataoka. "Was anyone injured or worse in the hostage situation? -We've been too busy making repairs too get a good look at the news reports."
"Besides the Pure Ones? Not that I know of- though I heard James got some real nasty plasma burns while liberating the hostages, and some of the prisoners got knocked up the guards once or twice, though nothing too bad."
"Yeah, where is that wolf? I haven't seen him since the surrender, even on holovision. I'd have thought that he'd be getting another medal or something soon." Bill interjected.
"Maybe their just waiting for him to recover first before presenting it?" Said Edward. "And at any rate, I don't think that he coordinated his little attack on the museum with the police, something that I imagine they're not feeling too happy about right now. A SWAT team in there at the right time could have made the whole thing a lot safer."
"Pfft! Dear, you know very well they couldn't care less about that. James -and Hunter, of course, - are heroes for what they did." Said Minsk.
"Well, if he had stayed back, he wouldn't have endangered the prisoners at all, and he also wouldn't have had to kill all those Pure Ones. They would have given up w hen the sun rose." Was Edward's rather terse reply.
"Calm down, you two. It's over and done with, and now we have bigger problems than arguing about hypothetical law enforcement guidelines." Mataoka turned back to Ichabod as she finished. "So then, how is your father doing, Ichy? I think that you mentioned he would be visiting you at around this time."
|"He's visiting his old friend Flora in Gotham...After the hostage situation I think he wants to unwind..." Ichabod took a deep drink of water|
The Skunk Waitress came back "All right do you think what you know what you want?"
"I think so." Ichabod said "Too large pizzas, one veggie lover's pizza for the herbivores, and one meat lover's pizza for the carnivores and omnivorous humans."
"Coming right up!" The Skunk said cheerfully
|"I just hope James isn't up to something crazy," said Matoaka. "He attracts trouble like a magnet attracts iron and steel."|
|Meanwhile in London, James is at the hospital's burn ward, recovering from his plasma burns. A cougar humanimal doctor comes in "Good afternoon James, and how are you feeling?" James just sneered at him, the doctor said "I know that look, but trust me this is for your own good. You're still recovering from plasma burns and they need to heal. Your little gung ho act at the museum nearly got yourself killed. With proper treatment, you'll be out in a few days."|
|Matoaka was on the phone. "How are you doing, James?"|
James spoke into the phone while he watched a red fox girl nurse massage his feet. "They say I'll be laid up here for a few days. But it's not so bad. The nurses are cute."
The fox girl glanced up and smiled at him.
| "Quite a lot, actu- unggh, now that ...Feels goood- actually." He put a paw up next to the receiver mock conspirationally. "I was thinking about getting shot again a few times, you know, if they'll be willing to put me back in here. Don't tell anyone." He removed the paw and adjusted himself on the chair.|
"But do you know any other hordes of extra-planetary racists who have come down from space and captured museums lately? The really quite sadistically dangerous kind that takes the cops by the balls and then force me to storm their little field headquarters and capture them all single-pawed, a bit like I did last week?" Said James with slightly greater volume then requisite, especially for such an otherwise causal tone of voice.
"Uh, I'll check, but I can't say that I've seen any lately. You must have scared them off or something. Do you know if you're getting an award or commendation for freeing those prisoners?" Said Mataoka.
"They didn't tell me yet, but a part of me hopes not: I'd have to buy a third dress-uniform for whatever it is to fit. The last two are starting to look more like my body armor, they're so covered in metal and things. If they started fussing over something like the incident with the Pure Ones, I don't know exactly what I'd do. The people who are working to clear away all the acid snow are the real heroes -though in truth, I wouldn't mind a memento or souvenir for this escapade. But, anyways, how bad do you think this whole famine is?"
"It'll get worse before it gets better. Most of the stores are empty now, and restaurants are running out of stock. Some people think there'll be riots and are moving off planet for a while. I imagine we'll start seeing line-ups for food hand-outs in a few days or so, and that that'll be the most severe sympton."
