I Am TurtleShroom, Taster of Pork

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I Am TurtleShroom, Taster of Pork
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TurtleShroom invites the strangest of folk to dinner...
Story information
Genre Miscellaneous
Form Novel
Story date April 24th, 2011
Protagonist TurtleShroom (penguin)
Deuteragonist Sye Grimom, Veranda Grimom, TurtleShroom's Family, Doctor Layer Grimom,
Tritagonist Professor Shroomsky (minor role), Melvin Turtleheimer (minor role), Maria (cameos)
Antagonist Screenhogs


I Am TurtleShroom, Taster of Pork, or TurtleShroom's Dinner of Doom, is a story in which TurtleShroom Jones invites several odd characters over to a dinner in his palace. Through a series of events and disregarding of a warning, TurtleShroom realizes that everything he eats is tainted with the taste of the secular Easter ham they had eaten at the dinner. Will TurtleShroom cleanse his taste buds of the hammy terror, or will everything taste like pork for the rest of the dictator's days?

Read on, reader, read on.



Prologue: In Which Veranda Sympathizes[edit]

It was the Saturday before Easter, and for some, it was a lonely time. This could not fit more in the Grimom residence. Sye, in particular, always fought with his depression in times as these, because with few friends and boundless enemies, he sometimes wondered if life was worth it.

His father was busy and his sister fixated on her game. Xet had no plans, at least none that Sye knew of. Sye kept his head lowered as he wondered through the family igloo, his flippers tucked into his black ulstercoat. The weight of his thick glasses in this position kept him from relaxing in this sulking stance, so all he could really do is think.

Sye had a somewhat loving family, yes, and he had one friend, but it seemed that the whole world was conspiring against him. The immense torment and ridicule he faced every day, trying to prove what he knew was true, with no one on his side and everyone against him hurt him greatly. It was no wonder that he dressed in black and exhibited an aura of general gloom and darkness.


"HEY, SYE! You're blocking the TV with your oversized beak again!"

Sye snapped out of his thoughts and looked up. Surely enough, Sye was standing right in the way of Veranda and the family television. Sye was not in the mood to comply with his sister who strangely bore no family resemblance to he nor his father, so he turned to face the Emoguin girl and sighed loudly.

"Veranda, you're not even watching the television. You're playing that st- you're playing that game instead."

Sye had caught himself before calling Veranda's hobby "stupid". He looked to the cracked wall that was the result of the last time that slipped out. Veranda opened one of her usually squinted eyes in a sort of glare that says "mess with me and you're dead".

This time, Sye complied and moved out of the way. With no one else to talk to, Sye decided to enter his last resort. Nervously, he sat down on the couch next to Veranda.

"What do you want?"

"Veranda, I know you'll see it as stupid, but to say it frankly, I'm depressed. Easter Sunday is tomorrow and our dysfunctional family isn't doing anything. I know that's not usually a problem, but really...I'm just depressed, you know? I can't remember the last time I was happy for more than a few hours."

Veranda said nothing, looking at her game. She didn't want to admit it, but she had emotional attatchments to her brother- that is, she (inwardly) loved Sye immensely, like any sibling would -no matter how much of a total spaz he was. She never said it, but she was sort of ticked at the way folks treated Sye, and, when no one was looking, she sometimes "rectified" the issues against Sye's bullies, in a nightmarish scenario that usually involved a baseball bat and someone rendered unconcious. Of course, this was known to no one but Veranda; she had a reputation to keep as cold and unfeeling, after all.

Pausing her game, she looked at Sye with those eerie squinted eyes and thought for a moment. Saving her game, she closed the Snowtendo console she was playing and waddled over to the television, firing up a gaming console.

"I pity you today, Sye. Don't get used to it, but here, take this game controller and I'll hand your rear to you on a silver platter in a round or two of Korobase's Adventure."

Sye smiled slightly.

"Thanks." he said, humbly.

"Don't get used to it. I just don't want you sulking in front of the TV again."

