That time of year again! Celebrate storytelling itself
OK Guys so recently I got invited to an RPG on Roll20 and hopefully I can juggle two online things at the same time, the RPG Game is only one day a week after all but I do have to collaborate with the other players on Discord particularly because Roll20 is weird with my computer so the DM is helping me out by filling out my character sheet for me, but I started this tradition so...
Only rule is let's try to keep this campfire PG-13 at most other than that, don't have any rules and I'm not sure I want this to be a Role Playing RPG
|In another dimension on an Earth very much like our own but different in so many other ways, here there were enchanted forests with very special plants that grants animals human speech and intelligence the Animals have to keep their society secret from humanity because they don't give birth to sapient offspring they have to get the child uplifted by the plants if they want them to be intelligent also the Animals frequently raid zoos and other places where exotic animals are kept for familiars that is the only other way Animals become intelligent by being a familiar to an already intelligent animal|
Deep in the heartland of America lay one such enchanted forest near a rural farming town, one of the newest additions to 'Animal Town' was Pinky a Giant Earthworm as long as a Man's Arm She (Yes I know Earthworm's are hermaphrodites but upon awakening Pinky felt herself to be more female than male so she refers to herself with feminine pronouns) had recently been enrolled in the Church of Gaia's School for Clerics
|"Always something crazy," said a flying squirrel that had taken to using a bow. The squirrel's name was Jack, and beside the bow, he also had a rapier and a dagger. Then, there was the other weapons he liked to use, which included anything he could get his paws on, including his own paws. As far as he was concerned, any weapon was fair game.|
|Pinky wasn't sure what Jack meant the two were roommates (Or...Den-Mates whatever you would call the tree on hollow they lived in) Both were nocturnal creatures and Pinky was cramming for a test that night. Tensions were rising as the human town nearby seemed to be growing suspicious of the forest one strange person who would stand in the the town square would ramble about 'Communist Animals were infiltrating the United States' the Animal Town Protectors an elite team of specialists who were in charge of protecting the society from Humanity were recruiting more and more than usual seemed there weren't enough protectors|
|"Things seem to be a little odd," said Jack. "The Protectors worry about one specific human. Question - does said human have proof? Also, another Question - how far would the Protectors actually go? To be honest, I figured out a rather simple solution if there really is an issue with this human."|
"And, what would the solution be?" Pinky asked.
"Depending on how far one is willing to go, kill him," said Jack. "Even then, the answer for the how is simple - guy's known for drinking alcohol and smoking tobacco. Slip a sleeping pill or something similar into his drink, and when he's unconscious, strike a match, and set the rug under him or the cushion chair he's in on fire. Either smoke inhalation or the flames will do the rest."
"Sounds a little much for one human," Pinky said.
"Actually, seems to be a fairly common manner of accidental death for humans," said Jack. "Wouldn't be surprised if that trick has already been used."
"Would you actually do it?" Pinky asked.
"I hope I don't have to," said Jack. "Being burned alive doesn't seem to be a very nice death."
|"Wow..." Pinky said as she turned back to her book "...Do you think you'll join the Protectors as a Ranger? My teacher has told me I should join as they have a need for clerics."|
"I don't know." Said Jack
|"I do know one thing though," said Jack. "If you do join, I'd strongly advise that you learn how to use any weapon you can. Folks who say 'Wizards don't use swords or wear armor' ignore the example set by my Master. That fox was a wizard, and he learned how to use armor, and he learned how to use all kinds of weapons. |
He always said, 'It is good to learn new things, for it is how we get more information about our limits.'
I once asked him, 'What would you have done if you found out that your magic didn't work while wearing armor?'
He told me, 'Then I would know that my magic didn't work when I wore armor. Likewise, I would have learned that I wasn't very good with certain weapons. I would then work on the means to figuring out the solution to those issues. However, I found that I was a natural with these weapons, and could cast magic while wearing armor.'
The solution, it seemed to him, was that, while not everyone is cut out for casting spells, any spell-caster can take the time to work on their physical capabilities, so that, not only can they cast while wearing armor, they can also use any weapon, and shields, and if they're really good, they can just think the spell, and not say or make any gestures to get them to work."