"Really? I think you're right; we can always import food from Venus if things get bad enough and- aaaaaah-oooohhh... S'damn...- At any rate, it's such a pity; I was hoping that some desperate looters would come in and take all the hospital food before I had to eat it. Come to think of it, it would likely just crawl away and hide if it saw them coming, ick."
|After Lunch the Fellowship Herd walked out of the Black&White |
"Well." Minsk said "James is right we CAN import food from other planets on there are at least a couple hundred planets colonized by Earthlings."
Just then two beings appeared before the Fellowship Herd, they looked like Humanoid Dinosaurs...But not like Dinosaur Humanimals, their faces were flatter, their hands and feet daintier, they seemed like they supposed Dinosaur Humans that scientists believed would have happened if the Asteroid didn't hit at the end of the Cretaceous.
"Citizens!" Said one of the Reptilians "Fear not! We are Skk-Urs and we wish to help!"
Matoaka turned to Zander "Have you ever heard of there guys?"
"No." Zander said "No I have not."
"Greetings Earth Bovine." Said the second one (Seemed to be the Female of the two) "Nice to see you again."
Matoaka turned to Bill "You...Know these creatures?"
Bill rubbed the back of his head "I met them." He said "It was a really weird night...For a while I thought I had only dreamed it...I was taking a late night walk in the park, it was such a warm night I couldn't sleep in my bed, I was all alone, I closed my eyes as inhaled the sweet night air, when I opened my eyes there were two scaly, yellow eyes, fang filled faces grinning at me...I did what any red blooded herbivore would do...Scream bloody murder, they quickly calmed me down saying they didn't want to hurt me, they were Intergalactic Health Inspectors they had come to check Earth's nutrition, they asked me to bring four typical Earth foods..."
"What did you give them?" Matoaka asked
"A veggie burger, a jar of Hellman's Mayonnaise, a joint of ham and a bag of marshmallows." Bill said "I couldn't bring myself to fetch and normal burger due to...You know...Buying an actual ham made from an actual pig was straining my moral compass enough."
|"Those samples you gave us," said the female Skk-Ur, "were really good, and seeing that your planet is suffering from a food shortage, we wish to share it with the needy." Bill said "Thanks, I'm honored to help out anyway I can." Matoaka says "Looks like we don't have to leave the planet to find food, you certainly make quite interesting friends Bill." She turns to the female Skk-Ur. "Do you at least have a name?"|
"I have one," said the female Skk-Ur, "but I am afraid you could not pronounce it. Just call me Betty. I will notify our farmers to send all surplus foods here to Earth. I hope that our version of Earth foods will please you. Naturally we had to make a few changes to adapt Earth foods to our own planet's weather and to our own tastebuds."
|Meanwhile in Paradise Valley Rory was still wondering what to do about the food shortage when he bumped into Chester Cat|
"Sorry Rory." Chester said
"It's OK." Rory said "Seems you can't meet anyone these days without bumping them these days."
"So...What's been on your mind?" Chester asked
Rory told Chester about his Knights of Animalia idea
"Actually that's a pretty good idea." Chester said
"You really think so?" Rory asked
|"It would be interesting to tell a client that one is a knight for real, and not some play-name for a kinky RP thing," Chester said.|
"Thanks for liking my idea," Rory said. "I've had to listen to a few negative opinions. People seem to think nobody is going to leave their regular job to run off to become a Knight of Animalia."
"Maybe you shouldn't make it such an either or thing," Chesster said. "The Knights could meet on Saturday mornings when no one had to be at their regular jobs."
|Meanwhile in the Great Gotham Forest Jonathan and Flora were walking through a cave that served as shelter for the Wild Humanimals in times of crisis (Like the one they were going through now) While talking about weather they should actually go through this whole affair thing, they still had their reservations|
"So this is my...Room." Flora said leading Jonathan into a small alcove
"Very...Artistic." Jonathan said noting the dead flowers, shells and colorful stones that decorated the area "I must admit these caves do have a sort of whimsical charm to them, with the glowworms illuminating the pathways and those strange colorful cave plants...I bet Pamela would love to study them..."
Flora sat down on a smooth polished rock while they sat in awkward silence
"I brought you a little something." Jonathan said holding out a large thermos
Flora took the thermos and opened it up, a wonderful fragrance filled the air
"Oh Jonathan!" Flora said "My favorite beef stew you remembered!" She raised the thermos to her mouth and gulped it down "Is it true once you married you had to live on your wife's vegan cuisine?"
