Adventures of the Popcorn Family
| Shared OOC
This article was created by Radioactivechicken but has the rights shared with Penguinpuffdude. Henceforth, all OOC rights, continuity, and proper use settings goes to Radioactivechicken and Penguinpuffdude, who now say what is in-character and what is not in this article's vicinity. Though everyone can edit this article, the users who share the rights of this article have the OOC's final say on its in-character and stances.
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|Adventures of the Popcorn Family|
|Start||17th of December, 2018|
|Location||Eastshield to Club Penguin|
Adventures of the Popcorn Family is a week-long event, where they and the family friends, Radioactivechicken and Henry Gadget (of Henry Incorporated), go on many entertaining exploits. What will they do next, as the mysterious wave of attempted trouble and messed-up-ness follows them?
The only thing to see on Highway One was a single car driving at around seventy miles per hour. The driver just so happened to be Henry Gadget, the CEO of Henry Incorporated. In the front passenger seat was a chicken who for some reason was constantly emitting alpha particles. His name was Radioactivechicken. Henry turned to Radioactivechicken and said "You have really messed up this time."
"I'm sorry," said Radioactivechicken.
"I understand, I suppose." replied Henry. "But you really need to control your modes. First you were helping me sell my products in Mattress Village by praising one of their most important penguins, and then you lectured everyone about the dictatorship and how TurtleShroom was a bad leader."
"But he wasn't!" yelled Radioactivechicken.
"See what I'm talking about when it comes to your modes?" said Henry. The two drove on in silence. Eventually, they reached Radioactivechicken's apartment in Polaris City. "Well this is your stop." said Henry. "Goodbye, Radioactivechicken!" And he drove off to Henryville. Radioactivechicken walked into his apartment. It suddenly felt really boring. He remembered how getting this kind of time off was good. Back in his home universe. Now everything just felt the same. "Is Polaris really such a boring country?" he thought to himself as he turned on his TV and looked into the screen. The only reason he has the TV is for gaming, and therefore it is an old CRT television from the 1980s or '90s. He switched on his Snowtendo Swap and started to play Super Smash Mates U.B.E.R..
While Radioactivechicken was playing video games, Henry was in his large igloo with his puffles. He then told the little creatures that they were going to be fed, so they got really exited. It was at this moment when Henry's old friend, Icespice, waddled in. "Hello there!" he said. "Agent Icespice!" replied Henry. "It is nice to see you again." said Icespice. "How's the fight against EBUL?"
"For the last time, Icespice," warned Henry "I do not support it". "I know, I know." said Icespice. The two penguins then went off to play video games.
Meanwhile, in Penguinpuffdude's igloo in Club Penguin, she was waiting for her results of her latest homework, examined by her father, Prof. Penguinpuffdude. She very badly wanted to go off and have some fun with the neighbourhood chicks, or with Popcorn 3000 and his siblings, but she knew homework came first.
Prof. Penguinpuffdude sensed this, and promptly told her, "If you're just going to sit there doing nothing, then maybe you can go and indulge in one of your books?"
Sighing with relief, Penguinpuffdude hopped off her chair, waddled up to her bookshelf, and pulled out Puffins and Valleys, one of her favourite books at the moment. She managed to read one chapter, but she couldn't focus for too long. She was agitated, and rather annoyed at why he couldn't be faster.
She was not the only one, as the reader knows. Popcorn 3000, in his own igloo a few streets away, had been refused admission of health lessons rigged by Bellarocker because of his reputation as a prankster, and was fidgeting, trying his best to amuse himself with Penguins: A Threat to Human Society.
"Coo," he thought, "why can't Penguinpuffdude ring me up and let us have some fun?"
Radioactivechicken was in the Polaris City Centre, when an expensive car drove past. Curious, he approached the car to see what was going on. A penguin got out, went up to the chicken and asked "do you have any Peach products on you?"
"No!" answered Radioactivechicken.
"Then you're fine." the penguin said; the car and the penguin then drove off. Confused, Radioactivechicken walked into the store to get chicken feed. "Do you know who that was?" he asked. "Nope!" replied the penguin running the store. "I swear I saw that penguin before, though. He was rummaging through my computers to see if I had any Peach products." Radioactivechicken muttered as he stepped down into the metro station. After returning home, Chicken went up to his desk and wrote down ideas of what could have happened.
"And that's all we have time to show you!", Henry Gadget said through the microphone at a Henry Inc press conference. "Remember, these new products are supposed to do better and stuff, but in reality they are all designed to fail." Nobody knew why Henry publicly admitted that. Maybe it was because everyone knew that already, so he decided that it was safer for the company to just admit the secrets that everybody knew. Anyway, after driving home he got a note on his door. It simply said "You have done well; signed, Anon." An anonymous fan, or could it be something more sinister? Henry thought about this for a while before going to bed. He knew something was wrong.
Similar things were happening, back in Club Penguin.
A very dusty car, which had obviously come from a long distance, drove up to Popcorn's igloo - the last in the village - and parked. The driver waddled out, and knocked on the door. Before anybody could retaliate with an order, Popcorn had jumped to it, and opened it.
"Hullo, what's the row?", he said, half-jokingly.
The penguin, who was hooded, looked threateningly at him.
"Do you have any Peach products in your igloo, chick?"
Popcorn looked outside, and saw the dusty car.
"I say, your car looks pretty ropey, old chap!"
He regretted this almost immediately. As if he was wearing a shirt-and-collar, the penguin grabbed him by the shoulders, dragged him out, kicked the door shut, and shook him up-and-down.
"The fact that my car looks like a hank of rope doesn't matter! Also, I'm not old! What I want to know is, do you have any Peach products in your igloo?"
"Oooh, steady on! I'll tell you if you let me down!"
"If I did, you might escape and not tell me...?"
"Fine! We used to have a Peach computer a few years back, but we sent it to the dump after it malfunctioned!"
"You did well, chick."
He almost ran past the Everyday Phoning Facility, when he stopped, skidded, and ran inside, tumbling into the elevator down.
Inside the EPF HQ, the agents who had done their day shift were preparing to go. With their coats on, they were waddling slowly to the elevator; a particularly strong agent hailed for his strength was about to press the button "up", when he was bowled over by Popcorn's haste to get out, leading in a scuffle much like those of Arctic Hares.
"You, I know you! I'll teach you to bowl me over! Take this and this! I don't care for your jokes!"
"Hey, who is this?!?"
Popcorn, hearing this exclamation from another agent, struggled free and sat on a chair, sobbing and trembling from genuine fright. Because of his happy demeanour, this was a shocking sight to see.
"Popcorn? Am I right in thinking it's you?"
"Why are you crying?"
"'Poor Popcorn', my eye! It's just a trick to pull our feet - I'll have no sympathy for him, I'll tell you."
Popcorn eventually calmed down, and told the agents what happened.
The aforementioned dusty car went at full speed from Club Penguin to Antarctica, and arrived at a base in Eastshield. When the driver got out, the also aforementioned expensive car was also there. He growled silently to himself at not arriving first. He waddled to a shadowy desk, where some other members of the group were there.
"How did it go, then, hoody?"
"Fine; if you say that scaring an orange-feathered chick doesn't count."
"Acceptable, then. Really though, if you don't wear a hood, then you wouldn't look as frightening as you do now."
"It's my wish to do so, and if I can't wear a hood, then him over there can't have an expensive car."
Icespice knew that there was a problem when he saw Popcorn 3000 crying. After hearing about what had happened, he was worried. The only creature who hates Peach to the point where they would throw a device away was Radioactivechicken, but Henry said that he was targeted as well. This meant a new threat to Antarctica. He looked at the time on his EPF Phone, and thought "I think I have time to go and investigate." He then yelled "Henry! I'm going on a mission without being asked! Could you pass that in to The Director!?"
"OK!" Henry yelled back. "Wait, can I go too?"
"We'll only tell you once you've paid us!" snapped back one of the penguins.
"Fine. I will give you the one hundred thousand quid."
"No, you fool! Quid! Puffish slang for one Puffish Ounce!"
"So we're all Puffish now?"
"No! This is just so our enemies don't understand us!"
"We have enemies?"
They were silent, with the dark-suited penguin facepalming at his slowness.
"Well, I have some business in East Snowdon, but I'm from Freezeland. Anyway, how is your mission going?"
"Well, we scared some chick and confused a chicken. We also left a note on Henry's door." The penguin left the room, and waddled into a helicopter. "Take me somewhere that doesn't get mentioned by the Bureau of Fiction a lot. Somewhere like Puffica.
Back in Club Penguin, Popcorn was being returned to his igloo, after being reassured constantly by the more friendly agents that there was nothing to fear.
"You...you're sure that he won't come back?"
"Absolutely, Popcorn. Good-night, and sleep tight."
"Popcorn! What on earth were you thinking when he knocked on the door? Do be sensible! Now, show me your bruises and I'll put some iodine on them..."
Popcorn would normally have been annoyed by this, but this time, he didn't mind. Re-assurance was better than fright.
"You know, I always get bashed about and frightened and so on, so I understand."
"I've never been around when they happen, but I've heard of them. No wonder Bellarocker wants to follow you around.", replied Popcorn.
"Woo! Did he look like one of my villains in my pictures?"
"He did a bit, Leetle."
Suddenly, a blue-feathered penguin in a nightgown ran from the darkness.
"Popcorn! Are you alright? I ran out as soon as I heard of the incident!"
"Absolutely fine, Penguinpuffdude. Just a little bit shook-up."
"Phew! Popcorn, I have something to ask you."