"Sounds rather interesting," said Pinky.
"Closest thing I had to a father." Jack pointed over to a small wooden carving of a fox. "He made that for me before came here. Makes it feel like he's looking out for me in a way."
|"Sometimes I ask myself..." Pinky said "...Are we making potential allies enemies? Are there humans we could trust with our secret?"|
|"Funny enough, my Master once asked a similar question, and he actually came up with a good solution," said Jack.|
"And the solution?" Pinky asked.
"Humans like to keep those funny wolves and wildcats as pets," said Jack. "His plan, uplift a few to be our spies in their homes, and potentially act as those who go between different factions. I thought that it was a good idea."
"What happened?" Pinky asked.
"The others laughed at him, and called it ridiculous," said Jack. "Of course, they also said something similar about teaching all spell-casters to wear any armor and use any weapon - and he proved them wrong on that point. Of course, teaching yourself on how to properly use weapons and armor, and cast magic, is one thing - abducting and uplifting pets, that's a different matter. As much as he wanted to, he wasn't foolish enough to go against the rest of the Protectors on that decision. After all, he didn't want to have a Grizzly Bear hunting him down like he was one of the non-uplifted. There's a reason certain rules and stories like that exist."
"So, he never tried it?" Pinky asked.
"No, but like a number of other things that didn't pan out, he has the plans for it placed someplace safe," said Jack. "As he told me - 'Just because it's not possible now, doesn't mean it won't be possible in the future.' Things might change. Someday, that plan, which was once laughed at, might turn out to be very useful."
|"Well..." Pinky said "It's 3 AM I suppose I should get to bed to be awake for Cleric School tomorrow, Night Jack."|
The next morning as she was slithering into class (Pinky was grateful to be such a large invertebrate, being stepped on by the average woodland vertebrate might be painful but not fateful, plenty of Animal Town's other invertebrates, Native Insects and Arachnids, were too small to walk among the vertebrates and instead had to go to 'Mini-Animal School' which was in the same building as the regular animal school but on chandelier or in the wall of the same classroom with an insect teacher
|Jack walked into his classroom, wondering what the lesson of the day would be. He hoped that the information would actually be useful.|
|As Pinky slithered into the Classroom, it wasn't the usual teacher who came in, instead, an enormous tapeworm slithered in! Pinky had never seen an awakened Tapeworm before! She assumed because they couldn't live anywhere but an intestine nobody would bother but the Tapeworm slithered to the head of the class and said in a surprisingly deep voice|
"Turn to chapter 8 of your Demonology Books."
|The teacher that Jack had ordered the class to look up various biomes.|
|Turning to Chapter 8 in the Demonology Book the Chapter was about Werebeasts|
"Werebeasts..." Said the Tapeworm Substitute Teacher "...Beings who cross the boundary between human and animal, most often the original werebeast is a human who makes a pact with a demon and is granted the ability to shift into an animal either during the night or day depending on weather the beast he shifts into is nocturnal or diurnal, the Werebeast is able to transmit the Werebeast state to other humans via bite or with some were-invertebrates via sting, thus far no known recording of a werebeast turning an animal..."
|Jack knew one thing - the lesson was boring, but was smart enough to pay attention.|
|The lesson was a tense one everyone took this change in lesson plan along with the sudden appearance of a substitute teacher to mean there was a Werebeast sighting nearby, why else were they suddenly teaching about Werebeasts?|
Pinky finally felt the need to ask "Excuse me...Where is the regular teacher?"
The Tapeworm said "She had something to attend to."
|Soon enough, the class was over, and Jack got to leave.|
|In the school cafeteria Pinky got her usual meal of a bowl of dirt and some spring water, she saw Jack eating his lunch and went to join him|
"How was your class?" Pinky asked
"Boring." Said Jack "How about you?"
