The Peculiar Incident that is Goldie the Snowbunny: Part Four
“Evil Petpets?” The kooky Doctor scratched his chin. “I don’t think my Kookith’s ray would be capable of such a thing.” This was his rather nonchalant reply to Saphie, Coanneranne, Jane, and Amrakarii bursting into his lab and bombarding him with news that Saphie’s uniquely colored evil Petpet was taking over the world.
“But Goldie wasn’t evil until I zapped him!” Saphie argued.
“No, Goldie had been evil the entire time, but the ray allowed him to talk,” Coanneranne reminded her.
Now the Doctor looked shocked.
“The Petpet ray bestowed speech unto Goldie?!” the Scorchio exclaimed. “That’s outrageous!”
“But it’s true!” Jane confirmed his fears. “And he’s leading an army of Meepits to use your ray and make an even bigger army!”
To their surprise, the Doc still didn’t seem as terrified, or as incredulous, as they had been.
“Then I suppose the first step is to locate their whereabouts.” He disappeared to the back of the lab. “Saphie! Come closer for a moment!”
Saphie timidly stepped forward; the Doctor’s freaky eyes glowed in the dark. “Creepy...”
“What was that, Saphie?”
“Here.” He held a pair of tweezers between his claws. “I need you to come here.”
“Wh-what are you doing?!” Saphie cried.
“Just come here!”
Saphie shut her eyes as the tweezers approached to attack her, but all she felt was a slight pluck, she opened her eyes to see him with a lock of purple hair.
“Your fur is all I need.” He turned back to a small machine. “I can find hints of Goldie’s fur and DNA on you and try to find a match.”
“We could put up signs,” Amrakarii suggested. “Most people would recognize a Golden Snowbunny if they saw a sign.”
“Oh, good thinking, Karii!” Jane finally smiled for the first time that day.
“No! The Meepits can’t know we’re trying to find them!” Coanneranne interjected. “We should hunt them down and find them ourselves!”
“Coanneranne? You seem kinda happy about this; Saphie’s Petpet is taking over the world, remember, sweetie?” Jane replied blankly.
“I know, but I-”
“Girls!” the Doctor rushed out of his hiding spot with Saphie. “I’ve located Goldie!”
“No, you didn’t!” Saphie butted in without missing a beat.
“Well... I didn’t pinpoint his location exactly, but I have a good idea,” the Scorchio answered sheepishly. He led them back to the DNA machine and brought up a map.
“I’ve tracked Goldie to the east side of Meridell. There would be your best guess.”
“Meridell?! That’s so far away!” Saphie groaned.
“How did he manage to make it there in such a short amount of time?” Coanneranne asked aloud.
“It doesn’t matter now, we gotta get to Meridell ASAP!” their owner declared.
“Yeah! But what then?” Amrakarii added.
“You’ll use DIFTCOP,” the Doctor said.
The Scorchio took out two hand-sized disks.
“This is DIFTCOP. Device Intended For The Capture Of Pets. If you set them above one another, they create an impenetrable force field when any motion passes through. We used them at the Space Station way back when Sloth was turning every moving organism into a mutant, but then I took them home. They should work just fine for evil Petpets.”
“That’s awesome!” Saphie happily said. “We’ll get them captured in no time!”
“Then let’s catch the first boat to Meridell!” Coanneranne was already halfway out of the lab.
“Calm down, Coanneranne, the boat ain’t going anywhere.” Amrakarii casually joined them outside.
“Good luck, friends!” the Scorchio doctor bid them farewell.
“I’ll have to exercise more caution when making new technology...”
--A Big Old Boat Headed for Meridell--
“Well, we might not have gotten to go on vacation to Faerieland, but we’re going to Meridell anyway,” Jane reasoned mostly with herself as she watched the disappearing Roo Island with Amrakarii.
“Only because we’re trying to catch an evil army of ingenious Petpets.” The Korbat sighed.
“Er...” Jane had no words of comfort for her pet. This was a staggering task they had set out to complete; there were hundreds, maybe even thousands of Petpets to capture. Fyora only knew how long it might take, months? Years?
“I won’t be an old lady by the time we finish this!!!” Jane cried.
“What are you talking about, Mommy?” Saphie asked as she climbed above deck. “It’s really smelly and warm downstairs.”
“It reeks of mold.” Coanneranne floated above Saphie’s head.
“Ooh, I wanna get there now.”
“Be patient, Saphie,” Jane said. “Trust me, when we start capturing Petpets, all you’ll want to do is rest.”
Saphie ignored her owner’s advice. “How much longer ‘till we get there?”
“About a day or two,” a rough voice from behind made them jump. “Warharhar! Did I scare ya?” it laughed.
Amrakarii turned around to see the captain looming above her. He was a large Kougra that beat Jane’s height by three or four feet at least. He had a rough face and old clothes. Whenever he smiled, wrinkles appeared in every corner of his face.
“You be the first girls to come on a ship to Meridell in a long time.” He rested a giant hand on Jane; her shoulder nearly fell off. “What brings ya’ here?”
“Well-YOW!-We need to get back a Petpet-ugh-from there.”
“Got a runaway Petpet on yer hands, eh? I don’t see you have a net of any sorts. I’ve got a fishing net ya could use if ya want.” The Kougra captain turned away to get that net.
“Owwie...” Jane rubbed her shoulder when suddenly her eyes caught something red. Something furry and red. She froze. “D-did you guys see anything?”
“No...” but then Amrakarii saw it too, “...Yes.”
“Rawr!!!” A red Meepit flung himself on deck. “I followed you here!”
