But we fiiinally finished off The Day My History Book Took a Flight and I didn't actually get around to writing anything until this morning. Luckily though, I still had another of the original stories left over as backup for this exact sort of occasion.
Wherefore, today we're going to go back in time a little bit (I think? Maybe? It doesn't have an exact specific time stamp, so I guess it could sort of be anywhere. *shrug*) and drop in on the last day of the first year for Lando at Dragon Island.
You know, the day they hand out all the awards for the year. *grins*
So here goes, introducing a New Species of Dragon and a last minute ReLocation mission.
“Small, white and fluffy.”
I turned to Sir George, “You want us to ReLocate an unidentified Dragon that is small, white and fluffy? I didn’t even know there were dragons that were fluffy.”
The twins and I had been called into Sir George’s office and were standing around his large Dragon Pickup screen. A red blob flashed up at me, signalling the detection of a Dragon.
Sir George coughed. “I figured that it wouldn’t be too dangerous and considering what happened last time—”
“That wasn’t even our fault!” I protested. The last time the twins and I had been sent after a Dragon a failed in a massive way. We successfully transported it, only to return to Dragon Island to find Sir George storming around steaming about a group of new recruits who’d lost their way and had nearly been flattened by our Dragon. The Dragon was just as scared as them and would have ripped up half a dozen houses but for Sir George’s intervention.
“And because of what happened last time,” Sir George when on, raising his voice and pretending he hadn’t heard me. “I thought you could do with something more tame and...small.”
Titus made a choking sound beside me, and Thomas was staring open mouthed at the Island Co-director.
Sir George seemed oblivious to it all and he waved a hand at us. “Well, go on then,” he said. “That Dragon isn’t going to ReLocate itself.”
We staggered out of the office in a daze, making our way to the Nets. “Why is it always us?” Thomas asked. “Can’t he choose someone else for once?”
Titus ran his fingers through his blonde hair and shrugged. “We’d better get going if we want to ReLocate this guy and get back here in time for the End of Year Awards Ceremony.”
“Not like we’re gonna get anything except for the ‘Annoying Recruits of the Year,” I put in dryly.
The twins nodded in mournful agreement and we walked on in silence.
Jonathan, a senior member of the island, stood on duty at the Nets, ready to export anyone through if needed. He nodded a greeting as we approached. “Where you goin’ today?” he asked.
Thomas plunged his hand into his pocket and pulled out his ‘Com Hack’ (short for ‘Computer Hacker’) – as he called it; a palm sized gadget that lived up to its name. Thomas could hack into almost any computer on the planet, but he only used it to hack Sir George’s monitors so we could use the information on ReLocating missions.
In a moment he had the exact details, longitude and latitude, for our destination. The flashing red dot blinked on the screen, moving slowly across a town somewhere in the middle of New South Wales.
“Get in and I’ll send you away,” Jonathan said, putting the location into the control pad.
I sprang in followed by Titus and then Thomas who was delayed a moment when he missed the Net with his first attempt, but on the second performed a neat flip, landing on top of me.
“Ow!” I protested but had no time to move, as the Net hummed and everything went black.
It must have been a great shock for the little girl when we landed on her trampoline.
She was on it at the time and narrowly missed being squashed by Titus. Her loud shriek would have made me jump a meter into the air had not Thomas been on top of me.
Titus scrambled over to her on his knees. “Don’t worry,” he said quickly. “We’re just good pixies from Fairy Land. We’re here to check that your garden is growing nicely.”
The girl relaxed slightly and just stared at us, wide eyed. “You don’t look like Pixies,” she said innocently.
I shoved Thomas off me and nodded at her. “No we don’t, that’s because we had to get changed from our good clothes so they don’t get dirty in the gardens.”
She giggled. “I’ve got to go tell Mummy!” she exclaimed, running to the side and climbing off the trampoline. She disappeared inside the house and I could still hear calling excitedly. “Mummy! Mummy! The Pixies have come to look at the garden! Muuuuum!”
Thomas grinned at me and then bounded to the ground. “It might be best to move before she comes back,” he said.
“I hope she won’t be too upset when her pixies disappear,” I murmured, following Thomas’s example, and jumping off.
We jogged along the sidewalk of the street, keeping our eyes open for any sign of Dragons. “Any clue what this thing’s gonna look like?” I asked.