"There was a substitute teacher." Said Pinky
|"Nothing unusual there," said Jack.|
|"Yeah..." Pinky said "...But the substitute teacher was a Tapeworm..."|
Jack spat out his drink "They actually awakened a tapeworm?! That's disgusting! How was he able to live out of an intestine?!"
"I don't know." Pinky said "But he immediately told us to turn to chapter 8 of our Demonology Books for a lesson on Werebeasts."
|"The tapeworm in and of itself is odd," said Jack. "As for the werebeast lesson..... already had that one actually. Like I've said, my Master knows a lot of stuff."|
"So, why are you here then?" Pinky asked.
"Got to learn social skills somewhere," said Jack.
|Pinky began munching on her dirt "We can only assume there's been a werebeast sighting nearby." She said "Prompting this emergency lesson for the Clerics"|
|"Well, sometimes, the information the school has, isn't always the right information," said Jack. "For all we know, the werebeast could rather be watching Opera and drinking some kind of fruity beverage."|
|The bell rang time to return to class time to demonstrate what they had already learned. Pinky had to demonstrate the Cantrip 'Purify Food and Drink;' The Tapeworm Teacher lifted a cloth revealing some rotten food pulled from human trash cans|
|"Always something," said Jack.|
|Aren't Jack in a different class for different classes, wouldn't he be doing Ranger things not commenting on Pinky's class?|
Pinky successfully purified the trash food turning it wholesome and downright sparkling!
|Maybe he smelled the garbage from a classroom over?|
Jack got out his book, and looked at the various spells from the other classes. It was always interesting to see how similar some where.
|After everyone had tried the purify food and drink spell the Tapeworm said "Class Dismissed." As Pinky began to slither away the Tapeworm called to her "Pinky can I have a moment?"|
Pinky slither toward him.
"How long have you been here in Animal Town?" He asked
"Two years." Pinky said "That's how long I've been a person."
|Jack was walking around, when he noticed the tapeworm talking to Pinky. "That's a big tapeworm."|
|"You're new here." Said the Tapeworm "So you don't know much about the history of this town."|
|"I know enough," Jack muttered, as he decided to walk to his next class. Still, he kept his easy open. His Master said that always learning was a useful skill, and one could learn a lot by listening.|
|The Tapeworm was giving Pinky some creepy vibes but she didn't say anything as she just slithered to her next class 'The History of Animal Society'|
|Oddly enough, Jack was also in that class.|
|The Teacher of History Class was an Ancient Tortoise some claimed he was the oldest citizen of Animal Town.|
"The History of the Enchanted Forests began shortly after humans had their Neolithic Revolution, thus disrupting the balance of nature..." Droned the Tortoise "...Theologians believe Mother Earth knew the rest of us wouldn't stand a chance unless she did something to help us out."
|Jack raised his hand.|
"Yes, Jack," the Tortoise said.
"There are those who claim that the animals found the enchanted forests through chance, to say nothing about the plants that boosted their intelligence," said Jack. "One could say that it was just pure luck that we can talk. Other things could have occurred."
"Mind telling me who your parents, or your Master, are?" the Tortoise asked.
"Renard Volpe," said Jack.
The Tortoise's face was blank for a moment. Then, he smiled and chuckled. "That fox was always asking me questions, and trying to prove theories. Nice to see that some were indeed proven true, like the one about magic-casters being able to use armor and weapons." He tapped his shell. "Never had much use for armor myself, but he had a point about the use of class-specified weapons being ridiculous. Better to know how to use a sword, and not need to use one, than to need to use one but not know how to use it."
|"Anyway..." The Tortoise said as he began the slide show "...As our society developed alongside Man's we had to constantly play a game of catch-up because of the limitations of most of us not having opposable thumbs or bipedalism or those who had one didn't have the other like the Birds had bipedalism and the apes and monkeys had opposable thumbs."|
|Jack kind of hoped that the Tortoise wouldn't paint all humans as evil. After all, his Master had shared plenty of stories with him, stories that weren't exactly talked about in school.... stories about the conflicts between carnivores and herbivores, and about how herbivores were more aggressive than carnivores. |
Then, there were the other stories. Master Volpe believed in being honest to his young familiar, even when it came to things like what carnivores actually ate. He'd also had the decency to tell Jack exactly how he had found him, and it wasn't from taking him from some zoo - his mother had been an ordinary wild flying squirrel who'd been attacked by an ordinary wild bird of prey, when Master Volpe had located her, already dying.