"Only for one half of the year." Jonathan grinned "During the spring and summer, Pamela rules the kitchen with an iron fist, though I have on occasion sneaked in some animal protein when Pamela wasn't around, even if it was just a hard boiled egg and a tuna salad sandwich. But come fall and winter, I reign supreme, Pamela of course continues to make herself vegan food but I get to use all the meat, eggs and dairy I could want. Ichabod when he was very small once said to me that he liked Summer's weather, but he like fall and winter's food more...I couldn't help but laugh it was the most adorable thing I heard him say."
|"Different diets can be a challenge," Flora chuckled.|
|Johnathin chuckles "You have a point there. Pamela always been a vegan." Flora says "Could you explain more about her?"|
"I guess I was talking about her a lot," Jonathan said. "I suppose I am a little bit nervous being alone here with you."
Flora looked up. "Pamela wouldn't like it?"
|Meanwhile in Paradise Valley, Rory had gathered all his friends from the League of Submissive Gentlemen Warhol the Walrus, Peter the Buffalo, Scipio the Peacock, Phoenix the Dragon Boomer the Grey Kangaroo, Rockhopper the Mountain Goat Chester the Cat and Eomer the Horse|
|"So, would you mind explaining the details about this little gathering?" Chester asked. "I know we know about the snow, and what it has done, but most of us have other jobs to do, so to speak."|
"Someone waiting on you?" Scipio sneered.
"There's a mouse client waiting on me; she would like to be on top of the food chain for once."
|Rory says, "As you know, My trip to London was a bit of a nightmare. I decides to take My role as a prince more seriously." Peter asks "What it got to do with us?" Rory says "A prince needs knights." Phoenix says "You want us to be knights?"|
"That's right," Rory said, "And of course I am willing to do the sword on the shoulder thing."
Phoenix put his arm around Rory. "Rory, old man. I think you are beginning to take this Prince Rory idea just a little too seriously."
"What do you mean?"
"I mean this isn't King Arthur's Round Table."
|Rory sighed "I suppose you're right." He said|
"Don't forget." Boomer said "We were all with you on that trip to the Museum, it was hard on us as well, you were the one who had the biggest freak out."
"Right." Rory said
Phoenix suddenly had a bright idea
"Why don't we all check out today's news?" He said "They are to interview the former Pure Ones. Maybe that can help us."
Rory shrugged "Worth a try."
They went to the local laundromat and turned on to the news
"If we're in the middle of Russia," Chester asked "Then how come we can watch Gotham channels."
"Well." Said Rory "Paradise Valley doesn't have it's own TV networks so we just borrow everyone else's."
"This Summer Gleeson with Gotham Insider." Summer said "Tonight we have two of the former Pure Ones known as Number 1 and Number 4, tell me what do you call yourselves now?"
The Brown Haired Man said "We now call ourselves Adam..."
"...And Eve..." Said the Red Haired Woman
"...Respectively." They said at the same time
"Have all former Pure Ones taken normal names?" Summer asked
"We would think so." Adam said "We kind of disbanded after we reformed, we're all trying to find meaning after insanity."
"That brings me to my next question." Summer said "This 'snow madness' you were talking about...What was it exactly?"
"The snow was basically mind raping us." Adam said "For several generations, but before you ask, no it wasn't trying to turn us into an army to wipe out the rest of creation, it least that wasn't its intent, the snow actually was trying to kill us, on that Planet the snow was sapient, and it was the only thing on the planet that had a mind, in fact it was all that was on the planet...Since the only thing it knew was itself, you can imagine how shocked it was when we landed on it, and they snow didn't like us, anymore then you would like having an infestation of fleas, it regarded as vermin and repeatedly tried to kill us, but only succeeded in making us insane."
|"Big trouble," said Rory.|
|Summer says "So this snow wasn't your idea at all but the sentinel's?" Eve says "Basicly, yes and to the visitors from Paradise valley we do appoligize for any behavier we displayed." Summer asks "How about the food shortage?"|
|"Could you tell me who is the Sentinel?" Summer asked |
Adam and Eve looked hesitant
"He is...The first Pure One." Adam said "The First who transformed pure white by the snow."