Sye nodded, knowing Veranda was being nice, and focused on the game. It goes without saying that he was completely and absolutely annialated on every level without contest. Still, the fact that he had something to do with someone else, to break that monotonous loneliness, meant more than enough to him.

The day dragged on as Veranda left Sye on the couch, apparently to "call someone up". Sye leaned back on the couch and pulled out his favorite book, Conspiracy Theories for Conspiring Creatures. He was halfway through the dictionary sized anthology, and he always loved reading it. He was lost in his own little world until a yell from the other room snapped him back.

"SON. COME HERE."

The voice's source was none other than Sye's father, the famous Doctor Layer. Sye hopped onto the floor and went to see what his father wanted. He reached for the counter and handed the doctor a bagel, sitting down.

"It's my duty as a father to sit down and have the occasional father/son talk. I've noticed that you have been moping and am curious as to why. The heir to both my world-renowned cooking show and my scientific empire should not be depressed when he has all that talent to give."

Sye nodded blankly.

"So tell me. What's wrong, my son?"

The good doctor had very well-meaning intentions for Sye in this case. He wanted to make him feel better, and though he was, by personality, distant and not very good at expressing emotions, he truly did love his chicks. He bit into a bagel as he waited for Sye's response.

"It's not really important, but to tell the truth... Dad, I'm really depressed. Easter Sunday's tomorrow and we never do anything as a family. I'm always bullied and insulted at school-"

"That's because you're not pursuing REAL SCIENCE- or cooking, either one -dear son."

"No...not that," Sye said, hardly in the mood to argue. "I'm just socially awkward, I guess. But that's not the point. Is there some way we could have some sort of special Easter meal? We never sit down as a family, and I thought that'd be nice."

"That's what I called you for. I just got contacted by royalty, and he obviously wants me to improve his life and society as a whole by appearing in his presence. I'm bringing bagels. You and Veranda will accompany said bagels. The king has invited us all to stay in his palace."

Sye perked up a bit. "Really?"

"Do I ever lie?"

"Wow. Dinner with royalty, huh?"

"Yes." Doctor Layer shoved three bagels into his beak as Sye contemplated all the New World Order ties this guy could have. He may even have ties to Xet! "Go pack your medicine, your coats and shirts, and various hygiene products. We depart in a hour!"



An hour passed, and the entire Grimom family loaded into the family vehicle. The Doctor was in the front and a stack of bagels in the passenger seat. In the back, Sye and Veranda sat to the right and left, respectively. Veranda's game was plugged into the car charger outlet so not to lose battery. The car looked like something out of a science fiction movie, except with wheels, headlights, and a license plate that read "1BAGEL".

"Children, the driving begins... NOW!" Doctor Layer fastened his seatbelt and floored it. Soon, his vehicle was out on Highway One and headed to this king's palace.

An hour or so passed as the Grimom chicks entertained themselves, when Sye spoke.

"Dad, who is this king? What's he the king of?"

"This king is the king of something important, obviously. He needs my help."

"I see, but who is he?"

"Some ruling elite presiding over a database of knowledge, if I recall." Doctor Layer replied, stuffing some bagels into his beak and not looking from the road.

"A database of knowledge?" Sye asked, fascinated by this concept.

"Yes, my son! It's right off the highway."


Chapter One: In Which the Grimoms Enter TurtleShroom's Palace[edit]

Time passed, and a large white wall came into view. An exit was present, and the car turned off the highway and entered a parking lot. The Grimom family got out and looked at the wall in front of them. Faded scribbles were on them, as well as some pictures, but the real feature was where the whiteboards gave way to bricks. A large, ornately crafted iron gate served as the only entrance to the complex, and engraved into it was "CLUBB PHENGIN WEEKEE".

"We're here! Lets get in."


Doctor Layer led Sye and Veranda to the gates, where they registered with a sentry and received their "Stowaway" cards. They were a yellow thread of yarn tied to a sheet of copy paper. On these were a series of numbers and periods.

"What's this?"