There'd been nothing that Master Volpe could do to save the wild adult flying squirrel, but he'd sensed life within her, life that he could save. Thus, he'd delivered a furless baby flying squirrel, whom he'd made intelligent, and had cared for like a son. Jack had asked him about his mother's body, and Master Volpe was honest about that to - since she was wild, and dead, Master Volpe had claimed the remains as food.
It had taken Jack a little while to wrap his head around those details, but he was able to accept Master Volpe as his father figure regardless. As he'd stated, Jack's mother was a wild animal, and the carnivores of the Animal Towns still needed to eat meat, and thus hunted wild animals for food. As it was, if not for Master Volpe, he'd of died in his mother's womb, and something else would have eaten the remains.
|"As you know..." Said the Tortoise "...There is to be no fraternizing with humans, those who do so are swiftly taken care of by the Protectors but many centuries ago different Animal Kingdoms attempted alliances with humans, you may be familiar with the fables of the human Aesop where humans and animals converse with each other those were times when Awakened Animals of Ancient Greece and Egypt spoke to humans...Of course what drove Animal Society to complete secrecy was the Great Betrayal of Merlin, in an Enchanted Forest in England the current King was a Red Fox named Reynard, no knowledge so far if he was related to your Renard, Jack..."|
The Class had some awkward giggles
"Anyway..." Said the Tortoise "King Reynard was a Great Druid and was the one who gave Merlin much of the secrets of nature which helped Merlin advise King Arthur, but King Arthur ultimately felt the Animals couldn't be trusted so he had his Knights destroy the Forest's Enchanted Plants preventing new animals from being awakened and Merlin did nothing to stop them siding with his own species rather than his Teachers."
|Jack had heard this particular story. However, his Master had told him that he was looking for more information over the truth of this story. Based upon some fragments he'd located, and some fairly old books he'd located in a human library that had an unused attic, there seemed to be at least another faction that could have existed - fey creatures. That being said, Master Volpe admitted that he didn't know if the story was remotely true, or if it had been some human's interpretation of stories they'd heard themselves. Still, based upon the information he'd found, Master Volpe was of the opinion that fey were very manipulative, and could deceive others rather easily.|
|"Thus..." Said the Tortoise "...With the Kingdom of Reynard destroyed, it was decided Animal Kind must protect themselves from Humanity at all costs!'|
|Soon enough, Jack and Pinky were back in their shared room.|
"Long day?" Pinky asked.
"Lot of it is information I already know," said Jack. "They like telling the same old stories, but no one ever investigates the truth of them. My Master's trying to change that. He wants to know the truth behind the stories. What if we've been wrong. What if Merlin and King Arthur were tricked by another group into thinking that the intelligent animals were their enemies?"
"Another group?" Pinky asked.
"My Master found something indicating that a group known as the Fey might have played a part in dooming the Alliance," said Jack. "Although, to be honest, it's just speculation. My Master's trying to find actual proof to the truth of the story."
|Pinky rubbed her chin with her tail "Where did he find this information?"|
|"Old human library," said Jack. "Seems that it has an upper floor that hadn't been used in years. That being said, he's not sure if the information is correct, or re-interpreted from prior versions of the story. He tends to check out places that haven't been used for several years - lessens the chance of a human catching him looking through things."|
"One would hope that he was smart enough to have a plan for such a situation," said Pinky.