"Where is he now?" Summer asked
"Well..." Eve said "Over the years, he became increasingly disgusted by his own body, for having the same features that animals possessed like fingers, toes, eyes, ears...Brains."
Summer said "I don't like where this was going."
"So he destroyed everything until only his mind was left, and because of that, his mind became a cherished sacred thing, something all future leaders consulted for wisdom..."
"Where is this Sentinel now?" Summer asked though she dreaded the answer
|Adam and Eve looked at each other "We're not sure where it is now," Adam answered "but it was purged from us when the first rays of sunlight shone through the museum windows." Summer says "That makes it sensitive to sunlight." Eve nods "It was always night on Io."|
Rory looks at his friends "Let's just hope this Sentinel isn't possessing any of us."
|Peter rubbed his great furry head|
"I don't think that freak possessing any of US is very likely." Peter said "Remember Rory the guy destroyed his own body because his body had the same organs all other animals posses."
"In that case why didn't the bastard destroy his mind as well?" Warhol said sourly "Or was he one of those people who still believe animals don't have minds?"
"Well..." Peter said "They did leave Planet Earth before Humanimals were born, go figure."
Meanwhile at the Hotel of the Heroes (A hotel in the middle of Liverpool, specifically designed for Humanimals) Cooper, Mercer, Melody, and Albatair Gundow were chatting with Freddie Freedom, Wingate and Geronimo.
"I just called my friend Juan Perez." Geronimo said "He's a Howler Monkey, currently living in Venezuela."
"What's his super power?" Cooper asked
"Sonic scream." Geronimo replied "Can make your ears bleed with one screech,"
"I should have known." Cooper chuckled
|"Know anybody else with any abilities like that?" Asked Melody, also chuckling at the fitting power. "Heck, I think he might end up blinding me as well if he were to go and try to deafen me for some reason."|
|"We try not to hurt fellow Humanimals if we can at all help it." Freddie said as he munched on some shrimp cocktail "After all Humanimals never destroyed the environment."|
The Four Federation Humanimals chuckled awkwardly
"Not deliberately no." Said Mercer "But all Humanimals who choose the civilized lifestyle are as much consumers as their human neighbors, sometimes much more so, do you know how many groceries it takes to feed an Elephant Family of four?"
"It can't be that bad." Said Geronimo
"And in all honesty," Mercer continued "For all their talk of loving the environment and everything green many Federation Humanimals don't really stop to think if their purchases are environmentally friendly especially when it comes to what they eat. Many Humanimals practically live on junk food and aren't morbidly obese because they love running or swimming or doing whatever comes naturally to their species. Just look at that fellow at the snack bar."
A large powerful Elephant Man was eating an entire deep dish apple pie with a small mountain of whipped cream on top
"Now even if every ingredient was organic and considering this place it may very well be, consider the farm land required the provide all the Elephant People of the world..."
"Stop! Stop!" Geronimo cried
|Mercer says "What's the problem?"|
Geronimo says "Could we talk about any other species besides Elephants?"
Freddie and Wingate look at Geronimo puzzlingly "What's wrong with Elephant's?" Wingate asks.
"I'd rather not talk about it," Geronimo said.
Wingate's mouth flopped open. "Dude! It's not good to keep secrets from us. Let it out. Discuss it. You will feel much better if you get it off your chest. Now who was this elephant that abused you?"
"I didn't say I was abused by an elephant!"
|"OK." Freddie said "Then why are you..."|
"Because my Step Dad was an Elephant OK?" Geronimo huffed
Everyone fell silent
"OK, I'm sorry." Geronimo said "My actual Dad died when I was very young and when I was five my Mom remarried an Elephant Man, having been practically raised by an Elephant I get a little touchy when they get attacked with that old, 'they eat too much' bit really the Elephant People only eat what they need and its not their fault they need more then other people!"
Meanwhile in Great Gotham Forest, Jonathan and Flora were talking to each other, when Darkling came into the room
"Flora!" He said "Come quick! The King is dying!"