"Okay. If you will excuse me...?"
They slipped to a shadowed, secluded tree nearby.
"Popcorn, are you planning any adventures soon?"
"Maybe, given this affair with the hooded penguin."
"If we're going to, then it has to be now, or perhaps never. I'm having a maths test in a few days - possibly tomorrow - and if I mangle my score, then I won't be able to do adventures for weeks."
Silent, they waddled back to where Bellarocker was giving exaggerated accounts of Popcorn's bruises.
The next morning, in Inland, Icespice was staring at a map of Eastshield, in an attempt to find the most likely location of the gang's headquarters, while Henry was in a Snowbucks drinking coffee. "This is barely coffee! I paid five fish for this!?", he exclaimed in anger, and caught the attention of other customers as well as the penguins working there. "Um, I'm sorry?" he said, in a worried tone of voice. "Get out!" growled a barister. "Ok, OK!" said Henry, slowly backing out. "I think I'm now banned." he said to Icespice. "That doesn't matter; we need to get moving!" Icespice replied. They suspected Mattress Village at first, but Henry said he didn't want to go back there after the incident with Radioactivechicken, so that meant Icespice had to go alone. This was not his first time entering the village, and every time he entered he hated it more and more. He drove into Honest Oakey's Really Good Motel and said "Put me up for the night. I'm on business."
Meanwhile, Henry was sightseeing back in Inland. He had attracted a crowd, being an important penguin. Everywhere he went, a large crowd would follow him. The became irritating, so he got back into his hotel room. Back in Mattress Village, Icespice was interviewing penguins about the mysterious Peach haters. They all said they knew nothing about them, except for one penguin who was targeted. Mattress Village just didn't add up in all of this, so Icespice left to return to Inland.
At a secret meeting room, some shady-looking penguins were discussing plans. "We need to wipe Peach off the planet if we are to get paid properly!"
"That is correct, but I do think that if we put Peach in a decline, they will pay us anyway"
"We need more members. Maybe we could try brainwashing someone again."
"How about that chicken with unstable nuclear isotopes? He seems easy to brainwash, considering the fact that he hates Peach."
"That's it! We need to go to Polaris City and bring him here!"
It was a dark day in Polaris, when both the expensive car and the dusty car drove through an inner-city area of Polaris City. Radioactivechicken's apartment was just ahead. The shady penguins got out and knocked on the door. Radioactivechicken looked through the peephole, and said "Oh, you. I'm not letting you in!" The door was kicked down immediately. Radioactivechicken tried to fight the penguins off, but they clearly had some kind of ninja like training. Chicken was pushed into the dusty car, and they drove back to the secret base.
What they didn't know, was that a spying Arctic Hare saw everything. The hare turned back, and ran as fast as it could to its home settlement, in Club Penguin.
The hares in the settlement turned round. They shooed a few wandering tourists into The Restaurant, as it seemed important.
"What is it, Kaya?"
"I was in the spying base at Eastshield, and a bunch of really shady penguins kidnapped Radioactivechicken!"
"Oh, carrots on silver lettuces! Tell that to the Soirs!"
Kaya did as she was told. The officer was shocked.
"Oh, lettuces on rabbit-traps! We must tell Henry about this!"
"The only drawback is that Henry is in Inland right now."
"Oh, lettuces on carrot-traps! What do we do now?"
The officer scratched his ear from frustration. Kaya was the first to speak.
"I know Icespice is around Mattress Village, but I know a family who know Henry and his friends."
"Fantastic! Who is it?"
An Arctic Hare ran with a message to Popcorn 3000's Igloo.
The hare stamped on the ground, and on the door. Popcorn, as usual, was the first to open it.
"What do you want, my friend?"
The hare told him about the kidnapping of Chicken.
"Oh dear, oh dear! Well, Hare, here's a carrot for doing what you just did. Now go!"
The satisfied hare lollopped to the settlement, whilst Popcorn waddled as fast as he could to Penguinpuffdude's igloo. He managed to convince the anxious Penguinpuffdude to come out, just as her father was calling her.
"Angela! Angela! It's time for your maths test!"
He saw the open door.
"Oh, well. Too late. At least she'll be having some fun."
By this time, Popcorn was announcing the start of a new adventure to his siblings. The main target? To rescue Radioactivechicken and bust those Peach-product haters.
"Hang on", began Penguinpuffdude, "we can't just take it upon ourselves. Have we contacted Henry and Icespice about this yet? They're adults, know more about missions and things, and Henry knows Radioactivechicken better than us."
"I'm afraid we haven't", replied Popcorn.
"How did we even get to know him and Radioactivechicken? I don't remember."
"I'm not sure either. Either way, does anybody have his e-mail address?"
"We don't...actually, we do. When you asked me to come here, I took a business card I have from Henry Inc.. Here it is."
Popcorn sat down in front of Rockthemic's computer, and wrote an e-mail to Henry. In five minutes, it was sent.
"Now then," began Rockthemic, "hopefully he's checking his computer, or smartphone, or whatever he has."
"No! They will pay this time!"
"But we don't know where they are."
"What if we go to Chicken's apartment and look for clues. Like the PSA days."
"You were never in the PSA!"
"I know, but I did use the virtual reality room a lot so I knew what I was getting into."
When they arrived, they found Radioactivechicken's apartment was completely devoid of all life. "I doubt we will find anything here." said Henry, shining a torch under the bed. They looked all around the apartment, and even searched the entire building and the surrounding area, but found nothing useful. If it wasn't Antarctica, it would be getting dark but of course Antarctica is around the South Pole, so it's day in summer and night in winter, and it was December, so a 24-hour sun was slowly sinking up and down the sky (remember the seasons are the other way round in the southern hemisphere). Eventually, The Narrator stopped digressing about seasons in Antarctica, and Henry found a tire mark on the road. "Come look at this!" he yelled to Icespice. "What is it!?" Icespice shouted back. "Tire mark!" replied Henry. "Could be from them anti-Peach guys."
Meanwhile, the anti-Peach guys had Radioactivechicken. "We know you think that Micro Hard and Soft is better than Peach."
"I do. But I wouldn't go smashing Peach products."
"We know about that little incident with Zanemax."
"Speak up!" Radioactivechicken said, to annoy his kidnapper.
"The end of Peach isn't our only demand. It all keeps the money flooding in. We get paid to do this stuff for groups that are not untrustworthy in any way," said the dark suited penguin.
"So some group is paying you?" Radioactivechicken asked.
"Yep. And you will be working with us!"
"That will never happen!" Radioactivechicken responded. "Back in another universe, I fought a country called Greglandia! They tried to brainwash me, and failed! I would very careful next time!"
"Look, we need money and we have power."
"You sound like some corrupt organisation!"
"Hmmmmmm, you know too much. Guards, take him away!"
Radioactivechicken was locked in a small prison, while the dark-suited penguin called a meeting. This time, they were discussing how to not get exposed. "We cannot let anything bad happen. We get money by accepting bribes, but people don't like that. We must keep it secret."
"That's true, and we can't loose our sponsors; they are very big companies that bring in a lot of money."
"We need our workers to keep quiet sometimes. Some of them just can't keep their beaks shut."
"I'm surprised they haven't gone on strike yet," said the more down-to-earth member of the group. "We should stop being so harsh on them. Maybe that could stop them wanting to expose us all the time."
"There's always somebody to stick up for the little guy."
When the down-to-earth member looked inquisitively at the penguin who had just spoken, he just tapped his flipper on the side of his beak.
Back in Club Penguin, Popcorn 3000's Family and Penguinpuffdude were steadily packing their bags to go to Eastshield, to meet Henry and Icespice and help them find Chicken. Bellarocker was acting as if she was the leader of a group of scouts.
"Can I take paper, pencil and cellotape?"
"If you want to, Leetle. They would be useful."
"Hmm, Bella, could you look over here?"
For some unknown reason, he squirted her with a random water-pistol. Everybody, apart from the victim, laughed.
"Popcorn, I have to say that this 'joke' is completely childish. Water-pistols have no part in helping packing; in fact, it slows penguins down and makes them very legarthic. If I catch a cold, then it's your fault," said the victim.
"Ha-ha-ha; I was just checking if it worked!", retorted the attacker.
Packing resumed. Suddenly, Rockthemic spoke.
"I say, chaps, are we taking the subway to Eastshield?"
Penguinpuffdude suddenly went green and felt dizzy, and excused the others to go out for a few minutes.
"No, I'm afraid not. You know the subway makes Penguinpuffdude seasick," answered Popcorn.
At this point, Penguinpuffdude returned, looking decidedly pale, but fit enough to continue packing. Nobody found out if Rockthemic had said it on purpose.
Finally, an hour later, they had finished.
"Now," began Rockthemic, "how are we getting to Eastshield?"
"Areoplane", replied Popcorn. "To Inland. It's the best way."
A few hours later, they arrived, and left their bags in their hotel.
"Now's the time to meet Henry and Icespice, and find where Chicken is," said Popcorn excitedly.
Meanwhile, Henry and Icespice were following a trail of tire marks across the continent. Eventually, after six hours of following the trail they finally made it to Victoriagrad, the former capital of the High Penguin Confederacy. "So this is where we got to?" Icespice asked. "I never thought we would end up here."
"Yep, I never thought we would be here too. Nobody really comes here, so that's why they must be hiding here."