“Well, you didn’t fly here, Captain Obvious!” Saphie exclaimed irritably.
The Meepit shrugged her comment off. “I don’t know how you imbeciles managed to escape, but you won’t now!!” He showed off his maniacal laugh.
“Wait, wait...” Amrakarii interrupted. “It’s just you here?”
“Yes!! Be prepared to endure my wrath!!”
The girls all exchanged a look of amused disbelief. Just one Petpet, albeit a very determined one, was no match for them (except for Goldie). Jane quickly made a move and trapped him between her arms.
At that moment the Captain Kougra reappeared, and was quite startled by the scene.
“...Am I interruptin’ something here?”
The five, including the Meepit, all wore blank expressions.
“Um... no, not really.” Coanneranne snatched the net from him. “Just taking care of business.” And with that, Jane let go and the Meepit became entangled in the net.
“This is madness! Release me!!”
“Warharhar! And why’d they be doin’ that, laddie?” the Kougra laughed.
“Stay out of it, you old seadog!”
The two bickered until Jane and her pets awkwardly retreated below deck without being noticed. It continued through dinner, and finally after the sun set Captain Kougra retired to his quarters, leaving the Meepit alone in his struggle.
“Let me outta here! Somebody? Please? At least to eat? I won’t tell Master Goldie! Pleeeeeaaaaassssseeee!!!!”
“You’d almost consider it Petpet neglect if his intention hadn’t been to kill us,” Coanneranne remarked offhandedly during a game of Old Maid.
“Well, he deserves it. I hope he’s hungry up there,” Amrakarii said as she drew a card from Saphie’s hand. She put down a match. “Individually, they’ll be easy.”
“I still can’t believe our foes are a bunch of Petpets...” Coanneranne grumbled.
His begging went on all night until it woke Amrakarii early the next morning. She climbed above and found the sun barely above the horizon. The sky was a mix of purples and grays, and it reflected off the water. It was distracting enough for her to forget the Meepit’s noise. Under the mast there were little gray whirlpools; they looked so hypnotic....
“We be getting’ close to land.”
“Whoa!!” The Purple Korbat jumped from the voice behind her.
“Up early, ain’t ya?”
“Ah... I guess... it was peaceful, until that red abomination back there woke up.” Amrakarii yawned.
“He woke me up too. The lad never seemed to shut up.”
“How much longer until we arrive?”
“Judging by them whirlpools, the sandbars will be kickin’ up, soon, an' sandbars mean land.”
A few minutes later, Coanneranne awoke with Jane and Saphie. They all ate a nice breakfast of gruel and water and watched the sun rise. The Meepit was still whining, and he didn’t stop until they reached Meridell that evening. They all stayed below deck, since the sound was worse than the mould smell for the next twelve hours. The Kougra came down from his quarters to tell them of the landing. They all cheered.
“Finally! We can get rid of that furry monster!!” Jane had been driven to the brink of insanity with the Meepit’s constant noise.
“But what do we do with him?” Coanneranne’s voice held a hint of distaste.
“He ain’t stayin’ back on me ship.”
“We’ll have to put him back on a cart and send him to the Petpet shop he came from,” Jane figured. “We’ll do that for all of them.”
“All of them? I thought ye’ were lookin’ for one,” the Captain said.
Saphie looked away. “Um... it might be a little more. We don’t really know.”
And they didn’t. The only way to find out was to track them down one by one. The land of Meridell now lay in front of them, hundreds of Petpets to capture, one evil Snowbunny to stop, and none of them knew where to start.
“I’m hungry,” Saphie declared.
“But we haven’t captured any Petpets yet,” Coanneranne argued.
“No-uh, we captured that red one!” Saphie replied.
“No! He tried to capture us!”
“Uh...” Jane started.
“What’s wrong, Mom?” Amrakarii asked, ending the sisters’ feud.
“Uh... it’s another one.” She pointed to the rolling green hills, and on top was a well camouflaged green Noil.
Saphie and Coanneranne made a mad dash for the Noil, Coanneranne brought out the DIFTCOP, and tossed the two rings in its direction. They both spaced out evenly under the Noil and trapped him in a dark red forcefield. Not bad for the first try, Coanneranne thought. Maybe this was going to be easier than she thought.
“Eep!!!” The poor thing looked terrified.
“Haha! We got you- you... Noil!” Saphie laughed.
Coanneranne was about to join her sister’s victory, but his eyes caught hers. Instantly her own filled with regret. “Wait, Saphie, I don’t think this guy is evil.” Coanneranne tapped the glass. “Can you speak?”
He only whimpered and showed the sisters miserable eyes. “Oh no... we’ve scared him to death. Let him go, Saphie.”
She didn’t protest. She released him, and they turned back before seeing him scurry off.
“We hurt an innocent Noil; he wasn’t evil,” Coanneranne reported despondently.
Amrakarii’s face fell, and Jane looked ready to cry. Coanneranne bit her lip. Nothing ever turned out right with their family, it seemed, but she’d never tell her owner that; she’d take it the wrong way.
“What??!!” Jane moaned. “I didn’t think we’d have to sort out the bad guys from the good ones too!”
“Well, it’ll be easy to tell; they’re all terrible at self control,” Amrakarii said.
Saphie looked confused. “Huh?”
“She means they can’t shut their yap,” Coanneranne added sullenly.
Amrakarii laughed. “That’s for sure.”
But Jane couldn’t be consoled. She sighed. “Let’s just go find a place to stay.”
Dejected, the four stayed at Ye Olde Ship Inn, and hoped for tomorrow to be luckier.
To be continued...