"Apparently, our identity number." Veranda said, not looking up from her game. "We have to wear this until we're in this king guy's castle."

Sye made a mental note about these "numbers". They obviusly had something to do with tracking... -and aliens.

The family made their way through the labyrinth (not using Leenks very well because of their lack of experience). They received a lot of gawking and attention, because their dark-colored appearence and grim ensemble contrasted the bright and cheery colors usually worn on most penguins. Snickers and "goth" jokes followed the three as they finally find the entrance to the king's "Usapaje".


Sye pressed the Leenk and marvelled as the thing opened to reveal a spacious, open area. The air was suprisingly warm, almost fifteen degrees Farenheit, and it felt like the hot dog days of summer. Finely trimmed, bright green grass coated the floor, and the clear blue sky above the whiteboard fence practically gleamed in majesty as it shone down on the large palace that was directly ahead. A pinkish-red cobblestone path leading to a fountain, and then to a sculpture garden (the wiki Templates, apparently), and finally to the entrance of the gigantic building greeted the three. To the far left and right were Leenks to other items and things, but it wasn't much. A tall flagpole with a large Turtlenator flag finished off the scenery.

Sye let out a long low whistle as he looked on. The three kept close together and waddled to the palace. The entire time, Veranda continued with her head down and her focus glued to that game.

Doctor Layer knocked on the large, ornately carved wooden doors. A butler, or some sort of house staff or employee, or something, answered the door.


"Good afternoon. You must be-" the house staffer looked up and down the three.
One had purple hair, combat boots, and a black dress with a novelty skull necklace. She was staring at a game and had no interest in them.

The second one, about the same height, wore thick, heavy glasses and an old-timey black coat which should have been buttoned. To the staffer, this one's beak seemed far too large for his body. What really struck him, though, was this chick's hair. How in the name of Rockhopper's Migrator did he get it to stick up like that?! The staffer had to do all he could to resist poking that seven, or sycthe-shaped thing sprouting out of Sye's hair, to see if it was real. It must take a lot to keep it like that.

The third penguin was taller than the other two, and he wore a long labcoat and a bandana over his beak. He had a ziplock bag of bagels in one flipper and apparently was eating one as he stared. He had similar hair to the second chick, and must have been his father.

His thoughts were interrupted by the first chick.


"Are you going to keep staring and judging us with that ugly beak of yours, or are you 'gonna let us in?"

The staffer frowned at Veranda and opened the door for them to enter. They were in an expansive hallway with countless doors. Golden chandaliers on white-tiled ceilings, each tile surrounded by a border of brown (looking almost like a RL English Tudor or Georgian architecture), didn't provide light, but the lights apparently welded onto these chandaliers gave the room a regal sort of atmosphere. Ahead of them as the hall forked were several items encased in glass, and at the end of the hall at the junction was some plague and sculpture of sorts.

"TurtleShroom is expecting you at six forty five PM sharp. Until them, he says you can explore the entire palace at your own will. My boss is naive in this sort of thing, trusting strangers, especially creepy ones like you, to roam around in his house. Don't steal anything."


Sye scowled at the Staffer for assuming he and his family would steal from or harm this guy's palace. Why was everyone so predjudiced to his family? It wasn't just Sye that had this problem: the whole Grimom family suffered from it, though Doctor Layer and Veranda apparently took it with stride and without care or concern; this was something Sye envied at times. (Veranda was still playing that darn game.)


"Well, you heard the butler." Doctor Layer said, interrupting the quiet in the great hall. "Go and explore. I expect you in the dining hall at six forty five sharp!"

"Dad, we don't know where it is!"

Veranda spoke up, having moved to a plague directly to the left of the door.

"This directory says it's on the first floor. Go to the junction, take the left hall, go straight for three intersections and then turn right. Second door to the left from there."

"Oh." Sye said. Veranda scoffed. Without her, Sye would be nothing!