The city looked relatively boring, and had a dangerous feel to it. The two penguins eventually made it to an abandoned warehouse. "Of course," commented Icespice, "an abandoned warehouse; how clichéd." They walked inside, but found nothing except for an EFF lorry. "What is EFF doing with these guys?" ssked Henry. "No idea." replied Icespice. They looked around the warehouse, and found nothing interesting until Henry discovered a suspicious-looking manhole just sitting there in the middle of the warehouse. After opening it up, they decided to go inside it just to make sure nothing was at the bottom.
"Free me, you minerals!" shouted Radioactivechicken at a guard in the secret base. "Why should I?" replied the guard. "I'm getting paid to keep you in there."
"By corrupt organisations!"
"They are not corrupt!"
"Yes they are!"
"No they're not!"
Radioactivechicken gave up trying to reason with his guard. He knew that escape was not impossible, but just very hard. Now was not the time.
"Wait, if we're going to meet Henry and Icespice, where are we going to meet them?"
Popcorn 3000's three siblings and his cousin stopped in their tracks. Popcorn also stopped, and then faceflippered.
"Ow @$%#@! If you lot had reminded me to contact them earlier, then things would have been easier! Now we have to retrace our steps back to the hotel, and it's your fault!"
"Ooh, steady on!"
The group waddled dejectedly back. They had noticed that Popcorn was a great deal more bad-tempered once they were out, but they didn't expect this furious outburst. Nobody could fully understand why. Half-way on the trail back, they began to wonder why they were going back to the hotel. Suddenly, they realised they were lost in a foreign city. The streets had become a maze.
"Rockthemic, pass me the map before you smash into something." said Popcorn.
Rockthemic handed him a map. Popcorn turned it upside-down, and back again. He started eyeing everybody furiously.
"Now, who was the bright spark who thought it was a good idea to swap the map of Inland with a situationist map of this random place called "London"?"
The remaining penguins looked at the map; it looked like a black sprawl of cobwebs on paper. Leetle then admitted, ashamedly, that it was her.
"Great. Now we're lost in a foreign city and it's all your fault!"
Sighing, he kicked a pebble and waddled on. His family and cousin, after looking at each other for a minute, followed suit. What they were not aware of, though, was that they were heading to the outskirts of South Pole City, and thus getting closer to Victoriagrad.
Down the manhole, Henry and Icespice walked through a hidden tunnel that took them to a door. They made an attempt to open it but it was locked but they did hear voices on the other side. "Being a guard is boring."
"How about we go off to the arcade? No one will notice."
Icespice slammed his flipper into the door and it shook a bit. He then slammed both flippers in and it came off the hinge. The two penguins jumped over the door and noticed that they at the bottom of a flight of stairs. They made their way to the top without getting noticed and were just about to sneak into a room when they heard more voices coming from a nearby corridor.
The aforementioned group of Peach-haters were at a conference amongst themselves.
"Well, do you think we can have any more agents?"
"There was that chick I scared a day or two ago."
"Hmm...you say that he was quickly frightened?"
"Maybe we can scare him into joining us. The more the better."
"Great idea! Given his age, nobody will even suspect him!"
"What could possibly go wrong?"
In the end, they sent out a bodyguard in a rickety old car to scout the area, and find Popcorn if he could.
Meanwhile, Popcorn, his family and siblings arrived in South Pole City.
"Argh! This noisiness!", said Bellarocker.
"Argh! These buildings!", said Rockthemic.
"Argh! This crowdedness!", said Leetle Penguinpuff.
"Argh! The subway!", said Penguinpuffdude, shivering at the thought of it.
"Argh! These pointless sentences that serve no function in the story!!!", screamed Popcorn. This put an end to that.
They waddled on, when a mysterious car drove up to them. The penguin waddled out. He didn't look too friendly, but realising their suspicious stares, he grinned.
"Hello! I've heard of you, Popcorn!", he said, and he shook Popcorn's flipper. Popcorn noted that it was a weak flippershake - not somebody to trust.
"Would you like to ride in my car??"
Popcorn and Penguinpuffdude looked at each other. Popcorn signaled, with subtle movements of the flipper, that it was a weak flippershake.
Now, the way that Popcorn signaled to her that it was a weak flippershake was by the use of semaphore. The semaphore alphabet is commonly used by sailors, and involves swinging the arms around to convey a letter of the alphabet, and thus a word. Popcorn just so happens to be dexterously double-jointed, so he accomplished this normally difficult task with ease.
"No, thank you; we would rather waddle", said Penguinpuffdude.
Before they could protest further, they were shoved into the back-seats, and they were away. Popcorn and Penguinpuffdude began whispering.
"Now, Bella, where's the scissors? There's a large hole in the back, and I can see the tyre..."
"Bella, pass me the rock of iodine, and anything that can give it a chemical reaction..."
Popcorn thus punctured the tyre, and Penguinpuffdude hoped to burn at least a puffle-sized hole with the iodine, and then cut it wider with scissors.
"Argh! A puncture!", said the driver.
As he was climbing out and replacing the tyre, Penguinpuffdude had successfully burnt a hole, and was widening it with the scissors and a foot. By the time that the driver was ready to drive on, the hole was large enough, and they slipped out like eels. Luckily, there were no cars to watch them, so they were safe. They watched the poor fool drive into the distance, and resumed their now-pointless hike.
Inside the room, Henry and Icespice hid underneath a loose floorboards the was conveniently there. Some footsteps were getting close to the room. A guard's voice could be heard: "Nothig to report; wait, what's this?"
"I can hear breathing."
The two agents held their breath as the guards searched the area without success. "Maybe it was coming from the next room," said one of the guards. The footsteps began to grow fainter as the guards walked into the room next door.
"That is incorrect.", stated Radioactivechicken. The guard looked at Radioactivechicken and said: "Well, it seems you got something right."
"So you're Turtlehaters? Are you with Ben!?"
The guard replied: "Yes."
"You Weekee vandals!", screamed Radioactivechicken. "I can't believe you support that penguin!"
The guard said "Very Interesting.", and went off to tell the guys in charge.
"Radioactivechicken is very much against us; he hates Ben.", the guard said to the leaders. "That's bad news.", said the penguin in charge. They sat in silence, trying to think of a better plan. They knew that there will be problems with their current plans.
Popcorn 3000 and his family and cousin were sitting on a bench. They had completely forgotten why they were hiking, and were trying hard to justify tiring their feet.
"If Radioactivechicken hates us, then we cannot get him on our side easily, and we expected great things from him," the lead penguin stated, looking a little bit worried about the situation.
"And all our luggage was in that hotel..."
Bellarocker started crying. She was good at having fits of worry.
"If only you hadn't swapped the map for that used by situationists..."
Popcorn eyed Leetle, who then turned away and sniffled. Penguinpuffdude then spoke.
"What's the point of crying if we haven't got anything done?? C'mon; we can lodge ourselves somewhere..."
Sniffling, the group got up and waddled off. There was virtually no point in saying that, as they didn't know where to find lodgings. Even though they did, in the end, find lodgings, they didn't feel quite easy.
Henry and Icespice ran through a corridor, down some stairs and then up some more stairs and found nothing; the building was like a maze and they began to suspect that it was one, and that they had to find the end in order to make an arrest and save Radioactivechicken.
"We should stick to the left.", Henry told Icespice.
The two stuck to the left side of the maze's walls. They seemed to be the only creatures in the building, which worried them a bit. They could no longer hear guards. The only sound was their own footsteps; not even the air conditioning system appeared to be on. "This place is giving me the creeps.", Icespice commented. His comment echoed through the halls. Suddenly, there was a power failure, and all the lights went out. The agents had to feel their way through the dark and scary maze-like corridors of the secret underground base. Henry got out his torch, and shined it at the wall. They saw the shadows of not themselves, but other mysterious entities, walking towards them. The agents looked at the shadows, then at themselves, and ran for it.
In the place of lodgings, Bellarocker sensed that something felt quite wrong. She quickly became decidedly pale, but told the others that it was nothing. Penguinpuffdude was, for a change, preparing their dinner. Rockthemic was lounging about. Leetle Penguinpuff was drawing, as usual. Popcorn was reading his bootleg pocket edition of Penguins: A Threat to Human Society?, which he keeps at all times.
"Now then, chaps," said Penguinpuffdude, "what's better - kerststol or panettone?"
Popcorn was the first to reply.
"I say, I love your knowledge and distinction of festive and non-festive food choice. What will it be next - stollen at a Halloween party, perhaps?"
"Well, I do enjoy your tastes in different formats of books. Why not send that bootleg edition to the EPF, and ask them to re-print it?"
Just as the two were about to argue, Bellarocker coughed, and then swooned.
"I say, you're in big trouble today!", a guard said to the agents. They had ran into a wall, and were easily caught. As they were being dragged off to the prison cells, Icespice noticed a book titled "Plans". Deciding that could come in handy, he picked it up and put into his pocket. Radioactivechicken was with the agents getting put in prison, and asked them what happened so far. "It's a long story.", replied Henry.
Bellarocker had just come round, with the aid of smelling-salts.
"I can sense that there's something horribly wrong here.", she said, stressing the words "horribly wrong" in particular. "Can't you feel it?"
"No - what makes you think that?"
Just then, the sound of heavy boots resounded in the corridor, and a burly guard that definitely looked out-of-place in a pseudo-hotel opened the door.
"'Allo, wot do we 'ave 'ere?"
Another guard was behind him. Rockthemic bravely coughed once, and spoke.
"Weeeell, my sister just swooned dramatically and we were reviving her...? Is anything the matter?"
"Weeeeeeeeeeeeell, the manager wants to know why you young chicks are in this place where chicks usually don't come without their parents!"