"King?" Jonathan didn't have a clue what was going on
Flora understood at once
"But how?" She said "Lee is only three hundred years old! That's middle aged for Unicorns!"
Lee is Matoaka Redfeather's Dad he wanders the Earth, because he devotes his time to caring for the natural habitats of the world while Matoaka is off fighting for Humanimal Rights...Though they rarely see each other they clearly love each other.
"I think some of the toxic snow has gotten into his system!" Darkling said "I don't have any more time to explain, it may be too late as it is!"
So Flora, Darkling, Trevor and Simmer rushed out of the cave, with Jonathan reluctantly following behind them
Lee was laying on his side, he was wearing his tradition outfit slightly resembling Scotland Highland Dress, Jonathan now saw why he was called Lee of the Golden Mane, his coat was pure white like most unicorns, but his mane and tail tassel were like burnished gold.
Lee weakly lifted up his head "Ah." He said "My children...My time is coming, I can feel it....My soul must go to the great beyond...I know it feels much too soon...But don't be sad....All will be well."
Jonathan was not sure what he could possibly say or do, he felt a nagging feeling that he was woefully out of place, that this was the concern of the animals and not him.
But he gingerly stepped forward and said
"Sir...Your Highness..." He felt this was the only way to speak to a creature of this stature "Is there anything I can do?"
Lee laughed weakly
"A man?" He said "Worried about a Unicorn? I must be...In heaven."
Lee closed his eyes and died.
|"Um, did he have any funerary arrangements?" Johnathan asked. "Burial, cremation, bury at sea, leave him to rot and decay? What?"|
|Darkling says, "Trevor, get in touch with Matoaka. Tell her that his father has passed on. Time for the title to change hands."|
Matoaka sat down hard when she heard the news. "I can't believe it! Somehow I thought he would live forever."
"I will help you with the funeral arrangements," Marzipan said.
|"Thank-you, Marzipan. You are a true friend." Said the dazed queen. |
"Anytime, capt. I'd be simply horrible if I didn't."
"...But, before we can attend.. The... The funeral, I'll have to go through another occasion." She hic-upped loudly at the end of the sentence, professional officer's demeanor threatening to crack apart at the edges.
"What's that, Mata?" Asked Marzipan, putting a soft paw on the taller humanimal's shoulder.
The reply was hesitant; the Federation captain pausing repeatedly to rebuff tears before issuing it. "My coronation."
|Matoaka was nervous, for as long as she had known her Dad was the King of Beasts she knew she knew she was something of a Princess, the problem was she had made so many enemies leading the Humanimal Revolution, she couldn't help but feel a sickly sinking feeling that once she became Queen she would become a bigger target for assassination then she ever was before.|
Marzipan, went back to the apartment she and Ichabod shared, Ichabod had fallen asleep on the sofa.
Marzipan sat down on a thick plush armchair and thought deeply "The Goddess of Food and Cookery gave me some sort of power, and so far I haven't tested even once."
Marzipan sighed, she pulled out her cookbooks and started looking over her recipes
"If I have the power to make anything I make insanely delicious..." She said to herself "Then what recipe should I start with? There are so many to choose from!"
She decided to leave it to chance to decide what she would cook first, she closed her eyes, shuffled around her cookbooks so she didn't know which one was which, then with her eyes still closed she picked up a random book and opened to a random page.
When she opened her eyes, the recipe was...
|Crab-Spinach Egg Casserole(http://www.cooking.com/recipes-and-more/recipes/crab-spinach-egg-casserole-recip...), she read the ingredients and directions and followed them to the letter, Marzipan smelled it as it cooks "I do have the touch." Then she heard "Marzipan. whatever your cooking it smells delicious." It's Ichabod, he woke up from his nap. Marzipan says "It's Crab-Spinach Egg Casserole and it's the Funeral. Matoaka's father died today.|
(I'm sorry Hertz but I have to edit this one, Matoaka would not eat anything with crab in it as she is an herbivore)
|"My god, Marzy! This- this is delicious! This is amazing! How on earth did you manage to cook like this? It's-it's-"|
"Well, you know, I just followed the recipe..."
"You did an amazing job! I- uh, wait, uh, what did you say about Mataoka and a funeral just then?"