"Based upon his observation of wild ordinary animals, running really fast is a good plan," said Jack. "That being said, he'd have to look, and act, like an ordinary wild animal, until he'd gotten out of sight before using magic to hide himself."
|Pinky sighed and leaned back in her chair |
"I don't remember how I came to Animal Town..." She said quietly "...Worms tend to have less intelligence than any other animal with brain, plus back then I didn't have eyes to see, all I know is I came here somehow and the Citizens awakened me for some reason."
|"My Master found my dying mother's body," said Jack. "She was a regular wild flying squirrel some bird of prey had attacked, but she'd gotten away from. There was nothing he could do to save her, and was going to claim the body for food. Then, he sensed a separate life force, mine, and something told him that he could save me. Well, he delivered and awoke me, and of course claimed my mother's body for food."|
|"I've been asked if I want a familiar..." Pinky said "And while it would be nice to help another animal become intelligent I'm just not sure I'm good enough to be a parent."|
|"Might be easier to uplift someone of the same species as yourself," said Jack. "Easier to find food for both of you, unless you know their dietary needs well enough and can get them."|
|"Yeah." Said Pinky "Well Night Jack."|
|"See you in the morning," said Jack.|
|The next morning, Pinky and Jack were awaken by the sounds of the Alarm System, there was an emergency of some sort, everyone was to head straight to the underground emergency shelter!|
No one knew what the Emergency was Pinky was beginning to have a sneaking suspicion it was werebeast related.
Once everyone was down in the emergency shelter, One of the Protectors, who turned out to be the Tapeworm, turns out he was a Magus, pulled out a Bullhorn to announce
"We have found one of the Protectors dead on the edge of the forest, it appears his throat was torn out by someone's teeth."
|"Well, that's something new," said Jack. "Let's hope it doesn't get here."|
|"We found Protector Fierce-Howl dead on the Northeast Edge of the Forest." Said the Tapeworm "We believe the suspect to be some form of Werebeast."|
Everyone gasped Fierce-Howl was a Maned Wolf Protector, a Legendary Fighter who had mastered the Nerve Strike for a variety of species, whoever killed him must be a serious contender!
|"Some big spears might do the job," Jack muttered. "Or a big club, or fire."|
|"But Jack..." Pinky said quietly "...They just said specifically Fierce-Howl's throat was torn out."|
"Until the Protectors have control over the situation all citizens are to remain in here." Said the Tapeworm
|"There's always a way to stop something," Jack muttered. "And if I recall right, something made of silver might do the job."|
|As food and water was passed around to the citizens, the Tortoise History Teacher seemed very nervous for some reason, more so than everyone else.|
"Why are you trembling so much?" Asked Pinky
"Oh Pinky..." Said the Tortoise "I remember there was a Protector, a Warrior Rat who supposedly died long ago, his favorite way to kill was to there out the throat with his teeth."
|"Anyone with teeth could do that move," said Jack. "My master had me study up on it, among other things."|
|"Yes..." The Tortoise said as he pulled his head into his shell to make his voice quieter "...But...I remember the night he supposedly died...There's hardly anyone alive today who was alive when it happened, so I know the Rat was attempting to break the Masquerade and establish relations with Humans...So the other Protectors killed him...But...I was a Wee Hatching at the time, I'm not sure they finished the job, in the dead of the night I saw a Human in a Lab Coat pick up the Rat's body and take him away."|
|"When was that?" Jack asked.|
|"A little over 100 years ago..." Said the Tortoise|
The Animal Society had means to help the Animals live beyond their natural lifespans, certain potions that became less effective the older you were so it so a one year old rodent gets ten extra years per potion but a one hundred y
ear old Tortoise gets only a month per potion.
If this Rat knew the Potion Recipe and communicated it to the Scientists then it was possibly he had survived 100 years
|"How does it affect healing capabilities?" Jack asked. "Do they speed up, or is it still the same? After all, it's possible that mundane means could stop them."|
|"The Humans could have healed his injuries by means of their own medicines and machines." Said the Tortoise "After all it was a human in a Lab Coat I saw took him."|
|"He could still be dead," said Jack. "Might be someone trying to frame him."|
|"Perhaps." Said Pinky "I mean I keep thinking to that Werebeast Lesson yesterday, why else would they do that unless there would be a need to fight against Werebeasts?"|
|"Still, in that case, silver ought to do the job," said Jack. "My maser always said, coat a blade or other weapon with it, and the healing will be messed up enough to just behead them."|
|Everyone had an uneasy sleep in the Shelter that night, Pinky was expecting to hear eerie howls that night, but she never heard any.|
The next morning during breakfast, the news was announced another Protector was killed by having their throat torn out
|"I wonder if they'll ask my Master for help," Jack said. "He'd at least have a good idea or two."|
"Do you have any ideas?" Pinky asked.