"I'd like you to say that again!", said Popcorn, looking decidedly annoyed.
"I'd like to see you ask", said the guard, whipping out a gun from a pocket. He looked malignantly around the room, with the feeling that he had just cornered a group of wild, helpless puffles. "Out!"
Helpless, the group waddled out the room, and were surrounded on all sides by guards. They waddled out the structure. Popcorn semaphored to Penguinpuffdude that Bellarocker was right; Penguinpuffdude nodded in agreement.
Radioactivechicken took the "Plans" book and opened it up. It started with an introduction that said: "These are our plans to get the job done in order to get paid. Remember, these are potentially dangerous penguins assigning us with the job so be warned. Follow these plans unless you want to stay alive." The next page read: "We need to find and PWN all Peach users since it is Micro Hard and Soft shareholders paying us; they will pay us even more if we take out companies that could cause the prices of their stocks they own to go down. They also want us to wipe out the Club Penguin Wiki since it is causing trouble." Radioactivechicken shut the book, looked at Henry and Icepice and said: "We need to escape and stop these guys. They want to take out the Weekee."
"Why do you still call it the Weekee?", asked Henry. "Those parody names are horrible and cringy."
"I don't want to talk about it, but something happened there.", Radioactivechicken replied. "I see.", responded Henry. Icespice looked at the other two birds, and said in a panicky voice: "We need to escape. Quickly."
Meanwhile, Popcorn and his family and his cousins-
Hey, how about we just call them "the aforementioned group" from now onwards? It's becoming monotonous!
Shut up, Director Benny! You're breaking the flow!
Anyway, the aforementioned group were being led by the hotel guards. They had learned why they were targeted - that is, they are being kidnapped because they look like a bunch of innocent, helpless chicks. Nobody would suspect some supposedly mischievous chicks breaking into a supermarket, or a warehouse, or a shed - anything - when their aim is to break Peach productions.
They had been walking for an hour, when the guard at the front (who had a thick Puffish accent), leading everybody, stopped suddenly.
"Nawh, do you see? Only three-hundred-and-fifty yards or so away is awuh headqwawhters!"
The group squinted, and they faintly saw a modern, dark, squarish building.
"You see the forest just beside yah, eh?"
They looked to their left and the right; a forest had seemingly sprung up from nowhere and had an odd, intangible aura, as if it like some kind of trap.
"Dey sey that dey bilt the headqwawhters in this forest to avoid being spotted! I see their point - ya can't see anything! It's as if it sprung up with magic, like!"
They moved on. When they were only two hundred yards away, Bellarocker, who had been positioned just behind the Puffish guard, looked behind to see her relations, who were in a neat line proceeding her. She expected to see Rockthemic, who understood her most, but she saw Leetle Penguinpuff instead.
Would she understand?
I hope so.
Naturally, Leetle was surprised - even frightened - to see remnants of tears on Bellarocker's face. She had never seen her like that before. Then, she blinked, turned away her face, and with a small, obviously fake groan, she swooned again.
In that precious moment, when all the guards heard it and suddenly began rushing backwards and forwards, Leetle understood what she was up to.
"Quick!", she said to Rockthemic who was behind her, being jostled by the movement, "Bellarocker has fainted - to the forest on our left!"
Penguinpuffdude had heard this too, and, grabbing Rockthemic and Popcorn's flippers - who was utterly confused - they ran in a group to the forest.
"Oh no! They're escaping! Fire!"
They heard a guard scream. Bullets resounded, as the guards shot this way and that, hoping to make at least one lame. Unfortunately, with their targets unseen, they were awful shooters, and they managed to reach seventy-five yards until the Puffish guard told the others to stop. Bellarocker was quickly "revived", and, the guards dejected at being fools, marched on to their Headquarters. After a brief but fruitless interrogation, Bellarocker was immediately thrown into prison separate from that of Radioactivechicken and his friends; but despite the droughts, despite the awful mess she was in, despite everything, she smiled at the thought of the guards' stupidness, and hoped she made the correct decision.
Bellarocker had given up her freedom to save her relations.
In the prison cell, Icespice told the other two that he could get Henry to the air duct. Radioactivechicken said that it could be risky, but it would still work. Henry agreed. They somehow were able, on their first attempt, to throw Henry into the air duct. Once Henry was in there he crawled through the metal piping until he got to another air vent. He then jumped down, got out his gun and shouted: "Freeze!"; the guards looked round. Before they could do anything, Henry had tied and gagged them up and took their keys.
Henry then rushed back to the jail cells, and unlocked them to get out Icespice and Radioactivechicken. "C'mon!", ordered Radioactivechicken as they rushed through the dark corridors.
They darted into a gloomy-looking room with some computers inside. A dark figure was sitting at one of them. This did not seem to represent any Antarctic creature. The trio slowly stepped towards it.
Bellarocker was counting her vats of medical equipment.
"Now, if only I can make my own escape..."
She spilt a vat of aqua regia (why is that in a chick's medical box...?). Something got caught in the acid, and sizzled into a liquid.
Suddenly, she thought of a plan.
She didn't particularly care if the guards got hurt; all that mattered was to slip out like a snake.
Only as long as she didn't use aqua regia, or anything else that involved acids and strong alkali.
That'd be painful.
Although the sounds of her friends escaping were audible, echoing in the corridor, she never noticed.
Her relations were slipping unsteadily through the forest, finding somewhere to rest a while, then carry on to their trek back to civilisation.
"Now we know where their base is, all we need is the police", remarked one of them. Nobody took note of who said it, given how tired their feet were.
They came across a stream, with no bridge. It was a fast-flowing stream, too.
"Well, well, well,", said Rockthemic, "I like the predicament we're in now."
None of them dared to waddle along the bank until they found a bridge, and nobody was, in particular, willing to swim across, either.
"Wait a minute...", said Leetle, "is that a plank I see there?"
The older siblings squinted too. Penguinpuffdude squeaked in joy.
"You're a wonder, Leetle! We can send Popcorn to set that plank, and we can cross the stream with it!"
"Do I have to?", said Popcorn. He was reluctant to swim in the dark.
"Don't be a wimp, Popcorn."
Popcorn waddled at his own, slow pace to the stream, and splashed in.
It was more difficult than it looked. Pieces of rock and rubbish were trying to smack his feet and flippers at every move, and make him flow down into the tunnel of darkness...
He smacked his beak on a log, and almost gave in to the current from pain.
Finally, he reached the shore, and, much annoyed, he lifted the plank and found it was just long enough for a safe crossing. He whistled that it was fine, and his relations crossed.
"You're a hero, Popcorn...", commented somebody.
"It was nothing, really.", said Popcorn, rather bashfully.
The shadowed figure looked at the trio of Henry, Icespice and Radioactivechicken. It was uncertain what creature it was, or even if it was alive at all; all they knew was that it was there. It began to speak, in a loud monotone voice: "Ah, the trio. I should have known you will wind up in here someday. You cannot fight me, for I always win!"
After hearing the words "bureau of entropy", Director Benny suddenly got very interested and grabbed his popcorn.
Henry then stepped up to the figure and asked: "So, can anything stop you?"
"No!", the figure answered, its voice echoing across the room. "Um, OK," Henry replied, "what about alpha particles? Radioactivechicken, open your beak and fire!".
Director Benny was not impressed.
"What is this?" he asked, "Is this turning into a physics lesson?"
He then created a force field out of nothing and shouted down: "I will take care of this, Icespice; shoot him!"
Icespice pulled the trigger on his gun, but the figure flicked the bullet back. Icespice ducked. The bullet hit the wall, and fell to the ground. Henry then grabbed a chair that was there for no reason, because Director Benny had just spawned it there for plot conveniences, and threw it at the dark figure. It ducked. Radioactivechicken got out his sword. This was no ordinary blade; it has been made so it not only stabs his opponent but also delivers a powerful electric shock to them as well. He pounced on the figure with it. The lights went out. The room was dark. Icespice heard someone screaming.
The lights came back on, and the figure was gone. In its place was a USB memory stick. Icespice put it into his laptop but all the files were corrupted; they were literally corrupt, they were accepting bribes, extorting money, committing the acts of cronyism, nepotism, influence peddling, graft and embezzlement. "These are some insane software bots!" Radioactivechicken exclaimed after looking at them for a minute. Icespice was about to delete the files, because he is anti-corruption, when Henry said that they could be useful. He did stop the files from running, though.
A guard was waddling towards Bellarocker's cell with her (extremely late) dinner. He rat-tat-ratted on the door; he went in. It was the aforementioned Puffish guard.
"Well, heeh-yuh is yuh dinnah; hope you like it!"
He turned round, when Bellarocker said:
"Wait, Mister Guard! I should admire it muchly if thou would sit parallel to me whilst I consume my vitals, for my flippers perspire as I wield my sword of consumption, and that hinders my progress for then I become as sticky as anything, and as I am not a porthole that shalt definitely not be good for my digestion (especially since stickiness has an ambiguous statement on whether it may be or not be potable), and then that means I shall become pusillanimous, which is very indefatigable. Will you...?"
Although the guard did not understand much of what she said, he got the basic idea that she just wanted some company.
To tell the truth, he did want his dinner too, but as he was instructed to obey any reasonable orders from prisoners who are at the age of twelve and below, he closed the door, and sat down. Bellarocker eyed him with annoyance.
"Well, my friend, it annoys be just as much to see you sit there, doing nothing else but staring blankly at my every movement. Have you got dinner?"