Titus peered down a side street. “No idea,” he said. “I’ve never seen a white dragon, let alone a fluffy one.”
Thomas was fiddling with his Computer Hacker again. I looked over his shoulder as a blinking red shape appeared on the screen. In another moment a map of the town flickered on. Thomas looked up and pointed to the left. “That way!” he said.
We wove our way through the narrow back streets of the town, following Thomas’s instructions, every now and then we had to backtrack when we ended up in a dead end.
Thomas stopped at the beginning of an old dilapidated road. “Take a look at this,” he said, gesturing at the device in his hand.
Titus and I huddled around him and tried to see what he was talking about. “That red dot is the signal of the dragon we’re after,’ Thomas began. “But if you look at it closely you’ll notice that it keeps jumping around. It doesn’t move far, not more than a meter or so, but it’s almost as if something is interfering with the Tracking System.”
I frowned as the dot jumped sideways. “Maybe the Dragon is just...jumpy as well as fluffy?”
“It’s possible I guess,” Thomas agreed, “But if it was jumping around that much, wouldn’t we be able to see it from here?” He pointed.
I followed his gaze to the end of the short road. It ended in a pile of rubble and a crumbling old house. “It must be in there,” I said, my mouth suddenly dry. The place was a silent as a grave and a strange feeling hung in the air. A shiver ran down my back.
Titus tapped his chin thoughtfully, staring at the heap of bits and pieces. “Something seems very familiar about that description,” he mused. “Small, white and fluffy,” he trailed off, frowning in concentration.
Thomas walked forward carefully and nudged a scrap of metal with his foot. “This stuff looks strange,” he said, scanning it with his multitasking Com Hack. He raised his eyebrows and took a quick step back. “Okay guys,” he said. “This Dragon thing must be pretty intelligent. This is no rubbish dump. This is a whole heap of lead, steel and really dense metals. The kind of stuff that blocks scanning rays.” He looked up, meeting my eyes, “Not good, this could be more dangerous than we thought.”
“That description though,” Titus said slowly. “All I can think of is that it sounds uncommonly like a—”
A white blur shot from the pile of metal, slamming into Thomas and knocking him to the ground. It crouched on his chest and snarled down at him, its gleaming eyes catching the light.
“Kitten,” Thomas gasped, staring up at the creature.
The kitten remained still, its blindingly white coat standing on end. Titus and I stood frozen to the spot, not wanting to move lest it attack.
“Are you okay, Thomas?” Titus asked, doing his best to keep perfectly still.
Thomas laughed slightly and started raising his hand as if to stroke the cat. “Cute little kitty,” he chuckled.
I gaped, what did he think he was doing? Then I relaxed, it was just a kitten, how could it hurt us? But still, Thomas didn’t like cats.
“Thomas?” Titus pressed, still unmoving. “Thomas, can you hear me?”
Thomas just crept his hand closer to the kitten.
My heartbeat quickened, maybe these kittens could do something to us. A sudden premonition struck me. “Don’t touch it!” I yelled in horror.
The kitten hissed. Thomas’s hand dropped limply to the ground and his eyes rolled back in his head.
The small, white and fluffy kitten jumped off him and slowly paced towards me. I backed away, drawing it further and further from Thomas.
It hissed and spat at me, but now that it had lost the element of surprise I felt that I had the upper hand. “So what exactly are you?” I asked it, trying to keep it distracted.
Yeah, I know. I was talking to a cat.
Out of the corner of my eye I could see Titus kneeling by his younger brother, trying to rouse him. I took another step back and felt something under my foot. I stopped and, keeping my eyes fixed on the kitten, I bent down slowly.
My fingers touched a metal pipe. I picked it up, keeping my movements slow. My white pursuer watched my every movement closely.
“I’m guessing that you went for a stroll out from our pile of junk and Sir George’s scan spotted you,” I said, straightening.
“Oh, don’t worry. I’m not judging you for going for a walk. Everyone does that every now and then,” I said quickly, gripping my weapon tightly.
The kitten pounced, but I was ready. I swung my pipe at the white blur and felt a satisfying thud as it hit its goal.
The small cat fell to the ground, and I raised my pipe to hit it away again. But before I could it disappeared, fading and melting into the ground. “Cool,” I said.
I turned around, running to the twins. “You okay?” I asked Thomas who was sitting up.
He rubbed his forehead. “I dunno,” he groaned. “Hard to tell, but I think that kitten had bad breath.”