The three parted ways. Veranda sought a game room. The directory only listed the major rooms (TS' office, the dining room, laundry, bedrooms, bathrooms, ect. ect.), not the Wiki-based rooms and not the recreational or other-purpose rooms that she was interesterd in. She reasoned that she'd find it if this geezer had any decent video games. She tucked her Snowtendo game into her inventory and started wondering around.

Sye, meanwhile, had an innate feeling telling him that some sort of mysterious mystery was going on in this house, and he'd solve it before dinner. He started down the hall, straight for the second floor to see what he could see.

Doctor Layer was headed straight to the butler pantry. They kept bread in there, and where there is bread, there are bagels!




Chapter Two: In Which Sye Goes a-Sneaking[edit]

Sye ascended the staircase. It looked like one of those small ones in an office or a parking garage. The wood paneling and thick carpet were nice, but it was far smaller than what he'd expect in a palace. He gripped the carved banister railing and ascended. Opening the oaken door, he found himself on the second floor of the estate.

Once again, he was in a hallway. This time, he had the choice of going left or right, noting that these diverged onwards. The wallpaper was nice, and the ceilings were a bit lower this time. The carpet was the same velvet red color as the first floor. The ceiling was white with brown trim, and again sporting both opulence and a down-home style at the same time. The chandeliers, this time around, were brass-coated with little crosses that lit up the room in a comforting glow. This pattern continued throughout the floor, Sye was sure.

He made a right turn and looked at all the doors. Some had plaques or papers on them, outlining the purpose of the rooms. There was a gym, apparently not for TS (it read "Tammy"), several guest bedrooms and bathrooms, and a "computer server room". For no reason, Sye entered a bathroom and looked in it, just to get a taste of TS' interior decorating. He was greeted by a step-in bathtub colored harvest gold, some floral wallpaper, a counter and brown cabinets, and... hey, a medicine cabinet!


Sye just couldn't help himself; he wanted to waddle away, but he couldn't. The temptation was much too strong.
It may have been his natural tendancy to the paranormal, or his fragile/depressed mental state, but Sye could have sworn two beings manifested themselves upon his left and right side, what would count as his shoulders. They looked like the letter I, and they spoke...

I: Go on. Look in the cabinet. No one's watching, no one's going to care. There aren't any Holyberden cameras in bathrooms, Mister Grimom.
Sye: Holy-what-a? Cameras?!
I: Whoops, shouldn't have said that.
{awkward pause}
I: OPEN THE MEDICINE CABINET, GOTHY, DO IT.
-I: No Sye, don't do it, please! You're a penguin of science and truth, not some lowly snooper!
Sye: You respect me? You believe me?
-I: Well, yeah...but that's not important now. DON'T OPEN THE CABINET. He's leading you down the path of evil. Oh, and I? Sye is not Gothic.
I: Your mom's Gothic. Sye, don't listen to that weenie. I'm leading you down the path of AWESOME. OPEN THE CABINET.
-I: No Sye, don't!
I: What is a scientist without discovery? Without risk-taking? Without venturing into parts unknown and uncovering what others will never know? Probably wouldn't expose Xet if you didn't do some snooping, right? It's just privacy, Sye. When did that stop you before?
-I: Sye, he's-
{Sye then opened the cabinet.}
-I: CRAP.
I: Ha ha! Victory! I knew I'd win. -I, you owe me ten coins.
{I and -I vanish.}

Sye eagerly looked in the medicine cabinet, only to find...

SNOOPING AS USUAL I SEE.png


"Drat. Nothing."


Sye exited the bathroom. He was wandering through the halls and found himself in the back-right corner of the palace, with a slightly larger door that looked out of place. This door was a lighter brown, almost as if made of plywood, and was weak, thin, and had a simple doorknob. Without hesitating, Sye walked through the door, but found himself face-to-face with another door. This door was thick, white, and had a large lock on it. A peephole was embedded into it.