Looking faintly delighted, he got up, and ran out, along the corridor. As soon as his footsteps were inaudible, she got out two vats of some kind of powder out of her medical kit. She was ready for when he came back.
When he did, although he had forgotten to shut the door - as she had predicted - it was in a container with a lid. "Drat it", she thought, "Plan A is gone. Now for Plan B..."
As the lid was opened, she smiled cheerfully and without guile, and once it was opened, she offered to sprinkle some Vitamin-C powder on it. He accepted - the purpose of the smile - and how could he have known, that, under the friendliness of the seemingly-helpless chick, that she too was crafty, and guessed from the easygoing tone of his voice that he was a novice, and hoped that he didn't recognize that it was not vitamin-powder, but was, instead, a crushed sleeping-tablet?
As such, after about three to five minutes, when he was four-fifths over his dinner, he began yawning; in seven minutes, he was about to raise himself to his feet, but found himself most unwilling to the process, so, propping up against a wall, he allowed his head and eyelids to lower themselves, and she left him, giggling silently, until he was safely asleep.
"To work - to work!", she mischievously whispered to herself, as, once the guard began snoring, she rifled through his pockets. A handkerchief - an identity card - a caramel - a notebook - and finally, the keys. She unlocked the cell, heard the door creak, waddled out, closed the door, locked it, and scampered off.
Icespice looked through the source code for the bots, just in case there was anything suspicious there. He found nothing. He then looked at the software itself and found a disturbing subliminal message about the Underground Club Penguin Weekee. "But the Un-CP was destroyed years ago!" he muttered as he looked through them. "Either this is some old software or they want to bring it back!" The whole thing seemed very messed up. "Where's the Inquisition when you need them?" asked Radioactivechicken, also very confused about what was going on.
"I must find a way out..."
Bellarocker waddled over to one of the doors, swiped out a paperclip from her medical kit, and picked the lock. It turned out to be a seemingly endless corridor. She waddled in, and closed the door behind her. There was a window overlooking the complex, and, curious, she looked out.
She waddled on.
In the meantime, a burly, experienced guard was going to give some pillows and a blanket for the former prisoner. He knocked, but waited for no answer; instead, he just used his skeleton keys, and waddled in.
He gasped to see his Puffish colleague, snoring peacefully on the ground. He leapt to him, like a Puffin swooping for its prey.
"Wake up, you dozy moron!"
Three shakes at the collar was enough, and he woke up, yawning.
"Ouuuhh...what's the deal?"
"The prisoner's escaped, fool! What have you done with her??"
"Hmmmm... wait, what??"
"Did you mean you didn't know she left???"
He looked over his comrade's shoulder, and was shocked to see that she wasn't there. He fumbled in his pocket for his keys, but found them gone, too.
"You idiot! Now we have to sound the alarm, and what a bunch of oafs we will seem when the boss finds out!"
The message was sent in Morse Code to the loud-speaker-operator, and in a matter of minutes, the corridor echoed the news.
They were not the only ones trying to escape something; the trio was also trying to leave the building they were in. They walked through the dark, unknown corridors of the secret underground base trying to find an exit. They were completely lost underground and the search for a way out was looking very hopeless. Every now and then, they would hear a guard and run into a dark room. It was in one of these dark rooms when Radioactivechicken suggested that they could knock out three of the guards and steal their uniforms, so they could just blend in and ask where the exit is. Henry and Icespice both agreed that this would be the best way to get out, so they waited outside the door for a guard to come.
It took hours, but eventually a group of guards passed by.
The trio ambushed them, but the guards put up a fight. Icespice got out his Snowball gun and said "Come on, just let us borrow your uniforms, and no one gets hurt. C'mon, just surrender!" Henry and Radioactivechicken punched the guards from behind, while they were distracted by Icespice. They then stole the uniforms and looked like ordinary guards. They then got as far away from the area as possible, and asked another guard where the exit is. The guard looked at them, saying "You're new, I take it?". "Yes." Radioactivechicken replied. "OK, It's to the left". They went that way, and found an odd looking door. They went through it and found themselves in Mattress Village. "Not here again!" exclaimed Radioactivechicken, though really he was glad to be in Mattress Village. They went to Honest Oakey's Really Good Motel, and asked him to put them up for the night.
While all that happened, the burly guard had slapped his colleague thirty times for being careless, and had been searching through all the empty cells. They had left Radioactivechicken and his friends' cell until last, confident that they would still be there. The Puffish guard had actually went to check the guards in case they saw anything (the burly guard hadn't seen them, since he came via a secret entrance), and was surprised to find them tied up. They were too exhausted to speak for the moment, so they concluded that she had knocked them out. He certainly felt like a mug then.
"Okay, now, since she seems to have escaped via one of the corridors or knocked out the guards, both of them" - he eyed the Puffish guard, who blushed - "I'll take her blankets and pillows, and give it to that chicken - or whatever he said he was - and his jolly friends."
Once the door swung open, he groaned and threw up his wings in despair.
"Hi, what's up?"
The Puffish guard joined him, and squeaked, clasping his flippers together.
"Those three troublemakers have gone!"
"Quick, you dodo! Send out a message!"
"Get the others!"
"Don't just goggle like a fool there; do something useful!!!"
The Puffish guard squeaked again - too shocked to even speak - and ran off.
He came back an hour and a half later, with a band of other experienced guards.
"Here, what took you so long?"
"I ran all corners of the guards' quarters, to get every willing penguin I could get. I wouldn't have taken so long if I hadn't got lost halfway-through."
"Well, I excuse you. The boss'l think we're a bungling lot of idiots if we don't find them...then again, they did escape from Roger's car..."
They began scouting through the building, when, three dreary hours of combing later (punctuated by a lot of stopping and starting, and scolding four in the back that were somehow playing whist), a messenger tapped them on the shoulder, to say that a pile of three unconscious guards was found in a corridor.
"Bunglers! Bunglers! Bunglers!"
Obviously, the burly guard was furious. He began pulling his Puffish comrade's beak, which lead into an wholly unnecessary scuffle between them. Suddenly, unfamiliar footsteps were heard.
"I don't recognize that sound..."
"This one's for you, burly idiot!"
"Come apart, you two, and stop and listen!"
"If it was a normal guard, that penguin would be wearing boots..."
Suddenly, Bellarocker cautiously peeped out, looked in the opposite direction - not seeing the guards - and stepped out entirely.
She turned her head round and gasped, to see five guns pointed at her, at arms' length.
"Now, you just stop running from us, and come here."
She didn't move.
"You've been playing truant for enough time now, chick."
She didn't move.
"Run the other direction, and we've covered you. We have full rounds of snowballs and fruit here.
She still didn't move.
"Ah, you cowardly fool, you don't want to come, eh? Fine."
The guard speaking this nodded, and a guard came out of the thick of the crowd, gloating at Bellarocker's helplessness.
"Well then, that escapade didn't end well, did it! Now-"
She had seen a corridor on her right, which the others had overlooked, and bolted. The guard sprang on her as she moved, but he was bombarded by the snowballs and fruit, which the others triggered at the same time. They had been in the mistaken impression that the guard was their captive, but after a few cries to stop, they found their confused mistake.
Bellarocker didn't stop running, until she saw an alternate doorway, slammed herself on the digital password-key-board-thingie, and managed to open the door. To her dismay, it was a dark, endless-looking corridor.
"Oh, well", she thought, "it's better to keep on running 'till I drop, than get caught by these horrible penguins."
She took one look behind her, and saw the same band of guards, angrily running towards her, some stumbling as they ran. She turned round, went in, slammed the door shut (automatically locking it), and ran into the unknown.
"So, they want to take out the Club Penguin Wiki and possibly replace it with some sort of neo-Un-CP." Icespice stated. "If we are to make it to the wiki in time, we might just be able to save it." Henry and Radioactivechicken stared at him. For all they knew, the wiki could have been destroyed a long time ago. They had lost track of time when they were in the prison, and had no idea what day it was. Henry went up to Icespice and said "OK, we could go. If the wiki is gone then we can take out the bad guys there."
"I agree." Radioactivechicken commented, and with that they made their way to the Club Penguin Wiki.
Back in the secret base, the boss was unhappy about the escape and called his subordinates to a meeting. "They have escaped! We must stop them!", he yelled at everyone. A subordinate responded: "That is correct, but we need to take down the wiki; if we do that, we get paid."
"True." said the boss, "But you do realise that they might attempt to stop us there, right?"
"Good point.", the subordinate said. "Where could they be?"
"The nearest exit to the prison cells is in Mattress Village."
"Darn it!" exclaimed the boss, "I knew that place would be the death of us!"
The subordinates shuffled off.
"Wait!", shrieked the boss, "some of you come back."
The others left the room, whilst the failed chasers of Bellarocker guiltily slouched up to him. He promptly tweaked their ears very hard, and told them to go.
On the road, the trio was driving at around 70mph when one of those cars used by their kidnappers appeared. "Oh no! They're on to us!", Radioactivechicken yelled as they got closer. Icespice put his foot down on the accelerator, and they shot off, leaving behind a cloud of car fumes in front of the kidnappers. When they dissipated away, the driver got out and kicked a rock in anger. Soon the trio would be at the Wiki, and he could not do anything about it.
"I can see some light at the horizon, at last!"
The band of siblings, and a cousin, were nearly at the edge of the woods.
"Hah; I have no need for light," boasted Popcorn, "for my eyesight is remarkably-uuaaaAAAAAAAAAH!"
As usual, Popcorn had tripped up on a rock. His relatives, filled with schadenfreude, rocked with laughter. Suddenly, Penguinpuffdude stopped.