“Where is it, anyway?” Titus asked, glancing around.
“I melted it,” I told him, waving my pipe at the damp mark on the ground; the only remains of the killer kitten. “Is that all there is?” I added, looking at the heap of metal.
We all stared at it, straining for any sign of movement. “I think it might be alright,” Titus said tentatively.
“Watch out!” I yelled, grabbing Thomas and dragging him away.
Another white kitten landed exactly where Thomas had been moments before.
Thomas scrambled up, leaning on me heavily for support. I renewed my grip on my weapon, ready to attack. Just then a flash of gleaming eyes shone from the metal heap and more kittens crawled out, all identical to the first one, and all their eyes were fixed on me.
“I think I made them angry,” I said, taking a step backwards. “Titus, you help Thomas and I’ll slow them down a little.”
Titus grabbed Thomas’s arm and pulled him down the street at a stumbling run. The kittens continued their steady advance.
I swished my pipe through the air. “C’mon kitties,” I said. “You’re not scaredy cats are you?”
Three kittens attacked at once, leaping at me. I knocked two aside but the third sunk its claw into my left forearm.
“Yeow!” I yelped, thumping the kitten with the pipe.
It fell, melting into the ground with the other two. I winced at the line of claw marks oozing red blood. I turned my attention back to the kittens.
They snarled fiercely. Usually a kitten snarling didn’t scare me but these creatures weren’t ordinary kittens. More continued to appear from the junk heap and with every new white fuzz ball my hopes fell further.
If they all attacked at once there’d be no way I could hit them all.
I risked a look over my shoulder. The twins were at the end of the street, Titus was looking back at me.
“Run!” Titus’s voice came to me, I hesitated a moment.
The kittens growled simultaneously, their advance quickening. I needed no more encouragement: I ran.
My footsteps thudded on the ground, but didn’t quite mask the mewling of the kittens as they set off after me. I sprinted to the end of the street where Thomas beckoned urgently.
When I reached them Titus shoved an armful of metal at me. “Throw it!” he yelled.
I proceeded to do so, hurling scraps of metal at the kittens as they came toward us. When it hit them they screeched in anguish and dropped behind. But more were still pouring out of the metal shelter.
“Time to leave!” Thomas yelled, running out of ammo.
We turned as one and fled up the street, dashing around corners and into narrow alleys to escape the pattering of paws behind us.
I was gasping for breath when we pulled up in the middle of a large square. “D’you think we’ve lost ‘em?” I asked, looking back over my shoulder.
Just as I finished the query a wooden wall slid across the road. I stared at it wide eyed and then spun around, in time to see identical contraptions closing off the other streets. We’d walked right into a trap.
Thomas was tapping his Cam Hack urgently. “It’s dying,” he said. “All those crazy kitten things are dementing it and it can’t even tell which way north is.”
“This isn’t good,” Titus groaned.
Thomas looked up. “On the bright side, none of the kittens have appeared yet.”
“Except for that one,” I pointed to a small white cat, pacing along the top of the barrier.
Thomas turned around. “They’re on all of them,” he breathed. “What do you think they want to do?”
“I could only guess,” I muttered. “But I don’t think they’re going to leave us in suspense for long.”
Already the kittens were appearing over the walls, jumping to the ground and spreading out in a long attack line. My heart fell as the flowed into the square, pouring like a flood. There were thousands of them.
I backed toward the brick wall of a house at the same time as looking around for some weapon. No such luck, there was too many of them anyway.
My back touched the wall, Titus and Thomas took their positions next to me. “Let’s see how these kitties stand against the Terrible Trio,” Thomas said.
I smiled at the use of the title other ReLocator Recruits had dubbed us with. Originally it was supposed to annoy us, but when we refused to be annoyed it turned into a friendly nickname thing. “Yeah, we aren’t called that for nothing,” I agreed, straightening my shoulders and glaring at the kittens.
They took this as a challenge and charged.
- - -
Sorry if this is a little bit patchy. I only went over it roughly, so there might (and probably is) a few (or a lot) of mistakes. But I had school work and organising stuff for the afternoon and general to-do list that was overflowing.
So yeah. That's it for this week guys. *salutes*
How are you liking the story so far?
Do you have any suggestions for new Lando stories?
(And if you have given me some before and I haven't gotten to them, sorry - I've probably forgotten, so feel free to poke me about them again.)