Chapter Three: In Which Veranda has a Blast from the Past and Is Revealed to be a Pool Shark[edit]

Veranda waddled down the halls. She turned her game off and paid attention to each room. These rooms did not interest her, so she kept on going, ascending the floors. Continuing to the third floor, she wondered around it, noting the sleeping chambers and other customized amenities. These were apparently where TurtleShroom and others slept. Aside from bedrooms and bathrooms, there were a few other items, like a billiards room, a study, a library, and a room with a television. She was immediately drawn to that, so she entered.

Veranda felt around for a swtich, but didn't find one. She sighed and waddled back out, only to see a little shelf, like a mud room's rack with hooks. On these hooks were old hurricane lamps. A sheet of paper was taped to the wall above it, reading:
"The lighting provided by the television plus the provided lanterns are sufficient for any viewer who wishes to enjoy a television show. TurtleShroom isn't too big on television- preferring Internet -so he didn't really put much effort into wiring this room. Please note that while the floor and furniture have been made flame retardant, the chance of fire is always feasible. Please blow out the hurricane lamp when you are finished using it. The fire alarm is to the right of the lanterns."

After that were instructions on how to operate the lantern: how to trim the wick, light the lamp, refill the kerosene, where to find the matches and kerosene, and everything else. Veranda studied this carefully, not used to such old technology, and eventually nodded as she succeeded in igniting the lamp.

Veranda entered the television room and held up the lantern to view her surroundings. The floor was white tile; that was the first thing she noticed. She assumed this was to prevent a fire. The furniture was similar, in that the armchairs and sofas were coated in plastic, and a fire extenguisher was nearby. An end table was bolted to the floor, and a pole with a hook on it was for hanging the lantern.

Veranda placed the lantern on the hook and sat down in a comfortable, plastic-covered armchair. She looked for a remote.


...........

There was not a remote. Veranda grunted audibly as she noticed a note on that end table...

"Guest: you have two webbed feet that are not broken. TurtleShroom and family have owned this television since 1960. This device has been passed down for generations and has been recently been successfully converted to Digital Television- as ordered by the dirty commies in the CPW -by use of a converter box. Get up and change the channel yourself. You do know how to do that, RIGHT?"


She got up, still mumbling, and finally paid attention to the television.

Oh crap.


She angrily fiddled with the knobs and antenna, after activating the DTV converter, angered at the television's choice of fifty channels. Her shows, especially the graphic ones, were on the upper channels; these were channels that TS did not pick up. The television was so old that every channel came through in grayscale (that is, black-and-white). The Emoguin was having a lot of trouble taking this.

She flipped through the channels by turning the dial, and finally settled on a rerun of Super Antics Bros. Z. In black-and-white, it was truly a weird experience. She sat down and played a game by the light of the lantern and dinosaur television.

After a bit, she got bored and exited the room, turning off the television and blowing out the lantern.




Veranda decided to backtrack back to the billiards room. She was surprised to here the clacking of pool balls as she reached for the door. Opening it, she also opened one usually-squinted eye in confusion at the player. He was wearing some old desert robes and a blank white hat that looked like that bellhop's hat from the "Ruby's Ruby" Stage Play. Embroidered on that hat was a calligraphic "L", not too uncanny to the usual calligraphic "T". He also had a big mustache. Around his waist was a belt, and on that belt was another item that surprised Veranda: a loaded Banana Blaster. He was wearing a sweet pauir of sunglasses, too.

Still, being the embodiment of apathy she was, Verand squinted her eyes back to their usualy appearence and waddled to the tall, strange penguin.


"Hey! You!"


The robed penguin looked around.

"Whose go there? I very VERY armed!"

"DOWN HERE, SCREENHOG-FACE!"

Insulted, he looked down and saw Veranda staring at him. (Well, it would have been staring, but her eyes seemed to be closed.) His glare softened as he made a smile, more of a snicker really, at the little penguin. After all, her flat, eerie purple hairdo, her cute little black dress, and that skull necklace that was big enough in proportion to her to remind anyone of a Terrain Grime rapper's "bling" really didn't make Veranda look threatening, just... gothic.

"AWW, are you not just so precious?" The penguin smiled again, this time more warmly. "I could just give big hug, yes I could, yes I could!", he cooed. He removed his sunglasses and grinned warmly.