"I'd advise that the Protectors wore armor, especially around their throats," said Jack. "Might make things harder for the attacker. Also, this doesn't sound like the work of some legendary and all-powerful creature. If this creature really was all that powerful, we'd all be dead."
|"You know..." Pinky said "...I'm beginning to think the Tortoise is onto something, I had a dream last night where what you told me about your Master's ideas about humans and a vision of a Rat with a slash across his back being picked up by a human, if this Rat was a former Protector who was nearly killed by his Fellow Protectors for attempting to break the Masquerade, then he would have a motive for revenge against his former group."|
|"Then the situation is simple," said Jack. "Have everyone group together - one cannot take on a hundred alone."|
|They went to the Tapeworm Magus to discuss their idea, the Tapeworm seemed positively horrified as he had never been told about a Protector who tried to break the Masquerade, none of the Current Protectors had, the event had been neatly swept under the rug and the Tortoise was the only one alive who had any memory of it.|
|"I wonder what my Master would say about this," said Jack.|
"I'd say that those Protectors then, and these Protectors now, were both foolish."
Jack turned, and standing against the wall was Master Volpe.
"Master? What are you doing here?" Jack asked, running up and giving him a hug.
The fox chuckled. "Like I'm going to let some dangerous creature harm you? It will have to be over my dead body, and I don't plan on dying any time soon."
"How did you get here?" the Tapeworm Magus asked. "There are spells in place to protect against teleportation."
"Study hard enough, and you can find cracks and weaknesses in any spell," said Master Volpe. "Not to worry, I patched you the place I used to get through."
"What do you mean?" the tapeworm asked.
"I had to do some literal digging to slip past the barrier, but I made sure to back-fill, and then placed on an addition - no one with harmful intentions can get through," said Master Volpe. "I also did another kind of digging, after I learned about how the one Protector was killed." He tossed a book next to the tapeworm. "My predecessors never did believe in keeping the past a secret from everyone, and this one wrote out the story of Protector Rattus Norva, if only as a warning on what not to do of course."
"What else have you found with your unorthodox methods?" the tapeworm asked.
"That the Protectors were already dead when their throats were torn out," said Master Volpe. "I actually looked at the bodies - their throats were slit first. The teeth tears hid the blade wound well enough that I almost missed it to be honest, until I looked at the other body and saw a similar injury. Too neat to be a tear."
|"I also saw some tracks around the corpses they are too large to be Rat Feet, they aren't shaped like Rat feet and when I sniffed them I smelled a metallic smell." Volpe said|
"What does that mean?" Pinky asked
"That this could be Rattus." Said Volpe "Encased in a Mechanical Suit that would easily enhance the strength of his small body."
|"And, what proof of this do you have?" the tapeworm asked.|
"A bit of a stretch, and something of a hypothesis, and conjecture based upon both what humans call Science Fiction, and actual Medical Science," said Volpe. "In their Science Fiction stories, depending upon that society's technological capabilities, those who lose limbs tend to get metal replacements that are as good, if not better, than their biological ones, a little detail I don't take much stock in - the whole punching holes through sheets of metal and rock is silly, for certain reasons, though I can see them catching blades from attackers and possibly trapping them. But, then there's the actual Medical Science books, especially that of Prosthesis - made the Science Fiction stuff seem like child's play." He put the notes he'd taken before the tapeworm. "I hope you like reading."
|Volpe turned to Jack and Pinky "I may need you two to help in the Investigation, If Rattus is specifically only attacking Protectors then we may need those who haven't been given Protector Status to investigate."|
|"What about you?" Jack asked.|
Master Volpe chuckled, and pulled back his cloak, revealing that he was wearing armor. "Never go into a fight without protection. I also brought a few weapons."