They stopped. A sound of a vehicle could be heard, racing on a road. One minute later, the car passed only ten yards from them. They had nearly crossed a road.
What was more, it was the car that was returning from the failed pursuit of Radioactivechicken, and his friends.
"Come on - let's go."
Bellarocker was still running in the deep, dark corridor. At last, she saw a faint glimmer of light at the end.
"Free! Free at last!"
Waving her arms in gladness, she put on another burst of speed, only to find that it was a glass window. The glimmer of light was only a lantern outside it; along with the lantern was her chance of freedom. She panted, but thought quickly.
"If-if I th-think that they can-can open the do-door too, then I'd bet-better be quick."
She noticed that, all this time, she had not let go of their First Aid Kit. It was strong, and somewhat heavy.
She reared herself up, and smashed the bag against the window. It cracked.
She did it again; it cracked again.
She did it once more, and the centre broke into a thousand, glittering pieces. She got out a roll of bandages, layered the shards with it, safely climbed out, unrolled and unsticked the bandages, and ran.
The failed guards were running desperately to where they had left the chase.
"Trust the boss to call us whilst we're doing something!"
They turned a corner, and finally reached the alternate doorway.
"Now, do you remember the code to open it?"
By the time he had opened it, the poor guard who had said "no" was unconscious on the ground, with the others trying to revive him.
"Done! Let's all go. We can't waste time finding her - she and her friends" - he eyed the unconscious guard - "would be a perfect decoy and captive for our gang."
They woke up the unconscious guard by slapping him with cold water from a water-bottle, and they all crept inside. When they reached the end, they - the leader especially - was very disappointed to find that she had broken the glass, and escaped.
"Bunglers! Idiots! Fools! Now she's gone and we don't know where she is!"
He took his anger out on the poor bungling guard, and then they, carrying the guard, ran back out.
At the Club Penguin Wiki, a group of penguins with pitchforks and torches were standing outside. Radioactivechicken and co arrived there. At first nobody noticed them, then, a penguin spotted them. The penguins went up to Chicken and one of them said "So, you have come to stop us. I guess that means you need to be taken out."
"No" was Radioactivechicken's reply, "you need to be taken out." The penguins swapped their pitchforks and torches for guns, the leader then said "So you now want to fight, eh? Get them!" Icespice stepped in front, got out his snowball gun and gave a warning shot which made the leader step backwards. A group of penguins then charged at Radioactivechicken's small trio, scattering the three across the area. They all drew arms; the fight began. Radioactivechicken said to raid the car park that the other penguins were using as a base; they raced towards it. Upon getting there they took supplies and camped out there, and then made their way inside the wiki itself. Their enemies noticed this and rushed inside, storming the wiki as they went. Radioactivechicken hid in the archives while Icespice and Henry decided to take refuge in Ezzat Territory, as they thought nobody in their right mind would go poking their beaks in there. They were right, and they remained safe throughout the raid. Radioactivechicken, meanwhile, was keeping a close eye on the Recent Changes so he could spot any vandalism. He ended up having to use the revert button over nine thousand times to keep all the information safe from them. After it was over, he called Henry and Icespice; they came out and took a look at the damage, or the patches, because Radioactivechicken reverted it all. They then left the wiki, calling it a day. But now they had to face the leader, and stop him for good.
Bellarocker found that, instead of finding her complete freedom, this place seemed to be some sort of lawn belonging to the anti-Peach group. She knew this, because she nearly tripped up on a de-activated hybrid spotlight/cat's eye.
"Bandages! What am I to do next?"
As she scrambled to her feet, the rotating spotlight/cat's eye suddenly turned on. The floor lit up, all one-and-a-half metres away from each other, and she saw rings of light, appearing, one by one, from the unnoticed trees.
"I've got to find a way out!"
She knew that escaping detection would be harder than a few minutes before. However, she saw, in the distance, the hybrid spotlight/cat's eyes were still yet all to be activated. She figured that if she followed the path to the darkness, she may have a chance to escape.
Then, she heard a multiple of feet and boots pattering on concrete, and on the few patches of grass. Her mind made up, she grabbed her First Aid Kit, but instead of creeping, she found that she was bolting.
"Hey, chaps, I see something moving!"
"It must be the captive!"
"G'wan, get her!"
The boots and feet ran in opposite directions, and Bellarocker, panting behind a rock behind a tree, wondered how she had actually made it. There had been too much of a chance being caught, but, yet, foolhardy bolting was what saved her. She hated bolting due to its danger, and the all-too-likely tendencies of smashing into something, but this time, it had been of some use. She sighed with relief, and, all queasy at the feet, she waddled in the wind's direction.
After sneaking back to the building that they were in, Radioactivechicken's trio looked for the leader. It was a cold day outside and snow was dripping from the uniforms that they had stolen. A guard spotted them. "Hey, what's been going on out there?"
"Mission failed", Icespice replied, "we'll get 'em next time."
"Well, that's bad to hear. Can't believe a group that small was able to take us out. We must be the worst underground militia group in the multiverse!", and with that he left.
The trio tried to retrace their steps, but it was no use until Henry saw a doorway that he recognised. They walked through it, and found themselves in the room where the big fight involving Director Benny had happened. They walked through another doorway and they were back in the first area of the complex. "Well, they're probably around here somewhere." Icespice stated. The others agreed. The search continued through the dark corridors, only this time they noticed that a lot more security cameras had been put up. "They must have been prepared!" commented Radioactivechicken as they searched through. They found a stairwell, they went down it and then through a door. They were in another corridor. This part of the complex appeared to be a more important part. They saw another guard who didn't say anything as they walked on. "Um, why is this corridor darker?" asked Icespice. "No idea." Henry replied. "I'm suspicious; this could be a trap. We need to find a good hiding spot, just in case." They found a broom cupboard and took it over as their base of operations. They then put some supplies in there and left, hoping that nobody will find and take them. They then turned a corner and found themselves in a small lit up room. There were no cameras. They assumed that this room was safe. Then they heard footsteps.
The burly guard was kicking a pebble, as he slouched back to base. The bungling Puffish guard was following him, pathetically, behind, and he was trying his best not to seem noticed.
"All this trouble, for a pathetic old chick!"
He spun round, and the Puffish guard flinched to see his disappointed and angry face.
"All because of you!"
He boxed him on the beak. He then stared at him, in a huff, and turned his back on him. He started a monologue.
"You. It was all your fault. You have messed up a lot of our plans. You were in charge of the prisons, and you let not one, not two, but four of our captives to escape. You know that the chicken could have proved useful, like as a kind of weapon. You know Henry may have been bribed to work for us. You know Icespice could become our spy. Most of all, you know that the pink chick would have been a simply wonderful decoy. Added to that, when we were trekking our way back, you allowed the other four to run off, right behind your back! Why didn't you handcuff them? Why didn't you tie them? Why didn't you keep an eye on them? What were you thinking?! You know that we are all trained for being the boss's top guards, and second-in-command saboteurs. You know we cannot disappoint him for too long, or else he will release his wrath onto us. You know that the boss is not what he seems. You know those guys with the hoods and the cars? They aren't the bosses anymore; the computer we have in that mysterious - to you, at least - room is our overseer, the manager, the destructor, the filer, the cheater, the realizer, the one that should obey us, but they - and we - are slowly starting to obey him. After the raid at the Wiki failed, and we plugged in the headphones to tell it, it suddenly borked and the entire order of importance was spun. Rather than being a simple servant, it's become a master. You heard this?"
The Puffish guard shuddered. Suddenly, the burly guard's seriousness broke into a bout of semi-friendly laughter.
"Of course, all these are rumours. Passed down from the highest to the lowest orders of the gang. It's just to frighten poor novices like you, and keep them in their places."
"Whew! I was afraid for a moment."
"I was too, when I heard it. Hey, who left that light in that room?"
They were approaching the small, lit room Radioactivechicken and co. were in. He waddled directly towards it.
"Someone's there!", Radioactivechicken screamed as he heard the footsteps. There was no time to escape. It was the end. The footsteps grew louder as they got closer. Henry saw the guard pulling out a gun, and loading it up with bullets. They ran for it. They knew that they had been spotted, so they figured that they might as well run in full view of everyone. Icespice noticed a bullet to right next to his head. The chase was on. They ran up a flight of stairs. It was at this moment when Henry spotted a trapdoor to the open air. They climbed through it, and was into the sunlight. The guards also climbed out. The trio got into their car that was still parked outside the warehouse, and drove through the streets of Victoriagrad. The guards got into their car and the chase continued.
"Hopefully they won't make it to the boss's hideout!", a guard yelled as he fired his gun at the trio's car. Radioactivechicken drove them out of Victoriagrad and into the Eastshield countryside, where O-Berry plantations splashed past them as they sped on trying not to be hit by the bullets. "We should get to Inland by tomorrow! Then we can find a hiding spot!", Radioactivechicken said as bullets wizzed past. Then the road got bumpy; no, the tire got bumpy, for it had gone flat. The trio rushed out of the car, and fled into an O-berry field. As they ran, they could see that the guards had not noticed them. They needed to cross the field and find a good hiding place if they really wanted to be safe. It has seemed like a long day. Heck, maybe it was several days. The last time they had slept was in Mattress Village. They began to get very tired, and in the end decided to just sleep in a barn and hope no one notices them.
"Idiot! Idiot! Idiot!"
The guard who had been using his gun on Radioactivechicken pulled out the poor Puffish guard, and was pulling his beak painfully.