Veranda ignored this, still looking at him with that same blank, frowning expression.

"Ah, but where my manners?" he closed his eyes and twirled his flipper in a circle, like he was thinking. "I P00155189, not really named yet. Bodygaurd to Joneses, yes, proud Libby Leigonaire."

Veranda's stoic expression did not change. P00155189 lowered himself to Veranda and patted her on the head, sort of ruffling her hair in that friendly sort of way.

"Aww, cheer up, young girl, you should smi-"

Veranda's pointed beak twisted into a scowl and, like lightning, she shot out her flipper and grabbed TurtleShroom's bodygaurd by the collar. She yanked him close to her face, and, despite her eqyes being squinted like they were, she still gave P00155189 a dark glare, one like knives. He gasped.

"If you want your flippers to continue being attatched to your body, you will NOT touch me again, and you will NOT treat me like some little chick! IS THAT UNDERSTOOD?!"

The Leigonaire gulped and nodded.

"Good. Now, play me at pool."

That was not a request. That was a command.


"A-a-all right... I play."


Veranda reached into her inventory and removed some coins.

"Bet some coins."


The Leigonaire gasped, and then crossed his flippers, turning his head to the right in a snooty fashion.

"No. I no gamble. Gambling would get me fired, and it very, very wrong."


Veranda furrowed her eyebrows, still with those squinting eyes.

"That was not me asking you, stink-head. BET SOME COINS."


"No."

Veranda jumped on the Leigonaire and thrust her clunky boots onto his torso as he grabbed his collar and pulled him down to her level as she landed.

"BET SOME COINS OR I SHALL PLUNGE YOU INTO A NIGHTMARE WORLD FROM WHICH THERE IS NO AWAKENING!"

"AIYEEE! ALL RIGHT, ALL RIGHT, I GAMBLE; I GAMBLE! Just don't tell Turtle about this, please!"

Veranda let go and nodded, smoothing out her dress and fixing back her hair.

"Since you accepted and I didn't have to ruin your life... I won't tell."


P00155189 sighed with immense relief.

"Oh. You no cheat, do you?"

Veranda opened one eye and looked at the Leigonaire with a glare that could shatter steel.

"NEVER. I have NEVER cheated in my ENTIRE LIFE, stupid. Cheating is for whiny babies."

The Leigonaire gulped and placed some money on a shelf behind the pool table.

"Okay. We play billiards now. Eight ball game, yes?"

Veranda nodded.


"I get the even numbers. They have purple in them. You get the ood. We both know the rules. Now, let's play."


The Leigonaire went first, having set up the pool balls in their neat little triangle. Taking the cue ball, he broke the triangle and sent the billaird balls across the table.

Veranda got a nearby fancy chair and moved it to where she was going to stand. She took a pool cue- bigger, than her -and reached to rub some blue chalk on it.


"Ball fourteen. Side pocket, to the right."


"You already declaring, little girl?" the Leigonaire said, getting some of his confidance back. "The fourteen ball nowhere near the pocket in the middle on the right side of the table facing this way! No way you can make that!"

Veranda scoffed and handled the cue with two flippers. With a clumsy looking form, she lined up the cue and the cue ball. Since the cue was almost a foot bigger than her, it was easier said than done. She was too short to reach over the table to line it up right, so she manipulated the cue and rested in what could be considered the "armpit" of her left flipper. Leaning her small body back, she thrust herself forward, moving the gargantuan cue in the process, and hit the cue ball. It bounced off the left side of the pool table in a V fashion, smacking plainly into the fourteenth pool ball. It slowly rolled towards the pocket she had declared, and with a cluk, it went straight in.


"OH. MY. DESERT. SANDS." the Leigonaire said, flabbergasted.


For the first time in a long while, Veranda managed a slight smile. It was a sinister-looking, cocky one, of course. Since she correctly sunk the ball she had declared, she got to go again. She hopped down from the chair and stood on the tips of her webbed feet, scanning the table behind her famously squinted eyes.