"What kind of weapons?" Tapeworm asked.
"Ones that skirt the rules a bit," said Master Volpe.
"You mean, firearms?" Tapeworm asked, in a somewhat outraged tone.
"Seems that the situation warrants their use," said Master Volpe. "You and the rest of the Council can take it up with me after the Emergency is dealt with."
"This could get you Hunted, you know," the Tapeworm said.
"I'd advise against it though," said Master Volpe. "As I've mentioned - one studies, and learns. I could take on any of the Protectors, and make them crawl back, with their tails between their legs. No wonder you haven't stopped this person, as there's a distinct lack of actual studying and learning."
|The Four of them exited the Shelter|
"Who was the other Protector who was killed?" Pinky asked
"Long-Tail." Said Volpe "The Puma Bard..."
|"I think that this guy likes to target larger opponents, as if he's trying to prove something," said Master Volpe.|
"Did you bring anything for me?" Jack asked.
"Didn't bring any firearms for you, if that's what you're asking," said Master Volpe. "Don't need you in trouble."
|They came to the area where Long-Tail had been killed, his body had been removed a while ago, but a blood stain and the scent of death was there|
|"So, what are we doing here?" Jack asked.|
"Trying to get the target's scent," said Master Volpe. "First rule of hunting; be it for food, locating a missing person, or locating your foe. That way, you can pick them out in a crowd of similar scents." He sniffed the ground. Then, he sniffed the air. "Found him."
"Do you know where he is?" Pinky asked.
"Yeah, and that's the bad news," said Master Vople.
"Why's that?" Jack asked.
"He's five hundred yards in that direction," Master Volpe said, with a flick of his ear. "He's watching us. He'll probably strike as we head back inside, and try to kill all of us before we can."
"What do we do?" Pinky asked.
"You get to safety," said Master Volpe. "I'll hold him off as long as I can. Worse comes to worse, I can teleport away, with him. I know of a place or two that should kill him instantly."
"What about you, Master?" Jack asked.
Volpe ruffled the squirrel's head. "You just take care. I couldn't have asked for a better son."
That was when Master Volpe turned, pulling something out of his cloak, producing a loud noise, and Jack saw fire and smoke coming from some object he'd been told to never touch.
"Run!" Master Volpe shouted, as he ran in the direction he'd pointed the object at. "Don't worry about me!" There was another loud noise, this one being an even more horrible sound, that sent chills down the spines of those who heard it.
Jack grabbed Pinky and started running.
There was more of the loud booming sounds, and more of the other horrible sound.
|Rattus came, for a moment he seemed like a mechanical monstrosity, then everyone saw a tiny rat head in the center of the metal beast's body|
He was encased in a mechanical body, one as large as a puma,
|Volpe aimed his firearm at the rat head, and pulled the trigger. The bullet flew out of the barrel, and ricocheted off of something in front of the rat's face.|
Rattus chuckled. "Did you think it was going to be that easy to kill me?" He knocked on the area around his head. "Stops bullets and other such things."
Volpe put his firearm away.
"What are you going to do now?" Rattus yelled out. "I'm going to enjoy killing every last one of you Protectors!"
Volpe drew a sword. "You won't make it past me!" He rushed, and jammed the blade into a joint in the metal contraption.
"Like that's really going to work!" Rattus shouted. "I can still move the other one, and shake you off!"
Volpe grinned. "Fulmine Excusso Diem!" Electricity flowed from him, through the sword, and into the metal body.
Rattus screamed in pain. He shook violently, managing to toss Volpe off of the sword, causing the fox to roll out of the way of a swinging blow, ripping his cloak off, revealing the armor he was wearing.
"Ah, I see," Rattus said. He pulled the sword out, and snapped it easily. "One of those Magic Knights. Not many are willing to dedicate their lives to both methods of combat."
"Never was one for following the rules myself." Volpe held out his hand, and the sword reappeared, intact. "I've also learned a few tricks."
Rattus chuckled. "So have I!"
|OK normally I don't do this but I need a break as I have too much to do right now|