"Why didn't you load your gun beforehand? We could have caught them!"
"It already was, sir..."
"Then why didn't you fire it?!?"
"Sir, I had no time. Anyway, I'm starting to think that this group is stupid. Know how to get out?"
He slapped him for this piece of cheek.
"Just you wait until I report to the corporals..."
For safety's sake, he tied him up. The Puffish guard was seriously starting to doubt that joining in was such a good idea, after all.
Radioactivechicken was the first to get up. He looked at the other two, still asleep. Then he looked out into the field. The sun was rising and shining over the O-Berry bushes. "I know we're near the boss's hideout, but where is it?" he thought. He sat on the spare tyre of a tractor and started thinking more. "Why are they so concerned about Peach existing that they have guys with guns and stuff to threaten creatures? This makes no sense. There's got to be more to it than this. We have to interrogate the boss!" He jumped down and looked around the field. The sun had risen some more and there was more light in the barn. "Perhaps Peach is just a cover up and their true intentions are hidden. That could explain the seemingly random attack on the Club Penguin Wiki." Radioactivechicken then broke the Fourth Wall, "What if this is all just some story that two of The Ones came up with, and one of them turned his part of this story into an allegory for some stuff going on in his life at the time? Nah, that just sounds stupid." Then, Henry got up, and then Icespice, and they both saw Radioactivechicken, pacing outside the barn. "Um," said Henry, "let's go!"
"Yeah!" said Icespice, looking excited. "Next settlement?" Henry asked. "Sounds good to me." Icespice replied.
Back at the anti-Peach base, the Puffish worker was being dismissed. His rank had fallen, down, down...to the rank of the General Cleaner. He picked up a mop, and began wiping the floor; his former comrades laughed from spitefulness. How funny, that such a young'un would have no sense to close his mouth - at all!, they agreed amongst themselves. Yet, he ignored all this. He was too passive to bite back.
He moved out of the room, and calmly began mopping the corridor. The other members followed him, and, as they passed to the dining room, taunted him again. One even kicked him and his bucket of water. He went to fill it back; they were still there, waiting for him. Then they left, their voices echoing throughout the walls. His suppressed tears welled to his eyes. A water-droplet fell to the ground - it was swiftly mopped away. He considered his life in this group for a while.
"How funny, that they thought I would be such a promising member, and I end up as the humble mopper."
His thoughts wandered away, and he mopped in silence. He stopped.
"What am I doing here?"
He considered something; he shook the idea off, and continued. He stopped again.
"What's the point of being a shunned cleaner?"
He shook it off; he stopped for a long time, and thought again.
"Well, I may as well..."
He quietly spilled the rest of the water onto the ground, set the bucket in the centre of the corridor, and shook his mop, spraying water everywhere.
"I know what to do..."
He looked through his pockets. A pen, his identity card, and a pathetic gun-gluestick hybrid which shot sticky string. He pasted the sticky string onto the ground, a few centimetres away from the water. He emptied half of it - no need to waste so much in a one-way corridor - and kept the rest for later. He then stole softly away.
He heard footsteps.
"Oh, poop," he thought to himself.
Their heavy feet sounded louder. Then a sort of shriek - somebody had slipped on the water.
"How did that get here??"
"That Puffish guy was mopping here!"
"Hem! It must've been him!"
"Just wait 'til I catch him!"
He ran. They heard!
"Hey! You there - if you have any sense, come back and report to me!"
He ran, too, but slipped on something which made a loud banging sound. Somebody else ran, too, but he too fell. His boots must have caught on the sticky string.
He ran, straight ahead. A few guards simply stopped in their duties, staring dumbly at him as he went past, but a few suspected that something was up, and they set the alarm. Very soon, thanks to the loudspeakers, the corridors were asking for him to return to office, and report himself.
Once, somebody almost caught up with him. However, he was quickly stopped, by the use of throwing his identity card as a makeshift boomerang. Whenever they almost gained on him, or ambushed him, and so on, he squirted the sticky string into their face. That always worked.
At last, he reached the emergency exit. He forgot for a moment how to open it.
"Quick, quick!", he muttered to himself.
He found the flipperprint-pad; he pressed his flipper on it, and it was activated. What luck! He ran out, and closed the door behind it.
As the others reached it, they slapped their feet with their hats, or flippers. The guard who accompanied the Puffish penguin the most recently spoke first.
"Bother! We've already had at least seven escapees; that was bad enough - but now him! What's we going to do?"
The penguin beside him meekly tried correcting his bad grammar at the start of his last sentence, but received nothing but a hearty box on the ears.
Henry took a small spare tractor tire and walked back the car, and replaced the old tire that went flat. They then got into the car, checked how much petrol they had left, and drove off. They had enough petrol to get to Inland. They planned to go there, refuel, and, if they had time, look around for anything that could be helpful in finding the boss's hideout. The journey was smooth, as if they had been forgotten about by the gang. Icespice did not like this, and began to suspect something fishy. He was dismissed by Radioactivechicken, who said he was overreacting. They made it to Inland in the late afternoon, and refueled their car. At the petrol station, Icespice noticed an anti-Peach member; he hid behind a petrol pump and signaled to Radioactivechicken and Henry that he was there. They drove off in a hurry after that, and found their way to a hotel. After leaving the hotel, they decided that the best thing to do was to keep a low profile and just blend in with the crowd as they tried to find the boss's hideout. There were anti-Peach members everywhere, wearing plain clothes, but the trio could recognise their faces. One of them darted off into a dark alleyway. Icespice followed him.
Inside the anti-Peach headquarters, there was a meeting was going on. The leader got up and said, "I have some bad news; we are loosing the Micro Hard and Soft sponsorship. We need to find another source of income." Another member got up and looked around the room before saying, "I have an idea, but you might not like it."
"What is it, then?" asked the leader.
The member looked at him and replied, "We join another group."
"Are you crazy?" someone asked. "We could have conflicting interests?"
"Yes, we could, but we need the money," the first member said in response.
"You! Stop right there!
Popcorn was staring indignantly at the narrator.
"You - you power jerk! You usurper of power! Every time you had spare time, couldn't you have returned to us and advanced the plot?"
Really, Popcorn. Do be reasonable. I am-
"How can I be reasonable if you've left us for almost two months! Two months!"
"'Yes', indeed! While we were stuck in this bush for Darcy-knows-how-long, you were bingereading your favourite freaky poetry, and eating breath mints, and-"
"Fine. Next time..."
Popcorn began uttering rude and forbidden words. I turned off the speaker, so as not to turn red with embarrassment. He stopped. I turned the speaker on again.
Well, Popcorn. It's a deal.
I switched off the time-freezing machine, and Popcorn's companions were now able to move and hear what he was saying. I also gave them a few random harmless insults, just for the fun of it. Of course, they were so bad at Fourth Wall-breaking they possibly couldn't hear this sentence, or know what had happened.
"What deal, eh?!? How can you not tell me what kind of a deal it is??"
Popcorn was glowing dark orange with anger. Penguinpuffdude, feeling somewhat feverish, simply stared at him. Leetle Penguinpuff found that she was smoking a herring. Rockthemic was headbanging to Vivaldi's "Spring". Leetle Penguinpuff dropped the herring out of good sense, and asked who on earth Popcorn was talking to. At that moment, Penguinpuffdude was clear-headed again, Vivaldi's "Spring" stopped (allowing Rockthemic to stop headbanging), and Popcorn realized that he was talking to nobody. He also realized that the situation they were in was a perfect example of magical realism.
"How long we've been here!" said Penguinpuffdude, slowly recovering from her sudden amnesia.
"Shut up!" snapped Popcorn. "Let's go now."
Just then, the bush in front of them rustled.
Inside the dark alleyway, Icespice saw the Anti-Peach guy go into a small hidden door in the side of an apartment building. He tried to get in himself but it was locked, so he looked up the dirty wall, seeing if he could find an air vent that he could climb into. He saw one vent that was several stories high, and it looked doubtful if he could get up there. He decided to try anyway, so he got out his grappling hook and swung it up but it came back down to hit him on the head because Director Benny thought it would be funny so he approved it. After that failure, Icespice thought a good idea would be to look around for any of those stereotypical fire escape staircases on the side of any nearby buildings. He found one on the other building in the alley, so he did a big run up, so big that lines started appearing and going in the opposite direction like he was in a cartoon; he jumped onto the bottom rung of the ladder, and then jumped up onto the bottom platform of the fire escape. He then ran up the rusty staircase. Nobody in the apartments he was running next to noticed an EPF agent running up the building, much to Icespice's surprise, but he was noticed by some penguins on the street, who were forming a large crowd. "I'm on business!" Icespice shouted down to them. That did not stop them from watching; in fact, it made even more penguins come. Icespice then noticed that some of the supports keeping the fire escape attached to the building were not exactly stable, so he had to run up to the top before the whole thing came crashing down with him standing on the fire escape falling with it. After getting to the top without falling, Icespice first noticed that the crowd watching him on the street was so big some local police officers had to get involved; he was happy about this, as he did not want a giant crowd watching him on business. After the crowd left, Icespice did another big run up (with the lines appearing again), activated his grapple hook, and swung to the building that the Anti-Peach guy went inside. After looking for the air vent for a couple of seconds, he spotted it, and climbed inside.
Meanwhile, Henry and Radioactivechicken were chatting in a restaurant. "So what do you think happened to Penguinpuffdude, Popcorn, Leetle Penguinpuff, Rockthemic and Bellarocker?" asked Henry. "Well," replied Radioactivechicken, breaking the Fourth Wall to read this story to find out what had happened to them, "Bellarocker got put in a prison by the Anti-Peach guys, and the rest of them are near the Weekee."