"Ball two. Top-right corner pocket."

The Leigonaire cocked his head and looked at Veranda.

"...-but ball two when broke is already next to bottom-left corner pocket. Why you shoot it there?"

"To annoy you."


Veranda placed the chair on the adjacent end of the pool table to the second ball. The cue ball had rested there, so she had to start at that location. Veranda manhandled the cue again. This time, she held it to the right of her head, on what would be counted as her shoulder, if penguins had such thing. Throwing her weight onto the cue, she slammed the cue ball, hard, and knocked the second ball flying. It bounced off the side of the table, rolling to the other side and bouncing there in a sort of tilted "Z" path, finally falling into that second pocket. P00155189 was floored. Veranda hopped back down, as if what she did was nothing.

"I'm going to give you a chance, robey. I forfeit my next shot. You're up."


The Leigonaire gulped and positioned himself as the pool shark that was Veranda intimidatingly looked on. He hit the cue ball and it lightly tapped the fifteenth ball. It rolled to the top-left, corner pocket and stopped at the borders of the table. A simple tap of the pool cue would push the ball straight in. The Legionaire stepped back and was surprised to see that Veranda didn't call another hole. He didn't want to incite her rage, so he remained quiet.

Standing from the pocket diagnolly adjacent to where the Legionaire had aimed his ball, Veranda placed the pool cue in her left flipper. Then, for just a second, it looked like the little penguin had smirked. She turned her back to the table and prepared to shoot a billiards trick. Positioning the cue at about the collar line of her dress, she leaned forward, and then back, barely managing to push her entire weight into hitting the balls with a pool cue as big as she was. The trick was executed perfectly. Veranda's ball was shot to the Legionaire's parked hopes and dreams; the fifteenth pool ball was collided by the cue ball at such an angle that the ball rolled away from the hole, horizontally on the table's view.

Now, Veranda was just showing off. The Legionaire would have bellowed "OH, COME ON!", but he wanted to live.


Chapter Four: In Which Our Story Resumesf[edit]

Doctor Layer shuffled around the butler's pantry, inhaling the delicious bagels and other wheat products and breads that caught his eye. TurtleShroom (Penguin) was a wealthy bird, so it made sense that he kept well-stocked pantries, both in the kitchen and for neccesary hosting and providing of tasty little snacks to tide guests over. TurtleShroom hadn't been as hospitable since he was shot down in a blaze of glory, but by this small closet alone, it seemed he hadn't changed the maintenance in his massive estate.

Doctor Layer exited the feastful array of bread with flippers full of loaves ranging from pita to French and, of course, piles of bagels. He removed his Player Card and placed it on the ground. The good doctor then took his pile of bagels, which was half as tall as he was, and shoved them into his inventory. The sight was certainly one to behold. The BOF's Department of Survelliance made that fact loud and clear to everyone in the same wing of the office.

Doctor Layer decided that he would "grace" the cooks with his presence and perhaps aid them in their recipes. Cooking is a great and noble branch of chemistry, after all, and as one of the greatest chefs in Club Penguin, if not Antarctica, he was certainly right to be proud of his monumental culinary achievements. He could always eat the bagels afterwards.


He waddled into the kitchen.

"TurtleShroom needs my brilliance!"




Veranda stood triumphantly over the pool table. All of ther balls were sunk, except the eighth, and final, game-winning ball.

"Eight ball," she called, "Left-center pocket".


With perfect aim, Veranda cleared the matter with ease. She had won, and with it, had doubled her earnings.


"Too easy. What else is there to do in this dump?"


Veranda received her answer in the form of very loud noises. They were on the same floor as her, so she set out to find them.




Sye stood, facing the door. It was sealed like a security room. His father had taught him to follow his inqueries to the ends of the polar ice caps if neccesary, especially if it was for recipes. He couldn't take the temptation to find his way into that secret door. There had to be some way to do it, though, and he'd find it! Sye placed a flipper on his beak and thought, as he began waddling back and fourth down the hall.


