The Master of Disguise
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05-17-2012, 05:44 AM
The Vampire Queen
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: The Nightosphere
Re: The Master of Disguise
Chapter 24: Like A Lab On Fire
The sun rose over the Garden of Hothrai at dawn to singing birds and bubbling water. The paradise was now free from threat, and it was time for the humans to depart.
After munching on their fruity breakfast, each of them gathered what they had and went to visit the Chief one last time.
"So I guess this is farewell." said Skinner, and held out his hand.
The Chief accepted heartily and shook vigorously. "Indeed, young Skinner. At first, I thought humans were inferior, idiotic imbeciles...well, I guess I was wrong."
"Well at first, I thought plants were just green garden decorations." laughed Rooney. "I guess I was right about that."
"The Garden will be quiet without you." the Chief continued. "You are welcome to return any time."
Norman and Ashleigh soon arrived at the saffron mushroom to join the group. They immediately noticed that Norman was not carrying his crutches.
"I've healed!" he cried. "And best of all, I have realised true love!"
"Oh, stop it you." Ashleigh giggled. "I think he must still be delirious."
"I will miss you two most of all." said the Chief's wife, sorrowfully. "There will always be a place for you here."
"Is that so?" said Norman thoughtfully. "Well in that case, why not?"
"Why not what?"
"Why not stay here in the Garden of Hothrai?"
"You mean it?" Florabelle chirped. "Please, honey, can they?"
The Chief smiled. "Of course."
"But what about your lab?" asked Ryan. "All your research?"
"All my findings are right here, Ryan," Norman concluded. "Here in paradise. This is where I belong now."
"Then we bid you farewell."
Ryan wrapped his arms around his sister just as she had done when he had arrived on the doorstep. The warm moment was interrupted by an abrupt whistle form the spring.
"Oi, hurry up!" Brambaton yelled. "We haven't got all day!"
Ryan let go, and shook Norman's hand firmly. "It's been a great adventure. Good luck in your new life."
"And good luck on your quest." Norman nodded. "I hope you find what you're searching for."
The crew waved farewell to the Chief and his family, before boarding the lily pad and sailing downstream. Their final view was seeing Herbawiz dipping his withered feet into the spring before they were pulled through the log tunnel by the current.
Brambaton led them further downstream all the way to the bank, where he watched them disembark.
"Well...it's been nice to have visitors." he sighed. "Farewell."
They watched the lily pad venture upstream once more into the darkness of the tunnel, before it sank beneath the waterfall.
"So where do we go now?"
Skinner grabbed the teleslide from his pocket and tapped its smooth surface. The familiar compass came up, with its swivelling arrow. Eventually, it halted, directing them to their next destination. They're eyes followed it over the treetops until-
A cloud of smoke was climbing over the jungle, creating a blurry haze. However, the source of the smoke was dangerously close. Instinctively, the crew sprinted alongside the river, until they reached the pond where it ended. Each of them gasped as they saw the beastly blaze burn the shack to ashes. Both the Biology Lab and the pier that led to it were demolished, sunk beneath the surface of the stream.
"Well, it's lucky they relocated..." Rooney sighed, but Holleron was running towards the flames.
"Neri! The Chopper Boat Pod!"
Both Skinner and Ryan held him back. "Holleron, don't put yourself in danger!" Ryan scalded him. "The horse probably escaped...as for the Chopper Boat Pod..."
"Gone! My work! Destroyed!" Holleron wailed.
"Wait a minute..." Ross pointed to the shore where Neri and the cart had been left. "...there are no burnt remains. Therefore, Neri got away, and the Chopper Boat Pod..."
"It was stolen." Skinner grimaced. "Somebody did this on purpose."
"Skinner, you can't be sure-" Ryan interjected, but Skinner had already begun to march away. "Come on; we're going back to Stanton Town. If there was ever a hideaway for thieves and arsonists, it's there."
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