"Right," said Henry, concerned, "that means we will have to go back to the underground base to rescue Bellarocker. We can leave Icespice here, he seems to have found something."
"Yes. We should leave Icespice a note in the hotel room telling him where we will be and get moving." They payed the restaurant bill and left, firstly writing a note and putting it in their hotel room, before driving back to the underground base to rescue Bellarocker. Because of the sheer amount of Anti-Peach members in Inland, they had to drive down back roads in order to not get noticed by them. After leaving the city, they drove onto the country road that they took to get there, only this time they hoped that they would not have to deal with flat tires. After a few hours it got dark, and Henry, who was driving, began to grow tired and said that they should stop for the night. Radioactivechicken, on the other hand, did not want to keep Bellarocker waiting, and insisted that he should drive since he was not tired. After a lengthy argument, they stopped the car to swap sides so Radioactivechicken could drive while Henry tried to catch some sleep. He did not get much though, as he found it hard to sleep with the car's engine being on and he was also too worried about what could happen to Bellarocker. After a couple of hours, he did eventually get off to sleep, but not long after, he woke up. He told Radioactivechicken to continue driving as he never seems to get tired.
The effect of the rustling bush surprising Penguinpuffdude and co. was caused by Bellarocker. Despite the former group being out in the open for longer, they had inevitably got exhausted or injured, whereas Bellarocker had high stamina, good cooking skills (she had discovered, unlike her siblings, that she was running very near to a very long lake) and a great deal of iodine. Therefore she managed to reach the group in time, before they were separated for good.
"What direction do you think we're heading?" asked Bellarocker casually.
"We've been apart for who-knows-how-long many days and you ask us what direction we're heading???" shrieked Leetle Penguinpuff, who privately was getting anxious about her dinner.
"I haven't got a digital watch on me," said Rockthemic naively.
"Oh, Rockthemic! Aren't you hurt at all?? Don't lie!" said Bellarocker, suddenly reverting to her original self.
Thus reunited, the group, after some bickering about the state of their hunger, pushed on unknowingly towards the Wiki.
As for the Puffish fellow, he arrived where Radioactivechicken and Henry had drove on. He could smell the faint smell of petrol exhaust and saw some tracks in the dirt.
"Doom!" cursed he; he knew he had missed a chance to hitch-hike. He comforted himself he saying that they may have been his former employers-turned-enemies.
Icespice crawled through the air duct. He could hear voices but he could not deduce where the voices were coming from, or who they were. He then looked through a vent, he saw and Anti-Peach penguin on the phone, talking about a sponsor in Polaris City. Icespice jumped through the vent, got out his gun, and pointed at the penguin. "Alright, flippers up!"
"No!" replied the penguin, before running down a corridor. Icespice looked around the room. It was a normal office, with a swivel chair, a desktop computer, some stacks of paper, some of them with doodles on; and a mug with pens. Icespice walked down the corridor, but all he could find was more offices. He saw some penguins chatting next to the water cooler. Their conversation was not of any interest so Icespice just sneaked past them. He began to find it hard to believe that this was a building owned by the Anti-Peach, or whatever they are up to now.
Icespice was, indeed, in a building owned by the Anti-Peach. They were on a one-day vacation; nobody knew why. The penguin he cornered was ordering supplies and weapons. It was all very Kafkaesque.
Nobody knew also what the director was up to; nobody, except the aforementioned penguin ordering supplies, knew of the secret agent slipping through their corridors.
On the road, Henry and Radioactivechicken pressed on, oblivious to the fact that Bellarocker was no longer inside the Anti-Peach headquarters. After some hours, a question arose: "where is the Anti-Peach headquarters again?" asked Henry. Radioactivechicken shook his head and looked out through the windscreen. He then replied: "I don't think I can remember."
"Why not" asked Henry. Radioactivechicken then stopped the car. "Why did you stop?" Henry asked.
"Great." Henry said, sarcastically. "Now we may never save Bellarocker."
The gang (Popcorn 3000 and co.) walked out of a bush, and found themselves face-to-face with the Wiki.
"Hey," said Popcorn, "I think somebody we know has been here not too long ago..."
Just then, somebody who looked like a bandit jumped out another nearby bush with a gun.
"Halt! Who goes there?" shrieked he.
Penguinpuffdude was on her guard.
"Excuse me, Monsieur," said she, in a French accent, "we are lost without food and we do not know where to go. Could you direct us to the Night Club, please?"
"Alright," said he in a friendlier tone. "Follow me, and I'll also give you some food."
And so they blithely followed the bandit/gangsta/whatever - without knowing his true identity, and his intentions on what he would do to them.
A few minutes later, they were still following this mysterious penguin - and it was in the path to the Night Club. They knew this, because they were, after all, citizens of Club Penguin and seasoned explorers by now.
"Well, what do we do now?" whispered Leetle Penguinpuff to Bellarocker.
"I haven't a clue - he seems genuine," replied she.
Just then, Penguinpuffdude cried "Now!" and she and Popcorn had attacked the penguin.
"Stop! What are you doing?" cried Rockthemic.
"We're not going to get kidnapped again!" shouted Popcorn as he knocked the penguin unconscious.
"I'm starting to doubt he's a gangsta, though..." mused Bellarocker as she looked at the penguin on the snow.
"Done - now let's rifle his pockets," said Penguinpuffdude suspiciously, as though she had not heard Bellarocker.
They did so, and lo! They found an identity card, and it was revealed to our hapless group that the penguin was a policeman!
"Blast!" cried Popcorn. "He was just an undercover gangster!"
"Wait a minute," said Leetle Penguinpuff, "isn't it against the law to fight a policeman, particularly if we knock him unconscious?"
"Crikey! I don't know!" exclaimed the attackers. "We don't have a smartphone on us! What do we do now?"
They put the rifled items back into the penguin's pockets, and foolishly ran back inside the forest.
Icespice was still searching the office building. He knew that the Anti-Peach gang were due to arrive any second, so he hid under a desk. Sure enough, a worker in the office building entered the office and started up the computer. While the worker was, er, working, Icespice was able to sneak out of the office and into the corridor, where he saw that the area around the water cooler was empty this time, so he ran down the corridor and into the elevator. Inside the elevator, Icespice pressed the button for the top floor, for he knew that this was the kind of office building that would put the boss's office up there. Upon reaching the top floor, Icespice exited the elevator and found another corridor with more offices. He walked through the corridor, to the important looking office at the other end. He knocked on the door. No reply. He knocked several more times. Still no reply. He pounded his flipper on the door. Still there was no reply. Icespice got out his gun, pointed it towards the door and yelled "EPF; open up!"
The agent recovered consciousness in the forest. Rather than groaning with pain/amnesia and getting himself lost, however, he remembered quickly his task, and smiled at his "success". He congratulated himself for knowing that the Weekee was a hotspot for the anti-Peach gang; next, he got up, brushed himself casually, and waddled the road back to the EPF headquarters, where he was given a hearty welcome by his comrades.
"Well! We've got their flipperprints all over my stuff, just as we planned!" said he. "Here's my plan: firstly we scan these patterns and register them under the names "Unidentified Gangster No. 1 and 2", compare them to our existing flipperprints, and once we've done that, we can track them down and capture these two specific hooligans, who'd rather spill the beans than get arrested. Then we'll have the entire gang safely in prison!"
They set to work scanning the prints, and behold! They discovered that they belonged to our protagonists.
"Well! What did I tell you?" proudly said the strong agent who had been bowled over by Popcorn at the beginning of this story.
"What did you tell us again? I can't remember," said another bewildered agent.
"That I didn't care for his jokes and that I had no sympathy for him!" snapped back he.
"What do jokes have got to do this with-"
"Well, he used his jokes to trick us all into thinking that he was chased by the 'hooded penguin'! Indeed! By my eyes, I'll burn down this HQ if we don't bring that traitor to justice!"
By that, he turned full circle and stormed outside, not caring a jot about the shocked reactions of the others.
"So you're the one responsible for all this!?" said the boss, as Icespice blasted his way into his office. The boss was wearing a standard black business suit, with a red tie. In front of him was a large wooden desk, which was completely empty except for a desktop computer. "Well, I am one of the ones who are responsible", was Icespice's reply. "There are others involved in this too."
"Who are they?"
"I will tell you", Icespice responded, "if you agree to come along with me."
"No. I will not go down without a fight!" He got out his gun. Icespice dived into the corner as the boss pulled the trigger. BANG! Icespice opened his eyes, there was a bullet mark on the wall. The boss walked up to Icespice and pointed his gun at him. Icespice jumped onto the desk and pointed his gun at the boss. "Never fight a ninja!" he yelled. The boss kicked down the desk but Icespice jumped off of it and clung to the light that was hanging from the ceiling. He then jumped onto the boss when he was least expecting it. The boss jumped and pulled out his gun. The two kept trying to shoot each other but they would always dodge the bullet. The boss's gun ran out of bullets. he threw it at Icespice, who ducked and thew his gun at the boss, who jumped out of the way and crashed through the window. Icespice then sucker punched the boss, who kicked him. So Icespice went and strangled the boss, but he broke away and got Icespice in a headlock. Icespice was able to break away too. The boss realised that neither of them would win the fight, so he broke into a run and dashed down the corridor, but he was chased by Icespice. The boss rushed into the elevator, leaving Icespice outside the elevator shaft, waiting for the elevator to come to him.