"What secrets could this guy be hiding?"

Sye looked at the stately halls and dated wallpaper, idly wishing penguins could feel through their feet. The shag carpeting was crazy thick! He decided to look through the halls and see if he could figure out the secrets that laid beyond that door. Some time passed, and the amazing smells of food wafted through the towering estate. Sye smiled at the thought of the upcoming feast, and merrily turned to the thrilling adventures at hand.

The darkened penguin waddled past a sea of doors, ornate, white, and cearly evident of wealth. He wouldn't have stopped until he heard a huge scream. Looking around, he realized it was coming from elsewhere in the building!


"AAAAAAAGH! AWW! MAN, NO! AWWW!"

The wretching reminded him of a mother penguin producing food for her chicks. He remembered that well... well, his father didn't do it; feeding was the job of a cold, unfeeling robot arm driven by Layer himself. (It was totally how Sye would feed his chicks.)

"AGH! NO! NOOOO, NO! UGH!"


Sye was interrupted from his stroll down memory lane with the continued and bitter disgust of whatever was producing that sound. He ascended to the third floor and found that the sounds were coming from a bathroom. Sye entered to see a large penguin standing over an urinal toilet toilet. The bathroom was small. In fact, it had no bath. It was a water closet.

Sye stood for a moment as the penguin put on a surgical mask and wore gloves that stretched up his entire flippers. He leaned over the grimy urinal and started scrubbing the bird fesces off the walls around it.

"AAAAAAAGGH!!" he groaned. "WHY?! WHY?!"


"Uhh, sir?"


The penguin stood up and faced the small bird that delivered the question.


"You heard that, huh?"

"Everyone on Xet's planet heard that."

"....it really is that bad. You want to see for yourself?"

Sye grimaced and stepped back.

"No, I'll take your word for it!"


The penguin sat down on a footstool he pulled out from under the sink.

"So, what brings you to the lair of the Joneses?"

"My dad wanted to dine with TurtleShroom."

"I see. You're going to the feast, then?"

"Yeah. Are you?"

"Yes, but only if I can clean Tortuga's toilet."

"Tortuga?"


The custodian gestured to a framed crochet knit that was hung on the wall. It was shaped like a small, Latin Antarctican island. Sye was well-acquainted with the conspiracies and laundering that went on there. That was Maverick.


"Oh, the guy in charge of Maverick?"

"Yes. Tortugadesetas. TurtleShroom's brother."

"I KNEW IT."

"How did you know about that sort of thing? No one ever knows or cares about these things."

"I do. I'm saving the world!"


The custodian chuckled.

"You're a cute little guy, you know that?"

"Well, th-"

"How do you do your hair like that?" he gestured to the scythe-shaped number seven that Sye had as a cowlick.

Sye smiled and turned to the side, to face the mirror.

"Oh! That's an easy one." he ran a flipper over his gelled hair, before preening the gel off of his feathers with his beak. "I simply-"

The custodian interjected.

"I didn't notice this before, but..." he chuckled. "I don't mean offense, but your beak is HUGE."

"You don't want to know how I style my hair?"

"Nah. I'm more interested in your HUGE beak!"

"WHY DOES EVERYONE SAY THAT?!"

"Well, it is big."

"MY BEAK IS NOT BIG!"

"That's nothing to be ashamed of."


Sye crossed his flippers and pouted.

"My beak is not big." he grumbled.


The custodian noticed this was bothering him. He changed the subject.


"Is there anyone else here? Mother? Father? Family? Are you one of the Joneses?"


"I never knew Mom. Dad's Doctor Layer. I have one sister. Veranda."

"That's a pretty name. Wait. Doctor Layer? THE Doctor Layer? The culinary genius?"

"Yeah, that's him. You're a fan?"


The custodian reached into his inventory and pulled a T-shirt from his player card. It had a bust of Doctor Layer on it with a wreath made entirely out of bagels, linked together like chains, around the image.


"That answers it." Sye stated, somewhat embarassed.




TO BE CONTINUED