"Her dad, King Lee Redfeather, was injured by the Sentinel, and he-"
"Don't you ever watch the news, Ichy? They were interviewing some of those blasted Pure Ones, and Sentinel was the name of the original Pure One who discorporated and who had their psyche fused with the snow itself. It influenced all of the Pure Ones who came after, increasing their hatred of differences and kinda establishing a collective possession over them. It was dispelled by the sunlight, so they surrendered."
"But what happened to Lee?"
"He was hurt by the snow that the Pure Ones caused; I didn't hear exactly how."
"That's terrible. I don't recall if I ever met him, but I recall hearing about some of his environmental work. The world has cause to miss him."
|"I know it must be terrible for Matoaka to have lost her Dad." Marzipan sighed "I know that out of all the Fellowship Herd Matoaka did not lose either of her parents to the the Farm Massacre, because her Mom was Human, and her Dad had escaped bondage as early as two hundred years ago and had been wandering the unspoiled wilderness ever since."|
|"Still, life does go on," said Ichabod.|
|Ichabod says "Arn't you forgetting? Matoaka is a vegetarian, she can't eat crab." Marzipan says "I'm well aware of it, that cassarole is for the carnivores, I'm coming up with a vegetarian dish which is...."|
|"...A big bowl of Gazpacho." Marzipan said "Made with the last tomatoes I found in the grocery store."|
"I'm sure they'll greatly appreciate it." Ichabod said "Is it just me, or does it seem warmer after that acid snow then before?"
"Considering that snow was made of acid not water." Marzipan said "It could be affecting out atmosphere."
Meanwhile in Paradise Valley, Rory and his friends were feeling the heat.
Boomer took off his cowboy hat and fanned himself with it
"Geez..." Boomer sighed "Say what you want about the outback at least it's a dry heat! This feels more like a swamp then the Boreal forest."
"Being of a species native to India I shouldn't be bothered by this..." Scipio wiped sweat from his brow (Giving Bird Humanimals sweat glands helped them work harder according to the scientists who designed the Humanimals) "But this feels a bit much even for me."
"Let's get out of this laundromat and head back to my house." Rory said "At least there we'll have air conditioning."
"Yes let's." Peter panted "I'm already starting to shed enough fur to make several sweaters out of!"
So they headed back to Rory's house
|Back at the Hotel for heroes, the hybrids and the other heroes felt the heat and Cooper was adjusting his collar "Is it me or did it suddenly get hot here?" Mercer says "I feel it too, suddenly I feel I'm somewhere in the middle of the Outback." Both Freddie and Wingate flapped their wings gently trying to stay cool but alas, it's not working "Why is it suddenly so hot?" Freddie says.|
|"I'm going to blame it on the acid snow," Wingate said. "Somehow it must have affected the weather."|
There were scientists considering the problem. Acid snow seemed a reasonable explanation, but first they would have to do a thorough investigation.
|Meanwhile Marzipan and Ichabod were busy having lunch.|
Marzipan had made some roast beef sandwiches for lunch, and Ichabod was eagerly devouring them
"Oh my!" He said "Oh my! This is good! I don't know what you put in these but they are good!"
Marzipan was glad he liked her food, but there was a nagging feeling in the back of her mind, this power was supposed to be only temporary, once it wore off, would Ichabod be as happy if the food wasn't as delicious as before?
|"You'd be surprised," she said.|
|The next day, everyone is at funeral of King Lee, all dressed in black Matoaka is feeling a bit nervous. Marina noticed her "I know he's your father and my condolences to him, but why are you nervous?" Matoaka says "I'm going to be queen, and I don't know if I can handle the responcibility." Marina says "Is that all? Your a representitive of all humanimal rights, think of it in a bigger scale and you'll be fine. I was nervous too when I accidently hailed you when we first talked."|
Matoaka was thoughtful. "I think I see what you are saying. The job is bigger than I am. Instead of me trying to hold the job in my hands, I should let the job hold me in its hands."
Marina wasn't sure if that's what she meant, but she said, "Yes, that sounds good. Everything will be fine."
|Soon Matoaka coronation was underway, her crown was little more then a gold necklace with an emerald stone that she wore around her horn|